Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bayou Wars 2008

I attended our HMGS-Gulf South regional convention this past weekend (June 2o-22) at the Radisson Hotel in Kenner, Louisiana (a suburb of New Orleans). The games were very well attended, as these pictures indicate. I got to see a number of wargaming friends from Louisiana and Alabama and met several new wargamers. The following pictures are just a sampling of the convention. I'll be posting detailed reports on the two games in which I was involved, a Franco-Prussian War game and the George Carr, Sr. Memorial Colonial game, later.

This was a WW2 (I believe) naval game being fought on the floor Friday afternoon. The game master was using interlocking foam mats as his playing surface.

Another naval game (1:2400 WW2 in the Pacific) was run by a fellow Jackson wargamer. In the background of this and the next picture, you can see some of the furious tournament action, everything from ancients to War Machine.

This 15mm American Civil War game was also run by a fellow Jackson wargamer. He did a play test of it several weeks ago and a detailed battle report will soon be on our group's web site (www.angelfire.com/games3/jacksongamer).

This was also a 15mm American Civil War game of part of the Battle of Antietam. The game master had scanned in a topographic map of the Sharpsburg area, printed the contours out of a large plotter, and then transferred the contour lines to his blue foam board. He then used a rasp and other tools to carve out the various levels. It was a stunning set up!

And finally, my good friend, Ken Hafer of Metarie, Louisiana, ran his "Brain Dead Sunday Morning" game. This was a reprise of what he did last year - a fight among various factions in the Star Wars universe using the 5150 rules from Two Hour Wargames, the owner of which was at the convention. Ken always wears at least one costume at the convention - this one is his approved costume as a member of the 501st Legion.

Bayou Wars was a very nice regional convention and I would encourage all gamers in the south USA to plan on coming next year. The dates will be established shortly, I've been told. The convention web site is: http://www.bayouwars.org/ .

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Building the "Royal Kraal" - Part 2

Once I had all the wall sections put together and painted a dark gray, I then glued them to the base using Liquid Nails. Larger poles delineate the corners and the gate.

As I said in Part 1, the huts are paper mache bird houses from Michaels that have had the door enlarged and some basic painting done to simulate thatched roof and walls. Several "true" 25mm Ral Partha Zulus are posed at the gate to give some scale.

After the Liquid Nails had dried, I then dry brushed the walls with a light gray to simulate weathering and painted the exposed base with a darker brown. I was going to add some flock and ground cover, but I ran out of time. That will come later.

And finally an aerial view of the kraal.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Building the "Royal" Kraal - Part 1

As I mentioned in my May Painting entry, we are running a very large Zulu game at our regional wargaming convention, Bayou Wars (http://www.bayouwars.org/), on June 21. As part of the game objectives, the Imperial expedition will try to burn the "Royal" Kraal. the pictures below show my initial steps in building the kraal. The outer wall will be made of slightly trimmed toothpicks (almost 500 of them!) all glued together. At first I was glueing them together in small batches of 12 and was planning on sticking them down to the masonite (mdf) base with Liquid Nails. But that didn't work too well. I finally constructed a simple jig using tape to hold the toothpicks in place and a ruler to keep the bases level before coating the surface with white glue. Two strips of 120 toothpicks each can be seen at the top of the picture, while a third is on the jig.

This picture shows two of the strips of 120 toothpicks set up around the masonite base.
They will be painted dark grey and then dry-brushed light gray to similate weathered wood. I'll use a mixture of dry-wall spackle, sand, and white glue for the earthen interior and exterior, suitably painted. The huts inside will be some paper-mache bird houses that I picked up from Michaels some years ago and painted to represent standard native huts.

More later as the project is completed.

May 2008 Painting - Finally!

Finally I get my pictures taken and posted of the troops I have added during May 2008 - a total of some 91 points (three guns and 88 foot figures). These are some of them:

The Carpanian Army added the Paulaner Fusilier Battalion, 24 strong, using Crusader figures. It will be paired with the von Stuppe Fusiliers to create a 48-figure "big battalion" for BAR games.

The Carpanians also added two guns to its arsenal, both products of the Eisenmuhlen Cannon Foundry. The first is a 12-lbr (an old Miniature Figurines gun) manned by Crusader gunners.

The second piece of artillery is a 10-lb howitzer (also Miniature Figurines), this time manned by Old Glory gunners.

And the Duchy of Courland has also been busy, uniforming the Duke's namesake Pavlovski Grenadiers. This 24-figure battalion will be paired with the Severinski Grenadiers to make a 48-figure "big battalion" for BAR games.

Among the extra and "one-of" figures I painted in May is young Alaistair Campbell, nephew of the Carpanian mercenary Scottish general, Seamus Campbell. Young Alaistair will accompany the Margarve's nephew, Siegfried Hapnich, across the water to fight with the Britannians against the Jacobite usurpers. You can read more about this on the Emperor vs Elector blog ( http://emperor-elector.blogspot.com/ ) and on Der Alte Fritz's blog ( http://altefritz.blogspot.com/2008/05/prestonpans-battle-report.html ).

Alaistair is a Front Rank figure and is my first real attempt at painting a Scottish tartan on a 28mm figure. The tartan is real simple, bright green base and bright blue stripes, but it looks fairly realistic from wargaming distances. I have Seamus and his 24-figure battalion still to do.

And finally, to complete my Colonial forces for the big George Carr Memorial Colonial game that we are running at Bayou Wars in New Orleans on June 21 (see http://www.bayouwars.org/ ), I painted a 20-figure British unit. During Bayou Wars it will be the 2nd Battalion, 24th Foot, joining its sister battalion, the 1st, in the Imperial expedition to chastize the Zulu. But there will be over 1,000 Zulu figures (over 40,000 warriors) versus the slightly less than 400 Imperial troops (about 16,000 soldiers of the Queen). A battle report will follow.

June's painting will not be as impressive as I have been working on magnetic movement stands for that horde of Zulus and some terrain for the game. I'll get back to my imagi-European (SYW) figures next month, beginning with a squadron of Carpanian dragoons.