Monday, 26 January 2015

15mm Apaches

Well it hads been a while but I have at last finished my 15mm Apaches. At least until I buy some more. Which you never know may happen in the future but at present I have no plans to do so. 

Anyway here are 8 bases of 3 figures each. Based on 30mm square bases and while I did originally get them for "Hey you in the Jail!" rules I suspect they will now be used in another set. Oh come on we all want to play cowboys and Indians like we did when we were kids. And these should enable me to do so.

The figures are "Frei Korp" available from QRF in the UK. Unfortunately they have stopped doing shows for the time being so until I get the strong desire to continue this the project is on hold.

I did finish the bases with little chippings of cork bark as well as static grass to give a broken ground look to them. You will also notice a feathered headdress on the command base. Obviously Apaches did not wear headdress like that but for a game purpose it does work to designate a command stand. And sometimes we do have to break the rules just a little.

I have kept the colours mostly to yellows greens and reds on these figures and given them a "Flesh wash" all over to dull them down and make them match the earth colour of the base they are on. It's not brilliant but it does seem to work.

Thanks for looking today. I will try to get the club campaign AAR done on Wednesday. All the best Clint

Thursday, 22 January 2015

10mm zulu's started.

 I have started my Zulu horde. These are al 10mm Pendraken and Newline Design 10mm colonial Zulus.

They really were no fun to paint, not that they are bad figures  just that they are monotonous. So much brown and white. And not a lot of other colours at all. I could have painted the shields in different colours but as I want them to represent the tribe that attacked Rorke' s Drift, that tribal force only used brown and white cow hide shields. Pure black or black and white or pure white shields in various combinations were used by the main body of troops to attack at Isanwanda but as my mate Tim is building the drift it would be wrong to paint the shields different colours. At least at present as I need to get a few, quite a few, more done first.

Here is a second batch. My eyeballs were not quite bleeding just yet. So I decided to limit it to a mere 36 this time. 

All the figures are for "Blackpowder" and are mounted on either single bases (3 figures to a stand) or double stands (6 figures). This should allow me to adopt some suitable table top formations when a game starts. And also to fit neatly round any terrain that I need to. But I admit it's still a lot of bases to move.

I have several hundred more to do so I expect by the end you will be as bored of them as I am. So I am having a weeks break from them and come back to them next week. which means you can expect to see more in a fortnights time (I hope).

That's it for today's update I hope you are having a really good day. Take care and all the best from me.

Cheers Clint




Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Anti-hero Lucifer.

Well the "Entrance Fee" for this years catalogue painting challenge is to paint base and send Curt an "Anti-hero". For doing this Curt will make a small dotation to a charity. So in a way we all come out of it as winners.

But I was struggling to come up with an idea for an anti-hero. I finally looked it up on google and they have a list of fictional anti-heroes. So I picked one I thought I would like to do. And inspired by one of my favourite artists (Gustav Dore) I selected Lucifer from Milton's Paradise Lost.

In the poem Paradise lost Lucifer is a charismatic, sophisticated erudite individual. Who believes that God has favoured mankind over Angel-kind. And as a result leads the angels into rebellion against God.

It was first published in 1667 and follows two story archs, one about Lucifer, the light bearer, and one concerning Adam and Eve.

 The figure is part of the "Lucifer's War" range of figures by West Wind Productions. To be honest it is supposed to be Gabriel but I thought it was a better figure than the supposed "Lucifer". I went for the typical black and red as I wanted the figure to be more menacing. If I had settled on white DOVE wings and not CROW wings the figure would look more Angelic in our contemporary view. Likewise If I had selected a blue palette for the clothes that would also look "wrong". So the colour choices were pretty much given to me by our current understanding of who and what devils and angels are.

As a 28mm figure this was a great deal of fun to paint. As mentioned above the colour choices were pretty much preselected so I started with a white undercoat. This was to allow the Red to stand out and not look dull. It did mean that I would have to paint a lot of BLACK though. The wings were painted 3 times with black ink over the white primer in an attempt to get into all the details of the feathers and yet leave the top edges slightly clear of colour. I did not quite work, but It did come close enough.

