Saturday, December 30, 2017

4th Quarter Painting

Nice to have a camera that sort of works again..!

First of all, some Soviets:
Pegasus Maxim Crew 
Pegasus Fast-Build T-26s
 Nice little kits these. Vastly superior to the Minairons offering.
Strelets Winter War Russians
They do what it says o the box, but no heavy weapons. I have painted a full battalion of these but have looked to Pegasus and Zvezda for specialists. Any more infantry I buy will be Pegasus, I think.

Next, a couple of guns for the Finns:
These are HaT Industrie hard plastic Putilov 76.2mm Field Guns
These guns were the mainstay of the Finnish field artillery during the Winter War. Obsolescent and short of ammunition, the Finnish gunners performed creditably with them.

Next up came some Prince August homecast additions for my son's little Saxon army:
Rump-a-tump-tump, rump-a-tump-tump
This is the narrow wheelbase version as I couldn't get the axles to cast properly! 
 And finally, the DAK came to town. Kits from PSC.
Early mark PzKw IIIs
Everyone's favorite eight-wheeled armored cars:
What's not to love?
There's other stuff - some PSC PAK38s, a Horch heavy car and a couple of SdKfz 251s. Bit of a slow burner though and I don't expect to have them in a war-gameable condition until the second half of the year.

Plans? Oh, the Finns need a few tweaks. I'd like to get a few ski-companies, a couple of Reindeer drawn sledges and I am still waiting on a brace of AT guns. Surprisingly thy already have air support in the shape of an old FROG Fokker and a Blenheim MK1. The Soviets will need to expand to at least regimental strength with an attached armored battalion and other supporting arms. They have some Polikarpov fighters, but i would like to track down a Tupolev SB-2 bomber to try supplu drops into their mottis.

I want to get into some winter terrain. I have some white 'chino' cotton for base cloths and some 'winter' pine trees, but need to put field fortifications and a couple of bunkers together.

Another company of PSC PZ IIIs would be welcome too!

The Winter War

I have started collecting figures for a 20mm Winter War project.

For the Finns, I'm using Eureka Miniatures excellent figures. Apart from gun crews and perhaps cavalry and vehicle crews, the range includes pretty well everything you could need to make up a Finnish army.

I have painted a battalion so far. Here are a couple of pictures to get a taste of how they are coming along.

MG and Crew
 Very happy how they are coming out.
Riflemen in the snow
I have started on the Soviets as well. I've painted a box of the Strelets Winter War  infantry, but  the limited options in the box mean that heavy weapons and command figures need to be sourced elsewhere. I bit the bullet and went to Pegasus who have lovely great coated Soviet troops with anti-tank rifles, Maxims and 81 and 120mm mortars. naturally these are meant for the Great Patriotic War period and there are anachronisms - like the ATRs, SMGs and the M1940 helmets, but my options are limited and what the heck, I do have the Rapid Fire! supplements for the eastern Front, so what the heck.

I will be using Zvezda Senior Officers, 76.2mm infantry guns 76.2mm and 122mm M30 artillery.
Zvezda Winter Command. Love the chap with the pipe and the Astrakhan hat.

Wish me luck and have a happy new year!

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Sawmill Village

Confederates deployed at 'Entry A'; the Union at Entry 'B'

The lads and i played through 'Sawmill Village" this Sunday. 

Starting at ten, we laid out the troops on the table I had prepped beforehand. I was using my Tradition 25s collection of ACW which are organised more or less on Featherstone's lines and so it seemed fair enough that we would use The Don's ACW rules.

Each run through took about 90 minutes from 10 AM on with a brief break for lunch halfway through the second game. We absolutely rattled through the moves. I am reasonably familiar with he rules and was able to keep things going along at a good clip.

The Rebels had the lesser force of a pair of guns and four units of infantry whilst the Union were about a move further away from the village in question had six units of infantry, one of cavalry and a pair of guns had further to march. The rebels were dogged with a tight space for their initial deployment, though blessed with a good, dominating place for their artillery. The Union made good use of their cavalry once they decided they made good, high speed infantry to get enough troops into the village to hold out until reinforcements arrived. They were never able to satisfactorily depoly their artillery due to the narrowness of their avenue of advance between the woods and the heights to their right.

