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, January 22, 2012

Back to Borden!

It's being a frightfully busy winter so far.

I started my OTC (Occupational Training Course) last weekend. I've been looking forward to it since my Basic ended really. It's tiring and eats up my days off, but I enjoy the experience and the people (OK I admit it, putting on the uniform hasn't gotten old yet either and we're in combats most of the time). The BOTC course just taught me how to walk, talk and look like an Army officer. This course is for my MOSID (Military Occupational Structure Identification) of Cadet Instructor; so it's three weekends of methods of instruction, different learning styles and adolescent development. I have 4 really dynamic instructors teaching us all this. The Senior Instructor is a corporate trainer, another is a Special Ed teacher and at least one of the other two is also a teacher.

But once I've completed the course I'll be eligible for commissioning and that skinny little OCdt bar will fatten up to a 2Lt's bar!

At the same time I have started organizing Hotlead, my annual miniature wargaming convention. So far, so good. After only three weeks I've got almost 2 dozen games listed (keep checking the website, they should be getting posted this weekend) and 5 dealers. I have vague promises for almost 2 dozen more games and a Warhammer 40K tournament, but they haven't sent me enough details to post yet.

This year we're having a War of 1812 theme, so there are a lot of horse and musket games, but we've also got a good selection of ancients, WW2 and a couple of naval games too.

On top of all this I've been trying to pursue a job lead. The potential employer wants to talk to me, but is awfully busy so we're trying to set something up for a Sunday when I'm not in Borden and he's not away (like this weekend). Hopefully we can make something work this week.

So last night was the first time I picked up my paint brushes in over a week and trying to schedule any games in the Basement o' Rabbits will probably have to wait a month until my course is over.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fallschirmjaeger 2nd Platoon

Like I said earlier, after being inspired by I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! I indulged myself by finishing a second platoon of Fallschirmjaeger from my Christmas miracle army.

Three 10 figure rifle sections, each with 2 MG42 teams. Plus 2 extra figures to bring the first platoon up to full strength. I also did three more Big Men on round washers. '21' and '22' are for 2 Platoon and the third one is labeled '02' in case I need a Company 2 i/c.

They're all old Battlefront. I quite enjoyed painting them up. Since my troops have a large number of the Stg44 assault rifle I painted them in a late war NW Europe camo scheme, whereas with Brian's FJ I mixed in a lot of tan Mediterranean camo pattern.


Ever since admiring Der Alte Fritz's winter terrain I've wanted to do the same.

I asked my friend Dan, who lives in a larger city, and has time off at Christmas, to use his deal-hunting mojo for me in the post-Christmas sales. He found some of those 'Christmas Village' tree sets for me at a Micheal's (a big box chain craft and art supply store) near him. You can see Dan's winter terrain in this old game report on the Mad Padre's Wargame Blog.

Bag o'trees

I had seen a couple of these at my local Canadian Tire (a big hardware & housewares chain) before Christmas for around $15-16.

Contents of one bag
 Dan found them on sale for about $6.00 a bag. He got me all the remaining stock in the store.

Size comparisons with 15mm figures (L) and 28mm figure (R)

Each bag has trees ranging from 2.5 inches (x10), 4 inches (x6), 6 inches (x3) and 9 inches (x2). The three smaller sizes will certainly be useful for 15mm battles.

126 trees!
Dan got me 6 bags. 126 trees all told. I'm thinking the Russian Front. I'm thinking Goths and Romans fighting in the snow. I'm thinking the Battle of Nancy (5 January 1477). I'm thinking the Battle of Leuthen (5 December 1757). Oh yeah. We got snow.

Now I just need a white fleece for the ground and a few bare limbed deciduous trees and I can check off another item on my list.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy 2012! So far, so good...

This year I think I want to carry on with my plan from last year, but focus on the terrain more as well as pushing various projects forward as the mood strikes. But in addition to No New Periods! No New Scales! I'm going to add No New Armies! Because I have all this early war German kit and the thought of painting up some 1940s French (mmmm.... Forged in Battle) or 1941 Russians (the Old Glory T26s intrigue me and the PSC infantry and T34s look tasty) really appeals. But I must resist.

And if I want a break from my 15mm SYW or WW2 there's lots of lovely 28mm Napoleonics and Romans waiting for me.

Besides, I need to put my efforts into terrain.

Here's my old 25mm Medieval village, made over 20 years ago:

You can tell they've been fought over quite a bit over the years. They're kinda rough, no details or highlighting and definitely looking a bit worn. Although the fortified farm has a certain charm still.

But on the New Year's weekend I painted up these resin buildings which I picked up for $20 at the Hotlead Bring and Buy. I had them black undercoated and then put them in a box and never got back to them for ages:

Big house back

Big house front

Old barn and cottage
Bit of an improvement eh?

The thatching was a challenge to paint, but I'm pleased with how it came out.

Some of my Medieval troops check out the new accommodations.
And I think they will look good when I finally get some Napoleonics painted up and ready to play too. Now I just need to add a few more!

Reading the newest edition of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! and then playing with Lorenzo on the weekend also inspired me to push ahead on a second rifle platoon for my Fallschirmjaeger. They're nearing completion and will bring that army up to three platoons (2 rifle, 1 MMG) which will fit into most of the starter scenarios in the rules and give them enough strength to take the offensive once in a while.