Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Saturday, 31 January 2015

January Tally

Old Photo, it's been a long time since it was THIS clear
Well the first month of the year has flown by but it's taken a lump of lead with it. The Challenge has certainly helped get a deep cut into the lead pile though I have added a few bits.

Thanks to Matt's Zulus I have managed to get through fifteen battalions worth of infantry so over the last two months I have managed to reduce the pile by eighteen battalions. Please remember this next week when I talk about what I bought at York tomorrow.
Cavalry remains an issue as I have not painted a single one so remain plus twelve. This will change in February as I have a number of units earmarked.
Command and Elephants remain Plus 14/6 but should get some love soon.
I have painted up another three buildings this week, should be posted about soon so reduced the pile to Plus seven but tomorrow will see a big increase again, but I can't feel bad about it LOL.
Wagons and planes remain plus 3/9 and look to remain static.

I've not bought any 15mm for well over a year and it's been nearly as long since I painted any prior to December so it was great to get working on them again in earnest. I managed 102 infantry this month and will get more done in Feb. Cavalry may get their chance before the month is out and will certainly get time before the Challenge ends.

Overall I have gained 114 infantry, (three boxes of Celt's) but they will also get a look in soon so hopefully this will flatten off quickly, though I might get some WWII Russians at York.
I also have six cavalry also Celt and these will be sorted soon.
The three tanks I received for Christmas have been painted so all in all the new face of the mountain looks to be containable.

Infantry continue to drop in number with only one figure bought in Jan and nine painted. As I have nineteen more almost finished February should be another good month for getting the 28's very much reduced.
I still have the four cowboy buildings to paint up and hope to get to them soon.

32mm I have not touched these but post March I intend to start on them, when I do I am in no rush and will just enjoy painting them, being the excellent Arena Rex gladiators I intend to do them justice.

I have though a new section covering figures I have agreed to paint up for mates, all these are 6mm and I could not add them to my own tally as they would break my resolve, at this moment they amount to

34 Battalions of Infantry
23 Regiments of Cavalry
33 command figures
10 guns and crew 
3 full sets of limbers

Plans for February.
I have a big itch for some 6mm, I will paint up some of my Son's Napoleonic British and start on Steve's British. I also would like to do some of the French for the Command and Colours but they are down the list a fair bit. I would like to get some ECW and Ancients done but Feb. only has four weeks LOL
I would like to finish off the Roman infantry in 15mm and start the Celt's in 20mm, that I think I can manage.
28mm will probably get no further than finishing off what I have already started and maybe some of those western buildings but that's a stretch.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Buying Books Again

I am mostly on a book ban, self imposed as it is it's still been months since I last bought a book. The main issue is that I simply have well over one hundred books I have yet to read, some of these date back over twenty years!

Whilst I have of late got through quite a few books, some history and quite a few of the Cornwall novels (mostly Sharpe) so I have let myself off the hook a little. 

Every time one of the Evita songs pops up on my I-Pod I get the urge to get a book on Eva as the story behind the musical really intrigues me. I finally pulled the trigger via Amazon and less than £5 later I have what some feel to be the best book on the subject. I really thought it would be a bit thicker than the 198 pages, especially as the type face is so large. As such it will be a fast read when I get to it.

The other book was more impulse as I was down at the local shopping outlet taking Cath out for a short trip to test her ability to get around after her accident seven days ago. Saw the Glantz book and knowing he is highly thought of and it's about my favourite theatre of WWII it seemed too good a book to pass up. Available from The Works in the UK

At the moment I am working my way through a rather thick book on the ECW which is a good read and has a revisionist approach but it is dragging quite a bit.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

AP86 Milling About AAR

I have decided to post my ASL games in my general blog rather than just my ASL blog that is just not getting any of my time. I hope to also post in that blog as well but we will see if that works out.

I have been playing through the scenarios from Action Pack 9 with Duncan and it's been a blast so far. Up to this point I have drawn the British with their terrible ELR, prone to disrupting when failing their morale tests. It's a testament to the scenario design than with this happening I have managed to win the scenarios all of them tight finishes.

AP86 has elements of the Gurkha Rifles (elite)  and 4th Burma Riles (1st and 2nd Line) trying to stop elements of my Japanese 112th Infantry Regiment (1st line) and Burmese Independence Army (partisans) from either exiting 6 CVP off the top (north) edge and or causing six more CVP than received.

