Wednesday, 21 March 2018

28mm WW1 Turkish Cavalry

Something a bit different this week. My Infantry forces for Mesopotamia are pretty big now with 12 Empire and 9 Turkish Battalions it's time I sorted out a few Cavalry units. The big problem here is figure choice, there just isn't any.

I found these figures tucked away in an obscure corner of the Minifigs website, in the Setting the East Ablaze range, regular readers will know the Highlanders came from the same range.

By modern standards I would describe the figures as "functional", detail is pretty good but there is only one standard pose (just like the old days !). The horses look a bit big to me but that's just nit picking. I will be building this up to a 26 figure unit with 2 x HQ Figs and four companies of 6, so that's just under half a unit done.

Lances are from Arcane Scenery and I have made the lance pennants from some sticky labels.

There aren't many photos of Turkish Cavalry in Mesopotamia, the one above is from Jerusalem. The match to the figures is pretty good, it does show that the Turks did like a BIG lance pennant  !

The Cavalry in Mesopotamia spent most of the war trying to flank each other and the trench works of the other side, they were almost constantly in action when the armies were in motion so there is plenty of scope to use these in gaming scenarios, I just need to build up the forces concerned.

Things have been fairly steady here on the gaming front with work and weather reducing the gaming opportunities but we should be back in the swing of things soon.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

28mm Panzers in the Desert

Up until now my WW2 Desert collection has been confined to the forces of Britain and her Empire, along with lots of Italians. The Blitzkrieg Miniatures offers last year persuaded me to invest in some Afrika Korps vehicles, after all who can resist a half price tank !

The first completed vehicles are 3 Panzer II and 3 Panzer IIIs. Our games are limited to pre 1942 so there is none of that fancy long barrel goings on, this is proper early war stuff. The crew figures are from Perrys.

Early Panzers arrived in the area in either their dark grey, European colours at which point they were covered in local muck or they were painted in the darker green brown RAL 8000 Gr├╝nbraun rather than the more familiar later RAL 7028 Dunkelgelb.

I used a RAL 8000 paint from a Company called Mission Models, who I haven't heard or used before. I didn't realise until I started painting that it was a airbrush paint so I had to dig a back of the cupboard and blow the dust of my airbrush.

Is it just me or are Airbrushes just a massive pain, all that mucking about between colours, does my head in !

Anyway, once I got the bloody thing working, doing the base colour was relatively painless. I then used Green Ochre and Dark Sand to bring out the highlights before painting in the metal work.

I don't normally bother with weathering, but as I am usually spending hours hand painting Caunter Camouflage onto vehicles I felt like a bit more time could be justified with these, so you will notice, if you look closely a bit of chipping and some washes going on.

I also tried out AK Interactive Africa Dust Effects on the Panzer IIIs. If you look closely on the photo above you can see the sand deposits by the front hatches. The "paint" is enamel based and is basically a clear medium in which small sand particles are suspended. Once applied in the locations on the model that sand might accumulate, it is left to dry slightly before using a clean brush and thinners to blend the effect.

It gives an interesting finish and I will certainly do more experimenting with it.

The tanks are for the 15th Pz Div who used a single digit numbering system in the Desert, so decal wise I have used the ones supplied by Warlord, adding divisional symbols by hand.

I decided when Blitzkrieg Miniatures did their Black Friday sale to up the Panzers to a full battalion which will be a HQ of 1 x 3 and 1 x 2. 2 Companies of 3 x 3 and 1 x 2 with a final company of 2 x 4 and 1 x 2. Unfortunately I am still waiting for the vehicles to arrive.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Spains, Trains and Armouredmobiles

In preparation for the next Spanish Civil War battle here at YG, I needed to put together some bits and pieces to approximate the area over which the Battle of Quinto was fought and whilst I was at it I thought I would empty the SCW "to do" box.

A railway line runs through the town of Quinto and the Station is in the same place today. I have used the Sarissa Precision Adode (South of the Border) range for my Spanish buildings to date and since I last bought from them they have introduced a Railway Station to the range. So an Order went in for that and a set of railway tracks (shown in the top photo but not painted / based yet).

The model comes in the usual flat pack form and fits together nicely. I textured the base and added some grass tufts and Basetex. I used the latter to represent some climbing plants which is code for covering up cracks. A bit of light weathering and some Spanish Civil War Posters finished the building off.

Next up is the MC 36 Hispano Suiza Armoured Car from Minairons which has been lying around for years. A wonderful model that would grace any inter war or pulp game.

And the final figures added to the display cabinets was the completion of my first Unit of Nationalist Cavalry. These figures are 28mm from Empress Miniatures, I painted up 10 figures last year and just added another 10 to them. I had been pondering the unit organisation for a while but finally decided on a 2 Fig HQ with 3 x 6 Fig companies, which neatly gives 1 unit for 2 of Empress' discount packs.

There are no dismounted figures for these yet but my Spanish Legion Figures will suffice for now. These really are superb figures and the unit has added something extra to my SCW collection.

