I’ve reached a little bit of a pause in my work on the Black Brigade as I’m waiting for more miniatures to arrive, but I’ve been continuing on the research on how to paint the unit. Most modern wargamers paint the unit with all black leather trench coats, and while this looks amazing on the table, further research and photos indicate that this may not be correct in all cases. It appears that only the officers and the NCO’s got the black coats, while the rifle privates made do with a wz. 36 trench coat in the normal green. I found translated version of a 1934 Polish Army infantry manual online and it gave the breakdown of an infantry platoon as follows:
Commanding officer “Plutonowy” (Master corporal)
Second in command, “Kapral” (Corporal)
Light machinegun crew (BAR) made up of a “Starszy strzelecz” (Private first class) and two riflemen carrying ammunition.
13 riflemen of which two are of the “Starszy strzelecz” rank.
Granted, this is an infantry, not a cavalry organization, so the numbers for the cavalry are likely to be slightly different. Assuming that everyone down to the Starszy strzelecz rank received the black leather greatcoat, that would give a ratio of about five black leather coats to thirteen standard cloth coats. For my platoons that means I should run the command squad with probably all three in black, and then have one black coat in each of the Rifle/MG teams as well as one in the Anti-tank Rifle team. Fortunately the True North miniatures I’m working with appear as if they can be painted up equally well either way.
As you can see from the picture above, I’ve performed initial clean-up on roughly one Kawalerii Zmotoryzowanej Company as well as a few anti-tank crews and teams. I still have a ways to go, but hopefully the miniatures will arrive soon!
I’m also working on a side project “while I wait.” I picked up a fair amount of Soviet armor during the recent EW sale that Battlefront ran. One of the vehicles I picked up was the T-35. I apologize for the (lack of) quality of the photo – I’m waiting on a new light box. As you can see, this one is the command variant with the radio antenna on the 76mm gun turret. Of course now I need to come up with a good list.
My next project will be working on the Vickers E tanks for the Black Brigade, as my plans have arrived, and canvas cargo box covers for the Polski-FIAT 621 trucks.