Saturday, 3 June 2017

Essex 15mm SYW and their damn cast-on flags

I don't know if you have Essex 15mm Seven Years War figures.  Great figures - except the cast on flags. They have been a bugbear of mine for years, but I've finally got around to adding wire flag-poles to Essex SYW officer.  

Now, I'm a great fan of Essex 15mm, and I have bought thousands over the last 25 plus years, from ancients through to Napoleonics. They are a delight to paint. All except the cast on flags on some figures. Essex have eventually taken the hints from many gamers and have started to cast standard bearers without cast on flags.  But for a while, I've bought SYW officers and added wire flag-poles so that I can add paper flags.  

Here's some photos.  First is where I started. I just didn't want to paint these standards freehand. 

Luckily, Essex do both Prussian and Austrian officers on their own. Here are a couple of flags beside the basic officer figure. I've slightly bent the officer's arm and filed the inside of his left hand a bit to take the pole.

Another picture showing two finished chaps at the left.  The flag-poles are actually jumbo paper clips. I bought a pack of 50 or 100 from a supermarket. They did the job and were cheap.  It only took a little time to do. 

And what to do with lots of surplus standard bearers. They were undercoated and used as test beds for inks and some paints, so they were not totally useless. 

Ready for priming.  The chaps at the front are the new Essex SYW French standard bearers without cast on flags. 

And all the figures undercoated and ready for paint.  I am far happier at having just a flag-pole where I can attach a printed paper flag.

An interesting final note is that the British standard bearer doesn't have the flag wrapped around him so what there is can be carved off. Similarly, some cavalry standard bearers have flags that can be carved off.  Only a few cavalry figures need replaced, and again, luckily, there's a nice Essex Prussian dragoon figure carrying a musket upright in his hand which is easy to convert into a standard bearer.

Of course, all this is a bit more expensive by having to buy all these extra officers, and it all needs a bit of work. But the end result, to my mind and eye, is far more satisfactory.  I just need to splash some paint on them because most have been in boxes for years.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Pikeman's Lament at the Perth club

A week ago we had a bash at Pikeman's Lament using 28mm Great Northern War figures. There were seven of us around the table. Six of us had played Lion Rampant before though only two of us had played PL before.  

The figures were originally based for Lily Banners rules. We gave up playing those after a couple of times, but the basing of the figures in 6's and 3's made them good for PL. 

Each side had two basic armies plus an artillery piece. We then split forces into three so that each player had a proportion of the troops. Here are some photos from the course of the evening.  It's not really an after action report, more snapshots of the fun.

Here is situation after a couple of turns and forces advance. The measuring sticks at the right of the table are different lengths for the moves of different troop types. I made these to save messing about with tapes. Also on the table are slips of paper, each of which has the unit stats for a troop type. I did these so that we would not have to constantly flick through the rulebook and can just refer to the sheets.

A view from the right. The Swedish gun waited till late in the game before causing casualties.

The hill in the centre was the objective. Here both sides advance. Also, the generals behind some units are there to denote which units the officer is with. Swedes are on the left, Russians on the right.

More action. There are a few less Russians in the middle.

And even less Russians.
And so ended an excellent game. A victory to the Swedes. Lots of action, banter and general slagging at rolling 1's or double 1's or 6's.  I can't recall all the characteristics of the officers now, but there was one who ignored challenges, one who was a mercenary and one who could shoot his own men to 'encourage the others'. 

All in all, a great game.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

from lead mountain to plastic hillock

It has long been a standing joke that all gamers have a lead mountain; a stash of unpainted metal figures that may or may not get painted. 

I've been trying to reduce my own lead mountain, both painted and unpainted, but in the past few months a growing plastic hillock has been appearing.

At first I suppose there was Malifaux a couple of years ago, where I have both metal and plastic figures, but the big push really began last August with a game of Lion Rampant.  This saw the purchase of these Wars of Roses chappies.

Then towards the end of last year there was Bolt Action. 

And finally, (Cyril), in the last few weeks there was Pikeman's Lament which led to this.

I have to laugh. My Wars or Roses are not yet fully painted and I've added more to the growing pile of plastic. And not pictured are boxes of Perry AWI infantry, British Light Dragoons and Warlord artillery that were (are) intended for an old-school imagi-nations game.  And I'm tempted by the Warlord WSS figures, and the Carronade show is approaching. 

