Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Half year roundup..

Where the hell has this year gone, I find myself asking. It’s been a busy hobby wise as well as real life. I have had a few weeks recovery time post the Utah Beach game and am gradually getting back into the model making/painting saddle.

The first half of the year has seen some great gaming, with the guys from The Old Guard  providing some great times. We continue to not take things too seriously which suits me.

The second big run out of the Sudan game went really well. Plans are afoot for the next one. I also have some bits for this planned in the winter painting season. The collection will then I think be up for sale.

On the look out for a decent wicket..

The Hammerhead Weekend South Seas Island game has future potential

The Battle of Britain campaign with Pete is over halfway through. We will pick this up again the autumn. Meanwhile for the summer Pete has invited me over to his to try “spear chucking” with his ancients .. well as long as I get some Romans with catapults and ballista’s..! Sure it will be fun.

The Normandy 44 project still sees the main focus . There was a hell of a lot of work went into the Utah game , but it really delivered . I have a number of blog posts to catch up with for it. I have also been stocking up on more items for the autumn and winter for this. My US forces are coming on nicely - but nowhere near finished.  I have sourced a load of extra Tiger Terrain Normandy buildings to augment the ones I already have.. really looking forward to doing these as they look the biz .

In the style of Capra 

The sourcing of a decent hot wire cutter has opened up a whole new front on terrain building. I also have my eye on 3D resin printer.

Railway embankment under construction 

Currently the paint desk has some Napoleonics (for Jason) on it .. nice to do something old school and different.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Normandy 44. Hitting the beach..

Today saw the culmination of the effort to recreate the D-Day invasion at Utah Beach and the paradrops inland by the 101st Airborne around St Marie du Mont and Brecourt Manor.

There were 7 of us from the Old Guard mob along with a couple of visitors from the friends network - we met up on Saturday night for a meal and chat too - good times

 Martin who had command of Easy company has his write up here...I expect his medals are in the post 

Uncle Red Beach

James and I were playing Germans - James had the beach and entry to the causeways to defend. including  the inland sections of flooded fields and the two causeways leading across. There are hamlets at the inland end causeways and roads lead on to  Brecourt Manor with its gun battery and then on the other side the village of St Marie du Mont - the ultimate allied objective for the day. The table worked out at 17 feet long by 6 foot wide.

The beach end would start with a naval bombardment followed by 3 waves of bombers - as on the actual day these proved accurate and effective.

P47s look for targets of opportunity

behind the beach is a flooded lowland area - vehicles have to use the causeways

B26 Marauder squadron pummel the defences 

Inland the game would start with para drops on the two DZ's . Each aircraft had to test DZ accuracy , then height and speed. 6 paper marker then placed on the wings of the C47 model and then they hit by a small fan and blowing on them - you can see the video of this on Martins blog.

The most inland DZ west of St Marie du Mont where the drop encountered trees and one  plane load scattered right to the town taking casualties. 

the shocked garrison looks up with trepidation!  photo credit Angus Wallace

the defences have  been pummelled

The infantry cross the beach heading for these wall. The DD's provide support , but remain blocked until the engineers clear a patch 
Air support arrives

Airstrikes target AA and AT guns at the end of the causeway - the quad 20 lived a charmed life !

Martins para hit Brecourt Manor quickly - knocking the guns out over a few turns 
the beach defences are eventually breached - the build up of forces continues apace

inland the paras have been struggling attacking St Marie du Mont which has been reinforced by a veteran FJ  platoon too. 

Both para commanders were beginning to rack up heavy casualties as German MG teams took their toll. Shouts down the table of hurry up! were heard,

unhelpfully the navy shelled causeway no3 by mistake which would slow down the vehicles . , but infantry were making their way through the flooded fields 
the paras have captured the landing zone - glider reinforcements arrive 
The naval observer had found a prime viewpoint and large amount of shellfire began arriving - thinking the last of the germans and combined with a fresh para assault saw the village fall just as the tanks got their too.

It was a great game. it had a good balance of challenge for the allied players - its not a game the germans will win - its about how well they can delay the allies overall.

Thanks must go to James and Martin who contributed to the build up for this with time , effort and ideas - thanks lads.

some things to do for its next run out - non essential , but all nice to have :-
More flooded field sections
More flight stands
More explosion markers and smoke
82nd Airborne platoons
Another LCT or two
3 more assault platoons

this sees the start of a campaign ladder for my US forces in Normandy

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Normandy 44 - Eve of invasion Utah Beach.

Tomorrow will see our D Day game. It’s been a project in the making for 18 months for me , with a lot of work over the last 6 months focusing on the beach  and it’s great to see it come to fruition. James and Martin have been great partners in encouraging the madness and adding their own contributions too . . The table will be large , it’s  16x6 for a 15mm game , we have a decent number of gamers roped in as well . It will indeed be the Longest Day .

It feels appropriate on the eve of the actual 75th anniversary to pause a moment or two to remember those involved in those historic events and to recognise the price that peace comes at. It’s sometimes referred to as the greatest generation , I think there may be something in that  , So thank you .

