Saturday, January 30, 2016

Paint Table Saturday

Two resin 6mm buildings by Timecast, suitable for anywhere in Northern Europe.  They will be grouped together on this base to signify a small town.   I suspect that at some point they will be requisitioned for billets by La Grande Armee.


Blessings to your brushes!



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Diplomacy Play By Blog - Two Seats Left

Old school Europe 1900 game.

All players are blind, moves and diplomacy run through the umpire (me).

Five players in.  Two seats left: German and Italy.

Want in?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Paint Table Saturday

Little guys tonight after the 28mm ACW figures of last week.These are 6mm Baccus French chasseurs au coeval.  .


Not that it’s all that clear from the scale, but they are intended to be the 1st Regiment CC (green coats with red collars and cuffs).


It’s been a while since I painted in this scale.   Quite a difference in painting techniques than the last batch.  

Blessings to your brushes!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Behind the Scenes at Canada's War Museum 2 - The M3 Lee Hovertank

My brother the Mad Colonel volunteers at the Ottawa War Museum and recently sent me this video of the museum staff moving their M3 Lee tank during their annual maintenance week. They are using what I can only describe as a pad of compressed air to lift and move the tank over the floor. Fascinating stuff. My brother described himself as the guy doing the important work of carrying the hose. It's a big hose so it must be a lot of air. u

Monday, January 18, 2016

Reinforcements For The Iron Brigade: 24th Michigan

My first finished project of 2016 is mustered into service.  This is the 24th Michigan of the Western Iron Brigade.   The figures are by French manufacturer Forgotten and Glorious.  I’ve talked about them previously and finished some of their brigade command stands in December.

I love the command stand.  It includes F&G’s sculpt of Colonel Henry A. Morrow, the 24th’s commanding officer at Gettysburg.

Col. Henry Morro

On the first day of Gettysburg, when  the 24th was engaged with the 26th North Carolina, Col. Morrow picked up the colours and carried them after the colour bearer was shot, as seen in this painting by Don Troiani.  Morrow received a non-fatal wound in the head during the fighting at Missionary Ridge and was taken prisoner when the Rebels captured the town of Gettysburg.

And here’s F&G’s Col. Morrow.  I really like the way the sculptor included his Hardee hat on the ground by his feet.  The flags are by GMB.

I tried to mix up firing and loading figures to show the chaos of a firefight, as opposed to the symmetry of drill. When I was a reenactor I hated two rank firing.  I was always afraid of not having my muzzle far enough in front of the face of the front rank man, and when I was in the front rank I always hated having muskets going off near my face.   And that was with no one shooting back at us.

The Colonel Morrow figure allowed me to use the officer from the command pack as a company line officer, cooly watching the effect of the men’s fire.   I rather think it would take a lot of sand to stand there with a sword and try to act cool and collected to inspire the troops.

My order from F&G also included a vignette of two privates running with an ammo crate.  I liked the pointing sergeant from the command pack so I paired him with this duo.  I hope it looks like the sergeant is directing them to the crisis point in the line where the ammo is running low.

I suppose I could use this as another regimental stand or as a marker to show low ammo or out of ammo, though I don’t think I have any rules which get that granular.

Finally my order included a set of mounted and foot officers.  Col. Morrow freed up a standard bearer from the command pack, and since I had an extra 1st Bde/1st Div/1st Corps banner I decided to make them part of brigade headquarters.  The mounted officer is getting briefed by the chap on foot, pointing to something very important.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with all these command stands.  Fortunately I’m fond of vignettes on the table top. I should say that the circular stand is the only one in this group that I made.  The square bases are all laser-cut MDF.  I’m a convert.


These brave sons of Michigan are now mustered into service, and bring my Iron Brigade collection to three regiments.   Sounds like a good excuse for another game of Longstreet.

Thanks for looking and blessings to your brushes!

These figures bring my 2016 totals to:

28mm:  Foot Figures: 29; Mounted Figures: 1

Friday, January 15, 2016

Looney Times

 It’s been a quiet week at the Mad Padre’s Painting Chapel since my last post.   I’ve been painting in my spare time, and every time I look up at the news, I get depressed.  

