Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Russian Artillery for "The Great Game"

This was my only completed painting for the month of December 2021, it being a very busy month what with Christmas and my church related tasks.

When I ordered my Russian infantry from Askari Miniatures, I also ordered two guns with crews, one a 9-lb field gun and the other a Russian manufactured Gatling gun (Gorlov gun).  I only got the crews and the 9-lbr completed as I messed up the assembly of the Gorlov gun and still have to figure out how to correct my error.

The 9-lbr was a heavy gun with a 107mm bore.  The carriage was iron which was very robust allowing the gun to be transported over rough terrain.

I painted the gunners in their loose-fitting white blouses with red pants.  Their green kepis are upgraded with white canvas Havelocks for sun protection along the southern border.

The Askari Miniatures Russian field gun crew comes with five figures but I only needed four for the rules I use (both "The Sword and the Flame" and "The Men Who Would Be Kings."  But this allowed me to move the fifth figure over to the Gorlov gun crew which only came with three figures.

The Gorlov gun crew has been painted with white canvas trousers.  The white Havelock completely covers the kepi.  My error with assembling the gun was to glue the elevation screw on before I tried fitting the barrel.  Now it is too short and the barrel has a very high angle, almost like it is an antiaircraft gun.  It will be an interesting exercise in clipping the elevation screw, drilling the pin out, and remounting it with a new, longer pin.  We'll see how that goes.

I also began painting some British infantry to be used as opponents of my Russians.  Hopefully I can get some of them finished in January.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Яussians Are Coming! The Яussians Are Coming!

 And yes, I do know that the Cyrillic R is actually a P, but I couldn't resist using the old movie title.

Over the past several months, I've been experimenting with a new set of rules -- "The Men Would Would Be Kings" from Osprey Publishing.  I got 'hooked' on them thanks to Neil of Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles blog and his 'Anglo-Russian War' thread, of which this post sets the stage.

I've been a long time Victorian colonial gamer using the late Larry Brom's venerable "The Sword and the Flame Rules."  But I've always wanted to do a smaller group of battles around a common theme.  So I decided to partially copy Neil's set-up.  In my imaginary conflict, the action takes place in the tri-border Russia-Persia (Iran)-Afghanistan area.

My first new unit of this theme was originally owned and painted by the late Dr. Mark "Doc Ord" Stevens.  I bought it from his widow after he died from ALS back in 2018.  They are a group of Old Glory Russians from their Boxer Rebellion line.  I've done some repainting to back date the uniforms somewhat.  They will be used as a border guard unit of two 12-figure platoons.  

Please click on images for larger pictures.

Border Guards 1st Platoon

Border Guards 2nd Platoon

"The Men Who Would Be Kings" rules use 12 figures for each regular or irregular infantry unit and 16 figures for a tribal infantry unit.  Cavalry are either 8 or 10 figures and guns of any type are manned by 4 figures.

The next unit I painted, this time from the bare metal, is from Askari Miniatures' Russian Colonial line.  These figures are dressed in the field uniform popular with Russian units all along the southern arc of the expanding Russian Empire.  It consisted of a loose white canvas smock, white canvas trousers, and a Havelock fitted to the kepi.  This "Slavic" style uniform was worn from the early 1870s through WW2.

8th Siberian Rifles, 1st Platoon,
led by the General Skobelev figure

8th Siberian Rifles, 2nd Platoon

After reorganizing and repainting the Old Glory Russians I obtained from Mark's estate, I had two figures remaining.  Since their soft caps looked like some of the ones worn by the figures I've used for a 'Back of Beyond' White Russian unit, I repainted them to match and added them to that unit.

The two "new" additions are flanking one of the original figures.

And the entire White Russian unit.

But there is more!  I still have two more "Siberian rifle" platoons to paint as well as a gun with crew and a Gatling gun with crew.  Plus there are four more figures on order to add to the White Russian unit.

And I have two British and three Indian infantry platoons and one British and one Indian machinegun team to paint.  More later!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

New French Marins Infantry (1870-1871)


I finally finished my special project after several months.  It is a unit of Askari Miniatures French naval infantry in shore uniforms that 'Askari Al' had recently released.  They are equipped in what became the 'standard' uniform for French sailors used as land-based infantry by the Republican armies during the Franco-German War.  Please click on picture for a large image.

These figures are very well sculpted as one would expect from Askari Miniatures.  They came with standard French-style backpacks but I did not use them.

