Thursday, December 30, 2010

Special Guest Blogger: Don't Try This at Home, Kids!

Happy Thursday ladies and gentlegeeks. It is I, the prodigal second born offspring of the recalcitrant author of this publication. I have shanghaied this scripture for my own devious purposes. As some of you may or may not know, I am known for being somewhat extravagant in my modelling escapades, and my current adventure is no different.

I seek to model the exploits of the illustrious Canadian Corps during the later stages of the Great War on the Western Front, in all its muddy, bloody, grimy filth. Months ago, I received several packs of Old Glory First World War Germans and British. I at once set to work completing these wonderful figures as prototypes and I was quite happy with the results:
Stormtrooper Hun, complete with camouflage sturmhelm

Johnny Canuck going over the top

After completing this initial batch of Canucks and Huns, I spent the next few months pondering what sort of battlefield they would combat over. I initially considered modelling the Hundred Days campaign. For any of you historic laymen, this was the period during the autumn of 1918 wherein the Canadian Corps and the rest of the Allied armies advanced at an astronomical pace. The attraction of this option is that the terrain would not be the depressing mud and drudge of the trenches, but the quaint farmland of northern France. I disgarded this thought as quickly as it came to mind. Trenches are much cooler [Dave: cooler? really? no, really?].

I decided upon a total of eight 2'x2' terrain boards. The attraction of terrain boards is that the trenches can be dug down into them, rather than standing up awkwardly upon the tabletop. I slated this gargantuan task to be completed over my Christmas break, when I would be able to utilize the facilities of a certain elderly gentleman [Dave: ouch, that hurts!].
Pristine trenches awaiting destruction
Now, the actual construction of this behemoth project. I cut the trench pieces out of 1" insulation foam, and then glued this onto another slice of aforementioned foam. This allowed me to go deep into the bowels of my miniature trench-scape to place dugouts, craters, and tunnels. This double foam combination became a ply with MDF particle board on the bottom, creating a much more durable terrain board.

The attraction of trench warfare is the churned up, shell shattered battle-scape, but it also the largest challenge. How does one create a modular terrain board system out of foam that is naturally rigid? How does one create chaos out of order?

The answer is FIRE!!!
My trusty sidekick and I proceeded to use a diabolically curious combination of spray paint, blow torch, and soup ladle to create the lunar-like no-man's-land of 1918.
Our "souper" heated ladle
The fumes were completely harmless, I swear.
Next time, I delve into the art of smegma-ing the trench boards to create a realistic smeg-tastic no-man's-land!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Principality of Gourmandy

So, I'm off to the races with my new Imagination, the Principality of Gourmandy. I've been puttering about with some coats of arms and uniforms for the first few units. Check 'em out!

(caseus vita est)

The premier military man in the principality and all-round bon vivant:

Jean Lafitte Roquefort, Général le Marquis de Fromage
(personal motto: “la vie n'est rien sans fromage”

Régiment d’Infanterie Roquefort
(Colonel: Phillipe Grand-Nez, Comte de Roquefort)

Régiment d’Infanterie Camembert

Dragons de Brie

 Chasseurs de Chevrotin

The Year in Review...such a cliché

In the spirit of a number of other gaming blogs, I've been looking back over the past year of my hobby and into the the new year. In 2010 I was able to complete a few projects and start others. The biggest accomplishment was finishing my 28mm First Carlist Wars project that had been ongoing for a couple of years. Also on the list of accomplishments is my 28mm WWII project, made up of a 1940 German infantry platoon and supports and a counterpart French platoon. I have plans to add on to this but more of that anon. The WWII project in particular I'm proud of since it was begun and finished all in the same calendar year. 2010 also saw a fond farewell to my extensive 28mm Napoleonic and War of 1812 collections. These well-used projects raised some much-needed cash and gave my the hobby breathing space that comes with divesting oneself of a large collection. Unlike some gamers, I've really had no qualms about ridding myself of collections. I always think of projects and collections as learning vehicles. By this I mean that every project I learn something new, whether a new painting or basing technique or new storage and transportation ideas. The Napoleonic collection in particular had been an ongoing effort for a number of years and showed (at least to me) the varying stages of painting and basing developments. Every project, I seem to inch a little closer to a goal I cannot quite articulate: not perfection, since I'm a guy and only women can aspire to that. But at the very least a level of consistency within a collection in terms of painting and basing.  

