A new old book for my collection

Today I finally got my hands on my own copy of “Sea Battle Games” by P. Dunn, published by MAP in 1970, reprinted 1974.

This means that I can throw away the 88 photocopied sheets from a library copy that I have had for the last 15-20 years as a substitute.  (Yes, I know it was not legal, but in those days it was very difficult to hunt down an out of print book.)

Amazingly the price I paid for a copy in good condition with a protective plastic cover over the dust cover was only four times the cover price 45 years ago!  Even with postage added I paid only about 7 times the original price, which in my opinion is not bad.

When it was published the book cost about 3.5% of my net monthly salary.  Today, even with postage added, it cost only about .075% of my net monthly pension.

I have always had a whim to play Chapter 9: “The Hypothetical World War Game”.  Sadly I already have too many gaming projects to start this at present, but it might be tied in with my plan to refight on the wargame table the whole of World War Two, which started five years ago and has so far reached 4th September 1939!!!

Anyway, this evening I will commence reading the book.

Painting Blog 26/12/18-17/01/19

Just to prove that I have not been idle for the past 4 weeks, this is what I have been preparing for various wargames.  I must remind readers that I am a wargaming butterfly, in that I have may projects active at all times.  However, my priority is to keep the “Market Garden” campaign active for my five on-line Generals.

So, what have I painted and modelled since Christmas?  For reference, any photographs below on a gridded board are displayed on a 2″ x 2″ (5cm x 5cm) grid.

Painting and modelling projects in the last four weeks

WW2 German 6mm Adler Panzer Grenadiers.

16 Platoons of 4 figures each.  To be painted in late war camouflage smocks.

26th December:  Models sorted, bases labelled.

27th December:  Figures glued to 2cm square plastic bases using UHU contact adhesive.  Snipped corners from some bases to indicate weapon type.  Milliput added to bases to help strengthen the contact.

28th December:  Basecoat (Vallejo WW1 German Field Grey) applied to figures.

29th December: Bases painted for urban setting.   Uniform Grey overall, sprinkled with fine sand, then “splodged” with Vallejo Green Grey.

30th December:  Flesh tone added to faces and hands.

31st December: Repainted hands and faces with lighter flesh colour (Coat D’Arms Flesh).  Rifle barrels painted with Coat D’Arms 142 Gun Metal.

1st January:  Stippled smocks with Vallejo 70.875 Beige-Brown.  Stippled smocks and some helmets with Coat D’Arms 209 Dark Green.

4th January: Brick wall ruins on bases painted Coat D’Arms 509 (Brick Red?).  Black leatherwork painted Coat D’Arms 102.

6th January:  Gas mask cases painted Coat D’Arms 142 Gun Metal.  Army painter Matt spray paint applied.  Unit Finished.

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WW2 1944 Polish Parachute Battalion

16 Bases of 4 Infantry; a mix of Adler British Paras and British Marines.

15th January:  Glued troops to bases.  Painted bases Coat D’Arms Grass Green .  Base Coated Figures Coat D’Arms 537 Faded Khaki.

17th January:  Rifle stocks painted Coat D’Arms Horse Tone Chestnut.  Helmets painted Vallejo 382 Reflective Green.  Faces painted Coat D’Arms Dark Flesh.  Dabbed smocks with Vallejo 70.782 Chocolate Brown.  Dabbed smocks with Coat D’Arms 223 Chestnut.  Trousers overpainted Coat D’Arms 225 Khaki.  Weapons painted Coat D’Arms 142 Gun Metal.

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Blindheim Project.  6mm Irregular Miniatures troop blocks.

Lt-Gen. Horn.  Mounted General with 3 footsoldiers carrying a flag)

31st December: Horse painted Vallejo 70.875 Beige-Brown.  Coats painted Coat D’Arms 211 Light Grey.  Base painted Coat D’Arms 209 Dark Green.

1st January: Musket barrels painted Coat D’Arms 142 Gun Metal.

17th January: Faces and hands painted Coat D’Arms Flesh.

Danish Foot Brigade. 3 blocks of 18 musketeers + 3 man flag base.

