Christmas Stocking Fillers

Christmas has gone and so has New Year’s Eve. I avoid making New Year’s Resolutions, partly because reflecting on what you are doing and what you will do is something that should be an ongoing process. Having said that, in nautical terms, i am getting very broad across the beam although I have a good deal of ballast to counter that. It is time to slim up so that is one task on my 2017 and beyond.

Work also will be interesting this year as one contract finishes and I chase another. I will be looking for something to start around July or so.

I did reflect on those things that went well and those that failed in the year just past, however, a product of the odd beer and a relatively quiet New Year’s Eve back in Manila. It is, however, time to think about the plans for the coming year, doubly so as a week has already gone.

#fails

Simply … I did next to no wargaming, or painting. I also managed to add another few kilograms overall to my already portly body shape. I kept getting great ideas, especially for wargaming projects, but managed to not spend anytime actually starting any of them. Worst of all, I missed getting back to Oz and visiting mother for about 8 months, which was very frustrating.

#ftw

There were some high spots however. Settled well into the second year of working in the Philippines and had the project progressing well. I also managed to read a lot, thank goodness for Kindle and a decent smartphone – I get to read almost anywhere.

#christmas_gifts

#books

So, as I had a little spare case this year, I spoiled myself with some Christmas gifts, and they will form the basis of the 2017 wargaming efforts.

Warship 2014
Warship 2014

First off was the two Warships I had missed from 2014 and 2015. I had not had a chance to purchase these before but they went into my Christmas stocking this year (it was a big stocking). Warship 2014 is the 36th edition and contains a variety of articles including a detailed technical description of the Queen Elizabeth (the UK’s only aircraft carrier – I guess because the French had one); details of Germany’s Braunschweig and Deutschland classes; the Italian aircraft carrier Cavour; IJN armoured cruisers; the escape of the Jean Bart from Saint-Nazaire; the submarine Mariotte; the IJN light carrier Ryûjô; Russia’s turret frigates, the Admiral Lazarev and Admiral Spiridov; and some other articles.

Warship 2015
Warship 2015

Warship 2015 is the first I have seen available in a Kindle format. It was tempting to acquire the Kindle Version, especially as it was half the price of the printed version, but I just could not give up the feel of the paper versions of this publication yet. This issue contains among other items, the Battleships of the Patrie Class; Postwar Weapons in the Royal Navy; the Tragedy of the Submarine Mariotte; Developments in Modern Carrier Aviation; and an early surface engagement between British and Japanese surface forces in WW2. I am looking forward to finishing Warship 2014 to get into Warship 2015.

Warship 2016 - New Cover Format
Warship 2016 – New Cover Format

Warship 2016 is the first of the recent series to come without a dust jacket (why did they call them dust jackets?). It long the previous 37 editions is a mix of different articles concerning naval matters from various periods of essentially 20th and 21st Century history.

This edition has articles on the Bougainville colonial sloops; an Italian colonial sloop Eritrea; the Japanese Asashio class destroyers; Fugas class minesweepers; divisional tactics at the Battle of Jutland and the conclusion to the Naval War in the Adriatic theater in WWI. There is also a piece on the use of ‘highball” on a ship – from the target ship’s perspective, in this case the French battleship Courbet.

#rules

DBA Version 3.0
DBA Version 3.0

I finally got around to acquiring a copy of De Bellis Antiquitatis, my favourite ancient wargaming rules. Plans for 2017 include not just learning these but getting some games in. I have a number of armies in Manila in 6mm and as the playing area is 2-foot square (60cm x 60cm) I also have the space to game.

This will likely make a nice project for 2017. More on that later in a separate post. I can. however, see my 6mm Numidians and 6mm Romans coming out for some early games and also provide an incentive for me to complete my DBA 6mm terrain pieces.

Imperial Skies - I was not part of the kickstarter but I do like the rules
Imperial Skies – I was not part of the kickstarter but I do like the rules

I also ordered copy of Imperial Skies from Brigade Models in the UK.

I had not been part of the kickstarter but these rules look to be a good alternative to Aeronef. I also acquired the dice and turn rulers.

