I give up/Happy new year

Yes, I can't finish any more stuff in 2011, I thought I had a good chance of finishing the SU76s, but the paint just dries too slow at this time of year.

So that forces me to sit down and review what progress I made over the year. One target I almost met was to reduce the stash down to 5,000 from 6,500. I got down to 5,048 just before Christmas and then of course it rose again with the presents.

So the first project of 2012 will be to review progress and set targets for 2012.

Have a great New Year wherever you are.




Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero

A quick dip into the stash for the "Wings" speed build over on the Guild. It's an old Airfix kit, an impulse buy at a Warboot sale a while back.

The big problem was the decals as not only were they fragile, but they had also discoloured, so I had to touch up the white areas and the white engine rings had to be added freehand

I'm not sure how I'm going to use it as it acted as either a medium bomber or a torpedo bomber so I have left off the torpedos for now.

Off course to above pictures have been altered to remove the stand, so here is how the aircraft is fixed to an aerial.


Thank you Santa

Received some nice gifts this year

Somehow I think they will define some projects for next year


Hanoverian Foot Guards

A seasonally coloured update, not Santa's helpers, but Hanoverian Fussgarde grenadiers. The Revell Prussian Grenadiers were ideal for this as there was no detail on the grenadier caps, so it was easy(?) to paint on the detail.

In the background are various other bits I finished for my Frundsbergers.

Merry Christmas everyone and may you get lots of toys.



Catching up

Slowly getting there. here's some more completed bits and pieces.

The Italian trucks 2 x Lancia L6 and 1 x Fiat 621

A pair of 100mm Austrian Feldhaublitze, just need to buy some crew.

The Zvezda AT teams, a very useful pack as I only needed a couple extra, in case I field a Guards Rifle regiment, which has double the normal allocation of AT rifles


Radio Operators

The finishing touches for my US Parachute regiment are the radio operators. Typically like many sets of plastic figures there were none in the various US Para sets so I had to convert some.

The radio is basically a rectangle of thick plasticard framed by thin microstrip. The aerial is fine copper wire so it will flex without breaking. Finally a rolled cover made of greenstuff was added round the top and sides and additionally served to hide the gaps.

Not visible is a length of rod drilled through the radio and into the figure to ensure it stays in place. The dials, etc are a simple paint job.

GNW Russians for sale

These figures are from the Strelets Court of Peter the great set. I had hoped to use the infantry figures, but they are so significantly different in scale from those by Zvezda so I have decided to sell them.

The whole lot is available for £10 plus P&P

email Fire-at-WillatLive.co.uk (replacing the second at with @)


Soviet Reece

While working on the cavalry I also finished this Zvezda mini-set of Russian Recon, quite nice figures, but in retrospect I should have based them on thinner bases than those provided

Also shown are a couple of my panzerfaust markers, I based up another twelve as I'm always short of some.


SYW Frundsberg cavalry

They took a while, but they are now complete, well almost, as I want to add a few more figures to go with the foot officers, but I haven't decided what to use yet.

Front front to rear Stocwold Kuirassiers, Pidnem Dragoons and the Battenburg Kuirassiers.

The cavalry are all the Revell SYW Austrian Dragoons with the Cuirassiers converted by trimming off the lapels and painting on a breastplate.


Reflections on Recon

A much smaller show than Fiasco and very much an outing to meet up with friends rather than seeing lots of eye-candy. This time it was very much a joint effort of the Society of Ancients; Lance & Longbow and the Towton Battlefield Societies. The game was a refight of the battle of Wakefield 1460 using an alternative scenario as proposed by Helen Cox in her book "The battle of Wakefield revisited". Helen herself was on hand to sign copies of her book and answer any queries

Richard of York sallies out with the treacherous Nevilles on the right flank

The centres come to blows! Both sides successfully pushing back one opposing contingent.

By the time we packed up the Nevilles had still not come to blows leaving the rest of the Yorkists to be crushed by the Lancastrians despite their earlier successes.

Personally I managed to clear quite a bit of my stash and limited my purchases to some static grass, a Zvezda 88mm gun and a box of Airfix Matador and 5.5" parts on the B&B. Hopefully there will be enough bits to make up two guns for "Monty's battles".