6th January: Black wash to all. Diluted Coat D’Arms Black 102.  Command base. Boots painted black.  Faces and hands painted Coat D’Arms 213 Flesh.

7th January: Coats painted Coat D’Arms Grey 236.

17th January: Musket Barrels painted Citadel Mithril Silver

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 American Civil War 20mm Plastic Figures.

Two Union Regiments of 5 bases (15 figures each).  Part-finished.

31st December: Repainted musket stocks Coat D’Arms 225 Horse Tone Brown

1st January: Repainted musket barrels Coat D’Arms 142 Gun Metal, Touched up bases with Coat D’Arms 209 Dark Green.

4th January:  Backpacks, cartridge boxes and belts painted Coat D’Arms 102 Black.  Sprayed with matt varnish.  (Will be resprayed gloss for a “toy-soldier” appearance.)

3rd Maryland Regiment  8 bases of 3 figures each.

9th January:  Musket barrels painted Coat D’Arms 142 Gun metal, Card bases painted Coat D’Arms 209 Dark Green.  Sprayed with Rustoleum clear matt varnish.

13th January:  Bread bags painted Vallejo 886 grey-green.  Trousers painted in various greys and browns.  Bases touched up with Polyvine Acrylic Enamel 52 Brunswick Green.

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Terrain for “Market Garden” campaign.

City river bank hexagon tiles.

2nd January

Five existing river hex tiles masked and one point sprayed with grey stone effect paint.  (Will need a touch-up by brush – stone effect spray cans only work well the first time).

Two railway sloping embankments started.  Cork tile sections cut, glued and clamped.

5th January:  Tried to cut cork embankments to form slope.  Failed.  Designed similar shape for 3d printing and printed two sloping embankments.  A partial failure as the bottom of the piece was curved, so I inverted them.

7th January: Overpainted the city river banks with light grey “tester pot” paint.

14th January:  Glued Leven Miniatures rail sections to sloping embankments.  Re-glued rail sections to sloping embankments!  Ordered more hexagons from Kallistra.  (Plain Blue single tiles).  Spotted new half-hex tiles, and ordered them too.  Made side slopes of rail embankments from Milliput.

15th January:  Painted and flocked railway embankments.   Added streaks of PVA to blue hexagon tiles for wave/river effect.  Glued railway sections to polder/swamp tile for rail crossing with embanked road.

16th January:  Discovered I was using the wrong bridge for the Arnhem Rhine rail crossing.  Dug out different bridge and added Leven Miniatures resin rail sections.

17th January:  Black washed rail sections on the sloped embankments.  Railway sleepers (railroad ties) painted Vallejo 70-872 Chocolate Brown.  Rail track tops painted Coat D’Arms 142 Gun Metal.

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1940 3mm German force.

Two SIG33 15cm Self-Propelled Guns.

6th January:  Black wash overall with diluted Coat D’Arms Black 102.

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WW2 Naval

Sinking destroyer token (3d printed)

6th January: Black wash overall with diluted Coat D’Arms Black 102.  Deck painted Coat D’Arms Flesh 213.  Bottom of hull painted Coat D’Arms 509 Brick Red.

7th January: Superstructure and gun turrets painted Coat D’Arms 236.

17th January.  Repainted hull and superstructure darker grey.  Repainted deck with a darker tone.

HMS Warspite (prepainted model from Axis & Allies Naval)

13th January:  3d printed base (2 x 6cm hexagons adjoining, 2mm deep).  Repainted hull and superstructure with Vallejo 886.

15th January.  Spray-painted base with 2 shades of blue.

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WW2 1/600 Aircraft

De Havilland Mosquito, Focke-Wulf 190d.

6th January:  Painted all aircraft Coat D’Arms 211 Light Grey.  Poor coverage.  Maybe the models should have been washed first?

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6mm Commission Figurines MDF

French Revolutionary War, 24e, 56e, 90e de Ligne.  Part finished.

13th January:  Painted white coat turn-backs and breeches.

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That’s all Folks!

And now back to the painting table…

 

For Wargamers – forming square

For any wargamers who think that you can form a nice, neat square in one turn, this sequence of photographs show what actually happens when something like a half-battalion is approached by a troop of cuirassiers.

http://thomason-photography.net/Waterloo/CavalryAttack2015/

Note how the light company  and the Rifles decided to form their own defensive clumps because there simply was no time to safely reach home.

