Thursday 31 May 2012

Fort Amherst

Fort Amherst is Britain's largest Napoleonic fort and was built to protect Chatham Docks by attack from the land. Although described as Napoleonic, Fort Amherst actually traces its origins back to the Dutch Raid on Chatham in 1667. The Royal docks were plundered, thirteen ships destroyed and two (including the flagship Royal Charles) were taken by the Dutch Navy. Fort Amherst was part of the subsequent defences put in place to ensure nothing like this could happen again.

Guns line the Ramparts around the site
Large parts of the Fort are yet to be restored.

Its been a long time since I was last at this site and a lot has changed. Above ground the extensive Chatham Lines and outer defences of the fort have now been opened to public right of way. Its is possible to walk unobstructed across the whole of the site. Fort Amherst Heritage Trust now owns and manages over 20 acres and is restoring the fort one section at a time.

24 Pounder
The Fort was an important part of the regions defences during WWII. The tunnels were utilised by the Anti-Invasion Planning Unit and by Civil Defence, who used a section as their headquarters. The Civil Defence role was particularly important as it coordinated services for the whole of the North Kent area in the event of bombing. 

Tank Traps in the Memorial Garden
3.7 Inch Heavy Anti Aircraft Gun
Below ground there are extensive tunnels and walkways through the chalk hills linking the various sections of the site.

Tunnels below the fort snake through the chalk hill
Recreation of the ARP station that was sited inside the tunnels at Fort Amherst
The volunteers at Fort Amherst run tunnel tours twice a day at 11am and 2pm. The tours last about 90 minutes and are very interesting. One word of warning though, the tunnels are extensive and the tour route includes several sets of steep stairs, so if you have mobility issues its worth planning ahead and asking if special tours can be organised. Having said that the standard tour isn't too taxing and gives the visitor a unique view of the hidden site below ground. 

Wednesday 30 May 2012

RIP Fish

Now I can haz all your d20
Sadly I must announce the passing of one of the members of my gaming group, the Dagenham Dungeon Delvers.

Fish was given Honorary Member status last December having been hanging around our games for years. His usual contribution was to sit behind us purring loudly and occasionally meowing until someone gave him a scratch behind the ear....much like his owner, The Evil GM.

He was a venerable cat of over 20 years old, which in human years would have made him well past retirement age. The old fellow only had one eye - after an accident in his youth - but had recently become completely blind and deaf...which only made his meows louder.

RIP old buddy. Your presence at future games will be missed.

Panzergrenadier Progress Report

I'm plugging away at my Panzergrenadier Company and have just started the process of sorting and cleaning up the final platoon. In the meantime I have given the kiss of life to my 'old' Panzergrenadier Platoon and brought them up to a standard that I'm happy with. They no longer look out of place next to my newly painted HQ Platoon.

Panzergrenadier Platoon as originally finished
I started by looking at the Halftracks and was reasonably happy that they matched up with my newest ones. The only change that needed to be implemented was an application of 'mud' to the tracks and lower portions of the chassis and bodywork. In the past I have used various products for the mud but this time I decided to try the coloured plaster that I use on the bases. This is actually wood filler so it is slightly grainy and if applied right can be 'clumpy' and dries rock hard, making it an excellent mud simulator for all my vehicles.

Looking at the infantry stands it was immediately clear that the bases needed to be improved. When I originally did these I just covered the whole base with static grass without any detail or 'mud' showing. So when I looked at them again the first thing I knew I needed to do was remove some of the existing static grass. This was actually easy to do with a small modelling spatula and a wet brush (to dissolve the PVA). I then repainted the dirt areas and the bevelled edge of the base to the same colour scheme as my existing stands.

The next job was boosting the highlights on the figures as they were a bit 'flat' in appearance. I decided not to make the highlights as sharp as on the HQ Platoon so I just used Grey Green (886) straight from the pot with no added white. This still gave good highlights without obscuring all the green of the Fieldgrey (830) base colour. With all the touching up completed I gave the models a thin spray of Testors Dullcoat and left overnight to dry fully.

With the painting completed I added some 'Late Summer' Tufts to make the bases a bit more interesting. This really brought the stands together and makes them look 'part of a set' when placed next to the recent HQ Platoon I painted. The last stage was adding the Base Labels and varnishing the bevelled edges with Winsor and Newton Matt varnish.This isn't quite as Matt as Testors but being brush applied it gives a thicker and therefore stronger layer of protection to the base edges.

