Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Friday, 30 December 2016

That was 2016!

Finishing off table clutter
Having just read last years update post I see that I had a few aims at that point. Firstly the desire to get my Italian Napoleonic's bottomed. That happened and linked to this was a start of the Poles. Well 1 out of 2 then but at least the Poles should be started in the next few months as the Challenge runs on.

I was expecting to finish off my 15mm Persians, well I have got close, just one more cavalry unit to paint and they are prepped ready for this years challenge so looking good. I managed to get less of the Macedonian finished, notably two units of cavalry. One of these is prepped the other not so lets hope I get round to these soon.

The ECW in 15mm has not been touched and I doubt it will happen this year. I am OK with this as I have not touched the painted army all year.

I had well over 5,000 figures unpainted this time last year. I now have 5,037 and did dip to almost 4,500 before getting my Christmas present. My plan for the challenge to get to below 4,000 with the ultimate aim of being below 3,000 by the end of May.

But what of projects and aims for 2017?

15mm SYW 
The new project of 2016 (March) has seen a fair production of painted units. This should continue through this year. I need to get more of The Boy's units painted though as we plan to get a good few games in with Lee with our campaign of Little Nations. 

15mm Ancients
We all know projects are never actually finished as such but the Persians are likely to come to a halt once I have this last cavalry unit painted, but I may still add the odd unit to it.
The Macedonian and offshoots will get some attention, two cavalry units and two phalanx's are up for early this year and I want to buy some Forged in Battle miniatures for at least a couple more blocks of pointy boys but that will probably be it for 2017, well unless I buy some more other units.

15mm WWII
Looks like it's more backwater that ever. If Lee and me get a game or two in I can see this getting more attention. I would be most likely just adding to the forces Lee has for say the Russians than setting out for my own force. We just need to get going with it.

6mm Napoleonic's
Already touched on the Poles, also need to get back on track with doing a few Prussians every now and then which will be happening sooner than later.
The French also need to get some love, got hundreds of figures in my lead pile so I plan to get a few battalions done every now and then.

6mm Ancients
The Macedonian's have been seeing a lot of attention and will get yet more in the next few months, mostly infantry. That will mean I will need to add yet more cavalry at some point but the bigger need is to paint up the last of my Persians and get more, a lot more. The only issue with getting 20 pike blocks is the need to face them with a Persian hoard. Not that I believe the Persians outnumbered the Macedonians as much as the victors claimed but I still need more of them!

6mm ECW
After reading a couple of books on the ECW I am now all fired up and painting these guys again. With eight regiments of infantry on the table I can confidently say it's started again. I also have leaders, cavalry and dragoons prepped, just got to keep them in the front of my mind.

Other projects
I have a number of other projects on the go, none of which are high on the paint list but will keep having something done from them just to keep the painting interesting. 

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

That's A Lot of Bristles.

As 2016 limps out of the building I managed a few good long sessions at the painting table and I needed them! I knew I had another 400(ish) Baccus figures landing in my lap Christmas day so I wanted to get this lot off the table before the year came to an end.

Those who have followed this blog for some time know of my plans to paint up twenty phalanx of pike, each numbering 96 figures. These bring my total up to fourteen and with another four all bright and shinny waiting to be prepped that will get me so close to that target.

My shields always look better from a distance ;-)  Now I am reaching the magic twenty I do think that maybe once I have enough opposition for them I really need to think about doing more, after all if twenty look good how good would thirty look?

Well this is what fourteen look like. At some point we plan to put on a game at Joy of Six, as it stands it will be the end of the pike era facing the Romans. However it could yet be against the Persians, all depends on what we get painted up. Lee is sorting out the Romans and I have made a start on the Persians. 

Obviously the Macedonian armies are not just pike and as such I need quite a supporting cast but I already have a fair few cavalry and other troop types but it's the phalanx that takes the time and of course adds most to the cost. Each base costs £6.60 in figures alone but it's worth it for the effect alone. However each block is the equal to four Napoleonic infantry battalion. Sobering thought.

I plan to get the next four blocks done before the challenge finishes but that really depends on progress of other projects. Both The Boy's and my 15mm SYW armies need to see a fair bit of the challenge, and I have other 6mm periods to scratch so diversity in 6mm with a curve ball or two in 15mm just to keep an edge to what I have on the table.

