Hi The Teston Rifleman. You are my tenth follower! Many thanks and welcome to my blog.
I popped out for a haircut yesterday and upon my return my wife told me of a phone call I had missed. Seemingly, Santa had called me to discuss my position in the whole 'good boy / bad boy' stakes. Due to many passed instances of naughty, my account remains in defict despite my recent efforts, and, therefore, I would once again not be receiving any gifts this year; just the annual carrier bag of reindeer poo strewn over the car.
The news was not all bad though, Maria was good enough to fill out the required yearly report form and it seems I could be back into the good book within a few years; of course I was happy to pay santa the required £25.00 form fee. I didn't want to appear ungrateful and Maria was good enough to pass it on for me. I have to say Maria has been very helpful on this issue and I will buy her something special as a thank you for looking out for me.
Given this news I decided I should buy myself a little something. A browse through ebay found a Warlord Games 28mm Italian Para Brixia mortar to add to my Operation Squad unit. I won the auction and got the still packaged unit for less than a fiver including postage, a good saving on the £7.00 list price. The figure quality is good, I do like the Bolt Action metal ranges, but the mortar itself is going to be a pig to build.
The pic above shows a replica weapon, you can imagine the fun I will have sorting out the support structure! The pieces are tiny and I can see me using language during the build that may well keep me in Santa's bad books for a while longer.
The Brixia is an odd weapon, quite ahead of its time in concept but complicated to manufacture, prone to breakdowns and used faily under-powered shells. That said, it was very portable and could lay down an impressive amount of fire. The firing mechanism used a magazine of charges (the rectangular box sticking out of the top of the barrel) to launch the shells, meaning that the team could very quickly saturate a target area and then move away, advance etc.
In the Operation Squad list for the Italian Para unit (these, and others, can be found on the Operation Squad website and forum) the two man mortar team costs 100 points but increases the breakpoint by one. The weapon gets two shots per fire but with a grenade sized template for the area of effect, unlike the mortars of most other nations that get one shot but a double sized effect area. I have a feeling that that the two shots may be more adventageous in game terms but only time, and my dodgy dice rolling, will tell.
I shall post progress updates for my Italians as I can. I am having issues with the camo patterns due to my colour blindness issues (stupid WW2) but my good friend Mark is helping identify the right paints. Looking forward to this project, just got to fit the damn thing in amongst all the others!!!!