General Quarters – World War 1 – Destroyers – Part 2

I posed the question yesterday about the basing of destroyers and TBDs for my 2015 Jutland project. I mentioned that in the past, I would have based them all individually but given the number of destroyers present at Jutland, I was thinking about a number of different basing options:

  • Base them individually – but there are a lot of them – in fact on the British side, 26 × Light Cruisers and 79 × Destroyers with the Germans deploying 11 × Light Cruisers and 61 × Torpedo Boats
  • Base a single leader for each flotilla instead of all the vessels individually and scale up the armament on the base to represent the full flotilla’s firepower
  • Base the whole flotilla (that is, all the vessels that make it up) on a single base, and scale up the armament for the full flotilla’s firepower – but this is a lot of vessels.
  • Base by half flotilla
  • Base by division (which is where I am leaning towards at the moment)

I did like the options of basing either by half flotilla or division. After playing with the ships on a cm square grid, I came to the conclusion that if I was going to bulk base, that I would need to base by division. A half flotilla (two divisions) would just take up too much area. Basing by division would give me a base approximately 4cm wide with four vessels based, either in line abreast or oblique.

However, I think I am going to opt for single basing of the destroyers and TBDs, along with all the other vessels. The destroyers will be on a base 1cm wide which is big enough to handle, also big enough to model a little sea on the base and to carry the vessel’s name down the side.

The pictures below give and idea of the relative size of the destroyers to a battle ship (in this case, HMS Agamemnon). You can also see the full 4th destroyer flotilla laid out with flotilla leader and half flotilla leaders shown. I used a number of Admiralty M-class destroyers for the testing.

General Quarters – World War 1 – Destroyers

With the Pope visiting the Philippines, I have some spare time over these days to consider some of my hobby tasks for the year. Why can I do that? The Philippines declared public holidays for yesterday, today and Monday. Of course, I will be working for some of this time as our project moves towards some deliverables (not quite a sprint but more like a fast paced jog) but I also have some extra spare time. This will allow me to finish some stuff for Mal (set for this afternoon) as well as starting to look at the Jutland Project for this year.

Yep, a wargamer with a project. Actually, a wargamer with a number of projects and I will get around to writing up this year’s crop soon. However, I have started to thinking about the Battle of Jutland. It is the 100-year anniversary of that battle next year and as I have both the Grand Fleet and the High Seas Fleet sitting around in 1/3000 scale waiting for paint, I thught I would do them this year.

Of course, in addition to painting them, I will also be looking at playing the odd game with them. Some battleship vs battleship, of course, along with the struggle of the battle cruisers come to mind. I also enjoy small ship actions like a good swirling destroyer/TBD fracas.

My question at the moment relates to the destroyers as well. In the past, I would have (and did) base them all individually. However, with Jutland, there are a lot of them. I am therefore thinking about a number of basing options, namely:

  • Base them individually – but there are a lot of them – in fact on the British side, 26 × Light Cruisers and 79 × Destroyers with the Germans deploying 11 × Light Cruisers and 61 × Torpedo Boats
  • Base a single leader for each flotilla instead of all the vessels individually and scale up the armament on the base to represent the full flotilla’s firepower
  • Base the whole flotilla (that is, all the vessels that make it up) on a single base, and scale up the armament for the full flotilla’s firepower – but this is a lot of vessels.
  • Base by half flotilla
  • Base by division (which is where I am leaning towards at the moment)

Now, I like the fourth and fifth options above. If basing the half flotilla or division I am not worrying so much about the distance between vessels and would base them line abreast, otherwise, if line astern, I guess it would be a very long thin base.

