Wednesday, 28 January 2015

MDF construction and more Napoleonics painted and based

It's been a productive few days due, yet again, to being up at ungodly hours of the night.  It does let me focus on things with no interruptions from the family though.

So, what have I been doing during the dark, cold hours of the night.  I recently purchased the rather nice 4ground 15mm hotel complex to join my ever expanding building collection.  It's price of £55 put me off as it's a lot of cash for a few buildings, but Nick at Northstar tempted me by putting it in his sale at a mere £35.  So I snapped one up and then sat back and waited. 

While waiting, I cracked on with some more 28mm Napoleonic figures.  I had some figures that I thought were Wurttemberg figures, as they looked like another unit that was sat waiting to be based.  However, upon closer inspection I came to the conclusion that they were wearing different helmets, so quickly grabbed my Funcken books and started a search.  A quick perusal of the pictures led me to the conclusion that these were Bavarian infantry, so painting commenced.  A few nights later and I had a unit of 24 men all painted up.  It's amazing what you can do with no distractions.  The next day I started basing, despite the distraction of a box of mdf that had been delivered.  "Get thee behind me 4ground" I said and cracked on with sand, ink, paint and grass. 

The end result is I now have a painted and based unit of Bavarians, plus I based the Wurttembergers whilst I was at it.
Wurttemberg Infantry

 Here are the Wurttemberg infantry, not painted by me which is why the style is different.  Still, they look good.
Bavarian Infantry

 These are the Bavarians, done in my usual base colours, highlight, wash and highlight again. 

I then cracked out the PVA and opened the box from Northstar.  To say there were a lot of bits would be an understatement, but I persevered, swearing and muttering.  I ended up with a rather nice little complex which, after some touching up of the paint to hide the scorch marks, came out pretty well I think.  There is a nice L shaped hotel building, an attached cook house and a separate coach house, all on a walled courtyard.  It went together nicely, despite my ham fisted attempts to put bits in backwards, upside down etc.  I have touched up the roof sections to hid the construction tabs, repainted the white washed walls to hide the scorch marks and the tabs and also repainted some of the courtyard stones to break up the colour a bit.  I think it came out ok and will make a nice objective for forthcoming games.
4ground hotel top view

Close up of courtyard

Hotel front and side view

That's it for now.  The only gaming was umpiring a couple of games of Lion Rampant last night.  The lads seemed to enjoy it, so that's a good thing.  All being well I am off to Penarth in Welsh Wales for Crusade 2015 on Saturday.  Maybe I'll see you there.

PS.  JJ has posted a nice guide and link for upgrading the trees he made previously.  I will be doing the same as soon as I get some filler and a green spray.

Friday, 23 January 2015

A monstrous change of direction

In a change from painting and/or basing Napoleonics, this week I have mostly been painting monsters!  These are from the new boardgame Shadows of Brimstone and are painted to hopefully look like the ones in the book.  The Survivor figure is to give a sense of size for these as they do go from small to dang big.  The rocks are bits of cork painted to match the rubble around the tentacles, just to try and bring them together.  I must also apologise for the lines on the models.  I tried filling them, but for some reason the plastic putty doesn't stick to the plastic and just comes off. 

First up are the smallest of them, 12 Void Spiders.The upside down one is to show the mouth and, more worryingly, the big teeth.

Then we move onto the tentacles.  Again there are 12 of these, which came out pretty well I think. 

Next up are the Stranglers.  Odd creatures, no eyes at all, 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 tentacles and a big mouth in their chest. 

 The larger types include these 3 Night Terrors with their glowing orange eyes.  Vallejo Orange Fluo to the rescue here.

Finally we have the Goliath, with multiple eyes, an odd tentacle tongue and octopus arms this is a real monstrosity.  A pretty gruesome looking thing and it stands crouches a mighty 70mm tall. 

 The head-on view is just to show the multitude of eyes.  There are 11 in total.

Next up I am painting up some of the heroes for the game, unless I get sidetracked by medievals.  Or AWI.  Or WW2.  Or Zombies.  Or..... Well, you get the idea.

Anyway, not much else to report.  I played a game of Sons of Anarchy on Monday night.  It seems pretty good, although we did several things wrong.  I have also come down with a cold again, one of the joys of having the grandchildren over to stay last week.  Hohum and all that.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Another update already?

Yes, I'm here again.  I had a really bad night again last night and hardly slept at all until gone 6am.  Then I was up again by 11, so people can expect grumpiness for the rest of the day.

Bad news is Tina worries, but it's just a lack of working medication.  Hopefully the new tablets that I get tomorrow will have an effect.

