Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mid-October 2017 reading....

Here's what I'm reading:

1)  The Romanovs.  More about the late days of Catherine the Great and her death.

2)  Street Without Joy by Bernard Fall.  More about the fall of French Indochina.  Depressing reading.

3)  The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodden.  More Victorian steampunk adventures involving werewolves and time travel.

4)  The Legend of Drizzt:  Volume One by R.A. Salvatore.  More reading about Drizzt's training as a warrior of Loth.

28mm 1882 Egyptian Game, 14OCT17: AAR

Here are photos from a 28mm 1882 Egyptian Game using The Sword and The Flame:

                                          28mm 1882 Egyptian infantry


                                                    28mm 1882 British Infantry


                                          Egyptian redeploying.


                                          The aftermath of battle.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Early October 2017 reading...

I'm currently reading the following:

1)  The Romanovs.  Now reading about the beginning of Catherine the Great's reign.

2)  The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodden.  More steampunk adventures by Burton and Swindford chasing a time-traveling historian from the future in mid-19th century London.

3)  Street Without Joy by Bernard Fall.  More about the French debacle in Indochina/Vietnam.  Read the first set-piece battles in 1950-1952.

4)  The Legend of Drizzt:  Volume One by R.A. Salvatore.  Not much reading on the good-hearted Drow elf....

WIP, 6mm 1980s South African Micro-armor, 05OCT17

Here are photos of WIP, 6mm 1980s South African micro-armor, 05OCT17:



                                          WIP, 6mm 1980s South African micro-armor, Photo 1.


                                          WIP, 6mm 1980s South African artillery, Photo 2.



                                          WIP, 6mm 1980s South African infantry, Photo 3.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Completed 28mm Viet Cong infantry company, 28SEP17

Here are photos of a completed 28mm Viet Cong infantry company, 28SEP17:



                                          Completed 28mm Viet Cong infantry company.


                                          Completed 28mm Viet Cong infantry platoon #1.


                                          Completed 28mm Viet Cong infantry platoon #2.
                                         

                                          Completed 28mm Viet Cong infantry platoon #3.


                                          Completed 28mm Viet Cong infantry NCO.

Late September 2017 reading....

Here is what I've read so far this week:

1)  The Romanovs:  1613-1918.  Reading more about Peter the Great and his campaigns in Sweden.  Interesting tyrant.  Brought Russia into the modern era screaming and kicking.  Loved his wife, boozes, and mistresses...

2)  The Strange Affair of Steel Spring Jack by Mark Hodden.  More steampunk London involving a screw-up time traveling historian from the future.  LOL....

3)  The Legend of Drizzt:  Volume One by R.A. Salvatore.  More reading about Drizzt's origins and what life was like for a non-evil Drow elf....
 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Completed 28mm Vietnamese Villagers and 28mm VIet Cong Infantry platoon number, 25SEP17

                                           28mm Vietnamese Villagers with ox cart.


                                          First 28mm Viet Cong infantry platoon.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mid-September 2017 reading: part II

Here's what I've barely been able to read this week:

1)  The Romanovs.  More about the doings of Peter the Great.

That's it.  I haven't managed my reading time at all this week.  Too much sports, ugh.
Blake

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mid September 2017 reading....

Here's what I've been reading this week:

1)  The Romanovs.  Started 800 page biography on the dynasty.  Looks like a long book.

2)  Finished Queen Victoria's Bomb.  Pre-steampunk novel about the development of an atomic bomb for Queen Victoria during the 19th century.  They tested the thing in India....

3)  Started The Strange Affair of Steel Heeled Jack by Holden.  Another steampunk alternative history novel.

4)  Started Street Without Joy by Bernard Fall.  It's about the French debacle in Indochina.

5)  Continued reading The Legend of Drizzt:  Volume 1 by R.A. Salvatore....

WIP, 30mm GW Khorne Lord of Skulls, 15SEP17

Here're some photos of a 30mm GW Khorne of Skulls titan.  It's a WIP.



