Sunday, December 27, 2009

New bloglet

Airfix Battle of Britian

A sentimental journey of Spitfires and Hurricanes, Messerschmidts, Heinkels and Stukas...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Clankety-clank - it's a (Steam) Tank!

A blast from my past - steam tanks inspired by the great Tremorden Rederring website. A heavy mobile casemate with three firing ports for her forward 12-pounder. She tows a Armstrong 40-pounder.
HMLS Oliphaunt wheezes forward, spear torpedo at the ready, a screen of sailors acting as skirmishers. Her semaphore ready to telegraph her next command.
SMDPW (His Majesty's Armoured Steam Wagon) Elfride; a light "raider" vehicle armed with little more than a single Gatling. Speedy at 12 kph.

UPDATE: Excellent TSaTF-based rules for steam inventions of all kinds - recommended.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Idle Googling

I like this one...

This one's OK...

I think I like this one best, but I'm open to argument...

UPDATE: It gets worse... I've just discovered I own a 20-figure unit of Castaway Arts Sikh Infantry...

Colonial Potterings

All the "Defence of Melbourne" work I've been doing recently (in conjunction to Bill's "General Pettygree" excellent adventure/blog/comic-strip) has left me feeling in a decidedly "colonial" frame of mind.

Thus inspired I've been at the Spencer Smith website, looking and daydreaming and lordy, lordy what do I see but some nice-looking Bengal Lancers:

Indian Officer parade position
Indian Sergeant parade position
Indian Trooper parade position
Indian Trooper turning in saddle
Indian Trooper lance slung
Indian Trooper charging

And some lads from the 24th:
Officer standing with drawn revolver
Bugler sounding call
Private kneeling reloading
Private kneeling firing
Private standing with rifle at the ready
Private standing firing
Private standing firing leaning forward
Private standing taking ammunition from pouch
Private standing fending off attack with rifle
Sergeant standing giving orders
Private falling wounded
Private lunging forward with bayonet

Samples ordered!

I've been following Bills' blog for a while and find it very enjoyable. I really like the larger units he's using. I'm more familiar with the Sword and the Flame rules, but I do admire what he's doing.

More anon when the samples have arrived.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What's he up to

Well, it's been ages since I've posted here.

Not all is quiet on the home front, but most of my activity is going on here at the moment:

Best regards to all..!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Earthwork - Ravelin

I couldn't be bothered painting any toy soldiers last week, so I built a Ravelin, telling myself I could use it with Fort Niagara eventually.
It's all polystyrene with balsa for the planking and matches for the uprights.
These projects look a real disaster until you get to the painting stage, I find. You know; a mess of raggedy, sanded-down* polystyrene covered with filler and sand; and then more sand because it looks like it's been clad in sand-paper. Then it's the stippling, the wet-on-wet work, the dry brushing, oops, gone too far, needs a wash of burnt sienna, oops too far in the other direction; another wash then one last dry-brrush and... does it look right, dear? You're the artist.
You should have done it in daylight.
Oh, yeah.
*Do the sanding outside if you value your health and relationship with your partner!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Affair of the Partridges

At the start of Turn 2, the French grenadier Company was due to arrive on table. It duly did so.
Iroquoise lurking in the background, adding nothing to the scenario save good looks. She's an old 1:100 brig that I built a few years back but never gort around to waterlining. I will use the off-cuts to represent a destroyed ship.

Roberts Rangers infiltrate the forested strip...

... while the light Company takes a more direct approach.

A roll of the dice ensured the Canadian militia entered the field at the start of Turn 2.

I was snap-happy enought to take another shot of them!

Will the French regulars be able to hold out? The light Infantry spent the whole of Turn 2 extending their Field Works so they's be able to accommodate both themselves and the Grenadiers when they arrived.

A general view. The French regulars are in the background, the British light Company in the fore. Rangers are in the woods at the right, whilst the French Militia are entering mid-table to the left.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Simple Things

After last weeks' post on getting Old School with my terrain, I decided to continue down the cork tile path. I bought another pack and broke half the tiles up into large, irregular chunks. Their reverse sides were painted green then stippled all over with yellow ochre tobrighten them up and to provide some visual interest.
The idea was to provide something like a river bank that could be used to disguise the sharp edge of the felt that I am using more and more in combination with our outdoor garden furniture. I like this table a lot because, left strategically uncovered, it provides a nice water effect. Gaming outside is lovely when the weather is right. Come the Summer, I may have to flip the tiles over, replace the felt with some brown paper and take out my Egyptiand and Mahadists!

Captain Chaberts' men defend a breastwork left over from last weeks' terraining activities!

A canoes-eye view through the Merit trees.

Chaberts' men strain in the misty coolth of the dawn for the first movement that may betray their enemies.

The view from the Iroquoise as she glides over the limpid waters.

A more general view that shows what is becoming - quickly - my new terraining philosophy; The Simple Things.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Field Works

Erin, supervising.

I spent this weekend having a revelation and then (for once) acting upon it.

I realised that there is no way in the world I am going to do my dreamt-of very "high end" display-quality model of Fort Niagara.


I simply will not have the time, materials or money to make that happen.

If that does not happen, then all the little toy soldiers I've been working on for the past year will have gone for nought and I'm a bit sick of that!

