Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Baccus French Infantry - Bicorne New Castings Painted Review.

After painting up the later Napoleonic infantry from the recently released lines I quickly came to the conclusion that any review that does not include attacking the figures with a paintbrush is not much of a review, so with that in mind I can now finish off the previous review with the finished article. So here we have   NFR10 French Infantry - Bicorne (96 figs for £6) and NFR20 French Infantry, bicorne, skirmish (48 figs £3).

Paris Guard all dapper in their unusual uniforms.
Buying the figures just for review was OK but Lee pointed out I could have a go at painting them up as Paris Guard which I just might get to use at some point. This obviously had the advantage of giving me something very different to what I have painted recently. 

The four figure base of infantry are no longer the same figure repeated along the line, though the difference is subtle. The bicorne in some figures lies in front of the musket on some figures, others it is behind. I only picked this up on painting them as just looking at the castings does not make this apparent.

The detail stands out more and as per previous releases these paint up fast and easy. Given that the work was that but more fiddly due to the extra colours added it was surprising just how fast these were painted up.

Early French Napoleonic Infantry
Whilst painting up the Paris Guard I also worked on a normal version which I am sure is more use to the wargamers wanting to fight the early battles. So here we have a normal line Battalion ready for action. Obviously I still have two unpainted battalions and I will probably paint them up as these and flog the three battalions in one go, when though is the question.

I have never painted up the original bicorne French so can't comment on how much better they are than those but these are very nice indeed.

So when I say fast, what do I really mean? Well excluding basing I would guess at four hours for both bases which to say I was only painting one unit at a time for such as the jackets was quite a good sprint given some of the small detail that got worked into them. As such I have to give a huge thumbs up to Baccus, if your aim is quick to paint, good looking units then Baccus early and late infantry sure fit the bill.

I will try and get the Bearskin guys finished before The Joy of Six as I hope to pick up some of the French cavalry if they are released in time for the show but I have to fit them into a packed schedule.

For those following the Prussians, the three infantry Battalions have been done for a few weeks and I managed to add a couple of regiments of cavalry as well as these two French Battalions, these will be shown off next week along with a few other posts already planned.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Timecast 6mm Spanish Large House, Building of the Week.

Well the week nearly managed to slip by without a building being posted but fear not here we go. It's a bit of a cheat really as the building was already mostly painted but did need finishing off. Anyway part of the building a week idea is to push more buildings up the painting queue so a result I say!

As mentioned in the title this is a Timecast model and is part of a set of three 8/008 costing £8.00 for the set. So rather good value given the quality of the buildings. I do like the Timecast building's my main quibble is that they tend not to finish ranges off, and you are left with just a few different buildings as a rule. Not so with this range as it is fairly large and as it's well supported by Total Battle Miniatures the result is the ability to build a large sized collection.

Most Spanish buildings of this time would have been left unpainted with the colour of the walls based on the colour of the rendering over the stone. But with this being the largest Spanish building I have I felt it would need to belong to a rich family who could afford to paint the outside of the house. as such I decided that the plain stone part of the building would be best served as servant entrance and working area which led to the base work being done.

Typical of Timecast you get that little extra detail such as the barrel beside the back door. I have recently been given a number of small resin extra's from Mile at Leven Buildings, one of which is this great well. It just screamed at me that it needed to be added to this base (120mm by 120mm) and of course you have servants to draw the water.

I think the brush work could have been a little better and it's amazing what you pick up when you get this close in. For the table I guess it's fine and it certainly passes the two foot rule.

The walls started super flat and it's been made a little rough with lots of white coats of paint then dirtied a little just so it's not offensively bright. Same style of basing as my figures but due to the size of the tile I needed to do the base paint and sand dip, sections at a time rather than the whole base in one go.

Rather disappointing was the chimneys, it's almost like they ran out of interest at the end. Whilst it's possible the chimneys were a crude affair these just look unfinished and given the location of them it does lose style points do to this. Not that I don't like it but could have been a bit better in my mind.

Given that I had a well I felt I needed someone to do all the work so added a Baccus Sappers/Pioneers figure from EQU13 £3 a pack. You get four poses this one with a spade (I had this as a all wood affair) one with a pick axe, another chopping wood and a fourth one leaning on his spade. You get more than enough in a pack which is why Lee now has a bunch of them. Of course if I have a gardener then he needs something to garden, so here we have vines or whatever you want them to be. All in nice rows just like my Grandad tried to teach me.

Last look at the well, this is one of three water features Mike sent me along with a few other bits and bobs but more on those on another post when I have finished them. At this point Mike has not got these up for release but I hope he does add them to his lists as the 6mm wargamer will be very happy to get their hands on them, but as I say, that is for another day

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Finally Mended!

