A productive start to 2015

And so it begins dear readers. Another year. But at least this one has started with a glimmer of productivity from von Peter himself!

Russian Buildings

Back in September 2014 under the title Wargaming in various media von Peter himself showcased the thatched 25mm Russian Hovels building that The son & heir had painted. Way back then the paint had been applied but a base had not.

Roll forward to the Christmas holidays of 2014. von Peter himself is acutely aware that he has been a mostly idle b*st*rd during 2014 and a change is required. But where to start? There were several groups of figures on the painting table but somehow picking them up and restarting them seemed a little daunting. Inexplicably less daunting seemed to be a Russian building or two.

The son & heirs effort was retrieved and measured up for a base. Another of the smaller Hovels buildings was extricated from its postage box, similarly measured for a base and cleaned up ready for painting using the paint recipe that The son & heir had pioneered way back in September 2014. The result of the painting and basing can be viewed below …

Russian buildings 1 and 2

Elements of the brave Russian 24th Division advance through the latest (at least at Schloss von Peter) in Russian real estate. Thatched building pigmentation care of The son & heir; timber roofed building and all basing care of von Peter himself. Click to see a larger and clearer image.

The painting was quick and easy enough – a base coat, a wash, two dry brushes and they were 98.7% done. So easy in fact that von Peter himself has already started a larger third building.

If there is a problem with these buildings it is the cleaning up of the resin which is a somewhat laborious task. von Peter himself found it best accomplished sitting under a grape vine on a sunny summers day while listening to music or podcasts. The breaking of a craft knife blade added a moment of excitement but the blade was old, it didn’t puncture von Peter himself during the structural failure and spares were to hand.

von Peter himself can officially proclaim himself satisfied with these two buildings. Any Russian peasant would be more than happy to call one home. What higher praise could there be?

There is a chance that a Russia based scenario or two may now have to be played. What’s the point of having terrain if the wee men aren’t going to die fighting over them?

Papelotte book

2015 (this year) minus 1815 (the year that Waterloo was fought) = 200 years which to the human brain is a significant milestone. Be prepared for plenty more 200th anniversary ‘stuff’.

Just in case any one was under the illusion that Waterloo was a purely British victory Peter Hofschröer had controversially waved the flag for the German input to the battle on behalf of the allies with his books such as …

  • 1815: The Waterloo Campaign—The German Victory
  • 1815 The Waterloo Campaign: Wellington, His German Allies and the Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras.

1815-from-mobilisation-to-war

And now perhaps Sovereign House Books are doing the same for the Netherlands field army during the 1815 campaign – or at least raising its profile. Cunningly borrowed from their website …

Sovereign House Books presents a balanced and most enticing history on the participation of the Netherlands field army during the 1815 campaign, based on the latest research of archival material and the largest available collection of primary sources and memoirs from the men involved.

Quatre-Bras-Perponchers-gamble

So far they have published three books with a fourth to come …

There is more information on Volume Three: Standing firm at Waterloo including some photographs that did not make it into the book to be found at  http://1815fieldarmy.nl/news/120-papelotte-during-the-battle-of-waterloo.

Standing firm at Waterloo

von Peter himself has not seen these books though they do sound interesting. Certainly books out of the ordinary.

Blucher podcasts 4

For those of the dear readers who are interested in the yet to be released Napooleonic rules “Blücher” by Sam Mustafa the fourth podcast – Blücher Podcast Number 4 – is now available.

Somewhere different for a holiday stay- Hotel Napoleonico

Hotel Fortino overview

Looking for somewhere a little out of the ordinary to holiday then you should perhaps consider Hotel Napoleonico, Portonovo on the Riviera del Conero in Italy. According to the History section of their website …

