Well that was the week that was — the next week!

So, we are now at the week after the week that was. The condo building has three more days quarantine to serve then should have its quarantine restrictions eased. The mega city that is Metro Manila has another week to go before the government decides on whether to ease, tighten, or leave the restrictions as they are. Some of the cities in Metro Manila are performing better in comparison to others but will the government set tighter restrictions for some cities over the others?

After watching Kesari last week I have avoided rushing off and building a Sikh force for the Pehawar project … just!

I was able to work back in the office from Tuesday which was great. I am slowly cleaning my stuff out of the office in preparation for my exit from SOFGEN at the end of next week. Four more work days, then I think I will take a couple of weeks with my feet up, then full on looking for more work … if you know anyone who wants an old fat project manager, CIO, country head or similar, I am available!

The rules and the Army blocked up for the “press shot” 🙂

On the wargaming front, I completed the Anglo-Saxon DBA Army this time last week with the varnishing. Last Monday night I took the press shots of them (on the left and see 6mm Anglo-Saxons for DBA — 701-1016 CE). They are now waiting for me to get off my fat backside and paint up an opponent.

As for the middle eastern village buildings I was working on,  let me note that I have actually managed to do nothing at all on it this week.

It still looks exactly the same as the photograph below – in fact, it hasn’t moved at all on my painting/office table area thingy.

Plan is that today, I WILL finish these buildings. Some roofs, some windows darkened, a little sepia (maybe) wash and a dry brush and they will be finished.

I will then clean up the coffee table and my painting desk so I can do a couple of things. One is prepare the 2mm army for paint. Second is to sort books that arrived in the last nine months in a read/unread stack. Then I want to lay out some board games for a few solo games. Lastly I will need some space for a new laptop. My old one (now 5 years old) is giving me problems with the power supply – but it is probably a good time to get a new one.

So, a week when not so much has happened but hopefully ready to springboard into my last week at SOFGEN, then a couple of weeks of relaxation. Of course, the prospect of spending quality time by a pool with a hollowed out pineapple, a rum based drink in it and a fruit salad hanging off the side with an umbrella to reduce evaporation, well, in the middle of a pandemic, that may be hard to arrange but we will have a little period of relaxing.

Right then, where are my brushes?


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Well that was the week that was!

Well, that was the week that was. Monday was a normal day, well as normal as it can be under General Community Quarantine. Tuesday morning, however, things got interesting. There was a note on the wall of the condo elevator as I was walking to the office.  I didn’t read it until getting to the office. It noted that there was an active Covid-19 case identified in the condo. Letting my Admin Manager, know, I was instructed to:

  1. Go home
  2. Get a test to ensure I was negative, and
  3. That the office would be closed until after my test then a deep clean would be organised (I did wonder why the wait)

The specimen was collected when a doctor dropped around to the apartment and shoved a swab the length of my umbrella up each of my nostrils. Technically it does not hurt but my goodness don’t the tears half fall?

Result came back today, SARS-Cov-2 viral RNA NOT DETECTED.

Great, life can return to near normal and I can exit the Condo from time to time.

I still managed to work from home, uncomfortable as it was, finishing up a few things before my enforced retirement at the end of the month. I also worked on finishing up some wargaming things that had been hanging around. I also managed to catch a few movies on Amazon Prime and Netflix.

One that I really enjoyed was Kesari, a movie made in 2019 (IMDB Reference) which is based on the real story of the Battle of Saragarhi in which an force of 21 Sikhs fought against 10,000 Pathans in 1897.

The background story is based around Havildar Ishar Singh disobeying orders from his English officer and saving a Pathan woman from the local mullah and men. This was on the North-West Frontier in Tirah, about 20 miles from Chat, 40 miles from Peshawar. After that, Havilday Singh was sent to the outpost and then the Pathans decided to get restless.

Wikipedia notes about the battle:

The Battle of Saragarhi was fought before the Tirah Campaign on 12 September, 1897 between the British Raj and Afghan tribesmen. On 12 September 1897, estimated 12,000 – 24,000 Orakzai and Afridi tribesmen were seen near Gogra, at Samana Suk and round Saragarhi, cutting off Fort Gulistan from Fort Lockhart. The Afghans attacked the outpost of Saragarhi where thousands of Afghans swarmed and surrounded the fort, preparing to assault it. The soldiers in the fort, who were all Sikhs and led by Havildar Ishar Singh, chose to fight to the death, in what is considered by some military historians as one of history’s greatest last stands. The post was recaptured two days later by another British Indian contingent.

