Normandy Breakout Game at Mass Pikemen

Last Saturday (August 24th) we had a very action-packed game of What a Tanker© using my Normandy Breakout scenario at the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club.  I have been tweaking the scenario, some rules, and improving the terrain and markers – and I believe the gamers who played really noticed all of the upgrades and changes.  I have been fortunate to get valuable feedback from the gamers which has been invaluable, and this game was no exception.  I have acted as a Game Master for this game a couple of times (discussed here), and this, the third iteration, was another great game that had the players highly engaged.

For this post, I will show some of the photos that tell the story – though simultaneously being a photographer and a GM are not always easy.  I appreciate the generosity of both Chris Rett and Ted Salonich helping with some photos – as well as playing of course!

The game scenario is:

After a successful D-Day landing and consolidation, the tanks of the Americans and the British are stymied in the hedgerows of Normandy. German armor has set up effective defensive positions in favorable terrain. However, the Allies do not know the exact locations of the German tanks, and the Germans have limited knowledge of where the Allied armor will be coming from and the direction to which they will try to break out. New rules that allow reconnaissance and the effects of other combat forces will challenge both sides in this action-packed game.

The Germans are in secret positions (basically ambush positions) that they choose in advance of the Allies arrival – which is also secret in terms of the exact vehicles that the Allies choose.  Both sides get to secretly select their vehicles (with some restrictions), and poker chips are used for the scoring.  The Germans here did stop the Allies from breaking out – though the Allies were able to gain more points by both effectively recon of enough blind positions and knocking out enough valuable German vehicles.  The final score was 117-109 in favor of the Allies – with the game score turning on the Allies knocking out a Jagdpanther on the last turn.  The casualties were:

  • Allies – 5 vehicles:
    • UK – 3 vehicles:
      • 2 Daimler Dingoes
      • 1 Firefly
      • 1 M10 Achilles
    • US – 2 vehicles:
      • 1 M3A1 Stuart
      • 1 M10 Wolverine
  • Germany – 3 vehicles:
    • 1 Sdkfz 233
    • 1 Panther D
    • 1 Jagdpanther

Let’s see what the day looked like!

4 map at session
The Allies moved on from here.  The British had the far left road, and the Americans had the far right road.  The middle road could be used by both Allies.  The wooden discs are possible German positions to be reconned.
5 map at session
A side view of the tabletop that better shows some of the (blind) possible German positions.
6 map at session
The view from the German side of the board that the Allies needed to cross.
1 Me as GM
Your properly attired GM.  (Photo by Chris Rett)

The Germans effectively used a Bonus Attack card to draw first blood – calling in a rare Luftwaffe attack on a Daimler Dingo.

7 Dingo hit by Luftwaffe
The Daimler Dingo hit by the Luftwaffe – my new blast/knocked out tank markers looked pretty amazing (and I am biased of course).
4 Jagdpanther hunts Stuart
A Jagdpanther prepares to engage an M3A1 Stuart from an excellent ambush position.  The Stuart decided to run around the corner and recon the disc on the left…(Photo by Chris Rett)
5 Surprise!
… and the Stuart “successfully” reconned the position – it went around the bocage to find the Elefant in the room. (Photo by Ted Salonich)
5a Surrprise
The Stuart fired its 37mm at the frontal armor of the Elefant.  No effect.  The Elefant returned fire, and blew away the Stuart.
9 Firefly knocked out by StuG G
A Panther D and a StuG G combine forces to knock out a Firefly near the burning Dingo.
10 Panther D knocked out by Achilles
An M10 Achilles fires at and knocks the Panther D into a ruined building, damaging it.  It gets a second shot, and rolls well enough to torch the Panther.
11 M18 Hellcat moves up to help British
The Americans move up an M18 Hellcat to help the Brits – it ended up moving behind the Jagdpanther and was able to destroy it.
8 Gamers
The gamers ponder their moves.
13 Last shot
The Allies called in a lot of artillery-delivered smoke to protect their vehicles.  It was effective.
6 Panther burns and Tiger I arrives
Here comes the Tiger!  Note the StuG G that ambushed the M10 Wolverine.  The crew of the M10 survived – as denoted by the black smoke versus the fiery smoke.  Also shows the Allied smoke screen in front of the Jagdpanther.

As the German vehicles are worth, in general, much more points, the loss of their expensive vehicles made a big difference.  Both sides played well, but I have to say the Germans were not very lucky with their dice at times.  

I will be tweaking the game scenario in a couple of ways:

  • Adding stopping bonuses for the Germans:
    • A 20-point bonus for the Germans if no Allied vehicles are able to breakout across the tabletop.
    • A 10-point bonus for the Germans if only one Allied vehicle is able to breakout across the tabletop.  If 2 or more cross, no German bonus.
    • Award the Germans 2 points for each unreconned point.  This will incentivize recon, but force the Allies to choose what is most important.  (The Allies already get 2 points for each reconned point.)
  • Allow a “banked 6” to be used for either an advantage on the next activation (per the rules) or as an automatic “6” on the next activation roll (determined by the player on the turn he banks it). Thanks Ted Salonich!

Thanks again to the all of the players.  And for those who follow this blog who wondered if their named vehicle got fried, only one Cromwell (“IRO”) deployed and did not get into action.  However, the M10 Achilles “Per” (named for Per from Roll a One) did get knocked out by one of the StuG G’s.   Sorry my Swedish friend!

Hope that you enjoyed this – and I will be running this game on Saturday at BARRAGE in Maryland (September 28th) and at the Fort Devens Game Day on October 19th.  I may also run it at other upcoming gaming cons if possible.  Thanks for looking!

 

 

Knocked-Out Tank Markers for What a Tanker

With my having committed to multiple upcoming games of my What a Tanker© Normandy Breakout scenario, I wanted to have everything as good as possible.  I made smoke/blast markers with tea lights in the past that I have used in multiple games.  They are great as mortar and artillery, especially with 28mm scale stuff, but not suitably-sized for use on 15mm scale tanks as markers.  In the game, I wanted to be able to designate a knocked out tank better – and if possible – differentiate between a tank that was just knocked out (where the crew survives) and one that was both knocked out and brewed up (where the crew does not live).  These are important distinctions in the game, as I allow crews that survive to get another tank and keep their training and experience (and bonuses) as they reenter the game.

