Saturday, July 11, 2015

Chinese Warlords: Dare to Die Squad

Just a short post post with my latest Chinese Warlord squad for our Back of Beyond games.  This is a "Dare to Die" Big Sword squad from Copplestone Castings. The casting quality was very good, with minimal clean up required.  Mine came with six body types with a few head variants, and luckily only one figure was a repeat. Overall I feel it's a decent variety. In the "Contemptible Little Armies" rules their morale rating is one of the best, so I'm hoping they will perform well. The only issue will be getting them across the table well enough intact to unleash their close combat assaults.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Chinese Warlords: Armored Vehicles

Not knowing what surprises Victor and Steve have planned for their armies, I thought it would be best if General Ma had a bit of armor available to him.  As such, I picked up a Rolls-Royce Armoured Car and a Renault FT-17 Tank.  Theses are produced by Trenchworx and are absolute beauties.

 The vehicles arrived in their own individual boxes, were well packaged in bubble wrap, and came with assembly instructions. I have to say, these are some of the finest resin kits I've ever assembled. They were highly detailed, crisply cast, with no warping and almost zero bubbles (even those few were extremely small) There was some flash and sanding was required for proper fits, but with a good pair of plastic nips and some files, this is not an issue. The kits also come with magnets for the turrets, so you don't have to worry about them falling out during transport.

While I would have preferred the 1920 pattern Rolls-Royce for my Chinese army, currently only the 1914 pattern is available at Trenchworx. However, that's a small disappoint considering what you get. I've gone for a base grey paint scheme, with decals from Brigade Games. Since the Ma Clique eventually allied with the Nationalists and also used their iconography, I've opted for the Nationalist Sun rather than the old 5-color star.  This will also look more appropriate if I use my army for the Second Sino-Japanese War.

For the Renault Tank, I've gone with the rounded turret (you can also order it with the hex and command turrets) and the "male" 37mm gun (the kit also includes the "female" machine, and the two can be swapped out) which I've seen in period photos. Like the Rolls-Royce, I've gone with an overall grey scheme. I wanted both vehicles to look like they spend a lot of time in the field without proper maintenance, so I've given them a bit of dust and rust build up.

To give you a better idea on their respective sizes, here are are up against a 1 inch (25mm) grid mat with a Copplestone Chinese figure (3mm thick base).

Additionally, here's the Rolls-Royce next to a Copplestone Lanchester and a Lledo diecast truck.   Overall I think the sizes are a reasonable fit.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Chinese Warlords: Cavalry

Back with another unit of Chinese warlord troops.  This cavalry unit is composed of miniatures from Copplestone Castings. The sculpting is well done as is usual for Copplestone, but there was a fair amount of flash and mold lines that needed to be cleaned up, especially with the horses. For the rank and file troops, there are only two body types, though with different head variants.  Three horse variants are available, but with one exception, my horses were of only two types.

As with my infantry, I've gone with a mix of blue grey and green grey uniforms. I've recently read (on the internet, for what that's worth) that the Ma Warlord troops were wearing green uniforms when they became part of the national army in the 1930's, so I think this color mix will help me stretch their use into the Second Sino-Japanese War.

To help hide the similarity in the horses, I've bent their tails in various directions and used a variety of coat colors.  All the color schemes come from horse breeds found on the Tibetan Plateau.