Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Re-basing Complete.

Finished off basing the Hellenistic collection this morning before tidying the hobby stuff back into its respective drawers. The last unit to get the treatment were some venerable, but very nice Foundry World of the Greeks archers:

That will be it for anything games related for a few days, leisure time for now will be occupied with eating, drinking & generally making merry, starting as of now with Clash of the Titans on Channel 5.

This year has been a non starter for actual wargaming, but I mean to finish the year with a flourish by taking on my usual opponent Mr. Ireland across the field of Korupedion ( Corupedium).
One of the more obscure Successor battles, Korupedion was fought in 281BC, north of Sardis in Western Asia Minor between the last of Alexander's Diadochi; Seleucus Nicator & Lysimachus. Both of these gentlemen were Septegenarians by this point but obviously still up for a good scrap.
Seleucus supposedly instigated the war because of some dynastic insult, but the real reason is more likely to have been the death of Ptolemy I Soter the year before. Ptolemy was an important ally of Lysimachus, helping sustain his somewhat un-popular rule & his demise would have given Seleucus an opportunity to invade  the Lysimachid territories in Macedonia & Greece finally re-uniting Alexander's empire.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Some Miniatures for Corupedion.

As promised earlier here is some eye candy:

Greek Hoplites. Victrix Miniatures.

Persian Archers & Light Troops, mainly Crusader with a couple of Vendel Miniatures command.

A&A Miniatures Slingers.

Maiotian Infantry, Vendel Miniatures.

Thracians, Wargames Foundry.

Foundry African Elephant, mahout as supplied, crew Crusader I think.

Scratchbuilt chariot, chassis started life as a GW elf chariot, other bits from spares box.
Looking through the above I regret not buying more of the various Persians from Vendel Miniatures when they were still available this side of the pond, the variety of weird & wonderful troop types from the Achaemenid lands really was very remarkable.

And the Festive Wargame ths year will be... ta-da.. Corupedion.

For those of us unfamiliar with this particular battle it took place in Asia Minor in 281BC and was a contest between the last of the Diadochi: Seleucus & Lysimachus. Other than the causes of the disagreement & the outcome, very little information has come down to us concerning the make up of the armies and how Seleucus came to prevail. Fertile ground then for a gamer with time on his hands on a wet Sunday.
Here then are the first tentative stabs at army lists for the two sides.


2x10no Companions in wedge.
12no Horse Archers.
10 or 12no Kappadokian Noble Cavalry ( massed or wedge?)
9no Tarentines

4x28no Phalangites

16no Archers
2x16no Peltasts ( mixed tribesmen from various eastern provinces)

2no Elephants (no howdah)
1no scythed chariot ( maybe?)


10no Companions in wedge.
9no Thracian Noble Cavalry in wedge.
9no Horse Archers.
9no Tarentines

3x28no Phalangites
2x30no Hoplites

2x16no Peltasts
8no Slingers
8no Archers

20no Thracian Infantry (Warband)

Hopefully this gives sufficient character to each army without falling into caricature. I could perhaps include an Elephant in the Lysimachid army as they were available to him, but in very low numbers when compared to the Seleucid army. Anyway as they are un-armoured & un-towered these will only be useful as a cavalry screen, which is as it should be, so shouldn't unbalance things too much.
The use of the scythed chariot in the Seleucid army is also 50/50, most of the time they just sit on the table dying under a storm of missile fire, but just occasionally they do what they are supposed to & devastate a crucial unit. Highly amusing but liable to have a horrible effect on what is supposed to be a long & enjoyable game.

As ever we will be using WAB 1.5 rules, there may be better sets available, but I'm too lazy to learn them.
To be played on 8x4' table because thats the biggest we can fit on our kitchen table.

More thoughts & some pictures of the newly re-based figures to follow.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Early Successor Elephants.

