Sunday, January 31, 2021

Because Somebody Asked.... Decals and such

        I from time to time speak about using products in an offhand manner. It occurs to me ( mostly because people ask what I'm talking about) that some of these items may not be widely available/distributed in the wargaming community. I come to the hobby from a scale modeling background; those guys have nearly as many cool specialist products as the railroad modeling boys. So, after that long-winded lead in I come to my point; a reader asked about decals and how I apply them. I don't pretend that this is the best way, but it is my way and I am (often) happy with the results.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Gaming Update 30JAN21 7pm

 Gaming at my place this Saturday 30JAN21 at 7pm

1/72 Fokker D XXI in Finnish colors

        Oh No!  Not another airplane!

I forgot to take an "opening the box" photo, so I stole someone else's

        Hey, I'm entitled, I finished the Cataphracts and started on some Greeks, besides this only took a couple of hours spread across three days. This is an ancient Jo-Han kit (which I think is a re-box of the even older Revell kit). It was poorly cast (lots of flash) in a relatively soft gray plastic, the decals had curled up onto themselves but I was rescued by Micro-Scale products; Old Decal Saver and Micro-Sol saved the day (they couldn't do anything about the yellowing but that's not their job).

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Road Trip, Part II: US Air Force Museum The Great War

        The Great War saw the first widespread military application of aircraft. In a stunningly short period of time combat aircraft went from tiny, under-powered one or two man planes to multi-engined behemoths that carried crews of as much as a dozen and armed with machine guns and bombs. Speed, durability, reliability and maneuverability all experienced a quantum increase. This vast impulse would lead to the spread of aircraft to all the continents in the years following the war and a world-wise fascination with flight.

Brand New, Warlord "Epic" scale ACW minis

beautifully cast in a strong gray plastic

       When I picked up my copy of Wargames Illustrated from my local Brick&Mortar I found sealed in the bag a sprue of the new 13.5mm (?) size ACW minis from Warlord. I had heard of these and was interested in how a "block casting" of figures would appear in the flesh. Honestly I'm impressed, the figures are grouped together well, the casting and detail work is excellent and the idea of being able to crank out large number of troops in easy to handle blocks is very appealing. In effect they have reproduced in plastic the Paperboys cut-out soldiers (minus all that folding, gluing and scissors!)

        Frankly I'm puzzled, this is clearly the result of a lot of thought and work on the part of the sculptor and the casting company so why on God's earth would you make them in 13.5mm????? Warlord has gotten into a rut of making off-scale games but when you are bringing an innovative product into a VERY well established period the last thing that you want to be is the odd-man-out. This product won't penetrate the 18mm, 15mm, 12mm or 10mm markets; ACW is already over-served for sizes/scales. If the accompanying rules are a breakthrough players will just use existing armies. I can't see gamers pitching huge existing collections just on a whim because the minis are nice. 

        So this is a Hit and a Miss; a Hit on the quality and innovation and a Miss on trying to carve out some weird niche market in an already overcrowded scene.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Road Trip: National Museum of the United States Air Force; Part I Early Years of Aviation

it's so big it takes up the entire interior of an Air Force base!

       I have been running my yap about wanting to go see the Air Force Museum (check out their EXCELLENT website)  for some time now, well last Monday Trunkmonkey and I went. It is only a three-hour drive straight down I-75 from the Detroit area so there is no good reason that I haven't visited recently. Actually it has been nearly three decades since the last time I went. I was happily surprised by the fact that the display area is now expanded from two hangars to five massive structures! Why have I been waiting? With free admission the only cost is the gas to get there, believe me this is well worth the trip!

         This post will be broken down into several parts because I took over 600 pictures before my battery died and I didn't get past the WW2 section.  Each Section will be broken down into a short photo group of the individual aircraft, be sure to check the other photos in the section as you will find that many aircraft appear in the background of the featured aircraft. I don't provide much commentary as I know very little of this era, Wikipedia knows far more than I.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

And they're done...... 28mm Gripping Beast Roman Cataphracts

        This took longer than I thought (probably because it has been too long since I painted any figures) but I have gotten the Gripping Beast Late Roman Cataphracts (which I did a photo-review of here) finished. Even if I say so myself they are a nice looking lot of figures. All figures were painted with Americana acrylic paints and over-coated with Krylon clear matte finish. Basing is playground sand over Americana Honey Brown paint and the grass is a mixture of short static grass and Woodland Scenic's "Burnt Grass" fine turf over Americana Medium Hauser Green.

might need some more work on blending that base into the stand....

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Gaming Update

 My place Saturday 23rd November 2021, 7pm

Be there..................................................................

Errr......massive brain fart (we may very well BE gaming on 23Novermber 2021) but I meant to type 

23JAN21 7p.m.


 be there!

Nearing the finish

 Not that these guys would win any races with all that armor on.....

       ......... but I just wanted to show that I am making progress on these

they just need the final details on the faces and horses, 
and sanding and flocking the bases, then varnishing,
OK maybe I'm halfway to finished

Monday, January 18, 2021

Is half a promise a lie?

        OK, OK a little while back I promised that I wouldn't go any further down the plastic model airplane  rabbit-hole until I had at least finished my Gripping Beast Late Roman Heavy Cavalry.....

decidedly NOT an airplane, but still a model.........

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Gaming At Bastion Gaming Center

         The gang and I took the trip up to Bastion Gaming Center to use their new giant gaming space. We played an oversized game of The Pikemans Lament using the stores 28mm painted armies. It was a case of ECW Royalists vs the Roundheads. The King's men were more numerous but not as well trained while the hard-bitten disciplined Roundheads were fewer in number but made of much sterner stuff. 

