Sunday, January 29, 2017

International Brigade Group 3

I've entered a SCW side duel in the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge here with Curt, Nick and Phil. I've been wrapped up doing the bonus theme rounds I've neglected this portion of the challenge and decided I'd better get on the ball and get some points up in the duel to let them know I'm still in it.

Why the Spanish Civil War? Well for me I just really enjoy the equipment and atmosphere of the period plus you really get a wide range of troops to choose from offering many exciting opportunities for the paintbrush not to mention gaming tables just have a certain flare that really draws me.

I find both sides fascinating and plan to collect each of the antagonists. The politics of the war I don't really care about all that much other then understanding why they fought, but the fact that it's a civil war does interest me if  that makes sense. I don't exactly know why, but if it's a civil war then I'm usually interested be it ACW, AWI, SCW,RCW etc.

Just a quick line on who the International brigade were. They were primarily communist paramilitaries that fought on the Republican side vs the Nationalists and came from countries outside Spain like France, Germany, Portugal, US, Great Britain, USSR and others. They were generally grouped by their nationalities with clever nicknames for their battalions, but they did included Spanish contingents within the brigades for communications with each other and the Spanish army. For the most part they fought very well with high morale, but suffered heavy causalities due to lack of training, poor equipment and often serving as shock troops or rear guards deployed in fighting delaying actions.

Example of an International brigade unit

These four figures will finish off my first squad that I started a long time ago. They consist of a Light Machine Gunner totting a DPM28(Degtijarev of Soviet make), his loader, Squad Leader(Sergeant), and a Dinamiteros. What the heck is a Dinamiteros? Well they were basically dynamite throwers who used a slingshot to throw tin encased dynamite at bunkers, dug outs, vehicles etc. who became so hated they were shot on the spot if recognized as one by the enemy.  Needless to say those of slight of heart need not apply!

The figures are superbly sculpted by Mr. Paul Hicks as one would expect, but do require a fine brush from some of the detail that rewards you in taking your time. The colors I used are mostly Vallejo and some Foundry. Painting the International Brigade is fun because you get to mix a lot of colors as they were rather irregular in appearance. They they often went into combat in their civvies or whatever uniform the supply clerk had available or they could scrounge up here and there.  However, this of course adds time to the painting and sometimes wastes paint due to not requiring all of mix for a particular color. I pretty much kept to the browns which is typical for the Republicans. Anyhow, I'm enjoyed painting these and look forward to doing more soon! As a side note really happy how my new camera is working out for the small unit shots, but still need to learn more for big shot game pictures.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Empress Miniatures 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Aftermath in the East Woods

I've had an enduring passion for the American Civil War since a boy really and just about every Analogue Hobbies  challenge I try and include at least one ACW piece somewhere and while I was reading up on Antietam again the idea came to me for the "East" bonus theme round here.

Just to set the mood I thought I would include the soundtrack "Ashokan Farewell" in the youtube clip below assembled by Curt Franz made famous by Ken Burns monumental American Civil war series. Enjoy the photo's in the clip and listen to the song while you read the post if you wish. Personally I find the song just seeps into your bones and pulls you right into 1860's America.

Antietam or Sharpsburg as known by the confederates occurred on September 17, 1862 and was the bloodiest single day of combat in the American Civil War resulting in a staggering 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing. This was the South's first invasion of the North and resulted in the confederates achieving a remarkable tactical draw when one considers the enemy commander had your plans and had considerably superior numbers of 87,000 men to your 38,000! That said, it was a strategic victory for the union as the confederates were forced to withdraw the following morning having not the men or materials to press the invasion.

So how does the East Woods fit into all this some may ask? The East Woods is where the first infantry engagements took place during the battle starting with the evening exchanges between pickets prior to the battle and moving on into a full on infantry slugfest in the morning between parts of Hooker's Corps and Jackson's division. This went on for about 3 hours with each side changing control of the woods until reinforcements of the union 12th Corps finally pushed the confederates out, but at high loss of men including their commander Gen. Joseph K.F. Mansfield.

