Thursday 30 September 2010

Pirate Crew [14]

I finally finished off the pirate crew with the bases of the last two figures painted with Foundry Base Sand and a bit of static grass added for effect. I have two more figures underway but they can now wait until the next game when I'll finish them off as extras.

I thought I'd take a group photo of Black Jack Trelawney and his scurvy riddled swabs as a tribute to their stirling performance the other day, despite the fact that they sufffered badly in the first round. You can't keep a swashbuckler down and so they duly bounced back to see off the opposition in the second game in a timely fashion.


Anyway, it's on to the project for October in the form of the BKC2 Italian battlegroup and the extra planes for the Bag The Hun 2 North Africa collection. I'm not sure which I'll tackle first but I'll be getting started this weekend with some cleaning, basing and undercoating.

Noggies NbFz Pzkpfw VI Neubaufahrzeuge (eh?)

I was following a post on TMP yesterday about the availability of  the NbFz Pzkpfw VI Neubaufahrzeuge tanks in 10mm or 1/144th scale. Apparently, the chap who was enquiring about manufacturers of this monster, has been planning a 1940 Norwegian game in 10mm not unlike the set up I was thinking about at the start of the year.

Anyway, it turns out that you can actually get one in 1/144th scale as a plastic pre-paint, so I duly did a bit of searching and found one on ebay. It's a bit pricey (!) but I only need one and no one else is likely to bring one out, so I decided to get one while they're still available (these collectible pre-paints have a habit of disappearing off the shelves for some inexplicable reason).

All I need now are the rest of the infantry, tanks, artillery and transport for the Germans but I'm sure Pendraken and Pithead will be able to meet my requirements. There are still no early war Germans in greatcoats available but perhaps the Pendraken winter equipment figures or even late WW1 greatcoat figures would do?

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Sweet 1/144th Macchi Mc200AS kit

I bought one of these kits via ebay the other day to use as air support for the 10mm Italian battlegroup that I'm planning to paint up in October. It's a lovely little kit and pretty good value for money, as it includes two very nicely detailed aircraft, some superb decal sheets and very useful three view plans.

The decals are particularly impressive, including several different options and full camouflage mottle patterns for the fuselage and wings. This should save me a lot of time and effort when I get round to putting them together. 

I've also received the extras that I ordered from Pithead for the Italians, including some artillery and tows, staff cars, a selection of trucks for command bases and some light tanks. They are very well sculpted and I was very impressed by the way that Phil, the chap behind Pithead, deals with his customers.

I'll definately be ordering some more bits and bobs for my Italians, not to mention the Noggies when he releases his artillery later this year, together with some of the Ford  trucks he has already added to the Pithead range.

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Legends of the High Seas Game

As promised, here are some photos of the High Seas games that Jon and I played at the club this evening, both of which ended up as pretty decisive encounters. The first game was the X Marks the Spot scenario, which was over in the space of half an hour with Jon scoring a decisive victory over my crew.

The second encounter was the Clash of Swords scenario which went completely the other way, despite Jon's efforts to recruit large numbers of extra crew with his hard won doubloons. I'm sure we'll play some more games in the future as they were good fun and very quick, although we'll need some more terrain.

I'm going to try to finish off the last of the pirates before the 1st October if I can squeeze some time in over the next couple of days. If I can add a few extra figures to Black Jack Trelawney's crew I'm sure they'll come in handy, especially the chap with the blunderbuss!

Poundland Dinosaur Kits

I saw these in Poundland at the weekend, although they only had the Triceratops kits rather than the full range. They work out at about 28mm and are perfect for dinosaur hunting objective markers, terrain features and the like. They're easy to put together and can be cut about a bit to produce a skeleton lying on its side.

I bought one a few years ago at a museum shop and turned it into an objective marker for use in Saurian Safari games, complete with a spare leg bone to be carried off by the explorers or, as it turned out, by their pet dog Snowy. I'm not sure I need another one of these kits but the idea of a dinosaur graveyard might tempt me otherwise?

