Monday, December 26, 2011

Faugh a Ballagh!

“Your soldier’s heart almost stood still as he watched those sons of Erin fearlessly rush to their deaths. The brilliant assault on Marye’s Heights of their Irish brigade was beyond description. We forgot they were fighting us and cheer after cheer at their fearlessness went up all along our lines!”
General George Pickett, writing to his Fiancée.

"The boys that wore the green" was their nickname, the famed Irish Brigade. Part of this brigade was the 69th, or as General Robert E. Lee nicknamed them during the fighting at Fredericksburg; "The Fighting 69th".

I modelled them after the scenes from the movies Gods & Generals, in greatcoats assaulting the Confederate defences at Fredericksburg. The regiment was almost annihilated during this assault. The figures from Redoubt Enterprises are hell to work with, but after cleaning and of course, painting i think they look alright! Not all negative, a good thing about these Redoubt figures is that they come with seperate heads, so you can add some variation to them.

The grass tufts are late fall tufts from Silflor.

Currently i'm working on the 2nd Wisconsin Regiment, part of the Iron Brigade. Another positive thing about those Redoubt figures is that they paint nicely and pretty fast. Also, the casting of those Iron Brigade models is alot better then the ones with overcoats. Probably a popularity thing ...

Oh yeah, before i forget. Merry Christmas and of course ... a happy newyear. Don't drink and drive.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Battle Report #1: Battle of Cape Matapan

I had the rulebook in my closet for a long time... yesterday we played our first game using these rules. We kept it simple by using only ships and no aircraft. We didn't use the advanced rules. Well... to be honest... i liked Axis & Allies War at Sea but this is just ... waaay better. We used A&A mini's which are at a scale of 1/1800th. We really should decide if we go with the Skytrex 1/3000th mini's or go with GHQ's fantastically detailed 1/2400th scale.

  The scenario we chose was a part of the greater Battle of Cape Matapan. 4 Royal Navy light cruisers against 3 cruisers and 1 Battleship from the Italian Navy. I was playing with the Royal Navy. Things looked very dark for me. My objective was to hold on for 8 turns without losing a ship. Silly me, i turned around and started targeting the Battleship.

  HMS Orion was annihilated in a single short range salvo from the Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto while my other cruisers got beaten up by the Italian cruisers. I was unable to damage any cruisers thanks to some bad throwing and all my guns having the 'weak' penalty.

  I was able to damage the Veneto but lost 2 of my cruisers in the process. HMS Perth got in close for torpedoes and was able to damage the Italian cruisers Bolzano almost crippling it, but being surrounded by 2 cruisers from the Italian Navy i didn't stand a chance.

  HMS Perth surrendered and we considered it to be a crushing victory for the Regia Marina!

  What have we learned from this game? Well, it's a fun game, the rules are great so far. We need to buy new models. We need a bigger table. And of course, should we buy the rulebook 'Age of Dreadnoughts' too? Oh yeah, i forgot, things I should remember for the next time; Italy had some evil cruisers during World War II. Lucky for us their High Command wasn't of the quality they should've been...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advance the colors! Advance the colors! Charge!

"I doubt whether it had an equal, and certainly no superior among all the regiments of the Army of the Potomac."

The next regiment is ready... The 5th New York, one of the most famous units of the American Civil War.

  I've done the basing and tufts the same way as the previous regiment, only for the flags I tried some tips from one of my followers. To be honest, it didn't work out like I have hoped :-( But many thanks for the tips, MiniMike!

  They turned out pretty good i think, while finishing these i had some ideas for the 6th (and probably last) regiment. I'm thinking to go with the 1st Minnesota Volunteers. They entered hell at Gettysburg and few returned from it, only to receive eternal glory.

"Not only were men wounded, or killed, they were riddled."

  For some good history on the 5th NY, check out this site. It has everything you need to know about these colourful troops. Here are some more picies, enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

20th Maine to the front!

  Finally! My first 100% completed ACW 28mm regiment! Remember when i said that i still needed to flag and base all my figures? It's an ongoing process at the moment...

  Part of V Corps, Army of the Potomac. These guys became famous during the Battle of Gettysburg, defending Little Round Top and finally charging down the hill almost destroying the 15th Alabama. Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain became famous after the charge. Historians are still arguing whether he ordered the charge not.

  Anyway, here are some pictures of the entire completed regiment. I'm not to happy with the flags to be honest, you can see some parts of the flag not being glued well together. If somebody has some tips how to do this properly, let me know! Otherwise, all in all, i'm pretty proud of myself. Never tought that i could paint like this...


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Marching through the fields of glory...

