Friday 31 December 2010

Twelve down..Twelve to go.

Well, that was a bit of a hit and miss year, as far as projects are concerned. This is what I set out to do:

On the plus side, I did complete three big and three small projects, including thirty odd Ju88's for the club show game, the VBCW BUF, the Pirates and the scratchbuilt sloop, the Axles and Alloys cars, the Bag the Doodlebug planes and the last of the North Africa Axis planes for BTH2. Not bad, especially as two of them were in 28mm!

On the downside, only a couple of these were on the original hit list for completion this year, with the two major 28mm  projects appearing from out of the blue, thus infringing the dreaded New Years Resolution:

Oh well.

Even worse, although I tackled a few of the things on the list of projects I set out to complete, several of them remain half or three quarters finished including the 12mm ARVN battlegroup, the 1/600 scale MiG Alley planes, the 1/2400th scale Victorian ironclads and the AK47 Dictatorship army. The VBCW Reds are a good example, being 90% finished and requiring just a little more oomph to be done and dusted.

It's not all bad, however, as at least two of these are in a 'good to go' condition with all the tedious cleaning and basing done. A bigger issue is a lack of an opponent for some of the erstwhile 2010 projects, so one or two are likely to remain incarcerated in their respective boxes, particularly the ARVN.

I did add a few other things to the leadpile that weren't originally planned too, including the Rapid Fire! stuff, the Warmaster Dark Ages project, the 1/600 Nononhan planes, the 10mm BKC Norwegians and the 10mm BKC Italians. These will also be shifted over to the 2011 painting schedule as they're all things I'm keen to tackle rather than leave to gather dust. 

So, I think my original New Years Resolutions were a little ambitious and, more to the point, far too restrictive. As a result, in 2011, I'm going to give myself more room for manoeuvre by not specifying exactly what I'm going to do and how long it's going to take.

I will try to tackle at least half a dozen projects, in a variety of scales from 28mm down to 1/600. Other than that, it's all up for grabs! There are some definate front runners for the next twelve months, however, so I'll be setting out a top ten of favourite options to choose, as and when they grab my attention. 

Thursday 30 December 2010

Rapid Fire 5th Battalion DCLI [3]

I grabbed some time today to clean up, assemble and base the HQ and three companies of the 5th DCLI, although it took rather longer than I expected. This was mainly due to some extra conversion that I decided to do, particularly for the Bren and PIAT armed figures.

I didn't like the kneeling figure provided in the box set, as it seemed a little odd to have a convenient pile of rocks on which to balance his light machine gun. As a result, I had to cut and shut some standing figures to use instead. I also did a few headswaps and tilted some of the helmets to jaunty angles to add a bit of variety.

I'm going to tackle the support company next along with the scout platoon and FAO figures. After that, I'll do a few tanks and vehicles to add a bit of much needed mechanisation to the battalion. This should take most of the weekend but I'm hoping to start painting things by Sunday or Monday.

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Osprey ARVN

We got back from France yesterday after another seemingly endless journey. It was good to get back home and have a decent cup of tea, although I also re-discovered the pile of work that I have to do. Anyway, to catch up on the sales the wife decided that we should go into town this afternoon.

I stopped off in Waterstones and bought a copy of Army of the Republic of Vietnam 1955-75, which is one of Osprey's latest Men at Arms titles. I'm hoping it'll get me fired up to finish off the 12mm ARVN for CWC sometime in 2011 but who knows? I have a few projects in a similar state of almost completion so this would be a good place to start.

Monday 27 December 2010

Happy Xmas to Me [2]

The Ministry of the Interior officially approved my self initiated Xmas pressie as it was 'not bad'. I think she was refering to the price rather than the quality of the sculpting. Anyway, I thought I'd stick my neck out and get some Dragoons before the window of opportunity slams shut in my face. So I did. A bit pricey for what you get, although I did pay under the odds again, but useful for skirmish gaming nonetheless.

Sunday 26 December 2010

Happy Xmas to Me [1]

I have to get my own Christmas presents these days. The kids still believe in Father Xmas, so reckon he'll get something sorted for dad, while the Ministry of the Interior says it's easier and probably less embarrassing if I choose something for myself. The end result is that have the pleasurable, if slightly odd task of choosing my own pressies!

