Tuesday 28 February 2023

Look I Painted Something!

I was unsure as to whether I'd have the time or the inclination to take some photos for the annual Pendraken painting competition, but the weather was kind and a good meeting on the support front for our son meant that I felt quite upbeat (rather unusual after meetings!). So a quick gathering together of the toys and my games cloth left me to try and take some half decent pics of the troops. David Bailey I'm not but they make a good record of what I've been up to and it's quite good to remind oneself that the efforts look pretty reasonable when on the table.

German Early WWII Infantry Battalion
This forms the core of my WWII Germans and is what has been taking up my time and energy this month. I'm happy to have finally got these completed, so now it's onto the various support troops and ATG's etc that changed throughout the War.

The core force.

The 2nd Kompanie with its HQ and Heavy Weapons attached.

The 75mm Infantry Gun and Pak 35/36 plus their tows.

FAO and FAC.

The CO.

Attached Divisional Recce bar its CO and Armoured Cars.

Pendraken Painting Competition 2023
Some of these you will have seen before but they have all been completed since last February. It's rather nice to see some of the troops that have been in their box since October.



Tiger II.

North West Frontier-cum-ImagiNations Mounted Infantry.

North West Frontier-cum-ImagiNations Light Infantry with attached Mountain Gun.

North West Frontier-cum-ImagiNations Brigade.

Generic Pack Horses.

North West Frontier-cum-ImagiNations Generals.

Well I hope you enjoyed seeing my efforts and as always comments are greatly appreciated.


Monday 27 February 2023

This Month I Have Been Mostly ...

Well it's been a while since I posted anything, but fear not dear reader (or should that be fellow Blogger? Answers on a postcard...) I have not been idle, far from it. So I thought I'd do a bit of an overview  to keep you up to date on things chez moi.

Life, Love & The Pursuit Of Happiness
Just a fancy title really for things that have been going on outside of the gaming sphere. We have been blessed with some lovely almost Spring like weather here in Bristol, which has meant plenty of time outside, either pottering about on the garden, getting out on the bike (so nice) or just sitting and enjoying the warmth of the sun. Compared to the weather in other parts of the World, we have been lucky so far this year.

I have been very busy with various meetings with the local County Council on their SEND provision for the next 5 years, which has taken up quite a bit of my time but hopefully will have been worth it. I take the view that if I don't participate, then things will not improve and I can't 'complain'. Rather like not voting in the General Election and then moaning about the Government!

France 1940 Campaign
I think I have a good broad outline of how I want this to play out now, which is of course good. Blaxland's book, 'Destination Dunkirk' has been a superb resource and I highly recommend to anyone interested in this campaign. Now it's a case of getting enough miniatures painted up to kick things off, more of which below.

Leros Style Campaign
Whilst reading the Fallschirmjager book (see below) it occured to me that I have enough units to do a mini-campaign based upon this historical action. I had read about this pre-lockdown and thought no more of it, but I thought that this would be easier to do than my hoped for Crete Campaign and almost provide a dry run for something larger and more involved. I've a few ideas in my head and no more than that, as I have tried not to get sidetracked from my painting, which is easier said than done! Watch this space though for some updates soonish...

My Painting Area
A bit of a thing at present on many Blogs, so I remembered to grab a photo or two of my set up.

My bijou painting desk, aka the kitchen table. You can see why I have to wait for the kitchen to be clear before I can do anything. Some day I will have a dedicated space of my won...

The tools of the trade, with a very old jam jar for the water, a rather battered but loved saucer for the paint and my core brushes that I use for over 90% of my painting.

The spare brushes that are really too big for 10mm, various paint reference sheets, all stored in the lid of an old GW paint set that is still going strong some 20 years on. 

The impending France 1940 Campaign has kick started my painting mojo after quite a fallow period. I don't know about you but I find it hard to get going if I've been away from painting for some time. Taking the first step is the hardest, but once this is done, I tend to get into a groove. The classic paint little and often is certainly working for me.

Another hurdle is that I always worry that the units will not look good enough, which is maybe a hang over from my days in the design industry, where everything had to be perfect. Reminding myself that as long as they look good at amrs length and on the table, then that's fine by me. I still try and paint as well as I can, but I'm tending to worry less about details, as A: I can't see them and B: I can't paint them due to my shaky arm!

Maybe the wargames magazines should do what GW's White Dwarf did many years ago and have a regular column from a wargamer who painted, rather than a painter who wargamed. I fear, and I know this from experience, that all those wonderfully painted figures one sees in the magazines can be so off putting to the average wargamer or someone starting out in the hobby.

So far I have finished a full German Infantry Battalion for the French Campaign and only need a few Recce units before I can start. For once I have tried to focus on getting enough units ready for the first game, working on a Kompanie at a time, so that I can see progress and also have a self-contained formation for a game. I have a list of other units that need painting for the forthcoming scenarios, which will help keep me very much on track.

At least I have not wandered off track and into scratch building terrain, given my love for doing so. However I do know I need and want to make a few items for the French Campaign, but am being a good boy and resisting until those Recce units are finished. Nothing too fancy, but some barricades, advertising hoardings and road signs to help decorate the table.

I have another OHW scenario all planned out, but currently I'm staying focussed on my painting, which is rather unusual for me. Most likely I will use Honours of War for it as I feel it's the best fit. I would like to play it in March, given that I should have plenty of German units painted for the French Campaign by then.

After finishing off Blaxland's excellent Dunkirk book, I've read of flicked through the following:

I book I had not come across before but Tony of Woodscrew Miniature Army fame recommended it and I'm glad he did so. An excellent overview of the Fallschirmjager and with a good OOB at the end. From this I got the idea of a Leros stype campaign.

A charity shop find and just one of those books that is a delight to read and full of little nuggets of info. Highly recommended.

I've had this a while and after a flick through I've not had time to try out the small scenario in there that is perfect for a small table and with minimal troops. Painting taking priority at present plus of course my planned campaigns.

A pre-order from last year that arrived this month. I'd tried the original rules a good few years ago and they just didn't grab me. This may have had something to do with the Armies used and my poor die rolling! However since then I've played plenty of BPII and enjoyed the games and so I thought I'd give these another chance. I'm glad I did so as the book is much better in its layout with a handy rules summary at the back. The rules have been expanded to cover the War of the Roses as well as some simple siege games. The Army Lists have been reduced and the expectation is you will be the appropriate supplement. Not a problem for me and the WotR list will probably suffice for my initial games and after that we will see. I have plenty of other reference material should I need it as well.

The Flap Of Butterfly Wings
I'm not sure where it came from (possible an Amazon film) but this past week I have wondered about getting in some BPII games but set in India with the East India Company. I have absolutely no idea why this happened, but in the end I ended up ordering William Dalrymple's 'The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company' for some background knowledge to a period I know very little about. I've enjoyed his books on indai before and so am looking forward to reading this. Whether it turns into a wargames project remains to be seen...

Until next time stay safe and keep healthy.