Monday 31 December 2012

The Circus begins!

Long term readers will remember that I created a game contained within a wall paper table. That particular game was an underground car park zombie game. Being inspired by: War in a box
I have been keen to follow his example but in my own way. Given the dimensions of the paste table I started to imagine what sort of game I could fit in one. Being long and thin a couple of ideas finally emerged my favourite was the Chariot race of the Roman Circus. So this is the first post about how I can bring that project to fruition.

My first task was to strip out any and all car-park parts. After all the Romans were advanced, but as carts were not allowed into Rome except at night! (or so I have read). Stripping it all out was quick and really quite enjoyable. All my projects have a budget and as the zombie car park had past it's sell by date it was due to be recycled into something new and hopefully exciting. Obviously is Money and Space were not issues I would have just used a new paste table. But until I do win the national lottery they will be issues and as such I have to be realistic.

being limited to the size of the Circus I will build I have not decided which scale would be most appropriate. I will build the arena and then see what fits best. To many people this may seem the wrong way of doing a project, but given the space restrictions I have set myself it seems the right way to go.

As the Circus arena being a race track was created with curved walls at the end of each straight. One of my early jobs was to make these. I cut 4 90degree corner sections, one for each of the corners of the paste table. I was limited by my need to close the table and by the materials I had at hand so used some scrap 12mm MDF. This brings up a couple of problems. The walls would need to be representational as opposed to a realistic height for anything above a 6mm 1/300th scale. While not ideal it is acceptable. The main issue is that I have no nails small enough to hold the corners in place. Fortunately these corner pieces fit quite snugly in place. I have used PVA white wood glue (resin W) and will give them a few days to dry which given the weather I feel they will need.

The central reservation has been fabricated out of some off- cut battening. Again this is too thin for the smallest nails I have, and again is now held with PVA white wood glue. Using scrap I have not measured widths and heights other than by eye. However, this is not such a bad thing as it saves me time and money and a trip out to B+Q in the rain. As you can see I have rounded the ends to aid chariot turns. I had no circle template or compass with me nor could I find any pot or lid of the right dimensions and now that I look at the picture while typing this they don't look to be as precise as I would have liked them. Moving on I know it's something my club players will not worry about too much as it is the idea that counts and little things like that won't make too much difference in a game.

As you can see I have only room to work on half the board at a time.So I will need to allow about 1 week to pass with drying time to allow the glue to set and the whole arena to reach the same level. You can see from the picture on the right that the proportions do not look too distorted. At present this is only the basic construction but even so I does give a flavour of how it might turn out. There are a couple of stages to still go in construction but until the glue has had time to dry I will not attempt them. All construction projects have phases in which they look tatty. This is one of those phases, it would look better if I was not re-using materials but you can still see the direction this project is heading. Construction wise I can see another 2 week of work ahead but most of that will be waiting for things to dry. Time invested in this project 1 1/4 hours so still early days.

Thanks for reading.Until next time, take care have a good few days and we shall talk again soon. All the best Clint.

Saturday 29 December 2012

New Year, Projects

Well as 2012 draws shuddering to a close I inevitably start to look to the new year with a view to which wargames projects I should attempt. 2012 as a year was unfocused for me and I don't want to fall into the same pattern next year. I am the first to admit that as a wargamer I get easily side-tracked by new films, novels, rules, and nice shinies! So realistically I know that I will struggle to complete these ideas. It is important for me, at least in my own head (it echos in here BTW), to try to bring the following ideas to life in the next 12 months. OK let's all be realistic I won't manage them all, but here's what I am thinking!


OK the picture gives it away. "Circus" of course refers to the Roman Circus. This will be a very short and quick project. For one thing there will be minimal figures and the terrain is pretty straight forward. I want this project completely finished by the end of February. My main concerns at the moment are figure scale and the rules of course. But I have ideas for both of them and I am not panicking just yet.

Monshonga Station

Monshonga Station is the name I have given the WW1 East Africa Game. The name may well change but as this needs to be finished by 1st week of June for the Broadside '13 show you know this will be my early focus for the year. To be honest there's not too much to do. I have one side painted (German Askaris) so only terrain and the other force to do. As I painted all the Askaris in 6 days I realise that painting the figures for the game will not take up too much time. The Terrain will also be an easy fix as this year I will be making all the scenery free standing. So with no terrain boards to make this could all be done quite quickly.

No Peace Without Spain.

For a couple of years I have been thinking that I would like to do a large battle game with ranked figures and in a horse and musket era. My first thoughts were Napoleonic. However as soon as you mention that era at the club you get bombarded by comments about 15mm armies Shako rules and how massively huge their armies are. So Napoleonic battles are passe in the club setting and if I was doing it in any scale OTHER then 15mm my choice of scale would be questions and there would be an implied criticism. If I choose another set of rules other than SHAKO that would also be frowned upon. I would be told that I can do what I want, of course, and Informed that they already have all the armies and literally thousands of figure. I want it to be my project and not a joint one with the club. Therefore I think I would like to do the War of Spanish Succession (WSS). I know that I will need to make all the terrain and build at least two armies, so this will be a year long project. I plan to use the "Beneath the Lily Banners" rules but all in 1/300th scale. Needless to say the units will have more than 18 figures in a them, as I want to keep the base sises the same (or similar). As yet I have not settled on which armies to select as there are so many options. British, French, Dutch and Bavarian all hold appeal I will just have to wait and see.


