Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hawkmoon Figures from Eureka Miniatures

A little bird tells me that Eureka Miniatures have permission from Michael Moorcock to do a "Hawkmoon" figures range.

I have seen some test shot casts and a few of the upcoming character greens.

They seem very exciting, representing so far Granbretanian troops - Soldiers of the Wolf, Vulture and Badger Orders as well as Flana Mikosevaar.

As I understand it there are plans to release others of the various orders, many of the main characters (yes, I've seen a green of Dorian Hawkmoon, and he's fantastic) and - wait for it - ornithopters!

The Kamargian Guardians will be there with both the giant Flamingo and horned Horse mounts. It's all there, people!

The sculpting style looks very much like "80s Citadel Homage", but with really nice movement through the figure. Certainly these will not be the rather two-dimensional figures of the old "Eternal Champion" range Citadel originally put out.

Very exciting times. I will put up some pictures of the samples I have, both plain inked and later on (when I've had the time) painted.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Trying to break the painting doldrums in a creative way, I put together and painted this Houston le Creusot "Long Tom" I bought a while back from TVAG.

I thought it might make a nice piece for the Saxon Siege Train as much as for the Boers, so I built a platform for it, although I do not think I will attach the gun to it as I'd like to display it "on the move" as it were.

Gray seemed a reasonable compromise colour to paint the carriage, so off I went!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Painting Doldrums

Oh, they come around once, twice, maybe thrice a year. You know them, and so do I. The dreaded painting doldrums.

Can't be bothered. feel too lazy to put the effort in. Current painting is a chore rather than something you're reluctant to be seperated from.


Time to break out the standard cureswhich are:

1. Take some time off painting. Read a book. Play with the kids. Get some more sleep.

1.1 Read something to re-invigorate your desire to paint.

2. Paint something you want to paint. At the moment, I am grinding away at a unit of Bengal Lancers for the big CanCon event next weekend. It will be a tight finish and I am not enjoying the miniatures. I think I need to paint something for myself.

Enough complaining - I now return you to your regular programming.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Breaking Free

I was interested to read Jon Sutherlands article in Battlegames #32. Whilst the whole was more about unit activation with initiative cards, it was the first few paragraps of the article that really caught my attention.

He describes a game where in addition to the main action, there are a lot os little tables scattered about the periphery. These contain goodies of the nature of marching columns of troops and various operational objectives - bridges, supply dumps, rear base areas and whatnot.

These are all marked down on a master map.

If flank movements are needed, extra tables are added to facilitate this. As the action ebbs and flows on the main table, other empty tables may be brought in to make that happen too. Indeed, as the action moves forward, the original table may be broken up and moved forward. Those march columns? As they come off their tables onto the main one, their original tables may be recycled.

Every table may be mobile throughout the course of the game.

The obvious benefit of this is that there are no table edges anymore, the toe-to-toe slugfest is gone and maneuver becomes possible.

I know of some who've tried something along these lines - I think Jim and Bill's games often use a "back table" for reserves, the gap between it and the main table does not exist in the reality of the game. I have always been happy to condsider small seperate tables in the Khartoum game to allow the representation of Fort omdurman across the other side of the river. Of course, I've alweays been rather enamoured of the notion of little steamers on tea trolleys chugging their way up the gap between the tables. But these notions are a little static.

The obvious downsides are the amount of physical space and terrain that might be needed, to say nothing of the number of tables!

Still, it seems worth exploring to me in the context at least of the convention game where floor space and table numbers are not so much of a problem.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fin de Siecle Alzheim

Some of you may have noticed a new page on this blog over the past couple of days called "Fin de Siecle Alzheim". I wrote it primarily because I want to collect some more of the Spencer Smith "Classic" Franco-Prussian war figures and I needed a framework (and some limits) for my spending. I also wanted to explore what might have happened to Alzheim in the period of the first period of German unification.

Please take the time, if you can spare it, to read what I've put together, it's probably going to occupy about a third of my modelling time this year, so you're going to see rather a lot of of it! I'm open to any and all suggestions, comments and criticisms.

Rules? Keep 'em simple. I'm reading Ross's With McDuff to the Frontier with interest.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

How much is Enough?

