Friday, October 15, 2021

Messing about with 3d Models

After reading the excellent post on The Raft Blog about Religious Landmarks. He mentions some Lichtsäule that mark significant crossroads or areas. Read his post as he goes into much more detail and it is a very interesting read.

I took to tinkercad and tried to make one that resembled these. In a quick Facebook messenger conversation he let me know that these things vary between 2 to 2.5 meters in height. Changing the size in cura, I saved it. If you are interested in the model, you can get it here. It is also available on my PayHip store.

Now I need to print some of these.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

"Walking" the Battlefields of the War of Jenkins' Ear

Last week, I got to go on a family vacation. My son had a Scout trip to Jekyll Island to do some beach fishing.

By the way, if you are feeling generous, please support my son by buying some Boy Scout popcorn (https://www.trails-end.com/store/scout/8DBE0ZRW?share=3S3LB9KZ). He is raising money for next year's summer camp. He just earned his First Class rank and I am very proud of him.

Siezing the moment, I steered some of the activities over the weekend. We did a fishing charter from St Simmons Island. This had a cruise past several important sites for the WOJE. I managed to see the site for Bloody Marsh (slightly underwhelming) and saw Horton's House. I am going to display some things out of order from how I experienced them, but relevant to the narative of the War.

Fort St Simmons, Delegal's Fort and the Shore Battery

From Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, you can see the former location of Fort St Simmons and Delegal's fort.

The view of southern St Simmons is rather blurry. In the picture below, Delegal's Fort would have been to the right and Fort St Simmons would have been somewhere near the center and the shore battery between the two. Taking a zoomed in picture in high wind, rarely produces great results.

Nothing remains of these three sites on the island. Their position on the island left them vulnerable to weather and erosion. As such, they are lost to time.

Gascoigne Bluff

The bluff is a small rise near the shoreline. The depth of the salt marsh near the bluff is much smaller than in other places near by. It was a suitable landing site that the British established the bluff as a naval base for the colony of Georgia. Captain Gascoigne of the British Sloop of War Hawk build the base in 1736. Given its suitability as a landing ground, the Spanish choose to land here unopposed after bypassing Fort St Simmons and the other forts on the south side of the island in 1742.

This is a view of the bluff from a Dolphin/Eco tour that the scouts took. The fishing pier in the picture is where we meet our guide for the fishing trip we took. It is possible that a dock of some sort may have been present in 1742.

From the fishing pier, this is a view to the north towards Fort Fredrica. The salt reeds that give the islands name "the Golden Isles" is visible here.

This is another view from further out on the pier. It gives a better idea of how deep the salt marsh extends from the islands. During low tide, the marsh is "dry" and the ground is waist deep mud.

When the Spanish did an investigatory probe up towards Fort Fredrica, they would have sailed from the bluff north along the Mackay River towards Fort Fredrica. In the morning, a thick fog hung over the river. It is only 200 yards from St Simmons across the Mackay River to the mainland. The Spanish Galleys would have had to navigate this shallow river to reach their destination only to be driven back by the fort's guns.

Gascoinge Bluff was also the location that in 1794, the live oak timbers were cut and shipped north to become part of the frigate USS Constitution.

Bloody Marsh Battlefield

The battlefield is a tiny park that is currently surrounded by subdivisions. The field is a small opening in the woods that is bordered to the east by a large marsh. At the time a road ran from Fort St Simmons to the northeast to the battlefield and angled north towards Fort Fredrica. The Georgia troops that ambushed the resting Spanish troops from would have been to the north and west of the opening. Pinned against the marsh, the Spanish troops only would have have the road to retreat down. The pictures make the clearing appear larger than it is. There is parking for about seven vehicles and enough room to turn around and head out of the tiny park. That the park stands at all is likely an accident of needing a minimum amount of greenspace for the surrounding communities.

Jekyll Island and Major Horton's House

Jekyll Island was vital to the overall defensive strategy of Georgia. Nothing remains of the northern fort on the island. It was captured without resistance by the Spanish during their withdrawl from St Simmons. What does remain is Major Horton's house. This is the second itteration of the house. The first wooden structure was burned by the retreating Spanish in 1742. The current residence is the rebuilt farmhouse that was completed in 1743. The structure is two stories tall and built of tabby. Tabby is a strong concrete like material made from oyster shells. Many of these shells came from the discarded oyster shells left in large mounds by the native Americans that had lived on Jekyll prior to the arrival of the Spanish in Georgia. The material is very strong as is in surprisingly great shape after enduring several hurricanes in its over 250 years of existance.

Part of the military significance of the Horton home was that his plantation was manned by indentured servants who worked the property. Among their jobs was to operate the brewery that supplied Fort Fredrica. The loss of the brewery was probably a devestating loss to the British defenders.

Views of the Islands

The Georgia Barrier Islands are beautiful. They are known as the Golden Isles due to the salt marsh reeds that surround their landward sides. They have picturesque sand dunes, marshes, wooded swamps and woods. Many of the trees are shallow rooted live oaks. They are very pretty trees that are draped in Spanish moss.

It was a great trip. I want to go again and take the time to visit Fort Fredrica. There isn't a marked site for the battle of Gully Hole Creek that occured earlier in the same day as Bloody Marsh. It was a great vacation and it has gotten me excited to finish work on the supplement.

Friday, October 1, 2021

A few Steps forward

Today has had mixed results. I managed to get several sails attached to the first of three 10 gun Brigs that I need for the War of Jenkin's Ear book. This just proved to be far more time consuming than I remember it being. I really should do rigging on it but I honestly am too tired today.I need enough rigging to run the headsails and will probably stop at that. Especially as I have not done and glue hardened thread for it.

I have worked on some of the Galliots that I need. I have glued the halves together of two of the ones that I need. I need to add the front awning to them and the additional three Fustas that I had printed. What was fun to work on was a small feluca. It is a tiny boat compared to the 10 gun brig. It is hardly more than a sailed rowboat. I picked up the model on-line and had a friend print it for me. I have one more to complete. I have two more hulls after that but no sails for them. Not sure what I will use them for. I removed the supports from a pair of scout boats in 15mm. I attempted to remove the supports from 4 different piraguas that I had printed but in each case, the vessel split in half as I cut away the supports. That was disapointing.

There is still much to do. I need to build two more of the War Artisan 10 gun Brigs. They are great boats when built. They just really benefit from the added strength of rigging them. But that is a very fiddly task.

I still haven't worked on any more tree sections, but I got a package in the mail today that I think will be some trees that I bought. Here is hoping they are useful.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

O Group

While the rules have been out for quite a while, I just purchased them. I am interested in seeing how they work. I am wondering how they would work in concert with IABSM and Chain of Command. It could be interesting to model a battle at three levels.

I am interested in others opinions of these rules. Also how do General D' Armee and Picket's Charge work? I have thought about picking those up as well.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Campaign for Orsha: June 22, 1944 - The set up

With my son's recent acquisition of a Soviet force of his very own, I decided to work on a campaign. I settled on the begining of Operation Bagration with the Soviet attack on the city of Orsha.

I am trying to come up with a creative campaign that will allow him to field his new troops and not involve too much work researching more than the hours I already have. I secured a 1:50,000 scale map of the town that dates to 1937. That should provide a nice basis for the campaign. I have cut away most of the map and made it our campaign area.

With this in mind, I will let him pick an avenue of attack. He will pick his forces and supports based on the map and the terrain shown. I will then pick forces representing the defensive line at that point. If it works out well, we should have some fun games of Chain of Command or possible What a Tanker if he just wants to run with his armor.

Hopefully, I'll get some pictures up of the games.

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.