The re-basing project commenced earlier this week has ground to a halt as the commissariat division of the Handgrenadealien empire has failed to keep up with demand for the tufts required to complete this project.
In mitigation my basing usually only has to keep up with my painting, which at the best of times can generously be called steady; hence a week of finishing bases has placed un-expected demands on my supply of scenic materials.
As a consequence I have had to find another project to occupy Saturday evening, this being a pair of Ebob pachyderms & riders that I started some time ago & failed to finish:

This pair are a fairly major scratchbuild consisting of Ebob Indian elephants with green stuff saddlecloths crewed by riders constructed from A&A miniatures Prodromoi legs, A&A and Crusader torso's & heads from either of the afore-mentioned ranges or sculpted using green stuff.
These were originally built for use in a re-fight of Gabiene which never materialised & so have lurked unseen in the back of the Hellenistic esoterica drawer for a few years, but now they are complete it would be churlish not to put them to good use and they could fit in with a lingering itch to bring the battle of Corupedium to the tabletop.
Need a bit of time to reflect on this plan over a few gin based cocktails but it feels like a go-er.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Macedonian Base Modernization.

This project has come as a bit of a surprise; I was trying to find a painting project to get stuck into last night & not having anything readily to hand decided to give my completed miniatures an overhaul, sticking spears back on, repairing any chipped paint- you get the picture.
Anyway, long story short looking through the Hellenistic collection it became apparent that some of my older units were in serious need of some detail work on their bases. A fair proportion of them were completed in the pre-tuft days of the last century and don't match up well to the more recent additions.

The before & after pictures below illustrate the discrepancy:

Foundry Miniatures Greek Mercenary & Eastern Phalangites, old basing style.

Different Foundry Eastern Phalangites, Mk. II basing.

 This could keep me out of mischief for a bit, at least until I get round to ordering more fresh lead next week.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Hungarian Infantry 'Erzherzog'.

Another tidying up of loose ends well underway as I begin to wind down the SYW project. This time a few more Hungarian Fusiliers from Crusader Miniatures.

Once their six colleagues are painted I will have reduced the Austrian lead mountain to zero, though its place will no doubt be taken by other purchases before too long.
Hopefully the SYW will feature in an actual wargame over the festive season, but this will be subject to negotiation with Mr. Ireland who may want to break out his AWI collection for winter manoeuvres. All being well we could manage both ( & maybe an Ancients game as well) but a lot will depend on individual family commitments intervening.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

More Freikorps Le Noble.

Still pushing on quietly with the SYW project, I'm determined to persevere with this and get to a stage where we can actually put a game together. That point isn't actually too far away, if I can get this Freikorp unit finished & then paint up some Artillery for both sides I'm there. It would be nice to expand the cavalry arms of both armies but there are too many other projects that I would also like to spend time on; number one on the list are more excellent Orinoco Miniatures South American Wars of Liberation stuff. I've not spent much time on this project in 2013 & I want to tie up some loose ends before the year turns.

Anyway, back to the moment here are a few more sweepings from Europe's gutters:

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Freikorps Le Noble.

This is the first painting I've managed since getting back from holiday, a combination of work & a rotten cold having conspired against much in the way of artistic output.

I really have got to stop collecting Prussian exotica & get down to painting some more commonplace units like dragoons & line infantry or I could just go with the flow & field a Prussian army consisting mainly of Freikorp with the few line infantry units I have as a stiffener. It would certainly be a change from the stereotypical dark blue automata that seem to be the norm.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Handgrenadealien goes AWOL & a short pictorial description of Portuguese military architecture

It seems that way at any rate, this is my first opportunity to blog in nearly a month. The first part of the hiatus was spent struggling with a heavy workload to enable me to spend, latterly,  a rather happier week on holiday in Portugal.
The main idea was of course to take things easy, catch a bit of surf & generally over indulge the excellent Portuguese wines & cuisine but I did still manage to check out a bit of military history whilst over there.

First up: Forta de Almedena

Looking across the gateway to opposite bastion

Masonry apron of the same to protect projecting cannon barrel.

