Monday, May 18, 2015

Eagles in Edinburgh

Not much from me of late as I've been away in Wirral where my Mum's now out of hospital (hurray!) or up in Edinburgh on a slightly early 25th Anniversary break with Stella.

Our arrival in Scotland's capital coincided with the opening of a small Waterloo exhibit at the National Museum of Scotland.  I say small, there are probably only a couple of dozen artefacts in about five cases but two of them are these...

Reunited for the first time since 1956, these are the two French eagles captured at Waterloo.  The one on the left, that of the 45th Line Infantry Regiment is the very one captured by Sergeant Charles Ewart of the North British Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys).

And later the same day, in the parade ground before Edinburgh Castle we came upon Ewart's final resting place....

Friday, May 8, 2015

Detailing Bjerkvik

I had a bit of aching over on Richard Phillips's blog about the difficulty of obtaining bits of civilian clutter to dot around 6mm scale battlefields.  The other evening I decided to have a go at doing something about it.

I sat down with the bits box and some plastic card and rod and knocked up this tanker-trailer.

I was going for the kind of thing that might be pulled behind a tractor and contain some kind of liquid feed or fertiliser.

This is part of my plan to add detail to the Bjerkvik base before this year's Joy of Six event.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Nothing To See Here...

... move along please.

Weekends have been busy of late with trips to Liverpool and Hull so I haven't completed much that's particularly photogenic.

I've decided to spend a few evenings getting the whole of my 6mm early WW2 French force based according to the standard I use for Blitzkrieg Commander (though it will also function for Tac:WW2).  Here's a Renault R-35 battalion in mid-basing.

And below another shot showing the whole army to be completed.

The chopping board on the left has models in various stages of base painting including the R-35s plus another battalion of Chars B1 bis.  In the middle are infantry and support weapons (Scotia).  The two boxes on the right contain mostly finished models but also a reinforced infantry battalion (Heroics and Ros) that need rebasing to my current standard.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Helicopter Resurrection

I decided to invest in a test purchase of some Hurlbat etched rotor discs to help resurrect some tatty old helicopter models.

I ordered two of the rotors designed for the Westland Lynx and two for the Mil Hind or Hip.  I also ordered a single AH-64 Apache rotor.  Sadly I completed the order without remembering to add on some tail rotor discs.

The discs come with one side covered by a blue coating that you need to peel off.  This can be a little tricky.  I get the impression that heat used to cut out the disc may slightly weld the plastic coating to the disc.  Here are a couple of four-blade Lynx rotors, one with the coating removed.

I tried a Mi-8 Hip first as it had a nice, clean surface into which I could drill a hole for the length of pin I intended to use to mount the rotor.

I snipped about 5mm off the head end of the pin to act as the rotor head gear.  I carefully superglued the pin to the disc (which comes pre-drilled) and then superglued the pin into the drilled hole.  The result was OK I think.

Note, that's the original tail rotor disc that came with the model.  It's noticeably yellowed compared to the Hurlbat disc.

Among the helicopters I need to upgrade are a couple of Pumas.  Hurlbat don't make a Puma disc (it wants to be four bladed and 52mm in diameter but I thought I'd have a go trying out the smaller Apache disc.

Below you can see a Puma with an Apache disc next to one with the original, cast, white metal rotors.

I think that looks OK.  I shall invest in a couple more as well as the large number of Chinook discs I need for my seven Boeing Sea Knights!

More photos to come when I get the rest of the current batch of helos upgraded.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Further forestry

I picked up some more hot glue gun sticks and some different colours of clump foliage today.  The result is seen here on my To the Strongest! board.

That's about a square foot of forest made in about three, maybe three-and-a-half, hours at a total cost of maybe six quid.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Experimental Forestry

I need to build a lot of Scandinavian forest for the Bjerkvik game we're presenting at Joy of Six in July.

The original plan was to create more of the squirrel-chewed pine-cone trees I did for the original run-through of the game and put them on pieces of felt that would define the edges of the wooded areas.  Looking like this:

This is OK but I felt the bases needed work so I started looking at pictures of real Scandinavian forest so I could decide how to colour the bases.

The problem is, you don't see the forest floor from outside a conifer forest.  You can't see the floor for the trees.  The other problem is that a 6'x12' table is going to need a hell of a lot of trees.  The squirrels of Oughtibridge Park just ain't that productive.

