Thursday, 19 January 2023

Back in the Saddle

 So after a rather muted start to the year I've got back in the saddle with some more 3D modelling (which I'm finding works quite well as therapy). I've actually put together around ten new 1/600 models in the last few weeks, but here are a few of the more unusual ones.

Mike Haught has released the "War of the Pacific" battlepack that Rolf Grein has been working on. When I met Rolf in Oz in November he was adamant that I should model HMS Shah and Amethyst as their battle with Husacar was included in the pack. Both were fun to model and Shah  proved to be the biggest model I've printed on my Elegoo Mars so far. Pictured here with an ACW ferryboat gunboat which I also worked up over Christmas.

In a similar vein I've modelled the Peruvian ironclads Victoria and Loa

and a chance discussion on one of the naval wargaming Facebook groups got me interested in some of the proposed and uncompleted Confederate ironclads (a good counter to all the monitors I've been working on recently - more on those in a later post)

All good fun to work with, and now I'm looking at a range of less well known Confederate ironclads to model over the next few weeks.

Saturday, 7 January 2023

Dave Schueler, Rest in Peace

 I've just heard the very sad news that Dave Scheuler passed away on New Year's Day. He had been poorly for some time but even so the news of his passing has left me in shock. Dave was a very good friend although we were separated by nearly 5000 miles and never got to meet in person, something that I shall always regret. Dave was a former submariner and a legend in the naval wargaming community. His DANG games (Dave's Annual Naval Game) and the write-ups on his blog were things I always looked forward to, and he was kind enough to use some of my rules and campaigns some years. Dave will be very sorely missed and I offer my most sincere condolences to Lynn and all his friends. 

Dave, I will miss you 

Friday, 6 January 2023

"The Plan" for 2023

 Six days in and I'm still formulating my plan for the year. So I thought it would be helpful in concentrating my mind if I actually got on and put pen to paper or finger to keyboard|) to crystallise my thoughts. So here goes.

1) 3D models - I have a whole host of models on my "to do" list, mainly ACW and 1860s/1870s ironclads.  So I'll aim to get those done, and for those where I think there will be an interest, I'll get them up on Wargame Vault. (To be honest I already have a handful that are either done or nearly ready to go, but I'll set myself a target of ten new models. Simples :) I'll also aim to learn a more complicated 3D modelling package as there are a few craft with more complex hullforms that are giving me trouble.

2) Rules and Campaigns - I have a few "LFG" projects that I need to progress, so in no particular order I will issue at least one data book update for Narrow Seas and Dahlgren and Columbiad, I will finish off the Venezuelan Crisis campaign pack for Broadside and Salvo (also for Fire When Ready), I'll at least start - and aim to finish - the long-promised Sino-Japanese War campaign pack, and probably include the French campaign in there as well. And also the Narrow Seas campaign pack - the basic rules and at least one campaign/area specific module.

3) Paint up all of my Paraguayan War 1/600 models in time for the Naval Wargames Weekend

4) I have a host of things for some of my other naval rules to sort out. These include damage/morale markers for "Mare Nostrum", various markers for "Bumper Boats", etc. I'll aim to select at least four rule sets/eras and spruce up the required bits and pieces for each.

5) Talking of "Bumper Boats" - I'll get the remaining fleets finished and the rules sorted out, again in time for the Naval Wargames Weekend.

As usual I expect many things will get in the way and tear these plans asunder, but thats the whole point of a plan, isn't it? :)

Saturday, 31 December 2022

2022 In Review

As has become customary in blogland I hereby present my review of the year. First off I'd like to apologise to my "regular readers" for the lack of content over the year, particularly in the second half. Whilst I've been busy with wargaming and other fun stuff my blogging mojo has been notable by its absence, hence not much here. I'll try to do better next year. 

So, first off - how did I do against "the plan" - 

Narrow Seas - I will get the campaign system finished along with modules for the North Sea and the Channel. I will also aim to get at least one update of the Data Annex issued

Nope, didn't get very far with this. I have an update for the data annex just about ready to go. It will probably appear early in 2023 as there's a few other things I'd like to add. Getting on with the campaign system is a "must" though.

Dahlgren and Columbiad – I will finish the Triple Alliance scenario pack, as well as an update to the ship data tables for the ACW (I’ve already added about 20 new ships but have others to stat up). I’ll also work up some more ACW ironclad and gunboat 3D models now that I have a decent system to do that.

This was my "big push" of the year. The "Triple Alliance" turned into my first all-in-one project with the rules (D&C and Iron & Fire for more detailed actions, and my ACW variant of "Man o War" for parti games), the campaign pack and five packs of 3D models for printing(of which I have sold the princely sum of two sets :) I'm extremely pleased with since its pretty unique - I've not come across anything similar in 1/600 and there was only really the OOP "Spithead Miniatures" line in 1/1200 (the 3D model sets I've created of course will print at 1/1200 if I'm careful with the masts so they will also fill out my 1/1200 collection). I premiered the models with MOW at the Naval Wargames Weekend in Yeovilton in October and they seemed quite popular. Getting the complete collection painted will be a big job - perhaps I'll have them all ready to do Riachuelo at the NWW next October :). 

On the ACW front I caught the 3D modelling bug big time, with nearly 40 new models created. This is definitely an area that I will continue with into 2023, with a small series of European monitors on the drawing board at the moment. But also some other fun stuff for the ACW (watch this space).

“Bumper Boats” – a fun set of rules for ancient galley games to use with my 1/300(ish) galley models. This will just be a private project I think and not entirely serious.

The rules are written but at the present time I haven't progressed the fleets much past the Greek and Persian ships I had done this time last year. I have Roman and Carthaginian ships printed, just need time (ha!) to paint them up and then gibe the rules a run out.

In other wargaming news I knocked up a few 1/100 models for my AK47 armies, and a Matilda Hedgehog for my 15mm "Burma Skirmish" collection, and I printed & painted up the 1/700 models i needed to run my hex-and-miniatures version of "Swarming Boats", Nick Bradbeer's UCK game that we use to teach students about close quarter naval combat. On the more serious side I attended the Connections wargaming conference in Washington DC, umpired and then ran the Falklands 82 game for the Royal Marines amphibious warfare course, visited Damen Naval Shipyards in Vlissingen for some teambuilding/educational wargaming and of course got engaged in wargaming with my students at UCL.

Other fun stuff this year:

  • A couple of weeks working in Australia in November where I also managed to catch up with a great many wargaming and work friends

  • Taking part in a SINKEX off the Outer Hebrides in September (where I won the sweepstake on which stage of the exercise would see the target being sunk)

  • Creating and a lovely 1930s air racing game based on "Wings of Glory" with some cute 3d printed aircraft and then running the game at the Wings of Glory Weekend in Doncaster (abd being asked to bring it again in 2023)

  • Heading out to Red Sands Fort on the paddle steamer "Waverley" for a day

  • The arrival of Magnus, our new kitten

and may more things besides. There's been other, less happy stuff, but I'm not dwelling on that and just remembering the good things.

So, as 2022 draws to an end I'd like to wish everyone a very happy New Year and I'll see you all, either here or in person (hopefully) in 2023. Look out for details of "The Plan, 2023" in a day or three :)

Thursday, 13 October 2022

Its the Naval Wargames Weekend this Weekend :)

 Hi all, I've been away from blogging for a long while - life has been an absolute blur (and shows no sign of slowing down), but here's a quick post to let everyone know that its the Naval Wargames Weekend at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, this coming weekend. I'll be there with "CQB", a modern naval game that pits a patrol ship against a swarm of armed speedboats, and possibly with my new Brazilian and Paraguayan ironclads in a variant of GW's old (and much loved) "Man o War". I say possibly as I still need to sort out the ship data sheets and finish off a few of the models, and I'm in London all day tomorrow.

Anyway, I hope to see some of you there. I promise a BATREP next week :)

Monday, 4 July 2022

Pansarbil 405

 Last week a kind person posted a picture of a Swedish-built Pansarbil 405 armoured car on the "AK47" Facebook group. Its an unusual looking vehicle and I decided I needed something like that for my AK47 armies but there didn't seem to be any 15mm models of STL files around, so I made my own :)

The original

The 15mm version 

It was a fun model to create. I'm thinking of putting it up on my Wargaming3D page when I'm completely happy with it.

Monday, 27 June 2022

INWarD 2022 - 6th August

This year the International Naval Wargames Day falls on Saturday 6th August. If you've not been around for an INWarD before, this is a day where naval wargamers around the world play a naval game at home, at the club etc. and then we all throw in our experiences on social media, wargaming websites etc. to promote the naval side of the hobby. Have fun and sink a battleship or two!