Decisions Still Pending

Yep – wargamer’s paralysis!

With several kilograms of unpainted lead waiting in the man cave, I am still unable to decide what to do next. I looked further at the modern naval and even prepared an order for a Chinese and an Indian modern fleet along with the addition of a carrier or two for each and some aircraft models. I then duly faxed the order to Navwar only to have the fax machine fail to deliver (Navwar has the  most archaic ordering process and to be honest, the best way to order is to send them a letter ((actually, I am about to post that failed fax – I’ll report on the turnaround time in the future here in the Hole)).

Last night I received another batch of 2mm buildings from Brigade Models to use with the aeronefs and land ironclads. I am still trying to think about how to use them effectively. Mind you, I am fairly sure that I want to do something with them, so sure that I ordered some more 2mm terrain from Irregular Miniatures on Tuesday. Ian Kay of Irregular let me know that they were put in the post yesterday so I expect to see them here in Singapore by the middle of next week.

Whilst considering possible projects, I have been thinking about another 15mm DBMM army or two, especially as I really liked the look of the Khurasan Miniatures I have seen. I even considered some of the earlier American types from his ranges. It then occurred to me that as I was sitting in Asia, why not do an Asian army – say Cham; or Thai; or Vietnamese; or Indonesian; or Malay. Interestingly, I noted that Irregular Miniatures made Cham and as I had never tried painting any of his 15mm figures before, I thought I would give that a go. I therefore calculated a DBA Army for the Cham and ordered the figures off Irregular. They sell their figures individually which was nice – nothing left over from that for the spares box.

I even called up Paradigm Inifitum here the other day to see whether they had sold all the Plastic Soldier Company 15mm boxes that were not moving at the warehouse sale – let’s just say we are negotiating. Anthony has 20mm though so I am still really undecided about scale for World War 2.

Now, I reckon I have about a month or two of basing to finish the Union ACW army, so I guess the ideas are going to change about another dozen times before I finish the bases and can move on to the next project. Someone get me some sunglasses so I can no longer see the new bright shiny wargame figures

What’s Next?

I hear you say.

After a stressful week or two where I have not painted (probably adding to my stress), I have, however, in the quieter moments been considering the next wargame project ((other than completing the basing on the ACW and John’s French WW1 fleet – yes John, they are about the painting table now)).

I was thinking about a DBMM army. I really liked the pictures of the Khurasan Miniatures I had seen but he’s taken the website off-air for a few weeks. I was thinking Kushan, or Khurasanian or even something South American. I also considered increasing my Koguryo Koreans to DBMM size. The Alain Touller Figurines are really quite nice. Lastly I have been considering something South-East Asian – Javanese and the like.

I was also thinking about my Peru-Bolivia-Chile project in 10mm. That seems quite an attractive proposition at the moment although I would need to write some rules.

What I finally decided on is Aeronefs. I have ‘nefs and Aerostats to paint. I have 2mm terrain pieces to fly over. I have always wanted a train set and I know where I can get a 2mm train. As for terrain, some A4 size MDF sheets from Art Friend here are going to be just the business as a base to build terrain on.

Yep, decided. A continuation of the Peshawar project.

Aeronefs!

A Matter of Scale

DSC01470I recently received my Tumbling Dice UK 1.2400th ships for the Pacific War between Chile and Peru/Bolivia. It was only a couple of months ago that I received the Battle of Lissa fleets in 1/1000th (approximately) from Great Endeavours.

I decided a quick photo comparison. A screw corvette seemed about the only thing I had consistent between the Austrian fleet from Lisa and the Peruvian/Chilean vessels. A screw corvette it was.

The difference in size because of scale is seen quite clearly here in this photo. More from when I get some paint on these.

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.

Too Many Figures

If it was September I’d put it down to Spring cleaning. However, it’s January. I’m madly rebasing figures to get ready for Cancon 2011 so I guess what just happened here is a product of a cup of coffee along with my desire to procrastinate on the rebasing.

