Have had a few very busy and stressful days at work so not much going on as far as the hobbies go. One thing I did do was quickly paint one of the Liberation Miniatures 20mm modern German infantrymen. I was a bit worried about painting the larger figures being that I usually paint in smaller scales however, I have to say that even with the speed paint job I applied to this guy he came out nice. The figure is very good and was one of those figures that almost paints itself. Although the camo is not perfect and the paint job is not museum quality work by any stretch I am very pleased with the outcome especially considering I painted him in about 6 minutes. So a plus for liberation miniatures. I see my 20mm modern collection growing in the future.
Second I have come to a realization that I will need to out source some of my painting. This came to me after last Sunday I primed five bases of British 6mm Baccus infantry (that’s 25 strips), and they sat untouched for the entire week. I am considering painting services, and if anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I would ideally like a service that can provide the figures so I do not have to deal with shipping them. I have sent an email to reinforcements by post for some information and specifics about ordering.
The Spanish Civil War
I developed an interest in the Spanish Civil War while reading about the anarchist movement several years ago. I read several books by Noam Chomsky (great reads although I do not agree with all of his views), in which he references political movements in Spain during the Civil War and his admiration for the anarchist movement. Recently I read a biography of Franco and the battle for Spain by Antony Beevor. Beevor’s book is very informative although the focus is geared heavily towards the conflict within the Republican leadership and less so on the military aspects of the war (these are covered as well but in less detail).
Wargaming the Spanish Civil War
I have not decided on rules yet but there are several on the web that I am considering. As for figures I went with Peter Pig’s range since I really like their WWI and Russian Civil War figures. So far I have only painted a few units of republican infantry. These are painted to represent one of the more organized uniformed regiments probably a known loyal communist regiment as these were often better equipt. As a result they are painted in the republican brown mostly with soft hats. I am working on some international units, militia and troops from the army of Africa.
Okay I will try to keep the political stuff off the blog but I felt I had to post about this. A few blocks away from where I write this the Iranian President Ahmandinejad will be speaking today.
It took me a few days to decide how I feel about this. Make no mistake I think Mr. Ahmadinejad is evil and the regime he represents is evil. I have both heard and read his statements and while many attribute this to off the cuff remarks and political rhetoric I very much believe he means what he says. However, that does not mean I think it is the Untied States role to solve the worlds problems. Never mind the fact that the United States has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world and is in no small way responsible for the establishment of the current Iranian regime, I don’t think it is realistic to think that the United States alone can police the world and stop the proliferation of nuclear technology.
Mr. Ahmadinejad has been invited by the prestigious Columbia University to speak today at a class about world leaders. The United States is a free country, a nation of free speech. This is what makes this country great and not Iran. The market place of ideas is supposed to prevail especially in respect to speech one finds offensive. The freedom of speech is supposed to protect especially those speakers who society finds repulsive and offensive.
While I believe in the freedom of speech and feel that freedom of speech is a valuable weapon in democracies arsenal I have concluded that Columbia University has made an error by inviting Ahmadinejad to speak. I can understand Mr. Ahmadinejad speaking at the UN which while located in New York is an international body. Yet Columbia is a privet institution, a university with a prestigious reputation. By inviting Ahmadinejad to speak they lend both him and his ideas credibility. Yes this man is the leader of a country but amongst his and his countries acts are sponsoring a so called intellectual forum with the sole aim of disproving the Holocaust and ridiculing Jews. He and the regime he represents have sponsored anti-Semitic art exhibits, regularly call for the destruction of Israel (what they would refer to as the Zionist entity), support terrorism and instability throughout the middle east including arming Hezbolah and insurgents who kill American soldiers in Iraq.
In a way I equate Columbia Universities actions with the 1936 French Olympic team. While Germany was a nation and Adolf Hitler its leader his racist ideology was clear. Politicians did read his statements, some even his book, and like Ahmadinejad most believed they were mere rhetoric. And yes there was no direct proof yet, and one may even partially understand (maybe not forgive) the Olympic committees decision to hold the Olympics in Nazi Germany. The Olympics like the UN is an international forum and Germany is a country. However like Columbia University the French Olympic team took matters a step further by giving the Nazi salute at the Olympic parade. Despite the fact that they may have thought Hitler’s remarks were merely political bravado they lent him and his regime credibility by this act. Both the French Olympic teams actions in 1936, and Columbia Universities actions in 2007 lent credibility to evil racist regimes. Both are shameful and both can not be understood or forgiven.
