quarta-feira, 10 de outubro de 2018

Rapid Fire! - Able Archer rules, '2008' Portuguese Army in 20mm (part 6) - Grupo de Artilharia de Campanha (GAC) of the BrigMec

The GAC (Grupo de Artilharia de Campanha/Field Artillery Group) is the artillery component of the Brigada Mecanizada. It has three artillery batteries with M-109A5 SPG's. 

My M-109's are (closer) a BPM model and the other two are Riich models. And you really have to be rich to have Riich models as they are around 25 Euro each and, even worse, they take an enormous  amount of time to build as they are very detailed, have hundreds of parts in plastic and even a few photo-etched.

I think they are the modeller's dream and the wargamer's nightmare.

On the other hand the BMP model is half price and comes in four parts. 

Side by side for comparison: left - Riich, right - BMP. 

The only change I made on the Riich models was the replacement of the turret MG as it was so thin (so accurate, a diorama modeller would say) that they broke as soon as they left the sprue and used BMP Brownings instead . 

The BMP model is as it came. I only added the usual antennae and some camouflage net rolled in the turret back as I did on the Riich models. 

These two M548 ammo carriers are Altaya and only have an Esci soldier with new arms manning the MG and the usual camouflage net made from Noch foliage . 

The third one is BMP and also suffered the same treatment. 

The command of the Group is given to this M577 with tent from BMP. 

I also painted a second M577 but this one will go to the commend of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the BrigMec. 

Next: more ACW

domingo, 7 de outubro de 2018

Fire&Fury ACW rules set - Gettysburg in 20mm (part 9) - III Corps (Sickles)

Sickles III Corps advances to a higher position centered in the Peach Orchard, leaving the main line at Cemetery Hill and, worse, leaving its two flanks 'in the air'  and a big hole in the south close to Little and Big Round Tops, jeopardizing the position of the entire army. 

On the other hand some say that this disobedience (or misinterpretation of Meade's orders) gave its fruits as the Confederates wasted a good part of its resources in the destruction of III Corps not being able to deal with the arrival of reinforcements from other Union Corps. 

There are records of the advance of III Corps from its original position as one of the big shows of ACW with drums playing and flags unfurled. The worst part would come later: the Corps was destroyed including Sickles's leg. 

In the far end 2nd Division of Gen. Humphreys advances with Carr and Burling  Brigades to the front and Brewster's in support. 
Closer in the picture, Birney's 1st Division joins the general advance of the Corps with Ward Brigade (represented here by Berdan's Sharpshooters) leading, followed by de Trobriand's and Graham's Brigades. 

As this Corps only had two divisions I opted for showing the full Corps in one post. 

Berdan's Sharpshooters are Esci figures with cut down rifles to look like the  Sharp rifles. 

De Trobriand's Brigade is represented here by the 3rd Michigan, with plastic figures from several manufacturers. 

Behind de Trobriand's follows the 114th Pennsylvania of Graham's Brigade. All figures are Italeri with Revell Officer. 

Gen. Birney is the eternal and handy officer from Revell. 

These limbers and guns were made when my Revell and Italeri stock of artillery was over. I built them from a number of sources: resin copied wheels; plastic card axis; drivers from cavalry boxes; etc. The result is Ok and I built plenty both for Union and Confederacy. You can see how in this old article: 


Many of the Napoleons or 6pdr in XIX century artillery boxes were used with Evergreen tubes in order to get 10pdr Parrot or more modern guns used on the ACW. A good base for ACW is the British Napoleonic artillery, minus the side boxes, and with a few cuts here and there, specially in the gun barrel. 

Burling's Brigade is made mostly of New Jersey men. Figures are Italeri, Revell and ACTA, 

1st Massachussets represents Carr's Brigade and its made of Italeri and Revell figures in the same approximate position with StreletsR officer and drummer  and converted flag bearers.

The Commander of 2nd Division, Gen. Humphrey, is a StreletR figure. 

Brewster Brigade, also called the Excelsior Brigade, is an all NY unit.