                                          Front view of a 30mm GW Khorne Lord of Skulls



                                          Side view of a 30mm GW Khorne Lord of Skulls

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review of The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes

Author:  Raoul McLaughlin.
Title:  The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes:  The Ancient World Economy and the Empires of Parthia, Central Asia, and Han China.
Publisher:  Pen & Sword.
Copyright:  2016.
Pages:  262.

Overview and Impressions:
Academic book on the ancient world economy and the Silk routes that connected the Roman empire with the Han Chinese empire. It also covered the empires of central Asia and the Parthians. Interesting read for those versed in economics. Recommended.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

WIP, 1:1 28mm Viet Cong Infantry Company, 03SEP17

Here are photos of a WIP, 1:1 28mm Viet Cong infantry company I've been painting.  I now need to flock and seal the figures...



                                          WIP, 28mm Viet Cong infantry company, photo 1.


                                          WIP, 28mm Viet Cong infantry company, photo 2

The Viet Cong are Local Force variety for my future 28mm Tet Offensive game.

Labor Day 2017 reading...

Here has what I've been reading this Labor Day 2017 weekend:

1)  Private Yankee Doodle by J.P. Martin.  See previous blog review.

2)  The Legend of Drizzt:  Volume 1 by R.A. Salvatore.  Started reading about a D&D hero who's a Drow elf.  I have about 4,000 pages to read in four different novels.  I'm only on page 77....

3)  The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes.  Academic history of the Roman empire's ancient economy and its dependence on the silk trade of the Far East.  Interesting, so  far.....

4)  Started Queen Victoria's Bomb, a pre-steampunk novel written in 1967....

Review of Private Yankee Doodle by J.P. Martin

Author:  J.P. Martin.
Title:  Private Yankee Doodle.
Publisher:  Eastern National.
Copyright:  1962, 2002.
Pages:  305.

Overview and Impressions:
This is an excellent overview of what it was like to serve in General Washington's Army during the American Revolution by an educated NCO who published his own memoirs in 1832.  It gives like to the dangers and travails facing the average soldier during the Revolution.  Recommended.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Pulled my back...

Pulled my back this weekend.  I'm recovering now.  I haven't got any painting done.  Just watch some preseason NFL football and UEFA Championship soccer.

I did finish reading Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  I wasn't too impressed by it.  Still, a good read.  But not as epic as the other two novels.  I also started a novel on the Roman Empire and the Silk Road.  More an economics than history book.  Still interesting though...

Friday, August 11, 2017

Early August 2017 reading: part II....

Here's a list of things I've been reading this week:

1)  Private Yankee Doodle by P.L. Martin.  More drama in Washington's Continental Army at Valley Forge...

2)  The Long Way Home by Sabina Chase.  More background on the main character and her days in NASA.  She's now a mother to he newly created "son."

3)  The Roman Empire and The Silk Routes.  Economy history of the Roman Empire and its trade with Han China, Parthia, and Central Asia....

4)  Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Martians on a flooded Earth after the Antarctic ice shelves melted in the 22nd century...

Monday, August 7, 2017

WIP, 28mm Viet Cong Infantry Company, 07AUG17

Here are photos of a 1:1 28mm Viet Cong Infantry Company, 07AUG17:



                                          1:1 28mm Viet Cong infantry platoon and Company HQ.


                                          1:1 28mm Viet Cong infantry platoons.

I have more VC than I'll ever need for a 28mm game on the table space I have available at home using Ambush Valley.  Ugh...

The Viet Cong need to be detailed, flocked, and sealed before they're finished.  I'm hoping to have them done by mid September 2017.  Notice, I did all local force VC.

Photo of 28mm In Her Majesty's Name Game, 05AUG17

Here's a photo from a 28mm In Her Majesty's Name game, 05AUG17:

                                          Big Game Hunter's party gets to the Catholic Mission, 1885.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Early August 2017 reading...

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  We Should Have Been Zombies.  Memoir by local DJs and garage band members.  Interesting stuff.