In the most panoramic and peaceful place of the Conero’s park, The Hotel Fortino Napoleonico is situated in a magnificient position among the green of the woods and the blue sea, created by an ancient military fortress. Lapped by the sea in view of two rocks of incomparable beauty (“The Two Sisters”) and the Romanesque church of St. Mary of Portonovo, artistic jewel of the eleventh century, the fort is situated a few meters from the beach of white pebbles of Portonovo. These features make this corner of Marche one of the most beloved and unique on the Adriatic coast. A very beautiful view and a relaxing atmosphere are the prerogative of this pristine area. …. It’s an authentic and spectacular military structure, located in Portonovo (Ancona), where there is a hotel with a restaurant of high repute. The Fortino Napoleonico was erected in 1811 by the Viceroy of Italy, Eugene de Beauharnais, with a clear political and military strategy, had the task of defending the southern flank of Ancona and implementing the Adriatic blockade in the trade of the British enemy. The typical perimeter shaped to “lantern” shows the Napoleonic origin. Built in part by recycling the stones of the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria of Portonovo, no longer present, It recalls the work of the great military architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini, and perhaps even the drawings and projects of Leonardo Da Vinci. Returned to the Pope States after the fall of the Empire and the Italian state after the battle of Castelfidardo in 1860, suffered the injury of time and vandals, falling into ruin. In the 60s the Fortino Napoleonico has been completely and tastefully restored following the original architectural lines and returned to the charm of the place. With regard to the beach, nowadays there are 4-5 meters in the narrowest part, while 200 years ago it is estimated to be approximately 100 meters. Converted into a hotel in 1969 after massive restoration, the Fort is the ideal base for a stay that includes history, nature and relaxation.

So a historic as well as a relaxing stay. Perhaps Fraulien von Peter herself needs to be introduced to the idea of a few days away from home. Perhaps the dear readership of this here blog could hold an inaugural get together there! Play a Napoleonic wargame there!!  😃

Right – that’s the dreaming time over!  😢

Reenactors at Hotel Fortino Napoleonico

Those pop guns are going to be in serious trouble should the Royal Navy appear. Time to get back to the fortress! Image “borrowed” from http://www.hotelfortino.it

 

Don’t forget that you can click on the images for larger and clearer images.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself
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Christmas 2014 imminent

Christmas is rushing upon us all – Christian and heathen alike – and still work won’t slow down ! <Queue dark and very unchristian like mutterings.> Unlike previous festive seasons von Peter himself has yet to spot that “got to get” item that will be his hobby related Christmas present from The family. Well … not quite true. There are rumours that some new – at least new for von Peter himself – packs of Calpe Miniatures French available. Now these would certainly make a suitable Christmas present.

In the highly likely event that this is the last post before Christmas 2014 von Peter himself would like to take this opportunity to wish all the dear readers an extremely Merry Christmas. May your Christmas stockings overflow with items most desirous and your Christmas tree be (almost) toppled by the stacked goodness underneath.

Further. Should the lack of posts continue in the run up to the New Year then von Peter himself would also like to wish a Happy New Year to all the dear readers. Keep safe. The readership numbers are not that large that von Peter himself can afford to loose even one of you!!  8O))

And now for some snippets of almost new news …

Front Rank come to their senses

Front Rank

It would appear that some of the dear readers are personages of influence. In prior posts on this very blog von Peter himself has bemoaned that Front Rank Figurines had not introduced their Reinforcement Pack concept to their Napoleonic Austrian and Russian ranges. Lo and behold what is there to be read in the latest email from Front Rank and on their news page …

28mm NAPOLEONIC – Alec is now looking at adding Reinforcement Packs to our other Napoleonic nationalities, starting with Russians – look out for new releases early 2015!

Excellent news. The Reinforcement Packs have been well received and at last some may soon become a purchasing option for a self centred von Peter himself whose Austrians and Russians are both predominantly manned by Front Rank Figurines product.

And of course this is incontrovertible evidence of the far reaching influence and power of this blog. Read with caution dear reader!  8O)

Napoleonic Russian command

A favourite photo of some of the Napoleonic Russians of von Peter himself. The dear reader has probably already seen the photo but cease your whining the ingrate’s out there! The foreground figures are all Front Rankers which fits in well with the prose above … … unlike the battalions behind them which are Wargames Foundry product. D’oh!

 

Victrix unveil the first image of their French artillery

If any of the dear readers are not aware Victrix Ltd are working on a box of hard plastic French artillerymen and they have released the first pictures of the in progress figures.

Victrix French artillery crew1

von Peter himself is far too idle busy to paraphrase the latest announcement so here are the official words from the 9th December 2014 First images of French artillery

As promised we thought we would start showing you some renders of the French Artillery set we are working on. I am sure you will agree Emel is doing a stunning job on these figures.

This set will be French foot artillery in pre Bardin uniform with 8 and 12 pounder Gribeauval system guns. You will get covered shakos, un-covered shakos, Bicornes and Imperial Guard bearskins.

The figures are nice and easy to build due to the coat tails, sword Bayonets and cartridge boxes being all one piece which plugs in to the bottom! Arms are interchangeable.