Three cracking games that we will follow up with another to see what happened after the Rebels failed to take the town.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Jean V, Sieur de Poix - killed at Agingourt
 I bought the Perry "French Infantry" box set from their "Agincourt to Orleans" range last week. What a magnificent collection of miniatures you can build from it. I have painted 14 men at arms and now have my eyes on some pavesiers and crossbowmen.
Unknown. I suspect he's one of the Miolans family. Their Savoyard castle still stands and was the one-time prison of the Marquis de Sade..!
Marvellous stuff. It's all just for fun at the moment, but could develop into something serious as I go on.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Rorke's Drift Terrain - The Calm Before the Storm

Our Rorke's Drift Terrain is almost complete. The main terrain element still missing is the stone wall that ought to be in the region of the tree with the orange foliage at the top right of the picture.

You may note that the biscuit box retrenchment wall is missing in these photos, as is the mealie redoubt. This is because these features were added during the action and so they will not be there at the start of the game.
 A Zulu's view of the station. The vantage point is the garden of the mission station. I have decided to represent it as an orchard as I have seen it described as both a garden and as an orchard. In game terms it means that any Zulu hiding there can only be hit on a 6!
The front of the hospital. The men at the barricade in front of the porch will form it's garrison.

This section of the barricade was not manned during the fight as it formed an exposed salient in the line. Rather, the men lined the 'dog-leg' barricade to take attackers in enfilade if they tried the porch. Note that any Zulus who make it onto the porch are pretty safe!
And finally we come to a view of the rear of the position seen from from the terraces rising up to the Oskarberg. Note how vulnerable the men at the far barricade are from the rear from any elevation. Note what an intimate space it is. It's a good thing the Zulus are poor shots.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Rorke's Drift Terrain Test

I'm preparing to put on a Rorkes' Drift game for some of the lads in the next fortnight and have been putting some terrain together. This was originally meant to be a convention game for Little Wars Melbourne. Sadly, convention was cancelled, so I have decided to put it on as a somewhat lavish game here at home.
Some really excellent Ox Wagons by 4Ground painted by me to resemble Boer carts with green bodywork and  red wheels with the paints just washed on over the MDF which I feel gives a somewhat weathered effect for very little effort. Unlike the movie, the wagons at the station were not tipped over to form barricades. Rather, they were run together with sacks of mealies and biscuit boxes used to cover the gaps between the wheels.
The mealie bag walls are made from DAS air-drying clay. I rolled it out, flattened it and then marked in the divisions between the bags. Strips of them are piled up to make lengths of wall 10-15cms long.
On the south side of the station was a rock wall about 2 metres high. I can't think of too many games I have read about that have made much of the difficulty the Zulu's would have had assaulting this wall. I have chosen to give the British a bonus in hand-to-hand combat if they are defending from an elevated position to reflect their advantage.
 This is the so-called well-built kraal. I threw it down from Italeri stone walling. This is a very useful and flexible piece of terrain from this well-regarded manufacturer.
Shewing the basics of the building's I'm making up is the Storehouse. The black walls are 5mm foam-core with the paper soaked off one face and with detail etched in with a sculpting tool. The gable walls of the station were of stone, so I used the 10mm foam-core I had in store. It's chunky and takes etched stone detail really well. I used the same technique for texturing the surface. The base is 3mm MDF which I cut out with my jigsaw and sanded with a block.

More as we get closer to game day.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Action at Chikaboogie Creek

Colonel Lawford had been tasked with the defense of the line of the Chikaboogie Creek.
Map for a table 90cm x 150cm
He had three regiments of infantry (the usual suspects - the 5th Alabama, the 1st Texas and the 9th Virginia) and a pair of guns.

A note on terrain: The Chikaboogie is a middling body of water crossed by a stone bridge. It is fordable east of the bridge. North of the river is the small hamlet of Mooresville which itself nestles in a small valley in the Black hills. The Northern side of the town is much encumbered by stone agricultural enclosures that form an obstacle to the free movement of infantry.

On the Southern side of the river, the land rises gently in a series of low terraces that are not an impedient to movement but do allow artillery to fire over the heads of infantry.

