Saturday 30 January 2016

First Indian armour

The fallshirmjager are painted and dipped and while I'm waiting for them to dry I thought I might paint an Indian tank.
I accidentally added a bit of water to the pigment that I was using, and got some fairly heavy muck happening.
The base colour is bronze green highlighted with a bit of medium olive mixed into the base colour.
This side the weathering was even heavier. 
Now I have an issue. The plan was that I would be able to use the Indian army to represent Burma 1945 or Punjab 1965. But in 1945 the tanks have big stars on the sides which they don't have in 1965. Not only that, but the Deccan horse had great big blue unit markings in 1945. I have no idea about 1965, but I'd bet they weren't there. So I have to decide. Do I put markings on for '45 or leave them plain for '65? Dilemmas. Help appreciated.


Thursday 28 January 2016

The first figure for 1588

It hasn't all been splinter cam and field grey in the last few days. In between colours on the fallshirmjager I thought I'd paint up a test figure from the Sgt Major Minis Border Reivers.
Senor Geraldo Lopez
So here is a Spanish sword and buckler man, ready to create mischief for the Virgin Queen and her domain. He doesn't have a particularly original name, but then Spanish is not really my language.
Next post will be Fallshirmjager.


Sunday 24 January 2016

January painting

Before the break away I had managed to pretty much clear the painting tray - they just needed a bit of work on the bases, which I did today:
The first of Craig's Fallshirmjager were finished off.
The anti-tank chaps.
A machine gun section.
The boss and a chap with an automatic falshirmgewehr
The first Paraguayan militia battalion
The second battalion. 
The painting tray now has another 16 Fallshirmjager and one test figure for the 1588 project.

One of the wonderful things about being away is that when you return a bunch of goodies are waiting for you. I received three Ospreys - The Irish Rebellion, Centurion vs Patton and the En Garde rules - some Jordanian anti-tank nests, infantry and jeeps with recoiless rifles to use for my Pakistanis (yes, that project is on again); and the Foundry swashbucklers to round out my forces for 1588.

I've decided to go back to the India-Pakistan project. The Indians will be built up so that they have enough options that they can be used for Burma 1945 as well. I also found some cheap Battlefront M48s and Geoff has some Centurions that he has offered me, so the whole thing is coming together very quickly.


A week away

The family got back yesterday from a trip down to the capital city, Wellington. It was a great stay and we got through heaps of things - Te Papa museum, the Beehive, the zoo, the Planetarium etc. Of interest to my fellow gamers, though, will be my trip to the National War Memorial. Peter Jackson and WETA workshops have put together an exhibit on the First World War that rivals any that I have seen anywhere else in the world. And that is before you see the Chunuk Bair diorama that so many wargamers contributed their painting time to. Here are some photos:

A trench scene from the 1915 section
A big gun.
1916, and a Mk I tank busts out of the wall.
And runs over a trench with some poor German defenders in it.
Chunuk Bair - frantic Turkish attacks mounted against the Wellington Regiment.
Another distant view of a Turkish attack. The diorama is vast. You forget that you are looking at 54mm figures there are just so many of them.
And I had to take a photo of the German uniform for reference.
I went through at the end of our second day by myself, just before closing, and was so impressed I made the family come through with me the next day. The exhibition is meant to be dismantled after 1918, but this would be a tragedy. It is world class and deserves to be permanent. I'll certainly be writing to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage to advocate that it remains.

We came home via New Plymouth to visit the festival of lights at Pukekura park. Then I drove home yesterday, and am pretty knackered as a result. Back to work tomorrow.


Friday 15 January 2016

First Napoleonic French unit

The first figures off the painting tray for 2016 were meant to be 28mm Fallshirmjager, but after putting the base coat down on the smock and trousers I saw a little unit of poor lonely French infantry sitting there all forlorn, and knew that I must paint them. 
The 9e Ligne - my first Napoleonic unit in a long time.
No flags will be used for the French - traditionally they just took the eagle into battle. And the poles are too short to put a decent sized flag on.
Like the Crimean War project, this one is going to be strictly base colour and blackline style.
I knew they wouldn't take long - three hours in total - due to the black-line single colour style I was planning to use. I really like this aesthetic, and will probably paint all of the pocket projects in this style (apart from the Great Northern War, which is already painted in two tone).

The fallshirmjager will be the next to roll off the painting tray. I finished the camo last night, now it is just the webbing and accoutrements which I should get done tomorrow night, a wash and the bases. Tonight is games night around at John's place.

