Friday 25 October 2013

Off the Radar

I'll be out of circulation for a few days as we're off for a half term break. If I can, I'll post some topical, if not tropical, yet probably archaeological updates.

Bolt Action Railspilitters Ready to Go!

I've decided to draw a line under the Bolt Action Yanks for the moment, having originally intended to finish off a 57mm AT gun and crew together with some extra infantry. I just haven't had the time this last week, so they'll have to wait until later, when I have a spare weekend or two.

So, the Late War reinforced US regular infantry platoon is now pretty much ready for action and I've calculated that I have just over 870 points worth and probably near on 1000, if I make them veterans. The force is pretty heavily armed and quite compact but that gives me plenty of options to scale it up and down to fit the available opposition:

Platoon HQ = 1 x 2nd Lt and runner @ 60 points

One Medic  @ 30 points

Two Infantry Squads = 1 x NCO with SMG, 2 BAR gunners, 9 riflemen @ 133 x 2 = 266 points.

Two Bazooka teams @ 60 x 2 = 120 points

Two MMG teams @ 50 x 2 = 100 points

One Light Mortar Team @ 40 points

One M4A3 (76mm) Sherman Tank @ 235 points

Total = 851 points

The force is based around the Rhineland list in the Armies of the United States supplement, making use of some of the special rules that apply to US forces in general, such as the option to field three MMG's instead of just one as a single selection. I've also maxed out on bazooka teams to make up for the lack of any AT capability.

Thursday 24 October 2013

Bolt Action Volksgrenadiers [4]

I need some armour support for the Bolt Action Volksgrenadiers so decided to find another 1/50 scale Corgi diecast tank to match the M4A3's that I already have. I was lucky enough to buy most of my Shermans ages ago, when they were at a knock down price in Hobbyzone, but I didn't think to get any Panthers or Tigers at the same time.

These are now ridiculously expensive but I managed to find one tucked away in a corner of Ebay and put in a bid. In the end no one else noticed it so I now have a pre-painted Panther for £17, which is less than the equivalent 1/48 scale resin model from Blitzkrieg Miniatures and far less costly than most of the diecast ones I've seen on offer.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

In Her Majesty's Lost World

The Lost World Explorers

Roxton, Summerlee, Challenger, Malone and Zambo

The Accala Chief and his Warriors


I had a rummage in the Darkest Africa boxes this afternoon and found a selection of figures to assemble as a company for In Her Majesty's Name. Some of these were from my long established but dormant Saurian Safari project, whilst others were destined for various expeditions In the Heart of Africa. 

Anyway, after a bit of a think, I've put together a Lost World company, complete with the erudite Professor Challenger, his esteemed colleague Professor Summerlee, the heavily armed Lord John Roxton and the young but enthusiastic journalist Edward Malone. To complete the team there's Zambo, the loyal yet slightly un-PC guide and gunbearer..

I've also included the mystically gifted chief of the Accala tribe, his poison arrow armed fanatic warriors and a rather terrifying, not to say impervious trained Nanotyrannus. I'm not sure how this will work as a character in the company but I think it could be quite interesting for the opposition?

I've ordered a hard copy of the rules so that I can work out the stats for the company, formed around the generic Explorers list but incorporating some subject specific variations. I was looking for a small but comfortable project for November, so this is a definite front runner.

Tuesday 22 October 2013

In Her Majesty's Name Game


The game this evening was In Her Majesty's Name, in which I deployed the fiendishly fiendish Black Dragon my chosen company. This turned out to be a good game with lots of dice rolling action and some expertly painted figures for the various factions, mine being borrowed from the impressive collection of the umpire.

The cardboard terrain was also pretty good, alongside some very neat custom made markers for the movement, shooting and mystical powers that the various factions employed. In the end, my Yeti was swiftly dispatched before it could make much of an impact, but my martial artists more than made up for it's premature exit. 

I'm not sure if this is my cup of tea but I did enjoy the game, thanks to the enthusiasm of the players and especially the umpire. I'm still contemplating the possibilities and may yet put together a small company of my own, perhaps some dinosaur hunters or the Hounds of the Baskervilles, but other things have my immediate attention at the moment.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Bolt Action Yanks [29]

 I finished off the bases on the infantry this afternoon using a combination of Army Painter grass tufts and Fine Herbes. I was thinking about a bit of dry brushing over the tufts and some autumnal highlights on the leaf scatter but I can't really be bothered, so they'll do for the moment at least. If I get the time I'll tackle the 57mm AT gun crew and extra figures over the coming week but I doubt I'll finish them before half term.