2)  The Long Way Home by Sabina Chase.  More military sci-fi about an ex-NASA astronaut trapped in the 22nd century...

3)  The Rhodesian War:  A Military History by Moorecroft.  More about the bush war that tore apart Zimbabwe after independence from Britain in the 1960s...

4)  Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Unique take on drafting a planetary government from scratch in Blue Mars...

5)  Private Yankee Doodle by P. L. Martin.  More on life in the American army during the Revolutionary War...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Late-July 2017 reading....

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  Private Yankee Doodle by Lee Plumb Marin.  More about being a soldier in Washington's Revolutionary army.....

2)  The Long Way Home by Sabina Chase.  More military sci-fi about a NASA astronaut stranded in the 22nd century....

3)  The Rhodesian War:  A Military History by Moorecock.  More about the guerrilla insurgency that toppled Smith's white government in 1980...

4)  Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Getting into the second Martian revolution that overthrew the Terran colonial government on the terra-formed planet...

Monday, July 17, 2017

WIP, Nurgle Death Guard from the Dark Imperium box set, 17JUL17

Here are photos of WIP, 30mm WH40K Death Guard Plague Marines and Pox Walkers from the Dark Imperium box set:



                                          WIP, 30mm Nurgle Plague Marines.



                                          WIP, 30mm Pox Walkers and Blight Drone.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Mid-July 2017 reading...

Here's what I've been reading this week:

1)  The Rhodesian War:  A Military History.  More on the guerrilla insurgency in Rhodesia/what became Zimbabwe.  Interesting interplay between the then Apartheid  South African government and Smith all white Rhodesia.

2)  Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Started third book in the Mars Trilogy.  Begins with a successful second revolution against the Terran authority on Mars while Earth falls into chaos because of the flooding from the melting Antarctic ice shelf. 

3)  Private Yankee Doodle by P.L. Martin.  More about a private in General Washington's American army during the Revolutionary War.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

WIP, 6mm 1980s Angolan Support Vehicles, 13JUL17

Here's a photo of a WIP, 6mm 1980s Angolan Support Vehicles, 13JUL17:




WIP, 6mm Angolan Armor and 30mm WH40K Skitarri Rangers

Photos of some WIP, 6mm Angolan Armor and 30mm WH40K Skitarri Rangers:


                                          6mm 1980s Angolan Armor for FFoT, III.


                                          Last of my 30mm Adeptus Mechanicus, Skitarri Rangers.

Monday, July 3, 2017

New WH40K 8th Edition Playtesting, 03JUL17

I play-tested the new WH40K 8th edition rules with my friend Curtis Turner (Hostile Contact) this afternoon at my house.  We got a 1500 point game done in 1.5 hours.

Here are my impressions:

1)  Vehicles are harder to kill in the new edition.  Vehicles have Strength, Toughness, and Wounds stats.  It simplifies the game instead of dealing with armor values.  However, land raiders are tougher to kill outright.  I crippled a Chaos Predator with a couple turns of turns of las-cannon fire from a Deathwing Land Raider.  Both my Land Raiders were standing at the end of the game.

2)  Close combat and power weapons maul Space Marines in regular power armor.  Terminators will last longer in close combat for a couple of turns.  However, regular marines (both Chaos and Imperial) are more fragile to outright effects of power weapons.

3)  Psychic powers can be effective if your opponent doesn't has a psycher.  They can't counter your psychic power plays without a Deny the Witch roll. 

4)  Storm Bolter rapid fire can be effective in removing regular Space Marines.  Assault Cannons are also effective in clearing out troop formations, too.

5)  Deathwing Terminator armies are more effective in this new edition of WH40K.  My termis had more staying power with two wounds than previous games.

6)  Curtis had horrible dice rolls.  Mine were good (for a change).  I didn't know what happened to my usual luck.  I'm not complaining.  I won this game we played.  I was destined to lose when Brian Bigford blew up one of my land raiders on Turn 2 the other weekend we gamed...

