Monday, January 6, 2014

Sorting through the shelves

I have three new followers on the blog. Please welcome Sgt.Steiner. Actually, I thought you were a follower Sergeant.

Next up is Gerhardt Vikar and Phil.

I can't seem to find a blog listing for any of you gentlemen so please let me know if I am missing one and I will post a link for you.

Update! I found Phil's blog: I just signed up for this one recently. He had some wonderful animations on pictures of his miniatures for the New Year.

Sorting through the Shelves
The TooFatLardies blog showing their recent North African games has made me sort through the closet looking at my East African collection. I had painted a number of miniatures in 15mm to use for my East African Campaign book "Call this a Ruddy Picnic". I ended up doing all of my play testing in 6mm for the scenario book. What I did have was several Chain of Command sized forces.

The Italians
First up is a platoon of Italian Regular army troops. I had bought the deluxe Old Glory 50 count bags of Italians. Love these figures. They have the sun helmets and just have lots of character. After years of neglect, all of the bayonets were still in place and the paint jobs had held up. I was very happy.

The second platoon to be made will be some Italian Colonial troops. I can't remember the manufacturer of these minis. They are great but limited to 2 poses. I had begun the process of rebasing them several years ago and made it as far as gluing about 18 of them to US Pennies. The rest remain on their bases. I have a standard bearer figure that I think I actually modified from something else and a bugler. I have just enough of these guys to make the rifle sections. What I lack is the LMG. Since I am doing the East African theater, I should only need one LMG for the whole platoon. They were short on automatic weapons, if I am remembering this correctly. I have spare figures from the Italian Regulars to provide the LMG team here. The rifle sections are larger but this will not be a very flexible force.

Next are some Bersaglieri figures. I was given some Bersaglieri from Terry Haney a few years before he died. These are nicely painted and based figures. They are on the FOW bases but they are the plastic ones so not that big of a problem. These will probably be the last to get changed over.

Vehicles for my Italian army are few. I have two Lancia IZM Armored cars. One is painted and the other is not. I have two M13s and three M11s, none of which are painted. Then I have five L3/33s. My absolute favorite tank. I have two versions, the 20mm AT Gun armed one and the dual MG armed one. I have one of each type painted. I only had one staff car in my collection but that went to the Eastern Front and won't see service in Africa.

Then I found the troops that I really liked but had never done anything with. A small Bande of Colonial Cavalry. I have 17 figures in total including a standard bearer, an officer and a trumpeter. These unfortunately are not painted. They are likely to languish in such a state for a while yet. I really want to paint these up though. I think a squad of cavalry would be an interesting support option for a Chain of Command platoon.

The British
Having found such excitement with the bounty of painted Italians, I rushed over to my drawer of British troops only to take a look and think, "Oh yeah. That's right, I never painted these." I have a full company of British Regulars and a company of what was to be some territorial troops such as the Kings African Rifles. None of which are painted. I put together my needs for an infantry platoon and now they are at least undercoated. Among the treasures in this box was a single bagpiper figure that someone had given me from the TooFatLardies Yahoo group. This will definitely get some paint this go round.

Then there are the vehicles. Well, I have a bunch of them. I have five Mark VI tanks, five Daimler Dingos, six Marmon Herrington IIIs, three Humber LRCIIIs and two 2lbr Portees. All of these I received from Terry Haney (minus 2 of the Marmon Harringtons which are still in the unopened package - those are mine). But none of these seem to have a desert paint job. They seem to be too dark. I remembered having some cruiser tanks somewhere as well as the above but I just can't find them. If I remember, they were assembled but unpainted.

Given the forces Great Britain had available in 1940 East Africa, I won't need them. But still I want to find out what I did with them. All in all, much worse shape with more work to do here.

Working through the first batch Breathing new life into figures that never saw a gaming table, I have been busy trying to fix several things that I did not like. One, they were all on FOW biscuit bases and I wanted them on individual bases. I was very lucky in not removing a finger or two in that operation. Using a wide bladed exacto knife, I pried them off of their bases. Fortunately some were on actual FOW plastic bases and those I could bend and get them off. Others were on wooden bases that were slightly thicker. Those took some time to remove.

I am re-basing my Italian Regulars on US Pennies first. The LMG teams will go on a small FOW plastic base with the gunner and ammo carrier. I had more then enough of these for a platoon. I even had a spare LMG team that will be used elsewhere. I opened my package of pumice gel to use to base the figures and the thing had dried completely up. Unsure of what to try next, I grabbed a container of white glue and some sharp sand and mixed them up and covered the bases. It was looking good. Then I let them dry overnight. Well, that did not work as expected. The sand/glue mixture ended up with large holes in it. In many places the sand could barely be seen. I would need to patch this up.

Remembering that once upon a time, I had a milk carton of plaster in the cabinet somewhere I went on a search. Unable to find the plaster, I found some model railroad mountain making stuff. Thinking that had to be kind of like plaster, I went to work. Upon mixing it up, it had the consistency of cottage cheese. I made do and pressed this mess into the holes on the bases and left it to dry. I am dubious as to how well this would work.

As it turns out, not too bad. I definitely am not a huge fan of these bases but they are done. Pardon the photos. I took them quickly with my phone just to prove I did do something.

The Platoon leader:

The First Rifle Section:
The Second Rifle Section:
The Platoon Sergeant and LMG Groups:
Support Items:
These include an MMG Team, a 45mm Mortar team and 3 man Engineer Demolitions team.

The 45mm mortar is scratch built. It is not bad on the table but not the best job in the world. Old Glory did not have a light mortar team in any of the packs that I had purchased so I made this one up. The sharp eyed among you will spot the problem. I am lacking the four riflemen that are to accompany the LMG sections. Not sure how I managed to miss them. Also the MMG team should have two rifle men in support there as well. I will get that sorted out in short order. Hopefully I can get started on them tonight with the unpainted 65m Mountain Gun and 20mm AT Rifle team.

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