Thursday, 31 March 2011

American War of Independence

Ever since I moved to Japan my painting focus sifted from Fantasy and the American War of Independence to  Napoleonics. Of course this doesn't mean that I lost my interest in fantasy or the AWI but I am beginning to realise that a miniature collection in 28mm takes a lot of space...
In Tokyo I am keeping almost my entire collection in foam trays stored inside boxes. In Athens however I got everything in glass cabinets. With the nuclear crisis in Japan continuing I am still trying to decide if I will leave Japan for good and seek a better fortune elsewhere or stay put...

Either way, my AWI collection will have to go since it takes some valuable space that I could use for my napoleonics ;)
Before sending them off to ebay however I would like to share with you the few regiments that I painted for the British.
All figures are Perry and based for the ruleset British Grenadier. All flags are GMB.
Hope you like them ;) 

23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers 18 models

Von Bose Regiment 18 models

33rd Foot 18 models

6pounder with crew in cap-hats

Hessian Jaegers

Friday, 25 March 2011

Unfortunately the past two weeks of my life have been filled with psychological stress and pressure the likes of which I have never experienced so far.

As you are aware, on Friday March 11th a M9 earthquake hit the north-east side of Japan and also affected Tokyo. The good thing is that Tokyo was far away from the epicentre of this tremor so my house and friends were all ok.
Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the people of the north-east... Although the earthquake was really powerful Japanese engineering lived up to its reputation. However soon afterwards a tsunami hit those areas and erased entire cities. The truly apocalyptic images and videos  I saw afterwards filled me with grief and despair and I felt completely helpless.
The worst however was yet to come.

The next day after spending an entire night being woken up every half an hour by an aftershock, I decided to go for lunch with my friends. On the way we met a German friend and we all sat down for lunch. After exchanging stories on how we experienced the earthquake, my German friend told me that his greatest worry was the nuclear plant in Fukushima.
At that moment my blood froze. I could not eat any more and my stomach was tied in a knot... To my horror I was informed that due to the tsunami (and not the earthquake!) the cooling pumps in a nuclear plant in Fukushima had failed and the electric company TEPCO was trying to repair the damage. Once everyone had finished eating I went home with my flatmate and my girlfriend and we started watching the news..
A couple of hours later I am looking at the reactor no1 and seeing that half of the building has melted.. My mind starts playing nasty tricks... is this a full blown nuclear accident and I am in the middle of it? can I be so unlucky? well, I think about it over and over and finally decide to go for some days to Osaka. Its a nice place after all and far away from Fukushima...
So an hour later I am already in the first bullet train and on my way to Osaka. With me, I took my girlfriend and a backpack with only essential things.

Now that I am thinking about those moments I can surely tell you that I panicked... but I am glad I did. After reading the World Health Organization report on the Fukushima accident WHO  I realised that radiation levels were pretty high on Tuesday 15th of March. I really felt better knowing that I was not there. Of course radiation levels were very low and did not pose a threat to human health but I prefer being safe than sorry...

From Saturday until Tuesday I stayed in Osaka. When the second reactor exploded most of my friends fled Tokyo and came over to Osaka and Kyoto. Soon Osaka was full of friends and acquaintances! however the situation in Fukushima was not getting better. Finally on Wednesday I got informed by the Greek embassy in Tokyo that they could provide us with tickets to return back to Greece. At that moment me and some Greek friends decided to leave Japan for some time and come back once things would be safe again. Thus, we booked a flight with Qatar airlines and left Osaka last Thursday...

I am writing now from the safety of my parents apartment in Athens and although it feels good to be home I know that my home for the past 3 years is Tokyo. I miss my life and routine there and most of all I miss my girlfriend. Unfortunately things at Fukushima are still undecided and everyday life in Tokyo is not good either. Trains do not run regularly so moving around the city is a big problem and you can not find mineral water in any place. People stock pile rice and mineral water in anticipation of the worst.

The plan is to stay in Athens until the 9th of April and once things settle down I will go back to Tokyo. The problem is that in the process I have to fight my Greek family that seems determined to keep me away from radiation and earthquake stricken Japan....

Being home however has also a good side. I found my small samurai and AWI collection...

some bad pics from my phone camera:

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Battalion, Forward! Батальон! вперед!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the first battalion of the Galitz regiment of foot. All models are Foundry. 
I decided to base my Russian regiments using the General de Brigade ruleset so I have based them in 8s. Actually I was so excited about painting these that I ordered some custom made bases from Litko. Unfortunately I was not wise enough to realise the most obvious thing; that once you place 8 metal models on a 1.8mm thick piece of wood and you add PVA glue you will probably get a base that will slightly warp around the edges...
I had to think of something fast since I had ordered a pack of 50 bases and after a lot careful thinking I came up with this:
Thats right! I had to glue two bases on top of each other using PVA glue, rubber bands and cloth pins to make sure the two bases stuck to each other properly...
Unfortunately I had to do the same thing with models that I had already painted and based so it got a bit ugly :(

Hopefully this will teach me a lesson when I order custom made bases from them in the future...

One last thing I did was to order some test figures from Front Rank and I have to say that the rest of my Russians will be from them and not from Foundry! The Front Rank castings are so clean and the detail so clear on the models!
So here is the appropriate casualty figure (front rank) for the Galitz regiment:

I hope you like them! flags were as always from GMB designs. Total of 24 models

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Markers for Black Powder

As most people who have used the Black Powder ruleset will tell you, the game hardly requires any markers.
Actually, the only markers that you will ever need for a Black Powder game are casualty and disorder markers.

Representing casualties is fairly simple. Fortunately for the aspirant hobbyist the market is full of dead or dying metal (or even plastic) soldiers!
Here are the first casualty models I made using the French casualty figures from the French Heavy cavalry plastic set (Perry models)
one day I will try to make the numbers look better
 Depending on the number of casualties a unit has sustained I simply place the marker with the appropriate numeral touching the unit. So it is fairly simple.

The biggest problem however is how to represent units that have suffered a disorder result. I originally thought about putting a musket or a shako on a small base but I dismissed that idea because I didnt sound impressive enough. Then, I came across an article on Wargames Illustrated on how to represent shell explosions for WWI warfare. Now I know that there were no guns capable of inflicting so much destruction during the Napoleonic wars but I think that it looks dramatic enough.

My question is however what do you guys think? Does it look nice? Or does it look like a coral reef (girlfriend's comment...)
I would really like to hear what people think about this before I start making a dozen of them...

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Sunday's game

Vive le Empereur!

...Not only because last Sunday we completely crushed the allies but also because I got accepted into the Phd program. This means that for the next three years I will be able to keep adding to my collection while at the same time continue with my research.
So good news for me and the Napoleonic scene in our club!

The game was, as always, very entertaining!
Robert has already given a very interesting report of our game on his blog Serrez les rangs so I will refrain from writing on how the game unfolded. For those who want a proper -yet entertaining- battle report they should definitely check Robert's blog! Instead, I would like to show you some photos that prove how the 57th won its nickname "Le terrible":

The French advance relentlessly
The 57th charges the 74th foot and wipes them out :)
a few turns later and after our artillery took good care of Matt's light dragoons the 57th clears the Redoubt from annoying English and Russian gunners...

and finally the 57th charges the flank of the 45th giving the perfect opportunity to the 12th cuirassiers to charge and finish them off
 ah, it feels so nice when a freshly painted unit performs so well.