Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Winter Project.

As I have mentioned before I am quite fortunate in having a 4'x4' gaming table in my loft/study which can extend to 5x4 if needed - it's been ideal for my resurrected interest in board games, the occasional 28mm skirmish and 15mm Ancients.
For this winter inbetween painting more 18th century figures I want to try something else.
I've always fancied taking up Napoleonic again but large armies, lots of figures discouraged me except for the much overlooked War of 1812 in Canada.
Small armies, limited cavalry and Indians !
So as a test I bought some Blue Moon 18mm.
The results I'm happy with

Apologies the photos are a little dark - bad light today.
In addition I'm going back to the old WRG 1685-1845 rules as a tester!

My intention initially is to paint the two forces for Chippewa and then add more figures to the battalions to go from 1:40 to 1:20 if the project works I will also paint some individual pieces for the very small actions.

It will also allow me to use the 1:700 ships I've been printing for the actions on the Lakes - I sill think frigate actions give the best games!
Onwards and upwards then.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Stuart Asquith

I learnt from Charles Grant this morning the very sad news that Stuart Asquith passed away last night.
A prolific author and gamer one only has to look on the Caliver books website to see how many books he had written and published. He was also the editor of Practical Wargamer a magazine that provided a great source of information and inspiration. Sadly I only met Stuart a couple of times at Partizan and then albeit but briefly. What was clear that his passion for the hobby remained with him throughout and that it was quite infectious - on both occasions after our conversations I felt re- enthused.
Alongside the likes of Don Featherstone and  Charles Grant, Stuart was one of those individuals that has kept me in the hobby for all these years.
A great loss to the hobby.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

HOTT, Fiasco and bits and pieces

Once a year I travel to Brompton for the Good, Bad and Ugly! Hordes of the Things Tournament.!
For me it's a good chilled day with like minded people and allows me to paint something that's a bit daft.
This year I painted up Alternative Armies 'Seasonal Army' so Jack Frost leads his maniacal snowmen, ginger bread men etc. The church was picked up from The Works and painted and suitably ' snowed up ' by me.
This years event took place on the 20th October at the Rugby club - great venue.
So with minimal planning I ended up winning the tournament, best army and best camp 🤣 a clean sweep. Big thanks to all involved and to Bob Carter for organising the North East leg of this worldwide tournament.

The 27th October saw me pay a visit to the Fiasco show at Leeds. I have to admit that within a short time of entering the Stygian gloom of the hall I remembered why I stopped trading there and stopped attending. 
For me the venue isn't conducive to encouraging anyone to stay and when I arrived ( about 11.am) it appeared to be quite busy.  There wasn't any really outstanding games  ( in my opinion) and after a chat to a few people I left for a coffee and didn't return.

Pete Berry of Baccus miniatures has had a bit of debate on Facebook about this show and in general about the future of shows, bottom line is with the exception of Salute which is acknowledged as a mega trade show then the majority of others need to change in order to accommodate the changing gaming population- Hammerhead and Partizan I feel are two of the best shows by encouraging participation games.
I fear Fiasco may go the way of the Triples if things don't change just doing same old for 20+ years I don't think is good enough any more!

Finally I'm not going to bore you with anymore 3D printing - well not this week. 
I've managed to get finished the first two squadrons of Saxon Cuirassiers, riders painted by Steve Allen the rest by me. I tried 'contrast paints' on the horses - not bad but I still prefer 'oils'

Finally I've started a new 'winter project' more of that next post

Friday, 11 October 2019

A little more printing

In between being hit by a chest infection and settling in at the 'pod' for the Crann Tara business I've managed to squeeze in a little more printing. The FDM printer has mainly been used to print dolls house furniture! To occupy the dolls house I'm building for the granddaughters but the resin printer has seen action, first to print off some 28mm Hungarians Dan has made for me.
Second to print the 40mm RHA crew that Dan has designed for Ian Smith.
All come out rather nice

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Breaking the silence - Fire as she bears!

Thought it was about time I announced my return to the UK - actually I got back from seeing my son in Chicago on the 16th after a really good 12 day break. This was then followed last Thursday to a visit to the club for a catch up where I caught a chest infection which has laid me low most of this week!

