Monday, 17 October 2011

Derby Show and latest happenings.

Once again, Derby lived up to my expectations and I had a great time, made even better by meeting up with a young man, (as he was when I last saw him some 30 odd years ago), who uses the WD3 Forum name of Essex Boy -no prizes for guessing where he is from- and another who uses the pseudonym of Count Belisarius on the same forum. Luckily I had already got most of what I wanted so the brace of Guinness' went down a treat with the good company.

There were, as usual, an eclectic mix of games on show, some pictures of which I have put in a photobucket album folder labelled Derby 2011 under Subedai's albums -can't seem to get the link thingy to work at the moment.

2 x 15mm Zvezda Zis 5 lorries, 1 x BT 5 and 1 x PZ III Ausf G. Nice little snap together kits. £10 for the 4. Bargain, (pictures below). The only problem with Zvezda is thay don't have any decals with them (didn't know this until I got home), so I'll have to see if I can get any at Wargamer in December.
1 x bag of Irregular Miniatures house making bits.
1 x Pack of Forged in Battle 15mm Russian Maxim MG Teams, 81mm Mortar Teams and SMG platoon. Lovely little figures and very reasonably priced. So for the sum total of £20 I have all my WWII Skirmish Russians. Cooking on Gas! (Buildings and vehicles are coming along apace, just got to get the infantry done.)
2 x bags of 25mm round bases from Warbases.
A few pots of Vallejo paints for the Russians.

That was about it. Got lots of ideas for buildings terrain bits etc. Courtesy of a gentleman, AngelBarracks I have started thinking about 6mm SciFi Skirmish and was hoping to get some B&P's at Derby but couldn't find any purveyors of the 6mm variety so that's gone on hold at the moment -not that I haven't got enough to paint!

Now for the pics of those vehicles I mentioned above.

BT 5
This little number goes together very easily and paints up well.

Zis Lorries
These are a little trickier than the BT 5 but look okay when done. The only gripe is that the engine cowling is a one piece casting and has to be bent to fit. Now, try as I might I couldn't get it to fit properly on either model so the covers are a bit skewiff but it's hardly noticeable. With the cover being a separate component, I decided to make one of each.

A shot of both lorries.

Pz III Ausf G.
Apart from the cupola not fitting properly I had no problems with this little model at all. Went together easily and paints up nicely as well.

A comparison shot of the two tanks.

Now a comparison between the Zvezda lorry and a partially painted one from FoW. Even with the double base on the FoW lorry, I think you'd agree there is nothing in it.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Bin a long time

To paraphrase Zeppelin, 'It's bin a long time since I...' posted. I haven't actually got any excuses apart from I've been painting some chaps and B&P for the new project, namely 15mm WWII Skirmish.
So far I have 3 platoons of Waffen SS done and some localised support weapons prepped i.e. tripod MG34's and 81mm mortars. I don't intend to go to town on this one but I do intend to get some Russians at Derby to face them. What I had in mind was a reasonably small affair with tanks taking second place to infantry scrapping it out. Don't mind the odd Hanomag or equivalent but I'm trying to concentrate on the smaller aspects rather than a refight of Kursk. Company level at most.

Included here are some pics of what I have been up to.

The first two platoons of infantry. Figures are Flames of War that I bought years ago at a Manchester do and have only just got around to painting -using Vallejo acrylics, gloss then matt varnished. Bases are from a bakelite type of stuff that I was given by an electrician about ten years ago -I'll be using MDF for the next lot. The orange bits are my first experiment with the coloured sand that seem to be prevalent at the mo. tufts are cuts of painted sisal string.

First squad

Squad LMG

Now here are some pics of a couple of pices of terrain I've made.

A Russian thatched, wooden barn. As you can see from the first two pics, the barn walls are made from scored foam board which unfortunately doesn't show up too well on the finished article so that's why I had to highlight the planking effect. The door frames and hinges are just thin cuts of cereal packet card. The staves sticking out of the roof were a common sight on this type of building and were made from the copper wire found in two core flex and run the whole width of the roof. they were superglued onto a folded piece of card and when dry, another piece of card the same size as the first was glued over the top. Any gaps were filled with either Polyfilla or the thatch was brushed down to cover. The thatch itself is made from a cut down piece of children's play felt, glued onto a base and covered in watered down Polyfilla or similar to harden it. (TIP. If you use a stiff brush it combs out the felt as you go, making it look more realistic.) Fencing is made from unsharpened cocktail sticks for the horizontal bits and modelling matchsticks for the the uprights. Holes were drilled through the base with my trusty Dremel for the uprights for greater strength. Bases done in the usual way.

