Thursday, November 30, 2023

Egyptian T-122 SPG - Blackdog 1/72 kit review


 Egyptian T122mm SPG

Another purchase being assembled for the Analogue Hobbies Winter Challenge. While picking up a few bits from my Favourite French hobby supplier during the Black Friday deals I picked up the 1/72 Blackdog conversion set for the Egyptian T34/122 self propelled howitzer, it may of been used during the 6 day war, but did serve during the Yom Kippur War. 

This beast was based on a T34 chassis, in the majority T34/85 had T54 road wheels added also. Two batterys of T122 of 18 guns each did see action in the Yom Kippur. I do note that Syria also done a similar modification of the old T34 chassis. 

The Blackdog kit has the turret, gun and wheels, barrel, baffles, and barrel rest, and finally two boxes. Really nicely cast, although some fine bits that will get damaged from wargaming (the equipment rings on the rear for example). Overall though quite easy to remove from the resin sprue, quite a bit of cleanup on the wheels though to clean out the holes and shape the pear, with two of mine have bad deformity flash from mold wear I suspect and I was supplied one incorrect wheel, although it could be easily modified. With a bit of patience everything cleaned up well and assembly was straight forward. The barrel baffles also need some flash clean up, but not too bad, be careful with the barrel alignment and the baffle assembly to ensure it is square.

T122 Egyptian kit

 The kit recommends the dragon T34/85 or the Italeri. I did note that some people have used the zvesda kit also. My kit was a Italeri and upon dry fitting I needed to sand more off the bottom of the rear of the turret to get it to fit correctly. I also removed my front guards as per the surviving example in Israel. 

Overall a great addition for anyone wanting to do something different or wanting like me to add it to your Egyptian army for 67 or 73 wars. 

Overall a simple addition armour build, scoring a nine out of ten. 

Plan to get some paint on it soon, when I do my next batch of Egyptians. 


Sunday, November 26, 2023

Volvo C303 Pansarvärnspjästerrängbil - Gecko Heavy Industries kit review


Volvo C303 Pansarvärnspjästerrängbil

As I start preparing for the Analogue painting challenge I have been focusing on building kits for our “Whisky on the Rocks” Cold War Wargames Holiday from the 3rd to the 7th of May 2024. My Swedes need quite a bit of anti armour to deal with the Soviet VDV division that will oppose them. The 

Volvo C303 Pansarvärnspjästerrängbil 1/72 Gecko Resin kit

Another kit review of Gecko Heavy Industries 1/76th scale resin kit. The Volvo C303 Pansarvärnspjästerrängbil 90mm recoiless anti tank gun. The only model of this kit that I am aware of for 20mm wargaming, I needed to purchase this for my Swedes for our Cold War event “Whisky on the Rocks” at French Wargame Holidays from 3rd to 7th May 2024. 

The kit is resin with four options for the build, a complete clear resin cabin with stowed gun,  a half cabin with stowed gun, a windscreen with roll cage mounted or a firing version with folded down screen and roll frame. 
The resin spruces were simple to remove, do take care though with assembly as the instructions are not that clear, and you will require a few images from the web to fully assemble it correctly, particularly the gun mount. The roll cage will need some work if you are to get close to an actual vehicle, so I opted to fold mine down in the firing version. The clear parts are not that great and I think I will scratch a new windscreen(which will be folded down anyway…. The front seats were also incorrect from what I could see, so I trimmed the kit pieces to suit. Overall a 8.5 out of 10. 

The kit was €22 from panzerfux and worth the price I think as it is such a rare beast. Looking forward to getting some paint on it and I will possibly convert some S&S miniatures Swedish crew. 

Volvo C303 Pansarvärnspjästerrängbil Layed out


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Volvo c303 Tbg11 - Gecko Kit Review


 Volvo c303 Tbg11 - Gecko Kit Review 

Gecko Heavy Industries Volvo C303 TGB11

I purchased this beast earlier in the year when I started formulating a plan to conduct a Cold War wargaming event at French Wargame Holidays, this lead to our “Whisky on the Rocks” event being organized for May 3-7th 2024. 

This also means I need to build some Swedish Army vehicles for my Cold War Collection. Soft skins are a bit of a challenge, particularly the Volvo series of vehicles. So whilst perusing the web I stumbled upon the Gecko offering and duly purchased it along with a few other Swedish specific pieces. 

