Sunday, February 25, 2018

French gun and crew

  For my mid eighteenth century armies I will need a few batteries of artillery.  I am thinking of using two guns and eight crew members to represent a battery.  Looks about right.

  In reviewing the research materials out there I noticed that most gamers paint the gun carriages blue. But some paint them red.  I went with blue after a little research suggested this was the color for field artillery.  Besides, it looked very nice. As does the round base for the gun and crew.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fusiliers de Morliere

  Sometimes I wonder where my mind went....

 I wanted to add a light infantry type regiment to my growing French army.  Crann Tara miniatures made a figure representing the Fusiliers de Morliere which I had never heard of.  But they were rather dashing in their brown uniforms and hussar type mirliton hats. So included them in my order. Unfortunately I only ordered one pack instead of the three i needed.  Like I said I wonder where the heck my mind is at times.

  While waiting on the reinforcements, I painted these to get a jump start on the regiment.  They look very unique.  The brown uniform coat, with red small clothes and black gaiters look dashing. I was also very taken by the hussar type hat.  Black and white edging.  All in all a unique looking unit.  The skirmishing type poses mark the unit as a light infantry type and give movement to the regiment.  I am looking forward to finishing and adding the regiment to my collection.

  Thank you again to Crann Tara miniatures for a great looking regiment!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Fritz James Cavalry Regiment

  As I have stayed before, I'm really do not like to paint cavalry.  Not sure why I have this mental block. Possible because of stories my grandparent told me about Cossacks when they came to their village.  But for what ever the reason it is very hard for me to paint cavalry.  Note most of my armies in miniatures have very small cavalry regiments and not a lot off them.

  So it is with great happiness that I have finally completed my first regiment 2018;  the French cavalry regiment Fitz James.  The regiment, primed and based has been sitting for months gathering dust while I worked on the courage to take brush to figure.  Now that it is done, I am ready to rush ahead to more traditional figures I like to paint like British Grenadiers, French artillery and French light troops.

  Miniatures are from Crann Tara and very nice figures they are. Regimental flag is from GMB.

  My small collection of French troops is coming along nicely. I now have six infantry battalions and one cavalry regiment finished. I will be adding a Artillery  crew  with gun and some light troops very soon.  I would like to have eight line battalions, two batteries (four guns) and two Light battalions to round out my army.  Possibly two guards battalions, just because.  Then it's time to start my British, Hanoverian and Brunswick army!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

David Endicott Putnam's Spad

  More Wings of War repaints...

  Possibly the best known yet unknown ace from the great war.

   I have a weak spot for flyers from the early age of aviation from the Wright Brothers through the First world war. This is especially true for local pilots or events that occurred in the New England states.  My poor family gets driven to distraction by my trips to local sites.  Had to visit Gordon college as it was the home of Norman Prince who was one of the founders of the Lafayette Escadrille. Visited the site of the home of Frank Leaman Baylies of New Bedford.  I had to visit the site of the crash where Hariott Quimby died.  But my favorite pilot was David Endicott Putnam.

 Putnam was a local man from Massachusetts with a family history that dates back to before the Revolutionary war.  He left Harvard before graduation  (he was awarded  a posthumous degree in 1920) and worked his way across the Atlantic on a cattle boat to join the French Foriegn Legion on May 1917.  He transferred to the French Air Corp, passed flight school and was assigned to fighter squadrons in December 1917.  After successfully flying with the French he transferred to the American Air Corp in June 1918.  He commanded the 134 and later the 138 squadrons.  At the time of his death he was the top American ave with 13 confirmed victories.  He had many more unconfirmed because of the very strict standards the French used to confirm victories.  When asked if it bothered him so many of his victories went unconfirmed, he said "The Germans know what I did.". He was killed in action in September 1918.  He is buried in France at the LaFayette Escadrille memorial.

"The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to David E. Putnam, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Lachaussee, France, September 12, 1918. After destroying one of the eight German planes which had attacked him, Lieutenant Putnam was turning to our lines, when he saw seven Fokkers attack an allied biplane. He attacked the Germans and saved the biplane, but was himself driven down, shot through the heart.
General Orders 71, W.D., 1919"

   In researching Putnam's aircraft I wanted to represent his Spad XIII.  Based on black and white pictures, and modern art from modelers I came up with the color scheme.  The squadron insignia is copied from the actual one removed from his plane after his death which is in display at the Air Force museum at Dayton Ohio. The ribbon is his command strip as squadron commander. 

   It was a fun research project and I now have a very unique air craft.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Wings of war: LaFayette Escadrille

  More fun with the Wings of War aircraft.

