Sunday, 31 May 2015

He did it to me AGAIN!

Hoi,

Not so long ago I promised Jan-Willem (aka Pijlie), I'd participate in a game of "Fistful of Kung-fu". This is a rule-set of the Osprey Series and I can now say: a lot of fun! This game of his took place at the last Ducosim Gaming Convention in Amersfoort in the Netherlands.

J-W and I had been discussing the game for some time and I had asked him whether I could use my Mystery Inc figures again since I wanted to give them another airing. He graciously allowed me to use them and so I packed them up and went on my way.

J-W is know in the Dutch gaming-scene for his great tables and easy-going nature as a games master and this occasion sure was no exception. Due to the public transport, I was late at the convention and had to pass on the first game of the day, J-W hosted 3 games in all that day. In the second game I played with 3 other guys and our mission was as follows:

At the end of the city-scaped table a Chinese mansion was located, the home of the director of a grand restaurant chain, but really an Mysterious Magician. He had acquired a valuable ancient statue which all the players (and their gangs) wanted to get hold off. The Yakuza thought it a valuable antique, the coppers had it down as a way to smuggle narcotics and the local biker chapter thought it contained money (or something like that, I actually forgot). My Mystery Inc gang ended up there cause Shaggy and Scoob were hungry, just my luck.


 We deployed our gangs in the 4 corners of the target building. J-W explained the basic rules of the game and boy are they basic: they're dead easy! 


It seemed to me to be a smart move to let others go in first, kill the Magicians minions for me and then I could steal the statue and get away. Luckily for me the other players more or less obliged me in this: the coppers and bikers got into a grudge-match ending with the Bikers being gunned down by the SWAT team which also took care of a lot of the Magicians stooges. In the meanwhile one of the Yakuza members (the boss I think) stole a car and tried to drive it straight through the mansion's wall. He was entirely absorbed in doing so, that he almost forgot I was there...


Cautiously I edged the gang up to the compound and when no one was looking I jumped my leader (Velma, who else?) over the wall easy as that! A bungle of the dice prevented me from jumping in the rest of the gang so they had to wait till the next turn. Velma, using some free moves gained from other players bungled rolls, hijacked a car standing in the compound parking lot and backed it over one of the magicians minions.


 The Yakuza and the SWAT players both got some figures into the building and when all my figures were inside the compound, Velma drove the car right through the screen-doors and into the mansion proper.

Now in the picture above you can see two warrior statues (J-W claimed them to be Ming Dynasty Terracotta Warriors, but clearly they're fake because they're obviously not terracotta ;-) Velma had the nasty suspicion they were not entirely what they looked like, so revving the engine she drove the nearest one to shards.

Meanwhile the other players, all except the bikers who were down to two figures and madly trying to get revenge on the cops, were inside and even fighting the Magician and his minions for the statue. The Magician waved his hands in a complicated Chinese gesture and made the warrior statues come to life... Velma changed gear and swooped the last warrior in the room down while turning the car around to take her into the Magicians study which was filled with bullets, statues and blokes trying to kill each other.


In a great stunt Velma then wheelie-ed the car through the study-door, unto the Magician's desk and ... smashed the statue; jinkies! 

Since this brilliant move brought the mission (retrieving the statue) to an indecisive end we all looked up to J-W for directions and I became aware of a dreaded sight: J-W started to smile menacingly from ear to ear and conjured up a model of a huge Asian Red Dragon... The statue had apparently been holding captive the spirit of a great Red Drake and it now escaped the stone prison it had called it's home for the last thousand years. The mission objective had now become "Kill the dragon" oh and by the way chaps it has 5 wounds.

My turn had ended and I really needed to answer the call of nature I ...erm...well I did and left the table with instructions for J-W to get Velma out the room when she would get any free moves. While doing business with Mother Nature I thought up a brilliant way to tackle the dragon, no puns intended.
 In my absence some nitwit with a gun blew up the remains of my car creating havoc and slightly wounding the beast, but luckily Velma had seen fit to get clear of the blast. In the picture above you can see the Bikers had hijacked a bulldozer which they had driven through the Mansion's walls just before I knocked over the statue. As soon as the dragon manifested itself, they got out of the engine and went for freedom and tried to get off the table. A wise decision in hindsight.


