Monday, April 30, 2018

AHPC Wrap Up

As part of the Challenge wrap up Curt asks us to post a group shot of everything completed.  Here's mine.

Ok I am very, very late in posting this.  I don't even have a good excuse like Paul, although many claim that I am at sea most of the time.  However, all my Uni exams are marked and recorded and it's all over but the crying so I finally got round to posting these photos that were taken a month ago.

Here's the group shot of most of what I did this winter - all of my SYW figures.  Touraine and Diesbach regiments on the left, Royal Welsh Fusiliers behind the musicians in the middle and Fischer's chasseurs to the right.  Missing are my 1;1200 planes which wouldn't show up well in this wide a shot (ok I forgot about them), and my Curtgeld which has been delivered in tribute.

I'd been in the modelling doldrums since mid-March as end of semester came on me.  However, lately I've been picking up the brush and glue.  Here I am with three pieces of terrain I put together last week - three very enjoyable evenings spent in from of the TV building Sarissa Productions kits.  There are two bridges (with three additional spans) and a windmill.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

WW2 Naval Game

A few weeks ago I ran a WW2 Naval Game at Curt's house for our local group.  It had been nearly 3 years since I did a naval game and 3 1/2 since my last WW2 Naval, so it was good to get the ships out.  It was a night encounter off the coast of Libya with 4 players and no-one knowing who the other parties were.

The Italians had a convoy with a close escort of 3 destroyers who entered at the northwest corner (between A and B) and had to exit via the southeast corner (between H and G).  They were slow and zig-zagging so took a long time to get anywhere.  There was also a long range escort of 3 cruisers plus 3 more destroyers who would enter later on the western board edge and who had lost touch with the convoy, but had the mission to provide escort.  There was also Fort Corleone near point A with shore batteries (battery Sonny and battery Fredo).

Stacy had HMS Manxman, a fast minelayer plus an escort of 2 destroyers would enter from the North East (H:I) with a mission to lay mines between B and D.  They also had a covering force of 2 cruisers and 2 destroyers.  The cover had not contacted the Manxman as yet but would enter between H and I and bombard the shore between E and F to provide a distraction.

Each side pre-plotted their moves in advance and sat in another room while I maneuvered the ships and provided sighting and/or radar info as needed.  It all worked well with the Minelaying force getting a radar fix on the convoy but ignoring it to get onto their own business.  The two british groups also correctly identified themselves early on.  The Italians also correctly ID'd themselves but it took longer.
Early on in the action, minelayer plus escort close in plus Curt's cover steaming for the snack bowl

As is common with night games things got hot and confusing once firing started.  Curt's british cover group opened up on the shore and took return fire from the shore batteries.  Sylvain's Italian escort met the British minelaying group, but shooting honours were even and Manxman laid a lot of eggs.  Once the firing got going, Curt ran west and opened up on Sylvain sinking two cruisers while taking damage on his flagship.  Meanwhile Jeremy's convoy tried to avoid the whole mess and was on the whole successful at this.

Same time, from the other end of the board.  The Italian convoy inches across table while Sylvain's cover enters.
Manxman plus escort meet Sylvain's cruisers.

Curt steams west to help Stacy out

Sylvain's lead ship and Jeremy's convoy with escorts steaming to provide cover
The Italians had more and bigger guns but the Brits had better shooting and radar - an Italian cruiser blows up.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Arygle Gargoyles

i am over a month late posting this, which appear on the AHPCVIII blog back when even my calendar said it was winter (before the Spring Equinox)

Well I had a gigantic challenge fade at the end and so there are several projects in various states of completion that will be finished afterwards.  Included in the mix is my Curtgeld, all done but the bases.  However IIRC, the Challenge rules state that I can leave the bases unfinished for Curt so that's where we'll leave things.

I am a historical gamer so I don't do monsters as a rule, but I picked up theses 28mm D&D plastic gargoyles from the local game shop and I reckon they'll do as Curtgeld.  I tried to do them to match the greyscale effects that Curt gets, which I figured would suit the gargoyles.

The challenge fade mostly had to do with the final 8 Royal Welsh Fusiliers which include two standard bearers and two musicians.  These gave me many headaches - false starts, dropped paint sticks, do overs the whole shooting match.  I've finally broken the back on them but they'll have to wait till after the challenge.  Also in the background is the start of a Hessian unit, which I began after much frustration on the Fusiliers.

