Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Romani Walk Italia - Donate Now!

Last year authors Ben Kane, Anthony Riches and Russ Whitfield walked Hadian's Wall in Roman kit (yes, hob-nailed sandals!) raising £18,000 for charity. This year they are donning their kit again and walking from Capua to the Forum in Rome!

Médecins Sans Frontières and Combat Stress are the worthy charities that will benefit from their sterling efforts and if you would like to help them reach their target, you can do so here. There is only two days left so donate now (and if you are in the UK tick the Gift Aid box so the tax money goes to charity not the Treasury!)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

"This is Genocide! This is Extinction!"

Just caught the trailer for season four of Falling Skies - so much tabletop potential, roll on June!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Vorwärts in London?

I have spent most of this afternoon listening to the Championship matches on Talk Sport (well done Burnley!) whilst converting some more Warlord Germans into Danes. Eight more figures are at varying stages including a Marsden lmg gunner. I have made use of arms from the other Warlord sets I bought in the sprue sale a while back which has given some useful variation.


I have also continued playing the BBC Battle Academy game and having finished the Fall of France campaign immediately jumped into the Operation Sealion one. As I am sure you know Sealion was the planned invasion of Britain and not something I have really thought about too much for wargaming but I am considering that once I have completed the combatants for the Blitzkrieg campaign I may well see about raising a section of Local Defence Volunteers and the enigmatic "stay behind" Auxiliaries (which are great fun to play on the iPad) for WorldWar: 1940.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Danish Infantry I

It could be argued that there is something rather nutty about spending a longer time converting and painting miniatures of soldiers than their real life compatriots actually fought! Having the spark of interest ignited by the Fall of Denmark e-book and finding lots of interesting sites on the web, I found I just had to have a small force of the first troops to oppose the Germans' Operation Weserübung.


Whilst most illustrations of the Danes show them wearing their greatcoats, period photos show a mix, with many carrying theirs wrapped (upside down) around their back pack. The basic uniform is similar to the German one so I decided to try and convert some of the Warlord plastic Blitzkrieg Germans.


Unfortunately all the Warlord models have the anti-mustard gas cloth pack across the chest which kind of defeated the object of the exercise as this needed removing (and caused a lot more work than planned). I made one backpack with rolled greatcoat out of Green Stuff and used Instant Mold to create some more. I also tried that with the helmet, but this didn't work so in the end I have made these from scratch each time, using the German helmet as the basis, filing the angle by the ears and building up with Green Stuff. The Kar 98 rifles were modified slightly with Liquid Green Stuff to give an approximation of the Krag-Jørgensen's the Danes used.


Overall I'm quite pleased with how these have turned out, I've three more almost finished and am trying to summon the courage to convert a Bren into a Marsden lmg. I have yet to decide whether to convert the rest of the section from the Warlord plastics or use something else (maybe the BTD greatcoated Germans).

2014 Painting Target: 180/1000

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Superkrieg: Nucleus 7

Fighting alongside the U.S. Army and Professor Isotope against the Nazi menace is Nucleus 7, another character for Superkrieg!


Nucleus 7 is a WizKids Bart Allen miniature, repainted in a similar U.S. military scheme as Professor Isotope with the addition of a U.S.A.A.F. decal across his chest for a splash of colour. I am really pleased with how this figure came out given the limited palette.


2014 Painting Target: 178/1000

Friday, 18 April 2014

Superkrieg: Professor Isotope

As the Nazi superhelden smash the Allied forces in across Europe and North Africa, America enters the war bringing its own supers to the battlefield - led by Professor Isotope!


The basic figure is a WizKids Max Mercury clicka, with his collar trimmed down. I have decided that most of the Superkrieg heroes and villains will not be as garish as those in the Marvel and DC universes and most costumes will have a military look to them colours wise. Consequently Professor Isotope is largely green and brown which contrasts nicely with his blue skin.


2014 Painting Target: 177/1000

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Christmas Come Early...

It's definitely been a case of "Christmas come early" here in Bleaseworld.

Not only did my orders from Black Tree Design and Hannants arrive (yes, I was a bit shocked by the BTD one given all the bad publicity they get) but I collected my Empress Miniatures Devil Dogs Kickstarter from David Manley whose mate had picked it up at Salute after the Post Office non-delivery SNAFU (thanks Chris!)


