Wednesday, 28 December 2011
The Museum was on a large site and had an impressive collection of aircraft on view, understandably focusing on WWII. It seemed sensibly laid out and there was plenty of detail available for even the most ardent plane buff (I wouldn't claim to be one!)
Highlight was being able to walk through a Short Sunderland, which I learned was a long-range anti-submarine plane. Also, the wrecked Halifax bomber which was recovered from a Norwegian lake after it crashes on its first mission - to sink the Tirpitz. Fascinating stuff and plenty of inspiring stories for any gamer!
To round it off, entry to the museum was free.
Almost make me want to revisit WWII gaming, a project very much on hold at the moment.
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
An alternative is the Victrix Marine heads pack. This gives a slight variation on the redcoats, but opens up possibilities of games around the Peninsular coast. Better still, I reckon those top hat heads would be ideal for a whole raft of Spanish units, so will undoubtedly come in useful. I fel this would be a luxury purchase though, £15 for some heads and 3 command seems a lot!
I need some brushes too, I'm tempted to stick with the Army Painter ones I tried out this year, but I could be swayed by other brands. Any recommendations?
Monday, 26 December 2011
So, I'm in the Market for a few bits and bobs. If the Challenge goes well, I should deplete my stocks of miniatures to paint. But what to get? Possibilities include:
>random Perry bits (British RHA, Light infantry, Wellington, other bits)
>Old Glory rocket troop (because rockets are fun!)
>A second unit of Spanish line infantry (torn between new Brigade Games or Capitan miniatures - anyone recommend either?)
>Spanish cavalry, probably made out of Perry plastic French Hussars
>more Peninsular terrain (won't score me Challenge points though)
>sidestep for variety into Brunswickers or Portuguese (metal-only, so pricey)
>something for Pulp gaming (needs my brother to choose a setting/theme, he's in charge)
>A new project for 2012?!
The alternative is to think about Napoleonic French. My brother and regular gaming partner is about to have his first child, so I expect his (already limited) hobby time will be minimal for a few years. Perhaps I could help, to ensure fully painted forces for years to come. Torn between making the offer and picking up some bare plastic when I visit in February, or perhaps picking some new stuff up on his behalf, painting it in secret and giving it for his birthday in April. But what to buy? I'm pretty spoilt for choice for French!
Or perhaps I don't want anything enough? Nah, who am I kidding, we all want more lead...
Saturday, 24 December 2011
Having a bit of a mixed-up Christmas myself, already unwrapped one batch of presents this Christmas eve. This included the lovely Peninsular War Atlas by Nick Lipscombe. Cheers to my brother for that very kind gift. Itching to dive into it but sadly had to leave it at home as we headed off for Christmas number two!
On the Painting Challenge, 'nul pois' for me so far, but I've made a fair start on a batch on Spanish infantry. I'll have no hobby time at all for a few days, but after that I hope to make up some lost ground!
All the best,
Monday, 19 December 2011
From top to bottom we have:
-A flock of Napoleonic redcoats (I'm thinking 'the Buffs')
-A gaggle of Spanish Guerillas (yes, those are scratch-built mounted guerillas, honest guv'nor)
-Quick era switch to a shoal of Viking levy for Saga
-Back to Napoleonics, this time a herd of Spanish infantry
-Later, a (small) horde of Perry plastic Ansar
-And finally a pack of British Napoleonic Hussars (yes, these are just horses. Riders are tonight's job, if I get a moment).
After what seems like so much work, I don't feel the above is that impressive, actually! Still, it should score me a tidy sum of points, especially with a bunch of cavalry.
Other than the above, in various stages of preparation I've some Perry metal household cavalry, umpteen more Redcoats, more plastic Ansar, some pulp bits and bobs and that blister-pack shaped Christmas present which rattles when I shake it. And if that runs out, I've no doubt I will make a few purchases between now and March...
