Wednesday 29 June 2011

54mm General and staff

A couple of photos of my General and staff for Army 'Red' . The bugler is a simple conversion of a standing infantry figure and a Irregular bugle added . The General is a similar figure with different head a longer coat added with 'green stuff' as are medals, moustache and sash . The dispatch rider is a marching infantry body, a mounted Hussar head (got a set of new molds for my birthday - more later),collar, belt and pouch added with putty . Arms are new 'Hussar' ones with 'secret orders paper ' affixed. Uniform is of the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry - a local Victorian volunteer unit .

Monday 27 June 2011

The search for the British Envoy (2)

Richard Hannay decides to go it alone and sneaks into cover using the sheep flock as decoy

The Ferraro Roccaian forces are being held up !

The opposing forces move further onto the table looking for clues .

The infantry find themselves confronting one another in a narrow pass 

Another event marker is revealed !  only a goat herd !

The Treborian commander and the Dragoons find another event marker - a  British poet/writer lost whilst looking for inspiration in the wilde (sic) and rugged scenery

The infantry open fire at each other

The cavalry exchange fire and there are casualties - some of them non military !

The Treborian  cavalry charge the the FR cavalry and destroy them and their CinC , the infantry firefight continues with heavy casualties on each side . Richard Hannay can be seen sneaking across the bottom of the photo to check out a marker in the heavy cover nearby.

He finds the marker and it reveals - Sir Morris Oxford and servant ! ( No I didn't cheat ! it was just as the card where drawn !)

Hannay and Sir Morris retreat into the heavy cover and leave the table as the battle comes to a end . The Treborian infantry retreat having suffered heavy casualties . The Ferraro  Roccaian forces retire having lost their CinC and cavalry unit also substantial infantry losses .

 The Envoy is back in British hands - but is he out of danger ?.........

Sunday 26 June 2011

The search for the British Envoy (1)

As you remember we last saw Sir Morris Oxford fleeing into the wilds of Ferraro Rocca. Both sides have dispatched forces to find him , also Richard Hannay and a band of partisans are seeking him as well.

Photo of the area to be searched , the markers scattered about mark the locations of various events/persons . There are 8 of them - 3 blank ,4 other persons/animals and Sir Morris . These can move each turn using 2D6 and a scatter dice, when a force comes within 6" of one the marker is removed and replaced by the event /person .

The search parties move onto the table , the Treborians nearest the camera , Richard Hannay and party in centre , Ferraro Roccaian forces in top right corner (I diced for entry points).

Hannay because he won the last game (Schwartzpool tower) gets to spot things at 12" instead of 6" like everybody else . The first event is enacted and turns out to be a cattle herder and cows .

He move swiftly to the next one , which obligingly moved towards him on the scatter dice .
and it turns out to be a shepard and flock .

The opposining forces move closer weaving in and out of the mountainous terrain seeking to locate the Envoy , but no luck (every time they got near a marker it moved away from them on the scatter dice and remained out of 6" spotting range). To be continued ......

Saturday 25 June 2011

More civilians and 54mm Gunners

Several posts ago Ross Mac alerted me to the 40mm civilian figures produced by A.C. Stadden , I found the website and was amazed at the variety of figures he does . Mainly aimed at the model railway market he also does a marvelous selection of Victorian/Edwardian personalities , from Charles Dickens to Winston Churchill . I sent for a small selection as above - Oscar Wilde, Sir John Betjeman, an Edwardian lady and Edward Elgar . Quite a mix, but will be appearing in later blogs - peraphs even as themselves !.

Been messing around with my molds and by mixing arms,bodies and heads you can come up with lots of different figures. These are my first attempt at the 'Red' army gunners .

Think their officer will have to get them painting the gun , it looks a bit scabby!.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Adventure at the Schwartzpool Tower ( continued)

This is the situation were we left our hero - Hannay has gathered one clue (written in Ancient Greek by Sir Morris Oxford containing direction of his escape - luckily Hannay went to the same school and studied Ancient Greek) . Other members of the apposing forces search the woods but don't find anything of interest .

Hedei finds another clue but is gunned down by the merciless Mata Hari

Hannay's companion try to help but one by one they are killed by Velkro's henchmen .

Hannay is confronted by his Arch enemy

But with luck and the selfless sacrifice of his last ally he makes his escape !
.45 Adventure rules played very well and brought out the heroic qualities of the characters , other lesser characters/henchmen etc die quickly . The fact that Richard Hannay has got both clues will be reflected in the set up of the next game , giving him a advantage over the baddies !.

Sunday 19 June 2011

The Painted Hun

Just a quick aside from the ongoing game - I pushed everything off my painting tray and painted up the 54mm German conversion figure which will form my basis for Army 'Black' - looks okay even though I say it myself ! . Got the uniform details from an excellent site full of strange and wonderful prints from a multitude of nations and periods . One of the other advantages of home casting is THE POWER ! , I started my gaming career 40+ years ago when you sent your Postal Order off ( sounds Dickensian don't it !) and didn't hear or receive your figures from Mini Figs for weeks on end - Greenwood and Ball STILL  owe me figures !,the novelty with cast your own is - you want another 4 figures to paint up you simply go out to the shed and cast some and within half an hour you can be painting them - this I realise is getting a bit creepy and has overtones of Herr Frankenstein so I'll stop now and get back to the laboratory . .

