Wednesday, 5 July 2017

40 Years ago - A trip down memory lane

Good Morning All

Its a beautiful summer's morning here in SW London and its all right in my little world, that is apart from the fact that I got made redundant last Friday. The writing was on the wall that this was going to happen as far back as Christmas so when it did happen I was not too surprised.

At the moment I am confident a new career lies just around the corner and who knows maybe something completely different. The timing works out well and this weekend the Shed family jets off to SE Asia to tour Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. The three week break will do us all good.

Anyway I digress and I find that with this new found freedom I am cracking on with those jobs that have been put off too long and clearing a lot of clutter in our lives. This morning I dragged out a big box of old magazines and discovered that my White Dwarf collection is still there. Prompted by a request on the Lead Adventure Forum for back issues of said magazine I though I would scan through some of the copies.

To my surprise issue 1 states that it was published in 1977 - June/July - that makes it 40 years old. This means they have been in my possession since I was 12 years old - that is very scary.






I have got pretty much every issue published up to issue 60 - some are in great conditions others have not fared as well. Depending upon the offer I receive I may choose to sell bit would be interested in the thoughts of my followers before I take the plunge

The following pictures are some of my favourite covers








Catch up soon...



Sunday, 2 July 2017

Napoleonic Project part 11 - The Portuguese Allies

Hi Folks

Apologies for the lag in posts but things have been rather hectic in my life...

Up today are my trusty British Allies - the Portuguese. Three infantry battalions, a battalion of Cacadores, the officers and a gun battery join Wellingtons ranks


If however you missed the big post on the french infantry head here
http://shedwars.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/napoleonic-project-part-10-french.html


First to take the field are the Cacadores -  known to Wellington as his 'fighting cocks'

I bough 24 of these guys from Front Rank and they are fine fellows - I went with the Barretina Shako for these skirmish troops. The flags were acquired from the Line Infantry boxes from Warlord.





The Line Infantry are all from Warlords plastic range and can be bought quite cheaply on ebay for about £16/box inc postage. Very simple figures that have the option of wearing stovepipe or barretina shako's - mine all got the stove pipes.

Each regiment has been given a different colour facing - red, yellow and sky blue.

The flags came in the box





Of course I needed a Portuguese commander in chief and these two smart chaps were sourced from Fronk Rank


The Division mustering for inspection


The final piece of the jigsaw was to give this unit its own artillery - again sourced from Front Rank - just waiting on a base from Wasbases



So whats next....

Well I have almost finished the British Heavies and no doubt these will feature in the next post..





Just a quick recap of what is left to finish this project...

PAINTED


  • British Command Stands (10)
  • British Artillery - 6 Artillery pieces and crew
  • British Infantry - 12 Battalions painted (inc 2 Highland & 1 Rifle)
  • British Dragoons - 1 Regiment
  • French Dragoons - 1 Regiment
  • French Artillery - 6 Artillery pieces and crew (pictures below)
  • French Curassiers - 1 regiment painted in brown coats as there was only one regiment in Spain
  • French Chasseurs a Cheval - 3 regiments
  • French Light Infantry - two regiments 
  • French Line Infantry - 10 Infantry Regiments
  • British Hussars - 1 Regiment
  • Portuguese line Infantry - 3 Regiments
  • Portuguese Cacadores - 1 Regiment
  • Portuguese Command
  • Portuguese Artillery (still needs basing)
  • British Heavy Dragoons - 1 Regiment
  • British Household Cavalry - The Blues Regiment
To be painted - 

  • French Hussars - 2 Regiments
  • French Lancers - 1 Regiment
  • British Light Dragoons - 2 Regiments
  • French Old Guard - I regiment (I know they did not fight in Spain)
  • French Command
  • French Light Infantry 1 regiment
  • French Line Infantry 1 regiment
  • French Swiss Infantry 1 Regiment



T

Friday, 23 June 2017

Warlord Games British Heavy Cavalry Review

Hi Folks

Given Warlord Games have just released their boxes of plastic British Heavy Cavalry and I am building both British & French Napoleonic armies I thought I’d better bag me a couple of boxes – one of each.

Is say one of each because there is a box labelled British Household Brigade and a box labelled British Union Brigade – but whats inside the box counts…




And to be blunt they are virtually the same – the horses are the same, the riders bodies are exactly the same, the arms are the same etc – the only difference is the head gear.

