Wednesday 31 August 2016

Universal Transport

I had 2 spare, painted horses from the dray. So I made a cart. The wheels are from Westfalia (Saxon Napoleonic). The rest is scratch built from card, coffee stirrers, lollipop sticks, kebab skewers and a garden cane which I shaped for the sticky out bit at the front - no idea what it's called.

It's come out pretty well I think but has made no impression on the lead mountain

Monday 29 August 2016

Lead Reserve Estimation

One of the first things I teach the students in the mining module is the difference between reserves and resources. Resources are all the model soldiers in the world and reserves are the one I can afford to buy and paint. In addition to this is the stock pile. Buy controlling the size of the stock pile you can manage the ups and downs of the market. We call it the Lead Mountain and I've been tinkering with mine.
Firstly I based them all up with weekend. To be honest most of them had a base all ready, I like them standing up waiting for me. However very few of the bases had a layer of filler applied to obscure the metal base of the figures. So I spent a few hours doing this each evening whilst watching seasons 1 and 2 of Peaky Blinders on Netflix. If you've not seen it I can strongly recommend it. 1920's gangsters in Birmingham (the one where they say "Awl Roight" and not "Y'all".)
Anyway back to the point. My Lead Mountain is big. So big I did a graph

771 infantry and 57 cavalry. That does not include the ones in the bits box, nor the Dwarfs which need converting to stop them needing slotta bases (I hate slotta bases)  nor the still unmade Victrix Napoleonic Army I bought the other week nor the unpainted 10mm 1864 Prussian army that is a long way down the list. I have 8 full file boxes and it's the Border Reiver Show next weekend. I have space for more painted figures but not for unpainted ones, and the 2 must never meet.
On the upside I'd didn't spend that much on them, The ACW are 50% plastic and the rest bought from junk shops at about 20p each. Still at 70p average for infantry and £1.50 for cavalry (half are a prize from last years challenge) it's still a big investment of over £600
To alleviate some of the back log I've painted this brewery dray. It came with a 4 horse team but most drays have 2 shire horses. This one has 2 ordinary horses and I now have 2 horses to attach to a new cart once I've built it.
The cobbles are made of super sculpty, which I forgot shrinks a little so I had to recarve the holes for the horses, which was annoying.
I've left the brewery name off as I will also use it as a water wagon for colonial types.

Right next is a video chat with Dave Docherty on the analogue challenge video chat room. Pop in and say hello

Thursday 25 August 2016

Marche ou Crève

Over the last three days I've been painting some French Foreign Legion Figures for my Africa Campaign. These are not the usual suspects, all P C Wren and Tuareg campfires, but figures for the Dahomey campaign in West Africa. The figures are all Dixon's as I bought the complete set and have painted and posted the tribesmen earlier.
The figures are excellently sculpted and have that look of men who have been in the field far too long. Accordingly I gave then a heavy wash to make them dirty, I don't normally do this as I prefer the troops to be dressed neatly for battle.

I'm fairly pleased with them, I really like the uniforms with white(ish) trousers, cork brown jackets and beige hats and some of the webbing. They don't quite pop as I imagined but I don't know why. They may need an extra wash with a darker shade.
Hope you like them

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Westfalia Miniatures are Fantastic

During the last Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge I was privileged to win a prize from Westfalia Miniatures. I didn't at the time do Napoleonic figures and this is their speciality. I was looking for some Arab types to flesh out my colonial troops and they do have Napoleonic Afghan and Persian types. So with a prize of £75 in hand I purchased £100 worth of figures.
There was a glitch in that the order didn't get processed properly and so didn't arrive. My communications with Kawe at Westfalia were great and we finally got to the bottom of the problem last week.
The figures arrived today and they are just fantastic, I mean I am really really pleased with them.

The pile, the box was heavy

Wheels, i have lots of Perry ACW barrels and lots of artillery men but no carriages. Wheels first then Balsa

Afghan Cavalry with muskets - these will work from 1750 onwards anywhere. I have 4 packs of these

Persian Lancers - 600 AD onwards. 2 packs of these

Afghan Command set

Cantiniere - somebody painted one of these for the challenge a couple of years ago and i loved it. My turn now.

