My interwar wargames might - work in progress

Discussion in 'The Barracks' started by Vintage Wargaming, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    At the same time as all this interest in interwar research I've made significant further progress on my interwar wargames force. This has included raiding my Blitzkrieg British for usable pieces, buying odds and ends of new stuff, a fair bit of painting and repainting, and also some marking uop of vehicles with decals. I have also thought a little bit more about some of the components. I would like to be able to field it in either 1920s Mechanised Force/early and late 1930s versions, by swapping out a few vehicles.

    First of all - I have boosted the mediums that form the basis of the tank force. This involved finding a couple of Medium Mk II**s I had forgotten about (unknown manufacturer) and ordering three more mediums from Frontline. These last were a small disappointment as they came without the alternative cupola with command figure - apparently they had changed these a while ago without changing the picture on the web site. I will just have to continue to aspire to Milicast without a chance of (a) affording them or ( B) competently assembling them.

    Anyway, i now can boast three companiea each of three medium tanks, led by the Giesbers Medium Mk III and thetwo Mk II**s, with assorted Frontline making up the numbers


    Next up two companies of Light Tanks - each of a Wespe/Retrokit Vickers Command tank (poetic licence) plus two Raventhorpe Mk IIs
    There is a third company (front of picture) of two Frontline Vickers Command and a Matadoe MK I AA tank


    Heavy tanks are the Giesbers Independent and an SHQ Infantry Tank MK I


    A later option are these four Airfix/JB Models MK VI bs


    Armoured car section - two Ready to Roll Rolls Royce 1920 pattern plus a Frontline Crossley


    SP artillery - Giesbers Birch Guns


    Heavy AA artillery - Raventhorpe 3" gun, Skybirds heavy gun, repainted Oxford Diecast Scammell Pioneer


    Towed artillery - SHQ 18 pdrs and Light Dragon Mk !!s, Cirtroen Kegreese battery staff cars From EWM and possibly S and S Morris Battery Staff Car


    Truck mounted 18 pdr and tender (KeiKCraft Thorneycroft Parcel Van and coversion with Reviresco naval gun)


    Lorried Transport
    R to L KeilKraft parcel van as ambulance, Matador Morris Commercial D, Peco/Merit Thorneycoft Lorry


    big selection here of resin, metal and diecast, including Trux, Oxford, Scalelink


    Radio and Specialist Trucks - all Skytrex I think


    Platoon trucks - SHQ and resin


    MG carriers Den Bels Autocar, scratchbuilt Burford Kegresses (still awaiting their rivets)


    Carden Loyds - EWM at front, including a Belgian 47mm armed one, on second row SHQ at back, lovely Moonlite Modelworks at front with trailers


    Bren Carriers (which can also stand in as MG Carriers MK 1) - unknown resin manufacturer


    Vickers Utility Tractors (two EWM abd two resin - possibly FAA)


    MG Battalion (Skybirds Vickers and crews in gasmasks)


    LDV/Militia from RH Models Irish Civil War Range, with a coupe of characters from Dark Dream Studio's plastic set Pilots of WW1


    Scots and English battalions, from RH Models with Britannia and IT Figures officers


    EWM 1908 pattern webbing infantry


    The bren carriers, Vickers utility tractors, and platoon trucks will equip the later version of the MG battalion, the Carden Loyds and Burford Kegresses the earlier. I have some Zvezda 2 pdrs for a/t dutues but also am hoping to put together some tracked 20mm Oerlikon a/t guns with tracks from David Reasoner and gun barrels from Bandera. The 1934-36 MG Battalion will be based on the 1st Battalion DLI at that period.

