Monday, December 17, 2018

A little bit of Painting

I sat down in front of my newly cleaned up work bench and decided to do something about the stacks of MDF terrain that is sitting on my desk for my upcoming 2nd Kharkov Campaign. The intent is to have all of the terrain and figures needed done by the time I finish the scenarios.

Anyway, I started work on one of the new Wild Lands Store miniatures. I took one of the one story more urbanish buildings to start with . I also grabbed a log building from another manufacturer, Things From the Basement and went with that as well.

One thing I have been doing is watching the wonderful posts that TooFatLardies has done on their blogs about terrain making. I agree with all of his concerns about MDF buildings. I wanted to add details to it to provide a more 3 dimensional look to the building. Because of the details on the model, I struggled to cut out anything that would match up with it and look decent. I probably needed a better cutting tool and I would have been fine. But instead, I just started to paint and see what happened.

The first item was to clean up the Wild Lands building.

After cleaning the dust off of the parts, I glued it together and wrapped it in a rubber band to stay together.

And then I fiddled with the roof and glued it together.

One thing I don't like about MDF buildings is the seam on the roof. It is always visible. It makes the building look like it will leak in a rain. and I think they are ugly that way. So I took a piece of paper that I had laying around and cut a strip and glued it over the top like a piece of roofing flashing(?). I am 90% sure I have the term wrong as can be.

I also tried to caulk the lugs where the roof fit to the roof support to mask them when painted. I am pretty sure I did a horrible job of that.. But while waiting for that mess to try, I Brought out one of the Things Under the Basement 15mm buildings and tried to help it along. It was way to small for me to fool with paper to try to fix the roof. Instead, like any general contractor, if there is a gap, caulk it. I caulked the roof line and around the chimney. The verdict is still out if this will work the way I want it to.

Next, I primed both of these black with gesso. Why my auto-correct wants to go with gestapo, I have no idea. I am sometimes impatient. I did the roof of the larger building first. I wanted to go with a tin roof. I mixed up some gray paint and slapped it on. it looks OK now but when I add some streaks of rust to stain it, it should look better.

I really wanted to get on with painting the building and finish something before my sinus infection took me out for the rest of the day. But the dang paint was not dry yet. Yet, there on the corner of my painting table was this big package from TT Combat. A large 15mm church! Now the church is designed to be more of a western cross shaped church. It is generic enough and with few details that it could be used in Normandy or Spain or possibly in the US. But, it lacks a bunch of details which is the cool part. I can modify it to be something else. And that is what I want to do.

In the campaign Action at Ustilug and in the First Kharkov Campaign, I have a large church present on the table. However, in 15mm, all of the east front churches are more like small chapels. They take up the same table space as a peasant hovel. How were they supposed to handle even a village worth of people? You could only fit 10 in there if it was one guy with multiple personalities. This building is significant and would make an excellent base for a structure like the Church of the Dormition in Kharkov.

The building will be loosely based on the above. I will add a stepple to it with an onion dome on top. Here is what I am working with.

In the second picture you can see the onion dome that I am looking to use. It came from a Paper Terrain kit that I purchased and never built. This is a longer term project that will see me redo the roof considerably. The pieces dry fit well. The kit had sat in a cupboard for so long that a corner of the base was cracked. But not so much that it messed up the kit.

Then I tried to paint to paint the building, I rushed it and the paint hadn't dried completely. But I have a mostly acceptable first coat.

By the time I got this far, I was worn out and needed to rest. I might try to paint some more this week but that is doubtful. Anyway, they are proving to be nicely made buildings. Note: I changed the pictures to instead of sharing from my google Drive to physically uploaded pictures. Hopefully this helps.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Wild Lands Store Update

I finally broke open the package I got from them and started to work on the buildings. I put together two of the similar ones. The first was a two story building and the second was a single story version of the same building (to my eyes at least). I dry fit them and they are very snug. These are well made and are simple to assemble. These is significant detail that is etched on to the building but that detail may be lost in how I intend to build them. The details do provide me with some ideas on making some card stock details to glue over the etched details. This should make them look less flat. The roofs are removable. There is room for figures in the buildings. There are two brick buildings as well that are assembled in a similar fashion. The assembly is simple.

These need to get some paint on them as soon as possible. They are too nice to leave alone.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

More Terrain - Wild Land Store

While cruising through Facebook the other day, I ran across a company called Wild Land Store. These guys seem to operate exclusively from Facebook without a separate web page or store. He has some very nice eastern front terrain for sale in 15mm. Most of their terrain is geared towards 28mm. He stated that I was the first to order any 15mm from him in years. Which is a shame because they are really nice models. They required payment through something I had never heard of before Transferwire. The payment interface was not the easiest to use. But even i was able to mostly figure it out.

