Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Prussian Guards: Second Platoon

I finished the second platoon of my first Prussian Guards company during my holiday last month. However I have changed the colour of the uniform compared with the first platoon I did. The first platoon has a more greenish grey uniform which is more a WW2 field grey. On my visit to the Military Museum in Brussels, where they have a lot of WW1 stuff, I saw that the uniform was not a green-grey at all (although it went that way during the later war period).
The Guards uniform in Brussels.

This example doesn't have the piping on the cuffs (guards had red piping at the top and at the bottom of the cuff) but as the war progressed uniforms became more utilitarian. Only guards had litzen (the two white bars piped in red) on their collars; painting these was a challenge!

The big question now is whether to repaint the first unit. If I paint carefully I shouldn't have to do anything except the piping again. I suspect I will change the first platoon to match the second.

The third and final platoon of the first company is under way. They are now all based, undercoated and the basic flesh tone has been added. I have now painted the base uniform colour on four figures and hope to have the other eight done this week. After I have finished the first company I will paint some British and try out the Great War rules using three companies for each side. I have already painted 16 British, although the bases will need upgrading. I have decided not to repaint them and will stick to the greener uniforms as the ones in Brussels were a green khaki not a brown one as I thought they were.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

New Figures

I went to the To the Redoubt show at Eastbourne at the weekend and bought about five packs of the Great War Miniatures figures: German jaegers and infantry and some French. They look very compatible with the Renegade figures and I wouldn't think they would look any different once painted.

I am currently working on my next unit of Guards infantry but this time painting them in the greyer uniforms of the early war period. I may have to go back and repaint my green-grey ones, grr!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

First Jaegers

Here is my first Jaeger platoon of 12 men. This will be half of the two companies I need, initially.

There is one problem with the Jaegers that the Great War Miniatures figures don't have. Or rather, it's what the Renegade figures don't have and that is the oval cloth field badge which was white with a black centre for Prussians. Now my Osprey The German Army 1914-1918 shows the Jaegers without this badge but all of the shakos I saw in the Royal Army Museum in Brussels did have them. The way the Renegade ones are made could indicate the badges are under the cover.

Jaeger shakos in Brussels. Guards units had plain shako covers. The one second from the right is the colour I have gone for.

The Great War: Prussian Guards Army 1914

Here is my first unit for my army for the new Warhammer Historical The Great War rules. I painted these some years ago and recently upgraded the bases and touched them up a bit.

I have decided to start with a 1914 German Guards battalion, partly as the high cost of the figures means a few less to paint.

The organisation charts reflect the historical arrangements pretty well but that is easier with a larger scale for the units than, say, 12 men representing a regiment. A regiment in TGW would be 432 figures! Phew!

The German army in WW1 was organised into regiments. Each regiment had 3 battalions and each battalion consisted of four companies. The company was split into three platoons which was then further divided into four sections. You don't need to get down to this level of detail in TGW rules as the smallest unit is the platoon consisting of 11 figures, representing about 85 men in real life. You can buy up to two extra figures and I have decided to go for 12 man units so that is roughly a 1:7 ratio. So I will need 144 figures for my 4 core Companies. I now have 12 painted, 12 under way and 12 more based. All the figures are Renegade but I will be investigating the Great War Miniatures ones in the next few weeks.

My initial army will be a Prussian Guards Battalion and will look like this:

1 HQ Battalion Command Group

This consists of 1 Officer and two soldiers.

I have already painted these and here they are.

I think I would prefer an officer with a peaked cap and will work on that shortly. My officer with the pickelhaube will become a company officer.

4 Core Guards Companies

Each company will be 36 men and a three man company command unit.

Divisional Support

You can have 1 per 2 core company choices so I can have two choices. I think I will choose some cavalry. Initially just 1 troop of 12 figures (9 is the standard but you can buy up to 5 more)

Regimental Support

You are allowed 1 per core company choices so that gives me 4. I am going to have two machine gun sections (2 maxim guns), one Jager unit (maybe a small company of two platoons rather than the normal 3) and a 77mm gun just because I like the look of the Great War miniatures artillery models.

That is a lot of figures but I have quite a number already as I picked up one of Renegade's army boxes at a discount. We shall see how many years it takes but at least you can start a battle with far less than this.

Friday, 23 May 2008

German Schutztruppe Askari

These are my Schutztruppe Askari. They are Copplestone castings figures. The German is a Brigade Games miniature sculpted by Mike Owen. These are dressed as they were at the beginning of the war. Later on they adopted floppy hats and kahki puttees.

Great War Miniatures British 2

Great War Miniatures British Infantry advancing

The release of Great War Miniatures early war French has got me digging out the GWM early British I bought about six months ago.
I hadn't realised a Warhammer Historical's WW1 set of rules was quite so imminent and so I filed down and based the 12 figures I have got today. I was hoping to do some painting this afternoon as I had the afternoon off for my annual diabetic eye check (hooray, my eyes are still OK!). I had just put a few colours on some more Ruga-ruga and Ngoni when my daughter returned from school and announced she needed the computer (and hence my desk) for her homework. I'm getting her a laptop for her birthday so that should prevet this, I hope! This she managed to drag out until the exact moment the light failed. Grr! So it was this that forced me to disappear into the kitchen to base some figures, instead.

