Wednesday, 13 January 2021

American Civil War - Union Commanders - 15mm

It's been a couple of years since I posted any new additions to my American Civil War collection.  As part of my grand re-organisation, I have now added quite a number of new additions to my Union Army command structure.

Army Commander:  Major General Meade and staff

I really do want Command and Control to feature highly in my games and so I decided that the command elements really needed to stand out and be rapidly identifiable.  To that end, for Army commanders there are 5 figures on the stand, for Corps commanders there are 4 figures, for Divisional commanders there are 3 figures and for Brigade commanders there will be 2.  Battalion commanders will be with their units.

 I Corps Commander: Major General Reynolds

The figures are mostly 15mm Blue Moon, especially the staff. The Blue Moon figures are very crisp and are very nice indeed. They are a touch larger than the Old Glory figures who form some of the personalities shown here.  There is even the occasional veteran Minifig painted to the same standard and mingling in surprisingly well.

Divisional Commander, 1 Div, I Corps

The flags in all cases shown are from the 15mm range by GMB.  These really are magnificent flags.  I completed nine Brigade command stands today, so I hope the following photos are not too repetitive.  I did shake and blow off the static grass but its only when the photos are enlarged that there is grass clearly visible in some cases, looking quite unsightly too!  I can only assume that the horses must have had a good roll in some grass fodder!

                                                    Divisional Commander, 3 Div, I Corps

                                                    Divisional Commander, 2 Div, I Corps

Out of sequence! I should have posted 2 Div Commander before 3 Div but there we go.  I was just pleased to find a way to get Blogger to post in the correct order and then I messed up these two!

1 Brigade Commander, 1 Div

Flags have been coated with PVA glue. The reason for this was to protect the flag without any of the issues that varnish can cause, such as damaging the ink of the print, or turning the flag glossy.  It also gives strength to the flag, allowing bending without the flag designs cracking.

2 Brigade Commander, I Div

I aim to do a photography course this year when the lockdown situation permits.  This will hopefully improve my photographs. I have played with the settings somewhat and this has improved the brightness and removed some of the blur which I normally get.   I tend to balance a day light bulb with one hand whilst trying to take the snap with the other.  

If I am too close to the figure then the flash picks up the shape of the lens as shadow (as can be seen above).  I do use flash now and use the 'M' setting instead of the 'Auto' setting. I have no idea what the 'M' stands for, but I think the shutter time is faster now and cuts out my wobble!  I try to keep at least 6" back from the figure and use the zoom on the lens as necessary.

3 Brigade Commander, 1 Div

I plan to use these figures for both Fire and Fury, THE ruleset that made wargaming fun for me all those years ago, and also my much modified Black Powder rules.  It will be Regimental Fire and Fury that I think will be played and maybe some modified command rules as necessary.

I do have the Black Powder ACW supplement, which is a lovely thick book with great information, though I do take issue on some trivial points in it. I also think that by not naming regiments in the scenario unit lists it devalued itself a little. Ah well, I guess it means I'll just have to do more research.  

I will not be using their 'smoothbore shoots faster than rifle' rules though, as I have fired thousands of Minies through my Enfields and know just how quick and easy they are to load.

1 Brigade Commander, 2 Div

2 Brigade Commander, 2 Div

3 Brigade Commander, 2 Div

1 Brigade Commander, 3 Div

2 Brigade Commander, 3 Div

3 Brigade Commander, 3 Div

I think that will do for now.  I have Confederate commanders on order, and a Whippet tank for my WW1 British in 28mm.  However the post system is currently badly delayed so I might have to start another unit of something rather than hang on for those to arrive.  I'll decide tomorrow!

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Great War - 1918 German Infantry Platoon - 28mm

Happy New Year everyone!  This was one of those units that was supposed to have been finished before Christmas, but crazy days, how does it all get so busy?  I don't think I picked up a paintbrush for a week!

This German Platoon is now nearly complete other than 2 x JNCO's/senior Privates to run two of the sections.  I also have some figures to paint to complete some support sections, such as the Granatenwerfer and an assault bombing section.


I  was greatly assisted by this idea which I saw on one of the blogs, but I cannot recall who it was (sorry!).  I have magnetic sheet on the floor of the box and also on the bases of the figures.  By printing an organisation sheet with relevant gaps in the Sections, I was able to focus much more clearly on what I was trying to achieve (and see which figures I had done).

The above picture focuses mostly on the supports and the picture below on the platoon of the 246th Reserve Regiment that I was re-creating.  (Blogger seems to post everything in reverse order now - took 3 attempts and still it was backwards!)

These machine gunners are left over but are bound to find a home in another Platoon.

I have used a colour coding method to match the coloured marks on the organisation sheet in the storage box, the two lines signifying 2nd Platoon.

Above and below is the LMG section comprising riflemen and an LMG team.

Rifle Sections above and below.

I have painted up 2 bombers for each Section.  Finding accurate information of how the 1918 German Platoons was formed appears hard to find. The Too Fat Lardies have produced supplements with some good information and this does seem to emphasise that by mid- 1918 there were no hard and fast rules anymore.  

Manpower shortages would no doubt have caused constant change.  It appears that were generally 4 sections in a Platoon but an extra bombing section and a Granatenwerfer section could also be added in some regiments and in other regiments the organisation might have been different again.  A complex topic which I won't go into too much detail with here.

The figures are again by Great War Miniatures and contain the earlier tunic as well as the later Bluse with hidden buttons under the front flap.  This allowed some playing with shades again, which adds interest and reflects the fabric supply shortages by late war.

I intend using the Chain of Command rules as re-written for WW1  in one of the Too Fat Lardies supplements.  The leaders take on a major importance so need to be visible when playing as their location on the battlefield is important.  I used a simple method of using a red brown for the bases of officers, a dark buff for SNCO's and a dragoon green for JNCO's. This was a lesson learned from playtests when I found that I was playing hunt the leader and spot the rank badges every turn.

The Great War Miniatures bombers just really look the part (above and below), I wasn't going to but I might paint up a Stossstrupp Assault Section at some point.

I felt slightly sorry for the figure below.  I was short of an SNCO so had to demote an officer.  As an officer he was slightly redundant and left over, but as a Vize-Feldwebel he will now be playing an important role in getting his men motivated and moving.  From my research it appears that the Vize-Feldwebel was one of those ranks which was senior enough to have officer accoutrements (such as belt, sword-knot etc) issued (rather like modern British Army Warrant Officers who often find themselves saluted due to wearing so many officer uniform distinctions).  It seems the Germans did similar.

Anyway, my new Vize-Feldwebel appears to be a man of action so will hopefully be pleased with his new role.

More officers above and below.

That might be all of my WW1 painting for the time being.  I have ordered a Whippet tank from 1st Corps, but I will probably paint something completely different in the meantime.  I have no idea what yet...and that's part of the fun of it all.