Thursday, 28 April 2016

Frostgrave: A Rat Familar

One of the things I love about painting figure for Frostgrave is that you can reuse just  about any fantasy figure for you war-band., I bought this figure off a seller at the West Midlands Military Show but unfortunately I can't for the life of me remember who made it, which is a shame because it is a cool figure. I am not sure what it will be in Frost Grave (if it features at all) but it cheered me up to paint it so I don't care. It stands (sits? ) about a cm tall, pulse the head dress. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Frostgrave: The Frost Wrath

Here is another wandering monster for Frost Grave- This one is a Frost Wrath (produced by Northstar).
I painted it by by adding increasing amount of ice blue paint (instead the bone colour I usually use to highlight) to the grey as I highlighted it, carefully blending the layers together- this simple trick gave the figure a nice cold feel without being too obvious. 

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Peninsular War: Guerilla Leader

This figure was bought on Ebay from the same seller who sold the all female gun crew. It is very much in the Richard Sharpe style rather than any attempt at being historically accurate! It's a nice model, although the weapons are not particularity well sculpted- especially the pistol, which is very chunky and soft on details. I could have swapped the pistol, but in the end I decided I could live with it as it is. Never the less it is a good model that was fun to paint- you can see I have taken extra care with the shading on the cleavage. 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Peninsular War: Farewell and Adieu to the Ladies of Spain

Here is the latest addition to my ever growing pile of Peninsular War figures- this is a Spanish 12 pdr crewed by civilian women. I bought it on Ebay. 
Initially it seems a bit of a odd idea: why would women be crewing a cannon after all? However a bit of research I found that there was certainly incidents in the Peninsular war when women did assist the men crewing artillery. I am not sure how often it happened, or if a gun was ever entirely crewed by women as this model depicts, but I liked the figures so I painted it anyway. I have based the figures separate from the gun, with the idea that I might get a male gun crew too, and then I will be able to swap them about. I might even get another one of these cannons as the ladies will be very easy to convert into ordinary civilians- the girl with the bucket will not need changing at all, and the lady with the mop could be converted to carry a pitchfork or broom. The other two might require a little bit more work, but it would be worth it as these are nice models and female civilian figures are not in plentiful supply. 

As a side note Agustina de Aragon was a heroine of the Peninsular war when she crewed a cannon after its gunners were killed (or ran off). She later led some guerillas, then somehow joined Wellington's army as an artillery officer and fought during the Battle of Vitoria. 

Agustina de Aragon- Someone please sculpt this in 28mm!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Freebooters Fate: Brotherhood vs Pirates

Pulp Citizen and I got together for a bit of fantasy skirmish using Freebooters Fate. I played my Pirate crew, and Leon played his Brotherhood assassins. We pooled our resources with the board- Mostly it is Pulp Citizens stuff, but with my trees, a few houses and lots of trade goods I have just finished painting up. All the buildings are from 4Ground, and the trade goods are from Ainsty Castings.

Apparently our two gangs clashed over the particulars of the ownership of a goat...and something to do with a be honest the historic reasons behind the feud between the Brotherhood and the Pirates is a bit sketchy. Not that they usually need much of an excuse for a fight. 

The Pirate Crew- Jolly Good lads

The Brotherhood- Dastardly cut-throats and murderers!

Two brave Pirate Deckhands spoiling for a fight

The sulking Master Assassin -boo hiss!

Harlequin worming her way through the seedy backstreet

Before coming to a sticky end at the hands of Krud
 The scrap went well for the Pirates, as they were able to exploit they shooting abilities from cover and finish the Assassins before they could close, while Krud- certainly the man of the match for the Pirates- brained two of the Brotherhood's specialists before being taken out by (fittingly enough) a poisoned dart in the back from the master assassin.

Master Assassin wonders where the rest of his gang went

Captain Rosso says 'extra rations of rum for everyone who survived.'