Monday 27 September 2010

Pirate Crew [13]

I didn't manage to get any painting done over the weekend for various reasons, so thought I'd try to blitz two of the remaining pirate figures and a treasure chest this evening. I finished the treasure chest in no time, as it just needed some texturing on the base and a three stage coat of Foundry Base Sand to be ready.

The pirates took a little longer despite cutting some corners. They're not quite as well finished as the others, due to my being in a bit of a rush, but they're OK. If I can I'll paint the bases and add some static grass in time for the game tomorrow night but I doubt I'll get round to it.

As it stands, I have more than enough pirates anyway as I'm only be allowed to have a five figure crew, this being the first (and possibly last?!) game using Legends of the High Seas. I'll take some pictures of the game and write an after action report tomorrow.

The remaining two pirates may get finished off but, to be honest, I'd like to get started on the BKC2 Italians. As a result, the last two crew will probably be consigned to the indterminable painting waiting list for a while longer. If the game is a cracker, I may change my mind, who knows...

Saturday 25 September 2010

Bag the Hun 2 [1]

It looks like the Bag The Hun 2 game is on for early November, so I had a trawl through my collection of 1.285th scale models to see if I could find something interesting to paint up.

I originally looked at the stuff I'd already primed and based but, as this consists of some clanky Leading Edge Cant z1007 bombers and some equally obsolete Scotia Ju87B's, I decided to find something with a bit more 'Holy crap, he's on my Six!' style street cred.

As a result, I've picked out four very nice Raiden FW190A3's, which I'll paint up as A4's for North Africa, together with a couple of Henschel HS129/B1 tank busters, both of with made an appearance in Tunisia in the later stages of the desert war.

They both have simple camouflage schemes (see above) so shouldn't take very long to turn out, especially if I get them done alongside the 10mm BKC2 Italians.

I think they'll give Andy a bit more of a run for his money than the Macchi Mc202's I tried out last time we had a crack at Bag The Hun?

Friday 24 September 2010

Plans for October

A bit of good news today, as I've now got the extra bits from Pendraken for the BKC2 Italian battlegroup.

I'm now in  a position to start planning out my painting schedule for next month based on the models I actually have, rather than what exists on paper. They're very nice too, especially the Dovunque command truck, which has to be the most bizarre thing to use in a featureless desert, being about the size and shape of a double decker bus.

I've also contacted Phil at Pithead to get some artillery and other extras which aren't available from Pendraken, including some staff cars and light tanks. I'm hoping to kick off the Italians in the first week of October, once the pirates are finished off and the High Seas try out game has been played through.

I've also contacted Andy to see if he's interested in a Bag the Hun 2 game sometime in October and he's keen to have a go, so we'll try to get something set up for the end of October or early November. We're both pretty busy up until then so it'll be a case of finding a suitable slot when we can both be at the club.

I may even try to get a few more Italian or German planes painted up for the game, a few of which I have already cleaned, based and undercoated. So, lots of things to look forward to next month, even if the stuff I still need to finish off gets sidelined for a bit longer.

Thursday 23 September 2010

Pirate Crew [12]

I added a few extra layers to the pirates late this evening, just to get them beyond the basic stage and to give them a bit of a push in the right direction. I'm not too unhappy with the end result but further work is needed to fill them out and get them ready for detailing.

Kamikaze 1946

It's been a while since I thought about aerial gaming in 1.285th scale but these new WW2 rules in the MSD Luftwaffe 1946 series caught my attention when I saw them on the Raiden site. I have some of the other rules and supplements in the series and have been meaning to try them out for a long time, although Bag the Hun 2 is my ruleset of choice for this sort of thing. 

At the moment, there is a lack of interest at the club, despite my previous efforts to run some attractive demo games as a hook. I set up some games of the original Bag the Hun last year but these failed to win anyone over beyond my long suffering opponent Andy. Perhaps I need to try again, either with BTH2, which I'd love to get up and running, or with something completely different like these Kamikaze 1946 rules.

