Peshawar – the American Ground Forces – Part 1

The Yanks are coming
The Yanks are coming

The Americans were the next to be prepared for painting.

They are organised along the lines suggested in the Land Ironclad rules. Ready for the sand and paint are a Battalion of Infantry (4 companies); two companies of marines; an artillery regiment (4 batteries); and 4 regiments of cavalry (three of then having a dismounted equivalent – two dismounted bases to every three mounted bases).

s with the Russians, the figure models represent 10 men so the infantry companies are about 400 men strong and the cavalry regiments around 300 troopers.

Next off will be the conventional forces of one of the newcomers to Peshawar but an old power – the Prussians.

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Peshawar – the Russian Ground Forces – Part 1

The Russian force arrayed, ready for sand to be added to the bases
The Russian force arrayed, ready for sand to be added to the bases

The Peshawar project is moving forward slowly. Over the Christmas break in between gorging on roast meats washed down with ice cold beers I started basing the “conventional” ground troops for this. Land ironclads and contraptions will come later. First cab off the rank here were one of the oldest protagonists in the Great Game … Mother Russia!

The Russians are organised along historical lines (and as suggested in the Land Ironclads rules from Wessex Games). Based and ready for sand on the bases and painting is an under strength battalion of infantry (one company detached), two sotni of Cossack, four squadrons of ‘ussars, two squadrons of dragoons and a brigade of artillery.

A Russian infantry battalion normally consists of four companies of regular infantry with a rifle company making up a fifth company. The companies are all about 200 men strong so that is represented by four infantry blocks (I am assuming each infantry block represents about 50 men).

The cavalry squadrons are all approximately 150 men strong.

Next off will be the conventional forces of one of the newcomers to Peshawar – the USA.

A battery and an idea of the size of these figures
A battery and an idea of the size of these figures

 

Christmas in Manila

I am getting close to my first Christmas in Manila. The Filipinos note that the festive, Christmas season is found in any month that finishes with the letters “ber”. It’s true. Christmas carols have been heard across the shopping malls since September. Christmas decorations have been available for the same period and Christmas gift wrapping has been available in the large department stores such as Landmark for that period as well (and by gift wrapping I am not just referring to the paper itself but also for the minions to professionally wrap gifts for you).

The Philippines as a whole is a fairly devote, staunchly Catholic country although there are sizable numbers of those that belong to a Protestant Church as well as a significant Muslim population. Christmas and the Mass are very important then.

The other characteristic of this time of year is the Christmas party. Everywhere has one. Venues will be booked out for parties until about 10 pm each night after which they return to their normal line of business. Parties will be held by companies for their staff; condominium management for the residents (with a separate party for “helpers and drivers” of the residents); restaurants will hold parties for staff; even bars will have staff Christmas parties.

I have been to three parties so far this season and there is a common theme. Filipinos love to exchange gifts, play party games, win raffle or game prizes, sing, and dance. The gifts are normally valued around $10 and are generally unisex so randomly distributed. There are a number of games based around the gifts such as a white elephant game where you can swap gifts, another where gifts can be stolen (swapped when someone is not watching) and others where the giving of the gifts is randomized by some left-right movement routine.

At this time of year, office corridors and spare spaces are filled with staff members practicing their dance routines, rehearsing songs or just planning the party games that will be played.

Yes, Christmas in Manila is a fun time and I am enjoying it!

Peshawar – The Combatants

I mentioned that Peshawar was a Victorian Science Fiction campaign or game. If you click on Peshawar in the tag cloud or search Thomo’s Hole for it you will see that it was inspired by a VSF book, the Peshawar Lancers. I needed a universe for my Aeronefs and Peshawar provides it. Of course, it was then a small step to add Land Ironclads and as wargamers do, expand, expand, expand. Now I have six belligerents, all playing a variety of the Great Game. We have British, French, Prussians, Russians, Americans and the inscrutable Orientals, a mix of Japanese forces and Imperial Chinese.

