Friday, August 27, 2021

First Batch of Scots Finished

         I sat myself down and gave myself a pep-talk, "Plaids have never killed anyone! Get yourself to the bench and don't work on ANYTHING else until these lads are battle-ready!" Well, here we are, fourteen hours of chanting "Plaids can't hurt me" over and over again and they are finally table ready. I rather like the way that they turned out but seeing them in photos I realize they will need another coat of matte finish before they are truly completed

a formidable trio

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Gaming Update; My place Saturday 28AUG21 at 7pm

 Game at my place Saturday 28AUG21 at 7pm

We will be taking another go at my WW2 airplane rules (probably)

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Historic Fort Wayne, Anybody up for a road-trip?


     I'm looking to beat the late-Summer doldrums with a road trip. In past years I have gone to Michigan's "Up North" but time and gas prices preclude a trip to Copper Country so I have set my sights on something closer; Historic Fort Wayne. Located, oddly enough, in Fort Wayne Indiana, it is just a three hour jaunt from home. This would tick off another box on my checklist of forts this side of the Mississippi. My Silverado comfortably seats four full-grown humans so if you are interested in joining me on a day-trip to see the fort give me a holler. I'm thinking a weekday would be best and will be checking with the fort staff to ensure there aren't any scheduling issues.

Spats And All That


the ever-growing fleet
       Having set aside my aircraft-building efforts for a while (at least until I get caught up on some long-languishing figures) I thought I might do a quick review of the planes I have completed so far.  These are from the "Spats And All That" section of the collection. The intimidating bit is there are nearly twice as many models that still remain unfinished! Closer looks at each of these (and some other birds as well) can be found on my Those Magnificent Flying Machines tab.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Finally a Taste of Scotch

       Having steeled my nerves and put aside the Castillo de San Anton model that R.U.P. gave me last week I was promptly distracted by yet another temptation. I came into possession of a group of very old, badly battered and horribly painted Scots figures from the early 1970's. Lead rot had taken as full third of them and the rest looked almost ready to go into the smelter. Of course, I promptly fell in love with this ragged band of rubbish (to be honest some of the figures are truly terrible). I resolved to spruce them up and give them decent looking bases. A very long afternoon later they were finished. Frankly, they still look rather rough, but they will soon join the forces of Boozonia in my Thirty Years War Imaginations campaign. Given their age I might just rate them as grizzled veterans!

I don't have a clue who made these some forty-plus years ago

       But, finally, after basing and varnishing them I was free to address my new Scots. A few hours of work got some basic colors on the minis but I fear that I am a long way from done.

Warlord did a rather better job

Jon Williams Memorial Game, Trying out TRIUMPH in 15mm

a portion of the battlefield

        Ages past a good friend of mine, Jon Williams, painted simply mountains of 15mm Medieval figures. We spent many happy hours gaming with them over the years. About ten years ago Jon passed away leaving me his collection of figures. Each year, around his birthday, I try to ensure that his figures get out and get used in a big battle. This year's game reflected an English Chevauchee gone awry and being cornered by a bevy of angry Frenchmen. Things didn't go so well for the English........Shakespeare won't be writing a play about Henry the Fifth, it seems.

       Here's to you "Little Jon"! We miss you.

Wargames Atlantic 28mm Prussian Reserve Troops 1813-1815

       Wargames Atlantic moves from strength to strength releasing this new set in the sphere of 28mm plastic Napoleonics. Not content to simply produce a quality product they saw fit to make this offering ridiculously cost effective by keeping their standard price (about $35.00US) and putting sixty figures in the box! Yes, sixty! Even after the State Sales-Tax-gouge that is just over sixty cents per figure. I can't wait to see what's next. As it stands these will fill the gap between my Perry Brothers Prussian Line and my Warlord Prussian Landwehr. Now all I need is a couple of guns and some Dragoons and I will have no excuse for not forming my 1813 Prussian Brigade. 

       But, on to the figures! They are molded in a medium gray hard plastic that accepts detail very well. These figures are cleverly designed to require an absolute minimum of assembly, needing only their heads attached. Some spare greatcoat rolls are provided to add a little variety if you wish. The figures display good proportion and anatomy (if the hands are a wee bit large, they are far better than the Warlord Landwehr) and are cast in six different poses so they don't look like automatons marching in lock-step. The uniforms are correct for the period based on my checking a couple of Osprey titles and some other books in my library. The one-piece moldings avoid the time spent assembling other plastic figures and allow the gamer to get right into the painting process, which there will be a LOT of as there are sixty figures in this box!

the cover

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Just when I thought it was safe to start looking at tartan patterns.......

       Having finally gotten the plastic airplanes off the workbench I thought it was safe to start looking for 17th century tartan patterns, that was until Rich Uncle Pat showed up to the Saturday game with this little beauty from Brigade Models in their Small Scale Scenery  range.

just look at all that forty goodness!

                 "Little" I guess is a relative term; it actually is a pretty hefty chunk of resin. A 1/1000 scale model of the Castillo de San Anton it measures over 5" in length. This model immediately triggered my fort fetish so I proceeded to Google Earth Coruna harbor which the fort guards. An amusing background is available from From space the fort looks like this:

I'm pretty sure that I will end up making the island for this

       Now I have to make up my mind if I am going to push the Scots back yet again, or to harden my heart and put this gem off to the side while I grind through a lot of plaid clothing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Sweet, Sweet Sonia Hasegawa 1/72 Mitsubishi KI-51


I actually remembered to snap a photo of the box this time

        I have wasted enough time with wacky German late-war fiascoes and decided to get back to building kits that I could use for games covering the Khalkin-Gol and Sino-Japanese conflicts. Next on the Pile of Shame was this kit of the Mitsubishi KI-51. Built as a reconnaissance/light bomber it was too slow to be deployed against the Western Allies but served through the war on the Chinese and Burma fronts. It continued in the service of several air forces after the war. Aside from some crummy decals this is a very good kit, the parts kit and detail is very good for a kit over forty years old.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

More Luftwaffe Lunacy; the Bachem BA-349 and the Fieseler Fi-103R



       Not content to waste energy and resources on ineffective aircraft, the ever fertile mind of the drug addled Nazi hierarchy muddled the process even further with these two birds. They were literally lethal to the pilots. Literally lethal. 