The Artillery
 Today was a nice sunny morning, not too hot and with a nice breeze blowing. It was time to undertake part one of a review of my Spencer Smith plastic armies for the Empire and the Duchy of Alzheim.
The Light Brigade
 Pictured here are the forces that I currently have in hand for the Empire. However, there are others on the way from the UK for both the Empire and Alzheim.
de los Rios leads off
 It looks like the Empire has something in the order of nine and a half line infantry units, two light infantry units, a heavy and a medium cavalry unit as well as a pair of light cavalry units. In addition, there are two gun batteries at the Emperors' disposal.
Salm Salm Salm to the fore
 Alzheim disposes ten-and-a-half infantry units, four units of dragoons, three batteries of artillery and a single light infantry unit.
The new boys - awaiting an identity!
 Now, as far as I can recall this would be about right to handle almost any of the Grant family scenarios (although I might on occasion come up a bit short for cavalry) and anything at all from "Charge!". I think Mollwitz, Lobositz, Fontenoy and anything else are at least within reach.
The Heavy Brigade
The only thing that concerns me is the cramped confines of my gaming table. As you can see here, somewhat less than all of the Empire army comes pretty close to filling one of my table-halves.

I'm starting to think that it's time to stop building and to start gaming.

OK, I need to base everything consistently, but that's another post.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Terrain - Mahdist Fort

One of the 'gun ports'
 Over the weekend I finished off the first of my Mahdist forts. I see this sort of position as an artillery fort mounting a single gun and only a relatively small number of riflemen.
Something of the entrance and the decoration of the building
Construction of the small building that has been incorporated in the earthwork is foammcore. The earthwork itself is polystyrene cut with a hot wire cutter then surformed wioth a sanding block. The surface was sealed and textured with gap-filler and fine sand.

New Look, New Layout

I thought the old blog could do with a freshen-up and general decluttering.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Too late for a New Years' Resolution?

Ah well, too bad if it is.

I pledge this year to spend less time in front of the PC. Indeed, I pledge to spend less time gazing into screens of all shapes and sizes.

I pledge to spend less on eBay!!!

I will read less, but digest more of what I do read.

I will paint less and play more games. Solo if need be.

I will fritter my efforts away to a far lesser extent. No promises, but I'll limit my efforts to three main projects this year and three minor ones.

To wit:
  • The Sudan
  • Ancients
  • The Duchy of Alzheim
These are all pretty self-explanatory, really. I'd go so far as to say that The Sudan project is at about 40% done (more or less, depending on how far I feel like taking it...) while the Alzheim project is pretty well complete as faras a warganing project ever is. I mean, I can still tinker, but the core is pretty well there. I see myself adding another few infantry (and a couple of mixed legions in the fullness of time - oh, and some more cavalry...) units over time, but this collection now needs to be gamed with.

As for the Ancients, although it's been all Macedonians so far, some hoplites have crept onto the painting table and I'm starting to toy with Marathon as an interim goal whilst keeping an eye on the Pelopponesian Wars in the longer term. I have a feeling Kagan's History might be on the birthday list. I just read his short volume of Historiography on Thucydides and was pretty well blown away by his brevity and clarity.

Keeping an eye on the Marathon goal I'm leaning heavily toward the idea of buying 2nd-hand pre-painted minis as a way of speeding the process along. So if anyone is thinking of moving their collections on, drop me a line.

And for the minor projects:
  • WW2 Italians
  • Not Quite the Dambusters
  • FPW?
I really enjoyed painting my WW2 Italians this year and have it mind to keep going. I have quite a little stash of kits and minis which I aim to finish before I buy anything more, though - I rather overspent on the hobby in 2012, and I feel I need to rein in a bit. How far I can go without an opponent is an issue.

Me and another fellow are looking at doing a Dambusters game this year. Quite acheiveable, I think. We have plenty of research material and are thinking of basing the game on an old WW2 boardgame - don't ask me which, I can't remember just now! More after we next meet over the Australia day long weekend to thrash it out. Short version is 2 waves of three Airfix Lancasters assail the dam attacked by three pair of Me 109s, Me110s and Ju88s. Pretty acheivable as a game I think.

I was pretty fond of my Spencer Smith FPW French and would like to add to them. Perhaps some Bavarians too. Just a brigade of each. They could fill in for all sorts of Ruritanias and I expect the Bavarians would do as Alzheimers whilst the Wurrtemburgers or Prussians might do for Mirenburgers. One just needs a troop of cavalry and a battery of galloping guns in support. What a fine little war game one might then have!

I am bravely resisting Spencer Smiths "Little Britons" 42mm (oh, maybe just a couple of dozen) or getting into the Boer War with Willie 30mm (oh, just a few then): wish me luck with that.

Oh, and I need to lose 8-10 kilos.