Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Arms Race Continues.

B Battery is now ready to take the field.
Crescent 18pdr with 4 British crew converted from Zinnbrigade Germans by carving boots into putties and changing helmets into peaked caps. Likewise with the Brigadier snd his driver except the latter has been put into tropical  kit with Wolsey pit helmet and shorts. The car is a Matchbox something or other.

One crucial thing that I've been putting off is the German machine guns. After studying pictures and contemplating my available skills and materials, I decided to again let go of any thought of a proper model as it would be too fragile in the unlikely event of me finishing one. The same technique I used to carve the gun out of a bamboo skewer would work again. It was the sled mount that bothered me. I finally decided to go with a single piece of wire bent to shape. So, instead of 2 front legs joined by a reinforcing bar, there is a loop of wire. The barrel is grasped by the bend at the top and secured with glue. Another piece of wire forms the elevation screw and supports the breach while a sliver of thin wood joins the rear legs. I intended to use wood for the sides as well but I had putty on the go so used that.

The German MG companies wore a jaeger like shako but I'm not clear about the mg companies that were integral to the infantry regiments. Looking through Nash's book I found mg crews in shako but also ones in the spiked helmet. So I did one of each, an infantry one and a specialist one to be attached to the cavalry and jaegers.

The whole subject of MG organization in the opposing armies is an awkward one from a a non gaming POV unless doing something  close to 1:1. The BEF fielded 2 per battalion or 8 in all for a 4 battalion brigade. The Germans fielded a 6 mg company for each 3 battalion regiment. After much thought I decided to chant "toy soldier war Game" and field generic MG units for both sides.

The German MG's and crews mid process.
posted from Bloggeroid


  1. I have the same problem with my Ruberia-Azuria armies of the latish 19th century. I want mitailleuses and Gatlings in, but they will be heavily over-represented if I carry on with my 4-figure Brigade stands. There is one possible way of doing it which will mitigate their dominance, however. I'm thinking of adding a MG to Divisions or Corps, but without and intrinsic combat capability. It would act like a logistics element, but represent the presence of MGs in a formation. A formation with MG would have its defensive firepower enhanced in some way; or the thing might be placed to represent non-artillery fire-support for an attack.

    I admit this is a half-formed idea, and haven't thought through how it would work in game terms, but it might be worth pursuing.

    1. I think that would be a very simple and effective way to portray MG support to a formation. I've done something similar in army level Napoleonic games to show divisional artillery batteries.

    2. It is a very workable solution. When I was looking at 4 figure battalions I was considering including a random mg just for looks and factoring them in. But they are so iconic of ww1 and loom so large in memoirs that the approach seemed to miss the point of this particular enterprise. I almost have something sorted that will show them and still allow for a variation in distribution and will do a post on it.

  2. I intended to say that I do like those German Maxims. They look fine to me already, and will look the business painted up, I'm sure.