His orders are to prevent the Union from forcing the passage of the creek to defend the approaches to Greggton to the South.

Brigadier-General Guildenstern has four Union Regiments and a pair of guns. His orders are to take the bridge at Mooresville. He has determined that the best means of doing that would be to take possession of the heights to the South of the creek. He will attempt to do this by pushing two regiments through the town and over the bridge. His other two will ford the river and attempt to turn the Rebels out of their position.

Lawford has determined that he will put two of his regiments forward to defend the bridge while keeping his third in reserve. His artillery he will retain in the rear on the heights to keep good fields of fire.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Franco-Prussian Frenzy

I was very lucky today.

I was poking about on eBay and stumbled across a smallish collection of 25mm Tradition FPW figures. Imagine my surprise on looking at them closely (for they are very well-painted) and noticing they were painted by Stuart Asquith.

Well, considering it's my birthday, I could not really turn them down, could I? All I need now is to come up with rules for ten-figure units. A mere bagatelle, surely?

And here they are, a few pics (not the whole collection) that I nicked off eBay.
French Line
Thuringian Infantry
Tirailleurs Algeriens
I do like the fact that Stuart has supplemented the very limited Tradition FPW range by a few judicious additions from their WW1 range. Looking carefully at the figures (of which I already have some here) I think it might be possible to make up some Chasseurs d'Afrique out of their ACW cavalry, perhaps while also using some Union gunners to man the French Artillery. I love making do with old ranges - stretches the imagination and makes you really look deeply at what is available. Now, I wonder if the Scruby 25mms are compatible..?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Back on the Wagon

Now, despite the small setback of a few weeks ago, you might all be thinking I have been sitting here on my bottom having a jolly good sulk. tempting though self-pity has been, I have decided that onward is better than funk, so I have gotten on with a few projects.

In no particular order then, a Great War project using Emhar figures - and maybe some Revell ones if they emerge from the stash at some timely point. To date this consists of a pair of guns, a lumbering great A7V behemoth and about 40 infantry and gun crew; all Germans so far, although a number of British are waiting in the wings. as are a trio of Whippet tanks. This project has all been done in glorious 1/72 plastic which - as you will see - has been a bit of a theme with me.. This has been one of those neat little projects that has been put together purely out of the stash with nothing additional bought.

 Next I have started what I think may be the creation of a fairly ambitious army of Sumerians. Sumerians? Take a look here. Anyway, I have so far got 24-figure phalanxes for Lagash and Ur each painted up with another three planned and an option on more. Two units of skirmishers have also been completed and I am contemplating the first squadron of three chariots. All by HaT. Not quite out of the stash, but by heaven they are long daydreamed of.

As of today, though, I have been working on my Littler Briton's project which longer readers of this blog will doubtless remember. Having been spurred on by the rediscovery of some forgotten part-painted figures I have gotten on and painted a dozen British infantry and a few Gurkha's. My intention is to use them for some gridded war games per Bob Corderey's rules and as demonstrated so ably by Ross MacFarlane. As well as this, I wish to use them for some Wellsian games both on the floor and in the garden using some rules written up by Stuart Asquith by way of Donald Featherstone. Enough name dropping, eh? Just get on with it. Nearly there. Just need a few more cavalry.

I understand that without pictures this is all just words, so I'll try to take a few photos and post them up here soon.
The Shape of Things to Come?
And lastly, to return to where I began, yesterday the postman delivered two bags of RSM castings from the US which will in the fullness of time become the ersatz IR5 and II/IR6. I set the grenadiers up  on the kitchen table and they look pretty damn good to me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Verlorene Soldaten

To my unexpectedly very great distress, I have managed to lose a large chunk of one of my core armies. This has been the result of the very great disorder attendant upon our home renovations. It's absolutely bloody comical on one level, but I'm completely distraught on another. And it's not even the money they cost but the sheer investment of time and effort to get them to this place. I just cannot believe it.
Poof, gone. The French artillery.

 GR2 bis
 HR1 and HR5
 The Saxon LeibGrenadierGarde
 von Bruhls' Foot
 The entire goddam artillery park!
Whatever will the King say?

UPDATE - he'll say, you forgot to mention IR#13 and the von Kleist Croats, idiot!