Thursday, April 2, 2020

Wings of War/Glory Storage (continued)

Last night I completed all of the lattices for the five boxes in which I will be storing almost all of my WW1 biplanes.  If you'll recall, I reported on the start of this project several days ago.

Here are the five boxes:

Box 1 -- Fifteen Allied Powers single-seat fighters

From top -- rows three SPAD XIIIs, three Sopwith Camels, three Sopwith Snipes, one Sopwith Snipe and two Nieuport 28s, and one Nieuport 23 and two Nieuport 17s.
Box 2 -- Fifteen Central Powers single-seat fighters

From top -- rows three Fokker Dr-Is, three Fokker D-VIIs, three Albatros D-III, and two rows each of one Phoenix D-1, one Pfalz D-IIIA, and one Pfalz D-III 
Box 3 -- Mixed Allied and Central Power single- and two-seat fighters and bomber/recce planes

From top -- rows of one SE-5 and two SE-5As, two UFAG C-Is and one LFG Roland C-II, and two rows each of two Albatros D-Vs and one LFG Roland C-II

Box 4 -- Eight Allied Powers two-seat bomber/recce planes

From top -- rows of two Breguet BR-14 B2s, two rows each of one RAF RE-8 and one De Haviland DH-4, and one row of one RAF RE-8 and one AirCo DH-4 
And Box 5 -- One Allied two-seat fighter and four Central Powers two-seat bomber/recce planes

From left -- columns of one Turkish Albatros C-III and one British Bristol F2B fighter and of three Rumpler C-IVs
as well as room for boxed maneuver and damage decks and bagged markers and flight pegs
The planes that are not in these boxes are my four heavy bombers (two Gothas and two Capronis, still in their original boxes) and the four single-seat fighters (two Allied and two German) in the Revised Deluxe Set box, as well as my Snoopy in his trusted Camel doghouse, although he will probably ed up in Box 5.

These will fit in two one-cubic foot cardboard storage boxes with room left over for a box holding the control panels and rule books.

Now all I have to do is get busy printing and folding the maneuver deck and damage deck boxes.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Prussian III Korps Artillery Completed

Today I completed the final artillery company for the Napoleonic Prussian III Korps.

Foot Company #19 of Historifigs (ex-Scruby) gunners and guns.
The rammers are hand-made from wire and glue soaked paper.

Foot Company #19 (of the Prussian Artillery Brigade) is equipped with 6-lb guns and 7-lb howitzers.  It joins its other three companies in the corps artillery -- two heavy 12-lb equipped companies and one horse artillery company.  The corps artillery was used to reinforce the combat power of the brigades (division-equivalents) assigned to III Korps.  Each brigade only had one company of light foot artillery like the 19th Company.

Wings of War/Glory Storage

As I've increased my holdings of WW1 Wings of War/Glory biplanes, it has become quickly apparent that lugging all of them around has become prohibitive.  My current storage is two "legal size" clam shell document boxes plus the original boxes in which they came, all in one large plastic bin..

As you can see, I was using plastic 1/4" (~ 6.3 mm) H-columns placed just far enough apart that I could slide the bases and planes between them as well as keep the plane cards under each base.  But the planes were not perfectly secure as it is hard to keep the plastic columns perfectly aligned.

So I researched what other WoW/G gamers have done over on the "Wings of Glory Aerodrome" forum.  There were a couple of usable systems but in this time of "stay at home" I couldn't justify getting out to buy the components, especially as I fall into one of the "more likely to catch it" categories.  So I started planning to use what I did have.  My first foray was out of foam core but I quickly realized that wouldn't work - took up too much room and was difficult to cut and fit.

My second foray used a lattice of mat board about 1/16" (~ 1.5mm) thick.  That worked much better as it was easier to cut and gave me more room in the box I was using.  Here's the first completed box.

It holds 15 small fighters.  Eventually I'll have two of this type, one for Allied and one for Central Powers planes.  This "mixed" box has, from the left, three Fokker D VII, three Fokker Dr I, three Sopwith Camels, three SPAD XIII, and three Sopwith Snipes.  My Albatros D III, Pfalz D III, Phoenix D I, and Nieuport 17, 23, and 28 planes will all fit in this arrangement.  Overall I am very satisfied with this arrangement.

