28 February 2013

My Hand has been Forced !!!!

Sometimes in life fate deals a cruel blow to us. A decision I had been reluctant to make, has been the selling off of my redundant and under used 18mm Napoleonics. I have sold some of my surplus Napoleonics in the past when I decided to scale down and start collecting 28mm's again. However I wanted to retain the Saxon Corp that I had built up, if only for sentimental reasons.

Two circumstances have now forced me into selling them off:
1. My wife announced she had a problem with the gas cooker and on inspection it has definitely become dangerous, the knobs have melted a little and gotten extremely hot to touch.
2. The little angels have obviously been using their bunk beds as trampolines (although they deny this) but the top bunk resembles a banana in shape, so I have had to take it down and use them as singles for now.

Now funds are short and both these items are going to really cost me some money to replace, so I have made the decision to sell the Saxon Corp, it will appear on Ebay over the next few weeks as it is too large to sell as one. The picture below shows most of the Corp there is another battery I forgot to photograph.

The upside is the wife has agreed that any cash left over can be used to buy some 28mm figures to boost my new collection.

26 February 2013

Burnt out Panzers

My poor luck with dice lately continued on Sunday in my recent Flames of war training game.
I forgot my camera so no pictures, perhaps a blessing considering what followed can only be described as a farce by numbers.

Kev and myself had 4000 points of German armour and we were quite confident of doing well against 4000 points of British armoured cars, infantry and a scattering of Shermans for support being fielded by Craig and Kelly.

Things went badly from the start, I decided to let them go first thinking that we would be in a better position letting the enemy show his hand and striking back. Big mistake as the first round of shooting took 7 panzers out of our force. Our first turn came and the only thing any of us hit was a single Sherman in reply. Turn 2 saw the British call in an air strike, we relied on the superior Luftwaffe forces to see them off, that didn't happen and although we saved the fallschirmjager platoon we lost an entire platoon of panzers 3 J's. Oh to be able to roll anything other than 1's or 2's. Still in turn 2 saw my command ripped apart despite deploying them far apart, due to the losses I sustained on round 1 they had become visible and in range of the advancing British. Our reply gain Kev a couple of kills but I could do nothing, even my Tiger kept rolling bad dice. Turn 3 bought the end of the game as I failed a company test, hard to pass anyway without commanders, and 2/3rds of my force dead. This left Kev in a bad position with only 6 tanks it was game over for us as we fled in a hurry off the board.

I can feel a ceremonial dice burning session in the wings, hopeful of the dice gods restoring some luck to my rolling in the future.

22 February 2013

Painting Challenge - post 24

Well its been a bad week for dice games after the fiasco of Sunday and Monday I hoped that would be my run of poor form over. Until Wednesday which saw me entertain Trevor for an afternoon game of Bloodbowl. My third game in a week for the current club league. Trevor plays Kemri this year, so he also has a team capable of bashing mine up. However the game was scoreless and neither side could capitalise on the mistakes of the other. Although I wasnt too happy my eldest son decided he wanted Trevor to win and rolled some dice for him and Knocked out two of my players. My youngest decided to aid me and like father like son rolled poorly. Though between us we managed to even the casualty score.

I have started to re base coat the Tigers as I was unhappy with the sprays final colour. When dry it was too bright. So I have started applying a coat of Middlestone to change the tone before dirtying them up with a heavy wash of Earthshade. These will progress quite quickly from this point.
Thursday saw me make another couple of small submissions to Curt, and I sent another special one last night.
Currently my workbench is quite full.
The keen eyed will spot that a second platoon of fallschirmjager has sprung up onto the bench, Im hopeful of getting this all completed for the challenge and should score the 1000 points I have been aiming for. A Top 10 spot looks extremely unlikely now though I will keep trying.

Sunday will see me playing a very large game of Flames of war with Myself, Craig, Kelly & Kev using 4200 points a side for our evenings entertainment. The theatre will be Africa and both my DAK and recently painted Desert Shermans' will see the action. 

20 February 2013

Painting Challenge - post 23 - Desert Shermans

My desert Sherman force recently gained me a shortly lived 10th place in the painting Challenge.

