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

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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

 

 

 

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!

Saga in 6mm – Part 12 – Faction Ideas

I wanted to do a short note on some of the additional Saga factions I intend to do next. I have been diverted doing some other stuff and the good weather has been non-inspiring with regards to painting.

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Senator shuttle, debris fields, satellites for X-wing from Combatzone Scenery and some laser turrets I bought off ebay ages ago.  Immersion and diversion level increasing.

The following are my notes on the three factions in the SAGA supplement called Varjazi & Basileus (all reference are to Baccus figure codes):

Pagan Rus

Starting army: Warlord (EMV01 -Armoured Spearmen), 2 No. Hearthguard (EMV01 -Armoured Spearmen), Warrior (EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen) and Levy with Javelins (ALR04 – Lanciarii)

For these I would just use the Baccus Viking codes (Spearmen) for hearthguard and some later roman lanciarii for Levy Javelins (although by now I have painted more of the buggers than I would have liked to).

Byzantium

Starting Army: Mounted Warlord (CIS01 – Seljuq Turk Heavy Cavalry), Mounted Hearthguard (CIS01 – Seljuq Turk Heavy Cavalry), Mounted Hearthguard with Bow (ASS02- Armoured Horse Archers), Warriors (EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen), Warriors with Bow (ALR05 – Archer).

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Seljuq Turk Cavalry from Baccus Crusade Range

 

This gets slightly more interesting and I thing the codes above gives a nice mixture of different troop types.

Princes Era Rus

Starting Army: Mounted Warlord (CFR04 – Turcopoles), 2 No. Mounted Hearthguard (CFR04 – Turcopoles), Warrior (EMV02 – Unarmoured Spearmen) and Warrior with Bow (ALR05 – Archer).

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Turcopoles from Baccus Crusader Range

/ All the best