Tuesday, June 30, 2020

British Forces, Part 1

I've completed the second British rifle section.  It joins some earlier painted British.

Please click on the pictures for a larger image.

Warlord Figures
This section consists of a sergeant (left center of picture), a corporal and four privates in a maneuver element (right side of picture), and a corporal and three-man Bren gun team in a fire support element (left side of picture).

The other British that I have completed are a few senior command figures, a rifle section, and a heavy mortar section.

The senior command figures are Captain Campbell (center) armed with a Sten gun, Color Sergeant Gilmore (right), and an aidman (left) from the battalion support group.

The First Section is similar in composition to the Second, with a sergeant (center), a five man maneuver section (right), and a four-man fire support element (left).

Immediate fire support is provided by a ML 3-inch mortar with its three-man crew.  The mortar was actually 3.209-inch (81mm) and by 1943 was comparable to the German 81mm mortar.

I'm still working on a platoon commander and his sergeant, a 2" mortar team (2 figures), a .303 Vickers machinegun team (3 figures), and a spotter.  After I get them completed, I'll go back to the Germans to complete their heavy MG 42 machinegun team and 81mm mortar team.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Kampfgruppe Command and an Ersatz Gruppe Completed

These guys were easy and quick to paint.  Joining my WW2 German forces are the commander and senior sergeant of the kampfgruppe headquarters and a gruppe (squad) of troops drawn from ersatz (replacement) depots.

Please click on the photographs for larger images.

Hauptmann (Captain) von Pitzfeld and Oberfeldwebel (Senior Sergeant) Bergmann
These two figures are Warlord Games Germans that I got at a convention several years ago.

Gruppe (squad) of erstaz (replacement) troops.
As you may be able to tell from closer examination this gruppe has been drawn together from three different depots.  The four in the center are from one depot while the three on either flank are from different depots.  The camouflage schemes of their helmets are the "give-away."  Many German helmets were painted by the individual soldiers using commonly supplied paint and a rough scheme.  That's how I've done these.  The three NCOs -- one feldwebel (sergeant) and two obergefreiter (corporals) -- are armed with older Bergmann MP-18 submachineguns while the soldiers (gefreiter) are all armed with the Kar98K rifle.  These figures are from Pulp Miniatures, PGS08 & PGS10.  Their uniforms are rather dated but I am using them to represent the deterioration in the German Army supply system in late 1944 and early 1945.

Although I have more Germans to paint (rest of kampfgruppe command and heavy support weapons), I've switched to some British -- a rifle section, platoon command group and heavy weapons support.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Luftwaffe Feldtruppen - Completed

Well several days ago I completed the painting of my gruppe (squad) of Luftwaffe feldtruppen.  But first, let's take a look at their progress from the first report.

Please click on the photographs for a larger image.

The first three photographs show my initial try at the German splinter pattern camouflage.  Now I didn't try to duplicate the exact pattern, just went for an impression.

But the brown seemed to dominate so I added some more layering to the green as shown in the next two photographs.

I still wasn't pleased but I didn't want to get a brighter green as that would tend to counteract the muted approach camouflage takes, in my opinion having worn the Army's woodland pattern battledress uniform in the 1980s and early 1990s.  So I decided that this was 'good enough for government work' and completed the rest of the painting.

And here we have the finished product, a 10-man gruppe of Luftwaffe feldtruppen led by a grizzled veteran of the Russian Front.

My gruppe feldwebel is on the camera left while his companion is watching out for Amis panzers with his panzerfaust.
Hope you like these.  Now on to another German gruppe, this time a gruppe scrounged from ersatz (replacement) depots.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Luftwaffe Feldtruppen - First Report

As I began my reinforcement painting for my WW2 'skirmish' forces, I decided to start with a gruppe (squad) of Luftwaffe ground combat troops.  I had picked up a box of the metal Warlord Luftwaffe troops at a local convention a couple of years ago and now was the time to get them kitted out.

As many of you know, the Luftwaffe contributed some 21 division of non-flying ground personnel to the German war effort.  Originally assigned to the Russian front, they eventually fought in all theaters against the advancing Allied armies.

This gruppe will be assigned to Kampfgruppe Pitzfeld, a conglomeration of whatever troops were available to stem the incoming tide of the Allied forces in northwest Europe.

Please click on the photographs for a larger image.

 These are the first four figures that I've completed.  They wear the standard Luftwaffe blue field uniform and were the easiest to paint.  They are (from left) armed with a Gewehr43 and a panzerfaust, a standard Kar98K, an older MG15, and a submachinegun.

The other six figures are going to be more difficult to paint as they are all wearing either the Luftwaffe or the Heere (Army) splinter camouflage jacket or shelter.  This will be my first try at something as complicated as a camouflage outfit.  I'll post more pictures as the painting progresses.

This is the Luftwaffe pattern jacket.

And this is the Heere pattern.

So we'll see how close I can come.  Wish me luck and a steady hand.

French 1870-1871 Zouave Regiment Completed

This past weekend I completed the 3rd and last battalion for my French 1870-1871 Zouave Regiment de Marche for the 15th Corps of the Army of the Loire.  After the fall of Sedan and Metz with the loss of the last original field armies, the French were forced to raise troops as quickly as they could.  Part of this reestablishment of the French field armies was combining depot units into 'ad hoc' regiments known as "regiments de marche" or march regiments.  These 'ad hoc' regiments did much of the heavy fighting against the various German forces covering the siege of Paris.

With the loss of the four regular Zouave regiments, their depots were combed and new recruits added to form one regiment de marche which was assigned to the Army of the Loire.  In my French force, it is part of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 15th Corps.  It, as are all my Franco-German War forces, organized in accordance with Larry Brom's "Chassepot and Needlegun" rules.

Please click on the photographs for larger images.

 And here is the 3rd Battalion, Zouave Regiment de March deployed in battle formation.
The figures are all Askari Miniatures French Zouaves from the French Army of Africa range.

 Here is the battalion "command" stand that shows the battalion sergeant carrying a tri-color field guidon.  The three blue dots on the rear of the stand designate that this is the third battalion of the Zouave regiment.  All of my French and German are distinctively marked so the players will know which unit is in which command.

And the entire regiment with the 1st Battalion in the center, the 2nd Battalion to camera right, and the 3rd Battalion to camera left.  The mounted colonel is between the 1st and 3rd Battalions.  All figures are Askari Miniatures except the colonel, which is a Falcon mounted officer.

And here is the entire 1st Division in their storage boxes.

 The 1st Brigade with the Regiment Legion Entrangere to camera right, the Tirailleur Algerien Regiment de Marche to camera left, and the combined chasseur battalion and one of the light artillery batteries at camera top.  The two regimental colonels are in the center.

The 2nd Brigade with the Toulon Regiment des Marins to camera right, the Zouave Regiment de Marche to camera left, and the other light artillery battery, the two brigade command groups, and the Mitrailleuse battery at camera top.  The two regimental colonels are in the center.

Because of the size of the base, the division command group is in a different box with the corps command group, the 2nd Division command group, and other corps level troops.

Now that the 1st Division is complete I can move on to my next project -- more WW2 German  and British infantry to battle in northwest Europe.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Help Identifying a Manufacturer

Last week I posted a picture of the command group for my 1870-1871 25th Hessian Division, commanded by Prinz Louis of Hesse.  The figure I used for the prince was labeled on the bag in which I got him as "EXT-15 Baron von Gruber." 

But I have no indication of a manufacturer.  He is definitely a latter 19th Century mid-European mounted officer of distinction.

Does anyone have an idea of who manufactured him?

Thanks, Jim

More Franco-German War Units plus British Marines

As May 2020 drew to a close, I hastened to complete several more Franco-German War units and a command group.

First up is the command group for the French 2nd Loire Division.

Composed of two mounted Castaway Arts French officers, one portraying General de Division (Admiral) Bernard Jaureguiberry.  Although an admiral in command of the French naval forces at Toulon, he was appointed as an auxiliary General de Division in the French Republican forces.

  The foot officer is, I believe, a Frontier figure.

This command stand also flies a standard French division commander's guidon to help the troops recognize him in the thick of the fighting.  Of course it might also be a "bullet magnet" for the Germans.

And the Zouave Regiment de Marche has added the 2nd Battalion to its strength.  Composed of 18 Askari Miniatures colonial Zouaves, they fit the bill rather nicely.

This is the "Zouaves advancing unit pack" offered by Askari in the French Army of Africa line.

To supplement the French 15th Loire Corps artillery, I've added another heavy battery, the 8th Battery.

It has three Falcon French guns (E-9005) [OOP] and six Castaway Arts French gunners.  I think that I will need to repaint the battery commander's kepi as blue with gold embroidery rather than red.  Oops!

And while I was getting the gunners ready for attaching to the bases, I had the loaders all lined up on my auxiliary painting table.  I then noticed that they seemed to form a "chorus line."

So I present the "Dancing French Gunners" straight from a stint at the Follies Bergère.  😁

As I got all these French ready, including attaching the command guidon, I realized that I had forgotten to put one on the Hessian 25th Division command group.  So here is Prinz Louis von Hesse with his command flag.

The colored dots on the back of the stand will help players determine which units fall under his command as they will have a corresponding colored dot as well.

And the very last unit I painted in May is a battalion of British Royal Marines for my 1813 "British Expeditionary Force - North Germany" (BEF-NG).

Composed of Miniature Figurines figures, this battalion (designated the 2nd) will join the 1st Royal Marine Battalion and other British and North German units in the fight against the Corsican Ogre.

And now back to the painting desk to finish the 1871 French Zouave Regiment de Marche's 3rd Battalion before flitting off to 1944 North Europe to paint some British and German troops from WW2.