Sunday 30 November 2014

Chain of Command Japanese Platoon [11]

Here's the penultimate element of the 28mm Japanese platoon for the Chain of Command project, in the form of a ten man grenade launcher or 'knee mortar' section. This was supposed to have been assembled and based over the preceding week, but real life means I've had to fit them into the last forty eight hours of the weekend. Plastics may be cheap but they're a bugger to put together.

Anyway, I now need to do the command bases and at least one more 'add on' reinforcement element, which will probably be a simple two man engineer team, in order to keep things manageable. At the current rate of progress and with a bit of luck, I might even get the project painted and ready for a game sometime in the late summer of 2015!

Saturday 29 November 2014

Brigade Models Power Armour Arrives

It's been a very busy day, which primarily revolved around test driving and buying a new car, so I've had little time for anything else. However, the Brigade Models power armour figures arrived in the post and have been sized up against the GZG UNSC/L infantry, with the end result being a definite thumbs up! I've also started assembling the much delayed 'knee mortar' section for the 28mm Japanese platoon, which I'm hoping to wrap up tomorrow.

Friday 28 November 2014

Brigade Models SAC Rhino Platoon Pack

It's Friday again and, after a particularly long and !*^"%@ tedious week, it's retail therapy time too. The GZG NAC infantry platoon I got at Warfare already has some M577 series APC's, so I thought some AFV's would be a good idea. These would have to fit in to the general 'look' of the figures and the vehicles, so wheels were definately on the shopping list.

Searching around the various maunfacturers for something similar to the M577 models, I picked out the Brigade Models SAC Rhino six wheeled heavy tanks, which are close enough in style to fit in well. I've always liked the design and the platoon deal is good value, so it's a great addition to the platoon and well within my pre-Xmas budgetry constraints.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Gruntz 15mm Sci-Fi Rules

These seem to have had some enthusiatic reviews, so I thought I'd take a closer look and have ordered a pdf and hardcopy via Wargames Vault. They're designed for single based figures and vehicles on a 1:1 scale, so look ideal for what I have in mind, especially as they're not tied down to any particular setting or scenario. I'll give the pdf copy a speed read over the weekend, to see how they compare to Tomorrows War and FUBAR, which are two rulesets in the equation.

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Used Sci Fi APC's Are Us!

The endless marking has squished my knee mortar plans for the moment but I have been cheered up by the arrival of the second-hand Antenociti's Workshop near future APC's. These need a bit of a clean up and some minor repairs, as several of the resin wheels have been broken off, but otherwise they're really cool.

One of the remote gun mounts also had a snapped off gun barrel, so I pulled it off with some pliers and will replace it with either a hatch and figure, to make it into a command AFV, or a heavy weapons missile mount from the really useful Brigade Models accessories range.

To save on the postage, I've also ordered some of the impressive Brigade Models Power Armour figures, which I have in 6mm for Iron Cow, to use as a power armour platoon for the UNSC/L force. They look very similar in style to the GZG light infantry figures and will fit in well as a heavy support or assault unit.

Monday 24 November 2014

Knee Mortars

The plan for this week is to assemble, undercoat and base the grenade launcher section for the Japanese platoon, consisting of three Type 98 'knee mortar' teams of three men each and an NCO. As you can see, I've finished the last of the LMG teams to complete all of the rifle sections, so I only have the grenade launcher section and a couple of command figures to round off the basic platoon.

I'm going to aim to glue together one three man team each evening, which doesn't sound like much but is all I can manage at the moment due to work. If I can base up a heavy weapons team or even a Chi Ha tank or two, that will be a added bonus. The longer term goal is to get at least some of the platoon actually painted up by the end of term in three weeks time...just don't hold your breath!

Sunday 23 November 2014

Narrow Seas [36]

I finished off the S38 class boats this afternoon and have now completed all that I need for a game, apart from torpedo markers, range rulers, starshell markers and other such things. As a result, I'm calling a temporary halt on the coastal warfare project for the moment, so that I can get on with the 28mm WW2 Japanese for Chain of Command* 

I have plenty of space in the coastal forces box for additional models and loads of boats ready for painting, so I'll be adding some R Boats, VP boats, trawlers, destroyers and escorts in 2015, once the current work related distractions are out of the way. I've really enjoyed the project thus far and I'm looking forward to a game of Coastal Patrol at the club at some point, if the usual suspects are willing to give it a go?

* the 1/2400th scale Rugen / Jasmund ships might also get squeezed in somewhere, if I have the time?

Saturday 22 November 2014

Narrow Seas [35]

I finally found the time to finish off the early war Skytrex E- Boats this evening, with only the basing left to do to have them ready for a game. They look OK but I would have liked a little more time to add some detailing and to clean up the rather too obvious rough areas of paintwork. I'll get the bases done tomorrow, then it's back to the 28mm Japanese for Chain of Command or the 1/2400 scale Prussian ships for the Battle of Jasmund.

