Sunday, 26 September 2010

70's Paras WIP

First photo of my new 70's Paras. Blogger is being a pain in the groin this afternoon, so you are only getting the one pic for now.

" I'd like to thank the Academy....."
Platoon 20 Post-war Brits: pack P-B6

Have spent this weekend working on Falklands era Brits from Platoon 20. Got to say, I'm really chuffed with how these minis turned out. I like my C20th minis to look grungy rather than pretty and it's worked out well. The lighter '59 pattern Denison smock really looking the part.

I used Tamiya Warm Deck as the base for GW Kommando Khaki, which on it's own would be too thin over a black undercoat. Vallejo Iraqi Sand would probably have done the job just as well but the GW paints were all close to hand. I ran Devlan Mud over the K.Khaki then highlighted with a drybrush of Bleached Bone.

The torsos on these minis are really busy with 58' pattern webbing. I suggest you leave the torso without any camo pattern at all overwise it will 'disappear' into the webbing and look like your paintbrush slipped. Concentrate on the arms, particularly around the shoulders. A patch of brown and one or two long swathes of Catachan Green. leave plenty of Kommando Khaki showing or it will start to look like DPM.

I used Catachan Green again as a base for the 'lightweights', followed by Knarloc Green highlighting - which was a loose blocking in using the side of the brush, leaving the Catachan Green in the folds and creases.

Couldn't be arsed finding another green for the webbing, so Catachan Green once again, washed with Badaab Black, highlighted with Catachan Green. Then the webbing, lightweights, boots, gloves and SMG drybrushed with Fortress Grey.

Final touches - Para Beret was Mechrite Red -  and elastic wool cuffs using Calthan Brown with black 'ribbing'.

The Platoon 20 Falklands minis are a real delight to work with. The metal is easy to work yet there is next to nothing in the way of mould seams or flash  to clean. It would be fair to say that the figures are characterful bordering on caricature, but this pays off once they are painted. Both the Para & Marine figs with SMG being a case in point. I never thought I'd have a use for the mini firing a Blowpipe SAM in Winter of '79, but he is such a nice miniature that he is a must have!


Thursday, 23 September 2010

More Kudos to Tony & Platoon 20

Order figs on the East Riding Miniatures webstore around midnight and they are in the post the next day. Government Paras are now on my workbench being painted in 1970's chic Denison smock ('59 pattern).

Platoon20 Post-War
Falklands Brit Paras Advancing P-B9

The Denison smock was withdrawn from the Parachute Regiment between 1976/ and '78, being replaced by a DPM pattern smock which retained the classic ribbed wooly cuffs and collar. However, for our purposes the '59 pattern SCREAMS 1970's and makes a bold statement about these being hard-nosed government troops.

Should have these minis finished sometime over the weekend - I'm off to iron my best balaclava tonight as I'm meeting Chris Ryan tomorrow - yes, seriously - a black kit and bow-tie event.


Sunday, 19 September 2010

DIY Country Lanes

Dropped by Hobbycraft on Friday evening to pick up another Airfix (JB Models) Land Rover for my government forces.  Taking a look around their crafts section for terrain ideas I came across A4 Magnetic Foam Sheets.

The grey sheets took my eye as they looked like a sunbaked metalled road surface. At 69p each and currently 3 for 2, I bought three to try out and saturday morning spent half an hour or so cutting them up to create country lane sections for my tabletop.

I decided the lanes should be 6cm wide, just enough for two Land Rovers or a single Chieftain. So, for only £1.38, I managed to get six 20cm(8") x 6cm straight sections, four 10cm x 4cm tracks/farm entrance sections, the 'S' bend and a load of smaller 30-90 degree turns.

The magnetic foam sheet is only a few mm's thick, and conforms easily to the contours of the table. It cuts easily, even free-hand - but make sure you have a sharp blade. 

The 'roads' look OK as is, but need a little weathering, muddy tractor tracks etc. If I could be bothered (and I'm not just now - too much else to do), I think they could be enhanced by basing on wider 3mm mdf and texturing them into the roadside scenery.