There are many more figures to show and arm and head variants, these are just a sample with more images and news to follow.

Before we hear howls of ‘why oh why are there no XI system guns and Bardin uniforms for Waterloo?’. They are coming straight after these. So you can field that Grand battery in style by the Summer!

Victrix French artillery crew2

Images “borrowed” from the Victrix website.

 

More Blücher podcast news

For those dear readers interested in the yet to be released Napooleonic rules “Blücher” from Sam Mustafa  the third podcast – Blücher Podcast Number 3 – is now available.

Also Sam has created a page on his site to group the Blücher podcast releases together.

 

Don’t forget that you can click on the images for larger and clearer images.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Changes afoot

Inspire access point

With apologies to Captain Haddock from the Adventures of Tintin series of books – what the blistering blue barnacles is the above picture of?

It is dear reader an internet access point as recently installed on the grounds of Schloss von Peter by Inspire Net Limited. It is located part way up the hill behind the main building of Schloss von Peter and has line of sight over some big old pines and across the road to a repeater located on the neighbours property. The cable runs down the hill to a modem/wifi router situated centrally in Schloss von Peter.

By way of back story the government off New Zealand have a much trumpeted rural broadband initiative but its impact on the residents of the upper reaches of Paekakariki Hill Road has been a big fat nothing. <Mutter mutter.> At least Schloss von Peter had a broadband internet connection – even if it could be a bit patchy and hardly of stellar performance. Most of the other residents did not or were suffering through satellite internet connections. The joys of rural living.

Fortunately the circumstances of the residents of the upper reaches of Paekakariki Hill Road are exactly the sort of situation that Inspire.net are well practised at resolving. A local network has been created and it positively flies compared to the service von Peter himself and family used to receive. No longer will heated ‘discussions’ be had between The son & heir and von Peter himself as they accuse each other of thwarting their own attempts to use the internet.

Schloss von Peter is dead (or will be) – long live Neu Schloss von Peter

Of course having finally gotten that necessity of modern living – a decent internet connection – it is now almost time to move on. The Family are pleased to confirm the confirming of their purchase of Neu Schloss von Peter in the sleepy little seaside village of Paekakariki. For those where a little knowledge is a dangerous thing Paekakariki should not be confused with Paekakariki Hill Road which hosts the current Schloss von Peter and is just down the road and up the hill. Further details to follow in due course.

Northern Paekakariki aerial

An aerial photograph of the northern end of Paekakariki. It is in the destiny of one of these streets to suffer a blight! 8O)

Another international visitation

And of course it is important – nay imperative – to let the dear readers know of the domestic arrangements of von Peter himself as occasional visitations are hosted at or in the general vicinity of Schloss von Peter. von Peter himself has now been involved in several visitations – either as the host or visitor – of fellow wargamers whom he has become acquainted with over the internet and he has yet to have a bad experience.

The latest such visitation was by Phil and his wife Gill/Jill* from Chicago. von Peter himself and Aphilla The Hun first met several decades ago – yikes! – in the Yahoo group The Friday Night Fusiliers where shared interests and attitudes became apparent. This once vibrant group has sadly fallen into disuse but Phil and von Peter himself have kept track of one another over several other sites. Well … at least von Peter himself has kept a note of Phil’s various adventures.  8O)

* Sorry Gill/Jill but how you spell your name is a mystery to von Peter himself. Your husband Phil is obviously totally to blame for failing to pass on this information.  8O)

To track some of Phil’s gaming output you can snoop in on a couple of his blogs …

Battle of Ramillies

Painting Distractions

A very enjoyable evening was had wining, dining, chatting and lauging at first Schloss von Peter and then at Finn’s Pekakariki cafe / restaurant / bar / cinema / hotel. Phil and Gill/Jill are welcome back whenever it suits them.

Blücher podcast

In this case Blücher refers to the yet to be released rules from Sam Mustafa. They are rules for the Napoleonic period where …

“The player takes the role of a general commanding a large army in a famous or fictional encounter. Units represent large forces such as brigades of infantry or cavalry and concentrations of massed artillery.”

These rules have been coming for a while – which is not meant as a criticism from a crusty old von Peter himself as developing rules, testing rules and getting them produced takes quite a bit of time – with the occasional “bump” in the promotion stakes.

