Friday, 30 November 2012

I've got my copy of BGK at last!

I managed to get a copy of BGK off Ebay, so should receive it next week. End of auction price for £19.50, and with postage was £25. A very good price considering £29.99 was the cheapest I had found, and that I got my copy of KGN for £24.

I can't wait to receive it, and start playing. I have some ideas on the counters, basing them on card, and printing black and white prints on the back. Anyway, I'm just really excited at all the possibilities. Time for a cold shower I think.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

German Radio Truck BGK/KGN/BGN part 4

The final little details have been added to the truck, I have put on a small locker, poles strapped to the side, tarpaulins onto the front stowage, a spare wheel and locker underneath. The model has been sprayed black for painting, which I shall do tomorrow, and the aerial has been attached to the diorama/unit base. the CD hole has been covered as well!

 The aerial went into the base - a CD, quite well, reinforced with lots of superglue.
Some of the paint seems to be taking a bit of a gloss, but this will go when the model is painted, and the base is made up. I have a SHQ group - officers studying a map around a table, and another group - SHQ artillery battery radio squad, to put onto the base as part of the setup, so I am hoping the whole thing will come out OK.
The truck with its basic paint job applied, and the aerial ready for the power lead and finishing off. Time to do further detailing.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

German Radio Truck for BGK/KGN/BGN part 3

Having got some free time, I waded down to the shed to do some more work on the truck. I had a look at some web images of various trucks to get an idea of what detailing was needed - I don't have any scale plans, so it was going to be freehand, and I wanted an idea of what went where.

First problem noticed was that the cargo/office body was too low, needing the side skirting to be raised. Also, I was going to have the doors and windows closed, but if it was set up for use, the aerial would need to be erected. it looked a real horror to scratch build if it was strapped to the rear of the truck.

Off to work on the body, which I drew positions of the various doors and windows onto the body to give a rough idea of positioning.
 Side view showing window, door and access cupboard, with the new raised body
 rear view with the steps put on, and mounts for the aerial which has been erected
 Side view again of the windows
 Truck with aerial for comparison
The aerial, in 3 parts, drilled and pinned with wire, the poles of the aerial being quite tricky, as the drill i was using managed to melt the plastic rod at my first attempt. i have added various joints for the base pole, and will add wire to this for the diorama - to show the power lead.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

German Radio Truck for KGN/BGK/BGN part 2

I was able to do some work on the truck this weekend, and managed to get the whole thing pushed along quite well. I also had a read through of BGK rules and thought how similar they are/will be to KGN. I guess the legal wonks at E.E. missed a trick by not stiffing Piers and Warwick at the launch of the rules. Can't wait till BGN is launched. Anyway, Radio trucks are in, and I'm on my way to creating a little diorama for it. Firstly, the truck needs to be built.

The truck with its wheels on. I had to build up the suspension to set the wheels properly, with axle springs and axles improvised.

The box with wheel arches cut out, the step at the front of the box to take the chassis.

A side view of the cutting and filing done

Fitted onto the chassis, withrear mudguards on

The roof frame with side bracing supporting it. The long bar has had the edges filed.

Roof plate glued on,after being bent to shape. I superglued the roof on for a secure but fast fit. I will then trim the roof down, and give an edge to the sides of the roof.

The finished article, now filed down

Front parcel/stowage shelf and its supporting bracing added. Ready for further detailing.
A couple of minutes checking out google images to get an idea of what to put on the body, and it will be ready for painting.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

German Radio Truck for BGK/KGN/BGN

I've started work on an old decrepit Opel Blitz lorry that I didn't know what to do with. I didn't want to turn it into a wreck, and was looking for a radio truck. Repairing the model, and converting it seemed like a good idea to get some more life from it.

Project  radio truck was initiated.

Problems were that the suspension and wheels were wrecked, the flatbed would need to be removed or cut to fit the body that would be scratch built, and along with this, I would need to fit in the rear mudguards. Also, detail of the radio truck would mean that I would need to decide whether it should be open or closed, as well as sort out a diorama for the base. I have some SHQ figures to put on it, and having seem a radio truck at Bovvy 2012 - by Alan McCoubrey, that was frankly outstanding, I was going to attempt my best.

