Thunderboats v. 2.0: Painting the Pickleforks are hard

I really enjoyed painting the 1950’s and 60’s hydroplanes for our Thunderboats! games.  I’ve painted 23 of the 1/72ndish scale boats cast by Sean McEvoy for the game.  I found them to be a joy to take on.  Mostly blocks of color with some numbers and lettering and often a symbol or emblem to paint.  Kind of like painting HYW heraldry only a little easier.

But as I move on to paint those 70’s boats, they are definitely different. The new hulls with the picklefork noses are larger-longer and broader-as they become a bit more stable and safe after the carnage of the middle 60’s. The wider hulls sit deeper in the water, so almost all the detail on the boats are now on the decking.

Not only that, but the paint schemes of the 60’s definitely change during the 70’s.  Instead of the nice block styles, the paint schemes are linear and colorful.  Often lines run the entire deck, and boats like the Pay ‘N Pak have their name in huge multi-colored lettering along the entire deck.

The 1979 Squire Shop and the 1968 Miss Bardahl in the Smyth boatyard.  Not far on either yet, and both will take lots of extra TLC.

The 1979 Squire Shop and the 1968 Miss Bardahl in the Smyth boatyard. Not far on either yet, and both will take lots of extra TLC.

No big deal for a graphics designer working 1:1, a bit more of a challenge for an old blind guy like me working at 1:72.

1981_U-2_The_Squire_Shop_Hull_7902_

Both of the above pictures are of the 1979 Squire Shop.  In a year that was swept by Bill Muncey's Atlas Van Lines, a very young Chip Hanauer drove the Squire to victory in the Seafair Race.  It is a beautiful boat with striking, hard-to-paint markings.

Both of the above pictures are of the 1979 Squire Shop. In a year that was swept by Bill Muncey’s Atlas Van Lines, a very young Chip Hanauer drove the Squire to victory in the Seafair Race. It is a beautiful boat with striking, hard-to-paint markings.

The first boat I’m painting is one of my favorites, The Squire Shop from 1979.  As you can see, the boat has some nice red and mahogany (I’m using both colors from Vallejo,) but it’s also a plethora of white lines, that have to show up against that background and remain pretty straight.  There is a Squire Shop emblem and then an Olde English font.  I’ve been working away at it as you can see, and probably have a couple of hours into the cab forward hydroplane.

MissBardahl1968bow

If I was going to imagine a boat guaranteed to make me tear my hair out, it would probably look like this.  But it is somethin'.

If I was going to imagine a boat guaranteed to make me tear my hair out, it would probably look like this. But it is somethin’.

The next boat I’ll take on is the 1968 Miss Bardahl.  Slight change in hull design from the classics, but not the picklefork hull. Again, there is the more daring graphics, a departure from the block coloring and lettering.  Not quite sure how I’ll paint the checks all over, but I’m certainly excited to give it a try.

I’ll keep you posted.

What’s On My Painting Table?

I know the picture is dark, but hopefully you can see the minis are coming along. Perry Miniatures Volunteers of Ireland.

I know the picture is dark, but hopefully you can see the minis are coming along. Perry Miniatures Volunteers of Ireland.

Well, hydroplanes of course.  Yes, you’re right, I do have issues with painting ADHD, so I usually have something else going on as well, and it is those same Perry Volunteers of Ireland.  I’m making progress, and hoping to maybe even finish painting the sixteen figures tonight.  They’ve gone fairly quickly, but are not without challenges.  The Brandenburg lace is a bit hard to see, and these figures feel smaller than my other Perry AWI figures, almost as small as the Fife and Drum British guards I painted a while back.

Even so, the painting has gone pretty smoothly. The lace wasn’t horrific to paint except for the silver on the officers.  There won’t be a lot to highlight.  Looks like I won’t finish tonight but after a super painting day, they are at least close.

And For Your Listening Pleasure

I’ve always liked the idea of The Pretenders, and have a copy of their 1994 CD Last of the Independents.  But I’ve never really had a chance to give a good listen to the music that made them famous.  I picked up a copy of their first record, titled simply The Pretenders and gave it a good listen.

It’s a solid record steeped in new wave, punk and solid pop music.  With semi-autographical lyrics by frontman Chryssie Hynde, it blends some great musicianship with snarling vocals.  There is a solid cover of the Kinks hit, “Stop Your Sobbing,” and “Brass in Pocket” became a big MTV hit. My favorite song, however is “Kids” which combines some snarling guitar with some wise and prescient words about the loss of privacy that comes with celebrity.  There is some anger on this record and there is some introspection, but most of all it’s a collection of excellent, pointed songs that represents some of the best of its era.

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Upcoming Hundred Years War Titles

I’m kind of in a leaving my books alone moment.  I haven’t bought any in almost a year, and find myself with plenty to read.  But out on the horizon are some must have Hundred Years War titles.

