Friday, November 10, 2017

Napoleonic Buildings - Plancenoit, Part Three

Finished! Well as done as I going to get them at this point :)
Northern Plancenoit - five BUA's sectors.
I won't be doing as many walls and hedges as planned, as the area to fit the troops in is already small and I don't necessarily need an entirely walled village. Fields and brush will be placed around the perimeter to break up the lines created by the built up areas.

Overall the village came out pretty well; though the "whole" looks a lot better than the individual buildings. But for what it is going to be used for, it is well past good enough!
The hedge at the end can be removed for another road opening.
Each BUA area is roughly a 9" square and I spray painted the road, dirt and grass areas on to a piece of felt. I'll most likely reverse the felt and spray a different pattern so that we can vary the village.
Time was the issue, so no door on the "city" gate. I can easily also one in at any point.
But thought the village needed a restricted entry/exit as well as an end cap. 

At the last minute I changed one of my buildings to a small church and went 'fancy' by adding color printouts to represent stained glass. It came out alright, but I think I need to figure out how to add a window frame.
The walled church area can be used for a particular difficult area to fight over.

When using the plastic stone facings, I need to be more precise with the cuts and do a better job of hiding the joins.

Need to frame that stained glass!
Most of the other buildings went as planned, though did add an inner gatehouse at the last minute.
Hard to see, but the Inner Gate is directly in the back.
As with all my projects, there are a things I would do differently. First and foremost is to make many of the buildings taller to give them illusion of being a 28mm building. As it is, several of the buildings would work well in a 15mm game :)
Some of the buildings are very small, the worst offender is seen above in the center.
I also used a homemade wash (really just gloried dirty water!), and not sure I like the look. Though I am warming up to it the more I put other terrain on the table. I suppose I should also do a better job of mixing the "ingredients" and perhaps add more brown to it to warm up the color some.
The wash used for the wall and buildings was different ... I tried to dry brush the walls to better match the buildings
The stone wall was much easier to do up than I thought, but next time I will spend more time blending the top and sides together. Kind of expensive using all that plastic, but thought I needed one BUA sector that could represent a fortified area. I had plans to do a wrought iron gate, but just felt it was not worth the time at this point, and I can always add it in later.
The gap is noticeable on the right side wall.
I watched a video by a "railroad guy" on how to do up hedges, and so set out to copy him. Turned out to be a very quick and easy way to turn those blue scrubbing pads into trimmed hedges! I am also thinking about making a gate section as well. Right now they are all unbased which means I'd need to sink the connecting popsicle stick into the bottom of the hedge, very doable just hard on the scissors :)
First layer drying ... then the bright stuff will be added.

Hedges complete, some bright green to make them pop on the gaming table.

The hedges are about 1" high and fit well with the 28mm figures.

I had issues with the new spackling I used. It seems that I was not paying attention and bought a different brand. Many of the buildings sides were much "smoother" than planned. It was also 'wetter' and so may not add as much water and paint next time.
The spackling turned out much smoother so I might add some sand next time.
I got tricky with the last BUA wall section. Instead of two corner sections I combined them with a small strip of cardstock. Pretty flimsy but the building notch in really well.
Notched out a section to fit the back building in between two wall sections.

Again think the village will work very well for our General d'Armee games, and we should have enough BUA's for most games were running now.

Back to miniatures for next project ... another unit of Russian Infantry in greatcoats.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Napoleonic Buildings - Plancenoit, Part Two

While waiting for the next unit of Russian Infantry in Greatcoats to show up, I thought I scratch out a few more buildings for the Plancenoit Village, well really for any Napoleonic game.

I thought it best to sketch out the town layout including walls/hedges, trees and the cobblestone road. I settled on five sections laid out in a cross pattern. Once I had a rough idea, I started on the nine remaining buildings.

 I roughed out all the buildings like this one before going onto the windows, doors and roof.

Once I have all the buildings to this stage, I'll get out my spackle for the sides of the building and to cover up any mistakes.

 Almost done with all the buildings, I start getting "crafty" at this point to make each building unique. I'll do more walls as well and then start on a few simple hedges.

It kind of gets messy but I like to wait before tossing the scraps, as I almost always need some of it to fix mistakes.

I keep a base on hand to test the height's and make sure they do not dwarf my "tall" 20mm buildings.

Here is an example of a "crafty" building, I was just going to have a short and tall rowhouse building next to each other. Then decided to turn it into a gate house next to a building. I have only attached it to the smaller building as I think I can also use it next to a wall section for a gate. This way I can have it face to the outside or the inside of the village/town.

