We can rebuild him

A warning. Do not let all the do gooders out there lead you astray Dear readers. Natural, organic etc etc is not always the way to go. Sometimes man made, artificial etc is far superior to Mother Nature’s bounty. As evidence let’s examine the hips of von Peter himself. The natural nature provided ones turned out to be absolute rubbish with mobility increasingly limited and pain persistent … not that von Peter himself is one to mind a little pain!  😳 No really!!  😱

Last year the left hip was consigned to the dumpster and replaced. Just over a week ago the same fate befell the right hip. A bit more recuperation to go but already life is looking much improved. von Peter himself will soon be able to keep up with his wee men as they flee the battlefield as fast their little metal legs can carry them!  😃

 

Calpe Website updates

While idling away his time in hospital von Peter himself noticed that Calpe Miniatures have updated the figure listings in their website Shop.

The Saxons now show the codes S1 through S21 as well as the artillery pieces SA1 through SA5.

S18__Foot_officers_with_covered_shakos_white_uniforms

The French now list through to F53 and their artillery through to FA5. On closer inspection two new codes were revealed to von Peter himself

  • F48 – 3 Battalion standard spear points pre-1812 reforms. 3 Battalion standard spear points pre-1812 reforms. These were used almost exclusively until Napoleons abdication in 1814.
  • F49 – 3 Battalion standard spear points post-1812 reforms. 3 Battalion standard spear points post-1812 reforms. These were the spearpoints used on the battalion fanions at Waterloo.

F51__A_proper_tete_pack

As is usual the packs in the Shop show front and back photographs with the bonus that some are shown painted which acts as a great uniform resource … and get appropriated into various blogs! 😎 But there’s more …

A new section “A proper Tete” has been added to the Guides & Research area of the Calpe website to support the packs F51 through F53 for the French.

A-Proper-Tete

The three images above “borrowed” from the Calpe Miniatures website. Figures painted by Peter Fitzgerald.

Front Rank

As forecast Front Rank Figurines have added two more packs of Napoleonic civilians …

  • CNPK3: Napoleonic Civilian pack, man leading packhorse plus pedlar and farm labourer. (figs sold only as a pack)
  • CNPK4: Napoleonic Civilian pack, man working water pump, plus 2 women. (figs sold only as a pack).

Both packs are priced at £6.00.

Front Rank CNPK3+4

Above: CNPK3 and CNPK4 meet up in a town square somewhere during the Napoleonic Wars. Image unknowingly provided by Front Rank

This is not he big news from Front Rank however. From their newsletter …

Napoleonic Prussians 1808 – 1815.
For many years customers have been asking us to make Napoleonic Prussians.
The good news is that design work has already started on what we are planning to be a comprehensive range of Napoleonic Prussians for 1808 – 1815.
We hope to have the first releases available in April 2016 with more releases planned during 2016/17. Updates on progress will be in our newsletters.

 

Sharp Practice v2

Some more news of the incoming Sharp Practice version 2 is available over on Lard Island News – mouth piece/blog of TheTooFatLardies. von Peter himself fervently hopes that the “tidy up”, “streamlining” and “simplify” used in the article do not equate to the dumbing down of the rules. We likes our little bit of chrome and flavour in the rules we do.

 

And finally back to the hip replacement surgery. von Peter himself can now sit comfortably for a period of time … and easily get out of the chair when that period of time comes to an end. There is a smell of painting resumed in the air. Hurrah!

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

A late Christmas present

Christmas Day 2015 has come and gone but the giving kept on giving as at the first opportunity after Christmas Day New Zealand Post delivered into the mail box of Neu Schloss von Peter a package from Calpe Miniatures. Wow … as a self confessed Calpe zealot this meant two Christmas Days in one year!!  😃

Contained within the package were the latest eight packs of later Napoleonic Saxons …

  • S14 – Standard bearer, sapper, NCO, drummer, 2 musketeers with covered shakos
  • S15 – Standard bearer, sapper, NCO, drummer, 2 musketeers with calfskin covered shakos
  • S16 – Standard bearer, sapper, NCO, drummer, 2 musketeers with uncovered shakos
  • S17 – Officers in blue Interimsuniform, 3 with covered shakos and 1 with calfskin covered shakos
  • S18 – Officers in white coats, 3 with covered shakos and 1 with calfskin covered shakos
  • S19 – 4 officers, with uncovered shakos, 2 in blue Interimsuniform and 2 in white coats
  • S20 – 4 NCOs – 2 with covered shakos, 1 with calfskin covered shako and 1 with uncovered shako
  • S21 – Cherry on the icing pack (to steal a term from the French range!) – 2 enthusiastic musketeers and 2 falling casualties

The pack / code numbers above are correct as the packs came labelled but the descriptions are not official but rather as von Peter himself has interpreted the figures in the packs.

As the more astute of The dear readers will readily ascertain the arrival of these packs along with …

.. means that a Calpe Miniatures Saxon musketeer battalion in the ‘advancing’ pose may now be almost completely built from the new Saxon figures, ie. without having to revert to the Calpe Veterans Saxons march attack range for stand ins. According to a quick count there are currently 92 unique figures available to choose from for the advancing Saxons which should allow for a little variety across battalions! The reason for the ‘almost completely built’ are the mounted officers. Until newly designed mounted officers are available three suitable mounted officers are available in the pack SM11 Three mounted officers in a variety of blue and white jackets from the Calpe Veterans Saxons march attack Saxons. Missing also are prone casualties figures of which von Peter himself needs far too many so as to mark the casualties he invariably racks up playing games!

Enough of mere puny words. Bring on some pictures. First to repeat the normal caveats regarding these photographs first …

  • The figures are presented as they arrived excepting that the larger runners inherent in the casting progress have been removed with the fingers of von Peter himself. The same fingers straightened any bent muskets etc
  • the figures have been cunningly rearranged between the front and back photographs so that the figures in the matching front and back photographs match left to right. Ahh … that is to say for example that the figure second on the left is the same figure in the front and back photos. If this has not been adequately explained then don’t worry about it as it probably doesn’t matter. Just be aware that von Peter himself went that extra step in the service of The dear reader
  • von Peter himself has ‘washed’ the figures with ‘Shader Black’ from Coat d’arms to bring out the details little
  • While marvelling at the figures please remember that they are presented in larger than life size … depending on the dear readers device!
  • The english descriptor with each pack has been ‘devised’ by von Peter himself. The pack code identifier is as set by Calpe Miniatures
  • ‘Click’ the photos for a larger and clearer image.