This force was based on an element of the 9th Armoured brigade on the Gothic line in Italy.

9th Armoured brigade (Sherman's) consisted of:
3rd (Kings Own) Hussars
Royal Wiltshire yeomanry
The Warwickshire Yeomanry
1 The Kings Royal rifle corps

The 9th Armoured brigade arrived in Italy after a refit in Palestine. Once they arrived in Italy it is believed they moved to the 50 - 54 series on a red background like most independent brigades and armoured divisions. Their unit sign is a horse on a green box. As a recognition of their work with the 2nd New Zealand Division in North Africa they could display a 6" white fern leaf on a black box above the tank names on the hull sides, but not all tanks did so.

The whole force of 15 Sherman's and a Hurricane IIB.
The HQ section, 
side view of HQ,
Rear view of HQ, the unit symbol is a very basic attempt at freehand as I have been unable to locate a decal.
The 1st platoon.
The 1st platoon command tank, rear view.
The 2nd platoon.

The 3rd platoon.
The 4th platoon.
Rear view of the 4th platoon.
The Hurricane ( limited air support)
The tank camouflage also serves as a platoon identity mark, the HQ has a band across the turret, platoon 1 has a patch running up the turret from the deck, Platoon 2 has two patches on turret, platoon 3 has three patches on turret and the 4th platoon has a patch on turret and rear deck.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable project in both the research of the unit and camo patterns but most of all the painting.

19 February 2013

The dice gods really hate me lately !!

Sunday saw me playing Trafalgar at the club against Glenn. This was my first time at playing Admiral and I really should not consider seamanship as a new career. Things started well as I had command of a small fleet of 5 vessels, with the wind in my favour I could take the battle to the enemy fleet.
However my understanding of seamanship ends there. I can just about tell my left from right but port and starboard confuse me and as for reaching, in irons etc forget it.

 spot the difference in the two pictures above a clue can be obtained by the row boats. Yep my in ability to steer and lousy dice sees me lose a ship
Not helped at all by rolls like this from the opposing fleet :(

The next two turns saw more abysmal rolling from me, the net result of this left me with two ships of he line sunk, 1 ablaze and drifting crewless, and the remaining two were severely holed below the waterline. I conceded defeat before the entire fleet was visiting the fishes.

I hoped for improvement on Monday night in a game of Blood bowl against Craigs Elves. Now Elves are bent and twisted sneaky fast buggers at the best of times, But my Lizardmen in theory should have bust up many an Elf in the fight.
Score 2-0 to the Elves and to make matters worse it was 2-0 to the Elves on casualties as well.
This was a game where nearly all the luck ran to the pointy eared ones. I received the ball in turn 1 and formed a strong cage, but the Elves started knocking out skinks, and I was failing to KO Elves. Late in the First half a sneaky Elf leapt on my ball carrier and the end result of this move was a score to late for me to respond.

The Elves received in the second half. with both teams down to ten men, I managed to slow the Elves but they were always likely to score which they duly did but not before I had lost another skink. Still no dead Elves and despite knocking them all over I couldnt inflict any injuries. The dice really deserted me again.

I can always hope for an improvement before Thursday when I have two more Blood bowl games to play against Kev and Trevor.

18 February 2013

Painting Challenge - post 22

Thanks for the comments on yesterdays question, I'm going to wait till the weekend before I make a final decision. Anne left a cracking comment which has inadvertently provided the solution to me for another matter. More on that when the appropriate time comes.

Curt posted the Sherman's late last night so I will blog more images and a description later in the week. So what am I going to do while I decide on the Tigers. Well all my Flames of war armies are tank orientated at present as the intention has always been to expand these and provide various support options. So Im going to start on the Fallschirmjager, initially I will paint enough as a divisional support option for my DAK panzers, then expand them as a stand alone force for my Africa and Italy gaming needs.

I have also received a small package from Curt today, who is running the painting challenge, he asked me if he provided a Foundry Viking would I be kind enough to paint one for his collection as my Viking painting impressed him. Now with the pseudonym of 'Loki' and the fact that someone actually thought my work was good enough to want a piece of it, how could I refuse to accept the offer. This will definitely be the last one I paint for a while (unless anyone can convince me otherwise) so keep your eyes peeled Curt for shots of this figure develop.

