Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Time to undercoat the WW2 French I have been keeping in the loft!

Sometimes one is spurred into action by the "use it or lose it" paradigm. Or put another way when your kids, with one particularly talented "crafty" young lady in mind, discovers your "undercoat spray can collection" and decides to have fun with it. Better had use the rest up quick before is disappears literally into "thick air". Hence the beautifully sculpted FAA WW2 (when they were based in the UK) French from 1998 or thereabouts finally get undercoated (see below):

About time too! More remedial action should follow before my spray paint stash is raided again!

Monday, 16 October 2017

War of Spanish Succession: 28mm Eye Candy

Travelling across to my friends in nearby Redcar I dropped into see the final stages of a board game of the War of the Spanish Succession (Note to self: Must fill in the missing blank of the games actual name when I next get across). Over the summer they have hosted a campaign by which battles from the strategic board game were transferred to the tabletop instead of rolling dice on a Combat Results Table (CRT). At this point Marlborough had gone home (or had been bribed, discuss) and the Dutch and French were frittering about trying to take a few Victory Point (VP) last towns before "winter quarters". This is pure co-incidence for me and my current Marlburian interest, as they are doing it in 28mm myself in 15mm with as of yet no painted figures. I was greeted with the fine sight of infantry brigades manoeuvring into position and the charge of cavalry squadrons in the distance (see below):

I was given a flank command of cavalry which seemed to be there purely to attract the attention of cannon balls away from the pretty infantry brigade in the previous picture. To which I accomplished great feats losing my dragoons in short order (in my defence by the time I got them they were about "gone" from the previous game session). If my memory served me correctly I was French (see below, some finely painted 28mm horse):

As per my dragoons I had to leave early. One observation from the rules (Lilly Banner) was that they must have played about half a dozen fairly large games yet still the basics were being talked about and walked through. True there was a fair rotation in players but the "leaders" had been consistent throughout and this struck me as a curious position to be in. In this session it was the mechanics of working out a basic charge and counter-charge. The side being the more 'pedantic' (in this case French, though I may add nothing to do with me as it was at the other end of the table) got for their efforts being "caught at the standstill" which I thought was a well-deserved ire of their own making. At least everyone will now be more familiar with the cavalry charge process due to this dramatic result.


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Cold War Flash Back 1970-90 (1:300 Micro Tanks) Soviet MR XX Project Tank III (WIP)

I happened in the loft upon an old collection of 1/300 modern micro armour. A project the better part of three quarters the way through making the order of battle for a Soviet, circa 1980's. Motor Rifle Division. The BMP and 2 x BTR regiments were all made, the next step being the organic Tank Regiment for the Division. The current state of affairs of the OrBat of stands to be completed is shown (see below, 21 stands waiting for tanks and odds and sods to fill in):

A little tender loving care (TLC) was applied to the basic brown, along with labelling the units in standard Spearhead fashion at the back of the base (see below): 

The missing stands in the above picture required a basic brown spray undercoat of "brown" to seal them (see below):

Sadly I don't think they match the original batch so I will have to lighten the base with an old fashioned brush (see below):

Next: Time to root out the silver legions of "micro tanks" to populated the bases!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Er, "Psst ... wanna free Space Marine or four?" ... OK

While entering a Comic Book Store I was propositioned with a friendly smile and a "Would you like some FREE Space Marines." Old style, but the only thing it cost me is "dignity and my time" (see below, a quick glue and they are lurking at the back of the painting tray")

How did I get from the WoSS to here?

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Necrons ... Just because they looked GOOD being so BAD!

Sometimes I cannot help myself or should that read most of the time? It is that SHINY feeling. I do not actively play GW 40K but I do like the Necrons, Tau and Tyranids models .. and come to think of it (some of the) Adeptus Mechanicus "robotic men". And somehow I have a large collection (well large to my mind when I didn't expect to have any at all) of those things called "Space Marines"  .. you might of heard of them. So when I saw these particular Necrons I immediately failed my Wisdom check for "scary robots of death" (see below, cash exchanged hands .. same old story):

Killer Death Robot (Style A) #1:

Killer Death Robot (Type B) #2:

Killer Death Robot (Type A again) #3:

Killer Death Robot (Type B again) #4:

Killer Death Robot (Type A again, again .. my favourite style) #5:

As per my usual attitude to GW kits, I just stick things together for aesthetics rather than their corpus or rule sets (limited eBat resell perhaps but that is not what I got it for). Here I broke their pedantic rules with glee mixing weapons from the wrong types of figures .. cast me into the pit of shame, I dare you ;)

They don't care they anymore they got my money. I should really move over to the Kick Starters, bigger bucks but you get the benefit of a bulk buy! 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The War of the Spanish Succession: The Battle of Oudenarde July 11th 1708 (Part 7) All Good Things Come to an End

