Wednesday 31 August 2016

A Converted Papal General

In my last post I mention about being short a General figure , The one mounted General I had was in full uniform - cocked hat etc and I wanted one in the more usual campaign dress . So I cut the top half off a officer on foot (pointing)and removed the mounted officers torso , drilled and pinned them together , there was meant to be a gap - but not that big ! .

The resultant waste bits - will go into my box of metal to be used for home casting.

I decided to mount him on his horse before I started filling in the gap .

I then made up some 'Green Stuff' and filled in his mid drift and gave him a frock coat , waist sash and modelled his left arm , I had lots of 'Green Stuff' left as I always mix to much up !.

Then I undercoated him and the following day painted him up and put him on a base  .

Here he is in charge of his Brigade , half of which has retreated (a fine start to his career !) , but hopefully the Papal Zouaves will save the day ! .

Monday 29 August 2016

A General Short Of A Battle.

I thought I would try out my finished Piedmontese army of 1860 and fight the Papal army using 'Black Powder' rules . I diced for the starting positions of the various Brigades and placed them onto the table - here we see a couple of Piedmontese Brigades moving up in column (note the not entirely successful attempt at 'photo shopping' dust clouds).

The next Piedmontese Brigade comes onto the table , Lancers and Bersaglieri this time.

The Papal Line Infantry move down the road (there's that dodgy 'photo shop' again).

Things were going well and I was getting into the battle when the time came to deploy the last Papal Brigade of two Infantry units - and I couldn't find a Brigadier to go with them !? , I searched through my other Italian Wars of Unification boxes to see if he had been misplaced but couldn't find one anywhere ? . Then I started to remember that I was aware of this shortage but had inadvertently ordered the wrong figure ! "DRAT ! " . I searched in my bits box and found the wrongly ordered figure and horse and a Officer on foot , I thought - 'I wonder if I can convert the foot figure into a mounted one ?'. Now it's easy enough to convert plastic figures but metal ones ?! , so it was with some hesitancy I picked up my razor saw ............. (to be continued)

Friday 26 August 2016

Getting There And Camera Problems.

Sorry for the very poor photo but I'm having problems downloading photos from my camera - suddenly my computer doesn't seem to want to do it (Grr ! bloody technology !) so I have resorted to my phone and Emailing it to my computer , unfortunately my phone has a poor camera . My gut feeling is to take the camera/computer outside and 'repair' it with a BIG hammer ! . On a happier note I've got over half of the Austrians done and as a treat I did one of the mounted General figures . Hopefully normal service will be resumed as soon as possible ..........

P.S. after fiddling around and finding it will not download photos from my wife's camera as well, I found I can download the contents of the camera 'sim' card plugged into the computer ! so this will do for now . I Googled about this issue and the consensus of opinion is that it is Windows 10's problem (as seems half the ills in the world).

Better - but the evening light streaming in behind it don't help ! .

Tuesday 23 August 2016

First Six Of Thirty Six.

Started the mammoth paint of my last Austrian infantry unit . It is going to be Infantry Regiment No. 28 Graf Wartensleben  with grass green facings . Doing them in groups of six and once I get into the swing of things should be quite fast , the advantage of the figures being the same pose means that once you have got a few done you go into auto-mode knowing were the paint goes . I'm doing it with a black undercoat and trying to leave some of it showing to suggest shading . These are ready for a coat of gloss varnish tomorrow.

Sunday 21 August 2016

A Small Triumph Over Adversity .

Having got my new spray can I was beset by foul weather - but this morning managed to get them done - 'Huzza' - only got to paint them now ! . Just noticed on this photo that our 'wheelie bin' has 'A Coat of Many Colours'

A Modern Classic ?