We both set up independent of seeing the others set up and then diced to see who moved first. I took a slight gamble by positioning myself adjacent to where the British could set up and sure enough we did have a few squads next to each other but the way I had set up would allow me to effectively split the defending force it two.

Duncan seemed to recognise this as he declined to contest the cactus hedge that separated our forward troops. Instead he slowly moved these troops through the long grass (Kunai) keeping his units hidden. Troops in the centre moved faster as he tried to get his MMG onto a hill to the rear. However the troops on the left flank were to move slower and this would allow me on turn one to start to infiltrate between them and the other troops.

Once this was done I had quite an advantage and quickly started to break and then kill the British units as I isolated them one or two at a time. By mid game I had a good point cushion and was still able to keep the now severely weakened enemy falling back in front of me. 

I was able to pull off a Banzai charge, though it cost me a unit I was able to take out the last troops that were in position to block the majority of my troops and again allowed me free movement. I then relaxed a little too much and almost allowed Duncan back into the game, so much so I was starting to get distracted by it. 

Even so I pressed on and by the end of my turn 4 I was in position to take the win the next turn. I got one squad off the board which was worth 4 CVP and just retreated with the rest into a position Duncan could not close and regain the lost CVP's, a rather gamey way to win though it was very unlikely that he would have got his points back if I stood my ground.

End positions, the pieces off board are the squads etc. that were killed in the game, quite a few as is normal in a PTO scenario. Quite a fast scenario that could be played in a single session, though we took one and a half sessions and a fair bit of chat. I recommend it, not to many PTO rules and SSR's are reasonable. A good scenario for the less experienced PTO player.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Dominate Roman Archers and Analogue Painting Challenge Update

The latest finished figures finished for the Dominate Roman Army is the bow armed infantry. I painted them up in a flourish but I actually need one more base of light infantry and the rest of the castings I have primed are in black so I may have a bit more work on my hands than I thought, but those are a little further down the line.

The only way I will need so may light infantry with bow will be when I add them to the Legions. Though they can also be added to the auxiliary infantry so I guess I will be painting more than one more stand as I have the figures.

All the figures are 15mm Essex and all have the same pose but by putting them at slightly different angles they look a little different. I went with a pale blue I had found in an illustration.

Despite the uniform being fairly basic it still took a lump of time to paint up all the detail that is blue as it was sculptured into the figure which is a nice touch but did make it a slower paint.

I am also allowed a more useful eight bases of Medium Bow which I think could be a lot more useful at taking bases off my opponents so will be keen to see how that pans out.

So this gives me fourteen more bases for the Dominate Army which will soon have all the infantry finished and I will be moving onto the cavalry in a few weeks time.

Showing the lights as part of the legions. The third unit is short by one base so did not parade. That's 86 figures painted for this army since the challenge began, far better than the 24 I mustered during last years challenge.

Talking of which I have twenty four bases of Thracian's almost finished and will be getting these in for submission this week. Twelve of the figures were painted way before the challenge so won't count for points but I can now max out on one of my armies with the Thracian option. 

I will also have passed my points total for last year and by the half way point too. This is without going for more than two of the bonus rounds this time round where last year I went for every round. I will also have painted up more figures in every scale/type I painted last year except 15mm vehicles but having painted up the same number in 20mm I can rest easy.

Lastly, songs played so far whilst painting/prepping Challenge figures 1977, so looks like I will just get to the end of the challenge before running out of songs on the pod.  :-)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Zulu Yawn? Baccus 6mm

Too back to back Zulu posts and this ones a wrap. Right at the beginning of the month I stated I wanted to get the Zulu's all finished by the end of February and I have managed it with a whole month to spare so I am real happy to be able to call time on the army.

I actually finished off the project by painting up these Zulu's all in the one day. Though it has to be said all in one longish day but rather than being a bind I really enjoyed it and it only took a day as I just went from one stage to another without thought of stopping and doing something else, quite a roll really.

Lots of detail and clear enough to just keep on going, no eye strain or fatigue at all. Of course it helps that this was the end of the project which always acts as a boost for me, like coming towards the end of a good book.

So these will be going over to my mates sometime soon. 6mm are at the moment off the menu though I have started to clean up a few units of ECW and Napoleonic's for either next week or the week after depending on how fast I can get through the 15mm Thracian's I am working on at the moment. I have an outside chance of finishing them in time for my Tuesday deadline but realistically I doubt it will happen.

This is all the Zulu's I have painted in the last two months with another four regiments of 36 figures each supplied to Matt so long ago. 

