Saturday 29 April 2017

Audible Book: Why France Collapsed

This is one of my special "era of interests" the "clanky tank" and the disasters of 1940, in particular France 1940. The Guy Chapman book is one I have always wanted to read (had a battered copy but never got round to reading it) so I snapped it up when I saw it in the Audible store. I am glad I did. Part way through at the moment and it;s a brilliant read, as good as Alistair Horne's epic "To Lose a Battle" (see below):

Highly recommended :)

Friday 28 April 2017

New Era of Modelling "The Snipper"

Previously I just took out a model blade (model knife) and hoped for the best when I removed stuff from the sprue ... now like all those Internet and hobby shop professionals I can roughly snip from the sprue and then fine tune, so no more "broken pieces"? The magical tool is shown below:

Can you see what I am making?

Thursday 27 April 2017

Caught with my hand in the Rule Book(s): Osprey Wargaming titles

It is an easy online thing to 'accidentally' do .. that is, without overtly noticing it yourself (blame the subconscious or was it the Freudian "Id"), ahem until the "Wife" one day stops you at the door and points out that "another package" has arrived! (Caught with the hand in the proverbial "cookie jar").I blame it on the click-ability 'ease' of Amazon "Osprey" online book shopping, see all the pictures below, soI seem to have picked up er, eight somehow.

"The defence case M'lord":

While I am in the process of building up to an Impetus sized army ("long time process of 'figure loving' for me circa 60+ figures per side") I have (or rather) will be using the following rules with warbands of circa 12 .. 40 figures aside instead in skirmish mode (see below):
  • Lion Rampant (Medievil)
  • The Pikeman's Lament (English Civil War)

Science Fiction (flying a space ship) and Ultra Modern Special Ops, with even less figures (aka working with squads) ranging from the Sci-Fi medley of various GW "things" with miscellaneous robot types from other sources, to the ubiquitous deniable Black Ops (Modern, post 1945 to 2045+) being aimed at reusing the more human looking Sci-Fi or modern 20mm plastics [though there could be the excuse to purchase some (as in mere handful) of ultra modern in the sexy 28mm] (see below):
  • Rogue Stars .. Lazer guns are us
  • Black Ops .. "I cannot confirm or deny that this operation took place!"

"Odd balls" miscellania, a catch all at the end, Roman Fantasy (something else to do with that Early Imperial 28mm plastic Warlord Games and some existing D&D Fantasy monster figure types) and a Samurai Rule Set ... because I know I will not be able to resist getting the lasted Warlord Games "Test of Honour" game but may want to "go my own way" and not be hauled into getting their OoB (see below):
  • Broken Legions .. Fun with a Gladius! 
  • Ronin .. "Hei"

Nearing the end. At least the naval section is in the normal wargaming "active" category. For my 1/1200 Navwar ancient triremes and 1/1200 Navwar Napoleonic "Ships of the Line" I have started evaluating these along with other commercial rule sets (see below):
  • Poseidon's Warriors (Triremes)
  • Fighting Sail (Napoleonic)

Summary: In general, shopping with the Amazon bug gets each of the above for 'under a tenner' (aka below Osprey RRP). They are more of the "introductory level" of basic rules (good for stuff not in my usual period: aka WWII), a standard slightly beyond the "local club house rules" [at least better play tested and Osprey production quality] but below the £25+ level of "in depth" full production "niche period" [hurting your wallet] extravaganza of charts and tables.

I expect to play and tinker with all the above. In fact I have really collected them to be able to "jump start" into periods I have (or almost have) figures for but lack real "deep" background knowledge. I will try and avoid the "buy them all" (though others are interesting) syndrome, but in the end if they get 'one game on the table' with a friend they have served their wargaming purpose! I plan to play Shart Practice II for Napoleonics but as of yet I have not been tempted into playing Steam Punk ;)

Monday 24 April 2017

Holiday Reading: "Something for weekend sir?" - A 1943 "What If" Scenario ...

