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No Fire Without Smoke

A couple of people have emailed asking how I made the explosions in the last blog.

Well it is so simple and relatively quick.

Stage 1. Materials. well I have a large amount of stuffing from an old cushion, spray glue, Fluorescent Yellow spray, Fluorescent Orange spray and some red spray. The two fluorescent spray were from Halfords at £7 each and instead of the army painter red I also have a spray from Wilkinsons which I think was £3. Either are good. The spray glue I have had for a few years

The materials

The materials

Stage 2.  Shape the stuffing into the shapes you want. Take as little or as long as you need to get the correct shape. I held these down to the board with a little Blu-Tac.SAM_3411Stage 3. Spray with the glue. This when dry will set the stuffing in to the shape you have chosen. Do not wait, move straight on to stage 4.

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Stage 4. Without waiting for the glue to dry, spray most of the explosion in Yellow.  Ensure the base of the fire is well coated as that will be the hottest part of the explosion. Do not wait, move straight on to stage 5.

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Stage 5. Without waiting, spraying from above and slightly off to the sides spray the Orange. This is a quick spray not too intense as you don’t want it to swamp the yellow. It should start to blend in with the yellow a little way up the explosion. Do not wait, move straight on to stage 6.

SAM_3414Stage 6. From directly above now spray the red .

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Stage 7. The process so far has taken less than 5 minutes. Now leave till they are touch dry.

If you want to vary them and have a fuel/oil fire, prime the stuffing with a light dusting of black and/or grey before stage 4.

Please have a go, I am sure you will be surprised at how easy yet effective it is.

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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

A Long Time

Really sorry it has been so long but the computer crashed and died 4 weeks back and after receiving CPR was no better.  I had to get a new PC and just so many other things have got in the way. That and understanding windows 8.1

Science Fiction

I have to admit that I have never been too much into Sci-Fi wargaming although I do like Sci-Fi. That said I do believe that my wife maybe an alien replicate! I have come to this conclusion based on this year’s Christmas presents. Up until now, every Christmas was the same. I can hear her saying ” You are so awkward to buy for. You only want toy soldiers and I don’t know what to buy you, they all look the same to me”.

I know you are all thinking, but I also have to admit that she is a star even when I have the dinning table still cluttered up 30 mins before Christmas dinner, she never moans.

Therefore I would normal end up with lovely items that I needed but little of what I wanted. So imagine my surprise this year when I started opening the presents to find:

4 off Perry War of the Roses wagons – these will be used as ammo wagons to carry arrows to hard up archer units in my demo game.

Samurai Battles

Zvezda board game Samurai – Looks great. Want to start constructing it but there is so much.

9 boxes of additional Zvezda Samurai troops

War of 1812 Scenario booklet by Stuart Asquith

Stuart Asquith Book

Stuart Asquith Book

Sun of York card game – Could be good

Blue Max WW1 tabletop game – Looks great and fun. I had toyed with getting Wings of War but the choice is now made.

5 of 1/72 scale WW1 aircraft for starters. These will use the above rules.

SE5a

SE5a

Fokker EIII

Fokker EIII

Fokker DVII

Fokker DVII

Fokker Dr1

Fokker Dr1

Albatros DIII

Albatros DIII

Zvezda 1/350 Golden Hind for Zvezda’s Armada board game

Hotz 3”hex game mat, well a voucher as delivery was not due to till the New Year. This will replace the tiles you get in the Armada Game.

Box set of “Hornblower” ideal to have on in the back ground as we play or build the Golden Hind.

There were many other things but these are the ones that count. Do I report the abduction? I think I will wait and see if the cooking is still as good as ever, if so she stays. Just have to work on the Toy Soldier comments – model replicants is so much better and she may be able to relate to the term!

I will give updates/ reviews on all items as I start them.

Hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and most of you got what you wanted and not what you needed.

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Filed under Aerial, America 1812, Armada, Boardgames, Medieval, Napoleonics, Naval, Scenarios, Uncategorized, War of the Roses, World War 1

War of the Roses, Armada and Highlanders

A bit of a quiet month so far.

War of the Roses

A few blogs ago I mentioned that I was having a bit of a clear out of old unplayed items. With the money raised I decided to take some of the pressure off me by getting someone else to do some painting. I searched for a while and found a painting service that also will supply the models. The name of the site is http://deadkingsrise.blogspot.co.uk/  and the gent who runs it is called Alan Hunter. All my general enquiries where answered and Alan is so knowledgeable about the era it made it enjoyable doing business with him.

Following initial chats I commissioned Alan to supply some painted units to represent the Battle of Bosworth. The commission will be for over 700 troops covering all combatants as well as additional units of mercenaries. These when combined with my existing units will give me over 1200 figures. I hope to have all units completed for a game at Legionary 2015.

Only a few months in and the first parts of the order have turned up. Very impressed and cannot now wait from the remaining units to arrive.   I ordered them all unbased so I can base them in my normal style. Each unit has 21 figures and there will be 3 units to a battle 1 off Bills and 2 off bows and 1 of Knights (18 figures). Just as the order was placed Perry launched their dismounted men at arms so timing is just right.

I knocked up a few flags for Talbot ( Shrewsbury). Too late I realized that I had the livery around the wrong way so will knock up another version this week.

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Tudor’s Bows

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Tudor’s Bows, flags to be added.

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Tudor’s Bills, flags need to be added.

Henry Tudor's Bows

Henry’s Bills

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Shrewsbury’s Bows

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More Bows

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Shrewsbury’s Bills

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Shrewsbury’s Bills

Armada

Following on from the success of the first game. I have pressed on finishing the models.

Both models have been rigged and are ready for a detail wash and transfers added.

The ships are on the boards that come with the game.

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San Martin

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San Martin

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Revenge

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Revenge

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Revenge

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Revenge

Scottish Wars

Here is the latest unit. It is representing a highland unit and is made up from Old Glory Miniatures and Foundry. they go together really well

Might have gone a little OTT on the basing but I ordered some heather plants and wanted to see what they were like.

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Filed under Armada, Battle of Bosworth, Boardgames, Legionary Wargame Show, Medieval, Naval, Scottish Wars of Independence, War of the Roses

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