Initial pics of work

Trimmed flatbed, with boxes removed from chassis, and below, underside showing the damage to wheels and axles.

 The basic shape of the van box, showing curve of the roof at the ends of the box, corners filed to 45 degrees, to get a better fit and glue in.
The wheels and mudguards, with a bit of axle on one. 
I'm hoping to set the wheels up, and fit in the mudguards next, allowing me to then move to detailing the box sides.

A booklist for the Normandy Campaign 1944

I thought that it would be a good idea to post a booklist of interesting and relevant books. Not that I or you have preconcieved ideas of what actually happened, but I think everyones idea of Arnhem has been influenced by the film ' A bridge too far' , for instance.
One of the reasons why I took to KGN was my preconceptions of what combat in Normandy was like/about. It was also influenced by my listening to conversations of people who have been in combat as well as reading them, about what they saw, heard and did. I haven't actually been in combat, and feel that I could never ask anyone what it was like, as I want to play a game about it and trivialise their and others efforts. A sensitivity that stops me from doing some aspects of modern wargaming. or maybe it is a question of taste and appropriateness.
My vicarious interest would be better served by reading the accounts and interviews of others, with detail and reference provided by those more qualified than me. If I formed an opinion of an author, it would be by placing them in relation to their contempories opinion of their relevance.
To the books themselves in no particular order.
 A very good account of the problems faced by the staff of an Armoured Division to keep it in the field. Personal account with lots of interesting comment and detail.

 My favourite account of life at the tip of the spear, so to speak, of fighting from the beachead to St Lo. A warts and all, honest and compassionate account with all the difficulties faced by a battalion in the field.

 Part of the military/bibliographic industrial complex. Okay, so comprehensive in scope that it can overwhelm with micro detail mixing in with overall breadth and depth. Very good understanding of complex motivations and factors.

One of the few accounts of the fighting out of the beachead by the Americans. Good basis to work from

 Lots of maps and photographs of the struggle around this town, complementary to Balkowski's and John's books.

 The wargamers have managed to creep in and get a book published. All that armour and talent should have won, and the Allies should have lost. I mean SS panzers and Grenadiers against well intentioned and flabby Yanks! No contest. Well, its not like that, as Tsouras manages to twist ever so slightly key pinch points in the Landing and subsequent campaign to get off the beach, that could have spun off into such a different result. The butterfly flaps its wings...nevertheless a good read and an appreciation ofhow close it was.

 How could the US have not lost with all that equipment. The germans were naturally superior etc, the old 'stab in the back' excuse. This puts the whole thing into perspective with an examination of what the US troops were actually doing, which was getting better, adapting, and using equipment and strengths to best effect. Essentially becoming the equivalent of the Germans of 1940/41 in the use and exploitation of troops and tactics.

 Not really got a formed opinion of this, but really more an account of the role of the GI

 The Holy Bible of men in combat, shot down in flames by modern analysis of the sources quoted in it of the justification of its conclusions. Basically he faked the sources, but the problem is that almost everyone agrees with the conclusions to a greater or lesser degree. A damn good read nonetheless, with pithy and relevant conclusions. My prejudices showing through I feel.

 If that was the Holy Bible of men in combat, D'este has written the Holy Bible of the Normandy campaign. Excellently researched and written big picture story that keeps hold of you right to the end. You have to get this one if nothing else.

 How does a battalion of US line infantry hold off an SS Panzer grenadier Division, this book will tell you how. Top quality material, with big and small picture combined, but not getting in the way of each other.

 The gospel according to the Sainted Montgomery. A vanilla account that seems to pour sugared cream over the whole campaign essentially claiming that Monty knew what he was doing all along. It ignores errors in the planning and execution of the landings, errors in strategic direction and operation. Basically,it all went to shit after the landing, and Monty struggled to cope with the german reaction, but succeed in the end he did. But not by design as claimed by Belchem and Monty.

 Pure Gold,but then you probably know this. The german containment, its failure and the retreat back to the seine, in pictures then and now.

 The iconic Wittman on the front tells you that you are going to get what it says on the tin. You do, in spades. Excellent .

Well, a sample of my collection of books, that are worth getting hold of, in second hand book shops, or from a well known purveyor of books on the internet.