Monday, 29 September 2014

Saga: Anglo-Saxons (The Good Guys)

Attacking the "Plastic Mountain" update: 

Now the 28mm plastic Sparabara have been assembled (though not yet painted) I am looking at the other plastic 28mm figures left "in the loft". Next up was a box of unmade unarmoured Anglo-Saxons (from Wargames Factory) to bulk up the old metal Gripping Beast collection (started circa 1999, finished painting in 2005) and the existing Wargames Factory plastics I have already made (but not yet painted), with the intention of creating a Saga Warlord Faction of six units (see below):

The "Yaeton" Faction Order of Battle:
  • Unit 1: 12 x Unarmoured Levy Spear/Sword/Axe (Painted)
  • Unit 2: 8 x Warriors Armoured Spear/Sword/Axe (Assembled but unpainted)
  • Unit 3: 4 x Hearthguard Armoured Spear/Sword/Axe + 1 Warlord (Painted)
  • Unit 4: 4 x Hearthguard Armoured Spear/Sword/Axe (Assembled but unpainted)
  • Unit 5: 8 x Warriors Armoured Spear/Sword/Axe (Assembled but unpainted)
  • Unit 6  12 x Unarmoured Levy Spear/Swords/Ax (Unassembled)
  • 1 x Unarmoured Man with Horn (Painted)
  • 2 x Unarmoured Spear/Sword/Axe (Painted)
  • 2 x Armoured Spear/Sword/Axe (Assembled but unpainted)
  • 4 x Unarmourd Bow (Unassembled)
Note: I would have liked to form a unit of Levy Bow (12 figures required), but I need to acquire 8 more figures. Missile weapons although not a direct battle winner as per the Persian army would at least weaken selected foes prior to the hand-to-hand and make your opponent initiate the attack in disadvantageous circumstances.

The Warlord's Hearthguard Formation is shown in close-up (see below):   

My other fully painted formation is the Levy Spearmen (although I could also mix in a couple of painted axe and swordsmen for a little variety). These go back to when I was trying to perfect the three-tone technique as promoted by the Games Workshop paint range of yore in the early 2000's (see below):

Note: The shield patterns came specifically from the Shieldwall Warhammer Historical booklet.

The goal remain to have at least assembled a "full force" and play a game of Saga. A middle term goal is to acquire enough (8) unarmoured bow from some source to field a missile unit too. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

In search of lost gold - Battleground 1978 TV Programme

Every now and again I pick up a lost cause (the perfect set of wargaming rules for a period) or start believing in an urban legand (alien spaceship on the moon) until; you sober up. So ... I started an internet search in the quest of the "lost" 1978 Battleground Tapes.

Other bloggers have covered this in far better detail that myself (see below):

What is it?

Intriguing details:

The closes I got was this elusive posting:

Other than that, no You Tube postings or the like :(
So after many hours of 'wasted' Internet browsing I drew a blank

Note: As a kid I remember seeing a clip really late at night in the 'somewhere' Western Desert with Airfix (classic) tanks, but that could be complete imagination on my part!

Addendum: I have posted a question on the above blog, let's see if I get a response

Friday, 26 September 2014

Crazy 15mm Sci-Fi "The Itch I just had to scratch"

There comes a time when the irrational hankering gets the better of you and despite the apparent insanity of the idea, the appeal of it wins through. You simply give in. The shiny, shiny non-essential thing becomes an obvious necessity. So, quite openly, I will use this blog as a "confessional" in that I have been found completely wanting in 'iron resolve' and have shamelessly given in to an urge to purchase a small force of 15mm Science Fiction miniatures from Ground Zero Games (see GZG link).

My friends at Hartlepool Wargames Club exerted peer pressure (er, or rather just said "we already have some, you don't", which was all it really took) and hung out the carrot, "We are going to play some simple Sci-Fi games at the club are you in?" I think the rules are called 'Gruntz' (tbc) but more of that later, as the toys have literally just arrived! (see below, five packs, two troopes, one command, one infantry squad heavy weapons and one of missile/snipers):

The figures are a generic Sci-Fi type infantry troopers (their New Israeli range, er whatever (?), I just liked the shape their helmets) for a nebulous "future wars" era or 'In Space Somewhere' setting, "Good Guys" or "Bad Guys", I don't care, they looked cool to me! Why?

Well my hankering for a non-franchised (aka non-Star Wars, non-Star Trek and its variants, non-Aliens, non-Dr Who and non-GW figure range with accompanying strange mythos) has always been there since my adolescent experiences with a RPG called Traveller. Didn't everybody have a formative experience of a character with lousy stats that you put into the Scouts (with high chance if death in the pre-game persona build-up) to try and kill off, but by whimsical dice throwing became a 'super-character' with cool alien artefacts or mostly cyborg? Also if I don't get the figures now (as it is still within bounds of a late birthday present) I never, ever will!