This year I decided to get a Warlord Games Pïke and Shotte Starter Army. I used to have some Redoubt figures for the English Civil Wars many years ago but they ended up on Ebay after I decided that I didn't like the look of the seperate heads, even when they were attached to the bodies. The Warlord plastics are less detailed than the Redoubt metal figures but are much cheaper, so look like a good way to get this old project off the ground.

Anyway, I spotted a good deal on Ebay so I thought 'why not?'. When and if I get round to painting them up, they'll be used for semi-skirmish games using 1644, Warhammer ECW or File Leader, depending on what I can manage to get together. I have all of the aforementioned rules plus a few others that might be worth a try out, so they'll be no problem getting the rules side of things sorted.

I've always wanted to do some scenarios based on the Civil War in Cornwall, as some of the various skirmishes happened quite close to where I grew up, so this will be the focus of any future project. It has the advantage that I could start off with a handful of figures for a bit of skirmishing, then build up to something larger in scope if I get into it.

Xmas Holiday Reading [4]

I finished Assault on Germany a couple of days ago and I'm now steaming through Hill 112 by Major JJ How, which is an equally good read. I love having the time to sit down and read through a book in a few days, rather than my usual chapter each evening.

Unfortunately, on the other hand, I haven't got around to doing anything with the Valiant figures, mainly due to the way things work over here with regard to extended mealtimes, entertaining the kids and going out Xmas shopping. I'll have to have a go at them when I get back home.

I've also been extending my post graduate qualifications in Lego Star Wars construction, thanks to Father Christmas and two Lego mad sprogs. I'm not that bad, if I say so myself, although if I see another little grey triangular widget I'll start to lose what's left of my sanity.

Saturday 25 December 2010

Friday 24 December 2010

Wings of War

I've been playing this with the boys over the last couple of days. They're not bad at it although there has been a little bit of interpretation when it comes to the rules, as the youngest doesn't like to lose. It's not a bad game but leaves a little to be desired in terms of depth.

I have the other two boxed sets and have flown some games with two seaters but have yet to try out the balloon busting rules. There's another boxed set out for multi engine bombers but as it's quite pricey, I think I'll give it a skip.

A good game for keeping the kids occupied on Christmas Eve though.

Thursday 23 December 2010

Xmas Holiday Reading [3]

I picked up a copy of Vae Victis Hors Serie 14 this afternoon to relieve the inevitable tedium of a clothes shopping trip by the other half. I wasn't going to get a copy, as I think it's gone downhill of late but there was an article and scenarios for Indo China using BKC2 and (presumably) CWC, so it was worth the very reasonable 6.50 Euro price tag.

It got me thinking (again) about the 10mm Indo China project that I've stockpiled figures, vehicles, plane kits and scenics for. I really should tackle it sometime, as it would be really cool. I have the ARVN to finish off, however, although they are one of those projects that has run into the buffers due to lack of opposition, unless I build a Vietcong / NVA force as well.

A bit too much SE Asian style mission creep methinks?

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Solo Wargaming Day

I saw this over on TMP and thought it was a great idea. On the 1st January 2011 it's going to be international solo wargaming day, as the date will be 1/1/11. As I'm seriously considering going solo for a lot of my monthy gaming, due to limited time and a lack of interest in some of my prefered gaming pursuits at the local club, this seemed like a good way to start my lone gaming career.

I thought I'd set up the Bag The Doodlebug variant of Bag The Hun 2 on New Years Day, as I've painted all the required planes but have had zero interest from the club members. It will be a good opportunity to get to know the rules a little better having only used them once before.

I'm not going completely solo next year, however, as the Rapid Fire! and Warmaster Ancients projects will be club orientated.

On the other hand, I do have some potential solo projects in the pipeline, based on the premise that I need to produce both sides for some of the periods or rules systems that I want to play, as no one else is fired up enough to provide the opposition. 

Of course, if the interest is there, these solo set ups could also be used for head to head games, although that seems increasingly unlikely gven the sort of things I want to pursue. There are a couple of chaps at the club who are always good for a game or two of something different, but they tend to be the exception to the rule.

