Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, 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.

Monday, 29 May 2017

El Cid Reinforcements

It's been January since I painted any new troops for the El Cid collection, but over the past few weeks I've been steadily adding a few new troops to the collection. I had planned to run a To the Strongest game on Saturday evening at Dane Con next weekend and wanted to increase the size of the Andalusian contingent. But with one thing and the other Victoria and I shall be having a weekend away together instead.

But, it does mean that the collection grows a little larger, even if it is not getting gamed with.

First of all I wanted to round out my Almoravid Black Guard at 28 models so did another three of them, all from the Gripping Beast range.

Next three more Gripping Beast Al Andalus horsemen, two armed with spears and a third with bow. There are another four nearly done on the painting table that should be finished in the next few weeks.

I painted the two foot figures on the Al Andalus command base back in January but finally got around to painting up the mounted drummer in this batch, I think it finishes it of quite well.

Five more Andalusian spearmen join the rank and file, these are mainly the armoured models and are accompanied by a Qadi to inspire the faithful.

Lastly a couple more Andalusian archers on foot to provide some ranged support. I must admit that although selecting the palette can be rather a chore I'm liking the variety and lack of uniformity in the Andalusians.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Wars of the Sun King in the Sun

It's been a couple of weeks since we played this game, but what with being away on business for one week and a crushing schedule of work the next it's took me a wile to finish this report.

Having played our first game of Chosen Men Well Disposed at the beginning of the month we decided to have another go. In the previous game I had boosted the French army by photographing some units then printing them out. We probably had too much stuff on the table that time, so this time we played with smaller forces just using the stuff that we had painted. It would only be myself and Drew today, Bruce and Sasha were unable to make this one.

I got the table set up in the den, but when Drew arrived the weather was glorious so we carried everything out onto the patio so that we could play there.

As you can see from the shadow the sun was super bright so the first phase of the game was the mandatory application of some sun cream :) 

Drew, as usual, opted for the French and I would be the Dutch, last time we played we counted everything as normal regular troops, this time we rolled a die for each Brigade, on a 1 it was raw, for the infantry or dragoon on a 5 or 6 for the Dutch or a 6 for the French it was veteran, for the horse on a 6 for the Dutch or a 5 or 6 for the French it was veteran. Units marked with green stickers are raw while those marked with red are veterans.

As I would be away on business in Mexico City the following day I though it only right that I should prepare for a trip by cracking open a case of Corona and chopping up some limes. Rather a lot of beer was drunk during the course of this game, so some details may be a bit sketchy....

Both of us had a large cavalry division and a smaller one and both of us managed to pit our bigger one against the smaller one, this would have quite an effect on the battle as it unfolded.

The two infantry divisions closed on each other, the Dutch were almost all veterans while a good half of the Frenchmen were raw, as you may imagine the French held back rather to see if their superior horsemen could gather an advantage first.

On my right I had six units of horse against eight French, four of which were veteran, so I would have to play a cagey game here, as it was once we got stuck in, the French had the initial success

As was alluded to earlier, much Corona was consumed during this exercise.

The hard pressed cavalry fight on the right continued, but I was able to balance that out as the game developed and even broke one of the French Brigades and caused the French Division to retire, although it only cost the French a single Critical Morale point.

In the centre the Dutch and French infantry closed to combat, as was to be expected the superior Dutchmen rolled over their French counterparts, who despite showing great resolve were soon overwhelmed. I was struggling to capitalise on this though as Drew was rolling much better than me for Tempo and the French maintained the initiative throughout the battle.

Eventually the French had lost a division each of horse and foot, while the Dutch has lost a division of horse, the 'broke boxes for each army are shown in the next two images, first the Dutch.

Now the French!

We declared a minor victory to the Dutch again and retired to the patio sofa to drink more Coronas and to enjoy some lovely sushi that Victoria had prepared for us.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Fall Blau Painting Update - 14th May 2017

Just a small update this week with a Rubicon Models T-34 added to the collection.

A really nice kit, easy to put together and I reckon took lees than an hour to paint in my 'dirty, streaky, tank style.' A base-coat of Russian Green with the tracks and exhausts painted in a mix of Saddle Brown and Gunmetal Grey. A coat of Sepia Wash was applied and allowed to dry then the Russian Green was reapplied as a very thin wash with a little Dark Sand added for subsequent highlights. The tracks and exhausts we re-applied and the machine-gun picked out with a wash of Gunmetal Grey. The grills were given a thin wash of Black Grey and decals applied.

After the decals had set I applied a coat of Testors Dull-coat and set about with Tamiya Model Master, the lower hull in Mud and upper hull in Sand.  The end of the gun barrel and the hull around the exhausts we given a dirtying with Black and then an all-over light dusting of Light Sand.

