Friday, March 31, 2017

Poltava: the redoubts, part 1.

Any decent replay of Poltava can’t  be done without the famed redoubts. As we all remember, the Russians built 10 redoubts straight on the swedish advance line just the night before the battle (some of them were indeed unfinished at the beginning of the swedish attack). In my scenarios I reduced the number to 5 and started to think how represent them.
An idea of how they should be is given in this painting I found on DeviantArt:

however, given the scale of my scenarios (a 40x30mm base represents a battalion and a 40x40 base represents 4-5 squadrons), rather than a “real” redoubt capable to receive a real garrison, I decided to represent the redoubts as terrain items with specific combat capabilities (more or less like the DBHx “Strongpoint”). A token miniature then will represent the presence of a garrison whose values and capabilities are given by the scenario rules.

It follows that my redoubts size will be 65x55 mm with an empty space more or less of 40x30 mm inside to host the token miniatures (one or two, I have not yet decided).

Here I’ll show the steps I followed to build my redoubts.

First of all a cut a rectangular thick cardboard 65x55 mm and a “rod” taken from an HD polystirene insulating board, of an approximatively square cross-section  about 20 mm.

Then the redoubt "walls" are glued with white glue to the cardboard; at this stage the rod overlaps the cardboard base:

To give a certain uniformity to the scarp I made a template to draw the contours of the parapet: then by using an hot-wire saw I cut the polystirene to create the scarp.

The embrasures and the redoubt access are roughly drawn and then cut with the hot-wire saw. 

The outer faces of the redoubt and the parapet are then plastered with the Vallejo Brown Earth paste 26.219.

The redouts interiors are lined with cardboard stripes and toothpicks to represents the wooden planks.

Finally I did the redoubt access: I decided to give different accesses to each redoubt to add variety: in this case with toothpicks and cardboard I realized a tilting drawer.

At this point the redoubts are ready to be painted. More on a next post.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Swedish Cavalry "Augmentation"

When I started to paint GNW Swedish, the idea was to use them to refight Holowczin with V&B at the battalion level, half-scale. Accordingly, each regiment of infantry was represented by a 40x30 mm scale, roughly half of a standard V&B 3x1.5 inches base. With such a basing two bases represented a regiment, full-scale (80x30 mm being close to 3x1.5 inches). 
As far as the cavalry was concerned, a single 40x40 mm base represented (at battalion level and half-scale) a single regiment: clearly, at the full-scale a 3x3 inches brigade should be represented by an 80x80 mm square base which could be represented by putting two bases on a sabot. 

Later I turned to the full regimental scale and thus I realized that every cavalry regiment I painted must be doubled. In such a way 4 bases could be used to represent a V&B cavalry brigade or a Maurice four bases "unit" or also a Black Powder 4 bases "normal unit". 

So I crossed the Rubicon and started to double the existing Swedish cavalry regiments (Russian and Danish will follow, sooner or later): for manifold reasons I decided instead to represent Dragoons with only one base, in such a way that a 4 bases unit will be formed by four different regiments.

This is the result, up to now:

Ostogota Cavalry Regiment

Vastgota Cavalry Regiment

Smalands Cavalry Regiment

Nylands och Tavahustas Cavalry Regiment

LivGardet Cavalry Regiment

to which must be added a base of Dragoon and a base of the Sverige Adelsfana (yet to be doubled).

To refight Poltava I need 6 V&B brigades, hence 24 bases (which by the way are also 6 Maurice or Black Powder units) and accordingly I must paint 10 more bases of Swedish Cavalry: 3 Dragoons and 7 Horses.