Never mind onwards and upwards - before I was struck low I spent last Wednesday and Thursday moving Crann Tara Miniatures into new premises but more of that will appear on the other blog.

Most of you can't have failed to see Warlord Games announcement of its forthcoming 1/700th scale Napoleonic Naval game, now those that follow my blog know that I have a very nice collection of Langton 1/1200 th scale ships which occasionally take sail for a game but I'm always conscious of my ham  fistedness damaging them so this announcement piqued my interest. Now at the same time Simon Mann on wargaming 3D released a series of 1/700th scale files of various named ships for the period some of these are free and some just a few dollars.

To top all that Suturnalia Studios ran a Kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/saturnaliastudios/fire-and-sails
For ships, terrain and rules the ships are 1/650 so the small ships are fine the larger ships  need printing at 92% to make them the same size as those from warlord. So it looks like my ability to fight larger actions and not worry about damage will be fulfilled.
To be expected I've printed some bits and pieces off by way of testing the prints are a mix of this from Wargaming 3D and the KS and ive included a Warlord frigate. Last photo is a few of the buildings I've printed off. Printing sails in two parts and gluing together is a bit of a trial but I'm getting there. So about an 90 minutes to,print a couple of frigates or a 74 for pennies . The fleet starts to assemble 🤣

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Battle of Maidstone redux!

I have just been finishing my next article for the Wargames Annual and it is the second part of the proposed Invasion of England 1744.
Now I did a brief report of the Battle I fought on here which will form the basis of the article however what I did forget at the time was that iPad photos just don't cut it when it comes to publishing in books or magazines so this week I set it all up again and took a new set of far better photos, couple of teasers below.

   All in all 90+ photos - can't see Charles using them all otherwise it would be a Crann Tara special.
Off to the States shortly to see my son, last time I visit Chicago as he moves to Denver in October so next year will see a visit to a new state.
Unfortunately printing and painting has slowed down these last couple of weeks as I've taken the leap in renting a small office/studio to run the business from it will allow me a little more space and should stop distractions🤣 So lots of preparation in getting ready to move stock etc.
I have been dabbling with GW contrast paints - mixed results as I expected a lot depending on the colours and undercoat but I shall persevere.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Workbench update

Sorry for the short break - real life got in the way I'm afraid.
That doesn't mean to say I've been idle though - the Vauban continues to grow, 2 bastions done and work has started on walls.

I also did a couple of 15mm buildings for a game the other Sunday, the ruined chateau is only base coated hope to finish that next week
I won't mention the 'fairy' doors my wife has got me to print for the grandkids!!
On the painting front more horses, Highlanders and 15mm Ancients are all work in progress.
Finally had to say good bye to our last dog 😪 Poppy was 13 and was primarily my wife's dog I was there for the walks and feeding although later in life I found she liked coming with me to the local pub.
A character she will be missed

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Just for Lee and Tamsin (and anyone else interested)

Ok some more printing projects - Tamsin enquired about printing the 1/100 scale Bergman files off thingiverse at 28mm scale

Airborne radio jeep, I got the orientation slightly wrong so front wheels need a bit of repair but the next one I do will be fine.
Next Lee asked about the Shermans- the Sherman and Bren Carrier are both printed in resin, the Sherman worked out at just over a £1 the Bren about 0.32p.
Then I did a Kangaroo ram on the fdm - cost 0.38 p and photographed against a commercial one £4.00 retail! Yeah on the fdm you can see some lines and they can be minimised but for me by the time painted etc and on the table they will hardly be visible.

The bastion by the way cost about £15 but I'm going to increase the'infill' which could reduce the cost to around £12 - not bad I think.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Bastion finished

i know you may be mighty bored of this by now 🤣 However the final parts for the bastion are done, I'm well impressed.
I shall now do some walks etc and let you have a rest before there's any more printing updates.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Half a bastion, half a bastion onwards

Half way there on the first bastion 😀

And if you thought I had forgotten the figures I've finished basing 2 squadrons of the British 6th Horse and a 15mm Ancient Greek army
No photos of the Greeks yet but here's a hasty photo of the British Horse.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Vauban - the start

Well after the mammoth 22 hour print the first two pieces of the first bastion is complete, the next two pieces I think I will print one at a time.
I scaled it down slightly and printed at 90% - I think it looks fine with the figures - so onwards and upwards

Friday, 5 July 2019

More printing and what of the future?

well up and running early today 🤣 First the resin printer is busy printing some 15mm jeeps! But last night I printed some more Prussians etc. In particular the Fusilier NCO and the first draft Austrian Grenadier.
The Grenadiers hat is too tall and musket too fine and fed this feedback to Dan but I like the position and it's going to be a good figure. The Prussian Fusilier NCO came out really well and I like him.

