Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What next? Several options, seeking comments!

I have a lot of semi painted 28mm stuff in my queue at present mostly British, Hanoverian, Russian, Austrian and Prussian Napoleonics, some Spanish Civil War and some 16-17th century Ottomans.

It's likely to come out slowly for a while, so I'd like to share some of my other collections.

I have, in no particular order, 25mm Swedish Napoleonics, a lot of Darkest Africa and other colonial forces, some 28mm Franco-Prussian era French, Prussians, and some Austrians of the 1855 period, a brigade of 25mm Dixon Union troops from American Civil War, a series of 25mm Renaissance and 17th Century armies,  and in both 20mm and 15mm various forces from World War Two projects. Oh, yes, some 40K and 28mm  'Pulp' (which I consider 1920's and '30's) stuff as well.

What would you like to see? Would you prefer a straight showing or some quick battle reports with the mentioned ranges?

(Yes, I am a gadfly, but it's nearing to Christmas and my hobby time goes down dramatically in December.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Finishing what I started: Map on garden cloth.

I did not make it to Ellis Con this year, real life got in the way.   Things have straightened themselves out somewhat, so I went down into the cellar and completed the game cloth for the  Snappy Nappy scenario map.  I am pleased with the final result.  Here is the photo, complete as it would have made its appearance.

A little shot of the 'farther end' of the table.  The road net and rivers 'drop off' where the map ended. The mat was to represent map 'C" in the campaign.  You can see all the maps on Gonsalvo's blog if you were to go here  http://blundersonthedanube.blogspot.com/2012/11/crisis-on-danube-1809-with-snappy-nappy.html
  and scroll down until you find map 'C.'

Some of you might observe the GeoHex  being used as hills and also the stack to the right rear of the photo.  Why do the mat if I already have the GeoHex?  Well, the mat will roll up and later roll out flat. The mat takes up so little room, only the 4 foot length is something you have to consider when storing for later use or transit.  The GeoHex is wonderful stuff, but like any foam based product, is bulky.  Since I have switched over to a smaller car, room for transport will be at a premium.

Also, at a convention or even at an away game at the local hobby store, the set up time for traditional hill and road/river gear is measured by thirty minute increments.  GeoHex increases the time by at least 30 minutes.  The mat rolls out in under one minute.  Now the hills, trees, man made structures and shrubbery are all that remain to be placed....and the mat can be marked for those items.  I left 'voids' or unpainted surfaces to place the buildings on this mat.

When I do the next one...and I must say, these mats will improve the set up time immensely, I will use some sort of cheap white paint as a primer.  The black plastic acted practically as a sponge on the craft paints, the interior house paint and the gesso!  The gesso did leave behind a nice 'texture' for the road, so that will also be included next time.

The final nice part about this "map" is that I can flip it over and start a different map on the 'B" side. Did I mention it's cheap?

Maybe I'll play a solo game on the mat this week.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Small projects Pulp stuff

I have been tied up with some real life stuff over the last two weeks, and did not even make it yesterday to EllisCon.  Rather than wait for the AAR from that convention to appear on Peter's blog ( Blunders on the Danube),   I thought I'd  catch up on some recent work.  I have some Indian army painted up as NWF participants and some Space Invaders pretty much out of the 1950's.

 Depth of field with the point and shoot is problematic, I need to consult the manual to see if I can keep the shutter open longer.
 I know, I need to dress the bases.  Hmm, spaceship floor or regular lava field?
 Highly advanced Space Invaders bring their own support weapons.  I may put these guys in some sort of conveyance. The fellow to front must have been the one to lug the heavy piece, he looks spent.  Or is he noticing he does not have shoelaces?
Will the soldiers get off their shots before the alien frammus messes with them?  Tune in next time.....

The Indian army castings are OG from the colonial line.  The Space Invaders are from Bob Murch's Pulp Figures. Since the holiday season means fewer and shorter games are likely over the next few weeks, these fellows may soon square off against each other or some other foes in a Pulp era game.  I used some craft paints marked Khaki from the Americana line, a wash of 'walnut' stain from the same brand.  The paints for the gunstock  and barrel were from Howard Hues and Vallejo respectively.

The turban includes the wrapping showing a patch of 'Blue Bell' Americana and a dark stripe of 'Opaque Blue' from the Ceramcoat line.   The aliens are a coat of Ceramcoat Dolphin blue, with some of the Bluebell in spots as wel as black equipment belts.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Getting ready for Elliscon

We've (the local group) are going to run a game of "Snappy Nappy" at Elliscon the weekend of the 17th.  The convention is a neat, one day, local convention being run for over 20 years.  A Danielson, CT high school club mans the pumps for the effort; you can even get help loading and unloading for a game set up!  9 top 9 on Saturday November the 17th.