Before I leap into discussing the books and their importance, let me just offer this warning.  Act fast. These will be limited pressings on small publishers and when they are gone, they’re gone.  Case in point: Edward III and the War at Sea: The English Navy 1327-1377 by Graham Cushway snuck under my radar when it was published in 2011.  But at 200 or so pages, this extremely useful sounding book was probably a lot less than its current $98-$115 price tag.  Don’t miss out because you didn’t act quickly enough.  Both titles are on my Amazon Wish Lists.

The first book that will come out is Henry V’s Navy: The Sea Road to Agincourt and Conquest  There are bajillions of books on Agincourt, fewer on the Conquest, but none focus on Henry V’s naval campaign.  Though there was an active naval campaign throughout the Hundred Years War, simply mounting a new land campaign in France became a gigantic naval undertaking for the English.  By the end of Richard II’s reign in 1399, the English navy, through relentless budget cuts by parliament, ceased to exist.  Learning about English shipbuilding under Henry V, as well as assembling the 1,500 ships necessary to move the English army to Harfleur in 1415 would be fascinating. This book will be released February 1, 2016.

The second book tackles a well-known topic, the Battle of Crecy.  But is it really the battle we think it is. Americans Michael Livingston and Kelly DeVries have edited The Battle of Crecy: A Casebook.  This book will re-examine over 80 contemporary sources from the Battle of Crecy, and most importantly, challenges the traditionally held site of the battle, placing it more than five miles from the currently believed site.  In his biography of Edward III, Richard Barber acknowledged the lack of certainty about the battle site,  This is some serious shit.  It challenges what we know about the topography of the battlefield and how it must have influenced the English defense and how Philip VI must have committed his troops to action.  This book was released earlier this month in England.  It is scheduled for an April 1 2016 release in the States.  Trust me, it will not last long. $101.62 in hardcover, $36.43 in paperback. I’d keep an eye on it too, the release on Amazon doesn’t seem certain.

What’s on Your Painting Table

Baueda's medieval tent for 28 mm.  Try not to look too carefully a the markings.  Not my finest moment.

Baueda’s medieval tent for 28 mm. Try not to look too carefully a the markings. Not my finest moment.

I finished the Miami earlier than planned, so I took on a couple of new tasks.  The first was painting up a Medieval fancy, schmancy tent for my Poitiers army.  It is in colors for Prince Edward at that same battle.  It’s the 28mm offering by Baueda.  The chief colors are Vallejo Vermillion and Vallejo Prussian Blue.  I practically brush my teeth with these colors, I use ’em so much.  The yellow is Vallejo Deep Yellow.  The cover is lined with Purpleheart Red, also by Vallejo.  It wasn’t super hard to paint, or even particularly time consuming, but let’s just say I rushed through the heraldry and am not too happy with the yellow lions. But if you look at it from a distance . . . The miniature is nice, as Baueda stuff tends to be.  I’d like to have three of these for each side.  Of course, if there was a wargaming god of fairness, Baueda would make a 28mm version of their awesome King’s pavilion. I still need to add the Prince’s standard.

I also got my next little project ready to go.  I’ll be painting the

Perry's excellent Volunteers of Ireland.  I'm anxious to paint these guys.

Perry’s excellent Volunteers of Ireland. I’m anxious to paint these guys.

excellent Perry Miniatures version of the Volunteers of Ireland.  This Loyalist unit served in the South in the British army and appeared in a number of “my battles,” including Hobkirk’s Hill and Eutaw Springs.  As you can see, their uniform is unusual with the tall leather cap and the Brandenburg lace.  Haven’t gotten much further than priming and mounting the fellas for painting, but I’ll keep you posted.

Troiani print of the Volunteers of Ireland

Troiani print of the Volunteers of Ireland

And Now For Your Listening Pleasure

About 15 years ago I picked up a used cd copy of Waiting For Columbus by Little Feat.  I absolutely loved it and have moments when I just blare it from my car or at home.  It’s one of the few records I purchased to duplicate my cd when I ratcheted up my vinyl collection in February.  But dang it, Little Feat just doesn’t sound a lot like that live album.  The songs are the same, but Waiting is just a little over the top, with for focus on the instrumental jams, something that lead singer Sailin' ShoesLowell George really didn’t like.

If you want to hear a more typical Little Feat record, grab a copy of Sailin’ Shoes. It was their second album, and is a great mix of musical styles-country, blues, folk and rock. My favorite song is a “Tripe Face Boogie” which has a lot of energy and is fun.  But one of the band’s trademark songs, recorded by everybody seemingly, is “Willin.” The rest of the record is very good too, with contributions from George and the rest of the band. A very pleasant listen while painting medieval heraldry.