I'm going back to Hobbycraft next week to buy some more grey magentic foam sheets. I want to make a dedicated T-Junction and a crossroads, but I also want to explore some urban applications.

Following on from cutting out the road sections yesterday, I started on making hedges from rubberised horsehair. Cutting the horsehair into strips with a pair of Heather's upholstery sissors (ssshhh!), then 'plucking' them into more realistic shapes. A single two foot square block, 2" deep, bought from a local upholstery company for £2, made 6 feet of hedgerow with lots of 'plucked' scraps for further trees and bushes.

The hedgerow sections will be mounted on textured bases whilst some sections will be given more character by interspersing farm gates, runs of drystone wall etc between lengths of hedgerow. At the moment I'm wondering if I should worry about flocking the hedges? As they stand, au nautural, I think they make good late autumn/winter beech hedgerow and help give the Winter of '79 tabletop that feel of desolate, frosty fields in the middle of a civil war.

Don't worry, I'm going to replace or at least tone-down that summer green mat with tan/brown heavy corduroy 'ploughed' and stubble fields. If I can get some 8" x 8"  sheets of 3mm mdf or 1/16 ply  I'll have a go creating my own winterised fields with brown 'paintable' silicon (mastic) sealant.


Friday, 17 September 2010

To Hell In A Handcart

The attack on the PM & Cabinet leads to the right wing backlash that was feared for so long. Mountbatten and a group of senior serving and retired Army generals backed by the Parachute Regiment stage a bloodless coup.

The 'junta' issue a message on national TV to "Keep Calm and Carry normal". Some regional authorities enact their civil defence plans. Left-wing councils such as Liverpool and Felpersham declare against the military backed government of national unity. Others such as Bristol, declare themselves open cities. 

An attempt to break the strikes at essential utilities and transportation centres using the army escalates into even more tension and violence.  A poorly reasoned order to fire on strikers causes a revolt amongst soldiers who themselves are economic conscripts, who join the strikers. An attempt to restore order and military discipline turns into chaos as the soldiers turn on their officers.

These photos send a shockwave through the country. Some part-time soldiers take the matter into their own hands. Equipping themselves from their TAVR Centre armouries and stores, they take control key local centres and transportation hubs. Spare weapons are used to arm local union militias and self-defence groups.

First blood in the shooting war happens 3 miles north east of Borchester.  A platoon of B Company, 2nd Benson & Hedges Fusiliers (TA) knock out a Chieftain of the Duchess of Duke Hussars.

Fusiliers pose with their bagged prize!

'Rebel' troops ditched their berets and donned the peaked combat cap known as "crap hat" with pride after this incident. An article in the News of the World would draw similarities to the cap worn by Fidel Castro so the name "Castro Cap" stuck and became synonymous with 'rebel' forces.


Thursday, 16 September 2010

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Headlines...... Scrapbook of Events 1




Tragic Accident Say Police


Calls for mass strike!













Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Operation Dyno-rod: The Reaction

 "Downing Street have issued a statement in connection with the events at East Whittington Town Hall. Speaking to jthe press gathered outside No. 10 this evening, Mrs Thatcher declared:"

"Rejoice. Rejoice!
We will not tolerate terrorism. 
We will never negotiate. 
We will not forgive!"

Labour peer Lord, Baron, Viscount Rochester, Shadow Secretary for Employment responded to Mrs Thatcher's statement:

"The actions of the government in this sad affair has demonstrated that the Tory Party are little more than the political wing of the SAS. Ordinary working men like myself are appalled at the heavy handed action and summary execution metered out to those who chose to oppose the government in power".

 "Meanwhile, youths across the country have taken to the streets to demonstrate against the death of Claire Dixby."

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Operation Dyno-Rod: After Action Report

"We have been able to piece together the dramatic events that brought to a close the dramatic siege at East Whittington Town Hall. Based on a document obtained by the Daily Mail......"

