Svenmarck Invaded: EWM 20mm Danish Infantry 1940

***** Svenmarck Invaded ****** Troops Mobilised ****** Border Crossed by Hostile Forces *****

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry versatile figure with rifle grenade option and spare Madsen LMG curved round – masking tape repair to the left hand rifle which I clumsily broke.

Over the last weekend or two I have been painting a strange mixture of metal 20mm figures in my collection, as varied as 1940s Boy Scouts and Girl Guides from Sergeants Mess, some more colourful 1910-20 Mexican Infantry from Jacklex and these Early War Miniatures 1940 Danish Infantry, along with their Dutch equivalent.

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry with rifles and grenades

One of the best films or programmes that I have seen in the last couple of years that isn’t weird sci-fi (Star Wars / Stranger Things / X-Files) is 9.April, the Danish film about the first few hours of Blitzkrieg as German forces cross the border of Denmark on 9 April 1940.

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry with rifles amid EWM scenic boxes and oil barrels

This tense drama focuses on the fate of a small handful of conflicting characters (including some usual war film stereotypes) in a platoon of bicycle mounted troops desperately to hold off the motorised columns of the German Army until reinforcements arrive.

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry with rifle and grenade

The film has that ‘against the odds’ feel of a western with an outnumbered and outgunned retreating outpost of troops with little chance of the cavalry arriving. The cinematography and its eerie soundtrack captures well the chaos and confusion of the short lived resistance.

Anyway, film club over …

I have posted about the 9.April film before in 2020:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/remembering-denmark-april-9th-1940/

EWM three man Madsen LMG and rifle team with EWM scenic boxes

Svenmarck? Gaming scenarios?

I don’t intend gaming the historical scenarios from Denmark or the Netherlands in 1940.

Instead I will be recreating those insteresting small scale infantry skirmishes in the forests, heaths and border villages of a small Scandinavian ImagiNations setting called Svenmarck. The kind of small country like Leichtenstein that you go through to reach somewhere else. Further north in Nordweg, it’s a bit more snowy forests with beautiful Fjords. It all exists somewhere on or in my ImagiNations map, probably near Tradgardland from Alan Gruber’s blog Duchy of Tradgardland.

No doubt an ImagiNations equivalent or renaming of Nazi Germany will be required, such as Großreich or GrosReich. All ethical issues about gaming the modern period swept aside, then …

***** Update ***** see blog comments below for brief outline of the political and military geography of Tradgardland and Svenmarck and surroundings *****

It was from Alan Gruber and also from Bob Cordery of Wargaming Miscellany that I first heard of this film. Alan has converted some 54mm figures with the help of Danish helmets from the late Les White. Alan’s conversions here show the mix of traditional old black, grey and newer khaki greatcoats in 1940 that Danish troops wore, many of the updated newer khaki uniforms still in store and unissued:

http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2020/04/finished-danish-conversions.html

Uniform References / Painting Guide

Preben Kannik, Military Uniforms of the World in Colour (Blandford)

*** EWM Dutch or Netherlands 1940 Infantry are next on the painting table. ***

Uniform notes from Kannik
Danish Infantry in black greatcoats, Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Uniforms of WW2

There is a useful painting guide for Great Escape Games 28mm WW2 Danish troops range and well painted examples of their figures – download the PDF painting guide at https://www.greatescapegames.co.uk/danish-infantry

This mentioned the useful research into the history and uniform of the Danish troops in WW2, thankfully published in English by Per Finsted, well illustrated with photos and almost paper soldier like illustrations from an old chakoten.de magazine. https://www.chakoten.dk/The%20Danish%20Army%20on%20April%209th,%201940_complete.pdf

EWM Danish 1940 figures – Madsen LMG group

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madsen_machine_gun

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9qbbr-_QdyY&feature=youtu.be

Mistakes were made …

Painting took longer than expected on these figures as I undercoated using a bulk craft acrylic Mars Black that dries shiny rather than matt, leading it to look in some awkward areas like unpainted shiny metal even after I thought I had first finished painting. This showed up in nooks and crannies in photos, after I had already once overcoated the black greatcoats with Revell Aquacolor Acrylic Teerschwarz / Matt Tar Black. A second overcoat of tar black and targeted infill was required.

Forstærkninger?

Unlike the bicycle troops of the 9.April film, there are forstærkninger or reinforcements on the way. More EWM troops from the Danish, Dutch, Norwegian (and Mexican!) range have been ordered from Paul Thompson at EWM for the Christmas cupboard including Tankette Tuesday material and bicycle troops!