Troop Leader - A Tank Commander's Story

I've just started reading this on the Kindle and, thus far, it's really good. It's relevant stuff for all sorts of things, from Bolt Action, through Chain of Command to I Ain't Been Shot Mum, so well worth the reading time. I've read several similar books in the past and this one looks like a very worthwhile addition to the library, especially as it's got Richard Holmes' seal of approval.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Bolt Action Volksgrenadiers [3]

I had a dig in the loft this afternoon, as I knew I had a couple of 1/48th scale kits that I could use for the Bolt Action Germans. After some undignified and somewhat precarious contortions, I excavated a dusty Tamiya Stug III Ausf.G kit which will do very well indeed as armoured support for the Volksgrenadiers. It's not too fiddly and, if I leave off some of the more delicate parts, should make a decent wargaming model. I think there's more up there but decency and self preservation prevent further expeditions into the forgotten corners of the attic.

Bolt Action Yanks [28]

I finished off the two remaining M4A3's this afternoon, so now have a platoon of three tanks. This should really be a five tank unit but you can only have one tank as a support unit in Bolt Action anyway, so three is more than enough. It will give me some options in Chain of Command though, so I think it's not too extravagant. I now need to finish off the 57mm AT gun and crew this week, together with some extra command figures, leaving the M3 half tracks to another, much later opportunity.

Bolt Action Volksgrenadiers [2]

I'm still waiting for the extra Artizan figures to arrive for the Bolt Action Germans so, in the meantime, I've dug out the ones that I already have and organised them into a couple of squads. I've decided to make these eight men units, with an NCO, five riflemen, an SMG loader and a MG42 gunner. When the extra figures arrive, one or two of the riflemen will also get panzerfausts, so I'll be able to stretch out my figures into three squads.

The Bolt Action lists for the Volksgrenadiers give the basic five man unit assault rifles but I think this is a bit too much, so mine will be down rated to ordinary rifles instead, with a consequent loss of points. In fact, they may well double up as regular Heer, which makes them worth a bit more to start with. The platoon will have the three infantry squads plus allotted heavy weapons and an AT gun, so should end up around 500+ points, without the addition of any tanks or assault guns.

Thursday 17 October 2013

Bolt Action Yanks [27]

I've spent a couple of hours this evening painting the details and adding the decals to the M4A3's, along with some judicious application of PVA based sludge to the lower hull and running gear of both models. I'll finish off the weathering, paint the tracks and add a coat of Army Painter varnish tomorrow evening. I'm planning  to wrap up this project by the end of next week, ready to start on something new after half term, although I have yet to decide what to do next.

In Her Majesty's Name

Next week, the club multiplayer game is scheduled to be In Her Majesty's Name, the popular Victorian Sci-Fi skirmish rules by Osprey Publishing. It's not a genre that I'm particularly keen on, dinosaur hunting aside, but I missed the last game so thought it would be fun to have another go. I have the rules on the Kindle and have been browsing through them ready for the game on Tuesday.

I've also been mulling over possible options for my own company for the game, using figures that I can find in the leadpile to save money. There are plenty of options here, from dinosaur hunters of the Royal Geographical Society, to tribesmen of the North West Frontier, all the way through to polar explorers from the frozen arctic wastes. However, in keeping with the literary theme of the rules, the current front runner is Sir Henry Baskerville and his tamed hellhounds, accompanied by Dr James Mortimer, a practitioner of the new science of Pavlovian mesmerism.

There will be the usual hangers on as well, including Barrymore the manservant and his gun toting wife, together with some local yokels in a homage to the regulars of the Slaughtered Lamb from An American Werewolf in London. The main character in the company will be the monstrous wild hound of the story, now captured and trained by Sir Henry and Dr Mortimer. I toyed with the idea of turning Sir Henry into a werewolf as well but that's a bit too silly, so I'll just stick with a pack of hounds instead.

This is all entirely back of a fag packet stuff and will probably never get off the ground, but it would be fun.   

Tuesday 15 October 2013

American Cricket?

We were play testing a set of potential show participation rules this evening at the club. I won't go into details but it involved some armoured penny farthings, sacrificial deer (we ran out of lambs), Queen Victoria, various foreign gentlemen in unusual headgear and a Bengal Tiger. The rules are designed to replicate the long established and highly respected game of American Cricket, as you would expect.