I also wanted to have a better looking tabletop where the tank wrecks are more visible and frankly more realistic smoke-wise.  My older smoke markers are good for artillery-delivered smoke screens, but as you see below, I needed an improvement.

4 painted smoke markers lit up in dark
My tea light blast markers look great here…
1 current smoke markers
…but are way too big here – especially on even smaller vehicles.  Additionally, they do not stay easily on the vehicles due to their size.

I set out to create a new set of markers that would look better, stay on the vehicles, and differentiate between brewed up and just knocked out tanks.  As I use neodymium magnets in most of my tanks’ turrets and they are all similarly oriented in polarity, it was easy to devise a marker using a ceramic magnet as a base.  The magnets I used were small enough and heavy enough to stay on the tanks – even those without magnetic properties.  I used ½” ceramic magnets, #10-24 steel machine screw nuts, and more used ¼” (approximately) steel ball bearings from Jeff Smith’s broken fairway mower to build the core of the marker.  Making sure that the polarity was correct (markers that would be pushed off the vehicles would serve little purpose!), I used Gorilla Glue to fuse the magnet to the nut, and the nut to the bearing.    Then, I mounted the cores on screws and primed them.  I planned for 20 to be black and grey smoke for disabled tanks, and for 20 to be full-on flames.

After the primer had dried, I painted the flaming cores red, orange, and yellow with cheap craft paints to simulate a ball of fire.  Lastly, I applied gloss varnish to the cores to give more reflection.  The smoke ones just got painted black.  If interested, you can see a list of the materials I used at the end of this post.

2 materials
The ball bearings, nuts, and ceramic magnets I used.
3 magnet, nut, and ball bearing
The core.
5 mounted cores for painting
The flaming cores mounted here after red paint was applied.  Later coats would be yellow and orange to simulate a fireball.

For surface smoke, I went with pillow batting cut off in thin strips of 1-1½”.  As each core needed 4-6 strips, I cut nearly 240 strips.  I hot glued the strips in a flower pattern on the cores.

2a materials (batting)
“Limited only by your imagination” indeed!
4 cut up batting
Batting strips cut before hot gluing to the cores.
6 after batting glued
Here are the cores after hot gluing the batting.

Now, I used a different product to connect the batting in a smoky shape.  As I have built tanks, I have used decals.  The best way to revitalize decals is to coat them with Microscale’s Liquid Decal Film.  However, using this product on the decals as they are on your tanks themselves can ruin the underlying paint (unless used over varnish).  But, this stuff makes a solid protective and nicely tacky coat – as I learned making placards for my Attack of the Warbots game.  I applied the Liquid Decal Film to the strips, forming the small smoke shapes around the cores.  I let these set up and dry.  The stuff worked well, and I got the effect I wanted where you can see the cores on the flaming ones.

7 after batting assembled with liquid decal film
After the Liquid Decal film formed the smoky shapes.
8 close up of ready to paint marker
Close up of the core after the smoky shape was formed.

When I paint fire, I like to go from bottom to top with yellow, orange and red.  Here, I decided to use glazes and inks for these colors with my Iwata Micron airbrush at 28 psi.  This allowed me to really blend the colors –  which were Citadel “Lamenters Yellow” (a glaze), P3 “Blazing Ink”, and P3 “Red Ink”.  I then used two Vallejo Game Air paints –  “Black” and “Wolf Grey” – to create a smoky effect.  I also used these latter two on the smoky black/grey cores.

9 completed markers
A view of the flaming markers and 3/4 of the smoky ones as they dried.  
10 using magnetic tacky sheets for transport
The new markers with one of the older (previously made) larger ones in back that I will only use as smoke now.
10a using magnetic tacky sheets for transport
These fit nice and snug on 4 Aleene’s tacky sheets in a 4-liter Really Useful Box.
11 Sherman comparisons
For comparison, these three Shermans have (l-r) a new smoky marker, a flaming marker, and the old large blast marker.  What you cannot see is how well the magnetic ones stay on the vehicles – and these are plastic.  The neodymium turret-mounted magnets and ceramic magnets attract well and effectively, which the larger one does not.
12 M10 comparisons
The M10 (Battlefront) on the left has a turret magnet, while the Old Glory type on the right is lead/tin.  The weight of the magnet keeps the marker on the Old Glory M10 very effectively.
13 light US vehicles
Even on smaller vehicles, these work well.  Here an M3A1 Stuart, an M8 Greyhound, and an M24 Chaffee are all well-marked.  The M8 has no magnetic turret, yet this works well here as well.
14 StuG G and Panzer IVH with knocked out markers
Some vehicles have no turrets like these plastic StuG G’s  – but the markers work great on the deck or the top.  The plastic Panzer IV H magnetic turret holds the smoke marker well. 
15 Tiger II burning
Last but not least, a Tiger II is brewing up.

I also participate in my Australian blogging buddy Azazel’s mothly painting challenges.  This month is “Awesome August” – and submissions were to be HUGE…or… as he wrote:

“If you really prefer to skip the biggies – that normal sized model that you’ve (ideally) done a job that you’re proud of converting or kitbashing, painted to the best of your ability. Remember, it’s not a competition – it’s a showcase – so your only competitor is yourself.  So, the TL:DR is that August’s challenge is to complete something big. Ideally, really big. Or something small that’s ideally converted – and painted really well by your own standards.”

I think that converting ceramic magnets, nuts, used ball bearings, and pillow batting counts as a conversion!  And not for nothing, I really like the paint jobs on these markers.  So, this is my entry for Azazel’s Awesome August ’19 Community Painting Challenge .

I hope that you enjoyed this and maybe got some ideas – please share your thoughts in the comments section, and look you can forward to seeing these used in my after-action battle reports!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE MARKERS:

  1. Magnet Source ½” “Ceramic Disc Magnets”
  2. Everbilt #10-24 Steel nuts
  3. Used ~¼” steel ball bearings from Jeff Smith’s fairway mower
  4. Gorilla Glue
  5. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  6. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  7. Americana “Primary Red”
  8. Craftsmart “Orange” (satin)
  9. Martha Stewart Crafts “Duckling Pearl”
  10. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  11. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish
  12. Loops & Threads “Classic Loft Batting”
  13. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  14. Citadel “Lamenters Yellow” (glaze)
  15. P3 “Blazing Ink”
  16. P3 “Red Ink”
  17. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  18. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  19. Vallejo Game Air “Wolf Grey”

Always love to get your feedback and read your thoughts?  See you next time!