I've painted quite a bit of other stuff this week for the War of the Spanish Succession and El Cid collections but it all needs basing. Not sure if there will be an update next week as I shall be in Mexico City all week on business.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Fall Blau Painting Update - 7th May 2017

This week I've been adding to the Fall Blau collection, after adding the Soviet T-34 it was only fair that the Germans also got some armoured support.

Firstly a Panzer II, I think it's an old BAM model and I acquired it in a trade. Unfortunately it was missing the gun barrels and hatches, the 20mm cannon is from an old Perry Miniatures spear while the MG is brass rod, the hatches were fabricated from card.

A nice little model easy to clean up and probably only took about an hour to paint using my base-coat and wash followed by two or three of highlights method.

Last week at Little Wars I picked up a Rubicon Panzer III model, it's described as a PzIIIJ, M, or N and I planned to make it as an early model J with the 5cm KwK 38, but it only comes with the 5cm KwK 39 and I thought about cutting that down, but in the end relented and left as it. I'm pretty sure that the model is may be a IIIL anyway as there is additional armour on the glasis and mantlet. As with a lot of stuff on this project I'm being moved slightly later in the war.

A lovely kit to put together and again a really easy paint job.

I need to pick up a tank commander and get him painted. Searching through the collection I have about six of the Perry British ones but no Germans.

I have another T-34 to paint, this time a Rubicon model done in the 1940 configuration, hopefully that shall be ready for next weeks post along with more German armour.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Chain of Command Espana at Little Wars

On Friday I finished work at lunchtime, picked up Bruce and we headed down to Lombard IL for the Little Wars convention held at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, it's about a two and a half hour journey so we stopped for a bite to eat on the way, arriving at the venue at about 1530.

We swiftly registered and found our table in the spacious, well lit main hall. Ed had already set up the terrain and was just awaiting my buildings and troops.

The game would represent a Nationalist attack during the drive on Madrid and we would be using the Big Chain of Command supplementary rules and playing the Flank Attack scenario.

The Nationalist comprised one platoon of La Legion (played as Elites), one platoon of Moroccan Regulares and two columns of Falange. The Republicans comprised of two platoons of International Brigade, one platoon of Guardia Civil and a column of Trades Union Militia from the UGT.

The Nationalists would be Liam playing La Legion, myself with the Regulares and Bruce with the Falange, the Republicans comprised Eric with the Guardia, Ed and Pat with the International Brigade and Al with the Militia.

The Nationalists had 31 points of support while the Republicans 33 points, our was spent on: Cara Al Sol, Centuria Leaders and a LMG for one of the Falange columns - the other would be in reserve, a pre-game barrage, a 70mm infantry gun, a PaK36, a Sniper, a Hotchkiss medium machine-gun, two Panzer I and a battery of 81mm mortars off table.

I'm not sure what the Republicans bought, but it certainly included a lot of barricades and a couple of T-26.

We played out the Patrol Phase and our aim was to create a base of fire using the support weapons and Falange in a gulley on our right - our Anvil - while the Regulares and La Legion would push up on the left - our Hammer! The Patrol Phase played out quite well and we had three jump-off points on the right in and around the gulley and four on our left, one pushed right up the flank.

The game played out over the next four and a half hours, and as I only played in one small corner cannot remember everything but there were several notable events.

The pre-game barrage fell among the Republicans impeding their initial deployments.

The Legion and Regulares deployed on our left as planned and were soon in a fierce fight with the International Brigades holding the church and a line of barricades at the edge of the orchard.

The first Panzer I supporting this attack was crossing the bridge over the gulley and was surprised and then knocked out by the appearance of a Republican T-26.

The T-26 in turn was surprised and badly damaged by the appearance of the Nationalist PaK36.

The remaining Panzer I was much more cautious and took little further part in the battle.

A large building in the centre of the table caught fire and the smoke drifted across the table causing line of sight to be badly impeded.

The Falange fire base in the gully served its purpose well and caused great consternation among the Republicans on that flank.

After securing a fire-base in a house overlooking the church La Legion committed a section to clearing the church and the section of International Brigadiers from the Commune de Paris Battalion were routed.

The Falange started to push on from their trench line, but a section of Guardia advanced through the smoke and the Nationalists were severely mauled.

Supported by the Regulares, now positioned in the orchard, La Legion pushed on their attack against the barricade in the orchard, La Legion were routed, but the rest of the Commune de Paris Battalion were put to the bayonet by the Moors.

The trades union militia occupied again the vacated church, but the firepower of the remaining Moors and Legionaries was too much for them and they suffered badly, especially when the 70mm mountain gun was called up.

At this point the Republican Force Morale was looking bad so as it was quite late we called a minor Nationalist victory, a great game played with some great chaps.

Some more images from the game:

I took a break during the game to wander around the traders room, purchasing a Rubicon Panzer III for the Fall Blau project I'm working on and also took some photos of the other games, lots of people were having a great time. Conventions in the USA are certainly very different from those in the UK and take a bit of getting used to for a Brit as it's more focused on participating rather than shopping and socialising.