I am a bit embarrassed to admit but way back in February I received a figure back from a friend that had not made the trip to the States well at all. The embarrassment is not so much it did not survive the trip, nor that it was sent back. No the real problem was that it sat on my desk till mid June with the only action the stripping of the original paint. Somehow the task had become a massive stone around my neck and I knew it was gong to be a horrible job. 

Of course that's not a good enough reason to stop me painting the figure but it still was enough. So much so that even a helpful hint failed to get me to get the thing started. Finally I just decided I would paint nothing else till I had at least put down the base colours.

Well as soon as I started I really got back into painting him. It was sad that the paint was removed in the accident of him coming unpinned but I found I was enjoying revisiting him and trying to better the original. Feedback from my friend was that he would have liked the camo to be a little smaller so that was high on my agenda.

The figure is a 28mm and I think it's Artizan but I could be wrong. I had made a diorama for the figure and fortunately that survived the trip. So the figure is now winging it's way across the pond to be added to it's base.

I have quite a few more 28mm's to paint and really must start to paint them again soon, first though I have Matt's figures to finish so it will be a while yet but it was good to work with something much larger than I have been doing recently.

The biggest embarrassment though has to be that it was done in just the one sitting! All those months wasted on just not getting round to it. So lesson learnt (I hope).

Talking of painting, I have managed to get quite a bite done over the last two weeks and up to last night have made sure I paint for an hour a night as a minimum. Far from becoming a chore it's something I have looked forward too. Only I could not do any last night as my paints were at work! Don't ask, Friday I won't get to do any as I get in a game of Check Your Six which is probably the beginning of a new painting direction, but that will at least not come into play until Derby

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Baccus Open Day and Joy of Six Show Update

I received the following e-mail yesterday and thought it a good idea to pass on the information regarding the Baccus Open Day and Joy of Six show.

With less than a month to go to the Great Big Fat Baccus Weekend things are moving apace here are at Baccus HQ. I won't say panic is setting in - more of a dawning realisation of what we have let ourselves in for!

So if you want to go to the open day you are running out of time to book a space.

Other Baccus news is that I just need to do the basing of the new French in Bicorn and so will be reviewing these again. I have come to the conclusion that the only real way you can review figures is by painting them, anything else is just a brief walk through.

I suppose it's now appropriate to start bigging up the weekend, so without further ado we'll start with the Baccus Open Day on Saturday 20th July. There are still places available to book, although the afternoon session is getting very full. The whole tour is free and you even get free chocolate Hobnobs. To reserve your place, get in touch with us via email or by phone on 0114 2724491.

The following Sunday is, of course, The Joy of Six show. This will showcase 6mm gaming with great looking demonstrations, participation games and hands-on painting workshops. With a range of 6mm traders and games covering all from Ancients through to the Cold War, this will have something for everyone. 

Both Nick Dorrel and Chris Grice will be there, showcasing their new SYW and WSS rules respectively. I believe that interested parties are more than welcome to take part in both games to see how they play. Per Broden will also be staging a spectacular GNW battle (Klissow) which will be played using Nick's GNW rules. This will be one not to miss!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Terribly Obscure Wars K, The Kampuchean Civil War of 1978-1997

It's fair to say that everyone knows about Cambodia and the Killing Fields but I am thinking that the vast majority like me know little or nothing about the period of time post the Khmer Rouge and the continued misery of the people of Kampuchea or Cambodia as it was finally renamed again.

One year prior to the Kampuchean Civil War breaking out the Khmer Rouge had broken off diplomatic relations with Vietnam after a year of boarder clashes between the two countries. The Vietnam Government reacted by stepping up the clashes and encouraging Kampuchean Rebels to overthrow Pol Pot and his regime. This increased the number of internal attacks and in 1978 a Vietnamese army 200,000 strong invaded Kampuchea  occupying the capital of Phnom Penh on 9th January the following year.Hun Sen a dissident Khmer Rouge leader became president of the Vietnamese sponsored Government but the Khmer Rouge continued armed resistance in the countryside with attacks on supply lines and outposts but refusing to be drawn into pitched battles. The Khmer Rouge received a political boost when the Governments of the US and China recognised Pol Pot as being the legitimate leader of Kampuchea (the British Government also recognised his rite to rule a little latter). Such was the dislike of Soviet backed Vietnamese influence the leaders (and by default the people) of these countries preferred a man and party that had killed 20% of their own people over anyone selected by the Vietnamese.

By 1982 the three main anti government forces united their efforts to oust the Vietnamese troops from their country. Meanwhile Prince Norodom Sihanouk formed a Government in exile which as a coalition included Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge and shockingly the United Nations recognised this exiled government, warts and all.

