Wednesday, August 28, 2013

iPad for Photographers

Ok this has nothing to do with models and wargaming and everything to do with being a geek. Or is it nerd. Here is a podcast you will want to listen to to help improve your MacOS photography…

I often listen to podcasts while traveling. It does not matter if it is by car, train or plane (never listened to one on a ship, yet). My podcasts are a lot like me, eclectic and scattered covering technology, history, politics, language and business studies. Often they are just background noise and sometime there is a gem in the mix. Today I found one of these gems.

On the Macworld Podcast, Christopher Breen (@BodyofBreen) interviewed Jeff Carlson writer and photographer.  Jeff has covered such topics as the iPad, Macs and Mac OS X, photography, video editing, Web design, and (the now historic) Palm devices. Today the discussion dealt with iPad for photographers.

While I enjoy photography, I am not a professional photographer but I am always willing to pick up a few tips. And this podcast was full of great tips. If you are interested in iPhone and iPad photography this is a podcast you will want to listen to. We all like to take pictures at the spare of the moment. My iPad and iPhone are always with me. So if you want to take pictures for Facebook, Twitter of I’ve Been There take the time to look over these links and the podcast.

The iPad for Photographers: Master the Newest Tool in Your Camera Bag
Appropriately available as an E- book

Jeff Carlson Blog
iPad for Photographers
Jeff Carlson’s Library

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lebanese Communist Party

The Lebanese Communist Party was one of the older political creations in the Middle East. Founded in 1924 this party was never very strong and depended on outside support for most of its operations. For the period of the Israeli invasion in 1982 this party and militia would be limited and ineffective.

Their militia, the Popular Guard (PG) was trained by the Palestinian Fatah and were provided with Soviet-made small-arms, as well as armed jeeps and gun-trucks equipped with heavy machine guns, anti-aircraft auto cannons and recoilless rifles supplied by the PLO, Syria, and the USSR. These can include the BTR40, GAZ 469 jeep and civilian trucks. Most common weapons are available from both Peter Pig and QRF. Small arms are limited to the AK47. Support weapons other than RPGs will be very limited.

In 1979 PG command was passed on to Elias Atallah, a Maronite. Although it was active mostly in West Beirut, the LCP/PG also kept underground cells at the Sidon, Tripoli, Tyre and Nabatiyeh districts of the Jabal Amel region of southern Lebanon.

At no point will any unit have more than one big man and a single support weapon. Is it worth fielding this force? Why of course. They may not win a lot of fights but they have cool images on their web site.

A Growing Village

It has been to long since my last post with most of my time being spent on getting ready for Cold Wars and getting my Lebanese village in order.

As you can see from my 2011 Projects list I have been busy with doing up buildings and figures. Currently on my bench is a “Straight Flush” Radar system to be used in Lebanon and the War of Attrition. After that I have five buildings to finish up and than I can get back to writing and gaming.

I hope to see you at Cold Wars in Lancaster Pennsylvania. Mark and I are running two games on Saturday.

Below are the recent images of the village. The five buildings primed black are waiting to be finished.

The market area has been the most fun to work on. To the left will be the Lemon/Olive Orchard. 

Report from the Front

It has been a couple of interesting weeks on the miniatures and gaming front.

I have not only finished a successful Union victory in the Shenandoah in 1862, I have been called upon to defend Richmond as the Confederate player in the GCACW game of “On to Richmond”.

For miniatures I have been lucky in gathering and paining most of the forces I will need for TOOFATLardies Summer Special Hell’s Highway as I defend a very long road against 30th Corps. The Germans are very hard pressed in this game, than again they were historically.

Mark and I had a chance to spread the message of Lard to the Leigh Valley and a small gaming event. Well it is small compared to Historicon or GenCon but I was presently surprised at the turn out. Steve of Dragonhead Distributors set it up and the mixed crowd was well over 200. This included Magic players, modelers (plastic not runway), Flames of War Tournament and general gaming.

IDF getting ready.

We ran a game from the Summer Special set in the southern Golan. Even though we wrote the article, it was fun testing out different ideas. After a lot of brewed up Syrian tanks the IDF came away with a minor victory. We also found that the 120mm mortars are good Katyushas are bad.

Syrians at the ready.