  I really got to make some kind of schedule because my initial planning always seem to get fubar'ed. I was hoping to start my Berdan Sharpshooters or my Iron Brigade but thanks to an eager gaming buddy I started basing my first 3 ACW-regiments. He really wants to play some ACW and I still have so much work to do... I need to paint up one more regiment, base about 30 trees, alot of Renedra worm fences need some paint and what's a battle without artillery... right, i need to do those too. 

  I'm quite happy with the basing of my figures. Working in a lab has some advantages, like... sieving sand to different fractions. 1mm, 0.5mm, etc... no need to buy those overprices basing grit packages! I use Vallejo White Pumice flocked with some small and medium sized grit. Basecoat is Vallejo 872, Chocolat Brown, then a heavy drybrush of Flat Earth 983, a medium drybrush of Light Brown 929, light drybrush of 914 Green Ochre and then some touches of Iraqi Sand.

  The Grass Tufts are from Silfor, they are summer tufts. The single colored ones and the 2-color ones. I also used some summer-flowers. For my Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg i'm gonna use Late Fall tufts, long and medium sized ones. A pictures of that one will be up shortly.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another quick purchase

Friday was gaming day, i had to play a demo with a colleague from work; Flames of War. 

10 Soviet T34 against 4 Marder II's and a Tiger. With some tweaked rules for faster play and quick action (all in favor of those pesky Russians) it was a succes. He will place an order worthy of 200€! Hurrah! My Germans got beaten the shiz out of them. 3 outta 4 PAK's got destroyed and the crew of my Tiger bailed on me! Funny how T34's cannot destroy it :-)

To add some flavour to this game a quickly bought a Citadel Battlemat. Around 25€. I'm gonna airbrush & drybrush it a little bit to add some more variation in the green cause it's a little too dark for my taste. Add some trees and a hill and it's perfect for those quick 1500 point battles.

For those of you who don't know what i'm talking about, yes it's a GW product and no, it's not really THAT expensive :-)

STOP! Picture time!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Hats

I needed a break from painting the 'Boys That Wore The Green' so i painted a trooper from the famous 2nd Wisconsin, part of the Iron Brigade.

The casting of these models is alot better than the Irish with overcoats. They're only a bit harder to paint; more colours and detail, but i don't mind... I hope i got this one right, painted as the 2nd Wisconsin at Gettysburg.

I'm also gonna try something new, a quick painting guide for this one. Stay tuned for Irish Brigade painting guide once i got them all finished. All colours are from the Vallejo Model Colour range except the metal parts on the rifle. Here goes...

Undercoat - Black Spray
Uniform - 899 Dark Prussian Blue + Drybrush  865 Prussian Blue
Trousers - 901 Pastel Blue
Leggings - 951 White
Hat, Feather, Shoes, Belt, Ammo bag, Bread bag & Backpack - 950 Black + Drybrush 862 Black Grey
Blanket in Backpack - 992 Neutral grey
Canteen - 821 German Camo Beige
Canteen straps - 826 German Camo Medium Brown
Belt buckle, Buttons & Hardee Hat symbols - 801 Brass
Hands & Face - 955 Flat Flesh
Musket Wood - 872 Chocolat Brown + Highlight 875 Beige Brown
Metal parts - GW Chainmail

All washes are also from the Vallejo range, i use Winsor & Newton Flow Improver to dilute my washes. I had a problem with my black wash (diluted with demineralised water) turning grey when drying. Flow Improver solved my problem for 90%. I blame our government for the 10% that fails...

Hands & Face - 204 Fleshtone Wash (not diluted)
Leggings -  201 Black Wash + (2x) 202 Grey Wash (diluted 25%)
Trousers - 207 Blue Wash (diluted 50%)
Uniform, Backpack, Canteen, Rifle & Hat - 201 Black (diluted 50%)

After that it's varnish time, i don't Gloss Varnish before Matt Varnish. I just give it 3 to 4 thin layers of Vallejo Matt Varnish Spray.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

5th New York, Duryee's Zouaves

"Where the Regiment stood that day was the very vortex of Hell"
 Pvt. Andrew Coats, 5th New York, Second Bull Run.

I finally finished my Zouaves a couple of days ago. Took a few pictures while moving them upstairs to the glass closet. Still to do is the flags & basing ... like all the rest of my units.

Also working on my 69th Irish guys, they are steadily moving forward. After that i'll have to base some trees and paint some fences and after that it's Berdan Sharpshooters time. I'm really looking forward to painting those guys. I still have to decide which famous regiment to paint next.. either the 54th (cliché, i know) or 2nd Wisconsin. The voting opened up! :-)

Enjoy a few more pics from my Zouaves!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Christmas gift... before Christmas

Voila, I finally bought me a Dremel. It was on my to-buy list for a long time now and there was one in promotion for 85€ with a holding stand and flexible thingy, so i couldn't let this pass. It's an early Christmas present from my family-in-law. If they ask 'what's it for?' i'll just answer i need it for putting the finishing touch on our someday-to-be-finished-renovated home!

