Sunday, February 26, 2017

BTD German Gebirgsjager

Rather than succumb to a recent Black Tree Design offer of 50% discount against WWII infantry, I maintained a modicum of restraint and instead struck out to paint a few of these figures already resting at ease in The Lead Pile.  My limited WWII interests tend to focus on the sideshows during the early campaigns of the war.  Since German Gebirgsjager saw service in both Norway and Crete operations, German mountain troops seemed a reasonable addition to my British and German 28mm Chain of Command forces.  A small pile of BTD Gerbirgsjager lay in The Lead Pile so I began by pulling enough figures to form one section.  Going through the BTD Gebirgsjager lead  I found enough figures to field a full platoon of three sections.  A second section is on the painting desk now.  
The BTD figures looked good with much character in their unpainted state.  After applying paint, I am even more impressed with these German mountain troops.  Excellent figures with enough raised detail to make the figures a snap to paint.  Looking forward to diving into the second section of these models.  First, the painting desk is a bit backed up with several other units readying themselves for departure from the work station.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Commendable Service from...

Yes, Campaign Games Miniatures (CGM) and owner Dermot provided a most satisfactory experience on a recent order.

I have always had exemplary service from CGM over the years.  That, based on a handful of orders over the years.  As a figure manufacturer, CGM's 15mm Napoleonic figures are first rate and rank only slightly below AB.  Some figures I rate over AB.  CGM Napoleonic cavalry are especially well done.  Shipping from Barcelona, Spain to Spokane, WA has always been incredibly fast.  On one order, Dermot tried to connect me to an order while I traveled across his great Spanish countryside.  He gets high marks for effort on that one!

CGM's Shopping Cart user interface is the best I have encountered.  Adding and deleting from the Shopping Cart is a snap.  No 40% of order value for shipping to USA either.  Rather, CGM's shopping cart calculates shipping charges on the fly so a buyer always knows the shipping cost upfront.  Now, I encountered a few glitches with the shipping costs but that was due to the webmaster entering in incorrect weights for some of the Battalion Packs I was planning to order.  A couple of quick email exchanges with Dermot and the issue was resolved with shipping cost computed appropriately.

What this interface means for the buyer is that orders can be optimized to minimize shipping cost.  Three examples follow:   
Two Battalion packs of infantry carry a 4.00 euro shipping cost to USA
and 12 Battalion packs of infantry carry a 10.60 euro shipping cost to USA

While 13 Battalion packs of infantry carry a 21.50 euro shipping cost to USA.
Shipping threshold identified with 12 battalion packs!
Given this little exercise, I optimized my order to maximize figure count and not exceed the 10.60 euro shipping cost.  Well, not exactly maximizing figure count since I added a battalion pack of cavalry into the order.

My order for 15mm Napoleonics came to 120 foot and 8 horse for 63.27 euro.  Breaking these down on a per unit basis, these figures cost 0.45 euro per foot and 1.11 euro per horse including postage to USA.  That is a bargain!

In addition to his own CGM figures, Dermot also stocks Mirliton Miniatures from Italy.  Mirliton manufactures my favorite cavalry for my 15mm 1859 project and ordering through CGM is much less expensive than going direct to Italy.

As for shipping speed, I placed my order on 13FEB2017 and the package from Dermot arrived in my mailbox on 22FEB2017!  From ordering to receipt from Spain to Washington State in eight days!

Great product, user-friendly shopping interface, reasonable shipping rates, and fast service; four good reasons to give CGM a look.  Well done Dermot!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Italian Archers for Great Italian War

Two Impetvs skirmish stands of Italian archers muster off the painting desk.  These bowmen are a forerunner to a larger tranche of Italian Wars' figures preparing to debouch from the workbench.
These eight figures are from The Assault Group (TAG) and will provide some light infantry support for a potential Venetian contingent.  Rather than fielding an entire Venetian army, more likely, they will be utilized in whichever army could use some bow-armed skirmishers.
Decked-out in a red/white motif, these figures lend a touch of Venetian flair to my eye.  The TAG figures are excellently sculpted but more slight and slender than many other manufacturers' figures.  Having painted a TAG pike block (see TAG pike block), a few arquebusier (see TAG arquebusier), and now a few archers, I find the TAG Renaissance range quite pleasing.  I ought to consider investigating TAG cavalry.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Assyrian Chariot #9 Rehab

