Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Fun - Why so serious?


This week's Friday Fun post is just a gentle reminder not to take things so seriously.  Often we spend too much time dwelling on the negative aspects of the hobby we supposedly love.  So lighten up!  This video is an oldie, but definitely still a goodie.  Enjoy! :-)


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Forgotten Glorious MiniZ - Iron Brigade

One thing I've enjoyed being a part of the wargaming blogosphere is being exposed to the many small, independent, and/or private miniature lines/companies.  Some do it all themselves like Calpe Miniatures, while others commission a sculptor like Hinterland, Westfalia, and Murawski Miniatures (To name a few).  They put up personal funds to fill some niche that the big boys of the industry have ignored, many with superior results.  Forgotten Glorious MiniZ is another such high quality enterprise.

Forgotton Glorious have just released their new line of 28mm American Civil War Iron Brigade miniatures, and the figures are absolutely stunning!  On top of the quality sculpts is also the great variety.  You can create your regiments running with muskets at right shoulder, advancing with leveled muskets, or firing and loading.  There's also no shortage of foot and mounted officer types that are sometimes forgotten in other miniature lines.  Add to that some specialty figures as well.

Forgotten Glorious have previously released mini lines for the 1916 French Army, 1806 Prussian Army, and the 14th Brooklyn (84th New York) from the ACW.  They also offer a miniature painting service HERE.  The Iron Brigade line looks like it is their best offering yet.  I only wonder if there is going to be more coming (cavalry, artillery, picket line, etc.)

For me to get into any new period/game it obviously starts with an interest in the period, genre, specific theater, or army/unit.  Having a descent rules set out there to play and enjoy is helpful too.  Finally and most importantly, no matter what my personal interest level or the popularity of a certain ruleset, I need to have a miniature line that I really fall in love with.

I've always had a interest the American Civil War, and there are a number of fine sets of rules out there for big battles and skirmishes alike.  I do really like the Wargames Foundry and Perry Miniatures ACW lines, but I always had a thing for the Iron Brigade, and FG MiniZ have just supplied the third criteria... :-)


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

War Movie Wednesday - Sink the Bismarck!

Not just for breakfast anymore!

Well, I wasn't planning on doing another WWII movie back to back, but it's pretty rare to come this close to the actual anniversary date.  The sinking of the Bismarck happened just yesterday on May 27th, 1941 so this week's feature was a no-brainer.  Sink the Bismarck! (1960) was directed by Lewis Gilbert and starred Kenneth More, the lovely Dana Wynter, and Carl Möhner.

The movie is obviously about the early war effort to hunt down and ultimately sink the great German battleship Bismarck.  I'm not a huge Navel history buff, but what made this one interesting for me was that the story is told from all the different perspectives involved in the operation.  British, German, frontline combatants, and even the usual unsung  heroes of  Operational Command and Staff.  Much like the movie Battle of Britain, we get involved with and care about characters at every level of the conflict, and only with everybody pulling together do the good guys come out on top.

Sink the Bismarck! (1960)

For the most part, I'm not going to touch the historical accuracy issue with a ten foot pole in these posts.  After all, they are meant to be fun and something to enjoy while hobbying or whenever.  However I did want to point out that the over the top character of Admiral Lütjens is fictitiously portrayed in the film as a stereotypical Nazi, committed to Nazism and crazed in his undaunted belief that the Bismarck is unsinkable.  You can check out the Wikipedia page HERE for what the real deal was as well as more info on the film and the book it's based on.

Finally, long before I had the pleasure to watch this movie, I was exposed to the famous Johnny Horton song of the same name.  My mom owned his greatest hits record, and we listened to Sink the Bismarck and The Battle of New Orleans over and over as kids in the '70s.  I remember tearing around the family room whenever Johnny sung the words:  

"Hit the decks a-runnin' boys and spin those guns around!
When we find the Bismark we gotta cut her down!"

Johnny Horton - Sink the Bismarck (Song)

Another early memory I remember having as a kid was wondering why the Germans would ever name their biggest baddest battleship after a doughnut.  ;-)  Enjoy the movie!

Bonus Links:


Note:  If you missed the very first "War Movie Wednesday" introductory post, you can check out that, and The Heroes of Telemark right HERE.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hanging with Treebeard


While I continue to whittle away on my Vikings, I figured it was time to share some more of my friend Chris's minis (See the intro post HERE).  So this week I give you the big guy himself, Treebeard,  together with Merry and Pip of course who are along for the ride.  This is another lovely model form GW's Lord of the Rings line that's on my "Oops!  I should of bought that when it was metal." (and in stores) list.

