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Avanti Savoia or whatever

The local crowd, or some of them, at least, have become enamored of the Chain of Command rules from Two Fat Lardies. I will refrain from any comment about out physiognomy matching that of the rules authors (mostly because I am a major offender myself) and say that I do enjoy the rules, with some reservations about the amount of luck that can occur in one game. Having said that, I must admit that all the games I have participated in, or even watched, have been a bunch of fun.
So coming late to the game (ha, beware weak pun) and lagging much behind such skilled painters as this guy (I do love his stuff, no idea how he turns out so much in such a high quality) I decided to paint some Italians, on the grounds that no-one had any, and I could avoid invidious comparisons.
And the PDF with the army list was free online……

The first squad. Endless chaps with rifles, and 2 LMGs

The first squad. Endless chaps with rifles, and 2 LMGs

So, off I went, trying to build up a reasonable force, without the traditional wargamer “overbuy”, of which I am usually terribly culpable.
So I got 2 full squads, at squad having a rifle team and 2 LMG teams,

The other squad. Notice that the Italians have carefully applied bullseyes to their hats

The other squad. Notice that the Italians have carefully applied bullseyes to their hats

a scout squad of 12 guys and an NCO, 47mm and 20mm Antitank guns, a 65mm I dunno what sort of gun, it looks like it should have been on the Northwest Frontier or whatever the Italian equivalent is, an mug and 2 small mortars.
Yeah, I didn’t overbuy….  at least did not have many figures left over.

The support. Scouts squad, some mortars, MMG, and light ATG.

The support. Scouts squad, some mortars, MMG, and light ATG.

The figures are a core of the Perry ones, with some Artizan ones mixed in. The mortars and the 20mm atg came from Warlord games (to be honest, my least favorite figures of the bunch). The 47mm is a Perry piece but some of the gun crew are Battle Honors and some Askari Miniatures, who supplied all the Libyan type chaps in skullcaps, used for artillery fill ins and the scout squad. The 65mm gun took some getting, finally turning up as a Battle Honors model, which came also with the guys in helmets, which I ended up rather liking.

The artillery, such as it is.

The artillery, such as it is.

One of the advantages of sourcing figures from all over the place was that it gave the bunch a kind of “assorted” look. anything I read on the Italian army in North Africa indicated that the equipment was very mixed; people standing around in pictures with different type of webbing equipment, with different rifles, with grey-green stuff mixed in with the desert yellow. I tried to make them look like the photos, a bit. Added to this was the idea that the officers wandered around in paler coats, bleached by the sun, making them that much easier to distinguish from the regular troopers. I cannot think that this was a good idea, but what do I know…..

Some tanks were purchased also, being the subject of a later (much later, knowing me) post.

Horunzhy Nemiroff with his impressive bearded boys.

In the service of the Tsar

Horunzhy Nemiroff leads the Half-Sonia through the village. Outpost guys in front, old Glorys behind

Horunzhy Nemiroff leads the Half-Sonia through the village. Outpost guys in front, old Glorys behind

I probably have more than enough Russians to fight the colonial battles I have started documenting here. However, prolonged exposure to wargamers has shown me that “more than enough” is not a concept most of them are entirely comfortable with; so much so that it might be more accurate to say that is a concept that most of them are not aware of. In any case, because I am a wargamer for more years than I really care to think about, I decided my Russians needed more Russians.
Though that is probably some sort of terrible faux-pas or misnomer, because what they got was Cossacks, and I’m not sure if they get upset by being called Russians any more. One would probably have to consult some modern geopolitical chap, of which I am definitely not one.
In any case, I needed some Cossacks. Originally I though the traditional Nelson Eddy ones, with the fur hat and the long cloaks, you know, the bad guys in Dr. Zhivago.
Then I found that I had some Old Glory Russian cavalry in forage hat, and found that The Orenburg Cossacks looked something similar. I also came across the wonderful Outpost Wargaming Services, which had both mounted and dismounted guys. As the uniform for the Orenburgs pleased me greatly (dark green and sky blue, whats not to like?).

Parading through the village, the natives all discreetly absent

Parading through the village, the natives all discreetly absent

The result is these lads; seen on the left parading through the recently liberated/conquered/colonised (delete as appropriate) village. The offices and Bugler are Outpost, the bulk of the troopers old Glory, from their Boxer Revolt range.
This being for Sword and the Flame, they needed to get off their horsies. Outpost provided the foot figures, and I am very pleased with them, they have truly impressive beards. The standing dismount horses are Old Glory from their ACW range, where they have a bag of standing horses with some horse holders. well worth it if you are interested in the look of the thing.

Horunzhy Nemiroff and his lads prepare to hold an inclosure. I think the dismounts look well

Horunzhy Nemiroff and his lads prepare to hold an enclosure. I think the dismounts look well

I am not going to go book on the Cossack uniform; the only images I could find were somewhat incomplete. but I figure it is close enough, and will certainly do for me.