That gives me 28 cavalry. I can't thank Westfalia enough. I will be back now that I have a Napoleonic British force to build.
Will probably go on line for a chat tonight if any one is around

Monday 22 August 2016

British Naval Brigade

It seems ages since I've done any painting but video chatting with Dave Docherty, Stefan, Edwin and others get my juices flowing. I have a couple of file boxes of partially painted figs, mainly faces that I want to clear before the Painting Challenge begins, mainly colonial, so I started with these. I bought them all at Partizan earlier in the year.
First up a Perry Naval command set,guy on left is Marty Feldman

The a Gatling gun, very nice

 And finally some Copplestone ratings

These will "complete" my naval detachment so as a celebration a childhood favourite

Saturday 13 August 2016

Battle of Gilsland

Today I was invited over to Matt Crump's dungeon for a VBCW battle. I had a fantastic day, Matt is a great host and the dungeon is pure gaming fantasy.
We fought a VBCW battle using Bolt Action rules, my first proper game with them and it was great fun. This is my version of the battle and hopefully Matt will publish his side of the battle.

"Captain, there is a large force of Scots trying to retreat back to Scotland over the river at Gilsland 1/2 a mile ahead".
Captain Smith looked at the scout and then round at his column. He had been tasked by Lord Percy to secure the road east of Carlisle and Gilsland was about 8 miles away, a little far but the opportunity to crush the Scots would please Lord Percy. "Gentlemen, there are Scots ahead and we shall have them this day. Advance"
The fascists arrived on the left and found the Scots split on either side of the bridge. Overhead each side had aerial support with the fascists having a machine gun armed biplane and the Scots one armed with 2lb bombs. I immediately swoop in a rake the biplane with lead but it passes harmlessly through the canvas.

 Smith positioned the main body of his force in the field next to the bridge where the Scots would wither under the  fire of his mortars as they tried to cross.

 The crossroads was seized by 2 massive Bussing A5P armoured cars, each with 10 crew, and a light FT17 tank. Immediately facing them was the Scots AT gun and I immediately unleashed a volley of fire from my armoursed cars which sent glass flying but caused no real damage. The Scots immediately formed a barricade of trucks.

 In the town my 3rd AC supported the Northumberland Rangers assault sections armed with SMGs and anti tank grenades.

 "Damn and blast". The trucks move and the AT gun brews up the front AC. The tank moves into the street out of shot of the AT gun.

 The Scots MMG armed Matilda rushes past my AC to strafe the infantry, only to be hit by the light tank and turning it into a burning wreck.  At this end a section of Rangers enters the Police station.

 At the far end of the street at section of BUF enter the butchers shop and are immediately pinned by fire from the Scots on the other side of the shop.

The Rangers in the Police station come under fire from some Scottish Militia but a deadly response cuts them down.

 In the centre the fascists have taken up their positions and are starting to chip away at the Scottish infantry. The mortars are beginning their bombardment but have yet to find their range.

 The Scots across the river are starting a flanking movement but I've get it covered with a Vickers MMG and a Boyes ATR.

 The ATR begins to fire at the the Scots ATR but is having little effect and my units are starting to get pinned by fire from the AC

 Back in hte village the Scots have occupied the white building in the centre but my AC is making them keep their heads down. The unit in the butchers shop is coming under relentless fire from the Scots and the pins are racking up, they now have 5 pins and are struggling to rally.

 The Scots matilda have moved the crossroads and my stupid tank  has driven to the wrong end of the High Street. I have given up the most important position but I have a Ranger assault section who are ready to assault the matilda. However is is unsuccessful and in the aftermath the Rangers are wiped out.

As the Rangers in the police station have wiped out the militia facing them they advance down the High Street but the Scots advance out of the house and destroy the Rangers section.

