Saturday, 16 September 2023

Impetus Baroque- Mohacs 1526, part 8 - Hungarian Clipeati and Armati

Extra Impetus Nº3 mentions 4 heavy infantry stands each of Clipeati and Armati for a sizeable Hungarian army of the Mohacs period. The problem here is that generally the Clipeati formed the shield wall from were the Armati, probably armed with pole weapons, would fight in a somewhat tight phalanx. The extra Impetus separates both types of heavy infantry but I prefer to use them together in the same stand. In the future, if I see my life in danger in a game or so, I can always divide the stands differently between Clipeati and Armati. 

The Clipeati and Armati figures really look nice together and you can deepen the Impetus spirit of nice big  stands that look like dioramas. 

The figures used are some very nice Caesar copies ordered from China through Aliexpress. For just some 3 euros you get 200 1/72 figures in a poly bag which is obviously a great value for value. The plastic is harder than poly figures and paints and hold the paint very well. The figures were copied from some of the figures of the two boxes of  Caesar XIII and XV century Medieval European Knights. I only used here the ones from the XV century as they are closer to the Hungarian heavy infantry of 1526, even if not a match as there were also some different helmets and pieces of equipment on those days Hungarian army. As pole weapons are necessary for the Armati many of the figures were converted as pikemen. In the above picture you can see the original figure (armed with sword or an halberd) sided with the converted one armed with a pike plastic made of a broom stick. Many of the halberdiers were left with its weapon as its a very probable weapon of the Armati. 

I left all Clipeati armed with swords just because they look as if they are somehow dealing with the shield. The shields were made of slightly curved plastic from 1lt yogurt buckets. This is an highly simplified form of the shield as generally the heavy infantry Hungarian shield had a vertical boss all along. They were colored with photocopies (the ones red chequered or with the Hungarian coat of arms) or hand painted like the tri colored ones. 

The back of the shields were painted brown and were kept standing just with one piece of plastic. Not sure if one or two legs hold these pavesi type of shields but like this it became simpler. 

Another 4 stands of archers were also made in order to finish the 8 that are mentioned in the lists. The flag of this one came from the Russian XIX century Opolchenie. Not the happiest union as there aren't many orthodox people in Hungary.  

Next: Maybe a return to the nowadays Russo-Ukrainian war. 

Wednesday, 6 September 2023

Aztec army in 20mm for Impetus rules


In 1991 Revell released the Aztec box. It was the days in which the hobby was starting to go away from WW2 and Napoleonics and diving into different periods. Revell gave a big push in this direction. The main historical opponent of the Aztecs and the Triple Alliance were other Mesoamerican cultures (the Spanish arrived only in 1519) like the Mixtec and Zapotec more to the south of nowadays Mexico and bordering Guatemala. With this in mind I gathered 10 boxes of Revell Aztecs not only to make an Aztec army but also to have enough figures for a Tlaxcala army for instance. Reading about Aztec warfare is also a fascinating issue with elaborate marching procedures, tactics and different colors and equipment (uniforms if you wish) according to each of the seven types of infantry and even different colors for smaller groups of around 400 men. In this picture you can see more or less the equivalent of a xiquipilli (regiment or division) of 8000 men taken from the calpulli (original clan areas). Impetus rules doesn't care about this but if you want to wargame with specific orders of battles (not easy though...) up to the battle of Otumba or the final fall of Tenochtitlan, each base can represent 400 men (one xiquipilli total) or 800 men (two xiquipilli). Most of this large group was painted for decades by now but recently I rebased them according to the Impetus stands. 

Starting with the lower infantry you can see five bases of novice soldiers who still did not captured any prisoner (for sacrifice, obviously). They are armed with spears or the famous maquahuitl, both with obsidian blades. Mixed with the Revell there are also some 30 Atlantic Egyptian conversions. The only few changes on the Atlantic figures was the addition of a misang on the top of the head in order to represent the head knot and the replacement of the Egyptian shield with a round one. The maztatl (crotch loin cloth) was simply painted upon.  