US Tanks and Tank Destroyers for Normandy Breakout Scenario

Welcome back dear reader for the latest installment on my US armored forces!  I needed to add more US vehicles for my Normandy Breakout scenario which uses the What a Tanker© rules by the UK-based company Too Fat Lardies.  I do modify these rules for the scenario.  For those who missed them (like some of the HAWKS did because I used the wrong hashtag!), the posts about the other vehicles and playtests for this scenario can be found at these links:

Vehicle Posts:

Playtest and related gaming posts:

I am planning on running this scenario at three upcoming events:

  • August 24th at the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club in East Brookfield, MA
  • September 28th at BARRAGE in Havre de Grace Maryland
  • October 19th at the Fort Devens Game Day at the former Fort Devens, MA

This project, with the possible exception of an additional stray German vehicle or two, completes the list of vehicles I need for the scenario.  In looking for vehicles, I wanted to add some Shermans, another M10 Wolverine, and an M18 Hellcat.  I found a deal on a box of 5 plastic British Shermans M4A1’s with cast hulls that would work.  I would have preferred getting models like my M4A2 – but that one is OOP and even the American Shermans that Battlefront is selling now are basically M4A1’s.  So these British ones, properly assembled, at 15mm scale, is just fine.

For an M10, I converted an Old Glory M10 Achilles by using a leftover gun to make it look like an original version.  Technically, is that a conversion of a conversion?  After seeing how John at Just Needs Varnish! added a plastic card underneath his models to make them easier to paint, I was inspired to add a small steel base under my M10 chassis.

The M18 Hellcat I found was really nice – and I wish I had another as well.  This one had a slightly broken front fender, but its hardly noticeable.  In any case, I used enough mud and dirt to obscure that problem.

I also decided to use the Battlefront naming decals on all of these to help differentiate them on the tabletop – as well as by adding spare road wheels, spare tracks, and other accouterments to all of the vehicles.  Thanks to my good friend Jeff Smith, the Shermans got some real steel in them by means of ball bearings in the chassis.

I decided to weather these slightly differently by adding pigments – inspired by Pete’s blog and a Merkava he built.

After a few in-progress shots, I will describe the vehicles alphabetically by name and type.

M4A1 “Betty”

1 M4 Betty, left side, crosses a field
“Betty” crossing a field.  

2 M4 Betty, right side, in a field

M4A1 “Blood ‘N Guts”

1 Blood N Guts completed, left side
“Blood ‘N Guts” crossing an opening in the bocage.

2 Blood N Guts completed, left side, crossing the opening in the bocage

M4A1 “Destruction”

1 Destruction after decals
“Destruction” early in the weathering process right after decal application.
2 Destruction after pigments
“Destruction’s” chassis after weathering
3 Destruction in the hedgerows
“Destruction” moving down the road between the hedgerows.
4 Destruction completed, left side
“Destruction” left side – as an experiment I used Citadel contrast paint on the tarp.

M4A1 “Let ‘Er Buck”

1 Let 'Er Buck after decals and some weathering
“Let ‘Er Buck” chassis early in weathering.  I chose this name/decal in honor of Buck Surdu, though as an infantryman he may object…

2 Let 'Er Buck finished, left side3 Let 'Er Buck finished, front side

4 Let 'Er Buck finished, right side
Note on all these that I used different gear in different stowage to differentiate the tanks.

M4A1 “Polly”

1 Polly completed, left side
“Polly” by some ruins.  As I have a pet cockatiel named Caesar, this is as close as he gets to an avatar tank.

2 Polly completed, right side3 Polly completed, right side, at crossroads

M10 Wolverine “Demon”

1 M10 Demon after weathering
“Demon” getting dirtied up.
2 M10 Demon crosses field, left side
“Demon” crossing a field.  I did not buy crew for this one.

3 M10 Demon crosses field, right side

4 M10 Demon crosses field, front side
Nice view of “Demon’s” front showing the replacement gun.
5 M10 Demon and other Battlefront M10
On the left, “Demon” from Old Glory, on the right, my previously built M10 from Battlefront for comparison.  I used more mud and dirt on “Demon” as it was a much less detailed casting.

M18 Hellcat “Lucky Tiger”

1 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger after some weathering
M18 Hellcat “Lucky Tiger” chassis all dirtied up.  I chose the name/decal as I am sure sometime it will face a Tiger I or Tiger II, and it will need to be lucky!
2 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger right side on road
“Lucky Tiger” completed and moving down the road.

3 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger right side on road4 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger left side on road

5 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger aerial view on road
Aerial view of “Lucky Tiger” showing the ID decal to keep away friendly air attacks.

6 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger front view on road

Group Shots

1 Shermans aerial view
Shermans in convoy on road.

2 Shermans aerial and side view

3 Shermans front shot
Frontal view of the five Shermans.
4 All US front shot
My complete American armored troops (currently) for the ETO.  Front row left to right: two M4’s (Wargame Models in Ohio); the five Sherman M4A1’s of this blog post (Battlefront); one M4A2 (Battlefront).  Second row l-r: M10 Wolverine of this post (Old Glory); M10 Wolverine (Battlefront); M18 Hellcat of this post (Battlefront); three M8 Greyhounds (Old Glory).  Third row l-r: two M5 Shermans (Wargame Models in Ohio); one M3A1 Stuart (Battlefront); two M24 Chaffee’s (eBay 3D printed acquisition).  I built and painted all but the Wargame Models in Ohio models.

5 All US side shot

The US vehicle menu for the scenario looks like this now.