 My tank is now isolated and surrounded by infantry. Luckily Matt adds a extra white dice into the bag for random events. It is drawn and I have intercepted an order. I can now command a unit of Scots to move where I want. The Scots on the high street are ordered to march down the high street towards the armoured car where they are promptly mown down. I need to get my tank back into the game

 The Scots continue to probe towards my main position and I continue to whittle them down. I'm becoming concerned with my mortars who can hit anything but they do hit the matilda and cause 6 hits, all of which do no damage. Worse still the ATR is having no impact at all on the Scots AC. I am getting flanked. I move the AC from the crossroads and fire on the Scots advancing from the far side of the river. Firing on infantry is the forte of my AC. They can put down a devastating weight of fire.

 Overhead the Scots biplane circles and drops a bomb which blows up the AC. This is starting to look bad. I'm being attacked on 3 sides and the troops that can rescue me are no where. The BUF in the butchers shop now have 7 pins andcan only activate on a roll of 2 on 2D6

 The Scots ACs on both sides of the rivers are doing real damage.

 Mean while on the other side of town my tank is assaulted by Scots miners. They can do no real damage but I'm stuck

 My BUF stronghold is neither strong not being held. It's time to retreat off the field with the remains of my force watch the remaining Scots cross the river.

Captain Smith watches as the town is cleared of Scots. He surveys the remains of his force. It is time to send for the engineers to fortify Gilsland. a couple of miles away is Spadeadam airfield. The 2 main roads across country are nearby. Gilsland will do as a stronghold. Will his Lordship be pleased though.
I messed this up in the following ways
1. I was obsessed with the single Scots AT gun, It left the field across the river at the end of the battle.
2. I gave up the crossroads and ended up splitting my force in 2
3. My tank went walkabout at the crucial time
4. Mortars is rubbish, but are much better that ATRs

I had a brilliant day and would have published this sooner but my computer decided to update and I lost the 1st draft.
Hopefully I will get to go back to the dungeon soon. in the mean time it's the Border Reiver show on 3rd Sept and I need proper artillery and AT guns.
Depending on the weather tomorrow I may fight the 2nd battle of Belford or do gardening, hope it rains

Thursday 11 August 2016

Lord Percy's Crisis

Lord Percy smashed his swagger  stick hard on the map table making his commanders jump and sending a glass of claret over the map of Northumberland, stainting it red.  "We are not winning this war! This is not acceptable. My family has ruled this land for centuries and I will not fail them now when victory is in my grasp. There are 19999 people watching,  even some Russian machines"
"We have put down these bloody monks so that we can crush the miners."
Percy glowed at his cousin Cecile. "My sweet, go and finish what you started and clear the scum from Belford and retake Lindesfarne. Take some artillery with you. No mistakes this time."
"Ridley keep the miners under contol for the moment"
"Now, Captain Smith, our Western flank is not secure and we must keep the Anglican League from joining with the Cumbrians. Take your BUF, the armour and whatever troops you need and secure the approaches from Carlisle. Once our flank is secure return with the armour and we will take Hexham."
"Now is the time. Do not fail me"
Captain Smith left and began to assemble the troops. By Saturday morning they would be on the outskirts of Carlisle.

Saturday I'm off to play with Matt Crump in his dungeon. Battle will be joined. And I've has 20k hits, nearly

Sunday 7 August 2016

Retro painting

First week back at work, actually OK and there are major changes taking place so it's an exciting time and opportunity to continue my quest for power.
Not done much, had to go the pub twice and Friday was the departmental BBQ so I was spectacularly drunk, it's expected of me.
I have spent most to the week preparing a dastardly VBCW Fascist army for the invasion of Cumbria. I been invited over by Matt Crump to play in the Dungeon. It'll be my first proper battle against another living being for over 20 years and I'm excited to be invited over.
I have painted 3 of the retro figures I picked up last week, although my mojo is a little off, summer not good for painting.
First up is the female rogue trader figure on the jet bike. This was nice to paint

 Next was an African slave. Not a good figure, looks like a blow up doll, and the paint job is very basic.

 Finally a wizard, lighting has buggered up the shading but my lighting rig is packed away.

Enjoy the Olympics, I am.