Today I received the buildings. What I bought was:
wooden house - 3,27
brick house 2 floors - 6.45
the house is not brick 2 floors - 7.66
brick house 1 floor - 3.76
the house is not brick 1 floor - 4.43
ruins1 - 3
ruins 2 - 3,56
factory ruins - 4.33
telephone poles 10 - 2.46

The prices were very reasonable. If all goes well, I will be working on these before Christmas. They are sharp looking buildings that were shipped flat packed. As a stamp collector, I was very pleased to see that he shipped it with actual stamps instead of the usual postal sticker we are seeing more and more of.

Here are some of the images he sent me of the buildings in our PM on Facebook.

He is operating out of the Ukraine. If you do 15mm terrain, please give him a try.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Gigabytes Historical Games Day - Part 3

Unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to look around. There were some wonderful games going on around me. Right next to me was a large game of Chain of Command set in the Spanish Civil War. It was a 28mm game and looked great and the players all were having a good time.

These were the only pictures I got of the game. With the windows behind it, the picture turned out horribly.

There was a pirate game using Blood and Plunder (I think) in 28mm that had some nice but large ships.

Mark had a game of Wings of Glory with a balloon busting scenario on hand. I really wanted to play this but didn't have time. He also ran a Coastal Patrol game that I really wanted to play but again, no time.

There was a Team Yankee game that I got a picture of him starting his set up. It was taken down by the time I got to wander again.

Right next to me was one of the two other Sharp Practice games that was ran that day. This was using elements of Sharply Buffed. It was set in the Netherlands and looked really good.

Mark ran a third Sharp Practice game featuring the Seminole Indian Wars. It was fantastic but apparently, I took no pictures of it. There was also a gladiator game with a fantastic arena setup. My phone was at the table and I saw it waiting to order some food before my blood sugar completely collapsed. There was rumors of another chain of command game. And some other stuff I never saw.

Again, thank you to William for setting this up. I hope we can make this a regular event.

Gigabytes Historical Game Day - Part 2: Sharp Practice

Once the Kiss Me Hardy game wrapped up, I managed to get the table reset for a game of Sharp Practice. This one was a Napoleonic game based on the Dewey Lambdin Book, Troubled Waters.

In the book, Captain Alan Lewrie, RN, is in command of a small squadron. These include sloops, schooners and cutters below the rate. In the course of the book, he is dealing with spies as he operates off the coast of France. Near the town of Royan, there is a battery of guns guarding the mouth of an estuary that protects the river leading to the port of Bordeaux. A fort is being constructed at Royan but is not yet operational. Lewrie hatches a plan to take out the battery and then move on and destroy the fort that is under construction.

This is where the scenario picks up the action. Lewrie has commanded two of his vessels to land a force of marines and sailors to attack the battery. Guarding the battery is a small group of voltigeurs from a light battalion situated in the town of Royan. The battalion has sent out strong parties of men to search the coast for British sailors that have been getting water and firewood recently.

The sailors are from the a schooner and a sloop that are anchored off of the coast. The marines are from Lewrie's flagship.

The game had two British players and two French players. The British made good progress getting their men headed to the shore. They had three larger rowboats and two smaller ones. This enabled them to land their entire force without having to return to the ships. One group of marines, however, had some issues moving and remained stranded in the water with the one rowboat armed with a gun.

The French deployed their voltigeurs to block the British advance on the gun and opened ineffectual fire on the seamen on the shore. In return, Both the musket armed seamen and the schooner opened fire on these troops and basically neutralized them for the rest of the game.

The French sent out a runner to get reinforcements from the town this was accomplished quickly, but the reinforcements were distracted by the tavern in the village as they spent several turns there.

The next French reinforcement was in the form of three groups of chasseurs that arrived in the top left corner of the table. These troops deployed in a line and advanced through the woods. They lost formation and were picked apart by the marines and the guns from the the sloop.

By the time the second group of marines landed and the gunboat moved off, the French force morale was largely broken. The force from Royan barely played a part as their cards didn't show up before the Tiffin card until toward the end of the game. The French did have their own naval vessel arrive in the form of a single gun gunboat. This opened fire on the schooner and caused some damage but not enough to make a difference.

It was a fun game and played in 15mm. The ships were Sea Dog Studios models with three of the rowboats being Old Glory models. It was a fun game but probably needed some adjustments. Swapping the arrival order of the chasseurs and the gunboat may have helped. That would have distracted the ships from the infantry.

Originally the scenario was going to make the French vessel a small 4-gun sloop but I ran out of time to paint it. The gunboat, I think, proved to be a better help as it was equipped with a heavy gun.

Giga Historical Games Day - Part One of Three

Saturday, November 10, 2018 was a historical games day at Gigabytes Cafe in Marrietta, Georgia. William Thorpe did a fantastic job or organizing and getting games lined up for the entire day. He even got sponsors to donate prizes for a raffle that we were doing. Very impressed. He almost had the games running on time, but given the material he was working with (me included) that was asking too much of the poor man.

Starting at 10am I didn't leave until 7pm when my games finished and I was able to pack up. It was a great but exhausting day.

