Monday, October 28, 2019

Book Review, The Paraguayan War 1864-70

The Paraguayan War 1864-70
Osprey Campaigns CAM342
Author   Gabriele Esposito
Illustrator   Guiseppe Rava
ISBN 978-1-4728-3444-7

        More than just a campaign this is an outline history of the entire conflict. It covers the causes, leaders, armies and military planning in the run-up to war. This conflict was the largest, most lethal, war in the 19th century in all of South America. Paraguay still bears the scars from it to this day. Overshadowed in the Anglophone world by conflicts such as the U.S. Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War this is nonetheless a crucial conflict in the political development of the nations involved. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Back to Bases......UPDATED!

      Having started the Epricurean Wars Campaign it occurred to me that the armies that I had drawn up considerably exceeded the figures that I had based for the Tercio rule set that we are using. After a deep sigh I descended into the workshop and cut a bunch of bases  out of matte board and sat myself down to the tedious task of carving minis off of the bases they were on, only to them attach them to the new bases and conduct the flocking procedure. I find that decaf coffee and Vivaldi's Four Seasons helps with this......

not bad for a ninety minute work session

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Basing an Afghan Village Part IV, Let the Sanding Begin! UPDATED

     Having cut the foam to shape I touched base with Kevin, we agreed that the hills were a tad overpowering and I swapped one of them down to thinner section white board, it was still taller than the rest of the terrain but no longer challenged the "Big Man's" house for strategic importance (or altitude!).  After double and triple checking the spacing and alignment (I actually checked the size of a Hummer three times just to be sure I had some critical dimensions right) I glued the foam down onto the plywood base.
my usual go-to glue, Titebond, was more than enough to attach the foam, 
I avoided the hot-glue gun because I wanted some adjustment time before the glue set
 (and, frankly, I burn myself nearly every time I fire up Satan's minion)

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Basing an Afghan Village, From Paper to Blue-Board

the terrain sketch that Kevin chose

      Having consulted with Kevin as to which layout he preferred I took my sketch to the workshop and began laying out the terrain directly onto the surface of the plywood.

the first step was to grid the vase off into one-foot squares
to simplify transferring the sketch to the full-sized base 

Refining the Concept

      I had a chance to speak with Kevin and gather his thoughts about my sketches for the Afghan Village project. He was able to provide me with a clearer idea of what he wanted. He is less concerned about the bases being fully geomorphic and that opened up the possibilities for the terrain by quite a bit. I no longer had to be concerned about bringing all of the elevations down to grade as they approached the edge of the base. This led to some deep thinking (which of course led to a nap) and then some Google-Fu  looking at images of Afghanistani villages. To a Midwesterner it is an odd looking place; so much dust, dryness and rocks to contrast with the shocking green of the irrigated and cultivated areas. To make my thinking more concrete I went back to this drawing;

Basing a Village in Afghanistan

       A short while ago I was approached by my friend Kevin (known among blog-followers as Zhodani Commando) about building some terrain for him. As brilliant a painter as he is it seems that Kev just doesn't care to make terrain.
      He showed me some pictures (see below) and explained that he had purchased the buildings through a Kickstarter and wanted me to construct the terrain on which to base them. I thought to myself "hills are a pretty straightforward, what the heck" and when Kev offered to sweeten the deal by trading me two of his Saga armies (did I mention that he is a brilliant painter) I suddenly found the idea irresistible. He dropped off the buildings the other day and I framed up the two three foot square bases that the village and snippet of Afghan countryside would be based on.

these are the handiwork of a more talented artist than I

Monday, October 21, 2019

Book Review, Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848-70 (2)

      Osprey Men At Arms MAA520
      Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848-70 (2)
      Author Gabriele Esposito 
      Artist Giuseppe Rava
      ISBN 978-1-4728-2624-4

      I had ordered this book through my local brick-and-mortar (Michigan Toy Soldier) after reading the first volume and was eagerly awaiting its arrival, I rushed down and purchased it as soon as they called saying it was in. To be honest I was slightly worried that it would not be as good as the first volume, how wrong I was. This slim volume traces the uniforms and organization of the armies of the Papal States and the various and sundry volunteers and minor states through the turbulent 22 year struggle for Italian Independence. Happily free from the usual horrid pastel maps that plague many Man At Arms volumes there is one small map delineating the States at the start of the Wars and a foreshortened chronology of events that only consumes two pages between them. The rest of the book is jam-packed with informative text and period illustrations.
      After addressing the national armies of the Papal States, the author guides the reader through the increasingly smalled nations of Tuscany, Modena and Parma before branching of into the incredibly convoluted array of volunteer, revolutionary and Republican troops. Esposito does this with a flowing style that keeps the ever-changing uniform and organizational situation clear in the reader's mind. Interspersed through the text margins are a very large number of period illustrations of the uniforms he is discussing. This helps greatly in providing the reader with a visualization of the the look of the uniforms in question.
       Bringing this vast amount of information to life is the inspired work of Giuseppe Rava. He captures an sense of energy, perspective and place in his artwork. The illustrations are precise without being formulaic and I would be delighted if a manufacturer would release minis that posses his eye for detail, proportion and energy. Well,, I'll be..... it seems that someone had already!

