Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Recent Ebay Purchases

Recently I picked up two batches of figures and a Sherman tank from three different sellers on Ebay. The first auction was nine more ancient Greek hoplites from the same seller that I got my previous batch from. As seen below, this completes a full wing of four stands of hoplites for Marathon to Marius. All I have to add is an officer and some soldiers or skirmishers. Both of the latter likely to include the Thracians I re-based earlier in the year. These figures came based for an unknown rule set. I re-based them for as shown.

The next group are some 28mm WWII British commandos. The group includes a forward observer, a 3-man Vickers heavy/medium machine gun crew, a 3-man command team, a 10-man infantry squad and a 2-man piat team. This is a pretty solid starter kit towards a British command for Bolt action.

Last but not least, a 28mm Bolt Action resin and lead Sherman 75mm. I liked this model because it was well weathered with mud and without markings. The latter makes it suitable for Americans or for British or Russian lend/lease use. I'll most likely use it with the Commandos shown above.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Northern Conspiracy April 2015 Game Day

Yesterday was our club game day. Normally we do a single session game night on a Friday evening, but this month's event was an all day Saturday game day with two sessions. During the morning session I played in my friend Byron's Indian Mutiny game. Byron is shown to the left in the red shirt going over the game mechanics. Byron's game used the Brother Against Brother ACW skirmish rule set, slightly modified by Byron for use with the Indian Mutiny period.

Byron's games feature beautiful terrain and figures and are always well run. This one was no exception as you can see from the photos below. The scenario was a hypothetical rescue of some loyal citizens (recently painted and shown in close up below) by crown troops. The citizens, held up in a small compound were protected by some local loyal forces. The compound was attacked by mutineers from one table edge and a relief force of crown forces were arriving from the opposite table edge. Present at the game was a new guest, Mark shown below in the tan shirt and beard.

Also run in the morning session were Mark D's war of 1812 game, and Pete's WWI naval combat game. I took a few quick photos which are shown below.

In the afternoon I played in my friend Charlie's Napoleonic game using his own rules, Napoleon's Rules of War. The scenario was Ruffin’s and Villatte’s attack at Talavera 28 July 1809. Rob and I played the German forces and Kevin, Bob and Ralph played the French.

Rob and I set up about half of our forces on the defensive ridge and the remaining we kept behind in a mobile formation to deploy as the French advanced. The French deployed enough across our front to keep us from leaving the ridge while their main attack went in on our left, which I defended by rushing our reserve into line there. With our cavalry arriving, Kevin was forced to form square, which our horse artillery punished with very effective fire (my dice were smokin' hot). Elsewhere the French attacked our center with cavalry as we couldn't form square due to the presence of French artillery in the sector. The cavalry punched a hole in our center, but then were forced to surrender behind our lines due to withering fire from our reserve. As the French tried to exploit the hole our reserves also rushed in to plug the void in the line, both arriving at about the same time. That sector stabilized while Kevin's flank attack was blunted by our artillery and infantry line. Victory to the Germans. Due to my hot dice, I received the table award, a tiny bottle of Chivas Regal scotch!

Sincere apologies to Michael, who ran the other afternoon game as I didn't get photos of his medieval skirmish game, Robin hood vs. the sheriff of Nottingham. Michael's games are always great fun and feature his home brew rules, Have Fun Storming the Castle Lads.

Monday, March 30, 2015

First Legion Hastati and Principes

This is two units of hastati, two units of principes and a legion command stand. I finished painting these a while ago and posted a WIP shot to this blog about them. The figures are exclusively Old Glory and they are based for my uncle's rules, Marathon to Marius. These go with the red shielded Triarii and Velites that I completed and posted earlier to complete the infantry portion of my first legion. Once I have two full legions worth of infantry painted up I'll paint up the cavalry to finish both of them off.

All of these figures were finished using the Future dip method that I tested on my Vorenus and Pullo sample figures. The final recipe that I settled on was a bit darker than the test figures. all in all I like the effect just as much as the Army Painter Quick Shade and it's cheaper, and doesn't cause enamel metallic paints to bleed and run.

 This is a shot of the entire red legion infantry. The legion includes a single stand of Triarii, two Principes, two Hastati, two velites and a command stand.
A photo of my back yard to explain the high contrast white background. Yes on March 29th we still have plenty of snow on the ground. In fact it snowed all day Saturday, although not much of it accumulated. Old man winter is a bit tenacious this year and refuses to accept that his time is over.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rome vs Carthage - Marathon to Marius House Rules

Friday evening we got together to play a Rome vs. Carthage game using my uncle's ancients, previously called "Hannibal at the Gates" now renamed to "Marathon to Marius". Previous posts on this blog labeled "HATG" have been retroactively labeled "MTM" to reflect the name change.

