All relatively quiet on the hobby front and Black Sabbath

img_1486

Black Sabbath

Today my uncle would have been 65 years old as he passed away far too early. I thought about him yesterday as I went to see Black Sabbath at the O2 and how much he would have enjoyed watching the show. He played the album Paranoid for my cousin and I when we were very young and it blew my mind away.  I have been listening to Black Sabbath ever since.  This tour that is very near its end is suitably called “The End” and it is nice to see them a last time especially when they were playing songs from the first four albums of which none felt surplus to the requirement of providing a damn good show.  When I first heard about this tour I had hoped to see Bill Ward (the original drummer) in the line-up but that was not to happen. However, Tommy Clufetos, always plays drums like there is no tomorrow.  It was the best show I have been to for a long time. A lady in her seventies, who was sitting next to us, had come with her daughter and they both sang along word by word with every song played – that could have made my day in its own right.  Thank you Black Sabbath for all these fantastic years and for being one of the most influential bands in shaping what we today call (and some of us love) Heavy Metal – Hats off!

img_1523
Black Sabbath playing my favourite song Children of the Grave

Children of tomorrow live in the tears that fall today
Will the sun rise up tomorrow bringing peace in any way?
Must the world live in the shadow of atomic fear?
Can they win the fight for peace or will they disappear?

From Children of the Grave, by Black Sabbath

img_1499
The legendary Ozzy Osbourne!

All relatively quiet on the hobby front (code for “Done f**k all!”)

On the hobby front I have continued doing some snow basing for the Chain of Command Finnish and Soviets, but nothing substantial. Let us see how the next week goes.  I did rectify that house I discussed in last week’s entry and added some snow to make it look a little bit more wintery.  I am currently waiting for some stuff I have ordered that I need to finalise the terrain.  I hope to write a blog entry about the terrain and the markers I will be using in a not too distant future, maybe in about two weeks time if it goes as planned.

I found myself buying a platoon worth of Soviet Scouts (see here) in 15mm from Peter Pig that I thought I would use to fight my Continuation War Finns. They have recently expanded the range significantly and I found what I needed.  No idea when I will do these but when I make a decision I do not want availability to hinder progress! Pictures from the Peter Pig website. Wonderful stuff.

I also found a pack of the 1984 set for the Terminator: Genisys game I have been on about in the last few postings.  This set includes the main characters from the first two movies, the “Arnold Machine”, Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese, T-1000 (Police Officer version) and three police officers (I got these from Wayland Games). Not sure what I will do with these but I could not resist.   I also got two more starter sets! I bought these from Buysend.com for £10.49 each (as at 31/01/17, see here). The set is similar to the one you can buy from the Warlords website (as at 31/01/17) for a reduced cost of £35 as discussed last time. The key difference between the set is that the main rulebook and the bonus metal model (Kyle Reese in resistance outfit) is not included in the cheaper set  Since I already have the rulebook and metal figure I thought it was good value to get another 10 machines and 16 resistance soldiers for a tenner. I think that would be all I need for now for this game.

tt

/ And I am feeling good!

Terminators, Winter War Progress and Chevaux de Fries

BW 1.jpg

More Terminators

Following on from the last blog about terminators, the Little One and I have been doing a few more games of Terminator Genisys and we are still enjoying it.  I actually ended up buying two more miniature sets, the T1000 (the liquid metal one from the second movie or to be correct mimetic polyalloy) & Infiltrator as well as the Special Endoskeletons set. I have also dusted off the old movies and although the first one (here) feels a little bit dated, with regards to the CGI, it is still a damn good movie. The second movie (here) I think is brilliant and the Little One is looking forward seeing the rest.

rh-tg-114-infiltrator-and-t1000-a_grande

I have realized that if I want the Little One to get into this hobby it is not by trying to force feed him with 18th century linear tactics battles where we abstract the unit with a few models representing many or elegant mechanisms with built-in firing, damage, moral etc. Instead I think I need to, as well, offer him simple skirmish type of rules where each model represents a man, or a woman or in this case a machine, in a setting that excites him and he understands (the key here is ..as well!).  It is fantastic when he gets it and we have not had so much fun since we first played X-wing or Saga together.