19:15 Zulu
  • Control received from Civil Power. Op Dyno-Rod cleared
19:25 Zulu
  • Alpha rappel to 1st Floor Front from roof and blow in window to Small Function Suite 
  • Bravo standby to blow roof cupola
  • Charlie / Delta approach rear windows via Registry Office garden
  • Sierra teams target windows
19:25.30 Zulu
  • Alpha engage 3xTango in SMF, 6xHotels secured
  • Bravo blow roof cupola and abseil into Main Function Suite
  • Bravo engage 1xTango from abseil rope
  • Charlie enter via rear windows into Rates Office
  • Charlie engage 1xTango
  • Delta enter via rear windows into Payment Office
  • Delta engage 1xTango
19:26 Zulu
  • Box 500 identify firing in Main Hall
  • Alpha divert from 1st Floor down stairs to lobby of MH
  • Alpha engage 1xTango
  • Bravo move up to Mayoral Suite and Admin office
  • Charlie move up to doors to MH
  • Delta move up to doors to MH
19:26.30 Zulu
  • Box 500 identify firing in Ground Floor Typing Pool
  • Alpha move to GFTP, dynamic entry
  • Alpha enage 2xTangos, secure 8xHotel
  • Bravo (1&2) enter Mayoral Suite
  • Bravo (1&2) engage 3xTangos, secure 6xHotel
  • Bravo (3&4) enter Admin Office
  • Bravo (3&4) engage 2xTangos, secure 3xHotel
  • Charlie & Delta enter MH, engage DIXBY, PARSLOW, 3rd Tango
  • DIXBY shoots Delta 3, all Tangos neutralised
19:27 Zulu
  • Alpha clear Ground Floor West
  • Bravo clear 1st Floor
  • Charlie clear Ground Floor East
  • Delta move Hotels to garden for processing
19:28 Zulu
  • Target clear, IED in main lobby door disarmed.
19:30 Zulu
  • Control returned to Civil Power 


  1. SAS teams by Combat Miniatures (ex-Hotspur) from Stonewall Figures
  2. Tangos (Terrorists) by Combat Miniatures (ex-Hotspur) from Stonewall Figures & Platoon 20 from East Riding Miniatures
  3. Hotels (Hostages) by Combat Miniatures (ex-Hotspur) from Stonewall Figures
  4. Rules: Cold War: 1983 from Wessex Games plus bits from others as appropriate.

    Saturday, 11 September 2010

    Operation Dyno-Rod

    " Good evening. We are interrupting Top Of The Pops with important news from East Whittington"

    "This is Bob Langley live at East Whittington. There has just been an explosion, followed by several shots; there were then a series of smaller explosions with more shooting - which is still going on; I can clearly here an almost constant level of firing coming from the Hall. Are you picking it up on the mike? Yes, you should be be hearing the shooting as well. Its stopped now and we should be .. .no there it goes again, more shooting in the Hall and a quite final sounding shot or two there and it's gone quiet. Now I can hear ambulances heading this way. Something has happened, something very dramatic indeed....I can see DCI Hacker, a man in a grey suit and an army officer heading this way. We have an anouncement I think....

     East Whittington Town Hall
    "As you know I am DCI Hacker; at 7.15 this evening communications with the terrorists broke down and shots were fired within the Town Hall. A body could be seen in the lobby. Control of the situation was passed to the Army. Brigadier Wallis has a short statement."

    "Thank you. Following the transfer of control from the Civil Power, a well rehearsed and prepared plan was put into action to negotiate the release of the hostages by direct action. This was called Operation Dyno-Rod. A number of teams from the Special Air Service Regiment accessed the Hall at various points; resistance was met and dynamically overcome. One hostage was shot by the terrorists and one trooper was fatally wounded. Apart from one prisoner, all the terrorists were neutralised. Control has now been passed to the Civil Power - I will hand you over to Mr McTavish of the Home Office" 

    "Tangos Down!"
    "Brigadier, I would like to add some detail to the situation. Fourteen terrorists had taken control of the Town Hall; there were 43 hostages - many of whom were council employees. One was murdered by the terrorists prior to Operation Dyno-rod and another was shot before the SAS breached the room where many of the hostages were held. I believe DCI Hacker has some final words...."

    "Yes, There will of course be an inquest into all the deaths this evening and I'm going to stamp out any speculation - yes, Miss Claire Dixby was one of the terrorists. Her precise role isnt clear she may well have been one of the ringleaders along with Richard "Rik" Parslow, the leader of "Red Spike". I'd like to thank the Brigadier and his lads for a job well done."

