Monday, 28 December 2015
Finally I found a way to paint the Revell Prussian Grenadiers of the 7YW!
I bought some 50 boxes for this period some 20 years ago in a very strange Hindu shop that once emerged in Coimbra's downtown close to the train station. I remember entering that place hoping to find just some resin cheap houses of those days but right in the middle of the big shop was a stand of hundreds of Revell 1/72nd plastic soldiers. Up until now no big deal if it wasn't for the fact that each box was less then 1 Euro in those days currency, while in normal toy shops their cost was by then three or four times more. In the next few days I piled up in my basement - without a clear knowledge of the rest of the family, of course - many dozen boxes from all periods Revell was producing by then.
Then that Hindu shop I was hoping to get old with closed down and a damn supermarket or something like that took over. Well, if the prices they applyed to Revell were the same for the rest of the stock it's not surprising!
With Brandywine OB definitly in my mind, I started my first Hessians. I still remember George Washington mini series of the 80ies and a very well portrayed Hessian attack on the patriot redoubts. If you also miss it here you have the full series:
This is the Linsing Grenadier battalion made out of four detached grenadier companies in that very British and questionable tradition.
This battalion carried no flags but with those stylish Mitre caps who needs them?
As all three poses Revell offers with Grenadiers are in charging, most of them are grabbed to the base only by one foot. To solve that I used electric glue between the foot in the air and the stand before priming. Then, sand and static grass hides the mole hole that results from this.
This is a very good source for all those who want to paint proper Hessians. Go to
and you will find a wealth of information with this kind of plates made mostly on the Hessians return to Hesse-Cassel in 1783.
Sunday, 20 December 2015
The force awakens... This regiment is my first for the American army. I'm looking for some time for a battle to build regiments around. I chose 1777 Brandywine battle: plenty of units on both sides and also plenty of Hessians whose grenadiers with mitre caps were one of the reason for starting this period.
This regiment is made of Italeri figures. It's somehow a strange set. First class detail and accuracy but the poses are apparently not very useful for wargaming. Nonetheless when combining the most relaxed poses you can have a nice homogenous group. The same can happen if you mix the firing figures both the kneeling and standing.
Saturday, 12 December 2015
Having not been able to paint a British redcoated regiment for Buçaco with black facings - and the respective nice flag (the reason is because there weren't any!) - I painted the 64th foot for the AWI which has all that.
Not many particularities: figures are the usual Revell and Airfix with some tall Revell Austrian 7YW for some diversity. All figures carry back packs, some had to be made from GreenStuff, like the Austrian and the Airfix Grenadiers.
Flags are Warflag. Meanwhile I downloaded the Krigspil ones and will use them in the next few units. The AWI is sorting out better than I was thinking. The units are small (which sometimes is a pity) but the variety is just great with uniforms and equipment for all tastes, so its not easy to get tired.
By the way,if you want accurate drums for your British infantry go to www.fifedrum.org and you can find all of them for your AWI miniatures.
Wednesday, 2 December 2015
These are my first four British infantry regiments. Everything is Revell with two companies of Grenadiers from Airfix at the top.
They are from L to R: 52nd; 38th; 47th, 55th line infantry regiments.
The flags are hand painted as in those days Warflag didn't exist or I still didn't find it. The flag bearers are standing musket soldiers without the musket and with added flag.
The few conversions are some Airfix Grenadier heads on Revell bodies. They become a little bit on the fatty side but hey, Grenadiers were expected to be the biggest guys in the regiment and probably the biggest eaters.
On the other side of the line the light infantry have caps simply transformed from the original tricornes, as it happened in real life.
Monday, 23 November 2015
A few years ago I got into the American War of Independence craze and started a number of units. Found a lot of books, read a few of them but as fast as the craze came there it went away in exchange for I don't remember which period.
Recently on reading Will McNally's blog I found his nice rules and pictures of his own private AWI collection and I left Asia and Samurai aside and travelled to XVIII century North America.
So in the last few weeks I rebased and retouched those old units adding a few more figures and details.
I made this Brunswick army in NA so it can play Will's rules based on Strenght points and 4 stands per regiment or on 5 stands if I want to use the true OB of these 600+ regiments or adapt the rules to something of my own.
All figures - minus one- are Revell 7YW Prussians.
The Jagers had an ammo poch added to the waist. The minus one is an hornist from ESCI napoleonic range with added GreenStuff to the bicorne in order to have a tricorne.
The Grenadiers were placed in a converged battalion and the mitre caps are different acccording to the regiment from were they came from.
The dismounted Dragoons are line figures just painted differently.
These sets of old Revell figures are crammed with nice poses for wargaming and finally in those days there was a company of plastic figures thinking about the hobby.
The command stand had several imaginative characters which included some nice flags that had to be painted.
