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Monday, 29 October 2018

Perry Travel Battle - Completed and ready to use

Having completed all the figures - painted, based & varnished - I thought I'd give them a quick look over before packing them away to take on my hols.
You'll see from the picture I'd cut a couple of bits of scrap foam to fit the two figure storage recesses in the box. I'm hoping that this will secure the figures in transit and avoid unnecessary movement and consequently - damage!
I must say I'm impressed with the overall look of the set. It really looks like a miniature battlefield.
I have given the rules a read through and they seem simple enough (The mechanisms reminded me of DBA to be honest). I also printed off the collective notes I'd found on-line (The Perry's own notes from their website together with some from the various review I'd read) in case they are of help.

This prompted me to attempt a QRS to save flicking back and forwards in the book. Now all I need is my holidays to arrive and an evening free to play a game....

Perry Travel Battle - Cavalry Continued

Now I had the technique sorted out, painting up the remaining "Blue" Force cavalry didn't take me too long.

Once again I painted them whilst they were still mounted on their moulding sprues.
The colours I chose were from the old Banford Uniforms of Waterloo book and were just what I fancied to make a contrast with those I'd chosen for their opponents.
Dragoons in dark green tunics and Hussars in light blue.
The Brigadier figures finished in a similar style to the "Red" force, but this time with dark blue tunics.

That's it all finished......

Firestorm Games Bring & Buy

It was that time again...Firestorm Games Autumn Bring & Buy.
Run in their playing area, this is an excellent venue to pick up  a few bargains and perhaps dip your toes into a new project at a bargain price!
Most stallholders  (as they are most times) were selling off their surplus Sci-Fi and Fantasy stuff.
There were, however, a good few things to temp us dyed in the wool historical gamers.
I was very pleased with my stash.....

  • An old self published guide to the Franco-Prussian War (50p) - hoping once again this will encourage me to get on with those 10mm armies I've owned for over 25 years!
  • Osprey Union vs. Confederate Infantry book (£2)
  • Three WAB supplements (£2-3 each)
  • Open Combat hardback book (£5)
  • Chicago Way (£2) - shame I didn't realise it should have a deck of cards and a map with the book😕
  • Warlord Games 28mm ECW Dragoons (£15)
A good day out and an excellent opportunity to add to my ever growing "to do" shelf!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Perry Travel Battle - Cavalry Figures

Only at home for three nights this week, so the weekend was vital to getting on with my Travel Battle armies ready for my hols next month.

 Having finished my "Red" army infantry, I moved onto the Cavalry & Brigadier figures that were still on the sprues.

I painted the standing cavalry loosely as Dragoons and the galloping figures as Hussars. The Brigadiers were finished as a generic senior officer in smart colourful uniform!

The lighter coloured horses were painted Vallejo Orange Brown with a Vallejo Sepia Wash once dry. Their hooves were picked out in Vallejo German Camo Beige and their tails and mane were picked out in Vallejo Game Black with a Vallejo Game White blaze and socks added to finish them off. At this scale I didn't pick out the bridle etc as the final Vallejo Black Wash of the rider also highlights these sufficiently.

The darker horses were painted all over in Vallejo Dark Grey followed by Vallejo Black Wash once dry.

Once again the finish was all about giving the correct impression at a reasonable distance from the battle boards. Thees figures just need to have their coat of spray varnish and they're ready to use.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Blog Updates

I've been checking out the layout options for Blogger and have now added a search function (at the top of this page just below the Timstanks banner) and a translate this page function at the very bottom of the page.

I hope you all find these features useful. Please let me know.


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Perry Travel Battle - Infantry Figures

As I've set myself the tall order of having this set all ready to go by the first week in November (so I can take it away with me to play!) I need to get a move on with the figure painting.

In effect you get two identical armies - one moulded blue and the other red, plus a sprue of bases in grass green (the same colour as the battlefields) that also included the wood canopies for the battlefield.
These have already had a coat of Vallejo Game Colour Camouflage Green
Now you could just use them as they come, but I couldn't live with myself using un-painted figures so I have to finish them off.

There are the following troops in each 3 Brigade Army; -

  • 8 bases of 10 infantry 
  • 2 cannon with 3 crew
  • 2 bases of 3 light cavalry
  • 2 bases of 3 heavy cavalry
  • 4 Brigadier/Generals on horseback (you only need 3 but get a spare just in case)
They are all in generic Napoleonic uniforms of the Peninsular/Waterloo period so can be painted as you wish.

