Saturday, March 30, 2019

Book Review; The Army of James II 1685-1688

     Way back in 1987 I bought a copy of this title's predecessor; it was a laboriously type-written fifty-some page softbound book that displayed all of the primitive standards of the wargames publishing industry of the era. What shone through the crude material presentation was the immense amount of data gathered on what, at that time, was an incredibly unlikely subject. The energy and passion that Ede-Borrett has lavished on this subject was evident on every page. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Book Review; Peter The Great Humbled

     Second in the list of books I will be reviewing is  is the above-mentioned title. In 1711 Peter the Great, no doubt feeling his oats after his smashing victory at Poltava, embarked on a campaign against the Ottoman Empire with the aim of forcing Charles XII out of the Ottoman domains and detaching a couple of Slavic provinces from Ottoman control. As one could guess from the title things went rather badly for Tsar Peter and his army. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Book Review Marlborough's Other Army

    Things happen that make me think that I did a decent job of being a father; like asking for some books from Helion for Christmas and seeing my kids going out of their way to make sure every title ends up under the Christmas tree. As a result I will be opining on the books as I finish reading them.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Zvezda 1/100 Panther

     Wrapping up my sweep through my pile of unbuilt Zvezda kits we now are going to consider the Panther kit. Everything that I said about the last three kits goes equally well for this model. The design is innovative and elegant, the detail and quality of casting are unparalleled. Frankly I am running out of glorifying adjectives to use on these models. This kit is cast in a hard, pale gray plastic and shows no sign of flash and you can only find the faintest of mold lines after a thorough examination. This kit again pushes the envelope for snap-tight kits with an innovative approach and an exacting attention to detail. 

      This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Zvezda 1/100 Jagdpanther

     Zvezda continues to push the envelope on snap-fit models with this kit. I have to admit that I was concerned when I saw that the instructions no longer fit on the back of the box. The model is cleanly molded in hard, pale gray plastic with no trace of flash and only the slightest hint of mold-lines. Detail, fit and finish are all first-rate, as has become the standard with Zvezda kits.  Frankly, when I unpacked the kit and took a look at the way that the designer had sectioned the model into parts and the assembly procedure I thought to myself that the good people at Zvezda had clearly crossed the line into madness. Read on to see just how wrong I was.

       This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

Zvezda 1/100 ISU-152

     Continuing in my effort to get caught back up on my kit reviews I built the Zvezda SU-152. This monster filled a dual-role in the Soviet arsenal; it excelled at smashing bunkers and functioned very well as a "Big Cat Killer" being able to take on Tigers and Panthers with a decent chance of success. The model is molded in hard green plastic that takes detail very well. The level of detail n this kits is very good; delicate and in proportion. It took me about ten minutes to assemble this kit. One thing that I would like to point out when building a very precise snap-together kit is that you need to pay very careful attention to removing the the flow channels that connect the part to the sprue. Even a tiny bit of left over plastic can cause the parts to fit unevenly (we won't talk about the events that brought me to that Epiphany). Just be sure that you have the sprues trimmed back and flush before you start assembly.
      This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

The Zvezda 1/100 T-44

      It has been ages since I did any kit reviews and I'm way behind. I had a little while  to spend so I grabbed a few of the kits that have been waiting patiently in The Vault and put them together. First up is the Russian T-44, the descendant of the famous T-34 series and the direct predecessor to the ubiquitous T-54/55 series, the T-44 was little known in the west until fairly recently. It began as a potential replacement for the T-34 but the Soviet High Command did not want to suspend production on the main assembly line to introduce this new model so "only" about 2000 were made in secondary factories.
     This kit is up to the usual standards for a Zvezda snap-together kit. It is crisply molded in hard green plastic and assembles easily. Fit and finish are remarkable for a snap together model ( I glued mine just to be on the safe side).

       This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Game this Saturday, starting about 1700hrs

So, I finally managed to free up a few hours this Saturday and it looks like I will be able to run a game or two. I am free from about 5pm on so show up when you can and we will roll some dice and push some lead soldiers around!

Monday, March 4, 2019

A First Taste of Rebels and Patriots

        Joe and I gave Rebels and Patriots and try as soon as I got my copy home from Michigan Toy Soldier. Although clearly showing its bloodline this is a very different game from Pikeman's Lament or The Men Who Would Be Kings. The rules purport to cover the era from colonization through the ACW. To my mind that may be asking a bit from a simple set of rules, but further testing will have to be done before I make up my mind. 
     As a first play-test I dusted off a collection of 15mm Texas Revolution/ Mexican-American War that I had picked up at a convention years ago and had not been used for lack of rules. We ran a game from each period using the army lists provided in the rules and Scenario #1 from the rule book, this requires two scouting forces meeting and trying to hold onto a specific terrain point.