Picked up from"The Works" clearance house, partly (OK mostly) from the interesting cover, though I had to come back to it several times before I eventually thought ("What the heck for £5.99") it could be a good light holiday read that could end up as a good or unusual "What-If" Chain Of Command game (see below):

The premise being there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that the Germans mounted a successful seaborne Commando raid against a radar installation on the Isle of Wight in 1943. It has had a hard time with the Amazon reviews, light on detail but asks an important question "Why didn't the Germans run Commando raids against the UK mainland?" The what-if is there. Anyway I enjoyed the read as it gave me interesting ideas for small skirmish scenarios.

Sunday 23 April 2017

Dogger Bank Information - WWI Naval "YouTube" Lecture: courtesy of Simulating War forum

Gawd bless those little Internet elves they keep finding gems like this and then posting them to forums like Simulating War:
Thanks must go to Mircea Pauca who pointed this one out:
The slides used to support that lecture:
Have only had a "peak" but like what I saw (the whole lecture is a just over an hour)

Saturday 22 April 2017

New Wargaming Book: Zones of Control (MIT Press)

Quite simply a feast (or rather a gourmet buffet) that I am currently tucking into (see below, 59 mini articles from the Wargaming Great and the Wargaming Good):

Amazon UK: Zones of Control

As recommended by the alumni of Connections UK 2016, got mine for under £30 and it was worth it as there is literally something for everyone.

Friday 21 April 2017

Canopy Capers (Airfix Fw190 WIP)

Calm, calm, calm. I approach the Fw190 canopy with trepidation .. I cannot use conventional glue as that would end up in one unholy mess resulting in painting over the canopy, hence I use ClearFix. A slow sticking fragile glue that does not smear canopies. Actually the Fw190 has a large part of the rear canopy to paint over (see below, aka the black part):

Now I had bit of a struggle to get the canopy on. The 'blooming canopy' part was being pushed off by a chunky piece of rear cock-pit detail. Hence I had to shave this back until the full canopy fit nicely over it, luckily the "shaved part" was totally hidden by the painted part of the canopy. A bit like the front cockpit detail (chair/instruments and control stick) fantastic detail that ends up hidden in 90% of the possible configurations - closed cock-pit with pilot at helm (see below):

The black primer over the canopy trimmings was then covered by the dark grey paint (see below):

The glue and paint in these kits goes a long, long way. In addition to this kit I have put together some eighty odd Saxon and Norman 25/28mm plastic figures.


Decals beckon next!

Saturday 15 April 2017

Test of Honour: 28mm Samurai Skirmish Games - "The One That Got Away"

I was too slow to grab this on first release, but managed to "see" somebody else's "OPEN BOX" and was very, very impressed. I have to add that I am not a Samurai buff myself but nevertheless could feel myself tingle at the quality of the game (see below):

Hope to be able to pick up a version on second printing! The figures looked stunning (though apparently fiddly).

It has all the hallmarks of a "one box" game and extensions only if you want to!

Friday 14 April 2017

The "Butcher Bird" ... Continued (Airfix: Fw190-A8) WIP

The basic paint scheme is added (see below):

The underside is "lined" via covering recesses with "Vallejo Black Wash" (see below):

The upper works are treated accordingly and then touched up with e original paint (see below):

Likewise the underside is touched up in its basic paint scheme (see below):

Coming along nicely!

Thursday 13 April 2017

Audible Books: Fleet at Floodtide

Completing the Pacific War saga in grand style. Again a very good read (or rather listen). Admittedly "one way traffic" (or rather the writing was on the wall after Guadalcanal) with much previously unknown (to me) anecdotes and information. I didn't realise how close the US Fleets (particularly with respect to Carrier Operations) were to the Japanese mainland and how costly a US lead invasion would have been. I can recommend "The Fleet at Flood Tide" (see below):

Footnote: I feel good (as in knowledge refreshed) with respect to the Pacific theatre [50+ hours of audio books over three+ months]. The only segment of Pacific history I am missing seen to need is a overview of the Pearl Harbour raid itself.