My real introduction to wargaming came in the 80's (that makes me feel old) when me and 2 Friends played modern era micro tanks. So my final game that I want to do is some 1980's era cold war wargaming. This year gone I have been collecting rules and trying to determine not only which set, but also which scale. As I already have two armies in 1/300th (6mm) it makes most sense for me to use that as a starting place. If I was clever (I am not) I would use the terrain from WSS and 1980's and make them compatible. I must admit I will try as it will make my life easier but the "modern" battlefield is different from the 18th Century one, Roads are different, buildings are different, field sizes and agriculture are different. But perhaps from a game point of view mayhap we can get round that.

Here are a few game ideas that did not make the list: 28mm Super-Heroes. King Kong, Aeroball, Gangsters, Samurai. 20mm Mad Max, 15mm Bloody Barons (although this might when Peter Pig re-releases the rules next year), Franco Prussian War. Boxer Rebellion. 10mm Zulus, meta horde Zombies,

Thanks for reading. Let's hope I can finish these project in the next 12 months. One thing is for sure I will get sidetracked but at least I have a plan for next year written down now.

As always comments are very welcome. I shall try to post again on Monday before the year ends If I can't manage it have fun and take care, All the best Clint.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Another Christmas Over.

I hate my Birthday and Christmas and New Year. I am not just saying it. I mean it. To me these things all in the Winter months are reminders that I am just treading water in my life and getting older but without really achieving anything significant. Which is why I hate them. For Me Boxing day is worse though all the family want to get together and my cousins bang on about their exciting careers and holidays and jet setting and I just end up feeling depressed and useless and pretty worthless in my life. The one thing I asked for this year was to be left alone at Christmas time. It was a gift I was not to receive. The only thing I really wanted and the family will never give it to me. I even got stitched up at work and dropped right in it at work on Christmas Eve by my supposed work colleagues. All this makes me sound like a petulant teenager and not a middle aged man rapidly approaching 50 which is of course the true situation.

However not to put too big a downer on the whole thing I was given a couple of nice gifts which I really do appreciate. Back in the day the comic 2000AD was my weekly fix and while I did like Judge Dredd, I am sure there is an ISO cube waiting for anyone who says otherwise, for the first 27 editions of the comic I loved HARLEM HEROES! As we all know Dredd was not in issue one, he first appeared in issue 2, but the HEROES were! They only lasted 27 episodes but they were an underdog story and as a scrawny teenager I could identify with them. Not because they were athletes, I clearly was not. Nor because they were black negro Americans again I am not. But because they'd been handed the shitty end of the stick and as a youth so I felt had I. Anyway thanks mum for gifting the comic book collection to me for Crimbo. Yes I had to order it and take delivery and pay for it! (She has reimbursed me since!) But it was from her and it is appreciated. I had completely forgotten how badly drawn it was or how naff the dialogue, but still it did and no doubt still will hold a place in my heart.

The Max Brooks Zombie Survival guide which I must confess I had not actually read. Which is probably a surprise for a guy who plays zombie wargames to admit but none the less I have not as yet read it. It is now however on the pile of things to read so one step closer. On Saturday when I blog intend to talk about my plans for next year (at least as they pertain to wargames) and this will no doubt feature in those plans.

I also received two DVD box sets from my Sister (one for Christmas and one for my birthday). "Pacific" which I hope is like "Band of Brothers" I have never seen and while the war in the far east was never really my bag it will be of some interest. As a wargamer most things with some form of conflict will hold something for me.  So I am quite looking forward to it.

As hinted at above I was a wimpy kid! As a weedy nerdy four-eyed picked on and bullied kid at school of course I loved Blake's Seven. I am now terrified of opening the shrink wrap and watching the first series. There is no way it will live up to my memories. The costumes acting sets and scripts will look and feel old fashioned (and not in a good way). Jan Chappel whom as a kid I had such a crush on will no doubt fail to live up to my dreams and Villa Restal (my favourite) will not be as clever and witty as I remember. Still it will perhaps bring back some thoughts of my youth and the optimism I felt about the future (at the time).

Please don't wish me Happy birthday, it will just piss me off! I just need a couple of stress free days to recharge and I'll bounce back.

I'll do a happy optimistic post on Saturday.  All the best Clint.

Sunday 23 December 2012

Supierior Firepower!

I just wanted to share the festive seasonal greetings with you. I hope that Santa brings you a whole lot of nice loot, but more importantly I hope you have a Brilliant time and manage to put smiles on the faces of those close to you.

Thanks for Reading my blog I hope everything goes well and you have a safe and pleasant holiday. Looking at the picture perhaps giving is better than receiving!

All the Best Clint.

Zombie Hunter Kev.

My latest Zombie Hunter is Kev. No Not "Zombie Kev" from the club, but Hasslefree's Kev ZH figure. As with all Hasslefree figures It is a really nice sculpt and as such a real joy to paint. This figure seems a little shorter than most of their range which I quite like as it gives a natural height variation. I must admit I did struggle with the colours this time out, but am quite happy with the final result. (Although the "jumper" has been painted 3 times now). As regular followers will know I bought him as part of the Zombie Hunters pack. Tony being my favourite was the first one completed and now I only have Ken to paint. You can take that as a warning that there will be another one along soon. Overall I have enjoyed painting them all and I shall do a group shot once Ken is ready.