By 1984 things were getting difficult for the Vietnamese troops in Kampuchea and was forced to launch major attacks on the guerilla  camps along the Thai boarder. By this stage ironically the Vietnamese were now relying on Soviet aid to hold onto what little of Kampuchea they controlled and as that support dried up the Vietnamese finally withdrew their troops in 1989.

Over the next two years the area of control shrank until only the capital and a few towns close by were now held by Hun Sen but infighting between the three major opposing forces kept any one side having the ability to break the stalemate and take control.

Hun Sen a great political survivor then offered to share control with all three parties but through various under the table deals and manoeuvres Hun Shen and the leaders in Phnom Phnom continued to be the real leaders and the three factions continued to wage the guerilla war on and off but now not against each other.

This status quo continued for another year before a UN controlled operation was put in place to bring order to the country. Whilst it had some success the refusal of the Khmer Rouge to disarm, the Government's resistance to handing over day to day running of the country and the UN's own overly difficult organisation made this only a partial success.

Even so in 1993 open elections were held with 90% of those allowed to vote did indeed vote with an overwhelming victory for the Royalist political faction led by Prince Sihanouk. This of course was not the end of matters, the Cambodian Peoples Party (CPP) and Hun Sen refused to recognise the result and typical of the UN it failed to enforce the result. Instead Prince Sihanouk formed a coalition with the CPP with Hun Sen being the Second Prime minister. Given that the CPP controlled the Army, Police Force and the Justice System the recently elected Prince Sihanouk actually had almost no power at all. Of course the UN was quick to recognise the coalition and ignore yet another failing of theirs. 

By the mid 90's at least the Khmer Rouge had collapsed proving the various governments that had poured so much money into it as being wrong on every level and by 1998 Pol Pot was dead. However Hun Shen the year before had staged a coup against the rest of the coalition and taking over the country in the usual brutal way of killing anyone who was in opposition and the odd supporter just to be sure.

1998 not only saw the back of Pol Pot but also by Kampuchean standards a fair election which Hun Sen won (not sure anyone in their right mind would try hard to win him!)  and with it an end to the Civil War.

This one is a difficult war to wargame, but for once not for the lack of figures. I imagine many a player will quote moralistic reasons for not taking up arms to fight battles (really it's skirmish only) and who can blame them, it's still fairly recent and it's so hard to get past that period of slaughter!

However putting that to one side it gives the NVA owner another string to his bow, and even the Viet Kong figures can be brought into play as members of the three factions in the jungle. Of course many of the Khmer Rouge would also be uniformed and can be armed with British or American weapons for a nice twist. As by far most of the actions are small in nature and often in the form of raids you can have a lot of fun coming up with scenarios with a wide variety of actions. It would also work as a campaign with up to four players all trying to get one over on all the other players.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

ISLAND OF FIRE, The Battle for the Barrikady Gun Factory in Stalingrad November 1942 - February 1943 Book Review

If you think the books title is long you need to see the book! This beast comes in with a whopping 641 pages, but that's only half the story. Whilst the book has lots of photos, many of them never before published and mini maps showing the action being covered the majority of the space is reserved for fairly small type text as you can see below.

Jason D. Mark is not only the author of the book but owns the Publishing Company who produce it, Leaping Horseman Books. This is a very small publishing house specialising on the Russian Front in WWII in general and Stalingrad in particular. They have to date (including a soon to be published book  ten titles of which four are written by Mr. Mark, one co-written by him and two books in part translated by him! Quite simply the whole thing stands or falls based on his shoulders and it's fair to say that you have reason to be weary of such an organisation especially when you see the price tag of books themselves.

When you consider that Mr. Mark is not a qualified Historian and indeed has been attacked for presuming to have written such books as this without such training by others who do have such training then you may be forgiven for hearing warning sirens in your head. However unqualified Mr. Mark may be he has managed to get access to far more unused sources than any other recent author qualified or not! However I really can't comment on how well he has managed to sift through this and come up with a balanced or enlightened view. If I was put on the spot I would say he does allow his attachment to the combatants to colour his opinion and he does come across as naive regarding the brutality that both sides were clearly not just capable of but performed throughout the whole of the war let alone specific to Stalingrad. This does not really make his work overly flawed but the reader needs to realise that it's possible that the author fails to see what he does not want to see and this could impact on other details within the book.

Stalingrad was a huge battle and given it's pivotal roll on the Eastern Front and as such the whole war it has had a great deal written about it. However to my knowledge no book has ever gone into the detail as this book. It's not just day by day, it's building by building, many of the men who you get to know through the book die further in the book, many more go missing, this is a relatively recent way of writing books and in this case many of these men can be fixed in your mind through photographs so it can get personal for the reader as well. Mr. Mark shows a tendency to show a neutral stance during the narration but I am not convinced this is more than smoke and mirrors. To me I believe he is pro-German if only for the tragic end for oh so many of the men of the Sixth Army.

