Monday, 29 August 2016

Perry Plastic British Infantry of the Sudan

I purchased some of Perry's recently released plastic British Infantry at Salute this year, for gaming in colonial Afghanistan or the Sudan and have thrown together a quick overview of what I think of them.
At this point, I should inform you that there is an excellent review  compiled by Stefan over at Monty's Caravan which is worth checking out.
Due to my usual slow progress in all areas, I have only managed to complete one infantry sprue so far, but have formed enough of an impression to hopefully give you all a helpful heads-up.

Here are the two types of sprues contained within the box; you get six infantry sprues (left) and two command sprues (right) giving a wide range of options for firing, loading and 'at the ready' positions for the private infantrymen, along with officers, drummers and sergeants on the command sprue. There is even a dog, Bobbie, a survivor of the Battle of Maiwand in Afghanistan between the 66th Regiment of Foot and local Afghan tribesmen in 1880.



Included in the box are some useful painting and construction guides, along with eight regimental colours, giving you the option to parade your men as a variety of colonial British troops (although, disappointingly there are no colours for use in the Sudan, despite the set being designed with that theatre in mind, albeit, as an afterthought, possibly).



A few of my favourite poses so far - with the usual apologies for my poor photography skills - illustrating what can be achieved with only limited modelling skills. I really like these figures and all are well detailed and proportioned with a wide range of possible poses. My limited painting skills are such that I go for the worn, dirty look; which is in keeping with desert deployments.



If I have any criticism it is with the sometimes fiddly assembly required; particularly with some of the riflemen and their two-part arm construction requiring a degree of dexterity (I am in no way ham-fisted, by the way) to achieve the desired effect. However, with practice, this was soon overcome. The lack of suitable colours for the Sudan, as already mentioned, was also a slight let down; if anyone knows of suitable examples elsewhere, I would be grateful to find out.

                                    

Finally, an 'action' shot of three Tommies facing up to a couple of plucky Perry plastic Fuzzies to give an indication of size, which, I think you will agree is spot-on.

All in all, I recommend these to any fans of colonial gaming and look forward to additions in this plastic range.

That's it, for now.

Monty



Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Belated, Random Update!

As threatened previously, I have returned following my blogging 'sabbatical' (which is a very popular but pretentious term used increasingly nowadays, particularly in the media) and while this isn't a gaming post as such, I hope it will be mildly interesting.




Very briefly, Mrs Monty and I have recently returned from our summer holidays, part of which was spent back in my home neck of the woods (literally) in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, where we were visiting family and friends. Whilst there, among other things, we visited Chepstow castle, situated on the Welsh/English border at the mouth of the River Wye as it feeds into the Severn Estuary.



Norman in origin and dating back to 1067, the castle was active for many years and its  position, perched high over the River Wye made it strategically vital. Among its many custodians were William Marshal and Richard de Clare to name but a couple.




View looking north at the remains of the Norman central hall, giving an ideal of the protection offered from the river and its cliffs.



(Mrs Monty ruining an informative shot of medieval stonework...huurrumph!)




Unknown to me, however, was the fact that Drogon's Welsh cousin, Blogon (I know) had decided to  make the castle its home, before suddenly and unexpectedly emerging from the inner bailey to ruin our picnic lunch. Hmmm.



On a completely different tact, I was able to make an excellent purchase for £2 of Zulu Dawn in a local charity shop situated in the nearby market town of Monmouth - which itself is notable for among other things,  being the birthplace of Henry V.The film, one of my overlooked favourites, has proven a nightmare to get hold of online, so this unexpected opportunity was most welcome.


I have been flirting with getting into Colonial gaming during my malaise - more of which in a later post. However, if it's anything like the vast majority of my other 'projects' it will no doubt result in abandonment as my attention drifts elsewhere.

Finally, for now, a quick glance at my painting table, back in the 'Eagle's Nest'; just to highlight some of the chaotic non-progress that is being made. I am painting stuff, with a few things almost ready for formal unveiling into coherent games...but I must achieve focus!




Hopefully, some of you are still reading at this point, if so, many thanks and I look forward to putting something useful up very soon.




That's it for now,



Monty

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Back from the Beyond!

Greetings all!

This is just a quick update to announce that I have returned from my prolonged disappearance. Sincere apologies all round and I don't blame anyone for leaving my blog (I would have).

I have been painting stuff, but just not blogging due to various reasons, but will be sticking things up soon. I've been enjoying everyone's blogs and they continue to inspire.
Meantime, best wishes!

Monty

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Let's Try HistWar Napoléon



Not really a Napoleonic s fan, but as a grand tactical/strategic title this looks promising; no more years of painting ornate uniforms to only end up fielding a couple dozen troops...just a thought.

That's it for now,

Monty 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Pinkertons

Rumours of my (gaming) demise have been greatly exaggerated. I am very much still going and (just about) painting a few bits and pieces, in no particular order.

I will get round to posting stuff soon; it's just that I simply have had too much on of late; a familiar cry, I hear you say, but true, nonetheless (boo, hoo).