US Army Menu

I hope that you enjoyed this post – and thanks in advance for your feedback in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE VEHICLES:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. E6000 epoxy
  3. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  4. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  5. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  6. Vallejo Model Air “US Olive Drab”
  7. Extra .50 cal machine guns from Battlefront kits for the M10 and the M18
  8. Extra 3″ gun from Battlefront kit for the M10
  9. ½” steel base from Wargame accessories for the M10
  10. Steel ball bearings from Jeff Smith’s fairway mower
  11. Daisy Air Rifle BB’s
  12. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  13. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Brown”
  14. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  15. Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
  16. Battlefront “European Skin”
  17. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (wash)
  18. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  19. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Militarum Green”
  20. Battlefront “Oxide Red”
  21. Secret Weapons Washes “Armor Wash”
  22. Microscale Micro-Set
  23. Microscale Micro-Sol
  24. Microscale Micro-Satin
  25. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  26. Vallejo Game Air “Satin” (varnish)
  27. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  28. Appropriate decals from Armorcast
  29. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  30. Vallejo “White”
  31. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  32. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  33. Vallejo Weathering Effects “Crushed Grass”
  34. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  35. Vallejo “Light Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  36. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish

British Armor and Some Blogs Worth a Look

During the Allied breakout from Normandy in 1944, the British Army used several different tanks and tank destroyers.  Some were American-made, some were British-made, and some were conversions of American vehicles.  For my What a Tanker© Normandy Breakout Scenario, I had plenty of British Shermans, a couple of Fireflies, and a few Daimler Dingoes, but the available British vehicle menu needed some fleshing out.  Clearly missing were the Cromwell Mark IV cruiser tank, the Churchill Mark IV heavy infantry tank, and the M10 Achilles tank destroyer.  This project aimed to rectify that situation, especially as I plan to run the game at a few upcoming conventions (such as at BARRAGE and at the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club.

While looking at some images of these vehicles in my reference books, I came up with a new idea to incorporate into the project.  First – a brief segue.

I started this blog back in 2015, inspired by my friend Buck Surdu’s blog.  I was getting back into the hobby – and thought I’d share what I was learning about the gaming I was doing, the miniatures that I was working on, some history, and whatever I found interesting.  Since then, I have posted 143 times (this post is #144), have 139 followers (thanks to all and I am always happy for more so feel free to follow if you don’t already!).  I also learned of many others’ blogs and now I follow many of these.  Several  originate in the United Kingdom, Australia, and other Commonwealth nations.  They inspire and entertain me, and perhaps they will do that for you as well.  So, let’s get back to the idea I just mentioned.  Perhaps I could work in a few of those bloggers into these vehicles and have them be represented in a small way in this project and the future games I run.  More on that shortly…

Now, a few qualifying points.  Each of the vehicles you will see below has a link to a blog – BUT, these are not the only ones that I follow and my goal was not to leave anyone out.  However, I chose to include the following as ones that are among my faves, AND who have a connection to a place where, well, the Queen is on the currency (with two notable exceptions that I’m sure you’ll allow me).  Also, I wanted to use Battlefront decals to both make the tanks both easier to identify on the tabletop (these are small 15mm scale tanks) and have some connections to the bloggers.  Ease of identification on the tabletop is important, as most players have little knowledge of the history of the tanks.  Of course, there are experts somewhere who can correct me – and that’s not an issue.

Truly, I wanted to be as authentic as I could, but as I tried to research British tank markings, frankly, I got more confused!  The issue is not improved by any information about the decals from Battlefront.  US tank markings are pretty straightforward comparatively (IMO).  With 6 Cromwells here, I needed some variety!  You will see I used a number of decals from varying Commonwealth nations – and different theaters – incorrectly – and on purpose!  In addition to the decals, I varied spare road wheel and toolbox placements, as well as adding some freehand names to the tanks.  My freehand work is OK for the scale here I think – you can be the judge – I had to use a spotter brush and still make them look like a crew added the names.  Again, the decals I used below are not as historically accurate as possible, and that’s fine with me – they do accomplish the playability and blogger-linking goals I described.

So onto the project – I had 9 vehicles:

The Achilles had some casting defects that I remedied with green stuff.  I also gave them some leftover plastic .50 caliber machine guns as the ones they had were too bendy.  The plastic Cromwell’s got some BB’s in the hulls to add weight.  I tried to make the tanks a lighter green so as to match the other ETO British Shermans I already had.  I also added some radio antennae.

Now, in alphabetical order by name – and all linked blogs are worth checking out:

Alex

Alex’s blog can be found at Leadbaloony   He does a great job with terrain and older GW Space Orks (I believe from the late 1980’s to early 1990’s) that are painted unbelievably well.  I named a Cromwell Mark IV for him – it has a number 4 and solid white decals on the turret.  The red and white unit decal is (I believe) an older one from the 21st Tank Brigade, which I chose because Alex is a British veteran.

1 Alex done3 Alex front side on road2 Alex left side on road

AZAZEL

Azazel’s blog can be found at Azazel’s Bitz Box.  He is a fantastic painter and modeler and his interests run the gamut from terrain to 40K to Flames of War to board game minis and more.  He still finds time to run a monthly community painting challenge.  This July’s was “The Jewel of July ’19 Community Painting Challenge”, which included:

It’s for Vehicles. A Motorcycle or a Maus. A Starship or a Gaslands Car. A Panzer IV to a Kettenkrad. A Rhino APC or a Konigstiger or a War Rig or a M’ak I. (or M’ak II?)

This post is my second one for July’s challenge (here is my first).  The challenges are a always LOT of fun to see and he is a great guy for doing it month after month.  The Cromwell named for Azazel below has an open white square on the turret and a number 81.  As Azazel is an Aussie, I gave the tank an ahistorical 9th Division (Australia) decal with a lovely platypus on it.  The Aussies during the Normandy campaign were of course busy back in the Pacific theater fighting the Japanese, having already done their time fighting the Germans in North Africa.  I am sure that this Cromwell will acquit itself well.

1 Azazel2 Azazel front in field3 Azazel left side in field

IRO aka Imperial Rebel Ork

Moving on to yet another Aussie, IRO, his blog is Imperial Rebel Ork .  He is the master of kit bashing GW stuff into marvelous creations all his own.  He creates new worlds of wonder is all I can say – and I recommend you take a gander.  He also has a fine podcast he does with his buddy Warren (Waz), and its very funny and worth listening to (and not just because I made a promo on episode 14).  They do indeed need a lesson on American accents that originate outside of the Deep South!