Other then the cloak the hair and the wings nearly everything else was metallic. So I used both gold and silver to offer some variation. I usually have problems painting gold but have found "ARMY PAINTER" to do an acceptable version of the colour I wanted. I did a top highlight after all other painting was finished with WH SMITHS poster paint gold as it is brighter and sharper. The problem with poster is if it gets wet again it is likely to run into any recesses. But as I was to top coat it all with thin coats of spray varnish I was happy (ok nervous) to risk it. For the silver I started with "Boltgun Metal" and added layers of Mithril Silver mixed in larger and larger amounts with the afore mentioned Boltgun metal and Highlighted with the silver again at the last.. Which is my normal way of doing steel.

The model came on it's own octagonal slotta base. But the pose it was very leaning forward and standing on a pebble. So I got rid of the pebble with some snippers and went into the garden and selected a flint of about the right size and dimensions. The flint was a food fit so I added cork chips around the base and painted the whole lot a random muddy brown. Added white to the mix and dry brushed to make the rocks look weathered. The figure fit the flit with no work at all, sometime I just get lucky so I superglued and green stuffed it in place and to hold it strong. And the jobs a goodun!

And below is Gustav Dore's Illustration of Lucifer from Paradise Lost. he looks far more thoughtful than the miniature which goes to show his many and complex sides.

That's all folks. Thanks for looking and take care. I hope to see you visit again soon. All the best Clint.




Sunday, 18 January 2015

Civil War campaign start.

Yes we have at long last started an ACW campaign at the club. Foolishly I was appointed the Union General in charge while Tim is the Reb General. It is a fictitious campaign so don't go saying things which may or may not happen as time goes by. It is also a small campaign with both land and riverboat battles. And this is the story of how I loose the campaign.

The figures are Matts and Grahams and the terrain is also Graham who is the referee. We have set the campaign in a river valley in the "Eastern Theatre Mid war period. Using the Peter Pig "Civil War Battles" rules we went through the "pre-Game" and the Rebs were attacking the federal homeland. So the first game was a Union defence. Gulp!

 We, Peter, Matt and Myself had to set up first and as there were 3 objectives one of which was in the confederate starting area and the other two closer to our starting position we had to leave the right hand 1/3 of the board hanging open in the air. (Thems the rules). The Confederates took advantage of this and had half their force attacking that sector and cavalry attacking our left wing.

Above you can see the rocky outcrop which was one objective. Centre of the board .And our open right wing. Peter took the left wing and Matt the centre and guess who was on the right. Yeah me!
 Peters left had a lot of troops that did not arrive in time for the battle but would roll each turn to come on. The bad news is that due to the pre-game the confederates had cut the road and thus making the roll for reinforcements harder.
 I did have some troops to move into the open right flank. but I kept one unit in the farmstead as they had better cover there.
 Well that plan did not work, Scott and Gary sent three units against the one in the farm and then charged with a veteran Red Infantry unit. My troops thought better of it and ran away without much of a fight! They skidaddled so far and fast that they went of the table never to be seen again. (Maybe they will come back in the campaign and maybe they won't as I will have troops that don't run that need bolstering! Time will tell!)
 Peter on the left also had trouble. Because he had troops just arriving Tim was able to use his cavalry like paratroops and take an objective and try to hold it until his foot could arrive.
 I went marauding with my cavalry on the right. While the cavalry did take a bit of a beating they are only a raw unit I was able to tie up twoe of Scotts . infantry units and a gun battery in the process.
 Matt (my side) and Gary( the confounded Rebs) slogged it out in the centre trading blows in a tit for tat manner. This kept on all game with little give or take and it really was a slogging match.
 This is when my Cavalry broke and failed a morale check. They only had to retreat and not flee the table so I was quite content as they had kept Scott on the right flank busy for most of the game.
 Scotts Veteran Reb unit that had taken the farm were closing up behind my blue boys.
 My Federals were able to get one round of shooting into the rear of Scotts Infantry who had not recovered from seeing my cavalry retreat battered.
 Matt still slugs it out with Gary. Matt launches a charge and the charging unit is not able to push through. they get thrown back with lots of casualties.
 Scott gets another unit onto the rough hill objective but stalls just outside canister range. And they start to suffer because if I can't fire canister I will fire something else.
 Meanwhile on the left. Peter forces Tims cavalry to mount up and leave the church objective. Straight into Peters cannon which was able to fire canister! That dealt with half of Tims cavalry!

