segunda-feira, 21 de outubro de 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Panzer reinforcements for all Panzer Divisions in the making

A stream of German reinforcements is joining 1st, 6th and 7th Panzer Divisions, the three PD's I have in the making. Well, making the 1st PD allows you to make any other equipped with PzI/II/III and IV so it can be any of the other seven PD's in France 1940.

All models are MiniGeneral with the Hasegawa 88mmm and tow recently offered by my friend José Miguel Mendes. See? People that offers me stuff even get their names on my blog and become famous! What more can you expect?

MiniGeneral produces the PzI A (front) and B (rear). Only the usual antennae and stowage were added.

Two more PzII c were added with the usual extras.

As you can see in these PzIII E the lines that so much bothered the first 3D prints are nowadays negligible in the Minigeneral models.

These six Pz IV A, B and C finishes my needs for this model as I already have two Armourfast PzIV C. Eight is the maximum number of PzIV you need for a 1940 Panzer Divison, two per battalion in the 3rd company of each battalion. The figures are PSC and Hasegawa.

6th and 7th Panzer Divisons got these Pz35t and Pz38t.

A pair of PzI Bison, one company, is enough for the five PD's that had them. The model is great and the 150mm Sig guns inside are particularly well designed.
My main issue here was with the crew. I used 4 Fujimi converted figures as its artillerymen but I've seen pictures of regular Panzer uniforms in black mixed with others with long boots around and inside these machines. Were the crews of the Bison mixed, both Panzer and artillery crews? Maybe drivers and gun operators had different uniforms as they came from different services? I opted for the artillery uniform not being sure that I'm right. 

Finally the Hasegawa 88mm team built straight from the box. 

All these models were built at the same time. Sometimes this way becomes repetitive and a bit boring but when you get to camouflage you know you are getting there. 

Next: Loison's Division for Bussaco 1810

domingo, 20 de outubro de 2019

Age of Eagles (AOE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 6) - Mermet's Division

Standing in reserve in the outskirts of Sula Village stands Mermet's Division, part of Ney's 6th Corps. Due to its reserve status in this battle I used all standing positions I could from Ykreol and Hat miniatures.
Ykreol figures capture very well the campaign look of these veteran units that participated in the 3rd invasion of Portugal. They also go very well with the Hat figures with the 1806-12 uniform.

The divisional stand (L) has a Mermet from Revell with added EverGreen plume in the bicorne; the ADC is Italeri. The Corps stand has an Italeri Ney (figure in the extreme right) with StreletsR head and another general from Italeri.

Labasseé's Brigade has in front the larger 50e de Ligne, mostly Ykreol with some Hat, and to the rear the 59e de Ligne , mostly Hat with some Ykreol miniatures.

Bardet's Brigade includes the 25e Legére (in front, Zvezda figures) and the 27e de Ligne (Hat and Ykreol figures. Both Brigade commanders are my usual conversions.
Next: Loison's Division, that great SOB.

terça-feira, 15 de outubro de 2019

Eagles (AOE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 5) - Marchand's Division

This post starts Ney's 6th Corps. Its first Division was Marchand's, with three Line and one Legére regiments. 
The figures are mostly Hat with the Légere made out of old Esci figures. 

The 6e Legére is the Esci regiment. This figures are famous for being beautifully sculpted but inaccurate if you want to show Line or Legére units due to the short tail coats. The Porte Aigle is an Italeri figure from the 2nd box. The Grenadier company has new heads also from Esci and the Voltigeurs have Esci Hussar heads with a slight cut at the top. 

The 76e de ligne is Hat with some colourful Drummers for the sake of variety. 

The Tête de Colonne of the 39e de Ligne includes two sappers from Esci besides the usual Hat figures. 

The brigade and division commanders stands are conversions. The one to the left is the Italeri officer from the 2nd box with legs from Esci. Marchand is the AWI American officer with a StreletsR head and detail in GreenStuff. The figure on the right is a composition from a StreletsR head, torso from Italeri and legs from Esci. 

