A week’s worth of painting

Last week (23/12) Brian and I were lightly berating Evan for not putting on a Zulu game yet this year, pointing out that we had enough stuff to do another game and we’d need to have a game next week to fit it in during 2014… At this point I remembered that I had a few boxes of plastics in the shed so fetched them in. I then made the rash promise to paint up two units for the game. Given that it was xmas holidays I figured I’d be able to manage it. So whilst we were chatting post game (Dust boardgame as it happens) I dug out some bases and started to clean then; Brian and Evan seemed appalled at the casual brutality I hacked at the figures under the guise of cleaning then up. Not pretty but I am quick.

After a few mins I cleaned up a 20 man Zulu unit and 15 Natal Native Horse both mounted and Dismounted with 6 extra riderless horses to add a bit of colour.

Figures based and with texture added.

Figures based and with texture added.

I then sprayed them mid brown as and undercoat and washed them with black (Army Painter) for the first layer of shading and to give them some definition, after that it was a quick job to block paint them and give them a quick dry brush to highlight them. Do the bases was easy enough as was a couple coats of PVA for protection but drying time meant that the last coat of varnish only went on this afternoon (30/12).

Still two full units were ready for the game as promised.

20 Zulus, 20mm Call of Arms plastics. Sabot bases are from Warbases and I've had them for a while.

20 Zulus, 20mm Call of Arms plastics.
Sabot bases are from Warbases and I’ve had them for a while.

15 Natal Native Horse (HAT)

15 Natal Native Horse (HAT)

The dismounted versions.

The dismounted versions.

Riderless horses to go with the Dismounted figures.

Riderless horses to go with the Dismounted figures.

Quite pleased with myself for managing to get them all done in a week and having a Zulu game too. As befits a newly painted unit the Natal Native Horse were massacred to a man….

Cheers,

Pete.

2014 projects- a few ideas.

Given that it is the start of the year I thought I’d best outline my hobby plans for the forthcoming 12 months. Perhaps making the ideas floating in my brain tangible (as much as anything is tangible on the net) might help me do more; much as the quarterly progress reports have massively upped my productivity.

An that topic: a quick glance at 2012 stats shows I was marginally less productive in the last year (only by 10%), either way it gives me a figure to aim for.

Anyway enough dry stats… first thing that comes to mind is to finish my writing project ASAP (I’ll be honest I have been procrastinating on it, to the point of avoiding other things, bad of me I know).

With regards to figures I’ve ordered some Zulu 1/72 plastic. I really enjoyed the game that Evan put on a bit ago so I decided to get some of my own to add to his collection, hopefully it will be a catalyst to game some more. My plan is to get 1 15 figure unit of Natal Native Horse, 1 20 man British infantry unit and 3 20 man Zulu units. Being as it will all be in plastic it shouldn’t break the bank either. With the numbers it should only be a couple of months painting time too.

Also I got a rather good scenario booklet ‘In the name of Roma’ on the Italians on the Eastern Front from here: http://cstoesen.blogspot.ca/2013/09/in-name-of-roma-is-released.html

As I’ve got enough Soviet figures I’ve decided to get the relevant Italian forces to play the games through. A list has been made and I plan to pick up the figures at the next show I get to.

As I’ve got more 20mm WW2 figures than I need for skirmish purposes I’m aiming to get them based up for higher (command) level games- namely Blitzkrieg Commander and Megablitz.

Finally: I got a copy of the book ‘Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze’. I’m sure that this will be interesting as I’ve read a bit on the city already, their police force was surprisingly far sighted, and it was the childhood home of one JG Ballard. Either way given the circular way my interest in gaming and history works I’ll end up wanting to explore the era in miniature form, again I think that more plastics will be obtained with a few choice metal addition. As a side note if anyone can recommend a good 20mm sized Japanese command pack that isn’t just made up of myopic sword waving officers it would be most appreciated; sadly the companies that I’ve looked at have had a very limited imagination when it comes to depicting them. Officers planning round a table would be ideal. Still if I did get a Japanese force it could quite easily fight my existing Soviet collection in either ’30 or ’45, see it is all circular….