S14 - standard bearer, sapper, NCO, drummer, 2 musketeers with covered shakos front

S14 - standard bearer, sapper, NCO, drummer, 2 musketeers with covered shakos back

Above: S14 – standard bearer, sapper, NCO, drummer, 2 musketeers with covered shakos

Calpe Saxon S15 front

Calpe Saxon S15 back

Above: S15 – standard bearer, sapper, NCO, drummer, 2 musketeers with calfskin covered shakos

Calpe Saxon S16 front

Calpe Saxon S16 back

Above: S16 – standard bearer, sapper, NCO, drummer, 2 musketeers with uncovered shakos

Calpe Saxon S17 front

Calpe Saxon S17 back

Above: S17 – Officers in blue Interimsuniform, 3 with covered shakos and 1 with calfskin covered shakos

Calpe Saxon S18 front

Calpe Saxon S18 back

Above: S18 – Officers in white coats, 3 with covered shakos and 1 with calfskin covered shakos

Calpe Saxon S19 front

Calpe Saxon S19 back

Above: S19 – 4 officers, with uncovered shakos, 2 in blue Interimsuniform on the left and 2 in white coats on the right

Calpe Saxon S20 front

Calpe Saxon S20 back

Above: S20 – 4 NCOs – 2 with covered shakos, 1 with calfskin covered shako and 1 with uncovered shako

Calpe Saxon S21 front

Calpe Saxon S21 back

Above: S21 – 2 enthusiastic musketeers and 2 falling casualties. The dynamic posing was a challenge for the limited local photographic skills!

And most importantly … these packs will all appear on the Calpe Miniatures website eventually but they are all available for purchase as of right now.

Calpe logo1

 

Summer reading

As part of the Christmas & New Year holiday regime von Peter himself has read the latest historic novel from Harry Sidebottom entitled Blood & Steel …

BLOOD AND STEEL is the second book in the epic Throne of the Caesars series, set in third century Rome; a dramatic era of murder, coup, counter-rebellions and civil war. 

von Peter himself would rate this volume as being more immediately accessible than the preceding Iron & Rust probably because of the ground work laid in Iron & Rust.

There is a rumour that Mr Harry Sidebottom will be reinforcing his wargaming bonafides by partaking in a demonstration game at the first Partizan wargaming convention in 2016. Said rumour states that the scenario used will be based on a battle from one of Mr Sidebottom’s novels. Further the game will be moderated by Simon Miller’s – he of The BigRedBatCave blog fame – To the Strongest! rules and use the figures of Phil Hendry. This should provide quite the spectacle … … … and it is to be trusted that such a frolicsome outing will in no way slow the writing of the third book of the Throne of the Caesars series!!

Blood & Steel cover

 

Paint pot lids

A while back von Peter himself whined on just a little about hobby paints supplies in New Zealand which lead to the ordering of 31 Coat d’arms from Black Hat Miniatures. With the arrival of the credit card bill von Peter himself was happy to see that each paint pot came in well under what the competitors charge locally and for a larger quantity of paint in each pot. Hurrah … possibly a win. ‘Possibly a win’ as von Peter himself is yet to use them though The son & heir reports that the paints are fine.

Though the Coat d’arms bottles / pots seal well von Peter himself has had problems in the past with the style of pot. The clumsy – no names need be mentioned here! – will occasionally break the ‘tab’ off the pot lid which makes for a much MUCH less easily opened pot of paint. This need no longer be a problem however as von Peter himself has stumbled upon the realisation that Black Hat Miniatures sell Paint Pot Lids for £0.15. Hurrah! acclaim the clumsy and destructive.

black hat banner

 

Inspirational Seven Years War and some Piquet ideas

If The dear reader is a fan off war games porn and an elevated figure painting rate then they could do worse than keep an eye on James Roach’s Olicanalad’s Games blog. His latest – and all most complete – Seven Years War project provides some wonderful eye candy. James uses the Piquet ruleset and its offshoots … he has even authored some of those offshoots. The post Testing some new ideas for Piquet – SYW battle report provides both some fine pictures of his Seven Years War project and his tinkering with Piquet

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Colonel Sir Henry Grabbe-Ghoulies has a bad day

von Peter himself finds himself a little perturbed again. The current employer of choice has informed him in no uncertain terms not to come back to work … at least not until after a Christmas & New Years break. Fortunately the current employer of choice has relayed this very same message to most of their employees so perhaps the current employer of choice has not yet found out about von Peter himself after all! Surely it can be but a matter of time?!  😳

The upside of all of this is that von Peter himself now has a couple of weeks away from paid employment. Hurrah! The seemingly much larger downside is that Fraulien von Peter herself may have many plans for unpaid employment over the same period. Sacré bleu! With this sad state of affairs in mind pleasant memories are desperately required. So let von Peter himself transport The dear reader back in time a couple of weeks to a small affair of arms in the Napoleonic Wars, the Peninsular War to be more precise.

Frenchmen for the day Ray and Michael had lured the British for the day von Peter himself and The son and heir to their lair for some historical investigations. Reality would be controlled by Sharp Practice from the the Too Fat Lardies with the scene set by The Compleat Fondler – a scenario book for Sharp Practice which narrates the adventures of Richard Sharp Fondler.

Compleat Fondler

In keeping with the Hollywood’ish daring do nature of Sharp Practice scenarios for the system tend to often include a ‘surprise’ or two so as to up the entertainment value. Unfortunately if von Peter himself were to relate all the ‘goings on’ that went on in the historic investigation of that day in 1812/1813 as hosted in Ray’s lair then he would potentially be ruining the future fun of any of The dear reader(s) that felt the urge to follow Fondler’s experiences via The Complete Fondler. Such a cost would weigh far too heavily on the conscience of von Peter himself and so a detailed blow by blow report of the game is not possible. Of course this unfortunate decision has absolutely nothing to do with the legendary idleness of your correspondent von Peter himself! Rather it is with a heavy heart that the richly deserved tellings of heroic – or otherwise – actions of the protagonists must necessarily be kept quiet.

