Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year! Planning for SpartaCon

       I for one am glad to see the back of 2022. It has been a largely disastrous year and I'm hoping for better from 2023. Part of that is looking forward to participating in Spartacon 2023 on 7JAN23. I will be running a 02 Hundred Hours game in the second session. 

        A note to the regular gaming group, I will be leaving my place at about 0700hrs. I have three free spaces in my ride if anybody wants to hitch a ride with me. I will not be staying past the second session so we should return to my place around 1930hrs. Contact me if you are interested .

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

 

Here is to hoping that everyone has a happy holiday season!

and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year
 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Partisans, for REAL this time

        I have to confess that every time I open a box of plastic minis I have to over come the urge to modify, customize and remodel each and every mini in the box. Rather than fight it I decided to roll with this impulse. I not only got out the box of partisans I also brought forth the spares bits from the Wargames Atlantic WW1 Germans and the 02 Hundred Hours kits. I drew upon that jumbled pile of spares enough different parts to ensure that I built no two figures alike. 

here we find Indiana Jones and that famous "Hero of the Resistance" Rene Atios

and there they are looking the other direction 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Spartacon is closer than you think!

         sparaconheader-image.jpg

 

Just about three weeks in fact! 7JAN23 is the date set and it will be at the VFW hall like last year.

         I'm signed up to run 02 Hundred Hours and you can find the current state of things at Table Top Events (where you can also register to run a game or reserve a spot to participate in one). Always fun and a free Flea Market as well!   

Saturday, December 17, 2022

And then the Partisans showed up.....

         Having become deeply enamored of the 02 Hundred Hours game system (and having painted all the minis provided with it) I was at a crossroads; do I build a dedicated board for the game, or do I assemble the Partisans that have been waiting patiently in the Pile of Regret for so very long? Purpose-built terrain can be quite satisfying; no fudges, no approximating; it is truly What You See Is What You Get. The Afghanistan boards that I built for Zhodani Commando are the product of that sort of narrow focus. 

         The problem is that even with considerable effort at making the boards "geomorphic" they end up being limited in a way that loose terrain is not. While I was thinking about this I wandered into The Vault and found the box of Partisans. I popped open the box and instantly decided it would be the minis instead of a dedicated board. I quickly sat myself down and started assembling the models, and almost as quickly I fell victim to the bane of speed; my habit of modifying plastic figures.....

the head had fallen off the sprue so it was a "volunteer"
a nice active pose.....where could this lead?

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Gaming Update, 17DEC22 at my place 1900hrs UPDATE, IT'S AT PAT'S PLACE NOW

UPDATE, GAME HAS BEEN MOVED TO RICH UNCLE PAT'S PLACE    

 I don't have a clue what we are playing yet but play we will!

December 17th, 2022, 7p.m. my place

  As an aside I turn 64 today, in celebration of this my son, Rich Uncle Pat, 

gave me this wonderful gift

what is the purpose of a 3" tall "time-out" chair you ask 
 
so that you can punish dice that misbehave
(this is a vast improvement over the previous two methods)



Thursday, December 8, 2022

Return to Rhodesia

        Aside from the pleasure of not being in charge of setting up and running the game one of the real joys of attending a game hosted by Rich Uncle Pat is his visually satisfying gaming table. He spends a great deal of time and energy constructing realistic tabletops and providing nicely painted minis. This game pitted Communist revolutionaries against the Rhodesian government forces. We use Specter rules which provided an easy to understand and quick playing game.

another one of R.U.P.'s fabulous tables,

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Updated Gaming Update; 10DEC22 at Rich Uncle Pat's place 7pm

        Having watched a couple of play-though videos and actually read the rules in a quiet setting I am going to run 02 Hundred Hours again. I am certain that everyone with have a much more satisfying experience than last time. Rich Uncle Pat has graciously offered us use of his home so we will be meeting there.

          Fail to show and be considered AWOL

Monday, December 5, 2022

02 Hundred Hours minis painted

        Well, not completely. I have to finish the dogs, find a way to paint eyeglasses that works for me and then finish the bases, but the hard part is completed. Last we saw the Germans assembled and base-coated, I got those finished and then pushed through the painting on the SAS lads. With any luck I will be able to run a game on Saturday. But enough of that nonsense! Off to the minis (of course a more talented painter would be able to get much more impressive results than my clumsy efforts).


Friday, December 2, 2022

Putting a litle paint on the Wargames Atlantic German Sentries

        German uniforms sounded easier than camo smocks so I got started with them. I deliberately painted them a shade or two darker to go with the "action at night" setting. I might just rip the heads off the ones wearing glasses (I hate painting eyeglasses on minis!!!). They still have a way to go and then there is basing....



