Thursday, March 27, 2008

Campbelltown Arrived Today

My 1/700 HMS Campbelltown arrived today. The manufacturer is Russian, called B-Resina. It's very nice. The hull is nicely shaped, with almost no flash or mold marks. There are few large parts to assemble, the funnels come as part of the hull. There are some superstructure pieces to assemble and the 20mm guns come as two part castings. They'll be tricky (but they sure look nice.)

Probably won't get far with this until summer.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Away, Away, Away

It's deadline week and I'm writing this from school. I haven't gotten much done since the weekend. To complicate things further, I'm heading off to Palm Springs next week during spring break. I am so ready, and I'm even happy to leave my miniatures behind.

Just a couple of quick things. We tried a Cowpens playtest on Saturday. My original concept for the game simply didn't work. The first line of sharpshooters we'll definitely eliminate. The Britsh attack stalled out attacking the second line of militia, and the militia simply didn't function as it should. We tried a second playtest eliminating the first line, and the Americans were overwhelmed, so it's back to square one. I've had a couple of suggestions. Wes Rogers suggested eliminating the passage of the second line altogether, beginning with the British wounded, and the militia bolting through gaps in the American third line. Jerry Nordbye is of a mind that there is a way to make the militia behave like freakin' militia, and play through the passage of the second line.

Anyway, we have another playtest scheduled for April 26th, and I'll worry about it then. For now I'm going away to Palm Springs--hope to see a road runner as I did last year, have some fun in Joshua Tree National Park. Fun is good.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Raid on St. Nazaire-hmmm

I'm still painting away on my Cowpens minis, but I am beginning to see the end, and I can begin looking ahead to future projects. As Daveshoe and I began talking about an Action Stations game we also talked about the Skytrex range of harbor accessories. Dave suggested that these were intended to build the port facilities for the commando raid on St. Nazaire in 1942.

I was intrigued by the possiblity of the action perhaps as a project for Enfilade '09. I also picked up David Mason's little Ballantine book on the raid from 1970. I polished it off, together with all of its fabulous illustrations and maps in a couple of days. It really whet my appetite. There are lots of things to work out, such as how the commando units would work with the rules, spotting and the like. However, the most important question was the miniatures. All of the motor launches are Fairmile B's, which are available from PT Dockyard. The funky MTB with tubes over the deck is available from Skytrex. What about the Campbelltown, the former American destroyer, modified and packed with explosives to blow up the Normandie lock gates? There is a resin waterline kit offered by B-Resina of the ship as it was modified. Cool eh

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Format Change

I finally updated the format for the blog. It had some unintended consequences. The posts remain, but I had to re-do all my links, my library, and managed to lose my beloved counter. In any case it should be easier to look at the older posts, the photos are formatted better, and it is much easier to update links and post other information.

I'll even try to add another counter some time soon.

I've added a couple of new links to the blog. One is a link to a hydroplane history website. If you're interested in Thunderboats! at all, this is a treasure trove of photos and information. Another is a link to a Danish wargame site. It's mostly in Danish (shocking!!) however they have some great flag downloads including the American Revolution and the Hundred Years War which I've found quite handy. Last, I've included a link to the Company of Military Historians. These are chiefly artists creating color plates of uniforms in American military history. Many of these guys have been around forever and include names like Clyde Risley and Charles McBarron. Others are of more recent vintage. It is a treasure trove of information, and it is possible to become a subscriber and receive their work in your hot little hands. Hmmm, better references or more lead? Which would you choose?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Closer to Cowpens

This weekend I finished some more American troops for Cowpens. I wrapped up the Virginia/South Carolina State Dragoons, as well as the volunteer horse that filled out William Washington's mounted arm at the battle. I also got a bit of a start on the last twenty-four American militia I'll need to paint. This leaves only some British dragoons (6) and some unkilted Highlanders (24), plus some leader figures for both sides.

I've scheduled a playtest at Game Matrix. I'm hoping to have the militia ready to go for that practice game. I'll try to get some pictures of the new minis up some time early in the week.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

State Troops

I've included photos of the state troops at Cowpens from Virginia and South Carolina. Because they are small, I've lumped them together in one unit. This is part of the revised Lawrence Babits American order of battle for Cowpens which certainly indicates that American forces at this action were much larger than is historically handed down. These are all Old Glory figures-hunting shirt in firing line, and infantry in firing line. Uniformish stuff and standards are all completely conjectural

I've never fussed much about OG figures in the past, but it is troubling that the hunting shirt guys have cuffs.

The picture on the right shows the unit in close order, and that on the left in open order as they would appear in a game of Tarleton's Quarter.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Back on the AWI bug

I've been painting more AWI figures for the Cowpens game I plan to run at Enfilade. I've been dogging it a bit because so much of what needs to be finished is cavalry-yes I know that seems odd. However, in the last ten days I finally polished off the British Legion cavalry-all twenty four figures, as well as a unit of South Carolina/Virginia State Infantry. I am working on the basing material for them at this time, as well as painting flags for the latter. There are a fair number of American figures that fall into the painting netherworld that are the uniforms-if any-for the patriot army. I'm about to enter the big time black hole of information of painting up four Virginia/North Carolina state dragoons and I'm just making it up the best I can. As soon as I finish mounting my troops, I'll get some pictures and put 'em up.