Finnishing (and Sovietic) touches

However, science fiction aside, I did feel obliged to continue my Chain of Command Finns and Russians so I could get some games of Chain of Command under my belt – I added some snow flock to the bases and made an entrenchment with some floor insulation blue polystyrene and a plastic base from a DVD cover (Terminator 2 – who needs covers anyway!) – I think I will make more like this. I covered it with glue and added sand, painted it chocolate brown and dry brushed it white and then added some snow around it (actually a mix of snow flock, matte modge podge and a few drops of off-white paint). Here it is.

bw4.jpg
The entrenchment in its full glory! The surface under is a trimmed part of a Snow Mat from Terrain Mat (link here) I bought many years ago to do some GNW winter battles on. I will use this mat for my Chain of Command battles as I think it looks very good.
bw3
As above with some Soviets enjoying its protection!

Here is the first picture in Colour (I need to add some snow to that roof, to make it look authentic).

bw2.jpg
A section of Soviets advancing through a Finnish Village.
Ruokojärvellä JSP/Er P S.
House during the Winter War, the picture is from SA-kuva (Finnish Armed Forces Photographs) and their webpage is here.

Chevaux de Frise

I got a question through to the blog last week that I thought potentially had some general interest. The question was about how I did the Chevaux de Frise (link to Wikipedia here) shown in some of the pictures in the Polemos Great Northern War rulebook (link here).  These were shots based on the armies I did for the Fraustadt 1706 battle where the whole Saxon/Russian front line was standing behind these mobile defensive structures.

Peter Berry kindly included some pictures taken by my daughter of Swedes battling Saxons and Russians in wintery conditions as well as some Polish Panzerni and Winged Hussars in a more summery setting.

cdf1.jpg
A page from the Rules

This is a high level, but I hope sufficient discussion, on how I made them (but first a few notes):

  • They are based on 60mm by 10mm bases, these are 2mm thick (the same thickness I use for all my bases)
  • They are not to scale, i.e. these are in fact large compared to the models. However, in my opinion, it does work visually.
  • Be careful when if you embark on trying to make these. Plan your work to avoid drilling or cutting your fingers.  Also when you cut brass rod pieces make sure you are careful as small pieces may fly all over the place and cause direct damage whilst in flight or indirectly when they plant themselves into your foot at a later date.  I speak from hard earned experience on (all!) these matters.
cdf1b.jpg
The finished product with a base of Saxon Infantry

They are basically done by using model making matchsticks (That are about 5cm x 2mm x 2mm) – you can buy about 1000 of them at ebay for about £4. You need one matchstick for each base. You also need round brass rod (0.5mm) or equivalent. You will need a more than you think – normally they are sold in lengths of about 30cm and each will give you 25 pikes/spears at 12mm. Each chevaux de Frise base will need 28 pikes. 10 No. 30cm rods will give you enough to do 8 to 9 bases.

cdf6
0.5mm round brass rod

Mark up the matchstick in the middle and make seven lines with the same distance from each other and make a mark on the line in the middle.

cdf3
Green marking

Flip the matchstick 90 degrees and extend the original lines and make a mark in the middle between the original lines (I used a red pen to do this).

cdf4.jpg
Red Marking

Cut it in half (do the same mark-up for the other side, or do both at the same time) – use a razor saw and cut it gently to avoid damage – do not use clippers.

Drill the holes using a 0.6mm drill bit with a model drill. It is tempting to use a sharp object and pierce through a hole but it more than often damages the matchstick, so go for the drill approach.

cdf7.jpg
Drilled matchstick piece and a brass rod piece

Cut small pieces from the brass rod. I made mine about 12mm long and stick them in your holes.

cdf9.jpg
Nearly there… (you could stop here and use it as an improvised hand weapon for your larger scale miniatures!)

