Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Guilty Pleasure?

It's been a while since I've posted.  The challenged wrapped up but end of term ramped up and them we went off to Banff for a weekend.  So no painting or mini games since late March but I've played several board games.  

For my birthday earlier this year I requested a copy of Mice and Mystics, which we have now played a couple of times.  It's a cooperative dungeon crawler game based on humans who have been changed into mice.  It got good reviews on line and I figured it might make a good "bridge" game to play with my family and or game group.  So far it's been played twice with games and not with my family.

There's a story line linking a series of scenarios.  Most of the heroes are loyal subjects of a king who's been done in  by treachery and an evil sorceress.  The try and fight back and have a series of missions related to  rescuing the king while battling minions (rats, spider and centipedes) while dodging a crow and the castle's cat.  It's a quick game to pick up and a lot of fun with good challenges and really nice storyline elements and flavour.  The currency is cheese, there's a ring of cat strength, a mouse that trips a mousetrap takes a hit but gets a cheese etc.

It gets two non-opposable thumbs up from me SQUEEK!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Challenge Wind Up

Here's the final shot of everything I got painted except for my Curtgeld, now in transit via Sylvain to Curt.

With the exceptions of the two 15mm A/Cs upfront everything was in 28mm, and except for the A/Cs and my Curtgeld everything was for my SYW Sharp Practice project using figures from the Perry Miniatures AWI range.   The output was as follows:

  • 15th Light Dragoons - 21 mounted figures
  • 87th Foot (Kieth's Highlanders) 31 foot figures
  • Hessian Militia - 13 foot figures
  • Hanoverian engineer and pontooniers - 6 foot figures, 1 mounted figure
  • Hanoverian Jaegers - 6 foot figures
  • Camp scene - 6 foot figures
  • Allied officers - 1 Brunswick General mounted, 1 Hessian artillery foot figure
  • Powder cart with drover on foot and horse
  • Tragardland Croats - 6 foot figures
  • French work crew - 6 foot figures
Enough for a good SP force based on the Highlanders and Light Dragoons, plus support options, ready to fight the Kleine Krieg in the Rhineland.  And a few additions to my French force to oppose them.

If my math is correct that's 80 foot figures (83 including the Breda crew in the Curtgeld), 23 mounted figures plus a horse and wagon.  Plus a 28mm weapon and two 15mm vehicles.

I fell 40 points short of my 800 point target, but that's OK.  My big goal was to get the Highlanders and Dragoons done plus SYW chrome add-ons, and that's what I got done.  Next year, I need to fluff up my French armies on the Rhine .  Maybe I can convince Curt to sell me his Minden figures....

Doofus in Chief (DinC)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Last Challenge Entry - Keith's Highlanders SYW

I wasn't sure if I would get these guys finished in time but here we go.  I am going out the same way that I came into this year's challenge by finishing off my unit of SYW Highlanders.

There are 8 privates, a drummer, a Grenadier officer and two sergeants as standard bearers.  As always they are from the Perry Miniatures AWI range, which I highly recommend.  The flags are available as downloads for free from the excellent Warflags site. The Perry's don't include flag staffs with their Horse and Musket era figures, but I scarfed two from one of their Renaissance Command packs since they do get staffs (go figure).

As with my Hessian Militia, I have based these in twos - one file of two ranks.  I hit on this due to a running out of my regular rectangular bases, which take a square of 4 figures.  So with my normal mix of cheapness, laziness and impatience I McGyvered a solution and quite like the end result.

I came into this Challenge wanting to get a Sharp Practice force for my SYW project in the Western German Kleine Krieg.  There were two main units that I had planned, British Light Dragoons and Keith's Highlander's.  And now both have been finished along with a variety of support options and a couple of units for their French opposition.

Again just to prove that I am not recycling figures, here's the full collection of His Majesty's 87th Foot - Keith's Highlanders.  Three groups of 8 privates, three officers, two musicians and two standard bearers - 31 figures all in.

This leaves me 40 odd points short of my 800 point target, but I am pretty happy with my output.  I would have made the target if not for a family funeral on the other side of the country or a serious cold this weekend.  

Thanks again to Curt, for running this Gong Show and DavidB my Thursday Minion.  And good work to my fellow Challengers, this has been the best year yet.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

SYW British Light Dragoons FINISHED!!!!

So this will be my last regular Thursday post, and possibly my final post for the Challenge.  After a clear out week last week (3 posts), real life has slowed me down big time.  Most notably a four day trip across Canada for a family funeral.  But I have finally finished my 15th Light Dragoons for my SYW Sharp Practice project. 
Figures are of course 28mm from the Perry AWI Range- the whole range is gold, go look at  them!