Now, the problem with a flotilla base is the sheer numbers. For example, let’s take the 4th Destroyer Flotilla. It consisted of:

HMS Tipperary as the flotilla leader

The flotilla was then divided into two half flotillas which were further subdivided into two Divisions of three to five vessels. The First Half-Flotilla consisted of two divisions:

HMS Spitfire
HMS Sparrowhawk
HMS Garland
HMS Contest

HMS Hardy
HMS Mischief
HMS Midge

The second half flotilla had as its flotilla leader HMS Broke with the two divisions consisting of:

HMS Porpoise
HMS Unity

HMS Achates
HMS Ambuscade
HMS Ardent
HMS Fortune

I can see me getting out some models and spending some time with a piece of paper and pen trying out various flotilla configurations – perhaps line abreast, perhaps an oblique structure.

I do have smaller figures Anthony

Anthony has often teased me about my love of 6mm figures, with the usual remarks about too small to paint, too small to see and so on.

I thought then I should show him some of my 2mm figures. These are painted for Land Ironclads and Aeronefs. The figures are from Irregular Miniatures and form part of the French contingent for my Peshawar project, when I get around to doing some more on that.

The grid in the pictures is 10mm square. There is also a beer bottle top there for reference to size.


2015 Non Wargaming Projects

My Raspberry Pi

My Raspberry Pi

I had been considering one of these for a while. Jeffrey managed to read my mind and sent me one for my birthday but that appears to have disappeared into the aether, possibly because of the moves from Singapore to Indonesia to the Philippines. He decided to make it a Christmas present and organised another one to be delivered. This time he sent it to his address in Oz. Yep, he gave me a Raspberry Pi for Christmas.

My immediate plans for this little beauty, once I get back to Manila that is, is for a few nights just playing with it, then develop it into a media server for the apartment. I can then use it as a portal into what he describes as “JBOD” storage (JBOD – Just a Bunch Of Disks). Those disks hold my music collection as well as TV series, movies etc. I can’t quite take the step of switching off my copies and purely streaming but then I also spend time away from the Internet.

Anyway, the Raspberry Pi will also allow me to ease access into the collection from outside the apartment so perhaps I will head in the streaming direction.

The electronics kit

The electronics kit

When I was at Jeff’s, before heading to Canberra for Christmas, I noticed that he had an electronics kit that he was building models of things from. Steve down in Canberra also had a kit. Now I have always been interested in electronics but never really got around to having a close look at it, rather outsourcing my electronic needs in my younger days to Doug Reid who understood these things.

I stopped into Jaycar in Coffs Harbour the other day and there was the Freetronics kit. $90 or so. I bought it and will take this back to Manila with me as well. This way I can spend a couple of nights each week mucking around with the computers and electronics, away from the project work that I am doing and at the same time learn something I have been meaning to do for the last 30 years or so.

I shall have a cup of tea before approaching security checks in Sydney on Sunday though! :-)

Wargaming in 2015

I am thinking that it is time to reflect on what I achieved in 2014, wargame wise …. reflected … done!

OK, so I proved to Anthony that dice feng shui exists and that really, the dice do not like him at all by innumerable wins at his table whilst drinking his beer. I also managed, apart from shuffling his lead around, to get some games of FoG Online in – which I quite enjoy. Apart from the DBA competition at the Broken Bayonets in February where I took the Nubians for a creditable 6th place, that was about all the gaming I got done.

Painting wise I managed to finish my 1/285 scale Early World War 2 Russians as well as finishing the armour for the early World War 2 Japanese, also in 1/285. I finished three modern naval fleets in 1/3000 scale (the Indian, Chinese and Japanese) with just the aircraft to complete. I sold off some old figures which paid for the wargaming purchases I made in 2014 (and they were really the fleets as well as some Dystopian Wars packs). And that was about it as the rest of the time was spent looking for a new job and doing some work for a recruiter.

2015, however, I hae plans for. Next year will be the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland. I have both the Grand Fleet and the High Seas Fleet here in Macksville just waiting for some pant. Hell,hey ‘ve been waiting for paint for 16 years now so I guess it is time.

Friend Douglas over a beer or two mentioned American War of Independence in plastic whilst we were having a beer or two. It’s on!

One of the Philgamers in Manila has mentioned a desire to play a couple of games of DBA so, as I have a couple of 6mm DBA armies painted, I think I shall have a couple of practice runs to get used to the new rules (DBA 3.0) and then organise the games.

