Thursday, March 24, 2016

More Work on my AWI Troops

I decided to go through the rest of my lead pile and work out what I have in terms of miniatures beyond my immediate painting table.

New York Volunteers: 13 additional troops. That would bring me to five total groups of infantry for this unit.

Delancey's Brigade: 22 additional troops. This would give me two more groups of infantry and a group of skirmishers. I already have painted or partially painted two groups of infantry and a group of light infantry for this brigade.

British Legion Cavalry: I have 16 unpainted miniatures. The problem is that at least one of these is the musician and the other is an officer. Groups are 8 in size for cavalry. I will have to figure something out with this. Probably just buy another pack of the Peter Pig fellows and be done with it.

British Legion Infantry: I have one figure. That won't do much good. I think the folks at Peter Pig threw him in as a bonus or something.

Militia: Ah, my favorite troop type. I have enough for three groups of 10 figures and a group of skirmishers.

Artillery: I have another set of gun crew and a cannon. That would give me one militia crew and gun and one British crew and gun. That should be plenty.

Here, I have far less in terms of troop types.

Mounted Militia: I found I have 14 of these fellows. I already have four painted up. So that gives me two groups to play with.

Militia: I have been lazy. I did not realize how many figures I had laying around. I have 54 unpainted militia. That is another five groups of them to field. If I can get paint on them.

Artillery: I have one militia gun crew and another cannon. In a pinch, I could always borrow the militia artillery from the Loyalists if it came down to it. So plenty of troops.

Dead: These were a happy find. I have nineteen dead figures that I need to paint up. I also have six dead horses. That should be plenty to scatter around the battlefield. I am hoping my militia will break long before i have to put out 22 dead figures.

That brings me to a sobering thought. At my painting pace, I won't finish these until I am 80. Anyone know of a reasonable US based painter? I need some militia painted up.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Finding an Old Friend

One of the big problems with the internet is the temporary nature of many very useful sites. One was my go to source for AWI uniforms. It was a page that was stuck onto a corner of a Hotel's website. That page has since vanished from the face of the internet. Until, I learned that you can do wildcard searches in! With about 20 minutes of digging, i found it. You can go here and check it out.

The guy did his homework and the site is well worth preserving.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sabot Basing for 15mm - I think I have it

After the wood was a complete failure, I looked for something else. I found a sheet of styrene laying around and decided to give it a try. It was a slightly thick sheet and proved to be a complete pain to cut into my shape - 3" long by an 1 1/2" wide. I then glued the washers on it and gave it a quick coat of spray paint. This proved to be a very effective cutting guide once they were pried off. I then drilled my holes and it was perfect. It just is a bit thick.

Here is a group of eight Delancy Brigade troopers mounted in the sabot base. I have not finished the bases but I think it is looking pretty good so far. I just think the styrene is too thick. So I ran out to the store. I got some thinner sheeting that is super easy to cut. Score it with an exacto knife and it breaks right along the scoring. I also figure out what to do with militia basing. Militia are in groups of 10. I have a similar base but the rows are offset by one. This will make it very obvious that these are militia when on that base.

I have only rough cut these so far. I have to drill the holes yet and glue them to a magnet base before it's all said and done. At least I have my strategy now. The nice part is, I can rebase my Napoleonics and they can use the same sabots.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sharp Practice 2 and New Napoleonics Figures

Early in the month, I was cruising through eBay looking for a way to quickly update my Napoleonic troops. I was looking for some painted miniatures and came across a company from China. They are selling painted miniatures. They were selling some rather nice looking troops. I thought about getting some riflemen but decided on regular line infantry to fill out the ranks that I already have. Well for about $30, I picked up 24 very nicely painted miniatures. They arrived way quicker than the promised turn around time on eBay.

So I have eight fellows painted up to be in a center company. Six fellows who look to be grenadier company men and four guys in the light company. then there are two fellows in strange hats that I don't recognize yet. Any ideas out there? I could not find them on google but I honestly did not look that hard. My go to site: let me down.

They also came with an officer, a drummer, an ensign and a line sergeant. Very useful stuff here. They normally shipped based but I want to change up my existing basing to sabot basing with an 8 spot sabot and the figures mounted on small washers. A quick note on checkout and they showed up unbased. I could have probably told them buff facings too. Anyway, I will see how well they mix with my existing fellows. I know mine had buff facings and these guys are yellow so there will be some touch up.

I am very happy with my purchase and would be glad to buy from them again.