Well, according to the movie, 21 Sikhs and a Pathan cook.

The movie was brilliant, although without English dubbing. Still the subtitles were adequate for following the plot lines and once the Pathans attacked, it was not difficult to work out what was being yelled.

Best of all, the area the filming was in allowed me to get an idea of land form and colours on the North-West Frontier and therefore for my Peshawar project.

Over the rest of the week I worked on finishing the Anglo-Saxon 6mm DBA Army as well as the Middle Eastern Peshawar buildings (building progress photographed to the left).

The DBA Anglo-Saxons had the edges of the flags painted to remove the white edge and blend the flags in.

The Anglo-Saxons were then varnished with a spray matt varnish. The varnish is Liquitex Professional Matt Varnish an seems to have worked well. The army is shown on the right with the varnish drying.

The Liquitex Matt Varnish was the only spray varnish I could get from the local paint store. For gloss or satin, all I have are varnishes that require brushing on – perfect for ships, less so multiple figures on a base.

What’s next? Well tonight it is time for the Virtual Wargames Club (and tomorrow at 14:30 local time). After which, I will take some “press release” photos of the Anglo-Saxons, finish the Middle East village and then clean my painting table/office, as well as the  coffee table just over there to the right. I want to lay out a board game or two and have a play. In addition, I will also be looking for a new job more seriously as well as brushing up my COBOL skills and maybe learning ELM.

In the meantime, let me leave you with a little more of my movie recommendation (and in case you are wondering, in true Bollywood style, they did manage to weave two songs into the movie!

Peshawar Project — the American Ground Forces

The American Army and some buildings – ready for painting

Just over two weeks ago I collected a couple of parcels from the Post Office (see Next Project – Aircraft or Land Ironclads?). I decided to work on the 2mm figures so trawled through the lead pile here and extracted the American Land Forces. The setting for Peshawar is late 19th Century and the back story is based around the discovery of R-Matter which permitted the development of Aeronefs and Aerostats … ships of the air in essence. I will start painting some of them soon too, but first I thought I would work on the land forces.

One of the “Imagi-nations” engaged in the Great Game around Peshawar are the Americans. Think of Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, Charlton Heston and 55 Days at Peking and you get an idea of appearance.

Test Base of Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery

The ground forces are designed for use with a simple rule set called Land Ironclads. Land Ironclads also makes allowances for, well, land ironclads and contraptions. These are like steam tanks from  the imagination of a Victorian Science Fiction writer who has had one mushroom too many. I need to get some Ironclads and Contraptions so currently the land warfare component will be based around forces similar to the infantry, cavalry and artillery of the late 19th Century.

Why 2mm figures you might ask? Simply because there are nominally the same scale as the aeronefs. They are also fun and quick to paint. I expect to have most of the army photographed above painted this weekend. In fact, the bases will take longer than the figures.

This week I started to do some test pieces to:

  1. See how they look
  2. Brush up on my painting technique
  3. Test some bases of buildings for colour

So, the test pieces worked out quite well, although I will be bolder with the colours on the infantry, cavalry and artillery when I start painting the figures in earnest.

Speaking of colours, the American infantry, cavalry and artillery will have blue jackets and khaki trousers. The American marines will have khaki jackets and blue trousers. All will be based on a dry terrain (the Khyber Pass of imagination although the actual area around Peshawar is quite green).

Anyway, here for my future reference and your viewing pleasure is the army, along with the test paint pieces … and yes, these little buggers are quite small … but they do look good when painted en masse.

Next Project – Aircraft or Land Ironclads?

Japanese late World War 2 fighters from Heroics and Ros

Or, 1/300 scale vs 2mm size. I finished the Anglo-Saxons during the week and had decided that I would like to do something non-historical. I have a lot of Aeronefs in the lead-pile and felt that working on the long stalled Peshawar project would be a good idea. Much time was spent (OK, the length of time for a nice cup of tea) pondering which of the Aeronef forces to paint. I also looked at the Land Forces. I don’t have any Land Ironclads here but I do have the makings of roughly 6 battalions of infantry plus supporting elements from the six imagi-nations in the set.

