Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Gondor Ascendant

Well I blame watching Lord of The Rings whilst painting! And eBay. The last of my successful lots came this morning and I now have roughly (because I might not have counted too well) 88 Plastics (Warriors of Minas Tirith and Men of Gondor), 2 Metal Minas Tirith Command and 6 Knights of Minas Tirith. Roughly working this lot out at retail would leave change from £120. Second hand cost from eBay has been £22.96 with £9.49 postage.

The latest figures are all being undercoated, then I will break then down in terms of bow, spear etc. I will paint the Men of Gondor and use them as Warriors although they belong to an earlier age - these are the figures I believe came with the original Fellowship version of the game, I waited for the Two Towers box, which was excellent value with 12 Riders of Rohan and 24 Uruk-Hai. Alas I sold these.

I do like the Uruks, I am not so keen on the plastic pikes - far too fragile, this was a quick photo just for eBay, the depth of field wasn't long enough hence only the rear ones are in focus.  

The Riders here were painted literally in a 24 hour period. I bought the boxed game on the Saturday afternoon and there were in a game the next evening. Yes they could have been tidier but were quite an achievement for the time.

I have had a good look through the garage and dug out a set of the original Fellowship with Gandalf painted and oddly Grima Wormtongue and King Theoden. I will take my time painting the characters whilst I keep an eye out for my characters and Knights.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Painting ACW Part Three

A quick update on the ACW and other bits I'm doing at the moment, first off here's a WIP of last six Naval Brigade and the first of the eBay Gondor figures. The idea with the Gondor figures is to buy them all second hand - I might have gone mad, I spent about £20 and got nearly 100 foot and 5 mounted. Some of the figures have paint on, the really bad ones are bound for the bin.

The ACW foot have had a coat of Army Painter and I have started basing them. The cavalry have been started, the horses have the basecoat and the riders started, they may be finished by the weekend.

I do like the Officers in the ACW plastics, here's a shot, shame there is no bare head option so I could impale a hat on a sword. There are bare heads in the Victix so perhaps I could do a headswap.

Finally on another whim I have made up an Officer from the Victrix French Infantry box I bought at Colours.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Projects Update

I was thinking about my current projects this morning, particularly thinking of what bits and pieces I would be picking up at Derby this weekend.

The project I should be painting is my ACW Confederate 6mm army, this will be lots of fun, particularly with Black Powder. I must admit I choose Confederate on purpose knowing that I wouldn't power through it like a Union army. I must knuckle under and get these done.

Now this is the project I am currently painting, ACW 28mm for Sharp Practice. My aim is to have the first box painted before Derby and that will certainly happen they are almost finished, then come the Cavalry. At Derby I shall buy another box of Infantry, a cannon and crew and some mounted officers. For now this will be all, next year I may add dismounted cavalry and perhaps a box of plastic zouaves.

Another project with plenty to do is my 28mm Napoleonics, again currently for Sharp Practice. I have British Highlanders, French infantry and dragoons to paint. To conclude this I will need some cavalry for the Brits and some artillery.

A project with hopefully not too much work required is 6mm Soviets for Cold War Commander. Finishing the armour is a quick task, but painting the infantry will take more time but easily achievable given a couple of weeks to dedicate to it.

I decided to paint an army for the new version of Warhammer, I had never painted Warriors of Chaos before, having Bretonnians, Vampire Counts and Dark Elves before. I have collected most of these models, need to complete assembly and start the mammoth painting.

And to add to these projects I have started another! Clearly I do have other projects, which are 'stalled' awaiting inspiration such as Modern 28mm Mogadishu, 20mm Cold War and 28mm WW2. These projects will no doubt get their moment in the spotlight, but for now I am revisiting another project I sold off, this time Lord of the Rings. I am focussing on a force for Gondor using only 2nd hand figures from eBay, so watch this space.

I have finished 3 projects so far this year, all which will be revisited in time.

6mm WW2 Pacific Air War - crying out for more planes and Japanese bombers

15mm Sci-Fi - Looking to get a game with these, perhaps with Tomorrow's War before I start making plans to add to them.

28mm Anglo Zulu war - Would like perhaps the Perry Gatling Gun and some more infantry in the future.

Must be time to do some more painting .........

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Painting ACW Part Two

Managed to grab a couple of hours over the last few days to do the flesh and to paint the muskets.

Next colour is black, my plan is to have these, as well as the last 6 Naval Brigade, finished before next Saturday when I am going to the Derby Show. Will be keeping the shopping list short, another box of infantry, an artillery piece and perhaps some mounted officers.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Painting ACW Part One

Many years ago I bought and painted many hundred Dixon 25mm ACW figures, along with friends staged a number of re-enactments at Shows in the Midlands including Halesowen, Warcon and Derby - more by the efforts of others for terrain building and general organisation we won two best of shows.

