Saturday, November 2, 2019

Picking Up Pickett


I’ve set up an American Civil War battle because I wanted to try the Pickett’s Charge rules from Too Fat Lardies|Reisswitz Press.  I’ve chosen the terrain randomly, using the Terrain cards included in the Longsreet/Sam Mustafa rules and assigning four Terrain Cards randomly per side. 

 Chosing a side randomly, the Confederates have to attack.  The key terrain feature is the ridge held by the Union (top right), so that is the Confederate objective.

 The Union are defending with one brigade of four regiments, all of average size and training, and one battery, and deployed first.  The Confederates enter the table wth five regiments, also average size and training, and one battery.   Pickett’s Charge is written for divisional or larger size battles, and the heart of the rules have to do with the management of brigades.  I’ll try that once I get the basic mechanics sorted.

 Confederate general Ginger Purrsival inspects his brigade.

 “I need more time and more men.   I could march to his flank, and get around him.   Then I could bat him around like a mouse and eat him."

How will the Confederates fare?  I hope to show you more soon.

Blessings to your dice rolls!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Orcs, Mostly

Hello friends:

I hope this finds you well and happily busy, as I’ve been lately.  Busy and productive enough to break out my light box to capture some finished work.

Today it’s mostly beastly orcs to swell the armies of Mordor.   Here is the command pack of some Vendel orcs.  My friend James and I went in on a joint purchase of some Vendel figures when they were still in business.   I love their chunkiness, the fact that they’re lead and not the spin-cast resin that GW now uses, and that they have their own identify, independent of figures based on the Jackson LOTR films, though I have more than enough of those minis as well.

Command group.   The fellow on the left looks mean enough to be a senior NCO, probably what passes for an RSM in an orcish host.  Sadly all the weapons the Vendel figures had were spears, for the most part, so I gave him a pointy mace thing from the Oathmark Goblin box to go with his eye of Sauron shield device. The fellow in the centre looked like he needed a banner, so I gave him one from the Little Big Men Saxon/Viking set, cut and mounted on aluminum foil and embellished with a skull from the same Oathmark pack.


Another Vendel figure from the same set, with another Little Big Man flag.  I made a total hash of this flag, and had to work desperately to save it.   I figured the dragon looked suitably orcish, though perhaps too fine a design for crude orc hands.

Seeing as I was doing orcs, I thought I would also do a test-paint of these figures from a box of Oathmark goblins purchased recently.  They look a little stunted and hunched over, compared to the confident upright Vendel poses, but they do look suitably menacing.  I’m reasonably pleased with them but I don’t like the shiny final look of the Army Painter Strong Tone washes that I bought recently.

A quite nasty bunch to add some character to my orc hosts.

I have a raft of figures that I started and then abandoned when Kay entered the final stage of her illness some years ago, and I now have the energy to start finishing them.  Here is a Gripping Beast Alfred the Great lead figure, painted to be a Lord of Rohan.  The LBM shield transfer is quite appropriate for that purpose.


 Finally, from the same raft of figures, four Sash and Sabre ACW casualty figures, to mark units in trouble or perhaps just for Matthew Brady to paint.  Thinking out loud here, I wonder if anyone makes a Civil War era photographer miniature?   

Thanks for looking.   Blessings to your brushes!


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Cracking On With The Rockies Ablaze Project

Back in April (gosh, where did the time go?) I mentioned here that I was adding some more figures to my Pulp interwar project set in Western Canada, which I've dubbed The Rockies Ablaze.

Specifically, I wanted some figures to represent British/Commonwealth troops in winter dress, suitable for the late 1930s.  The closest I've come are a line of figures from Gorgon Studios, which seem designed for the Norway 1940 campaign.   I found Gorgon to be easy to deal with, the figures came promptly, and only required minimal cleaning up of flash.

I have about half of them on the workbench, competing with orcs and warg riders and a few other odds and ends, and am excited enough by my spasmodic progress to want to show them off.

The figures are easy to paint and have enough detail and character that they'll fit in well with the primarily Pulp Figures casts by Bob Murch.     I'll be putting them on winter bases, and they'll join my Mounties and sundry odd pulp characters in hunting for mad trappers, werewolves, bears and zeppelin troops.  

Oh, and did I mention that there is an airship being assembled, with some kitbashing from parts of a 1/72nd scale B17 model?

Exciting times here at the Mad Padre's Painting Chapel.

Stay vigilant, chaps.


Monday, September 30, 2019

A Tale of Two Typhoons

Hello friends.

Breaking silence from a fairly busy final year of work in a new job.   By final year, I mean retirement from the Canadian Forces in June 2020. , which I quite look forward to.  By new job, well, I like it and it keeps my busy, so all good.

Not a lot of hobby time of late, but I have been on a bit of a model airplane kit.  Not sure why.  I built quite a few plastic kids as a kid, and it’s enjoyable to revisit that part of my past.

At least a decade ago, I bought an Airfix 1/72nd scale Typhoon for WW2 gaming.   It was typical of the old Airfix kits, a few parts, poorly moulded, and not very interesting.  I made a start on it, lost interest, and forgot about it.  Found it last year, realized I had lost the clear plastic canopy, and took a chance on emailing Airfix customer service to see if I could get a replacement.  Lo and behold they sent one in the post, free of charge, and that inspired me to finish the job.   