In 2010 I also clarified how I plan to approach new projects in the future with my Project in a Box theory. In a nutshell, this is a pre-planned collection that can be easily transported in one case. Speaking with Michael yesterday about these smaller projects, we realized I actually now have two categories of gaming projects: 1) The Large or Major projects, such as the 28mm Carlist Wars or 28mm WWII fit into the Project in a Box category; 2) smaller projects (in terms of figure scale or sheer bulk), such as 1:2400 WWI naval or 1:6000 WWII naval, are, according to Michael's idea, Pocket Projects. This is a perfect term for an undertaking that is much smaller in size and concept and can almost literally be carried in a pocket (granted, a large pocket).

So what's on tap for 2011? I've been hunting around for a new large project and I think I've found it: 28mm Imaginations. Vidal and I began this conversation a month or so ago and it seems to have hit a nerve with others as well. You can see some earlier ramblings about this possibility here. This will be my Project in a Box for 2011 (and probably well beyond). My current thinking is to base figures individually (as per my Carlist Wars project) in "groups" of eight figures to play with Sharp Practice. My end goal in terms of a unit is six "groups" of eight figures with a six-figure command group and a mounted colonel (oh, and I can't forget the four-figure battalion gun crew). That makes 59 figures per regiment/battalion! And cavalry will be similarly grandiose (24+ figures I think). Here's another blog with a good photo of what this may look like: Phil's Warcabinet. I'll be blogging more about this as 2011 comes along. 

In the spirit of starting this project, I found a command figure in my seemingly bottomless desk drawers and painted him up as the mounted colonel of my first infantry regiment.

What else is up for 2011? I think an addition to my 28mm WWII project in the form of some British help to my 1940 French. Of course, this would require a new "box" and the British would only fill half of it. I guess I may have to revive the idea of a Fallschirmjaeger platoon as well (grinning mischievously). I guess this would qualify as the larger Project in a Box

As far as Pocket Projects go, I received from Litko last week the bases for my 1:6000 WWII project so that should be started ( and perhaps finished) some time over the Xmas holidays. Another may be something completely different for me, a self-professed died-in-the-wool historical gamer (Imagination gaming notwithstanding). How does Dystopian Wars sound? Take a look here. We'll see. Next thing you know I'll be building space ship fleets! Now that's just crazy talk!

Thanks all for reading my ramblings over the past year during which I passed over the 10,000 hit mark. Wow!

Merry Christmas and Happy Yule!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

28mm 1940 German Motorized infantry

Although the vast majority of German infantry in 1940 (and indeed throughout the war) got around by the centuries-old expedient of boot leather, I decided I would motorize my German platoon. I opted for truck-borne infantry rather than putting them in halftracks, since the latter were even less common. Besides, when we are playing games that are meant to simulate the sharp end of the stick, infantry transport becomes as much eye-candy as anything else. I'm definitely of the school of thought that even panzer grenadiers with armoured halftracks didn't drive the damned things hell-bent-for-leather into the face of the enemy, guns a'blazin'! Once the infantry was engaged closely with the enemy (and probably, more often than not, even before the shooting started in earnest), the transport (whether trucks or halftracks) became, at best, a base of fire and/or a rally point. This despite the penchant for gamers to unload their infantry and advance on the enemy with the halftrack-mounted MGs grinding forward with them. 

To mount my infantry platoon, I turned to a number of different manufacturers. I picked up some Opel Blitz trucks from Army Group North Miniatures and a Horch staff car from Company B. The trucks are the usual AGNM high quality pieces; sturdy and easily assembled and painted. The Company B staff car, while wonderfully rendered and cast, was somewhat less sturdy than the AGNM vehicles. One of the side panels was broken in transit and required some judicious repair work. But for that, the model is quite a beautiful piece and will hold my platoon command quite nicely.