I don't do reviews but 'The Ferryman' asked me about this book I'm reading at the moment . I got it from Caliver Books last week and I'm about 2/3rds through it so these are just my initial thoughts. Its hard backed - which I like and cost £27 I think ? which is probably par for the course for this sort of book and print run. It has been translated from German (being written by a couple of German chaps) so it has a quaint turn of phrase now and then , its big selling point (and maybe it's downfall) is that it uses a grid system for movement and ranges . Now they say this speeds up the game doing away with measuring and arguments over ranges etc , my own ill informed opinion is that it causes as many complications as things it solves . This is a bit unfair of me because I haven't played the rules yet - but can I be bothered to draw a grid on my table ? ( having thought about this it could be easily accomplished by turning my felt cloth over and drawing one on it using a green marker pen) . Units are organised in multiples of 'sixes' for easiness as they use D6s - 12 or 18 being probably the norm . Units and Generals are allotted a playing card each and these with the enemies cards are shuffled and drawn to activate things to move/shoot etc. Movement is by number of squares as is range and shooting, this is done by adding or subtracting dice per 6 figures , then throwing them and every 6 gets a casualty . The scale can be either 'big' battle or smaller 'colonial' style actions and weaponry is divided up into periods - roughly musket, rifle, breech loaders and repeaters. The rules seem to have been play tested thoroughly over several years and once you have learned the system should be quite fast and decisive to play a 'day' being 8 moves . there are ideas for army lists , solo play and points as well . There is a 'Facebook' group for the rules . A play sheet is in the back of the book but it would be nice to see one on their Facebook page to down load . So will I use them ?, it would be interesting to try them out especially since I have some 30mm O.S. SYW figures that are under used . It's a nice book and as a collector of O.S. type rules I'm glad I have a copy whether or not I use the rules .

Friday 19 August 2016

Doing The Worthy Again.

I usually have a stock of figures sprayed up ready for painting but when I looked in the cupboard I found I'd run out . This then raised the question what to paint next ? - after some thought I went to the 'Corner of Shame' in the wargaming room to see what unpainted figures were there . I came across this box of Austrian Napoleonic  , they were the last figures of this project yet unpainted so with a hint of guilt I thought it would be a very worthy thing to clean them up , give them a spray undercoat  and start painting them and it would be something different for a change.

Bit of a challenge cleaning thirty six figures , but I buckled down and got them done and mounted on a couple of strips of waste wood ready for spraying.

I also found Archduke Charles and his staff so I did them as well , however they needed 'green stuff' to get them to sit on their horses properly . Pleased with my mornings work I thought "better get them sprayed up whilst it's fine weather !".

So I took them outside - picked up the spray can of black paint - shook it and thought " Hmm not much left !" - got one side of the figures done and the can ran out !!! - you can imagine the language ! (well it would be better if you can't) - don't you just hate it when that happens ! . So I will have to wait till I go into town at the weekend to buy a new tin . Oh well half way there to finishing them !.

Tuesday 16 August 2016

The Allied Advance From Varna (Part Three).

With suprising ease the Turkish infantry moved forward to the river bank to counter the Russian threat and opened fire on the enemy column.

Their fire power and the British artillery was enough to break the Russian column and send it packing in full retreat ! .

Ali Pasha watches with great satisfaction as his traditional enemies flee !.

On the other flank the Highlander cross the river and open fire on the Russian Hussars that are reorganising themselves . Unfortunately for the Russians the leading unit of cavalry fled and General  Ryzhov was seriously wounded and had to be carried from the field .

The Highlanders are thrown into confusion by the Russian H.A. as a infantry column positions itself to attack their left flank.

The Light Brigade is finally recalled to the Allied centre The threatening Russian column is thrown into confusion by the accurate rifle fire and artillery shells of the British .

The Russians finally get their remaining Hussars reorganised and charge 'The Thin Red Line' ,  unlike real life the Highlanders caused hardly any casualties on the cavalry - lost the melee and fled ! , luckily the Russians did not pursue across the river . A black day for the Highlanders - a high percentage of new recruits and being shaken by the Russian artillery fire was the cause to this debacle .

However the combined fire of the British artillery and Riflemen caused the last Russian column to flee and with over half their army now leaving the battlefield the Russian commander decided to retire, his rear covered by Cossacks and the Rifle company . The British were quite happy to let them go in peace with the Light Brigade and Rifles seeing them off at a safe distance. A victory for the Allies aided by a slice of bad luck for the Russians . The well placed Royal Artillery and Rifle Brigade broke up the piecemeal Russian attacks who never seemed to get it together . Nice to get the new figures onto the table and we will have to see if the Highlanders can redeem themselves in the next game.

Saturday 13 August 2016

The Allied Advance From Varna (Part Two).

The Russian response to the appearance of the British cavalry was to move the Hussars up towards the bridge and send the Cossacks across the river to flank them.

The Russian Infantry appeared on the road very promptly - I was dicing for when reinforcement came onto the table , the Russians got lucky !.