Ho hum.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Xmas Holiday Reading [2]

As usual, I've been raiding the Magasin de Press for military history and modelling magazines. The French have some absolutely superb magazine titles, both monthly and Hors Serie, which are special bumper issues that are published three or four times a year.

One of my favourites is Truck 'N Tanks which depsite it's rather clunky title is a first rate wargaming resource. As you might expect, it covers armour and softskins, mostly for WW2 but also for the modern era. The format includes fantastic colour profiles, scale plans and ToE diagrams, alongside a detailed text in French:

I've picked up the latest Hors Serie which covers US and Commonwealth armour and, as a result, I'll be ordering some more Armourfast M4A2's now that I realise that M4's are not the same as M4A4's. The Sherman thing is doing my head in but at least my 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards will have the right kit in the shape of Sherman III's and Fireflys.

On a different note, I'm steaming through Assault on Germany, which is excellent. I'm currently reading the chapters on the US 48th Division attack on Prummern, which was supported by the 8th Armoured Brigade Sherwood Rangers and would make a cracking Rapid Fire! scenario or two. I may even make the next Rapid Fire! project a US Infantry Battalion, although I need to start the Tommies first!

Funnily enough, it turns out that my in-laws town is twinned with weird is that? 

Monday 20 December 2010

TooFatLardies Xmas Special

I was wondering when this would be coming out and so was very pleased to download a copy today. I remembered to bring a memory stick with me so have saved a copy for later but, in the meantime, I can use the mother in laws PC to have a read through. There are some interesting articles and scenarios for Bag The Hun in this issue, as well as some potentially useful stuff for I Ain't Been Shot Mum, Through the Mud and Blood and Sharpe Practise, to name but a few. All for five quid too!

Sunday 19 December 2010

Xmas Holiday Reading [1]

We finally arrived at the in laws after a very long thirteen hour journey. The cross channel ferry bit was nice and quiet, although we almost didn't make it on time due to the snow. Anyway, I got some serious reading in on the boat and finished Assault Crossing by Ken Ford. It's a very good read and full of very useful ideas for potential scenarios, especially for the 5th DCLI. I'm now going to start on Assault on Germany by the same author, which covers the Battle of Geilenkirchen in late 1944.

Friday 17 December 2010

Off To France

If we don't get snowed in overnight, we'll be off to France for the holidays tomorrow morning. As a result, they'll be a bit of a news blackout for a couple of days. I'm taking some of my old boardgames with me and the Valiant figures to base up, so I should be able to post some progress reports over the next ten days or so. I'm not looking forward to the ten hour journey though :O(

Thursday 16 December 2010

Rapid Fire 5th Battalion DCLI [2]

After a bit of research and some helpful replies to my posts on TMP, I've decided to modify the ToE for the 5th Battalion DCLI  to incorporate the unorthadox and unique reconnaisance platoon that was created by Colonel Taylor in July 1944.

Apparently, a hand picked group of experienced riflemen was selected from the three (later four) companies of the battalion to create a heavily armed jeep mounted Scout Platoon, attached to the standard HQ platoon as extra firepower when not being deployed. In game terms this will equate to three figures and a jeep, with the companies reduced accordingly to seven figures rather than eight.

Simple but effective.

I'm also going to add an attached HMG platoon and carrier from the MG Company to provide a bit of fire support, as this was standard practice at the time. Finally, I may add the battalion motor pool of a 15cwt truck and two three tonners but, as this is unlikely to end up on the table, I may just leave it until later.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

One Year On...

It's the first birthday for the Jim's Wargames Workshop blog. I've achieved about half of what I set out to do this year and most of that has been at right angles to what I originally intended but, nonetheless, it's been a quite productive year in wargaming terms. I now have to sit down and think about the next twelve months!

Thanks for sticking with it despite the ups and downs.

Sherman Tanks

I re-discovered this site yesterday whilst looking for information on the 8th Armoured Brigade and it's three Sherman equipped regiments. It's a really useful site and very well worth a look if you're trying to find your way through the multivarious types of Sherman used by the British in North West Europe and elsewhere.

