Saturday 8 September 2012

Nostalgia or a way forward?

Given the overtime I have worked this week it is little surprise how little painting I have managed. Although the brush has been still the mind has been active. The beginning of the year I was talking down the club about possible games, one of the members said that they had never done any "Cold War Wargaming". In my late teens it was either Dungeons and Dragons or Modern wargaming with very little variation, perhaps the odd game of traveller as one of my early group went on to become an astrophysicist . Makes you wonder where it all went wrong for me! Still moving on.
I still have two "armies" in 6mm packed away on a shelf covered in dust. One German and one Russian so It would not be the biggest leap to start playing again. Having talked (via email) to a friend in the Maidstone club is seems he still plays this period and is active on one of the forums. I won't go into too much detail but lets just say he is the kind of player who uses a spray can for more than undercoat on his 1/300th scale figures. (I am sure you get the idea). While this approach would not suit me it does him and who am I to criticise.
In my pondering I suspect this period is having a minor revival, or may be due one. Force on Force carry a scenario book called "Cold War Turns Hot." This is by far their best selling supplement or so they claim on their own forum. Force on Force can be played in any scale, but to me it is best suited to the larger scales of 15mm or larger. SO I have dragged out my old rules to see if they are as complicated as I remember them, or if being older and more learned in the ways of the rules writers they are simpler than I remember. Challenger 2 was the rules of choice back then, but as I occasionally see "Cold War Commander" on eBay a more recently published set of rules I think that also might be worth a look. The rules my friend uses are are available FREE online if I join their forum so I shall also look there as well as I would gain an opponent straight away, and one who is itching for a game, his normal adversary having passed away last year.
Time will tell if this is a flash in the pan idea or if it has legs. But for now it is something to think about because at present I like the idea of a few games with lots of figures on the table. Now to me due to time space, storage and money lots of figures and a new project means smaller scales. It is therefore possible that I shall start to think about building some 6mm terrain boards in the next week or two. In an ideal world the terrain would need to be northern Europe is feel and be versatile enough for as many periods as possible. Perhaps a generic 20th Century board will be the best setting as It could concievably be used from Fraco Prussian war al the way up to Modern and even Post Modern. I need to think on this further before I start though.
All this Nostalgia has taken me back more years than I care to consider to the extent that I am even craving childhood treats. Hence the Nesquik! Yes I did buy a tub before you say and it is not quite as good as I remember, but it is still enjoyable. I will probably go shopping on Monday now and see what else I can find.... Second childhood? I never escaped the first! I hope to get something painted today, but I am reliant on the postman to deliver a couple of things to help me progress items on the paint table which I have already started. I don't want to get into the trap of starting something fresh and loosing interest on what is already started (in this instance more 15mm Sci Fi figures/Vehicles), but I fear that is a possibility if the postie is lax today and being a Saturday he just may be.
I am not sure If I can get to the club tomorrow, but will endeavour to post again on Monday. Until then thanks for reading and take care Clint.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Blackhawk 1/72.

Coming home from work I was lucky enough to get a copy of the new Helicopter magazine with a die cast 1/72nd scale Blackhawk. At £2.99 I think this was quite a bargain, I will not be getting any more now the 1sr (introductory) issue is over and the price goes up. However for 3 quid I cant complain. It comes pre-painted and assembled so for the money there really is nothing to do in order to get it on the table. I have taken a couple of snaps (as you can see) on my Afghanistan boards because they are the right scale and setting. I feel sure you'll approve. 
I I have nothing to share from the painting table today (or work up the garage (AKA my shed) as I have been doing 3 hours overtime at work each day and it really is stopping me get things finished. Still the overtime funds the hobby so who am I to complain. I should say that since taking these snaps one of the rotors has snapped off and one of the m60 machine guns has broken off as well add that to the broken stand I have to conclude that the plastic components are quite brittle. Still they will be easy fixes and for the price I am still happy with this purchase. So happy I have thought about getting a second Blackhawk but have decided against it on balance.
Short and sweet today. I shall post again on Saturday. Until then take care and talk to you soon. All the best Clint