With a swift move along the road I was able to bring my union forces behind Scotts troops on the rough hillwhile I battered it with my guns and Matt brought a raw unit into the line (It had only arrived 2 turns before)!

And then the game ended. Victory points were awarded and the final score was Confederates 47 points Federals 46 Points.

Which means that I have lost the first territory in the campaign.

Next weekend at the club the campaign will continue as the rebs push further north!

Thanks for reading. I meant to post this yesterday but time just got away from me. Have a good couple of days and I will post again soon.

All the best Clint

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Technicolour Paint monkey

I was going to do an AAR for the club game on Sunday but here instead are 2 Sudan Cavalry circa 1882-89. These two figures were painted for my friend Matt, who was both pleased and delighted with them. He was not expecting me to go to so much effort in painting them. They are both Perry miniatures in 28mm. Both standard bearer and tribal leader were fairly straight forward to paint and being sculpted by the Perry brothers were a joy.

These are now in Matts collection and I hope they do make the table top sometime soon as it would be a joy to see them take the field. (Even if they are bullet magnets). The horses were also a pleasure to paint. the comparison horse armour was not! But now they are done I know the process so any in the future would and could be done much faster. Each individual triangle has to be painted by eye and I would have liked to have gotten them a little more even. Not that I am going to worry about it too much but I do know I can do better next time.

As you can see from the picture on the right while I may not have gotten the armour exactly right it is by no means totally wrong either. I did not look at this picture whist painting or I would have done far more Red as opposed to cream. But as this is just one historical example I am sure colour variations would have existed so it is not a huge issue for me. This armour for the horse would be good at slowing sword slashes, less good against lance/spear thrusts and virtually worthless to defend against a rifled bullet from that time. But in the desert wearing heavy enough metal armour to stop bullets would be highly impractical. So This was a good compromise for protecting the horse in a battle.

It is best not to try to work out how long it took to paint them both lest us just say longer than I first thought. But as mentioned above I think I could do them faster and better now.

These two figures earned me 24 points in the painting challenge. 10 points for each horse and rider and an extra couple for the flag and because Curt was feeling generous. (For which I am thankful).

Both are mounted on 25x50mm cavalry slotta bases with the holes filled in and plaster added to get rid of the base lips. I hate seeing the metal base edges on figures.

The Flag was commercially bought and supplied by Matt, all I deeded to do was attach it and crinkle it so appear blowing in the wind. Not part of the exercise I really enjoy but the result is worth it.


 That will do for today I will post the American Civil War AAR on Saturday as I am already missing posting the weekly game.

Talking of which I think I have sorted out the details of the next one but will say no more for now as I think it deserves a post of it's own. And at this stage loads of work to do.

Thanks for looking today. All the best Clint

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Aliens

I keep getting side-tracked. But at last here are the 28mm Genestealers I painted to represent Aliens in a game I plan to run in the summer.

Buying actual Alien figures is of course possible but for me genestealers were the most economically viable option. In addition to the genestealers I also have a "Broodlord" which will act as the big end of film nasty. While it was a queen in the film in the game it can just be a larger and harder to kill beastie. maybe it's a king! Who knows and more importantly who cares. just make the players shoot it for a long time and we'll all be happy.