A couple of shots of the new trucks and Horch staff car. The latter will have a crew once I get them off of my painting desk. The StugIIIC in the foreground is an AGNM piece.

For my soon-to-be-painted pioneer squad, I chose the JTFM Sdkfz 251/7C. This is the pioneer version with the bridging pieces mounted on top. I thought this would be a good way to differentiate this squad from the others and provide it with a bit more protection (given that it will probably be given the tougher assignments).

The JTFM Sd 251/C pioneer halftrack. Until I looked at this photo, I hadn't noticed two things: I didn't finish painting the MG34 and the Dullcote seems to have left some white particles on the surface of the vehicle. I didn't notice them while I was handling it so maybe it's just the photo.

Recently, I was also able to purchase two PzIIIG tanks to supplement my armoured force. These mount the short 50mm gun. Granted, they shouldn't really be fielded with my 1940 Germans but if I were ever to face a 1941 Russian force, then they could give me a much-needed boost from my Pz38(t)s and PzIIs. I chose for these the AGNM models over the JTFM versions. I find the former to be sturdier and less fiddly to assemble (a function of the fewer parts and the one-piece hull/track casting).

AGNM PzIIIGs. These are quite nice models and come with extra stowage and tools to attach as one sees fit.

Also added was another Sd10 halftrack to help tow about my guns. I found in one of my desk drawers an extra Pak36 AT gun and a 75mm infantry gun. Both of these I mounted as limbered without the crews (which I didn't have anyway). 

Pak36 AT guns and 75mm IG towed by Sd10 halftracks. These will also have crews...eventually.

Next up for this project? hmmmmm.....nothing!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Do you have an ImagiNation?

For those not conversant with the idea of ImagiNation wargaming, shame on you! Essentially, a fictitious world is created, armies are built, uniforms developed, personalities formed and histories written. These nations or principalities can be geographically fictitious or based on historical countries. More often than not it seems that the mid-18th century is chosen for the historical genre of such ImagiNations but I have seem some set in 19th c. colonial periods, the ancient world, and even World War II. You can see a great example of this type of 18th century Imagination here or here.

So, why am I spouting off about this? I've contemplated this sort of project often over the years and, in fact, I did make a sortie into it once before. A number of years ago I built a 28mm fictitious Marlburian army, based on the French army of the period but with units named only after French cheeses, led by the Marquis de Fromage. The uniforms were based on contemporary fashions but with my own colour choices. Unfortunately, I could find no opponent to delve into this world of ImagiNations with me and I ended up selling the entire collection. Not so now! I'm working on persuading another interested party in pursuing this type of project again, at least on a limited basis to start. And nothing has been decided, even if we're really going to go forward with it. But it's fun to dream and plan. 

28mm Marlburian Imagination forces from a long-gone collection.
The Crusader SYW figures sold by Old Glory (and sold with the OG Army 40% discount) look quite inviting and would probably form the basis of a collection. During some down time at work today, I began to develop some uniform schemes for the first units in my army. I haven't even come up with a suitably tongue-in-cheek name for my nation/principality yet but it's premiere commander will be, of course, Le Marquis de Fromage!

Regiment Roquefort

Regiment Camembert

Grenadiers de Boursin

Cuirassiers de Brie

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Arrivals

I've been rather quiet on the gaming front of late, not regularly attending MIGS nor sitting at my painting desk. I've been fortunate enough to procure a very short-term contract for some work at York University. This fortunate event has a down-side: my hobby has reluctantly had to take a back seat. This whole working for a living thing sucks! On the bright side (for my hobby, at least), the contract is finished next week so I should be able to catch up on some projects on my desk over the Christmas holidays.