The dragon went on a rampage through the mansion and it's path took it past the spot Velma was hiding out. It had been shot some more and had 3 wounds remaining. Since Velma had a great plan and a chainsaw in case the plan didn't work out, I asked J-W whether I could perform a stunt. I figured Velma had guessed that the Magician was basically a fraud and the dragon actually was 3 guys in a dragon suit. I proposed to him that if I managed to roll my stunt successfully I'd taken down the dragon. J-W concurred and I had to roll a stunt with 3 successes needed, I rolled a 6, 5 and an 1... the dragon continued it's rampage and we all had to get it's 3 remaining wounds to go away.


In the meantime the rest of the gang had gathered in the courtyard and I needed to get my priorities straight, the most sensible thing to do was get out and that would totally be in sync with what the Mystery Inc guys and galls do each episode: run away a lot! But the game was nearing it's end and I decided to go for the dragon.

The Yakuza boss had sneaked out of the compound and appeared behind me. He promised not to attack the gang if I in turn let him be. Stupidly I agreed, the cops gunned down the dragon's next two wounds and just before Velma was in range to get the chainsaw in play, the dastardly Oyabun shot it down claiming the win!

A great game with lots of real movie moments. So J-W did it to me again: I need to get me that rule-set!

Cheers Sander

Listening to:

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Reason Why...

Hoi,

This post is all about putting ghosts to rest. There are quite a lot of historic periods in which I have an avid interest but do not represent in miniature. The best examples are Ancients, WW2, Medieval Times and modern times. A "smaller" period of interest has always been the Crimean War. While the Painting Challenge was well under way, I watched "The charge of the light brigade" on DVD again and was caught up in the butterfly effect to paint up some Crimean figures. There are no decent 1:72 figures for this conflict available here, so I decided to do a vignette of 28mm Warlord figures to get it out of my system.


These turned out quite nice and for a while it was indeed out of my system and I could concentrate on different stuff. Then after the Challenge I suffered from painters-block and trying to get rid of it brought me to the Challenge FB page. When I mentioned I was having lost my mojo, one of the enlightened soul over there suggested I'd start a totally new project. So that is how I went on-line and ended up with two 15 mm Crimean War armies.

Here are the first pictures of this new project. I have started with the Russians and have finished two of the Cavalry units and a Command stand. In the end I would like to enlarge the units to possible 4 stands but let's just get these all painted up.

The Command stand:


Light Cavalry or possibly Dragoons ( I really have no clue but I like them).


The Lancers


A group shot


The miniatures are from Irregular Miniatures, their service is great, fast replies to enquiries and even faster delivery. The mini's are pretty good castings with some crisp details and very little in the way of flash.

Now I do have a question for any of you who might have experience with 15mm Black Powder armies: I want to create infantry units of approximately 18 figures, but have no idea how to base them. What size of base and how many figures on each?

Now usually I end the posts here with a "listening to..." I'll do that today as well but with a warning for the virtuous, sensitive ones amongst you, lately I have been into traditionals like the Drunken  Sailor and the Wild Rover, you know what I mean. This led my around the various Youtube channels. There I found this song by the Dreadnoughts:


By linking through I found a version by the Poxy Boggards which I liked as well:


These chaps also did a nice version of the "Mingulay Boat Song" I had to look up where Migulay is...


And now is the moment you lads and lasses who do not like the saucy or racy stuff, should NOTpress play because this song most definitely contains very explicit lyrics indeed. Now no grumbling please because I did warn you! I nearly died of laughing and think the likes of Fran and Ray will love it as well.


