Friday, 21 February 2020

1/2400th Cut and Shut USS Powhatan

I wanted to have USS Powhatan in the US North Atlantic Squadron but there was no suitable model in the Tumbling Dice range, so I have made a cut and shut conversion instead. This involved the back two thirds of the ASV17 HMS Retribution paddle frigate, mated to the front half of the ASV8 HMS Arrogant small frigate model, with a replacement stack made from a cut down drill bit. It's not quite correct but is a fairly good visual match the real ship, so I'm happy with the overall result, even if it looks a bit rough and ready in an unpainted format. I enjoy doing these conversions and have plans for some more to create an early Russian Baltic force based on some of the French ironclads in the Tumbling Dice range. In the meantime, I've also based and undercoated two more of the Kalamazoo class twin turret monitors, USS Nebraska and USS Massachusetts. 

La Ultima Cruzada

A few years ago I had a brief flirt with the Spanish Civil War, played a couple of game of Bayonet and Ideology 2 at the club and assembled a few packs of 15mm Peter Pig figures, only for the whole thing to fall by the wayside as often happens with these things. Today I found a digital version of  Bob Cordery's excellent wargamers guide to the Spanish Civil War, so downloaded a copy and have been reading through it over the last three hours or so. 

This has sparked my interest again but I wasn't keen on BAIT so am looking for an alternative. I did consider Chain of Command back then but think that the 15mm figures would be better on multiple bases for company level wargames, so I'm now more likely to be going down a Nordic Weasel route, possibly using Fivecore Company Command, the AK47 rules variant Mexicanski 36 or even I Ain't Been Shot Mum. It's all a bit sketchy and will probably never happen but it's worth a bit more thought?

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Fistful of Lead Reloaded Revisited

The Fajitas Brothers Banditos
Rico, Tico, Chico, Mongo and Loco

The Rev Ullysses T. Boggs and Lawmen

The Long Arm of the Law

I've booked a table at the club for next week, for a game of Fistful of Lead Reloaded, as the sprog wanted to give it a try. I was very surprised to find that, after a troll back through the blog, the last game that I played was way back in 2015! How did that happen? Anyway, I'll be digging out my figures and terrain, of which I have a good selection, so that I can play through two or three gunfight scenarios. The two rival posse will be the Fajitas Brothers - Rico, Tico, Chico, Loco, Mongo et al - and the lawman posse of the Reverend Ullysses T.Boggs.

I was thinking of using my homemade desert terrain board but it's warped having been stored in the garden shed, after The Management complained about it being in the house. I think I will eventually have to make a proper 3' x 3' board to replace it or at least some terrain tiles to match my existing scenery. I will, however, be setting out my cactus terrain bits that I made ages ago but have never actually used, so at least one scenario will be set way out in the Badlands. I'm really looking forward to a bit of good old fashioned gunfighting as Fistful of Lead is one of my favourite sets of rules and always delivers the action. Brilliant!

I'll be off to watch some Westerns now...yee ha!

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Achtung Spitfire!

I've made some good progress on the 1/285th Spitfire Vb's over the last day or so, with most of the blocking in done and only the canopies and black lining to sort out, before they will be ready for the decals. They're a bit rough around the edges at this stage but they should clean up fine, especially after the back lining stage when it all starts to work together. Fingers crossed! 

Norman No Mates

I finally bit the bullet and have sold off my incomplete SAGA Norman warband, which I've only used a couple of times and really didn't feel like finishing. I was never happy with the painting, which I did over the holidays with a very basic set of paints, although the basing wasn't bad. I've sold them to a chap at the club, so they'll be used there rather than re-sold on eBay, which is a good result and may well lead to some more SAGA games. I'll now have to paint a new army which I'll try to do at some point this year, based on the Gripping Beast Welsh warband that I bought ages ago, with some extra figures to bulk it up to a full six points.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

US North Atlantic Squadron Extras

USS Guerriere and USS Ajax

I've added two more warships to my expanding 1/2400th scale North Atlantic Squadron c1870, the first being the Java class cruiser, USS Guerriere, and the second being the Canonicus class monitor, USS Ajax. The USS Guerriere is a very lightly adapted screw frigate, HMS Galatea, from the Tumbling Dice range, which is close enough to be a visual match once the strake is sanded down and the stern carved back. I will probably add one more screw frigate or a sloop to the squadron, possibly the USS Franklin, although the four funnel fast steam frigate USS Florida would be even better (assuming I can do a conversion or a scratch build?)

USS Ajax (front) USS Catskill (back)

The USS Ajax was originally intended to be a second Passaic class monitor but I miscalculated the length and it ended up a too long compared to my earlier cut and shut conversion. Instead of starting all over again, I decided to rearrange the position of the stack and add a steam pipe, to create a Canonicus class monitor instead. The base model is once again the USS Dictator from the Tumbling Dice range. The actual USS Ajax was attached to the North Atlantic Squadron in 1874-75 too, so it's a good addition to the fleet.

(in case you were wondering, they're not painted yet, just base coated)

Monday, 17 February 2020

Spit and Polish

I've finished the camouflage pattern on the thirteen 1/285th scale Spitfire Vb's and have given them an overall coat of Future based ink wash to blend it all in and add some definition. I've also unmasked the fuselage bands and will tidy them up when I paint the prop bosses. The next big thing is to paint the canopies, which is always a bit hit and miss, especially when it comes to adding the canopy framing in fine black. I know that thirteen is unlucky for some but I'm hoping that it doesn't include me?

1/2400th French Fleet Reinforcements

I'm almost at the point that I can run a full fleet action in 1/2400th scale, with my French and British ironclads re-enacting a Trafalgar 2. However, I still have some scope to add half a dozen or so ironclads to the French battle line, which would really make a difference to the overall scenario scale. I have the Normandie and Invincible (ASV41) to start with, both sister ships of Gloire but relatively short lived due to their unseasoned wooden hulls, together with up to six more of the Provence class (ASV44) ironclads. I can also add a second Ocean class ironclad as well (ASV130). I have most of the models already but will order a few more of the Provence class to top up the numbers, so that I can paint them after finishing the US North Atlantic Squadron monitors, which I'm working on at the moment in between the Bag the Hun stuff.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Spitfire Camouflage

It's the half term holidays, so I'm planning to get the 1/285th scale Spitfires painted over the week, overlapping with the FW-190's and Bf-109's once I'm at the decal stage in a few days time. We have family visiting this weekend, however, so I've only just managed to start on the camouflage pattern, although this has been less fiddly than I remember from the last time I tried doing it. The problem is getting the pattern consistent across all thirteen fighters, which takes a bit more time and effort than just slapping it on. When I have finished the planes will have an overall coat of Future based ink wash, after which I can do the canopies, prop boss, leading edge recognition strip and all the other details. Tally Ho!

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Sandbox Skirmish Oil Derrick

I was ordering some more 20mm x 60mm laser cut bases from Warbases yesterday and wanted to bump up the order to make it worth the postage. I had a rummage around and found this radio mast in the 28mm Route 66 range, which I thought would be good as an oil derrick in 15mm for my Skirmish Sandbox project. I'd thought about using a wind pump model for this but the radio mast, with a bit of conversion work, would be much better. I think I'll just leave the top bit off, add a mid stage level and fit a bit of brass rod as the oil drill in the centre of the derrick, together with some sort of hut at the base and a few resin barrels. It should look not unlike an actual desert oil derrick if I get it right?


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