In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hotlead 2011: third batch of pictures!

Barry finally brought over his memory card and we uploaded his pictures from Hotlead 2011. They aren't in any particular order, so I'll try and group them together by game. I've made the thumbnails smaller to ease your page loading.

First off Bob's 15mm War of 1812 naval battle on Lake Ontario. Insanely detailed ships and figures. With all the rigging they had to use tweezers to move the figures around on deck. I have no idea how the game played but it looked pretty!

Glenn and Ron's 6mm AWI battle:

The 15mm Russian Civil War game. That's me in the red.
Defenders of Holy Mother Russia advance.
The Bolshevik side
Keith's 15mm ACW game using Black Powder:

Gord's 20mm WW2 game using Rapid Fire!:
Battle of Bir Hacheim
The Bytown Barbarians run one of their 28mm inter-war/colonial games. Planes, trains, trucks and camels, oh my!:
some very nice Imperial infantry advance

Lots of stuff!

A staff wallah directs traffic
Well that's enough for now. I need to troll through the file to find more pictures to upload.

Austrian Cavalry

Got my first brigade of Austrian cavalry and some extra Generals done last night!

4x 6-7 figure units, each representing a 2 squadron 'division'. 1 of hussars, 1 of dragoons and 2 of kurassiers. The hussars and dragoons are made from my buy of Lancashire Figures. 1 bag of troopers (4 figures) and one bag of command (3 figures) for each unit. I hate leaving odd figures behind in the box and Black Powder is pretty flexible with the number of figures. So I just based the ensign as a single and can keep him in the middle of the formation. I've based them on 40mm wide and 30mm deep stands. The same that I use for my ancient armies.

I didn't have any Austrian dragoon figures, so I used some British cavalry instead. I painted them up as DR 37 'Kollowrat.' They were part of the charge that almost won at Mollowitz in 1740, except their Inhaber Romer was killed in the midst of it. They also distinguished themselves at Lobositz, Kolin, Hochkirch, Landeshut and Liegnitz. At Hochkirch they captured the kettle drums of the Jung-Platen Dragoons.

The hussars are HR 'Hadik'. Distinguished at Nachod and Kunersdorf, but disbanded in 1768 when the Empire was trying to economize after the war. Not bad figures but I do prefer my hussars to have a bit more variety in their poses. I do like that their horses seem smaller and of a slighter build than the dragoons. I put them on deeper bases so I could stagger the line at least.

The kurassiers are from KR 22 'Prinz Albert'. The figures are Old Glory. The regiment earned distinctions at Landeshut and Liegnitz.

I generally prefer the animation and detail of the Old Glory figures. The Lancashire figures are soft on the detail and the sameness of the pose is alright for dragoons but not so much for hussars. The metal used is also softer and the horses  and sabers bend quite easily. Their bases are also very narrow and prone to bending due to the soft metal. This necessitated bracing the figures while the glue dried to keep them from falling over. I find the sponge pads used to line blister packs very handy for such tasks. One thing I did like though was that the horses and riders are all one casting, speeding up assembly and eliminating some of the hard to reach spots in painting. But I figure each unit only cost me a total of .50 cents, so I'm not complaining.

I also added a trio of Lancashire generals. Some nice poses I think.

And  a couple of casualty markers I acquired when the casualty figures were included in the big Old Glory bags. Now 19th Century Miniatures sells them separately. I should get one of my Historicon travelling friends to pick me up a bag. So much nicer than casualty caps.

This brings my Austrian force up to 3 1/2 brigades; 1 cavalry, 1 Austrian infantry, 1 Bavarian infantry and half a brigade of Pandours. I'm pretty close to achieving Resolutions 1 and 2 on my list I think. After I do some more commission work I'll paint up the baggage and some more infantry and guns. Another brigade of musketeers and bring the Pandours up to a brigade of 4 or 5 battalions.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Feeling conflicted

So instead of basing up my Austrian cavalry tonight, I ended up Skyping with my eldest.

She's studying Civil Engineering out of province and has been having trouble finding a Civil Engineering related summer job. She got interviews but the economy is what it is and her one really solid opportunity collapsed with a hiring freeze. Returning home to work part-time as a cashier at a grocery store was looming large.

But she networked some more and at the last minute got herself a job with the provincial power company. So I'm very pleased.

But she's also not coming home for the summer.

You see my problem here, don't you?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pulp: part 4 Marines

And in a very strange divergence from gangsters we have some Marines.

An entire platoon in fact.

Platoon HQ and MG detachment
Since I didn't need THREE officers, I gave one of them a rifle from my bits box slung over the shoulder and turned him into the Platoon Gunnery-Sergeant. The rifle sling is made from a strip of foil. I figure he's an old fashioned guy who likes the trusted Krag Springfield rifle he's carried since he joined the Corps instead of one of the new fangled Thompsons. But right now he's got his M1911 .45 out for some up-close-and-personal shooting.

Section 1

Section 2

There's a third section as well, but you get the idea. They are all from Bob Murch's excellent Pulp Figures line. A couple of packs of PYS 8 "Marines in Montana Hat 1" and PYS 9 "Marines Unit Builder" to fill out the rifle sections.

To reinforce them I have a section of armed sailors in my box of unpainted figures too.

Even though it's somewhere in the mid-west, Pottersville has a large Naval station for rigid airships. Dr. Evil and the Nazis are always causing trouble, so the Marines are constantly being called out to reinforce the police. Gunboat actions against Pasha Dan's Chinese Warlord troops aren't out of the question either.

