Thursday, 8 December 2016

Airfix ACW - A bit of a Bargain

New recruits for the Airfix ACW Project bought at  the 42.Plastikfigurenbörse, Herne.
I haven´t counted them but it was a bit of a bargain, €15 for around about 500 bods, horses and wagons.
In the bags there´s the marching poses, 40 plus Union, 20 plus Confederacy, 20 1st issue airfix foriegn Legion which will end up as Zouaves. The bods from the first issue set compare better size wise and scupting to their ACW companions. Also a near complete set of US cavalry. The pile of Shooting, running etc will end up being used for/as conversions.

4 new artillery pieces plus two complete limbers. The limber with the broken trail I can use as a cassion and the spare wheels will come in usefull.
In the bag there´s a full set (including the accessories) of the Airfix Wagon Train set! A quick Stress test Shows None of this copy of the set is suffering from plastic rot!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Airfix ACW Wargaming (Pt3)

Taking a bit of time off from painting the rank and file..Some conversions
A Union General. This one was a bit of a more complicated conversion than I´d intended but after rooting about in the bits box I found a similar conversion (seen HERE in glorious Humbrol enamels along with a few other early conversions) I´d made some 30 plus years ago so it  Counts as "old school"
Nag and legs from the Airfix US Cavalry set, Body from the Waterloo British artillery set and a small concession to the "Nothing but Airfix", head and hat from the Revell 30yrs war Swedish Infantry
CSA Musicians. The drums are made from bits of sprue..
The Drummer made using the odd running and waving pose. He Looks like he´s trying to ease something out...Wind?
CSA Standard bearers. I´m sure a lot of People have come up with These   (and other) ideas to create Standard bearers.
Flag poles - flower arranging wire
Flags - Printed

Another building, this time loosely based on General Meade's Headquarters (The Leister Farmhouse), Gettysburg.
As it´s a gaming Piece and not an historical reconstruction, I didn´t bother adding the steps at the front or the Windows at the sides and back. And look at the size of those shingles/tiles!!!! In reality Theyéd be what, 1.5metres wide and tall ? Still, it got the Roof decked in quick time  :-D

"Don´t worry Victoria, I´m sure it will all be over by Christmas"
Well, Big John may be being  a bit presumptive or he isn´t refering to this Christmas?

Monday, 21 November 2016

Airfix American Civil War Wargaming

It´s arrived !!!!!!!!!!!! :-)
Considering the Age of the book, it was produced in 1977, this copy is in excellent condition. Slight discolouration on the spine but no dog ears or Scribbles/stains on the pages.
Compared to what some copies are going for on Evil-bay etc,   I got this copy for a song.
Having a quick look through, the memories came flooding back! This and some of the airfix mag articles (when pocket Money allowed ) inspired many a table top (and carpet Level) battle.
On a later post devoted to the "Airfix ACW Wargaming " Project I write up the basing, movement, firing rules for  anyone interested.

And, an update on Smokey. She´s now had a slight Name Change to Ghost..but seeing as she is deaf (she can only very high tones) it makes no difference to her what her Name is.
She´s put on some weight and is more or less settled in.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Airfix ACW Wargaming (Pt2)

All available guns finished. Due to "plastic Rot", I only had enough wheels left to put 4 together and some of those are missing parts of the spokes.
A Union gun Crew. These are some of my  conversions from over 30 years ago.
Top halves from the ACW set and 3 bottom halves from the Airfix Russian infantry set and one (far left) from the Union infantry set. Bases are painted up emerald green "old School"

I´ve now gone and ordered the book American Civil War Wargaming by Terry Wise so when it arrives, basing can start.
Both Crews for the CSA finished
and another Union gun Crew added
All 4 guns with Crews.
Note the twisted and or snapped spokes. The dreaded plastic rot? In some cases yes but some of the wheels are still very pliable and  I seem to remember (way back) that  the spokes on a lot of the airfix sets were twisted.
Right, if anyone actually misses thier target they get thier pay docked!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Airfix ACW Wargaming (Pt1)

As if I haven´t got enough to do, Hobbywise, the start of Another Project, this one based on Airfix ACW using just Airfix bods.
Why Airfix ACW? Simply cos I´ve got a few bods already finished and.........
..........and a few spares and..
,,,, the Airfix bods are easy to paint and, Rivet Counters beware,  the historical innacuracy of the bods  gives me a good excuse to say, Any historical accuracy is purely accidental.
Obviously they will be painted to represent both sides but I won´t be getting hung up on wether a CSA bod is wearing a tunic of  exactly the right tone of  Butternut Brown or a Union bod is wearing a Kepi or a Hardee hat. As Noted at PSR, these were intended as toys..and toys are meant for games and games should be fun..not a chore.

