2010 – Review of the Year

In a lot of ways 2010 was not as productive a year as I hoped but I did manage a significant ‘diversion’ which I’ve really enjoyed. And I failed miserably with my 2010 Painting Plan! I still intend to progress with that so have amended it appropriately! 🙂

So, let’s just go through the highs and lows of my wargaming year:

Highs
Cold War Commander – the purchase of a load of modern microarmour led to this significant diversion. The few games I’ve had have been fun. Putting together the armies has been fun. And the guys over at the CWC forums are a great bunch – knowledgeable and helpful

Heroes 2010 – despite a lack of playing ASL for a while I decided to head to Blackpool for the ASL Heroes Tournament in March. Although I just played friendly games it was great to be playing again and to see all the regular guys. And my write-up from the blog was published in View From the Trenches which is probably the only ASL related stuff I’ll have published.

6mm Napoleonics – the start of the year saw me delving big time (in purchase if not in painting!) into 6mm Napoleonics. I have a stack of Prussians for both 1806 and 1815. The former for Lasalle, the latter for Grande Armee. I failed to manage a single game of Grande Armee but I do have some French 1806 based up for Lasalle so may push on with the 1806 Prussians/Saxons in the hope of getting a game! I’ve enjoyed doing the 6mm basing I have done though.

Partizan – May saw my first ever trip to Partizan in Newark. An excellent show with some great games on and plenty of traders. Report here.

Lows

Lack of gaming – two games of Cold War Commander. That’s it. A pretty poor show over the year…They were good games and I hope to have another soon but I feel I really need to do better this year.

No AWI – despite the release of the excellent Peter Pig AWI range and the acquisition of a stack of militia I’ve failed to do any AWI related gaming/painting. With the prospect of a deluxe second edition of British Grenadier I really want to get back in to this.

Lack of painting – although I’ve painted some stuff for Cold War Commander, a large part of the building of the armies has been touching up and re-basing. The lack of actual ‘figure’ painting has been a little depressing. The early surge of 6mm Prussian faded by mid-year.

No Ancients – I’d hoped to push on with my Punic Armies and maybe get in some games of either FoG or DBMM but failed. I’ve been waiting for some Gauls to come from a painting service (now over a year overdue). If they arrive in January this may kick start 15mm Ancients again. If not then I will be entering into a long period of dispute and possibly legal recourse. Failing that, an unreasonable rant on TMP may suffice!

2011
So what are my unreasonable expectations for 2011? Well, all of my plans will be underpinned by my Neutral Wargaming Project. I’ll formally launch this tomorrow but in the meantime, here are the main plans:

Painting Plan – to add some more red boxes to the plan on the right! More likely to be for Lasalle than Grande Armee I think.

Imagi-Nation – as part of the Great WD3 Imagi-Nation games planned for April I will be painting my ‘Savage Swans’. My first proper foray into 28mm, this may evolve into a little Imagi-Nation – time and funds permitting.

15mm Ancients – finish re-basing my Punic War armies and paint the last few odds and ends I need for my Spanish.

Cold War Commander – finish my Russians and Belgians…and British…and Canadians…:) And then maybe dabble with Future War Commander!

AWI – paint soem of the Peter Pig range I’ve bought and have at least one game of British Grenadier!

To be honest, that is enough! I’m sure I’ll fall far short but hey! you gotta try!

So, a HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my visitors and I hope I can get enough done, and enough poss to keep everyone interested. Hope you all have a productive 2011 and look forward to following your progress as well via my ever increasing list of blogs I follow!

Andy

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Savage Swans…

This is the first post as I start to prepare the units for the WD3 Imagi-Nation game next April. As a starting point I plan to do a unit loosely modeled on the AWI British Legion but under the command of Oberstleutnant Seamus Gunter von Donovan, an Irish type adventurer in service with a Germanic type State. Generally known as Donovan’s Legion they have cultivated the sobriquet ‘The Savage Swans’. The plan being eventually to have a combined force of infantry, cavalry, artillery and skirmishers. 

However to start I have the following miniatures from RSM:

 

Which given my current painting rate will be plenty to get done by April! Apart from the trauma of adapting my painting style to 28/30mm I first need to decide on the uniform. Using templates from the Not by Appointment blog I’ve come up with some initial ideas.