This heroic or otherwise aspect was especially true as they relate to Colonel Sir Henry Grabbe-Ghoulies the upper class twit gentleman who has recently taken charge of Sharpe’s Fondler’s battalion. He speaks with a decided lisp, thinks that all sense of order has been lost to the army – but luckily he can fix that – and above all is determined to have the rifles off Sharpe’s Fondler’s men to be replaced with honest muskets. For some inexplicable reason von Peter himself was selected to play Sir Henry. The son & heir played as Richard Sharpe Fondler.

The unclassified elements of the scenario have the British needing to deliver a wagon of gold and powder to the Church of Madre de Deus for the notable guerrilla leader El Cascanueces while simultaneously rescuing the Marquesa de Una Paloma Blanca who is under the protection of the British agent Father O’Stereotype.

Colonel Sir Henry Grabbe-Ghoulies submits the following few words on the mostly unclassified aspects of the battle. Do not forget to click on the images for a larger and clearer view.

Fondler's Colonel 1

Fondler's Colonel 2

Fondler's Colonel 3

Fondler's Colonel 4

Notable events included the lead British Group – the one carrying the battalion colours -suffering a man drunk and two men leaving the ranks for a spot of looting. These were not scenario driven events but just the result of playing the rules. It seems that Colonel Sir Henry Grabbe-Ghoulies may have arrived just in time to reinstate some sort of order to the battalion! One of Sharpe’s Fondler’s green jackets also managed to drill a French Lieutenant between the eyes which caused the French some inconvenience as they did not have a Big Man of enough stature in place to control a larger formation

Many thanks to the dastardly Frenchmen for a day Ray and Michael for hosting a most enjoyable game and providing a fine lunchtime repast. The figures and scenery were care of Rays fine Peninsular collection and are certainly of the quality required for this here up market quality only the best will do blog!  😃

Oh and as for the result of the game … let us just say that Richard Sharpe Fondler has some revenge to to garner on behalf of the British Army.

 

The Army of the Kingdom of Westphalia 1807-1813

The History Book Man has been at it again releasing their latest e-book “The Army of the Kingdom of Westphalia 1807-1813″. Once again borrowed from the website …

This completely revised and updated volume was first published in 1979 and has been out of print since 1984. This new edition is illustrated with all new colour artwork and selected illustrations from authoritive artists.

The Kingdom of Westphalia was a totally new state created by Napoleon following the peace of Tilsit in 1807, and consisted of the previous states of Hanover, Brunswick and Hessen-Kassel. The throne was given to Napoleon’s favoured younger brother Jerome, who made his capital at Kassel. The formation of an army was one of the first actions of the new monarch, recruiting from the now unemployed soldiers of Kassel, Hanover and Brunswick. The army of Westphalia provided 25,000 troops to the Confederation of the Rhine who served in Napoleon’s campaigns in Spain, Russia and Germany. 283 pages.

The usual e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y difficult to beat value for money. von Peter himself will be adding this one to his reference materials.

WESTPHALIA COVER ART

 

Aurelian is now available

Aurelian is the latest from Sam Mustafa and his Honour series of games. From the website …

The Roman empire is fracturing. Plague stalks the land. The economy is collapsing. Emperors are assassinated with startling frequency. Barbarians have broken through the frontiers. The Persians have invaded in the east.

That Rome survived is largely due to one man.

Aurelian is a tabletop game about the Crisis of the Third Century. Players take the role of factions – both civilized and barbarian – contending for control of the fragmenting Roman Empire.

The game’s unit tiles and action cards are provided for free download.

For more information, sample chapters, and other supporting game materials, click here.

And for those of The dear readers who like to have a hard / paper copy of their rules then you’ll need to print it yourself as the rules will only be available as a pdf. Actually it will only be available as two pdf’s – one a printer friendly version and the other an all singing and dancing high resolution version with links for tablets etc. You’ll receive both for the price of USD $29.00 irrespective of where you live in the world.

For the reasoning behind the pdf only decision and more insights on Aurelian there is a podcast available which will provide nearly seventeen and a half minutes of such information.

Aurelian-Cover

 

And of course because it’s ‘that’ time of year … a very Merry Christmas to all The dear readers. 

And because there must be at least some doubt that von Peter himself will manage any further output prior to the New Year ticking over let’s play it safe … and a Happy New Year to The dear readers as well.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

It’s December … the month of Christmas

greatwarexhibitionlogo

Back to the WWI imagery from the The Great War Exhibition as started in the prior WWI exhibition, paints and more post.

The next staged scene was of a MK1 Tank – an answer to the trench conundrum – making its way over a German trench. You can tell that it is a German trench because there are various Germans occupants in said trench.

MK1 Tank

A complete replica MK1 Tank was present but it was difficult to get a good photograph of it. Fraulien von Peter herself has snuck into the photo and a glass panel provides distracting reflections. Sheesh!!

In a trench under a tank

The occupants of the trench as the MK1 goes over the top

MK1 with cutout

The other side of the tank had a cutout so you could observe the crew and the conditions they worked in. It also showed a whicker basket containing one or more pigeons! The darkness of the scene and covering glass defeated the reporters attempts to pictorially capture the internal scene

We now enter the year 1917 …

Bruno Railway Gun

A 1/3 scale model of a German ‘Bruno’ railway gun. Obsolete naval 12″ and 15″ guns were pressed into service as railway guns. A German aircraft wing hangs on the wall behind the railway gun. So dearest reader von Peter himself is pleased to present an image containing elements of naval, ground and air warfare WWI style.

Germans in gas masks

The exhibition contained many items of interest and mannequins. Here we have three Germans wearing gas masks toting an array of offensive weaponry including what distinctly looks like a flame thrower. As a bonus we also get the reflected image of some anti aircraft mounted weaponry … … … unless there is a skeet shooting competition!

There were many photos on display throughout the exhibition … and none of them were in black and white. The troops saw the war in colour and Peter Jackson had determined that visitors to the exhibition would likewise see the recorded images of war in colour. How they chose the colours remains a mystery to von Peter himself.

Stormtroopers in a shell hole

Like it says – German stormtroopers shelter in a shell hole.

