Saturday, 15 July 2017

Finished! - 10mm Pendraken Confederate American Civil War Army (+ Birthday loot)

Hi Folks,

This is (almost!) the end of a project started back in December/January. The Old Guard Wargames club members decided to attempt a club project using 10mm Pendraken miniatures. In my stupidity, I volunteered to collect a Confederate force using the starter army pack on offer by Pendraken. Thankfully I was not the silliest bugger, as some people bought more than one pack. Fools that they are. I added a couple of extras (casualties, horse holders and horses, wagon, extra guns, limbers, stretcher bearers, dismounted infantry, staff officers and general...) to the basic set. When I see that list I realise this was maybe more that a 'small' project!

I say this is almost the end of this project as I still have 4 limbers for the guns and some destroyed gun markers to complete. But I have really run out of steam with these guys for now, so the army will have to limp along without them. But I'm counting them as done!

We're planning on using Fire and Fury for rules (regimental or brigade - or both) but also potentially other sets as well. Models are all from Pendraken. The infantry unit flags are also from Pendaken's range.

This was my first attempt at an army other than my WW2 and 3mm Modern stuff. This force isn't too uniform, has a larger range of colours and is just generally brighter. My original idea had been to make it really really rag tag, but this just didn't work for me. So I stuck to a certain range of colours while trying to vary the highlights and mixing in the odd butternut trousers and the likes. I did make a very conscious choice about the blankets and such, deciding early on that I would try to use the same red and blue as the flags, and scattered these guys through the bases in order to try and make the units tie together a bit more and link the colours to the flags. I think this worked.

Anyway, onto the pics. First up, the 'whole army' shot.


The full layout... From left to right we have some 'heavy casualty' markers. These were done using some casualty figures and some stretcher bearers. 2 Casualties and 1 stretcher team of the infantry markers. These are on 40mm bases.


Then we have the infantry. These units are in 5 stand groupings. With commands there are 6 with 5 bases in each and 2 with 10 bases - this is just how the use of the standard bearers and stuff went. I can drop command bases and combine units into whichever size needed for the rules/scenarios. Bases are 25mm by 20mm.





Total comes to 42 standard infantry bases (a mix of 3 and 4 men per base, or 2 men and a casualty), and 8 command bases.

At the front on the round base is a 'brave Colonel'. He was supposed to be based on his own on a small base, but I gave him a drummer and a slightly bigger base (25mm).

Then we have some single figure 'low ammo' counters, comprised of some loading figures. These are on small bases (20mm).

In front of these we have the Brigade Commander - with dispatch rider and state flag (South Carolina - from Wargames Designs - these flags are a little smaller than the Pendraken ones, but worked OK for this base and for the cavalry battle flags).


The cavalry comes next, both mounted and dismounted. Mounted are on 25mm by 25mm bases while the dismounts are on the same bases as the infantry. Just looking at these pictures I can see I forgot to add the yellow details to the dismounts that I did to the mounted cavalry...

Also included are the horse holder bases and a cavalry 'heavy casualties' base (all on 40mm bases). This is 1 casualty, 1 unmounted horse and a stretcher bearer team.



And at the back we have two x 2 gun batteries ('Napoleons') and the ammunition wagon for the army. Spot the red facings on the gun crews... The guns are on 25mm by 30mm, while the wagon is on a 25mm by 70mm base! I've more guns available, but figures two batteries is enough. The others will be used to make the 'damaged gun' markers required for the Fire and Fury rules.



Just the limbers and the markers to do really. I'm pretty happy to get this lot 'done' and that I managed to do a reasonable job on them.

For basing, I tried to be a bit different from my usual 'Normandy' style. The bases were covered in fine sand, which was painted a mix of Vallejo flat earth and green ochre. I then added some 'dead grass' static grass, being careful to leave some bare patched along the edges. I did my usual tidy of the bases using my small scissors, then drybrushed the edges with green ochre. I then added tufts - 2mm 'Straw' and 'Yellow Brown' tufts from serious play. I was worried about having enough of these, so bought more - the 'Yellow Brown' ones were a totally different shade from the first batch. I ended up mixing this type in, to make sure I didn't run out and keep the army looking consistent. There are roughly 6 tufts on each base, although the bigger bases have more. The aim had been to get a dry, hot, height of summertime look to the bases.

My knowledge of the period is pretty limited, so hopefully I've not made any truly horrendous mistakes painting wise! This project has been a real experience for me and as much as I hated it, I also enjoyed it... oddly enough! Something a bit different.

