Sunday 25 November 2012

Lurgy 1 Miniatures 2

Returning from Paris with somekind of Gallic lurgy I have been confined to barracks, annoyingly missing out at a music festival I had tickets for in Leicester yesterday and the Reveille wargames show in Bristol today...

However, in between horrendous bouts of sneezing, sniffing and coughing I have taken the opportunity to sneak out and do a little bit of painting for my forthcoming Judge Dredd project (the first boxes of which arrived on Friday).

The first figure is a Heroclix DC Super-Adaptoid converted to be Johnny Falcone from the 2000AD series Marauder (don't worry if you haven't heard of it, there was only one series back in 2009). It was a fairly simple conversion using a bit of Liquid Green Stuff and a pretty distinctive looking miniature.

The second is a female with gun which I think came from Alternative Armies in the eighties. I had planned to use her as the beautiful but deadly Angelina in some Stainless Steel Rat 28mm adventures but have never been really happy with the face. I added a Green Stuff mini-skirt and painted her up in a generic SF fashion so she can be anything from a gang member, some Mega-City socialite's bodyguard or Wally Squad Judge.

Hopefully I can see off this cough and finish some Zulus!

Thursday 15 November 2012

Back To The Trenches...

You may recall a couple of years ago that I painted up a battalion of the Corpo Expedicionário Português for Élan. Earlier this year I completed two battalions of German infantry which I forgot to photograph and post on the blog. Only another seven are needed to complete the brigade! :-)

The models are 6mm Irregular Miniatures, somewhat rough and ready but they paint up quickly and do look good en masse...

I found them doing a little bit of tidying in the games room (which still needs rescuing) which led to a bit of ill-considered navel gazing and the idea to plan 2013's painting activity out so I actually achieved something.

Given the relative success of dedicated project months you might well wonder why I said ill-considered? Well, sitting down and typing the projects and armies I could remember, I could plan out the next five years painting and still probably not be finished! (and this doesn't take into account painting anything for Wessex Games rules projects - AirWar 1918 and Tusk 2 glare accusingly at me!)

Clearly I am going to have to be much more focused going forward (attend less wargames shows and stop looking at TMP). I think I will continue the dedicated months as this gets things done but stops me getting bored, but aim to complete a number of the specific projects within the year so I have both sides finished and can actually use them in a game or two!

Ok, back to the IsAngqu and uMbonambi...

Wednesday 14 November 2012

No Can Do...

Bit of a painting disaster today that has put a major crimp in Zulu month, I dropped the can of Army Painter Leather Brown spray and snapped the nozzle off! Well half off, but when I tried to use it I managed to totally snap it off covering my hands in brown undercoat in the process (hopefully I have got most of it off having to go to a parents' evening meeting at school in a little while).

I have order a replacement can (and some blue for the ACW Month) but it won't get to Blease Towers until I am off working away next week. :-(

Still I have managed to undercoat sixty Zulus, so I will have to crack on with them and I can still glue the remaining regiments together (and see if I can find the forty that appear to have gone AWOL in the Plastic Mountain...

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Charge Of The Wolf Brigade!

Twenty-seven years after I bought them(!) I have now painted up 32 Citadel Goblin Wolf Riders - hurrah!

I'm not quite sure why they took so long as I have always liked the figures. 16 had been painted and seen action previously (when I was a mere Snaga Orc) but I chose to repaint them so they all looked the same. I will spilt them into two regiments for games.

The miniatures were some of the first Kev Adams sculpted Goblins and I especially like the wolves (IMHO Orcs and Goblins should ride wolves). I found I was short two riders so converted a couple of the plastic LOTR Moria Goblins. Hopefully I will find the original missing figures one day.

Zulus next, 48 of whom have been given a spray of brown undercoat this morning...

Monday 12 November 2012

Lots of Minty Goodness...

No doubt the Judge Dredd fans amongst you will be aware of the Frother's Annual Charity Thingy and its Judge Minty miniature donation reward, but are you aware of the Judge Minty fanpic that is getting limited showings this month before being released on the web? Looks good...

On the painting frint today's rain has stopped play when t has come to undercoating the Zulus (tomorrow looks ok) but that means I can crack on with the Goblin Wolf Riders who are 75% finished...

Sunday 11 November 2012

Lest We Forget...

