Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Sand and Coffee?

Believe me you would not be impressed if I served you this for a drink! As mentioned in Static In Your Attic, I want to match up the basing of my Prussians with Lee's British for when we plan to play the big Waterloo game in 2015 over at Lee's house. Lee had already provided for the mix of his static grass which has matched up to his perfectly. 

He went one better yesterday bringing wound a box of sharps sand from the mix he is using for his figures and a 5L tub of bitter chocolate wall paint for me to decanter into said coffee jar. So all I was missing was the MP paints Sand and Cream which I picked up today from Mansfield. Well I have had to sub the cream for another colour but it all means I should be able to start the Prussians early next week. 

I failed to do much in the way of painting today as going shopping often is a bit much for me and today was no exception (I blame the wife for taking me shoe shopping) so I ended up with a crap head and a need for a sleep which I have just got up from. Only painting progress has been the sleeves on some ECW cavalry. I will do a bit more in a bit if the head stays clear but not a lot. So much for basing them today LOL.

I have some old Napoleonic 6mm on e-bay at the moment, hopefully these will help fund the extension of the Prussians, I am trying to sub out the old Irregular Prussians with a mix of Baccus and Adler. I have 12 line units worth just waiting to be assigned painting sticks, this is a job for this weekend but first I want those ECW to be about done. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Why Bother?

I am not sure how many of you guys and gels are as lucky as I am to have a partner as good as mine is. Obviously I am talking hobby wise ;-) I often show Cath what I have recently painted or am part way through. I always get an interested answer and it's always honest, sometimes brutally but always honest. That is a boon in itself but it gets better as she often asks questions, questions I have sometimes failed to ask of my self. So when I was asked why I bothered to paint up the Adler Command to the level I do when I could get away with a more basic job and done so much quicker? I gave her a fairly quick and mostly accurate answer which only raised fresh questions which lead me to look closer at original answer.

So why bother? My quick answer was more or less that command figures get looked at more closely than the regiments and so benefit from the extra work. But that's only a half truth, what follows hopefully is closer to the bone.

Pride. It's a curse but I think it's the largest factor in the equation, hence it's first on the list. Why am I releasing one base at a time, after all it takes longer all told to do single basings that the nine all together. Impact is part of it, paint the lot up and show them at once they have less impact. For the challenge it's not even good use of time as they take longer to do each than any other comparable points supply but still I want to get them all done in the time frame of the challenge. It's that pride thing, it gets them seen by more painters via Curt's blog than just through mine. I get to show off a bit more and the positive comments really do mean something. So yes one of the original sins tops the list.

Fun and Challenge. These are really mixed in together too much to separate. First up these are all painted based on colour plates so should be close to the real thing. This adds to the fun as I know they look right and also to the challenge of pulling it off. I am having a ball doing these and am rather glad I choose to spread them out over a number of weeks.

Focal Points. Turns out the reason I gave first as the MAIN reason is further down the list than I would have thought at first. It still stands and is quite important. I like many other gamers put that bit more effort into command stands and as such seek out others when I look at a game. Anyway well painted commanders make the men fight better.

If the Detail is there.... Command figures seem to often get more detail added than the regular lads, first up often it's because they had more detail to be picked out. Which came first is beyond me to answer but it's the way it is. So I try and paint it, this is one reason Adler is not going to be the first choice for many regarding building an army. The sooner you need the figures the less likely you will go for these as Baccus paint up much faster. Not sure in the other scales if we have comparable examples. When Battle Honours first released their Napoleonic range I felt then that you could go for quick and easy or you bought BH.

It would irritate me. Maybe this would start as the last reason but give it time and I would rate it much higher if I did just do a basic job. I have taken a fresh look at the Baccus command figures I have done for the same army and whilst the detail was not as good I am still happy with the results as I painted them up as well as I have skill to do and that is all that matters to me right here and now.

As to the question is it worth it? I can only say it is for me. I was recently told I was doing a great job with my ASL blog but they were surprised that I was still doing it and how it was great that I was doing it for the community. My response fits now just as well as it did then, I do it more for myself than anyone else and blogging (sub in painting figures) is a self gratifying action. But I don't mind you enjoying the ride  ;-)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Adler Napoleonic French Command Stand 2

I kept up with the one 6mm Command figure a day up to completing this stand and then went off the boil failing to do one at all for about a week. I painted up three more figures yesterday which will be based and submitted to the challenge with the next batch I send in (I have one submission waiting blogging by Curt so I have some points in the bag.

These command figures are a fair bit more active than the last one with swords our and looking for trouble. I like the way you can put the various figures into groups so that the base makes sense. The next one up for instance is a really nice composition. 

These three seem to know where the camera is at! I have been using the red leather for base colour on these with Flat Flesh painted over this and washed in nut brown ink. This was leaving them a tad dark so a final light coat of the Flat Flesh has added a fair bit of depth to the skin. 