Sickles is a StreletsR figure. He is still two-legged but already killed the wife's lover. Regarding the the other leg he is about to loose it in a matter of minutes. True story!

Next: V Corps of Gen. Sykes. 

sábado, 6 de outubro de 2018

Fire&Fury ACW rules set - Gettysburg in 20mm (part 8) -The Buildings of the Battlefield

The buildings and other structures of the Gettysburg battlefield is one of the interesting aspect of this battle. The German influenced buildings of the Pennsylvanian landscape are  all different and can give a great variety to a wargaming table (or shelves). As they were mostly built by farmers sometimes they are rustic but have also an enduring look and many are still standing. 

A little north of Gettysburg at the foot of Oak Hill you have the McLeans Farm. I built both buildings and soon regretted it as they are space consuming on the table.  

My usual way for wargaming structures, specially brigade level of wargaming, is to build the building on the small size using just 20mm approximately windows and doors. Everything is glued on the outside to speed up construction and simple materials like cardboard and wood is used. Most of the times an electric pistol glues everything together, other times wood glue is used. The entire building is then primed black and then painted with its colours. The black priming is particularly helpful on windows as you only need to paint the frame work after. 

Rear view from the Mummasburg Road.

Gettysburg College is the biggest building of all so all structures had to be shrunken and the number of windows and floors heavily reduced. 

The tower is a Kinder Egg shell. The Building is at the end of Mummasburg Road, north of Gettysburg.

The Seminary was already showed in the first part of this series so just two more pictures of the yet to see front...


... and top parts.

The Cemetery entrance on the north part of Cemetery Hill very close to Tawneytown road.

This was a place of furious hand to hand combat between Ewell's corps and Howards's. 

Bliss farm was another furiously contested place on the 2nd and 3rd day. 

Again the clear influence of German farms can be seen. 

Codori house saw the lines of Pickett's passing through it on the 3rd day.

My smallest house is Bryan House between the Emmitsburg and Taneytown roads.

   Bryan House facing southwest toward the scene of Pickett’s Charge.

McPherson Barn was in the center of the clash between Heth and Buford on the first day. 

Again clear German influence on its layout.  

Just an house for Gettysburg town itself.

The figures standing for scale near the buildings are Markers for Breakthrough in F&F terms.

Thomson House was Lee's Headquarters during most of the battle. 

Side and top view of the same Thompson House. 

Two metal Irregular Miniatures Houses for the streets of Gettysburg. 

And three other resin houses from Serra da Estrela handicraft. After black  priming these nice Portuguese houses can turn Gettysburg houses with some careful painting. 

Rear view of the same group. 

To this houses I can add the ones I made for AWI and include them in the city itself. I still want to do Trostle and Sherfy houses as well as Devil's Den. 

Next: III Corps (Sickles), the Army of the Potomac. 

quinta-feira, 4 de outubro de 2018

Fire&Fury ACW rules set - Gettysburg in 20mm (part 7) - Hays's Division and II Corps artillery

On the 2nd of July, with Bliss Farm close to be hotly contested by the advancing Rebels of Anderson's Division, Gen. Hays orders its Division  to place itself behind the Emmitsburg Road on the high ground of Cemetery Hill. 

This is Willard Brigade and it should be placed much to the rear on the reverse slope. This same brigade suffered the humiliation of Harper's Ferry and still was not considered  battle worthy. In the same day they gained the confidence of the rest of the army by driving back Barksdale famous attack a feat of arms that also took Col. Willard's life, struck by a cannon ball in the head. 

Smyth's Brigade is strongly entrenched behind a stone wall. Again mixture of metal and plastic models. 

While Carroll's Brigade is a bit more to the north forming reserve columns. This Brigade is Italeri  for the rank and file and standard bearers with an Esci officer. 

II Corps artillery also has the usual four guns (Fire&Fury ratio, of course) with mostly Revell models with of those Esci figures that originally carried a wounded soldier. 

In an other stand you can see Revell artillerymen living together in harmony with an infantry officer. 

Once again the useful Revell Union standing officer gives a nice Gen. Hays with its already grey beard. 

Next: a break in the blue waves for the buildings of Gettysburg.