This first is close to the British Legion in colour (I’ll not be going for Tarleton helmet). Trousers and waistcoat probably variations on buff, brown and white to give some variety.

The second option is more French/Austrian in origin with a white/offwhite coat and green facings etc. The white option possibly being more in keeping withe the ‘Savage Swans’?

  
And finally a buff and green, again influenced by the AWI and Lee’s Legion.
I don’t really want to paint up samples with the RSM as I have no spares. I suppose I could try and few on spare 15mm figures as I have no shortage of them! Anyway, there we have a start. Comments gratefully received.
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Vallejo Russian Green – a pigment of the imagination…

It was recently reported over on TMP (here and here) that the colour of the Vallejo 894 Russian Green had changed as had the name on the pot to Cam. Olive Green – and now tagged as part of the Panzer Series. Now as I’m using this green for the Modern Soviet 1/300th forces I’m putting together (as are others) this was a worry. I only had one pot of the stuff (from a Flames of War Russian Paint Set) and that was running down. On hearing the news I descended on my local ModelZone to find that they now only stocked the ‘new’ colour and this looked noticeably lighter!

Various emails around online suppliers revealed the change must have happened a while back as no UK supplier I contacted still had the old Russian Green, with some not even aware it had changed. Luckily Mark Severin of Extra Crispy fame still had a single pot which I duly purchased. He also recommend Coat d’Arms 521 Army Green as an alternative.

When these arrived the 521 appears slightly darker but looks servicable, especially at this scale and with washes and highlights.

To further investigate this I contacted Vallejo and they eventually replied with:

Dear Sir,

Please send us your regular mailing address, so that we may send you a
bottle of 894 , most recent manufacture. We congratulate you on your ability
to distinguish the difference, there were problems with pigments, and we
have been working hard to re-establish the exact shade, and think we are now
close to it. The reason we changed the name had to do with the Panzer
Series, please see the attached FAqs. We excerpt the pertinent info.


12.2. The Model Color reference 70.894 is shown on your color chart as
'Russian Green' but on the bottle it is shown as 'Cam. Olive Green, is this
a mistake? This reference was one of the first colors we manufactured for
models and miniatures, now some 17 years ago, and at that time our advisers
suggested this shade as "Russian Green". It is indeed a match for some of
the Russian uniforms used in WWII. But as we progressed to manufacture an
ever widening range of colors, always following the advice of experts, and
careful to match RAL, Federal Standard and RLM equivalencies, we found that
this particular green 70.894 was also a perfect match for RLM 80, Olive
Green. And while uniforms have many different shades, The RLM match is the
most specific, and it seemed correct to change the name accordingly

Very cordially,

Eugenie Vallejo Safranek
ACRYLICOS VALLEJO S.L.

Now this seemed to imply that the pigment was under development and that the latest issue was a close match – I’m assuming to the original Russian Green. They offered to send me a pot of the new version which duly arrived today in a huge padded envelope with lots of Vallejo related leaflets and pamphlets! So, to try and test this out I applied four samples.

A – Russian Green (Flames of War set)
B – Russian Green (standard Vallejo from Extra Crispy)
C – Cam. Olive Green – from ModelZone
D – Cam. olive Green – direct from Vallejo

Now, no doubt limited by my scanner and the vagueries of colour reproduction on different monitors, the above is the result. The two Russian Greens are very similar with only a slight difference. On paper (so to speak!) the new colours do not look as different as looking at the pots suggests. Yes, there is a difference, but not as much as expected. Later, I applied some of the new green over one side of the Russian Greens above and you can hardly see the difference.

Now this may all change when I start applying it to metal but so far it doesn’t seem the disaster I was expecting. Kudos to Vallejo for replying and explaining what has happened.

Hope this is of help and reassuring…

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Current Reading….and Another Slight Diversion!

I had hoped to get a little more painting done before the end of the year but kids have been ill and shopping for Christmas has taken more time (and money!) than planned. So in lieu of a painting update here is a reading update…

Current reading matter is Chieftains by Bob Forrest-Webb. This seems rather hard to get hold of and the cheapest copy via Amazon is £69.99! There was a copy at £30 but that went and I suspect has been re-listed at a higher price. Anyway, having bemoaned the fact and expressed a desire to obtain a copy, the Fates eventually conspired in my favour and Andy1909, who has commented here and on TMP and lives local to me (although we’ve never met), contacted me and offered me his copy. This was a very generous gesture and one for which I shall be buying him some beers when we finally do meet up!

