Sunday, May 20, 2012

"The Black Brigade" - Better Pictures

So I ran the "Black Brigade" at a local FOW tournament yesterday for the first time.  It was a learning experiance as most of the armies there were tank-heavy and I think, though being "mechanized", I had the largest infantry contingent present.  I had 3 tough, yet enjoyable games against good opponents. The results were a 3-3 tie, a 1-6 loss and a 4-3 loss.  I learned a few things about this force in FOW:  the 75mm artillery is better in direct fire, and don't forget the "bypassed" rule prior to deployment!  I look forward to playing the army again.

I really didn't like the way the pictures I rushed taking a few days ago came out, so today I broke out my photobox, my extra lights, the tripod and took some time on getting the settings right on the camera and took pictures of most of the infantry again, and most of the vehicles for the first time. The results are much better IMO. I still need to work on getting the lighting set up better, but I think these are fine for what it's worth.

Polish 10th Motor Cavalry Company 1

 Polish 10th Motor Cavalry Company 2
 "Highland" Company
 Heavy Machine-Gun Company
 Anti-Tank Gun Platoon
 Artillery Battery
 True North Fiat 508's
 True North TKS Tankettes, aka "Chiclets"
 Vickers Tank Unit 1
 Vickers Tank Unit 2
Building this nice, themed army around a specific unit for FOW has me thinking that this is something that I will try to do going forward for new forces I build for the game.  There certainly are a lot of specific, unique forces out there to chose from.

The next thing you will likely see up here is some more 28mm Republican Romans...stay tuned...


Monday, May 14, 2012

"The Black Brigade" Marches!

The Polish 10th Motorized Cavalry Brigade, aka "the Black Brigade" had a storied history during WWII and it has long been a force that I'd like to see on the tabletop.  Fortunately for me, Old Glory purchased the "True North" line of 15mm World War II figures some time ago and when Battlefront came out with the "Blitzkrieg" book for Flames of War and this unit was in it, I knew it was my opportunity to get the figures and be able to use them for a game I enjoy.  Well, that was over a year ago...or was it two?  Anyway, I have been trying to play in the local FOW tournaments and I found out that the one scheduled for May 19th would be for the early war period I had my motivation.  I could have taken the easy route and used one of my desert forces and not had to do anything, but instead I challenged myself to get the Black Brigade done; that was approximately 6 weeks ago.  With Tim K from Saguaro Painting Service enlisted to assemble the guns and trucks (they are multi-part models with "fiddley" pieces that I don't have the patience for and Tim is a master modeler IMO and he did a great job on them) I got to work.  I thought of taking pictures along the way, but I think that would have slowed me down; instead I plowed through painting and basing (and I hate basing in case you didn't know) 204 15mm infantry, 4 75mm guns, 4 caissons, 4 37mm guns, 1 motorcycle with side car, 3 combat cars (Fiat 508's), 8 trucks (Fiat 621's), 10 TKS tankettes, 4 Vickers A tanks (dual MG turrets) and 6 Vickers B tanks (47mm gun) in 6 weeks.  That is my best painting production in such a short time in a number of years. 

The force I built consists of:
HQ - Commander, 2IC, 2 x 81mm mortars, motorcycle and Fiat 508
2 x Motorized Cavalry Company - Commander, 2 platoons (4 stands each), 2 AT rifles, 1 Fiat 508 and 4 Fiat 621 per company
AT Company - 3 x 37mm AT guns, Commander
HMG Company - 4 x HMG,  Commander (and the HMGs can instead be bought as part of the Motorized Cavalry Companies if I so chose)
Artillery Battery - 4 x 75mm guns, Staff Team, Observer and Commander
2 x Vickers Tank Platoons - 3 x Vickers B and 2 x Vickers A each
2 x Reconnaissance Tank Platoons - 5 TKS tankettes (2 upgraded with 20mm FKA) each
Piechoty Company - Single platoon with 12 rifle stands, AT rifle and commander

Here are some pictures of some of the infantry that I took quickly this afternoon.  The camera that I used for years died on me, so I'm using my wife's camera and I need to work on getting the settings and lighting right with it; these pictures aren't the best as a result.  I'll work on it and hope to have more pictures up by the end of the week.
Motorized Cavalry Company
 Artillery Battery
Piechoty Company - The majority of the figures are actually "Polish Highlander" figures representing the specially trained mountain troops; there are some dismounted cavalry and regular infantry mixed in.  I thought it would be a bit different to represent an cut off infantry force using these troops.
Motorized Cavalry Company

 Now I'm on a roll and have to keep the momentum going!