THE REDS This is a Red Guard Unit. This unit is perfect for Russian Civil War and can be used for Russo-Polish War units as well.
A picture of the town held by a Checka unit. The grey figure is just a figure I like so I put him in. The buildings are paper terrain. Very nice stuff when put together but took me a long time to build.
Peter Pigs Red infantry. This unit can be used for late stages of the Russian Civil War and during the Russo-Polish War.
A close up of Checka unit. These were not used in most fighting but the all black looks cool.
My Red General and some staff look over the battle.
I have long been interested in the between war years roughly between 1918-1939. For some reason these odd less known periods are often more interesting to me then the more popular periods like WWII, Napoleonic etc. Although I have gotten sucked into those periods as well.
I probably first became interested in the Russian Civil War from movies like Dr. Zhivago and learning about the Red revolution in elementary school. I had a teacher who was terrified of the inevitable Communist invasion from Alaska and Canada. I also remember a great young Indiana Jones based on the Russian Revolution. At some point I picked up James A. Michener’s Poland which has an entire chapter on the Russo-Polish War 1919-20. Once I learned about this conflict I was hooked. In college and graduate school I majored in Eastern European History and specifically the Russian Revolution and Civil War. So naturally I began painting figures for this period.
At first I used 6mm converted heroics and ros figures for WWI in the East, Russian Civil War and Russo-Polish War. However, the 6mm figures just did not give me a feel for the uniforms and the period. After viewing pictures on the web of Peter Pigs extensive line for this period I bought in. I now have small forces of Reds (both Civil War and Russo-Polish War), Whites and Polish. All are Peter Pig figures. I like them a great deal and continue to expand on this project.
So keeping with the 20/21st century 6mm stuff I am adding some pictures of my GHQ modern British. These are painted in desert uniforms and are meant to be used either in Iraq or Syria.
The background to the Syrian scenario is that some time in the beginning of 2008 a coup takes place in Syria with a radical Muslim government taking control. This government is openly opposed to the United States and tries to create instability in Iraq and attack American interests. With what they feel as no other option the United States and a small force of British invade Syria to topple this regime. Right now I am building the Syrian regular army, insurgents and British using GHQ modern infantry. At some point, probably a longtime from now given my painting speed and ability to stay with one project, I hope to build the US forces and even some Israeli’s to get involved as well.
Why not just game Iraq? Well like WWII a bit to close for comfort. With American troops in Iraq risking their lives I rather game a fictional conflict with elements of what I am looking to game in Iraq but not as close to home.
The next few updates will be a bit of a break from my Seven Years War figures and focus on some of the other stuff I have been painting recently. To start World War Two with Adler infantry.
I have tended to steer clear of World War Two in respect to my wargaming/miniature painting hobby. Like most people interested in military history I studied the battles of the Second World War but they always seemed a bit to close to game in miniature. This is odd since I have always had an interest in modern post Second World War miniatures. Part of it was I never really wanted to build WWII Germans because I detest their political ideology. This was reinforced by reports I read of wargamers taking things (what I feel at least), a bit to far and dressing up in SS or Hitler Youth uniforms at conventions and games. Having known people who survived death camps and having heard their first hand accounts this was understandably offensive to me.
Nonetheless recently my interest in World War Two miniatures surfaced. Not sure what it was exactly although I had been reading Churchill’s books about the war which certainly had an influence. So I started looking for figures. I broke down my interests to several theaters/periods: - 1930's fictional conflicts (minor proxy powers ie: Hungary/Poland) - Eastern Front 1941-43 (minors against Soviets) - North Africa (Italy/Germany v. England)
As for figures I have always been more of an infantry guy. I also wanted to stay small preferably 6mm or 10mm. I bought a bunch of both but decided on 6mm when I saw and painted up a bunch of the WWII adler infantry. These just look really cool. I plan to shortly begin building the armor components using GHQ miniatures.
Here are some more pictures of the French army. My French General Louis Pecard the Foolhardy who has been accused of making somewhat questionable decisions on the field of battle. Also pictures of the French Monarch and infantry divisions. Last and with out question the least the first of the cowardly British regiments march out to terrorize the land.
I thought I would add a few photos. Here the valiant French assemble outside the town as the cowardly British run for cover. The figures are all Baccus. The background are Timecast models. I hope to get some better shots of the French up in the next post.
