Monday 8 April 2013

The Continuing Adventures of Fezia and Rusland

SMS Leitha 1872.jpg

An Austrian Navy River Monitor - waltzing along the Blue Danube. The view could almost be along the Mississippi....

I have paused to take a sharp intake of breath whilst I ponder what exactly I want to do with the armed forces of Fezia and Rusland over the periods I want to game. At the moment I am painting the navies for the period of around 1912 so early dreadnought types and a smattering of earlier ships will be the order of the day but what of the land side? Essentially the armies for the period will be effectively those of the Balkan Wars - fez wearing Turks and 1905 vintage Russians in all probability. I have yet to decide on the figures I will be using for this, or even the scale for that matter and so this will be something to consider in due course. What about the earlier period though? Initially I was thinking about the 1895 era as being the starting point but I have decided that going further back would be more interesting (and certainly more colourful). The Russo Turkish War would be an obvious historical reference point and with a few historical liberties could provide the backdrop for a Fezian and Rusland conflict.

Using the Danube would allow me to fight river based actions using essentially ACW model warships so monitors and casemate ironclads could feature, alongside the usual blue water steamships. There was some historical action along the river during the war - Russian torpedo boats attacking Turkish ironclads - so all I would be doing would be expanding on the facts. The idea would be to mirror the ACW Mississippi river campaign on a large European waterway. For some historical insights to the idea I am considering take a look at this: Steamboats on the Danube

In terms of models for this I would use Navwar 1/1200th as they are cheap and easy for me to come by (I only live around 45 minutes away from Navwar). The range available is certainly adequate for what I would need and as a project would not require much in the way of material - certainly nowhere near the amount of ships I built for the long abandoned ACW river campaign I was planning a while back. As far as the land troops are concerned I have yet to decide but I am thinking that 15mm may be the best bet - there are some suitable figures available from Essex in their ACW range that could be pressed nto service - although the idea of using Perry 28mm plastics is very appealing. Previously I have mooted the idea of using the Union figures painted with green jackets and white tousers for the Ruslanders and the Zouave figure makes an ideal Fezian.

It would certainly be colourful and another fascinating what if?

To be honest, the 1912 project for the moment will be confined to the naval side with the block armies being used for the land battles. The reason for this is simply because painting up troops for the Middle Eastern/Caucasus project (initially 1941 Germans and Russians) will provide me with more than enough drab looking troops to paint so I would really fancy working on something a little brighter.

I should also add that coming across the following website has absolutely nothing to do with this desire to tackle some colourful Turkish types....Ottoman Uniforms

Even so, "I'm gonna need a moment alone, boys"....;-)


legatus hedlius said...

I remember seeing some great models of these riverine Austrian ships in the military museum in Vienna...

David Crook said...

Hi Legatus,

That must have been something to see! You can't beat a good sized warship models for the sheer inspirational factor!

All the best,