Double Joy at Six, Tiger Lillies, bare winter trees and headswaps

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A little bit longer blog this time…

Neil Shuck doing Sharp Practice in 6mm at Joy of Six

There are some very good news indeed with regards to Joy of Six this year, from my and I believe many others perspective, as Neil Shuck will be running some Sharp Practice in 6mm using my French Indian War stuff I did last year. You may recall that I and Neil did the Saga in 6mm last year. Neil will be developing a scenario so we are not yet fully sure what will happen on the day, but we will let you know as and when the mystery unfolds.

Most of you, I suppose, know that Neil Shuck is the man behind the, in my opinion, best wargames podcast available called “Meeples and Miniatures”.  If you have not listened to Neil and his co-host give it a go, it is more than worth it (there is a link below).  I have been listening to it for years and it has given my joy, inspiration as well as sound investment advice.

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There are of course other podcasts out there, including the new, and equally, addictive Veteran Wargamer as well as the long running Wargames Recon show that are also very good.  As I have said before listening to podcasts and audiobooks is my way of keeping my hands free to do painting and modelling.

Joy of Six is a show that from one perspective could be seen as an exclusive 6mm event but that would be a very (did I say very) narrow view, instead I, and perhaps you should too, see it as a fantastic event that bring something to all wargamers.  To get an idea what it is all about you should check out the link to the show report from 2016 below. Personally it is another chance to see Dan Hodgson’s amazing Star Wars stuff that I totally missed out on last time due to the demand around the Saga tables.

Thanks Neil! Looking forward to seeing you again.

I will be running the Great Northern War Battle of Lesnaya 1708, if I ever get there!

Here are a few useful links with regards to the above:

  1. Joy of Six to be held in Sheffield on the 16th July 2017
  2. Sharp Practice in 6mm (many more associated posts on the blog)
  3. Saga in 6mm that I did with Neil last year.
  4. Joy of Six show report from 2016, Part 1 and Part 2.
  5. Meeples and Miniatures webpage, the best wargames show.
  6. Veteran Wargamers webpage, the best new wargames show.
  7. Wargames Recon webpage, the longest running wargames show on the planet.

Bare Winter Trees for my Chain of Command Winter War Project

I am finishing of the stuff I need for running some Winter War battles with regards to terrain and markers (see more background here and here). Trees are very important to get the right feeling and my current focus are on these.  I already have a fair few pine type of trees (Christmas trees) and these are just the same Summer and Winter apart from some snow flock on top,  but also wanted some bare (leaf less) winter trees.  To get the right look I have considered Sea foam (but it seems to brittle for my requirements), making it with wires (but it seems too time consuming to do large quantities) or to go out looking for twiglets (but this gives limited amount of branches, unless you look very hard!).  What follows is how I intend to do my bare forest.

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A picture of a river with some bare trees in the foreground during the Winter War, the objective of this little note.  Picture taken from SA-kuva (Finnish Armed Forces Photographs) and you can find their webpage here.

 

 I went to eBay and found these trees (see below) and thought I give it a try. As they come from China it could have taken a while to get them in the post – but I was pleasantly surprised to get them delivered in a week.

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The look pretty much like the picture and if you were in severe rush you could probably base them and field them like this.  I took a few more steps and I have written a narrative of what I did in the text for each picture on what I did. I thought this could have some general interest.

What you need:

  1. The trees shown above (go to ebay and search for them, you can by other quantities, the one above is for 50 trees 5X 10X).
  2. Something to cut with (whatever you have clippers, nail scissors, etc. The plastic is very soft)
  3. Washers (for bases) mine were 25cm in diameter.
  4. Super glue
  5. Putty or green stuff
  6. Primer (I used Black Gesso)
  7. Paints for the trunk and branches (see below for the ones I used)
  8. Modge Podge (Matte), but perhaps PVA is as good
  9. Modelling Snow Flock
  10. Some sealer (have not done that yet) – maybe a matte spray varnish would be best?

 

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As they come, a plastic brownish feel and those arrow heads at the end.  I suppose they are there to help keeping it together if you apply clump foliage. There is some nice structure on the trunk making it look like a tree.
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I cut away all the arrow heads (and also the bottom part that is still present on the picture).
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I superglued it on a washer (yes I did forget a few of the arrowheads but sorted that out later) and put some putty to support it at the bottom.
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I prime it black using Black Gesso. I find Gesso very good for priming plastic stuff.
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I used Vallejo model colour and did a heavy drybrush over the whole tree and then a 50/50 mix with whire of light drybrushing. I feel this is a better generic tree colour than the brown before!  I may do a few to look like birch trees when I do full production later.
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I applied Modge Podge (Matte) on the branches where I wanted snow to stick. Do not cover everywhere as it more effectful to see some of the branches too. Put some on the base as well. Try to put on generously wihout too much drip (if that makes sense!).
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Let it snow, I use spoon to apply the snow modelling flock from above.  Shake off and apply more Modge Podge until you are happy with the result.

