Archive for May, 2011

Nembo (Nettuno 1944) at 1/6

Another beautiful piece of plastic with cloth over. In 1/6 scale. This is the second piece of my collection. An Italian paratrooper collection, inspired by my friend who was a paratrooper in the army and that brought me in the reneactor thing.

After El Alamein battle and the heroic defeat of Folgore, the Italian Army wanted to recreate this elite combat group. While drilling went on, the Savoia royal family betrayed Mussolini’s regime and suddenly, the 8th of September 1943, the King and the Italian hierarchy betrayed one’s country, fled in the hands of Allies leaving with no orders our entire Army, that surrendered to Germany Army. So two States were created, one in the north and one in the south of Italy, the former with Mussolini, the latter with monarchists.

This piece represent a Nembo paratrooper, RSI Army. You can see his dress with camouflage, the first camouflage issued on regular basis to troops in the world. This kind of mimetic colours will be used in Italian Army until recent years. Now we use a great new scheme, the “vegetata” one, that seems digital but it is a design, with a net wire on the cloth, invisible to human eyes, to blind digital spotters. Sometimes Italians do it better.

He wears a “samurai”, the bodice to transport magazines for MAB. A paratrooper has to transport independently a large amount of munitions, because he is very mobile, on enemy ground and without the possibility to supply himself. This samurai is the larger one, with the possibility to transport 12 (!) magazines and 6 bombs.

Nembo fought in Nettuno area, stopping for months the Allied forces on the beaches under Rome together with a larger number of German troops. A lot of scholars never speak about Italians in war because they think that our soldiers they were only a bunch of cowards that cry for mummy. They are racists and idiots. Italian soldiers were great in war, and paratroopers were among the best, but highest rank generals were shit, they lost the war, not the Italian soldier!

The uniform is grey-green, the particular colour that identify the Italian Army. His collar badges are with gladi, the RSI military symbol that replace the stars, the military Savoia symbol.

The 12 inches is a Dragon limited piece create for a convention. I modified it with the samurai and other minor things. I throw away the box, but real collectors never put a model outside his box…

It is dedicated to Nino Arena who fought on Anzio-Nettuno front. After he became a writer on military matters, especially on RSI topics. Here I photographed him two years ago during a conference held for the commemoration of the paratroopers fight in Castel Decima in 1944. You can see that the face is the same, even if there are some years between the two aspects…


SSS testing before San Marino

I’m involved in Ganesha Games’ Song of Spear and Shield development, so I found a day off to go to Terni for a playtest of the latest version of the game. We had an urgency because three days after there will was the convention in San Marino (the free and little State inside Italy, beside with City of Vatican; Monte Carlo instead is for a few km inside French territory), the emigrated version of the biggest wargame convention of Italy, originally located in Crema and directed by Lorenzo Sartori.

After the playtest of Agliana a lot of things were developed, and in the right direction I think. If I was sceptical about the idea of cd trackers for light troops, now I’m sure that they work finely. Now I’m happy with the game mechanics, even if Andrea has still to do a lot of work. We played a extenuate game at the last man standing, to prove situations that we could forgot to think about. Always Romans against barbarian from the North. I’m on the Roman side, obviously! We made some rule changes and now, when I have metabolised this long day, I’m thinking about other upgrades. I’m waiting to hear Andrea on skype for a discussion about these adjustments. In the meantime there will be the playtest in San Marino and other feedback on the game. Maybe in June I could find time for another trip to Terni…

The playtest was in refurbished Andrea’s house. If you want to see more photos of our battle you can go here


Bunker Soratte: May 2011

A new appointment on Monte Soratte. Inside this mountain there are the WWII bunkers of the Roma front, a little north from the city. They were dug at the start of the war by Italian Army and after they were used by Germans to defend themselves from the invaders. During the Cold War this was the site of the anti-nuclear refuge for the government. Nowadays a bunch of boys and girls from Sant’Oreste have thought to open this underground space to public.
I stayed here last year for the first opening. A year after I return, always with our Folgore paratroopers reneactment group. In the meantime some works went on and the structure is more easy to visit. A lot of people went from Roma. And a lot of reneactors were here to show their vehicles and arms.

