Saturday, December 23, 2017

New Casting & a One Day Wonder Army

      This week I completed a mold I had started week before. When casting figures from this new mold, I decided to try to use a melting pot bought years ago. I had little success using it and put it aside, using a hot plate setup instead. As I have stopped using scrap metal, and knew the melting point of the metal, and after doing some research online about the Lee pot, I decided to give it another go.  It worked as I hoped it would, and got good usable figures. The pouring spout takes the trial of pouring consistently out of the equation.

    On Wednesday night I decided to make a mold using the Peter Laing marching Guard figures. As the rubber being used cures in 8 hours, the next morning when I got up, before going to work, I completed the mold. My plan was to try to do some casting after work, and the mold should be complete at that time.  It was also going to give me an idea if the pot would work well with 15mm molds. I am happy with the results. I believe the new pot keeps the temperature of the metal consistent, as the problem with the metal "crystalizing" didn't seem to happen.

   After casting the figures, they were brought up for trimming and basing. I completed 18 figures, enough for 4 infantry units and one artillery unit. So in a 24 hour period, the mold was completed, the figures were cast, cleaned and based. And all that in spare time on an average work day. I do believe if I had set aside a day, I could have in that 24 hour period, produced from making the mold to final painting, a complete army.

The melting pot back in use. I stopped using it when the pour spout blocked up and I couldn't get it cleared out. I believe debris and paint from the scrap metal being used got into it, along with metal that probably wasn't melted to the right temperature.

Three of me new figures for use in Backyard Wars.

My new One Day Wonder army. The cavalry figures and general are original Peter Laing figures.

The figures receiving their toy soldier paint jobs. As I was painting them, I realized that they were receiving the same uniform colors that some of my Airfix Guards figures were painted with. I had painted the Airfix figures that way, thinking they would look like Napoleon's Imperial Guard, that could be used with my Airfix French Napoleonic figures.
 I have decided that these figures will represent my old toy country, Shiak, in future games.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

OHW Scenario 3 Wargame

Wanting to use the new Little Wars army, I rolled a 1o sided dice to pick  a scenario from Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargame. I rolled Scenario # 3: Control the River.

Red Army vs Blue. The Blue was moved forward one square after this picture was taken;  otherwise the Red army would have a clear advantage being only 3 squares to the bridge, as opposed to blue being 4 squares away.

Both armies send their cavalry to try to seize the bridges. The Blue army cavalry are armed with rifles. For this game I gave the Blue cavalry the range of two, rolling two dice, or engaging in close combat with two dice. The Red cavalry were lancers and dragoons; they are close combat troops and have to be adjacent and rolls three dice. The rules for the blue cavalry comes fromThe Stronghold Rebuilt "See the Elephant" rules.

The red cavalry wins the race for the bridges.

The red cavalry charge the blue cavalry and kills one blue cavalryman. Using  "See the Elephant" close combat rules, because the blue cavalry wasn't wiped out or forced to retreat, they get to "counterattack" with one dice, which forces the red cavalry to retreat.

The lancers have more success, killing one blue cavalryman and forces the others to retreat.

The blue Zouaves attack the lancers in the flank, killing two of them.

The blue cavalry continues to attack the red dragoons, killing one and making the others retreat.

The Highlanders in the woods to the left fire into the blue cavalry, who retreat across the bridge.

The blue cavalry charge across the bridge...

...and firing into the woods, kill one Highlander. The Zouaves push the surviving lancer back.

The Zouaves start across the bridge, with the cavalry distracting the bicycle machine gun unit.

A unit of Guards move to block the Zouaves advance.

The Highlanders kill another blue cavalryman, and the Guards push back the Zouaves.

The Zouaves counterattack and forces the Guards back two spaces.

The Red army brings up reinforcements on the left. Their fire kills the last blue cavalryman.  The machine gun kills one cavalryman, and forces the surviving cavalryman back. The rightmost Guards long range fire drives the Zouaves back.

Blue infantry advance, their firing kills one Guardsman and one Highlander.

The Red cavalry attacks and drives the blue infantry off the bridge.

The blue infantry counterattacks and kills one cavalryman and the last cavalryman retreats.

The Zouaves succeeds in driving the Guards back.

The Guards eliminates the Zouaves.

The blue cavalry crosses the left bridge, and drives the machine gun unit back. At the other bridge the blue infantry crosses the bridge again.

The blue infantry is hit from three sides and is driven back.

The Red's left launches an all out assault, while the machine gun unit kills the last blue cavalryman.

The Highlanders cross the bridge.

The blue army pushes the Highlanders back, while the last blue unit on their left starts across the bridge.

The Guards on the left storm over the bridge, and puts one blue unit to flight.

One blue unit on the right manages to kill two of the Guards, while the machine gun unit has one man killed and starts falling back.

The Guards kill the last infantryman in that unit. The blue army has lost 2/3 of their units, and must fall back.