Merry and Pippin have been given the same treatment as before, with the two Fellowship models there for comparison.  Chris has kept the hobbits separate so he can field Treebeard with or without them.  Not sure if they have a little pin that keeps them in place or that Treebeard holds them well enough on his own.

Chris has also continued his Autumn theme here to good effect, with the bright static grass and leaves contrasting nicely.  Painted treemen models like Treebeard sometimes run the risk of turning out quite boring and lifeless.  Take a look the one on GW's site for example.  Chris has dressed his model up to help make it pop a bit without overdoing it and ruining the overall model.  Being a "tree" the model now becomes a great centerpiece for the army that conveniently ties the Autumn color theme all together.  Another fantastic job Chris!

We come, we come with roll of drum: ta-runda runda runda rom!

We come, we come with horn and drum: ta-runa runa runa rom!

To Isengard! Though Isengard be ringed and barred with doors of stone;

Though Isengard be strong and hard, as cold as stone and bare as bone,

We go, we go, we go to war, to hew the stone and break the door;

For bole and bough are burning now, the furnace roars – we go to war!

To land of gloom with tramp of doom, with roll of drum, we come, we come;

To Isengard with doom we come!

With doom we come, with doom we come!

- J.R.R Tolkien


Monday, May 26, 2014

To the Fallen: We shall not forget.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead.  Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw,
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us, who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Weekend Wrap - Vikings & more Vikings!

Erm...  what?!   Sorry, did you say something?

Super Bowl!

It's been all Vikings all the time this week  First off Minneapolis, Minnesota won the bid to host the NFL's Super Bowl LII in 2018 that will be played in the Minnesota Vikings' spiffy new stadium set to open in 2015.  One obviously has everything to do with the other, and I don't feel one bit sorry about New Orleans not winning their 11th SB bid in a row.  So even if they can't field a winning team, at least they can have one come over to visit.

Proof that the Vikings do show up just about everywhere except for at the Super Bowl.

With Regrets

Over our time in the hobby we all tend to buy and sell stuff over the years as minis come and go, new projects are started while others are abandoned.  Mostly with no regrets... mostly.  Probably my biggest regret hobby-wise was striping and selling off my Wargames Foundry Viking army that I had painted up in 2002 for Warhammer Ancients and the odd skirmish battle (See HERE, HERE, & HERE)

I was never quite satisfied with that original paint job especially since I had used the very bright line of Citadel paints, where the other two main local Viking armies were painted in a more muted gritty style using Vallejo.  With the death of Warhammer Ancients and really any type of Dark Age gaming, these figs became less and less of a priority, sitting unused in the cabinet for years 

Then came unemployment and starting an eBay store.  My other unpainted Foundry models had always sold like hot cakes, and my Vikings were always my emergency strategic reserve if I needed a good chunk of money really quick (or so I thought).  That day actually came a few months before I created this blog.  The emotional and physical taxing stripping process took almost 2 weeks, and then with everything organized back to their original blisters they hit eBay with a thud.  I had to keep marking them down to get anything to sell, and in the end I was almost giving them away.

Things started to turn around a bit and I started this blog.  Soon afterwards I discovered the Hail Caesar rules and then Saga was released.  Saga was literally all over the blogosphere haunting me.  I pretty much owned the entire WF Viking line, so I could have hand picked my favorite models and still sold the rest...  had I known... had I known.  (Sigh.)


 Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!  Lot's o' Vikings!!!!

Well, redemption finally came last December when I stumbled upon a couple great deals on eBay and I quickly pulled the trigger.  With few more blisters from Wargames Foundry I now not only have enough for a couple of Saga warbands, but for a Hail Caesar army as well.  THE SONS OF ODIN ARE BACK BABY!!!!!

(Insert squealing guitar or war horn if you prefer...)

Sorting out the first warband.

Future Sagas

If fellow local blogger Monty (from Twins Cities Gamer) and his plethora of wonderful warbands for Saga wasn't enough motivation to get going, my buddy Eric (See his Vikings in those skirmish battles above) has been busy re-basing his figs as well as building terrain boards (More on that below).  Along with a number of other local gamers that have been getting in to Saga lately.

 Few more toys on the way!

The Vikings from WF are fun and relatively easy to paint, so they seem like the perfect short term (one warband) to get my painting mojo going again.  The last time I painted these models I went on a tare for the next 8 months having the most productive painting stretch of my life (Then I moved).  So hopefully the magic works twice as I'd like to surge on my Prussians and a few terrain projects over the next few months.  (Watch this space!) :-)

Eric's New Saga Boards

As mentioned above, Eric has been busy lately, and the Weekend Wrap is the perfect place pass on his latest coolness.  I'll give my blabbing a rest for bit a simply share the verbiage and some pics from his Google+ post for you to enjoy.