Then do the rest and slab on some PVA/White glue to make it sturdy and avoid the rod pieces to slide off, then paint it and base it up and you are done.

cdf2.jpg
Fast forward and …. There!

/ Hope that was of some use

Terminators and Sabaton

sabaton5

Just as last year was nearing completion I got an e-mail from Warlord Games indicating that they had a sale on the Terminator – Genisys game that was released last year.  It was reduced from £70 to £20 and although my understanding of economics is that price is an information carrier (i.e. if the price is low the product is usually not that good) I ordered a box.  I checked today (17/01/17) and it looks like there is still a deal on the Genisys game but the cost is now £35.  I also bought a copy of the Pirates of Nassau board game that was reduced significantly too, but that is still in its shrink-wrapped state.

img_1304
Left flank action with some Resistant Soldiers taking on some Machines. The red markers indicate that the model has carried out an action in the turn.

The Genisys box comes with literary everything you need to start playing the game, including miniatures for the resistance (17 No.) and the machines (10 No.), a 2 by 3 battle mat in thick paper and some terrain tiles. The  Little one and I had a go at the basic rules and we were in full swing within minutes  – we played two of the starter scenarios and had a good time overall. The rules are simple and you can activate 0 to 2 models per pulse (part of a turn) depending on a dice roll (with the possibility to activating more if you have leaders). The robots are hard to kill, but with overwhelming fire there is a decent chance of denying the model an action in the turn and hope for that lucky killing shot at some point.  Terrain is important and a model in the open is soon taken down.

img_1309
Marker for shooting at point blank range or moving at normal speed during an activation.

I think we have found ourselves a little fun game to play every now and then.  The small playing surface makes it very easy to set up and play without upsetting any of the other going-ons in the house. A game with the number of miniatures we currently  have does not take very long to complete.

I spent an evening painting them up to a basic standard – it is always better to have some paint on the miniatures than not.

terminators1
The ten Terminators

 

res1
Some resistance soldiers

 

res2
Some more resistance soldiers…

 

More Metal to the People

We also had the pleasure, well not the Little Ones, of seeing Sabaton at the Brixton Academy this weekend.  They were supported by Twilight Force and Accept. Due to events outside of our control we arrived too late to see Twilight Force but instead our first dish of the evening were served by Accept – I have not seen Accept since my younger days and I have to say I was positively surprised and yes they did Balls to the Walls! Powerful and very seasoned.

accept2
Accept at its best with Wolf Hoffmann at the front!

Then the onslaught started!…

Fast as the wind, the invasion has begun

Shaking the ground with the force of thousand guns

First in the line of fire, first into hostile land

Tanks leading the way, leading the way …

… They are the panzer elite, born to compete, never retreat – Ghost Division

In good tradition Sabaton unleashed themselves upon the audience with the eminent song Ghost Division.  The song is about the 7th Panzer Division that both the German Command as well as the French constantly lost track of during the invasion of France in 1940, due to its speedy advance.

Thirteen songs later a break and then a triple encore with the classic Primo Victoria about the D-Day invasion, Shiroyama the final battle of the Samurai and then the sad but brilliant To Hell and Back about the Battle of Anzio.

In short – “Awesome!”.

sabaton3
Joakim, the Singer of Sabaton, with a coat similar to those worn by the soldiers during the Great Northern War, signing the fantastic title track from the epic Carolus Rex album. “I was chosen by heaven, say my name when you pray, to the skies, see Carolus rise!”

 

sabaton2
Anther costume this time depicting another Warrior King, namely Leonidas of Sparta.
sabaton4
Absolutely brilliant show and engaging as always! Well done!

