Every so often I buy a book forgetting that I already have that book on the bookshelf. Friend Anthony suffers the same problem from time to time and as a result we both get additions to our libraries as we give the other our duplicated purchases. These books are, in many cases, in areas where we normally do not read (enjoy the naval history books when I get them to you Anthony!). 🙂
One such book was Battlefields in Miniature by Paul Davies, published in 2015 by Pen and Sword Books. It looks like the hardback version of this book is out of print however Pen and Sword have an ePub and Kindle version listed (ePub, Kindle) in their catalogues.
There are a number of books published on wargames terrain making, many from the makers of various figure ranges and while normally books like this only provide a passing interest to me, this is one book I will refer to again and again, especially as I pursue my hobby here in the Philippines where there are limited wargaming clubs.
So, why this book? The 287 glossy colour pages make the book enjoyable to flick through. Better though is the organisation f the book with 18 chapters dealing with generalities, tools, materials and then a discussion of 17 types of terrain. The chapters included are:
Welcome to the Workshop
What’s Everyone Else Doing?
Before You Get Started
Custom or Sculpted terrain
Rivers and Ponds
Islands, Cliffs and Hills
Fences and Screens
The author, Paul Davies, will be recognised by many for his regular series of “how-to” articles in Wargames Illustrated. Throughout this book however he has combined techniques he had illustrated before and added new ones such that most wargamers should have little or no trouble constructing their own terrain by following his guidelines presented here.
As mentioned, I have the hardback version and it looks like only ePub and Kindle versions are currently available from Pen and Sword. I certainly will unashamedly be stealing some of Davies’ ideas when constructing my next batch of terrain and I am glad to have the book in my library (thank you Anthony). I do recommend this book to wargamers.
I sent a small order off to Heroics and Ros just after Christmas for more artillerymen and some more armour for the Poles (and therefore also for the Danes). T-72s and Leopards arrived in the mail recently – this is what was in the packet and will be used for Cold War Commander.
Video is here:
I also ordered and received some Ancient Britons. These will form part of a new project that is setting up in my brain currently – but more on that later.
Last weekend I had the time to indulge myself in my fantasy – the painting queue for 2017. I had originally thought it was not that extensive as I had not purchased all that much in the way of new lead in 2016 and besides, I did not have too much left over for painting from 2014 and 2015.
The painting queue follows in not particular order!
World War II Aerial Combat. The aircraft mix in these packets are from Raiden Miniatures and are in 1/285th scale. They are:
6 x Tupolev SB-3
6 x I-16 ‘Rata’
4 x Fiat G.50
4 x Fokker D.XXI
4 x Brewster Buffalo
The rules are Raiden Miniatures Fast Play Aerial Combat Rules. I have version 1.1.
Any of the World War II aerial combat rules could be used. The beauty with the Winter War is that a mix of aircraft seldom seen on the wargames table is possible with the Finns using equipment from Italy, the Netherlands and the USA, among others.
Raiden also make a US WW2 aircraft carrier flight deck, the USS Enterprise, for flight and combat operations. It is a kit in 51 parts and I am not sure if it is made or not currently. See http://www.raidenminiatures.co.uk/4.html for details.
Starmada vessels from Brigade Models. In this case, the PacFed fleet. I have a PacFed Future War Commander Army tucked away up here and this is the off-planet version of those. The PacFed are loosely based around a “Pacific Federation” and contain a lot of vessels with Australian type names.
As an opponent to the PacFed I looked to ONESS – loosely based around German forces. Somewhere at mum’s I have the ground fleet to complement this. This also is from Brigade Models.
Baccus 6mm figures make up the rest of my Singapore DBA Project. Armies still to be painted are:
II/9a Syracusan in Sicily 410-210BC
II/8 Campanian, Apulian, Lucanian and Bruttian 420-203BC
11/39a Iberian 240-20BC
II/11 Gallic 400-50BC
II/32a Later Carthaginian 275-202BC
Speaking of Brigade Models, I acquired a US Aeronef fleet. This was for part of the Peshawar project but with the purchase of Imperial Skies, the project has expanded somewhat (see below for how much). Of course what is illustrated and discussed here does not mention the British, French and Prussian Aeronefs that are already in the collection.
These then are the US Aeronef fleet. Quite a tidy force. I have been trying to think of an alternative paint scheme other that the Great White Fleet colours of, well, white!
The perfect opponent for the Americans above – the forces of the Rising Sun. Both Fleets (the US and Japanese) are substantial and would be the two most powerful fleets in the collection.
As with the Americans I am trying to think of a colour scheme that is not the Japanese naval vessels at Tsushima!
