Friday, 25 December 2015
Monday, 14 December 2015
Friday, 11 December 2015
As on the day, the scenario had the T-26s charging forwards into Seseña and on towards Esquivias.
The experienced Moroccans, caught by surprise, seek what cover they can.
But where are those T-26s heading now? They scatter for cover in the face of a single antitank gun.
Emboldened by the armoured thrust, Republican infantry slowly make their way forward, but come under fire.
Meanwhile Gharak's Civil Guard emerge quickly from their garrison and into the countryside to face Ian's infantry.
A brave (or, foolhardy) Moroccan tank hunter team makes a dash for an unsupported T-26. Amazingly, their grenades and molotovs cause the crew to panic and bail out! What isn't pictured is the first team, that tried the same, failed to make the dash and were cut down in moments.
From the Republican side - good progress on the left, where a bloody me lee has cleared Gharak's paramilitaries but stubborn resistance continues from my Moroccans.
Lunchtime brings stalemate and the end of our first game. The Republican forces hadn't managed to capitalise on their surprise and take Esquivias but keep a foothold in Seseña. The Moroccans are battered but remain an effective force, but of course two of those T-26s remain in a commanding position. Honours even, but a strategic Nationalist victory.
After a break for lunch, we set up a second scenario to continue the Republican push, moving the battlefield westwards and each side bringing up reserves. We ran a patrol phase and the attack and defend scenario.
...and lay down a heavy fire with their light machineguns. And the Natuonalist airforce is scrambled to provide close fire support.
Game two saw Matt and I's infantry grinding away at each other from range, my Moroccons having the edge, but three wounded leaders bruising their morale.
Meanwhile on the Republican left, Ian Column, better supported by armour that we were unable to draw a bead on and neutralise, managed to maintain up relentless pressure, eventually shattering Gharak's platoon. Game two, a clear Republican victory, but at quite a cost.
All in all a great scenario for the day. Taking the Nationalists, I expected a battering from all that armour and us to be able to do little to mitigate them. But I had Moroccan firepower, six command dice and a sprinkling of luck in my favour. Gharak's platoon suffered the worse, but I gather he enjoyed a day back at the historical gaming.
There were three other fine looking tables taking advantage of a wet Sunday afternoon, a massive 14' AWI game using Carl's huge collection. This was still going on when we'd packed up and left but looked like a close game.
A smaller game of Sharpe Practice, hosted by the esteemed Rich Clarke himself, using a work in progress second edition of the rules.
And a fabulous WWII game using Ade's extensive collection.
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
If you've not heard of it already - where have you been hiding? Three months of a packed roster of great painters applying their craft to lead, plastic and resin. I heartily recommend it as a fine way of passing the winter months with cameraderie and just a little friendly banter. So if you fancy it, get on over here and sign up!
It's been quiet around here, but how's the time to get industrious. After a summer with limited painting, I feel fairly well prepped, both mentally and in undercoated lead and plastic. But there's still a bit for me to do in the next four weeks, including finishing off everything that's part-painted!
Right, now where did I leave those brushes...
Sunday, 8 November 2015
Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Opening it up, it's made in light but durable white plastic sheeting, and held together with quite strong magnets. These magnets hold it together when packed, and hold its shape when constructed.
The Foldio2 is a decent size to photograph even the largest miniatures - at 15" square, I think it'll take squads, vehicles or monsters easily. With a 28mm miniature for scale:
One LED strip stuck in place on the top flap - you can see how the three side-panels overlap and are glued by the magnets.
I've been using Foldio2 for a few months now and am really satisfied (look back and note the switch from my usual blue to grey background from July). I've found I can get more light, more evenly on the miniatures and am less reliant on pointing bulky lamps at small miniatures to get a decent shot, all the while struggling to reach the camera. It folds up and down easily for storage if needed. Simply, it does exactly the job I was looking for it to do. And it is durable and nicely designed. I've not tried OrangeMonkie's own photo-editing app to go with it, sticking with the reliable Snapseed for now.
I do have a few niggles with it. First, the magnets are held in recesses with white stickers, and a couple of mine have popped out. And of course, once a sticker has come off, it's never as strong. So sometimes when packing up/down, there's a game of 'find the misplaced magnet' to put back in its recess. Second, the set comes with two LED strips, which is great (there was a four LED option too). But there's only one logical place to stick the LED strips and it seems wasteful to have them both on that flap. I've found that holding the second just above the camera's lens gets a great even light, though is a bit awkward. There is a bottom flap but I think having it that low it sheds too much light on the shadowed portion of the miniature and washes them out too much. I'm worried that the LED strip isn't durable enough for me to keep manhandling in this way. Thirdly, I'd have really appreciated a pale blue backdrop to be included - that's my colour of choice. The set came with black, white, green and grey. You could use any paper-thin background of the right size, but the ones provided are a nice photo-friendly paper. At some point I fancy making/buying a terrain backdrop to fit it and blue would have been great for that too.
I'd heartily recommend it as a solid option if you're looking to improve your hobby photos. The Korea-based company OrangeMonkie have created a good, well thought out product and fulfilled two Kickstarters on a large scale, on time - very impressive! But it does cost a good few pennies so is definitely a hobby luxury, for those of you trying to get the best photos of your work that you can. With the Kickstarter long over, it's available at OrangeMonkie's website.