Cheers,

Pete.

Bits and Pieces from the Shed.

Once more I present a few of the highlights from the Shed.

A PST Fire Engine. A rather nice kit that looks very smart in gloss red.

A PST Fire Engine. A rather nice kit that looks very smart in gloss red.

Another view- it did spawn endless League of Gentlemen references.

Another view- it did spawn endless League of Gentlemen references.

A trio of technicals.

A trio of technicals.

A technical armed with a recoilless Rifle. Vehicle by MJ Figures, Recoilless Rifle by Under Fire Miniatures.

A technical armed with a recoilless Rifle. Vehicle by MJ Figures, Recoilless Rifle by Under Fire Miniatures.

A pair of troop carrying pick ups, both vehicles and passengers by MJ figures.

A pair of troop carrying pick ups, both vehicles and passengers by MJ figures.

A selection of Zulu  War British by CP Models.

A selection of Zulu War British by CP Models.

Cheers,

Pete.

Zulu Game AAR.

Yesterday Evan brought round his Zulu collection and a quick scenario for us to try out, also to see if we can get the hang of the 2HW ruleset- Colonial Adventures.

The scenario was a simple one, I took the part of the British, I had 2 platoons of infantry and 2 platoons of Natal Native Contingent troops which had to protect a wagon train that was experiencing difficulty crossing a ford. The Redcoats set up across the river the NNC behind, I placed 4 outlying pickets to cover all avenues of approach. Brian and Evan took on the Zulus with several large groups and some smaller ones armed with Martini Henry’s looted from Islandwana.

As usual I provided the scenery and Evan brought all the figures (he swapped them for an old washing machine- no really- that’s how we operate up here in t’north we have a barter economy, no trust in that there paper money)

The basic table with the wagon train stuck in the middle.

The basic table with the wagon train stuck in the middle.

Better detail of the wagons. Evan reckoned that the figures are up to 20 years old .

Better detail of the wagons. Evan reckoned that the figures are up to 20 years old .

The British force in its entirety.

The British force in its entirety.

The Natal Native Contingent.

The Natal Native Contingent.

The thin red line.

The thin red line.

The British troops in position to defend the wagon train.

The British troops in position to defend the wagon train.

General view of the table. Can just see some NNC holding the wall to the left.

General view of the table. Can just see some NNC holding the wall to the left.

Zulus break the cover of the trees into the teeth of the (ineffective) NNC fire.

Zulus break the cover of the trees into the teeth of the (ineffective) NNC fire.

The other groups try to move round the back to get to the wagons.

The other groups try to move round the back to get to the wagons.

Meanwhile on the other side of the river Brian's Zulus crest the hill quickly taking out my 3 man picket and begin to bear down on the British.

Meanwhile on the other side of the river Brian’s Zulus crest the hill quickly taking out my 3 man picket and begin to bear down on the British.

As they charge down the Brits loosen off a volley.

As they charge down the Brits loosen off a volley.

Violent fisticuffs ensue with the British bayonet getting the edge over the native spear.

Violent fisticuffs ensue with the British bayonet getting the edge over the native spear.

General shot of the board, the NNC are being hard pressed but the British are holding their own.

General shot of the board, the NNC are being hard pressed but the British are holding their own.

The brave NNC draw the ire of the Zulus to protect the wagon.

The brave NNC draw the ire of the Zulus to protect the wagon.

At this point we called the game as a minor win for the Brits as time was getting on and more snow was coming down.

All of us really enjoyed the game and are looking forward to the next one. The mechanics were similar enough for us to pick them up quickly but had enough period feel to be different to all the 20th century games we’ve played.

At first I was confident that my massed rifle fire would hold the line but the poor showing of the NNC tempered that thought somewhat, however the redcoats could hold their own but the Zulus are pretty potent in close combat. Gives us plenty to test out next game.

Cheers,

Pete.