Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Curious Tale of The Purply Grey Heffalump!!

Got me a Ponderous Pachyderm back from Doug, I got him to paint one for me, whilst I wanted to have a crack at the other one in the unit.

Now Doug has imparted a curiously purple grey hue to the hide of his Elephant, it does not show up so much in the photos. For some really odd reason it looks really rather neat. I dare not attempt the same shade on my one, as it will end up looking very odd, and a lot like something Disney studios created for Winnie the Pooh!!
 So I have decided that caution is the way forwards comrades, and my effort will be a more subtle shade of Browny-Grey, in the best wargaming Elephant tradition!!

He has done a smashing job on the model though. I just need to finish off a couple of skirmishers to add to the larger base that this model will go on.

Studying some interweb pics of Elephants, I did find a few that had a strange and varied tints to their skin. It looks very much like anything goes, from a flat slate grey, through browns and even a Blueish tint.

 I reckon having two completely different coloured elephants in the unit, will be no problem at all. So I had better get my skates on, and start working a few more levels of shading onto my own feeble Elephanty effort.

Friday, 18 January 2013

2013 Project 1 - Uh Oh!!!

The usual thing, new year, new list of things I want to try and get done, none of which ever seem to get completed!!

This year will be no different, of that I can be sure.

So to start of with, we have a rollover from 2012.

Mr Pyrrhus and his shiny army of Macedonian Successor type goodness!! This little lot has jumped on, and off the painting desk, and been farmed out for painting, to my old mate Doug Powell, in a desperate attempt to get the bloody thing finished.
Followers of my other blog " Pyrrhus in Italy" will be familiar with this little lot, having seen them grow from nowt, to the above.  All it needs to complete the Basic Impetus army are a few more units, these being 1) Agema Cavalry, 2) Thesallian/Italian Cavalry, 3) Skirmishing Archers,4) Oscan allied foot, and 5) Elephants!!
"All it Needs" yeah like oh thats simple, should be able to knock them buggers out in a month, well not when you paint at the rapid rate that I do.
I aim to get the Oscans finished by the end of this month, yes honestly I promise!!!!

Until I get distracted by a tempting piece of plasticard, or some other shiny nonsense I find hiding in a box somewhere.

Thursday, 17 January 2013


Have decided to merge my two blogs into one. So this one stays as the main blog, for all of my various rantings!!!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Takin a bit of Flak......

Whilst trawling thru the many forums I belong too, I noticed an advert on the Steve Dean forum, selling a Bolt Action 88mm Flak. Its the original metal rendition, prior to the sale of the company to Warlord Games, and its a hefty bit of kit!!!
I love a bargain, so I parted company with some cash, and it duly found its way to Higgins Towers.

Look at it, in all its shiny shiny metal glory. Good thing is, I can leave off the Barndoor shield, and pass it off as a Flak18 as used by the Legion Condor in Spain. The crew will pass muster too, I may swap a couple of heads, or add some more Spanish looking figures to complement them.

Of course every good 88mm requires a towing vehicle, there is the mighty Sdkfz7 that I mastered for Bolt Action

But I thin I shall make myself one of these instead, as they were used in Spain for a multitude of tasks, not just as tows for the 88mm

Henschel D33 truck, nice big heavy duty vehicle, should not be too hard to scratch together.

Sadly it will not get passed on for casting. Following a number of crap comments on various forums, regarding the quality of previous masters I have built, I shall no longer make any more vehicles for other people. Selfish, yes maybe it is, but when you put a lot of effort into making something, its not nice to see it getting trashed in a public forum.
So I shall build for myself, and get a few items cast up, by myself as well.

I have one final model to make for my good friend Paul Hicks, and that will be it from me.
So, sadly that means no PBR either, sorry folks.

Beee Baaaaa Beeee Baaaaa,!!!!

Been laid up for a couple of days, with a lousy cold, which has kept me off the old painty desk. Hard to concentrate, when you nose constantly dribbles onto your paint palette!
Still, had a bit of a rummage amongst my piles of bits n bobs, and found a couple of vehicles.
First off, we have a Phanomen Granit H25, I blagged this off my old mate Crouchie, on the pretext of converting into the ambulance version, as used in Spain. He has since sold his BEF Miniatures, so I shall finish it off for myself
Needs a fair bit of work, as I want to model the interior as well ( sad git that I am)
Hopefully will look a bit more like this when sorted

I also dug up a Ford car, I think its either a Woody or a Pilot, can't for the life of me remember which. Once again. blagged from Crouchie, from his lovely Chieftain Models range. A bit of research located some pics of this car being used by the Republican army, as an ambulance!! So I now have a meat wagon for both sides

Of course it going to require some work, as I just cannot leave stuff alone!! When sorted I hope it looks something like this....