    This is Bob Langley at East Whittington for BBC1 News"

    Thursday, 9 September 2010

    Kudos to Tony & Platoon 20

    I need more 20mm squaddies like a hole in the head, nevertheless I ordered some Platoon 20 Falklands era Paras and Royal Marines from Tony at East Riding Miniatures (ERM) on Sunday evening.

    East Riding Miniatures
    Platoon 20: P-B7

    Tony emailed me on Tuesday to let me know they had been dispatched and the minis popped through my letterbox yesterday morning. This mirrors Maff's experiences with ERM and is the fastest turn round of any order I've made so far for 20mm historical figures. So Tony is ensured of further support from both of us.

    I'd been really looking forward to painting them up in DPM as soon as they arrived. But instead of wielding a paintbrush last night, they were such a nostalgic blast for me that I wasted away an hour or so playing with the bare castings, putting them in different squad formations, examining the potential for conversion, headswops etc.

    The figures are on a par sizewise with both Britannia Miniatures and Combat Miniatures (ex-Hotspur) from Stonewall, though a little bulker - shows up if placed side by side when they are unpainted but not at all if the miniatures are spread out or opposing forces and I think a liberal DPM paintjob will mask any major differences.

    Ordering a Scimitar from Britannia plus a couple of FV432's today. May go for a Chieftain too. Principally because I want to have a crack at the Berlin Brigade urban paint scheme. It's a sure fire way of stamping an identity on an opposing force.


    Wednesday, 8 September 2010

    Teenage Revolution

    Chaps I hope everyone will be watching Alan Davies' Teenage Revolution. Starting Thursday 9pm on Channel 4. Looks like it might be quite interesting and funny.


    Tuesday, 7 September 2010

    BBC 1 Newsflash


    And now over to Bob Langley with a report on today's main news, the terrorist hostage taking in East Whittington.

    "Good evening, here in East Whittington, a town is in shock and chaos as the events of today sink in. At 12.15 a van, apparently belonging to a catering firm pulled up outside the Town Hall; a dozen or so people went in carrying boxes of food ordered for a buffet. A commissionaire on the door asked a question and was promptly shot by one of the terrrorists. As the gang swarmed into the Hall, the local Police were alerted by a call, believed to be from within the Town Hall. Officers, some of them armed arrived quickly and it seems that an attempt was made to rush the Hall. We have no details of casualties but ambulances have been leaving the scene all afternoon. Large canvas screens have now been put up closing off the area from public view......and er yes, here is DCI Hacker, his arm is in a sling, and a colleague, I think they are going to make a statement......

    "Right. My name is DCI Hacker and I have a short statement. This afternoon, a group of terrorists seized East Whittington Town Hall and took hostage some ah 15 members of the Association of Local Council Chief Executives. The East Whittington Constabulary intervened and a firefight developed on the steps of the Hall. Several brave officers were seriously wounded but we believe that the terrorists also suffered losses. They are now holed up in the Hall and we are containing the situation. I will now hand over to Mr McTavish of the Home Office."

    DCI Hacker

    "Thank you DCI Hacker. We have received the terrorist's demands which are under review. The situation is that Her Majesty's Government does not negotiate with terrorists. We are, however, actively seeking the release of sick and injured personnel. We will make further statements in due course. Thank you, that is all for now"......

    This is Bob Langley, for BBC 1 News at East Whittington"

    Monday, 6 September 2010


    The Armed Wing of the British Proletariat has now declared war upon the so called government of the fascist Thatcherite clique. They do not govern for or in the name of the People. Their only concern is to line their pockets and to stamp on the faces of the Workers from their Whitehall rathole.

    The first blows have been struck and we have armed ourselves to take Class War to the heart of the establishment. Proletarian justice will follow.

    Workers! Rise up and Bite, Kick, Stab, Shoot, KILL the hand of the monster that doesn't feed you, doesnt pay you and doesnt care for you!

    Red is the colour of the New Republic!

    We have the guns AND the numbers!

    Get on the streets!


