Thursday, February 27, 2014

Braunschweig Class Battleship

With Krupp armor and four 28cm SK L/40 guns, the Braunschweig-class battleship was not the last of the German pre-dreadnoughts, but had a longer and more colorful history than most.

While thought of as coast defense ship by the beginning of The Great War these five were assigned to the IV Battle Squadron under the command of Vice Admiral Erhard Schmidt. Seeing active service in the Baltic one, the Hessen, took part in the Battle of Jutland helping to cover the withdraw of von Hipper’s battlecruisers.

Towards the end of the war these ships were used in reduced rolls of training and support ships. There age and the lack of dreadnoughts in the post war era allowed the German navy to used these again as coast defense ships.

The Hessen was taken as a prize by the Soviets and scraped in the 1960s. These ships were part of three German navies in their 40 years of service and have a place in the hearts of naval enthusiasts and war gamers everywhere.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Paint Table Saturday IV

My Friday and Saturday posts keep showing up on Thursday evenings and Friday mornings. One of the reasons is my weekends have been hectic. Between job searches, school and my writings so much gets pushed to the weekends. Add to this my religious studies and not using a computer on the Sabbath and I end up with a very small window for posting to either of the painting contests.

So with that out of the way here is what I have accomplished this week.

In 1/2400 scale two Gazelle class cruisers that will see action in my 1902 campaign.

Six 40mm (ish) Evil/Mad Snowmen that I understand may be part of an Easter engagement.

Thirty-two 15mm Polish 10th Brigade troops for my early war Chain of Command.

A 15mm Platoon (25) troopers
(7) troopers - 15mm Polish support (1) adjutant and (6) anti-tank gunners

In the queue I am working on 2 F2Bs in 1/144 scale, two Panthers and a Stug in 15mm. I also have addition support troops for my 10th Brigade Poles.

All in all a good week.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snowmen Gone Wild

I am off the grid here is cold and windy southeastern Pennsylvania. Once again I am shoveling the newly fallen snow. What is a gamer to do?

Well take pictures of my new snowmen of course.

Here are my six Evil Snowmen and their Canadian Crystal leader getting ready to attack the lodge. This is part of my Winter (not to be confused with Christmas) Village. There was a reason I left it up.

After the attack on the Lodge, they are off to the Village. But first they need to help the stranded motorists.

I think these will be a good complement to Doctor Mercury's snow troops. Maybe we can get a game in once it warms up.

Figures are from Old Glory from two or three years ago as a special for joining their club. I also have the young defenders on the painting table that I hope to get to by the spring. Just not sure which year.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Vickers 6 ton Tank

While used by at least fifteen armies, and fought in numerous inter-war conflicts the Vickers 6 ton tank is lacking in the miniatures world. At least for this 15mm gamer.

If you are interested in fighting the Chaco War or the French-Thai War on a table top these are needed tanks. For me I needed a couple for my Polish 10th Cavalry Brigade. A company of 16 was part of the brigade along with 101st Recce Tank Company made up of the more common TK and TKS tankettes. The TK and TKS are not only common in the Polish Order of Battle, but are common from miniature manufactories.

I can only find the Vickers made by one producer and that is True North Miniatures. In general I find their figures to be bulky but these Vickers are found to be very wanting. First off they are marketed as Polish but they have none of changes included the larger air intakes. These are more generic Vickers tanks possibly useful for the Chaco or French-Thai War. They are also not in scale with their infantry.

So the solutions are limited. Do I learn to do 3D printing, that is possible. I am now trying to find a designer that will do it for me and other gamers interested in this period. That is also a possibility. Not sure why Flames of War of Forged in Battle have not done this for their Poles. Any other suggestions?

Paint Table Saturday c

This has been another good week for painting, miniatures and rules.

I have painted up a force for Poland in 1939 and additional ships for Commodore Dewey.

In the painting queue are the Polish troops for the platoon of the 10th Brigade, six evil snowmen and two German cruisers that will do battle with the Americans. I need to finish off the snowmen so I can take pictures of them in the Christmas village I still have up on the porch.

For rules I have finished reading through Chain of Command and well on my way to reading Grand Fleet. More on that latter.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

M-24 Chafee

At long last, I can now fight the Battle of the Bulge in miniature. I game in 3mm for my micro armor games and the American tanks were missing in that scale.

What I mean is I want to do a historical miniature battle based on the movie Battle of the Bulge. With the release of the M-24 Chafee, I now have the American Shermans and with the M-47 Patton already released I have the German King Tigers.

While not historically accurate a certain age of gamers remembers fondly this incredibly bad movie.

Now I just need to figure out how many I will need.

3mm Releases for WWI

Oddzial Osmy has announced their next batch of releases and World War I gamers should be very happy. With the previous release of the Mark IV we have four (five with the FT-17)
  • GW-601    Mk A Whippet (15 pcs) - British 'fast' medium tank
  • GW-602    A7V (15 pcs) - only German designed tank used in WWI, only 20 built
  • GW-603    Saint-Chamond (15 pcs) - French heavy tank, armed with 75mm gun
The Germans used captures British models so the Mark IV will more common than the A7V.