This is another view of the box showing how I attached the individual plane cards using a rubber coated paper clip.  The bottom is lined with a rubberized shelf liner that helps to keep the planes from sliding around too much.  I also have some thin padding that I'll use as well on the sides of each cell.

The other planes will go into three boxes -- one with three SE-5/5A, four Albatross D V, and five small two-seaters (Rolands and Ufags); one with eight larger two-seaters (all Allied); and one with five larger two-seaters (Central Powers and Allied) plus room for boxed maneuver and damage decks and bagged markers.

The boxes I'll use are by the Sterilite Company which I get at our local Target.  They are designed for American "letter" (11" x 8-1/2") paper.  I use them for troop storage, both 15mm and 25/28mm.  The interior dimensions are 12" (~ 305mm) by 9" (~ 229mm).  The lattice is 2" (~ 51mm) tall and notched to fit together.  The lattice fits into the box very snugly, preventing any lateral movement.  For additional security during movement I can lay a piece of bubble wrap on top.

This is the label of the box.  They are relatively inexpensive, about $7.00 (US) each.  The advantages of these boxes are they are dust and water resistant, have locking clasps, and will fit into a standard one-cubic foot cardboard box for easy transport.

I'll post additional pictures of the completed boxes once I get them done -- see link.

Friday, March 27, 2020

British Expeditionary Force, Northern Germany

Continuing with painting my Napoleonic forces for the 1813 post-armistice campaign in northern Germany, I added a company of Royal Artillery to my British forces.

Hunt's Company, Royal Artillery, equipped with 9-lb guns
[Miniature Figurines gunners, 2 Mini Fig 9-lg guns, 1 unknown 9-lb gun]
My British forces are (very) loosely based on the forces that were sent to northern Germany in 1813 after the armistice.  Most of what I've pictured below weren't actually sent to Germany but I've used "wargamers license" to add them as I own them.

Force Command group - Major General Archibald (left) and Colonel Campbell hisself (right)
[Archibald and staff officer are Der Kriegspilers and Campbell is an "antique" Airfix figure - painted by me]
Battalion of the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment, the Black Watch
[Miniature Figurines - bought already painted]

Battalion of the 71st Highland Light Infantry
[Miniature Figurines - bought already painted]

3rd Battalion, 95th Rifle Regiment, the Green Jackets
[Der Kriegspieler officer and bugler and Scruby other ranks - painted by me]
Battalion of Royal Marines landed from ships of the Baltic and North Sea flotillas
[Miniature Figurines - painted by me]
Luneburg Light Infantry Battalion, Kingdom of Hanover
[Der Kriegspieler officer and bugler and Scruby other ranks - painted by me]
Battalion of Brunswick Oels Jagers
[Der Kriegspieler - painted by me]

Battalion (-) of Corsican Rangers, transferred from the Mediterranean Theater
[Scruby Miniatures - painted by me]

11th Light Dragoon Regiment
[early Miniature Figurines - painted by me]
I do have many more to paint, eventually - 5 battalions of British infantry, 4 battalions of Hanoverian infantry, parts of 3 cavalry regiments, 1 Royal Artillery company and 1 Royal Horse Artillery Rocket Troop, plus a number of officers.  I'll also upgrade the Brunswick Oels and the Corsican Rangers to full 4-stand battalions.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Prussian 3rd Brigade and Corps Cavalry Completed!

I've been slightly delinquent in posting here about my miniature wargaming activities since our large Franco-German War game back in January.  But I'm hoping to make up for it now.

As the title states, I've finally completed the last detachments for the 3rd Prussian Brigade and regiments for the III Korps cavalry.  My previous post back in July 2019 recorded the completion of the 4th Brigade.  As I wrote there, the Prussian brigades in 1813 were really division equivalent all-arms commands and were called such to get around the onerous French restrictions after the Treaty of Tilsit.