It was a terrific event and it was used as a fundraiser for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. From what I gather, there were 16 games that went on throughout the day. I hosted two games: a Kiss Me Hardy variant and a Sharp Practice game. In both games I had a full table of participants and they were at least kind enough to pretend they were having a good time for my benefit. :) Well I had a great time anyway. I also did a poor job of getting pictures of the games as they developed. Half the time I just forgot and the other half the pictures were questionable.

The first game was a five player game of Kiss Me Hardy using some modifications that I made for ships under the rate. It was a quasi-historical scenario based on actions of the Georgia and South Carolina State Navies in the American Revolution.

The game began with a merchant brig anchored in the center of the table. This is a Sea Dog Studios 6mm Brigantine model. The dots that you notice on this mat are markings from an attempt to make a hex mat on the reverse side of the felt for a game of Bag the Hun. It taught me to never make my own hex sheet.

To the southwest corner was a sloop from the Georgia Navy named the John B. As for the name, I am sorry, I couldn't help myself. During the game, I only heard one passerby groan when they noticed the name so I am guessing there is a dwindling number of Beach Boy fans left. The John B was a six gunned sloop armed with 6-6pdr guns. This model is a Sea Dog Studios 6mm Bermuda Sloop.

In the Northwestern corner was two small vessels from the South Carolina State Navy - the Defiance and the Liberty. Both were actual ship names but applied to different vessels. The Liberty was actually the name of a Georgia sloop. Both were very small vessels. The Defiance had a single gun in the bow and a stern gun on a pivot. The Liberty was a pilot boat with a single bow gun. Both of these miniatures are from Langton Miniatures 1/300th scale Napoleonic line. One is a armed ships's launch and the other is a British Gunboat. Excellent models that my painting does not do justice to.

To the Northeast was a Royal Navy galley Tamar. The Tamar was the name of an actual RN sloop that was very active off the coast of South Carolina but it was most certainly not a galley. It was a galley for this scenario as I didn't have a chance to make the ship that would have corresponded to it. It was an eight gunned vessel with 8-4pdr guns. No individual photos of this ship. But in the later pics, she is the only one with lanteen sails. This is a Warartisan paper model.

The last ship actually matched it's historical counterpart. The RN schooner St John. The St John had an extremely active career in the Revolution. It was involved in a number of actions including the Rebel raid on Nassau. It was armed with 12-4pdrs. It started in the southeastern corner of the table. Another model I don't have a good picture of. Which is just as well as I have dropped it at least 4 times and had to reattach its topsails and equal number of times. It is a WarArtisan paper model. Not the ONLY thing that happened to it when it was dropped from about 4' from the ground is the loss of one or two topsails that were fixed with the application of superglue. In the instructions, it mentions that rigging the ship makes it stronger. This is 100% true. Where I have rigging, it is much sturdier. I ran out of time to complete the job.

At the start of the game, the wind was blowing to the east which confounded the Royal Navy in moving towards the merchantman. The Rebels were able to move with great ease and quickly moved to intercept the merchantman.

The Liberty took a scenic tour through the rocks. One of the things I missed was pointing out that there was shoal water surrounding the rocks. The Liberty was so shallow drafted that it wouldn't have mattered anyway. But she shot through the rocks and spent a good amount of the game out of the action until the end.

One of the items that I was trying out was rules for "Flying False Flags". The Rebels weren't operating in a coordinated fashion as the Georgia Navy didn't know that the South Carolina Navy would even be there. The Royal Navy wasn't sure what any of the ships were. The Tamar and the St John were aware of each other, though. So I had a system of spotting test to determine friend from foe. It worked out mostly well. With the close confines of the space we had availible, it was obvious to the players who was who, but they were game for whatever the dice showed. Everyone was able to avoid a friendly fire incident but only just barely.

This run out of the rules with someone other than my 10 year old was very valuable. The early moves of the game can seem very slow. I am thinking of adding an optional rule to allow the first turn to be conducted in Inches rather than Centimeters to allow the ships to get into action faster. Also, the strike system needs to be adjusted from the base Kiss Me Hardy rules as no one passed a strike test during the game.

This shot is toward the end of the game where the John B has taken the Merchantman and was starting to be pummeled into submission by the St John. You can see the Liberty has made a come back and would sail circles around the St John before fleeing the table.

The scenario played out well. The Defiance menaced the St John for a while but one broadside put an end to her. Not unexpected for such a tiny vessel (a sailed ship's launch). The Tamar was beaten by the John B (turns out a father v son battle with the son as victor). The Tamar struck and had lost a mast in the fighting.

The John B went on to take the merchantman that had started to flee. Once the Merchantman was on its way to safety, the John B and the St John has a quick engagement that forced the John B to strike to the superior gunnery of the St John.

With the Liberty as the last Rebel vessel on the waters, their victory conditions assured by the merchantman's escape, it deftly dodged the St John's best efforts and escaped.

It was a well fought game. Top honors went to the captain of the St John who was our youngest player at the table. He was also a son of the Tamar's Captain as well. He captured two Rebel vessels and re-secured the Tamar. The Rebels also counted the action as a victory as they absconded with the gunpowder.

