Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Chinese Warlord Era in 10mm

Pithead Miniatures Chinese Winter Infantry Korea
The Chinese Warlord Era is another potential 10mm project that was originally going to be for Square Bashing but which I would now do on a smaller scale for Red Actions. I have certainly not given up on SB, but more on that in another post.

Pendraken RJW Japanese
Once again there are no dedicated ranges in 10mm but I think the prospect of filling the ranks with acceptable proxies is marginally better than with the Mexican Revolution discussed in a previous post.

I would use Pendraken Russo-Japanese War Japanese and Pithead Miniatures Korean War Chinese in winter dress for Northerners; WW1 British and Russians, particularly the dismounted British cavalry in caps (BP41), for Southerners; and Vietnamese for irregular types.

It might seem inappropriate to have only one side in winter dress, but AFAICR this was in fact the case and remarked on in contemporary accounts. I haven't actually seen the Pendraken BP41 pack or even a photo of it, but I understand it should fit the bill.

Pendraken FT-17
The Pendraken FT-17 tank will also be appropriate, though I'll have to check which version.

Pendraken SCW Assalto
The one big gap is the distinctive, sword-armed Dare-to-Die units. Spanish Civil War Assaltos with SMGs could be used, but something more distinctively Chinese would be a boon.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

10mm Seven Years War progress

Prussians: looking remarkably like the Austrians
My 10mm Pendraken Seven Years War Prussian and Austrian armies for Maurice were destined to be based-before-painting and used-before-complete.

I've now finished basing them and the sight of the shiny silver castings has made me realise how difficult it is to tell them apart! I will need to get at least a basic coat colour on them before they will be usable on the table.

Austrians: looking remarkably like the Prussians
I've also been reassessing my painting approach. My last army (15mm Portuguese and Dutch for Irregular Wars) came out a little dark, so I need to reconsider my methodology, especially for 10 mm and 6 mm figures which need to be lighter/brighter.

Now I've always been impressed with the painting skills of Nic Wright (author of Irregular Wars etc) and he was recently persuaded to reveal some of his secrets.

Nic Wright's eye-catching approach. Our bases look 
similar but Nic's figures stand out much more clearly.
Drawing on his approach, my plan now is not only to save paint layers and time but, more importantly, to create a better effect:

1. Texture the bases with PVA and sand.
2. Spray-undercoat with ArmyPainter Leather Brown.
3. Paint in the main colours, leaving the brown for guns, shadow etc.
4. Wash with brown ink.
5. Reapply the main colours to partial areas as a highlight.
6. Etc.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Mexican Revolution in 10mm

I have more than enough stuff to paint at the moment, but I recently picked up a copy of Villa And Zapata: A Biography of the Mexican Revolution by Frank McLynn so I thought I'd post something about my potential future Mexican Revolution project.

I already had the Osprey title The Mexican Revolution 1910-20 by Philip Jowett and Alejandro de Quesada. There are many general histories about the Mexican Revolution but McLynn's book looked very readable.

My interest was originally prompted by seeing the respective army lists in the Square Bashing rules but I didn't want to commit to full-sized SB armies.

However,  I subsequently discovered Red Actions which I think could work well. If not, I would still plan armies on that scale of game,  i. e. a few units per side, each of about five bases with various supports. In RA the units would be companies and the bases platoons, but under other rules the units could higher or lower level formations.

SCW Andaluz Militia
This would definitely be a 10mm project. Although there are no dedicated ranges in that scale, the Revolutionaries can be recruited from Pendraken Boers and Spanish Civil War Andaluz Militia (right), and the Federales from Russo-Japanese War Japanese. Nevertheless, there are some bits and pieces missing (Revolutionary HMGs and artillerymen) and it would be nice to see some dedicated figures.

I would put the figures on 30mm square bases to be consistent with my other 10mm 20thC armies, but whereas my 1918 and WW2 infantry are mounted 3 to a base, I would  probably do 1914 and earlier armies 4-up.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Balagan's Steven Thomas runs and reviews my 'Crossfiregrad' scenario

Steven's faithful rendition of the battlefield -
an uncanny recreation of my own table.
Steven Thomas' Balagan blog is one of my favourite wargaming websites and was an immense help when building my Spanish Civil War Crossfire armies. He also has a wealth of Crossfire scenarios and other Crossfire-related information, as well as a huge amount of historical and wargaming articles with a particularly Iberian flavour.

Steven recently ran and reported on three games using my 'Crossfiregrad' scenario. He was very complimentary, but also suggested some improvements.

He added the Barmaley Fountain to the square and treated the workers' cottages as a Forest of Chimneys (i.e a wood). He suggested the Germans should be allowed to leave and return via their base edge, and he took a more cautious approach to 'stacking limits' for multi-storey buildings, all of which I am happy to adopt.

We have different views about ignoring suppressed stands as a target priority (an old Crossfire controversy) and I am not yet convinced that the current scenario balance is biased against the Germans.

Do visit his article where you will also find my response in a little more detail. I would also love to hear from anyone else who has tried this scenario.