Bank holiday weekend and a chance to take another few steps towards finishing the photography of all my 19th century figures. First up were the Egyptians from about 1875 - 1900.
I had forgotten how much I like the look of my Egyptian troops until I got them out of storage in order to photograph them. I have a soft spot for troops in fezs: I think it must be something to do with Jon Courtney Grimwood's Arabesk trilogy!
My Egyptian force consists if two brigades, with each brigade having the same composition: three battalions of infantry, a squadron of cavalry, and a couple of guns.
These days, as I don't play much 19th Century at the moment, my Egyptians will probably find themselves proxy-ing as Libyans for my Operation Compass games...but at least they'll be on the table! Click on the pic below to see all:
My Gebirgsjaeger were originally bought to provide a late war German force for the eastern front...mainly in a desperate attempt to avoid painting the camouflage smocks that I would need for a contemporaneous company of Heer troops!
The figures will, of course, also do nicely for a Gebirgsjaeger force built from the new IABSMv3 Poland 1939 lists: although they will obviously need a bit of adaption to fit into the earlier OOB.
As always, I find it easier to see these things pictorially, so have now had a chance to put together a Gebirgsjaeger 1939 gallery...and very bare it is too, with lots of the late war equipment stripped right away.
Needs include some more infantry, to represent the bigger platoons, some earlier anti-tank guns, and maybe some pioneer types if only for completeness.
Some of you picked up on the fact that it was my 50th birthday last week. Thanks for all your good wishes and, to one particular person: no you can't have my collection when I keel over due to old age!
As it was my birthday, and I'd finished the IABSMv3 lists for Poland 1939 for the Poles, Germans and Soviets, I decided to take the opportunity to fill out my early war collection a bit.
You see, when I first started playing WW2 games, I tended to play IABSM as it was originally designed to be played: with each side consisting of a few platoons of infantry supported by a couple of guns and maybe a single platoon of armour. I also almost exclusively played France 1940 or Barbarossa games, having (at the time) this strange aversion to late war with its big cats and hordes of character-less Shermans.
I therefore only have a single platoon of most types of early war German and Soviet tank, and understrength platoons at that.
Well, what's the problem, I hear you ask, you have everything you need?
Yes, but, the thing is, these days, although some of the best games I've ever played have been games with small forces on each side, I now occasionally like to play huge, power games, with swarms of tanks everywhere...I think it's an age thing: why buy a sports car when you can command a full company of panzers!
So, for my birthday, I decided to do ma bit of filling out:
That's a platoon of Panzer IIs, a platoon of Panzer 38(t)s, a platoon of T-26s, a platoon of BT-5s, and a couple of SdKfz 222 armoured cars as well.
[All bought from Hannants, BTW, a very good source of Zvezda kit: ordered Wednesday, arrived Saturday, discount included in price.]
You may notice that all the tanks ordered are plastic Zvezda kits: cheap but perfectly serviceable...especially as I don't expect to use them very often.
And that's the point of buying cheaper Zvezda or PSC tanks rather than the more expensive metal or metal and resin vehicles from other manufacturers: if you're not going to use them very often, then cheap but serviceable is the way forward.
Don't get me wrong: these will paint up very nicely. Here, for example, is one Battlefront and three Zvezda Katyushkas in the same picture:
I would go as far to say, with my limited building skills, the rocket rack on Battlefront model looks worse than the Zvezda versions...and I've only ever fielded all four once, as an objective for a German attack. Imagine if I'd bought four metal versions for a single game: ouch!
The Zvezda range is expanding as well. Take a look at the box again. Nestling on the right are two Ferdinands. Together they cost about a fiver: cheaper than a single Battlefront model. Yes, I need them just in case I ever have to field them, but how often will I do so? Cost efficiency is the way forward!
Right: back to painting. All my Polish cavalry still do before I can start on the tanks!
So here they are: the dismounted Polish cavalry of the previous post rescued from their terrible frosting at the hands of a can of GW Purity Seal with a liberal application of olive oil, and then re-sprayed with Army Painter seal:
Now they don't look perfect, being still a little granulated with tiny particles of Purity Seal, but they look a whole lot better than they did before!
What I am also hoping is that they will improve even more with time and a bit of handling i.e. that the granules are worn smooth or continue to be absorbed in some way. They are not a disgrace now, though, and that's the main point.
Battlefront figures, BTW. Quite nice, although the faces were not particularly well defined and were difficult to paint into anything remotely resembling humans. That could be down to coming from an old mold, but is still disappointing. I've gone Forged in Battle for the mounted cavalry, so we'll have to see if they are any better.
Here's another couple of shots. Oh, and they look a bit weird on my custom bases as they don't have any LSW teams, and the bases are designed to take eight singles and a two-man LSW team, not ten singles. Should make playing with them interesting, as that's down one dice on all firing!