The Russian Horse Artillery opens fire ! .

But being at extreme range it does no damage to the British cavalry , Paget is aware that he is unsupported and starts glancing down the road wishing for the infantry to appear.

The Russian infantry move up rather slowly and deploy into attack columns.

There was a sigh of relief from the British high command when the infantry Brigade finally moved up the road and their battery deploy on the ridge overlooking the bridge .

The Russian Cossacks prepare to attack the British cavalry thence pinning them in position for their Hussars to charge - but ! - they roll a double '6' ! - a blunder ! and have to move to their left one move - taking them off the table edge ! .

This blunder allows the British to form a defensive line with the R.A. battery opening fire supported by the Rifle Brigade deployed as skirmishers .

The effect was devastating on the leading Russian Hussar unit , suffering heavy casualties and being disordered as their officers were picked off by the British Riflemen.

Sensing the battle was slipping from his grasp the Russian general ordered the second wing of Hussars up and had them charged over the bridge (the moment I did this I realised it was a bad move !).

The Russian infantry brigade is ordered forward to support the cavalry but is rather tardy in it's movement .

The 93rd Highlanders deploy into a 'thin red streak' and their volley combined with the artillery changing to case shot and the Riflemen drive the Russians back (told you it was a bad move !).

The Russian Cossacks having returned to the table top are charged by the Light Dragoons supported by the Lancers , they counter charge but are forced to retreat . Paget does not pursue them, aware of General Raglan's orders not to lose cavalry lives unnecessarily   The British seem to be winning the battle so far .

However the Russian columns are on the move and their attack is supported by the fire of a Rifle company and the H.A. which throw the British battery into confusion ! . At this point I will retire to play more of  the game and report back soon .........

Thursday 11 August 2016

The Allied Advance From Varna.

The Allies have landed at Varna on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast and decided to send a reconnoitring force to capture the bridge on the Voivodino road so that they can raise the Russian siege of Silistra . With half the troops still on board the transports and the first appearance of Cholera a scratch force is dispatched under General Brown . The force comprises of 4th Light Dragoons and the 17th Lancers from the British Light Brigade , the 93rd Foot (Highlanders) , a half battalion of the Rifle Brigade , a battery of R.A. and two battalions of Turks .

An overview of the scene of the action , showing the Voivodino road and the bridge which is the Allied objective . The Russian Cavalry Brigade comprising of the 12th Ingermanland Landski Hussars , a battery of Horse Artillery and a unit of Don Cossacks are to be seen to the right of the river . The Allies will appear on the road in the upper left hand corner . I used 'Google Earth ' to get an idea of the country around Varna and making allowances for modern agriculture you get the impression of rolling stepes with tree lined streams .

The British commander General Sir George Brown (Command ability 6) takes up position over looking the bridge .

General George Paget (Command ability 7) and the light cavalry moves down the road towards the bridge .

The Russian Horse Artillery is supported by the Don Cossacks with the Hussars in reserve . The Brigade is commanded by General Ryzhov (Command ability 6).

The Russian C in C  Prince Menshikov (Command ability 6) establishes himself at the village of Valchi Doi and awaits the Russian Infantry reinforcements . Too be continued .......

Wednesday 10 August 2016

A Blast From The Past.

Been sorting out some old photographs and came across this one . It's of myself (marvel at that facial hair ! - sadly greyed now ) and a very youthful 'S' behind the stand of 'S&A Scenics' at 'Northern Militaire ' and looking on the back of the photo it is dated November 1992  , 'S&A Scenics' are still going strong but 'Northern Militaire' died about 20 odd years ago - in fact the above photo may be of the last year ? .

The second one is off me being silly probably about the year 2000 or slightly earlier as it is in my old wargaming room . I think it's a 15mm Napoleonic battle using 'A's collection .

Monday 8 August 2016

Crimean War Command Tokens.

I'm getting ready for the first Crimean game and have been making and printing off command tokens for the various generals . Using 'Paint' I've added command numbers to the opposing army flags , then printed and glued them to some MDF bases, then they are to be given a coat of gloss varnish . In the background can be seen essential refreshments , the tea is appropriately a 'Russian blend' from my local tea merchant a mixture of 'Keemun' and 'Lapsang Souchong'. Now to set up the table ! .