Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Italian Connection... Part one

You saw the Italian troops on the painting table... now you will see them on the battlefield!!

First, Wage had to help me with another round of kickstarter boxes.  Shipped out seven yesterday, and ten more today.

Then we walked the 800 feet to D' Anardo's for some fantastic pizza!  Best in the world.

Here is the scenario that Rich created, and the story behind it.

A battered Italian unit is trying to hold out to protect their precious church.  The Germans are attempting to "rescue" their  Italian allies, and hold the village and set up an observation post in the church.  The location also contains a key roadway, necessary for the Germans to keep the campaign supplied.
The Americans are seeking a quick end to the Italian invasion and puncture the soft under-belly of Europe.  The command sees the importance of this location, but is unable to get a heavier force to the battle quickly.

A view of the battlefield, forces deployed.  The Italians are on the far left, holed up in the church and cemetery.

I have to worry about these guys, because they are 3 easy Victory Points for Rich and the filthy Amerikanners.

My heavy units are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over here on the left.  As you know, if you don't have an order card in your hand that will move stuff over here... it will just wait there until you do!

Here are my starting cards.  The recon card will be vital, since that might help me get more cards to move stuff on the left flank.  The Ambush card should help if he attempts to assault one of my dug in positions as well.

I start out with the Probe card so that I can take advantage of the road (units move one space further if they start and end on the road), and move these guys the heck over to the left!!

Here I used that Recon card so that I could get some help on moving these heavy units.

Ambush!  Rich was very tempted to wipe out the last of the machine gun squad... a Victory point, and also the elimination of one of my heavy units.  His mobile artillery had targeted them earlier.

I tried to get the Italians in a better spot, and also fire at the Americans.  No luck there!  They need to go back to gunnery school.

The Shermans move out to come after the light Italian units.  Uh oh!

Not looking good over here.  One unit wiped out already, and the others in a perilous position.  Fortunately, some light weapons fire from the infantry frightened away the Capitalist Pigs, and they retreated.

Medic!!!  This MASH card was the first of several game saving cards for me.  Remember, all Rich has to do is kill 4 units.  I saved the Machine Gun squad, bringing it back to full strength.

The Americans press their advance once again on the right... would the German heavy units be able to disrupt this inexorable surge?  Will they be able to rescue their Italian "allies"... stay tuned!!

Tiny soldiers?

Hey!  Back to some historical minis... courtesy of Memoir '44.  They put the 'mini' in miniature, as you saw by the comparison shot.

These are technically French troops, but we thought we would paint a portion of them in Italian color scheme.

It's hard to clean up the mould lines, but I gave that my best shot.

Some gray primer from Badger sticks right to it!

Now for the real paint.  A bit of Clouded Sea from Reaper.

I used a little Vallejo Highlight USMC.  I was not worried about any kind of nicety in the painting.  I will be doing a number of glazes later...

I continued to lighten up certain areas, moving more towards the the light grayish green shade.

I mixed that same light gray with a terra cotta color to make some skin colors.

Time for glazing!  I brought out these dandies so that I could work very quickly.

You can see the watered down liner paints, along with the Black Shade.

Here they are after the initial layers.

I followed up with some darker colors to define a few areas, such as the backpacks, etc.

I went back in with some lighter skin colors as well.

Now the faces and hands have a bit more shape.  Obviously, these are not the most perfectly sculpted faces in the history of miniatures... but, they are super tiny!

I added a few more details here and there...

I decided to add some mud splatters to the overcoats, which would make a nice color contrast to all the blueish gray, and make them look more like they had been in trenches (which is where they would be in the upcoming scenario!)

Coats muddied up!  I also added some touches of red for epaulets and on the collars, like we had seen in a bunch of research photos.  That was another nice splash of color, and would make them instantly recognizable from the French versions.

This is a standard 28mm figure towering over them.  Gives you a real sense of how tiny they really are!!

It was a lot of fun painting them.  Now they would be fighting for their very lives in an exciting scenario that Rich created himself!  That is coming up tomorrow, methinks...