The 3rd Brigade, commanded by Generalmajor Prinz von Hessen-Homburg, consisted of:
     Infantry Regiment #4, 3rd East Prussian of three battalions (two musketeer and one fusilier)
     Reserve Infantry Regiment #4 of three musketeer battalions
     2nd East Prussian Grenadier Battalion (with companies from both the 3rd and 4th East Prussian Regiments
     3rd East Prussian Landwehr Infantry Regiment of three musketeer battalions
     Hussar Regiment #1, 1st Leib Husaren
     Foot Artillery Company #5 with 6-lbr guns

The 3rd East Prussian Regiment, 2nd East Prussian Grenadier Battalion, and 1st Leib Husaren Regiment all had freiwilligen (volunteer) jager detachments.  These were composed of young men fron well-to-do families who provided their own items of clothing and equipment that had to generally meet army requirements.  The foot jagers were normally armed with the family's hunting rifle while the mounted jagers could have that or a short carbine.

Here are the foot jager detachments that I recently painted, completing the 3rd Brigade.  They are vintage Scruby true 25mm castings.

Volunteer Jager Detachment, 2nd East Prussian Grenadier Battalion

Two Volunteer Jager Detachments, 3rd East Prussian Infantry Regiment
I also completed the III Korps cavalry contingent.  The corps cavalry was where almost all the cavalry in the corps could be found, although some regiments could be attached to the brigades for various operations.  The III Korps Cavalry was commanded by Generalmajor von Oppen and  consisted of eight regiments:
     1st Brigade (Oberst [Colonel] von Teskow)
          Dragoon Regiment #1, Koningen (Queen's)
          Dragoon Regiment #4, 2nd West Prussian
          Dragoon Regiment #5, Brandenburg
     2nd Brigade (Oberst von Hobe)
          Hussar Regiment #6, 2nd Silesian
          Uhlan Regiment #1, West Prussian
     3rd Brigade (Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) von Sydow)
          2nd Pomeranian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment
          2nd Kurmark Landwehr Cavalry Regiment
          4th Neumark Landwehr Cavalry Regiment

All three dragoon regiments and the uhlan regiment had mounted volunteer jager detachments.  The ones from the 2nd West Prussian Dragoons and West Prussian Uhlans were finally painted as well as the Kurmark and Neumark Landwehr Cavalry and the 3rd Brigade commander.

Volunteer Jager Detachments of the 2nd West Prussian Dragoons (left) and the West Prussian Uhlans (right).
The figures are MiniFigs Prussian riders on Prinz August (I think) horses.
Complete 2nd West Prussian Dragoon Regiment with volunteer jagers.
The dragoons are Prussian MiniFigs.
You can see that the jagers' horses are bigger so I may try to get MiniFigs horses to replace them.
Complete West Prussian Uhlan Regiment with volunteer jagers.
The uhlans are Hinchliffe figures.
2nd Kurmark Landwehr Cavalry Regiment (Hinchliffe figures).
4th Neumark Landwehr Cavalry Regiment (Hinchliffe figures)
Oberstleutnant con Sydow, 3rd Cavalry Brigade Commander.
A Hinchliffe figure wearing the uniform of the Pomeranian Landwehr Cavalry (from where he was assigned).
I now have two brigades (division equivalents) and the Corps cavalry completed from the Prussian III Korps, commanded by Generalleutnant von B├╝low.  The corps was assigned to the allied Army of the North, commanded by the Prince Regent of Sweden (former French Marshall Bernadotte).  I'm also almost finished with the corps artillery, having only one 6-lbr foot company left to paint.  They should be done shortly as I have more time now-a-days.  Once I get that done, I plan of a major review of all my Prussian forces.  Stay tuned!

Monday, February 3, 2020

"What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?" - Part 3-c

This is the final continuation of my father's WW2 flight diary.  For Part 3-A see link and for Part 3-B see link.

As in the first two posts, the information in [ ] are my insertions.  The information in quotation marks (" ") are from the Mighty Eighth Air Force Calendar web site.

Mission 21:  April 3, 1945.  Target: Kiel, Gr.  A 6-hour and 30-minute visual mission against sub pens, shipping and docks.  Flak heavy.  Flew ship #634 with 12 - 500's.
[Note: "Mission 924.  752 B-17s and 569 P-51s are dispatched to hit U-boats yards at Kiel."]

The "Killian" U-Boat Pen (on left at red arrow) and Associated Dry Docks in Kiel after the War
The German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper is in the flooded dock next to the Killian pen.
[courtesy of web site Battlefieldsww2,com]
Mission 22:  April 6, 1945.  Target: Gera, Gr. (Leipzig area).  A 9-hour and 15-minute visual mission against marshalling yard.  No flak.  Formed over France.  Flew ship #318 with 34 150's [bomb weight not clear] and 2 M-17s [incendiaries].
[Note:  "Mission 930.  659 bombers and 593 fighters [P-47 and P-51] hit rail targets in the Leipzig, Germany area using H2X radar. [of these, 109 hit a secondary target at Gera]."

