Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm not going to make it...

So, it has become quite clear to me that there is no way I am going to get the whole lot painted by Sunday. I now have basic uniform colours roughly blocked in, but that is as far as it is going to get.

Painting an entire army at once can lead to burn out very quickly. Even with 6 different cavalry and 4 different infantry uniforms to paint.

I am definitely looking forward to getting back to the 18th Century. My soon to be 11 year old daughter has expressed an interest in playing, so it's back to the age old question of scale and rules again. Who knows I might even skip the GNW and advance to the SYW. Either that or the various Russo-Turkic wars or the lovely new 15mm Caucasian range coming out in support of FoGR, a rule set I have no strong interest in, but oh those lovely figures.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Panic! in Detroit?

Now the icy fingers of fear begin to clutch. The only thing worse than not getting my figures has happened. I got my figures. A not insubstantial package loaded with troops.

6 units of cavalry, two of them large, and 6 units of infantry, 5 of them large as well.

12 cavalry to a regular unit, 18 to a large. I hate painting horses, but this is almost bearable, only 84 flea bitten nags to do.

It's the bleeding infantry that scares me. Almost 200 of them to deal with. 192 plus the casualties I neglected to order before.

At least my bases have shipped, so after prep, prime and paint, I can face the joy of 66 bases to do before game time.

Who needs to eat, or sleep, or breathe? Not me. I have troops to paint, and base and...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Making Progress, but am I on Schedule?

As of tonight I have two batteries of atillery painted and ready for base flocking. Jager and Grenzer skirmishers are base coated and will recieve detailing and hopefully flocking tomorrow. 2 our of 4 sets of command figures are on their bases and all are base coated.

Waiting on bases from Litko to finish the limbers for the artillery and to base the other 2 subcommanders. My line infantry and cavalry are still listed as "pending" and I realize I forgot to order casualty figures.

No panic yet. Infantry and cavalry don't begin to appear on the schedule until Monday and I have almost a week's cusion at the end.

Since I have to order some casualties anyway I am going to plump for some GNW Russians or Ottomans along with them.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Now Istanbul, not Constantinople

Well, it's nobody's business but the Turks!

Just like a typical wargamer, one project is barely begun and I am thinking about the next one. In this case it is the next combatant in Oobleckistan. Looking to stay with Horse&Musket this year, there is some nice modern kit out there, but H&M first, I have decided that Ottomans make a good choice.

The Oblask has always set on the frontiers of the Ottoman Empire and Ottomans look very similar over a time period stretching from the late renessance to the early 19th Century. Kurushan Miniatures has announced Eastern Ren figures in 15mm (drool), Baccus 6mm are promising us at long last 6mm Ottomans and I have a Napoleonic Austrian army in progress in need of opponents. It all points to my need for Ottomans. Besides I have a bunch of GNW Russians waiting to be based.

I figure if I base to a 40mm frontage I will be good for most rulesets, and will have a multi-period army to boot.

I am still debating starting 28mm armies for the C18. They would look smashing, it's just that I really prefer painting the smaller figures. Time will tell on that.

As for the buildings I wrote about a post or two ago, I have a couple built up now, and they don't look as bad as I had feared next to the figures. I'll grant that 18mm figures are pretty close to looking in the second story windows, but if a base represents a large group of men, the effect is livable. They would look quite out of place in a skirmish game though.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Today my order from Scale Creep arrived with Pioneers. Lots of them, and Dick Turpin at the Crossroads. This latter is not really for the Oobleckistan project, at least so far as I know, but it sounded cool. When I get him painted a picture will of course appear.

Allong with Pioneers I recieved the Fantassin Austrian General and ADC. These complete my command roster. 1 CinC and 3 subcommanders.

On to the subject at hand. The pioneers I was for the most part ordering blind. The Fantassin ones are huge! 4 big hulking lads with axes are in the pack. One or two of them on a base and I have a very good marker. ( Pack KN-28)

The others I ordered from Hallmark, (Packs MC-1 and AE25) and despite searching could find no pictures to guide me. These are an entirely different order of men. Compared to the Fantassin they are tiny! Not on the same base, not in the same unit, probably not in the same army, maybe not even on the same table tiny! The sculpting is well up to Hallmark's usual fanastic standard. These men are individuals, some are balding, some thin, some stocky, great stuff. The men are all in shirtsleeves as befits labourers at work, save for one armoured "supervisor". There is a nicely done coat on a post piece included in the pack, a fun touch. The men are equiped with a variety of shoves and rakes and implements of destruction. One man is driving his shovel into the ground, another has a spadefull of earth he is about to fling. There is a wheel barrow loaded with earth, and two more of the same empty. The shirts have lace collars and look like the (in)famous "poofy shirt" of Seinfeld fame. So I judge the men to be late 17th or early 18th Century, but could pass for earlier or later with a bit of file and putty work, or just appropriate painting.

I am quite pleased with the lot and what doesn't get used for Napoleonics in the Thirty Days Project, sold or traded to other members of my club, will be painted and used for 18th Century gaming. Indeed I will probably order more of these so as to do a large scale seige game with proper sappers.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Brown and Grey, and Blue - Besides...