These skirmishing archers and slingers are mostly Revell but each base includes a Mixtec influenced atatl made from an Atlantic conversion. For the atatl you just need to glue a spear on top of the hand weapon and it will look the part, at least on this scale and bend the arm for a more throwing attitude.  The closest archer on the right side is also an Atlantic conversion. 

Regarding archers most of the stands have pairs of an archer and a shield bearer in typical Tlaxcallan style but most probably also used by Aztecs. Once again there is a mixture of Revell and Atlantic conversions.

This group can be a number of different types of infantry from the papalotl (three captives) up to the cuachicqueh (seven captives). Frankly all these types are not very well represented in the Revell box which prefered more generic poses missing specific headdress and back banners. One day I may take a number of mohac style heads of the WW2 US paratroopers from both Esci and Revell in order to make proper cuachiqueh

Now into the military orders. The famous Eagle warriors have three different figures and that includes a commander with the back banner. This kind of brownish color seems to have been used but recent investigations gives a wider variety of colors to be used. 

Another military order was the Jaguar. Nowadays I see them in blue in many representations but years ago I saw them somewhere in jaguar colors. Again three positions in the Revell box that, if placed carefully can give animated stands. 

These warrior priests were the only group made recently and are all conversions using revell figures with the conical hat on top. 

The Osprey image that inspired this last group. 

The conversion is simple: take out all headdress from the figures; roll a small piece of GreenStuff with the fingers up to become the shape of a cone; place a tiny piece of super glue on the head; stuck the cone on the head; and, finally, pull a bit of the GreenStuff to the neck area for the figure to have a neck guard. 

As I painted four boxes of Revell Aztecs it gave twelve commanders that were simply painted with no conversions. The only stand that had an extra was the commander of the army, a tecuhtli, that received the company of this crazy naked berserker dying to capture prisoners for sacrifices, or being killed in the process due to the absence of the heavy cotton quilted vest. The figure is another Atlantic converted figure. 

Next: more Impetus stands but with a return to Mohacs 1526. 

Sunday, 27 August 2023

Borodino 1812 (part 8): Markov´s Moscow Opolchenie for AOE in 20mm

The Opolchenie was raised during the Napoleonic wars and consisted of militia taken from servitude under control of line officers. Naturally they were ill equipped both in uniforms and weapons, but usually having a long grey coat (or in several shades of brown), some would have a musket and many other would have several types of pikes, including one with the shape of a musket but really nothing more than a pike. In fact they should be arranged in their Druzhin (regiment) per type of weapon but I placed muskets in the first two ranks and pikes in the third. The headgear should be mostly fur hats for these ones recruited in the Moskow region but as the Opolchenie were quite irregular in uniform I also bunched them all together.
The figures came from six Hat sprues of Opolchenie I found in Aliexpress as I couldn´t get the original boxes anywhere in UE area. Also in this lot were used some 10 Landwehr from a sole Italeri Prussian box I had around. They fit well with the Hat figures as they are similar in size. In fact the Russian Opolchenie influenced heavily the Prussian Landwehr uniforms (in fact if you have the old Airfix Landwehr, don´t bother and use them as Saint Petersburg Opolchenie). The same thing happened with all the  Prussian army from 1812 to 1815 which had in the Tzar uniforms their main influence.  
The figure firing in the photo is an Italeri Line Prussian. Has it had a coat its shako was placed on fire and squashed  until it got the form of a cap. 

Two of the Druzhin got red markings and one got blue. Finding information on the Opolchenie is not very easy - probably you can find plenty in Russian - and the best reference in English looks to be "The Brazen cross of courage" by Stephen Summerfield which unfortunately I don't have. There are some great reenactment Russian groups you can find on the web which will provide some very nice inspiration.  
The few conversions made were on the figure yielding an axe, something that doesn't go very well with the rest of the figures which are in calmer positions. One of them became an horse holder for Count Markov and five other became standard bearers. 

Probably this 8th post on the Russian army at Borodino will be the last for some time in this series as I've covered all types of 1812 Russian soldiers, less the Dragoons that I couldn´t find. 

