Monday, January 19, 2015

D-Day Game

My club in Britain is currently putting on a massive D-Day game. Here are a few pictures from the superb table set-up, a labour of love spanning 35 years for its creator.

You can see why I'm green with jealousy at not being there to play! ;) For those who have Facebook, check them out here.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Gaining traction - 2

I completed my N-scale armoured traction engine project. Inspired by the "Suffolk's Little Moscow" story, it represents a vehicle modified at the Garrett engineering works in Leiston, Suffolk. The Communist faction in the area has equipped themselves with some heavy armour to take the fight to the enemy. The trailer is an APC fitted with firing ports and can carry supplies, or ten troops in comfort and twice as many at a push.

As I mentioned elsewhere I'm thinking of making separate trailers for different purposes to add versatility to the model, including one with a turret. The flag shown is by Leics_Gamer from the AVBCW forum (thanks!) for a Factory Communist faction, but can be swapped out for the colours of any faction that might use such a vehicle. I chose a camouflage scheme that looks something like the British army pattern of the time.

Our local Rite Aid pharmacy has a sale of Christmas stuff on at the moment. I picked up a 50" by 60" throw for less than $2, in a nice shade of green which looks perfect for a gaming cloth. The photos were taken on this.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gaining traction - 1

A work in progress shot of an N-scale armoured traction engine and trailer combination I'm building for my VBCW collection. This is based loosely on the Fowler B5 road train design used by the British army during the last Boer War. The shell is basswood with card and cartridge paper in places, and the wheels and boiler cap are cast from the small pipe mold from Hirst Arts. The smokestack is a short length of aluminium tube.

On the to-do list is a length of smaller gauge brass pipe to be fixed somewhere on the cab section to take a variety of flagpoles. This will make it easy to change the factional allegiance. Some arrangement to tow the trailer will be next. I'll probably use a length of fine wire to make a hook-and-eye rig. It'll also make it easy to change the trailer for a different version when I get around to making one. I'm already thinking along the lines of something with a turret.  

The trailer will have firing ports along the sides for rifles, and it can also be used for hauling supplies in hostile areas. I've yet to decide on a paint scheme for the combination, but it'll be either gray overall or a variation on the British army tank pattern of the time.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bully Boys of the BUF

Two shots of the two BUF sections, fresh off the painting block. I gave them a general 'Black and Tan' look, since in my VBCW the BUF have a similar policy of using a mix and match of army surplus and civilian-produced gear. The figures and L3/33 are Pendraken Miniatures 10mm SCW. They look shinier than they are in reality. I'll give them and the bases a coat of matt varnish to dull them down.

I've yet to work out the 'fluff' for this BUF platoon beyond the fact they'll infest the region of Bury St. Edmunds and the eastern part of Suffolk. They'll certainly knock heads with the Socialist faction in Great Yarmouth and the various LDV and Anglican League formations in Norfolk and Suffolk. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

2014 is behind us, 2015 lies ahead. 
I wish everyone 
 Peaceful and Prosperous New Year!
* * * *
So, what next..? I have a batch of Pendraken Miniatures 10mm SCW infantry on the painting block, being painted up as BUF. Once I get the spare factional command elements done, the only additions I'll make to my VBCW collection will be Boyes AT rifle teams and some more buildings. After that, I'll consider the collection finished.

The adventures of the Barsetshire Regt. in G'Wundaland will continue. I may add a Naval Landing Party and a few cavalrymen to boost the force, time and funds permitting.

I hope to start a small NW Europe 1944-45 collection in 10mm, configured to the Chain of Command rules, again, time and funds permitting. 

My wargamer son-in-law is currently sorting through the stuff I had to leave in my gaming shed back in England. With luck and a following wind he'll be able to dispose of the figures and models I don't want. One of these days I hope to be reunited with my /1300th Sudan and Early Imperial Roman collection. We'll see...

Saturday, December 27, 2014

10mm Armour

An assortment of Pendraken 10mm armour, painted up over the Christmas break.

 Top L-R, Vickers Light Tank MkVIb, T-26 with 45mm gun. 
Bottom row, L3/33 tankettes.

