Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tigger Gets New Stripes

It has been a very busy couple of weeks as I cleared off the items on my paint table. Part of this was finishing up my 1944 Germans and a few odds and ends. The other was to get ready for the new Brigade Models AeroNef line. This was part of Imperial Skies a KickStarter I took part in.

So this is what I have completed.

  • 16 dead early war Germans from Peter Pig
  • 8 German Police/Gestapo from M.Y. Miniatures
  • 8 German Panzergrenadiers (12th HG) from Peter Pig
  • 5 German early war crew and engineers for early war from PSC
  • Panzer IVF for the battle near Caen 1944 from Game Models
  • Tiger I from the SS. Pz.Abt. 102 from FOW
  • British Mark VI for my new 1940 British from Game Models
  • Panzer VIG for Normandy from Game Models
  • Sd Kfz 222 painted for for early war from Game Models
  • Sd Kfz 13 for early war and police duties from Game Models
  • Sd Kfz 251 for Normandy from Game Models
  • and 4 trees :-)
Here is the Tiger I was uncertain how I wanted to paint it for Caen.

The Sd Kfz222 and Sd Kfz13 are from Game Models.
The Police/Gestapo are from M.Y. Miniatures

Monday, April 25, 2016

Painting Table - A Lone Tigger

This Tiger is the last thing on my "active" paint table. Only thing holding me up is the fact I do not have any Normandy patterns to paint it. Any ideas?

Saturday, April 23, 2016

B-52 Stratofortress Still Flying

When I was born, the last of the newly built B52 bombers were being accepted by the Air Force. And today these massive bombers are still flying. The link below is a radio story on this weapon system that is over 60 years old. While I do not think I have any B52s in my gaming collection I wanted to share this.

From the NPR website 
The B-52 Stratofortress bomber was first developed by Boeing in 1952. NPR's Scott Simon talks with Wired's Eric Adams about how an aircraft that old has such staying power.

XB-52 Prototype on flight line 

NPR - Over 60 Years In, The B-52 Bomber Is Still Kicking 
B52 Article on Wikipedia

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

First of May

...But the greatest fight in history was fought on the first of May, By Commodore George Dewey, the hero of Manila Bay.
THE HERO OF MANILA BAY. Copyright, 1898. by Tom J. Quigley.

Latter this month my club will meet for our monthly get together. We often play games as diverse as WWI air combat, battles near Caen during Normandy and last time fighting in and around Peking during the Boxer Rebellion. But this next meet-up will be onboard the USS Olympia, flagship of Commodore Dewey and the Battle of Manila Bay. The event is being held on April 30th to the morning of May 1st, the anniversary of the battle.

Now as venues go this is awesome, we not only have a protected cruiser but a diesel submarine that fought in WWII and than in the Cold War as a GUPPY Ia class of boats and across the river the battleship New Jersey.  I promise to write more about the event after this overnighter.

What has me most excited about this weekend event is the ability to play games from the Spanish American War on this pre-dreadnought period vessel.

I have in my collection at least three games that cover this period. Remember the Maine is the name of two games dealing with the Spanish American War, a conflict that was to move America from being a regional power to an international player. A third is a land based supplement called Remember the Maine and to Hell with Spain.  It appears there is not a lot of originality in naming games.

While all are great games and designs for their periods, what has me coming back to them again and again is the technology of the conflict, or specifically the wacky ship designs. We have the Spanish battleship Pelayo (a real ironclad), the American monitor Amphitrite (not a great deal of freeboard here) and a favorite of many the USS Vesuvius a dynamite cruiser. All push designs based on new (or old) techniques and materials. We have different propulsion systems, armor placement covering important areas heavily and in other cases covering the entire ship in light armour.  Gun designs go from being in armoured turrets to barbettes.

Tactics were also influx.  In The Great War and again in World War Two warships were put into squadrons based on warships being of the same class or having similar characteristics, often have a group of four to six battleships in the same squadron. In the pre-dreadnought period warships were often designed as one offs trying to determine if they were going to be useful for fleet actions. This made for squadrons and fleets with interesting characteristics once ships went to sea to do battle.

