Saturday 29 September 2012

Lucky Products AWI Troops - Recent Reinforcements

Recently an online auction site based in NZ, had some of the Lucky Products AWI troops for sale. They were offered in two separate lots, one of the British forces, and one of the American forces. I got very excited by this and ended up paying NZ$164 for both lots (including shipping). This was slightly more than I had hoped to pay, but I am still happy with the amount I spent. In the big scheme of things, it is a very small price to pay for being able to achieve a minor childhood dream!

The blue lot contained some 10 cannon, 29 cavalry, and some 113  assorted foot.

The red lot contained some 5 cannon, 27 cavalry, and some 101 assorted foot.
This means that I should be able to field some quite large AWI forces for use with Volley and Bayonet. Now while the ad gives a list of what set should contain, it doesn't provide a means of matching the figures supplied to what they represent. While many of the figures are quite straight forward, others are less so. Using a combination of logic, and the research of others I am labeling the following pictures with what appears to be the the most likely title for its pose.

Cannon mounted with loader on a V&B 1.5" by 3" base with a  dragoon  for size comparison.  Also included is the original ad in a 'Scrooge McDuck' comic.


Shooting infantry.

Marching infantry.

Crouching infantry.

The officers.


The advancing pose. This is meant to be the charging infantrymen in the set description.


The cannons. They look much better once glued on a base.

The cannon loader figure in all its awkward glory!

Drummers. The drum is a much better size than the ones often found in  Esci sets.

Minutemen - These figures should only be supplied in blue plastic as part of the American force.

Hessians - These figures should only be supplied in red plastic as part of the British forces.

While virtually every other figure manufacturer producing AWI figures has produced better figures, these figures will always hold a great deal of appeal to me due to their comic book ads. Now to base and paint them and fight the battles I imagined having when I was a kid!

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Dry Dock

I took these photos yesterday of my carrier fleet. During my last visit to Glenn, I mentioned my carriers, and said I would do a post on them. My purchase of large toy aircraft carriers started in around 2003 or 2004, when the Countdown chain of supermarkets brought in a range of large toys for sale at around the $100 price point. These toys were largely of the large truck/ fire engine variety - but there were also aircraft carriers. taking my inspiration from a couple of articles/pictorials that had appeared in Wargames Illustrated using large cartoon scale scale ships I purchased two - and the second one took some doing to find!

The fleet of six sitting in drydock - my driveway!
 These first two purchases are the largest of the carriers and have a rather nice black flight deck. Naturally, they came with an air wing, electric sounds and lights and can move well, albeit slowly. Racing them has also proved to be a surprising popular activity.....

I have placed  a 1/72 Esci figure for comparison purposes on the flight deck.

The other four ships of the fleet were all purchased during the New Years sales in around 2006. They were significantly cheaper - and of lesser quality - than the earlier larger units. I plan to convert two of these carriers into amphibious warfare ships, while ideas for the smaller pair range from replacing the angled flight deck with a straight thru one and using them as generic WW2 style escort type carriers,  or making them amphibious platforms, or even using them as carriers.

The holes in the flight decks of the closest two carriers are where I removed a large and silly looking missile turntable.

Third carrier up from the bottom has an AAVP-7 on deck.
Close up of the AAVP-7 on the deck. In is a 1/72 die cast model from the  Combat Tanks Collection.
The third and forth carriers (counting from the bottom) in this picture are the two destined at this stage to be used as amphibious warfare platforms. While these ships are all grossly oversized to be used in a standard CD3 game, the idea was to use these ships as an off board assembly area for players to organise their forces. They are planned to be used in a large moderns amphibious game I hope to run - similar to the large Tarawa game I ran at the UCSA many years ago.

As I slowly gear up for this I will post information in this  blog - but I can't imagine anything happening soon! - This project has been brewing away for some time and progress has been some what glacial in nature! That being said, most of the major purchases for the game have already been made - I just have to do some painting and assembly work!

Friday 14 September 2012

Lucky AWI British - Painted and Based

I have finished painting my two lucky products AWI British figures. I enjoyed painted this two figures up, and found that there was more detail on the figure after I undercoated them black. According to the comic book ad, the foot figure is an officer, and the mounted figure is a dragoon.

An officer and a dragoon...
More details on the Lucky Products AWI figures can be found here for those that are interested in my earlier post on the subject.

While I have painted both figures, I have opted for a generic paint scheme on both of them, mainly because at the time I thought that I wasn't going to be increasing my holdings of these figures. I have based the 'Dragoon' to match my mounted command stands, but I have left the officer unbased for now.

In the background is the Airfix British Grenadier Officer,  while the two Lucky British look at  American wounded.
 I used my fast paint method to paint them, undercoat black, flesh, white, then block in colours and give a brown wash. I am quite happy with the results. The original plastic was not the best colour for showing detail.

A step back.
 I am still trying to decide if I like the autumn flock, and how I can best use it. I suspect I might have to do up a bunch of figures to make up my mind - perhaps a unit of Native Americans might work well with this flock?

Dragoon close up - The blacking process revealed the details of  buttons and frogging on the Dragoons front. 