And then the Germans showed up.....

        I have to confess that I like assembling plastic minis more than I like painting them. Honestly there are a great many things I like more than painting minis, but it is part "of the process" so I have to endure it. But, back to the fun stuff1

        Having snapped the pictures of the SAS special weapons group I was confronted with the matter of starting to paint them or starting to assemble the German guards and sentries. It's pretty obvious as to how I decided. In like manner with the SAS I tried to match the builds with the minis but there is less choice of German cards and far more minis. This let my creative side have its chance and I spent the evening trying out different arms and head positions. Finally I made up my mind and here is the finished project. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Special Weapons for the S.A.S.

       Having assembled figures to match the characters depicted on the cards provided with 02 Hundred Hours I decided to put together some figures with the more unusual weapons that are also included in the kit. Those being the De Lisle Carbine, the Welrod Silenced pistol, Lee-Enfeild MK 4 sniper, along with the ubiquitous Bren gun.  The other two minis resulted in a lad carrying a knife in one hand and a normal pistol in his off-hand, just for fun I assembled the last model as a "Sgt. Psycho" figure armed with a Welrod, a bundle of dynamite and carrying his Fairbairn-Sykes knife between his teeth. As with the other models the assembly was straightforward and resulted in some good looking figures that I can't wait to put paint on.

these weapons are all part of the game and have supplemental data cards when you use them

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Assembling the Wargames Atlantic S.A.S. figures for 02 Hundred Hours

        I have always believed that it is best to actually do a thing yourself before accepting the word of others. Not that I harbored any real doubts about the quality of the new S.A.S. figures from Wargames Atlantic, but I just had to be sure. So I popped the box open and started freeing the bodies from the sprues and cleaning them up (which, by the way, there was VERY little to do). As I did so it occurred to me that it might be fun to replicate the characters seen on the cards provided with the game (which are illustrated with photos of the minis). Players will be hard-pressed to get confused about which model goes with which card when they are identical! Well, the models lived up to expectations and I had a jolly time recreating the figures depicted on the character cards. 

the brave and resourceful S.A.S. officer

Monday, November 28, 2022

Gaming Update, 3DEC22 1900hrs, at Rich Uncle Pat's place

        Yes, R.U.P. will be hosting the Saturday Night Game at his place. Rumor is that we will be playing Specter Ops using his superb collection of 15mm minis. 

        Be there, or be reviled!

Friday, November 25, 2022

02 Hundred Hours, Starter Set; a skirmish game with a difference

nice box art on the cover, 
the box is kind of flimsy but you wont be using after
 you assemble the minis anyways so it doesn't really matter 

       I have been waiting to get my hands on this since I first read about it in the British glossies. I picked this up from the good folks at Michigan Toy Soldier. The central premise of the rules is a one-to-one skirmish in the dark. Strictly Special Ops/Commando/Resistance type stuff! This isn't a regular skirmish game that has been adapted to "playing in the dark" this system was built from the ground up to address the circumstance and difficulties of stealthy operations in the dark. There are some examples of play available on Youtube.
    
        But not only are the rules specially adapted the minis that come with this set were specially commissioned for this game (you can use them for other rules if you choose, of course). The remaining components, while fairly standard, are of very good quality as well.
 
         Let us take a look.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Wargames Atlantic 28mm Cannon Fodder [2] Females

cover art
 
 
       One of the latest releases in the Wargames Atlantic Death Fields range is  Cannon Fodder [2] Females (a name that is unlikely to inspire the morale of the soldiers involved!). I picked these up just the other day from my local brick-and-mortar Michigan Toy Soldier. Despite the grim name this is an excellent set of minis depicting female soldiers in a near-future sci-fi setting.  The minis are cleanly cast in a sturdy gray plastic with no flash and little trace of mold-lines. As has become the standard with Wargames Atlantic sets there is a superabundance of heads and a good selection of poses and weapons. Unlike so many other "grim future of war" sets the weapons are reasonably-sized and look like actual functional firearms. The bayonets might seem a bit silly but would be easy enough to remove. The best feature is that, unlike so many other sets, the figures are depicted as women of realistic proportions and wearing believable uniforms (sorry GW freaks, no near-porn minis here) essentially a match for the ones worn by the Cannon Fodder [1] Males.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Bastion Gaming Center Going Out Of Business Sale Starts 15NOV22 2pm

       Between Covid and inflation Bastion Gaming Center is throwing in the towel. All minis, rules, board and card games are on sale 25% off (the already 10% off MSRP prices). Get there while the selection is still good.