And then it was 1918 …

New Zealanders with a prize

New Zealanders with a captured prize. von Peter himself wonders if he has seen this particular artillery piece in a park in New Zealand

However the colours were selected when colouring the old black and white photographs the two cameras … phones .. errr, phone-cameras in use on the day produce the following results …

Maori pioneers 1

Members of the Maori Pioneer Battalion as captured by von Peter’s work Samsung phone

Maori pioneers 2

The coloured Maori Pioneers photo again … but as presented by the iPhone 6 of Fraulien von Peter herself

There are many settings on both phone cameras but all von Peter himself can say is … how dare Fraulien von Peter herself show up von Peter himself like this!  😃

MEDIC!!!

Medic!

The cost

Enough said

Remembrance

A poignant scene of a grandfather and grandson at the grave of an unknown soldier. The completed sentence at the top of the photograph is “Join the Brave Throng that goes Marching Along” and is from a propaganda poster designed by the London Parliamentary Committee. Beneath it is “Gassed” by John Singer Sargent depicting the results of a mustard gas attack in 1918

Some reading

As recounted in the pages of this very blog von Peter himself enjoyed following the travails of Ballista and his familia in the six book  Warrior of Rome series by Harry Sidebottom. Mr Sidebottom has a new series – Throne of the Caesars – also set in the Rome of the third century A.D. From the website …

Here comes the first book in a new series set in third century Rome, a dramatic era of murder, coup, counter-rebellions and civil war.

In a single year six emperors will lay claim to the Throne of the Caesars…

SPRING AD235

Dawn on the Rhine. A surprise attack and the brutal murder of the Emperor Alexander and his mother ends the Severan dynasty and shatters four decades of Roman certainty.

Military hero Maximinus Thrax is the first Caesar risen from the barracks. A simple man of steel and violence, he will fight for Rome.

The Senators praise the new emperor with elaborate oratory, but will any of them accept a Caesar who was once a shepherd boy? And in the streets of the eternal city, others merely pray to escape imperial notice.

In the north, as the merciless war against the barbarians consumes men and treasure, rebellion and personal tragedy drive Maximinus to desperate extremes, bloody revenge and the borders of sanity.

Iron & Rust, the first book in a major new series, creates a world both sophisticated and brutal, yet firmly rooted in history; a world of intrigue, murder, passion and war, a world where men will kill to sit on the Throne of the Caesars.

The son & heir kindly arranged for a library sourced version of this first book – Iron and Rust – to be delivered to von Peter himself for his consumption. It must be admitted that von Peter himself found this book more difficult to ‘get into’ than the first book of the Warrior of Rome series. Possibly this was because the Warrior of Rome series focused on our hero Ballista whereas the Throne of the Caesars has no such single focus and zips around the various theatres in which the book is set – the city of Rome, the northern frontier, the east and Africa. But a connection was finally made and in the end the book was devoured … albeit after a slow start which resulted in an overdue book fine requiring paying!!! Oops. What sort of example was that to set?!  😳  Of course monetary reimbursements were required and have been paid in full with a little interest!  👀

iron and rust

And further on the author Harry Sidebottom – Issue 80 of the Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy magazine has an article by the man himself which reveals that he is a lapsed and now recovered wargamer. He can’t be all bad!

More Civilans on the horizon

From a Front Rank Figurines  newsletter …

Following the success of our first two Civilian packs CNPK1 and CNPK2, we are now planning the next releases in the series ~ details to follow!

More walking talking terrain pieces, onlookers or Sharp Practice scenario fodder can never be a bad thing.

Front Rank

Plastic Later French artillery

Victrix Ltd have released their French Napoleonic Artillery 1812 to 1815 …

The set contains 3 guns based on the XI system with options for 6 pounder or howitzer barrels. The set contains 15 crew with multiple arm options including shoulder straps and fringed epaulettes (These are to represent master gunners). There are also many head options with uncovered and covered shakos.

all for the princely sum of £24.95.

Victrix later French artillery

 

More recce …

From the Perry Miniatures Facebook page …

Upcoming new ACW releases!
Alan’s working on 13 codes for ACW range which include a couple of iconic troop types from the war, Berdan’s Sharpshooters and the Iron Brigade. These hopefully, should be out for Christmas, if not just after. They are 28mm and metal.

Perry logo

Most interestingly of all there are strong rumours of some new Calpe Miniatures releases in the wind. And wouldn’t you know it but it is nearly Christmas time. Self confessed Calpe zealot von Peter himself feels an order coming on … even if it has to be made after Christmas. What a pleasant way to close.  😎

Calpe logo1

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

WWI exhibition, paints and more

A few weeks ago Fraulien von Peter herself accompanied von Peter himself on a visit to The Great War Exhibition in the old Dominion Museum Building, Wellington, New Zealand. From the Exhibition Guide …

“Designed by Sir Peter Jackson and his team at WingNut Films, assisted by Sir Richard Taylor and Weta Workshop, this exhibition also showcases variety of First World War artefacts from museum and heritage organisations in New Zealand and from Sir Peter Jackson’s private collection”

To the above list of celebrities we should also add Rhys Jones – sometimes to be found hovering over a war-games table – who assisted Peter Jackson et al by being the exhibition’s Executive Director.

The exhibition will be continually developed as the one hundred years anniversary of the First World War rolls on.

greatwarexhibitionlogo

The good Fraulien von Peter herself and von Peter himself both went a little camera crazy – albeit with their phones! What follows is a few of the photos resultant of the electronic shutter madness.

Despite the maniacal photographic activity only the more photogenic exhibits got any attention. There were many other exhibits of uniforms, weapons, equipment and coloured photographs that are not represented here. von Peter himself has no qualms about blaming the good Fraulien for such oversights!

Many of the exhibits were behind glass with bright lights and other glassed in exhibits across sometimes narrow walkways. As such reflections were often a problem, especially as photos sometimes had to be snapped rapidly in between other visitors – selfish gits! 😎 – with little time to prepare. So some of the photos actually showcase two exhibits – the prime target of the photograph and a reflected unintentional secondary exhibit reflected in the glass. Such are the results of war time photography.

A village somewhere in Belgium immediately pre WWI

Near the beginning of the walk through of the exhibition one takes a stroll through a Belgian Village as it would have been immediately prior to the outbreak of the war. This view does not do the inhabitants any favours by failing to show the village’s charms. Some such villages looked markedly different by the end of the war. That Exit sign seems quite modern to the eyes of von Peter himself. Perhaps he needs to reappraise his views! 😃

Part of a diorama of a Belgian Belgian fort

A representative model of one of the forts to be found in Belgium and France. It would make for fantastic terrain to game through!