"The shells crashing through the trees and fluttering overhead as well as the musketry… all contributed to mark the time, and place, fixed in one's memory forever."
Diary of Sergeant Charles Broomhall, 124th Pennsylvania Infantry

Ambulance Corps.

Other then disease and direct combat soldiers often died simply by waiting for medical attention while wounded on the battlefield. Wagons were employed to gather the wounded to cut down on losses, but the problem was that often these early wagons had issues with corruption of the drivers who required payment to carry wounded, stole from their passengers and some were just flat out to lazy to gather the wounded. Also it didn't help that often the wagons were so lightly constructed that riding them was very uncomfortable due to damage to the roads from weather and shells not to mention some even turning over causing further harm to the wounded.

The situation dramatically improved with Dr. Jonathan Letterman's system which increased the weight of the wagon, number of horses and increased passenger load. Additions were given to the wagon like compartments to store medical supplies, stretchers, water, and removable benches and seats that adjusted with the number of passengers. Also units started to train ambulance crews and have routine inspections. Letterman's system became so effective that all wounded were gathered within 1 day at Antietam and inspired the formation of the ambulance corps after the battle. The confederates adopted a similar system, but was not as effective mainly due to shortages of men, supplies and wagons.

The uniforms of medical officer/surgeon was dark blue frock coat or whatever coat he liked with emerald green epaulettes with "MS" inserted, emerald green sash and an 1840's medical staff sword. His stewards(NCO's) usually wore frock coats with inverted half chevrons of emerald green with yellow edging and a red sash. Privates typically wore normal union infantry uniform with perhaps a green trim on the kepi if at all.

The model itself is from Perry miniatures and has been on my to do list for some time. A bit tricky to construct and clean, but works nicely in the end.

I painted the piece using mostly Foundry colors with some Vallejo and MIG pigments for the stones. I decided to have some fun with the horse and went for a "painted pattern Appaloosa". Appaloosa horses are something quite American so I included one to round out the piece.

Thought I would include an old fashioned looking sepia picture to further add to the atmosphere.While this piece can enhance the look of a game it can serve a purpose like an objective marker or represent the high casualty marker for Regimental Fire and Fury.

I do really enjoy painting battlefield extras and look forward to the chance to do some more.

Thanks for viewing!:-)
Miniature Company- Perry Miniatures

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Goth Warlord

Finally got some figures off the table for the annual Analogue Hobbies Painting challenge here which began in December where it seems time has just flew by with this and that. The challenge is to paint whatever figures you want with each figure worth a certain amount of points based on scale and then attempt to amass as many as you can. In the challenge Curt holds special bonus round challenges with various  themes about every two weeks in the challenge itself. I usually skip the fortnight challenges as they often would cause me to get off track of current projects which I already have great difficulties maintaining, but this year the stars and moons aligned and it seems some fall in the sphere of things I'm doing including this one.

The theme in this round is "Armour" and I figured that I could take the liberty and present a Goth warlord and his standard bearer in chainmail and scale barding which in effect is classed as armour in ancient terms and in this period was a form of tank.

The figures themselves are made to represent a Goth Warlord or leader and his standard bearer which could be used to represent many different Germanic factions. They are a bit Romanized so you could represent them as Foederati in the service of the Romans or an allied Germanic tribe gifted with equipment or of course one of the many Germanic tribes with either captured Roman equipment or copied.

I based the figures on oval bases which I enjoy for cavalry bases as I find the shape very pleasing on the eye and using a round base constructed a sabot base for the figures so they could multi task for SAGA, Impetus, Leader markers etc.

The figures are from the lovely Footsore miniature range which I consider to be some of the finest Dark Age figures on the market and a real treat to paint up. I painted the figures using mostly Foundry colors and some Vallejo. The Shields are LBM which I gave a dusting up from my trusty MIG pigments to include the stones.

I've recently purchased a new camera and fumbling my through it, but so far I'm happy with it for lighted set up shots and it sure does hold the charge a lot longer then my old one which is great!

Miniature Company- Footsore Miniatures
Thanks for viewing!