    Things still to do: I am waiting for the 20mm Oerlikons from Rolf Hedges, plus a large order for vehicle drivers and crews from SHQ. i have a Vickers Utility artillery tractor (Dutch) to serve in the a/t company of the MG battalion. Some of the Mk VI bs need markings. I'm also waiting for a Matador Crossley BGV - when this arrives it will get converted with EWM tracks to a Crossley Kegresse, its back wheels will replace those donated by a Matador Morris Commercial D type to the scratch built Burford Kegresses.

    so waiting for some stuff, some of which may take a while, but feeling I am on the last leg now and looking to get them into action soon.
  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    No motorcyclists ? How will they all communicate with each other ? :)
    von Poop likes this.
  3. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member


    There's always these - also some mc combinations
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Looks like fun getting all that together.
    Thanks for posting.
  5. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Great stuff.

    I am returning to an early interest in the between war period and have recently been researching the Experimental Mechanised Force exercise of 1927 and the Experimental Armoured Force exercise of 1928. I have found a lot of information in published works, War Establishment tables (thanks to Aixman) and photos from the IWM. I was about to look into the availability of models but you have done much of that research for me. I have some Bull Models and Milicast items, plus plans from John Church. A long way to go yet and really a winter project.

    Of course I am lucky in that I have a fair number of those excellent Trux Models to work with.

    Swiper and Rich Payne like this.
  6. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

  7. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    Mike, my interest originated with the Experimental Mechanised Force too though I don't think I got nearly as far as you with the research. The War Establishment tables sound interesting and I would dearly love to get hold of the text of the Purple Primenr. Do you know where I could get a copy of an up to date Bull Models list? i understand they have a Dragon Mk IV which sounds interesting. Then just in the last four or five weeks I found two albums from Vickers Armstrong Ltd held by the Beamish Museum. Luckily these wre all digitised already and they were happy to provide me with them and let me post them on the internet hence the new Interwar Tank Development blog here. Re mechanised force itself, I understand Giesbers have just produced a kit of the Morris Martel tankette (both one and two man versions) though these seem to be sold out just now.

    I'm going to post a few more pictures of other units here later.
  8. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    Here are a few more units, some a bit more on the VBCW than the historical side.

    Opponents: pretty much anyone - French, Italians, Spanish, French, or other Brits by refighting some of the army exercises.

    Skybirds Infantry and sailors (just a paint job)


    RN Shore Parties (Elhiem and Oxford Diecast lorries)


    Civilian Talbot ambulance and Ford 7Y Van (ScaleLink metal kits)

    Armoured train (Sgts Mess Romney Hythe and Dymchurch light railway)


    Steam Pinnace (Sgts Mess)


    And Police unit (Irregular figures plus a few plastics; Oxford Diecast Vehicles

    Hoping I might get them on to a table at the weekend
    dbf, Paul Reed and CL1 like this.
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    thank you for posting

  10. TijgerB

    TijgerB Member

    Wow I like them. Matrix has a strategic computer game "Earplan Orange" taking place in the area between the East coast of India and West coast of America.
  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Vintage Wargaming,

    War Establishment tables are interesting but have limitations. They can be very detailed but do not give types of vehicle. They are anyway a planned establishment and it was seldom achieved in peacetime. Below is an example of what you might expect to find. This is my transcript.


    Lieutenant Colonel. Officer Commanding.
    Major. Second in Command.
    Captain. Adjutant.
    Subaltern. Technical Officer.
    Subaltern. Intelligence Officer.

    Regimental Serjeant Major.
    Mechanic Quartermaster Serjeant.
    Regimental Quartermaster Serjeant.

    Transport NCO.
    Serjeant clerk.
    Serjeant Storeman, Technical.
    Serjeant cook.

    44 rank and file
    1 X carpenter and joiner
    2 X clerk.
    1 X corporal draughtsman (topographical).
    1 X fitter
    4 X storeman technical.
    1 X storeman.
    1 X corporal driver IC
    14 X driver IC.
    1 X lance corporal postman.
    4 X despatch rider.
    1 X lance corporal medical officers orderly.
    1 X water dutyman.
    4 X sanitary dutymen.
    1 X cook.
    7 X batman. Includes one for medical officer.

    Total 57.

