Sunday, 27 September 2015

Finally, a Bit of Painting

I held a paintbrush today for the first time in weeks. It was not, however, not to paint figures, but rather to work on some items needed to take down to Tarawera for our annual weekend of wargaming.

First was to touch up an item I made 28 years ago. It is windmill that was especially made for another Tarawera game, set in the Vendée during the French Revolution. This has been sitting in the garage for several years. The rear sail had broken off and needed to be completely remade. The model was also looking tired. The original paint job was dark, or perhaps the colours had faded over the years, so it was brightened up and will appear in the WSS game at the end of next week.

The nervous miller peers out his window

The second batch of items were also fix-ups. These were a collection of small terrain pieces I want for my RJW game. They had all been made over a year ago, but had suffered badly when the box they were in was dropped. These were repaired and repainted.

The third item that I assaulted with the brush was an item that won't be heading south in October. This model of a wooden building was made in 2012 as a part of a Bohemian village, intended for use in our Austro-Prussian games. It was completed, but never painted and has been sitting in a cupboard gathering dust. Since the main project for the rest of this year will be the Crimean War armies I figured that this structure would sit well in the Crimea and needed painting.

This week also saw the realease of figures for the Danish army of Second Schleswig War by Northstar Military Figures. This war has appealed to me for a number of years - it is a logical extension to my Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian collections and even more so as I finish reading the "1864" book on the subject. Some years ago I went so far as make the masters for a range of Danes, but the opportunity to get them manufactured never arose. So the arrival of the Northstar range is great - all I have to do is figure out how to fit the purchase of this army in with all the other armies I want to build!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Busy times...

Although I have posted only once since the end of our American holiday, my inactivity online should not be mistaken for a general inactivity in the hobby. I have been very busy with hobby stuff. I played a WSS game last weekend (but took no photos, so there is no AAR) and in the last couple of weeks I have been preparing for our group's annual gaming weekend.

For the last 30 years, this year makes 31, a group of us travel to the Lake Tarawera for what was once a weekend of gaming, but has now grown into a six day event. For those not familiar with New Zealand geography, Lake Tarawera is about 20 kilometres east the city of Rotorua (roughly 230 km south of Auckland, where most of our group live). This year we will all head down in early October and will play five games covering the: Russo-Japanese War, Franco-Prussian War, Napoleonic Wars, War of Spanish Succession and an ironclads game from 1866.

For me personally the logistics of this year's event are bigger than usual. First, I am supplying armies or parts of armies for all five games for the weekend - all of the RJW figures, the Bavarian contingent for the WSS game, French and Prussian units for the FPW game, some Prussians for the Napoleonic game and the 1866 ships. All these fill up seven plastic cabinets holding a total of 25 drawers, plus three boxes of ships. Second, I have an array of scenic items required for my RJW game - fields, haystacks, a monastery, farm buildings, gun positions, a large box of entrenchments, another of wire entanglements. Some of these have been made especially for these games. The boxes of figures and terrain are stacking up in the spare room, despite the protests of her indoors. None of this is a problem, except that I may struggle to find space in the car for the beer and wine supplies!

Some of the purpose built items for the games...
The gabions for the WSS game
The paddy fields for the RJW game

Of a much bigger concern is that in late July I suffered a major hard disk failure, on which was all the information for the RJW game, including scenario and rules. I also lost all the rules and record sheets for the ironclads game. There were backups on another drive, but not current. Most of the data is probably recoverable, but data recovery costs money and takes time, neither of which I have to spare at present. 

All is not lost though. Luckily I did have a PDF copy of the scenario and the two sets of rules. Reformatting them into an editable format was a relatively quick task - it what I do every day for a living after all. But the record sheets for the ironclads game is another story altogether. This is not only because I also lost the spreadsheet with all of the ship specifications (so I need to go back to scratch), but also because the spec sheets are graphically intense and will take time...and I only have two weeks...and the real world is imposing some real demands on my time! 

Oh well, I guess I had better dig those naval books out again!