Fast forward to last Wednesday and as I walked into the office, I was handed two cards from the Post Office. There were parcels to collect. I then spend the rest of the afternoon, in between teleconferences, pondering which of the items I had ordered in January and February were waiting for me.

American late World War 2 bombers and fighter support from Scotia

Were they:

  • Aircraft and Buildings from Heroics and Ros
  • Aircraft and Buildings from Scotia
  • Book from Pen and Sword
  • A book from the Naval Institute Press
  • Rules (Bag the Hun in particular) from Too Fat Lardies
  • one or two other items I have forgotten

I went to the Post Office on Thursday and picked up the parcels. Aircraft and buildings from both Heroics and Ros, and Scotia. Damn. Now the usual indecision cut in … new toys or ones from the lead pile. Bright, shiny, glittering new toys, or old, dusty figures I have stored for several years?

Now I need decide what to paint next. The 2mm figures are my American ground forces for the Peshawar project but the aircraft are, if nothing else, impressive with the size of the B-29 (there are three of them) and the Shinden, which looks like it is flying backwards!

Decisions, decision, decisions!

 

Peshawar Re-Imagined

Way back in 2009 (yep, 11 years ago) I first made mention of S. M. Stirling’s Peshawar Lancers, which, as described in Wikipedia, is

“an alternate history, steampunk, post-apocalyptic fiction adventure novel […], with its point of divergence occurring in 1878 when the Earth is struck by a devastating meteor shower. The novel’s plot takes place in the year 2025, at a time when the British Empire has become the powerful Angrezi Raj and is gradually recolonizing the world alongside other nations and empires that were able to survive’.

It was a great read and certainly fired up my imagination and it looked like it would suit Brigade Models Aeronef’s and by extension, the Land Ironclads. I decided build a series of Imagi-Nations for that period. The forces contained would be a mix of Aeronefs, Land Ironclads and Contraptions, as well as standard infantry, cavalry and artillery. As the Aeronefs and Land Ironclads are nominally 1/1200 scale, it meant that 2mm figures were the perfect size to make up the ground forces. Irregular Miniatures make a great range of 2mm figures so they were perfect for the land forces.

Historic Peshawar

I had some Aeronefs already, painted, for British and French and that fit rather well with the world of the Peshawar Lancers. I decided then to call the project Peshawar and clicking on “Peshawar” in the Tag Cloud to the right will return a list of posts here related to this project.

The real Peshawar is a city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan – an area better known perhaps as the North West Frontier and the Khyber Pass. This was the area of the “Great Game” of the 19th century, where the principle players were Russia and Britain – Britain with India in the time of the Raj behind her and Russia looking to expand and open and control the path to India. The Khyber Pass was also the location for those famous movies such as Errol Flynn in the Charge of the Light Brigade (well, at least the start of the movie); Kenneth More in the North West Frontier; and perhaps the best – Sid James and Kenneth Williams in Carry on Up The Khyber – with Kenneth Williams playing the infamous Khasi of Kalabar!

A French raiding force of ‘nefs

The French have a small force of Aeronefs painted (and it will expand). The Aeronef models from Brigade are lovely models and as I have had some of them for 10 years, many have been redesigned and remodelled.

Some of the French – what they look like painted

I also used the French for testing the infantry and painted some and based for future use. I am not certain currently whether for the basing I will flock or just paint the bases a dry, Khyber Pass sandy brown. I did originally start with the prospect of lining up the British against the French and a green field seemed appropriate. Peshawar grew on after that.

Some French Battalions and Cavalry Squadrons formed up on flocked bases. In the background is a large British Land Ironclad as well as some scenic items such as a small wood in a hill and an English village. A couple of trains are also present. They may be small but they are great models. There is an Australian $2 coin in the photo for give some perspective, although I suspect that perspective will only be apparent to Australians and those who have visited Australia

Speaking of models, the little village in that background in the photograph above is from Irregular Miniatures as well. So are the trains. These have been painted for Europe rather than the Khyber Pass. I will amend in due course – or maybe keep as is … the joy of a long planning session, one gets to change one’s mind several hundred times.

Russian Aeronefs in Production Factory

The image to the left is some of the Russian Aeronefs waiting construction. These will be one of the main opponents to the British (along with the French, both opponents to the British and the Russians).

As you can see from the still to be constructed group here, they look significantly different to the French Raiding Force above.

Brigade also supply “spare parts” such as turrets, masts and cranes etc so that the models can have some gilding of the lily.