Good news is I focused myself and painted, and painted, and glued figures together, and painted, and listened to Black Sabbath!  Yes, I had it playing loud and yes, I had my headphones on.  Usually I listen to my music loud as I like rock/heavy metal, so I found this picture quite amusing.

Anyway, back to the results of the lack of sleep.  I have had some painted but unbased Napoleonic figures here for a while and, due to my lack of interest in the period, I didn't know what they were.  A bit of research later and I found they were Westphalian infantry.  There were enough painted to make a unit of line infantry, another of Grenadiers and then 4 painted and 19 unpainted from another manufacturer. 
 These are the first of the pre-painted ones, which I believe are the 1st Battalion of the 3rd (or possibly 4th) Infantry Regiment as the unit facings are pale blue.  This is based on a quick check in the Osprey publication Men-at-Arms 44, Napoleons German Allies(1).  To be accurate the grenadiers should probably be in shakos, but they are in bearskins.  I just based them so don't blame me.  ;-)

This is the second pre-painted unit.  These are Westphalian Grenadier-Gardes I think.  For some reason there are 27 of these, so they have 7 bases instead of 6.  Again, I just based them.
But I also started painting some a few days ago.  While it's a bit of a stretch, hell it's a massive stretch, to say that I enjoyed painting them, they weren't as bad as I expected.  So I cracked on and persevered and made myself do them.  I have painted them up to match the 4 painted ones, one each of a grenadier and voltiguer plus 2 line infantry.  Hopefully you can't pick them out from the 19 I painted.

The standards are from Warflag/Napflag.  I got my local stationers/ink shop, Refresh Cartridges,  to print them on their fancy laser printer and it's well worth the extra few pence they cost.   It helps that the main bloke in the shop is a mate and gamer mind.

In between and while waiting for glue/ink/paint to dry I also put together 30 plastic medievals for my Lion Rampant force.

So a couple of bad nights have seen me paint up an infantry unit, then base it as well as two additional units and stick 30 figures together.  Insomnia sometimes pays off.  I also listened to lots of loud music, which is always good.  Unless you have a headache.  

Now I am going to go and make a cuppa and chill out for a bit.  I still feel like crap but hope for a better day than yesterday.  Catch you all next time.

PS.   I am also looking to get some finials for the flag poles.  Is that right for Westphalians?

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Devon Wargames and painting some French people

 Now that the grandchildren are out with my wife I can sit down and do a wargames update.  Last Saturday was the first meeting of 2015 for the Devon Wargames Group.  A large turnout enjoyed a mixed bag of games.  Jon has already done a nice write up of his AWI game, the other offerings were a Bush Wars Chain of Command by Steve and Chas or Star Wars X-Wing by Steve and Phil(I think). 

 First up is a pic of the X-Wing game, which included over 20 ships and seemed to be enjoyed by the people who played it.  I already have some ships for this, so it's no temptation luckily.  I can't say the same about the forthcoming Star Wars:Armada though.  I think this may be my first deviation from my plans for 2015.

Next we have a couple of pictures from Jon's very pretty AWI Maurice game, as detailed on the DWG blog.  As usual Jon put on a cracking game and the scenario was interesting.  Again, I already have figures for this, although it has made me get some of my unpainted Hessians out and start prepping them.

 The final picture is from the Bush Wars CoC game.  A very quick game with small forces, this was played twice before I left at 1pm and then twice more after I left.  I am not sure if the Zipra/Zanla types ever "won", but they did kill all the farmers at least once before running away from the devastating firepower of the RLI troops. 

 Now this month I have, so far, mostly been painting French.  Two sizes for two periods, so it's been interesting.  First up has been two 24 figure units of 25mm French Napoleonic Line infantry.  I believe that they are Foundry figures, but I may be wrong.  These have been my first foray into "larger" Napoleonics and, time wise, they have been a complete PITA!  I cannot yet paint these fast enough to ever be able to make a living out of painting them, although unit two did get finished quite a lot quicker than unit one.  They are carrying flags of the 54th and 55th Ligne, just because I had them here left over from Gus' collection.

The other figures have been a 15mm WW2 Chain of Command platoon of 1940 French infantry.  All told its 64 figures and one 25mm gun.  I just need to do a few little tanks up, plus maybe some odd figures like FOOs and engineers.

I have also been busy painting something completely different, which you will get to see once I have based them.  Next up is some Westphalian Napoleonics and some 25mm Medieval foot.  The Westphalians will end up like the French, being sold on eBay while the Medievals are for the planned Lion Rampant retinues.

Take care and keep rolling those dice.