Like Annie at Bad Squiddo’s little extras on postal orders, there’s sometimes the odd complimentary surprise item from EWM as a thank you for ordering, such as resin items (from the EWM scenics range?) like the oil barrels and boxes seen in the photographs. Peter Laing used to do this with his 15mm ranges, such as a new sample figure from a new period, in his rapid post returns.

Good customer service touch, tempting your customers with new ranges of shiny figures …

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 12 September 2021

B.P.S Blog Post Script

One of my blog readers left me a comment (thanks!) that others may also be interested in re. a free Memoir 44 scenario and hexmap for Denmark 1940 on Kaptain Kobold’s site Hordes of the Things site:

https://hordesofthethings.blogspot.com/p/free-stuff.html

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7jivXekpX0LOUtiZjdmekFTR0thd0tQcEFWWUFaQQ/view?resourcekey=0-q3kwDaC4R27pi4A_yiRb-g

Mystery 15mm-ish Figures?

A charming little horse, Chinese Pirates ? and for comparison a 15mm Peter Laing figure.

****** Mystery figures identified – or not? See below ******

I bought a cheap and strange little job lot on eBay for £5 of these indeterminate sized figures alongside some curious miniature guardsmen, probably from a Dolls House supplier.

I couldn’t judge size too well but I was curious to see if either would be an interesting match for my Peter Laing 15mm figures.

eBay image

They are most curious and a little stiff and crude. I’m not sure what they are designed to be. They have limited bright colours, a little pigtail at the back and mostly swords.

Are they pirates?

Are they Chinese or Boxer Rebellion type warriors?

Are they home casts?

In terms of size or scale, you can see an unpainted 15mm Peter Laing WW2 German infantryman for comparison.

Whatever they are – they should prove useful sailors or pirates or native troops in ImagiNations games, fiercely waving their swords and a few their strange spears.

**********************

If asked “If anyone recognises them as rough copies of commercial figures or as home casts, I would be interested to know?”

One of my ‘anonymous’ readers suggested an identity as Cellmate Miniatures Boxer Rebellion 15-20mm figures – Thanks!

“Your unknown Boxer miniatures were produced by Cellmate Miniatures.” produced by Tod P. Zechiel (see Blog Post Script below).

However Tod P. Zechiel himself contacted me today by email from the USAto say that they are not his figures – so the mystery continues.

Tod is now retired and so has time to be back in small production of Cellmate Miniatures Boxer Rebellion figures, selling painted and unpainted castings on eBay. His Tuan Boxer Rebellion rules are also still available as a free download.

So the “Mystery of the Chinese Pirates” – Where are the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew when you need them?

Whoever they are made by, I like them and I will probably finish their Warbases MDF 1p bases in a similar Earth Brown colour.

September 2021 – a new seaside purchase of a pirate ship arrives for them!

B.P.S – Blog Post Script

You can find out more about Tod P Zechiel’s Cellmate Miniatures on TMP here:

http://theminiaturespage.com/showcase/143590/

http://theminiaturespage.com/showcase/29765/

“”While trying not to sound apologetic,” Tod P Zechiel explains, “allow me to inform you of the nature of the miniatures. I am an amateur sculpturer, and the figures are gravity cast as opposed to centrifically cast. The figures are therefore of moderate quality. They tend to be thick and simple, with less detail than other manufacturer’s figures. They tend to have a more pronounced parting line or seam, and larger sprues. You need, as a minimum, a sharp exacto knife to remove the excess metal. A tapered, flat, needle file is even better. To reduce cost, the figures contain lead.” (TMP Info source above)

I can see where the suggested identification of these figures came from .

They were also accompanied by a spirited little metal horse or pony, along with the tiny red guardsmen which I will feature in another post.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 28 August 2021 / Updated 17 September 2021

Peter Laing WW1 15mm Figures

This month I have spotted online and bought several new units of OOP (out of production) Peter Laing 15mm figures from his WW1 range.

I am quite pleased to have spotted them on eBay as they were vaguely or wrongly listed as “Minifigs / Other 15mm”.

Bird watchers talk about recognising the different “jizz” of similar looking SBJs (Small Brown Job) birds. Certain figure manufacturers have a typical or distinctive look and Peter Laing is one of those.

Originals were carved by hand from thick plasticard in the 1970s and 1980s in the days before ‘green stuff’. Peter Laing figures also have certain slenderness, deliberate under-detailing and a limited number of familiar Laing poses – advancing, firing, walking Officer with pistol – that make them more easily recognised.

