Monday, September 18, 2017

Terrain Building

I managed to finish three deployment points for my Pirate forces. These are sound plywood bases textured with latex caulk and sand. The palm tree was one that was broken off of a piece of inherited Burma terrain that I had. The chest, boxes, barrels and bags were from an order I placed a while back to ... honestly, I can't remember. Donnington maybe? It came with an order that included chickens, pigs and goats. Not that description is particularly helpful. Anyway, I like them.

Then, I started on some terrain that I had forgotten about. Last year, I went on a buying binge and picked up a number of MDF terrain pieces. Reading the Vis Lardica blog about his recent purchase of the Red Vector terrain, I remembered that I had bought the Russian Village pack. I rooted around my cupboards and found them. They went together very easily. I did not even need the instructions. The houses are rather nice. I will be texturing the roofs to make them look like they are straw. I found some useful instructions on the Red Beard Baron's youtube site for that. The thatching would cover up the roof joins nicely. Paint will fix the wall joins. The nice part is, the way the buildings are constructed, the buildings have lift off roofs. Except for the livestock pen.

I also picked up some Starfort Miniature's building at that same time. The one I am eyeing to build next is the Russian Watermill. I will work on texturing the bases of these current buildings first. And getting them complete. I need to figure out what I will use for pirate tavern and some houses. I think I have some AWI shacks that could possibly fit the bill. We will see.

Painting Progress #8

I finished the basing for my latest sets of pirates. The more I look at the museum miniatures blunderbuss carrying troops, the more I dislike the figures. While their boarding pike wielding fellows were not bad. These look more like Orcs than Pirates to me. They might have been better if there was some variety in poses.

Anyway, here is what I have managed to finish up over the weekend.

I am starting on some deployment points. I have been struggling with what to do. For one, I am doing an "X" marks the spot with a palm tree. I have some terrain items to work on as well.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Painting Progress #7

Managed to finish the dead pirates this morning. Also finished off the Peter Pig Rowing Pirates pack. They came out pretty good.

I have my Eureka rowing crew do work on. I want to get the steersmen finished next. I placed the one figure on one of my Sea Dog large rowboats and he fits rather well. I have two more rowboats to work on from Old Glory. There are two other possible steersmen in the pack but neither seem to be good.

Then I have some terrain work ahead of me. I want to look through what I have. I know that a matt is needed. Just need to figure this out.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Rock the Casbah

I love finding reports of games that people have played with supplements that I have written. I stumbled across one such report on Rob Avery's wonderful Vis Lardica site. They played a game of Rock the Casbah and made a wonderful table that is well worth looking at. They captured the tension of the game well with unpredictable civilians and the possibilities of danger around every corner.

Check it out here.

Painting Update #6

I have finished my third group of pirates for my game in November. I now have three groups of them and an artillery crew. I still have some dead pirates to paint up and some row boat crews from Eureka and Peter Pig. Those are all nice to have and not have to have. I also ordered some more figures from Peter Pig. Sme pirate gun crew and seated soldiers.

Here is the work so far. Just some basing to do and they are ready for action. my next step will be building a matt for the game. In the end, I want the table to look like this:

This is an island shore line with a pirate settlement built on it. I have the ships all painted up already. I should have enough row boats for it as well. I need to build a table as well. I have the materials for it but just need to finish. Hope to have more later.

2017 Santa Clause

Hey howdy hey, it is that time of year again. If you had been by Ian's blog (https://walladvantage2.blogspot.com) you will have seen the news that he is not doing the Secret Santa this year. But we are going to press on with the Santa Clause.

The Santa Clause 2017

Since Ian has kicked off the Secret Santa already, it is time to get rolling with the Santa Clause. If you were with us last year, you know how this works. If not, here are our ground rules:

Rule number 1:
To enter you need to either have a blog or be a regular follower of this blog (or Ian's) already. This is to give confidence to all involved that everyone will follow through to the end. If you have a blog and don't follow this one it's OK to join in. (I would still appreciate it if you did follow)

Rule number 2:
The idea is that each person involved buys a figure or figures to the value of less than £5 and paints them up to fit in with what the target blogger wargames or collects. Best would be some kind of command for the bigger scales but maybe a unit or two of such as 6mm or a building or... you get the idea.

Rule number 3:
Please try to send out your items so that they will arrive by December 20th in plenty of time for the big day. I will send out who you have on September 30th.

Rule number 4:
Please post on your blog about your participation. The more we can get on board, the more fun for all of us.

Rule number 5:
This is not intended to be a cheap alternative to Ian's Secret SantaTM. Instead it is a great opportunity to send and receive something that will be special BECAUSE it's a one off from a fellow blogger. Not that you have to limit yourself to something useful, feel free to paint up something that will just sit aside the painting desk or study etc and just give pleasure.

Rule number 6:
When you mail your package to your target, lets add "SC" into their name so that they know they received their Santa Clause gift and not just something else that they happened to have ordered and promptly forgotten about. For example, the name should be listed as "Bob SC Hope". This will give us the opportunity to place it under the tree with the care that it deserves.

-------------------------------------------

So that's the idea, it is another great way to connect with your blogging friends and get something really exciting at Christmas. I hope that this year will be as great a success as last year. Ian's wife did a fantastic job with it and from what I can see, everyone had a great time. If you are interested, please leave a comment here with your blog address. We need to be able to look and see what you are interested in. Then shoot me an e-mail to chrisstoesen at gmail.com. I need to know where you are located as well so I will need a mailing address to send to your Santa Clause recipient. I will cut off the registrations on September 30th. That's it folks, lets get this going! I hope to see all of last year's participants back involved. It was a great time.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Painting Progress #5

I finished up with the 8 Pirate Musketmen. That gives me two groups of 12 pirates completed. Three pirate officers and a three man gun crew also completed. I still have eight pirates with blunderbusses and eight with pistols left to do. That will give me another group of 12 pirates with four to spare.

In the picture are two groups of 8 Spanish Regulars that I finished a while back but have not based yet.

Time Passes as I forgot to hit post.

Well I finished off 24 pirates, 3 pirate gun crewmen, a gun, three pirate officers and 16 Spanish Regulars. They are all below.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Painting Progress #4?

OK, I have no idea how many painting progress posts I have made thus far and am too lazy to look it up.

I managed to get 8 more pirates painted up. They are awaiting an ink wash and varnish just like the pirate officers that I finished last post. I finished the Museum Miniatures pirates with boarding pikes. They are a bit boring in that they are all one pose. A guy holding a pike level. I tried to vary up the colors on their clothes and skin to make them different. They painted up pretty quick but they are boring minis to me. i will have to mis them with others to make the groups interesting.

Next up is a group of 8 pirates with muskets. This is the Peter Pig Pack and they come with three different sculpts. All are nice and should be fun to paint. If I hurry, I might yet knock these off tonight. We will see what happens.

Also received a pack of AB Miniatures Naval boat crews. Very nice miniatures. There are 12 oarsmen and two fellows that could be steering and a guy who is kneeling that may be a gun crewman for a bow mounted carronade. It also has the carronade. I needed the steersman figures. But given the number of rowboats that I have, I can probably use all of these. Oh, it also comes with a rather nice rudder for those ships without it molded on. I am looking forward to having these done.

Lastly, i got in my order from Gaming Models for my Second Kharkov project. Three Matilda IIs in Russian Green and three Valentine IIIs in Russian Green and a German PZ IV f2. All in all, very happy. I will repaint but that is just me. The PZ IV needs to be in early war gray anyway.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Painting Progress #3

I managed to get some painting in. Painted three Pirate officers and three pirate gun crew. I need to find two more crewmen to go along with the three that Rebel Miniatures provides in their set. May get the unarmed Peter Pig Pirates pack to supplement their numbers. Then use some of those to make steersmen for my rowboats.