Big Bertha siege gun info

The French and Belgians may have had their forts but the Germans had some fort crackers. There was a 1/3 model of a Big Bertha siege gun being loaded with its next round but no satisfactory photo of it – one must have standards you know when one is running a high class blog! So here is the proof of the models existence.

There was a rather busy 1914 scene with a plane flying overhead, a limbered 18 pounder and a London bus. Several photos are presented covering the action.

Plane, limber and bus 1

The French built plane is a Farman M./F.11 otherwise known as a Shorthorn. It has Belgian markings … not that this photograph shows them! Also in sight is part of the 18 pounder limber.

Plane, limber and bus 2

The front of the militarised London bus … unfortunately in shadow. Apparently about 900 London double decker buses made it to the war. Their duties ranged from troop transport to ambulance to mobile pigeon lofts! Originally they served in their red civie colours but this was found to be somewhat unwise on the battlefield so ubiquitous khaki was applied.

Plane, limber and bus 3

The back of the bus showing off one of the civil street advertising hoardings albeit khaki’ed over.

Plane, limber and bus 4

The rear of the Shorthorn – the plane for those with feeble memories! – showing a. the Belgian markings and b. that it is a ‘pusher’. The exhibited plane is a replica but it has an original engine! The 18 pounder is just out of shot but the fodder attached to the limber is well in evidence. The strange bit bottom left is the edge of the bus.

Moving on to 1915 and a trench scene …

1915 trench 1

Part of life in a rather clean trench. Is that a pet bird, a carrier pigeon … or dinner?!

1915 trench 2

More trench life

BL Six-Inch Gun

BL (Breech Loading) Six-inch Gun. Apparently at the wars beginning there was a shortage of heavy artillery so six-inch naval guns were successfully pressed into land service.. And for a confession – this image is stolen from the Exhibition Guide as none of the photos taken on the day really showed the gun in its full majesty

We’re now in 1916 …

French fortress pre bombardment

A French Fort pre bombardment. While looking at this pleasant scene a technique called “Pepper’s Ghost” mutated the scene into that below …

French fortress post bombardment

The same French fort post bombardment. Modern conservationists would be apoplectic!

1916 - Western Front Diorama

Another exhibit crying out to be gamed over … although all the surrounding glass would need to go!

1916 - Western Front Diorama close up

A close up of the 1916 – Western Front Diorama. Rat-ta-tat-ta-tat.

The stalemate of the trenches inspired the British to invent the tank. And that Dear reader is a clue as to what the next set of photographs will be focussed upon. Their unveiling will need to wait a little longer as von Peter himself is strongly of the opinion that we have had more than enough WWI imagery for one session. But before we leave …

The Great War Exhibition is not the only First World War game on in Wellington. New Zealand’s National Museum – Te Papa – has also got in on the act with their Gallipoli The Scale of our War exhibition. Once again Weta Workshop are involved and this time many of the exhibits are much larger than life. This offering has yet to be annointed by an official visit from von Peter himself. But it will be.

gallipolithescaleofourwarlogo

 

Paints  – the final frontier

Many are the advantages offered up to those lucky enough to call New Zealand home but easy access to decent hobby paint ranges is not to be counted as one of them. Getting back into more regular painting von Peter himself discovered that a not insignificant influx of replacement paints was required. And of course The son & heir has been tottering on the edge of paint oblivion for a while. Time to purchase some more pigmentation liquids. But which ones?

Games Workshop / Citadel paints are not as common as they once were but they are still around for the getting … however … the company insists on continually changing their colour ranges; the paints bottles have a distressing tendency not too keep their contents in a liquid state; and the accountants &/or marketers have lost the plot with their pricing. They have for many years been the mainstay of the paint stocks of von Peter himself but those days look to be coming to an end. Verdict – time to find an alternative.

Vallejo are also easy enough to purchase locally and there are certainly plenty of adherence to their products but their dropper bottle packaging really does not sit well with the painting habits of von Peter himself. Verdict – possibility but hopefully can do better.

Coat d’arms paints. These are apparently the old (first?) range of Citadel paints now expanded in several directions. There is a fantasy range, a military range and a WWII range. There are metallics, ink washes and super washes. They can be bought singly or as Triads – think the Foundry’s base, shade and highlight matched colours – as well as in paint sets – e.g. Ancient Set or Horse Tone set – which provide 10 bottles at a discount. They also have an Army Painter equivalent with their Super Shader range and Brushscape which are textured paints. They generally come in a larger 18mm bottle for £2 that seal well albeit that experience has taught that one must be careful not to break the little tab off the tops else the opening process becomes somewhat more of a challenge. The Super Shaders come in a larger – 60cc? – screw top bottle for £5. von Peter himself has been happy with the few that he has used in the past. By repute some of the colours may be a little thinner but apparently you shouldn’t slop on thick paints anyway … though von Peter himself will sometimes do so as an expedient! They are distributed by Black Hat Miniatures out of the UK but are also available from other vendors. Verdict – to cut a long and getting longer story short 31 paints were ordered form Black Hat Miniatures and have arrived at Neu Schloss von Peter in good time. They have yet to be used. [sigh]

black hat banner

Napoleonic civilians from Front Rank

As von Peter himself forecast a couple of posts back Front Rank Figurines have released some Napoleonic civilians – 2 packs of Napoleonic civilians to be precise …

  • CNPK1 Napoleonic Civilian pack, 4 gentlemen figures and a dog. (figs sold only as a pack)
  • CNPK2 Napoleonic Civilian pack, mounted gentleman figure and horse + 2 ladies (figs sold only as a pack).