Curtain wall from bastion to cliff top.

Remains of vaulted powder magazine. Note thick walls & thin roof   to channel accidental detonations upward.

Doorway to Bastion.

Cannon loophole in bastion. Note, directly in line with the same opposite.

Bastion & apron from main gateway.

Interior wall of bastion with steps to roof.

Reverse shot from bastion to bastion.


View of ground in front of fort.

Frontal view of fort.
I've been trying the history of this site but there is very little in either Portuguese or English. What I have been able to turn up suggests that plans for its construction were put forward in 1587 to defend the coast against pirates ( there is a very eroded gun platform on the seaward side of this fort), but a local guidebook states that the construction was suggested as a result of Sir Frances Drakes occupation of the town of Sagres in the same year. One might be led to believe the Iberians considered them one & the same thing!
However, whichever case might be true the construction of the walls & bastions makes it fairly obvious that the fort was only intended to protect its integral coastal battery from attack by light forces. That said the terrain over which any attack would come would make it difficult to haul up any artillery heavy enough to make an impression, so a formidable work despite its apparent shortcomings.
You could if you wished view this site from the air on google earth; start from Lagos, Portugal & work westward along the coast- the site is labelled. I was hoping that a Texan aviator who was on site might have taken some aerial shots for me, but he convinced me he had enough on his hands keeping his paraglider safely in the air and to be frank, given the 200' drop to the sea I could see his point.

More Portuguese stonework & some SYW Prussians next time.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Freikorps von Kleist.

Another slow week on the painting front I'm afraid which is probably to be expected after another 80 hour week, but here just to fill in for real progress are a couple of pictures of von Kleists Freikorps taken in the late evening sun:

a little bit of work to do yet, namely finishing the hussars off & sourcing artillery but at this rate should be done by Christmas.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Seven Years War Test Figures.

As I might have mentioned in an earlier post I always like to complete a single figure before starting to batch paint a unit. It seems to speed up the process once batch painting commences & it gives me the chance to start again if a fabulous full sized colour scheme doesn't translate into miniature form.

The latest miniatures to be subjected to this indignity are:

Frei Hussar von Kleist, the least green of Kleist's units

Dragoon Regt. No. 9 Aspremont Linden or Savoyen.

The hussar is a Foundry miniature from their generic hussar range for the SYW, it always amazes me how much ramage these supposedly light cavalry were expected to drag around.
The Austrian Dragoon is a Crusader figure; really like the statuesque horse sculpt.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Austrian Hussars & Cuirassiers

The last of the Seven Years War miniatures that I originally started about ten years ago were completed last night:

The hussars are more Crusader miniatures, the heavies are Foundry Russian Cuirassiers standing in for Austrians. When I started this project Crusader hadn't released their cuirassiers so these had to stand in, however they are close enough to pass casual inspection.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

More Seven Years War Austrians & a Gaming Antique.

Despite being busy as ever with work I've put in a concerted effort this week to get some serious painting done, aided & abetted somewhat by the reducing hours of daylight I might add. Much as I like  Autumn as a season the shortening days do herald the onset of Winter. Hopefully the upcoming one will be a short, sharp affair unlike the lingering bleakness of the last effort which was with us until Easter.
Anyway back to the main thrust of this post:

The completed Josef Esterhazy Regiment.

Sachsen-Gotha Dragoon Regiment.

Grenadiers, Infantry Regt Gyulai.

Grenadiers, Infantry Regt Haller.
All the above are from Crusader Miniatures, I do think the Austrian range is some of Mark Simms best work.
Finally the titular gaming antique is the piece of scenery the above are all photographed on which is a very old Bellona ECW Star Fort in 25mm scale. For those of you who don't remember Bellona made a series of vac-formed scenic items ranging from Celtic hillforts to WW1 trench systems. At one time these would have comfortably accommodated 25mm miniatures but modern 28mm figures dwarf them somewhat,