On first glance the kit is well mauled in soft grey resin with two parts in clear resin. Removal from the sprue was done with ease for the grey parts however the clear was a tough job and I had to use my saw blade to remove the sprue from the main body. 

Assembly required hot water to straighten some pieces, the frame and suspension required quite a bit of work to straighten before I glued the frame. The clear resin is very disappointing and I cannot in anyway say that it is satisfactory, I think I shall paint the entire vehicle then add glass effect rather than mask it up and hope that it is translucent. 

Positives the kit looks like the vehicle but lacks fine detail for such a pricey kit €22 from Panzerfux. The instructions are basic with no images, but simple enough to work out. The solid resin body was problematic fitting and cutting, taking more than an hour of clean up. I do note that this was Gecko Industries earliest model and the later kits have separate clear parts. 

Overall a 7 out of ten kit. I plan to get some paint on it next week. 

The kit removed from sprue, note the alignment on the chassis 

Note the huge sprue knob on the clear cast resin 

Piece removed, then wet and dry to smooth to level, a good hour of work 


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Praga 53/59/70 30mm AA 1/72 review

Praga 53/59/70 30mm AA Lizard

History Praga 53/59

The Praga M53/59 was developed post ww2 and entered service in 1959, mounted on a armoured cabin, the cabin armour was quite thin 10mm on the front and 6mm on the sides making it small arms fire proof only. The vehicle was the Czech V3S 6 wheel drive truck chassis. The chassis, engine and electronic components were upgraded and improved in 1970, these vehicles became the M53/70. Further electronic additions were added in the eighties so electronic air tracking was available via connection to a battery command vehicle using the M85 Zirafa radar allowing it to remain in service for some time in the Czechoslovakian army until 2003. A large number of both models were exported during the Cold War and quite a number still remain in a number of armies today.

The 30mm cannon was originally designed by Bruno for the kreigsmarine during ww2 as a submarine anti aircraft design. The Czechoslovak designation was the 30mm PLDvk viz.53. The top mounted magazines for the gun held 50 rounds, however weighed a hefty 85 kilos when fully loaded. The guns had a practicable rate of fire of 150-200 rounds per minute, AA effective range was 3500m and on ground targets 2000m. The gunner had optical sights only and manual trigger and hydraulic assisted traverse and elevation, until the 1980s when the upgraded system appeared for targeting. The twin guns could also be dis-mounted from the chassis into a fixed ground position. The vehicle had a crew of five, Commander, driver, two loaders and a gunner, and normally operated in a division of 6 vehicles, plus a command vehicle for the battery of two divisions.

The Praga had the nickname the lizard due to its code name during its development and was widely used in the ground role during the Yom Kippur war and the Yugoslavian wars, where Praga became the nickname for all anti aircraft SP cannons.

Review NB models Praga 53/59

A superb offering of the Praga 53/59 30mm SP AA gun by NB models. This is the 1/72 version, there is also a 1/35th scale available too. 

A very crisp 3d print with very little clean up, a bit of light filing and sanding where the supports were, predominately on the underside of the pieces and on the back of the Gun. A little sanding and it was ready to assemble. Assembly was simple and straight forward and  every thing nicely together with no problems, I used super glue gel for assembly giving me time to square up wheels and the gun assembly.

My only critiques are, I would of liked the tyre treads on the wheels to be more detailed, a posable gun for the deployed AA role with removable and spare ammunition drums plus the racks and finally the crew compartment to be open so I could add crew, a gunner and loaders. 

I will mount this on a base to prevent it being knocked about whilst it is on the game table as I can see the mirrors and rear steps becoming detached quickly.  I also left off the clear canopy for painting as it can easily be placed after painting. One will join my Egyptians the other my Iraqis, and I will possibly get them painted before Christmas! 

The Praga 53/59 NB models kit fully laid out, a very crisp kit

Cabin detail is excellent, a few delicate parts…. A few bits to clean up but overall great

The NB models Praga 53/59 Guns and cabin front, the light mounts and mirrors are superb

NB models Praga cabin side, the tools are superb, as are the lights, handles and mirror

The Armoured glass cupola and gun sight…. 