And whilst I was picking that up Parcel Force delivered my Devil Pig Games Heroes of Normandie Kickstarter in a box so big I am glad SWMBO was at work when it arrived! :-)


Looks like I have a lot of painting, token punching and rule reading to do...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Superkrieg: Übermann

Strike whilst the iron is hot! I have spent most of my free time working on some historical Blitzkrieg era conversions but whilst the Green Stuff was drying I dug out a handful of old WizKids figures and painted one up as Nazi superhero Übermann.


The miniature is a hero I'd never heard of called Stonewall, I have decided with this project to generally pick lesser known characters for repainting and I think he works well with panzer grey skin and Germanic red and black boots and pants.


I've a couple more Superkrieg figures on the workbench next to the Blitzkrieg historicals and I'll fit these in between working on the WW2 figures.

2014 Painting Target: 176/1000

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Superkrieg!

I went to see Captain America and the Winter Soldier today which I enjoyed immensely and it got my brain thinking over a stillborn project - Superkrieg. Whilst I enjoy most of the many superhero films (and even a few of the comic books) the idea of superhero wargaming has never really appealed, even if I dabbled with Saul a few years back with the WizKids game.

However I did have an idea (that must of been partially inspired by Captain America) that a game of low to medium power superheroes in the environment of World War Two could prove fun. I started to rough out a background and a set of rules based on the Voyages Extraordinaires system and even bought some white metal super hero miniatures (West Wind IIRC) but soon was distracted with other projects.

I am thinking about returning to it though. The painting up of the Blitzkrieg era infantry sections plus a pile of WizKids plastics I picked up off eBay a while back have got the mental juices flowing again, so watch out we might soon be seeing the B.E.F. not only having to fight off the might of the Wehrmacht, but also the Nazi superhero Übermann!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Silly Season at Black Tree Design...

Lots of companies appear to be having "Not at Salute" sales including Black Tree Design who have a 35% off their WW2 infantry and a 15% voucher for your next order. BTD don't have the greatest reputation for speed of delivery on occasion, but this kind of discount was not to be ignored so I looked into the crystal ball for future WW2 projects...


I'm quite enjoying the variety of raising just sections for WorldWar: 1940 and whilst I am in a Blitzkrieg mood at the moment (and working on some conversions to fill the nationality gaps) I availed myself of the 35% off to pick up some French (for potential conversion), Gebirgsjäger, regular German infantry and some Soviet Sailors.


I did fancy some Italians and Germans in greatcoats but for some reason they were only showing as 15% off so I will hold off for another day and another sale...

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Silly Season at Hannants...

Mark on his Winter of '79 blog posted that Hannants were selling off their remaining J.B. Models stock at silly prices - £1.99 per box instead of the RRP of £8.99.


I've ordered a few box of M113 FSV's, Saladins and Saracens. I'm not 100% sure what I will use them for but I know I would regret not getting a stock in at under 25% of the RRP. I found one idea here, Project ’46 – The Third Great War 1946-55, which is kind of along the lines of the Fatherland idea I posted about here.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: French Infantry III

As I didn't go to Salute today I grabbed some time on the workbench and finished the third batch of Warlord French infantry...




Here is the complete section. I am very happy with these, they have come up nice. Just need to decide which force to do next now...


Ooh look, Black Tree Design have 35% off their WW2 range this weekend!

2014 Painting Target: 175/1000

Friday, 11 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: French Infantry II

The second batch of Warlord French infantry were completed yesterday evening but I ran out of daylight to photograph them, so I did it now before a work telecon...


I used the Flames of War painting guide for these figures and think the end result looks pretty representative of the 1940's French.


The Warlord early war plastic Germans have arrived from Caliver so I am hoping to get some time today to stick some together once I polish off the remaining four French.


2014 Painting Target: 171/1000

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: French Infantry I

The Blitzkrieg bug continues with its hold on me and following on from the French vehicles I have managed to complete the first of the French infantry section - the lmg team.


The miniatures are from Warlord and I must say that the Defenders of France set contains some wonderful miniatures, even if my set did not quite have what the box said it would have! (I do wish Warlord would sell them in smaller groups of four and remove the random element in the boxed sets).


I really enjoyed painting these and the remainder of the section are not too far behind (I start the whole section together then spilt them down into smaller groups to finish them off).

2014 Painting Target: 167/1000

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Allez les Polonais!

