Spending a few days in Greece, so I thought I would do a Greek Rifle Platoon based on some Burns 15mm miniatures from the lead mountain, I also had bought a pack of Flames of War Greeks in the past (there is a HQ pack or something). In trying to make what I had into a platoon with some supports, I bought some Italian LMGs (walking and lying down) and AT Rifles and an AT Gun from Peter Pig. Although not strictly the same type of uniforms it did not bother me so I lived with it. As for all these Platoons I am doing I have decided to get them done quickly and the painting is done in that fashion – 2 to 3 sessions per platoon and support – that is it.
I based my painting on some great re-enactor images I found on the net (link here). The uniform I painted was basically Vallejo US Olive drab highlighted with Brown Violet.
The platoon composition I found on this (link here) really good source that contains a lot of different platoons.
Here is the one for the Greek Platoon.
And here are the models I made…
The Platoon HQ – Lt. with a gun and I did a second in command as I did not read the list correctly (ignore him for now).
One of the three squads.
All of the squads
Lying down LMG teams
Some extra rifle-men
Anti-tank Rifle teams
Good enough for the table!
/ Hope that was of some interest, now I am doing s##t all for a while.
Next up some Russians to fight the Finns, then perhaps some Italian Bersaglieri to fight these Greeks.
This week, actually the last few days, I have been working on a 15mm Scout/Recon Platoon for Chain of Command to fight the Finnish platoon I did last week (see here). The organisation of the platoon is based on the list found in the Too Fat Lardies Christmas Special 2016 (link here). They are all from the Peter Pig (link here) range and are in 15mm scale. I really enjoyed painting them and I think they are really nice models. If you are not familiar with Peter Pig, go and have a look at what they do – they have a very comprehensive WW2 range and a lot of specials like different type of Uniforms, Sniper, engineers, etc.
In addition Peter Pig has a lot of ranges covering War of the Roses, Samurai, English Civil War, Pirates (and even small 1/450th pirate ships), American War of Independence, American Civil War (and again some naval ships in smaller scale), Vikings & foes, colonial, wild west, great war, Spanish civil war, Vietnam and Modern Africa. Further they sell Scenery and some fantastic rule sets (http://www.peterpig.co.uk/).
I could have painted the Scouts in a one colour uniform but were keen to have some kind of camouflage to make them look a little bit cooler. Artizan design have some very useful Painting Guides produced by Mick Farnworth on their webpage (link here), I found one showing Russian Leaf Patterns that I liked (link here) with only two nice contrasting colours. I then found two good colour matches (Vallejo 886 Green Grey and 887 Brown Violet – it may be called US Olive Drab nowadays).
Then I painted the Uniform in the 887 and made small random dots with 886 on top and I think it looks good from the distance they will be looked at.
Anyway, here are the completed miniatures.
Leytenant, Senior Leader, with Pistol
Serzhant, Junior Leader, with SMG
3 Squads each consisting of;
Serzhant, Junior Leader, with SMG
Light Machine Gun (LMG) with 2 crew
4 No. Submachine Gunners
4 No. Semi-Automatic Rifle Men (SVT40, not sure the models are, but hey!)
Anti-tank rifle teams
50mm Mortar teams
Generic Engineering team (more a marker)
Commissar, to give the troops a kick in the arse (sorry, I meant to increase their morale)
Mid-week Paining Solution – Getting my Hobby time back
Due to work I currently spend about 2 nights every week in hotels – it is a little bit of a change but I thought I make the best of it. I am already getting tired of hotel bars. I have decided to do some painting on these evenings, if I can, and have set up a little “paint-rig!”. Not very high tech and based on three old VHS boxes, and the system is modular as you can add more boxes ;).
Light is a problem in hotel rooms and I have invested in a travel led lamp that will be a very welcome addition to the “rig!” but it is waiting for me in the house at the moment. I will get back to you with my verdict.
With regards to Podcast there is a new one out from the Wargames Soldiers and Strategy team that I enjoyed whilst painting yesterday, it is about participation games (link here). I wrote a blog a few weeks back that relates to this about engagement at wargames shows (link here). Give it a go.
