Sunday, 19 January 2020

Clear the Decks!

Now that I have finished the ACW painting job I can finally get back to my real project for January, painting the last of the 1/2400th Tumbling Dice Royal Navy ironclads! I simply don't have time to get all of these done, so I've decided to just tackle four of them, with HMS Black Prince, HMS Defence, HMS Wivern and HMS Monarch being the chosen few. I've made a start on them already but there's a way to go before they're finished, with the Bag the Hun aircraft follwing swiftly in their wake if I'm going to have them ready for the Lard Day game in time.

1/2400th ACW Ironclad Painting Finished!

I finished the last bit of painting for the Tumbling Dice ACW job yesterday, with a couple of mortar batteries and a coastal fort painted in earth and grass shade as requested by David. I've painted these models myself for my own 1/2400th scale ironclad project, although I used a sand coloured theme, so it was a simple job to assemble and paint them up. That reminds me that I need to add some more coastal fortifications and features to my own terrain set up using the Brigade Models 2mm range, as well as scratch building some more coastline and islands. Anyway, the whole collection of completed models has now been carefully wrapped, boxed and packaged to be sent off first thing on Monday. Job done!

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Mbote Independence Day - Long Live Mbote!

As you probably already know, today is Independence Day in the People's Democratic Republic of Mbote. President For Life, Colonel Banga Boum, has declared a state holiday and there will be a military parade in the capital Mpongoville by the Mbote Defence Force (MDF) and by units of the Peoples Volunteer Army (PVA) militia in the regional capital of Zambuzi. The commander in chief of the MDF, Major D'Sassta, has organised a full 21 gun salute, although this has been scaled back to a 13 mortar salute due to ammunition supply issues. A new 23 million Banana (23,000,000,000 Mb) commemorative coin has also been issued by the Minister of Finance, Dr Phat Whalet.

Long Live Mbote!

(it's also my birthday)

Friday, 17 January 2020

Sinker Saves the Day Special Rules

One key element of the Bag the Hun Lard Day scenario is the eponymous hero, Pilot Officer 'Sinker' Armstrong. Although only a Veteran pilot and section leader, P/O Armstrong has to make more than an appearance in the scenario if it is to deserve it's title of 'Sinker Saves The Day'. To make this happen, the scenario objectives and victory points will put a premium on any kills or damage results that P/O Armstrong can inflict, but he also will have a special Pilot Characteristic to give him a better chance of surviving and an incentive to get stuck into the action. 

At the moment, this will be a bonus for situational awareness, a 'Sixth Sense' or as I may term it using contemporary RAF slang a 'Ring Twitch' (it's a Too Fat Lardies rule set after all). This will give a -2 penalty for any pilot trying to 'Get on the Tail' or 'Stay on the Tail', making it the equivalent of a Junior Ace rating. I am also thinking of giving P/O Armstrong a bonus for his aggressive flying, possibly titled 'All Guns Blazing' or similar, giving a +1 Firing Adjuster for air to air gunnery. However, I'm not sure if two Personal Characteristics isn't a bit of overkill, so I may just stick to the one?

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Hardwired Expansion

I downloaded a copy of the Hardwired skirmish cyberpunk rules a few months ago and briefly toyed with the idea of doing something with them in 15mm. This didn't get very far, apart from picking out some suitable figures from my GZG lead mountain, but I have now added the supplement which includes a mini-campaign of linked scenarios that looks really cool. This has a lot of potential as a small solo skirmish project, so I will be taking another look at what I might do with it at some point this year?

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

What a Tanker Club Game

We had a very enjoyable game of What a Tanker at the club last night, even though there were only three of us and I umpired rather than taking an active role. A quick run through of the rules and we were off to a flying start, which came to an abrupt end for the sprog when his Mark IV got a nasty shot in the flank and brewed up. Ouch!

In the follow on game, he managed to hold on a lot longer and inflicted some nasty permanent damage on both of the T34's but ended up with both his Mark IV's outflanked then blown to bits. It was a good game and he picked up the rules in no time, despite getting a bloody nose and a lesson in tank tactics. He took it firmly on the chin and will be back for more, so a win all round.

It made me think about the need for several players to keep the game rolling and a solid objective driven scenario to underpin the game, rather than a basic 'shoot 'em up' approach, which tends to result in a 'last man standing' situation. In the end, the much vaunted KV2 failed to make an appearance but I'll definitely be running another game at the club later in the year.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

1/2400th HMS Defence Conversion

I had an hour or so this afternoon so thought I'd do some ironclad bashing, cutting up two spare Tumbling Dice ASV59 Armide models to create something not unlike the early broadside ironclad HMS Defence or her sister, HMS Resolution. This involved cutting the hull in half and inserting a section chopped out of the other model, before glugm and filling it all in. I also added a new funnel from a 15mm recoilless rifle barrel, which seemed to be a good match for the real thing. The ship is now about the right scale length, although a bit narrow in the beam and with the maim mast a little too far back, but it looks good considering the drastic surgery required to put it together.

1/2400th ACW Ironclad Painting Part Four

I finished these off last night, giving them a matt varnish and then gluing them to the bases, so all of the ship models are now completed. I tried to add a bit of variety to the cotton clads and tin clads, as there are only two basic models, both with the addition of some bow chasers and with the basic paint scheme. It's a shame that there isn't a wider range of river gunboats from Tumbling Dice but they wouldn't be difficult to convert or even scratch build from plastic card.

Monday, 13 January 2020

1/2400th ACW Ironclad Painting Part Three

Paddle Gunboats

Tugs and Harbour Vessels

Screw Gunboats

I'm getting toward the end of this painting commission job, with these neat little Tumbling Dice screw and paddle gunboats, tugs and harbour vessels, which I've managed to complete this evening. They are a bit fiddly but it's good practice for me as I have loads of these to paint up for the 1864 Prussians. The cotton clad and tinclad river gunboats are also nearly finished, which means that I only have the coastal gun batteries to clean up and paint before it's all wrapped up. Phew!

1/2400th USS Kickapoo Freebie

USS Kickapoo and USS Monitor

I had a spare hull casting for USS Monadnock in my bits box, so thought I'd hack it about and glue it on to a spare base to make something a little but like a Milwaukee class river monitor. As the original model looked nothing like the Monadnock or any of her sisters, this seemed like a good way to make use of the casting and also use up a surplus base from the CSS Virginia model. It was a simple conversion, which involved chopping off one end and sanding it down, so it took all of five minutes to do. The end result isn't bad and will make a useful freebie addition to the river fleet for the chap that I'm painting them for. Who can resist a warship with a name like that? Result!


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