Friday, November 17, 2017

TooFatLardies Game Day Georgia - Nov 11 2017

Saturday we held a Lardy games day at Gigabytes cafe in Marietta, Georgia. We had three games of Chain of Command, two of Sharp Practice and a game of Coastal Patrol. I was able to play in the Coastal Patrol game run by Jim, the author of the rules.

I managed to take two lousy pictures of the game. I played 3 higgins boats. My ships did well at first and landed some minor hits on some German S Boats that were moving at maximum speed. But once my ships mixed it up with the convoy, the heavy guns on the trawlers left me with one ship sunk and one dead in the water. The other running for its life at reduced speed. I had great fun but lost badly. The british player had more success and sunk two of the convoy ships. That made the game a draw.

Then I ran my pirates game. It was a naval landing by Spanish regulars and marines being landed by the Spanish Navy. They were attacking a pirate base at night. It started well for the Spanish. They made good progress before the pirate sentry awoke and raised the alarm.

I took few pictures of the game. I was too focused on running it. I think the players had a good time. The Spanish committed their forces as separate groups. When the pirates finally tried to charge the Spanish, the Spanish quickly crumbled. Pirates in close combat are fearsome. The Spanish eventually were either captured or forced back to their boats. It was a fun game for me.

While the coastal patrol game was going on, there was another pirate game of sharp practice. In the game masters words it was peter pan meets Captain Blood.

Then there were games of Chain of Command that I wish I could have joined.

It was a fantastic day all around.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Painting Update

There is nothing like the very last minute to get one in the mood to paint. I just finished four more oarsmen, three seated militia, three seated spanish regulars and three pirate gun crew. I now have the figures that I need for the game tomorrow.

I have also been busy working with my new 3d printer. I have a three piece shipwreck printed. That will be the prize for my game. The aft section took several reprints to get it right, but it looks great. I also have printed a pirate shack that I won't have time to paint for the game and a tudor style caribbean house. These really look good but since they are still the black PLA, they do not take pictures of well.

Another item I printed was a rowboat. It came out great. It has deeper seats and the crews I have painted ride in them much better than the other ones that I have. If I had the time, I would print more and used those instead. The one part it had trouble printing was the rudder handle. It snapped off immediately. But that can be replaced easy enough.

Also started work on an east front windmill. I have the blade finally glued in place. I also have it based and the base textured. I should start painting it next week. My goal is to get all the terrain I need for Second Kharkov done before year's end. The second battle of Kharkov was mainly fought in the small villages that surrounded the city rather than in the city itself. So my rural terrain if perfect for it. The Kickstarter that I participated in for the East Front has everything that I need to complete out the terrain requirements. Stay tuned. It should be fun.

Monday, October 30, 2017

More Fun with 3D Printing

I have the printer up and running well now. I had a few false starts that turned out to be a setup issue. A youTube video set me straight and off I went.

My first prints after the owls were failures. The print head got jammed on a big blob of PLA. Then after fixing the settings, I managed to print out a ship wreck. One slight issue was that the PLA broke part way through the print. That was a bummer. I fixed it rather quickly but it still looks like someone sliced up the ship with a laser at some point. The second attempt was flawless.

The next two prints were a three part Trading Post and a rowboat. Both came out great. The rowboat has a small issue in that the rudder handle did not print. For 15mm it was just too small of a part, I think.

This gives me some prizes for the game on November 11th at Gigabytes.

I have queued up several more items to print today. One is a palisade wall to use for my Romans. I found a nice one on Thingiverse that I am working with. More to come.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Painting Progress

Last week was weak in terms of painting. I managed to paint... rocks. Yep, two 3d printed rock formations that I bought from the fine folks at Sea Dog Studios. Honestly, they look great. Much better than my simple paint job.

To get ready for my Nov 11th Pirates game, I need to paint some more figures. Among them are a few gun crewmen, four oarsmen and two sets of seated troops. I can't get myself in gear to paint. Have been a little preoccupied with a book launch. I won't bore you with the details but if you are interested, check out my other blog.

Also, I am enamoured with my new 3d printer. I am thinking of making a few items for the game. In particular, I am thinking of making a prize for the game. I bought some appropriate model files online. They have an excellent ship wreck that I am going to make. I think that will be the give away.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

3D Printing

My first print job came off of the printer and looks great. Went with the default item, a pair of owls.

The printer fits perfectly under my shelves. I am printing part of a palisade wall next.

Santa Clause and Secret Santa & Terrain Stuff

Santa Clause and Secret Santa

It is that time of year again. The Santa Clause emails have all gone out. I hope everyone is busy plotting and planning. I am not sure if I posted anything for my wish list. I can't remember.

I pretty much only game in 15mm at this point. My current interests are east Front WWII, Pirates and Early Imperial Romans.

3D Printing

I just got in my 3d printer. Bought a Anycubic i3 Mega printer. I managed to get it set up and am working on a test print. Rather than go straight for terrain or miniatures from Thingiverse, I decided to go with the test owl print. I think that was a good choice since I have no clue what I am doing. I managed to open Cure - the slicer software and save a scaled palisade wall on it. That will be print number 2. I will try to get some picture of it at some point. Right now, I am happy as it was churning away.