This little girl was a perfect paratrooper ready to use this AA gun. Maybe a little small for the duty…
On the left, Sant’Oreste.

When Kesserling was here he used this type of German tractor to visit the troops. This one is full operative!

The lunch of champions… This is part of our group, there were Germans and Americans reneactors too. We voraciously ate bread and mortadella (or salame or prosciutto) with wafers as dessert, but… but… in Sant’Oreste there was a sagra on fettuccine (long pasta made with eggs) with wild asparaguses! We didn’t know it! Damn!

The entry of the bunkers for the organised visit. A volunteer guide show to this group the map of the underground section. Inside you are 200 metres under the mountain rocks. A lot of bunkers are all around this external part of the mountain, along a way with barracks (and a lot of dust). But there is another part developed more deeply inside. It is a huge space, full of bats, stalactites and debris. The only clean section is that with the secret Cold War bunkers, one is ready as building structures, the other one is frozen in time with iron bars that wait to arm concrete.

Inside is dark, very dark. We can see the ground only with lights from mobiles. I made some photos but my camera was not so sensible like my eyes. Here the light at the end of the tunnels. A one hour and half visit I think.

Some airplanes flighted on our heads (one of them only 10 metres over us, damn it!). A replicated Storch with German beam crosses show us as this great vehicle could remain almost motionless in the air. And a photoshop work can create a photo from the past.

Here the link to visit the site:
Next appointment in September.


Dadi & Piombo 45

Another issue of Dadi & Piombo magazine is out. And even this time there is something written by me. Do you remember the post on this blog about scales in wargame compared to train modelling scales? Well, now it is rewritten for this magazine on a bigger scale. A translation in English language, better than my English, is present, because all the magazine is bilingual. Here can see my pages. Beautiful photos of giant robots are by Paolo (see Ronin Clan blog on the links) and his MEKA game.

The guy that make Dadi & Piombo magazine organise even convention, but due to problems with the financial support by local administration, he shift it from Crema to San Marino. Sorry chaps, now it is late to participate to it, that was last Saturday and Sunday.

More on this number and how to have it to


Do we remember Anticamente?

Today we awoke with a thought in mind: do we remember how to play Anticamente? We played it in the last November, so there is a little dust on our rulesets, but at the end of May there will be the tournament in Arezzo, so we have to be ready.

Therefore we met in ARSM wargame club and played three games. We chose two armies from the lists available, one Feudal and one Islamic ones. I printed the cards for the lists and Diego picked up a lot of 15mm to compose the armies. But in the first instance we had only a terrain with little hexagons, so to play we had to create some tokens with DBA coded names. To recognise the opponents the classic choice of blue vs reds. It seems like a boardgame or a bidimensional wargame played with 3D wargame rules. And the board was so little, but we had fun and I won. You can see on the photo above the two playgrounds.

Paolo arrived and the polystyrene hexagons too. So we shifted to the game with real miniatures. This game is very dramatic in results, only 4 turns and an army can be obliterated. But you can do a lot of tactical choices, so the game is very fluid and satisfying. We cleared our minds about the rules, but something is still obscure, because the ruleset is too much concise, even if very exact. It is not barkese, but I would prefer more words. And I must to say something to Fabio, the creator of Anticamente, about the Islamic list, because we think it is too soft. I’m tired now and I must to rethink about some things about the rules, but I have still two weeks to the tournament. We will find hard opponents.


Going on

A lot of things here. Firstly we had a server change, so I had to wait to put new posts until all seems fine. In the meantime there were a trip to Sant’Oreste to show our Folgore paratroopers historical group, a testing of Song of Spear and Shield in Terni, some medical analysis, the painting of miniatures at industrial rate due to good weather and sunny days. In the following days I will make some posts about these things.
For now you can see my personal painting service at work with Late Romans, VBCW hunting party, Gladiators.


Railway crane

When I saw a railway crane at Happy Model (see the convention section) I thought about something for my Flyton. It was for HO scale, but I could modify it for my 28mm world. I used a reed of ribbon for gifts, a large base from a Japanese gashapoon, some cutted toothpicks, a thin copper wire, little pieces of cardboard for the door and the upper trap door. And after some work I had got this one. Simple and handmade, except the crane obviously.