Sunday, April 28, 2024

A little something I whipped up to stay busy

        For me idle hands are a terror. I simply end up getting myself into trouble. Thus I tend to volunteer more often than is completely sane, even to the point where I end up swamped. A little while ago I saw on Lead Adventure Forum someone that was looking for a stylized aircraft carrier in 15mm. Not having played with Proxxie in a bit I offered to whip out some hull blanks for a 1930's style aircraft carrier (and a cruiser and destroyer as well). The fellow seeking the ships was delighted with the idea and I was off to the races. 

       I took the USS Langley as a rough guide for my carrier, an Omaha class light cruiser as a basis for the cruiser and the USS Ward as my guide for the destroyer. These were not intended as replicas of those ships, just as inspiration.

it took about a half-hour to get the basic shapes cut,
but it was a cold and rainy day so I just kept puttering along....

28mm Perrys, Dutchy of Warsaw Infantry Battalion, 1807-1814

        From the prolific hands of the Perry Brothers comes Polish Infantry from the later Napoleonic Wars 1807-1814. Sculpted to the near-perfection that is the standard of Perry products this set will provide you with the soldiers you need to build the core of a Duchy of Warsaw force. The minis are cast in a firm gray plastic that has no flash and precious few mold-lines, these figures display a jewel-like level of detail. 

        This set comes complete with command figures representing officer and musicians as well as standard-bearers. The set also includes options for all of the different types of headgear worn by the other ranks. These multi-part minis provide a choice of arms and minor body position so your soldiers won't look like a band of automatons; backpacks are separate and include the sabre-briquet, ammo box and canteen (no loads of tiny fiddly-bits to glue on during assembly). These can be painted before assembly of the figure which greatly eases getting the belting and straps squared away!

         Worth the price of the box is the full-color two-sided flyer that comes inside showing the uniforms worn by the different regiments of the Duchy of Warsaw. This is simply superb and is one of the things that sets Perry products apart from the rest of the plastic minis world. The information contained is more comprehensive and easily understood than that found in an Osprey book. Top notch work!

the front of the box

Wargames Atlantic 28mm Great War Russian Infantry

       Wargames Atlantic continues to add to their Great War range with the addition of Russian Infantry and a fine set it is! These figures are cast in a firm medium gray plastic with no trace of flash and very few mold-lines. 

        As we have come to expect from WA offerings they are multi-part figures that provide a vast array of headgear and arm positions. The set does not offer a vast array of weapon choices due to the simple fact that the Russian army didn't have much of a choice of weapons, one standard rifle, two standard pistols with no SMGs or other frills.

       The figures are dressed in the summer uniforms and five of the six body poses have bedrolls over their shoulder. Figure proportions are very good with none of the "giant heads/hands" often encountered in metal miniatures; poses are dynamic without be gymnastic. It would be a simple matter to assemble and entire box full of these without duplicating a pose. Detail of the weapons is delicate and accurate and the loose uniform style of the Russian soldier is reflected well in the way that the clothing drapes over the figure. Excellent work all-around!

the front of the box

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Wargames Atlantic 28mm Afghan Cavalry

       Wargames Atlantic recently added to their Imperial Conquests line with this highly versatile set of Afghan Cavalry, it is labelled 1815-1914 but this set will happily cover from the 1500s through 1940 (and with some simple modifications you could extend that another century in either direction). The figure are very cleaning cast in a firm gray plastic that takes detail very well. The figures exhibit no flash and very few mold-lines. They should be a quick build as they have few parts and can be assembled with common plastic model cement. 

       Of particular interest (especially to guys like me that love swapping parts and modifying figures) are the three new horses. These horses differ from the generic horses set produced by Wargames Atlantic a few years ago and are well sculpted and vigorously posed. The riders are dressed in the common voluminous Afghan clothing which is very well sculpted and drapes over the figure convincingly. As usual there is a dizzying array of heads, this is the one spot that I think Wargames Atlantic missed the ball; a few spare heads with Ray-Bans and ball caps along with some hands holding AK or AR platform rifles and the odd RPG would have brought this set into today's headlines. Conversely a few more spears and a few bows and bow-cases could project this set back to the 1400s. Maybe we could petition WA to produce a couple of conversion sets in resin!


 the front of the box
the back of the box

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

02Hundred Hours, Escape From Stalag Luft III, Escapees in Civvies

        A further expansion of the 02Hundred Hours Escape From Stalag Luft III game is this set of Escapees in Civvies. It contains four crisply detailed and well cast figures of escaped airmen trying to blend in with the local civilian population (you really can't go parading about in Nazi Germany in your Air Force uniform). The figures are well sculpted and dressed to blend in with the average civilian; three are walking calmly and carrying bundles while one poor fellow has his hat in his hand and is sprinting with a look of consternation on his tiny face (his papers failed inspection!).  The minis are cast with small "puddle" bases but are provided with larger MDF bases that will ensure that they figure isn't tipping over constantly during a game. 

