Monday, July 27, 2015

Eastern Front in 1/72 Part IV

Part IV of Eastern Front in 1/72 features the dreaded 88mm dual-purpose gun.

In the game the 88mm gun proved to be a decisive factor in stopping the Russian tank assault in their efforts to retake the Ukranian village.

View #1 Airfix 1/72 88mm Gun
View #3 Airfix 1/72 88mm Gun
Top View Airfix 88mm Gun
Distance view Airfix 1/72 88mm Gun on left flank

The rules are homegrown but had their origins with a set of WW2 rules written to the 1960s titled Angriff.

The 88mm gun in the pictures is an Airfix model and from the work of MS. (contributor to the this blog)

Zimmerman & Myers' Angriff!


Everything in this series of posts is from an actual game and not posed.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

WW1 Russian Artillery

This series of pictures features my Russian Divisional Artillery for our games.

The rules we use for our WW1 games are derived from MEM44 developed by Richard Borg and available through Days of Wonder.

Mr. Borg gave permission to Gregory Privat to develop a variant titled MEM14. The adaptation was unofficial and was available for free on the INET. It is no longer available as far as I know.

I've taken Mr. Privat's work and further modified the rules and unit sizes for game play on a 16' by 5' war game table. Stay tuned for pictures of our WW1 Eastern Front games this fall.

The guns and most of the figures are HAT. The two exceptions being the standard bearer and officer with binoculars which are from the Zveda WW1 Russian Infantry set.

The guns are Putilov 1900\02 76mm first used in the Russian-Japanese War. The gun was still in service in WW2.

The Russians had less artillery attached to their divisions than the Germans in 1914. They also suffered from a chronic lack of supply. Never-the-less the Putilov was an excellent field piece.

"76 mm m1902 suomenlinna helsinki 1" by Balcer - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons -

Eastern Front in 1/72 Part III

Eastern Front in 1/72nd Part III features the majority of the Russian armor involved in the game.

The scenario was early war so the majority of tanks were BT-7s on the Russian side.

The BT-7 was the main battle tank of the Soviet Army and 2,000 were lost in the first 12 months of the war.

It was nasty surprise for the Germans when they encountered the T-34 and KV-1s for the first time.

 The Germans were totally unaware of these two tanks. The Red Army had 1,000 T-34s and 500 KV tanks at the start of Barbarossa. The standard German 37mm ATG was ineffective against either tank.

In this particular game the Russians were counter attacking a Ukranian village and had to face the dreaded 88mm dual purpose gun.

The pictures are from an actual game in progress and not posed.

Trumpeter Models KV-1 Heavy Tank
BT-7 Pegasus Models
BT-7s advancing into ATG fire!
BT-7s Pegasus Models

Eastern Front in 1/72nd Part II

The game mentioned in the post titled Eastern Front 1/72nd Part I featured a number of infantry units although I only have pictures of some of the Russians.

The figures pictured are all from the collection of JZ. The game was played on MS's finely crafted wargame table and the pictures are from the actual game and not posed.

Cossack Cavalry from Revell

Russian infantry take cover. The figures are from the ESCI Battle of Kursk set and are hard plastic.

Barely visible Russian infantry while a BA-32 Armored car passes them by,

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Eastern Front in 1/72 #1

Eastern Front in 1/72nd will feature a series of pictures from a wargame played out in January, 2015.

The scenario was early war-1941 and the rules used were homegrown.

The pictures below feature the work of contributor MS.

A StugIIIb makes it way down the street of a Ukrainian village.

The model is an out of the box build from Trumpeter Models minus one antenna rack.

Front view of the StugIIIb workhorse of the German Army

Nice top shot of the StugIIIb. Accessories added to the deck including the aerial recognition flag.

The model was brush painted with Vallejo paints.

Monday, July 20, 2015

2nd Day Gettysburg in 6mm

The pictures are from an actual recent 6mm ACW game. Figures, game board and terrain for the game was provided by contributor JZ. The rules used were On to Richmond (mod).

The game reflected the second day's fighting at Gettysburg as Longstreet attempted to turn the Union left.  

The pictures were taken from an iPad Air2 and I was surprised they turned out so well given the scale. My only regret is that I didn't take more. It would have been an interesting battle report to have turn by turn pictures of what went on in this fast moving game.

This shot is of the the Confederate left flank-McLaw's three Brigade Division and a battalion of smoothbore artillery. The Union was on the defensive but the Union player elected to attack in order to prevent McLaw's from supporting Hood's Division on the Confederate right. In this picture the bulk of McLaw's Division has pivoted to meet the Union attack. The Union attack failed badly and McLaw's Division counter attacked eventually sweeping the Union right flank. McLaw's boys also took the large Union artillery deployment just above the orchard. The Union artillery was deployed to enfilade any Confederate attack across the open ground on the other side of the fence line.

Hood's four Brigade Division plus a battalion of smoothbore artillery on the Confederate right. Hood had orders to turn the Union left. Robertson's Texas Brigade on the far left was the pivot while two other brigades advanced through the woods and into the Devils Den. The Devil's Den had been swept by Confederate artillery but the Union infantry on the other side put up a good resistance for most of the game. Hood's flanking brigade column (not quite in the picture on the right) was held up by a Union brigade supported by Berdan's Sharpshooters until the end of the game as well.

The game went to the Confederates who managed an unintentional double envelopment of the Union position due to the early disastrous Union attack upon McLaw's. The On to Richmond rules (modified) worked very well and the game was concluded in under three hours.

