Thursday, 12 January 2017

A Tale of Two Armies - Painting a 2mm Force

We continue with a series of posts on wargaming in 2mm today, as I build and paint the Prussian and Austrian armies for a future Battle of Lobositz.  You can see the post on organising and building the armies here.

I'm including the painting in such detail, because that's one of the biggest misconceptions about 2mm gaming.  For those who've only ever gamed in 28mm or 20mm, the small blocks of lead can seem like counters.  Why not just play with tokens?  Hopefully this quick post will shed some light on why I love this scale so much.

The key to painting in any scale is to give an impression of reality.  If you look at even the most talented 28mm painters, their models would look terrifyingly unreal if they were scaled up to life size.  Their skill is making them look like they are life sized figures which have been scaled down.  The same is true for 2mm - give an overall impression, and we do that by combining main uniform colours with the occasional tiny detail.  On a 28mm model, that tiny detail might be a badge, the model's eyes, or a wooden stock.  On a 2mm model, it's the heads and the banners.

Often I try and photograph my 2mm models sympathetically, that is, from a distance so you can see how they look on the table.  However, these have been photographed ruthlessly close up, and I've even fiddled with the light levels to show you how much (or rather how little) detail you need on these tiny figures to give a great impression.  I think there's a natural reluctance to show 2mm models at this scale; we try to always give 'finished' impressions of our armies.  Hopefully this will lift the lid on just how small scale painting is done.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

A Tale of Two Armies - Building a 2mm Force

Our recent Talavera game was a huge success, but a correspondingly huge amount of work.  Our focus has been almost exclusively on gaming and rules-writing, so I thought I'd relax last night by building some 2mm Austrians from Irregular Miniatures, for a planed game of the Battle of Lobositz, 1756.

This is actually quite a complicated process.  To recreate accurately the ratios involved, I have calculated that:
  • 1 infantry base = 1 battalion = (about) 8 - 900 men
  • 1 cavalry base = 4-5 squadrons = 8 - 900 men
  • 1 artillery base = 15 - 20 guns
I then had to find an army list and translate them into numbers of figures.  This also involved approximating the many different types of unit into a couple of available figure types at 2mm.  For instance, grenadiers and line infantry can be easily represented by the same generic infantry block (with some judicious painting to set them apart), but different cavalry types have to be incorporated.  Almost no two cavalry units were the same, which was frustrating.

I notice that most of my posts are just nice shots of the finished miniatures.  I thought I'd show you round my War Room so you can see 'under the hood' as it were.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Battle of Talavera - Day Two

Today, we continue our large-scale Napoleonic battle report for the Battle of Talavera.  If you missed the first day, click here to read it.  We played this game in 2mm, using Irregular Miniatures and my own 2mm rules system.

So, let's remind ourselves how things stood at the end of the first day.  The British had taken a pounding, but their clever deployment along the line of the hills thwarted the French attempt to make a bold flanking manoeuvre.  The butcher's bill favoured the French, but they had been unable to make significant headway and had a touch prospect on the second day when they assaulted the town itself.

And so, let the battle resume...

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Battle of Talavera - Day One

A very special post today, as I bring you the results of the first day of the Battle of Talavera.  This is one of our Superbattles, played with realistic rules, fog-of-war, and in near real-time.  (Update - the second day is available here)
  •    French
    • Ed
    • Ollie
  • British
    • Dan
    • Mike
  • Umpire
    • Kieran
The battle was fought using our own 2mm rules, which focus on morale and cohesion over casualties.  The units are moved around on a secret map until they actually encounter one another, and are placed on the game board one by one.  In this way, the battle escalates into a full-scale engagement in a realistic way.  Mike painted all the Irregular Miniatures himself, to his usual very high standard.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Palladian Grav Troopers - Fallschirmjäger in 40K

As recently promised, here are some pictures on a project my brother and I have been working on recently.  The idea is a Fallschirmjäger-themed Imperial Guard force, focusing on ground combat as elite light infantry rather than the parachute element.  Full disclosure - this was mainly a vehicle to do something with the old Steel Legion models, which we both agreed were lovely.  The Steel Legion range includes some of my favourite models from the GW range - especial their heavy weapons.

Commanding officer, heavy weapons and a grav-trooper squad.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

British Civil Wars: 6mm Scots and New Model Army

I can share some photos of a rare phenomenon on Palladian Guard - a finished project!  I recently showed off a few shots of the 6mm New Model Army regiment, and mentioned that I'd ordered some Scots to oppose them from Baccus.  Well, I've finished the painting, and managed to get round to basing them, and they don't look half bad.  Like Two Splendid Lines, I've written a tactical-level game for the British Civil Wars to try and capture the mechanics of Pike and Shot era warfare.  More on that shortly.

