Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Napoleonic Buildings - Plancenoit, Part Two

While waiting for the next unit of Russian Infantry in Greatcoats to show up, I thought I scratch out a few more buildings for the Plancenoit Village, well really for any Napoleonic game.

I thought it best to sketch out the town layout including walls/hedges, trees and the cobblestone road. I settled on five sections laid out in a cross pattern. Once I had a rough idea, I started on the nine remaining buildings.

 I roughed out all the buildings like this one before going onto the windows, doors and roof.

Once I have all the buildings to this stage, I'll get out my spackle for the sides of the building and to cover up any mistakes.

 Almost done with all the buildings, I start getting "crafty" at this point to make each building unique. I'll do more walls as well and then start on a few simple hedges.

It kind of gets messy but I like to wait before tossing the scraps, as I almost always need some of it to fix mistakes.

I keep a base on hand to test the height's and make sure they do not dwarf my "tall" 20mm buildings.

Here is an example of a "crafty" building, I was just going to have a short and tall rowhouse building next to each other. Then decided to turn it into a gate house next to a building. I have only attached it to the smaller building as I think I can also use it next to a wall section for a gate. This way I can have it face to the outside or the inside of the village/town.

I'll update the status of the project once I start spackling the buildings.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Napoleonic Russian Infantry in Greatcoat

After finishing the massive East German force, I thought I'd get back to "normal" painting. This translate into 28mm Napoleonics and as I had some Russian in greatcoats lying around from Elite Miniatures, so that is what hit the painting table last week.
Russian Infantry Battalion in Greatcoats
As I plan on at least three more of these units, I was looking for a simple paint scheme for an already simple model to paint. I found a can of sandish spray paint that I thought when inked would look good as the color for a russian great coat.
My Test Subjects
As I am want to do, I normally paint one or two figures up to get a feel for the paint scheme and if it needs any changes. In this case I painted up four figures as that is how I had mounted them.
Then I start blocking out the figures, though after some reading and internet searches I decided to vary up the color of the greatcoats by adding in some greyish and red brown coats.

Not much to the block painting and after only two one hour paint sessions I had all the figures blocked out. Then I washed the figure in a mix of Army Painter soft and strong tone, though on the pants and face I went with just straight soft tone.

Adding my three levels of rocks
Letting the wash dry over the weekend (well Sunday in my case) I then glued the figures four to a base and set about basing them up. Most of the time I hit the sides of the bases with a brown color to hid the paint chips after removing them from the painting strips of cardboard.

I use three types of rocks on each base, then a flocking mix over 70-80% of the base. Finally I add in some tufts and clump foliage to the bases.

Flocking mix added to bases.

To the right is my container of clump foliage scraps that I use for basing.

 Then I hit the models with clear coat to dull them up and "glue" down any loose flocking.
Battalion Line

Column of Companies

Still need to add two flags to it, but i don't have any right now and I'd like to do all four battalions at once.

The figures are decent figures except for the shako's ... those really need to be redone, it is hard to paint the cords and not sure about the front of the shako. I think it is supposed to be the eagle but even with magnifying glasses I could not make heads or tails on it so just dabbed some gold around the area.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

East German Kampfgruppe, part3

Done!!!

I have finished a complete 100pt East German force for Team Yankee! ok it is only 97pts, so I might add in an OP BMP, as well as some mine clearing devices on two of the T-55 companies. But as our games so far have been 75pts, there is no hurry on that :)

Took three storage trays to barely fit in the entire force!

Kampfgruppe Klein - 9th Panzer Division 
Oberst Klein's Kampfgruppe is built around his 9th Panzer Division panzer battalion. The division has an attached motorized regiment from 8th Panzer Grenadier division, and from this a reduced tank company and motorized company has been attached to his command.

