Raft and Rowboat: Bones 4 Dreadmere Models

Chris Palmer

   This past week I also painted the Raft and Rowboat from the Bones 4 Dreadmere Expansion Set.  We’re doing a water based Ghost Archipelago scenario later this month, and I wanted to include these if needed.
       I prepped the pieces in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.  I then assembled the raft, by gluing in the oars and the fish basket, using Gorilla Super Glue Gel.   (It also comes with a pair of loose fish, but I thought I’d save those to use somewhere else.)    After that, I glued 1"x1" steel bases to the undersides of both models using Gorilla Super Glue Gel.

     I started with the raft, and began by painting the bark of the logs with Americana “Charcoal Grey”.  After that, I painted the ends with Americana “Fawn”, and the ropes with Folk Art “Barn Wood”.

     When the raft had dried for a bit, I gave the whole thing a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthsahde” wash.  Then, when the wash was dry,  I drybrushed the bark with a 50-50 mix of Americana “Neutral Grey” and Americana “Mississippi Mud”, followed by a lighter drybrush with Americana “Dove Grey”.  I then drybrushed the ends of the logs with Americana “Antique White”, and the ropes with Americana “Bleached Sand”. 

     I then started on the rowboat.  I glued that to a tongue depressor for easier handling, using a couple drops of Elmer’s glue.

      I began by painting the entire boat with Folk Art “Barn Wood”.  I then painted the netting with Folk Art “Porcelain White”, and the fish basket with Americana “Fawn”.

      Next, I painted the lamp with Folk Art Burnished Metal “Burnished Bronze”.  I then painted the plank patches on the outside of the boat with Folk Art “Grey Green”,  Folk Art “Dapple Grey”, and Americana “Mississippi Mud”.   After that, I painted the rope with Americana “Neutral Grey”,and the fish in the basket with Folk Art Color Shift “Blue Flash”.

    I let the paint dry for a while, and then I gave the entire raft a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.

     When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the boat with Americana “Dove Grey”.  I then drybrushed the net with some Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White” mixed with some of the base “Porcelain White”, and drybrushed the fish basket with some Americana “"Antique White”. After that I drybrushed the lantern with some Ceramcoat 14K Gold, and put some color on the fish with Folk Art Metallics “Metallic Emerald Green”.  Lastly, I painted the panes of the lantern with Ceramcoat “Black”.

     These were nice simple pieces to get done.  I didn’t spend a lot of time with them, but I think they turned out looking pretty good nonetheless.

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Bufo (Frogman) Bones 4 Dreadmere Figure

Chris Palmer

  This past week I painted Bufo, the Frog-man (or maybe he’s a Toad-man) figure from the Bones 4 Dreadmere Expansion.  Since most all my frog figures are painted like colorful tree frogs and poison dart frogs, I thought I’d continue that pattern here, and paint Bufo like a Red Eyed Monkey Tree Frog. I love how full of character this figure is, and had been looking forward to painting him since the Kickstrater ran.

       I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.  I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1.25" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.

     I began by painting his body with Crafter’s Acrylic “Wild Green”.  When it was dry, I gave it a wash with some thinned Citadel “Dark Green” ink.  Then, when the ink wash was dry, I painted his belly with Americana “Bleached Sand”, and the border area between the “Wild Green and "Bleached Sand” with Ceramcoat “Denim Blue”.  The “Denim Blue” also went up the undersides of his arms, and the insides of his legs.

    Next, I painted his hands and feet with Crafter’s Acrylic “Pure Pumpkin”, and his apron (tabard?) with Apple Barrel “Yellow”.  I then painted his belt with Americana “Terra Cotta”, and the basket on his back with Accent “Golden Harvest”.  After that, I painted the bottom and top of the basket with Reaper MSP HD “Golden Brown”, and the lamp pole with Reaper MSP “Olive Skin”.

     I then painted the trident shaft and the axe handle with Americana “Light Cinnamon”, and then the wrist bands with the “Terra Cotta”.  After that, I painted the lamp and its fittings with the “Golden Harvest”, and the axe and trident heads with Americana “Zinc"  I also painted the strapping on the trident with Anita’s "Burnt Sienna”.

   

     Next, I painted the trident and axe heads with  Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey” and the lamp and its fittings with Folk Art Burnished Metal “Burnished Bronze”.  Then, after the figure had a chance to dry for a while, I put some Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash on the feet, hands, belt, apron, wrist straps, and trident straps.    When that was dry, I applied some Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash to the basket, lamp pole, trident shaft, and axe handle.  Then when that was dry, I applied some Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash to the lamp, and trident and axe heads.

     When all the washes were dry, I highlighted his belly with Americana “Snow White”, and the blue areas with Crafter’s Acrylic “Tropical Blue”.  I then highlighted his body with the base “Wild Green”, and his feet with Reaper MSP “Hearth Fire”.  After that, I painted his eyes with Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”, and then gave them ceramcoat “Black” pupils.

 

     Next,  I highlighted his apron/tabard using Crafter’s Acrylic “Bright Yellow”, and then painted a cattail badge on it using the “Holly Berry”.  I then highlighted his basket using Americana “Moon Yellow for the weaving, and Americana "Sable Brown for the lid and bottom.  After that, I highlighted his belt, wrist guards, and the strap on the basket with Accent "Golden Oxide”; the lamp pole with Reaper MSP “Olive Skin Highlight”; and the trident shaft and axe handle with Folk Art “Teddy Bear Brown”.  Wrapping things up, I highlighted the strapping on the trident shaft with Americana “Shading Flesh”, the trident and axe heads with Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”, and the lamp with Ceramcoat “14K Gold” followed by a little Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”.   Lastly, I painted the entire base with “Americana "Mississippi Mud”.
       I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”.  When the “Dullcote” was dry, I went back and hit is eyes with a little Americana “DuraClear Gloss” varnish.   

