Monday, 24 April 2017

Conflict At The Shrine.

The Samurai Tokugawa was planning to visit the shrine of Izumo to pray before composing a Haiku to the local Cherry Blossom and was angered to find another Samurai and his retainers approaching - it was Konishi Yukinaga a rival Samurai , harsh words were exchanged and honour could only be saved by the spilling of blood ! . So I have got enough figures done for the introductory scenario in Test Of Honour .

Tokugawa's force of two bowmen and a group of spearmen .

Konishi's band is the same for this scenario . The winner is the one which cuts down the opposing Samurai.

The force cards for Konishi 's force . The figures/groups stats are on each card with the number of dice which are thrown to pass a test/attack.

My customised bag from which tokens are drawn to activate figures , Samurai can be activated three times - others only once . The dice which are used - you need three or more 'swords' on the dice to pass a test 'X' are bad news , better troops get to roll more dice .

The game started with some ineffective bow shooting then Tokugawa had a run of tokens - and good dice throws - driving the enemy spearmen back twice and slaying two of them .

Then Konishi drew a token and charged in - his opponent having used all his tokens was at a disadvantage and was promptly 'cut down' and so the game ended . A quick little game to try out the rules .

Konishi Yukinaga won the game and was able to draw a fate card which will help him in his next battle . The rules are simple but clever and use a similar mechanism to 'Bolt Action' to activate figures but also add three 'fate' chits which when they are all drawn ends the turn , so you may not be able to activate all your figures per turn . Samurai are very dynamic but are vulnerable if they become isolated from the rest of their force . I'm enjoying painting these figures and making the terrain and more importantly playing the games.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

First Painted Samurai .

Well these aren't Samurai but Ashigaru , I'm painting one faction up in red armour and the other in black . Sorry for the rather poor photo , I normally take my photos in the bathroom were experience has shown I get the best lighting but as my wife is having a shower I've had to take the photo on my table with the afternoon sun shinning .

My first Samurai , luckily as this game and the figures are based in the later Sengoku period when the armour and dress of the Samurai became a lot plainer they are easier to paint .

Another Samurai in black armour , the armour of this era seems to have been mainly either red or black .

An Ashigaru archer and yes the arrow does go on the right of the bow rather than the left in European archery.

The 'Black' clan Ashigaru spearmen . Archers and spearmen can be played either on multi- bases or singularly . Will soon have enough for my first game and am putting together an MDF shrine for scenery .

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Grey Plastic And Cherry Blossom .

The figures in 'Test Of Honour' come in many bits on lots of grey sprue , I think the world is divided into people who like gluing figures together and those that hate it ! - luckily I'm one of the people who likes gluing plastic together (takes me back to my plastic modelling days) .

Here are some I made earlier , a Aquebusier and a group of Ashigaru spearmen , the ordinary infantry can be either single entities or on a group base . Lots of arms , head and weapon options .

If your going to have Samurai who have got to have Cherry trees (in full blossom) . I got this bag very cheaply off EBay direct from China . The only problem is like the full size trees they seem to want to shed their blossom at the slightest movement .

I based four of them up and decided to give them a heavy coat of matt aerosol varnish which seems to have halted the shedding of Cherry Blossom .

I did a test run on one of them adding gravel and flock before going into mass production  , here seen posing with a small Japanese type tin I got from a Charity shop to contain all the various tokens the game comes with .

Monday, 10 April 2017

A Man Of Straw.

Okay so I said " no new projects this year !" and up to about three months in I remained true to my pledge , then I sold some figures off and had some ready cash - which of course had to be re-invested in the hobby . This concurred with Warlord's new Samurai skirmish game , with the inevitable result of me buying into it BIG time ! ( sigh what a weak creature I am ) ( who am I fooling - I'M LOVING IT !)

I've been a long time fan of Kurosawa and his Samurai films , but always been intimidated by having to paint the figures - so different and integrate than Western warriors and have found most of the rules rather complicated as well .

Warlord cleverly issued the rules as a free down load on their web site , which I had a look at and I was impressed ! , they use a token activation system for the figures (like Bolt Action) and stat cards for the figures/units (which I like) so I purchase the starter deal .

The Author contemplates the task ahead , I've started gluing up figures so further updates to follow ...

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Painted Plastic .

Just realised I hadn't taken any photos of the recent plastic figures I have painted . First up is my new Thirty Years War Catholic Regiment . The flag is an Imperial one for the regiment Manmingen .

I've not been able to find any evidence of the forces which fought at White Mountain 1620 (the era my armies are set in) so my flags are a bit generic as there is very little evidence early on in the war . The figures are 1/72nd scale by Mars .

The next unit to get done is the 2nd Battalion of the Dneiper Regt. They are in the summer uniform as I'm setting my Crimean war in Bulgaria as the Allies try to raise the siege of Silistra  - so I get to paint the Russians in pretty uniforms rather than drab overcoats and avoid the cliches of the Crimean War .

The figures are 1/72nd Strelets, you get 42 figures in 42 different poses in the box which has it's advantages and disadvantages as some of them can be a mite odd . Quite pleased to get these units done as they were two of the tasks I set myself at the beginning of the year to get the projects finished or at least make some progress .

Thursday, 30 March 2017

An Impromptu Game .

The other day 'A' rang me say was I free for a game that afternoon , well I had nothing set up or planned so I reset some existing terrain and got out my O.S. FPW  figures and set up a small game which would last eight moves . Then my camera battery died and so I am indebted to 'A' for taking the photos with his phones camera . He was the Prussians (nearest the camera) and I the French .

