Copyright © 2016, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2016, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

El Cid Painting Update - 21st August

I had five Perry Miniatures mounted Crusaders left to paint and they have joined the ever growing El Cid collection as Caballeros.

Like all the Perry Miniatures metal castings they are wonderfully sculpted miniatures but in my opinion as ever rather spoiled by some shoddy mould making and casting.

I've included a couple of the slightly later Knight Hospitaller figures and I think they fit in rather well. Some close-ups further down.

I had another weather related varnishing disaster. This time it was not 'frosting' instead the figures were outside to dry and a gust of wind picked up the board they were on and dumped them on the floor. I had to re-straighten the banner-pole and a sword then glue back on the cross carried by the Hospitaller and re-touch quite a lot of paint.

As you may imagine I was none too happy!

Some close-ups of the chaps.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Bagging the Hun in Brown Deer

Western section, Spitfires over the Solent
Before I moved to Wisconsin I put out a few requests for gamers in the area and Bill - via the medium of TMP - kindly invited me to come along and play with his group who meet up in Brown Deer about 10 miles north of Milwaukee, about an hour and forty-five drive for me.

For my first game we would be playing a Battle of Britain scenario with a version of Bag the Hun simplified for multi-player games. Players were requested to be nationally themed snacks, so Victoria set to and made a rather splendid Tiffin. I picked up a packet of Pipers Crisps with real Anglesea sea salt, crisps you shall note, not chips......

As we have been without a car for four months it was questionable whether I would be able to get the 100 or so miles to Brown Deer, but fortunately, Zimbrick Honda came through and I picked up my splendidly green new car on Wednesday evening ready for the trip.

Arriving at Bills by around 0900 to be greeted by everybody I contributed a small amount of my micro-terrain to the already great looking table and was given a short briefing on the rules and scenario. We would be using Bag the Hun but with turning radii rather than hexes and we would forego the altitude rules. It made a lot of sense as there would be twelve of us playing.

The table was divided into an East, West and Central sectors with play staying in each area to allow the game to flow. I was in the eastern sector under Lewis. Lewis had two sections each of three Spitfires while I had a section of three Hurricanes. We were joined in our sector by Jim who had two sections, one of three Hurricanes and another of a pair of Blenheims off to bomb a factory in France.

Opposing Luftwaffe forces where Dan and Morgan who between them had eight Bf110 and eight He111. 

Lewis took to the air first with two sections of Spitfires and made towards the enemy, we had formulated a plan that we should largely ignore the escorts and go straight for the bombers as best we could.

Lewis was soon engaging and through the Luftwaffe fighter sweep that was ranging ahead of the bombers, shooting down the SchwarmFuhrer a Junior Ace no less! One of the Spitfires was also forced down, but the pilot crash landed in a field just outside Fixington.

My flight of Hurricanes soon joined the fray and attempted to keep the Bf110 busy while the Spits closed in on the lumbering bombers.

Central section Ju88 attach a Chain Home station
The Luftwaffe Top Ace in his Bf110 was proving quite a pain and the superior numbers of German fighters were taking a toll, the RAF were losing planes, but in each instance but one the pilot survived either the bail-out or the crash landing.

The Spitfires were soon tearing into the bombers and accounted for three shot-down and another was forced to abort due to effective AA fire defending the factory complex that was their target.

Eastern Sector, scratch a Bf110
The Blenheims commanded by Jim continued on to France and destroyed their primary target with no loss to themselves, quite a feat in itself, while their Hurricane escort returned to join in the fight now going on over Fixington as the German bombers advanced on their target of Tangmere.

The RAF were looking rather thin now, surprisingly the losses and abandoned missions were more due to the effectiveness of the air-gunners in the He111 than any part of their fighter escort. However losses among the German bombers were now high enough that they could abort their run on our air-field and instead attack their secondary target of the factories in Fixington.

Continued efforts by the AA-gunners and remaining RAF fighters saw the factory badly damaged but not knocked out. The RAF losses were quite bad, four fighters had been lost, but only one pilot killed. Many German air-crew were rounded up by the Home Guard and Police and will not be taking any further part in this war.

A great game in great company and I hope to have the opportunity to do this again sometime.

