Friday, 1 May 2015

A quick photo update!

Here are the two completed and posted regiments of cuirassiers for Vintage Waterloo. These 24 cavalry took a fair bit of work to get them to the standard I wanted, approx 20 hours painting! I could go further, but overall I think they will fit nicely with Ian and Roys collections.

I'm currently painting the first of two more 24 figure Prussian battalions for Roy, both landwehr in long coats, so things will pick up speed again. At the same time I'm finishing off a nice set of medical orderlies/casualties for John and have the first 8 figures from Ian's British battalion ready to start. I'm finding that having several things on the go together is working well for me.

Hope to get a game of memoir 44 in over the weekend. I'm waiting on some figures from Peter Pig including SS in camo smocks, French resistance, and some British Paras.

Cuirassiers for Vintage Waterloo. Top two pics are pre finished - (officers eppaulette corrected to silver! )






Thursday, 23 April 2015

A block appeal, and cuirassier progress.

With the Waterloo anniversary fast approaching I need to get a shift on painting the units that I have here intended for the Vintage Waterloo game planned by Ian and Roy. The 12th regiment are done (save for a final check through for errors/touch ups etc), and the 4th regiment are about half painted. These cuirassiers have taken some work and progress is slower than anticipated, but I won't rush them as I want to produce a couple of special units. I'll follow up with a couple of Prussian Landwehr battalions! I'm also painting more ACW's for John in the background as well as slowly adding to my WW2 late war collection in 15mm.

12th Cuirassiers - still need final detail checks and a satin varnish. No doubt I'll also add more highlights to the horses to bring them 'up' a little more.




A Waterloo block appeal!
Having made the decision not to build up armies of my own and instead to fight the Commands & Colors Napoleonics Waterloo scenario on the day, I am on the lookout for a few spare wooden infantry blocks. These will be used to create Highlanders, Brunswick, Dutch & Belgian, Polish, Swiss etc using the nice 'unofficial' stickers that are to be found on the C&CN forum. Some examples you can see HERE. Should anyone happen to have a couple of leftover blocks they won't use I would be delighted to make use of them. Any colour will do as I can repaint them to match. Please drop me a line:   lgramson@yahoo.com  Many thanks.

Memoir '44 adaptions.
Having completed painting of the Open Fire box set I must admit that currently I'm happy to enjoy using all of the miniatures with memoir games! With a lot of other commitments at the moment it's probably not the right time for me to be learning a new set of rules. I have the basics of Flames of War, I have played through the main rules, but the next stage of collecting and building scenery/terrain etc is not something I can get into right now.

I was pleased to read of some interesting variations on Ross' blog of the Memoir rules and I will be giving these a try next game. Makes a lot of sense and does not affect the overall flow of the game, for example artillery need spotters to range in, infantry cannot hit on armour unless armed with bazooka/panzershreck/ panzerfaust etc or in direct assault, and commanders are added. Should be fun, and of course with Memoir '44 what it may lack in fine detail it makes up for it in sheer speed of play and excitement.




In order to  use my own 'air support' rule with memoir I now have an appropriate model plane for both sides - purely for show of course! - having added a JU87 to my little late war Spitfire. I might go for the Typhoon next, in fact I can see myself building up a collection of these aircraft models.



And finally for now DOG NEWS! ... it's been unseasonably warm recently here on the Kent coast, with loads of day trippers over on the beach. Even the sun lounger hire guy had his loungers out (£5.00 all day), and we don't normally see him until June. On such days I like to be out early in the mornings with the dogs when it's quiet. Poppy the pup has come on very well and is still kept in her place by Marcie the Retriever, who at 12 years of age is in remarkably good form for her breed at this age. I love to watch them play fighting, huge sharp teeth, but so gentle together, occasionally if Poppy gets a little too feisty she will get a little reminder who's boss, but once tired Poppy will fall asleep on top of Marcie, who seems not to care.





Monday, 13 April 2015

A stirring sight - cuirassiers ready for painting.

Even sitting there with just the black undercoat on they look impressive I think, 24 Hinton Hunt cuirassiers with some wonderful conversion work by Roy on the command figures, including adding eagles to the flagpoles. Started this morning, I'll hold pics until both Regiments are finished at the weekend. Started with a pink facing unit (10th to 12th  I think were such units and both present at Waterloo), the second maybe 'aurore'. Nice horses too, well detailed and a separate officers horse (minus sheepskin) that is accurate. Both units intended for 'Vintage Waterloo' and commissioned by Roy for his collection.