I have enough 2mm forces to take care of Cavalry, Artillery and Infantry for the Land side of the game. I also have Land Ironclads for some of the forces. As far as ‘nefs go, I have six fleets awaiting paint. I have been considering organisations for these forces for a while and they will be the subject of a future post. In the meantime, I was considering colours for the various land forces and came up with the following basic plan.

British

The forces of Perfidious Albion, being located on the sub-continent, will be based around the British in India in the 19th Century. To that end, the following colours will apply (with some variations later):

  • Infantry – red coat, white trousers, dark forage cap with buff/white next cloth
  • Artillery – in blue
  • Cavalry – red jackets, dark grey breeches, brass helmet. Some variation with some native lancers

French

The Stylish French have been based around the colours of the French during the Franco-PrussianWar:

  • All arms – dark blue uniforms with red trousers

A picture of the French can be seen on this link.

Russian

Britain’s main competitor in the Great Game:

  • Infantry – buff or light grey greatcoat, white straps, dark blue or black hat, black bots
  • Artillery – as the infantry
  • Cavalry – Heavy cavalry in brass breastplate, white coat, white breeches and brass helmet. Lancers in dark blue coat, yellow breast (maybe), light grey breeches and white lance pennants (based around Crimean War Colours). I may add some irregular cavalry later

Japan and Imperial China

The Asia contingents:

  • Infantry – White coat and trousers or dark blue coat, white trousers with a grey blanket roll. Chinese forces in black (Boxers?).
  • Artillery – as for infantry
  • Cavalry – mid-grey coats, red breeches, grey hats

Prussia

As the Germans try and carve an empire in the sub-continent, they sent their troops in colonial colours:

  • Infantry – mid grey coat and trousers, black boots, dark helmets or mid green coat, grey hat, grey trousers and black boots
  • Artillery – in mid grey coat and trousers, black boots
  • Cavalry – as er the infantry (they are Germans after all and are therefore very uniform – based on late 19th century or Boxer Rebellion Germans)

USA

The Americans are playing the game as well. The forces are based around those of the American Civil War with a touch of Teddy Roosevelt:

  • Infantry – mid-brown/khaki all over or blue grey shirt, khaki trousers and hat. US marines in dark blue coat, light blue trousers and khaki hat and gaiters.
  • Artillery – same as the infantry
  • Cavalry – same as the infantry

And to leave you wit a taste of more 2mm, the remaining two armies – USA and Japan – are pictured below:

 

Peshawar – The Continuation

Sometime back in 2009  started a project for 1/1200 scale Aeronefs. As is the way of wargamers, I then expanded it to include Land Ironclads. In both cases using rules from Wessex Games; Aeronefs and Land Ironclads and buildings from Brigade Models; and period(ish) infantry, cavalry and artillery (in 2mm scale) as well as buildings and scenery from Irregular Miniatures. As it also the way of wargamers, something else bright and shiny appeared in front of me and so the project was shelved. At the time of shelving, I seem to recall that I had expanded from the original two combatants (the French and English) to add the Russians and the Prussians.

Well, looking through the figure stock here in Manila I saw the 2mm terrain and Russian and British Crimean Armies sitting forlornly still in their plastic bags. Some Aeronefs were located as were most of the British Land Ironclads. 20 minutes online to Irregular Miniatures and I had expanded the whole Peshawar idea to add the Americans and maybe Japanese. These Americans are an easy add to the universe but the Japanese will be a bit more problematical – I will need to craft a good back story to justify Japanese ‘nefs but a mix of European Land Ironclads.

Whilst online I also looked at getting some 2mm Napoleonics. I have a plan for another little project (in 2mm scale, little is the operative word) but more of that later. I think I have found my Christmas project for Manila this year – Expand Peshawar!