Cheers Sander


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Prussian 13th Regiment of the Line (von Itzenplitz)

Hoi,

A time ago I have mentioned I finished another Prussian 7YW regiment. While that's more or less the case, the term "finished" isn't technically true. When working the pictures for this post I noticed two huge mistakes that had hitherto escaped my notice. The drummer is missing his...well reason d'etre: his drum. Besides this glaring omission I also failed to add two more soldiers to the regiment making it 22 man strong rather than my usual 24. These faults will be corrected as soon as I have the chance.

Oh well. The regiment chosen for this project is the 13th Regiment von Itzenplitz. Uniform information and background was mostly taken from the still excellent Kronoskav website. I am aiming at recreating a brigade of Prussian infantry from the Orbat of the Battle for Lobositz and they were the second of it's regiments I have done up.

The white facing colour really stands out nice and I always love finishing a Prussian 7YW regiment.

Cheers Sander

Listening to:





Banzai!

Hoi,

Today brings you, what I think might be an unexpected, surprise! I have quite a lot of boxes of Zvezda Samurai lying about and I finally got round painting some of them. Inspired by a colourscheme done by the much esteemed Mister Charles Murton, of "In Her Majesty's Name"-fame, for his new Daisho game. Since I never had a clear view as to what I wanted to do with all the mini's I have lying around I figured I'd try out painting some and take it from there.

A group shot:


The spear-armed Ashigaru:


The musket armed gents:

Archers:


The work of mister Cartmell and Murton doesn't limit itself to figures they're very talented terrain Senseis as well and I had a go at some fences made from bamboo sushi rolling mats.


Not sure whether I will finish this project any time soon, it's more of a trial project but it sure was fun painting something else than my usual fare.

Cheers Sander

Listening to: "Thickfreakness" by The Black Keys


Monday, 4 May 2015

May the Forth

Hoi,

It's the 4th of May again and just like each year this presents me with a bit of a problem: it's International Star Wars Day; but here in the Netherlands it's also our National Memorial Day... Personally I think both are worthy of attention, be it the latter one a bit more than the former.

So here are some pictures I took when driving through the Limburgian countryside last Friday with a dear friend who has actually restored a War time Willy's Jeep. First we visited the Eyewitness Museum in Beek.  This is a small private museum which has a very nice collection all put up in several diorama's using very lifelike dolls.

After that we drove up to the American Military Cemetery at Margraten. At the Cemetery, volunteers were actually busy placing pictures of the Fallen alongside their memorials. Literally putting a face to the suffering. As I find it rather respect-less to behave like a tourist and shoot thousands of pictures I only took 3 and here they are.




The picture above shows the Jeep. It really is a very great experience to be driving a vehicle 70 years old and still purring like a kitten. It is a bit chilly though...
And since we cannot forego the Star Wars obsession I suffer from here's a few pictures of a game I played last week with Mark. We had written our own version of the Kessel Run. 4 Smugglers (Firespray, YT1300, YT2400 and Hawk)  had to cross a meteor field, than escape a field of Black-hole flares and finally evade the Empire and leave of the opposing table edge. Mark's Firespray won, but only just.





Cheers Sander

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Some HäT testshots

Hoi,

While the last weeks of the Challenge were still in progress, I received some testshots from the United States. These were the eagerly awaited British Peninsular Cavalry (both heavy and light dragoons) and WW1 Belgian Infantry sets. The latter are today's subject as I found some time to get them painted up.

So let's take a look at the figures. First up is the regular line infantry set. All figures are uniformed in the early war (i.e. 1914) uniform. What I specially like is that there are 3 figures in seated or prone positions as to indicate the need to seek cover, something often overlooked in WW1 sets. Here are two pics of the figures:



Next up are the Heavy weapon set figures. These include a prone Light Machine Gun being fired by either Carabineers or Jagers (Light Infantry) I painted them up as Carabineers on bike. There's a dogcart with Carabineer handler and an officer firing his pistol.


The HMG is based on a resin scenic base from the 36th Chamber, a very nice range of trench-themed bases can be obtained from them.