Memoir44  'Breakthrough'.
Yesterday I spent an enjoyable couple of hours playing a game of Memoir44 on the new breakthrough board which is 17 hexes deep by 13 wide and works much better with my 15mm models visually I think. I'm so pleased that I'm on the lookout for a second 'plain/beach' breakthrough board so that I can play on a double seized board - 26 hexes wide  x 17 hexes deep! I really like the quality of the memoir graphics, which I feel to be better than even the C&C N board. I'll probably order another breakthrough set for next week.

Couple of new 'tweaks' introduced this game, borrowed from the 77 page PDF under 'Advanced play' firstly Air Support.  Each side can attempt to use air support twice during a game, must dice and if successful normal memoir 'air support' rule applies. Can be useful for strafing or rocketing both armour and infantry when adjacent. Up to 4 hexes may be targeted. It's just great fun, fast and furious and can do a lot of damage to formations.

Secondly, I introduced my freshly painted Tiger I tank. There are rules for such beasts in the FAQ, being mainly that they begin as 4 point tanks and any hits rolled against them must be re - rolled to confirm hits. Reasonable enough, but still a -2 when fighting into bocage? a Tiger? Anyway, rules is rules and it does give enough advantage to be about right on balance. I did consider giving it 4 combat dice, but it may become too unstoppable! As it turned out the Tiger did sustain 3 hits and would have blown up on the next hit, but it retired from the fight to the safety of a village having blown up two of the Allied Shermans and damaged a third.

All great fun, buckets of dice rolled, and all packed away again within a couple of hours. Models still need work, tanks need decals, more stowage etc and I'm waiting for my German aircraft to arrive in the post. It's very much a side project and I'm happy with it, having learned from past lessons that this combination of models and board game works for me. Thanks to those who commented on the last pictures.

German victory - 6 medals to 2! Allied armour had a long journey to get into the fight on the new deeper board, even moving 3 hexes per move they took time to arrive, the centre being blocked by the dreaded 'bocage' that slows everything to a crawl and blocks line of sight.



The newly painted Tiger rolls slowly forward.

Look where I started those US infantry..... what chance!

Air support, targeting the two tanks and the supporting infantry.

Stug assault guns and the Tiger move forward, the allied front line being held by US Airborne with infantry coming up behind the tanks - again I overlooked how far back they were deployed and they did not get into the fight.

Three 'brewed up' Shermans.

Dice placed to denote 4 units ordered that move, not a lot to remember in memoir I know, but it helps when working resolving the combats I find.

Tiger retires to village hex to prevent being hit and blown up (red marker marker denotes down to last hit).



Sunday, 5 April 2015

Mustering for (Vintage) Waterloo & more fun with Memoir44.

Lots of family coming over for dinner during Easter, my wife is busy cooking (as she likes to do), roast lemon chicken with stuffing today, and roasted leg of lamb tomorrow, (of course they can't all make the same day!) . We shall certainly feast well and be thankful for it.

Vintage Waterloo.
After the break this will become my main painting focus going forward. I have now had time to sit down and look through all of the units that I have to paint, mostly for Roy but also a British line battalion for Ian. I'm confident that I can deliver what I have here in good time and I'm very keen to produce some striking units.

What I have in my 'in tray' for VR is as follows:



Cavalry:
2 Regiments of cuirassiers, each of 12 figures. Roy has produced some nice conversions for the command figures, with eagles added to the standard bearers.

1st Chassuers a cheval  12 figures. These are clever conversions from HH french line lancers as this unit wore the  Grecian style helmet. Swords replaced from pins and neatly done.

Cumberland Hussars 12 figures.

1 regiment of Prussian Dragoons in Litewka. 12 figures.

Infantry battalions:
Hanoverian battalion 24 figures

British line battalion 24 figures (Ian)

French Middle Guard battalion 24 figures

3 x Prussian reserve/landwehr battalions, each of 24 figures.

I'll feature each unit here as it's painted, I'm thinking of starting with the two cuirassier regiments, because I love those French heavies!

Memoir 44 & Flames of War.
I continue to have fun with Memoir as I build up my 'Flames of War' collection of figures, tanks and guns etc. The box set is just a few infantry bases away from being painted, and the Allied tanks need finishing off and will have decals added when I can get them. I have ordered some but they have not arrived yet. I have added a platoon of US riflemen that I had here, nice metal figures that match the plastics very well in scale, but crisper detail, and I now have a Stug platoon of 5 models to add to my German armour. These came 'new' via ebay and I was surprised to get them for £18.00 as they currently sell for around £26.00. Like most FoW/Battlefront stuff it's expensive for plastic, but just so nice and collectable. So I just could NOT resist this little Spitfire when I saw it, late war so ideal for air support in the game. A quick paint job and she's up on her (supplied) FoW flight stand with flight dice included, ( if you are successful in calling in air support at the start of a turn, you then throw the 'flight dice' to see how many planes make the strike, 1, 2 or 3). I just had to feature her in a couple of pics, but  for almost £11.00 I can't help thinking of the actual production cost of what is a very small piece of cleverly marketed and packaged plastic! Still. I fell for it and I love her ......and I have my eye on a German aircraft I'll be ordering on Tuesday.



