The Postman Always Rings Twice

The Postman Always Rings Twice

Actually, here in Makati City, he rarely rings. It takes about a week for a parcel to arrive in the Philippines from England. It then takes another week for the parcel to travel a few kilometres from the main Post Office to Makati Central Post Office. It then takes between two weeks and a month or two for the notice of arrive to travel the one kilometre from Makati Post Office to the condominium or the office.

Still, it is great when the notices arrive and you can step back into 1954 to collect the parcels from the Post Office.

Four Parcels containing three different wargaming periods

Box number one (large, top right) contained some goodies from Brigade Models of the UK . The box contained Aeronefs and Cold War Commander Indonesians in 6mm. The Aeronefs the Spanish Fleet Pack #2, Item #: VANFP-1702; Spanish Fleet Pack #1, Item #: VANFP-1701; Spanish Torpedo Flotilla, Item #: VANFP-1711; Indonesian Army Group, Item #: IC-1401; and some bits and pieces.

I am trying to clear my painting queue now to get into both these sets. The Spanish ‘nefs in particular are sweet.

World War 2 Belgians

In the small flat box to the bottom right is a Belgian World War 2 army from Scotia Grendel. I built these from the Blitzkreig Commander III lists before noticing some basic problems with that list, like the missing 75mm guns!

Anyway, there is some nice stuff in there and I can always find an excuse to send off for some more figures from Scotia, and order the missing 75mms then.

The white parcel contained reinforcements from Magister Militum for the little coastal project, namely some more Germans, a few more British and the Italians. The Motoscafo Armato Silurante, (MAS boats), were a class of fast torpedo armed vessel used by the Regia Marina and the models from Hallmark are sweet. More competition for the painting queue.

Lastly, the big box underneath contains three books for review. These will be coming up soon.

Notes on Dystopian Wars

After my post Another Parcel — More Dystopian Wars the other day I asked the question about painting the resin models. Specifically, were there pitfalls and traps to be avoided, that sort of thing.

Mark, one of me old mates from the Tring Wargames Club, famous in Tring, Berko and Winkwell, sent back the following information. I will paint some test pieces soon and try our his comments. When I have painted some stuff, I’ll convert it all to a page for future reference. In the meantime, here are his notes.

Hi Ian,

I am not going to give you advice on the actual painting as you are far better than me. 😆

The thing we have noticed at Tring is that the release agent Spartan games use on the resin is a real B*gger to get off, stopping the paint adhering properly

I did my usual wash with hot soapy water and a soft toothbrush  that I do on all resin stuff before painting and when it had dried started to undercoat with black acrylic and a brush.  It was awful , in fact it looked like I had not washed them at all. Back to the drawing  board (sink)

I put all the models into hot water to soak.

Putting a small drop of washing up liquid direct on a model I brushed the neat soap onto the model getting a good froth, made sure I had scrubbed all the model, then rinsed it in hot water. This seemed to do the trick and paint adhered ok after that.

On speaking to the guys at club, all of them confirmed having the same trouble.  Some had just painted several layers of paint on after a first wash, but with all the fine detail on the models I was reluctant to do this.

I have since found the metal planes also seem to have a bit of a problem with the release agent, but not as much as the resin.

The models have a lot of detail to pick out either by brush or by wash.

Pendraken do I-94 decals on the Minibits site that fit quite nicely for the models . I used the ones for 6mm Aircraft, but I see on the 10mm armour listing are some Japenese flags and roundels of assorted sizes, as well as American white stars and flags.  Its probably worth looking at all of the ranges to see if there are other bits you might want like numbers

http://www.minibits.net/I-94-DecalsTransfers-c23/1150-1012mm-Armour-sc75/

The “bits and Pieces” will be optional weapons/equipment for the models. The Model Assigned Rules(MARS)  will cover this.

You might also want to mention that Tumbling Dice do some 1:600 AA guns that fit in quite nicely , also some of their planes may be suitable

Mark

Another Parcel — More Dystopian Wars

The box, the sticker
The box, the sticker

Why is it that the postman with the bulky item notice always manages to put it in your letterbox about 10 minutes after you collect your mail? Yep, yesterday he put a bulky item note in the letterbox after I had checked (and collected) the mail. Today I retrieved it the notice and went for a walk to the Post Office. I was expecting a parcel from the lovely folks at Magister Militum1, a parcel with two navies for Dystopian Wars. This was the order I placed with the credit note I had there from my screwed up delivery last year (screwed up by me when I put the wrong address for delivery).

