Monday, January 26, 2015

Reb Caisson

 This is the last bit of my ACW Confederate artillery for the time being.  This caisson does not actually have any real function in Black Powder but it looks really cool sitting on the table near the guns.




This is the Old Glory caisson model with an extra Sash and Saber artillery crewman.  Nothing fancy just a cool piece for the table.  Now I need to get back to building models and deciding what to paint next.

Friday, January 23, 2015

More Reb Artillery

This is the second Confederate gun I completed this week.  Like the first this one is also from Sash and Saber.





Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reb Artillery

This is the first of my Confederate artillery for my Black Powder army.  These are Sash and Saber and I have had these in the paint queue for a long time.  I originally bought these as part of a huge order I made several years ago when they had a 40% off sale.




I really like the Sash and Saber figures.  The sculpting style is a little goofy but he does a great job on the accuracy of the uniforms and equipment.  It feels good to get this project back on track.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Perry French Hussars

For the last couple of weeks I have been building an prepping lots of models.  One set that I have been wanting to build for a long time is the Perry French Hussar set.  I have known for a long time that these are really great models but it wasn't until I built some that I truly appreciated just how great these are.  I have built and painted lots of Perry plastic miniatures as well as from some other manufacturers.  Plastic has lots of advantages and a few disadvantages.  One of the big disadvantages of plastic is the inability to do undercuts and the loss of detail towards the sides of pieces.  These minor disadvantages can be overcome by good model design.  In the case of these Hussar models the design is just about perfect.  Outside of an actual model kit built by one of the large model company, I don't think I have seen a better design or execution of a plastic kit.




The kit has some really nice features that allow you to build a huge variety of uniform styles.  There are four different styles of head gear with enough heads to do the entire box in a single style.  You also get two sets of legs, one in dress style and the other with the coveralls for campaign dress.  I am not a Napoleonic uniform specialist, but to my relatively untrained eye you should be able to do just about any unit from 1798 to 1815.  There might even be uses other than French for these as well.

You also get an amazing set of painting guides that cover more than a dozen different Hussars units and shows uniform differences in different campaigns or periods.  This set is so well done that I feel like, as a complete Napoleonic novice, that I can built great units and have a very close uniform accuracy.

This first set has been built as the 4th Hussars sometime around 1812.  This is one of two units with banners included in the box.  Unfortunately, since I am not really focusing on Napoleonics this year I am not sure when I will paint these figures but they are so nice I just had to share. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Popping the Cork on 2015

Happy New Year!  Time, once again, to contemplate what the future holds for my gaming hobby.  This is always a fun, if mostly futile, exercise of prognostication.  Without any more big words here is what I am thinking at this very moment.

Black Powder

As I mentioned in my year end summary, this game was sadly neglected in 2014.  It is much too good of a game to be allowed to wither and die so 2015 will see more effort put into painting and playing.  My focus will return to ACW for both hobby projects as well as games.  Last year I have grand designs for the Napoleonic era but this proved to be much too aggressive.  I have made such a large investment in my French that I cannot envision abandoning the plan but I will not kid myself about what I can or will get done this year.

I need to increase the size of my Union collection slightly this year.  I have some Perry ACW cavalry figures that I will paint up as well as some Old Glory dismounted cavalry.  In addition I need to put a big effort into getting my Confederate forces up to about two brigades.  I have one small brigade now but it is too small to even use.  If I can accomplish this as well as get in 3-4 games I will consider that a success.

Bolt Action

For 2015 I do not have any major plans for this game.  I would like to acquire some more support options for my British 8th Army.  If the bug hits I might also start collecting a Perry Italian army for the desert.  If Tim gets his DAK collection painted we might even play the game.

I have been thinking about the Tank War supplement for BA.  I don't have it yet but I am really interested in trying tanks battles with these rules and my 15mm tank collection.  I don't see myself making a but push to increase my 28mm tank collection.

SAGA

I have been having a lot of fun with this game recently and I really hope I can keep playing this in 2015.  I would like to expand my collection to include all the supplement books.  I do plan to purchase some more plastic figures that can be used for this game but I have no specific plans for new armies.  I have Viking, Saxons and Normans I can use already.

Hail Caesar

This one shows up on the list year after year but somehow nothing much comes of it.  With renewed interest in SAGA I feel inspired to paint more figures to flesh out my old WAB armies for use with these rules.   If I can get enough stuff of my own, or with the help of some friends, to get a 28mm dark age battle on the table this year I will call that a win.

Flames of War

This has become the old standby game and I expect that to continue in 2015.  I have some big plans this year that mostly center around getting my WWI Germans painted and on the table.  I need to acquire a few more terrain items but not much as all the battles are on 4'x4' tables.