My painting style has changed loads since then, my interest in ACW waned, but I wanted to put together a 6mm army and that is currently under way. More recently TooFatLardies have posted some excellent battle reports in their blog using their forthcoming expansion to Sharp Practice called Terrible Sharp Sword. This was all I needed and recently I bought a box of the Perry plastics.

Watching Merlin on  the telly I soon had the figures clipped from the sprues and the few separate bits glued on, a few thin coats of paint sprayed on later and the figures were glues to bases. As I had good feedback from the painting of the sailors I decided to paint the tunics of the Union in a similar way.

Stage One

I painted the tunics in GW Regal Blue using a 'wet brush' method, making sure that I got paint in all the right places. My style tends to start messy and then gets tidier as the figures progress on.

Stage Two

Now drybrush the figures using GW Fenris grey and once dry wash the tunics with thinned down GW Baddab black.

Stage Three

The trousers were painted with GW Shadow Grey taking care not to get paint on the tunics. Whilst painting these I have also squeezed in the 6 extra Naval Brigade I bought at Colours.

Hopefully tomorrow I will base coat the flesh areas which should bring these figures to life. Even though I will give these models a coat of Army Painter Strong Tone, I will still do some highlighting, particularly on the face as it blends nicely under the tinted varnish.

I bought a random standard for these, the 76th New York which unknown to me, were one of the first union infantry regiments to engage the Confederates at Gettysburg.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Battle of Myer's Drift 1879

We decided to bring out our Zulu Wars figures and replay the scenario from the Black Powder rulebook.We used our gaming mats to create a 12 x 6 table, we didn't need it quite this big but in the end it probably helped the British.

Some historical background can be found here. Basically natives ambushed a supply column which was poorly set up, straddling the river, a few stragglers managed to get away and find refuge in a nearby farmhouse. The Zulus were set up on the table whilst the British relief column came on the table in march column.

The officer commanding the Naval Brigade brought them on in good order, along with the volunteer cavalry.

The 88th commanded by Sir Marmaduke Surridge had difficulties coming on the table, rumours of the column being halted, as the officers best tableware were mislaid have so far been unproven. The Zulu impis previously looting the game surge forward to meet the British. The cavalry brigade form a screen at the farmhouse in an attempt to dissuade the Zulus.

The Zulu right horn charged and hit the cavalry who choose to stand and fire. The cavalry were driven off and the Zulus charged Sgt Booth and his stragglers in the farmhouse. Luckily for the plucky Brits the farmhouse was solidly built and helped keep the Zulu out.

The Naval Brigade turned to face and bring fire of the Zulus causing casualties as the 88th finally moved on to the table, to find Zulus charging towards them.

The Zulus pulled back from the farmhouse unable to break in, as the Royal Impis charged the 88th.

After much fighting only one company of the 88th remained and after breaking an Impi surged forward and then found itself outnumbered and surrounded.

In an effort to take some of the pressure from the 88th, the NNC and volunteer cavalry charged in. The cavalry found themselves charged in return.

Finally after a firefight with the Zulus, the stragglers leave the farmhouse under the cover of the Naval Brigade and begin the retreat from the table.

The game took us about five hours to play, both sides took casualties both the Brits got the stragglers out, so we happily called it a draw. It is clear that the Zulus particularly can be quite brittle and need the 'generals' to remove their casualties. Now we have played a game this size, we can certainly certainly do this on a normal club night. We will  be trying the rules with Sudan 15mm, Napoleonic 6mm and eventually ACW 6mm too.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Flocking 'eck

Spent some time tonight flocking the last of the figures for the weekends big game. First off here are the Zulu casualty figures (Old Glory, weapons and shields from a variety of sources).

Again more casualties from Old Glory, the weapons and odd shields are again a mix of Foundry, Wargames Factory and Old Glory.

Perry Miniatures Naval Brigade, I bought another pack Sunday and will probably by the Gatling gun in the future.

Will get some better pictures of these when I have some annual leave and can spend some time getting all the lighting etc. right.

Some Foundry Brits from eBay, I touched these up and gave them some varnish and flock. These will bolster the British forces this weekend.

A couple of shots of the Naval Brigade command figures.

These are odd Zulus rescued from eBay, some married and some in ceremonial dress.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Painting Day

Today I had a painting day. Now and again I like a day off in the week and just paint all day, good loads done today. Just so Mark L doesn't have a fit, I only finished the figures today!

I have finished the Renedra tents, whilst I am no expert on tents I feel these are good for as far back as Napoleonics. These are excellent value for money and well worth buying.

The Perry farmhouse is also finished, I have not bothered with the fences, I will do those another time as there wasn't really enough with the farmhouse to make it usable, you can buy further lengths from Renedra.