The Japanese form part of another of the nations in Peshawar.

Japanese Aeronefs in Production Factory

The image to the right is a Japanese Aeronef fleet waiting in the construction yards as well. The Japanese have a natural opponent in the American fleet and both the American and Japanese fleets were the first to introduce fighter carriers to the Aeronef world.

The six contesting powers in this Imagi-Nation world therefore are based around the following:

  1. Britain
  2. France
  3. Russia
  4. Prussia
  5. USA
  6. Japan and other Asian groups.

In addition to the above, I have Aeronef fleets for Italy, Spain and a few others. I keep promising myself to start working on them  and then something else bright and shiny pops up and I get distracted.

When I first started painting the Aeronefs, I glued them to the clear flight bases. I am thinking now to start to use the 3mm, 4mm and 5mm rare earth magnets to fix them to stands. Being able to break them down and lay them flat for transport is a driving consideration there.

As for the Land Ironclads, Contraptions and Land Forces, I do not have so many of the Ironclads and Contraptions so I am planning on starting with the more traditional forces initially, and will expand to the Ironclads and Contraptions later.

Some 2mm villages – Brigade Models on the left and Irregular Miniatures on the right

So, as I am finishing up the 6mm Anglo-Saxon army for DBA, and as there are books, rules and figures tied up somewhere in the postal system, and have been tied up there since early March (it is currently late June), I am thinking I should break out some work on the Peshawar project.

I will probably start with the rest of the Brigade and Irregular Middle Eastern village stuff (see photograph to the left). I am thinking that I may reconsider the basing process here as well and maybe set the buildings a little closer together and on larger bases. The Irregular villages are groups on bases already (village to the right above). Dunno! Stay tuned for updates.

Once I decide on then approach to take with the Peshawar project, pictures of progress will appear on my Insta-Twit-book feed (See below). With that, gentle reader, good night!


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Peshawar – Some Test Basing

2mm figures based and flocked
2mm figures based and flocked – a little out of focus

I have been a little remiss in the area of time management lately and have managed for a couple of months to do no preparation or painting, not just of the Peshawar project but pretty much of anything. Some of it I can put down to a combination of beer and rugby, but mostly it has been too much work combined with inertia.

I decided tonight to finish the painting and basing of two test pieces. They are the ones illustrated.

I am trying to decide whether to use a sand/dry brush/a little flock for the base or just flock only on a dark brown base. I am leaning towards the base on the right.

The images are a little out of focus – I guess macro on my phone is not as good as it could be. The squares you see a 10mm by 10mm giving you and idea of the size of the figures.

I am sure I will look at these figures again 30 or 40 times before I settle on one form or another.

Peshawar – the American Ground Forces – Part 1

The Yanks are coming
The Yanks are coming

The Americans were the next to be prepared for painting.

They are organised along the lines suggested in the Land Ironclad rules. Ready for the sand and paint are a Battalion of Infantry (4 companies); two companies of marines; an artillery regiment (4 batteries); and 4 regiments of cavalry (three of them having a dismounted equivalent – two dismounted bases to every three mounted bases).

As with the Russians, the figure models represent 10 men so the infantry companies are about 400 men strong and the cavalry regiments around 300 troopers.

Next off will be the conventional forces of one of the newcomers to Peshawar but an old power – the Prussians.

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Peshawar – the Russian Ground Forces – Part 1

The Russian force arrayed, ready for sand to be added to the bases
The Russian force arrayed, ready for sand to be added to the bases

The Peshawar project is moving forward slowly. Over the Christmas break in between gorging on roast meats washed down with ice cold beers I started basing the “conventional” ground troops for this. Land ironclads and contraptions will come later. First cab off the rank here were one of the oldest protagonists in the Great Game … Mother Russia!

The Russians are organised along historical lines (and as suggested in the Land Ironclads rules from Wessex Games). Based and ready for sand on the bases and painting is an under strength battalion of infantry (one company detached), two sotni of Cossack, four squadrons of ‘ussars, two squadrons of dragoons and a brigade of artillery.

A Russian infantry battalion normally consists of four companies of regular infantry with a rifle company making up a fifth company. The companies are all about 200 men strong so that is represented by four infantry blocks (I am assuming each infantry block represents about 50 men).

The cavalry squadrons are all approximately 150 men strong.

Next off will be the conventional forces of one of the newcomers to Peshawar – the USA.

