Sunday, May 25, 2014

May 2014 Game Night

Last Friday was the Northern Conspiracy's May game night. I played in Charlies 28mm Napoleonic game which he ran with his own rules, Napoleon's Rules of War.  That's Charlie in the red shirt between my fellow Frenchman Greg and the British commander Mark D. Not pictured, the Spanish commander Ed, who played opposite my French forces. Those are his Spanish lights skirmishing with my leger in the photo below. Many of the troops for this game Charlie has completed painting recently and were very nice. I particularly liked the Spanish cavalry in their buff-yellow coats and bicornes.

The scenario was a recreation of the battle of Barossa in the peninsular campaign. The battle featured a significant wood which separated the Spanish and British forces and also split the French army. I played the command that historically intercepted the Spanish who promptly fired a 'volley for honor' and then left the field. I put a token force on that flank and concentrated the rest of my forces in the woods. The Spanish, unlike the historical battle. Dispatched my flank battalions with little trouble and then proceeded to crush my stronger holdings in the wood. Possibly I should have fired a 'volly for honor' and retired with my troops, who then at least would live to fight another day. On the other flank our grand battery did minimal damage to the British who played the role of the Spanish in the game and retreated out of artillery range. At the end of the battle the extreme left flank saw some token action with the British guards being pushed back by some French regulars, but the British regulars also pushed back some of the French battalions. This was mostly inconclusive as the Spanish thrashing of my force had already sealed the fate for the French and it was just a matter of time before we'd be forced from the field.

There were two other equally excellent games. The first was Phil's 15mm Regimental Fire & Fury game of the battle of Jericho Mill. I didn't catch the results of this game as I was pretty well engaged in my game while this one came to a conclusion.

The final battle was a 28mm Bolt Action game run by my uncle. This was an American attack on a German held town and rail station. The terrain was beautiful and included three of his buildings built from my laser-cut parts. Forgive me if I feature those a bit in the included photos below. This ended up being an American victory as they had success early and often assaulting the German held town significantly reducing the German forces there.

Additional photos can also be seen on the Northern Conspiracy Club website in the Photos section.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Misc. 28mm Terrain Pieces

This post has several smaller terrain items I've completed recently. On the left is a town or cemetery gate section. This is modeled roughly after one my uncle has in his collection. I've coveted it for years so when he asked me to make up another for him to match it I didn't hesitate since I wanted one for myself.

The gate is made from laser cut plywood with roofing tiles made from more of the vacuform plastic sheeting I've used on other projects. The surface texture is applied using textured faux-stone spray paint after careful masking of non-textured areas. After the texture paint drys I over-paint the desired color and dry brush to bring out the texture detail.

 This is a small bunker designed to hold three 28mm figures. This will accommodate a small team in Bolt Action, say a medium machine gun team, sniper or panzershreck team. Most 28mm standing figures will fit inside with the cover on as shown in the photo below. The vision slit is shoulder high perfect for figures with extended rifles, MGs, etc.

The piece is made from layers of 1/8" thick plywood cut on the laser and glued together intentionally misaligned to mimic multiple layers of poured concrete as some bunkers exhibit. I also plan to do one larger bunker with a retaining wall. That one I might sand smooth if the mood fits me.

This tall wooden fencing I purchased unpainted at the Huzzah! convention last weekend. It was originally three pieces of unpainted resin all the size of the longest piece. I cut two of the three pieces into two smaller pieces. I made all of them different sizes on purpose to hopefully be able to fill many roles. A couple of these pieces might even make it onto my farmstead terrain piece with my larger cottage and barn that I posted last Sunday.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Larger 28mm Half Timber Cottage and Barn

These are two more laser-cut buildings I've designed, cut on my laser and built and painted. The cottage is a larger version of the cottage I posted earlier. The barn can also double as a carriage house. I intentionally made it small-ish as I'm planning on putting both of these on one base as a farmstead with fencing, etc. similar to how my uncle based his. Both buildings have removable roofs for figure placement inside.

Look for future photos of these pieces based up as a single farmstead terrain piece.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Photos from Huzzah! 2014

 I just returned from an enjoyable day at the Huzzah! 2014 convention. This is a fine local convention run by our wargaming neighbors to the north in the Portland, ME and surrounding areas. It's always a good convention to go to to game, shop and meet up with friends I see sometimes only 2-3 times a year at the local conventions.

This year the game quality and particularly the terrain seemed to be up a good bit from the norm. There were many very good looking tables and many excellent figures and vehicles. My booty from the vendors was more 28mm terrain both painted and un-painted as well as some unpainted 28mm British commandos and some Jeeps to transport them in.

My friend Rich Wallace also has a ton more great photos of Huzzah! 2014 viewable on his Picasa site.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Small 28mm Bahnhof (Train Station) WIP

My uncle has been wanting a small train station for his 28mm Bolt Action tables. He has some good track and a train, and what European town doesn't have a train station? This past Sunday we got together and designed one in the CAD system and cut the parts on the laser. These are the in-progress shots of the shell made from the parts straight off the laser with just glue added. Hopefully with some paint and roof texture this will make a fine addition to his table.

We aimed for a small village station. Buildings in 28mm tend to dominate the table even when on the small side. This village station has room for a ticket booth and some sitting area, and doors to the street, train platform and loading platform. The train platform has a cantilevered roof to shield passengers from the elements. The building will eventually be painted in a stucco finish and there are faux stone corner block details that will be glued on after the stucco finish is applied. Both my uncle and I are quite happy with the model so far. I'm excited enough about it I plan to make one for myself and obtain some track and a train.

Monday, May 12, 2014

More Bolt Action WWII

Last Friday we played another Bolt Action WWII game at my Uncle's house. He's been fine tuning an American assault on a German held down in preparation for running such a scenario at our club's game night. This most recent edition is the result and provided us with the most balanced game so far. The Germans had early success knocking out the only American Sherman tank with a Pak-40 AT gun. They continued this streak destroying one of my infantry platoons with a great burst of fire from a full Grenadier squad . The Americans licked their wounds and pressed on eventually overwhelming the Germans on the flank opposite mine while I did my best to create a diversionary attack on our weak flank. The Germans will receive an additional panzershreck team for the game night version, but besides that I believe the game is set.

Also featured in the game was Ralph's new radio station antenna shown in the last photo on the left below. My friend Mark D also has a great write up of this game on his blog with additional photos.

Monday, May 5, 2014

28mm Water Mill Conversion

This is the 28mm stone and half-timber house/inn that I posted last week with a new water wheel added to it. I've designed the wheel so that it appears to be one piece with the building, but it's actually a separate piece allowing me additional versatility with the previously created building.

My uncle pointed out that we have a lot of tabletops with streams and rivers on them but you rarely see a mill. He also pointed out that mills typically have stone on the mill side to protect the building from the water and my stone building would make a good base for conversion to a mill.

The water wheel and stone tower supports for it are laser cut. The river and cut stone channel are hand made. The channel is designed to match existing river pieces I already had, shown in the photos. While most mills use a dam or waterfall to drop water on top of the wheel, I have found photos of several historic mills which used passing water current in the configuration I've chosen to use. This and the fact that it's quite impractical to have a large enough height shift in a regular wargame table to facilitate a waterfall or dam makes this the best choice.