Monday 24 July 2023

Both Ends of WW2 in NW Europe

Not what you would have expected to find in a WW2 collection! 30mm Higgins (Jason) figures as identified by Aly Morrison and the legend that is MSFoy! There was a single box of these hidden away in a box of German 1944 SS armoured vehicles!

The great sort out of Eric’s WW2 collection has begun in earnest with the arranging of the umpteen boxes full of models and figures into their nationalities. As expected this was a fairly straightforward undertaking and so I now have a better idea of what is what. I will post pictures in due course but for now I need to really tidy up the boxes as many of these are damaged beyond repair, as well as being too large for the contents in many cases.

The collection contains a selection of forces for both ends of the war so for 1940 there is a large French Army, a substantial quantity of Belgians, a brigade of British infantry and for the Germans there are paratroops, infantry and air landing infantry complete with a glider, along with a bridging and assault boat detachment.The Belgians have a lot of unpainted kit - especially the famous Chasseurs Ardennais. Oddly enough the only force that has any armour is the Belgians and pretty much all of it are Eric’s improvisations. There are however, plenty of support weapons available.

There is also a large box of German wheeled transport. I suspect that Eric may have used these for both ends of the war although it is all painted in early war grey.

For 1944 the selection is rather more expansive. The British have a complete armoured division plus the 1st Airborne and the Polish Parachute brigade as well as Commandoes. There is also a set up for Burma which includes brigades of British, Indian and Chindits. The Germans have a pair of SS Panzer Divisions, a paratroop division, a Volksgrenadier division as well as a coastal division complete with fortifications. There is also a whole pile of American stuff. There are are a couple of anomalies though.

There is some Russian heavy artillery and AA and even a selection of Italian heavy weapons - but nothing to go with them!

On top of this lot a box of Ottoman Turkish stuff appeared - mainly artillery (no surprise there then!) but with a cavalry unit and some wagons. There are also some native porter types which may have served in Madasahatta but I would have to check.

I have managed to extract the unpainted stuff and that will be the first of the collection for disposal.

Most of it is for the Germans - I have yet to take sort out the Belgians and French - with the British close behind. All have been organised as per the Rapid Fire rules (I have just ordered a copy of the ‘reloaded’ version for reference) and Eric very carefully organised the figures into sub units with a small piece of card telling what they are. There is usually a high level TOE accompanying the unit as well.

A German Coastal Division
A German Volksgrenadier Division
A German Fallschirmjager Division
A Germany Cavalry unit - described as an infantry division recce regiment
A Regiment of British Commandoes
A Brigade for the 14th Army - one battalion each of British, Indian and Chindits
A battery of British SPs
A battery of 3.7” AA guns plus crews
A ‘spare’ infantry battalion
A box of metal Recce vehicles - Dingoes and similar
A platoon of US Pershing Tanks

I have yet to tackle the French and Belgians as they also have unpainted figures attached to them.

Plenty to do then - not least of which is identifying the figures that Eric used - as usual they appear to be from a number of manufacturers….


Steve J. said...

'Substantial' doesn't really do justice to this collection and fingers crossed those who are into RF will find something of use to them.

David Crook said...

Hi Steve J,

Having started sorting the collection out I am absolutely certain that any Rapid Firers will have a field day!

All the best,


Martin Rapier said...

I can't imagine what a divisions worth of stuff for Rapid Fire looks like. Even something weak like a Volksgrenadier Div would need at least 200 infantry figures and scores of vehicles and guns. A British Infantry Division doesn't bear thinking about.

David Crook said...

Hi Martin,

Once I get he pictures taken by nationality you will see what I mean! The 1944 British armoured division alone occupy 12 x A3 sized wooden drawers….

There probably is around 200 figures in the Volksgrenadier formation, along with the coastal and Fallschirmjager…..

Eric was never one to do anything by halves!

All the best,