The 'Restored' Platoon next to the newly painted HQ Platoon

All in all I'm quite happy with how this little restoration project turned out and can now turn my full attention to the final platoon in the company. I have a busy couple of weeks ahead so I'm not sure I'll make as rapid progress as before but I'm still hoping to have the whole project wrapped up by the end of June.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Southend Air Show 2012

On Saturday I took my family down to Southend for the annual Air Show. The Southend Air Show is a free event (if you ignore the parking fees) with a varied selection of aircraft on display. Like all of these events the actual line-up is largely weather dependent but this year - with glorious sunshine throughout - there were no cancellations and the show proceeded as planned.

The Blades Acrobatic Team
The Blades Acrobatic Team
P-40 Kittyhawk
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Spitfire PR Mk XIX PM631
Avro Lancaster
Trig Aerobatic Team  - Pitts S-1D biplanes
Black Cats Helicopter Display Team

Breitling Wingwalkers
Eurofighter Typhoon
Family Shot
This was a great show made even better by the excellent weather. As usual I shot hundreds of pictures but managed to trim this down to about a hundred which are shown here as a Slideshow.

Monday 28 May 2012

Wargames Illustrated 296

Wargames Illustrated is this month focused on the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-6. As always though there is plenty more inside its covers to tempt players of all periods to pick up a copy. Mine arrived as the first of my new subscription and now that I have had a chance to read it I have to say its a corker of an issue! (I know I say that most months but its true).

I don't think I have ever been tempted to wargame the Jacobite Rebellion of Bonnie Prince Charlie, nor have I any desire to paint eye wateringly detailed Tartan on kilt wearing highlanders. But despite this I really enjoyed reading the themed articles in this issue. Andrew Bamfords opening article gives an excellent overview of the conflict as well as being beautifully illustrated as you would expect from this magazine.

Two more follow up articles round off this theme. The first contains a series of historical and what-if scenarios for the invasion of England. The second article looks at the wargaming potential of the situation back in Scotland where the Jacobite's went of the offensive in an attempt to secure their homeland with the aid of an allied French Army under Lord Lewis Gordon.

Moving back in time to a set of rules that has proved very popular in recent times. Wooden Oaths looks at the Saga rules for Dark Age warfare and the latest supplements and new factions available to players of the game. I have to say this is a very tempting looking game, especially as entry to the period takes very few models meaning new players can get started relatively quickly. This is definitely a set of rules that I can see going from strength to strength over the next few years and I will be very surprised if The Rejects manage to avoid playing it at some point in the future.

There are two other articles that made this issue worth buying on their own. First off a look at adding foliage camouflage to tanks by James Brown. I've seen this product on sale (from various manufactures including Gale Force 9) but until now haven't been tempted to buy it. However I may give it a go soon if I can pick up a packet at the next show I attend. The other article I found very useful was the ongoing series on painting by Matt Parkes. As I have said about his earlier articles they are shaping up to be a very interesting and useful series and I have enjoyed every one so far.

One of the things I like about Wargames Illustrated is that they regularly feature photo reviews of the main wargames shows around the world. This month they feature an excellent series of pictures from the recent Cold Wars show in the US. I'd love to do one of the big shows in the States at some point in the future, but I'll probably have to win a large sum of money first (unless someone takes pity on me and pays for my flight..wink, wink).

I say this every month but This issue really is very good, quite varied, full of amazing eye-candy and well worth the cover price.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Captcha the Frustration

Dork Tower by John Kovalic 
One of my favorite webcomics - Dork Tower by the talented John Kovalic - has posted a classic strip in its site. Kovalic sees Passwords and Captcha's the same way I do... through a red mist!

Click the caption below the picture to see the whole strip.

Every website with a forum or online shop now needs you to register and set up a password. Every blog requires you to decipher a Captcha before submitting a comment...and its doing my head in! I understand that security online is as necessary as locking the front door of your house. It's a sensible precaution to keep the hackers, spammers and phishers out in the cold. But I also think that sometimes our security precautions can become just a little bit paranoid and over zealous.

I disabled the Captcha feature on BLMA about two years ago and since then I can count on one hand the number of genuine Spam comments that have bypassed the filters (and that includes the brief period of Trolling I suffered). I check my comments several times a day so none of the bogus comments that have been posted stayed visible for long!