Photos found here:

Monday, February 10, 2014

New Additions to the Fleet

While I have been working on my Poles for 1939 Chain of Command, when new toys show up and they are ships, well everything has to stop. Not only are these ships, but ships to finish off two projects.

I now have six Imperial German Gazelle cruisers to go against those pesky Americans in 1902. I also picked up the USS Zafiro, a transport to finish off the three support ships for Commodore Dewey.

There are a few additional ships to help cover the shipping. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Philadelphia Observer - April 1862

News Report for the Union Lines Along the Chesapeake

Philadelphia Observer
April 1862
by Macaulay Connor

The end of April brought to an end the first major engagement here in Virginia since Bull Run.

Confederate troops under General Smith launched two days of attacks near the village of Stevenville. Over these two days the troops were lead in multiple attacks on the exposed Union lines.  While the Union divisional targets were not destroyed the Confederate troops showed there metal in this battle. Moral is high and success if felt in the air.

Union sources talk of a great victory but if this is so there is little to show for a Union success, as they have not advanced their positions from where they were three days ago. 

Paint Table Saturday II

The table is looking more organized as I completed 6 1/2400 scale American warships for the pre-dreadnought and Spanish American War periods. One more ship and I will have Commodore Dewey’s squadron. Also finished up 16 15mm dead German Falschimjaegers. Up next are two Polish 6 ton Vickers tanks, 2 37mm anti tank guns and an armored car.

My at bat circle is to the right of where I paint. Noting is added unless there is an opening. We will see how long that lasts.

I would also like to welcome three new friends here on my blog, Sofie, Dave and Captain Richard.  Welcome all.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Wonderful Find

This past Sunday I made a wonderful find. Dragonhead Distributors, a hobby shop near Allentown, was moving into a smaller location. This meant that stock that had not sold well was going into storage. As a WWI gamer (all forces and theaters) and amateur historian I saw a box of aviation magazines.

Old aviation magazines. These gems went back to the 1960s, a time that was better connected to The Great War than now. I pulled out five that were in good condition and talked to Steve and found he was happy not to put them into storage.

So with the Internet, why am I interested in magazines were the most recent issue was from 1990. The funny thing with this niche is how much information out there is still in type written page and maps drawn by hand.

Here are 4 reasons to seek out these precious resources.
  • First off the photographs often are from private collections and not available to the public, at least recently. Remember if they were not converted into digital format, they are not on the Internet.
  • Second, are the personal journals that make up a large part of these issues. In one magazine there is a piece about an observer that fought on the East Front. Another deals with the 17th Aero Squadron. Information that can be hard to come by considering these are first person accounts.
  • While all of these magazines are in black and white, each has articles on aircraft colors and markings. One of my favorites is an American polka doted aircraft that looked like an Easter Egg.
  • Lastly there is the stray facts. The renumbering of two-seater squadrons. Aces trading cards from gum packs. Unit mascots are shown next to the aircraft. And than there are the maps, oh the maps. Great for campaigns, research or just to peruse.
So keep and eye out for these gems. And let us know what you find.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Some Where over France

Yesterday I was able to take part in some World War I aerial combat. Mark and I started out in a quick 2 v 2 combat with me using a Sopwith Camel and a Hanriot-Dupont HD1. Well my HD1 went down quickly which is a shame as it is one of my favorite aircraft for the period.

So a call went out for an aircraft to fly up and help smite the evil Huns. Quickly we see the familiar shape of a doghouse flying up (using the stats of a Camel).

Quickly the Baron jumps Snoopy only to have the tables turn making short work of him. Way to go Snoopy.

At some point we added first Gregg to the fight and than another German player (sorry I forgot the name) how ever after losing his fighter took a Gotha and made life difficult for the British.

I ended up flying a SE5a (another favorite of mine) but the bomber did get away. Sorry no pictures for that.

I had fun and look forward to getting together with these guys soon and trying again.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January 2014

January has been a great start to my gaming and miniatures year. In the first 31 days of 2014 I painted 30 days and the one day I did not paint was a game day were we fought the Battle of Coronel out in York.

My navies are looking much better as are my WWI aircraft.  While I still have seven to complete they are now much closer. The F2Bs even have the first coat of paint on. Right now I am trying out getting a good color for the doped canvas.

I did less than I wanted on the blog posts with 20 across three blogs. Not bad I am sure but I want to work harder on my writing.

So how is everyone else doing for his or her 2014 resolutions?

Paint Table Saturday

Following Sofie’s lead here is my first Paint Table Saturday.

Here is my table after a week of productivity. From the top left we see a company of 1939 Poles getting close to being assembled and primed. Below them are seven 1/144 scale aircraft being primed and painted. Across from them are three tanks (thanks Chris), snow monsters and two Eureka Bearoplanes. Lastly are the 1939 Germans and 1/2400 scale American ships for the Spanish American War and 1902. in the upper right hand corner. This should keep me busy for a while.