Saturday, 24 September 2011

Post blogging furlough

It's been a bit of a lazy week for me in the blogging department I'm afraid.  I seem to be very low on energy at the moment; I'm going to bed tired and waking up tired.  All of the strong black coffee I'm drinking to get me through the working day probably isn't helping!  Just generally a bit run down after a long winter and football season I think.  That and I've had only 2 and a half weeks off work since I started this job 19 months ago!  This has largely been in aid of saving up enough leave so that I can go to a friend's wedding in Las Vegas in October.  We've got two days in Los Angeles, a week in Vegas and then we're flying to Oaxaca in Mexico for about a week and a half.  Really looking forward to Mexico, especially the local cuisine; hopefully my stomach is up to it, I plan on dosing myself on acidophilus yoghurt and plenty of active manuka honey before I go.  Probably just a placebo.  We'll see.  This travel newbie will probably be taught a lesson!  At least the lovely A is a bit of a travel veteran!

I'm hoping Oaxacan cuisine will blow my mind, rather than something else!

Anyway, all of this means that I've been having a bit of trouble sitting down to the painting table for any more than an hour on a week night.  With the lovely A down for the weekend, fishing in the Hauraki Gulf on Saturday and a bit of a lazy day on Sunday (eating the catch), I haven't got very far with the painting this week.  I'm almost done with the mortar platoon, so I will try and finish that at on Monday/Tuesday this week.  I'll either then start on a 25pdr or move on to try my hand at basing...I'll see how I feel.  It is a bit frustrating to be making such slow progress; hopefully I'll have a bit more energy after my time away.

I've been a bit busy on the shopping front, and I confess that I've broken my resolution not to purchase any more rule books!  I've gone and bought the Waterloo rulebook from Warhammer Historical.  Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Games Workshop at the moment and the way they run the Warhammer Historical "red-headed step-child" of their business is probably a case in point.  However regardless of other criticisms that might be made of Games Workshop, they have great production standards and graphic designers when it comes to books.  It really is a huge, gorgeous book.  Probably the highest quality rules book in my collection of rules books!  As for the rules themselves, well I've been a little daunted by the prospect of General de Brigade as my first foray into Napoleonic gaming, and a little underwhelmed by Black Powder and the philosophy behind it.  Hopefully the Warhammer Historical will prove to be a happy medium.  Garth and I are familiar with the way in which Games Workshop rules work (though this is apparently derived from the War of the Ring rules, which I haven't played), so this will hopefully mean that we can get up to speed quickly.  Did I spin that well enough?  To be honest I was really just sold on the big, beautiful book and had to have it!

Once I've had a chance to read through the book ill post my thoughts and some nice glossy photos. It will be a while before I'll be able to comment on the rules in a qualified way; hopefully Garth and I will be able to proxy a game when we catch up over the summer. Garth has also purhased the Warhammer Historical Trafalgar rules and has been making favourable noises so far. In these two rulesets we've got our favourite period of warfare covered. Regarding some extra motivations behind Trafalgar, we're both huge fans of Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin series (the source material behind the Master and Commander film for the uninitiated) and the 1/1200 scale miniatures that are available look amazing. We really do have eclectic tastes. I look forward to reading about Garth's impressions of the book some time soon! As for the near future on this blog, I'll be continuing with a commentary on my meagre painting efforts and terrain/basing for our Flames of War project. I'll also be posting 'un-boxings' of each of my recent purchases as they arrive (Infinity miniatures, Flames of War sourcebook and miniatures still to come). I'll also be talking a little about my Friday night foray into 40k for he first time in 10 years (a mixed experience). Other ideas are a look at the 'wargaming' boardgames in my collection, as well as at what has really inspired me to wargame particular periods or genres. Enough for now! Cheers!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A few musings on the New Zealand Division

Just a few quick thoughts while I'm waiting on my dinner to cook.  My first awareness of the battle for Crete was through a painting that hung in my highschool library.  I think that it had been donated by the RSA (Returned Services Association) and I expect that it was a print, though it may very well have been the original.  The painting depicted troops from the New Zealand Division fighting off the descending Fallschirmjager.  I enjoyed that painting very much; I always get a little bit moist-eyed when I think about how magnificently brave all of those who participated in the war were, but I also think that my appreciation for the painting was also because it displayed New Zealand's place in history.  It's hard not to feel sometimes that we are so very far away from the important things that are going on!  Not a particularly forgiveable feeling given that I am well aware of New Zealand's history, and that I have an undergraduate degree in History!  I couldn't find any images of the painting online, I'll do some further digging and try and post one if I can.

Back to the basing for my Commonwealth Infantry, if I am to model them taking cover behind rock formations, then I'd also like to model a little bit of battlefield detritus along with them - perhaps some ammunition boxes, water bottles, discarded magazines, et cetera.  I haven't done any research into any miniature lines for these things yet, but I expect that there will be something along those lines being sold somewhere!

Garth and I have been exchanging a wee bit of banter while we've been planning our forces for Flames of War.  He thought that I should model flames onto my Churchill tanks to save time and hassle during our games.  My delighted riposte was that he should probably model his Fallschirmjager hanging from trees!

