Wednesday, April 22, 2015

More 25mm French


Work and a family illness have meant my time has been spent in other places or my mind at least. I've been working a lot recently in my spare time plus I was in Melbourne so I spent a night painting figures last night and I am all the better for it.

More work on my French for Waterloo. I need to do another 4 or 5 units in 6 weeks.

 I also picked up some HAT 28mm Light infantry to bolster my forces for Waterloo.

 They are tall but slender figures - they match Hinchliffe well for size but not Front Rank. I have started painting a test figure - he is half done currently. They will make excellent Light troops for Waterloo !

Several great Hobby shops in Melbourne stacked with loads of figures that are hard to get here in NZ. Was a great experience !

Thursday, April 9, 2015

First Solo Game of THW Nuts

Tonight I decided to play a game - A WW2 skirmish in 15mm. Two hour Wargames Ruleset Nuts comes with some introductory missions to help you get used to the rules. So I played the first mission - 4 US Paras attempting to take a farmhouse from some German Infantry. The US leader was my "Star" (ie: Its me !) while the Germans were lead by a Veteran NCO.

 After knocking all the papers and figures off the table Snowcat enjoys the heat from the fire.
 After catzilla struck I then set up the table a second time. For this game I changed the scale from inches to centimeters. Below is the area - 40 x 40 cm, two woods (Cover), a house, some hedge and my old bocage. (I had the wrong box of cheap chinese trees so the bases are white)
 The US - Lt Jimmy Cotton with Privates Able, Baker and Charlie.
 The Germans - Sgt Stiener with privates Dorfman, Conrad, Engles and Gunner.
 The cast from Allo Allo also arrived in for a photo opportunity.
 The setup - US Paras make the tree line while German Sentries wander about the farm. The rest of the German squad are *somewhere* that will be determined on the first shot.
 As the Paras come into sight Dorfman passes an In Sight Reaction test and promptly drops Pvt Baker with a round. Private Charlie's doesn't react well to this and he legs it for deeper cover.
 As the firing starts the random dice roll determines where the rest of the German squad is. Oh dear, caught in the open trying to get to the farm - they are in trouble already.
 Lt Cotton reacts with venom spraying his Thompson all over the farm house. Dorfman and Engles are both killed in this initial burst,
 Private Able then managed to kill Pvte Gunnar as he lumbers his LMG across the open ground. This  forces Stiener and Conrad to bolt for opposite directions. The Sgt makes the house while Conrad dives into the trees.
The next turn is quiet - lots of shooting but no hits though Conrad fails a reaction and runs from the front line.
 Sgt Stiener reaches the upstairs floor and sprays his MP44 at the US line. Will he hit ?- he need to roll high !
 Oh dear - 3 sixes are all hits on Lt Cotton. By some small miracle he survives the hits but is stunned so cannot do anything. Private Able then wounds Sgt Stiener and he is out of the fight, Private Conrad assumes the worst and runs for the hills.

An enjoyable game ! The rules seemed easy to pick up - the version I have are quite old so I picked up the newer version after playing these and will try them out. Some of the reaction tests seem unclear and I know the newer version has some major changes. Hopefully once I am back from Aussie I can get another few games in from the "Blood Upon the Risers" campaign book.

 The casualties were Private Baker (US) was only wounded as was Sgt Stiener (GER) but alas for him a POW camp was calling as Conrad left him all alone.

The random placement of the LMG team screwed the Germans. If they had of been in the house deployed, or deployed in the woods it would have been a tough fight for the US but luckily for the paras they caught them with their pants down.

Always good to roll some dice !

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Camera Joy

I'm having great fun with this camera as now I can take photos anywhere and anyway I please.

In between Turks I painted a space marine off a GamesWorkshop Youtube clip. I played a single game of 40k in 1996 - I can't stand the game but I have 20 Space Marines simply as I wanted to paint them. I've yet to master a decent lighting system for my photos yet.

 Next are the 100 or so Hotspur french for the Waterloo re-fight. They have been undercoated black and have had the dry brush of grey on the black bits as per Chasseurs Painting guide. I am following this for a large task to see if I can save any time or better my own processes.

 As such for Waterloo I need 14 Generals. So the old classics are being retouched and below is an old figure. I don't know the make - it almost looks like Hinchcliffe.

2 minifig Guard units ready to be blacklines (Im not repainting these guys - just a subtle blackline)
 And I found a bag of these lads. Very old figures and I have yet to determine the make.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

54mm Turks


I have a new phone - a Samsung S5 and with it comes a decent camera, so I am slowly learning this new device for its god intended purpose - taking pictures of wargame figures.

I have just finished and packaged up Turkish figures 26 to 45 for the Museum display. My first 25 were 10 casualties Turks, 14 charging Turks and an officer. The officer figure was the best figure I have seen and my paint job was probably the best on him too. My moral compass only flinched slightly as the casualties I had were Turks being used as sandbags (That's what I assumed) and its not often you remember what occurred in real life.

These final lot are all Turks charging. I picked them up Thursday and tracked my time

Thu - Clean up, glue (A job and a half as they had separate arms AND rifles (With hands on rifles))and fill gaps once glued. spray paint - 2.5 hours.
Fri - Undercoat uniform and skin - 2 hours
Sat - Block painting everything else (Rifles,steel,leather)- 3 hours
Sun - Some tidy up and washes.- 2 hours.
Mon - First Highlights - 3 hours
Tues - touchups, final super-highlight, and packing - 2 hours

My first photo using phone - terrible !.