I have both front and rear view as the armour is hard to see clearly from the front as is the webbing harness. I wanted a contrast between the two as I want all the figures to look like they have found their items and not been issued them and yet I do want them to look realistic. I was lucky enough to see this armour on a TV cop show but the webbing was the same green. But as I wanted a contrast and dark blue looked wrong I settled on brown. Therefore we can assume that Kev has taken his equipment from a military source, as opposed to Tony who's armour is Dark Blue and most likely police issue. The grey pullover is civilian clothing and is probably his own prior to the Zombie apocalypse but the trousers are probably looted along with the boots and armour.

Well that's today's post. As my next scheduled post would be X mass day I shall do a very brief blog post tomorrow instead.  Thanks for reading See you all tomorrow. Take care and kill Zeds!

All the best Clint

Friday 21 December 2012

West Wind Zombie Hunter.

When I bought the West Wind Productions Biker gang I also purchased the single foot figure that they had titled "Zombie Hunter" and for a whole £2 not a bad addition to my Zombie Apocalypse survivors. It does need to be said that he is slightly larger than the normal 28mm figures, but not overly so and he will fit in with the rest. A one piece casting he is armed, as you can see, with a hatchet or axe and a sawn off shot gun. The gun is a little bit large and a little cumbersome, and has a cartoon feel to it. Personally I don't mind that and he should fit well with the mounted bikers. The dynamic pose will stop me getting any more of him despite the price, as I can see them standing out in a game.

As you can see on the rear view there are no hidden weapons although it is possible he might have something under the jacket if you need to play him that way. I went for a very basic colour scheme. I did try dark blue trousers first but as there are some obvious pockets on his thighs I changed it to a desert tan colour which went well with the Jacket lining and his hair. He really was a joy to paint, just one of those figures that put up no fight with the brush so I am tempted to get a few more from the range, after all the price is right.  Given the weapons and clothing this could be quite a versatile figure suited to all manner of escapades from pulp games (maybe he's a crazy Pilot which the Eldrich horrors have driven insane) to Zombie hunting with Biker gang games thrown in for good measure.

Despite having a week off I have managed very little painting as I have been busy baking. To the right we have a fresh cream chocolate cake for a leaving do at work and 3 boxes of rich chocolate fudge, which will be Christmas gifts to my neighbours. The fudge is a variation of my usual recipe with pistachios mixed with the chocolate. In Addition to these I have also managed to bake a Maple and Walnut cake and a Dundee Cake. So while not painting I have not been idle!

That's today's post. I shall blog again on Sunday so until then thanks for reading take care and don't let the brush get dry! All the best Clint

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Biker Gang (unpainted)

I recently was given a Biker figure which Vamipfan (AKA Bryan) and Brummie (AKA Simon)  were able to identify as coming from West Wind Productions . Having found the source I immeadiatly oedered a set. For £19.99 you get 10 Bikers and bikes. Now for me 10 mounted figures for £20 seemed like a very good deal. Postage cost were not too high and delivery time was within 1 week which considering it is the week before Christmas is very quick service. Having had one I was aware that they were multi part figures. (2 Part Bike, separate arms and heads).

The bike chassis were all the same, which is not a major issue. Two different forks were included, 5 of each type. It would have been nice to have some "Ape-hangers" for handlebars but the variety of forks will give some degree of variety.  Still as it works out at £2 each with rider it would be churlish to make a fuss about what one would have found in an ideal setting.
There are 10 bodies, with legs attached in 3 different poses. Which should make for a less uniform look to the gang. Three head sprues, each of four heads for a total of 12 heads. Add to this 10 arms. For me the problem with the arms is that they did not send the right combination. By that I mean I have an ODD number of sleeved and bare arms. In an ideal world they would have been equal or even a couple of spares. Most of the weapons are OK, But as only 10 were supplied there is not so many choices that you can make. One is armed with a chainsaw for example only an utter fool would use a chainsaw on a motorbike. It in no way will lead to a happy outcome. Therefore this arm even if no others will get converted. Maybe a simple weapon swap maybe something more dramatic. The other weapon I don't like is the M16 which seems very small and weedy when compared with the other toys. 

I can only speak for the pack I received and it is possible that other packs might have a better selection and more variety with arms and weapons. As mentioned above though for the price I really can't complain. If I can get 6 I am happy with for £20 I will still think I have had a bargain.

That's it for today. All the best and speak soon Clint.

Monday 17 December 2012

Caen 0.1 AAR

Ian and Grahams Position end of turn 2
The Caen Campaign has started. The first battle was always to be a learning experience as there were 7 people playing the one game and only tow of them had played the rules before, although another one had managed to read them prior to the game. The first battle was a very simple affair of 2 Canadian squads advancing across the Normandy Countryside to make contact with the Germans. I split each squad down so that each person had a single fire team with either a Sergeant or Corporal in charge. These were to be very similar squads to the ones each player will get but as a campaign pre-game it was disclosed that they would get fresh squads for the campaign and as such this was a learning game.

