Thursday, 23 November 2017

CRISIS 2017 - Part 1

Let's do it again!
After half a year of absence from my blog I'm trying to revive this obervation window to my workbench and relatied things. My apologies to those who came here to see this old article from May and who had to withdraw disappointedly.

It's not that I lost my hobby mojo but during the last months hobby time has been precious. Too precious actually to use it to take pictures and prepare articles I thought but after all I discovered how valuable those connection within the bloggosphere grew to me and that they diserve a lot more care than I spent lately. Thus I'll start as I ended: With a show report.

The first Saturday each year is reserved for one of the most - if not the most - important wargaming shows on the European continent: CRISIS in Antwerp. This year my THS club fellows and me decided to bring fourth a project that mainly my friends Michael, Bernhard and I myself belaboured: The Nortwest Frontier (aka. 2nd Anglo-Afghan War). But this shall be covered in a second articles. First for the show itself, some impressions from the wonderful tables the other clubs brought and for a series of tremendous ecnounters I had.

As usual CRISIS took place in two large hangars near the Schelde river in the centre of Antwerp. Traffic is always an issues these days since there have been extensive roadworks proceeding in whole Antwerp for the last years. Nevertheless we were rather lucky this year. We billeted on the Ibis Budget Antwerp Port and luckily our paths led us around the heaviest construction zones.

Anyway at 10am the show opens for audience and within minutes the larege hangars are filled with hobby enthusiasts from all over Europe. What makes CRISIS so special for us continentals is that a lot of British traders and visitors use the opportunity for a quick jump over the channel. It's always tremendous to see those people face to face who I usually know from Blogger, Facebook or Skype only.

As international as the crowd is are the presenters. Thus clubs from Belgium, the Netherlands, England, France and Germany come there to present their output. Here are some impressions of a few table:



















Later that day the stand of the Too Fat Lardies turned out a most important place to be for me. On Friday I read that the Lardies would bring Adam 'Sidney Roundwood' as aide for their Sharp Practise participation game. Thus I showed up there around 11am and made Sidney's enjoyable acquaintance. We had a good chat about hobby and real life while some other well known fellows creeped up on us. All of a sudden an illustrious fellowship scraped out from the crowd and Dave D. (One man and his brushes), Nick (Moiterei), Christopher (Axebreaker) and most surprising Curt (Analogue Hobbies) appeared. I knew that Dave wanted to come and I had been really looking forward to meeting him but making the other fellows acqaintance was a sublime moment of surprise. Unfortunately Sidney was too busy to join us but we others found the time to have a pint and a chat during which Sander (...) with his son joined us. We had a wonderful hour of conversation which I truly enjoyed beyond all measure. This small blogger gathering really made my day!



At 5pm then CRISIS came to an end. It was a blast of a day in many respects. A great weekend trip with my club friends, a wonderful rally with friends at the show and last but not last a good oportunity for some Christmas shopping. Here's the loot:



Not too much this year but at least...
- the CRISIS special miniature 'Till Eulenspiegel'
- a set of additional special figures 'Till's Companions'
- a wonderful miniature of Lord Uxbridge by Gringo40s
- a nice incarnation of the 'Iron Duke' by Wargames Illustrated
- some grass tufts from Warbases
- walking and neeling camels with baggage by Iron Duke Miniatures
- a couple of modern miniatures and a technical by Spectre
- a frame of modern plastics from the Crisis bag

That's it for now. I'll try to be back soon and will cover our NWF game then. See you soon!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Reviewing CONFLICT RHEINLAND

This weekend for the very first time CONFLICT RHEINLAND is taking place in Langenfeld. The city itself isn't too well known I presume but at least it's located between Düsseldorf and Cologne aka. the heart of the Rhine Area. Thus three reasons made a visit there mandatory for me:
- It's only an hour from the place I'm living
- Our club brings a AWI table to the show
- The fellows running the show are really decent fellows
Thus I headed the train to Düsseldorf at 07:00am where my friend Holger picked me up and took me to the club house where the show took place. After approaching Torsten and Thorsten the two major heads behind the show I met my THS club fellows at our table:

