Friday 28 January 2011

Borodino Continued

I finally managed to roll a few dice in this epic mega game. For my sins I was made to play Russian on their right flank.

A plumb job as it faced a disintegrating French right wing :)

All it required was a gentle push, so the Russian forces streamed out of Borodino to counter attack.

The Russian Cossack cavalry (foreground) surged across the river into an empty vacuum. The Heavy Russian Cavalry (top) cross to face off the last French cavalry.

The French Cavalry which is now looking rather depleted and disordered after a last hurrah from a previous turn.

The one remaining French Fresh infantry formation (top right) standing in the Russian's way. The impressive array of French infantry centre top is actually a congealed mass of spent and worn French infantry who failed to take Borodino.

From behind the French lines a closer look at the huddled mass of worn French infantry. Four formations taking the area of what two would have been two at the start of the game. A French general looks on in apparent dismay.

No mercy, keep pressing the French line.

The fresh Russian Heavy Cavalry forms up to attack the French at their last defensible barrier. Spent French infantry hiding in the wood are an attractive target for the supporting Russian infantry moving up. Meanwhile Russian cannon limber and move across the river behind these troops too slow to make an impact at this time.

Finally that last French fresh infantry formation gets involved in a musket duel and is soon on its way to loosing its "fresh" status.

Meanwhile in the middle (Russian left and French right), dead ground is appearing as both sides are showing infantry fatigue in attack, as any unit attempting to cross is battered mercilessly by artillery. The bedraggled, spent Russian infantry unit is desperately trying to retire, while a reasonably looking French line infantry finds itself horrendously exposed for future turns.  

Another view of the clear water appearing between the two opposing lines (French left, Russian right this time). No man or beast wants to be the first across the void. Artillery have swept away units like a dust-pan and brush. Committing the French Guard Corps is not a very inviting prospect.

While on the left Russian flank, French Heavy (bottom) and Russian Heavy (top) cavalry clash.

As seen from the Russian perspective. Casualties are exchanged but no real "give" either way. It would have been nice to bounce through and hurt that French infantry but it was no to be.

Finally the Russians take the wood on my (Russian right) flank, with RAW militia (methinks their finest hour cometh) against spent French line. Captured in a photograph befitting the murky haze of battle.

Night descends in but five turns, so a winner (if that is the correct term) will be decided on objectives held and body count. The former is unlikely to change hands at this juncture while the latter will inevitably rise.

Prediction: A rather bloody "score-draw" with honours to the defenders of Borodino (Russian right wing) and the French infantry who cleared up to the "fletches" (French right wing).

Monday 24 January 2011

The Painting Tray

Chaos continues to reign:

The toys (bottom left clockwise):
  • WWII 20mm Revell Summer Russians (I am in the process of working out a Vallejo/Tamiya/GW Wash paint scheme)
  • The Lysander in the first layer of (dark) camouflage, waiting for a mid and highlight to follow
  • A broken Dalek (snapped eye-stalk)
  • The Fairey Battle out of the box 

Thursday 20 January 2011

Other items on the Painting Tray

Also down on the table:

A dozen or so Revell Russian Summer infantry (purchased originally in the mid 1990's [1995 in Aberdeen I think]) that have spooked "Maurice the Spy" into doing a runner (I don't fancy his chances against the snipers at the back with their telescopic sights).

I am practising on these chaps before having a go at the 20mm Plastic Soldier Russians (aka a Xmas present to myself).

One man running after another (Maurice seems to be giving chase to this wayward Russian, perhaps they have documents to exchange!):

No real plan to my painting, but still any forward progress is good progress! No sign od the Saturn V moving to the painting table until I clear some more space!

A shot or two from my painting table

Was Maurice "the spy" (work-in-progress) to blame for my inability to post recently?

Soon to be dropped into occupied France from the back of a Lysander (Motto: "Trust No One! And Live Longer").

His chariot (the indomitable Lysander) is in the process of being under-coated.

Detail on the crew be seen through the plexi-glass.

The spy context is actually misleading as I intend to paint the Lysander in the BEF France 1940 Army Cooperation variant.

Strange II

Well for some reason best known to my computer Mozilla Firefox would not run, so I switched over to the IE backup and guess what.

When I sign into my Blog I see myself as full access (top right hand corner)

It may be coincidence (and my account details change had been replicated through their servers?) or the fact that something was amiss with my Firefox

Don't know but it is good to be back

Tuesday 18 January 2011


I can now post to my own blog :)

I changed mt setting to open up comments in a new window
It now picks up my Id
With new profile picture
(Yes I have recently changed my password)

I hace successfully posted to Tim's MegaBlitz and More
Bit still failed to post to Plastic Warriors and 20th Century Wargames

Must be something about not matching my Google Id/Password togther
Any thoughts from any techies or knowledgeable bloggers out there? 

