Monday 15 October 2012

Old school World War Two

Back in the 1960s my friends and I, like so many others, were inspired by Don Featherstone's "War Games" and his Airfix figures and scratch built tanks fighting across a sand table. We scraped together our pocket money and bought those boxes of soldiers and plastic kits. In 1968 we had grand plans to do Operation  Barbarossa, and particularly Stalingrad. For early war Germans you could only get a model of a StuG III in those days, and the more adept club members converted them to Panzer IIIs with scratch built turrets or Panzer IVs, not only with the turrets but also extra hull length to accommodate two extra sets of wheels. We never got anywhere near Stalingrad but had great fun and some grand tank battles along the way.

When the teenage and early twenty somethings went their separate ways the collections fragmented but some stayed in Cheltenham and saw good service in later years.  I repaired and repainted many in the mid 1990s, inspired by the "Rapid Fire!" rules, doing Greece, Crete and fictitious Mediterranean island landings. A few years later the lure of more high powered weaponry took hold and I invested time and money augmenting the collection to do something on the Allied invasion of Sicily, paratroopers at Arnhem, and a series of games on D-day and just beyond. I only ever returned to the Russian Front for a brief tour of duty - and this time with 2 mm armies. Hardly old school! But "Rapid Fire" unashamedly seems to be old Featherstone style and it introduced me to more modern ranges of figures and tanks and the realisation that, if you can afford it, you don't have to convert anything any more - just buy it complete!

Here are some photos of one of my games in 2010 of the German Panzer counter-attack on D-Day (this was when I had a sand table too)

Now life moves on and it's finally time to leave the Chateau de Grandchamp for pastures new, and the Duchess, quite reasonably, thinks it's time to thin out the old toy soldier collection. So hello EBay!  I've had some fun already and sold off my metal WW2 infantry, I've sold the stuff specifically designed for D-Day and now I've put up for auction many lots of German tanks and armoured support  - enough for a Rapid Fire Panzer Regiment and some of the fire support for the Division.
Here's a view of it all:

Most of them are painted in late war desert yellow mottled with green and dark red-brown, but some still retain the early Panzer grey - such as these vintage conversions at this EBay link
Panzer III tanks
There are 13 lots in all, including some less obvious  models like self propelled Anti-Aircraft armour and a Panzer III repair/recovery tank, just go to Ebay and search on "World War Two German Armour",  seller is 7073chrisg.

In weeks to come I'll be putting up for sale the German personnel vehicles and towed artillery and all the Allied armour, vehicles and artillery. Later there will be lots of plastic British and German infantry from those early war theatres and I'll put a posting on this blog when they are ready. If, like me, you like to do your wargaming on the cheap then please take a look as them as starting prices are very reasonable and the quality is quite nice.

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