Actually the Nut Brown is applied to the whole figure except the white areas as it really brings out the folds in cloths etc. In cases were I go over the white or silver it then needs lifting again as these two colours hate the ink. A few other bits sometimes need lifting which can be a issue if it's a mixed colour such as the pink on the ADC at the back.

The swords were a pain as they are almost impossible to keep straight and this is an issue with Adler. that and bayonets. They make them super slim which looks good but so much care has got to be taken both in painting and on the table. Time will tell how they stand up to campaigning.

Well the Painting Challenge is winding down which I am sure some followers will be grateful as it's been fairly one track for over two months now. I have managed to stay in the top seven from the start, not at all bad given that 47 of us are taking part. Yesterday I dropped out of the top five though I have about 100 points sitting in the wings so I should get back in if only for a few days. I have had a lot less time to paint this last week with the kids being off school though it's possible a reduced time will have done me some good. It's been a blast for me though as it has got me to paint far more than I have ever done in the same time period at any time before. But once the clock reaches zero I will be happily reaching for those Spanish buildings and a few other things that have been put to one side for awhile. Not that I won't still be painting figures like mad but the selection will widen.

I will not get the Prussians started I fear before the end of the Month but I am looking to get the first twelve bases painted and based before the end of the challenge. One of two new projects I hoped to have started before the challenge ends, the other being those Romans. I hope this will still be the case and it all depends on today and tomorrow. I had predicted putting the finishing touches to the ECW on the desk on Thursday but I now have a game of ASL booked FTF with my Nephew Wednesday at some point so maybe Friday will see it done? Well a trip to Mansfield for basing paints and a pair of shoes for the wife really cuts in as well so fingers crossed.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Casualty Of War

Remember I mentioned I had heard that the Sniper Reminder in the Church tower had failed it's Postal Task Check? well this sorry boy turned up a couple of days ago. The paint damage is not as bad as it could have been but what is clear that it still needs to be totally stripped and painted again. 

Worse is the damage to the scope and a few other bits, I will have to see if I get the end of the scope back into a round shape. If not then I will need to buy a replacement figure with all the delays that involves. In case you can't see, the crown of the helmet is down to the lead, a real sorry state. I just hope that when it is stripped the wear does not stand out as much as it does to me right now.

I hate having to strip what was a perfectly OK paint job and I have to accept a lump of the blame, after all it was my pinning that failed. I am just thankful the actual base arrived in one piece (well a few minor glueing of a table onto the trapdoor). 

Well I will be doing that tonight or tomorrow, just not been able to face before today! Actually I have done so very little for the last few days, I had hopped to get a fair amount done today but mostly it's just been prep work. I have about finished another ADC this one is sickeningly bright! I have all the cavalry and dragoons prepared in 15mm and 6mm as well as a foote regiment in 6mm. This will be interesting for me as I am painting both scales as the same units so will be doing them in step. I will be finishing the WSS at the same time as I finish the command strips. 

Actually at this point in time it feels like I am on the edge of a big slope and about drop off and plunge into a few projects that I will enjoy greatly. More so for the reduced table time I have had for the last week. Tomorrow I expect to get quite a bit into the cavalry and by Thursday expect to be working on the basing of the 6mm. Time will tell LOL.

Actually I am at the cusp of a few projects either breaking ground or coming to the end. Exciting stuff really and it's thanks to Curt's Painting Challenge that has got me so far.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Kids Storm The Paint Desk!

No not really but they did ambush me and take over the dinning table for a morning of fun with paints and plastic Citadel figures. Being kids I expected about an hour tops from them but no they stayed at it for the whole morning, about three and a half hours with a minor sweetie break in the middle. I was on paint mixing and brush cleaning duties which kept me at their sides for much of the time. It was just great to see them making up their own minds about colours etc. These are more work in progress shots as both of them want to do some more to them. Both of them have a box full each of plastics I gave to them recently, I can see part of every weekend taken up with this painting malarkey whilst the interest holds. Not a bad way of spending time with your kids, though we also have been playing a lot of Eurogames over this week so not as much painting from me as normal.

These three figures were done by my six year old son. He decided to repaint the Dwarfs beards bronze, well they are Chaos Dwarfs after all. Originally he had painted the beards red. Early on before he started to loose concentration and began to hurry he had really good brush control. I am rather pleased with his work.

These three are from my two year old daughter, OK I am joking she is eight and had strong ideas of what she wanted to do. She still has lots to do, especially on the chap to the left but we dragged her off to visit Gran. I was especially proud that she picked out the arrows on the Dwarfs hat.

Now they are sure their fame is assured and will be reading any comments left, autograph signing has been pencilled in for a week Sunday  ;-) 

Friday, 22 February 2013

The Friday Quiz 4

Well it's back to the first period, Ancients till 1600. As always feel free to answer any you know and it's fine to use the internet, you just have to state if you have. Answers will be posted on Sunday giving you plenty of time to scratch your head a bit.