The packing
The packing

First thing I noticed was that the box, apart from being light, rattled. I also noticed the “Fragile” sticker on it. The sticker and the rattling filled me with trepidation until I got the box home and opened it.

The contents however were in four separate packages and the whole box was topped off with the little expanded polystyrene knuckles that do such a good job of filling empty space in a package.

I cooked dinner for the troops and immediately after dinner I settled down to examine the contents.

The contents
The contents

There were the two fleet packs I had ordered as well as the two carriers. One fleet and carrier is the Empire of the Rising Sun (on the right in the photo to the right).

The other fleet was the Federated States of America (FSA — on the left), The two carriers each come with 10 aircraft bases, presumably for launching air raids against opponents and for providing a Combat Air Patrol for their own fleet.

I was also struck pretty immediately by the size of the FSA carrier. It is huge compared to the Empire of the Rising Sun’s carrier.

Empire of the Rising Sun
Empire of the Rising Sun

I did not open the carrier packages at this stage as I am not sure when I am going to get around to start painting them and at the same time, I am not sure whether I will need to move country soon or not as I am chasing new work at the moment.

I unpacked the Empire of the Rising Sun box. Inside are four cards with turning templates and game markers. There is also a packet with the statistics of each of the vessel and aircraft classes enclosed in the box. There is also a battleship, three cruiser or destroyer types, 9 small boats (destroyers or torpedo boats), 10 aircraft bases and two bombers in white metal.

There are also some bits and bobs – gun turrets for the large warships, flying bases for the bombers and some other bits that I have no idea about where they belong.

Federated States of America
Federated States of America

The second box, with the FSA fleet in it contained a mirror of the Empire of the Rising Sun with one battleship, three cruiser/destroyer types, 9 destroyer/torpedo/gun boat types, 10 aircraft bases, two bombers and the bits and bobs to finish off those models as well as flying bases.

Having already received the rules and cards direct from Spartan Games, I am tempted, at the least, to start with some test painting on the small vessels first. I can also use them as a learning tool to learn the rules as I don’t know any Dystopian Wars players in Singapore and whilst I would happily trek back to Tring and learn the game from the guys at the Tring Wargames Club, and I know the lady would be more than happy to spend a few days or weeks in ‘ertfordshire (I do miss Herts) the old finances are a bit stretched at the moment.

There is the option of heading up to Kuala Lumpur on the bus again as the Broken Bayonets have a couple of guys playing Dystopian Wars and let’s face it, it is much easier to learn a set of wargames rules when you are playing with someone who knows the rules — saves you have to read them at least.

The models themselves are sweet. I have had resin models of buildings before (and have a shed-load of them to paint for the 6mm World War 2 projects) but this is the first time I have had resin models to play with. The detail is crisp on the models and I am itching to get some paint on them sooner rather than later — although common sense tells me to hit the Interwebs and do some research on painting resin, just in case there is a pitfall or two I can avoid falling into.

Tonight’s bedtime reading will be the Dystopian Wars rules.


A note at the bottom of the page

1. Magister Militum has a new website and e-commerce system and I must admit it is a darn side easier to find things on that web site now than before. Waiting until I have sorted some new employment before trying out the e-commerce part, but a fellah can dream can’t he?

A Surprise Parcel

The Box
The Box

Well, not so much of a surprise, as I was expecting it but rather a surprise with the speed it arrived here. I was sat having a quiet cup of coffee yesterday afternoon when there was a loud, confident knock on the door. “Hello” thinks I, who can this be as we were not expecting to have to repel any boarders. Opening the door revealed the DHL man with the box pictured to the right, firmly in hand.

He asked, “Thomo the Lost?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Sign here please.” After signing the electronic gizmo he handed me the box. I checked the receipt on the outside and it was the items I had ordered from Spartan Games, in the UK, 5 days previously. This is a new record for me. I ordered late in the evening, Singapore time, on the 21st. The parcel arrived mid afternoon of the 26th. Less than 5 days from order to delivery, very impressive.

So, the contents?

The contents of the box - rules and paraphernalia for Dystopian Wars
The contents of the box – rules and paraphernalia for Dystopian Wars

Spartan Games were having a sale on some of the Dystopian Wars stuff, specifically the publications. I had ordered some vessels from Magister Militum and I guess that order is being processed but needed some rules, A special price at Spartan Games was hard to resist and so I ended up with a bundled price for the rules and two scenario books. I also took the opportunity to purchase a template set (turning templates and such) as well as some Dystopian Wars cards. The cards are used to add another dimension to the rules by providing a degree of “fog of war” into a game.