And with that thought, I will close by wishing all of the other entrants the best of luck!
Sunday, 11 December 2011
I won't do a full battle report - pictures say a thousand words and all that
The Vikings deploy:
Battlelines are prepared:
Yes, that's one solitary Viking Hirdman, carrying three Fatigue, facing the opposing Warlord, the remnants of his bodyguard and some Levy in the distance. Not a fine day for my Vikings!
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
The Ansar aren't for a new period - I've picked them up for generic natives for Pulp gaming. Pulp is historical, right? Anyway, the Perrys were the cheapest solution other than plastic Zulus and will be nice models to boot.
The Hussars look lovely, chuffed the Perrys have finally started on British cavalry! I'll do a full unit of 8 British Hussars, not yet decided which regiment. That will leave six spares, which I also haven't decided what to do with.
So, a shout-out, has anyone any suggestions for conversions into one of the more quirky light cavalry regiments present in the Peninsular? I've already a fledgling force of Spanish allies...
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Curt at his excellent Analogue Hobbies Blog is running another painting challenge, in which he helpfully awards points to inspire us to work through our lead piles.
Having been inspired to paint more last year even without participating, I leapt at the chance this time and am already thinking of what minis I can prep to start on.
If a light-hearted challenge appeals, get in touch with Curt through http://analogue-hobbies.blogspot.com/
Finally, an appeal - does anyone have any spare plastic round shields suitable for Vikings? Flat ones from the Wargames Factory set would be preferred, but any will be gratefully accepted. I need just four!
Friday, 2 December 2011
Anyway, I'm off for a weekend with my brother so a little gaming will be on the agenda. I won't see him until Feb am he has a baby due so this may end up being our last chance to get the minis out for a while!
Saga is on the cards, I'm looking forward giving it a whirl. I've done ok my painting schedule, with 20 brave Vikings nearly finished and some Levy prepped to start next week.
Saturday, 12 November 2011
Thursday, 10 November 2011
These are the first few Bondi, finished with Little Big Man shield transfers. A doddle to apply and came out well, even from just a phone pic.
I'm impressed, though the Saga-specific transfer sets are a bit of a jip - by my maths you get better value from the normal ones buried in the LBM section of Gripping Beast's store.
Luckily, I already has some Wargames Factory plastic Viking sprues and GB metals from a previous aborted project. They made a 4 point warband - result! Though I've already supplemented this with some levy archers for variety.
And my brave Hirdmen need some transport...perhaps a boat?
Anyway I'm in a new flat now and looking to new projects. News on that soon.
London also presents many opportunities for those with historical interests. The first is below - during a relatively aimless wander around tourist London my girlfriend and I stumbled across the Guards museum (and caught some of the Changing of the Guard).
The museum was small but reasonably priced and had some impressive artefacts. One is below - one of the Guards regiments' Colours carried at Waterloo. Awful that I forget which, but there were a few in varying conditions.
I found being in the presence of these humbling, and couldn't resist taking a snap. Among other artefacts for the Napoleonic connoisseur was the lock and some remnants of the gate from Hougoumont. Fascinating.
Monday, 5 September 2011
Anyway, I did manage a few games with my brother over the bank holiday weekend. I took quite a few snaps, mostly on the proper camera. Below is one off my phone from the second game, where the British were assaulting French siegeworks hoping to spike their guns artillery.
We are still settled on Sharpe Practice as a ruleset but are adapting to suit larger units, 16-25 men. Those 10 man units just didn't look right!
Unfortunately this means we need to paint more minis to bulk all of our units out. The game below was really stretching our painted collections. Never-ending, this project!
Thanks for reading - more picks and BatReps when I get chance.
Monday, 8 August 2011
So, as well as finishing units off (some more redcoats, guerillas and Spanish ideally) and finishing off a few terrain bits (earthworks, hills and 2-3 buildings). I also need to craft a couple of scenarios.