I came into the Challenge with two main goals - a 21 man Light Dragoon Unit and a 30-man Highlander Unit.  While the highlanders are only about 2/3rds done, these four lads make up the last of the 15th Light Dragoons

Oops I need to straighten out some sabres down the line.
This unit started out fast with 8 troopers plus officer, but slowed down over the challenge, being released in drips and drabs as I found other distractions.  However, this is it for the Light Dragoons. 

Just in case anyone suspects me of recycling the same figures week after week, I present to full regiment (for my purposes).  That's two squadrons of 8 troopers, each with an officer.  In addition there is a bugler and two pickets with pistols out.

This week that's 4 mounted 28mm figures for 40 points, bringing me to 699 points YTD.  I need another 101 points to hit my target.  There's an outside possibility of that happening but what's next on the workbench includes more lace wars stuff. I've really enjoyed returning the the Lace Wars but they these units require that you pack a lunch and make it a full day's outing, so I'm not holding my breath on hitting my 800 pt target.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SYW Hessians

This is my third Challenge post for the week.  Continuing on with my SYW Sharp Practice project I have 13 members of the Hessian Freywald Militia Regiment.  The Hessian Militia was originally used to patrol roads in Hesse-Kassel, but were reorganized in 1760 as Garrison Regiments and then used in the field.  The Freywald regiment became the  Von Kuntzleben Regiment in 1760 with a change in Colonel.  They fought (and were roughed up) at Sandershausen in 1758 and with much better results at Langensalza in 1760.  I chose this Militia unit because I like the yellow facings.

The figures are (no surprises here) from the Perry AWI range, Hessian Garrison Regiment at ease.  I love the relaxed pose to these troops.  I think all that's missing is a guy scratching his backside, another picking his nose and a Sergeant storming across the field to snap them back into line.  I picked them up mainly because I liked the figures, but also because the SP campaign guide Dawns and Departures uses Militia as support troops and I thought these would fit the bill on the Anglo-Allied side.
Not my best photos.

I used the two officer figures from the command pack for these troops earlier, one became a civilian with a book and the other an artillery officer with telescope.  So I've re-purposed a standard bearer to fill in as officer.   The figure was cast with the standard cover wrapped around his torso, which I have tried to repaint as an overcoat.  Mostly though I hope people ignore it!   It is not even clear if the regiment carried colours in the SYW, although it did carry them later on in the AWI.  The gloves seem to fit an aged Militia officer and I gave him grey hair to fit that role.

I find that these figures give a much different feel from most SYW troops.  The Prussian cut coats and bicorns are more modern (but less practical) then the standard SYW garb.  Plus the blue pants, yellow facings and slacker poses remind me of a French Revolution era Leger unit.

Excuse the dark photo.

In Sharp Practice terms, militia units are 10 strong and conscripts 8 strong.  I could count this unit as either type depending on need, so have based them in one base of 4, three of two and two single plus the officer.  I normally base my SP units on the plastic Renendra bases that come with Perry plastics (I am cheap and impatient and these were readily at hand), but realized that my supply of these is running low.  Therefore I used the three 2 up bases, again from the Perry boxes.  Since my original bases are deeper than they are wide, to make the double bases fit the same depth I ended up doing them as files of two instead of a single rank of two.  I quite that the effect and may use it for future units.  There are also 2 privates on single bases (washers) that can be used as sentries, added to gun crews or combined into another group in the future.  The officer is mounted on a larger washer so that he stands out from the rank and filers.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Painting Challenge Curt Geld

Every year for the Challenge, Curt asks each participant to ship him a 28mm figure as an entry fee.  For every figure (since dubbed the Curtgeld), Curt makes a donation to our local animal shelter.  For each Challenge the Curtgeld needs to fit a particular theme.  This year he gave us a curve ball and asked for team efforts.

My Curtgeld project is a team effort with Sylvain.  I've finished my piece of the project and will be handing it over to Sylvain shortly.  The base is unfinished as Sylvain's  wizardry includes terraforming the base.

We wanted to go with something that Curt could use on table and decided that a weapon team that would fit his SCW project might do the trick.  This is a Perry model of an Italian  20mm Breda Auto-cannon from the brothers' WW2 range.  The Chain of Command lists allows such a team as support for both the SCW and WW2, so it seemed to fit the bill.  Although it was officially an AA gun, it has a decent ant-tank and anti-personal effect under CoC, especially for the SCW.  I will note that CoC specifes a team of 5 and the Perry pack comes with a team of 3, but Curt can work that out - he doesn't strictly go by the lists anyway.

