Monday, December 30, 2013

Urban Renewal

Christmas has been and gone, but it proved to have been a very nice one! On the wargaming front I was given a few ex JB Models Airfix kits, which will prove useful for Harad. I also received a Kindle Fire which will also prove useful on the gaming front - both for research and for in game referencing of PDFs.

Sometimes potential is rather hidden.
Whilst shopping before Christmas I came across this rather garnish toy house. I presume that it is a knockoff of another item - the main hint being that it has cast on it half a latch and hinge system but not the other half of the item. It screamed potential.

It came with furnishings. I have a plan on how to use these as well...

My plan was to see if I could turn it in to a suitable BUA for AWI Volley and Bayonet games. This meant that I could tinker with the way I left the open space open on the stand. Rather than having enough room for a full Brigade stand on the base, as I normally do, I instead left room for two Regiment stands to be side by side.


Lucky Products Hessians inspect the house.

Plenty of room on the inside.

 I removed the stickers festooning the house inside and outside, and then sprayed the the whole thing with nice brown spray paint - inside and outside!

Now in a less painful brown colour!

I then mounted it on a base after hacking off any overhanging bits and crudely applied some bogging where required.
Quickly added plastic card - My favourite cladding solution!

Some white plastic card was affixed to the back and was hacked to size.While not an elegant solution, it is a very functional one, especially give the constraints of the V&B BUA base size.

A rather more sedate colour scheme!

I then applied paint, wash, and a new white picket fence for the the front of the yard.

A closer look.

The back was painted in a way that I hope will look streaky and washed out, and hopefully drawing attention away from the neat straight up and down lines. I considered making the lines go side to side but decided that vertical would look better.

Poorly white washed at the rear with two stands of Airfix Americans.

Of course the main effort I am looking for is that of troops behind a fence, in front of a white pillared house.

A much better view - the BUA garrisoned by Airfix figures.

So a rather quick and cheerful conversion ready for the tabletop! Now I just have to paint up some more AWI troops!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Airfix Amusette - WIP

Not the most common type of skirmisher. 
I have had the idea for some time to make an amusette for my AWI British. (For more information on what an amusette is - click here) The idea came to me after reading this thread on TMP, and thinking that I could build one!

The business end of the stand.

The design was inspired by the very nice one produced by the Perrys(click here for link), as well as the Fife and Drum one featured on TMP.

First I needed a larger scale musket, but Ion was kind enough to provide me with one. The wheels and mantlet were from a package of useful stuff that I received from Paul a couple of months ago, while the Airfix figure is one of a number that I had received from Glenn.

One of these flintlocks is not like the other.

At the moment I am thinking of painting up as a Hessian piece, rather than a British one, so I don't have to do any head conversions as a British one should have crew in Light Infantry head gear. I have also mounted it on a skirmisher base for V&B as I intend to treat it as just being a more interesting skirmisher stand with no additional game effect - although I have thought of a number of ways of treating it under the rules.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Vertical Envelopment, or "I can't believe it's not an Osprey!"

Back in September of 2012 I made a post about my small collection of Aircraft Carriers (Click here for that post), and the glacial speed at that I was progressing with that particular project.

Some Not-Ospreys.

In around 2006/2007 I found that Matchbox had released some large cartoon scaled aircraft as part of their Sky Busters range. These were the "Sky Busters: Missions" sets that seemed to have some potential for wargaming. The Rescue Ranger set (click here for a link containing product information) was snapped up by me when I saw some on sale at The Warehouse. It also has cool lights and sounds....

Esci Modern NATO German for comparsion


A closer look.

Group shot with figure for size comparison
Another set in the collection "Coast Patrol" provided another usable aircraft - that I was originally going to convert to use as a Dune style Carry-All, but will use as a more conventional Sky-Hook style heavy helicopter.

Side by side with figure for size comparison.



It is rather a big beast.
 Of course the reason I got them was to allow for vertical envelopment during the moderns amphibious game, which requires them to to be put on one of the toy carriers that will be converted to an amphibious warfare vessel of some type.

Not Ospreys on the not  LPH 

Another view.
Looking down the deck.

 The current plan is to finish bogging the various screw holes, remove the stickers on the aircraft, and then spray them a base grey and then paint on additional detail, such as cockpit windows With luck, I might be able to do this after Christmas Day. Once that's done I will continue slowly working towards doing more on this project.....