These four got the addition of casualties which makes use of the open space in front of the troops. Something that will see further use and lead to other additions. 

the gluing of the pikes remains one of the more time consuming parts but it also gives a sense of achievement as it acts as a real countdown to being done.

Keeping with the SYW I have half based my Santa Clause this morning and hope to get pictures of these and the unit of Hussars Lee gave me just before Christmas.

Monday, 26 December 2016

SYW Prussian Guns 1st Entry Into This Years Challenge

I wanted to get something finished on the first day of the challenge and was lucky enough to get the day off work so rushed these over the line.

Two are Old Glory via Timecast. As you would expect the figures and guns had a good level of detail which was nice to paint up.

 I have painted the smallest one as a battalion gun with two crew and the other much larger gun with four crew to represent a large gun. Medium guns will have three crew. I have rather more guns and crews than I expect to use as I also bought the Old Glory Jagger and Horse Artillery pack and having since bought the army pack from Lancashire games I had a load of guns from them. Still if the army gets huge I can always use them.

The figures are not quite this bright just the amount of light from outside on a clear winters morning.

The Lancashire Games light gun is even smaller and looks the part of a battalion gun. Blackpowder rules make battalion guns rather useful as normal medium and heavy guns can not move once set up so on the attack can quickly be left behind. 

I had already stuck the figures to their bases prior to painting (not the guns) this made it a little tricky to paint up the interior detail, especially on the four man crew. To get round the drying time of the sand and exterior paint mix I made use of a warm oven. This sped up the drying time no end though I found it still to be a little tacky in a couple of places. 

Other than that the usual finish of two highlights to mix (coffee and light flesh by MP Paints) some mixed static grass and a few tufts from Tajima1. This will give me all the artillery I need for now, though I will have to add more as the army grows. This challenge will see a growth in the SYW army as I plan to keep going back to the army. The two new cavalry units I have received will also help to expand my force and I have a pair of battalions on the table which should be finished before the end of the week.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Thank You Santa Clause

Can't wait till I can get these based up, my Santa Clause has been a big hit with me and a real big THANK YOU to my giver.

My gift is the 9th Prinz von Schonaich-Carolath Cuirassiers for my SYW Prussian army and is a perfect addition. This will give me three regiments of cuirassiers and will be a good base to build my cavalry around.

The figures are Lancashire Games and the paint work is really crisp and the colours pop. I could not have asked for a better present.

I also received as gifts from family enough Lancashire Games dragoon figures for four regiments so these will be added to the prep pile soon and also four packs of Baccus Macedonian pike to replace the ones I have just finished. Great timing.

So again a big thanks to my Santa Clause and of course thanks also to Chris for running the event.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Secret Santa 2015 Finally Finished

I hang my head in shame as I write today's post. Whilst I quickly made up the wagon and the thunderbox I failed to actually paint the other parts of my wonderful present from last years Santa Clause. But with the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge about to start I decided I had to get them finished before this started and with such a dead line started to get cracking.

The toilet is by Foreground and is an excellent little model that has already seen some action in a western gunfight I played with The Boy, Lee and his daughter.

The figure was also part of the present, being The Duke I am assuming. He has sat (literally) primed and waiting since I think February. Not the way to say thank you for such a nice gift.

Colonel Bills do a few different figures to be mounted on the loo, I really like this one though Dave D has done another option as part of his first entry in the Challenge.

The other part of my present was this Foreground wagon and a pair of resin loads also from Colonel Bills.

The fact that the loads painted up really quickly just made the long wait so much worse! I need to get my buildings all painted and so get more games played as they always go down well with the kids.

The loads were given a mix of wood paints (and a leather belt!) and then a black ink wash to bring out the grain of the cases. I am really happy with how they came out.

The second load is shown outside the wagon. I will obviously need to get another wagon so as to be able to use both loads, see an easy excuse works wonders.

So thank you to my Secret Santa from last year and again, sorry it took me so long to get my brushes out.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

French SYW Dragoons by Lancashire Games

Sorry it's been over a week since my last post. Not that I have nothing to post about, just mostly worn down by a busy end to our busy period at work along with being more than a little under the weather. I managed to resist posting about all my prep (well post dedicated to the subject). However that was what took up most of my hobby time but in the end the need to paint something won out and I got these almost finished before the Analogue Painting Challenge started.

