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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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 then having a dismounted equivalent – two dismounted bases to every three mounted bases).

s 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.

20151222_234936_HDR

20151222_234947_HDR

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

A picture of the French can be seen on this link.

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!

I do have smaller figures Anthony

Anthony has often teased me about my love of 6mm figures, with the usual remarks about too small to paint, too small to see and so on.

I thought then I should show him some of my 2mm figures. These are painted for Land Ironclads and Aeronefs. The figures are from Irregular Miniatures and form part of the French contingent for my Peshawar project, when I get around to doing some more on that.

The grid in the pictures is 10mm square. There is also a beer bottle top there for reference to size.

 

Brigade’s Christmas Sale

Yes, I know it is not Chrimbo yet – but there are only 76 days left until Christmas 😛

Over recent years Brigade Models has had a Christmas Sale. I figured now was the time to start pouring (or is that pawing) through their catalogue to see what goodies Santa could secretly leave for me under the mistletoe … er … sorry … tree!

More Future War Commander stuff perhaps? Or more spaceships, after all, I am powering my way through the Lost Fleet series at the moment? Maybe some more 2mm buildings, Land Ironclads and Aeronefs.

Oh, so many good things to consider, now just to wait for the happy announcement of the sale!

A Little 2mm Middle Eastern Village

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

I had about 10 minutes spare the other day waiting so thought I would quickly put some paint to metal. A couple of my village blocks for the Peshawar project seemed the appropriate way to go as I had them prepared a while ago and they were already undercoated.

The buildings on the left come from Brigade Models and are really very neat, although I feel I could have placed them a little more randomly on the block. Still, they give the effect and work well with other blocks the same size.

The village on the right is from Irregular Miniatures which have a large 2mm range of scenery, soldiers and habitation (and also a pretty neat train). The Irregular village does look more village like – the trees add a little to the ambience.

Ground surface was painted just using a variety of desert sand type colours. I am not sure about flocking at 2mm scale – will maybe do a test piece later and see if it looks alright or not.

There is also a Brigade Models Facebook Page which is easier to get to on smartphones than the ‘blog and where they are happily announcing new stuff and such. Brigade also posted details of how various folks (including yours truly) were dealing with their 2mm models. Have a look at Out There in the Real World.

Irregular Miniatures also have a Facebook page with lots of pictures of their various offerings – not so much in the 2mm line though.

Hmm, modern 1/3000th naval vessels under paint – but the call of the Aeronef is getting louder.

The Postman Cometh

The package from Irregular that arrived in my mailbox today
The package from Irregular that arrived in my mailbox today

One of the nice things about the mail box in Singapore is that parcels like this fit in them. The postman open a door and he can place mail in all letterboxes even when those letters or parcels are too big to fit through the slot in the letterbox. Good design really.

I received a parcel from Irregular Miniatures today. I ordered some stuff (unlike Navwar, Irregular accepts orders by electronic means). I ordered on 12 March 2013. On 13 March 2013 Ian Kay of Irregular put my parcel in the post and it arrived in my letterbox here in Singapore today, 21 March 2013. I’m impressed and I do love the service from Irregular – they are one of the best.

I’d ordered some 2mm terrain for the Peshawar project (1/1200th scale aeronefs and Land Ironclads – Victorian Science Fiction). I also ordered some of Irregular’s 15mm ancient figures, in part because I have never painted any. I’ve painted their 2mm and 6mm figures (and I’ll be honest here, the 6mm were not my favourites – I was spoiled early on by first being exposed to Heroics and Ros too many years ago to remember).

The contents of the package from Irregular Miniatures
The contents of the package from Irregular Miniatures

The 15mm figures will make up a Khmer DBA army and I will comment on them further later.

The 2mm terrain was some villages and woods and again I’ll comment on those in a later post. The best was the 2mm train-set. I have painted some of that before in  Oz and they look fine. They will fit in well to then Colonial world that is Peshawar, my Victorian Science Fiction universe.

Now I am just waiting for my copy of Shipwreck which should arrive any day now, and my Indian and Chinese navies. Judging from the past performance of Navwar, my letter should arrive in their shop tomorrow or Monday then 7 to 10 days later a parcel should arrive here.

In the meantime, tomorrow night will be set aside for a serious planning session to work out how to handle the 2mm terrain. Until that post appears here, goodnight!