Saturday, April 14, 2018

Childhood Living Is Easy To Do...

If you had an indulgent mother who nurtured your interest in military subjects - particularly uniforms and armor. Seeing blogger buddy Jonathan's recent Palouse Wargaming Journal post of Genoese heavy cavalry made me reminisce of similar model soldiers in childhood books which I still have. The "Color Treasury of Model Soldiers" has some splendid images from days gone by. All of these books are from the 70's when I was young grommet growing up in Hawaii. Thankfully, I've kept them ever since.
My mom, now 86 years young and still living in the same house I grew up in back in Hawaii, bought all of these for me - save the "Military Dress of North America," which my cousins got for me for Christmas 1975. Incidentally, my aunt used to work for the Hawaii Public Library and would get me all kinds of books on said subject. Yes, I was totally indulged at an early age. Thanks for letting me share a bit of my history and best wishes to you all!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Elephants Rampant?!

Before even getting a first game of The Pikeman's Lament in, local rules expert (he wouldn't say it himself, but I consider him so) Pat L. (aka Socal Warhammer) presented the local Rampant sycophants here in the Pacific NW with a version of Lion Rampant based on the Punic Wars era. It's very well thought out as he had been working on it in private for sometime. As you may know Pat has written a version for Chariot warfare - it was in an issue of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy a year or so ago. Having sold off most of my Macedonian/Successor army (including four pike phalanx units), it was nice that I held onto a few models. These are just enough for a core "retinue" (not sure what the proper term will be) using Pat's rules. Too bad the Scythed Chariot I still have can't be used (yet).
The elies are Aventine (painted many years ago - as the rest of the models); the Companion/Cataphracts are 1st Corps - led by a Relic Seleucus; the Hypaspists a mixture of Foundry and 1st Corps.

The elephant profiles are based on Dragon Rampant's Greater Warbeasts. Haven't really pointed them up with Pat's rules yet, but just wanted to post a teaser shot. I'm sure I'll only be able to afford the use of one of the elies for a 24 point force. Here's a link to the Pacific NW Rampant FB if you would like to join and check out Pat's rules. Best wishes to you all on this Pacific NW rainy Friday the 13th (aka Templars Round Up Day).

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Pikeman's Lament - 24 Point Sengoku Army

The local "Rampant" loyalists have decided to get into The Pikeman's Lament. Using the "Exotic Army List" I will be able to get my old (as in Old Glory) ashigaru and samurai figures on the table again. Here they are as: 1 Aggressive Forlorn Hope OR Aggressive Elite Gallopers @ 6 points (Samurai on foot or mounted); 2 Shot @ 4 points each (Ashigaru with Teppu/Harquebus); 2 Pike @ 4 points each (Ashigaru with Yari/Long Spears) 1 Commanded Shot @ 2 points (Ashigaru with Yumi/Bow).
I've yet to read through the rules - they just arrived today thanks to a trial Amazon Prime membership; they can't be too far removed from the previous Rampant sets (Lion and Dragon). I'm very fortunate to belong to a community here who are into these rules.
As mentioned above, these figures were painted a long time ago and used with various rule sets before - i.e. WAB and Hail Caesar. I'm looking forward to getting them into action action. Thanks for visiting and wishing you the best!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Looking for Hoichi

Since the previous post was one with European style armor, it seemed only fair to post one with armor from the Far East. This even more so as the recent games I played were with Samurai. Also, I don't think I've posted one wearing this kabuto. The kabuto is sort of Heian and Kamakura. The helmet bowl with large rivets are Heian (12th C.), but the wide, flaring shikoro (neck guard) is more late-Kamakura - early-Muromachi (13th-early 14th C.). This was a custom helmet made by Iron Mountain Armory. The rest of the armor is later period, 16th C.
Anyway, I got the urge to put on the armor after watching old Zatoichi movies on YouTube; and finishing off a pint of Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. On the painting front, I'm still waiting on a Tamiya 1/48 251/1 Hanomag to arrive from Japan. I couldn't resist the price ($17 USD free shipping); but it's been about three weeks now since I won it off ebay. On the gaming front I need to order a copy of Pikeman's Lament as this seems to be the direction the Rampant group of locals are heading in. I also wouldn't mind building either a Polish or Ottoman force. The Winged Hussars and Janissaries from Warlord Games look pretty  nice. Thank you very much for stopping by.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Battle of Towton

...was fought on Palm Sunday, March 29, 1461.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Lion/Dragon Rampant Tournament Game Day at Gig Harbor

