Waiting: The Hard Part of Pandemic Hobbying…

Waiting. It is never really the fun part of our hobby. Waiting for washes to dry, waiting for stuff in Post. Waiting for that base-coat to finish so you can, finally, crack on.

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When I’m not distracted by Doggo. Yes, that is a horse toy. She kept losing the smaller dog sized balls in the bushes.

In this lovely, hot, Canadian summer I find myself in, I’m doing a lot of waiting. Honestly, it makes for awful content; I have little to show for it, as much of what I had in the wings primed, ready to go, I’m simply not interested in painting! And on the hobby front, I really want to start on Zona Alfa.

But, as I imagine it is worldwide, mail has slowed considerably. I don’t blame my local Posties; They are fantastic people, and once it actually gets to here, I get my stuff promptly. But I have a lot I want to write about, and unfortunately, it just isn’t here!

I can hear you now “Mate, go paint. under-coat something.” Herein lies the next problem. Unlike my Australian friends down under, I am unused to scary insects. And we have several nests of Wasps, and they sneak in every-time a door is opened. We take care of one nest, and several more crop up. So, until they decide to piss off, my family and I tend to not go out much, and staying outside longer then I have to with Sir Stings a Lot and his merry buzzing men about, I tend to avoid. So no mass-undercoating either!

I miss winter…

But all is not lost! I did get something neat done, and I can talk to you fine fellows about what is coming!

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“Do I have to go up, again?”

This is a Forge World Thunderbolt Pilot. He was available in 2007 at Games Day, and of course, I wasn’t there. Someone who was decided to part with it on eBay, and after deciding it looked legitimate enough, I pulled the trigger.

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He’s quite a character! Quite a lot of detail on this model, it is a fantastic sculpt.

He sat, languishing in my collection for years. I was simply terrified to mess up a rare model, especially one that is resin, as that is a notoriously difficult medium to strip. But after getting well and truly sick of trying to paint Space Marines, I used him as a palette cleanser. I was also inspired by the “spirit of the blitz” attitude of Vera Lynn, and cued up Cliffs of Dover and There Will Always be An England. She sadly died last week, and while I’m sure this means nothing to most, this is my tribute to her, and in turn, the RAF. I was tempted to go for 40k style, Phantine colors. But in the end, inspired by the Royal Air Force flight uniform of the early 40’s (1940’s, not 40,000).

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The uniform I’m quite happy with; It was a simple matter of shading in the correct hue for each part of the model, something I don’t bother with on “mass” production models.

So this is my humble tribute to the late Vera Lynn, in my own way. I have a Bilbo Baggins in the wings to pay homage to the late Ian Holm, so watch this space!

Of course, because I can’t stay on track for long….my buddy did it again. Seriously, I should leave his stuff on “read” sometimes. He asked if I was interested in war-gaming the Spanish Civil War.

It took me by surprise, as this was one setting I never thought I’d get the chance to do. But I knew that his heart wouldn’t be in that setting for long. So I counter-suggested.

“What about The Very British Civil War?”

This is a setting close to my heart. I had followed it for years, but knew, deep down, that there simply wasn’t a community to play it here in Canada. But, he did some digging, and really liked it! I was in! We will be using seriously adapted Bolt Action rules, for ease of using something we know!

Now, I don’t want to rouse the copyright gods, despite my gut-feeling that the lads behind the setting wouldn’t care, so you’ll have to wait until I get some models and books of my own to truly cover it. Suffice to say, he is playing the plucky “Middle England” Anglican League, and their allies in Canada, the Albertine’s, wanting to put Prince Albert on the throne.

Meanwhile, as is my custom, I’m playing the “bad” guys, the British Union of Fascists (those jackbooted jerks!) and King Edward’s loyalists in the Army. I’ve put in an order from Gripping Beast for a significant force of Territorial Army Royalists, using the Woodbine Design Company WW1 British, a model line I’ve been keenly interested in for years. This will be followed up by an order from Footsore Miniatures, of “BUF” troops, to represent His Majesty’s unsavory and backstabbing allies. My buddy will be fielding a force of Warlord and Footsore miniatures, to represent regular Canadian Army and Local Defense Volunteer’s. 3D printed tanks, something I’ll show off soon, will round out our band of modern day Cavaliers and Round-heads!

Of course…this means yet more waiting! I never learn, do I!

I do apologize for the lack of content; My next article will hopefully, Canada Post willing, have more substance! But in the mean-time, Happy War-Gaming, wherever you are!

 

 

Aeronautica Imperialis: For Real this time!

