Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Osprey Publishing games - wargames coming in 2015

Just noticed this tweet from Osprey:

There has been nothing officially announced from Warlord Games (as far as I know) but of particular interest was 'Bolt Action: World War I (September 2015)'. It is not too surprising seeing as they have recently released several WWI tanks but this, as far as I know, is the first official news that Warlord will be releasing a dedicated WWI rulebook this time next year. It would seem reasonable to assume that Warlord will also release figures to support the rules and tanks. This is something that I'll be following with interest.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

King Edward I, Ebob Miniatures

I won this impressive figure in a competition run by Burkhard, a short while ago. His entertaining blog can be found (here). I've been fortunate to won quite a few comps this year but this may because I actually entered them in the first place. Now this may sound like stating the bleedin' obvious (it is) but I'm constantly surprised by how many people who don't actually follow that simple advice and then moan that they never win anything. The phrase "you've got to be in it to win it" is blatantly apparent.
This figure bares a strong resemblance to the late, great actor Patrick McGoohan, who played Edward I in the film Braveheart (a term that was originally applied to Robert Bruce and not William Wallace so the least said about that film the better). The figure is from Ebob Miniatures and is part of their Rebellion range. The detail on the model is excellent, especially the lions on the caparison.

Ebob make several interesting miniatures for this period including a number of options for William Wallace. In the same range is a 'Wallace of Ellerslie' figure which is based on the main character in the film Braveheart and is therefore only really suitable for a fantasy figure but there is also a set of figures, mounted and dismounted, called 'Sir William Wallace (Guardian of Scotland)' which are far better historically and aesthetically. The dismounted figure reminded me of a full size model of Wallace in Stirling (?), its been many years since I visited Stirling so this may not even exist any more. 
Burkhard kindly left the base blank so that it could be finished it to match my other figures.
This figure of Edward will (hopefully) see next see action putting the wind up any Welsh forces foolish to face him in future Lion Rampant games.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Call Out For Bolt Action Players

It's Ade's first serious venture into historical gaming (as opposed to Warhammer Fantasy or 40K). 

The competition/tournament will (hopefully) be played in the usual good humoured/social Wargaming For Fun environment (if anyone is a grump or takes themselves too seriously then Ade and myself will sit on them). The whole ethos behind Ade's approach is to provide an enjoyable environment for everyone to play in. Anyone how has watching his videos will realise he isn't a power player and doesn't play to win.

This event has the official backing of Warlord Games who will be providing a prize for the winner, I have no idea what it is yet but Warlord are usually quite generous in their sponsorship and support of the gaming community.

I should be present on all the days - if only to make the cups of tea and provide comic relief with my attempts at playing the game but please don't let that put you off.

If anyone is interesting in taking part, please contact Ade or myself via email or comment below.

Some of the technical details again:

The event will take place in Wem, Shropshire.

If you are interested in taking part you would need to attend one of the heats and hopefully the final should you win your heat.

The dates of the heats are;
Heat 1 – 18th October,
Heat 2 – 19th October,
Heat 3 – 8th November,
Heat 4 – 9th November,

With the Final on 7th December

Emails to [adrian@wargamingforfun.com]

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Wargames Bloggers Quarterly

This week has seen the launch of a quarterly online magazine (or e-Zine as the youngsters call them nowaways), Wargames Bloggers Quarterly. This came as a very pleasant surprise as I hadn't heard any rumours about its release.

I have thought, for quite a while now, that blogging and online articles could be a serious alternative to hard copy (i.e. real) magazines and, judging by this new download, possibly a serious threat to their future. I no longer subscribe to any magazines, only buying individual issues as and when they have several articles of interest. The beauty of blogging is that you can, in effect, create your own online magazine and follow blogs that can be tailored to suit your own interests. You can be, more or less, certain of regular articles rather than once in a blue moon in a magazine. Wargames Illustrated seem to be aware of this challenge as they release relating articles online that compliment the magazine.

New items, (figures, rules terrain etc.) are often posted on wargaming websites a long time before they are official posted as 'news' which must make the manufacturers wonder if its worth paying for proper advertising. 

Since the demise of Google Reader I've noticed that I often miss blog updates, which probably isn't too surprising since I follow 500 plus blogs. A fair number of these are probably inactive, a feature on Reader allowed you to see this. I'd be curious to know the average 'lifespan' of a blog, probably less than a year I imagine. 

This e-Zine has very good production values. There are a number of blogs that I haven't seen before but also articles by bloggers that I do follow and have missed - which, as the editorial states, is one of the reasons for its existence. 

Wargames Bloggers Quarterly is available to download free (here).

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Battered/Casualty markers

Following on from a previous post - details (here) these are also markers for use with the game of Lion Rampant. These indicate a unit has been 'battered' i.e. one that has failed a courage test. Specific markers aren't actually necessary, you can simply use a small stone, die or something similar but I prefer the aesthetic of having a suitable looking model on the table.

