Sunday, 23 October 2016

A few more Militaria items

This latest batch has cost me hardly anything due to the generosity of some friends and a bit of luck.

This West German Army jacket was owned by a workmate from the Philippines. I can't really believe that he actually wore it as casual wear as its quite heavy and must have been very warm. There are a couple of missing buttons and he removed the labels but is otherwise in very good condition. 
(I cannot  accurately identify the jacket because of the missing labels.)

The last M1 Helmet that I bought was missing the headband. I have managed to buy one quite cheaply in good condition.

This Vietnamese Helmet was given to me by my partners boss. It came from the same American Serviceman whose uniform she had passed onto me. I have no idea if it is five or 25 years old. I suspect that it would be no older than 10.

This M88 style Helmet cover came with the M1 helmet shown above. I have no idea if it is just a paint ballers copy or it is in fact real. I have been following an auction for a real helmet and suspect that I will just buy a plastic imitation one for it as I don't want to spend over $200 for a helmet.

This jacket was on sale online for NZ$29.00.
It was so cheap that I could not resist buying it. 
Good condition but needs a wash.

This British combat pullover (correct name?) I bought a few years ago as I was inspired by Prince Harry to get one. Unfortunately it turned out to be too small for me and would be uncomfortable to wear because of the material and the large velcro patches on the arms. Its been hiding in the spare room but as my collection is getting more international I felt like putting it with the rest of the gear I have collected.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Zulu Command stands

I have just finished all the command figures that I had in my stock of Zulu figures. Most of the figures are from Black Tree, three are from Empress and two Foundry youths. This may be more figures than I actually need for Black Powder but I am thinking ahead as I hope there will some official AZW rules for Sharp Practice.

I painted these to my usual standard for this Army and then matt varnished them which I did not bother doing on the plastic figures. I then noticed that the wash did not have the same effect on the skin tones. I then put them aside as I really did not want to go back and highlight everything again.
In the meantime I went and looked at Wargaming with Silver Whistle and 28mm Victorian Warfares sites for a bit of inspiration. After looking at these gentlemen's excellent work I decided that I was being lazy. First step I then did was paint a highlight of GW Dryad Bark which was pretty much the same as the base colour. Next day after thinking about it a bit more I added about 20% Dwarf flesh and then had another go at highlighting. I think the figures are now much improved but the effect is very subtle.

Two Isangoma's

Two youths chasing Guinea Fowl

The stands below start with the most Junior Leaders on the smaller bases which increase as the leadership value rises. The costumes also get plainer as they rise.

The Army Commander reminds me of the current King HM Goodwill Zwelithini kaCyprian which was a good enough reason to use him instead of the Empress figure.         

All command stands

Friday, 23 September 2016

EM4 Future Wars and Scotia Grendel Biomechs.

I have just finished all the figures for my Euro themed Police and Terminator forces. (Well that is until I remembered a box of Vasa Riot Control Team stored away).

I painted an Ambulance as a Police SWAT van and gave it a Driver made from a plastic EM4 civilian. The Arms, head and front of the torso will be left over once I assemble a heavy weapons conversion. So with a bit of Greenstuff to make the shoulders back and legs I made a driver.

I also assembled a couple of  EM4's Motorcycles and made a matching pair of dismounted Police. Each of hese I gave a Wargames Foundry Pistol as I did not like the futuristic looking weapons they had. I attempted to match the bike's paint jobs to my earlier items.

Also in the lead pile were some Police and Heavy Weapons figures which I attempted to match to my earlier figures. Since I did not have the old GW Flesh colour of the Police I instead painted them as Negros. The older figures are stood at each end of the line up.

The Scotia Grendel Biomechs were painted as T800 Terminators like this Sarah Connor Chronicles photo.

I now have only to paint the Riot Squad, a Platoon of Viridian Soldiers, a couple of gangs of Foundry Street Violence figures, the rest of the EM4 plastic figures and some Sci-fi Vehicles. Oh and some more Zombies. (only he says)

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Zulu Unmarried Regiment Ududuidu

Just finished another Zulu Regiment. I tried to take a bit more time with the painting this time with a grey highlight on the shields and a blue black highlight on the feathered headdress. Also highlighted the brown tails but am not sure that you can see that after I used the brown wash over them.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Some thoughts on gaming the Anglo Zulu War.