I'm using a new skin coloured resin which works well and seems less brittle dare I say it you could just about print and play 🤣
Onto the Vauban - I mentioned I was going to print this at 90% size quite an arbitrary reduction but as you know the CT figures are quite slender and I'm hoping it works ok if not we shall have to scale up! So the first two parts of the bastion are on the go and as it shows on the screen - estimated 22 hours so will post results tomorrow!

So at the club last night we got talking about the future of the hobby with all this technology - as it turns out there are now 6 of us with 3D printers - only me with a resin printer and whilst I'm new to the hobby some of the chaps have been very busy. Robbo had printed out the start of his Roman city wall! in 28mm - gate house towers etc and about 4 town houses in material about £12!!

When I did the 15mm Sherman it cost around £1 in resin the Bren carriers 0.35p the recent 40mm figure prints I did were about 30p each!

Now of course we discussed the initial outlay but in terms of the maths if 2 or 3 people grouped together it wouldn't take long to recoup the costs of both the machine and the materials.

Now I think it will be a long time before the figure manufacturers have to worry although I would be quite happy printing 20mm or smaller figures on the resin printer for use on the table.

However in terms of terrain  - with so many free files on offer or bundles of terrain at not a lot I really can't see me buying any more buildings add to that the ability to print in almost any scale so I can print the Vauban for example for 6mm right up to 40mm! then why would I. In terms of time then really apart from making sure everything is fine at the start then really the machines can be left to their own devices so we said for companies such as Hovels etc then maybe their days are numbered?  It may even have an impact on the plethora of MDF makers out there

As with all things rather than being a doom merchant I would prefer to embrace the change and see where it takes us.

Only 21 hours to go :)

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

More 3D printer madness

well after much deliberation I bought myself a Prusa MK3s fdm printer!  I have two projects for the 18th century figures I'd like to get done. The first is to build a harbour and docks with dockside buildings etc.  Printable Scenery seem to do a nice range that will fit and I also would like to be able to build a Vauban fortress.
Laserdream works do an excellent set of files to fill this gap.
Now an fdm printer is far less messy than a resin printer but the 'slicing' software for the two machines is very different so by way of an experiment and to start the learning I downloaded a free 'test' file from Laserdream works and set to.
The result can be seen below. I'm more than happy with the outcome and am now working out what I need to print!

The other consideration is if I scale it down slightly - the great thing with the printers is the ability to scale up or scale down and certainly some of the buildings I'm looking at producing are designed for the 'heroic' 28mm and will be scaled down to take up a far smaller footprint.
In the meantime here's the test piece. In terms of cost I reckon this cost around 0.90p

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Chilled Sunday afternoon

since moving home and setting the loft to be a bit of den I have managed to meet up with a colleague from my school days.
Steve and I go a long way back initially playing board games, then figure games. When I went in the Police he joined the army and whilst we never lost touch time and life conspired against us.
Steve lives in the same village and he quite rightly pointed out it we be could if we could set aside some time for some quality gaming.
So recently we've been getting together on most Sundays - Steve likes World War II so I've been quite happy us gaming with Blitzkrieg Commander IV out intention being to get to know the rules etc.
This weekend was an attack defence game with me taking the part of the British.
Photos below, whilst the objective was for the British to get infantry on the crossroads which I failed to do, the Chrurchills broke the German centre and broke their morale.

I have to admit I've enjoyed the rules immensely and really enjoy these chilled out few hours on a Sunday. Perhaps it's because we play the game and not the rules agreeing on points not covered based on our knowledge etc. perhaps it's because it's just good company and quality time.