Wednesday 26 December 2018

Christmas Pup (Sopwith) Addition

A new "Pup" (assembled) for Xmas but not one to get the wife excited about ;) Something to help the RFC fight off the dreaded Imperial German Air Service Albatross II's, the Sopwith Pup fighter (see below): oot

Even better the Pup comes with a few RFC friends (another Pup, a Sopwith One-and-a-Half Strutter and a DH4) but some dastardly enemies (an Albatross II and a Rumpler CIV) to boot. Something to keep me busy on the 'slow but carefully does it' assembly line. This "kind-of" covers the early to mid-war section of WWI .. with the possible of the German ground straffing Roland and another Spad VII.

Chocks away!

Tuesday 25 December 2018

Merry Xmas 2018 - Have a Good One

Hope you have a Good  One:

Peace and Good Will to All

Friday 21 December 2018

"E-Boat bearing Green 20!"

The sharped eye lookout spotted a sinister shape lurking in the (displaying no wake as I had forgot to put one in the picture) and cried out in alarm (see below, my first factory fresh German S-Boat):

Just the basic colours (not even a highlight). I will slip a coat of matte varnish on her ready for the first Cruel Seas scenario. All I have to do is paint up a couple of Vospers! I started with my Airfix Acrylic primer followed by a Vallejo Black Wash.

Painting Notes: 
I had a hard time acquiring the correct '50 shades of grey' as per the Cruel Seas painting guides but I did get the legendary Vallejo Model Colour London Grey to which I painted the S-Boat deck. The light (Vallejo Sky Grey) grey was subbed by Vallejo by the Vallejo Game Colour Stonewall Grey. Oak was in turned replaced by Beasty Brown (decking) and Panzer Periscope was replaced by Imperial Blue (windows). That just left gun metal for the torpedoes, with the top quarter of the fish (or "eels") painted black. I did not bother with the fleck of gold at the rear of the torpedo as suggested in the painting guide. Still to do is a little "grey highlighting" but I can get away without this in the first instance. 

Thursday 20 December 2018

School Tank Project - The Tiger Tamer .. The Sherman Firefly

So it started, a decree from school and a small child wanting to make a WWII tank. I told the lad about the fabled "Tiger Tamer" that was the Allied response to the deadly German Tiger and Panther tanks. The journey started with a tank that would not survive the trip to the primary school (see below, the 1/32 inspiration [from a company called "21st Century Toys" I think] and some seemingly random bits of cardboard and balsa - can you see what it is yet): 

Taking that distinctive boxy Sherman shape (see below, courtesy of an ingenious "flat" stapler gun - my universe has completely changed):

Classic PVA mixed with "Pound Shop" or "Home Bargains" acrylic for quite an authentic (IMHO) British Army Bronze Green (see below - this was quite a messy part of the process, also track and turret parts are WIP):

Next was a clever (if I do say so myself) use of coffee stirrings that I "always" collect when I can (see below, snipped into pieces and around a cardboard and balsa frame - two of which have to be made of course - this took some effort sticking them on with the aid of a "glue gun"):

First production "mock-up"(see below, a HB pencil has been brought in after much debate to be the "gun" - perhaps a slightly Super Sherman 105mm rather than a 76mm Firefly 17 pounder, but what the heck I am sure the kids will love it):

Looking good (see below, please note the "gun mantle"):

Painting time - Green complete (see below, "looking good?"):

Final painting job, the tracks, black courtesy of "The Works" art section and final "glue gun" assembly (see below, note - I had quite a hard job steering my sons painting away from the "green" sides):

Bring on that "Tiger" (see below, close infantry armour cooperation with Airfix British Infantry - also note the line drawn wheels and suspension):

Who knows Tim does a WWII lawn battle beckon for it in 2019 or do you require a mass production line to churn out twenty or so for a RTR?