Pictures of the completed barn

Next up is a log cabin.
Made from cocktail sticks glued to a backing piece of the ubiquitous cereal packet card; these were a bit tricky because I tried to get the extended corners look by interlocking the sticks. Smaller, fiddly pieces of stick were cut for the door and window shape. Upright sticks made up the door frame and card outlined the window. Thatch made as for the barn only in horizontal, overlapping strips rather than just a single piece. Roof is detachable. Hedge is clumpy stuff hardened with a PVA/water mix and then dry brushed. Flowers are more of the coloured sand.

The two buildings together

I'm halfway through making a couple of simple thatched cottages and I've even got two Timecast? models to paint. That will give me a total of 6 buildings so I suppose I'll have to make a church to go with them.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

First Ever Solo Game Part Two

Move 1
Mongols 13 (original 9), Kharizmians 10 (original 5). Mongols elect to move second.

The Khwarizmian SkC (Unit 1), advances to give some manoeuvring space for the troops coming over the Pass. The Levy SI (Unit 2) carries on its advance in march column with Abd Ad-Dill. Just behind them the Bodyguard BC (Unit 3) arrives on the field.

Out of sight the Mongols adjust their position slightly. On the left hand hill, Snoopy Bahadur’s 2iC, Temuge, watches the approaching enemy and prepares to spring the ambush.

Move 2
Initiative Mongols 13, Khwarizmians 9. Mongols elect to move second again.

Khwarizmian 1 automatically spots the advancing Mongol Unit A and rolls to react. The random result was Continue with Original Order –which was to scout ahead of the main force. The infantry 2 moves onto the flat ground but cannot deploy yet. Abd Ad-Dill’s Bodyguard moves down the pass.

Mongol A advances and fires at Khwazmian 1 –no effect.

Move 3
Initiative Mongols 10, Khwarizmians 11. Khwarizmians elect to move second.

Mongol Unit A advances to within Close Range of Khwarizmian Unit 1 and fires -no effect. The other Mongol units change formation in preparation for an advance.

Khwarizmain 1 can’t move as it is out of Abd Ad-Dill’s command radius, 2 continues its tentative advance while 3 advances away from the pass and redeploys. The new unit 4, another SkC arrives. 1 fires at Mongol A, again no effect.

Move 4
Initiative Mongols 12, Khwarizmians 8. Mongols elect to move first.

Mongol A initialises a Feigned Retreat Even though Khwarizmian 1 is made of steppe nomads it fails its Competency Roll and gallops off in wild pursuit. B and C move up ready to attack any exposed flanks of Khwarizmian 1. Because of the intervening troops and terrain, the Khwarizmians cannot see any of the Mongol flank movements. Mongol A fires at Khwarizmian 1 and one Base is lost. In the Mongol rear, Snoopy Khan watches intently.

Khwarizmian A is caught up in Feigned Retreat, 2 continues its advance. C forms up alongside B after seeing A inexplicably galloping off. D moves up behind B and Abd Ad-Dill move towards the protection of the remainder of his force. Unit 1 fires ineffectually against Mongol A.

Move 5
Initiative Mongols 13, Khwazmians 10. Mongols decide to move first.

Mongol A disappears over the hill chased by Khwarizmian 1. As they ride past B charges out of concealment into the flank and rear of Khwarizmian 1 and destroys it. C advances, opening formation as it does so.

The Khwarizmian leading units can now see Mongol C as they break cover and B as it rides over their advance guard unit. 2 shakes itself out into a defensive line while 3 moves up onto the right flank. 4 holds its position because it failed its Competency Roll.

Move 6
Initiative Mongols 14, Kharizmians 8. Mongols move second.

Not one of the remaining Khwarizmian units manages to make its Competency Roll so there is no movement. Abd Ad-Dill is beginning to get a little concerned.
Mongol A passes its Competency Roll and halts its Retreat to reform its order. B turns to face the Khwarizmians while C moves slowly up the table towards the left flank of Khwarizmian 2.

As this was just a quick playtest to see if the Feigned Retreat Rule worked -and it did- so I stopped the game at that point.
But here are a few pictures of the troops used.

Some of you may have been wondering about the character Snoopy Bahadur mentioned above and how 'Snoopy' is not really a Mongolian name...well, here he is watching the battle with the reserve from back near the village.

