Saturday 20 April 2024

The Battle of Baie d'Audierne 1870

I have tweaked an old Broadside and Ram scenario for the game next week, which I've played several times before but which tends to end in a French defeat every time. To balance it out a bit, I've added a third French division consisting of weak ironclads and a paddler to up the numbers so that the French have a slightly better chance of achieving their objective. I've also downrated the DF of the Royal Navy ironclads from 6 to 5, in order to make them slightly less tough and give the French a better chance of inflicting some damage. Together with my amendments to the repair rules to make repairs from Crippled to Silenced one point more expensive in AP's, I think this will be a fairly evenly matched game.

Friday 19 April 2024

Catching Up

I've been back at work this week, which has soaked up all of my time and effort, so nothing much has moved on the workbench. It's the weekend though, so time to do a bit of catching up. I'm in two minds whether to carry on blocking in the white basecoat on the 1/2400th scale ships, or to start the colour painting on the eight that are ready to be layered. I suspect that whatever happens, I'll be squeezed for hobby time, as the other half has been 'gardening' so there's going to be the dreaded list of things I'll have to do to dispose of the fallout.

Thursday 18 April 2024

Strike Wing

I bought this a while back and it arrived just before I left to go on holiday, so I've only just had time to give it a flick through. It's obviously destined for some Bag the Hun scenario ideas or perhaps a variation of the Whispering Death convoy attack rules that are designed for 1/600th scale models and participation style multi-player games, so perfect as a potential club project. I'll try to find time to go through the text and photos properly over the weekend. 

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Broadside and Ram Club Game

I'm dusting off the mid-Victorian ironclads for a game of Broadside and Ram at the club next week. This will either be a simple fleet action or possibly a scenario from the archives, either the Battle of Audierne or the Battle of the Six Roads being likely options. Whatever it is, I haven't played in a while so will have to brush up on the rules over the weekend and tart up the modified quick reference sheet.

Monday 15 April 2024

The Fighting Temeraire

I was on dad taxi duty tonight, so in and out of the house like a yo-yo, with some hanging about time in-between. To make the most of it I assembled another 98 gun second rate ship of the line for the Royal Navy, the celebrated HMS Temeraire. I have one more on the ASN3 100 gun models which I may build as either HMS Neptune or even HMS Victory. 

Sunday 14 April 2024

AK47 Competition

This month's competition over on the AK47 Facebook group is to scratch build a river crossing of some sort including at least one Peter Pig figure, vehicle or accessory. I may well have a go at this if I can find the time, with a watering hole, river ford, footbridge or something similar, as there's loads of potential for some unusual twists on the theme.

Friday 12 April 2024

Knights of the Sky 1918

There's a Knights of the Sky multiplayer game at the club next week, which I'm hoping to be able to play in, depending on work. It's a late 1918 game with plenty of planes to borrow but I may bring one of my Fokker DVII scouts in the fictitious black and white scheme of Jasta 84, which was formed in October 1918 but never became operational. The last time I took to the skies in one of them it ended up going down in flames, so it may not be such a good idea!

Thursday 11 April 2024

Frigates, Sloops, Brigs and Schooners

I've never played Black Seas and don't intend to start but I am interested in the smaller unrated models up to and including the fifth rate frigates. I bought the starter set here in France last year and acquired some extra frigates and brigs from a friend (thanks DC!) to go with them, then moved on to other projects. Today, I spotted this bargain on eBay to add to my plastic pile of shame. The plan, if you can call it that, is to use them for some French Revolution of early Napoleonic channel action, using a suitable 'skirmishy' set of rules, to which I'm open to suggestions. Just don't hold your breath!

Wednesday 10 April 2024

White Russian Nieuport 17

I have a few 1/48th scale plastic kits I could build for my Back of Beyond White army but, like books, red wine and ammunition, you can never have enough. This is the latest acquisition via eBay, an old Testors kit of a Nieuport 17, complete with horrible engraved insignia and a very spindly upper wing Lewis gun, both of which will be removed when I build it. I've actually made one of these kits before for a fellow Back of Beyond player and it's not half bad, even given the dodgy details. The decals are lovely too, which is a shame as I won't be using them!