His imagination is wonderful, and you never know what he will come up with next.  His Cromwell has a few markings that need explanation.  The turret has a couple of 3rd Infantry Division (UK)  triangle markings that I chose because I liked the look for the tabletop.  There is a number 75 on the tank, and the unit marker is a later 21st Tank Brigade one (I think).  I chose it because it had a devil/imp on it, and IRO is definitely that!

1 IRO2 IRO Cromwell front3 IRO Cromwell right side4 IRO Cromwell left side

John aka JNV aka Just Needs Varnish!

I find John’s blog Just Needs Varnish! very interesting and informative, PLUS the guy really know how to paint and create games.  His stuff ranges from WWII to lesser-known conflicts like the Paraguayan War and the War of Italian Unification.  He does his research, and I really like his attention to detail.  We are alike in that way I think.  Most importantly, John loves tanks too!

While John is a Brit, the tank with his JNV on it has turret markings for the 1st South African Infantry Division. As with IRO’s tank, these are of course not correct, but will visually helpful on the gaming table.  The tank has a 96 number on it, and a British 2nd Armoured Brigade insignia from North Africa on the hull front.

1 JNV2 JNV front3 JNV front in bocage4 JNV left side

Pat’s 1:72 Military Diorama’s

Pat is a military modeler and not a gamer.  He has a lovely blog Pat’s 1:72 Military Diorama’s that details his work from the medieval era to the English Civil War to WWII.  His projects could be considered epic just from their size and scope, but the man does very high quality work too.  As I call it, great eye-candy – check him out!

Pat is also an Aussie.  His Cromwell has open white triangles on the turrets, and a number 15 on it.  It also has the same Aussie 9th Division platypus marking as Azazel’s tank.  

1 Pat2 Pat Cromwell left side3 Pat Cromwell front side

Per at Roll a One

Here is my first exception to the rule of having links to blogs of subjects of Queen Elizabeth – Per.  Per is Swedish, and I believe lives in the UK, so we’ll include him here.  His gaming blog is Roll a One which I follow on WordPress and on Twitter (though mine is also linked on Twitter I have little idea of what to do with mine on Twitter!).  Per creates truly massive games, most of which deal with Sweden in some way or another.  He has done WWII era what-if games with Swedish tanks, some unbelievable stuff for the Great Northern War in 6 mm, and lately some post-apocalyptic stuff that I really like.  Similar to Alex, he creates very immersive games.

Now I have no Swedish tanks like the Stridsvagn m/42 (but Per does) – and I wanted to include him as I like his stuff.  I’m also 1/8th Swedish, so I had a soft spot!  Per, I named an M10 Achilles for you – but with no decals.  Mainly this was because I could not find much in terms of references on such unit designations – and secondly because the model hull was not great for decals.  It did get (like all my British here) a star to keep them safe from the RAF and USAAF misidentifying them.  I did not buy a crew for this one.

1 Per2 Per left side Achilles

Pete at SP’s Projects Blog

Pete is another Brit with a fantastic hobby blog.  His is SP’s Projects Blog, and is quite good and has a number of interesting projects from terrain to vehicles to infantry.  I like Pete’s blog because he does a great job on his hobby work, and has a number of very interesting modern pieces.  He is also well versed in history, and writes some of the best battle reports on his Necromunda games.

Pete’s Cromwell has turret markings with an open red circle.  This is the only one I made that is resin and metal – the other 5 Cromwell’s were plastic.  It has a number 91 on it, and an insignia from the famous 7th Armoured Division – who was in Normandy!

1 Pete2 Pete left side3 Pete front side

Tabitha

Now for a real exception – Tabitha is my granddaughter and only a bit older than 2½.  She’s not a Brit or an Aussie, but she does light up our lives.  I’m still waiting on her blog though…

Similar to Per, she gets an M10 Achilles named for her.  As she has Finnish heritage (through me and my daughter Ellen of course), in her stead I will recommend a full Finn –  Mikko – and his blog here.  Mikko’s blog is the wonderfully named Dawn of the Lead.   Mikko is into pirates and zombies (and maybe pirate zombies).  His painting is superb, check his stuff out.

Now back to Tabitha and her named Achilles.  Also – I did not buy a crew for this one either!

Me and Tabitha1 Tabitha2 Tabitha front Achilles3 Tabitha left side Achilles

TIM aka The Imperfect Modeler

Now last, but most definitely not least, may I present the last tank and blogger for this post!  TIM aka The Imperfect Modeler (neither are his real names – he is actually Dave).  His blog can be found here.  It might be a shorter list to share with you what he is not into in terms of modeling.  His dioramas and figures are 28mm to 54mm, and span the American West, WWII, fantasy, and much more.  They are amazing, and you are missing out if you have not seen his stuff.

Dave also has a skill with writing and his blog postings are also very amusing.  We are relatively close in age, and I appreciate especially his discussions on movies and music.  His painting is top-notch, and his dioramas are stunning.  It’s a shame he is not a gamer though, his tabletops would be mind-blowing.

As Dave is a Brit, and a real man worthy of respect (just ask his wife), he gets the Churchill IV heavy infantry tank named after him.  It has turret markings of open red squares, and a number 71 (which was a good year for him I understand).  I chose the battleaxe symbol of the 78th Infantry Division for his tank (also not in Normandy, but worthy of Dave).

1 TIM2 TIM Churchill front3 TIM Churchill left side4 TIM Churchill left side in field5 TIM Churchill right side6 TIM Churchill rear view7 TIM Churchill top view

That wraps up the individual nods – please check them out!  I’ll conclude with a group shot, my new British tank menu for What a Tanker© and the paints and materials I used.  I hope you enjoyed this post, please let me know your thoughts, and I hope you found a new blog to enjoy!  Up next, more Americans!