In other news, my copy of Hellfire and Back has shipped, as have a few other things.  I'll post an update and perhaps an unboxing when they arrive!


Monday, 19 September 2011

Commonwealth Infantry

Well I've made a decision in respect of my British infantry dilemma for Flames of War, largely due to seeing the pictures of LintMan's Commonwealth Infantry over at  I ordered a blister of the Commonwealth Infantry today, and will be using them for my Mediterranean British/New Zealand Infantry.  The plan is to save the Rifle Company Box for a Turning Tide company later on in the piece.  Garth impulsed purchased a Panzer Lehr box (cheap, it must be said) a while back, so it'll be nice to have something to face him with, though I imagine I'll get sick of painting infantry!  I've also got the Hellfire and Back book on order.  In the meantime, I'll finish off my British (Italy) Mortar Platoon and get to work on my British (Italy) Machine-gun Platoon.

Lintman's photographs have motivated me to consider doing some kind of scenic basing.  What I'd like to do is base the infantry on quite rocky terrain, for them to take cover behind, with patches of arid grass and the odd olive tree.  I've got a vision on what I'd like it to look like, it'll just depend whether I can find the right trees to go with it, or manage to whip them together myself.  If anyone knows of any such products please get in touch!

I've been looking at pictures of Cretan landscapes so as to get a feel for what the terrain is like (I'm hoping that the basing will pass for Italy, Crete and Greece).  I'd like to use somewhat spindly and asymmetrical trees to try and capture the look from the pictures above.  I get the feeling that slightly wind-swept trees (in one direction or another) might be easier to position on the bases as well.

From these next two photos I can see that there is some variation in colour in the shrubs and foliage.  To recreate this I might a greater mix of shades of static grass/flock.  The photo below shows that Cassino may be more lush (though this may depend on the season, this isn't exactly thorough research), though I think I can probably get away with a slightly more arid Italy (and the photographs from the war may not show a whole lot of forestation).


Saturday, 17 September 2011

Current painted miniatures.

Hi there.

Thought I might put up some photos of the stuff that I have done so far.
This weekend I have managed to get about 4 teams of FJ infantry done in full including basing and 2 teams painted up but not yet based, so a pretty busy weekend for me.

Hope you like them. Please excuse the photo spam ;)

Im happy with my efforts so far. I'll probably go back at some stage and do some more highlighting, particularly the German grey helmets.


Infinity reinforcements and a British mispurchase

Well it seems that Infinity products are back in stock at Maelstrom, as my last two orders have been combined and shipped after a delay of three weeks.  I wasn't at all worried as I have plenty to do in the painting department, though it's always nice to have a reason to check the mail in the morning.  Damned addictive internet purchasing.

Djanbazan with Heavy Machinegun
So a fair few Haqqislam reinforcements are winging their way towards me as I speak.  Once this order has deployed I'll have the following miniatures:

  • 3x Ghulam with Rifle and Light Shotgun;
  • 1x Jannissaire with AP Rifle;
  • 1x Naffatun with Rifle and Light Flamethrower;
  • 1x Hunzakut with Sniper Rifle;
  • 2x Naffatun with Rifle and Heavy Flamethrower;
  • 1x Djanbazan with Sniper Rifle; and
  • 1x Djanbazan with Heavy Machinegun.

Naffatun with Heavy Flamethrower
As a "WYSIWYG" list without any proxying, this comes to the following:


 GROUP 1 (Regs: 9/Irrs: 1):

  GHULAM Lieutenant Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife (13)
    MOV:4-4  CC:13  BS:11  PH:10  WIP:14  ARM:1  BTS:0  W:1  
    Regular, Not Impetuous, No Cube

  2x GHULAM Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife (13)
    MOV:4-4  CC:13  BS:11  PH:10  WIP:14  ARM:1  BTS:0  W:1  
    Regular, Not Impetuous, No Cube

  NAFFATÛN Rifle + Light Flamethrower / Pistol, Knife (10)
    MOV:4-4  CC:13  BS:11  PH:10  WIP:14  ARM:1  BTS:0  W:1  
    Regular, Not Impetuous, No Cube

  2x NAFFATÛN Rifle + Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, Knife (12)
    MOV:4-4  CC:13  BS:11  PH:10  WIP:14  ARM:1  BTS:0  W:1  
    Regular, Not Impetuous, No Cube

  HUNZAKUT  Sniper Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife (25 | 0.5)
    MOV:4-4  CC:13  BS:11  PH:12  WIP:14  ARM:0  BTS:0  W:1  
    Irregular, Not Impetuous, No Cube
    CH: Camouflage, Infiltration, Deployable Repeater

  JANISSARY AP Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, CCW (45)
    MOV:4-2  CC:15  BS:13  PH:14  WIP:14  ARM:4  BTS:-3  W:2  
    Regular, Not Impetuous, No Cube
    Religious Troop