In the last 48 hours I have already changed my mind about one of the projects this year. The 1965 India-Pakistan War will be scrapped in favour of building an Indian Flames of War force for Burma 1945. I have the Shermans and infantry, I just need the rest of the supports. I assume with the Pacific being released this year that a Burma book might appear in 2017 or 2018, but for now I plan to use the Indian list from the Cassino book and John can use the Rising Sun book, because it isn't like the Japanese equipment list changed a great deal is it? Sherman vs Chi-ha? Bring it on!

The change in plans is actually based around leaving enough space in my cabinet for a Byzantine and Sassanid pocket project. Again I'll be looking at using a Lion Rampant adaptation for Belisarius and his boys.
SUCH a good book!
Yesterday Dragon Rampant arrived and I read through it last night. I absolutely loved it. The tone is perfect and makes you want to play the game much more than anything GW ever put out. It could have done with a bit more proof reading in places, but this doesn't detract from a great game system produced with an obvious love for 'old school' fantasy gaming. Now, where are my killer sheep?


Sunday 10 January 2016

2015 review and plans for 2016

Well, Happy New Year everyone. I got back from the beach mid-week and a very nice break it was. 11 days away from the shed and the temptation of doing a bit of 'soldier stuff' is always good for me. It gave me a bit of time to reflect and to plan for the year to come. I also get to do a bit of reading, and this year for the first time in forever, I spent most of my time reading fiction. I've found it very relaxing and rather inspiring.
I figure I have some undiagnosed OCD in there somewhere, because I like to make lists, and I thought I'd share a couple that were hammered out while on holiday.
First of all, the painting tally for 2015. When I added this up, it blew me away:
15mm = 231 foot figures, 56 mounted figures and 4 guns.
28mm = 330 foot figures and 2 mounted figures.
And two 1/2400 ships.
And that is just what I can remember. Included in that was the whole Great Northern War project and a lot of painting for other Geoff, Craig and John. This year I expect to follow a similar pattern of doing most of my painting for others, accumulating capital to reinvest in the hobby.
Indian Centurion tank 1965
What new projects beckon for 2016? There are two in particular that I have made the plans and shopping lists for. The first is the Irish Rebellion of 1798. This will be a pocket project utilising adapted Neil Thomas rules. The second will be the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War using the Flames of War rules. The modifications aren't decided as of yet, but both nations will use the Jordanian list from Fate of a Nation as the basis for their forces. I'm looking at accumulating the figures and vehicles for these two periods this year, as opposed to actually getting them all painted and completed - although the 1965 project will probably be one I'm eager to get on the table. There will probably be a couple of posts about the history and the attractions of these two conflicts for gamers this year.
The Irish rebellion - Irish pikemen hope that the British get the point.
In terms of personal projects that I want to get painted and complete this year, the first priority is the figures for 1588. Then I have a few extra units to paint up for the Crimean War and Great Northern War pocket projects. Finally I want to get my early/mid war Germans for Flames of War completed. I'm not making any plans beyond this. We'll see where we are in a few months.

Above: Some recent purchases.

I seem to have achieved my Holy Grail for rules, having only 4 main sets or their variants that I plan to use. I'm looking to Dan Mersey's Lion Rampant/Dragon Rampant and adaptations of them for Gallic Wars 15mm, Dark Ages 15mm, Wars of the Roses 28mm, Lord of the Rings 28mm and Samurai 15mm. Craig Woodfield's Ronin for 28mm Samurai and En Garde for 28mm 1588 takes care of the skirmish periods. Flames of War will cater to 15mm WWII, 1965 India-Pakistan and the Yom Kippur War. Finally Neil Thomas' rules which have very similar systems to each other and have survived my tweaking them, will form the basis for Great Northern War 15mm, Irish Rebellion 15mm, Napoleon in Russia 15mm, Crimean War 15mm, Great Paraguayan War 15mm, Franco-Prussian War 15mm and WWI 15mm. Rounding out the rules I have Galleys and Galleons for 1588 naval and I've been looking at Captain Kobold's Clobberin' Time for superhero battles.

Of the periods listed above a good number of them are unpainted, but I'm in no rush. I've decided 2016 will be about gathering the hosts and 2017 onwards will be about getting them all painted. The pocket project idea has been wonderful here. It has given me a tidy finite way to accumulate a number of projects which I can game comfortably in an evening, paint in a couple of months, and indulge my passion for military history in some of the more obscure conflicts.

Is there anything else on the horizon? I'd like to get some Byzantines and Sassinid Persians for a 15mm Lion Rampant project, but they aren't a priority at the moment. Lancashire Games brings out their Napoleon in Egypt range this year, and that is another pocket project that I'm unlikely to be able to resist. We will see as the year unfolds.

Tomorrow night I'm back to work. I have 45 Fallshirmjager to paint for Craig's Bolt Action army and the suggested timeframe of finishing them by mid-January has now blown out by a month. Let's see if I can outdo my painting record for 2015!