I wanted a bit of fun so I added a Scandinavian Union fleet. Dumpy vessels certainly but they have a certain attraction as well. These are also from Brigade Models and I am pondering colour schemes for them.
These were never envisaged for the Peshawar Project however they will make a good opponent for the BENELUX forces described below.
For a little South American Aeronef action I picked up some Argentinians. These look sufficiently different to other ‘nefs to keep the interest up.
Rather than a standard grey or Victorian Livery for these I have been toying with the idea of basing a paint scheme around light blue and white – same colour as the shirts of the Pumas. Again, Brigade Models.
And if the Argentinians are light blue and white then the Brazilians should be both hairless and based around green and gold colours. I have an idea for that with an antique style of gold colouring.
An opponent for the Scandinavian Union, and possibly the Italians. The Benelux Aeronef fleet consists of vessels from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The above-mentioned Italian Aeronefs.
The last of the Aeronefs in this years paint queue, the Russians. They are also one of the protagonists in the Peshawar campaign. For colours on these I am thinking, maybe, something like Port Arthur 1905.
A couple of years ago I picked up two armies for the Great Pacific War. Here are the Chilean/Peruvian Army and the Bolivian forces. I am planning on using these with the 1859, 1866 or 1870 rules. A project that has been on the back-burner for three years now.
I have had an interest in both the English Civil War and the 30 Years War for many years and picking up Baccus 6mm‘s English Civil War boxed set seemed like a good way of getting into it. The set gives me two armies, a couple of houses, Polemos rules and 60mm bases.
I am planning on using these with the Baroque Rules from Dadi and Piombo as well.
Navwar 1/3000 scale World War I Austrian ships – battleships to destroyers/torpedo boats. I have their main opponent, the Italian fleet, painted and here already. It must be said that during the war, both the Italian Royal Navy and the Austro-Hungarian Navy kept their most modern capital ships inside their bases (Pola and Kotor for the Austrian Fleet, Brindisi and Taranto for the Italian fleet), leaving mostly submarines, destroyers, torpedo boats and scout cruisers to do any fighting.
Heroics and Ros figures have been used for my Cold War Poles – an opponent for my Cold War Danes.
In addition to all that, there are a few other items on the list including:
Anthony’s 20mm World War II British
Finish off the 1/285 scale World War II Japanese
1/285 scale World War II Hungarians
1/300 scale Cold War Commander Danes to be completed
1/1200 scale Coastal Warfare Ships
The 1/3000 scale Jutland Fleets
Houston Ships Italians and Austrians from the Battle of Lissa
Dystopian Wars fleets, and
Peshawar, 2mm ground forces
So – a painting queue that for 2017 should keep me busy well into 2020!
23 April 2017 – Update: Nothing. Nada. Not done a thing! Maybe I need to motivate myself and buy some more figures.
I had prepared one Japanese World War 2 infantry battalion along with three AA elements. I decided to prepare the next, as well as starting to set up the third for painting along with the rest of the heavy weapons, the artillery and such.
The first battalion was made up of GHQ models. The second is from Ros and Heroics. There is a nice flag bearer in the Ros and Heroics pack so that does for the command base. I also glued to a base three Medium Machine Gun (MMG) units. As the base is large compared to the figures I based some transport with the MMG.
Next prep will be the third infantry battalion and a large chunk of heavy weapons. I want to be able to start adding sand to the bases next Thursday whilst the APEC holiday is on here.
I mentioned before that I got some time on Saturday. Apart from setting up the trees, I also managed to finish prepping a battalion while reading some stuff on then Internet (OK, I was looking for some information somewhere else in Thomo’s Hole).
The organisation I am using for Blitzkrieg Commander II, the rules I am using, is 12 bases per battalion, three battalions per regiment. This compares to the 9 bases per battalion of the Russians.
I’m also going to mix up as many different types of infantry on the bases as I can for variety, and because it looks so good.
The bases contain a mix of standard infantry, some officer looking chaps just standing to attention (why do you make figures like that GHQ, in a mix of other figures in action poses?) as well as some light machine gunners and Type 89 grenade launchers. They are the things that look a bit like a small trench mortar.
Lastly, a close up of the 20mm anti-aircraft bases. Gunner plus truck for transport.
Figures for the infantry are all GHQ, the 20mm AA and trucks are from Ros and Heroics.
I decided that I would start to finish my World War 2 Jaanese. This way I’ll have a local opponent for my early World War 2 Russians. As the armour is mostly done, and the aircraft half painted, it is time to put together the infantry and artillery. Where the Russians are based around 9 bases to the company/battalion, whatever the level is I am playing at, the Japanese will have 12 bases.