This will come in handy for those pesky metal mini's i bought from Redoubt. I tested it a couple minutes ago on some figures and it looks like i can throw my knifes away, or at least use them for something else. After 30 minutes of good use on some miniatures i must say this is a must-have for anyone with a budget and some badly casted models :-)

On to the undercoating and painting of those Irish bastards!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Crazy weekend and other things...

Well, what can i say? Crisis was ... crazy! it was great & awesome, it was spectacular and most of all, it was good. I had a small budget to spend on mini's. The list was long but i got most things that i wanted.

First off, i bought me a new can of Vallejo Matt varnish! Yay! Second, bought 2 second-hand Osprey books about Trench Warfare in World War One. Hoorah! Third, i bought some Battlefield-in-a-box desert hills for FoW and after that ... i payed a visit to the Redoubt Enterprises booth to pick up my order :-)

Irish Brigade, Iron Brigade, Garibaldi Guard, Berdan Sharpshooters, 54th Massachusetts, 13inch Mortar, limbers for my 'Napoleons' and an Ammunition caisson. Also on the list was a Union artillery command. I was in heaven (for a while)!

To be honest, i was a bit disappointed when i checked the Redoubt miniatures in close-up. After reading alot of positive posts on tmp about their ACW range i have to say they have good detail but are so badly casted they will need hours of trim-and-file work. I think they really need to check their moulds. But maybe i'm just spoiled after painting those Perry Zouaves, which, too say again, are absolutely beautifully casted!

I finished 4 of the Irish soldiers already, i couldn't wait to see them painted. They turned out nice i think, but again, they could have been alot better if it weren't for the bad castings.

On a funny note, i was checking the Irish regiment in the display case at the booth and told the vendor that after seeing the movie 'Gods & Generals' and seeing the pictures on the website i just gotta have those, he told me with a big smile that he modeled them after seeing the movie.

My Perry zouaves are half done, 16 more to go. But here for your viewing pleasure (ahum) are some hardened 69th Irishmen in overcoats advancing on the stone wall at Marye's Height, Fredericksburg. Maybe they have more 'luck' in our future wargames then they had back there!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Red Devils

"I consider it an honor to belong to this regiment," Lt. Charles Montgomery wrote; "The regular officers cannot speak too highly of us." One Southern soldier told a captive Zouave, "they never had seen the superiors of the red legs for unflinching courage and coolness."

I painted a tester for my Zouave regiment, the first of my 5th New Yorkers. These Perry Zouaves are fantastic & beautifully sculpted! More difficult to paint properly then plastic infantry box from Perry Miniatures tough. These fellows will take some time to complete, but of course, it will all be worth it.

I followed drawings from Don Troiani to paint this one up, i think i got everything right. Maybe those knee-pads should be a little more yellow-ish but i can live with that. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2nd Missouri Cavalry, "Merrill's Horse"

I never got around to posting that cavalry testing-figure, but i believe i got something better... I 'finished' the complete regiment. Only thing left is flag & basing. I'm waiting for Crisis to buy me some good historical flags. Basing is something i will do after reading some good tutorials and after completing a few more regiments.

About these figures, i painted them almost correct i think. Except for a few missing yellow lines on the wrists and collars i should have everything. Unlike Benton Hussars, these are pretty standard uniforms.

Next up on the painting table are my Zouaves, these guys will be painted as the famous 5th New York Volunteer Regiment aka "Duryée's Zouaves". These guys will be painted as historically correct as possible. I'm still waiting on my Don Troiani book btw :-)

Enough gibberish, on to some pictures.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New rulebooks arrived!

As i am playing wargames for only 2 years, i have alot of catching up to do. I try to read alot of forums like The Miniature Page and Lead Adventure. I also like to buy alot of stuff ... and rulebooks. 5 of them just arrived :-)

The Great War and Over the Top supplement, I know, it's Warhammer Historical but i have yet to find another decent book about World War I in 28mm. After a quick browse through the pages it seems like a WH40K-kinda ruleset which isn't bad cause my wargaming buddy was a 40K-addict.

I have yet to check out the Gladiator ruleset but i have heard good things about it. I'm on the lookout for 25/28mm gladiator models on Crisis 2011!

Trafalgar was a must buy for me as i have a 1000pts. British fleet waiting for me at Crisis 2011. Rule Brittania!