New Arrival!

I have been meaning to post a report of my short visit to the Devon Wargames meet last week, along with some pictures of the latest painting efforts.  The early arrival of the latest addition to the family scuppered that, but things are now starting to return to normal.  So, here she is.

Seryn Hope Cann, weighing in at 9lb and already wrapping her daddy around her little finger.  So that is 8 grandchildren now, it's no wonder I am worn out and always skint is it!

An update returning to wargames will shortly follow this one.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

2015 plans and all that jazz

My plans for 2014 were mostly sorted.  I have enough to play Chain of Command in 1940 and 1944 France.  I started (then stopped) my Longstreet forces.  I didn't buy too many figures, actually less than I painted for once.  I did buy too many new rulesets though, a couple of which will probably end up costing me money this year.

So, plans for 2015.
  1. Paint my 15mm French 1940 infantry for Chain of Command (underway already)
  2. Paint some 25mm Napoleonics that I have inherited (also underway)
  3. Paint some more bloody Zombicide figures, as we have season 3 due soon!
  4. Stop buying new rules (I have a rulebook "ooh shiney" syndrome)
  5. Go to at least one of the Partizan shows this year.
  6. Get the figures for a couple of Lion Rampant forces bought and painted.

So that's the plan.  As with all good plans it won't survive first contact with the enemy and the enemy in this case is anything new!  For example, I "received" a copy of Lion Rampant for Christmas from my youngest son(who is 20).  By "received" I mean I bought it, my wife wrapped it and put a label on it saying "To Dad from Michael" and then I unwrapped it on Christmas morning and said "Great, just what I wanted".

I have played 2 games of it now and am now planning on doing enough troops of each type to do 2 forces.  So the Perry twin's will be making money from me already and it's only January 7th.  Willpower of a damp lettuce leaf, that's me.

Here is a picture of my first game, with my "Scots" facing of against Nathan's "English".  King of the Hill, once I was up there he was in trouble and the Scottish spears ruled the field of battle.  It did help that he failed to move his heavy cavalry 3 times on the trot, allowing me to get up there and deploy in schiltron.  Plus he rolled double one on a morale roll for his archers after my skirmisher types shot 3 of them, so they routed early on.

Fun rules with a quick and easy system and enough difference in units to keep it interesting.  Thanks to Nathan for providing everything except the rules, including several cups of tea.
However, I should be painting up some of the 15mm ACW, 15mm AWI, 15mm WW2, 25mm Ancients, 6mm Seven Years War, 15mm Bush Wars, 15mm and 25mm Napoleonics or 25mm WW2 that I have here, not planning new purchases and painting.

I am a bad, bad man.

Still, it could be worse. 
See what I mean.  Happy New Year to you all.

P.S.  A quick shout out to Magnetic Displays, whom I ordered some magnabase from on December 28th and received on December 30th.  Awesome and thank you.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Big Chain of Command in Russia

Last week saw the annual "All Day Bash" by the Chuckadice group.  For once we were all in attendance, with 6 players and plans for a game of Big CoC.  The scenario was a meeting of forces in 1941, with the Germans advancing on Moscow while the Russians launched a counter attack.  The Germans, consisting of Oberst Panjo(CinC), Oberstleutenant Colin and Major Jason, had 2 infantry platoons(Panjo and Colin), aided by a mixed Panzer platoon of 3 PzIII and 2 PzII(yours truly).  Support units consisted of a pair of Sd222 armoured cars,  a Stug, HMG team, 37mm Pak gun, engineer flamethrower team, an AT rifle and  motorcycle squad.  The Russians, Polkovnik Nathan(CinC) with Majors Zob and Andy, had 2 rifle platoons(Zob and Andy) and an assault platoon with SMGs and flamethrowers(Nathan).  They were supported by 2 (yes, 2!) T-35s, 2 T-26s, 3 Comissars, 3 HMGs and 3 AT rifles.

The table set up, the German's are coming from the left and the Russian horde will be sweeping in from the right.  The terrain was fairly open, with the crops giving cover to infantry but not blocking line of sight.  Wooden buildings and the woods also gave light cover, the only heavy cover was the ruined industrial complex.

 The view from Colin's scouts as they advanced to locate the Soviet horde.
The Russians are revolting!  Especially the short grumpy type on the left.  Nathan, Zob and Andy look on as the German patrols are moved.
 Patrol markers locked down.  The Germans pushed forward quickly while the Russians were more sedate and seemed happy to consolidate in the ruins. 