I also plan to do 4 No. platoons of normal Strelkovy/Russian Infantry and I won a new box of Battlefront plastic 15mm Russians for £18 including postage from Ebay (they retail at about £26). I checked them out and I like them and think they will paint up nicely. I also looked at Plastic Soldiers company pack but decided to start with the Battlefront ones – perhaps I get a PSC box in the future. Since then I found out that the Battlefront ones are bulkier than the PSC ones and may not work together that well (thanks Ignacy Kurowski).
To do 4 No. Platoons I will need:
4 No. Senior Leaders with Pistol (there are 6 No. in the pack)
12 No. Junior Leaders with SMG (there are 6 No. in the pack, but some other NCO types with Rifle) – later issue, may need some more SMG guys. Peter pig has at least 5 Russian SMG packs in their WW2 range so this is an easy fix.
12. No. LMG with 2 crew (there are 12 No. in the pack)
84 Riflemen (there are 84 No. in the pack)
In addition it comes with 6 No. MMG. These should keep me busy for a while!, but I will not start it until my Greeks are done (another story) and I have enjoyed a few weeks of leave.
If you follow this blog you are aware that most of my projects end up getting some kind of Nordic twist in the end. The Little One and I have enjoyed the What a Tanker rules (link here). We have been playing this during the 1944 Summer offensive of the Finnish Continuation war. In two earlier blogs I wrote about a Finnish Career ladder based on tanks actually available as well as tanks that could have been (more in the links here and here). In doing this I felt that I wanted more continuation war so I have painted up a Platoon of 15mm Finns from Battlefront (the same guys who makes Flames of War) and some supports, that I intend to use for playing Chain of Command by Too Fat Lardies (link here, but I suppose that the platoon can be used with any WW2 Platoon based rules).
Incidentally Osprey’s book vote this month offers the following potential title (with only a few days left).
Soviet Rifleman vs Finnish Infantryman: Continuation War 1941–44
From June 1941, Finnish troops fought alongside German and other forces against the Soviets. After recovering territory lost in 1940, the Finns participated in the siege of Leningrad before facing a renewed Soviet onslaught in mid-1944.
In my option there is far too little produced on the Continuation War in English – if you find this period interesting please click and vote here. Back to the platoon.
From the excellent Jaeger platoon webpage (link here) we find the following information on the Infantry Company from 1943 to 1944 (there is also information there if you would like to run a Machine Gun platoon or an Anti-tank platoon, both these could offer some interesting battles):
Gas Protection Section
3 Rifle Platoons (4th Platoon usually only on paper), in each rifle platoon
– 8 men (light machinegun + submachinegun + 6 rifles)
Relatively straightforward, here is a Rifle Squad.
and all of the squads
…and finally the company command (note that the runners are not included as per normal Chain of Command praxis).
In a discussion on the Too Fat Lardies forum the potential of more Submachine Guns in the squads were discussed (link here), so I did a few more submachine gunners (some of them have very big hands!).
In addition the Finns were equipped with both Panzerfaust and Panzershreks in the Summer of 1944.
I also some did some other supports,
Some Medium Machine Guns
A medic (a artillery chap with a green stuffed bag on the front)
An anti-tank gun
I will try to get some more types of anti-tank guns and also some Anti-tank rifles, but in combination with the tanks I already have (see the link above) the force is ready to go and try to stop the Russian Onslaught.
Here are the contents of the various platoon packs from Flames of War (to build the platoon above you need to get FI703 and FI702) :
FI703 Jääkari Platoon – 1 Officer with a Pistol, 1 Officer with SMG, 5 No. NCO men (I think, 3 Rifle and 2 SMG), 1 No. SMG man with AT Grenade, 8 SMG Men, 24 Riflemen
FI702 Jalkaväki Platoon – 3 officers (one with pistol, the other with binoculars), 5 NCOs (I think, 3 Rifle and 2 SMG), 1 SMG man with AT grenade, 4 LMG, 29 Riflemen.
FI706 Pioneer Platoon: 1 officer, 5 NCOs (I think, 3 Rifle and 2 SMG), 13 Pioneers with AT grenades, 18 Riflemen, 2 Flame-throwers.