I'm not advising everyone to turn off their security features en-masse, I understand that for some sites these are valuable and vital precautions. But it might be worth asking yourself if your Blog really needs such high level security. I have definitely seen an increase in the number of comments to my posts since I disabled Captchas, maybe because its now a lot easier and quicker to do so.

Friday 25 May 2012

War Hero in my Family

I've been watching a new-ish TV series on Channel 5 called War Hero in my Family and its really rather good. The format is rather like the BBC series Who do you think you are? although as the title suggests it focuses on usually a single relative of a given celebrity and then only those that served in some capacity in the Second World War.

Personally I'm not all that bothered about the 'celebrity' aspect of the series - I'd be just as interested if the programme was about regular folks ancestors - but its the war stories the programme tells that I have found so engaging. Last Tuesdays episode for instance featured former cricket captain David Gower (who I like) and DJ Sara Cox (who I can't stand). Other celebrity's that have been featured have included Chris Tarrent, Helen Lederer, Paddy Ashdown, Ann Widdecombe, Quentin Willson and actress Lisa Faulkner.

I found the story of David Gower's uncles very moving. One was the captain of a Destroyer in the Arctic Convoys and was later awarded the DSO for his part in the D-Day invasion. The other uncle (younger brother of the destroyer Captain) was a Captain in the Royal Artillery and was killed on D-Day in the advance towards Caen. His story in particular was shocking in its abruptness but also because of the family pictures David still has showing a gentle looking young man who should have had his whole life before him.

I've been privileged to meet and talk with many Normandy Veterans and their stories are incredible and vivid even 68 years later after the great invasion. They were lucky that they have had a chance to tell their stories but many young men never had that opportunity. One of the most important things that the viewer learned from the David Gower episode was that we should talk to our elderly relatives before its too late. The WWII generation is fading away fast and at some point in the next ten or twenty years we will suddenly find that they are all gone.

This first series is almost over but can still be viewed on the Demand5 website.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Broadside : A Simultaneous Discharge of Guns!

Posties Rejects will be at the Kent wargames show Broadside, on the 10th June. We are running our first Demo game at this show; the The Battle of Amiens 1918 (largely organised by Postie, Fran and Ray... I take no credit). Obviously we want the event to be a success but unfortunately it seems there has been a problem with some of the Magazine Advertising for the show (see Curt's Clint's Blog Anything but a One for details) so we are doing our best to promote the show ourselves.

I hasten to add we have no allusions about the meagre impact our respective Blogs might have on visitor numbers compared to the benefit of advertising in a national magazine, but we have to try and help. Here's a slideshow of my pictures from last years event and I think you'll agree that considering it was The Milton Hundred Wargames Club's first show they did pretty damn good!

So please come along and support this excellent show and while you are there come and say hello to the Rejects. We will be sporting our personalised and very sexy 'Rejects polo shirts' (as seen at Salute last month and modelled below) so hopefully that will help you tell Fran and Ray apart!

Fran and Ray modelling the Rejects polo shirt....ahhh, they look like Brothers!  (Picture: Angry Lurker)

Wednesday 23 May 2012

FOW Gepanzerte Panzergrenedier HQ Platoon

I've finished with my US Airborne Company for now so I have turned my attention back to my Lehr Panzergrenadier's. I already had a Platoon painted for use with my Tank Company but I decided that I wanted to expand this into a Company of its own. So I bought the extra models I needed when I was at Salute back in April and have now completed the HQ Platoon. The second Armoured Panzergrenadier Platoon will follow in due course.

I have gone for a deliberately 'high key' look to these figures, accentuating the highlights to the extreme. Panzer Lehr Uniforms are a bit on the dull side and when I started these I just didn't think the colours popped out enough. So I decided to hit the highlights with a vengeance. Initially the result looked cartoonish, especially close up, but after dull-coating and when viewed from 3 foot away (typical table distances) they look really quite nice. When I paint the final platoon I may scale this back a little but I'm still going to keep the highlights stronger than I have in the past.

I have also opted for a slightly different grass tuft on the bases, to help differentiate them from my US forces (also because I used up the tufts I had and needed to start an new pack anyway). So I have gone for Short, Late Summer Tufts which are a darker green than those I have used before and look better against the green/grey uniforms of the Lehr infantry.

