Lledo Horse Drawn Models For 28mm

We have already looked at the use of toy motor vehicles for gaming.  There are also opportunities within the Lledo line for horse drawn transport.  The models are box scale which means that just about anything goes yet some examples are a close fit to 1/56th.  This article covers similar ground to a ‘Fiends in Waistcoats‘ page.  Unfortunately the Photobucket images on that post tend to be blurred out.  The Lledo models come with 1 or 2 horses using a limited variety of model sculpts but a wide choice of signage, most of which is not period specific.  The models do not fit into an exact time frame.  The best guess would be 1890 through 1914.  Those with pneumatic types being more useful in later periods.  In the UK horse drawn vehicles would be likely if uncommon up to the 1970s.  The comedy drama ‘Steptoe and Son’ being an example of horses used in the rag and bone trade.

The Lledo horses come in at least 2 sculpts and seem too small for 28mm.  This comparison with a Crusader Miniatures 28mm cavalry sculpt shows that they are not far off.  The problem being that one would expect a heavily built draft horse to be larger than one allocated for riding.

The Lledo models are inexpensive if bought as job lots from eBay.  Individual purchases are inflated by the postage cost.   Two good suppliers of horses are Northumbrian Painting Services (who run Reiver) and Warbases.  Here is a Reiver team used to pull a limber.  Note the smaller breastplate on the harness of the inner team.  Only the lead pair have a full collar.  The actual limber provided with the team is a small wheeled 18th century type.  Reiver swapped the wheels at no additional cost and the box limber was made out spare  parts.  At the time of writing the cost to buy a team and limber is 25p more than the cost of the horses.  An insignificant extra cost for 2 wheels and an axle even if they go straight to the spares box.

This a Warbases horse with Lledo cart.  The Lledo draught horse is a little smaller and less bulky than the Reiver.  The Reiver horses also have thicker bases that will need to be cut down or the cart platform built up to prevent the horse standing above the ground level of the cart.

Choosing Reiver,  Warbases or other suppliers is a case of swings and roundabouts.  If making up a postal order the other goods both companies supply might come in useful.  Reiver have some unusual 28mm equipment in their Chinese, Japanese and VBCW ranges.  They also have some splendid basic metal and resin carts.  Warbases have drivers (also available from Reiver), excellent animals and some nice resin cobbled bases for your carts.  Their own carts are MDF, an option that works best where there are no thin fancy bits involved.

These are Reiver horses with a removals van sprayed and painted over blue for a possible role as a police ‘Black Maria’.  The built up carriage base could do with less building up.

A brewer’s dray with the original Lledo driver.

The top down shot shows the vehicle space compared to a Lledo motor vehicle that has been calculated as true 1/56.

The fire engine is a lovely model but perhaps a little small. The 1/56 scale Fiat pick up gives an idea of relative size.  The engines were made in different capacities so perhaps we can get away with it.  There exists a low quality but useful video of the same builder’s Shand Mason fire engine.  The example in the video was in front line use until 1913, then put into storage but pulled back out as static water pump during World War 2.

The figures that come with the various Lledo models are not entirely useless.  Most models have no figures and even those that do may not follow this guide on Plastic Soldier Review.   Here they stand by an Artisan 28mm.  The guy with the dog is of limited use but the dog is a keeper.

More examples, these would work for the 30s or 40s.  Some figures are aimed at the early 20th century.  Many are too small to be of any use.

Bolt Action Spanish Civil War: Regulares vs Brigadista

Following on from a Chain of Command outing for the Regulares they move onto Bolt Action.  The aim was to keep the forces and scenario as similar as possible.  1,000 point Bolt Action forces are, however, slightly larger than Chain of Command.  Neither are there any main rule book scenarios played along the table width.  Being short of enough Regulares figures they will now be supported by some brave soldatos from La Legion.

There are no Warlord lists for the Spanish Civil War but unofficial lists do exist including a well produced Spanish campaign book.  In this case the Spanish book was used as a starting point but the special rules here are those of the French (Nationalist) and Italian (Government) official lists in the probably optimistic hope that these army rule sets are balanced.

For the French

  • If the 1st die drawn is French the opponent may force a re-draw.  We will use this to reflect the caution and planning of Franco.  Better to eliminate the enemy in the field than have to sort it all out later.
  • A free medium or light artillery piece.  It would be folly not to take the medium.  This reflects a Nationalist superiority in guns or at least their ability to supply them with suitable ammunition.
  • If fielding 3 or more conscript infantry squads a 4th may be fielded for free.  In geographical terms the Republic begin the war with the main population centres and industry.  They should have had more men available.  In reality Franco gained the manpower and material.  We see the additional troops as citizens who have joined the Falange units as a life saver, proof of their loyalty and who now find themselves on the front line.

