Tuesday 28 February 2023

Argentinian Additions

I was supposed to be going to the club tonight but have had a splitting migraine headache all day, so have had to give it a miss. On a more positive note, my extra bits have arrived from Tumbling Dice for the Argentinians including the Ansaldo battleship, La Argentina, two additional armoured cruisers, the Richuelo and Moreno, and four Corrientes class torpedo boat destroyers. I've decided to base and paint these up sooner rather than later, along with the two Chilean Swiftsure class battleships, which will wrap up the South American project for the moment, although a second Ansaldo pre-dreadnought battleship may well be added to the fleet.

Monday 27 February 2023

Sopwith Camel Kitbash


A change of plan for the next WW1 Knights of the Sky game, for which I was originally going to build some Fokker Dr1's but will now bash together three Sopwith Camel kits. These are the latest boxing of the ancient Revell kit, rather than the Esci/Academy kit I've built before, as I have three of them to construct for the game as 73 Squadron machines. 


I gave one of the new kits away to a young player at the club the other day, which I'm now kicking myself for, as it had the excellent new decal sheet. Oh well, at least it went to a good home. I'll adapt the decals included in the kits with some extra ones to replicate something like the distinctive 73 Squadron designs.

ARA La Argentina

          

I've been looking for a suitable name for the battleship ordered from Ansaldo in 1901 but never delivered to the Argentinian navy. The model for this is the Italian pre-dreadnought battleship Regina Elena, which had a similar 12"" main armament, displacement and speed. so a good proxy for the Argentinian ship. After some convoluted navigation through the Argentine naval lists, I've found the ideal name, La Argentina, which was assigned to a school ship until 1900 and thus available from 1901 onward. Job's a good 'un! 

Sunday 26 February 2023

Patagonian Pre-Dreadnought Update

             

A bit more forward momentum on the Argentinian and Chilean pre-dreadnoughts today, with the decks blocked in and the topworks on the armoured cruisers repainted in a darker shade, as the original was too light yellow. They've all been washed in diluted Agrax Earthshade with a splash of Future, so will now need to dry out before I can do the tidying up and highlights.

Gladiatorial Fun and Games

 



I joined the Sons of Mars FB group the other day and had some very nice feedback on some pictures of my old 28mm gladiator figures. I haven't used these for years and thought I would give them a reboot, using the aforementioned Sons of Mars rules. To help this along and add a bit of a tart up to the scenery, I've ordered one of the Sarissa Precision Ludus arena sets, which for a little over thirty quid seemed like a good deal. I'm going to try out the rules with my son when he's back from university in a few weeks time, then hopefully take it up to the club for a demo.

Saturday 25 February 2023

South American Merchant Shipping

    

The next thing on my South American pre-dreadnought project list of things to get done are some merchants, specifically some tramp steamers, colliers and an oiler. These are needed for scenarios and as a hook for a mini-campaign, with a historical link back to the nitrate and mineral disputes of the later 1800's. I have some of the Tumbling Dice ships for this and they should paint up very nicely once I've got them based and undercoated.

Fire When Ready

 

I'm having a look at the Fire When Ready rules for my South American Pre-dreadnought project as, given the relatively small number of warships involved on either side, a fleet level set of rules isn't really ideal. Up until now I was planning to use either Broadside and Salvo or Tsushima for this, the former due to its streamlined, fast play design and the latter for a more detailed approach which avoided generic ship characteristics in favour of specific data. However, there's no harm in having a third option for flexibility, especially as the bundle with Fighting Fleets is on a discount at Wargame Vault, not to mention that it's penned by David Manley so is bound to be a solid set of rules.

Friday 24 February 2023

Knights of the Sky 1918

 

I've managed to offload organising the WW1 air wargaming to some new players at the club, which is a relief as I'm a bit tired of all the hassle involved, and they've set up a game at the end of next month set in late 1918. It's a free for all dogfight type game but based on an actual scrap between Jasta 11, 62 (Brisfit) and 73 (Camel) Squadrons, RAF 

To support this, I'm going to glue together another Fokker Dr1 or two, using a couple of old Revell kits for a change, painted up to complement my black and white Fokker DVII trio. These are in a not quite accurate Jasta 40 scheme and the triplanes will be very similar, albeit entirely fictitious.