Saturday 18 June 2011

Adventure at the Schwartzpool Tower

The intrepid British spy Richard Hannay seeking the where abouts of  Sir Morris Oxford after his escape from imprisonment in the Schwartspool tower decides to explore the area around the tower for clues . He has with him 4 trusty companions . Unfortunately the evil Ferraro Roccain Major Velkro has the same idea ! and has brought with him Mata Hari the beguiling female spy and 2 guards .

They set off into the woods looking for clues . For this game I am using '.45 Adventure ' a set of Pulp type game rules for small heroic actions. There are 6 encounter locations on the board (marked by scenic based 2ps ), these have been placed at random and upon investigation reveal a clue, an event or even nothing !. The parties set off to investigate .

Major Velkro finds the first marker - but it reveals no information !(a sweet wrapper).

Richard Hannay rushes forward to investigate another clue , but as he tries to decypher the cryptic message he is confronted by the beautiful Mata Hari and is beguiled ! and shot twice in the arm by her !.

Whilst looking at his clue Velkro is seen by one of Hannay's companions - who tries to shoot the evil genius - but his gun jams !

Too be continued !!!! ...........

Friday 17 June 2011

The Dreaded Hun

Here is the first prototype for the basic infantryman for Army 'Black' . I added a Irregular 54mm head to the Toy Soldier marching figure , suggested jackboots with a file and tidied up the neck with greenstuff. I think the resultant figure is different enough from the 'Red' army figure to work . Looks like Irregular are going to get more orders for heads !.

Toy Soldiers on parade

Just a couple of quick shots of the first unit of my 54mm 'Red' army , got them done quicker than I expected . Once I got into the swing of things casting wise I turned them out in batches of 3 at a time . Painting also was quick - went for the classic 'toy soldier' look , decided to put them on larger bases to aid stability . Am having a think about the opposing army - was thinking of using the other heads as a basis but have sent away to Irregular who do 54mm figures with separate heads etc for a Germanic 'Picklehelm' to see if I can turn the standard figure into army 'Black' .

The Boresetshire Regiment on parade .

The postman has just delivered a parcel which contains some more 42mm goodies and the above mentioned heads - excellent mail order service from Irregular . Going to play around and see if I can turn out 'The Dreaded Hun' !.

Sunday 12 June 2011

More Characters and an idea !

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, the lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,

Well Irregular 42mm figures actually, some more animals and figures I've been finishing off.

From left to right - A Politician was a Scaletrix plastic figure , The spy Mata Hari- HLBC Wild West saloon girl and two Irregular nuns painted as Princess Adele's Nursing Service .  
As some of you might remember I left the British Envoy Sir Morris Oxford escaping into the wilds of Ferraro Rocca  having been sprung from imprisonment . The British government have dispatched Richard Hannay the celebrated spy to locate and rescue the envoy, hot in pursuit Hannay searches around the Schwartz Pool Tower for clues to his whereabouts . However the Ferraro Roccain commander Major Velkro is also looking for information as well !. When I came up with this storyline I wondered how I was going to game it ?, I hit upon the idea of using '.45 Adventure' rules as these will cope with the few figures involved .  (click on photos to enlarge)

Richard Hannay on the case
(this post contains 2 literary allusions I'll try not to let it become a habit)

Tuesday 7 June 2011

First 54mm painted

Got the first of my 54mm Prince August figures painted . I probably should have melted him down and recast him as the quality of the other 4 figures I have subsequently cast is far higher, but being a sentimental old fool I  thought I would let him live as a piece of my wargaming history. 54mm figures have a certain 'presence' that other figures don't (this may just their very size) and I look forward to casting and painting more in the future , however this will be a occasional thing, as I've still lots to do on the 40mm front - not to mention 25mm etc etc .

Saturday 4 June 2011

The Madness Continues

First Born
I've always had this sneaking regard for the early pioneers of the hobby who cast their own figures . So when I saw some Prince August moulds for sale on Ebay - I thought 'I could get them and cast my own Red-Blue Army in 54mm' . Of course any sane member of the public ( this would include my wife ) would say  A- 'you already have thousands of figures', B-'you can buy figures ready cast so you DON'T have to burn yourself with hot metal' . BUT they are NOT Wargamers !. So here is my first attempt- my first born, not a bad figure seeing it's  my first go . Have learnt a few things in just casting this one ! 1. DON'T just wear shorts when casting - if you splash molten metal about it's HOT ! (you do a little jig reminiscent of 'River Dance' whilst swearing loudly and still trying to pour lead !). 2. I need a proper ladle - one is being purchased off Ebay - an old pan will NOT do. 3. You have to clean off the scum to prevent it going into the mould - it causes pitting on the figure surfaces . 4 . This is going to be a LONG project . 5. It's  very satisfying  casting your own figures. The moulds allow for 2 body poses , 4 different arms and 4 different types of headgear, so this will mean I can  get the bulk of my armies from them. I will let you know how I progress ... now where are my gauntlets and face mask !.

Thursday 2 June 2011

Pastural Interlude

Although they are at war Ferraro Rocca and Treboria have a common cultural and ethnic background . In the towns and cities people tend to wear modern European fashions , but in the countryside and mountains they still wear their traditional peasant dress  .

The menfolk wear plaid cloaks in bad weather and still use the old fashioned Jaeger muskets , which are cheaper to supply and repair than modern firearms .

Here is a Shepard with his flock of sheep which are the main source of income in the poorer mountain areas .

Unfortunately not only mules are beasts of burden and the woman and children have to work hard.

Goats are kept by the women for milk and cheese and provide extra money in hard times .

There is a small but growing tourist industry and the mountain scenery is popular with the English hikers and artists . ( click on photos to enlarge).