Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Project M13/40 #2

When two became six and Division Ariete really started to take shape.

As predicted the pair of M13/40s went together very quickly. So I decided they should have some company in the form of:

1 x M41/Command Tank (Frontline)

1 x M11/39 (Frontline)

1 x LOG Column (Frontline)

1 x POL Column (Die-cast)

Built and undercoated.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Project M13/40 #1

Desert Air Force reconnaissance photo reveals Italian engineers assembling at least two M13/40 tanks deep inside Libya. Also in shot is the photo aircraft's escorting Hurricane.

Photo No. DAF/006/10/40

Hurri close up using rare colour film

There are two toy tanks in the box which I bought for £9.50. So that's £4.75 per toy, not bad. The kits are of the fast-build type and look like they'll got together with minimal fuss. One disappointment is that the turret hatch is moulded as part of the turret so getting it open would be very difficult. This is a shame, it would have been nice to have a leather-clad tank commander on view. 

The box art includes a couple of colour schemes, which is just as well given this B/W document:

Waste of print.


Monday, 27 January 2014

HotT Army Showcase #6 - The Army of The Privilege

Remember The Chartists from way back when? Well I have, at long last, finished painting and basing their opponents and completed yet another matched pair.

And what an army it is! When I was researching The Chartists it became clear that the forces of law and order took a less than Dixon of Dock Green approach to community policing. In fact if workers were on a demonstration or on strike they were as likely to be shot down, trampled and sabred or beaten to death with truncheons as they were to lose your job. With that in mind I began to construct what became The Army of The Privilege. Why did you call it that some of you are wondering. Simple, they represent the laissez-faire system of the early to middle Victorian era.

The army consists of ten bases of figures for a total of 24 points.

2 x Spears (Infantry)

2 x Shooters (Infantry)

2 x Warband (Police)

2 x Knights (Yeomanry)

1 x Magician (Wizard of The Privilege)

1 x Behemoth General (Dark Satanic Mill Owner)

1 x Stronghold (Dark Satanic Mill)

The Spears and Shooters are from Irregular Miniatures' 15mm 'Indian Mutiny/EarlyColonials' range. They represent the general militia, and sometimes regular, troops used to quell civil unrest.

The Warbands are Peelers. I can't remember the manufacturer but they started life as a Royal Navy boarding party. I added tails to their coats from greenstuff. The only figure with anything approaching the tall top hat Peelers wore is the figure with the pistol. I did think about building up the sailors' caps but then, after a couple of failed attempts, I decided their hats were reduced in height by fair wear and tear. Or bricks.

The Knights are from two seperate Irreguular Miniatures ranges. The troopers are from the 15mm 'Indian Mutiny/EarlyColonials'. While the officers are from IM's 15mm Napoleonic British Light Dragoons. I like the trooper figures, nice and chunky. The officer figures I do not like at all. They are noticeably smaller than the troopers and are just plain weedy figures. I had to place them on 'plinths' when it came to basing to get them level with the other ranks. And why are they Knights? Well, as history shows, the Yeomanry cavalry of this period would always charge when the opportunity presented itself.

The Magician is from Gripping Beast and is a bishop figure from their 28mm Dark Ages figure ranges. I altered his crook to resemble a £ sign. In his job as a Wizard of the Privilege he charms workers into believing that everything that happens to them is their own fault. The Magician is accompanied by a couple of spare officer figures as bodyguards.

The Behemoth General is from this chap and is really first class. Well cast with few mold lines it came with no base but is so well balanced it stood up with no difficulty. So, what does this Behemoth General represent? A tyrannical mill owner who used up his workers as if they were merely nuts and bolts. Crushing their hopes and aspirations underfoot. That says Behemoth to me. The general is accompanied by a couple of bodyguard figures.

As with all my HotT armies each element has a label to show its name and role.

Finally The Stronghold. It could be nothing else but a Dark Satanic Mill. The stronghold is entirely scratch-built. I used balsa for the walls and roof; cocktail sticks for the drain-pipes. The chimney stack is a piece of 4-square plastic tubing. I roughened up the sides and then glued paper brick sections onto it. The smoke is painted cotton wool fixed to an extended paper clip; the long section of the clip is simply slipped down the chimney.

