Sunday 14 January 2018

War of the Pacific (2) - A Second Huascar

I've always had a soft spot for the Huascar since stepping on her decks in Tulcahuano in 1994. My old Houstons model from the 1996 trip to the US was painted up in Peruvian markings, but I really fancied having a Chilean version too. las it seems that, whilst Stone Mountain have all of the old Houstons ACW molds they don't hav the South American models to sell. I mentioned this on TMP and John Kelly from the US very kindly offered to send me one of his unopened kits, and free of charge too! The generosity of wargamers never fails to amaze me.

Anyway, here she is, in rather more muted colours than the Peruvean "Victorian" scheme, and lacking the foremast which was removed in the early months of the war.

Thursday 11 January 2018

War of the Pacific (1)

One of the elements of the 2018 "Plan" is to cover off the naval side of the War of the Pacific, fought between Chile, Peru and Bolivia from 1879 into the early 1880s. I'm doing this in 1/1200 (ish) using Houstons /Stone Mountain models. I bought the Huascar, Blanco Encalada, Cochrane, Manco Capac and Atahualpa from Campaign Headquarters in Norfolk whilst I was in the US for the 1997 NWS holiday, but it was only last year that I picked up another load of models from the ACW range to convert into the various Chilean and Peruvian wooden ships. I've also added a couple of large British steam frigates (the Stone Mountain models come in packs and I needed the smaller ships bundled with the large US frigates), and the Peruvian fleet has a few additional ironclads in the form of the Independencia (converted from a Davco 1/1200 ironclad), the Loa (converted from a Navwar Charleston), and the monitor Victoria, converted from a Navwar Monitor.

The model aren't strictly accurate but I'm pleased with the way they've turned out. Now to work up ship cards for them for "Iron and Fire", and to get the campaign system sorted out!

Saturday 6 January 2018

The Plan, 2018

So, here is the plan for 2018. Experience suggests I'll get about half the "big ticket" items done, many of the smaller ones, and that one or two new "big tickets" will emerge mid-year. But here it is for now.....

1. Iron and Fire – I will sort out all my remaining 1/1200 and 1/600 models, in particular my Chilean and Peruvian collection (most of which are just about done in the new year's time off painting frenzy). I’ll also develop a campaign system for the War of the Pacific, and I’ll create pre-made ship cards for that war and some of the more common American Civil War ships.

2. Coastal Forces – I will review and repair my 1/600 collection, and also look to do some development work on my quick play rules. I will also create some pre-made ship cards for more common types for Action Stations

3. WW2 Skirmish. 20mm (Burma/Pacific) and 15mm (Eastern Front/Ardennes). I will finish all the models I have for these, and decide on what rules I’m going to use.

4. Form Line of Battle – Review and repair my 1/450 ships, come up with a handy, not entirely serious but fun campaign to provide context for some games at Berkeley Vale

5. “Project X” – yes, there is another Project X. Its all a bit secret just now but if it comes off it’ll be great, so I have a pile of groundwork to do on this. Target to complete this initial bit – end of May.

Other stuff

Wings of Glory – get a few games in, finish off the few unmade kits I have 

Fire and Fury – I have the second edition so I’d like to give them a decent try

DBA – I want to resurrect this old favourite, both as far as its original setting is concerned but also my ECW stuff.  Oh, and actually get into DBA 3 (I’m still on 2.2 without those hideous BUAs)

AoS Fleet action – something of an “off an on” project, but I’d like to take the ideas I had last year on command and control and apply them to a set that fills the current gap between my renaissance and Ironclad fast play rules

Renaissance operational level campaign system – to give my galley warfare games a bit more context
Notes on using “Fire When Ready” with my RJW and Span Am campaign systems

Falklands Conflict and naval supplement for Air War C21

Oh, and i really do need to have a cull of stuff I'm never going to use and flog it of at the Lincombe Barn tabletop sale (as if that will EVER happen :) )

Monday 1 January 2018


Sometime around the middle of 2017 I bought one of the first boxes of PSC 15mm T55s on a pre-order. They arrived early, I built the first two, then they sat in a box as other projects overtook them. They have become the first models that I've completed in 2018 :)

The PSC model allows you to make a basic T55, T55A or a T55M. I was intending to use mine with my AK47 collection and thus be typical of types seen in Africa, with various mods, mudflaps missing etc. (I saw a few like this in Eritrea in March and, as an aside, one enterprising householder who had build the front wall of his garden entirely out of T55 main road wheels!). So I kind of followed the instructions - but not completely.

The results are, I think, extremely pleasing. I am a big fan of PSC's ranges and these are well up there in terms of quality and ease of build. They also seem to paint up rather nicely too.