Mark's objective seems to have been to make the whole battle a more personal affair taking just one section of the battle and focusing on the combatants in this relatively small area of Stalingrad. This is the part of the city that for the most part was a war of attrition over blocks of buildings and factory complexes then as the offensive power of the Germans waned the fight became a battle of singular buildings and finally down to room by room bloody affairs. He does an excellent job of using the combatants own words and adding the detail missing to give you a fairly clear picture of where and when these actions took place. 

Unlike so many other books that will zoom in to give you some specific detail to highlight events in a sector then zoom back out quickly to brush over other events and on with the main narrative. For Mark this IS the main narrative and as such he only zooms out occasionally so as to give the reader a quick look at the bigger picture. As such the book is a treasure trove of detail for the urban skirmish wargamer, not just WWII many of the little actions could be transferred into many a setting, especially given the claustrophobic nature of much of the action.

Anyone who wishes to play the ASL Red Barricades campaign, this is indeed essential reading and will go a long way towards making you realise what a sterling job the designers did with that module. Indeed it's such a deep pool of scenario ideas for ASL I would not be surprised if a good number have not had this book at the heart of their creation. 

If you want to read the book for the history then you will get a lot of nitty gritty detail, Mark does a good job of keeping it in context to the bigger picture and makes sense of why the battle broke down into attacks on single buildings and why and how the Germans were sucked into a high cost low gain assaults and why it ultimately failed and then how they changed tactics which were working. This book indeed supplies better answers than many a history book dealing with the battle in it's entirety. However don't be fooled into thinking the lessons learned about the Barrikady can be repeated for the rest of Stalingrad, not that Mr. Mark attempts to connect the two. This is in a way a weakness of the book, it's never sets out to be a book about Stalingrad, yes it covers the run up to and post Stalingrad battle but this book is squarely dealing with the factory complexes that became cut off from the rest of the Russian lines except by the tenuous link via the Volga. 

If you are new to Stalingrad then I would suggest one of the other great works available on the battle but if you have a particular interest in this part of the battle or already have a firm knowledge of the battle then this book has a lot to offer. However it's not without possible pitfalls. The book starts to fall into a steady pattern that whilst giving a real feel of the daily grind of the late stages of the battle also by definition starts to become a little tedious as a pattern emerges with little sign of the German's bucking the trend. As such I found it starting to lag and even looking forward to reaching the end just to break the cycle. Fortunately it managed to keep my attention to the inevitable collapse, if only just at times.

The book could have ended here but Mark had gathered far too much material to just leave in there and instead gives a potted history of all the Pioneer units that were brought into the battle about midpoint. The trouble for me with this was that I was ready to put the book down and move on so reading one potted history after another (and their being somewhat similar) really ended the book on a downside. With hindsight I would have done much better to have put the book down, read another book then returned to the latter sections of the book a little more fresh and enjoyed the final chapters that bit more. Given the weight of the book how uncomfortable it can get with prolonged reading always at it's worst at the start or end of the book it was a bit too much a bit too late.

However if you a big fan of Stalingrad and or small unit detail then this book may well be a perfect fit for your library. Given it's an Australian book and at the moment out of Print in Hardback (mine is paperback) it can be a little hard to track down. Leaping Horseman Books have copies of this book in softback for sale at $100 Australian, $92 US, 70 Euro or £60 plus postage which is to say the least, eye wateringly expensive. 

The second hand market may be the direction to go, it seems to hold it's value well as more people seem to want to own it than copies to supply all. E-bay At the moment no copies are on e-bay UK though four other books are for between £40 ish and £70+, it's a sellers market.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Secret Santa II

Last year was a great success for the Secret Santa with everyone who joined in having a right old time of it. I personally was really happy with all my French Artillery and limbers I received and was motivated to put it to the front of the painting queue. 

I launched the whole idea a little late but still attracted a reasonable number of participants. Cath has again offered to run the who gets to buy for who part of the SS allowing me to join in again.

I think the rules of last year were good so plan to go along with that again but changed just a bit.

1. To enter you need to either have a blog or be a regular follower of this blog already. This is to give confidence to all involved that everyone will follow through to the end. If you have a blog and don't follow this one it's OK to join in.

2. The present should be around £15 plus postage (best to buy the present actually in the country the receiver lives in so cutting down postage costs)

3. It's OK to have a wish list but it's just as good to buy something you think the person would like. Blog details of your target are given so you can snoop.

4. Whilst it's not essential it really added to Cath's enjoyment when the SS checked in with her to let her know target had incoming.