Sunday, 10 April 2016

VBCW: Herefordshire Game- Battle of the River Wye

Yesterday I joined by VBCW cronies in Herefordshire for yet another big game. We used Mort's 'Went the day Well?' rules. The game followed on directly from the previous Herefordshire games. The anti-royal coalition of Socialists and Anglican League faired badly in the last game and were on the back foot, desperately trying to hold back the BUF/Royalist forces who have been crushing all resistance under their jackboots. 

We played on three battlefields- each representing a holding action on behalf of the Socailist/Anglicans. My Canal Workers force, supported by some Anglican Land forces (a hodge-podge of local policemen, post office employees and yokels) went toe to toe with three whole platoons of dastardly BUF blackguards, supported by their own armoured boats, cavalry, two tanks and an armoured truck!

The BUF navy and my socialists were equally surprised to be facing off against each other as neither had anticipated that the would have to fight other boats- Both sides had developed a doctrine that involved firing at the river banks, and so had their guns arranged in broadsides, and so had only limited fire-power to bring to bear on each other until they drew along side each other. This was quite a design fault.   

The Wirral Socialist Canals Workers Battalion platoon ready for action!

The BUF Boats- The machine-gun laden The Goliath and the landing craft- neither particularity suited for a boat to boat action!
 In addition to the two BUF armoured boats the BUF moved two full platoons of troops, supported by a tank and cavalry, down one bank, while Royalist right-wing militias, including the Cheltenham Ladies Collage, moved up the opposite bank, suppored by a BUF armored truck, another BUF tank and the BUF boats.  My militia remained in their boats for most of the battle- refusing the flank for the bulk of the BUF force and protecting the AL platoon from being outflanked. By coving the BUF side of the river bank, and bridge, with my machine guns I deterred the BUF from crossing the bridge to out flank the AL platoon.  It was a sound plan- all the Anglicans had to do was defeat the right wing militias- no problem. 

Right wing militias support the BUF boats by moving up the river bank to clear out the remnants of the Anglican League's rear guard. 
 I opened up with a volley from my Dragon boat- six war heads streaked out towards one of the BUF tanks- to everyone's amazement four of the rockets struck the tank- reducing it to molten slag in seconds! First blood to me! This severely hampered the BUF attack on my boats because apart from their HMG's they had little that could effect out boats. 

The BUF tanks scrapped almost as soon as the game started!

BUF cavalry advancing up one flank- until forced back into cover by my machine guns

The Goliath- A BUF armoured boat- Sporting three Vickers K guns, a light mortar and no less than seven lewis guns!- A floating hell for the enemy!

Anglican League tank faces off against a BUF tank

The BUF and AL tanks clashed on the road- and the BUF managed to destroy the AL tanks- a blow or my AL allies. With the armour neutralise the right wing militias advanced as rapidly as they could towards the AL positions and what followed was a brutal and bloody close quarters battle- The Goliath's machine and the BUF tank supported the militias attacks on the Anglicans. 

Anglican League police take cover in the bushes- ready to repel the ladies of the Cheltenham Collage- Unfortunately their tightly packed position was hit by an artillery shell and they suffered heavy casualties.
 The BUF landing graft- a marvel of modern engineering, dropped it's gang-planks and the BUF section deploy to support the right wing militias attacking the Anglican position!

Ready to deploy...



BUF tank supporting attack on the Anglican League position
 The Jenny Marx drew level with The Goliath, and both sides raked each other with ineffective machine gun fire, before The Jenny Marx sailed past. It was something of an anti-climax, but then again neither boats were designed to battle another armoured boat, as their primary role was to suppress infantry on the banks, so the lack of casualties was hardly surprising. 