       R.I.P. Bastion, such a cool idea, such unfortunate timing.

Friday, November 11, 2022

To My Many Gaming Buddies Who Served, Thank You!

        A great many of the guys I game with have served, or are currently in, the U.S. Armed Forces, I would like to thank them for their service;

          OldSarge, TankGuy, Trunkmonkey, Tom from Texas, Brad, Honest Dan, Bob Webb, and Joe

         I'm proud to count you among my friends

Monday, November 7, 2022

Gaming Update, 12NOV22 7pm, my place

        We will be playing at my place at 7pm

         Ideas are welcome, otherwise we might just be trying out the new Napoleonic Rules from Issue 418 of Wargames Illustrated

Friday, November 4, 2022

A Little Fresh Air, or at least an entirely different airplane, the Hawker Fury

 

       The first British fighter to exceed 200mph the Hawker Fury was a sleek and diminutive aircraft. Entering service in 1931 and serving in the RAF until early 1939 the Fury never saw combat under British colors. It did fight on behalf of Yugoslavia during the brief struggle against Axis invasion. It also served the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War. The South African Air Force used them with some success against the Italians in the East Africa in 1941. There is a good Wikipedia article here. The kit is typical Matchbox for the era, cleanly cast in two wildly different colors with a good decal sheet showing British and Yugoslavian markings. The fit is nearly perfect and the model was a dream to build. Now I have another addition to my "what if" air forces for 193?.

nice box-art, the Brits were into outlandish paint schemes, much like the USA

Monday, October 31, 2022

Fortified Places, Fort Caroline, Jacksonville Florida

 

the fort, as seen by Google Earth

       I have long been fascinated with the first tenuous toeholds of the Europeans landing in the New World. Much like the early explorers of space the risks were enormous, they were launching themselves into the unknown with much hope and little knowledge. Most were seeking either wealth or freedom (a few sought both), a great many paid with their lives. One example of those that sought freedom and wealth and also paid for that daring with their lives was the French Huguenot colony that founded Fort Caroline. 

        The Huguenots were a Protestant sect that was much prosecuted in France, they (well, some of them at least) offered to establish a colony in North America on behalf of France in an effort to be able to practice their religion in peace. They also went seeking to enrich themselves (the Spanish pillaging of the Aztecs had convinced a good many Europeans that gold was as common as sand in the Americas). the French king was desirous of tweaking the Spanish king's beard and of ridding himself of the heretics in his lands agreed. The Wikipedia  article tells the whole sad tale. Needless to say they didn't find freedom or wealth.

       The fort I toured is a reconstruction (the original was mostly earth and log and would not have lasted even if the site hadn't been washed away when the river changed course) built to a smaller scale, and to my mind a rather odd design. The NPS website  tells the story of the park.  

 

Gaming Update This weekend, my place

 We will be gaming this weekend at my place at 7p.m.

Currently open to suggestions, bad ideas or allegations

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated! Gaming Update my place 29OCT2022, 7pm

 Pretty much what the title says.

Game at my place 7pm this Saturday

Send me your ideas or get stuck with the odd things that amuse me!

Thursday, September 22, 2022

GAMING UPDATE; GAME AT MY PLACE 24SEP22 7PM

        Like the title says, game at my house, 7pm.


                                 Be there

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The Return of the Space Squats, now with full photo survey of sprues!

Bastion Gaming Center has them in stock now $180US

        Games Workshop has finally brought back the dwarves for 40K. They have gained the much more dramatic title of "Leagues of Votann" (as opposed to the classic title "Squats") but they are the same short angry guys. My understanding is that their rules are so slanted that they are already being banned from competition play but my interest lies in the minis, not tournament nonsense. And some fine-looking minis they are! My only complaint is that they are probably a bit too much like tiny Space marines. The models are very well cast in the standard GW gray plastic with no flash and nearly no mold-lines. They are broken down into loads of tiny components which will ease posing and building different weapons load-outs, but may require very steady hands and might result in eye-strain looking at the tiny bits. But no more ado, lets take a close look at this boxed set.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Wargames Atlantic Goths; dressed to kill

        Well it certainly took long enough, but in my defense the weather has finally been nice in these parts and there was little motivation of spend time painting. These minis were painted in a mixture of Americana acrylics, Games Workshop contrast and shades with a touch of Vallejo here and there. I don't keep notes so I won't go into a play-by-play (and I'm sure you all have your own style and paint assortment). The figures were simple to paint, the detail is bold and crisp making them take paint well. My only quibble (and this is with almost every miniature manufacturer, either plastic or metal) shield rims should be distinct and probably overemphasized a bit. Painting circles is nigh unto impossible, painting a 1mm wide rim on a curved shield that is only 3/4" across is asking a LOT. Give us something to work with folks!

