Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Workbench... Cowboy Edition!

Hey all!

Well, I took a few minutes to do a little painting tonight, and thought I would post these five cowboys!  Three have been dipped; two are just waiting for their dip.  In a few days I'll varnish them and voila! 

Overall, I am super happy with them, especially since they did NOT come in packs where it was a mounted guy and a dismounted guy; my buddy just did a nice job pairing them up, and I think the paintjobs reinforce it.

Anyway... thanks for coming by!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Workbench

Hey all,

Well, before I hit the sack for the night, thought I would post two somewhat blurry photos of the latest projects...

First up... cowboys!  Yeah, my buddy decided to go "all in," and bought several hundred 15mm cowboy figures (and civilians, and animals, and indians, and soldiers, and...) and an entire town worth of buildings and giant mountains and hundreds and hundreds of trees and a railroad and teepees and buffalo and mining cabins and hitching posts and bar furniture and... yeah, all in:)  Anyway, he gave me five cowboys to paint (mounted and dismounted) so I got started!  A LOT more to go, but no time tonight:)


I also got started, last night, on another unit of Vikings.  Again, very WIP, and they never look good early on, but I am sure they will look fine eventually.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A shot of the table

I added the orchard, and moved a fence or two... I've got a few more days I can move stuff around, so I'll keep giving it a look to see what can be done.

Thanks all for the advice so far!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Added an orchard

Hey all,

On a piece of advice, I added an orchard... while it is ideally a 10mm piece, I think it will work just fine!

Thanks, Fredjg!

I think I am done! Flocked and Finished 15mm ACW Table


Howdy all!

Well, I think the 15mm ACW table is just about ready to go.  I have a project coming up, which I cannot really write about, but it should make for a great show!

Anyway, if anyone has any ideas about changes or additions or suggestions at all, let me know!

Oh, and by the way... while, as mentioned, when real men talk of tables they are most often speaking about proper WARGAMING tables, I happened to have a photo of my ACTUAL dining room table saved in the folders with my wargames photo, with a painting we just picked up in Italy, and thought I'd share that too!  Got the table at an antique store, something like $75, and amazingly it has a FORMICA top... but it looks wood!  My father, who is both a wood worker and an antiques expert, has not noticed in the three years we've had family dinners there:)

Anyway, good stuff!




More done on the 15mm ACW table


Hey all!

Well, got some more work done on the ACW table... flattened it out a bit by taking out a plateau, and that really helped solidify the fenceline.

I think, basically, I like where it is now.  Keep in mind I haven't flocked anything in yet, so the hill sticks out and the roads don't exist and there are areas that are plain felt, but overall...

A number of years ago a very good buddy and I came up with the idea of the "maturation process."  We discussed how, when a table is first set up, it doesn't look its best.  It takes a lot of looking at the table and moving things around, changing things, to get it looking its best.  I have found that it takes me more time than it takes him, as he has a much better "feel" for how human beings lay out their dwellings and fields... he is a serious reenactor, and he sees a lot more fields than I do!

So... I'll take a day or two moving things around, and then I'll flock the table!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A new 15mm ACW table going up!

Hey all!

Well, stored way the 10mm Napoleonics (there are a TON of them, it is RIDICULOUS... finding boxes full of troops stashed away all over the place...) and am now going with a 15mm ACW setup!

I am very early in the process; want to sort of work off of the old Napoleonic setup a bit, but honestly that was a very hilly setup, which works fine with lots of hedges that conform to hills.  However, the ACW look is very dependent on fencing, and it just doesn't work that well going up and down inclines.  I already removed the wide plateau that the church is on since taking the photo, but I may get rid of the ridge to the far end as well.

Anyway... a lot of work to go, but thought folks would enjoy an update!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Food

Hey all!

Well, the wife was gone for the night, soooo... steak time.

Went to Fairway and picked up a two pounder... delicious, perfectly marbled... the kind of fat on the outside that burns up nice and just tastes delicious.  Just marinated in a touch of olive oil, some rosemary, some garlic, a bit of fresh pepper.  Then onto the grill, and salted after it was cooked.

