With the half-term hols upon us, I've taken the chance to finish a few figures that have been sitting on the painting table for far too long.
First up are a few additions to my early war Polish army: the HQ mortars and a selection of Big Men.
I'm trying to concentrate on the Poles at the moment, as I need to have enough of them done to start playtesting the scenarios in my forthcoming September War scenario pack. That's a collusion between Anatoli and I, and should, when finished, contain 55 separate Poland 1939 scenarios for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum. Scenarios 1-19 are written already, so just need to playtest them and get some photography done at the same time (which is why I can't use proxies).
Finally, I also got around to painting the Warbases 15mm Pegasus Bridge bunker. Nice little model: it's my paint job that's uninspiring! And the pic is a bit blurred too!
Now I know why the challenge was so quiet over the summer: you were all saving your entries up so that I had something to do during these long winter nights!
So, another update is needed only a few days after the last one: and both pretty big too.
In no particular order, we have:
Mr Slade (always Mr Slade!) with forty-eight of the finest Arabs you can order
Mr Helliwell (and usually always Mr Helliwell too!) submits 32 billmen and pike
Lloyd "the hat" Bowler has been saving his painting all through those long summer months. Today he sends in about a trillion 6mm figures; more 1/600 ships than the whole of the current British navy (not so hard these days, I know!); and finishes off with some ACW command stands. Almost 500 points in one entry!
Steve Burt has some more Romans for us to look at
Keith Davies enters four 28mm buildings, even if I do appear to have lost the photos!
WillieB makes a bit of a come back with some Frostgravery and some Comitatus
and last, but not least, Carole takes a rest from her gardening and sends in an assortment of 15mm figures
All good stuff! Now, today's photos...
Some of Matt's Arabs
Lots of 6mm from Lloyd
Just some of the Hat's navy
Keep them coming, folks: the end of the year will be on us before you know it!
Just a quick note for those who might not have seen it yet, but Battlefront have a 40% off sales on their Vietnam, Arab-Israeli and Great War ranges at the moment. Postage and Packing is also capped in what must be considered a great deal. Sales lasts until the end of October.
As those who visit this site regularly know, although I don't play FoW, I do like the Battlefront miniatures: I just find them a little pricey and, sometimes, a little lacking in the quality control department, although this last seems to have improved quite a bit over the last couple of years.
Click on the pic to go to the FoW site.
A 40% off sale, therefore, is an ideal time to stock up on stuff that you wouldn't normally buy because of the price. I don't happen to need any more Vietnam stuff, and don't currently collect any Great War kit, but have just taken advantage of the sale and dropped quite a bit of cash rounding out my Arab-Israeli Six Day War collection.
Now all I need is for them to extend the sale to their WW2 Poles and I'm a happy man!
I'm now back from the TFL showcase at Firestorm Games in Llardiff: and an excellent day's gaming it was too.
First, a quick word about Firestorm itself. This is a huge gaming centre in the Penarth area of Cardiff. It consists of three areas.
The first is a very well stocked shop that is absolutely ideal for stocking up on all those bits and pieces that are a pain to order online: tape measures, brushes, paints, spray cans etc. It also has a good selection of miniatures, board games and lots of card games and the like. Well worth a visit for this alone.
This gives you some idea of the size of the Battlefields area
Second is a small cafe, a medium sized bar and a large lounge-type area where important things like eating and drinking and chatting can take place. I had a very nice club sandwich from the cafe that totally made up for the fact that they were out of coffee!
Third, and perhaps most importantly, is the Battlefields area: a huge space that has to have at least 40 wargames tables in it. Apparently, on a non-function day, you can just book a table, pay a small amount (it's run like a social club, so you can pay for a day's membership - which IIRC is something like £3.50 - or do it quarterly for - again IIRC - about £17). They have loads of terrain that you can borrow to use for free, and the tables are nice and big and solid and very, very functional.
In all, I heartily recommend Firestorm as a venue and, as such, it was ideal for our Llardiff TFL showcase.
We had various games on offer. I ran I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! in the morning (a huge battalion-sized game of which more in a later post) and there were all day games of Sharp Practice 2 and Chain of Command as well.
