Category Archives: Reviews

Spanish Dragoons

Recently my collection has been growing in too many areas as once again, I have been drawn into looking through the “to be painted pile”. To be fair these have been sat on my painting shelf for the last 4 months partly done but I finally dragged myself away from other areas to finish them.

I think the issue was how to paint Yellow, a lot of it and yet still look good? After a few false starts I settled on “Miniature Paints’ – Mustard” with a wash of Army Painter strong wash.

They are from the Elite Miniatures range and they were bought to go with my Spanish collection. The figures are not some of the best I have ever seen from Elite but they are the only ones they make. The choice of pose is poor; one officer, musician, standard and trooper. The detail on the trooper is less defined, when compared to their normal quality.

Numancia Dragoon Regiment

Like most Spanish dragoons the uniform was Yellow, a lot of yellow. Trousers, jackets with red turn backs, waistcoats. The only distinction was the facing colours on the collar, cuffs and lapels. In this case Black. Saddle cloth and pistol holders in yellow with white edging. Bicorn black edged in white with red cockade and plume.

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Filed under Elite, Elite Miniatures, Napoleonics, Peninsular, Reviews, Traders, Uniforms

Worst Model Building Ever?

Having probably bored you with my recent building purchases and reviews you may not want to even read this one. Please do as I feel so strong about this kit.

For my recent birthday I was asked what I would like and I mentioned  Café Gondree. To cut a long story short a model representing this was purchased from an Auction site for me.

I am sad to say that in my opinion this is the worst model I have ever seen. It is usually advertised for £20 but can start at a £10. Maybe if you got it at that price including postage it maybe worth investing the time to make something out of this pig of a kit.

It appears to me that very little  time has been invested in this kit to get it right. No realistic chimney, the tiles are appalling (looks like a copy and paste on the CAD program, has the designer even seen a roof?), no building detail, no doors, ridge tiles  and the roof joints are a joke.

Like the designer I won’t spend too much time on this kit to finish it, if at all. In my opinion SAVE YOUR MONEY.

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Filed under Reviews, Terrain

More Buildings – Sarissa Models

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Here are a few pictures of some models I bought to supplement my growing collection of 28mm buildings with a particular slant towards a WW2 Dad’s Army game.

having purchase a large number of buildings from Charlie Foxtrot I saw these and thought what if.

I bought 2 terraced houses, a shop and a set of dormer windows from their Gas Lamp Alley range. These are big models, in all aspects. I would probably say they are designed for the very large 28s on the market. They do look a little large when placed next to other makers kits even Sarissa’s own other ranges. They will have to form their own area in the game.

They are priced at £14.99 for the house, £19.99 for the shop and £4.99 for 2 dormer window kits. I think really good value for money.

I really like these models although there are a few little niggles. Nothing to lose sleep over but the roof I think is too shallow and on a few courses of brickwork the vertical pointing is missing. That said the detail of the sash windows and doors is great. Care must be taken as these are 1mm cardboard so I sealed them with varnish before painting as I was worried what any damp may do.

I also purchased a French Chateau for £25, an excellent kit and the value for money is great. The detail of the shutters is the best I have seen on any kits but beware that they are so thin because they are cut into cardboard! These are of a slightly smaller scale than the Gas Lamp range and will fit perfectly in with my Charlie Foxtrot kits with no problem. This will probably represent a town hall or something similar.

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Finally I also purchased what is call a Large farm House for £20. This is another good kit and I particularly like the archway.  I think this will end up being a pub or something similar. The only weak point for me with the kit is the chimneys. The pots are square! I guess for easy of production but it does let the kit down. I will probably replace with piping

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Here is their web address http://www.sarissa-precision.com/28mm_Ranges/cat1603369_2110069.aspx

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Filed under Reviews, Sarissa Models, Terrain, Traders

Mrs Fox Caught Behind The Pie Shop With Corporal Jones!

Just to prove that building can have more than one life, I have just finished another model from Charlie Foxtrot Models.