Monday, 15 August 2016

El Cid Painting Update - 14th August

I've found another seven Perry Miniatures Pilgrims that I had forgotten I had bought with me so this week has seen a little paint splashed about and they can now join the quite large unit of armed and unarmed peasants that I've been working on.

If not fighting in the front line, the individual bases can be scattered around the camps, villages and baggage train.

Vive la Muerte

Well that's it, I'm out of Spanish Civil War figures to paint. This last unpainted Empress Miniatures figure has been painted as a banner bearer for may Spanish Foreign Legion forces.

The banner is a rough copy of the standard of the First Tercio of the Legion.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Comrade Josephs housing solutions for good Socialists (1)

A couple of weeks ago I decided that it was time for a new project so have ordered myself a platoon of Soviets from The Assault Group and a platoon of Germans from Crusader Miniatures, plus a bunch of supports, neither do a Soviet 50mm mortar so I ordered a Bolt Action one from Noble Knight Games. I'm planning some mid-war Chain of Command games with them. The locally sourced stuff has arrived already, but while I wait the arrival of the rest from the UK I have made a start on a few buildings to use with them.

Last weekend I popped over to Michaels to pick up foam board, coffee stirrers and some balsawood blocks along with some 5mm plywood to use as bases. I'm really lucky that we have a Michaels stor ten minutes walk from my front door, a trove of great crafting stuff for projects like this.

The buildings are based on a structure of foam-core with the walls planked with stirrers. The roof is made from balsa wood planks while the doors are also cut from balsa. For the chimneys I cut a length of balsa and then drew the bricks on by pressing hard with a biro. The door frames and lintels are made from split stirrer.

Once completed the whole thing was sprayed with grey primer and given a base-coat of raw umber artists acrylic. The woodwork is picked out with thinned Beige Brown and then again with another coat of Beige Brown. The windows are painted Dark Prussian Blue then a highlight of intense blue with a 'reflection' of Ivory in the corners. The chimney is US Tanned Earth highlighted again by adding a little Dark Sand, the mortar is left the original raw umber. The whole thing is given a light dry-brush of Dark Sand.

The first house is the Babushkas cottage slightly dilapidated with a lean-to, all with wooden roofs and a small fenced area at the back.

The second building is a workers cottage, smaller than the first and with no lean-to and a fenced garden where the inhabitants can grow their own after toiling at the collective all day.

The third is a sturdier construction, both the roof and lean-to have tiled roofs (using laser-cut tiles from Warbases). This cottage is now occupied by a party member, it has the luxury of front and back doors and four windows.

All the buildings have been built with removable roofs for such times when chum James checks to see if he can put figures inside.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Bridegrooms of Death - 31st July

This is probably the longest its taken me to paint a Spanish Civil War platoon for Chain of Command: Espana but I've finished the last 11 Foreign Legion 'Bridegrooms of Death' figures I need.

These are painted using the same scheme as previous batches that is detailed here. All the figures are from Empress Miniatures.

Here are a few close-ups.

I'm not sure if Empress are having some quality control issues, but if you look on this figure below there is a huge hole in the rifle just above the fingers of the left hand. I had two other figures with similar issues from this batch that I purchased in April just before leaving for Wisconsin.

This means that all my Spanish Civil War forces are painted so I'll have to think about what to add next. Here are all 54 models of my La Legion platoon including two 5cm mortars and two light-machine-guns.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Bridegrooms of Death - 24th July 2016

Following on from the Republicans I painted last week I have now returned to painting my Spanish Foreign Legion Seccion. This has been rather a long project as I painted the first figures for this unit back in March 2015.

Other factions seem to have come to the fore in the meantime but I only have these to paint then I am out of Spanish Civil War figures. This week I managed to paint these ten and there are another eleven on the painting table then I have all the Spanish Civil War figures I have painted, maybe time for another order on Empress or Northstar - or do I really have enough.

Not sure what it is about these La Legion but I'm not enjoy painting them as much as other troops. I also had a bit of a calamity when varnishing them this morning. I took them out onto the terrace of our apartment and gave them a spray of Testors Dull-cote only to go back 15 minutes later and it had frosted. Fortunately, I bought them inside and took them to the storage unit* and gave them another coat and it seems to have rectified.

*Not sure why Mrs Scrivs is not keen on me applying varnish inside the apartment :-)

Here are a few close-ups.