Panzer Battalion Headquarters
Oberst Klein is a career soldier, one from a family with a long line of military service, his father serving in 2nd Panzer Division in WW2. Well versed in tank battle tactics, command of the Kampfgruppe going to Klein was seen as a natural choice in the division.
Oberst Klein in his T-55AM battle tank.


Panzer Kompanie
Hauptmann Huber is a good kompanie commander and normally leads any attacks made by the battalion. The assault on the west started before they could exchange their tanks for new T-72's, though the crews are very familiar with their up armored T-55's
Hauptman Huber commands six T-55AM's battle tanks.

Panzer Kompanie
Hauptmann Weiß is a replacement officer and has only been in the battalion for a couple of months. Klein is still not sure of his capabilities and usually holds him in reserve.
Hauptman Weiß commands six T-55AM's battle tanks.

Panzer Kompanie
Hauptmann Stein is the youngest kompanie commander at 27, but has been under the tutelage of Klein for over a year now. The battalion was in the process of receiving new T-72 battle tanks, and Stein's kompanie was the first to receive them. However the conflict started before the rest of the battalion could switch out their tanks.
Stein's company has five of the divisions new T-72's, they are still getting to know the tank,
but already find the 125mm gun a vast improvement from the T-55's 115mm gun.
 

23rd Panzer Regiment
Oberst Klein's tanks are supported by several regimental assets detached from the 23rd Panzer Regiment, they include:

Recon Gruppen
Unterleutnant Schreiber recon section contains two BRDM-2 scout cars. His section has been commended several times for finding space for the Kampfgruppe to deploy and fight.
Schreiber BRDM's excel at taking out western AA vehicles.

Artillery Batterie
While not permanently assigned, Klein so far has had a battery of self propelled artillery dedicated to his command. He normally splits it into two parts one for his force and the other to support Vobel's motorized infantry.
The 2S1 Carnation 122mm self propelled howitzer vehicles are able to keep pace with the rapid advance tactics of the tanks.

SAM Gruppen
Unterleutnant Schulte squad contains two SA-13 track vehicles armed with the Strela-10 Surface-to-Air Missiles.
NATO air attacks have been light, possible because Schulte's section has
shot down anything that gets close to Klein's command!

Anti-Aircraft Gruppen
Unterleutnant Sauer Flak squad of two ZSU-23-4 Shilka's have always been in the rear covering the tail end of the Kampfgruppe. They surprisingly have not fired a shot in anger yet!
The ZSU-23-4 Shilka's mount four liquid cooled 23mm 2A7 cannons and their fire is radar guided.


BTR Motor-Schutzen Batallion
Not only is this an ad hoc formation, it is one from a different division, and its capabilities are unknown to Oberst Klein, as such he uses them sparingly. The ad hoc formation is built around a motor rifle kompanie (split in two) and a tank company from the attached motorized regiment of 8th Panzer Grenadier division.

Batallion Headquarters
Put in charge of the ad hoc battalion is the kompanie kommandant of the motor rifle company, Hauptmann Vobel. Not well thought of by his regimental superiors (hence the task out) he nevertheless is well liked by most of his officers and soldiers under his command. Being away from his parent regiment, Voebel has found a lot of freedom in how he commands his battalion, and so far Klein has let him run it as he sees fit.
He has been passed over for promotion several times and is thus an extremely experienced kompanie commander.
This however is his first time commanding a larger formation and he knows he is under the microscope of his superiors.

Motorized Rifle Kompanie
Leading the bulk of the kompanie is Vobel's 2nd in command, Oberleutnant Koch.
Comprised of two platoons of infantry, an LMG and AT missile squad. When added to the ten BTR-60's, the kompanie is tapping the command ability of the Leutnant.
Normally run by Kaptain Vobel, Oberleutnant Koch was recently put in charge of the bulk of the motorized rifle kompanie. 

Motorized Rifle Zug
The third platoon is led by Leutnant Roth, somewhat of a hothead, Roth excels at flanking moves and getting into trouble. His troops excel at racing around the enemy flanks in their BTR's, though they usually lack the numbers to hold onto the ground gained for any length of time.

