Friday, June 22, 2018

Wall for a AWI Fort

I bought a pack of 4" wide log walls for an AWI fort that I need to make. They are a Blue Moon Manufacturing 15mm item from their FIW line. They look great. There are a number of air bubbles in the tops of the wall that I really didn't mind. Reading a report on the forts in Wilkes county and on the edges of Indian territory from the FIW time period, the forts were often in poor repair with the log walls quickly rotted when not maintained constantly. They came out nicely. They have a wooden firestep on the back of them. They came out nice enough that I decided to get some corners and a gate. They painted really quickly and I am happy with how they turned out.

This will be it for a while as I will be on vacation next week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Painting updates

I did manage to get a bit of painting done recently. The first thing I did is complete a blockhouse for This Land Divided.

I also managed to paint up some Soviet infantry. Some of it was a anti-tank gun crew. In addition I finished a couple of 47mm anti-tank guns. I still have basing to do before these are done. They came out pretty good. Some of the figures are the plastic Flames of War figures.

Next priority is to finish my cane breaks. I have one that is at the 90% point. I also have a section of swamp that is at the 25% point. I just have no time to work on them. This week is probably a loss and next week is vacation. But I am really looking forward to vacation.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Messing About with Soviet Maps

In working on the Second Battle of Kharkov Chain of Command supplement, I have found a perfect map that covers most of the actions that I wish to model for the campaigns. It is a Soviet 1:50,000 scale map of Nepokrytaya (M-37-62-V). Here is the extract that I am playing with.

Here is a section that features the town of Federovka and Hill 199 behind it. These were the initial German positions on May 12th, 1942 that the Soviets overran. The detail offered by these maps is fantastic. Especially if you grab a copy of TM 30-548 Soviet Topographical Map Symbols.I ended up with the 1958 edition of the Technical Manual but it works well. The Map is based off of earlier maps notably the 1930-31, 1949 and 1951 maps. This raises a couple of questions on some of the map features. Specifically the burial mounds on Hill 199 and those in front of the town. Were these present prior to the war or were those a product of the war?

The German accounts of the battle for Hill 199 does not mention the presence of burial mounts in their defensive positions. Honestly, they don't mention much about their position other than the limited amount of anti-tank guns that they had.

Of the town it tells us a considerable amount. Since most of the buildings are shown with a black square with a yard with lines through it, those are not fireproof construction (I am assuming wooden construction). At the far north of the town there are a pair of buildings with and empty square surrounding the black square of the building. This denotes a fireproof structure (I assume stone or brick construction).

The roads of the town itself are dirt with several dirt paths leading out of the back of the town through the swamp. The swampy areas have some grassy areas (denoted by the ||), a few trees (the small circles) and some reeds (the three lines grouped together like \|/). The road running east to west through the center of the town is an improved road. The bridge over the small river running north to south is 38 meters long and can support 10 tons.

On the front edge of the north side of town is a small cemetery. Another is on the south side away from the town proper. These are denoted by the squares with a plus in the middle. The one feature that I don't see in the town is a church of any kind. This is possibly because the church had been closed or re-purposed by the communists prior to 1931 and its designation was lost in the creation of the maps.

Either way, it provides us with an excellent resource for setting the scene for these battles. I am trying to map out the scenarios for the first campaign now. So far I have just scenario 1 completed. Progress has been glacially slow but still there is progress. I hope to have a rough draft done by Mid July if all goes well.