While I am no longer a fan of games workshop I will concede that they do make some good things both games and figures from time to time. because I want these aliens scampering round Hadleys Hope on LV426 I simply put plasticard on the bases and cut to fit. This gave me a basic floor grid. Painted in 3 metallic greys with the top one being a bright silver to represent scuff marks I think it works quite well. At least good enough for a game or two. I also ran a mixture of flesh wash and orange ink into all the groves. Hadleys Hope may not be rusty but the hell with that I wanted it to look a bit grotty. Who knows in the future rust may be cured and never trouble us again.


I finished all the figures on the alien side with a gloss lacquer as I wanted them to have that chitin/ slimy feel to them. They are aliens after all.

Well that's about it for now. I am not sure this game idea will last all that long as there are not so very many scenarios but then again BUG HUNTS seldom get old!

All the best and see you all soon. Clint












Saturday, 10 January 2015

Conclusion and after thoughts of the PBB!

Most important to me is I want/need to thank everyone involved in my first Play by blog game. Without you all It would have been a flop. So Once again I thank you all, from the rabid players to the casual followers. All of you deserve my thanks.
How It started.

STARTING

Right that has got the cringy bit out the way. But I do mean it. It started when in casual conversation with Ray (HMS Badger). When he said he had only played a few games last year. Right I thought let's play a game via the blogs. I had previously played a game on Ian (Shelldrake)'s blog but that was more roleplaying still huge fun but I instinctively knew that Ray was not a roleplayer. So I had a quick think and wondered what type of game I could do. As I knew Alan Abbey and had played my fair share of games of his "Blood Bilge and Iron Balls" and had found the rules instinctive and yet challenging. Most importantly I was familure with them and had a few ships as well as some sea and coast boards I quickly settled on that as the way to go. So I emailed a few bloggers I had dealings with in the past and offered them the chance to play in order to establish a core group. I then advertised it on my blog and invited others to join in. I will admit I got a few more than I was first expecting and as the format of playing a game via a blog had not been tested by me I approached it with no small apprehension. I did think I could make a complete fool of myself. Oh well never mind it has happened before and I have little doubt it will happen again, and probably again after that a few dozen more times! Yeah it's called life.

By using a commercial set of rules I did have the advantage that I was not going to think on my feet. I may well be good at tripping over them but less good at thinking on them. Anyway a couple more people I did not know asked to join and well in for a penny in for a pound. That could be even more people to see me fail. So they were given Frigates because I had run out of painted ships of the line by that stage. I wrote a scenario based on the British keeping the Spanish fleet in port while the Spanish would have to break out and escape of the board.

So It begins.

Having not run a Play by blog game before I was determined to stick to the rules and told the players what the rules were and how to order their ships to move and the priority of their fire. One of the mistakes I did make was starting them all too far apart. The result was the first five weeks or so just straight moving and not a single shot being fired. I consoled myself by knowing that once it did start then it would end quickly. I thought the  first few moves might also allow players to try a few manoeuvres out and get the hand of their ships. Only Captain Lucky Lee did so (HMS Pachyderm) as I had positioned him rather proactively close to land and the Spanish fleet and rather than go in thinking he was superman decided to use his discretion and set a course parallel to the Spanish.

Juggling Cats

For those five or six starting turns all the players were obeying orders and forming battle lines and behaving sensibly. And then the first shots were fired. From then on it was every man for themselves as each captain did their own thing. That is when the game really did become like "heading cats!" At least for me. Great fun. several players did not understand "port and Starboard" and a few mistakes were made mostly leaving them facing into the wind with them wanting to move straight ahead directly into the wind. But let's not dwell on that. I made a couple of errors as well. If you do this yourself and set up a game needless to say try not to do that, but if it happens and sometimes it will so be prepared to say you are sorry and it was your fault. The two players I know it happened to (one on each side) were very understanding about it and the game went on.