Sunday 16 January 2011

15mm Borodino 1812: The BIG Xmas Game I missed (Russian)

Complementing the French perspective of the battlefield, the view from the Russian side is as follows:

The Russian Left:

With Cossacks out of the picture to the far, far left an impressive array of Russian horse lay to the left of the line, supporting the (now) last battalions of fresh Russian infantry. All artillery associated with the horse and reserve foot formations has been drawn forward into the defensive line.

The Russian Middle-Left:

The wreckage of battle shows retiring Russian artillery and infantry reserves pushed forward, with Russian cavalry engaged with their French counterparts in the area of the "little fletches" now mainly devoid of infantry. With the exception of two cavalry clashes the armies are having a respite before having another go.

The Russian Middle-Right:

The opposing armies are actively "still in contact" and much of the movement surrounds a vigorous Russian counter attack over gently rolling hills. The normal status of units now seems to be disordered and going from "Fresh" to "Worn". It is fair to say that there is still some mileage in this part of the battlefield yet and it all 'hangs in the balance'.

Borodino (foreground) and the Great Redoubt (background):

The former is completely untouched and the troops are relaxing playing cards and watching the spectacle of one abortive attack after abortive attack by the French infantry on Borodino. The Russians feel so safe here they are switching troops from the defensive position to help/support their counter attack in the right-middle. Not a living Frenchman in sight, as the troops that were defending Borodino are now attacking across the river and about to make a gigantic stir. 

The Russian Right

The Russian generals on the hill (above) confer on a job well done.

Artillery, horse and elite Russian infantry from Borodino preparing to attack across the river at the battered French left wing. To the right of this picture following a bend in the river is a Russian Cossack formation (hiding defensively in a wood) from the last fresh French formation, a cavalry Corp, so positioned if the above attack is successful it will receive a nasty blow in the flank. Off picture to the left are Russian militia units leaving their prepared defensive positions to try and join in the fight in the dying stages of the battle. Will this be their finest hour?

So. Will the French reverse on their left flank be offset with gains made in the centre or are the Russians about to take the French to the cleaners. More blood will flow and action is bound to spark on the all too quiet French Right/Russian Left.

To be continued ...

Saturday 15 January 2011

Necron Destroyer

Sticking to the late New Year's Resolution I took in hand this wandering Sci-Fi addition and started work on "him" the day of purchase. Not a complicated build and I did not opt for any real form of sophistication with the paint work.

I did wash the sprue in warm soapy water beforehand which is a step forward in my preparation technique ;)

Nasty brute:

Shades of the "Terminator" though the vivid green see through plastic in the weapon is a nice touch.

Every gamer need a futuristic killing machine or two in their back pocket, especially one which looks a "tad" (Yorkshire vernacular for 'a little') like a trillobite.

The worrying thing was that my eldest boy, rather took to him and asked if I had any more! Curses GW already have him and I had so much high hopes for my Airfix 1/32 collection.

GW Chaos Black Paint (undercoat)
My GW Boltgun Metal had all dried up (another one bites the dust, hmm), so I used a mixture of GW Chaos Black and GW Mithril Silver (successively increasing the latter to lighten the effect)

That was pretty much it.

I toyed with the idea of detailing it, or black washing but in the end liked it as it was. I do have an admission of also having a packet standard Necrons (bought from a previous visit to the same HobbyCraft, well they didn't have my Airfix Fairey Battle in stock) to populate my future Science Fiction one-off scenarios (I cannot be considered as a 40K gamer [yet? They'll get me through the kiddies!]

Next: Back from an "alternative future" to the "historical modelled past" ;)

Reply to Comments:
Seeing as I still cannot post (have I been black-listed? I think not) I'll pen my replies here.

Al, it's a whim thing.
I see a pack I like and I'll but and paint them.
I don't intend to follow the GW Necron army list.
The odd " alien thing" will come in handy, as per my pride and joy Sci-Fi Robot of AD2000 fame "Hammerstein",  from Wargames Foundry

Greek Geek: Not sure, all the cartoons these days are Space/SuperHero oriented.
The young chap is only six but into Sci-Fi and Fantasy, although I managed to put the odd tank in there ;)

Thursday 13 January 2011

15mm Borodino 1812: The BIG Xmas Game I missed (French)

Note: Rules Used = Age of Eagles (Napoleonic Fire and Fury)
(I have to write it here as for some reason I cannot post comments, even to my own blog: moral of the story is never change passwords unless you really have to!)