The catalogue describes this one as ” Tabac” and is in the range of building mainly representing WW2 France. While I like WW2, I tend to like what if scenarios  and base many of my games on the aborted “Operation Seelowe”.

I like this because it gives me a chance to use the Foundry Home Guard range. With this mind I look out for building suitable. As said in an earlier blog I use to have all the Grand Manner, Carentan range.

This building is a lovely little addition to my growing collection but to make it usable for different theatres of operation I  blue-tack  the signs on and swap them as required rather than permanently gluing it on.

This model is 120mm(W) x135mm(D) x 220mm (H) and currently retailing at £16.

The model goes together really easily and after just a little filling, was painted with match-pot paints and it is done. I have not yet used ” Chinchilla Dust” as recommended on the CF website to give a rendered look but I am still happy with the finish.  The brick work on the front of the shop is superb and the window style makes me think of a village shop.

Where this model is different from some in the range is that the roof is flush with the gable walls, so is designed to sit in a row of shops where they all butt up together.

In the pictures below Cpl Jones is defending Mrs Fox’s honour! Can I hear Jones telling Hodges that “They don’t like it up them”?

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Filed under Charlie Foxtrot Models, Dad's Army, Reviews, Terrain, Traders, World War 2

Battleflags


Review of Battleflags.

While looking for flags for my up coming war of the roses game, I came across “Battleflags” from Ancient and Modern Army Supplies. I sent off for Edward IV standard and banners. These are my thoughts on what was supplied.

What do you get?

The picture (1) below is what I got. Two Battle Standards, Banner of Arms and a Lance Pennon.

Initially I was impressed, although to begin with there was something odd but could not quite put my finger on it. It stuck me when I was struggling to see the detail and had to put my glasses on. The SIZE. I am no expert so these are only my thoughts;

1. Having read a few articles, the size of the Battle Standards were approximately 4 feet high and 15-17 feet long. Therefore in 28mm, if the average height of a man was 5’9″ then 1 mm = 2.46″ call it 2.5″.

if the flags were 4 ‘ high  then they should be around 19.2mm high and if 16’ long, they should be 77mm long. What you get is a flag that is 14mm high and 61mm long. This gives us a size of 2’11 x 12’9″.  These flags are more in scale to 20mm/1/76th than 25/28mm.

If we compare this to the Perry flag you get in their booked set (Picture 2). Their flag measures 21mm by 86mm. While slightly large, it is certainly in my opinion a better fit to figure ratio.

2. The motto is also just a mirrored version, backwards and upside down on the left hand flag. This may be correct but on every other flag I have looked at, the writing is correct.

3.These issues are a real shame as the printing is first-class and the Banner and lance pennon are more to scale.

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Picture 1

Perry Edward IV

Picture 2

As said, these are just my thoughts.

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Filed under Medieval, Reviews, War of the Roses

Wargaming Saturday

This Saturday was a great day, our first wargaming day since Christmas. We all discussed what we had been given before settling down to play Blue Max from Stratelibri.

I have to admit that as we sat down, I nor any of the others, Nathan, Luke or Brian had played the game before and sadly in my case even looked at the rules until an hour before.

Game box with beautiful artwork

Game box with beautiful artwork

So what do you get? –

Rulebook –

Double sided hex game board (1 side plain blue, 1 side historical landscape) –

6 View protection screens (3 per faction), brown/grey outside, rule summery inside –

18 Manoeuvre sheets (9 per faction) –

18 Airplane cards (9 per faction), 1 side airplane info, 1 side airplane details –

you get 3 of each plane. Each with different paint scheme.

You get 3 of each plane. Each with different paint scheme.

144 Small game cards (136 damage cards, 8 trace cards) –

18 Airplane tiles, hex (9 per faction), 1 side top view, 1 side flank view –

3 of each, matching the cards

3 of each, matching the cards. The letters around the edge indicate what type of damage you take if hit.