5 group side

British Tanker Menu

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE VEHICLES:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. Daisy Air rifle steel BB’s
  3. Neodymium magnets (1/8″)
  4. E6000 epoxy
  5. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  6. Spare Battlefront plastic .50 cal machine guns
  7. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  8. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  9. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “Olive Green”
  11. Vallejo “White”
  12. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  13. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Aluminum”
  15. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  16. Citadel “Typhus Corrosion”
  17. Citadel “‘ardcoat”
  18. Battlefront “Monty Shade” (wash)
  19. Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
  20. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Grey Primer”
  21. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  22. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  23. Decals from Battlefront
  24. Microscale Micro-Set
  25. Microscale Micro-Sol
  26. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  27. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  28. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  29. Vallejo “Crushed Grass” (weathering)
  30. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish

 

 

 

Normandy Breakout Game of What a Tanker!

Quote of the day – ” An eighth of an inch can get ya killed in this game”, Mike Morgan.

As the D-Day commemorative events have passed, its important to remember that there was also a hell of a fight for the Allies to break out of Normandy after the landings in the weeks after June 6th, 1944.  D-Day is iconic, and deservedly so.  I wanted to honor the Allied struggle in the Normandy Campaign.

To this end, I have been designing a suitable “Normandy Breakout” What a Tanker© game scenario for my 15mm/1:100 scale tanks.  This game scenario would be one that I could run at a convention or at our club in around four hours.  My goals were to:

  • Create an interesting scenario that incorporates the appropriate German, US, and British armor that was involved.
  • Make the scenario easy enough for new players to pick up and challenging enough for experienced gamers to also enjoy..
  • Maintain the feel of individual tank command in the game, but add other combat forces differentially to each side to increase the historic reality and game action.
    • Add elements of reconnaissance and enemy force location uncertainty to the game.
    • Add elements of infantry, combat engineers, anti-tank guns, and artillery (HE and smoke) to the game.
    • Provide the Allies with naval gunfire support and air support, while the Germans get only a rare case of Luftwaffe support.
    • Add an element of communications breakdown.
  • Make the scenario one where each side faces various risk/reward choices that have ramifications to victory in the scenario.

On June 29th, the Mass Pikemen gathered to play this scenario in East Brookfield, MA.  The tabletop set up was as shown here in the next two photos:

4a game table
Allies move on from the bottom edge.  Their mission is to cross to the other side.  Once the Allies cross, they score points and get a new tank to try to do it again.
4 game table
Same map – Allies move on from the left.

Rules and Scenario Modifications

The What a Tanker© rules are one of the best that I have seen in terms of a creating a tank crew experience in a fun and elegant way.  I have found that for a convention or single scenario game, modifications can augment the gaming experience.  In the rules, each tank crew on its turn rolls 6 D6 as COMMAND DICE.  These control what a crew can do, and as a tank takes damage, dice, and potential actions, are lost.  For the purposes of simplification for those unfamiliar with the game, here is basically what each COMMAND DIE does in the original rules:

  • 1’s allow movement
  • 2’s allow target acquisition
  • 3’s allow aim at an acquired target
  • 4’s allow firing at an aimed target
  • 5’s allow a tank to reload after firing
  • 6’s are WILD, and can be converted to any other die.

There is much more to the game, but this is the main action engine.  Certain tanks have special features/characteristics, like being “Fast”, which allows them to “convert” die to a “1”, or being “Low Profile”, which makes them more difficult to acquire by an enemy.  There are several vehicles that have features like these – and there are many others.

Here are my modifications to the rules for this scenario:

  • To keep the game moving, any vehicle touching a road could additionally convert one of its command dice to a “1” (a MOVE die).
  • I keep score in the game using poker chips.  Each side starts with 100 or 150 chips, depending on the number of players.  At end of game, high chip total wins.
    • Both sides choose their vehicles from a menu, and is charged chips equal to the value of each vehicle.  The starting vehicles must be chosen from different categories, such as “scout car”, “medium tank”, “tank destroyer”, “heavy tank destroyer”, or “heavy tank”.  See examples below of the menus.
    • Chips can be gained by:
      • Successful recon of potential enemy positions (gains two chips).
      • Destruction of enemy vehicles (gains point value of destroyed vehicle in chips).
      • Successful crossing of the battlefield (breaking out) by the Allies (gains chip value of vehicle that successfully crosses tabletop).
    • Chips can be spent to get:
      • Additional Bonus Attack Cards (cost two chips each).
      • New tanks or to get a better tank when you respawn a destroyed tank.
  • I added the category of “armored car” for machine-gun armed light reconnaissance vehicles such as the Daimler Dingo.  This allows them (at their peril) to fire at a heavily-armored vehicle and force them to button up, or have a chance of damaging other lighter vehicles.  There are no rules for armored cars in the original rules.  Some armored cars did have some anti-tank punch, and that is reflected in how I treat their offensive capability.
  • For vehicles that would have been more likely involved in traditional armored cavalry/scouting/reconnaissance roles instead of tank-to-tank combat, I created the characteristic of “recon“.  Recon vehicles could be armored cars, or light tanks like the M3/M5 Stuart.  Recon vehicles get two advantages.
    • The first is defensive.  To reflect the difficulty needed to acquire a well-hidden scout in cover, anyone trying to acquire a recon vehicle in any cover would need an additional “2” in addition to any other cover or vehicle feature benefit the target would get.  This advantage is lost in the open.
    • The second is offensive, in that a recon vehicle can convert any command die to a “2” – so they can acquire targets more easily.
    • The third is also offensive, and involves the use of Bonus Attack Cards as described below.  Each recon vehicle gets two Bonus Attack cards at the game start, and one free card per turn.  A recon vehicle can use two Bonus Attack cards per turn.
  • To represent the need for and the value of reconnaissance (and the uncertainty of knowing the exact locations of enemy positions), I use 18 wooden discs across the gaming mat.  These discs denote potential German positions.  At the beginning of the game, the Germans would secretly choose each of their vehicles and a deployed location.  This information is only known to the GM and the Germans.  Next, the Allies would choose their vehicles and deploy them openly on the deployment side of the tabletop – at positions the Germans would not have known when they made their selections.  German positions are only revealed if successfully reconned, or if the Germans move or fire their vehicles.  The Germans still roll their Command Dice, and can acquire targets and use Bonus Attack cards without revealing their locations.
  • To represent the other combat arms, I made and use the Bonus Attack Cards.  Each recon vehicle gets 2 cards to start the game and every other vehicle gets one.  Each turn, a recon vehicle gets a free card, and extra cards can be bought for two chips each for any vehicle.  A recon vehicle can use 2 Bonus Attack cards per turn, others just 1 per turn.  The target must still be acquired, and hit by rolling a “6” with two dice added together.  The decks for each side are different – and of course randomized when distributed.  The decks are built as follows:
    • 72 Allied “Bonus Attack Cards” made for my What a Tanker© Normandy scenario
      • 18 Infantry Assault Cards
      • 6 Combat Engineer Cards
      • 9 Anti-Tank Gun Support Cards
      • 6 Artillery HE Attack Support Cards
      • 9 Artillery Smoke Support Cards
      • 6 Artillery HE Attack Support Cards
      • 6 Air Support Cards
      • 6 Naval Gunfire Support Cards
      • 6 Commo Problem Cards
    • 72 German “Bonus Attack Cards” made for my What a Tanker© Normandy scenario
      • 18 Infantry Assault Cards
      • 6 German Pioneer Cards
      • 15 Anti-Tank Gun Support Cards
      • 9 Artillery HE Attack Support Cards
      • 9 Artillery Smoke Support Cards
      • 9 Artillery HE Attack Support Cards
      • 3 Luftwaffe (Air Support) Cards
      • 6 Funkprobleme Cards

