Monday, October 31, 2022

Halloween - Reaper Madness

 While out east on vacation I received some miniatures from a fellow gamer, when I dropped in for a day of gaming. Among the figures were two identical ogres by Reaper Miniatures.

 Les said he had received them as some kind of promotional with an order he had placed.  Checking online,  I easily found the figures. They are Garghuk Ogre Chieftain from their Bones Black Line. In honour of Halloween I offer these two gentlefolk, as the special of the day. I refer to them as Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Roman Carroballista - Part III - Completed

 I am very happy with the the final results. The merging of 30 year old Ral Partha/RAFM war machines that were rusting away in my private junkyard, crewed by some superb looking Essex Miniatures, all around or mounted on ox carts purchased from Warlord Games. 

To quote Hannibal Smith

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go light tank

 I have continued with my interest with either pre-war or early WW2 actions. Over the years I built up a substantial collection of 20mm early war Japanese. These are posted under titles of  The Anatomy of a Small War. I had no interest in doing a counter force  and the project stalled. 

I felt that Bolt Action allowed me to turn may attention to the conflict in Outer Mongolia or even China. Americans think of WW2 as starting on December 7th 1941. Those of us in the Commonwealth as September 1st 1939, with the German invasion of Poland followed two days later by the British declaration of war. Although Canada waited until the 10th, to show our independence. However the argument can be made that the war began as early as the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, on September 19th 1931, or at the very least, the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on July 7th 1937. 

I did purchase two Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks from warlord games to provide some firepower to the Imperial Japanese Army for this project. I was also fortunate to pick up 4 packs of WW2 metal Japanese infantry at fire sale price at auction.  There were 20 figures per pack. 

Again they can also be used in a RPG sitting and I had completed them as such for possible use in a Daredevils campaign that I was running. The campaign stalled last tax season due to limitations on my availability and was never relaunched.

According to Wikipedia the Type 95 Ha-Gō (九五式軽戦車 ハ号, kyūgo-shiki kei-sensha Ha-Gō, also known as the Ke-Go was a light tank used by the Empire of Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War, at Nomonhan against the Soviet Union, and in the Second World War. It proved sufficient against infantry but, like the American M3 Stuart light tank, was not designed to combat other tanks. Approximately 2,300 were produced, making it the most numerous Japanese armoured fighting vehicle of the Second World War.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Morris CS9 armoured car

 I picked up a Morris CS9 armoured car from Warlord Games to just bump up my order to free postage. It didn't cost a whole lot more than the price I would have payed for the shipping without it. 

The prototype was available early enough to fit into a 1938 Very British Civil War, a project I had toyed with. I even picked up the rules from Sally 4th. Despite historical accuracy, it might even be found patrolling the fringes of empire in a RPG sitting, or as support in a Sea Lion Campaign.  For some reason I had/have no interest in starting a WW2 North Afrika army.

According to Wikipedia the vehicle was based on a Morris Commercial C9 4x2 15 long cwt (760 kg) truck chassis. On this chassis, a riveted hull was mounted with an open-topped two-man turret. The armament consisted of either Boys anti-tank rifle and Bren light machine gun or Vickers machine gun. The vehicle carried a No. 19 radio set.

The prototype was tested in 1936. A further 99 cars were ordered and were delivered in 1938. Thirty-eight of these cars were used by the 12th Royal Lancers in the Battle of France, where all of them were destroyed or abandoned. Another 30 served with the 11th Hussars in the North African Campaign. It was found that, when fitted with desert tyres, the vehicle had good performance on soft sand. However, its armour and armament were insufficient. The vehicle was retired halfway through the North African Campaign.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

WIP - Numidian Field Force

 Last August when I was out east on vacation I purchased a pack of African War Elephants by Victrix from Lantzalot Game Store in Blockhouse. I have been wanting to see these up close since they first became available and at the store I made an impulse purchase.  On my 2nd trip to the shop for a Bolt Action game day, I acquired a 2nd package and arranged to have my purchases of the day shipped directly to my address in Montreal.

I knew that I had some Numidian Light Cavalry from Old Glory Miniatures that were already painted. They have been seconded to my Roman Army, but now they are the start of another field force. I already had some Victrix Greek Archers and Balearic Slingers in the pile of shame that could be allocated to this project.

My intension is to have the Elephants completed within the next two weeks. 