Friday 21 November 2014

Ion Age Modular Resin Habitation Base

I saw this on TMP yesterday and thought it looked really cool. It's exactly the sort of thing that I'd love to have for Imperial Commander, with a very retro 1980's sci-fi look and some neat Laserburn style design features. I think the landing pad command module is definately the best bit. 

I can imagine hordes of Red Redemptionists attacking this across the desolate sand dunes, while the Black Guard put up a 'last man standing' defence. Unfortunately, it's a bit outside my budget at the moment, so I'll have to wait for Father Xmas to drop it down my chimney. There are some good deals if your wallet is deeper than mine:

Thursday 20 November 2014

Second Hand Sci-Fi APC's

I spotted these for £20 over on Ebay and thought they'd be great as alternative APC's for the GZG NAC army. They're Antenociti Workshop resin Hunchback APC / MRAP models with Old Crow gun mounting, which if new would put me back about £7 each, so not bad for £4 each plus minimal postage. I'm just hoping that the dodgy black spray undercoat will clean up OK?

Tuesday 18 November 2014

15mm GZG Grav Tanks

How cool is that!

Work is a "%*^$ at the moment, with loads of stress and a mountains of marking to plough through. From many years of bitter experience I have a 9.00 pm cut-off point for schoolwork, after which the rest of the evening is my own, thereby preserving what's left of my fragile sanity. This is also the time when, to cheer myself up, I make those all important shopping therapy purchases. A dangerous but morale boosting pursuit, no less.

This evening, it's a couple of super cool GZG grav tanks for the UNSC/L force, which will be a high-tech, hard, sci-fi style army in whatever far flung universe that I decide to deploy them in. You can't get any more high tech than anti-grav vehicles and rail guns, which reminds me very much of trying to play Striker! when I was at school, so these floating contraptions will be perfect as armoured support for the PBI...

...why walk, when you can float in an anti-gravitational, ground effect vehicle, physical laws of the universe challenging way?

(it also reminds me that I really should do the other half of the 6mm Iron Cow project at some point)

Monday 17 November 2014

Lion Rampant Rulebook

Having failed to locate a copy of this at Warfare this weekend, I decided to find one on Ebay, just so that I can flip through the pages without having to use the Kindle. There's something tangible about a paper copy of a ruleset that makes it an essential adjunct to a game, even though I already have a digital copy. The Kindle is great for reading in bed, on holiday or on the M'khazi, but not so good when you're playing an actual game?

I'd love to get this project off the ground next year, using my pile of 15mm Peter Pig War of the Roses figures for a couple of rival retinues, but it's a long way down the immediate list of things to do. I really like the 'flavour' of the rules, which I've read through a few times and have heard only positive comments about, so it is definately something to put on the 'small scale skirmish' list for 2015.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Best Participation Game Warfare 2014

I'm very pleased but not in the least surprised to say that the Wessex Wargamers Winchester club won the best participation game at Warfare this year. I had not very much to do with this, aside from the figures and terrain, so it's a collective Huzzah! for Colin, Gary, Ceasar and Alan, who pretty much ran the whole shebang. Well done chaps!

Warfare Swag

I set off to Warfare yesterday with a modest shopping list which included a storage box for my new AK47 army, some Peter Pig AK47 professionals for the Indonesia / Borneo and a hard copy of Lion Rampant, so that I don't have to keep flicking backwards and forwards on the Kindle. A fairly simple list of things to find, or so you would have thought?

In the end, I bought a KR multicase for my 28mm Japanese army including a neat foam tray for heavy weapons bases, the Peter Pig figures and, in a moment of 'ooh shiny' distraction, two 15mm sci-fi starter armies from GZG. I didn't see that one coming at all but it's something I've fancied doing for a long time, so there is some logic in there somewhere?

These are a UNSC/L light infantry force and a NAC infantry force, the former being for a high-tech, HALO style army, while the latter will be a relatively low-tech near future platoon. I decided to go for a Colonial Marines theme for the NAC figures, as they look similar to the Aliens film version, so also bought some APC's from Antenociti's Workshop, which was just across the aisle from GZG.

These are lovely models and consist of an assault troop and a HQ troop, each made up of variants of the basic M577 APC. The basic APC models are spot on replicas of the vehicle in Aliens, so will really look the part next to the NAC infantry, even if the figures are not identical to the USCM originals. The rules that I would be using for this aren't definite but Tomorrrow's War and FUBAR look like a good way to go.

Saturday 15 November 2014

Warfare 2014 Pirates v Dinosaurs!