I really want to make progress on Fate of a Nation this year.  I want to build and paint an Israeli Super Sherman army and then do an Egyptian T-55 force.  I love the models and the era is very interesting.  This is the classic tank battle conflict and the games should be fun.  Besides, I already have lots of desert terrain so not much more is needed for this conflict.

I still have lots of WWII items to work on this year.  I have plenty of early war French stuff in the paint queue.  I also have lots of American items collected that need to be painted.  I still have not finished paint my Fallschirmjagers, if you can believe that.  I started on a mid-war Eastern front Panzer force last year that needs to be completed.  This going to be my first winter themed army.  These projects don't really need any purchases except the Panzer project that will probably get some PSC PzIII models.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a large German grenadier force made up of BF plastic figures from the open fire box.  I have added a few extra items for this army but still need to get some support platoons.  This force will be for mid-war Eastern front or late war for either front.  It should be a very versatile army and I really want to get this done this year.  I think 2015 will be a good year for Flames of War.

Fantasy

When I stopped playing Lord of the Rings a few years ago I did not think that would be then end of fantasy gaming for me.  Even when I, foolishly, sold of my WHFB Beastmen army I did not think I was getting out of the genre.  But so far it seems as if fantasy gaming is gone.  The last couple of years I have toyed with the idea of getting into Kings of War but nothing has happened with those ideas.  For 2015 I an leaving this open so lets see what, if anything, happens.

Star Wars

Obviously, X-Wing will be played this year and I plan on adding more of the new ships to the collection but there are other Star Wars themed games out there.  The release of Star Wars - Imperial Assault has really sparked my interest.  I am excited to see where Fantasy Flight takes the game as you know there will be lots of supplements and add-ons for the game.  I am really excited about the release of Star Wars Armada in the next few weeks as well.  This year could see a lot of time and money going to Star Wars games.

Pike & Shotte

After reading these rules a couple of weeks ago I am pretty excited about the game and it has renewed my interest in English Civil War as a gaming era.  I like that you can get a functional ECW army for this game, all in 28mm plastic, for just over $100.  This really makes it one of the cheaper of the Warlord big battle games to get into.  I don't think this will be a priority this year but don't be surprised if it pops on the blog in a few months.

Painting

Last year was, quite simply, a pathetic year for painting.  It just did not feel motivated for very large portions of the year to do much of anything.  Most of the items I painted felt like a chore.  I started to come out of that painting funk in the last couple weeks as I painted items for SAGA.  Right now I am feeling much more motivated and excited about this aspect of the hobby than I have for a long time.  I really hope this feeling stays with me this year as I would really like to get lots done on several projects.

Blogging

The blog as also fallen into the realm of the sad and pathetic.  This is not surprising considering the aforementioned lack of painting motivation.  It is, after-all, a painting blog and if no painting is going on there is not much to talk about. This year I would like to do more posts on battle reports and my thoughts on various products and releases.  If the painting post are sparse at least I will have something else to talk about.

There you have it.  Just a few thoughts I have at the cusp of this new year.  I am feeling refreshed and excited, but this is probably due to the fact that I have been on vacation for a couple of weeks.  Even so I think it will be a good year and I am optimistic.  Thanks

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Year in Review

It is that time of year again.  Time to take a look back and see how my hobby time turned out compared with how I thought it would turn out.  This is a popular exercise with us miniature bloggers.  I guess we just like to see how pointless it is to try and predict what we will be doing 6 to 12 months in the future.

Back in January I posted my thoughts, and for a lack of a better word, goals for 2014.  If you like take a look at the original post.  Once you have perused that lovely piece of work take a look at how things actually turned out.

Flames of War

The winner and still champion, of my personal gaming time, is Flames of War.  This was by far the most played game for I don't know how many years in a row.  The year started strong with the Shifting Sands Kursk event.  I took a 1500 point Panther company and won best German, which was amazing as I was 9th or tenth overall.  The best general was also a German player so I was actually second best German.  Anyway it was a great honor to play in the event and I am shocked I did that well.

In the summer Tim and I started working on late war forces for Market Garden.  I painted some Stug III, King Tigers, Tiger I and some more Fallschirmjagers.  We played a lot of games for the period and recruited others to join in.  In September I tried to run the Market Garden Firestorm campaign.  We had 6 players and got one great game day in.  It was tons of fun but personal issue prevented me from keeping the campaign going.

I had some big plans, or ideas at least, for starting Arab-Israeli War forces.  I had planned to start collecting tanks and figures.  I did lots of research and actually had a plan but I never got around to buying anything.  It is probably just as well as there is now a new book out.  This looks like a 2015 project.

The release of the Great War was almost exactly what I wanted for World War I gaming (actually, I really wanted them to start with early war but as I was told by many, there are no tanks so Battlefront will never do it).  I jumped in with the German company box.  I assembled it all and purchased the new trench system.  No paint yet but this project will happen soon.

