Sunday, 23 June 2013

Its All Gone Guerra Civil Espanola Round Here!!

There were Pyhrrics on the desk and the Anarchists said shift over, shift over... so they all shifted over, and the Pyhrrics fell off!!

Yep, a seasonal shift to sunnier climes, the desk gets reshuffled, and the creaking mass that is my SCW collection lurches back onto the central stage!
The usual muddled mess, of various factions, bits n bobs and other nonsense, like Ancient Germans, who are to be converted to SCW artillery crew!!
Down to the tabletop view, much loved by us gamers, I will eventually get that bloody priest finished, and off my desk. I have a lovely shiny church to go with him, and that needs painting too.
The help with the painting tasks ahead
, I slipped over to the trusy iMac and a short visit to Ken Bromley's art supplies page, and I part with an eye-watering amount of money to purchase some W&N brushes

Yes, they cost a fair bit, but if you take good care of them, they will last a bloody long time, and they are excellent to paint with.
I've also rummaged in the depths of my store cupboard, and will be getting myself re-aquianted with this little lot
I have a shitload of vehicles to paint, and there is no better tool to paint vehicles, than an airbush

As you can see, there are one or two in my stockpile to work through, and this little stash does not include any of my trucks and buses!!
So just a few things to keep me busy busy busy, but in the famous words of of a certain wellie wearing comedian " and there's more", not content with mere painting, I have been busy looking for construction materials for making houses. I struck it lucky, and found a Chinese retailer seliing some decent looking sheets of Pantile roof
I duly ordered a few sheets, they are a little bit uniform, but will save me a lot of time, as I had been reduced to scratchbuilding my own

Painstaking work, as every tile is individually cut, filed, and stuck on!!
The end result will be very realistic, and I shall continue to finish if off, and then send it over to Ian at Fenris Games, so he can cast it up, and add it to his useful range, my pain will be your gain folks.

In a final moment of utter madness, I have agreed to write an article(s) for my mate Guy Bowers the editing head honcho at "Wargames Soldiers and Strategy" I was going down the using the new fangled Bolt Action rules for the SCW, but think a more introduction to the period, with a few ideas around what you can do to modify rules and lists to suit, may be more useful.

Lots to do, could be a very stressful time, so I think one of the things I found in my cupboard rummaging could be seeing a fair bit of use over the coming weeks!!

Until next time folks, and then I might even have a painted figure or two to show you.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

1930s Italians, Perry v Empress/Anglian

Following the jolly to Partizan, I now have some of the Perry Miniatures WW2 Italians. Now I intend to use these for the C.T.V. in the Spanish Civil War, as later on they were equipped with the M33 helmet.
So here's another Higgins review, and a comparison to boot.

Perry Miniatures - Pack ITWW3 Italian Riflemen Advancing.

So, what do you get for your £6.50?
Well, six nicely posed riflemen, they all appear to look a little nervous, or perhaps just advancing with a little caution, the models are equipped with what looks like a good representation of the Carcano Short Rifle, now for those picky individuals, this weapon was introduced in 1938, so its probably a bit late for use in Spain, or Abyssinia. I am not that picky, so the models will get used.
Uniform detail looks just fine, and will pass for the earlier M37 uniform, as well as the M40 lightweight  uniform. The figures carry the very minimum of personal kit, consisting of Cartridge pouches, bayonet in scabbard, and the water bottle, one model has a shoulder pack.
The castings are clean, and for a welcome change, are not covered in those funny little wiggly worms. Mould lines are minimal, and will require very little clean up. I reckon they will paint up a treat, and will certainly add some more suitable packs for what I need, as they are released.
There has been some discussion on various forums, around the size of the models, so I have taken the liberty of comparing them to the Empress Models I have. Now be prepared for some controversial comments, especially if you are a Perries Fanboi!!

Perry Miniatures v Empress Miniatures 

Right, now to give them both an equal playing field, I washed them in ink, to help show the detail. For those of you who cannot tell, Empress on the left, Perry on the right!!
As you can clearly see, the models are just about the same height, and build, fantastic for those of use who want to use them together. Now dare I say it, but the Perry model looks a little bit chunky, and I think the face on the Empress model is streets ahead of the Perry one!! 
You can accuse me of bias, I spent many a happy year working with Paul Hicks when I ran Anglian, and the above Empress model was one of the figures Paul sculpted for me. I do firmly believe, that Paul is one of the finest sculptors currently working, and his faces show an incredible amount of character, and are a joy to paint
Both of the models are very good, and I have no hesitation in  recommending either of the ranges. 
The Empress Italy in Abyssinia is currently dead in the water, but has some very useful models, lets hope that the Perry Miniatures interest in North Africa can provide some resurgence in interest, in the Italian part of the range at least, and encourages Empress to add a few more figures to the range.
If you have an interest in the WW2 Italian army, then its worth looking at the following link
Excellent resource for all things WW2 Italian

Now the Perry models I have. could well find themselves suffering a Higgins execution, and get some Empress Adrian helmet, or Spanish Gorillo heads as replacements.
More pics when I finally get one of them painted up!!

Post Partizan Errrrrrrrrr.......................Post!