For the Italians

  • In an attack and defense battle if the Italians are not the defender they can roll again to be the defender.  The Republic was in general on the defense.  Only half the main book battles are attack and defense so if scenarios are randomly rolled this option is not always going to show up.
    • Defending Italians gain 1D3 fortified positions.
    • Defending hidden units may be on Ambush.
    • When defending the attacker cannot run on turn 1.   This is particularly nasty for artillery units which can only move (even unlimbering moves) on a run.
  • If the Italians are 3 up on lost order dice all their units are up 2 on their basic morale.  If 3 down they are down 2 on basic morale.
  • Italians can re-roll on the artillery or smoke barrage table.  To make use of this they need a forward artillery observer at 100 points so it is not as tasty as might first appear.
  • The Brigadista infantry squads might take the non-testati rule.  They might go up to stubborn or down to shirkers.  Few of the Brigadistas had seen combat before the war and their initial equipment was haphazard and not always fit for purpose.  This rule will reflect their earlier combat encounters.

This is a good source on uniforms and potted biographies of the XV International Brigade.  It shows how there is considerable variety in equipment even towards the end of the war.

En la Plaza de mi Pueblo:  The peaceful pueblo before the battle.  Tracked vehicles can pass through hedges but not walls or buildings.  The river bank provides soft cover but only to infantry.

The following lists were used:

Brigadista Africanista
HQ (2nd reg + 1) 60 HQ (2nd reg + 1) 60
10 reg + LMG 140 6 vet stubborn LMG 132
10 reg + LMG 140 8 vet stubborn 112
10 reg + LMG 140 12 reg tough+ LMG 152
10 reg + LMG 140 12 reg tough 132
10 reg 100 12 reg tough 132
Sniper 50 Med Art + spotter 85
T26 105 PzI 70
UNL35 75 Bilbao 65
Lt Art 50 Mortar +spotter 60
Med Art 0
1000 992
10 dice 11 dice

The Brigadista force.

The Nationalist line up; guns are 155mm pieces but are standing in as medium artillery.

Defender deployment after the pre-game bombardment. A handful of pins and 1 figure removed but the Republican vehicles and light gun had been kept off table just in case.

Unable to run the Nationalist advance is cautious on turn 1 except for a Legion LMG section who advanced inside the Bilbao armoured car and deploy into the Church courtyard.

Turn 2 sees the T26 come on and block the bridge. 1 Nationalist gun comes on the other fails it’s entry morale.

Turn 2, the Republican sniper is mortared out of game. The Nationalist armour dodges their Republican counterparts.

Turn 3 another good HE roll sees a Republican squad mashed but still in-play. The T26 gets a clear shot on the Bilbao but misses. Not wanting to be left out the Republican gun has a go and also misses. The UNL35 ties up a squad of Regulares by the Church. The Nationalist infantry is closing in.

Turn 4 and more Republican losses put them 3 dice down and with all base morale at -2 it becomes almost impossible to do anything bar rally. On the bright side the remains of the Legion LMG squad is assaulted and wiped out.

Turn 5 sees the Nationalist firmly in control of 1 objective but still some way from getting infantry onto a 2nd.   The Republic could block off the central objective with their vehicles making the predicted result a draw but with the Nationalists having lost 1 unit to the Republic’s 4 and the Republic morale going down the tubes.

The Nationalist success is at least in part due to the luck of their medium artillery and mortar all of which achieved rounds on target with good aiming dice rolls.  To pull off a win they would have needed to change targets and take out the T26 which could block off any 1 objective from the Nationalist infantry (excepting a very risky tank assault)

The Republican defensive bunkers were of little use against all that artillery as they offer no protection against indirect fire.  The buildings were also potential shell traps.  Artillery is not always to be relied on as the crew are vulnerable, the mortars can be sniped out with 1 shot.  On average it should take 3 turns to hit anything by indirect fire but mobile units will simply move out of the way.  An alternative set of special rules is on the Wargaming3D site.  Together with the faction special rules the Republic may field a free 4th Inexperienced squad (80 points at 10 men) if they pay for 3 Inexperienced squads.  The Nationalist may field a light anti-tank gun or light autocannon for free (a saving of 50 points).