If I can persuade Andy, or whoever, to have another go with BTH2  it might get me out of an aerial gaming dead end and back up and running. I haven't used the Italian and German planes for North Africa that I painted ages ago yet, so that might be a good place to start?

If not, I've always got the 1.600th scale projects to fall back on!

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Pirate Crew [11]

I've finished the flesh tones on the extra pirates tonight using Foundry Flesh over the GW Dark Flesh basecoat that I slapped on a couple of days ago. They look a little pale compared to the other figures that I've painted but I'm sure they'll be fine once I start blocking in the other bits.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Ultimate Skirmish Rules

I've been reading through the Legends of the High Seas rules and, thus far, they're virtually identical to the Old West version, at least as far as the land actions are concerned. There's a bit of re-phrasing to give them a suitably piratical feel and a few new rules for things like cannon but,otherwise, they're pretty much the same.

As I don't intend to do any ship to ship gaming at any point soon, it struck me that there are cheaper alterntives to the High Seas rules that might tempt other club members to have a go. One disdvantage of the rules is the price tag, which varies between about £18 and £20, which is a lot for a single ruleset that might only get used once or twice.

As a result, I've dug out some possible alternatives from my rules library, all of which are less than a tenner and readily available.

The front runner is a set produced by Steve Barber, the Ultimate Skirmish Rules, which look ideal for small scale skirmishes, with a few figures on each side. They also have a simple campaign system, so would work well for the pirates.

I got my copy via ebay a couple of years ago for about four quid but couldn't think of a suitable subject to use them for that wasn't already covered by other, purpose written rules.

There's a good review here:

I'm hoping to try them out sooner rather than later to see how they compare with Legends of the High Seas and whether or not they give a good balanced game.

Monday 20 September 2010

Pirate Crew [10]

I started on the four additional pirate figures this evening, with a simple basecoat of GW Dark Flesh, so simple in fact that I completely forgot to do it last time! If I can get myself to get on with it this evening, I may well add part of the three stage Foundry Flesh layering as well.

I've also had a crack at the old Citadel treasure chest that I found in the spares box but I'm not sure about the brown ink wash that I used, so may well do a bit more fiddling around to bring out the details.

BKC2 Italian Battlegroup [1]

I've had a think about the North Africa Italian battlegroup for BKC2 and have decided to start with a medium tank battalion, as it's a decent sized unit but not too tricky to paint up. In 1942, the battalion organisation would consist of three companies of three platoons each plus a battalion HQ.

At a one base equals one platoon ratio, this would give me nine tanks, plus an HQ base of a command tank and officer figures, motorcycle dispatch riders or whatever else looks good. In the Pendraken packs I have a grand total of twelve M13/40's and three M13/40 command tanks, so I can easily cater for a full battalion with the option of a second at a later date.

This lot would give me a good starting force of 570 points, plus the 90 for the CO stand that I will be sorting out later on.

I'm going to tackle these in one go, cleaning and basing the tanks then undercoating them in black, as this seemed to work well on the 12mm ARVN AFV's. Although I could undercoat in white and use washes, which would work well for the desert camouflage on the tanks, I think my conventional drybrush over black will work fine.

I'm going to start on these this week and hope to wrap them up by the end of the month.

Sunday 19 September 2010

Pirate Crew [9]

I finished off the pirate crew this evening with the bases painted in an undercoat of Foundry Rawhide Shade then drybrushed with three layers of Foundry Base Sand, with a final light dusting of 50:50 White and Base Sand light. I'm not sure it was worth the effort but at least I could cover up the messy bits with some static grass.

You can't see very much of the bases in the photos but they're not too bad, despite my initial 'ho hum' impression when I was half way through the drybrushing bit. It's not a good idea to rush these sort of things but, when time is of the essence, you can't afford to hang about. They're not going to win any prizes but they'll do the job.