I thought, “I must have a look and decide whether I will try and paint a new DBA army for Cancon 2011 or shall I just make one from my existing painted figures”.

I remembered that I had some figures in the other room but could not remember exactly which DBA armies they were. I recall writing something up in my blog several years about the armies that I had but I also knew that I had purchased the odd figure or two since then. I decided to have a quick look.

I started looking in the stock figures box where I have unpainted armies neatly stored in plastic, Tupperware like containers. I grabbed one box of DBA figures then opened a second box to see if there was any DBA figures in there. The figures there were for the Hittite Empire and were a DBM army I had forgotten I had to paint. I decided then that I needed a survey of my painting queue.

My goodness, this is what I found (and remember, this is just what I have here, it doesn’t count the figures I have at my Mum’s still to paint as well – those are mostly fantasy and American Civil War).

DBMM Armies (were for DBM originally)

I had collected many DBM armies when I was living in the UK – being paid in pounds made the purchases relatively inexpensive compared to buying them from Oz. Of course, the plan was to settle in to painting them all but so far I’ve not managed it yet. The figures are from Museum Miniatures, Chariot (now Magister Militum) and Essex Miniatures.

  • I/18 Minoan and Early Mycenaean 1600-1250 BCE
  • I/24 Hittite Empire 1380-1180 BCE
  • I/29 Philistine 1166-600 BCE
  • II/19 Seleucid 320-69 BCE
  • II/20 Ptolemaic 320-30 BCE
  • II/32 Later Carthaginian 275-146 BCE
  • II/33 Polybian Roman 275-105 BCE
  • II/36 Graeco-Bactrian 250-130 BCE

Now, all this may appear a little Book 1 and Book 2 heavy, however, painted I do have a few armies from other DBMM Army List books:

  • I/1 Early Sumerian 3000-2334 BCE and circa 2250 BCE
  • II/67 Greuthingi or Early Ostrogothic, Herul, Sciri or Taifali 200-493 CE
  • II/78 Late Imperial Roman 307-425 CE
  • II/83 Later Visigothic 419-720 CE
  • III/4 Early Byzantine 493-578 CE
  • III/28 Carolingian Frankish 639-888 CE

So far I have avoided book IV armies in DBMM.

DBA Armies

Of course, I can make DBA armies from the all of the above as well. I addition, I have the following armies. These are made up of a mixture of figures, from Xyston Miniatures, Essex Miniatures, Donnington Miniatures, Gladiator Miniatures, Falcon Figures and Alain Touiller Figurines. I think that is all the suppliers I am using. All of these are currently unpainted and therefore on the painting queue. The list numbers in brackets refer to the :

  • I/2b Early Egyptian 1639-1543 BCE
  • I/3 Nubian 3000-1480 BCE
  • I/6 Early Bedouin 1499-1000 BCE
  • I/17b Hyksos 1590-1537 BCE
  • I/59 Tullian Roman 578-400 BCE
  • II/5e Aitolian or Akarnanian (from the Later Hoplite Greek 450-275 BCE list)
  • II/45c Spartacus 74-71 BCE
  • II/76 Koguryo Korean 300-668 CE
  • III/10c Rajputs 747-1300 CE
  • III/20a Sui 581-623 CE
  • III/20b T’ang 618-755 CE
  • III/44 Tribal Mongol 840-1218 CE
  • III/62 (III/63) Early Polish
  • IV/01a Komnenan Byzantine 1071-1149 CE
  • IV/15 Qura-Khitan 1124-1211 CE
  • IV/17 Later Crusader 1128-1303 CE
  • IV/18 Lithuanian or Samogitian 1132-1435 CE
  • IV/22 Serbian Empire 1180-1459 CE
  • IV/28 Prussian 1200-1283 CE
  • IV/30 Teutonic Orders 1201-1522 CE (was list 151 in version 1)
  • IV/35 Mongol Conquest 1206-1266 CE
  • IV/43c Later Hungarian 1397-1526 CE
  • IV/56a Order of St John 1291-1522 CE (Cyprus)
  • IV/66 Later Polish 1335-1510 CE
  • IV/75 Timurid 1360-1506 CE
  • One other collection of figures I can’t identify