Just got back from playing three games of Lion Rampant at a tournament hosted by Pat L. (aka Socal Warhammer). As mentioned in the previous post this was a cleverly designed format with five total games, the first two being Lion Rampant, the third being the players' choice of either Lion or Dragon Rampant, and the final two being Dragon Rampant. This allowed the player to have three (or five) total games to count for the results. I chose to stick with Lion Rampant for the first three games as I knew I would not be playing the last two games of Dragon Rampant. I ended up tied for second place with my first two games being ties and winning my third game - each game having 2 Glory points. I used the Boast of killing more using my bows than with spears. Not too difficult as four of my five units were bow armed. I left after the third game and the remaining folks are probably finishing up their last game about now. As usual, I took a lot of pictures, but over half of them were too blurry.
Bruce M.'s "Ever Victorious" Samurai retinue. For the record, Bruce is the owner/proprietor of Company B.
From my first game against David S.'s (I Live with Cats) El Cid retinue. My unit of archers stupidly failing to take the high ground before David's cavalry got into Attack range.
I managed to get my archers on top of the hill to accept the Attack so I could at least get a +1 to my Armour in the first round. Would've been smarter to have fired on the cavalry prior to their Attack though.
My Ferocious Foot monks taking on some Spanish foot.
My second game against Bryan S.'s all-cavalry unit - most with missiles. I managed to roll 7's for Leadership skill in my last two games; giving me the Commanding trait which allowed one re-roll per turn for a failed activation of units within 12" of the leader - as well as the leader's unit.
A Dragon Rampant game in the third round.
My third and last game against Scott A.'s 13th C. retinue of two Mounted MAA units, two Foot Serjeants and one unit of Crossbows. I luckily was able to kill off half of his retinue for the win.
Most of the standings at the end of game three. The scoring was calculated by wins/losses/ties and the amount of Glory points achieved (or lost). As you can see, Bruce not only won all three of his Lion Rampant games, but also won an incredible amount of Glory points. I should note,
the reason there were so many ties is that we had an hour and a half for each game and if a clear victory wasn't achieved (i.e. killed off over half of the enemy, etc.) it was declared a tie. Players also had to choose between 1 and 3 Boasts, each with up to 3 Glory points each. Boasts not achieved had those Glory points subtracted from the score.
Another Dragon Rampant game during the third round with Bryan S.'s Penguin warband.
Yet another third round Dragon Rampant game. Although I did want to use my recently painted Oni in a Dragon Rampant game, I didn't want to stay for the last two games. Maybe they'll get on the table in the near future.
Well it was another great event with a good bunch of gamer buds using a fun set of rules. Thanks for stopping by and best wishes to all.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Early Samurai Lion Rampant "Retinue" & Dragon Rampant Warband

I'm committed to attend a Lion Rampant/Dragon Rampant "tournament" game day this coming Saturday. Seeing how I like "shooty" armies, I'm planning to use my old Early Samurai figures which haven't seen the gaming table for quite some time. These are mostly TAG figures which I had painted many years ago and used a lot when I was playing WAB. I'm really looking forward to using them again with Lion/Dragon Rampant.
The 24 point "retinue" pictured above consists of two units of Mounted Serjeants with bows; a unit of Fierce Foot (the Sohei monks); and two units of Archers - one rated as Expert. Four of the five units are shooters - which allows them to attrite the enemy without coming into close contact - I hope!
The second picture shows some of the earlier figures along with the recently painted Oni as a 30 point Dragon Rampant warband - namely the "Men of the Far East." This warband is composed of two Heavy Rider units with mounted missiles; an Elite Foot unit with missiles; a unit of Heavy Foot rated as Offensive (the monks); and finally the Oni as a Lesser Warbeast with Spore attack. The monks are Kingsford minis and quite nicely sculpted.

There will be a total of five games for the tournament. The way the host, Socal Warhammer, has it set up is two Lion Rampant games in morning/early afternoon. A third game being the gamer's choice of either another Lion Rampant game or switching to Dragon Rampant. The last two games will be Dragon Rampant. This way the gamer can chose either three games of of either ruleset for a final three game score. I'll likely play three games of Lion Rampant as I don't plan on staying the night to finish the last two games. Until then, best wishes to all!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Reaper Bones Oni