Next: yes, that's it, Mermet's division. 

sábado, 12 de outubro de 2019

Eagles (AOE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 4) - The buildings of the Battlefield

Along the years I put together enough Bussaco buildings to represent the entire battlefield structures. Still missing is the mountain itself that will be built in styrofoam. 

This one is the famous Convento dos Carmelitas Descalços in the center of the walled forest park and also the place were the Palace Hotel grew leaning against its back. Wellesley stayed here before the battle and his horse was tied to an olive tree that still stands a few 5 meters from the cross.  Its a very old card Draper Model that existed for sale in the Military Museum of Bussaco decades ago. It was very easy to put together as many of its features, like the stairs, were only printed.  

This back view can still be seen from the Palace Hotel. 

This is another Draper Model that represents the Capela do Encarnadouro that served as an hospital during the battle. Nowadays its the Military Museum of the Battle of Bussaco. 

Its condition nowadays is quite pristine so I made it look a bit older and decaying as it probably looked during the battle. 

Also from Draper Models are the two next windmills. They are simple affairs and this one represents Sula windmill from were the famous Crawfurd directed the volleys of its Light Infantry Brigade on Loison's Division.

The other one is Massena's Headquarters at the village of Moura. 

This one already showed in the first two parts of this series and its the Capela de Santo António do Cântaro.

The model is scratchbuilt in card with some wood for the three crosses on the roof top.

This is Leith's windmill very close to the place were violent hand to hand combat ocurred in the eastern part of the battlefield. 

It was also scratchbuilt in card, wood and tissue. Unfortunately its nowadays a private building and its closed with a metal door. Besides it stands in a very difficult place to find in the battlefield due to the access and the damn eucaliptus that floods the area. 

Now for the local's houses. These ones are from Draper Models and were intend to represent Sula Village. 

This small lot was bought in Serra da Estrela, 100km from Bussaco, and are resin handicraft small houses. After a repaint they look quite similar to the houses that existed in the villages around the battlefield. 

Size is aproximately 15mm which is the size of most of these buildings, ideal for 20mm figures. 

This other group are some card houses from a very old Portuguese collection. Also simple to build I varnished them with Wood Glue, as I do with all my card models, so they can gain a bit of the plastic strenght and endure the years.

The two houses in the corner didn't have painted backs so I made some drawings there and placed some colour.

Next: The start of Ney's Corps with Marchand Division. 

sexta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2019

Age Of Eagles (AOE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 3) - The French: Soult's Cavalry Brigade

Held in reserve, the cavalry brigade of General Soult didn't see action on the 27th of September but it can in a What-if scenario.

This post concludes Reynier 2e Armée. Massena's  Artillery will be single  post with all three corps artillery.

The 8e Dragons figures are Esci Cuirassiers with trimmed breastplates.

The 1e Hussards is a group of Italeri figures with no changes from the original.

Not what happens with the next two units. The 22e Chasseurs a Cheval was born in horses and torsos of the Revell British Life Guards but with shakoes from the Esci French and a proper paint job they turn nationality very easily. One aspect that helps this kind of conversions is the few recesses that most of the Revell figures have.

Its an easy and efective conversion. Nowadays you can go for the Hat box and avoid this trouble.

Same conversions for the Chasseurs Hannoveriennes.

Next: The Buildings of Bussaco

quinta-feira, 10 de outubro de 2019

Age Of Eagles (AOE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 2) - The French: Heudelet´s Division

In part 2 you can see Heudelet's Division (Foy's Brigade to the left and Arnoud's to the right) marching through Santo António do Cântaro to attack the Pass Road. Once again this division is a mixture of brands and conversions.

Here General Foy leads its 17th Leger up hill after having its ears heated up by Reynier only to be wounded a few minutes later. The figures are mostly Italeri 1st box of French with Foy being made from at least four different figures.

I also built and painted a large number of Voltigeurs. AoE is a brigade level game and no Voltigeurs are used but like this I can use them in other sets of rules. The ones showned here (L-R) are Zvezda with Airfix head, Hat, Zvezda and Hat again.