I may also build a couple more Sopwith Canels from the old Esci / Academy kits but this depends on how much time I can set aside to get them done. There are other things on the workbench at the moment I really need to get sorted, so the WW1 planes will have to wait a bit longer 

Thursday 23 February 2023

Argentinian 'What If?' Battleship

 



The two Libertad class coastal battleships I ordered from Tumbling Dice arrived today and they are tiny! This means that the Argentinian fleet will be at a potential disadvantage against the Chileans, despite having four powerful armoured cruisers, especially if I add in the two Swiftsure class battleships as a 'What If?' twist in the South American naval arms race. 

To redress the balance, I've decided to add the two cancelled Garibaldi class armoured cruisers that the Argentinian sold to the Japanese, as well as finding a suitable model to represent the 15000-ton Italian battleship design study that the Argentine government commissioned with Ansaldo in 1901. 

I had thought of using a spare model of the Mikasa that I have in the bits box for this but, in the end, have gone for a Regina Elena class pre-dreadnought battleship with its 12'' main armament in single turrets fore and aft. This is close enough to be a good match and will look suitably impressive to put the wind up the Chileans! 

I've also ordered a couple of packs of Brazen class torpedo gunboat destroyers for the Argentinians to deploy as Corientes class boats, although how I'm going to base them is still up for debate. I may base them individually or as two flotilla groups, but it depends on the rules that eventually decide to use.

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Patagonian Pre-Dreadnought Painting Progress

 



I grabbed half an hour or so this afternoon to block in the funnels and masts on the Argentinian cruisers, the Chilean battleship and the protected cruiser. For the former I decided to use a lighter shade of Vallejo Sand Yellow, so that were clearly different from the darker Chilean buff superstructure, but I will be toning this down with a wash later on, as it's a bit too light. It's the fiddly bit next, blocking in the decks and tidying up before the ink wash goes on, although it's nice to be painting ships again instead of plastic kits.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Battle of the Bathtubs











The Knights of the Sky WW1 game at the club this evening was good fun and ended in a draw, with two Rolands being shot down but two escaping to deny a victory to the RFC. The added bonus points for each side almost balanced too, with 24 to 26 in the Germans favour, so I decided to call it an even result. I've now definitely scratched my air wargaming itch for a while, so it's on to the naval and land based projects for the next month or two.

ASFR Volunteer Army Infantry Division List

 


I did some number crunching with the Pygmy Wars army lists to devise a White army for Red Actions! based on the Volunteer Army Infantry Division late 1919-20 list, selecting the later time period of late 1919 and late 1920.

One Battalion of three companies each of five bases (Conscript + Officer)

Two machine gun bases.*1

Two field gun bases with limbers.*2

One squadron of four bases (Regular Cavalry)

One armoured car, tank or aircraft.*3

One squadron of four bases (Cossack cavalry)

One armoured train.

(*1 I will paint up four MG bases)

(*2 I rolled up a half battery of one gun but for flexibility I will paint up two)

(*3 I rolled up an aircraft but will paint up the other options as well)

This is a nicely balanced army with lots of interesting units and the potential to be expanded with colour infantry and additional cavalry, so a great place to start. I may also paint up a single officer company of five bases, as an extra unit or one that I can mix in with the conscripts on a single base per company ratio. This will also allow me to use the same mix of units for  an army from the Kolchak Infantry Division list, which is a bonus. Huzzah!

Monday 20 February 2023

Argentinian Armoured Cruisers

 






I have four of these Garibaldi class armoured cruisers on the painting table at the moment and I'm trying to think of ways in which to differentiate them, the basic white and buff scheme being pretty much identical. Answers on a postcard? 

Sunday 19 February 2023

Red Actions! Rethink

I've had a rethink about the up and coming Red Actions! project and will now be building a White Volunteer Infantry army for the AFSR instead of the Freikorps. The thinking behind this is that the Freikorps would be quite limited in scope and flexibility, while a White army would be more useful, especially as my opponent is probably going to be painting a Konarmy force. I will get round to the Freikorps at some point, as I have all the figures and equipment, but the Whites will come first once I've hammered out an army list. 