The latest “bump” has been the release in the first of an expected series of podcasts by Sam about the rules. Blücher Podcast Number 1 runs for just under 15 minutes and is an interesting enough listen.

Bluicher cards

Blücher is reputedly made for playing with either cards and/or miniatures. Sets of pretty cards will be available for purchase. von Peter himself tends to think that any set of miniature rules can be played with cards or some other form of non miniature markers substituting for actual miniatures. How many gamers have done this while trialling a new set of rules or while waiting for their miniatures to be table ready?

Kudos to Sam for a well produced and spoken podcast. A dashedly fine first up effort.

STOP PRESS – Blücher Podcast Number 2 is now available. Sam’s not messing around!

Note that the images in this section are “borrowed” from Sam’s website.

Blucher rules

 

Fury the movie – some thoughts and some spoilers

fury-header

The son & heir and von Peter himself took themselves off to local cinema to see Fury as a father – son outing. Fraulien von Peter herself had been invited but had politely yet firmly declined. If von Peter himself were to be honest he did not have high expectations of the movie and so he was pleasantly surprised to discover that he was being drawn into the story and rather enjoying himself.

Fury-Battle-with-a-Tiger

Four Sherman tanks have discovered the lurking Tiger. The turret popping off one of them was a fairly strong clue! Tiger 1, Shermans 0.

The movie did not glorify the war and certainly did not portray the Americans as angels. As one would expect the violence was was hard to hide from. Head shots seemed to be a particular favourite of the cinematographers. And wherever the production company got its German anti tank gunners from they should demand their money back! What terrible shots!

The scene with the Tiger did perturb von Peter himself somewhat. Why did the Tiger charge towards the Shermans. Surely with its armour and armament keeping its distance would have been the better option. And what effect does a glancing or non penetrating hit by a Tigers main gun have on the crew of a Sherman, or for that matter the effect on the Tiger crew of Sherman rounds bouncing off. Would they be a little stunned? Not according to the film where the crews carried on as if nothing had happened.

And the SS battalion at the end of the film seemed to have plenty of panzerfausts while marching along the road but seemed to loose them while attacking a solitary unsupported disabled tank. Their leaders deserve to be shot … and presumably were at some stage.

von Peter himself knows that this is Hollywood but he cannot cease to hope to see realism win out over keeping the audience happy. von Peter himself knows that he is a dreamer.

But for all this the film is worth a look.

furytigermatch

The current score is Tiger 3, Shermans 0. The dance of death continues

 

Late Romans

The son & heir was on study leave** and for stress relief was reading some historical fiction set during the Second Punic Wars. This was so inspiring to the still developing brain that it requested permission to apply paint to some of the Late Romans that von Peter himself has stashed away under the gaming table. They may not have been Republican Romans but they were Romans and they were the best available option.

** The observations of von Peter himself were that The son & Heir had the leave bit well sorted but that the study bit was a bit more of an elusive concept!  8O)

The thought of finally getting some of his Late Romans painted after so many years by someone who is turning out to be a half decent painter had a certain appeal to von Peter himself. So it was with a deep sense of generosity and philanthropy that von Peter himself handed over six – because it will be sixish figures to a base – trial figures.  8O)

The paint has been applied and an attempt to apply the Little Big Men Studios decals to the shields has been made. Being Late Romans of less than perfect uniformity some have larger shields and some have smaller shields and so the decals too come in two sizes. The  larger decals have worked a treat but the smaller ones have proved to be less than totally compliant. To be fair like the figures some of these decals are several years old now but still failure is not to be tolerated!

LIRI(GB_LARGE)8

The shield design from Little Big Men Studios selected for this unit of Late Romans. Image borrowed from the Little Big Men Studios website

Complaints have been laid with the artisan who seems to be totally immune to such utterances. Worse the artisan has expressed dissatisfaction with the paint job and wishes to repaint them! von Peter himself would much rather that the artisan tried a differing pallet on other figures so that the numbers of painted figures grew rather than the layers of paint on a few figures. Late Romans do not have a reputation for uniformity so the mixing of the two paint regimes within a unit does not unduly worry von Peter himself. Time will tell what the protracted discussions will resolve to.

No pictures yet as the six trial figures are still attached to their painting bottles … and some of them do not yet have their shields decorated with pretty decals.

Oh … and The son & heir is no longer on study leave. He has finished his exams and has now completed his secondary schooling. Next year it’s university for him … assuming that his application is accepted. To be very cliched – where have all those years gone?!

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself