Too Much Football Too Little Time

The South Africa World Cup; the Champions; the Europa League (formerly UEFA Cup); and of course the national leagues all conspire to pack close together a lot of interesting Football matches (Soccer for Americans).

For example, today and tomorrow there are Spanish league matches; Thursday there was Europa League; Wednesday and Tuesday Champions League; last weekend Spanish matches closely preceded by another Spanish date Tuesday and Wednesday and yet another one the weekend before the last… that’s 13 match days in two weeks.

So what does this mean? that between work, family and football I’ve got almost no time for anything else, including painting miniatures. And the situation is not likely to get better in the near future!

In any case I’m just trying to build an Imperial Roman Army for Basic Impetus so I’m currently painting 4 roman archers and I will need 4 more (Impetus uses at least two DBA bases for each unit), I’m also trying to produce some fences (a first prototype looks good, so I expect to do at least 3 more) and I would like to make some woods terrain pieces.

Let’s see if I got some time this weekend…

Russian Infantry Battalion 1812

The  Battalion of 1812 was composed of four Companies, one Grenadier and three Musketeer companies. In the Grenadier Company the first platoon consisted of Grenadiers and the second of Jagërs.

Each company had three officers, a cadet, seven NCOs, three drummers and 141 men formed on 50 files and 3 ranks occupying a frontage of 90 feet when deployed in Line. The most experienced men usually were in the front rank, the rear ranks was filled with reliable soldiers and the middle one with new ones of doubtful quality.

Russian Company in Line

Grenadier Companies were numbered the same as its Battalion while Musketeer Companies were numbered sequentially all over the regiment. For example, the 1st Battalion comprised the 1st Grenadier Company and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Musketeer Companies while the 2nd Battalion included the 2nd Grenadier Company and the 4th, 5th and 6th Musketeer Companies.

When the Battalion formed in Line the Grenadier Platoon formed up on the right flank, the Jäger Platoon on the left flank and the Musketeer Companies in the middle; for that reason the Musketeer Companies were also known as Center Companies.

Russian Battalion in Line

The Grenadier and Jäger Platoons formed in the back when the Battalion used a Column of Companies formation; there were several Column formations depending on the width (Company, Platoon), the distance between elements (normal, closed) and where the Battalion staff was located (on the right, on the middle).

Russian Battalion in Column of Companies

Russians like others used Square formations against Cavalry even if they considered it too dangerous for Europe due to the large number of artillery pieces.

Anatomy of a Battlefront Panzer Grenadier

Front View

Back View

This is a close view of one of my Battlefront Panzer Grenadiers showing its more important details. In my experience Battlefront manages to keep a fairly consistent quality in all its figures which is something quite good in fact.In the pictures you can easily distinguish the following features:
  • Helmet, the model introduced in 1935 with the characteristic skirt first introduced in the 1916 model
  • Mauser Kar 89k, a 7.92mm bolt action rifle widely issued to infantry all through the war
  • Ammo Pouches, made from leather, usually black, and showing three pockets to hold 89k cartridges
  • Field Bottle, to carry water, with a small cup attached on top
  • Mess Tin, a cooking pot made of two separate metal pieces
  • Gas Mask Canister, carrying the gas mask itself, the gas cape, spare lenses and other related items
  • Shelter Quarter, a triangular piece of cloth to be used as a sleeping tent
  • Bread Bag, used to carry rations, eating utensils and other personal items
  • Entrenching Tool, infantry men’s best friend, a shovel with a foldable spade

Russian 1st Battalion Smolensk Regiment 1812

1st Battalion Smolensk Regiment in Line

The Smolensk Infantry Regiment under command of Major General Mikhailovich Kolyubakin was part of the 1st Brigade 12th Division during the Battle of Borodino on September 7th, 1812

The 1st Battalion included the 1st Grenadier Company and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Musketeer Companies; the Grenadier Company was organized into a Grenadier Platoon and a Marksmen Platoon.

All Musketeer Companies of the 1st Battalion weared white sword accorns and green inside white shako pompons. The sword loops were white for the 1st Company, blue for the 2nd and orange for the 3rd.

The Grenadier Platoon weared red sword loops and shako pompons while the Marksmen Platoon showed yellow sword loops and shako pompons.

1st Battalion Smolensk Regiment in Column

1st Battalion Smolensk Regiment in Square

1st Battalion Smolensk Regiment in Square

Added DBA’s Early Imperial Roman Army Page

I’ve uploaded a few pictures and some basic text regarding my Early Imperial Roman (II/56) army for DBA in this page

Anatomy of a Corvus Belli Legionary

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

When you are painting small scales like 15mm it usually pays off to have some knowledge about what’s supposed to be in the model; by doing so it is easier to differentiate among the various metal blobs you might find in the miniature… some may be obvious… others may be not

The Corvus Belli legionary has a reasonable amount of details that can be easily identified in most cases, including the following:

  • Pilum: the emblematic javelin of Roman legionaries
  • Scutum: the shield, whose design was changed many times; this figure shows the large semi-cylindrical shape you could expect during the Empire
  • Gladius: a large sword used for close combat. You may notice it hangs on the right side which doesn’t seem a natural place for easily drawing the weapon; many authors believe this placement demostrates that the gladius was wielded more like a knife than a sword
  • Puggio: a broad dagger hanging on the left side of the body
  • Helmet: this figure shows an Imperial Gallic model with a long protection at the back of the neck
  • Lorica Segmentata: the stripped metal armor protecting the torso of the legionary; this piece has been depicted made of leather in many movies but it seems to be one of those Hollywood recurring mistakes. Also take notice that no matter what movies and books could say, many legionaries didn’t wear this kind of armor
  • Groin Guard: it is said to be copied from the Gauls who wore belts ending in multiple pieces; one piece was used to knot the belt while the others were left hanging
  • Tunic: no matter what people say, there is no evidence to support that all legionaries wore red tunics
  • Boots: no need to explain it, right? in my own experience Corvus Belli boots are less detailed and defined than I would expect being blobs of metal with a few carving in most cases

Roman Auxiliary Infantry of the Principate

After Augustus reforms the rather heterogeneous collection of auxiliary units serving Rome was completely reorganized, given regular status and trained to the same standards of discipline as the legions

The men of the Auxilia were freeborn non-citizens living on the periphery or the Empire with a heavy preponderance of Gauls, Thracians and Germans and were rewarded with the Roman citizenship on honourable discharge from the Army

The higher organization of auxiliary infantry was the cohors peditata that came in two flavours: quingenaria, modelled after the typical legionary cohors and the most common by far, and milliaria, modelled after the legion’s cohors prima

Cohors Peditata Quingenaria

Cohors Peditata Quingenaria

The cohors peditata quingenaria was under command of a prefect and consisted of six centuriae of 10 contubernium totalling some 480 men. Around the second half of the 1st century appeared a new kind of unit named cohors peditata milliaria which included ten centuriae instead of just six, was under command of a tribune and had a theoretical strength of 800 men.

Cohors Peditata Milliaria

Cohors Peditata Milliaria

Besides these pure infantry units auxiliary were also organized into pure cavalry (ala) and mixed (cohors equitata) formations.

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