Saturday, October 22, 2022

October 22nd 1944: F/Sgt Earl William Bock

My middle name is Earl and 78 years ago tonight Earl William Bock, a young man of 21 died as a result of enemy action over the skies of Germany. He was one of my two namesakes, my grandfather, the other. This past summer my sister mentioned that Earl was the best man at our parent's wedding. 

The 626 Squadron Operations Record Book RAF Form 540 (The Squadron Diary) records that F/Sgt Earl William Bock was posted into 626 Squadron with his crew on the 2nd September 1944 from 11 Base. F/Sgt Bock was the Rear Gunner and altogether flew 11 operational sorties.

Dave Stapleton of the 626 Squadron Research Project kindly forwarded to me the following report on F/Sgt Bock's final mission some years ago. I first posted this in 2009 on the 65th anniversary of F/Sgt Bock's death. RAF Wickenby was located NE of Lincoln, England and was home to No 12 and later to both No 12 and 626 Squadrons.

On the 22nd October 1944 the crew took off on their 11th operational sortie in Lancaster LM689 UM-N2. The task on this sortie was mine laying in the Kattegat area and only two 626 Squadron Lancasters were detailed to fly on this operation; they were part of a force of 20 Lancasters and 19 Halifaxes. The aircraft took off at 16.27 hrs.

At 20.21 hrs on the homeward bound leg of the sortie the aircraft was attacked by an unidentified enemy aircraft at close range from below and dead astern. The Mid Upper Gunner fired 100 rounds in the direction of the trace (tracer bullets from the enemy aircraft) and he observed a long burst from the rear turret before the Rear Gunner F/Sgt E W Bock stopped firing. It was later found that F/Sgt Bock had been killed by cannon fire from the enemy aircraft.

The Lancaster was riddled with 19 x 20mm cannon shells along the length of the fuselage, the port aileron had been shot away and the intercom was unserviceable. The bomb doors had also been blown open. The aircraft made a safe landing at RAF Woodbridge on its return. RAF Woodbridge was one of three airfields constructed in the south-east of England in 1943 to assist damaged aircraft to land on their return from raids over Germany.

Earl Boch rests in the Brookwood Military Cemetery,
like another 100,000 Canadian servicemen, far from home.

My father, like his friend served as a tail gunner with 626 SQD and often wondered why he made it, while others like Earl did not. He was tormented for many years by memories of his wartime service.

So on this upcoming Remembrance Day, during the two minutes of silence please give thoughts or a prayer to a memory of a young man whose life was cut short so long ago, and all the others who did not have a chance to live a full life.

Earl Bock's name is displayed on page 252 of the World War Book of Remembrance on May 27th each year and or may be visited at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial. 

Earl's nephew Art Osborne maintains a webpage in memory of his uncle. It is from here that I downloaded the picture at the top of my post.

Friday, October 21, 2022

WIP - Roman Carroballista - Part II

Last year I posted about the Roman Carroballista that I had cobbled together using Warlord Games - Hail Caesar ox carts and some rather old Ral Partha or RAFM scorpion bolt throwers that were buried in my pile of lead. I lamented that I lacked crewmen for these war machines. Last month I had reason to place an order with Essex Miniatures and discovered on their website that they listed EXR23 Artillerymen in Segmenta Armour & Helmets. Exactly what I was looking for. Service was fantastic, with delivery from the UK to Montreal in only 8 days. I ordered three packs along with my other needed supplies.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Trajanic Roman Command

 Under the WRG 5th Edition Ancient Rules I ran a Trajanic Roman Army.  Current rule sets I have generally referred to them as an Early Imperial Roman Army. Sometime in the early 2000s, when I retired my 2nd Roman Army and began work on its third incarnation I purchased three sets of  command figures from Wargames Foundry for it. Two sets were painted relatively quickly and the the third sat with the pile of lead for many, many years. 

Today another Command Stand is finally complete.

The figure itself is listed in the Roman Emperors And Personalities as IR024 - Legates Tribunes Praetorian.  The website shows one mounted figure and numerous foot personalities. I have three mounted figures. A General and his two body guards. I am pretty sure that was how I purchased them as I have no loose foot figures running around. The two bodyguards look like two of the three figures available with the IR036 - Cavalry Command 2 set.

