Thursday, 16 July 2015

Flames of War (again!) and painting Spaniards.

While I continue to enjoy playing Memoir '44 games (and will keep this on my other blog), it has become apparent to me that in order to really enjoy a more accurate simulation of WW2 battle, and in particular tank warfare, I would need to find a second set of rules to play alongside Memoir. I have kept this in mind as I continue to rebuild my FoW forces using Peter Pig metal figures instead of the plastic Battlefront figures.

I'm rebuilding using the 'Open Fire' late war lists, adding a platoon of heavy tanks (Tiger 1 E) and artillery to bring  the Germans up to 1500 points for example. I have found recently that I retain much of the basics of the rules in my head, once you get used to the concept of a target needing to 'beat' the AT of an incoming shell by adding it's own armour rating to a modified D6 throw, (it's normally the other way round!), everything seems to fall into place. The  initial rolls 'to hit' are straightforward, this time depending on the skill and training of the target as they attempt to avoid the incoming fire, with only basic modifiers such as target over 16", target concealed or gone to ground.

Of course I will need to build some conventional terrain. It's very odd playing a game without hexes after so many years. FoW are very forgiving in these regards, for example infantry move 6" as standard with no deductions for rough terrain etc, and as you might only be playing with say five or so platoons there is no mass maneuvering of large armies of model soldiers, so the game flows fast and is easy to keep track of.

I thought a few shots of my WW2 collection as it stands would be good, I'm far happier with the Piggy soldiers, they have a character of their own, especially the faces. I keep looking at the Russians, I know I can't hold out much longer! I'll be adding the small command bases next week.


Allies (so far).

More Spanish infantry.
With the 30th Foot now returned home I have started on two more battalions for Tony. I think these may be units nine and ten?  not sure but I know it took a few units to find the best way to paint these white uniforms and I'm much happier now I have established a reliable method. I know the first few battalions were painted over a white undercoat and then built up from there, but I HATE having to paint black over the white u/coat, infact when I paint over a strong black undercoat I rarely re paint black at all, just a slight black grey to highlight.

The key for me has been Foundry Arctic Grey Shade. I spent a lot of time trying to find a grey that would give the right kind of subtle contrast with white when used as a base coat for uniforms. I now use a fairly dry brush to apply the grey over all of the uniform and belts, straps etc, carefully avoiding the black areas of course and the musket. It's a quick but steady job and once done it really helps the white to stand out by adding contrast.

Below are a couple of 'production shots' (ie unfinished!) of the first battalion so far. I think they illustrate well the perfect contrast between the Arctic grey base shade and the white overpaint. The white will get a further pure coat later to try and add more highlights. Bit to do yet, collars need piping, brass/gold for buttons, musket bands, plume clips etc, but they are coming along nicely.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Fall in the 30th Foot.

Completed and satin varnished, here are the 30th Foot ready to be packed up and posted. I'm straight onto more Spaniards now for Tony as I'm in a pretty productive painting mood right now. I enjoyed painting the flags, was a challenge with lot's of touching up of stray lines etc!  The engraving in the flag was extremely helpful.

These are all vintage Hinton Hunts I believe, and includes the lovely officer of the Guards who stayed far too late at the ball :)

Things have settled down on the domestic front and Mum in law is comfortable in a very nice care home with a full funding package in place so for the time being it's relatively normal.

Today in Dymchurch 'our' Martello tower will be open to the public, it's a rare thing these days, only been open a few days over the last few years so I'm going to brag some photos of the interior for the blog. I recall the original musket racks were still in situ and it's very atmospheric inside.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A peep at the 30th Foot!

About done, saved the two flags for last and all just need a final detail check and varnish. I need to check the shade of officers sashes. I'm pleased that they will make it in time for Vintage Waterloo, British Napoleonics are always a challenge to paint but I'm pleased with these I must say.

I'll do a last pic with close ups once all removed from the caps etc prior to packing them up.

Edit: Flags painted and figures satin varnished, a couple more shots outdoors added.

*Edited to add: no brass or steel bands on the Brown Bess barrels as I believe is correct? Not sure quite how but the Bess barrels were 'pinned'.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Recent comments.

I have only just noticed that I have loads of unpublished comments awaiting moderation and that I have not yet replied to. Thank you to everyone who has sent comments etc, I will reply to them all individually but in the mean time your words are much appreciated and all info and links will be followed up :) Also thanks to those who emailed links and suggestions, I now have some good ideas going forward for the colonial period. Sadly, Martin at Peter Pig miniatures does not make a Zulu range (I wonder why? I must ask him), otherwise I would begin there. So I think Egypt is the place to begin as it offers much painting diversity. Meantime I'll get my head screwed back on and have removed moderation to see how it goes.

It's been another busy week that has seen little painting, but I continue to make slow progress on the 30th Foot and am currently painting the command group, which includes the lovely casting of the Guards officer in bearskin. Ian has provided a nice little tale to explain his presence in the 30th Regiment of Foot, namely that he stayed far too late at the Duchess of Richmond's ball and was unable subsequently to rejoin his own regiment. I have given him the blue facings of the Guards, which contrasts nicely with the light yellow of the 30th Foot. I won't post pics until all is completed.

As my interest in the late WW2 period continues to grow I have decided to stick with it for the near future. The more I learn the more I want to wargame the period. I have everything I need now to play through the Memoir '44 scenarios, and I'll continue to do that on my dedicated memoir blog. I'm starting with the Pegasus Bridge scenario and working through in order.

And some late news, it's been a scorcher in Dymchurch today, far too hot for a certain 'large' cat of our  acquaintance who has spent the morning asleep on a chair in the dining room. It's 'Kenco' who for some reason has turned into a somewhat overweight cat, while her litter mates both remain slim and agile. I had to grab the camera for this one. Portrait of a happy cat!