      Very highly Recommended!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

New Blog Link
      I have collected all of the posts regarding this special brand of silliness into a new blog, click here or on the picture to jump there.

A House Divided, Followers of the Small Plate Heresy

the tortured land of Gluttonia

    The untimely demise of Ferdinand III has left a rift in the fabric of Gluttonian society.His jovial nature and the force of his personality kept the tension between the factions of Proper-Mealers and Small-Platers under control. Without his firm hand on matters of state things have come entirely unstuck. Even as the army was en-route home from Mindoro the tension had risen to a fever pitch, with the Small-Platers blaming the Proper-meal faction for the death of the King. The return of the troops to their respective cities and the discovery that all of the heirs to the throne were in the hands of the surrounding kingdoms have left the nation an armed camp on the brink of civil war.

     The more progressive soldiers gravitated to the Small-Plate faction, these troops joined together and and sought to employ the latest fashions in combat. These opinions tended to be grouped by area and thus the various cities declared for Proper-Meal of Small-Plate, not to imagine that there was complete unanimity within any community, just that there was a prevailing mood.

Friday, October 18, 2019

First Blood, The battle before the walls of Mozzerella

it all looked so peaceful as the sun went down,
the Ferndalian army camped below the walls of Mozzerella
north is at the top of the picture in this view

     As the Gluttonian Succession Crisis blended with the civil strife caused by the Small Platers vs Proper Meal Unrest, Peter the Famished put forward Hanz Flamboise as his candidate for the Gluttonian throne. this quickly ruffled feathers among the Boozonian Parliament not to mention the Gluttonian advocates of either Franz or Clauz. Undeterred Peter sent Hanz to the border city of Mozzerella along with a portion of the Ferndalian army. By doing this he had hoped to act as a magnet for the Gluttonian supporters of Hanz and to place his man on the throne without undue conflict. Of course this was not meant to be.....

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Lace Wars 28mm Hautepol Dragoons

      Now that I have my painting mojo back I hope to get the rest of the Horse done this year. Here we find the Hautepol Dragoons (at least that is what I think the unit name is......I have to confess to not being able to clearly read the unit name on my painting note). A French unit from before the turn of the century (that would be the 17th-18th century divide). To represent their "Jack-of-all-Trades" mission I modeled them with some soldiers waving swords, others armed with pistols while some other lads were using their long guns. The figures firing the musket got their arms (both literally and figuratively) from the spare parts from an infantry set. I will probably break down and build some converted foot to use as dismounted Dragoons.
      I do love plastic figures, all of the models in this unit were built using the same basic figure. The Warlord set provides a vast array of options and the ability to import parts from the infantry set expands the possibilities even further.

A little something that I threw together

     Some time back The Housemartin was running a game set in 1939 featuring the Japanese and Russians slugging it out in Manchuria. He was running the game in 15mm, Flames of War I believe, and wanted some aircraft to use in the game. A short search of the internet revealed that there was a shortage of aircraft in 1/144 scale for that conflict and he prevailed upon (more like he implied that I wasn't up to it) me to scratchbuild some for him. I knocked out an I-153bis and a Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate" from some balsa and cardstock.



       Certainly no award winners but they are easily identifiable

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

1/300 micro armor giveaway

I found these in a dusty corner as I was collecting 15mm figures to give away. No idea where I got them or why. Now they are free to the first person who emails daftrica89@ yahoo . com and claims them.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Free Stuff for Wargamers the 15mm Edition Part II, the Middle Ages CLOSED


          So here we go, having disposed of the Ancients minis we will now move on to the Middle Ages. The usual rules apply; first come, first served, and you have to promise to donate whatever my shipping cost is to your local Veteran's charity. Claim your Lot by posting your request in the Comments section below (the time-stamp on the comment will be the proof of service for who gets what if there are multiple people claiming the same item) These comments will not appear until I have reviewed and cleared them to appear, please do not send multiple claims. After you have staked your claim in the Comments send me an email at daftrica 89 @ yahoo . com

  In this round there are four Lots, see below;

Lot #1, DBA Flemish Army, or thereabouts.....three bags of spear/pike, three bags of handgunners two bags of light crossbows and a bag of swordsmen, all this is accompanied by three units of horse

Lot #2 and #3, two siege towers, I have no clue who made these, or how I came to own them,
all metal castings that assemble into a tower about 4" tall, reasonably well detailed

inside the box...