As for the title, I know Curt is a fan of the Muppets and this is one of my favourite Muppet Shticks - Angus McGonagle the Argyle Gargoyle Gargling Gershwin!  With the Snowlord being a traitorous, murdering, scheming bastard who sold his country out for Dutch and German kings Campbell, it seemed appropriate.   Plus it includes Mark Hamill in an argyle sweater.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Diesbach Regiment Completed

Ok this will be my second take on this post.  I had a post all ready to go on Tuesday the 6th, but it disappeared into the ether while under final edit from my Minion.  Murphy's law of backups applied.  I typically copy the draft post over to my own blog before it goes live, but schedule it to appear 2 days later than my Challenge day.  But, oh course this week I figured that I could catch that up in the evening after Ray made it go live.....

 So I've got the remaining 16 members of the Diesbach Regiment from the Seven Years War, one of several Swiss regiments in the French army.  I didn't split out the new figures from the 8 I did earlier, so I've got the full battalion of 24.  Figures are mostly Crusader with some Front Rank thrown in.

The sergeant pointing is Front Rank figure.  His unpinned coat is more WAS than SYW, but he was too nice not to include.

The officer is another Front Rank figure, the rest Crusader.  One of the standard bearers was an NCO with half pike  but I trimmed off the pike and added a standard pole.  Flags were downloaded from the web and printed at home.  There was contradictory info on drummers, but I liked this livery and tried to add an impression of the Diesbach family crest on the drum barrel.

The grenadiers and their officer are Front Rank.  More contradictory info on the bags for the grenadier caps, which blue in a contemporary image and descriptions of red.  I tried both but liked the red better, not that you can see in this shot.

From the left flank.  I've added unit labels on the back of the bases complete with an image of a flag.  Once again the flags are a major attraction of this army.

Now you can see the red bags on the Grenadier caps.

I really like the Front Rank officer with his hat off.  He looks like he'd invite Messrs. les Anglais to tirez le premier.

Like the UK, Regina had a major dump of snow this week - 35-40cms from Sunday to Tuesday.  I took advantage of the heavy snow to ski to work on Tuesday.  I only get to do this rarely since it requires a heavy snow fall without the deep freeze. Most importantly I need to get out before people shovel the selves out as I skiing on the streets and sidewalks.

Finally, I thought I would share this rare footage of Ray following a hard days work at the Minion keyboard and totalling up terrain scores.

To make it easy on Ray's brain I'll do the heavy lifting for him.  That's 16 newly painted 28mm figures for a total of 80 points.

Friday, March 2, 2018

AHPC Royal Welsh Fuisliers for the SYW

Royal Welsh advance!

A slight change in direction from French SYW to their Anglo-Allied opponents.  I had planned to submit the last members of the Diesbach regiment, but these guys were closer to being ready so decided to focus on them to keep the ball rolling.  So we have 16 members of HM 23rd Foot, better known as the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.  These are all Front Rank figures and mighty fine figures they are indeed, I just wish they did more variation in poses like the Perry's variations on a common theme.

The term Fusilier was used differently by various nations in the Black Powder era.  In the French army, a fusilier is a regular GI Jean while in the Prussian army and minor German states a fusilier regiment was a second rate infantry regiment later converted to a light infantry role.  But it the British Army it was used as a mark of distinction, originally used to denote the three regiments used to guard the artillery train.  Back in the matchlock era they were armed with flintlocks or fusils as waving lit slow match around loose powder was unsafe even by 17th century OHS standards.  The also got to wear spiffy fusilier caps instead of the bog standard tricorn.

The quality of British Infantry was iffy during the WAS and '45, with some good regiments and some poor freshly raised units.  But during the SYW, most of the units that saw action were first rate (except a couple sent off to New England early in the FIW).  And they made a mark for them selves in their first big battle on the Continent - Minden in 1759.  

To me Minden is the start of the thin red line.  Six British battalions (including the 23rd) and the Hanoverian foot guards plus some supporting artillery ended up advancing on the main French cavalry formation due to a misunderstanding.  It was a classic case of an "Unauthorised advance" or blunder roll.  A few battalions of redcoats facing the mass of the French cavalry - who charged them in 3 waves (kind of like Agincourt) and got shot down by close ranged musketry for their pains.  None of this namby pamby hide behind a ridge in square like their grand kids at Waterloo either.  This was advance in line with drums beating and flags flying proudly.  Stirring stuff.

I quite the officer with the fusil on the left and the sergeant on the right.

Oh yes and they did it with roses in their hair - the tradition has it that the redcoats picked wild roses from the hedgerows and put them in their hair before battle.  This is still commemorated in regimental Minden Days by the successor units to the regiments involved.  I tried to add autumn foliage to represent the roses but this turned into an epic fail.