On the slate are a number of 1/56 vehicles for my WWII Germans along with some new guns for both the Germans and the French. Also to be tackled soon is the new 1:6000 naval collection. In fact, I received my order from Magister Militum yesterday, a mere 13 days after ordering. In a very small box (see picture below) were well packed Figurehead 1:6000 WWII ships. In fact, in that tiny box were more than 40 ships; enough to fill out the entire order of battle for Cape Matapan (I believe the largest naval battle of WWII in the Mediterranean). I'm waiting now for my custom cut bases from Litko. These will be of the same general style as for my 1:2400 WWI naval project but somewhat smaller. I have yet to decide whether to paint the bases or render them in Photoshop and print them on label paper. The former would probably be the easiest since I have already figured out the process for the WWI collection.

And soon to be discussed, the possibility of the notion of maybe, perhaps delving into the intriguing world of 18th century ImagiNations! More of that anon...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

1:6000 WWII Naval

I received last week from the ever-friendly and helpful Ron P a bag full of Hallmark 1:6000 WWII boats. Thanks to Ron, the number of models I need to order for the Battle of Cape Matapan OB has been severely lessened. Thanks again Ron!

Littorio class Italian battleships.
My first impression when opening the package was, "Holy crap! These are damned tiny!" My second impression (after I put on my spectacles) was, "How do they get all the detail that small?" The largest ship in the batch is the Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto that measures in at a astounding 35mm long! How am I ever going to paint these? Of course, also on the question list is how to base them. The ships come with bases into which the ships fit, with molded waves. Very cool, but very small. Even with the bases the models are far too small for my stubby fingers to move about efficiently (and we won't even talk about Michael's bulbous bear paws!). So I need to devise a basing system that is easier to handle and looks good. My first thought is to emulate my WWI 1:2400 ship basing, but with slightly smaller bases. Probably the best way to go. But  I found an interesting basing idea here and I've included a photo from the site below. I like the way the graphics have been rendered and produced on a printer then attached to the base. The ship model is then placed on the "water." More to think on!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A New Project?

I've been rather quiet on the production front of late. I'm in one of my occasional painting slumps (of which I'm sure most of you are familiar) but I haven't been completely idle. I have, as always, continued gaming and you can see a few pics of a recent game below. I've  also been spending some time with planning, reading and research. Of particular interest to me of late has been the Mediterranean naval campaigns of WWII, specifically the Battle of Matapan in 1941 (you can see a short synopsis here). I have gamed in the WWII naval genre before using Victory at Sea but was unimpressed. In those games, we were using US and Japanese fleets and the action devolved into air power games. The naval aspect was definitely subsumed into the more uninteresting (at least to me) management of air assets. The Mediterranean campaigns between the Royal Navy and the Regia Marina seem to offer scope for capital ship engagements with limited air power resources (the Royal Navy had only one small carrier at Matapan and the Italians used only land-based bombers). The relatively small and self-contained scope of the operating theatre also appeals for campaign gaming. 

So, having (perhaps) chosen a new project, what scale? GHQ offers a comprehensive WWII range that has incredible detail and would seem to be the first choice. But I have happened upon the Hallmark range of 1:6000 ships (yes, that's three zeroes!) and I'm currently contemplating these little beauties (that you can see here to the left). While they have less detail than their larger GHQ 1:2400 cousins (duh!), they make up for that in their relative price point. The Hallmark ships are five or six times cheaper per ship than GHQ. The smaller scale has other advantages: 1) less storage space is needed; 2) a smaller playing surface is needed; 3) alternatively, the same space as needed for larger scales could be used...this would make for a more visually realistic (sic) playing surface, especially if aircraft carriers are involved.

What else is happening? The in-laws are preparing for their annual six-month Florida sojourn, leaving the basement en-suite apartment empty for the winter. I will again be transforming it into a temporary gaming room and workshop. There will be, of course, a gaming table but this time round I plan to also use the space for some larger terrain projects. Daniel plans to start on his WWI trench boards during his Christmas break and I would like to get a start on my new WWII buildings. Should make a lovely mess!

