Sunday, July 29, 2012

15mm US Civil War Fire and Fury

A long, long time ago, three of us decided that we wanted to get involved with the ACW period, and we ordered three brigade packs from Stone Mountain Miniatures. Before I knew what was happening bot Charles and Harris had started to paint their "Northern Armies". I was left to defend State's Rights. Other local gamers were playing  Fire & Fury,  the American Civil War in Miniature we based our troops for that system.

Rebel Infantry on the Advance
My infantry, cavalry and artillery we painted before I left Halifax, as was my camp, which is the subject of a previous posting. What my unit lacked was limbers for the artillery. I've had two packs lying around for years and felt it was time to do one of them up. I believe they were by Old Glory 15mm and there were 6 limbers per pack. I painted all six up, even though my army only has four guns.

Example of 15mm Confederate Limber
Limbers in Mass
I dug out the rules to take a look at unit scales, and stand sizes for 15mm figures. The rule book's binding was old and brittle and it fell apart in my hand. I had a supply of Oxford binders and sheet protectors, and with the help of a hole punch the rule book was secured. However my artillery stands did not look right.I had used the wrong size base when they were mounted. I can't believe no one told me, or I didn't notice before.

CSA Battery

2nd CSA Battery

Gun Battery with Limbers

15mm HOTT Forces of Evil

Slowly, over the past few months I have been working to catch up on a number of small projects. Some figures have been sitting in my collection of unprocessed lead (now pewter or some such alloy) for  almost 20 years. These three figures are surely included in that category. I have been in Montreal for almost 15 years and I am certain I bought these figures long before I left Halifax. They are mounted as Flyers on 40mm base width elements for HOTT.

3 Elements of Flyers
I think it was about 4 years ago June, that Joseph was in town for a weekend war gaming visit. We went to the Valet d'Coeur and each picked up a couple of packs of trolls in the $1 bin. Mounted on individual 40mm wide elements, they make excellent Behemoths for any Force of Evil that cares to ally with my undead army.

2 Elements of Behemoths

The Anatomy of a Small War Part 7

Once again I return to the Soviet-Japanese struggle for Changkufeng-Khasan, 1938 on the Mongolian frontier thanks to Five Arrows Figures and Fine Art, who were in attendance at Cangames this year. This year at Cangames I parted with a few games that I had not touched in years and as a result, covered all my convention costs including 4 Japanese WW2 resin trucks that I purchased.

Among the items that Five Arrows sells are vehicles from Frontline Wargaming.  I purchased two of each of the following vehicles to beef up the mobility of my Japanese Imperial Army.

J1   Isuzu TX40 GS Truck (4-Wheeled 2 Tons Cargo capacity)
In August 1938 The first and second models of TX40 were completed at Kawasaki Plant.

Isuzu TX40 GS Truck
J2   Isuzu Type 94A/B Personnel Truck (6-wheeled)

Isuzu Type 94A/B Personnel Truck
As one of the oldest companies in the Japanese automotive industry, Isuzu traces its beginnings to 1916, the year Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. and Tokyo Gas and Electric Industrial Co. initiated plans for automobile production. In 1922, Japan's first domestically produced truck, a Wolseley model A-9, was completed. In 1934, after meeting Ministry of Trade and Industry standards, vehicles were renamed 'Isuzu' after the Isuzu River in the Ise Shrine area. This is the origin of the company name, which was changed to today's 'Isuzu Motors Limited' in 1949.

I found it really hard to find any information about either of these vehicles. IMO the history of the company seems to be very revisionist, commencing in 1949, with almost no motion of the war years.

Daredevil Adventures: USRC Part 2

 These 5 figures have been sitting in the drawer of my painting desk for almost a year. I needed to dig out my drill in order to add a hold in the chest of each figure for the flight stand. I used GF9 magnetic bases and flat headed nails to make the stands. Using a pair of pliers I clipped off the pointed end of the nails after they were hammered through the GF9 bases. I like the look of the figures which conjure up both the Rocketeer * or more importantly,  my childhood memories of the various Rocket Man** serials which were shown on Firehouse Frolics  in Halifax in the early to mid 1960s.