1. Who commanded the Roman forces that defeated Attila the Hun at Chalons in 451?

2. How Many Punic Wars was there?

3. In the Combat of the Thirty (1351), by what underhand method did the French knights achieve victory?

4. Why were Roman javelins constructed with a section of soft metal?

5. What was a fustibal?

6. Who said Success in War depends less on intrepidity than on prudence, to wait, to distinguish and seize the decisive moment of fortune?

7. Which French duke's flag bore the device of a wounded swan?

I again managed to get two right, but all the others were way off, I say way off. So safe in the knowledge that it will be tough to do worse than me what are your answers?

OK here are the answers.

1. Aetius

2. Three.

3. Although the combat was to be on foot, at a vital moment one knight mounted his horse and charged into the English.

4. So they would bend when they penetrated enemy shields , rendering the shields unusable, and also becoming useless themselves.

5. A sling mounted on a staff for throwing large projectiles.

6. Count Belisarius (not the Blogging chappy LOL)

7. The Duc de Berri

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Static In Your Attic?

Started to get the materials together for basing my Prussians and a few other projects. I really want to get the Prussians started before February ends so I start ahead of the schedule I have drawn up. Given that I won't get any reinforcements to the twelve bases worth I already have until the 18th of March it's not a bad idea. Not that the schedule is too demanding.

Lee supplied his recipe for the static grass he uses on his bases, this was key as I want my Prussians to blend in with his British, Dutch etc. Lee mixes two parts winter grass with one part summer. As you can see from above the summer green is quite bright whilst the winter is very dark. I had to admit on opening the parcel I was underwhelmed with the size of the bags especially the summer bag. These are 10g and 25g bags.

Here we have them mixed together, the look is much better that I expected. I used all 25g of the brown and the look is fine. According to Lee the supplier does not matter and indeed improves the mix as you gather slightly different hues. I also did not have to worry about the quantity as once out of the bag and mixed together the flock seemed to increase in mass. I'm rather happy with the colour and quantity. The supplier in this case was War World Scenics, ordered via E-Bay and supplied the following day so top marks for speed though the postal charge was a fair bit higher than the cost to send. 

I could not post on the blog yesterday as I spent the whole day playing ASL with my Nephew. We got in a game on a historical map that I won with a little time to spare and a playtest that I scrapped a win in the last turn. James play has come on a lot, especially in the last year, he takes less gambles and plays a strong game.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Adler 6mm French Command

I already have quite a few Baccus command figures for my French army but under most rule sets including my own you need more, up to this point I have been using spare Prussian command figures so knew I needed to increase the quantity. I went with Adler to get a greater mix of poses even though the vast majority  of my units are Baccus.

I have a total of eight bases worth prepped, that's 24 figures in total. Given the detail and amount of time each figure takes to paint I am trying to average one figure a day, this allows me to keep the task fun and at the same time with about three days for each base to complete means I can drip feed the blog with the images. I just think they will have more impact being released one at a time rather than eight bases all in one hit.

I have a mix of poses with some moving like these, others galloping with swords held high and others just standing so a nice mix that will add a lot to my army.
The detail on the figures are insane, much helped by the fact that they are a good 2mm larger than 6mm but when I compare them to the 10mm command I did last year these still have greater detail.

I have to admit that Adler win the battle of eye candy against Baccus but nothing beats Baccus when it comes to speed of painting especially when you include the time spent on prep (which you should). Baccus tend to be very clean and almost ready for priming whilst Adler need both knife and file to bring into line. Yes it's worth it but when you have them in mass to do such as Battalion packs I am sure it must be a real pain. Once done they will look stunning but you have to put in a major amount of time and effort.

I do plan to increase the amount of Adler in my French army, not hard when you consider I only have one each of infantry and cavalry, but I also intend to have a good mix of Baccus and Adler in the Prussian Army as well. When the new Baccus French are released I will be buying more of the infantry (first to be released) and I will also add their new Command figures as well.

I will finish Matt's cavalry today and move straight to his command but next up after that will be 15mm, but none of the listed units, these will be the Russian WWII for the Sniper project.

Talking of Russian's Lee e-mailed me this morning with news that he will have his first batch of Napoleonic Russians in about a weeks time. I can see a small scale tilt coming off not so long after that, well it would be rude not to.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Hessy and Zurlander regiments of foot and the Artillery

Finished off the WSS infantry and painted up the guns and crews at the same time. The two regiments were more interesting as they were not the usual grey or white. This gives Matt 30% of his foot in red or blue. Both blue and red have been given as possible colours for the French guns so I gave Matt the choice and he wanted red as they would stand out a bit more.

This completes the French foot leaving just the horse and command figures to go. That's ninety six cavalry and fifteen mounted command figures to go till this project is finished. I do feel the need to take a break from 6mm when these are done though. 

Not that in can be that long of a break. First up I wish to continue averaging one command figure a day for my French Naps army and I really need to get rid of some more figures to buy some much needed supplies. I have decided to base my Prussian army similar to how Lee bases his troops. After all they will be on his side of the table in 2015 so it makes some sense. 