So much for having a clear-out.  Still it's fun.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

first airbrush attempt at camouflage

Here is my first attempt to do the German late war camouflage with the airbrush for my Bolt Action tanks. I've just tackled the Panzer 4 for the moment.

The tanks were sprayed with Army Painter Desert Yellow then dry brushed with a bone colour. This provided a good base for starting the green camouflage. At this point I'm still intending to add the brown, though I do like the green on the yellow on it's own. At a later date, I'll be applying a wash to the tank to accent the detail and help blend the colours.

And some pictures with the skirts put on dry. I'll finish the painting before I glue these in place. 

And the rest of the vehicles. I'm still debating if I'll do long stripes like the panzer 4, or do broader stripes, shorter stripes or patches.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Pikeman's Lament

We had our first game of Pikeman's Lament on Thursday.  Great game.

My friend forgot to bring his figures or rules (he said something about getting ready for Twickenham on Saturday!). But we made do with my Wars of Roses stuff.

The armies were taken from the list put on the website by Michael Leck, one of the authors. We used 30 years war Swedes and Imperialists. The game was a blast though we were learning as we went along.  The big power units were the Swedish gallopers, who if they win a melee, get to follow up and fight again. One unit effectively wiped out two of my foot units. 

I used a unit of trotters, who can roll for a caracole move, of moving half and then firing. Pike units can form a close order that gives them a melee bonus, but neither of us used this.

Another nice touch was the character traits of the commander. My friend rolled on the table and got a 'brutal' commander. His special trait was that if a unit failed a moral check, he could kill one of his men 'to encourage the others' and recover moral.  It was really funny during our game because it saved his units several times.

Overall, another great game, and one we're looking to trying again with Great Northern War figures.

The inspiration of the game also saw my WoR figures getting moved on to paint trays. I'm going to try splash some more paint on them before the next game.    

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Some British for Bolt Action

Some of the British got finished. These are my test figures to try our colour combinations before I move on to the rest of the British force. 

First the crew for the vehicles.  There was one for the Stuart and I did 4 for the Sherman and Firefly just to see how they turned out.  I wanted to do two figures in grey berets for the Scots Greys. I don't know if the grey berets were used in WW2 or if it's more recent, but I reckoned it was a nice touch.

And the chap in the Stuart.

The first option for the Firefly. The grey beret isn't too obvious because of the goggles.

The second option.  I might not actually glue the figures in place, but attach them with blu-tak as the mood takes me. 

And the metal infantry with the bases finished.  The transfers on the sleeves were a bit of a nuisance to put on, and I'm not sure if they add much.  I'll debate what to do about transfers on the other infantry.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Dystopian Wars - some French

Here are some French ships for Dystopian Wars. These are likely to be next on my clear-out list.  First a group picture with the big stuff not on stands and submarines and tiny flyers at the front.

Then a picture of the airship and the skimming dreadnought on their stands. 

A closer look at the submarines. There are two on the surface and 3 submerged. 

A look at the air skyship.  This comes with a group of 6 tiny flyers. 

The flyers at the left are for the skyship, the group of nine on the right go with the dreadnought.

And the skimming dreadnought itself.

More later. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

British Napoleonics finished - yea !

I got the British artillery finished. Here are some pictures.

It's been a long road to get the whole army done, but that's it finished.  I've done 11 infantry battalions of 28 figures, 6 cavalry regiments of 12, a batch of generals and now, the two artillery batteries. There is a sense of achievement in getting this far. We just have to see them on the table.

More later.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Napoleonic and Bolt Action British done

I got some British finished. The Napoleonic chaps took a bit of time because of other tasks but it's good to see them done. 

First the Bolt Action vehicles. I redid the bren carrier with army green and it came out OK.

Then a later picture after the bren carrier and Sherman have been given a wash of soft tone. Now they're looking a bit more like what I want. I just have to finish the tracks and do some light weathering. 

The Napoleonic figures are done. Here's a picture of me part way through the basing. The undercoat of khaki has been done and a first drybrush of sand applied to half the bases.

The final top drybrush of cream has been applied and then later the flock.   

And finally the flags.  It's good to reach this point as that's now 11 battalions of infantry I've done. 

Now I'll take at look at the pile of stuff that's waiting in the wings - Napoleonic British artillery, Bolt Action infantry, Lion Rampant stuff, Dystopian Wars stuff and all the horse and musket figures. Just like every other gamer I reckon.