Here's the colour palette I used for these. This is partly based on the recommended colours for Panzer Lehr infantry presented in the Villers Bocage book but modified by me though trial and error when painting this platoon.

Panzer Lehr Uniform Colour Palette
Artwork from box of Dragon Models 1/35 models
  • Helmet  (Basecoat) Middlestone 882 with Camo Pattern in Chocolate Brown 812 and Reflective Green 870. 
  • Tunic and Trousers  (Basecoat) Fieldgrey 830  (Highlight) Green Grey 886 (+ White for extreme highlights)
  • Webbing/Pouches/ Gasmask Cans  (Basecoat) Green Grey 886 and  (Highlight)  Stone Grey 884
  • Ammo Pouches  (Basecoat) Black 950  (Highlight) German Grey 995
  • Boots - (Basecoat) Black 950
  • Panzerfausts and Ammo Boxes  (Basecoat) Middlestone 882   (Highlight) Ivory 918
  • Rifle Butts/Tool Handles  (Basecoat) Flat Brown 984 (Highlight) Beige Brown 846

Once again I am determined to keep the forward momentum going so as soon as I had finished these I pulled out the next box of models to be worked on, another Armoured Panzergrenadier Platoon. These combined with the HQ will form the core of my Lehr Panzergrenadier Company and should give my US Airborne troops a run for their money.

On a point of history I do realise that Panzer Lehr was not deployed against the American sectors until after July 2nd. Up to the end of June, the Division had taken a mauling in the battles for Caen and at the beginning of July it was moved to the much 'quieter' sector facing the U.S. 83rd Infantry Division. It took part in the defence of the area around Saint-Lô and on the assault of Pont-Herbert, again taking heavy losses. The final blow to the Divisions effectiveness in Normandy was its decimation by allied carpet bombing in the opening stages of Operation Cobra.

I have also pulled out my 'old' Panzergrenadier Platoon and will take a bit of time to give them a makeover. I'm happy with the Sd Kfz 251/1's as they look fine and match up OK with my new half-tracks but the Panzergrenadier teams need the highlights boosted a little. I also need to do a bit of work on the bases. Currently the static grass is rather plain and boring so I'll add some of the Late Summer Tufts and then I will add the appropriate base labels.

I'm really quite chuffed with how this platoon turned out and am looking forward to using them on the game table in the not too distant future.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Games that define us Meme

The Frontline Gamer kicked off an interesting Meme that has started building momentum on various wargaming blogs (check the posts on Ferbs Fighting Forces and The Wargaming Site). Games that Define Us was his Sunday Sermon a week ago and I responded with my own list of 10 games that have defined my gaming heritage. Far be it for me to ignore a good meme so here's an expanded version of my reply to his post.

Fighting Fantasy - In my original list on the Frontline Gamers Blog I didn't list the Fighting Fantasy books partly because I discovered them just prior to and simultaneously with D&D. But over the weekend I was thinking about my list and realised that I shouldn't have left these off because without the Fighting Fantasy series I might never have got into D&D and from there into a lifetime of other great games. One the first (if not the first) I read was the classic Warlock of Firetop Mountain. It opened my eyes to a whole new way to play games and I remember sharing books excitedly between my group of friends. I have long since lost that original copy but a few years ago I bought a new edition of the book in a revamped boxed set and started playing these with my youngest daughter instead of a regular 'boring' bedtime story!

Dungeons and Dragons (Red Box) - Discovering Dungeons and Dragons was life changing, without a doubt. My group of friends at school had just discovered the Fighting Fantasy books  and then someone suggested this game called Dungeons and Dragons. I had a vague understanding of what it was - based mostly on negative press about this supposedly dangerous game - and jumped at the chance to give it a go. We bought a copy of the Red Box version of the game and played the scenario that was presented in the DM's book. I’ll remember my first ‘kill’- a Carrion Crawler - for the rest of my life. That first character wasn't particularly well rounded or even original (a hulking barbarian with a passing resemblance  to a certain Cimmerian) but he sparked a love of the game that still burns strong thirty years later!

Risk/Diplomacy - I played both of these boardgames obsessively for six months while I was in the 6th Form of my school. I probably should have spent those 'free study' sessions studying because I flunked most of my exams as a result! But instead of learning Biology or English Literature I learnt an important life lesson - success or failure was in my own hands and nobody else's. Somehow I managed to scrape a place on a University course and with the experience of failure still burning brightly within me I decided to buck up my ideas and work hard. I probably had the most boring and well behaved University years of any student, but I came out the other end with a 1st Class Honours degree thanks in no small measure to the lesson I learned playing Risk!