I also still have another 4 or 5 armies from my original Singapore project in 6mm to finish.

So, 2015 painting … yes, there will be painting. In roughly the order that they will be done:

  1. Anthony’s 20mm British World War 2 – as soon as they come in
  2. Anthony’s 6mm Ancients for the Singapore wargamers who have suddenly appeared out of the woodwork should he want to do 6mm ;-)
  3. The fleets from Jutland. I must count the ships for this. Perhaps, as part of this, I may also do the Austrian World War 1 fleet as I have the Italians already painted. These are in 1/3000 scale
  4. The aircraft for the modern fleets. The aircraft are in 1/1200 scale whilst the vessels are in 1/3000 scale but it does work. This may slip up a place or two as well as this is a simple and hopefully quick process
  5. A 1.72 scale plastic American War of Independence Colonists Army … as soon as I get some figures, This is a project to have ready for games next Christmas in Canberra and is a good excuse for not discussing new wargame periods whilst drinking a lot of beer
  6. The 1/285 Japanese infantry
  7. The Dystopian Wars vessels
  8. Finish the 6mm Singapore project
  9. Paint a 15mm DBA Army for DeBAKLe in Kuala Lumpur late in 2015 (should it be back on the cards)
  10. Brigade Models Aeronefs for the Germans (in 1/1200 scale)
  11. Brigade Models spaceships for their space game
  12. Some 1/300th aircraft for a dog fighting game
  13. Late War and Middle War World War 2 Russians in 1/285

OK, that is enough of a list – any more and the true size of my leadpile will start to become apparent!

Happy New Year fellow gamers – off to the painting table now!

2014 – That’s a Wrap

Rather than engage in the simple vanity of letting Facebook decide what my 2014 was like, I thought I would tap it out for myself, warts and all.

2013 was a pretty good year with the exception of some medical issues for both myself and family. These issues left us at the end of 2013 fairly hale and hearty although with severely empty bank balances and well maxed credit cards. I had a melanoma removed … twice, The first time the dermatologist made a small incision and took the lesion off my back. That healed quickly. However, after several rounds of pathology and an argument with Australian Quarantine (it seems that Australian tissue is expected to come back into Australia still attached to the Australian), it was discovered that not enough tissue had been removed.

I went to a proper cutter this time who seems to have learned his knife skills from Mac the Knife (queue the music) which resulted in a great hunk of my back being removed (about a $30 steak worth). Literally, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Enter 2014

I returned to Singapore from Christmas in Australia. I was promptly retrenched. The company I had worked with for five years had decided that there was no role for Business Development any longer in Australia, Indonesia and a couple of other locations. OK, that’s a fair cop I suppose, even though that same company had pulled me out of two potential deals in 2013.

I asked about retrenchment benefits which are not required by law in Singapore but which are encouraged by the Ministry of Manpower. After two weeks and I guess a few thousand dollars spent on legal fees, I was told that they were not required by law to pay them and anyway, I was being dismissed for poor performance (even though I was the only sales staff to have received any bonus in the past 4 years and in any case, had been pulled from two deals by the company).

My company lied to me – at least one bald-faced lie so I pity any customers – how can you trust a company that lies outright to their staff’s face?

To compound the problem, they screwed up my final salary calculation twice, have short-paid all their Singapore staff over the past few years (and still owe me funds for that matter) as well as breached Singapore tax law (a matter that I am pursuing currently).

Anyway, I left. I had two good prospects for new work over the first six months unemployed – and ran second in both races. Both employers are currently regretting not having selected me as I understand.

Around July 2014 things started looking up and I started work with my current employer in August in Manila so we moved city and country. This has brought much relief to our abysmal financial position. The Philippines is, however, an exciting place to live and in our first three months here we’ve had the tail-end of a typhoon, two tropical rain depressions, an earthquake (which we barely noticed) and Mayon, a volcano near Legazpi City, and only 200 kms away, has been rumbling!