It was a bit of a slog getting to Warfare 2014 today as the first and last part of the rail journey was by sweaty replacement bus service. It took a little longer to get there but, as expected, it was definately worth it. The club participation game went down a storm and, despite being tucked away right at the back of the hall, it had a regular flow of interested punters all day. 

I took my boys along for the trip and they had a great time, taking part in two games and helping to run a game as well. Pirate hats off to Alan, Colin and Ceasar, who kept the game flowing and made it a real hit with the players. If you're visiting the show tomorrow, please pop by for a chat with the chaps and maybe even take part in a game or two!

(apologies for the dodgy mobile photos...I forgot the camera!)

Thursday 13 November 2014

Britain's Small Wars in Foreign Fields

I've been thinking about the possibilities for an alternative Cold War era setting using Some Corner of a Foreign Field or possibly No End in Sight. As I don't want to touch anything too modern, this seemed like a good alternative to Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia. I thought about Radfan, Aden, Oman and various other dusty flea-bitten locations but keep coming back to Malaya, Indonesia and Borneo as the post-colonial small wars of choice. 

I'd thought about Malaya and Borneo before but in 28mm, so it's a simple step down to 15mm using the re-sculpted Peter Pig AK47 professionals as the good guys, with only a squad or two of individually based figures required. I'm not sure about the opposition yet but I'm sure there's some suitable figures that I can use in the AK47 range, even if a headswap and some greenstuff might have to be deployed. The small number of figures required means that I can even have a unit made up of individual poses.

This will require a bit more background reading up so I've loaded the Kindle with some useful reference material. I already have some 15mm jungle huts in the bits box for the mothballed IABSM Burma project and plenty of scenic gubbins stashed away for jungle construction. I'll be picking up some of the AK47 figures at Warfare on Saturday, together with some other goodies on the shopping list, so yet another mini-project has now got a very small outside chance of being realised!

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Warfare 2014 Club Game Playtest


I made an increasingly rare visit to the club this evening for a final playtest of the Warfare 2014 participation game, which is a pirates versus dinosaurs multiplayer romp, uisng a very simple but effective set of home produced rules. It was good fun and helped to iron out a few details with regard to the set up and size of the playing area. I'll be helping out with the game on the Saturday, so may well see you there if you stop by the Wessex Wargamers Winchester table.

Lest We Forget

Sunday 9 November 2014

Narrow Seas [34]

I finished off the six S38 class torpedo boats this afternoon and they're now ready for action. I didn't get round to completing the early war models but I'm hoping to finish them off over the next couple of days. After that, I'll probably take a break from the coastal forces project to tackle the 1864 Prussian and Danish ships, with the 28mm Japanese as the big project for the rest of the year.

Saturday 8 November 2014

Narrow Seas [33]

I finally found some time to nudge the coastal forces project a little closer to completion, with a flotilla of six mid-war S38 Schnellboote ready for basing, give or take some extra detailing with a drafting pen and some white highlights. I'm struggling to think of a way to give them a bit of colour contrast, so may try to add some running lights or somesuch, if I feel brave enough. I'm going to base them up tomorrow, with some early war models to finish off while the paint dries on the textured bases.

Some Corner of a Foreign Field

I read the designer's review of these new squad level two page fast play ultra-modern skirmish rules in Wargames Illustrated yesterday, so thought I'd take a closer look. Now, I'm not a fan of gaming current conflicts, far from it, but these two page fast play rules caught my attention due to the mechanisms they employ to reflect combat 'stress' and the 'fog of war', for want of a better term.

The system also has the big advantage from my perspective of only requiring a half a dozen figures per side on a 2'x2' playing area, being eminently scaleable down to 15mm or even 10mm. I downloaded a copy plus half a dozen army lists for less than the cost of a pint via Wargames Vault and will be giving them the once over for some Vietnam, Cold War gone hot in Norway or 'imagi-nation' AK47 Africa applications.

I've also read good things about 'No End in Sight' but that's another story...

Friday 7 November 2014

War at Sea in the Ironclad Age

Here's the latest reading material, which I've read before but is still worth a re-visit, especially as I'm currently tinkering about with the 1/2400th scale Rugen project. This is a good general overview of the development of ironclad warships, in all their multivarious forms, and includes some excellent illustrations, maps and diagrams.

On a related note, I've decided to add a second gunboat force to the Prussians, consisting of two first class gunboats and four 2nd class gunboats, to represent the third gunboat division operating from it's base in Swinemunde. I really like the Tumbling Dice gunboat models and, at £2.40 for three of them, there's a minimal hit to the wallet.

