Sharp Practice in 6mm Part 7 – Shock Markers done and some deliveries (TMT, Conan and X-wing miniatures)

This week the Sharp Practice shock markers were finalized for the two starting forces an also the  first batch of painted miniatures arrived from Marching in Colour for The Moscow Trilogy  Project (TMT).  We also had some notable deliveries of (i) Conan the Boardgame and  (ii) the Heroes of the Resistance Expansion pack for the X-wing miniatures games.

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The Growing Sharp Practice in 6mm box – not the box but the contents. I think I have to add another layer soon. I am toying with the idea of making a 2′ by 1.5′ box containing everything you would need  (including miniatures, the support options, trees, hills, roads,  houses, river sections, etc.) and when folded up becomes a 2′ by 3′ playing surface.  That would make it truly portable and get the whole point of the project across in a very visual, and practical, way.

TMT – First Batch Arrives

The first batch of painted miniatures from Marching in Colour arrived this week but did not have time to get started on finishing them off. Absolutely brilliant stuff!. I wrote about Chris and his services in the last blog update (link here). I have already sent him the next batch.  This will make the process, at this end, very quick!

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15 bases worth of Russian Dragoons and 15 bases worth of Russian Infantry.

Sharp Practice in 6mm – Shock/Casualty Markers and some new “heroes”

… continued from last week.

Step 9 – prepare ground basing by applying sand and painting it chocolate brown.

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Step 10 – pick out the details of the unit the marker represents, e.g. in the middle the markers for the British Regulars and in the right upper corner the Rangers. I made two for every unit.

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Step 11 – Drybrush with three colours (light browns and a light yellowish colour).

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Step 12 – Apply static grass and tufts. This shows the French Canadian Militia. All ready to go!

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Conan the Board game – Finally Arrives

This week we got a big parcel with the Conan Board Game stuff from Monolith games. I have to admit that I and the little one were following the Kickstarter at the time with great excitement and we had been waiting and waiting.  The little one used to say “When is Conan coming?”.  When I finally told him that Conan had arrived, he asked me “What is that?”.  Joke aside what arrived was an impressive set of two boxes fully package with all you could ever want for the game.  It was a Carlsberg moment and worth waiting for.

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The Little One eagerly hacking his way into the Conan Stuff

 

Conan is one of those boyhood heroes and I read several of the fantastic novels and of course watched the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. The scene, in “Conan the Barbarian” where the young Conan gets chained to the mill grinder (wheel of pain) and then turns into this enormous and muscular grown up man is a nice cinematic touch.  I still find the books and the movies entertaining and, at least for me, the ex-California governor is truly etched as my mental image of the Cimmerian Warrior.  One of the stretch goals during the Kickstarter campaign was a miniature depicting the Camel that Conan has some fisticuffs with in the “Conan the Barbarian” movie, another nice touch.

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Many miniatures to paint if I am going down that route – however for the moment I have decided to play it first and then worry about painting some other day.  A thought occurred to me of doing it in 6mm – just joking – however there are a lot of stuff out there that would make this more than possible.

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6mm Barbarian from Perfect Six can be found here.

 

The Dragon Order and Adventure Set from Perfect Six we discussed last time and of course all the fantasy stuff from Microworld Games, Baccus (who does Camels as well!) and perhaps using some Pendragon 10mm for monsters – but I suppose I should never say never again!.

The Welsh Wizard, Mike Hobbs, has done a series of blogs posts showing what the boxes contain and even had time to play a game so teleport over there if you want to see/read more by starting here.  By Crom!, we have been waiting for this to begin.

Heroes of the Resistance

We also got our pre-order of the Heroes of the Resistance for X-wing Miniatures game containing the new (perhaps “older” is the word to use) Millennium Falcon, with its Square Satellite dish, and Poe Cameron’s X-wing. Fantastic stuff and ready to go straight out of the Box. We will have to have a go at flying these this evening.

/ Take care and fly casual!

New 6mm Stuff, Painting Service and Shock Markers

Limited progress this week but an update of some new and upcoming 6mm ranges that caught my eye, some discussion on the TMT project and the enlistment of a painting service, a little diversion and reflection on 18th century warfare on TV & in movies, and some shock markers for Sharp Practice. 