Next: rebasing Aztecs for Impetus. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2023

Borodino 1812 (part 7): 1st Russian Grenadier infantry division and Cuirassiers for AOE in 20mm

The 1st Grenadier division is famous among modellers due to the famous mitre caps of the Pavlov regiment. In fact I have all three regiments (each regiment representing one brigade in AoE terms) with mitre caps which is only good only up to 1805, the grenadiers transitioning to the Kiwer with large plume then. The only exception is the obvious Pavlov regiment which was allowed to keep their treasured mitres up to the end of the Napoleonic wars due to their bravery at Austerlitz. Well, then two of the regiments - Tauride and Saint Petersburg - are not much "Borodino" like but this is due to my eagerness and usual exaggeration in having bought three boxes of the Italeri grenadiers, simply because they were on the shelves, when apparently only one was necessary. Even so, I'm really thinking about using my Borodino Russians for all Napoleonic campaigns as I doubt that I will start a Russian army all over again just because of a different shako before 1812.  Besides, there would be a few more dozen of figures placed somewhere and without destiny, something that at 55 yo I´m trying to avoid, as its my wish/dream to finish the stash one day. That is, if the mailman lets! 
The Jägers are the usual Esci with a few Revell and StreletsR in the middle. 

This is the only true Borodino type regiment of this Grenadier lot. The Pavlov regiment is made of Italeri Grenadiers and a Zvezda officer with Kiwer. 

The cloth of the back part of the mitres are slightly different from regiment to regiment with white, blue and red color in the horizontal part. 

The officers were converted to bicorne hats using bicorne heads enlarged with GreenStuff. The standard bearers were also converted from some marching and standing Italeri figures. 

The Czar Cuirassier Regiment, representing Borosdin Brigade, is made of Hat figures with a converted standard bearer. The flag was hand painted as I could not find a printed one. 

As usual I painted one more farm from Mário Laranja's gifts. My main idea continues to be the Austrian farms and houses for the Wagram campaign but I kept it on the generic side so they can be used in many scenarios and ages. 

This farm is made of two different parts with the right part detachable and capable of being positioned against any other wall of another farm. 

The trick is leaving a bit a bit of wall out of the base, which gives plenty of possible variations to this annex. 

Next: more Borodino Russians, or eventually Gallipoli,  but only in September due to holidays. 

Thursday, 13 July 2023

The Alamo 1836 and its opposing armies in 20mm

This is one of the most famous episodes of the history of North America portrayed many times in cinema, comics and novels. I made all this around the release of the 2004 movie with the help of the Imex series of the period made a few years before. The Alamo was built using mostly hard styrofoam with details in card, plastics and whatever was suitable. The derelict state of the former Spanish mission was a big help as you don't need too much measurements and planning. The armies, both Texans and Mexicans were made with the already mentioned Imex but also with scores of Napoleonic and cowboy figures of all available brands of those days, like Airfix, Esci, Revell and Italeri.

Tuesday, 11 July 2023

RFR/Able Archer - The Israeli army for the Lebanon campaign of 1982 in 1...

First of all a big thank you to Neil Patterson for reminding me of CMSC and its history, as I forgot the name of this lovely brand in my Syrian army video. Also the "Fabbri" and other nonsense I said in this and the previous video about mystery resin and metal "collectibles" were in fact 1/87th scale Salvat models, as I checked in old posts from my blog. Fortunately I keep on finding them in flea markets and 2nd hand shops. Again you can see plenty of Roco Miniatures (1/87th scale) together with Peter Pig and QRF (1/100th). Some of the M60 MBT are Chinese toy models, and after covering them in ERA they play the part very well and are almost as good as the Roco or Salvat models. The infantry are whether Atlantic plastics or Peter Pig. The Aircraft are all 1/100th scale from Tamiya, Fabbri diecast and Revell.

Monday, 10 July 2023

Borodino 1812 (part 6): Russian Guards infantry division for AOE in 20mm

Lavrov´s division advances stands firm on the Borodino field next to an irrigation ditch. The Guard division is probably the most famous of the Russian army. The first line (brigade in AOE) is made of Jägers, here represented by Finnish Jägers; the second is Udom´s Brigade with the Lithuanian Regiment representing it and the third line has the Semionovski Regiment representing Rosen´s Brigade. 