Warhamer Fantasy Battle - My group flirted briefly with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in between D&D but we then moved on to WFB and our first venture in Wargames. For me this was an important time because this was when I really got into painting miniatures in a big way. Up till this point I had only painted a few models for replaying with and these had been done with enamel paints and little or no skill! But with WFB I suddenly needed to paint large numbers of troops and special character models meaning I needed to buy a proper set of paints and brushes. I chose Citadel paints mainly because they were the easiest to get hold of, and I stuck with these for years. I always fielded a fully painted army but would invariably get my backside whooped by masses of unpainted miniatures.

Warhammer 40,000 : Rogue Trader - This was the first incarnation of the WH40K universe and was our first foray into Sci-Fi gaming. I loved the models as much as the game and still have the first Space Marine I bought. Despite all the versions of this game that have followed I still love the old Mk I  Power Armour of the Space Marines. I always felt that the original game still allowed for a little bit of the spirit of exploration and optimism that Sci-Fi embodies. Later versions feel like that have become increasingly bleak and dark and while I understand the creative merit of this path its not something that I find particularly attractive.

I still have the Rogue Trader rulebook amongst my treasured collection of old games and now and again I get it down just to admire the artwork in its pages. We didn't play this game for very long but it was important as it got our group into Epic which we stayed with for many years.

Epic - My group of friends played this for a long time. Once again I always fielded a fully painted army, and nearly always lost to unpainted figures! Darn-it!! This was my first foray into small scale miniatures (I think these were 6mm) although the Titans were significantly larger. The pride of my Space Marine army was a huge Emperor Titan that literally towered over everything on the table. Unfortunately my tactical prowess was still zero resulting on one game where I failed to turn it at a crucial moment denying myself the use of half its weapons.

Blood Bowl - Space and money were limited and Blood Bowl filled the gap. I wish I had kept my original box because this is a great game to play over an evening. It would serve our group well now when we can't play our regular campaign and need something quick and easy to fill the evening rather than cancel. I'm tempted to buy one of the newer versions but I may hold out for one of the original boxes if I can find one at a reasonable price.

Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition - Third Edition got me and my group back together after a few years in the wilderness. It got us playing RPG's again and for me, is still the best version of the game. Sure it had its flaws but if one thing is certain it is that any sufficiently complex game will be flawed in some way. But I always felt that for everything this game got wrong there were ten things it did brilliantly; which isn't a ratio achieved by 4th Edition IMHO.

Flames of War - My first venture into WWII Wargaming and 15mm. Regular readers will know that this game has ignited a long dormant passion for 2nd World War history in me. Personally the game system is secondary to the history, I just happened to stumble upon Flames of War first. The key thing about this game is that it gave me the impetus to get back into wargaming again after many years away from it. It has also helped forge a lasting friendship with my Brother-in-law who like me shares a passion for Second World War history.

Fire and Fury - Another set of rules I really enjoy playing are the Fire and Fury rule for the American Civil War. After WWII this is my favourite period and one I love to play. The first game I played with my current wargaming group – Posties Rejects - used these rules and I have enjoyed them ever since.

As I said in my original comment of the Frontline Gamers post this list may not be to everyone's taste but these are the games that have defined my gaming career and hold a special place for me. Of course I could add lots more to this list - such as Dungeon Quest, Talisman and Call of Cthulhu RPG - but I'm limited to just 10 choices!

Monday 21 May 2012

Objective Marker - Fuel Dump

This Fuel Dump Objective Marker by Battlefront was bought recently and was another 'quickie' project. I really like this model mainly because it was a piece of cake to paint!

Once again base-coat and a liberal application of GW Devlan Mud wash has produced quite a nice looking objective for relatively little effort. I think the Wash has given the barrels a really authentic looking 'grubbiness' about them that looks very effective.

Sunday 20 May 2012

Big Picture - Bunker Bash

This weekend was the Bunker Bash weekend at the 'Secret' Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it this weekend so here's a picture from last years event. This is a nice character picture of a reenactor wearing a US Rifleman's uniform.