As these figures are just about to vanish into the Christmas present cupboard for the next four months, I thought I would share these pictures with you.

15mm WW1 German Infantry and Machine Guns by Peter Laing.

Peter Laing 15mm WW1 (700s) with early pickelhaube spiked helmet

F0712 German Infantry Marching

F0713 German Infantry Firing

F0714 German Officer Marching

F0715 German Machine Gun and Gunner

F0716 German Machine Gun Loader

Distinctive and familiar poses of Peter Laing figures.

As well as German infantry, there were French WW1 Infantry

F0720 French Chasseur D’Alpin advancing

F0709 French Officer Marching

Chausseurs d’Alpins with their distinctive walking sticks

There was an interesting suggestion from Ian Dury fellow Laing collector who runs the Peter Laing page on the MeWe community forum (which replaced the Google + Community Peter Laing page) that, with walking stick removed, these figures make excellent 19th century Carlist Infantry (obviously an oversight by Peter Laing?)

Red and blue early war “target practice” and the more sensible later grey blue French?

F0708 French Infantry Advancing

F0707 French Infantry Firing Officer Marching

The machine gunners are not by Laing. The horses and artillery team at the back are Laing figures. Laing horses are very distinctive, with a primitive pony look to them.

The light blue French gunners, infantry and officers could pass as Austrians at a pinch.

Ian Dury (in his comments below) identified the artillery riders for me as

M0704 French Hussar with Lance removed.

A0706 French Gunner kneeling.

A0707 French Gunner kneeling with shell.

A0708 French 75mm field gun

If I have misidentified any Laing figures, cavalry or guns Ian Dury and the Peter Laing MeWe collectors group will happily always put me right – find us on

https://mewe.com/join/peterlaingfigures

I have no great desire to run any WW1 historical game scenarios, instead I look at these troops as Bronte ImagiNations fodder for Ruritanian conflicts and border skirmishes.

Hopefully I might have painted some more of my WW1 Peter Laing unpainted figures to join these painted ones in time for the 50th Anniversary next autumn 2022 of the first Peter Laing figures being advertised and sold next October / November 1972, possibly the first ever 15mm gaming figures.

Roll on Christmas !

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 20 August 2021

WIP King’s Guard paint conversion of Vintage Airfix AWI British Grenadiers

The original few King’s Guard figures are based on unusual paint conversions of Airfix AWI British Grenadiers.

These were found as a handful of figures in a small hoard of random old Airfix figures from a local collectibles shop plastic bag over ten years ago.

This is how they arrived …

As they were when I emptied the random joblot bag … before paint retouching and rebasing. The officer is a conversion from an ACW officer.

The dozen or so original King’s Guard figures (both blue facings and a few green facings) needed bulking up in numbers to be any kind of effective unit on the gaming tabletop for a skirmish game.

Bottom left, a useful handful of British Grenadiers from Alan. The French Artillery are now painted up https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/13/wades-toy-soldier-artillery-from-vintage-airfix-ooho-french-artillery-imaginations/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/imaginations-vintage-airfix-figures-1-black-and-gold-washingtons-army-tricorne-troops/

Fortunately, some Airfix ‘turncoats and mercenaries’ arrived from Alan at the Duchy of Tradgardland blog as Army surplus to current Tradgardland projects.

These Grenadier figures from Alan have been painted up to join or blend in with the battered original paint scheme.

Underneath on the Warbases penny MDF bases, I have inscribed with Steadtler fine liner CD/DVD permanent marker pens their origin and individual number.

DofT means Duchy of Tradgardland origin, along with other ‘bag originals’ marked as DH for another origin or KG (for King’s Guard).

Placeholder simple red flag for the King’s Guard, as red as those striking britches!

Reversed colour facings for the drummer.

The original handwritten biro markings beneath their original bases.

Inscribing ID numbers and origin initials on the bases means that I can

  • keep track of how many Airfix figures I have,
  • which are my original childhood ones
  • who or where the kind gifting of figures came from.

It also fits in well with Featherstone’s personalised wargaming chapter of his Solo Wargaming.

I have kept the paintwork on any ‘new’ figures or any refreshed paint style very simple to match the original figures. No washes, no outlining straps and cross belts, and also no varnish (yet).

These early 1971 Airfix AWI figures have a surprising amount of detail to choose to paint or not to paint such as pigtails, powder horns, straps, turn backs, facings and buttons. Plastic Soldier Review are not so impressed by these vintage 1971 figures: http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=43

I wonder if one day the original painter of these “King’s Guard” figures will spot these figures online and recognise their handwriting and their handiwork?

