Monday, 18 May 2015

work in progress

I'm still working on the GNW stuff but no more finished yet. Maybe I'm trying to do too many units at once. But here's a couple of work in progress pictures. 

The 4 Swedish units.  They just need a 'top 'n' tail', muskets and pikes, shoes and tricornes plus anything I've missed.  

Then 5 Russian cavalry units. There's a sixth unit off to the left of the picture but I'm still undecided whether to do a red or white uniform.  They're in much the same state as the Swedes and just need that 'top 'n' tail' to round them off.  But I've still to do the horses for this lot.

And part of the reason for taking longer with the GNW stuff is I found these Essex Seleucid / Successors in a box and decided to paint them up before probably selling them.    

Lastly, I went to another grand show at Carronade in Falkirk. Met good friends and saw a good range of traders and saw some nice display and participation games.  The only figures I bought were some more Blue Moon Marlburian figures which I'll paint up as Danes.  Other purchases were bases, paints and books.  

And on the topic of Danes - one chap mentioned the new Danish tele series called 1864 and later gave me the book. It is another one of those episodes from history about which I was vaguely aware but knew very little.  The first episode was last weekend but I've yet to see it though I have started reading the book.    

Thursday nights at the club

I've missed a few updates, so here's a quick note of stuff played recently.  

A few weeks back it was ADG ancient rules in 15mm. I had Nikephorian Byzantine against some other flavour of Byzantine.  Friends at an adjacent table had Hungarians vs Medieval Germans. Good games had by all and I lost by a couple of points.  

The next week we played Maurice with a friend's 6mm Marlburian figures.  A good game where I was attacking with the French and Bavarians and was able to put pressure on both flanks. This caused my opponent to use up his cards to counter the moves.  I was able to use the 'Confusion' card to send one of the enemy cavalry to face off towards a wood on the flank.  

But then came combats and my army morale started to crumble. In the Maurice rules, each unit that routs has a variable morale value loss to the army of between 1 and 3 depending on a die roll.  My opponent rolled 1's and 2's for a 1 morale loss where I was rolling 4's to 6's for a 2 or 3 morale loss.  Eventually the French morale crumbled.  But still a great game.  

The following week was mid-war Flames of War. We had a two-a-side game, with one half of the table an urban setting the other, rural.  I took Russians and normal army rather than my usual Guards.  Hey-ho; morale crumbled; troops became pinned and tanks were lost, and I didn't have enough reserves for the final fight round the objectives.  Next time I'm using the Guards again. 

And last week was Wings of Glory.  All the planes belonged to the club or to one of the players. We had 7 of us round the table with a plane each.  The players with the 3 most expensive planes against the others. I had some Italian fighter.  We actually managed 3 games in the evening; 2 games were with opposing sides, then a final game of last man standing (or flying), basically every man for himself.  I managed to stay on the table till the last two. 

This week will be a two-a-side Dystopian Wars bash.  750 points for each player. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

experiments with washes and inks

So here I am testing some washes and inks.  I got a batch of stuff from different places on t'internet.  Vallejo washes and Army Painter inks I got as new, then I was able to win some Citadel stuff on t'interbay which luckily included both washes and inks. 

And so I grabbed what undercoated figures I had to hand and set to work.  The figures are all Essex 15mm and were undercoated white; good old Halfords matt white car spray has been my standard for years.  I've put little captions in the pictures to show what's where.   

First on some Napoleonic figures. 
The effect was good in all cases, though I have a slight preference for Army Painter Strong Tone. I've not much to say on the blacks, but all the browns have possibilities for me.  

Then the Army Painter colours.  Amusingly, the colours were slapped over Napoleonic Austrian figures; chaps usually in white.  I can't see much use for the purple at the moment, but the others could be used on uniforms.  Indeed, I reckon I could use the blue just as it is for ACW union uniforms.  

Now a repeat exercise on medieval pikemen.  Just to see the colours side by side.  

Now the Citadel stuff.  A friend told me that Devlan Mud is no longer available, which seems a pity since it's a nice effect.   

And now to put them side by side.  I saw a video on the youtube where a chap compared Devlan Mud with Vallejo Umber.  There wasn't much difference to him, and he's right. So if Devlan Mud is no longer available, then Vallejo seems to fit the bill.  (If it doesn't seem right here, it's because of my photo.)  And I'd cast a vote for AP Strong Tone as another good substitute.  

And now a side-by-side comparison of AP and Citadel colours.  Not much to add here, except the Citadel stuff seemed a bit darker (or richer), though I prefer the AP green and blue.     

And, finally, I thought I try the Citadel inks straight from the pot.  Ooh, err, the green is a bit bright and the black seemed so much like an undercoat that I grabbed another brush and slapped some water on the far right figure.  Maybe too much water, but, well, that's what experiments are about.  I don't know if I'll use these inks; perhaps the brown on some horses, but I don't yet see a use for the others.  

So, there we go. So far the AP Strong Tone is a favourite, followed by Devlan Mud, then Soft Tone and Sepia and Vallejo Umber.  If Devlan Mud is no longer available, then I'd better make best use of the two pots I've got and mostly go with the others that are readily available. 

And I may still make my own washes. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

new non-shiny toys

Got these the other day from the nice people at Minibits.  They are intended to be markers for ADG or Maurice or anything else that might benefit.   Up till now I've just used dice or counters.  

What I got were 20mm and 15mm round bases, dice-frames for 7mm and 12mm dice, and a selection of 10mm dice with frames.  