     I’m really happy with how this one turned out!    It’s a great little sculpt with a lot of charm.

    Be sure to tune in Thursday, for another bonus entry on the blog! I’ll be posting a couple more of the Dreadmere pieces!

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High Road to China

Buck

There is an early Tom Selleck movie I like that came out about the same time as Lassiter (a great movie!) and Runaway (a pretty good movie, written by Michael Creighton), called High Road to China.  It didn’t get a lot of acclaim, though I think the story is really well done.  I think a lot of people didn’t buy Bess Armstrong, but I thought she was fine.  Anyway, Sally 4th, in their Hollywood classics line came out with four figures based on the characters in this movie.  I managed to get them painted yesterday at 0400 before heading to NJ Con with Eric.

O’Malley, Evie’s father, the Khan, and Evie.

The figures are nicer than my paint job.  I recommend you take a look at these figures.

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Expanding the French Revolution Project, Part 2

Rob Dean

As described in Part 1 and in Ross’s blog, we have decided to work on the French Revolution, with the intention of putting the combined results on the table at Huzzah next year (15-17 May 2020) in Portland, Maine.  The target rules are A Gentleman’s War (AGW), which gives us a basic structure of 12 man infantry units, 6 man cavalry units, and cannons manned by about four crewmen to work toward.  For a two-player game, the rules recommend using 6-9 units for a “small” army.  Based on our combined decades of convention gamemastering, we would anticipate that players will have “enough” to do if they are each commanding 3-5 units in a multiplayer game, especially if we are generous with the cameo roles and use the distinctions rules.  Six players seems a solid goal for Huzzah, and that translates into 18-30 units, of which we currently have five.  It would seems that we have our work cut out for us…

My own initial goal is to get to two cavalry units (have 2 of 4), four infantry units (have 3 of 8), and a gun for each side (have 0 of 2), so that I can put a game on the table at home for inspiration.  That would be 14 of the 18-30 we would want for Huzzah.

Having done these calculations, the weather last Monday, on Memorial Day, was beautiful.  My son Norman and I played out the AGW game previously reported, and he headed home.  I took my casting gear outside and prepared to add some reinforcements.  Apart from a test session with these molds a couple of weeks ago, it’s been quite a few years since the Meisterzinn multi-part molds in my collection have been in serious use.

Setting up outdoors

Years of experience with casting has taught me that there are variables over which I have no control, so that on days when certain molds are working well, I make extras, because there is no guarantee that things will work again the next time. 

Results of casting session 

I spent three or four hours casting, cycling through three or four molds at a time, enough to allow the casting to solidify before opening the mold, but not so many that the molds got “cold” (it’s all relative when you’re pouring metal at 600+ degrees Fahrenheit).  The walking/trotting horse from mold 1322 was having a good day.  I was getting a better than 90% success rate on pours, so I made about 20 of them.  The galloping horse from mold 1325 almost never works.  I tried six or seven times and didn’t get close to a complete casting.  This is why every horse already done for this project is a 1322, and it looks likely that every new horse will be too.  I wasn’t sure what cavalry I would be making, and a have a handful of the hussar bodies already around, so I only cast three hussars and seven cuirassiers.  They also generally cast easily, so getting more later should not be a problem.

Mold 1324 makes an advancing infantryman and a standard bearer.  Past experience is that both of these figures cast fairly reliably.  Unfortunately, one doesn’t need that many standard bearers, and the hands are in a position opposite that of a right-handed shooter holding up his musket.  I have occasionally filled out a unit by sticking one in anyway, but more often I have used this casting as a figure loading.  If you put a section of fine wire in the right hand as a ramrod and a musket with the butt on the ground in the left, he’s passable.  However, I didn’t plan on doing that so I only poured that mold cavity a couple of times.  The advancing figure (as I’ll show below) was working well, and I was able to make 21 of them, with a solid 90+% success rate.  
The other molds were more troublesome.  I lost track of how many times I tried the firing poses mold (1329), but I got 6 usable figures (three of each), none with bayonets cast, after at least a dozen attempts, so a success rate of of under 25%.  I ended up with 4 good examples of the marching infantryman from mold 1321 after at least eight tries, and they were mostly from the first few tries, so I set it aside for another day.  I tried 1326, the civilians, and got a couple of women, but the man wouldn’t cast.  The bandsman, 1332, as usual, would not cast at all, although I got more cocked hat heads, as used for the British below. 1328, an officer with cast in lapel detail (so of a later style than the officer in 1321) was working, so I made 3 of those.  
Overall, I ended up with horses for three new cavalry units, or a little more if the existing 8-man units are expanded to 2 6-man units, two uniform pose advancing infantry units, and enough assorted castings to staff a third unit, which brings up an artistic/aesthetic question, to be discussed below.
On Friday, a day I had off from work, I sat down and started to assemble pieces.  I have a cache of fifers from years past, and the fifer mold (1323) at least used to cast fairly reliably.  So I decided that the first unit up would extend the available bodies a bit by consisting of 12 men, including an officer, a flag, and a fifer.  A drummer would be better, of course, but Meisterzinn does not have a drummer with a normal military drum–even the bandsman, if one could get it to cast, comes with a choice of a snare drum or a bass drum.
Here is a 1792 infantryman from Vol. 1 of the Funcken Lace Wars book. After discussions with Ross, I concluded that the best match for the transitional cocked hat from the available Meisterzinn heads was one that is included only in the bandsman mold.
With as many figures as we are proposing to add, it is going to be necessary to keep the piece-by-piece conversions down to a minimum, so the goal is to be “recognizably close” to the historical figures.  So, sometime in the 1780s the British went from gaiters reaching above the knee to gaiters below the knee.  I am not attempting the file the castings to reflect this.