6 Ready marker tiles / direction tiles –

12 Special damage marker tiles (6 fire/smoke, 6 observer killed) –

15 Ammunition marker tiles –

30 Altitude marker tiles (1/2/3/4/5 each 6) –

24 Altitude manoeuvre tiles (up/down/constant/landing each 6) –

60 Fuel marker tiles –

1 Block with 60 record sheets –

6 Special dice – marked 1-6 with additional blue or red markings on some faces  for damage.

The planes

Allies – Bristol F.2B – Nieuport 24 – Sopwith Triplane

Central: – Halberstadt CL.II – Fokker Dr.I – Albatross D.III

We started to read the rules and set up the game as described.

Brian and I were flying Halberstadt CL.IIs while Nathan and Luke were flying Nieuport 24s. We set up at each end of the board. We had agreed that for our first game fuel and altitude would not be a worry. These would be added in to the next game if we agreed to play it again!

Both sides dived in and tried to get to grips with the enemy as soon as possible. First blood went to the allies hitting Brian. Each side continued to trade shots on each other. The turning point came when in one turn Nathan was hit with 7 fuselage hits and machine gun destroyed. This was due to a long machine gun burst from me, but this caused my gun to jam. No problems just fly level and roll a 4-6. Seven, yes seven turns later having rolled a 1, 6 times, I am still trying to un-jam my gun. While all this was going on I( (Snake Eyes Graham) should have been a sitting duck, albeit a flying one. Luckily,  Nathan’s gun was out of action and Luke had his own problems. In one turn he jammed his guns and had smoke appear from his engine. Considering I was trying after 7 attempts to un-jam my guns, Luke managed it first attempt. Cool hand Luke as he was now known then did a slip manoeuvre to help remove the smoke. Needing a 4-6 he rolled a 1. This had the unfortunate effect of turning the smoke into a fire! And changing Cool Hands Luke in to Hot Hands Luke! 4 turns later Hot Hands Luke finally puts the fire out and with little un-burnt framework to his plane left, headed home.

Outcome: A small victory to the Central powers. All pilots lived to fly another day.

Will we play it again?

In short YES. We all loved it. Simple, fast and fun.

Positives

Great art work

Hex board can be multi usage. Plain blue on one side and terrained on other. The blue side will be ideal for may other uses.

Simple clear rule processes once understood. By turn 2 we all knew the procedures and processes

Hex movement ideal and less cumbersome than the template system used in Wings of War.

Scalable up to 1/72, just need a large hex mat. or just use the 144 scale planes from wings of war.

Minimal book keeping

Negatives

Rule book not too clearly laid out but OK once read thoroughly. Had to jump around the book it felt at times to get the full understanding of some processes.

Limited planes. I think the original game version had about 20 plane types to choose from, not the 6 in the current version. I am not sure if additional plane are available as an add-on but check out the Canvas Eagles’ website. Canvas eagles is a printable version of this game and has every plane from an Eindecker EIII to a Handley Page 0/400 bomber.

What next?

We have already started discussing which 1/72 planes to get. I have just ordered a Handley Page 0/400 bomber. I intend to start this at one of the table with a small escort and have a Junta of DR1s attempt to shoot it down.

Armada

After a break for lunch we played Armada from Zvezda.

Not a great deal to mention. great game as always. Nathan and myself played the role of coach/umpire to Luke and Brian as neither had played before.

A great afternoons gaming was had by all and all agreed that these two games will form part of our wargaming more often.

Here are a few pictures of Zvezda’s latest release to support the Armada game – the Golden Hind. She is small compared to the ships included in the game. Here she is waiting for her masts and sails.

Hind and Revenge for scale

Hind and Revenge for scale

Golden Hind 4

Golden Hind 4

Golden Hind 3

Golden Hind 3

Golden Hind 2

Golden Hind 2

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Golden Hind1

This is a beautiful kit. I have to admit that she is fiddly, though this is due more to the size of my hands. She will be needed to be based  as she will not be sturdy enough I think to stand up to the regular rigours of wargaming. I am panicking about doing the rigging!

The only thing I think disappointing is that she never came with a dedicated character card. It doesn’t even appear to be downloadable from the website. Of all the Zvezda’s ” Art of Tactics” websites “The Ships” version is the weakest. When compared to the Samurai or WW2 versions there are no additional scenarios or rule amendment/clarifications.

