Author Archive

International Brigade Maxim HMG and crew

Posted on March 20th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Just getting this in before the end of the challenge to fulfill my requirements in the SCW side dual of a squad, command and support piece for a game of Bolt Action although it won’t be enough to pass either Nick the current leader or Curt so my congra…

Abraham Lincoln Brigade command SCW

Posted on February 22nd, 2017 under , . Posted by

Many Americans living in the west were not content to sit idle and watch events unfold in Spain and so elected to join in the fighting with most ending up in what’s is now called the Abraham Lincoln brigade which supported the Republicans although some Americans also did join the Nationalists although these were fewer in number.The Abraham Lincoln Brigade was composed of battalions from the 17th and later the 58th Lincoln battalions which were largely made up of American volunteers who were part of the International brigades( Foreign fighters in Spain) fighting on behalf of the Spanish Republican Government vs the Rebel Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39.

The battalion while commonly called the Lincoln Brigade was actually made up initially of  the Lincoln battalion which was later was joined by the George Washington Battalion, Canadian MacKenzie-Papineau Battalions, some Irish, Latins and eventually a small amount of Spanish. The Lincoln battalion was formed in January 1937 of highly motivated recruits which after less then two months training were thrown into action with a rifle and some bullets and then used primarily as assault troops. Obviously this lead to the battalion having very high casualty rates indeed losing some 22.5% of it’s strength by the end of the war.

In 1937 the Lincoln Brigade participated in the battle of Jarama losing 2/3 of it’s number including it’s commander in several fruitless assaults. After a short reconstitution the battalion then moved on to the offensive at Brunete where it was joined by the Washington battalion securing the town of Villanueva de la Cañada after a hard fight before eventually  attacking “Mosquito Ridge,” in series of grinding assaults that failed to remove the Nationalists. The casualties were so high including the loss of another commander that the result was the two battalions were joined together to form one unit. The brigade then saw action again in the Aragon offensive fighting well yet again. They were later joined by Macenzie-Papineau Battalions for the fighting at Fuentes de Ebro again receiving high casualties in leading the action at the front. After Fuentes de Ebro the exhausted brigade was finally given a rest. In December the brigade fought in the battles around Teruel  fighting both defensive and offensive engagements to dislodge the Nationalists before ending in a stalemate.

1938 could best be described as a disaster as the brigade was caught up in what became known as “The retreats” which was basically a series of delaying and holding actions as Nationalists forces cut the Republic in two. The brigade was dispersed and reformed repeatedly during the retreats losing it’s two highest ranking officers before finally consolidating at the Ebro river. The brigade then participated in the Ebro offensive which eventually stalled out after the Nationalists regrouped halting the offensive in it’s tracks. At this point the International brigades were withdrawn from the conflict by prime minister Negrin in the vain hope that Franco’s Nationalists would do the same with his German and Italian troops which they of course did not as they had the advantage at this point.

The brigade included 3,015 volunteers over the course of the war made up mostly of Americans and included some Canadians and small amount of Latins and Irish. Because the Americans were an independent bunch that preferred to vote on things rather then dogmatically follow orders the Spanish government  decided to add Spanish troops and commissars to the brigade for communications, but more importantly to insure loyalty to the government on the governments terms. The brigade was mostly white, but did include some African Americans making them the first American integrated combat unit. They were also mostly communists/socialists and ardent anti-fascists, but did include some who joined just for adventure or to escape a bad life back home.

The figures are of course from the excellent Empress miniatures SCW line and are 28mm. The very nice flag is from Flags of War. I painted the figures using mostly Vallejo paints, but did include some Foundry paints. They are organized for Bolt Action with a Captain/Lt. and two guards and Standard bearer and his two guards, but they can also be used with Chain of Command as well.

I still have more SCW on my near to do list to try and keep competitive in the SCW side challenge with Curt, Nick and Phil plus I’m starting to get close to a battle worthy force which is always nice!:-) I have a some more Republicans in the pipeline, but will be tackling some Nationalists pretty soon as well.

This is my latest entry for the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge Bonus theme round found here.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Empress

North American Blockhouse

Posted on February 8th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

The scene above is of a supply train trundling past a blockhouse bringing much needed supplies to a nearby frontier settlement. Since I’m American I wanted to enter something into the “home” bonus round for the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge …

International Brigade Group 3

Posted on January 29th, 2017 under , . Posted by

I’ve entered a SCW side duel in the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge here with Curt, Nick and Phil. I’ve been wrapped up doing the bonus theme rounds I’ve neglected this portion of the challenge and decided I’d better get on the ball and get some po…

Aftermath in the East Woods

Posted on January 24th, 2017 under , . Posted by

I’ve had an enduring passion for the American Civil War since a boy really and just about every Analogue Hobbies  challenge I try and include at least one ACW piece somewhere and while I was reading up on Antietam again the idea came to me for the “East” bonus theme round here.

