Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We all need a little impetus...

I've been finding it hard to complete my unit of pistoliers the past couple of weeks, but something happened over the weekend which prompted me to finish them this evening... more of that later.

Here they are.

The flag is based on the coat-of-arms of the House Duggan - I grafted the lance from the Perry mounted men-at-arms box as I thought the Warlord ECW cavalry one looked too "modern".

Now I have to prep, prime and paint the dismounted version of these guys.

Back to the story as to why I suddenly found the impetus to complete them.

During Sunday's session Martin mentioned that he was in the process of painting up a 15mm Alexandrian Macedonian army and asked if we wanted to do something in that period. Remembering that wahj had a large Republican Roman army, I thought we could play one of the Macedonian wars. wahj then told us that he also had some Carthaginians painted, which meant we needed a little bit of alternative history: Philip V lands on Italy and links up with Hannibal!

Some discussion on the ruleset followed, and we decided we would try to give Impetus a try. The use of mini-dioramic bases stirred fg's and my interest, and I now find myself pledging to field a DBA-sized Attalid Pergamene force (after having visited Pergamon a few months ago), which should work out to a subgeneral and three units. fg has yet to decide between another Hellenistic Greek contingent and the Gauls/Galatians. The best thing is our forces can play ally to either side, which will lend us more flexibility in the structure of our campaign.

Purchase is likely to take place next month, with the campaign scheduled to start perhaps December, depending on how fast we paint.

Meanwhile, I really want to complete the dismounted version of my pistoliers - I've got a specific scenario in mind for them, you see...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Battle of Fuentes de Onoro

Today marks a special day in the history of our little group as we played our first Napoleonic game.

wahj and I had a British and French Napoleonic army in 20mm plastics more than 20 years ago, with which we played Napoleon's Battles, but we haven't played a game in years. When Martin expressed an interest in the period a couple of years back, I bought over 300 painted 15mm miniatures off ebay while he slowly painted his Anglo-Portuguese army up. Then earlier this month, he announced that he was ready for a game, and we both read the Age of Eagles ruleset (which we both bought earlier), and I picked out a scenario for us.

After some browsing, I decided on a scenario based on the Battle of Fuentes de Onoro. As with the original battle, the Allied army faced the challenge of either holding their flank or extricating the isolated 7th Division defending the village of Poco Velho, while the French had the task of turning the British flank and destroying as much of the enemy forces as possible.

Rick setting up the French IXth Corps, ready to storm Fuentes de Onoro. The isolated 7th Division is seen in the middle.
wahj and Martin took the roles of the Allied commanders (wahj being our "traditional" British player, and Martin being part-Portuguese), while I played umpire cum French Army commander (Massena), and the two less-experienced players (fg and Rick) commanded a French corps each.

I tasked fg to bring his forces wide around the Allied right flank to cut the 7th Division off and destroy them while Rick pinned the rest of the Allied army with an attack on Fuentes de Onoro itself.

fg's VIth Corps and the French Cavalry Reserve deploy
While fg stuggled to get his corps across the river, Rick's surprising charge along the road drove the British out of the town in a single turn!

The French charge across the river to take Fuentes de Onoro
The town would change hands several times during the rest of the battle, but while the bulk of the Allied forces raced to link up with the 7th Division, fg's VIth Corps managed to ford the river and drive them from the village.

With the village lost, the Allied forces began to deploy from the road and form to face the French, and their three batteries tore up the French 3rd Division.

The French drive the British out of Poco Velho, and the Allies deploy from march column to face their attack
With the bulk of the Allied army now deployed for a fight between the two objectives, I decided to commit Junot's Division towards Fuentes, which we judge will turn the battle towards the French's favour and force the Allied army to withdraw, and so called the game.

The whole game took about 3 hours including setting up the over one hundred bases of figures.

Except for the rather unpredictable melee results, we enjoyed the rules. There are some areas which are not covered by the rules relating to fighting in BUA, but most of the time we were just thrilled by the sight of over 500 figures in colourful uniforms being shoved across the table, and taking pictures so we can have bragging rights.

Rick was so inspired by the spectacle he is now thinking of getting an army to provide my French an opponent, which gives me an excuse to further expand my army...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Resina Planet Khaos Gor

I came across the figure in the centre of the picture - a Resina Planet Khaos Gor - while ebaying for stuff and thought I would add it to the ranks of my small beastmen warband.