Our Canadian dollar, fondly known as “the looney”, is not doing too well of late.  A few years back, when oil was more expensive than liquid gold, life was good.  The Canuck buck was trading at over a dollar US.  Life was good.  Nobody here seemed to mind that our country had all the economic diversity of Saudi Arabia.    I bought a lot of hobby stuff from US and European manufacturers.

Now that oil is trading at somewhere around $30 a barrel (though the price of a tank of gas still hurts - why is that?), our poor looney is falling like, well, like this guy.  We just fell below .70 cents US on the dollar and some economists are saying that we could go as low as .50 cents US.  

I’m looking ahead at 2016 and thinking that it’s going to be a tough year for hobby purchases.  I could only buy from Canadian manufacturers, but there aren’t that many of them, frankly, and at least one of the good ones charges in US dollars. There were also a few new games I was looking at as well (GMT’s Churchill, I’m looking at you) but the local game store guy told me he couldn’t get it in for less than $110.  

Thinking about this stuff is less depressing than thinking about what the stock market’s doing to my retirement savings.

I don’t know about you but I need some cheering up.   A US Army blogger I follow was saying that his desk is where majors come to talk about Star Wars, but perhaps that was because he keeps a toy light sabre there.  One of the things I like about this guy’s blog is that he transposes contemporary army life onto Star Wars situations.

For example, pity the life of a hard working, unappreciated Imperial staff officer.  Consider the burdens of a humble logistics officer, trying to keep the Rebel Alliance supplied.   Imagine what it’s like to be a Stormtrooper sergeant, debriefing the troops after yet another disastrous mission.

It’s good stuff, enjoy it.  Hopefully this weekend I’ll have a finished project to show you.



Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tuesday Night Boardgame: Battle of Ligny, 15:00hrs

I thought it was time to pull the dustcover off a game I’ve had sitting in a cat proof room for many months.  It’s Lighy from GMT’s now OOP quad game, Battles of Waterloo, a 1995 Richard Berg design.  I’m embarrassed that this game has been sitting still since August.  Life happened, and I had to force myself to sit down and figure out the rules, which seemed a little opaque to me at first, but I think I understand the major mechanics now.  

Now, in the middle of Turn 5, Thielman’s III Corps is now engaged to the east, while Zeiten’s 1 Corps has yet to be challenged for Ligny.  The fighting is on the outskirts so far.  This turn Pajol’s division of the Cavalry Reserve has been bumping heads with. Hobe’s III Corps Cavalry, while Milhaud’s cuirassiers have been battering the Prussians to the west.  Elements of Pirch’s II Corps are coming to the rescue.  Because the activation of units is random, the Prussian I and II Corps and the Imperial Guard, Gerard’s IV and Vandamme’s III Corps have yet to move.

This pious fellow is helping me keep track of the turns.  He’s my lovely Santa Clause 2014 gift from Stefan of Monty’s Caravan fame.



Here’s a close up look at the Pajol vs Hobe punch up on the French right.   Each of the units is a cavalry brigade and most have been in action this turn, hence the counters marked D1, showing disruption.  Disruption can be as a result of combat, but it also happens automatically to all cavalry at the end of the turn in which they Charge and Shock an enemy, so cavalry formations can quickly be used up.  As you can see here, Hobe’s cavalry are pretty much battered, but the fresh division of Exelmans is behind Pajol and could make life difficult for the Prussians on Turn 6 if Exelmans and the Cav Res activates before III Corps. If you’re curious about the size of the stacks, mostly the height is because of bookkeeping markers and leaders.   The rule is only one cavalry or infantry unit per hex, though a battery can stack with each or with another battery.  There are limits (9 I think) to the number of strength points that can fire out of a hex.

Meanwhile the Imperial Guard, with the fearsome Guard artillery to the fore facing five brigades of III Corps at the top right as they move to link up with I Corps at Ligny, and Gerard’s Corps at the bottom right, still have not moved this turn.  Ligny Chateau is probably safe for now, but the threat is building.

We’ll see how far I can get with this before next Tuesday.  I’d best get a move on because my stack of games to be played got bigger after these fellows arrived just before Christmas.  I blame Jon Freitag for putting me on to a sae by Multi-Man Publishing.  I elected to get four of their Brigade Series ACW games, including two different treatments of the Battle of Shilo, a battle I’ve always felt was under-treated by boardgame publishers.

