Thursday, 7 February 2019

1/32 Spanish Civil War Republicans

Preparing for last year's Ebro game (see this earlier post here), created some interesting challenges when it came to producing the figures.  The trick I find with converting (yes OK then, bodging) 54mm figures is to apply a fair bit of imagination to what figures could potentially be.  The comrades in the photo above are mostly CTS (ex-Marx) WW2 Japanese gently cut about and with some floppy Basque-type berets added from Milliput.  The officer is an Engineer Basevich WW2 Russian, while the bloke in the bottom right of the photo is an ACW figure who has been subject to some knife work.
I fins the old Airfix WW2 Japs endlessly useful for bodges.  This lot have had their caps trimmed to a rounder profile and much of the webbing carved off.
This group contains ACW figures from at least two makers, converted WW2 US from dodgy Chinese made sets found in a Belgian supermarket, Weston Mexicans and a metal Britains recast stationmaster!
 The Red Menace contained in their box.  In our game a company is 6-8 figures so there are a couple of battalions in here.
Please let me know if you'd like to see more detail of any of these figures.

Friday, 1 February 2019

A stroll in the forest

A write-up on a forum led to me blowing a whole $6 on the pdf of Fistful Of Lead - Horse & Musket.  This is a rather jolly skirmish game and while I generally don't care for skirmish actions, this looked to have the right level of complexity (none) and frivolity (quite a bit).  The real draw, so to speak, is that it is card driven.  The book helpfully contains a few scenarios so on Wednesday we tried out an small action set in the North American colonies.  Us plucky Brits (John and I) had to escort a wagon of essential supplies along a road which crossed the 5-foot long table.  Simple, eh?  We had two groups each of 5 men and of course the wagon.  The latter was about £3.95 a couple of years ago.  John's command (far side of wagon) are mostly ACTA AWI British Light Infantry, painted by me.  My chaps were BMC AWI figures - a small part of a collection I bought a while back from the man behind the splendid Portland Little Wars blog.
 At first all seemed quiet.  After all, what sort of villain would disturb the King's peace?  At the other side of the table, Martin and Jerry were looking a bit shifty...
 But then shots rang out and one of John's chaps fell dead.
The woods on both sides of the road were teeming with wicked rebels (Accurate Continental Militia painted by me)

Despite skulking in woods, one of the ruffians was soon wounded (red marker - the yellow means he is also shaken.  Black means reloading).  Our man leading the horse can be seen trying to sidle off.
 Though we were laying down a withering hail of disciplined musketry, it soon became apparent that standing around in the open had it's drawbacks.
 Much of my fire was targeted against the officer with the pistol.  Note the chap waving his hat from behind a tree.
 We moved forward again to try to see off a naughty colonial intent on stealing the wagon.
 This plucky redcoat shot him from point blank range...and of course missed!
Toys often acquire identities in our games.   Having dispatched the officer I had inflicted 'shaken' markers on 'hat man' behind the tree and 'Ben Franklin'.  In the other wood and off camera was a rifle-toting chap known inevitably as 'Davy Crockett', one American in a fur hat looking much like any other to us Brits.
 By now the enemy had the wagon and had led it off the road.  Where it promptly became stuck.
 Another ruffian ran from the woods to take charge of the wagon....

 ...but was soon under fire....
 ...and lay wounded.
At this point - and after only abut 90 minutes of play - John and I decided to march off in a dignified manner/desert/flee to Canada, leaving the rebellious ruffians in possession of the (stuck fast) wagon.  One can only imagine their faces later when they open the big crate of 'essential supplies' to find only wig powder and portraits of the King.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Flight Stands - the truth at last!

In response to huge demand - well, one reader has asked - here is a bit more detail on my flight stands for 1/72 aircraft models.
My 2016 tall indoor stands can be seen in this earlier post.   I subsequently painted the bases as the next photo shows.
For outdoor games where tall stands are required, I recreated the same effect by using 3-foot garden canes topped with similar lengths of wire. The SB.2 and indeed all the models in this post are 1/72 scale.
For shorter stands I again have developed indoor and outdoor (or hard and soft surface) options. 
The former are made from bent wire clothes hangers. 
An Israeli F-4 perched atop a bent wire stand.
A rather better view of the bent hanger idea.  In this case my Fairey Battle is clearly having a bad day.
Back in the great outdoors, the Mk.1 short stand was simply a piece of stiff wire with one end thrust into the lawn and the other up the tailpipe, as with this Mirage III above.  And I think that's as many double-entendres as I've ever managed to fit into one photo caption...
The Mk.2 short stand.  A more sophisticated and considerably less wobbly approach is to use an outdoor wine glass stand.  These can be found cheaply - mine were £1 to £1.50 each and the aircraft can be perched reasonably safely atop the structure - as with the brace of F-104 above and the Allouette below.  From my own experience this is by far the best solution and also copes with diecast metal models!
Of course, if you have other ideas, let's see them!

Sunday, 13 January 2019

A Christmas Katyuska - SB-2 part 4

 This cutting-edge (c1938) bomber is now complete and resplendent in Spanish Republican colours. My Nationalist AA gunners are already looking forward to it filling their sights.