The 70e de Ligne is an all Hat unit from their lovely 100 figures box. As usual, with my childhood fears of having to divide parcels in the local toys shops with other costumers due to the small number of toys available, I amassed a large number of these Hat boxes. And this time I don't regret it as Hat apparently had plans to put an end to its production and replace them by a number of different boxes. L'argent oblige ...

Now to Arnould's Brigade. The 47e de Ligne is another lovely Hat unit.

The 31e Léger is a mix of Esci, Zvezda but mainly Airfix and Esci Grenadier bodies with Esci and Zvezda shakoes. The officer is from Italeri 2nd set of French Infantry.

To the left you can see the true General Heudelet. The figure is the old Airfix AWI officer with a new head from Strelets R and sash and epaulettes made out from GreenStuff. The ADC is Italeri. To the right you have agin General Merle that by mistake shows up in the big picture of Heudelet's Division. Well, at least is a new picture were you can see the extra details in GreenStuff placed in both figures. This mistake only proves the amateurish side of this fantastic blog of yours that, yes I know, looks very professional but in fact becomes very crappy once in a while... 

Finally General Reynier itself and ADC with added plumes in  GreenStuff. For the Brigade commanders AoE recommends one horse figure; for Division, one horse and one foot figure and for Corps, two horse figures.

Next: Soult's Cavalry Brigade

domingo, 6 de outubro de 2019

Age Of Eagles (AOE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 1)- The French: Merle's Division

The battle of Bussaco (in fact it should be written Buçaco, but to make foreign spelling easier the name has been changed) was the biggest battle ever fought in Portuguese soil with over 110.000 men in action. It happened on the 27th September 1810, during the third invasion of Portugal, when Massena's Armée du Portugal, 64.000 men strong, attacked the Anglo-Portuguese  army of 52.000 men on top of a very steep mountain 14km long called Serra do Bussaco, 20km from my town, Coimbra. The attacked was made by Reynier's 2nd Corps, from the village of Santo António do Cântaro, and Ney's 6th Corps, from the village of Sula. The former should sweep the enemy from the top of the ridge and meet with the latter close to the Monastery.
Things went awfully wrong for the brave French and after over 4000 casualties and the biggest casualty rate in officers of all battles of the Napoleonic wars, the French withdraw to the valley leaving the victorious enemy on its original defensive positions for an extra day.

This will be another long series, with around 20 posts as I have all figures already made to represent the entire campaign. It will also be quick, maybe one post each two days, so hurry up writing comments (good ones) before you are out of fashion!
I used Age of Eagles rules for this campaign but instead of one stand for each 360/180 infantrymen/cavalrymen I used one stand representing 200/100 infantrymen/cavalrymen. I used also three rows of two men each per stand to simulate the French battle line.
The division showned here is Merle's 1st Division of Reynier's 2nd Corps leaving the village of Pendurada in order to join the Santo António do Cântaro attack. It had two Brigades, Sarrut's (Left on the Picture) and Graindorge's brigade (Right).

With two men on horse you have a Corps Command stand in this case the obvious General Reynier and its ADC. The other stand with one figure on foot is the Divisional command stand, General Merle. All figures comes from the Italeri French Command and Staff box, only Merle is the officer figure of Revell's Grenadiers.

The two Brigade commanders are (L) an Irregular Miniatures figure and (R) a conversion based on an Italeri torso from Esci's Scots Grey, horse and legs from Italeri and head from Strelets R.

The 2e Léger follows Sarrut. The figures are mostly conversions with some Esci and Zvezda in the flank companies.

The 2e Léger conversions are based on the bodies of Esci Grenadiers with Esci line heads.

The 36e de Ligne is an all Hat regiment with figures from its 100 figures box unfortunately out of production.

Graindorge's Brigade only had one Regiment, the 4e Léger, but very big, four battalions strong.
The Voltigeurs stands are a mix of Hat Voltigeurs and Zvezda figures with Airfix Hussar heads.
Next: Heudelet's Division