Saturday, February 06, 2016

Sudan rebasing progress...

I reckon I must be about two thirds of the way through one of the two re-basing projects I set myself for this year ... in this case the smaller of the two, the Sudan project.

The project has a two fold aim...   firstly to standardise the basing method; when I started the project I used plastic card and a sand flock material, two thirds through the project I decided I didn't like that and started using MDF bases, with sharp sand for the flocking material. The older bases, being a thinner plastic card, are also warping slightly..  not nice...

Old style basing... note the base warp...
 Secondly, I started to have an issue with the number of infantry figures per base for the Imperial forces, in the picture above/below you can see six infantry figures per base, four per base looked ....  just "better"...  and given my rules are "base" level, the number of figures is largely immaterial..

Half way house - new basing style but old style number of figures per base...

With apologies for the poor quality of the picture the following shows the new basing methodology and practice directly compared with the old...

End state...  new basing and revised number of figures to the left, old style single base to the right, 6 figures and warped plastic card...
A constructive couple of hours this morning got the following done... command figures are now on metal disks (tuppence's actually, but don't tell Her Maj I am defacing the royal visage ), all infantry & cavalry are on 30mm MDF squares, the carriages/limbers are MDF 30x60mm...


Lessons learned...  MDF bases are great, but a pain to prep - I think Big Lee [clicky]mentioned how the sides of the bases "bleed" through acrylics, so I now spray paint the bases with a polyurethane primer, and then paint in acrylic - saves time...  for the AWI re-basing project (which is much bigger) I've invested in a can of spray primer in the right green - saves even more time...

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Arab dhow build #1

First in an occasional series, and just to show I'm not entirely idle at the moment....

I have always wanted an Arab Dhow to sail majestically upon the river sections of my Sudan wargames table, but being also an impecunious* type, I have baulked somewhat at paying the prices for some of the ready made articles. Being also of a generation that was bought up to make what wasn't available in our fledgling hobby, I decided to have a go myself and scratch build one....

(*not really, more "tight", "short arms, long pockets", "backwards in coming forwards in the wallet opening race", etc etc)

What swung the decision though was the gift of some preserved dates over Christmas, as having disposed of the dates, I was left with one of those ever so evocative trays  that are purpose made for the job in hand...

A bit of judicious carving so as to "sharpen" one end left me with the following....  figures in the background are 15mm for scale...


...and as my intent was to cast the hull in Plaster of Paris (how old school is that?!) I sealed the outside of the cuts with packing tape..


...and filled the cuts/voids inside the hull with blue tack (for real old school it should have been plasticine! )


...once it was smoothed out, I lightly scored the mould to represent hull planking, mixed up a batch of plaster and filled the mould.. and then you leave it to dry for some time (I left mine on a radiator for three days)


After taking it out of the mould, I smoothed off the edges slightly, and gave it a good spray of a polyurethane based paint to seal the plaster and give a painting surface suitable for acrylics...I also cut a stern bulkhead from thin plastic card and hot glued it to hull....

Last items to date are to score the "deck" to represent planking when it's dry brushed, and I've also set the mast (a barbecue bamboo skewer) in place and glued it...  this is where we are at the moment..  as before, figures are 15mm for scale...



To come in post #2 - the lateen sail - two barbecue skewers glued together with some PVA glued thread wrapped around the skewers for verisimilitude.. the "sail" will be printed paper.. once it's all together I'll then dress the hull with additional bits and pieces to represent cargo, hold covers, etc. and finally dry brush and paint...

 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

From the sublime to the ridiculous...

Armadillo gun slingers, anyone???  


 Made I larf....   from here [clicky]
 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

"Cassell's History of the War in the Soudan"

..."apologies" for the dearth of posts this year to date...  well...  actually, not an apology as such, just a statement I'm too damn busy to post... 

What I did spot however was the following on one of the excellent series of posts [clicky] that construes this years "Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge".. no not the awesome (as the young people say) paint job on the Camel Corps, but the reference to a text I'd not come across before, "Cassell's History of the War in the Soudan".


Written by James Grant, and published in 1885, its available as a free download in multiple formats here [clicky] and is chock full of original sources.. fill yer boots...


Thursday, January 14, 2016

"Britannia" - a review..

Difficult to believe that this is the fourteenth book in the series, but there is every evidence that Scarrow is getting better and better a s a writer..  some of the early ones were a little "clunky" at times, but this one is very polished, and well written..

I'll admit to wondering if there's very much more Scarrow can wring out of his unlikely pair of hero's, they've been all over the Empire in the previous 14 books, including Rome for a few of them, they've had political machinations, spying, fighting in the desert against the Palmyrans, but for the last few books they're back where the series started off in Roman Britain, in AD 52....

Caratacus has been captured and imprisoned, but now the Druids are providing the focus of the British tribal opposition to Rome.
The acting governor, Legate Quintatus, is due to leave for another posting and comes up with the idea of a lightning strike at the centre of the Druid resistance (the Island of Mona, or Anglesy) in the dead of winter, and the Blood Crows - the Thracian auxiliary cavalry unit commanded by Cato - are called upon to spearhead the attack.

Before they can leave though, Macro is wounded, and forced to remain behind as garrison commander of a frontier fort. While Cato scouts for the Roman army and faces his own battles and skirmishes, at the fort, Macro discovers that the Roman army is in danger from a second British army that they are not aware of, and which is planning to attack them while they are focussed on the British forces defending Mona. He leaves with a small party and eventually rejoins the main force with his news which at first is ignored, but then proven right.

Cue the later part of the book which shows that the Roman Imperial army was not a complete stranger to defeat. In this case in the depths of winter a retreat back to the Roman frontier, in the wilds of Wales, in the middle of a freezing winter, with little or no supplies...   reminded me of Bonaparte's retreat from Moscow. Some excellent battle scenes especially his description of Roman artillery in action...

Cracking stuff..  8/10.