To help out, he has a squad of AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers for fire support.
The AGS-17 has a high rate of fire when stationary.

Tank Kompanie
Hauptmann Werner is bitterly disappointed not to be commanding the battalion and lets Vobel know about it every chance he gets. He also tends to ignore Vobel's commands as he is sure his family connections will keep him out of trouble. He commands seven T-55AM battle tanks and normally takes the best one.
Rumor has it that his family has Stasi connections, and most of his command hope he'll be leaving for "bigger" things soon.

Regimental Assets
Most of Vobel attached assets are from 9th Panzer Division and so he has not had much time to acclimate to the officers of these units. The exception being Leutnant Lehmann, whom Vobel successfully pluck away from 8th PG, mostly because his sister was very insistent that he keeps tabs on her son!

Panzerabwehr Zug
Leutnant Lehmann anti-tank platoon has successfully knocked out five heavy NATO tanks so far, the Konkurs heavy anti-tank missiles being able to penetrate even the heaviest of front armor on the enemy tanks. That said, he has also has had two vehicles shot out from under him. His Zug is from 8th Panzer Grenadier division and was requested personally by Kaptain Vobel ... his uncle.
Konkurs vehicles, each of which mount five of the excellent Konkurs anti-tank missiles.

Recon Gruppen
Unterleutnant Maier recon squad normally provides flank cover to the kampfgruppe, though in heavy attacks he'll scout ahead along with Unterleutnant Schreiber.
The two BRDM-2 scout cars are each armed with 14.5mm Heavy Machine gun, as well as a co-ax MG.

Artillery Batterie
Hauptmann Vobel has been told that has access to the 23rd's self propelled howitzer regiment, though no more than a half battery and he so far has not needed them.
The 122mm howitzer on the 2S1 Gvozdika have a range of 15km

Flak Zug
Leutnant Scholz Surface-to-Air zug has four SA-9 Gaskin vehicles, armed with the Stelia-1M surface-to-air missile. His zug tends to provide air cover for the attacking infantry though his zug has been split into two parts to cover the rear echelon vehicles as well.
Being wheeled the Gaskin vehicles are a good fit for the BTR-60 battalions.

Divisional Support
The kampfgruppe will be supported by higher echelon units from time to time. They are not attached, so are assigned on a mission by mission basis, though Klein has always requested and received air support.

Panzerabwehr Zug
To deal with the heavy armored NATO tanks, more of the missile armed Spandrel anti-tank vehicles can be called upon.

Raketenwerfer Batterie
To cover a large area with fire, Oberst Klein has limited access to a battery of three BM-21 Hail rocket launcher vehicles. The rocket launchers with their high rate of fire are an excellent weapon when a commander needs to saturate a large area with high explosive munitions.
Though they have a large blast radius they are not that effective against even the lightest armored vehicles.

Luftunterstützung
Oberst Klein learned long ago in his military career not to depend on any help from the Soviets, whom he has found generally still hate the Germans. This is especially true of the air support, as communications with russian speaking pilots is difficult at the best of times. Instead he relies on getting sporadic close air support from the East German Luftstreitkräfte in the form of a flight of SU-22M4 jet aircraft.

Each fighter bomber is armed with two 30 mm autocannons, Kh-25ML Air-to-ground missiles and cluster bombs.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sharpe Practice Carts

I have had a couple of carts sitting finished on my painting table for the last couple of months now. Yesterday I thought I'd take an hour or so and finally get them based up.

I purchased the carts and horses from Warbases in the UK months ago. They arrived in a very timely manner and were very easy to put together. I spent less than half an hour painting up the wagons and horses and ... then pushed them aside to work on other projects! In part was because my Mexican-American War II force does not have any carts. I had purchased them for the upcoming AWI campaign, and as we have been firming up the parameters of the campaign, I now thought it was time I finished them.

