|Churchill, the Big Man paints merrily away|
So, while lots of my lucky Australian gaming friends are down in Canberra at CANCON, Australia's biggest wargaming show, I thought I should post a wrap-up of 2013 and my plans for 2014.
First off, in real life, 2013 was pretty momentous. I got married to Laura, the love of my life, in March, finished university in November and started teaching 'for real' in September! This year i'll be working full time (yay!), and officially graduating in June.
Last year saw me getting a load of gaming in, including a load of 'firsts.' It saw my first foray into WWII aerial wargaming with Bag the Hun 2, my first experience of play testing with the excellent Chain of Command rules, and running my first participation game at my first Australian war-games show, MOAB! I also got a bunch of games with the blokes at the local gaming group. Lots of WWII rapid fire-ish scale stuff using homebrew WWII rules, as well as scratching the Napoleonic itch with a few games of Sharp Practice. As well as all of this, I caught the X-Wing bug and have played quite a few games of this excellent and fast little game.
For 2014, my plan is to keep this up. I'm going to check out the next meeting of the Central Coast Wargames club, which actually meets literally just down the road from me. I'll take my SAGA vikings down and hopefully get a chance to see what all the fuss is about this ruleset! I'm also looking forward to the Chain of Command campaign supplement, which Rich is currently furiously working away on. I'm planning on running a few campaigns, using 1940 French and Germans, as well as my Normandy British Infantry/Paras and 21st Panzer Division troops. Additionally, I've chatted with a few of the guys at the local gaming club who are keen to put on a model show this year. If it all goes to plan, we'll be putting on a few participation games as well, of Sharp Practice, some basic WWII 'introduction' rules for the kids, alongside Chain of Command - kind of a mini war-games show on the NSW Central Coast.
With the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I'm also planning on running a Chain of Command campaign around the landings on Omaha and the battles inland around St Laurent-sur-Mer, and another around the Airborne bridgehead across the Orne.
Last year saw me finish of a fair amount of painting. I finished some little 1/300 aircraft for BTH2, added more bits to my 20mm Normandy British platoon, finished a 21st Panzer division panzer grenadier platoon along with a load of armour and support options, and painted up a British Airborne platoon along with a bunch more support options. I've also finished quite a bit of terrain, including a scratch built Chateau St. Come. Finally, I finished off a few more units of figures for Sharp Practice, so all in all a very productive year for me. In case you haven't noticed, i'm not one of those painters who finish of thousands of figures, so the 200 odd figures and 30 or so vehicles I completed actually mark the most productive painting year i've ever had! So i'm well chuffed. :) I also got a large display cabinet, which I was surprised to find is already almost full of painted figures!
For the coming year, i've got a few projects. I've actually joined the Guild's annual build competition, and am going to be enlisting in the Toofatlardies painting campaign over on Vis Lardia Online. For my Birthday and Christmas I scored a load of lead, some books and an airbrush and compressor. I've been experimenting with the airbrush, which is great for painting armour and which i'm hoping to use to paint 28mm horses, which I find almost unbearably unpleasant to paint by hand for some unknown reason. Probably because it takes almost as long as a figure and well... it's only a horse! Hopefully airbrush will allow me to paint them up in batches quickly.
So, for 2014 my admittedly rather ambitious planned projects are as follows - 20mm stuff is in roughly chronological order, the rest will doubtless be interspersed throughout. Please hold your laughter till the end. :)
20mm 1940 French and Germans for Chain of Command
For this project, i'll be painting up a platoon a piece for these troops along with a load of support. For the French, I've a full platoon of motorised dragoons along with their trucks, a motorcycle combination squad mounted and dismounted, Panhard armoured cars, SOMUA medium tanks, some more Hotchkiss tanks, a team each for 25mm AT gun, hotchkiss machine-gun, 60mm mortar, and a 47mm AT gun, even a Char B1 bis. I'd also love to add some Renault R-35s, a Latil staff car, and an FCM-36 or two. Figures are mostly the excellent Early War Miniatures, with a smattering of Battlefield. Armour and vehicles are all EWM, bar two plastic S-Models Hotchkiss H-39s.
For the Germans, i've got the full infantry platoon along with a raft of Panzers I thru IV (the Pz IV will be a conversion from a Panzer IVH - my first conversion), Krupp trucks, SdKfz 222s etc. I'll undoubtedly add more support to this force. For the Jerries I'll be using a mix of figures from Battlefield, Kelly's Heroes, and Elheim. The vehicles are again a grab bag from S-Models, MMS, Dragon, ICM, Pegasus and the single PSC Panzer IV conversion.
20mm D-Day US 29th Division Platoon for Chain of Command
I'm looking forward to getting my hands on them, and have dug out a Britannia DD Sherman which i'll paint up from 741st Tank Battalion, and of course i'll have to get a Britannia LCVP or two. This is a little bit of a side project, but i've always loved these figures, and with the 70th anniversary of D-Day now is the perfect time! I'll eventually add some more support options to let the yanks of the 29th Blue and Grey division battle through the bocage towards St. Lo.
20mm Russian Platoon for Chain of Command
This is another side project. I'll be trying out the 'super fast Soviets' method Piers Brand posted over on the guild to paint up a platoon of Plastic Soldier Russians leavened with some of the excellent Elheim figures. These guys also have a few PSC T-34s and a Dragon waiting in the painting queue, and the recently released T-35 from S-Models is impractical but utterly irresistible!
I'll probably add some T-26s from S-Models too to so my 1940 Germans can head east.
20mm Late War Germans
I've a load of vehicles to finish off for my Germans. A couple of Dragon Tiger Is, alongside an SdKfz 234/1 Armoured car, a Marder I, and more crazy 21st Panzer Division vehicles. Also, there'll be some more crew, as well as an 8 man recce team to go with the S&S models SdKfz 250/1 'neu' halftracks i painted up last year. I'll also need a one or two more MG34 teams for the Omaha project.
|Bunker above St-Laurent draw, Omaha Beach|
28mm SAGA Vikings
28mm SAGA Norman Warband
28mm SAGA Byzantine Warband
28mm Minden Seven Years' War Prussians and Austrians
1/300 1940 RAF/Luftwaffe/Armee de l'Air Aircraft
So, there you have it. It's really very ambitious for me, but I figure if I remain relatively disciplined and avoid the dreaded wargamer lurgi, the symptom of which is crying 'oh look, those (insert obscure conflict here) figures are very nice. I really do need them don't I....
Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it!
|Early War Miniatures French wait patiently for some paint|