Having rid myself of that false conception was really quite liberating and I took myself to the hardware store and bought some cork tile and some lengths of 19mm quarter-round beading. Next stop was the art-supply shop for some cheap green and yellow acrylic paint.

Here's what I came up with:

An entrenched, redoubted camp, somewhere in the Germanies with fleches for advanced piquets.

The march of the siege; the first parallel with a protective pair of redoubts (doubtless manned by Grenadiers) at either end. A sap wends it's serpentine way relentlessly forward.

A fort in the wilderness, to the right is a lake, to the left a river...

The same fort, with the Gate of the Five Nations in the foreground. Some of you will recognise the ravelin and half-bastions from another project.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Babies and the Art of Military Modelling

Well, life goes on. Me and Erin and an Airfix Gloster Gladiator.
The North Africa project. The Dorchester Armoured Command vehicle is scratch-built on an AEC Matador Chassis. It took me a week of half-hour spots here and there.

Another of the ACV with Matildas preparing to stand off hypothetical attackers. Next post will take us back to the Eighteenth Century.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

And now for something completely different

Just for a change of pace, I thought I'd get off some shots of my slowly-expanding North Africa collection that I've started work on again with a few small eBay purchases. I've had these Matildas for ages and have more in stock, which is lucky as they do not seem to be in production by airfix at the moment, although the Italeri ones seem fine to me.

I'm not really building any historical Order of Battle, just bits that take my fancy. I'm thinking these will go towards 7RTR, eventually which means I'll need at least a total of 7 if I am to fuill tout the Rapid Fire organisation.
These Vickers Lights were a very intelligent purchase on the part of Airfix of a mould that was developed by JB models some years ago. It's currently in production and a really nice little kit that builds very easily.

The faithful old Airfix Universal carrier. Such a useful kit, and it looks splendid in my rather inaccurate Caunter Camoflage. Oughtn't that blue be grey instead?

The Germans arrive. I have had these two Opel Blitzes forever; more than 15 years if you can believe that. A bit like the old Matchbox Pz 2 I have had floating around (and still intact) for donkeys' years.

Italian M13/40 by Italeri; another old m0del I've had for years. Like some others, it is now back in production after a fair old absence and I have taken advantage of the opportunity to stock up on them; terribly useful vehicles for equipping either side!

I picked up an old Gloster Gladiator kit from Airfix last week and was delighted thay had included transfers for "Faith", "Hope" and "Charity", Maltas' legendary defenders against the early Italian assault. Put them with a few Vickers and a pair of Matildas painted in the Malta "stone wall" pattern, and you could do all sorts of things with fallschirmjaeger...
Just a thought.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Of Partridges and Walnuts

It was not long after Captain Joincare had arrived at his appointed place with his piquet that he found himself met by two partridge hunters, the brothers Gudenus.

The fusilieers were all of them taking their ease, variously smoking upon their clay pipes, or playing cards or at dice or at whatever took their fancy. One of them, called by himself "Jolicoeur", Joincare was pleased to remember, was talented with partridge, walnuts, the broad leaves of trees and the embers of a fire burned low.

For their part, the Brothers Gudenus (Daniel and Louis as they were named) were pleased to accept six sous for a brace. They had been shooting for the pot, but now had coin with which to purchase some lace for their sisters' wedding-dress.

Upon taking their leave of the Captain, Daniel and Louis made their way homeward by trails that they themselves (with the exception of the local Abenakis) only knew.

Imagine their surprize to espy when only two miles from where they had left Captain Joincare a party of Englishmen who were obviously designing some ill.

Daniel, being the elder, instructed his brother to run to the French and tell them what the English were about. He himself would run home and arouse their relations.

It ought to be mentioned at this point that the Gudenus and several of their neighbours were of course (as was widely known by people in the area) Acadians and, on account of the misfortunes suffered by those people, bore the English great ill-feeling and would not forebear to do them like injury in return.

Louis ran with all speed and informed Captain Joincare of the presence of the English soldiers, and thus raised in his mind a dilemma.

The knew the English were in the area in numbers greater than his own, but not how many. He could count on the support of Captain Chabert's Grenadiers, but they were some distance away and he was not sure when exactly they might arrive. In similar like, he was assured the assistance of an unknown number of militia at an unknown time.

His orders promised him support and implied that he must watch the road.

What to do?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In the Woods

Gonna tek you under me wing boy. You looks to be greener than me sleeve. You'll need to keep yer eyes open to mek yer way here, boy, yessir you will.
Be lucky, you'll mebbe see Frenchies - they knows what they is doing in these woods, boy.

You'll be imaginatin' red men every-where before long. Mark me words, boy.

But sometimes, well, a whole durn war-party can sneak on by ye before you spots 'em. He-he-he! Thet happens an' your pretty scalp'll be decoratin' some long-haouse bye'n'bye.

Lissen to whut Cap'n Roberts tells ye. Watch him an' learn, boy. See how he gits on daoun thet Injun trail. Eh? eh?

Yer Cap'n de Lancey, he might be a-tellin' Roberts that his men would never stoop to skulking in the woods like savages or a Frencher. He'll be doin' it hisself before long.

But you lobsters are mekkin' a hash of things, boy. Ye're all spread out like which ez good, but ye've no order to ye.

Try et agin, like uz, laddie.

Et's not easy, goin' a-rangin', but mebbe th' bloodybacks'll mek good.