Monday, 11 July 2011

First ever solo game...Part One

This post actually contains several firsts. One is that it is my first ever solo game, second it is my first ever BATREP/AAR (whatever you want to call it), and the third is my first playtest of my very own Far Eastern Medieval Rules, 'The Fury of the Tartars'. Yes, I know I have used the European spelling for Tartars as opposed to Tatars -who really were a nomadic tribe of the time- but it's easier. The rules cover my favourite historical period, that of the Mongol conquests, starting from before the tribes were united under Chinggis Khan and running up the Yuan Dynasty of China, including all campaigns within that time period. So far, the lists are nearly done for the Mongols up until 1237 and the Khwarizmians, so I thought I'd give them a go.

A bit of background on the rules. Alternate move depending upon Initiative. Each army has a Ferocity Factor plus a D6 roll that is instrumental in which army has the Initiative and choice of first or second move for that Move. To move or change formation each unit must pass a Competency Roll -the better the training the easier it is to pass i.e. Superior Trained troops need 2-6 on a D6 to pass whereas Levied troops need a 5 or 6 or they will continue with the current order or just halt. The same is true if troops leave the Control Area of their commander whose status is determined at the start of the game.

Each troop type, Skirmisher, Support or Battle has its own basic move distance augmented by the roll of a D6.

There are three basic factors, Attack, Defend and Firing and these are used in whichever situation is relevant. To cause damage to a unit from Firing the Firing and Defend factors are compared, other factors are then added or minus-ed and each unit rolls a D6. The resulting difference is cross-referenced on a chart to determine the result.

Photo 1
The Khwarizmian Set-up.
Blissfully unaware that the enemy has reached this far into the homeland, Sultan Abd Ad-Dill is responding to Muhammed Shah’s call to arms and has his own bodyguard of Kangli BC, 3 units of SkC and a single unit of untested levy infantry from the outlying villagers of his demesne. He is marching to Masalim to pick up the last contingent of his army before going to Samarkand. Unfortunately, Abu ad-Dill is an Indifferent Commander which allows him to have a 150mm Control Radius. In the top right hand corner can be seen a unit of Mongols in ambush position.

Photo 2
The Mongol Set-up.

One of Snoopy Bahadur's outlying scouts has reported spotting a column of Khwarizmian troops. The scout got close enough to determine that the column consisted of at least 10 hundreds of cavalry and 3 hundreds of infantry. They will soon be passing through the Pass of Abu-Sinbar obviously on their way as reinforcements for Samarkand and will pass closely by the village of Masalim, currently invested by Mongol troops. Leaving a single mingghan to ensure that the villagers do not sortie out, he turns with the rest of his available tumen -2 mingghan of Skirmish Cavalry (SkC) and a single mingghan of Battle cavalry (BC) to set up an ambush for the oblivious Khwarizmians. Snoopy Bahadur has rolled to be a Competent Commander giving him a Control Radius of 300mm.

That's it for Part One, more next time.

Friday, 24 June 2011

6mm Terrain

Now that the boards are done I thought it might be time for some more terrain construction. So I made a wood of deciduous trees. Now these caused untold bl**dy problems in that the clumpy stuff only stuck to the cocktail sticks as long as nobody was looking. When touched it fell off at the slightest opportunity. I was that racked off my first thought was to use an oxy-acetalene torch to keep it together but after calming down a bit I went with my second option, contact adhesive. This seems to have worked because nothing further has moulted...yet. The consruction method is the same as all my other terrain pieces.

Next up is a view of my first ever solo game and playtest for my own 'wot I ave wrote' rules, The Fury of the Tartars (WIP).

The setting is this. A half tumen of Mongols under the command of Snoopy Bahadur is attacking isolated villages to deny them to the enemy. A larger Khwarizmian force, commanded by the rather inept Sultan Abn Ad-Dill is on his way to Samarkand, collecting up the militia of the various villages and towns on the way. The village of Masalim, on the far right of the picture, is his last village. He is blissfully unaware that any Mongols are in the area. The picture has been taken at the end of the second move one mingghan of Mongols has sprung the trap. More photos and an AAR in another post.

A closer picture of Masalim, with its militia ready to march. (This has been entered into the Angel Barracks current terrain making competition.)

Finally for this post a picture of a mingghan of Mongol Battle Cavalry in ambush position behind a small hill.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Started the marathon base repaint.

Now that I have my boards all the old bases need to be repainted to fit in. Made a start over the last few evenings and now have all 64 bases of 6mm Mongols finished. Next up will be the 6mm Sassanids because I can use them as Khwarizmians.