       The Fi-103R Reichenberg was a piloted version of the V-1 Buzz Bomb, a spiritual precursor to the Japanese Baka Bomb. Developed in the Summer of 1944 under the guidance of (no surprise here) Heinrich Himmler the Luftwaffe formed the Leonidas Squadron of pilots prepared to die. Fieseler hurriedly converted a V-1 into a piloted aircraft and training test flights began. However the idea of deliberately flying a bomb into a target was too much for Albert Speer and he managed to convince Hitler to drop the idea in March of 1945. 

       The Bachem BA-349 Natter was conceived of as a point-defense fighter, much like the ME-163 Komet, but was built to an even more insane central idea. Not only was the same pilot-dissolving rocket engine used but two more solid-fuel booster packages were bolted to either side of this pug-ugly thing in an effort to get it from ground level to 30,000 feet in the shortest period of time. After launching the BA 349 was expected to make one firing pass with its nosecone full of rockets and then glide to a lower altitude to eject the pilot and valuable rocket motor before crashing. The one manned test flight killed the volunteer pilot, probably because his neck was broken.

Ahh, Hubris!

       Since last week I have been banging away at the plastic aircraft models on the workbench in an effort to get them completed so as to pave the way for my newly acquired 28mm Scots. Progress has been fairly rapid and I was nearly finished this afternoon; just a quick coat of matte finish and it was off to the showcase with them! I reached down and picked up my trusty rattle-can of Krylon clear matte finish, gave a good minute's worth of shaking and blasted my Fi-103R with it.


well.......darn! (the language was actually rather stronger than that)

       Alas! It was a can of BLACK spray paint. In my urgency and carelessness I had grabbed the wrong can. Not deigning to look because I "always put the paint cans on the bottom shelf" I confidently ruined two days worth of work and painting. To say the least it was humbling experience. The poor model of the Fi-103R almost took an unscheduled flight into the basement wall but my sense of humor kicked in and I was able to simply place it on the bench and snap the picture you see above. The Scots will be delayed a bit, I'm afraid.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Wargaming Update, Game at my place Saturday 14AUG21 at 7pm

        Like it says, game at my place this Saturday the 14th of August at 7pm

          Be there or we will mock you repeatedly (which we might just do if you show up too, just to be fair)

A Taste of Scotch 28mm Scottish warriors from the 17th century

        With all the goings-on in my Thirty Years War imaginations campaign I decided that it would be appropriate to add a few full-blooded Scots to my figure collection. Poking through the Warlord catalog I found a few figures to flesh out my Pikeman's Lament force (and then maybe I can quit using proxied-in ancients). A quick call to Bastion Gaming got them in my hands before the recent price-hike. As soon as I got them home I stuck them down on bases and got them primed. They are next in the queue behind the current crop of planes on the workbench as quick as it is cleared I will be tackling these guys. Plaids.......oh no!

the lot of them, mixed with the Wargames Atlantic figures
 they will add a Scottish flair to the proceedings
this lad comes from the "Engineers working party" set
he has a bit of the air of the Grim Reaper about him

this lad, Alisdair Mac Colla, came from a set of three two-handed sword figures
he might just end up being the guy guarding the standard

Bastion Gaming Now Stocking INFINITY

        I stopped by Bastion Gaming the other day and found that they are now stocking the INFINITY rules and minis. The figures look great, I look forward to seeing these rules in action.



Monday, August 2, 2021

Gaming Update ! 7AUG21 at 1pm Alexander, Elephants and Chariots, Come Play the Battle of Hydaspes using TRIUMPH! in 28mm


       Master Showmen Rod Cain and company are bringing the Battle of Hydaspes to Bastion Gaming Center this Saturday in glorious 28mm using TRIUMPH! rules. Can you repeat Alexander's success? Or as Porus can you turn back the invader and bring the Macedonian's career to an end? Find out in this participation game on Saturday August 7th at 1pm.  Check out further info at Flintcon facebook.

the field of battle, almost ten feet long

the tanks of the ancient world, heavy chariots
the disciplined ranks of the Macedonian pikemen

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Some Luftwaffe Lunacy from Lindberg, three 1/72 scale models


        One can almost feel the hand of Divine Guidance when one contemplates pattern of the decisions of the Nazi High Command during World War Two. The aircraft development process comes to mind, a few different decisions could have changed the course of the war. Most folks are familiar with the mania for dive bombing that lead to the regrettable HE-177 (a four engine heavy DIVE bomber) or the conversion of the ME-262 from a fighter into a fast bomber (never mind the Arado 234 fast bomber already in development at the same time). These decisions deprived the Luftwaffe of crucial, potentially war-winning, aircraft at critical junctures during the war.

ACW game, using Black Powder and the Warlord boxed set

      Having set out all those miniatures we felt we just HAD to give it a go. I set up the forces as four brigades each of Union and Confederate troops. As we were just learning the rules we avoided any tricky scenario situations and simply set the armies out facing one another. I did include some of the special rules that differentiated veterans from green troops and other rules that reflected the CSA tendency to want to come to hand to hand combat.

please excuse the clutter, 
most of the players were first-timers and needed their data in front of them