Alongside it I made a HUGE salad (understand that the bowl I eat salad out of is the largest mixing bowl I own... I like a bigger bowl where I can mix it without losing anything) of fresh lettuce, cucumber, and red onion from the farmers market, some minced basil from my garden to give it that fresh taste, some croutons, and a minced up hard boiled egg.  I also got a nice fresh loaf of ciabatta, and toasted it on the grill, and then rubbed it down with some garlic and put some nice olive oil on top.

Overall, a real win of a meal!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

British, somewhat saved and somewhat finished


Well, I managed to get them a bit fixed.  The back of two guys is a bit of a mess, but overall I think the damage is minimal... I was able to scrape off the areas that were fogged, and then simply repaint them.  A little rough at some points, but...

Anyway, here is a shot of the British infantry first.  The next batch I think will include their officer, a standard, and another regular infantryman... maybe someone from the light company.

The rifles are in the photos too, since... well, they are Brits:)

And varnish ruins more of my miniatures.

Fucking wonderful.

Varnished the Brits after letting them sit for 24 hours after being dipped, and voila, two of them mist up, including the drummer, who I was very proud of.

I'll see if I can recover them at all later.  Right now I am so angry I might destroy them, so I figure I better take a walk.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Workbench


Howdy folks!

Well, I have started work up, and have been completely exhausted... so it has been a short while since I got to post anything (other than food, which frankly is actually fine with me) but I did want to get something done this weekend!

The urge to paint hit, and I wondered which of my projects I should work on.

Would it be to put together the second of my three units of Wargames Factory Vikings?

Would it be to get started on a unit of 25mm Austrian Cuirassiers, that have sat ready to go with their bases and all that in a box for a year?

Would it be a half-done unit of 25mm Russian infantry, which has been just missing half its whites and the guns?

Nope!  Turned out I wanted to make some more 25mm Perry British!  The last guys I did were my Greenjackets, and I figured I really needed to get some more regulars out there... so here you go.  Four guys, one in grey trousers, and including a drummer.  On the far left is one trooper who I already finished in the last batch.  Right after taking the photo I dipped them, and now I just need to wait for them to dry!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More food!

This time delicious strip steak, some fresh bread from the farmers market, and some delicious fresh eggs with some onions and four types of cheese.  Good stuff!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Food

Howdy folks,

Thought I would post a single photo from dinner a few nights ago... this is the leftovers after a few of us tore it up.  And yes... that is a LOT of leftovers:)  Mainly ribs, but also some flank steak with chimichuri sauce.  Yum.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Finished up my 10mm Napoleonic game!

Hey all!

Well, the game is basically done!

The shot at the top is where we had left off...

The French continued to press their main attack home over the river at the chateau and surrounding fields, using a pair of battalions in square to protect their flank from marauding British cavalry.  Meanwhile, on the near flank, the French send in a brigade of Guard to help, using their own cavalry to try to keep the British Guard regiment (to the far left of the photo) pinned in place and unable to help.

So!  The French columns waded across the river, firing away with muskets, but the British infantry behind the tall orchard walls proved to be very difficult to push back.  While the black-coated Brunswickers began to suffer, with the Old Guard hitting them at the same time as some French line battalions crossed the stream and forced them back, it wasn't enough.


However, the British Guards, after forming square to hold back the French cavalry, began to slowly move up, and ended up close enough to fire into the attacking French Guard!  The French managed to get a battery of cannon up close to the British squares and pound them, but it was too late... the French Old Guard began to waver.  Desperate, the French threw their cavalry into a charge, but an amazingly accurate few volleys of musket fire from the British decimated the French cavalry and threw them back in ruin.


Eventually it was simply too much.  One of the two French squares guarding the flank finally broke under relentless fire from the nearby English infantry, leaving that flank even more fragile, despite the fact that the English have only a single ravaged cavalry unit left.  The French are down to only a handful of infantry battalions, faced by almost double that number of relatively fresh British infantry.

 

Finally, the Marshal waves off the attack.  Another day... another day!


Overall, I was once again really thrilled with how things turned out.  The rules just make the game FEEL very Napoleonic... when cavalry is around infantry has to slow down, but then artillery can simply pound them.  Infantry in square is largely immune to cavalry.  Columns can take punishment, lines can deal it out... I don't know, overall it really seemed to have gone well!:)

Up next?