I do hope that Zvezda release a few additional Spanish ships to increase the variation soon. How about an oared galley?

The format for this game is brilliant and could also be rolled out to other eras.

How about a medieval version with English Cogs battling it out against the French in the Hundred Years War version or against each other in a War of the Roses version.

Does anyone know of a manufacturer of cogs etc in 1/144 – 1/300 scale. I would have a go at writing the rules and creating art work.

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Filed under Aerial, Armada, Boardgames, Naval, Reviews, World War 1

Painting, Painting, Painting

 

Well over the last month I have been playing so many games. Each though has had a side effect on me. Every time I played a game I got enthusiastic and started to paint for that era. So the end result is as many Wargamers find, is that we finish nothing.

I thought I would give you an update on the month.

War of 1812

I have managed to paint a unit of Glengarry Light Infantry. I will paint two units for this regiment. One in skirmish formation and another in line.  Here is the first unit in skirmish formation. I also got around to finishing the British Rocket Crew.

These are fantastic figures from Old Glory.

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American War of Independence

I have painted a unit of British Grenadiers. These are Foundry figures.

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War of the Roses

I managed to paint some pike and hand gunners, these are Perry Plastics. Having played a few games using the Flower of Chivalry rules we have started to add some local house rules or interpretations. I will also pull together a quick reference sheet. the main house rule we have added is reference morale outcomes. In the rules when  a unit that fails morale rout. we felt that this was a little dramatic so picking up on the ECW rules I use we say that the first failed morale causes the unit to become shaken and a second failure would cause the rout. I will explain more in a  later blog.

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Scottish Wars of Independence

Fired up by the war of the Roses games it got me thinking about all medievals. Below is a unit of welsh bows. These are EBOB figures with the three command figures being old Citadel Ral Partha.

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Naval

Not Napoleonic but 16th century Armada. I came home from work one evening and there on the table was the new Zvezda Armada Invincible. My wife had thought I would like it, having bought one of the ship models previous. I have to say that I think this will be a big hit. the only thing I think stopping it being a huge hit will be the limited number of ships (currently only two available with another 2 in the pipeline). The basic rules are great and the advanced rules look ideal. The gameplay is all carried out on wipeclean playsheets and the set even includes pens and cleaning pads.

So what do you get for your money.

 

The Box Set

The Box Set

2 model kits in 1/350 scale. HMS Revenge and San Martin

One of the two kits

One of the two kits

Game cards for both plus two additional ships HMS Swallow and Santiago .These are laminated and so wipe clean.

The ship sheets and order sheets.

The ship sheets and order sheets.

9 double sided hexed game boards, approximately C4 size. These have sea on one side and a mixture of shallows to land on the other.

Sea Boards

Sea Boards

8 x D20 dice

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29 movement tokens

2  marker pens

Wind marker

Fire markers

Quick start rules, Advance rule book and Scenario book

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The kits are great. They don’t take too long to put together and if you have the time I am sure they will look great with rigging etc.

This game is going to be a favourite of mine, especially when the next range of ships are released. I am even enjoying building the kits although at times I do struggle with my eyes and painting a steady line on the hulls.

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HMS Revenge No my painting is not that great. Transfers are brill. Gun carriages to paint. Transfers have to be put on as the ship is built!!!!.

 

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San Martin

San Martin waiting for the finishing touches.

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15mm Middle Imperial Romans

Many years ago I had designed and produced a range of Roman and Sassanids. As with most things my wargaming buddy at the time moved on to other eras and I did nothing else with them. Having found them again I have started to rebase them on 80 x 60mm bases. As I rebase them I will share with you. I also had camp scenes made. I really love the guy mopping his brow and there is also one drinking from a wine skin!. Some of the range have never been cast so I will have to dig out the moulds.

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Filed under America 1812, American war Independence, Ancients, Armada, Boardgames, Medieval, Middle Imperial Romans, Napoleonic, Napoleonics, Naval, Reviews, Scenarios, Scottish Wars of Independence, War 1812 America, War of the Roses