Sunday, 7 January 2018

A post already and it's only January!

Tried to get a last one in before 2017 ended and the world went to pot again, but I've managed to keep up my batting average and missed it completely. Nothing that exciting to report, but I have been quietly plodding along, knocking out old stuff that should've been finished (or started) long ago. Still, the real world things that kept me diverted last year (and before, if I'm honest) have now subsided, but the leprosy returned during the late summer/autumn (back on the tablets now, thank God) and that didn't do much for hobby effort or morale. 

Back on track now though and, as Christmas and New Year are out of the way, it ought to be a Montgomery style advance, but on a broad front with lots of distractions.

Since the previous post, my butterfly approach has served to divert my attention in all sorts of ways. As a sort of side order while I was painting other stuff, I decided to start experimenting with colours and techniques for the landsknechts I've accumulated. I'd like to have said collected or maybe gathered as part of a project, but accumulated seems to be nearer the mark. I decided to pick a few metal ones at random and try colour combinations for the hell of it. I didn't want to paint up a batch of peacocks and aimed to rein in the impulse to include every colour I could lay my hands on by sticking as closely as possible to the colour scheme of the other figures I was painting at the time, but, as you can see below, I failed. The three figures are all Foundry and they paint up well enough, (though I'm not over the moon with them and Young Henry immediately spotted the one with the squint!) but I think the new plastic Warlord figures will turn out better. Come to think of it, many of the other Foundry figures will be easier to paint and look better. It was just pot luck with the three I grabbed from the pile.

Regarding the Warlord range, I'm not sure how far they intend to take it. Since they acquired the plastic landsknechts the availability of 'Italian Wars friendly' figures has increased and there isn't anything like the shortage of suitable castings, generally easily mixed between ranges. All to the good.

This brings me to my Secret Santa gift from the mystery wargamer south of Watford. He/she very generously gave me some packs of the warlord metal landsknechts: various personality figures and officers and a lovely little light gun. I've gleefully nicked the photos below from the Warlord site and, to be honest, I can't see this lot hanging around too long before they fall victim to the paint brush. So, whoever my Secret Santa was, thank you very much.

Continuing the twin themes of gifts and acquisitions, I managed to cop for a decent haul of books this Christmas (and my birthday was in November, so some of those titles are included here), but I'm obviously only going to mention the military ones. I'm not going to do a review of each title because that would take pages of opinionated twaddle and I haven't read them all yet anyway.

Nevertheless, 'A Rumour of War' is certainly one of the best autobiographies I've read and will stand a lot more than one read. 'The Noise of Battle' is undoubtedly heavy going because it's packed with detail and gives much to think about, but it is, I think, essential reading not just for anyone interested in the final North West European campaigns, but for anyone interested in Second World War land campaigns in general. 'Lutzen and Bautzen' are my favourite battles from the latter end of the Napoleonoic Wars and this book is good, despite Nafzeiger's dull style. It's got the expected army lists and decent movement records, but it's a pretty cold fish. Forty years ago I'd have killed for it; now I'd probably just give someone a fat lip. Finally, Don Troiani - what more need I say?

The painting (and basing) table has seen some success with two projects making some headway. I'm now in the position of being able to hang up my 2” brush and get back to tiny tin men and the like. First off was the completion of the bases for three ECW Royalist foot regiments:

Lord Rivers' (Sir John Boys)

Earl of Derby's (James Stanley)

Thomas Tyldsley's

Just Lamplugh's to finish off and then onto the rest of the horse and the artillery. Not a big job really, but I'm also grinding out the Arnhem Paras and Germans which I'm on a promise of a set of games. They shouldn't take too long either because they're Peter pig and pretty easy to paint and the German armour (4xStugIIIG's and 4xPzkpfwIVH's) is already mostly done (and has been for a long time). The paras I've recently finished as a trial run have turned out quite well and the tanks look OK for wargames (just the crews to paint and a bit of touching up, but  I seem to have lost my knack of applying decals) so it's off with the rest of the set up and on with the games. Still not entirely sure which rules to use. The Battlegroup set are very good, but the old, slimmed down Firefly rules are decent enough too. As the original intention was to use the Firefly set with multiple figure bases and there's a temptation to actually get some 20mm stuff for the Battlegroup rules, I might do what I usually do and duplicate things (aaaaarrrrgggghhhh!). Anyway a poor photos of the 15mm stuff, equally badly painted:

