Sdkfz 251/1

Just finished a Hanomag sdkfz 251/1 half-track, another of a pile of ww2 vehicles I have assembled and primed. This one is by Blitzkrieg miniatures. Its a resin kit, which needed very little assembly, but it did need some cleaning. I will try to work my way through the rest of the pile over the holidays. Now that Salute 2022 has been cancelled I dont need to focus exclusively on the Napoleonic stuff.

Sherman tanks and dismounted crew

I have had these Warlord Games figures and the tank models (Sherman M4A3 resin and M4 plastic) stowed away in a drawer for some time. I finally got round to finishing them and I am really happy with them. I prefer Warlord’s older resin models to their plastics. People say the plastic sets have better detail, but that doesnt seem to be true of Warlord’s kits. The main thing though is that resin seems to me to be easier to paint with the kind of techniques that I use on figures. Resin models also have a great feel to them with such nice weight in the hand. The plastic kit was fiddly to put together. The tracks (in two pieces) in particular were difficult to get to “meet up” at the ends – is there no better way to design the tracks on this kind of model?

WW2 Germans again

My main focus right now is napoleonics. But I also have piles of WW2 stuff, a lot of it half-finished or at least assembled and primed. So now and then I take out some of those figures and paint a few here and there. WW2 games in this scale have the advantage of using a lot fewer minis than napoleonic games. So getting playable units ready is not a huge project. Unfortunately, I tend to jump from one project to another in a very unsystematic way. With the Germans I have several different types of figure representing different units of different periods of the war. Not all of them work well together… Anyway, these are Perry Afrika korps figures that I have painted as GD division panzergrenadiers ca 1943. The MG42 team is by Warlord.

Hälsinge regt.

An update on these with WIP on the officers, which are conversions based on Spanish napoleonics by Perry. Perry have a number of different command packs for the Spanish which can easily be converted to look like they are wearing Swedish uniform, either the m/1802, the m/1806 or m/1807, with or without plastrons (the Spanish uniforms seem to have gone through similar changes during these years).

I will do enough for at least two 24-man battalions of the Hälsinge regiment. These have a very simple blue and white color scheme, which is good as I need to do so many of them. Thanks to Chad for the templates for the flags!

Fighting retreat at Kauhajoki

Finally the Swedish and Russian armies met on the field of battle last night. We created a highly fictional game based on the Fighting retreat scenario in the 1st ed Black Powder rule book. We were rusty on the rules, the board was clutterered with slightly too much terrain, and Napoleon and Ney had to fill in as commanders on the Swedish side (partly due to an unfortunate loss of figures through crashing on the floor…). But it was great fun to be back around the games table! The game also demonstrated that 10-12 units a side is more than enough for a standard sized table. Hopefully we will be able to re-fight this one soon with some tweaks here and there. As I have planned to paint at least 4-5 more units for each side in the coming months, a scenario for a larger battle is also likely – although I dont know how that can be done without a significantly larger table!

Rules-wise, we decided to use as few special rules as possible. We counted line infantry as just that with no additional special traits. Jägers counted as rifle armed, and as skirmishers and sharpshooters. The cossacks were counted as unreliable. We did follow some of the suggestions from the Rebellion supplement book. That meant that infantry did not use squares, attack columns or mixed formations and that brigades would break only when more than half of their units were broken. As can be seen jägers formed separate units in skirmish formation.

These changes (compared to a normal Napoleonic game) reflect the form of warfare which was typical of the war in Finland. What we need to work on for the future is how to deal with wooded areas, cover etc. There are some suggestions in the Dark and Bloody Ground supplement that perhaps are worth looking at, such as a type of open woodland category of terrain. Many battles in Finland were fought on terrain which was at least half-covered by woods, just like in North America in the 18th century.

The armies were composed as follows:

Swedish 1st brigade and cavalry

Swedish army

1st brigade

2 battalions of line infantry (Björneborg & Åbo)

2 small units of jägers (Karelian jägers)

1 6-pounder gun

2nd brigade

3 battalions of line infantry (Savolax & Västmanland/Hälsinge)

2 small units of jägers (Savolax jägers)

2 3-pounder guns

3rd brigade (vanguard posted at the Russian end of the board)

2 small units of jägers (Savolax jägers)

4th brigade (Cavalry brigade)

1 squadron light dragoons (Nyland dragoons)

1 squadron light dragoons (Karelian dragoons)

Russian 1st brigade and cavalry. The artillery, the commander of the Russian cavalry and the dragoons are all in 1812 style kit. Grodno hussars would have been more appropriate, but they are still a WIP!

Russian army

1st brigade

2 battalions line infantry (Petrovsk & Sevsk musketeers)

2 small units of jägers (26th jäger regt.)

1 6-pounder gun

2nd brigade

2 battalions line infantry (Velikie Luki & Mogilev musketeers)

2 small units of jägers (23rd jäger regt.)

1 6-pounder gun

3rd brigade (cavalry brigade)

1 squadron of dragoons (Kargopol dragoons)

1 squadron Don cossacks

Obviously, the Russians were severely outnumbered, but their objective was to move at least half of their units off the table at the Russian end of the board (past the two small units of Savolax jägers posted on the road).

A handful of jägers stand between the Russians and their escape!

The game opened with a surprisingly strong advance by the Swedish 1st brigade, while the 2d became bogged down in the wooded hills on the right flank. The Russian 1st brigade tried to hold off the advancing Swedes, while the 2d tried to dislodge the Savolax jägers who were guarding the road. However the jägers held out for 3 turns of fighting, partly due to the fact that the Russian cossacks proved unable to follow their orders to charge them. By that time the Russian 1st brigade were already wavering in the face of the Swedish assault. We decided to call the game a draw, as the Russians had not withdrawn any units from the table, but neither had the Swedes succeded in really breaking the defending Russian infantry.

Nyland dragoons

Finished with the first six figures! I will probably never do a large number of Finnish cavalry. These were the most numerous of the Swedish cavalry in the Finnish war of 1808. On a whole, there was very little cavalry, especially on the Swedish side, with about 750 dragoons out of an army totalling almost 20 000 (the army of Finland) at the outbreak of hostilities. The miniatures are Perry 28mms.

Grodno hussars 1808

Here is a first attempt at a Grodno hussar for the war in Finland in 1808. The miniature is a Perry hussar in 1812 model uniform, but with a head from a Brigade Games russian 1805 musketeer added. I also added the shako cords with green stuff. In this way the model looks pretty close to what they would have worn in 1808, I think. By that time, the carbine had been dropped, and it seemed appropriate with the “campaign look” of the Perry figures. I am slightly unsure about the color and look of the shako cords; in some pictures they look more like a colored band around the top of the shako. I reckon this will have to do: the conversion was relatively simple, and should not be that hard to replicate on the rest, which means no more than 5 or 11 more figures like this one.

Västmanland regt.

Work in progress on the Swedish Västmanland regiment. As you can see, the Swedish units wore different colored uniforms compared to the Finnish regiments. Västmanland’s is a bit extra difficult because of the white piping on the yellow on the cuffs, collar, turnbacks and plastron. However, despite these details, these are still easier to speed paint than the Russians from Brigade.

Russian artillerymen

Working on a few Russian artillerymen for 1808. These are Casting Room miniatures (sold by Foundry). They are generally a little beefier, especially arms and legs, than Perry and Brigade Games. but they work OK. The shakos as sculpted had the crossed cannons on the front, but that was only introduced later (as far as I know). So I changed that with green stuff, which turned out pretty well. This particular pose is the best of the range I think.