Finally I have finished the casualties for Black Powder, to allow for larger units I have numbered the sides from 1 to 4 and marked a further side as Shaken, a further dozen Zulus, and the remains of the Naval Brigade. You will also see some more redcoats in there, I was worried we might be short of Brits for Saturdays game so I bought some off ebay and tarted them up a bit. All these have had a coat of Army Painter and will be matted down tomorrow.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Punch Buggy Red!

Colours 2010

Had an unexpected trip to Colours at Newbury racecourse on Sunday. Not a venue I had visited before but I had been to the old venue, Reading Hexagon plenty of times. Split over three floors, the venue was a good size and reasonable light and airy. Despite going on a Sunday, traditionally the quietest, the show seemed quite busy and there was a bit of a buzz.

I was there with a plan and pretty much stuck to it, buying figures for current projects and only one which was vaguely new. Here's a little photo collage of pretty much what came from the bag at the end of the day.

So I have a box of Victrix French infantry for Sharp Practice, another pack of Perry Naval Brigade (definitely not painted for the weekend), some Foundry paints, more plastic figures this time for the ACW variant of Sharp Practice which I have wangled a freebie copy, some flags and finally a pack of 15mm Sci-Fi figures from Critical Mass Games. Finally I grabbed a pack of Baccus ACW casualties, these will serve as stamina markers for Black Powder.

I have been wanting to see the figures from CMG for a while, the figures look great as do the walkers and their building range, I am not convinced by the four legged walkers. The figures look taller than my GZG figures and are certainly more expensive.

The Perry figures have a completely different approach from the Victrix. Some of the figures only need their hats sticking on, another few have arms as well. In all the box took perhaps 90 minutes to assemble. They are already undercoated and stuck on to bases. The Victrix French will need lots more cleaning up as some parts have flash and approximately half a dozen  parts per figure, sixty figures in the box equals plenty of work. Once the French are done I only need some artillery for the French and British and some British Cavalry to complete the project.

Finally tomorrow is a painting day, up early and a paint brush in hand all day to get things finished for Saturdays all day game, to make up for yesterdays trip to Newbury, at least I can avoid a day of "turn it off and back on again" - the day job!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Black Powder - trial game

Our next all day game is scheduled for 2 weeks and we wanted to at last give Black Powder a try, seemed like a good excuse to get out the Zulu figures. Basically we were trying to have as many situations crop up as might arise in a "real" game, so we ensured we had a good selection of troops.

The Zulu force comprises 6 Impis (one of which was a Royal Impi), a skirmish unit and 3 leaders (2 Ldr 8 and 1 Ldr 9). Opposing the Zulus was 2 units of British Line infantry, 2 units of Naval Brigade, 1 troop of Frontier Light Horse, a Gatling and a cannon. Again 2 Ldr 8 and 1 Ldr 9.

The following battle report was written up by our own roving reporter Mr Stephens.

Zulu turn 1-  the first brigade moved slowly on to the top of the hill in front of them,while the other 2 brigades flew 36" down table towards the British.

British turn 1 - Frontier Light Horse galloped towards the Zulus on the hill to just inside Carbine range and fired and missed, the artillery and regular infantry moved slowly up and fired on the main Impis without effect. The Naval Brigade moved to the top of the hill in front of them but the Native Contingent and gatling gun couldn't keep up. The Sailors fired and also did little damage

Turn 2 Zulu - The Impis on the hill ran headlong at the cavalry who evaded back and only just got out the way as the Zulus charged a massive 36", the main body of zulus split as the skirmish unit moved to cover the Naval Brigade and the Impis charged another 36" into the British Regulars, followed by another 2 Impis in support also managing this impressive distance.

During the combat phase the Zulus won one and the Brits won one the zulus passed their break test and the British failed theirs and broke (this we got wrong as there was a special rule for the British meaning they pass their first break test as if they rolled a 12, also they could also reroll 1 failed save).

Turn 2 - British. The cannon and horse moved slowly to reposition, as the Gatling gun came up and made a lot of noise but not a lot else. The Naval Brigade inflicted damage on the skirmishers as the Native Contingent worked round the flank during the continuing combat, the British won and the zulus fled 12".

Turn 3 saw the Zulu skirmishers charge the gattling gun but died after a failed break test, the main Impis tried to reform and the right flank failed to move.

Turn 3 - British saw the Naval brigade move to cover the Gatling Gun and the combined fire of the artillery, cavalry and British regulars drive off an Impi.

Turn 4 saw the Royal Impi charge the Naval Brigade and an Impi into the regulars in a nasty round of combat which saw both Impis and 1 Naval Brigade unit destroyed (although they should have passed their test - we missed the rule).

Turn 4 British - saw the Native Contingent charge the flank of another Impi which succumbed to the flank attack and finished the game with only 1 Zulu unit left.

A very enjoyable game, the speed of the movement can suprise, the fire from the Gatling is not effective at all. The Zulus charge is very good but countered by the British regulars and Naval Brigade passing their first break test.

In all this bodes pretty well for the all day game in a couple of weeks.