The Battle of Borodino 1812

Nothing subtle about this, to make the Russians fight and not drift away, Napoleon had to resort to a stand-up slug-fest and attack a strong defensive position the Russians were confident of holding. No subtle manoeuvring here but a Grand Battery versus Grand Battery affair. 

Due to my hectic travel schedule and family commitments I missed the opportunity to participate in the Xmas session of the 15mm 1812 Borodino spectacular put on by my local club. However as the fight was still going on mid-January (the battle "game turn wise" is just over half-way) and is expected to finish late-January, I managed to play catch-up.

Circling round from the French far right:

A Corp of cavalry marking the end of the French dispositions, hiding in cover to avoid the attention of artillery (there seemed to be a lot of it about!). To the left of this formation (but to the right of the picture if you get it, as I am looking from the Russian lines) is a large formation or more probably "plural" of French (though of Germanic origin as per history) taking advantage of the cover from some woods. To be fair the eyes of the artillery are everywhere and they have fought and overrun the Russian advanced positions.

To the French right-centre:

Now from behind the French lines, the hidden French infantry mentioned above are to the right of the picture. Here we see a lot of reserve French cavalry and the immediate reserves of French infantry disputing the now empty "Russian central fletches". Yes the initial French attacking are mostly in the spent box off-table. The Russian infantry were systematically blown into "Spent" status before being attacked by French infantry. Nevertheless it was a bloody affair as the Russian heavy guns took a toll of the French line infantry, but the French are still pushing forward here, though losing momentum. The "Young, Middle and Old Guard" are to the left of this picture.

To the French centre-centre:

The pushed around terrains pieces tells their own story, as does the French infantry formation, now rallied but facing towards the camera (i.e. currently going a different way to the rest of the French Grand Army). The Russians are counter-attacking here, but the French are still relatively strong. The "Great Redoubt and the town of Borodino" are to the left of the picture, to the right are the contested "small fletches". The balance of power is about 50:50 here with the Russians taking casualties as they attack.

To the French centre-left:

The point of French crisis. The last fresh French infantry unit faces Borodino. Two whole Corps have been thrown against the town which is still in Russian hands. A point of French command-and-control controversy is building here as the commander on the spot seems to have been a serial gambler, and lost. The Russians are mounting a significant (if not ominous) counter-attack on now "very much" weakened French infantry.

To the French far-left:

Those of a French disposition or leaning in Napoleonics, but with a nervous medical condition should not focus on the picture or read any further. Fresh Russian cavalry and infantry are rushing out of Borodino to attack across the river. They have odds, artillery, a better status and combined arms in they favour. Draw your own conclusions. The only French reserve is a cavalry Corp facing off some nuisance value Russian Cossacks, however it is now being asked to face and attack in multiple directions.

The only French good news here is that it is so far away from the centre of the battlefield, the left wing is lost but that does not necessarily mean the battle is also lost. 


It looks like both sides will run out of fresh infantry before the number of game turns runs out (bar the saga of the French left and Russuan right). The final position/resting place of the lines of spent infantry will decide the victor(?) of this blood-bath.

Nevertheless an impressive sight of wall-to-wall Napoleonics and I am looking forward to the prospect of rolling some dice to add a little contribution of my own to the proceedings

Now what is going on?

I cannot post comments to my own (and other people's blogs)

Painting Tray: The State of Play January 2011

From an apparent random selection of items order shall reign:

I have a late New Years resolution to add: LIFO
Last In First Out (in order of construction)

Meaning anything bought new jumps to the top of the to do list
Let's see how it goes

  • 9:00 o'clock = 1/72 Revell Russian Summer Infantry (Stalingrad range I think, destined to fight my Revell German Panzer Grenadiers, er only fourteen years old)
  • 10:00 o'clock = "Maurice the Spy" (see 6:00 o'clock below the Westland Lysander)
  • 11:00 o'clock = a Necron Destroyer (read below, as I hang my head in shame), just purchased
  • 12:00 o'clock = Buzz Lightyear (broken) hmm, rating scheme not applicable
  • 1:00 o'clock = a Dalek (broken) likewise rating scheme not applicable
  • 2:00 o'clock = a pint of beer (in the process of drinking) very recent [now finished]
  • 6:00 o'clock = Airfix Westland Lysander 1/72, under-coated black, waiting for camouflage pattern and decals (about a year old)
Which means I have a Necron Destroyer to do (which was the most interesting thing I could find in HobbyCraft, that's my excuse anyway I only said I wasn't going to buy their (GW) paints any more)

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Another few Spitfire Mk1a Pictures

No real excuse other that I painted the exhausts from black to rust, as per the Hurricane and the Defiant

Here she is:

Rounds she goes:

Isn't she a beaut, although the underside is all Tamiya sky and not the dark/light markings of the Buffalo and the Hurricane.