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Napoleonic Naval Update

Some fair forward momentum today with five third rate 74's and a fourth rate 64 blocked in with white, then tidied up with matt black. The aim tomorrow will be to block in the last three third rates then get at least a couple of the frigates done as well. 

Monday 8 April 2024

AK47 500

I'm really pleased to say that the AK-47 Republic Facebook group I started a couple of years ago has popped the 500 members mark, which doesn't sound like much but is quite a lot of people for a rather old set of niche wargaming rules. It's a lot to do with an excellent, enthusiastic team of admins and experts, as well as some active participants who always get involved. Thanks chaps. Brilliant!

Sunday 7 April 2024

A Change of Tack

With only three days of holiday left before we pack up and go home, time is running out for me to shift the 1/2400th scale Royal Navy Napoleonic fleet further forward. To achieve something I've slimmed down the number of models to block in by about half, concentrating on the third rates and less than half of the frigates, the objective being to have all of the white blocking in completed and tidied up over the next few days. It's more of a squadron than a fleet now, which is a bit more realistic and should be doable given a fair wind and plain sailing?

Saturday 6 April 2024

Friday 5 April 2024

Back of Beyond White Mark V Tank On The Cheap

In the Contemptible Little Armies Back of Beyond army lists the Whites can field a tank, either a feeble Ft-17 or a more potent Mk V, the latter a bit of a leap in imagination for the middle of Central Asia. Ideally I'd have a Mark V but, given the price tag for a metal, resin or 3D printed one, it's a non starter. However, in my big box of bits and bobs I have one of the Warbases Mark I Male tank kits in cheapo laser cut MDF and cardboard. I think I could potentially convert this into something with a passing resemblance to a Mark IV or V, modifying the sponsors and cupolas on the top, then adding various details like unditching beam rails, rivets and track plates to make it look a bit less cardboardy. I reckon it's worth a try.

Tiddly Ships

The weather has been a bit better so we've been out more than in, with the result being a distinct lack of progress in painting anything very much. The only thing I got round to yesterday before the light got too gloomy was this tiny Royal Navy cutter, a bit of a non event so I've added a very atmospheric contemporary painting to jazz it up a bit!

Thursday 4 April 2024

White Armoured Train

This is a good starting point

The train I scratch built before

A simple version

I'm seriously considering another scratch built armoured train, this time for the White army, having made one for my Bolsheviks that I subsequently sold and having abandoned a second one after it ended up over scale. This time I may use the Lego brick substructure approach again or possibly use balsa a card, depending on how much Lego I can salvage from the kids toy box. I'm going to make this a less complicated effort either way, as it's quite an involved process and can take a lot of time, especially as I suspect it might be a chocolate teapot on rails.

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Blocking In White

I started on the white blocking in this afternoon but left it a bit late, so only managed to complete one third rate and a cutter before the gloom set in. The lighting here is terrible and I'm going to have to get some sort of lamp to make it possible to see what I'm doing, even with my magnifier thingy. Luckily I only have another twenty models to go!

Spanish Napoleonic Squadron

Although I'm still in the middle of painting the 1/2400th scale Royal Navy fleet, I'm also planning ahead for the Spanish, if only as a squadron sized addition to the project. As I already have a few of the Tumbling Dice first and second rate ships, together with a few surplus third rate 80's, this only requires half a dozen 74's to be ready to start. I've also got a few spare 64"s and 32 gun frigates to throw into the mix, so it's an obvious next step in the right direction. I've ordered the 74"s and a pack of xebecs for a bit of added colour, but it's back to painting the Royal Navy in the meantime.

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Holiday Reading

The weather is absolutely terrible here so, in-between painting my 1/2400th scale Royal Navy Napoleonic fleet, I've been reading this. I've also brought Nick Jones' rules on holiday to try out some small scale frigate actions, if I can find the time, so this should provide some extra inspiration. 