As well as the Thracian's I also have my entry fee and a female Partisan on the go but all my attention has been with the guys with pointy swords but that may change in the next night or two.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Zulu Storm

You know how some projects end up being a stone round your neck? well regular readers will know this is how the 6mm Baccus Zulu's have been my bogeyman. Recently I painted up three Regiments of them and found them far less of a chore than I had convinced myself they were, indeed they could be counted as a fair bit of fun.

I resolved that I would get all the outstanding Zulu's before the end of February and thus I decided to do them all in one big bunch (except the rifle armed figures). In the end it turned out to be the best decision I could come up with as they painted up fairly quickly and were not the chore I expected them to become.

The laces on the shields gave me the usual fits and I really wish I had the control to get them to be two nice neat columns of four but even by the end I was not managing to get this down. I painted up the following regiments, Frost, Mongrels, Starters From The Umgoni River, The Howling, Forceful, Black Mamba and Savage. Though not in the order that they are presented here. 

The names are on the bottoms of the lolly sticks ready for Matt to take them off and base up. I am hoping to get a photo of the finished army at some point as the mass effect must be rather nice. I will not be looking to paint up any more any time soon, the figures paint up rather easily but those laces, help!

Matt I believe will start badgering his opponent to get on with his figures so they can get a game, after all he has had plenty of time to get them painted. I really did take far too long to get them finished and at all times Matt was a true Gent and very patient, hopefully he won't have to wait too long before he gets them on the table.

Colonial just does not interest me so I won't be drawn into getting my own figures for any of the related armies or scales. I can see the attraction for others but I just can't get myself worked up over it.

Since finishing these I have also painted up the rifle armed Zulu's so I can call this project finished and with it I feel quite free and able to do whatever I like. I still have some ECW in 15mm to do for Matt but these will wait till after March and then will be quick to appear on the table and that will leave me with no figures to do for anyone though I will have to look at doing some 15mm for Steve another mate, I think they will be Thracian's if he is still up for them. Kind of interesting as that is what I have on my desk at the moment for my own army, over sixty of them! But already I have lots of other figures sitting in the wings waiting for their turn at bat. This will include plenty of 6mm Napoleonic's but plenty of other subjects and scales to, happy days.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Building of the Week - The Santa Clause

Chris ran an excellent Santa Clause this year though I was struggling with what to do for my target. His painting style was going t be difficult for me to copy and basing was far different from what is my norm I knew I could be providing a less than good match. However he did have some rather nice buildings and I thought I might have a chance of doing something that would fit.

This is a MDF kit that I have managed to loose who makes it but I decided t have some fun with it. The outer walls I coated in Reeves Coarse texture gel leaving the areas of bare brick showing. The inner walls I applied Reeves Gesso primer fr a smoother but not smooth finish. 

Then it was just a basic paint job adding smoke damage and some dirt to the outer walls after using a few different whites to get a more realistic aged look. The inside walls I tried to get a mixed room look without limiting it to much to one period.

I also had some wooden and terracotta bricks I added to the model scattering them around and dropping others down the chimney. Inside is a 28mm figure for scale.

In reality it was not quite as bright as the images look. The windows and sills had to be attached which were easy to do in fact I had no issues at all. It did come with some rubble bits but they looked exactly what they were, bits of board meant to look like rubble, not a jagged edge to be seen.

Several floor area's had tiling but I added sawdust and inked it to make it nice and grubby. I also added a few card roof tiles here and there to add to the clutter without cutting into figure placement space. Last off I used very watered down black paint and splattered the walls to give a sooty effect to the inside of the walls and make it yet more grubby.

It also came with a roof section that was crying out to have tiles attached. I was lucky enough to have a sheet of Warbase tiles in hand s it was just a case of cutting sections out and layering them up on the wooden frame and adding the odd mispositioned one to show them falling out of place, had lots of fun with that. Pre cutting I painted them as a page starting dark grey and working to light through dry brushing.

Last off was the outer base work, flocking and bush planting and I had a great time building it up. Fortunately it made it to Spain without incident and seems t have gone down well.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Black Tree Viking's for Saga (1 Point)

One of the plans for early 2015 is to build up my Saga Vikings for fighting against my Son and Lee when he gets his troops painted (hint hint). As such I had programmed a fair few into my Analogue Challenge prep work,, indeed I still have another sixteen figures ready to be painted in the coming two months. All figures are the very nice Black Tree Miniatures

Leader of this points worth of warriors is this guy. I wanted him to look suitably commanding so wanted to do my best on his shield so painted up this two headed dragon that came out a lot better than I expected as free hand is not exactly my strong suit.