I still need to give them an ink wash but I was going to wait until I have some more done and do a large bunch at once. At this point, I have 14 pirates ready with another 36 to go. Next on the desk is some Cold War US and Soviets again.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Painting Progress pt 2

I finished off three rowboats today. Also four sailors rowing. Below are some pictures of how they look.

The small boat is a Sea Dog Studios Dinghy. The middle one is an Old Glory Shipyard sailed rowboat. The large one is a Sea Dog Studios barge or whaleboat. I can't remember which. I am very pleased with how they have come out. Need to finish some more actual pirates but the crew were too tempting.

Painting update

I managed to get some stuff done last night and this morning. I have painted the last 8 of my Spanish Regulars. I also have found a lost movement tray that I was missing. Once the base from Litko arrive, I will be in business to wrap up my Spanish. So far the force is just three groups of militia and three groups of regulars. They are a rather static force. I have a suitably painted up priest to accompany the force and a few big men to run around with them.

In terms of pirates, I had 58 of them on the painting table this morning. I managed to knock out four fellows rowing that i plan on putting in some of the rowboats that I have finished. Now if I were the industrious sort, I would glue magnets to the boats and to the rowers so I could move them around. But alas, I just don't feel like doing it.

A quick trip to the cabinet showed that I have plenty of unpainted Row boats that need attention. I brought up two Sea Dog Studios ships. one a larger rowboat and another that is a tiny dinghy. I also grabbed up one of the sailed Old Glory boats. Once the ink dries on the sailors, i will test fit them on these ships and see how they look.

All of my pirates are at least base coated now. I need to figure out what I want to paint next. Probably some officer types and a gun crew. I was surprised that I really enjoyed painting the uniformed Spanish. I didn't enjoy painting the 8 pirates that I have finished so far. Trying to make them look unique was a chore and doubled the painting time. I need a way to speed this up and get these figures on a table soon.

I hope to post some pictures later today.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

New Toys

In researching the Second Battle of Kharkov, I came across some toys that I "needed". These included some T-70s, T-60s, Matilda IIs and Valentine IIIs for the Soviets and some Panzer III Js and Panzer IV F2s for the Germans. I have not looked close enough at the Hungarians and Romanians to see if they had any armor in the area. Thus far, I think not.

Anyway, I went shopping. My first place was a new vendor. Well, they were not that new. Turns out I had bought some German trucks from them off of eBay before but then forgot about them. They now have their own website and offer a fantastic range of painted 15mm vehicles. Check them out: http://www.wargamemodelsinohio.com. My first order was still from their eBay store as I had not found their website yet. I grabbed up three Panzer III Js and two T-70s.

When I opened the box, I was pretty pleased with the overall look of the models. But the Panzers looked short to me. IN the picture below, you can see a Command Decision Panzer III hiding behind the back left tank. It is indeed slightly shorter. But, in the 3 models that I ordered of the same model, all three have different stowage on the back of the model! I thought that was pretty nice. It came painted with some mud on the tracks. A basic paint job but one that will work. I can throw on some markings and call them done. The T-70s I have nothing to compare them against so they are fine in my eyes.

One thing that is noticeable is the pitting in the surface of the vehicles. It is very noticeable in the T-70s in the front. I could take the time to fix it, but to the naked eye on the table, it won't be as noticeable as it is in the pictures. At $5/tank with no shipping through their eBay store, these are a great value.

But like any manufacturer, they don't have everything. I still have Matilda IIs and Valentine IIIs to get, as well as the Panzer IV f2. Cruising on over to my other favorite site, Gaming Models, I saw that Craig has both the Valentine and Matilda's that I want. Wargame Models of Ohio only has the Matilda II and the close support Valentine III. I sent him an order for three of each. I asked about the Panzer IV f2 and he said there was little difference between it and the G model. To prove it, he said he would chuck one in the box for me to check out for free. Great guy and excellent service. He has made models for me in the past and added them to his inventory. Anyway, those are still on order.

Lastly for me, I ran out of bases for my pirate miniatures. I have been basing my new Sharp Practice stuff on 20mm round bases that fit a Litko sabot base for them. Only using Sabots for the Spanish as my pirates will be not be able to take a formation. The good news is that I have now finished two groups of Spanish regulars and three groups of Spanish Militia. The bad news is, I ran out of the bases and can't complete them. I put in an order to Litko yesterday to fix that.

While I was basing things, I worked on some Soviets for my Cold War Chain of Command. I painted up six infantry wielding Aks with the under slung grenade launcher. I only had bases for 4 of them. The other two remain stranded on their painting stick. I am basing those guys on 10mm square bases. I have also finished out an AGS-17 team and a heavy MG team for the Soviets as well. I have more support options waiting in a drawer for bases to arrive before I start working on them.

Lastly, I had posted about a package of toys from England a few days ago. I saw that Warbases made their announcement about their new 15mm line of Roman buildings. That is what I received. I picked up the Mansio and a villa. They look great. However, there are a ton of parts. It will take some time to get those together. Until then, they reside in a drawer.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

WIP Pictures

I managed to get some bad photos of my current works in progress. First up is the pirate project. All of these figures are from Peter Pig's Pirate range.

This is the second group of Spanish Militia that I have finished. They came out OK. The picture without the flash was way too dark. This one made them look shiny. Not sure why. They don't appear shiny when I look at them.

Once based, this will give me two complete groups for them. Only have 8 more of them to paint. Then it is on to the regulars.

Next up is two test pirates. I want them to look motley and unorganized so I am basically painting them as individuals. May change that if it becomes too annoying.

These two fellows need an ink wash and matt varnish before I am done with them. So far they are OK.

Then I finished a couple of Cold War Tanks. A T-55 and a T-72. They came out pretty good.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Experiments in Ink Washes

When it comes to paining miniatures, I know very little. But i recently decided to play around with two new ink washes from Vallejo. I bought the Black Model Wash and the Brown Model Wash to see what they would do to my miniatures. I had been using the Windsor & Newton Black india Ink but it was too dark even watered down. So I thought this could be a cool experiment.

So on the seven Spanish Militia I am currently painting for a Pirate SP campaign, I did two in the Brown Wash, Two in the undiluted black wash and the rest in a black wash with 50% water added. It is still drying but I think I like how the brown wash turned out. The white pants didn't come out well on any of them. But the Brown is my current favorite. I will keep this in mind going forward.

If I can get these based, I will be 2/3rds done with my Militia force. I still need to undercoat my remaining regulars. But the problem is, I have new Cold War minis that are distracting me from completing a project. Just picked up some really nice Soviet Infantry support elements that should go really nicely with my existing force. Also got some US support troops as well. I don't know of anyone that does engineer support elements in 15mm for the Cold War. Anyone have any ideas? Specifically mine clearance troops and the like.

Anyways, It feels good to be painting again. Even if I have to use reading glasses to do it. Getting Old sucks. Avoid it if possible.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Second Battle of Kharkov

I found in my research an interesting potential scenario for Chain of Command. On the first day of the Russian Offensive (May 12th, 1942), the town of Nepokrytaya was the headquarters of Gruppe Winkler. Most of the infantry had abandoned the town due to the approach of Soviet tanks (Actually British Matilda IIs and some Valentines) that their poor quality anti-tank weapons could not damage. What remained in the town were the Regimental Headquarters and two German 1.FH 18 howitzer batteries. These were 10.5cm guns. These directly engaged the approaching tanks and disabled six of them causing the Soviets to break off their attack.

I thought this could make for an interesting encounter. I have been searching the web for appropriate maps of the area. My go to spot http://www.wwii-maps-photos.com does not have maps of the area east of Kharkov. It does have situational maps for each day of the battle though. Here is an excerpt of the May 11th, 1942 map that covers the general area.