Picked this up at a local gaming store for under $5.00; well actually a little more after our state 10% sales tax. It's made out of a soft plastic - not unlike old Airfix figures. The club was a little bent from the packaging, but easily reshaped using hot water, followed by a rinse in cold water to set it. I planned to use it as a Lesser Warbeast in a Dragon Rampant warband. Hopefully pick up some more Japanese mythical creatures.
This is actually my first Reaper Bones model, but at the price, I plan to get a few more.
I'm not normally into painting gory stuff, but the eyeballs on the wristband looked appropriate for this guy.
The skulls on the belt give him a very GW flavor!
A couple of TAG demon hunters for scale. Hope to find more Oni as I want to paint some up in blue and green. On the gaming front, I'm signed up to attend a Lion/Dragon Rampant game day/tournament next Saturday. Best wishes to you all!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Tamiya 1/48 Jagdtiger - Ready for Action

Or how to burn over 500 points for a Bolt Action force. Not sure why anyone would want to field this in a 1,000 point game, but it is ready if needed. I managed to pick up a bottle of Tamiya Dark Yellow to dry brush over the hand-painted green camo striping. This seemed to tone the green down a bit, but it's still nowhere as nice if it were airbrushed. However, I'll likely never be an airbrusher - so, this will have to do.
Pin washing and adding the tools and spare tracks also help hide the flaws in the camo work.
The driver and commander are nice additions to the kit.
With some Victory Force Minis for scale.
The fit and finish of Tamiya kits are quite impressive - and these can be had for under $30 on ebay.
Thanks for visiting and allowing my indulgence into model kit building.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Tamiya 1/48 Jagdtiger - WIP

Greetings all. Apologies for the long absence, but here's a "keep it alive" post on another 1/48 scale Tamiya kit I've been working on. Actually, I put the kit together a couple of weeks ago, but was trying to find a local, off-the-shelf spray paint which would approximate the dreaded "dunkelgelb," the German Dark Yellow used on most of their late-war production tanks. I finally broke down and picked up a can of Tamiya TS-3 Dark Yellow off of ebay - if not for the shipping it would've been a decent price. Anyway, this is another superb kit with minimal parts; and I am actually getting better with putting the multi-piece tracks together. Here it is after a coat of the Tamiya Dark Yellow and some hand-painted camo stripes.
The green stripes were applied using successive layers of light watered down Vallejo acrylic. I plan to dry brush the base coat color over the stripes to soften the edges and tone down the green. Also, attaching the tools and spare tracks should hide most of the imperfections of the brushwork.
Doing some online researching, this green stripes over the basic dunkelgelb combination seems common for the 653rd Heavy Panzerjager Battalion - one of only two units which were issued Jagdtigers; the other being the 512th.
A total of only about 80 Jagdtigers saw service from late-1944 until the end of the war. It weighed 71 tons and the main gun was the 12.8cm Pak 44 L/55. It performed best in an ambush role, as would be expected by it's powerful main gun. However, due to its weight it was prone to mechanical breakdown. Also, by the time it entered active service, the Allies held air supremacy which also limited its deployability. Interestingly, the first Jagdtiger that was destroyed in combat was taken out by a bazooka! Not sure who the grunt was who fired it, but he should've gotten a medal just for that.
In addition to the dry brushing, it'll also get some pin washing and a little weathering. The kit also comes with a commander and driver - both will be added later. The hatches are held in place with masking tape on the inside for now.
Here I am next to the Jagdtiger at The Bovington Tank Museum which I visited several years ago. You can see how large it is - I'm about 6' tall - give or take a foot.
So much for now; thanks for stopping by and best wishes to you all!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Incident at Colgone - Pershing vs. Panther

