Friday, June 17, 2016

Research for my New SP AWI Campaign

So far I am keeping the working title of "Murder and Devastation in Every Quarter" as it seems fitting for the guerrilla campaign waged in late 1780. I have three of 12 scenarios complete and a framework for the others done. I have really enjoyed working on this one. At the end of it, I created a mini-campaign for Georgetown, South Carolina. It was a target Francis Marion had in mind throughout the period but never managed to take and hold.

One of the side effects of working on these scenarios is that it is making me revisit my previous scenario books "This Land Divided" and "With Fire and Sword." The next project will be to bring those up to Sharp Practice 2.0 standards. They are actually quite usable as they are with just minor tweaking. There are some timed events that have to be rethought through, but other than that, they are usable still.

The other side effect was I now have a project for NaNoWriMo. I am doing a novel about Captain John McClure of the Turkey Creek Regiment in 1780. Should be interesting.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

More Terrain Work

While not able to sleep, I managed to crank out a couple more items. I finished off a 4 Ground building. It is a very nice building but I do not like the way the roof joins look. Also the corners don't do much for me. I may end up repainting this even though I am not sure I am up to the task.

Next, I finished two small stands of trees. I had bought a nice set of Woodlands Scenic trees and got some of them based up.

Lastly, I got in all of the figures for my Frei Infantry Von Mayr. They look great. I bought some painted jagers for the force. They need some touch up to make them match but should be ideal.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Scatter Terrain and Distractions

Scatter Terrain

I placed an order with Stone Mountain miniatures a while back and they just delivered. The stuff looks great. The first pack is loose weapons, bugles, drums, backpacks, and artillery wheels. Pack 2 has barrels, crates, mealie bags, and stacked rifles. These will be very useful for several scenarios that I am working on. Pack 3 is nine campfires, two cooking fires, assorted pots and pans and two stacks of firewood. The cooking fires come with an animal on a spit. I must say, the critter looks kinda like a cat to me. The third pack is my favorite of the bunch so far. Last item that I picked up is a building. I have not taken it out of the packaging yet as there are several loose metal parts in with it as well as two hay stacks. They look good so far.

Distractions

Well, I have been motivated by others Imaginations Seven Years War projects and I decided to take the plunge. I will do two forces. The first is the Austrian aligned forces of Anhalt-Zerbst. It will consist of Grenadiers, musketeers, jagers and some Cuirassiers. These I have not ordered yet.

The next force became the Frei-Infantrie of von Mayr. I settled on Eureka and Blue Moon 15/18mm figures for. I just received my group of Hussars, infantry NCOs, Officers, standard bearers and drummer. Also have an artillery piece and crew. Also picked up a mounted officer to be the overall commander. I bought some Old Glory 15mm Prussian Jagers for this force as well. Two more packages to arrive and I will have my von Mayr infantry ready to go. Now I just have to find time to paint them.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Terrain Time or How to make something into what it is not

I am looking to attempt to create the train station in Kharkov in 1941. I am going to base the building off of the really nice GameCraft miniatures model of their large government building. The thing is big in 15mm. I can't even imagine what it is like in 28mm.

I just finished the assembly of the building. It is really nice.

These are the back and front of the building. I plan on using this as a multi purpose "government" building. The intent is to have items that I can add or take away from it to use it for different things. I have been trying to find good pictures of the building from 1941. Those are hard to come by. Here is an aerial photograph that dates to August 1941, several months before German troops arrived.

The building I am looking at is closest to the tracks. There is a large courtyard in front of it. The basic layout has not changed much. Modern views are similar but the main train station has been upgraded. The only period photo that I found of the station is this one. I think it is a shot of the building from the rear and not from the courtyard.

The modern station is quite different.

What I have does not duplicate either building. But what I was thinking of extending one of the towers on the model to be a clock tower. In the period photo, you can see the columned tower on the right side of the building. The thought was to make a block of balsa and decorate it up to look like this tower. Then get a clock face from some doll house kit and make a clock face that would face the courtyard area. Put magnets into the roof of the existing tower and the bottom of the clock tower to hold it in place. But still be able to remove it for other things.

Once thing that I cannot see from the period picture is if the building has a name on the front. The modern one does and I was thinking of copying that and making a wire frame to hold the letters on that could be set on the facing above the stairs on my kit. The modern building also has a pair of statues there on either side of the train station sign. I was thinking about getting 2 10 or 6mm miniatures and painting them white and sticking them up there as decoration. Just trying to find the right figure first. Something heroic looking holding a teardrop shield seems about right from the pictures that I have seen.

I will never have the time or money to get it to match, but I think this is a useful middle ground. Any ideas or helpful suggestions?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Seven Years War

I am being sorely tempted to make a Seven Years War army. Looking at Carole's and Rich's posts on their Imaginations armies makes me want to give it a shot. My issue is I have no idea what I would want to do.