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Another Portable Wargame: Eastern Front Scenario - Take III (Part 2)

Realising that the German artillery position is the most dangerous position the T-34s concentrate their attention on it (see below):

Exchanging shots the T-34 take damage but gain the upper hand (see below):

The German front line valiantly tries to hold back yet more T-34s and infantry but cannot help but nervously look over their shoulders (see below):

It is "do-or-die" time for the German gunners (see below):

But the appearance of a third T-34 seals their fate (see below):

The Russian infantry pressure also breaks the German infantry line (see below):

Then the German gunners are gone (see below):

And the position overran (see below):

Morale broken the Germans "drift away" on the breeze, the flotsam and jetsam of the 'lost' battlefield (see below):

The German armour (a trusty PSC Panzer IVH) escapes thanks to its mobility. It has been very ineffectual in its attacks (see below):

The German Commander routs (see below - lucky to be alive):

The last German platoon is surrounded and surrenders (see below):

Quiet a brutal affair, but I did want to see how the "step-loss" rule variant played. I liked it. However the "quick kill" seems much more in the vein of the armour (now you see it now you don't), so I might just mix-and-match them. Something about the gun values may need tweaking too when you get light tanks versus heavies etc. I do like the 'morale collapse' passing the initiative to the attacker (or perhaps non-broken). Onwards to "Developing the Portable Wargame" as I believe Bob addresses some of these very issues ("Pinning": say no more!). Also I think it is time for me to cook up some of my own scenarios.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Another Portable Wargame: Eastern Front Scenario - Take III (Part 1)

Another run out for Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame rules, this time played with the "step-loss" variant (so no quick kills). Dawn breaks to see the German defenders facing a gathering sea of Red Army units ready to "surge" forwards 'en masse' (see below):

The German Armour takes a flanking position to anchor the front (see below):

The Soviet T-34 Phalanx just chooses to roll on through the middle (see below):

Soviet artillery pushes the German PAK crews out of their prepared positions as the T-34s try to grind the Germans out of their defenses (see below):

The German PAK rallies and reoccupies the defenses (see below):

However this precipitates the T-34s to storm the defenses (see below):

The Pak 40 Platoon succumbs to the treads'n'tracks of the metal monster (see below, note the weakened German MG platoon to the right - it has been a tough time in the line):

The German center is wilting and the German armour is engaged in an ineffectual dual on the German left flank. Russian infantry have moved up on the German right flank and it is beginning to look very precarious for the defenders (see below): 

The meat-grinder continues with German infantry attacking the central T-34 from a covered ambush position (see below):

The Germans are looking very thread-bare so the attack is desperate measure (see below):

The first German attack id repulsed (see below):

But the second sees the T-34 erupt in a column of smoke and flame (see below):

Meanwhile the relentless Russian attacks have ground down the German infantry destroying a German Infantry Platoon (see below):

A second T-34 launches an overrun attack and cuts behind into the heart of the defense threatening the German Artillery position (see below):

The odds seem stacked against the Germans .. is there any chance of a counter-attack?

Saturday 15 December 2018

Malburian Infantry WIP Update

In the style of the Grand Old Duke of York, he had ten thousand men (see below, I started with a mere eighteen - these have been primed, washed and base-coated their predominant colour):

This means I can start working through the highlighting (see below, the top row is still base painted, but underneath going left to right are progressive elements of highlighting, with a finished one on the end): 

A close up of "Finished Fred" (see below, looking perhaps a little cock-eyed but I like his surliness):

One down and seventeen in the regiment/brigade (delete as applicable). Following this six Grenadiers and a dozen Walloon Cavalry, plus as an added bonus Prince Eugene himself (batting for the other side).

Thursday 13 December 2018

Inspirational Site: Real Bionic Arms

This seems a truly fantastic feat of initiative and engineering, I am impressed!

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Terrain Resource: Buildings (Railway Scale) Paper

Passed onto me by a friend:

It is a FREE to download but with a PP Donation button!
Have not tried it yet but the range looks good.

Even better: Trebian has spotted another site:

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Wish Me Well on Cruel Seas (the Warlord Games Version)

A "Merry Little Xmas" present to myself indeed (See below, and more successful than the "air blown" Happy Snowman shown in the background):

Warlord Games had a little problem with the shipping as they are sending on the "wake markers" as soon as they get them, which all-in-all as there is plenty of reading and assembling to be done in the meantime.

Myself a veteran 1/600 Skytrex range I am looking forward to see how it plays and hope for a game or two over the Christmas period and early New Year. I think it is a "Game in a Box"  to my mind. I cannot see myself running after the "bigger items" as they would be almost too big to get on table (admittedly there are some "big" 1/200 - 1/350 - 1/400 model ships about). I cannot see myself travelling far outside of the North Sea as the other theaters have "lesser appeal" (famous last words). I think January's WI may carry some more Cruel Seas ships which is good news even if they are repeats!


Monday 10 December 2018

Valor and Victory - A Simple Version of ASL?

Thanks to "Old Trousers" at "Numbers, Wargames and Arsing About" (inspirational title if ever there was one:

See post:

Intriguingly he highlights a FREE game that is in the genre of ASL but for "normal people" (brilliant quote). I will certainly be dipping in here!


