Tuesday, June 28, 2011

UPDATED Weekend Schedule

UPDATE:  Tom has called saying he is in town and will be available on Friday and Saturday (maybe Sunday as well). 

The Current schedule is as follows:

FRIDAY   9am             B'Maso;  The Rescue of Garfield Shavanje,  Terrorists vs Rhodesian Police
                 1pm ?          Break for lunch
                 2:30pm        Barroom Brawl
                 4:30-5pm    Hail Caesar,   Byzantines vs Slavs (maybe Rus....I have yet to decide)
                                    Maybe a little Wings of War after the Hail Caesar game. if there is time.


                9am          Wild West Shoot Out
                11am        Daftrican Colonial, The Quest for the Golden Bhudda
                2:30pm     Lunch
                4:30pm     Black Powder Napoleonics, The Fight at San Isidore, French vs Spanish

I will lay on for Bagels, OJ and coffee in the AM, there are some decent local restaurants for lunch. I guess we will wing it for dinner (either going out or ordering in) as the spirit moves us.

 I am hitting Costco to get supplies for the 4th on my way home on the 30th I will be buying Mike's Hard and beer & wine, contact me if there is a brand you like and I will try to get some.

Tom F., the wargames guru of San Antonio, will be in town over the weekend preceeding the 4th of July. To celebrate this event I would like to lay on as many wargames as we can stand on Friday and Saturday. Anybody interested in flashing back thirty years when we all could game all day and night either put a note in the comments section or drop me an e-mail or phone call.

As usual I am the worst planner in the world and haven't set a schedule yet but here are some of the games that I was planning on putting into the mix; Blackpowder Napoleonics, Hail Ceasar Ancients (Byzantines vs Visigoths), Wings of War, Wild West Shootout, Daftrican Colonial, and (if I can lean on Pat) Space Hulk and perhaps a game of B'Maso.

Monday, June 27, 2011

B'Maso, Too Fat Lardies visit Rhodesia 15mm African Wars

Last Saturday we played a game of "B'Maso", a set of rules for the period of decolonialisation 1950-1990 by Too Fat Lardies. This set of rules is closely similar to "I A'int Been Shot Mum" by the same authors. The mechanics are simple but the play is very interesting with the native troops moving as blinds that mark their location but conceal their composition from the Europeans. Additionally there is usually one dummy blind for every real one, just to keep the enemy guessing. Pat kindly provided the figures (largely Peter Pig figures) and ran the scenario and rules for us.

The scenario was a Rhodesian Police Patrol responding to reports of "trouble" near Mr. Patel's General Store, see the map below;

click on the pictures to get a larger view

Friday, June 24, 2011

Perrys 28mm American Civil War Infantry Painted

I have added a few pictures of a box of Perrys 28mm ACW infantry that I painted up a while ago to the bottom of the Perrys miniatures page. I like them a lot, they paint quickly and easily and give a decent looking result to a limited talent such as my own.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Feature, Look Up!

OK for dogs that may be difficult, but for all you humans veiwing the site you will notice the little bar just below the "Mini Photo of the Moment" and just above this entry there is a bar that says, "Perrys Plastic....... blah blah blah" I have stashed some photo reviews of a few sets of Perrys Plastic 28mm figures, this will help reduce the load of photo reviews that show up on the main page and make it easier to find reviews that are a little older. Give it a try and see how you like it. This will allow me to just put a note on the main site saying something like "New ACW Zouaves from Perrys added" to direct interested person there.

Oh, by the way, I just posted the New Perrys ACW Zouaves on that self-same page, as well as the War of the Roses Infantry set and the ACW Cavalry and Infantry.

It also creates a "Home" button that will take you back to the main page if you have clicked on one of the older posts listed in the side bar archive.

Comments welcome, if this is not well received I can always switch back.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Really neat toys from Hydra Miniatures

    I had the pleasure of meeting Matthew Beauchamp today, he is the President and Chief Sculptor of Hydra Miniatures, the makers of a large and expanding range of "Pulp" Science Fiction figures based on the serials from the 30's and 40's, and the stories from the old pulp magazines of the same era. What has really caught my eye was the Retro Raygun and War Rocket ranges, Very Buck Rogers/ Flash Gordon, the cool factor borders on impossible to measure, I think these pictures say it all:

Comet, Galacteer chimp sidekick

I don't think there is anything to top that!

If you are at all interested pop on over to their website and take a look. They also do rules to go with their fleets of space ships.