In the Union box you get heads with Bicornes, Dragoon helmets and the Bearskins (scots greys), in the Lifeguard box you get the Lifeguard Grecian helmets (with and without plumes). In the union box you also get four heads title ‘watering hats’ – I doubt whether anybody would use these and I am struggling to understand why Warlord Games released two boxes and not just one. You could have easily put all the head gear onto the same sprue.

From a commercial perspective this makes nonsense – twice as much art work, twice as much packaging, twice as many sprues to manage etc. Profits I believe would be much greater with one box – tiled British Heavy Cavalry. Folks who want to buy these will do so regardless of the name on the box.

The two sprues - one from each box - aside from the heads they are the same

A little bit more detail- union brigade on the left


These are the only heads you get with the household box

These are the heads in the Union box



Whilst I am being critical let’s talk about the horses – each sprue contains two horses in two parts – these look like they should be interchangeable creating more than two poses – however they are not. Only one half will fit to another specific half. This wouldn’t be too bad but the poses that are created look a little odd (edit they are growing on me) – in particular one of the fronts of the horse looks stretched.

Only two horse options available - the bodies are not interchangeable




Assembly of these figures is straightforward (hint assemble the riders sword belt onto his body before adding head) but the posture of the riders leaning right or leaning left grates a little – I think it would be better with at least one upright pose. This leaning posture also means all the heads seem to be looking down once fixed on the bodies as opposed to ahead…I quickly realised this is because they are charging cavalry and should be amongst the infantry cutting and slashing.

This all sounds rather negative and perhaps you are questioning whether or not to buy…in which case read on.

If you are looking at assembling a British Napoleonic army on a budget price these boys are perfect for your heavy cavalry - £20 for 12 horses & thirteen riders (there is a metal command figure in each of the boxes) is a great price. They do look good en masse and I am looking forward to painting them…


Until next time

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Napoleonic Project part 10 - French Infantry

Good Morning All

I think I mentioned in my last post regarding the Napoleonic project that I was working on the French Infantry

(previous post here - http://shedwars.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/napoleonic-project-part-9-chasseurs.html )


Well I am delighted to report that the planned 12 battalions are now complete and are proud to be lined up in line formation on my kitchen table.

Each battalion is 24 men strong and includes flank companies (voltiguers and grenadiers).

The figures themselves are made up on Warlord, Perry and Front Rank - all in my eye are perfectly interchangeable.


That's 288 infantry figures so far...


The flags have been used straight from the boxes


Each battalion comprises of six movement trays - thereby allowing a multitude of formations to be created


Rather than have mixed uniform units I have created units that are entirely wearing greatcoats and those that have not



The two units at the back are light infantry with their solid blue uniforms







Having laid these out I cant help but think that this is not enough so I have decided to add a further four regiments of French Infantry to the painting pile  ;-)

Come back soon

Part 11 is here

http://shedwars.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/napoleonic-project-part-11-portuguese.html

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Daleks versus the Afrika Korps - A strange encounter

Last night the Shed hosted a rather strange game of bolt action. I was joined by Mark & Steve for what they though was going to be a rather simple pulpy skirmish on my desert boards.

To be frank I cobbled the idea together about an hour before they arrived having decided to shuffle around the desert boards from last weeks crusader game.

The focal point of the table was my Egyptian temple sitting in the valley of the lost kings. Access to the valley was through the wadis beyond the Oasis.


The Nazi's (Mark of course) were given this briefing

Egypt - 1937
Transcripts from Radio Messages sent by Colonel Werden to Heinrich Himmler -
Herr Himmler
I am delighted to report that the dig in Cairo is proceeding as instructed. I have been informed by the archaeological team that they are about to open the doors to the outer crypt. It appears that the tomb has remained untouched in all these years. I believe we are on the verge of a most exciting discovery…
Morale remains high amongst the team only dampened by this dreaded heat and dust

Herr Himmler
At the request of Professor Benoit we assembled a series of monitors and testing equipment around the tomb entrance. Initial results suggest a high level of radioactivity and electrical interference beyond the tomb door. We will proceed with caution.