So today the workbench looks like this:
On the left one platoon of Fallschirmjager in 3 squads and an HQ. In front of those is Curts Viking. Centre of the bench is the 1st zug of Tigers basecoated. Over to the right the HQ section of the Tigers.

17 February 2013

Painting Challenge - post 21 - advice appreciated

I hoped to be posting the Desert Sherman's today but alas Curt has not yet posted my figures since their submission on Friday. I wont break the rules of the competition by posting here first so please be a little patient if you are awaiting images of these.

However this leads me nicely to be able to ask those of you who read my ramblings for an opinion on Callums SS Tiger company. I have been busy building the Tigers and have gone with a mix of parts from Mid and Late war, and creating some stowage etc to make them look individual.
This is just the first zug, the tracks are not fixed, as these will be painted a different colour to the main body and then applied before I commence camouflage work.
Of which there are many possibilities:

So my question is which way should I go with the camo for this force?
1. All tanks in the same style.
2. All tanks in a platoon the same.
3. A good mix of various patterns across the force.
I would value your input on this subject and of course if you think you can add to the above suggestions then feel free to comment.

16 February 2013

Painting Challenge - post 20

Thursday saw me with a few spare hours to paint after a set back on a project I have been working on all week had to be reworked, effectively leaving me free to paint for about 12 hours. The opportunity was taken and I managed to complete my Desert Sherman force, pictures were submitted to Curt Friday evening.

The week has been good for gaming Wednesday saw me give Kev a run through of Blood Bowl in preparation for the Clubs league matches, its been a long time since he had played it so he has had a couple of practice games, much in the vein of me last year. Friday saw me Play my first league match proper as Kelly had come over to visit so we set about our game. My Lizardmen against his Humans, I pulled off a 2-0 win but did lose a Saurus as a casualty for the next match.

Last night I had an invite to join Kelly and a few friends and played the board game struggle of empires, this was a great evening and surprisingly saw me finish in third place even though it was the first time I had played this game. The game was easy to pick up, but will take a few games to master but I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Next up will be the Tiger build as I need to complete Callums' schwere panzers.

14 February 2013

Painting Challenge - post 19

The last of the Vikings for my current commission. I am quite grateful to have finished these they took much longer than planned, I think I suffered from Norse burn out, I calculated that I have painted approx 400 Vikings including these in about 6 months. So I will be concentrating my efforts else where for a while.

5 Wolf skin beserkers

5 Bear skin beserkers

7 Vikings and a very unfortunate monk.

Next up from me will be the Desert Shermans work is progressing well on these and I aim to have them completed over the weekend.

11 February 2013

Painting Challenge - post 18

At long last I have made another submission to Curt, nothing fancy just those Vikings that have been outstanding for a wee while.

My workbench is still occupied by my Desert Shermans, they are going well all the camo patterns have been applied in a random but with a clever layout so I can identify each unit. The stowage has been applied ready for painting.
I should have these completed this week with a little fortune and luck finding a bit of spare time to work on them. Here is a close up of the camo pattern.

7 February 2013

Painting Challenge - Post 17

Its been a while since my last post. I haven't got much painting completed, firstly because my injured arm took a week to heal properly so I could paint again, but I also got a little distracted and lost my focus as a result.

I have been busy though and started on the enormous woodland project I have to embark on for my ACW project. The aim is to make enough woodlands to cover an entire 6ft x 4ft area. so I can have 50% coverage  when we play on an 8 x 6 table. Many of the scenarios we will be playing have large amounts of woodland. I will do a tutorial of sorts at a later date on how I am making my woods.

I have completed the 18 Vikings and am just basing them all up ready to submit to Curt. I will then concentrate on my British Desert armour so I can set about giving Kevin and his DAK force a run out at the club. This will then leave me free to concentrate on the Tiger force for my eldest son Callum. I hope to have all these elements completed before the challenge deadline and should hit my 1000 point target.

The Napoleonics are going to be on the back burner till the aforementioned are completed. However they are a much bigger target and will be my main focus of painting over the coming year, alongside a couple of commissions.
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