First British under construction

By Friday evening I had the whole unit assembled.  I glued them to craft sticks (aka tongue depressors) for ease of handling.

A unit ready to prime
I got up yesterday morning and primed them with a black spray primer.  I considered using white, given the British colors, but I appear to be out of white primer at the moment, and I didn’t want to go out in search of more at 0600.  I would expect that I would have started by running a black ink into crevice and shadow areas, but that experiment will need to wait until later. 
After spraying the primer from six directions and giving it time to dry, I started in on painting.  I am more or less attempting to match the style I used on the existing figures.  After putting one a coat or two of the basic colors, I took one infantryman and finished him up.
Sample infantryman
Sample infantryman, back
I used the distinction colors and a simplified version of the button lace pattern from the 37th infantry regiment, one of the ones deployed for the Flanders campaign.  
The state of the rest of the unit when I quit for the day
Today my plan is to see if I can finish the rest of the unit (minus the actual flag, most likely), but if the weather is good, I might see about more casting.  The next unit up is probably going to be some approximation of British light dragoons, for which I believe I have the parts already cast.  At that point, the Coalition will be ahead in strength, so I would hope to alternate between Coalition units and French units.
If the casting success rates remain constant (not usually a good assumption), I am eventually going to have to deal with the aesthetic question of how uniformly posed I want the units to be.  An all-advancing unit, as shown above with the British, is likely to be fairly easy.  A firing line unit of an officer, a flag, five kneeling shooters and five standing shooters with complete bayonets is going to be nearly impossible.  The existing units, as shown in Part 1, were intended for an individual figure based skirmish game, so I wanted them to be as mixed as possible, in case it was necessary to easily identify individuals.  Going forward, I would like the French to present a more irregular appearance, and they historically used more skirmishers, so there may be French units which are half shooting/half advancing.  If the firing figures continue to be rare, though, I may reserve them for special units, jaegers or other light infantry, and it will probably be necessary to fill things out with standard bearers posed as loaders. 
By the end of the outdoor casting season in September/October, I would like to have all of the pieces and parts wanted for the Huzzah game.  

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Played “A Gentleman’s War” at NJ Con

Buck

Eric and I headed up to NJCon for the day on Saturday.  He and I both played in a RevWar game using The British are Coming rules.  It was a fun game with an old school feel and the need to multiply two digit numbers together to reach the final percentage needed to hit.  We had a good time.

The cover of “A Gentleman’s War”

The real hit for me was playing A Gentleman’s War with Howard Whitehouse.  When these rules were announced on TMP, I immediately ordered them.  My dad has been collecting old toy soldiers as long as I can remember, and he must have 20,000 of them.  I cut my teeth on Little Wars and the illustrations of the same toy soldiers my dad collects being used in games.  Of course you wouldn’t want to fire lead projectiles at valuable antiques, so A Gentleman’s War doesn’t require spring loaded cannons.  I bought the book and read the rules, which are quite enjoyable to read, even if you never play them.  When I saw that Howard was running the game at NJ Con, I signed up to play.

Below are some picture I took.  There is something charming about gaming with old toy soldiers.  Whether it is something inherent to the large, glossy figures, or the people attracted to gaming with large, glossy figures, gamers tend to be less focused on inconsequential minutiae and more willing to just play the game.  The rules are easily grasped after a couple of turns.  They could benefit from a PDF chart card that could fit on a single pice of paper, but in general, these are really, really fun rules, and we had a great game.

My gallant French colonial troops moving forward to flank the town.

I really like the activation mechanism, but there seems to be a fatal flow when a force has been heavily attritted.  A player activates units based on a card draws.  You can see the blue and red markers, indicating that those units have activated.  A unit may not activate again, until all of a player’s units have activated once.  (There is an exception to this, but let’s go with this for purposes of the blog entry.)  Once all a player’s units have activated, all markers are removed, but the turn isn’t over, so units may activate many times during a turn.  The problem is that if a player is down to just one or two units, he may activate that small set of units, clear markers, and activate them again, while the other player must cycle through all his units.  There must be a way to solve this.  I would like to borrow this mechanism for a set of rules I am writing for a secret project for a miniature manufacturer.

The British beat me to the town, which was both our objective, and immediately captured three of the five buildings while my Frenchmen dithered.

A view of the French side of the table after the initial deployment.

A view of the British side of the table after the initial deployment. The Nordfeldt caused a lot of damage on my colonial troops until we charged it and killed the crewmen.

Another view of the table.

I highly recommend these rules.  The are an improvement on Charge!, McDuff, and other similar rules without losing that really old school feel.

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A Preponderance of Panzers

Mark A. Morin

For May, I was hoping to complete a diverse German 15mm/1:100 scale armored force to use for a What a Tanker© game D-Day scenario.  Last month saw my completion of a good-sized US force – and I already had an 11-tank British contingent of Shermans and Fireflies.

As for the Germans, last year I had bought and assembled a 5-vehicle Plastic Soldier Company StuG III kit that could be completed as either F8 or G variants.  I assembled and primed them, but put them aside, as they did not fit in with either my France 1940 or North Africa scenarios.  From Battlefront Miniatures, I had bought several resin and plastic models to include a Marder III, 7 Panzer IV’s (E, F2, and H’s), 2 Tiger I’s, and a Panther D.  Additionally, I was able to acquire a Battlefront Ferdinand/Elefant from Chris Rett in my gaming club – which was fortunate as this model is now out of production.  This made 17 tanks/tank destroyers available to assemble and paint, but too big a force for just a Normandy scenario.  Plus, from my research, the StuG F8 was more of an Eastern Front vehicle.  So, I decided to proceed to complete these 17 for two different scenarios, some for the Eastern Front and some for the Normandy scenario.