The strange pose of this figure with the arm held close to the body had me stumped for a short while and then I thought why not have him wounded and quickly came up with the idea f a discarded shield, blooded tunic and blood running down his hand. Again it came out much as I had planned which is not the normal run of things here.

I used basic block painting with a wash of GW Agrax Earthshade followed by highlighting with the original colour. It's been suggested on the Challenge post that I should add a further colour to the highlight to lift it further so will try that with the next lot.

I painted a mix of hair colours, most dirty blond but a few with brown hair as well. I again went for the brighter colours and all but the first two have a more basic colour trim to their tunics as I figure lesser warriors would have less money to spend on fashion.

I also wanted to have a mix of more basic shield designs with some more complex. The slingers just had the basic designs befitting there lower warrior status (levies) whilst these would have to earn their crust in the shield wall, well the back rows but still.

The guy in the centre really reminds me of someone I worked with in the past, something I rather like. The poses are a little strange in a few cases whilst others are really good but the overall look of individuals rather than same pose different head is well worth the odd pose.

The yellow came through much better with the adding of the highlights and turned a problematic colour into a nice solid finish, glad I put in the extra effort, not that it was THAT much more effort.

Love the back of the shields that allow the wood grain to show with just a black base and light drybrush. Also the extra detail such as the knife held by two straps really help make the finished figure more interesting.

Lastly a very nice long house that Loki gave my son for Christmas (along with much more), really helped to make my sons day so thanks mate, I only borrowed it for the pics.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Celts and Napoleonic's

I had two lots of post in the last two days. First up was two copies of Crusader's March Attack Napoleonic rules for Corp size and up games. Just had a quick flick through and it looks like they could be used with the figures based the way we have them with a few changes. Not that we are actively looking for other rules but neither am I blind to them. Northstar have a sale on them at the moment down from £20 to just £5 so I picked up a set for Lee in case they are useful.

I also bought two boxes of Gallic Warband and a box of Gallic Command. These I plan to paint up for playing over at Kev's as you can never have enough Celt's it seems. I need to get these washed in watered down Dettlo as primer finds it hard to stick to them. They are quite rubbery so I can see it being fun to get them done.

I plan on getting movement trays fr them to cut down on the need to touch them. These will be for Hail Caesar games. Of course this will bump up the plastic section of the mountain but hopefully not for long.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

T34 Secret Santa Ready To Roll

I always like to get me Secret Santa painted (if applicable) as soon as I can after Christmas to show my appreciation of the gift and as such I was keen to get the T34's done in January. The fact that they are also great looking models also helped.

These are Plastic Soldier Company 1/76 scale T34's for the new project I am working on. These should see service both at Kev's Cabin and Lee's fortress. So far I have painted up a bx of Revell infantry and now these tanks. The tanks were hands down the best experience of the two.

You get a mix of equipment and also the option of adding the 76L turret or the 85L turret. I especially like that you can fit either at any time allowing it to be twice as useful and save the money on buying two versions. The detail is crisp and the tanks went together well,, every stage was a pleasant experience and something I will be happy to do again in the not so distant future when I buy other tank types.

I could not help myself but add a few tank riders to one of the tanks and as such had kept back a few models from the figures previously blogged about.

I also used a hot pin to make a slight grove in the turret from a glancing blow, maybe that's why everyone is jumping off?

I put the tanks on bases so they would be a little safer when being transported and in this case allow for the infantry to be added as part of the model. 

As you can see I am rather pleased with my tank riders little dio, I still need to buy some support elements and this will probably be done at York, or at least looked into. 

Here we have the same tanks but with an upgrade of the 85L turret, a much bigger turret and barrel. Somehow looks a lot meaner.

I have painted up a commander for each of the turret types allowing me to use that one as the command tank if desired. That said the early T34 could not fire whilst the commander was half out of the turret as he was also the gunner!

So a BIG thank you to my Secret Santa, you helped make a good day better when I opened up the parcel and I hope you like what I did with the gift. Already looking forward to this years event.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

500000 Hits. Thank you to all who take a look.

It's with a huge level of satisfaction that I can report that I have reached and breached the 500K mark of page views on the blog. I am very grateful that you guys and girls take the time to have a look and especially those who comment. Some of you comment on most posts and that's even more special but I am grateful to one and all, from the odd viewer to the frequent flyer. 

