Monday, January 20, 2014

Analogue Hobbies Challenge Entry - Mexican Revolution, and Chaco War

I've been a tad busy the last few weeks with a new job/project, so posting have been amiss. I've now fired in entries to two of the bi-weekly themes in the Analogue Painting challenge.
The first was a pair of figures inspired by the Wild Bunch film (a Peckinpah classic).

Both figures came from the excellent Mexican Revolution range brought out by Gringo 40's. I must say they were a real pleasure to paint and are full of character. I do hope Jed fills out the range more as it would be a great period to wargame (certainly as exciting as any Russian Civil War or Back of Beyond wargame).

Anyway the chap above is supposed to be the evil Mexican General Mapache from the film. Though judging from pictures he's probably based on Pancho Villa when he was briefly in Mexican Army uniform. I'll have to order another one from Gringo 40's as this lad is now winging his way to Canada as my entry fee to the Painting challenge.

The second chap is another "Federales" officer ("boo" I hear you shout). Another lovely sculpt, and he bears a striking resemblance to another character from the Wild Bunch film.

As this is two posts in one, my second entry were a pair of Chaco War inspired tankettes.

These two lovelies are Carden-Lloyds from Warlord Games. While not exactly the same as the versions deployed during the Chaco War, they come close enough for wargaming purposes (actual Bolivian Carden-Lloyd below with shorter cabin, sloping armour and sheet metal plate protection for the HMG).

As only a handful were ever used in the war, and nearly all were destroyed early on they'll do just fine. I lopped off the heads of a few of my Bolivian Chaco War figures to make the crew.

During the Battle of Nanawa (1933), these had been sent as part of a frontal; assault by the Bolivians, along with some light Vickers tanks and flamethrower teams against deeply entrenched Paraguayans. 

The battle was a bloodbath for the Bolivians who could not penetrate the deep defense, mines and barbed-wire erected by the Paraguayans (under the instructions of two Russian White Army officers who had extensive experience of the trench warfare on the Eastern Front). Hench why the battle is often referred to as the South American "Verdun."

Friday, January 03, 2014

Happy New Year - Part 2


So continuing on from Part 1... Happy New Year!   2013 was a pretty good year, though contracting opportunities, along with the economy seem to get worse with each year. Anyway, let's stick to the theme of the blog. It was a good start to the year with the Prague Wargames' Club annual pilgrimage to Salute in London. It was also a great opportunity to attend the Bloggers meet up for the first time; really excellent idea.

Apart from various family holidays and work commitments, the big adventure for 2013 was getting Orinoco Miniatures off the ground. It's still a tender chick that will need a bit more fattening up before I'm happy with it, but the omens seem good. One range seems to be up and running while another has just started. We'll see what interest will grow in the periods the figures cover this year.

Otherwise there was a lot of wargaming, especially both the "Dux's - Bellorum and Britanniarum, much painting, but not as much as planned, and some great walks of various battlefields (I visited various sites of the Piave front from WW1, as well as Kolin, White Mountain and Jankov again).

Now in terms of my resolutions for 2013, well I got about half way there (as I thought), though stretch goals are what I give myself, otherwise nothing would get done. So how does the scoreboard look?
  • Complete "The big project" – to run an Austerlitz (Slavkov) wargame in 28mm - well this is still ongoing. We've moved to back a few months. My partner in crime needed to finish his PHD this year, and the Orinoco Miniatures launch took up most of my focus
  • Adding to and adapting the French force from the Austerlitz game for the French Revolutionary wars - kind of half done as it just involves some extra command stands
  • Visit more battlefields - Done! The remaining reports on all those already visited will appear this month
  • Complete/bring to conclusion an exciting project I started early in 2012 - Done (this was the plan for Orinoco Miniatures), actually it went better to plan as I managed to get the Chaco War range running before year's end
  • Get the Dark Age Early Saxons finished during January (along with some lovely buildings from Gripping Beast), and get the ball rolling with dark age gaming in the club - all done
  • Complete another 1000 point force for General de Brigade (most likely 15mm Russians) - not done as I've changed my mind about  the scale and where I want to go with gaming Napoleonics
  • Seriously try to eat into the lead mountain: - not really done... Early Saxon army was painted, and Auterlitz army is half painted. Not much more than that.
  • Build more quality terrain for the club –  Well many buildings were painted (including for the Mediterranean), but not much terrain. Material for the trenches is now sitting on the workbench, though I may construct them for Chaco War rather than WW1 trenches (though WW1 stays on the list)
  • More regular blog posts, with a target for 2013 of at least 50 - well I reached 46. I had a number of other blog posts drafted, but didn't see the sense in rushing them out to make it to 50, so I feel that this goal was reached.
  • And the final and most important project is to finally sell property one and find  a larger house (with man cave) - fail I'm afraid. My better half and I are still looking for something suitable (the housing stock in Prague is in poor supply, of poor quality and generally overpriced; such is life).
 So 5 out of 10 done. So not so much having to eat my hat as a quick bite around the edges :-)

For 2014 a slimmer list:
  1. Get to my 1000 point target in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, this will also double for tackling the lead mountain in 2014
  2. Finish the Austerlitz project (and the extra command stands for the Revolutionary Wars)
  3. Put on a key battle from the South American Wars of Liberation with the new Orinoco Miniatures figures (if feasible maybe at one of the main shows towards years end, we'll see). Also as a secondary goal, a few Chaco War battles
  4. Bulk out both the Liberators and Chaco War ranges
  5. Keep to the target of another 50 blog posts this year
  6. Build more terrain, though as an aspiration (more storage space is wanting at the moment). It will just be a few trenches/foxholes and mortar pits for the Chaco War for now
  7. More battlefields visits goes without saying, though this is a pleasure not a chore. We'll see where work and travels take me for this one
  8. House move is still a big aspiration for 2014. We may have to force the hand of fate

So again, best New Year wishes to all, and success in 2014!