    Issued by

    Red Spike Command, for the People of Britain by the People

    Sunday, 5 September 2010

    Walls, And I don't mean ice cream!

    Stopped in by Hobbycraft on Thursday evening and picked up a box of Italeri  IT6127 1/72 Stone Walls for six pounds something. Note that price varies by up to £1 depending on retailer.

     Manufacturers promo shot of the 1/72 walls.

    The box has 24 parts on two identical grey plastic sprues (12 pieces each), which include two gated sections. There are two complete and two damaged wall lengths each 8" long, plus a heap of shorter sections and end caps that can be put together in a variety of combinations. See the pic above.  Looks good in the immediate vicinty of farms and run down buildings.
     'Pig-wire' fencing

    The fields around where we live tend not to be enclosed in a homogeneous way but instead have a mixture of stonewalls, hedgerow and wooden/wire fencing or even open ditches/watercourses. Sometimes where there's a break in the hedgerow, there's a wall or section of fencing. Great opportunity to reduce overall cost (assuming you are making your own hedgerow) but at the same time add some character and welcome hard cover for your miniatures!

    A countryside full of walling provides some unique small scale tactical challenges, but also a challenge to your pocket. Luckily, Jarvis sell 'flexi' granite walling strips in OO scale  - £1.25 for a bag of 4 feet. I'm going to buy a couple of packets to try out.

     Drystane dyke

    It seems a cheap price to pay for some alternative terrain. Add a ruined building or two for a run down croft or abandoned village and hey presto. Of course, we don't HAVE to represent every inch of walling/hedgerow etc on the tabletop, but just enough to give a feeling for it and provide specific areas of cover.

    Started cutting up my Britannia HLI. Ouch! They are hard work and it turned out the Glengarry heads are larger than those of Britannia's Cold War BAOR squaddies. The Gelngarries will fit the BAOR torso's OK, but I've decided to try them with Platoon 20's P-B6 Falklands era Royal Marines.

    Just an excuse to buy some Platoon 20 when I really don't need any more figures for this project. I particularly like the bootneck fiigures that are 'pepper-potting' with SLR and firing a Stirling SMG from the hip. Maff's had a very positive experience buying Platoon 20 stuff from East Riding Miniatures, which is a good enough reason to send an order their way.

    If you wanted to try out your own Winter of '79 on the cheap, use Platoon 20's Falklands' Paras (in helmets) as Government troops, Royal Marines (berets) as Rebels and armed civilians as sundry rebels, militia, SF operators etc. 


    Thursday, 2 September 2010

    Payroll Blag


    Two unarmed police officers were today brutally gunned down during a payroll robbery. PCs Ray Carling and Chris Skelton were responding to a 999 call from EW Payroll Processing when they were shot by a member of a five strong, heavily armed gang. As accomplices loaded cash bags into a van, a female robber threatened staff with a machine pistol.
    The police responded in the form of veteran Sgt Dave Lanchester, luckily armed with a revolver, who used the cover of parked cars to get close to the van, shout a warning and open fire, wounding one of the gang. As she left the offices, the female robber shot and wounded Sgt Lanchester who nonetheless returned fire. The villains were piling into the van as the Flying Squad arrived in a howl of sqealing brakes.
    Eyewitnesses report that the Squad didnt even leave their car but fired their revolvers out of the windows as machine gun and shotgun rounds pinged overhead. One gunman fell out of the van, fatally wounded. A chase then ensued but the Squad were forced off the road when an oilcan was hurled in front off them; in the fearsome skid that followed, Gatti's Mobile Fish and Chip Emporium was written off totally.
    • British Pastoid PLC refused to divulge the extent of the wages snatched.
    • Security Cameras identify the female robber as Claire Dixby, alleged kidnap victim.
    • DCI Hacker stated "this was the act of a bunch of long haired murdering trot toerags; this Dixby bird must have a thing for unwashed maoist nutters with guns, if she thinks its Baader Meinhoff, she's wrong, it just "blokes, get mine off". 
    • Felpersham Police have swamped the College area in a manhunt for accomplices as the dead robber was identified as Eric "Stoat" Statham, a well known student radical.