Viennese Whirl!

Still working away on scenery, which means not much to show at the moment for my trouble.  But, following up from my last post, I’ve managed to tidy up another of my small armies, this time WW1 Austrians.


I think I started this lot when Irregular Miniatures brought out their 20mm WW1 Austrians, expanding them a bit with some IT Miniatures figures, which dates them to the late 1990s.  Originally, I used around 15/16 figures to represent an infantry battalion, but a few years ago I dropped the size of all of my early WW1 battalions to ten figures without it making much of a difference in games.  This was only really possible with battalions that had no light machine guns (LMGs) but that’s fine for most armies up until around 1916.


By making this change, it turned out I needed an extra Austrian officer, since two 15-man battalions turned into three 10-man battalions.   I’d kept a spare IT miniatures figure and painted him up a couple of weeks ago – he’s the officer in front of the battalion in the picture above.  He’s identical to the officer leading the battalion in the centre of the top picture, apart from the fact he’s been painted 20 years after that guy (and in acrylics rather than enamels).  As with the Chinese troops in my last post, some of these figures have had fresh static grass added to their bases.


As far as infantry support weapons are concerned, I’ve got a medium machine gun (MMG) team, both firing and moving the gun on a dog cart.  I also scratchbuilt one of the odd-looking 37mm infantry support guns (the gun fires forward over the trail, so it all looks back to front) and it’s shown to the left of the picture above.  The bulk of the troops are in “pike grey” (a blue-grey colour) but some are in the later field grey (which the Austrians called field green I think, just to be different from the Germans).


As far as supporting troops are concerned I’ve got a three-man cavalry unit for scouting and a selection of artillery pieces (shown above).  Guns are a 150mm howitzer by Irregular Miniatures, a plastic 100mm howitzer by HäT and a scratchbuilt 75mm mountain gun (made over 30 years ago, recently re-painted, with wheels from the old Airfix Napoleonic French artillery set).  The mountain gun team with mules are actually German WW2 mountain troops by Britannia Miniatures, but they pass off quite well for WW1 Austrians.  The picture below is a close up of the 100mm howitzer and crew – the gunner on the left has removed his cap and is mopping his brow!


Three infantry battalions plus supporting troops is not a large force, but most of the time I’d expect to be using them in conjunction with German forces against Russians and/or Romanians.  I think the Austrian army in WW1 tends to be overshadowed by the Germans, but it adds a nice bit of variety to a Central Powers army!



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