So far I've only finished the "Red" team's infantry and Artillery. These are painted up loosely as British Troops.

I chose to try the method described in the Rule/Guide book that is included with the set. That is I did not undercoat the figures (I did, however, wash the sprues in soapy water to ensure coverage of the acrylic paints). Then I painted them whilst still attached to the sprues as this gives you something to hold on to.
Not a good photo (limitations of an iphone7 I'm afraid)  but gives you an idea of the colours used.
I firstly painted the trousers, rolled greatcoat and cannon in Vallejo Light Grey. The Cannon barrels were painted GW Beaten Copper (A very old pot!) the shakos, packs, cartridge pouches and boots were all picked out in Vallejo Game Colour Black and the muskets and ramrods in Vallejo Game Colour Brown Leather.

Then once was all dry, I washed the figures overall with Vallejo Black Wash. Once dry I picked out the faces and hands in Vallejo Pale Flesh and put a dot of GW Burnished Gold on the shakos to look like there was a badge. Afterwards I picked out the cross belts with Vallejo Game Colour White.

Finally the edge of the base strip that would remain visible was painted with Vallejo Game Colour Camouflage Green. This colour was also used to finish off the bases - the central section being painted before the figures were glued in place, as it will be inaccessible afterwards.

The very last job was a quick dusting of Army Painter Ant-Shine varnish.

I'd gone more for overall impression, than for a detailed finish so they won't win any prizes, but will be just fine for gaming.

On with the cavalry.....

Friday, 5 October 2018

Perry Travel Battle - Terrain Boards

Well I've completed these two, and very quick they were to paint-up too!
As they are moulded in such a pleasing grass green colour, I decided to keep the finishing minimalist.
Firstly I painted around all the sloped with Army Painter Green Wash to emphasise the shadows around the hills.. Then I painted the tree trunk areas surrounding the woods with a Vallejo Black Brown before dry-brushing them with Vallejo English Uniform Brown before a final Vallejo Iraqi Sand light dry-brush.

When dry, I dry-brushed the entire boards with Vallejo Dark Yellow. Then I painted in the roads & ploughed fields with Vallejo Mud Brown.

Once this was dry, the farm yard areas were picked out in Vallejo Light Grey and the walls with Vallejo Buff.

While waiting for stuff to dry I painted the buildings whilst still attached to the sprue. I dusted them with sprayed white primer before starting and then painted them up to give a bit of variety between finishes. Once painted I removed them from the sprue for assembly only to find I'd got mixed up with two of the smaller buildings and painted their two halves in different colours....Doh!

Once glued together the buildings were touched up and glued to the base boards.

Now the farmyards, walls, buildings, roads and fields were all given a coat of Vallejo Sepia Wash.

Whilst waiting for the wash to dry I painted the wood canopies in a Vallejo Game Heavy Green followed by a dry-brush of Vallejo Game Camouflage Green.

Finally I dry-brushed the fields, roads, buildings, walls and farmyards with Vallejo Iraqi Sand.

To seal everything and blend it all together (taking away any sheen from the unpainted plastic areas) I  gave the boards a light dusting of Army Painter Anti-Shine Matt Spray.

And there you are.... two boards finished, just the figures to go.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Great Escape Games – 12mm Figures for 1914

When I undertook the rebasing of my Pendraken WW1 figures for GEG’s 1914 rules, I found the one figure type I lacked was German early war cavalry.

So, when the opportunity came to visit Colours, I snapped up one of the new pre-packed battalion/squadron packs produced by GEG.

These packs cost £10 and include sufficient figures for 4 bases of mounted and 4 bases of dismounted cavalrymen + one MG base. They even include the laser cut mdf bases for the figures.

Not bad value at all. As an example, to buy the same through Pendraken would cost £9.65 but would leave you with excess figures and MG teams.

The figures needed very little cleaning up (just filing the bases flat) as you’d expect from brand new moulds. They are slightly bigger than their Pendraken equivalents as true 12mm figures.

Detail is crisp and about right for the size of figure, otherwise the proportions can become lost.
They are also robust little chaps. They will survive repeated handling on the table, unlike my Pendraken British Cavalry whose lances bend and break at an alarming rate!

I primed these with spray cans (brown for cavalry and filed grey for infantry) and then added the detail in stages with fine brushes.

Finally, they were based, varnished and flocked. I’m very pleased with these and may be back for more….

Monday, 24 September 2018

Perry Travel Battle

My dear wife had a bit of luck on a lottery the other day, and kindly split her winnings 50/50 :-)

I decided to treat myself to something I'd been eyeing up for a while...the Perry Travel Battle set.

