Andy K tries to pin the tail on his donkey, and ends up pinning its leg instead !
I ran a game a Milton Hundred recently where I needed to give the players the option of taking some pack animals, I had 5 pack donkeys ready, but had another three in the metal mountain, so decided to paint them up. These will be part of my French in Mexico collection.
The figures are from Wargames Foundry, part of the Darkest Africa Range.
As I cleaned up the models prior to painting I found that one of the donkeys was a miscast, part of a rear leg was incomplete. I stuck a small length of wire between the remaining parts of the leg with superglue, and once dried added polystyrene filler to build up the leg. Once the filler had thoroughly dried off I filed it into shape before undercoating the donkeys and the packs matt black.
The donkeys were painted using Vallejo acrylics, some flock added to the bases and matt varnished.
I needed another eight figures for a Dux Bellorum game at the club recently, so dug into my boxes of Gripping Beast plastics for suitable figures. I decided to split them half and half, four armed with spears and the rest with sword or axe. These figures are made up of four parts: the body including left arm, right arm with a number of weapon options, head and shield.
They were assembled and painted these up in about a week; black undercoat, followed by shades of grey and brown for the tunics and trousers. A variety of hair colours were used. The paints are mostly Vallejo acrylics, with the odd bottle of Army Painter used. Once dry the figures were treated with appropriate shading paints from Army Painter.
The shields were painted white, and Little Big Man Studios transfers applied. All then given a coat of matt varnish
John Lambert brings us up to date on his Scots SAGA warband
I’d bought a Gripping Beast 4 point Warband over a year ago. With the advent of Saga Version 2, I had the incentive to get them table top ready. I added one unit of Levy archers and a third unit of warriors to bulk it out to 6 points and out of 45 figures I only had 3 duplicates – well done Gripping Beast!. I replaced the Warlord with the Welsh Warlord on foot and used wire spears in place of the white metal ones supplied to ward off curious fingers.
I used Artist’s acrylic throughout ensuring that any intense pigments were dulled down to colour matches I had for Dark Age dyes and employed a three shade system that these figures suit. The figures themselves had plenty of flat surfaces on cloaks that would need the plaid treatment so once the basic figures were done, I sprayed with matt polyurethane to apply the plaid using a lining brush.
I decided that these would be the Warlord’s Estate workers so would have a shared colour palette – Brown, Yellow, Grey, Green, Blue.
These would have a more varied palette and I decided to try wet blending on the shields to get a colour gradient which worked well. For shield designs, I chose simple crosses or Pictish designs.
These would have more plaid cloth and more red on the clothing. I decided that they would have black shields with a white motif to match the Warlord.
I seem to remember a doughty character in Macbeth called Lennox, well this would be my Warlord. Another trip to the Memory Bank reminded me of Bobby Lennox so he had to be kitted out in Green and White. For the cuirass, I used gunmetal/Silver and a thin coat of silver white to highlight. I added a dark purple cloak with yellow plaid. A black shield with Stags head motif completed the figure.
I added filler and stones to the base before undercoating the figures. When the figure was complete, I started the bases with black all over. I then drybrushed mid grey and then a light grey to pick out stones and boulders. I wanted a dark peaty soil with granite showing through and then the boulders. I then dry brushed the areas I was going to apply static grass in mid then light brown. I then applied Static grass in two shades.
Heather and grass tufts
To make the heather clumps, I used a piece of black pan scourer from B & Q, which I ripped open to make clumps which I attached to greaseproof paper with PVA. I drybrushed the surface with PVA and then sprinkled Heather flock lightly on the surface. Once dry and fixed with sealant spray, I could peel these off and attach to the bases. I bought some 6mm forest green static grass for the tufts. I dropped blobs of PVA onto Greaseproof and then dropped the Static grass on top. I pushed this into a clump as the PVA dried then fixed with sealant before peeling off and fixing to the base.
John Lambert gives us some background on his new fleet of spaceships…
Having enjoyed Gaslands, I was intrigued to learn that the Author, Mike Hutchinson’s next venture was going to be a journey into space, entitled A Billion Suns. I signed up to be a playtester and purchased some excellent American Republic spaceships from Brigade Models. Here’s the result:
What about the game?
I’d never been wowed by Space games that resembled a Naval game and this has many interesting ideas that I really like. Players act as CEOs whose game objective is to fulfil a contract. These are either Commercial or Military in nature and it looks like there will be 12 of each. Each player has an Admiral’s Helm which the player uses to boost his ships capabilities for the turn (seize initiative, speed, firepower, defence shields) and a profit and loss tracker. There are no fleet lists, players have to judge what to buy to fulfil the contract but will only win if they are in profit at the end of the game. Deployment is by jump point. These are placed by the player and ships enter and leave the table via these jump points. It allows for playing between two tables, which sounds great for multi player games as fleets can jump onto a different table! Gravitational effects are governed by Ship size and Planetoid size. We hope to get another game in at the second meeting in April.
