Sunday 31 July 2022

Going for a Schwimm - part 2


Here is the completed model.  I opted for a plain sand finish.  The driver is from a Tamiya Kubelwagen kit - he looks decidedly apprehensive about taking to the water!

Going for a Schwimm - part 1

According to the date stamp on the photos I built this back in January.  So here it is, better late etc.  It's a nice crisp kit and small vehicles like this are always useful.


Friday 29 July 2022

Italeri Panzer crew - part 2

 I finished these chaps ages ago but forgot to post the photo!  Part 1 can be found here

For some reason I didn't photograph them all so this will have to do for the moment.

Thursday 28 July 2022

An even limper Lysander - part 1

Veteran readers will perhaps recall this earlier foray into broken Airfix Lysander repair.  This ‘new’ one was plucked to safety(?) from this box of quality items

As it emerged. It’s not really this good - I propped the various bits together to make the photo less harrowing. 
A surprisingly large quantity of glue later the thing was in one piece. Paint time. 
By this stage, Pete had kindly offered a set of surplus decals - can you guess who the Lysander’s new employer is?

Monday 25 July 2022

Somme day soon - part 1

Last Friday I ran another version of the Somme game for 10 players (including me), one of whom joined us by ‘phone to issue orders from 158 miles away.  Real ch√Ęteau generalship!  I’d planned an outdoor game but on the day it was raining quite heavily so we adjourned indoors. 

For earlier outings to the Somme see here and here.  I provided the terrain and most of the toys. Lloyd kindly provided five of the nine(!) British infantry battalions and half the British artillery. 

The British division deployed three brigades each with three battalions and a field artillery battery. A heavy howitzer battery was attached and allocated by the CO to the first brigade. Two squadrons were available from the Royal Flying Corps.
A British front line trench in a quiet sector. 
Most of the British battalions were New Army ‘pals’ units but luckily there were two pre-war battalions of the Royal Scots Fusiliers and Black Watch. This splendid officer is a pre-painted figure from the British Toy Soldier Co.  
The howitzer battery. On the left is a Britains 18-inch howitzer. The other is a pre-war tinplate model. 
(Most of) the players.  From left Simon (Gun Major 331 Bde), Russell (OC 331 Bde), Tom (gun Major 330 Bde), Lloyd (OC 330 Bde), Pete (RFC), Tim C (OC 329 Bde), Diego (gun Major 329 Bde), Martin (the wicked Boche). 
Some of Lloyd's figures. 
The Germans had been doing a lot of digging since the 1915 campaigns….
…resulting in this three-layer defensive position. 
330 Bde en route to the front. 
331 Bde awaits Zero Hour. 

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Bassett’s Broken Bits Bonus Box

You’ll no doubt recall this post from last year.  Subsequently I was contacted by a Mr Bassett who asked me not to publish his name again. So I won’t. Anyway, and changing the subject entirely, a few weeks ago I was contacted by ‘John B’ who mentioned that he had located another box of pre-loved plastic. Would I like it?  Well yes, obviously!

On arrival at COW last weekend he duly presented me with the box in the photo.  If anything this is an even more exciting collection than last year’s.  And yes, that is an Fw200 Condor on top  well, most of it.  

Once I’ve had a chance to sort through the contents I’ll post more photos. Some will be beyond rescue but the potential survivors will each be rated for completeness, desirability and work required. 
For the moment please entertain yourself and us all by naming as many models as you can identify. 

Thanks again John! If that’s even your real name. 

Conference Of Wargamers 2022

COW 2022 has been and gone. All the feedback I have so far had indicate is was a great success. My heartfelt thanks again to all those who contributed to the weekend.

Our usual venue being unavailable, this year we were at the Defence Academy Of The United Kingdom in Shrivenham. I’ve visited and indeed run games at Shrivenham several times previously. 

Attendees assemble for the conference opening. Photo by Tom Mouat. 
Left a bit, down a bit, fire!  In the same building was the tank room. Photo by Chris Ager. 
As a former Saab owner I was pleased to see this bit of the firm still going strong.
The tank room had a few new toys since last time. A fine AH-1.

BMD.  I still can't figure out how you get a rifle squad in there.  At least not in 1:1 scale.
A recently surplussed Tornado

The games were many and varied - here I prepare to distribute buckets of sunshine in John Salt's updated Neverwar game.  It didn't go all that well for the Sovs but I did at least manage to light up East Anglia.

Wednesday 6 July 2022

Gettysburg - the Avalon Hill boardgame

Having been invited to help run a 54mm Gettysburg game later this month I’ve been doing a little reading up.  I have long been a fan of board games as a source of maps and research, even if I don’t often play such things.  However, I chanced upon a temptingly priced copy of this old AH game which has the right sort of complexity for me - not much!  

Last weekend I set the thing up to play through the Day Two (2 July) scenario. The board is undeniably pretty and the counters clearly printed.  I mostly took photos at the end of each pair of turns (CS then US) and shared them as I went along on a couple of WhatsApp groups. 

0600-0800.  The Rebs take Cemetery Hill….
…and fend off Yankee counterattacks. 

0800-1000.  More carnage on the hills, with the Rebs trying to maintain their foothold and fragment the US line. 

1000-1200.  The Feds looking a bit shaky but there are loads of the sods. 
1200-1400.  More carnage and a possible US comeback. 
1400-1600.  The font lines fragment. The white stripes on some units indicate that they’ve been flipped to their weaker side. 
1600-1800.  This is now a real slogging match with US reinforcements still arriving. 

1800-2000.  As night finally falls, some Confederate units go under. 
The final result was - on points at least - a clear win for Lee and his chums but it felt a lot closer during play. Really quite a nice game.  I particularly like the combat system where if you lose you retreat.  If you lose by quite a margin you take a step loss and by a large margin two step losses. 
And yes, I know I got some rules wrong (this is me remember!). 
My thanks to all those who gave virtual shouts of encouragement on WhatsApp - Paul, Mike, Diego and Russell. 
And finally, I’d be remiss in failing to mention Tim C’s impressive 6mm Gettysburg game he ran at the Joy Of Six show on the same day:

Monday 4 July 2022

A welcome return?


I’m conscious that I’ve rather neglected the blog on the past few months. I’ll attribute this mostly to work which has left me disinclined to endure yet more screen time.  Anyway, I’ve had a couple of weeks away and have a massive backlog of game and holiday photos to share.  

Where have I been?  Well the photo above is a clue to one country. If you can name the two others (more photo clues below) you win the right to name some figures in a 1916 British ‘Pals’ battalion.  I know, not much of a prize but it is that time of year. 

Oh, and if I’ve seen or spoken to you since my return, you are disqualified!  

UPDATE 6 July:  So far we have Netherlands and Belgium  but what’s the third?