Saturday, July 14, 2012

Painting Italian Buildings

While I was attending Enfilade in May, I picked up (for the most part all of my purchases were terrain related) some Italian houses to cover my gaming from the 19th century through WWII and probably beyond.  The buildings are a mix from Monday Knight Productions and JR Miniatures.  I think I have enough to fill out a nice little village/town for my gaming needs.  All of the buildings are 15mm but will also work for my 10mm stuff.  There are 14 buildings in all.  They range from simple homes to small churches and clock towers.  I thought I would document my progress on painting them.  The buildings are a mix of stone with no plaster on them and the others have plaster walls.  So painting each type will be a little different.  In the above photo is a few of the plaster covered houses and they were primed grey.  The base color for the plaster is Dark Sand.  I've been searching the web for pictures of the Italian buildings for different schemes for the buildings.

So using images like this I will create some sort of randomness to my plaster buildings colors but also they all seem to blend at a certain level as well.

The stone buildings all got a base coat of German Grey and the highlighted with a dry brushing of Buff.  When I did the dry brushing I worked the brush from the top down so that the highlights would only reflect the direction of the sun hitting the tops of the stones.

I will go back over the highlight at the end and use a chalk pastel to add some dust to the stone work.

With the base coats done and the highlights done on the stone work, I decided to paint the tile roofs.
Taking a suggestion from TMP. I did a dark brown wash over the tiles first.  Only I made with the wash with oils instead of acrylics.

Granted that it will take about 24 hours for the paint to dry but the oil paint will take some of the other techniques that I want to use a little bit better.  So that's about where I stopped in the process for now as I wait for the tiles to dry.

Friday, July 13, 2012

April and May 1859

After the minor battle of Pieve del Cairo the month of April swiftly passed by with little action on either side.  The Austrian General Benedek, after failing to properly scout out the adjacent areas moved through Pieve del Cairo and smacked into General Perrie's little force again at Sale.  General Benedek waited and waited to see if the Italians would retreat before him.
The closing days of April were rainy and that halted the campaign for both sides.  Roads turned to mud and the armies rested for a few days waiting for the weather to clear.
As the first days of May rolled in the Italians sprang forth and starting moving towards the north in the hopes of catching the army or armies that had taken Novara. The area around Sale bristled with life as more Italian troops poured in to bolster Perrier's smaller force.  The advantage General Benedek had in numbers quickly vanished.  While the Italians busied themselves with probing for the Austrians, the Austrians too woke up and moved also looking for the extra Italian forces.  Frustrated with his Austrian Generals lack of drive, Field Marshall Gyulai sent orders for Benedek to attack the Italians to his front.  In the meantime, the town of Vercelli rang it's church bells as Italian forces moved into the town.
Accepting his orders, General Benedek called a war council with his sub commanders and the planning for the Battle of Sale began.

 Referee Report: The turn for April only last two phases with little to no action between the two commanders.  The month of May, in contrast, witnessed 4 phases with the impetus winner being the Austrians but the Italians doing the most moving.  At this point the Austrian commander is taking his time and not pushing all along his line.  The Italian commander seems willing to take a few more chances.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and if the two commanders continue with their style of play.  The Battle of Sale will happen on July 28th.  I'll post the AAR as soon as the battle ends.

Monday, July 9, 2012

La Guerra e Cominicata! (The War has Begun!)

Campaign Turn 1-March 1859

A cool day in March 1859 the King of Piedmont, Victor Emmanuel gave his orders to his generals.  The War had begun to push the Austrians out of Italy once and for all.  The Italians gained the upper hand early and pushed out into the countryside looking for the Austrians.  Slowly mustering his forces Field Marshal Gyulai sent out reluctant orders to his forces with the increasing reports flowing into his headquarters of the Italian forces moving through the countryside.
Both sides gingerly moved looking for some clue as to where the other was and what they were coming up against.
A undisclosed Austrian force moved into and took the city of Novara sending refugees steaming out of the city.
While waiting for scouts to report back, the Italian Commander Perrie rested his army near the town Pieve del Cairo.  Much to his surprise a large Austrian force under the command of Benedek appeared prompting a battle.

The Battle of Pieve del Cairo

In what should have worked out to a tactical advantage for Perrie, the Italian General assembled his units to strike the flank of the attacking Austrians.  Benedek sensing a trap maneuvered his troops to negate the flank advantage and turned the battle into a straight up fight where his numerical superiority, he hoped, would win the day.

Perrie grouped his small force around a large hill and spread out against the Austrian left.

This small force of 10 units clung to the terrain hoping to stall the Austrian army long enough to retreat.

Seizing the momentum from the outset, Benedek and his 21 unit army moved swiftly to catch the Italians and to grab the small town of Pieve del Cairo.  Failing to get his orders across the Italians sat waiting for the Austrians to cross the open ground.

The Bersaglieri proved their worth as their accurate fire wiped out 2 Austrian units before they fell to volumes of Austrian rifle fire.
In a dramatic shift General Perrie's troops reacted quickly while the Austrians waited to close up their lines before delivering the death blow.  The Italians pulled back and began retreating.  They swiftly made it out of the battle area with only a few units down and the lost of the heroic Bersaglieri unit.

Wrap Up:
Even though the Austrians claimed the field of battle they failed to take their victory conditions and I as the umpire awarded them only 1/2 of the total victory points.

As for our first campaign turn, things went fairly smoothly and the practice battles we had prior to this really paid off in how quickly and smoothly the actual battle played out.
Turn 2 of the campaign will hopefully be played out at the end of this week.