Researching the camouflage patterns for these two groups showed me very different patterns of painting – and in each case I would need to expand my skills and tools to be able to achieve a good historical representation of each vehicle.  In particular, I needed an airbrush that could do the finest lines and make these tiny tanks look appropriate.  I found a solution in an Iwata Micron B airbrush.   This was not inexpensive, but in the end turned out to live up fully to my expectations.  As an aside, I had been struggling to have enough time to finish all of these tanks in May.  Work this month had been hectic, I attended HUZZAH in Maine (more to come on that in a future post), Memorial Day ceremonies, and the Boston Bruins have been in the Stanley Cup playoffs (and now the finals!!) so my hobby time has been constrained somewhat,  Unfortunately I got a bit more time as I was unexpectedly laid off this week!  I am sure that if I did not have a job, I would not have bought the new Micron B airbrush, but who knew that would happen?  Not me, but at least I was able to finish these in time to be my second entry in Azazel’s “Mechanismo May” community painting challenge.

Given that I was so busy, I took fewer WIP photos than normal – so I decided that this post I will go through some points on assembly, then share in turn the Eastern Front vehicles, the Normandy vehicles, and lastly the paints and materials that I used.  This means the eye-candy shots will be interspersed this time throughout the blog.  As always, let me know your thoughts and feedback – and which one you like the most, if you are so inclined of course!  There are links on the headers and elsewhere if you want more background, albeit from Wikipedia.

Notes on Assembly

2 TigersTiger I kit innards3 Tiger and washersI wanted more heft in my tanks – so I added steel washers to the Tiger’s. I filled the hulls afterwards with PVA glue.6 Panzer IVH with ball bearings and BB'sI remembered that I had some ball bearings from Jeff Smith and some BB’s – so the Panzer IV’s got these and PVA glue on top as ballast.4 Assembled grouping less Pz Iv's and some StuG'sSome of the tanks, some primed, some not yet.  The Elefant in front had been given an Elefant trunk and ears with green stuff by Chris Rett’s daughter.  I did my best to remove the excess kneadatite before repriming.

Eastern Front

Here are the vehicles I built for a future Eastern Front scenario.

StuG III F8

1 StuG F8 base coatedStuG IIIF8 base coated2 StuG F8 painted redI made three F8’s for the Easter front.  Two had the two-toned reddish/brownish camouflage.3 StuG F8 painted 3 colorThe third F8 I experimented with the Iwata Micron B to make a three-toned camouflage pattern.4 StuG F8's in wheat fieldThe three StuG IIIF8’s completed deployed in a wheat field.5 StuG F8's in wheat field left side viewLeft side view of the StuG IIIF8’s6 StuG F8's in wheat field rear viewRear view of the F8’s.  I used the Vallejo “Thick Brown Mud” on my Eastern Front vehicles to simulate the effects of Mother Russia.

Panzer IVF2

This model was a resin/metal combination.

4 Panzer IVF2 complete right sideCompleted Panzer IVF2, left side.5 Panzer IVF2 complete left sideRight side of the completed Panzer IV F2.

Panzer IVH

3 all 3 Panzer IV H'sI painted one Panzer IVH in a reddish/brown two-tone, and the other two in a two-tone yellow/green pattern.  Here they are with different decals.  I tried Armorcast decals in addition to my Battlefront ones – and the sizes of theirs (crosses) work better for small areas like you see here.  Give them a look if interested.4 all 3 Panzer IV H's in a fieldPatrolling a field.5 all 3 Panzer IV H's by a wheat fieldLeft side of the Panzer IVF2’s.  I also varied adding crew or leaving the tank buttoned up to make it easier for tabletop identification and play – in addition to the different decal numbers.

Tiger I

4 Tiger in wheat field left sideEastern Front Tiger I, left side, crossing a wheat field.5 Tiger acquiring targetThis was a fun model – and the weathering products worked well.5 Tiger in wheat field frontal viewAcquiring a Soviet target.5 Tiger in wheat field rightsideRight side shot.6 Tiger in wheat field rearRear angle on the Tiger I.

These are going to be fun to use and see used in future games.  I previously had built a Battlefront resin Tiger I for North Africa, and I must say that the plastic ones are really nice models too (less weighty of course – which is why I added ballast).  Of course, I was primarily focused on getting ready for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.  So let’s get to those AFV’s!

Group Shots

Here are some group shots all of the German AFV’s for Eastern Front scenarios that I did this month.

1 Group shot 1 Eastern Front2 Group shot 2 Eastern Front

Normandy Campaign

Here are the Normandy Campaign tanks and tank destroyers I built this month.  These all have three-toned camouflage pattern, though I tried to be true to the examples I found in my research.

Marder III

This was a resin and metal model.  I painted the crew separately before adding them to the model.

4 Marder III complete right sideMarder III in ambush position.5 Marder III complete left sideLeft side view.6 Marder III rearRear view showing Marder III crew.

StuG IIIG

This version had the “schürzen” spaced armor – which was also on the Panzer IVH.  All these are plastic models.

2 Stug G's by wrecked buildingAdvancing past the ruins.3 Stug G's in fieldMoving into ambush position by the bocage hedgerows.4 Stug G's advancing down roadMoving up.

Panzer IVE

This model is the least powerful of the Panzer IV’s I built for Normandy, but it was deployed in Normandy and in good numbers.

3 Panzer IVE by buildingThe Panzer IVE by a building near a Panzer IVH – the Vallejo “Crushed Grass” worked well along with the “European Thick Mud” and the European “Splash Mud” for weathering.

Panzer IVH

I built two plastic Panzer IVH’s for Normandy.  The side armor (schürzen) were not easy to affix, and made painting a challenge on both these and the previous Eastern Front versions.  Their camouflage patterns were slightly different.

