Monday, September 26, 2011

2mm Star Wars Works in Progress

I've shown off some pictures before of my 2mm Star Wars project as I've been working on painting the bases. I'm still working on the green bases (for temperate worlds), and a few test runs of the snow bases, and to keep my enthusiasm up, I've dabbled with painting some of the figures themselves, "as pilot projects" mind you.

Here are some of the works in progress. The bases aren't finished, and I'm not entirely happy with the texture of some of them, but like I said, I needed a break from two weeks of painting one shade of green and one shade of white!

The Rebels at least have the sense to camouflage their speeders on temperate worlds. I still have to do the detailing - cockpit, blasters, engines, but the camo's done, just a simple two-greens scheme.

The Stormtroopers of course just challenge you to shoot them, in the "we're so dangerous we make it easy to see us, fool" school of camouflage (c.f. Cylons). Besides tidying up the bases, I need to add a simple black line to show where the rifles are. It's actually easier to see where the rifles are supposed to be after the wash (black) and drybrush (white); before I couldn't even figure out where the front of the base was.

Gaming distance shot:
The AT-ST's also don't believe in camo. I've painted these a lighter shade of gray than the snow AT-AT's and AT-ST's, as you'll see below. I thought it contrasted better. Still need to detail these:
And the snow walkers:The base coat needs another application, then I can get into detailing and drybrushing.

I think I'm almost out of the green phase other than touch-ups, just a bunch more of the Hoth units and then I can paint the figures en masse (unless I get distracted...).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Battle of Novi Photos

This past weekend was the "Big Game" weekend at the 6mm Napoleonics (and FIW, AWI, 1812) club I play in. Both days were separate re-fights of the Battle of Novi in 1799, using modified Polemos rules that are slated for eventual production. I was only there on the Sunday, assuming the role of the heroic, if slightly tardy, Russian commander Derfelden. There were two other Allied commanders, one playing Kray, the other Suvorov/Melas (a fourth commander didn't make it). Against us were a lot of Frenchmen on a hill under four commanders.

I only remembered to take photos prior to game play, and towards the last few turns, so this is a potted, Russo-centric history of the battle, which ended a minor Allied victory. I've annotated some of the photos, I suspect the French will disagree with some of them... You can click on the photos for larger versions with more readable annotations.

Here's the big view, with the initial Austrian forces off-screen to the bottom left:

However, here are those Austrians:
They bore the brunt of the fighting for much of the game. As they'd gained some initial successes, the overall commander continued to feed them Tempo Points (initiative), even when my veteran soldiers with plodding commanders finally started to arrive:There was a gap between some of the French forces to start, but they used the lull before the Russians arrived to pull forces from their right to try to fill it. My initial orders included the command to get my Cossacks up into the gap to raise a little hell (but not actually fight anyone if possible). As it turned out, the gap wasn't so gap-py by the time I got there.

Straight up ahead of my units was the town of Novi, to the left before the hill/terraces was the start of the rather extensive vineyard (portrayed by trees,but really vines) seen above.The vineyard was rough ground for movement, but didn't prevent the French from cannonading my troops whenever possible.

In the meanwhile, with some inspiration from Bagration, my heroic Cossacks got into onto the hill, only to promptly be surrounded on three sides by French cavalry, and attacked on two of those sides.

However, like the drunken smelly buggars they are, my Cossacks threw back both attacks, escaped the trap, and went and hung out in the vineyard for the rest of the game, occasionally getting cannonballs in their direction. I like to think the French commanders were briefly traumatized by the affair.

Eventually the rest of the Austrians started to show up on our left, but things were winding down by then. The French had a battery facing them down the road, but just as things ended it ran into some supply problems and was vulnerable.

So here's how far my troops got. You can see they occupied one arm of the vineyard and were working towards popping a hole in the French line where they didn't have any ready artillery support. I actually had a second French battalion driven back by the time the game ended. Not enought to do anything yet, but with some Tempo Points over the next few turns I like to think I could have widened it further.
However, our victory was mainly because of what was happened on the right, which was a real bloodbath but with more French blood than Austrian. I've drawn a line showing roughly how much of the plateau was Austrian by the end, but things were still heated up there.
And to show you how much blood was spilt, here's the French dead pile:Curiously, the Allied illustrators forgot to portray the Austrian dead pile.

For more information on the club, here's the website (it's a bit dated, but you can contact Glenn through it).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

B is for Beer

A few years ago I started coming across cool individual WWII plane identification references for the RAF like "B is for Beer" and "R is for Robert", although I'm sure I've come across them before, but never consciously noticed them ("beer" probably got my attention this time). Early attempts to find the complete list failed, but recently I found the entire 1942-43 RAF phonetic alphabet online, so here it is:

A Apple
B Beer
C Charlie
D Dog
E Edward
F Freddy
G George
H Harry
I In
J Johnny (Jug)
K King
L Love
M Mother
N Nuts
O Orange
P Peter
Q Queen
R Robert (Roger)
S Sugar
T Tommy
U Uncle
V Vic
W William
X X-Ray
Y Yoke (Yorker)
Z Zebra

Land forces at the time were using the Abel, Baker, Charlie etc. system, replaced in 1956 by the modern NATO system of Alpha, Bravo, Charlie etc. (ain't the internet wonderful).

So now when I add ID codes in decal to my British and Canadian planes, I'll make sure I know how to translate them.

Friday, September 9, 2011

On the Table(s)

Right now projects are spread out over three different tables, and I'm trying to clear off at least two of them to get my efforts in synch, rather than the usual "start something, get distracted, leave it on the table for four months".

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them, as usual.

Of course, yesterday my Brigade Models UK parcel arrived after their Land Ironclads and Aeronef sale, so I promptly used some of the new big textured bases I got to mount some of my 2mm alien army:Some are purchased shells from the dollar store (have a bunch more for terrain) while the various snails are from a local beach. I've turned the bigger snails 90 degrees so they have an obvious front.

I'm not sure what these aliens will be in my VSF world, they don't really fit into my Wells+Space 1889 visions of Mars and Venus. Maybe from outside the solar system, maybe the wildlife of Mars, maybe Martian bio-units. I'm going to try painting a hole underneath some of the snails so they'll look like they're worms emerging from the ground.

I've finally gotten some progress on various wooden birdhouses and Creatology puzzle that I'm converting for various uses. The two on the left will be Tudor-esque, the one of the right more of a North American wooden construction. Two got fancy roofs, the leftmost will just be painted up.

Some 2mm forts and castles. Front and back are for India, in the middle is a Vauban fort for 18th century Europe.
Star Wars + 18th Century India here!To the left are some Indian units I'm painting up the bases for. Snowspeeders are in the background. The AT-AT's (and one AT-ST) are for Hoth, so I'm trying for an ice planet paint job by going white, then blue wash, then white wetbrush. I've gotten through two out of three...

More Star Wars 2mm in progress. These are the green world forces (sand world and ice world are the other two) for both Rebels and Imperials. You can also see in the background a Roland two-seater I'm working on for WWI.