 Each infantry platoon had two jump off points, so the German's had four and the Russians had six to deploy.  Panjo placed one on the far left, behind the farm right at the top of the picture.  His other was behind the top left hill.  Colin pushed one forward behind the farm in the center of the picture while his other was behind the hill to its rear.  Andy was on the Russian left and deployed behind the small field near the road and at the rear of the wood next to it.  All the other Russian jump off points were clustered in or behind the ruins.  Three were in one building while the other was in the wood just behind the ruined buildings.
 Panjo deployed some infantry on the far left farm to secure the flank and offer covering fire if needed.  He also rushed an Sd222 down the road, with some Panzers in support, to try and force the Russians into deploying so we could shoot them.  Colin deployed two sections on the farm while his motorbike section set off on a very short lived (and slow) flanking move.  Nathan and Zob deployed a few troops in the ruins while Andy deployed and then rushed forward to close with the Germans in the farm (stupid double 6). 
 "Urah" rang out as the Russians swarmed into the woods.  Two sections reached the Germans single section and, despite the movement, cover and quality defending LMG all adding extra dice, the odds were definitely favouring the green Red horde.
 Boom, bang, smash, dakka dakka rang out as dice were rolled and casualties were worked out.  The German squad had done well, killing many Russians and injuring both junior leaders.  Unfortunately for them the Russians were in a bloodthirsty mood and killed every German they could reach, wiping the squad out to a man.  Strike one to the Red horde.
 Colin then counter attacked with two fresh squads.  Although the Russians were still more numerous, they were shaken, lacking leadership and within handgrenaten range.  SMGs were emptied and stick grenades were thrown.  Russians died and the two previously victorious squads were routed, taking Major Andy with them but leaving both junior leaders behind.  It was at a heavy cost to the German's though as few soldiers were left to face the rapidly approaching Russian reinforcements.
 On the other flank Nathan had pushed a T-26 forward which fired at the Sd222, which was firing away at the troops in the ruins, only to see its mighty 45mm AP shell bounce off!  Bwahahahahaha!!!  As the PzIII rushed forward to try and get a shot in the plucky Sd222 commander calmly rotated his turret, took careful aim and then shredded the T-26 with a burst of 2cm cannon fire. 
 AT rifle and rapid small arms fire then rattled off the Sd222, causing some shock and upsetting the crew despite plenty more German armour moving up to support it.  The T-35s had now appeared behind the Russian troops and both were used as pillboxes, sitting near their base line and shelling whatever they could see.  A PzIII was damaged by a 45mm shell, causing it to take cover behind the church.  The other T-35 was shelling the recently revealed Pak gun in the farm.  Both shots were pretty feeble, with the Pak missing and the T-35 only killing a single German.  Bad news for Colin was Nathan had advanced an assault squad to within flamethrower range and routed another of the German squads.
 Then the Panzers took a blow as the newly arrived PzII was blown apart by a shot from Zobs T-35.  Seems 45mm shells are too much for PzII armour.  Oops.
 The Russians in the ruins were now taking sustained fire from several sides, with two PzIIIs, a PzII and some infantry all balzing away.  The fire was accurate, but largely ineffective due to the heavy protection provided by the ruined buildings.
Colin's platoon was now wavering due to it's heavy losses.   The Russians kept coming and shock was accumulating rapidly. 
 Suddenly "Urah" rang out again and hordes of Russians appeared in the woods.  Despite an ambush by a tripod MG34 the assault was overwhelming.  The Russians had three squads all assaulting a very reduced German squad and an under-crewed Pak gun.

The result was a foregone conclusion........but turned out to be a double edged sword.  Despite wiping the defenders out and breaking Colin's morale, the German's caused enough casualties to break Andy's final squad.  This caused his platoons morale to break as well.  Then it all went wrong as Nathan lost morale due to Andy's breaking, causing Zob to lose morale due to Andy and Nathans morale losses.  The end result was Andy and Colins platoons had routed while Nathan was on 2 force morale points and Zob was on 1.  Panjo was still on 5, giving him full command dice and I was on 4 so was reduced by 1 command dice.  The Russians capitulated at this point as they didn't have enough command dice to do anything meaningful and they were being outflanked by the Germans.

It was a cracking game though, everybody said they had enjoyed it and we all had a laugh throughout the entire game.  After packing it all away and having some nibbles we then went on to play a quick game of Zombicide before calling it a day and heading home. 

Thanks to Zob for hosting us all again, Nathan for helping provide the figures and scenery for the game and Panjo and Andy for playing in the spirit it was intended. 

That's all folks, I am off to chill and annoy the wife.  Happy New Year to you all.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Help me!!!

All the kids and grandchildren are here for dinner.  Send help!