Rewarding his gallant victory, the captain of the St John was awarded with a 6mm Sea Dog Studios Bermuda Sloop. Ironically, the same model as the John B sailed by his brother who he happened to capture. (Players forgive me if I get this wrong) The St John was captained by Collin. The Tamar was captained by Tim. Jake was captain of the John B. Jim was captain of the Liberty and Chris (not me) was the captain of the Defiance.

One of the things I have noticed, is that I rarely take pictures of the gamer's during events. After Terry Haney's passing, this became evident as I went through a bunch of pictures of our games together and I didn't find a single picture of Terry among them. This one I hesitated to take since it involved a minor but I asked his Dad for permission. I wanted to show Brian over at Sea Dog the recipient of the prize.

I am going to stop for now and make another post on the Sharp Practice game and a third on the other events as this is starting to get long. Thanks again, William for a great event. I came so close to winning the raffle twice. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

2018 Santa Clause Update

This year time completely slipped past me and I missed out on getting this started. I just don't think I have time to organize it this year. Which is unfortunate as it was one of my favorite parts of the season. I have always enjoyed seeing what people came up with for their recipient.

So as a result, I am not going to host it this year. But I do intend to restart it next year again. It was too much fun to cancel completely. I am sorry for the late notice and cancellation.

Friday, September 21, 2018

1940 French for Chain of Command

I had a chance to make a break for it and check out my troops. Honestly, I was in much better shape than I thought I was in. I have an entire infantry platoon painted including the VB launcher team. The downside is nothing is based. That is not too bad as I can do the whole force at once to ensure they look the same.

Next up I needed to know what types of supports that I had. Going through the support list for the regular platoon I founr that I had quite a few items already painted. In terms of troops, I had six, Renault R35s, one FT-17 w/ 37mm gun, two 25mm AT Guns and crews, a 60mm Mortar and crew, a 75mm infantry gun, a pair of Hotchkiss MMGs, a forward observer team, and two 47mm anti-tank guns. I was pretty impressed with what I had availible.

None of the tanks that I have area actually painted. I have been intimidated by camouflage schemes. I will have to press on and get those done. I also have some Char B1 Bis tanks (3) and a few others.

But I am short a few items. I need 4 more riflemen to field an additional squad. That is solved by Peter Pig. I don't have a motorcycle squad but Flames of War sells that. The items that are problematic are a sniper, an AA MG, and engineers. I think I found a solution for the engineers. Irregular miniatures offers open handed french troops and troops carrying ammo cans. These should be able to tart up to fill in engineer functions. For the AA MG, I can probably get another mmg and modify it. But I may just do without that.

Plenty to do but in better shape than I thought.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Chain of Command Blitzkreig Supplement

Well Rich has done it again. Another fantastic supplement that has captured my imagination and is dragging me from one of five unfinished projects. I haven't had the opportunity to rummage through my figures drawers yet and see what I have in figures for this supplement but I am sure I have quite a few.

I really want to round out my French force. I have most of a platoon but just lacked the VB launchers. I had bought some from Peter Pig but I can't remember if I painted them. I had a huge French force in 6mm that I sold off. I have a few bits of armor in 15mm that I need to review. I am pretty sure that there are some FT-17s. For some reason I really like that tank. I just have no idea what is painted.

The supplement offers plenty of options for some really interesting troop types. I may end up buying some more lead to field some North African troops.

For the BEF, I have plenty of figures. I am sure I have close to two platoons worth of Infantry with much of it painted. I have a good bit of armor as well but that is only partially painted. I doubt I will need to do much to field them. What I am lacking is engineering options which is my complaint across the board for 15mm. I can probably modify some late war troops for it if I feel up to it.

My Germans are ready to go. What I would like are some infantry with older weapons. There were reserve and security units that fielded older LMGs up into 1942 for the second battle of Kharkov. It would be neat to have some. Just not sure how different those weapons would look in 15mm.

I do have a sizable Italian force that is ready for the table. I am just lacking in good accounts of any actions fought by them in France. Most are high level and dismissive of that particular side show.

Sadly, I don't think I will look into getting Dutch or Belgian troops. While they are very interesting and in 6mm I used to have some Belgians, I just can't justify the cost of adding in those forces nor spending the time to paint them. I need to get troops on the table from armies I already have.

Hopefully, we will have a Summer Special out soon that will have more support for this wonderful supplement.

Friday, September 7, 2018

The Fleet Expands

I just picked up some new ships.

First up is a schooner modeled on the HMS Pickle. The schooner has 12 gun ports but did not come with twelve guns. It did come with a jolly boat on the deck. I will probably pick up another couple of guns to finish out the ship. The masts were in pretty good shape. I think it is in pretty good shape. It lacks the lower booms for the main and foresail. But that could get in the way of putting miniatures on the deck. I'll get pictures at some point. The ones I took were pretty bad.