PS the painting challenge scorecard is now updated as well
I have been painting a company of 15mm WW2 dismounted Polish cavalry: 49 figures in all.
It's probably taken me about ten hours of work to finish them: that's prepping the figures, undercoating, top coat, highlight, wash, and basing.
Finished them last night.
Went out to the garage to varnish them. Picked up the bad can of GW Purity Seal that caused me so many problems with my half-tracks (see previous post) that I'd put handy to throw away, but hadn't actually thrown away yet, and promptly frosted the lot of them!
And when I say frosted, I mean frosted:
An absolute disaster! And on my 50th birthday as well! I could have cried!
Now usually when this happens I try spraying with a gloss varnish, and that sorts most of it out. Not this time: just made it slightly worse!
So I googled solutions and was amazed to find people suggesting a thin coat of olive oil might solve the problem.
Olive oil? Are you sure?
So into the kitchen I went, and was immediately confronted with my first dilemma: what sort of olive oil. The wife has got at least three types: ranging from the cheapo, supermarket own-brand in a plastic bottle to the super-squishy, extra-extra-virgin delicatessen variety.
Well, these troops have had quite an investment of my time, so it had to be the top quality oil: nothing but the best for the Polish cavalry!
Rather dubiously, I started painting it on.
Immediate results: figures de-frosted almost as the brush passed over them, leaving them free of frosting and nicely detailed again, with just a hint of roughness caused by particles of varnish.
Extra-ordinary...and now that they are dry, they have a rather pleasing patina to them too.
Glad I used the expensive stuff!
I've now re-varnished using Army Painter seal, and will post a pic tomorrow: it's good to keep you in suspense a little!
Great battle report from Joe Patchen describing a recent game of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum that featured a German assault on British Paras covering the access route into Oosterbeek during the "Bridge Too Far" Arnhem incident.
As expected, the only real gaps are in the number of tanks and armoured cars I need...but as that's not critical, as IABSM is more about infantry than tanks and it's going to be a rare occasion indeed that I need to field an entire tank company, I can just fill these gaps with cost-effective vehicles from Zvezda as and when I feel like it.
I reckon if I bought six SdKfz 221s; five Panzer 35(t); five Panzer 38(t); and six Panzer IIs then I would have all the early war German tanks I could ever realistically need...and at Zvezda prices, I could probably get the whole lot for the same amount as one Battlefront late war tank killer box set! All hail Zvezda!
In fact, the only real gap is the two-squad infantry scouting unit which, obviously, I could represent on foot, but would like to do as cavalry: the first German cavalry I would then have. A trip to Peter Pig for them, I think, as I quite like PP's cavalry figures.
So, infantry company gallery now done: next up will be the Schutzen and the Gebirgsjaeger galleries. After I've been shopping, of course...
I have now finished the IABSM v3 compatible German lists for the 1939 September War to go alongside the Polish lists that I posted a month or so ago.
These lists allow you to field a variety of German forces based on everything from a standard infantry company to a light trucked tank company. As with the Polish lists, they are largely taken from Anatoli's excellent work, converted to IABSM v3 alongside additional info from my own research.
Click on the pic to download the list, or visit the Poland 1939 section of this website (under the I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! tab at the top).
Any feedback gratefully received: either comment or send me an e-mail at the usual address.
Regular visitors to the Vis Lardica site will know that one of my favourite builds this year was the Warbases' Pegasus Bridge model. This enormous piece of scenery took me some time to put together and paint, including a short hiatus whilst Warbases, showing their usual high levels of customer service, replaced a part that I had superglued into the wrong position and then destroyed as I tried to re-position! Now that the thing was built, it was time to get it onto the tabletop and into action.
I did think about replaying the actual Pegasus Bridge action itself but, at a loose end one day, I put together a rather nice set-up on the wargames table featuring the bridge as part of a small town. As I didn't want to take it all apart again and re-build to the correct landscape, I decided to just write a quick scenario featuring the bridge where it was.
Pictures from a game of IABSM in 6mm based on an unspecified scenario from Chris Stoesen's In the Name of Roma! scenario pack, covering the actions of the Italian 80th Roma Regiment in the Soviet Union between August and December 1941.
Enough entries to sneak another update through only five days or so after the last one.
So, in no particular order, we have:
Matt Slade with some lovely 28mm Crusade figures
Geoff Bond sends in his first entry of the year: some Germans
Mr Plowman has been re-basing
Chris Stoesen pops in some 15mm Continentals and engineer-types
Steve Burt sends in a barn
And last, but by no means least, Mr Luther has completed a vast amount of figures for Sharp Practice 2.
Today's pictures? Well it's got to be Geoff's Germans...and we'll add an extra photo from Mr Luther of some of his 6mm 'planes:
You'll also be pleased to hear that the Scorecard is now fully up to date!
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.