Monday, 20 August 2012

Pont du Hoc: Building the Scene

Here's where we are in the grand scheme of things. Pont du Hoc scene of the Rangers (US not Queens Park) epic climb to silence the gun batteries in their concrete case-mates which could have ruined operations on Omaha and possibly Utah beaches on D-Day...almost open for business.

The Germans made this (or some elaborate effort) necessary the day they poured the first concrete.  

 This angle shot is a representation of a picture I saw on the net. The block and boulders represent the 'point'. A narrow beach and a shear climb to come at the enemy from an unexpected direction....all the defences pointing inland.
 Recce piccy of mine to show basic stages of the sighting and moulding process. The actual site is only a couple of hundred yards wide and deep. More 'stuff' would make moving figures about quite fiddly.
 There were in fact six or so actual block houses meant to house artillery with further buildings for barracks. I'll have to make do with just two to represent the fortifications otherwise the project would have to be 1:1 scale and out of sync with the rest of the RF D-Day scenario.
 Once some colour is added the site becomes a lot less shabby. Evidence of the USAAF's pre-invasion softening up comes into stark relief as do the trench works. My thanks to Colin who has made a cracking set of emplacements.
 The whole place was surrounded by mine fields (inland of course) which probably made German counter attacks a bit more tricky.
 A rapid firing AA weapon, some nervous Germans and we'll be ready for kick off...

The little OP bunker is about 30mm high to give you some scale. On the day I hope to get a view from the deck of an LCA.

So...a little more colour and perhaps some more wire and we're good to go.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

D-Day...recall fleet due to storm

 Sorry for the delays for anyone following this prep and game; hospital break but all better now. God bless the NHS the ordinary folks reward for victory in 2nd WW.

Working on water bangs and land bangs/smoke and especially on casualty markers continues apace...the cousins price for the beach.

 Worth smacking some plastics with a hammer and sticking the to bases. Make a few judicious cuts at joints first. Stick them onto shaped card/plastic of your choice with modelling putty like Milliput or similar. Give them an undercoat of 50/50 PVA and water mixed with the same amount, maybe slightly more, of your base colour acrylic paint. This seals, undercoats and waterproofs and in one go.
 LCVP's ready and practising on Slapton Sands...
 Part of the delay relates to whether we should include Pont du Hoc. If so, we need these LCA's (by Frontline) as that was the Rangers transport from Commando training days. Obviously we need to model the cliffs and defences...not difficult but adding to the time delay if it's to be right.
 Tom and Alan's forces are good to go....and looking great.
 Some closer pics of the larger fleet during loading, as requested.
 What the loading crew's view would be...
 ...or the crew above bow doors...effective felt tip pen panels (why make panels when you can cheat)
 Golfers should keep broken wooden tee's...always useful...
 Hang on to till roll centres, cocktail sticks, old raw plugs, paper-clips, sprue...
 Because you just never know when a kebab skewer might come in handy.
 Some really hand things are the screw head plastic covers you always have left over from flat packed furniture...also the block they include to make thing level.
 Cut out and keep a clear panel from the side of any plastic packaging...good windscreens.
'Oi, Mush, France is that way.'
 The only thing I bought for all these landing craft were funnel vents (left of picture) but if I could have found a way of making them cheap, I wouldn't have forked out the 20p each.

...and finally, never chuck a beaten up old kit. Do a repair, make a couple of bits, put it back in you order of battle...worst case scenario, make it a designer wreck. Recycle and renovate and your wargaming on the cheap can look just as good as the expensive stuff...honest.

Soon, soon the day will dawn...and about time...