Painting wise this was pretty much a standard 18th C paint by numbers job- scarlet coat, blue facings, white lace etc.  The Front Rank figures were very nice to paint, with the lace and belts standing out well.  The fusilier caps had a the Welsh trio of Ostrich feathers surrounded by golden branches - I applied a two foot standard to get a reasonable on table facsimile of this.  There are another 8 fusiliers to come but these include command figures which are a little more involved.

  So that is 16 28mm figures for a total of 80 points this week.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Touriane Regiment Completed

These stands include the Crusader command figures, the officer pointing and NCO with half pike.  

My flu is finally on the way out and I am getting back in the painting swing, but it is another small post from me this week.  I've got the last 8 infantrymen from the Touraine Regiment to make up the full 24 man battalion.  So far production has been incremental, I think Benito's on the same track, but it's worked.  I set my bar low and use the paining as a sanity break from a very busy semester.

These figures are all Crusader, although there are a few Front Rank figures in the full battalion.

FYI I chose the Regiments that I am painting based on the Rene North book that I used as my inspiration for my SYW project - see my Childhood round post.  This picture from the book features  members of both the Touraine and Diesbach regiments - which I targeted as my main goals to have completed by the Spring Equinox.
I've painted mine to match other sources, so Tourane's facings are a deeper blue and Diesbach has a collar added after Rossbach

Next week I hope to have a larger submission, year end is winding down at the 2/3rds of my job where I do actuarial work and it's break week at the 2/3rds of my job where I teach.  Plus the nurgles invading my sinuses and lungs are being crushed and the Olympics help with the painting mojo.

Full battalion in line.

The Front Rank and Crusader figs match up better than I expected.  The attack column is ahistorical for SYW, but I can get the full battalion in view!

Strictly speaking this should be a two battalion regiment, but I am am building only one battalion per regiment so as to max out on the unit variety.
So by my math that's another 8 28mm figures this week for another whopping 40 points!  However, there's more on the production line and I hop to have larger posts over the  next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

AHPC Childhood Bonus Round - Return to the Lace Wars

My submission for the "childhood" round is this vignette featuring three members of the Brunswick Lieb Regiment from the SYW.  And no there's not a child among them and it does look more like a "musician"bonus post.  But that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Ok, more details.  My entire work this year is my SYW project which to me is a nostalgic return to my childhood.  As a young lad (I'm guessing 8-10) my father gave a copy of this book by Rene North (I bet many grognards have the same volume).  Family circumstances being that I rarely saw my dad in my first 5 years, and not at all for another 10 years, any gift from him tended to get a lot of my attention. 

Forty five plus years later, I've still got stuck in my head snippets from the book about the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War.   The  "Messieurs les Anglais, tirez les premiersincident from Fontenoy, the Minden roses, the Walloon dragoons in the Austrian army and the red brick walls of the Diesbach Regiment that Freddy's artillery could not breach.  So when I started a SYW project for Sharp Practice, it became a homecoming for me.  Plus I found I really, really like painting lace wars uniforms.  So much so that my SP project has expanded into a Black Powder/Honours of War project.

The figures are all Perry miniatures Hessians from their AWI line from two separate command packs (there are I believe 8 Hessian command packs in the Perry line). The Lieb regiment drummers wore a yellow coat as shown in the period folk art illustration.  

The officer has adopted some campaign mods, turning back his coat, changing to low cut soft boots and added a cloak worn bandoleer style.  I am picturing a moment of a long day's march as the troops settle into camp routine.  An officer pauses to here one drummer play a plaintive folk song on his fife as the second takes a well deserved breather.

And yes, the vignette was meant to be my music bonus round submission but I was laid low by the flu.  I could have taken any of my output (well except the Luftwaffe flight entry) or ongoing projects to represent this return to childhood.  This one happened to be the one that rolled off the assembly line at the right moment.

Friday, February 16, 2018

SYW Touraine Regiment Part 2

Note to self - bus clean up the front of the Ordonnance colour!

Forgive me Father it has been three weeks since my last confession....
Rumours of my death being slightly exaggerated I am back with a post again having missed two weeks with the flu. Continuing with my ongoing slow progress with my SYW project I have another 8 members of the French Touraine Regiment.
Three Crusader figures led by a Front Rank Officer

The rank and file members are Crusader as are the drummer and one of the two standard bearers.  I wasn't overly enamoured of the Crusader command pack so pick up some Front Rank figures to swell the ranks.  The Front Rankers are the two Grenadiers and the two officers in the front rank (appropriately enough).   The two figure companies worked better together than I had feared, with the Grenadiers looking suitably buff compared to the fusiliers without dwarfing them.
I'm quite happy with the unit labels.

