Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Romans Vs Ancient British

Last week my early Imperial Romans got a run out against Alan's Ancient British. This was the second time these two armies met. The first encounter was back in August and Alan won convincingly routing my army with some good use of his mobile army.

This time with the rematch he showed up with an even more mobile army comprising of chariots light horse and light foot. I won the initiative and opted for a developed battlefield. Placing down some enclosed fields and a village to break up the open ground which might favour battle groups of chariots to come hammering across causing mayhem.

The placement of terrain 

In the set up both Alan and I placed ambush markers on the gentle hill to my left. His was a fake but mine was real.  Once his light foot advanced they discovered an average legion waiting to get shot at. I needed to get the hill so he could not deploy his chariots on it providing them with a clear run down to my legions.  The obvious flaw in this was they where isolated. What was worse Alan’s light archers managed to disrupt my legion forcing them to charge and isolate themselves even further. Naturally, he evaded long and I charged normal so I failed to hit him in the back with my legion, resulting in even more isolated the legion on  right flank. This quickly degenerated into a foot race to support the legion before they got mullered. This I nearly achieved, nevertheless, the legion was soon dispatched in smart order by Alan's chariots.

Attempting to get support to the isolated legion 
On the left flank I took a similar gamble.  My cavalry was out numbered 3 - 1 by two bases of light horse and one of chariots. I needed to break the light horse and send them off the side of the base. And then with any luck I could draw the chariots on to my light bolt shooters. Again this whole plan depended on the luck of the dice since I expected Alan’s light horse to evade. I need to roll long in pursuit and have him roll short so I could charge him in the rear an hopefully route him off the table. Alias he rolled long and I rolled normal. Resulting in my cavalry isolated and in a spot of bother!!

In the background; my cavalry preparing to charge Alan's light horse 

This leaves me with a third loss out of three games in recent months. In fact, I suspect my legionnaires  might ask me to put them on ebay!!

Photo credits Alan

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Sherman Update

Tardiness would best sum up my attitude to blog writing over the last month or so. Nevertheless, you can read some of my recent blog contributions on pigeons I penned in a professional capacity. So let's take the opportunity to give you a quick update of my North Irish Horse Sherman. It this point it think the filter washes are more or less complete. They offer a nice mix of grim and dirt that has built up over time while in theatre.

Another reason for the long delay in progress was fear.  For the next stage I want to add quite heavy weathering with light shades of sand so -I am concerned about messing it up.

It terms of reference for the next stage I will use Mario Eens article on building and weathering a DAK Panzer I. From Military Modelling 
Issue 3 Volume 40

 I promise to post some up dates know matter how horrific the result.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Dusty, Dirty Sherman

Well with the completion of most of the details on the tank I got on with the task of making it dirty. Much of the photographic evidence of tank on campaign in Italy shows them appearing very dusty and dirty. I wanted to replicate that look on this vehicle. Starting with the running gear and lower hull I got to work using a three stage process. The first was to make a damp mud mix which consisted of MIG liquid resin and European Earth pigment mixed with plaster dust. This was liberally slapped on to the bottom and sides of the tank, once dry it kept its satin sheen.  

The next stage was to add dried mud on top of the wet mud. For this I took direction from one of Scale Model Medic YouTube tutorial uploads. 

For his stage I used, mixing European Earth pigment and PVA glue and dabbed it on to represent  dried on mud building up on the hull sides  behind the running gear as per the tutorial.  In addition the running gear was given a heavy wash of a European Earth and water. Once this dried I started stripping back the dirt. This is still a work in progress and need a bit  of fine tuning.  

 The next stage involved giving a liberal brushing of Light Sand pigment which was fixed with pigment fixing fluid

The final stage so far was to give the upper surfaces a general dusting with the airbrush using Tamiya Buff to represent a dusty coating. 

Well its so far so good, I want to thank the members of the Military Modelling  Forum  for their  advise to date.

Friday, 12 October 2012

I came on in the same old way; I died in the same old way.

The first thing to do is to congratulate Simon on a masterful whipping of my Imperial Romans legions with his Macedonians last night. He played very well and exercised control over the key areas of the table which gave him a deserved 26-2 victory.

While being rattled home on the tube my thoughts turned to the mistakes I made and ultimately, I learned nothing from my loss to his Pyrrhic army earlier in the year.   


It all began to go wrong because of my poor deployment.  The key error I made was I spread my force out to thinly. My centre was weak only comprising of two battle groups of Medium Foot giving Simon’s Lancers a tasty target from the offset.

On the right flank my legions were formed up against Simon’s Pike keeping one and other in check. Late in the game with no other option the legions on that flank to charge, and although one battle group had success against Thracian medium foot who stubbornly refused to move for Simon. The other Legion was overwhelmed by the phalanx of pike.  

The left flank where the opening exchanges took place was the stalemate of light horse countering each other with a series of wheels and manoeuvres that contestants on “Strictly Come Wargameing” would have been proud of. Nevertheless, all the fancy hoof-work in the world could not correct the miss matches created of light horse against light horse who cancelled each other out and where lost on poor dice roles.

The miss-match of Lancers charging Auxilia, who stood up well, but the outcome was always painfully enviable.

And the disaster that was the right flank where my poor deployment squandered my finest troops forcing me to loose them in an all or nothing charge into ordered pikes in the open. This ultimately leaves the result up to the dice gods, who don’t seem to favour me currently.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If I had to play the game again this evening I would deploy differently. I would attempt to keep my light horse away from Simon’s light horse I would pack my Legions in the centre with archers has rear support I would use the Auxilia to threaten his light horse.  

My Artillery bolt shooters came along for the battle but they decided against fighting, opting to have a picnic on a gentle hill instead!

