Wednesday, September 22, 2021

New Favorite Map Site

I was searching for some maps for June 22, 1944 that correlate to the beginning of Operation Bagration and the Soviet advance on the city of Orsha. I thought this might make a great campaign to play with my son now that he has his very own Soviet force for Chain of Command. (Thank you Jon!)

I stumbled on this site after not being able to get to my normal go to site. https://iu.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=3003eaf8107048aeabd74b74a1481cb4 This has some really cool features and seems to have the most complete collection I have found yet. The files can be downloaded in very large TIF files that you can work with. If you want to look for the City of Orsha, I can tell you that it is in map section N36-049. I picked up the 1:50,000 scale map. Not sure that I could get the smaller 1:25,000 scale map and I am thankful to have found this.

The map dates to 1937 so it is probably not too far off. I can find the rail station. It should be plenty useful to create some scenarios for us. Now to find out some unit histories to flesh the idea out.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Annual Birthday Sale

As we approach October it is time for my annual birthday sale. To take advantage of the sale, simply use the code "Birthday2021" on my Payhip store for 51% off anything in the store. (https://payhip.com/ChrisStoesen) You can take a guess at which birthday it is for me. Readers of this blog get notice of the sale before anyone else. I'll post this elsewhere on October 1st.

Still working on the War of Jenkin's Ear book. Things are going well. Spent time over the weekend to make a large river. It is basically a painted sheet of clear plastic. It was an attempt to wet blend paint to give the appearance of depth. That was largely a failure. There are places where the white paint failed to mix properly with the the Burnt Umber leaving white streaks near the banks. I will likely try to hide that with some terrain or something. Still it should be servicable.

I have prepped two bases for some more trees. I will try to base coat these today. With those two done, that leaves me with four more tree bases left. I found a slightly larger balsa dowel that I like better for the tree trunks. I am using it for the newer tree bases. I find they are easier to drill out than the smaller diameter dowels.

For the naval portion, I finished painting a Galiot. I am having four more of them printed and hope to pick those up this week. I did not put yards on this model. I added the forward canopy with a strip of paper.

I also have several other ships that are being printed that should wrap up the fleets. The only major gap is with 10 gun brigs. The scanrios call for a total of 5 of these vessels. I have one hull completed from a War Artisan kit that I never finished. It is kit 013 for those interested. The kit is nice in that it comes with two color schemes that you can build which gives some differentiation to the models. I printed out some additional models to round that gap out.

I have a few more Indians on the painting table but none are really critical. Three more figures to carry storming ladders and the canoe crews are left. I have other nice to haves out as well. These include six dead British Troops and a gun crew. None are really necessary for the book but ended up in my cart during one of my online shopping trips.

That is it for the day. Enjoy

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Editing, Playtests and Ships

I am having several more ships printed for the supplement by a friend with a resin 3D Printer. My printer is still not acting properly. It prints up to the 15% point then decides to stop feeding filament. No idea what is going on. Will reach back out to the Anycubic facebook group later today.

I have most of the ships that I need for the game. What I lack are some 10 gun brigs. Larger ones can be found on-line as STL files, but for the 10 gun variety, War Artisan is the place to shop. I purchased his ship (013) a long time ago. Will be printing out the models on Card stock and making a few more. They are time consuming but don't have to be painted.

I set up the table and had a game with my son. This Indians rushed forward with a lucky run of cards and drew first bloob by killing some civilians. This should give you an indication of how well this went for me.

Anyway, I have been happy with the progress this weekend.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Homeless Woodland Indians no more

The 15mm realator has just shown my tribes of Yemmassee Indians their new homes. They have placed a downpayment on two additional wigwams that are still with the builder.

These are the Acheson Creations buildings I got last week. In all, I am happy with them. I think the Lodge may be a bit small compared to the Wigwam but I am warming to these buildings.

Still have a few Indians for boat crews that are at the 50% stage. Also have another torch bearing one and two running with a ladder from the Blue Moon sets I bought.

For the naval battles, I have some more work to do. I have just paid off a friend with a resin printer to make some more ships for me. I have a 1/300 Galliot on my desk that I have not begun to paint. I also have several more half completed ships that need work on. I have made a checklist for the scenario book and am trying to make sure everything has a checkmark.

I have completed bases for trees that I haven't finished the tree trunks for yet. Who knows? Maybe i will get some more work done this weekend.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Forest Section Complete?

