Friday, August 12, 2016

More Retail Therapy

I have really been laid low by this illness (UC). It is starting to get me down. So I decided to engage in a little retail therapy. I found a book I have been wanting on Amazon - Christopher Shores and Giovanni Massimello's A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945 Volume II. This covers 1942 to March of 1943. It is a great, big, thick tome. I look forward to giving it a read.

Next up, I decided to revisit a dormant project - Dux B for the Romans. I looked at the figures that I have. I now have suitable Centurions that I am happy with. I have more than enough command for 3 Centuries at a 1:1 scale. I have enough auxillia for one century that is garrison bound and not full strength. What I was lacking was the junior leaders - the Optios. I have one Optio. It is a great figure from Corvus Belli. It looks fantastic. But, when I went to order more, I can't find any. Oops. Only one of these fellows came in a pack of command figures. I have so many other command figures that I hesitated ordering more packs just for one figure out of it. I thought I was stuck. Then eBay came to the rescue. There was a guy selling 5 15mm Early Roman Command figures from an unknown manufacturer. They looked vaguely like optios from the fuzzy pictures. So I clicked buy. They were cheap enough.

I just got them today. They are perfect. They have the same feathers on the helmet that the CB figure has. But they have some kind of mane running down the middle. That should not be too hard to remove with a little time with a file. Three figures are waving a sword while two are standing there holding a banner. I figure I will cut off the banner and they will be holding a pilum.

All in all, two great purchases. Now to find the energy to read or paint.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Reinforcements for North Africa

After the game last week, I broke out my North Africa aircraft. I had a quick game of Check Your Six to get the rules stuck in my head. As I reviewed my aircraft, I started thinking about what I would want to add to my aircraft.

First, I inventoried what I have.

ItalyCr4236These were a pain to assemble
ItalyG50bis63These were simple to paint up.
ItalySM7917I copied aircraft with no camo pattern.
GermanyBf109e Trop816Simple pattern to paint. Slight megalomania as I wanted a complete Staffel of aircraft.
GermanyJu87B Trop353 of the unpainted really just need markings.
UKHurricane Mk184Had wanted to do a squadron of these.
UKTomahawks84One of the unpainted has an accidental hole through it.
UKSpitfire08These are for later in the war.
So, as you can see, I have a nice selection to start with. But I was lacking some aircraft for some scenarios that I wanted to do. Basically, not enough bombers. So, I went shopping. My Picoarmor order just came in. It is great.

ItalyBr203Nice clean castings.
ItalyBa658Neat little aircraft that did not fare well.
GermanyBf110C8These should be fun.
GermanyJu88A-13Should be a nice little bomber.
UKMartin Maryland3Nice bomber for the Brits
UKBlenheim IV3This was an impulse buy.
I also placed an order with Tumbling Dice. I am waiting on some Blenheim Is, Caparoni 310s and some Hs126s. Now to take some time to paint them. I also checked and I only have 14 flight stands so the possibility of doing larger actions is unlikely.

Chain of Command Pint Sized Campaign - Action at Ustilug, 1941

I just found a supplement that I had written over a year ago. It is a pint sized campaign consisting of six scenarios in a half ladder campaign. It follows the defense of the town of Ustilug by the 87th Soviet Rifle Division against the attack of the German 298th Infantry Division. The action takes place in the town of Ustilug and across the open plains behind the town up to train station at Piatydnie.

The booklet consists of the historical background of the action, information about the forces that were deployed, and specific rules on the support elements that are available for the campaign.

A quick note, this does not currently have the nice layout that Rich puts into the pint sized campaigns he releases. I am checking with Rich to see if he is interested in it first. If not, I may put this up on my blog later this week.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Strange Blogger Behavior

Not sure what happened, but it the past couple of weeks the top item in my blog roll has decided to display the image for that blog across most of the page. This had the lovely benefit of obscuring the pictures and text of my post. I have just spent some time tinkering with the settings and could not figure out why it was doing that. In the end, I had to remove the thumbnails from the blog roll listing. That makes the blogroll text only which is unfortunate but more usable. Anyone else have something like that happen to them? I know Fran saw that on one of my posts which got me looking at the issue.

Anyway, yesterday was a bust. I was too sick to get in a game. Didn't get to paint either. But today is a new day.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Got in a Game Last Night - CY6 Greece

Mark hosted his regular Thursday night game of Check Your Six. He indulged me and we played a Greece 1941 game. I was in command of a flight of three Gloster Gladiators with excellent pilots including Marmaduke Pattle. The Italians were played by Mark with a flight of two Cr42s, Chris (a different one) with a flight of two G50s and Max with a group of three Cr42s.

My flight came in at a higher altitude and spotted the Italians immediately. Pattle and his wingman dove down on Mark's CR42s. The last Gladiator remained at altitude and turned towards the G50s. And this is pretty much where my plan fell apart.

Turn 4 has Pattle with a shot on one of Mark's novice pilots. He scores a hit but Mark was able to save. Turn five has Pattle repeating his shot and jamming his guns. Mark again saves. Pattle next dives out of the way in order to get a chance to unjam his guns. (Actually, he should have just left but the Italians wanted to continue the game.) Turn 6 saw the the Italians land a hit on Pattle's wingman. This resulted in engine damage. The pilot would then dive out of combat and reached safety by turn 10.