The Hanoverian infantry faced-off against the French rearguard. Pressing the French "too hard" meant that the French artillery would strike with deadly effect so an impasse was in effect (see below):

So gradually the French rearguard trickled away as the Allies marched forward in an orderly fashion, wary of a potential French counter stroke and content in squeezing the French back over the river. Inevitably the disordered French in retreat were faster than the Allies in steady advance, however the detritus of war that was left on the battlefield indicated how many of the French soldiers were shedding their valuable equipment in pure flight (see below):

One final cavalry skirmish was sufficient to remove the remnants of the French cavalry regiments from the field leaving only a gaggle on infantry on the wrong side of the river (see below):

Alas one French Line regiment was caught between desperate fires. Its situation was clearly hopeless. It had formed square because of cavalry threat and was thus immobile, but then saw solid lines of Prussian infantry advancing on it readying their muskets, just outside of range. They felt too that the eyes of the recently unlimbered Allied artillery was on them, it was going to be a brutal end. With Bourbon colours flying they awaited the onslaught, resolute to die as fighting men of France for their King Louis XIV (see below):

However an Allied commander stepped forth and called a halt to proceedings. The game was over and he could not bear to see brave soldiers of his former country be slaughtered for no reason. Prince Eugen sent forth a parley (see below):

An Aide de Camp (ADC) spoke to the French Colonel of Foot:

"Sirs, Prince Eugen has seen your bravery and declares that you are the bravest French regiment on the field of battle today, for when all else were fleeing you stood. Lesser men have escaped. You have given them time to do so. For this he salutes you as you have performed a soldiers job well. Indeed he sees that you were willing to pay with your lives.Your colours are steady and have you conducted yourselves in the proud traditions of the French army. Prince Eugen and his staff salute you."

There was a pause and the ADC continued:

"Price Eugen on behalf of the Allied Command offers you terms. He personally guaranteed your safety if you lower your flag and avoid senseless bloodshed. You are offered honours and your men will be the first in prisoner exchange and parole. Your colours will not be taken from you. What say you?"

The Colonel of Foot bows and the colours were lowered. The men let out a sigh of relief for this unexpected salvation. The men were formed into columns, their muskets are shouldered but upside down, a bullet in the mouth however they walk to captivity (see below):

Night falls on a convincing Allied victory. Marlborough and Eugen consult in yet another 'council of war' for the next day brings yet more trials of strength. The war goes on!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The War of the Spanish Succession: The Battle of Oudenarde July 11th 1708 (Part 6) Cry Havoc!

The view from the French side of the hill. The panorama is becoming rather disturbing to the French command as their troops are being hemmed in by the geography of the battlefield and their two brigades of infantry are now facing four deployed brigades of the Allies. The question is even if the French want to deploy more troops where can they fit them in? They need to push forwards with all haste to create some breathing space (see below): 

From Marlborough's and Prince Eugene's perspective although the Allies are fully deployed the fight is far from over. The Allies need to press forwards and break the last line of French and Bavarian resistance or the French will have time to fully deploy their reserves (see below):

At this point the Allies face a new moment of crisis as the guns of the French from across the river find the range of the most advanced Prussians forming the final part of the "closed gate". The Prussians panicked and retired, flinching at the fire. If the enemy had been near it would have been a rout. As it was it was an ungainly display of mob rule. As it was the "gap" was serious enough. Thankfully (for the Allies) the last Prussian cavalry arrived in force to plug the gap (see below):

Meanwhile the British infantry started once again on their remorseless advance, John Churchill with them every step of the way, picking his way through the corpse strewn field being an inspiration to his troops. Then with an impressive display of ordered musketry the British infantry disordered the French battalions facing them (see below): 

The French line was shattered and turned tail and fled, causing havoc (disordering) amongst the Bavarian infantry behind who in turn were swept away (umpire's ruling). The crisis was now turned on the French as their infantry flank melted away (see below):

To the north a flood of fresh Prussian cavalry engulfed the last remaining fresh French cavalry regiment. All that remained to stop the Allies now were composite squadrons of tired French horse and a few, although still fresh, compacted battalions of infantry (see below):

Seeing the debacle unfold the French troops still north of the river yet to cross were ordered by their officers to halt. The troops already across were promptly about faced and retired. The French army was in full retreat and needed a stiff rearguard action to avoid complete destruction (see below):

A sight for Queen Anne! The mass of Allied infantry advancing, some four lines deep was an awe inspiring sight, but put the fear of God into the French rearguard troops that had to face them (see below, Hanoverian's and Prussians, the British are out of the picture to the left):

Next: Closing Time