In addition I got the following packages for supports:
You can buy this directly from the Flames of War website, your favourite retailer (like element games) or occasionally get some good deals on ebay. The total cost for the above, excluding the Pioneer Platoon, is about £55, excluding postage. This gives a lot of spare miniatures but I have a cunning plan for those at a later date – it is from one of the scenes from the recent Finnish 2017 blockbuster “The Unknown Soldier”.
Here is a trailer that contains the scene in question., 54 seconds in.
I actually bought the Pioneer Platoon pack, but as for variety and uniqueness it only offers the flame-thrower model. For £12 to £14 for a pack it is perhaps not really worth it, anyway here is a flamethrower team.
I also have some gents carrying Anti-tank mines, they can also serve as an engineering team, or part of a anti-tank hunter section (with the Panzer knockers! above).
The platoon can now report for service, where is the enemy?.
Ok, ok, I only have painted one of the opposing side yet. I thought I start out with some Russian Scouts and make a Recon Platoon (as presented in the Lardies Xmas special 2016). But in writing this I have only done a test miniature. This one is from Peter Pigs excellent range of Russian Scouts (link here). But that is for next time…
“…but in summary of Salute I can say “a lot of people, met some new and old friends, the games looked great, got some gifts(!), picked up some stuff and bought some more, What a Tanker from Too Fat Lardies looked fun, a fantastic GNW battle from Michael Leck – from my perspective the Show rolled a Six.”
From about a week ago!
We have been busy with the Little Ones year end Rugby Tournament the last week so I have not been doing that much hobby wise lately. We went to Isle of Wight and had a blast – it is a wonderful part of the world.
I realise that it is now about 10 days ago since Salute 2018, so I think there are plenty of better places for an overview of Salute – I suggest you try Big Lee’s most excellent blog here. Alternatively, or as well, you could go to youtube and watch the terrain tutors very nice video of the show (press play below) – if you have not checked out his other stuff do that as well.
What follows are just a few snippets of things from my personal experience.
Twisting the Dragon’s Tail
On St George’s Day! 100 years ago the Royal Navy attempted to block the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. The idea was to block the canal entrance by sinking obsolete ships – this to stop U-boats and light shipping from leaving port.
The game presented by the Maidstone Wargames society showed the actions of the HMS Vindictive that carried a troop or royal marines that were to take out some German Gun positions. It was a beautifully presented game and the ship was a thing of beauty and scratch built (using a lot of tomato pure tubes as sheeting material – that is hard core in my books – “What a we having for Dinner today?”, “It is another round of Pasta with Tomato Sauce!”).
Mission Command: Normandy
Mission Command is a new set of WW2 rules that promises to capture the essence of tactical and operational combat for company level to division level. It captures the way in which different armies (nationalities) operated in practice in terms of tactical and operational command, control and communication. It was a pleasure to have a chat with the guys. I found it intriguing – more information here. It is currently at the final stages of playtesting and a relatively inexpensive beta ruleset can be obtain through the link above. The game is Umpired and orders are given at the beginning of them game but can be modified. However the changes to the orders have to be achieved within command structures where the fog of war, imperfect information and confusion can cause unintended outcomes.
The Battle of Foy
Most of us remember this from the phenomenal Band of Brothers book and TV-series. This table was a joy to watch and the group presenting it was passionate about sharing their enthusiasm. I have a special place somewhere for snow terrain and this one was inspiring. The miniatures used were 20mm and it was played using the Bolt Action rules. The tall pine trees are made with the same technique as I used from my trees earlier in the year (more about how to make them here).
Tumbling Dice and another Diversion – Bag the Finn!
Paul at Tumbling Dice (link here) have a nice range of 1/600 aircraft and I bought myself a bundle of his nice aircraft that I want to use for some aerial dogfights between Finland and Soviet. They are very nice and they are relatively easy to paint them and it will not cost you a fortune to get started. I have some already that I used for Battle of Britain 1940.
I also got myself a selection of books from Amazon recently about the Finnish and Sovietic air force of the period – mostly second hand from Amazon at a not too heavy cost.
I will be using the Too Fat Lardies rules Bag the Hun for these (link here). The Scramble supplement have a little piece of using the Rules for the Finnish Winter War to get me started, but I think I will focus on the Continuation War period – those Brewster Buffalos looks far too cool!.