I still hope to get started on my Roman army before my birthday, at least that is 15mm so plan to start cleaning some of the figures up next week. Meanwhile I think I will do more of the 28mm WWII figures as I have already fully prepped the Partisans and have cleaned but not primed a bunch for the desert. 

I also have pulled out the ACW Confederate army pack for a relatively quick paint job but that's 6mm as obviously is my Prussian infantry booster pack. I will see one or possibly both started before February is through. Probably try the ACW first as I can experiment with the basing a bit.

Next up for Matt should be the ECW, I aim to do these in two to three weeks, these are 15mm but I plan to pant up the same regiments in 6mm for myself, just for a bit of fun. Seems no matter what I do I manage to find my way back to the 6mm

I still have a lot of Macedonian extra's that need to be painted up but not sure when I will do these. To be honest I may well just pull out all I have and spend an evening choosing the next few units. I almost have Matt's horse finished, these have two days tops left in them, just the command left then. I gave myself three months to finish Matt's figures and this includes a whole Zulu starter army from Baccus but I think I will manage it.

So what next? You tell me!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Alexander's at it again.

Like the young Phil, I had better things to do than cosy up to the Mrs. on Valentines Day, though I at least was not surrounded by wall to wall specs. You have to go look if you don't know what I'm blathering about. Matt and I were at it again, Macedonian V Persian was the choice for the evening. Actually choosing what to play was not easy as I also would have liked to play another game of Naps using Volley and Bayonet rules and I also want to try Check Your Six at some point. Field of Glory was the right choice though as neither of us have played it for a while and as Matt has only played three games before it needs to be kept a bit fresh. Indeed I think both of us would benefit from a couple of games in fairly quick succession to get the detail held in place. I went for something a little different for both sides with my Persians using a foot heavy force and the Macedonian swapping out the bow armed light horse for bow armed cavalry.

View of my right hand deployment.
View of my left hand deployment.
At 800 points it was a little on the small side as you can see, the brown strip is a gully in front of one of my hills, the green cloth is brush and all hills are gentle except the middle one which was steep (I forget this early on!) All my cavalry are on my left facing off against Matt's. I also have a first in that I am using a couple of scythed chariots deployed near the gully.

Right flank manoeuvres.
Matt was double moving for all he was worth with the pike whilst I was trying to be clever with my cavalry. The idea was to get a regiment beside the gully to be in position to get Matt's cavalry in the flank, shame I really needed another turn, a case of undrilled unfulfilled. Meanwhile my chariots came out and faced off against Matt's bow cavalry who failed to charge home. I charged back and in the impact I won the melee in potential casualties but both of us lost a stand via the dice and as such the surviving chariot was removed. Not the start I had hoped for from these.

Stupid stupid stupid!
Me that is, prior to the chariots failed attack I was reminded by Matt that my hill was steep. Oh great, I had forgotten about that and now I had a lot of hoplites stuck. One turn to turn around and another to get off the hill. I then turned it into a giant column and started to march around the cursed hill. The only plus was that Matt had not covered his pike with his skirmish troops so I was able to slow down the poke by moving within 6 inches of them. I then spent the rest of the game alternatively throwing javelins with no effect and evading charges from the pike.

Neat if strange formations.
Matt took up position in the brush hoping this would keep his lights safe, shame then that Medium Infantry can move into the brush. I would have been better though, leaving the hoplite block behind and moving the MI faster so I would have plenty of time to deal with these guys.

Going my way?
The clash between the Lance armed bad guys and my light spear armed Persians seemed to be going the way it should. I lost a base to Matt's charge and failed test after test till they routed. But the newly painted guys actually won the Agima (Matt's best cavalry) forcing a base loss. Unfortunately they failed the cohesion test for friends routing. The Agima took all the tests in their stride and step by step turned my win into another rout.

Come on if you think your hard enough!
At least I managed to turn round in time for a showdown with Matt's third Lance armed Companions. Matt charged uphill and was met with a resolute block which forced a base loss and more importantly a drop in cohesion. I was struggling though to finish him off and if the game went another full turn I would have had to face a second fairly fresh unit joining the melee.

Those pike won't give up.
I was still slowing Matt's pike down but I could not stop them. Just to take a base off them I needed to throw three hits on three dice and Matt would have to then roll a one to take the loss. Matt never needed to pick up the die. I now needed a quick success on my far left.

We have contact.
I fully expected Matt to evade but his infantry stood firm and tried to stand up to me MI, this they did in the fact they did not rout and in fact in the melee round actually took a base off me but I was winning via failed cohesion tests and this looked to have just the one possible result.

Bow Cavalry does it again.
On the other flank Matt had found his cavalry after smashing the chariots was left vulnerable  Well he should not have worried as his shooting cost me a base and yes again I failed another cohesion test. In fact I failed all but the one test all evening, at least they were fresh before the loss.

