Monday, 4 September 2023

WWII Naval : Additions to Pacific Fleets

Below are some additions to my 1:2400 Pacific War fleets -- Japanese and USA. 

Existing assets can be seen here.

BBs & CA are by GHQ, CVs are by Panzerschiffs. I'm holding off painting the CVs for now, to allow for subbing. I don't tend to paint the Panzerschiffs, in any case.

Additions to Pacific fleets
    L to R & Top to Bottom:

    CV Akagi
    CV Kaga
    CV Hiryu
    CV Soryu
    BB Yamato
    BB Nagato
    CA Atago

    CV Lexington
    CV Hornet
    CV Enterprise

Saturday, 22 July 2023

1837 Rebellion in Lower Canada - Part I B: Royal Montreal Artillery

The Royal Montreal Artillery, c. 1837

Fellow gamer Doug H. encouraged me to paint up some proper British artillery for the campaign rather than 'sub in' the poor Prussians.

The Royal Montreal Artillery is a pretty obscure volunteer unit, and I can only find one or two references to it -- but that just means that one can take as many liberties with it as one likes. 

The below are based on the comtemporary Madras artillery. Thanks Doug!

This gun crew looks on askance as their battery commander
steps forth to damn the Rebels, good and proper.

Friday, 21 July 2023

1837 Rebellion in Lower Canada - Part II: Les Patriotes

This section covers my newly completed Patriotes army; or the 'Rebels', or 'Les Habitants', or whatever you prefer. For those who are not familiar with the 1837 Canadian Rebellions, I guess they can best be summarized in wargaming terms as 'the Alamo meets Les Miserables'.  

One of the goals behind putting this mini-collection together was to help reduce my mountain of lead, but as is often the case I actually had to buy some new figures, since I had nothing suitable on hand for Les Patriotes. In the event I ordered Blue Moon Texians from Old Glory, waited three months for them so show up, and set about converting them.

Fellow gamer Doug H. provided some helpful advice here for making the proper touque headgear. "Cut the top half off the heads of most of them, plop on a blob of Green Stuff, pull it up in a point, and flop it over to one side. Piece of cake."

So I went about doing just that, along with applying a primer coat to get going and ... they looked exactly like a gang of Garden Gnomes! Like, The First Regiment of Gnomish Foot (Noddy's Own), complete with 'Big Ears' as Colonel-in-Chief! 

Normally things like this can be corrected as you start painting, but as I added coats, trousers, headgear, etc., it just kept on getting worse and worse. Night after night I sat at the painting table crying 'Make it stop! Just make it stop!'  When I got to the muskets things got a bit better. Now they looked like really serious garden gnomes. 

After doing some additional research I discovered that I wasn't really that far off; the touques of the day could be quite voluminous articles, and flowed all over the place. A final staining toned done the colours some and drew the figures together, and so I ended up not altogether unhappy with 'Noddy's Own'.

Sunday, 25 June 2023

1837 Rebellion in Lower Canada - Part I: British Army

British Army on Parade - Lower Canada, 1837

This 15mm 'mini' collection has an interesting back-story.

I had first thought of digging into the mountain of unpainted 15mm Napoleonics that I've managed to accumulate in order to create a 1st Afghan War collection. I went so far as to paint-up the poor HM 44th Foot, and to get the Osprey campaign book. But when I realized how much I would be taking on, to say nothing of the terrain and the hordes of camp-followers that would be needed, I lost heart.

Somewhat later, after reading a book on the 1837 Rebellions, it occured to me that what I had would suit this campaign just fine, plus give me chance to try creating a 'winter' collection. I was also partially motivated on seeing the army list for this campaign in Osprey's Rebels & Patriots.

Assembling this collection will consist of three parts, the first of which is completed and you see pictured here:

  • British Army (two command elements; four battalions of foot; regiment of horse; two sections of guns)
  • Rebel Army (five 'battalions' of Patriotes; two sections of guns)
  • Appropriate Terrain.
1st Royal Dragoon Guards

These Dragoons are obviously not in their winter campaign kit, but what the heck ...

Four Battalions of Foot

Gen. Sir John Colborne

General Sir John Colborne -- our Gallant Conquering Hero.

Lt-Col Wetherall

Second-in-Command Lt-Col Wetherall.

1st Foot

1st Regiment of Foot (Royal Scots).

34th & 66th Foot

The 34th & 66th Regiments of Foot.

71st Highlanders

The 71st Highland Light Infantry. All right, they're kitted out as Highland Foot, not Light Infantry. And they're not wearing winter uniforms appropriate for North America! But I was going with what I had on hand and didn't want to get too precious about the thing.


Two sections of guns limbered up. I'm substituting Prussians, because that's what I've got.

Next up will be the Patriotes, which should be fun to paint. I also need to create some additional bases for groups of figs. Rules will be 'Rampanty'; based on either Rebels & Patriots or The Men Who Would be Kings.

It could be said that this bit of Canadiana doesn't offer up much of a fair fight. But it seems to me that the Patriotes in Lower Canada gave a better account of themselves than the Metis, and at least as good as the Fenians!