My first 12" x 12" forest section is complete. Taking advantage of a momentarily empty house last night, I set to work with my newly acquired Elmers Spray glue and set to work. I am nearly happy with it. The tree trunks need to by drybrushed but I worry that there isn't enough texture to make it worth it. The tops of the trees did not come out how I wanted them to. I will have to figure something out to correct them. Maybe some clump foliage on top or something. In general, the piece is enough of a success to try again. I would like 2 more 12 x 12 sections. But this will go through two and a half bags of my trees. There are 12 total trees on the base. I may move on to 6" x 12" pieces instead and try three of those. Then some 6" x 6" ones and some 6" x 3" with some variations in shapes. The terrain for the War of Jenkin's Ear is rather tree heavy and I want the table to feel like it is largely wooded.

Swampland is another feature of the area. I have two types of swampy terrain. I have felt mats that are covered in spackle and painted with splashes of Woodland Scenics water product on them. They look OK but have the advantage of being able to put trees and other terrain on top of them. Which should help. The other pieces I have are 3d printed swamp sections with pools of water on them. Of these, I have 2 6" x 6" sections and several more smaller sections. I can spread these about with some sproadic trees about to give the feel of the swamp land that I am looking for. The mat probably better defines the area of the swamp but the other pieces look better. All of this can be used in other periods or places. For example, the Eastern Front of WWII. Plenty of woods and swamps there. Also there are TFL supplements for the AWI that can make use of these as well.

The piece that I keep putting off is the large River. I will try to work on that Saturday. I know what my honey-do list consists of and have the timing for when I need to run out and about. This allow me some time early in the morning to knock out some terrain before the family wakes up. We will see what actually happens.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

WOJE Part 182

It feels like this project never ends. I have started flocking the tree tops for the tall pine section. So far, it looks pretty good. I am sort of following what Luke Towand (sp?) posted on his blog. I have 2 colors of flock to use. The problem is, I don't have a proper spray glue. I am concerned that what I have is going to fall off. I need to head to the Home Depot at lunch and take care of that little detail.

If possible, I will get pictures of where I am with this on Saturday. If the thing turns out OK, I will make at least one more of the large sections and then several smaller pieces. The thought is to have several 6" x 6", some 6" x 3" and a couple of 3" x 3" section of tall pines. I may not have enough trees to pull all of this off. I am using 1/4" plywood for the base as I have a sheet of it in the garage that is more than enough for my plans.

What I will do different next time is to spend more time sanding the edges of the base. I really was lazy with this effort and the result is poorer for it. I can throw some clump foliage next to it to help it blend in better on the table. The results thus far seem acceptable. For the base, I just need to dry brush the tree trunks for the first piece to be finished off.

I have primed a 15mm Piragua and a Scout boat. I plan on equipping the scout boat with a pair of swivell guns and will be rigging it. I don't have crew for these ships yet, but I am not convinced that they need it. I will probably change my mind at some point. The Piragua will be unarmed. I will likely rig it as well. Both will have 2 masts and fore and aft rigging. I will be testing out the rigging instructions that I included in the WOJE book. I'll update with pictures when done.

What is missing? At this point, I think I have enough terrain done or nearly done. I have a river to make. I will be using a plastic sheet that is painted on the underside for the river. it will be over a foot wide and over four feet long. This should be plenty of river for a Scout Boat to navigate. I am keen to get this scenario on the table as it has captured my imagination. I will start laying out the tables with more than the painters tape that I use for play tests. With any luck, I could be running a game or two soon.

Hopefully will have a better update over the weekend.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Forward Movement WOJE

I managed another swamp section and a canoe. The canoes that I have are from the Blue Moon pack Indians in Long Canoes. The term long is relatively misleading. They can hold up to 5 Indians that come with the pack. Four rowers and a musket armed indian per canoe. Two canoes in the pack. I am happy with the miniatures but really need larger canoes that hold more.

I have made great progress on the test forest section that I am working on. It is a section that is 12" x 12" in size. The base is ready for painting now. The tree trunks need a dry brushing as well. The tree tops are the question at the moment. I am unsure if they will work. What I can't find is my can of 3m Spray Adhesive. It is eluding me. I know it is here in the house, just not sure where.

This is where I am at the moment with the forest section. Plenty of painting to do. The tree tops need to be flocked. I have primed it since then. I need to make several more sections.

