Sunday, 21 November 2010

23rd European Anti-Fascist Battalion

Finally finished a Spanish Civil War Battalion. In the end I went for semi- fictional units. Like pretty much everyone I wanted to have an International Brigade Unit but I didn't want to cliche myself by doing the 15th (which for those of you who don't know is the English speaking one with the British Battalion in it). So this is the 23rd European Anti-Fascist Battalion of a yet un-numbered brigade. It even has a flag, - this has been drawn with my latest version of Drawplus which has some new tools in it. This has enabled me to curve the text symmetrically in both clockwise & anti clockwise direction and put a fringe around it.

Having said that my units are goinbg to be quite closely based on the 15th Brigade simply because there's a lot more info available to me on that one rather than the others.

Plus they get a 37mm ATK battery as well. Here's a picture of them lining a compound in some adobe buildings, which I'm using because I haven't got any Spanish buildings yet (any suggestions for where I might get suitable buildings greatly welcomed).

I'm quite pleased with how they've come out, although the non-uniform nature of the paint scheme has slowed me down a lot and they look a bit "cluttered" close up as I've gone for sticking on as much detail as I can. I've also done one of the FT-17's I got in the boxed set, although I'm not convinced that International Brigade units were ever deployed with then. Still it's a nice model.

The unit has got 9 Peter pig style 30mm square bases . I've gone for two bases to a company, including the MG company. Based upon a couple of books I've read, - but chiefly the Osprey on the IBs - it seems the MG companies had both light & heavy MGs so I've done a base of each. As ever, welcome being corrected on this. Plus, should I ever want to play BAIT there's a base with a grenadier/bomber figure on it. Finally there's a battalion HQ featuring and officer in a natty leather short zipper jacket and the standard bearer.

Whenever I start a new project the first unit always turns out as a bit of a guinea pig to see how things look. Often I reduce the painting steps after this point to increase production speed, but on this occasion I don't think I will. I may make the colours more uniform and I need to look again at the colour of Spanish leather webbing because the "Y" webbing seen in a lot of pictures appears quite pale in black and white photographs.

The bases are my normal polyfilla and sand, but this time painted brown. I've spiced thern up with some peoples I sifted out of coarse sand and some flock. Finally a few have tufts of tall "grass" on then. This has been taken from the top f a coconut Miss Trebian was given during a school trip and has been held back against just such a need. Thats been attached by drilling holes through the bases with a pin drill and securing with superglue.

I'm well over halfway through "Homage to Catalonia" now, and the people in this war are becoming more real to me at last, - so I am moving from an academic relationship to them to a more emotional one. That'll help me understand what sort of game/simulation I want to produce. There were comments at CoW that the skeleton of "Return to the River Don" would be a good starting point, but I might try out Martin Rapier's "Mexikanski 36" once I've got enough bits and pieces together. It'll only be once I start to play games that I'll be able to work out what I want to see on the table top.


  1. My favourite Spanish Civil War post!

    Great stuff.


  2. Bit worried about this post. It comes up way too high when you google "Spanish Civil War Flags".

    Please be ware that the 23rd Anti-Fascists are a made up unit, with a made up flag....