    3 X motor cars 6 wheeled. For
    Lieutenant Colonel.
    Major. Second in Command.
    Captain. Adjutant.
    3 X motorcycles with sidecar. For
    Subaltern. Technical Officer.
    Subaltern. Intelligence Officer.
    4 X motorcycle for despatch riders.

    1 X motor van, light for medical equipment
    1 X lorry, light for officers mess.
    2 X lorry light for personnel.
    6 X lorry light for ammunition, maintenance and stores.
    1 X trailer field kitchen.

    Medical Officer RAMC.
    Motorcycle with sidecar.
    Armourer RAOC.
    Driver IC RASC. Attached to drive 2nd line transport from Corps Troops Maintenance Company.

    R/T Section.
    9 X driver IC (tank), including serjeant.
    Attached Royal Signals.
    Lance serjeant
    2 X fitter, signals or electrician fitters.
    Instrument maker, telegraph or instrument mechanic.
    2 X electrician, wireless or instrument mechanic.
    16 X operators wireless or operators signals.
    tradesmen include two lance corporals.

    Total 35.

    4 X R/T tanks.
    Motorcycle for Subaltern.

    Three Companies.
    Total personnel for company 155. Includes two lance serjeants and 10 lance corporals.

    Company Serjeant Major
    Company Quartermaster Serjeant
    Mechanic serjeant.
    30 X private.

    1 X tank, company commander.
    Motor car 6 wheeled for Major.
    Motor cycle for Captain
    4 X motorcycle.
    1 X trailer water tank.
    1 X trailer field kitchen.

    Attached RASC 2nd line transport.
    3 X driver IC RASC.
    3 X lorry, light. 1 for packs, 1 for baggage and 1 for supplies.

    Three sections each.
    2 X Subaltern
    3 X serjeant tank crew
    4 X corporal tank crew
    27 X private tank crew
    3 X batman.
    Total for section 40.

    5 X Tank, fighting.

    I have never found a copy of the Purple Primer.

    I do have a copy of Bull Models current list somewhere. I will try to find it.

  12. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    Mike, thanks that's very interesting.

    I've found a Bull list from 2012 so if yours isn't later please dont spend any time looking for it.

    I've spent today sorting out infantry - two battalions FAA BEF, I/2 bn SHQ BEF, one FAA and one SDD Home Guard barttalion, and assorted FAA suspicious nuns, civilains and Home Guard Auxiliary Units, along with some gun crews, so that should be figures sorted. I'm just about to paint a Giesbers Vickers Utility 1932 Personnel Carrier, and need to finish building an EWM sound locator on Dyson trailer in metal, which I'm struggling with a bit.

    Still hoping to get a lot of this kit on a table at the weekend.

    Thanks for the info and the interest

  13. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member


    I am pressing on with my version of !st Battalion Durham Light Infantry in theur role as an experimental MG battalion from 1934-6.

    They had a headquarters company, three MG companies and an anti tank company. In addition to Tractors GS Light MK1s they had the first MG Carrier Mk1s - the close ancestor of the Bren carrier.

    In the picture above, B Company (Tractors Light GS on left front), second MG Coy with MG Carriers MK 1 (actually Bren Carriers) front right, third MG coy truck borne at rear. A/T company front extreme left. HQ coy vehicles - radio truck, car, m/c combination at right rear.

    First up in detail:

    B Company


    These are Tractors GS Light Mk 1s. I've made them from Giesber's KNIL Vickers Utility Tractors from Early War Miniatures, with various extra parts from the spares box and MGs from Sgts Mess

    Next up the anti tank coy:


    Giesbers Vickers tractor again. The 20mm Oerlikon a/t gun has tracks from David Reasoner, and gun barrel from Rolf Hedges. i have enough of these to make up to another 5. The gun mounting is made form an Airfix pak 40 gun cradle reversed, which makes a reasonably credible match to the mounting of the real thing. However I don't have any more of these in the spares box so will need to come up with an alternative.
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  14. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    And AA assets