#figures

Ros and Heroics 6mm (1/300th scale) Poles
Ros and Heroics 6mm (1/300th scale) Poles

I purchased some opposition for my 1/300th scale modern Danes. These are in the form of some Heroics and Ros 1/300th scale Poles. We will have sometime this year some T-55s out against some Centurions. This will be part of a separate little project, part of which will be to complete the Danes and relocate them from mother’s garage to the Philippines. These will be used with Cold War Commander. I must admit, whilst the GHQ castings are superb detail wise, I still like the Heroics and Ros for wargames figures.

Aeronefs ... lots of them!
Aeronefs … lots of them!

Naturally, having purchased Imperial skies one needed some Aeronefs to go along with the new rules. Brigade Models Christmas discount helped me to acquire Argentinian, Brazilian and BENELUX fleets for this game and for use with Aeronef as well. I also acquired some Italian ‘nefs in the purchase along with some Russians to round out my Peshawar project, if I ever get back to that.

I really am looking forward to getting some paint on these models.

Baccus 6mm ECW Boxed Set
Baccus 6mm ECW Boxed Set

Last of the stocking fillers was the Baccus 6mm English Civil War boxed set. This consists of butt-loads of figures, bases, buildings and Polemos rules. I will admit up front that I purchased these to play with the Impetus Rules however the beauty of the Polemos basing is that I can also use these as based for bopth Polemos and Impetus.

Another project for 2017 for later description.

Overall, Santa was very kind to me at Christmas, as well he should have been!

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A 6mm Morph – What to Change Into?

The Numidians in for a change
The Numidians in for a change

I was sorting the jumbled figures from the move and in one box I have Numidians and Romans, part based for Baccus’s Polemos SPQR rules. I’ll come back to the Romans later. The Numidians, however, are basic and are extra to my current Numidian needs. I have an all-options 6mm Numidian army already based for DBA. The question becomes, what to do with these blokes?

The stock consists of 80 general javelinmen type figures and 40 general cavalry figures. So all figures are armed with javelins (or short spear in 6mm), a shield and no armour. Tunic Colours are mixed and the figures have a Caucasian appearance.

Any suggestions as to what this can be morphed into. They will be re-based on standard DBA 40mm bases and ideally will have a number of figures backed onto the bases to make them look like there are more than there are.

Suggestions?

Polemos Ancients Progress

DSC01412As one of the about 100 projects I have started at the moment (I really am a wargame butterfly, floating from bright flower to bright flower), I started the basing of my Polemos Ancients. I have three Baccus 6mm armies in various stages of completion:

  1. Pontic – unpainted
  2. Numidian – painted and attached to bases – flocking to be done
  3. Imperial Roman – painted but waiting for me to attach 150 decals to 6mm shields and then base.

I thought then a quick update well in order, especially as I haven’t posted anything for a while.

The photo above is of the raw materials laid out – the figures, MDF bases and adhesive magnetic tape. At my favourite stationery store, Stationery Superstore in Funan Digital Mall ((incidentally, my favourite mall here in Signapore as well)) here in Singapore I have discovered a nice range of magnetic tape. They are in rolls with widths of 15mm, 20mm and 30mm – what could be better for a wargamer. They also do a very nice inexpensive stackable storage box, but more on that later, perhaps. So, the photo above shows the basic materials for this stage of the process.

DSC01417The magnetic tape is cut to length and stuck to the bottom of the MDF bases.

The next step is sorting the figures to the bases. The Numidians being a basically skirmishing army are fairly spread out on the bases so each base will contain 8 infantry and either 4 or 5 horse. The Numidians have been painted as lighter skinned with differing coloured shields and tunics. The traditional view was of darker skin and unbleached tunics along with plain shields but hey, these look nice and will morph well into other armies when needed <—wargamer’s excuse for something a little out of the ordinary!

A quick snip with the cutters, a dob of glue, in this case, Tarzan’s Grip from Australia, and the figures are adhered to the base. ready for flocking later.

DSC01422

Next step is on to the Romans.