Memoir44 fun! The 'breakthrough' boards should be with me on Tuesday, 17 x 13 hexes should improve the visual appearance of using 15mm figures on the board.








Finally for now, I'm finishing off some ACW's for John, Hinton Hunt cavlary and infantry, over the weekend. Getting in some horse shade practice for those cuirassiers, working on the 'browns'. These Rebs and yanks have a mix of shades -( they are shown un-finished).



Sunday, 29 March 2015

More Spanish infantry & a happy coincidence!

Two more battalions of Early Peninsular War Spanish painted for Tony this week, another white coated line battalion of 22 foot and a mounted officer, with blue facings (Tony's description was a kind of Man City blue), slightly darker than the Irish guys painted last time, and a light battalion of 18 figures. A pleasure to paint and I have now established a set method for painting these white uniforms, reverting back to a black undercoat before base coating all white areas with Foundry Arctic Grey shade. This is the perfect grey shade for white uniforms and will shade the white quite subtly where left to show slightly.






Flames of War.
It's been a miserable weekend here weather wise, heavy rain and strong winds, so I set myself a painting challenge. I'm still working through the FoW 'Open Fire' box set, having got the Allies up to a reasonable tabletop standard I undercoated three Stugs, the pak 40's and crews plus eight bases of Panzergrenadiers with the intention of getting them finished over the weekend! I'm almost there but the infantry are not yet finished. I'm in no rush with these really though, and I tend to only work on them at weekends. Great fun though and it's slowly coming together. The tanks were my very first attempt at 'soft camo' and after a lot of trial and error I was happy enough to settle for this.






Memoir 44
It occurred to me the other day that all of the FoW stuff could also be used to play Memoir 44 just as it is. I enjoy memoir but the scale of the supplied playing pieces bothers me, 20mm figures towering over little tanks!



So I got the Memoir 44 board out to check and it works. I know I will enjoy the game so much more with these new pieces, and it's a continuation of something I started a couple of years back. So I now have the choice of playing both sets of rules using the same figures. I'll use the old markers to score hits as before rather than removing casualties. I'll also be ordering the 'breakthrough'  expansion with it's 17 x 13 hex boards.


All in all a productive weekends painting ..... and the sun is just finally beginning to come through!

Vintage Waterloo.
Next week I'm painting for John, more Hinton Hunt cavalry for both sides plus a lot more Rebs. The following week I will turn my attention to 'Vintage Waterloo' as I now have no less than 10 battalions/regiments in hand for that game, commissioned by Roy with 1 further British battalion for Ian. I'll work things out and post some details of the units I have to paint as there are some wonderful units to represent here.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

20mm ACW's & Hinton Hunt conversions.

I enjoyed painting through some of John's wonderful ACW's this week, although I must confess I initially found it hard to get started on them probably due to my head being full of Napoleonic 'stuff' in this Waterloo anniversary year. Once underway I was fine and as usual from John there is a vast selection of castings and manufacturers to choose from. The 79th New York (Highlanders) will I'm sure cut a dash in any ACW battle! I have never been a kilt painter, but overall they turned out well I think.

Lovely castings, this pic taken before final details added.


A touch of red here and there lifts ACW figures a bit more I find - mental note to self: add officers cuff braid!

The advancing Yanks at right shoulder shift arms are by Qualticast and superb in my opinion, the standard bearers are conversions and very neatly done, as is the officer behind them with frock coat added from green stuff and sword added over shoulder. I will get a close of him later.



My trusty old desk lamp! Not much left of the original, fitted new bulb holder for the 35watt spiral I like to use for painting - always for me it's 6400k more usually known as 'daylight' or 'SAD' as it gives a very crisp light in the blue spectrum. Note the professional 'hood' attached by selotape.
On Monday I'll be starting two more battalions of  early Peninsular Spanish for Tony, one line and one light this time. I thought I would give you a look at these crisp shiny castings from the lights, they always paint up very well.


Among the units I have in my 'in tray' is a unit of French light cavalry for 'Vintage Waterloo' these being the 1st Regiment of Chasseurs who wore the light lancer style helmet. Roy has done a sterling job of the conversions, removing the lance from the HH light lancer castings and adding a flattened pin sword, should produce a fine and unique regiment of cavalry. I also have the Cumberland Hussars in hand and a couple of units of Cuirassiers scheduled down the line, all Hinton Hunt figures I believe, so there should be plenty of cavalry on the field when the day comes. These are 12 figure units. Let's hope the Hussars hang around a bit longer than they did historically!