22 January 2019

A Panoply of Terrain

This has been a very slow start for me and I am fearful that it will be difficult to hit my 500 point goal for this year's Challenge. I do have some figures in the queue but have not been drawn to them yet. What I always need is terrain, so my second submission has focused on clearing off the terrain pile. This is for my WWII and ACW gaming.

Linear Obstacles

Stone Walls
75"x1" of 1/72 scale Italeri
Snake Rail Fence
60"x1/2" of 1/100 scale Battle Terrain Concepts
Every little stick was individually glued!
24"x1/2" of 1/100 scale Novus Design Studio


Dirt Roads
110"x2.5"  Novus Design Studio
Three layers of paint were on each of the 3 elements
Stone Bridge
12"x2.5"x3.5" 1/100 scale from Novus Design Studio
Using two different colours for the stones may look odd but I like the effect
Buildings etc.

Stone Fountain
4" diameter, 2" high 1/100 scale Novus Design
I may eventually use 2 part epoxy in the fountain but here I used polyurethane with green  ink
Stalingrad Nail Factory
12"8"x3" 1/100 scale Novus Design

Copper galvanised panels are wrong but wanted to try verdigris

Stalingrad Railroad Station
13"x10"x4" 1/100 scale Novus Design
Top roof is removable

So I am hoping that is it for my Stalingrad, just have to do up the mat
Well it is a relief to get all that off the terrain queue. I still have 47 tree bases, 2 more houses and another 5' of snake railing to do but this was a good start.

16 January 2019

Shout Out to Old Guard Painters

About 6 months ago, I placed an order with Old Guard Painting Service in the Ukraine. Time to start expanding my Hundred Days force for the planned Waterloo scenario book for Général d'Armée. I have always wanted to game Quatre-Bras and for this I needed some Dutch-Belgians and of course Brunswickers.

The Spanish painter I was using seems to be planning to retire as he only paints the occasional 28mm figure now and the painter I was using in Thailand was just too fussy, driving me crazy with non-sensical questions!

I saw an advert on the TMP marketplace that had some 15mm Nassau for sale for a good price but when I checked they were not AB but Old Glory. The owner Vladimir, though did offer a pretty good price to paint what I wanted. I already had decided that I wanted Perponcher's 2nd Division in the Allied Order of Battle, First Corps. This gave me a nice mix of Belgian, Dutch and Nassau. I also added the 3rd light cavalry brigade under Merlen from the Netherlands Cavalry Division. And of course I wanted the full Brunswick Corp under the Black Duke.

I decided to order half of the 2 divisions to test the waters. I believe the order approached around 300 figures. I was asked to pick out what figures I wanted from the AB catalogue, and directed Vladimir to use the centjours website to use as an uniform reference. And that was it. I recieved the figures a couple of days ago and I have to say I was enormously pleased. First up are some photos.
Impressively packed with every unit identified as well as a packing list...
....identified down to the figure.
Overview, I did not want the skirmishers, artillery or command figures based, just the formed infantry and cavalry.
Belgian Light Dragoons
Silly Billy, who I may let command Perponcher's Division.
Dutch Hussars
Belgian Line and Dutch Militia
Brunswick Hussars
The Black Duke

Well I have to base up the artillery, command figures as well as the skirmishers. But most, importantly I have to attach those Flagdude standards that I have most patiently kept on hand for the last 3 years!

Once this is done I will post up some more detailed photos of the units recieved. But maybe I should say a bit more about the service.

Old Guard Painters Review
Price 10/10
Ease of Ordering 10/10
Ease of Contact 10/10 all emails responded to within 24 hours if not sooner
Accuracy of Painting 10/10
Quality of Packing 10/10
Speed of Painting 9/10 Vladimir was a bit optimistic here quoting 3 months it was 5 (additional month for shipping)!

So I can recommend this painting service without reservation and I have already almost got together my next order.

Overall 10/10

30 December 2018

My ACW Collection

I have recently reorganised my Union army in order to expand it so I can play larger games of Pickett's Charge. I felt I needed 6-7 infantry brigades so I chopped down my 12 stand regiments to a more varied assortment of small, standard and large regiments according to the ruleset. Each infantry stand in Pickett's Charge represents 80-100 men with 3-4 stands being a small unit, 5-6 stands being a standard unit and 7-8 stands being a large unit. Certainly when you look historical ACW OB's the regiment size was quite variable especially for the Union early in the war. I had to buy some extra painted figures from GAJO games in order to bring my army up to strength. They have pre-painted Old Glory figures and although not as nice as my Blue Moon's, they were certainly nicely painted and mixed in well.

I have to thank my friend Mike for picking up some Flagdude standards at Fall-In as unfortunately they are going out of business and I really believe they were the best flags on the market. I recently got them all stuck on the stands and I have to say they look great as the below photos will attest.

