Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Prussian Landwehr: 2016 to Today

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I've been working on some Napoleonic Prussian Landwehr since mid-2016. I'd gotten some sprues of the Warlord figures on sale in 2013 but had neglected them until I decided that one day I wanted to paint them up. I decided to follow this awesome tutorial by Laurens Vannijvel (with a few minor modifications in paint colors) as it seemed pretty quick and straightforward.

I settled on Silesian Landwehr at Leipzig in 1813, since I knew there were a ton of them there. I've been fascinated with the battle since I took a French history class in college and it seemed like a good opportunity to eventually build forces for some of the other nations involved. But first, the Prussians!

The following images were taken at various times between 2016 and today. Hopefully they capture some of the evolution and progression they've gone through.

First step, of course, was to prime these guys in black gesso!

These figures' bayonets broke off, so they became test figures. The guy in the middle is wearing a brown coat that some Landwehr were reported to have worn in 1813. Sources say these troops would have been lumped together in the regiment's 4th Battalion.

Painting like a madman late into the evening.

Painting Prussians and watching Zulu!

A mostly-finished Zug (squad) awaiting grass for their bases. As my last blog post mentioned, this would later come back to bite me.

Reinforcements are on the way! All of these guys are now finished and make up my 3rd Battalion. As you can see, I ended up picking up a few more boxes of models to bolster the force.

Their numbers have grown from this:
A cleaner shot of my finished Landwehr troops from about October 2016.

To this:
Here are the Landwehr as of tonight! All it's missing is the drummer (who was primed last night). 

So after having done all these figures, I've decided to do more. A lot more. I'm planning to recreate General von Horn's 7th Brigade, which war part of General Yorck's Prussian 1st Army Corps and heavily engaged at Leipzig. These guys represent the 3rd Battalion of the 4th Silesian Landwehr Regiment. 

This battalion is primarily made up of the original Warlord Landwehr figures, with a few of their metal versions thrown in for variety (as the plastic set only has three poses). The sergeant in the back is from Front Rank, and the officer is from Perry.  

I also made a few distress markers a few months back. Since Warlord released some new Landwehr models that include shakos (which some Silesian units wore as late as Waterloo), I had to pick up a few boxes. They'll be incorporated into my brigade and will represent the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 15th Silesian Landwehr Regiment. 

These are bits of Warlord and Victrix gear on some 25mm GW bases I had laying about.

Finished markers! Looks like they were discarded in a bit of panic, don't they?

I'll post a photo of the drummer once he's finished. Then it's off to the 2nd Battalion!

Static Grass (Prussian) Blues

Hello! Long time no see!

My most sincere apologies for not keeping up with this. A lot's happened since my last post, such as getting engaged, getting a promotion, turning 30, and adopting 3 new cats. With all this going on, I've severely neglected my hobby over the last few years. 

But no more!

I've been working on some Napoleonic Prussian Landwehr off and on (mostly off) since mid-2016 and am determined to finish them in short order. I'll give more details on that project in a later post, but they're going to be Silesian Landwehr from the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. 

But while picking up the project again, I noticed that the static grass I'd been using was out. Unfortunately the place that I'd ordered it from had gone out of business, so I got some Gale Force Nine grass thinking it was the same color.

It was not the same color.
It was not the same color, and my OCD would not allow me to just ignore it and use the new stuff. So I actually spent several months trying to find the original grass before finally saying "forget this" and adapted with what I had.

Thankfully I'd used good old Elmer's white glue, so all I had to do was soak the figures in water for a bit before peeling off the old grass. I was relieved to find that it came off pretty easily.

Enjoying some "Champagne of the North" while working! Totally appropriate as Prussia's King Frederick William I described it as "best for our climate" and had his son, the future Frederick the Great, learn how to brew it. It was supposedly a hit with Napoleon's troops when they went into Berlin after the Prussian military disasters of 1806. 

It was pretty tedious doing this for 30 figures in one sitting, but it had to get done. Berliner Weisse and Prussian marching music certainly helped speed things along.

A visit to the basement from my cat Jimmy also helped make things bearable.

After taking all that grass off, it was time to put on the new stuff. Tedious Fun times ensued.

But it was worth pushing on! Here the finished battalion is awaiting a final spray of Dullcote. Now the rest of the regiment can proceed as planned! 

Stay tuned for more updates on these dudes.

And to make sure this doesn't happen again any time soon, I bought all the grass that Huzzah Hobbies had in stock.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Over the Hills and Far Away...

Greetings all! It's been a while since I last posted, and I do sincerely apologize for that. Things have been busy and I've not had the time to work on much of anything until recently.

I've been on a terrain kick these last few days, and I'd like to show off my latest creation: stylized wargaming hills!

I'm currently building a Napoleonic Peninsular War force, which means I'll needs quite a bit of terrain to go along with my troops (some of whom can be seen above). 

As you can see above, stylized wargaming hills actually work pretty well for Spain! So I tried to base my terrain off these images as best I could.

It all became with a board of pink insulating foam. Unlike when I was living in California, this stuff is readily available in Virginia. I followed (as best I could with my given supplies) the tutorial put together by the ever-helpful Terrain Tutor on YouTube. The video I used can be found here:

Using a steak knife, I made cuts into the foam and gradually worked it until I was satisfied.