This then gave the rest of us a problem because there was a light company sized hole in the rear of our square!

Incidentally, talking to one of the spectators the next day, he told me that he watched this incident and said to his wife “Look at those chaps – they’re not going to make it.”, which was very much my own feeling (in the square) at the time.

A poor game…

As part of my somewhat OCD lifestyle my daily tasks are dictated by what emerges from the in-tray.

Today we started with: “Trim back lawn edges”:  No thank you, it is raining.  Task is replaced in the interim tray.

Next: “Trim front lawn edges”:  No, it is still raining.  Similar destination.

“Update blog”:   I have nothing to report since yesterday.

“ASL Napoleonic wargame”.:  Ah!  Now we are talking.  Up to the loft to retrieve the two boxes of stuff – and to get out all the Christmas decorations while I am there.

This game was developed during a week-long solo caravan trip in Spain, between two re-enactment events set in 1710 (Zaragoza) and 1811 (Albuera).

With the boxes of Squad Leader game boards and home-made gaming tokens retrieved, I began to roll the dice.  5, 2, 6 means take the 5th board from the stack, then the 2nd below that and the 6th below that.  I ended up with boards 15, 12 and 12.

Next, each board must be orientated.  Dice again. Odd, Even, Odd.  With an odd number the printed board number is to the right, with an even number, to the left.

Result:

Now to the forces.

Blue and Red dice rolled.  Blue has 2 units, red has 5.Opening the playing tile boxes (note 1), Red’s units are (from top left) :  95th Rifles, Royal Horse Artillery 6pr Battery, Royal Artillery 6pr Battery, King’s German Legion 6pr Battery, 52nd Line.

 Blue has:  3eme Regiment de Ligne, 5eme Regiment de Ligne.

Note 1.  The playing pieces are made by attaching printed sticky labels, designed in Microsoft Excel, onto 13mm x 13mm x 5mm plastic tokens bought from Plastics for Games

Next, dice for sides: higher comes from ‘north”.  Blue.

Both sides now make a plan, assuming they have not yet made contact.

Red is clearly an artillery column being escorted by light troops moving from south to north.  They will take the quickest route on road, with scouts from the 95th to the front and the 52nd battalion to the rear.

Blue is an understrength brigade, moving from the north. A die roll decides that they are deployed, looking for the enemy.

Thus we start the game.

It turns out that the game was most disappointing and not worth reporting,  but I thought that my methodology may be of interest.

A day of many parts

Today, despite being well into the second half of July, is dull and drizzly, following spectacular thunderstorms last night.

So I am confined indoors and catching up with several domestic and wargaming tasks.

I was inspired after listening to the latest Meeples and Miniatures podcast and after our recent fire to start documenting my wargame collection for insurance purposes.  It will be a long task.  It took me a week to collate from memory and photographs what we lost when the two sheds burned down.

Then I found a compiled list of unit values for Panzer Leader 1940 at www.imaginative-strategist.layfigures.com for use in my Operation Sealion games, which I began to incorporate into my game records.

Next task was the pile of ironing, helped along by watching a couple of episodes of “By The Sword Divided”.

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This is a BBC drama series screened between 1983 and 1985, like a sort of 1640s “Downton Abbey” which coincided with my early years of  English Civil War reenactment, and later episodes included some of my oldest – and in some cases sadly departed – friends as “supporting talent”.  The DVD series was released by the BBC in 2004.

Then I turned to some figure painting, namely the 1790s 6mm MDF soldiers from Commission Figurines.  These little “toy soldier” style figures are a little fragile, and because I expect them to be handled by small people I glue them in ranks of 3 to form blocks.

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During the course of this I managed to drop a paint pot lid onto the beige carpet.  I hope that after some immediate panic action and a steam cleaner I have (almost) got away with it.  Time for a second application of carpet cleaner now before the Memsahib sees it.DSCN0707

And it’s still only 1:30pm!  Plenty of time for more catastrophes before bedtime.