The book covers a hypothetical WarPac attack and is mainly told from the viewpoint of the crews of a Chieftain tank and, surprisingly for what I thought was a British based book, an M1 Abrams. I’m about half way through and rather enjoying it. It has that peculiarly British feel to it in tone and characterisation and even the depiction of the US crew seems fair and not stereotypical. I’ll post a little more when I’m done. But once again, thanks to Andy for giving me the chance to finally read it.

Magazines…well, I’ve still not renewed my Wargames Illustrated subscription but I will be getting a copy of Issue 278 as the Ancient Naval rules are apparently good and there is an article on building a Carthaginian army. I’ve also taken delivery of the latest Miniature Wargames. I still like this mag.

The two columns (Steve Erdley’s High Ground and Gary Mitchell’s Dark Horizons Sci-Fi/Fantasy column) are proving a good and often entertaining read. The article on DBMM may yet get me to dig out the copy of the 2nd Edition rules I bought months ago. The WW2 article is of less interest as is the Rick Priestley interview. The article on drybrushing may come in handy as I am soon to dabble in 28mm again! The photography still leaves a little to be desired on occasion but overall I think I’ll be sticking with this.


Also landing last week was the latest Battlegames which for me is still by far the best mag around at the moment. Diane Sutherland’s articles continue to provide good ideas and with the background of their Cretan Wargames adventure has planted the seed for a trip there – wife and kids permitting. The Terry Wise ‘thoughts’ highlight what a loss the hobby has suffered and on top of the other losses over the last year the hobby has taken a real hit. I still have and read my copy of Terry’s Battle Gaming book. I don’t think I would ever play the rules now but the fun and enthusiasm that comes across is still great.

Keith Flint’s ‘New Wargaming’ article provides some food for thought on current trends in wargaming. Is the commercialisation of the hobby a good thing? I don’t think we can really complain about the opportunities now open with the figure ranges, rules, terrain etc. all easily available (at a cost!). Yes, if you run a business you are going to want to push your products and tie in customers. But it’s still a free world. We don’t HAVE to buy the stuff. So maybe some new gamers have it easy and are spoon fed their history, but I think there is a trend for some gamers to be in it for the game only and the collection of figures is just a tool to that end. When they change period, rules then the figures get sold. They are not the treasured product of years of research and painting/modelling. They are a ‘tool’. It’s not everyones viewpoint and not mine but if it’s a choice between having an opponent or not then I don’t really mind.

The mag goes from strength to strength and although this issue marked the end of the current round of Teasers I look forward to more input from Mr Grant and also to see other scenarios by other authors.

And finally, Another Slight Diversion! There is a large Imagi-Nation game planned for next April by chaps at the WD3 Forums and having secured permission to attend I am now faced with the need to paint up some 28mm Horse and Musket chappies. Now I haven’t painted 28mm for a while and as the game is likely to be more ‘Old School’ in character I wasn’t sure what to paint up for this. Whether to go for a ‘real’ Seven Year War unit or just paint up something Imagi-Nation-ary? I’ve always like the look of the Minden range of figures and this was a temptation, especially the new AWI range due in the New Year. However, as they are quite hard to get hold of at the moment, and after bouncing a few messages with Der Alte Fritz, (Jim Purkey) he very generously sent me some RSM95 Austrian figures. So I now have 36 musketeer, 6 mounted dragoons with 6 dismounted, and a mounted officer. Given my current painting rate I SHOULD be able to get these done by the end of April! They are nice figures and I’m looking forward to painting them and hope I can do them justice.

So soon you should see the progress of ‘Donovan’s Legion’, the famous ‘Savage Swans’ under the command of their fiery leader, Oberstleutnant Seamus Gunter von Donovan!

BLOG: was pleased to see the site visits pass 30000 and the Followers now at 98. If I don’t get chance to post again before the big day, Merry Christmas and thanks for viewing/commenting. Hope you all have a productive wargaming 2011!

Andy

PS. The last paragraph seemed to not appear in the first posting!


Andy

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