Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Been busy ...

My last three posts have been about my shopping at WMMS, but I have been doing other stuff in the meantime.

I've finished my Saxon warband for SAGA, rebased my 15mm WW2 Burma Brits, finished the 6mm War of Spanish Succession figures I've got and made a start on my 6mm British colonials that I'm intending to use for VSF ...

So, tonight, I'll take piccies of the Saxons - all of whom have been dipped and do a post with them as soon as I can

Monday, 19 March 2012

Shopping @ WMMS, part 3

Well, time for the last part of my shopping expedition to WMMS ...

So what ELSE did I buy at WMMS?  A completely new theatre (of WW2 not building!) and scale. I've long had a thing for the more ... 'uncommon' conflicts as can probably be evidenced by my Burma project and the WW2.5 project.

Anyway, I've never used/painted 20mm figures so I'd thought I'd use that for this project, which is Norway 1940. So, on to what I purchased. I was browsing the stalls wondering what I should spend money that I haven't got on toys that I would probably never play with, when I got to the Lancashire Games stand. Amongst their 20mm 'battlepacks' they had one with Norwegian Infantry in it. The battlepacks have a sliding price (dependent on how many you buy), and a constant number of figures. For 20mm, this is 24 figures, so after considerable umms and ahhs, and changing my mind and exchanging a couple of packs, I wound up getting these four packs:

Browsing a bit more, ad leafing through an Osprey title on the campaign I picked up, I purchased a couple of tanks - a French Hotchkiss 39 and Panzer 2 from .... can't remember :(
 I also got a 'Kubelwagen armoured car' but didn't photo that. An interesting point on these resin models, is the metal core to the gun barrels - damn fine idea!

Entering 20mm scale opens up a far wider variety of plastic kits for use and there were quite a few retailers of kits at WMMS. So after much browsing, I got these boxes of infantry which were £6 each and hold around 35 infantry:

But I realised I had no LMGs or other support for my infantry - the battle packs have normal infantry and a couple of command figures only - so I got these kits as well ...
but, it wasn't until I got home and checked online that I realised the PAK 40 is much too late for Norway - bummer!

I've also ordered the Revell 1/72 kit of the German landship the Neubaufahrzeug, as 3 of these saw action in Norway. Photos of that when it arrives!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Shopping @ WMMS, part 2

This post shares the stuff that I bought at WMMS (West Midlands Military Show) last sunday, specifically the toys I got from Warbases.

In addition to the items pictured below, I got their SAGA set of measuring sticks and fatigue tokens, which I had been thinking about getting for a while and saw in use at my local club the other Friday.

So ... onto the piccies! First of all is something that I've not seen on their website yet. It's a sheet of pre-cut roof tiles. There are 3 different styles you can get from them, but I only got one. The idea is that you cut out the strips and then glue them to your model roof to save having to laboriously cut card up. At only £2 for an A4 sheet it seemed a bargain to me, so I got one to try on my card buildings and I'll share the results when I've done it.

Warbases have started making laser cut buildings from MDF and I've been idly planning on trying them out for a while now. At WMMS I took the plunge and bought several of their 28mm modular buildings. I've only taken photos of one to show you all as an example. So this photo shows the building as it comes, in a ziplock bag.
Here are all the pieces out of the bag and laid out. I especially like the etched detail of planking on the shutters and door.
 Finally, I put the pieces together to show the assembled building. When I glue the window frames on, I'm intending to cut through the walls and hope to make the door openable as homage to Vampifan the Great.
I have a cunning plan on how I'm going to finish the outsides of the buildings, but don't want to share it yet, in case it goes horribly wrong!

Next time, the final part, which will be devoted to the new project.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Shopping @ WMMS, part 1

As promised here are some photos of what I splashed out on at WMMS last sunday.

First is a 'miniature' I've been after for quite a while; a Sgts Mess Memorial. Every time I've seen their stand at conventions I've tried to get this mini, but they've always sold out - until Sunday!

I got another 5 packs of 14th Army infantry from Peter Pig. I'm planning on being able to field 2 companies with a troop of Grants as support, so I'll be getting some mor infantry and another pair of Grants (from Skytrex) at Salute

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I put a bunch of stuff on the bring'n'buy stand and had a browse there myself. I found this bag of 6mm fortifications - 68 pieces for 15 quid; bargain! err ... not that I was really looking for 6mm fortifications .... anyway, they'll be useful for my 6mm WSS and VSF. I fished out some examples for the pic below

Staying on the 6mm theme, from Angel Barracks, I got an assortment of 6mm terrain items, which you can see in the next pic, including: 2 groups of sheep, assorted sandbag positions, a pair of haycarts, 2 gates, and 2 British searchlight positions (which I have no need for, but they looked great!). These are manufactured by Irregular Minis but sold by Angel Barracks

Also from Angel Barracks, I got these
The piece at the front is a flexible mat that has recesses for the standard sized buildings by the same company. The idea is that you can use the same 'farm', as this piece is, with interchangeable buildings depending on the period/theatre being fought. The next pic shows the buildings in place. I think it's a great idea and will probably be getting more of them

And finally for the 6mm stuff, I got some Baccus centaur infantry from their science fiction range, intending to use them with my Baccus colonials for VSF games

That's it for this post - there will be 3 on my shopping at WMMS (I said I'd spent too much!) and next time will be the stuff I got from Warbases, with the third part being my new project.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

WMMS ...

On a last minute whim (well Saturday evening anyway!) I went to the WMMS show in Wolverhampton on Sunday.