For Sale - December 2011 update

These will be up for sale at our local club Deeside Defenders. I'll take anything to the next shows I'm attending (should be Vapanartak - York) so if you are interested in any items let me know and I'll bring them along.

Painted Figures/Vehicles (Unpainted are in trading -haves)

WW2 German Infantry (Airfix 46 figs) £6.00


Various Airfix/Dapol buildings £2.00 each
2 x scratch built Russian houses £4.00 each
Old School style river system and bridge £6.00

Books (separate entry)

Books for sale - December 2011 update

If you are interested in any of these, I'll bring them along to whatever show I'm next attending (Vapanartak - York) The list includes a fellow wargamer's books as well.
  • Mallisonson - A close run thing, The Nizams daughters £1.50 each
  • Bernard Cornwall - Sharpes Havoc, Prey, Fortress, Devil, Triumph, Tiger and Trafalgar £1.00 each
  • Bernard Cornwall - Excalibur, Enemy of God £1.00 each
  • Curtis Cate - Russia 1812 - £5.00
  • WRG Rennaissance Rules (1st Ed) £3.00
  • Ireland - Battle of the Atlantic - £5.00 (mint)
  • Deighton - Bomber £1.00
  • Destroyers, Frigates and Corvettes £3.00
  • O'Siochru - Gods Executioner - Cromwell in Ireland £4.00
  • Life on the home front £2
  • Modern Warfare (IWM) £3
  • Kegan & Holmes - Soldiers – A history of men in battle £3.00
  • The D Day story £2.00 - Daily Express reprint of 10th anniversary book
  • Osprey Aircraft of the Aces - P38 Lightnings of Eu and Med £3.00
  • Andre Hue - The Next Moon £1.50
  • George/Anne Forty - Women War Heroines £1.50
Contact me at Fire-At-Will at live.co.uk


On the Workbench - December 2011

For a chance, here is the real workbench, quite a mess with all the bits "in progress". I'm not sure whether I'll do more in December other than finishing what's on show here.

Left rear - SU76s, an old model needing repair and the new ones have needed quite a bit of sanding down to fit. One part remains stubbornly distorted even with dunking in hot water.

Middle row, left to right - Frundsberg staff; Battenberg Cuirassiers (having painted the infantry I just had to have a unit of cavalry) Frundsberg Dragoons; Frundsberg Cuirassiers.

Front row - Box 1 - panzerfaust markers, 2x Lancia L6 trucks, Befehlspanzer I, Skoda 100mm Radio Operators for my US Paras, Chevauux de Frises (need rebased) and British Airborne Jeeps (they'll be up for sale at Recon)
Box2 - Soviet Recon and German Engineers
Box 3 - German m'c combos (one assembled and one still on sprue - I thick I'll head swap them and use them as DAK), a 100mm Skoda still on sprue, a Fiat truck and if you look carefully a 37mm Pak36.

On top of that lot I'll have to work on the Glowstein grenadiers, but...


I bought this and typically to play any of the scenarios I'll have to buy more stuff, I may well get tempted at Recon on Saturday.


Russian Engineers

Rather a small item for this post. For some items like the 122mm guns the Zvezda Art of Tactic sets are good value at £2.50 a box, However there are only four engineers in this box along with a few game accessories of which only the barbed wire is of much use. The pill box might be of use to some 15mm gamers so I'll pass it on to someone down at the club.

AWI British Infantry - Rebasing

Having earlier rebased some of my AWI collection, I decided on a quick rebase of a few more, as a number of figures were falling off their bases. Easier said than done! The culprits were based with a coarse sawdust that was difficult to remove, and I found quite a most needed touched up, and a few repairs were needed as well.

The original units were split by pose, but since I had started the work I decided to split the kneeling/firing poses between the 10th and 14th Foot by changing the yellow/white facings on the appropriate figures.

Overall they were not in bad condition from thirty years service and they are now ready to see a lot more service.

Over the next few days I'll try and post the individual units over on my AWI blog


Frundsberg Jaeger

Another unit for my imagi-nation Frundsberg. I had a bit of fun with the basing and added a bit of extra texture using some cork and artificial turf.

