Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gardening - It's sorta like model building if you squint enough

 SWBO has had me working in the garden for the past few weekends so not a lot of modeling has gotten done.  My wife was unmoved by my pleas of needing to do "stuff" for a my upcoming games at Historicon.  She can be unyielding at times.  So it was off to do her bidding in the garden.  I was desperate for blog content so here are the obligatory garden shots.  First up two pictures of our Lilly's.

 Lilly's grow really well on the eastern shore of Maryland (well just about anything that's not tropical grows well here).  This is a strain my wife, the mad doctor has developed.  Oh the unspeakable horrors of her plant laboratory (also know as the "garage").  To be honest, they kinda look like normal pink lilly's but the "boss" says there a special breed - who am I to question a Dr?

 Some roses.  I think these are miniature roses - the extent of my horticultural knowledge is "green side up"

 I forgot what these guys are also, so lets call them pain-in-the-ass yellow flowers.  Why the name - 'cause I have to cut them down to the root every fall and they grow to be about six feet tall!

Our vegetable garden - it needs to be fenced or it becomes a salad bar for the local critters.  A few are smart enough to burrow underneath so there are a few traps on the inside baited with peanut butter.  We've got three rotations of tomatoes planted this year along with...

 Lots of peppers, squash, cukes, okra, eggplant, beets, and new this year broccoli.

 The other side of the garden has a wall of raspberry bushes.

 Lastly, my pride and joy, our fig tree.  We'll have figs and lots of them in about 2-3 weeks.  This tree is a white fig tree and for some reason they grow very well when planted next to a fireplace.  The one problem with fig trees is they produce a lot and if one doesn't police the area under the tree for fallen fruit every raccoon for 10 miles will come to live in your yard.  Raccoons love figs - they really love them and then they make a mess everywhere afterwards.  Apparently, for raccoons, figs have a very strong and almost immediate laxative effect.
Lastly, we were again visited this year by our favorite neighbor, "Stumpette" the terrapin turtle  who took a dip in the pool.  As you can see from the picture she is missing her front right paw, hence the name.  We know she's a female because she comes to our yard every year to lay her eggs and then take a dip in the pool.  Terrapins always lay there eggs in the same spot (within 10+/- feet).  This year, Stumpette was sporting a very fashionable barnacle on her shell which I'm sure is the latest fashion trend for turtles.  By the way, I think she's a bit smitten with our pool cleaner as you can see in the picture.

Hopefully I can get some modeling in over the next few days or there will be some infantry regiments at Historicon that use blue or grey painted figs as figures.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Great Service from Battlefront / Wargames Illustrated

Like a lot of you, I look forward to getting my monthly "fix" of gaming magazines and really enjoy the reading time in the, ummm, "Library".  I sensed there was a problem with my most current issue of Wargames Illustrated (309) when it arrived in one of those special bags the US postal service uses for damaged items.

It seems the magazine got burnt as if was covered in soot and the last 20 os so pages where missing an inch or so from the sides.  But this isn't a post to whine about a faulty product.  I sent Battlefront a short email about the issue on Sunday, got a response on Monday indicating a new magazine was on the way and, surprisingly, received the magazine on Wednesday!  Now that's excellent customer service.

I guess I shouldn't use the term "surprisingly" because the few times I've needed customer service from Battlefront it's been lighting fast.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ironclad for Out Upcoming Historicon Games

 Mike's made some great progress on the ironclad model that will be the focal point of two upcoming games at Historicon (F-295 and S-296).  The is a 28mm scale model of a confederate ironclad - complete with interior.  A lot of detail work remains but the ship looks grand.  It's over 31 inches long and 9 inches wide.

Here's a shot of the basic interior - there will be a lot of fighting over her at the con.  There's still room to sign up for the Friday night game.  Our Saturday game is, sadly, sold out.  Many thanks go out to Ernie at Architects of War for sponsoring both games

I hope to see you at Historicon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stare Down with a 10 Point Buck

I was driving out from our place in St Michaels and ran into a very rare sight - a 10 point buck!.  You can see him the picture I took from my car.  Well you can kinda see him in the center of the photo.  If you enlarge it it's a bit clearer.  Points on a buck refer to the number of branches the antlers have and is used as a proxy for the size, overall health and sometimes age (based on species) of the buck.

Seeing a buck this close to our house is uncommon and seeing one with this large a rack is very rare.  The interesting thing is he held his ground with me for about 15 minutes before ambling off.

When I was a youth growing up in Alabama, I used to hunt a lot and, no, it wasn't with a flintlock, I'm not that old.  I haven't gone hunting in years as sport just doesn't appeal to me anymore.  It's a great sport for those who do pursue it, but to me it's less like hunting and more like ambushing.

Of course seeing a buck this close made me re-think hunting as a past time but I think I'll stick with more manly pursuits like miniature gaming and sailing.  Besides I'd be violating the no hunting sign my wife made me post (on the left).  I suspect that, if I shot a deer on our property, my lovely wife's wrath would turn the hunter into the hunted!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Black Powder Test Game

 My son and I had a test game last night using my newly painted ACW figs and the Black Powder ruleset.  This was less a play test of the scenario for Historicon and more just a refresh on the rules.  Sorry for the sparse scenery on the table I need to make a lot of 28mm ACW themed terrain by July!

 The focal point of the battle was a major hill that was held by the Union - some of you may remember this Hill from my Lundys Lane game at Fall In 2012.  It's served as a focal point for many a Warof 1812 battle and I suspect it will serve that role again this summer.

 Here's a shot of two confederate regiments sneaking up on the small dismounted Union cavalry regiment that's was screening the hill' far right flank.

 Some reb cavalry creeping up from the rear

 A Union regiment and gun rushing to reinforce their right flank
 More reinforcements being shifter to the threatened flank
 A view of the confederate attack - all full brigade of infantry ply two calvary regiments.
Lastly a view down the center of the Union - they've got a lot of troops.

The game played well and served to knock a lot of my Black Powder cobwebs out.  I also just wanted to see how the new troops looked on the table and was pleased with the look.

As I indicated before, I need to make a lot of terrain by mid july to flesh out the battlefield - more woods, a few houses fences and some better hills.  At least since both my games at Historicon (F-295 and S-296 in the PEL) are sponsored by Architects of War, I'll have access to some high quality stuff.

There are still one or two spots open on the games so if you're interested signup now.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Confederate Ironclad Crewman & Marines

One of the features of the upcoming games at Historicon will be a full model of an Confederate ironclad in 28mm - which means there need to be some crew figures.  Redoubt makes a pack of ACW ironclad crew which will fit the need.  I will say the guys at Redoubt need to work on there website as I found these under "other" and not within the ACW category.  These are 28mm metals and the pack comes with 12 crewman/gunners, 12 marines and 6 officers / attendants.  I've managed to paint up 6 crewman, 6 marines and one officer so far.

 The paint jobs need a little bit more work.  The figures are so-so - thy had a lot of flash and had some pits in them that needed a little bit of greenstuff.  On the positive side all the heads are cast separately and have a cast on pin which all fit without any real bother.

The marines came three poses, 4 standing firing, 4 kneeling firing and 4 in various stages of reloading.  I kinda made up the uniform colors, but I'm sure at some point during the ACW some confederate wore colors just like these if you squinted when looking at him.

I've got another 6 crewman and marines and probably 1 or 2 command figures to finish up.

Sorry for the picture quality