Some players gave orders that you knew were the wrong thing to do both in the rules and in history. But that is the joy of the game. As every player has free choice to command their ship as they see fit. Many times players would do something surprising. Things you would know would lead to problems a couple of turns down the line, but that is probably my knowledge of the rules and not their mistake as much. A couple of players were down right suicidal wanting to ram and board enemy ships before they were sufficiently damaged to ensure success.

Conclusion

After 24-25 weeks the battle was finished. Few ships were still intact. Several had struck their colours one had actually sank and two had been captured. Two were not captured in the battle but would have surrounded after the battle due to lack of crew and the close presence of the enemy. It really was close at the end. At about turn 20 I thought it would be a clear Spanish victory. but the British were able to swing the pendulum the other way and the game ended with a minor British Win.

I am not going to sort out Victory points. Mostly because I don't actually like them but also I find them an artificial construct. That said these players dis capture prizes.

Lee Hadley HMS Pachyderm Captured a 64 gun ship of the line and sunk another.
Miles Reidy in a frigate did board and capture HMS Inconsistent for the Spanish
Dave Docherty and Peter Douglas Combined managed to capture a 74 gun ship of the line.(The Spanish Flag ship)
Curt Campbell in HMS Challenge did board SS Pina colada but was beaten off as he just lost too many crew in the assault. As the game ended in a British victory Pina Colada would surrender to Captain Campbell after  the game. If It had been a Spanish Victory HMS Challenge would have struck their colours and surrendered to them. It really could have gone either way on these two ships.

What's next?

Well indeed what is next? I have been asked to write it all up for WBQ and I will attempt to do so. Should I succeed the author and the publishing editor both want to see it.  I know them and have wargamed with them both and count them as friends so not a big deal really just a couple of mates being nosey! And no doubt extracting the urine! Oh yes they will.

Will there be another game?  Well the short answer is Yes. Well not exactly the same as I do not want to do another ship battle that lasts quite so long this year. So I am thinking of another game setting and maybe come back to sailing ships in the following year. The criteria I am working to is a single vehicle, be it air, land or sea based per player. For me this is important as it allows independence among players. So far I have considered Aeronef, aquanef (both Victorian Sci fi) WW2 Tank battles, Modern tanks. giant robots, Modern, WW1 and WW2 Aircraft, as well as ACW, ww1 and WW2 fleet battles, I have even considered GZG Full thrust! So there really is a lot of choices but luckily I do not have to decide just yet. They really do all have both advantages and disadvantages. One thing I know for sure is that the more choices I offer the more varied the answers I will receive as we all like different things. It also needs to be based on a simple set of rules that I am familure with. I would even consider squad level infantry actions but that will need to be tackled in a very different way. So feel free to suggest any period/setting you like as you never know it just might spark my interest.

When you ask? Well I was thinking beginning of July. As that would give me long enough to recover and push the "RESET" button! Both of which I really do need to do.

I realise todays post has been incredibly self indulgent and I thank you for struggling to the end. Even if you just skipped to the end as far as I am concerned thank you and well done.

On to the next game. Cheers Clint. Paint monkey is getting bored and I really do need to get some more figures finished for the challenge.  2 entries ready so far this week but very small ones no bombs that is for sure.





Tuesday, 6 January 2015

ACW Figures (Rebs)

I have already shown these on Curt's Analogue painting challenge. And time has come for me to put them on here.

Yes we have 12 Confederate infantry to face of against the Federals I showed before the new year. Again Perry miniatures Plastics. With the Federals they all came from the same box. But they did dot seem to battle it out too much in the box and all were quite docile until I started to paint them.

The officer is the only one in full uniform as each of the others has at least one thing non standard on them. It could be Blanket, hat, socks, trousers, tunic or even haversack.  I even took a scalpel to the odd knee and elbow on the figures to create rents and then made sure that most if not all had patches.This was deliberately done to give a rag tag campaign feel for a unit suffering supply problems. I am lead to believe this was the case for much of the war for some units particularly from the south. I wasn't there though so I can't be certain!

Well that's just a quick catch up post. And I only have my GW genestealers now that went on Curts blog about this time yesterday. So I shall give them a little time before I put them on here.