Hey folks! It has been a while, hasn’t it? Honestly, I’ve been busy with a new puppy, but in the end the real reason I haven’t blogged in a while has been a simple case of hardcore writers block. However, inspiration has finally returned to my addled brain! So without further fanfare…

“We had planes. We flew them. They had planes. They flew them. There was some shooting involved. All that mattered, really, was who was still flying at the end of it.” – Major August Kaminsky, (73 Kills)-Dan Abnett, Double Eagle.

In March, I wrote a post about the Aeronautica Imperialis, the sub-division of the Imperial Navy dedicated to atmospheric aerial combat. In it, I mentioned my deep love of the lore surrounding this very particular branch of the Imperial Military, and how I had amassed quite the little collection of aircraft. The idea of owning a full squadron came up.

Despite what I said previously, owning a full squadron is actually quite a mad idea, with each fighter costing me a significant chunk of change! However, it wasn’t like Games Workshop was going to release a new version of their original aerial combat game, Aeronautica Imperialis(by Forge World), anytime soon.

Oh, how wrong I was. How happy I am to be wrong. With surprisingly little fanfare, a new version of Aeronautica was released, now played on a hex board as opposed to free-form movement. Now in plastic, and in glorious detail. I was sold pretty much immediately, and on a quiet Saturday in Hanover I picked up the starter box, and started to assemble the contents.

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Interestingly, the box cover features the full-scale versions of the little plastic versions inside…just a funny observation!

I’m happy to report that the miniatures are absolutely gorgeous, lacking little if any difference other then size to their big brothers in 40k proper.  While quite fiddly to assemble, they were by no means hard, and 3 hours later I had a wing of combat aircraft ready to make Ace status. The Orks, which didn’t really interest me other then as an aggressor squadron to demo with, were actually the highlight of the assembly process, as much of the smaller sub-assemblies can be put together in various configurations; this has no effect on stats, but goes a long way in making your Dakkajets and Fighta-Bommas look distinct from each other.

Now as far as scale goes, I can go a little further then most and show a side by side with the Forge-World versions! My hobby space looks like the Blitz has been through it, so the pictures are not as great as I hoped, but the reconnaissance photos will have to do!

And some more…

 

Now of course, these aircraft are not just display pieces, so I wrangled a couple of guys to play with at the clubhouse. One was not as enthused about the rules, something I will go into detail about later. The other took to it like a duck to water, and was soon shooting down my poor Navy fly-boys in droves! Tyler, my second opponent, had also just made some flame markers for Dungeons and Dragons, which pulled excellent double duty in making the battlefield come to life!

Now, while I don’t mean for this post to be an in-depth review, it would go against what I believe to say its all sunshine and roses at 40,000 feet; there are some pretty major things that ought to be said.

Mainly, the rules in the starter box; They are not the complete rules needed to properly play the game, nor is the included play area particularly durable, or even a good size. The rules are more of a quick start, with the core rules, including ground attack objectives and certain upgrades for aircraft being in the Rynn’s World Campaign supplement, available separately on release. This is particularly odd, considering that the starter set comes with 2 Marauder bombers, which while far from useless, are definitely not dog-fighters, could certainly do with having something to bomb! Even the Ork Fighta-Bommas could do with having another job to do, other then dog-fighting.

Secondly, the included play area is also a little too small, and isn’t very sturdy. The far superior Rynn’s World board, also a separate purchase, is far superior in quality and is a much better size to play up to 100 points on.

The rules are playable, just lacking. If the Rynn’s World Campaign book didn’t have the rules in it, and a separate rule-book was available with full content, I would have purchased it, had I known. It was only days from release when it became known that the starter, while an excellent value for aircraft and tokens alone, was not the full experience. I did end up purchasing the board, as it was far more playable. The Campaign book is reasonably priced, and I will be picking it up. I don’t feel cheated as much as I feel underwhelmed.

Beyond that, I found the game engaging and fun, as did Tyler, my primary adversary so far. Paul, the owner of the clubhouse I attend, made the observation when we played that the game feels less tactical then X-Wing, as maneuvers are far more lenient and forgiving. Tyler found the opposite, finding them fun and engaging to use. This is an interesting observation, being that Tyler isn’t a tabletop gamer outside of Guild-Ball, and Paul is a veritable tabletop veteran, having played many games. This differing outlook is very interesting, as is something I will study and report on more once I get a few more games under my belt!

Now, to wrap things up! I know I have lapsed on my blogging lately; the writers block and my sudden lack of motivation to build and paint as prodigiously as before came fast and hard after Miniwargaming, but as I am returning there in December I need to bring something with me to play with them, and it has to be painted! Hopefully this means more regular content, at a more constant volume. For those of you checking in occasionally, I hope you will enjoy what I’ll be putting out! But for now, Check your six, and happy war-gaming, wherever you are!