I´ll also be making some Conversions. I did so way back when I first got into wargaming/collecting but they will be as simple as I don´t want to get bogged down with the Project which usually gets me distracted into doing something else.

Any half decent looking battlefield Needs some bits of scenery  so first up a couple of generic farmhouses.
As this is supposed to be a fun  Old School  Project,  reliant on being cheap, quick  and easy, so everything about it, including any battlefield "decoration",  has to cost virtually nothing, be Basic, no excessive Detail or in depth historical accuracy, if it looks the part it´ll do and lastly,  durable.
Thin Card glued with PV

Base painting                                                                  
Ridge tiles added
Windows, doors and windowsills added.
Chimneys made from high density foam
...and here´s a very inspirational blog.  20mm Crimean War Wargaming & Other Stuff
Bob is also doing an Airfix ACW Project called  Project Battle Cry & Airfix ACW.
The look he´s achieved is what I´m aiming for.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Elf commander

The queen is the Joan of arc from Odemars Leaders set.
I removed the axe at her belt, and replaced the flag and flagpole. The design on the  Flag is apparently called the unity flower, so works well for a leader of different tribes of elves.

The trumpeter is from the Zvezda Russian knights  which, IMHO, is a bloody awefull set of bods, the trumpeter being the only pose having any use.
 The elf wing of the "light alliance" army so far.
I might add the RedBox  elves but only the archers as   the bods don´t look that good in any of the pics I´ve seen
Also a front line of fighters Needs adding...dwarves are the most popular choice at the Moment.

And..another Addition to the household. This one has been hiding in the Woods for the last couple of weeks, daring to get closer and closer to the house, tempted by bits of Food left out and  until cold and possible Exhaustion, made being indoors more acceptable. Yesterday, she allowed herself to be brought inside.

Exhausted, Deaf , old and thin, she (it´s a female) was, after a nights rest and tick removal,  taken to the vets where we we´re given two choices:
1. She would be transfered to the local  home for strays, all vet bills covered.
2. We take her on and also the resulting bills.

Considering her Age and fraility, who would want to take her from the strays home..the Little of what future she had left looked only one choice was available.
She has a new home with us :-)
She´s An estimated Age of around 15 (75 in human years), virtually no teeth and dehydrated, definately deaf...oh and she´s a British short hair..ironic really.
After  blood tests (the poor Thing had virtually nothing left to give ) it turns out she´s perfectly Sound internally, so a vitimin B shot, a spell on a drip to get her fluids up, Special Food, 4 hours of watching "Vets TV" (I didn´t realise there was such a Thing)  and a decent sized vets bill, she´s now  back home, eating and cleaning herself  and is looking a lot more happy.

Oh...and she´s called Smokey.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Airfix Elves

The Airfix Robinhood set is, IMHO, one of the best sets as a base for conversions followed by Accurate´s  Hundred Years War English Men-At-Arms and Italeri´s Roman Infantry (I got 40 different poses out of the 3 Basic legionary poses).
This lot have had headswops using the heads from the Revell Anglo-Saxons set.

The flag? Looking at it now, it Looks like it´s upside down(?)

The quivers also came from the revel Anglo-saxons set.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Teutonic order 1329 - More pics

Some more piccies of the dio.
Prisoners  (possibly Lithuanians) in the main square

More of the Market place

A new winter guest.  The local hedgehog protection Group phoned up asking if we could take in a small (in the photo he weighed only  200 gramms) and feed him up.
He now weighs nearly 500 gramms :-D

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Teutonic order 1329 - Progress so far

Wolfgang has started putting the dio together, testing Placement of the bods etc.