The rest of the locals

Well, as can be seen here, we have altogether too many forces of colonial aggression for the locals to handle. Therefore we made more locals, of course.

The second war band.I had not noticed the roadwork needed on the top right

The second war band. I had not noticed the roadwork needed on the top right

Dipping deep into the lead mountain (I wonder does every wargamer have a lead mountain?) I found a selection of basically “chaps in turbans” to use as a second Sword and the Flame tribe.

One of the 3 war bands; a total of 60 locals.

One of the 3 war bands; a total of 60 locals.

While some are the same Old Glory Northwest frontier guys, I am fairly sure there are some Wargames Foundry Sikh Wars and Indian Mutiny blokes too. No idea where they came from, honestly. There seems to be rather more lads with swords than firearms than I had in the first tribe; I wonder is this lot going to fare worse. In fact there are two under dressed blokes with swords visible in the background of the photo of the tribal leader below; I wonder where on earth they came from. At the very least, they are going to be cold.

Once more, painted in acrylics with a wash followed by a highlight. Not, perhaps, the most wonderful quality paintjob, but definitely serviceable. I resisted the temptation to use what one might call “historical” or

The tribal commander. I wonder what we shall call this fellow. For that matter, I wonder what I called the last fellow....

The tribal commander. I wonder what we shall call this fellow. For that matter, I wonder what I called the last fellow….

“accurate” colors, because, honestly, they would be unsupportably drab if decked out in browns and greys, and the fun of this game is playing with the pretty toys. Once more, the tribal command stand has a banner from Little Big Man Studios.

Besides that, given the nature of colonial gaming, being brightly colored will not be any disadvantage at all; so they may as well look stylish.

One of the questions I have is, what with 2 tribal leaders does one go off and make a superior leader in The Sword and the Flame, or is the local leadership left as some sort of committee?

In any case, this should be enough for the local forces; One small addition to the Colonial aggressors and we should be able to continue this.

Allies from the desert

Allies from the Desert

Allies from the desert

Allies from the desert

It has been a terrifically long time since I have updated this; I wish I could say that was because I was involved in critically important work which overtook my gaming.

This is, completely untrue. I have been buried in the minutiae of life, and any periodically have managed to pop my head above the drifts of trivia to have any fun.

But a few things have got painted, and I should pop up some posts of them, I think.

Here they are, on their horsies. I know the clothes are too bright, but I was feeling cheerful that day.

There also has been a lack of focus on my part recently, so the most progress has been on the Sword and the Flame project that I started to document here. Other little things have got done also; and I shall show a couple of the least embarrassing ones.

And where we have some of them off their horses. Hard work walking in that desert

And where we have some of them off their horses. Hard work walking in that desert

In any case, if my progeny are are going to continue to crush the restless natives/ inflict the horrors of colonialism on harmless indigenous peoples (delete as to your taste, I’m not bothered) it was clear that the forces of anti colonialism needs some more guys, ‘cos we have way too many Russians.

With that in mind, I poked around in the lead pile, and came up with this lot. And yes, I realize that the other bunches are more or less South Central Asian, and this bunch would be a lot happier in the neighborhood of Fort Zinderneuf, but that is how the desert dunes roll. And the locals will accept help from wherever it comes to fight the Russian oppressors.

In any case, they are all from the Old Glory Sons of the desert range, which I owned for much longer than I care to remember. So much so, that I cannot remember when or why I bought them, but never mind.

I painted enough for a standard Sword and the Flame Native cavalry band, and nine chaps as dismounts. I don’t ever recall using cavalry with this ruleset, so we shall see how it works.

The command group watching the activities below dubiously.  Col. Stolichnaya, Cpts. Absolut and Smirnoff

The forces of oppression

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The Glorious 54th Siberian Rifles on exercise, 3rd and 4th platoons in support, 2nd platoon in a firing line, and 1st platoon skirmishing in front. No-one is entirely sure what the mongols are doing on the hill, or whose side they are on (probably including the mongols)

Well, here we had one side of the forthcoming colonial hi-jinks, so I need to present the other one. Honestly, there is no excuse save the business of life for this taking so long, because most of the imperial forces have been painted for years, but never mind.

3rd and 4th platoon on their long and dusty march.

3rd and 4th platoon on their long and dusty march.

These are almost all Old Glory 25mm Boxer rebellion Russian infantry. I have had them painted for at least 10 years; they really have not been used much in that time.

1st and 2nd platoon looking aggressive

1st and 2nd platoon looking aggressive

When I decided to do some colonials, though, it was clear that this was the shortest route to an Imperial force. All I had to do was divide them into 4 platoons, and provide a command group, giving them a Sword and the Flame organisation for an Imperial infantry battalion, which I am without compunction going to use for a Russian Battalion.

So there you go, 1st Battalion, 54th Siberian rifles. I do not recall what motivated me to paint these lad’s shoulder boards yellow, but I just kept at it when I did some casualties (for wounded men) and the command group.