Mr Clarke's game of Sharp Practice 2
The main game of CoC was particularly impressive: an amazing battlefield that I wish I had a good photo of...but the one I took came out all blurred.
The day's gaming was followed by an evening's drinking with the obligatory curry (fictional in Richard's case) which was also great fun.
I shall be making a note in my diary to attend next year.
A quick reminder that tomorrow is Llardiff: a TooFatLardies games day taking place at Firestorm Games in Cardiff.
Here are the details:
"On October the 15th one of the UK’s most respected gaming companies; Too Fat Lardies will be visiting the South Wales Gaming Center at Firestorm Games to host a series of participation games showcasing some of their most popular rules.
"There will be 5 games on offer with each one being played twice starting around 10.30 am and 2.30 pm, the games on offer are :-
1) Sharp Practice – covering the black powder era this is a large skirmish game is ideally suited for 15mm to 28mm figures with forces of around 50 figures. There are 2 games on offer that people can play
a. Viva Ras Begus, Head Lardy Rich Clarke will be hosting his award winning game set in the Horn of Africa in 1840
b. Martian Practice, Matt and Ralph from the Forest of Dean club will be running their brand new (also award winning) Sharp Practice game set on Mars during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee
2) Chain of Command – this highly respected WWII game allows players to take on the role of a platoon commander and is perfect for players with existing WWII armies looking for a new challenge, again we have 2 games on offer
a. 1940 invasion of France, local gamers Geoff and Steve Bond will have a game set in France during the German offensive
b. 1944 North West Europe, Nick Skinner will show you how to play Big Chain of Command with multiple platoons after the break out of Normandy
action from the last market larden games day
3) I Ain’t Been Shot Mum – the original Lardy game and now in its 3rd edition, this WWII game is company level and perfect for 15mm gamers, Robert Avery will be on hand to guide you through combat in Russia during Operation Bagratian
"Entry to this event is completely free, all you need to do is turn up, speak to one of the Too Fat Lardies crew and we’ll get you playing on a first come first served basis. If you are interested in learning more about the games but don’t want to play a whole game, then just turn up during the day and one of us will take you through the rules and answer any questions you have.
"Finally, this event has been arranged to take place on the Autumn Bring and Buy day at Firestorm games so you might be able to pick up a bargain as well as play some of the best games out there
Although a divisional rather than a company-sized game, here's news of the launch of the first TFL/Reisswitz publication, Pickett's Charge.
"Written by veteran game designer Dave Brown, Pickett’s Charge are an exciting and dynamic game with plenty of fast-paced action combined with a command and control system which is intuitive and simple to use, but nuanced and subtle enough to provide the gamer with interesting and testing command challenges. ‘Simple to learn but a challenge to master’ has never been more the case as the player is constantly presented with decisions about how to best influence the action, to seize the initiative from the enemy and to inspire his troops on to great deeds.
"Packed with Civil War flavour, Pickett’s Charge is designed for Divisional and larger battles in the American Civil War, with the Regiment being the smallest manoeuvre element, the Brigade the lowest tactical command. A typical club night action involving several Brigades per side and a full day or weekend handling a Corps or two with ease.
"82 pages in length, Pickett’s Charge includes rules for using both 15mm and 28mm figures, suggestions for organising your armies with a point system and a guide to rating force. An introductory scenario is all you need to get playing with this great new set of rules from the master of the big battlefield.
"PLEASE NOTE: This advanced order option is for the hard copy rules with the bonus of a free PDF of the rules. The PDF will be emailed to you on the day of publication, the 26th of October."
You can buy the rules by clicking either here or on the picture of the front cover.
Here a battle report from a game played a couple of weeks ago featuring a scenario originally written for the TFL 2005 Xmas Special.
It's France 1940. A German probe has discovered an unguarded crossing over the river Moiste. They dig in and call for reinforcements, but the French have spotted them and send in Captain Cognac and his men to re-take the crossing.
Following on from yesterday's post, here's the other platoon of Soviet tanks from Zvezda: this time five 15mm BT-5 tanks.
I didn't like these quite as much as the T-26's, but they are still great models.