Once the top piece was cut out in the same manner, I used white glue and stakes (made from one of the hundreds of wooden coffee stirrers I've collected over the years) to connect the two pieces.

After adding texture and priming, the piece was painted using acrylic craft paint and given several black washes. This done, static grass and small tufts were added. Once sealed, this was the result:

Considering this was the first time I've worked on something like this, I think it turned out pretty well. So well that I made two additional pieces to accompany this one.

Thanks for reading! Any questions or comments? Please comment and I'll respond.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Flames of War: Romanian TACAM T-60 Tank Destroyers

After being recently sucked back into Flames of War, I became incredibly interested in the Romanians. It started when I picked up a copy of Red Bear with the intent of building a Soviet armored force. That's still happening...but I noticed something interested with the Romanians. Not only can you take them as Axis, but since the country switched sides in late 1944 you can also play them as Allied forces. I was drawn to the versatility of this idea...and I was hooked.

As such, I've just finished my first Romanian platoon. It consists of three TACAM T-60 tank destroyers. Romania lacked a solid industrial base and had to be creative when it came to armor. This particular vehicle utilized captured Soviet equipment: T-60 light tanks and dismounted M-1936 F-22 field guns. Records show that 34 of these were completed between 1943 and 1944, seeing service until the Soviet Union repossessed them after Romania defected to the Allies.   

Battlefront, the company that produces Flames of War, made these wonderfully detailed models. My local game shop had a discount bin of older products and so I was able to pick these up for $7.50 per vehicle. Score!!

Here's a view of some of the crew before I glued them into place. It's been a long time since I've done an entire 15mm figure and I was worried that I'd gotten really rusty. Thankfully this was not the case. These Romanians were a breeze to paint up!

A view of the tank hunter platoon from the front. Note the different positions of the crew inside each vehicle. 

The platoon from the rear. Although Battlefront makes some spiffy Romanian decals, I opted to not to put them on the vehicles. Of all the period TACAM T-60 photographs I examined, only one vehicle had any sort of national markings. This leads me to believe that the practice was quite uncommon (but I will be including them on an objective marker I'm working on...but more on that later).  

So that's my first Romanian platoon! After the Soviets repossessed the TACAM T-60s in October 1944, the country once again needed to find an adequate tank destroyed. The solution? Take an old R-2 tank - better known to the world as the Panzer 35(t) - and replace its turret with a Soviet supplied ZiS-3 field gun. The result was the TACAM R-2. This will be covered in a later update.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Capture the Triton!

The other night my friend Kyle came over, bringing along some recently acquired ships from eBay. Using the Trafalgar rules from Warhammer Historical, we established a scenario set in 1778. The French have stolen a marine chronometer from the British and are transporting it back to Paris aboard Triton. The Admiralty has received word of this and dispatched a small force to retrieve it. Kyle elected to play as French, and so I played British.

We assembled a few extra boards in the basement to make an impromptu gaming table. Not ideal...but I'm working on a solution. That, however, is a post for another time.

The French ships move to attack the oncoming British.

With HMS Diana in the lead, the British sail towards their French foes.

While Diana sails off to engage and distract the French, Bellerophon and Drake sail around the far side of the island in an attempt to surprise the enemy.

While maneuvering to counter the British, Marquis collides with Revere! Both ships are temporarily out of action until their crews can sort out the mess. 

The French ship Venus opens fire on HMS Diana, initiating the battle!

Diana returns fire!

Venus and Diana pass close together...

With the British ship distracted, Triton attempts to make a run for it.

That is, however, until HMS Bellerophon finally rounds the island and opens fire! The French ship takes some damage but continues sailing.

A lucky shot sets Venus ablaze! Before long her crew has either died or abandoned ship, leaving the French vessel to drift aimlessly.

Revere turns to engage Bellerophon. Severely outgunned, how will the French ship fair?

Revere broadsides both Bellerophon and Diana! The latter ship is disabled and out of action.

Meanwhile, the chase is on! HMS Drake spots Triton through the billowing smoke from Venus. Her captain sets sail in a desperate attempt to stop the French ship. Revere's captain orders a pursuit.

Clearing the burning wreckage of Venus, Triton begins cutting across the bow of Drake.

Before the British can do anything, however, Revere's captain rams HMS Drake in the stern! This action causes major damage to both ships. 

"Go between them? Are you crazy?!?"

Seeing no other means of escape, Triton's captain boldly decides to sail his ship between Drake and Revere.  

"I said DON'T go between them!!"

The bold move failed, as soon Triton was also involved in the collision. Damage sustained to Drake and Revere is enough to sink them.

Though seriously damaged, Triton is eventually able to clear herself of the wreckage and make a dash for safety. With Bellerophon too far off to catch her, the French have won the day. But Bellerophon's captain will not forget. It's still a long way to Paris...

All in all, this was a really fun game! The rules made it so the ships had to move each turn. This did a great job of capturing the nature of naval warfare. Since there was a great deal of movement, there was a great deal of strategy required. This is a game that we will definitely be playing more of!