We played a 1940 scenario with Disposable Heroes on Sunday at MIGS. I hosted the game for two new and interested parties: Mark and Steve #2. Thanks guys for attending! I decided on a simple attack-defend scenario to introduce the new guys to the rules. You can see the central terrain feature in the picture above. Some of you may recognize this bridge from many WWII games in the past. Many a British paratrooper has given his all to defend (or capture) this bridge.

The German attack quickly received a serious blow. A French S-35 took its first shot of the game and destroyed  Steve #1's brand-spanking-new Neubaufahrzeug, a three-turreted German tank of extremely limted production-run, deployed during the Norway campaign (note: Before anyone mentions that this tank never appeared in the 1940 France campaign, it should be obvious from what I just wrote that I'm fully aware and don't really care!).

 The last moves of the game saw German panzer grenadiers assaulting the bridge under the cover of a smoke screen. The Germans eventually took the bridge in the waning moments, earning a marginal victory (there were still substantial French forces intact and nearby).

Monday, October 18, 2010

WWII Buildings

I don't usually make two posts back-to-back but I thought that since I had the camera out, I'd snap a pic of my next terrain project. While rooting around in some of my boxes at the club, I pleased to find some O-scale railroad buildings (yes it was aYule-like surprise there too!). I had bought these many years ago with the intention of adding them to my former WWII terrain collection. These are the perfect scale for 28mm skirmish gaming and will allow us to get out of the countryside and into some more urban-like game settings. The non-red and white buildings are all modular, meaning that the floors are interchangeable. They will need to be roughed up a bit and the signs changed (probably to French, given the 1940 focus of my collection). I'd also like to experiment with making them bomb-damaged. The red and white garage on top is an O-scale snap-together kit that will serve well in my French town. Anyone know where to get in-scale garage fuel pumps of the period?

I'll try and post in-progress photos of this project. Stay tuned....

The Spanish Fleet Has Arrived!

While I've bumming around between major projects, I've been trying to clean up a few other small ones that are either partly finished or never started. My 1/2400 Napoleonic naval is one of the latter. Vidal had talked me into purchasing the Spanish fleet for Trafalgar from Old Glory more than a year ago (see an earlier post for a picture of the unpainted ships). It wasn't til recently when he hosted a small game with his ships that I thought seriously of painting mine. Well, they're finished and itching to unleash the 136-gun behemoth that is Santissima Trinidad. This fleet also boasts three other first rate ships: Principe de Asturias (112), Sanata Anna (112), and Rayo (100). While these huge ships may seem impressive, the wretched state of training and seamanship in the Spanish navy at the time means that I'll have some serious trouble beating up on Vidal's Royal Navy dogs. At least my captains go into battle nattily dressed (at least in my mind's eye). The ships also tend to be somewhat more colourfully appointed than their English counterparts.

The Spanish fleet as fought at Trafalgar. The four first rates are on the right of the front line in the picture. The massive 136-gun Santissima Trinidad is farthest right.

On the WWII front, I attended MIGSCON on Saturday and was able to pick up a few accessories for my 28mm WWII forces. I found enough AGNM Opel Blitz trucks to motorize my German platoon and I also picked up two Pzkpfw IIIs with the 50mm gun. One of the latter is actually Alex's (which I will paint for him as I do my own). I also purchased a pioneer halftrack for my upcoming German engineer squad. This is only a single squad of 10 figures, meant as an add-on for my German platoon for specific scenarios.

Aside from my MIGSCON purchases, a thorough searching of various drawers and boxes in and around my painting desk yielded some other surprises. I now have in my painting queue (besides the aforementioned vehicles and engineer squad), another Pak36 37mm AT gun and 75mm infantry gun. The plan is to mount these on separate bases in limbered mode to replace my current crewed models when in towed configuration. Hiding away in one drawer was a Pzkpfw IVF2. This model has the 75mm L43 gun with the earlier conical (or ball-like) muzzle brake. Looking at the AGNM site, I noticed that this model is not listed. The model I have may be from a test batch that Vince may have run a few years ago. If that's true, it's odd that they're not offered for sale.