Saturday 18 February 2023

South American Pre-dreadnought Painting

 


I've rebooted the Argentinian and Chilean pre-dreadnought project this afternoon, blocking in two more of the Argentinian Garibaldi class cruisers and the Chilean battleship Capitan Prat. The next thing to do will be to block in the decks, masts, turrets and funnels, before giving them all an ink wash. I'm also going to be adding two Libertad class coastal battleships for the Argentinians which weren't available when I started the project back at the end of October a few months ago. 

Airfix / Heller Roland CII Flight Finished






The four Airfix/ Heller Roland CII models are now finished, with the decals applied and a coat of matt varnish to seal them in. I'm pleased with the end result, which is what I was aiming for, but I'm also glad to be moving on to something completely different for the next project, which for the moment will be to paint my 1/2400th scale Tumbling Dice Argentinian pre-dreadnought cruisers. 


Friday 17 February 2023

What's next on the workbench?

I'm coming towards the end of the Knights of the Sky 1917 model building project, with the two Esci Nieuport 17s I was building now scrapped as surplus to requirements and the Airfix Roland CIIs just needing decals to be finished. I'll be glad to see the back of these, to be honest, as it was only supposed to be a January project and it's run over time.

I'm now a bit adrift, in terms of my next project and in danger of the dreaded doldrums if I'm not careful. The 15mm Picts rebasing and painting would pass the time but it's not inspiring me that much, while the Red Actions Freikorps would be quite a lot to bite off and chew in the time I've got up to Easter. 

One thing I could do is have a go at some 1/2400th Tumbling Dice ships for Mad for War, which I could nibble away at over the next four weeks or so. I've been reading the 'how to' on the League of Augsburg blog and quite fancy having a go at a French privateer squadron, as described in the Mad for War rule book.

http://leagueofaugsburg.blogspot.com/2020/02/painting-12400-scale-ship-model-for.html?m=1

This would also give me time to finish off some things that have been hanging about, including the 1/2400th Argentinian pre-dreadnoughts and the 1/600th Battle of Britain RAF and Luftwaffe fighter squadrons. I could even paint a couple of 28mm figures for A Fistful of Lead, who knows? 

I think a mix and match of things is the way to go to avoid getting bogged down in another big project, with the inevitable over runs and log jams. I've got the weekend to mull it over but I think I'll just pick up something to do that won't take too long to complete and will tick off some things on my 'to do' list at the same time.

Thursday 16 February 2023

Old West Posse Project

 

With What a Cowboy riding over the horizon soon, I've been adding some extra figures to my old west lead pile, with a view to painting at least one and hopefully two new gangs. The first of these will be bank robbers, using both Artizan and Foundry figures, while the second will be ranch hands, again using the same sources. 

I've also added some of the relatively new Artizan mounted and dismounted character packs to give me the option of using horse riders in my games, something I haven't done before even though my lawmen have mounts. I'll fit this project in somehow, as I do like a bit of western action and enjoy a decent gunfight game of Fistful of Lead, even if the What a Cowboy rules turn out to be wonky?

Wednesday 15 February 2023

It'll be all right on the night?

          

I've been doing my best today to sort out the Knights of the Sky game at the club next week, which is now looking a bit like an aerial pile up, with lots of people piling on and others pulling out, making it really difficult to get all my ducks in a line. I'm sure it will be fine but it now looks like I'll have a game with lots of novice players and only a small handful of veterans to help run things, so not ideal even if the numbers are easier to manage. Oh well, my fault for trying to organise something to please everyone, so I'm just going to turn up and sort it out on the night. I'm sure it will be worth all the effort either way.

Tuesday 14 February 2023

A Postcard from The Gower

 















We're in South Wales for a few days, visiting the Gower with all it's beaches, hills and pubs. This also means I've been dragging the ever patient other half round some rather splendid medieval castles, including Weobley Castle and Pennard Castle today. There's not much to see at the latter, apart from the spectacular view, but Weobley is well worth a visit. 

It would be a fantastic subject for a Gary Chalk style scratch built piece of terrain for the Hundred Years War or War of the Roses. It's more of a fortified manor house but no less impressive. I referenced the in situ fourteenth century limekiln in my MA dissertation, so it was great to actually see it in person. The other half really enjoyed her Valentine's Day trip out, needless to say...

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