The Canadian players were (in proximity to my seat):
  • Ian
  • Graham
  • Kevin
  • Dave
While the Germans were:
  • Tim
  • Relf.
The Germans were allowed to set up 40cm from the table edge while the Canadians (who were advancing were allowed a 10cm start zone. The top picture shows Ian and Grahams Canadians at the end of the first turn. taking the left flank they were advancing on Tim's 1/2 squad. The small yellow dice was the first shot of the game (by Ian) and having thrown 3 of a kind on the dice the gun was out of ammo much to the mirth of the Germans (and many of the Canadian players as well). Ian was trying out al the rule options as he wanted to learn the rules as swiftly as possible.

Tim's position end of turn 2
Tim's Germans were always intent on occupying this building but as it was outside of his deployment zone he could not start in position and had to spend a couple of turns moving troops before he was ready for the Canadians. Unfortunately I had deliberately left this building with Very restricted fields of fire with a small wood directly across the other side of the road from it.  A better place for Tim to have started was about a foot to his left but the building was just too tempting a location. I can't fault Tim too much I am sure I would not have spotted it and concentrated on the building as well. By the time Tim was in position the Canadians (Graham and Ian) had also moved into positions which gave them the optimum cover bonuses. Tim did manage to wound one of Ian's chaps with a rifle shot at extreme range which left that figure crawling around for the whole game.
The long range shooting between German and Canadian riflemen lasted for a while which gave Ian's section time to get to the other side of the woods ready for some close in work. Graham managed to pin the German LMG which gave Ian the chance to rush the building. A lone runner with a grenade skirted the woods and was about to throw the grenade when Tim snatched the order priority and let rip with the corporal and the MP40. The grenadier was cut down in the middle of the road in front of the house. But knowing that the corporal could not fire again in that turn Ian sent another chap with a ready grenade out into the open. Hurling the grenade through the window it exploded inside and took the Machine gun and crew out of the game. Tim's Corporal was also shot down by Ian's sergeant's sten gun and pinned. Tim got the corporal out the back of the house but his rifleman by the parked car was picked of by Grahams rifles. At this stage Tim was down to just 2 figures. Seeing that Ian could mop them up Graham wheeled to bring fire on Relfies section. In a desperate last ditch attack Tim tried to lull a similar grenade trick on Grahams troops. If it had been successful the Canadians would have been on a morale check so it was one of the last moves of the game on this flank. Fortunately for Graham his Sten carrying Corporal won order priority moved and fired and killed the German before he could throw the grenade.
Kev to the right Dave to the left Turn 2.
Across the other side of the Battlefield Rolf's Germans were all set up and hiding from Kev and Dave's Squad. Moving through some woods to the edge of the treeline these Canadians used the rule that you can always target a support weapon (in this case the Light Machine gun of Ralf's) to try to keep it pinned with long range rifle fire. The tactic worked quite well for a short time but eventually the belt fed MG was able to lay down a hail of fire into Kev's 1/2 squad that tipped the balance. The LMG can fire 6 times in a turn as opposed to a single rifle shot. Dave was managing to stay out of the line of fire and snipe at the German riflemen that were protecting the MG34. One of these players did manage to kill the Mg34 gunner, but the assistant took over. The Mg34 did it's work and killed enough Canadians to put them on an immediate morale check before Dave could shoot back. Very bad dice rolls that one normally attributes to either myself or Tim forced the Majority of Kev and Dave's troops off of the board as they either retreated or hunkered down unwilling to fight. By this Time Graham was starting to lay down some fire on Relfies bullet ridden abode. However the Germans snatched initiative and Relfie turned the MG 34 on the line of Graham troops.

Relfs starting position from which he hardly moved.
 Mg Team upstairs in the building
 and the purple dice indicating
which troops were hidden.

Unfortunately Relfie did not realise that Graham had a Bren Gun and therefore did not target it. But the MG did well and killed one (by inflicting 2 wounds) and pinned another. The Bren gunner returned fire and with 4 shots as a rate of fire was able to kill the MG gunner on the top floor. As time was now pressing Kev sent his NCO out from the woods into the open, but was not close enough to fire his Sten. As Relfie won initative the next turn he charged forward with his Sergeant and an MP40 Kev Relf and Graham all rolled of order priority (Relfie even had a re-roll due to veteran status). Graham won and the Bren barked again and the sergeant fell grasping his chest where he had hoped a medal would have been pinned. This put the Germans below the Break point and the took a morale check for each figure still active and conceded the game.

Conclusion: Over all the rules worked well and players seem to appreciate both the simplicity and the feel of the rules. We did make a few mistakes, but not too many I think. (Until Graham emails me and tells me all the things I got wrong). The Main criticism seems to be that it is no harder to throw a grenade through a window from across a street as it is to throw it just on a random section of ground. a simple house rule can fix this though. Overall not a bad start and now most of the players have tried a game they should be able to play mostly just from a crib sheet. So all in all I count it as a success.

Thanks for reading this report. I hope to post again on Wednesday, til then all the best Clint.