I'll update the status of the project once I start spackling the buildings.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Napoleonic Russian Infantry in Greatcoat

After finishing the massive East German force, I thought I'd get back to "normal" painting. This translate into 28mm Napoleonics and as I had some Russian in greatcoats lying around from Elite Miniatures, so that is what hit the painting table last week.
Russian Infantry Battalion in Greatcoats
As I plan on at least three more of these units, I was looking for a simple paint scheme for an already simple model to paint. I found a can of sandish spray paint that I thought when inked would look good as the color for a russian great coat.
My Test Subjects
As I am want to do, I normally paint one or two figures up to get a feel for the paint scheme and if it needs any changes. In this case I painted up four figures as that is how I had mounted them.
Then I start blocking out the figures, though after some reading and internet searches I decided to vary up the color of the greatcoats by adding in some greyish and red brown coats.

Not much to the block painting and after only two one hour paint sessions I had all the figures blocked out. Then I washed the figure in a mix of Army Painter soft and strong tone, though on the pants and face I went with just straight soft tone.

Adding my three levels of rocks
Letting the wash dry over the weekend (well Sunday in my case) I then glued the figures four to a base and set about basing them up. Most of the time I hit the sides of the bases with a brown color to hid the paint chips after removing them from the painting strips of cardboard.

I use three types of rocks on each base, then a flocking mix over 70-80% of the base. Finally I add in some tufts and clump foliage to the bases.

Flocking mix added to bases.

To the right is my container of clump foliage scraps that I use for basing.

 Then I hit the models with clear coat to dull them up and "glue" down any loose flocking.
Battalion Line

Column of Companies

Still need to add two flags to it, but i don't have any right now and I'd like to do all four battalions at once.

The figures are decent figures except for the shako's ... those really need to be redone, it is hard to paint the cords and not sure about the front of the shako. I think it is supposed to be the eagle but even with magnifying glasses I could not make heads or tails on it so just dabbed some gold around the area.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

East German Kampfgruppe, part3


I have finished a complete 100pt East German force for Team Yankee! ok it is only 97pts, so I might add in an OP BMP, as well as some mine clearing devices on two of the T-55 companies. But as our games so far have been 75pts, there is no hurry on that :)

Took three storage trays to barely fit in the entire force!

Kampfgruppe Klein - 9th Panzer Division 
Oberst Klein's Kampfgruppe is built around his 9th Panzer Division panzer battalion. The division has an attached motorized regiment from 8th Panzer Grenadier division, and from this a reduced tank company and motorized company has been attached to his command.

Panzer Battalion Headquarters
Oberst Klein is a career soldier, one from a family with a long line of military service, his father serving in 2nd Panzer Division in WW2. Well versed in tank battle tactics, command of the Kampfgruppe going to Klein was seen as a natural choice in the division.
Oberst Klein in his T-55AM battle tank.

Panzer Kompanie
Hauptmann Huber is a good kompanie commander and normally leads any attacks made by the battalion. The assault on the west started before they could exchange their tanks for new T-72's, though the crews are very familiar with their up armored T-55's
Hauptman Huber commands six T-55AM's battle tanks.

Panzer Kompanie
Hauptmann Weiß is a replacement officer and has only been in the battalion for a couple of months. Klein is still not sure of his capabilities and usually holds him in reserve.
Hauptman Weiß commands six T-55AM's battle tanks.

Panzer Kompanie
Hauptmann Stein is the youngest kompanie commander at 27, but has been under the tutelage of Klein for over a year now. The battalion was in the process of receiving new T-72 battle tanks, and Stein's kompanie was the first to receive them. However the conflict started before the rest of the battalion could switch out their tanks.
Stein's company has five of the divisions new T-72's, they are still getting to know the tank,
but already find the 125mm gun a vast improvement from the T-55's 115mm gun.

23rd Panzer Regiment
Oberst Klein's tanks are supported by several regimental assets detached from the 23rd Panzer Regiment, they include:

Recon Gruppen
Unterleutnant Schreiber recon section contains two BRDM-2 scout cars. His section has been commended several times for finding space for the Kampfgruppe to deploy and fight.
Schreiber BRDM's excel at taking out western AA vehicles.

Artillery Batterie
While not permanently assigned, Klein so far has had a battery of self propelled artillery dedicated to his command. He normally splits it into two parts one for his force and the other to support Vobel's motorized infantry.
The 2S1 Carnation 122mm self propelled howitzer vehicles are able to keep pace with the rapid advance tactics of the tanks.

SAM Gruppen
Unterleutnant Schulte squad contains two SA-13 track vehicles armed with the Strela-10 Surface-to-Air Missiles.
NATO air attacks have been light, possible because Schulte's section has
shot down anything that gets close to Klein's command!

Anti-Aircraft Gruppen
Unterleutnant Sauer Flak squad of two ZSU-23-4 Shilka's have always been in the rear covering the tail end of the Kampfgruppe. They surprisingly have not fired a shot in anger yet!
The ZSU-23-4 Shilka's mount four liquid cooled 23mm 2A7 cannons and their fire is radar guided.