I probably should have done some reading on the Zulu Wars before I started buying up Thousands of Zulu's. In my defence I'd have to say that Zulu is such a good Film and story in itself and inspiration enough to get into this period. I read a book on Shaka Zulu a few years before Warlord brought their range out which was my original inspiration.

I am still reading personal accounts written about the Vietnam War as I am still very interested in this conflict but. I have found some time though to read a few Ospreys and this very interesting article taken from a book which I should look at buying.

The War readiness and Military effectiveness of the Zulu Forces

This has some decent photos but must confess that I've only skipped through the text.

Zulu conquered the march of the red soldiers 1828-1884

The problem that I can see me having that is this only going to be a conflict that can be played a couple of times? Would anyone in the know be willing to take the Zulu forces? I have a few friends interested in painting up some British forces but do not have the same interest in buying up loads of Zulus. (no offence meant to anyone reading this) The reality though is that heaps of Zulus are needed to make this happen and only relatively few British, if you look at the numbers involved in the conflict. Or perhaps this is the perfect Solo gaming conflict with the Zulus acting to a set plan?

The accounts I have read all agree that the only chance that the Zulus have of winning is if the British make major mistakes in either their deployments, or supply of ammunition. Both of which led to the disaster at Isandlwana. The Zulus are restricted to using the same tactics of the Beasts Horn formation and do not know how to use the firearms properly that are at their disposal. The unmarried Regiments are largely unbloodied in battle while the Married Regiments have been inactive for 20 years and mostly aged between 41 and 47 years old. The 24th on the other hand are veteran fighters.

The Black Powder scenario of Rorke's Drift is almost impossible for the Zulus to win, as it should be. The Zulus are shaken before they get into hand to hand and the British have the advantage of a longer reach due to having bayonets. I've not read gaming accounts of Isandlwana but would imagine that you would have the same issues. It would be even worse if the British were to form squares and have no rules for ammunition supplies.

Perhaps I am overthinking the gaming issues and should look at ways of writing scenarios that reflect the limitations of this conflict? Perhaps make the British roll for how much ammunition is at hand each round of firing and not allow them to form squares!

The immediate problem at hand is that I have come to the last of the ready assembled Zulus that I stuck together while sitting on my partners couch, and will have to find time to make up another two unmarried Regiments and two Unmarried skirmisher units. I am currently basing the last regiment and will do some command stands next. I feel that this is still not enough to play a game with yet as I have seven Zulu Regiments and one of NNC (which I feel should be split into two small units). I have some Napoleonic British Marines I could use as stand ins to playtest some ideas that I have for using Sharp Practice. The other thing I should mention is that the more I look at references the more confused I get about what Unmarried Regiments the Warlord headdresses are meant to be. Perhaps the idea would be to just use the plain heads and not try and make the warriors in their parade dress?

Anyway these are just my thoughts and not meant to put anyone off painting this conflict. Just be prepared for a long ongoing commitment to painting (unless your Eric the Shed of course and can turn out a Regiment before breakfast).

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Modern Terrain and SWAT team.

I finally finished the Caravan (or should I say Trailer?) that I teased earlier. It was inspired by Jim Rockfords Trailer but since I could not find up close photos of the original I went slightly wrong with the windows. Not to worry as these were built from the late 50's according to a reference I found online so would have loads of variation. I can use it in Vietnam or anywhere more Modern. You probably cannot see from the photos that I used pre scribed panels which I was hoping the wash would bring out more. The wheels are the second set I've tried on it from an Airfix Scammell trailer. I think that they are a bit over scale but look correct. I may go back and correct these later.

I made a Diesel Tank out of a HO/OO kit that I was given at the Railway shop. It looks about the right size and supposed to be plastic rather than steel. It holds fuel for the Generators (still being prepped) that provide power to the Refrigerator Containers. Hopefully it can be kept supplied so there is not another Zombie outbreak. (but that would be no fun)

I dug out some SWAT figures from Foundry that have been in my Lead pile for about ten years. I wanted a SWAT team to provide security for the Zombie Containment farm. The spotter is from TAG. I have named the Blond bloke Bojo as he reminds me of Boris Johnson.

My terminators have been languishing in a box for years and have never been used in a game. I thought that I should get them out and try and make up some stats for them using Bolt Action. So far I have found it impossible to kill them so have settled on pinning them which slows them down for awhile. I think I will have to mount some HMG's on trucks and will have to buy some Bazooka or RPG armed figures. I should have some spare VC with Bazookas in my spare pile, I wonder?