My friend Heinz prepared the table and most of the terrain and figures on it. It a AWI game based on some events during the Saratoga Campaign in 1777. Experimentally I made a short video of the British comun with my mobile phone:
Sorry for the poor quality. On the phone it was much better but after uploading it looks kind of downsampled... Anyway the tune you are hearing comes from a small gadget Heinz integrated in the scenery:
But besides ourselves there were some other clubs delivering interesting and exciting tables as well as wonderful participation games. Especially the Force on Force table caught my attention and finally I found an excellent introduction into this exciting game:
Hunt for Red October
Beginner's table Force on Force
Delta Force sneaking around.
But besides that there were more nice tables, good games and fine fellows. Here's a selection of pictures:
WW2 Operation Squad in 28mm
Whitechappel a detective tabletop about hunting Jack the Ripper
 

The Goulston Street grafitto
 
28mm Chain of Command
 
Bridge on the River Kwai with Poor Bloody Infantry
HeroQuest 3D
HYW with Saga
One of my current favourites: Congo


Team Yankee
15mm ACW Regimental Fire and Fury
28mm Sudan with This very Ground. The game I played at Tactica this year.
After all there were a couple of really excellent tables although the place of event was rather small with about 250m². But I saw people from Hannover as well as chaps from Karlsruhe which is a radius of 300km. In my humble opinion that's a great influence for a small show during its first year. From my point of view Torsten and Thorsten performed a sublime job organising this event and I dearly hope that for them it was as successful as for us visitors. If Conflict establishes itself it could become an excellent familiar show perfectly set between the gigantic players Tactica and Crisis. Best of luck boys!

Of course yours truly wasn't able to keep all the quids he brought. In Langenfeld were only a few local traders but nevertheless Didier's (More Terrain) work seduced me enough to acquire some pieces for Congo:
Alltogether a wonderful day and a real pleasure to visit the very first Conflict Rheinland Wargames Show. I really hope that many will follow!

1st Conflict Rheinland Wargames Show

Heading to Düsseldorf and Langenfeld then. This weekend there'll take place the first CONFLICT RHEINLAND wargaming convention. Some great participation games have been previewed so I'm looking forward to a good day out with my mates.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

African bearer - Congo figure and skin colour test

As I hinted at earlier the newish Congo game caught me somehow. Luckily has a low figure count only and I'm creating a British expedition with some of my 1880s Brits and a couple of additions. The setting of the game of course dictates that some native african figures matter.
Until now I havent painted any other figures than more or less Europeans or North Americans. Since I'm always a bit hesitant with experiments I decided to paint a native bearer before tackling Askari and Ruga Ruga units. The figure is a piece of Wargames Foundry's wondeful Darkest Africa range and as far as I know it's been sculpted by Mark Copplestone.
The figure is sculpted really well and especially the facial expression is very characterful. Only the muscles of the arms and legs could be defined more clearly to make painting easier, For the choice of colours I consulted a rather old article I found in the Cool Mini or Not homepage. It deals with skin tones for different ethnic groups and gives some excellent colour suggestions from Vallejo's Model Color range. For further reading find the article here.
After all I'm pretty satisfied with the look. Without any doubt I need to work on working out muscles but the skin tone is rather okay I think. It appears a bit too bronze coloured but darker shades would disappear when watched from gaming distance.

What do you think?

Monday, 15 May 2017

Resin hardened, river finished

Actually the resin hardened as fast as stated on the bottle - namely in more or less 8 hours. However in my humble opinion the result is really satisfying. Especially because it was my very first workpiece with resin:
As you see it dryed cristal clear and provides nice depth to the river. Overall I didn't discern significant shrinkage. Only the edges became slightly bent up.
Yesterday I fetched my trusted rowing boat and took a couple of shots. Unfortunately as poorly illuminated as the former pictures:



After all using the two-component resin was much easier to use than I was feared. Especially the 2:1 mixing ratio is simple to handle. Now I'm pondering about using some water effect gel like Noch Wassereffekte or Woodland Scenics Water Effects to represent ripples and waves...