To the eye of von Peter himself these are reasonable well off Napoleonic civilians and not necessarily the riff-raff of society. In more ways than one The dear reader can rest assured that they will be getting quality should they purchase them. So convinced of this was von Peter himself that he has acquired the two packs through the kind offices of Garage gaming Terry who was conveniently sending an order off to Front Rank. It is strongly suspected that the figures in their ones or twos will inveigle their way into the painting schedule fairly quickly. Someone needs to cheer von Peter himself on as he seeks a modicum of military glory.  😀

Front Rank Napoleonic civilians

An amalgam of the two Napoleonic civilian packs provided somewhat unknowingly by Front Rank Figurines via their website

Of course should The dear reader require some of the lower classes to enliven their terrain or provide fodder for their scenarios then Front Rank Figurines do provide several packs of civilians in their 18th Century & General Purpose Speciality Packs range …

  • GP1 Civilian wagon drivers x 4 figures (1 walking, 1 standing, 1 seated, 1 mounted pose) suit EH2 horse
  • GP2 Civilians x 4 figures (1 in smock with shovel, 1 walking with pick, 1 carrying sack, 1 walking)
  • GP3 Aristocrats x 4 figures (1 gentleman of quality, 1 lady of quality, 1 dandy, 1 portly gentleman)
  • GP4 Civilians x 4 figures (1 soldier on crutch, 1 maid with basket, 1 old hag, 1 clergyman preaching)

There are a fair few tricornes in these packs but von Peter himself can happily live with this.

Sharp Practice

Also a few weekends back Ray, Craig and Michael were hosted by The son & heir and von Peter himself at Neu Schloss von Peter for a little  Sharp Practice – the …

War-games rules for large skirmishes in the Black Powder era

from the Too Fat Lardies. None of us had played for a while except for Craig. He had never played! In the end we got through two games of large Napoleonic skirmish gaming and were so encouraged as to schedule another day of Sharp Practice gaming at the end of the month. Those new Front Rank civilians could be very useful for future Sharp Practice gaming. Oh, and sorry … no photographic evidence of the gaming was taken.

And it looks like a Sharp Practice version 2 is in the works. See …

… for evidence.

That’s it. There is no more until the next time.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

A first game at Neu Schloss von Peter and a little more

Attention! The son & heir applies himself and some pigments, a game and some commercial stuff.  Forward … March …

The son & heir’s latest pigmentation adventures

Not only have the paint brushes of von Peter himself been busy sloshing pigments on to figures but those of The son & heir have been stirred into action as well. The evidence for the latter would convict in most courts of law. Namely …

  • that the painting desk of von Peter himself has on occasion been occupied by persons other than von Peter himself – specifically The son & heir
  • the two images below are entered into evidence as the output of said pigment application sessions by The son & heir

1-72 WWII Russians 1

Above: 1/72 WWII Russians on manoeuvres somewhere in Russia. The scene comprised of …

  • Italeri Russians from box No 6057 Russian Infantry. Pigmentation applied by The son & heir. He has since painted more including figures from the Italeri box No 6069 Russian Infantry (winter uniform)
  • a Dragon Armour SU-85M as supplied ex the box. The son & heir has gone crazy and wants to dirty the model up a little. The local commissar has not given permission for such activities as yet
  • the buildings were originally created by Scenic Effects for use in 1812 Napoleon invades Russian duties. They are now available from Monday Knight Productions. They are 15mm but these and others are on hand and being of a parsimonious turn von Peter himself plans to use them for the 1/72 WWII Eastern Front action. Pigmentation applied by Craig.

pdf copies of the Battlegroup Rule Book and the Battlegroup Kursk have been purchased and for now these are the rules being aimed for.

The son & heirs ruffians 1

Above: 5 ruffians for and by The son & heir skulk in the back street shadows. These noble creatures have been extracted from a Games Workshop (GW) Warhammer Empire Militia box … of von Peter himself! Ok, permission was requested and granted for their use but by Sigmar the boy has a cheek!  😃

A game … a game

Neu Schloss von Peter had not yet hosted a wargame. Something obviously had to be done so a trip back to late 1812 and the steppes of Russia had to be organised. It had to be Russia as not only had Neu Schloss von Peter not seen any gaming activities but neither had the Russian buildings that von Peter himself had painted!

History had to be tweaked a little for the game. The Prussians had left the Bonapartists clutches a little earlier than the history books relate AND managed to get three battalions of East Prussian landwehr raised and sent to the front in north western Russia. The path to the west for two depleted French Divisions keen to leave the distinctly ordinary Russian hospitality was blocked by a joint Russian and Prussian force. Generals de Division Terry and Roly would be looking for a way through the blocking Prussians of Generalmajor Simon and the Russians of Generalmajor von Peter himself. The action would take place in the environs of the little village of Baooshka and an even smaller village that didn’t seem to rate a name.

Each of the French Generals provided their own troops as did von Peter himself. Generalmajor Simon used the Prussians of his own creation plus those of von Peter himself. Black Powder were the rules of the day. Conveniently General de Division Terry was well versed in their use and the local modifications. He would be a busy man!

Having lost his dedicated large gaming bedroom – The Bastion – with the move from Schloss von Peter games are now to be played in the sunroom or lounge or the double garage as best befits the occasion. For this first game the sunroom was the room of choice so the table was moved to make way for the gaming table tennis table. Sadly taking pictures in the sunroom was a little problematic especially as it was sunny and it was physically impossible to photograph the table from some directions … unless one were to go outside and take the photographs through the glass!!

The scene was set for the small but vicious Battle of Babooshka. Now for the photo essay which mostly reflects the Russian end of the battle as that is the end that von Peter himself was aware of … sorry …

Battle of Babooshka 1

Let the dance begin. The calm before the storm.

Battle of Babooshka 2

The situation at the end of turn 2 …. or 3 … or maybe 4! The French were first into the nearest village but were expelled at the point of Russian bayonets … who were in turn forced out by yet more French who then elected not to occupy the place of death. In the foreground an initial cavalry clash went the Russian way but it was inconclusive. In the far distance the French and Prussians both claimed a town section. Both got shot up and voluntarily abandoned the dubious defensive benefits of the buildings

Battle of Babooshka 3

A turn or 2 … or 3 later on. A decisive cavalry clash has occurred resulting in the Polish lancers no longer being required for this battle. The Russian hussars (front rank with lances bottom right) have fallen back to reorder their ranks and prepare for more deeds of daring. The Russian dragoons (centre foreground with pink facings) have charged the nearest French infantry battalion to force them into square. The cunning plan was that they would fall back next turn and the Russian infantry would then charge the square at an advantage. The French square was not going down without a fight though and their limited shooting managed to disorder the dragoons who therefore would not be able to voluntarily move … to get out of the way of the “weren’t we meant to be charging” Russian infantry. CURSES!! A French infantry battalion holds the near village having ejected a Russian battalion who had entered it as the target rich environment surrounding the village was just too good to pass up for the young Russian aristocrat in command

