Apparently the Chinese lacked transport, with most of their offensive action taking place on foot. The made for a logistical nightmare and shortages of supplies of all types at the front. One significant plus, was the Chinese were not limited to the frail and often inadequate road network. Chinese forces would bypass UN positions (often at night) in a sort of slow moving pedestrian blitzkrieg.
To reflect this in my Bolt Action Korea force I thought I would not take any transports. Bang on theme, and a couple less models to purchase and paint. However, the Bolt Action rules require tows for nearly all artillery, even light howitzers. Not unreasonable, I guess, guns are heavy and are only useful if they come with ammunition (and all the other stuff they must need). So, I ordered a Morris 15cwt 4×4 from Perry Bros. Apparently the communists had a bunch of lend lease left over from the second world war (including ex-KMT).
The kit is resin, which I don’t work with enough to really know all the tricks. Giving it a good wash seems to be the most important trick The model itself had very little flash and went together easily with a minimum of filing. The driver was british, complete with soup-bowl helmet so I did a head swap. I hid the cut with a green-stuff scarf, painted red, of course.
This is the third time I thought this army was finished. I don’t remember buying anything else recently but post being what it is at the moment, I guess we’ll find out.
Beware imperial running dogs; the brave Chinese volunteers are here to help liberate the South and unify Korea. I’m pretty happy with how this Chinese Communist Volunteer force came together, so I thought I’d do a few action shots. The models are from Warlord Games, for their Korea extension to the rather fun Bolt Action game.
Medium machine gun
There are three core sets in the range so far: an infantry squad, conscript squad and a HQ/support weapon box. There are a small number of additional figures available, mostly in specialist weapon roles including flamer and bazooka teams. It is a little limited if you want to field unique models for some of the specialist units like grenadiers and scouts, however there is a reasonable range of poses for all metal figures. Plenty of choice to get things going.
Next valley over are the support weapons: SU-76 and anti-tank gun. This force will likely struggle against heavy armour (bazookas in Bolt Action are a bit of a lottery) but will otherwise be competitive.
I tried a few black and white shots for a bit of fun.
Commander keeps an eye on the advance in the valley below
Supporting fire from the heights
The Chinese push forward
No games yet, but I guess that gives me time to paint up the free world opposition, most likely US Army, because I have a bunch of plastics in the cupboard so I won’t have to buy any additional models. Of course, a Marine unit would be quite iconic, or a representation of the Commonwealth Brigade would both be ace modelling opportunities. So many choices.
In what seems a long time ago, Warlord Games had a sale where I picked some additional Bolt Action Korea miniatures to expand my Chinese force. It still hasn’t reached the table, but that is a rather dull story that we are all familiar with at the moment. I’m close to finishing the next batch of infantry (I’m up to basing), but I finished a Gaz jeep.
Most likely it will be used as a tow for a light howitzer or anti-tank gun. I guess it could be a flamethrower or bazooka taxi, which is not historical but can be useful in game terms.
In the 1940s and 50s Australian army, MMG and medium mortars were typically company (sometimes battalion) assets, deployed in support as missions required. Given how lean the Communist Chinese were in everything except soldiers, I suspect these heavier support weapons were also managed by Co. HQ (or higher). I have completed an MMG and medium mortar, the last of my initial wave of Chinese Volunteers for Bolt Action Korea. I now have enough for a small game with what I hope is a balanced force.
I like medium machine guns despite being mostly ineffective in Bolt Action games. They are historic, commanding far more respect and consideration on actual battlefields.
A topic of much discussion among Bolt Action players, perhaps a topic for another post.
Now to get a game or two in, even as I start on some reinforcements, two more squads on the paint-table.
Turns out my local library has a good military history section, so I’m also continuing my reading. I suspect by the end of this lot I’ll have had my fill of Korean War history for the moment.,
My Chinese for Bolt Action Korea are edging closer to being ready. Some highlights and basing to go. I have also started on some support options, an MMG and a medium mortar.
Looking at these photos, the putties need to be a different shade to the pants, and I need to perform some touch-ups here and there (particularly the boots). I finally had a look at what squads I can assemble. Together with the self-propelled gun, and assuming they are regular, I have around 750 points across around 13-14 order dice.
3 or 4 squads of rifle men (2 with LMG), depending on the squad size
Light anti-tank gun (or maybe medium, I need to check)
plus the free 12 man conscript squad.
A lot of bodies, I suspect I need to increase the squad sizes and add 2 or 3 more large squads to bring the points up to 1,000. Lucky they’re pretty straight forward to paint.
The grenadier squad is funky, armed only with grenades (same as pistols in game effect), they can forward deploy. Alone they will get massacred which is why I took a squad of guerrillas too, who can also forward deploy.
I think it will be hard to win with this army. It will need to be played aggressively, getting stuck in early but keeping enough punch in reserve to followup. I fear not many will get to see their loved ones again north of the Yalu river, so it’s starting to look a bit historical.
I decided to take a wee detour on completing my Chinese for Bolt Action Korea and (mostly) finish an SU-76. It is a resin model from Warlord.
I may do some more weathering, but but it is close enough to finished to put it on the table. The model when to together OK after a false start where I forgot to wash the resin first! There was very little clean up required, and the parts fitted with very little fiddling, although I did choose to pin the barrel.
There appears to be some debate about just what self-propelled guns the Chinese volunteer force had, given the confusion of the time this is not surprising. The little bit of reading I’ve done mentions SU-76 in battles the British Commonwealth Brigade had with Chinese in both early (Kapyong and elsewhere) and later, at Maryang San. This is good enough for me to field one. There is an added bonus in that I had one in the cupboard waiting for a project!
There is quite a lot of material about, once you start to dig, and I’m very much enjoying learning more about this period.
I like posting finished minis, but sometimes you have to go with what you have.
War has broken out in Korea in the Bolt Action universe, and I’m signing on for a tour. I’ve picked up a few squads of Chinese and have been pushing on with what for me has been a rapid pace.
There is a reasonable range of poses and not too much cleaning up to do, and the simplicity of the uniforms has sped things up somewhat.
I’m up to giving them a wash of Agrax Earthshade that I found in the cupboard, and then I’ll give them a final highlight, mostly to lighten the uniform again. Plus basing, of course.
Our brave *ahem* volunteers will also have some support in the form of surplus Soviet war matériel in the form of an SU-76 and some A/T. I’m choosing to ignore the Soviet uniforms. Also work in progress.
Once the medium mortar and MMG are complete, I think it will be about 650 to 700 points. Enough for a small game but clearly there are some more to be (acquired and) painted yet. Well, the South isn’t going to liberate itself.