Numidians are Finished

P1010112I finished the 6mm Numidian DBA army this weekend – part of my Singapore project. I painted all options for this force and they can all be seen in the picture. This will enable me to pad out some of the Punic Wars collection as well as well as provide an army to play some battles of the Jugurthine War.

The next army to be painted will be the Polybian Romans – a good opponent for the Numidians for the Jugurthine War. The Jugurthine War takes its name from the Berber king Jugurtha, nephew and later adopted son of Micipsa, King of Numidia.

To provide for the full list for DBA, I painted 21 elements (a DBA army normally consists of 12 elements). This lets me adopt most of the interpretations, in wargaming terms, of how the  Numidians arrayed for battle. The most significant difference is in the infantry where the Numidians can be represented as a pure skirmishing force or a force with then ability to stand against some opponents and to excel in rough terrain. The elements produced were:

  • 1 x Light Horse Commander in Chief (and his alternative, a Cavalry C-in-C)
  • 5 x Light Horse – the famous Numidian Cavalry
  • 6 x Psiloi – Numidian light foot – this is one interpretation of Numidian foot
  • 6 x Auxilia – these can be swapped for any of the Psiloi above to provide the other main interpretation of Numidian foot
  • 1 x Blades – these are like legionaries and represent Roman deserters during the Jugurthine Wars
  • 1 x Elephants – there is some evidence to suggest that Numidians may have used a few elephants at various times.

I am looking forward to getting the Romans painted, and some terrain made, so that I can get down to some games.

Singapore Wargames Project–Test Army–Numidia

P1010027

Over the weekend I finished the first six elements of the test Army. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was building a six army campaign set. To that set I added a Numidian force, as much to test out things as anything else. Of course, they will also provide a contemporary opponent for most of the armies in the campaign set as well.

I finished six elements of Light Horse over the weekend. I finally decided to use four figures per base for the Light Horse, these looking in sufficiently open order to pass as Light Horse.

Apart from working out how the figures would work in 6mm scale for DBA along with the number of figures per base to use, I was also trying a number of new things and techniques with this army.  I had been talking to some friends who had a different method of painting to me which included both basing the figures before painting and undercoating in black followed by a wet dry brush of white, then normal painting and washing after that. The new things I was trying were:

  1. That new method of painting
  2. Reeves Poster paints when used with Citadel Acrylics
  3. A new varnish (Krylon)
  4. Finishing things in the Singapore environment

The picture above shows the final result with a ruler placed for scale. Note that if you magnify the photo to 1:1 scale (that is, the scale the camera sees) you can see a whole lot of bad in the painting. Looked a 1:1 life scale – that is, where 1cm in the photo measures 1 cm in life – and the figures look quite neat.

Lessons learned from this process however were:

  1. Reeves Poster Paints, whilst heavy in pigment, seem to take a long time to try enough to use a Citadel wash over the top of. The Devlan Mud wash was washing the poster paint away. Fortunately, not too much of it washed off and it, by accident, provided a third layer of colour to the horses in particular.
  2. I varnished the figures with Krylon Spray varnish. I took the figures to the balcony and sprayed in the morning on a sunny day when the humidity was a bit lower than normal here and the temperature a little lower. When I bought the figures back into the apartment and the air-conditioning the varnish appeared to cloud up over the figures. The black hair appeared grey for example.
  3. I need to try some test varnishing on Reeves black as well as citadel black to see whether it is the atmosphere or the the paint causing the clouding.

All in all, however, I am quite satisfied with the first six elements. I have an element of elephants, one of Cavalry and all the infantry to paint next. Wednesday night will be the next painting session. I’ll also get around to writing up the making of the playing surface you can see below the figures.

The wargame at Anthony’s over the weekend has also motivated me to start working on the terrain for the DBA project.

Painting the Numidians–Part 1

P1000987 I started to prepare the Numidians for painting. The first task was to sort the army out again. As I was going to try some, for me, new painting techniques, I also decided that I should try a dry run of the figures to see how they would look when based.

I figure it is better to muck around with that now rather than later. First off for testing was the cavalry.