I would probably classify the French army of the Seven Years War as underachievers. Certainly this was a different army then the one that served during the War of the Spanish Succession. From the reading I have done it appears that the French army of this period was in a state of change and disagreement. Some advocated a restructuring imitating the Prussian model with emphasis on rate of fire. Others argued that this was against the French natural character and stressed the charge and natural élan of the French soldier. In general by the Seven Years War the French army seems to have been slow, over encumbered with baggage and generally faired poorly against the Prussians and British in Europe.
So why am I building a French Seven Years War army?
Well I just can’t stand the British so arrogant in their red coats. Don’t even get me started on the godless Prussians and their robotic hordes. No the French have character, they have color, are expected to perform poorly, and speak gods language French!!! Well except for the Irish, German and Swiss regiments. I also had painted Prussians and Austrians with Adler figures so decided I should go for an army I had not painted yet.
I started out with heroics and ros for this period several years back. Eventually moved to Adler which are nice but a pain to base and paint. They also have an incomplete line and from what I can tell no intention of completing it. Baccus are based in strips which make them easy to paint and the line is complete and even growing. I have to admit that at first I did not like them, they are very different from Adler. However, after painting and basing them I think they are very nice and after the French are done I have a British army pack waiting to go. I am even considering Baccus late Romans when they come out. I have been basing my French army on standard Polemus base sizes and hope to use these rules. If not I will bases all sides so I don’t see why I can not use other rules as well. The bases fit exactly three strips of Baccus figures which is very convinent and looks nice. I base six strips three in front three in back per base of infantry. For artillery I base two guns and crew to standard Polemus base. Cavalry use the same infantry size bases but in one rank. I use about seven heavy cavalry and five or six light Cavalry like Hussars to a base.
So I guess this should be the first question or start of the blog. In general I hope this blog will be about Wargaming or playing with and painting toy soldiers. This is my hobby and as I have often found inspiration from other web pages devoted to this topic I hope this will be my small contribution. A warning I may also interject some thoughts on books I am reading, topics I am thinking about, history or even some politics. A place to put down some things on my mind. But in general I hope it will concentrate on my Wargaming hobby.
When did I start Wargaming and what kind of Wargamer am I?
I am not sure when I started playing with toy soldiers. I know that in elementary school I collected green plastic soldiers and would set them up and have great battles. In high school I started getting really into history and began collecting and painting plastic Napoleonic soldiers. I made up my own rules with some friends and played with them. I also began playing with board games like Diplomacy and Axis and Allies. At this time I also discovered computer Wargames. My favorites were Panzer General, Steel Panthers I and II and probably my favorite Age of Rifles. By college I found DBM and Volley and Bayonet and 6mm figures. I have been collecting and painting and even playing games now and then ever since. In general these days I would classify myself more of a painter modeler then Wargamer. I like painting armies but rarely have time to play games. I also do not play many computer or board games these days. The last computer Wargame I really got into was Victoria a few years back.
What periods do I paint figures for and what figures do I use?
The fast answer is to many. I have figures in to many scales and to many periods. I am attempting to stream line this so I may actually get some armies done. I use mostly 6mm figures. I find these ideal as they are cheap, easy to store and when based in mass look really good. My main interests are Renaissance/Medieval period, Seven Years War, 19th Century wars in Europe, and Modern. I also have an interest in the wars of the 1930’s and use Peter Pig 15mm for Russian Civil War, Russo-Polish War 1919-20 and Spanish Civil War. I am currently painting the following:
- WWII Croatians, Spanish Blue Division, Hungarians, Afrika Korps, French and Italians. All very small squads using Adler WWII figures.
- Seven Years War French using Baccus figures.
- Modern Syrians using GHQ figures.
- Spanish Civil War Republicans using Peter Pig 15mm figures.
Fictional Conflicts and Countries:
I have always had an interest in fictional countries and conflicts. I am hoping to build up the nerve to paint figures for and develop the following:
- 19th Century fictional Burgundian and Swiss armies (6mm heroics and ros 1859 rules)
- A fictional French Italian conflict in 1930’s Yugoslavia (Adler 6mm or 10mm)
- 1930’s fictional South American Country Civil War (15mm Peter Pig)
- Modern fictional African Countries and South American Countries (I have some of this done both in 6mm and 15mm).