Thursday, 17 April 2008

The Final Countdown

It looks like BlastHof is going to be happening as planned: my old school friend is going to be visiting the neighbourhood at the right time. So our plans are laid, although (of course) the plans of both mice and men are liable to change at any moment due to the requirements of the female members of the species. But if nothing intervenes the 26th of April should see that famous bridge being contested yet again by a band of metal heroes.

Thinking back on old times, I have some fears about the thing. My friend has at times received generous aid from the dice. We once fought a SPI (hex) wargame on the Ardennes Offensive. In that game the Germans receive an initial 'surprise' bonus on their attack rolls until, at the start of a turn, the Germans roll a six. When I fought that game with my friend, my Americans were still being surprised on the very last day, several weeks after Hitler's minions had first crashed into their lines. Good grief, even the French in 1940 had figured out what was happening by then.

But I digress. In terms of the assets required (for BlastHof), things are plodding along at a slow rate. As that's all that is required to meet the planned date, all is well and good. I have five figures left to paint - none of them essential. The terrain is also well under way - but then there's not a great quantity of it needed to fit on your average family dining table.

Figure basing is proving to be the most tedious task, and I have decided to get quite fancy here and have been experimenting with static grass. Having never used this stuff before, I have been very pleasantly surprised by the ease with which the stuff is applied. Stick it into its bottle and give it a good shake, then puff it at PVA glue on the base. You can buy special 'puffer bottles' for this, but I used a top of the line job available at any local supermarket (citrus flavour no less), as the photo shows. All I had to do was enlarge the hole in its top with a 6mm drill.

Dragoons and 'Puffer Bottle'

Looking ahead, I want to start on the units for the next battle in the series given in 'Charge!' and 'The Wargame'. So I've sent off to Tradition of London for a company each of musketeers and fusiliers and another squadron of dragoons. As usual, I haven't bought greater quantities of figures than I will paint in a month or so: I'm hoping that in this way I won't build up a metal mountain of never-to-be-painted figures. Its enjoyable shopping for model soldiers but one can buy them far quicker than you can paint them.

The one problem I can foresee at this point is the light infantry. I'd prefer to use a different pose from march attack, and I'm not keen on standing firing either. The first I associate with infantry in close order, the latter looks peculiar to me when (as normal) there are no enemy figures to the front. Figures with their muskets 'at the ready' would be about right. I'd also like one of the units to be Croats. Now there are figure ranges that would give me all this, but none that I know of that don't belong to the 'porcine' breed. So, at the moment, I have no idea where to look for these gentlemen.


Anonymous said...

I'm pursuing a project based on Charles Grant's 'The War Game' and have recently acquired some figures from Spencer Smith that I intend to use as Croats. The ones I've gone for are 'Pandour Advancing' (code AS12). They're not brilliant figures... certainly not as nice as the best Holger Ericssons... but they aren't 'porcine'!

Snickering Corpses said...

Have you checked the figures from Eureka Miniatures, to see if any of them suit you? I know they have Pandours.

I am, of course, a verified RSM95 fan, but I don't have any of the Pandours of either.

Fitz-Badger said...

Sounds like Blasthof will be on time. :-)

Great tip about the static grass "puffer bottle". I'll have to remember to save my supermarket bottle when the contents run out and give this a try.

Bluebear Jeff said...

Yes, that sounds like a very useful tip. Thank you.

-- Jeff

Der Alte Fritz said...

I highly recommend Eureka's Arquebusiers de Grassin. Maybe I can post a picture on my blog within the next day or two. The RSM Croats are elegant figures (standing firing and loading plus one officer).

Some of the Suren French poses are "at the ready" and could be used for fictional countries' uniforms. Peter Young also made use of the Stadden/Tradition Russian Pavlov grenadiers from the Napoleonic range. Just a few ideas.