My best workable idea so far is a small French force stamping out disorder in a Spanish town. I was thinking roaming mobs of irregulars bolstered by a small Spanish garrison. Somewhat one-sided towards the Frenchies but I thought it would be an interesting scenario to game. This was thought up well before the weekend's trouble in London, by the way!
I'm torn on whether this is a good enough excuse for another Perry order, particularly for some of their ACW rioters. I think with a couple of tweaks they'll be useful as civilians in the Peninsular as well as Pulp gaming. But I'm not sure I need more to work on with an already tight deadline!
For a second game I can easily pull something more standard together, Redcoats against French.
Plenty to be getting on with...
Sunday, 17 July 2011
I dug out a unit of Spanish Napoleonic infantry to finish off. I'm pleased with the result. I say Spanish, the figs are actually plastic Victrix Imperial Guard. I couldn't resist picking some up. And was inspired by this site:
In particular the note about Spanish light typically wearing their brown greatcoats in the field. This posed quite a problem with which heads to use - if 1806 regulation, they should have bicornes. Alas, i didn't have anywhere near enough bicorne heads for a unit. So I fudged it with some shakos with white covers, which I understand were issued later. Annoyingly, the standard snapped and wasn't repairable, but I plan on getting banners on wires eventually anyway (probably from Flag Dude in the US).
So, sacrificing historical accuracy in exchange for an opportunity to buy and build some of the lovely Victrix IG. History buffs do forgive me...
Apologies that I've been very tardy with my blog, for reasons of a house move and a new job which means I'm away a lot in the week. This has also meant my painting time is minimal.
It would have completely flatlined, but for me putting together a mobile painting set, a snap of which is below. I can just about fit 8 or 9 paints, small jar for water, brushes, pallet and a handful of minis into a small Tupperware box at the bottom of my suitcase. As long as I pick up a newspaper, I've got enough to do basecoating and washes at least.
After two weeks, it is going pretty well, with fair progress on both halves of a unit of redcoats.
Next is to check out the LGS where I'm staying for further inspiration (and shopping)...
Saturday, 18 June 2011
Thursday, 16 June 2011
Having said that, I have managed to tidy up a few loose ends on the painting front, finishing the WWII bits I grabbed at Salute, including a beastly Churchill Crocodile. I also knocked out a new, as-yet unnamed pulp companion for when we pick that up again. Pics when I get chance. Finally, some progress on a small unit of Nap Spanish light infantry, though time is up to get them finished.
I also got a very enjoyable evening of board games in last night, before packing them all up tonight! We busted open a new one I picked up by accident (honest! Story another time perhaps) called The Speicherstadt. A neat simple little auction game, which mixed concepts from a few Euro games I've played before.
Anyway, all the best to my readers, apologies in advance for the upcoming quiet period.
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Miniatures are Victrix plastics, with Architects of War hedges filling the background and Hovels ltd atrillery emplacments. These were a bargain and painted up brilliantly but have yet to see the tabletop. The smoke is the best material we've found to date, the lining of Perry Miniatures blisters. This is much, much more natural-looking than cotton wool. Progress on Napoleonics has stalled as I worked on the WWII project, but I hope to put some time in soon.
I'm also often trying to find an 'optimum' solution for tranposrting figs. I've got a Figures in Comfort case that I love, but they are a bit too pricey to have enough to hold all of my various forces. So, for plastics and odd scales I've been experimenting. Here's the solution for my 28mm Napoleonic British:
So, top left to bottom right we have 95th Rifles, KGL light dragoons, Royal Foot Artillery, 28th North Gloucestershire Light, 28th North Gloucestershire centre, two unpainted units of redcoats, and finally the 42nd 'Black Watch'. Since I took the photo the painted 42nd have doubled, and the Rifles have been finished. Redocats next, when I can bring myself to it!