Saturday, 3 June 2023

Stuggle at the Money Pit

I don't post to this blog as often as I should, but a kind gift of a dozen Crusader figs by fellow gamer Doug H. inspired me to come up with this gem, which I took into our gaming club on Friday (June 2nd 2023).

The promotional blub which I posted to our club's website was as follows:

GAME:  ​Struggle at the Money Pit

SCALE:  28mm

PLAYERS:  2 - 3

RULES: ​Ronin, Osprey (heavily modified)

SCENARIO:  The time: Anno Domini 1315. The place: Oak Island, in what will become the Province of Nova Scotia. Knight Templar Commander Guido de Mal Direcionado along with a handful of his fellow Templars has sailed across the North Atlantic, escaping the brutal suppression of his Order by King Philip IV (the Fair) of France. Their mission? To conceal the Order's most precious treasure, the lost Ark of the Covenant, deep beneath the soil of the New World. Trouble is, there are several hundred Mi'kmaq warriors in the vicinity who don't take kindly to funny looking tin men burying their junk on private property ...

Fellow gamers Colin U. (as the disguised Templars) and Craig M. (as the Mi'kmaqs) were good enough to volunteer in this somewhat one-sided sword-swinging fest, which turned out to be a combination of Thermopylae, Little Big Horn, Last Stand of the 44th at Gandamack, and the end of Durin's Folk in Moria.

The disguised Templars gather for a final prayer before lowering the Ark into the Money Pit.

 The local Mi'kmaqs are working themselves up into a lather. This is half of them.

Rather than taking their chances by making a run for the boats, the Templars choose to form square at the Money Pit. This proved unwise.

The locals close in ...

The attack is underway, which included the Templars being pelted by swarms of arrows. The poor padre (middle of group in black) was done in by three arrows in the back. 

In spite of inflicting four-to-one loses on the Mi'kmaqs, the Templars have been whittled down to just two men, Knight Commander Guido (in red) and one brother Templar. 

Rather than slay the last two Templars the locals decide to capture them instead, and to bring out the stakes for a barbeque. The Ark of the Covenant itself is unguarded and ready to to carried off as spoils.

Whoops! This warrior was foolish enough to lay his hands on the Ark incorrectly, and like poor Uzzah in 2 SAMUEL 6:3-8, got instantly zapped by several thousand volts of static electricity.

For purposes of the game, I'm assuming that the Ark is in fact a capacitor, which carries a charge sufficient enough to zap the first couple of figs who rub up against it the wrong way. This necessitates a Moral Check (well, wouldn't you check yours?).

The Mi'kmaqs failed their moral, going from 'Steady' to 'Wavering'. 

This was enough to compel them to release the two Templars, who, even though they lost the game, hoodwinked the Mi'kmaqs enough to go on to do a medieval Danny Dravot & Peachey Carnehan, perhaps becoming men who would be Kings. But that's another story ...

Thanks to Colin and Craig for playing, and to Doug for the figs!

Saturday, 16 July 2022

Eye Candy : July 16th

 Today's Watchword : 'Run Like Hell!'

These unwary Iroquois have been flushed-out of the bush.

Monday, 11 July 2022

The Battle of the Pyramids, 1798

At our club's last game night we did a rare refight of the Battle of the Pyramids, using a slightly modified version of the popular Blucher ruleset. Participants included Doug (Ibrahim Bey) and Daniel (Moodrad Bey) as the Mameluk leaders, with Will (Berthier) and his young son Arthur (Napoleon) as the French! 

The game was played in mighty 2mm; mighty, because this scale really lets you go-to-town on mostly scratch-built terrain -- which is great fun.

Looking downstream along the Nile with a 2mm Cairo glistening in the distance. The famous Hanging Church is in the middle distance.

The actual battle was a walkover for the French, due mostly to their use of pretty much impervious divisional squares and the medieval stupidity of the Mameluks. 

Our Mameluk leaders, however, had learnt a thing or two about operations and tactics. Using all of the tools in their toolkit, they turned both French flanks and wore them down. For their part, the French deviated from their use of squares and advanced in Ordre Mixte, exposing themselves to massed Mameluk attacks (although those units which stayed in divisional square throughout didn't take a single loss!). The result: a smashing Mamluk victory. Loses, though, were about even.

'See the pyramids along the Nile.' On the bottom left is Cairo's citadel. Above that is the Coptic Hanging Church on the shoreline, with Giza on the west bank and the Giza plateau in the distance. A tiny Sphinx lies languidly next to the pyramids. 

A Sergei Bondarchuk style view from 16,000 feet. Armies are deploying on the left.

The action opens with the gunboats hammering away at each other and the French advancing in column on the left.

The French flotilla continues to blast away, making short work of the Mameluk shipping. Ibrahim Bey's lads usefully shout encouragement. 

The action well underway. Reynier is sticking to divional square. "By the Sacred Blue and Death of a Life, citizen General," he says to Berthier. "That's a lot of Mamluks!"

Lowly slaves are pressed into action, waiting to be ferried across the Nile. Their role in battle was to follow up the horse; cutting throats and robbing the wounded.

Thanks to Doug, Daniel, Will, and Arthur (who looked quite the young Buonaparte!) for being adventurous and taking part.