Sunday, 31 December 2017

end of year finish to a couple of Austrian units

Finally got a couple of Seven Years War Austrian infantry units flagged and flocked before the year end.  Not too bad.  I've now got the flag effect I wanted. 

And the artillery. 

I'm happy to have made a start on my Seven Years War stuff, though I've now a slight reservation about my usual patches of grass effect. I wondered if I might be better just flocking the whole base, but I'll think some more on that.  For now, it's a good start.   

And ongoing work on the 28mm British.  Finally got the chaps into the Bren carrier and the machine gun crew mounted on their base.  The base has been given a coat of khaki round the figures.  I'll do the rest of the base another time, finishing the khaki then highlighting it with sand and a cream colour. 

Roll on 2018, when I might get the British finished.  

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

More ongoing stuff - 15mm Austrians and 28mm British

Christmas greetings to all.  I hope you're all having a peaceful time and can look forward to a healthy and prosperous new year.  

Gaming activities continue here, though the painting of many figures is not quite finished.  

The first units for my Seven Years War Austrians are essentially finished. I just have to add paper flags and flock. I'll try to finish them this year!  

Another project that's come back to mind are my 28mm British for Bolt Action. They've remained in a semi-painted state for a while. The basic paint job has been good enough to push around in a game, but I'm going to try to get all 60 or so figures finished so they look the part.  

Here I've started to paint the many straps and packs that the British infantry have around them.  

These 3 chaps see me experimenting with colours for the wood work. At the left is a dark brown paint over the green brown I sprayed all the figures, then the centre rifle has a sepia wash, and on the right is a flesh wash. I've decided the brown paint is out for this bit.  I like the sepia wash, though the slightly more reddish tone that comes from the flesh wash does have an appeal. I'll test a lighter highlight later.  

And the rest of the figures.  I'm afraid the jolly spiffing old RAF spotter chap will likely be last to get painted. 

Hopefully I'll get a few more finished before the new year. 

Sunday, 10 December 2017

new project and ongoing stuff

Just when I thought it was safe ... after last weeks game I decided to put together some plastic Saxons that I got from a friend some time ago.  That then led to me ordering 4 boxes of the Gripping Beast plastic Saxons and Vikings.  

Here's the test figures so far.  But the big decision at this point is whether to go for 20mm or 25mm circular bases.  Most of the figures (all headless) are on the 20mm sabot bases from Warbases. At the front is one chap of a plastic 25mm base.  

The 20mm option is attractive, particularly as I have the sabot bases, but I do like the bigger 25mm bases. They are also the same size as those for my Wars of Roses figures for Lion Rampant. Decisions, decisions.  

And ongoing stuff - the Seven Years War Austrians move along slowly. Two infantry units are pretty much finished and will mounted in two ranks later.  

More later ....

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Last week at the club - a dark ages variant of Lion Rampant

Here are some pictures from our game on Thursday.  All the terrain, 28mm figures and QR sheets were provided by one chap who's thinking of writing an article for a magazine on this game (though not necessarily our specific game). The forces were Normans against Vikings, Saxons and Welsh. 

The setup was eight 24pt forces set up near the number counters on a random basis.  The letter counters were the objectives, with the sides having different objectives. There were only 4 of us playing as other chaps had work shifts or family stuff, so it meant we took 2 forces each. I had Normans. 

First the overall table near the start. It was about 8 to 10ft x 6ft. 

And some closer views.  There were peasants defending the villages and fields. They were controlled by the referee and they were hostile to both sides.  Also, we know that units should remain 3 inches apart, but ... who cares, we're here to get stuck in and have a good game.  

Here's my Norman knights after a tussle with some axemen.  The unit is now down to 3, though my leader has survived so far.  

The single horseman is the remnant of my unit of mounted serjeants. He is off the table next turn.   

A final view towards the end of the game.  The end result was a draw, though I don't think we cared that much.  

The game was great fun and well worth the effort.  It was good to see such a big table and I hope we can do something like this again. 

Saturday, 18 November 2017

More ongoing stuff

Just to show that gaming activity has not stopped, here's a bit more.  