5. You should pimp the Secret Santa on your blog to hopefully increase the numbers joining in.

6. You should sign up by 15th November so to allow time for picking gifts.

7. Gifts should arrive by 20th December if possible. It's fine to get the supplier to send direct and I would be cheeky and ask them to gift wrap  ;-)

8. Item/s should be wargame related though it's OK to throw in something odd if you want to.

Well that's all I can think of at the moment regards rules etc. You have right up to the 15th of November to sign up but I would appreciate some early birds as it makes organising it that much easier. I will need the blog name and an e-mail address for you (plus your real name) if you go to my profile you will get my e-mail details but also mention your interest in the comments section to make sure I catch you.

I look forward to lots of SS fun and will run regular updates.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Back On Track

Well it's me doing the typing and it hurts only when I laugh (anyone remember what I am referring too?) I got back home at a half decent time last night but was shattered and dozed on and off through most of the evening. So with just a small amount of discomfort I am able to get on with it. I have the day off so will be taking the opportunity for some relaxed painting.

But I did get home last night to a gift from Mike at Leven. He was super excited and wanted to get showing off his latest handy work. Mike claims it is his best work yet, well it certainly is his biggest and he is probably right though I think a couple of recent buildings are not that far behind. So lets take a quick look at them.

This monster is St. Mere Eglise Church for all the 6mm WWII Bocage fans. This is by far the largest of his buildings to date (though he is working on 10mm). Overall it's really crisp casting with mostly just resin beads that need to be popped off with a scalpel blade.

Lots of detail, some interesting nooks and crannies though none that look impossible to paint. Mike I believe is pushing his materials close to the limit with the thin resin points on the tower. Adds nice detail but they wont be as robust as would be if cast thicker but they do look the better for it.

Next up is the Hartenstein Hotel, again for WWII 6mm but this time Arnhem is the battlefield. This is another great model and again Mike is obviously pushing boundaries as  can be seen with the two balconies and the walls around the perimeter of the building. 

Again the casting is typically crisp, the detail is all there and looks a good building to paint. I just hope that these two buildings will be part of a larger range so that you can put on the battles with the correct buildings over the table. Though of course I want certain other buildings to be released before that!

As you can see the detail is all over nice. This building should be a fairly fast paint up job even with all this detail.

Just to give you some idea of the size of the new buildings and the warehouse is three stories high and is a fair sized building. I don't have any information on price but given the pricing of other buildings I suspect you will be pleased with what it will be listed at. The Hotel is due out in July but you will have to wait till September for the church. Slap bang in the middle of these releases Leven will be releasing La Haye Sainte, which I already have and will be showing off here in a few days or so.

So a big thanks to Mike for a well timed present as it was a real nice welcome home.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Last Post?

Ok no need to be alarmed boys and girls, but.......................

Just had to do it.
...........if you don't get a post by Friday then it's all over, finish, kaput. Well as far as I go at any rate. You see in the morning I am off to hospital for a live biopsy. Nothing to bad in that, hell I had been told of the very very slight chance of it ending with the big sleep. Thing is, this is where being a gamer really does not help, you see this very very low chance is in fact 1 in 1000 nationally and somewhat worse in my chosen hospital! You see when it's words it's great, very very low actually sounds fairly low. Now 1 in 1000 is also low, but being a wargamer I could not help myself in thinking "I could roll that!"  I bet if I was a bee keeper I would have been equally happy with it being presented to me either way ;-)

So any hoots I probably already have my card marked as I went for my pre-op last week and to the question "any questions?" I could not help myself.

Ian: Just how long is the needle?

Nurse: Oh not very long

Ian: I'm worried about that then

Nurse: Why?

Ian: Because he must press on really hard to get to my Liver (whilst pointing at the bit in the booklet that states I may get pain in my right side and/or tip of my right shoulder)

Nurse: It's deferred pain the needle is placed in your side.

Not a bleedin' smile to be seen, twas a hard audience that day.

So being a stat like guy here are the bookies numbers

1-10 will have a bleed (I like to think of it as 9-10 don't)
1-20 will need to stay over night
1-100 will need a transfusion
1-1000 dirt nap

Another way of thinking about it is I am sooooo more likely to be dead on Saturday than win the lottery. I can only take comfort at the fact that I don't do the bleedin' Lottery! But I did watch The Syndicate if that counts.

So chances are very good I will be home to post tomorrow night, I have at least six hours lying down to think of a post or three (yes I will be taking a notepad). But it's a fair chance I won't want to, no sir. What I will do is post something Thursday, the Lottery willing. If you don't see anything by end of Friday I am propper poorly or brown bread. The latter will be proven by one of two things, nothing being written after Friday or Lee taking over the blog. I will be sending him the log on details (had planned to allow Lee to post on the blog already for Project Waterloo) he will either jump on to update you or maybe take over running the blog if he wants to, it would be all down to Lee and as I have not actually unloaded this on him maybe it will be the last thing he wants.