Battle of Babooshka 4

A zoomed in view of the prior photo. The French can be seen in temporary control of the village. On the far right a now disordered and shaken battalion of Nassauers has charged a Russian jager battalion. The Russians particularly despised these pawns of the Bonapartists as they dare to wear green uniforms and that just aint right – Father Disputin says so! Having disordered and shaken the battalion von Peter himself was fairly confident of the result here … and proved yet again that pride comes before a fall. The Nassau’s held for serval rounds of combat before vanquishing the jager. More CURSES!! Fortunately a supporting battalion of musketeers were later able to charge the Nassau battalion and see them off the table. To the right of the village a column of French infantry has likewise attempted to charge a second jager battalion but fell just short. The French light battalion in the field also attempted a charge – this one aimed at the Russian battery – but this too fell short as they could not clear the mass of infantry to their front. The ‘spirited’ Father Disputin can be seen in the foreground urging on the Russians with his particular brand of fire and brimstone preaching. In the back left hand corner of the table can be seen the French cantiniere camp next to the French 5th Hussars. The cantinieres were possibly the most dangerous element of either army. They were not to be troubled by the Russians! 😃

Battle of Babooshka 5

The same geography as prior but a little later in the battle. Thanks to Father Disputin’s none too delicate exhortations the Russians have managed to reclaim the village, destroy the French square beyond the village via an infantry charge and remove from the table the French line battalion that attempted to charge the jaguars next to the village which took the light battalion from the field with them. This effectively ends the battle at this end of the table. Many are the praises to be heaped upon Father Disputin who pulled out some stirling dice rolling to save the blushes resultant of the commands issued by von Peter himself! Urrah!!!  😃

Battle of Babooshka 6

The end game from the Prussian wing of the battle as seen from behind the French. Renowned beau sabre General de Division Terry has not yet used his Wurttemburg cavalry brigade which hovers in the rear of the French lines (out of picture). Likewise the Prussian cavalry is playing the cat and mouse game towards the rear of the Prussian lines. The Prussians have slowly been worn down but are still full of fight. Much was the muttering from the Prussian commander about getting his landwehr troops to do as they were instructed.

Battle of Babooshka 7

The same scene from the Prussian lines. It was noticeable during the battle that Generalmajor Simon was much harder on those East Prussian troops supplied by von Peter himself than their Silesian compatriots that were supplied by Generalmajor Simon. Very interesting!

The game seemed to be enjoyed – apart from The son & heirs problems with the recalcitrant landwehr! Most importantly the Battle of Babooshka got the right result with the Bonapartists getting a good kicking thanks to Father Disputin’s encouragement and threats of eternal damnation should the French be victorious! 😃 Father Disputin’s rantings preaching most certainly worked wonders on the dice as rolled by von Peter himself some of which was outrageous. Sorry Roly … no honestly!

Another outcome of the game is that von Peter himself is reminded that there are still two Russian buildings to be painted. And one of those two buildings is an Orthodox church. Father Disputin will not be happy should the church remain unpigmented for too long!

 

Perry American Civil War in a box

From a recent Perry Miniatures newsletter …

We are happy to announce Battle in a Box!
We have been keeping this under our hats for some time but we are getting close to the release now. As you can see this is a full box! It’s a big box too! Everything in the box is plastic, figures and terrain (from Renedra Ltd).
Included in the box there is a new ACW multi-part General sprue (x2) made by Michael.
There’s also a revised set of ‘Firepower’ rules by our good mate Alessio Cavatore included along with flags, bases, painting guide, 4 ft of fencing and the American farmhouse.
The box cover was by that talented artist Peter Dennis.
The whole box works out at about a third off our normal prices.
We’ll keep you updated!

von Peter himself and The son & heir probably have enough ACW to be getting on with – especially as the ACW project seems to be dormant for now. But for someone starting out on their their ACW journey this Battle in a Box could be a great start. Then again 95 pounds is not an insignificant up fromt cost.

Perrys ACW in a box

 

Victrix sale

Victrix Ltd have a 30% off sale until Sunday 18 October. Of course they do as notification of this sale was received a day after von Peter himself had bowed to The son & heirs birthday request and ordered a box each of …

To be honest only the savings on the decals would have been accrued. The two boxes of figures were sourced from Caliver Books as not only were the boxes a little cheaper but postage was free. With the cost of postage from the UK to NZ von Peter himself does not feel so aggrieved about missing the sale.

Anyways from the Victrix email …

We are running a “30% off all orders” deal from today until Sunday 18th October. This applies to all our product range including shield transfers and flags. Just type in 30%off in the discount box at the check out stage of the shopping cart.

Victrix Ltd

 

The History Book Man now provides for pdf downloads …

That is to say you are now no longer required to pay postage to receive any of  The History Book Man’s e-books on a disk if you do not wish to. Once again von Peter himself reproduces an email to save himself a bunch of typing …

NO MORE POSTAGE CHARGES!
After six months of testing and a system upgrade digital downloads are now finally available.  Thank you Natalie for all your hard work, and to the many friends worldwide for testing the e-mail links for us. 
From 5 October 2015 an additional delivery option will be available for the ‘Armies and Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars’  series of e-Books by W J Rawkins.
Customers will now be able to order these books as a downloadable PDF file simply by selecting the DIGITAL DOWNLOAD option at the checkout. 
Visit the website for more information
The package for online download will consist of the Book File, plus a printable sheet of disc labels and artwork for a DVD case cover for those customers who wish to create a back-up disc.  
(Additional artwork sheets for all titles will be made available to new and existing customers FREE OF CHARGE on request).  The label art work needs only to be copied/cut and pasted in a Paint shop type application to be compatible with most label making systems, such as Cyberllnk, you can now use your favourite label product or even laser print your discs.)   
The download link will be sent by e-mail to the address provided by PayPal at confirmation of payment usually within 2 hours and will be available for 48 hours during which period the files may be downloaded no more than three times.
The option of buying the books loaded to DVD-Rom will still be available and postal charges will be subject to current Royal Mail rates and policies.
Thanking you all for your continued support.
MAC USERS: Older MAC users (Not you McKenzie) may experience some issues if they have not upgraded to accept PC generated files. Please contact us if in doubt.
Regards
Bill Rawkins

The History Book Man

Enough. And don’t forget that you can click on the images for a larger and clearer version.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

 

 

More landwehr and real estate

More Landwehr casualties

Landwehr casualties

Having given himself quite a scare by completing a battalion von Peter himself set himself a new rather timid goal to paint some landwehr casualty figures to match. By way of ensuring that at least some casualty figures are available for use during gaming the executive decision was taken a while back to create at least one casualty figure / base for each battalion** completed. So at least one casualty stand was required to seal the inclusion of the 3/4 East Prussian Landwehr battalion into von Peter’s Prussian force. In the end a rush of blood to the head of von Peter himself resulted in three [shock horror] casualty stands comprising four figures [good grief!] arriving at the front.