You can clearly see the 6 AOK position in Kharkov and the bridgehead at Staryi Saltov.

I did find a new site today. It is a Russian site but it has fantastic maps. It may have what I want in a 1:25000 scale which would be perfect. The problem is, I have to translate them to figure out what I am looking at. I have the general area M 37-062. I just need to find the right subpart.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Back Among the Living

Just had another issue with my Ulcerative Colitis and spent the weekend in the hospital. Had to get a blood transfusion but am now well on the mend.

Being bored out of my skull did get me working on another project, the Second Battle of Kharkov in May 1942. This one is interesting as it involved a wide variety of units that are all worn out from the winter battles of 1941-42. The Soviets have hastily rebuilt units that are rushed to the front with bare minimum training that lack fuel, food and ammunition for an offensive that they launch anyway. The Germans are building up for their own offensive and are not much better situated logistically. The Germans rushed a rear area security division to plug holes in the front lines that features Czech equipment (MGs, rifles and the like) rather than German equipment. Provides some interesting modeling opportunities. Also Romanian and Hungarian units were used in prominent front line positions.

The Germans lacked sufficient anti-armor capabilities. The 3.7cm PAK and the 5cm PAK were still the main anti-tank weapons held by the divisions. Some Luftwaffe 8.8cm guns were availible. German armor was mostly older gear but some Panzer III Js and Panzer IV F2s were availible that were capable of dealing with the Soviet KV-1s and T-34s.

The Soviets fielded lend lease equipment in at least one of the Tank Brigades (90th Tank Brigade) that was equipped with Valentine and Matilda II tanks. Most of the equipment availible to the offensive was still older T-60 and T-70 tanks.

So the campaign is interesting in that it features two competing offensives. The German Operation Fridericus and the Soviet pincer to recapture Kharkov. The Soviets got their campaign under way first but they ran into a prepared German Army that was able to counter punch and deal a devastating blow to the Soviet Armies in the SouthWestern Front.

I have about 10 pages of notes that I wrote in the hospital that I need to transform into something usable. The background to the campaign will probably be done in a few days. The problem will be in picking units for the Chain of Command Campaign(s). The thought is that I would do it similar to my First Kharkov Campaign and offer multiple campaigns in the supplement to cover some of the action. But I have NO CLUE which units to cover yet. I am thinking of having at least one that features an Axis Ally such as the Romanians or Hungarians.

I have been busy shopping for books and came up with several useful tomes. One issue I have is that I am finding conflicting information out there. The Osprey book on the battle has some bad data about vehicles. It lists the Marder II with the Soviet 76.2mm gun as being present when they didn't reach the front until June.

Anyway, just a brief update. I have managed to paint one M1 Abrams tank for a Cold War project as well.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Pirates Campaign

I have been working on a Pirates supplement for Sharp Practice. It is currently in the hands to Nick for editing and inclusion in the Christmas Special. I am in a rush to paint up my own forces for this. I have worked on the ships. Now I need the figures.

I started with the Spanish. First up is some Spanish Militia.

Then I painted a group of Spanish Regulars.

Not sure if I will finish out these guys or try my hand at Pirates.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Campaign for Kharkov - Errata Now Availible

I have created an Eratta Doc for the Campaign for Kharkov. There were some things I missed the first go and I have had questions on. The Errata doc is availible here. Thanks again.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Panting!

Yep, I found my brushes and started to paint. I had some old Peter Pig government Troops from their pirates range base coated. I rooted around the mess that is my games room and found the paints I needed. Honestly, I didn't make great progress but I actually got paint on lead. I think I will invest in some black gesso to start undercoating. I really have no place I can use a spray primer and not get in trouble. So something brush on is a must.

The Peter Pig minis are fun to paint. My hands have been behaving themselves and not shaking badly. Well, not too badly. I have a good start with these and may make enough progress to take a picture later this week.

I have my first seven figures painted and washed in a black wash that was way too much ink. I have some repair work to do.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sorting Through My Pirate Hordes

In looking at setting up a Pirate campaign for Sharp Practice, I needed to figure out what figures I had bought and what were still needed. As my normal, I am making both a pirate force and a Spanish force. The Spaniards are the easiest to figure out. If you look at most of the base forces for SP you see them set up as a pyramid. Three groups of one type, two groups of another and one group of skirmishers. That is the base force.

So in looking at what a typical defensive force would be availible in the Caribbean, I made up the following base force. Three groups of 8 Militia. These are not the militia of the AWI that were called up with whatever they had availible. Instead these are the town guards who were uniformed and trained. From what I have found out, they were uniformed in a red coat. I will have three groups of eight of these fellows. The figures are all older Peter Pig miniatures that lack a bayonet on their musket. Interestingly, these figures are no longer availible on the Peter Pig Website. They have been replaced by some other fellows sporting bayonets. The Militia will be rated as Conscripts and Volunteers.

The next tier of troops will be Spanish Regulars. Again, I am using Peter Pig Miniatures, this time the government troops sporting bayonets. This made an easy distinction between the regulars and the Militia. Based on images that I have found on the internet, I am giving them white uniforms. Apparently there may be grenadiers availible as well as there were some present in West Florida for a couple of the battles they participated in during the American Revolution and the uniforms seemed to have changed very little. I will just use plain musketeers as that is the only troops I have. I have one group of eight so far. I need to place another order from Peter Pig. The other option is to grab the Pirate Hunters pack from Rebel Miniatures to add some more variety to them. I may go with that. The plan is to have two groups of 8 of this troop type.

But what about the final group? That is where I am stuck. I am thinking that this may be scenario dependent. For example, if it is pirates raiding a village or town, it could be a group of armed townsfolk. If it were an action at sea, it could be Spanish sailors. Or just another group of Militia or Regulars. The answer is, I don't know yet.

For basing, I have some small 20mm round bases that I plan on using along with some Sabot bases that I bought from Litko. This should get them looking all properly martial.

But for my pirate force, I am going with group sizes of 12 figures. As such, they will be very dangerous in hand to hand but should be outmatched in a firefight. At this point I have the following figures:

8 pirates with custlasses
8 pirates with muskets
8 pirates with pistols

These are the results of purchasing those corresponding Peter Pig packages. I did not have the variety that I was really looking for. I was disappointed that there are not improvised weapons availible from the Peter Pig Range. Love to see a fellow with a belaying pin or a boarding pike. But I did find in the Museum Miniatures Pirate range they have boarding pikes and coachguns! So an order has been sent out for a pack of each of those. They should show up at some point.

What I am aiming for is groups of mixed armament. Some of everything in each group. They will not be able to enter into formation so basing will all be individual. I have some thoughts on the number of pirate groups but I will save that for later as I hope to have it as an article in the Christmas TFL special.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Ever Expanding Fleet

Having some ships on my desk has been great. I managed to paint up one of the dinghy's and my tripoli gunboat. I am tempted to add the lanteen sail to the Tripoli gunboat. I think that might look pretty good. And it would still be removable with the main mast.

I am really happy with the deck of the tripoli gunboat. I used a buff paint and washed it with a Vallejo wash. Granted, it looks good to my color blind eyes and may be hideous to everyone else. I think the benches on the dinghy are too light. They received the same wash and still stand out too much, I think. But they are ready for some crew.

Interestingly, the dinghy from Sea Dog Miniatures is the PERFECt size for a ships boat for the Buccaneer Sloop! It fits perfectly behind the mast.

I have an armed pinnace on the desk as well as two Old Glory sailed rowboats. I am really appreciating the Sea Dog Miniatures ships. They are a joy to paint. They are simple to build and the guns for the armed pinnace and the tripoli gunboat are interchangeable! They look more robust than the Old Glory stuff I have to compare them with. Now if I only had time to paint my sailors rowing from Peter Pig, I could really get moving. But there are not enough hours in the day.

Just finished a couple more small boats.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Buccaneer Sloop - Sea Dog Game Studios

I finally got around to work on my Buccaneer Sloop. The ship is beautiful. It is however bigger, scale wise, to my 26 gun frigate. This is not that big of a deal at the moment. I intend to get a few more 15mm ships from Sea Dog to round out my 15mm fleet. Probably the 12 gun Brig.

I just finished with the masts. The instructions were printed on a sheet of paper that was folded. So 1/4th of the page was the mast assembly. I hate to admit it, but I had to put on readers in order to make out what the measurements were. The next problem was finding a rules with measurements in metric. Every tape measure and ruler I could find in the house was in inches. I finally found a paper cutter with centimeters on it and used it.

What I like about this kit is that it comes with a special bracket to assemble the booms. It makes the attachment to the main mast so much simpler and sturdier than just super gluing them together. I wish they had something similar for the two spars. Those are just raw super glue joins. Speaking of the spars, I seem to have run out of dowel to complete the build. My largest leftover piece only measured 40mm and I need 70mm for the uppermost yard. I will work on that later tonight.

The hull itself was very clean. There were a few lines that needed to be trimmed around the gun ports. All in all, I am very impressed with the ship so far. The lack of spar is most likely poor planning on my part. That is all now sorted and the ship is ready for painting.

Which, I went ahead and did. Sorry for the poor picture of my messy desk. I painted the deck a beige Brown and the hull a chocolate Brown. The gunport area is a blue. I went with a lighter color for the gun carriages and ships wheel. The masts are a yellow ochre. The hull received a black wash to dirty it up. For a quick and dirty paint job, its not too bad. Also felt great to get something done.

I hope to work on the Tripoli gunship and some of the row boats next. The row boats are on my desk as I type. Maybe sometime this year, it will see the table in a game.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Games Room Update

I have unpacked all of my miniatures and had the cabinets installed. I have placed all of the doors on the lower cabinets. I still have to put the doors on some of the upper cabinets that line the wall. The opposite wall has some great windows that let in light. I still have cabinets to do something with. I have a bookshelf that I need to move down to the game room but am unable to carry it by myself.

I have had only one casualty from the move. The table that I was going to use as my games table broke. Now I need to build something. My initial thought is to get a sheet of plywood and cut it in half to make a fold away table. That is possibly a project for next week if I am able to do it.

The biggest find is a label maker. I can now label my miniatures drawers in order to know what is in them. I have about a dozen drawers that have no labels on them.

The games room build it taking forever as I am only managing a few minutes a day to work on it. Mostly because there is so much work to do in unpacking in the new house. But progress is still being made. I will post pictures once I get all of the doors on the cabinets.

For those of you who have made your own gaming tables, what suggestion would you offer for table height?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Move Complete

We finally have all of our stuff in the new house. I have managed to get most of my miniatures into the game room. Only able to get in an odd minute here and there to straighten up but it is going well. I now have all of my 6mm and 15mm navies organized and sorted out. I thought I had lost some of these ships in the move but just uncovered them this afternoon.

Now I just need to get some free time to paint something.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Bloody Bucket and Pirate Ships

Just picked up the new Ardennes supplement from TooFatlardies. It looks great from the initial glance. Rich really makes nice supplements.

Also received my 15mm and 6mm Buccaneer sloop from Sea Dog Studios. It looks fantastic. I need to do a tiny bit of cleanup in the gun ports but other than that, it is perfect. I can't wait till I can start work on it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Navy Expands

I just received two orders today. The first is from Peter Pig with my initial Pirate horde. I got a selection of one of each from their offerings. One each of the musket/cutlass/pistol packs (24 minis or two groups for SP). Then I picked up the character pack and the leader pack. I also picked up a pack of dead pirates. I love casualty figures. Lastly there is the rowing pirates what will crew my row boats. And I have a bunch of them.

In addition to the pirates, I picked up a pack of their government troops and officers. And since I was ordering and the budget permitted, I picked up the war memorial. All delivered from the UK in a very short period of time.

I also received my order from the Old Glory Shipyards. I had gotten a pack of row boats and a pack of sailed row boats. I have to say I am slightly disappointed in the row boat pack. There are no benches at all? Where is the crew supposed to sit to row the darn things. These will take some work to be usable. There are two different types of boat in that pack. The sailed ones on the other hand are perfect. I should have grabbed two packs of these instead of one of each. The benches are there. Masts are included. All four boats are identical. Very happy with that part of my purchase.

Sea Dog Studios has launched a new product, a buccaneer sloop. It is a 3d Printed model that is availible in three scales (6mm, 15mm and 28mm). I have ordered the 6mm and 15mm versions. The 6mm comes with the cannons as part of the model. The 15mm one comes with the option of separate cannons or as part of the model (I chose the as part of the model option). The giant sized one has separate cannons.

Once that is received, my 15mm Navy will be as follows:
26 gun Frigate - Unknown manufacture. Mostly complete and painted. Rigging is in place. No sails. Needs some repair.
6 gun Buccaneer Sloop - Sea Dog Studios - Awaiting delivery.
1 gun Tripoli Gunboat - Sea Dog Studios - In need of paint.
1 gun Ship's Pinnace - Sea Dog Studios - In need of paint.
Ship's Long Boat - Sea Dog Studios - In need of paint.
Ship's Long Boat (x8) - Old Glory Miniatures - In need of paint.
Ship's Dingy (x2) - Sea Dog Studios - In need of paint.

This gives me plenty of options to conduct a cutting out party or a landing action which are the scenarios that I have in mind.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Naval Landing Party & More 6mm Naval

I just got in a new order from Sea Dog Studios. They ran a special on their FB page for a new 18 gun Brig-Sloop in 6mm that they had done. What I liked about this one is that the guns are part of the casting rather than the separate guns as on their previous 6mm models. I also picked up some islands and buildings in 6mm as well. These are very nice pieces that should go well with my planned scenarios. Langton does a shore battery in 6mm that I may need to pick up at some point.

I also picked up two more row boats from them. These are larger row boats that can be sailed. One is an armed pinnace and the other is a cutter. The gun to the bow of the pinnace is removable. They did not come with masts but they have a hole where a mast can be mounted. I will probably add masts to both and make them removable like they are for the 6mm ships. I am very happy with these boats. This brings my total of 15mm ships to a 26 gun frigate, a tripoli Gunboat, two dingys, an armed pinnace and a rowed cutter.

I have ordered 8 more rowboats to support a landing operation or cutting out expedition. These will be from Old Glory. I also ordered the rowing figures from Peter Pig's pirates range. The plan is to paint up the rowers so they can be dropped in on any of the row boats. These sailors should be generic enough that they could be used for anything. Eventually, I would like to buy some seated Marines and soldiers that I can put on the ships as well.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Naval Landing Party

I was going back through my Napoleonics the other day and realized that I have a bunch of Royal Navy sailors and marines that I have not done anything with in years. With my recent renewed interest in naval miniatures, I decided to invest in a few more small boats to ferry these troops to shore with.

I posted pictures recently of my Tripoli gun boat and two small row boats from Sea Dog Studios. These are great ships. I will add a sail to the gunboat whenever I get to work on it. To compliment these, I have ordered a few more small ships from Sea Dog as well. There is an armed pinnace that has a small carronade on the bow. And I picked up a cutter (large row boat) from them as well. These are all in 15mm. I did not stop there. Old Glory shipyards had some rowboats as well. Two versions - sailed and rowed. I picked up a pack of each. This should give me more than enough to carry off either a cutting out expedition with Sharp Practice or to do a naval landing operation. I am thinking of running a Sharp Practice campaign using them.

But I also want to do some more with my AWI naval stuff. Sea Dog was doing a launch sail for a new 6mm ship that they made. I added this and some 6mm terrain from them to my order. This should get me started for my first couple of scenarios.

Now to only set up my new cabinets and put all of my stuff in them.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Almost Heaven, West Virginia

Well, I have decided to work on another supplement for Sharp Practice. This time I am focusing on the Kanawha Valley Campaign of 1861. This was an interesting campaign as many of the big personalities of the Civil War made an appearance in this campaign. As a result of the campaign, West Virginia split from Virginia and became a separate state.

The first scenario I am working on is the Battle of Scarey Creek - July 17th, 1861. There are plenty of small interesting actions that took place during this campaign. Hopefully it will prove to be interesting to you as well.

Even though all of my books are in boxes, there is plenty of information on-line for these battles to get me started.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Spring Scenario Sale

I think it's time for a Spring Sale on Scenario books here at Wargamers Odds & Ends. These prices are good from now until the end of May 2017. Tell your friends and neighbors. Really, I would appreciate it if you did.

Scenario BookOriginal PriceSale Price
Campaign for Kharkov$6.00$3.00
Action at Ustilug$2.00$1.00
In the Name of Roma$11.00$5.50
Falcon and the Gladiator$10.00$5.00
Terrible Sharp Sword$10.00$5.00

Or if you want all of them, I will bundle them for $17.00. To order for this sale, please Paypal me the money to cstoesen@corecard.com.

Note all prices are in US Dollars.

Naval Forces have Arrived

I just got the order I placed with Sea Dog Studios for some of their 15mm ships. I picked up a Triopolitan War Gun Boat, Two dinghies and two ship wreck markers. The ship wreck markers are nice and generic in that they are crows nests that stick out of the water.

The gun boat is very nice. These would have been equipped with a single lanteen sail. It has a bow mounted gun that is either a carronade or a long gun. It comes with a blank mount, a carronade and a long gun.

What to do with them? Well I will use them initially for my Napoleonics. I have a British Royal Navy landing force for Sharp Practice. Plenty of Marines and sailors ready to go. I will probably get some men rowing from Peter Pig and put them in the dinghies. I am seeing the gun boat being a tender for my 26 gun frigate. It will provide cover for the landing force. I need some more row boats.

Eventually, if my Brookhurst Hobby order ever shows up, I will use them for a Pirate game as well.

Sea Dog has a number of useful bits that they don't carry on their website. You have to look at their Facebook page and go through the pictures to see what they have. The scenic items are really nice. There are market stalls, furniture, barrels, dock pieces, and a fort. They also have some of the same in 28mm as well. Most of these items they drag to shows that they attend to sell there. They will let you order from them if you just shoot them an email.

I am not interested in duplicating my 6mm fleet in 15mm. I am only interested in small ships to support a landing force. Today. Who know what tomorrow holds.

Friday, April 21, 2017

New Terrain & Toys Arrive

It makes me sad that I am in the middle of a move. I just got in some really nice terrain for Dux Britanarium. Hoka Hey miniatures has a Saxon Hall, a house and the small A frame hut. I picked up one of each but two of the huts. They look great. They come with teddy bear fur for the thatching. I am tempted to use the caulk method from Red Beard Baron instead.

Also, the slow boat from China arrived and my French Napoleonic Limber has arrived finally. It was worth waiting for. It looks great. But it, like the Saxon terrain, has to go into a box and await space in the truck. The good news is that the flooring will be done in my game room by next week. Then I can start moving stuff into the game room and get it sorted out. I just can't wait for that day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Moving

I have purchased a new house recently that will include a game room for me. It is plenty big enough for a 6x4 table and storage cabinets. The problem is the physical act of moving. I have managed to unpack a few boxes of books into my office (I get one of those too!) but nothing is allowed in the game room yet as we will be replacing the shag carpeting in there with some sort of laminate floor that my wife likes. This is one of those blessings and curses deals. Progress on any terrain or miniatures has ground to a complete halt until the move is completed. My wife has set a goal of having us moved in my Mother's Day as gift for herself. :) Honestly, I can't wait to get everything over to the new house. There is so much more room for all of us.

Review of Works in Progress

I have been going through my unpublished stuff lately to look for what I want to work on next. Here is what I have found:

1) FLiK 55j - This is a campaign for Algernon Pulls it Off for air combat between the Italians and Austro-Hungarians during the 11th Battle of the Isonzo River. It is at about 50%.

2)Small Warriors - This is a modification for the Kiss Me Hardy Rules to enable reasonable combat between ships below the rate. Currently it has a heavy emphasis on the American Revolution. A couple of scenarios are written but I am aiming to have at least 12 scenarios in total for this one. The rule modifications are complete but need more playtesting. I would say this one is at about 30% done.

3) Malta Convoys - This is a campaign for Bag the Hun. I did a significant amount of work on this back in 2010 but then just stopped and I can't remember why. The scenario revolves around the Italians attempting to stop a convoy of British ships attempting to reach Malta. It is based on a historical convoy that sailed in September 1941 in Operation Halberd. I think it might be at a 25% point. I was planning on making the scenarios compatible for Check Your Six as well.

4) Battle of France June 10, 1940 – 25, 1940 - This is another Bag the Hun scenario set. I have four scenarios complete. This pits French Aircraft against the Italians in Southern France. The layout of the scenarios needs work. I need to go through my notes and see what other scenarios were planned for this. Again, it is an abandoned project from 2010. I was planning on making the scenarios compatible for Check Your Six as well.

5) Ponyri Station - This was going to be a Pint Sized Campaign for Chain of Command. Honestly, it never made it past some initial research. If I had to guess, I would say it is at a 1% complete.

6) Ein-el-Hilweh - This is a Chain of Command scenario for a modern variant. It covers the battle of Ein-el-Hilweh during Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. It is actually fairly complete. I would say it is at 90% complete. It is an interesting scenario in that the Israelis enter a town with plenty of armor support but are hamstrung by their rules of engagement. The PLO forces in the town, have no such limitations and plenty of things to hide behind.

7) First Encounters June 1941 - This is a Chain of Command scenario featuring one of the first encounters the Germans had of a T-34 tank. The scenario is complete and was submitted for one of the TooFatLardies specials but did not make it in there. It is ready and I am giving this away to any Patreon supporter regardless of the amount.

8) Saxon Invasion - This is set of six scenarios for Dux Britanarium that I wrote featuring Picts, Saxons and Britons before the Raiders supplement came out. These are functionally complete but the maps are really bad, hand drawn things. Given that the Raiders supplement exists and the campaign system within Dux is so very good, this will not see the light of day. If anyone is interested, just send me an email and I will send you a copy.

9) Wacht am der Limes - This is a modification for the Early Imperial Romans and Early Germans for Dux Britanarium. It is actually pretty far along. The bulk of the work was done back in 2014. I have several scenarios created for it and all of the rule modifications needed. I have based it around the Roman fortifications near Saalburg. Since most of the frontier troops were Auxilia with the Legions being kept farther in the rear, most of the scenarios feature Auxilia (cavalry and infantry). I think I still need to add some artillery rules to satisfy those who want to use their ballista and scorpion models that they have made. But as it is, it is at least 80% done. But if Rich does a Roman modification at some point, this will probably fade into obscurity.

10) The 302nd ENGINEERS - This is a Mud and Blood scenario set based on the actions of the 302nd Engineers of the American Expeditionary Force. I had a Great Uncle that was part of the 302nd Engineers at the time and started to work on this. It is honestly only about 10% done. It needs much more research and work before it goes anywhere.

11) Von Mayr - This is a mini campaign for Sharp Practice v2. I need to get more research to complete this one. It will focus on Von Mayr's Freikorps and the kleinwar that they waged across what was Bohemia during the Seven Years War. It is still in the research stage.

12) Murder and Devastation in Every Quarter - This is the third book in my AWI scenario series on the Revolutionary War. I have submitted this to Rich for publication and it is compatible with Sharp Practice V2. I am hoping for it to be published by this summer. Very excited about this.

13) Action at Sonolenta Aldeia - This is a scenario that I ran years ago. It is written for the first edition of Sharp Practice. It was a fun scenario. It is 100% complete. The map is poor quality but serviceable. It features a British Naval Landing party, a British Infantry Regiment against a French Legere Unit and some cavalry. Basically, it was written for the figures I had painted up at the time. Any interest, please email me and I will send it on to you.

14) Ottomans in Sharp Practice - Written for the first version of Sharp Practice, it is a guide to the troop types used by the Ottomans. I wrote it as I was planning a Russian force and wanted some opponent other than French for them. It is mostly complete. It has a single scenario attached to it that is untested.

15) GreenHill Tennessee scenario- This is an ACW scenario for the first version of Sharp Practice. It features a Union Raid into Tennessee where upon the Union Army encounters some Rebels defending a rather substantial still. It is 100% complete and I have been giving this one away when I have done scenario sales and the like.

16)1864 - Atlanta Campaign - I had big plans for the 150th anniversary of the Battle for Atlanta. I was going to take pictures of the battlefields and have a scenario set for Sharp Practice and They Couldn't Hit and Elephant that covered the campaign. It never happened. I do have some information started. I just never finished the research. There was a scenario in there about Union Cavalry crossing the Chattahoochee River armed with Henry repeating rifles. It was an interesting engagement. Confederate Soldiers actually surrendered just to be able to get a look at this rifle that could keep firing shot after shot. It is still on the to do list but I just have not been able to focus on it or get enough research materials or drive to the battle sites (which are all local to me!). We can call this one 5%.

17) Kanawha Valley Campaign: 1861 - Another first edition of Sharp Practice scenario pack. This is an interesting campaign that took place in what is now West Virginia. The troops were poorly led initially on both sides. There were a number of skirmish sized fights that make it ideal for Sharp Practice. I would now adapt it to version 2 of the rules and add a map campaign to the historical scenarios. I'll be generous and say it is at about 25% completed.

18) Battle of Inyezane January 22, 1879 - This is a scenario for an unpublished modification to Sharp Practice for the Anglo-Zulu wars. It is part of a larger work which was to take a diary and transform it into a scenario set. I began work on this and actually purchased a number of 10mm Zulus to make it a reality. The project did not really move very far unfortunately.

19) A Cutting Out Party – March 18, 1779 - This is a scenario for Sharp Practice where a Royal Navy force is attempting to cut out some rebel ships. It was intended to be a combination of Kiss Me Hardy and SP but I think it is better for just one rule set. It is at about 90% done.

Items that have not left the idea stage

1) A Pint Sized Campaign for the Second and Third battles of Kharkov

2) A Pint Sized Campaign for Syria - I have the Australian official history of the campaigns on Syria, Crete and Greece. I have wanted to do something with them again.

3) A Late War Pint Sized Campaign about Crossing the Oder River - I have a book on it that has some tantalizing details. I also have a book on a Soviet Penal Battalion that is interesting and has some good details. Something may come of this.

4) A final AWI Supplement covering Cornwallis' retreat from the Carolinas.

5) Redoing the first two AWI supplements for V2 of Sharp Practice.

6) A North Africa Pint Sized Campaign

7) Something with the Italians in Albania fighting the Greeks. Vague, I know.

8) Something with Russians for Sharp Practice.

OK. I had no idea that I had that many things started and undone. So far it only looks like a couple would see the light of day anytime soon. If anyone has an interest in seeing any of these, please let me know in the comments. I am stuck as to what I want to work on next. Put up some comments on what you would like to see of the above or something completely different.

Wanted to Float an Idea By you....

I have been looking at Patreon. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in sponsoring my scenario writing through this. Here is my thoughts. If someone sponsors me on Patreon, they would have access to the current works in progress. Depending on the funding level, they can have a copy of all of my older scenario books and any future updates to them as well. I was thinking of $1 to $4 would get the current work in progress plus the final version when it comes out and $5+ would get the backlog as well. Patreon is a recurring monthly payment (if I understand it correctly). I would also list the person as a sponsor in current WIP as well for any level of sponsorship. Also, I will take requests from Patreon sponsors for what to work on. This should keep me motivated and writing.

What I am hoping for is a little extra money to spend on research materials with which to base the scenarios on. Anyway, this is just a thought. I really would like your input if this is a reasonable idea or not.

Thanks Edit: Here is what I have put together. https://www.patreon.com/cstoesen Edit 2: I have reviewed what my current Work In Progress list is. I just made a post about it if you are interested: http://cstoesen.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-of-works-in-progress.html

Friday, April 14, 2017

I need a favor, please

I have several of my scenario books up on Wargames Vault. Currently, I have In the Name of Roma, Campaign for Karkov: October 1941, Action at Ustilug, The Coming Thunder, and The Falcon and the Gladiator posted there. However, I have zero reviews at this point. If you have purchased the book, would you please take a few moments to post a review there on Wargames Vault? Reviews really help out with sales. Below are the links to each of the products.

In the Name of Roma

Campaign for Karkov: October 1941

Action at Ustilug

The Coming Thunder

The Falcon and the Gladiator

Thank you.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Fleet Expands

Just got in my Langton order from Waterloo Miniatures here in the US. These are 6mm or 1/300 scale ships. They all come with crew. The launch and the jolly boat come in sailed or rowed versions. I was looking to make civilian small craft out of them so I got the sailed versions.

I went ahead and labeled the picture so you could see what each of them are. These will match up well with the Sea Dog Studios Brigantine and Bermuda Sloops that I have. I may use the British Gunboat as a pilot ship for a scenario that I am working on. What the heck, lets describe the scenario.

July 1775 - Off the Coast of Tybee Island, Georgia Colony

The Rebels have intercepted communications detailing the arrival of gunpowder and arms that are to be sent up the river to supply Loyalist units and to bribe the indians to fight for the British. Letters from the British Governor of Georgia have been intercepted that detail the level of rebellion in the colony and have been replaced with false letters assuring the crown that the colony is under firm crown control. Georgian Militia and Naval units meet up with South Carolina Continentals meet off the coast of Tybee Island in preparation to intercept the cargo of powder. The Georgia Naval element consists of the Schooner Liberty of 10 guns under the command of Captain Oliver Brown. He has a crew of fifty men and a company of Georgia Militia (20 men) to act as Marines under the command of Captain Joseph Habersham.

The South Carolina contingent is floating on two barges with twenty members each of the 1st South Carolina Regiment. These were under the command of Captains Barnwell and Joyner. The barges had a naval crew of 6 and 9 men respectively.

The Governor of Georgia sent word to British Florida that the powder shipment needed to be defended. St Augustine dispatched HM Schooner St John to wait for the packet ship from England. The St John was under the command of Lieutenant William Grant and mounted six guns. Lt Grant was an active captain and ran down three ships while waiting on the packet from England. But he missed the arrival of the packet ship Phillippa. (possibly a brig due to the amount of cargo she was hauling)

The Phillipa arrived on the 8th of July and was immediately spotted by the Rebels. The Phillipa anchored off of Tybee Island to await the arrival of a pilot boat to guide her up the Savannah River. When the pilot boat arrived (possibly named Little Carpenter), the rebels moved in to attack. SC infantry fired on the Philippa and demanded her to surrender. They boarded both the pilot ship and the Phillipa and took them to Cockspur Island where a force of 300 South Carolina Continentals were waiting to unload her cargo. The cargo was divided between Georgia, South Carolina and the Continental Congress. The Rebels managed to seize 16,000 pounds of powder, seven hundredweight of lead bullets and a large number of firearms meant for the Indians. The Georgians and South Carolinians divided the plunder between them and departed. Of South Carolina’s portion, 4,000 pounds of powder was delivered to Congress in Philadelphia. Of the 9,000 pounds seized by Georgia, 5,000 pounds were similarly sent to Georgia. The Phillippa was sent on to Savannah on the 12th of July and returned to its master.

Period Map of Tybee Island from https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/c1/1a/a2/c11aa2f3c233f4fd3f7ff526696f6964.jpg.

I want to try this out using two different sets of rules. The first is my modifications to Kiss Me Hardy that handles ships below the rate. The second is Sea Dog Studios "SailPower 2.0" rules. Both should handle the scenario rather well. The only thing holding me back is my painting slowness. I want to include some land elements in the scenario particularly Cockspur Island since there are all of the SC Continentals waiting there.

The scenario is a modest size one
British Order of Battle:

ShipGunsCrewMarines
HM Schooner St John6x 3pdr guns30 crew0
Packet Ship Phillipa2 swivel guns20 Crew0
Pilot Ship Little Carpenter10 Crew0
Rebel Order of Battle:
ShipGunsCrewMarines
GA Schooner Liberty10x 3pdr guns50 Crew20 Marines
SC Barge 1-6 Crew20 Marines
SC Barge 2-9 Crew20 Marines
Anyway, this is what I am working towards. I have most of what I need for the scenario already. I am thinking of having random shipping appearing that will need to be spotted. The entrance to the Savannah River was very active with shipping at this point in the war and would continue to be throughout the war with privateers from both sides prowling the water ways.

Newest Terrain Arrival

I picked up this four building Russian Farm set from Minibits. I think they are associated with Pendraken Miniatures in some way as that is who mailed it to me. The terrain is by Red Vectors. The buildings are a nice set of out buildings to complete a functional Russian farm. With a couple of barns, a pig sty and some nice sheds, this should make for a decent piece of scenery once assembled and based.

I am planning on giving these a thatched roof using the techniques that I saw on the Red Beard Baron's Youtube channel. He makes the thatching from caulk that is run through with a skewer. He also provides a nice painting guide for it that I want to try out. Unfortunately, this will be a bit before I can get to it. Still trying to move house.

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Little Gardening

I managed to finish off a piece of terrain last night after working on the 6 gun sloop. It should make for a nice little garden behind a rural farm. I am pleased with how it turned out. I have been watching YouTube videos of the Red Beard Baron and used his suggestion of basing on floor tile material. It works great. I did not pay attention to his warning to put paint in the caulk. That was a mistake. Took several coats of paint to keep the white caulk from shining through. I did put PVA on the bottom of the tile to get rid of the self stick part of it. That actually worked quite well.

I have based my two story log cabin the same way. Right now the glue is drying on the self stick portion. That should take a couple more hours to finish off. Anyway, progress has been made.

Edit: The base just finished drying. Thought I would append this post instead of giving the house its own.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

New Toys Have Arrived

I just picked up some of the orders that I have recently placed. First of all, I received the three ships that I ordered from Sea Dog Studios from their Kickstarter that did not quite go through. They produced some of the ships and sold them to backers at a discount. I picked up two Bermuda Sloops and a Brigantine. I was so happy with them, I put everything else aside and promptly went to work on one of the Bermuda Sloops.

The kits are really nice. The parts are not too fiddly but you do have to cut the masts and spars from longer portions of thin dowel. Assembly was rather quick. Painting it was a bear with the hand shakes that I have from my meds. But I think I still managed something usable. The decking came out darker than I wanted but I still like it. No sails are provided and it makes sense. The Sailpower rules talk about it in that 90% of the game, your sail set that you would put on a model would be wrong anyway. The masts are designed to be taken out for storage and to show damage. My only complaint is about the cannon. Even after trimming the flash off of them, they are too large for the ship. I can't get them to fit properly. I will end up having to file them down until they do fit. Still, I am very happy with what I was able to accomplish with the first model.

It went together well. Was very happy with it. Painting it was very straight forward. I enjoyed it. Been watching amazon Prime movies while doing it.

Very happy with these ships. Now I am just waiting on the smaller ships that I have ordered from Langton Miniatures. I might have to get some Sea Dog 15mm ships as well. But that is another story.

Also, I picked up some Litko Aerosystems movement bases. I have been basing 15mm miniatures on US Pennies for a while now. These movement trays will actually fit them now. I am debating on using them for either my British and French Napoleonics or for my Seven Years War Prussian FreiKorps. I probably need to just buy more and use them for both.

Then there was a large box with my order from Miniature Building Authority. In it was a Southern Plantation, Outbuildings, a Southern Barn and a Russian Village. All very nice. And painted already.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Life on the Farm

Well now that I have these new outbuildings, I need to make sure my farm is in order. I will start with my AWI log cabin. This is more for the back country of South Carolina but could probably work for a poorer low country plantation or farm.

It is one of the Blue Moon FIW buildings. I really like how it turned out.

New Terrain has Arrived

I just got in my eBay purchases. I picked up an Atlas Barn and Corn Crib. The picture on the box looks nice but inside are lots of fiddly bits. I can't wait to start on it. Next up is a pair of Woodland Scenics stuff. A smokehouse and a chicken coop. Both seem to be made from lead and look simple to put together. I am probably wrong about that. Last up is a box from Busch containing a rabbit hutch and two dog houses. One dog house looks decidedly more 20th century than the other. But still should find some places on the table top. All of these can be used for either my AWI, ACW or Eastern Front games. I am looking forward to working on them.

I have decided how I will be basing them. I will use some scrap pieces of the tile that I used for the city blocks for my East Front Urban terrain. I will use come caulk and sand mixture for the base and have nice little add ons that I can drop in behind my existing houses. All in all, it should be very nice.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Change of Directions

So I started working on an old set of rule mods that I was working on for Kiss Me Hardy. It basically is for ships below the rate. KMH is a great set of rules that works really well for larger ships down to sixth rate frigates. But it treats all ships below the rate the same. So of course I want to play with small ships. Thus the rule mods.

I think I have the combat and defensive points worked out well enough. I chose 1/300th as the scale for the ships. Right now, I only know of a couple of vendors for this. First is Langton miniatures. Their range is beautiful is small. What they do have is lots of really tiny stuff. I have ordered a yawl and a couple of sailed ships boats to use for civilian ships and inshore work. Next up is Wartisan. These are more of a DIY ship but their range is large and beautiful. If you have some scratch building skills, their range is well worth it with the models only costing $5 per ship template. Lots of variety including most of the Great Lakes fleets for the American War of Independence. The ships look fantastic. They also have a free one for you to give it a try before you buy others. I don't have time yet to scratch build but I am going to do so at some point. Next up is Old Glory Shipyards. They have a limited range of smaller ships that are nice. They are priced less than Langton but still not cheap. Then there is Sea Dog Studios. I saved them for last because they were running a kickstarter that I backed but it fell through. However, they have finished several ships in this scale. They offered a backer bonus and sold some of their ships under priced. I picked up a brigantine and a pair of single masted flush decked sloops. This will give me a nice starter fleet to play with.

But that got me thinking about my 15mm stuff. I have a 6th rate frigate in 15mm that is at about 80% ready for the gaming table. Then a buddy of mine (darn you Brian :)) mentioned he has some pirates and ships in 15mm. Now I am off and surfing the web for pirates and 15mm ships. Sea Dog studios has 15mm ships as well as Thouroughbred miniatures. Peter Pig has pirate miniatures as does Rebel Miniatures. I am tempted to get a small pirate force and the PP government troops to serve as a Spanish garrison. I have a pack of govt troops already. I would either use sharp practice for this or maybe even try the Sea Dog studios rules. I will have to wait and see.