Normally a give away would be announced to mark the occasion but due to the possible threat to my job and the certain reduction in pay I can not offer such a celebration but I have another anniversary on the horizon so hopefully then.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Command & Colors Battle of Rolica 17th August 1808 AAR

As mentioned in a previous post Command & Colors Napoleonic arrived last Wednesday and I had the stickers all in place that night. The following evening I was over at Kev's enjoying having my clock well and truly cleaned so other than reading the rules n progress was made Thursday. Friday saw me set up the first scenario for me and my son to play that evening.

Start positions.
The first scenario in the book looks to be rather pro allied. They have more units and three times the artillery and the French not only have most of their troops in the centre but will have to keep them there most of the game. This in effect means the French player is likely to have less useful cards. Lastly the hill on each flank is worth one victory point to the Allies but nothing for the French. 

Portuguese forced into square.
As such I took the French which is as well as my son loves to always play the Brits. I coached him to an extent trying to explain how battles worked in the period and how the rules worked to give an advantage to players who tried to use such tactics.

I also read out the historical background and talked about the Peninsular war as I wanted him to be immersed in the action and feel it is important for him to get an understanding of the periods he plays from the start. 

He started with six cards t my five and also got the first turn. The cards have a great mix of standard move x units in x area and more specific cards such as Forced March, Rally etc. Such is the wording of the cards that my eight year old could come to grips with them and have a good idea how and when to use them.

Our fight was rather drawn out as he tried to blast me off the hill with Artillery and I managed the rolls that would force back his attacking units in the centre. It became apparent relatively early that the Allies needed the advantages earlier mentioned as the defender benefited from stationary firing that often broke up attacks, clearly this game has a lot of depth.

Winning moves on my left flank.
I was winning when we stopped for the night but was soon back at it post breakfast. I had four victory points and my son only two with the flank hills under no threat at all.

Then came a few turns where my son attacked hard on my left just at a time I was without any cards for that sector having used them up trying to force the win. Suddenly his light cavalry was forcing me into square whilst the infantry then came for the kill.

He was to do this twice so on the third attempt I stayed out of square and got a god kicking by the cavalry but no retreats before he finished them off with the infantry and took the win. A very pleasing game and one he really did pull out the bag.

We played a second game which I won though I had been forced off the hill through high losses. Unfortunately for my son he had sent a few units in unsupported and I took advantage. Much quicker end as I was able to defeat the Portuguese in the second game after they had won the first one.

Clearly the system has a lot of play and the depth of it's system is only starting to be mined but it's a game I think I will get a lot of pleasure from, both against my son but friends as well. As mentioned before we will build up forces in 6mm for it over the blocks starting at York in just over two weeks.

One point though is the build quality. I had Battle Cry years ago and the quality of the terrain tiles was much better than this games. That is a fairly minor issue given the quality of the other components such as quick reference sheets and play aids through to the counters.

In short, to me £50 was a great price and I am sure when my son is grown up and hopefully still enjoying our hobby we will both look back to this game with many fond memories.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Napoleonic Column - Into the Storm

I have rally enjoyed the whole Project Waterloo and still getting a lot of pleasure from the work that I continue to do and yet the release from the commitment of painting unit after unit for the game is so very sweet as well.

I have had the little base in mind for over a year but never felt I had the time to actually paint it up. Thus free from commitments I finally did this base just for the joy of doing it.

The idea being a French column marching into a storm of fire and despite this still closing up the ranks and marching on into the storm.

These are Adler 6mm figures and I am fairly sure it will make it onto that Waterloo table and just as sure it will run for it on the first roll! No matter, it's going to have it's 30 seconds of G(l)ory.

It's a mix Adler French line figures and the two casualty packs. I also want to do a version in square but that will have to wait till I buy some more casualties and troops in firing or kneeling positions. I think a Prussian version will be done before then.

The guy dead centre has a shako glued to the back f his head allowing it to look like it's falling off. This is aided by a small pin attached to the shako that fits into a hole in the base of the head. Very well thought out by Leon and these figures really add to your base.

Sprawled bodies behind the column also help tell the sorry story and the column is at the point of breaking as the central ranks get a pasting and the colours start to fall. I had to twist and bend the officer and standard bearer but the rest are all supplied as shown.

It was such fun to spend the time just messing around and whilst I need no more Naps for the Project I will continue to add more regular and fun bases as the mood takes me.