Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Paper won't refuse ink and metal won't refuse paint.

With that bit of throw-away wisdom, I'm showing off some of my latest painting. Some of these items were done before the Summer and a few (more than a few) were done while I was on holiday stay-cation. On with the show!

From my Saxe-Fredonian Imagi-nations army, Light Cavalry regiment Von Suppé.
Let me know if you get the reference. From FP&B's Fallen Timbers range - American Light Dragoons

1st Battalion, the 7th Border Regiment, Fredonia again.
Again let me know if you get the reference.
Old Glory's Turkish Nizam-i-Cedid figures - large, meaty 15mm who will work as 20mm.

Fredonian Zouave Regiment Gondor
SHQ figures of American Civil War zouaves. Nice figs, rather more "well fed" than the Frying Pan & Blanket figs.

The Black Company makes it's appearance in the Fredonian Order of Battle.
A tribute to one of my favourite fantasy books.

1st Battalion, Fredonian Regiment Tom Servo.
Frying Pan & Blanket figures: Wayne's Legion for Fallen Timbers.
An older unit already reported on.
The Archbishop's Own Regiment parades with their colonel-in-chief, His Grace, Michael, Archbishop-Metropolitan of Fredonia, in the occasion of the acceptance of their new barracks in the capital from the city of Heilkundemütze.

Küriassier Regiment von Sardukar
SHQ figures again from their 20mm ECW range.
I'm using them as if they were Austrian Cuirassiers in Turkish campaign kit.

Dragoon Regiment Shanton
Named for an old friend who used to put his pike figures away by jamming his palm
onto the pikes and then shaking the figures into their box after they'd punctured his hand.

The Fredonian Secret Police are known for their fine uniforms and armour, but not for their discretion.

Fredonian General Belesarius
From FP&B's Fallen Timbers range
From my wife, Beth's army of Gallifrey, Cossack dragoons - From a WWII range
whose name I cannot remember. Beth's Imagi-nations army is a mix of Scots and Cossacks,
with many of the units named for the actors who have played Dr. Who.

Light Dragoons from the Gallifreyan army.
FP&B figures - British Light Dragoons from the AWI range

Regiment Baker - Scots line infantry from FP&B's AWI range

A clan regiment. In Age of Reason, Jacobite clans are 16 figures strong mounted on large stands.
They love to charge and can really knock out a unit they hit.

Another clan regiment. Beth named these after Scottish film actors or friends of Scottish background. I think this is Clan Boyd.  Others include MacGregor, Winters, Connery, and Stewart.

The Galifreyan general himself. He can usually get where he needs to be instantly!
Guess who... and his staff. Figures from Minifigs, Battle Honours, and Napoleonettes.
Yes, my collection is that old.

A British command group for Shako - a general figure (centre), an aide-de-camp (right)
and an "exploring officer" as an aide-de-camp. That figure came in the Battle Honours "French Marshal"
bag. Each figure had a name moulded on the sprue and he was "Marshal Dillon." I almost spit nickles.

More French command and aides-de-camp
Battle Honours and Falcon(?)

Prussian Artillery - medium foot, heavy foot, and horse - all for Shako
Figures by Minifigs and Ral Partha (!), guns by unknown

A freshly painted French brigade with commander - Old Glory and Battle Honours

The commander up close. Since I use my wife's camera, I don't always remember how to take close-ups.
Russian Mounted Jagers - newer Minifig castings

A battalion of the Vistula Legion (Battle Honours or Old Glory - I don't remember.)
I did hand paint their flag.
This was not an easy one to  paint, especially on plain paper.

A musketeer battalion of the Prussian Regiment Colburg - older Minifigs

A battalion of the Austrian Regiment Hoch-und-Deutschmeister by AB Miniatures.
I did not paint their flag. I have painted Austrian flags but they are killers to paint.
Now for 28mm - Bolt Action US Paratroopers and a 75mm pack howitzer.

Reaper Miniatures elven sorceress

Great War Miniatures US Marine - to be used as National Guard or similar for Pulp gaming

By Old Glory, Canadian troops for a "What if" game of the American Civil War.
The figures are from OG's Maori War range.

More Canadians, this time a rifle unit.

"Hey, Dad! You'll need skeletons for your D&D campaign." said my son.
After many years, I'm reviving my D&D campaign. I think the players will out-play me at every turn,
but they're starting at 1st level and a bad taco could kill them.

Flames of War model of the US M18 Hellcat tank destroyer. A nice little model of a blazingly fast AFV.
No armour and a decent gun. I like the Flames of War models but I don't care for the game.

Flames of War plastic - US M4 Sherman. Again a nice model. I still have to add insignia and detail the
tracks. The kit comes with tarps, boxes, bins, and other things to hang on the hull.

Flames of War T-35 Russian land battleship. My son painted this ages ago and I found it in
the bottom of a box.