Uhmm... I actually have no idea.  Suggestions?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My own Richard Sharpe and Rifles

Hey all!

Well, despite some problems with base warp-age, and unfortunately a little bit of flat varnish misting (which I can fix) my latest project is done!

Inspired by Gunners custom made Richard Sharpe and Company, I decided to do what little I could with what little I had to give myself an interesting set of riflemen!

Hence the group you see here!

Two of the guys are simply standard Perry plastic rifles.

One, the chap with the yellow hair, is a non-rifle head swap, with the rifle shako carefully carved off the discarded head, hollowed out, and then put into the empty hand.

The Scottish-looking fellow is another head swap with a Wargames Factory set of Zulu British (same set I stole this fellows head from!) with a forage cap made of green stuff.  I feel like the 45 degree turn of the body and the subsequent turn of the head really helped this body look different than the other... which, for reference, is the blond guy without the shako.

Lastly is the commander, who is a Perry infantry officer with braiding and hat details done in green stuff to "rifle him up."  I also clipped away a bit infantry-specific bits, and added the pom-pom from another figure.  And yes, those DO appear to be French chasseur overalls, although this chap does not carry a rifle and doesn't have black hair, so I have no idea who he is supposed to be;)

Overall, I like how they turned out.  There was some base warping after I left them too close to a light, and a little problem with the varnish, both with a touch of misting and a touch of cracking because I didn't let the dip harden enough apparently:(  Almost a catastrophic error; as it is, I suppose I'll have to consider rebasing at least two of these chaps.

Thanks for looking!


Units all wargamers have?

Hey all!

Was just putting the final touches on my first five man squad of 25mm Napoleonic greenjackets, and it brought to mind something I've often thought over the years.

Generally speaking, there are some really traditional units that wargamers have.  Almost every ACW gamer has painted up the Irish Brigade, for example, whereas most Napoleonic gamers have painted up either some Rifles or some Old Guard, and WWII gamers tend to have a Tiger or an 88 in the collection.

Now, the thing is, I don't know what the "unit everyone has" are for a lot of the periods and forces that I don't collect!

So... what are some of the units that YOU guys think are real "everyone's got'em!" units in the different collections?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My proposal for the Sharpe movies

Hey all!

Well, like many Napoleonic fans, I enjoy the Sharpe's books quite a bit.

I was talking with a buddy of mine who also enjoys them about how great it would be if the books would be made into a movie with a SERIOUS budget.

I thought they would be good as a trilogy.  They would not strictly follow the books, but instead be sort of hodge-podged, much like "Master and Commander" was.  Note that the "movie" titles are not related to the titles of the books; I just chose ones that sounded like they worked.

So...


Movie 1: Sharpe's Rifles

Movie 1 would be a combo of Sharpe's Rifles (the first half) and Sharpe's Eagle, with flashbacks to Sharpe's Triumph.

 It would pick up at Sharpe's Rifles, with Dick joining the guys on the winter retreat.  The first half of the story/45 minutes would basically follow his becoming the "leader" of the Rifles.  It would introduce all of the rifles themselves, and establish Harper and Sharpe as buddies, although they would start as enemies, as in "Rifles."  A few flashbacks would explain some of the basics of India, mostly episodes from Sharpe's Triumph, and Sharpe's connection to Wellington, including the scene where he saves Wellesley.  Upon further thought, I think it would also introduce Hakeswill as a nemesis for Sharpe, flashbacks only, but without the whole desertion bit.... just an evil dude who got Sharpe flogged (as seen in flashbacks.)

The first half WOULD need some sort of fight/climax, but I am not sure what it would be... I think it may not come from any of the books.  I wouldn't want to do the banner, as happened in the book; too esoteric for this sort of thing... I just need to show the Rifles fighting, and winning, and Dick taking his role as the boss.

The second half of the movie would be largely taken from Sharpe's Eagle; the Rifles would be assigned to the South Essex, and we'd have the Simmerson bits.  After some thought, I think I may stick Hakeswill in as Simmerson's "right hand man," bringing back some tension from the first half flashbacks.  I would go with the whole loss of the colors at the bridge, but would need to cut the overall story down a bit.  The movie would end with a nice big set piece, Talavera, where the climax of the movie would be Sharpe and Harper retrieving the Eagle.  Not sure how to get rid of Hakeswill, but I think I would need to...



