Back! (Again…)

Just back from a month-long field assignment, as mentioned in my previous post. I have more photos of the sculpting projects to post, and some new photos to take of progress on the treemen and other sculpting projects!

There’s also some slightly dusty projects left behind when I left… and two packages of good stuff I ordered while away which are waiting for me to pick up later this weekend. Details on the new shiny soon.

I’ve got the Russian Civil War bug again, caused by reading the Mud & Blood rules and associated scenario books in PDF form while away. Speaking of which, a few weeks ago TooFatLardies released Chris Stoeson’s From Empire to Revolution scenario supplement for M&B, covering the Eastern Front of WW1. It talks about the Austro-Hungarian and Russian armies in some detail (the Germans already have coverage in the main M&B book, of course) and should prove useful for our RCW adventures, as well as providing inspiration to maybe start a force of Austro-Hungarians or Germans sometime this winter. I’ll likely do a proper review post of From Empire to Revolution soon, but for now the short version is: go pick this up, it’s very well done!

It’s good to be back! I have a few days off so I’ll unpack the sculpting tools and press on with that soon. The first two treemen are so close to being finished I can taste it; hopefully a couple of evenings of sculpting will get them done, dusted and onto the Blood Bowl pitch.

The Atlantic on WW1

The Atlantic magazine is running a ten-part World War One in Photos series with some very interesting images I’ve not seen before. They’re doing a post every Sunday for ten weeks.

The most recent post, WW1 in Photos: Technology has some great photos of obvious interest to wargamers, although the whole series so far is very high quality and has a great selection of photos.

As usual, avoid the comments, there’s far too much stupidity and pointless arguing…

Links of Interest, 23 April 2014

Hope everyone had a satisfactory Easter holiday, however you celebrate it. It’s a cheap chocolate and dinner with family and friends holiday for me, and I had a good weekend on both fronts, so that was all good.

Speaking of Easter, the always-fascinating Naval & Military Books is continuing their Easter Sale; 20% off across the board, even on stuff already discounted. I got some good stuff from them last year, will be skipping it this year, but their catalogs are always worth a look.

Similarly, those well-known sellers of excellent rules, Too Fat Lardies, are having a 15% off sale on their new WW2 rules, Chain of Command. I’m not a WW2 gamer, but the system comes highly recommended and and some point I wouldn’t mind picking it up to maybe do some Russian Civil War-flavoured modifications to it!

Finally, I’ve got a very small Zazzle store wherein the discerning gamer can purchase Keep Calm & Carry Dice t-shirts and posters; this grew out of a joke that made the rounds at our local gaming group a couple of years ago and kind of turned into it’s own thing! Help support this website and my gaming habit, buy yourself a Carry Dice t-shirt now!

Third Anglo-Afghan War Resources

The Third Anglo-Afghan War of 1919 is a short (May-August 1919) and often forgotten war, and an interesting product of both the aftermath of the Great War, Afghan domestic politics of the time, and ongoing issues along the North-West Frontier of India (as one might guess given this is the Third Anglo-Afghan War…). The Wikipedia article is a good basic rundown, but more specialized material is available online, often for free.

Khyber.org’s Army in India & Frontier Warfare 1914-1939 set me to looking for interwar Northwest Frontier & 1919 Third Afghan War material online, along the lines of my earlier Great War Resources article.

It turns out the Khyber.org article I first found is republished (with permission) from King-Emperor.com which has more good NWF/3AW stuff.

I was somewhat surprised (but pleased!) to find the British Army’s 1925 Manual of Operation on the North-West Frontier of India on the US Army’s CARL Digital Library website. It’s obviously post-3rd Anglo-Afghan, but the NW Frontier really didn’t change that much in the inter-war decades. (Indeed, you could argue it hadn’t changed much since the expansion of British India in the mid-19th C created the Frontier in it’s familiar form… you could probably even argue that it hasn’t changed much today, but I’m not a modern-era wargamer and I’ll stay focused on the WW1/Interwar Era, thanks…)

There’s also Mountain Warfare on the Sand Model via the Internet Archive. Date of publication unknown, mid-1930s is the best I can do given the references and other publications mentioned in this one. Designed as a series of tactical exercises for junior officers; the application to modern wargaming should be obvious! The other “Useful Publications” by the same publisher mentioned in the book don’t seem to have made it online, which is a pity. I might well be doing a more detailed post here about this book at some point later, actually. It’s a neat series of exercises that could be easily adapted to gaming.