More SCW to come soon with the write up and Scenario post for the Quinto Game, the paint table is full of WW1 Mesopotamia and WW2 Desert vehicles, the

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Another Year Goes By - Yarkshire Gamer is 4

The Crusades Project
It's that time of year again, the world has gone round the sun (or is it the other way round !) and Yarkshire Gamer starts to mature and get ready for Nursery.

Rather than a review on the calender year end, I always have a look back on the anniversary of the start of the blog on the 19th February. Previously I have done a review of the top ten posts of the year but sadly I have been hit quite a bit by Russian, Turkish and American Bots this year so the stats are quite a bit off.

Instead I will just use it as an excuse to rehash some old photos and remember some of the games we played here at YG.

Games of the Year

WW1 Mesopotamia Action at Ctesphion
The year started off as always with our Mesopotamia adventures and a refight of Ctesphion, a real tight battle which finished exactly the same as the real battle.

This year's WW2 Naval Campaign was something a bit different, we went out to the Baltic in 1941. Lots learned about a relatively obscure Campaign, the Russian Navy made some mistakes early in the Campaign and paid dearly for them at the end.

Our attempt at refighting the Spanish Civil War battle of Jarama on the 80th Anniversary failed with various players contracting Ewok Fever at various times however once we got going another close fought game was had, going along historical lines again.

The behemoth that is Jutland rolled out of the shipyards to be played in full at Derby Worlds.

Our early war North Africa collection had a couple of outings with one large battle and a smaller one later in the year, the latter being the start of a linked Scenario Campaign based on Op Compass.

The AWI collection saw the light of day again with a crack at the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse.

And then at the end of the YG year it was back to Mesopotamia with a rare opportunity to see the Turkish Troops attacking at Umm at Tubul.

New Units

A selection of the units added to the display cabinets, Really Useful Boxes and Box Files this year are;

Blake's 7

Spanish Civil War Cavalry


Lots of units added to the WW2 Desert collection this year.

As well as lots of reinforcements for WW1 Mesopotamia.

Looking Ahead

The main Projects stumbling along in the background are the 15mm Minden build where the Allies are nearing completion and Project Crusades where I have managed 4 units in 3 years. No doubt I will be side tracked by all sorts of nonsense but at least last year I didn't start a new period.

Minden British Cavalry
Gaming wise we are already on with a big Spanish Civil War battle (Quinto) whilst next up will be the 2nd Op Compass game followed by this years top secret WW2 Naval Campaign.

Thank You

That just leaves me to thank all of you who have visited YG over the last year. All the likes, pluses and comments are much appreciated and I hope some of the stuff I do is useful or inspiring for you just as I find other blogs inspiring.

And finally thanks to my regular attendees at Yarkshire Gamer, Lon, Ian, Steve, Rob and Roger, all of them friends now for many years. Those who are not able to attend for various reasons are always welcome back.

Happy New Yarkshire Gamer Year !

Monday, 12 February 2018

WW1 Black Watch in Mesopotamia

The latest unit completed for my Mesopotamia collection is this Battalion of Highlanders in glorious 28mm. It's been a while since I started this unit, I found and bought a small selection of the figures 12 months ago (more below) but didn't get round to purchasing the rest until a couple of months ago.

The full battalion has a 2 Fig HQ with 4 x 8 Fig companies and a HMG base. The figures themselves are from two seperate sources. The first was something I came across by chance, Minifigs have a small range called Forgotten Front Miniatures hidden away on the depths of their website covering 1914 - 1930 troops, it's worth checking out there are some weird and wonderful stuff in there. You can find the range HERE.

The Highlander figures come in 3 basic poses, charging, advancing and firing. However each pose has two versions, one in full kit, the other in "light order". I have included pics of the six different figures above. Unfortunately there are no command figures so I needed another source to complete the unit.

Another wasted hour spent perusing miniatures websites paid off when I found Empress Miniatures Jazz Age Imperialism range. Designed for post WW1 (just, 3rd Afgan War was 1919 !) I spotted these Highlanders, basically in the same kit, kilt aprons etc. I could complete the Command and also add in some Lewis Gun Teams, figures in the picture above.

Which just left me with a missing MG base, neither ranges had a suitable option so I was on the hunt again, thankfully Great War Miniatures do a Highlander MG team and that finished off the unit.

Although quite different, the three manufacturers figures fit together reasonably well and to get a unit of Highlanders on the table I can live with it.

Company Numbers on the bases.
The first Highlanders (Seaforths and Black Watch) arrived in Mesopotamia in the 1916 reinforcements which had been designated to consolidate Townsends Forces after the capture of Bagdad. Of course that never happened and the units ended up trying to break the Siege of Kut. If you are interested in the history I can recommend the book With A Highland Regiment in Mesopotamia which due to age is available free if you click the link. Inspired by the book I modelled the unit on the Black Watch battalion.

A great addition to the collection and something a little different from the norm, our little Mesopotamia adventure is up to the Seige so these guys will be in action soon.