Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ufa Russian Cossacks

Work continues on fielding a gameable, opposition force in Kevin's Great Game project.  Following the Russian hussars seen earlier in the month, today a dozen Wargames Foundry Russian Cossacks depart the painting desk.

As all of the Foundry figures in the Crimean War range, these light cavalry are well formed.  The only issue I have with these sculpts is that the ponies' tails are very fragile.  I lost quite a few during shipping and then later during painting.  Hopefully, epoxy will keep most of the tails intact during the rigors of gaming.  If not, they might just be bobbed!  A second dozen of these fine chaps await in The Lead Pile to offer reinforcements when needed.

I will stick the this project for one more unit before moving on to something else.  On the workbench are two dozen Sikhs in their summer (dirty) whites.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

MMP's Black Friday Sale!

In what has become an annual tradition at Multi-Man Publishing (MMP), the annual Black Friday Sale has been announced (see MMP Announcement). 

For those who also enjoy wargames of the hex boardgame variety, MMP offers many interesting titles at deep discounts for Friday, November 27 only.  Even if you do not play hex wargames, many of the titles can be used as reference materials for tabletop miniatures gaming.  I see a few to add to my shopping cart on Black Friday.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Another Project Awakens

One situation having the ability to bring a languishing project back to life is a game on the table.  That is exactly what transpired following the recent Chain of Command game. 

I have a small 28mm WWII force individually based for skirmish-level games but the guys I game with never really found a set of rules at the level we liked.  I think that changed with the introduction to CoC.  In the past we tried Nuts! and perhaps a few others but Nuts! was not to our collective liking. 
My existing WWII project consisted of about 50 figures equally split between Germans and British and begun at the time we were considering WWII small unit tactical games.  These fellows last saw the paint brush in 2012 and have never seen action in a game.  Given the OB of CoC, my existing troops were not sufficient to form two playable forces.  To remedy that deficiency and provide myself two forces for solo play, 18 figures hit the painting desk.  To bring each side up to three sections or squads, a dozen Brits and half-dozen Germans needed a coat of paint.  Figures are Black Tree Design.

Below is the photo of the two platoons arrayed for review.  The Germans could use a panzershreck team and it appears I fielded one surplus rifleman for each of the LMG teams.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Has This Happened to You?

I always keep one eye monitoring eBay for books and wargames of interest.  Often old games and books can be purchased at great bargains.  Other times, their collectibility drives the price up as bidding interest rises.  Some times bargains are bargains;  other times, not.

I recently held the winning bid for an old GDW Europa Marita Merkur game.  The contents were advertised as unpunched, unused with the game box listed in VG condition.  When the package arrived, this is what I pulled out of the packaging.

The game's contents were exactly as described.  That is, the counters were unpunched and the game was clearly unused with maps still crisply folded.

Of course, the seller stated the box was in VG condition when it left and I suppose I should give the benefit of the doubt.  But, the game was shipped in a padded envelope.  Who ships boxed wargames in a padded envelope?  Oh, shipping charge paid was 40% over actual shipping too.

I could file a claim and return the game but given the price paid I lean towards keeping the game as is.

How would the reader respond and what feedback would you leave for the seller?

Update 22NOV2015:  After reviewing the photos of the damaged game, seller refunded 100% of shipping charge as compensation.  Seller responded quickly to resolve.  Seller will change packaging from envelope to box in future sales.   Although game box is in tatters, the components are still minty fresh and a good bargain.  I left positive feedback for seller.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