          We used the "convention rule" wherein a failed Command check did not end the turn but simply left the unit taking no action. The game was marked by the wildest number of "double-ones" and "double sixes" that I have ever seen. In the end the Royalists managed to overwhelmed the Parliamentarians.

Royalists on the right (big surprise there, eh?) facing the Roundheads on the left

Friday, January 15, 2021

Gaming Update, 16JAN21 7pm

 I will be running a game at Bastion Gaming Center at 7pm on 16JAN21. This will be a great chance to try out the huge playing area and comfortable surroundings. Drop by and see the action!

Don't Give Up Hope!

       I know that recently I have gone down the rabbit-hole of model airplane building and collecting, but fear not dear reader, I have not abandoned the brush yet! Unseen by the camera I have been assembling the Gripping Beast Late Roman Heavy Cavalry that I reviewed a while back. They have reached the point where they are undergoing the painting process. As with other products from GB these are very good models and fun to paint. I promise not to build any more airplanes until I get these bad-boys painted and based, I swear!

getting started on the detailing

The Addiction Continues

        It has been a busy week here at the workshop, or, more accurately, here at the keyboard.......I decided to spend a portion of that vast and kingly sum that the pathetic excuse for a Congress condescended to grant to us peons (while setting aside $25million for pay raises for themselves) on some toys. A quick visit to the wonderland of Ebay produced a series of shipments to my humble abode. Additions to my Spats, Too Cool and What Were They Thinking collection! Behold the beautiful toys!

the P-35 is Too Cool, the Gamma has simply HUGE spats and really,
 look at that bizarre thing that the Wellesley is; What Were They Thinking

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Monday, January 11, 2021

Stargrunt II, Recover the stealth technology

the battlefield 

the mission

        Rich Uncle Pat invited the gang over to his place for a game. Upon arrival we found he had laid out another of his trademark tables, beautiful terrain soon to be populated with beautifully painted models. This latest game was played using the venerable Stargrunt rules. These rules have been around for some time but are easy to learn and fun to play.
         I took the role of the Israeli commander and Dan took over the Covert Conflict Research Group leader. Neither of us knew what the other player's mission was, we were given out briefing and deployment areas.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Continuing project - Carnevale. UPDATED!


So, now that I have your attention.  Here is a limited edition for my favorite gang in Carnevale - The Pulcinellas.  Now onwards to the rest of the production for this game  this quarter.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Lt. Terrax Consults his Primer


Desperate to make sure that the loss of his Leaman Russ Tank is not his fault.  Lt. Terrax gratefully discovers that he is not at fault.  HOWEVER, his relief was short lived ...

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Gaming Update Saturday 9JAN21

 I will be hosting my first game of 2021 this Saturday, 9JAN21 at 7p.m.

Hopefully the first of many!

Returning to Quarterly production, the Turks.


I have had a long running idea for a short D&D campaign set in the midst of the Fall of Constantinople.  A couple of Years ago I took up ANton on his obscene desire to modify figures and had him "fix a few" Janissary for this project, he also cranked out a dozen Wallachians (Vlad the Impaler's boys), but I had the bulk of the force, and I decided it needed to get done, now that I had worked out the last details in my mind for the game aspect.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

2020 4th Quarter and year in review; and it's been a decade!

       It is hard to believe but  this thing that I started just to keep my wargaming group on a schedule has been around for ten years. It has expanded far beyond the original idea of being a notice-board for upcoming games and events (largely due to my inability to focus on any given task!). I thank all who have looked over the years as well as those of my friends that have contributed articles as well as all who have commented in reaction to my posts. Since that first post on 29DEC10 we have added 1148 posts, have had 741,896 individual pageviews and have received 2873 comments. There 213 fellow wargamers who follow this blog. Visitors have come to the blog from every continent except Antactica, citizens of the USA are the most frequent visitors with Merry Old England coming in second.

          The all-time most popular post is "More Silliness With Blueboard"  (8.25K views) with seven of the top twenty posts being of the D.I.Y. category (so you will continue to be peppered with my arts & crafts projects) with the balance being split evenly between Convention reports, figure reviews and After Action Reports. The most popular Page confirms the trend toward D.I.Y.  with "Adventures in Blueboard and Foamcore" (21.6K)  topping the other subjects by a significant margin, 28mm figure reviews follows in second place.

A 'Dreadful' danger

 So, having all of my kids home from college for a couple of weeks, I gave them what they wanted, which was an entire D&D campaign in the break, I also asked for one gaming night on my choice.  Based on an "outbreak" of Jane Austen among my kids this break (they binge watched two different entire series of Pride and Prejudice) I decided to have a go at Jane Austen Zombie Killer.  

1/72 Hasegawa HE51 Build and paint

       The HE-51 was one of the early German fighters of the newly-established Luftwaffe. Slow and under-gunned by later standards it was a sturdy and maneuverable aircraft that laid the foundations for the fighter pilot corps of WW2 fame. It first flew in 1933 and was rather long in the tooth when it was sent to Spain in 1936. It enjoyed a brief period of superiority until Soviet aircraft showed up on the Republican side. After 1938 it was used by the Luftwaffe as a trainer. This one qualifies under my "Spats/Fixed Undercarriage" and "What Were They Thinking" rules, it comes close to the "Too Cool" but it is a pretty transparent copy of the P6E Hawk so loses that distinction.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Dead Arise!

 So, I am not Dead.  Just in case anyone wondered.  I have been "sequestered", but not expired.  I am sure that Anton will have a suitably amazing list of accomplishments for this past quarter, but I decided to break mine out into sections, because I have set a fairly blistering pace for this quarter.  

Friday, January 1, 2021

GAME ON 1/2/2021

 Come by RichUnclePat's for a Stargrunt game at the usual 7pm time!

New Israel


Islamic Federation