Thursday, January 8, 2009

AA MG teams all around!

With most of my main WF 1918 forces mostly finished (still need to build the US) I have started looking at them in more detail. I stumbled across a reference to Lewis gun teams in a British Artillery Battery in the book that I am reading, The Imperial War Museum Book of 1918: Year of Victory (Pan Grand Strategy Series). I started to look at the deployment of AA MG teams closer and discovered that the threat of air attacks was forcing pretty much all nations to have them scattered about. We have added the option of one AA MG team to each Artillery battery of the WF 1918 forces but we reduced the number of teams available as Divisional support to the infantry to two.

I had already created two AA MG (Lewis Gun) teams for my British force but none for the others. I used a Battlefront SAS Lewis gunner. So, I decided to do one for each.

The US version is the Eureka WWII Early War, Wake Island Marines Lewis Gun on a tripod figure with a Minifigs officer as a spotter. No fancy mods, I just cut off the WWII model canteen. This is not exactly correct since most US forces used French weapons. All of the photos I found were of the Hotchkiss machine-guns. Maybe when I get to my US force I will create a correct Hotchkiss version.

The French version is a Minifigs Hotchkiss HMG and artillery crew figures cut in half and grafted together. The tripod is just wire. The spotter is a Minifigs EW officer.

The German version was a little different. One field improvised way of making an AA stand was to use a wagon wheel. The wheel gives the gun a steady, 360 degree platform. So I cut a Minifigs EW HMG in half. Did a head swap to a steel helmet and used a spare Minifigs German lower half. I keep my headless figures from head swaps for just such a requirement. I am not 100% satisfied with the gunner but he will do. The spotter is a LW German Infantry officer with the grenade in the boot removed.


Early Anit-Aircraft Weapons, The Small Arms Review, Vol. 9 No. 11, James L Ballou, August 2006

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