Bull Run to Gettysburg is where it's all happening for me. American Civil War!! The downside is, i've read very awful things about Foundry's Waterloo. It is suppose to be one of the worst rulebooks about Napoleonics. So I'm a little sceptic about this one... time will tell.

For those reading this, Warhammer Historical is doing a 50% sale atm!!

On another sidenote, my ACW cavalry is almost finished. I should be able to post some pictures up really soon.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Let's read another one...

Having decided that each of my ACW-regiments must be historically correct, i have bought a new book.

Don Troiani's Regiments & Uniforms of the Civil War is being regarded as one of the most complete books about uniforms from the American Civil War. It's a very useful guide for painting uniforms accurately.

I will need this book when i start painting my second regiment. Starting with the 'Fighting 69th' Irish Regiment, next will be the '2nd Wisconsin', part of the Iron Brigade.

Monday, October 3, 2011

American Civil War, almost...

Indeed, almost done, still need to base them and flag them. I found a nice tutorial to base these fellows. Next unit i'm working on is a cavalry regiment. I'm painting a tester as we speak... should post some pictures in a few days...

So, no more writing, on to some pictures. if anybody has a few tips how to properly photograph a 32-figure regiment, please let me know.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Old Books, New Books! Continued...

Painting is progressing fine, I'm currently painting the last 9 mini's for my first ACW-regiment. We seek to do a Black Powder game by the end of this year so painting a few more regiments is a must... A gaming buddy of mine is painting all his ACW buildings, we have a table of 1.5m x 3m, now only the mini's are needed.

To kill of some spare time i'm reading another book. This one is kinda 'very good'. Overall 5-stars on Amazon. It's titled 'Eyewitness to the Civil War' by National Geographic. An unbelievable book, very thick, 416 full-colour pages. A well presented book also, full of unbelievably beautiful pictures.

It's always fun to notice that painting miniatures from a certain period also sparks my interest book-wise. The American Civil War is no different :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

My armies, part 4: American Civil War

Slow days of painting due to some work at my house... it's pretty warm outside so i'm obligated to work in the garden. Still painting in my spare time on my first of many 28mm regiments for wargaming the American Civil War.

My ACW Union Army will consist of the following:
  • 4 Infantry Regiments (modelled as 2 marching, and 2 as a complete firing line)
  • 2 Zouave Regiments
  • 2 Cavalry Regiments
  • 1 Skirmish Regiment, Berdan sharpshooters.
  • 3-4 Cannons.
I really like the Flatbed from Redoubt miniatures but can't find a use for it... maybe something scenario-wise. Also the Irish Brigade looks so damn nice... It would be nice to have yet another regiment in my army. All those blue soldiers lined up, it would make any rebel crap their pants.

No pictures as of yet, I will post some when my first regiment is complete. Should be not to long anymore.

Some links...
Perry Miniatures
Redoubt Miniatures
Renegade Miniatures

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tuesday night Gaming

Every tuesday night it's gaming day at our local hobby shop. Normally we play Dystopian Wars 2vs2 but this time i played a game with a buddy of mine called 'Axis & Allies: War at Sea'.

A&A WaS is a fast-paced naval wargame with miniatures on a squared-map. It's a very fun & addicitve game. The only downside imo is that you have to collect the miniatures, meaning you must keep buying blisters till you finally got that rare one everybody is looking after. Thank God for ebay! Almost every miniature is available seperately on there. Watch out cause some ultra-rare mini's can be expensive, like the Fw200 Condor, going over 20$ sometimes! I remember paying almost 15$ for the French Richelieu battleship.

Normally i play British while my buddy plays with the Italian fleet. Most sculpt of these mini's are good, some are excellent while others are very bad (HMS Warspite). Movement is square-based. Most ships move 2 squares, and shooting is also square-based.

Be sure to check it out, it's very fun. The starter blister contains about 10 ships i believe, together with maps, damage tokens & rulebook. The rules can be downloaded for free (very low learning curve).

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Vacation of History...

Sometime last year we decided to go to the Musée des Blindés in Saumur, France. Some people called me crazy because i would drive 700km just to visit some silly museum full of old metal, and drive another 700km to return home the next day. The truth is I am a little bit crazy, as are my friends, who joined me on this strange trip. A trip with lots of driving, little sleep and a whole lot of tanks...

Picture above is the German Panther tank, this one is in running condition. It was running the day we arrived. I have a nice video of it. It's makes ALOT of noise but it gave me chills.

Another one in running condition is the Königstiger, too bad they are having problems with this one at the moment.

Jagdpanther, one of the most beautiful and best tank-hunters ever made.

PzKpfw IV Ausf.H. The main work-horse of the German Army during WW2.