These have been made from a combination of spare weapons from the FireForge Games Teutonic Knights plastic box set and the Gripping Beast plastic 'Dark Age Warriors' box set (one of the most versatile sets of figures I've come across in terms of time periods it can be used for).

The hands and arms have been removed from the weapons as I don't particularly want to represent the gore of a real battlefield. The abandoned helmets are simply spare heads from various plastic FireForge sets with any human element removed or hollowed out with a drill bit and scalpel.  

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Knight Casualties, Crusader Miniatures (Battered/Casualty Markers)

These figures, representing knight casualties, are from Crusader Miniatures (ref. code: MCF015).

In the forthcoming Osprey Lion Rampant rule set you require some form of marker in order to represent that a unit is 'Battered'. You can simply use a small plastic token, a stone or even a die but I have the nasty habit of picking these dice up and rolling them, completely forgetting their use as a casualty/pin marker. So using these dedicated casualty figures and markers I can't make this mistake again.

I'm usually not keen on displaying death and gore on models. There's enough real violence, death and destruction in the world without having to add to it on this blog. After witnessing a very unpleasant experience a few years ago I realised that most war, and even horror, films don't really represent the volume of blood that is shed when serious injuries occur to the human body. Saying that I have added small details to show that they are casualties but I like to think that these figures represent stunned or wounded figures rather than anything else.

I removed the original head and replaced it with a plastic version of the great helm from Fireforge Games. I also roughened up the edges of the surcoat and made cuts into the upper chest area. I have another set of these figures that I'll leave unmodified and once painted I will post photos of them side by side.

These particular figures doesn't come supplied with shields so spare plastic shields were added just to differentiate it from the other set. Using a scalpel I scored a few sword cuts to the shield just for good measure.

I've put them on round bases so that they don't get mistaken (hopefully) for real/active figures; all my regular medieval figures are fixed to square bases.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Messerschmitt Bf109G-2 Trop, Hobby Boss (1/72 scale)

As one of my (many) current projects is creating a DAK force for Bolt Action when I spotted this kit in a local model shop I thought it would be a welcome addition to my small force. I've since spotted a pre-painted version of the same model during a scale model show so it's worth keeping a eye out for it.
Box Art
Using the power of Google I found that someone had posted that these markings represent Bf 109G-4/Trop 'White Triple Chevron 4', flown by Hauptmann Gustav Rodel, Gruppenkommandeur Il./JG 27, April 1943, although there is some discussion that the colour details are incorrect but seeing as I known nothing about the subject I won't comment. 
Although obsolete by the end of the war the Bf109 was the main workhorse of the German Luftwaffe. Over 33,000 were made, second only in numbers to the Russian Sturmovik - a model of which can be seen (here).
The kit itself is quite basic (although not as basic as the Grafix models) and easy to assemble. The box art is slightly misleading as there is no pilot figure and you only have the option of the landing gear being down. There is also very little cockpit detail but as I wanted to use this simply as a playing piece to match my other airplanes for Bolt Action I wasn't overly concerned about these points. 

A small magnet was superglued to the underside of the fuselage so that the model can to fixed to 'flying' base (see photo). To help give the impression that the plane is flying I remodelled the landing quite up. This is was quite crude but it will hardly ever been seen especially as the planes are only really supposed to be seen in plan view.  
Landing gear up 
The quote from the HobbyBoss website the armament spec of the Bf109 (replacing the most obvious typos) was:
"Standard armament was the engine mounted 20MM MG 151/20 cannon with 200 rounds and a pair of cowl-mounted 7.9MG 17 machine guns with 500 rounds per gun. This could be supplemented by Rustsatze 6, a pair of MG 151/20 cannons in under wing gondolas."

I fixed the canopy of the model in place without a pilot as at 1/72 scale you don't tend to notice that the pilot is missing, especially as the canopy of the 109 was notoriously small. 
Interesting decal options
One final point about this model is that the Chinese manufacturer has included the option to add a decal of a swastika to tailfin, although this isn't immediately obvious. The decal comes in two separate parts so you have to overlay one over the other to make the pattern. I assume this is allow the model to be sold in the German/Austrian market where any depiction of the symbol is illegal (which is perfectly understandable). Even posting images online such as on the Lead Adventures forum (which I believe is based in Germany) can give them serious legal issues.

Although this may seem a contradiction, seeing as I won't purchase miniatures depicting SS soldiers (this is obviously my own personal choice) I do prefer to have the option of modelling a model correctly in the same way I will paint a hammer and sickle on a flag for use with my Soviet forces.

Below are photos from RAF Museum Hendon of their own airtime Messerschmitt Bf109G-2/TROP W/NR.10639 - `Black 6'/RN228/8478M/G-USTV.