I was experimenting with the iPad camera and got caught up in the game and thus only two pictures were taken. The game was played out on portable game board suitable for 6mm. The overall effect was that of having a birds-eye view of the battle.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Union Dismounted Cavalry by IMEX

Dismounted Union Cavalry. Figures by IMEX. The unique feature of the figures is the fact they are carrying Colt pistols with a stock as opposed to the more usual carbines. The bugler is an interesting figure as well. He wears the braided jacket of a Hussar. The lack of a guidon figure is my only criticism of the dismounted figures within the Imex Union Cavalry set.

Union Dismt Cav with Colt pistols with stocks.

Entry from the collection of BRR.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Introducing the Last Man Club Blog

The Last Man Club blog is about historical war gaming and painting miniatures-primarily, but not limited to 1/72nd plastics. The name of the blog implies there are few of us left who use the old scale (HO) and are dedicated to plastic figures. This is in no way a knock to the producers of the excellent 28mm plastic figures. We're simply nostalgic and wonder where you guys were in the 70s :-) when metal was becoming king!

So the blog is a return to our war gaming roots and the late 1960s early 70s when we first began to paint Airfix HO figures.

Airfix is just about all we had and WW2 was the primary period of interest. Tank models in 1/72 scale were not used and we supplemented our Airfix infantry with 1/87 Roco Minitanks. At the time there was about 1/2 dozen of us teenagers playing out WW2 games with crude rules on a massive sand table that one of our group provided.

The first serious attempt to war game with Airfix figures outside of WW2 came in the wake of the release of the movie Waterloo in 1970 or 1971.

At that time Airfix had released three sets of figures for the Waterloo period. You could get Highland infantry and French cavalry and artillery. Everything else had to be converted from those or other Airfix sets. Other Waterloo type sets would follow in the 1970s and we have a number of them. Watch this space for painted examples of these classic war game figures!

It wasn't long before we discovered metal figures for the Napoleonic period. Our first purchases were from Der Kriegspielers who made a complete range of Napoleonic figures. It was then we learned of a much larger war gamer community and the plastic figures started to be regulated to secondary status.

The 70s and 80s were the years of expansion into many periods. Plastic miniatures became increasingly obsolete as the metal manufacturers like Minifigs, Hinchcliffe and Garrison flooded the market with excellent figures in the periods of history we were interested in.

By the mid-eighties one friend and I had thousands of metal wargame figures in many periods.

By the early 90s I had dropped out of war gaming and  eventually lost contact with the members of the old group.

A chance meeting in 2014 changed all that as I reconnected with the man who had been my primary war gaming friend in the 70s and 80s. He had never quit and over the years had built up an impressive inventory of painted 1\72 plastic figures.

The irony was that back in the 90s as I was fading out I had met with my friend and remarked how I wished we had gotten back to simpler times and "just used plastic figures" for wargaming and for a Waterloo idea project in particular.

By the 90s a good number of manufactures were making excellent plastic war game figures and frankly I was a bit nostalgic for them. My friend became the plastic figure king and when we reconnected I too became interested in 1/72nd plastics as my main interests.

The Waterloo Project as we call it that was hatched way back then will become a reality as he and I are partnering to produce Waterloo using plastic 1/72 figures. The scale will be the brigade and will feature all the important features of this great battle. Watch this space for our progress.

Although the blog has a particular interest in 1/72 plastic war gaming figures I do plan to blog our other interests that will include 20mm metal figures, 25mm metal figures from our archives, 6mm gaming figures, WW2 armor in 1/72nd scale, Roco Minitanks and anything else of interest to our small group.

So, that's it. After a long absence from the hobby I seek to post our interests and hope our readers enjoy the blog.

Contributors will be identified by initials.


It's a great hobby!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Austrian Ulans, 1914

20mm Austrian Ulans from IT Miniatures in Great Britain. 

The lances are dull needles from the local craft store.

My goal is to produce an Austrian war game army in 1/72nd plastic. Cavalry is non-existent so I had to hunt for metal. ITS and Irregular Miniatures in England both have extensive ranges of WW1 figures.

HAT makes plastic Austrian infantry in 1/72 but they are "skinny" in my opinion and not up the standards of the Austrian Heavy Weapons set or the Austrian Artillery crew set nor their excellent gun models.

Strelets makes an excellent set of plastic 1/72nd Austrian Infantry but are hard to get in the U.S. I found mine on eBay from a Chinese vendor who provided excellent service. 

Pictures will follow as I work on this army.

Entry from the collection of BRR

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

WW1 German Dragoons and some Prisoners

About a year ago I reentered the war gaming and painting hobby after being out of it for more than 20 years.

The impetus to re-enter the field was a chance meeting between my son and my old war game pal from our High Schools days through the 1980s. Through him I re-established contact with another war game pal who I've known even longer.

The two of them were still gaming and it wasn't long before I decided to join them.

My primary scale of choice is 20-22mm and plastic figures are favored. The plastic figures take us back to our early days of war gaming in the 1960s when Airfix figures was just about all we could get.

The first period I jumped into was WW1. I had been reading about the Eastern Front and discovering that a number of manufacturers made figures for the period in plastic encouraged me to decide on painting some up.

The pictures below are some of my first efforts. Entry from the collection of BRR.

German Dragoons 1914
Figures by Strelets
Vignette with Airfix German prisoners being escorted by HAT Russians, 1914