I am going to add them to the "in progress" pile and see how I get on with them in the next month or so.

I have always been interested in early WW1 since my Airfix days when I had hundreds of the German and British infantry. I used to dig trenches at the end of my mother's lawn and make endless coils of barbed wire by winding wire around pencils. I spent weeks over the summer holidays extending the trenches until they covered a front over ten feet long. Only a couple of years ago, when planting some bulbs, my mother dug up one of those plastic German stretchers which had been buried in the garden for over 35 years!

About eight years ago I bought a lot of Peter Pig's 15mm early WW1 figures. I had no idea how I was going to use them but I did paint quite a few.

Some of my Peter Pig 15mm figures

I really liked the Peter Pig figures and they have a brilliantly comprehensive range but I just can't paint 15mm.

My Renegade British. 21 figures painted; that's an army by my standards!

When Renegade brought out their Mike Owen sculpted WW1 figures a few years ago I bought French, Germans and British and even painted quite a few. I didn't have any specific WW1 books at that time so come of the colour choices are a bit odd but they were great to paint. I notice that I still have a few dozen to paint but gave up on them when they failed (as usual with Renegade) to complete the range and started to move on to late war, which was less appealing to me.

GWM spiffy officers. A couple of them look a bit dim. Probably went to Cambridge.

I am hoping that Great War Miniatures will cover some of the cavalry figures I would like to see like Uhlans and French dragoons. There were a few sharp cavalry encounters in the early days of the BEF in France which would make good skirmish games. After all it was a cavalryman, Trroper Thomas of the 4th Dragoon Guards who was credited with firing the first British shot of the war during an engagement when the Dragoons charged, at full pelt, a unit of Uhlans.

The Renegade and GWM figures go well together (or at least the British do) so although the latter figures are much more accurate as regrds kit my original Renegades may not be a complete write-off. I now have a few more reference books including the long out of print Army Uniforms of World War 1 by Andrew Mollo, which is excellent, particularly on things like webbing and equipment. I borrowed this from the local library a lot and tried to buy it from them but they wouldn't sell it to me. My wife, unbeknown to me, then found a second hand military bookseller through directory enquiries and got me a beautiful condition second hand one for a surprise birthday present!

The key thing with the British is I think I have painted them too green. Early WW1 uniform khaki seems to be a bit browner. It all depends on whether there is a suitable Humbrol paint. I probably need to get down to the National Army Museum.

East Africa: Germans

Here are my Brigade Games German Schutztruppe figures for East Africa. All the coloured cords on the helmets were a fiddle to paint but they look OK, considering I did them a few years ago. I saw an episode of Ray Mears' Survival where he went and lived out with the tribes who inhabited the area of the conflict. There was quite a bit about the war in the programme but the interesting thing was the terrain. Just grass (quite green), scrub and small trees. Pretty easy to model I would have thought, even for me. I have used a slightly redder base shade than usual to reflect the colour of the local earth.

These are German African Schutztruppen. These are not Brigade Games but Copplestone Castings. I chose these as Brigade Games themselves admitted that on the early figures they failed to sculpt them as Negros: a rather fundamental mistake I would have thought! They are a little taller than the Brigade Games figures but even I don't mind as the look and bulk is so similar. The Brigade Games Schutztruppen they did later (from the later period with the floppy hats) are much better.

These are quick figures to paint and I based up the rest I had the other night, including some Sikhs.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Rengade v Great War Miniatures British

Renegade on the left. Great War Miniatures on the right.

I decided to order some figures from Great War Miniatures who have started an early WW1 range.

A couple of years ago, when they first came out, I ordered quite a lot of the Renegade Miniatures World War 1 figures. I wasn't very interested in the late war, with all that tedious trench warfare, but the early period with rapid manoeuvre and fighting retreats apppealed to me, especially as my Grandfather was in the KRRC in the BEF.

So I was very attracted to the new Great War Miniatures early war figures, even though I had been warned that they were not compatible with the Renegade figures.

Not so! I am very fussy about different scales but these seem fine to me! The rifles are more realistic and the details of the packs are more accurate but in separate units they would look fine and, when painted, maybe even in the same unit. I am now hoping that they will produce all the figures I want from an early WW1 range, which Renegade never did, such as French Cuirassiers and German Uhlans.

Another New Blog!

It is months since I started a new blog but the new Warhammer Great War Rules has inspired me!

I bought a copy this week, along with the Osprey Field of Glory Ancients rules and some Perry plastic ACW figures. I thought I would go straight home and start assembling the plastics but I started to read the Great War rules on the train and when I got home I immediately sought out the Renegade WW1 figures I painted a few years ago.

I have decided to finish some more figures and try out the rules which look very familiar to anyone who plays Warhammer Ancient Battles although they are based on the Warhammer 40,000 rules, it seems. They are what I would call big skirmish rules, calling for 100-150 figures a side but with each figure representing 2 or 3 real soldiers.

I am putting WW1 themed posts from my general blog and my Darkest Africa blog on here too, to keep everything together.