Future vintage Airfix plans

There are several more colourful but undermanned ImagiNations units from the original plastic bag hoard who need reinforcements –

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/05/20/imaginations-obes-and-vintage-airfix-scrapings-from-someone-elses-toy-box/

Recently Ian M. Dury my fellow Peter Laing collector posted the remains of a surplus box each of Airfix British Grenadiers and Washington’s Army to add to the colourful Rainbow ImagiNations figures. Thanks Ian. Ironically they will probably delay some Peter Laing figures on their journey across the painting table.

Welcome AWI Airfix surplus to join my ImagiNations recruits, a gift from Ian Dury …

Naturally these are now marked up on the bases as ID, ready for future painting, along with a handful from Tony Adams (TA) and about half a box from former colleague Ken (KA) of Washington’s Army figures.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/vintage-airfix-tin-hoard/

Washington’s Army from the early 1970s still on the sprue from my former colleague Ken. Thanks Ken.

I wonder – If Airfix rereleased them, would I buy many more? Do I have enough already for my small skirmish forces?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 5 July 2021

Wade’s Toy Soldier Artillery from vintage Airfix OOHO French Artillery ImagiNations

Inspiration for ImagiNations units comes from very odd and whimsical sources such as this slightly Sergeant Pepper ceramic toy soldier by Wade, glimpsed recently on Etsy.

Great moustache!

My starting materials would be these vintage Airfix French Napoleonics:

Napoleonic French Artillery (centre) posted for future service by the Duchy of Tradgardland

These were a gift of some battered Airfix OOHO French Napoleonic Artillery and other figures from Alan Gruber (The Duchy of Tradgardland blog).

Having no intention of starting proper historical Napoleonic gaming, this gave me leave to experiment with colour and ImagiNations using these familiar vintage figures.

I searched and found some side and back views as well again from Etsy:

Although not exactly the same, the Wade figure having a longer tail coat and no gaiters, it gave me an idea of how to develop these spare random Artillery figures and a future use for any stray French shako troops that I might find whilst sorting.

The first attempt painting involved a multi racial unit but somehow the ones painted with darker skin tones worked better (Revell Aquacolor Acrylic Dark Earth colour).

An attempt at a flag colour. Blue sky, sandy beach?

One of my family said they thought the figures had a Caribbean look to the bright uniforms.

Equally they might suit the Bronte ImagiNations islands Gaaldine and Gondal set in the South or North Pacific.

Borrowed a couple of Esci French Napoleonic Artillery pieces that I painted in the 1980s

And on a less beach background, this is how the figures look.

I have painted a few Airfix Waterloo Napoleonic French Infantry (including some chewed up or melted ones) from the same gift to join with firelock troops from the Napoleonic Artillery set.

A colourful ImagiNations unit to play with.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN June 2021

Washington’s Army vintage Airfix OOHO paint conversions

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog –

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/imaginations-vintage-airfix-figures-1-black-and-gold-washingtons-army-tricorne-troops/

Strikingly colourful yellow and black paint conversions of the classic Airfix OOHO AWI Washington’s Army figures.

Such perfect figures for ImagiNations games. Enjoy!

More pictures at: https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/imaginations-vintage-airfix-figures-1-black-and-gold-washingtons-army-tricorne-troops/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 4 / 5 June 2021

Turncoats and Mercenaries?

Updated July 2021 with Figure paint conversion pictures

A small colourful consignment of turncoats and mercenary troops, previously serving with the Duchy of Tradgardland, have been posted to new service here with various ImagiNations.

These familiar and classic Airfix OOHO figures from the 1970s will be perfect to bulk up the small numbers of the various colourful and random RainBow ImagiNations units featured on my Pound Store Plastic Warrior blog last week:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/05/20/imaginations-obes-and-vintage-airfix-scrapings-from-someone-elses-toy-box/

In red on the left, you can see a handful of Airfix AWI British Grenadiers and Washington’s Army figures.

July 2021 Update: the Tricornes have now become black and gold

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/imaginations-vintage-airfix-figures-1-black-and-gold-washingtons-army-tricorne-troops/

July 2021 update: The Grenadiers have become reinforcements for the Kings Guard

In the centre, mostly French Napoleonic Artillery figures, gun and limber pieces and a medley of other figures.