Lot #4, three cards of Ral Partha "big" 15s and a bag of Museum Miniatures halberdiers with a dozen of so figures in it and another bag of cavalry with about twenty figures in it

Thursday, October 10, 2019

1/700 Black Seas Brig; Standing and running rigging with sails

      Less than happy with my first attempt, and with criticism taken to heart, I gave it another go.  For starters the lack of sails on a square-rigger is akin to a lack of tracks on a tank; "Nice model, how does it intend to get about?" So sails were a must. If you have sails there has to be a suggestion of running rigging to go with them. There is no way that I'm going top have a go at properly rigging a 1/700 scale sailing ship but the masts look slightly absurd with billowing sails and no ropes controlling them, so a suggestion was an absolute must. A period of introspection and a bout of searching the internet for plans of rigging for a brig left me with a decent appreciation for what was in order, so off to the workshop it was....

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Rigging a Black Seas Brig

I started out intending to just add the paper sails
 that I had downloaded and printed out. It didn't end that way....

Monday, October 7, 2019

Desert Village finished

I had a little spare time today so I finished the Desert Village for Michigan Toy Soldier Shop's adventures into North Africa (it is surprisingly difficult to research Chibi desert villages, so I sort of winged it....I hope that it looks suitably "cartoonish")

Saturday, October 5, 2019

A Productive Evening

the guys at Michigan Toy Soldier are taking their What A Tanker game to the desert and needed a few buildings so I knocked out a half dozen as well as a start on an oasis and some dunes

then I finished painting the other two brigs
 from Warlord Games magazine cover giveaway

     Not too bad for a couple of hours of free time....... it sure beat watching TV!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Painting a pair of Warlords Black Seas Brigs

after priming I glued the hull and deck together
     I really don't have a need for these or any real reason to be painting them right now but they are such nice models that I couldn't help myself. 

The Royal Army of Ferndalia, The Iron Fist of Peter II

His Royal Highness, Peter II "The Famished"   rank 5

The five Dukes of the Kingdom,  rank 4
      Bertram "The Hard", Ivan "The Bitter", Oswald "The Cunning", Nathan "The Drunk",
       and Stephen "The Jovial"

Five Generals of the common blood, rank 3

The Royal Guards
      Lifgard til Hest
          Modern Horse, Elite, Determined, Veterans
      Lifgard til Fonds
           Modern Squadron, Elite, Veterans , Reinforced

The Army of the People
   The Foot
       Line troops, 6 x Modern Squadron, Veterans
       New Line troops, 4 x Modern Squadron
       Draftee Line troops, 4 x Modern Squadron, Raw
       Uitlanders, 4 x Modern Squadron, Mercenaries
       Fusiliers of the Line,  8x Shot Companies, Musket
       Grenadiers of the Line, 6x Melee Company, Veteran, Brave, Mob
   The Horse
       Horse Arquebusiers, 6x Mounted Arquebusiers, Pistol 
       Line Horse, 8x Modern Horse, Determined, Veterans
       Light Horse, 4x Light Horse, Fearless, Veteran,  Arquebus
       Dragoons, 8x Dragoons, Veterans
   The Train of Artillery
      6x Light Batteries, Veteran, Regimental guns, Leather
      4x Heavy Batteries, Veteran, Large, Mortar, Horses 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Warlords Games Black Seas boat models

I'm a sucker for this sort of thing

      Well, I fell for it again; Wargames Illustrated had a boat model attached to the cover of the mag and then I noticed that there were two different models randomly inserted into the bag. Of course I poked through until I found one of each, I'm like that. As with the Cruel Seas models these are very well executed kits, cleanly cast and full of detail. Let's take a look......

Free Stuff for Wargamers, the 15mm Edition Vol I ALL ITEMS CLAIMED

      Greeted with an absolute wall of silence from my wargaming pals I have begun splitting up the mountain of 15mm lead into specific lots. I don't care to subdivide these as it is my idea that I don't want to have odds and ends lying about and the way that I'm organizing the lots provides a core for an army. I can only afford to ship to folks in the Continental U.S. (sorry lads, I'm not in control of postal rates). For our overseas friends if there is something that you absolutely MUST have contact me in the comments and we can work out overseas shipping. As always the first one with the time-stamped comment gets the item. So, with no further ado......

CLAIMED  Lot #1  Some odd chariots, I haven't a clue where or when I got these, one Egyptian model and a Minifigs pack of two Celtic chariots I will split these up.

Just a Tease.....

15mm figures, fahsans uv 'em

     Having disposed of the excess mirco-scale stuff that has been crowding the workshop I have moved on to the 15mm size stuff. The other night I sorted through my unpainted 15mm minis and bagged them up by period. My gaming buddies get first pass at the pile but I doubt they will take much. This mountain is the Biblical through Colonial periods. After this lot has cleared off I will get started on the Great War and later piles.