Bit late, but thats to be expected from this lazy git.
   Had a fantastic day at the show, from the rugby and army stories on the way up, meeting up with some good mates once there, the wandering about buying stuff, and chatting to various folk and the journey home.
   On arrival, we noticed the cars, a lot of cars in fact, parked all along the grass verge of the the road leading up to the hall. We dump Stuart's trusty VW (no turbo), and make our way round to the new front entrance. A different route round this time, with a couple of new rooms to check out.
  The show is very busy, and thats great to see, I have a great fondness of this show, and the last few times I have attended, the show has been noticibly quieter, never a good thing.
  A usual I forget that I have brought along a camera, but do manange a few snaps of a couple of games. Overall, the quality of the games on show is very high, and there is a good mix of different period genres for the casual observer to enjoy.

Spent a long time chatting to the League of Augsburg chaps about their game, and the really rather good figure range from Warfare Miniatures. If you want lesson on how to do a display game, and to engage with the wargaming public, then look no further that these good people. Friendly, informative, helpful, and amusing, even when a hoplesss old duffer like me, spent an age talking bollocks about thier chosen period!!
I was a bit confused about this glory of the sun king, war of the spanish sucession, kingbilly business, but a chat with these gents, helped me work a few things out. With a growing interest in this period at the New Buckenham club, I have a feeling that some purchases will be made later. I like the idea of King Billy fighting the Jacobites.

The game featured some fantastically painted miniatures, and some equally inpressivr looking flags.

Of course, time was spent, propping up the bar, and good grief I have turned into a regular fat bastard!!
Me, Stuart, Lee and Gaz enojoying a drink, and a chinwag.

Another game that caught my eye, was put on by The Bunker, this year's big thing could be the Steampunk Genre, and this game featured all sorts of novel things relating to this. Plus an excellent selection of both ready made, and scratchbuilt buildings. Always on the lookout for new ideas, I picked up a few tips from Sean, who runs The Bunker, including how to use the plastic containers from caramel shortbread to make roof skylights!!
I never got around to all of the games, as I spent far too bloody long talking rubbish, highlights for me were the Raphia game, a big and really rather impressive selection of 28mm Sucessors going hell for leather.& The VBCW game, always worth a look, as they have such a wonderfully varied selection of things on the table, some of which are quite bonkers!!

Money of course, was spent. I had a few ideas of things I wanted to pick up, and did not go mad
First of all, couple of packs of Perry Minis, their new WW2 Italians, just a sample pack to see if they will fit in with my old Anglian CTV, (more on that in another post) and an ACW ambulance wagon, that will get converted for use in my SCW collection.
Wargames Foundry, and some Partizans to use as FAI/CNT militia, they fit in very nicely with all my existing models, plus a pack of German bikes to convert as well
A bit of jiggery pokery involved, but I reckon I could get a good selection of dodgy looking bike riders together, plus the litle bikes will help me get an idea of size, as I am building one of these for Warlord Games!!

And, finally

Some very fine railings from Ian at Fenris Games. I had been eyeing these up for a good while,on the Fenris Games website, but was unsure how clunky they would be. As it turns out, not very clunky at all, and will make excellent railings, and window grilles for the Spanish houses that I have planned. I will get a few more packs of different styles to add a bit of variety.

Was it worth the trip? Yeah of course it was. I had a cracking day, and came home feeling just a bit inspired to get off my arse, and get painting, and modelling again, and that my good friends, is not a bad thing at all

One final word of warning


Saturday, 1 June 2013

Partizan MMXIII - Musings on the Good Old Days

Its that time of year again, when I take a jolly boys outing up the A47 and A17, to the spiritual home of wargaming that is Kelham Hall.

Its a show that holds many fond memories for me, as its the first place I ever got involved in putting on a game, 25mm AWI, Battle of Eutaw Springs, with the old Coltishall Cowards gang. Loads of work went in, and we were rightly pleased with the results, sadly I don't have any pictures of the game :-(
Years go by, and a selection of dubious offerings are put up for the public's perusal, ranging from a really rather good 54mm Vietnam game

A very dodgy 40mm Afghan game, featuring this neat little conversion by me old mate Simon Fairweather
The Mullahwagon!!

We did joint efforts with other dodgy geezas from Yahoo groups like The Mongrels!!
Its a teeny tiny pic, so you don't get scared!!

As time passes, so does the urge to put on the games, club members change, and Yahoo groups go quiet, some of us decide its more fun to have our own figure ranges, and instead of gaming, we start trading instead, mad fools that were were. New companies spring up, and shiny new ranges emerge, producing some of the best figures around for our chosen wargaming periods, and I don't say that lightly, because we did have some bloody impressive stuff on sale.
Pressure trying to juggle a real world job, a family, and a wargames business tells, and one by one the little guys sell up, and disappear.

So these days,  I'm just a punter, my glory days have come, and gone, as like many of us in the hobby, age has caught up with me, and this year I pass the half century mark!!
But, I find myself hankering after those glory days, the impetus to finish off a terrain board, or to scratchbuild that certain building. The pleasure gained in seeing all your efforts come to fruition, on the day, when you put the whole shebang out for the first time, and bask in the relative glow, of all the good comments you get. The camaraderie with you mates, who were bonkers enough to get dragged into it with you.

So I will drive over to Stuart's house at some god forsaken hour on Sunday morning, and cram into his motor, along with Big Chris C, and any other nutters who decide to tag along, and meet up at Kelham, with all the other good friends I have made along the way.

Toy soldiers, you all think, grown men playing with toy soldiers, oh if only you knew what moments of pure pleasure I have had from my toy soldiers.
It is so much more than that!!

See you folks at Partizan, I have a plan, a list and some cash, all of which will go horibly wrong on the day, it always does, and that its half the fun of it.