“Passing it On: Short Talks on Tribal Fighting on the North-West Frontier of India” (1932) by Sir Andrew Skeen is mentioned on several websites and in contemporary publications, but it doesn’t seem to be online. At least one Amazon listing claims to have it available, but I have my doubts about that sort of dodgy-looking Amazon listing… Given that military operations in the NWF/Afghanistan area are back in the news this century, there is an edited and republished version of this book from 2011, with some new material. I might have to add this to my long-dormant Amazon wishlist!

“Operations in Waziristan 1919-1920″ is an official history by the British Indian Army’s General Staff; it’s available as PDF on both the US Army’s CARL site and or via the Internet Archive.

The full “Official History of the Third Afghan War” doesn’t appear to be online anywhere, but it is available for £18 from Naval & Military Press in the UK. I have several other NMP facsimile reprints, and they’re very good quality books. NMP also have Lessons in Imperial Rule, originally published 1908, which sounds fascinating.

Wargaming Resources

Lots of companies have suitable Great War British figures in the famous tropical-issue pith helmet – in 28mm, I really like Brigade Games, and have heard good things about Woodbine Design’s WW1 in the East range. Copplestone Castings’ Brits are nicely sculpted but very, very large and bulky figures.

Over on the Afghan side, for Afghan regulars in 28mm we’re currently out of luck, which is unfortunate. For tribal Afghans Empress has the best figures in their slowly-expanding Jazz Age Imperialism line – and they’ve talked about adding Afghan regulars to that line, I believe! Old Glory Miniatures has a line of Afghan/Pathan tribesmen amongst their varied ranges. I’ve not seen them in person but apparently there are many nice figures in the lineup; I’ve heard it described as OG’s best-sculpted group of figures. They’re technically for the late-19th C, but from 3rd AAW-era photos I’ve seen, tribal dress didn’t change much.

If you have any further links, please stick them in the comments below!

Canada’s 1919 Siberian Expedition

Here’s a nice Christmas present for those of us interested in the Russian Civil War, the Great War and related events: siberianexpedition.ca is a huge digital archive of photographs and other material related to the little-known Western intervention in the Russian Civil War, specifically the 4200 Canadian troops sent to Vladivostok after the RCW kicked off.

There’s over 2000 photographs (although some are duplicates) and it’s all fully searchable in English, French and Russian. Some of the photos are actually modern photos from Siberia of some of the locations depicted in the original 1918/1919 images, which is kind of cool. There’s also a brief history of how exactly a bunch of Canadians who’d volunteered to fight in Europe wound up in Vladivostok and Siberia, and some learning materials for teachers at different levels.

This isn’t a completely new site (started in 2012, it looks like) so it’ll be interesting to see how it develops — it looks like they’re trying to do some map-based stuff and a few other developments. Further bonus for me, there’s a local angle here as most of the Canadian Siberian expedition left by ship from Victoria, and it’s our local University of Victoria who are behind this site.

I’ll be mining the photos and other materials on here for inspiration for RCW scenery and such for a long while!

In the meantime, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and such to all readers!

Links of Interest, 4 November 2013

Just a few links to start the new month off. Hope everyone had a safe and excellent Halloween, for those of you who live where it’s a thing.

Black Army Productions are a company with a small but interesting selection of things, including a few WW1/Interwar armoured cars. The fantastically pulpy-looking Romfell is certainly eye-catching; my pulp-flavoured German FreiKorp might need one of those… They’re having a fall sale until November 15th, so there might be a Romfell and a few other bits enroute to me after next payday…

Just a week or so left in this, but the excellent J & M Miniatures is having a (Canadian) Thanksgiving Sale, 15% until 10th November (so it lasts until the Yanks have their late Thanksgiving too, how about that?). You put the code “Thanksgiving2013″ in during checkout to get the discount on everything they stock. Which reminds me, it’s been a long while since I fired some money at J & M, perhaps it’s time to have a look at their catalog again…

Acheson Creations is another one of those interesting companies that’s got a wide range of interesting bits and pieces, mostly resin scenery and such for a wide range of eras & locations. Their Primeval Designs line includes a bunch of unique 28mm & 15mm dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts. They’re also running a Kickstarter to fund creation of some new, larger pieces, including a big ape who looks just right for transporting from some Lost World to the nearest skyscraper! The Kickstarter is about halfway to it’s modest funding goal and runs until November 20th, so hopefully this one funds!