Just to set the mood I thought I would include the soundtrack “Ashokan Farewell” in the youtube clip below assembled by Curt Franz made famous by Ken Burns monumental American Civil war series. Enjoy the photo’s in the clip and listen to the song while you read the post if you wish. Personally I find the song just seeps into your bones and pulls you right into 1860’s America.

Antietam or Sharpsburg as known by the confederates occurred on September 17, 1862 and was the bloodiest single day of combat in the American Civil War resulting in a staggering 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing. This was the South’s first invasion of the North and resulted in the confederates achieving a remarkable tactical draw when one considers the enemy commander had your plans and had considerably superior numbers of 87,000 men to your 38,000! That said, it was a strategic victory for the union as the confederates were forced to withdraw the following morning having not the men or materials to press the invasion.

So how does the East Woods fit into all this some may ask? The East Woods is where the first infantry engagements took place during the battle starting with the evening exchanges between pickets prior to the battle and moving on into a full on infantry slugfest in the morning between parts of Hooker’s Corps and Jackson’s division. This went on for about 3 hours with each side changing control of the woods until reinforcements of the union 12th Corps finally pushed the confederates out, but at high loss of men including their commander Gen. Joseph K.F. Mansfield.

“The shells crashing through the trees and fluttering overhead as well as the musketry… all contributed to mark the time, and place, fixed in one’s memory forever.”
Diary of Sergeant Charles Broomhall, 124th Pennsylvania Infantry

Ambulance Corps.

Other then disease and direct combat soldiers often died simply by waiting for medical attention while wounded on the battlefield. Wagons were employed to gather the wounded to cut down on losses, but the problem was that often these early wagons had issues with corruption of the drivers who required payment to carry wounded, stole from their passengers and some were just flat out to lazy to gather the wounded. Also it didn’t help that often the wagons were so lightly constructed that riding them was very uncomfortable due to damage to the roads from weather and shells not to mention some even turning over causing further harm to the wounded.

The situation dramatically improved with Dr. Jonathan Letterman’s system which increased the weight of the wagon, number of horses and increased passenger load. Additions were given to the wagon like compartments to store medical supplies, stretchers, water, and removable benches and seats that adjusted with the number of passengers. Also units started to train ambulance crews and have routine inspections. Letterman’s system became so effective that all wounded were gathered within 1 day at Antietam and inspired the formation of the ambulance corps after the battle. The confederates adopted a similar system, but was not as effective mainly due to shortages of men, supplies and wagons.

The uniforms of medical officer/surgeon was dark blue frock coat or whatever coat he liked with emerald green epaulettes with “MS” inserted, emerald green sash and an 1840’s medical staff sword. His stewards(NCO’s) usually wore frock coats with inverted half chevrons of emerald green with yellow edging and a red sash. Privates typically wore normal union infantry uniform with perhaps a green trim on the kepi if at all.

The model itself is from Perry miniatures and has been on my to do list for some time. A bit tricky to construct and clean, but works nicely in the end.

I painted the piece using mostly Foundry colors with some Vallejo and MIG pigments for the stones. I decided to have some fun with the horse and went for a “painted pattern Appaloosa”. Appaloosa horses are something quite American so I included one to round out the piece.

Thought I would include an old fashioned looking sepia picture to further add to the atmosphere.While this piece can enhance the look of a game it can serve a purpose like an objective marker or represent the high casualty marker for Regimental Fire and Fury.

I do really enjoy painting battlefield extras and look forward to the chance to do some more.

Thanks for viewing!:-)
Miniature Company- Perry Miniatures

Goth Warlord

Posted on January 10th, 2017 under . Posted by

Finally got some figures off the table for the annual Analogue Hobbies Painting challenge here which began in December where it seems time has just flew by with this and that. The challenge is to paint whatever figures you want with each figure worth a…

Roman stone Watchtower

Posted on December 26th, 2016 under , . Posted by

When I first visited the Grand Manor web site many years ago I saw this building and knew I had to have it! This is my first of what will be many resin Grand Manor buildings I plan on doing. Personally I consider Grand Manor terrain to be the Rolls Roy…