Next is a 6mm twelve-gun cutter. I only bought the hull. It is a 3d printed hull and looks sharp. I need to create the masts and spars for it. It will need significant work to get it on the table.

Lastly, I picked up two 6mm ships boats. These things are tiny but needed for a couple of scenarios I am planning. I am still deciding on how I will paint them.

In addition to that, I have started work on the War Artisan galley. I will be working on this as a Xebec type of vessel. I have managed to rough out the hull shape and that's about it.

I hope to get more done soon.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Kiss Me Hardy for Below the Rate

I have been working on a title for this as I wrap up the text. I have completed the supplement and have moved on to the editing phase. So far the supplement is 91 pages, has fifteen scenarios, a campaign guide and the rule modifications for ships below the rate.

It is designed for small vessels below the rate. But it can be used for frigate actions. That will involve significantly more dice to roll though. You could take this and recreate the action of HMS Speedy (a brig) against the El Gamo (Spanish Xebec Frigate). It can also be used for sailed ships boats with a single light gun mounted in its bows. Once scenario features pilot boats armed with only swivel guns engaging.

What I lacked was a working title. As I posted before, my working title of Small Warriors, stinks. I think I found a title that I like. Using the original rules as a guide, I started surfing the web for Nelson quotes. once I filtered out the quotes from the Simpson's character, I think I stumbled on a winner. My current title contender is To Covet Glory.

This is from the quote by Nelson where he said, "My greatest happiness is to serve my gracious King and Country and I am envious only of glory; for if it be a sin to covet glory I am the most offending soul alive." I found this on: Brainy Quote.

Running out to Deposit Photos, I purchased the rights to a nice image that I am using for my cover. This is what I have come up with.

i am still willing to throw this away for something better, but for the moment, I am happy with it.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Kiss Me Hardy for Below the Rate

I am now at the 90% point with it and am struggling with the title. At the moment, the working title is "Small Warriors: Modifications to Kiss Me Hardy for Ships under the Rate." I don't like it. My next runner up is "Sloops of War: Modifications to Kiss Me Hardy for Ships under the Rate." The subtitle is really not that important to me and can be changed around as needed. But the title is weak right now.

I have a nice image of a schooner sailing for the cover. The same artist that I grabbed for my newest cover for a fiction book I should release early next month. It is not a battle scene but still a nice image. The full image also has another vessel at anchor but I am just using part of it. The license only allows me to sell a limited number of hard copies but that is far more books than all of my scenario sales combined so it should be fine.

I need to select a title before posting an image of the cover.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Kiss Me Hardy for Small Ships

Progress is going on the text so far. I have 14 historical scenarios fleshed out. The one I added at the end seemed like an interesting find. It was an action on March 14th, 1808 between the Danish Brig Lougen and the HM Brig Childers. The Childers was operating in Norwegian waters and had taken the galliot Christina as prize in a harbor. On exiting the harbor, it met up with the Lougen. In a three hour chase, the Lougen ran down the Childers and captured her. The Childers was slightly short of its normal compliment of 80 men having put men into the Christina as a prize crew. The Danish brig, however, had a huge compliment on board at the time with around 160 men instead of her normal compliment of 85.

This was a fun find as it was not the usual British v French or British v American actions that I had been finding. I think it will be a fun action. Edit: In looking back over this for the scenario, the Childers was not captured but was nearly sunk. She had five feet of water in her hold. It is unclear how badly damaged the Danish brig was damaged in the fight.

Monday, July 30, 2018

First Paper Ship - A 12 gun schooner

I managed to complete my first paper ship from Warartisan. It was his lovely 12 gun Schooner. It actually was a bit easier than I anticipated. The sails were trickier than I anticipated and I had to do the jib sails twice before I had it right. What it lacks is rigging. His rigging system is actually simple - or so it seems right now. I have not applied them yet as the only thread I had to make them out of was white and after handing and gluing it, I thought better of it. I really don't want to have to paint it.

Basically, you hang the thread with a weight at the end, then run PVA glue along it and let it dry. Then cut the thread into useful lengths and store until you need it. It is a brilliant idea. I just need to find time to get some black cotton thread.

Anyway, here is my first effort so far. It is good enough to put on the table as is but I think I will add some rigging. Warartisan notes that the rigging adds a significant amount of strength to the model.

Note that the ship has no guns on the deck. He provides cannon that can be put together. However, that seemed too daunting a task for me to attempt and I skipped that step. I would have ended up with every finger glued together. I may try it at some point, just not now.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Better Pictures

Well the last pictures of my Langton fleet were... poor to say the least. I did a bit better this time. I broke out my blue felt and some rocks I have painted up.

For perspective, I also photographed them with some of my Sea Dog Miniatures ships. First up is the six gun Bermuda Sloop.

then I pictured them with the assembled but unpainted 10 gun brigantine.

After taking the picture, I got disappointed in having not finished the Brigantine. So I started work on it today. And managed to finish it even though I was supposed to be working on one of the Warartisan paper ships.