As usual at conventions, I spent far too much money and came away with kit for yet another new project - but I did manage to get stuff ready for the bring and buy stall and sold quite a bit, including a load of ancient galleys that I had acquired for an ancient naval project that never got past the blisters ... I didn't manage to sell the Uncharted Seas fleet I put on the stall, but I did see that were at least 2 more fleets that weren't sold by the time I left (about 3.30 IIRC) so I wasn't too disappointed by that. I'll just have to put them on the B&B at Salute.

So, tonight, I'm intending to take some piccies of what I acquired and share them with you all over the next few days.

It was a good show (one I've not been to before) and I would recommend it to anyone in the area (Wolverhampton). It was a 2h15m drive there for me and 3h30m home! (bloody M4 - 1h to travel one measly junction!)

Anyway, check back tomorrow for another post

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

World War 2.1 ...

In this post I talked about my enjoyment of the "I Ain't Been Shot Mum!" rules after my first game.

What I didn't mention is that they had inspired me to start yet another project - one that had been percolating around the back of my mind for years ... an extended World War 2.

Unlike games like Westwind's 'Secrets of the Third Reich' or Micromark's alternative WW2.5 'War of the Vampyre' I don't intend to either include strange tech or supernatural forces and I certainly don't want the third reich to have lasted any longer than it did.

Instead I'm altering the timing of a few events, so that post war tensions between the former allies reach a breaking point in 1949 and fighting between the Soviet Union (with its new communist satellites) and the western allies - UK, US, France, etc - erupts.

I'm still researching this project, but so far I have the following changes in mind (not in any particular order yet):
  • The Soviets defend the Morgenthau Plan far more vigourously than AIR* when US adopts the Marshall Plan in its place, threatening "dire consequences"
  • Britain does not withdraw from the Greek Civil War, instead troops are committed and fight for the royalist government; Soviet 'volunteers' fight for the 'Democratic Army of Greece' (greek acronym DSE); reports of clashes between British and Soviet troops are denied by both sides
  • The Revolt of the Admirals does not happen, as the US Navy wins the carrier or strategic bomber debate and the keel of the super carrier 'USS United States' is laid down in early January 1949 (not April, nor cancelled 5 days later AIR*); the Soviets view this as 'another capitalist provocation'
  • The shooting down of US transport planes by Yugoslav aircraft leads to US retaliation in early '49
  • The first Soviet nuclear weapon (RDS-1) is detonated on 29 January 1949 and reported to the world by President Truman on 23 February (not 29 August and 23 September AIR*)
  • NATO is formed on 1st February 1949 (not in April 49 AIR*)
  • The Democratic People's Republic of Korea invades the Republic of Korea on May-Day 1949 (not 25 June 1950 AIR*) with Soviet armoured formations spearheading
  • The growing tensions between former allies lead the UK, US and France to begin recalling recently demobilised troops in November 1948
  • The Berlin Blockade occurs AIR* until 15 April '49 when everything changes ... the Soviet news agency TASS warns the 'imperialist west' that transport aircraft will be fired upon if they stray off their flight paths (not a willingness to lift the blockade AIR*). After several aircraft are fired upon by ground AA fire, USAF and RAF fighters escort all flights. On several occasions, AA batteries are strafed after they fire on the transports
  • 3rd May 1949 - war erupts as Soviet troops overrun the western garrisons in West Berlin and a swarm of fighters interrupts the airlift ...
* - AIR = as in reality

That's where I've reached so far. I've got a few AFVs and infantry from Heroics & Ros to game it - starting with UK Centurions and Comets fighting Soviet JS2s

I'm looking forward to getting this underway!  I would appreciate comments on what I've written so far and any suggestions are very welcome ...

One thing I've learnt from my research is that a real shooting war was close in reality. If a few things had happened at different times then I think it might really have happened - thank providence that it did not.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Saxons and Lace ...

Last time I promised some photos so here they are.  First up we have a picture of my dipped War of Spanish Succession (WWS ) 6mm British infantry from Baccus 6mm. These are lovely figures that - in my mind - really give an impression of a unit of troops rather than a figures on a base ... unfortunately, the photo is (once again) blurred. The figures are in 8 files, each of 3 ranks, on 40mm x 20mm bases, 4 bases making a battalion:
 This next photo shows an unfinished unit - again British - that I have put on their bases to dip when I've done all 96 figures in the unit:
 And now their opposition; this is a finished, but undipped French unit. At the time of the WSS the British fought in 3 ranks, but the French (and most others) still fought in 4 (or more) ranks. So in the Ian Croxall's Blenheim 04 rules (which I like, but have yet to play) the French are based in 8 files, each of 4 ranks, on 40mm x 30mm bases and a battalion is 3 bases:
 And here is a dipped French battalion:
I've nearly finished all the infantry I have so it will be the Horse and command bases next. Where Blenheim 04 is multiple bases to the battalion, C'est la Guerre (which arrived from Caliver Books yesterday) is a DBA-style set for WSS, so as I build up my armies, I will play using those rules.

I've also mentioned recently my Gripping Beast plastics, so here are photos (front + back) of 4 of the 32 I've painted so far. I've yet to do the shields though, as I decided to do them seperately from the figures. Once I've done the shields as well, I'll do some group shots of them.
 These are really nice figures that have been a joy to assemble and paint, and I am looking forward to doing the box of vikings who will be their opposition.

And the final picture is a shot of the plastic saxons (plus 2 metal interlopers at the bottom left) that I have left to do. Once more the shakes struck as I took the photo :(