* According to Wikipedia the Rocketeer is a 1991 American period superhero adventure film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and based on the character of the same name created by comic book writer/artist Dave Stevens.

** Again according to Wikipedia the King of the Rocket Men is a 1949 Republic movie serial, in twelve chapters, notable for introducing the "Rocketman Character" who reappeared under a variety of names in later serials Radar Men from the Moon, Zombies of the Stratosphere and the semi-serial Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe.

A "Rocket Man" character appeared in four Republic Pictures movie serials from 1949 through 1953. The fourth serial, originally conceived of as a Republic TV series, was first released (for contractual reasons) as a theatrical serial. Two years later, it was finally syndicated on TV as twelve 25-minute episodes.

Charge! or How to Play Wargames

I was introduced to miniatures at some point during my first year of High School in Dartmouth, NS. Halifax-Dartmouth had a very active wargaming community and I think that it was for two major reasons. It is both a university and a military centre. I started playing with Avalon Hill and SPI boardgames in September 1972 and within the year was playing minatures regularly at the Sunday meetings of the Halifax-Dartmouth Wargaming League, at the Dalhousie University SUB, sponsored by Dal Con Sim.

We would play with massive Airfix Napoleonic armies, that were owned and painted by the older members of our group. The rules we played with were Charge!, or How to Play Wargames by Brigadier Peter Young, D.S.O., M.C. and Lieutenant Colonel James.P. Lawford, M.C. It was a great introduction to the hobby. In the 40 years since, it has been a regret that I never really caught the Napoleonic bug. I always felt that I would never be able to do justice an army. The paint job required was just too daunting for me to attempt.

Two Battalions Form Double Square
About 8 years ago I purchased a Russian Napoleonic Army (unpainted) on eBay. The majority of the figures were by Fantassin Miniatures, and the rest by Old Glory 15mm. Next was the decision about which rule set to use. I played a number of games using Napoleon's Battles and I was also attracted to The Age of Eagles by Colonel Wilbur E. Gray, due to my familiarity with the Fire and Fury Civil War Rules

In the end I was seduced by the apparent simplicity of both the Napoleon Rule Set by Matthew Fletcher, and Black Powder by Meissers Priestly and Johnson. What caught my eye, with both of these rule sets was the use of the 40mm square infantry base. Both volumes are handsomely illustrated with photos of four 25/28mm figures mounted on the infantry stands. This is what I want, but with 15mm figures.

I like the effect of 3 lines deep on a base

The first figures I painted were a pack of Old Glory 15mm Russian Line Infantry in Greatcoat. A pack of 100 figures was enough to provide me with 10 stands of nine figures each. I still have to produce two command stand in order to field my first two battalions.

Stonehenge and other Terrain Features

I recently completed a number of Terrain Features and was at odds on how to best display them. In the end, it was a no-brainer and I decided to base the features on some installation CDs that were taking up shelf space in the office.

The first piece is a representation of Stonehenge,  a prehistorical circular setting of large standing stones. Being circular, it was very easy to make the leap to mount the pieces on a CD. The model used is called  Stonehenge: Build Your Own Ancient Wonder and is available from Indigo or Chapter Books in Canada. I used two sets that were given to me as gifts and still have numbers numbers pieces left over. The kit was called to my attention by a fellow gamer from Halifax who used  the same kits to build a large standing stone structure to be a centerpiece for a large battle HOTT games. . A stand with two 15mm  undead archers is used for scale throughout this posting.

The 2nd piece is a desert ruin by JR Miniatures. It is a heavy piece and from the JR Miniatures' website I would guess that it is made from Drystone. Drystone is described as a polymer modified cement for casting detail parts. 
According to the website Drystone is durable and chip resistant and has a PSI of 10,000 as compared to plaster which only has a PSI of 2,000.  When painting DO NOT wash and using a primer is not necessary.

I purchased this piece from a local gaming store sometime last year to go with a 15mm  DBA army.

The final pieces are some resin rocks that were included as a freebie in a Armorcast river set I purchased on eBay years ago. The river  was one of the first posting I wrote about on this blog, three years ago.

Again the 15mm undead show the scale of the pieces.