So expect to see me later in the week, older but no wiser! Oh and in case your wondering it is a Liver Biopsy to see what damage my condition has done to my Liver but it's not the usual suspects Mr. Fosters and his mate Johnny Walker, just a rather annoying ability to farm the iron out of everything I eat and drink!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Another Week Another Building

I may have mentioned last week that I plan to aim to paint a building a week, well in case you missed it. I have hit on a crazy notion to paint a building a week, just because I probably can't. I won't be sticking to any single supplier though Leven look to have the better chance given the rather large proportion of buildings by them that I have in my collection right now. This will only grow as the buildings I have asked Mike to make come off the production line. More on those in a later post.

First up is indeed a Leven casting and a real easy building to paint. I think I spent just over an hour on this one plus basing time.

Base colour is that of Halford's car primer grey, though I have added a few other colours through dry brushing along the way. This is the warehouse IND10 from Leven Miniatures, and typical of Leven it's got bags of character  and looks the part. This will fit in nicely with my German town, though the building fits in many an area. This view is of the front with the stairs up to the first level.

Here we have the more interesting of the sides with two sets of loading doors all ready to get the goods on their way, after all time is money.

Double doors to the ground floor with large windows open and ready. Leven buildings tend to have texture to the walls making it easy to add a bit of character to the models, this is especially welcome with the more down to earth buildings such as this one.

As you can see, even the plain side has something to stop it being just a plain wall, this helps the painter add that bit more effort to the model and thus you get that bit more out of the model.

The tiles almost painted themselves. At first I felt I had gone over the roof too lightly but once the model was finished I was happy with the result.

So this weeks building is all finished and ready for a game sometime in the future, next up is a bit of a cheat as I will be finishing off a model started a few months ago, not only that but when finished it has a fair chance of being used in a game in the near future.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Miniature Wargames and Project Waterloo

Well I said I would do it, so with not a little difficulty I finally got a copy of this months Miniature wargames and I got more out of it than just a read of Tasmin's article. Actually my wife Cath also had a read of that article. As she said, when you know someone it makes it all the more interesting a read. Er, yes dear, but you don't know her. I will not continue revealing THAT conversation as it ended as you may expect ;-)

Back to the point, well kind of. I can't really comment on how much of an improvement Henry has made to the mag as it's been years since I bought a copy but others have been rather forward in their praise. Well my reason for buying it was two fold, first to check out Tasmin's article but also I have been hanging my nose over subbing to a mag and I have to be honest that whilst I have enjoyed the Wargames Illustrated I have read this last year the whole house mag of Flames of War leaves me cold. Secondly the subscription offer of free FoW stuff er well I think you get it. Worryingly when I asked Matt for guidance he took the wind out of my sails with "When the local newsagent closed I did not bother getting either mag from another shop" This is the man who ALWAYS gets those two. So with that I just kind of mulched about for another couple of months (I have tried to get MW but failed) until I got this issue.

Not that I have read all of it, nor will I read all of it, no sir. That's kind of the problem, I have the same issues with the radio, I don't tend to listen to the radio much, instead I play music I know I want to hear. But I did read some articles for periods I don't want to play which is what a mag is all about. 

Problem is that for me it's still about worth. I just have not personally had £4 worth out of it. The money would have been better spent on a book and I think that is the answer. Every month I put £5 to one side as my book fund and when I see a book I want, I just get it, not that I am short of books to read but you get the idea.

But before anyone draws conclusions from this that are slightly left of what I mean, it's just me. I have a narrow interest at the moment and don't plan on making it wider so it suits me to turn away. However I think MW is a good read and indeed consider it a good choice for many a gamer, WI is snazzy and would probably be the better mag for me though I like the style of MW more.

I did find two articles that really ticked a few boxes. The ECW campaign, a few good idea's came from that and more importantly the Think Tank article on why so much lead remains unpainted.  In honesty I was about 1/3rd the way through and thinking it was rather scripted nothing new kind of article but as I read on it started to make more sense. 

Problem is that according to this article our Project Waterloo is doomed to failure. Several failure boxes are ticked by us. Lots of high detail painting that often means figures just don't get painted fast enough to satisfy the get them to the table urge. It's big and it's going to take years, though we get a bit of relief in that we will get games in with parts of the force as we build up for the big one. The most damning though is the lack of planning, or rather the lack of CORRECT planning. You see we (well that is to say ME) are focusing on the figures, according to Tim Beresford I have it the wrong way round. The terrain should be the thing that is looked at first. How big is the battlefield and then how do we fill it with terrain both natural and man made. Once this is sorted then and only then should you make plans on how many units you need to paint up. Indeed it's possible at that point to realise that the area you planned to fight over may have to be increased if you are not prepared to cut down the number of units.