Wood collecting

Market place

The guards (in red/White)on the Bridge and hiding in doorways at the market I haven´t had time to Show the pics. They and  other pics of the dio in Progress will follow.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Airfix - Tarzan Figures

The quest to paint every bod pose set Airfix ever made continues.* This set has only 8 bods so I went for painting up the 8 animal poses as well.

Took about 4 hours the lot..(some of the paintjobs on the animals being proof of that)

The set came out at the time of the 1966-1968 Tarzan series.
All the poses in the set

The Humans
The female??? In the series there were a lot of female characters but Jane  Porter was left out of the series who is she supposed to represent ? Airfix´s idea to add a Jane character  or is she supposed to be a generic representative  of the many women who acted in the 1966 -1968 series like Julie Harris or Ethel Merman ?
Or, is she meant to  represent Ruana  played by Nichelle Nichols (yep,  Lieutenant Uhura) They way she´s dressed isn´t too far off how she looked in the Show (HERE)
The Great White hunter. Perhaps it´s Jason Flood  played by  Alan Samuel Lyle-Smythe
From the waist down it appears as if he isn´t wearing anything at all or at best a pair of tights so his shorts, socks and shoes are painted "as if"
The Tarzan bod is  tall compared to the other bods  (as noted over at PSR)  Seeing as the bod is based on Ron Ely who is 6' 4",   his stature  seems vagely appropiate,,,and anyway, Tarzan IS BIG so no normal puny human here thankyou.
I´ve found out that Ron Ely didn´t really have black hair but  hey, I watched the series on a B/W TV and as part of the Mission to paint all the sets is to try and copy (as far as possible) the boxart, he ended up with black hair.
Jai. I found his character  annoyingly sickly sweet .  Played in the series by Manuel Padilla, Jr. 

The Africans could considered to be one of the many American Africans who acted in the series like   Rao played by  Rockne Booth Tarkington, Kesho played by Yaphet Kotto, Sorda played by Clarence Williams III and  M'Kone, played by Brock Peters (to Name but a few) 
I didn´t copy the boxart for the shields..the engraved pattern put a stop to that
After a bit of reflection whilst writing this post, I decided to paint up a female as Ruana, though my painting nor the sculpt come anywhere near the stunning Looks of   Nichelle Nichols

The animals
TBH, they could have ditched most of the animals in favour of a few more  humans.
The Nellie, Panther, one of the lions and the Zebra turn up in one or other of the 2 Airfix Zoo sets which could have been used to provide Tarzan´s world with a Menagerie.

Mind you, did Tarzan ever have anything to do with  Llamas or  penguins? Still, it would have been fun as a nipper Pairing him up   in a boxing match against one of the Kangaroos.
Actually, although it´s a Long time ago but thinking about it, I probably did :-D
(Zoo Animals No. 1 & Zoo Animals No. 2)
The croc I painted up in a bit of a PeterPan/Tarzan Comic book look.

The most mule like Zebra ever.
A new species!!  A Mubra? A Zeble?
Fun to paint and researching the characters taught me a lot about how some of the actors developed thier careers but what could they be used for now? (the bods that is, not the actors)
The native playing the drum? After he´d  had a head swop,  he  found a home as a khandibarian
I might give the native in the canoe a head swop and use him elsewhere, the others could become Khandibarians.
The croc will be put aside for possible use in Bodstonia
I quite like the female pose , It´s got some conversion possibility.
Jason could end up alongside his mates in a desert/Jungle type setting, that´s if I had any similar desert/Jungle type bods to be his mates.
Tarzan ? I actually have an idea for him.
The Teeny weeny Jai ? A Hobbit on bathday?

The rest? Back in the bag I reckon

*33 with this lot..27 to go!! That should, at this rate, take Another 6 years .............

.............and on a different note....A slow worm !
 After a quick photo, It got released exactly where it was found

Friday, 19 August 2016

Norman Army Camp - Strelets

Another themed set from Strelets along the lines of the Medieval britian set

27 bods (some as Groups of two´s or three´s ) 28 if the Babe in arms is included. 7 mounted bods (one, with the woman slung across the saddle,  is a double pose) two fighting/hunting Dogs and a wild boar.

