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Thursday 29 November 2018

The BEF - Airfix Figures

I have now finished my British WW1 force, based upon Airfix figures.They will represent a 1914 Division, with three brigades, supporting artillery and cavalry. I have also produced some casualty markers for the game:
The cavalry were made from adapting the Airfix RHA outriders:
Each Brigade consists of a command element, a machine gun unit and four stands representing each of the four infantry battalions.

This structure can be adapted to represent a single brigade or a battalion for tactical games.

I have made good progress with the Germans too. I have completed the artillery, a large part of the infantry and some of the support elements.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Airfix WW1 Figures

I have been flirting with the idea of recreating the battle of Mons, or a part of it and was spurred into action when Airfix recently re-released their WW1 infantry sets. I bought some and began painting and basing some units; however, when I opened up the German infantry sets I was shocked to see the amount of flash on the figures. Here is an example:
Every figure in three boxes was the same. Cutting flash away with a knife is not easy and so I chucked them in the corner and began to paint some Hat and Zvezda Germans. Now these are lovely figures but are a little large when compared to the British infantry.  Also the Hat set lacks machine guns and gunners with spiked helmets.

Then I remembered an article I read somewhere (it may have been in one of the Airfix guides) that used a hot pin to get rid of flash. The idea is the heat the pin/wire over a candle and run it gently along the flash lines.  This is my flash removal kit:
I stuck a piece of wire in a block of balsa - the wire gets very hot!!  After a bit of trial and error and after a few melted guns and bayonets I worked out the correct technique. Whilst not perfect, the resulting figures are not too bad:
So, painting begins and I should have them completed by the weekend.

Saturday 3 November 2018

Action on the Eastern Frontier - 1/32 Medieval Toy Soldiers

Having received warning of a large Ottoman raiding party moving up the valley on the very edge of Christendom, a small force of Holy Order Knights, led by Duke Frederick, deploy along a low ridge in an attempt to ward off the attack:
The force consists of two units of pike armed men-at-arms, two groups of archers, the Duke and his foot knights and a small band of mounted knights.

Moving up the valley is an Ottoman warlord with, two bands of heavy horsemen, archers, light infantry skirmishers and three groups of heavy infantry:
The battlefield is a narrow valley with the road running up the centre. The flanks consist of steep rocky hills covered in pine trees, that are impassible. The only avenue of attack is up the valley.
The Ottomans decide to demonstrate on their left by deploying their light troops and their archers moved up on the right to harass the right hill:

The archers, which are just out of range of the Christian archers begin to cause casualties amongst the defending troops:

The European archers concentrate on the advancing Ottoman skirmishers causing light casualties. Soon the skirmishers are in javelin range of the Christian men-at-arms  and cause some casualties. Not wishing to sit under fire the men-at-arms surge forward and slice into the lightly armed skirmishers:
However, coming up behind the Ottoman skirmishers is a group of heavy infantry, who charge into the fray forcing the Christian men-at-arms back:
A considerable melee ensues, with the Ottomans gaining the upper hand.

Meanwhile on the other side of the field the Ottoman archers continue to mow down the defending men-at-arms:
Who pull back out of range of the archers.

Now the Ottomans launch a second attack and infantry move up along the road:
However, as they advance they come under heavy fire from the Christian archers and after a few moves the attack falters and they pull back:

On the Ottoman left their infantry continue to push the Christians back (who have some rotten dice throws!) and soon the Ottomans are in reach of the ridge. Seeing the danger the Duke orders his mounted knights to counter-attack; they move into position:
But it is almost too late as the Christians are now falling back onto the ridge following more losses:
Just as they are about to collapse the Christian heavy horse arrive and smash into the Ottomans:
But, the effect of the cavalry is not great and the Ottomans continue to press forward. Also, the Ottoman warlord has spotted the Christian knights attack and he orders one of his cavalry units forward:

The Christian knights fail to stop the Ottoman infantry over running the defenders and soon the Ottoman infantry gain the hill and are in amongst the Christian archers:
To make matters worse the Ottoman cavalry now arrive and crash into the unformed Christian mounted knights, bringing down half their number:
Soon the hill falls to the Ottomans and the remnants of the Christian defenders fall back:

Meanwhile on the other side of the field the Ottoman archers move up to reduce the range of the Christians up on the hill; however the lose a large number of men in the process:
With the collapse of the Christians on the left, the Ottoman warlord senses victory is close. He personally leads his reserve cavalry forward and orders his fresh heavy infantry unit to advance on the right:
Back on the left the Ottomans, having gained the hill reorganise, then turn to attack the Christians in the flank, but a counter-attack, led by the Duke himself, cuts them down and they retreat:
The Duke withdraws back onto the ridge and awaits what he know will be the final onslaught. With the left-hand Ottoman cavalry reformed:
and a mass of infantry and cavalry advancing on the right, Duke Frederick prepares to make his last stand:

The end comes quickly, Ottoman horsemen smash into the Duke an his knights;

 while armoured infantry surge up the hill to overwhelm the pike men and archers:
And more cavalry sweep around the open flank into the defenceless archers:
It is over, the way is open for the Ottomans to sweep into Europe.

Friday 2 November 2018

Medieval - The last box

The final box contains more cavalry figures. There are two groups. The first is a unit of old Britains Herald mounted knights. I imagine the serious collectors would turn in their graves if they saw what I did to my veteran figures. Originally they looked like plastic toys, so I slapped on some paint and used some decals that came from Warhammer. Some of the paint is flaking and the transfers are a bit yellow now, but they remain my favourites:

The second group is a load of Britains Deetail silver knights, again tarted up with a bit of paint and transfers on the shields:
I had to put bases on my cavalry figures as they tumble like dominoes when lined up in close order.

These are the last of my painted and based figures, although there is another box that contains a castle and around 50 unpainted Deetail foot figures that I might get around to painting at some stage.

Thursday 1 November 2018

Mean while - Warrior Miniatures Russian General

Another addition to my Warrior Russian army. I think he is supposed to be a Prussian really, but his boots and dress are not quite right and he looks to me more like a Russian general: