Friday, 6 December 2013

DIY Fortifications: Research!

While playing around on Easy Army, I noticed that the Americans at Cassino get Field Fortifications. Pretty neat. I might as well make a few to have in case I ever play the list. But since we're historical gamers, we'd want to make fortifications as they would be found in that theater.

How hard could it be?

Depends how you go about your research. I spent a lot more time on Google Image search that I had hoped. The search for Cassino fortifications turned up zero pictures for the Allies, and maybe a handful of results for the Axis. Lots of results came up for the Axis defenses at Normandy, which is understandable. Unfortunately, that doesn't help me much!

Well, lads and lasses, let me turn you on to the US Army Field Manuals. A pretty solid collection can be found here. The manual relevant to my current interest is here: Field Fortifications (1944) (PDF!). Some pages of note just skimming through it:

-Page 34. Excavation and camouflage data for infantry weapons emplacements. A good reference for the shape of pits/emplacements for different weapons and their size. I know, I know, you can chuck any sort of MG nest on a Medium sized base.

-Page 42 & 43. Pictures show how to make a retaining wall of a trench with branches. This would mean that to make this at a 15mm scale you could just use some sort of thin wire. Just thinking out loud.

-Page 49 & 53. This could be an interesting idea for an emplacement on a base, with the parapet made from excavated soil.

-Page 50. No reason other than mother of god a Tiger is driving over him. Yeah, I bet you've gone and downloaded the PDF now.

-Page 57. It begins, diagrams of infantry weapons emplacements from the table on page 34.

I'd like to break here while the thought is in mind. I do realized that a lot of these emplacements require digging into the earth. Like that has stopped modelers before.

Page 76. How cool does this one look?! I might have to give that a go.

Page 98. Note the wood supports for the little forked ends of the artillery... legs? A fun detail.

Page 225. Ah, what I came for. The above-ground "machine gun emplacement". Oh, it's just a box with firing slits? Alrighty then...

That seems to wrap it up for the research of making emplacements!