 The crew of The Jenny Marx were very impressed with the BUF landing vessel- which they had spotted (almost) abandoned by the side of the river. The Petty Officer ordered the pilot of The Jenny Marx to draw along side while the men preprepared to board it. Just then disaster struck (well a mortar shell struck- to be strictly accurate) sinking the Jenny Rose with the loss of nine sailors! the survivors tried to scramble aboard the BUF landing vessel but were machine-gunned in the water by the caddish crew of The Goliath

Abandon ship! The Jenny Rose is sunk!
The loss of The Jenny Marx was a blow, but the dismal performance of my Anglican League allies against the right wing militias meant that the game was effectively over. The BUF had all but cleared the road- and while the river was clearly still mine there was little I could do but withdraw. The sailors from The Jenny Marx mad no choice but to surrender to the BUF as they were surrounded. 
The Right Wing militias, who had done the bulk of the work fighting the Anglicans, were severely battered and would have to withdraw, but the BUF could now cross the River Wye at the bridge and press their attack against the retreating Anglicans- while all I could do was to take the odd post shot at them from the river. 

Friday, 8 April 2016

VBCW: Wirral Socialist Canal Workers Battalion boats finished!

 Here are my finished boats for the Wirral Socialist Canal Workers Battalion for the VBCW game tomorrow. I have added crews and Vickers GO MG's to the transports. The Vickers is on an Anti-Aircraft mount and can e used by the boats passengers. The crew are form 1st Corps and Pulp Figures. 

The Transports

The Transports count as having Improvised Armour. They can move at the same pace as infantry. The passengers can fire out through the firing ports (2 per port) and use the Vickers GO MG (counts as an LMG). Because it is only possible to board and disembark via the bow or stern it takes a full turn for a squad to do so. One squad can board or disembark from either door. The hull and roof are not armoured. All indirect fire weapons or submerged obstacles effect the boats as if they were unarmoured. 

 The Dragon

The dragon is a Mobile Rocket Propelled Artillery Platform made from a modified canal barge. It is fitted with an experimental six barrelled Rocket Launcher that is capable of launching a single high explosive rocket propelled warhead or a volley of it's entire payload. The back-blast can set fire to the deck if it is not kept well swabbed, but the recoil in minimal, so the boat will not sink when it is fired (an improvement over the Heavy Mortar Artillery Platform model). The gun crew are reluctant to train with the rocket launcher as the are afraid that it might explode. As a result they count as Inexperienced when firing the rockets. 
The Dragon is also fitted with twin Vickers GO machine guns on an AA Mount. This is operated by the gun crew so it can not fire on the same turn as the Rocket Launcher. The gun crew count as Regular with this weapon and it is counted as a single LMG when shooting. 
The deck is protected by a four an a half foot high wall of plate steel, and the cabin has been further reinforced with plate and sand bags. This counts as Improvised Armour from the sides. Indirect Fire weapons hitting the deck will count it as Unrmoured
The dragon moves at the same pace as infantry. 

Old Ironsides

Old Ironsides is a canal monitor made from an armoured canal barge. The whole boat has been covered with 40-80mm of armour- as much as a heavy tank. It is fitted with a turret off a Matilda II tank, and armed with a 2pdr cannon and an Besa LMG. The 2pdr is only capable of firing AP shells, and not HE. The turret can only fire to the sides- it can to fire directly ahead as the bow turret is too high, and it is incapable of firing behind as the cabbing restricts the arc of fire. 

The monitor has a small turret at the bow, armed with a .50 Vickers MG. This front turret is primarily used for observation- usually the crewman in this turret will have the top open and be scanning the banks and water for signs of ambush or submerged obstacles. He has a direct telephone line to the main turret and to the pilot and will be responsible for directing the pilot at the rear of the boat (who can not see as his cabin is enclosed in armour). This turret is so cramped that the crewman can only enter from the roof hatch and has very limited space to maneuver- as a result the Vicker MG will count as an LMG. 

The monitor can move at the same rate as infantry, and its crew are classed as Regulars (being made up of Royal Navy volunteers.

Here are all the boats together. The platoon also has two assault boats bought in Germany by a dodgy Irish arms dealer and shipped to Liverpool via Dublin. They are used by the platoons reconnaissance elements to range ahead of the convoy to keep an eye out for potential ambushes or submerged obstacles. 