New/Upcoming 6mm Ranges – Landsknechts, TYW/ECW and the Order of the Dragon

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Landsknechts – picture from Wikipedia (link in the text below)

I have to admit that a few new 6mm ranges have blown me away these last few weeks:

Microworld Games Landsknechts rangecheck them out here.  I stumbled across these when I was ordering something for my Saga in 6mm project. I am planning on doing the Revenant Faction at some point and needed some ghoulish looking creatures. Microworld  has a wide range of 6mm fantasy but these are, as far as I gather, looking pretty historical like the real Landsknecths.  Splendid!, based in the US, flat rate international shipping at $12 (excluding Customs and Charges if you live outside the States, but if you can overcome that this would be an impressive and colourful force to field).  I am very tempted to add a few of these to my next order even if I am not screaming for projects at the moment. The pictures are from Microworld’s webpage and they also have a few other new sets that may be of some interest.

 

Perfect Six Miniatures, that I have mentioned on several occasions on this blog, does not just sell fine scenic items but have a growing range of, mainly fantasy, miniatures. Their latest release is their Order of the Dragon Miniatures and they are really nice. They have just been released so I ordered a few packs. Again pictures from their webpage.

Baccus upcoming English Civil War (ECW) / Thirty Years War (TYW) range are presented here and here. Based on these snippets this, in my view, promises to be Baccus finest range yet.  It is not just the detail but the poses are phenomenal and I am more than sure that at some point I will have to get into this period and make a Swedish Army led by the Lion from the North. The pictures are from the Baccus page.  Baccus are also soon releasing more French Indian War stuff that I am very much looking forward too.

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Painting Service for my Great Northern War stuff

I decided to enlist some help in completing the Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) project (see the long and winding presentation of it here, if you have not read it yet) and have asked Marching in Colour (Painting service, with a link here) to paint a lot of the miniatures that will be used in the 3  battles. I have opted for block painted units that I will finish by applying some nut-brown ink and then some highlighting and basing – this way they will nicely blend into the existing collection.

I have had a previous experience of using a painting service that was ok, but I have to admit that I really like the way Chris communicates and deals with you as a customer.  I find his prices reasonable too.  The problem I have is that I have more ideas than I have time and I think I have already proven to the world, or at least to myself, that I can paint 6mm Great Northern war miniatures en masse.  This approach allows me to, in an IKEA like fashion, be directly involved in the production process and still have time to push on with all that other stuff.

With a little bit of luck I will be able to complete all the miniatures needed in the next year or so.  This will give me time to do some of the things that are currently not being done like the 15mm miniatures for the Winter War of 1939 between Finland and Russia and perhaps more importantly the Little ones Halo Ships and Battles stuff.

So in summary,  I will be outsourcing most of the Russians I have left to do and will also have some of the Swedish Infantry done by MiC. I have seen the first batch on photos and I am eagerly waiting for them to arrive.

TV and Movies

I have recently started watching the TV Series “Turn” that is set during the American Revolutionary War period. I was watching the 2nd series finale depicting the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse and although the number of men involved were reminiscent of the Battles in the Sharpe series, i.e. being very few men compared to the real deal, I really enjoyed it. It is not that often 18th century battles are depicted on the white or silver screen, with a few notable exceptions including Barry Lyndon, The Last of the Mohicans and the Sovereign’s Servant that incidentally is about the Battle of Poltava – the last breath of the Russian Campaign 1708-09.

I also had another go at the Northwest Passage movie with Spencer Tracy. Not as adventurous as my childhood memory had indicated. The portrayal of the Indians on both sides is not very flattering even for its time – it was made 1940 .  I would still recommend it and it serves part of the my background “research” for my Sharp Practice in 6mm project.  I have Drums along the Mohawk and an alternative version of the Last of the Mohicans to look forward to as well – when I have a few minutes spare. I also ordered the Broken Chain with Pierce Brosnan, based on a recommendation.

Sharp Practice Shock Markers

Talking about Sharp Practice, I did start making some shock markers for Sharp Practice in line with my discussion in an earlier post.  The design concept is reproduced below.

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Here is a picture that may be useful as well, adjust to the size of your washers, I did mine with 15mm washers.

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Step 1: Print out the sheet above with the right dimensions.

