Sunday, March 24, 2019

Russian Napoleonic Officers

About a year ago I traded some miniatures for a large collection of Front Rank Napoleonic Russians and just finally got around to trying them out. I've never painted any Napoleonic miniatures before as the period was always pushed aside for other periods for a variety of reasons, but I've always liked the look of Front Rank Napoleonic figures and thought it would be nice to try some someday.

I do not own any LOTR miniatures for Curt's Fellowship entry fee for the AHPC, but I knew Curt was a fan of the Napoleonic period so I sent him an e-mail asking if he would accept some Napoleonic figures instead and he happily said that would be fine. Now to my shame I didn't send him a figure last year because I forgot due to other distractions(weak excuse I know) so instead of doing one figure I did two to make up for that shortcoming.

Full disclosure I've never delved into Napoleonics generally preferring the North American period, but was always curious. So how did painting my first set of Napoleonic Front Rank figures go......I enjoyed it! I think a great deal of that has to do with the sculpting style of the figure itself which made it a pleasurable experience. Also, they do look rather eye catching with all the braid work and sashes. I feel because the sculpting was so nice it made that fun to do whereas anything less well sculpted would have turned it into a chore.

So am I now going to turn out hundreds of Napoleonic figures and plunge head first into the great black hole of Napoleonics you may ask. That's hard to say as I'm a horrible butterfly making any kind of prediction difficult to say the least so for now I'll just say I'll paint some more as I both enjoyed the experience and really like how they look and see where it goes.

Since I'm  new to painting Napoleonics I had to decide on the approach I'll take in that will I worry about getting everything right or paint things how I prefer them to look while retaining the impression of the period. Well since I take liberties in almost everything I do I won't make an exception with Napoleonics and will continue to paint things in the impression I want while still retaining a legitimate period feel. If it's accurate then that's great, but if not then that's also fine as long as I'm happy with the final look which is what is important with our personal figures.

Napoleonics has a lot of white and if you have too much bright white imho it can overpower things so I decided a more subdued white was the order of the day. I've seen Russian uniform coats painted in a a dark green almost black and others medium bright which neither work for me so I went for what I feel is a medium dark green and liked how it turned out.

Hmm.... what next to do....more Russians, Texas War of Independence or perhaps something ancient ....I'm curious to find out what I'll do.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Front Rank

Thursday, February 28, 2019

US Airborne 57mm Anti-Tank Gun

Just finished a US Airborne 57mm gun to beef up their anti tank capabilities. Bazooka's are pretty effective, but lack the punch at longer ranges so enter the 57mm which is both more powerful and gives a longer reach.

I really enjoy painting Artizan figures with the raised detail and characterful posing so I plan to add even more to my collection.

I painted them using mostly Vallejo paints and some Foundry with MIG pigments added to the undercarriage and gun shield. I had to create my own slots on the base for the crew which I think worked out well.

I plan on adding more forces for my Normandy collection which is filling out quite nicely and in fact I've started to think of other theaters within Europe so looking to go to Italy next.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Artizan Designs

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Weathered Boarded House

The weathered boarded house from Hovels terrain is a nice little piece made out of resin that I had for awhile in my to do closet. I first tried an airbrush on it, but didn't like the result and decided to completely redo the house using my tried and true method using craft paints and mig pigments.

I really have always liked Hovel terrain pieces as I find they contain a lot of character and are great value for money. Strangely it's imperfections is where the appeal comes from. I still have several more in the line up that I hope to get to at some point.

It's a very useful piece of terrain that can be used for multiple periods in particular North America where a good portion of my projects take place.

Hopefully I'm able to keep on track producing terrain this year as would really like to add quite a few more features for future games as I feel I'm falling behind in this aspect.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Hovels

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Gone to Texas

While the Texas War of Independence from Mexico did inspire many Texans and those that travel to Texas to fight for the cause there were others who went for adventure and yes profit and this is one of those individuals.