P1000988 The Numidian horse is mostly light horse. Originally I was planning on using 3 x 6mm figures for each 15mm figure. However, looking at a base with that many figures on, it seems that it is too many. I shuffled a few things around and tried 2 x 6mm figures for each 15mm figure.

The base on the left is with 6 figures, on the right, four. The one on the right looks more like skirmishing cavalry so Light Horse will now be four figures per base.

3Cv Originally I had planned on 3 times the 15mm figures for 6mm for the cavalry. I tested both 8 and 10 figures per base for the 3Cv bases and both look OK. I’m inclined to us 8, 9 or 10 figures for the 3Cv bases. Even with 8 figures to a base the 3Cv will look a lot more dense than the Light Horse.

Basing is therefore planned. The figures were cleaned and prepared for painting. Some where glued to tongue depressors and the rest to their bases. They were then undercoated in flat black paint. I will cover the painting of these in the future.

The Armies – II/40 Numidian

P1000973I spent some time this weekend doing two things for the Singapore Wargames Project. The first was starting on the game board and the terrain. The second was sorting the figures and the bases out. I was expecting that I would have some errors in purchasing and I did. I had a few too many figures left over from a couple of the packs I purchased – like why did I buy Tarentine cavalry? I also ended up discovering that I had miscalculated the number of bases I needed in the 40x20mm size. I know why that happened. As I sorted the figures out I found that I could pretty much do all the variations so I started to plan that way. This left me short some bases. Oh well, a quick order off to East Riding Miniatures tonight will see that corrected.

I decided to start with the Numidians as I am guessing they will be the easiest of the seven armies to paint. Looking through the list, I need to allow for the following troops to meet all the requirements.

Number Type Comments
1 3Cv This is the general and can have Gallic or Spanish bodyguards
1 2LH An alternate general to the one mentioned above
5 2LH The famous Numidian Light Cavalry
6 2Ps Numidian Light Troops – Psiloi. There is some discussion about whether these were, in fact Psiloi or more closely grouped troops such as the next type
5 3Ax Numidian foot troops – classed as Auxilia in the rules. These are good broken terrain troops but a little fragile in the open when faced by cavalry or close order infantry
1 El An elephant base. Elephants were used in the armies of Jugurtha and Juba
1 4Bd These are imitation legionaries or Roman deserters – these are from the later period, after the Punic Wars when Rome and Numidia fought.
1 3/4Ax These are either Spanish Scutarii, Gaetuli, or Ligurian deserters – trained by the Romans but fighting for the Numidians

These then are all the elements that I need to make to cover all options of the Numidian Army. For figures per base, a little experimenting and I worked out the following ratios:

Infantry – use four 6mm figures for each 15mm figure recommended in the rules. In this case, a 3Ax base of 6mm figures will contain 12 figures (the 15mm equivalent is 3 figures).

Cavalry – to give a little more space, I decided to use three 6mm figures for each 15mm figure recommended. A 2LH base in 6mm will therefore contain 6 figures (the 15mm equivalent is 2 figures).

Elephants, Artillery and Chariots – I decided that two 6mm models per base would work best. The 15mm equivalent is one model.

For references on the Numidians, perhaps the best starting places are:

The terrain requirements for this army are listed as Hilly. This means that as I make the terrain I will need to make sure I have the following for this army:

  • Steep Hills – two are needed
  • River – one needed – it should cross the entire board
  • Woods – two are needed
  • Built Up Area (BUA) – one is needed
  • Roads – two are needed – again, they should be long enough to cross from one side of the table to the other

OK, that is the organisation of the figures for the Numidians. The picture at the top of this is the figures and bases sorted and organised for the eventual painting.

I will update the next six armies over the next week or so as well as progress of the game board.

The Singapore Wargames Project – Part 6 the Materials

P1000946So I finally collected everything. I have the baseboard (thank you Doug for the idea), paint, materials for terrain, figures to make 7 DBA armies from around the time and area of the Punic Wars as well as pre-cut bases to base on it all.

A can of Tiger beer and a planning session gave me the plan. The project will follow the following order (well, that is the plan at the moment at least).

