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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bolt Action - Scratch Building A Blacker Bombard

Hey gang,

One of the things that I love about Bolt Action, after years of play, is finding weird little entries for vehicles and units in "The Armies of..." books that I had skipped over when creating lists for armies. This has been especially true in my last couple of armies where I have intentionally gone out of my way to find entries and unit types that I have never used before. Well, thanks to DaveOwaR, I have found a new unit for my Indian troops that I must have read past 100 times when reading the British book. The Blacker Bombard. What is this weapon you may ask?  Well, let's find out!

"The Blacker Bombard, also known as the 29mm Spigot Mortar,[1] was an infantry anti-tank weapon devised by Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart Blacker in the early years of the Second World War.
Intended as a means to equip Home Guard units with an anti-tank weapon, at a time of grave shortage of weapons, in the case of German invasion, it was only accepted after the intervention of Churchill. Although there were doubts about the effectiveness of the Bombard, many were issued. Few, if any, saw combat." (Wikipedia)

Turns out it was also used by Indian Troops in the desert war.  Now a model for this weapon exists in 15mm for Flames of War and, at one point, a company made one for 28mm, Sadly for me that company has since stopped operating. This has left me to go out on my own to create my own bombard. I am pretty happy with the end results so I thought I would share how I made one using bits and pieces from my Bolt Action left over parts.
I started with an Artisan Designs Sikh Bren team that I cut the gun off of and replaced with a plastic Soviet, Warlord Games, anti-tank rifle. I used this for a number of games as an anti-tank rifle (which I always use) before deciding it was time to try something new.

I then collected 4 panzerfausts from the (Warlord) German Late War plastic box (or the Soviet box depending on what plastics you have available. I also collected a round grenade from the Soviet box and cut off the handle.
I then drilled two perpendicular holes all the way through the "drum"of the grenade.
I trimmed the panzerfausts into smooth poles and shaved one end down a little bit. You could leave a ring at the opposite end as I have shown here but I didn't when I made mine.
I slid and glued the poles into the drilled holes. At this point you should have a cross or X shape.
Here it is next to the crew for demonstration purposes only.
I then took a mortar from the Soviet Plastic Soldier Company kit. The top bit a trimmed the back a bit so it was flat (not seen here but seen below). I also shaved the "bottom"flat but left the little arm intact so it would sit on the grenade drum (again see below).
Now the trimmed pieces fit together
I then trimmed the barrel and added a piece of plastic card tubing to bulk out the barrel. I wanted a rocket in the barrel so I used an unused bazooka shell from the Warlord American plastics. I trimmed it down and stuck it in the barrel.
Here it is so far.
I then used the unused base from the Plastic Toy Soldier Company mortar for the blast shield. I cut the base so the donut hole was not longer there and kept the bit on the left. I then shaved off the back so I just had a curved piece of plastic.
Which I attached to the back of the bombard as a blast shield.
And that is it all assembled. 
I hope this little walk through has been helpful. I really enjoyed the challenge of creating something out of "nothing" and really look forward to getting this little beauty on the tabletop. One thing to keep in mind, keep dry fitting your work in progress weapons to the crew (I couldn't reposition my metal crew so I had to make sure the gun's legs were turned slightly off angle).

Til next time...

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