Just have to find some nice Nurse type figures to add now!!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

A Few More Pics, and More Drivel!!!

Been over to the New Buckenham gamer's Facebook page, and nicked some better pics!!!

Here's the gang, havin it large!!!

Anarchists having a bit of a stroll

Near Miss for the T26

Geting ready to Defend the walls

XVth Brigade Command

Anarchists on the prowl

XVth Brigade defend the Breach

Foreign Legion with Pz1A support

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Uh On, Moroccans over there!!

So what else do I need to add to my pie of stuff?
Loads more terrain, including some purpose built boards, more trees, more rough areas, stone walls, Olive groves, Orange Trees, and more scratchbuilt buildings.
I need to bulk out all of my different forces, as I am having to combine bits n bobs to field an effective army or two!!
Add to my Transport collective, i've not got enough trucks, tanks etc.
Do some proper artillery, and add some ancillery bits like a medic or two!!

Project One 2013, Spanish Civil War, watch this space SCW fans!

BTW, here is the club facebook thingy, pop over and give us a "Like"

This Gamer's Reaction, To a Bit of Bolt Action!!

The Table set up
Managed to haul my sorry backside over to New Buckenham Gamers, and found myself four wiling victims, to help playtest my shiny new set of Bolt Action WW2 rules. With no real scenario in mind, I set up a few random bits n bobs, and allocated the commands. On the Republican side we had Stuart and Mark, neither of whom had played the rules before, and on the Nationalist side, we had Lee and Steve, Lee had a few games under his belt, and Steve had not had a go at all.

We set every thing up, and prepared to get stuck in. Thankfully Lee had brought along his 2 sets of Bolt Action dice. Yes I did say before that is simple to use anything you like, well in reality, its a lot bloody easier to use the special dice sets!

After all the excitement of the game, what was the verdict on the rules?

 I asked the game participants, on the group Facebook page, what they thought, and got these replies.

Stuart -Thanks very much for the game, Nigel. Stunning figures and terrain. Seems a good set of rulesWith some nice additions, and no obvious anomiles yet.

Steve - Thanks Nigel, it seems a quick set of rules, melee and firing is resolved quickly which means there is more chance of getting a game finished in one night, so for that reason, it could be a good set of rules for the club.

Lee - Yep a great game cheers guys and thank you Nigel for stunning board and the use of your excellent miniatures. I've played about 7 games now of Bolt action and have always had a game finish with a result. They seem to cut out the rivets so to speak and concentrate on just a clear war-game. They might not appeal to those that like to get stuck in to heavy rules but they do what they say and thats a quick, fun non complex game.

So. what was my overall verdict on the rules?

Well, To start with, lets look at the errors I made, which did not help us to get a .

conclusive finish to the game

1) The two armies were just a bit too big, I should have gone for a couple of 500pt forces to start off with

2) I put too many different things into each force, in an attempt to have a go at all the stuff. Two nice simple forces would have made it a bit easier, and a lot less rule book shuffling would have been done!!

3) Far too much cover on the table, lead to a lot of sneaking about, and general hidiness(?) Although when you did get into the open, it got very messy, very quickly!!
If I had thought a bit more, it would have been easier
but saying that, by the end few moves, the players were getting the hang of the rules mechanisms, and using the quick play sheets ( a must have to help you along, and downloaded from the Warlord Games webpage) We all found the rules simple to use, and easy to pick up. The random turns sequence works very well, you find yourself waiting for the dice to get pulledf rom the bag, and hoping you will get a jump on your opponent, in some circumstances it makes a hell of a difference to go first!!
As Lee said, if you want an in-depth ruleset, then this set will probably not be for you, but if you require a simple set of rules, for a quick clubnite game, then you can't go far wrong with these, and they are worth a look / try.
The subsequent army book releases, will help flesh out  the forces, and will give you a few different options. I can see hardcore win all the time gamers, constructing a super beardy army to play with, and there are a few options that will enable these type of gamers to do this.
So will they be any good for the Spanish Civil War? 
I think they have the basics right, and with a bit of tinkering here and there, and some careful work on the 
listings for the forces involved, I should be able to construct some very interesting games. After our first try, it was enough to get a couple of the gamers interested in looking more throughly, into the Spanish Civil War, it also got us interested in looking at other options, like early WW2, or possibly ,Vietnam!!
Here are one or two pics of the game.
The Foreign Legion Deploy

As Do The Moroccans

XVth Brigade move up

XVth Brigade Defend the Madrid Road

First go, Nationalist Artillery get set, and find a target
They miss the T26 though!!