Going, gone.
The second cavalry regiment went on my right, though it was a surprise it took so long given it was the Agema they were facing. One attack Matt rolled three 1's being Elite they get to re-roll (superior would have re-rolled these anyway) but then goes on to roll three hits! My poor boys.

I did get the two light regiments on the cusp of routing and if we had played another turn I may well have got one or both on the run but we called it prior to doing my half turn. It was a lot of fun and I know we did a few things wrong which will be caught next time. Matt got a well deserved victory, I want to try the mass infantry tactic again but with more points than before and a better grasp of the terrain!

Matt showed me his Parthian army that has now been rebased for F0G, funny I remember it being a lot bigger. So maybe not that long before I get to tackle these guys. Well that's a guaranteed couple of sleepless nights.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Wargaming Types?

One thing about painting figures is that it can allow your mind to wonder away on it's own. This happens for me the most when I'm repetitively painting something, in this case lots and lots of coats. I was thinking how I recently read about how one gamer was really into The Seven Years War and the spin off periods around this time. No doubt influenced by the fact the coats belong to War of Spanish Succession figures and also the fact that I could not care less about the period. Rather ironic given that it's the second lot I have painted for someone in the space of not that many months. So my little mind fancied a trip further afield bringing me to the old chestnut of wargaming types and my own taste. 

Wargaming Types. How to class types, this is not only subjective it's multi-layered. First up you have the physically different types such as board, figure and computer. At least these are so physically different as to be easy to put in boxes. Or are they? how about board games turned computer game. Computer games that use images of figures, even photographs of figures? This last lot could be argued to be figure games gone pixel such as Fields of Glory.
How about boardgames that can deal with single men such as Cry Havoc all the way up to playing on maps of the world. Computer games also deal with such wide formats whilst a single figure can be 1 man or 24th of a whole regiment and more. 

Wargamer Types. OK lets forget that then. Well if we have all those games then we have to have as many types of wargamer then. Well yes and no given that one person may well play with a single plane on the table top but then go on his or her laptop and bomb the hell out of a German city with a whole armada of B-52's. One thing that most wargamers is that we are as broad of period and type as some of us are wide of girth. If anything lumps us together it's the differences you get between one gamer and the next.

Wargame Types. Then we have types of game, such as design for effect and design to replicate. Some players swear by a set of rules because it takes an age to work through the factors for a hit whilst the next gamer does not care that their favourite rules covers an 800 year period. It's here in fact you tend to find the line in the sand. Far fewer players play cross formula than cross period. How many players love DBA whilst loving something like Starship Battles? I'm not talking play an odd DBA game but an avid player.

Periods and Scales. I have played WWII with 20mm as a skirmish game, in fact it was my first experience with figures, then 6mm, even down to an armoured train and a lot of track. Now I am thinking about going back into it in 15mm as a skirmish game again, I have Firefly somewhere. I've played lots of computer WWII games starting on the Spectrum. Anyone remember Lorrian software? (or something like that). Boardgames, I've played so many when I was young before ASL took over all my WWII tabletop play. It was recently said that WWII was the most played figure period, not so sure though the Flames of War players have really boosted it's numbers. Napoleonic Wars has to be either the top dog or at worst second fiddle. Ancients though has such a following it's hard not to look close at these, but what ever period is your cup of tea you can bet it's followed by a mass and hated by a phalanx of nay sayers. THAT is what intrigues me, not that so many don't like X but that X gets such divergent views. So Lets look at a few periods I like or dislike. How about best to worst.

What is there not to like? Honestly this is the one that gets me scratching my head, I can understand not wanting to play it as your into Y or Z in a big way but hating it? seriously? I bet you used to pull wings off flies and probably play 40K (now remove tongue from cheek)
Very colourful, each nation has it's own character and feel, you can go big ass 28mm with all the uniform detail right in your face or down to 6mm and capture the art of manoeuvre without the need for an aircraft hanger. Or anything between. It's got sooo much history and whilst the detail can be really daunting it can be very rewarding to play.

For me it's ASL, never has a rule book been so large and full of such minor detail that you can with confidence challenge a non ASL player to come up with a situation that happened in the ground war and be able to find the rule in the book. It also has so many rules that don't make sense from a WWII perspective but makes the game work. Vehicle Bypass Freeze still creates a buzz when someone says it's sleeze and cries of derision when someone tries to defend it based on historic reasoning. Again as a period it has a host of nations and attracts the most negative column inches. Hell it would take you years to read all that has been written about why the SS should never be allowed black counters. Given the most disliked points about WWII gamers is the German's and Japanese it's hard to see how you can play without getting some guys goat.

English Civil War.
Used to be at the top spot but poor rules and overplaying the period in my first outing has dropped ECW to hear and possibly a tad lower. It's only that I am building a 6mm army that has rescued it, that and I am sure I can put together a better set of rules than I have played so far. I struggle a bit with why Johnny Foreigner would want to play this period, after all it's rather British you know. However I can fully understand why some players just don't find it interesting at all. The limited unit types (especially in modern rule sets) makes this period yawn worthy.

