Saturday, February 25, 2023

10mm Risorgimento

There are certain conflicts that have long interested me: Mexican American War, Flodden, French Wars of Religion, First Schleswig War, The Boyne, etc. One other that has had my eye since a young boy was the Risorgimento, I remember flipping through the pages of the book The Soldier by Richard Humble and Richard Scollins and seeing a color plate depicting  red clad soldier of Garibaldi raising his musket in victory and that seed created the life long interest in the Wars of Italian Unification.

The book that inspired so many hobby projects. If you are a wargamer and don't have it, I highly recommend it. 

I have started (and stopped) many projects to collect, paint and wargame with toy soldier armies for the Risorgimento. Recently, I stumbled across a Swiss-based 10mm range for the conflict called Cibo's Little Dudes. The website only show's a partial range but when I contacted the owner, he provided me a catalog of a complete range filled with all of the belligerents. I placed a decent sized order via paypal for some  Garibaldini and Neapolitan Bourbons. Twelve days later, I received a small package filled with beautiful sculpts. I quickly painted up a few sample figures.

Here we have some of Cibo's Little Garibaldini Dudes. The sculpts are more on the caricature style (something that I like). Sculpting is very crisp with enough detail and the metal is high quality. They paint up nicely.

How do they compare with Pendraken? Well here is a side by side with some Pendraken French sculpts painted up as Neapolitan infantry. Roughly the same height but the sculpting style is different (Pendraken looking more anatomically correct and slighter in heft). I would say they are compatible and will look fine sharing the same wargames table (probably in separate units).

Here they are posed with some other Garibaldini I painted years ago. This older base consists of (L-R) Old Glory dismounted ACW cavalry, old style Pendraken ACW sculpt and newer French FPW Communard. 

I anticipate ordering more of Cibo's Little Dudes and I anticipate ordering more Pendraken from the same conflict. Both are beautifully sculpted ranges and I want both of them on my wargaming's just a matter of painting them!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

More Entrants...

I snapped the last of my photos for the painting competition and I disassembled my homemade photographic white box.  Here we go:

First up is the Revolutionary French Army comprising of 5 National Guard battalions (les Bleus), two former Royalist battalions (les Blancs), a converged Grenadier battalion, a Dragoon regiment, five bases of skirmishers and General Dumas. I will be adding to the army quite a bit...

A closeup of the converged grenadiers. I like this unit quite a bit, I will probably enter them to compete against my Austrian infantry in the pre-20th Century Foot category.

Another angle of the much bearskin!

A battalion of lowly "les Bleus", the less than steady backbone of the army.

Two battalions of former Royalist infantry. I think the next couple of battalions will have violet trim. I love me some pastels.
And what self respecting French Revolutionary army would march into battle without some clouds of skirmishers to swarm the enemy and cover the advance of the attack columns.

And that is it. Until next year, maybe those Sassanids or the 1860s Canadian militia will make an appearance in the 2024 competition!


Monday, February 20, 2023

Pendraken Painting Competition 2023

Here we go. I was able to rig up some semi-proper lighting and snap some pictures for the competition. First up are some Italian L3/35 tankettes as previously documented in the prior blog post. 

I can't tell if this photo is blurry so I might have another go at it.

Here's another go...

The tankettes will be entered into the 20th century vehicle category.

And to provide some proper infantry support to those not so hard-hitting tankettes, we have some Italian infantry from the CTV.

In this photo, we get to see some of those nifty support weapons to lay down some extra firepower. These fellas will tossed into the 20th century infantry category.

Next up is a single Revolutionary French officer painted up as Thomas-Alexandre Dumas. Allez! He will go into the single base category.

Here we have some Revolutionary French dragoons, I used AWI Continental dragoons in French helmets as a proxy.

And here is another angle. They will go into the pre-20th century Mounted category.

And the last of the entrants (for now) are some Austrian infantry representing the Ancien Regime and ready to smite out all of that revolutionary fervor.

Forming up in march attack to show off the flag and their powdered hairstyles. These white-clad warriors will head over to the pre-20th century foot category. I intend to enter some French "Les Bleus" as well and I might cobble the whole French collection together and enter it into the Army category.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

A Challenge of Sorts...

Nearly every February, Pendraken hosts their annual painting competition. I participated last year with some success. In the months leading up to this year's competition I thought about what I would enter; I like to paint something specifically for the competition. 

Fast forward to last week and I still hadn't decided. I opted to paint up some figures from the Spanish Civil War, I ordered the figures during the height of the pandemic to support the hobby industry (and my hobby addiction). Specifically, these figures are Italians from the Corpo Trupo Voluntarie (CTV).

I would base them for FiveCore Company Commander. First I laid out the figures on the bases. I decided to go with 3 sections of infantry to form a platoon, a light machine gun, a heavy machine gun, a light mortar, a commander and a few tankettes (only one shown).

The next step was to cut the adhesive backed magnetic base bottoms. 

The figures were prepped (mold lines sanded down with a file), rinsed and glued to popsicle sticks. Once dry, I primed with a rattle can matte black. I touched up the primer with brush on Vallejo black primer.

The figures were then dry-brushed with a light grey to bring out the details. I didn't snap any pictures in the painting process. I base-painted and then I added one layer of high-lights (using the base paint along with some bone white). From what I have read, the CTV was in a green khaki uniform during the period I want to game them (Battle of Guadalaja). I painted the infantry uniforms using Vallejo Russian Uniform and the helmets and great coats were Vallejo Refractive Green.

The tankettes were another matter. For the Spanish Civil War, it seems they were painted in a reddish brown color with green splotches. 

After painting, I sprayed with gloss lacquer and inked them to bring out details. The ink was a mix of various AP inks: 2 parts dark, 2 parts strong, one part blue and 4 parts medium. Once the ink was dry, I popped the figures off and glued them to their stands.

On one of the tanks, I decided to add a crewman. The tankettes were so small, I wanted a crewman to show how small they were. I took an Italian officer pointing and carved it down, removing an arm and shaving and sanding down the adrian helmet. I added some two-part epoxy to sculpt the Italian tanker helmet. 

I shaved off the hatch on one of the tankettes but realized I shaved it down too much. I had to build it back up with plastic card and assembled a hatch out of thinner plastic card.

Here the crewman and hatch have been added to the tankette. Last up is adding grass flocking and matte varnish. 

Here is the completed infantry platoon and support elements. I went with a pale green grass as these guys were painted up to depict the CTV during the battle of Guadalajara which was in March, 1937.

I still need to photograph them for the competition. I will also add my French Revolution figures into the competition as well. Only 8 more days until the deadline. Wish me luck!


Saturday, February 11, 2023

Palo Alto - The Real Thing (sort of)

My gaming buddy Alex and I finally managed to get together to give Palo Alto a go with Field of Battle 3. Alex volunteered to command the Mexican Army of the North.

Alex's left flank of cavalry.

My thin blue line on the right flank.

The American battle line.

The Mexican lines advance. The swampy lands in the center slow the advance of the Mexican center.

The Mexican left and American right.

The Mexican 6th (lower left corner) has routed, 

Mexican 4th Line victorious!

It was heaps of fun. Alex had never played Field of Battle before but he picked it up quickly: I did some things wrong. A close run thing (to quote the Duke of Wellington), the American left and Mexican right fought to a draw while the Americans won the center and the Mexican left created the critical moments to give them victory.

The Mexicans lost the 6th and 10th line infantry regiments to the cold steel of American infantry. The American dragoons charged several times against the inferior Mexican Presidials but couldn't do anything. Both armies lost all of their army morale points but the Americans lost when they drew the Army Morale card and failed their morale roll.