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Is it just me or are Airfix's offerings shrinking?

Just surfing round the Internet and passing by:

They don't seem to be doing much in the way of Vehicle or Naval kits anymore?

Even the Airfix Battles game system does not seem to have progressed from the first offering. There was a promise of a Collector's Edition expanding teh original theme but this seems to have stalled:

Tuesday 11 April 2017

A Golden Rule: Never look back ... or you'll end up buying the 5th Edition D&D Started Pack

OK, so it started out as a casual conversation between work colleagues and led two weeks later to an impulsive "I know I was going to do it sometime so it might as well be now" moment (see below):

The upshot of it all is that D&D seems to have moved on a lot since my pubescent, hormonal 2nd Edition days (circa 1982 to 1986). The game system seems to emphasis play-ability (to which I think of as back to the "Old Blue" Basic Dungeons and Dragons book) and less on chart heavy play, but very positive in stream-lining (aka guiding) what the players can/could do (aka action types and attribute checks when the players are being "hard of thinking" or "doing something generic" outside of specif actions covered exhaustively in the rules).

All-in-all it has "beer and pretzel" written all over it, with a happy smile. I don't think I will be forking out well over "£100" for the "big set of pretty books" though, but adapt stuff from the "starter set" back into 2nd Edition (famous last words).

Note (see above): An unmade hotel bed and a freshly opened (I can still smell that clean, clear plastic wrapping film) box of 5th Edition D&D "Starter Set", can you think of anything more 'sexy nerdy'? Lenard Cohen "Chelsea Hotel" it is not ;)

Monday 10 April 2017

Airfix Fw 190A-8

As a kid I had made the obligatory "rite of passage" construction of RAF (several different types [II, Vb and XIc]), the Hurricane and the infamous Mosquito Fighter Bomber (of 633 Squadron fame). On the baddies (sorry I am falling back to "war comic" stereotypes here) I had the Ju87 Stuka, Heinkel He111 and Dornier Do17z Luftwaffe bombers. Later in life I caught up with the Me109. However the Fw 190 was "the one that got away". So riffling through my "magic box of unmade boxes" I came across this little gem, the re-tooled Folk Wulf Fw190A-8 (see below):

Early days but has been a dream to put together. The glue goes a long, long way as I have used it for a box of 28mm Norman Foot Knights as well.

WIP, looking forward to painting it ;)

Sunday 9 April 2017

Revell TIE Fighter (Completed)

It is nice to finish a project .. completely. I assembled the model back in 2016, then promptly decided it was too good for the kids to play with (aka break it, it is a plastic model not a Tonka toy) so it would have to "hang in display fashion". So I gave it a real dirty looking blackwash. So next was a clean up coat of Official Imperium Grey [for Imperial use only], with a little light grey highlight to follow (see below):

I was not satisfied with the perspex windows so black lined then painted grey over the top (see below):

Then followed the hanging from the ceiling pantomime (see below, note I am following the official Gerry Anderson hang it with cotton guideline, silver not black):

Job well done, one happy little chappie. Methinks more stuff may head to the ceiling. Not so sure the wife will let me use our ceiling in the same way ;)

Now back to putting those 28mm figures together!

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Stormin' Normans in 28mm (Conquest Games)

I made the mistake of mixing gardening (the type that is quite hard on the hands) with 28mm hard plastic figure assembly, Conquest Games 1066 Normans. I was in tears by the end of it but I soldiered on. You cannot complain with forty four foot soldiers (see below):

Spear, sword and two handed battle axe (see below):

I seem to have a bad case of 28mm plastic figure disease, I do hope there is no cure :)
These will do well for my Saga and Impetus meanderings