Thursday, 19 January 2017

January "Big Battle" in Seventeenth Century ... somewhere in the 'Low Countries' (Part 1)

The 2016 great Xmas game from my Redcar wargaming friends was delayed to an alternative mid-January start because of conflicting diaries and social engagements, but if truth be told I think it was an all the better game for it. It was one of those spectacular double digit player games that leaves you chilled and happy. Glorious scenery, figures and a very chilled gaming experience. All I know was that I was in command of part of an Allied army somewhere in modern day Holland (the correct historical term was hotly disputed all day by the two opposing sides) facing a large body of angry French troops who thought we had no business being there (see below, a large body of annoyed French Infantry .. there was also rather a lot of annoyed French cavalry lurking just in top-left camera shot too):

The good guys (aka the Allied army) promptly hid behind defensive earthworks and buildings. In fact take a look at those scratch built 25mm scale buildings they are absolutely fantastic (see below):

In fact the Allied army lay behind good defensive positions and it was not going to come out and play with the naughty French boys despite all that taunting (see below, again note those beautiful scratch built buildings):

The full extent of the French Army, superior in foot and horse at about a 3:2 ratio, running ten foot along the table edge (see below):

My particular command was of two brigades of infantry and a field piece behind sturdy defensive fortifications facing off against "thirteen cavalry" (yes I said "thirteen") regiments. However despite their daunting numbers the cavalry had no real prospect of "charging the defences" while manned by my stout infantry. The cavalry were there in fact to "pin" the infantry in place while the French infantry threatened another vital sector. If the Allied infantry moved the way would be clear, if they stayed the door was firmly closed on the French. In the meantime my artillery had some fine target practise (see below):

My last "Ace" was three regiments of my own cavalry, fine looking fellows. The sheer mass of teh French cavalry can be seen at the top of the photograph (see below):

These three cavalry regiments were my "shock" troops that could (should or is that would) react to unforeseen events to my left or right. The whole battlefield was certainly one spectacular sight! I also look a fine sight in my resplendent finery a top of my white steed in the middle of my front two cavalry units (Note: The generals did not seem to be true generals unless they wore large foppish wigs, maybe it kept them warm!).

Next: Let battle commence!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The "White Fleet" of Corinth

Keeping forward momentum going on this project, a fresh order of Navwar triremes are being fitted out. Nomiated as the "White Fleet" what better Greek City State than Corinth to select (see below, filed, washed and cleaned up, UHU affixed to their bases and "gap filler" as a textured wave base):

I won't keep such a meticulous posting trail but I plan to try and do "a little bit per night". I was hoping to put down some Phoneticians but I had a slight issue with my order Navwar are currently sorting out.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Audio Book: Japanese Destroyer Captain

I can highly recommend this for anyone interested in the naval side of the Pacific War in WW2 (see below):

It has certainly opened my eyes to the capability and skill of the Japanese navy, but ultimately also shows the reasons that propelled them along the path to defeat once the US economic might had been harnessed.

I listened while driving courtesy of Amazon Audible :)

Monday, 16 January 2017

USN WWII Battle-wagons: USS South Dakota and USS Washington

Continuing on a nautical theme, but this time some 2400 years later after the age of the "Salamis trireme", I pulled out some old Navwar 1/3000 ships models from the attic. I had been working on (one of my many stalled projects, ahem) the Guadalcanal Campaign and long ago had made an initial start on the USN order of battle starting with the battleships (see below, USS South Dakota [top], USS Washington [bottom]):

Being impressed with the effects of the "gloss" followed by "mate" varnish, particularly for a certain satin, subtle shiny sea effect, I upgraded my previous paint jobs. The USS South Dakota and the bigger USS Washington fought a particularly interesting battleship v battleship night action at Guadalcanal in 1942 against the IJN Kirishima (and some heavy cruisers). A replay of this action is on the cards using the "Tokyo Express" board game.

Looks like my house will have a permanent "varnish" smell this year as I work around my existing painted ships improving the sea bases and tackling the "naval lead mountain".

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Trireme XI ... Varnish .. and finished (or am I?)

Protection, Protection, Protection! A shiny Humbrol "Gloss Cote" is applied (see below):

Protected but I would clearly say too shiny, time to dull it down with a (Humbrol) matte varnish (see below, aerial fleet versus fleet view [before they start closing]):

A close-up, Greek trireme coming out of the sun (see below, an individual ship view - comes up rather nice I think):

I am foreseeing one small problem, namely that of Greek Admiral's identification of "friend versus foe" without looking at the bottom of the bases (see below as the Red fleet extends around the more condensed Blue fleet, this would have been a historical issue too, as soon as the flanks are turned or the melee gets intermingled):

I shall leave you with image of a "sultry trireme" sailing on "the sea of wine" which was the cradle of civilisation the merry Mediterranean (see below):

Note: Yes, the next batch of triremes has been already ordered from Navwar ()including some Phoneticians and who knows by the time you are reading this, they may well be even in my sweaty, clammy hands! '

You know, I think I have caught the ancient trireme bug! How many do I need for Salamis?

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Trireme X ... WIP ... Oar and Bow/Stern white-tips

All ship, boats and even rafts make wave crests or white-tops, a touch of Vallejo Game Colour Off-White serves to so the trick (see below):

Close-up. Nothing wild and exciting, just some dabs of white along the oar banks and bow/stern (see below):

Overall I like the effect, however I need to think pragmatically with respect to "wargaming handling" these pieces will get shuffled around quite a lot, so I need to pay a bit of protection money to keep my hard one paint job together, aka a two coat varnish (gloss followed by a matte/satin).

Next: Varnish

Friday, 13 January 2017

Trireme IX ... WIP ... Sea and Wavetops

The sea base has already been primed in "shade" of Vallejo Game Colour Imperial Blue (72020). To this a wet-brushed "base" of Vallejo Game Colour Magic Blue (72021) for a bit of variation. However the blue colour though nice is IMHO coming through a tad (Yorkshire for a little) too strong (see below):

Next step .. dull down those waves with a Vallejo Green Wash and help retire the "blue" to teh background (see below):

Next step take two .. add a partial (as in I do not have to cover every mm of the base) Vallejo Blue Wash over the sea areas (see below):

The "final" sea touch is to add back the wave tops with a delicate barely wet-brush highlight of Vallejo Game Colour Electric Blue (72023) which serves to suggest something 'wavy' going on (see below):

Next: Add some white-water oar and bow splashes.