Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Target Acquired, Bombs Away!

I like books. I am excited to say that I got an email saying my pre-order of the latest Uhtred adventure is on it's way to me from Booktopia. I haven't really read a lot of books this year but I just read a great one. Lancaster Men, The Aussie Heroes of Bomber Command by Peter Rees.
Australia was another supplier of the expendable human resource for the RAF and Bomber Command in WWII. More than 10,000 Australians served with Bomber Command. Even though in the beginning it was made clear that Aussies should have Australian squadrons etc in England this was difficult to achieve in practice. What is clear in this book is that returning Aussies got a raw deal after returning from wartime service in Europe. We know that allied servicemen from the Italian theatre could be called 'D-Day dodgers'. Returning Lancaster crews got called 'Jap dodgers' once home. Shocking really, especially when you consider the many deaths and hair raising encounters as told in this book and the length of service away from home that many had to endure.
Another aspect that contributed to the general lack of recognition to these veterans was the abysmal political sell out. It seemed OK for Churchill and others to support the prosecution of the war against the Axis with the strategies they used during the war such as the controversial bombing of population centres including Dresden which is explained very clearly in this book. However as Nazi propaganda with massively exaggerated figures about deaths bounced around the world they would distance themselves from the awful task they had given the men who flew in Bomber Command. In Dresdens case approx 20,000 deaths suddenly became an inflated 202,040. Anyway that is only one aspect covered in this book and it has a lot of mission stories that are hair raising accounts of what the crews experienced.
It is a great read and even if you think you know a lot or have read a lot about Bomber Command I think you will learn a few surprising things in this book. I was highly amused  when I read about the Lancaster that flew under the Sydney Harbour bridge. If you are ever in Canberra be sure to visit the Australian War Memorial Museum which has a great display built around the Lancaster G for George.

In part 2 of this post I will mention that I have been assigned a target for Secret Santa gifting. No doubt someone out there has been assigned me as well.  £15 translates to roughly 27 down under dollars. It's been fun to Blog stalk my target and think about what they would not be entirely opposed to receiving as a surprise and I think I am very close to making a purchase online. I should probably post some ideas for my Secret Santa or perhaps online links to Australian web sellers to help with postage. Irresistible Force, Combat Company and War and Peace are shops I have visited online recently. As far as ideas...I like a large range of wargaming but saying that, may not be helpful. At the moment I am at the start of a 28mm War of the Roses project but you may have already made a purchase or have an interesting idea already. Progress has been stalled for the past few weeks due to having this crazy idea about removing my backyard of crappy grass and replacing with a mixture of paving and rocks. Made a lot of progress so far but it's starting to drive me a little bonkers and my patience is starting to thin.

Cheers for now from Brendon (The Kiwi)
One more thing..on the couch I watched the All Blacks beat the Wallabys, then Kiwis beat the Kangaroos and then I heard that Taranaki won the ITM cup. If this makes no sense to you..fair enough....but knowing all this makes me happy.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sniff Glue and Worship Satan

Misleading post title but I saw that on a T-Shirt and it made me smile. Offensive to some, humorous to me. However on the subject of glue and plastic glue in particular.....I have been sure to have the window wide open and take a lot of breaks when building the small Perry plastic War of the Roses horde. Been a while since I have done a plastic build project.
I now have 1 of each of the three 1450-1500 plastic kits. It's going slowly but well. I am really enjoying the process and can highly recommend these 28mm kits. The products will be expanded with a light horsemen option released hopefully early in the new year. Awesome!
Plastic...so much plastic. Spot the missing heads.
So far I have plenty of Foot Men at Arms dudes in the best full Plate Metal armour available and 12 Archers. Horses are well under way for at least 1 unit of 6 but I am yet to build the riding Knights. 
Beyond Lion Rampant this collection will easily expand out to an Army for use in Kings of War (or any other large unit battle game for that matter). You can make a HUGE variety of poses with the foot figures. I will build a mercenary crossbow unit as well. The European Mercenary box comes with plenty of Pavises as well for that upgrade option.
I haven't picked up a brush since I completed the Dystopian Mercenary fleets but I had a curious look on the Irresistible Force webstore (Australian shop) and was excited to see they had in stock some Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes. You might be able to spot them in the photo above. I did not hesitate to get two more. They cost more than the average brush but I got one a long while back and it's been the best brush I have ever used and it's still going. It really needs a proper clean so a likely future purchase is some really good brush cleaning fluid.

Cheers for now from Brendon

Monday, October 6, 2014

Painted Dystopian Mercenary Fleet (lots of pics)

Finally. Pleased to say I have now completed painting my two mercenary fleets for Dystopian Wars. The Black Wolf and East India Merchant Company box sets and an Air base as well. I have not added up the game points worth but usually the sets are around 800-900 points each. Plenty of options for creating a force from. I did buy a second large Black Wolf submersible in addition to the box sets though.

Black Wolf ships including surface skimming ships with Mini Subs ready to drop into the sea.

Double Trouble! Two Black Wolf Submersibles with support skimmers.

Hanging around the air base. Spot the Tiny Flyer Ace.
Nice detail underneath that won't be seen in games like the small fighter ready to drop into the polluted skies.
I took the photos with an iphone in the backyard in the shade. Blue appears to be a colour that digital photography can go a bit silly with. I certainly won't win any miniature photography awards. :)

Painting them all Panzer Grey with a London Grey (Vallejo) dry brush was my idea to make them all look aligned to the same flag. The Red was inspired from the painted example on the Black Wolf box cover. Spartan Games has a Heavy Bomber flyer for a future release but no date as yet so that is really the only future purchase for this force. Very happy to get this completed so I can start my next 28mm project.
Cheers from Brendon (The Kiwi)