Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fields of Glory: First Impressions

I met with David Sullivan today and played my first game of Fields of Glory. I really enjoyed it. I didn't run many of the charts-David did that. I cannibalized some of my DBA armies to build an Early Ostrogothic army, the same army I used for DBM. It's mostly a foot bow and cavalry army. The horse is mostly the equivalent of medium cav, with one unit of armored horse. The bows, while there are many of them, and they get to roll piles of dice, aren't in a position to be decisive. Bow fire really has to be followed up by some kind of shock troops.

While I did get pretty much hammered in the game, it was still enjoyable, and worth playing. I need to paint up some more cavalry figures, and try it again!

I did add Mariner Too to my list of completed hydroplanes today, as well as Casey's custom painted Revenge. I'm looking forward racing them on July 19th at Game Matrix.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hundred Years War: Phase 3

It's been a while since I've done anything with my Hundred Years War stuff. When I began this blog in 2006 it was my chief interest and passion. I've spent the past couple of years working on the American Revolution (another era I am incredibly passionate about,) as well as working on my Martians and hydroplane racing.

I would love to say I'm just getting ready to add more stuff to my HYW armies--I have about 300 figures of French and English, all individually mounted. However, that's not the case. I'm going to keep my figures individually mounted and paint up figs for both sides to play Terry Gore's Medieval Warfare. I own them, I've looked at them (a bit, sort of) and determined that I can play another one of my favorite battles, Poitiers. Actually my HYW super duper favorite game is Agincourt, but nobody can play the French dumb enough to make it competitive. Poitiers is an interesting battle--a real slog. In any case, I have enough figures to do the English. The army should look like this:
24 stands of longbowmen--96 figures
12 stand of dismounted knights/men-at-arms--48 figures
12 stands of billmen/hobilars/lesser melee troops--48 figures
4 stands of mounted knights--8 figures
Prince Edward
Some other general figure of note

I finished the first longbowmen this morning, and should have at least another dozen and Prince Edward by the end of next week. Because it is a mid 14th century battle, the knights wear heraldic jupons, but I'm going to leaven them a bit with a fair number of men at arms wearing the Cross of St. George. All things being equal, this army should not take forever to paint, though it will take longer than this summer (duh!!) I'll keep working on hydroplanes as well because they are such an interesting distraction.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Maxmillian on Horseback

I have a lot of figures for Maxmillian's adventures in Mexico. They are 25mm Wargames Foundry figures, back before the hated formation of Foundry. I love the figures; between the French and Mexicans, I probably have in the neighborhood of 300 infantry. I've used some ACW 25mm figures to cobble some guns together for both sides. The big problem, however, has been cavalry. Though they had them planned, WF never made any horse. The Mexicans had the ubiquitous volunteer lancers, as well as some fine regular cavalry. The French and Maxmillian's imperial forces had a lot of interesting and colorful horse as well.

Last summer I broke down and picked up three units of horse from the Houston's range of figures carried by London War Room. They are old, would not pass muster as state of the art, but were serviceable and cheap. This morning I finished painting the ten Austrian hussar figures that fought in Mexico. They're colorful, and will add to the gaming experience. I have one more Imperial unit, as well as a unit of Republican lancers. Together with the irregular Mexican cav unit I already have painted, that would give two units per side.

I'll try to finish the other two units some time this summer, but for now, I'm shifting gears a bit. I'm working on some HYW English. Starting with archers-who doesn't. I figure my Poitiers themed army for Medieval Warfare will require about 200 foot figures and about ten mounted. Don't know how long it will take to finish, but I will never know if I don't get started. Today I also started two more hydroplanes.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Pics

It's Thursday the 19th, so I must be on vacation. Yippee. I've been busy too. I've made some painting time each day, as I promised, and I finished a couple of hydroplanes, and mounted up my Anglo Danish DBA army. Tonight I move on to the Austrian Hussars, before taking on yet another DBA project--the III/5b morph of the Byzantines. Here are some pictures

The Anglo Danes are a dark ages army. Yes, they are the folks who clobbered Harald Hardrada's Viking invasion of England in 1066. Of course they lost at Hastings a short time later and opened England to the Norman Conquest. You remember: King Harold Godwinson-arrow in the eye, Bayeux Tapestry and all that stuff. They are a remarkably boring army. Mostly spears, with three stands of blades and a stand of psiloi. I painted them with some sort of representation of Harold's dragon standard. It looks better in the picture than in real life--however it does pass the three foot test. The figures are 15mm Old Glory figures.

These are my two newest hydroplanes. The dark one is the Slo-mo-shun IV, the first three-point hydro. I believe her first year was 1952, and made Seattle the home of the thunderboats for many years. It had a very large aircraft style tail. This is a boat I painted for Dave Demick. The white boat is the Miss Century 21. It was originally Miss Thriftway, an extremely successful boat that Bill Muncey drove. It changed its name for the 1961 and 1962 seasons, and continued its success, winning the Gold Cup in '62. I don't think I got the striping quite right, but I did the best I could. The next boats I paint will be the Mariner Too for the '65 Gold Cup, and my son Casey wants a custom boat in blue. I think I'll call it Casey's Revenge and give it a bit of a pirate motif.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers Day Peace

It's been a great Father's Day. Lorri has rewarded me with some cool stuff. She bought me a refurbished Inno, which is a satellite radio for XM broadcasts. Unfortunately it's not working, so it needs to go back to the factory. She also got me the HBO John Adams series, which I was really interested in. I read the David McCullough book years ago, and I really like Paul Giamatti, so I'm looking forward to the discs.