Unfortunately, despite its name, the figure's size is closer to that of an Ungor than a Gor, especially when you notice its delicate legs... It's still a nice figure, regardless.

I suppose I will convert him into an Ungor hero of sorts using the Ungor bow bits I have, and lose the back-banner.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Movement Trays and a new backdrop

Taking it slow thise weekend - just primed some figures and finished up my movement trays. I'm also trying out my new backdrop - part of the box art of the Mage Knight Keep that Adrian gave me. The foreground is just a wallpaper downloaded free.

Here's a shot of the pistolier horses on my DIY movement trays.

And here's a shot of Perry artillery on a chariot base.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Land Speeder Storm WIP

To show you just how much a non-fanboy I am, I only just yesterday read about the Space Marine Land Speeder Storm which is a Land Speeder customised to transport a scout squad.

Now I've been thinking of getting my girls a ride, but didn't want to use the GW model, so once again I went into Mekboy mode...

A night of googling did not turn up anything I want, so I decided the best way to start would be to go down to the toys section of my local mall on my way back from work today.

This is what I got.

It's a "made in China" die-cast toy car with a pull-back drive system. It measures 5" bumper-to-bumper and is just about the right size. It's all of S$6.90, which is like US$5.50. It came in blue or yellow. Even though I know I am going to paint it over, I still got the blue one.

Two screws hold the main components together.

With a pair of pliers I removed the headlights, the axels and wheels (including the drive system which looks like it has future orky applications...), and the rear half of the cabin piece...

 leaving this as the main structure to build upon.

The main problem will be covering up the spaces left by the wheels - I'll be looking at ebay later to find some bits that are suitable, failing which I will need nmore plasticard.

I realise I won't be able to actually fit my scouts inside the cabin, but I plan to at least get a driver figure.

This might take a while...

Friday, August 10, 2012

The army of my friend is my enemy

A plug for fellow gamer and friend Thomas, who blogs at Sanguinius' Blood.

Thomas' "thing" is Blood Angels ("Boo! Hiss!"), and some of his boys once fought mine in a FUBAR game as seen here:

His enthusiasm in the (GW) hobby is infectious and has inspired me to refurbish my small force of Space Marines (which, in my defence, I bought and painted for sci-fi skirmish games other than 40K, you understand...) which I am in the process of bringing up to a codex-adhering, chapter-approved 2000 point army, as well as embark on a few conversion/kit-bashing projects. Our upcoming project involves kitting up a Robogear Condor as a Stormraven to provide his boys with a little air support. He still has some ways to go before he completes his Twilight, er, I mean Blood Angel army, and I am really looking forward to seeing him start his Ork army afterwards; like I said, I'm a Mekboy in a previous life and I suspect I will go nuts gluing plasticard and rivets to toys once the Waagh spirit takes me.

Do hop over and have a browse - hopefully that will encourage him to paint and update more frequently. :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Two guns for the price of one

The Artizan (formerly Hinchcliffe) Medieval/Renaissance 3-barrelled gun I ordered from Northstar arrived today.

When I saw the picture of it on the website, I reckoned I could scratch-build a ribauldequin option for it.

This is the gun assembled in it original format.

With the top piece removed, it's basically a # -frame with wheels.

From there, it's a simple matter of constructing a 3-sided box out of plasticard and strips, and then gluing ten plastic dowels (1.6mm diameter in this case) into the box and then trimming them to the same length.

The business end of the ribauldequin. The dowels are too fine for meto try to drill muzzles into them, but with proper painting it should pass muster.

This piece can see service as a volley gun in warhammer, and also as a historical piece. The frame provides for other possibilities too, and can be converted to a push-cart for both military and non-military purposes.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Killa (Film) Kan Done!

It would have taken a single evening if I had all the parts, but here it is anyway.

After fiddling with a few options for the shoulder joint, I decided to just glue hexagonal nuts to the can. I glued the legs in a walking pose, but left the ankle joints free for now so Thomas can pose it how he will on the base.

The right arm with the buzzsaw is from a Warmachine jack. The flamer arm is from the GW Killa Kan set, but I've glued magnets on both sides of the arm so it can be attached to either side.

I only have one other option, the rockets. Again, it can be attacked to either side on the can.

Much of the model is pretty bare, but I guess I can leave it to Thomas to add more bitz or otherwise decorate it with painting.

I can't remember how much it cost me to get the bits, but on the whole I don't think this represents a big savings over getting a Killa Kan. Still, it was something I had to do. I think I was a Mekboy in my past life...

