Thursday, May 26, 2016

Progress - Sort Of

Working on two projects both dealing with Chain of Command in northern France. One is a quasi-commando scenario taking place in the days leading up to Operation Overlord.

While I have most of the figures and vehicles, it is the chateau that is giving me the most trouble of finding. I have looked at both MDF and resin but nothing so far has grabbed me. But even though I still  miss a key building I am pleased with my writing progress have completed two thousand words for the two articles. Just need to finish one of them.

So any thought on 15mm chateaus? Looking for the likes this.

Found out about this after I finished this blog.
Should fit the build.

Gatling Guns in Media PA

My wife and I attended a show in Media, Pennsylvania and while walking to the theater from where we parked we passed the county courthouse. I do love the miscellaneous weapons you find in front of a court house.

Often I see the locally produced 3" Ordnance Rifle, signal guns and on occasion a Vickers machine gun. Well Media has the Gatling Gun and the two of them are so cool. If only they would stop painting them. So sad.

So what is in front of your court house or even VFW?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Two Awesome WSS Articles #84

Being on the other side of the Atlantic, I received the recent issue of Wargames Soldiers & Strategy (issue #84) a little latter than most, but I was pleased to dig into this one. The articles on the Normans are interesting, but it was two articles that caught my attention.

The Four Pillars of Wargaming by Warwick Kinrade covers not only what makes a good wargame but also how to have a healthy outlook when taking part in this social hobby. As we add to the membership of our band of brothers (and sisters) it is good to not only put on the best games possible but to teach that we are always growing our collections of models and terrain. And to me terrain is something I will never have enough of. The general consensus is we have to have it all but to be balanced we just have to understand that our collections will grow (in a healthy manner) and the look on the table will also improve over time.

Not surprising the pillars are miniatures, terrain, the game and opponents. I will not go into great detail, as I hope you will read this and maybe Guy could post this article on the website. Just a thought.

Richard Clarke’s piece in the Up Front section deals with The Politics of Wargaming. With the 2016 US Presidential election in full ugly swing politics is often a dirty word, one not talked about at family gatherings. For me wargaming is the dirtier word, as it is a hobby I find hard to explain to coworkers and family. But Richard jumped in with both feet and touched on the Confederate battle flag, Nazi re-enactors and bad plumbing at HMGS convention. What an article.

Within the hobby, I have commanded southern troops in a few games as well a few Nazi units and I even have a PLO/Lebanese militia force. But I do not dress the part and while I am knowledgeable about their politics I am not an apologist for them. The combat history of Normandy and Lebanon interests me as does the history of the 21st Army Group and the IDF.

Re-enactors can bring a historic interpretation to a convention but some periods are to politically and racially charged. We need to be able to explain history to the general public and just like history to the lower school grades is watered down we need to feed to the public what they are ready for. For most Waffen SS is the same as the German Heer and they are not. For one, I do not want to be lumped together with the Nazi re-enactors at a con. Well done Richard.

Now about that HMGS shoddy plumbing...

Operation Israel and the Falklands

I so want to read Hernan Dobry, the book, Operation Israel: The Rearming of Argentina During the Dictatorship 1976-1983 as I am a geek when it comes to this period of history. It connects two of my loves, anything to do with Israeli history and the Falklands War. Now my only problem is finding an English edition. Oh bother.

For those not familiar with this work it looks at the arms dealing and support offered to the Junta during the war, including support from Israel, Libya, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador. Talk about some strange partners.

Right now I am working from reviews and news stories but it makes for some interesting reading. The publisher site is hard to navigate so I wait to hear from my alerts that the English edition has been released. My Spanish is to poor to get through it. Again, oh bother.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Soviet Naval What If

In reading in one of my Cold War histories I found an interesting tidbit, although I cannot find the source now, oh bother. That  is Stalin was concerned that he was to need a ocean going fleet to fight a war with the United States between 1955 and 1960. This was not to happen as Stalin was to die in 1953.

It is relatively easy to keep him alive until the early 1960s. In doing further further reading (see below) it is possible with a few points of departure (POD) to come up with a plausible naval time line with a war occurring in the late 1950s. 

My personal library is rather extensive, consider it a profession liability, when dealing with the Cold War and the Soviet Navy. Here are a few.
  • Russian Submarines in the Artic by I Kolyshkin
  • Stalin's Ocean-Going Fleet by Jurgen Rohwer and Mikhail S. Monakov
  • Submarines of the Russian and Soviet Navies, 1718-1990 by Norman Polmar and Jurrien Noot
  • Cold War Submarines: The Design and Construction of U.S. and Soviet Submarines, 1945-2001 by Norman Polmar
  • Assorted Jane's Fighting Ships and Conways 
  • Polmar's Guides to the Soviet Navy 
So I may have a new project, new a few miniatures and a suitable rule set and I should be off. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Evening on the USS Olympia

On June 30th I had a great time doing a Games Day on the USS Olympia and a sleep over. I am grateful that my wife gave the green light on this as it was both our anniversary and her birthday. She is a wonderful wife and a great friend.

Now this Games Day is important as it is done one the weekend closest to the anniversary of the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1st 1898. For those unaware this was the first battle in a war that propelled America to the world stage. Sort of important.

On this Games Day we were given a tour of the engineering spaces and that was a treat. I got a chance to climb into the coal bunkers and into the bilges. Not for the faint of heart. So these are the pictures of the USS Olympia and USS Becuna here in Philadelphia.

USS Becuna SS319

A TDU outside of Control

And back to the Olympia

Bow torpedo tube

And a few pictures of the Games Day

The Engineering Tour

Original Sound Powered Phones

Inside a coal bunker


And plaques for those "Still on Patrol"