And maybe I could persuade Alex to take the Pz IV in exchange for his Pz III (allowing me to build the PzIIIs with short and long 50mm guns respectively...hmmmm, Alex, are you reading this? The Pz IV would go well with your later war Germans!).

My desk drawers have been a bit Yule-like of late since I also found very nice models of a Pak38 50mm AT gun and a Sig33 150mm Infantry gun, both from AGNM. The former should give my German infantry a bit of added punch should they run into any Russian armour in the future (seems likely, given Steve's armour output). The SIG33 will probably have little tactical use in our games but could make a nice scenario-driven objective or just look damned mean and dirty on the table.

Pak38 50mm AT gun from AGNM.

SIG33 150mm infantry gun from AGNM.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Two Projects Finished!

"Ha," you laugh derisively! "There is no such thing as a finished gaming project. You'll always be adding on to it."

This may be true but in the context of how I had originally planned these two projects, they are FINISHED! Besides, there's only so much room in the damn boxes. For those who don't know, my new approach is to make the project fit the box (see here). In an odd twist, I finished both projects in the same week (that was not planned). This week I was able to finish applying helmet decals to the rest of my 1940 German platoon and base them up. I also finished some reinforcements for my Carlist Wars armies. These were some add-ons to already existing units to bring them up to my standard unit sizes in multiples of six.

A couple shots of the 1940 project, as originally planned. On the left, a platoon of German infantry with support weapons and a couple platoons of armoured vehicles. On the right, their French counterparts. All figures are from Crusader (except a few gun crew figures from Bolt Action).

Although the 1940 stuff seen here is truly finished as planned, there seems to be a fair bit of room left over in the case. Hmmmm, what to do? I think that case is just calling out for some Fallshirmjaegers! Or some Tommies!

"Whoa, pardner!" you sputter. "Didn't you just get through telling me you were finished?"

"My collection, my rules!" I justify.

"Hypocrite!" spills from your gob.

"Who are you? My wife? Have another glass of wine."

The Isabellino army; cavalry in the rear, and British Auxiliary Legion to the fore.

The Carlist Army of the Centre, led by Don Cabrera (in the white coat).

Now this project can really and truly said to be finished. I have absolutely no room left in the case. And don't tell me to buy another case. Geez, that would constitute another project. Hmmmm.......

Thursday, September 16, 2010

new additions

I ventured to Cambridge last night to play with Vidal's little boats. Specifically, these tiny ships were 1/2400 scale Napoleonic from Old Glory. Vidal talked me into picking up the Spanish fleet for Trafalgar some time ago (a year or more?) and they've been patiently sitting on a shelf beside my desk since then (Vidal has the British fleet). We used Kiss Me Hardy rules from Richard Clarke at Too Fat Lardies, fast becoming my favourite rule developer and publisher. The rules are pretty fast-paced and bloody (meaning we didn't have to wait long for the fun stuff to happen) and use the familiar Lardies card deck. After the game, I came home and pulled out my (as yet) unpainted Spanish ships and started the planning process. Why is it that every time I go to Vidal's house to game, I come home with a new project brewing? 28mm Carlist Wars with Sharp Practice, 28mm WWII with Disposable Heroes, and now Napoleonic ships? Damn, but I have no self-control.

The Spanish fleet straight out of the box.

These models have several redeeming qualities. First, they are one-piece castings with bases included. This cuts down considerably on preparation time. Some may see the one-piece models as a detraction because of the way the masts and rigging are solid slabs of metal. True, as seen in their naked state, they seem a little bit chunky and crude but some judicious painting can resolve this issue relatively easily. Second, as part of the one-piece casting, the base is sculpted with waves etc. This eliminates completely the need to source and apply bases and spackle for the waves. Third, the small scale makes playing larger battles feasible, even on the dining room table. So, I'm off to clean these little boats up and start painting the sides in Spanish blood red. They need to look as scary as possible cuz the Spaniards sure as hell weren't the top o' the pile!

I was also able to finish up a few support teams for my 28mm 1940 Germans. I found I had enough helmet decals left to finish these up while waiting for the next batch from Company B.