July 2021 Update: the French Artillery have become blue and gold

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/13/wades-toy-soldier-artillery-from-vintage-airfix-ooho-french-artillery-imaginations/

I like the French Artillery firelock figures at the bottom centre with musket perched casually over the shoulder whilst marching or shuffling along.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/13/wades-toy-soldier-artillery-from-vintage-airfix-ooho-french-artillery-imaginations/

On the right, French Napoleonic Imperial Guard.

There was also half a dozen Airfix horses and bases (not shown).

They are all such useful generic shako, bearskin and Tricorne figures for “Horse and Musket” era ImagiNations.

As you can imagine, I will probably not be painting or using them as they were intended. Some of the later shako figures may do well with the post Napoleonic Mid 19th century Bronte family ImagiNations of Gondal, Glasstown and Angria.

I will mount gun crews and skirmish infantry as individually based figures.

Thanks to Alan Gruber of the Duchy of Tradgardland for this kind gesture. The finished figures will feature on this blog in time.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 27 May 2021,

updated 5 July 2021 with phinished phigure photographs.

ImagiNations, OBEs and vintage Airfix scrapings from someone else’s toy box?

In the Pink! Just one group from an oddly coloured haul of vintage Airfix tricornes figures from a mixed bag from a seaside shop. Airfix OOHO Washington’s Army, AWI Britain Grenadiers redcoats and others, painted with great colourful abandon. Redcoats, Pink Coats, Purple Coats …

ImagiNations? Add in a bit of colourful window shopping on Etsy …

See them all at https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/05/20/imaginations-obes-and-vintage-airfix-scrapings-from-someone-elses-toy-box/

Blog cross-posted on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog by Mark Man of TIN, 20 May 2021.

Flats 30mm Battle for the Mountain Fort

Brave Alpinieri raid the Mountain Fort and Railway – Bruschia Attacked!

My latest quick 30mm flat skirmish was played out on a rocky terrain of Heroscape hexes and a ‘paint and make’ your own push out wooden 3D castle set. A railway line was quickly added and train in a tin locomotive and wagons.

Solo game played using 30mm flats and simple skirmish rules (details from previous posts).

Early morning light … The Bruschian forces in the Mountain Fort are attacked by their rival neighbours the Alpinieri, crack Mountain troops.

The Alpinieri, headed by Capitano Alberto Bertorelli, aim to disrupt the train line, destroy supplies and possibly take and hold the Fort.

2d6 were thrown to work out when the Mountain Train will arrive with the fur-hatted Bruschian reinforcements to change the guard – it will arrive in turn 12.

Birds eye view of the portable game board and gathered Forces

The blue white and red Bruschian flag flies over the Mountain Fort

Bruschian sentries patrol the station halt and battlements of the Fort – another quiet early morning?

Turn 1 – d6 thrown for deciding which compass point the Alpinieri raiding party would enters by – they emerge NW at the back of the Bruschian Fort.
Spotted quickly by sentries, the alarm is raised just before that Bruschian infantryman is shot and plunges from the battlements.

The first Alpinieri casualty shot down by Bruschians in the Fort

Some Alpinieri carrying boarding ladders sneaking round the back to attack the gun emplacement.

Explosive satchel charge swung into place to blow the drawbridge down.

A Bruschian artillery shell hit the gathered Alpinieri troops around the drawbridge, knocking out three troops including Capitano Alberto Bertorelli.

More Alpinieri rush into the castle in a final attempt to capture it. There is fighting in the courtyard, as Bruschians fire down from the battlements at Alpinieri troops inside the courtyard.

They hear the morning train in the distance.

A blockade of boxes, ladders, barrels and carts has been made across the railway track by several Alpinieri. One of the Alpinieri takes aim at the train from the station halt windows.

Turn 12 – the train arrives!

D6 Dice thrown to see if the train will brake in time or be derailed. It smashes into the barricade and derails into the station building, flattening the Alpinieri rifleman inside.

Dice thrown for each of the Bruschian reinforcements inside the train carriage and caboose. Only two are killed, the other eight and their officer survive unharmed.

Bruschian reinforcements stagger from the train wreck and head for the Fort.

The Bruschian officer calls to the Bruschian reinforcements down below – they head towards the Fort.

The last Alpinieri before his leap down the rocks to escape, only to be swiftly shot down.

The Alpinieri may have perished to a man but they achieved their mission – they damaged the railway system and the took out most of the Fort garrison.

The Figures

WW1 troops 30mm Flats bought at random on EBay about 5 to 10 years ago. They were already painted but needed a little paintwork touching up in places.