Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Thinning the Lead Pile - GZG Miniatures

I bought these more or less on a whim about five years ago and they've languished on the lead-pile ever since. However, a friend and i have decided to do a game at Little Wars this May and we've decided on a disguised scenario based on the Israel-Hizbullah war of 2006, so these miniatures seemed appropriate.
 I've gone for an Imperial Stormtrooper crossed with Gundam look for these.
I treated painting all the armour like I was doing AFV models with washes, dry-brushing and chipping. A dozen down, nine on the blocks and another eight to paint after that.

Then it'll be a score or so of the Denizen Mid-Tech Marines I likewise bought a small eternity ago, with lots of man-portable AT missiles..

UPDATE: Just finished painting the next few of the batch:

Each squad had it's own identifying colour.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Bit of New Years' Painting

The Pikes. Looking for a basing scheme.
 Quite some time ago I bought a small pile both of the old production and the newly mastered Willie Landsknechts. I only painted a handful at the time before drifting off with the next butterfly. However since then I've been re-reading Simon Winder's "Danubia" and the bug has bitten again.

I've been rather inspired by this basing scheme.
Our Sutleress. A great comfort to the troops. Perhaps looking for the Eureka Sutlers' Wagon?
 I think I last saw Helga here on Stokes' blog. Sorry Stokes, I used you as visual reference for painting my own!
Poseurs. 1510.
Finally, a small group to show off the figures. I've been very impressed with how well sculpted and easy to paint these were. Highly recommended.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Clearing the Painting Desk

 Languishing upon my paintuing desk for almost the entirety of the year have been these half-dozen Italian vehicles.
 Trucks are by Minimi.
 Tanks are Italeri quick-builds. They've obviously had a hard life. I should do the right thing by the crews and put some sandbags on the glacis.
The L3/33 tankettes are by S-Model/Sextant.Lovely little kits and much less fiddly than the newer releases by this manufacturer.

I have one more truck waiting for me, then we're done with them for now. The top highlight is GW Bleached Bone which looks rather good over the army Painter Desert Sand which I damp-brushed up with a 50:50 mix of that and GW White. The chipping is almost the last of my long-lived pot of GW Catachan Green. The lining in is a suitable dark brown with a teeny drop of black in it.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The War to End All Bores


I've been re-reading Packenham (among others) on the Boer War these past couple of weeks.

I think I have my head around the main features of the early war.

* The relative deadliness of the beaten zone - both in it's depth and in the volume of fire that could be laid down. In my mind, getting killed in a battle by missile fire is more the outcome of a lethal accident pretty much throughout history, but one that becomes more and more likely as we get closer to our own - doubtless charming - modern age.
* The difficulty that may be encountered in locating an enemy who is well concealed both by design and by the use of smokeless powder. We begin to see the emergence of the 'empty battlefield'. The relative ineffectiveness of artillery due to this issue.
*Entrenchment. Let me simply cite Magersfontein for the correct use of this expedient and Spion Kop for it's incorrect application.
*Communication was a liberating and a limiting factor I feel. Easy to disrupt and hard to maintain, the telegraph allowed improved comunication at the strategic level, but at the operational level, I believe it encouraged generals to believe they could command from the rear.
*Infantry tactics. It took more than a few disasters, and I cite again the battle of Magersfontein and the experience of the Highland Brigade who got themselves trapped 400m before the Boer lines in quarter column and were shot to pieces as they tried to deploy, before the British started to adopt open order and fire-and-movement tactics.
*Poor tactical reconaissance. Would the Highland Brigade have had it's terrible experience otherwise? Would Hart have stuck his head in the noose if he's known the trap he was walking into at Colenso? Indeed, would Long have ridden his guns into rifle range of the Boers that same fatal day? Tactical reconaissance was lacking at this time.

More as it gells. Any input would be more than welcome.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


...or some Valiant German paratroopers.

For my nephew, Max. Max, they're done! Well, almost. I just noticed a water bottle or two that I missed.

We have an arrangement where he builds them and I paint them.

Nice figures, and easy enough to paint although I would not like to do the assembly myself.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Resuming Normal Services

Lo, and I present for your delectation a unit of Royalist horse in the form of a bunch of one-piece ECW Colonels.

Oh how they languished on my painting desk as I writhed in the grip of my various painting demons. Battles completed and Teen Turtles out of my system (for now) I can turn my attention to the next part-painted unit that similarly pine for the touch of my synthetic bristles.


I note in passing today the centenary of the sea-fight between HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden at the Cocos Islands. In this unequal struggle four Australian sailors were killed and another sixteen were wounded. One hundred and thirty-four German sailors were killed and sixty-nine wounded. One hundred and fifty-seven come through the action unharmed.

I'll not go into the remarkable cruise of this small German cruiser nor dwell on the inevitable end of her career. Needless to say the cruise of the Emden and the astonishing escape of her landing party are pretty well my favourite sea-story.

I'll let Mike Carleton, journalist and broadcaster finish with a small vignette from his "First Victory" where he quotes the letter of an unknown German sailor who had been badly lacerated by two pieces of shrapnel, one of which had torn a hole in his back:

"We were rowed along to the Sydney one by one, put into a crane and hoisted on board. I myself was put into the ward room, which had been transformed into a hospital. Here too were berthed the wounded of the Sydney. we were at once properly bandaged and well treated as far as circumstances would allow... Next to me lay a sailor of the Sydney. He had his right foot blown away. He bent himself toward me and gave me his hand."

The Sydney sailor was Rich Horne. The two men lay there, side by side, holding hands in silent affirmation of their humanity.
Lest we forget.

Monday, November 03, 2014

SMS Emden

With the 100th anniversary of the fight between SMS Emden and HMAS Sydney at the Cocos-Keeling Islands on the 9th of November fast approaching, I've failed to resist temptation once again and bought the 1:350 Revell twin boxing of the Emden and the Dresden, and at quite a good price, I think.

Both ships are of pretty much the same design, the main difference between the two being the number and arrangement of the screws which Revell have catered for with alternate rear-lower hull pieces.

I note with some interest a good number of after market bits for these kits includeing self-adhesive wood laminate for the decks and frets of photo-etch for the super detailers.

I'm looking forward to these.