The command group watching the activities below dubiously.  Col. Stolichnaya, Cpts. Absolut and Smirnoff

The command group watching the activities below dubiously. Col. Stolichnaya, Cpts. Absolut and Smirnoff

The command group itself started out to be a mix of Copplestone Castings for the 2 company commanders and Battle Honors for the mounted Colonel (probably should only be a Major if it is a battalion in the Tsarist army, but it is essential to have some form of Colonel, preferably with a mustache or whiskers, in a colonial game, so a he gets a promotion. I’m sure his family will be pleased.) However, though the Copplestone figures (very nice ones from the Russian Civil War Range) turned out to be much to big to match the Old Glory ones, which are closer to “true” 25s so I grabbed 2 foot officers out of the Battle honors WWI Russian command bag I am got the Mounted officer from and used them instead. They fit in very well size wise. The flag comes for Redoubt Enterprises Russo-Japanese war range, and will serve them just fine.

The assembled mongols look on with interest. Or distain. Pick one. More Old glory 25mm from the Boxer range.

The assembled mongols look on with interest. Or distain. Pick one. More Old glory 25mm from the Boxer range.

I am going to set off a sub-blog (and if that is not a thing, it is now) to cover the colonial activities. it can be found here.

They really are nice figures. And the size allows them to be placed on the bases interestingly

A smaller World War I

Or, where is Kirk Douglas when you really need him?

En avant. Nice little chaps advancing over some really bad basing

En avant. Nice little chaps advancing over some really bad basing

As we have seen before, the local mob are currently in pursuit of a scale for building late WWI armies. We have had 15-18mm, and now it is time to look at 10mm. I have tried 6mm in the past, and found them too small to be satisfactory for me, so 10mm is a little as I care to go. I must say I approached the whole thing with a great deal of reluctance, almost bordering on trepidation.

First up was Magister Militum, from whom I got a bunch of poilu.

They really are nice figures. And the size allows them to be placed on the bases interestingly

They really are nice figures. And the size allows them to be placed on the bases interestingly

The first pleasant surprise was the price. the chaps are really a lot more inexpensive then even 15mm, and a pleasure to deal with in a financial sense compared to the 25/28mm I am accustomed to stockpiling unpainted.

Second pleasant surprise: they are very clean with decent detail on them. The only file and knife work I had to do was on the bottom of their bases, which is excellent, because I hate cleaning lead. The figures were well moulded, with good detail and of the whole batch only one with an outstretched arm had a moulding defect. Really very nice.

They primed well, and were a treat to block paint, wash, and highlight. The whole process was quick and enjoyable. the figures are portrayed in marching order (with a backpack) rather than combat order (with a blanket roll) but this does not matter to me, and gives a few more details to give character to the figures. Really I could not be happier with them.

And when I went to base them, my trepidation came home to roost. The standard methods I am accustomed to use on 15mm and 25mm were just not suitable.

The machine guns. Unfortunate there was only 5, so I made up the numbers with a chauchat

The machine guns. Unfortunately there was only 5, so I made up the numbers with a chauchat

I needed to build up the base because the plinths the individual figures are on are in proportion, quite large,  but I had a terribly hard time coming up with something that had a little texture to it, that did not look like the poor guys were advancing over an old lava flow or a cobblestoned street. Therefore the bases on this lot, as can be seen, are pretty darn bad.   I think I can resolve the issue for the next lot, but clearly it will require mucking around.

To summarise : easier to paint than expected, nice figures, and I need to work on my scenery.

Big and little trench mortars. At least I did not have to put these ones together, so, therefore, they look ok

WWI opposition

As we saw previously, our local group is looking at playing some WWI games, being as it is the 100 year anniversary and all. I volunteered to look into and paint up various manufacturer’s figures as test pieces, and to see if they would go with our current forces. Some of the previous stuff can be seen here and here. And here is some more test pieces

Big and little trench mortars. At least I did not have to put these ones together, so, therefore, they look ok

Big and little trench mortars. At least I did not have to put these ones together, so, therefore, they look ok

Blue Moon this time, late war british.

Large (in all senses) trench mortars. I excerted myself and put some brigade patches on these guys

Large (in all senses) trench mortars. I exerted myself and put some brigade patches on these guys

Four large trench mortars and two small. Once more the large ones are too big to fit on the designated 1″ x 1″ bases, and have been paced on those for artillery pieces. Pretty sure this will be unimportant in the grand scheme of things. I do like these figures, even though they are large. I find I am able to paint them well, and that they “come up” nicely without a terrible amount of effort in cleaning and painting. The issue with them would be merely one of size, I suppose. One would be more or less stuck using their product; having said that their range is pretty deep and I am unsure that it is a terrible constraint.

And the little ones. no idea why the color tone in this photo turned different to the others. I shall have to look at the settings not he device.

And the little ones. no idea why the color tone in this photo turned different to the others. I shall have to look at the settings on the device.

I know some of the other guys in the the group are leaning toward the smaller scale figures; those are next up for experimental painting. I have primed some, and am feeling like I will be popping out for my portable electron microscope shortly. Oh well, we can but see.