I need to get this set up as I have not only the immense amount of stuff availible on Thingiverse to play with, I have 2 kickstarters I should get soon. One for Normandy terrain and the other for East Front Terrain. Still 4 days to go with this one if you want to jump in. So far it looks to be an excellent value.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Terrain Ideas

Took the family on a trip to North Georgia today to go apple picking. On the way we passed New Echota, the brief Capitol of the Cherokee Nation from 1821 to 1838. They had a sample farmstead that would work as a frontier farm in the south from the FIW to the ACW. I will post some pictures later.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Painting Progress

It has been a slow week. I managed to get three seated Spanish militia done and a chicken coop. The chickens are not painted that well but they will do. They are too small for me to see enough details on them to paint them any better. The picture of the seated militia is just horrible. But at arms distance, they look pretty good.

Anyway, I am left with just a few more figures to paint for my Pirate game on Nov 11th. I need to get at least two more gun crew done. Also, I'd like to get at least one more set of rowers done. That should be doable.

As for terrain, I have a smoke house on the table now. Also some dog houses and a rabbit hutch. After those, I have a small barn and a corn crib to work on. That should liven up the table a bit. Most of that will be used for either the ACW or Eastern Front.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

3d Printers

I have taken the plunge on two different kickstarters for 3d printer files. My issue is that I do not have a 3d printer. So, in order to print 15mm or 1/100 scale terrain, what is the printer to get? I am looking for something budget friendly. I would appreciate any suggestions.

What kickstarters? Well these two: Russian Terrain and Normandy Terrain.

They seem like really nice models. I am looking forward to these but I need a printer. Someone recommended a Wanhao Duplicator i3 Printer. That is $329.99 from Amazon. Any other suggestions?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Annual Birthday Sale

Well another year has passed and I feel much older. So to celebrate, I am doing a sale on my availible books. Everything is half off through the month of October. In the Name of Roma is on sale now for $5.50.

The Coming Thunder is on sale now for $5.00.

The Falcon and the Gladiator is on sale now for $5.00.

Air War in the Western Desert June 41 to Nov 42 is on sale now for $1.00.

Action At Ustilug is on sale now for $1.00.

Campaign for Kharkov - October 1941 is on sale now for $3.00.

Or, if you want all of them (plus some bonus scenarios that I will throw in), they can be yours for only $20.00.

In addition, you post about the sale on your blog or on a wargaming forum and send me the link, you can take another $1 off of your total order. Just email me the link with your order.

To take advantage of this offer, please Paypal me directly at cstoesen@corecard.com. Do not use the direct purchase buttons as they are still at full price. I'm too lazy/challenged to update them for the month.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Roman Interlude

I started putting together my Warbases 15mm Roman buildings. In a word, they are great. I got one of the villa sets. It comes with the main villa house, two towers and two long stores. Oh, and a pool. I have one store left to put together. It really looks good. I want to update the roof with plastic tile sheeting I think it will really make it pop. The second building that I bought was the mansio. This is a very complicated build but it looks excellent. I am still trying to figure it all out. their website has instructions for it but they are for the larger 28mm version. There are somethings that didn't make it to the 15mm version such as door hinges. But that does not matter to me.

The biggest aid I have in assembling this is a tray i bought that has magnets to help keep corners square. I forget who I bought it from but it is a huge help. It has allowed me to build my MDF terrain without worrying that my joins will be crooked.

On another track, I started to paint the chicken coop. Lots of interesting details modeled on it. Especially the chickens.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Working on on Terrain

I picked up some railroad terrain pieces a while back and I started to work on them. The first up is a chicken coop. It is an interesting model. It seems like it could be useful for the East Front in 1941. It is more of a dilapidated shack than anything else. It has lots of character and a half tin, half wood roof. It comes with a number of chickens as well. However, the chickens are tiny compared to the 15mm chickens that I bought from Donnington miniatures. I am still trying to sort out in my mind what to do with them. At this point, the coop is primed and unassembled. I think I will have to paint it before assembly given how it goes together.

Next up is a piece I actually finished. It is a dock from 6 Squared in Canada. Mad Padre Mike recommended these guys a while back. They have a limited selection of 15mm offerings but they are great. The dock is a lovely piece that I actually like better than the 4 Ground piece I did earlier. However, it is not long enough for what I want. But it is too nice not to paint up.

I am very impressed with the scatter terrain that Warbases did in 28mm for Chain of Command. So I have been on the lookout for something similar in 15mm. So shopping around on eBay got me some rail road terrain that looks like it will fit the bill. A rabbit hutch, dog houses, a smoke house, a corn Crib and small barn will all be useful for the AWI, ACW and the eastern front. Some might see service on my table top for a Normandy campaign as well. Hopefully, I can work on these this week.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Terrain Expansion

I just received in my 4 Ground Corduroy Bridge. In looking at it online, I came to the conclusion that it would actually make a very nice warf or dock for my pirate game. Having just assembled it, I still think so. I bought the bridge and the expansion for it. It should do the job.

In addition, I have finished assembling the Star Fort Miniatures 15mm Russian Watermill. It is a really nice building. I had a few issues with the kit. The chimney was missing and the dowel that you mount the water wheel on was missing. The dowel has been replaced by a length of straw that fit perfectly. I need to fill the end in and paint. The chimney was not a big deal. The roof covering needed to be cut to accomodate it. I just did not cut it. So you can't tell that it was supposed to have one. The roof is removable. It is a really nice addition to my east front terrain.

Now I just need to get moving on painting this stuff. I did receive my Peter Pig order. I have more pirate gun crewmen to flesh out my three man crew I currently have. And I have my seated government troops for the ships boats. I figure I will paint two as militia and two as regulars. That should be enough to give the impression of what I want. In addition, some late war German WWII mine sweepers, US Engineers and some Soviets with SVT rifles made their way here. That should close a few gaps I have in my Chain of Command Supports.

UPDATE:

Here is the finished stuff.

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.

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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.