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blue Box Trucks

A while back I made a post about some items i picked up from Glenn. Amongst the various kits were some very nice Blue box vehicles - a number of the Bedford RL trucks (for more information on Blue Box RL Bedfords look at this post over at Small Scale World), and an Austin Champ (click here for more information from Small Scale World)  that could pass as a  type of "Beep" (A nickname for the Dodge 3/4 ton truck because it looked like a 'Big Jeep') While the Champ was only 1/4 ton, this over scale model looks  like it could be suitable as a bigger vehicle.

Small Scale World is no doubt known to many of you, as it is an excellent reference guide to all manner of plastic goodness. It is one of my "Go To' sites when I am trying to identify unknown plastic.


A rather useful light truck.

The general look of the vehicles is perfect for use in my imagination moderns campaigns, as they won't look out of place in most pre-1980s Third World  style settings. I also passed a couple on to the Archduke (click here for his initial take)

Troop carrier and Ambulance

A missing door - not replacing it would fit with the general feel of my setting!
In addition to the two above trucks, I also have four trucks missing their original weapons mix, but will either get new weapons - I do like technicals! - or be tuned into cargo or troop trucks.


Four pieces of potential!

Close of the rather detailed control box on the back and the rather nice weapons mount .

Also included were these two jeeps that were in the same style as the Blue Box trucks, but I don't now if these are Blue Box or another companies product. Regardless of origin, they too shall be used to expand the pool of transport vehicles used in CD Moderns games.


Blue box Jeeps - maybe?
 Right, now back to enjoying the slackness of summer!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lucky Products Hessians

I have recently finished the first Hessian stand for Volley and Bayonet using the Lucky products figures I purchased some time ago (Click here for more details). While these are not the most detailed figures available, they do have a certain charm to them. I have painted them as Grenadiers of the Hesse-Cassel Regiment Von Rall. While their breeches were white, many ended up with ones made of red and white striped mattress ticking.

Hessians occupy an unfinished BUA.

The model building in the background is an experimental design by Fitz from Shouting into the Void. He kindly designed a basic building for use on the school laser cutter. Hopefully I should be able to show him an example within the next few days.

A close up of the stand.

For the Brandywine scenario I need to base up another stand of Hessians to complete the Grenadier brigade. I will probably use the same format, but perhaps adding on a few more figures with mitres. I have toyed with trimming the trumpet like instrument back to a more fife like size, but I feel this would defeat the purpose of using these figures, by removing some of their quirkiness.

Angled for the camera.

Oddly enough, the fifer has what appears to be a regular sized fife case sculpted on the figure. Still I think that my Hessians will fight better for having a war trumpet rather than a fife!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Parcels, Pikes, and Planes

Life has been somewhat eventful of late, but I have managed to get a few gaming related things done. recently I was generously sent a parcel of goodies by Paul (from Plastic Warriors) that contained some more Esci gabions, some more pieces from the Esci Battlefield Accessory set, and a Matchbox Saracen armoured car.

The parcel from Paul. Cheers Paul!
 I have been continuing to try and improve my BUAs by varying the size of the gables and walls, but also by trying to create a brick effect. The next step will be trying to get windows and doors cut. With the aid of someone else's very clever work I may have a solution to show in the next post.


Bigger walls and gables.

Brickwork walls and gables!
 I also attended Conquest last weekend. While there Rodger (from Rebel Barracks) kindly gave me some more gabions, some more bits of the Esci accessory set, and two sets of the Imex AWI artillery in 1/72.

More stuff for AWI V&B kindly provided by Rodger.
I also took part in a demonstration game of "Pike and Shotte" that I thoroughly enjoyed, and managed to make a few small purchases. A number of 1/144 scale jets that I plan to use for Harad games.


Four  J-35s awaiting construction.

A rather nice Sabre kit.
A pretty smart looking Saudi Lightning.
 Afterwards I went and saw Glenn and acquired a vast haul of vehicles and figures. The vehicles were in various states of disarray, but will prove a source of fun through refurbishment and use on the tabletop. Some of what I acquired I have passed on to Archduke Piccolo (click here for link), but I have greedily kept a great deal for myself! I was also meant to see Glenn on Wednesday, but events conspired against me - with luck I might be able to catch up this weekend with him?