Other Items on the Queue

Of course, apart from all the stuff mentioned above, there are also many other items left to paint here including:

  • a number of 1/2400th sailing vessels for the Great Lakes war in 1812
  • a German Aeronef fleet in 1/1200th
  • British and German Land Ironclads and infantry in 2mm scale
  • 6mm Cold War Commander SciFi army (ONESS – from Brigade Models)
  • two 1/3000 space fleets for Full Thrust, also from Brigade Models
  • two 6mm Warmaster Ancients armies (Sassanian and Parthian)
  • three 6mm Napoleonic Armies for Polemos Rules (Late Prussian, Confederation of the Rhine and Polish – figures from Heroics and Ros, Adler Miniatures and Baccus)
  • 1/300th WWII Italians (North Africa) again, Heroics and Ros
  • 1/285th WWII Russians (I also need to get more vehicles for this). These are a mix of GHQ, CinC and Adler Miniatures
  • Bucket loads of 1/3000 ships including those needed for the Battle of Matapan and the Philippine Seas (WWII) and Jutland (WWI) along with then Austrian WWI fleet and some miscellaneous WWII British and German vessels
  • and the French WWI Navy in 1/6000th scale for John in the US.

With the exception of the WWII Russians and the 15mm Campaign DBA sets I’ve started building, I think I will call a hiatus on figure purchases this year, at least until I get to reduce the painting queue a little.

So, too many figures to paint? Nah, you can never have enough.

Painting and Wargaming Update

There has been a bit of a hiatus with this recently as the real world invaded and took up more time in the other world than I would have liked. As a result, I’ve really not managed any painting or gaming in the last couple of weeks. I have, however, managed to spend the odd minute planning and today (or rather yesterday by the time this posts), I did manage to work on John’s Austrian World War 1 fleet. They are almost complete now, just requiring labelling and varnishing. I’ll have those in the post to the US by the end of the week (and my PayPal account will feel a little happier).

With regards to my ancient purchases recently, today I started to paint a test Warmaster unit for the Parthians – undercoating a unit of archers.

I also managed to finish reading Simon Scarrow’s “The Gladiator”, the last published adventures of Macro and Cato. Of course, this then got me thinking about the Servile Wars and Slave Revolts so some time was spent today planning a Warmaster Ancients Army list for those wars. I will publish that list here when I finish it.

There are currently prepared and undercoated, a bazillion Prussians also requiring paint, as is the remaining World War 2 Italians. There are also two fleets of Aeronefs, three armies of Land Ironclads as well as a harbour full of 1/2400th ships to paint.

The good news, however, is that the paint was flowing today and will continue to flow this week. Finish the ships, finish four battalions of Prussian Landwehr, one unit of Parthian skirmishers and then finish the World War 2 Italians – well, that’s a plan!

Danish Napoleonic Vessels – Update

I had painted the first Napoleonic Danish ship in 1/2400th scale. I covered the painting of these in two previous posts here, Danish Napoleonic Ships – the First 74 – part 1 and Danish Napoleonic Ships – the First 74 – part 2. These described the assembly and painting of a single vessel – my prototype.

Previous to the painting though, I started to lay out my thoughts in Danish Napoleonic Naval Questions. I had decided on the Danes as they were a little different to the run of the mill British/French/Spaniards and besides, I had just finished phase one of my modern NATO Danes.

In that last mentioned blog post I did note

If anyone has the answers to these burning questions:

  1. Statistics to use for Danish vessels in the Trafalgar Naval Wargame Rules
  2. Colours of the strakes especially and vessels generally for vessels in the Danish fleet – were they uniform or varied as well
  3. Names and rate of the vessels that made up the Danish fleet of the time

Please feel free to comment here with answers. As and when I find answers to these questions I will post them here to the Hole as well.

Well, I didn’t get any answers but I have been searching myself for the information.

On a point by point basis,

  1. I don’t have statistics for the Danish vessels in the Trafalgar Naval Wargames Rules format yet … still. However, this may be academic as I purchased a copy of Langton Miniatures fast play naval rules, Signal Close Action – Fast Play. I also purchased a copy of the regular Signal Close Action Rules as well.
  2. With regards to the colours of the strakes and such, I searched the Internet and even sent emails to a couple of Danish Naval Museums (the Aalborg Søfarts- og Marinemuseum in particular) but could not find anything out. In the end, I wrote to Rod Langton of Langton Miniatures and asked him. Langton has some information on his website and its been there since 2001 celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Copenhagen. This information was not easy for me to find on the site so Rod patiently explained where the link was. The link is under Napoleonic Ships, look for the Danish hulls. However, Rod kindly gave me the following information:
    • The Orlogsmuseet (Royal Danish Maritime Museum) noted that the Nelson colour schemes were not adopted until after the war, in part due to the expense of the paint.
    • Danish vessels were therefore left in unpainted wood. Some areas were painted such as the gunports, parts of the superstructure (bulwarks?) and the decoration
    • The colours most often used for decoration were green, blue and red. Langton suggests using a buff or basic wood colour for the sides of vessels. I am taking this to assume that the cross spars were also plain wood.
  3. The names of the vessels and their rate have been fairly easy to determine. There is a good list of the vessels in involved in the Wikipedia article on the Battle of Copenhagen. Worthy of a view as well is the Danish Military History website.

image OK, so, where does that leave me now. I could argue that I have a perfectly good English 64 painted up (although I will need to change the ensign flying from the mizzen). In any case, I shall now be able to ensure that future vessels as they are painted are closer to the way they appear to have been historically. Naturally, I will photograph them and place them here in the Hole in the future.

I would also like to thank Rod Langton for sharing the information. Langton makes absolutely the best, bar none, 1/1200th scale sailing vessels. Have a look at some of the eye candy at Langton Miniatures. I know I will be using Langton’s 1/1200 Mediterranean galleys when I get around to building my Renaissance naval collection.

1/1200th Scale Triremes

triremes I mentioned in Triremes (or Trieres) that I had started painting some 1/1200th scale ships. I have and I’ve done the first four – all Triremes. I finally decided to paint them without masts and sales and I have not based them yet as I am still trying to decide between using Salamis ad Actium or Naumachia for the rules for playing with these vessels. The paint job is a fairly basic wargamers style. The next galleys on the line for painting are Quadriremes.

RJW and Pendraken Search Results

Over the last couple of days I had another couple of search results from within Thomo’s Hole that were unsuccessful. However, both of these should have returned something, especially from a wargamers blog. The two search terms were:

  • “pendraken miniatures” which was searched twice
  • “rjw miniatures” which was searched yesterday

Let’s take the second search first. It tells me someone was searching Thomo’s Hole for information about the Russian Japanese War, especially, I would guess, from the point of view of a wargamer and looking for figures to represent the troops in that war. The only thing not specified is whether or not the searcher was looking for miniatures or vessels and in what scale.

This leads nicely into the other search term, “pendraken miniatures”. Pendraken is an English manufacturer of wargame figures, principally in 10mm scale. More on that shortly but if you are hunting for them, they have a very good mail order service and their website is at Pendraken Miniatures.

RJW Ships

There are a few manufacturers of ships used for wargaming the Russian Japanese War. The three most common scales for this are 1/6000th, 1/3000th and 1/1200th (there are also some vessels in 1/2400th but I am not so familiar with those.