Do I look forward to commanding the Vesuvius, Texas or Carlos V at our games day, absolutely. I also hope I am given a warship that I am unfamiliar with and that I will have fun learning more about it. Wish me luck.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Not so Dirty Dozen.

When Twitter hit the stage in 2006 I was one of many in the technology field that wondered about how best to use it. While at first I was uncertain, I knew this was something to keep an eye on. The company that I worked for, while involved in creating web based applications most of the investors and “leaders” had little use of this thing called social media.

Well in two years I was working on a black-op project dealing with social media including Twitter for the than owner of the company. While not everyone in the meeting and hospitality industry got how best to use this technology it is one I would continue to use every day both professionally and in my minimal spare time for my hobby.

For wargaming and my interest in history I follow several dozen-twitter sites but if I had to go with a top 10 (or 12) it would be these.  These give a good cross section of my hobby which is modern, post 1914, history and games designers and writers that support the topics. There is a trend here but I am proud of being a self proclaimed Lardy (and will continue until Rich tells me to stop) and support Richard  Clarke and similar independent companies and platforms. Let me know what you think of this list as I am always on the look out for new twitter feeds and blogs.

A Not so Dirty Dozen.

WSS Magazine @wssmagazine
TooFatLardies @TooFatLardies
Henry Hyde @battlegames
Bad Squiddo Games @TheDiceBagLady
The Wargames Website @wargameswebsite
Sidney Roundwood @RoundwoodsWorld
Trouble At T'Mill @TaTM_blog
Chris Stoesen @ChrisStoesen
Neil Shuck @mandmpodcast
Henry Hyde @MiniatureWG
Michael Hobbs @Wargamer_Mike
FirelockGames @FirelockGames

Saturday, April 16, 2016

For the Reading List

As we are all getting ready for Richard to release Sharp Practice II, I am not only working on gathering together two forces for ACW (much to the chagrin of my Normandy forces), but I am pulling books out of storage boxes to get me in the correct frame of mind. While each deals with American forces, sort of, and the American Civil War, kind of, these are all great resources for Sharp Practice II. 

Battle of Ball's Bluff by Holien, is one of several books I have on this mini campaign. The historic fight was a brigade level reconnaissance in force that was part of a divisional action. An action that went badly for the Union. This battle was part of an effort to help clear the upper Potomac of Confederate forces. Here we have a star fort, cavalry, and bridges and a ford. Even a couple of row boats (for the river crossing) and artillery. This can make for a mini campaign with significant fog of war.

Like Men of War by Trudeau goes into a great deal of detail about the recruitment, training and the actions of the United States Colored Troops (USCT). Perfect for skirmish level engagements through out the Civil War; from Battery Wagner to The Crater and the garrisoning in the west, there is plenty here for Sharp Practice II. Andy is a great writer that I know from NPR. 

Lastly The Blue and the Gray on the Nile by Hesseltine and Wolf is a story as much about civil war veterans continuing to ply their trade in Egypt after the war as a book portraying a positive reflection on this period as my country was getting ready for the Centenary. While not as action packed as the other two books it if full of possibilities for historic skirmishes as well as new imagi-nations.

Three books that are a good start if you are hard pressed for source material. What are you reading while getting ready for Sharp Practice II?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Jon Goes to Washington

On my recent trip to Washington I made my normal trek over to the Air and Space Museum. If you asked my family they would assume it was for me a religious pilgrimage.

While many of the exhibits are kept on for years, if you are looking for changing exhibits head over to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the norms here for me are always great.  There is something about a museum that has a balistic missile. Must be for home defense.

With the Centerary of The Great War museums are spending more space on this conflict, Air and Space is no different. Here is a quick look at aircraft and equipment from World War I. Now all I want is for Algy, from TOOFATLardies, to get back on the product map.

No preasure Rich. My aircraft are at the ready.