Hopefully the following photos make these changes clear.

19 Discs
The wooden discs I used for secret German vehicle placement.
WaT Activation Letters
The Germans secretly write down their placements and share this with the GM.
20 Allied Bonus Attack Cards
Examples of my Allied Bonus Attack Cards – all are 1.5″ x 1.5″.
21 German Bonus Attack Cards
Examples of my German Bonus Attack cards – with some Deutsche thrown in for good measure.
Menu Example (2)
An example of the menu for the Germans.  All of the players (on both sides) had to pick vehicles from different categories at the start.  Later purchases and upgrades could be anything they wanted as long as they had the chips.
US and UK Menu (2)
The Allied vehicle menu.  I hope to augment this list with Cromwell and Churchill tanks and Achilles tank destroyers for the British.  The Americans will be getting an M18 Hellcat tank destroyer and some more Shermans.

Now I hope to share some photos of the game – and thanks to Mike Paine for sharing many of these.  Mike is a gaming legend in New England and it was wonderful to have him attend!

We had 6 players – and the game was hard-fought.  In the end, the Allies won 124-115.  It was close and a lot of fun for the players.

2 M10 from Mike Paine
Mike Paine took this shot of my M10 and added the tag!
3 Dingo's last moment from Mike Paine
The Daimler Dingo recons for German armor.
3a Dingo's last moment from Mike Paine
Unfortunate for the Dingo, he found Scott Howland’s hidden Marder III while he was in the open.
4 gamers
A lively game – Chris Burr makes a point to the GM (me).
4a gamers
The gamers watch Scott Howland and I try to hold my clipboard so the Allies can’t see the German dispositions.
4b Gamers
Ethan Howland maneuvers his Panzer IVH to hunt the M10.
5 SdKfz233 shoots Sherman
Mike Paine’s Sherman is ambushed in the flank by Chris Burr’s SdKfz 233.
5a Sherman and cards
Mike’s Sherman chases the SdKfz 233.
6 SdKfz233 hides from Sherman
The SdKfz hides along the hedgerow.
7 Sherman chases, Pz IVH shows up
Mike pursues, only to face Ethan’s Panzer IVH…
7a Sherman chases, Pz IVH shows up
Mike’s Sherman is attacked on two sides, and is knocked out (but the crew survived!).
8 M8 hides from Marder III and Panzer IVH
Mike Morgan took an M8 Greyhound after his Dingo got destroyed – and it tried to run by the Marder III.
8 M8 takes on Marder III
The Greyhound did not escape either.  Note the undiscovered potential position “K”.
8a Marder chases Stuart
Now the Marder III hunts an M5 Stuart.
9 M8 and smoke screen
Crossroad of carnage and smoke.
10 Tiger I
And then Ethan got a Tiger I.
11 Artillery smoke and burning vehicles clog the crossroads
Allies dropped smoke rounds to try to save another Greyhound.
12 The Sdkfz 233 burns after being taken out finally - it did a lot of damage under Chris' command
After inflicting a lot of damage, the SdKfz 233 is hit and burns.
13 M10 and Firefly work together
A Firefly and Mike Paine’s new M10 attempt to cross the board.
14 Panther arrives and torches the M8 Greyhound
They both run into a Panzer IVH and a Panther D.
15 Firefly vs Tiger I
This Firefly is attempting to gain an advantage on the Tiger I.
16 Firefly vs Tiger I , Don't poke the Tiger...
It did not work – the Tiger dispatches the Firefly.
17 Another Firefly knocks out a Panzer IVH
The other Firefly knocks out the Panzer IVH.
18 StuG III knocks out M10 Wolverine, Firefly seeks vengeance
Lastly, a StuG IIIG took out Mike Paine’s damaged M10.

These shots are indicative that there was a LOT of action.  I plan to run this game again with more vehicle choices, probably at least at BARRAGE.  Thanks very much to the players!

The vehicles shown here were posted previously  – if interested here are the posts:

The next Mass Pikemen gaming session will be on July 27th at 2 PM at 110 Pleasant Street, East Brookfield, MA.  Join us!

If you have any feedback or questions about this post, please share them in the comments section – thanks!

 

 

 

Dingoes and Greyhounds for Normandy

In my last painting post, the Germans got some recon vehicles.  For my Normandy Breakout scenario for What a Tanker!©, I wanted some American and British scout cars.  I have some rules modifications and Bonus Attack cards for my games to up the action a bit – as well as to create a more rounded scenario – and recon is one of my additions that I will discuss and share in my next post.

I put some new edits to this post in blue!  Mea culpa and read on please!

Back to gathering the models – I ended up with American M8 Greyhounds and Daimler Dingoes.  It was difficult to find suitable 15mm/1:100 scale models.  From Noble Knight Games, I found a couple of 3 Dingo blister packs of Battlefront Daimler Dingoes (#BR310 – now out-of-production).  I got these a few days before I was scheduled to run the Normandy Breakout game – so time was not on my side.  I built one pack for Normandy and will save the other one for North Africa.  As for the M8 Greyhounds, I ended up buying a three-vehicle bag from Old Glory of Command Decision models (#CD207).  All of these arrived the week of the game.  Tick tock….