the front of the box

Friday, April 12, 2024

02Hundred Hours, Escape From Stalag Luft III (or The Great Escape by another name)

         I am a big fan of the 02Hundred Hours systems which makes night-time Commando raids into a playable game. It rewards careful play but usually ends up with a touch of Hollywood shoot-out at the end. I found it an impressive effort at re-thinking the usual skirmish game. Now comes Escape from Stalag Luft III, this game uses the basic principles of 02Hundred Hours, but instead of a highly-trained band of heavily armed elite combat soldiers  the Allies are cast in the roles of essentially unarmed airmen trying to organize a break-out and escape from a German P.O.W. camp. Yes, think about The Great Escape in all its glory (but sadly no Steve McQueen on a motorcycle).

        This is an expansion, not a stand-alone game, it presumes that you have a copy of 02Hundred Hours to supply the minis and game components. Inside the box you will find six metal minis of the fearless Allied airmen bent on escaping from their Nazi captors and one motorcycle kit with a positively lethal-looking German soldier riding it. These minis are all new and match the exacting standards of other Grey For Now Games products. Also in the box are MDF bases for the minis, new cards to add to the Action, Equipment and Event decks and a scenario/rule book that explains the different  approach that this games takes.

the front of the box

Thursday, April 11, 2024

The Unstoppable Force encounters the Easily Moveable Object

       Editor's two cents:

       We did our usual shenanigans of dicing for which book/which half and found ourselves in the first half of the third book. In the interest of further hobbling ourselves we agreed that I should pick an army and The Housemartin would choose a historically legitimate opponent. In a further act of madness I resolved to choose an army that I have never played before. After consulting my supply of Light Cavalry I selected Cumans with the idea that playing on the larger 5x8' table would allow them to skirmish properly. I've never had any luck with cavalry and I hoped this would be a turning point.

In riposte to Anton's loony choice of the Cumans, I responded with the Teutonic Order, I figured that since the army lists said that the Teutonic Order were the ones who destroyed the Cumans I might have a chance in the sand storm headed my way.  Anton outscouted me 204:13, so my army deployed first.  

Gaming Update, My place Saturday 04/13/24 7pm

 Like it says, my place 7pm. Be there or we will talk smack about you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Old Dudes and Old Rules, Champa vs Scots-Irish

        So this time Anton convinced me that limiting our selections would be a good idea so it was decided that we would still dice for a book, and then dice for which half of that book.  We ended up with the first half of the second, or yellow book (this is where the Roman Empire armies reside).  Anton selected the Champa, one of the armies of Vietnam.  I selected the Scots-Irish (Ireland during the Roman invasion of Britain).  Anton volunteered that he chose his army to field nine elephants.  I chose my army because it gets even more Light Chariots than the famous "Ancient British Panzer Division" of these rules.  I outscouted Anton 33:12, so he had to deploy his army first and I elected to have an element of my army go on a flank march to arrive later in the battle.  Here are our deployments.  

       As a note Anton got tired of me not giving units titles so he went through and applied titles in the photo editing stage, so I will say thanks and am forced to use them.  

28mm Fireforge Ashigaru Shooters

the front of the box
       Hot off the presses and courtesy of my local Brick & Mortar, Michigan Toy Soldier, we find one of the latest releases from the fine folks at Fireforge Games, Ashigaru Shooters from their Samurai Wars range. Crisply and cleanly cast with no trace of flash and hardly a mold-line these minis are made of a firm medium gray plastic that exhibits excellent detail and will glue up well using normal polystyrene cement (model airplane glue). The poses are active but restrained, no silly leaping or twirling figures, they will rank-up very well. Body proportions are realistic and the figures have delicately detailed hands and faces. Weapons and armor are correct for the mid-late period and these models can easily be mixed with the Samurai Shooters figures from Fireforge to represent poorer samurai or ashigaru that serve a particularly generous lord.

28mm Fireforge Game Samurai Shooters


the front of the box

        Fresh off the presses I got a look at the Fireforge Games Samurai range figures courtesy of Michigan Toy Soldier and what an impressive group of figures these are! Cast in a medium gray plastic they exhibit fine detail, excellent proportions and historic fidelity in equal measure. They are solidly in the middle of 28mm size-wise which perhaps makes them "overscale" as most Japanese were smaller than Europeans of the era but it matters little as they spent most of their time playing on their home turf.

        In all honesty I am no authority on "things samurai" so I dug through my references and spent some time online before I looked at these minis. I find that he equipment and armor are excellent depictions of mid to late period Samurai. The armor is delicately detailed and fits the figures well, it doesn't appear "stuck on" the figure as some other ranges of samurai minis look. The weapons are correct for the period including the eccentric Japanese longbow. But enough of my chatter, let's look at the figures themselves.