1/6000th

Figurehead/Hallmark are a range of 1/6000th vessels with all the vessels necessary to refight the Battle of Tsushima. They can be purchased from Magister Militum in the UK or from Strange Cargo Games in the US

1/3000th

Navwar do a range of the vessels needed for the Russian Japanese War in 1/3000th scale. They have a Battle of Tsushima pack which contains the surface vessels for this battle. Also look under “Naval Vessels” under 1:3000 scale on their website for individual vessels. Note that they do not have online ordering – but telephone and send a fax, they are very efficient servicing mail orders.

War Times Journal (WTJ) do the best 1/3000th ships I have ever seen and cover this conflict very well. Again, Jim is a gentleman to deal with and his mail order is efficient and reliable. See his WTJ Game Store 1 for details. He also has painting guides in there.

1/2400th

Viking Forge have a range of pre-dreadnought vessels suitable for Russian Japanese War battles in their range. I’ve not seen any personally but indications from the pictures on the website indicate that they are quite reasonable castings.

1/1200th

Alnavco have some vessels available, especially for the Japanese, in 1/1250th scale in the Navis Range – see the link to the sidebar of the Alnavco website for World War I vessels. These are expensive though, I must admit.

Houstons Ships were, for many years, the only vessels available and their scale is a little, shall we say, elastic. It is generally around 1/1000th scale and Great Endeavours sells the Houston Ships line.

RJW Miniatures

There are a few manufacturers are figures suitable for wargaming the Russian Japanese War. These vary in scale size from 2mm up to 28mm and are discussed by section below.

2mm

Irregular Miniatures – http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/ – select 2mm from the bottom of the screen. Whilst there is no specific Russian Japanese War range, it is possible with this diminutive figures to build both armies fairly completely and quickly using a mix of the Horse and Musket Infantry and Cavalry blocks mixed in with some of the 20th century artillery. Their Mail Order is simply superb as well – one of the best firms I have dealt with.

10mm

Pendraken – http://www.pendraken.co.uk/sub%20page/russjap.htm – basic figures – Russian Infantry and Artillery, Japanese Infantry, Artillery and Hotchkiss Machineguns.

15mm

Irregular Miniatures – http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/ – select 15mm from the bottom of the screen then look for Riussian Japanese War – a fairly extensive range of Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and such, including figures from other ranges that are suitable. Note also that Irregular provides the figures for both Russian and Japanese forces circa 1880. They also offer army deals for a discount on some figures purchases. I can unreservedly recommend their mail order service – it is just brilliant.

20mm

Spencer Smith miniatures offers a range of figures for this conflict manufactured by Jacklex Figures – see the Spencer Smith website for information. This is a range of Infantry and Cavalry for both the Japanese and the Russians.

OK, so there is a roundup of some of the figures and vessels for wargaming the Russian Japanese War. My favourites, amongst that lot, are really the ships from WTJ – they are quite the best I have ever seen, even though I own a large collection of Navwar vessels.

I’ve not gamed any part of the RJW land battles (Mukden etc) so can’t really comment much on what is available as far as figures go. I hope this helps as a good starter however.

Small Scale Figures – A Great Blog

I don’t often promote other blogs here – rather, I leave them in the sidebar as a link for folks to explore and enjoy at their will. However, today I came across a great blog and so I am going to mention it here as a post.

The blog is called SteelonSandBlog, and is a blog concentrating on one gamer’s efforts and interests in, well, small scale figures. These are figures in 2mm, 6mm, 10mm scale as well as 1/3000th and 1/1200th and 1/300th (5-6mm) scale.

If you are a wargamer, especially into the smaller scales, then this blog is quite inspirational. His posts are articulate and his photos are great, especially given that some of the content is 2mm in height.

One of his projects has a real appeal to those of use that enjoy pre-dreadnought naval wargaming. He has decided to refight the Boxer Rebellion … but at sea. Follow the 55 Days at Sea link and remember to read from the bottom post to the top (oldest to newest).

A highly recommended site.