Movie 2: Sharpe's Honour

Movie 2 is a serious mish-mash which would take more thought than I am putting in at the moment.  There would be two essential elements, in my opinion.

First, I would introduce both Teresa and Jane.

Second, I would want to have Ducos as the major villain, with the Slaughterman as his "muscle" and as the villain who can actually engage Sharpe in combat.  The movie would involve the partisans as well as the French... I think that the story would be the most "original" of the three films, in that it would have to be largely written from scratch...

I think it could open with a big-ass action sequence of Badajoz, really giving us an exciting beginning, as well as a taste of the horror, and again seeing Sharpe as a real badass.  I think I would introduce Teresa here, but without the whole Hakeswill story; instead, just intro her in the town as a partisan and potential mate.

I think I would largely then go on to a rough story of Sharpe being disgraced and having to clear his name while also fighting off both the partisans under the Slaughterman and the French, with Ducos setting up all sorts of trouble.  I think Teresa would have to die around the late middle of the film. Ducos would die as well (maybe he would be present at the fight between the Slaughterman and Sharpe at the end of Vitoria?) but I would introduce Jane as well, probably taking the place of the captured Helena, and have the film end with Jane and Dick getting married in a somewhat sad sort of way.  I wonder, though, if it would be good to have both women in the story at once... while Sharpe wouldn't marry Teresa, it would set up a nice dichotomy... which woman should he choose?  Obviously Teresa's death would help with that choice.

I don't know which battle I would end with... I would like a nice big battle, but I don't know if Vitoria is the way to go?  It would set Sharpe up as rich, and would introduce the idea that he has money... money which Jane will steal at the start of the third movie.  Plus, it would have a good "duel" scene at the end between him and the Slaughterman.

Movie 3:  Sharpe's Waterloo

Would be largely Sharpe's Waterloo, but it would start slightly differently, with elements of Sharpe's Revenge.

The start would have to intro the idea of Jane running off with Lord John while Sharpe is off at war.  I would introduce (somehow) Dick getting all shot up on some sort of super-secret mission (maybe even before the opening credits, like a Bond scene) and staying at Lucille's chateau.  I would have to cut out the majority of that story, and instead maybe just have Dick at the chateau recovering for some minor thing that would be resolved early on.  I would try to tackle this in the first 20-30 minutes.  Then there would be a jump in time, as Napoleon would be defeated (this would probably be just told on a black screen with writing) but then we would jump to "Waterloo" which would be the bulk of the movie.


So those are my first few thoughts... the second movie needs the most work, of course, as well as figuring out how to really get the first 20 minutes of the third movie tight and ending in a satisfying way (likely with a good sized fight.)  I wonder if Teresa should be introduced as already being Sharpe's wife at the VERY start of the 2nd movie, and killing her midway through, and then bringing in Jane for the whole second half of the movie?

There would be some losses.  Sweet William would likely not make it in, unless I introduced him as a good guy in the second movie, and then maybe even had him at the start of the third and just did a quick nod to the love triangle there, phasing William out of the 3rd movie when "Waterloo" begins.  Hogan could be, but as a secondary character across the movies, and likely allowed to survive the whole time:)

So!  Just some random thoughts on my own film Sharpe Trilogy!

Oh!  And as much as I love Sean Bean, he would NOT be Sharpe.  Sorry, doesn't fit the description at all.  I think more a Daniel-Day-Lewis-in-Last-of-the-Mohicans is what you would need.  And I always thought a young Brendan Gleeson-type would be an excellent Harper!

Friday, September 3, 2010

My 10mm Napoleonic game Part 2


Well, I played a few more turns of my game, so here it is!  And remember, you can always click on the photos again to enlarge them...


Above is how it left off... The French are heading towards the center of the field, ready to turn and attack the chateau.  On the French left their cavalry has pushed off the British cavalry and can now cover the advance of a brigade of French Old Guard.  On the French right a British cavalry brigade lurks just out of range, having already overrun a French artillery battery and now hoping for a shot at the flank of a French attack... And now, on we go!