I manage to grab a bit of time this lunch hour to finish the Renault R40 (or Char léger modèle 1935 R modifié 1939 to give it its full name) I have been working on.


A die-cast Solido model I picked up in Sainte-Mère-Église a few years back, I painted it up as a tank of 3e compagnie, 1e section, 10e Brigade de cavalerie blindée polonaise (Polish 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade) serving in France 1940.


Again just a case of base coating Vallejo Fortress Green, Strong Tone dip, some weathering and hand painted markings, but seems to have come up quite nicely...


2014 Painting Target: 165/1000

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Continuez Sur le Camionnage!

I managed to finish the 28mm 3D printed Laffly S20TL from Bob Emerson. A simple kit but nicely detailed, it painted up well using the same techniques as its 15mm cousins (paint, dip, drybrush), though the dust weathering is slightly heavier based on reading Terry Wises' Blitzkrieg book on camo schemes of the period (Northern France was VERY dusty in May 1940!).



On with the Renault R-35 next...

2014 Painting Target: 164/1000

Monday, 7 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Crusader or Warlord? That is the Question...

Having painted the Dutch and having commenced work on the French, my thoughts have turned towards other armies. The Germans are fairly straightforward, I've ordered a box of thirty plastic Warlord Games early war Germans from Caliver. Whilst I am not looking to paint thirty, I have some fledgling idea that the spares could be used for conversions.


The B.E.F, however are not such a straightforward decision. I really, really liked the Crusader Minaitures early war British. Whilst not marketed as B.E.F. they are lovely figures and look the part except for the lack of a gas mask case (and pretty much all the photos of the B.E.F. I've seen have them with gas mask cases....


The Warlord B.E.F. figures do come with the gas mask case but I must say I am not that keen on the photos I have seen of the miniatures and the random nature of the box may give me a prone Bren team, something I am not too keen on (a personal whimsy)...


So do I buy the Crusader figures and try and add some Green Stuff gas mask cases, or go with Warlord, even if the figures aren't quite as nice? Problems, problems...

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Dutch Infantry II

Here are the remaining Koninklijke Nederlandse Landmacht miniatures from the Gothic Line blister; a Lewis gun team and an officer with bugler...


Researching the Dutch has been quite interesting and if I ever get around to the Pacific I do fancy raising a small force of Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (Royal Netherlands Indies Army) with their slouch hats (the pack comes with a couple of heads for conversions).


2014 Painting Target: 163/1000

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Dutch Infantry I

I managed to finish the first of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Landmacht (Royal Netherlands Army) today. Gothic Line Miniatures are the only company I know of who manufacture 28mm Dutch infantry for the 1940 campaign, which is a shame as they are an interesting looking army and certainly posed more of a problem for the Germans than was expected.


Gothic Line Miniatures have released just one code with ten miniatures in the blister, this is a shame as you only need one of some types (eg. officer) and could do with duplicates of the riflemen if you want to model a full section (or a platoon for the likes of Bolt Action). Outpost Wargames manufacture some Romanians that wear the same helmet and have puttees which might be compatible and allow for expanding the unit. For a section level skirmish game, I am going with an understrength eight man section.


The models are a bit quirky, not Copplestone/Artizan standard, but reasonable enough and they have painted up pretty good. The blue-grey Dutch uniform is a bit of a problem, the plates in the Osprey Hitler's Blitzkrieg Enemies 1940 looks too grey compared to photos on the internet, but these themselves vary considerably (some looking green-grey). In the end I went with some old GW Shadow Grey with light grey added for highlights...

2014 Painting Target: 159/1000

Friday, 4 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Pantserwagen Possibilities?

Painting on the Dutch infantry has gone well today and hopefully they will be finished over the weekend. I've also managed to slap some paint on some early war French AFV's too. This of course led me to thinking about Dutch AFV's for the tabletop.

Royal Netherlands Army Panterswagen M38
Of course no one makes a 28mm Landsverk L-180 / L-181 (Pantserwagen M38 / M36 in Dutch service) but reading through his useful Flames of War Dutch Army briefing, the author suggested using a Soviet BA-10 as a proxy. With the Baker Company Russian Truck Kickstarter offering BA-10's as an alternative to the basic GAZ truck, I may pick up one to convert.