Of course it is easy to shrug one's shoulders and consider that you have it right and that you don't need to see it his way. I kind of think that way as well. We have a set number of units planned, though it can be decreased if this will make the game flow better. But I can't help but think he has a point. After all the truth is that Lee and me have not yet agreed on the number of units needed. I still favour the 72 Battalions of Prussians even though about half of that will probably get to fight, the rest will simply look great in the background and besides we will use them at some point!

However it did give me enough food for thought to try and get Lee thinking about terrain. Problem is that before we do indeed actually start work on Waterloo's battlefield we need to have built Quatre Bras. Waterloo is expected to be 16 foot by 6 foot, QB will be probably 5x6 and at some point in the next few months we need to set out a table of that size with bits of paper representing each of the key terrain features then lay out spare bases representing the troops and simply see if the space will hold the troops. Then we can make any changes, be that to numbers of Battalions in the game, size of playing area or even change movement distances or ranges in the rules just to make it all right on the night. Top down thinking according to Tim and I think he on to something.

Mind you, whilst we were discussing this single minded goal, I was admiring Lee's recently purchased Saxon's (at least they were the Napoleonic version and the correct scale) but correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think many Saxon's made it to the battle. Maybe the previous purchase then will help, you know the 20+ Battalions of Russians? Oh brother what have I let my self in for?

Lee is a wargaming butterfly, trying to keep him just on the one track is just a pointless exercise. At least he has bought the French Guard and already had plenty of normal French, shame most of these remain unpainted whilst he buys the ready painted Saxons and Russians (less the skirmishers he is currently painting), but at least I know Lee. He will get the Guard painted in time, though my money is on him buying the guard again painted by someone else) he will also build some great looking terrain and the buildings will look fantastic (his showing up the ones I paint) however getting him to work out a schedule never mind stick to it, well lets not go there.

So I will keep to my plans and watch Mr Chaos build up every nation over the next two years and watch him still flagging his units as they near the table edge for the big one.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

28th Reserve Line Regiment, yes more Adler

This regiment is part of the Ist Corps 2nd Infantry Brigade and rather an interesting regiment to paint. Not only should they be in French Uniform but that uniform happens to be white! So it's quite possible I should have kept these back until I was getting really fed up with Prussian Blue!

As you can see the white of the uniform has suffered a little campaign wear and looks like these guys need a scoup or two of Bold. This has been achieved by adding about 60% distilled water to the nut brown ink. I have to admit it was a worrying time giving them that wash! These are the 1st Battalion.

Love how the pale blue of the facings pop on the white(ish) background. Overall I am rather pleased with the result. I really like the Adler way of having three quite different figures for the Line, Reserve and Landwehr, this will help working out what's what from a little distance. 

I decided the officer leading this battalion should be a white haired chap, rather than let the youth of today run all the show. I have to admit I also like the bread bags these guys are carrying around.

Here we have the 2nd Battalion and as they are reserve it's anyone's guess what the standards they took into the battle looked like (if in deed they did) so I thought a nice red eagle would do the trick, well it goes with the foot officers nice pink facings and blue jacket, nothing like making a target of yourself. 

Talking of targets this mounted officer is very go get them boys, strange then that he is not at the front. I also feel a lot better about the columns as these have based up much better after cutting less off each base. 

Fusilier Battalion 3 and I get little green men with these again. So really I have had a lot of colour to play with. I off set the commander on this stand, I normally put them in the middle, not sure if that's accurate but I wonder if I can put the commander on a flank on one of these? 

I could not get the whole twenty four in two lines so I have a couple of figures behind on the flanks and a couple moving forward to help out the Jagers.

I just need to finish the Regiment I am working on now and I will have Pirch II brigade all done. Then I can go backwards and paint up the 1st brigade before launching into the 3rd. Happy days.

This regiment will be used for a basing tutorial thingy as I snapped a number of shots off whilst doing the basing. I also plan to do one on the Leven buildings as I have got a few of these, oh the joys ;-)

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Joy of Sex

No that should read Joy of Six, but I am fairly sure I will get a pretty good supply of hits of sweaty palms. But what is this Joy of Six you are on about and is it worth me staying to read on? Well I will tell you, it's not exactly a new wargames how but rather a phoenix out of the ashes sort of thing (assuming anyone thought the Sheffield Irregulars are burnt out.I just know that Peter (that man from Baccus AGAIN) has taken over the running of the con and in dong so has made a few changes that makes it an all 6mm affair (though a few of the traders I suspect will have other goods n offer).

I went last year in it's former guise and had a fair bit of fun and even then it was more or less a 6mm show but what it was more than anything else was different. Yes it's probably will be the smallest show you will attend this year and yes it will have less traders than any other show this year (at least I can't see their being any less) and NO it probably as no bring and buy to have your stuff nicked from either.

Last year we had a couple of seminars which I am not sure if this will happen again and the original Dr. Mike painting clinic is in attendance but also a second one as well.