Since I am showcasing my command I will also show both of the previous generals, who recently underwent a base upgrade in order to keep up the standards. The first is IR084 - Emperor Trajan himself. Again he is accompanied by two figures available from  the IR036 - Cavalry Command 2 set. I know I have two trumpeters from the IR084 figures that I attached to my Roman Artillery.

 Finally I also have IR082 - Governor Suetonius Paulinus who disappeared from the history books sometime after the Year of the 4 Emperors. He is a bit early to be shown as a commander in  Trajan's army, but it is the figure I have. His bodyguards also appear to be  two of the three figures available from the IR036 - Cavalry Command 2 set.

The Emperor Trajan draped in Purple on the right.
Governor Suetonius Paulinus cloaked in green on the left.

Friday, October 14, 2022


 I received these figures back in April when I purchased some Early War Bolt Action French and Germans. The lot consisted mostly of Victrix Dark Age figures but it include 5 metal figures which I took to be a command group. I finished these last night. I am afraid I do not know the manufacturer. My plan is for a SAGA Warband. Saga rules are available from Gripping Beast.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Sarissa Precision - Streets of Rome

 We just passed a long weekend in Canada, with Thanksgiving Monday. Amongst the time spent prepping a turkey, preparing a two bread dry dressing, and making cranberry sauce I went to work on the Streets of Rome kits I had purchased from Sarissa Precision.  

The first built was the Roman Watch Tower - T101. I used some of the 28 mm Dark Age figures I'm painting for scale.

Semi Detached Small - Flat Roof T078. Roman Command Group that is being worked on for scale, with three DBA elements of AUX on the roof to provide an idea of the footprint available

Semi-Detached Small Mixed Shop/Domus T030 on the right  and Lower Rank Insula Corner T004 on the left of the square. 

All in all, I was fairly happy with the ease these buildings fitted together. Other than the Watch Tower, the roofs and top floor lift off allowing access to ground floor. To be honest I am very much in mind to keep these as is, and not bothering to paint them at all.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Sarissa Precision - Small House

 Earlier this year I picked up some early war French and German figures for Bolt Action. In the package was the Small House N-009 by Sarissa Precision, Today I put it together. Overall I am impressed with both the quality of the components and the ease with which they fitted. Having picked up some of their Streets of Rome, as well as some of their English Timber Framed line, I feel this bodes well.

The only tools were my trusty blade and a bottle of Elmer's white glue. I have left the house in three parts. I still have to decide if I will keep it "au naturale", or subject it to spray paint. It was far too windy today to go out and fulfill such a mission.

My other project for the day, was to make a staff head for my room-mate's nine year old niece. It is for a Halloween accessory some character named Maleficent. I have two weeks to complete this project. My instructions were for a large gem stone, supporting a crow/raven to be mounted on a staff. 

No members of the Corvus corax family, were captured, injured, or stuffed in the production of this project

Friday, October 7, 2022

Inspector Spacetime, Not!!

 Located in the Town of Mount-Royal/ Ville Mont-Royal is a red telephone booth. Directions to reach it using public transit can be found here. I am not sure if this is a true picture or not, I have passed by a couple of time but have never stopped to take a photo.

The reason I bring this up is as a household, we have recently started watching Community during our supper hour. We have gone through stages. Rowan Atkinson in Maigret, Jeeves and Wooster with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, as examples of our viewing tastes. This is my first experience with Community and earlier this week I was introduced to Inspector Spacetime

It reminded me I had recently acquired a new TARDIS from Black Tree Design. The previous one was resin, and has been travelling since taking part in a Time Tripper Game at Cangames in Ottawa in 2019. She will return when ready. 

This is a nice metal model, which came in 5 pieces, So as I titled this post, Inspector Spacetime, Not!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Beware of Gifts...

 Last Christmas Museum Miniatures offered an .obj or .stl file of the Trojan horse as part of their annual good cheer. not having a 3D printer, I forwarded the file to a friend, who I knew had purchased one for his son. Both are gamers, and eventually I received a figure in the  mail.

I kept the paint job basic. Natural wood for the main body. Tail and hooves are black. Gold for the helmet with some red trim, and a headdress/mane of purple and white. 

I sent the photos off to my friend and he asked if I could send something showing figures for scale to show his son.  I took a picture of the horse with a DBA Seleucid (166 to 83 BC) Greek army.  It is  DBA II/19D and the figures are by Essex Miniatures. The period is wrong, but they are the only 15mm Greeks I have.