1 Panzer IVH's and Panzer IVE in fieldThe two Panzer IVH’s and the Panzer IVE (for comparison) on the right in the hedgerows.2 Panzer IVH's facing frontFrontal view of the Panzer IVH’s for Normandy.2 Panzer IVH's turn cornerPatrolling the ruined village.

Elefant/Ferdinand

I really enjoyed bringing this monster tank destroyer model back to the tabletop.  It is out of production, so I was very happy that Chris sold it to me for a song.

4 Elefant in fieldElefant right side.  5 Elefant facing frontNice view of the front – the crewman was already mounted when I got this model.  I prefer to paint them separately, but this worked out fine – they are just so tiny.6 Elefant rearGood look at the rear of the vehicle – I liked that it had the zimmerit on it too.

Panther D

I’ve been wanting to build a Panther since I saw the Panther A at the American Heritage Museum last year.  This is 30 miles from my house!

15A PANTHERBeautiful restoration of this Panther

Mine is a Panther D, and it was a resin/metal model.

Note the road wheel on the turret.  It came in the kit, and I put it there as there was a nub to hang it.  Unfortunately, it interfered with the turret being flush on the hull.  Luckily, I was able to remove the road wheel.  As I had an extra track section, I was able to affix it over that space on the turret.  The model was also missing on of the two exhaust pipes – an iconic part of a Panther.  I was able to drill the resin hull and build a replacement with a cut-down paper clip.

3 Panther in fieldPanther crossing an open field.4 Panther left sideNice left side view showing the muddy tracks.5 Panther right sideRight side view with track section on the turret.6 Panther acquiring targetTarget spotted!  Schnell!  Feuer!

Tiger I

I think you’ll be pleased with this one!


3 Tiger in field left sideLeft side of the Tiger I for a Normandy scenario.4 Tiger in field rear sideTiger I rear view.5 Tiger in field right sideRight side view of the Tiger I.5 Tiger in open acquring targetNice frontal shot.

Group Shots

Here are some group shots all of the German AFV’s for Normandy that I did this month.

1 Group shot 1 Normandy Germans

2 Group shot 2 Normandy Germans

3 Group shot 3 Normandy Germans

Thanks for looking and I hope that you found this interesting !  I have more to do now – next up:

1 Next models

D-Day is only 5 days away!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE VEHICLES:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. Testors Plastic Cement
  3. Elmer’s white glue
  4. Steel washers
  5. Ball bearings
  6. BB gun BB’s
  7. E6000 epoxy
  8. Aleene’s poster tack
  9. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  10. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  11. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  12. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  13. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  14. Battlefront “European Skin”
  15. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (wash)
  16. Polly Scale “WWII German Armor Dark Olive Green”
  17. Vallejo Mecha Color “Grey Green”
  18. Vallejo Model Air “Olive Green”
  19. P3 “Bootstrap Leather”
  20. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  21. Polly Scale “WWII Luftwaffe Uniform Gray”
  22. Vallejo Model Air “Panzer Dark Grey”
  23. P3 “Sulfuric Yellow”
  24. DecoArt “White Pearl”
  25. Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
  26. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Yellow”
  27. Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
  28. Vallejo Mecha Color “Olive Green”
  29. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  30. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  31. Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
  32. Army Painter “Strong Tone” (wash)
  33. Vallejo Model Air “USA Olive Drab”
  34. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  35. Vallejo Model Air “Rust (71.080)”
  36. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  37. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  38. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  39. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  40. Microscale Micro-Set
  41. Microscale Micro-Sol
  42. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  43. Appropriate decals from Armorcast
  44. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  45. Vallejo “Brown Mud” (Thick Mud)
  46. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  47. Vallejo “Crushed Grass”
  48. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”

 

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Expanding the French Revolution Project, Part 1

Rob Dean

The origins of my French Revolution project are now lost in obscurity.  I originally bought a set of the 40mm Nuernberger Meisterzinn molds for the purpose of adding some expansion units to Chris Palmer’s French and Indian War project.  I started thinking about what else I could do with them, and realized that the different heads included covered a number of French Revolution types, and somehow the idea that a Scarlet Pimpernel-based scenario would give me another use for the molds as well as provide an excuse to put a marching band on the table in a game pushed this over the edge, from thinking to doing.  That also tied the time down to 1793-4.
My main resources for painting were the Funcken Uniforms of the French Revolution book, and the Haythornthwaite book on the same topic.
In the initial scenario development (and I have the notes around here somewhere…) the idea was that each player would have one unit, each of which would have its own separate victory conditions.  We also had a suggested set of variant victory conditions, so that we could run the game multiple times and playing previously would not be a spoiler, because the hidden information could be different each time.  What stayed the same is that the Austrians were more-or-less working together to take a military objective (a bridge), and the French national guardsmen (or Les Bleus) were tasked with defense of the objective, and a special order to capture the Scarlet Pimpernel.  One of the other five French factions (regulars, cavalry, mounted police, band, and civilians) would not be what they seemed, but would be the Pimpernel, his assistants and some French nobles attempting to escape.
Each mounted faction was built with eight figures, and each foot faction was built with twelve.  We ended up with a few extra civilians as well.  As always, Ross Macfarlane decided to pitch in and help with the painting (and more, as will be shown).  
Ultimately, we played this a few times in 2007-8, and it got shelved with a mental note that the rules I was using needed some work, and that not all of the factions were fun to play.  It was close, but not quite there.
When I got A Gentleman’s War (AGW) last month, I realized that it might be just what I was looking for to get the French Revolution back on the table, although as a small battle game rather than a skirmish.  The presence of an extended section on “cameo roles” gives something to do with civilians, bandsmen, and the Pimpernel.  I discussed the idea with Ross, who was very enthusiastic, and recommended a couple of sources on the 1793/4 campaigns in Flanders.  
Part 2 will be more about where this might be going, but here’s a quick review of what there is:
First up are the Paris mounted police.  I have a feeling that finding a battlefield role for these guys may be difficult, but perhaps we can just slide them in as a French cavalry unit without drawing any particular attention to them.  I’ll mention here that the mold collection has two horses, but I have only been able to regularly cast the horse that comes with cuirassier body successfully.  All of the mounted  police were built using the “hussar” body, with the cast-on lapel lace filed off.
Paris mounted police, from Funcken