Bought on line (via ebay) it was possible to pick it up for £42.50 delivered, good value I thought?

It duly arrived the other day and I finally got my hands on it this last weekend, and very nice the components look too.

There are already many reviews out there, with some quite mixed thoughts on this game, so I shan't be looking to add to these.

I will of course post some pictures after I've painted it all up though!

The Greatest Raid of All – St. Nazaire 28th March 1942

I recently was fortunate enough to visit the scene of Operation Chariot – the Commando raid on St. Nazaire to deny the enemy use of the Normandie Dry Dock - the only dry dock on the Atlantic Coast of France that was capable of housing the Tirpitz.
The main U-Boat pen looking across from the single U-Boat pen that now stands near the
 old entrance to the Bassin de St. Nazaire, next to the Normandie Dock.
The area where the raid took place also contains the well preserved concrete re-enforced U-Boat pens that were constructed from 1940 by the occupying German forces.
Inside the main U-Boat pens - now a lifeboat station.
The plan for the raid was simple in concept, but difficult to execute.
Plan of the area of the Commando Raid as it was in 1942
(Source: en:Image:Stnz opchr 1942.png by en:user:TwoOneTwo Licence: GNU/FDL)

Signs of damage to the concrete walls 
The Commandos were to destroy 2 pumping houses and one winch house that served the dry dock, and the dock itself was to be put out of action by ramming the gates with an obsolete destroyer (HMS Cambletown) that was packed with high explosives.
The pens now house two permanent museums (not WW2 based surprisingly!) as well as souvenir shops, tourist office and a Bistro!
The difficult bit was that St. Nazaire harbour is 6 miles into the heavily defended Loire Estuary.
The Main U-Boat pens as seen from the area next to the old entrance gates to the Bassin de St. Nazaire,
near to where the Commandos came ashore from the old mole.
The old mole (with lighthouse) where Commandos came ashore.
The raid was a success in that all objectives were achieved, but costly in men lost - of the 611 men who undertook the raid, 228 returned to Britain, 169 were killed and 215 became prisoners of war. 
The gate to the Normandie Dry Dock today (with blue control cabin on top).
The new Loire Estuary bridge can be seen in the distance.
German casualties were over 360 dead, some of whom were killed after the raid when Campbeltown finally exploded.
HMS Cambletown, having rammed the dock gates, waits for her time fuses to detonate the explosive charges on board - her main gun is visible near to a group of German souvenir hunters.
 (Bundesarchiv, Bild 101II-MW-3722-03 / Kramer / CC-BY-SA 3.0)
Cambletown's gun was recovered from the dry dock and today stands as a memorial on top of the U-Boat pen near the Normandie Dock.
Today all is peaceful. The U-Boat pens are larger than they were at the time of the raid and there is now an additional single pen close to where Cambletown came to rest, alongside the old entrance gates to the Bassin de St. Nazaire, which was not there then.
The dock wasn't repaired until 1947. Here the remains of Cambletown can be seen still lying in the dry dock.
  (RAF - Imperial War Museum (Reference Number: C3398))
The dry dock is still in use and today can accommodate ocean going cruise ships in for repair.
The old entrance gates to the Bassin de St. Nazaire, opposite the U-Boat pens today,  give you some impression what those destroyed by Cambletown may have looked like.
The Town of St. Nazaire has been extensively rebuilt since WW2 due to the damage it suffered during numerous RAF raids attempting (and failing) to destroy the U-Boat pens.
As well as the raid, St. Nazaire also remembers the loss of the Lancastria in 1940 a few miles off shore with the largest ever loss of life recorded for a British Civilian ship lost at sea.
Well worth a visit if you find yourself in the area. To follow the course of the raid on foot is easily achieved and access to both sets of U-Boat pens is free. If you are prepared to walk a few extra metres you can find free car parking too.
Tobruk position in the single U-Boat pen that overlooks the old mole.
The base is 300 metres long, 130 metres wide and 18 metres high, amounting to a 39,000 m² surface on the ground, and a volume of concrete of 480,000 m³. The roof is 8 metres deep, featuring four layers: the first one is a 3.5 metre sheet of reinforced concrete; the second is a 35 cm granite and concrete layers; the third is a 1.7 metre layer of reinforced concrete, and the fourth, is a "Fangrost" layer of steel beams, 1.40 metres deep. The roof is dotted with anti-aircraft weaponry, machine guns and mortars. (Wikipedia)

The main flak Tower