Saturday 15 December 2012

Caen Campaign Start Tomorrow

I did not think I would get a chance to write today as I have been rushing to finish getting ready for the Caen Campaign which will start at club tomorrow. So Nothing I can show at this stage, as it is all paperwork, squad rosters, maps and pre planning. The game we will play first will be an introduction game to get people a basic understanding of the rules we will be using. I am expecting it to go slowly as most large games do when they have many players. I might be surprised and it might go very quickly. If it does I'll raise the break points for the squads so they hang around longer but I don't think I shall need to. If it goes really fast we can always play a couple of games.or more likely play something else.
So the basis of the first game is that it is set one day before the campaign actually starts. The Canadians are under orders to advance to make contact with the Germans and thus establish a "front line". Once the front line is established the campaign can start. Historically speaking this section of the Normandy Campaign Monty's plan was to exert pressure along the line to draw German troops into the battle. By drawing the Germans close to Caen the Germans would need to weaken their front line elsewhere which would then allow the American beach areas to break out in "Operation Cobra". There were a number of drawbacks which stopped this being as successful as envisaged. But given that each player will be given a single squad, say 10 men, then the bigger picture need not be explored too greatly. After all war is a very personal experience and the man on the ground usually only gets to see about 100m from where they are standing at any one time.
Not really much of a post, but I have already put the camera in my bag so unless it falls apart an AAR of Monday. All the Best hope to give you a fuller report on Monday. Til then take care keep warm and if you can get some painting done. All the best Clint

Thursday 13 December 2012

20mm plastic soldiers.

Yes I know the world and his dog have seen 20mm plastic soldiers enough to last them a lifetime, if not longer. I thought I should offer some proof that I have been painting ready for the Caen Campaign. So here and below are just a couple of pics which show both the Brits and the Germans together with their corresponding poses. All the figures are from "the Plastic Soldier Company" and a box set of hard plastics retail for about £10 give or take. Lots of the figures are in two or three pieces, but once cleaned up the fit together very nicely. Each box contains 3 hard plastic sprues with 10-11 different figures on each sprue. As you can see with these two riflemen many of the poses are very similar but with different nationalities. I have no issue with this as they will not be put next to each other like this on the games table. The Canadian uniform is straightforward Khaki with hi-lights and shading and actually takes as long for me to do as the German Camouflage (Oak leaf spring) pattern. I don't hi-light and shade my camouflage patterns at any scale smaller then 54mm, they simply don't seem to need it!
These next two are Light machine guns on the move. The molding and angle do much to conceal the Germans MG34. But the Canadians Bren Gun is prominently on display. Given the rules we shall be using (Operation Squad) the two weapons are very different. Just as they were/are in real life. This is one aspect of the rules which appeals to me. The 30 round magazine for the Bren does a lot to restrict it's rate of fire due to reloads. While the MG34 could have a magazine, but could also be belt fed.

The Last pic for today shows each nations medics. Medics in the campaign might become very useful when players want to patch up troops on the front line. Only a few squads will have medics attached the others will just have to make do as best they can. This is simply because the lieutenants either spent the points on medics or did not. And the players will each be given a RANDOM squad. So I expect most squads to have no medical benefits, mind you the choice of how to spend the points was not easy for some people.
That's it for today. Thanks for popping by and talk again soon. All the best Clint.

Monday 10 December 2012

A Small Gift

No wargaming stuff today- it was a weekend swamped with relatives doing the pre-Christmas rounds drinking tea eating cake and giving cards. The knock on effect is that I got No painting done. Absolutely nothing, and I did have such good intentions as well.

In fact the closest thing I could manage was to send out a small Christmas pressie to a couple of other bloggers whom have kept me amused with various antics through-out the year. With that introduction you already should know who they are. (Stadler and Waldorf). Also known as Ray and Fran.
Pictured above are the actual contents. One Each guys and you get what you get. The coin (a 20pence piece) is for scale only and is not part of the gift. Ideally open it when you are both together at work where you will or can be undisturbed. No arguing and play nice! I have a written promise from Ray already so I shall trust you Fran to do the same! The pressie was sent 1st class yesterday so you may well receive it later this day.

For any other readers I should be able to get some painting done later today (with luck) so I intend to update again on Thursday. All the best Clint.

Sunday 9 December 2012

Loud Zombie Hunter!