Step 2: Cut out the top parts and stick to the adhesive side of a Flexometal sheets (or any other sheet that is magnetic, i.e. contains some metal. I bought mine from Abel Magnets but you can also get them from other sources) – then cut them out carefully, as seen in the picture below.

Step 3: Glue on your shock/casualty markers – these are from the Baccus ECW and WSS range and will do fine for my purposes (as there are no specific ones for the period). It is difficult to see any detail at this stage. So trust me or come back next week and have a look at the painted ones.

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Step 4 – prime the shock markers and set aside to dry. As per usual I prime them in grey.

Step 5 – cut out the round dials (0 to 9) carefully

Step 6 – take your washers (these are of the flat/penny washer type with a hole in the middle) and stick a round label/sticker on top, turn it around and put a (Neodymium Disc) magnet inside, put another sticker on top, then glue on the dial (0 to 9) on the top using PVA glue. These steps are shown below. Put PVA glue on the top of the washer and on the top of the dial as well to seal the paper on using a brush. Do not be too aggressive and do not worry it will dry clear.

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Step 7 – let it dry and join together. As you may have guessed due to the ferrous sheet and the magnet the two parts stick together and the dial can be turned allowing you to set any value you want it tosm6 show.

Step 8 – They are now ready for basing and painting, but we did not get any further this weekend. I hope to be able to report on some more decorated markers next week.

/ All the very best

Featured

Battle of Hastings – Wargaming in 1800mm

I had some plans to use some of my miniatures to put up a little refight of Hastings this weekend but failed miserably.  However instead we spent Friday watching the docudrama 1066 and then Saturday in Battle watching the re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings that took place 950 years ago.  It was a fantastic spectacle put on by English Heritage and I hope that these pictures gives some kind of justice to the proceedings. So without any further ado, here we go.  / Back with some miniatures stuff next week.

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The Little One trying out some Norman equipment!
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We visited both camps and, as always, with re-enactors it is not just about having the right sword and helmet but a much wider and deeper experience.  I think I get it. The level of detail and care in the presentation of these camps were fantastic and, I dare to say, as impressive as the later Battle in presenting a close to genuine experience from a far-gone time.
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There were also presentations of the various arms used in the Battle.  Here a victorious Anglo-Saxon with the feared Dane Axe.  We were also introduced to spears, swords, cavalry as well as the impressive shield wall.
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Setting up the Anglo-Saxon shield wall. Getting ready to fight the real deal.

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William with Harold’s Standard at the end of the Battle. Game over, I suppose!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIW – Sharp Practice in 6mm – Part 6 Inspiration and Some Progress

Braddock’s Defeat

I just finished listening to Braddock’s Defeat on Audible and ended up buying the physical book as well from Amazon as a reference copy.  This is an amazing piece of work by David Preston and I have not had so much enjoyment (reading a book on Military History) since I read Oskar Sjöström’s Fraustadt 1706: ett fält färgat rött.  The Fraustadt book unfortunately, as is the case for a lot of Great Northern War literature, is not available in English. But I digress…

If you are familiar with the French Indian War period of history you will have heard about the British General Braddock leading a expeditionary force, in 1755, through Pennsylvania to attack the French Fort Duquesne on the forks of the Ohio River. A smaller French Canadian force, led by the French Captain Beaujeu and supported by native Indian Tribes, had decided to seek battle before the British arrived to the fort and encountered and attacked the British at Monongahela (about 10 miles from what is now Pittsburgh).  It was the French Canadian resolve and ability to quickly get organised and use the terrain efficiently in applying woodland tactics that won the day.

“Historians have generally ignored French and Native perspectives on the 1755 campaign. The French were outnumbered, outgunned, and faced crippling supply problems in their Ohio Valley posts. They despaired of their inability to halt or slow Braddock’s relentless march. However, convoys of French reinforcements led by a veteran officer, Captain Beaujeu, came to Fort Duquesne after an epic 700-mile voyage from Montreal, arriving only a few days before the fateful battle at the Monongahela.  …..