Overall, recommend edition.  Plays faster, bloodier, more tactically forgiving.  

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Early July 2017 reading....

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  The Long Way Home by Sabrina Chase.  Hard military sci-fi novel about a NASA astronaut trapped in the 22nd century rim.  She holds a huge secret; the location of a virgin planet.  And is being hunted down for it....

2)  Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Another hard sci-fi novel about the colonization and terra-forming of Mars into a livable world...

3)  The Rhodesian War:  A Military History.  Nonfiction on the conflict that paved the way for Zimbabwe's independence.  I've just started it.  Mainly colonial history of Rhodesia...

4)  Private Yankee Doodle by P.L. Martin.  Nonfiction autobiography of an American Revolutionary NCO who fought in Washington's Army during the conflict...

Friday, June 30, 2017

WIP, 30mm WH40K Martian Dunecrawler, 30JUN17

Here is a photo of two assembled WIP, 30mm WH40K Martian Dunecrawlers, 30JUN17:



                                          WIP, 30mm WH40K Martian Dunecrawlers, 30JUN17.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review of the Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne

Author:  S.C. Gwynne.
Title:  Empire of the Summer Moon.
Publisher:  Scriber.
Copyright:  2010.
Pages:  371.

Overview and Impressions:

This book took several months to finish.  It's about Quannah Parker and the Comanche Indian Wars in the American Southwest.  I didn't realize how bloody the history of the area was.  The Texans and their Anglo-settlement on Comanche land was the tip of the iceberg.  The Spanish and Mexicans were just as brutal.  I felt I was reading history written in a sea of blood.  Ugh...

The part of about Quannah Parker and his mother, Rebecca, was interesting.  He was one of the few Indian chiefs to adapt to the world of the whites after the 1870s.  He kept a large household of wives and children, while selling horses and cattle.  Interesting personage.

Recommended.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review of Such Men as These by David Sears

Author:  David Sears.
Title:  Such Men as These:  The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies over Korea.
Publisher:  Da Capo Press.
Copyright:  2010.
Pages:  401.

Overview and Impressions:
This E-book took a while to read.  I should have finished it sooner.  It's about the US Naval aviators who fought during the Korean War from 1950-1953.  Day to day operations, tactics, downed pilot rescues, bombing runs, and POWs in North Korea were covered.

James Mitchener's The Bridges at Toko-Ri were based on his experience as a reporter aboard an US Navy carrier during the conflict.  His novel was an underlying theme in the book.  The use of naval reservists to fill the Navy's aircraft also weighed heavily, too.

Overall, recommended reading.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Photo of completed 28mm Vietnam Era US Marine Platoon

Here's a photo of a completed 28mm Vietnam Era US Marine Platoon:



                                          28mm Vietnam Era US Marine Platoon.

Another 28mm project: 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive

I've completed two different 1:1 28mm Free World infantry platoons.  I finished the 28mm Vietnam era US Marine platoon this morning.  It needs to be sealed at this point.  My 1:1 28mm ARVN Ranger Mechanized Platoon is also done.  The only thing left for the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive is a 1:1 28mm Viet Cong "Local Force" infantry company.

The problem is there are a lot of figures to paint.  90 total.  That doesn't include the 28mm Vietnamese civilians, too.  There are too many figures to fit on my 5' x 6' table.  Ambush Valley handles about three squads per side before breaking down.  I  need to come up with a TS&TF variant to handle larger games...

My main impetus is to get everything finished for the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive.  If I can run a game at Command Con 2017 in November 2017, so much the better.  I also need 28mm Vietnamese buildings or grass huts in addition to painting the figures.  A rice paddy or two would help, too...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mid-June reading: part II....

Here's a list of what I've read this week:

1)  Empire of the Summer Moon.  Read another 50 pages in the book last Sunday.  I plan to finish tomorrow afternoon.

2)  The Long Way Home by Sabina Chase.  Read another 50 pages in the military sci-fi epic.  It's over 800 pages long...