British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WW II: Vol 2, Battleships & Aircraft Carriers – a Review

coverI was very much looking forward to my last trip back to Australia. Apart from getting to see mother, I had a review copy of British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WW II: Vol 2, Battleships & Aircraft Carriers (ISBN: 9781848322530) written by Malcolm Wright and published on 23 September 2015 waiting for me. This volume covered Capital Ships, namely Battleships and Aircraft Carriers of the British Commonwealth, something I have had an interest in since reading up on Task Force 57 and so I really could not wait to open the package. Whilst most will recall the British Commonwealth Navies efforts in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, their exploits are less well known in the Indian and Pacific Oceans at the time.

What is also not often realised is that by the end of the Second World War, the United Kingdom had more aircraft carriers under steam than any other navy with the exception if the US Navy. The British Pacific Fleet in 1945 for example consisted of 6 fleet carriers, 4 light carriers, 9 escort carriers and 2 aircraft maintenance carriers, with a total of more than 750 aircraft. It also contained 4 battleships.

HMS Malaya
HMS Malaya

The current volume from Mal covers the Aircraft Carriers and Battleships of the British Commonwealth Fleets, often with their pre-war colours as well as their active service camouflage in the Second World War.

I should state at the beginning that I have known the author, Malcolm Wright, for a number of years and you can see my name on his acknowledgements page, not from any addition to the story of the ships and camouflage he is writing about but more from being his part-time technical geek when things go wrong with the computer when he is working on the drafts.

I mentioned that I could not wait to open the parcel containing the book. Wow! I was impressed with Mal’s first volume but this volume surpasses even the high standard of Volume 1. Perhaps it is because it is a book about the battlewagons and carriers or perhaps it is Mal’s drawing ability and the new tools he is using but this volume now sits on top of my book pile for easy reach when I have an hour spare and a hot cup of lapsang souchong in hand.

The book follows the format of Volume 1, with sections on the Reference Sources Mal has used, Paint Types and Schemes, a glossary of Symbols used with the drawings then the vessels themselves. The 5 chapters covering the ships deal with the World War 1 era battleships and battlecruisers, the modern battleships, the monitors, then aircraft carriers and lastly fleet carriers.

Some of the colour chips
Some of the colour chips

Before starting on the ships, Mal discusses the various paint types and schemes, both the official Admiralty schemes and the unofficial. He also looks at Admiralty special schemes and the Admiralty Standard Scheme. Mal also provides a page covering British and Commonwealth Warship Paints During WWII being a page of paint chips, very useful for ship modellers and wargamers. This is also of interest to those with just an interest in warships to see an example of the colours used on British Commonwealth ships during WWII although as Mal will agree, the colours are at best an approximation of the colours, subject both to the limitations of printing as well as there being no extant example of the colours – see for example the discussion on the Mountbatten Pink colour scheme.

Aircraft gloassary
Aircraft glossary
Gun and equipmwent glassary
Gun and equipmwent glassary

There are two pages of, for want of a better term, a glossary for the drawings. The first covers aircraft symbols used in the book to indicate the aircraft carried by various vessels although the markings and colours may vary. The second page is a glossary of the symbols used for weapons and electronics in the book.

There are multiple views of the different vessels reflecting the changes in camouflage over the years. For examples, HMS Queen Elizabeth is illustrated in 1915 as she appeared when providing bombardment support at Gallipoli, then her 1936 colours, followed by 1941 (port and starboard), 1943 (port and starboard), 1943-44 (port and starboard) and then 1944-5 (port and starboard) – ten illustrations showing the progression of camouflage schemes and colours on this vessel over its service life. This pattern is repeated through the book.

HMS Victorious - 1945
HMS Victorious – 1945

To book not only concentrates on British Commonwealth vessels but also covers those vessels transferred to other navies, for example, the Royal Sovereign, which was transferred to the Soviet Union and was re-christened Archangelsk.

There are top views of some vessels as well. The top views become even more valuable with the aircraft carriers. For example, the illustration of HMS Victorious when she was serving in the British Pacific Fleet.