It's not far from the train station so it's an easy trip in if you don't want to drive in but being on  a Sunday it's going to be fairly light traffic wise. According to Peter their is parking close buy at just £1 for the day and some limited on street parking for free. 

I enjoyed last year very much and will be sure to attend this year as well, maybe just maybe I will be convinced to part with a little cash, who knows? Read about last year here.

The food last year was good and reasonably priced, and everyone seemed to be just chilling and having fun, something some of the other conventions seem to be a little lacking. Next time you go to a show, just pause for a moment and have a real look around, you may get what I mean. Anyway it's the day after the Open Day at Baccus HQ and so whilst it's good to chat with Peter, don't stand downwind he had curry the night before  ;-)

Lee that little monkey won't be at Joy of Six but he is more than a little responsible for both Lee and me looking beyond this years show as it seems we will be putting on a little display game as a warm up for Waterloo. Yes it seems we will be fighting it out at Quatre Bras, so in just over a year I will be part responsible for a Display Game, who would have guessed eh? Only one thing, don't stand downwind, bets are on that we will have been for a curry the night before.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Project Waterloo Prussia Gets Going

Well today is the 7th Of June, D-Day plus one in fact.I had intended a post on D-Day of some kind but an unexpected long day at work meant I just did not have the time to write a post never mind come up with the whole post from scratch. Not that the actual date really left my mind, but out of an office of about twenty staff I seem to be the only one until I finally mentioned it late in the day. Some blank looks and other people saying oh yes and that was about it. I guess it's because I am a wargamer that I felt the pull of the day more than the average Joe but it's the understanding of the day that brings it home more. Though I can't shake the fact that the Dambusters Raid seems to have received a lot more attention than D-Day even considering the Dambusters milestone anniversary.

No today being the 7th of the month is a milestone of it's own. One whole week of the month gone and not a splash of paint thrown in the direction of a figure, never mind a Prussian figure. It's been busy at work but I have not deserted the figures in entirety, no I have been busy prepping this months target. This is two regiments of Landwehr cavalry and three battalions of Landwehr, more exactly the three battalions of the Prussian 2nd Westphalia Regiment. So June is a Landwehr month. I still need to clean up one battalion and after that still have twelve mounted officers to clean up. These are for command stands as I have yet to do these. I have a feeling that these will all be finished tonight and primed in the morning. I think I need to as I need to get started.

But what of May? how is the project looking? Well rather good really as I managed to paint up two cavalry regiments, but it's never THAT straight forward. I painted up the 1st and 2nd Dragoons, but typically only one of these was actually at Waterloo, the other being only at Ligny. I knew this before panting them up but it's as easy to paint up two as it is one and I will need more for other battles so for me the logic is still sound.

I also painted up a few guns and crews and to round it off the 28th Reserve Regiment (2nd Rhine) of three battalions. So not too bad of a month all said. This keeps me ahead of the target on infantry, the cavalry counting just one regiment is also ahead as is the guns. So technically I am behind on limbers and command stands but I am not going to loose any sleep over that. Anyway eye candy time I guess

1st Dragoons, from Adler Miniatures. The only flag I found only had the one side so at this point it has two sides the same, or to put it another way the flag is upside down in the pic! Good job they are so small. I will get round to reversing the image and replacing when I do the next regiments.

The 1st Regiment had a detachment of Jager who I have added to the flanks. They had a nice touch of different colour to what is already a colourful unit. 

The Jager have black leather work whilst the Hussars have white straps, a detail I was relieved to spot! Typical of Adler you have lots of detail and the mixed poses help to bring the unit to life and make them that bit more realistic.

The great sculpting demands that you paint it which is great if you have the time but it seriously adds to the length of the project. Only two regiments in and I am already questioning the choice? No not really, though ask me again this time next year!

At last a regiment that was at Waterloo, these are the 2nd Dragoons and look Mum no greens. Other than the bit on the flag to show another that needs replacing.

At last a flag that is the right way round! I really like the blue I have used for the Dragoons. It is Vallejo Andrea Blue (841) which is a tad too bright but with the Chestnut Brown Ink spalshed over it I got it toned down to about right I think.

The side shot shows a few sins, straying paint on the saddle cloth, missed hair on the sword (since removed) but also shows off the shading on the shako's rather well on the Gurkha (sorry could not resist)

All in all I think they came out well, I know these Prussians will get played with a few times on the way to the Waterloo game so I do need to paint up more cavalry than I get to use at Waterloo to get other games in so having the extra regiments will not bother me at all. I even have a few Cuirassier regiments to paint up so a few rouge units will cross my table.

If I get chance tomorrow I will follow up with the guns and Infantry, though I have a few other bits to talk about, even some none 6mm!