During the Seven Years War French Battalions had 16 fusilier companies and one Grenadier company, so in a 24 man battalion that should be 1.4 grenadier figures, which I have of course rounded up to 2 beefy men in moustaches and spiffy bearskin hats.  There were often piquet or chasseur companies detached for counting, raiding or other Kleine Krieg activities which I hope to add later.  Unlike the Allied armies opposing them, the grenadiers were not detached into permanent composite battalions but typically remained with the parent regiment unless detached for a specific action.
I really like those Front Rank grenadiers.

Of course a big attraction of a French army of the period is the flags, the white Colonel's colour and the multicoloured Ordonnance colour.  Normally my default for flags is the excellent Warflag site, but the examples for Turaine seemed a little garish and I ventured more widely on the web and found these examples on the Not By Appointment site.  I downloaded the jpeg, resized the images and printed them off at home.  Hopefully I've not violated any copyright in the process, but these are gorgeous flags.
16 down, 8 more to go.

Here's the 16 completed members of the Touraine Regiment in line.  I've added unit labels at the back, including a small image of the Ordonance colour for added visual reference given that I'll have several French regiments in grey-white.

From the rear.  I quite like the Crusader drummer.  Being a Provincial regiment, I've given him the King's livery.
So by my count that's 8 28mm figures for 40 points.  it also means that after three weeks stuck at 196, I finally get over my modest 200 point target!

Friday, January 26, 2018

SYW Diesbach Regiment in 28mm

So, with a very busy winter semester I am continuing with my one foot at a time approach to the Challenge.  I've low balled my target and am using my painting time as relaxing down time rather than rushing to meet a goal.

I've left a flat strip along the back of each base to add unit labels at a later time

My ongoing project is two battalions of French infantry in 28mm using Crusader figures.  The first set of 8 from Touraine Regiment was posted last week, and his lot of 8 is from the Swiss Diesbach Regiment.  There is a reason for my choice of units, which I'll reveal further into the Challenge.   The figures are the same as the first lot, but in Swiss red with blue facing and laced waistcoat - a very natty combination if you ask me. 

Again I really like the back view

The Swiss regiments in French service date back to the Italian wars of the early 16th century (at least) and lasted into the Napoleonic age (at least).  They gave excellent service being steady under fire.
To add variety I staggered figures on the bases a bit

The original plan here was for my second set of French infantry to be from Touraine again including command figures.  However, I found the Crusader command dull so ordered in some additional officers and NCOs from Front Rank.  In the interim I kept the ball moving with 8 fusiliers from Diesbach.  My Front Rank package arrived last Monday after a lightening fast week long hop from Blighty.  Hopefully, we'll see some of the Front Rankers next week.
NCO on the left with gold braid on his cuffs

These next figures won't count for points as they were all but the basing finished before the challenge started.  Last year my SYW work included the British 15th Light Dragoons on horseback.  These are 12 dragoons on foot so that the regiment can dismount and skirmish.  The figures are Perry's from their excellent AWI range - two packs of the British infantry in Saratoga uniforms with short coats and helmets.  I did some conversion to make them look more cavalry like.  For instance I lopped off the bayonets and ends of the muskets to give the appearance of carbines.  The cross belts and cartridge boxes are wrong, but I figured that doesn't really stand out and anyway I can argue that they "acquired" appropriate equipment for dismounted work.
Not my best photo but it works.  Love the Perry's variety of poses

Most importantly the figures came in a mix 1/2 in stiff gaiters and 1/2 in trouser gaiters, where they should be in boots.  X-acto knife work stripped off the buttons and trimmed the tops of the stiff gaiters back to resemble worn riding boots.  For the other 6, I trimmed off the buttons and added boot tops from green stuff.  It was my first time using green stuff and I'm quite chuffed with the results.  I wanted to have these for this challenge, but they got impatient and painted them early.

I didn't do a dismounted officer - I figured the mounted ones could do double duty, plus I didn't want to get a pack of 6 command figs to get one officer.

So excluding the light dragoons, that's 8 28mm foot figures at 5 points a pop for another 40 points.  That edges me to within 5 points of my goal for the challenge.

I haven't posted a song link this year so I will post one that's been popping up on my iPod a lot recently.  I know there's an official Challenges tunes image, but I refuse to post anything to do with Kiss - I thought that they were the dumbest thing imaginable in 1975 and the intervening years have not improved my opinion.  I have instead substituted a more appropriate photo from my listening in the late 1970s.

Song "The Foggy Dew"
Artist: Sinead O'Connor and the Chieftains
Album: The Long Black Veil

I'm 100% pure Sassenach but I married an Irish gal and Celtic music is a love of mine.  This is most definitely NOT the Foggy Dew I sang at bonfires with my family as a kid.