Friday, August 29, 2014

Homecast Pre-dreadnoughts

       I have been distracted for the last week by another interest. I have built a couple of model boats and for years have been interested in R/C naval combat, where model ships are armed with BB guns and try to sink each other. However, not being particularly mechanical and with basic ships costing around $600.00 and up just to start, has always stopped me beyond the dream stage. However, there is a movement afloat to start a new class of warship which they call the"Steampunk Flotilla", where the boats below the waterline will all be built the same with the same motors and props. Above the water line the builders have complete freedom to build the ship as they please. The idea is to represent Predreadnought style ships.  Now for me, seeing the Bismarck and Yamoto slugging it out while bumping each other just never looked right; however, it is a little easier imagining old Predreadnoughts doing so.

   With this sudden turn towards naval warfare, I decided to do a mold of one of the toy warships which I had done an earlier post about. The idea was to cast around 8 of them, paint them simply, and find a easy set of rules and have a war-game. The casting and painting is done, the ruleset chosen (Bob Cordrey's "Portable Naval Wargame; Predreadnought), now only the battle is to be fought.
I think the battle will be between the Shiak and Brookshire navies. Shown is the Shiak fleet, the blue national flag on the foremast and ship  identifying flag on the rear mast.

Closeup of the Shiak flagship (as of yet, unnamed).

The Brookshire fleet steaming out of port.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Another Painted Semi Flat and Peter Laing Casting

One good thing about my job was I get to listen to audio books during the summer. I listened to a book on Lord Cochrane, who provided ideas for the Hornblower & Aubrey novels, and another about a powder monkey during the Napoleonic wars. These stories inspired me to finally make a mold of Napoleonic sailors that Ian Dury gave me a couple of years ago.  The mold turned out better than normal figures and I now want to work on the gunners to go along with them. If only I could find the officer now!
The Peter Laing sailors. Only two ended back in the pot; one by accident.

Closeup of a painted sailor.

Midshipman Horatio Nelson taking on the polar bear. (In actuality Nelson was armed with a musket).

When I first got these figures, I thought it was an officer holding his sword scabbard.  After careful  examination it is a soldier with his rifle under arm. The figure on left shows the general condition of these figures. The figure on right has been primed for painting.

After: once again a quick paint job.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Repainted Tin Soldiers

      Last year I bought a lot of semi flats from Ebay. When I bought them I thought several of the figures were newly made, as the paint job on them looked new. With the last couple of posting they were examined again and now I believe that they are old figures that the previous owner repainted. This adds fuel to those who say these figures deserve a fresh coat of paint.

   The rubber I use has a short shelf life once opened, and it seems that the most recent batch is past the half way mark towards being useless. I am now in a scramble to use it up. I decided to try a semi flat figure.  I was happy with the result, although the first few casting the head was somewhat deformed, which was caused be a thin flap of rubber at the mold break that I missed.  Unfortunately I haven't taken a photo of them yet as this posting is a hasty one before going to work.
At first I thought these were the same figures, but there are several differences in the pose.

I have several highlander figures, all wearing mini kilts.

One if the big selling points of this lot was these sailors (they would also make good Confederates).

The casing I made was of the marching guardsman. However, I used a figure whose paint job was in bad shape.

I posted this picture, which currently is my favorite semi flat. What I like about it is it  looks to me to be a Prussian infantryman from the 1840's; the helmet seems to be taller than those of the Franco Prussian War and he has the blanket or overcoat roll over his shoulder.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Refurbished Tin Soldiers

After my last post, several readers mentioned if I had any plans to repaint the figures that were in bad shape. I have always shied away from tampering with old figures, but from the sounds of it many people repaint figures that are in rough shape. I decided to try a couple of figures and paint them in toy soldier fashion.

I will admit that after painting these two, somewhere down the line more figures might be painted. I will have to find some high gloss paints that don't dry out so fast.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tin Soldier Parade

      I have bought quite a few lots on Ebay recently, including a nice set of Schiller 30mm semi-flat soldiers. They arrived yesterday and I found myself going through my collection of semi-flats.

   The new unit of soldiers are Jagers and the paint is in good shape. For such a smart looking unit, they deserved to be welcomed in grand fashion. And so a parade of tin soldiers was held today.
A view of the parade.

This unit of cavalry was bought earlier this year.

A unit of Lancers.

The Guard infantry leads the parade.

Here is the newest unit of Jagers.
Every parade needs music.

The bulk of the Tin Army; the 80 strong Wollner Austrians.

The grey line of Austrians take up most of the line of parade.

The cannon fodder brings up the rear.

More cannon fodder.

Bringing up the rear. In this unit are the first semi-flats I bought. How the mighty have fallen!

The Generals reviewing the cavalry.

The Guards on dress parade.

The Jagers stand by for inspection.

The Austrians on parade.

Another great buy were two lots of Peter Laing Colonial Indian cavalry.

The Jagers return to barracks after the parade.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Home Made Mold & Casting

Several years ago I found a nice set of molds by a company caller Creartec on the website of Berliner Zinnfiguren. The molds were a series of Frederick the Great's grenadiers, generals, and cavalry. They are great figures, however, there is no musketeer figures. I did a head swap and finally made a mold of the figure. It might not be a perfect figure but definitely as useable figure.

The female turkey hanging around our house has found a new perch on our roof. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

AWI Battle of Monmouth Courthouse

    This war-game was set up using various  rules from the different links provided in the earlier post. The battle scenario was from This scenario was written by Mark McGilchrist.  The battle of Monmouth was fought after the Baron Von Steuben had introduced a standard drill to the Continental Army.  As a result the army was able to slug it out with the British army. The battle was a draw, but the British generals must have been aware that this was not the same army they had fought the year before. Monmouth was fought in extreme heat, and as many men died from the heat as from battle.

    This scenario is based on the early phase of the battle when the advance guard of the Continental Army under General Charles Lee came into contact with the British Army, under General Cornwallis.
The Continental soldiers were holding their own against the British, but General Lee called for his troops to retreat.  When General Washington came up  and found his army in retreat, his normal imperturbable demeanor cracked and relieved Lee of command. General Washington personally rallied and led the troops forward.
Continental Army holds the treeline.

The view General Lee has of the battle.

Looking down the line from Lee's right flank.

British grenadiers assault the woods on Lee's right.

The British assault on Lee's left.

Cornwallis' left trys hard to clear the woods in front of them.

On Lee's right, the grenadiers and another battalion start clearing the woods.

But the Continentals are determined to hold.

The Continental dragoons attack the artillery, forcing it back. Another battalion of infantry moves forward out of the woods and hit the left flank of the British infantry.

The British attack on the right continues to push back the Continentals.

Cornwallis' light dragoons push back the Continental dragoons.

Lee's left flank.

The American dragoons push back the British dragoons.

Lee manages the stabilize his left flank.

However, the British attacking the woods on Lee's right have finally cleared the woods.

Now Lee's center is brought under heavy pressure.

A counter attack by the British on Lee's left start pushing his troops back.

Lee's center.

Another view.

The Continental dragoons slip by the British dragoons and force back one battalion of infantry.

The Continentals in the center woods counterattack and push back the grenadiers.

The artillery breaks the dragoons, and the British dragoons sweep around Lee's left flank.

The relentless pressure on the center woods finally break the Continentals. 

The end of the battle.

The rules used were a Battle Cry variant found here AWI Battle Cry rules. The figures used were 1st generation Minifigs which were spray painted blue for Continentals and Red for British. The grey figures are militia figures, which were used as regulars in this game.