Taking a rather long break from figures, I decided to pick up a Tamiya 1:48 scale M26 Pershing kit. The build was very simple - the only fiddly work was the multi-section tank treads. Hadn't built a model kit in some years; in fact, the last one was a Tamiya 1:48 scale M10 Tank Destroyer. These kits have metal bottom hulls, so make for a nice weighty gaming piece. Anyway, had to take out a Corgi 1:50 scale Panther for a photo op. This is an interpretation (using existing terrain pieces) for that famous tank battle near the Cologne Cathedral in the last days of the war in Europe.
The Panther had just taken out an M4 Sherman of the 3rd Armored Division, and luckily an M26 Pershing was only few streets away. The Pershing hunted down the Panther and made a direct hit on the move. The Panther never got off a shot - possibly due to the crew not immediately recognizing the Pershing and thinking it was a German tank? The Pershing made a few more shots and the existing video shows some of the German crew escaping from the burning Panther.
EDIT: Previously, I had posted I wasn't sure how the Pershing fared against Tigers. I've since found out that a Pershing from the 3rd Armored Division was indeed knocked out by a Tiger I on 26 Feb 45. In fact, the Pershing that was hit was named "Fireball" - the decal on this kit! It sustained three hits, one to the gun which exploded a chambered 90mm round. The gun tube was replaced and the tank returned to service. The Loader and Gunner were killed.
Speaking of Tigers and Panthers, here's an example of each with the Pershing for size comparison. Again, the Panther is a Corgi 1:50 scale diecast (repainted with zimmerit); the King Tiger is a 1:48 diecast by Hobby Master (OOP, I think).
A view from above of the same three tanks. Note how wide the track base is on the Pershing. Pretty modern looking IMO. In fact, the basic design of the Pershing changed very little with subsequent US tanks up until the M1 Abrams.
And a comparison with contemporary US tanks of the time. A resin 1:48 scale M3 Stuart made by Kengi and Corgi 1:50 scale diecast M4 Sherman on either side of the Pershing. For the record, I'm on the lookout for a 1:48 or 1:50 scale M24 Chaffee. Thinking of a late-WW2 or Korean War Bolt Action unit.
A view from above of the same three tanks. The Pershing was sprayed with a Testors Olive Drab enamel and given a pin wash at the seams, etc. The color is sort of lighter than what I had expected, but there's a ton of discussion on the "proper" color of WW2 US Olive Drab - so I'll leave it as is.
And finally, the antagonists side by side. So much for now - just wanted to post something on the old blog to let you all know I still exist.Until next time, warmest regards to you all!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Pacific NW Dragon Rampant Game Day

Just got back from a very cool Dragon Rampant game day (30 pt warbands) in beautiful Gig Harbor - lovely drive over the Narrows Bridge spanning Puget Sound. It was held in the Gig Harbor Public Library - no charge and very low-key. Pat L. (aka SocalWarhammer) was the host again, as he had done for the Lion Rampant game day last September. The usual suspects attended; great folks with some beautifully painted armies. I played against David S. (here's his I Live with Cats blog) and his Centaur-Minotaur warband in the morning. We later played in a doubles game in the afternoon. This time I sided with Scott A. and his Dark Elves army against David and Ron B. with his Conquistador-Ogre warband. Granted, some of these are carry overs from previous WHFB armies; like my Men of the West warband using Empire figures. I lost both games, but with some satisfaction as in the first game, David's warband leader was killed off before mine. The second game had me failing multiple shooting and attack activations with my Elite Foot, which could've decimated Ron's units. Without further blabbing, here are some images of today's games. I apologize upfront for not knowing some of the names or type of warbands of my fellow gamers.
My unit of Elite Foot with Missiles. Having the Ranger rule, their attacks, defence and armour are unaffected in rough terrain. They would've done a lot better except for my bad dice rolls.

Initial deployment of the Men of the West warband in the first game. From the closest unit: Heavy Riders w/Mounted Missiles; Elite Foot w/Missiles; Heavy Foot; Earl, Elite Rider, Flying & Level Headed; and finally the Luminark as a reduced model unit of Heavy Missiles w/Weighty Projectiles). Thanks to my buddy Rod who took this nice photo.
An unusual amount of successful activation rolls got my Men of the West warband close to David's Centaurs early on in the first game. Heavy Foot in the foreground and the old Empire Luminark in the distance - it was used as a single-model Heavy Missile unit.
Close-up of the Luminark - my buddy took this picture and I stole it off of his post on our group's Facebook - PNW Rampant.
James D's Neolithic warband vs. Al R's warband with cool looking scorpions.
My buddy Rod's Men of the West warband - these are figures I sold off at Enfilade a couple of years ago. I didn't know he was the one who bought them. Great to see them again in his possession.
Pat's Dwarf warband being used by a new player
Daryl's cool looking warband - again not sure the type or name, but a lot of former WHFB figures.
An exceptionally cool Artic/Antartic warband from Bryan S.
Bruce S's Undead warband vs. Mike G's Dwarf warband
David S's Minotaurs vs. the Men of the West's Heavy Foot.
Men of the West battle line in the doubles game; Scott's allied Dark Elf army in the distance.
Men of the West Heavy Foot in the foreground and Heavy Missile (Steam Tank) in the distance - I substituted the Steam Tank for the Luminark for the second game.
Heavy Missiles - Steam Tank firing from the woodline.
Heavy Riders with Mounted Missiles using village for cover.
Bryan's penguins in combat with James' Mammoth and cave dudes.
We have another Lion/Dragon Rampant game day in March. Additionally, I have committed to running several Lion Rampant Wars of the Roses games at Enfilade in May. Best to you all until my next post - whatever and whenever that may be.