I acquired many new models for other WW2 projects.  I have lots of tanks for a mid-war Panzer company for an eastern front winter army.  I have an almost complete late war German grenadier company ready for paint.  I have several BF Panthers to add to the late war collection as well.

With 30 games in and 2-3 new armies added to the collection, as well as a new period and lots of new figures, I rate this year a good year for Flames of War.  I have taken a few months off from this game but I will be getting back to it very soon.

28mm World War 2

I did play in the Gathering in the Desert event in February, as well as a store event the following week.  Once those were done Bolt Action and 28mm WW2 in general really fell off the table for me.  I did manage to paint a new British 8th Army force using Perry plastic figures.  I did not have very high expectation for this game/scale this year so I feel proud of what I was able to get done.

Black Powder

We did get in one big ACW game this year but I really wanted to do much more than that this year.  I was hoping for 3-4 games and maybe the first Napoleonic games of BP.  It was not to be.  I have not painted anything new for this game this year but I have added some items to the paint queue.  My French Napoleonic project did see some progress with collecting figures.  I now have a few hundred that need to be painted and I have started work on this.  I am a long way from having this on the table.  One of our gamers has dropped out of the 28mm Napoleonic project so we will need to rethink where this is going.  All things considered this was not a good year for this game.

Hail Caesar

Her is a game I had some hope for this year.  No really big hops but something much better than it turned out to be.   I wanted to get my Dark Age armies converted to HC and maybe get them on the table.  This did not happen but I did manage to create some leaders for my Normans.

I did not manage to get in any games either.  I was invited to a few but it never worked out.  I also wanted to start collecting Greeks but did nothing.  This was a big fail for me this year.

SAGA

This was shaping up to be another fail for the year - up until a couple of weeks ago that this.  We finally got this game back on the table and I have gotten in about 8 games this month.  I also managed to paint some new figure for my Dark Age collection.  The first DA figures I have painted in many years.  We now have 5-6 people interested in playing and I am getting my figures out and dusting them off.  I rate this one a success for the year!

Kings of War

Total bust...

X-Wing

I got in a few games this year but I was really hoping for more.  It is a great game that deserves more table time.  I have a nice collection of ships and would love to justify getting more.  I will probably get in a couple more games before the end of year.  I must rate this as a disappointment.

Pike & Shotte

This game was not on the radar at the beginning of the year as I did not have the rules and was unlikely to buy them.  That all changed when my friend Dave gave me a copy for my birthday.  I just finished reading them and they look great.  I think the game may actually play better than either Black Powder or Hail Caesar.  Years ago I had an ECW army but local interest died off and I sold it.  This game is very likely to get me back into the period and I have been making plans.

Other Game Goals

I envisioned liquidating large amounts of unused game stuff and over the last couple of years I have done that.  I sold off enough stuff this year to add another guitar to my collection.  I think I now have eliminated enough of the dead lead.  I rate this as a success for the year.

Other Personal Goals

I really wanted to be a better friend and more social this year.  I did manage to reconnect with several friends as well as find ways to connect outside of gaming.  I meet many new people this year and add a few that I call friends.  I was able to do this even while going through a pretty dark time at the end of the summer.  I feel really good about this and I hope that it is something I can keep going.  It was a great year and thanks to all my friends!

Another goal this year was to work on the gamer physique.  Well, I started off the year good but lack of perseverance undermined my efforts.  If anything I am more gamer-like than ever.  This was a big fail...oh well.

That is my year in gaming!  Thanks for reading and stay safe over New Years!  See you next year.


Total figures painted

FoW - 49 (23 tanks, 5 halftracks)
28mm Dark Age - 16
28mm WW2 - 38
40K - 15

Total - 118

Game Record

FoW 18-12-0
Bolt Action 1-8-2
Black Powder 0-1-0
X-Wing 2-2-0
LoTOW - 1-0-0
SAGA 7-3-0

Wargames Factory Dark Age Archers

My SAGA Vikings also needed some levies so I broke out the Wargames Factory Viking Bondi and Saxon Fyrd boxes and made some archers.  These two boxes contain the same body and army sprues.  The only difference is the head and weapon sprues.  I build these using a mix of the Saxon and Viking heads.  In this period there would be lots of overlap in styles.  In the end I now have 12 nice generic Dark Age archers.






The Wargames Factory figures are a good value at about $22 for 32 figures.  It is a little disappointing that you only get enough open left hands in the box to make 8 archers.  I did try and convert one of the left shield arms for use with the bow but it did not work out too well and was a bit of a pain.  Fortunately, I had a couple of boxes and was able to build the 12 I needed.  I have a lot more of these figures to build and paint and they will be seeing time in my Saxon armies for Hail Caesar.