These are Lancashire Games French Dragoons from their SYW range and are for The Boy's army. He now has two regiments of Dragoons, three guns, three command stands and a single battalion of infantry. Clearly I need to now pay attention to expanding this arm of his army.

The Boy choose the regiment for me to paint based on images of the regiments and their cornets. He has another regiment picked out that I hope to paint for him during the challenge but that is a bit down the list of unit to do. He will be receiving more Lancashire Games figures for Christmas, enough to make a further two regiments of dragoons and and four battalions of infantry. After that I will have to get him some heavy cavalry, hussars and grenadiers. That should keep me busy.

This is the regiment Languedoc which did not it appears have a very busy war but The Boy liked the colour of the uniform and the two colour standard seems he will be building a colourful army. 

Next up for his army will be one more battalion of his own uniform design then onto a couple of normal uniform colours so plenty to go at over the next few months.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

A Week In ASL

I always have a number of games of Advanced Squad Leader going at any one time. These games are played via email using a platform called VASL. Strange how a game that relies on fairly constant interaction  between players can actually work in this manor. 

I actually am playing ten games via email at the moment but here I will concentrate on just the six I play with my Australian opponent Rob. Each log had something interesting happen and as all the scenarios are from different periods of WWII  as well as different environments I thought I would share them here. I can't think of a single other game or rule set that can cover this diversity.

1st September 1939 Poland. My three Polish armoured cars had already bested three German counterparts though I lost two of mine and malfunctioned the main gun on the surviving AC. The German attack has stalled but Rob has a safe location to rally some of his broken squads. I go into close combat with his covering half squad roll snakes which kills them instantly. As I rolled double 1 I get a leader creation roll gaining a 7-0 leader and get to advance out of the hex. I took advantage and moved next to that safe hex forcing the broken squads into disruption and making their rally much much harder.

3rd September 1940 China. The Chinese Government troops and the Communist Red Chinese (CCP) had formed an alliance to fight the invading Japanese. The CCP had left the Government troops to do most of the fighting whilst husbanding their forces. This changed with the Hundred Regiments Offensive. Here Rob is again on the attack and fighting through jungle into a village. The Chinese start with a 2:1 advantage but the Japanese get more troops half way through the game. 
I made several Banzai charges that weakened one flank of the two attacking columns. Part of my force is made up of dummy units so Rob can not be too sure where my main defence is. I had a stack of three counters that could be a unit, a unit with a MG or leader or fake. Rob went with fake and put a crew next to them with the intent of moving into the building the following turn. The unit was real, I passed on firing in the firing turns and stayed in position until the final move section of the turn where I advanced into close combat and being concealed managed to get a straight ambush killing his crew and slipping back into the building still concealed. Rob now knows the unit is real but still does not know what it is and if it does indeed have a support weapon.

11th May 1943 Tunisia. I as the attacking French and American's need to push through a deep defence comprising of both Italians and Germans. At no point do the Italians and Germans have a strong force to use as a blocking force. Rob needs to draw back as many of his troops as possible whilst using the scattered forward units to try to slow down my advancing troops. I have a mix of American armour and some British Valentines in French service and some of the obsolete Somua S-35's. Infantry are supplied by the French in a mix of British and captured Italian trucks. 
Both sides lost some tanks with a number of them brewing up and with wind suddenly starting the issue of smoke slowing me down and causing hindrances to firing threatens to throw my attack off track. 

5th July 1943 Kursk Russia. I have the Russians defending with five AT guns all of which have little punch. Helping me out is a group of bunkers backed up with barbed wire and a mix of AT and AP mines. I have plenty of infantry 13 squads and 14 crews with three T34's arriving at the half way point. The Germans don't have a massive advantage in infantry but turn up with 11 tanks, three of them early Tigers! 
I failed to do much against Rob in the early turns but my hidden ATG's started scoring kills once he had passed them and they fired into the rear of his tanks. However a burning tank in the same hex as one of my ATG's hidden in a wheat field has set the wheat on fire and I now have to either try to push the gun out of the hex which will probably get the crew killed or just leave the gun. I can of course also try to put out the flames before they fully take hold.