So glad I can stay focused on one project at a time. NOT!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Farming in Prussia

OK, I may have found something on Prussian farming. I found someone's geneology post about Prussian manor farms. This is fairly interesting stuff terrain wise. In his article, he is chasing down family members and where they lived. That is not so interesting. But he gives the typical layout of a Prussian manor farm which is interesting.

He claims that the manor farm layout was very similar across Western Prussia. This is obviously not Bohemia he is talking about but I need to start somewhere. The layout has the manor farm at one end of the village. A cross street that runs in front of the manor house and its associated barns. This connects to two parallel streets that house the villagers who fall into one of three groups: small farmers with hereditary tenure on the manorial land, farm servant laborers with an annual contract and day laborers. In addition to these would be inn keepers, breweres and other small industries that were created around the manor to support the local population and provide industry.

He gives a typical layout to look like this: (http://remus.shidler.hawaii.edu/genes/WPrussia/ManorialFarms/Stdvillmap.GIF)

Furthermore, he provides a specific example of such a manor based village, that of Dwor Zespole. The map provided is in Polish. Google translate and I are working our way through it. But this will give me the basis for my Prussian/Bohemian village that I will start to make - eventually. The actual example is a great find. It would cover a whole 6' x 4' table in 15mm with the various buildings. The manor house is not a huge complex. In fact it is a rather modest dwelling compared to some of the buildings in the village. I am thinking of making its base out of stone or so to set it apart from the other buildings.

The center area between the parallel roads is a common area for all the villagers to be able to use. The land behind the manor was its fields with its various crops and source of income for the estate. The worker houses had small gardens behind it and then fields further behind them for their own subsistence. The fields tended to be made out in long thin strips as the plows in use were heavy and hard to turn around. The small farmers tended to have a one to two room house with outbuildings. These are not defined but one can assume that there would be a privy of sorts, possibly a kitchen, some sort of smokehouse and a corn crib or the like. So not that different than their fellows in the AWI and ACW.

The manor house is called a "Gut". Many of those are unimpressive as they were houses the nobility built for the managers of one of many of their estates. The nobles would not live there but instead would have their hired managers living there to manage the estate and village.

Anyway, this gives me something to get started with.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Farming help needed

In reviewing my terrain needs for Sharp Practice, I thought about what buildings I really need.

I just accompanied my son's class to a historic farmstead from the 1820s. It provided the inspiration behind this train of thought. For both the American Revolution and the Civil War, I can reuse buildings. I have a couple of farmhouses. What I lack are the necessary outbuildings such as a corn crib, smokehouse, kitchen, chicken coop, barns and outhouses.

I found some of these on ebay in HO scale. It should provide for a nice add ones to the table. I also need gardens.

Next, I thought about my Napoleonic project. Here I am more at a loss for what a Spanish farmstead would have. Looking at what Rich has made, I am thinking of a windmill and an olive press. But beyond that I have no idea. Any suggestions?

Lastly, my Seven years war project. I have literally no clue where to begin. I was thinking of getting the Russian village from Terrains4games as a starting point. What I really want to model is a farm in Bohemia. I have tried google and failed. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Rediscovering Projects

I am fully in the midst of a house move. While this is a painful and terrible ordeal, it has let me rediscover some things that I have been wanting to do.

First is a Seven Years War project for Sharp Practice. I found a painting tray that was loaded with everything I need for Freikorps von Mayr. It is the perfect sized force for SP2. The jaegers are already painted. I found some on ebay and snatched them up as I knew I would take forever in getting around to painting this army. The wonderful Kronoskaf website has all sorts of good information on the unit and where they operated. It seems that they attacked the town of Pilsen in Bohemia in 1757. This will be the basis of the campaign that I am planning.

The arrival of the hussars was not until after the actions in Pilsen, but I see that as no reason to hold me back from using them. After all, they are nice looking troops. One of the great items of the Kronoskaf sites is they have painting information for all of the units as well as color pictures for reference. This is really a bonus.

My opposing force will be the Anhalt Zerbst Infantry for no other reason than they are interesting. The unit has musketeers and grenadiers associated with it. They served the Austrian crown during the war. Anhalt Zerbst also raised a unit of Cuirassiers. The plan is to purchase painted troops from Gajo miniatures to speed up the process somewhat. I see the ANhalt Zerbst troops being more on a defensive footing. This should provide for some fun games.

What I completely lack for the imaginations project is terrain. I am planning on grabbing some of the Terrains4Games Prussian village sets to supplement this with one or two Gamecraft buildings to round things out. I will just need to figure out how to make thatched roofs. Then there is my Napoleonics efforts. First I have been buying some painted miniatures on eBay. I now have a full force of British and French to use. I am still awaiting the British cannon and both British and French limbers. What I lack for all of my SP2 forces are jump off points. They are something I really need to make. For my Napoleonics, I am working on a farm structure that has been on hold for a while until I move. It will be a walled compound with three buildings. I am looking to expand the terrain as I go and eventually have a town.

Lastly, I want to finish more WWII urban terrain. I have a great start from the Kharkov project but I have boxes of ruined buildings that are awaiting attention. Hopefully, once moved, I can get to work and start completing things instead of gathering them.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Campaign for Kharkov

I just want to say a big thank you to everyone that purchased a copy of the Campaign for Kharkov. Between Wargame Vault and the blog, I have sold just under 50 copies. Not too bad. I am calling it a success at this point. I have also sold a couple of hard copies on Amazon (more than the one I bought) so I am very happy with that. Kindle just does not seem to be a useful format for wargaming books, in my opinion. I think that a PDF or hard copy works better.

I am not sitting idle. I have picked up an old work in progress and am running with it. It is a Napoleonic Naval supplement for Kiss Me Hardy by the TooFatLardies. This will focus on small ship actions of vessels below the rate. The current rules are great but they do not provide enough differentiation between a 20 gun sloop of war and a 4 gun schooner. The rule modifications are done. It started as another AWI supplement focused on the South Carolina Navy but has grown to encompass more of the Age of Sail.

I would really like some help from any of you that have an interest in this to playtest. The concepts work in my head and what I have done on my table top but that does not mean that I have communicated them clearly. Any volunteers? Reach out to me on the contact box. I would appreciate it.

Lastly, Rich has my AWI SP2 supplement. It is in his hands and I anxiously await the verdict.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Campaign for Kharkov - Now in Print on Amazon.

I just received my copy from Amazon this morning. I am very pleasantly surprised. The pictures came out very clearly. The cover is in full color and the inside is in black and white. I am very happy with how it turned out.

Click here for the Print version on Amazon.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Kickstarter - Sea Dog Miniatures

I just jumped in on the Sea Dog Game Studios kickstarter. They are modifying their neat looking game to work with 6mm miniatures. I have long wanted some of their 15mm models but the investment commitment was too much. But the 6mm one seems that I could. I got the $40 pack with a pair of ships and the rules. It should finish out in July. I am looking forward to this.

Check it out here:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/seadoggamestudios/248074869?token=3c9187b7

The Campaign for Kharkov now in Print

I managed to get the settings right and now the Campaign for Kharkov can be purchased on Amazon both as a kindle book and as a hardcopy. The link to the hard copy is here.

The link to the kindle version is here.

You will notice that this is MUCH cheaper than my print version of In the Name of Roma. This is because I am using a beta feature on Amazon where they do direct print that is much cheaper than Createspace. I have not ordered a sample yet but will before the day is up.