The last chariot in the long rehab project rolls off the workbench!
This last chariot is the King's chariot adorned with sunshade and leopard skin covered horses.  Quite a spectacle of conspicuous consumption.
The King's chariot required more rehab than the others before.  The riders were detached with arms missing on a few, one wheel was broken, and the sun shade was in three pieces.  To fit into the storage box, the King's ride had to have the sunshade "chopped" making his ride even more customized.  Put back together with the standard touch ups, the King and his fleet of nine chariots are ready for battle.  Next, plans for painting and fielding a gameable force is in order.  
With a large number of Assyrian figures summoned to The Lead Pile in anticipation of this project, time to get out the pencil and paper to draft an army list or two.  A group shot of the nine refurbished chariots arrayed for battle is a good idea.  That activity I will save for a future post when the game table has sufficient cleared space.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Assyrian Chariot #8 Rehab

After more than one month halt in the chariot refurbishment project, work resumes on the two remaining war carts.
Chariot #8 required the removal, flipping of the yoke, and reattachment like all of the other chariots.  One reader asked how the yokes were originally attached, why they needed to be flipped, and how could I tell?  To help answer those questions, see the photo below showing the original attachment to the yoke.
Yoke affixed upside down
The yoke ought to be connected underneath the tongue with the yoke collar fastened through the top and not the bottom.  A quick pry off from the tongue, a flip and reaffixing is all that is needed.
After that, a few paint touch ups, a coat of stain, and Dullcote are all are needed to bring #8 up to specs.  Chariot is from Wargames Foundry.
Eight down and only one to go!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Spoils of Victory!

Pasha Moustasha painted by Mad Padre
During The Mad Padre's 2016 Diplomacy campaigning season, I took up the role of Turkey, "the sick man of Europe."  Coming into the game after the initial rounds of diplomacy, I was under the gun from the start with many alliances already in place.  Some of these alliances clearly had a big target painted upon Turkey.
Fall 1907 Maneuvers (Turkey in yellow)
Coming to power following a coup, the strict but amiable Pasha, guided Turkey on to victory by Fall of 1907.  After the Fall 1907 turn, Germany, in second place to Turkey, conceded to the Pasha.  Turkey was declared the victor holding 15 of the 18 Supply Centers needed to win outright.  The game was great fun with much behind-the-scenes diplomacy and intrigue.  To get in the spirit of the game, Turkey produced a regular propaganda newsletter entitled, The Ankara What.  Publishing that tabloid was great fun.  I bet back issues are still available.

As a reward for victory, Michael generously offered to paint a figure to honor the winner.  In the role of Turkey, I could think of no more suitable figure than Bob Murch's Portly Pasha Moustasha.
Portly Pasha Moustasha arrived in yesterday's post and I am most pleased with the result!  Michael has rendered the Pasha expertly and captures his personality perfectly.
Michael, you provided the Diplomacy players a top-notch gaming experience, all deftly moderated by yourself.  It was great fun and I always awaited each missive with great anticipation.  Your Pasha is fantastic and will always hold a place of honor upon my shelf.
Thank you! 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Russian Infantry in the Crimea

Activity at the painting desk returns briefly to push out a 23-figure battalion of Russian infantry for the 25mm Great Game project.  While the project is yet to see action in anger, Russian and vassal forces will be in good position when called up.
Figures are Wargames Foundry from the excellent 25mm Crimean War range.  As mentioned many times before, these Foundry Russians are terrific sculpts and the greatcoats make painting and readying for battle a snap.  The battalion seen here is the last of the Foundry Russian lead in The Lead Pile and march out in a mix of helmet and forage cap.  Four such battalions can now be mustered for action. 
Enough figures for only one more unit remain to complete before plans of project expansion.  In The Lead Pile are 23 figures to field one more Russian infantry battalion.  The figures this time are a test batch from Great War Miniatures.  At first glance, the Great War look a bit more chunky than Foundry but should look fine on the gaming table.

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