Blessings to your die rolls!


Speaking of games, only three seats left in the Diplomacy Game starting soon.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Diplomacy 2016: Seven Seats Are Open - Want In?

 Reviewing my blog entries for the last few years made me realize how much I enjoyed running an online game of Diplomacy in 2014.  I had intended to run a follow up game this last year, but real life got in the way.

So, it’s the start of a brand new year, and I think I need to run another one. 

Same deal as last time: classic map, Europe 1900, and the usual seven suspects.

Stuff you need to know is here and  here.

I’ll welcome interested parties on a first come, first serve basis.   I’ll gladly take players from the last game, but if needs be I’ll bump you in favour of new players.   Email me at mad padre (at) gmail (dot) com with three country preferences and I’ll try my best, but be warned, you might get Austria-Hungary.

As with last time, there will be a Daily Dissembler. Hopefully we will see more of the insightful analysis of Sir Erasmus Blatt, read more of the Perils of Miss Amelia Roosevelt (America’s Girl Reporter) and perhaps meet more villains such as Ernst Harrington and Count Di Graspi.   There will also be a painted mini prize to the winner and to the best role-player.   Also, this time I think I’ll add a third prize, for most creative move during the game, to be adjudicated by myself and the cats (Stanley and the Catbeast of Mordor).

You know you want to!


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Paint Table Saturday

This weekend I’m trying to get the rest of my 28mm Union Iron Brigade figures from Forgotten and Glorious done.   About half way there.   These fellows will be mustered in as the 24th Michigan.

Terrific figures to paint, I’m a fan of F&G.

Blessings to your brushes!


Friday, January 1, 2016

The Well Travelled Prince Arrives

“What’s this?” I asked Madame Padre, pointing to a fattish brown envelope sitting on the counter under a mound of 2015 New Years sales flyers. 

“Oh, it came yesterday”, she said casually, as she contemplated what to do with the New Years Eve leftovers.

“What?” I said, lunging for the mysterious package.   “Why didn’t you tell me?"

Madame Padre smiled coquettishly.  “Oh, I figured you got enough little men to play with this Christmas.  And you said something about taking me to the Star Wars film this afternoon."

Much later, after getting back from the cinema (no spoilers), I opened the package.  Could this be the mysterious visitor from the Orient whose coming was foretold?

No, I am not taking about the Magi who visits after Christmas.  I am talking about a package that Jonathan Frietag had warned me was coming … all the way from Japan.  

You see, back in early December, Jon emailed me to be on the lookout for a small package.  Mysteriously, he didn’t tell me what it was or why he had sent it.  I got quite excited.  The days passed.  Jon emailed me.  “Did you get it?"

“Nope”, I said.   Jon traced it via US Parcel Service.  On Dec 9th his package reached Los Angeles from Spokane, WA.   On Dec 11 it left LA and its whereabouts are swathed in mystery until Dec 26, when it arrived in Vancouver, Canada.   That makes sense, because Vancouver is more or less straight north from LA, and fifteen days is about right for it to have travelled up the Oregon Trail by mule train.  But then it gets odd.  Notice where it went on leaving Vancouver.


Japan.  Of course.  Makes sense.  Because Canada and Japan are such similar words.  Anyone could make that mistake, really.   Jon persisted with his tracking, and saw that it arrived at its destination, Casa Padre in Barrie, Ontario, on the 31st, where Madame charmingly left it under a pile of flyers.

Here’s what I found inside.  Notice the mailing label, BTW.  CANADA.  Not Japan.  And here is the little prince.  Not so little, really, he’s quite a large chap, at 1/54 (oops, err, I mean 1/32) scale.  Prince Eugene de Beauharnais, whose role I played last summer in Jon’s PBEM battle of Raab game.


Also enclosed was a very kind note from Jon thanking me and Phil, my opposite number, for playing in this game, which as I blogged yesterday, was one of my highlights of wargaming in 2015.  I am quite looking forward to painting this splendid fellow.

There are no shortages of portraits of Eugene.  I think I shall settle on this by Johann Heinrich Richter one as a guide.  

Jonathan, you are a generous fellow and I am most grateful.  I hope I can do him justice.   Thank you.  Given his itinerary, perhaps I should fortify myself with a warm sake before I start painting him?


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