Marching in (Brilliant) Colour

Last week I got my second batch of painted miniatures from Marching in Colour (link here) you may recall from a few updated ago (if not have a look here!).  I am really enjoying this experience and it is nice not needing to do all of it myself – for a change.  I have asked Chris to provide a basic paint job. This allows me to add my chestnut brown ink and to do some final touches before adding/painting flags and basing them to make them seamlessly blend into the existing stock.  I will start working on this batch shortly – I currently have 90 Polemos bases worth of miniatures to complete – 45 cavalry bases (with 9 mounted miniatures to each base) and 45 infantry bases (with 24 miniatures to each base). I have plenty to do and will post about getting through this pile next time.

/  Take Care and Toysoldier on!

Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) Part 3- Feeling Good Multiplying a Supply Column

Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel.

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me
And I’m feeling good

The radio served me this song the other day whilst I was battling a cold and getting used to the concept of needing to get back to work after the Christmas break.  It was the Michael Bublé version of the song that Google, ever so kindly, tells me was originally written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd (Now that is a title!).  I decided to get up and continue doing those damn supply waggons I said I would do in the last TMT Part (see here) a few weeks ago.

I had already done 24 canopies using the moulds I had made. It takes a while as the plaster ideally needs about an hour to set properly.  I had to do some post moulding filing but overall it was easy and very satisfying.

I painted them as I had done the prototype one and in summary I can say that I am happy with the overall result…

waggonsa

waggonsbwaggonsc

…And I’m feeling good

I will do another 12 that will give me a total length of about 1.5m worth of supply train – that is meters and not millions!. I will also do more bases for the column with some pulled artillery, cattle, sheep, pack horses/mules etc. But that is for another day.

On the musical note

I do not go to as many music concerts as I used to. However the next few weeks I have a fair few musical outings to look forward to:

  • I am debating with myself whether I have seen Sabaton eight or nine times in London.  I think Sabaton is a brilliant band and a joy to see live. It is metal and their songs are about warfare and this is not everyone’s cup of tea (or pint of beer) but it is certainty mine.  This time they are playing at the Brixton Academy supported by the German metal band Accept –  most famous to me for the Balls to the Walls song many years ago. There is also a third band called Twilight Force that I am looking forward to see as well. Good night!  I really got inspired when they released their Carolus Rex album and my Fraustadt table at Joy of Six a few years ago was inspired by the song “Killing Ground” (incidentally I put in a link to a video from youtube here if you like 18th century uniforms and some metal ).
  • Next up are the legendary Black Sabbath doing their “The End” gig at the O2 Arena.  I am really looking forward to this and hope it will evoke some of that magic I felt when I first listened to the early songs like Paranoid, Children of the Grave and Iron Man to mention a few.  I let you google Black Sabbath for yourself if you have no idea what I am talking about.
  • The next one is an odd one (for me) and I first came across them whilst browsing for the Rats in the Wall story by H.P Lovecraft a few years back (I did find it here). I found this band called Tiger Lillies performing their song Rats (in the Walls, with a link to youtube here) and was not sure whether it was absolute rubbish or bloody brilliant – I settled for the latter and it seems like the stars have aligned this year and I will be able to see them in early February at the Roundhouse in London. I wonder what the Better One will make of it? If you could stand the above why not try these, Bully Boys and Crack of Doom.  I told you it was odd, did I not?

….And I’m feeling good

I and the little one are off to try out our new Star Wars Ships (from Rogue One) for the X-wing miniatures games. A shout-out for Andrew Wood at Board game Extras (link here) who I have ordered most of the X-wing miniature ships from since the early days. His prices are more than competitive and their customer service, in my experience, is brilliant. One large ship, the U-wing, and a small ship, the TIE Striker. They both look cool and the title ability for the TIE ship seems interesting and potentially useful as well as the new rebel crew cards.

u-wing1

u-wing2

tie-striker

/ And I’m feeling … you got it….Until next