A newly discovered French account from the Archives du Calvados transforms our understanding of French and Native American leadership and tactics at the Battle of the Monongahela. The French commander, Captain Beaujeu, sent out Native scouts who brought him exact intelligence on the location and disposition of the British. Dividing his force into three parallel columns, Beaujeu organized a frontal attack on the British column with his Canadian troops. He instructed the Indians to spread out in the woods on the right and the left, and to withhold their fire until he had engaged the British. The Monongahela was neither a meeting engagement nor an ambush, but a well-planned and executed French and Indian attack on a vulnerable British column. “

Ten questions about Braddock’s Defeat by David L. Preston, accessible here.

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Painting showing a contingent of French and Indians attacking General Braddock, in the background, who is falling from his horse being assisted by Major George Washington, the future first president of the United States of America – one of many key characters of the American revolution that were involved in this expedition. (Painted by Edwin W. Deming, the painting forms part of the Wisconsin Historicial Society’s collection)

I really enjoy the story telling aspect of real history and to paraphrase Dan Carlin, “it has destroyed fiction for me” (go and listen to one of his Hardcore History Shows if you have not done so yet!, here is a link).  However being factual, intellectual and educational does not need to be boring and can instead be truly inspirational and that is this book in a nutshell.  If you have any interest in the period, or military history in general, I suggest you get hold of this one.

I think a lot can be done with the skirmish rules I have (i.e. Sharp Practice, Musket and Tomahawks and  Songs of Drums and Tomahawks) but for the “larger” battles I am not sure what good rulesets are there that captures the flavour of not just the period but in the particular way the war was fought in this theatre. But then this was only a small diversion!

Crystal Palace and that very famous Battle

I was intending to spend the day at SELWG (South East London Wargames Group) show in Crystal Palace today, but the little one had his first rugby festival for the season and luckily, because I would be a really sad bastard otherwise, I actually prefer to see him play rather than going to a wargames show.  As it is very close to where we live we ended up going for the last 45 minutes on our way home – but the last part of a wargames show is very often like drinking a pint of lager that was poured two hours ago.  I did not take any pictures of the tables on offer, but there seemed to be a good collection – a nice ancient game with loads of pikes and a Doctor Who game caught my eye.  Next weekend (on both Saturday and Sunday) is the big event at Battle with the 950th Anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings. We are looking forward to this.

Supporting Cast, Real Estate and Markers

I decided to spend the little time I had available for diversions this week finalising as much of the painting as I could for the initial Sharp Practice stuff – so I and the little one could play a proper game in a not too distant future.  This, instead of getting diverted spending hours gluing small strips of spaghetti like last week (see my last blog entry here) I actually managed to get some of the more immediate and necessary stuff completed.

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My temporary “Out of ammunition markers” using crates from Perfectsix – I did a few more. “Resthouse” by Leven Miniatures. The bases are 9mm in diameter.
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Ammo markers for artillery (again made from PerfectSix materials).
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Mule Train from Baccus
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Barricades based on various items from PerfectSix
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As above but from a different angle
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Breastworks based on some old Irregular stuff I had lying around. Painted up really well!
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As above but from a different angle
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Holymen and Doctors for both sides – Pere Bleu, Docteur Bleu, Doctor Red and Father Red.
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Carts – Engineering, Water and Ammunition Carts

I was thinking about a scenario with the characters from a famous movie set during the French Indian War – and did the three little chaps below.  / Until next

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FIW – Sharp Practice in 6mm – Part 5 Fort Al Dente!

In the last update I toyed with the idea of doing a fort –“wooden palisade type with some vaubanesque feel to the corner sections optimised for the scale and basing I have for the miniatures“.

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As the 6mm scale, rightfully, is primarily used for large scale battles where a small set of buildings represents a village or even a town, it is difficult to find commercial buildings that are appropriate to allow the full “6mm skirmish experience”.  With this I mean the individual maneuvering around, on top of and inside buildings. In addition, as the models are based on relatively wide bases (in my case 9mm – in scale about 8 feet) there are difficult to fit in confined spaces if these are in true scale to the miniature. I set out to “design” the fort so that I could use palisade walking ramps and the interior of the buildings as part of the overall experience. This creates somewhat exaggerated features  – but it works.

I used the footprint above and I stuck this on top of vinyl floor tiles and got on with it.  Materials used are patience, thin Spaghetti, coffee stirrers, matches and a few 10mm by 1mm maples strips.

I then gave it a first coat of paint and some dry brushing.  I still have to sort out some material for the roofs and an underlay for the fort courtyard – so almost done.

/ All the best