Friday, 30 October 2009

First test miniature painted

Presenting my first ever painted Imagi-historic figure.

Here he stands in all his glory. As you can see, the uniform is almost as designed in my scrapbook. Keeping with the story, the first unit - the Hasselse Garde- of the DDU received their  uniforms from the Prussians as military aid. To save money it was decided to just dye the clothes in other colours and use the rest of the equipment and fittings as received, except for some local made trappings. This seemed to work very well.

It took me about an hour to paint this figure. Now I have to figure out how I can rationalize the painting proces to get the same effect, but quicker and using batch painting. I was thinking of using layered painting instead of washes. Maybe the contrast (i.e. the washes) might be a bit darker too.

The pictures could be better, but being impatient I didn't bother to organise a well lit studio setup and just took a couple of pictures using my house, kitchen and garden camera. The little fellow is a Minden Miniatures casting.

Also, just a quick reminder to everyone:
on Saturday, 7th November, CRISIS 2009,  the largest wargame happening in Belgium, is being held in Antwerp. I'll be there...if I can find a couple of old ladies to rob of their money...have to go for a late night walk...

I guess next posting will be the whole unit...patience is a virtue, or so I was told. Please feel free to comment. If you think the painting is not that good...please don't comment. ( and if I don't get any comments I'll never, ever paint a single figure again)

Happy Gaming


Sunday, 18 October 2009

War Cabinet, War Books and War Museum

Just a bit of a rant...

Phil’s War Cabinet on hold

News from Phil Olley as he announced on his  Breitenfeld blog, that he’s giving his War Cabinet site a rest. Although the high quality reading and eye candy on his new TYW blog will be just as inspiring, I’m sure, I will miss the high class “The Wargame” battlefields and other writings and musing. A thank you to Mr. Olley for being one of the prime motivators to start the this blog.
I do hope Phil will take the trouble rounding off the "Pils Holstein Campaign", maybe just a “temporary” last Broadside as closure. I'm particularly interested in the "The Wargame" rules amendments he made so as to play with multiple based figures. Or were they in fact new rules altogether? I remember him mentioning writing 7YW rules a couple of years ago, but I suppose they never got published nor were they made public. Or maybe they were? I think they were called “A Grim Panoply” at least as a working title. Mr. Olley, if ever you read this, please feel free to comment.
It seems one of the reasons for closing down the Cabinet is that people are using material from the site. Now I don’t know exactly how this works, but I would also feel bad if people started using my stuff, without proper reference to the Chronicles. Seems fair. But then, I think there’s still a long way to go before people would want to use any of my produce…On the other hand, I imagine it is understandable that if you start writing or co-writing wargame books, you wouldn’t want to give away to much, nor material, nor time...Phil also has only 24 hour days. Anyway I’m looking forward to Breitenfeld, and hoping to see more Pils Holstein in the future and I sincerely hoop Phil Olley will write a last broadside tying up loose ends and sort of rounding off that adventure.

New books to add to the Library

Thanks to a posting by Steve-the-Wargamer I found exactly what I was looking for.
First of all I ordered Donald Featherstone’s “Wargames” from John Curry Events, mainly because of the ancient rules (by Tony Bath, I think), but also for the reading and inspiration. Answering to the mentioned post, Steve very kindly answered back with a link to an EBay sale of the Gush-Finch “A Guide to Wargaming”. I put in a bid and on the 17th October, I got a message saying I won the book. Now this book is very, very interesting. I’ve written about my first and favourite Nappy rule set “Napoleonic Wargame Rules by the Tunbridge Wells Wargames Society” (still NWRbtTWWS in short). I maybe mentioned converting these to later 19th century gaming. Behold: Mr. Gush has heard me, taken a time jump to the 1980’s and published the late 19th century version of NWRbtTWWS for me to be able to pick them up from EBay at a very nice price today. Not only that, but he’s co-written some very useful guidelines on writing rules in that very same book, which is one part of the "ancients" project. How much more twilight zone can you get? (strange little music in background…)
A big thank you to all involved in this little adventure.