HMAS Albatross
HMAS Albatross

The book is rounded out with a chapter on the escort carriers, some of the more colourful of the capital ships in the British Commonwealth forces and with a discussion of HMAS/HMS Albatross.

I highly recommend this book and it is available from:

Pen and Sword Books (the publisher)

Amazon 

The Book Bug

WIP – More WW2 Japanese Being Prepped

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Two battalions ready for sand on the bases. Rear one is GHQ Models, front battalion is Ros and Heroics

I had prepared one Japanese World War 2 infantry battalion along with three AA elements. I decided to prepare the next, as well as starting to set up the third for painting along with the rest of the heavy weapons, the artillery and  such.

The first battalion was made up of GHQ models. The second is from Ros and Heroics. There is a nice flag bearer in the Ros and Heroics pack so that does for the command base. I also glued to a base three Medium Machine Gun (MMG) units. As the base is large compared to the figures I based some transport with the MMG.

Next prep will be the third infantry battalion and a large chunk of heavy weapons. I want to be able to start adding sand to the bases next Thursday whilst the APEC holiday is on here.

The Ro and Heroics Command Group
The Ro and Heroics Command Group

 

How Big is the Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank?

Panther on the left, Pershing on the right and the Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank in the iddle
Panther on the left, Pershing on the right and the Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank in the middle

I was curious about exactly how small the Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank so I grabbed the hulls from two other kits I have here to build. A Dragon Panther on the left and a Trumpeter Pershing on the right.

The Type 95 Ha-Go is in the centre. It is tiny.

It occurred to be tonight how much I like Tamiya modelling tools. The modelling knife has a tab on the side, the only purpose of which an be to stop the knife rolling across the modelling bench. This I appreciate as I have managed to stab myself in the thigh a couple of times in the past as a tool drops from the table and my legs react and snap together before my brain can get the message to the legs of “noooooo!”

I appreciate the forethought Tamiya.

Another Kit

Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank
Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank

I had to go collect my laptop from a PC repair after I dropped it at home here a while back. Unfortunately the hard drive was spinning up when I dropped it so the drive had to be replaced. The repair was going to take about a week but I needed a laptop for work so I bought a cheap one to use and put this repair off until the next payday.

I collected it a few days ago. The repair shop is in the Greenhills area of Manila in V-Mall. Also in V-Mall is a good model shop. I saw the Dragon kit of the IJA Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank. I have some in 1/285 scale so thought it would be nice to get one in 1/72 scale as well.

Big Box for small tank
Big Box for small tank

When I got it home I had to have a look inside (actually, a quick inspection was made at the shop to ensure it was all there before bringing it home). The model is tiny, especially when viewed inside the packaging. You can see how tiny the hull is in respect of the box in the picture to the right.

The parts look crisply cast though and I like the use of etched brass for the exhaust cover on the tank. I’m looking forward to building this wee beastie. I will document the build when I do it.

One Japanese Battalion Prepped

The pieces are made ready
The pieces are made ready

I mentioned before that I got some time on Saturday. Apart from setting up the trees, I also managed to finish prepping a battalion while reading some stuff on then Internet (OK, I was looking for some information somewhere else in Thomo’s Hole).

The organisation I am using for Blitzkrieg Commander II, the rules I am using, is 12 bases per battalion, three battalions per regiment. This compares to the 9 bases per battalion of the Russians.

I’m also going to mix up as many different types of infantry on the bases as I can for variety, and because it looks so good.

The battalion is based
The battalion is based

The bases contain a mix of standard infantry, some officer looking chaps just standing to attention (why do you make figures like that GHQ, in a mix of other figures in action poses?) as well as some light machine gunners and Type 89 grenade launchers. They are the things that look a bit like a small trench mortar.

Lastly, a close up of the 20mm anti-aircraft bases. Gunner plus truck for transport.

Figures for the infantry are all GHQ, the 20mm AA and trucks are from Ros and Heroics.

Close up of the Ros and Heroics 20mm AA
Close up of the Ros and Heroics 20mm AA