And that's about it for an update to begin 2018. I'll try to make more of an effort for the coming year, but don't expect podcasts and the like. There're a few things happening this year which will take up time and will probably be more interesting/demanding than wargaming.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Back to basics

Well, that should be back to basing because that (among other things) is what I've been doing. It's a thankless task as far as I'm concerned, but it's eventually got to be done, but I do it grudgingly, even though the end result is OK and that's good enough for me.

I go for a reasonably simple approach because my units have enough trouble moving where I want them to without the added benefit of acres of undergrowth to distract them. So, I stick to a few tufts and such and tend to avoid floral displays akin to the Chelsea Flower Show. Some gamers are masters at producing attractive and natural looking bases, but I know my limits: glue the buggers down, hide the base edges couple of tufts to show willing, then flock 'em and flock off.

I've included a few photos of those ACW odds that've been knocking around daring me to base them and I'm part way through some ECW foot regiments which are a pig to do because of the cluster of figures on each base. However, onwards and (sort of) upwards as the saying goes.

Even I have to admit that it's been a while longer than a couple of days since my promised return, but there's a valid excuse and when I think of it, I'll post it here. Nevertheless, I have acquired a box of the new Warlord plastic Landsknechts thanks to a ten quid money off voucher (of which this damn' laptop managed to lose two over the past couple of months). I hadn't planned to get these yet, but the money saving was a draw. They're almost exactly as expected, having been ogling them on their original site and eyeing the teasers floating round the web. I haven't any complaints, but anyone thinking of getting some ought to bear in mind that the free flags on the propaganda sheet enclosed with them are too small. You can't have landsknechts with teeny weeny flags, for God's sake!

Having grown weary of re-jigging my own Second World War rules, I weakened and bought the new edition of the Battlegroup rules from the Plastic Soldier Company. They're just the job and will easily cope with my multi-figure bases. They look to give a balanced game and can handle either scenarios or points based games (ugh!). There are several supplements, including a Market Garden book which is due shortly, and everything looks reasonably priced even by today's standards. The rules include two QRF sheets and data cards, all of which have been sensibly bound with perforated edged by the spine of the book for easy removal. All in all, I'm pretty pleased, though there's an urge to start buying AB 20mm figures . . . .

Friday, 21 July 2017

Chop and Change

Seems like I've been ever so busy these past few weeks, but without anything to show for it. Typically, I've also forgotten to do lots of stuff, but that's me.

Anyway, remember a wile ago I mentioned I planned to paint up the Earl of Derby's regiment of foot and that I'd completed the Marquess of Winchester's foot? Grand lads, but, just before Winchester's were to have their colours applied, Chris remembered an old catchphrase of my Uncle Arthur's about a statue of the “Earl of Derby, mounted”, loaded with appropriate innuendo. Now it happens that there are quite a few associations with the Stanley family in this neck of the woods and something mysterious about some connection with Salford Lads' Club (no, Morrissey never went near the place save to have his photo taken for that album cover!) so it seemed appropriate to switch the designation of Winchester's to Derby's, which I've done and that's saved a batch of figures for another unit.

I've knocked off Lord Rivers' regiment (previously Sir John Boys – same chap, but a bit of brown nosing apparently went a long way), which is a Cheshire regiment (and probably North Wales and Staffordshire too). See these:

They're a bit too uniform and maybe overdressed, but they're a nice mix of Perry and TAG.

So that's it for a quick update. I'll probably hit the keyboard again in a couple of days or so, so standby . . . .