Close-up of one mounted policeman

The Austrian cuirassier uses the same bicorne head as many of the French.  As “toy soldiers” I compromised and painted the backplate cast on the figure, although the Austrians historically only wore breastplates.  My general goal has been to save metal file work for when it is really needed.

Austrian Cuirassier, from Haythornthwaite

The French chasseur a cheval uses one of the two standard helmet heads included in the various molds, and the hussar body without modification.

French Chasseur a Cheval, from Funcken

The marching band turned out to be more difficult than expected.  The marching band mold has a figure with his arms extended, which would require various levels of re-posing to hold the instruments included.  He turns out to be incredibly difficult to cast, and I could barely get enough to do the drum section.  Fortunately there is a fifer mold, which casts very reliably, so the band was filled out with fifers, plus a standard bearer and a regular officer “armed” with the conductor’s baton from the band mold.

French Marching Band

The French National Guards were the most fun to paint.  I did some light conversions with file work and putty to give most of them non-uniform trousers, and then painted them with patches, faded coats, and so forth. I used a mix of bicornes, some with plumes lost, both sideways and fore-and-aft, plus one bare head pulled in from the civilian mold.  As I expand, I am probably going to do a second equally ragged unit, painting a couple of figures at a time between regular units as a treat for making progress.

French Garde National

The old French regular infantry wear something close enough to one of the helmets included in the mold set that I just used them as is.

Old French regular army

The Austrians were a pain.  The Austrian casket hat from the 1793 period is not included in the molds, so I attempted to file something down from Seven Years War grenadier mitres.  As my tolerance for filing diminished, I finished them up with a couple of bare heads.

Austrian infantry
Early on, the civilians stalled me.  Chris Palmer tried a couple of civilian conversions for me, the fellow in the green coat with a spike club, from a Meisterzinn SYW officer, and the guy with the pitchfork, from a Meisterzinn 16th century halberdier.  Ross, in a burst of enthusiasm, decided to sculpt a couple of civilians and make molds, so the rest of the men are from one of those two masters with varying amounts of conversion. The women are straight out of the Meisterzinn civilian mold, with both possible heads included.  

Civilians, some rather militant
I did one of the male civilians from the Meisterzinn mold up as a Representative on Mission, as a wild card for the Scarlet Pimpernel scenario.  He comes with the roll of paper clutched in his left hand, here undoubtedly representing a blank death warrant.

A Representative on Mission

That, then, is where the expansion starts, with five reasonable combat units (National Guards, regulars, and light cavalry for the French, infantry and cuirassiers for the Austrians) for AGW, a number of cameo roles, and some left-over cavalry to expand into six man units.

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NQSYW: Field Maneuvers at the Weishaus Tavern

Rob Dean

King Rupert had noted the the recent performance of the army of Schoeffen-Buschhagen on the field had been, to say the least, uninspiring.  While troops deployed against Rosmark had some success in le petit guerre, stopping a vital convoy of supplies for the Rosish forces, and had successfully delayed the advancing Rosish by destroying the bridge at Sittangbad (though at fearful cost),  attempts to counterattack had not been successful.  Recalling reports of a session  of field training maneuvers which had been held by the initiative of a group of Allied colonels some time previously, the King and the Prince-Palatine of Wachovia agreed that another such exercise should be conducted.

Adjudication Team meeting before the maneuvers

The field of action, with Monk’s Hill on the left, the orchard in the left center, and the Weishaus tavern in the right center

A relatively open area near the Weishaus tavern was chosen for the action.  The Adjudicators were briefed on the rules for the day’s activities, and the troops were drawn up as though for battle.

The Wachovians deployed with their gun on the far right of their line, intending to emplace it on a small hill, and both of their cavalry regiments in the relatively open ground between the Weishaus and the hill.  Three infantry battalions were tasked with seizing the Weishaus, control of which was considered to be the condition of victory.  The light infantry were poised to advance into the orchard, and a forth infantry battalion anchored the line to the left.

The Schoeffen-Bushhagen troops, approaching the field from the north, deployed with their light infantry at the edge of the wood on their left, dragoons at the road to the tavern, three infantry battalions poised to attack the orchard and angle, and a right flank guard consisting of the artillery, which intended to deploy on Monk’s Hill, an infantry battalion for security, and the hussars as a flank guard.

S-B infantry advances on the angle by the orchard
The Chief Adjudicator ordered the bugles sounded to commence the action.  Eager to demonstrate their elan, the Wachovian hussars dashed across the field and attacked the King Rupert Jaegers, still drawn up by the woods in a line formation.  Despite the protests of the hussar commander, the Adjudicators ruled that the charge had failed, and that the hussars were destroyed.  The hussars cheerfully headed off to the tavern to await the end of the maneuvers, and it was later suggested that this might have been a deliberate ruse on their part to get out of the action early to begin the drinking.  The Adjudicators may have to consider this point in future maneuvers.