The Finnish Jägers are the usual Esci figures with a StreletsR officer. 

The two Guard regiments of the line are mostly Zvezda and the two flag bearers have the trick of the extended pole with the top part cut and added later when the paper flag is inserted. 

The three boxes I had of Grenadiers already flew with just a few units as this thing of placing 6 figures in each stand is eating lots of miniatures! The flag bearer to the right was an improvised Italeri Prussian with added paper flag and plume. 

I also got tricked by the rear view of the Zvezda Grenadier box as it shows 18 marching figures which convinced me that, plus the command stand, three boxes would be enough to portray a full regiment of 60 marching figures. In fact one of the attacking poses is missing on the rear view of the box and somehow a marching figure shows up instead. This forced me to use other figures in the rear rank, namely more Prussians from Italeri. All of them got the usual plumes (inserted broom stick in the shako covered in GreenStuff) and painted cords. As they are big figures they make good looking Guards that were taller than most regular infantryman (minimum 1,71m for the Guards to 1,55m in the regulars).

The Divisional command stand has two Italeri Prussians from two different boxes (infantry and staff). The foot officer got a plume and entered easily to the Guard while the mounted officer started his life as an ADC. The horse came from the Revell Heavy Dragoons with its tail enlarged with GreenStuff. 

The General's coat tail was also enlarged and the shabraque was changed to the intended form, again with the help of GreenStuff, that marvellous invention ... let me google it... from Kneadatite (... never heard this before!). 

Next: A video on the Israelis in Lebanon 1982

Friday, 7 July 2023

RFR/Able Archer - The Syrian army for the Lebanon campaign of 1982 in 15...

This another old army that still gets some new models from time to time. It includes three famous units of the Syrian army: the 1st armoured division (of Sultan Yacoub fame); the 3rd armoured division (with the first T-72s to see combat) and the 85th infantry brigade (which defended Beyrouth during the campaign). This post also includes the Syrian air force and the AA army assets that were the target of the Israeli Mole Cricket 19 operation.

Tuesday, 4 July 2023

The American army at Brandywine 1777 in 20mm

This is the second part of the Brandywine series, after the British army video. It's still a bit incomplete but you can see the way an American independence army can be made using 20mm plastics. The usual Airfix, Revell, Italeri, Accurate and PSC gaming pieces makes the bulk of this one with the also usual conversions, specially in the making of round hats which are rare in 20mm plastics.

Tuesday, 27 June 2023

Borodino 1812 (part 5): Russian 7th infantry division for AOE in 20mm


The 7th infantry division of General Peter Kapsevich is represented here in AOE term by the Moskow and Libava regiments. The only  divisional Jäger regiment present at Borodino was the the 36th hence only three stands for the Jägers instead of the usual six. The figures are the usual Zvezda for the grenadiers, Revell Prussian for the musketeers and Esci for the Jägers. 

The command stands of each regiment (brigade in AOE terms) are from the StreletsR Russian and Prussian chiefs of staff. Some Revell musketeers were also converted as flag bearers. 

The command divisional stand is made of two Prussian officers of the Italeri box of British and Prussian staff. Much has been said about these Italeri boxes. They started in great shape with a fantastic box of French Staff that includes ADCs, Generals, Chasseur bodyguards, Roustam and Napoleon itself. After leaving us salivating, Italeri ruined everything and the two next staff boxes only offering us half a dozen new figures each, very beautiful though and that includes Wellington, and plenty of figures from other already existing sets. Its an obvious disappointment as the new figures becomes more expensive than metal ones. So in a way to take the maximum advantage of the Prussian staff figures I painted them as Russians as their officers also used this peaked cap and the same uniform cut (the Prussians copied the Russian uniform in 1813). If you forget that Kutusov was much older and fat you can use the mounted figure as this famous general even by painting its cap white as he used one at Borodino. 

Next: Russian Guard Infantry for Borodino.