Belgian War Museum

Yes, I’m off for a guided tour of the Belgian War Museum in Brussels on the 30th October as part of a social event for my regiment's past and present officers.
Anyway, I’ll be picking up the third book of a series on the Belgian Cavalry whilst there. And maybe some postcard reproductions of watercolours on Belgian Army historical uniforms. Mad Carew probably wishes he was joining me, knowing of his 1914 skirmish project set in early WW 1 Belgium…well…if he needs anything...he can drop me a line…mind you, I wont go about stealing uniforms from the 1914 period for him, or any period for that matter. I even haven’t told him a live just 15 minutes driving (on a Sunday, wind from behind) from the 1914 battle field of the Silver Helmets. Actually, my unit, the “1ste Regiment Jagers te Paard” (i.e.: Chasseurs à Cheval) took part in that battle with a then experimental detachment with Hotchkiss machine guns.
Exciting stuff.
Which brings me to the fact that I actually live just a short drive away from some more and less famous battlefields and military historical sites. Landen-Neerwinden 45 minutes to the South, the start off Hells Highway just 5 km East of were I live. The cinema were Montgomery gave the operational order for Market Garden just a 5 minutes walk from my house. The Ardennes…1 hour drive…Waterloo…2 hours drive…Ypres, Oudenaarde,...and so on, and so forth…and there’s the beer and chocolate too…Ah, it’s good to be a Belgian…

I just had a tought (enjoy the moment, this doesn't happen that often): Gush's mid 19th century rules...Helion...Waterloo to Mons...oh yes...I can feel it...keep me motivated Matt.

That's it for today, please feel free to comment.

Happy Gaming

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Three tree woods and mold lines

 Back to earth. I've started work on the first batch of minis in between playing Catan with the wife and kids, playing Magic, installing rainpipes and keeping generally busy.

As promised a look at my trees. They are quite shabby after years of abuse and admittedly need some redoing. The concept is as described in the latest Battlegames magazine, but using lichen. What I did is mounted them on a board which started as a single rough bean or kidney shape. Cutting this board in several irregular pieces and rounding the sharp corners gives three seperate woods, or fitted together -because the woods fit together snugly as a jigsaw puzzle- a small and larger wood or one large wood. Seperating two adjoining pieces by a couple of inches leaves a nice "track" or road through the woods. I guess a larger sheet of triplex or MDF could be used, making a jigsaw puzzle like design with five or more seperate pieces, a couple of feet square. Anyway, the thing I like is the "seemless" joining of the pieces when used as larger terrain feature. Anyway, this method of planting trees is still going to be used in the future.

The wood in action.

Next up: I've just prepared the Hasselse Garde. Although these Minden sculpts were as good as flash and moldline free, I still wanted to go through the cleanup process. For scraping moldlines, I like to use a heavier blade in my X-Acto. A cardboard nail file (emery board?) was used to clean the underside of the bases. A drill was used to prepare the hands to recieve the spontoons and flagpole. And a rat tail file used to, ...well file...the places that were filed were then sanded with several grades of fine sandpaper. I sometimes wrap some sandpaper around a cocktail stick or file so as to reach the more difficult places (between the legs, ...of the sculpts of course). For cleaning sculpts like these , I don't use flat files as I find they damage the models to easily.

The Hasselse Garde undergoing severe medical examinations.

This time  I'll close with a question. In the Prussian 7YW armies: what were the lenghts of the spontoons, flagpoles and the flag dimensions? Okay, that's three quetions rolled into one: a bit like the meaning of life, the universe and everything.

Happy gaming


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Pjotr Nyudrev, a hero...hunting wild beasts in the Ardennes

I'm back from from exercise and had a great time. The weather was just perfect. The countryside was great and the food was fine. Almost sounds like I was on holiday. Yes, we even had a "real" working toilet.
During a lull in the action, near the end of the exercise, I found myself in Spa, close to the village of La Gleize. There, at the site of Joachim Peipers last stand and subsequent retreat you can find a fine little museum dedicated to the fighting in the La Gleize and Stoumont area in december 1944.
I took the opportunity and convinced my driver (well, ordered him) to go on a little recce with me. Unfortunately the museum was guarded by a King Tiger tank. Heroic action was called for and a die throw of double six knocked the beast out.

Pjotr Nyudrev, posing in front of the Tiger II, aka King Tiger, he had
just knocked out in single handed combat in the village of La Gleize.

Next postings will probably show the first WIP pics of the Hasselse Garde Grenadiers and my own old version of trees as described in the latest Battlegames. I think my woods are cooler. Maybe I might even consider asking money for using my design, ...where is that patent certificate?

Happy Gaming