I have been wanting an Ottoman army for my Napoleonics. They would work rather nicely for this purpose as well. So this is a possibility.

Then I was thinking of my Mother's stories about growing up in Dessau before and during WWII. For several years she lived in Schloss von Anhalt with the Duke and his daughter. That had me searching for what Anhalt had as troops during the SYW. It turns out that the Anhalt family fought for a multitude of sides.

I stumbled across this project and it seems to be a gold mine of information: http://www.kronoskaf.com/syw.

French Army
Prince de Anhalt-Cöethen Infantry regiment fought for the French. Before 1759 it was the Bentheim Regiment until it was taken over by the Prince.

Saxon Army
Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau Cuirassiers. This cavalry regiment fought for the Saxons until they were captured by the Austrians.

Prussian Army
von Anhalt-Dessau Infantry (IR3). This was a standard Prussian regiment that had three battalions.

Prinz Moritz Infantry (IR22). Austrian Army
Anhalt-Zerbst Cuirassiers. 6 squadrons of cavalry and one company of carabiniers.

Anhalt-Zerbst Infantry. 1 battalion of four companies and 50 cavalry. My favorite quote on this regiment which tempts me to model it is "an under-strength unit of undersized soldiers, and of little military use."

Hesse-Kassel Army
Prinz von Anhalt Infantry Regiment. This unit also made its way to the United States for the American War of Independence.

These provide some confusing and odd choices. I still think an Anhalt-Zerbst troops would be fun to do. I am thinking about three groups of musketeers and a group of grenadiers. Then a group of Carabiniers from the Cuirassier regiment.

I have no idea of what to do for an opposing force.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

GameCraft Government Building

I started work on this monster. I love the building. It is a really nice one. But it is lacking on instructions. There is a video for how to put together the whole building. I have the multi part building with the internal floor kit. Watching the video helped greatly. But it is a slow process. I decided to use superglue for most of it. Its coming together slowly.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Game Craft Miniatures Contest

Well, it is coming down to the wire for the contest. I have to submit something by the end of the month. So I assembled three of their European Matt Board buildings earlier in the week. Today I put on the basecoat of paint. The larger of the two, I have inked. That one need to be drybrushed and something done with the slant part of the roof. (Just decided. It is a darkish gray now.)

I am using craft store paints to get this project done. The large of the two is base coated in "Oyster Beige" then washed in Windsor & Newton Peat Brown ink. I watered down the ink a little as they are strong inks. Now I am going to drybrush the mess in the same Oyster Beige.

I then applied another lighter dry brush of the same beige over it. Once that was done, I painted the windows. I like how it turned out.

So now I have a completed building for my Kharkov campaign. Now I just need to work on that smaller gray building.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Game Craft Miniatures Contest

I just discovered that GameCraft Miniatures is doing a contest. Submit a picture of their buildings from your collection and you could win credit for more GameCraft Miniatures. The problem is, you have to submit by June 1st. I have several of their buildings. Notably, their government buildings with removable floors, three matt board european buildings and their stackable skyscraper. Of them, I had assembled only the stackable building. It still sits there unpainted. So I grabbed a tube of glue and went to work.

Two hours later, I had all three matt boards assembled. They went together so easily. I was very impressed. Then I spent another hour on the top of the government building. I barely got the thing glued together before I could not longer keep my eyes open.

The matt board buildings are very nice. I sprayed them down with the sanding lacquer that Game Craft recommends. So far, they are coming along nicely.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Kharkov Pint Sized Campaign

Well the pint sized campaign has expanded into two pints. The interesting thing about the battle for me due to the variety between the 57th Infantry Division (a regular line division) and the 101st Light Division. Their force structure is different enough that it opens some interesting possibilities.

I have mapped out six scenarios for each division's advance. Both divisions approached the city from the west. It took them three days to secure the city against newly raised, green troops that were supported by armor.

I have located some excellent pictures of the city and maps and I am mostly sure of where the action was taking place during the advance (wwii-photos-maps.com - best source on the internet). So the maps will be based on reconnaissance photos of the city before the attack. The background and initial briefings are all done. The scenarios are in skeleton format and just need to be fleshed out. Once that is done, I need to playtest.

In looking at the scenarios, the rail line through Kharkov plays an important role. It is the 1st objective of both divisions. In looking at the pictures of the rail yard, there are passenger walkways that rise above the tracks and to the other platforms. Anyone have an idea on how to make one? There is one for HO scale but I am not sold on it yet.

