Friday, May 31, 2013

A Fight in Lebanon The Scenario 15mm Rock the Casbah by Two Fat Lardies

      A couple of weeks ago, to mark Dan A's return from the Army, Rich Uncle Pat ran a Rock the Casbah game at his place. The scenario was an Israeli penetration into a PLO controlled area in Lebanon. Each side had specific, and potentially asymmetric, objectives as well as very different forces and capabilities. This promised to be an interesting game.

the table, 
Rich Uncle Pat (R.U.P. henceforth) does a lavishly impressive spread!
I particularly liked the the national flags at either end, 
it reminded me of those old movies that featured a map-board to show the viewer the situation 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fireforge Deus Vult 28mm Foot Sergeants

      Following on the heels of the dismounted Knights sets come the Foot Sergeants box from Fireforge. Providing 48 figures at under a dollar (US) each is an achievement in itself but the fact that they are multi-pose and beautifully sculpted as well makes this an eve better deal. The figures are cast in a  dark gray plastic and the detailing is quite crisp. Figures are cast with the torso and legs as one unit allowing a variety of arms/heads/weapons to be used on each model. The box is the same sort of thin card that other European companies use (apparently they trust the shippers far more than Wargames Factory-whose box art is horrid, but the boxes are quite sturdy). Of course these are not just usable as Crusader figures they will work handsomely for any European foot troops of the period, a feature emphasized by the multi-part/multi-pose options this kit provides.

box art is evocative and atmospheric 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Evidence of wasting more time on the Interwebs; VSF powerplants LINK FIXED

I forgot my workout stuff today so I spent the lunch break web-surfing. While wandering the hallways of whim and fancy I sumbled across this website  "The Museum of RetroTechnology". Obviously an effort of love and dedication this provides tons of really cool ideas for VSF style engines and power sources thay have a basis in real physics rather than some nonsense like "unobtainium" or "sturginium". So, if you like your Victorian Science Fiction to be more Science and less Fiction, take a look. I think you will find it rewarding.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I think that I have found a new project

   At first I was just fooling around with my photos from vacations to get an idea what the Fort at Matanzas looked like in its glory days. The Spanish covered the Fort (and the Castillo) with a white stucco and then painted the trim in bright red. The building must have been striking against the green Florida coastline. Well, a couple of hours using Paint (yes, I know, an inadequate program for editing pictures) produced this;

    Now I find myself eyeing a pile of blueboard and trying to work out the dimensions for 1/60 scale model. I have contacted the good people at the National Park Service who have informed me that they are currently digitizing the plans and maps of the Fort and the Castillo.

       The question is whether I can wait for that to happen or do I just start cutting foam now?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

In Memory of a Really Good Man

     In the past week my father-in-law, Ernest Klingenberg, passed away. He will be greatly missed as he was a truly grand fellow. I had always wished that he had stopped to write an autobiography as it would have been one heck of a read. He was a child-soldier under the Nazis, a displaced person after the war ended, he emigrated to Canada and eventually the US where he became a citizen, joined the Army to opposed the hated Reds and retired as a Command Sergeant-Major of the Army after twenty-seven years of service. Along the way he fell in love with my mother-in-law and was father to three children, one of whom is my lovely wife.

     We wargamers often push our toy soldiers around with little consideration to the fact that they are supposed to represent REAL men, men like my father-in-law. People with real lives. It made me stop and think a bit.

    Vaya Con Dios, Ernie. We will miss you.

News Flash ! 13MAY13 will be Dystopian Wars

     Dan A has returned from the Army on leave and wishes to play as many/different games as possible. We will be complying with that request by letting him set the agenda until we have to return him to the tender mercies of Army, either at Fort Bliss or South Korea (although I understand that his parent unit, 1st Armored,  has just sent an HQ element to north Jordan, on the Syrian border, to "co-ordinate affairs"). He has chosen Dystopian Wars as a game he would like to play. Any of the crew wishing to join in be at my place at 1900hrs 13MAY13.

      See you there!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Perry Brothers 28mm British Center Company 1775-1783 American War of Independence

     Another treat from the talented folks at the Perrys Miniatures these were announced a short time ago. A good friend, Garrie H, was unable to wait for the U.S. distribution and ordered them direct from Blighty. He was kind enough to drop off a box for this review.

        The minis are up to the expected Perry standards (superb!) with the natural poses and proportions that are the trademark of a Perry sculpt. The uniforms fit and fold naturally and the weapons look to scale out correctly. Additionally the figures come with tricorns, rounds hats and helmets, allowing the modeler to build a large variety of the units serving in the Americas.  Now if they would only be so kind as to grace us with Continentals and French my day would be well and truly made.

box art, complete with the inevitable forest

Monday, May 6, 2013

Photo Essay: Fort Matanzas, Florida

       I first encountered Fort Matazas many years ago and have been fascinated by it ever since. It is a lonely little outpost that guarded the bay entrance to Saint Augustine  in the days of the Spanish rule. The town had been attacked by this back channel one prior occasions and the earlier wooden watch-towers had either decayed of burned down (cue the Scottish Lord from "Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail"), Needless to say this became both tiresome and hazardous so the Spanish Crown dug up the cash and built something a bit more durable. You can get the full story here from very informative the National Park Service's website. You can also get even more information about the Spanish Empire in Florida from the NPS website for the Castillo de San Marcos, well worth the time both of them!

a truly lonely outpost, even to this day

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sorry about that folks

   Each year I am struck with a case of the doldrums (usually in my case it is late January/early February). This year it started upon my return from a Florida vacation to the crappy sleet and cold of a Michigan April I managed to play a few games and build one model but generally I slouched around and (heaven-forbid)  watched television (Marx was wrong; cable is pure heroin for the masses).

      I am happy to say that I have gotten over all that and will be back in action henceforth. Upcoming articles will cover the 28mm Perrys Bros Brits, the Deus Vult Foot Sergeants (also in 28mm) and a photo-essay of a small Spanish colonial fort that I visited in Florida.