The ships are just about right in scale with one another. The Sea Dog ones have thicker spars than the tiny Langton ones and Don't really have a sail plan for them. But this is due to how Sea Dog expects them to be used. Their philosophy is that whatever sails you place on your model, 90% of the time, they will be wrong for what your ship is actually doing. Also, to represent damage in their game, you simply remove the masts that have been damaged. Having rigging prevents this from happening. Thereby the ships are more representational. But you can still see that the jolly boat would have no issue being placed on davits aboard the brigantine or on the sloop. The launch is for a slightly larger vessel such as their 18 gun brig of war. That is another ship I have that I need to get to work on at some point. Of the remaining 6mm line that Sea Dog has, I have a second Bermuda Sloop (6 guns) and their buccaneer sloop (8 guns). I do not have one of their 8 gun flush deck sloops nor the small boats. I may end up ordering some of the small boats sometime soon.

Speaking of Sea Dog, I am trying to purchase some more 15mm ships from them. Thus far, I have his Buccaneer Sloop and the Tripoli gun boat. I am talking with them about some of their older offerings and may have something in a week or two. More on that later.

But for now, I have enough small ships to get in a couple games of KMH with my adaptions to see how things go.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Painted ships

I managed to get my Langton ships painted up. Well, almost. The yawl is frustrating me. I should have fixed the sails to the masts before gluing the masts to the hull. The largest is the British gunboat. Next is the Launch armed with a bow gun. Next is the yawl with the jolly boat being the smallest.

I am not happy with my deck color. But I will keep it for now. I started to work on a small schooner from Warartisan today as well. Not made it very far. I'll try to get a group shot of my 1/300th age of sail navy tomorrow.

Small KMH Continued

I managed to open up the sailed Jolly Boat that I bought from Langton miniatures. It is really tiny. Just a little over a centimeter in length with a small mast and a single square sail. I think I know how to get past the issues I am having with the twin masted yawl that I have now. I am having great difficulty gluing the sails in place. For the jolly boat, I will glue the sail to the mast before gluing the mast to the hull. That should allow it to work better. I will also prime everything first instead of assembling then priming. Who knows, I might learn something after all.

The jib sails for the Yawl are daunting at the moment. I have managed to thread them and they are ready to be attached to the foremast and bow spirit. But they are so very small. The sails have to be attached first and I have had no luck in doing so to this point.

I have a fully assembled Sea Dog 10 gun Brigantine that just needs paint. I have no idea what to paint it yet.

I have details for the SC Navy Sloop Defense. It was a two masted ship that was schooner rigged. Pierced for 16 guns yet typically mounted 10 guns of varying calibers. Trying to figure out what to use for her. The ship was 60' in length. In 1:300 scale, it should be just a hair over 6 cm in length. There is a Warartisan 12-gun schooner that could do. Painting it will be tricky as it will be a paper miniature but it should work.

I have purchased some drawing board that I hope is about as thick as 4-ply Bristol board. I will try it out this week. The 1/8th balsa was far to thick for the small schooners.

In working out how to handle the rules, I have ventured down a rabbit hole of making a campaign system out of it. I am trying to research out what typical crews would be for the various vessels. Given the enormous varieties of vessels and how they were manned by various nations, this will largely be made up, I fear.

Here is my starting points. I have information on the HMS Indefatigable. It was a 46-gun frigate of 344 men. 190 were landlubbers and seamen. 54 were marines, 29 were ships boys, 10 were midshipmen, 4 were lieutenants and of course the captain. This leaves us with 56 men that were petty officers of all types. The second ship I am using is the HMS Pickle, the small schooner that delivered the news of the victory at Trafalgar. This was a 10-gun ship of 127 tons. I found the price of the ship at £2,500. While equipped for 10 guns, she was armed with six carronades. From the details offered in the article "" the small ship had a lieutenant that was replaced later with a master's mate. The whole crew was a mere 35 men. The captain lamented that he was not given his authorized marine compliment. It was an unhappy ship as the article relates as he had senior hands that deserted.

For the purpose of the campaign, I am tracking on each ship: landlubbers, seamen (ordinary and able), marines, officers and value. The seamen are figured at 1/3rd of the number of men (landlubbers plus seamen) that are needed to sail the ship. The marines are the men serving as marines. This could be soldiers aboard as such or actual marines. The officers are not just the commissioned officers but those able to serve as masters for a prize. This would be masters mates, lieutenants and some midshipmen. Figuring out just how the crew breaks down, I am going with the following percentages based off of the Indefatigable's crew breakdown. This is just a first stab at things and will doubtlessly change.