What I have been tinkering around with, however, is Great Escape Games' excellent Dead Man's Hand range of Wild West figures for my planned western skirmish game.

The first batch was a present from my long-suffering woman; Pinkertons - which I have almost finished and have enjoyed painting.



 "And they're off!" The first batch cleaned up and mounted, I picked these four out as my initial favourites and have been impressed with the detail generally on the Great Escape stuff; bags of detail and character evident in the sculpts.


Here they are finished up in my usual style; my painting skills are limited, so I opt for the 'well-worn' grubby look - which I feel is more realistic and in keeping with the period than the 'cleaner' -but, admittedly, far more skilled - approach. Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :)


Finally, the obligatory 'in scene' shot; I appreciate the quality of the picture is poor; it was taken last night in poor light after a couple of sherbets...whoops!

I am determined to actually achieve something after a prolonged period of inactivity and return to some semblance of gaming, with the small and hopefully achievable  skirmish approach the method of getting there.

Rules set to use? Well, as always my favourite - THW and their freebie Chain Reaction; which, in my opinion is a cracking approach to small-scale battles with bags of options to tweak and adapt to your needs - excellent solo option too.

That's it, for now.

Monty

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Rogan's Bar

The little woman recently bought me 'Rogan's Bar' by 4Ground for my birthday and I've finally got round to almost completing it; I'm still not decided how to base it - on a dedicated table or on its own base for more flexibility. Apologies for the poor pictures, they were taken in haste on my phone.


Anyway, here it is, 'out of the box', with John Bridges posing on the boardwalk for scale. None of the edges or joins have been painted yet; although, it doesn't look too bad as it is, I think.



However, I did decide to 'tart it up' a bit and here is the result of painting  all the edging and joins to match, as well as dry-brushing the roof and boardwalk , etc.



This extra bit of work is well worth it I think, and  improves an already realistic-looking kit. I must admit, I really like this range and feel they really stand head and shoulders over whatever else is available out there at the moment.


The plan is to build up a town of around six buildings for small skirmish games using Two-Hour Wargames Chain Reaction rules. Although, as usual,  I'm sure my cunning plan won't be completed any time soon...

That's it, for now,

Monty

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Clacton Airshow

We attended Clacton airshow today in glorious weather and witnessed some great aircraft flying over the seafront and all for free - very nice.

Not particularly good shots, however, here is the first - and no doubt last - time I will witness the only two airworthy Lancaster bombers flying anywhere; their dual appearance is as rare as... well, you know.

They are joined in this shot by a Hawker Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (the Spitfire is out of shot as I was hurriedly snapping away with my point-and-shoot camera. Seeing these iconic aircraft in flight is awe inspiring and raises the hairs on your neck; there is something ingrained within Britain's national DNA that these planes evoke.


The Avro Vulcan XH558, Britain's answer to Soviet aggression,  in all its glory on a low pass; I managed to snap away while marveling at it, which is a wonder for me. I haven't seen a Vulcan in flight at a display since 1982!

A great day's entertainment all round and even more so to see these examples of Britain's aviation history.

That's it for now,

Monty

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Chaos!

You will probably be aware (or more likely, not) that I haven't been 'on' lately. This is due to the chaos and general lack of focus I am experiencing lately; as illustrated by my desk here.


There are numerous other things out of shot, either not started or incomplete, no games to speak of and, more worryingly, no real desire to play one. I'm sure I will snap out of it and so, at the moment I am enjoying painting the random bits and pieces I have tucked away.

While I am concentrating on random 28mm stuff at present, I feel 15mm - for me -  is the way back onto the tabletop and into an actual game again; they take less time to paint and space is now a premium anyway. I am, and always have been a skirmish gamer and will remain so, so that is the obvious scale - now, what period...?

That's it for now,

Monty

Monday, 26 May 2014

4Ground Medieval Dwelling

I'm very conscious there has been very little blogging of late; my work/life schedule has taken a massive bite into my free time in recent months, although I have been (sort of) productive during this time; no reports have made it online.  

Having said all that, the academic year is grinding to a close and with it, most of my current commitments; which should allow more blogging again...

Anyway, enough of my blubbing and on with the update! During a great visit to Salute recently, what stood out for me was the very prominent 4Ground kit that seemed to dominate a lot of the display games. I always had an open mind about laser cut buildings and their inherent qualities, but having seen them firsthand I have been sold; yes, they probably don't look as convincing as resin/plastic etc, but given the time saved, flexibility and so on, they are hard to beat. Not only that, they do look impressive 'in the flesh'.


I decided to take the plunge and try one out, hence the Saxon/Medieval dwelling here,which I picked up for £14, which is fairly reasonable. For those who haven't encountered the model before, I found it very straight forward to build. The only 'dodgy' bit, I think, is the so-called 'teddy bear fur' used for the thatch. However, once it is treated with a PVA/water mix as outlined in the instructions, it isn't too bad. I may yet wash and dry brush it to give it a little more depth.


The interior, out of the box is a little sparse, so I painted and dry brushed the floor before adding some brown static grass as 'straw', along with some firewood and 'ashes' in the fire box.