Some other subjects, 1/100 scale tanks from G A Models

      I am sure that at least a few of you are growing weary of my endless natterring on about 1/100 plastic model tanks......I must say that they are very cool and I like them a lot. The truth be told I have a great many models from other sources, some of which involve no plastic at all! One very important source is G A Models, Craig makes a staggering variety of small scale tanks for nearly every significant combatant. These come assembles and painted (sort of) or unassembled and in the raw resin. Prices are ridiculously cheap at US$4.00 each with nominal shipping costs. I have nearly a hundred of his tanks and armored cars and they are all well done. Sorry no rivets on the suspension support members, but they are still very good looking. I often kit them out with machine guns and other storage bits from the parts bin and add crew figures from the Comand Decsision range from Grandiosity (who also sell a lot of other really neat stuff).  So, for all you resin and lead - heads out there here are a few pictures of some M-3 Armored Cars that I built a little while ago.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Michigan's Own Military and Space Museum

Not really a wargaming topic but a really cool place to visit. Located at the southern edge of Frankenmuth Michigan, just off the I-75 . The museum has made huge efforts to collect as many Medal of Honor winners memorabilia as possbile. Every display has a history of the award and how it was won. It also has a lot of the souveniers from Michiganians (Michiganders? heck I have lived here my whole life and I am not sure which is proper) that have been involved in the Space Program. Very interesting, and inexpensive to boot!

Take the significant other (they can go shopping - unless your significant other is REALLY cool and wants to see the museum as well) spend some time, the restaurants are good and the beer at brewery is excellent.

Go there, ya bum!

Here is their website;  http://www.michigansmilitarymuseum.com/

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Don't forget!

18 Jun11 Michigan Toy Soldier is hosting their annual flea market. This is open to anyone who wishes to bring items they no longer want/need to sell or trade with other collectors. It is held in the parking lot of the business in Royal Oak. Check out their website for additional info. The map below shows the location:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Don't Forget Upcoming Event Peninsular Wars Kalamazoo 30JUL11

I got this in an e-mail. Peninsular Wars is a fun event, I have gone several times in the past and enjoyed myself immensely. The Air Museum is nice too, make a weekend of it!

Make it if you can, full info below.

From: Tom Bryant <excaliburdesigns99@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 12:08 PM
Subject: Peninsula Campaigns 2011: The Emperor Goes To The (Air)Zoo!

Hi Everybody!

June 12, 2011: Peninsula Campaigns is on the move again! This year we are
proud and pleased to announce that the convention will be held at the
Kalamazoo Air Zoo. The Air Zoo is an air museum on the grounds of the
Kalamazoo International Airport. It houses many historic and noteworthy
aircraft and exhibits. It includes an onsite café and is conveniently
located off I-94.

The convention will be held on July 30, 2011 and will start at 9AM and
continue until 7PM. As in years past there will be two sessions. The first
session will got from 9AM to 1 PM and the second session will go from 2PM to
6 PM with a one hour set time in the morning for the dealers and early bird
attendees. There will also be an hour at the end of the night to finish off
the last game and pack up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


OK, OK, I am an idiot when it comes to scheduling things.........this I am well aware of. There will be no game 18JUN11 at my house. Sorry for the late notice.

I am attempting to rectify this matter, perhaps we can meet on Thursday 16JUN11 at 1900hrs?

Please respond in the comments section if this is a workable scenario......

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa........

(I will try to put together a coherent schedule over the next few days that lasts through the end of July. Maybe if I post far enough into the future the conflicts will appear sooner and we can avoid this last minute nonsense.)

                                   Keep Painting,   John

Monday, June 13, 2011

For Pat, Steve, and, of course, Kyle AK-47 Republic Project Update + Warpaint on the Zvezda and Plastic Soldier Company Tanks

Well, I decided to not cut the grass and just screw off today, so here is the result of my little bit of free time. A mixed bag of Command Decsion (the Cubans) and PSC and Zvezda all 15mm - 1/100. All they need now is some FFW clear coat and Armory Flat Spray. First the Cubans:

as always, click on the picture to enlarge

Sunday, June 12, 2011

For Pat, Steve and, of course, Kyle: AK-47 Republic Project update

The Cuban armored might is almost ready to come to battle;

I am not looking forward to painting all those tires on the BTR-60s

Future Floor Wax and decals for models

A long time ago a buddy of mine pointed out that Future Floor Wax (henceforth FFW) is a nearly perfect gloss finish and is a great medium for prepping surfaces for fixing decals. He was right and for years I have used FFW for these purposes. Some people have not heard of this so I am posting a little article on it.

FFW has been marketed under many different names over the years a fact more completely investigated at Swanny's Models site. It can be had nearly worldwide. My quart-sized container has lasted me for several years now. It is wonderful stuff and dirt cheap.

this is the version that I have

Friday, June 10, 2011

A little warpaint, painted 15mm WW2

Looking at the expanding pile of plastic models that I have acquired in the last few months it occurred to me that they needed paint. The weather being cooperative I decided to give them a dash of color and took them to the garage to be sprayed. Upon seeing them base-coated I was swept up in the moment and ran them back to the paint-shop for a quick "factory-fresh" paint job, the results of which you see below. I now have to get the decal situation squared away and I can move on to the decaling and weathering steps. I will do a bit about Future Floor Wax and decals when I am finishing these kits, it really does a smashing job of fixing decals to a model.

Comments, criticism, cheers and jeers are all welcome.

base coats and details

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Building the Zvezda 1/144 Lagg-3, IL-2, Stuka and Me-109

I was going to do these all as separate items but there is so little to report I decided to lump them all in together.