I will be happy going back to the SYW!
This set was a brand new release during the Challenge, but I liked the look of and was looking forward to a modelling challenge.  Well I can safely say that I now know my modelling skill limits and this gun is definitely past them!  Adventures encountered on the way included the following mandatory steps.
  • Not being sure how things fit together and finding the Ikea like drawing that almost helped
  • Gluing bits to my fingers and my fingers to each other and everything else
  • Almost gluing bits in backwards
  • Losing a key piece and having to replicate it (a round base is now replaced by a washer and a piece of card)
  • Assembling the gun and carriage without the gunner for painting, only to find out that I couldn't fit the painted gunner under the painted gun.  I had to disassemble the gun to get things together.
  • Having bits that I was sure were firmly glued on drop off unexpectedly.  Of course as soon as I took the photos, I picked it up by the gunner and the rest of the gun and team fell off. 
The end result is rougher than I would have liked and a definite bodge together in spots, but hopefully people apply the two foot rule and see it mostly in action on table.
Note the many, many tiny parts!  Also the gunner comes cast onto the seat so it's not as illustrated!
Painting wise, I found several museum examples of the weapon in a medium green with black gun barrel etc.  Action photos tend to be from North or East Africa and show a sand coloured carriage and barrel.  I went with the green and black to avoid an all over tan effect.
Action photo with what looks like the green/black gun and a mostly naked but much wimpier crew.  Terrain could be North or East Africa

The Perry crew are in tropical kit and are very stripped down.  Sylvain's comment was that they are also very beefy!  The Italians in the SCW went into the theatre in Tropical kit but most pictures that I've seen include long pants, and they changed to warmer wear over the winter.  I guess that this crew has been working their gun hard and it's been hard work.  I went with generic tan clothes with brown leather belts etc.  The pecs and abs gave challenges but layers of various fleshtones with washes seems to get the effect OK.

I quite like the Officer with binoculars

Sunday, March 12, 2017

SYW Powder Cart

This could be a multi-post week for me on the Challenge, but I suspect that it will lead to no posts next week.  This is a 28mm Powder Cart from Perry Miniatures AWI range. As with (almost) everything else I've done this year it is for my SYW Sharp Practice project.

As with everything else that I've painted from this range, this was a lovely set and went together very nicely and quickly.  It also painted up quickly and nicely.

Rather than paint this for a specific army I went with a generic approach so that it could serve either the French or Anglo-Allied forces.  I used a faded dark blue-grey for the cart and painted the driver as a civilian.  Similarly the Perry's sell this as a powder cart but I think that it can double as a ammo cart, engineer cart or what ever else I need it to be.

I have been basing my troops on washers for individual figures and Renendra plastic bases from Perry box sets for multi-figure bases.  This set was bigger than any plastic bases I had on site so I cut a piece of bass wood to fit.

Points wise that's a cart, a horse and a foot figure.  I'll leave it to my minion to work out the math officially.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

SYW French Pioneers

Taking a break after hard labour

Just one small post for me this week as I continue to stumble along to not making my Challenge goal!  This week it is a group of 6 French pioneers for my ongoing Sharp Practice project on the  Seven Years' War in Western Germany. 

The figures are from the Perry's AWI range and are sold as British Dragrope men, hired (or "volunteered") help for manhandling artillery pieces around.  As with the rest of this range they are lovely figures with lots of character and very nice to paint.  I had previously painted up the Continental Dragrope men as Hanoverian Pontooniers.  I've been focusing on the Anglo-Allied side of the equation for the most part during the challenge but these figures seemed better suited to their French opponents. 
Side view
While dedicated corps of Sappers and Miners exist in most armies, they were small and kept to fortress duty.  Therefore in the field the job of digging and other engineering labour went to ordinary infantrymen detailed in work parties.  If they were lucky there was an Engineer officer to tell them what to do properly, if not they'd make due with an Infantry or Artillery officer who had some idea of siege work or the like.  In this case I have "volunteered" a group from the Royal Baviere Regiment, one of the German Regiments in French service.  They served in the western theatre and were at several of the major actions, getting quite roughed up at Emsdorf in 1760.  The Regiment was named for the Count de Baviere a bastard son of the King of Bavaria.  It was a different age....

Rear view

The is one of those cases where the figures were bought before I figured what I was going to do wit them.  I liked the poses and they looked like they could be morphed into SYW pioneers or sappers with a bit of work.   I have painted them as if they had taken off their uniform coats and are dressed in their sleeved waistcoats, which are left open for comfort to show the white shirt underneath.  In addition they have taken off their gaiters and swapped the tricorn for forage caps made from last years uniform coat.