I intend to base the dwelling and add some wattle fencing, currently on order from Northstar to create a centre piece for a bit of Dark Age skirmishing - probably using THW's Swordplay rules.


Finally, the obligatory scale shot, using a couple of Conquest Games' Norman Infantry; as you can see, they fit very nicely. To sum up, I think 4Ground are the way ahead and ideal for skirmish-type games and intend to order a few more.

That's it for now,

Monty 


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Ultimate General: Gettysburg

I discovered this forthcoming very interesting PC and tablet based-war game from acclaimed Total War modder, DarthMod by accident recently.

Using a new game engine, it replicates the clash between the Union and Confederate forces around the town of Gettysburg in a  series of dynamic battles in real time.



 More information, along with a number of game-play videos and in depth developer comments can be found at DarthMod's blog.  



Sometimes (quite often, actually) real life gets in the way of miniature gaming/painting etc; so I always welcome the chance to flick a switch and have an electronic blast if it's worthy of its salt and this title - so far, at least, given the developer's reputation and past efforts - looks like it may be just that. More to follow...

That's it, for now.

Monty

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Judge Dredd: America - as read by Karl Urban at Dallas Comic Con



For all you (like me) Judge Dredd fans; to mark the 37th year - this week - of 2000 AD; here is a special, short by Karl Urban.

The great man reads the opener from the John Wagner classic 'America' - what a sport and fellow fan.

That's it for now,

Monty

Monday, 17 February 2014

Bolt-Action Ruined Hamlet Part 2

Some time ago I posted about the Warlord Games Bolt-Action Ruined Hamlet I had acquired; well, finally, here is the update. However, I have - in true fashion - only completed one, so far; due to my wandering attention and unfocused approach to all things wargaming.
  

The box contains three sets of these components, which allow the construction of a ruined farm-type house and/or two smaller ruined structures; depending how you decide to utilise them. There does appear, upon closer inspection, to be a discrepancy between the two doorway sizes of each set, in that one appears to be 1/56 scale and the other, closer to 1/72; although, to be honest, I didn't find this to be a major issue once construction had taken place. 

The older, rural nature of the buildings these kits are depicting, would probably lend itself to irregularities in construction (that's my take on it, anyway).


Here is one of the finished products, which I mounted on some stiff card - please excuse the poor photography (I used my phone under the kitchen lighting, as usual).


I added some additional 'rubble' using sand and cat litter and employed some old coffee stirrers to act as battered, floor boarding  for the interiors.


As you would expect, there was a fair amount of filling and cleaning up of join lines during construction; but, overall the model was very clean and flash free.

To keep costs down I used black car primer to undercoat and Dulux match pots to paint the building , along with some commercial matte varnish, all of which, I think, achieved their respective aims for a fraction of the cost of 'dedicated' wargaming products.


I plan to use all three buildings as part of small-scale Normandy-type skirmish games and have recently got hold of some Bolt-Action plastic British and German infantry to use for these - more of which later.  Although, as a brief insight, here are a few 'Tommies' to illustrate how the structure fits scale-wise.

To sum up, for those into 28mm gaming from Pike and Shotte to modern, you really can't go wrong with these as an addition to your table top; just do what I did and shop around for the best price beforehand.

That's it for now,

Monty

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Black Friday Late Night Purchase

I now realise that having returned from a night out meeting up with friends, I enthusistically took advantage of the Black Friday sale offer at Plastic Soldier Company and ordered some 15mm US Infantry. Quite why, I'm not sure; I don't do WW2 in that scale :-S but the delayed recall was impressive...ho hum...


I'm sure they're very nice...

That's it for now...

Monty

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Close Combat - Panthers in the Fog


I've been playing the Close Combat series of real-time, tactical wargames since 1997 and after a little deliberation, dived back in and grabbed the latest incarnation, Panthers in the Fog.


A host of improvements, including higher resolutions, graphical effects and additional command screens, to name a few, have resulted in the most polished version of this classic veteran to date.



The combat remains the same, tense, top-down squad by squad affair; although the new(er) maps with their additional detail add greater clarity and compliment the enhanced effects, such as the smoke and explosion effects.


The pre-battle operational screens give welcome depth and context to the ensuing tactical duels, although they are limited somewhat in scope.

Despite the influx of 3D, action strategy titles such as Company of Heroes and Combat Mission, it is Close Combat - for me, at least - that remains unsurpassed. Of course, it's now showing its age a little and some of the old issues remain, such as the occasional spinning tank and poor pathfinding; but the tense, unforgiving combat remains the best available.

That's it for now,

Monty



Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Total Wargamer

Just a quick post to sing the praises of supplier Total Wargamer and their excellent service.

I ordered Warlord's Ruined Hamlet - very nice and more later - on Saturday; which was 30% below the recommended price quoted on every other site I'd seen, and it arrived three days later  - fantastic.

All I will say is,  based on this service and price point, they will be first stop for any future custom from me and come highly recommended.

That's it for now,

Monty