Anyway, I get to set up two tables per the 'guy in charge' of the Snappy Nappy game.  We call him Peter, many of you know him as Gonsalvo. You can check out the whole idea at his blog, Blunders on the Danube. .  The concept is an entire campaign in a day.  The 1809 campaign is what he'll be modeling.

So to dress two tables after a two hour drive, I looked for an easy way out. I decided to try something I saw at Historicon several years ago in the FoW tourney area.   The folk in charge of the table scenery had used garden cloth, the black plastic underlayment used in gardening, as the ground cloth for the tables.  The groundcloths were painted so that the roads, rivers, fields and other major detail showed. Buildings and hills, vegetation and man made features were then placed.  The sheets are tough (they are designed to withstand heat, sunlight, water, being buried) flexible-they roll up, light when used in the size for a wargame table-even a big one, and petty cheap as you get the rolls in 50 yard lengths for $20 to $30 depending on sales, etc from hardware stores and garden supply centers.
So without a net, I decided to try this on one of the tables. I had some of the 'groundcloth' left over from a garden project, and some paint and some gesso and two evenings with some spare time. Here's the first pass, showing some of the roadnet primed, some painted in an ochre brown, and some of the green showing. The gloss is because the paint is still wet, the finish of the paint will be flat. 

Some of the materials used in the project.  Blick is  small art suply chain, I have been getting stuff from there for years.  Again, I had the stuff, might as well use it!
The green is actually an interior green wall paint from the Sherwin Williams line, I am sure most any brand that custom mixes colors can replicate to the shade I chose, which is a close approximation of the Geo Hex brand green paint I use for basing. It's a lot cheaper to do terrain out of a quart cam than a hobby bottle.

I'll get a shot of the finished table out in a few days.

The other table will feature the old standby felt cloth, felt or foam hills, roads rivers and such. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Merlen's Lt Cav Brigade and Dutch Belgian Limber teams

The last of the Dutch Belgian units at Quatre Bras on my list were the light cavalry commanded by General Merlen. 

There was very little cavalry for the allies at Quatre Bras, but the timing of the first cavalry units' arrival was fortunate for the hard pressed Dutch Belgian foot units.  Merlen's brigade of light cavalry came just before Pack's infantry division, and Merlen was instructed to take off the pressure on the infantry.  Pack's brigade needed time to deploy its brigades. and a series of charges made by the light dragoons and hussars of Merlen's brigade bought that time, although at a high cost.

We start with the Light Dragoon unit, the 5th (Belgian) Light Dragoons.  The uniform was patterned heavily on the French Chassuer a Cheveau, so much so that the unit became a victim of 'friendly fire' during the battle.  Lots of green and yellow, the trumpeter in reverse colors 'pops' the command stand.

Next up the 6th Hussars, whose charge into Pire's cavalry was done without deploying into battle formation.  The charge did not succeed, and the unit suffered heavy losses.  Still, the uniform is nice!  Always fun to paint Hussars. Except for the braid, I never seem to get it correct.  The officers' shakos were red, as were the trumpeters' shakos per the Osprey title on the Dutch Belgian army.

We also can view some limber teams that have been patiently waiting for over a year to be finished.  They've ( the castings, that is) waited as Highlander and Rifle and line troops were added to the British, as Cossacks and Dragoons were added to the Russians.  They even got their hopes up, only to be dashed as a Russian limber was completed (although in honesty that limber team had waited a dozen or more years to be painted.)  Still, they will add some color as they trundle across the table in our games.

The uniforms were evidently the same for all the train, at least the Osprey on the Dutch Belgians lists on this uniform.  The grey shows off the red and black trim nicely. 

So, one for the foot battery and one for the Horse battery at Quatre Bras. Here they are in all their glory!  A little static grass and they'll be finished.  Note only four horses to the team, an indication that teams varied from country to country.  Brunswick's teams boasted six horses in the traces.

I know I should do a limber for the half battery that came with the light cavalry in Merlen's Brigade.  Maybe in the future.  For the next few months, some Hanoverian and British troops need their units done first!

The Dutch Belgians are not completely out of my queue, however.  I decided to take some of the 'extra' figures and produce at least one brigade in Chasse's division. So there are two Dutch Line and two Dutch militia battalions to join another Belgian line battalion and a Jager battalion that are already painted.  When they are completed, you'll see them.