Sunday, April 25, 2010

La Florida: Corsairs as Actors

Above: Hawkins - the type of the corsair

I’ve begun to flesh-out LF, and looking at the array of Categorical Actors, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need another Categorical Actor – Corsairs. Sure, corsairs (or pirates, if you like) were more or less loyal to their national sponsors (England and Huguenot France), but they were also wily traders operating in the murky world of the Black Flag and “no peace beyond the line” who frequently acted at cross-purposes to what one would think were their notional national and religious identities. Of course, their sponsors could always fall back on what we today might label “plausible deniability” in the event a corsair did something embarrassing.

In the final analysis, many of these characters were quintessential “loose cannons” or “wild cards,” driven by avarice and in some instances bloodlust. Although the stuff of romance and even national pride today, few tears were shed on either side when any of them came to naught.

Suffice to say, corsairs were so unreliable that they deserve a category separate from those of their sponsors.


100 posts a/o April 18, 2010.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Grenadier Officer, 1st Foot Guards, Reign of James II

According to Evelyn, writing in June 1678, "Now were brought into service a new sort of soldiers called grenadiers who were dexterous in flinging hand grenades." This is one of Edward Suren's justly famous "Willie" figures. I had the pleasure of knowing Suren and his charming wife and as a young man, was a frequent visitor to his little shop just off Sloane Square in Chelsea, London, many years ago. His 30mm figures always seemed to me to capture exactly their subjects, and I recall marvelling at the small dioramas on display in the shop, especially the depiction of an ailing marechal de Saxe at the Battle of Fontenoy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

French AMD Panhard 176 Armored Car

My next project is this classic French armored car of the 1940 campaign. There were 198 in service in September 1939, equipping some 11 reconnaissance squadrons of cavalry formations (AMD = Automitrailleuse de découverte = distant reconnaissance wheeled vehicle).

This is a BattleFront/Military Miniatures (Crusader) 15mm (1:100 scale) model that comes in seven clean-cast parts, metal and resin: vehicle body, four wheels, and turret (in resin), and mantlet with guns in soft metal.

German Panzerkampfwagen I Light Tank (3)

A few things I left out of yesterday's post ...

On May 10, 1940, 1st Panzer Division had 52 Panzer I (of 256 tanks total); 2d Panzer Division had 45 (of 266); 3d Panzer had 117 (of 341); 4th had 135 (of 314); 5th had 97 (of 327); 7th had 34 (of 225); 9th had 30 (of 153); and 10th had 44 (of 265). Altogether, there were 554 Panzer Is among the 2,582 German tanks that invaded France in May 1940 – or, 22% of the total.

The Wiki here has details of service, including Spain, Poland, Denmark, Norway, France, North Africa, and Russia.

Friday, April 16, 2010

German Panzerkampfwagen I Light Tank (2)

The photos show the finished model on a 1” x 1¾” base of architect’s board painted with Polly S mud, green, and flocked.

I gave this model a base coat of flat black. I followed this with panzer gray. As with the French Army green, there does not seem to be any definitive statement of what this color really was, although with a little searching on the web, you’ll find various pronouncements by experts. Having any number of gray paints in my workshop and noting the light gray appearance of the German vehicles depicted in the SteelMasters France ‛40 supplement, I settled on a couple shades of light gray to represent panzer gray. When I was finished with the basic painting, I used my weathering wash to finish the vehicle.

I picked up my weathering wash from an article on weathering tank tracks in an old issue of FineScale Modeler. Basically, it’s a mix of dark(est) blue, black, and red-brown acrylics diluted by isopropyl alcohol that is dry brushed on the tracks. Steel paint can be used later to pick out the high points where the steel would meet the road.

Some statistics:

Max. armor: 13mm

Min. armor: 7mm

Max. speed: 50 km/hr road; 37 km/hr cross-country

Armament : 2 x 7.92mm MG13 Dreyse MG

Friday, April 2, 2010

German Panzerkampfwagen I Light Tank

Next up in the workshop is this German light tank that was used primarily for training during the interwar years and saw combat in Spain and early in World War II. This is a Military Miniatures (Crusader) 15mm (1:100 scale) model that consists of five parts – resin hull and turret (the turret is tacked to the hull in the boxed model), metal left and right tracked running gear, and metal mantlet mounting the two 7.92mm MG13 Dreyse machine guns.

Weekend Reading

Verhoef, C. E. H. J. The Battle for Ginkel Heath near Ede: 17 & 18 September 1944. Soesterberg: Aspekt, 2003.

Table of Contents:

1. Allied Strategy after the Normandy Landings 9

Broad front - small front 9

Operation Market Garden 13

2. Sunday, 17 September 1944: D-Day 17

Preliminary bombardments 17

The take-off of the biggest air armada in history 19

The landings near Arnhem 24

The airlift of the 7th Battalion The King's Own Scottish

Borderers 27

The German defence 28

The positions of 7 KOSB at Ginkel Heath 38

Initial engagements at Ginkel Heath 44

3. Monday, 18 September 1944: D +1 52

The push towards Arnhem road bridge 52

The actions of the Westgruppe 52

The situation at Ginkel Heath prior to the arrival of 4th

Parachute Brigade 53

The second lift 65

The landing on Ginkel Heath 68

Marching off 87

4. Ginkel Heath, Tuesday, 19 September - Friday, 22 September

1944 91

5. The Significance of the Battle for Ginkel Heath 96

Thursday, April 1, 2010

La Florida: Field Artillery

Photos: This small piece is mounted on the standard 30mm x 30mm base recommended for TPC’s Spanish Fury, Actions! Gun and crew are, I believe, old-ish Mikes Models 15mm – another rescue from the artillery box of bits and bobs.

In general, the SF Actions! artillery rules will apply in LF tactical combat, but some changes will have to be made because of the unique circumstances that applied in the New World. First, other than Cuba and, I suspect, Mexico, horses were in short supply in the Spanish colonies, so guns typically would not be drawn by horse teams and will have to be manhandled. Second, Indians of course will not have artillery. And, third, any firing of artillery guns will strike terror into aboriginal hearts, causing reactions that in LF will be automatic and not require reference to the SF Actions! firing table. Here are the draft reactions:

1 – The targeted warband (company) will immediately make a Retire move AND have one Terror marker placed on it.

2 – All other warbands within “earshot” (i.e., which can “see” the targeted warband retire), will themselves make a Retire move and seek cover. They will, however, recover automatically when they gain cover of any kind. At a minimum, affected warbands will be all those of the war party.

3 – On succeeding turns in which the gun(s) is/are fired, only the bases adjoining the targeted base(s) will be forced to retire.

4 – No Indians in cover may be fired upon by artillery.

5 – Indigenous allies of Europeans who have at least one previous combat experience are not affected by these draft reactions.