I'm going to tackle the extra figures next but may take a different tack, painting up one figures at a time rather than all four over several days. It might speed things up but, if not, at least I will have moved them in the right direction?

I'm also going to kick off the 10mm Italians for BKC2 soon, although I'm waiting for the postie to deliver the last of the Pendraken extra bits before I get stuck in. I'm also thinking of ordering some artillery and HQ elements from Pithead but have yet to workout exactly what to get.

As I'm a bit of a prop head, I've already sorted the air support component with a couple of Sweet 1/144th scale Macchi MC200 fighters on the way via Ebay. I quite fancy getting a Stuka as well but that would be a step into overspend and the inevitable lead mountain landslide of doom, so I shall resist...

Pirate Crew [8]

It all got a bit hectic yesterday, so I didn't have time to do the bases on the pirates as planned. I did manage to get the bases on the two Foundry figures filled up with a mixture of PVA, filler and sand, so that the metal plank they're standing on is blended into the base.

I also cleaned up, based and undercoated the last of the extras in the shape of a Crusader pirate with pistol and cutlass. I also found an old Citadel treasure chest that I've stuck to a two pence coin and will paint up for the X Marks the Spot game.

I've got another busy day today, with rugby for the boys this morning, followed by a walk into town to see the Sealed Knot do a mini-muster at the Westgate, which is always worth a look just to see the bemusement of the passing tourists.

And I've got to do the ironing tonight as well. At least I can do it piratical stylee, as it's....

International Talk Like A Pirate Day!


Friday 17 September 2010

Pirate Crew [7]

Well, I finished off the painting of the pirate crew tonight, although they still need to be spray varnished to be completely done. I'm not too sure about the hair on one of the figures and may re-paint it tomorrow before the varnishing but otherwise, they're OK.

I had a crack at the eyes with mixed results, as I'm not very good at fiddly brushwork, being more of a slap it on and hope for the best style painter. I guess I need a bit more practice and some better brushes.

I'll get the bases textured tomorrow during the day, paint them and add some static grass by the close of play. The three figures in undercoat may well get a few initial coats of paint too, if I have the time.

Thursday 16 September 2010

X Marks the Spot

I've set up a game of Legends of the High Seas for the 28th at the club, so I need to finish off the pirates in the next couple of days, giving me plenty of time to read through the rules and work out my roster sheets.

I've set myself a deadline of Sunday to get them done and dusted, which is handy as it just happens to be International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Arrrgh matey.

We'll be playing the X Marks the Spot scenario, as it looks easy to set up and will make good use of my existing jungle terrain. I'm hoping that the rules are similar enough to Legends of the Old West that it won't take us long to get up to speed.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Pirate Extras

No painting this evening as I'm a bit whacked but I have managed to clean up, base and undercoat a trio of scurvy swabs for the pirate crew.

I thought I needed a bit of hardcore firepower so have picked out two figures from the Foundry lucky dip, one with a blunderbuss (big bang, lots of smoke, nasty recoil, not a lot of harm done) and one with a volley gun (several smaller bangs, slightly less smoke, bit nasty but a bugger to reload).

I also thought a bit of brute force and ignorance might come in handy, so the recruitment of an axe wielding nutter seemed like a good idea.

I may add one more figure, but have yet to decide between a pirate captain figure with multliple pistols and bad facial hair, or a swivel gun toting geezer with a floppy hat.

Arrgh matey.

BKC2 10mm Italians

I've nearly finished the pirates, although I may well add a couple more over the next few days as I've quite enjoyed doing them, so it's time to set out my next painting project.

I know I have to finish off the VBCW Reds, PITS Dervishes and ARVN for CWC but these can wait a little longer and/or get tackled as and when I have a bit of spare time. I also have the various things that I've cleaned up and undercoated but, again, there's no rush to start these now.

So, after my recent trip to Colours and the Pendraken 10mm purchases, I quite like the idea of producing an Italian battlegroup for BKC2. I'm not a great fan of Blitzkrieg Commander, having only played it about half dozen times in the same number of years, but it's the club default WW2 ruleset and so I should be able to find an opponent.