No I have not suddenly turned into Peter Frampton. ;-)

Rather I have begun painting. The artillery park and the skirmishers arrived yesterday, along with Marshall Ney.

Napoleonic Austrians are definitely not all white. There's all those colourful unit facings ;-)

Actually Grenzers and Jagers are not white at all, but brown and grey, and blue besides. So for that matter are the artillery crew, they do have white paints though.

I have discovered a couple of new bits of knowledge concerning Napoleonic Austrians. The first is they had a terrible record. Could this be due to wearing high visibility white uniforms? Second the artillery included a large proportion of Handlangers whose job it was to manhandle the guns. They wore the same uniform as the gunners, but with light blue instead of red facings. Get how I am painting all those guys with trail spikes? The third thing I have learned about austrian artillery concerns painting them. My ochre paint stinks! Really. It is an old bottle Polly-Scale model railroad colour and it has a distinct aroma.

I also realized I forgot to order extra guns to place behind the limbers. Not a big problem, a 4-horse limber eats up enough base size as is, I can always place a gun base turned backwards behind the limber base. Much though I love impedimentia I am not ordering amunition wagons, etc - yet.

Still looking forward in anticipation to the arival of infantry and cavalry....

Friday, January 7, 2011

Buiding a Remedy....

The waiting is the hardest part of starting a new project. My artillery park has shipped, which means I should be able to start on it Monday.

In the mean time, I realize I have very few suitable buildings for Europe. A google search for cardstock model buildings brought me to a delightful Swiss site. At least I think it's Swiss, I don't read German and the google translation is spotty. The point being that it has over 40 historical buildings free for download as card models.

The buildings represent many of the buildings from a village or town, as well as some farms. Perfect for C18 and 19 Oobleckistan. I am not sure exactly what scale they are. The site mentions using them with N and Z scale model trains, and I am printing them at 89% to fit US letter paper. The result looks to be somewhere between 6mm and 10mm scale judging by the size of doors etc. I plan to use them with 15mm figures, and hope that they look ok. I base my 15s on Litko 3mm bases, so I will probably need to invest in some MDF to base my town sections on, just so it doesn't look too much like Gulliver's Travels. Buildings and scenery to scale with either figures or ground scale never look exactly accurate anyway, so...

Here is the link to the buildings:

I'll post photos as soon as there is something to show.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Thirty Days begin...

One month from today on 6 February our club will be having a Lasalle Tournament. Nothing like an actual scheduled game to get the fires moving.

So begins the "Thirty Days" project, Napoleon had One Hundred and look where it got him ;-) Surely I can do better than exile?

The first step is of course army selection. After a brief bit of scouring for recomendations I have determined the following: 1: The army will be 15mm (my favourite gaming scale). 2: The army will be Austrians as that and Prussians are what is lacking at the club. (Prusia just doesn't grab me.) 3: I will be using the "Avant Garde" list with a cavalry support option.

I still need to decide which cavalry support option will be using so I can order figures. Then the waiting begins... In the mean time I can happily research Napeonic Wargaming Tactics, learn the rules using proxy bases, etc.

My Austrians will feature a large number of Hungarian rather than German troops, and definitely will include the fashionable helmets. These two features will lend them well to Imagi-Nation play as well as saving me from an all white army.

I will prime in white and paint the hands, faces and guns first, just in case....

This is not cheating. I once played most of an F&I game at the club before I noticed that the Indians had simply been primed white and given a wash of brown ink. No actual painting at all...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm Back!

Well it's been a few months since I posted here. I wish I could report on all sorts of juicy gaming activity, but that's just not the case.

I've accomplished very little gaming or painting during the past year, but this year I hope to change that.

My semi-local wargames club has gotten me interested in Napoleonics. They have been playing Lasalle in bothe 15mm and 28mm so I now have the possibility of regular opponents and the motivation to actually paint stuff that comes with that.

I have been given to know that Austrians and Prussians are the most under represented in teh club. So I will be doing Autrians. 15mm is my scale of choice between the two in play. (I would actually prefer 6mm, but takes what I can gets.)

When the promised Victrix plastic Austrians are released I will do a small 28mm force of those, before then it will be 15s.

Yes, I know, neither Austria nor Prussia has much of an interest in Oobleckistan. So I will also be doing forces for the Russo-Turkish war of the period. A perfect match for our long suffering Oblask, and the Russians can certainly be used for more mainstream Napoleonic games.

The way I figure it, if I relocate the 19th Century version of Oobleckistan from the shores of teh Caspian sea to the shores of the Black Sea, near Moldavia, thus putting it at the confluence of three empires, Austria-Hungary, Russia, and the Ottoman Turks, I should be able to do semi-plausable "what if?" games involving all three powers. Thus enabling me to play Napoleonics, avoid the ubiquitous French, collect my main interest the Russians and secondarilly the Ottomans, while still having reason to field my Austrians for more than just club games.

And with the fairly static appearance of Ottoman troops (at least as far as my local opponents know)I can field them for both 18th and 19th century games.

At last a wargames project to really sink my teeth into....