Monday, September 28, 2015

1/72-scale WW2 British airborne

I pulled out some more of the figures I got from Tim this summer. There was a big collection of painted and unpainted WW2 British airborne so I decided to take a run at getting these ready.

I started with the painted metal figures. There were enough for 22 four-man bases. These fellows were all painted so all I did was de-base and then re-base. The integral basis plus the remains of Tim's basing meant I ended up with some thick ground cover!

There were also a bunch of painted and unpainted 1/72-scale plastics. I am basing these up as singles for casualty tracking. The painted ones are just about finished rebasing while I have just started painting the rest to match (which is a fun challenge).

I also have two six pounder ATGs and a command stand to rebase.

Up next: Hard to say: some two pounder ATGs for the desert are almost done plus I have a bunch more of the airborne in various stages It is also club night this week.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Amateurs to Arms

Bruce and I got together twice this week to play our way through Amateurs to Arms, an 1812 game he picked up last weekend at the Sentry Box. The most obvious difference between this game and others 1812 games we've played is that the whole of the US is in play. 

This means Indian rebellion in the deep south, blockades, Florida, New Orleans, and the burning of Washington are all possible. Game play is via cards; cards can be played as either operation points or as events. The game hedges more towards simulation, but was pretty quick to play (maybe 5 hours including learning curve).

There are some interesting features on the beautiful map, including Indian trails. We found that we stalled around the Great Lakes. I managed to push south from Kingston and towards Albany.

Bruce reversed a second thrust down Lake Champlain and the captured Montreal. I burned Washington in retaliation when troops came available after the defeat of Napoleon. Variable game end as war weariness on each side mounts. Our game ended in a draw. It was a fun game and I'd happily play again.

Up next: Some British paratroops.

Monday, September 21, 2015

WW2 Italian foot

I have a pretty large collection of 1/72-scale Italian foot from both Terry and Tim's respective closet clean-outs. I painted up 70 for North Africa. Some are from an old Airfix set (re-released by HaT) and the rest are from a Waterloo 1815 desert set.

I based 10 in groups of four and the rest (mostly Airfix) are based as singles for casualty removal. The Airfix singles are perhaps a bit too European in their uniforms (despite the desert colours). Lovely figures though, with lots of deep detail for the washes. Will do for the desert and maybe Sicily?

Up next: Some British 2 pounder ATGs for the desert and then onto some late-war British airborne troops. I also have a coupe of games with Bruce this week.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Italian WW2 tanks

I'm continuing to sort through the bounty of my trade with Tim in Saskatoon. I decided to deal with the Italians, starting with the armour. The tank on the right is a 1/72-scale L6/40 tankette armed with a 20mm cannon. It arrived painted and I matched the rest of the paint scheme to this one. 

In retrospect, a plain beige paint scheme might have been better for the desert. The limited detail on the kits suggested the disruptive scheme. Meh. The tank on the left (above) is a command variant of the M13/40 (I think). It also appears below with a turreted version. These are resin kits although I think I also have a plastic Esci kit somewhere.

Up next: The Italian infantry are just drying and I'll post them in a few days.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Some French Artillery for Memoir

I plan to continue my Memoir 40 campaign at the club in October and needed some French artillery. I was at the Sentry Box this summer and found a HaT set of French 75mm guns (WW1, but close enough). Four guns for $20 seemed like a good deal.

This kit is a bit of a miss for HaT. It is cast with really soft plastic which is a bit of a pain to glue. Fortunately, the gun assembly itself is very simple (unlike some of the Napoleonic cannon kits I've struggled with in the past). The box was supposed to come with six gunners for each gun, each with a different pose. For whatever reason, HaT doubled up on the guy feeding shells into the breach.

The problem is that there are no shells provided. Yeah, I could make some, but for $20, you'd think the kit would come with them. I suspect they were on the one-third of each sprue that was removed from the box. This third likely held the horses the set was originally designed for (I know there were horses originally because the riders are still in the box). I didn't make the other half of the gun carriage as there was no room on the base for it. Overall, these guys well do just fine but not a kit I'd recommend.

Up next: I have some WW2 Italian troops and infantry for North Africa almost finished along with some British 2 pounders for the desert. Not sure what comes next. Perhaps rebasing some more of Tim's lovely WW2 figures.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Some Napoleonic playtesting

Bruce had me over to do some playtesting on a Napoleonic game he has been developing to pitch at a publisher. We playtested the two-player version. It is card-driven and you can either use a card to activate units on the board or as an event or (sometimes) to influence a battle (so tough choices each time you play).

What I noticed most this time was how the military and diplomatic mechanics interact. France is crazy strong militarily but needs to gain allies (or at least prevent the British player from doing so). But to be effective diplomatically, the French player needs the glory that comes from successful military encounters--so the diplomatic game requires the French player to act like the French did historically and rewards this behaviour.

Our play test was a French romp due to really unlucky British cards and some bad dice on top of that. Perhaps I have also started to figure out the game a bit? Damn, I hate Spain--what a morass.

Up next: Some 1/72-scale French artillery for Memoir and then the Italians.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

1/72-scale Afrika Korp

As part of a big swap with Tim in Saskatoon this summer, I received buckets of unpainted 1/72-scale figures. I pulled out two bags labelled Africa Korp and painted up 70 figures, making 10 bases for Memoir 44.

The bases include some fellows from Esci's European set plus a pair of metal officers (Dixon?). I painted them all in a bit of a grab-bag choice of uniforms (end of a long supply chain). Overall, these turned out well and would likely also do for Sicily or Italy.

Up next: Staying in the Mediterranean, I am working on some of the Italian tanks plus the Italian troops that are suitable for North Africa. There are, of course, also Italian troops more suitable for Europe and Russia (why are there so many Alpine troops?). But that is all somewhat down the line. I also have some French cannon under way.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

1/72-scale French tanks

Earlier this summer, I picked up a huge 1/72-scale WW2 collection from Tim in Saskatoon. I have been slowly working my way through various parts of it. This week I painted a pair of French FT-17 light tanks for my Memoir '40 project.

These came built and one had a bit of painting (the yellow) done. So I found some other tanks (bought from Terry) with a similar scheme and then tried to match the colours and Tim's steady hand (above).

I think the new fellows match the older ones (below) well enough. In looking at the tanks, I see that the ones that came from Tim were not Matchbox (as I original thought) but some other manufacturer. Apologies that my "yellowing" issue on the iphone snaps is back.

Up next: I have painted up a bunch of 1/72-scale Afrika Korp. I'm not sure what will follow them. Perhaps some Italians? The plastic Italians I have all seem to have a feather on their helmets. Not sure of that makes them alpine troops. I may need to nip the feather off for desert troops.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September 1 EWG Club Night

For the first club night of the autumn, we had really good turn out, with 18 guys playing including four newcomers (welcome!).

Saga was the big draw of the night, with two games running. These were still underway when I left about 8:50.

I hosted several games of Bang!, which is a dice-based western-themed game of screw your neighbour. This was pretty light and fun. We finally got the hang of it at game six and the sheriff won the last two games.

Up next Some WW2 French tanks and Afrika Korp infantry.