1859 Austrian IR#37

Having survived Tuesday's wicked windstorm (gusts topping 70mph!) with some damage to property, work returns briefly to the 1859 project as the grenadier battalion of IR#37 marches off from the painting desk.  These 18 figures complete the four battalions of IR#37.  Figures are Old Glory as are almost all of the Austrians for this project, thus far.  One or two battalions of Lancashire Games' Austrians have been fielded and a number of Lancashire Austrians remain to get their swipe of the paint brush. 
In the painting queue for the 1859 project are more Lancashire French infantry and Old Glory Turcos and Zouaves.  The Turcos and Zouaves will add some interesting color to the already quite colorful French army.  Unfortunately for the 1859 project, other projects are vying for attention too.  Next off the painting desk will be 28mm WWII Germans and British to round out one platoon of each for Chain of Command.  Those WWII figures will be closely followed off the painting desk by a dozen Foundry Cossacks for the Great Game.
Having nearly three years passed since the last Pass-in-Review of the 1859 project (see Pass-in-Review DEC 2012), it is time to hold another such event.  By my calculation, the project has nearly doubled in size in those three, intervening years with a steady stream of units making it across the painting desk.  This would be a good exercise to set aside for the long Thanksgiving weekend fast approaching.  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Early French from CGM in 18mm

Although my 1799 project has seen limited progress in 2015 (yes, work on the 1799 project was one of my 2015 goals), Campaign Games Miniatures' (CGM) recent release of early French in bicorne prompted a quick order to investigate.

Having ordered and received figures from Dermot at CGM in Barcelona in the past, I knew both service and sculpts would be first rate.  In fact, Dermot went way above the call of duty in an attempt to connect me with an order while I was traveling in Spain in 2011.  That is another story!  

On the CGM website, photos of the unpainted lead are encouraging.  Two styles are offered in either a selection of march attack or advancing poses.  Multiple poses within each classification.
French advance
(CGM website)
French March attack
(CGM website)
Website photos encouraging?  The figures look brilliant to me.  Additionally, grenadiers have the choice of either wearing bicorne of bearskin.

Once the order from CGM arrived with a seven day delivery from Spain to Washington State, USA, I examined the figures.  Very nice!  Including shipping charge, cost per figure for a small order of 24 figures worked out to USD$0.61 each.  Very competitive!

Since my 1799 project is primarily composed of AB Miniatures with plans for adding Eureka's Napoleonic Saxons as Piedmontese (and perhaps as French too), I laid out these three manufacturers' Napoleonics for a quick Comparison.
As seen in the above photo, CGM figures match very well with AB and Eureka.  The Eureka Saxon fusilier looks smaller than either of the AB or CGM fusiliers but that is a bit misleading.  The Eureka grenadier (second from right) looks fine alongside the AB figure.  Other Eureka fusilier poses match much more closely.  CGM, having good sculpts at an economical cost, can expect more orders from the Western USA.

To see how these figures can be rendered in competent hands, see the photo below from CGM's website (

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Minden Prussians in 28mm

Remember the arrival of Fife & Drum Kickstarter from nearly two years ago (see Fife & Drum Kickstarter Delivers!)?  Well, a battalion of 32 (!) Prussian musketeers starting from this pile of lead finally made it into the painting queue,

and mustered out as this,

For me, a 32 figure battalion is much larger than I typically care to tackle in 28mm (actually 1/56th) but I was anxious to see how a large battalion might look on my table.  Good, I think!

With rose facings, this battalion takes the field as the 18th Musketeer Regiment, battalion #1.  As seen from the photo of raw lead, I still have work to do.  Enough figures remain to field the second Battalion of the 18th as well as a grenadier battalion.
The Minden's are very handsome figures with crisp detailing.  Ok, really the figures are brilliant!  The realistic proportions yielded more than a few broken bayonets on the slender muskets but acceptable losses.

What are my plans for these fine fellows?  Having a large SYW collection in 18mm already in work, producing enough figures for a SYW project in 28mm is unlikely.  Not impossible, but unlikely.  I am well aware of the twists, turns, and pitfalls leading down that path.

For now, this has been an interesting diversion and prompts me to put a few more of these "orphan" units into the painting queue.  Another possible inclusion into the painting queue is an "orphan" Eureka French Revolutionary War Austrian Fusilier battalion.
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