So I thought I'd have a go at an alternative approach using Woodland Scenics clump foliage and some ripped up prices of 18mm thick packaging foam.

18mm foam torn to a rough shape.
I then started attaching the clump foliage using a hot glue gun.

The classic thing to do would be to create a base with tree trunks made from glued-down nails but I wanted to give the impression of a conifer forest which has vegetation right down to ground level around the edges.

The result is this:

Or from above, this:

I think that works OK.  One wood completed in about an hour.

I may declare these sections of woods as impassible within the context of the game.  This would have a realistic effect in channelling forces and would also avoid the question of whether to put forces on top or underneath.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gloranthan TtS! Thoughts part one

My Mum's in hospital at the moment and I'm spending several hours each weekend travelling over to Liverpool to see her.  The good news is that she seems to be on the mend.  Meanwhile, the travelling gives me time to consider new developments in the Land of Counterpane.

At present I'm in a period of painting whatever bits of unpainted lead or plastic drift through my transom (one bonus kudos cookie for whoever gets the reference) but from a rules point of view I'm fairly steadily focussed on Simon Miller's To the Strongest! ancient rules.  

Yesterday's trip was spent considering the Gloranthan Hordes of the Things elements I have and how they might make the transition to TtS! I approximate chronological order of my recruiting the armies, here are the conclusions I've reached so far.

My Troll HOTT army is based on the Darkdemon clan of Pavis.  From the Pavis and Big Rubble book we know that they are followers of Zorak Zoran and use zombies and skeletons to reinforce their Dark Troll troops.  They also have a relationship with Cragclimber, a giant they keep on side with bribes of beer.

In HOTT terms I have six skeleton/zombie Hordes, two Dark Troll Warband, two Trollkin Shooters, a Homboboboom shaman Magician, a Dark Troll Hero, and Cragclimber who serves as a Behemoth in HOTT terms.

In TtS! I'm tempted to deploy all six elements of Zombies as a single, extra-deep element of Fanatic Warriors.  As Fanatics they'll carry on hitting at 6+ regardless of disorder.  As an extra-deep unit they'll take three hits before breaking.  Both of these seem to me pretty good ways of modelling an almost inexhaustible supply of undead.  The only problem is that with them being on 6cm square bases they won't fit into a single square.

The Dark Trolls and Trolkin I'm tempted to combine into a single unit.  I might rate them as Billmen.

The Hero will probably serve as an unattached, heroic general.

I haven't yet given much thought to how magic might work in TtS! but if I was trying the Trolls now, I'd treat the shaman as Artillery (cannon).  They're immobile, which fits with their circle-dancing Trollkin and stationery drummers, and can "shoot" at a distance.

In HOTT terms I have ten Warbands, one base of slingers hiding in bushes (Lurkers) and a couple of sylph Flyers.  There are also some Duck allies; an element of Humakti warriors who I rate as Blades, a unit of Shooters, and a couple of young Ducks with slings.

The Warbands, double ranked, will form two units of TtS! javelinmen with two elements left over to create a Light Infantry (javelin) unit.  One of the Warband elements has a clan chieftain and his Duck sidekick so I think probably an attached, heroic general.

The single element of Humakti Ducks I think will probably form a small unit of veteran Legionaries in  TtS! terms.  I'll also declare them to be "swimmers" despite their armour.

The Shooters can have their base extended and become a TtS! Light Infantry (bows) unit.  Again "swimmers".

The same could apply to the single element of slingers.

Finally we have a pair of Sylphs which, in the absence of TtS! rules for aerial troop types could be treated as heroes.

Next to be completed were my Mostali. Three Blades, four Shooters (a mixture of crossbow- and gun-armed types) and a Hero make up the main battle line.  The Blades could each form a small Legionary unit in TtS! terms.  The Shooters would give me two units of Light Infantry (one bows and one handguns), while the Hero could be an unattached general.

The Cannon Cult are obviously artillery (cannon).  And finally we have my Nilmerg, who's about to explode a load of barrels of black powder.  Hmm, this one clearly needs further thought.

I'm being chased away from the Mac by my daughter now so the rest of the armies will have to follow later.