Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Painting Tally for 2021

What I painted during 2021





777 foot, 13 artillery & 4 war drums [247 elements]
212 cavalry [73 elements]
12 Bamboo & Paper Lions [8 elements]
3 elephants [3 elements]
Plus I have rebased
32 elements of Pikes
28 elements of Archers
10 elements of Psiloi
8 elements of Horde
3 elements of misc foot
54 mounted elements

In addition to this I have painted up loads of 6mm WW2 Italians to clear out some of the surplus things I have had for years.

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Bronze Age Warriors - Minoan Part 1

Minoans Part 1

Back between Lockdowns in 2020 I purchased a large number of unpainted Minoan chariots plus some OK painted infantry from a friend. I paid very little for them but I soon realised that all of the infantry would need repainting & rebasing so in effect it was effectively an unpainted army. I waited until Museum Miniatures had their January sale before ordering the missing figures required for the Minoans & also ordered some figures from Chariot Miniatures [Magister Militum] for the Libyan & naked slinger contingents.

I only started painting the army on the 31st October 2020 after recovering from catching Covid-19 earlier that month.

Museum Miniatures have now retired their old 15mm castings & replaced them with the new Z Range sculpts but my army uses their older sculpts.

Museum MY09 Reg Ax I


Chariot MYG4 Mycenean Archers


Chariot MYG8 Slingers


Museum MY10 Archers


Chariot MYG3 Javelinmen Irr Ax I


Chariot MYG3 Javelinmen Irr Ps I


Chariot LIB4 Archers Irr Bw I


Chariot LIB4 Archers Irr Ps O


The first 97 elements completed

All the bases are finished off in my now standard basing style.

This now brings the 15mm painting tally from 1st January to 23rd December 2021 to:
777 foot, 13 artillery & 4 war drums [247 elements]
212 cavalry [73 elements]
12 Bamboo & Paper Lions [8 elements]
3 elephants [3 elements]
Plus I have rebased
32 elements of Pikes
28 elements of Archers
10 elements of Psiloi
8 elements of Horde
3 elements of misc foot
54 mounted elements

In addition to this I have painted up loads of 6mm WW2 Italians to clear out some of the surplus things I have had for years.

Saturday, 30 October 2021

Covid got me in the end

Laid Low by Covid-19

I was fully vaccinated on 18th April. I wasn't being silly. On 14th October I had a negative LFT. I felt fine but we ordered PCR tests which we both took on the 15th October. By the evening of the 16th I started to feel ill and the next LFT was positive and confirmed by the PCR test results we both had taken later in the following week. We self isolated as required until Monday 25th October. It has only been today that I have started to feel back to normal. My sense of smell has started to return too. So despite being vaccinated, not having been out socially since February 2020 I get infected in my own home. The effectiveness of the vaccination is known to wane rapidly at 6 months and I have booked my booster shot. 

I hope to return to normal activities in the next few days.



Sunday, 17 October 2021

Italian 132nd Regt Ariete Armoured Division 1942

Italian 132nd Regt Ariete Armoured Division 1942

After the Afrika Corp arrived the Italians decided to ship the entire Ariete Armoured Division to Libya along with a motorised Infantry Division to make XXth Corp. The tank complement for an armoured division by this time consisted of an entire armoured regiment of three tank battalions each of three companies & a small divisional HQ company.

These vehicles are painted to represent the tanks as used from early 1942. It took me a very long time to paint up all these castings & the camouflage scheme made my eyes go funny after a while so I had to paint them in small batches. Each battalion is slightly different because I decided to place the company markings in different yet historic positions depending on the battalion.

Regimental HQ vehicles used White rectangles, the Battalion Reserve Company vehicles used Black rectangles whilst each battalion followed the normal marking system that had been in place since before WW2.









Australian 6th Divisional Cavalry Regiment 1940-41

Australian 6th Divisional Cavalry Regiment

The British, & by default Imperial Infantry Divisions were all supposed to have a Divisional Cavalry Regiment attached to its War Establishment [WE]. It became very quickly apparent that this was impossible to achieve given light tank & carrier production numbers so most divisions had this unit deleted from the WE during late 1940.

The Australians managed to raise & equip the 2nd/6th AIF Infantry Division using equipment issued by the British War Department.

The paper establishment of a motorised Divisional Cavalry Regiment was 28 light tanks & 44 carriers organised in an HQ squadron & three combat squadrons. During Operation Compass the Australians, being renowned scroungers managed to capture & put into service some Italian medium tanks. Their sqdns were called Dingo, Rabbit & Wombat. Dingo & Rabbit used some M13/40 tanks whilst Wombat used a couple of M11/39 tanks. They painted large white Kangaroo's on the tanks to try & avoid any friendly fire incidents. How visible this remained in all that desert dust has not been documented. They used the vehicles until they ran out of diesel supplies & were then disposed of.  