I will be working on a 15mm Scout Boats and a piragua. Also have the other canoe to paint. Might get this done this week. Who knows?

Quick Edit, finished painting the basing of the forest. What shows is I am terrible at Drybrushing. Completely terrible.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

WOJE and AWI

While working on the final elements of my WOJE campaign, I picked up a book to read in my spare time. A Devil of a Whipping by Babits. It covers the Battle of Cowpens. I had been looking at the skirmish at Hammond's Store as it happened just a couple miles south of my alma mater, Presbyterian College. It is an interesting little skirmish that like many of the small actions in the South Carolina at the time would now likely be considered a war crime as quarter was not given.

Hammond's Store was a clash of Continental Dragoons and Rebel Militia against a force of Loyalist Militia. This got me to thinking about how this fit in with the broader context of the war in the South. That had me reading Babit's book on Cowpens. The picture I am getting actually makes for an interesting and descreet campaign in the Ninety-Six district of South Carolina from December 1780 to January 1781.

The starting point is with Thomas Sumter's defeat at the hands of Tarleton on November 20, 1780 at Blackstocks. With Sumter's force largely broken, the organized resistance in the back country for the Rebels were in trouble. The Continental forces were still reorganizing from the disaster at Camden earlier in the year. General Morgan had arrived and was sorting out what was left in North Carolina. General Greene was on his way South to assume over all command of the theater.

A couple of important events started taking place. First is that in the Ninety Six District, the Loyalist Militias began to take vengence on their Rebel/Whig neighbors or those they believed had such sympathies. Since the fall of Charleston, Andrew Pickens had taken his parole and was sitting out the war. But in December 1780, Loyalist Militias burned his home and attacked his family. Simlar events were happening across the Long Canes community. Andrew Pickens, in turn, returned to the fight and called up his militia. Pickens would lead the Rebel Militia at Cowpens by January 17, 1781.

The campaign has two parts to it from my perspective. 1) The vendettas by both sides against one another. Specifically the attacks on civilians at the Long Canes community and the partisan attacks against and around Fort Ninety Six. 2) The movement of Morgan's forces toward Ninety Six and their retreat back to Cowpens.

I have been trying to find a good map of the South Carolina back country. One source noted that the Ninety Six district was next to Charleston, the most important district in South Carolina at the time as it was the most populous. Yet maps of the time show the rivers and a few of the hills in the area but very few of the settlements that dotted the country side. I have three principle maps I am drawing from. The 1773 Mouzon Map, The 1795 Lewis Map and the 1804 Carey Map. Each of these are for South Carolina as a whole and not just for the Ninety Six District. The plan is to print one of these out (likely the Mouzon) and update it with what I have found.

Anyway, once the War on Jenkin's Ear is wrapped up, I think I have my new project. I have seven scenarios to work on based on the historical battles. Plus an idea for a few more that are more small raids. Should inspire me to finish off my Continentals and British Legion Dragoons.

For WOJE, I have started working on a forest section. The theory is sound. Just trying to make the final product work out. More on that later.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Fort Bastion and Miniatures

Finished the principle painting on the corner bastion. It is from Blue Moon Manufacturing. It was assembled 2 years ago and languished in my cabinet till today. I will still flock it but it is just about table ready.

In addition, I have finished up seven more Indians. They need to be based still. Lastly, I painted up three spanish officers. One for the Regulars and two for the grenadiers.

The last item was a swamp base that I started. I will need to add water and

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

New Prints for To Covet Glory - WOJE

I just got back some new prints from a resin printer. They came out very nicely. I have some 1/300th Fusta models and some 1/100th Scout Boat and Piragua models. These are so much cleaner than my filament printer. The revised sculpts of the Fusta model came out great. The benches are fixed and the line where I had cut and rejoined the original Galley model are barely noticable. The Fusta without the stern canopy is without a cannon in front. Not sure how I missed that. No idea why it is that way. Surely a mental collapse on my part.

If you notice the prints of the Scout Boat and the Piraguas are bent. In pulling these from the printer, they bent. This is because the models are very thin. They lack the heavier bottom of the Fusta model. I think I can heat them up with a hair dryer or with hot water and get them straightened out. These pictured are the larger 1/100th scale models. The smaller 1/300th had the same isssue. However, the first batch did not. It could be due to the care with which they were removed. Since I don't have that printer, I don't know the answer to that.

All in all, I am very happy with these. I am close to having all that I need for the scenarios. Next step is painting them.