Search This Blog

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 "lids" 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 "lids" 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

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Colours 2018 - a Grand Day Out

Yesterday I made (my now annual) pilgrimage to Colours at Newbury Race Course. A very similar format to last year (and previous years I believe) with most of the big traders occupying the very same spot as they did on previous occasions.

I didn't seem to buy much, but what I did cost me £75!

I wasn't really searching for something new this year, so that controlled my spending somewhat, but I did weaken and buy Men of Company B from Martin Goddard  (Peter Pig) after he did such an eloquent sales job on me! I have already US & VC armies in 10mm, based for BKCII, so with my 4" square Deep Cut mat I should be able to get straight into this.

Deep Cut Mats were present at the show and they were doing a very brisk trade with their mousemat material battlemats - very nice too. I treated myself to one of their little dice mat thingies (£3) - made from off-cut material - just what I always needed!

I had a very pleasant chat with Stuart McCorquodale from Great Escape Games about their 1914 rules. Sadly he's no plans to make a later war version. I think it's time I had a go at some house rules myself. To this end I've bought myself Iron Cross to see how they handle the AFVs, for inspiration. I bought myself a pack of WW1 12mm Cavalry while I was there, as this is the only troop type I'm short of for the game. Nice figures, a pack including the mounted elements, dismounted elements, MG Gunner and mdf bases for £10.

As a useful source for 1914 battle scenarios, I purchased the Battleground Europe book on I Corps' Retreat from Mons. Excellently written and full of sketch maps showing troop positions etc. Perfect research material.

Minibits/Pendraken were a one stop shop for mdf bases, dice frames and dice for my PSC Great War French army, a heavily discounted Warlord Hetzer (£12) also fell into my shopping bag  and finally I bought 20 or so Black Tree Design Fallschirmjager in 28mm, that were being sold at a very fair price of £8 for 10 figures.

The bring and buy was a waste of time for me. The prices being asked were hardly in the "bargain" region....I saw one army priced up at £300! Though there appeared to be a lot of items for sale and lots of people were looking if not actually buying.

The demo/participation games were upstairs on the 2nd floor and I thought there seemed to be more on offer this year. There were several "Cold War gone hot" type games, which was interesting considering my first moves into wargaming all those years ago was doing the very same!

Most games were visually stunning, but many suffered the usual fate of not progressing fast enough for the viewer to see what was happening together with a reluctance from those taking part to engage with those people who had stopped by to watch.

Those that succeeded had a dedicated, outgoing games master who actively sought to communicate what was going on. All groups should take a look at themselves and try to emulate these individuals. Bravo to those that did...

Below are some pictures of what was there. I'll let them do most of the talking. Where I can remember I've credited the presenters. Where I've got it wrong or have forgotten I can only apologise.
Modern 28mm skirmish (Spectre) - A Few Brits & the Hobby
Zeebrugge Raid 1918 - Naval Wargame Society

Battlefront Tanks in 28mm Crawley Wargames Club

What a Tanker! - probably the most popular participation game! - Newbury Wargames Club

War of the Roses 28mm - Penarth and District Wargames Club

The mole at Zebrugge 1/300th scale

Retreat from Moscow 40mm - Wessex Wargames

28mm SAS Raid in North Africa using cut-down Bolt Action mechanics. Another really popular participation game with a very engaging games master! - Maidenhead Reapers

WW1 Middle East - 28mm big battle! - Adrian Shepherd & friends

More of the same

More again - lovely details around the camp scene.

War in Chechnya in 28mm (I think) - Tiny Terrain

Operation Goodwood in 20mm - Friends who like Rapid Fire

The other end of the Rapid Fire Table

Blood & Bridges - Cold War in 1/200th. A board game brought to 3D with Kallistra terrain and miniatures - Chris Wykes & friends

Nice terrain - I particularly like the pylons

Market Garden in 6mm - the South London Warlords . Unfortunately the game didn't move very quickly as they did spend a lot of time talking to people about the game and terrain and the German defence was very good at bottling up their advance! 

I think this was Romans vs. Sarmations in 28mm by Deeprose...but I could be very wrong

Another Cold War game this time in 20mm using Rapid Fire -- sadly by 2pm when I left the Warpac forces were still in the same position they'd been at 11:30 :-(
28mm Samauri Skirmish by the Liverpool War Games Association
 So there you go. Not every game by any stretch, I apologise for those I missed, but hopefully it'll give you a flavour of what was on offer.

I had a good 4 hours of entertainment so cannot moan. I'm not certain, but I think the lighting may have improved from previous years, I certainly didn't seem to have as much difficulty examining stuff. Food and drink were still outrageously dear for a peasant like me, but there's a Tesco and Greggs not far away, and it was a lovely day to sit outside with a packed lunch.

Til next year.....