Figures are Revell SYW Austrian Infantry with the muskets cut down to rifle length.


Russian 122mm guns

Following on from the 152mm guns and a trip down south to visit the family, here are the rather nice Zvezda Art of Tactic 122mm guns.

The only downside was that they only provided two crew, so the others were sorted out from other sources including a couple of Hat WW1 Russian gunners with a head swap.

In the background is a STZ 5 from Red Star assembled at the same time.


Russian 152mm guns

A slight? change of plan. I had intended to convert the Zvezda 122mm guns into 152mm by using the spare 152mm barrels that came with the PST kit for the 122mm guns that I built years ago. I couldn't quite work out how to fit the barrels into the Zveda kit so I got out the old models to see what was needed. Horror, the barrels on them did not look right either, so I went off to the Henk of Holland site to look up the assembly instructions, and yes I'd mixed up the 152mm and 12mm parts!

The net result was I ripped the old models off their base and extracted the barrels with minor damage then reassembled them as 152mm guns instead. Then a repaint job on the guns and a tidy up and texturing of the bases. Net result two 152mm guns up to my current standard.

And the 122mm's? They are now assembled (very easy) and painted, but the crew will be painted along with the rest of the Russians in the queue.


Bashi Bazouks

A bit over two months later than planned, here they are. I've decided to try an experiment with the basing as I've always felt that two figures on a base looked wrong for irregular light cavalry and one looked insufficient. Putting three on a double sized base would mean difficulties forming a march column.

So each unit has a pair each of double and single bases. If it doesn't work out then I still have two units, plus a collection of scouts to dot around the battlefield.

Although Strelets sells the Bashi-Bazouks for the Russo-Turkish war of 1877 they look sufficiently generic to use up to 200 years earlier and they'll certainly fight with with my Siege of Vienna 1683 Ottomans, Egyptians Mamelukes, etc.


Crusader castles, Rhodes

Getting slightly off the tourist track on Rhodes a walk from Archangelos to Haraki on Rhodes takes you past a couple of castles based upon ancient acropoli.

From the town side the Archangelos castle doesn't look much, but is situated in a dominant position overlooking the second largest city on Rhodes!
Inside it's just a heap of stones and rough walls, but once you head out to the east there is quite a stunning view of it.
Further on this rocky promontory may not look much, but it's Feraklos Castle, the last site held by the Knights of St John on the island. In the distance is Lindos.
Close up you can see what made it so impregnable. The walls are built on top of a cliff with only one crumbling staircase to reach it.
On top stunning views all round, but little feel of being in a castle except a few remnants of walls.


Buildings that have been sold

Just for my records, some pictures of buildings I have sold over the last month.


Battenburg Regiment

To accompany my imaginary Frundsbergers on campaign, I've added the Battenburg regiment, shamelessly copied from the same unit as painted by Phil Olley.
Basic figures are Revell SYW Austrian Infantry. The colours are of course based on the famous Battenburg cake.


On the Workbench - November 2011

Well the Battenburg regiment is finished, just needs a picture taken before it appears here. Typically the Bashi-bazouks are still lurking in the corner of my painting table. I occasionally splash a bit of paint on a few to keep them quiet, but I need to settle down and get them finished. It's just it's working on them individually. otherwise I hope to complete:
  • Frundsberg Cuirassiers, Dragoons, Generals and maybe Jaegers if I can find an extra couple of Austrian SYW figures (I've missed out on a couple of eBay auctions this month)
  • A regiment of Glowstein Grenadiers (this should complete the forces needed for my campaign)
  • A selection of Zvezda mini-boxes, certainly the 152/122mm artillery, motorcycles, engineers and recon.
  • I'll try and make some inroads into the resin kits and work on the SU76s and a STZ-5



One of the three ancient cities of Rhodes, Lindos is positioned about half way down the east side of Rhodes and is extremely popular with the tourists so get there early. The acropolis is positioned on a rocky hill overlooking the old town and two good harbours.

We walked there for our first visit, Here's the view from Marmari mountain.
Luckily we had only planned to look at the old town, as the Acropolis was closed by a strike.