It does it for me ;)

Anybody else having problems posting pictures?

I see to have a new rather than an old trusted feature for helping me publish pictures to my blog?

Google Cloud Picker rather than a simple upload facility (that worked)
I'm confused


Problem Update

Issue resolved by clearing my cache and cookies from my machine
Don't know why that worked but I got the advice from another on a forum who was experiencing the same problem

I would have posted this as a comment but I am unable to post comments
Are the two issues related I wonder?

Friday 7 January 2011

Running Repairs to the RAAF Brewster Buffalo

A little accident with the Brewster Buffalo's long aerial and a red dot in the middle of a roundel disappearing gives me the opportunity to show him off again. I am also grateful that Airfix sent me some replacement decals to cater for such circumstances.

Here he is trundling along watching out for Japanese Zero fighters and other Pacific perils.

Showing his belly (see below) to the world climbing away (also note the Blue Tack sticking the plane to the stand).

It also shows the most curious feature of this stubby little aircraft to my mind at least. Underneath the pilot there is a strange viewing canopy. To observe or spot danger coming from below? It seems rather a strange ask of a pilot to keep looking at his feet, as well as behind, front, left and right!

Wednesday 5 January 2011

The Hurricane Mk I

Under-rated by the Luftwaffe but in the Battle of Britain the Hurricane shot down more German planes than the Spitfire. Rugged, durable and a good gun platform. Again this model was rescued from a long, long wait (since June) in a box next to my painting table.

I just have to get into the mood.

This one is flying in the markings of Squadron Leader Stanford Tuck, 257 Squadron, RAF 1940, as per the Airfix instruction manual.

Decals not as tricky as the Defiant, with only a few small tears along the way.

The Matt Cote came in really handy to give a seal over the model and blending the colours together. Showing the pretty but ineffectual black(dark)/sky(light) British identification scheme (see below). Tally Ho!

A nice model to make :)

Tuesday 4 January 2011

The Defiant: Back to the painting tray and finished

The holiday season allowed a brief respite from twenty first century life with some R&R time. I find it no less demanding than work. With the family it's a rather a different sort of work to do in the holiday period, partly due to the hectic North (up to Scotland) and South (back down to England) travel schedule, but I did slip away for a few quiet hours in the 'middle of the night'.

The result was a "plane attack" on those nearly finished kits lingering on the painting table, or rather in boxes pushed to the side of it since June. I can now proudly present the (Airfix) Boulton Paul Defiant in the 'day' fighter scheme of 141 Squadron, RAF Church Fenton, September 1940.

Ooops it's not a Hurricane after all! Arggh.

Top View (Front): Vulnerable, but if you come in too high those guns may still get you yet! Same altitude, level and head-on is its weak-spot/vulnerability.

Side View (Left): Those Browning's will traverse on you.

Side View (Right): Those Browning's are still going to traverse on you.

As seen from an attacking Me109 once it recognised it was not in fact a Hurricane.

Eventually built, "ah bisto" (as per the famous English TV commercial), as part of my Airfix single-engined fighter/bombers of 1940 project. My only complaint being the decals tendency to disintegrate as I shuffled them into position.

Kits still to build:
  • Westland Lysander
  • Gloster Gladiator MkI
  • Fairey Battle
Postscript: I should have said it was a disaster of a day-fighter, as the concept of the two-seater fighter (pilot/gunner) did not transfer well from the First to Second World War. Hats off to anybody who had to fight in one of these things, especially for the gunner who had a hard if not impossible task to bale out if he needed to. 

    Monday 3 January 2011

    2010 Review: Xmas and New Year Shopping Treats

    I think I have the whole of this year's painting/modelling projects sorted out after a visit to Edinburgh's Wonderland Models

    A great shop

    Strolling through the isles, and it is SO, SO nice to touch and feel,  I saw kits/figures I had but only dreamed about and never seen as such in my local town model shop(s). For me it was 20mm heaven. In particular the Chinese manufacturer Caesar Miniatures:

    Then Pegasus caught my eye, a crazy must have:

    Then Plastic Soldier, who I had heard so much about but never seen:

    And finally a new fast build Italeri kit I wanted:

    Then my Xmas money was all out :(
    That "no money" teenager feeling all over again!

    I therefore could not get any of the new Airfix Truck kits they had in stock, the half dozen other Caesar and Pegasus kits/figures I liked, the tempting Valient Miniatures (German sets of intantry) or even start looking at the Hat or ArmourFast models. I also averted my eyes from their 1/600 and 1/700 naval kits.

    Still I knew that I also have a Airfix Fairey Battle "in the post" coming to me :)

    I left contented that a job had been done