A battery and an idea of the size of these figures
A battery and an idea of the size of these figures

 

Peshawar – The Combatants

I mentioned that Peshawar was a Victorian Science Fiction campaign or game. If you click on Peshawar in the tag cloud or search Thomo’s Hole for it you will see that it was inspired by a VSF book, the Peshawar Lancers. I needed a universe for my Aeronefs and Peshawar provides it. Of course, it was then a small step to add Land Ironclads and as wargamers do, expand, expand, expand. Now I have six belligerents, all playing a variety of the Great Game. We have British, French, Prussians, Russians, Americans and the inscrutable Orientals, a mix of Japanese forces and Imperial Chinese.

I have enough 2mm forces to take care of Cavalry, Artillery and Infantry for the Land side of the game. I also have Land Ironclads for some of the forces. As far as ‘nefs go, I have six fleets awaiting paint. I have been considering organisations for these forces for a while and they will be the subject of a future post. In the meantime, I was considering colours for the various land forces and came up with the following basic plan.

British

The forces of Perfidious Albion, being located on the sub-continent, will be based around the British in India in the 19th Century. To that end, the following colours will apply (with some variations later):

  • Infantry – red coat, white trousers, dark forage cap with buff/white next cloth
  • Artillery – in blue
  • Cavalry – red jackets, dark grey breeches, brass helmet. Some variation with some native lancers

French

The Stylish French have been based around the colours of the French during the Franco-PrussianWar:

  • All arms – dark blue uniforms with red trousers

.

Russian

Britain’s main competitor in the Great Game:

  • Infantry – buff or light grey greatcoat, white straps, dark blue or black hat, black bots
  • Artillery – as the infantry
  • Cavalry – Heavy cavalry in brass breastplate, white coat, white breeches and brass helmet. Lancers in dark blue coat, yellow breast (maybe), light grey breeches and white lance pennants (based around Crimean War Colours). I may add some irregular cavalry later

Japan and Imperial China

The Asia contingents:

  • Infantry – White coat and trousers or dark blue coat, white trousers with a grey blanket roll. Chinese forces in black (Boxers?).
  • Artillery – as for infantry
  • Cavalry – mid-grey coats, red breeches, grey hats

Prussia

As the Germans try and carve an empire in the sub-continent, they sent their troops in colonial colours:

  • Infantry – mid grey coat and trousers, black boots, dark helmets or mid green coat, grey hat, grey trousers and black boots
  • Artillery – in mid grey coat and trousers, black boots
  • Cavalry – as er the infantry (they are Germans after all and are therefore very uniform – based on late 19th century or Boxer Rebellion Germans)

USA

The Americans are playing the game as well. The forces are based around those of the American Civil War with a touch of Teddy Roosevelt:

  • Infantry – mid-brown/khaki all over or blue grey shirt, khaki trousers and hat. US marines in dark blue coat, light blue trousers and khaki hat and gaiters.
  • Artillery – same as the infantry
  • Cavalry – same as the infantry

And to leave you wit a taste of more 2mm, the remaining two armies – USA and Japan – are pictured below:

 

Peshawar – The Continuation

Sometime back in 2009  started a project for 1/1200 scale Aeronefs. As is the way of wargamers, I then expanded it to include Land Ironclads. In both cases using rules from Wessex Games; Aeronefs and Land Ironclads and buildings from Brigade Models; and period(ish) infantry, cavalry and artillery (in 2mm scale) as well as buildings and scenery from Irregular Miniatures. As it also the way of wargamers, something else bright and shiny appeared in front of me and so the project was shelved. At the time of shelving, I seem to recall that I had expanded from the original two combatants (the French and English) to add the Russians and the Prussians.

Well, looking through the figure stock here in Manila I saw the 2mm terrain and Russian and British Crimean Armies sitting forlornly still in their plastic bags. Some Aeronefs were located as were most of the British Land Ironclads. 20 minutes online to Irregular Miniatures and I had expanded the whole Peshawar idea to add the Americans and maybe Japanese. These Americans are an easy add to the universe but the Japanese will be a bit more problematical – I will need to craft a good back story to justify Japanese ‘nefs but a mix of European Land Ironclads.

Whilst online I also looked at getting some 2mm Napoleonics. I have a plan for another little project (in 2mm scale, little is the operative word) but more of that later. I think I have found my Christmas project for Manila this year – Expand Peshawar!