In a change regarding Will's rules I placed the officers in round bases. Just a little heat to the guy's hand in order to have the sword close to his body - for the paint not to flake easily - and the Brunswickers are done with very few alterations to the original figures.
Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Ii Naomasa was one of the best generals of its time, so brave that he died from the gun shot wounds taken at Sekigahara fighting for Tokugawa Ieyasu while leading his division from the front.
His men were all clad in red armour and with red flags making them easily recognisable in any battlefield of the Sengoku period.
Once again I advise you to see and read the excellent Samurai Archives and their Samurai Heraldry Gallery easily available in the web.
Ii Naomasa model has a transformed head with an incision in the helmet to carry a big U shaped Evergreen horns. The Horo of the Messenger is painted blue something I would never know if it was not for Samurai Archives.
Ashigaru become very smart in their red outfit.
The Teppo Taisho (commander of arquebuses) is a Zvezda Samurai with the sword turned into a fan.
All individual Sashimono carried by Samurai of Ii clan had their own named written on it. So no two were alike.
Sunday, 18 October 2015
Friday, 11 September 2015
At Sekigahara Ukita's Hideie clan was the biggest in the Western army of Ishida Mitsunari. With a total of 17000 men it had to be represented with over 200 miniatures - a bit time consuming.
Ukita and kneeling vassal are Zvezda with RedBox Ashigaru as standard bearers.
The mounted Samurai are also Zvezda. In order to speed procedures paint the horse's harness of a clan with the same colours and even the main details on the Samurai armour. For this group I chose blue. When we want to individualize too much a Samurai army the task becomes too long and you loose interest or don't even start. In the end you will have a nice collection of boxes ... to be open. So speed up things and dry brush all that lace and rivets!
Same for the foot Samurai. Here I even sprayed Brown in all of them to have a different base colour from black and then added some particular colours.
The Ashigaru (RedBox), fortunately seemed to have some uniformity so the task is easier. Most of the Sashimonos are hand made in styrene as the original figures don't carry them.
The Arquebus corps had a styrene shield to each man and, again as in other clans, an officer to each 5 stands.
The archers are also RedBox. Red Box may not produce the most handsome models in the market but there are plenty poses in each reference which makes the final result quite pleasant. Besides RedBox models are getting better and better.
The full army of Ukita Hideie deploying at Sekigahara ready to defend Mitsunari's interests in becoming next Shogun, a thing that will only happen in wargaming...
Monday, 31 August 2015
Some 8/9 years ago I got hooked on Samurai. Zvezda released their 3 boxes on the period and RedBox followed with Ashigaru, Ikko-ikki and more. Zvezda figures were just incredible and RedBox followed in its funny but very 'wargamable' style.
I looked in the web and found loads of information on the period and some nice free sets of rules like Damyo from Ian Duncan. Here they are along with supporting material:
I saw movies then (once, twice...) like Ran, Kagemusha, Furin Kazan and Ten To Chi To looking for inspiration along almost everything Osprey edited and Stephen Turnbull wrote. Driven by usual madness I made a huge collection of boxes from the brands above.
As usual also after painting two clans I got fed up and I turned don't know were to... The damn samurai were far more complicated to paint than anything I had painted so far!
But the Sengoku period is just something so amazingly colourful that a few days ago the Bushido code banged my head again and here I am painting Samurai for the second time (and viewing the same movies, and books and web articles...).
My original idea was to portray all armies of Sekigahara 1600, the biggest battle of the Sengoku period between the Western army lead by Ishida Mitsunari and the Eastern army of Tokugawa Ieyasu but I think nowadays I will also do Takeda, Nobunaga and Uesugi clans, famous for previous battles and maybe I will leave some of the Sekigahara clans out. Its just too much.
Recently I found a pure gold mine, in fact 7 long pages with hundreds of clans and their flags:
Let's go to the figures. This clan is Kuroda Nagamasa's that fought for the Eastern army of Tokugawa Ieyasu against Ishida Mitsunari's western army in Sekigahara.
Kuroda's figure is the Zvezda general in the infantry box. He had to have a new head from another samurai. The top part of the head was then squashed after heating and his helmet bent to become similar to the original Kurada was using:
The Nobori bearer is a figure from the Zvezda command set.
The kneeling Samurai in not a lemon seller, no sir, he carries the Horo, the symbol of the messengers.
Zvezda Samurai cavalry. They are great figures whose painting I tryed to keep on the simple side but trying to give an individuality to each. The uniformity of the clan's cavalry is achieved by the horse's harness being of the same colour (which was mostly non-existing in reality) and one of two types of sashimono (flag on the back) this clan had.
