Saturday, 30 April 2011

Mojo Working - NOT

Something bizarre has happened. My figure painting mojo seems to have deserted me! Painting ships? Fine. Painting forts? No problem. Tanks, aircraft? Bring 'em on.

But can I get ANY motivation together to paint a pile of 15mm figures? No.

Today, in between rebuilding the dishwasher, fixing Philip's Game Boy, taking the kids out for lunch and doing the washing, I've happily worked on a couple of 1/600 ironclads and an armoured bus and WW1 Belgian armoured car that are going into my alt-SCW collection. I also have 24 Peter Pig Nationalist infantry figures, all stuck on coffe stirrers and primed, ready to go. But every time I've tried to get them started I've found an excuse, got side-tracked or (in the end) painted a few webbing straps before thinking "meh" and stopping.

Hopefully this malaise will pass soon. As it is though, my ACW naval collection is coming on in spades. Silver lining, eh?

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Fort L'Escroc

A little while back that awfully nice chap, David Crook, very kindly sent me an old Airfix Fort Sahara that eh had discovered at a car boot sale. I'd been after one of these quite liteally for years (after missing out on a mint one at The Keep many years ago I'd never seen one since).

Being second hand it was obviously "pre-loved" but some judicious application of plastic card, cardboard and chopped up coffee stirrers, along with a paint job combined with a sprinkling of sand to give a suitably rough surface to the inner walls has led to what i think is a pretty satisfying conclusion.

I'll probably make a few "lean-to" buildings and a well to go in the courtyard, but for now its finished.

I have  a whole raft of uses for this now. It can just about do for a fort in the Sudan, and fits nicely with my plans for a hypothetical SCW-based campaign setting (not to mention working nicely with my AK-47 armies).

A French Foreign legion setting would be good too, wouldn't it? Well, up until a few days back that was an aspiration but wasn't likely to come to anything. However, whilst trawling through te "lead pile" and sorting out the stuff that is going to the Lincombe Barn tabletop sale I found a box of unpainted Irregular FFL and Tuaregs that I bought many, many years back. So maybe more a "project for later" than an aspiration :)


Time once again to see how we are doing with "the plan"

1) 15mm ECW - the scots army has been started, but stalled

2) 28mm Napoleonic skirmish - I've decided to can this one. The 28mm stuff will be going to the Lincombe Barn tabletop sale next month.

3) 15mm SCW - some small progress here, as I've painted up a few odd vehicles. I'm also looking at something based on AK-47 (along the lines of the Mexikanski 36 variant) as far as rules are concerned.

4) Coastal - no, still nothing going on here.

5) The Room - This will be an ongoing mission. For a few weeks it was clear and gameable. Now it is cluttered with stuff going to Lincombe Barn.

6) ACW Naval - Doing really well here, as all my outstanding 1/1200 and all but 2 of my outstanding 1/600 models are finished!

The new "Number 2" is "Wings of War", where I aim to have all outstanding models painted and complete, aircraft cards printed and laminated, and some bomber stands sorted out.

I also have a "standby" - which is 15mm modern / Vietnam skirmish, which is really about sprucing up the Peter Pig african and Vietnam armies that I made up soe years ago.

Oh, and of course, the Sudan, to which we will be returning after Lincombe Barn..........

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Naval Wargames Weekend

Naval Wargames Weekend, Explosion Museum, Gosport, UK, August 27th-28th

The Naval Wargames Society and the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower are holding a weekend of naval wargaming at the museum in Gosport over the weekend of the August Bank Holiday, 27th – 28th 2011. Plenty of space and tables are available and there should be room for upwards of ten tables available of varying sizes.  There is also a large outdoor area where it is hoped a WW2 surface action will be played out using 1/600 models and a 1/600 “ground scale” for some of the weekend. Space is available in the museum grounds for camping over the weekend. Admission to the museum for the weekend will be free for those running games.

The aim of the event is to provide a forum where naval (and other) gamers can come together to run and/or play in each others’ games. Games can be as long or as short as you like, and the intention is to include a few participation games so that members of the public can join in too. The emphasis is on gaming and there is no formal trade element (not this year at least). However, if there are any traders who would like to attend they would be more than welcome – please contact Nick Hewitt for details of arrangements.

For more details, or to book a table for a game for all or part of the weekend please contact Nick Hewitt  at the naval museum - nh "at" pnbpt "dot" co "dot" uk or me. 

Contact details for the Explosion Museum are as follows:

Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower
Heritage Way
Priddy's Hard
PO12 4LE
United Kingdom

Telephone:         023 9250 5600
Fax:        023 9250 5605
Mobile:                077 8741 5382

Saturday, 23 April 2011

The Stylish Blogger Award!

I was surprised and delighted to hear that I had received a Stylish Blogger Award yesterday - and big thanks to The Man Cave for the nomination.