Three landwehr casualty figures from from Calpe Miniatures with the medic sourced from Westfalia Miniatures. von Peter himself is not 100% sure on the medics shoulder straps but he figures that a little latitude with a landwehr battalion’s medic’s shoulder straps is acceptable. The medic sports the yellow shoulder straps to match those of his battalion – yellow being the colour defining the third battalion of the regiment.

Sadly these three stands will no doubt be getting quite a bit of use in the future. Also sadly the white trousers in the photo have been far too much for the photographer’s skills … the git! The white trousers are not so bright in the real world. Honest.

** Artillery and especially cavalry are a bit more tricky as there are not many casualty figures available for them. As a result these unit types have their casualty status marked in battle via the use of infantry casualty stands. You would expect the cavalry in particular to complain about such tasteless shenanigans but to date not a murmur of dissent has reached high command!  😃

 

Please sir … can I have some more terrain sir …

Father’s Day comes but once a year … which is a dashed poor return for the year’s worth of toil and abuse that comes with the territory! But von Peter himself digresses … albeit justifiably.  😃

Anyways Father’s Day in New Zealand (and Australia) is celebrated on the first Sunday in September which made it 6 September in 2015. Besides providing The son & heir the chance to sleep through the breakfast provisioning time [mutter mutter] it also provides the opportunity to increase the stocks of hobby related goods. This year von Peter himself scratched the itch caused by some of the buildings rom the Big Battalions 28mm Black Powder Europe range from  Total Battle Miniatures.

Total Battle - Row of Houses and Store Lift Off Roof

The “Row of Houses and Store Lift Off Roof” was ordered on the 28 August 215. As was half expected given that it was the British summer holiday season Total Battle Miniatures were on holiday at the time but a pleasant email was received on the 5 September 2015 explaining all. Even better the postie delivered that actual model to Neu Schloss von Peter on Saturday 26 September.

TBM row of houses front

“Row of Houses and Store Lift Off Roof” front with some washed out looking Calpe Miniatures Saxons hiding in the shadows for size reference

The model arrived snuggly packed in a box in the expected  two pieces – the ground floor and the over hanging two upper stories – with some bubble wrap. The model is reasonably large which may make it better suited to Sharp Practice games than brigade/division level games. Even so von Peter himself is thinking that the two halves will be permanently glued together as he is not a fan of hiding figures in buildings.

The more eagle eyed of The dear readers will have noticed that the ground floor is cast in a pale yellow resin whereas the upper two floors are cast in a grey resin. Total Battle Miniatures replied to a querying email with the following …

“No the resins are basically the same and from the same manufacturer we just decided to start dying the castings grey for a bit more definition and the light yellow is its raw state and was bulk cast earlier in the year.” 

TBM row of houses back

“Row of Houses and Store Lift Off Roof” back

The building is not the cheapest but then you only live once! All things considered von Peter himself is happy to pronounce himself happy with his “Row of Houses and Store Lift Off Roof”. There is a strong possibility that the …

Total Battle - Timber House Lift Off Roof

… and the …Total Battle - Barn:Stables Lift Off Roof

…and maybe even the …
Total Battle Church lift off roof

… will some day join the local collection so as to form a weeney village for heroic 28mm men to squabble over. One can never have enough villages to squabble over.

Who doesn’t need Napoleonic civilians

Via their News page Front Rank Figurines have divulged that they have in their 28mm Napoleonic pipeline …

NAPOLEONIC CIVILIANS “gentry” figures due out October 2015.

At last the better class of local citizenry will be able to observe and cheer the martial brilliance ‘escapades’ of von Peter himself while simultaneously booing the deplorable and altogether vulgar opposition!  😃

The Army of the Kingdom of Sweden 1802-1814

Another e-book from The History Book Man and it’s not what von Peter himself expected. Rather than the anticipated “Armies of the Confederation of the Rhine: The Army of the Kingdom Of Westphalia 1807-1813” we get “The Army of the Kingdom of Sweden 1802-1814”.

If he were to be uncharacteristically honest von Peter himself would prefer the former and is not that interested in the latter. But then … von Peter’s Prussian and Russian troops are mostly part of Bernadotte’s Army of the North in 1813 which just happens to also contain the Swedes. But then … does anyone make decent Swedish 28mm miniatures that will fit with the highly favoured Calpe and Front Rank figures?

From the official blurb …

“THE ARMY OF THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN 1802-1814 was originally published in 1978 and was substantially revised and updated with a wealth of new material when the new e-book edition was released. In particular a lot of new information was added into the chapters concerning the army and regimental organisation which added considerably to the usefulness of the volume. The artwork for the original e-book edition was almost a direct reprint of the 1984 edition and the book was illustrated with mostly black and white line drawings from that edition. This new 3rd Edition corrects some minor inaccuracies in the text and includes the colour artwork which was not used in earlier versions and adds some 100 new illustrations created for this edition, in particular the chapters on regimental flags have been updated and enlarged with over forty new colour illustrations.”

An email tells of 107 pages but the website says 130 pages. Hmmm!

THE ARMY OF SWEDEN - cover

SYWA 33rd Annual Convention

A few posts ago von Peter himself reminisced about the happy days when he would receive Seven Years War Association (SYWA) Journals via good old fashioned snail mail … aka the postman. Just to prove that the SYWA is still alive and kicking von Peter himself presents the flier for the next SYWA Convention. They have that Dr. Christopher Duffy person as the featured guest. von Peter himself would love to attend but not this year … or the next  … and probably not the year after either …sob!!

SYWA 33rd con

 

The standby warning for some of The son & heir’s pigmentation progress is still in effect. Standby!

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself