Thursday, December 28, 2017

Island of Perils - Pulp Game playtest for Salute 2018

Right after the last installment of Salute, March 2017, Rob and I discussed going into a project together to host some game(s) at the 2018 Salute.

Here is the first play test run for what is shaping up to be two or three games at Salute in 2018.

we have been using the Pulp Alley rules set

the terrain board of peril island 3'x3' as built by Rob

yes, Daleks were in the game!

A Blood and Plunder boat (unpainted as yet) was pressed into service

the Red cloaked minions were on a rampage

a slippery bridge was full of perils

yes that is a Lego Star Wars character racing to get to the Grumman Goose plane to escape

Gangsters, ray guns and more were all in action for a second play test

Rob is currently working on a city-scape section of terrain, I have cars and trucks and a couple of motorcycles even for 1920-36 era to put into it.  Currently there are 50+ more of the pulp minis in various stages of painting ready to complete another dozen or so in time for the next playtest on Dec 30th.

Starting to look good for having it all ready for Salute 2018.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Blood & Plunder by Firelock Games - Unboxing

So I have taken the plunge, adding a new dimension to my tabletop minis, PIRATES.

The two starter sets I chose were Spanish and English ... more are planned
 Actually this is a return to an old plan of mine, as I had a few 15mm Peter Pig minis from the 1990s, with a single ship model (that was close to the scale) and had Kelly Jones as a game opponent, indeed I think I still have the Captain and Bosun that I painted in the 1990s to game with Kelly.

This time round there's a company that is getting the genre right!  From the start they are doing land and sea. in 28mm with complete resin SHIPS that match the scale of the minis - no more fumbling around and desperately seeking something that will 'fit in' there are good sized SHIPS to use right away!

There be a Box of Pirates! here!
While my budget for this stage could not accept getting all of the minis and ships that I might have wanted to start with, I was able to pick up two sloops, four long boats and two crews of minis from the English and Spanish lines.  Along with the main rule-book, a set of gauges, and the cards that I have learned are useful in keeping track of things.

Ships and cards with some specialty leaders.

The Sloop unboxed here, to show the size of this wonderful model.
While this does add to the painting list, it means that I now have a good focus for this winter at the painting and gaming table, with a vision of getting in a few games in the new year and possibly adding a pirate match to our games plan out at this year's Salute.

The inside front cover of the rulebook is a map.
The rule-book starts out with history from the golden age of Piracy, enough to whet any would be boucaneer's appetite!

The only sour note in this shipment was the web exclusive commanders, who were packed in a plastic baggie, together.  Sadly the other bigger boxes and rule-book moving around in the box had bent the Spanish web exclusive commander at 90 degrees at the ankles!  I shall be doing careful works to restore him to an upright and fighting position.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Of plans for little metal men

Open time of 2017 has been eaten up by dealing with the estate of Jeff and supporting Lani, Jeff's widow.  While this has been emotionally taxing and time consuming, I feel good that Lani is still with us here and seeking solutions for her physical challenges.

I'm looking out ahead at the final quarter of 2017, maybe even spotting time slots where a game may be played!

On top of that I have the plan to attend Salute 2018 in Burnaby doing some Pulp Alley games.

Jeff and I had started on ECW forces, I did a Parliament army, now I am looking to complete my own set with a Royalist force.  Many of the miniatures are collected together now and I plan to clean and start on the painting over the coming winter.  For my library I have the final campaign book from Osprey: Naseby 1645 to act as further inspiration.

Rocketeers in painting progress standing on the cover of the new library addition

Thursday, September 21, 2017

More Inspirations

While viewing the Tin soldier history I came across some great "in action" footage from the 2015 Waterloo re-enactment.

I already have a new idea for painting that has come from watching these amazing videos.

What do you use for inspiration to get into painting or games mode?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tin Soldiers History - some inspiration

As I head into the fullness of autumn and winter the time for painting becomes more available as evenings tend to be spent more indoors and the outdoor needs are dealt with only on an as needed basis.

So often I find myself seeking some new inspirations for the painting projects, the following video of a Russian program (likely from 2012) with English dubbing makes accessible an amazing tale of both toy soldiers of Hans Christian Anderson and Russia, from pre- during and post- Soviet era.

Part 1 starts it all off, near the end a Zinnfiguren Napoleonic retreat set is shown, I have many figures from that set.

Part 2 goes into the detail of museum collections and a special family collection in Russia.

Part 3 shows the creation of these amazing works of art and answers the question of what Hans Christian Anderson's toy soldier likely looked like.

I'm busy casting now the minis I plan to work on over the coming winter, mainly ECW to complete a Royalist opposing force to my own Parliamentarian one.

While the Bavarian components of my Napoleonic forces are also likely to see some brushworks over the winter season as well.

I'm also likely to generate some new sci-fi miniatures for sales next year.

What are your plans to round out the year at the workbench or tabletop?

Monday, July 31, 2017

Brushworks in July

The past few months have been filled up with other responsibilities and time for getting the painting space into a workable condition was just not available until late June.  With the painting space re-organized and more (hopefully) time open for painting I looked over the shambles of a planning list and paint projects.

Thankfully I have the habit now of not leaving projects in 'half done' condition.  Either I push and get them finished or surrender and sell them off.

With my wife and I 'working' the Sunday markets at Discovery Pier, or Pier Street Farmers Market, I have used the space to exhibition my painting works and play a little chess.

The need to have a 'hot item' was weighing on me and so the Star Wars chess sets became the top of the list to complete.

whenever I do a set I also do some 'extra singles' for quick sale as a $300 chess set is out of most people's budget; while a $10 single mini is more likely inside that budget.