Cagey Moroccan commander

The Local Plod, and the Italian Super weapon

A Nice Armoured Bus Drive in the Countryside

Followed by the Local Peasant Rabble

Sneaky Coppers

Moroccan antitank unit, they die horribly later on.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

GAME ON........................!!!!!

First one of 2013, and its over to New Buckenham on Friday.
Having a crack at the new Bolt Action ruleset for WW2, been thinking of adapting it for the Spanish Civil war. Going to need tweaking here and there for sure, should be interesting!
If it all works out, I may even consider publishing a supplement on t'internet, so other folks can have a go.

Worked out a couple of basic lists for both sides, just so we can see how the actual rules play out.

Republican Force

XVth Brigadas Internacional

Platoon Command
Capitan (R)  Pistol
2 x Runners (R) Rifles 130

1st Section
Cabo (R)
8 x Rifles (R)
LMG Team (R) 120

2nd Section
Cabo (I)
9 x Rifles (I)   70

3rd Section
Cabo (I)
9 x Rifles   70

Compana Support
MMG (R) + shield           75

T-26 Light Tank (V) 150

Iron Column

Columna Command
Delgado 1st Lieut (I)
2 x Runners (I)   60

Section Del Choque
6 x Rifles (I)
2 x SMG(I)
1 x LMG Team(I)
AT Grenades (Dynamite)    98

2nd Section
10 x Rifles (I)   70

Guardia De Assaltos
Cabo SMG (R)
 4 x Assaltos Rifles (R)     53

Somua Armoured Truck,  Turret LMG, Light A/Car (I)       96            Tot  992

(V) Veteran  (R) Regular  (I) Inexperienced

Nationalist Force

Spanish Foreign Legion

Platoon Command
Capitan Pistol (V)
2 x Runners Rifle (V)                            125

Section De Choque
Cabo (V)
3 x Rifles (V)
2 x SMG  (V)
LMG Team (V)                            117

2nd Section
Cabo Rifle (R)
7 x Rifles  (R)                               95

3rd Section
Cabo Rifle (R)
7 x Rifles  (R)                               95

Compana Support
MMG (R)                               50

Moroccan Regulares

Platoon Command
Jefe 2nd Lieut Pistol  (R)
2 x Runners (R)

1st Section
Cabo  Rifle (R)
3 x Rifles  (R)
LMG Team (R)
all equipped with AT Grenades-Tank Hunters                    82

2nd Section
Cabo Rifle (R)
7 x Rifles (R)                            80

Guardia Civil
Cabo Pistol (R)
3 x Rifles (R)
1 x SMG (R)                           53

Panzer 1A Light Tank (R) Turret mount twin HMG 115
Cv3/35 (R) hull mounted twin LMG Light A/Car 70
Light Artillery 65mm (R) Gun Shield,HEd6,Fixed          50 Total 992

(V) Veteran   (R) Regular

Its a good way for me to find out, just how many figures I will need, and judging by these two lists, quite a few!!!
Full report, and some nice shiny photos after we have had a pop.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Colours of The International Brigades

Following a request from one of the blog watchers, here is a quick list of the paints used to paint my IB models

Vallejo Model Color- English Uniform, German Camoflague Black/Brown, Khaki, Khaki Grey, Brown Violet, SS Camoflague Pale Brown, US Field Drab. Vallejo Panzer Aces- French Tankcrew.  P3 Paint Hammerfall Khaki.
This does involve a fair bit of mixing, I use the Brown Violet, mixed with Khaki or Khaki Grey, to get the greenish uniforms of the Spanish army, and various combinations of the other drabs and browns., for that" hand me downs" look. The Black/Brown is great for making a darker shading wash, mixed with the other colours. When I get down to highlighting, I use Vallejo Pale Sand to lighten the colours, rather than white.