I painted the tankettes in a variant of the Hungarian camouflage pattern because it looks more interesting than the plain brown that seems the commonest paint scheme. The Mk. VIb is in the British Army pattern of 1940. The T-26 is a basic Soviet olive green. As an experiment I mounted all the vehicles on clear plastic bases so they would blend with the ground beneath.

An unexpected encounter at a crossroads during the VBCW, somewhere in England's green and pleasant land. The Mk. VIb commander has moments to decide what to do, whilst the tankettes scuttle through a gateway in an effort to outflank the monster - or perhaps to escape destruction. The telegraph poles are a new addition to the scenery.

I have a batch of BUF infantry on the painting block, halfway through the process. Photos to follow in the next few days.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Hobart's 79th Armoured Division at War

Last Christmas my lovely wife gave me a Kindle for a present, which I like very much. I have a number of military books on it, and the latest addition to my collection is Richard Doherty's Hobart's 79th Armoured Division at War: Invention, Innovations & Inspiration, published by Pen and Sword (May 19, 2014).

I came across it whilst browsing Amazon on my Kindle on Christmas Eve. The book's currently available at $1.99 and is well worth getting. Percy Hobart was a gifted if somewhat abrasive person, but no one else could have raised and trained the "Funnies" to such a pitch of excellence. The 79th trained for D-Day all over the UK, and I know a couple of the sites they used quite well. I've just finished the chapters relating to the division's experiences in Normandy, and the sheer heroism of those men is breathtaking. Many of the actions described would make ideal scenarios for Chain of Command. I'm currently reading about the 79th's exploits at Cap Gris Nez during the "Great Swan" across France.

Of course, the book has got me thinking in terms of gaming 1944 NW Europe...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Very Merry Christmas to One and All!

We're having a quiet Christmas Eve here in Ohio. The weather's pretty grizzly, but I'm staying indoors. I'm going to slap paint on some 10mm figures and finish off six N-scale roadside telegraph poles whilst listening to carols.  

So, without further ado, 
let me and mine wish
A Merry Christmas to One and All!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Adding to my scenery

I made some more terrain for my 10mm/N-scale gaming. I'd had telegraph poles in mind for a while since they're a ubiquitous feature of the modern world. The poles are wooden mini-dowels with wire crossbars passed through holes drilled in the dowel. The insulator caps are fashioned from 'puffy' paint, and the bases are card built up with Miliput for grass effect and to add weight.

These are very easy and cheap to make. I plan to make another set of telegraph posts as roadside features, since lines usually run alongside roads and lanes for ease of maintenance and repair. My idea is to build them into short sections of pavement, hedgerow and bank to blend in with my current scenery. After that, I'll make a red telephone box or two. Those phone lines have to run to something!   

In the foreground is a quartet of Pendraken Miniatures 10mm tanks which rolled in yesterday for my VBCW collection. Top L-R, Vickers Light Tank Mk VIb, Soviet T-26 (I think it's one of the 'tankiest' looking tanks ever produced). Front, Italian C33/35 tankettes. The Vickers will be painted in British Army early war camouflage pattern. That way it'll be of use in VBCW gaming and as part of a future BEF 1940 collection. The T-26 will go to the Socialist faction (a prezzy from Uncle Joe Stalin), and the C33/35s to the BUF (a prezzy from Il Duce). I'm in two minds about the camo scheme for these. On the one hand, black would make them look nice and sinister for a nasty and sinister organization, yet black limits their use elsewhere. I might just paint them up in Italian camo colours and leave it at that. 

I also got some SCW Republican infantry, officers and standard bearers in winter dress. The infantry will complete my BUF faction forces. Taking a tip from the VBCW forum I'll paint the officers and standard bearers in various factional outfits and give them flags to match. That way I can swap out a flag at the head of a nondescript unit and have them change factions instantly.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Chain of Command

So, I finally bought the Chain of Command and At the Sharp End .pdf versions. Now I can see what WW2 gamers are raving about! 

They're a clean, intuitive set of rules that cover just about every warring nation and circumstance. The Sharp End supplement is a neat, easy-to-use set of campaign rules which add a distinctive flavour to the main rules, and makes the gamer think beyond the casual one-off game. I'm going to try them both out using my 10mm VBCW figures sometime during the holidays to see how they play on the table top. 

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