The game was a pickup game, not part of our campaign and featured classic 2nd Punic armies. Rome brought two Roman and two allied legions and a small group of Praetorian guards and Extrodinarii. The Carthaginian army was based on Hanno's army in Northern Italy and contained two warrior wings, a large contingent of Gaul warriors, and a large contingent of Ligurian/Trans-Alpine Gauls. Also with Hanno was a wing of Spanish including Scutari and cavalry and a small contingent of African veteran spearmen and Carthaginian cavalry. Shown in most of the photos, the players of Rome, Rob, Ralph and Charlie. Below right, the Carthiginian right wing commander Don. Not pictured was the other Carthaginian commander Bob and myself.

This was a GREAT game. Both armies slugged it out right to the end with the final turn exhausting both armies when the very last two units to fight in the last turn eliminated each other. Everyone played well and everyone at some point had good and bad luck. I had a lot of fun..thanks to everyone especially Ralph for hosting.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Vorenus and Pullo - Magic Wash Test

On our club's mailing list we have been discussing alternatives to the Army Painter Quick Shade product. These conversations were mostly started after one of our members watched this YouTube video from Dr. Faust's Painting Clinic channel. I'm currently using the Army Painter products, but in the past have worked with various Future Floor Wax wash formulas. Up until watching the above mentioned videos my washes were always a ratio of Future and water with pigment to taste. This test was done using 100% future and black ink to see if that gave better results than I've had in the past.

I started with two figures I've recently painted, Warlord Games' Pullo and Vorenus, Heroes of Rome personality pack. Since I wanted to use the figures as command figures in my republican Roman army I chose the bare-headed option for the Vorenus figure as his helmet was far to Cesarian for my army. The photo below left shows the figures before the wash. Note I use Privater Press' flesh wash during my painting process, so the flesh areas already have a good brown wash on them. My choice for pigment for the overall wash on the figure was black ink in 100% future.  The other two photos in this post show the end results. I think it works quite well with the added benefit of being able to mix as much or as little pigment into the wash as you like. These photos were taken while the was was still wet, but it does dry to a high gloss finish. A final coat with Testor's Dullcote or your preferred matte finish will be needed.

These two figures will be added to Old Glory figures in the future. Pullo will become an officer in a principes unit and Vorenus with his decorative chest piece will be a legion commander accompanied by a standard bearer and musician. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Roman Legion - WIP

Last week my wife had the entire week off for a 'staycation' - i.e. a vacation at home. I wasn't able to get the whole week off due to work deadlines, but I was able to take part of the week off. I spent a day catching up on home improvement chores and a day preparing for family to visit for an early Easter dinner. That left one day to myself....to paint. This is the remainder of the infantry for my red legion. On the right the principes, which were in process before my day of painting. On the left the hastati, which were painted entirely during my vacation day. In the front figures for a command stand that were painted with the principes.

I gloss my figures before using the Army Painter figure quick shade on them. I feel it helps the quick shade flow better. After shading I spray the figures with Testors Dullcote to give them their final matte finish. I have to let the gloss dry for several days to a week to prevent the army painter quick shade from dissolving it. I've found if I rush this step the figures get a very undesirable hazing or crazing of the finish. In about a week I'll post a final finished figures post for these units with hopefully better photos.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thirty Years War Play Test

Last week Rob, Charlie, Ralph and I visited my friend Ed's place to help him play test his game for our upcoming club game night. The rules are Ed's own design, a very interesting combination of miniatures with a board game area layout. The rules feature an interesting combination of combat and management of reserves. The game went well and the scenario seems well balanced. I was on the Imperialist side which at the time we called the game looked like it was going to be on the worse side of the affair, but with still plenty of game play left. The Protestants, Charlie and Rob played well and focused their force on our right and did well in their attacks. If it wasn't for some very fortunately rally rolls, the game could well have been concluded during our play test.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

28mm Hedges

Inspired by this YouTube video I've just completed these hedges that I plan to use on my Bolt Action tables. The set consists of eight straight pieces, eight corner pieces and two gates. I made the gates and wooden bases on my laser but they could have easily been done with hand tools by switching the gate style to a plain wooden gate. I've attempted to use some faux painting techniques to make the gate posts look like granite. I'm only partially satisfied with the look, but since this is only a terrain piece, it's probably as good as it's going to get.

If you're interested in making some for yourself, I used heavy duty scotch brite brand scouring pads that I purchased at the big box home improvement store. Two packages ran me about $4.00 total. The spray paint and blended turf flocking I had on hand in my shop, but I would guess I only used a few dollars worth of each. Pretty good deal to get all this terrain for under ten bucks and a couple hours of work.