First look at the first pack 'filed and flash' free (see below):

Note: They are also on End of Summer special offer (ending 30th September 2014, honest I am getting no commission here) where you get "Five for Four" packs.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

28mm Renaissance Mounted Harquebusiers (Impetus Troops)

This posting has been over a year in the making.

Ever since my Burgundian Knights and Germanic Men-At-Arms were added to my Renaissance army I felt the need for lighter mounted troops to cover them to create a sense of balance (speaking of which the infantry needs more Pike). My Mounted Crossbows (CL) were only one half of the equation, these Mounted Harquebusiers (CM in Impetus terms) are the other (see below, in their current most advanced state, with the basing 'half' complete):

"Impetus" has fast become my favourite wargaming rule set for linear pre-musket era (stretching back to the ancients, but I still am active in the DBMM camp). It certainly ranks alongside "Chain of Command"  for enjoyment an non-deterministic "shock" value. My only problem is that I have kit but seemingly not the time to paint them! The painting started over a year ago (see below, a basic undercoat black):

Though technically not Light Horse (so it is harder for them to get out of the way) these are destined to be an important screening force to 'shove in front' of some decent impact cavalry to avoid them getting cheaply spent. Wanting them to do "them proud" I searched the Internet and pulled this useful  "crib painting sheet" in the below  photograph from: (see below):

I tried to give the horses a three-tone treatment, but always feel I chicken out of washing the legs dark enough. My lack real horse experience shows here methinks, I paint almost a typical cartoon representation, but at least try and vary the shades of colour. I decided to make these rider's jackets a bit more brighter (see below):

Then the riders were 'browned-up' in the legging department (see below):

The good news is that the 'boys' have already made it to the tabletop for an Impetus wargame in a "basic paint form" (see below):

They did well enough, shooting at some offending infantry at close range, but true my earlier comment "got in the way" of the very troops they were supposed to be screening. CM cavalry seems to have been more useful in earlier ancient times, when armoured four-legged tanks were less common. I might even 'pretend' they are Mounted Crossbow if the need comes in the next game ;)  

At the moment they just need to be finished off with the basing painted, highlighted and flocked. Watch this space for a final photo later.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Perry's French 28mm Napoleonic Infantry (another birthday gift)

Another "birthday treat", this time from one of my brothers, coming from his askance of "What could a man who has enough silly toys possibly still want for?" The answer, another addition of some sort to my eclectic 28mm Napoleonic collection, "You chose", he said and I promptly did, Perry's 1812-1815 Napoleonic Line Infantry will do nicely sir (see below):

That's forty two figures, which if you make it up in a composition advertised on the box is a infantry battalion of six (six man) company blocks, complete with the option to extend the Voltigeur Company (skirmishers) into open skirmish formation. Nice!


Why? Well I honestly don't know.

Do I sensibly use these for Napoleonic skirmish game along with the English, Scottish and French Victrix troops (still in their boxes) or do I madly become the only person I know within one hundred miles to start building up an 28mm Napoleonic French and British armies? The painting work from Iron Mitten makes me want to try. As I look at my other 'disrupted' Napoleonic projects I started, I see a token gesture in 15mm metals (French and Prussian Infantry), a curious experiment with large formations in a very, very small scale (2mm), a bundle of inherited plastic 20mm, 1/72, HO/OO used as a painting and exercise before I come to the 'twenty first century plastics' that I chose as a magpie chooses silver, not knowing what causes the attraction.

The real question I should be asking is "What RULES?"

Suggestions on a postcard gratefully received and sincerely appreciated  

Friday, 19 September 2014

More Luftwaffe planes ...

Just before I moved onto the Battle of Britain Spitfires a chance conversation with a fellow wargamer resulted in the dispatch of some unfinished Luftwaffe kits to my door as part of a communal "build" for a larger game. This will represent 1940 German "air assets". In total three Stukas and a Ju88 destined to bomb the French. A dibble and dabble of glue completed the part-assembly of a Stuka and Ju88 (see below):  

So two more Stukas to go before the RAF gets its second turn!

Note: There are a lot of bare plastic kits waiting at the end of the production ready for a mass paint.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Birthday presents ...

Trying to keep my mind off the Scottish Independence vote, so I decided to look back at my recent birthday presents (see below):

Some nice catches:
  • Three 1/144 Pacific planes, I can now make up a flight of Wildcats (3) and Dive Bomber Dauntlesses (3) with the above acquisitions
  • A must buy when I saw it Zvezda 1/72 or 20mm BEF 2pdr (I now have a troop of three)
  • The old Matchbox (now Revell) 1/76 ANZACS, full of character, spot on! 
Dare I turn on the telly/radio today?