My gaming world also crossed over to vampires. That is my only guess as either a Pro-British vampire, or my dog Maya bit my latest box of German figures from Peter Pig. I am certain it had to be the vampires though.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Chain of Command

We are just a couple of days until the shipment of Chain of Command from the TOOFATLardies. With the speed of the Internet I will receive the iPad version on Wednesday and the snail mail version early the next week.

It has me hurrying to get the figures ready. I ended up with Germans to complement Mark’s British 30th Corps for Highway to Hell, trying to complete two game projects with one set of figures. And a couple of tanks that I just had to have.

My base platoon is German late war infantry that is waiting on their medics, radio and MG42s. They do have support weapons including a mortar, 76.2 Crash Booms and Stug IIIG.

I can claim the Hetzer as an anti tank asset that could also be used if the Israelis would have purchased them over the used Shermans in 1949. The Stugs and Crash Booms by the Arabs.

The Brummbär and Elefant I had to have because they are cool. I now have to figure out how to use the Brummbär.

Other teams I am looking forward to building;

•    Volkssturm – Not a lot of use for support weapons here
•    Alexandroni Brigade 1948 – Looking to use them for the battles around Latrun

So Mark, all we need is the rules and the time to read them and we are set.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

General TJ Jackson has Died

Today history changed during the American Civil War as General TJ Jackson was defeated and captured near North Mountain in the Shenandoah.  OK it was only a game, but surprisingly the Union was able to win “Stonewall in the Valley”, a board game by Hasbro and MultiMan Publishing.

This victory has now elevated three Generals for the Union cause. General Fremont launched the initial attack from the north, followed up by General Shields attacking from the south. The last was General Banks in overall control.

Now with these three generals as household names, as least in April 1862 it had me wondering what was going to happen next.  Here are my thoughts, and I love to hear yours as well.

As the Peninsula Campaign is just starting I can see Bank’s leaving the Valley to Fremont and marching overland to Manassas and Richmond. Banks and Shield would have made a major impact on the campaign, possibly ending the war earlier.

Unfortunately the side effects would mean Fremont and Banks would become prominent in the postwar Republican Party. Allowing for a Lincoln/Banks ticket.

The issue of slavery would not have been solved, as Lincoln never issued the Emancipation Proclamation or allowed for colored soldiers (the term at the time) to fight.

17th President of the United States
Lastly what of Generals Grant, Sherman and Senator Johnson? Would they be just footnotes in history?

And what does this have to do with the middle east, well some of these generals did end up in Egypt working for the Sultan, but that is another blog.

All this from a game, go figure.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Work Bench

Well the stuff on my bench is not getting smaller. It does not even show the new Indian artillery for East Africa (and the Middle East and the Frontier) or my 3mm Polish Armour (3mm) that are primed and waiting for the base coat.

But my question is, "Should Mark be afaird?"

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Doctor Who

I am heart broken that I was not on the stage today for the announcement that I was the next Doctor Who. I mean I know the time line as well as plot points and the history (both past history and future history). And what does Peter Capaldi have that I don’t. Well he has an awesome chin, and he is tall and thin, but other than that what does he have.

I even have a 28mm model phone box. Would love to get one in 15mm as well as Cybermen, Sontarans and Daleks. With that said why am I waxing about Doctor Who on my Lebanon 1982 page. Well the Doctor had to be in the Middle East on a number of occasions.

Noah’s Ark – (Source Genesis chapters 6–9) While it is a point of faith, how could one man build an ark to transport all of the world’s animals. Now the Doctor and the Tardus could do it.

Think of the Prophets that headed to heaven, once again it was The Doctor no need for aliens here.

Lastly I await The Doctor, for if anyone can bring peace to the Middle East it will be him.  Now is Peter Capaldi up to the task?

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Bug is Going Around

There has been a bug going around and if you are not careful you may catch it.  It started this past June with the release of TOOFATLardies Summer Special. It included a scenario for the 30th Corps advance on the first day of Operation Market Garden.

The first person affected was Mark. He was bent on building the 30th Corps tank for tank. As the trusted friend I have the honor of building the German forces opposite 30th Corps and all of their artillery. A platoon is cut down to a squad very quickly.
So the medication became the gateway drug for Richard’s Chain of Command. (Which is on sale as a pre order here.) Therefore I ended up with Brummbär and a Hetzer.

So here are the models waiting for the paintbrush. Now three of these toys can be useful for Arab Israeli Wars. Any ideas?