Side view of Dragoon, same view of officer.
Of course I now need to figure out how best I am going to use this officer, and if I am going to give him his silver epaulet on his right shoulder that his officer status is meant to have. I am also thinking of giving him some paper in his raised  hand - perhaps a map?

Thursday 13 September 2012

Volley and Bayonet Stands WIP

Recently I came across a scrap of MDF that had been split roughly, and as I looked at it, I thought it looked a little like terrain contour lines. I then decided to cut the piece into V&B sized stands and make use of the extra thickness of the material (compared to my usual stands) to carve in some shallow trenches or scrapes.

Three of the thick bases with a normal base for comparison.

I have started making three such stands at the moment. In addition to the carving and sanding of the MDF blocks, I have added bits of twig to use as log barricades, or plastic logs from one of the Hasegawa infantry sets. I have also painted the base green, and the sides brown. At this stage I am planning to use at least some of the autumn leaves flock on each one.

Side view of the twig bases. The wood looked much better after I gave it a brown wash (not shown).

Essentially the whole project is an experiment to see what the idea of having thicker bases with some terrain relief will look like. The idea is to make up three militia bases for use in AWI games. I am aiming to create something interesting looking for the tabletop, and I am curious to see if I can make something from this idea.

A shallow trench and some militia.
I have used figures from the Revell American Militia set, and have placed five already on the first stand to give me an idea of figure placement. At least two more figures are planned additions for this stand. I have also been experimenting with what colours to paint the militia. Irregular forces and civilians are two things I find difficult to paint in a manner that looks right, and reflects a non standard appearance. Hopefully, once I paint the thirtyish figures for this project, I will have figured it out.

Side view giving a better view of the contours of the stand.

Of course, I can take shortcuts by making sure to  have a certain number of them in hunting shirts of various hue, sprinkle in some brown coats, add in some blue coats, and even the odd red coat too! This will make sure that I don't end up with a number of men wearing virtually the same civilian outfit.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Molly Pitcher - Airfix AWI Artillery

These started life as Airfix Waterloo French Artillery gun crew and cannon. I did a simple head transplants on some of the gun crew and converted a female figure to represent Molly Pitcher - more details here. I had a great deal of fun making these stands, both in doing the research on uniforms, etc, and in the actual process of creating them. And of course, enjoying yourself is the whole point of the thing...

The front gun is served by Molly Pitcher, an infantryman, and  a corverted artilleryman.
My research quickly showed that using the barrel carrying infantrymen as part of the gun crews was quite wrong, but they do look good  as gun crew - despite being painted as infantry - so I decided to stick them on regardless. It is not unknow for infantry to be pressed into service as gun crew, and the use of the barrel could represent a non standard solution  to a  temporarily logistics problem.

The cut of  the gunners uniform s is definitely wrong, but has been painted in  correctish colours. The worst part is my retaining both the epaulettes on all the converted French gun crew. I have reason to believe that only NCOs were meant to wear a single red one on their right shoulder. Unless they were in the artillery, then, they were to be yellow, and sergeants were to wear one on each shoulder. I have however painted mine red and left a pair on virtually every ex Frenchman!

This stand got three artillery men to join the infantryman with the barrel.

Why did I do such a thing? - Probably because I thought leaving them on looked nice, and my original painting sources didn't mention that the artillery had epaullettes, let alone yellow NCO ones. I was more worried about getting the gun carriages the correctish colour red. Of course I could have painted them to be unpainted wood, or light grey to represent captured British guns.

Molly Pitcher - surely this gives this stand a +1 to morale!

The painting technique was brutally simple as I am trying to develop a simple speed system for painting up V&B forces - I can't always rely on a supply of prepainted figures! I based everything black, painted on the flesh, then drybrushed on white, and then added on other colours on top. I then gave  it a wash of brown - this time using Vallejo Umber Shade.

Both artillery stands, and two casualty markers - one I used autumn flock on as an experiment.

And now I have two stands of AWI American artillery for use in V&B games - with some more fearsome looking guns than in the Imex set. Although, I do rather like the idea of having a variety of pieces in my AWI gun park.

Yet More Haradi WIP

Recently I have started painting some more figures up for use in Harad, or to be more precise, I am restarting painting figures that I started painting sometime last year. The figures are an unknown make that I purchased from "The Warehouse" - a source of much gaming resources.

Plastics of unknown manufacture. The green single figure is a HK knockoff of  the officer from hard plastic Esci US Marines  set
 Once painted these figures will be used as generic Haradi militia - suitable for bulking out the force from any faction. These are other figures from the same set that I used to paint up some HNG. I have also been acquiring sets of the Airfix NATO Infantry for use as Haradi troops. Indeed, it seems that I am stockpiling a great deal of things at the moment for various projects, but not actually sitting down and making/painting it up for use. Hopefully I will be able to spend some time correcting that soon.

Two 20mm metal figures of unknown manufacture.  the figure on the right was originally armed with a  M.-16.
 These two metal figures were purchased secondhand and I have little idea of the manufacturer or the what the figure is meant to be. I am fairly certain that the figure on the right is meant to be a US Infantryman serving during the Vietnam War. I plan on painting up both figures for use in Harad, although I haven't made my mind up fully yet.

The rear view.
Right,  hopefully I will finally shake this damn 'flu and be able to do something more productive this weekend.