Saturday, 7 May 2016

Night Boat From Cairo

The next game takes place at the Port of Sidi-bin-kebabbi on the Nile (next Friday to be more specific). Von Holenstein and the Axis have to arrive, meet and then board the Paddle Steamer Osiris whilst the Allies and the Society of the Golden Dawn stop them.

Here are some preliminary photos of the wharf and jetty. The Jetty is new but expect to see recycled pieces of terrain in different guises as we make the most of what we have. It may well be the case that  cranes, boxes and market stalls re appear.

We await the arrival of the Paddle Steamer 'Osiris' known locally as the 'Night Boat from Cairo'. No doubt this game will be sheer Madness!

With apologies to Graham 'Suggs' MacPhearson

It’s just gone noon half past monsoon
On the banks of the River Nile
Here comes the boat only half afloat
Oarsman grins a toothless smile
Only just one more to this desolate shore
Last boat along the River Nile
Doesn’t seem to care no more wind in his hair
As he reaches his last half mile
The oar snaps in his hand before he reaches dry land
But the sound doesn’t dampen his smile
Just pokes at wet sand
With an oar in his hand
Floats off down the River Nile
Floats off down the River Nile
I see the Osiris has safely docked

Friday, 6 May 2016

Mid day at the Oasis

We had a short vehicle based skirmish game last week. The Axis and Allies had both sent scouting forces out to secure an Oasis. Locals were there to ensure the Infidels did not ruin the only source of drinking water in that part of the Desert.

Prior to the game all three sides rolled for aggression. Having nominated my scouts as Italians with DAK support,  I was required to suffer a -1 to my roll as a consequence of  the result of prior losses. If the Arabs rolled higher than the other two sides they would attack them on sight.

This was a speedy affair and although we had infantry mounted in the vehicles it was very much an ad hoc Axis Unit fighting the SAS and LRDG. You might very well predict the outcome, I couldn't possible comment.

Axis forces lined  up at the start

LRDG and the SAS on the Southern flank

The village complete with Angry Arabs and spitting Camels. Both sides headed towards the village with the Locals not surprisingly picking on the Italians and not the British

LRDG outflank the north of the village

Luigi is deployed from the Improved Heavy Flamethrower disguised as a Chianti Bowser and takes out the Local militia in a gush of flame. He is cited for crimes against humanity as he flames not just the enraged Arabs but also the rest of the village.

Gruber's 222 goes up in flames, the victim of repeated targeting by a Humber Armoured Car and a captured Italian 20mm Breda mounted on a Chevrolet Truck

 One small consolation is the solitary LRDG Truck that is hit by the Italians.

The Italian's were comprehensively defeated as they were picked off by the superior LRDG vehicles. The only survivor was Luigi and his Flame Truck.  He did however remove all the Arabs from play.

A quick enjoyable name. No infantry were deployed and it was an opportunity to reveal Luigi in his Desert Camouflage. The fuel line to the truck was made from some aquarium hose which was push over the top of lugs drilled and pinned into the truck and the back of his thrower.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Soviet plastics 2

I finally bit the bullet and started to prep my Soviet plastics in between finishing off a couple of Soviet metal uniform 'testers' and waiting for the base coat on my last section of DAK figures to dry.

I usually base my 28mm figures on 2pm pieces, but this isn't going to work in this case. The reason is that the figures don't have a 'mini base' of their own that can be used to provide some adhesion. Therefore I cut the first section off their sprues and pinned the soles of their feet to the round bases that came with the plastic set. Thankfully some bright spark made these round bases the same size as a 2p piece. 

I drilled though the whole base, pinned the figure and then filed off underneath to make sure the base was smooth. This left a small gap between the shoes or knees of the figure and the base. I filled that gap with green stuff to provide extra support and then textured the rest of the base with filler.  I could then prime the figures with AP Uniform Grey spray.  This helps seal the filler and hopefully should stop any crumbling.  I took a photo of one of the figures pre filling to give an indication of the gap that I left. They should end up the same 'thickness' as if I had based them in my usual style.

I also fixed the right arm on one of the kneeling figures as I wanted to test for a half decent fit for the SMG. Ideally I would paint then glue but I may have to change this process. I am fairly sure that I will add the heads later as that will make painting the uniforms easier.