In closing a note of thanks is due to Gordon, Tamsin and Andy whose help and advise on the rules were invaluable.         


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Techicolour Sherman

 So here is the next update for the North Irish Horse Sherman with a lick of paint.  
I started with a little pre-shading using  Tamiya Nato Black.

This was followed by a general over spray with Tamiya Olive Drab. Once I was finished I added a little Tamiya Green Yellow to the Olive Drab, about a 30:70 ratio and over sprayed the upper surfaces. 

Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

“The Bannerman Way” Addendum #1

When I started this blog back in 2009 I envisaged it as a quick reference source for web pages that I may want to refer back to in the future, a kind of online "Delicious" with a touch of context.  In the subsequent time it has developed in to something more.  Nevertheless, when I examine the traffic statistics for the blog the most popular post by a long strech  is the one entitled  “Mark Bannerman”. It was my second post of April 2009 linking to an number of online articles Bannerman wrote on using oil paints to paint 1/35th scale heads.

His face painting technique is a real god send for me and raised the level of my head painting skills beyond my natural ability. For this I am eternally to him. So in the interest of  responding to the trend of the Blogger statistics  I felt it would be an opportune moment to remark on a thread which is currently active  the Military Modelling website entitled:  Painting 1/35 Scale Heads Using Oil Paints:” Attempting"The Bannerman Way”. This thread has been going some and has a great selection of heads by some very talented modellers.

In the meantime here are some examples of my heads painted the “Bannerman Way.”

Friday, 28 September 2012

Sherman Progress

Well I managed to complete most of building of my Sherman this week.  I am pleased with the results so far; however, I am yet to stumble in to the "bear trap" of adding the etched brass details. I fear the headlight guards might have defeated me already but I’ll have another go before resorting to the plastic ones. The brass tie down for the pioneer tools will get replaced with lead foil for added malleability.

I have opted to place a couple of figure on it to give the feel of an operational vehicle.  Furthermore, I’d like to portray the commander’s hatch unbuttoned which would be logical since the commander is standing on the rear deck looking off at something in the distance. As a result I might need to add third figure peeking out, mainly to disguise the fact there is no interior to the vehicle. A little more playing about to get the figure positions just right might be in order. 

On the cards for this weekend is to sort out some stowage, which may require a bit of scratch building since I will need to replicate the stowage box attached to the back of the turret seen in the reference image which the Sherman is loosely based on.  Stowage is always problematic for me, I struggle to get it looking natural at the best of times.   

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Holy Moly Shermans are Complecated

Well it’s been some time since I’ve managed to write a post. What with holidays, getting back to work and general sloth on my part the blog has been somewhat neglected.  

My latest project is now beginning to take shape so I thought I’d take the opportunity of a rainy Sunday afternoon to write a brief update.

Although the North Irish Horse (NIH) where known for their use of Churchill tanks of various marks during the Second World War in the North African and Italian Campaigns, they also had a smattering of Sherman tanks in their inventory.

For a while now a Sherman M4A1 DV has been languishing in my stash. Earlier this month I rediscovered a picture of one of the NIH Sherman’s from the Recce Troop in a reference work. I felt it might be an interesting project to have a go at.

The first job was change the suspension sets for the later VVS versions which I took from an Academy kit.  Then I added some extra armour on the hull sides.

According to the NIH war diary they received a shipment of Shermans in the early part of 1944 prior to their assault in the Hitler Line in May of the same year.  The entry does not specify anything more than Sherman, which I gives the modeller a certain amount of latitude. Nevertheless, as far as I am aware the British Army in Italy seen to of had a range of different Shermans marks at their disposal including some Sherman I veterans from the North African Campaign.  The reference photo that inspired me was taken during offensive actions in January 1945.  Rather than modelling a specific vehicle I am opting for representing an generic Recce Troop vehicle during the summer months of 1944.  

Even after a superficial study of Shermans one thing become quickly apparent, they are damn confusing. No two tanks seem to look the same there are a range of different configurations not only between marks but also within them. Its enough to leave me bewildered. As a result I have taken some artistic licence. I trust the Sherman aficionados amongst you will forgive me for this.       

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Early Imperial Roman Army

Well, with a minimal fanfare of trumpets, the clatter of pots and pans and the sound of hobnails on cobbles I can finally announce I have completed painting my Early Imperial Roman Army. 

At this point it is worth while doing a little recap of the main elements that make it up:

We have three legions of  legionnaires making up the main force. These legions are made up of six bases apiece but obviously could be configured in to more flexible four base battle groups.

Supporting the legions are two battle groups of Roman Auxiliary who are classified as medium foot. They can fulfil a number of roles in addition to dealing with broken ground but also they can offer rear support.

In addition to the Roman Auxiliary I have included some archers units despite never having used before. Nevertheless, I have given myself  some extra options including using them on high ground or interspersed in a line to fire and withdraw.

Rocking up behind the Auxiliaries are the noble Roman Cavalry  who in my experience die quite easily no doubt due to my own poor handling. However I have promised myself not to squander the lives of the sons of Roman by charging it to all and sundry.

Next up are the light elements which comprise of a load of blokes who throw a load of rocks at the oncoming enemy and then get out of the way just in time for the next battle group of Equites Satgitti to sweep in and unleshing a volley of arrows before charging off on a heroic flanking mission of some description. 

On to the one of my favourite units the Numidian Light Horse who can case no end of mayhem to the enemy ranks by racing up and throwing pointy sticks at them. 

The final battle group is the light bolt shooters who can sit on an hill getting drunk waiting for anyone to stray into their field off fire and then they can unleash a couple of larger pointy sticks at  them before getting back their picnic.

One must not for get the illustrious command stands whose job it is to lead this army around the fields of felt and over the plywood hills to Elysium.