I chose to do them on circular bases instead of rectangular, mostly because I don't like the look of square/rectangular bases. And I suspect that the carts are not going to move about the gaming table very much. This led me to do the bases up with the heavy diorama look.

First up was the Water Cart ... I know this cart will be useful as the "thirsty" event has already afflicted many units in our MAWII games already.
The figure is a very, very old and of an unknown manufacture (Front Rank maybe). I believe it came from an artillery set for the French Indian war, but this figure has been re-tasked to supply water to thirsty troops!
The large water barrel is resin cast (the carts are laser cut wood) and it fit very well onto the cart. I also added a water bucket, a get "un-stuck" rod and a pile of backpacks to the base to give the diorama some flavour. I know the backpacks are more of a Napoleonic French 1812 style but it looks good and don't think anyone is going to complain about the "future" tech on the base :)


Next up was the Ammo Cart ... Not even sure if my force will have this cart, as the few times I have run low on ammo my troops were already within 12" of the enemy, but hey you never know :) The cover on the cart is a supplied piece of thick paper, which you score to fold across the opening of the cart. Hard to tell in the photos, but I applied a very light wash to it to knock down the brightness of it.
I used 4" circular bases which I had on hand. These were large enough to have the cart, horse and figure on them comfortable, as well as some open space to diorama up.
I applied my usual three layers of "rocks", followed by my grass mix. It was immediately clear that this was inadequate for the size of the base. So I added a bunch of tuffs and then packed in some "thick" flocking next to them to give a "bush" look to a few areas on the base. Applied a second layer of grass mix to thicken the remaining sections of grass.
Again the figure is of an unknown manufacture, perhaps from the same set. I think he looks generic enough, with his shovel and water bucket, that he'll fit in most black powder periods.


Quick and easy and both look good on the gaming table. My only worry is that they are difficult to pick up and move about, so I might have to pin the carts to the horse to make them more "game sturdy" in the future. Again though suspect they won't be moving that much in the first place.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Team Yankee - East German Kampfgruppe, part 2

I have been working on more East German vehicles (part one) and now have most of the vehicles done (I am procrastinating on the 15x BTR's, as I am not keen on putting together so much plastic!).

BTR Battalion sans the BTR's :)
All the above vehicles are painted and washed. I am going to add the East German shield decal to them and call them temporarily done. Mostly because I am not sure how I'll number the vehicles of the BTR battalion. Battlefront has a very limited number system with their decals, so I'll have to take a look at other companies.

But before I do the shields, I received a box this week with the two SU-22 Fitters I ordered! As was pointed out to me by Tom and a little research confirmed, the East Germans did not use the SU-25's, instead they used Mig-25 and SU-22 for ground support. Academy had both but went for the more "traditional" ground support SU-22.
So got my tube of $1 plastic glue and went to work ... and it they turned out to be kind of a pain in the %#$ putting together! It is not the best kit, and had several very small parts with no markings on where they fit on the model. But powered through it and got both of them done, though if I was a modeler I'd have a lot of putting and scratch building left to do!
The thing I was most disappointed with is that they are not loaded for ground support but air supremacy (two missiles and drop tanks). Not being an "air guy" it is possible that there is a ground attack version of the su-22 though academy just had this one version.
It gives you the hard points for the cannon/rocket pods, but no pods. Perhaps some you crafty types could make up four gun pods for me in 1/144th scale!
Gund pod circled in red
I am going to paint them similar to the above photo, but might be a bit as the 15 BTR's have priority (I'll post pictures when finished). Also I might have to hand paint the East German shield as well ... though might be able to use a Battlefront shield as the core and just paint the diamond around it.
I'll also need to make different flight stands than the WW2 ones I already had done. First off the angle is to steep for the jets and second, that even though the Moderna and WW2 models are the same scale, the SU-22's are much bigger and in turn makes the base very unstable.

More to come but were getting close to starting the Red Thunder campaign!