Many games have zombies attracted by loud noises. This zombie hunter is not so worried about making noise as getting the job done and getting the hell out of there. Firstly let me say I have no idea who makes the basic sculpt. It has a Copplestone/foundry quality to it but I can't locate it, in any quick search of the listings, which is a shame a I would like a few more of them. I have had to convert both arms. The left arm started on a Gripping beast Viking but with some green stuff and a HUGE amount of luck I finally managed to make it fit. The Right arm with the sawn off was a much easier job. It came without any clothing so I just added a ragged sleeve to the leather jacket. I won't dwell on how the leather jacket got ripped so badly, we shall just gloss over that and pretend it looks right. Sssh don't mention the sleeve! I have decided that painting motorcycles is a pain. In the end I settled on a bright red single colour having first tried black which looked too dark and green which was meh! I did consider putting some flames on it, but after a very quick trial on a piece of paper decided that painting hot rod style flames was really not something I was any good at (And that is an understatement, I was utter rubbish at painting flames).
The left arm has as you can see with a quick inspection had a small "filler2 section added between the wrist and the sleeve. His hand was not long enough to reach the handle bars other wise. You don't notice it from more than a foot away, unless you are looking for it of course. And this is also why the bike is turning as opposed to going in a straight line. As I type this I am thinking myself foolish for highlighting all the mistakes. But as I think I can get away with them on the table top I am not all that worried and it is the overall feel of the figure that is important, as it is in no way a competition piece. Although I did at one stage (before I started assembly) think I could use it for the ZOMBIE BLOGGERS ASSOCIATION Christmas competition. That idea has quickly faded! You can also see a V patch on the left sleeve. The Motorcycle club ("not gang of course it's only a club 'cos our Lawyers sez we gotta call it a club") is called VERMIN with purple and white gang erhm I mean club colours.
The right arm shows a deep scratch on his forearm (a happy painting accident) and a better view of the sawn off shot gun. The combination of sawn off shot gun and chopper is bound to attract attention from all the zeds in the area and pull them towards the figure. So he will be a Zed-magnet in most games, but if used cleverly this could be a good thing. Collect all the zombies in an area up and get them to follow you and the other players can happily loot the area, just don't run out of fuel!
That's it on the painting front for today but I would like to thank Irqan at for nominating me for the Liebster Award. Having thought long and hard about it I have decided not to pass it on. I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone, least of all the nominator by doing this. But it seems to me that everyone whom I would choose to give it too has already had it. As such I feel at a dead end with it and perhaps it has run its course. At least that's my take on the situation.
Lastly, I am very interested in the Painting competition being run by Carl at Analogue-hobbies. I very much intent to participate next year assuming I remember and can stock up on things to paint. Yes I know I have enough unpainted already, but everything has to be historical and the key to success seems to be in numbers painted with larger figures getting more points than smaller ones. But I see this as an opportunity to start and finish a whole army (or two) from start to finish in as short a time as possible.
Final thoughts about the figure above If anyone can positively identify the manufacture I would be grateful. All the best keep up the blogging and hope to post again on Tuesday.
Cheers Clint.


Friday 7 December 2012

German Squad Transport.

Here we have two Horsch 4x4 troop carriers. These were the squad level transports used by the German Regiment that will be played in the Caen Campaign. They are 20mm Resin cast modes from FRONTLINE (Frontline Wargaming). They come as five peice kits the main casting and 4 wheels. Quiet nicly sculpted and cast and they go together easily and without fuss. As you would expect from the need to just attach the wheels. Quick simple and easy, just how I like it. As you can see I have not gone overboard with the paint scheme I have tried to keep it looking scruffy and unkempt the kind of vehicle which will do the job but without any frills.

There is still a lot to paint for the campaign but it is getting done at the right pace for me. However you should expect the next few posts from me to be centred around this task. I still have a lot of Canadian troops to paint as well as a couple of German. There will be very few vehicles on the tabletop so don't expect too many more to be blogged by me in the near future.

As you can see by the black and white photo of the real thing it is not the most glamorous and exciting of WW2 vehicles but it does serve a distict purpose of carrying a single squad and thier kit to where-ever they are needed be that across a farm in France to the depths of Russia or even through the deserts of North Africa. I don't tend to see too many of these on the wargames table as most games tend to concentrate on larger elements than squads. I think one of the reasons is that we tend to go tank heavy. I can honestly say I have seen more Tigers being used in wargames than these.

Elsewhere in my wargames life the Kickstarter run By Fasa was cancelled last night.

Below is the explanation I was sent and my moey returned.
"Dear Valued Backer,
Our project of 1879 iPad App, RPG, miniature game and figures has been live for over a week now. Based on the number of project backers, pledges and trends it looks like meeting our goal will be very challenging. Considering all of the factors, we have decided to suspend our project as described.
I would like to thank you for backing our project. Your commitment is what Kickstarter is all about.
We had hoped that the combination of miniatures, RPG and software would appeal to a large number of backers. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. So while work on the core miniatures game and rpg will continue, albeit at a slower pace, work on the iPad application will be halted.
Look for a revamped Kickstarter project early in the New Year. This streamlined project, focused on the new 1879 game system and miniatures, will hopefully be more successful.
Once again thank you, and if you decide to participate in our future projects, we will see to it that you receive something extra.
Thank you,
Ross Babcock"

So that's it for today more again on Sunday weather you want it or not! All the best Clint

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Pre Campaign Admin.

At the club on Sunday I played the board game "Arkham Asylum" Having been a Call of C'thulhu reff about 20 years ago I have a working knowledge of the mythos. I have probably failed more San checks than you've had Christmas Dinners. As a board game it was OK and I don't mind the occasional board game, but there is something more full filling for me if the game is figure based.

The game for me was secondary to getting the Caen Campaign pre game admin done. Everyone playing the campaign will be taking the role of a sergeant, and leading a single squad of soldiers. Each side also has a Captain (Hauptmann), and a Lieutnant (Oberleutnant) so 4 players have to wear 2 hats. I went for an Oberleutnant as opposed to a Leutenant for the German officers but should the Oberleutnant suffer a fatality he will be replaced with a slightly junior rank of Leutnant.