Part of me wants this period to be higher, after all it's the figure gaming I have done the most, spent the most and own the widest group of armies. So many just hate this period though. Often pointing out that playing Han Chinese V Later Persian is just stupid, often just before playing their favourite SS army against an American force they never had the chance to fight due to being locked up on the Eastern Front (ok not often).

Lots of periods and types I can take or leave before I get to your kidding me, right?

Seven Years War.
And it's stable mates. I don't see anything here that Nap's does not do better. I happen to like all the things that were introduced in the Napoleonic period. For me it's not a case of more is less, it's more, lots more.

Yes I know, it can be fluid, it can be fun, but quite simply most of it is neither. A good mate went off the idea of wargaming the period after visiting the battlefields and graveyards of the war, which is the best reason. Me, I guess it's because I still have the odd blunt stick and I still have feeling in my eyes, if I run out of either I will play WWI rather than jam that bugger in my eye.

WTF is wrong with folk? Here we have the classic game. One side is generally in blue, the other grey. OK very simple over generalisation but you get the idea. Next up troop types, infantry, skirmish infantry, infantry that rides to battle but mostly fights on foot as riding to your death is neither big or clever so I am ignoring that they are called cavalry. Then big bang sticks and such like. It's a bit like WWI but a bit more colourful and lacks trenches for the most part. Have I missed anything? Sleep perhaps? I'd play a boardgame as in it's own way it's not a bloody boring act of move this into the open, get it rogered by lots of accurate bang sticks, now they move into the open and out with the Vaseline. Unfair? I really don't care I find it so very boring, actually I find it so very shite! I hope I have played my last game of it........ please. Maybe the problem with it is it's three letters, AWI probably would get the same reaction from me as well. I know I know I said nice things about the ECW, but it's the lack of unit types and differences within the unit types that gets in my craw. At least the ECW has somewhat more types on the surface which is enough for me to be snooty. 

40K and Warhammer etc etc etc. 
OK this has to be BAD to fall below ACW. Never tried 40K but then again I have not tried stapling my hand to my forehead but I am fairly sure I would not like that either, though I AM sure I'd rather do that that waste money on the racket that is 40K Plus given I stopped pissing in my pants at least ten years ago I feel I have outgrown this group.
However I did play Warhammer, a long long time ago when it was not unknown for my pants to be moist. I liked the idea, I liked the variety, I liked the way it looked. I friggin' hated the saving throws. In fact any game that uses saving throws as a way of allowing the defending player to feel he has a part in his units loss really has a difficult job getting me back to the table for a second time.
Anyone try that drivel about playing fantasy because historical games don't allow them to use their creativity or imagination and I will reload that stapler of mine.

So if I have poked fun at your favourite period I humbly apologise (a little bit and probably not that humble) but I guess it's your turn to take aim.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Friday Quiz 3

It's time for some modern questions, remember you can use the internet to help with the answers but if you do just let us know in the answer.

1. Where did the Tiger beat the Rabbit?

2. Which two countries fought the Soccer War?

3. In which conflict did the first helicopter assault from the sea take place?

4. What did the Butt Report of August 1941 prove?

5. According to British Army legend, what is the most dangerous thing in the world?

6. Where did the multi-national Dunsterforce serve at the end of World War I?

7. Which medal was known to it's recipients as the Order of the Frozen Meat?

Well I got two this time so I stay way down on average, but can you do better?

Thursday, 14 February 2013

SALEING in Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm or Maunsfield Games, whichever name floats your boat. As it's close to the Hospital and I have been going two to three times a week recently for one thing or another I have dropped in every week and in a couple of cases twice in one week. I have already bought a number of the FoG:R army lists and one for FoG the Decline and Fall of the Byzantine Empire. Well a bunch of the others were sitting on a shelf at the back of the store, I had not paid much attention to them but I took a look the other day and saw Legions Triumphant amongst them. Now that was one I would like so I was hoping it would make the table. Well it never did. I called in on Monday on my way home and started to chat with the guy in the store who I was starting to get to know. I needed to get a bit pally as I wanted to ask him about a fellow bloggers never received order. Well I gave him the order details and he disappeared into the the back to check. Turns out they are attempting to honour all outstanding orders but can only do so a few at a time. They are again buying from some of their suppliers and intend to restock most ranges but it's down to cash flow, they need to sell stock they have to gain money to then purchase sold stock and afford to post out the stock, you see the whole free postage and cut price figures has made this into a nightmare scenario. I say hats off to them for attempting to do this as in reality the outstanding orders are Maelstrom's responsibility not Maunsfield Games. The only way it could be the new companies responsibility is if they had been trading the on line store without changing the company name (Maunsfield Games was registered in June or July of last year) which whilst possible does not make sense as they were going to be rolled up anyway. Maelstrom Games are awaiting a court date at which point they will be officially wound up. So if you still have an outstanding order it's quite possible you will get it at some point in the future.