Over that period of February to July I came to truly appreciate my friends – those that found some temporary work for me, those that lent money against some temporary work I was doing, those that just lent funds with no real expectations of when and if I could ever repay them and those that helped out with the odd lunch, the odd beer and the odd session of morale building and those that paid me way over market rates to paint some soldiers. You all know who you are and understand how much I appreciate the help, burgers, figures to paint, whisky, beer, massages, more excesses of beer and tequila drinking, lots more Auchentoshan …. well, you get the idea. A bloke really would be hard pressed to find a better set of mates.

So, what of 2015?

Wargaming and painting I’ll cover in a separate post. Work-wise, consolidate this project in Manila and get the tasks complete. Ensure that 2015, 16 and 17 continue to be better than 2014 and trust to karma.

Thanks guys and gals for all the help, the love, the warmth. Now on to 2015!

Happy New Year!

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 42,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 16 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

De Bellis Antiquitatis 3.0

DBA3Finally, I received my copy of De Bellis Antiquitatis version 3.0 (DBA 3.0). Of course, ordering it was a joy but reveiving it was a bit of a trial. Ordered and paid for through Amazon UK, the book was dispatched air mail on 4 November 2014. Judging by then Post Office stamp on the parcel, it arrived in Manila on 5 December, a full month later. Eight days was the turnaround to Kuala Lumpur so obviously the flight from KL to Manila takes 22 days.

It then took from 5 December to 12 December to work its way though the Philippines Post Office and for me to get a card to collect the goods from then Post Office. I collected the rules today.

Whilst I can’t understand why the Philippines Post Office does not just deliver books as there is no duty payable on them, I can understand it taking 7 days to get the notice to me as there was a distraction called Typhoon Ruby here so I won’t complain about that last delay.

Still, it’s good to have a meaty read for the soon-to-be-flight back to Oz for Christmas. From what I have seen so far, I am looking forward to playing with these rules in then future.

Philippine History – Now That’s Frustrating

I was in the National Bookstore again today searching for a book on a topic near and dear to the heart of me, history. Ancient history to be accurate. Philippine ancient history to be really accurate. From what I can see, Philippine History only seems to start around 1581 with the arrival of a Jesuit.

I kept checking history books and apart from being filled with what seemed to be polemic and chapters on how wonderful Filipinos are, some even had chapters on Jewish inventions, like Google, for goodness sake, in a book on Philippines History. There was nothing I would describe as objective history and certainly nothing on life here before the Jesuits.

Now I will admit I was only having a quick scan of the books, scanning the odd chapter and the table of contents but what I saw was not really all that encouraging for a view of life in ancient times. The word “pre-history” turned up a lot to describe everything before the Jesuits as no one could write then and the most useful thing I learned was that Barangay may have referred to a boat (thank you Jesuits for that piece of information) and four Filipinos turned up in Japan (two blokes and two ladies) in the 600s or 800s C.E., and they were not the first singing group to go there!

I would be happy if someone could point me to a decent history of the early Philippines but so far everything I’ve seen suggests that this may not be all that likely to find.

I think I need to find a bigger bookshop.

Nothing to see here, move along!

Everyone should have a Lightning!

Everyone should have a Lightning!

This is also in no way indicative of a desire to do plastic kits more so that I always liked the Ilyushin IL-28 Beagle and if one is going to do a Beagle, well, one simply has to have a Lightning!

And if it is enough for Jeremy Clarkson to briefly have had one in 1:1 scale in his frontyard, then a 1:100 scale kit should not raise any eyebrows.

The fact that 1:100 is, in wargaming terms, 15mm, has nothing to do with it (as is the fact that the Beagle is a bomber, of course).

And a Beagle, beagles are sweet aircraft!

And a Beagle, beagles are sweet aircraft!

Now, all I need to have some fun with these is the right colour paints, some putty for filler, some wet and dry paper for tidying up and smoothing out and a rainy Saturday to make them followed by a sunny Sunday to paint them!