One small annoying thing, the Nags. They are the same poses as in (off the top of my head) the Norman Knights, Military Order Sergeants and the Norman Cavalry on the March sets. Annoying because the Norman Cavalry on the March set is included in the box, and 3 of the mounted bods in the Norman camp set  are more suited to a Walking or stationary Nag.
Theorectically, you could pinch one Walking nag from the Norman Cavalry on the March set  but then they would all end up with Nags on the gallop, so hardly giving the semblence of being "on the march".
Fortunately  I´ve got a Tonnage of spare nags, so I can choose some more suitable poses, not so fortunate if you haven´t.  

Apart from the nag Problem, it´s a great set. Very little flash and as far as I can find out, historically accurate, they´ve even got some of the bods with the classic norman soldiers haircut.
I´d have liked to see more female poses but 4  (even if one seems to be being mistreated) is a decent number compared with other sets.
The Party revellers

Bringing home the Bacon Doe
As with a lot of pairs carrying something over thier shoulders..they are out of step which, if you´ve ever tried difficult to do for any length of time.
Exactly what the cook is doing with the big fish I can´t tell but...........
...maybe he´s handing it over..which explains the soldiers pose.

The bod on the far right is playing  a fiddle or lira/Vielle, or more likely a Rebec
The face. It reminds me of a 1960´s -70´s british actor..I think he played a Police inspector or detective in a series but who was it??
The mounted poses
As mentioned, I´ve swopped the nags for others, in this case from other Strelets sets, Italeri and HäT

Side saddle in a different style

The Hunting bird? It, like the rest of the Menagerie in the set, is big. Exactly what it is, no idea. After looking through any available data like the de arte venandi cum avibus or the  Boke of Seynt Albans , (the latter , which was  Published much later than the norman period, it does have a section on Hawking.) I found nothing approaching the size of the bird on his arm,  so I went for a Basic "Looks hawkish enough for me" paintjob.

Wild boar and hunters
I removed the chunk of  pike from the boars left flank, it just didn´t look right somehow.
At PSR they mention the almost vertical angle of the crossbow but with a bit of hot water Treatment and twisting, it aligns to a slightly more realistic angle.

Wild? Seeing as it´s being chased I assume it´s not just wild but  totally furious!!!

Why has he got an empty scabbard and sword belt hung around his neck? I remember reading somewher that the Franks considered the sword belt with it´s buckles and scabbard as a symbol of potency and to loose it was a profound disgrace,  so maybe the hanging it around his neck is something along those lines (?)
Anyway, the rope noose Needs twisting to get it at the right angle but it fits tightly so painting the prisoners face after Fitting is a good idea..I didn´t and had to re-touch the paintjob.

The females.

The one in the middle is playing a harp

How to paint up the Dogs? Digging about and reading loads of (often contradicted) articles on what the Norman war Dogs looked like, I ended up more confused than I started.  I found  a wide range of breed names like the  Alaunt de Boucherie (Butchers Alaunt),  Molossus, Agassian, Mastin, Alano, and Lebrel.
There were a couple which had nice colour schemes like the Dogue de Bordeaux or the English Mastiff  but the  earliest record for the Dogue de Bordeaux Comes from the 14th Cent and the English Mastiff is more than likely a decendant from the Alaunt line.
Most likely is the  Alaunt de Boucherie. Seeing as it´s an extinct breed and the coat colour is disputed, one of the Alaunt types, the Alaunt Gentil, is generally White but Looks like a´s  got a  dolichocephalic skull (narrow at base, long in length) as opposed to the Mastiff look which is brachycephalic (wide in base, but short in length), I went for the representation on the box art.
Dolichocephalic? Brachycephalic? I only found These words, along with mesaticephalic (it means moderate headed btw) when lookinmg up the various dog breed. The things you learn from painting up Little lumps of plastic !

I removed the straps from the Dogs, they didn´t really line up anyway,  and replaced them with (even if slightly out of scale) jewellry chains.

The Dogs, even for fighting Dogs, are BIG! Too big really but apart from  a couple of Fighting Dogs from various Valdemar sets or the Revell Conquistadors,  there aren´t many others..and they vary in size too much.
Pity really,  as a lot of armies, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and conquistadores   (to Name  a few) have used fighting Dogs in their ranks. If I were Strelets (or any other manufacturer) I would make a set of fighting Dogs, Mastifs, Wolfhounds etc.
Imagine, how would a large pack of Fighting Dogs look like in a wargame ? How would they be used?