Near the beginning of the month detailed cleaning started, with a re-count of the metal bases I had and organizing the minis into their 'sets'.

After two weeks the metal was mostly ready, now I had to clear off the space to have the minis wait while the paint dried (books and other items were shoved where ever they could fit during the office re-org in June).

Then on Monday the process of painting started.

Tuesday night, the first layers were on.
With a few delays from sudden other higher priority needs coming up (two days worth!), I was going to have to start burning the candle at both ends to get the minis done for the Sunday market.

Thursday night progress (okay really Friday at 2 am, but who's counting?)
With a solid two days of work and time to let the clear coat set up I managed to flock the minis Saturday evening and have the felts put on the bases by 1 am Sunday.

All done, just need to get the boxes ready to hold them firm in the foam.
The foam cutting was done quickly and I decided to let the flocking and clear coat set up more so that the foam did not get stuck to anything that might be still a bit 'damp'.

In the morning all was packed into the waiting foam trays and off to the market we went!



The Set
I also realized that I did not yet have good photos of the other chess sets done last year, so here are some eye candy shots.

Babylon 5
Greek Gods

Greek Gods
Phew!  It was a tiring week and I slept late on this Monday so as to catch up for the many nights lost last week.

Up next on the work bench are more English Civil War troops, as I have now received the Foundry Minis of the "Wars of Religion" to work with for my Cornish Royalist forces.

Then more time goes into the Pulp games plans that Rob and I have for this coming year's Salute in Burnaby.

Have a great Autumn campaign season everyone!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bonaparte's Day June 16, 1815 (fictional) part 1 - Yvoir

Within the Hundred Days Campaign that I have been adjudicating over the past few months, the forces under direct order of Napoleon Bonaparte had taken a flank march, crossing at Dinant on the 15th.

This was mostly unknown to the Prussian command as the message of the crossing and further penetrations would take almost a day to reach the ears of Blucher.

Then a day later Bonaparte himself could command a force of the Guard Heavy Cavalry in support of an assault by VI Corps of the French Armee Norde.

Now the battlefield would be set up for that morning ...

view from the south from behind the French lines

Prussians of III Korps make ready to hold off the French

along the French line viewed from the west looking east

Loubou was commanding and knew that his commander Bonaparte would be coming from the east later that morning, so took advantage of firing into the limited numbers of Prussians that could be used to block the one good crossing.

by 08h30 the battle for the crossing was started in earnest

while only one brigade was able to hold off the French infantry, it could not hope to keep them away indefinitely with the massed artillery moving up
by 10h00 the arrival of Bonaparte occurred

now the whole field would be brought into use

leading his black horse, Bonaparte himself was identified by Thielmann and messengers were sent to Blucher

Three brigades of the Imperial Guard Heavy Cavalry made for a terrifying sight to the Prussian light horse of III Korps

the field at 10h33

wasting no time the heavies were lined up against the light Prussian horse

a splendid sight - the whole of the Guard Heavy Cavalry

with Bonaparte looking on ...

The black horse charged in!

Shattering many Prussian horse, though not quite wiping them out, some Prussian foot were able to fill the gap in time before the Heavies could press on

meanwhile at the river the guns had started to pound out their deadly beat

within minutes of his arrival, Bonaparte had shifted the Prussians into a hopeless defensive stand.

Barely even an hour after Bonaparte's arrival on the scene the battle started looking already won for the French ...

the field tilted towards French Victory early

Prussian horsemen fought on valiantly just barely able to score some small victories against the superior French Guard Heavy horse

Thielmann could see the 'hat' of the hated French Emperor, yet was not in command of enough men to effect anything more than a gory delay of the inevitable

as the sun reached its zenith, Bonaparte took a number of ADC messengers from outside the tactical field of action.  Snapping shut his telescope a final message was sent off to Loubou, informing him of the Guard Heavy Cavalry success and that the horse would remain here at Yvoir under Loubou's command.  With that Bonaparte and his petit GHQ rode eastwards away from the field of action ... presumably some other action now needed his personal attention.
Still the action at Yvoir was not done.

A lull descended over the action, and it was not till 14h00 that the next significant events took place.

the river was nearly breached

while combined attacks by Prussian Horse and Foot delivered significant casualties to the French Heavies

Prussian Cavalry Commander Hobe was not going to surrender his command without a fight!

though the river crossing was temporarily held by the French, the Prussians did not stop with counter-attacks

Loubou realized that this was going to be a battle that could take all day

Guard Heavy Cavalry continued relentless attacks

French Artillery was also non-stop in their firing

Prussian numbers dwindled to a few wounded brigades and militia were pressed into hot action with regulars
undeterred the Prussians had resolved to fight to the end

Loubou had begun to withdraw wounded brigades from the river crossing and feed in new fresh units

the body count grew for the Prussians

still the French had not forced the crossing

Thielmann was down to only a remnant of his forces ...
At long last the casualty count had forced the Prussian troops into considering a retreat.

the river line was held to the very last man

outnumbered 4:1 this final brigade takes its last gasp in vain attempt to stop the French

not enough in the end though as the Prusians failed their 'army morale' check and the rout was on
Some more Prussians were lost in the rout that followed, they were unable to cross the river to the west and were forced to flee north in the forests of the western Ardennes.

The final surviving forces:

Guard Heavies lost 1/3

VI Corps was reduced to two under-strength divisions

All of Prussian III Korps was cut to one Landwher Brigade!
One bright spot for the Prussians, now they knew where Bonaparte WAS!