The Texas War of Independence or Revolution if you prefer was fought from Oct 2 1835 to April 21 1836 between the American/Texan colonists, Tanjanos (Mexican  Texans) allies and Volunteers from the US against the Mexican Government led by President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna because they felt their rights were being taken away. After defeating the small Mexican garrisons in Texas the colonists declared the Republic of Texas to be born. This resulted in Santa Anna marching with an army to reclaim Texas with victories at Gollad and the famous battle of the Alamo before eventually being defeated by Sam Houston's newly trained Texan army at the battle of San Jacinto. While the Mexican army was forced to retreat behind the Rio Grande they never recognized the Republic of Texas and continued a slow burn conflict until the US Annexed Texas in 1845 which led directly to the Mexican - American war resulting in Mexico's defeat and end to Mexico's bid to reclaim Texas.

I've always been interested in the Texas War of Independence since I was a kid really from watching John Wayne's Alamo version(still think it's the best) and always thought it would be nice to do the period, but just didn't like any figures for it until I discovered Boot Hill miniatures and was blown away and knew I had to collect them! The figures just ooze character!  I now already have a box full of these wonderful figures in my lead pile just waiting for me to really fully commit to them, but right now I have other projects that first need attention. However, this will give a small sample of what is to come for those that are interested.

What is also great about this period is it's perfect for Sharpes Practice which I'll be modeling my forces for. It will work great for skirmishes due to the small size of the forces involved. However, I might need to create my own lists as there isn't any for it just yet.

I mostly painted the figures using Foundry paints and some Vallejo and were a pleasure to paint. While it's tiring for my old eyes I did some black lining on this figure as the range are very well suited for that and I wanted to bring out more of the character in these figures.

Still working with my camara to get the pictures to come out the way I want them, but with everything it just takes trial and error I suppose and in the case of me with tech stuff even longer.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Boot Hill Miniatures

Thursday, January 24, 2019

US Airborne collection reinforcements

1 Squad Leader, 1 BAR,  2x Paras w/ Thompson smg
Adding some more Airborne reinforcements to my already existing collection. I've noticed through gaming I just didn't have enough Airborne troops so decided to paint up some more. I've been playing quite a bit of CoC and more squad options tend to be the most popular choice so these are needed.

6x Paras with M1 Garands
In terms of WWII I've always been drawn to the Airborne assets of all sides to US Para's, German Fallschirmjäger and just about any nationality that fielded troops of this type. I suppose it's a combination of uniform, Esprit de Corps and typically tough as old boots in a fight.

1x Bazooka  w/2 crew, 1x medic, and 1x LMG w/2 crew

I painted these using mostly with Vallejo paints and some Foundry and AP adding additional highlights plus some MIG pigments on the bases.

The figures themselves are from Artizan Designs and because of some exaggerations they pack a lot of character and are very painter friendly. They are really great models to work with just the right amount detail to suggest who and what they are, but not so much you get lost in it.

I have some more on they way....

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Artizan Designs

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Airborne vs Fallschirmjäger (Normandy) CoC

The battlefield
Nick and I played another excellent game of Chain of Command set in my favorite backdrop Normandy. In this battle an elite force of Airborne comes to grip with some tenacious Fallscjirmjäger in a real clash of arms. Since this was set in Normandy Nick decided to field a regular instead of elite Fallschirmjäger force to take in account the attrition of the veterans replaced with less experienced recruits. Nonetheless the Fallschrimjäger proved to be still formidable and stubborn.

We played the "Swift to Support" scenario from the 1940 handbook, but used it in an 1944 setting with the Airborne as the attacker and Fallschirmjäger as the defender. I played the Airborne and Nick the Fallschirmjäger. Both have equal support points. The defenders mission was to hold out as long as possible until reinforcements arrive with the result that his support options arrive at the end of a turn which in CoC can take a bit as the defender needs to either build up a chain of command dice or either player roll 3 sixes in a phase to end a turn for this to happen. Victory conditions are the attacker must break the morale of the defender or capture all his Jump off points and/or the defender can likewise break the attackers morale and hold on to at least one of his jump off points.

The forces we took were:

1 Lt. armed with smg
1 Plt. Sgt. armed with smg
2 man Bazooka Team
3 Squads each consisting of of one Sargeant, light machine gun team with 3 crew and an 8 paratrooper team armed with M1 Garands
1 60mm Mortar team with 5 man crew
2 Medical Orderlies
M8 Armoured Car with Junior Leader
M4 Sherman 76mm with Junior Leader

1 Leutnant with machine pistol
1 unteroffizier with machine pistol
 Panzerschreck Team and 2 crew
3 Squads each consisting of Obergefreiter with machine pistol and 2 Panzerfausts distributed in the squad, light machine gun team with 2 crew and 2 riflemen and another light machine gun team with 2 crew and 2 riflemen plus a machine pistol
Panzershreck and 2 crew
Tripod mounted MG42 and 5 crew
Beute M8(captured M8)
Regular Heer Squad consisting of Obergefreiter with machine pistol and Panzerfaust for the squad, light machine gun team with 2 crew and a rifleman plus a rifle team with 6 riflemen.
1 Medic
1 5cm Mortar with 2 crew

Key points of reference

Point of references with top being North and bottom the South.

1.Ruined Church
2.West Woods
3.Ruined Farmhouse
4. East Woods
5.Cafe de Normandy
7.North Woods
8. South Woods

Opening phases I bring on a squad of Airborne south the East Woods and begin moving towards the Cafe de Normandy which at this point a squad of Fallschirmjägers take up position in the West Woods and begin exchanging fire with the Airborne moving south.

Airborne advance up the road attempting to outflank the FJ's
I now decided to bring on another squad of Airborne and a Sherman to begin the push to roll up the Fallschirmjägers before they could get their support on the table. Nick deployed his unteroffizier to further stiffen the resolve of what now was looking to be a tight situation for the FJ's in the woods.

Sherman on the way!

After a refreshing drink in the Cafe de Normandy the Airborne come outside to continue the attack.
FJ's deplying into the West Woods

And engage with the Airborne advancing along the road

The heat begins to pile on

I now deployed my 3rd Airborne squad forward of the ruined church and engaged the beleaguered FJ's .The combination of 3 Airborne squads and a Sherman all concentrating their fire on the FJ's in the West Woods was too much and broke the squad sending it reeling back towards it's lines. Good times!

Too much and the shredded FJ squad breaks and runs for the rear
After taking more hits adding which added additional shock to the fleeing FJ's from 8 up to 11 making rallying even more difficult with just 3 men. It was at this point Nick rolled 3 sixes ending the turn at the end of the phase which was bad luck for the fleeing FJ squad who would be removed if they  couldn't rally at the end of the phase. Seeing the writing on the wall the unteroffizier went into the ruins thus removing himself from the fleeing squad who had no hope of rallying saving himself from being swept off the field. Both of us started the game at 11 morale but with FJ's west wood squads Obergefreiter wounded plus both him and his squad broken and routed dropped the force morale of the Germans to a 7! Fist pump time for the Americans!  However, the silver lining for Nick was he could now bring on his full force as the turn ended. Oh Oh....

A second FJ squad deploys into the Farmhouse ruins throwing lead into the Airborne near the cafe
FJ mortars lobbing rounds
Nick with a smile popped up a second squad of FJ's who began to engage the Airborne squad outside the Cafe de Normandy plus a 5cm mortar lobbing shells to make things even more uncomfortable. If anyone gets a chance to feel a FJ squad unloading with 2 LMG's will make one seek cover ASAP!