The Campaign Players are as follows (In no particular Sargent order):
  • Captain P Wade.
  • Lieutenant I Hannington.
  • Sargent Downs
  • Sargent Capps
  • Sargent Smith
  • Sargent Hannington
  • Sargent Wade
  • Sargent Wheeler
  • Hauptmann T Vade
  • Oberleutnant A Relf
  • Unteroffizier Relf
  • UnteroffizierVade
  • UnteroffizierGiles
As is clearly demonstrated the Allies in the form of the Canadians out number the Germans 2 to 1. This is very very deliberate.

I started with the Captain Ranks and got them to mark on the campaign map (a simple grid of named squares) where if they were lucky they could call in Pre-planned Artillery barrages or keep their artillery in a counter-battery role. They also had to mark on the map where they thought the platoon objectives should be. (As several of those concerned read this blog I can't go into too much detail. At Sargent level they just would not know certain things at company level).

The bulk of the work fell on the lieutenant ranks, particularly the German one. They had to assign any platoon level assets to squads. Platoon assets include things as diverse as Binoculars and medics.  Each squad will be put into separate sealed envelopes so that no officer can give all the assets to the squad they will control and starve all the others. I don't think any of the players would, but this removes the temptation from them. I needed to know if I would need to paint anything special for the campaign and needed to be able to buy it should I need to. As it happens the painting yes the buying no.

The Lieutenants also had to place their squads on the map without knowing which squad they would actually get to command. Again this removes the temptation of trying to give themselves either an easy path to victory or a greater level of challenge.

I should say a couple of words about the Map. As mentioned above it is a simple grid with each square representing a VERY abstracted section of country. Each section has a one or two word title/description, for example "Cherry Orchard"or "L-Shape Field". The kind of objectives a squad could expect to receive.

There will be no Tanks! Yes I know a WW2 game with no Tanks that must surely be some form of heresy! The realty of the situation is that Tanks in WW2 were not that common. We tend to think they were much more common as wargamers than they really were. At Caen for example the Germans had about 50 tanks but 17,000 men. This figure does not take any account of other armoured vehicles such as half tracks or mobile artillery, but it does help to show that tanks are rare for the common soldier to encounter. There are several reasons we do think we should have tanks in WW2 games is the tendency of both still and cine photographers to capture them on film. Yes Tanks are cinematic and lend a feeling of awe. That said each platoon does have an anti-tank capability, a single Piat for the Canadians and a Panzerschrek and Panzerfausts for the Germans. These are held at platoon command and therefore most squads just won't get to see them let alone use them.

In conclusion: we are now ready to start and the first game will be a very complicated affair as it will be a rules learning experience with I hope 6 plays as well as me as a umpire all playing on one table. (maybe two).

That's a lot of waffle about where we are in the campaign at the moment. I hope you might have fond it of some interest. All the best and I should start showing the troops to be used on Friday. 90% of the Germans are done and about 1/2 the Canadians.

Till then all the best Clint.

Monday 3 December 2012

"Grant" Zombie Hunter

Although this figure is called "Grant" by Hasslefree Miniatures. I am calling him "Edwardo". I deliberately used Mediterranean colouring for the skin with black hair. I see no reason why there should not be zombie hunters of all ethnic heritage. With a darker skin tone he can of course come from a wide variety of places around the globe. From India all the way round to Brazil. Hispanic American is the most obvious choice for a US setting. While Indian is more Likely in a UK game. Maybe he's Spanish or Italian, French Portuguese or Egyptian. His actual origin need not be pinned down to a specific country. This figure is heavily armed, sub-machine gun in right hand, Knuckleduster in left. In addition he carries two pistols and a large knife as well as several magazines should he need to reload any weapon. His SMG is the same type as Tonys' and as we all saw last week Tony is festooned with ammunition.

Overall another nice figure to paint. The black tee shirt and green trousers give him more of a military feel and less "street" than Tony. so maybe he is ex military, or wants people to think he is. Either way with the selection of weapons he carries he could be formidable if and when he gets on the tabletop.

As I forgot my camera yesterday for the club I am afraid not battle reports and just a single figure finished over the weekend. That being the case I shall blog again on Wednesday. Until then good luck with all your endeavours. Cheers Clint

Saturday 1 December 2012

FASA Kickstarter

Fasa for these of you who don't know are a games company having produced several classic wargames and role-playing-games in the past, but not having released anything new for a decade. So it was some surprise to me that they have been seeking funds to start a new project. They are using "crowd funding" which is a system of raising cash from the masses without approaching the banks (whom we all love and trust!) Until now I have not gotten involved in "crowd funding" projects but given the track record of Fasa and knowing them as a reputable company from whom I have purchased a number of games in the past and not been disappointed I thought I should check out their offer. The system works by individual people pledging money in return for the company sending them an agreed upon reward when the project completes. I am thinking it is very little different from pre-ordering an item, but with a longer lead time.
The game they are proposing is called "1879". Hence the picture on the right, which is at this stage the logo for the game. I say "at this stage" only because until it arrives in my sweaty grasping hands I am aware that the design process may dictate a change of name or logo. But once it hits the shelves (assuming it does) then we shall all know for sure.  Fasa are running the "crowd funding" from the popular Kickstarter website. ( I was the 37th person to pledge money for the project. I have personally put $64.00 forward in exchange for the following rewards. The Miniatures rules and both army books, the British and the Samsut. The British should be fairly self explanatory, although there is a picture of British Cavalry riding large lizards, so it might have a few twists. The Samsut we are told come from a different planet/dimension/place/time/whatever and with a little bit of searching there troop types contain zombies and skeletons. Ral Patha have already signed in to sculpt the figures for Fasa and the scale for the tabletop game has been set as 15mm. If you know me you will not have to make a huge leap to realise the idea of colonial era British against the undead hordes is right up my street!