As I have found with prior Zvezda kits the fit and finish was near-perfect, only the slightest trace of mold-lines to remove. I did cut away the locating pins as I intended to glue them rather than relying on the snap-fit to keep them assembled. I must confess that I was amazed at how tightly these models fit, I have built models in MUCH larger scales that did not come anywhere close to the tightness of fit that these kits display. Well done Zvezda!

First the ME-109; the only thing that was less than perfect was the fit of the retracted landing gear into the opening provided in the wing. I had to do a little bit of trimming to get the part to fit in place. As all of these were going to be "flying"  models I removed the propeller blades from the spinner.

further info and more pictures after the break

Building Zvezda 1/100 T-34

I had just a few moments of free time so I thought that I would build some Zvezda kits. The T-34 That I reviewed earlier was first up. As expected it went together like a dream, needing only a tiny amount of mold-line clean-up. I glued the parts together as I have never trusted Snap-Together models to hold in the long run.

Five parts, that is it!

The small details that make these kits a joy to build, somebody at Zvezda is thinking and making life easy for the rest of us.

Hail Caesar, Game Report

Well the first game has come and gone. I had hoped to get to examine a lot of the Special Rules and we put a good many to the test. Most of the players were only familiar with Blackpowder so this posed a bit of a learning curve for the first couple of turns. They caught on rapidly and things went very smoothly by the end. On the whole I can say that I like the rules, I may have a few quibbles but will reserve judgement until we have played a few more games. Now on to the action:

   Most readers will recall the stunning bit cartography that I created to show the game table, but (just to show off) I have posted it below. You will, of course, now note that it reflects the position of the troops at the beginning of play. The Galatians had concentrated the warbands into a dense block in the center with the lighter troops and cavalry assigned to cover the flanks. The Army General led the warbands while the lesser leaders were in charge of the left-flank force of chariots/cavalry/light infantry and the right-flank force of heavy cavalry and light infantry.

     The Greek players decided to spread the army across the field to leave the ferocious Galatians little chance at turning moves. Aware of the Phalanx, Long Spear and Uphill rules they cunningly placed the less-than-heroic Subject Hoplites on the hill on their right flank, supported on either side by the Spartans and cavalry. The Spartan General (who was also the Army commander) stood nearby to ensure they performed their duties as expected, he also commanded the Spartan phalanx, and the Thorikatoi. The Athenian General lead the two Athenian Phalanxs and the one unit of Subject Hoplites that were sandwiched between. The remaining general commanded the cavalry and the light troops (cleverly taking advantage of the Marauders rule).

     The first move went to the Greeks who moved forward slightly with the hoplites to establish a more coherent line. While this was going on the cavalry swept around the flank to pose a threat to the flank of any troops facing the hoplites while the Thorikatio advanced to prep for a spoiling attack against the chariots, the psiloi advanced (taking advantage of the Marauder rule that allowed their general to order them without penalty for distance) the javelins didn't get close enough to engage the enemy, the slingers in the center inflicted enough damage to cause one warband to become disordered (troops struck by slingers make their Morale saves at a  "-1").

     The Galatians responded by throwing the chariots at the Thorikatoi in a furious charge, which gained support from the Light Infantry emerging from the woods. Meanwhile three of the warbands advanced one move in the center (they had failed the command roll but they had charge orders and the Special Rule "Eager" which allowed them a free move if they had charge orders) this placed them close enough to engage the psiloi with short-range missle fire the result of which was the breaking of the psiloi slingers. On the right the light infantry managed one move forward toward the psiloi javelinmen but did not get in range. The heavy cavalry failed their command roll but also advanced one move behind the light infantry as they were Eager and had charge orders.

    The chariot charge showed the strength of the Long Spear Special Rule, charging chariots and cavalry must test to become disordered, which the chariots failed. Striking the Thorikatio they were only able to push them back after inflicting a couple of hits, the Greeks did almost as well in reply.  This gives us the situation in photo #1;

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Game schedule, looking at summer CORRECTION

           This weekend the game will be on Sunday 5Jun11 at 2:00pm, we will be giving Hail Caesar a try. I hope to have a game report to follow with pictures.

11Jun11   no game at John's
18 Jun11  game at John's
25Jun11   game at John's
2Jul11      game at John's

       I am trying to get the usual Flames of War game moved back to Monday over the summer, if that doesn't work perhaps Thursday.

        On another note the guys at Michigan Toy Soldier have offered to host a game in near future. I have not contacted the FoW rep about this but I was interested to see if there were a group of people interested in participating in a FoW tournament during the summer, reply in the comments and include which period you would prefer.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hail Caesar the first test; scenario for game UPDATED

        I decided to keep the terrain as simple as was reasonable as we are just learning the rules, so each side gets a hill and a woods to anchor their flanks; the woods are dense  and the hills are easy going. See the masterfully crafted diagram below;

I created armies for the Galatians (an eastern branch of the Celtic peoples) and the Greeks. I confess that these armies are probably not very representative of the historical prototypes, in my defense we are trying out the rules so I wanted to throw as much different stuff on the table to see how the special rules add flavor.

more after the break