I will be hoping to get some games in with my friend Adam, who has a comparably sized Confederate force. I recently discovered that George at Musings on Wargaming and Life has written a series of excellent ACW scenario books under the Potomac Publication banner which are available at Wargame Vault. So it seems I all set!
The Collection of 20 infantry regiments in 6-7 brigades, 2 cavalry regiments and 3 artillery batteries. There is one Commander in Chief stand with 7 Brigadier stands as well as 3 Sharpshooter stands.
Western Contingent with troops from Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana
New York Contingent
Northeastern Contingent with troops from Maine and Massachusetts
I have 3 more cavalry regiments to base and probably should paint up a few more skirmisher stands but I think I have a good force with which to play many more games of Pickett's Charge.

28 December 2018

Some Peasants

Someone has to be in charge!
Well it is my IXth Challenge and since I am going to be back and forth over the next couple of weeks, I thought I would get up early and paint some figures. I am not really sure what the cut-off date is for the first submission but best to take no chances.

Anyone who has ever looked at my blog knows that we play a fair amount of SAGA and although I am well provided with warbands, I do need some more terrain as well as some ancillary figures. One common scenario in SAGA is an attack on a Baggage Train or raiding a village and stealing sheep. Well I have the baggage train and some sheep but I have never had any villagers, so I thought I would go ahead and get some.

These come from Gripping Beast and are quite nice. They were primed using the Zenithal Method with an airbrush and then painted using Citadel colours and washes. I like how they came out, nice and simple and a good way to start the challenge.

16 December 2018

Chasseurs Ardennais

Cap Badge of the Chasseur Ardennais
After having a good look through the 1940 CoC Blitzkrieg, I felt the most interesting force to game with would be the Belgians. They put up an initial heroic defence especially in the Ardennes, in which the Chasseurs Ardennais played a significant role. The Blitzkrieg source book laid out a fairly simple core platoon with limited supports so I said why not?

In 20mm, there are only 2 suppliers of metal figures that one could use being Early War Miniatures and FAA Miniatures. I decided to go with EWM as they had a slightly better selection with more supports and they are I believe a good supporter of TFL. The order was placed in September 20th, and was mailed out about 3 weeks later. I believe the figures were cast to order. It was pretty expensive coming in under $175, but this gave me a pretty complete core and support force with a few extras. They arrived within a couple of weeks.

I will discuss the miniatures after the photos, but they certainly were a little rough. My painting scheme was as follows:
  • Green Tail Light (Vallejo Panzer Aces 308): Chasseur Ardennais beret
  • Leather Brown (Vallejo 871): Webbing and ammunition pouches
  • Green Brown (Vallejo 879): Uniform
  • Black (Vallejo 950): Boots and gaiters
  • Khaki (Vallejo 988): Breadsack
  • Russian Uniform Green (Vallejo 924): Gasmask container and mess tin
They were primed VMC Panzer Grey using an airbrush and then hand painted. I used Citadel Sepia as a final wash. They came out OK as long as you do not look too closely and certainly on the table they look like a coherent force. I have just recently bought a bunch of metal washers as I wanted to started transporting my CoC troops in magnetised boxes. Up until now I have been using coins. Made a big mistake here though as I not not test the washers to see if they were attracted to magnets. They were NOT! Clearly I do not know much about metals, and of course I never checked until the figures were all based.
My Belgians with the core platoon and supports.
Group de Combat One, this is quite a powerful squad with a Fusil Mitrailleur Team with 2 FM1930 Automatic Rifles and 8 riflemen as well as a Fusilier Grenadier Team equipped with 3 grenades and 1 smoke grenade. They are led a JL with a SMG.
Group de Combat Two, similarly equipped. The FM 1930 AR has a Firepower of 4, so the  total GdC fires with 22d6 .
The DBT Lance Grenadier Section. A JL and 9 riflemen who fire with 10d6 under 18" and use their DBT Launchers at >18" giving 2HE each. They also have 3 smoke grenades each.
The platoon has only 1 SL which is definitely a limitation.
Some ancillary figures: FO, Sniper, Medic and extra JL.
A 5 man Fusil Mitrailleur with a JL and a FM1930 AR mounted on motorcycles
MMG Team here with a Maxim, if equipped with a Hotchkiss M1914 MMG they fire  9d6
47mm FRC M1931 ATG with 5 crew and a JL.
A small 3 man engineering team, no engineering models out there ufortunately, these guys have Adrienne Helmets
T13 B1 Tank
Very nice but very expensive Retrokit Model.
T13 B3 Tank
Armour 3, AP 6, HE 4, Low Profile
I have to admit that I sort of wished that I played CoC in 28mm after painting these figures. Warlord Games has a very nice set of Chasseurs Ardennais which look like they would be nice to paint. I suppose that I should not complain as this is a pretty rare force which can really only be utilized in one very short campaign. The infantry are not bad and do have some variation (5-6 models) but the support troops are a bit of a joke in that I really only think there are 3 basic models which one has to use for the MMG, ATG Team and the DBT teams. There is only one figure with a SMG.

They were very poorly cast, faces a complete mess. I am not sure what the original greens were like but they could do with an improvement. And amazingly enough it appears in early November they re-mastered this line. I am not really happy that I was not told this as I think I made a fairly major purchase but so it goes. I see they have an Off-Table Mortar team now as well as some Belgians tanks so I suppose I will be making another order.