Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Back to the Brush

I am slowly returning to the painting table after a fairly long break. Last weekend I painted up a ship but that was so I could experiment with rigging it. Since then I have pulled out some fantasy figures and started painting them. It is more challenging to paint individual models rather then massed units. I have to think about each color rather than painting uniforms. I find that I limited myself to a small palette of colors to work with so that each batch of models is somewhat themed. Some of these are treasures found at Huzzah from the Bring and Buy. The big spider and the gnolls are from the AD&D line that recently came out. These are fun models but the casting lacks detail.

Not sure what this one is. He will make a fine musician for a unit of sado-masochist warriors

Phase Spider
 Dark Elf Princess
 Lanky Troll
Gnoll Brothers


I also purchased a digital copy of Fighting Sail from Osprey Games. I had a quick read through it last night. There are some interesting mechanics but I was disappointed that it was an IGOUGO game for movement and fire. I will give it a test drive before passing any judgment. I joined an active Facebook group for the rules and saw some interesting house rules. I pulled out my collection of card ships from the old Pirates game by Wizards of the Coast. I have plenty to use for a tester game.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Friggin' in the Riggin'

I have spent the weekend painting and rigging the GHQ 1/1200 ship La Superbe. I am standing on the knowledgeable shoulders of the following blogger:

GHQ website photo

This guy rigs with thread and does an amazing job. I found another blogger who used paint brush strands to make the rigging. This looks much less fiddly and gave a nice result. Unfortunately, I cannot find this blog to give him/her credit.

First up was to paint up the model. I experimented with an art felt ($5) to put the black trim on the sails. This worked pretty well but when I painted the rest of the sail, the ink ran and as a result my sails are pretty dark.

I inherited a lovely piece of kit for this project. It is a magnifier with a light. I painted without it for the most part but it came in handy putting on the hull stripes.

Next, too the rigging. I cut a few strands of black brush and put it in a jar. I followed Rory's rigging guide for thread but replaced the thread with the paint brush strands and viola...

 This is the standing rigging. The model did not come with any rat lines but I plan to purchase some fancy brass ones from Langton. At this point the rat lines would go on but will move on to the running rigging which will be done with the gold colored brush strands. The pictures do not show the black rigging well. Next time, white background!

2 hours later the running lines have been added...

Monday, 10 July 2017

Battle of Friedland 1807

I had the pleasure of sorting out the French and Russian troops for the Battle of Friedland. Sorting and labeling French and Russian 15mm troops for the battle can often take as long as the game itself but it gives me a chance to play with my toys and speeds up the game set up and play on game day.

A view of the table from the first time we played in January 2015

The battle takes place in East Prussia June 14 1807. After the indecisive battle of Eylau earlier in the year, the French pursued the elusive Russian army until it turned at bay at the confluence of the Muhlenfluss and Alle rivers. Both armies started out with a screening force that was gradually reinforced throughout the day. Napoleon got there “firstest with the mostest” and concluded a brilliant campaign with a victory resulting in the Treaty of Tilsit.

Our battle was refought using the Commit the Garde rules. These are meant for large scale battles 1”=125 yards and a stand =4-500 men. It is played on hexes and tends to be very decisive.

Brent and I commanded the French and Martin commanded the Russians. The rivers divided the battle field which meant that the cavalry would battle in North and a French Grenadier Division faced Russian infantry and cavalry.

The cavalry battle in the north was ferocious resulting in many casualties. The French held the field and pressed toward the bridge to Friedland and bottling up reinforcements in difficult terrain.

The French Grenadiers in the south competed for defensive terrain with the Russians and were punished by effective combined arms attacks from the Russians.

Both sides struggled to get reinforcements on the board but eventually, the French were able to bring in a decisive number of troops to reinforce a depleted initial force. The Russians saw the desperation of the situation and summoned the Guard Grenadiers to try and turn the tide but it was too little too late.

This is the second time we have played the scenario and the Russian player learned from the last battle to deploy his cavalry Corp in the open to avoid getting penned in and destroyed piecemeal. This let the Russians put up a good fight but the French had better quality troopers and were able to get more actions than their poorer led counterparts.

The battle technically ended early on when the Russians failed an army moral roll. We all agreed to play on as we did not want a single die roll to determine the game and end a planned afternoon of gaming.

Deployment view from the Russian rear

French on the left. Swirling cavalry fight in the North

Same spot a few turns later. Depleted units and French gained ground

This line of hills were the key to the South and hotly contested

Saxon Cuirassier and French Hussars prepare to capture Russian pontoon bridges

End game with the French crossing the river into the Russian rear from the North

Endgame in the South. French reinforcements arrive to maintain the pressure

Not sure what is coming next. Hopefully, I will find some motivation to pick up a brush and finish my 1/1200 74 gunner and try out my rigging plan using paint brush bristles instead of thread. An idea stolen from another blog.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Root of All Evil $$$

I have earned a play money by selling off my old 2nd Edition 40k figures. I have been happily mulling over how to plow these funds back into the hobby. I reviewed an older post where I had a wish list put together for ideas. At the same time I saw that Black Tree Design was having a %50 off sale on many of their Feudal and Dark Age figures. I strongly considered this but in the end discarded it because the cavalry were still full price and it would make for too big a project, cutting into gaming time.

Now I am considering getting a fleet of 1/1200 ships for Age of Sail. After some research, I have chosen Langton Miniatures. The quality is high and the price is reasonable. I also found a US distributor that has free shipping for larger purchases. I have a friend with Sails of Glory. This is a fun game and uses 1/1000 scale ships and the models are nice and pre painted. It would make sense to collect this game but my gut tells me otherwise and it is unwise to ignore ones gut!

I want to be able to paint, base and rig the ships myself. I had a small collection of about 5 ships back in the day but gave them away. I still have an unbuilt 74 gunner in my lead pile that I will put together to see if I want to do 30+ more.

This is the completed La Supreme from the GHQ website

Here is mine dug out from the lead pile. I have done some research on how to do other rigging. I need to get some smaller drills and the right thread before tackling this project. The results can be spectacular. I hope to get the hang of it and produce a worthy fleet.

Here is my copy of WS&IM from Avalon Hill. Same guy that co authored Napoleon's Battles, another favorite rule set of mine, Craig S. Taylor. I will likely add to my rule collection as the fleet grows as this one is a little tedious.

I am preparing for a Napoleonics game next weekend. We are doing the Battle of Freidland scenario for Commit the Garde. To that end, I am building some terrain. The scale of this rule set is 1”= 125 yards and I am using 15mm figures. This is a big disparity between game scale and figure scale and as such will cause some compromises when building terrain. A single building represents a small town, a tree represents a stretch of forest and my inch wide river is an 100 yard wide impassable body of water. The scenario calls for two bridges and 3 pontoon bridges. I have bridges that are way too big for the scale and am scratch building replacements. The pontoon bridges are also scratch built for the job. I used my river to judge the length of the bridge and made it wide enough to accommodate my figures to cross in march column. I did some internet research to try and come up with design ideas and the bridges are coming along as shown.

Bridges constructed with framing card, balsa wood and DAS clay. I used a strip of river to make sure it would fit.

Pontoon bridges completed using tiny dowling, framing card and foam core.

Here are the bridges with figures added. the scale problems remain but they will do the job as long as troops are not on them.

I have dusted off my airbrush. I watched a Youtube video or two recently and have been inspired to use it more often. I build a lazy susan so I can paint and spin the model. I am on holidays this week and plan to make a mess with this over the next few days!