HMS Pickle

Men 55.23%Marines 15.69%Ships Boys 8.43%Midshipmen 2.90%Lieutenants 1.16%Petty Officers 16.28%
19 (6 seamen)6 3106
Totaling these gets us our ships compliment of 35. But it was noted that the Pickle didn't have any marines. Those 6 men would get rolled into the total number of men. So there would be 8 seamen and 16 landlubbers. To figure out the number of officers that can be placed into a prize we have to get creative. Add the number of midshipmen and the number of petty officers and take 1.3rd of that number. Then add the number of lieutenants. That gives us 2 officers to use for prize crews. The ship's boys are basically extras that are needed for various tasks but unnecessary for the purpose of the campaign. So our ship would look like this:

Ship TypeGunsTotal CrewMarinesLandsmenSeamenOfficersValue
So for the campaign, the captain of the Pickle is ordered to patrol an area of the Mediterranean coastline near the French Riviera. (I am currently reading Dewey Lambdin's Kings Commander and that is where it takes place.) His ship is shallow drafted enough to work closely inshore but he wants to increase his likelihood of snatching up a prize. He can do several things. Take a small ship to act as a tender. Buy a small ship to act as a tender. Recruit from a friendly or neutral port to increase his crew in the event of taking a prize.

These are just ideas I am batting around. Hopefully it will start to coalesce into something that makes sense.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Small Boat Actions Using Kiss Me Hardy

I am getting on with this project again. I really want to get this on the table top. I have been doing a good bit of research on one ship in particular who seems to have had a captain that was either very active or just plain unlucky to have been involved in a number of incidents throughout the AWI.

William Grant took command of the schooner St John in 1774. His presence is felt from St Augustine, to the Bahamas, to the St Mary River and all the way up to Rhode Island through out the course of the war. He appears to be an energetic captain that stopped a number of ships and participated in a few actions and several that he almost participated in.

The St John, was a schooner of 90 tons. She mounted six three-pounder guns as her main armament and an additional twelve swivel guns as well.she was nearly fifty feet in length and a beam of nearly nineteen feet. She also boasted a crew of thirty men. This qualifies her as a small ship for the adaptions that I am working on.

The scenario that I am working on is a hypothetical scenario based on a real action. In the historical action, the Georgia Navy Schooner Liberty, seized a consignment of powder from the ship Philippa (and possibly a packet ship Little Carpenter) on July 10, 1775. 16,000 pounds of gunpowder were pulled off of these ships by the Liberty and some South Carolina troops operating out of barges. The St John was in the vicinity but didn't engage the Liberty. The Philippa (and possibly Little Carpenter,) surrendered without a fight.

The Liberty was a schooner that depending on the source mounted with ten six-pounders or ten three-pounders depending on the source. She was manned with a fifty man crew and contained twenty militia aboard to act as marines.

This gives us some variety of some small ships to use. Historically, the St John missed out on the fight. The merchant men were boarded, taken to Cockspur Island and unloaded of their cargoes. But, what if the St. John showed up? That is the scenario that I will model. But what ships will I use for it?

For the Philippa, I have a very nice Brigantine in 1:300 from Sea Dog Studios. For the two South Carolina Barges, I don't really have models for them. I may represent them with a Langton Miniatures jolly boat for the time being. The jolly boat is tiny even in 1:300 scale.

The two schooners are the ones I don't currently have anything suitable. So I started looking at the Warartisan website for possibilities. We have the weight of the schooner and the number of guns she sported. In addition we have her length at nearly forty-nine feet. In 1:300 scale, this gives us a schooner of 4.9CM in length. The closest that I found was 80-90 ton gunboat with a schooner rig. However, this is over a CM too big. The next size down is a 50 to 60 ton schooner. This is a bit smaller than the historical ship but closer to what I am looking for.

For the Liberty, I can use a larger schooner. Given that there is not much details other than the number of guns availible, I choose to go with the Warartisan 12-gun schooner for the Liberty.

I started work on the ships that I had in my inventory. Starting with the Langton Miniatures British Gunboat, I assembled it without too much trouble. Then I stared with despair at the brass sails and stays. It is a nicely built boat. It's hull is a good five and a half CM in length. It sports a single mast and came with three guns. There is a carronade on a rotating slide in the aft and a long gun on a slide up front. The third gun, I had no clue what to do with it. The vessel came with crew! There are seven of them but there is no way I am going to worry with them for the moment. The tiller became a casualty. I dropped it and it appears to have fallen into a black hole. One day I might find it but I am not holding my breath.

The brass sails are nice but a real pain in the neck to deal with. In my opinion, they look mighty fragile for use on the table. I am thinking of adding a base to it for the purpose of picking it up and moving it about the table least it end up a wreck due to handling. I looked at putting on rigging. I started to put some on but gave up on it with the first.

I also assembled the Sailed launch from Langton. This comes with a single mast and a bow spirit. It also has a small gun mounted on a slide in the bow. I managed to not lose the tiller on this vessel. It came with more brass sails. This time, you are supposed to fold the brass sail in half. That did NOT work for me. The brass bent in the wrong place even though I was trying to be so very careful. It comes with a main sail and two jib sails. The main sails are east to fake with paper. The jibs are another story. The jibs come with small holes in them. I think the intent is to weave a thread through them in order to hang them on the mast and bow spirit. That makes a daunting task with my fat fingers.

