Monday, 26 August 2013

Wehrmacht: Now with Grubby Cuffs

Longtime followers will have seen these before, but the other day I picked up one of the small box files I'm storing models in and got a distressing clunk of metal on metal. Ah yes. It was my greatcoated Germans' temporary home until I got around to weathering and varnishing them.

Thankfully, almost no damage was done by my carelessness, but it was a reminder to finish them off and put them in more permanent storage. I was original holding out to pick up some different weathering powders to test out, particularly a dried mud shade, but I keep forgetting to hunt them down at a show or online. So I just went with what I've got.

Much better now they have grubby greatcoats, hiding my painstakingly crisp highlights!

I really like the checkpoint, I even picked up a 4Ground barrier and hut for them.

Of course, getting them finished has little to do with the current enthusiasm for the Lardies' Chain of Command. Honest. But this is halfway to a full platoon and I've already got a similar number of British Commandos, maybe one day I'll expand them out as CoC sounds like an intriguing system I might like to try. In the meantime of course I have Operation Squad to play.

A better view of the groundwork.

While about town I spotted this, which I thought some of you might be interested in. The introductory offer of £1.99 seemed a very reasonable price for a fairly sizeable, detailed Enterprise model. Even the usual price of £5.99 seems fair and if I had much interest in space combat or Star Trek, I'd have been tempted to pick a few up to push around in an X-wing type of game. Though I suppose there are plenty of other options available!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

First command stand for the Sudan

While the weather has relented, my schedule has not, so I just bring you a small update today. But progress is progress! My first game of Black Powder highlighted a major issue with the collection: a lack of command stands. Something to urgently be rectified, starting with this chap.

Most of my command stands will have two or three miniatures on them, I should have a collection of foot and mounted minis to make enough for each force. But I thought this chap deserved one of his own, my favourite sculpt of the Perry mounted command pack, facing down the Mahdist hordes with a stoney stare, stiff upper lip and Enfield revolver. Anyone fancy the honour of giving him a name?

In today's parlance: what a badass

I felt he deserved to be proudly dressed in red rather then the usual grey serge. Eventually I'd like to add a whole unit of British infantry in red. Or highlanders, if I can face the tartan again...

Also, this marks my 200th post on this little blog over the past 30 months, not bad given I go in fits and starts of posting!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Wowsers, I actually painted some miniatures

A rare warm british summer, work commitments and a wedmin 'crunch'* have all conspired against the dedicated hobby time needed to work through the lead pile.

But I have, achingly slowly, completed this batch of loitering Mahdists. I picked up these Perry metals cheap on eBay, to add variety to the swarm of plastic sprinting Mahdists. I replaced the loose spears with metal ones from North Star, as the Perry's cast ones bend frustratingly.

I gave some white jibbehs, as I've decided to have some command and Baggara horse in white, so thought I'd tie them in with the 'Nile Arab' infantry. A couple of this batch also got some decorative edging.

Also, Lead Adventure Forum (LAF)** recently ran a 'Pulp painting club' for members to show off their wares. No prizes, just a communal 100 model challenge, which is being worked through in double-quick time.  I grabbed the first prepped Pulp mini to hand and knocked him out in an afternoon. I bring you the dastardly...the villainous...Black Mask!

*RL fact: I'll be getting married in a few weeks.

**For those of you who don't know it, I'd highly recommend LAF as a place to hang out on the Internet, full of amazing inspiration, thoroughly nice chaps and kind words on encouragement on all aspects of the hobby. Which means it is pretty much the only forum I check with any regularity these days.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013 I bought a....

...boat! I'd been pondering how to get a classic steamer for the Sudan project. No self-respecting Sudan gamer can be without one, surely. This was something of a long-term aim, I had vague hopes of a grand birthday gift from someone, like a custom-made one from TVAG in the US. But really, I knew it wouldn't be very cost-effective for something that's only likely to grace the gaming table a couple of times a year.

Of course, if I had the time and the patience I could have tried building on. Or there are quite a few do-it yourself paper kits at very reasonable prices, but I'd be pretty concerned about their durability.

So this dropped onto the doorstep this week. By which I mean a little red card dropped onto the doorstep and I had to yomp to the post office to pick it up. Cue much fun getting into my weighty package:

Eep, polystyrene!

Getting closer...

Ah ha, could this be a paddle steamer!

In the end, I was tempted by a very unexpected find on eBay from seller PMC.Games. They sell a wood and resin set for a very reasonable £20. At 14" long it is quite a big and weighty brute and comes in 10 seperate pieces plus a number of sandbags, cargo and a resin gun to mount on it. And it came pre-painted!

The pic from the listing

Of course it isn't a fine modellers kit, it is a rough and ready gaming piece, but I thought the price was very reasonable and it will be entirely serviceable on the table.

My version, without all of the bits

As well as deciding exactly how much to assemble for optimal gaming and storage assemble. I'll also need to figure out if I want to re-paint it. Mi not fond of the colouring but for now I may just pick out some details but it is something to consider. I'm also considering jazzing it up a bit with more detail, likely with a few railings and ladders to access the top deck. This should free up some deck space for more miniatures too. Even beef up its armament - perhaps with a Nordenfelt? I intend hit up a decent model railway shop and see what I can pick up that will do the job.

Now, I just need to make up a 2' wide river board to put it on...

All packed up until I decide exactly what to do with it.

In other news, Mike at Trouble at the Mill is doing a generous giveaway of Lardy goodness. I'm a big fan of Sharpe Practice and would definitely check out Chain of a command if I were to do platoon level WWII, so check it it for a chance to win.