Vikings & Saga Gaming boards

Well I finally have my two 4x4 gaming boards complete and all 120 of my Vikings switched to round bases for Saga and Hail Caesar.  

The water was fun to make. I made the waves with Mod Podge (looks like PVA glue) and then left to dry. The next step is a layer of Envirotex Lite resin to coat the water with a hard shell.

Now that I have some new boards to play on I can start using more of my terrain for different games.  Spring is in full swing and it's time to go a viking.  So now my Jarl needs just needs some ships...

Viking Swords

Finally, if all that wasn't enough Viking inspiration for one day, and with no Lagertha to guide us until Season 3, I do have a pretty interesting video on Viking swords and trying to recreate one.  Well worth it if you're into that type of thing.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Fun - The Warhammer 40k Edition

Time for some Friday Fun!

It's almost that time again to kick off our shoes and let down our hair, and maybe even get in some serious hobby time this weekend (Please!).  It's a big weekend for many gamers as the shiny new 7th edition of Warhammer 40k is about to be released (Yay!!) (Groan!!).

Just looking of a good time!

Many hours are about to be spent digesting all the new rules, stats, scenarios, etc., but getting a handle on the massively awesome background fluff in the Grim Dark of the far future is vitally important too.  This week's offering is here to help save you some time so you can get back to figuring out the new best way to table your BFF in four turns.  In the 41st millennium there is only war, but there are a few silly videos as well...


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

War Movie Wednesday - The Heroes of Telemark

Most gamers I know enjoy a good war movie.  Even a bad war movie will sometimes do, or merely something under that huge "Action/Adventure" umbrella gets us all going.  They seem to connect us in some way, whether it's quoting some old favorite down at the shop, doing movie "bits" across the table top, or even trying to re-create or infuse that same cinematic feel in our own battles.  I suppose some of the modern day competitive types might disagree, but for the rest of us miniature wargaming is all about creating the scene and then telling the story.  You know, like in that one movie, with that guy, who did that stuff.

War movies not only provide inspiration and memorable moments to share over and over, they also do a darn good job of keeping our brains entertained when working on the less exciting aspects of our hobby.  Like music, the ball game, audio books, or chatting away with a buddy... an old familiar war movie might be the perfect thing to have playing in the background while filing away at sprue lines on your fusiliers or gluing together another legion of Space Marines.

Turns out, can you find a great number of war movies right on You Tube.  As most gamers have a computer or at least a laptop, iPad, or something that beeps close to their hobby area this works out perfectly.  Something I've wanted to do for awhile is share some of these hidden gems with you on the blog (A few have popped up in the "Military History" posts), and I figured Wednesday aka "Hump Day" would be the best time.  So if I have the time I'll try to post something new every week, but at least a couple every month for sure.

My choices will have more to do with something I thought was interesting and/or entertaining, than necessarily being "The Best" war movies or even high quality films.  As TBS here in the States used to advertise: "Movies for guys that like movies."  With that, I think "War Movie Wednesday" has been properly introduced, so on with this week's feature.

I thought about starting off with a heavy hitter like Zulu, but The Heroes of Telemark will do nicely for my first offering.  Directed by Anthony Mann and starring Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, Ulla Jacobsson, and Michael Redgrave, it certainly serves up some big names.  What I find interesting is the subject matter itself.  Stories about the Norwegian resistance is far from being your typical WWII movie, but this also involves Germany's effort to create an atomic bomb.

The Heroes of Telemark (1965)

Filmed on location in Norway and based on a true story, it tells of the Norwegian resistance's efforts to sabotage the manufacture of heavy water for Germany's atomic bomb project.  Kirk Douglas plays Rolf Pedersen, a Norwegian physics professor, who, though originally content to wait out the war, is soon pulled into the struggle by local resistance leader Knut Straud (based on Knut Haukelid, portrayed by Richard Harris).

I'm not going to rate any of these movies (You can!), but I did enjoy this one.  Hopefully you will too.  Certainly good enough for hobby time or maybe even to inspire a new hobby project for somebody.  The next War Movie post promises to be a bit shorter (hopefully posted a bit earlier too), but no less entertaining.  :-)

Bonus Links:

Original Soundtrack by Malcolm Arnold


The Real Heroes of Telemark by Ray Mears (Part 1)

Secrets of World War ll - The Real Heroes of Telemark