I inscribed the individual stones/bricks onto the stronghold's walls before assembly. I used a 6" steel rule and a cocktail stick; it is fairly monotonous work but not too time consuming and some good music helps. I think it is worth the effort. I did the same to get a tiled or slate effect on the roof.

The boiler house was produced seperately but using the same method. The windows are paper ones from a picture of a real mill I found on the interweb. The coal pile next to the boiler house is a mix of bird gravel, filler and black paint.

The Pictures:

The Spears & The Shooters

The Warbands

The Knights

The Magician

The Behemoth General

The Stronghold - Dark Satanic Mill

The Army of The Privilege

All the best!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Results Are In.....

......and the clear winner was the box of M13/40s with a whopping 52% of the votes cast. Work begins tomorrow at the factory of Corrazate Cotgravelli di Campo Freddo di Sutton. This book, which I picked up at Salute last year, will come in handy once again for colour schemes.

Opposition knocked out!
First time for everything I suppose.

I also noticed that blog views have gone over 50,000 so thank you all for your continuing support.

Also welcome to new blog member Will Grundy; thank you for following.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Which Model Next?

Yes, gang, it's another voting thing. Which model from the 3 candidates should I build next? Only you can decide! You can vote for your choice by using the handy poll gadget on the right of the home page ------->

A pic in case you don't know what they look like:

Forgotten War Graves Remembered 8

Today in 1944 Sergeant Donald Parr Hewitson of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve died. He was just 18 years old. His headstone states he was a Meteorological Observer. Apart from that I have been unable to discover anything further on this airman. He is interred with his parents.

First Names: Donald Parr
Rank: Sergeant
Service Number: 1867399
Corps: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 18
Date of Death: 23/1/44
No other information available

Friday, 17 January 2014

Forgotten War Graves Remembered 7

On this day in 1918 Private William Henry Heeks of the Royal Scots Fusiliers died. Other than the details on his headstone I have been unable to discover anything further on this soldier. He is slightly unusual in that he was 46 when he passed away. If anyone has any information on Private (Fusilier?) Heeks please get in touch.

Surname: HEEKS
First Names; William Henry
Rank: Private/Fusilier
Service Number: 7903
Corps: Royal Scots Fusiliers
Age: 46
Date of Death: 17/1/18
No other information available

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

HotT Battle Report Part 2: The Nutcracker v The Mouse King

Drama piled upon crisis! 

 The two opposing forces continued to trundle into contact. D6 throws for PIP were reasonable on both sides so no excuses for tardiness.
Troop Positions end of M2

Move 3 saw NC & MK forces in contact with a wild charge 
by the left flank Warbands assaulting the NC Sneaker.

MK Warbands prove no match for Girl with Flower - Recoil!

In range of NC Artillery were the right flank MK Warbands.
The Artillery fired. And missed to much rodentian scorn.

Beware! For The Nutcracker is upon thee!
Mouse laughter was cut short as one of the central Warbands 
was reduced to cat-meat by the NC Hero General.
The NC Shooters, despite appearances, were unable to assist.
2-0 to NC

To add insult to injury the NC Sneaker once 
more duffed up the opposing MK Warband.
Ending Move 4.

Move 5. The drama of the battle.
The generals meet with NC Hero General outflanked.
Supporting NC Shooters powerless at this moment.

A DRAW!!!!

Battlefield Move 5 - The battle's drama evolves into a crisis 
as Nutcracker troops use their 1 PIP to manouevre 
those Shooters onto the Warband's flank.
They turn to face and thus a confused, swirling and 
deadly melée is created in the centre of the battlefield.

Nice view across the battlefield. Turn 5 or 6?

But before that the NC Artillery fires again.
And scores a recoil result upon the advancing Warband.

Mouse success! Shooters recoil.
Warband follows up a base depth.

More mouse success! 
Sneaker forced to FLEE 600p; narrowly avoiding edge-disaster.
Mouse Warband follows up a base depth.

Clash of the Generals pt2.
NC comes off second best to MK.
Recoils and the Behemoth General follows up.

The impetuosity of the MK Warband costs them dear
as they go down in a hail of NC Shooter bullets.
4-0 to NC.

Clash of the Generals pt3
9 plays 7. A recoil then?
Normally yes but Heroes count as Mounted even when on Foot.
Behemoth: Destroyed by Mounted in contact.
8-0 to NC

Oh dear, poor Mousey.