    I thought I'd try sticking all these together. Starting at rear, left hand side, then anti clockwise:

    Matador Models GS Searchlight body on a Matchbox Retriever chassis I think (from Monty's caravan)
    S and S (???) Morris CD 6x4 Battery Staff Car
    Oxford Diecast Scammell Pioneer
    Raventhorpe 3" AA gun
    Raventhorpe Thorneycroft Hathi
    Sound Detector on Dyson Trailer (Early War Miniatures)
    Heavy AA gun (Skybirds)
    Searchlight is by Matador Models
    2 pdr QF Mk !11 pom poms -now out of production, from David Reasoner

    And the detection equipment together

    Owen and Paul Reed like this.
  15. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    Talking of AA - I have just been reading a history of the Automobile Association where I found this small piece of information: -

    "The War Office called the forty patrols who acted as military police during the army's manoeuvres the previous year an unqualified success"
    I believe this referred to the 1935 or 1936 - pity there was no photograph.

    Owen likes this.
  16. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    That's very interesting Noel - I will keep an eye out for any photographic evidence which may turn up. Oxford Diecast do an AA BSA m/c so I can feel a couple of those coming on - I think ScaleLink may do a patrol as well.

  17. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    What a delightful thread, thank you very much for bringing it, you must be having loads of fun :)
  18. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    I'm away at the moment so not much progress. The AA mcs have arrived and AA riders from Dart Miniatures. I understand the BEF had a traffic control unit recruited exclusively from AA patrols which suffered heavy casualties.

    Having some of the house painted week after next then hoping to get some tables set up
  19. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    Thanks to Noel Burgess (above) for drawing my attention to the role of AA patrols in the British Army exercises of 1935 or 1936.

    Of course I had to field them. Oxford Diecast came to the party with BSA m/cs and then also issued an Austin 7 van in AA colours. Dart Miniatures provided the AA Patrolman. I think I might keep looking for a suitable standing figure to go with the Austin (preferably standing and saluting) - I may have one in the spares box somewhere.

    The only thing I did to any of the vehicles was paint the fire extinguishers on the sidecars silver.

    Here they are in all their glory:


    The other question is who would provide the opposition.

    Plenty of possibilities using stuff I already have (French, Italian, Republican Spanish) and I have lots of FT17s which could be used for almost anyone.

    Recently The Works have been selling Fabbri Russian Diecasts from a partwork at £2 each. These have only been part of the range and when I looked into it the rest of the range (in the magazines) also included some early Russian vehicles - T-18 light tanks and T-24 medium tanks. They have the look and even at full price from the Ukraine they worked out cheaper than the resin T-18 from Wespe Models, so I got three of each. I also have a couple of FAI armoured cars picked uo from the Works. I have quite a few interwar/Winter War Russians from Tumbling Dice and a very old penal battalion from Drew's Militia which will make up a decent Russian force.

    Owen likes this.
  20. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    Some recent odds and ends

    Crossley Kegresse half tracks:



    These are Matador Models Crossley BGVs with EWM Kegresse units. It took a very long time waiting for Scale Link to have the models in stock (I have pretty much given up on seeing my order from Matador) but they went together very quickly once they arrived. I've just finished 40+ SHQ BEF vehicle crew (they are single figures, doubles and triples). As usual I have plastidipped them so they should stand up to swapping around between vehicles as required - only a few are/will be glued in.

    The half tracks are important for the 1925-30 ish version of my interwar force - the idea is that by swapping some vehicles around it can stretch between about 1925 and up to 1940. The earlier version has Burford Kegresse and Crossley Kegresse half tracks, and Austin 7s, for example, while the later has Vickers Utility Tractors and Morris 8s.

    Second up (showing some of the passenger triplets) Raventhorpe Hathi


    Then Wespe Morris Commercial Reconnaissance Car


    and finally the Early War Miniatures light sound detector. This had disappeared so as soon as it resurfaced I got it finished. (In the meantime I have also done the heavy version on Dyson trailer)


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