The French turn and begin to attack through the stream.  Originally the idea was to continue further to their own right, but two things interfered.  First, the British deployed skirmishers and began to pick at the morale of the French, who were too busy manoveuring to take the time the effectively counter them.  Second, an entire Britsh cavalry brigade was waiting off their flank.  So, the French commander decided to quickly get his columns off the road and across the fields!

This way they could use the two battalions on the right hand side of the shot to form square, with the woods just out of the shot helping to protect the flank.  If they pushed further out, it would take twice as many units to secure the flank... this way, they may have to attack through tough cover, but they could do so with a GREAT many troops.  Of course, now the French attack would have to go right over the stream and into the dense brush and up against the orchard walls on the other side...


The two French battalions on the far flank (including a converged battalion of grenadiers) form square, using the woods to hold the rest of the flank.  If they can effectively pin three entire units of British cavalry or keep them out of the fight, the French attack can roll in behind them and the British will be in trouble!


The British cavalry crashes in, knowing that the chance of breaking the French squares is low, but also knowing that if they just sit there they will simply be wasted.  So in they go, fingers crossed, trumpets blaring, swords flashing!  However, they are repeatedly repulsed, taking more and more casualties, and their morale begins to waver...



On the near side, the Brunswick brigade advances to help fight back the French onslaught.  The British cavalry (at the top now) charges again, but again fail to break the weakening French squares. A few Frenchmen make it over the stream, but many are killed as they attack the tall orchard walls.


Here is a shot of the Brunswickers, trying to keep the French columns back.  However, one battalion turns and faces the flanking wheat field, as enemy appear there...


A brigade of French guard advance across the field after crossing the bridge, and the beat of the drums pushes them forward, in an attempt to hit the defending British and Brunswickers in the flank.


Meanwhile, on the flank of the French Guard brigade, the French cavalry (who had already seen off the British cavalry on this end of the field earlier in the battle) are held ready to keep the remaining British Guards brigade off of the back of the advancing French Guard.  The British Guards press forward a bit, beginning to fire down at the marching Frenchmen but unable to get close enough to do real damage, thanks to the never-too-far-away French cavalry.


The French Guard close with the Brunswickers and the two sides pour fire into each other!


So, that is where we are!  The French attack on the chateau continues, but it is a hard slog... some REALLY terrible rolls reveal that apparently Napoleon's men did not have a lot of heart for the fight! However, they've largely seen off the British cavalry on their right flank, and the Guard may just be able to crush the black-coated enemy on the left flank... IF the French cavalry can keep the British reinforcements away!

I might also mention; I finally figured out depth of field a little... just in time for the last shot of the night, which is the FIRST of this post.  I'll be more careful to get more in focus on the next post!:)

Hope all the NZ wargamers are fine!

There was a pretty big earthquake in New Zealand, which is famous for its Lord of the Rings films, wines, Maori, and of course its wargamers!

Hope that all the wargamers down there are fine!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Red Dead Redemption" as a tabletop game... with 2 questions!

Hey all!

Well, I have a buddy who is considering undertaking a new project.  Now, it would take putting away his entire current set up (which is a bit of a brute, as it is a huge amount of stuff) and the building/collecting of an entirely new collection!  However, if done, it could be REALLY neat:)

So, he wants to clean off his ACW set-up, and to do a western sort of thing... sort of a "plains of Colorado leading up the mountains."  He is basically looking at doing about a third of the table or so as mountains/pine forest, a third as "in between" and a third as flat grasslands and a town, all in 15mm.

He plans to then settle it with 15mm cowboys and civilians, and maybe do a little role-playing sort of wargame with it!  They would be single mounted, but the idea is some sort of "posse" or "gang" thing, with characters as the leaders.

Now, some pieces of this are fairly simple... cowboys and gunslingers in 15mm are not that hard to find... neither are buildings, or pine trees:)

However, a few bits might be harder to find... things like wild animals (deer, bear, wolves) are not something I've ever seen in 15mm.  SO!  Question 1: has anyone out there seen anything like those in that scale?

Now, the second question... has anyone done this sort of environment on the tabletop before?  Would love a few examples to take a look at.

Anyway... thanks in advance for any suggestions!