Thursday, 21 May 2015

Mini-project: Great War Miniatures Highlanders

In the theme of “small is achievable”, I’ve started a mini-project this week. Again, this is really to try and get the painting fingers moving agin after a few months away from the brushes.

I’ve had a number of the splendid 28mm Great War Miniatures Highlanders in my lead mountain for a few years now. I’ve painted a few of these in the past, but only a handful. A rummage through the assorted boxes in the study revealed many more. 

I’ve selected a handful – ten in fact, to start with – for the next mini-project. Just enough to stay focused, and not enough to intimidate. The figures are terrific, with a mix of steel helmets and Tam O’Shanters, and they’ve been sculpted by Dave and Aly with a typically large pack and entrenching tool, making them perfect for 1917. I’m planning to paint them up as the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Black Watch (largely recruited from Perth and Fife), which took part in the Arras Offensive, Passchendaele and the Cambrai offensive, all from 1917.

I also wanted to try and create some casualty/ shock markers for the unit. No one makes suitable figures, although I did have a go a year or so back at converting some old glory British casualty figures. The kilts were a bit tricky, but I’m hopefully they’ll pass muster from a distance. 

 As for the figures, I’m particularly looking forward to the trews on the officer figure, and the piper.

I’ve ordered a copy of Trevor Royle’s “Flowers of the Forest” for a bit more background to Scotland’s Great War history. Oh, and I’ll be picking up a bottle of Lagavulin this weekend, just in case some spiritual inspiration is required. 

And finally, let me leave you with some photos of the amazing and wonderful country which is Scotland (courtesy of the very talented Stephen Emerson). Gratuitous, I know, but beautiful, all the same.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

“Operation Gericht”: Verdun 1916/ Partizan & Evesham 2014 – player briefings and scenario

I should have posted the player briefings and game background to the "Operation Gericht" wargames, staged at Partizan and Evesham in May and June last year, a long time ago.

I’m sorry this never happened, although in my own (poor) defence, I wanted to pull together the various forum posts and game scenario backgrounds for the players into one handy document.

I actually finished doing this in February, but I’ve only just remembered that I never posted it. And it’s about time I did!

So, on the right of the blog, you’ll find the “Operation Gericht” scenario in the box marked “Playtesting Scenarios, Campaign Diaries, Play-Aids and Painting Guides)”. This should link to my Google Drive, with free access to all. Let me know if you have any trouble accessing it.  It’s a fairly chunky document, weighing in at 18 pages, and pretty image-intensive.  Let me know if you have any trouble accessing it.  If it proves to be too large, I’ll also upload a text only version of the scenario.

 Thanks to everyone who played the games last year, and to Phil Hawkins for his splendid photos from the Evesham games.

And of course, comments always welcome on things I should have done better!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Getting back up to speed

Yes, it’s been a while, hasn’t it! What is it about twenty-first century life that means that you try and save up some time for your hobby, only to find that ….. well, things just crop up to stop you. It’s been a frustrating year for me in hobby terms, with a few false starts, a couple of blind alleys and a cliff-edge or three. I’m sure you know the sort of thing.

But, thank you all for sticking with this blog. And, as my wargaming chum Mike Whitaker once memorably recommended in his blog, I’ve stayed “on the bus”.

So here’s what I’ve been up to recently.

I’ve placed the Tirailleurs Sénégalais on the back burner for the time being. They’ll be back, possibly this autumn. A brief hiatus, but nothing more. Coming back to a “large” (also known as “over-bloated”) project can be daunting and intimidating. One of the things I found coming back to the hobby was that a large half-finished project doesn't encourage you to get started again. The very size of what’s remaining is a disincentive. It’s like being constantly reminded of your failure to complete something.

So, I’ve opted for something much smaller. I’ve managed to paint and finish a small group of German trench sentries and some tempting targets for British trench raiders to try and capture. Nothing remarkable, but the Brigade Games and 1st Corps sculpts were fun to paint and, above all, they were something achievable.

I found having just a handful of figures to paint was reassuring. I could feel I was “getting somewhere”, even speeding up a couple of times to get the first figure done.

I’ve vague plans for the next set of figures to paint. And, probably on the same basis, a handful of Great War Miniatures highlanders look manageable.

As well as painting, we’ve been play-testing TooFatLardies’ new supplement for “Chain of Command”, entitled “Fighting Season” at the St. Albans wargames club. This supplement recreates fighting in modern-day Afghanistan. It’s early days, but Richard Clarke has posted some very thoughtful material on his blog, “Lard Island News”, addressing some of the ethical issues with wargaming this conflict. He’s been joined by some excellent blogging by both Benito and Mike on their own blogs, Gaming with TooFatLardies and Mad Padre Wargames.

Here are some photos of the play-test games.

The next edition of Wargames Bloggers Quarterly is also out – available here. WBQ4 like its previous three issues is a great combination of fine writing and wonderful photographs. Huge congratulations to everyone who worked on it. WBQ4 is an excellent addition to the stable of hobby magazines, all the more so as a free and entirely volunteer driven publication.

And, finally, I did make the trip to Salute this year. I also took the time to hook up with other Bloggers at the meet-up. I’ve been remiss in posting photos of the day, but I hope the photos below make up for that (including Michael's spectacular "Stockholm 1392" game). It was great seeing you all there!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...