It's not a clearcut victory for red, as the blue unit holds one bridge, but red still has 4 units on the field.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The New Peter Laing "Little Wars" Army

       With the recent infusion of Peter Laing Victorian Parade Highlanders and Guards, I have come to the realization that I no longer really need to use my home cast infantry figures for my current wargames. I found that I can now form at least 3 Peter Laing Little War legions. Both the Guards and Highlanders will be able to muster 6 infantry units, with attached cavalry and artillery. Currently my "Regular Infantry" will consist of 2 infantry units and 1 sapper unit.  Thus, my home casts will be put into reserves.
    I do have several single Victorian Parade figures. Among them are a single Rifles Officer  and Rifles Bugler figure. I am thinking of using these figures the same way Sharpe is used in the Sharpe's series of books; having him take command of regulars for special missions.
4 Guards and 3 Highlander units, along with the Colonel of the Guards and bicycle unit.

The Colonel of the Highlanders receiving new paint.

1 unit of Guards, among with the 2 units of regulars and unit of sappers.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Battle of Hook's Farm: Peter Laing Little Wars

The newly arrived Guards and Highlanders were quickly moved forward to the front. They were part of the Red Army that were ordered to seize the ridge that Hook's Farm was located.
The Battle of Hook's Farm: The Red army on the left, the Khaki Army on the right. Several of the hill squares are green and cannot be seen in the photos.

The Red Army. Both armies have 4 infantry, 1 cavalry, and 1 artillery units. Usually I roll for the armies composition; this time I just used equal forces.

The Khaki army. They have their cavalry in reserve off the board. 

The Guards move forward to seize Firely Church. The Khaki infantry have already reached Hook's farm.

The Guards try to flank the Khaki artillery, while the red artillery moves forward.

Khaki infantry move forward to bring the red artillery under fire, killing one and forcing the battery back.

Khaki infantry and artillery bring the Guards under fire, killing one and forcing the unit back, who takes up position in the church.

The Guards in the woods drive back the Khaki infantry (And moves into that space), and the red artillery fires on the Khaki infantry that fired on them, killing one.

The Khaki infantry counterattacks, and with artillery support, drives the marching Guards 3 spaces back. ( I started using the "See the Elephant" rule, where if a unit has to retreat and it's line of retreat is blocked by a friendly unit, it can move back to a square on either side of the blocking force.) The Guards retreated the wrong way; they retreated to the right of the church, putting them in the line of fire of the artillery. Meanwhile, the Khaki infantry bring the red artillery under fire and wipes it out.

The Guards in Firely Church charges out and drives back the Khaki infantry.  The other Guards move behind the church to get out of the artillery fire. A unit of Highlanders grab the cottage at the base of Hooks ridge, and kill two of the Khaki infantry.

The Khaki artillery kills two guards, and drives the survivor back to the church.  The Khaki infantry attacks the cottage to try to drive the Highlanders from their sniper perch.  Not seen in the photo, the red cavalry moves up trying to position themselves to attack the Khaki infantry.

A Khaki infantry unit moves forward to protect the rear of the Khaki infantry that are attacking  the cottage and kills one of the cavalrymen.

The Guards occupy Firely church and drive back the Khaki infantry. The second unit of Highland Infantry starts to move in support of the Highlanders in the cottage, and kills a Khaki infantryman. Meanwhile, the red cavalry kills two infantrymen.

The Highlanders in the cottage kills the last two infantrymen on the ridge. The other Highlanders kill one infantryman, and forces the other back. The red cavalry kills one infantryman, and drives the other back. The Khaki's attempt to clear the cottage has ended disastrously for them. Meanwhile, the Khaki cavalry is entering the field at the very top, in an attempt to flank the Red army.

The Khaki infantry in the woods snipe at the cavalry and kills one man.

The Guards charge out of Firely church, at the same time the Highlanders in the cottage charge up Hooks Ridge and the crossfire drives the Khaki artillery back.

The Khaki infantryman in Hook's farm moves behind the bushes to engage the Highlanders, and kills one.

The Khaki marksman behind the bushes kills the Highland officer. The Khaki infantry  attacks the Guards, without success.

A lone Guardsman brings the Khaki cavalry under fire, killing one.

The Guards counterattack, and drives the Khaki infantry off the hill.

The Highlanders advancing on Hook's farm takes the time to kill the last Khaki infantryman on the Khaki left.

The Khaki cavalry finally kills the pesky Guardsman who held them up. The Khaki artillery and infantry attack the other Guard unit, killing one and driving the others back.

The lone Khaki infantryman that dispatched the first Highlander unit, now moves back into Hook's farm and his sniper fire drives back the Highlanders. 

The Guards attack the Khaki cavalry, killing one and making the last cavalryman  retreat. This move also  got the Guardsmen away from the deadly artillery fire.

The Highlanders finally clear Hook's farm of the lone Khaki sniper. The lone red cavalryman can be seen galloping  by the cottage, moving to support the left.

The Khaki infantryman, supported by the artillery, kills two of the Highlanders. Meanwhile, the Khaki infantry move forward to bring the Guards under fire from two sides. 

The Red cavalry launches a charge against the Khaki artillery, and kills one gunner.

The Khaki artillery kills the last cavalryman. The Red Army has lost 2/3 of their army, and must now retreat.

The Red general moves forward to meet his dispirited troops.

The battle was a near run thing. Once again, the army holding the strong defensive position  left that position and almost lost the battle. At the time I though the Khaki army could roll up the Red army's right flank.

While walking my dog before this battle, I started to get some ideas on how to use my new Peter Laings. I hope to have a posting soon about it.