I am painting a Shtrafbat or penal unit of unfortunate 'tramplers' . They will not all be armed and won't have full kit which is the advantage of the Warlord box set as the figures do not have moulded weapons. These unarmed figures are probably going to have to be those in the most active positions. I have a few spare arms so hopefully that will give a little variety outside of the arms that came in the set itself.

There is one prone figure per sprue. I was going to convert some of these to casualty figures but I picked up some resin casualties at Salute and can save myself the trouble.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Post Salute Thoughts

I probably spent longer than ever at Salute this year, leaving just after 4pm. I arrived early and stood in the queue gassing prior to entry as I wanted to get some of Annie's Female WW2 Soviets from Bad Squiddo Games before they sold out. Sure enough her stand was a veritable scrum of avid purchasers but I got what I wanted.  I then spent the next two hours wandering around with no real intent simply looking at what was what.

It did seem busier than last year and the downside of this was that I encountered a few rude individuals, ignorant of the  impact of their overly large rucksacks on others as they  forced their way through to the front of the trade stands. If you are that desperate for something, why not just pre order?

On the upside I then took the opportunity to play the Royal Navy Field Gun competition based on that which was part of the Royal Tournament, organised by the SL Warlords. Whilst I was there,  the elderly gentleman who moulded, cast and painted all the figures turned up and had a game. He (in the guise of The Fleet Air Arm) beat his grandson by a narrow margin of 4. The figures were excellent, especially the wheel men carrying the wheels across the Chasm.

The warlords said that they had already had ex Field Gunners announce themselves as well as an Instructor and one 'Referee'. I remember seeing this competition at Earls Court as a young boy. If this makes no sense to you then You Tube it. I doubt they would run it now for Health and Safety reasons but it is one of the things that defines the Royal Navy.

No photos of the game as it involves fast time dice rolling but the pre game set up and figures are below. Good simple fun.

As things quietened down I had a chance to spend my cash, picking up  Bicorne ECW musketeers on a whim (like I need a new period !) and some cheap Foundry Crimean Russians from Colonel Bill  so that I can add them to the already huge Crimean mountain.

I met an old friend for our yearly catch up over coffee and cake. This will be his last Salute as he has moved to Shrewsbury and will now go to shows closer to his new home.  I know he is looking for a club in that area. I also had a long chat with Dave Brown who was trialing his new Pickets Charge rules in an Antietam game before picking up some paint, spray cans of anti shine varnish and  the obligatory trip to Warbases.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Warlord sense of humour

Our internet has returned with the arrival of a new router.

I was checking the emails and found one from Warlord. After I had started reading it my suspicions were aroused and then confirmed by the date of the newsletter - 1st April. It related to the forthcoming release of some experimental WW2 Japanese Tanks that included these.

My favourite is the bottom one but Clint will appreciate that his VBCW carrier has similar problems to the middle tank.

The hyperlink to the article is here

Excellent stuff


Saturday, 2 April 2016

Soviet Plastics

Yesterday the postman arrived with a package for me from Amazon . I had a text from the Mk1 daughter whilst I was at work in which she confessed  that she had ripped the box open thinking it was 'Lush' soap only to find that it was 'my stuff'.

In the process of cleaning the sprues in warm water of one of the arms came off. Rather than risk losing it  I decided to dry fit one of the figures with the arms prior to giving him his PPsh SMG. One word sums this effort up, irritating. 

I would have preferred to have attached the arms then painted the guts of the figure before adding the SMG. However the blasted thing doesn't want to fit.  I tried several versions of the SMG and none seemed to work adequately despite a bit of shaving of the hard plastic.

I gave up in the end and returned to some basing. I will come back to the Russians once I have searched and looked at Intraweb guides as I am sure I am doing something wrong.

DAK Sentries

I have finished these beauties from Artizan Designs. Afrika Korps sentries.

I really like them for two reasons. The first is the quality of the miniature which makes them very easy to paint and highlight and the second is the fact that they are not 'fully loaded' with every standard piece of equipment known to man.

I particularly like the guy with the roll neck jumper under his tunic and the holder of the Iron Cross. I painted them using three different base uniform colours to reflect the mismatched and battle worn clothing of these gritty experienced troops.   Really pleased with the way these have turned out.