As my family are not kiwis I dont have any connection to Gallipoli myself, my family fought the British in 1916 during the Easter Uprising in Ireland. I'm proud of them, as I am those that fought in WW2 for the British Army. War is such a stupid "thing" - often seems like politicians just want to play Risk with real people - such a waste. Anyhow that's my social commentary for the evening done !

So whats up next - the small affair of finishing my French for the Waterloo Re-fight on June 18th. I have 100 French to finish.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Tamames 1809

My Spanish army has had another outing and another victory for Spain.

Below - The First division fires its volley and then runs away.

Last month we fought the fictitious sequel to this action San Cristobel in which the Spanish army fought a glorious fighting retreat against the French. So we decided to give the actual battle a go despite how difficult it would be for the French. Historically Marchand thought he could defeat a large Spanish army with a Division but found his skills were lacking for the task. The french players had a hard task, Marchand really was out of his depth and severely outnumbered but he went in anyway.

Details are over at Colin's blog Tamames

In this re-fight Jim and Ross went for a right hook against the Spanish lines. The Spanish Division was overrun, the regular infantry and artillery firing to the last while the raw units around them ran for the hills at the slightest large noise.

My plan was simple, let the French take the first line but make them pay dearly for it. Then suck them into the poor terrain where hopefully they would run out of steam on the Second line and then the Spanish would surge forward.  The french attack was strong but once again at the crucial time vital units were milling around out of action and then french ran out of men. As those missing units finally got involved it was too late.  If those extra 4 or 5 units had of been in the strike point the Spanish would have been in big big trouble.

A wave of French infantry surged over the 1st Division - the gunners died at their feet,  the raw troops ran for the hills, French cavalry crushed a militia square and the Spanish second line looked on nervously.

However in the midst of the french storm stood the Principe Infantry Regiment.

A brief interlude -   In my history of wargaming I have had two units that have become the stuff of legend. The first was the 33rd Foot who 20 years ago earned themselves an unsavory reputation. In every action they routed, not in the thick of battle of course but in extreme circumstances (oh look its raining - ROUT, French artillery killed 1 figure - ROUT). The 33rd was the worst performing unit of my British army, in fact any army with the dubious honour that it never finished a battle still on the table in any fit state.

The next Regiment started earning its reputation 6 years ago - A Spanish Guard unit that proved itself to be an irresistible and unstoppable force in any battle.  It always ended up at the critical point, holding back masses of the enemy with a sheer arrogance of will and luck that still astound me. In the previous battle it held Ventosa against 6 times its number, and then marched out in good order.

At Tamames wave after wave of french troops attacked and were repulsed. Luck was on their side as it always is with the Regiment holding out against all. It was the this point the the French morale started to fail, a steady stream of units routing to the rear and at this point the French abandoned the attack.

Above - Principe Shaken but not stirred - The pink beads on the French means they are broken, a lot of pink was used this day !

The game was concluded here. The very next turn I was going to unleash the Spanish army in counter attack but it was not needed. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sci Fi Scenery

I managed to sprain my ankle last week and after some xrays and hobbling around I am now getting back into the swing of things.

Still waiting on my work phone grrrrrrrr - I should just walk down and buy one.

I have another 20 54mm Turks to prep and I have been busily gluing away over the last two nights using a mix of epoxy, superglue and blue tack (Thanks for all the tips). I got  a bit bored last night with Turks so made up my 15mm sci-fi scenery that is made from laser cut .MDF

Very weak photos below.

The scenery is from Mad mecha and consist of some two story apartments, some solar panels and a series of one story shops. When I first got them some time ago I could not work out how they went together (I don't know how I could not work out how to do it when I first got them). Now that epic moment of stupidity is over I made them up last night. I have enough now to fill a table and I can also mix them into my modern games hopefully.

Below a pic of the kitchen table press-ganged into my workshop. Buildings pretty much everywhere and the Turks on the left having a rest.

 Two floors of the shops.

I'm going to spray them with flat white and then paint each section to make them a little more real.

Friday, February 20, 2015

San Cristobel 1809

Bonjour de Nouveau Caledonie,

My final night in New Caledonia, the French holiday hotspot in the middle of the pacific. After several days of subjecting the locals to my not so fluent french I finally caught up on reading blogs.

I would also kill for a cup of tea. Milk is hard to come by here and I have had only one brew in 4 days. NZ tomorrow and a good few pots of darjeeling are needed I think.

Now allow me to direct you to a report of my Spanish armies latest outing - a stunning victory at San Cristobel.

Paul, Duke de San Cristobel and myself conducted a fighting retreat with the utmost precision against French forces trying to cut off our line of retreat. The Spanish army moved in unison, fought in unison and bloodied the french with every step. An absolute miracle !

(You know things are going well when half way through the game you have only taken a single hit and the enemy has lost regiment after regiment.)

The little village at Ventosa was a salient in our line but I thought it would fall quickly. The french scoffed at the troops there so I made a simple statement.......""Look at them they have bearskins on".

And thus started the legend of an Epic Spanish Victory

Luck was on the spanish side this day. When a devastating volley was needed it came, when our position became difficult the french stumbled and we made our escape. When the French finally managed to clear their traffic jam and spread across the field I thought "oh dear this is about to turn ugly". Infantry upon infantry across the line, cavalry looking at my donkey cavalry. And at that moment they became distracted by Ventosa and it brought us precious time indeed.

A thoroughly enjoyable game all around. To make things better we just wholloped england in 12 overs. I must have been the only person in Noumea watching it, drinking bad french beer and yelling at the tv.