Sunday 9 December 2018

Addictive Mobile Games: Rebel Inc and Plague Inc [Fixed bad link]

Blame Rex Brynen at PaxSims for putting me onto this (see PaxSims post):

Rebel Inc:

Plague Inc:

He (Rex) focused on the Rebel Inc game ["no greater testimony can be said than an inspired and dedicated long-term internationally renown educator sees so much value in it, he wants to integrate it into his future course delivery" - say no more!] but equally (if not more addictive at least to me) is the Plague Inc game. Both are reassuringly "cheap" but quite sobering when Rex proclaimed it superior in many ways to some "paid for by the government  work" he had also seen.

A pre-Christmas treat ;)

Saturday 8 December 2018

Note to Self: Good Wargaming Blog Site "Phil B Ancients" - although it is a lot more than Ancients

Especially like his Eastern Front Spearhead "Operational" Epic Game (or mini campaign in a day)

I am back .. Did you miss me?

The curse of the computer struck me down. This time a "motherboard" issue that burnt out, Ho hum, at least I got all my data this time ;)

Nice to be bad, al beit on a lower specification machine!

Friday 23 November 2018

Fighter Duel Part II

A second try out with the Fighter Duel rules by Phil Sabin and I discovered that you will need 'quite a large board' area if you are going to use 1/144 model planes and get into a weaving and circling dogfight! Something the author admittedly had pointed out to me as he used small board game counters on a small-hexed large-gameboard-sheet rather than models. For me I needed the models [which I like making] for "a better sense of visualisation". I scripted a scenario where a veteran Me 109 tried to "bounce" two RAF "old hands" from behind (which should be a hard thing to do). The Me 109 managed to get one "poor chance shot off" but the Spitfires having survived the initial attack 'out-turned' the diving Me 109 and spun away. This seemed quite reasonable. Novice Spitfire pilots perhaps might have got themselves into a bit of bother. The game holds a lot of promise and I will continue experimenting (see below, the Me 109 curses the nimble Spits):

This is the scenario I am working up to an "early war" RAF Vic three formation and a Luftwaffe "Finger Four" head-to-head combat (see below):

Watch this space for more play-testing as I put two game mats together! Note, the blue below obviously implies they are fighting over "The Channel" ;)

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Still the BEST Free Set of Rules on the Web? Canvas Eagles!

Check out this link (and wander round the site):

With characters like this stalking the skies do you feel safe? (see below, 1/72 Fokker Eindecker EIII)

Still a great game after all these years! Myself and some friends shall be taking it for a whirl at the local Stockton Wargames Show Battleground 2018 this weekend!

Monday 19 November 2018

Next Up: Cavalry of the Sun King - Walloon Cavalry for Ramillies 1706.

The box has arrived and it's quite a big one!. The horses "sprues" look straight forward to put together but the cavalry troopers look quite complex as they are many variations allowed for, from normal French cavalryman to Bavarian Currassier (see below, November's job is to put them together and finish off painting the infantry - the tangerines in the background are a nice touch):

I definitely have the 28mm Plastic "buy anything bug". Too much quality about  .. too little restraint ;)

Sunday 18 November 2018

December 2018 issue of Wargames Illustrated with the Cruel Seas "Boat" Sprue

Sequence of actions: Big kid enters candy store, sees best candy ever, buys one (restrains himself from buying two but then orders the bigger "pre-order" Starter Set) and takes it home and immediately starts eating or rather making it (see below, the "candy" bar):

Said "big kid" puts together the "candy" and is one happy big kid [albeit no longer in the "candy shop"] knowing that at least the "candy" has been assembled is ready for the 'painting tray' (see below, or on closer inspection are they ready .. drum roll?):

I have a piece left over and it does not seem to go obviously anywhere! Have I missed a bit of a gun somewhere? It seemed to be parked where all the other gun bits were, but I don't want to go just sticking a bit on any old thing! Dilemma! (see below, middle left hand side - the mystery piece):

I did a Warlord Games S-Boat Google search but all the images seem to look like the S-Boats or E-Boats (take your pick) I have assembled. Sadly the "sprue" was considered so straightforward it came without instructions ... argh. Any help appreciated (and thanks in advance) .. they may be crew seats!

PS: I also notice that the "sprues" were a mixture of RN Vospers and KM E-Boats. They seem to be selling really fast! In fact no RN Vospers were left by the time I picked up my copy.