Thursday was my birthday, and I'm lucky enough to have a wife who asks what I want then goes and gets it for me! Long may this setup continue...


A few bits to add to my terrain - the village square set and a 4Ground 15mm church are very welcome additions. The books something different, but sounds interesting.

I was also lucky enough to get to go to the Green Howards museum over in Richmond for my Birthday day out, where I learnt a bit about a chap named Company Sergeant Major Stan Hollis VC. The only person to win a VC on D-Day and someone with his own special character which I have the model for in Flames of War. He was a local lad (from Middlesbrough) and served in the Green Howards.

Sudan Green Howards stuff, as I thought Dave would be interested!

Some WW2 uniforms. I was interested in the variation in shades on the webbing. 

Boo!

Later, we went into Middlesbrough for dinner (Amy's suggestion of venue), and across the road from the restaurant was a statue:




So a great day out topped off by a coincidence!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

10mm ACW WiP + Kynren show thoughts

Hi folks,

Just a quick update this week to show I have been working on something!

I've not made as much progress as I had hoped with these. I have a variety of reasons why, but really it just comes down to lack of interest/motivation. These (almost) final few ACW figures are proving to be a bit of a drag, and while they won't take much to finish, I don't really want to be giving much either!

This batch will give me the stretcher bearers and casualties for some of my 'heavy casualties' markers, as well as casualty figures to bulk out my infantry stands. Another gun, to give me 2 batteries of 2 guns and an ammunition wagon.



I've made a couple of Ebay purchases this month, mainly stuff I saw in passing and decided would be useful. A load of German arty and A/T crews, which gives me some more options for my German forces. It will also allow me to avoid using the plastic DAK crew that came with my 5cm guns. I also picked up 3 Panzerjager IV's, which gives me 6 in total. Looking at the reference material I have, it looks like that might be about the size of the Panzerjager Abt. 12. companies around Totalize. I may pick up one or two more to use as a command section...

FoW wise the plan is to keep working on the infantry expansion for my Brits and possibly try to focus on actually establishing a full usable list for something. Options include working on some German stuff or possibly getting my 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry force done. I've had the armoured car models for quite a while (probably some of the stuff that's been in the lead pile for the longest time now) so I feel I should make an effort.

I am however, slightly bothered still at the mix of Daimlers and Humbers I have. For the Totalize period the unit had Humbers, not getting the Daimlers (which are pretty iconic for that unit) until later in the campaign. Something else for me to worry about needlessly!

Lastly, I want to the Kynren in Bishop Auckland last night. The organisation of the event (getting parked, getting in, getting seated) was all excellent. I cannot fault the performance or cast and the special effects were brilliant. However.... **Warning, rant below!**

I normally avoid making political comments on my blog, but I've never seen such a display of British Nationalist revisionist twaddle in all my life. From Boadicea apparently driving the Romans from 'English' shores and women and children apparently successfully fighting off the Vikings while the Normans treacherously shot a brave English king in the eye (while they were on a ship and he was trying to fight them honourably...) to the English defeating Robert the Bruce (when Scottish raids and victories in Northern England forced the English to make peace)... to the final declaration of 'This is our England' along with the unfurling of a giant Union flag (who's holders included - and I make no word of a lie - a man in German WW1 uniform complete with spiked helmet)... while the cast and some of the audience sang god save the queen and waved little paper Union flags... The whole thing left a very very bad taste in my mouth. The obvious message here is that 'English' and 'British' are one and the same thing. And I think most Scots, Welsh or Irish would disagree with that.



Monday, 26 June 2017

10mm ACW - Guns and Dismounted Cav - Finished!

Hi folks,

First couple of days back and I wanted to finish up the projects I was working on prior to me going on holiday.

Mainly that involved the final varnish coats and basing of a few of my 10mm Pendraken Confederate dismounted cavalry. While basing these I decided to do the horse holders, guns and a final cavalry stand made up of my last remaining cavalry man and a surreptitious staff officer.

On to pics - cavalry in all it's glory, with dismounted and mounted options as well as horse holders:


Random (extra) cavalry base, to give me 8 stands in my cavalry unit:


Dismounted cavalry and horse holders:







Guns:





And some more random pics - with the complete cavalry unit and the other models together:




So I'm making some progress with this project. I believe we're aiming to get a game of some description in July, so I'll be pushing to get everything done. I'm not sure about the limbers and such currently, but I will aim to get the casualty figures I have painting next. This will allow me to base up the remainder of my infantry - I'm hoping the cavalry dismount spares and casualties will help make the infantry units go a little further.