Thursday 6 November 2014

Back of a Postcard Ironclad Rules

A few years ago I had a very enjoyable game of the Battle of Lissa in 1/2400 with a friend at the club, using his own home grown back of a postcard ironclad rules, aptly titled 'A Postcard from the Adriatic'. These really were very simple but gave a very good game, with plenty of action and some edge of the seat moments, although in the end my Austrians won the day.
I'm sure Dave, who is tragically no longer with us, wouldn't mind if I posted them here, as they could be adpated to the Second Schleswig War with very little difficulty. In fact, this was the project that we set out on back in 2008, which I'm now hoping to finally complete. It's just a shame that Dave isn't around to enjoy it with me.
A Postcard from the Adriatic
Back of a Postcard Rules for Ironclad Fleet Actions in the 1860s
Turn Order
1.       Move
2.       Enemy Ships Fire
3.       Resolve Ramming attacks
All undamaged vessels can move at up to 10 kts (10 cm)
Damaged vessels can move at up to 5 kts (5 cm)
Crippled vessels must remain stationary
Opposed dice rolls (defender cannot damage attacker)
Attacker: D6 + Attack Factor + Tactical Factor
Defender: D6 + Defence Factor
Close Range
< 16 cm
Normal Range
16 – 40 cm
Long Range
40 – 60 cm
Defence Factor
Italian Ironclad
Austrian Ironclad
Ship of the Line
*Ramming must be at 45-90 deg of target broadside, smaller angles result in minor collision. Rammed and rammer must halt immediately.
Tactical Factors
+2           Target crippled or stationary
-2            Attacker Crippled
-1            Attacker Damaged
-1            2nd Broadside if firing both broadsides
Combat Outcome
If target’s total is less than, but more than half attacker’s total it is:
·         Crippled if already damaged
·         Damaged if so far undamaged
If target’s total is half or less than half the attacker’s total it is:
·         Crippled at normal range if so far undamaged
·         Damaged at long range if not yet crippled
·         Otherwise sunk
© David Spender 2008

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Prussian Screw Gunboats!

I'm a bit busy at the moment but have dipped into Bismarck's First War in search of some scenario ideas beyond the Battle of Rugen / Jasmund. On April 14th 1864, the Prussian 3rd Gunboat Division, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Arendt, had...

'..a brief skirnish with Tordenskjold and the steamer Geyser, Commander Jacobsen (567 tons, two smoothbore 60 pounders, two rifled 18 pounders, 9 knots). the gunboats fired some 20 rounds without effect and, as Geyser closed the range, they withdraw. The Danish ships did not open fire.'

Another fascinating 'what if' that will allow me to add another half a dozen of the very cool screw gunboats to the Prussian Baltic squadron, even if the outcome might be fairly one sided. The side wheeler Geyser might be a bit of a problem but I'm sure I can find something to stand to use as a suitable model.

I've also received a small but timely order from Tumbling Dice which includes a set of Imperial German and Danish ensigns that I'll use to identify the opposing forces. I'm not sure if the Imperial German ensign is correct but it will definately look the part!

Tuesday 4 November 2014

2000th Post!


I've just noticed that the last post was the 2000th that I've inflicted on the blogosphere since I started Jim's Wargames Workbench, way back in 2009. I have to apologize for the extensive quantity of bumpf, drivel, ramblings and fluff that I've padded out the blog with over the last five years but, hopefully, there's been a little something in all the guff to keep you interested along the way.

Thanks for sticking with it.



Project Airfix

We have an activity week at school in July and I've decided this year to return to model making rather than Warhammer 40K, which has fizzled out over the last couple of years and hasn't had enough uptake to be viable. I used to do a 1/72nd scale tank modelling week, which included a day trip out to the Tank Museum, but that required a lot of organisation above and beyond the call of duty. It was good fun but drove me mad when the kids screwed up really simple things, over and over again!!!!
Anyway, this year I've decided to try out the Project Airfix option, with all three kits for the kids to glue together and paint up. I'm surprised there isn't an AFV or ship kit option but aircraft will be fine, as long as they are careful when they assemble and paint them. As they'll have three kits to make they should be able to learn from their mistakes as they go along, so that they have at least one decent model by the end of the week?! 

Monday 3 November 2014

Rugen 1864 Update

It was back to work today so things have been a bit hectic. As a result, I've only managed to re-base the Prussians on some ERM laser cut mdf rectangles, which I decided to do to make movement and the firing arcs a little less complicated. The bases are a bit wide but that will allow me to add some texturing to blend in the metal bases and to add some labels, so that the ships can be easily identified.

The Skjold
The Sjaelland
The Tordenskjold
I've also sorted out the Danish squadron, which I'll assemble and rig once the Prussians are out of the way. The Danes definately have the edge over the Prussians, although they have a slight disadvantage in terms of speed, especially with the sedate pace of the Skjold. It will be interesting to see how the lightly armed but more nimble Prussian gunboats and corvettes stand up to the heavier but slower opposition?

I don't fancy Von Jachmann's chances...!


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