Apr 7, 1945:  Smouse [co-pilot of  #807 "Dream Gal" as of Feb 6, 1945] flew with Owens as co-pilot.  His ship was rammed by Me-109 out of control.  Suppose he was killed instantly.  [According to a roster developed by the 452nd Bomb Group Association, of which I am a member, both First Officer James I. Smouse, Jr. and 2nd Lt David L. Owens were killed inaction on April 7, 1945.]
[Note:  "Mission 931.  1,314 bombers [B-17 and B-24] and 898 fighters [P-47 and P-51] are dispatched to hit airfields, oil and munitions depots and explosive plants in C[entral] and N[orth] Germany; all primary targets are bombed visually."  Smouse's plane was one of 15 lost in this raid.]

Mission 23:  April 8, 1945.  Target:  Grafenwhr, gr.  A 9-hour and 10-minute visual mission against arsenal, supply depot, and railyards.  Another tour of Germany from 15,000 feet.  No flak.  Saw activity on front lines, P-51's strafed train.  Ship #807 with 8 500 RDX and 2 M-17s.
[NOTE:  "Mission 932.  1,173 bombers [B-17 and B-24] and 794 fighters [P-47 and P-51] attack various targets in Germany."  The part of the mission to Grafenwohr consisted of 203 B-17s.]

Mission 24:  April 14, 1945.  Target: Bayon [-sur-Gironde] France.  An 8-hour and 40-minute visual MILK RUN against flak installations and naval guns.  This was a Nazi pocket near Bordeaux.  No flak over target.  Bombed from 22,000 feet.  Ship #807 with 38 M1A1's.
[Note:  "Mission 948.  1,167 bombers [B-17 and B-24] are dispatched without escort to visually attack enemy pockets on the French Gironde estuary. Other Allied AFs [Air Forces] and French naval units attack similar targets. The air attacks precede a ground assault by a French detachment of the Sixth Army Group on the defense pockets which deny the Allies use of port facilities in the Bordeaux area.  480 of 490 B-17s hit 15 strongpoints and flak batteries in the Bordeaux/Royan, Pointe Coubre and Pointe Grave areas.  338 of 341 B-17s attack 4 strongpoints and flak batteries in the Bordeauz/Royan area."  I don't know which sub-mission was my father's.]

Mission 25:  April 15, 1945.  Target: Royan, Fr.  A 9-hour mission against troop concentration in Nazi ppocket near Bordeaux.  Formed over Laon, France.  Flew over Paris.  Bombed visually from 15,000 feet. No flak in our formation.  Ship #807 with 6 - 600# gasoline-jelly P-51 tanks (leaked all over hell [in airplane].  Free French Navy shelling town while we bombed.
[Note:  "Mission 951.  1,348 unescorted bombers [B-17 and B-24] are dispatched to visually attack strongpoints on the French Atlantic coast; the first two forces [My father's was the first one.] below make the sole operational employment of napalm bombs by Eighth AF against German ground installations (pillboxes, gunpits, tank trenches, and heavy gun emplacements); the results are negligible and HQ recommends its discontinuance against this type of target:
1.  492 of 529 B-17s hit four strongpoints and flak batteries in the Royan area."]

Mission 26:  April 16, 1945.  Target: Saulac [sic - Soulac-sur-Mer], Fr.  An 8-hour and 20-minute mission against tank barriers and defenses on the Gironde estuary near Bordeaux.  Bombed visually from 15,000 feet.  No flak.  Ship #807 with 6 - 1000# G.P.s  french Navy and artillery shelled target.
[Note:  "Mission 955.  During the morning, 485 of 489 B-17s bomb the tank ditch defense line at Pointe de Grave on the S[outh] side of the Gironde estuary in the Bordeaux area in support of the ground assault in that area."