I now have enough HAT armoufast Sherman M4's, M4A2's and Fireflys to build two or three squadrons of tanks for the 4/7th Dragoon Guards, although they might not be entirely accurate. I'm going to do quite a lot of covering up with camo netting, stowage and other gubbins, so the rivet counters won't be too upset.

There are some excellent photos of  the sort of stowage I'm going to try to model here:

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Operation Bodenplatte [2]

I've added a few extras to the Luftwaffe fighters for this project, with four Bf109K's and four FW190A8's from Mark at Raiden Miniatures. This will complete the German contingent for the moment as it's more than enough to be going on with when added to the FW190D's and Bf109G's that I already have on the shelf.

The FW190's are hefty looking models with surprisingly deep panel scribing compared to other Raiden models. They should paint up well though, as will Bf109K's which are less obviously lined. A nice touch on the latter is that the ventral drop tank has a pre-drilled hole for it to be located into, with the hole for the stand positioned slightly further back then usual.

I also ordered a single Westland Whirlwind which appeared in the Raiden catalogue a while back. I had some quite nice Scotia ones already which put me off getting the Raiden version, a long with the rather odd looking cannon and machine gun barrels that that appeared to be far too long. However, I'm glad I did get one as the model is very nicely sculpted and the armament doesn't look wrong at all, even in such a small scale.

Monday 13 December 2010

Digital Rulebooks

It looks like the wife's given me the dreaded lurgy, which is a pain in the arse as she's now feeling fine. Anyway, I'm not, so the rest of the week looks like being a washout as far as painting is concerned. To cheer myself up I downloaded a copy of the Rapid Fire! rulebook from Wargames Vault for a little over a fiver, as I had a discount voucher and the rules were reduced anyway.

I have a hard copy which is being borrowed over Xmas by one of the guys at the club but I can now print off bits that I need as a when, which is the great thing about .pdf's. I can also stick it on a memory stick and take it with me to France with no hassle. I'm hoping one day to get one of those palmtop thingies so I can have all my digital copies of rules and journals in one place. In the meantime, it's still handy to have them on the laptop. 

Sunday 12 December 2010

Valiant 6 pounder A/T gun and crew

I just spotted this over on TMP and followed it up to the Valiant site. If they're going to release this set on it's own, I'll be snapping up one for the A/T support of the 5th DCLI Support Company. I would go for the special offer deal and get one free but I can't think of a use for five boxes of figures, even if I split them with the chaps at the club. Oh well. I'll just have to wait...

Revell / Matchbox Churchill AVRE

I was lucky enough to find an unmade kit of one of these in a charity shop yesterday for £2.00. It was bagged up complete and was obviously an unwanted birthday present of some sort. It's a lovely kit and matches well with the Raventhorpe resin Churchills that I already have, despite being 1/76th scale. I'll add it to the kit pile and may well put it together as a 79th Armoured Division 'bunker busting' AVRE for the Rhineland at some point in the future, although I'll leave off the bridge as it's a bit on the big side.

Friday 10 December 2010

Operation Bodenplatte [1]

With only a week to go until I leave for France, I've decided not to start on the Rapid Fire! clean up and basing but to take the figures with me to sort out over there. I can't take any painting equipment with me but am able to take some tools, glue and figures to assemble, ready for painting in the New Year. This seems like a sensible way to go about things to me.

However, I have a week until we depart for Brittany so will try to squeeze in a little bit of painting in the mean time. I'm going to try to paint up a small selection of late war Luftwaffe fighters and fighter bombers for Operation Bodenplatte. They shouldn't take too long as there's no tricky camouflage to do and mottle pattern is relatively easy to replicate. I'll give it a go and see how far I get.

The painting is by Nicholas Trudgian...very cool!

Thursday 9 December 2010

Rapid Fire Reading...and Google Earth

I've finished re-reading Infantry Colonel by George Taylor over the last couple of evenings. Although the proof reading leaves something to be desired, the book really gives a very effective impression of the nature of the campaign in North West Europe and, in particular, the latter stages of the advance into Germany in late 1944 and early 1945.

