BOB/RCW: Standard bearers

A few more standard bearers, all being boring and waving the old Russian flag.

I thought I’d do one of the Terek Caucasian Cossacks with one as well.

Just to make their allegiance clear.

And one for my White Russian Infantry units. 🙂

Now whilst doing these I’ve been continuing the clear out of the Playroom and found a tray of BoB figures, including some standard bearers, so will be using these new found figures for some of the more obscure Cossack hosts and RCW factions. 🙂

BoB/RCW: White Russian Lancers in Chinese Service 2

Finally finished off the first lot of these. Lovely sculpts.
Spent all day yesterday mired in producing bids, but today had some half decent natural light levels. So here they are:

The start: The basic figure comes with rider separate from horse, with a separate da-dao beheading sword so it can easily be replaced with something else like a Mosin-Nagant rifle. To build the miniature you also need a base (Foundry MDF) and a lance (Foundry steel pin). The figure and pin all got trimmed for flash and size. As the figure comes with a stirrup holster, you can be generous with the length of the lance and it’s a really good sturdy fix for once.

Base and undercoating as normal. I then painted the horse as per Kevin Dallimore’s guide, and painted the White Russian with GW Orkhide foundation paint for the uniform and Foundry Buff leather for the boots to make them look “yellow”. The da-dao sheath was painted Foundry Drab, and the webbing/straps Foundry Granite. I then used GW Badab Black Wash for the uniform (with a subsequent highlight of Orkhide again) and GW Devlan Mud wash for the boots.

Looks about right IMHO. I added Foundry Napoleonic British Redcoat for the shoulder makings and I was pretty much done.

(Third time lucky on the photo, so it doesn’t look like the crude daubings of an 11 year old !)

I do 5 horses of each shade as a batch, so the actual units of 15 cavalry end up with at least three different horse colours. The light remains so poor that there is no point in providing photos of the Bay brown and black horses !

Next up, I have more of these I will add to the Russian Cossack horses, probably with Mosin Nagant rifles, and I might have a stab at some of the pennants for the lances. Just to make them look real hard and elite as they should be !

BoB: White Russian Lancers in Chinese service

As hinted a few weeks back, Copplestone Castings have come out with some new White Russian Lancers (BU50).

I’ve been badgering Mark Copplestone for some time about these and he finally gave in. 🙂

The models are based on the ilustration in the Osprey book: Chinese Warlord Armies 1911-30.
So where do these guys come from ?

They’re referred to in “Sand Against the Wind” by Barbara W Tuchman, in her biography of Joe’Vinegar’ Stilwell.

After trying in vain to see Chang Tsung-chiang he prowled around the city. “Rusky Cavalry” the feared and prized adjunct of a northern warlord’s army galloped through the streets. They wore dark green, almost black uniforms with yellow leather boots reaching to their thighs, and carried an armoury of weapons: penannt tipped lances in their stirrup holsters, long barreled Mauser pistols in their wooden holsters, ands the da Bao or Chinese beheading sword, like an oversize machete, strapped over the shoulder in a canvas scabbard.

So having worked out that I could cobble them together from other Copplestone pieces from different packs, and make some pieces myself/greenstuff, I asked if they’d do me a deal on the pieces. Instead he offered to make them.

Ask and you shall get (eventually) !

BoB: White Russian Cossacks & An Obituary

Finally got around to finishing off the Cossacks, and used the Photo Box Mk2:

Generic Cossacks with the basic blue riding breeches and khaki gymnastroika.
As usual, Copplestone models BU39. These will go with my ragged White Russians.

Somewhat morbidly, I often read the Obituaries column in the Torygraph, as it often features colourful characters and personalities. ISTR even reading one one line interview about games designers using obituaries as a source of inspiration for characters in RPGs. I’m not surprised as there really are some great stories of adventure and derring do.

Here’s an example:

Zvansov was enrolled as quartermaster into the Eskadrone (“the Squadron”) — a military unit of 150 “white” Russians established under the command of Chinese Nationalist General Omar Ma. But in 1944 the Soviets succeeded in chasing the Chinese out of the northern part of Sinkiang and declared a puppet state, the Eastern Turkestan Republic. After a series of advances and military reverses, by 1947 the Eskadrone had been chased to Ku-chöng near Urumqi, the seat of the Nationalist provincial government.

Here’s the full article, although it is a bit later than the BoB period, its still an interesting read and shows that the White Russian units continued in China for more than two decades after the RCW – though I’m betting that they didn’t by then have many veteran of the RCW itself.

Equine Madness – Part 2

So I’m painting a load of AVBCW cavalry, so I thought I’d check a box of BoB cavalry.

That’s just one box.

Yup, these are the White Russian Cossacks and Circassian Cossacks from Copplestone….

Not including the 15 Cossacks I’d been working on. (45 + 15)

Too much Equine wargaming I think, and do they really make any difference in the game ?
How can they be accounted for ?
In WW1, RCW and AVBCW Cavalry get no benefits at all.
Why am I doing this ?
Because its more historical and believable.
So there.