  DJANBAZAN Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CCW (33 | 1)
    MOV:4-2  CC:14  BS:12  PH:11  WIP:14  ARM:2  BTS:0  W:1  
    Regular, Not Impetuous, Cube
    Multiterrain, Regeneration, Multispectral Visor L2

  DJANBAZAN HMG / Pistol, CCW (36 | 1.5)
    MOV:4-2  CC:14  BS:12  PH:11  WIP:14  ARM:2  BTS:0  W:1  
    Regular, Not Impetuous, Cube
    Multiterrain, Regeneration, Multispectral Visor L2

 212 Points | SWC: 3

Army Infinity v.3.0. -

Hassassin Fiday
I'm unlikely to play a game at 212 points and I want a little more flexibility in my  options for 200 points, so I think the above will give me plenty of options to try out for 150 points, which is the limit that Garth and I are looking at starting with.  I'm not really interested in fielding a Hunzakut with Sniper Rifle as I'd much prefer to go with the Light Grenade Launcher option which will be a proxy.  I also have little interest in fielding a Naffatun with Light Flamethrower as I'm told they're much less effective than a Heavy Flamethrower at a small increase in points cost.  However, it is a 10 point miniature that I could slot in as an afterthought if I have 10 points leftover sometime.  Its also a nice model, and I'd be comfortable proxying it for a Heavy and using it.

Hassassin Lasiq
As for additions from here, I'd like to add a Muyib with Light Grenade Launcher (for a regular replacement for the Hunzakut, with higher BS), a Fiday for the brilliantly nonchalant pose and the potential for some close combat fun, and a Lasiq for the great sculpt and the supposedly deadly Viral Sniper Rifle.  I will also pick up the Khawarij miniature as I absolutely love it; I understand that it isn't particularly effective in the game at the moment, but I'm willing to give it a try purely because of the aesthetics and the fluff behind them.

It will be quite some time before Garth and I manage to get some Infinity on the table; I doubt we'll have had a full game by the end of February judging by the way I've been going with getting my Flames of War army painted (though I'd like to try out the rules mechanics with unpainted miniatures and slapped together terrain much sooner than that).  It's not just the painting though, it'll take me quite some time to get sufficient terrain together.  I'm also a little worried about the quality of my painting when applied to such lovely sculpts; I very much want to do them justice, so I'd like to get this 15mm Flames of War army under my belt, and hopefully some other 28mm figures, before I slap anything onto these miniatures.  I'd be grateful if anyone could point me towards some painting tutorial resources!  I'd like to carefully plan how I'm going to paint my Haqqislam miniatures.

As for the other half of the title, I fear that I may have made a bit of a misjudgement in my Flames of War purchases.  You see, I ordered the British Late War Rifle Company box and the Royal Artillery Battery box as the basis for my British Rifles force in the Italian theatre for Cassino or Fortress Europe.  However, the Rifle Company sculpts really are intended for Normandy/France rather than for Italy.  Indeed, Battlefront do produce British infantry for the Italian theatre in blister.  I was prepared to paint them in the Italy colour-scheme and just live with it; however, given that Battlefront has announced the release of the book "Burning Empires" covering the early to mid war periods in the Mediterranean, I think that this theatre will become the main focus for Garth and I in Flames of War, so I'd like for things to look right.  I will be patient, though.  On the off chance that Battlefront will release new sculpts in support of this book, I'll paint my British (Italy) MG Platoon next and hold off on making a decision on the late war company box.

The Games of War website has the following product for the Burning Empires book:
Burning Empires, The Battle for The Mediterranean, is a 184 page hardback book that includes:
  • The history of the Early War battles in Greece, Crete and Syria;
  • Italian Briefing: Fucileri, Blackshirt and Alpini forces;
  • Greek Briefings: Mechanised Battalion and Infantry Company;
  • German Briefings: SS, Gebirgsjager, Fallschirmjager and Luftlandesturm forces;
  • French Briefing: Infantry force playable as either pro-Axis Vichy or pro-Allied Free French;
  • Rules for Airbourne Assaults;
  • British, Italian, French, German and American Raiding and Garrison Forces for Early and Mid War raiding battles;
  • Four Raiding Missions and the Seize Outpost Mission, featuring the new Desert Fort; and
  • Painting Guides and inspirational colour photographs.
I'm pretty excited!  I'll go into the reasons for my interest in this theatre in a future post, but suffice to say both Garth and I are very keen to take a look at this book, and fortunately it ought to pit my British/Commonwealth Infantry against his Fallschirmjager again!

In addition to this blog, I'm also considering starting up a google group for our gaming group so that we have somewhere that we can keep each other apprised of progress, have a yarn, and organise ourselves for games.    If anyone has experience with using google groups and has any comment as to whether this might be worthwhile, I'd appreciate a chat!

Lastly, you'll note that I've been a little bit more creative with the placement of pictures in this blog post.  With the consequence that some of the picture margins aren't quite right and are encroaching onto the text.  If anyone knows an easy way of fixing this, please let me know!  I'm new to blogging (indeed, I'm new to anything but reading webpages), so I'm willing to take all of the help that I can get!