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Dropzone Commander: Test Model

This is my first model for Dropzone Commander. It is a Falcon drop-ship carrying two Bear APC's. I was a bit disappointed when I started putting the models together that the APCs don't actually fit into the drop-ship, as I had imagined they would. I decided to experiment with magnets, and bought a bunch of tiny but very strong magnets from the West Midlands Military show. I have never worked with magnets before, and I have been very satisfied with the results. I now have a drop-ship that can carry its payload and Bear APCs that can detach and go off to fight the Scourge.

In order to fit the magnets I drilled out a small hole into the top of the Bear's hull and super-glued the magnet it. I glued a second magnet to the under side of the Falcon- I didn't drill this one in as the plastic is too thin, and you can't see it anyway. I then sprayed and painted the models as normal.

The magnets hold the Bears very firmly in place, and they detach with a satisfying tug. There are a few problems that I will need to address. Firstly the paint is chipping off. I think I might add a coat of varnish over the magnet, then paint over it again- I think this will help reduce the chipping. Secondly the other configuration of the Falcon Dropship carries three smaller tanks in a line, but that means that the 'Widget'  where the Falcons clear flying base fits into the body of the Falcon is directly where one of the tank sits. I think I might have to make a new flight stand with two sticks and two widgets so that they can fit around the vehicals and still be stable- this is a bit more complicated but not insurmountable. Luckily Hawk Games do sell the flying bases and the widgets so it should be OK to experiment a bit. The third problem with the Falcon is that when it is carrying the three smaller tanks their guns can only be fixed lying flat to the hull, which looses something of their coolness when deployed, as they don't look like they are ready for a fight. I haven't got a solution to that one yet. 

I like the new clear cockpit canopy on the Falcon

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Scenery Bits Fform Charlie Foxtrot

I picked these up at the West Midlands Military Show from the Charlie Foxtrot store. I got talking to the owner, who was a really nice chap, and really wanted to buy some more but this was bought with the last of my cash. 
This is a tool shed and a wood store, principally bought and painted with my French and Indian Wars terrain in mind, but generic enough to be used in everything fro 18th century to WW2. I tried to paint it so it blends in with my F+IW buildings, and I used a painting guild on the Charlie Foxtrot Blog (although I didn't follow it exactly as i wanted a different colour in the end). This results in a a textured looking effect which I think looks like wood grain. 
Charlie Foxrot has a wide range of laser-cut MDF buildings and his range continues to grow at an amazing rate. I think that he has one of the largest ranges available. The pieces are good too, and eve the largest terrain pieces are not going to break the bank. 
I will be ordering from Charlie Foxtrot again. I am even considering buying another couple of tool sheds- one to have a corrugated roof for my modern African setting, and one to be covered with snow for the Ardennes. 

The 'logs' were just tiny twigs out of the garden. I was going to dry brush them but then decided that I couldn't improve on nature.

I like the way you can combine these two buildings to make a more interesting shaped outbuilding.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Penisular War: More Spanish Citizens

 You know how it is...your on ebay and suddenly you see something you don't really need but its a bargain. I bough a whole bunch of Wargames Foundry Napoleonic sailors a few weeks ago and when they arrived I thought 'What the hell am I going to do with them?'. After all I have painted a load of the Brigade Games sailors right at the beginning of the Napoleonic War projects, and I don't need more. And besides which the Brigade Games are better sculpted to boot.
 After sitting on them for a bit I had another look at them and realised that that would do for Spaniards with a minimal amount of effort, and I am always on the look out for more Spaniards for my guerilla band and militias. Not all the figures are suitable, and some will require more work, but these five were easy. I added a couple of sashes with Green stuff but otherwise they are right out of the box. They have nice characterful faces and were- like most Foundry figures, very nice to paint. These will add to my collection nicely and when Sharp Practice 2 comes out I hope to be able to field a whole angry mob of Spanish citizens and perhaps refight a bit of the Madrid Uprising.