As their Behemoth regent crashed to the ground the remaining MK troops fled the field; swearing revenge by all the cheeses!

A good game where The Mouse King's army was hampered by a run of poor die rolls which reduced its ability to move its units. That said all of the fatal damage was done by just two elements of The Nutcracker's army. Also having to defend with an army that is geared for attack was not in the best interests of The Mouse King. I look forward to the return fixture!

All the best!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

HotT Battle Report Part 1: The Nutcracker v The Mouse King

I think everyone's been waiting for this matched pair to get to grips. Well, the wait's over, and here's the AAR for this particular slug-fest. The two armies are mostly infantry of various types with neither having any magickal or clerickal assistance. The Nutcracker does have Artillery and Sneaker troops. The Mouse King on the other hand is Warband heavy, plus a Behemoth general, and despite being the defender his best bet is to CHAAAAARGE!

I used Kaptain Kobold's random terrain generator again and it produced a 5 and 6 which is always fun, even more so if I wasn't playing solo! I ended up with a two tier hill, a BUA, two woods and some farmland.

The Empty Battlefield

Attacker (5) Defender (1)

The attacking general then diced for his side of approach and scored 3:

Armies Arrayed

The Nutcracker (NC) has all his shooting elements on the left near the hill. The Hero General and Spears in the centre and his deadly Blades and Sneaker on the right flank.

The Mouse King (MK) has his army in three battlegroups and, as the defender, took first bound. MK scored 5 PIP and got all his battlegroups moving forward. NC scored 2 PIP and shifted his Shooters and Himself, as a  group, onto the hill. The second PIP went to the Sneaker.

Positions at end of Move 1


Monday, 13 January 2014

HotT Army Showcase #5: Wakizashi Slashi!

Sheesh! What a crap title.

This particular HotT army grew out of a fascination with samurai Japan, the movie Ran and taking more than a passing interest in Luke Ueda-Sarson's army lists. Zvezda, as before, provided most of the figures and their Samurai range even has a portable shrine coming soon. Ikko-ikki anyone?

I decided that I would best be served by adapting one of Luke's list to my own idea of what a fantasy Samurai army should contain. That is a solid core of infantry plus some fantastical/heroic elements. I still feel I should add one of Dixon Miniatures Oni to the list; we'll see. I also created a sheet of labels for each element's stand.

The colour scheme was fairly easy to settle upon. I used the movie Ran as a source of inspiration. So, red armour; the light blue banners of the hero Saburo, and LOADS of polka dots on, mostly, bright contrasting fabrics.

With the above in mind I bought a box of Samurai commanders reasoning that an army needs a general and the other figures would come in handy elsewhere. Which they did.

1. Blades (Samurai) General
Seen here with his bare-headed bodyguard which shows how hard they are.

2. Blades (Samurai)

3. Knights (Samurai)
4. Shooters (Samurai)

5. Spears (Ashigaru)

6. Hero (Samurai)
Seen here with his pitch-fork wielding bodyguard, Nakka, and his loyal servant, Mushi, who gets to hump the lunches and The Heroic Deeds Record Book.

7. Lurker (Ninjas)
Seen here dressed as peasants ambushing some unfortunates from the cover of a rockery.

8. Lurker (Ninjas)
Seen here in their traditional black garb assaulting some other unfortunates from the cover of a smoke-screen. Although it now resembles one of Shelob's webs. That is not necessarily as bad thing though.

9. Dragon (Ryu)
The only figure in the army that isn't Zvezda. I got this ryu from a Chinese gift shop near Birmingham Market. It came with a base but I managed to separate them without shattering either. Quite a feat of engineering let me tell you. I painted it up as per this image and I think it came out pretty well. It was only on closer inspection I noticed it only has three legs instead of the traditional four. I put this down to a near-death encounter with a naginata-wielding Hero and the well-known animal ability to make light of amputation.

10. The Stronghold
I did think a Japanese castle model would make a fun stronghold but then the need to build my own, ok, I'm cheap and cheerful, took over. The lads will, when defending, be looking after this shrine-like stronghold.

11. The Army in Review Order

And finally...

A picture of a cat's head cushion under a pink blanket for no reason whatsoever:

What patchwork. Such pink. WOW!

Welcome to new blog members Mike and Uncle Brian they both run super blogs and you should go and have a look asap.

Updates as they happen!