ready for the trip outside for a coat of matte finish

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.......What to present at Pro or Con on October 15th???

action from Pro or Con 2021

        I put myself through this every convention season. I usually have a dozen or so irons in the fire at any given time, is various states of incompletion. Then the cold hard truth of the calendar comes along and upsets my apple-cart of indecision. Much chin-rubbing and head-scratching ensues wherein I try to make up my mind. I cast my eye into The Vault and contemplate the tens of thousands of painted minis and models and desperately try to decide which will accompany me to the convention. 

action from Flintcon 2022

         After much consideration I have narrowed it down to two games; either a naval action using my 1/350th 1600's fleets or an air-combat using my recently completed 1930's aircraft. Both have proven popular in the past and have the added advantage of requiring very little by way of terrain 

         On the other hand I could dust off the Castillo and run another game with that......



Monday, September 5, 2022

Peering into the future....Armored Apocalypse A Bolt Action Tank War Event 12NOV22

        Bastion Gaming Center will be hosting a Bolt Action tournament on November 12th. Chicago Dice will be running the tournament  and you can find all the relevant information on their website. The action starts at 9am and will run until 6pm. This is a great chance to test your favorite platoon against other players or to just stop by and check out the action.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Data Book for the Kawasaki KI-10 "Perry" for use with Red Stars and Rising Suns

       


       Looking for all the world like a badly drawn Curtiss P-6 Hawk the Kawasaki KI-10 was a robust and agile fighter. It was chosen over monoplane aircraft because at that time the Japanese valued maneuverability over speed. Despite many modern innovations it would not have surprised an aviator from the Great War. It was used in the Second Sino-Japanese War and during the Nomonhan Incident. As the was progressed it was soon relegated to second-line duties and training.

       This data book is intended for use with my air-combat rules Red Stars and Rising Suns

Out of the blue clear sky..... MPC 1/72 Brewster Buffalo

        Having grown weary of the monochrome tones of Chinese aircraft I needed something to brighten my day. And what could be better than an aircraft from the "Yellow Wings" era of the U.S. military? I went looking and found an old MPC kit of a Brewster Buffalo, it had the right decals for the period and looked like a straightforward build so off I went. The kit was a simple build and the parts fit was exemplary, Vallejo sprays provided the silver and insignia yellow. 

       The only downside to the entire project were the horrible decals. I had high hopes going in as they weren't curled or yellowed but they were the old MPC single-sheet decals and terribly thick as well. Careful cutting and flood of MicroScale MircoSol managed to get them in a presentable condition but future models might just end up in Finnish colors (I have spare decals for Finland that are of good quality).

         It joins the P-35 in the pre-war "dogs of flight" section of my collection. I will have to work out a data book for my rules sometime soon, it's too pretty to leave as a display item.



Going Goth, building the Wargames Atlantic Gothic Foot Warriors

 

the whole gang
 
        Having a little time on my hands while waiting for decals to set I decided to try my hand at assembling some Gothic warriors. A quick bit of snipping gave me a pile of parts to try fitting together. With five basic body poses and a huge choice of arms, weapons and heads it was easy to assemble ten completely distinct figures. As I was trying out poses it was quickly apparent that most of the arms would fit most of the bodies. It was a simple task to produce active and believable poses. One feature I particularly liked was the provision of an arm holding an arrow and a bent bow in the other so that I could build a figure with a drawn bow ready to launch an arrow.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Helion REALLY wants you to read a book (or at least buy one) this Fall


        As a follow-up to the Bank Holiday sale Helion has begun an offer that takes AT LEAST 50% off a select list of titles. Helion has become a favorite publisher of mine because they cover a good many subjects that are hard to find in English and present attractive, well-researched books at reasonable prices.  Follow this link to get to the sale page; there are some stunning deals to be had! I am sorely tempted to spend a bit of cash on this offer.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Data Book for the Curtiss Goshawk F11C to go with Red Stars and Rising Suns

 

              The Curtiss Aircraft company made quite a business selling fighter aircraft to the U.S. Government and dozens of other nations. The Goshawk II  (F11C)  didn't sell well in the U.S. but was very popular with foreign countries, so much so that China established a factory and bought a license to produce them in-country. Eventually over 100 served in the Chinese Air Force. It was used by Ernst Udet to demonstrate dive-bombing techniques which eventually led to the JU-87 and Hitler's fascination with dive bombers (and insane projects like the HE-177 four-engine dive bomber).

        This data book is for use with Red Stars and Rising Suns my rules set for air combat 1935-1940.