Thursday, June 15, 2023

Time for another post!

 As I haven't posted since August last year I feel it's probably high time I posted again (maybe now a sort of bi-annual thing?)  No sooner recovered from the Covid and cardio then ended up with a detached retina. Three eye operations later its finally healed enough to resume painting - about an hour or two every other day!  Did I mention virtually nothing achieved for near on four months? Absolute torture! Suffice to say I've managed to make up for it with some figure sales and a few commission jobs (thanks Doug!) over the last month or so.  One thing all this didn't put a complete halt to were my ahem... acquisitions as it were ;-)  I appear to have acquired (and finished) a now virtually complete WWI German East African army - to be fair I did most of this last year ie. before my latest mishap! All that's needed now are a few bits and bobs for the Germans and a unit or two of KAR (Kings African Rifles) to go up against them. Brigade in the US have a fine range so no doubt the redoubtable Lon will be casting them up for me when I order them in the not-to-distant!  (*Subject to Ministerial approval of course)

The following are some of my German East African Schutzetruppen, Askari and African tribal allies painted up last year. 

WaHeHe irregulars

Schutzetruppen Maxim HMG

More German recruited irregulars - Ruga Ruga

German East Africa Company (OAK) Askari

Von Lettow-Vorbek (L) and Kriegsmarine officer

Askari Maxim

Schutzetruppen Offizier

Another major acquisition involved my Baron's War 'Outremer' Kickstarter featuring a beautiful mob of Paul Hicks sculpted Saracens, Crusaders and the like. These actually arrived during my eye op recovery and cheered me up no end. They have since been augmented by boxes and boxes of Gripping Beast versions of the same that I acquired in trades etc, and all awaiting my attention now I can at last actually SEE what I'm doing!  

As part of my cardio recovery therapy I painted up the second lot of my Back of Beyond armies (the first being the White Russians in my last post) - Chinese Nationalist, Warlord and mercenaries plus Mongol cavalry (mostly Copplestone). 

The last lot acquired were also some time in the making, namely the long-awaited Perry's plastic FPW French infantry. But boy were they worth that interminable wait as they are superb figures and will complete my FPW skirmish sets. I have three boxes to put together and paint (ie. a lotta figures!) but I've made up one box and the first figures are on the painting table as we speak - so hopefully something for a future post when I finish them. The most recent acquisition was unexpected but a very welcome addition to my Back of Beyond armies and the Mongols in particular being another full regiment of Copplestone Mongol tribal cavalry (North Star figures). So despite the figures already painted over the last 18 months there are now several hundreds more destined for the very crowded painting table!  

Another one from left field are some downed pilots which will come in handy for my BoB adventures (and as my planes keep being shot down!) There's also a female version and even a femme fatale 'companion' for the fat White Russian general to be painted - the next post I promise!

So long for now.

Friday, August 12, 2022

More Recovery Capers

The last lot of post Covid recovery capers has now been superseded by yet another another bout of health-related recovery consisting of mini-painting therapy (lots and lots of therapy!) after a Pacemaker implant. The whole thing was out-of-the-blue but after some unpleasantness and now no longer bed-ridden things are definitely looking up and generally speaking, much improved as evidenced by the amount of figures etc, I've managed to churn out over the past few months and weeks.  Well anyway - I was surprised as I literally had no idea. Anyway enough of this waffle and on with the show! 

The Imperial Indian cavalry officer is the last figure/conversion I did after painting my last commission job (Napoleonic Saxon Chevau Leger in the previous post). It finally gave me two units of Indian cavalry that fit in with colonial British forces from the 1880s right up until after WW1. I think the rest are Northstar (Artizan?) with Woodbine heads. The body was an early Japanese or Nationalist Chinese officer in flat cap so the head swap with some delicate Dremel carving kinda works. 

The next lot are courtesy of my mate Peter who gave me a ton of his extra lead some of which I've subsequently painted up for another pal. These are WW1 Turkish officers and a squad for Palestine (Artizan or Great War sold by Northstar?) The guy in the green with the Astrakhan cap could be a senior officer Kemal Ataturk or the like. The next lot (also Peter's 'extras') are Arab & Bedouin irregulars, soon to be reinforced by some superb Paul Hicks sculpted Arabs from Lon Weiss' redoubtable Brigade Games. Not so sure they were all as colourful as this lot but you know what? Don't care!!! They can be Abdul Bulbul Amir's 'Pride' squad!