AK interactive- vol III Arab revolutions and border wars.
You tube training clip of the Praga 53/59
Praga 53/59 walk around
Yugoslavian wars use

Monday, November 13, 2023

Analogue Painting Challenge XIIII


 Analogue Painting Challenge XIIII 2023-24

Result of painful overstretching of the Analogue Painting Challenge

I plan to participate in the Analogue  Painting Challenge again this year, I have reduced my points to 500 points which is predominantly because we will be in Australia for half of the challenge so smaller pieces of 20mm figures will travel with me. Last years total was 3304 points, which was around 400 28mm figures painted so I doubt I will reach those dizzy heights.

 The figure painting challenge really pushes production in the winter/summer months and will also give me a spring board again into next year.  The challenge commences on the 21st of December and finishes on March 21st 2022.

You may commence the challenge with undercoated figures, and the points are scored thus

6mm foot figure = 0.5 point
6mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 1 point
6mm vehicle = 2 points
10mm foot figure = 1 point
10mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 2 points
10mm vehicle = 3 points 
15mm foot figure = 2 points
15mm mounted figure, artillery piece or large crew served weapon = 4 points 15mm vehicle = 8 points
20mm foot figure = 4 points
20mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 8 points 20mm vehicle = 15 points

28mm foot figure = 5 points
28mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 10 points
28mm vehicle = 20 points
40mm foot figure = 7 points
40mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 15 points
40mm vehicle = 25 points
54mm foot figure = 10 points
54mm mounted figures, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 20 points
54mm vehicle, limber, etc. = 30 points

Terrain is based on 6 inch squared areas

My Cunning Plan....

I am selecting a mix of 28mm and 20mm figures and vehicles. The main project will be Swedes and the remainder of my VDV this will be my big game in April. I intend to complete two Norman and Anjou-Maine Anarchy and Scots for the 100 years war pieces. If I get motivated more 20mm ww2. There is also the side challenge, so I may partake in that to boost points.
  • AB Napoleonic French 
  • 28mm Greeks 
  • 20mm Soviets Cold War 
  • 20mm Swedes Cold War 
  • 28mm HYW Scots nobles and foot
  • 28 Norman and Anjou/Maine for the anarchy 
  • 20mm American 2nd Armoured
  • 20mm 9th Panzer
  • 20mm British armour 
  • Gaslands cars and figs 
  • 28mm 11th-12th  century chateau
  • 20mm Ww2 and modern buildings 
  • Gallic buildings 


Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Terrain Tuesday - Desert terrain Sinai

 Desert terrain 

Last week as the Yom Kippur War bug continues to bite I completed some desert shrub foliage cover pieces that could be used for both 20mm and 28mm. Simple mdf base with coir hair mat and, home made tufts and some noch shrub. Quite effective and happy with the result, 30 odd more to come once I make some new tufts in the coming week or so. 

Desert tufts 


Friday, November 3, 2023

Agincourt Anniversary refight


Our wargames holiday guest David had a planned 100YW guided tours and wargames for his week with us. We visited a number of chateaux, two battlefield walks and 100YW sites in old Maine, Normandy and Anjou. 

We also planned and played three 100YW games from all three phases of the war, play testing a upcoming rule set that should be published early next year. It is very morale based and takes time to break the morale of the of each base (representing 500 men) as attached leaders can roll off disorder and morale. 

We organised the English into three battles, the French into 3 also, but only committing two battles with the first assault, one of these divisions needed success to win an outright victory, the last division being only deployed if the French assault fails and a successful roll is made. I was very keen to roll out all of my 100YW armies for our games. 

Enjoy the pics 

The English happy few 

The French first Battle 

The field 

The flanking move fails ….again 

The French start to crowd but head towards the English MAA

French line starts to break up from the archery 

The cavalry finally retire 

The English MAA await with the Norman Allied contingent 

Gird your loins here they come! 

The retired cavalry let the archers shoot into the flanks again 

The MAA clash 

Heavy fighting continues 

French MAA reach breakpoint 

Generals attach to rally men on both sides 

Holes appear in the French line as the morale collapses 

The Duke de Harcourt falters and is captured

Pierre the Alençon almost cuts his way through to the king, just like the actual battle 

Then break, the French army retires and history repeats itself, the third French division fails to activate and it’s game over!