Friday, February 8, 2013

Napoleonic Poles - 1st Regt of the Vistula and a Hanomag!

The 1st Regiment of the Vistula Legion
After the rather lengthy hiatus with Cancon, the preparations for Cancon and the entire Franco-Prussian War demo game thing, other projects like my Poles progressed by fits and starts at best so the first thing I did after Cancon was finish the 2nd Bttn of the 1st Vistula Regiment (or rather 1st Regiment of the Vistula Legion).  These of course are the beautiful Paul Hicks sculpted Poles I got from Roger Murrow ('Murrowski Miniatures' for this venture!)  They confirmed in my mind that Hicks is one of the finest figure sculptors working in the UK at present - his figures rival those of the Perrys (I'm thinking of Alan Perry's Napoleonic figure range in particular).  I note also that Nic of Eureka Miniatures is now also casting and supplying some of the Paul Hicks Poles here in Australia.

1st Regt of the Vistula Legion in attack column
Command of the 2nd Battalion
Detail, 2nd bttn command stand 
Voltigeur companies
Grenadier companies
Detail, rear of 1st Regiment
Tete d'colon 1st Regiment
1st Regiment, march column
Its great to finish the regiment but the project calls for a full brigade with accompanying artillery battery. Roger recently sent the figures I needed for the second regiment and a three gun battery, with a mounted brigade general and ADC to come.  Plenty more to do!

The other thing I just finished was a bit out of left field.  Just before Cancon the good folk at War and Peace Games sent me some bits and pieces I needed to finish (sort of) my German paras, namely a pair of Kettenrads, anti-tank gun, flamenwerfer etc, etc. After starting putting these together I noticed amongst my WWII German stuff was a Tamiya 1/48 scale Hanomag half-track model that had been sitting on the shelf for well over a year.  I had two half-tracks but was having the devil of a time matching them with a third vehicle for a full squad.  The equivalent such as that produced by Warlord is actually 1/56 scale - way too small for the ones I had, as I discovered after buying what I thought was a matching model.  By sheer luck I happened on a 1/48th scale model in a hobby shop that usually only stocks either 1/72nd or 1/35 models.  Just the one but exactly what I was after - expensive little bugger too - but I thought 'how hard could it be?'  Well, once I decided to make it I was gobsmacked at the amazing detail in the model.  My hat goes off to model makers as this one really tested my very, very rusty model-making skills. 

The Tamiya model contains fantastic detail
The Tamiya model is the same size but appears to be a different vehicle make
The finished model!
The half-tracks were known as 'Hanomags' for the very good reason of it taking too long to pronounce the full title: Mtl.SPW.Sd.Kfz. 251/1 Ausf. D.  Interestingly, the differences between the Tamiya model and my others are noticeable - particularly at the back. The model info tells me that the final version of the Ausf. D was made in 1943 to include fewer panels - thus making it easier to manufacture.  That and the air intake at the front being located under the armoured panels rather than on top have me thinking its the later version.  A minor annoyance given the earlier versions I already have but that said, I'm quite happy with the way it turned out.  Room for 12 men and their kit (very squeezy in there tho) and two MGs for a bit of added firepower.  

Rear of the Ausf. D - note the green case hanging on the back side panel - its full of grenades!  That and the Jerrycan on the other side would be great targets!  I'm sure they removed them going into action.
More rear detail of the Ausf. D 
Well that was certainly a diverse two weeks - also done was the building and base coating of about 150 Perry's and Warlord Austrians and Russians.  The new Perry's plastic Austrians are fantastic.  The detail is amazing - as sharp as the Tamiya model I just built - but mercifully a helluva lot easier to put together! The only disappointing aspect was the Warlord plastic Russians that come with a metal command.  The plastic figures are OK and easy to assemble but the metal ones are pretty ordinary and badly cast.  The officer figure is animated but in an awkward pose that does not match that of the marching flag bearer's and drummer.  But that is all by-the-by as I now have over 200 figures base-coated on painting sticks awaiting me!  And its back to work Monday...  [sigh]  I guess I'll just have to retire to get them done!