So how are they generating money? Well from a recent visit I do know they are still selling Game Tickets for events and they still remain very busy at weekends and game nights (Tuesday and Thursday), so revenue is being generated with the game tickets and some of the guys using the game facilities will be buying some stock. Indeed I am sure that Battlefront and Forged In Battle stock has been going up. The problem is how much of these sales have to be ploughed back into rent, rates heating and lighting and wages? I can not see how the store even with a full range of stock can survive without sales through the webstore. The shop remains very understocked on all other products, but if they are to survive AND manage to supply all those unfulfilled orders they need to slowly increase their stocks, regain confidence and manage it all very well.

One last way they are generating money is the sale table. They have put a massive amount of stock through this table, these days it's starting to look rather sick, most of what is now left on it is the things most people just don't want. Gone are the best pickings, I have had a good many items myself. However back to those pesky army lists. I asked if they were going on the table and was told yes but if I wanted any of them to make an offer. I looked through them all and went for all but the lost scrolls list, in all eight books which I offered £15 for and got the lot. So I am rather chuffed about that. At some point in the future I am thinking about doing a FoG 6mm army using the same bases as 15mm but packing the bases with lots of figures, those pike blocks would look epic! So as long as I end up using two of the books I have more than broken even, though a couple of the books I don't see as likely to be kept after having a good look through them.

I do expect more of the slow to no moving items yet to find their way to the table and I will but other items from them that are not in the Sale (now do you get the title joke?) and I truly hope they survive the next few months and if they do manage to get all those miniatures out to those at the moment out of pocket then hats off to them.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

3D Snipers Off The Bench

I was surprised at the speed I was able to paint up these Forged In Battle WWII 15mm figures, especially given the level of detail the figures have. Each pack was 40 figures strong but not all of these are suitable for use as 3D Snipers. In most cases it's due to the amount of space the base takes up (mostly lying down poses) but also two man groups such as the 50Mtr and the MMG. 

Fairly easy to clean up with acceptable levels of flash and fairly easy to remove mould lines (I missed a few), so prep time did not send me nuts, good job given I had 80 figures to do. One German in a field cap though was missing his face due to extra lead and had to be scrapped. Lots of different poses and as much equipment on the Germans as you would expect on a 28mm. The Americans were also not short of kit and whilst in both cases it adds to the painting time the end result is well worth it.

I have since bought the Russians and these will get cleaned up and painted in a few weeks time I hope. Again these have plenty of detail. All three Nations have rifle slings as well, so they get an extra point for that from me.

Here we have a close up shot showing both front and back of the Yanks, I went for the early post D-Day uniform for all of them. Here you can see the amount of kit they have to cart about.

Here we have half of the whole lot  of Yanks giving a fair idea of the multiple poses. Just like a lot of the 28mm figures though, the amount of troops actually pointing their weapons is rather low which is a bit disappointing  I am all for troops with movement but I would expect about half to be actually looking like they are engaging the enemy. At least you don't get the Airfix like useless poses, these were always annoying.

The faces (ignoring the elephant man) are not bad at all with a wash bringing out the features. The only figure I had real difficulty is the BAR man centre left of the picture above, the BAR looks very clumsy in it's detail. 

I did manage to paint up all 40 of the Americans but the Germans had six removed as not suitable to base and the one that needs the vet (or was he making a trunk call?) but again lots of good poses but even less shooting types.

The officer even has binoculars which was a great touch. Given the detail of the figures they would make great figures for skirmish play, I just can't see 28mm write even for infantry only actions, add tanks and I would want to hire the local sports hall. 15mm would allow limited tank use, something I can feel myself being drawn towards.

I did not waste the German support bases, these two have been painted up and based on the 30x30 bases I normally use for 6mm command stands. I still need to paint up the other loader then I will be finished with these until a time I do go for some WWII action then maybe I will be calling on these guys again. Not having painted any Battlefront I can't compare them but price wise these supply a saving but from what I understand the FiB packs are not tailored to FoW units so some biting between packs could be required. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Sniper Reminders, The New Batch

Having collected another 30 casualty markers at York I was finally able to finish off a bunch of Sniper Reminders, the only problem is that 30 bases really won't be enough to do all the figures I have waiting to be painted so I still need to buy yet more sometime soon. I have a bunch of stuff on e-bay at the moment mostly old Irregular Miniatures Naps so once these have sold I will probably send in another order. 30 at the time seemed like a lot LOL.

These two were painted before the challenge but not based so I based them at the same time as the rest. These are now on e-bay hoping to help towards the next set of bases. Both are in camo, the Russian in the rather silly splodge type whilst the German in the more normal splinter. The Russian is Blacktree with bags of character whilst the German is Artizan and a good mobile figure for them. I do have an issue with the Artizan Sniper pack, the four figures really don't go together well as two pairs, the spotters would get both guys killed if they were with the snipers!