I had a rummage through my unpainted 6mm box and would you believe it, I don't possess a 6mm Chin/Song/Jurchen army. Got a generic Medieval European force (mostly unpainted) and others can be pulled in to make up any number of opponents but no Chin; so thats gone onto the Derby list of 'Things to get'. Plus, having a look on the Irregular website, I quite fancy at least one of their Chinese villages,(that's on the Derby list as well for at least a gander).

The first picture shows the 'before' base colour and the second gives you an idea of the 'after'. Personally, I think that the 'after' is much better as the light base shows off the figures nicely, (only about another 20 6mm armies to go!!??!!).

Why do we do this to ourselves, but at least it's just a repaint and not a rebase and repaint, that would drive me well beyond Batso!

Oh well, back to the grind.


Friday, 3 June 2011

More terrain

(Two in the same day, whatever next, eh?)

This time it's a small wood. The base is a piece of thick card of which luckily I have s**tloads. Pieces of garden slate (not mine) and small strips of irregularly shaped lumps of polystyrene are stuck down to breakup the flatness. The whole thing is covered in PVA and sand mix before being painted in my usual base colours.

NB. I always make sure that I can lay my Yet-To-Be-Patented pieces of steel across the piece to prevent warping. In this case it was across the tops of the slate. this procedure is done as well when the base coat is painted on. It might take a little longer but hey, it's only time and what's the rush?

The trees are once again scourers and cocktail sticks although some of the larger trees have BBQ skewers as the trunks. Holes are drilled in the base and a drip of PVA in each hole will secure the tree. Other bits of foliage are added but not too much as I wanted to leave some gaps for figures. I suppose to thicken it up some lichen can be put in the gaps.

The second picture gives you an idea of scale with the Warrior model.

Now that I have my boards I'm going to need a lot more terrain, especially for WW II and more recent. I know, I'll start tomorrow.

Mick S.

Loft face-lift Part I

Trust me to pick one of the hottest days of the year to date to start on the loft. I must have lost several pounds just moving stuff around and I tell you, my knees will never walk again...carpet tiles are not the best thing to be kneeling on.

But there is an up side to this. I have managed to get most of my unpainted lead mountain into one and a half office storage boxes apart from the 6mm stuff which fills a plastic carrying box that is 9" x 9" x 15" on its own aaannnddd I found another load of 10mm Mongols and Chin, at first guess about 3 units of each and including another couple of rockets. Also found the 15mm ACW artillery I was looking for earlier but still no sign of the infantry et al; more 15mm Prussian Napoleonics; 15mm Mongols including the unit of keshik I had on my list to buy at Derby this year; 15mm German WWII infantry, support weapons by FOW and vehicles from an eclectic mix of manufacturers, and finally, all my unpainted WSS stuff.

The-what-I-thought-was-the-last-of-the-10mm-Mongols-and-Chin are coming along nicely. All the cavalry have been done and once I finish this post I shall start on the Chin Xbows, then the rest of the recently discovered 10mm figures. I intend to have a go at getting one of the rockets being in the air.


Thursday, 2 June 2011

Finally, the boards are done

Yesterday was a nice day so I though I'd take the bull by the horns and go for it.

Here are a couple of the sheets used. The sheets were bought from Wickes's a few months ago in readiness for the summer.

First things first, give the boards a protective cover on the sides. Now here I had my first hiccup. Being me I didn't look and the height measurement and assumed that it was 50mm but it wasn't it was 52mm! So I had to give the edges two pieces of adhesive tape to cover the whole thing. Hiccup two,I had only bought one roll of tape, well you would if you thought that the total length to be covered was 10.2m and you had bought a 15m roll. So I had to troll off to the shop to get another roll.

Then all three boards were given a coat of PVA using a roller (much quicker than a brush), and covered in beach sand still with bits of trilobite shell in it.

Following this they were given a coat of my base colour (Dulux shade 5010Y30R known as Eclipse Deleted). This was also rollered on with the occasional flick of the roller to remove bits of loose grit.

Then I learnt a new technique- new for me that is- dry-brusing with a roller. Now the rollers I was using were the cheap but eminently functional 4" foam from a local £1 shop -got 4 rollers, 1 handle and a tray for me money, bargain. First colour on was Homebase Warm Yellow followed by a lighter brushing of Summer Jasmine.

Finally, patches of flock were glued down and when dry, the whole thing was give a healthy spray of PVA and water to seal it. Job done. Three boards, half a days work in the sunshine even allowing for the paint to dry.

Just need more terrain pieces now...and the space to set it up. Note to self, sort the bl**dy loft out.