3)  Men Such as These by Sears.  Read another 70 pages covering the Korean air campaigns of 1952-53.  More on the North Korean treatment of POWs.  It was brutal.

4)  Another 100 pages in Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  More on the native Martians and their campaign to subvert Terran rule..

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mid-June 2017 reading...

I didn't get too much accomplished this week reading-wise:

1)  Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  100 pages read.

2)  Men Such as These by Sears.  Another 25 pages read on the Korean War about US naval aviators captured in North Korea.

3)  Empire of the Summer Moon.  More reading about the Comache.  Another 50 pages read.

Photos of my 28mm games ran at Die Con 17, Collinsville, IL, USA

Here are some photos of 28mm Great War in Africa and 28mm Masai Warriors vs. Colonial Germans in 1885 games I ran at Die Con 17, Collinsville, IL this weekend:



                                          Initial set up for the 28mm Great War in Africa.


                                          Both sides deploying their askaris.


                                          The Germans licked their wounds while the Belgians advanced.


                                          Both sides bloodied another.  Both failed army morale the same turn.


                     Masai were able to advance.  The German play could roll movement to save his life.


                                          More Masai warriors advanced on the Germans.
                                             

                                          At the end of the game, the German play blew army morale big time.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Early June 2017 reading...

I've been reading the following books this week:

1)  Such Men as These by Sears.  More reading on US Naval aviators during the Korean War by some excerpts by Mitchner....

2)  The Long Journey Home by Sabina Chase.  More reading about an ex-NASA astronaut in the 22nd century...

3)  Empire of the Summer Moon.  More reading about the Comanche and their raiding in Texas against the Texas Rangers...

Photos of Completed 28mm ARVN Ranger mechanized platoon

Here's a photo of a completed 28mm ARVN Ranger mechanized platoon for my 28mm Vietnam War games:


                                          28mm ARVN Ranger mechanized platoon.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Photos of Completed 28mm Masai Warriors, 26MAY17

Here are photos of my completed 28mm Masai Warriors.

The army is 84 figures.  All Foundry.  All bloody expensive.  See and weep.

I'm finally done with my 28mm Darkest Africa projects after six months of painting in time for a local gaming con in June 2017....











Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mid-May 2017 reading...

I've read the following books this past week:

1)  Empire of the Summer Moon.  I'm on page 131 of the book.  Bloody history of the American Southwest and the Comache raiders...

2)  Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Getting into the terra-forming and political ramifications of the settlement of Mars in the late 21st century....

3)  Such Men as These by Sears.  More about US Naval aviators in the Korean War....

4)  The Long Way Home by Sabrina Chase.  Interesting story about a US Air Force astronaut surviving as a mercenary pilot in the early 22nd century.  Back story of Terran war with a crab like alien species.....

WIP, 28mm Masai Warriors, 23MAY17

                                         WIP, 28mm Masai Warriors, 23MAY17.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Early May 2017 reading...

Here's what I've tried reading:

1)  Such Men as These by Sears.  I'm about 100 pages into a book on US Naval aviators during the Korean War.  Interesting and stirring read.

2)  I went back and read the 60 pages of Green Mars Friday morning by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Started out in the outlawed colony under the South Polar Cap.  Mars is being terraformed in spite of what people think.  Thought provoking read...

Zulu War Game, 06MAY17: AAR.

Here are photos from a Zulu War Game I did with Glenn Wilson on Saturday, 06MAY17:



                                          Initial Zulu impi deployment.


                                          Glenn Wilson reacting to Zulu advance.


                                          Zulus across the tabletop.


                                          Zulu impi right flank and center being shot-up.


                                          Zulu morale broke with Impi took 50% casualties.

Photos from WH40K Game, 26AMR17: AAR.


Here are photos from an old WH40K game that happened in March 26, 2017 with Hostile Contact.

                                          The initial battlefield.


My Dark Angels' landraider attack.



                                          Chaos counter attacks.


What's left of my Deathwing terminators.