A home-made model of the Russian KV-1 I picked up at a flea market/bring-and-buy many years ago.
The hull is  plastic, but the turret is one piece of moulded lead. It should make quite a paperweight.
Another "bottom-of-the-box" find.
From some unknown manufacturer, reptilian alien infantry. I remember getting about 10-12 of them in a bag
 at Historicon years ago. I used to play Traveller in 15mm and these cold-blooded dudes were to be
a part of that game. In my old age, I'm using 25's.    Same bottom of the box as above.
All for now. Reenacting season has two more events to go and the Library in London will reopen soon after remodelling.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Birthdays and Shako

Saturday was my son's 19th Birthday and his buddies took him out for his first drink. He stayed at a friend's house safely and I'm waiting to hear how the evening went. It was also Martin's birthday. So of course we played Shako and had pie at lunch. Martin, francophone and francophile to the core, ran the French (including his freshly-painted dismounted dragoons.) Beth handled her Italians, and I ran the Rhinebund troops. Andy captained the Swedes, Rob the British, and Tyler the Austrians. I envisioned a sort of "Battle of Nations" scenario, but I didn't have enough Prussians and Russians painted to do the job, so the British joined in. The game might've been a touch too big for the table and we did have a curfew (Rob had to work, Andy had a soccer game to go to and Tyler had to pick up his son), but it went fine. 

Rob and Tyler - both looking rather poleaxed - prepare for play.

Tyler studiously studies the rules or the play sheet.

We found rules for the Congreve rocket on line and Rob wanted to try them. Well... let's just say they made a nice display but were rather ineffective.

French and Italian troops contest the town with the Tyler's Austrians - Whitecoats and Grenzers.
Each player rolls for his/her initiative at the beginning of each turn and I can't remember what order things started out with. The Coalition forces appeared to wish to hold and keep the ridge line just behind the town while contesting the town. The Imperial/Allies set up a "grand battery" and a separate cavalry division in the hope of breaking the line on the ridge somewhere between the British and Swedish forces. So we all advanced.
The order of action is unusual in Shako. Artillery fire precedes movement and small arms fire and melee follow movement. Troops take casualties from fire or melee, but can also be "staggered" or hesitant in their actions because of fire. A charging infantry unit might hesitate and not charge home. The number of hits each unit can take is a function of their morale class (Guard - 6, elites - 5, regulars or "normal" humans -4, second-rate units - 3, unreliable units -2... Cossacks, Spanish Cavalry, or Neapolitan infantry are examples of unreliable types.) It seemed that no one could roll a "6" except for initiative, so artillery fire, skirmish fire, and volley's were less than effective. (Might we say that the weather wasn't quite right? Too wet and humid? Yeah! That's the ticket!) I ended up exchanging skirmisher fire with Andy who wisely kept his Swedes on the backside of the ridge, out of my line of fire. I was supposed to hold the flank and demonstrate as it were. Rob also kept his Brits behind the crest of the hill, but his Rifles came out to play, skirmishing by the stream. Tyler sent his two cavalry regiments - Austrian dragoons and hussars - on a left-hook cavalry run while sending Hungarian battalions, Jägers, and Grenzers into the town. Beth and Martin hit the town in force with Italian line infantry and French dismounted dragoons. The town was to be a bloody and long-contested pile of stone.

Italian columns - so fast moving they're blurred - assault the town sectors.

An earlier  photo - the Italians enter the town.

A better view of the exploding town melee.
The much-heralded dismounted dragoons supported by French line troops in column.
Martin noted that most towns are black-holes that swallow troops in wargames and we all agreed that was true in just about every period of gaming and every scale. It was true here. The Austrians lost a Jäger battalion and the Italians lost a line battalion. A battalion of Hungarians battled back and forth for a while and finally were relieved by the Black Watch who roared into the town at curfew.
On the Imperial/Allied left I skirmished with Andy's Swedes and brought up two Westphalian line battalions who formed line and exchanged volleys with the Swedish infantry. The grand battery blocked the way for the cavalry but when they came loose, a regiment of French dragoons (mounted this time) hit a regiment of Swedish Hussars and promptly evaporated them. They went on in a breakthrough to hit a British foot battalion, who were caught forming square and the foot troops melted away as well.
After this, Andy left for his son's soccer game, Rob left with Tyler and his son who agreed to take Rob to work. Rob got together with his buddies for a drink after his shift... and the photo is below.
Now more combat photography - by Andy, Martin, Beth, and even myself.

A side view of the blood-soaked streets of the nameless town.

Swedish light cavalry (North Skanska Carabiniers), a foot battery and their skirmishers
(from the line and the green-coated Warmland field Jägers - rifle-armed!)

Hoch-und-Deutschmeiser holds the ridge!

Rob's British line clamours forward.
British line, foot gun, with the Rifles skirmishing in front.
Swedes in the forest, including the Warmland Field Jägers.
Rhinebund and Bavarian skirmishers and two Westphalians line battalions in column.
The Imperial/Allied cavalry is bottled up by the grand battery. I could say I did not receive full deployment information... and I will!

My view of the advancing Rhinebund and Westphalian troops. 3 battalions of Bavarians and one of a small Saxon stater were coming up in support to the right.

The Bavarians and Saxons begin their movement to the left. The cavalry comes up and the guns (with any luck) make the Coalition forces sweat.

Italians, French, and Hungarians continue to contest the town under the watchful eye of the Archduke Charles!

The British light dragoons prepare for their fateful charge. They chased off the Italian skirmish line and menaced the Italian and French high command causing them to run. We had to make up "house rules" to cover the high command being disrupted by such noisy house guests!

The Coalition view of the town - Hungarians, Tyroleans, Croatians, all mixing it up in the town.
Pooka slept in the window chair during the whole battle, offering invaluable advise to Andy.
Andy caught his apathy/nonchalance/indifference in this great photo.
Later, Rob hit the Roadhouse with his mates for his first legal drink on his 19th. His sister took this photo.
I still think this looks like a meeting of the local Mob.
Happy Birthday, Son!
Photo: Fort Erie... soon... very soon.