1 Daimler Dingoes
This Daimler Dingo blister is OOP.

The Dingo trio came with bendy metal machine guns to mount on top, but I did not see these surviving tabletop play – or even being easy to mount.  I think the Dingoes work well as I completed them.  If I ever get a few Daimler Armored Cars, or any Humber Scout Cars, they would be easy and fun to add to the British forces.  The Dingoes’ crews of two were not very detailed, but I tried my best.  The Old Glory M8 Greyhounds did not come with crew, and I saw afterwards that you can buy crew separately from them;  however, by then it was too late for my schedule.  The M8’s also had machine guns, but these models are all metal.  The 37mm guns on the M8’s were spindly enough, so for the same reason as the Dingoes, I left off the large machine guns.

1a Daimler Dingoes
Dingo kit components – lots of wheels to mount.
2 M8 Greyhounds
My M8 Greyhounds just out of the bag.  One of the turrets has been placed on the bottom M8 for comparison.
3 Primed scout cars
I decided to prime the components and then assemble, especially with 12 Dingo wheels.  I used the Vallejo “Russian Green” primer – and that looked off.  I eventually painted them the proper olive drab.

CORRECTION:  I assembled the Dingoes incorrectly and fixed them – see notes in blue and at the end of this post! 

4 Finished Cars
I used some Battlefront decals for ease of tabletop identification on the Dingoes.  I am unsure as to the units – but they are indeed British/Commonwealth and super small.  All vehicles got some mud to weather them.

Normally, I set up my completed minis on a tabletop, but given that my game was coming up, I decided to take some shots of them in the sun on my deck railing (yes, the deck needs paint but will be replaced soon I hope!).  This is after all Massachusetts – stuff weathers naturally!

5 M8's on the deck
The three M8 Greyhounds.
8 Dingoes fixed
The three Dingoes (now with crews in correct position).
8a Dingoes fixed
OK, the Dingoes have a stubby front!
8b Dingoes fixed
My crews originally faced this way – and went into tabletop combat for one game like this.  To an American, this looked like the front, but it’s the back.  I got fooled by the view ports in back and the long back of the vehicle that looked like a hood to me.
8d Dingoes fixed
Side view of a proper Daimler Dingo.
8c Dingoes fixed
Now this is better!
7 All Scout Cars
All my Allied recon for Normandy in one shot.  Except these have the crews in backwards!!  Compare with previous shots.

The biggest challenge with these was their size, followed by the US stars on the M8’s for aircraft ID.  It was different for sure.

My next post will detail these vehicles’ experiences in their little battle last Saturday!  There was some action for sure.

Thanks for looking!  Any favorites?  Comments?  Always appreciate your feedback in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE VEHICLES:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. E6000 epoxy
  3. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  4. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  5. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Russian Green”
  6. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “US Olive Drab”
  8. Battlefront”Black”
  9. Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
  10. Battlefront “European Skin”
  11. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (wash)
  12. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  13. Vallejo “Light Brown”
  14. Vallejo Game Air “Satin” (varnish)
  15. Battlefront “Battlefield Brown
  16. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  17. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  18. Microscale Micro-Set
  19. Microscale Micro-Sol
  20. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  21. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  22. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  23. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  24. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish

CORRECTIONS!

Well, I am a bit embarrassed to say that when I built my Dingoes I put the crews in backwards. 

Yes, backwards. 

We even played with them last weekend and none of us, being Americans, knew they were wrong.  I should have paid better attention –  but I was able to correct the problem – luckily I had used E6000 epoxy to mount the crews instead of Gorilla Glue so they were easier to remove.  I did have to repaint them a bit and reapply varnish.  I have changed the pics above to reflect that!  My apologies to the British Army and the British Empire!  It was not a 4th of July joke!

 

 

 

 

I just wanted to do this!

For those of you who are modelers and or gamers, you know the feelings about your hobby work –  to do a good job recreating a scene, a vehicle, terrain, or just a figure such that others enjoy it.  I put this blog in the same category.  I understand that for better or for worse, I am putting myself out there and my creativity to be judged up or down.

This blog post will be a bit different in that its admittedly somewhat self-indulgent.  I am unsure as to how it will be received – but I hope that you enjoy it and that you can appreciate what this was for me and why I was doing this last weekend.

Last Saturday, the Historical Gaming Club of Uxbridge, MA, sponsored a road trip to the American Heritage Museum in Hudson, MA.  I have posted about this museum last year (you can read about it here).  It’s really great.  I unfortunately also signed up for a golf tournament an hour away and was disappointed in my planning.  I was however able to leave the tournament (my team lost by one stroke) after I was done and drive to meet the others (about 10 of us) at the museum.  And I brought two “friends”…

Followers of this blog know that I have been somewhat tank-heavy in hobby activities and gaming since last fall.  I thought that it would be cool to have the real Panther at the museum meet my 15mm/1:100 scale Panther.  And as my late grandfather Marcus C. Delaney drove an M24 Chaffee light tank in WWII, I wanted to hook up one of my M24’s with a real one too.

I just thought it would be a cool thing to do – and to give my models a connection to the real deal.  Of course, you can be the judge.

First stop was the Panther.

1 Big Panther, Little Panther
A real Panther and my  model – can you see it?
2 Big Panther, Little Panther close up
There it is!
3a on left fender
Impishly placing my Panther on the right fender.
3 on left fender
Both Panthers are now aiming at a T-34…but I don’t think mine has the needed gun velocity!

Then I moved over to the M24 Chaffee.

4 On M24 Chaffee side
Where is my model?
5 On M24 Chaffee side close up
There it is!
6 On M24 Chaffee side close up
On the M24 frontal armor.
7 me and both M24 Chaffee's
Trust me, we are all smiling.  Even my grandfather from above.

It felt good to do this, and I’m glad I did.  Now when these are in a game, I can say that they have been with the real thing, and in actual contact.

Would you do this?  Let me know in the comments section, and thanks for looking!