It is a standard A4 box file, lined on the bottom with sticky-backed steel sheet (I got mine from Principles of War). The troops are then based on Gale Force 9 magentic bases. The Colours are just short enough to fit in. The magnets are strong enough to rank the models up, they don't move as long as you don't shake the box too vigourosly. The only ones I would be worries about would be my Perry metal cavalry.
Thursday, 26 May 2011
There were some impressive demo games, as much from the number of figures on show as the themes. None really inspired us to dive into a new subject though. A great blog, Too Much Lead, has a good few pics of the highlights:
The purchases were a mixed success, as I had a long list of hopeful items. We're often tempted on the spur of the moment to undertake a new project, but not this year. The best contenders were Anglo-Dutch wars naval, or 10mm medieval/ancients. Neither got us excited enough to purchase. At the end of a good 4 hours browsing, the haul was:
-Two desert hills to texture up for Napoleonic Peninsular war
-pack of Redoubt defenses, again for Peninsular
-Renedra plastic fencing
-three packs of MiniNatur tufts to detail up a whole host of bases and terrain
-a few final (honest!) bits from Pendraken to bulk the Tommy platoon out
-an impulse purchase of some Gripping Beast/Woodbine British Countryside Hunt minis, probably to be used as Pulp characters
This came in at only half the budget,so spare money to splash out this month!
Monday, 23 May 2011
Still, we rolled out the 10mm WWII for two games using Baptism of Fire. Mostly, we were chuffed to both be using fully painted forces of the first time in an age. And they did both look mighty spiffing, if I do say so myself. I've added a few photos of the first game below - British attackers aiming to break through the German position.
The assault begins
The markers are for defensive hidden deployment of troops and defenses, as well as D6 dummy markers. Smoke and flames is for morale statue (one for suppressed, two for pinned) - these were from my initial bombardment.
Shermans crest the hill
The terrain is mostly scratch built, with Hovels Ltd farm buildings, which painted up nicely. Note the table has moved - kicked out for dinner to be served! A substantial benefit to being able to play on 2' by 4'.
Panzer IV knocks out the Firefly's turret
Enough said really - the Brit armour is in a fix, having lost their main firepower.
We called it a wrap, with by brother unable to stop the start of a tide of Tommies flooding past his right flank. Although the Brits were losing the tank battle, they had succeeded at holding back the German centre for long enough to start acheiving their objective in numbers.
- The rules play well, but a turn takes 30 - 40 minutes or so and are very interactive so require a lot of attention.
- As we've only played a few times, and the rulebook design does leave quite a lot to be desired, there is a lot of rulebook flicking to slow things down.
- Bring plenty of transport - infantry is slow to maneuver on such a large board.
-Never underestimate the panic a single 2" mortar can cause with a good barrage.
- Armour is strong, but goes down fast to the heaviest guns, or is impossible to beat from others. We may need to tweak the armour rules to prevent armoured one-upmanship forcing us both to always bring some major AT firepower at the expense of everything else. The next game highlighted this perfectly, when the Tiger I showed itself...
- Fully painted figs and terrain are hughely rewarding
We also made a short trip to Triples on Saturday, to stock on on supplies and inspiration. More on that later!
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Today I had a brainwave - how about using Perry ACW cavalry as the basis for some conversions work? They look basic enough to modify, which should be easy being plastic. I've plenty of bits from various Perry and Victrix sets and should have enough ability to tweak the clothing with green stuff. I once did an entirely converted 40K IG Adeptus Mechanicus force, which left me a soft spot for converting.
So, that may be a plan to start with but doesn't help with the Marquessa...
Update: ACW cavalry bought for a bargain £15, started cutting them up and planning my motley band.
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
They will be used for skirmish rules, so we tried magnetic basing so we could remove casualties.
Phone pic on the dining table once again, I'll update with a proper picture once I've painted up their transport and armour!
Over the weekend I also finished my second unit of 95th Rifles skirmishers, maintaining my Napoleonics output. No pics at the moment, though I did post the original unit the other week.