Having already pointed this Kickstarter out to a friend who just happens to have a 10mm undead army, I painted up the samples I got from Pendraken some years ago and based them on similar matching bases to the undead so the sizes would match. I have placed a 5p coin next to the figures for a size comparison. (Or take the front edge to be 40mm if you are unfamiliar with British currency). So the figures are quite small, and this is a single pack which currently retails for £4.00 and contains 30 miniatures (I lost one so only 29 in the picture and a rock!)

As well as the miniatures game Fasa are also planning an RPG and an electronic App game using the same setting background and one would hope forces. All the details are on the kickstarter and if like me the idea grabs you then check it out. Even if Fasa don't manage to achieve the funding goal I just love the idea so I may go ahead on my own as a personal project. After all who does not want to pit the British Empire at it's height against the forces of the dead.

That's today's post, hope you like the figures and the kickstarter. Thanks for reading, I shall blog again on Monday, all the best Clint

Thursday 29 November 2012

Serious Firepower

About 7 months ago I finished some Victorian naval British landing party figures. Yesterday I managed to up grade them with some serious firepower. I think this is by the Perrys, but not 100% sure, one carriage mounted Nordfelt machine gun with Royal Navy crew. This is the kind of Victorian firepower that is idea for maintaining the standards of the empire. I am sure they could have done with a few of these as Roarke's Drift or Isanwanda as well as several other places. As wargamers we all want something unusual and "fun" to play with on the battle field. Something to make us rub our hands together and chuckle. And that is what this is for. I have grand delusions about it being a game winner and sweeping all opponents before me. The reality will no doubt be TOTALLY different.
As a Perry Miniature it is of course 28mm figures, and not for the 20mm WW1East Africa show game. I have used the same background only for convenience and no other reason. It has a coat of gloss varnish which has caught the flash from the camera, but you should still get the idea of what it should look like.
 Just a couple more snaps to give you an all round view of the model, front and rear.
That's it for today. With luck I should be able to post on Saturday. All the best folks and speak soon. Cheers Clint.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Officers (WW1 East Africa)

I have really struggled to get anything finished these last 2 days. However I did finish the two 20mm IT miniatures ( European Officers to go with the Asakari that I posted on Friday. There uniforms are darker but remain a similar colour to the native troops. I am told the ratio to Asakari to Germans was 11 to 1 so two Germans and 22 Asakai is perfect. Other nations had less European troops in relation to native troops I am not sure why this was but can imagine several reasons. The figures painted easily and are full of characters. Being the same sculpts and wearing the same uniforms there is only so much you can do to make them different from each other. As such all I have done is to give them different hair colours, different shade of the same brown hats and the one on the left a moustache. It was about all I could sensibly do to create variety. Given that they are 20mm figure I don't see a huge problem with them being so similar.

That's it for today, a really quick post. With luck I should have something more to show on Thursday. Remember we are now only 28 days from Christmas so if you are getting anything mail order for the day you'd best be thinking of it now. (Go on treat yourself, 'cos if you don't you just wont get what you really want!!) Have fun, take care and talk soon, Clint.

Sunday 25 November 2012

Tony, Zombie Hunter

Today's offering is a single 28mm Hasslefree Miniature Tony.
( I picked up the box set of "Zombie Hunters" a few weeks back when I was doing all the overtime. Anyway I finished him this morning. I just have to tidy up the base edge and varnish him. I wanted himto have a "Ganger" feel so I went for a mix of military and ploice equipment and some more "street" clothing colours. My main reason for finishing him this week was in response to my character (Vonda) in Shelldrakes Play by Blog game. ( Vonda might or might not survive, that being the case I wanted to be ready to roll with another character straight away should I need to. There may or may not be a link between the two characters, that has yet to be determined. But it's also nice to paint a single figure especially when I have been batch painting as with the Asakaris (last post). Also being a larger scale it is so much easier to add detail.

I am particularly fond of Tony's trousers with the stripe down each side. To me this gives it a sports apareal feel to the clothing which adds to the "Street" feel of the figure which I feel it needed to take it away from a paramilitary figure. It is clear that this figure has looted a set of police armour and has stocked up on ammunition for the two submachineguns he carries, one in each hand. This may not be the best tactic against a horde of zombies, but it will make him feel good. (And make a lot of noise which in turn will attract more Zeds!) So Maybe Tony's not that bright afterall, only time will tell. I shall enjoy painting the other Zombie hunters in the pack if they are as nicely sculpted as Tony. (I've had a look and they are)>

That's it for Today. Tuesday will be my next post. So enjoy the rest of the day and talk again soon.  All the best Clint