Finally, via Paleofuture, this 1929 American air travel map over at the awesome David Rumsey Historical Map Collection — apparently flying across country in the late 20s actually meant spending most nights on a train…

Links of Interest, 6 October 2013

Far too quiet around here lately, a post a month or so for far too long! I do apologize; I’m still gaming regularly but my painting has dwindled to a terrible ZERO figures finished since May of this year and since I finished the buildings in August I’ve done no scenery work, either!

I’m going to get the painting desk dusted off and back in production fairly soon; I’d hoped for this weekend but real life and work got in the way. I’ve also got a pile of small and medium-sized partially-finished scenery projects to complete, so I might re-start the whole process by clearing some of them up.

In the meantime, here’s a pair of links, both map related!

Someone in Hungary has digitized a huge collection of 1910 Austro-Hungarian maps of Central Europe in 1:200,000 scale. It covers the entire Austro-Hungarian Empire and nearby portions of neighbouring states, so the whole thing covers from Istanbul in the lower right up to southern/central Germany (around Cologne) in the top left. The quality of the scans is very good, and the relevance for World War One or Russian Civil War gamers should be obvious!

In a pulpier vein, via the always-awesome Propnomicon, this 1885 map of Chinatown in San Fransisco. I’ve linked to both Propnomicon and the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection websites before, but they’re both well worth exploring!

Links of Interest, 3 September 2013

Quiet around here recently; I’ve been gaming regularly through the summer but not doing a whole lot of painting, scenery building or much of anything else!

Here’s a few cool links to share, though. They’re all, mostly by coincidence, on that perennial Warbard theme, zeppelins! First off, some notes, sketches and other cool stuff from Kevin Conran, the lead designer of the movie Sky Captain.

Over on Dark Roasted Blend, there’s Airship Dreams, Part One and Airship Dreams, Part Two which both, especially Part Two, have some awesome photographs of real and imagined airships & zepps.

Actual substantial blog posts soon, I promise…

Links of Interest, 14 April 2013

Another semi-random collection of links to things that have caught my eye recently!

Over at BigLee’s, a nice roundup of methods of stripping paint from miniatures. Given that product availability varies around the world, it’s nice to have a fairly comprehensive guide like this; it increases everyone’s chances of finding a stripping method that is both available in your area and works with your miniatures (you can use things on metal minis that will destroy plastic!) & chosen paint. (hat tip to MinatureWargaming.com for this link!)

Ghosts of Hefei is a Kickstarter campaign for a set of gang warfare rules set in China in the 2060s, with both 28mm & 15mm gang figures planned. I’ve done a few Kickstarters, and might well be pledging for this one too… They’ve posted some shots of very nice looking 15mm figures so far. (this one is via Dropship Horizon, which should be everyone’s first stop for 15mm SF news!)

To round out this short Links of Interest, TooFatLardies are having their “Something For The Weekend, Sir?” Sale on until the 22nd of April. 20% off everything in the store… this might mean it’s finally time to snag that copy of their recent science fiction rules, Quadrant 13…

Links of Interest, 28 March 2013

Short links of interest post while I buckle down and get more cavalry painted for our Russian Civil War games — why is it that six damn horses take as much effort as two dozen infantry, anyway?

Burn In Designs do paint racks, buildings and other laser cut stuff. I rather like the vertical paint racks that minimize the footprint they take up.

Mad Mecha Guy do more lasercut stuff, this time 15mm science fiction buildings and bits. The chap behind MMG is also apparently the sculptor of Ground Zero Games’ awesome new engineering mechs.

Terrain For Hippos is an entertaining blog with loads of photo tutorials of short, straightforward terrain projects, all presented by a semi-literate cartoon hippo named “Grot”.

Speaking of painting horses, I just discovered this huge infographic JPG via DeviantArt, which goes into all the many variations of horse colour, including useful information like which colour of mane, tail or hoof is usually seen with which coat colour.

Finally, the interesting folks over at Naval & Military Press have just started their Easter Sale which means 20% off across the board on a huge and fascinating array of specialized military history titles! I’m saving this quarter’s gaming budget for Trumpeter Salute in ten days, but NMP’s booklists are always full of tempting items!