The next I completed are my for intended Franco Prussian War (FPW) skirmish game project and follow on for the FPW Bavarians and Jaeger I posted previously. I decided that although I have a huge collection based three to a 60 x 25 for large scale battles (as once demoed at Cancon and posted years ago on this blog!) that I'm unlikely to put on any such large games again so will concentrate on smaller 1-150 figures per side larger-scale skirmish games. This requires individual basing but rather than re-base my entire collection I'll probably sell part off, re-base some and do the rest on single bases for the new Perry's plastics. Another innovation are the round casualty counters that I originally bought from the clever folk at Warbases UK for my Napoleonics but I've just finished for FPW games. Each counter can represent up to twelve casualties and look a damn sight better than the usual dice or markers. You can really do them up - a dead'un and a bit of flocking and you're good to go. Although probably more suited for the larger bases/big games I like the look of them so haven't decided whether to keep or sell them yet.

Also new were my Perry plastic Prussians! They are beautifully sculpted and show that Perry set the benchmark for extrusion molded hard plastic figures. They're part of the single based figures for skirmish games.  The idea is about 4-6 infantry, 1-2 cavalry and 1-2 guns per side. So far have two Prussian and four French units re-based as singles so just awaiting the release of Perry's FPW box of French. The flag is my own created with my CorelDraw graphics and my industrial-strength HP Laserjet colour printer. Woohoo! A decent printer at last!

Amongst the other figures I'm planning on selling are my old Foundry W├╝rttembergers and I have over 50 figures in seventeen stands (of 3 figures each) with three commands (and six unpainted with another command) plastered in markets all over the internet. I've also made sure to have the correct standard for the main command stand. It was done on my old inkjet printer so not quite the quality of the Prussian flag above but all matt varnished and guaranteed not to fade or fall off! Pedants may notice a slight 'frosting' on the finish of the Prussian flag. This sometimes happens when otherwise excellent Vallejo matt spray varnish contacts laserjet toner. It's a pain but easily remedied with a brush-on coat of Micro Flat Clear Finish for Models varnish from Microscale. 

I'm wanting $200 AU for them but will negotiate and split into smaller unit(s). They are the first of a number of Foundry FPW figures (the old 25mm?) I'm selling and a rarity  as they are no longer made and as I understand it the FPW range were amongst the first the Perrys sculpted when they worked for Foundry. You too can own a piece of wargaming history! ;-) 

The other project I've recently kicked off are my Back of Beyond armies for the terrific Setting The East Ablaze (ver 2) rules.  The first are the White Russians (in Chinese service) mercenaries. The beauty of these are that you can play them from early war Europe (1914) to the Back of Beyond scenarios in the Central Asia and the Far East until the 1920s. So far I've managed two units of infantry (Siberian Rifles), one of cavalry (Siberian Uhlans in flat caps) a Maxim HMG and an 18pdr Field Gun supports but my favourites are the Copplestone(?) Russian officers including the bemedalled General Fatsiev Bombatsky. His bloated eminence is a terrific pulp figure perfect for a White Russian mercenary commander! 

The Lewis gunner and bandaged head figure are conversions. The figure to the right of them is a Mongolian scout
(or Chinese bandit - take your pick!)

The White Russian mercenary force so far - with ACs

I've really enjoyed painting all of them. I've given the force a couple of Lancia Armoured Cars for good measure. Next on the list are Chinese Nationalist regulars, cavalry and a horde of warlord irregulars and bandits, followed by another horde of Buddhist Mongolian cavalry (a la Von Sternberg!) It promises to be a lot of fun when I finally get them all finished.

Russian Siberian Uhlans (converted figures of unknown make)

10th Siberian Rifles - Copplestone figures

Glad I've managed another post this year with everything that's been going on. My generous mate Doug is taking me out to my first wargame in months this weekend as frustratingly (but understandably) I'm not allowed to drive for a while. We're gaming 2nd Gaza (WWI in Palestine) and my Brits will have to advance across a mile of open ground against entrenched Turks. Yikes!  Really looking forward to it nonetheless.

That's it from Doc's 'Art of War' for now.

Doc Smith