There are four rules to the award that have to be followed:
  1. Thank and link back to the person giving you the award- - thanks again TMC :)
  2. Share seven things about yourself
  3. Select 10-15 blogs who you think deserve this award
  4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award

Seven things about me personally:
  1. I've been a naval architect for 22 years
  2. My feet are size 8
  3. I have four cats and 2 kids, oh and 4 gerbils and 2 rabbits.
  4. I was one of the first players of Traveller in the UK - our first game was held on the steps at Games Day on the day it was released.
  5. I used to fly gliders with the Southampton University Gliding Club - in particular Blaniks and K-13s
  6. I have driven a nuclear submarine
  7. I have been described as "A CSI: Shipwreck" and a "shady paramilitary" - so perhaps some decent sunglasses would be in order.
Carrying on the proud tradition of the award, I'd like to publically recognise the following (in no particular order) blogs and authors whose work I have enjoyed reading over the last few years. Well done and thanks, chaps and chapesses!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

One of Those Days

Yesterday was one of those days. Missed the end of two ebay auctions that I should have won because I forgot the end time. Lost another because I sniped too early. discovered I'd ordered two ironclads from Peter Pig of a type where there was only one ship in the class (and ordered one of a class where there were two), submitted the wrong set of orders in an online Diplomacy game, thus reassigning my formerly "shakey" position as "no hope", and had a tube of superglue burst over my fingers.

Still, on the plus side we did have a nice afternoon out at the local Am Dram society's performance of "The Railway Children" (sadly without a spectacular on-stage appearance by a train, but they did a great job with stage smoke, sound efects and lighting), topped off with fish and chips and a nice white wine, and then followed by a completely unexpected early birthday present - thanks Steve :)

So all in all, not a bad day. And happy that the only things that were screwed up were, in reality, not that important at all. Apart from the glue. Messy!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Ozark and Arkansas

A couple of photos from last weekend's painting efforts. The latest additions to the colection are another pair of civil war ironclads. For the Union we have the river monitor Ozark, a not-entirely-successful design and a fairly curious design, combining a turret with a superstructure and exposed guns.

The second is the Confederate ironclad ram, Arkansas. One of my favourite civil war vessels on account of her rather splendid showing against a vast Union fleet (described by her captain as "a forest of masts and smokestacks), through which she passed with nary a scratch.

Both models come from Bay Area Yards and are very finely cast. The photos were taken in a hurry using one of our "point and shoot" cameras out in the garden in bright sunshine, so they don't really do justice to the models.

Also completed this week were a couple of Thoroughbred mortar schooners. Completed as far as the paintwork is concerned, I'm currently thinking about whether to rig them or not.

Currently on the workbench - two riverboat rams and the CSS Patrick Henry. More on these over the weekend.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Albatros W.4

A chance posting on the Wings of War Aerodrome a while back got me thinking about making a pair of Albatrs W.4 seaplane fighters. These will go nicely with my W.29s for my air/sea game using the planes and the CMBs made previously.

The W.4s are based on a pair of F-Toys Albatris D.IIIs. The wing tips are clipped and squared off, and the tailplanes replaced with shorter, but wider surfaces. The obvious additions are the floats. I'm not entirely happy with these. They are carved from a pair of wooden coffee stirrers and I think they are OK, but if I have time I might try to come up with something that looks  a little better.

The colour schemes are fairly generic rather than trying to match a particular example. the lozenges on the upper wings were done using some offcut decals from the W.29s.

Currently on the painting table - a captured Br.14 and a pile of 1/600 ironclads which will perhaps appear here tomorrow.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Back in the Saddle

I'm back online after a couple of weeks away. One week in Scotland having fun with stuff that goes bang, then a week in Taranto with colleagues from around the world. An interesting week, with lots of people trying hard not to mention the raid in 1940 (some with less success than others), and punctuated by the occasional sight of Typhoons heading South from Gioia Del Colle on their way to Libya. We did get a tour of the new Italian carrier Cavour - a fine ship - and I had some dead time during the evenings and early mornings and I managed to get some work done helping Martin Goddard out with material for the revised edition of "Hammerin' Iron". Our hotel was right on the waterfront overlooking the Mare Picolo and alongside the Canal to the outer harbour, so we got to see some interesting stuff passing from the inner part of the base to the outer regions

I also came to appreciate Italian crepes and gellato - handily enough both could be had from a cafe just behind where this photo was taken. Subs, ice cream and delicious savoury goodness all within arm's reach :)

Still, I'm back now.The first sight I was treated to as I entered my wargames room was the aftermath of a "battle" fought between my daughter and one of her friends on my wargames table. an interesting fusion of 15mm Sudan, fantasy orcs, SF robots and mechs, and 20mm WW2. Fortunately not too much damage done, but I'm still sorting out that potmess! On the modelling front one of my US chums kindly brought some stuff over for me so, as well as having the WoW Revised deluxe set to play with I'm also now repainting a Breguet Br.14 as a machine captured by the Germans, and working on some 1/600 ironclads from Bay Area Yards (more on these over the next few days, but suffice to say I'm a BIG fan of Bay Area!). I was also very pleased to receive a "Fort Sahara" model gratis from Dave Crook, something that he came across at a car boot sale. Its been well loved, but all the important bits are fine and it will be an ideal renovation project for the next couple of weeks. Although intended as part of the "nondescript" element of my 15mm Sudan project (things that don't quite fit with a pure Sudan setting but are more suited to a "freeform" Middle Eastern setting anytime between 1880 and 1920 - hence my Rolls Royce armoured cars and the lovely tank from Indiana Jones), it may also act as the spur I (don't) need to kick start my 15mm French Foreign Legion project. Although hopefully I can stall that one for a year or two!