I'd seen Minibits stuff at shows and I'd bought some bases, but not bought the dice frames. Then I was prompted recently by a picture on a friend's blog where he incorporated a dice-frame into the base.  

See picture here,

Then I saw the blog,  where the chap cleverly put the dice-frame on a circular base and coloured the base the same as the units.  That sold me on the idea.  

Here's an example of what's intended.     

This is one of my Blue Moon 18mm Great Northern War units with the dice-frames in front.  I was trying to see what might look best for this scale.  

Left to right there are a 20mm round base, a 15mm round base with a 7mm dice-frame, a 20mm round base with a 10mm dice-frame and two 12mm dice frames, one on top of a 20mm square balsa base.

For 15 - 18mm figures, I reckon the best choice will be the 7mm dice-frame on the 15mm base.  I'll do some more experiments at the weekend.  Then I may see about gluing the frames to the bases and doing some textured basing.     

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Ongoing work

Here's the ongoing work with the Great Northern War stuff.  

Mostly this is just the first wash of the uniform coat.  I was going to carry on with lining round the belts and cuffs and so on, but my brain turned towards commercial washes or inks.  Up till now I've always been DIY on washes.  I asked some friends and got good suggestions, and so I sent off for Vallejo washes and Army Painter inks.  I'll push ahead with the Swedes where I've done most of the painting and leave the rest till the washes and inks arrive.  Then I'll do some experiments.      

At the front of the picture are the first measuring sticks to use with Maurice.  Each space is 30mm, a base-width.  Just for the fun of it, I'm making yellow and blue sticks for the Swedes and Red, Blue, White and Green for the Russians.         

Finally, the Swedes on which most has been done.  Hopefully I'll get these done in the next week.  When I'm doing these I'm thinking about the colour combination of uniforms and standards, so 3 of the units below will have yellow facings, but one will have red and the flag of the Narke-Varmlands regiment.      

Thursday nights at the club

Here's what we did in the last couple of meetings.  

Two weeks ago was Sails of Glory.  Six of us round a 4 x 4 foot table.  3 a side with one ship each.  I had the l'imperial, a nice 108 gun ship.  There was one equivalent sized ship on the other side.  The other 4 ships were 70 - 80 gun.  Each side approached from an opposite corner of the table with the wind coming from a 3rd corner.  

I think some naval chappie said a captain could do no better than put his ship into harm's way - and so I did.  I got in several good broadsides, even once moving between two enemy ships and firing off full port and starboard broadsides in the same turn.  But I took a bit of damage and eventually was the first ship to sink.  But an excellent game and fun for all.  

In the background were games of FoG Renaissance and some science-fiction thing.   

Last week, there was some planned building work going on in the area used by the club, so we played boardgames.  

First up was Mexica, a brilliant 4-player game of canals and bridges and and buildings.  Great fun, where players have to establish areas through building canals and then spread the building work to win control of each area.  This time playing the game I came last.      

Next was Boom Town, with 5 of us playing.  Boom Town is an old favourite, a game of developing a town area while doing down the other players and their attempts to do the same.

Finally we played Richard's game, a fun little card game where every card is named for a Richard.  One side of the card has a description of the person; Richard the III, Richard Dawkins, Richard Baker etc.  The other side of the card has that person's date of birth.  The objective is to read the description, then arrange the cards in order of the date of birth and hold the cards up for the other players to tell you if you are right.  If you are correct you take another card, but if wrong you don't.  The winner is the player who gets to 6 cards and is able to arrange them in the correct date of birth order.  

In the background was a game of FoG Renaissance.   

Next week, two of us will be playing Maurice with 6mm Marlburian figures.  Possibly a scenario based on Ramilles.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

GNW artillery

Got the GNW artillery done, but not much else other than basing.  Here's the result.  Not too bad at all. 

First the Russians.  

 Then the Swedes.  

I've still to do some lighter guns, probably two for each side. I've also got some really big gun which is a bit too big to look good on a 30mm frontage base, so I may well do it on 60mm frontage and call it 2 guns in a game.    

And last Thursday at the club there were 4 games of ADG on the go.  My Burgundian Ordnance narrowly lost to a Free company, Medieval Germans took on Medieval Hungarians, Andalusian Arab types took on more Late Hungarians, and Picts took on some type of Roman army.  

I only saw the action on our table and the two medieval tables closest to us, but everyone seemed to have a good game - even the over-intense competition head on the Picts vs Romans table who at times seemed to want to start a good FoG style argument.  

The arabs seemed to loose heavily and steadily while on the other table the Hungarians were being pressed by the Germans.  

On our table, I had taken the mixed bow and spear units, 6 knights, some crossbow and an artillery piece, a grand total of 17 units.  The Free Company had 6 knights, longbow, some levy and some chappies with HCW, a total of 18 units.  

The Free Company won the initiative and advanced rapidly and I thought I was going to be well caught out.  A few good rolls saved me in some exchanges of bowfire and in knight-on-knight melee.  The HCW chaps got in amongst my mixed spear and bow and caused a bit of damage, but nothing too drastic, certainly a lot less than I had feared.  A lot of units had some cohesion damage but both sides held in there for a long time.  But eventually with cohesion at something like 16 against me to 14 against the Free Company, I lost a knight who'd already suffered 2 hits.  Game over; but it was an excellent game.  

Next week - Sails of Glory. Probably 6 - 8 players round the table with 1 or 2 ships each.