  1. Paint the base board. The reason for starting with this is that I feel it will be a basically straightforward job, fairly quick and give me something complete to look at to encourage me for the other parts of the project (especially as there is another wargaming project at the back of my brain at the moment as well).
  2. Cut, assemble and make the terrain pieces. again, something reasonably quick and there are a couple of techniques I want to play around with.
  3. Paint and base the army with the least number of figures to deal with. This will be the Numidians. Whilst they are not part of the base set, there are some Numidians present in some of the armies anyway so the extra bases will be painted at the same time. They will give me a head start to some of the forces as well as giving me something pretty to look at.
  4. Start on the main 6 armies. When it gets closer to this time I will decide on the order to take.

P1000951

OK – ready to start. As I mentioned earlier I’ll be blogging the progress as this will help force me to keep to the plan.

To the left is a close up of some of the figures. The wooden bases you can see are 40mm x 30mm in size and the figures are just over 6mm small.

Right then, to paint! Tally ho the brush!

The Singapore Wargames Project – Part 5 the Figures

I mentioned that I was going to build this set using 6mm figures from Baccus 6mm. There are seven armies being prepared over time but I thought, as it was payday last week, to buy all the figures at one time.

Two orders were therefore sent to the nice Mr Berry of Baccus (his shopping cart got overloaded halfway through the order Open-mouthed smile) and if previous deliveries are anything to go buy, a nice parcel should arrive at the office next week.

The order was for the following:

Quantity ID Name
1 AGR8 Unarmoured Hoplites
1 AGR1 Hoplites
1 AGR6 Greek Cavalry
1 AGR11 Greek Bolt Throwers
1 AGR4 Psiloi – Bow
1 AGR3 Psiloi – Javelins
1 AMA9 Theurophoros Infantry
1 AMA15 Tarantine Cavalry
2 AGD1 Greek Decals
2 AIT1 Samnite Infantry
1 ARR1 Hastatii w pilum
1 ARR2 Triarii
1 ARR3 Velites
1 ARR5 Roman Cavalry
1 ACA3 Libyan Cavalry
1 ACA5 Veteran Infantry
3 ACA4 Elephants
2 AIR6 Roman Generals
1 ASP5 Spanish Heavy Cavalry
1 ASP4 Spanish Light Cavalry
1 ASP2 Spanish Caetratii
1 ASP1 Spanish Scutarii
1 ASP3 Balearic Slingers
1 ACE1 Celtic Infantry, stood
1 ACE2 Celtic Heavy Cavalry
1 ACE3 Celtic Javelinmen
1 ACE4 Celtic Slingers
2 ACE5 Celtic Chariots
1 ACE6 Celtic Leaders
1 ACE7 Celtic Infantry, charging
2 AMO1 Moorish Infantry
2 AMO3 Moorish Cavalry

This will be enough figures to make the seven armies with leftovers.

Later I will break up the armies into their contents. In the meantime, the next step is to an email an order to East Riding Miniatures for bases for the figures. I will be using the standard DBA 40mm wide bases for this.

The Singapore Wargames Project – Part 3 – the Armies

Yesterday I detailed the terrain to be purchased for the project. I mentioned earlier as well that once I started looking at possible armies, one of the campaign sets popped up as an obvious choice. The 2nd Punic War campaign has a good group of armies all of which are fairly competitive and that together will make some interesting combinations for big battle games.

Of course, given the usual wargamer’s megalomania, I could not just leave it at that six but decided to add a seventh, just for interest sake. All these armies will be made with Baccus 6mm figures and based on 15mm sized bases.

The armies:

List Number Army  
II/9 Syracusan  
II/32 Later Carthaginian  
II/33 Polybian Roman  
II/39a Spain The Iberian option was selected rather than the Celtiberian or Lusitanian options as the Iberians fought with both the Carthaginians and the Romans
II/11 Gauls  
II/8a Italy  
II/40 Numidian This is the extra one added to the set – purely because it just makes sense for some variety. Interestingly I also have a Numidian army to paint for Polemos Ancient

OK, these then are the armies to be purchased and painted.