Tuesday 30 April 2024

Knights of the Sky 1918


There's a Knights of the Sky game at the club in a month's time, set in late 1918, so if I get my skates on I can build a couple of aircraft for the occasion. At the moment these are likely to be a pair of Sopwith Snipes using the old and rather fiddly Toko / Eastern Express kit. If this gives me the fear, I will make life easier by building a good old Revell Se5a or a couple of Camels which I have in the plastic stash.

Monday 29 April 2024

Farting About



I've been farting about with some redundant hex stands for Bag the Hun to match them with my, as yet unused but very smart, neoprene hex mat. I'm not sure I've got it quite right yet but the basic shade isn't too far off, given that the photos don't really show the actual colours. A work in progress but it's going in the right direction and will save me a lot of hassle for the Arctic Eagles playtesting in the latter half of the year.

Sunday 28 April 2024

Napoleonic Naval Blocking In

 


That's all the white blocking in done and it's onto a bit of tidying up with matt black before starting on the colour blocking, kicking off with the strakes and masts in Vallejo Yellow Ochre. I doubt I'll get much time during the week so it's a job for the weekend, when I'll have an extra day to get things shifted on.

In Stanley's Footsteps

 


I picked this up today in a National Trust second hand bookshop. It's one of those travelogue type books that follows quite literally in the footsteps of Stanley's expedition into the Congo. It's actually not bad and the juxtaposition of contemporary illustrations with photographs of the actual locations concerned is really interesting. Anyway, here's the blurb...

John and Julie Batchelor journeyed 3,000 miles in the footsteps of the famous explorer Henry Morton Stanley.They travelled by train,river boat,truck and dug-out from Matadi on the Atlantic coast of Zaire across Central Africa to Zanzibar on the Indian Ocean.Their trip included 900 miles along the Zaire River,where Joseph Conrad was once a river boat captain in the days when it was called the River Congo.They travelled also through the Ruwenzori Mountains,the fabled Mountains of the Moon,first seen and recorded by Stanley.An exciting book of travel and adventure.

All very useful for Darkest Africa!

Saturday 27 April 2024

Napoleonic Naval Painting Progress



After what seems like ages I have had some uninterrupted time to spend at the workbench, blocking in some more of the Royal Navy ships of the line and frigates. I'm steadily ploughing my way through this bit, which is both fiddly and laborious, probably made worse by a self inflicted expansion of the fleet to twenty two individual models. I haven't quite finished yet but hope to get them all done and tidied up by the end of the weekend.

Chain of Command Far East Handbook

This has just been made available for preorder and, at the risk of throwing good money after bad, I'm thinking of using it to reboot my long dead 28mm Japanese platoon, which is assembled and based coated but languishing in a box. It's not cheap at £28 but it may just give me the impetus I need to do a slap chop paint job on the figures to get them on the table, with a focus on late rather than early war lists.

Wednesday 24 April 2024

HMS Anson 1794 - 1807




Due to bonkers work load and a bit of a nasty cold, things have ground to a halt on the workbench this week, with little to show apart from a single Tumbling Dice 1/2400th scale 44 gun 'razee" frigate that I glued together at the weekend. This will be HMS Anson, which had a long and interesting career after her conversion from a 64 in 1794, so lots of potential for some close action. I'm going to get back to some painting for the Napoleonic naval project at the weekend.

Monday 22 April 2024

A Change of Game Plan

 


As you can see, my oppo Geoff has been busy painting some Tumbling Dice later ironclads, and very nice they are too. As a result, we've decided to run a play test game of Barbette and Battery instead of Broadside and Ram, which was the original plan anyway last time we discussed it. I'm looking forward to it, as it will be really interesting to see how the system works in comparison to Dahlgren and Columbiad, for example, and how it models the various, complex permutations of firing arc and armaments 

Sunday 21 April 2024

Broadside and Carronade?


I was sorting out the resources for the Broadside and Ram game at the club next week, when a cunning plan popped into my otherwise fairly vacant head. Would it be possible to write a back of a postcard / fag packet set of rules for Napoleonic naval wargaming based on the system in Broadside and Ram, with everything neatly fitting on two sides of A4 paper? This would obviously be a fairly basic system but it would work very well for large battles in 1/2400th or,even better, in 1/4800th scale, using the Tumbling Dice range of models. I even considered the multiple basing concept but, to keep things simple, I'm working on the premise of individually based ships. I'm now going to see if I can work something out but will bounce some ideas off other people first.

Rolling Thunder

 

'Recreate the grandest naval battles of the Age of Sail on the dining room table or your local club with Rolling Thunder! The rules draw on the core principles of Mad for War and allow players to recreate entire battles with up to 100 ships per side through innovative and easy to understand game design.'

....sounds good to me, using the Tumbling Dice 1/4800th scale models, especially as it would be quicker to get going compared to painting lots of 1/1200th or 1/2400th scale ships for Mad for War. I particularly like the idea of multiple basing in small scale, akin to Strength and Honour in some respects. Yet another naval project to add to the list of things that must be done!

Saturday 20 April 2024

Big Jim Prints

There's a new source of 3D resin printed models from David Manley, other than Syborg3D which has a pretty limited selection. This is Big Jim Prints and includes an expanding range of the David's 1/600th and 1/1200th scale ironclad models for the ACW and similar conflicts. I have sent off for some sample 1/600th scale models to test the waters including the Danish turret ironclad Rolf Krake, which was deployed in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. I have also asked David if he could add some of the gunboats and smaller warships for both the Danes and Prussians to his range, which is what he has been now agreed to do. I had a plan to wargame the naval side of this war in 1/2400th a few years ago and almost did so, before deciding that the scale was just too small for this sort of thing. Perhaps now I might be able go to the opposite end of the scale spectrum!

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.

https://www.facebook.com/share/p/ezF8FnCrdvvdBous/

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!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/387096823305709/?ref=share

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. 

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