Added to that then the heavy weapons support, artillery from the 75mm Field Gun as well as the 70mm and 105mm howitzers, some 20mm anti-aircraft guns and trucks, loads of trucks, 43 of them, then this force will be ready. I also have some fun stuff to add to the army but more on that later.
First off it will be the infantry heavy weapons and artillery. I’ll worry about the trucks and the pack animals later.
Oh, one largely anachronistic item for this army is the beautiful Mistsubishi G4M3 “Betty”. It did not fly over Manchuria/Mongolia but it is a great little aircraft never-the-less.
Back on 26 June 2014 I noted that I was working on the The Type 97 TeKe, a Japanese tankette used in the Second Sino-Japanese War, at Khalkin-gol (Nomonhan) against the Soviet Union and Mongolia, and in World War II generally.
The photo to the left indicates where I had got up to with regards to painting these vehicles.
I got some time this week so finished them off yesterday. The photos below show how they look in their full camouflaged glory.
The tankettes were reasonably new as they were designed in 1937 and a total of 616 of them were built. They were small, however, only being large enough for a crew of two (a commander and a driver).
Anyway, these are the last of the Japanese tanks to be painted. On the painting queue for the Japanese are two aircraft and all the infantry. The infantry still needs to be adhered to bases and prepared for painting but that may need to wait for a week or three, depending on (I hope) new work.
I will photograph all the Japanese armour later this week once varnishing is complete and dry.
The Type 97 was a Japanese tankette used in the Second Sino-Japanese War, at Khalkin-gol (Nomonhan) against the Soviet Union and Mongolia, and in World War II generally. It was classed as a light armoured car even though tracked. It is a small vehicle and was designed as a fast reconnaissance vehicle.
They were designed in 1937 and a total of 616 of them were built. As I mentioned, they were small, only being large enough for a crew of two (a commander and a driver). The armour was between 4-16mm thick and the armament was a 37mm Type 94 gun. The vehicle itself was capable of a speed of up to 42 km/h and had a range of about 250 kilometres.
The vehicles being painted have been based, then base coated in Army Painter brown, then covered in a desert sand colour before doing the yellow contrast stripes. Some green, brown, rust and dark earth with a dark brown wash and then some weathering to finish them off will see the armoured component of the Japanese finished leaving two aircraft and the infantry to do.
These models are CinC. I’m not sure why I bought two boxes of them but I did and so I have 8 🙂
It was back on 5 April 2014 when I last put paint brush to metal. The stress of the unemployment, finding some money, any money, for rent and the bills whilst receiving no benefits (and no retrenchment package either from my previous employer) has not really left me in the frame of mind to try and relax – so “stressed” has been my middle name for the last few months (4½ months to be accurate). There have been moments in that time when there was the prospect of work but those evaporated, generally slowly over time.
It now seems like there is a good possibility of work, although we will need to fund ourselves for another couple of months (sigh). To celebrate, and after not having painted since 5 April 2014, I put some paint on some metal last night.
I decided that the Type 97 ChiHa tanks I had started back then should be finished. All that was needed really was to finish the camouflage scheme, add a wash, touch up the machine guns with some gun-metal (it makes them visible rather than having them disappear into the tank camouflage) and then weather the tanks. I could not, however, remember the weathering process I used on the first two so I mixed it up – some sandy, some dusty, all dirty.
The pictures below show the differences. The models with the grass on their bases are the ones I finished in April. The ones in the centre are the ones weathered last night. The ones on the left are the tanks before weathering so you can see the difference the weathering makes as it not only makes the tanks look dirty, especially around the tracks, but also fades the colours on the top surfaces as the Mongolian, Manchurian, or Pacific sun tends to do.
I hope to get into another hour or two’s brushwork over the weekend and finish all remaining Japanese tanks. Then when starting work I can start on the infantry.
Type 97 ChiHa
Type 97 ChiHa
Type 97 ChiHa
Type 97 ChiHa
I should note as well that the tanks in the rear are GHQ models, the ones to the front are CinC. Even on the phone’s camera you can see the greater level of detail in the GHQ models. As far as vehicles (and WWI, WWII and Modern Ships) go, they are by far the best models on the market in this scale. I like the CinC and the Heroics and Ros models but the GHQ models are just a class above (with a price that reflects that).
I finished two of these, as a sort of prototype. I have some that are GHQ models and some that are CinC. When viewed alone, the CinC models look fine. When you put them next to GHQ they look, well, a little simple. The photos below are of the two. The GHQ model is the one on the left in all photos.
Type 97 ChiHa
Type 97 ChiHa
Type 97 ChiHa
Type 97 ChiHa
Type 97 ChiHa
Note (20 June 2014): These are, of course, Type 97 ChiHa tanks – not the Type 95 originally labelled. Too much sake in the write-up stage!