Before we share the photos, a word on my progress.  I've recently developed a new technique which allows a quite staggering rate of painting.  I've shared some photos of my War Room, where there's a paint station, but I've started taking my models to work.  I'm in the Army, and in the week I live in a terrible condemned asbestos-filled block in Lincolnshire.  My 'room' is almost empty and I get very bored, so I've started taking bulk painting stuff like this back with me to paint at my desk.  This is what has allowed me to finish about 860 models in the space of a few weeks.

In fact, I've also had two sideline projects on the go, of which more later, but just to tease you - a Fallshirmjager-inspired 40K army, and some 10mm Saxons!  Anyway, back to BCW...

(I could get into a lot of trouble for putting models on the worktop, but I don't have a table up here to put them on)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Battlefleet 1900 Cruiser Clash

I see almost a month has slipped by without a post, so I made an effort to get some photos from a game Mike and I had last night.  It was just a simple Battlefleet 1900 game - I've played it before, but not for a long while.  My interest in pre-Dreadnought naval warfare is strong as ever, and Mike hadn't played this ever, so I thought it'd be a good chance to have a try.

I played the Russians (as in our recent Russo Japanese War campaign), using the cruiser Pallada and destroyer Zorki.  Mike opposed me with the Chitose and the Sai Yen.  In this case, my ships were bigger, faster, with a large number of small calibre guns and very poor armour.  Mike's ships were smaller, slower, with a single huge gun and much better armour.  We both had roughly equal tonnages, so the game was evenly-matched.

(Note to sticklers out there - the Sai Yen and Zorki were stand ins, as I don't yet have the models!)

My Russian ships at the bottom.  I had one tiny ship, and one (relatively) large ship, facing off against two moderately-sized foes.  Their guns would have been big on battleships, let alone these cruisers, which were designed as simple gun platforms.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Russian Battleship Tsesarevich

All modelling in the War Room is in character.
Things have been a bit quiet on the modelling front of late.  I got married, which meant I had to have a honeymoon with almost no modelling.  While in Access Models the following week (Newark-on-Trent), I was overcome with another mad impulse to buy an expensive and complicated kit with a view to creating a diorama.

I've had a strange relationship with model kits.  It's how I got into wargaming originally, and I had an extensive collection of 1:35 tanks at one stage.  However, I lack the patience to do the really fine detail kits.  A few years back I bought a U-boat kit, and turned it into a pretty simple diorama of which I'm very proud, but that's about it.

This kit comes off the back of a long-standing interest with the Imperial Russian Navy, fed by my regular games on World of Warships and our recent Russo-Japanese War Supercampaign with Paul.  I'm only really interested in the pre-Dreadnought era, so the 1899 battleship Tsesarevich (Crown Prince) was a great find in 1:350 - usually quite an obscure ship.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

6mm BCW New Model Army Regiment

Time for a quick update today.  I posted a photo of my half-finished British Civil Wars regiment, Col. Overton's Regiment of Foote.  I was lucky enough to go to a reenactment of the Battle of Dunbar earlier this month, which has spurred me on to finish these off and start thinking about some Baccus 6mm Scots to oppose them.

I had a (rare) bad experience with ordering these from Baccus - they took about a month to arrive due to various reasons on their end, house moves, out of stock, etc.  Not something I would normally post about, but I mention it because it was very annoying not to get any updates and to have to chase the order repeatedly.  That said, I'm prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt and continue ordering from them, mainly because of the excellent quality of the miniatures and having had no other issues with Baccus before.

As mentioned in the last update, this represents a 1:1 scale Civil War-era battalia.  It's one of the rare battalias which are composed of troops from the same regiment - usually two small regiments would be combined to make a single fighting unit.

The battalia drawn up in line of battle.  Colours and drums at the front of the central pike block, with two wings of shot either side.  The lieutenant-colonel at the front (bottom), and sergeant major to the rear.

Monday, 12 September 2016

The Battle of The Wilderness

The colonel contemplating his next move...

We're now on battle 7 of 8 in our quest to re-fight every engagement of the Fourth Texas Infantry - the Wilderness!  This fierce Eastern engagement took place in May 1864, and our regiment is fighting on Day Two (May 6th) as Longstreet desperately tries to stop Winfield Scott's attack down the Orange Plank Road.

The rules are now pretty much set in stone - hugely simplified from their start point, we now have a good system in place and all the models and terrain we need.  (I've sent out some notes of the rules to a few of you who've requested it - stand by, as I'm currently writing a full version which should be a little clearer).

Anyway, to business!  The battle is a fairly straightforward frontal assault, complicated by the tangled woods of the Wilderness.  The entire battlefield is thick woods (we just placed a few trees down to give a flavour and moved them as we needed to).  The effects of this are that shooting is less effective, and marching in line is all but impossible.  Perhaps we can use the cover to approach the strong Federal line and overwhelm them?  We shall see...