I was reminded by the recent wintery weather of how awful it must have been to have fought through the Rhineland in December 1944. The assault on the hamlet of Hoven during Operation Clipper seems to have been especially gruelling for the 5th DCLI, with driving sleet, heavy bombardment by mortars and 88's and open swathes of windswept farmland to cross in the face of concentrated MG42 fire.

I thought I'd have a look a Hoven using Google Earth to see the lie of the land, compared to a 1944 aerial photograph from the excellent website of the Worcestershire Regiment. As you can see it looks pretty insignificant now but was a real tough nut to crack at the time. The key feature is The Gap which is now overgrown by woodland but was an open area of churned up no mans  land swept by machine guns and mortar fire in 1944.

It really makes you stop and think.

(The photos aren't aligned and are to a different scale, so you'll need to match them up with a bit of lateral thinking and cross-referencing with the terrain)

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Leading Edge FW190 D9's

Here are some pictures of the Museum Miniatures FW190 D9's that arrived in the post yesterday. They're really clean, well sculpted castings and are crying out to be painted up. I've been thinking about a BTH2 Operation Bodenplatte scenario to use them with but it'll have to wait until next year, as I have the Rapid Fire! project to shift first.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

The Dreaded Lurgy

The wife was sent home from work this morning as she has TDL. This means that I can't go to the club tonight for the WW1 aerial game as I have to babysit while she sleeps it off in bed. It's a pity as I was really looking forward to what would have been my last game of the year. I did manage to drop off some planes at the club after taking the eldest to cubs, so at least there will be enough to go round for the other players.

On a more positive note, I got some Museum Miniatures FW190 Dora's in the post today to use against my late war RAF aircraft. I think they must have re-mastered the molds or improved their production somehow, as the castings are virtually flawless. In the past I've had to fill great big holes and pit marks in their models but these are really well done. Not only that but they're lovely to paint as well.

Sunday 5 December 2010

Rapid Fire Reading continued....yet again!

I posted a query about useful books on the 5th DCLI and 43rd Wessex Division in general over on TMP yesterday. As a result I now have a number of new leads for potentially useful book titles, a couple of which I've already snapped up for peanuts on Ebay.

Top of the list is Assault Crossing by Ken Ford, which looks like a really good source for the attack on  Vernon and the crossing of the Seine. I've also put a bid in on Assault of Germany by the same author, which includes the battle of Hoven amongst other actions, and on Hill 112: Cornerstone of the Normandy Campaign by Major J.J. How, which is obviously relevant to the attack by the 5th DCLI on Cornwall Hill.

I wouldn't want to game Hill 112, to be honest, as from what I've read it was a brutal and horrific bloodbath with little to suggest it would make a decent  scenario, in more than one sense. However, it's an important part of the history of the 5th DCLI, so it deserves my attention and respect. I'm always on the lookout for other books, so if you have any suggestions, I'd be really grateful.

Saturday 4 December 2010

Rapid Fire 5th Battalion DCLI [1]

Right, it's about time I started on the Rapid Fire! project so, without further ado, here's the breakdown of what I hope to get painted in the next couple of weeks. I'm going to build a standard British infantry battalion 'out of the box' using the guidelines provided in the Valiant set.

This requires the following:

1 x HQ (7 figures)
4 x Infantry Companies (32 figures)
1 x Support Company (9 figures)
1 x FO team (2 figures)

There are four carriers plus a six pounder and mortar to equip the battalion as well, but I've decided to leave the attached 8th Middlesex Vickers platoon out of the painting schedule for the moment.

Finally, for armour support I will add a squadron of the Sherwood Foresters or the 4/7th Dragoon Guards, both of which will be equipped with a Firefly and two Shermans. As an alternative, I may also paint up three Churchills of the 8th RTR.

It doesn't sound like a lot but I have a feeling it'll take more time than I have available?

Battlecars Revisited

We've moved on from Cry Havoc to Battlecars, another of my favourite boardgames from the 80's. I'm sorry to say that I've been blown up two or three times by a five year old, aided and abetted by his elder brother on at least one occasion. I'm not happy.

Anyway, it's an ideal game for the boys being full of rockets, machine guns, flamethrowers, mines and spikes. I think it appeals to their creative side? I've often thought about turning it into a multi-player game using converted Hotwheels diecasts and 18mm figures but I'll probably never get round to it.

