Thursday, 22 June 2017

1/4 Norfolk Regiment (TF) 1917 1

Here are the first six of ten figures that will form 1/4 Norfolk Regiment (TF) as part of 163 Brigade alongside the Isle of Wight Rifles. Like the Hampshires they are kitted out in smoke hoods ready for their assault on Tank Redoubt at the Second Battle of Gaza. These are six of the latest releases from Mutton Chop's WW1 range. Oddly titled as "BEF Trench Raiders 1916", Paul Hicks sculpted these chaps to represent Tommies at Loos, 1915.

These chaps are painted up in "Sports Jacket and Flannels", a mix of khaki drill tunic and khaki serge trousers. A real pleasure to paint.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Wilhelm Wassmuss foments trouble in the Persian Gulf.

Thanks to Steve Langan for images of a recently completed commission. Steve wanted an Imperial German expeditionary force based upon the exploits of Wilhelm Wassmuss "the German Lawrence", as he attempted to create trouble for the British Empire in Persia between 1916 and 1918.


Friday, 2 June 2017

Mark IX "Pig" Supply/Infantry Carrier, 1918. A Riveting Return.

Over eighteen months ago I played about with some 1/72 scale plans of a Mark IX Infantry Carrier. I resized them to approximately 1/56 and built a couple of models from card. I made a third model, upon which I began to stick HUNDREDS of caviar beads to act as rivets. This gave the model "weight". Sticking on those tiny beads was such a buttock-clenching job that I put the model aside to complete at a later date. I then promptly forgot all about it. Until, that is, last weekend when Steve Langan (the man with the original idea for a model of a Mark IX in this scale) posted some images of a game where one of these first two models took to the table. That sparked the memory. Under a pile of decapitated heads from hundreds of headswaps, old empty paint pots, chocolate bar wrappers and empty pizza boxes I found "The Pig". I discovered a much more efficient way of applying these rivets by licking the end of a old brush. The brush then picks up one bead at a time which can be placed upon the model with some accuracy. So, here is the third "Pig". Better late than never.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

WW1 German Hussars

A couple of years ago I panted up a unit of Perry plastic Hussars. After that I said "Never again. No more Hussars. Ever." I have broken my word, but these two chaps are a bit different to their Napoleonic forebears. This was a chance to try out my new "feldgrau" recipe on the tunics ahead of having a pop at the new Mutton Chop German Jaeger sometime this summer.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Isle of White Rifles 2.

Here are the last five figures to complete the 1/8 Hampshire Regiment (Isle of Wight Rifles) (TF), 163 Bde., Palestine, 1917. There are a couple of Woodbine Design and three Footsore Miniatures figures in this group. All have been given a khaki drill paint scheme to go with the sinister looking smoke hoods.

 Here is an image of the whole unit of ten.

Next in this project, 1/4 Norfolk Regiment (TF).

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Another Holt and a big tracked trailer

I had a First Corps Holt tractor in the "might be useful" pile. The same pile also had the two steering mechanisms from the 1/56 JTFM Mark I tanks pictured earlier. They were surplus to requirements. I built the Holt, found a couple of likely lads from the lead pile and cut a couple of bits off the steering gear and presto... a towing limber for a big gun.
Then I remembered this image:

And this from the IWM online photographic collection:

It was what they were pulling that interested me. Big tracked trailers. So I had a go.

Brigade Games Imperial German Schutztruppen 3.

Four figures from Brigade Games to join the Pulp Figures and complete this unit of twelve. Also a photo of the whole completed unit.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Pulp Figures Imperial German Schutztruppen 2.

Next time a few Schutztruppen from Brigade Games to complete this unit and some maxims from Pulp Figures.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Austrian Mountain Howitzer.

Austria provided two batteries of heavy mountain howitzers to support the Ottoman effort in Sinai and Palestine. They were equipped with the Skoda 10cm Schwerer Gebirgshaubitze M1916 but no one makes one of those so to stand in here are some Austrian gunners (as seen before) manning a Brigade Games 7.5cm Skoda Gebirgshaubitze M1915. The trail deliberately broke into two pieces.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Landships for Palestine.

These are the 1/56 Mk I Tanks from JTFM Enterprises in Canada. They have had a minor alteration to make them look like the eight Mk1 tanks that were sent to Palestine in 1917. They were sent by error. The original plan was to send Mk IVs but eight Mk I tanks from the training establishment at Thetford, Norfolk, were dispatched instead. By the time the error had been discovered the tanks were already stowed in the bottom of the holds of cargo vessels bound for Egypt. They were covered with tons of supplies and other material. Rather than unpack the Mk Is and risk delays finding Mk IVs, these "old" tanks set off on the voyage. They arrived with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force still covered in Thetford mud.

Both H.M.L.S. Nutty and H.M.L.S.Otazel took part in the Second Battle of Gaza, April 1917. Six Mk Is fought in that battle.

H.M.L.S Nutty supported 163 Brigade on their attack on "Tank Redoubt". Nutty was a  Mk I ‘Female’ tank under the command of 2nd Lt Frank Carr which held a crew of 7. 

Private 3247 Joseph Emms of ‘B’ Coy from the 1/5th Norfolks described Nutty’s advance;

‘We suddenly heard a tremendous rattling noise coming from behind and keeping my head as low as possible I chanced a look behind and saw a tank coming at full speed not a hundred yards behind and firing all her guns which was a fine sight to see.’

As soon as the Turks saw the tank, every gun they had fired upon it causing high numbers of casualties among the Norfolks following in its wake.

Nutty reached the redoubt. It was hit and burst into flames. Five of the crew, all wounded, appear to have managed to get out. They were captured. Lt Carr died of his wounds some days later.

H.M.L.S. Nutty prior to the Second Battle of Gaza.

The view towards Tank Redoubt from 163 Brigade's position.

The wreck of a Mk I female tank at Gaza with turkish troops in the foreground. I have seen this image labeled as the wreck of H.M.L.S Nutty.

A good description of the fight at Second Gaza can be found here.

The Imperial War Museum has a piece of footage showing both H.M.L.S. Otazel and "H.M.L.S. Nut" (this has to be Nutty) training prior to Second Gaza. It can be seen here.

The Mark I "Male" tank H.M.L.S Otazel was ditched in a wadi at Second Gaza. It was dug out and recovered. Below is an image of Otazel on a beach somewhere with the right track peeled up. Perhaps undergoing some sort of maintenance.

After Third Gaza, the Mk Is seem to have been relegated to a supply and transport role. Here is Otazel with her sponsons and guns removed. The extra ventilation must have been very welcome to the crew. The hole in her armour is perhaps battle damage and I believe the photograph below is a close up of that same damage.