I'm really pleased with how these guys turned out. The Pulp/Gangster project actually represents a turning point in my growth as a painter. The individual characters really pushed me to try some shading and highlighting. Plus the sculpting on the Pulp Figures really rewards such efforts.

Somedays I'm tempted to sell off the gangsters, cops and G-Men. But I'd keep the Marines and perhaps build some of Wargames Factory's Shock Troops to fight them. Although having a horde of cheap gunsels around as Dr. Evil's minions has an appeal too.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pulp: part 3 Citizens and Characters

Jack Malory, P.I.
My route into Pulp games was via the hard boiled detective novels of Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler (I also enjoy the more modern version of the hard boiled detective story by Robert B. Parker and Loren D. Estleman). The moral man fighting to save his principles but still survive in an immoral world appeals to me. So here is my hard boiled hero, Jack Malory P.I. The trouble is, detective type gaming is really an RPG sort of thing, and I don't really like RPGs. But he is usually another actor set into a larger skirmish scenario involving gangs and cops (and rampaging robots, molemen and Nazi zeppelin commandos too).
Daring Adventurer and his gal.
Here's a couple of the more typical Pulp adventurers for more exotic locales. They probably arrived in a float plane, or steam launch and are searching for a golden idol. Don't know who made them, they were gifted to me by Rico. I haven't fit them into a game yet.

Objectives: kidnapped heiress, hostage and book keepers.
Assorted RAFM Call of Chthulu figures. The crazed fellow on his knees made me think of a hostage being held by gangsters and needing rescue. The gal in her slip was originally holding a knife but I thought removing the knife and making her tied to a pipe would make a convincing kidnap victim for Jack Malory to rescue. The two chaps with briefcases are the Bookkeepers for the gangs and are obviously important objectives for the G-Men to capture. The meek looking fellow in the brown managed to take down a G-Man with his wildly swinging briefcase one game!

Behind them are various piles of construction materials I made to give cover in the yards of warehouses and factories. The generator tied to the skid was also an objective in one game. It was being guarded in a warehouse by the Navy and Dr. Evil sent some henchmen to steal it, but they were foiled by the arrival of the Rocket Corps.

The Press.
Steve Barber manufactured reporter, photographer and newsboy. Never gotten them into a game either. But they intend to gather VPs by getting photos of the action.

Female characters and some cars. The brown coupe I repainted. The silver roadster came that way.

Steve Barber gals in front. RAFM ladies behind. Note the two different treatments of the same casting. My wife enjoyed consulting with me on the clothing for the ladies.

An assortment of male characters below. Pulp sailors on leave. RAFM business men. Steve Barber characters in the brown suit and white coat. I think the white coated figure is supposed to be Al Capone.

Canadian Grenadier Guards

Another commission rolls off the painting bench! This time an addition to Pete's growing VSF Canadian army; the Canadian Grenadier Guards.

Sergeant and officer

back view

A couple of ORs

ORs back view

These fine figures are from Ironclad. Nicely sculpted. Minimal flash. They will support the Mississauga Dragoons and his other infantry that I painted over a year ago. I'm also working on some French Canadian militia for him who will be appearing here soon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pulp: part 2 Gangsters

Pottersville is naturally a violent place with various gangs battling each other and the police for control over the bootlegging. Here is my first gang:

The 'A' gang, run by Antonio Cannelloni (aka "Big Tony the Cannon"). Big Tony (in the straw boater) is a Pulp mini but the rest of his crew are RAFM. I try to give each gang a mix of pistols, tommy guns and a few henchmen armed with only knives or saps, who are usually used to drive the trucks. The truck is another Lledo diecast.

My second gang, the 'B' gang, are run by Brendan (aka 'Bugs') Malarky. A pack of Pulp Minis form the core with a few Steve Barber figures (the shotgun armed gunsel and the black suited torpedo armed with two pistols). Then RAFM figures to flesh them out. The brown van was found in a box of broken toys at a charity shop. I repainted it and gave it new wheels from my bits box.

A close up of Bugs and his crew.

The Tong are the brightest gang. They are all Pulp figures except for their leader, the 'Yellow Dragon' (him in the yellow suit) who was given to me by Rico. I think he might be from Reaper. I don't know. He's originally a vampire, but I filed down his funny bat ears and removed the fangs. I painted them all with ink washes to make the colours pop more.

I gave them more numbers since they rely more heavily on close combat weapons. But the large chopping implements do give them an edge in hand to hand.

A fourth faction I call the 'X-men'. They are a group of extra gangster types who I use as mercenaries to reinforce a gang for a particular scenario. There's extra thugs, a fellow with a sawn off shotgun, more tommy gunners with especially loud suits and yes, that fellow in the middle is wielding two tommy guns. His to hit rolls are terrible, but if he hits anything it really hurts. Mostly spare RAFM figures, but 'Mad Dog' with the dual Thompsons is a Steve Barber figure.

A late addition to the factions is the 'C' gang. 'C' for angry citizens. But they could be striking union members, belligerent dock workers, a vigilante mob, whatever you need. Low on firepower with only two shotguns and the 'plucky kid' with a slingshot in his back pocket, but the baseball bats, crowbar and wrench all give pluses in hand to hand. All Pulp figures.

I made the scrap yard pieces from junk picked up at work (I used to work in a factory) and some extra RAFM cars and other odds and ends. Glued down in a pile. Sprayed black. Dry brush metal and rust. Add sand and weeds. Done. I used my pin vise to put some bullet holes in the scrapped cars.