Some close ups of the heavies set:




Hope you like them as much as I did.

Cheers Sander

Annalogue Hobbies Painting Challenge Review or there and back again...

Hoi,

Yeah I know: I have been absent for a month or so....this has been due to several facts, not the least of which has been me suffering from a respiratory infection; not funny at all I can tell you.
Anyway I am back and will try to resume normal services on the blog. First up will be a short recap of the Challenge I have attended and enjoyed very much!

For those of you who have missed the event you find it through this link. As you can see, about 72 people signed up to compete and of all those I managed to come in the 14th place with 1476 points. Quite frankly I have no idea how I managed this, but I am mighty pleased all the same.

This year I entered in two side challenges, one with Ben from the excellent Rosbif blog. We decided that whoever managed to get 200points worth of 1:72 plastics painted would win, that turned out to be me. The other side challenge I crossed brushes with Anne from O'Leary's Miniatures in order to paint the deadliest Femme Fatale and she beat me fair and square. 

I managed to enter a contribution in each of the Theme Rounds and two of those managed to get in the "runner-up" places to the winners. 

Curt, the great organiser did a tremendous job in putting the show together and he deserves all the credit and applause. That said the Challenge also has brought me in contact with a lot of wonderful ladies and gents who paint beautiful miniatures and vignettes. There are too many to mention them all but I'd like to thanks each and everyone one of you for making my first Challenge an event worth while remembering fondly and if Curt, time and health permit it, I will certainly join again next time.  

Curt did ask us to sent in pictures of the stuff painted during the challenge and even though not all the miniatures were actually available to be photographed (quite a large portion of my collection is on display at the school where I work right now) here are the pictures of the stuff I have painted during the Challenge.

An overview:




 A close up of the 1:72 plastics I've painted and, in the back, a vignette of 28mm Warlord miniatures depicting the Charge of the Light Brigade.



Next up are quite a lot of 28mm figures I've done up as Theme Round entries as well as some Star Wars miniatures from West End. Also included are some of my Victoriana, which is a project I really like a lot.


The last picture shows my collection of Barsoom related figures (in the back) and some more West End Games Star Wars miniatures as well as some HäT Bengal lancers. 

So what are the plans for next year? The experiences of the last Challenge really got me thinking, so here are my conclusions, whether I will be able to fulfil them will depend and only time will tell.
- I'd like to set my aim at a points total of 1500, a number I have just missed by a small margin of points this year.
- I'd like to finish in the top 20 again, but this is a real long shot I do realise that.
- I will try and pick a project to finish during the Challenge. Kinda like Dave Docherty who stunned us all with his Sudan project. While you could say I have finished my Barsoomian project along the way, this was only a small one and I'd like to take on a larger project so as to clear a larger part of my unpainted-mini's pile. At the moment I am seriously considering my WW1 Allied armies for this. 
- I'd like to run the Femme Fatale Side Challenge again. Curt, Anne and myself have talked about making it a recurring item for the Challenge but we need to wait and see whether Curt is able and willing to host the Challenge again next year.

So how to go on from here? I did suffer from a paintersblock or loss of Mojo shortly after the Challenge. Some of the nice people on the Analogue Hobbies FB page suggested I would jump right back in with a new project. I did... more on that will follow on these pages in due time. This project got me back into painting and I managed to paint up another 1:72 Austrian Regiment for the 7YW and am in the process of finishing a Prussian regiment for the same conflict. The new project is on it's way nicely as well but I have a basing problem so am a bit at a loss as to how to go about that but will figure it out in the end I guess.

More Victoriana are also ready awaiting painting on the desk as are some more Star Wars mini's, so enough in the pipe-line to show you people in the coming months.

Honesty does prevail on me to mention that I really have a bit of a blogger's block as well since posting a blog will mean taking pictures and I really do s*ck at that. So it might take a while for me to post up another entry here for a while.

In the meantime take care!

Sander