If the War-games Fashion Police are watching I am in big trouble here.  The figures were cast to represent British Infantry in the AWI with their long coats cut down.  Originally I had some idea to trim down the lace etc to make them fit better but then realized that Swiss and German regiments in French service had laced waistcoats and an easier plan fell into place.  Also it meant that I didn't have to take an Xacto to these lovely figures.  So if anyone from the WFPD is watching I confess to the following.
  • The"waistcoats" should close but in this case won't close - the figures are wearing (in cut down form) the AWI coat with lapels cut in the Prussian style (like early French Nappy Infantry).
  • The "waistcoats" have inappropriate cuffs and collars if you look closely enough.
  • The "shirts" are actually the original waistcoats, there's a pair of pockets placed like suit jacket pockets visible in several figures

I especially like the figure squatted on his haunches and the fellow offering help to his comrade who is obviously in some distress. 
However, if one is prepared to not look too carefully, I think that these guys work nicely as a work detail.

Monday, February 27, 2017

SYW Camp Scene

This week I have two posts for the Challenge, both for my on going SYW Sharp Practice project.  First up is this set of 8 figures from Camp Scene with a couple of personality and leader figures.

Group shot, blurry but shows the whole gang

Heinz is trying to get in Katerina's good books by being helpful around the campfire.
Most of the these figures come from a Perry AWI camp set.  It says much about my Challenge Progress that these were originally set as a "Home" theme entry and then as a "West" theme entry (as in Westfalia).  I am picturing this as a camp shared by Hanoverian Jaegers and British Light Dragoons.  The AWI uniforms are spot on for the Jaegers (in green waistcoats) and close enough for the Light Dragoons in red.  The dragoons have changed their riding boots for more comfy footwear, the Hessians have taken off their coats and gaiters and some non-regulation head gear has appeared.
He's tempted by what she's got cooking, and supper smells good too!

Franz is explaining that Handel is vastly over-rated and that Bach is the true musical genius of his generation.  Joseph doesn't look convinced.

I am pretty sure that we've all had this conversation with Franz at some point in our lives 

While Schmidt scans the horizon, Herr Mueller is more interested in his book.
 These two figures came in a command pack of Hessian infantry at rest.  The fellow on the left was a quick conversion to a civilian.  I cut out the gorget and added a ruffle with paint.   I picture using him as a physician, clergy man or spy.  The fellow on the right has been painted as a Hessian artillery officer to act as a junior leader for my Hessian gun crew.
From the rear.  These were lovely sculpts to paint.

The other dragoons are very jealous of Thomas for winning fair Sophia.  The colour of Sophia's dress has absolutely nothing to do with a still from Emma Watson in the live action Beauty and the Beast.

This scene reminds rather of "historical" pictorials in certain magazines that I read as a teenager during the Carter era.

Back side view of the campers.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Painting Challenge More SYW Light Dragoons

I am continuing to grind away at the 15th Light Dragoons, with another 4 figures for this post.  There are 4 28mm cavalrymen for 40 points, a typical week for me recently or the output from a MilesR coffee break.  As with the previous Light Dragoons these are Perry Miniatures from the AWI range.

Front view
My challenge progress has been slow of late.  A busy work schedule and a bug of some sort.  However, it's break week at Uni so some staycation time is allowing me to catch up on marking, sleep and painting.

Back view

Once more from the front.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Freytag's Jaegers

As with the whole Perry AWI range the poses and sculpts are very nice.  I especially like the kneeling poses and that the two who are fine have wrapped their rifle slings around their wrists for support.

Another week in February, another small batch of 28mm SYW figures from me.  This time around it is 6 members of Freytag's Jaegers who served in the Hanoverian army.  The Anglo Allies raised Jaeger Corps from 4 different German state - Hanover, Hessen-Kassel, Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Schaumburg-Lippe (a variable meet up of Imagination bloggers). 

I had a set of 6 Hessian Jaegers plus officer and hornist plus a few left overs , the result of changing rules unit sizes to fit rule systems!  As leftovers had been previously painted as Freytag's corps, I ordered another pack of Jaegers from Messrs Perry and Perry to serve as a group of Freytag's Jaegers for my SYW Sharp Practice project.  The figures are from the AWI range, sold as Hessian Jaegers but work equally well in the SYW as Hanoverians. 
Uniforms are very basic as fits a Jaeger unit - green jacket and waistcoat with green facings, white breeches and grey gaiters.

Here's the requisite Folky arty print for historical reference. 

Darn I missed the flower pot mounted in the tricorne!
The Backside view shows the nice details in these sculpts.  They are packing a hide knack sack, canvas haversack and metal canteen plus cartridge box.

Front side view with the 6 new lads flanked by the officer and hornist on un-tufted bases.
By my count that is 6 28mm figures for a whopping 30 points not including the two pre-existing Jaegers.