If you fancy trying it out for yourself, you can often pick up a copy of the game on Ebay for a few quid, which is how I added some extra components to my original box set. You can also download the rules and sheets from this site:

Good fun!

Rapid Fire Reading continued...

I finished 18 Platoon by Sydney Jary a couple of days ago and it was well worth it. Although it has very little to do with the 5th DCLI it gives a very good account of the campaign from Normandy to the Rhine through the eyes of a platoon commander. If you can find a copy, definately pick one up:

I'm now re-reading Infantry Colonel by Brigadier George Taylor, who commanded the 5th DCLI from July 1944 to April1945. I'm only skimming through it, as I've read it fairly recently, but it's still very good as a reference for the campaign.

I've also dug through the top layer of the bookshelves in the search for other relevant books that I already have. Thinkng laterally for a change, I remembered that I have a few books that, while not dealing with the 5th DCLI directly, do have relevant bits that I could tap into.

One book, in particular, looks really useful, By Tank Into Normandy by Stuart Hills. Not only is it an excellent read but it also covers the action of the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers) who were one third of the 8th Armoured Brigade attached to the 214th Brigade. I'll definately be re-reading it as a useful cross reference.

Finally, I've ordered a copy of Ken Tout's book By Tank, which is a complation of the three volumes of his autobiography. I read the first installment Tank!: 40 Hours of Battle,  many years ago and it's excellent. It has little direct relevance to the 5th DCLI but it's a great read nonetheless, so well worth getting hold of.

Friday 3 December 2010

Bag The Doodlebug Finished

Thanks to the snow, I had a day off today so was able to finish off the aircraft for Bag The Doodlebug. I added the last of the decals then did a bit of fine-lining and cleaning up, before painting the bases and spray varnishing the models to seal everything in. I didn't bother black lining the canopies or the wing panels, as it's not really necessary and takes ages.

So, that's another project wrapped up and ready to go. I'm planning to try out the Bag the Doodlebug scenario over the weekend to see how it plays out. At some point next year I'll also be adding some late war Luftwaffe aircraft as opposition, with some FW190A8's, Me109G's and Fw190 Doras being at the top of the 'to do' list.

Meanwhile, it's on to the slightly overdue Rapid Fire! Tommies...

Thursday 2 December 2010

Bag The Doodlebug [14]

I got onto the decals this evening and managed to finish the Spitfires and the Tempests, although the latter need the first half of their squadron codes to be properly completed. As I don't have the correct letters, they'll have to do as they are I'm afraid. Never mind, they look OK as they are.

The same goes for the Mustangs although I might try to make up the PK codes for 315 Squadron using individual letters. A bigger problem is that I'm running out of C type roundels and have been forced to do some adaptation of B type ones in order to finish off the fighters. I've ordered some more but who knows when they'll arrive given the inclement weather.

I'll see if I can scrape enough roundels together to finish the fighters off tomorrow. I need to spray varnish them afterwards to seal in the transfers but might do a final bit of weathering and lining first. After that I'll just need to paint the bases and it's job done.

Cold War Hotshots

Over at North Star they've got a selection of the HLBS Chris Peers rules on sale, mostly at £5 each. I like Chris Peer's style of rules writing, being a big fan of the Back of Beyond, Darkest Africa and Saurian Safari, so I thought I'd try out one of his aerial warfare series to see what they were like. I have perfectly good rules for WW1 and WW2 so the only option left was the jet age aerial combat rules Cold War Hotshots.

They arrived yesterday, before the snow cut off all communication with the outside world, so I've had a brief skim through to pick up the salient points. They're not hex based, which is quite a nice feature as I'll be able to use them with the Wings at War MiG Alley based aircraft without the need for new hex stands. They're also quite fast play by the look of the mechanics and designed with 1/600 in mind, so they tick all the boxes so far.

I'll need another more detailed read through, before I decide if I'm going to try them out but they look promising as an alternative rule set, particularly for club games with multiple novice players and a shallow learning curve. I may also invest in some of the other rules on offer while they're going cheap, as you can never have enough rules in the stockpile (at least that's my excuse).