Wachovian hussars realizing that the drinking can begin once they have been adjudicated as casualties
With the Wachovian hussars cleared from the field, the S-B dragoons (elements of the Prince’s Dragoon Guards not involved in the recent surrender at Sittangbad) spurred across the field to be met by a countercharge by the Wachovian cuirassiers. Since it was just an exercise, both sides slowed before contact and engaged in a display of horseback fencing.  The Adjudicators ruled that the S-Bs had the better of the contest, and the cuirassiers trotted off to await the end of the day, along with a few dragoons.

Cavalry clash

Meanwhile, in the center, the Schoeffen-Buschhagen infantry advanced with drums beating and flags flying.  The plan had been to take the Weishaus with a detachment of jaegers, while the line infantry cleared out the Wachovians.  In practice, this did not go as planned.  Wachovian jaegers (the Wilderin) in the orchard proved very difficult to dislodge, and the S-B infantry was slow in taking up positions along the roadside wall at the angle, which was expected to provide sufficient cover to be able to engage in a fire fight with the Wilderin.

The attack on the Angle

Out on the S-B left, another detachment of the King Rupert Jaegers was caught by a Wachovian line unit, which showed more enthusiasm for running than the Jaegers.  Perhaps this was another case of motivation during maneuvers being less than during an actual battle.  In any case, they were sent off to the tavern to await the end of the exercise.

Knowing it’s only an exercise, S-B Jaegers fail to retire quickly enough

By mid-afternoon, the Wachovians were firmly in control of the Weishaus grounds.  In the center, one of the three S-B infantry battalions had been battered and was in danger of being removed from the field.

Overview

Wachovians seize the Weishaus

Situation about mid-action

The few S-B dragoons remaining in action attempted to deal with the Wachovian infantry, but despite charging them while they were reforming, were ruled defeated and out of action.  Their officers were getting thirsty, otherwise they would have undoubtedly protested this decision.

Remaining S-B dragoons attempt to break a small troop of Wachovian foot

Eventually rising losses among the S-B infantry in the center decided the action.  Compelled to withdraw, there was insufficient time to reform, organize another attack, and perhaps drive the Wachovians, also wearing down, from the Weishaus.

S-B infantry retires from the Angle

As the sun touched the horizon, the Adjudicators ordered the bugles sounded again, to signal the end of the maneuvers, and all the Allies settled down to supper, with drinks provided by King Rupert.  The Prince Palatine looked over the field at the thirsty troops, and remarked that he was pleased that his troops had won, as Wachovia could ill afford such a defeat.

The situation at the end; Wachovians hold the Weishaus as the clock runs out
The Players’ view

From the players’ point of view, this game was played with A Gentleman’s War rules, from Howard Whitehouse and Dan Foley.  Since Norman was trying these out for the first time, we left the distinctions rules out, as suggested in the book.  In the NQSYW, our countries are always staunch allies, so we followed the fictional conceit we use for battles between the two as being field maneuvers.

While I didn’t keep good notes, timestamps on the photos suggest that we started playing around 8:30 AM and finished up around 11:00, having cycled through three decks of cards.  We had agreed that breaking five units would constitute victory, or possession of the Weishaus at the end of the third deck (since Norman was up against a real world time limit and needed to get home).  As it was, we ran out the clock, although he was close to breaking a couple of my units. We had eight units per side, and the available space in the well of the game table is 3 feet by 5 feet.  Six units and perhaps one fewer terrain piece might have made for a more mobile game, but I am still getting a feel for the rules.  Nevertheless, I was generally very pleased with how much it felt like a larger battle.  Norman noted that he wouldn’t want to give up the grand sweep of the Charge! rules which we usually use with these figures.  While I agree, we also would have been hard pressed to put a Charge! game on in this 3×5 space.  I intend to post a fuller review of the rules soon.

via The Sharp End of the Brush http://sharpbrush.blogspot.com/2019/05/nqsyw-field-maneuvers-at-weishaus-tavern.html
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Ghost Pirates: Bones 4 Figures

Chris Palmer

   This past week I worked on the Ghost Pirates set from the Bones 4 Core Set.   The Core Set came with 5 of these figures, and I ordered a second set so I would have a unit of 10 for larger games. I painted the second 5 the exact same way that I painted the first 5, so did not include progress shots of them; but I did include them in the group photos at the end.
   I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.   I then glued each one to an unprimed 1" fender washer, with Aleene’s Tacky glue.  I then glued the figures to a number of tongue depressors with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue each.

 

       I began by painting the washers with Americana “Metal Primer”.  I then painted the figures completely with Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish; as I  planned to use ink on them, and the matte varnish gives the ink something to hold on to better than the bare plastic.  When the matte varnish was dry, I applied a heavily thinned wash of Citadel “Green” Ink to the figures, trying to keep it just on the pirates themselves and not on the “scenery” pieces on the bases.

Note, I added a coat of un-thinned “Green” ink to the bottles the righthand pirate is carrying to give them a green glass look.

      When the ink was was dry, I painted their eyes with tiny dots of Americana “Margarita”, and then painted the bases with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate”.

     Next, I drybrushed the scenic bases with a 50-50 mix of Americana “Neutral Grey” and Americana “Mississippi Mud”.  This was followed with a lighter drybrushing using Folk Art “Barn Wood”, and a last highlight drybrushing with Americana “Dove Grey”.  I then painted the skulls on the bases with, first, Americana “Khaki Tan”, and then drybrushed with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.  Lastly, I painted the rest of the base and washer with the Mississippi Mud".
    I let the figures dry overnight and the next day I gave them a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to apply a fine sand mixture to the bases.  I decided not to spray varnish these as I have had some issues in the past with the translucent figures getting a little tacky after a while; so I’m just going to go with the brush on matte varnish. I did put a little Americana “DuraClear Gloss” varnish on the bottles the drinking pirate is holding to make them look like glass.

This is the original five I painted as shown above.

These are the original five as well.

And here’s the whole crew.

