Huszar! Building Your Stables – Part 3

Martin back with the final installment on my journey building a Hungarian Huszar Formation, primarily for use in Mid War but as with all things hobby the overall scope grew during the project and I’ve added a few extra Late War bits to what I’ve paointed up. In the end I have actually painted 3 entire Formations in the process of this projects one each of Cavalry, Infantry and Tanks which has taken me a little over 6 months to complete.

You may recall I was having trouble getting hold of appropriate 75mm mountain howitzers for my Huszars but after scouring the internet for several months I finally managed to acquire some, although they were a tad pricey! Battlefront, oh why aren’t these available? This has enabled me to complete the Huszar Formation build out with the full complement of platoons adding some ontable resiliance to my Formation. These added a massive 12 points for not a particularly effective gun but that’s one of the aspects of Mid War gaming that make things intgeresting, trying to find ways to make older weapons useful well beyond their pracical end of life.

So with these in my arsenal I now have 3 artillery units in my Force to Support my horsermen and some light anti-tank guns to protect them. Some of the cavalry troops had been converted to mechanised troops in the form of armoured car units prior to deployment equipped with the Csaba armoured car, which is actually quite a good vehicle for its class so I have added a troop of these as well to my Force, which provides me with that much needed Spearhead capability when playing. My overall Force is pretty well rounded and now looked like this;

After analysing the list I have the potential for a strong assault phase with my 3 cavalry platoons and some good supporting artillery with a reasonably decent defence against medium and light armour from the 4 assorted gun platoons but lack any real threat to anything with FA7+ or that I can engage at range. Now in Mid War these units are less common but there are some potential issues against their historical foes particularly the Soviet heavy armour (especially with Dynamic Points). Looking at the available options available for my remaining 22 points the options for dealing with this are to add either some Pak40 anti-tank guns, a unit of Marder II tank hunters or possibly T-4’s (in the form of the Panzer IV long). As I set out building this collection representing the Hungarians operating in June /July 1942 in the summer offensive I decided to go with a unit of four Pak 40 anti-tank guns which were supplied to the Motorised Rifle Divisions as their heavy anti-tank gun. This gives me another large based fairly static unit which could create a bit more of a challenge for deployment and use than the mobile options (gaming wise the Marder II would be a better choice but they weren’t operational until later on in the year so I eventually decided against including them but they are painted).

Motorised 75mm Anti-tank Platoon

This brought me to a grand total of 97 points, for the final 3 points I chose the not inexpensive Command Card Cut Them Down allowing one of my Huszar platoons to counter attack on a 3+ its a bit of a luxury choice, a platoon of Bofors AA guns (which again I did paint up) and the Pure Luck Command Card would probably be much more useful in gaming terms but its a rule of cool option so it has stayed. Overall the Force is pretty solid as long as I don’t end up with Delayed Reserves but that is highly unlikely as I wont be choosing the Defend stance. Its may struggle a bit when I have Immediate Reserves as I will more than likely have to sacrife my Pak 40’s to the reserve to avoid loosing more than 3 platoons from my initial deployment so some transport vehicles for them may well need to be added going forward.

I covered some of the painting process in Part 1 so I’ll add a few words on the basing which I choose to do mainly in one big go at the end of a project – the reason being that I wont play with models until I have them painted, so to ensure I finish all of a project I use completing the basing as a means to ensure I get everything done and don’t get part way through a project with enough finished models to play with and then never finish the rest. For these I used an easy if slightly time consuming process. The complete steps of which were:

  • I added any terrain features I wanted on the bases, such as the log enplaccments, ammo crates, etc at the Team assembly stage when I choose how to place individual figure/gun on its base.
  • Next up I covered the base in a ground texture to fill any gaps and blend the terrain features in – I used Windsor & Newton Sand Texture Gel – I precolour this with some regular acrylic paint. Here I used the old Colours of War Battlefield Brown paint. Where I painted these figures on their base I did this after the Team priming stage and then proceeded to paint them before finishing the bases as detailed below.
  • Dry brushed a single highlight colour – CoW Sicily Yellow in this case.
  • I then added the grass tufts – I used Gamers Grass products to mimic the Russian Steppe in Summer when it is fairly dry, this was a mix of Light Brown 6mm, Brown 4mm, Beige 4mm and Dry Tuft 6mm. Thee cover about 50% of each base – so I used quite a few individual colour packs!
  • Next I added some thin PVA over the majority of the remaining untufted base area and added Battlefield Hobbies Steppe static grass, this ties it all together especially on largere bases where the tufts can look a bit isolated unless you really use a lot of them.
  • Next up I used Gamers Grass flowers in multiple colours to identify each unit within my Force, ensuring that each Huszar Squadron had a matching Rifle plartoon.
  • I lastly repaint the base edge if needed to tidy them all up.
  • Finally it all got a spray with Army Painter Matt Anti-shine spray varnish to dull it all down.

Well that’s the Huszars finished with for Mid War and ready for the final battle, for 1942 at least, in the series of games I’ve been playing with the Hobby Hipster (Voronezh AAR and Ostrogozhsk-Rossosh AAR) the final AAR “To the Don” will follow soon.

Most of the Huszar Formation

Post Scipt

As I commented earlier, I have built 3 Formations in the process of this project. So how did that happen? A Motor Rifle Formation came about as a result of needing models for dismounting my Cavalry Teams as the only teams in the Motor Rifle Formation I didn’t need to do for the Huszars were an 81mm mortar platoon and the AT Rifle and 50mm Mortar Teams for the infantry it seemed a good idea to do them as well whilst I was at it, and as the pack includes the Flamethrower teams I did a couple of these as well giving me the ability to field upto 3 Motor Rifle platoons or a mix of Motor Rifles and Assault Pioneers. Now I had both these options I couldn’t see a reason not to create a representation of the last major Hungarian grouping on the Eastern Front, 30th Tank Regiment from the 1st Armoured Division with its mainly German supplied tanks with their simple Panzer Grey colour scheme they made a nice change to the fiddly multicoloured Hungarian vehicles and guns. I will write more on my Hungarian armoured troops another day. The overall hobby effort for 2023 so far comprises of:

76 Formation Teams

Huszar HQ (2), 3x Huszar Squadrons with an attached HMG Team (22), Motorised 40mm Anti-tank platoon (4) and a 75mm Huszar Battery (4).
Motor Rifle HQ (2), 2x Motor Rifle Platoons with Panzershrek, AT Rifle and 50mm Mortar Teams (20), HMG platoon (3) and an 81mm mortar platoon (4).
T38 HQ (2), 2x T38 Tank Paltoons (10) and a T4 Tank Platoon (3 plus 1 extra turret)

37 Support Teams

Motorised 105mm Artillery (4), 80mm Artillery Battery (4), Motorised 75mm Anti-Tank Platoon (4), Marder II Tank Hunter Platoon (4), Csaba Armoured Car Platoon (3), Assault Pioneer Platoon with 2 Flame Thrower Teams and Panzershrek Team (11), 120mm Mortar Platoon (4), 40mm Anti-Aircraft Platoon (2) and an Artillery Observation Post (1).

This wasn’t in the original plan!