Lots of nice bits!

Some very useful vehicles.

Figures for the WW1 project.


Some Tigers for the Archduke.

Glenn also gave me a B-17 kit to pass on to Mr K. - who is quite delighted with the addition to his air fleet!

Classic Airfix box art!

Complete with bonus 57mm gun!


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wagons Ho!

Since I have been tidying unfinished bits and pieces of my Volley and Bayonet AWI project, I thought I might do a quick post about some of the wagons that I am doing up for use as logistics elements. V&B doesn't require logistics elements on the tabletop, but I like having logistics elements available for my toy armies.

My drivers are mounted on the wrong horse! they should be on the left rear horse!

The two big Conestoga wagons come from the Imex Conestoga Wagon set (PSR link here), which is currently available bundled with the Imex  American Pioneers set (PSR review here) as the Billy V toys American Western Settlers set that retails at around US$10. The Billy V sets are very good value and seem to be the cheapest way of getting Imex sets.

It is a very long model!

The Conestoga wagons were first used in the early part of the 18th Century in Pennsylvania, so I might even be able to use them for Braddock's campaign during the French and Indian Wars. The other wagon I have painted up is one from the BUM Far West Town sets I purchased earlier this year (for more details see this post) I have removed the driver of the wagon, and added a running Airfix soldier to try and catch up with the horse!

Another logistics element completed.
The final picture for this post is my set of eight completed Esci Gabions. These come two at a time from the Esci Battlefield Accessory kit (PSR review here). While I don't have four of these sets, I do have enough bits and bobs from them to make using parts of them a serious proposition.

Not the easiest item to assemble.


 I have been slowly acquiring these items, so when I found I had accrued a reasonable number I assembled them, and mounted them on 5 cent coins then filled them up with artists medium.These should prove useful in denoting that a stand is in a prepared position.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blue Roofed BUAs

Real life has been interfering with the hobby of late, but I have been quietly ticking away at a few projects. one of these is making up BUAs (Built Up Areas) for Volley and Bayonet, and continuing with the refurbishment of painted Airfix figures in order to quickly make up stands of V&B troops.

A V&B BUA - complete with white picket fences.

The lift out section of the BUA next to the main portion. The building from my friend is the big one on the main section.

The rules call for BUAs to be 4 inches by 6 inches with a 3 inch by inch  space in the template to allow for the placement of occupying troops. The idea of having a lift out building which is then replaced by the occupying stands is one that I have stolen from Robin (from Wargamingnz) and Adrian (whose V&B colonial BUAs are amazing)

As I am currently trawling through my wargaming terrain, I discovered a building that had been given to me by a friend before he left to live in the UK sometime in the mid to late 1990s. While it is scaled to 15mm, I figured that it was perfect for use in V&B - all it needed was roofing, painting, and basing - tasks I had put off doing for some time!


It has a rather nice style of construction that I will attempt to copy. 

My friend built it out of heavy construction cardboard, which has proven to be very durable.
 Naturally I have to include a photo of the BUA occupied by a couple of stands of my refurbished Airfix troops. These figures are part of a large number that I acquired from Mr Airfix recently. Glenn and Geoff also kindly supplied me with some of their old painted AWI Airfix figures that I am currently refurbishing the American figures from (Hopefully I will get two stands worth!).

Occupied or liberated? US troops hold the BUA.

The construction of the BUA allows for alternate building configurations.
I have also manged to refurbish another stand of infantry form figures supplied by Glenn. These figures had the majority of their paintwork flaked off, but since the uniform was mainly white, I figured it was worth making an attempt to save them. After all, someone went to a great deal of effort putting toothbrush mustaches on all of them!

Another stand of refurbished Airfix figures. These fellows are probably French - but let me know if you know better!

Refurbished AWI Britsh. The figures were kindly given to me from Geoff and Glenn's collection of old painted figures.

The refurbishment project has been generating a number of AWI stands, but I am slowly painting up some figures from scratch. The priority at the moment is to finish off a number of terrain projects so I can safely store all my terrain, and also dispose of some of the "useful bits for terrain making" that I have been holding on to for too long.

Another V&B BUA awaits the final finishing touches.
My current plan is to finish up the BUAs for V&B, then move on to during some final bits and pieces for Harad, and then do some WW2 terrain. Like all plans this one may be subject to change!