So that's it for today. I hope to post next on Saturday. Until then I hope this year is working out for you.

All the best Clint






Sunday, 4 January 2015

It is all over now!

Firstly let me get my apologise out of the way. I am sorry this is a day late I just had real life get in the way and lost track of time.

This is the final turn of my first PPB Game and I will just write up the actions of the turn. Next weekend I will do a break down of what worked and what didn't. Victory points and a conclusion. So just hold on till then before offering congratulations and commiserations.

I also need to apologise to Lee as last turn I turned his ship the wrong way. Totally my fault as I turned it right instead of left that he ordered. It had no impact this turn but it so easily could have and Lee was very understanding and there was no speaking of walls and being lined up when the revolution came.

The turn sequence had the Spanish moving first and then the British shooting. This worked both for and against them.  Only one ship was able to shoot but it was sufficient in a David and Goliath way to make another ship strike it's colours.

So here is the final situation. It has taken nearly 6 moths to reach this outcome. And a really big thanks for all those that have followed it and more thanks to all the players for taking part each is very valued in their own way.





 Unicornico turns so that she has enough of the wind to move. While HMS Badger now back in British hands still does not have sufficient fighting crew to continue having struck its colours much earlier in the game. HMS Inconsistent (now in Spanish hands) is down to a single mast and in a bad way. But still able to sail.
 HMS Cutlass a frigate manages to get the only shot of the turn completely de-masts San Francis which can only turn AND does enough crew hits to render San Francis unable to carry on and she therefore strikes her colours. Just before she can fire back. (which would have hurt HMS Cutlass quite a lot).
 HMS Agamemnon Sails out of arc of fire and heads towards HMS Pachyderm and El Interceptor.
 Mecedes heads directly towards a shoal but is out of arc when Pachyderm gets the opportunity to fire so escapes this turn un harmed.
Captain Hadley sets himself up perfectly to Bow rake El Interceptor next turn. However El Interceptor is within one turn of escaping from the board with very little damage. So with all the Spanish ships of the line either escaped or captured and only two frigates and a prize left on the board I feel little choice in calling the game over.

Due to the damages and lost ships and of course prizes I have to acknowledge this as a MINOR British Victory. 4 or 5 weeks ago I would have thought it was going to be a Spanish Victory.

Well played everyone. I have had a blast sorting the game out and I will sum the game up next weekend.

All the best Clint

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Mahdi Cavalry

Well these have been on the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge for about 2 weeks and now I have only just gotten around to putting them on my blog. Ah well such is Life. Yes The Paint monkey was busy with the brushes over the festive period.

I hasten to add that I am painting Zulu's for myself at this stage as well as some Genestealers for a project later to be revealed. But I will say no more for now. And back to the script (This Blog has a script? well no one told me Ed.)

All these figures are Perry miniatures from their Sudan metal range. Firstly we have 2 command figures. While the one on the left has a sword the one on the right is unarmed. (except for a scroll... something about a pen being mightier than a sword..... neither will stop bullets though).


 Then we have 2 groups each of 4 cavalry. They all carry swords some carry javelins or rifles as well, a couple carry all three. As we all know you can never have enough weapons. But you can have too few.


Some likewise have colourful patches on their clothes as a mark of the poverty of the Mahdi. Most do not though. They were a joy to paint and have come out jolly well I think. The next two I do I have been struggling with and when you see them you will understand why! But that's another post on this blog.

The final picture is them all together.. A total of 10 Cavalry in 28mm. And while all the riders are different I Have had a few "Siimilar" (exactly the same) horses. This is no problem as they can all be different shades of brown if need be to help break the unit up.

Thanks for looking today. Happy new year and all that. I may well do a post of plans for the new year next week, or I may avoid it all together.

I shall go back to playing "World of tanks" now at which I do truly stink big time in an ultra wiffy way.

Have fun and with luck see you soon. All the best Clint.