And, for reference, his was my old homemade backdrop, made from cardboard box and some sheets of card as backdrop:
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
I've been off work this past week, but even that hasn't meant I've scraped together much more hobby time. Still I have now managed to finish a few more Carlist Requetes to join my growing band. Once again, it felt like a slog to get these finished because of the range of colours and my perseverance with free handing, but I'm oh so fond of the fine sculpts and those jolly red berets.
New feature for this batch: the green checked shirt on the rightmost gent is lifted straight from this classic plate:
The religious icon seemed a bit bare, so I added the streamers with paper, worked to shape, hardened with superglue then painted over to lose the shine. I'm pleased with how they came out and hopeful that they'll be durable enough for the gaming table. The icon-bearer is on a large base, like my officers, as Chain of Command has them able to issue orders to nearby units. I'll also add a standard bearer to the unit at some point - can't resist another splash of colour.
I think that gives me 17 Requetes done and another 9 or so all prepped to paint over the coming months. A handful of them are in helmets so can also do double-duty as regular army infantry in shirtsleeves.
This gent will join the SCW collection as well. Like WWII, the CoC support lists offer medical orderlies to tend the wounded. As my forces are themed for early in the conflict, I was struck with an idea that a local doctor might have volunteered (or been 'encouraged') by one side or the other to tend the wounded from smaller skirmishes.
I repurposed this gent from the lead pile, a civilian from Copplestone's Mafia range that seemed to have a scholarly look to him. He doesn't look too happy to be there, anyway.
He can also do double-duty as a civilian for SCW or Pulp games - the reason I dug the pack out of the bargain bin in the first place, in fact!
The SCW project will roll on, but soon you'll see something a teensy bit different. Bet you can't guess...*
* (though the project has been outed elsewhere already...)
Thursday, 1 October 2015
Still, I've had the brushes and tools up and down. And off the painting table is a start on support weapons for the Spanish civil war. First up, an army Chaucat light machine gun.
Two prone minis in plain green uniforms? Yup, nothing too taxing.
The gunner is wearing the Spanish gorillo cap. I've piped it in green instead of the typical red to denote the unit as either light infantry or mountain infantry. I went this way with my general aim being to collect forces suitable for the Northern front. I used the blanket rolls to break up the endless green, and avoided a grey-green painted helmet for the same reason.
I've a couple of packs of infantry to join these two at some point, once I've finished off the beret'd Requetes!
Also, as the troops have started hitting the table up at the club, it was time to finish off some markers that I'd made up for Chain of Command. Four more large explosions taking me to eight to lay out barrages. And 40 or so 'pin' markers to give a cinematic impression of incoming fire. This idea shamelessly taken from the esteemed Mr Curt Campbell of Analogue Hobbies:
Not all pictured obviously. You'll have seen the unfazed Requetes before!
I think the smaller markers work better, the taller ones, I realised later, being about waist height on a mini: probably a bit much. No doubt I'll need more in future and focus on making more little ones.
Sunday, 13 September 2015
Unusually, I was completely uninspired around the traders, resisting more Empress SCW on the grounds that I've plenty more to paint still.
There were some fine games on offer though, most impressive being 'Berne Baby Berne' by the Bodkins. Full of excellent touches like this camp scene
Other games catching my eye were Simon Miller's sizeable 'To The Strongest!', a large 'L' table with two games on
An impressive AVBCW game showing an assault on a BuF-held town
So what did I think of Partizan? Well it was a nice day out, but felt like an 'old school' wargames show, similar in feel to Triples at the Sheffield Octagon. While the grognards may grumble , I think its a good thing for the hobby that many shows have moved on to more modern venues with better amenities - not least some decent lighting! After all, what's the sense in all the effort to put on lovely looking games if people can barely see them? And the trader shaving to supply torches to their customers is a joke , frankly. The show didn't seem busy on the Sunday, so hopefully the more to a new venue will reinvigorate it.
After the drive home, I headed over to Wyvern for a game of Chain of Command Espana with Ian and Matt. For a three-player game, we had two under strength platoons attacking Ian's Civil Guard. The balance didn't quite end up being right and Ian was up against the odds, but it was a fun game nonetheless.
My Carabineros take up positing in an olive grove, preparing to rush across the open ground
Ian deployed a Machinegun team in a do I any position in the church tower. With Los across most of the board, this could have caused real problems. But the dice offered a fitting moment - with its first shot, Matt's T26's HE she'll scored a direct hit, with a triple-6. Which invoked a rule I hadn't come across in CoC: the building starts to collapse, and Ian's gunners had to rapidly evacuate and redeployed. A somewhat less dominant position!
Definitely a moment for a 'boom' marker to be applied
The Republican advance continues, making best use of meagre cover.
Taking up firing positions in a fruit grove, the two sides got bogged down trading shots for limited effect on the big sections. Matt's T26 was a threat, but advanced dangerously close to get firing arcs, cue a bold, but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to bring it down with Molotov cocktails.
To break the deadlock, my troops led a desperate tear gas attack and assault against the fortified churchyard, but we ran out of time to bring all of the action to a close. While Matt and I's Republicans were steadily grinding Ian down, we hadn't achieved our objective of forcing the Civil Guard from the field: their heroic defence against massive odds took the game.
With that I headed home for a much-needed sleep!