The scenario was to control a railway crossing in the centre of the table , but both initial forces arrive opposite each other on one flank . The cavalry were involved in a protracted melee and his advancing Jaegers were driven back by my Chasseurs De Pied and my artillery placed on the hill .

Having driven the Jeagers off, the Chasseurs De Pied took control of the objective , whilst the Jeagers rallied and took up a position to fire on the enemy.

'A's reinforcements arrived and advanced on the objective of the game .

Meanwhile my reinforcement came on and immediately came under fire from 'A's artillery , one unit took casualties and retired from the table the other one tested it's morale but rallied before it left the table .

My gun revenged my fleeing infantry by knocking out the Prussian gun and crew - in fact they were the French 'Man of the Match' hardly missing a shot (for once in their career).

The Prussian cavalry destroyed their French opponents and wheel around and charged the Chasseurs De Pied in the rear ! .

This was the last move and under Featherstone's rules troops charged in the rear have to throw a dice to see how they respond to the attack - I rolled a '1' - and they were 'cut down' - so 'A' won the battle on the last move  . A good game at rather short notice ! .

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Lost And Found .

Our new fence , rather ordinary really but it replaced a poor and straggly hedge and took quite a bit of work in removing the old hedge and it's roots . The soil needs levelling and tidying but the wet weather has made it rather sticky so it will have to wait till it dries out . Whilst the fence building was going on I found buried -

A little lead soldier !  here he is cleaned up , he seems to be in WW2 British Battledress and standing at attention . There are traces of paint on him and is rather a crude casting .

He is about 54mm (2") scale , I'm not sure where he has come from , my parents moved into the house in about 1946 shortly after it was built and I have lived here all my life and can't remember ever owning him as a child so he is a bit of a mystery , but he will stand guard on my painting tray from now on . 

Monday, 20 March 2017

Real Life Stops Play.

At the moment myself and the neighbour are replacing our adjoining hedge with a wood panelled fence and it has taken on the proportions of building the Great Wall of China , so I've not got much painting done of late , instead here's a simple games mechanism gleamed from the inter web . Normal service to be resumed as soon as possible

Monday, 13 March 2017

If You Go Down To The Woods Today.

Well I've finally got my trees finished , the delay being due to real life and other painting projects . Here we see General Smyth and a small patrol from the Boresetshires reconnoitring the new woods.

I gave the trees a coat of gloss varnish then painted the leaves dark green , I then highlighted the edges of the leaves with a lighter shade and painted the bases .

Here we see the General Staff of 'Black' Army using the woods to plan some dastardly action against 'Red' Army.

Hopefully the woods will be appearing in a battle between the two forces in the near future.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Seeing The Trees For The Woods

I blame Ross from he was talking about gaming using 54mm figures , now I have some home-cast 54mm figures but have never really played with them due to the lack of suitable terrain - I have dabbled with out door gaming but due to the weather and the dog never that successfully - I was looking in a Family History magazine , my wife does genealogy and came across the above MDF tree for making family trees (think you attach the heart shapes with the relatives names on them) and thought would it do for 54mm gaming ?!.

I sent for some (they come in various sizes ) and got a parcel with six of them . Now they are two dimensional  but I was thinking stylised terrain - VERY Toy Soldier so I had to think of some method of basing them .

I decided to hot glue them to some round bases I already had and support them with two triangular uprights .

These I glued at right angles to the tree trunk and then the whole thing to the base .

Here we see Colonel Flashman and Mr Kipling (in 54mm) inspecting the finished trees to give some scale . I'm going to give them a coat of gloss varnish and then paint the leaves and bases green - an update to follow soon ............
P.S Have been asked were I got them from EBay -

Friday, 3 March 2017

A Poem About Wargaming .

This poem by Elvis McGonagal  has been borrowed from the ' Man of Tin Blog '

Soldiering On

He fights them on the beaches
He fights them on the seas
He fights them on the carpet
(Despite his creaky knees)
He fights them in his attic (and why not?)
He fights them in his head
He fights the Battle of Thermopylae
In his garden shed
With his barmy army of tiny tin men
Painted precise Prussian blue
He is the very model of a modern major general
Who need never meet his Waterloo
Whistling Colonel Bogey
As he manoeuvres his platoons
He knows exactly the number of buttons
On a Hungarian Hussar’s pantaloons
Like Louis XIV in a toy-shop
Consumed by insatiable decadence
“I’d like that Philistines’ ox-drawn chariot please
And ten more Carthaginian elephants”
Hair thinning, waistline spreading
Is this an obsession he should indulge?
Surely the only battle for a middle-aged man
Is the battle of the bulge?
Some say he’s a Little Napoleon
A pocket Agamemnon of Mycenae
An itsy-witsy, teeny-weeny
Bellowing, diddly-squat Mussolini
But fear not do not beware the Geek
For he’s no gun-toting, gung-ho hawk
He’s harmless, he faints at the sight of blood
His warmomgering games are all talk
He’s just a peaceful chap in his bedroom
He’s not Darius the Great of Ancient Thrace
Indeed, if Tony Blair had only stayed at home in Number Ten with a Rowney Sable paintbrush quietly colouring in a dinky wee moustache and the horsehair plumes on his 22mm Bavarian fusiliers then
The world might be a safer place

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Getting Back Into The Crimea.

Having got some of my plastic Thirty Years War painted I thought I should make a start on my Crimean War plastic armies .

So I decided to do another Russian Infantry Battalion , here are the figures cleaned up and glued to some bits of scrap wood ready for spraying black.

Here is a photo of some Russian re-enactors portraying the uniform I will be painting the figures in.