Most of the month of October I spent finishing my Falklands project. And voila it was so. Project finished and game run at Museum of Flight. Well, almost mostly done. There are still some plane types I’d like to have for special scenarios–and because they are just so cool.
Examples, you ask? Well how about this one. An Avro Vulcan. As the Falklands War broke out these behemoths were just on the verge of retirement from the RAF. But several of the planes made the “Blackbuck” cross-ocean raids on Argentine airfields in the Falklands. I ordered the MSD Vulcan, a mere twenty bucks and costing extra postage because it’s so huge. Note: an average plane costs between three and six dollars. This is big. I also ordered a S-2 Tracker, the ex-U.S. anti sub planes the Argentines used as AEW aircraft in the war. I think there is a scenario in that. The Brits didn’t have an AEW capability which contributed to the siege their ships endured during the war.
I’ve also painted some helicopters for both sides and have even more and might even pick up a few I don’t have.
While the Falklands were fun, the big question is what next? I’ve kind of settled on some projects to work on between November and Enfilade in May.
First up is the for sure air project Dave Schueler and I are working on for the convention–the air attack on the Illustrious in January 1941. I’ve already completed six Fairey Fulmars for the carrier’s air defenses, and now I am beginning work on the dozen Stukas I’ll be painting. Well, ten for sure, I also have a pair of C in C Stukas, but they come in many tiny pieces, so I may not get far with them. Illustrious is just a stepping stone into a pile of planes for Mediterranean, and I’m looking forward to painting them. American Kittyhawks, Spitfires, Hurricane II’s, a host of Italian and German planes. It will be fun.
Also on my to-do list is to take a long look at David Manley’s wonderful adaptation of the idea behind Thunderboats to a bit more of a Mad Max theme. You can read more about it here. I have managed to acquire the Matchbox boats that will make up the little flotilla for this game. But I haven’t done anything with the boats yet. They’ll need some modifications and dirtying up and basing, but I’m not likely to get started until January. Want to keep the Mediterranean and my other big project firmly in view until then.
That other big project is simply a continuation of my old project America Rampant. I have a whole bunch of unpainted figures for that, primarily American infantry (Old Glory Wayne’s Legion figures) and Indians from the Old Glory French and Indian Wars range. How many? I think enough to paint five units of Americans and at least seven more Indian units.
I recently finished reading William Hoageland’s Autumn of the Black Snake. Interesting read on the aftermath of the Battle of the Wasbash and forces leading to the Peace of Greenville. It made me look at some of my other books on the Indian War in the Northwest Territory and got under my skin. I’d really like to shoot to game The Wabash and Fallen Timbers. I’ll need some more figures to do it at a unit = 50 figures, but there’s no point investing in more when I still have plenty to paint.
Gaming the Wabash would present numerous problems. It’s huge for TMWWBK. Terrain is interesting, with lots of it, and the goal for the Americans would have to be simply survive and retreat off the board if possible. But in a game in which the outnumbered Indians (about 1,400 to about 2,000 U.S. troops) have the clear upper hand, it should make for an interesting team game. More later. I highly recommend John Winkler’s Osprey account, Wabash for a pretty straightforward account of the battle and an order of battle. I’m busy working on troops that will be one of the four levy companies from New Jersey.
Music to paint by
It’s been a while since I’ve included a little music info. I think I’ve noted that the eighties music scene kind of passed me by. But one band I really enjoyed, even thought their shelf life was short, was The Bangles. The all-girl-group grew out of the folk and punk scene of LA, and became a staple of MTV in the mid-80’s with songs like “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Eternal Flame.”
But the Bangles were more than their hits. A listen to their first record All Over the Place gives you an idea of what the band was before their label made Susannah Hoffs leader of the band and set in motion the tensions that would destroy the Bangles after only three albums.
All Over the Place is a record rooted in mid-1960’s pop. Lots of jangly guitars by Vicki Peterson and Hoffs. Songwriting and vocal chores are shared among different members of the band. There are plenty of good songs, even if it lacks the hits that will follow on Different Light. “Hero Takes a Fall” and “Live” on side one are particularly good. “Restless” and “He’s Got a Secret” are strong on the B-side.
The record features strong guitar interplay, great lead vocals, and fine supporting harmonies. It’s fun to listen to, and if it isn’t breathtakingly heavy All Over the Place has a fine pop sensibility, the feature of all great artists from Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra to the Beatles and REM.