Foot Samurai from Zvezda. I chose the blue sashimono this time. I suggest to you to always paint all samurai in one colour first - as I already prime them in black its easier - and then add small detail in different colours. This will speed your painting process and you will have an extra clan more rapidly.
The Ashigaru ranks: Yari (back), Teppo (arquebus) and bow, all Zvezda. The Ashigaru, foot soldiers from lower classes, were 70% of Samurai armies by the year 1600.
The Ashigaru were trained and lead by Samurai so I converted one Samurai as an officer of Ashigaru, one for each 5 or 6 stands.
Next: the Ukita Hideie clan (I know that because I already started it).
Monday, 24 August 2015
The last Militaria Hors-Serie No 95 is dedicated to the US 101st Airborne in Normandy. Among other nice information and colour plates it shows the camouflage of the Stug IV of the 17th PzGrDiv. that fought against the Screaming Eagles around Carentan. The 17th PzGrDiv. had 42 of these relatively rare Stugs, when comparing with the Stug III.
As far as the images on the article shows try to cover Dunken Gelb with the other two camouflage tones up to 80/90% in big blotches in which the Red Brown always touches the Green.
The models are all Revell exceptuating the one to the far right which is Altaya. They are organised in three companies with a command Stug with two crew visible which is my way of marking the CO in an AFV unit.
The Revell model is quite accurate but with little detail. The most important details missing are the tool box (behind the left side cuppola); the left side extra tank tracks....
... and the extra wheels on the left. These last ones were provided by Tim Caspers of Germany, a fellow modeller who produces in resin many of his own pieces and that gently send me a box filled with many nice parts, including stowage, some you can see in last posts about Tunisia.
I also replaced the plastic MG with a metal one and placed a (plastic) ammo drum as used in german AFVs.
The foliage is made of Iceland lichen picked nearby, turned into a paste with green acrylic and wood glue.
The only non-metal MG is this one converted from the Esci MG firer with a new Feldmutze. This Esci guy already carries the ammo drum on his MG and no bipod so he is perfect for German tanks.
This one is already training to enter the Panzer corps ... were he will loose his legs and head most likely as you can see in the previous picture...
Sunday, 16 August 2015
This battalion was made mainly using the Matchbox M-7 Priest, some OP Willys Jeep from Airfix and a Hasegawa 2-1/2 truck for ammo supply.
I tried to get the M-7's as colourful as possible so I grabbed all shiny details applied to US vehicles during the Tunisian campaign. The white stars have a blue background and yellow circle; there is a 'V' marking I saw in a B/W Picture and the US flag used at the time of Operation Torch painted in the MG pulpit. Also different camouflage was applied.
The figures come from many different places as I had only left a few of the originals. The others are serving Saddam Hussein's army and possibly somewhere else I can't remember. More about this in a series of future posts.
The Willys Jeep had some changes with the loss of the windscreen and the placing of the MG support close to the right seat. In the Tunisian campaign the MG's for the Jeeps were also switched for the more usual Browning .30 and the water cooled .50 instead of the kit's air cooled .50 cal. The radio figures are metal Irregular Miniatures.
The primer cloud was also used to finish one more M-7 Priest for the 11th Royal Horse Artillery....
... and a M-4 support HT with 81mm mortar for the late war period.
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
'Major Jim' was the Sherman from the CO of the 2nd Battalion, 13th Armored Regiment. The hull is the Revell 76mm Sherman and the turret comes from the Matchbox Firefly. The mantlet, gun and bogies are scratchbuilt for the early version of the M4 Sherman.
And now the reason to get back to Tunisia (there is always a strange reason to get back to a wargaming period...). I had 4 very old soft plastic Atlantic Sherman. Apparently they are useless being short in height and with a strange gun and mantlet. But the rest is reasonable. So I raised the hull from the tracks some 2mm with the help of hot glue, built a new mantlet from GreenStuff and EverGreen styrene and placed an accurate 75mm gun taken from left over Pz IV barrels. The two strange middle wheels close to the bogies were also taken out with an X-Acto.
Like this they become close to the Airfix Sherman and 1st US AD grew in numbers.
I found another half priced Lee from Altaya in a toy fair and repainted it with the colours of the 2nd Battalion, 13th Armored Regiment. The commander is completely scratchbuilt from an Esci British torso from their Churchill tank with german arms with binoculars and GreenStuff helmet.
From left to right the new stuff: The four Atlantic Sherman; 'Major Jim' and the Lee; two M4 from Airfix and an Esci/Italeri in the far end.
For you to find the correct markings for the US 1st Armored in Tunisia you must buy, beg or steal (or ask to JMM, he will find it...) 'First Blood-US 1st Arm.Div. in Tunisia' from Claude Gillono, Firefly Collection.
And now lets give some mobile artillery to 1st Armored otherwise things will be even worse then they historically where.