Looking at the long list of Landsverk users in WW2 on Wikipedia, someone really ought to make a 28mm model. Be a lot more useful than a Sturmtiger!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Dutch Courage

Over the last couple of years I've mentioned my plans to convert Panzerfäuste into a historical set of WW2 section level skirmish rules - WorldWar: 1940. I have been stockpiling miniatures but today a small box arrived from Portugal that saw some of the miniatures move from "Lead Mountain" to the workbench. Not only that, they were based and undercoated! :-)

The miniatures that inspired this flurry of activity were a blister of ten WW2 Dutch Infantry from Gothic Line Miniatures, I now need to decide on an appropriate paint for the uniform (this photo of a re-enactor shows the distinctive colour of the Dutch uniform).

Of course this has led me to searching out websites on the Dutch army in May 1940 and the War Over Holland site has proven to be full of information and has pages of photos. Het Nederlandsche Leger 1939-40, a Dutch language site is also very interesting, chock full of photos, including many colour ones of uniforms in museums.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Hail Odin! (and Amazon)

Amazon offered me one of their regular one month free trials of Amazon Prime the other day. They do this on a regular basis and whilst I take the free offers I cancel it before they start taking any money, after all I'm not that desperate that I need anything I order off Amazon the next day all the time.

Clearly I am not alone in this view as Amazon have now upped the content of Prime membership allowing you to borrow a Kindle book and have access to Prime Instant Video, Amazon's video streaming service.

The streaming service offers a lot of titles already available from Sky, but a number of interesting ones that are not including Breaking Bad,  Copper (C19th New York police drama), Hell on Wheels (shown on one of ITV's satellite channels but I missed series one) and Vikings.

Vikings is now on season two but as this had only been shown on Netflix previously I resigned myself to not seeing it for some time. I watched episode one last night and enjoyed it, not as stylised in the manner of Spartacus which I had assumed it would be, it may well inspire me to finish those Dux Bellorum Saxons that are sat undercoated on the workbench!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Battlefield Academy 3D - The Future of Wargaming?

The news from Slitherine that they have been developing a 3D version of their BBC Battlefield Academy game for use with the latest Smart TV's is really exciting.

Apparently the BBC has been driving research into using the opportunities offered by the latest hi-tech Smart TV's and 3D technology for their licenced game ranges and Slitherine have used this research to devise a fascinating variant of their computer game that now will be projected onto a flat screen PC which will display the battlefield and units in a computerised 3D.

Gamers will apparently need one of the new generation table PC's (like the Lenovo machines) linked to a Smart TV and a set of 3D TV glasses each which when combined will allow the gamers to see a 3D computerised battlefield on the PC board.

Slitherine have stated that their initial releases will be just for WW2 but have stated that they are looking into converting their Legions game into 3D as well, so exciting times ahead for ancients gamers.

Obviously the initial set up is going to be costly as the game uses the lot of brand new technology, but as we have seen with 3D TV's and tablets the cost of new tech soon comes right down. I am a huge fan of the Battlefield Academy game and its playability, intelligent PC opponent for solo games and variable scenarios and campaigns make it a great game. A 3D version will make the experience even better and I wonder whether we are seeing the future of tabletop wargaming, the end of pushing expensive pieces of metal, plastic and resin around and the start of commanding virtual 3D armies?

Monday, 31 March 2014

Donnybrook TV? New Worlds on C4

Channel 4 is showing a great looking new drama series tomorrow, set on both sides of the Atlantic during the Restoration period. A sequel to their ECW series The Devil's Whore (available to watch on 4OD), New Worlds is smack centre in the Donnybrook era and the trailer looks like it will provide lots of inspiration. All I need now is some free time to do some more painting...

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Blitzkrieg: From Lillehammar to Narvik

Back in October I ordered copies of the SkirmishCampaign scenario books for the Winter War in Finland (to go with the Baker Company Kickstarter) and the invasion of Norway from Caliver. The Finland one turned up pretty quickly but Caliver had to wait some time to get fresh stock in of the Norway book.

It arrived a couple of weeks back but I hadn't really had a chance to sit down and read it.  Having done so now I must say it is well worth getting hold of and great for any platoon level WW2 game.

The variable nature of the forces generation gives the scenarios great re-playability and I'd say that on the strength of the Finland and Norway volumes that any of the SkirmishCampaign series for your particular theatre of gaming, has to be worth getting hold of.

My only disappointment is that they are not available in downloadable electronic format, that said maybe that is for the best otherwise I would be clicking the mouse every five minutes!