Turn 11 saw Pattle land another hit resulting in airframe damage to one of Max's Cr42s. Max climbed and ran for it with this pilot. The same turn saw my other pilot take engine damage. He attempted to dive out of combat but was followed by a G50 and two Cr42s and probably would have been shot down.

Exhaustion overtook me and I had to quit after 13 turns. All in all, it was a great game. You just never know how things are going to play out. With a top ace like Pattle, there should have been multiple kills recorded. But one never knows how things will happen. Great game that was lots of fun.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Painted Miniatures

I finally finished some miniatures. First up is my group of Continentals. I only have six of them so far with an officer.

The second set of miniatures is a mule team for Sharp Practice supports. These are mostly for AWI but might work for the SYW if I ever get to those figures.

The last set is my engineers. Also for SP2 AWI. They are great figures but I really need 8 men and a leader but only have 7 with a leader. They are nice miniatures.

I did paint the remaining 4 figures for my mounted Militia. Also an officer for the mounted militia was painted. Then I have a preacher, a doctor, a dog and a guy and an ox that are plowing a field. The mounted militia is Peter Pig. The leader of the mounted militia is a scout from Peter Pig. The Preacher is from a Peter Pig ECW pack as is the dog. The doctor is a FIW civilian from Blue Moon. Nice tall rotund figure. The oxen and plow is also Blue Moon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Managed to Get Some Painting Done

I had a partially painted group of Maryland Continentals done that I finished off with an ink wash. The next step is to start basing them. But that is not all. I painted my mule train for Sharp Practice. I have seven mules and a drover. All painted and ink washed. They are ready for basing. Lastly, I also started to paint an engineering team. The figures were purchased from Magister Militum. They are great but there is one figure that is too specifically dressed. He is wearing what appears to be an English Civil War uniform with a helmet. I don't think that I can use that poor fellow. The rest seem OK to use. The team is great. One fellow with a wheelbarrow, a man with a pick, one with a sledgehammer, one carrying a wicker basket of debris, two with shovels and another with a bundle of sticks. Then there is a leader figure that is pointing dramatically. The ECW fellow is holding a stick.

I am working on finishing off the Engineers and then will move on to some more mounted militia to finish off a group.

Hopefully, I can get some pictures before the end of the day.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Building Kharkov Station

I managed to make a breakthrough with the design of Kharkov station. I found a pedestrian walkway that will work well with what I have in mind. I found a HO Scale plastic kit at a local train shop. Great shop by the way. It is around the corner from my house and they had lots of useful bits there.

The plastic kit is a snap together kit. That mostly works. But it will not be stable enough for the gaming table. I bought two of them and put them together. I had to trim part of one walkway to get them to join up. I need to break out the super glue and stabilize the whole thing.

I added a simple banner to one side of the walkway that reads "Welcome to Kharkov Station" or at least that is what Google Translate tells me that is. Who know what it actually says.

Next, I need to figure out how much train track I actually need. The intent is to copy this.

I won't be able to make it as huge as this. The Kharkov station walkways are covered. Mine are not. The intent is to have a section of walkway that spans two double track sections. I have some tile pieces that I intend to use as the medians where the walkways will rest upon. The tracks will be in the grooves between the sections of tile. One of the things in the picture is a covered canopy for waiting passengers to take shelter under in the case of a storm. I am debating on skipping that part.

The second picture above is of the station itself. It is a one story structure with a curved roof. Here is where my Game Craft Miniatures Government Building will step in. I will remove the second story and create a flat roof for the structure. Then using a pringles can, create the curved roof structure. I have some balsa wood blocks that I will make a clock tower with to have on one of the corners. I just hope my building skills are up to the challenge. If I can pull it off, the Government building will become even more versatile and can mimic several buildings with a simple roof change. Well, that is the theory anyway. I will pull the tile out later today and see if I can start laying out what the track sections will look like.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

TFL Summer Special

Well, I did something wargames related today. I bought the TFL Summer Special. I am very impressed. It is full of good stuff. I now have such a backlog of things that I want to do, I will never get them done. All of my favorites are in there. Bag the Hun, Chain of Command, IABSM and of Course plenty for the New Sharp Practice.

Speaking of SP, I need to get a game in. I have all of the gear ready, just need to time to give the rules a spin. Hopefully, my health will start improving and I can change all of that.

In the works, I have a nearly finished Pint sized campaign (maybe quart sized is better since there are technically 2 campaigns in it) and a half finished 3rd AWI book. The new book is made specifically for SP2. I should start seeing work take shape on these soon enough.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Been Kinda Quiet Around Here

My apologies for my absence. I have been fighting a bad UC flare and just not had the energy to do anything. I am back to trying to work on my day job some every day. But there is nothing left in the tank for hobby stuff. Doc has me on new meds this week and we will see how this turns out. I hopefully will be back to normal in short order.

Until then, I am still planning on launching my second novel on Amazon on the 15th. I am just doing some last minute clean up on it and hoping to hit publish soon.

Until next time, roll some dice and have fun.