Tuesday 4 September 2012

PBI Germans

Following last club game where I got very lucky and actually won a game. I decided to build on that success and start a second PBI force.  As previously discussed I already have an American Infantry company for PBI, I also had an un-started German late war force for Flames of war. Logically I decided to use what I already had and get to painting the Germans. And so today these are the first ones to roll of the paint table.  As you can see they are all on 30mm square bases unlike the flames of war bases.
I decided early on that I wanted a late war force and that being the case and with the figures already in my grubby little hands I just had to paint camouflage. Thus I have tried to paint HBT (dot) as well as Oak leaf (Both Autumn and spring... but mostly spring) in addition to field grey. For those of you interested in such things these are SS camouflage patterns, This was a deliberate choice as I really do struggle to paint "Water and Tan" (AKA Splinter A), perhaps I just need more practise, but to me it never comes out right. Splinter B is just not an option before anyone asks. I decided a mixture of Camouflage patterns was preferable as I wanted to keep a rag tag look to the company. Making it seem battle worn and adhoc as opposed to straight off the parade ground. You can just make out the patterns on some of the uniforms, and will have to take my word that they are much clearer in real life. As you can see 9 stands in all finished as of this morning. Two Panserfaust Stands, one Command Stand, two rifle stands and four light machinegun stands. I think this is about the right mix for late war Germans as they did tend to retain their LMGs in preference to their rifles. Also the Panserfaust stands can act as rifle stands should no armour be present. The fallen trees are of course small twigs repainted. The Repainting was very necessary as they did look like twigs wand not trees when just left natural. I did try it first hoping I could save time and effort, but in the end the paint was splashed.
That's today's post another one on Thursday. Until then thanks for looking and take care Clint.

Sunday 2 September 2012

Update 1.1

I shall start with a quick explanation. With this 7TV project I shall label each update first with the board number and then with each update in order of progress. So Update 1.1 is board 1 update 1. While Update 0.6 is the 6th update based on the concept and other items which don't require actual terrain manufacture.
Until Friday night this was the work area I was allowed to use, because my brother in law had been using the garage to store his car. Initially he told me he need ed the space to repair the car. 2 years (well that is an exaggeration 22 months 17 days to be precise) later he finally came and fixed the car, it actually took him a total of 7 hours to make all the repairs to get it to pass an MOT. SO I am pretty p*ssed off that it took him so long to actually get round to it. Still relatives what can you do. Elbow room at last!

This is the area I can now use. As you can see there is an inspection pit in the middle of the floor. Which is actually a curse, twice now people have asked to borrow the garage and then inconvenience me by leaving things for a really long time. I feel they have taken advantage of my good nature. This being the case I am now going to build work benches across the far wall which should make the space too narrow to get cars in (and open their doors). This being the case I will get t use the full area for my hobby and not as a junk storage area until others finally decide to get round to fixing their car. From now on they can do it on their drive or in the street.

Ok Rant over. This is the start of the first board. You may remember the thumb-nail sketch I showed of how I wanted it to come out a few weeks ago. Well I have not been idle. Working on a 15mm chipboard base I have attached a 6mm mdf back to create the height of the first cliff. It is glued and screwed together for strength and rigidity.
I then layered polystyrene insulation to give the cliff the desired shape. And added a slightly raised main battle area. You can see on the end the wooden blocks I and screwed and glued it to to create a firm  junction between the chip board and the mdf. Using bandages dipped in plaster I then draped the cliff to cover any gaps and holes. This will make the next stage easier (I hope). It will also mean that I can use fell materials.

The observant will not that there are two small openings  cut into the back board high up on the cliff. I can foresee two possibilities for these holes. Option one, is that they are the lairs of something adversarial, more of that when I get round to writing background and painting figures. Option 2 is that they may allow egress onto another board! Although that is not currently the plan.
Well that is today's update. It has been slow progress so far, and no doubt will continue to crawl along, but it is progress none the less. That's it for today. I shall post again on Tuesday. Until then take care and talk to you soon. All the best Clint