I also had a great day out with the boys. Love 'em both--just enjoy spending time with them. They picked me up at about 11:00 and took me down to see The Hulk movie, which I heartily recommend. Yes there's lots of violent superhero mashing of people and equipment, but what really makes the movie is Edward Norton, Jr., who plays the tortured Bruce Banner. Norton is truly one of the great actors of his generation, as well as a great writer and and filmmaker, and he gives the movie instant credibility and gravitas. Yes the mashing scenes are great, but it is the tortured Banner who keeps us grounded, and the supporting cast of Liv Tyler, William Hurt, and Tim Roth are excellent too. Hmm, real acting and a real story in a comic book film. After the movie we went to Rock Pasta, one of the few limited chain restaurants on the hill. It was a great day.

I came home and made some real time for painting today. I managed to finish up the last of the Anglo-Danes, even gave them King Harold's dragon standard. I also wrapped up Slo-Mo-Shun IV for Dave. I'll mount up the DBA army this week and continue working on the Austrian Hussars from Mexico. After that it's Byzantines for DBA, and Miss Century 21. It looks like I'll get to play some games next weekend, so David Sullivan may school me in Fields of Glory. I'll have to reconstitute my Gothic DBM army. School's out on Tuesday, so I'm hoping for lots of painting while I rest and work around the house.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fighting the Funk

Been in a bit of a funk this week. I'm still recovering from a touch of the bug Saturday night, which has left me tired and feeling cranky. I am still picking at the Anglo Danes, though they are getting close, and have made zero progress on Slo-mo-shun IV. The latter is tricky because the paint I've used for the cowl and tale is just not going to cover the mahogany deck coloring, so it will likely take twenty-six coats. More margin for error.

David Sullivan called the other night to let me know he's received his basing material for Medieval Warfare. That's generated a little more interest for me in that project, so I may just take that one on for the time being. I got my Litko bases last week, so I am able to put together a bunch of stands too. I do need to finish the DBA army, Slo-mo, and my Austrian hussars for Mexico, but then I think I can work on the HYW stuff for real. I've got a dozen longbowmen ready to paint, but think I'll focus on the French around Poitiers.

One contributing factor for the funk is no games. I'm up to my eyeballs in family and social obligations this month. I've got stuff going on every Saturday. That doesn't include Dave Demick's 60th birthday, and I can't miss that. At least school is out in a few days. Maybe I can squeeze in a couple of weekday games.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Temptation: The Mother of All Evil

We've just finished our last deadline week. They are long difficult weeks. I'm typically at school until 9:00 on Monday, 10:00 Tuesday, and 11:00 or later on Wednesday. I get home too wound up for sleep and so I'm up until 10:30 or later most nights. There's no painting, a little reading. Next morning and for the next few days I feel like I'm walking about in a haze. I often feel the need to give myself a little treat with a new book or two or a figure purchase. I've been desperately been trying to resist the last two. Frankly I have plenty of books to read and loads of figures to paint as you do too I'm sure. I've been looking at the Historifigs Spaniards for the American Revolution. I would need these for a U.S.-Spanish clash in the Lousiana Territory in the early 19th century, or in the Mississippi valley. I'm also intrigued by the black and tan figures by Musketeer Miniatures. I don't even need many of those--maybe two dozen for a skirmish game for the Irish Rebellion of 1919. The trouble is that I have plenty of Americans to paint for the former, some Irish and British regulars to paint for the latter, so purchases can wait. Of course, that's logic speaking, and who knows how long I can hold out against the little voices inside my head.

I have gotten some painting in the last few days. I've made progress on Slo-mo-shun IV, and I only have another 20 15mm figures to finish in order to complete my Anglo-Danish DBA army. I should have them both done mid-week or so.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Twist on Thunderboats!

One obsession that's stayed me with for much of the last year is my interest in hydroplane racing. Daveshoe and I are discussing some slight changes and additions to the rules, including points for pit crews. Rules for pit crews could be important if I proceed with my next big idea--historical races.

Hydroplane racing in Seattle has a proud history, and wouldn't it be fun to do some historical races. Not only that, but it would help me direct my building and painting plans. I've taken a look at three Gold Cup races in Seattle-1959, 1962, and 1965. There is a great list of boats for each of these races. Some of them would be hard to obtain pictures for, but it would also give me something to do. For the time being, I'll start with the 1965 group, which has some fun boats. I don't quite know how I'll recreate the enormous Such Crust with its twin engines, but I'll think you just stick with the models I have. The boats for the 1965 Gold Cup race are:

Miss Exide
Miss Bardahl
Miss US 5
Mariner Too
Gale's Roostertail
Tahoe Miss
Miss Madison
Notre Dame
Miss Smirnoff
Miss Lapeer
Savair's Mist
Such Crust

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Added: Painting Log

I used to be fastidious about keeping a painting log and participating in the PLEDGE feature on TMP. Now I don't visit TMP very often and haven't kept up with a painting log in over a year. So I figured, what the heck. I can keep it here on my blog with handy little format feature. I'm keeping it simple with some very basic categories. We'll see if they change over time.