There's another chap with a Italian army at the club but it's for the Eastern Front, so there's no clash. However, as far as I know, no one has any stuff for North Africa and, in particular, there are no British for my Italians to take on. This shouldn't be a problem, however, as I'd quite like to do the 8th Army myself or persuade someone else to do them for me!

With the packs I bought at Colours I have at least 3000 points worth of armour and infantry, enough for an armoured battalion and at least two infantry battalions including transport. I have some support weapons and recce units but no artillery, which is a bit of a glaring gap in the ranks. I think I'll order a few guns from Pithead to fill it up.

I'm hoping to make a start on the battlegroup in the next couple of weeks, probably tackling one unit at a time rather than the whole lot in one go, as that way lies madness.

In case you were wondering, I haven't forgotten about the 10mm Norwegians but, until someone produces some early war Germans in greatcoats, they don't have any opposition. There are also some Norwegian figures being released by Pithead at some point, so I'll wait until they are available before cracking on.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Pirate Crew [6]

I was a bit late starting the painting this evening as the wife locked both sets of keys in the car in town and had to call the AA to get rescued, while I was stuck at home with the kids.

The end result is that the car is immobile with a dead battery and the central locking firmly engaged, so that even if we can get a locksmith to open it, we couldn't drive it away anyway.

Oh well, at least it wasn't me who did it (if it was I'd be sleeping with the fishes or, at the very least, in the garden shed).

I did get some painting done, however, including some belts, bandoliers and buckles, plus the wooden parts on the muskets and pistols. I started on the metallic bits too but have called it a day, as I have to get up a 5am tomorrow to sort out the car situation before work.


Monday 13 September 2010

Pirate Crew [5]

I'm not too sure about the latest effort in the pirate painting process. They're at that 'ho hum' sort of point, when they don't look too good but might be not too bad, once a few finishing touches are added. I've used a variety of GW and Foundry shades to move them on but with mixed results

There are a couple I'm quite pleased with, including the pistol armed figures, the captain and the bareheaded black musketeer, whilst a couple of the others are looking a bit dodgy.

Anyway, not far to go now and they'll be done, so it's on to the belts, gun barrels, buttons and buckles, with a bit oif tidying up, detailing and black lining to finish them off. Hopefully, a fair bit of this will get shifted tomorrow.

Sunday 12 September 2010

Colours Photos

As promised some photos of games that caught my eye at Colours yesterday. There were many others that looked good too but these are the ones that were up my street, either due to the subject matter or the presentation and playabilty factors.

The best participation game, I thought, was the Abingdon Wargamers Lost World set up in 28mm, which my kids thoroughly enjoyed. It was visually very well put together and worked well too, with some enthusiatic games mastering to make it run very smoothly.

The other two participation games that cut the mustard for me were the Naval Wargames Society 1/600th scale Yangtze Incident game and the Air Combat Yahoo Group 1/600th scale Feet Wet / Feet Dry Vietnam airwar game, both of which have subject matter that ticks my boxes. Unfortunately, I didn't get to play in either of them but would love to have a go if they re-appear at Warfare.

There were a couple of very slick demo games too. I really liked the Mid Somerset Wargames Club Tangier game in 28mm, which was presented very well. The Maidenhead and District Operation Hands Up 20mm Rapid Fire game was another favourite, especially as it was set in Southern Brittany.

I'm sure that theere were other equally good games, especially in the Sci Fi and Fantasy genre but, as that's not my cup of tea, I probably didn't take them in. Other games, like the Huntingdon and District Catch The Pigeon and Penarth and District Pirate multiplayers were tucked away in corners so didn't immediately grab your attention, which is a shame as they looked like a lot of fun.

Overall, I thought the standard and variety of games was very good and well up to the standard of Warfare and Salute, for instance. I'll certainly be going again next year.


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