BoB/RCW: Colourful White Russian Army

Ok, enough talk, here’s some eye candy. Finally finished off my first ‘army’. It’s the Colourful White Russian army I’ve been working on that I thought was very very alohisotrical being based on the White School Cadets massacred in Dr Zhivago, but turned out was very close to a real unit operating within the AFSR.

Top Left: Cavalry (15)
Top Middle: Mounted Command
Top Right: Artillery piece

Middle Left: foot Command x2
Middle Middle: HMG
Middle Right: Infantry squad (10)

Front Left: Infantry squad (10)
Front Right: Infantry squad (10)

I can augment this with more infantry, the (30) ragged White Russians I have, but this is the core of the army…and it’s all painted, yay ! Only taken about 9 years…

The Cavalry.
I may well add a unit of Circassian Cossacks soon, just need to paint them.

The Infantry.

Command on foot & HMG. Another HMG is on the cards, again just needs to be built and painted.

Now I’ll feel happier organising a Big Game for Back of Beyond/RCW, now that I can field an army myself ! 🙂

Tanks & armoured cars will also augment this army.

Yet more books

Rather than make Hay when the sun shines, I went to Hay when the sun shines.

Yup, a visit to Hay-on-Wye took up yesterday, hence no posts. Went up Hay Bluff for a walk, and then hit the town for food and books. Been a few changes since I last went last year. Even though i was in bookshops most of the time, I still managed to get sun burnt. 😦

However, Hay continues to be a gold mine for obscure books, and kitchen ware:

I found the snappily titled: “Russian and Soviet Policy in Manchuria and Outer Mongolia” by Peter S H Tang (1959). Basically id odes what it says on the cover. The book was £5, as it had some missing pages and some duplicate pages. It gave a very useful and detailed description of the Russian and Soviet activities in Mongolia and manchuria in the first part of the C20 much of which was new to me.

The Chinese eastern railway (CER) played aparticularly pivotal role in this and was one of the redoubt of the White Russian forces being controled by Gen Horvath. It was basically a state within a state due to the complex set of treaties and arrangements amde between the Imperial Russian Govt and Chinese governments. This allowed Horvath to have thousands of armed troops, fortifications and hardware on Chinese soil. He received support from the Japanese and other allies, and helped channel some of this to Semenov, the Cossack Warlord detaield elsewhere in “White Terror: Cossack Warlords of the Trans-Siberian” by Jamie Bisher (2005). (The CER was connected to the Trans-Siberian and was essentially a short cut across Manchuria to Vladivostock)

The missing pages sadly cover Semenov’s activities in Mongolia, but I have access to info elsewhere, but what was new to me was the issue of Tannu Tuva. Now I’d seen in my atlas of world history that such a region existed to the west of what iks now Mongolia, but have never found much information on it. Though this book does not have very much, it is a big step forward !

Basically, Tannu Tuva was the western extreme of what had traditionally been referred to as (Outer) Mongolia, but had been subject to Russian colonisation (but not annexation) during the Tsarist period. Following the 1911 Chinese revolution, Russian troops entered the region as they did in the rest of Mongolia. However, between 1911 and 1917 the Russians made concerted efforts to prevent Tannu Tuva unite properly with either an independent or autonomous Mongolia. Come the Russian revolution in 1917 the local Russians went Red, only to be crushed by White forces, before these were attacked by the local (Mongol) population and returning Chinese Troops (in 1919). The Soviets returned in 1921 booting out the Chinese, and effectively setting up a Soviet Protectorate state that lasted until 1944 when the USSR quietly annexed the region. Intriguingly this was never ever publicised, and it was only found out when in 1946 a new map of Soviet political administrative areas was published, and the exact date of annexation included in the 55th volume of the Bolshevik Soviet Encyclopaedia in 1947 (sounds a right riveting read).

Sounds like the ideal Back of Beyond scenario: Reds; Whites; Mongols and Chinese all fighting each other !

Abnother bargain I picked up was the Osprey book: “Italian Blackshirt 1935-45” which I picked up for £5 !!! Bargain. Not my usual interest, but I thought it’d be a very useful book for AVBCW and any Black Shirt Volunteers sent to GB to support Moseley. It’s better than I thought and gave some pretty good technical details on the Blackshirts and their very varied performance in Ethiopia and later in WW2. Basically, they lacked proper training and equipment, often being chucked into combat with inadequate supplies and barely having fired any live ammunition. The later ‘M’ units did better being provided with better supplies and training, including German equipment and advisors.

Most expensive purchase (a bank busting £5.50) was another ladle, with pouring lip, from a little hardware store in Hay that I always go to and buy random kitchen ware from – like strawberry hullers for instance.

Returning home, I now find I have a glut of gorgeous pictures to post from the Byakhees, and even some of my own feeble weeble efforts.