A busy man

Winston Churchill once said: “If you want something done, ask a busy man.”  Clearly this did not involve blogging. (A noticeable exception to the blogging rule is Neil Shuck of Meeples and Miniatures fame. He manages to keep up a daily blog, a weekly podcast and who knows what else in addition to a full time job, a family, a hobby and recently a broken wrist)

Anyway, back to me.  I have not posted for 6 weeks.  I have had plenty to do, but little time at the “real” computer, having spent a lot of time on the iPad and iPhone simply catching up.

So what have I been up to?

I will try to cover these activities in detail later with photographs, but meanwhile, here is the boring stuff.

I have been vainly trying to progress my “Operation Sealion” PBEM campaign, which is stagnating mainly due to the fact that I want to get all my models looking as good as possible on the table (shades of Peter Stringfellow?).

The next battle is the German assault on Brighton, which calls for a lot of railway track.  My blog followers will know that I normally use Hexon tiles for my gaming area, but extensively remodelled by me.  Well, this time I tried to mount the railway track by Irregular Miniatures and Leven Miniatures onto the raised rubber-ish roads produced by Total Battle Miniatures.  This was not successful because everything delaminated, and I am now remodelling all the railway hexagons, and, having spotted it while ordering more track I have a new railway station from Leven to paint.  I should mention that Leven have taken the trouble when asked to cast in resin a new 4-piece set of double rail track that will make a 60 degree curve specifically to fit a 10cm hexagon tile (2 inner curves, 2 outer curves).  I hope to see it on the website for general order soon.

In addition, this battle – without giving away too much to my German commander – needs a lot of British transport.  I have loads of 6mm trucks and lorries for 1944, but I want to get it right, so several packs of GHQ vehicles were ordered from Magister Militum, my UK supplier.

All of this stuff needs painting.

A failure to paint in time resulted in me not taking my semi-portable in-period wargame to the (bizarrely) 217th anniversary of the Battle of Marengo.  For wargamers, I am building armies from the Commission Figurines MDF range, but my figures are glued together in blocks for small people’s fingers to handle.  The project to create, initially French and Austrian,  armies for the French Revolutionary Wars is ongoing.

The trip to Marengo occupied much of my time, including all the necessary requirements of taking my dog camping in Europe and bringing him home again without quarantine. Superb driving over the Alps, including the St. Bernard Pass, last visited in 1989 in full Napoleonic kit for a reconstructed crossing by Napoleon in 1800.

Additional problems are having my car fixed after a sunroof motor failure (luckily it was a heatwave with the roof jammed open) and some kind individual ramming the rear end of my car in the Marengo car park.

We took our new caravan (collected the day after my return from Italy) to Wales for an English Civil War re-enactment weekend, and I am still resolving, and paying for, the failures of the vehicle.

I have also been instructed by my GP to have certain areas of my body checked for issues that affect gentlemen of my age, culminating – I hope – in an hour of MRI scanning this morning.

And so I am returned to the “real world” of painting, modelling, and hopefully actually playing some wargames, with a resolve to post more frequently in future.

 

 

Recent activity

So, what have I been up to since my last posting?

Apart from spending five days at Blenheim Palace for the horse trials (see facebook post from my dog:  https://www.facebook.com/paul.wisken.7/posts/953008101487847?notif_t=like&notif_id=1473884147211044), during which I drafted the rules for my new game “Bomber”,  I have been painting models and constructing terrain.

For Bomber I have been painting up 14 1/600 Lancaster bombers and some 1/1000 buildings.  At the same time I have painted 5 GHQ 1/285 Shermans and about two dozen 30mm Plastic Spencer Smith Grenadiers.  I also painted two regiments of 6mm MDF figures for ny “in period” Napoleonic games.

My new method of getting things done is to leave new purchases on the painting table until they are ready, even if I have moved on to a new interest while waiting for delivery of the models.

For the ongoing Operation Sealion campaign I have made some new hexagon tiles for the engagement at Postling (see the image with this post).  Several new hedged roads were needed for this scenario.

So, what for the future?

More MDF figures to be painted, mainly cavalry.  Bombers to be finished, and JU88 night fighters to be started.  many more 1/1000 buildings to be painted and based.  Rules for Bomber to be playtested.