These are the Lufberry/Thenault Nieport 17 model.  I am a big fan of the Lafayette Escadrille.   So I just had to convert them to aircraft flown by those pilots.  Fortunately Dom's Decals do a set for the Escadrille.  A really first rate Indian head insignia and various markings for individual piolts.  You get decals for six pilots as well as six pilots for another squadron (number 3).  A good deal.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Wings of War: Jasta 19

  I enjoy playing the Wings of War World War One air plane game.  It is a very enjoyable game, can be picked up very quickly and provides a fun game. The model planes which they make are first class and very economical. And you can get almost anything you want air craft wise.

  I tend to play with my son a lot when he is home from school.  Our style of gaming is very different, which means I usually end up being shot down.

  One thing I have done to add to the fun is repaint and customise some of the planes.  This is helped by Dom's Decals which makes excellent decals for the Wings of War Planes.  My first efforts were to customize were the famous Fokker DR1 Triplane. Great looking plane, almost iconic.  I decided to paint them as Jasta 19 which is well documented photographs wise and colorful with the distinctive yellow and black tail.  I repainted the tsils, added he decals and voila I have smart looking group hunting the skies.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Artillery Redoubt

  I promised myself I would work on improving my terrain this year.  So I have started to add some buildings, and also a few other items to improve the tabletop appearance.

  I picked him this artillery redoubt last year at Cold Wars but just got around to painting and flocking it.  I cannot remember who made it but it is a gem and most useful too!

  Although I painted the outside of the redoubt it is now covered in much for the ground.  But a good dry brushing of the the inside made the gabions and wood pop.  It holds up to two stands of artillery.  A nice strong point in the battlefield or perhaps the little redoubt in the Crimean.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Paper Houses: a start

  Here is one of the paper houses I talked about in my last post.  The Battle in America booklet comes with three houses; the small log cabin, a church and a town house.  The last two are perfect if you are going to fight Trenton or any battle by a largest town or city.  While the small log cabin is great for numerous battles and various period settings.  You have to take them to a copy place and have them printed on card type paper.  This lets you have lots of real estate!

  The cabin comes with a porch and a overhanging roof.  I choose to not add it on my first try putting one of these paper buildings together.  When I build another one I will add it and have two different looking cabins.  That is the nice thing about paper buildings. Once you have the template you can put them together with additions and subtraction to create a variety of buildings for your tabletop.

  At Cold Wars last year I took a class at the Hobby University in how to build paper buildings.  It was great and very informative.  lots of hand on work and you put together a building.  They give you all the tools you need and plenty of help.  In past battle reports you might have noticed the two paper buildings I built in the class and took home.  I highly recommend attending the Hobby University if you go to a HMGS show.  They are outstanding.

  More to come!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

"Battle in America: wargaming the Revolutionary War"

   "Battle in America: Wargaming the Revolutionary War"  is part of the Paper soldier series of books published by Helion and Company.   Soldiers are drawn by Peter Dennis and rules are by Andy Callan. I am especially interested in this set as the American Rev War is my favorite period for gaming.  In addition Andy Callan wrote Loose Files and American Scramble which are my favorite rules for the Rev War. So I was interested in this booklet and very curious about the rules.  Are they a updated version of his rules with improvement?  For those who are interested in picking this booklet up here is my review.

   Introductory material and tactical notes in "Battle in America" take up two pages of the book. a very nice introduction to the period and gaming it.  A guide is presented for choosing armies using cards and dice.  Americans should enjoy a 3:2 advantage in numbers, but dice rolls favor the British in giving them better units. Quality over quantity in theory.

   The rules take up five pages of the book. Infantry regiments have five to eight stands; cavalry, detachments and artillery are represented by fewer figures or stands. Units accumulate disruption points (DP) throughout the game. The turn sequence is firing, movement, close combat, then reaction/rallying and morale checks.  Firing and combat are calculated on a stand basis; movement is determined by the drawing of cards. The cards' colors and types determine what units can or can't do during movement. There are some command and control rules.  There is A two-page playsheet, and three scenarios ("Capture the Heights", "Winter Solders 1776", and "Long, Obstinate and Bloody 1781") To Get You Started. Always nice To have A senerio or two Included.   There are outstanding paper soldiers to start you gaming.  Very nicely done too!  In addtion you get three buildings.  Outstanding value and really useful.

   I'm a big Andy Callan fan and have played Loose Files since it first appeared.  So I was excited to get this booklet as I wanted to see if they had improved Loose Files or clarified them.   I was sadly disappointed.  It appears these are an attempt to change things that deliver unnecessary complication without adding anything to the original set. These include a blunder-type rule and command and control rules. Also, numbers count for more than class, which is a incredibly big change from the original.    When you consider the number of troop classes has dropped from five to three then no longer is quality better then quantity.  One thing I liked in the original rules was better quality regimenrs could take more punishment, regroup remove DP's and come back for more.  I do not expect this to happen here.   Don't expect your outnumbered regulars to last long.

The paper buildings are outstanding and very useful.  I will most definitely be using them in my games. Worth the price of the booklet alone.