Although I'm a little disappointed not to get to this event (its only 30 minutes from where I live) I have been consoling myself with some mammoth painting sessions instead! So this weekend hasn't been an entire loss!!

Friday 18 May 2012

Objective Marker - US HQ

I bought this US HQ Objective Marker by Battlefront at Salute back in April. I've made a couple of my own markers but wanted a couple of easy projects to work on in between the bigger stuff. This was pretty easy and straightforward to paint, basically being base coat with an ink wash.

I bought two different Objective Markers when I was at Salute and the other - a Fuel Dump - will be next up, so expect to see something on that soon.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Consistency & the need for Notes

I started keeping a painting notebook shortly after starting this Blog. I was still a n00b when it came to painting 15mm WWII figures and I felt like I needed to go right back to basics and re-learn my painting skills. Keeping a notebook has been very useful in helping me develop my style of painting - I've learnt a lot in the last three years - but I'm not sure I have utilised it properly to ensure consistency from one project to another.

When I flicked through my notebook one thing I realised was that I had pasted a lot of pictures into the book but hadn't actually made many notes. Of course I need reference material but most of this comes from books or online and isn't easily transferred to a notebook. What was missing were details of which colour palettes I used and what blends I opted for when painting highlights or shading. In short my painting notebook lacked pretty much any information required to paint a given figure to the same 'formula' as a previous model.

I'm in the process of working on a new batch of Lehr Gepanzerte Panzergrenediers (I'm expanding my existing platoon to Company level) so before I got started I pulled out the first Panzergrenadier Platoon I painted back in June 2010. I quickly realised how much my 'style' of painting has developed and changed since then (I didn't use ink washes for a start).

Clearly I am not going to be able to achieve a consistent look across all the platoons in my new Company and I will need to do quite a bit of work on the existing models to bring them up to standard. I also need to do some work putting down on paper the colour palette I use so that subsequent units have a consistent quality. I'll just have to notch this up as another important lesson learned the hard way!

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Easily Distracted

One of the biggest impediments I have to getting any painting done at home in the evening is the TV. I find any background noise distracting and even rubbish TV (meaning 99% of the stuff that is aired) has a magnetic draw to it that pulls me away from the painting desk and leaves me wondering where the evening has gone. I find it impossible to read or paint when the TV is on unless I listen to music on headphones and sit with my back to the screen.

Evil Edna from Willo the Wisp
Apparently the problem stems from the fact that our brains are wired for distraction (so much for intelligent design!). We are inquisitive creatures and even when apparently doing nothing our brains are processing information, getting all introspective and hunting for stimuli. The ability to concentrate actually uses a lot of energy and repeated changes of focus over the course of the day really can leave the desk bound worker as tired as the guy that's been on a building site all day. So by the time the evening comes along finding the energy to maintain focus and ignore distractions is about as hard as it gets.

My solution is to block out the unwanted stimuli, either by removing the distraction or removing myself from its influence. So I listen to my iPod while I paint and sit where I can't see the TV, but another perfectly valid solution might be to take my painting to another part of the house or down the shed. The only problem I have with the latter solution is it does seem a bit antisocial not being in the room with my family of an evening and my shed has no roof so it might get a bit damp (especially during the very wet drought we are having here in the UK!).

Of course the other option would be to get rid of the TV....hmmmm now that's an intriguing idea.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

US Airborne Mortar Platoon

I'm on a roll with the painting lately which makes up for the poor start to the year. Here's the latest completed unit, a Mortar platoon for my growing 101st Airborne Company.

The Airborne Rile Company comes with two 61mm Mortar Teams but this platoon adds another four teams, this time packing the 81mm Mortar. These are man-packed weapons so they can keep pace with the rest of the company but they also have a 100cm range and can fire indirect bombardments and smoke. These should keep Fritz's head down! The platoon also comes with two Bazooka teams so my Airborne company now has eight of these in its ranks. Panzer's beware.

I have run out of the Screaming Eagles shoulder patch decals I bought last year so I had a go at painting them on freehand. Yes, its insane, I know. However the end result looks OK and definitely passes the Two Foot test, and from that range they look about the same as the decals.

By now I had several 'spare' models from various sets so I decided to make a Pathfinder marker using two radio operator models I found. Battlefront do sell a Special Order model for this but I think my scratch built Eureka Beacon (from a brass nail and some wire) looks the part.