This will leave me with limbers, another gun (or three!), ammo wagons and various markers to do.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Holiday snaps and loot - 2017

Hi folks,

Over the last two weeks, no painting has been done... for the first time since my honeymoon last year, I believe!

Instead, I've been off gallivanting around Dorset (in England) and Snowdonia (in Wales) for a week each. Thoroughly frazzled due to all the sunshine we had, and very glad to come back to a rainy Teeside! Our car last weekend showed an outside temp of 40oC, and it must be the longest period of using suntan lotion I have every had in this country. Suffice to say on our last day (Thursday) it was overcast, cool and windy. We didn't put any lotion on and both got burnt!

Anyway - the visit to Dorset came about as my Mum and Step Dad, who are normally residents of Spain, are in the UK for the summer. As they are working/residing in Dorset, we decided to visit. Or to put it another way, when my mum mentioned a week before that there was a tank museum near by, my response was 'why do you think I'm coming to Dorset!'.

My long suffering wife and I spent a full day at the Tank Museum in Bovington, more or less from opening to closing time. I'd happily do the same again (though I'm not sure she would be so enthusiastic..).

Highlights were seeing up close some of the vehicles I have been painting and modelling, sitting in the turret of a Chieftain and getting to just wander round the vehicles on display. Of specific interest to me were the Buffalo and Shermans as well as the other allied vehicles - but the two types my Grandfather drove were really cool to see close up. I'm not afraid to admit that on visiting the memorial chapel and seeing his regimental cap badge I got a little lump in my throat.

As any good tread head would, I took a whole lot of pictures, which can be seen on my Facebook page here. Some of the ones with me (for scale purposes!) can be seen below, as well as the panoramic shots I took inside the turret of the Chieftain and in the Tiger hall.















We also went fossil hunting along the Dorset coast, and found a few bits and bobs.

I managed to fit in a visit to Entoyment in Poole - an impressive wargames shop, with a lot of variety. I picked up a few bits:


The Commandos I can use for my recce Brits/Poles - but importantly the pack contains a Piper and I needed another one. The objective cards sounded interesting and I wanted some lighter A/T guns for my Germans. I'll paint these up as Normandy guns and crew, and they should be fine.

I also picked up a Birthday pressie, which Amy paid for. It's now been taken off me till my brithday, but at least I know it's there:


I had a chance to pick up a few book in various book shops (and at the Tank Museum):


The Goodwood book is excellent, full of aerial recce pics taken during the fighting. I'm going to pick up the authors other stuff. Unfortunately it seems he died in a plane crash a few years ago.

As well as a souvenir from the Tank Museum:


And I managed to find a box of figures I've been looking for since last year - still in shrink wrap and for a reasonable price. The package was waiting on me when I got home:


During the quiet evenings, I had a chance to put together some models from the lead pile (taken only after permission for such light hobby activity had been obtained):



We also visited Tyneham village, which is in the middle of a MoD live fire range. My head was on a swivel checking out the range target vehicles! The village itself was interesting, but very sad. The people were given short notice in 1943 to evacuate as the area was required for training as part of the D-Day prep. They were never allowed back and the area is still a MoD Training area.

The other location I managed to visit was the Dorset and Devon Regimental museum in Dorchester. Very interesting museum - the the usual terrible lighting. I mainly took pics of the WW2 stuff, but again there is an album on my facebook page.








The last week we spent in Pennal, at the southern edge of Snowdonia. Not a huge amount around to interest me, although in the field next to our cottage was a suspicious (smallish) mound which I correctly guessed was a Motte and Bailey castle. A few fields away there was a Roman fort discovered and we found a memorial to the crew of a Wellington bomber that had crashed nearby in 1941.

The area was also under the 'Mach Loop' which is a RAF/NATO low level training area. While we heard jet engines constantly over the two weeks, I only managed to catch sight of some Hawks and some Eurofighters at low level. In Dorset I'd also spotted some Tornado's at low level as well - although I got to see lots of military vehicles on the back of low loaders down there as well - and had Challenger training tanks drive past in Bovington (making the whole car shake!)

So other than the military stuff, lots of shopping, ice cream shop hunting, picnics and spending time with family!