Also, I need to place an order with Mark IV miniatures. I need some more tracks. Lots more infact. That and some more train buildings: a signal town, an engine shed and something else that I have not thought of yet.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

AWI Inventory Time

Every now and then, I feel the urge to pull out what toys I have and figure out what I am missing to wrap up the period. I managed a few minutes to do just that with my AWI collection. What I mainly need is the sabot bases that I have ordered from Litko. Just received notification that they were dropped in the mail today. Yea!

Rebel Forces

If you had not noticed, I am a huge fan of militia troops. So currently, everything that is able ready, is militia.

The first shot is of my original 4 groups of 10 militia. They are lead by two foot officers and accompanied by musicians. Mark Luther gave me three casualty figures a few years back that I managed to paint up. Unfortunately, they are the only casualty figures that I have for the entire force. I have a number of unpainted ones, but that is for later.

Then I bought some painted figures to flesh out this force. Here are three groups of 10 militia from Gajo miniatures. They are led by two foot officers and a flute player. I can't remember where the flute player came from but I thought it looked cool. Might be from QRF,maybe. The one pistol wielding officer is a neat miniature but is dwarfed by the Old Glory men that he leads. Eventually I will paint up more officers. For now I have enough. There is also a group of militia skirmishers and two spare figures. Lastly, there is my Francis Marion commander for the whole force.

Next up is militia cavalry. I only have four painted figures. I do have another 12 militia cavalry on painting sticks and two officer figures. The officers are mounted scouts from the Peter Pig Scout pack. They looked like they had no idea what was going on. That made them perfect. These will feature as Peter Horry's cavalry in my games. Again, I am ignoring the rule of 3s with these but I am not planning to paint more than this as I hate painting cavalry. I have since primed the unprimed figures in this group.

Next up are my Maryland Continentals. Yes, Continentals. I have four groups of eight of these fellows. I have two groups in regulation uniform and two in hunting shirts. When they are all painted, they will be mixed up. That should give me some nice looking troops on the table. I have a sergeant and two foot officers with them and a mounted officer. That should provide a nice sized force.

As a support element, the rules have a group of six engineers with a leader. I found this group on the Magister Millitum website and they went right into the shopping cart. Nice figures. I love the guy with the wheelbarrow.

The next support option is a mule team. These are also Magister Millitum figures. There is enough here to supply both sides with mules. They come with two drivers and I only mounted one on painting sticks. The picture is terrible but the figures are only primed.

This next group is my British Pioneer section. They are led by the duck hunter who is clutching his latest prize. On the opposite end is my Physic. These are all Blue Moon figures and very handy to have.

Then there is my casualty figures. I have a bunch of them that are languishing. I have not bothered to even undercoat these yet. Among the dead is a dismounted scout. While Scouts never appear on table in Sharp Practice, I see no reason to not paint one up.

The last support option are the wagons. I have two limbers, a water wagon, an ammo wagon and a supply cart for the engineers. These are all from Terry's collection. They will serve double duty and appear for both sides.

British/Loyalist Forces

My British forces are dominated by Provincials. I have forces from two different regiments painted up. THe first is from the New York Volunteers. I have three groups of eight men. These are accompanied by two officers and two musicians. I also have but did not get a picture of, an additional two groups of eight figures. These are Lancashire miniatures figures. I also have a mounted officer and one group of eight light infantrymen. I need an officer or sergeant to lead the light company. I think I have an appropriate figure somewhere.

The second regiment is from Delancey's Brigade. I have two groups of eight men. I have another two groups back on painting sticks. I do not have standard bearers for these guys. I will have to fix that at some point. I do have some light infantry officers on painting sticks that will give me a second officer figure. I also have a mounted officer that I need to add to the mix.

I have a Regular British artillery group. I did not paint up an artillery piece and crew for the rebels as the current scenarios I am writing do not call for them to have one. But then again, neither do the British. I just thought they looked good.

For the Southern Campaigns, you really need some Provincial Cavalry. Tarelton's Legion was everywhere across South Carolina. What I have is one group of eight men painted up. I need an officer. I have a standard bearer, a bugler and four more men. I will probably paint up one more of the men to act as an officer until I buy the officer I need and four more calvarymen. I have on order with Brookhurst three groups of Legion infantry. I also have the command pack for the legion infantry. That will be great to have.

And here are some extras that I need to get around to painting.

All in all, I have more than enough to game with. I need to round out some of the holes in the line up for both sides. I do have some expansion plans. For the Rebels, I intend to get a couple of groups of Light Horse Harry Lee's Cavalry and infantry. I have a scenario that they will feature in. Then I need to get some regular infantry for my British. The plan is three groups of the 63rd Regiment of Foot and/or possibly some highlanders. but those are lower on my priority list. Actually, if I can get them through Gajo, I probably will. They don't do any in a dark green facings and all are in tricorns but it might differentiate them from the Provincials. I could possibly repaint the facings. We will see.