The entrance is up a steep staircase
Being an ally of Athens a temple to Athena is no surprise. (The hill on the right is Marmari)
To help me remember here's a description of the fortifications
A view from the seaward side, sharp eyed observers will see the cranes on the site for reconstruction work and also fat tourists being transported by mule up to the entrance staircase.

A great place to visit, but try and avoid the crowds.


OK Fiasco done

I always forget just how much effort putting on a game at a show needs. You start off with, "I've got the figures..." Then you think I just need a bit more terrain. Then, it's a participation game .. Player aids, etc. Then handouts.

The basic idea was to us Steve Thomas' DBA in the New World rules, Normally I use the 90 point version, but for the game I used 2 x 75pt armies and experience last week at the Deeside club helped to clarify the armies used. The Aztec armies were identical, but the Conquistadores were either a fire-power or blade dominated force. Both were balanced with Indian Auxilliaries. A pure Conquistadore force on 75 points is too powerful for inexperienced Aztec players to cope with so allies were part of both forces.

A bit of a blurred picture, but it shows the terrain set up used. I had originally planned to amke some more impressive Built Up Areas (BUAs) for the Aztecs, but DBA rules meant it was simpler to show an area and just add a building.
The "classic" Spanish strategy with the blade heavy army - Indian Allies kept out of harm's way while the Blades and General hack their way though the Aztec, knights, etc.
Thanks to Steve a picture of myself explaining the game to some willing volunteers

Overall performance Spanish win 6-4, however Hernan Cortes died twice, so you can rewite history however you wish.

Overall a great day out, though my voice was fading by the end. The problem was I had no time to visit the other games and the only shopping was just before we started. I was particularly glad to see that my mate's old Atlantic figures sold along with a fair bit of my plastic surplus.

Just before we started I managed to acquire:
  • 2 x Brittania Lancia L6 Truck
  • 1 x Frontline Italian Fiat 621
  • 2 x Zvezda German motorcycles (I need to think about replacing the Hat ones)
  • 3 x Zvezda German 37mm AT Guns (need a lot for my early DAK force)
  • 2 x Zvezda Russian 122mm howitzer (I've got the PST version, but they included the barrel for the 152mm version in with it so I'll try and match them up.
  • 1 x Zvezda Russian 47mm AT Gun ( just to see how it scales up with the PSC version
  • C16 Armies by Ian Heath - should have got this before the game, but it was always too expensive, now it will tempt me to create more exotic armies (Inca maybe?)


Two days to Fiasco

Run a number of DBA in the New World test games last night at the club, and I've only got a few final bits to sort before the game is ready for Fiasco. Although I normally play a 90 point game my play is to run a 75 point game at the show because it is quicker to run and also allows me to run a paired game if more people wish to play.

Link to Steve Thomas's Blalgan site where the rules, etc can be found (link) just look under Wargaming then DBx.

The painting front has been a bit slow getting started after the holiday, but the Battenburg regiment is well underway and may be finished in the next day or two. It'll then be the end of the month so I'll have to reappraise what to do next. I suspect this might be affected by what I buy at the show.


Back from Rhodes

Just back from my long deserved holiday to Rhodes. Rhodes city is really impressive and the walls around the old town are an excellent example of early gunpowder fortifications..
At the end of the mole between Mandraki and Commercial harbours is Fort Saint Nicolas, built in 1460 and the major focus of attention during the first Turkish seige of 1480.
A walk around the moat sounds rather boring but isn't and give a real feel of the scale of the fortifications and their complexity with a succession of killing grounds for anyone getting this far.
For some strange reason you only get to walk on the walls themselves on Tuesdays and Saturdays so a second visit was need to see the view from the top. This shows the old wall (1480 siege) to the left, a new moat was cut to the right leaving a new advanced wall ready for the 1522 siege.
Finally the Grand Masters palace, the curse of scaffolding seems to follow me around. From the ground floor up it was reconstructed by the Italians in the 1930's


Phew, Frundsbergers Finished

Sorry for there being a lack of new painting being posted recently. The reason why? I painted the whole lot of 96 SYW Frundsberg Infantry as a single batch and here they are:
They are part of my preparation for a forthcoming campaign set in my imagi-nation the Frundsberg Frei Stadt and further details on the units will be posted on that blog over the next few days (link)