Friday 28 April 2017

A Book Of Character and a Unexpected Delivery.

The other week I was in Carlisle and visited the very good second-hand bookshop near the museum . Whilst perusing the military section I came across the above book , 'The Thirty Years War' by C. V. Wedgewood . Now I had tried to read 'Europe's Tragedy' a recent book on the Thirty Years War and it had defeated me - so full of information and a bit long winded , so I wondered if this book would be any better ? .

It was a first edition , published in 1938 and it was priced at £10 - so I bought it . The author Cicely Veronica Wedgewood was quite a character and used her initials when publishing books to disguise the fact she was a woman in a then male dominated field of history,  the book gets good reviews ( I think it's still in print) So I'm going to start reading it whilst on holiday .

This morning the postman dropped off a parcel - which was a surprise as I didn't have anything on order . It turned out to be a box of Mars 1/72nd TYW artillery which I had placed on a back order months ago and they had obviously just become available .

A sight to gladden the heart or furrow the brow - depending upon your opinions of plastic figures . The figures didn't have much flash but the gun wheels were a swine to clean up . The are sold as ' 'Swedish Leather Guns ' but can be made up using either a double barrel light gun or a larger 'Culvern' type barrel .

I decided to make three of the guns as the lighter version and one as the larger and here we see them ready for spraying a black undercoat . Hopefully I will get started painting them next week .

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 .