Mission 27:  April 17, 1945.  Target: Dresden, Gr.  An 8-hour and 35-minute mission against marshalling yards.  Weather was bad and umpteen million other groups were over, betwix and between, and under us.  So, our squadron didn't drop.  Brung 'em home.  Lot of flak but not near.  Flew ship #807 with 12 - 500's.  [This was my father's last combat mission although he didn't know it at the time.]
[Note:  "Mission 957.  1,054 bombers [B-17 and B-24] and 816 fighters [P-47 and P-51] are dispatched to hit rail targets in E[astern] Germany and W[estern] Czechoslovakia.
1.  450 B-17s are dispatched to hit rail center (152) and marshalling yard (276) at Dresden.
2.  410 B-17s are sent to Dresden area (76) ... 86 hit the secondary target, the marshalling yard at Dresden ... ."]

Mission 28:  May 2, 1945.  Chow hound mission to Amsterdam.
[Note:  "Mission 975.  401 B-17s are dispatched to drop food supplies in the Netherlands at Schipol (250) airfield [Amsterdam's main airport - still in operation.  In fact I flew into and out of there in September 1983 on NATO Exercise Atlantic Line.] and other locations."]

Mission 29:  May 6, 1945.  Chow hound mission to Amsterdam.
[Note:  "Mission 981.  383 B-17s are dispatched to drop food at Schipol (249) Airfield and other locations.  693,3 tons [in total] are dropped."]
[Note:  The missions this day were the last three offensive missions flown by the Mighty Eighth.  The war officially ended the next day.]

[Historical Note:  Operations Manna (RAF and other Allies) and Chowhound (USAAF) were humanitarian food drops, carried out to relieve a famine in German-occupied Netherlands, undertaken by Allied bomber crews during the final days of World War II in Europe.  A total of over 11,000 tons of food [were dropped] into the still unliberated western part of the Netherlands, with the acquiescence of the occupying German forces, to feed Dutch civilians in danger of starvation.  After it was realized that Manna and Chowhound would be insufficient, a ground-based relief operation named Operation Faust was launched.  On 2 May, 200 Allied trucks began delivering food to the city of Rhenen, behind German lines.  On the American side, ten bomb groups of the US Third Air Division [the division to which the 452nd Group was assigned] flew 2,268 sorties beginning 1 May, delivering a total of 4,000 tons.  400 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers dropped 800 tons of K-rations during 1-3 May on Amsterdam Schipol Airport.]
{courtesy of }

This ended my father's operational flying in Europe.  On June 29, 1945, his squadron left Deopham Green en route to the United States, flying via the Azores and Gander, Newfoundland, Canada to Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, where they landed on July 4.

I hope that this look at the past via my father's flight diary has been enlightening.  As I stated in the first installment, I hope to have more in future months.  But for now, "engines cut."

Saturday, February 1, 2020

January Painting - Franco-German War Units

The following units were completed during January 2020.  They were all used in our January 20 "Carnage and Glory" Franco-German War game.

French 7th Heavy Artillery Battery, 15th Loire Corps
This battery of 12-lb rifled muzzle loading artillery is part of the artillery reserve of the French 15th Loire Corps.  It is composed of three Falcon Miniatures guns and six Castaway Arts French gunners.

2nd Battalion, 2nd Hessian Infantry Regiment (Grand Duke's)
This battalion of Hessians completes the 1st Hessian Infantry Brigade, 25th Grand Ducal Hessian Division, IX Prussian Corps.  It is composed of sixteen Foundry Miniatures figures.

1st Hessian Light Artillery Battery, 25th Grand Ducal Hessian Division
This battery of Krupp 4-lb rifled breech loading artillery is part of the 2nd Battalion, Grossherzoglisches [Grand Duke's] Artilleriecorps.  It is composed of three Ral Partha "colonial" Krupp guns (only guns I can get that are close enough) and six Castaway Arts German gunners.  It provides direct artillery support to the 1st Hessian Infantry Brigade.

Although I said last month that I would take a break from painting Franco-German figures, I do have some more on the painting desk -- the 3rd Battalion of Tirailleurs Algerien (Turcos) and a composite French chasseur battalion made up of drafts from the Turcos, Zouaves, and Marins of the 1st Infantry Division, 15th Loire Corps.  These two battalions will complete the 1st Brigade.  After that I have two more battalions of Zouaves to paint to complete the 2nd Brigade and thus the entire 1st Division.