Sunday, November 24, 2013

French Napoleonic Project

A couple of years ago I started on a French Napoleonic project.  I manage only a single battalion completed at that time.  This project got a little side tracked in favor of the ACW project for Black Powder.  Now that we have a few BP games in it is time to get the Napoleonic project back on track.

My usual game group have settled on the 1813 campaign as our focus.  I am working on French for the time being.  Once these are painted up I am planning on adding some Warlord and Perry plastics to the collection.

If everything goes as planned I hope to get a big game together for late next summer,  Stay tuned for painting progress.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Falling Off The (Battle)Wagon

I know it was just a couple of weeks ago I was talking about how great my gaming life has been without working on or purchasing any Games Workshop stuff.  All of that is still true...really it is.  I just needed to work on something a little different after cranking out my Flames of War French.

I actually acquired this Battlewagon about three years ago as part of a big collection I purchased from a local gamer.  The base color was already applied.  In fact, the picture about and the next few are how the model looked when I got it. 

Since I was planning to do Death Skulls and not Bad Moons I did not want or need a yellow Battlewagon.  But my friend, Tim was planning an Ork army and he wanted to do Bad Moons so I gave it to him along with some other items.

Tim promptly did nothing with it and it sat in his collection until a few months ago. He decided to get out of 40K completely and the Ork project had to go.  He gave this model back to me as it was the only thing I really wanted from the collection.

I was so excited to get this model back I set it on the workbench in the garage and did nothing with it.  You know, cause I am over all the GW stuff.  After months of collecting dust and calling my name every time I walked through the garage I had to finish it.

The base yellow color was really well done and I did not want to start over.  So I kept the yellow and just filled in the missing details.

Of course, the yellow was way too clean so I was going to need to orkie it up a bit so that it will match the grime of the rest of the army.

 I figure it was looted from another clan and the boss decided to keep the yellow as a kind of trophy.  An in your face kind of statement.  I did use blue as the accent color to help tie it in with the army as a whole.

In the end I am very happy with the results.  Sitting next to my other Battlewagon they look as if they belong together.  It was a fun little change of pace and just enough to get it out of my system for a while.  I am not sure when, or if, it will see the table.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Perry Plastic British 8th Army

The front of the box...

When I heard that the Perrys would be getting into 28mm World War 2 I was very excited.  I love the Perry's work and I love WW2 - a match made in heaven.  When I heard that they were starting with North Africa I was even more excited.  North Africa is one area where my collection 28mm is lacking so again another perfect fit.  I also need British 8th Army figures for my plans to do Crete battles in 28mm.

...and the back.

I picked up this set on vacation in California over the summer.  After spending a month working on my Flames of War French army I needed a change and I could not wait to dig into this set.

The instructions are very basic but serviceable.

Now, if you don't like to build models or if you did not like come of the other Perry plastic sets you will not like these.  This set is more on the model side than on the game piece side.  It is much more detailed than their ACW sets.

The back of the instruction sheet is an organization chart for a British platoon.

This is the command sprue with the officer and the radio operator.

This is the main sprue.  There are parts for 12 figures and you get three of these.
The set includes enough parts to build a proper platoon including officer, radio operator, Boys ATR team and a light mortar.  The set is targeted for the 1943 period with Thompson sub-machine guns for each squad and the officer.  There are enough rifles to build the earlier squads before the SMG became common.

These are the bases that are included in the set.
 The set includes bases for all the figures, including some 40mmx40mm bases for the gun teams.  The round bases are only 20mm and I think they are a little small.  Due to the light weight of the assembled figures i would not recommend the 20mm bases.  They are just too light. I recommend using a metal washer or base to add some bulk to the figures.

A selection of completed figures.

The completed figures are truly stunning.  I really love them.  The animation and sculpt quality are perfect. The plastic is great t work with and allows for easy conversion and modification.  In the end, what we have here is an excellent set of figures that will look great on the table and are very flexible.  Getting 38 figures for less than $30 makes this hard to beat.

From left to right - Crusader, Foundry, Battle Honors, Perry, Black Tree, Artizan
But...there are some issues.  First, I would have loved to see the heads separate from the bodies.  This would add the flexibility of the set without being any more fiddly.  Second, the arms use three different attachment methods.  Some arm sets are both arms on the gun.  Others are one arm on the gun with the other arm as an open hand.  And, yet, some others are an arm attached to the gun with the other hand molded to the gun (and then a separate handless arm).  I would have liked to see one way of doing the arms as this would make conversions easier.

Finally we have the biggest issue for me.  These figures are VERY small compared to other 28mm figures on the market.  Generally speaking, I am not overly concerned about mixing different brands of figures but these are so different they just cannot be on the same table, much less the same unit, as other figures.  It is not an issue of height, it is the bulk.  These figures are basically 1/56th scale models rather the 28mm game pieces.  It really breaks my heart because these are beautiful figures and I really wish I could use them.  I have built 8 of these and put the rest back in the box.  I doubt i will ever finish them or even paint the ones I have built.

If you are looking to play games set in North Africa I would recommend these as long as you are also using Perry Germans or Italians.  In that case they are great!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

French All-Terrain 75mm mle 1897

With the completion of this battery of 75mm mle 1897 guns my Escadron de Combat is now complete.  For most point sizes I will only be using two of these guns in a mainly direct fire anti-tank role.  For larger games I can take the full battery and have lots more options.  For a 1940 French army this is a must have unit.

I have an early war tournament in a couple of weeks and a few practice games before then so these guys will be seeing plenty of table time in the days to come.