I was not going to but I got some of Lifecolors nice paints for this project (I got all the colours individually, from their paint set pictures below a part from the black as I thought I could get away with it!). This is a perfect on the move project as it does not take a lot of space – a handful of paints and a handful of planes and you can take off anywhere!
The only question is what playing surface to use. It would be really good have a aerial picture with good resolution of a winter land scape from above. Have not seen anyone doing one and I do not know where to get a good resolution picture from – any ideas gladly taken?
With some help from the Welsh Wizard, Mike Hobbs, we manage to order for a sufficient amount to get a healthy discount from Eureka (more here) – who did their annual trip from down under to Salute. They have a good selection of stuff and I got myself a lot of 15mm (some WW2 Australians with Great Coat and Russian Partisans) and some 28mm stuff (for my Mutant 1984).
I will show these in a later post as I have no intention of doing anything with them at the moment. Big shout out to Nic and crew – see you next year!
What a Tanker!
Too Fat Lardies were demonstrating their What a Tanker game and it looked great. Go and do yourself a favour and buy the book from here. If you need a little more convincing check out the stuff below. Had a good chat with Rich, Nick and Sidney – thanks for your time!
For more on the game if you do not want to take my word for it.
A video by the Lardies themselves:
Also check out these links for podcast whilst you paint your tanks:
The Veteran Wargamer (Jay) have gone Tank Mad in a wonderful way – check out his two podcasts for more here and here.
We are hopefully doing a game of What a Tanker this weekend using some 15mm German tanks vs Russian or American tanks – preparations are underway more to come.
However 6mm may be a good option and I spotted Baccus Shermans and Panzer IVs at Salute – they look very nice and the Sherman is due out very soon.
Michael Leck and friends, as have become tradition, presented yet another stunning table with a historical battle with a Swedish denominator – this time depicting the battle of Stäket 1719 (more here). This is a small battle at the end of the Northern War with with the King having been shot in Norway in 1718 and with the Russians and Cossacks terrorising the Swedish east coast with a fleet of Galleys (this was know as the Russian Harryings (Rysshärjningarna). The attack was repulsed but the Russians managed to escape without any damage to their fleet allowing them to continue their harrying the following year.
The galleys and the terrain boards (and a few of the miniatures) were made by Jan (who is another exile Swede living in the UK). The rest of the miniatures were flown in with Michael and chums.
As I have declated before Michael, and I, used to roll dice and use our imagination in the same role-playing club many moons ago. It is always nice to see him and his latest stuff – he actually brought me two presents, a giant stag beetle and a Swedish king. Many thanks Michael!
How much is your collection worth!
I also had a nice chat and a coffee with good friend Peter Riley who is running the Wargamer Collection Calculator (I have discussed them before on the blog, here) that now features a wargames directory with more than 1,000 traders, clubs and societies – is your club on it? Their base offer is in effect a collection manager where you can log you wargames collection in words and pictures with some high level estimate of its potential worth – perhaps for the purpose of using this as a basis for a separate insurance of your collection. Even if you do not want to insure your collection you could perhaps use it as a collection manager. Registration is free. Check them out here.
…I think that represents a biased but still fair sample of Salute goodies! I forgot the Daleks, here we go.
Horka 1708 update – Swedish Infantry and Artillery thoughts
I have been working away with the Horka project and here is the Swedish Infantry contingent. 28 bases (compared to the 64 Russian ones, presented earlier here).
I am also working on Artillery and have come to some kind of compromise for artillery. The Russian used a lot of smaller artillery pieces – battalion guns. In the accounts of Poltava once of the key elements is the Russian Artillery ripping away the advancing Swedes, changing to shrapnel for the last 200 meters. Placing a few cannons on the sides, as is the typical set-up, where the cannons representing 8 to 16 pieces of something like are shown as two bases on the sides, that does not really convey the story. So I will use thin frontage bases (15mm wide) and put them between the Russian battalions to illustrate these pieces. It may be overkill from a ratio vs model count – but we can deal with this and having a quick glance at the way it looks I do not think there is a way back. More about artillery in a later post. This was just me getting carried away!