Monday 1 April 2024

Frigates, Sloops and Brigs

A couple of hours today blocking in the sails on a handful of frigates, sloops, brigs and a cutter for the Royal Navy, which I thought I might as well add to the fleet. This was made less tedious by the  thematic backdrop and sound effects. I'm going to block in the decks tomorrow then get cracking on the white blocking in for the whole fleet. 

Warhammer 40K

I've decided to give up historical wargaming and instead just play Warhammer 40K, which looks a lot more fun for your money. I'll put all my historical rules and figures on eBay and give away my painted armies to the club. I'm looking forward to painting some space marines!

Sunday 31 March 2024

Setting Sail with Far Distant Ships

One of the sets of rules I'll be trying out over the holidays is Long Face Games Far Distant Ships. These are designed for fleet actions but I'm going to start small with a couple of squadrons of French and British third rates, using the 1/2400th scale models I've brought along for the purpose. I'll be playing solo too, which is always a good test of a set of rules and how easy they are to manage. 

White Army Extra Bits

A figure swap and some epaulettes is all that's needed here

That'll look nifty

A nice old fashioned and very rugged kit

The Bolshevik Version

I'm scraping the barrel to find extra bits and bobs to add to my rag tag White Army. The first of these is an anti-aircraft machine gun that I converted for my Bolsheviks but never painted, needing only a figure swap and a spot of green stuff to be modified for the other side. The second is an old Smer Nieuport 11 model kit that I will glue together, adding a Copplestone pilot in the cockpit, very much in the same way that I equipped my Bolshevik air support. Together these will add a useful 178 points to the total.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Ragged White Cossacks

I was originally going to use some Copplestone Caucasian Cossacks for my White army but, after a bit of a rethink, I'm going to use the White Cossack figures instead. The Caucasian figures are a bit too neat and tidy for my ragged White army, so although I already have the figures, they will be used as additional Circassians in my Turkish army.  Instead, I've ordered three packs of the White Cossacks from Northstar, which will give a nice ragtag look to the unit, mixed in with a few spare figures and with some head swaps for added variety 

Holiday Painting Plans

After a very stressful term of teaching and a  long journey, we're finally on holiday in Brittany once more. I've brought along my 1/2400th scale Royal Navy Napoleonic fleet to paint and have got everything I need to finish them over the next couple of weeks (I hope). I've also brought the French fleet, some rules, dice and a sea cloth so that I can play some games, both to learn the rules and to enjoy a bit of solo wargaming without any distractions. I'm looking forward in particular to trying out Nick Jones' rules, which I really like the look of for small scale frigate actions. 

Friday 29 March 2024

Red InActions!

With regret I've decided to postpone painting my Red Actions AFSR army scheduled for this year to 2025, mainly due to a lack of time to properly complete such a big project. The units are all based and mostly undercoated, so I will be able to pick it up again when I have more time and less workload to deal with, hopefully when I return to a  part time job next year. In the meantime, it's back to smaller projects that I can chip away at slowly but still get finished in a realistic timeframe.

Thursday 28 March 2024

A Shortcut to the Back of Beyond

The Back of Beyond game was such fun the other day that I've found myself once again mulling over the options for another army. I realised that I actually have nearly 300 points of ragged White Russians as part of my expedition army, including a unit of infantry, a machine gun, an armoured car and a mountain gun, so a great core for a new 750 point force. Adding a second infantry unit and a unit of Cossack cavalry will give me another 200 points or so, with a field gun, an aircraft and a staff officer bumping it up to 450 or thereabouts. Not bad for a minimal outlay of time and money, so I may well add it to my projects for the summer holidays. 

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Back of Beyond Club Game

A bit of a not unexpected pasting for the Bolsheviks tonight at the club but, it has to be said, they did put up a pretty stiff fight against the far superior and better equipped British forces. Despite being hammered into defeat, the Reds fought very hard and didn't rout, repeatedly brushing off morale tests with the persuasive support of three commissars. Comrade Colonel Igor Tubugerov did just that at the end of the game, ordering a glorious reverse advance to save what was left of the Third Peasants and Workers Shock Brigade, with the imperialists clearly having suffered a few nasty surprises, a bloody nose and a wobbly stiff upper lip. Great fun.


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