Monday, August 06, 2012

Killa (Film) Kan WIP

During yesterday's session Thomas told me that he will be working on his Orks once he is done with his remaining dozen or so Space Marines figures, so on a whim today I decided to start a little project I planned quite a while ago.

When I was buying bits for 40K a while back I had an idea I wanted to make my own Killa Kan using a film cannister. I bought some weapon arms (some of which I cannibalised for other projects) and a pair of legs. Today, I magnetised them and started work on the body itself while the epoxy set.

This is what I've got so far.

The fender is a Killa Kan part which I just inserted into the can after drilling a couple of holes in it. The viewing slit is a mesh that I bought a long time ago for post-apoc cars. The engine is some sort of a weapon part (don't ask me which), and the mounts for the limbs are just screws screwed into the sides.

I'm not sure how well the magnets will hold, but if they don't I can always go to Plan B and just glue them onto the sockets.

I hope to post an update tomorrow once the epoxy has set.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Christmas in August

It's been several months since we had a session (as fg put it, he had to scroll up his GPS record to find my address), and Rick was joining us for the first time in years. When they arrived, everyone had a present for me!

Thomas brought me the Mage Knight Keep and Wall Pack Adrian got me (thanks, bro!), fg passed me some of the old 1993 plastic Space Marines, Rick gave me two thick Napoleonic tomes, and wahj gave me a signed copy of Michael Shermer's book - I've actually been thinking about getting it since I read a review on Amazon.

We played a game of Robo Rally and then spent the rest of the afternoon talking about our plans and projects. Happy days.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Dux Bellorum

I came home today to find an unexpected package in the mailbox which turned out to be my playtester's copy of Dux Bellorum.

The physical production value is high, as one might expect of an experienced publisher like Osprey.

There is lot of eye-candy inside, with plates from previous Osprey books and pictures of miniatures from several manufacturers in 15mm and 28mm.

I've posted about the rules before (click on label below to read the previous posts), but the feeling right now of holding and flipping through the print edition of the book is a feeling of belonging to a wargaming community.

In the Acknowledgement section Dan thanks the playtesters and the people in the hobby business (I know...) who helped him: Henry from Battlegames, the people behind Khurasan, Gripping Beast, Wargames Illustrated, Nick at North Star... I suspect that all these people helped Dan in this project probably without payment in return (except for perhaps a copy of the published rules) partly out of the fun of being involved in producing a set of wargame rules, and partly because Dan's enthusiasm and passion for the Arthurian period is so infectious.

The basic rules are easy to learn, but there are enough optional rules to tailor the game and the armies to your vision of the Dark Age.

I used my 1066 armies in the playtest, but now I am thinking of using them with my LOTR figures, perhaps with foot in 3 x 2 and mounted in 2 x 1 formation...

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Hugh "the Hammer" Duggan 2

A game this coming weekend means I had to cut back on the painting this week to tidy up my place. Still, I managed to get the dismounted version of the pistolier captain done.

This figure is made with parts from three different boxes of plastic figures. The trunk, lower limbs and left arm are from Warlord Games' "Firelock Storming Party" box set. These are the closest foot troops I could find to the ECW cavalrymen. However, they come only in one pose (excepting the two metal command figures in the box which I don't need and have traded with Matt from Ubique), and the two arms options provided both carry a musket. Still, it was an easy job to cut the weapon off and glue the hand back in a suitable position - this is the reason why I prefer to work with plastic.

The right arm is from the ECW Cavalry box set, and originally held a sword, which I replaced with the hammer - once again, plastic = easy gluing.

The head comes from Wargames Factory's WSS Spanish Cavalry set. I have no idea why the box contains this head option, but I was happy to find it on a bits store. The head is a little smaller than that on the cavalryman, but I think it will pass muster.

There are of course differences in the details of the uniforms between the mounted and foot version, but the hammer identifies the captain, and the standard and trumpet will identify the standard-bearer and musician, while the other troopers will be armed with either the sword or the pistol, so it's all good in game terms. Their multiple roles as missile and melee troops and mounted and dismounted troops will allow them to fulfill a number of functions in a scenario.

This is a little more cutting and gluing than I would like to have to do, but thankfully I am only going for a unit of 8 (which means 8 horses, 8 cavalrymen and 8 dismounted figures...). I hope I can get them done by the end of the month.

Here's a shot of the two versions of Hugh "the Hammer" Duggan side-by-side.