These four are again Blacktree and again lots of detail and these were bought as a selection picked at random. The only issue with this is that I got a mix that some would not have been any good for early war. I guess it could be possible to ask for early or late war though in my case it was not an issue.

As you can see from this picture lots of kit on these guys which really adds to the models and makes painting them that bit more fun. They have become my favourite 28mm WWII supplier.

Four more from the same lot as above. I really like the guy with the binoculars,great pose but then again all of them have believable stances.

The Panzerfaust on the far right is a great addition to the figure which makes him a great figure for a battle including tanks, just don't stand behind him.

Keeping with Blacktree we have a couple of Russians, again nice figures and I really like they come with rifle slings, a big error in my mind from Artizan who miss them off.

Again nice amount of extra detail that really helps bring character to the figures.

These are Warlord figures that were left over from the box, I figured I would paint them up and see if I got any interest in them. The set came with two officers, one brandishing a sword and looking all dynamic and this one. The middle guy is just starting to get up with a LMG with bayonet attached whilst the crouched figure is trying to get battery access on a field phone.

Only one did I add the Elephant Grass, the rest get extra tufts and a little poison ivy.

Here we have three Artizan Americans, two are depicted as 29th Infantry whilst the other is The Big Red One. These are Company B decals and are great to work with.

Typical of Artizan is that they are a treat to paint up, nice and quick with little prep work. Blacktree need that little bit more work but it's worth it. Warlord need the most work and whilst are more mobile that a typical Artizan figure are my least favourite. 

I still have a couple of Japanese heads if anyone wants them, free to a good home, no extra for an indifferent home ;-)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

German Deluxe Sniper Reminder

To go with the American Sniper Reminder based of the Ken Smith painting I had to come up with a German base to compliment it. I originally wanted an attic room window and slanted roof section but that would take up to much space so instead stole a bit from Saving Private Ryan. You know the bit where the German Sniper is in the church steeple.

I already had the balsa wood so it really was a case of working round that. I knew using the Linka would not work as the amount of bricks that were needed would make the base heavier than I wanted and the risk of dropping and shattering it was to high. Instead I went down the route of Balsa and then adding the exterior via  Reeves coarse texture gel. To make the inside a bit larger I attached this to the edges of the base rather than the top, this added stability and made the inside just that bit larger.

The floor was also balsa that received a number of heavy doses of a wash to stain it. I wanted it much darker than the one used in the other model. The walls received a modeling paste which then was painted off white. The rubble was made up of texture gel and matchsticks some part burnt, others painted to match.

Originally the wall was designed just to be open at the back but the lack of light meant I had to cut down the wall section and add the rubble. Even with that done I still felt the light sources were too restricted so I simply cut a whole in the roof!

The figure is Blacktree, the shame here is that the wealth of detail does not shine through as you have a limited view of him from the front. Anyone who takes the trouble to look through the front window will pick up the stick grenade and entrenching tool stuck in the front of his belt. This got me thinking this was his intended last man stand. So on adding the trap door I also made a table out of balsa which was placed over the trapdoor. He is not giving up that position till he's dead!

I did not want to go overboard with the burnt patches and smoke damage as I wanted to keep have some of the light reflected to help brighten the detail. Note the broken tiles from the roof in the rubble, these are off cuts from the tiled roof. 

The tiles for the most part are done on strips but the odd one has been added to make it look a little jagged. Cath made these, I told her how I wanted them to look and showed her a couple of images and off she trotted with red card, steel rule a pencil, scissors and a pair of nail clippers!!! Three plus hours later she had groves in her fingers and these fine tiles. I gave them a dry brush or two and got some great tones (the card was textured) and went about sticking them on. The images were taken whilst still drying so you see the odd wet spot.

The window was by Warbases and was just what I needed for the job. I was going to slat it originally as many Church tower windows were in Normandy but that would have made the figure impossible to see from the front so took the less accurate but more pleasing route.

Just to give an idea the scale of the base. All told this one model took about 80 hours if I include Cath's time. Actually with Cath getting involved made the whole project so much better. It was a wrench to let it go. The original plan was just two slightly more urban bases one of which reflected the Journals cover. In the end it went much further than my mate had asked or wished for. To give him credit once he knew I was planning to take this further than planned he was happy to give me free reign. But it has to be said that he was a little taken back by just how far beyond the plan I went.

I'd like to leave it there, a happy feel good story but unfortunately somewhere between Nottingham England and Baltimore USA somehow the box took a direct hit. Testament to Cath's packaging the dioramas were saved from damage, unfortunately the German sniper came off his pin and proceeded to rattle round the inside of the tower until a good proportion of his paint had come off. The rubble inside the tower was rather course and unforgiving. The table was knocked free but will glue back OK, now the figure is on it's way back to be repainted and then I will send back again for him to be reattached to his pin (sticking out of the floor). Then I can sit back happy with the result.