Friday, 29 April 2011
For rules we're using Baptism of Fire 1, which we once tried out with 20mm models. Despite a very badly structured rulebook, we did quite enjoy the rules after a few games getting them straight in our heads. It plays heavily on morale and can be quite brutal, but seems quite realistic. We plan to stock with it for now.
Been off this week and will be until Tuesday, using a little holiday to supplement all these Bank Holidays in the UK. So since returning home I've been applying paint to Tommies as well as some fortifications to keep them safe. I'll post some pics when I've done a small force. The deadline is 21st May for a fully-painted platoon, support and terrain for a few games.
Thursday, 14 April 2011
I reckon they take 20-30 hours per batch, this one of only 6 models. Highlanders are at the upper end because of the free-hand detail on the socks, kilt and bonnet. I paint with a very neat style, I've tried to step away from this at times but rarely been happy with the results. Unfortunately I'm actually quite messy, so need to do a lot of tidying and correcting mistakes. Still, these Highlanders are arguably my best work to date and I'm pretty chuffed with nearly a full unit finished - will be a while before I itch to do more!
Sunday, 10 April 2011
So, first up, the
With limited reference material, I had to be a bit imaginative on the command's uniforms, so they may be inaccurate. Even more so, we've been collecting Peninsular forces and these Perrys are intended for the Waterloo campaign. However, I disregarded this, mostly because I prefer the shakos to tarletons and the range of poses is superior from Perry compared to say Front Rank. In my defence, I'm not too fussy about getting everything exact, after all, I'm out to have fun and enjoy painting and gaming, rather than fret over uniform details. After taking this shot, I also noticed a slightly bent sword in the second rank, frustrating!
Oh, the buildings and walls are from Hovels. I highly recommend this UK-based company, they sell a number of ranges and although perhaps not as fine as other manufacturuers, they are solid pieces, very reasonably priced with excellent service.
Sunday, 3 April 2011
A run of three cards allowed us to smash the centre, spearheaded by the elite Guard Grenadiers. At this point, we were 5-1 up on VPs and the French withdrew in some disarray. To be fair, the dice gods were in our favour, allowing the bold central move to come off. The left fared worse, you can just see French Hussars harrying our flank.
I recommend C&C, if you accept it is slightly abstracted version of Naps, which is fine by me! I prefer it to Memoir, partly for being much more colourful.
The initial setup, my Brits and Portuguese face the French rearguard holding the central hill.
Thursday, 17 March 2011
They are the frankly lovely Perry miniatures, as most of my stuff is.
I'll post up some pictures soon, the bases just need some flock and then a second varnish.
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Testing posting a photo from my phone. These are 28mm Napoleonic Peninsular War guerillas. Models are from the lovely Perry Miniatures Carlist Wars range, which i finished last month. These painted up a treat and it was very refreshing to do natural colours after a lot of Nap uniforms. I've another unit to do, a little help for my British to fling Napoleon out of Spain!
So, first photo will have to wait until I'm home and can fire up the proper camera. On a positive note, it should mean better quality pictures, though still restricted by my amateur photography. Until then!
Also, selfishly, as a wargamer without a group at the moment I intend use this blog to showcase some of my painting projects as well as my rumination on the hobby and related matters. This may even inspire me to paint more. I wouldn't claim to be the world's best modeller or painter (or gamer!), but I'm definitely doing some of my best work and have been on a bit of a roll, having painted more in the past 6 months than in the past couple of years.
Why am I an infrequent wargamer? Well, sadly I find myself without a gaming group at the moment, though I hope to find some like-minded individuals eventually. So, my actual games are restricted to the half dozen times a year when I catch up with my brother, with whom I share the majority of my gaming projects. The rest of the year is spent planning, building or painting away, for as long as my enthusiasm holds.
I've no idea whether I'll find an audience, but let's see how it goes. Apologies for the lack of photos on this introductory post.