One project I have is to replace basetex with flock on some bases.  Basetex looked OK to me for a while, but then I went off the look and decided to replace it.  I could have taken all the miniatures off the bases and started again, but I figured it was easier to just replace the basetex patches.

The majority of my models which feature basetex are 15mm American Civil War, though there are some medieval I've yet to get around to working on.  It's not something I feel I have to do right away as the figures are good enough for tabletop battles, so this is a gentle on-going project.      

Here's where they start.  

I then brush water over the green basetex and let it soak for a few minutes. I may repeat the process before scraping off the basetext with a small screwdriver, modelling tool or old worn out brush. The bases then look a bit like this. 

Then I paint over what ever green is left to get back to a bare earth finish. I probably don't have to do do this stage, but I like getting back to a clear surface.  

Finally I apply the flock where the basetex once was, and the finish is more pleasing to my eye.  

Most of the bases I have to do are ACW infantry and artillery, and probably in the region of 200 - 250 total.  I've done about 50 so far and will do more as and when I can.

Meanwhile, other gaming activities carry on.  Here are two boardgames I've played recently at the club.  Squad Leader is still a venerable classic, and one of the best games for squad level combat.  

At the other end of the scale is No Retreat: The Russian Front, an operational or strategic game on that conflict.  It's a card supported game with a few units and another really fun game.  I'll do a fuller post on this game in the future.   

And just to show that painting has not ceased, here are some of my 15mm SYW Austrians which I've finally got around to starting.  I'm going to try to do enough Austrians and Prussians to refight Kolin for the Maurice rules.  It's an achievable target. 

Everything is based on 40mm front bases, with 4 bases per infantry or cavalry unit and 1 base per artillery unit.  

I've always liked these Essex figures, and I've put together my infantry as 23 figure units and my cavalry as 12 figure units.  I say 23 instead of 24 because I'm using a mounted officer in place of 2 foot figures.  This works out neatly with the Essex figure packs as 2 infantry packs of 8 figures and 1 command pack of 6 figures get me my unit, and all I need to add is a mounted officer.  

However, as I moaned in a previous post, I've never liked the cast on flags so I'm replacing all those figures with other officer figures, to which I've attached wire standard poles.  That will let me attach paper flags. 

And that's it for now.  In a couple of weeks at the club we'll be playing a Dark Ages variant of Lion Rampant rules, so I'm hoping to get a few pictures from that. More later ... 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

First game of To the Strongest - infamy, infamy!

Last night I joined two friends to play my first game of To the Strongest ancient rules.  These are a very interesting set of rules, played on a square grid and with units activated by playing cards.  Here are some pictures. The armies were 28mm Polybian Roman and Chinese belong to our host, and we played in a very relaxed manner, exploring the rules as we went.  Each army was about 12 units in size, which makes the game comparable to DBA or Basic Impetus. 

First, and very funny, the Roman commander drew a stratagem card.  What better way to start than with one the greatest quotes from British cinema.

Here's an overview after some turns.  This is a Roman turn and the centre command is being activated.  Each unit has played a card to move.  The value must be greater than 2. Then if the unit is to do more, such as move again, shoot or initiate combat, they must play a card of a higher value.  

And a view of the Roman right. The Chinese had advanced in their last turn.

The Roman left.   

And here's the classic moment when the Roman commander played the strategem card against the Chinese commander.

The situation on the Roman right.  My Chinese cavalry are outflanked.  The Romans and the leading Chinese lancers have taken a 'hit'.  Two hits and they are removed from the table.  Skirmishers are removed after one hit. 

 A view of the centre as the Romans advance.  The little dice behind the Chinese are ammunition markers to indicate how many shots of bow-fire the unit can make. 

The game was a close match.  For a time it looked as if the Chinese were going to win, but the Romans held their ground and defeated the Chinese left and right, then at the last gasp, the Chinese came back to defeat the Romans. 

It was a fun game, and I would like to play again. I'll be looking at my 15mm armies to see what I could use in the future, and the other chaps talked about also using 6mm and 28mm armies. 

More later.