     I’m really happy with these.  They turned out just as I had hoped.    The translucents are always a challenge to strike the right balance between keeping the translucency and applying shadow and highlight, and I think I hit a happy balance here.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/05/ghost-pirates-bones-4-figures.html
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Huzzah 2019 AAR

Rob Dean

It has taken me a week to get to my Huzzah report.  Ross Macfarlane has, as usual, written circles around me and gotten all of his Huzzah material posted already, although it might be noted that he has the advantage of being retired. For those not already familiar with Huzzah, it is an excellent local convention run each May by the Maine Historical Wargamers (MHW) in Portland, and has the additional special advantage of being about halfway between my house in Delaware and Ross’s house in Nova Scotia.
In preparing for this year’s Huzzah, Ross and I had agreed that we would field games using our Not Quite Seven Years War collections.  Mine hadn’t been out in a year or so, at least until we did the remote playtest of the Ambush scenario a few weeks ago.  Following the playtest, we agreed on the force levels we would use at Huzzah.  I brought two 24-man infantry units, 2 12-man infantry units, 2 12-man cavalry units, a 12-man sapper unit, and a couple of guns, plus some command figures.  Two 6-liter boxes have been calculated to be the most that will fit under the seat on most commercial flights, and that all fit, once I selected the cavalry from those who were’t waving swords in the air.
Infantry ready to go

Cavalry, with a few needed taller figures cushioned in handkerchiefs
Armies on the go; 2 6-liter Really Useful Boxes

Getting the troops through security was interesting, as always.  I could see by the look on the x-ray operator’s face that she was trying to decide what to ask, so I just jumped in and said that it was a box of toy soldiers.

I met fellow HAWK Duncan Adams at the airport; we hadn’t planned to travel together, but the limited air schedule from Baltimore to Portland meant that I wasn’t completely surprised to see him.  We had a limited HAWKs team this year, just four of use altogether.

We arrived at the hotel in good time, before the MHW people had finished setting up registration.  Registration was the one element of the convention that didn’t go as well as the MHW had probably hoped.  It was entirely my own fault that I forgot to register in advance, but the computer system they were using this year turned out, as they discovered, to be unable to register people at the door.  Handing them cash in return for a handwritten badge was not a problem, but it did have the knock-on effect of leaving me unable to register for any games, since I wasn’t in the computer system.  They said that they would return the paper game registration books next year, or perhaps they will have the computer system worked out.  I will also make sure that I am properly registered…

Ross arrived within an hour, and we decided to set up a test game of A Gentleman’s War in the afternoon session.  I don’t have much to add to Ross’s account of the battle

A couple of turns in; initiative cards and rules prominently displayed

We were pleased with how the rules played, particularly as a two-player game.  I was a little slow in picking up the implications of the initiative system, and Ross was able to get better use from his artillery.  So, the forces of Schoeffen-Buschhagen were eventually compelled to retreat, leaving the village in the hands of the Rosish.

After supper, we set up the second game.  This was the ambush scenario (#30) from C.S. Grant’s Scenarios for Wargames, using Ross’s home rules, “With MacDuff to the Frontier”.

S-B Adelmann Regiment advances to its blocking position

S-B von Nordhafen Regiment also moving to block

Wachovian Hussars facing down the Rosish cavalry

As Ross has noted, the Schoeffen-Buschhagen ambushing force put most of its strength into a blocking effort along the road, and left the light infantry off to their left to harass the convoy, and, as it turned out, lure a significant part of the convoy escort into chasing them into the rough ground away from the road and the wagons.  The S-Bs managed to win the game by not losing their patience .

I took the Saturday morning session off, to do some shopping and get my Gencon event wishlist in order, because the Sunday of Huzzah was also the opening of the Gencon events registration.  I was fairly restrained; although I did pick up a nice clean copy of  the Avalon Hill edition of Kingmaker and a couple of figures for my Dark Ages/Saga collection.

On Saturday afternoon we set up the second game we were running, the Sittangbad scenario from Charge!.  Ross and I occasionally slipped and referred to our usual forces as “my side” while gamemastering.  As it was, what felt like an endless array of “his” forces came rolling across the table at “mine”, which were attempting to evacuate supplies and mine a bridge.  Excellent work by the King Rupert Jaegers in holding the farther town slowed down the advancing Rosish tide for just long enough to mine the bridge.  Rosish grenadiers had just assaulted “my” troops guarding the bridge and were in a position to clear the engineers if they drew the next initiative card.

Starting view of the table, prior to Rosish entry; key bridge at the upper left
S-B forces form a line to hold, following an initial cavalry melee

Just in the nick of time; the general and the engineers cross the bridge to safety moments before the explosion

Happily for S-B, the card fell for “us”, and the general and the engineers made it to safety as the bridge was demolished in the explosion.  Unhappily, a dragoon regiment, the remaining grenadiers guarding the approaches to the bridge, and half of the engineers were left on the wrong side and compelled to surrender.  It is to be hoped that a prisoner exchange will occur soon.

Jeff Bickel’s C&C Ancients Gaugamela game

I spent the evening session commanding the Persians against Alexander in a Command and Colors Ancients game run by Nova Scotian Jeff Bickel.  As expected, Alex was hard to beat, and we didn’t…

We tried one more session of A Gentleman’s War on Sunday morning before we departed.  I got busy running the game, and didn’t end up taking more than one picture. 

Rosmark artillery takes a toll of S-B Grenadiers

As noted in Ross’s report, he used a fire advantage carefully, and the S-B infantry attack was repulsed without too much difficulty.

We talked about next year’s convention over lunch; the current notion is that we will dust off and expand the French Revolution collection for the game(s).
Meisterzinn pieces for a new 1793 unit
Checking available Meisterzinn head castings against Funcken illustrations

More on that to follow…

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