7th February 1945 Buda, Hungary. The German war effort is in tatters. Hitler ordered Budapest to be fortified and held till the last bullet. By February Pest had already been captured and the German and Hungarian garrison squeezed into an ever small area. Ammunition and food was scarce and the last bullet could soon be a reality. This scenario is fought on a historical map of Buda and lots of the buildings have sections of building rubbled making some interesting shooting opportunities. Snow lies on the ground making some movement more difficult and the fighting is very close and personal. The axis have to be careful of which shots to take as a high roll can cost them guns and support weapons and even reduce squads in quality to simulate the low levels of ammunition on the frontline.

16th April 1945 Iserlon, Germany. A motley mix of German infantry from elite battle hardened veterans to newly raised conscripts defend in a city with a good assortment of mg's and three Jagtigers. Facing these is a large American infantry force well armed and four heavy self propelled assault guns. I as the attacker took advantage of the low morale of the Germans and took prisoners wherever possible. Soon I was finding the prisoners to be quite a handful as squads were having to be taken out of the fighting to guard them.
Lots of fighting around the Jagtigers with many a shot bouncing off the sides (no chance of penetration from the front unless via a critical hit.In the end I took the most troublesome one with a bazooka shot. The defence is cracked but still resisting, it really does feel like a last stand.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Fredrick The Great in 15mm

I needed to add at least one new command stand for my army as it is growing at a reasonable pace. So who better than the gaffer himself?

All figures are Old Glory via Timecast and have a good amount of detail, not all of which I have graced with paint ;-)

Normally command bases have two mounted figures but this being the C-in-C gets three models on it. Being THE commander, i.e. Fredrick The Great himself I wanted a bit of a cameo look about it so here we have one commander pointing, a ADC looking and Fred ignoring. Classy yes...........? eh ok I get your point :-)

The base is larger than the other command stands so it's obvious who the boss is. I actually have another base with three figures on that is on the normal size so being a bigger base will help a lot.

Painting up three? well five takes about the same amount of time so why not get another stand done. So I should have enough to keep me going until I get a few more cavalry units painted up, then I will need more so I guess I will be painting up another couple of bases worth in the not too distant future.

I like everything about these figures except the standing horses front legs. They should really have a gap between them but are cast with this filled in. After too much time trying to cut the metal out on previous figures I have just left it well alone. No deal breaker but a little annoying as it did not have top be done this way.

With just under two weeks left till the painting challenge kicks off you won't see any big units cross the table but I hope to get a few more single figures and maybe a small unit or two done before it all goes OTT. I still have time before the challenge starts to finish off more prep. I am mostly slowed down by opportunities to prime prepped figures. I have plenty ready to prime but now have ran short of sticks to put them on, I need to paint something then!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

SYW Prussian Converged Grenadiers

Been a gap in posting, lots of reasons none of them that good but I am back with something new to show you. Whilst I have not blogged for over a week I have been painting and prepping, sometimes at real stupid times but until I can get back to normal I will be taking advantage of the opportunities LOL.

I finally finish off the second battalion I have of Old Glory (via Timecast) these also being a converged battalion made up of the grenadiers of the 24/34th regiments. These are a little more interesting as the two regiments did not have a matching uniform. The trousers and waste-coats being yellow for the 34th and white for the 24th.

The mitres are also quite different with the 34th having silvered plates (during campaign the silver paste would sometimes come off leaving them with a brass finish. The 24th have the standard brass plates. The rear of the hats also are different, represented here with different shades of blue. Rather than mix them together I have them half and half as I think that would be the way they would organise them. Especially when first brought together to aid unit cohesion.

Old Glory as you would expect supply a good looking set of figures which adds to the painting time but gives plenty of reward for spending the time.

I really enjoyed painting these guys and these make my infantry quite a force, really need to get a few more cavalry and a gun or two painted. I will be getting four dragoon regiments for Christmas so expect more horse flesh to been seen in the new year.

I have prepped quite a few figures for the coming challenge but only three guns and crews for the SYW so I need to get a few battalions at least prepared over the next three weeks. Especially as I plan to paint up a few for The Boy. 

Not that I plan to stop painting till the challenge starts but most of what I will paint will be single figures. I have also been preparing for when I make holes in the painting queue. First up the four regiments of dragoons. Also the long planned 6mm figures to extend the pike phalanxes. Enough figures for another four units. If things go really well I could have them finished by the end of the challenge. If so then the Macedonians will probably be halted until I can get a fair few more Persians painted up to balance the numbers.