Pages

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Soviet Naval Infantry

Nothing lights a fire under my brushes like a tournament.  I'm in a Bolt Action event this weekend with a historically-themed list. My theme is the 83rd Naval Rifle Brigade in the Crimea, 1942. I’ve always been fascinated by the 350,000 Soviet sailors repurposed to fight on land. Naval Infantry were the best troops in the Crimea and their stubbornness earned them the nickname “Black Death.”

The 83rd  Naval participated in the Red Army’s first major amphibious landing.  With only two weeks planning, they were loaded onto a makeshift flotilla including fishing vessels to cross the Kerch Straights. Whaleboats dumped them on a frozen, remote beach with the goal of linking up with 4 other landings on the Kerch Peninsula.  As they waded ashore, some men drowned in the surf or fell to hypothermia. Despite the abysmal start, the 83rd spotted Germans gathering near the beachhead and launched a vicious spoiling attack. The amateur amphibious landings succeeded in deposited the 51st Army on the Kerch Peninsula where they took up a defensive position.  This second front took some pressure off the besieged city of Sevastopol.  Due to bickering and a series of incompetent actions between Kozlov and the Front commissar, the 83rd was nearly destroyed with the rest of the Soviet forces during Manstein’s Operation Bustard Hunt. Three armies, 21 divisions, 176,000 men, 347 tanks, and nearly 3,500 guns were lost to the German offensive. The remains of the 83rd were evacuated.  The reconstituted 83rd played a crucial role in the Caucasus by stopping the Germans at the Proletary Cement Factory in Novorossiysk, 8/9 September, 1942.  

Figures all Black Tree Design (helmets) and Warlord Games (Naval caps).  I also finished two units of Naval Tank Hunters and a Maxim MG unit  that I left them out of the photo.


I'll also field a ZiS-3 76mm gun pictured above, an early war BA-10 armored car, a GAZ transport and GAZ AAA truck.  I'm happy with how they turned out, especially my first airbrushed vehicles.   

Vehicle weathering is a work in progress.  There are so many options and methods its a bit overwhelming. For now, I'm satisfied to get a nice panel lighting effect.  The brightness is not everyone's cup of tea but I like it quite a bit.  I even took my first stab at streaking oils.  


Now that I can field 2 platoons of Naval Infantry plus supporting options, my ever-growing Soviet force will take a rest. Then its back to my Spanish for Saga!


32 comments:

  1. WooooW! Vehicle weathering is awesome now!
    Great looking minis.
    best regards in the new year :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michal! With practice, I think I can get the hang of this. Happy New Year to you too!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Klinguala, thanks and welcome to the blog! If you have one, I'd love to follow it as well.

      Delete
    2. Полундра! My grandfather was a naval cadet and began a war in the Marine Corps. This theme I like very much. Welcome to my blog, Monty: https://klingula.blogspot.ru/
      8)

      Delete
    3. WOW! I hope you got to hear some stories about the Great War...although many vets never did talk about their experiences. I was awed by these fellows and I think about how life dealt them a difficult hand and they played it through anyway. Its inspirational.

      Delete
  3. Look great, as always!
    And the airbrush work is great, too. Especially for a first time!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Burkhard! I have friends with airbrushes I meant to sit with but with the Holidays I couldn't make it happen. With practice and a lesson, it should only get better.

      Delete
  4. These vehicles are superb, congrats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Phil, I'm pretty happy with them. Its an effect I couldn't duplicate with a brush.

      Delete
  5. Stunning work on these Monty! Your infantry looks ace but your vehicles simply stand out. Very well executed panel lighting I'd say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks man, that means a lot! I went slow and low PSI with lots of layers. Once I build up some courage, I'll be onto my T-34 and KV-2.

      Delete
  6. Bravo Monty! The troops are excellent, but I just LOVE the vehicles, especially your weathering effects, superb work Sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michael, they are my favorite as well! Now if I could use the airbrush on my figures...

      Delete
  7. Cracking work on both the infantry and vehicles Monty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fran, I hope you're staying warm on the emerald island. Its -10 degrees here so thank goodness for alcohol and paints.

      Delete
  8. Really really nice work Monty! Very impressed.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Terrific work, Monty! A much-overlooked theatre of war given a boost on the tabletop. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Evan! Really loved "Where the Iron Crosses Grow." Between that and "Stopped at Stalingrad" (opens with the Crimea offensive), I think I finally have a grasp on that campaign.

      Delete
  10. Lovely work all around Monty and I'd say your first outing with an airbrush was a smashing success!

    Christopher

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wonderful work mate! Love the vehicles, especially the weathering. If I'm not mistaken there's a Matchbox truck in there...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are correct! It was my first truck and a cheap one at that. I need to look and see if you're in the front of the pack for the annual painting challenge.

      Delete
    2. I recognised it because I've repainted a couple myself for my interwar project. Lovely little truck. Currently "languishing" in 13th spot. :-)

      Delete
    3. 13 out of 100 means you're killing it! Besides, its early and the Mills Machine will soon kick in. ;-)

      Delete
  12. Excellent work, Monty! Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Serguiss! I think they need more armor. I have a T-26T artillery tow on the way but that will hardly win a battle by itself. ;-)

      Delete
    2. Yes need a more powerful tank:)

      Delete
  13. Wonderful work, Monty! I can see your Naval Infantry storming ashore on the Little Land!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great job, Monty. Just make sure you lock up the rubbing alcohol; you wouldn't want them going ashore in a state!

    Cheers,
    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nice work, but trousers should be black.
    http://rkka.ru/uniform/files/i_vmf.htm

    ReplyDelete