The third vessel I tried to tackle today was a sailed Yawl. This kit came with two masts, a bow spirit,a tiller and sails (two main and two jibs).The sails again are daunting brass sails that have to be folded in half and the jibs need to be threaded. This on a vessel that is just a bit over two and a half centimeters in length. I have not attempted the sails or rigging.

This is where I am so far. I am pleased with my progress. I am hoping that I can get them primed shortly.

Note that NONE of the ships mentioned in the beginning of this have been worked on. I did try. Warartisan's instructions for the sloop Enterprise mentioned using 1/8th inch balsa wood. Given that I didn't bother to read the instructions, I printed and cut out the first bits and mounted them to the balsa. That is when I noticed that it would be WAY too thick for such a small vessel. I tried to trim the pieces in half but it is still too thick. The instructions call for 4-ply Bristol board. I have no idea what that is but I think I can get it at Hobby Lobby at some point.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The odd career of HM Schooner St John

While working on my Raid on Nassau campaign, the only British Naval vessel present at Nassau was the schooner St John. Under its commander Lieutenant William Grant, it managed to take off over 100 barrels of gunpowder safely to St Augustine in British Florida. In trying to find out more information on this ship, I started to Google it and found out that I had already written a scenario featuring this ship off the coast of Georgia in 1775. July 10th, 1775, the St John was waiting for a consignment of gun powder (I sense a theme here) due to arrive to Georgia. Waiting off of Tybee Island, the St John was trying to find the merchant vessel Phillipa. Instead, the Phillipa was intercepted by the South Carolina Navy and Georgia continentals.

The next appearance I found for her was in Rhode Island where she was fired upon by rebels who had taken For George near Newport. In 1764, the St John was suspected of having stolen a local merchant's goods. The locals were incensed by the passage of the Sugar tax earlier that year. The guns on Fort George fired on the St John who was able to slip away.

Then I came across an electronic copy of Naval Documents of the American Revolution, Volume 5, Part 5. It has the St John anchored in the St Mary's river in June through July of 1776. The St Mary's is on the border of Georgia and Florida giving the border its odd shape in the northeastern corner of Florida. Before that, in May 21st, 1776 she took on a detachment of the 16th Regiment of Foot in St Augustine. Apparently it was a company under a Captain Graham. The

According to Wikipedia, the St John was condemned in 1777. Altogether it was an interesting career that I hope to shed more light on by reviewing other volumes of the Naval Documents of the American Revolution.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Converting Vacation into Scenarios

I was blessed to be able to go on a real vacation last week. My family went on a wonderful cruise. One stop was Nassau, Bahamas. A quick trip through my memory banks revealed that there was something that happened here during the American War of Independence. So I started to research it while in harbor.

At the time of the Raid, it was known as New Providence. In 1776, the town had a pair of forts guarding it. Fort Nassau within the town and Fort Montagu on east of the town. Period maps show Fort Nassau on a hill. Also the Governor's House was also on a hill of some note. Looking at the island from the cruise ship, the hills are more slight rises rather than the high hills of the map. Note the map is upside down with north at the bottom of the map.

From the ship, the area looks like this. This is the where Fort Nassau would have stood.

I managed to find a drawing of what Fort Nassau looked like. (Can't remember where I found it.)

This is the direction towards the Governor's House.

This is the direction towards Fort Montagu which still stands.

There are several sites that feature images of Fort Montagu. Here are a couple that I have gathered.

Across from the town of Nassau is Hog Island. It has been renamed to Paradise Island and is home to the Atlantis Resort now. Given the prices charged by the resort, Hog Island seems more appropriate.

The action took place on March 3rd and 4th. A force of Continental Marines and sailors landed on the eastern side of the island. Their force consisted of some 200 marines and fifty sailors. The town had a paper force of some two to three hundred militia. The regular troops had been taken off the island and were in service in America. Raising the militia was not a simple process and during the course of the action, only a hundred to a hundred and fifty men showed up to serve.

The action consisted of a small party of militia manning Fort Montagu and firing three shots at the marines then spiking the guns and leaving the fort. The next day, the town surrendered to the landing party. The town was under Continental control for two weeks before they left.

The action was underwhelming from a scenario point of view. There is a considerable amount of potential for action though. What I take away from the descriptions of the action is that the Governor seemed to have been doing his best to hinder the defense of the town rather than enhance it. Yet, the Governor was taken captive and hauled off in chains into captivity. Among his complaints were that the Continental Marines and Sailors had consumed his entire liquor supply while taking off the military stores of the town's forts.

There was only one King's ship at the town, the schooner St John. It and a merchant vessel (not sure what type or size) were able to pull out most of the powder stores before the capture of the forts. The governor had prevented the St John from opposing the landings or engaging the small American Fleet. When Fort Nassau did fire warnings to alert the town of the American Fleet presence, the fort was in such a poor state of repair that two of the guns broke free from their positions.

But, this does give a possibility to create a hypothetical campaign based on a defense that could have been. I am working on just such a thing.