Now, I know I am late coming into Dystopian Wars, I had been resisting them for some time, concentrating instead on Aeronefs and Land Ironclads for my Victoria SciFi fix, but weakened when I had the credit and the prices at both places were so good. Yes, I know, another bright shiny thing for the lead-pile.

The rules are paperback whilst the scenario books are both hardback. They are all in the glossy, colourful, full of eye candy mould of modern rules and scenario books. The rules themselves run to 128 pages and cover air, land and sea rules for the games. There are detailed descriptions of each of the major combatants 1 as in there as well as tables of data for the different vessels, vehicles and aircraft. There is also a single quick reference sheet.

The scenario books are labelled Book 2 and Book 4 (I should investigate that further I suspect) and are 137 and 183 pages long respectively. Storm of Steel (Campaign Guide 2) covers operations in the Low Countries and British Isles. This is a combined Land and Sea campaign and uses some of the minor powers.

Campaign Guide 4, Operation Sirocco, looks at the African Fronts – new Carthage and Ottoman Sudan. This also involves most of the main protagonists (only the Empire of the Blazing Sun is not included) and adds the Ottomans and French. It also includes an additional set of rules known as Armoured Clash 2.

I have been thoroughly enjoying reading the rules at night before sleep – they have even replaced my regular pre-sleep entertainment of watching old episodes of Farscape and are giving me a nice SciFi fix at the moment, especially as I have finished reading the “Black Jack” Geary Lost Stars series.

I am also arguing that this does not add to the lead-pile as the books are paper and the models are basically resin so there is, unfortunately, no increase in my lifespan!

Dystopian Wars – at this stage – recommended!


The Bit at the Bottom

1. Dystopian Wars core nations included in the rules are the Prussian Empire, Kingdom of Britannia, Federated States of America, Empire of the Blazing Sun (Japan). Also included but no vessel statistics provided in the rules is the Covenant of Antarctica. Look at the Dystopian Wars General write-up for details of the other nations included in the Dystopian Wars Universe.
2. Armoured Clash is a game within the Dystopian Wars Universe for massed armoured battles.

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

Fresh from deciding on the Dystopian Wars forces to purchase, and waiting patiently for their arrival, I was getting myself into an Aeronef; Steampunk; Victorian Science Fiction mood. Reading around and in particular about the airships of the early 20th century I came across a little aircraft I had almost forgotten.

One of USS Macon's Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk
One of USS Macon’s Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

The Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk. This was an aircraft designed to operate with airships and the one shown to the left is one of the aircraft that was carried by the USS Macon and of the same type as those carried by the USS Akron, two US Airships. The plane itself was a light biplane fighter aircraft.

The Steampunkness of the Sparrowhawk is partly because it was a “parasite fighter”, a small plane which has been designed to be deployed from a larger aircraft such as an airship or bomber. It was a small aircraft and was therefore the perfect fighter to be carried by an airship – see where I am heading with this?

The historical Sparrowhawk was armed but was primarily used for reconnaissance. The US Airships carried three or four of them.

Launching and recovery was by a hook/anchor, known at the time as the “flying trapeze”. The hook was mounted on the Sparrowhawk’s top wing and attached to the cross-bar of the trapeze.

So, you can see why I like this aircraft. I also particularly like the colour scheme shown in the picture and part of the painting research for the Dystopian Wars is now, I think, complete.

General characteristics of the aircraft (for the record)
Crew: 1
Length: 21.08 ft (6.27 m)
Wingspan: 25.5 ft (7.75 m)
Height: 10.92 ft (3.34 m)
Wing area: 185 ft² (16.1 m²)
Empty weight: 2,114 lb (959 kg)
Loaded weight: 2,776 lb (1,259 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-975-E3 radial engine, 415 hp (310 kW)

Performance
Maximum speed: 176 mph (153 knots, 283 km/h)
Range: 297 mi (258 nmi, 475 km)
Service ceiling: 19,200 ft (5,853 m)
Rate of climb: 1,690 ft/min (8.6 m/s)
Wing loading: 15 lb/ft² (78 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.15 hp/lb (240 W/kg)

Armament
Guns: 2 × .30 in (7.62 mm) Browning machine guns

Yep – One More Project

So, after screwing up an order with Magister Militum last year, I ended up with a credit. Magister Militum was very understanding and helpful and helped correct my error. Richard did ask me however to use the credit quickly and as any good wargamer will do, I managed to find something to spend the credit on in double quick time.

Dystopian Wars. More Steampunk/Victorian Science Fiction.

I am so looking forward to the delivery of these items.