I intend to sell this set of vehicles on EBay as I already have this unit & I was using up leftover vehicles.

Friday, 8 October 2021

More Italian Armour for North Africa & Italy

Yet More Italians From Project Lead Mountain

I appear to be making serious in roads in the 6mm Italians that I have been collecting since I was at school. The unpainted pile is now about 25% of what it was when I started & I have even managed to sell a few lots on EBay & privately.

I used to game 1-2-1 scale using the old WRG rules from the 1970's. Its hard to imagine anyone doing that nowadays. This has resulted in my ending up with lots of surplus vehicles. 

Gruppo Maletti December 1940












Gruppo Maletti was the formation all but destroyed in the opening moves of Operation Compass by the use of Matilda tanks attacking The Tummar's & Nibeiwa Camp on 9th December 1940. The IInd Medium Tank Battalion was equipped with the M11/39 tank & painted up upon arrival in North Africa with an unusual geometric camouflage scheme. It was paired up with an L3/33 Light tank battalion but I have not been able to positively identify which battalion nor its colour scheme so I decided to use the pre-war pattern of Desert Sand & Tank Green splinter stripes.

Having far too many castings left over allowed me to experiment with other camouflage patterns & I have read on one Italian website that the IInd Battalion was painted in a three colour geometric scheme with the addition of Rust Brown to the Tank Green & Desert Sand. I have yet to find any actual photographs that confirmed this to be a fact. I decided that I would give it a go using seven spare castings to see the outcome. I must admit it does look quite unusual but hardly worth the effort due to everything ending up covered in a thick layer of desert dust.






The Ist Medium Tank Battalion arrived in North Africa painted in plain Army Green & they just over painted broad Red Brown stripes on top of the green rather than repaint the entire tank battalion in Desert Sand. It does mean that it is easy to identify the battalions in various pictures though for some reason it is mostly the IInd battalion that was photographed but of course a liberal covering of desert dust hides most of the camouflage attempts. The White Cross painted on the turrets of both battalions was a recognition marking as was the thin Italian Tricolour painted on the centre rear of the turrets of the IInd Medium Tank Battalion.

All Italian tanks, armoured cars & tankettes, but not the Semovente which belonged to the artillery, were painted up with the standard company markings. The battalion company colour scheme ran, Red - 1st, Blue - 2nd, Yellow - 3rd, Green - 4th, the 4th company was usually only found in tankette & armoured car units but a single battalion of M13/40 tanks with four companies did deploy to North Africa in January 1941 & was lost at Beda Fomm. The battalion commanders vehicle was marked up with as many colours as companies in the battalion so his vehicle could have anything from a single colour up to all four colours in company sequence. In the event of the battalion HQ having more than a single vehicle these vehicles would be marked with a Black company rectangle. If more than one battalion was present with its regimental HQ these vehicles would be marked up with a white company rectangle. It was quite rare for these vehicles to be found in action but they were part of the armoured division HQ from 1941 onwards when Ariete was deployed to North Africa.






Once production of the M13/40 tanks ramped up from July 1940 the first battalions of M13/40 tanks were formed & sent to North Africa from September 1940 following on from the initial conversion & training given to former L3/33 tank battalion crewmen. The personnel of one L3 battalion being sufficient to equip half a M13/40 battalion. The Italians quietly disbanded two L3 battalions in North Africa & issued new M13/40 tanks to the former tankette crewmen along with new recruits from the tank school with little actual additional training & familiarisation time which put them at a huge disadvantage when the British attacked in December 1940. The first M13 battalion was deployed on 16th September 1940 & the second on 11th November 1940. Thereby doubling the offensive power of the Italian tank formations. Further battalions arrived from Italy on 21st December 1940, 3rd January 1941 & 21st January 1941 and most were lost during Operation Compass. 





An M13/40 tank battalion in plain Dark Sand with the white air recognition disc painted on the turret roof. This was the standard colour scheme for most of 1940-41 before they adopted the Mottled Green scheme over Desert Sand in early 1942. Below is an M13/40 battalion in the 1942 desert pattern scheme.





From combat experience the Italians quickly realised that their L6/40 light tank, introduced into service in May 1941 armed with the same turret as fitted to their standard Autoblinda AB41 armoured car was totally inadequate so in May 1941 they tested out a modified L6 hull with a redesigned superstructure mounting their 47mm Bohler antitank gun as fitted to the M13/40. It made for an ideal ambush weapon against armoured cars, light tanks & the British Cruisers in use during 1941 but unfortunately wasn't issued to the troops until early 1942. The Italians mostly used the Sem47 in Russia alongside the L6/40 tank but a special mixed formation of L6 & Sem47 was deployed to North Africa in time for the Battle of Gazala. It was also used in Italy & Sicily. Having far too many castings of the Sem47 has allowed me to create three complete battalion which I intend to sell on. I painted them in three different colour schemes to represent different time periods, early 1942, late 1942 & 1943 in Italy.