BTR Motor-Schutzen Batallion
Not only is this an ad hoc formation, it is one from a different division, and its capabilities are unknown to Oberst Klein, as such he uses them sparingly. The ad hoc formation is built around a motor rifle kompanie (split in two) and a tank company from the attached motorized regiment of 8th Panzer Grenadier division.

Batallion Headquarters
Put in charge of the ad hoc battalion is the kompanie kommandant of the motor rifle company, Hauptmann Vobel. Not well thought of by his regimental superiors (hence the task out) he nevertheless is well liked by most of his officers and soldiers under his command. Being away from his parent regiment, Voebel has found a lot of freedom in how he commands his battalion, and so far Klein has let him run it as he sees fit.
He has been passed over for promotion several times and is thus an extremely experienced kompanie commander.
This however is his first time commanding a larger formation and he knows he is under the microscope of his superiors.

Motorized Rifle Kompanie
Leading the bulk of the kompanie is Vobel's 2nd in command, Oberleutnant Koch.
Comprised of two platoons of infantry, an LMG and AT missile squad. When added to the ten BTR-60's, the kompanie is tapping the command ability of the Leutnant.
Normally run by Kaptain Vobel, Oberleutnant Koch was recently put in charge of the bulk of the motorized rifle kompanie. 

Motorized Rifle Zug
The third platoon is led by Leutnant Roth, somewhat of a hothead, Roth excels at flanking moves and getting into trouble. His troops excel at racing around the enemy flanks in their BTR's, though they usually lack the numbers to hold onto the ground gained for any length of time.

To help out, he has a squad of AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers for fire support.
The AGS-17 has a high rate of fire when stationary.

Tank Kompanie
Hauptmann Werner is bitterly disappointed not to be commanding the battalion and lets Vobel know about it every chance he gets. He also tends to ignore Vobel's commands as he is sure his family connections will keep him out of trouble. He commands seven T-55AM battle tanks and normally takes the best one.
Rumor has it that his family has Stasi connections, and most of his command hope he'll be leaving for "bigger" things soon.

Regimental Assets
Most of Vobel attached assets are from 9th Panzer Division and so he has not had much time to acclimate to the officers of these units. The exception being Leutnant Lehmann, whom Vobel successfully pluck away from 8th PG, mostly because his sister was very insistent that he keeps tabs on her son!

Panzerabwehr Zug
Leutnant Lehmann anti-tank platoon has successfully knocked out five heavy NATO tanks so far, the Konkurs heavy anti-tank missiles being able to penetrate even the heaviest of front armor on the enemy tanks. That said, he has also has had two vehicles shot out from under him. His Zug is from 8th Panzer Grenadier division and was requested personally by Kaptain Vobel ... his uncle.
Konkurs vehicles, each of which mount five of the excellent Konkurs anti-tank missiles.

Recon Gruppen
Unterleutnant Maier recon squad normally provides flank cover to the kampfgruppe, though in heavy attacks he'll scout ahead along with Unterleutnant Schreiber.
The two BRDM-2 scout cars are each armed with 14.5mm Heavy Machine gun, as well as a co-ax MG.

Artillery Batterie
Hauptmann Vobel has been told that has access to the 23rd's self propelled howitzer regiment, though no more than a half battery and he so far has not needed them.
The 122mm howitzer on the 2S1 Gvozdika have a range of 15km

Flak Zug
Leutnant Scholz Surface-to-Air zug has four SA-9 Gaskin vehicles, armed with the Stelia-1M surface-to-air missile. His zug tends to provide air cover for the attacking infantry though his zug has been split into two parts to cover the rear echelon vehicles as well.
Being wheeled the Gaskin vehicles are a good fit for the BTR-60 battalions.

Divisional Support
The kampfgruppe will be supported by higher echelon units from time to time. They are not attached, so are assigned on a mission by mission basis, though Klein has always requested and received air support.

Panzerabwehr Zug
To deal with the heavy armored NATO tanks, more of the missile armed Spandrel anti-tank vehicles can be called upon.

Raketenwerfer Batterie
To cover a large area with fire, Oberst Klein has limited access to a battery of three BM-21 Hail rocket launcher vehicles. The rocket launchers with their high rate of fire are an excellent weapon when a commander needs to saturate a large area with high explosive munitions.
Though they have a large blast radius they are not that effective against even the lightest armored vehicles.

Oberst Klein learned long ago in his military career not to depend on any help from the Soviets, whom he has found generally still hate the Germans. This is especially true of the air support, as communications with russian speaking pilots is difficult at the best of times. Instead he relies on getting sporadic close air support from the East German Luftstreitkräfte in the form of a flight of SU-22M4 jet aircraft.

Each fighter bomber is armed with two 30 mm autocannons, Kh-25ML Air-to-ground missiles and cluster bombs.