This unit will replace one of my older Old Glory Boxer Rebellion figure battalions as the "new" 5th Battalion, Toulon Regiment des Marins of the 1st Division, 15th Loire Corps.  Overtime I plan on replacing the other two battalions with these very nice figures.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

French Naval Auto-Cannon (FPW: 1870-1871)

I haven't done a lot of painting so far this month.  I have done a little on a 15mm Confederate brigade for my "On to Richmond!" ACW rules based forces and a little on my special project (more on this once I get it completed).  The one element I completed is an auto-cannon manned by French naval gunners that will be used in my Franco-German War (1870-1871) French Republican forces.

I've had this 'large' Gatling style gun for a number of years as part of a collection of figures I bought.  I think it was manufactured by Falcon Miniatures as the wheel spacing resembled the heavy Krupp guns that I used as Hessian heavy artillery.  The gun carriage was rather wide and looked rather spindly.  So I shortened the axle and glued a reinforcing wire to hold the barrel mechanism.  I had to drill fairly deeply into the bottom of the barrel under the ammunition box, through the center of the gun carriage, and then bend the wire along underneath the trail of the carriage.

After painting, it turned out rather well.  The gun is manned by two Askari Miniatures French naval gunners from the Sailors line.  I bought two 4-figure packs and used six of them for the French naval heavy battery that I included in an earlier blog post.

This gun will be included as part of the Naval Heavy Artillery Battery in the 15th Loire Corps artillery.  If need be, I can also use it to support any French naval or land forces conducting operations in the Victorian Colonial period.

Friday, August 27, 2021

More Prussian 1870-1871 Artillery

The other day I completed painting the newly acquired gunners for the 3rd and 4th Light Batteries, part of the IX Armeekorps artillery for my 1870-1871 Prussian forces.

These two batteries each have 3 Frontier Krupp guns, 4 Foundry gunners, and 2 Frontier gunners.

Along with the 3rd and 4th Heavy Batteries, these compose the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery Regiment 'Schleswig-Holstein.'  The 3rd Battalion is attached to the 18th Infantry Division, IX Armeekorps while the 1st Battalion is attached to the 17th Infantry Division which is currently helping to guard the North Sea coast in northwestern Prussia.

This will basically conclude my painting 1870-1871 forces for a while.  Now to complete my Confederate forces so I can run some American Civil War games.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

A Death in the "Family"


Just learned yesterday evening that long-time Jackson Gamer John Murtagh has died.  He apparently suffered a heart attack Tuesday afternoon.  According to his brother he had called 911 but after loading him into their ambulance the EMTs could not revive him.  John was a real larger-than-life character, always brimming over with enthusiasm for wargaming.  He was a feature at the local Bayou Wars and Colonial Barracks conventions and at Historicon.

He had a large collection of self-cast 40mm Prince August figures that he used to run both SYW imagi-nations and AWI battles.  He was a resident of Portland, Arkansas.

He will be missed by us all.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Rest of Hessian Artillery

After a brief diversion to paint WW2 German tanks, I returned to the 1870-1871 Franco-German War to finish the artillery assigned to the 25th (Grand Ducal Hessian) Division of the Prussian IX Armeekorps.  These are the last three of the six batteries of that division.

 The 2nd Heavy Battery, part of the 1st Abteilung (Battalion) consists of three Falcon Krupp guns and six gunners - one Foundry officer (with binoculars), two vintage Scruby 1" figures, and three Castaway Arts gunners.

The 1st Horse Battery, also part of the 1st Abteilung consists of three Ral Partha Krupp guns, two Foundry gunners (on middle gun), three Eagles of Empire gunners (left and right guns), and one Castaway Arts gunner (right gun).

These two batteries, plus the 1st Heavy Battery compose the 1st Abteilung.

The 3rd Light Battery, part of the 2nd Abteilung, consists of three Ral Partha Krupp guns and six Castaway Arts gunners.  Its two companion batteries in the 2nd Abteilung are the 1st Light and 2nd Light.

Now all I have to do to complete the 25th Division is paint five battalions of infantry (four musketeer and one jager) [120 figures plus a two-man brigade command group and two mounted regimental colonels] and two regiments of cavalry [32 dragoons and a two-man brigade command group].  That's only 195 human and horse figures.  Peace of cake, right!

That doesn't consider three more batteries of artillery (two Prussian and one French), five battalions of infantry (French), and ten regiments of cavalry (five Prussian and five French) plus assorted command figures.  That's only 668 individual humans, horses, and guns, including the above unpainted Hessians.

Oh well, just like eating an elephant -- one bite at a time!