On a cold November morn,
A moments silence, from those who‘re born,
Red flowers laid at my feet,
Remembrance of sacrifice complete...

Saul Blease


Friday 9 November 2012

World War WTF?

Like many zombie fans I've been looking forward to World War Z being released at the cinemas. Having seen the trailer below I am now unsure...

Tuesday 6 November 2012

BSG: Blood & Chrome Online This Week...

The 2003 reboot of Battlestar Galactica was generally regarded as hugely successful, producing an edgy politically savvy SF war series that ran for four seasons. It's prequel, Caprica, was interesting but distinctly different and only lasted one season, however BSG fans were excited when SyFy commissioned a pilot for Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, a return to the Cylon War background from the original series revolving around fighter pilot William Adama. Unfortunately SyFy have decided not to pick it up as a TV series (though there is the possibility it might see life as an internet series).

The pilot will be shown on TV next year, but will be debuted online in a series of twelve minute episodes from this Friday. The trailer does look quite good...

Monday 5 November 2012

Ragnarok 59 Put To Bed...

I finally got Ragnarok 59 off to the printers today (only eleven months late!). I have edited the SFSFW journal for two stints previously and had no intention of ever doing so again due to real world time issues but with no one stepping up to the plate after Nick Whittock's editorship I have found the mantle thrust once again upon my shoulders!

The editing and typesetting was largely straight forward this time around and a great deal easier and better looking than the hand typed, Letraset titled first volume I started the thing with twenty years ago!

Unfortunately what seemed straight forward when creating the full colour PDF that will go to Wargame Vault, was problematical as I tried to convert it to an internal black and white print ready format for the printers due to Apple's wonderful Pages software not being a clone of Word and things I know how to do in seconds in Word took a bit of working out in Pages. But I got there eventually...

If you are interested in F'/SF wargaming I would encourage you to join (click here!).

Ragnarok is the longest running independent F/SF wargaming journal by a long stretch and most readers seem to think it is of interest. You will be able to buy the PDF in due course from Wargame Vault (or for a token charge if you are a SFSFW member and want a PDF to go on your iPad) but there is nothing like a paper journal to read down the shed/on the loo, is there?

So what is in it? Issue 59's contents are:

Aftermath - Fantasy Battle scenario
Burning Down The House - Dirtside II scenario
The Drake Incident - Star Trek battle
Messing About On The River - generic fantasy campaign
To Keep Man, Man - the Instrumentality of Mankind
The World Needs Heroes - superhero wargaming
Aeronef over Guahan - Aeronef scenario
Crush Your Enemies - Conan wargames
Assassination - Killzone scenario
Far Trader - Traveller ships in Full Thrust
Fantasy Air Wargames Rules Set - the winner of the 2011 SFSFW rules writing competition

Ok, on with issue 60, let's see if I can get that out before Christmas 2013! :-)

Sunday 4 November 2012

Some Interesting Reading...

I realised as I finished a book today that it is a little while since I posted any reviews on the blog, having  restricted myself to the little "What I'm Reading..." box on the right (and even that isn't 100% correct as I normally read one non-fiction and one fiction book concurrently).

My non-fiction reading has been a little varied of late and I have read some interesting books which may prove of interest to some of you...

Over the last couple of years SWMBO has had me watching the TV series The Borgias, knowing little about the historical period it is set it all I could do was tut at the costumes of the Papal and French armies and go with the flow in the knowledge that even a bad historical drama is better than the X-Factor. After series two I decided to find out a little bit more and picked up a copy of Christopher Hibbert's The Borgias (I'd read his Indian Muting history a number of years back and enjoyed that).

Overall it wasn't bad, though the final chapters were a bit rushed. The coverage of the Italian Wars is restricted to the Papal involvement and there are no detailed descriptions of the battles but as a basic overview it was ok and I now know that all the actors in the TV series are far too old, except Jeremy Irons who is not fat enough and doesn't have a big enough nose!

From a wargaming point of view the conflict is interesting and forces raised for it could also be used as and Estilian army or similar in WHFB...

Osprey have been busy re-releasing some OOP books in e-book format and I have recently read two, Will Fowler's Allies at Dieppe: 4 Commando and the US Rangers: 4 Commando and the US Rangers and Nicholas Best's Five Days that Shocked the World.