 

 

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The finalized tree next to a little Cabin (I do not remember who produced these and it broke my heart covering the nicely modelled roof with Modge Podge and Snowflock!, but now I think it was worth it) and a Finnish Submachine gunner in 15mm (from Resistant Rooster I believe with a Peter Pig headswap). Maybe the trees would work in 28mm too?  I will try to make the bases less bulky in the future and will not put on any sand and keep them as they are after applying the putty as they will be covered with snow anyway. All I need to do is to put the production machine on and do another 119 of these!

 

 

Tiger Lillies

I went to see Tiger Lillies perform at the Camden Roundhouse in London this Friday. The concert was in celebration of their latest album released last week called ‘Cold Night in Soho’. It was their only gig in London as was advertised and promised as a night to remember.  As I may have uttered before, the first time I heard them I was not sure whether it was absolute rubbish or bloody brilliant – I settled for the latter and this concert yet again proved that decision was the right one, being a mixture of old and new and I really enjoyed every minute.

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This is one of those very fine British cultural treasures and to quote the roundhouse webpage, “The music they produce is a mixture of pre-war Berlin cabaret, anarchic opera an gypsy music, echoing the voices of Bertholt Brecht and Jacques Brel”.  Check them out here.

Could not resist chopping some heads

With regards to the Genisys project I did say I did not need any more miniatures, but I got a good deal on the John Connor and a Lieutenant set the other day so I could not resist getting these.  What would the resistance be without John Connor?. Also I thought I would convert some of the resistance soldiers by using heads from Badsquiddo games (link here., I recommend a visit) to bring some gender balance in the resistance to the machines.  Just as a note, one of the miniatures on each sprue in the box is a woman, but I wanted some more variety.  I had also waited for an opportunity to use these heads since became aware of what Annie at Badsquiddo is doing.

Here are the shots of the resistance miniatures with the headswaps done (have not yet started painting them).

You may think the heads are a bit too big, and perhaps they are?  They are good enough for my purposes. However, and this is great, they are sold in three different sizes fine, pulp and heroic. I bought the heroic ones and perhaps a size or two down would work better.

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Incoming ships

I also got my order of “wave whatever” ships for the X-wing miniature games, I have lost count of what wave it is (I think it is Wave 10!). However, they are very nice indeed and I suppose we have to test fly them soon.

The Quadjumper and Upsilon-class Shuttle from the Force Awakens movie as well as Sabine’s TIE fighter from the Rebels series.

I also got some plastic toy cars that I intend to use for the Winter War project, but more on that another time.

Thanks for not asking about progress on the TMT project!

/ May the force be with you

All relatively quiet on the hobby front and Black Sabbath

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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!

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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

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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.

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/ And I am feeling good!

Terminators and Sabaton

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The ten Terminators

 

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Some resistance soldiers

 

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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.

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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!”.

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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!”

 

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Anther costume this time depicting another Warrior King, namely Leonidas of Sparta.
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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…

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…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.

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

 

 

 

Vikings in Town and some 6mm Great Northern War Norwegians

Vikings in Town

We were blessed with the presence of Amon Amarth in London on Friday last week as part of their Jomsviking European Tour – it was a very good show and awoke those old Scandinavian rhythms inside. We, I and the Beautiful One, missed the first support band but managed to see most of Testament – a band from my youth who sounded as good as ever! – it was a fantastic evening.   Thank you Amon Amarth!

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Johan Hegg is a bloody brilliant front man for an impressively tight and talented band.

 

Mounted Norwegians for the Great Northern War

 A while ago I re-read the eminent “Notes on the Norwegian Army 1700-1720” by Daniel A. Schorr and got inspired to do a few bases of Norwegian cavalry and infantry [the booklet, in PDF form, used to be available on-line in the past but I can not located it anymore].  I got about halfway in painting a fair few bases of dragoons and infantry a few months back so I thought it was time to get these finalised and completed a few of the bases.   I used Baccus Russian GNW Dragoons for these mixed with a few WSS cavalry (not the latest re-sculpts). These are suppose to represent the units at around 1701. In addition to the Schorr piece I used “Tacitus” eminent page on Norwegian units as a painting guide (you can find it here). Notes from his page are included in italics below.

Fölckersamb Dragon regiment

1701 The national [skrevne] companies had blue coats with lining and trimming in white, and the enlisted [geworbne] companies had blue coats with lining and trimming in green. [I painted the saddle details etc. in blue with white/green trim].

Sehested Rytter regiment

1701 The regiment would continue to wear light grey coats with red lining after the reorganization to dragoons. [I painted the saddle details etc. in red with white trim. The regiment was re-organized in 1701 but I base them as if they were normal horse].

This week I will finish some of the infantry and tidy up these a little bit. Yes I know I ought to work on the big TMT project but I just needed to get these out of the way. I am tempted to do some dismounted dragoon bases as well to complement these – but let us get some overall progress on the other stuff first.

Here is a painting guide for Norwegian Infantry with some colours to use as well. I do the flags about 8mm high for my 6mm miniatures. Cut them out and stick them together with PVA glue around the flagpole, add some paint when dry if required – I suppose you know the drill.

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Painting Guide for infantry with Colours. If you fail to use these for your purposes get in touch and I send you some better files.

 

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/ All the best