These support teams should give my German platoon a bit of extra punch: 2 x 50mm mortar teams (on the left), 2 x Anti-tank rifle teams (right and center), and 1 x 81mm mortar team. Crusader Miniatures.

A close-up of the 81mm mortar team.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

1940 German infantry

After some unusual prevarication, I've finally finished up some of my 28mm 1940 German infantry. By prevarication, I don't mean I have been putting off painting them. Far from that, in fact. I have actually finished painting all 60+ figures in a fairly short time but I'm waiting on some helmet decals as the last addition (more of that anon). My hesitation or quibbling was directed upon uniform colours and details. You'd think that WWII German infantry would be fairly easy to paint. In my first first 28mm WWII collection, I had over 100 German figures; but that collection is long gone. In that attempt, I had concentrated on late WWII. This time around I've chosen 1940 and the German tunics (especially) are of a different colour than later. In fact, they were quite green compared to their other gear and later war uniform items. I spent more time than normal painting test figures and experimenting with paints and washes. I finally settled on a colour set that pleased my eye (and that's the final test, after all). I think I more closely approximated the colours in the Osprey volume on German infantry, seen here:
I also had to spend some time on the helmet decals I had acquired from Company B (see them here). In the early war, German infantry sported the tri-colour shield on the right side of the helmet and the German eagle on the other side. Strictly speaking, these had been removed or painted over by the 1940 campaign but I plan to eventually raise a Polish force for some 1939 gaming and the anomaly of tri-colours in 1940 is easily accepted (by me, at least). The Company B decals are quite small and thus fiddly to apply but I think they're worth the effort.

You can see the results of my efforts below. There are two squads and a platoon command here. Coming up (as soon as I get the next batch of decals in the mail) will be the third squad, a recon section, and some various support teams.

Platoon command and two squads, some 30 figures. All figures by Crusader Miniatures.

The platoon commander (with pistol)and his senior NCO (with SMG). I decided to model the platoon Fledwebel in peaked cap. Although unusual, NCOs sometimes did wear this headgear using this option sets him apart from the other SMG-wielding squad leaders.

The tri-colour helmet decals can be seen here. The are actually slightly over-sized but if they were in exact scale, they'd be almost impossible to apply.

And on the opposite side, the German eagle decals. There's no way in Hades I'd be able to reproduce these with a paint brush.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Carlist Wars Fight at MIGS

Last Friday I was able to rope a few friends into playing with my Carlist Wars collection at the local clubhouse (MIGS). Again we tried a more open field battle using Sharp Practice with, I think, favourable results. The game sported perhaps 160 figures and was completed in three and a half hours with four players. I think we've become relatively conversant with the rules and a mini-campaign may be on the horizon. Thanks to Steve for taking the photos below!

Initial deployments.
The Isabellino force on the left, comprised mainly of the British and French Legions, and the Carlists on the right. The French Foreign Legion in the left foreground
would go on to see some heavy fighting in this battle. Most of the Carlist infantry is made up of regional battalions of 18 figures each, divided into a formed group of 12 and a skirmish group of six. Carlist cavalry can be seen in right background approaching the Isabellino left flank and the BAL rocket battery stationed there.

Initial deployments from the other flank.
The fields and trees were made (quite well) by Steve Thomson (you can see his blog

The Isabellino left flank was held by BAL rockets and lancers. The Carlist cavalry made a bee-line for these isolated units and drove back the lancers, seen here regrouping behind the rockets, which have just loosed another (useless) volley at their antagonists. The Carlist lancers went on to rout the rocketeers before being bounced themselves by the revived BAL lancers (led by a Level III Big Man, no less!).

The game at its midpoint.
The grain field in the center of the frame has caught alight and has become a no-man's land for all. This impassable obstruction caused a host of problems for both sides.
The Isabellino gun in the left center has unlimbered and begun to fire on the Carlist infantry but the burning field has limited its range of vision and usefulness. The fight for the rocket battery can be seen in the center-left background.