A fairly simple paint job, and here it is, ready to make a brief appearance in a 20mm war-game as the scourge of some poor panzer.

Zoom zoom.

Typhoon on a stick.  The stand is a fairly thick piece of dowel with a nail at the top, which inserts into the bottom of he fuselage.   The bottom of the dowel is glued onto a base which is heavily weighted by a large metal washer.   Works fairly well.

I enjoyed making this so much that I went out and bought another one, a fairly new release, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how much quality Airfix has put into their products.  The quality of the parts, the complexity of the model, the detail of the instructions and the options for assembly were all vastly improved over my old Typhoon kit.

Here’s the finished product in the decals and paint scheme of a Typhoon in a Canadian squadron in early 1945.  I chose to make it with the landing gear down, which is always a tricky business for me, as the parts can be fiddly in the smaller scales and the strut assemblies sometimes lack strength to support the model.   Here it worked fairly well.

The kit includes the possibility of opening the gun compartments, which appealed to me, even though it required some delicate surgery with a craft knife.   That and the open canopy suggest that the pilot if waiting for the final check by his ground crew.

What does this have to do with wargaming?   Nothing, really, but he will sit on a shelf behind my desk at work, and it gives me ridiculous amounts of pleasure to glance at it from time to time.


What have you made, not for gaming, but just for the pleasure of making it?

Friday, July 19, 2019

Meanwhile in Rohan 7

A project I started at the beginning of May is finally finished.    Here are four Footsore Miniatures, their 28mm Goth Heavy Cavalry four figure pack (03GTH201F), which I've painted as Riders of Rohan to augment my gallant eoreds.

As I said in May's post, I wasn't totally happy with these figures.   They came with a substantial amount of flash, and I had to drill the hands out so their weapons would fit.   The weapons themselves were javelins purchased from North Star, because the Footsore fellows came sans pokey things.

The shield transfers come from Little Big Men Studios, from this Saxon banner and shield transfer set.   I know they have Christian crosses on them, but the Mad Padre in me doesn't mind baptizing my Rohirrim a little bit.

I know that Tolkien's Rohirrim were nicknamed "strawhairs" by the orcs, but I wanted to give them a bit of variety with their hair colour.

The building in the background is the 4Ground Viking Trader's shop which was under construction in the last post on this subject.   It turned out well, and the teddy bear fur which the kit included looks good when finished.   I might make some horsehead silhouettes for the crossed roof beams at some point.

The roof comes off easily, revealing the feasting table and benches included in the kit.

The cart is also a 4Ground model, and with the 3D printed scatter terrain (a lucky find at the last Hotlead convention), adds some texture.

My complete Rohan village, accumulated over the last ten years, ready for battle.

I have another big 4Ground project almost completed, and there is a Rohan tie-in, so I hope to showcase that here soon.   My Twitter followers (@MarshallLuigi) will already know something about that.

Blessings to your brushes and buildings!


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Military Quotation of the Day: Horace on Force and Wisdom

Another in a semi-regular quotation that came from an email list run by an Army friend of mine.  This particular quote below seems like a good pairing with a photo of Battlefront 15mm WW2 HQ group that my friend James Manto painted over ten years ago. 

"Brute force bereft of wisdom falls to ruin by its own weight."
- Horace. 
As quoted in “Bitter Victory:  The Battle for Sicily, 1943,” by Carlo D’Este.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Behind the Scenes in the CFB Borden Tank Shop

I had a chance this week to get a tour of the tank restoration shop which is part of the Military Museum at Canadian Forces Base Borden.  Tucked in a corner is what remains of a fellow that I've driven past off and on for a decade now, a Wehrmacht Flakpanzer IV.

In 2017, this fixture of the Borden Tank Park disappeared, and I had often wondered what had become of it.  I knew that a restoration project was planned, but I wasn't sure how far it had progressed.   On Tuesday I got to see that the restoration had started and the tank has been completely dismantled.

The hull has been completely gutted,  Here you can see the rather unconvincing blue that it had been painted in for decades.

The superstructure is getting new hatches, by the looks of things.    The turret ring is visible at the back.

Our guide explained that a local machine shop had been contracted to measure what survived of the fuel tank, and fabricate a new one.   I don't know if the Museum has a set of plans or schematics to go by, our guide didn't know the answer to that.  Hiding in the back left is a Leopard AVRE, which the Museum staff use to move vehicles around.    There is also a Hetzer lurking somewhere in the workshop, but it is a tiny thing, about the size of a large SUV, and it was apparently covered by a tarp, so I never saw it.

How the Flakpanzer and Hetzer came to Borden is an interesting story.   These two vehicles were rounded up at the war's end by a young Canadian officer, Farley Mowat, who is better known as a Canadian author.   Borden was the HQ of the Canadian Armour Corps during and after WW2, so I guess it was a natural home for these war prizes.   FYI, Mowat himself wrote an  account of his wartime experience in Italy called The Regiment, which is one of the great Canadian war memoirs.

Various parts, carefully stored and sorted.

I sent this photo to my brother the Mad Colonel, who volunteers in the tank shop of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, and he felt that the Borden shop looked properly messy and therefore productive.

The turret shell has been refinished and painted in what looks like a proper German dunkelgelb.

I suspect that this vehicle will be finished long after I've retired from the Army, but I'll be in the area, and I hope to see it one day looking like this.

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