Herr Himmler
Grave news – Professor Benoit and his team broke the seal on the crypt this morning and entered the tomb. Two hours later there was no sign of him and his exploratory party. I instructed Kapitan Funf to assemble a small squad to investigate – they have entered the tomb. Soon after a lone trooper emerged with severe burns. Before he died de stated that Kapitan Funf and his squad had been wiped out…his last words were…Vernichten, Vernichten, Vernichten


Attention: Colonel Herzog
Since the last encrypted message from Colonel Werden we have heard no news from the excavation camp. You are to proceed with all speed to the camp, assess the issue and make the necessary steps to ensure the contents of the tomb do NOT fall into enemy hands



The Nazi forces (seven squads of infantry would enter middle right)

To the South lay the combined forces assembled by British Intelligence (3 squads of Sikh infantry and four squads of friendly Bedouins). Steve was given this briefing

........................................................................................................................................................
British Intelligence Briefing
Recent radio chatter in Cairo has picked up a series of messages from a German exaction dig in the valley of the kings to none other than Heinrich Himmler in Germany.

These messages were encrypted but our boffins have done their best to decipher them..

Herr Himmler
I am delighted to ……..the dig in ……….is proceeding as ………. informed ……… team that ………….. to open the doors to the ………………... It appears ……………………..untouched………….. years. I believe ………….. discovery…
Morale …………………….team……………………. only dampened by this dreaded……………….

Herr Himmler
At the request of Professor Benoit ……………………………………..and testing equipment …………….tomb entrance. ………………………….results suggest a high level…………………………….. interference …………….. We will proceed with caution.

Herr Himmler
Grave ………… Professor Benoit ……………………..broke the seal…………..this morning and………………………... Two hours ………………………..no sign of him………………………………..  instructed Kapitan…………………………… investigate…………… Soon after…………………a …….trooper…………….severe burns. …………………………………………………..last words ………….Vernichten, Vernichten, Vernichten

Captain Rogers

An assault force has been assemble just outside the valley of the kings –your mission to investigate what has happened and to take steps on ensuring that Nazis do not leave the area with anything important.

The British forces would enter from the Oasis



The British forces advance into the desert....



Meanwhilst the Germans enter the table - both sides heading for the dig



Inevitably this mad rush forward ended in tears as a firefight erupted between the opposing forces in the tight canyons


Lead by the Bedouin horse the British surged forward



The Afrika Korps set up a defensive screen....




and quickly establisghed firing positions in the scattered ruins around the temple


At this point something strange happened - the pillars around the temple started to glow - each turn another started to glow - eventually forming an electrical web over the structure.

Local diggers ran from the crypt entrance waving a heiroglyphic covered cloth...

This they handed to the Afrika Korps commander - look carefully !! You can see a tardis and a dalek...clues for what was about to happen....






Despite the strange lightshow above the temple the firefight continued between the forces - Arab horse charghed into a unit of Nazis - a very effective charge - the very first I have witnessed in Bolt Action


By now the temple was bathed in blue light and emerging from the entrance were some strange pepperpot shapes....


Each turn more units more forth. It became obvious to Mark and Steve that there own firefight was no longer important - they had to defeat a common foe...


We used the Dalek rules for Bolt Action published here

https://boltactiontimelord.wordpress.com/tag/daleks/

The only major modification being small arms gaineds a +1 penetration at very close range (ie under 6")




At this point a strange blue box appeared and a man claiming to be called the Doctor arrived - he quickly explained to the British commander that the only way to stop this invasion was to switch off the grid - each pylon had a switch at its base (found on a 9+). The Doctor could automatically find these.

I suspect if the Doctor had tried to talk to the Nazis he might have been shot ! True to form they had tried to shoot the local diggers only to be beaten by the Daleks

 



The next hour saw a furious and bloody firefight around the temple as each turn more daleks arrived. Casualties on both sides were extremely high but the combined forces of humanity were switching down the pylons slowly


The Afrika Korps soon realised that a long range exchange of fire was not working against their armoured opponents - subtlety was thrown out the window and everything descended into a point blank firefight.


More daleks arrived - ( i have nearly 90 of these magazine toys)

Links to build here

http://shedwars.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/something-very-different-from-shed28mm.html



By now things were getting desparate - the humans were riunning out of troops and the Dalek grid was still operational


With a sustained charge the Bedouins, Sikhs and Germans pushed forward. Sacrificing their lives to switch off the pylons  - success !




A few rounds later the Dalek menace had been halted - only three Sikh soldiers remained

What fun !!

Tune in soon for another Shed report