Fowler's book is an excellent history of the build up and execution of the raid by 4 Commando on the German gun batteries that threatened the Dieppe landing in 1942. Whilst the book was extremely enjoyable it suffered from some awful numerical typos (eg. having Churchill captured by the Boers between the two Boer wars and the Vikings land at Dieppe 900 hundred years before they actually did!).  I have noticed this in a number of Osprey e-books, having a proof reader is fine, but if they have no knowledge of history this sort of thing can creep in.

Despite this I still recommend the book although it could do with some maps (I don't feel Osprey yet understand what they can do with e-books and how they can be formatted without the restrictions of physical printing).

Best's book covers the last few days of the Second World War in Europe and is a collection of inter-woven eye-witness accounts from individuals, both civilian and military (a number famous such as Sophia Loren and the Pope!), that were caught up in the events that unfolded.

It must be hard to find anything new about WWII but Best has done and some of the events that occurred are not widely know and are quite enthralling. A good read that brings a detailed human perspective to horrors of the end of the conflict in Europe.

Finally there is Richard Holmes' Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket, a fascinating book covering all aspects of the army during the black powder from organisation to recruitment to discipline to supply to... well, you name it.

There are sections on all parts of the army, the infantry, cavalry and artillery getting excellent coverage but also the smaller parts which make for interesting reading (the section on medical care is particularly grim).

My only criticism of this book is that there is so much noteworthy information in it, it is hard to retain it all! As well as a fantastic book on the army, it also gives a revealing insight into civilian life during the period as well.

If you are a Horse and Musket gamer and haven't read this, make sure you do!

Friday 2 November 2012

The FLGS is Dead! Long Live the FLGS!

As I had to take son and heir into town today I decided to pick up some paints from Cut and Thrust Wargaming, my FLGS. I say "my" very loosely as I've been there only twice and I suppose it was not a great surprise to find it was closed, shutters up and a 'To Let' sign up.

Why had I only been there twice? Well the main reason was the sucky parking, although today I found a useful free parking area nearby, and the limited ranges of wargames material they carried. Aside from the paints there was little of immediate interest to me and to be frank that which was there could be bought cheaper on the internet (I know I should support the FLGS but when you add on parking the difference in cost was starting to get silly and I haven't won the lottery yet).

They did have some excellent gaming facilities but with their no children rule precluding a sixteen year old six footer who is more mature than many gamers I've met it restricted any desire to go there more often for anything beyond shopping.

We then swung by the local model shop to pick up the paints to find they had one lonely bottle of red left in the Game Color rack - doesn't anyone at Antics understand the principles of restocking? Grrr...

Anyway whilst Cut and Thrust is no more it appears a new wargames shop (Vanguard Wargaming) is opening in Bristol in a couple of weeks in Hotwells. It will be interesting to check this out though given its location I suspect parking may be an issue again.

The location is a tad bitter sweet as it is the site of the old  Spring Gardens Tavern which had been a great little venue for new bands and musicians before it closed.

Thursday 1 November 2012

November is... Zulu Month!

Ok, as announced yesterday November is Zulu Month, when I am going to try and get as many of the 288 Warlord plastic Zulus I bought earlier this year with some birthday money (and subsequent eBay foraging).

I've decided to start with that I am going to use Bickley's Washing The Spears rules with Black Powder lurking in the background. With that in mind I have decided to base the figures up as elements rather than individually in sabots which was my first idea. Whilst individual based miniatures in sabots would extend their usefulness (thinking smaller scale games with The Sword and the Flame) I concluded that this was a lot of fuss for limited return and if I every really wanted individually based Zulus, the plastics are cheap enough to buy another box and and when...

So, this means that I will be basing five figures on an 80x40mm base (which sounds spacey but isn't) giving me 10 regiments, 8 with thirty figures and 2 with twenty-four. The regiments are split 50/50 between married and unmarried units. Whilst I will be posting photos of painted units etc here, I have set up a specific Zulu War blog to go into some more detail and not boring readers who don't care what the difference is betwen the uMbonambi and the IsAngqu regiments. So if you want more in depth Zulu war stuff please follow me there as well...

Painting is going to be (hopefully) quick and dirty using a brown undercoat and Army Painter dip so things should move quite speedily (famous last words?)