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Bag the Doodlebug [13]

After a couple of evenings feeling a bit rough, I finally got back to the painting schedule this evening with the aim of completing the fiddly bits by the close of play. I've added the theatre bands in Vallejo Pastel Green (885) together with the leading edge strips in a mix of GW Golden Yellow and White. I've also painted the exhausts in Foundry Tan Shade and Tan Shade light.

Unfortunately, one of the Mustangs has been consigned to the bin after a fairly disasterous painting episode in which I tried to correct an over wide theatre band with a white basecoat for some invasion stripes. It ended in FUBAR territory so I decided to cut my losses, which is a shame as the cockpit work on the offending model was rather good, if I say so myself.


Anyway, I need to do some tidying up and blacklining but otherwise there's light at the end of the painting tunnel. I can't wait to get on to the decals, although I'm sure I'll regret it when I do. I may cut back on the D-Day invasion stripes for a start!

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Night of the Ninjas

After much protestation by the sprog, I gave in and set up a couple of games of Samurai Blades for him after school today. The first game used the Night of the Ninjas scenario from the scenario book. I played the ninjas but was beaten by the defending samurai bodyguards, although I did allow a few dodgy dice rolls to go the way of the opposition.

Next, we played an ambush game using the Sohei warrior monk counters against one of the generic sets of ronin and ashigaru. As you can see, my warrior monks had to escape through the forest whilst being attacked from all sides by the bandits. It was a made up scenario but, on balance, I reckon it was a bit of a draw, with two dead monks and six escapees, for one wounded bandit.

I was outnumbered two to one though!

I'm going to print off the Cry Havoc rules and scenario booklet tomorrow, as my original set seem to have gone missing. I still have all the counters and the maps though, so I can easily set up a few medieval skirmish games for the kids using what I've got in the box. As it's something they seem to be enjoying and better than the DS or TV, I think it's a good way to get them won over to the attractions of wargaming!

Monday 29 November 2010

Pirate Press Gang

I won this lot on Ebay last week and was very pleased to get them through the post today. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn't already have any of the figures in the packs and that they were also really good poses with plenty of character and few, if any, wierd bits. The four painted figures were also really superb and far better than my feeble efforts.

When I'll get round to painting this lot up I don't know but at the very least I'll have plenty of figures to add to my crew when I do. I'd like to expand the pirate project to a full on skirmish level set up and build a new, larger pirate ship as well, but this will have to wait until next year.

Sunday 28 November 2010

Bag The Doodlebug [12]

Despite the sub-arctic permafrost in the garage this evening, I managed to paint the canopies on the planes using the usual Foundry Sky Blue approach with a little white mixed in for a highlight. They look OK but I need to add some fine-lining in black to finish them off. I'm not used to painting bubble canopie and they're harder to get right than the good old fashioned birdcage variety.

I also painted up the V1's which, due to some dodgy finishing, are now down to one lone example. The other one looked so ropey that I had to consign it to the bin. I may replace it at some point but I only need one buzz bomb to shoot down, so it's not going to be missed. I used Foundry Phlegm Green for the camouflage, mottled on with a brush in various incoherent layers. It's not as good as I would've liked but it'll do.

It's all a bit 'ho hum' at the moment but I'm hoping things will begin to look a bit better once I crack on with the fine detailing including the exhausts, theatre bands, cockpit lining out, leading edge strips and other twiddly bits. I'm planning to get them finished for this time next week but I'll have to see how things go...

Samurai Blades

My five year old was pestering me to play a game this afternoon so I disappeared up the loft and found my old copies of Samurai Blades and Cry Havoc, which I'd stored away for a rainy day. He decided that Samurai and Ninjas sounded the more exciting of the two options and, as a result, we played out Scenario 1: Ambush from the scenario booklet. He won too!

I have to say it was great fun and the game has lost none of it's appeal in the twenty five years or so since I last tried it out. I used to play both Cry Havoc and Samurai Blades a lot when I was at school and, while they're very simple systems, they are very enjoyable. If you see a copy of Cry Havoc on Ebay then I'd thoroughly recommend that you put in a bid, although you can now download and print out all the maps, rules and counters for free!

This is the place to download the whole series of Cry Havoc games:

Good fun!


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