Second blog update today, as I was a week behind due to various reasons…
I made a New Year resolution of getting my Winter War progressed and I think I have done so during January and February (if you go back and check some of the previous blogs). However it is time to box it up for now and progress with the hobby day job of getting ready for Joy of Six this year – I have no idea about my current progress on this project as I do some stuff on it every now and then. I will spend the next few weeks getting this back on track – I suspect that I will need to paint a fair few Swedish infantry units. So the Winter war gets packed away …. (links to the relevant blog entries forming part of the winter war stuff at the end of this blog posting).
….and the 6mm Great Northern War is back in focus.
However before the snow melts let us have a look at some of the Winter War stuff I have been working on since the last Winter War blog update 2 weeks ago. First some road tiles and then a log fire.
Doing Winter Roads
I wanted to make some wintery roads and got myself some self-adhesive vinyl planks. I have used these before and they come in 3 foot lengths. At these lengths they are fragile and can easily snap but it allows the creation of longer pieces – which I like. If I am not careful enough I have to make a new one! – no problem. You could make shorter lengths if you are worried about handling and storing them.
The width of the Raate road was 5m (so in 15mm the same as 50mm). The planks are 150mm so I used the whole plank width to be able to model the cleared sides of the road as well as the elevated road surface in the middle. I did this by cutting 50mm wide lengths from a plank and sticking them on the top of the base plank I was doing.
Then I mixed some brown emulsion, caulk (decorators filler, or alternatively an acrylic sealant), bird sand until I get a Nutella like consistency!
Then I covered the roads with the brown mix, I added some extra sand on the sides and added some tyre tracks with a kebab stick.
Then I let it dry for a an evening and then shook of any excess sand and trimmed the sides to make them less straight.
Then I drybrushed the road sections with white acrylic hobby paint.
Then I added (on the sides of the road only) the snow flock mixed with mod podge (matt) or PVA glue and a dash of white paint (acrylic) – I think I prefer the mod podge but pva glue is more affordable. On the top of the road surface I use mod podge mixed 1 to 2.5 with Water (you could use PVA instead of Mod Podge) and sprinkle some snow flock over it (I did not include any acrylic paint in the mix that went of the road). Let it dry and apply some Varnish on top (matte variety).
Log fire prototype
I wanted some fires on the table for a scenario where the column of Sovietic vehicles have stopped and the Sovietic soldiers have dug in and Finns attack at dawn while it is still dark. I had seen some LEDs being used for fire/smoke markers in the past (using the round LED flickering candles).
I went on eBay and ordered a set of red constant light LED 3mm 9v-12v (I got ten for £3.99 including postage) and the same but orange flickering (random flashing). I also got a tube of bare conductive electric paint glue (to avoid needing to solder the wire) for £6.91 and a battery holder with a switch for £3.94.
Then I connected up 2 of the orange and one of the red LEDs with the battery box (adding 8 1.5V batteries of course). If you do this, be careful and do not leave it unattended until you are sure it is working as sparks can fly and cause devastation even at these low voltages. Anyway here is how it looks like.
Then I put the construct and some of the cabling on a base and glued it down with hot glue, covered it up with non-drying clay, put some stones around the fire, a dollop of clear silicone on top and pulled it up a little bit to look like flames.
Here is the finished article.
I really enjoyed doing this, a few notes:
Unless you have a permanent setting where the cabling and LED are in you board there will be an elevation around the fire – I suspect no one would put a fire on top of a little hill surrounded by enemies, if they would make a fire at all! If I develop this further I may look at incorporating this into the roads with fires on the sides (in the ditches) or having small hills on the sides with the fires at the start of the slopes.
There are some lower voltage LED that would required smaller flat batteries, I may look into this instead.
Work is taking more than its fair share of my time at the moment, but it happens to most of us. However, I have had some time to get some things done over the last week or so, this is just a summary of that. As always, I do hope it is of some interest.
Chain of Command – dice, casualty markers and suppression markers
Gaslands – finally a game
Finnish and Sovietic dice
I am currently working on some terrain and markers for winter war Chain of Command. I wanted to have some dedicated Finnish and Sovietic dice so looked around and found a fair few Sovietic options but only one Finnish (very nice ones, sold by Dice of War in Australia, see here). These are not specific ones needed for the game, just the type where the 6 is replaced by a unit or a country symbol and could therefore be used for any game that uses D6s. I wanted to have blue ones for the Finns and Red ones for the Soviets, and thought I could perhaps do some myself. I found some 16mm blank dice on ebay and got myself a few different colours (these are from China so will take a week or two to arrive!, at least if you live in the UK).
