Saturday, 27 October 2018

Fire&Fury ACW rules set - Gettysburg in 20mm (part 12) - XI Corps (Howard), the small 'German Corps'

Brigadier-General Francis Barlow division of two Brigades (Von Gilsa and Ames) is already placed in the famous 'Barlow's Knoll' a synonym of defeat in Union's lexicon, with the other two divisions being also forced to move  (in fact Steinwehr's Division stayed at Cemetery Hill while here is on the back of Barlow's). In fact Barlow advanced more than a mile than its orders which were for him to stay at the Almshouse. Like this he left his flanks 'in the air', something that the entire 3rd Corps of Sickles would also do the next day, and  forced other XI Corps units to come in its rescue and being defeated in the process. 

Barlow's decision may look good as it hold high ground... 

... but in fact its position was facing Rock Creek and its woods that hide from view the Confederate assault of Gordon and Doles Brigades on 'Barlow's Knoll'.  

Barlow is minutes from being seriously wounded. The figure of the young Barlow is based on the Italeri Confederate Officer converted with a kepi and painted accordingly. 

The 2nd Division has some of my painted oldest figures, Airfix, Esci and Revell and even hand painted flags. They represent Coster's Brigade. 

Whenever I can I place Massachusetts regiments due to their beautiful white flags (these ones are also hand painted still). The brigade (Smith's) is entirely Revell with a StreletsR figure as the  Division commander, Gen. von Steinwher. 

The Brigades of  Schimmelfenning and Krzyzanowsky from the 3rd Division of Gen Schurz,  move to help Barlow's. The figures are a mix of ACTA, Irregular Miniatures and a few conversions from Esci. 

The artillery is made of the usual converted figures and limbers from Irregular Miniatures. 

Here is Major-General Otis Howard, portrayed by StreletsR, already with part of his right arm cut off due to injuries suffered one year before at the Battle of Fair Oaks. The standard bearer is an artilleryman from Irregular Miniatures with hand painted flag. 

Next: Gen. Slocum's XII Corps, the Army of the Potomac. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Fire&Fury ACW rules set - Gettysburg in 20mm (part 11) - VI Corps (Sedgwick)

Major-General John Sedgwick VI Corps was the biggest of the Potomac Army, over 13.000, strong but was destined to have a small effect on the battle. Even so Sedgwick proved to be one of the most admirable Union officers has he pushed his lead division on the second day toward the sound of battle just in time to help repulse the enemy in exchange for 50 casualties.

And here is the man itself receiving Meade's orders to march to the sound of the guns. The figures are StreletsR with and Airfix conversion as standard bearer, probably one of the many resin castings I made from the ACW artillery box. 

Lead by the recently promoted Gen. Wheaton the 3rd Division moves plug the centre late on the second day. 

The 2nd Brigade of the Division is represented here by the 23rd Pennsylvania dressed in Zouave attire. The figures are Hat for the rank and file and Italeri for the officers. 


Wheaton is a StreletsR figure with the company of another Airfix copy as standard bearer. 

The first divison arrived shortly but didn't participate on the battle thus the standing positions. 

Some conversions were made in these brigades namely in the Esci officer who received new head and had changed arms to dress the ranks. The drummer boy is Imex and most of the figures are Revell and Italeri. 

Hurrying to arrive at the battlefield the two brigades of Gen. Howe's 2nd Division march furiously but their participation will be very small. 

The artillery is a mix of all plastics; metal drivers from Irregular Miniatures and Napoleonic converted cannons. 

More of the same here with limbers from Italeri. 

Next: Howard's XI Corps, the Army of the Potomac.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Fire&Fury ACW rules set - Gettysburg in 20mm (part 10) - V Corps (Sykes)

This main picture is quite anachronistic as Gen. Sykes's V Corps was spread in a much bigger area and not approching the battlefield in this manner. But in this way you can see all three division of V corps. On the far left, still on Cemetery Ridge, you have the Pennsylvania Reserves of Gen. Crawford 3rd Division; below them, close to the Slaughter Pen and Devil's Den, the 2nd Division of Gen. Ayres advances to their terrible fate at the Wheatfield, with the company of the small Col.Tilton's Brigade from 1st Division; finally, the bulk of 1st Division stands at the top of Little Round Top for its famous and decisive action of the second day. 

And here stands the 20th Maine with Chamberlain brandishing its sword and crying 'bayoneeeets!' to repulse Law's Alabamians. The figure is StreletsR and the rank and file is mostly Revell. This  seven stand regiment represents Vincent's 3rd Brigade. 

Tilton's small 1st Brigade is already on its way to the Wheatfield (and suffering casualties). The figures are Revell, ACTA, Imex and Irregular Miniatures. The flag bearers are conversions from Japanese WW2 figures. 

The 2nd Brigade of Col. Sweitzer is represented by the 4th Michigan with Col. Jeffords trying to take the lost colors and being mortally wounded by a bayonet, the only regimental commander to be killed in this way during the war. He could have survived if he noticed that the colours are already in the hands of his unit again as you can see here...

61 years old Brigadier-General James Barnes is the usual Revell body with another head to show the prominent whiskers used by 1st Division leader. 

Gen. Ayres Second Division is also split with 1st and 2nd Brigades ( Day's and Burbank's, figures from the usual brands) in this picture...

... and to the right of Chamberlain, the 155th Pennsylvania representing  Weed's 3rd Brigade. The figures are Hat Zouaves with a wounded officer from StreletsR and another from a converted Esci figure.

Gen. Ayres is a StreletsR figure. 

Major-General George Sykes is a conversion of Italeri parts. 

The 3rd Division, the Pennsylvania Reserve Division, is here portrayed in its usual grey pants with Revell and Imex figures and StreletsR officers. Brigadier-General Crawford is at the top right corner of the picture with its long black whiskers converted from a StreletsR head pinned to a Revell body. 

The V Corps artillery is a mixture of metal figures from Irregular Miniatures and plastics, including many conversions. 

The same for these stands with converted artillery pieces to look like rifled cannons. 

Next: Sedgwick's VI Corps, the Army of the Potomac. 

Wednesday, 10 October 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 command of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the BrigMec. 

Next: more ACW

Sunday, 7 October 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.