Monday, March 27, 2017

My Turks

My final contribution to the forces required for Crisis Point is to boost up the Turks.  Most of these will be provided by Will McNally but a Tumbling Dice unit pack purchased at Vapnartak gives us this below-strength platoon/battalion.

The unit consists of a two-man HQ (the commander and senior NCO), two units each of eight riflemen and a two man light machine-gun team, and a three-man medium machine-gun team which can be depicted firing or moving.

The light machine-guns are German MG08/15 models.

The first rifle section/company
The second rifle section/company
The medium MG is the MG08 on its heavy 'quadripod' mount.

And here's the HQ.  You can see that all of the figures are wearing the army's winter headgear of an artificial lambswool cap.  The crowns of the caps are in the infantry colour of dark green.  The caps have moulded-on crosses on their crowns.  My, admittedly limited, research suggests that this is wrong. ORs' caps should have plain tops whilst officers' should have a six-armed 'asterisk' shape in gold lace (see the bimbashi below).

The Bimbashi (CO) and the Bascavus (Sergeant Major)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Andreivian Army 1918

This evening I finished the Andreivian Army forces I'll be providing for Crisis Point 2017 (in just two weeks' time).

We're bath-tubbing the formations this time so platoons will represent battalions.  The formations you'll see below exist simultaneous at two levels.  Kinda non-local superposition if you'll allow me a little Deepak Chopra-style bullshit.

First up we have the army formations proper.  Two infantry platoons/battalions, a tank troop/battalion, an armoured car unit and the company/brigade HQ.

The mass of the infantry are armed with bolt-action rifles and wear French-inspired uniforms.  They are mostly converted Airfix Foreign Legionnaires with a few French and German WW1 officers.

The rifle grenade team/company are simple conversions of more legionnaires...

We then get the non-army types.  Firstly there's a police battalion - actually early war Belgians but they'll do.  Metal figures; not sure by whom.

Then there's a bunch of sailors pressed into an infantry role.  FAA Russian Black Sea Fleet figures...

And finally, the company/brigade HQ.  More Airfix FFL conversions and a flag-bearer from the WW1 French box with a head transplant from the FFL set.

More to come shortly; in particular the Turks!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Woebetides Revisited

In the early years of the current century I ran a play-by-email campaign set during the Second World War on the fictional Woebetide Islands in the Indian Ocean.  Having recently found my notes of the campaign I thought I'd share some of them here.

A French bomber over the Woebetides

Players’ Briefing – Woebetide History and Geography

The Woebetide Islands were first settled by people from Africa (now known as the Woebetideus) in about the 14th Century AD.
In the early 16th century Portuguese missionaries arrived and began to convert the natives to Christianity but this process does not seem to have been very advanced when the islands fell under Arab domination.

The islands rules by a series of piratical Arab chieftains, the Walis of Smut until the mid-18th century when they were seized first by the French and then by British.  Control changed hands several times over the next hundred years until, in 1869, a treaty was signed giving the north-eastern part of the islands to France and the south-western part to Britain.


Grand Woebetide, the main island, has two main towns – Jamestown, the British capital, and Charleville, the French capital.

The population of the towns and coastal villages is largely Arab or Arabised African and Indian.  They fish and grow rice on the flat coastal plains.

The central highlands, where not cleared for plantation, are steep and heavily forested.  The native people practice semi-nomadic slash and burn agriculture and worship the spirits of their ancestors and of the nature around them.

The islands’ climate is hot and humid.  A wet monsoon blows from the south-west between May and October.

The main produce of the islands comes from plantations.  British Woebetide is the Empire’s main producer of mangoes.  Mango chutney has played a vital role in history of the British Raj and its importance to the continued health of the Empire cannot be overestimated. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Flea Market Finds

My weekly check on the flea market in Sheffield turned up trumps this time.  I always look out for boats I can convert into warns models and this time I've found two.

The first find was this chap from the Tomy Thomas the Tank Engine range:

I suspect it will make some kind of motorised landing barge, though I'm not sure I'll get anything done with it before April's game.

The same probably applies to this Rolls Royce, which I'd ideally have ready for use by the Turks in Andreivia.

The star find, though, was this...

To the manufacturer it may be a Spongebob Squarepants Pirate Ship but to me it has every prospect of becoming a 28mm scale sloop.  It's about 18" long to the tip of the bowsprit and I knew at once I was going to have it. When the asking price turned out to be £1... well, it would have been rude not to....

I can see it making an excellent addition to a future set up for The Pikeman's Lament. Indeed Michael Leck has already done something similar.  I intend to take inspiration from his work (or if you prefer, to steal his ideas!).

Monday, March 13, 2017

Just Like an Arrow

It's not often I get to use a Magnum song title in a post here but it seemed appropriate.  Alternatively I could have quoted Case Hardin, "Been lied to be every road sign, crossed every white line...".

Whilst checking my emails this morning I came across this on the desk:

It's a piece of stiff plastic of the kind you find stiffening the collar of a new shirt.  I guess it came out of some item of clothing newly bought by a member of the family.

The cut-out arrow is 11mm long. To anyone else it would be a piece of rubbish bound for the bin. To me it's clearly a stencil for adding direction markings to 1/300th scale tarmac roads.

Sunday, March 12, 2017


OK so this may be one of the most annoying sets of figures I've ever tried to assemble.  And I've built the Airfix British Hussars where half of the horses don't fit the bases properly.

The set comes as three identical sprues each featuring three Jaegers on bicycles.  The problem starts with the fact that they are made from a soft, almost rubbery plastic that doesn't take glue well.  The figures come in four or five parts - bicycle, handle bars, soldier and one or two separate arms.

The figures seat quite nicely on the bikes.  Each has a tab on the inner surface of his ankle that slots into a locating hole on the sprocket of the bicycle.  The figure slots positively into place. Perhaps too positively as there's no significant 'wiggle room' once it's on.

The handle bars glue into place but the hole into which the front upright of the bike slots is perhaps a little large.  This would give a little room for adjustment but the wheels are positioned straight fore and aft so the handlebars can't really be positioned other than perpendicular to the frame of the bike.

Having glued in place rider and handlebars we then need to attach an arm (or in some cases two) between shoulder and hand-grip.  Needless to say, the arms don't fit positively to the shoulders, they are a little over sized making some of the figures look like they have on American football armour, and I've yet to find a compilation of figure and arm that reaches the right distance from shoulder to handlebar.

I'm hoping a combination of UHU glue and an overall coating with PVA will make the figures strong enough to use but these guys may be consigned to the spares box before Crisis Point.

Friday, March 10, 2017


Going though an old drive location and clearing out unwanted image files I found this...

Can I suggest that we don't need to sweat the exact colour of field grey on our German figures?