R.U.P. was kind enough to bring his lovely toys over and run a game of Stargrunt for us. This isn't a new set by any stretch of the imagination but I find it delightfully intuitive and fun to play. I got so engrossed in playing that I only took two pictures, sorry gang.
This second volume in the series is a vast improvement over the previous one in terms of editing and proofreading. It matches the level of erudition that is the hallmark of Mugnai's other works. This book examines the efforts of the Imperial Army in its dual role of Protector of Christianity and defender of the western borders against French aggression.In physical terms it is like the rest of the series, thick card covers and well-bound top-quality glossy paper pages that promise to be durable under any sane usage. The text is large and in an easy-on-the-eye font while the pictures are crisp. Mr. Mugnai's artwork, present in both color and black -and-white, is copious and delightful. It is precise yet evocative; my only complaint in this regard is that I would trade away the period portraits for more art by the author.
Faced with the flood of French and British tanks the Imperial German Army trained its soldiers how to hunt tanks with simple weapons that they already had to hand. Some of those troops proved very effective at the job, not that I would have wanted to give it a try! Using the Wargames Atlantic Great War German Infantry set I decided to give modeling such a highly-motivated group a try.
I try to make sure every figure is different from all its fellows
the way this set is made that is rather more difficult as the arms are made in sets
but I think they worked out pretty well,
now I just need to scratchbuild a T-Gewehr and a WEX flamethrower
The Trunkmonkey came over the other day and we played out the latest battle in my Thirty Years War Imaginations campaign, Freedonian Forces try to lift the siege of the Gluttonian capital. Even though the size of the battle is many times what the rules suggest Tercio handled things quite well and we were done inside three hours.
This is another case where a new figure causes me to fly off on a tangent into places unknown and unexpected. The Wargames Atlantic Great War German Infantry contains all of the troops that you would need for a neat little game of Tank hunting in the Trenches (except for a flamethrower and a T-Gewher, both easily scratchbuilt). I figured that it would be a breeze to knock together a three foot square of German trenches, paint a dozen or so figures and build a model MK IV kit and I would be off to the races. Except that nobody makes a model of the MK IV in the 1/48-1/56 scale range; WTF? Briefly I thought of trashing the idea but then it occurred to me that a MK IV was nothing but a collection of flat panels with no visible running gear. Scratchbuilding would be a walk in the park. Getting decent drawings was easy but things took a big turn for the better when I looked at the LANDSHIPS website, they have a large selection of paper models in assorted scales free to download. So download I did, they have a model in 1/50 of a MK IV, so I resized it a touch to get to 1/56th and printed out the parts that I thought I needed.
I spotted this box by happenstance while at Michigan Toy Soldier and bought it right away. I have long been dissatisfied with the crew figures provided (or NOT provided) with most model tanks and this looked like a great way to spruce up my tanks (and especially my tank-destroyers and self propelled guns) with figures that look like human beings. The figures are well detailed and correctly-sized, but I do have to say that the submachinegun toting lads are likely to get chopped down into heads poking from hatches. The uniforms look accurate if a bit too uniform (my dad always said that there was a distinct lack of Inspector Generals anywhere near combat), they should mix well with the similar set of US tankers in summer uniforms from this same manufacturer. There are forty-eight figures on four identical sprues.
the family shot, with a ruler to give an idea as to size
Well, it turns out that having done something once makes doing it a second time a lot easier. I had figured that the second destroyer would take me a week and it took but two days (the hull and superstructure were complete so all I really was doing was painting and details). The only remaining item is arming the Dauntless light cruiser, but that shouldn't take too long.
truth be told I don't know that salt spray and endless sunshine would have left the teak deck that dark, but I do like the color contrast with the blue camo so I am going to leave it looking that way
One final session and I managed to get this one finished. I have to admit I really hate the crazy camouflage patterns that were in vogue at the time, a simple coat of gray and I would have been done a week ago!
I always struggle as I get close to finishing a big project. Forcing myself to get the final details done and the workbench cleared is tough. My enthusiasm wanes, the myriad of little thing all stack up one atop the other and it becomes a trudge, quite unlike the first rush of beginning something new. This, no doubt, explains why I have two unfinished projects for every one that has passed the finish line. Tonight, while waiting for the finish on my PZL P-11 kit to dry I knocked out the Carley floats and searchlights for the 1/200 scale destroyers. Nothing new here just more of the same stuff that I did with the 1/200 Dauntless light cruiser job. But I gain a sense of purpose with each little detail ticked off the list of "Things to Do!"
I think that I have the proper locations for the guns worked out, all that is left is to decide if if I want to take another stab at making them trainable.....................
Michigan Toy Soldier held their annual Summer Swap Meet this past Saturday. Thanks to my eagle-eye buddy Steve I was able to get my hands on a PZL P-7, a PZL 37 Los and a Lublin R-XIII thus filling out my Polish Air Force of WW2. You will likely be seeing builds of these kits in the near future. I also added to my pile of of what I call "Spats and Losers" which is made up of aircraft with spatted fixed undercarriages and Aircraft that were absolute losers (admittedly a highly subjective group). Currently the "Spats" category is way ahead, but I did find a Fairey Battle, certainly one of the biggest losers of WW2.
but of course it turns out that there aren't any suitable 4.7' mounts in 1/200 scale
Much to my chagrin it seems that there aren't any suitable 1/200 scale 4.7" mounts with shields to fit the destroyers that I am building. I am almost happy for it; this way all of both models will be entirely scratchbuilt. A rather perverse way of looking at it, but I will have to live with that.
another one of those dusty models I re-found during the lockdown
This is hardly a review (although I understand that this kit is still in production). This model has been around since the late 70s/early 80s. It is an excellent kit and is of an aircraft that I have always liked. This is pretty much just a walk-through of the build. This would be an excellent subject for an early-war air combat game like Check Your Six.
drawings were much easier to find (and of much better quality) than the Dauntless project
Another chapter in The Housemartin's endless efforts to exploit my free time; this one is entitled "The Destroyers". He needed two British "A" class Destroyers to go with his light cruiser for the Operation Ironclad campaign. Nothing fancy about the construction, just my usual foam-with-card-glued-over-it method. Fortunately (unlike the Dauntless project) there are plenty of drawings and photos of A class British destroyers so figuring out the details and placement was a simple task.
scaled-up template glued down on a slab of blueboard
The 1/200 Dauntless project is coming to it's close. I am currently deciding whether to add portholes and doorways. My inclination is against it, but then, I look at all that empty hull side.....
But, before I descend into that madness, it occurred to me that I would likely take my chances with the Shore Patrol before I went to sea in a warship that lacked lifeboats and/or life-rafts. That settled my next task. Those items would help fill up that empty deck.