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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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.

 

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.

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.