I’ve tried to be better about posting regularly, and honestly it’s been a pleasure just to fill you in on what I’ve got going on.
My number one priority is the Ironclads Pensacola game. I’ve worked a lot on the scenario, dealing with some of the issues endemic to large games with our adaptions of the Yaquinto rules.
The biggest issue I’ve tried to cope with is managing fire from and damage to Fort Pickens. The Confederates main objective is to reduce the fort’s effectiveness through bombardment. The other problem is adjudicating the fort’s massive fire power, literally hundreds of guns, without completely bogging the game down in a system that is easily bogged down. I think I can do that by homogenizing fire from the fort’s largely obsolete guns, but still retain the unique feel of the game system.
More information to come on the game. But I’m in one of my super-interested in a project phases. I’m in the middle of working on the Thoroughbred models of CSS Gaines and Morgan. They are the same miniature. The models are typical Thorougbred–sturdy and clean, a joy to assemble and paint. Both gunboats were purpose-built for defense of Mobile Bay and make a nice contrast with the Bay Selma.
Mentions of the vessels in the literature suggest they were pretty dark–heavily colored with creosote. I painted the hulls Ceramcoat Charcoal Gray and dry-brushed with a lighter gray before washing with Vallejo Black Wash. Unfortunately it washed all the character right out of them, so I went back and dry-brushed with Vallejo Neutral Gray for a more satisfactory result. The decks are Vallejo deck tan, washed black. The gun carriages, which I think are beautiful but too big, are also the neutral gray color with black barrels.
Together with Selma and Miami, I’ve really enjoyed working with ship miniatures. I have a T-Bred mini of Mianatonomah, a double-turreted monitor on my painting table next. It’s an option for the Pensacola game. I’ve also ordered four more Thoroughbred miniatures that are required/options for the scenario. In addition I have three large, masted vessels I’ve had for years–the Bay Minnesota, a large screw frigate, and Thoroughbred’s Hartford and Mohican, which will double my collection of screw sloops.
I’m hoping to bump my collection of ACW ships from about 70 to 100, mostly to fill out ship choices and quantities for scenario making. I need more monitors, gunboats and river rams. Sounds like a lot, but they really are a pleasure to work with.
While I’m in between ships to work on I need something else to do. I had the 28mm HYW men-at-arms on my table, but honestly it’s really not what I want to do right now. I swear I’ve picked them up a half dozen times, painted some shield patterns, a few black lines for armor here and there, and I’m stuck. Now isn’t the right time. So I’ve tucked them away.
I have some AWI jaegers and some HYW Irish kerns that need some re-basing, but after that I’m not sure. I’m placing an order to I-94 Enterprises for some WWII British aircraft for the Channel Dash project Dave and I are working on for Enfilade. But I’m seriously thinking about putting some time in on 28mm figures for the Irish Rebellion/Civil War 1916-22. I have figures for both sides as well as some vehicles–Crosley tenders and a Lancia armored truck. So there’s plenty to keep me busy.
It’s important to keep working on stuff, so I may as well be painting something I want to paint.
Music to paint by
I’m intrigued by Blondie, the ’70’s New Wave band that morphed into a huge pop success in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Fronted by tough chick with a heart of gold Debbie Harry, the band was quite successful until its collapse in 1982. Last weekend I took advantage of my local record store’s 20% off Black Friday sale and snagged 1977’s Plastic Letters. Not one of Blondie’s strongest records, it seemed like a bridge between their 1976 inaugural self-titled offering and 1978’s smash, Parallel Lines. The record has a couple of covers that offer great homage to rock’s past, including Denis a sendup of the 1963 hit Denise by Randy and the Rainbows. The rest of the music is okay, but nothing as interesting as the string of hits to follow. Still a good listen, and a worthwhile addition to a Blondie collection