These kits snap together so well that I didn't even bother with reinforcing glue. The turrets come in one piece, which is a huge improvement on anything that requires you to glue a gun barrel in place (not a lot of surface area on the rear end of a gun barrel!), and means that even after undercoat, wash, finish etc, the turrets were easy to swivel.
Rather than dive back into the Polish cavalry, I thought I'd quickly knock-up another lot of the Zvezda tanks that I bought in August.
I've got two platoons of Soviet tanks to build, so here's the first one: a platoon of five T-26 tanks.
These are typical Zvezda models. They come in five parts and can be snapped together with no effort, although I do tend to pop a teeny tiny drop of Superglue just to be sure they stay together. As you can see, detailing is good, and they respond well to a sprayed undercoat, brown wash and then highlight.
Looking at these, I think they are supposed to be T-26 obr.33, described as having a "cylindrical turret", which would make the Battlefront T-26's that I have T-26 obr.38 or 39, described as having a "conical turret". If that is the case, then the slight size difference between the two manufacturers matters even less than normal.
Here are my Battlefront models so that you can make your own minds up:
People sometimes ask me why I bother to photograph all my troops and then organise them into galleries.
The main reason, or at least the one I admit to most frequently, is that it makes it very easy to keep track of all the figures I have. Yes, I have the sheer numbers of each type kept in an Excel spreadsheet, but the galleries allow me to see exactly what I can field by organised historical force, and help identify the gaps that need filling.
Right: back to the painting table. Ten early war Soviet tanks almost finished, and then it's back to the Poles...
Alongside the Panzer IIs featured in yesterday's post, I also built and painted five Zvezda Panzer 38(t) tanks. Again, these will be used to flesh out larger tank forces for the bigger or tank-only battles in various Poland '39 scenarios.
These were painted in the same way as yesterday's models: sprayed black then heavily dry-brushed in grey, then black ink on top. Unfortunately, both sets of tanks have come out very black rather than any sort of panzer grey colour. Might be something to do with the fact they are plastic not resin, but is more likely the fact that my black ink should have been watered down. Ah well, I'm sure there were tanks that were more black than grey at some stage in 1939/40!
These are again nice looking models, and so quick and easy to bult that there's really no excuse for not having a company, or at least a couple of platoons, of them!
As previously mentioned, as a birthday gift to myself I bought a whole load of Zvezda kits to flesh out my early war tank forces.
For the Germans, this involved buying a platoon of Panzer IIs and a platoon of Panzer 38(t)s in order to allow me to field some of the larger tank forces that appear within my forthcoming Poland in Flames scenario pack for IABSM v3 (the background and ten of the seventy-one scenarios are written so far. Yes, I did say 71 scenarios!).
Here's the first of the two: five Panzer IICs. Nice models: easy to put together (my nine year old built them) and very cost effective but a little bit smaller than the Battlefront metal-and-resin kits. There's also something a little insubstantial about them compared to the Battlefront model, which proves that you gets what you pays for! Still, very suitable as a not-used-very-often extra platoon.
I've finally managed to finish my first unit of Polish cavalry: a squadron of Dragoon-types in their Adrienne helmets.
These have taken me an age to do. Not sure why: not too complicated, and just a couple of layers on everything. Probably something to do with the horses making each figure the equivalent of two figures, I suppose.
Here they are:
I've painted them the same colour scheme as the dismounted cavalry I finished last month. Some might comment that Polish uniforms should be more brown than the moss shade that I have used. Quite right: but if I'd painted them the same brown colour, then I might as well have used my Russians or my French. At least this way I have a distinctly different look, even if it not quite exactly historically accurate.
And after all, maybe the uniforms were brown and have faded under the rigours of war!
The figures are from Forged in Battle. The horses and basic bodies are very nice, but the faces are very small (accurately so!) and therefore quite difficult to paint well. Hate to say it, but the Battlefront cartoon characters paint up better...well, faces, anyway.
These aren't shiny, by the way, but sprayed with Testors Dullcoat to finish.
A very quick I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! after action report from the Tracks and Threads blog: a few pictures of a 6mm game with Canadians fighting Germans.
Only a few pictures, but really nice ones, and it looks like a good game.
Click on the image below to see all:
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.