I won't explain the parameters, as I'm sure you will recognize the salient features of the game and will appreciate the high degree of accuracy that we achieved in its representation. May the best man win (which was me!). Well, actually it was the Hungarian ambassador, but we don't mention that in the presence of Her Majesty, as she was 'not amused'. In fact, she was hors de combat, having been eaten by a directionally challenged tiger.

The Rajah of Bengal was somewhat embarrassed, to say the least.

Skirmish Campaigns: Norway

I've been trying to get hold of a copy of this for ages, with a failed order from Caliver Books a few months ago suggesting that I'd have no luck. However, I found a copy available from the Wargames Command Post, although I expect they may well have sold out and have forgotten to update their web shop thingy. I'll just have to wait and see. I've also sourced some Norwegians in 28mm from Gorgon Miniatures (thanks for the tip off Steve!) along with some excellent Gebirgsjager, so things are looking a little less unlikely, even if I have to order them from across the pond.

Monday 14 October 2013

Bolt Action Norway

I finally gave into temptation and ordered a copy of the Bolt Action supplement for France and the Allies with particular relevance, as far as I'm concerned, for both the Norwegian Campaign and the SAS in Brittany. These are two possible areas in which my Bolt Action project may well diverge, especially as the Norwegians may well appear sooner rather than later, as a Warlord Games offering...just a guess on my part but, why feature them in a supplement, if they don't actually appear 'in the lead'?

Sunday 13 October 2013

Lost World Safari RIP

After a lot of thought I've decided to end my Lost World Safari Yahoo Group, which I established way back  in October 2006 after I found a second hand copy of Chris Peers' excellent Saurian Safari rules on Ebay. I've had a lot of fun with the rules and the offshoots over the last few years but, with the impending death of the Yahoo Group format, and my divergence into other things, the group has now passed it's sell by date. I'll be interested to see if Yahoo notices the demise of a group with several hundred members and then sends me an urgent email asking me 'why?' but, somehow, I doubt they'll be bothered.

Bolt Action Yanks [26]

Here's the finished Sherman M4A3 75mm with added weathering. It still looks a bit 'clean' but I think it will do. I need to add some stowage to the other AFV's in the production line, otherwise they'll all be far too neat and tidy. I'm also considering some rust and chipping but that's far too easy too overcook,so I may well leave things as they are, give or take some tinkering.

Bolt Action Yanks [25]

It's all gone a bit Frank Spencer today, as I've been juggling loads of family things including some homework for the sprogs, but I have squeezed in a few minutes here and there on the M4A3 Shermans (well, one of them at least). This is now at the half way stage but I'm hoping to find time this evening to finish it off and, perhaps, tackle the other one to some extent in between the rugby, shopping, cooking, ironing, homework, bed time story reading.......

Saturday 12 October 2013

Bolt Action Yanks [24]

Here's the first stage of the dry brushing on the Shermans, with a 50:50 mix of Foundry Phlegm Green Shade and Phlegm Green over the undercoat of Tamiya Olive Green. The difference between the undercoated and washed M4A3 (76mm) and the bog standard but dry brushed M4A3 is obvious. I haven't finished yet, with further experimental dry brushing, shading and weathering scheduled for tomorrow.

Bolt Action Yanks [23]

I was hoping to achieve more today but I have made some experimental steps toward the foliage on the bases using a combination of dried basil for leaf litter, together with Army Painter Swamp and Highland tufts. I was thinking of adding some static grass but I don't think I need to. I will, however, probably add a splash of autumnal orange and brown to the basil using a dab of dry brushing and stippling.

I've also started on the vehicles with a Future based gunge wash over a couple of the tanks and the newly assembled Bolt Action 57mm anti-tank gun. This was a right pain in the bum to assemble but I got there in the end. It scales out well with the Artizan figures but I now have to paint up three gun crew to match the infantry that I already have.

HMS Duncan

This year I joined the Naval Wargames Society, partly to get me going with some naval wargaming projects and partly to support a worthwhile group. The NWS journal, All Guns Blazing, has made a regular appearance in my inbox and very interesting it is too, even though my naval projects have yet to be realised.

This months edition featured a series of articles on the modern Royal Navy and it's future, including a report on the launch of the latest addition to the fleet, HMS Duncan. This is the last of the new Type 45 destroyers in the Daring class and a very capable warship indeed.

This is of particular interest for me, as my grandfather served on the destroyer HMS Duncan before the war as a Petty Officer Wireless Telegrapher and named my dad after his ship. In turn, I was given the middle name of Duncan, so I suppose I have a personal connection of sorts with the latest of this line of illustrious warships?


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