Realizing his forward jump off marker was in danger of being over run Nick decided to first deploy his Heer Infantry squad in the deep part of the West Woods so as not to be targeted and used a chain of command dice to move his jump off marker to the rear of his Heer squad a full 18 inches. Darn!

I now thought it would be a good idea to advance my Airborne squad coming from the ruined church to engage the Heer squad before they could react until......

Alright gentlemen lets doubletime across this field while it's open....oh wait what's that!
Nick thought it was an even better idea to deploy his fixed MG42 catching me in the open!! Fortunately his gunner forgot to wear his glasses  and missed almost every shot.:-) I replied in kind killing off a crew member and adding a shock! However, Nick wasn't done and on his next phase decided to assault my Airborne with his Heer squad which I didn't mind as Airborne are excellent in close assault. Using the Handgranaten rule he hit me 3 times resulting in 6 hits killing 2 and adding 2 shock! What the heck! and then proceeded to beat me in close combat where I still stubbornly stayed for a round but in a second round of combat caused me to rout with just my wounded sergeant and Lmg gunner left! Que morale dropping from an 11 to 8 for me! However it wasn't painless for Nick and he lost a Heer team halving his squad and dropping his morale to a 6.

Heer infantry arrive to check the Airborne 3rd squad advance
Seeing things going downhill on my right flank I began moving my 2nd Airborne squad located on the road into the field close to the west woods and used my other squad by the Cafe, plus the Plt. Sergeant, Bazooka,  Sherman and a newly deployed Mortar team to keep the pressure on the FJ's in the ruined farmhouse.

Airborne crossing the field
Nick now decided to deploy his Leutnant to rally off the shock on his fixed MG42 and finish off the 3rd Airborne squad with it. It was at this time I decided to play one of the Chain of Command dice I had been hoarding and used it to run the remnants of the squad behind the church depriving him of the easy kill. Nick's expression was priceless! :-)

Fire on the Americans!

What Americans sir!
On my turn I continued to advance my second squad across the field just behind the west woods firing on to Nicks depleted Heer squad. Just as Nick was getting ready to run with his Heer squad I played my second Chain of Command dice and mowed down what was left of the Heer squad drooping the FJ's morale down to a 4!

I felt it was also a good time to bring on my M8 before he missed out and add pressure to the FJ's in the ruined farmhouse. Feeling happy about myself I decided I would be bold and run my Sherman down the road and attempt an outflanking maneuver of the farmhouse whereby Nick gleefully popped up one of his Panzershreck teams in the flank of the Sherman. I couldn't even finish "Oh sh....." before my poor Sherman was up in smoke belching flames high into the air! Time for the Airborne morale to drop from a healthy 8 to a 6.... I'm ahead, but I know how fast that can drop so all that over confidence is gone. Well mostly anyways.

Nasty surprise for my Sherman!
Things were getting tight now and while I had the advantage in morale all my forces were committed and while Nick was down to 4 morale which would cause him to lose a command dice he still had very dangerous reinforcements he could spring on me at the right moment and end my day in a hurry.

Rolling my command dice I rolled a double 6! Yes! I used my second Airborne second now by the west woods to engage the MG42 with attached Leutnant and piled the lead on causing it to break taking the Lt for a ride. Since it was a support no morale loss. The rest of my troops concentrated fire on the Panzerschrek destroying it and dropping the FJ's morale to a 3. On my second phase of the double phase the airborne again engaged the fleeing MG 42 and Leutnant  and destroyed it and killed the Leutnant as well thus dropping the FJ's morale to zero! Victory!

Fleeing MG42 and Leutnant
Leutnant is removed followed soon by the MG42
As always it was great playing a game with Nick as we both like good humor and fun banter while we play. I think this was probably our best game of CoC which is saying something as they all have been great because we are both more familiar with the rules and tactics of both the game and the forces we play. Even though the score would suggest a comfortable win for me it was anything but that and if Nick had a chance to deploy some of his reserves it could have been very different result. Well I'm really looking forward to our next game of CoC!