Feb 10, 2016

Purchase history, February

I just reviewed my Napoleonic collection and realized how huge it is: I have more than a hundred Russians stripped and assembled, fifty Prussian infantry and a hundred Highlanders, and then some French cavalry and commanders. As a bit of steering clear of tricorne hats was necessary to keep morale up, I started working on some figures right away. The completed ones will be published later this week, and I'm also working on an adaption of my 'Easy Tricorne' rules to the Napoleonic age.

As my funds are cut in February and I spent most of last year's reserves, I only bought one set of figures this month, Zvezda's SYW Prussian Hussars, to be used with my existing tricorne collection. (In fact the postman just left a notice without checking if anybody's home, well he can carry it back to the office and I can take it tomorrow.) 
I need to resupply some Vallejo paints, mainly primer. On structures and scratchbuilt stuff I use a simple white acrylic but the Vallejo primer is excellent for plastic figures, although very easy to run out of.

I also found a large plasticard sheet, probably a sign (it has two small holes on its corners) in its previous life. The bad news is it's been left out in the weather for quite some time and it cracked up, it's also very brittle, but I managed to salvage a huge part of it and I can probably use more yet. 

Feb 6, 2016

Another BIG figure showcase

As I'm officially out of humorous titles, I came up with the above. There are more than sixty figures completed recently, some started in the past year but finished only now. There is another contingent of 28 AWI Continental infantry on the painting table, and I've started working on some Napoleonics as well. 
This post features 
  • two Strelets cannon painted in Saxon colors
  • the last of the Zvezda infantry painted as Saxons, this time with light blue cuffs
  • twenty-five Accurate US Militia
  • seventeen Italeri AWI regular infantry
  • eight Italeri AWI British Light Dragoons.

Jan 31, 2016

Monitor Duel

The first encounter between the Ortosilian and Tropezonian navies occured at a river estuary. Two monitors spotted each other, and after some maneuvering and exchanges of fire, the Ortosilian ship was sunk. 

This was the first playtest of the 'Coal and Steel' rules. Both ships had the same attributes. One major point of the game is the unlimited range of fire and comparatively small movement allowance: however, a 12" movement for both ships meant they were in range all the time and closed in very quickly. From then on it was up to the luck of the dice.

A land battle will follow using match stick armies and One Hour Wargames, and Coal and Steel will be tested on a fleet encounter.

Jan 28, 2016

OIS Cagafuego, South American ironclad

This is the first post celebrating SYWPY2016, and I've added a label to denote this. 
By the 1880s the constant war between Tropezonia and Ortosilia has been affected by industrialization. Yet the two countries were poor compared to the real players - they had to use what they had. 
Similarly to the funds of the Ortosilian Imperial Navy, mine were limited to build this model. It is scratchbuilt from cardstock, cardboard, printing paper, broom bristles, match sticks and a plastic phone card I found. 
The idea is that a heavy duty cargo ship was converted to a warship, generously dubbed "battleship" by Emperor Alejandro VII. It is nonetheless the strongest man-o-war in the area with reinforced hull plating (a little crude solution), a 5" quick-firing barbette gun and four casemate 6" guns. 

The hull is actually hollow, its bottom two layers of cardboard and the top one, the space between them filled only with a few strips to hold the deck in place. I'd like to add some 3mm figures as crew at a later point. The funnel is paper soaked in PVA and rolled up. The rest of the build is quite ordinary, complete with a white primer, block, wash, highlight paint scheme.

The rest of the two navies will consist of armed cargo ships and older style broadside ironclads. There will only be a handful so I can start gaming sooner.
I'm also thinking of resolving conflicts on land using match stick armies and the One Hour Wargames rules. I'm not currently sure how many match sticks I have though!

Jan 21, 2016

Purchase history, January

Although the list is short, a significant amount was spent and in hindsight I could have spent that money on more "useful" things, if such exists in the wide world of wargaming.
  • I bought the usual paints and PVA, will have to buy more primer
  • Two boxes of Zvezda GNW dragoons
  • Some figures for 40k Kill Team (temptations of the dark side!) or other sci-fi skirmishes.
As most of my reserve was blown away too soon, my very late new year's resolution is, in the spirit of 'Spare Your Wargaming Pocket Month', to dub 2016 the 'Spare Your Wargaming Pocket Year'. I will explore the most cost-effective ways about the hobby. Fortunately I have a huge unpainted plastic pile right now. I have a loan to repay and in all likelihood a driver's licence to make.

Another thing I'd like to try (in February or March) is the Commission Figurines 6mm MDF Napoleonics. It's real promising because they are cheap, easy to paint and I wouldn't have to mess around slicing up match sticks to create armies.

Since the beginning of the month I could only complete a handful of figures, now about thirty AWI plastics and two cannon wait on my desk to be varnished and based. I'm not sure what to post until the 27th when my last exam is going to take place.

Jan 18, 2016

Fight to the Death: Baby Mikasa vs. Baby Borodino

I am currently separated from most of my scratchbuilding stock, but first seeing Master Cordery's blog post about these Japanese wonder weapons and then the same product appearing on a forum, I decided to make something similar.

These initial efforts cover the IJN Mikasa and the four Borodino-class Russian ships. The hull is 3cm long and 1cm wide. The superstructure is compressed and the ship gains this caricaturistic rotund shape. I used standard scratchbuilding materials: plasticard, broom bristles and other plastic garbage.

The Borodinos steam out to meet their fate.

Jan 13, 2016

Drowning in funny hats now

This is, of course, not my regular output. In my younger days I could finish an entire box of figures in two or three days. Which is possible with 20-40 figures per box.
Now the Strelets set 'Court and Army of Peter the Great' has over 130 figures and a pair of cannon inside it. The PSR review says it contains 108 figures, and mine was stuffed quite full, which led me to believe that I've got a pair of extra sprues. No worries, though, I can tackle this.

Let's see what we have on the above photo. Some were shown at the S-B ImagiNation blog as an illustration, some were not. From left to right:
  • three ladies of importance
  • a 'talion of sixteen figures, the vast majority of these appear only in the 'Court and Army...' box, and I received extra sprues of these. With 48 of them, I can make three 16-figure units. 
  • a group of Strelets foot officers for the rebel cause, one Varangian (Swedish) and four civilians.
  • a scratchbuilt amusette gun
  • four Zvezda Russian dragoon figures painted as officers 
  • in the foreground, another bunch of Strelets officers, these are the loyalist ones.

Jan 10, 2016

Saxon additions

The Kurprinz infantry regiment and Kurprinz dragoons are finished for my 1/72 GNW Saxon army. The infantry is Zvezda and the cavalry is Strelets.

Jan 6, 2016

More funny headwear

In the first post of the new year which actually contains photos, I present you 16 Zvezda Prussian grenadiers and ten Italeri Napoleonic Prussian cavalry with hat conversions, both painted as Formaggian loyalist forces of the Calvacasa Rebellion.