Here are a few shots from games we ran at Salute on Saturday. We were kept busy running games back to back for most of the day, each game taking 20-30 minutes, as our participants flew their Corsairs to stem the tide of the Salvadorean invasion..
It has grown over the last 10 years, adding villagers, more troops, cavalry and artillery to both sides.
These will be used with various rule sets, originally we used some simple participation rules (available at the above website), we played some gamers at the Society using Stargrunt (with adaptions), recently we’ve been playing The Men Who Would Be Kings, but I think we’ll be trying Rebels and Patriots soon.
I finally managed to get my first Wars of the Roses units done. Here we have the Men at Arms getting ready to go up against fellow club member Stephen. For my units in this army I wanted a real mixed up, unevenly distributed look. I’ve never liked the standard number of figures evenly spaced DBA style units. Despite 35 years in this hobby this is my first historical army and I’m clearly not a purist! But I’ve done some research, read several books and listened to a podcast on the history of England during this period, so I’m definitely putting the effort in.To get a good mix for the units I used miniatures from Peter Pig, Lancashire Games and Essex Miniatures (plus some others I’ve forgotten). I even chose some miniatures from the early 15th century to represent a few of the less wealthy lords and knights, still using their grandfathers armour.
Another thing I decided to do was not to chose a side in the conflict. It was clearly a messy affair with allegiances changing as the conflict went on (or even during a battle!). Add that to the fact the armies had identical troop types I went for removable flags for the units and commanders. In the first picture the units are representing Sir Thomas Neville but after a quick swap they are now in the service of Lord Dudley.I think this system will work quite well and I intend on making a collection of flags, so regardless of who my opponent turns up supporting, I’ll be able to pick an opposing lord!
In our first session the five German players each commanded their own JagdDivision of Night Fighters, aiming to intercept the incoming bomber Command raids that night.
The Germans were lulled into a bit of a false sense of security as they did not spot any incoming raids until turn 3. The air picture then clarified and the main force raid was identified using a northern route, with a mosquito raid to the south and two other diversionary raids emerging from the main force attack.
The first unit to strike were the Ju-88 C-6 of Mike’s II Gruppe, NJG3, which had been placed on overwatch under control of the defensive radar chain in Northern Germany. They attacked as the Main Force Raid Lancasters passed over the radar line. However, this unit had been dispersed by the poor weather on take off, reducing its impact.
Fighters were given only a very general indication of where the bombers were by their heavily jammed ground radar and mainly relied on their own airborne radar to find targets. However, only 2 of the players had the new sets that were free from British jamming.
In the action that followed, it was Chris that got in the first attack, badly damaging Lancaster C for Charlie in a hasty attack. However, he’d picked the wrong plane to mess with and his Ju88 was shot down by return fire from the defending gunners.
Next up was Bob, who homed in on Lancaster E for Easy. However, this plane’s gunners were really on alert and they opened fire first and shot the Ju88 down before it had a chance to land any hits.
However, at last the NachtJagd managed to get off the scoreboard as John locked on to Lancaster H for How, damaging the target on his first pass. A second pass shot the Lancaster down. The gunners never saw what hit them.
With the first attack completed the players returned to the raid map. Here diversionary Mosquito raids were beginning to hit their targets in Duisburg, Witten and Hamburg. The Duisburg raiders got clean away without being intercepted. However, the only unit equipped with high-speed specialised He-219 A-2 Night Fighters, Chairman John’s I Gruppe NJG1, was now placed on overwatch in the radar line astride their return route and were vectored in to attack the Mosquitos that had raided Witten. The Ju-88s and Me-110s in the air in the area were too slow to catch the Mosquitos.
In this second action the unarmed Mosquito Mk IVs played a cat and mouse game as the Heinkels tried to home in on their targets, relying on their speed for protection. Mike managed to get into position to make a power dive to pounce on one of the raiders, but his approach was spotted and the Mosquito attempted to shake him off with a corkscrew turn. Mike second guessed this and followed the Mosquito through the turn, then shot it down with a well-aimed burst, as it began a second corkscrew evasion.
The raid will continue at the next session in April.
At the end of session 1 the league table points scored are as follows (it is worth noting that the Germans were stupendously unlucky in their dice rolls to lose 2 Night Fighters in air to air combat):
Mike (2JD) 3 +2 for Mosquito shot down, +1 for GCI attack
Chairman John (3JD) 2 +1 for Lancaster shot down, +1 for GCI attack
Dave (1JD) 0 no gains, no losses
Chris (7JD) -1.5 +.5 for Lancaster damaged, -2 for Ju88 shot down