Future War Commander – Indonesians

That evil mastermind of separating me from cash has tempted me again. Tony over at Brigade Models has released the 6mm Indonesians which would make a perfect opponent or ally for my 6mm PacFed forces for Future War Commander that I had painted back in 2010 – and just in the week I said “no more lead until I have dented the painting pile significantly”

The Kartika Eka Paksi forces are really quite neat and well worth a look at. Also released where two ships for use with Squadron Commander.

So many bright shiny objects, so little time.

Brigade Models – XMAS Sale

Xmas OffersIt’s that time of the year again, Brigade Models are having their now traditional and annual XMAS Sale (I say XMAS as that is how it is called on their front page).

Brigade are offering 15% off everything – and 25% off their Celtos stuff.

What’s tempting for me? Aeronef, Land Ironclads and 6mm SF in particular although I am a little partial to the Iron Stars range as well.

If I was looking at purchasing Aeronefs, then I would have to consider either expanding my American and Japanese fleets or perhaps adding a Scandinavian fleet to the mix.

On the Land Ironclads front, Russian Empire looks really neat as well and something I could merge in with my Aeronef fleets when I get around to working on Peshawar again.

Then there are the 6mm Science Fiction items. I already have (along a one-day cricket theme) the PacFed and waiting for paint British ONESS. Then, along a football theme (or what will be a football theme), EuroFed – the Italian end in particular. Of particular interest then is perhaps the German or CDSU. These 6mm armies work really very well with Future War Commander.

The Iron Stars stuff is just nice – really nice.

So much temptation, so thin a wallet, so little painting time!

It’s in the post

I received a nice little note in the email today:

Dear Thompson Ian,

Brigade Models Limited sent your package using Royal Mail.

Postage details

Sender:
Royal Mail

Service type:
RM Airmail (Small Packets) (3-5 working days)

Postal status
Sent

Tomorrow I am off on a business trip to Jakarta until the end of the week. That means I will have next weekend to paint and base the 83kg pile of metal I have here to ensure that come next Monday when I get to the office and collect the nice new toys, I will have an empty painting queue and thus be able to paint these little beauties straight off!

Right! Like that’s going to happen!

Anyway, new toys on the way (I so love those little parcels from the UK). What’s coming? Some Victorian Science Fiction from Brigade Models in the form of Aeronefs – particularly:

Japanese Carrier Pack
Japanese Fleet Pack #1

vs

US Fleet Pack #1
US Fleet Pack #2

Item numbers are VANFP-602, VANFP-601, VANFP-201 and VANFP-202 for the curious. That gives me a particularly nice late 19th Century Pacific Air feel with a mix of vessels from carriers and battlewagons to patrol type ‘nefs. Pondering colours even as I type.

PacFed Space Fleet – Prototype

I finally got around to painting a prototype vessel of the PacFed Space Fleet. The models come from Brigade Models in the UK and are, I must admit, really neat. Unlike the Future War Commander PacFed that I painted earlier this year I wanted these to look a little more “spacey”. I therefore thought I’d go for a metallic look. Below are the painting steps I took.

The spaceship undercoated in white

The first step was undercoating. In this case I hand undercoated using Citadel Foundation Colours Skull White. As my plan is to paint light colours I find the white undercoat with colour washes works best.

When I paint the full force (there is about 30 or 40 vessels altogether in the fleet) I’ll spray undercoat all the vessels at one time.

Basecoated in Ivanden Darksun

The spaceship was then covered in a basecoat of Ivanden Darksun. This foundation colour is very useful, especially when painting yellows and similar light colours.

The original PacFed forces were all covered in this basecoat as well.

After this basecoat, and following the suggestion of the guys at the Games Workshop Bunker in Clarence Street in Sydney, I mixed some colours. The first mix was 2 parts Shining Gold to 1 part Calthan Brown. This was then applied to the model. The next colour mix was 1 part Mithril Silver to 1 part Knarloc Green. The third mix was 1 part Dwarf Bronze to 1 part Mechrite Red.

Gold, Green and Red adde

The image to the left shows the paint scheme to this point.

The next steps were to mix a wash. The wash was 1 part Devlan Mud to 1 part Badab Black. The model was then washed in that.

The next colour was then added. This was Burnished Gold. It was applied over the gold areas.

A final wash of Sepia Gryphonne was then applied to the whole mode and the black stand was touched up to take care of paint splashes.

The result of this is shown below.

The Finished Model

I’m not 100% satisfied with this yet – I think I want the piping more red and the green could be, well, maybe greener but overall the gold is growing on me.