I then ordered some labels/stickers from Amazon (13mm).
From Label Planets website (link here) you can get a word template for this label set and buy bigger quantities as well. From this you can design your own labels.
I wanted to have 1 to 5 in the same font as used for the Chain of Command rules. This font is called Vulgar Display of Power (download it here). In addition I wanted the hammer and sickle for the Soviets and the hat emblem that the normal enlisted men had for the Finns, replacing number 6.
Here is are the files with the sheet I made for the Soviets (Russian Dice) and sheet for the Finns (Finnish Dice), these are word files. You can change these to add your own colours and symbols.
I have to admit that I had some problem with the laser printer I was using in aligning the sheet so that it printed out correctly (I wasted three sheets but luckily managed to get two done, which was all I needed)- the final result is not perfect and if you have trouble I can only say I am sorry.
This is how they turned out.
One of the striking things with the Winter War are all the pictures of dead Sovietic soldiers especially in the fighting North of Lake Ladoga. Behind my romanticised view of the war and Finnish bias, I am not immune to the hell those Sovietic soldiers had to go through trapped on those wintery stretches of roads, with inadequate supplies of just about everything. Go to the Wikipedia page and read about the Battle of Suomussalmi (link here) and check the losses on both sides – 50% losses for the Soviets and less than 10% for the Finns.
To create a reminder of this I did a few terrain features with dead Sovietic soldiers (I keep on using this term as the soldiers in the Red army were not only of Russian nationality). They were based on Peter Pig casualty markers (based on anything with a great coat and headswaps to pointy Russian hats and early war helmets).
…and here with some painting, winterization and blood (sorry!).
These are based on the concept of snow flying around as bullets hit the area. I used something called Universal Cooker Hood Filter to do the effect. It is like cotton but much stronger, I attached a part of it with superglue and when dry I dragged it out and trimmed it. I also added a little bit of snow flock carefully on the cloud. I think they do the job well enough.
I have seen explosions markers made out of clump foliage and wanted to make some for the winter war table as it will contrasts nicely with the snowy background, and also have some practical game purpose. So I searched around the net for some ideas and found a few different options.
I made my set of explosion markers by following the recipe by the Terrain Tutor (link here). Always excellent, this time he blew me away again!
I also had a game of Gaslands with my micro cars! (using 50% templates), and it was great, but more on that another time.
/ All the best (yes I know I should be doing GNW!)
This is a follow-on from the post two weeks show some more Chain of Command markers I need to play the game. These are the ones I have done (for other markers go here):
Patrol Markers – done, see below.
Suppression fire – done, see below.
John Bond has a good guide on doing patrol markers and I was going to do them in this fashion using poker chips and then put stickers on – elegant and what you need (link here).
Having read the guide I got myself some Poker chips and found some Finnish and Sovietic symbols on the net to make the stickers from. I then thought that it would be cool to add some skiers on the finish ones and then it all went in another direction, adding stumps, trees and bushes. Overkill – perhaps, but why not? Difficult to turn these around to indicate that they are locked down! Had great fun doing them.
I made these from 10mm wide strips of some wood I had lying around – I suppose I could have used lollipop sticks as well. I added some twigs, green foam, stones and winterises and added some fluffy stuffing mixed with pva glue and some white paint. The last part to stimulate snow flying as shots are being fired.
I am going to make the suppression markers the same, but smaller.
Romans for Command & Colors
I also had my order in from Marching in Colours (link here) of some various miniatures – excellent as always. I spent the weekend basing and a very limited amount of detailing a large lot of Roman (and allied) infantry that I will be using for my Command and Colors game (see more here although I have changed some of the proposed basing conventions). I will do a write up of progress so far next week and also discuss the amount of bases and hexagons needed for this project. I am also working on the forces that will serve under the Barca family, but that will take some time to complete as I will need to focus on the Great Northern War stuff for the next few months.