Other Stuff

I finished the first scenario for the new AWI scenario book. It is coming along quite nicely. Spent some miniature money on books for research. Been enjoying reading up on Marion and his battles. What I need are 2 playtesters who can run the scenarios and give me feedback. I am doing my testing in 15mm. I need to know if they will work as well in 28mm or 15mm from someone who does not have the ideas in his head and is reading too much between the lines that is not explicitly stated. Any takers? I just finished the battle at Great Savannah and am starting on the skirmish at Kingstree next.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sharp Practice 2 - Figure Basing.... Almost

OK, I have a force of British Provincials and Rebel Militia that I painted up for the first round of Sharp Practice. They have been in a drawer collecting dust for years. I playtested a number of games of Sharp Practice with them but I got bored painting them and ended up with Napoleonic French and British standing in for the rest of the figures that I needed. The new version of Sharp Practice provides a more rigid group numbers. The old version was flexible (6 to 12 figures per group). This has left me with much head scratching as to what to do.

My original basing scheme has three figures on a square base with additional figures mounted individually for casualty removal. This worked at the time but I don't like it a whole lot. I am looking at the wonderful pictures from Lard Island and started to think, what about Sabot basing? Sure, but how?

I think I finally came up with a plan. We will see if it survives first contact with the enemy, so to speak. First, I wanted something that will withstand game play and hold the figures in place. Since I am using 15mm figures and don't have easy access to British steel currency, I am stuck with buying something more expensive than pennies. What I came up with is #10 steel Washers. I got a pack of 50 for $2.36 at the Home Depot. Each soldier will be based on one of these guys. Next, I had an old magnetic sheet laying around. Its around 4" by 8" in size. They hold the washers rather well. Next is what will be sitting on top of the magnetic sheet is a piece of Midwest Basswood. A 1/16" by 4" by 24" piece that was sitting in my garage. There is probably something better out there but this was already paid for years ago. No expenditure to be noted by the wife.

So now to figure out how to put this together. Looking at the quick and dirty reference sheet that Rich so kindly provided, I know that my group size for Provincial Colonial Regulars is 8 men. So I grabbed 8 washers and moved over to the basswood. Laying the washers out, I came up with a shape that was 1 1/2" by 3 1/4" in size. The washers fit in there just fine. This should have enough room for figures in odd poses to fit one behind the other without too much profanity later on. They may not look as closely ranked as my previous basing, but they should do. This is a test after all. I placed a tiny dot of PVA glue in the corner of each washer and put them into place. Once I had them where I wanted them, I saw that they were too wide. A quick trim and it was ready.

This I promptly primed black. This did 2 things for me. 1) it gave me 8 washers that are primed. 2) When I peel off the washers, I now have a guide for where to drill. The primer is the cheapest can of spray paint that Home Depot had that offered that adheres to wood, plastic and metal. That was rather convenient of them. While waiting for the paint to dry, I figured out what drill bit to use. It looks like the 1/2" bit should work just fine.

While waiting for the paint to dry, I made a terrible discovery. I am nearly out of matt varnish. Bummer. I guess there is a trip scheduled sometime soon to a hobby store in my future.

The spray paint dried and I pried off each of the washers. I now had a cutting guide for the holes needed. Things look simple enough at this point. But that is not to be. Utter and complete failure. The wood cracked in half destroying the attempt. Now to step back and punt.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Delancey's Brigade and AWI Sharp Practice


I managed to stay up last night and work on 8 more members of Delancey's Brigade. This force is coming along quite nicely. I now have 10 infantry, an officer and a trumpeter. The figures are Old Glory and look like they would make great skirmishers or light infantry. I also started work on another set of my New York Volunteers as well. They have more of a line infantry look. Still progress is being made.

New Scenario Book in the Works

I just gave a read through of the latest playtest version of the Sharp Practice v2 rules. I got excited about it. The intent was to update This Land Divided and With Fire and Sword to work with the new rules. Well, what it did do was start me down the path of the 3rd book in the series. Tentatively, it is titled "Damned Old Fox" after Tarleton's quote when he was chasing Francis Marion's men across the South Carolina swamps.

This Land Divided covered actions in the Georgia backwoods in 1779. With Fire and Sword followed Elijah Clarke into South Carolina following the fall of Charleston as well as the actions of Thomas Sumter. I have excluded Francis Marion's battles even with my Camden Campaign from the TFL 2009 Christmas Special. Now I am circling back to his actions beginning in August of 1780 and following him up to his appointment as a Brigadier General under Nathaniel Green in December of 1780.