The table is set

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Normandy 44 - Utah Beach , playtest

Today  saw James come over to run a playtest (we are both playing Germans next week , with rest taking allied roles )from the beach landing part of next weeks big game. With naval gunfire , waves of bombers , then DD tanks and landing craft mechanisms to work through . I helped to work through the initial complex items and firm up some things re the landing schedule  and stuff to be written down for the allied players .  When this table is added to rest of it next week , it should ensure some problems to overcome and a good visual treat . It also served to focus the effort on a few bits this week

So a few teasers for you .

Hit the beach!
And in the style of Capa 

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Normandy 44 - Utah Beach terrain progress

I am just about through the terrain works now. I have completed the sea wall with a few sections done  as breached. Lots of barbed wire sections , about 16 feet worth and a few minefield section. The Tobruks are done as are gun emplacements . Hoping to get a quick play test of the beach end of the table this weekend too .

Further behind the Grand Dune section there was a lot of flooded ground and I have done some sections of this . Martin has a load more as it’s about 16 square feet required . Going on I have a commission out to make some more bits for this as well.
Pleased with this effect , but not sure I will be able to replicate as all 4 have dried  differently 
 The area behind the dune was heavily flooded , Martin has made a load more bits for it . I just have the causeway through it to finish off .

4 flooded field sections made 

Monday, 20 May 2019

Gaming , BoB games 10 and 11

Today saw another couple of scenarios on the campaign ladder. Both having their challneges

                                                    Game 10 - RAF resources stretched

The RAF are having to deploy any aircraft that can fly... in this case a pair of Boulton Paul Defiants on patrol ,who have to deal with a pair of Me109's.  Now if you know your WW2 aircraft you can see the problem here... in real life this didn't go well , how would it go..

It was set up as dog fight encounter amongst the clouds. As this game was based on shortages it saw the return of PO McMillan who had recovered from his previous encounter but was flying with only  one good eye. He was accompanied by PO Scott.By dice roll the pair were bounced at short range as the German ace and his wingman burst through a cloud at close range.

of all the angles to get bounced ... 

however the Germans powered straight on , and pair of Brits engaged the plane flying past  their companion,, .. ouch smoke was seen! result

I split the British pair up , turning in circles to try and see if I could get something on the German pair ..

As the Brits came back round from their circles , one Me109 was behind both.. PO McMillans gunner  hit home hard and with bits flying off the Me109 the pilot was seen to bale out! .. result!
shortly after the other Me109 blasted PO Mcmillans kite , wounding the gunner who could no longer fire . At this he tried to fly home , but the next burst downed the Boulton Paul , the pair bailed out,..

At this point a pair of Hurricanes joined the fray and they soon had the best of the lone German  who was seen to bale out,.

British Victory
Certainly a surprising result! 

PO McMillan , they had shot down the German ace ,,,the pair had baled out.  Campaign XP 4 
PO Scott.. crash landed , two wounds, one minor , 1 serious eg wound , missed 2 turns , campaign XP 1 
Flt Lt Thompson , shot down an Me109, he's 1 off being an ace.. landed ok campaign XP 13 , no promotion , no medals 
PO Wallace, damaged mE109 , campaign XP - 4 landed ok 

Lt Steinburger , shot down , baled out ...but captured , POW 
Lt Franze , shot down baled out ...lands amongst the land girls and uses his parachute silk to distract them, makes his escape to the coast and steals a boat ... escapes across the channel.. now "lucky!"

                                                                       Game 10 - Crystal trouble

This saw a mistake by the germans as a unit of Do17s had failed to pick up an abort call and had carried out a bombing mission where the fighter escorts had headed home early .. 

Two Spitfires with PO Cooke and PO Anderson were vectored to intercept ..

The German bombers had the full length of the table to make, and the Spitfires were soon on the tail of one hammering away . it didn't take long before the first fell

The Germans had dispatched some fighters to try and protect the bombers , and they showed up just  as the second bomber blew up in a ball of flame as PO Anderson blasted away at it . 

The German fighters were determined to get some revenge . The first long range cannon shot wounded PO Cooke , the next saw chunks engine flying off .PO Cooke was seen crash landing his Spitfire into a Kent field... 

PO Anderson who had the chance to head off home had turned to help instead was blasted by cannon fire in two shots too which had added to the damage he had picked up from the bombers .. he went down too.. the Germans flew a victory roll and headed home back across the channel .

                                                                                Game 11  - Draw

PO Cooke, crash landed , 2 wounds, 1  minor , 1 more serious however while convalescing he took. shine to a nurse and took her out to a restaurant .. where he suffered food poisoning and misses 2 turns. He however has been promoted to Flight Lt .. no medals though . Campaign XP 17
PO Anderson , crash landed , 2 wounds , one minor, and serious leg wound misses two turns , campaign XP3

Both German bomber crews crash landed with serious wounds and are all POW's 
The two fighter jocks made it home landing safely...

                                                               Campaign  , British 6 , German 4 , draws 1 

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Normandy ‘44 - Utah beach defences

The building of the defences for the beach end of the table is coming along with the beach wall , fortification pieces and barbed wire being completed . Next up more beach obstacles and some minefields for the rear of the resistance nest. This will be the first 4 feet of the table as it leads in land .
It’s getting there,,,

Monday, 13 May 2019

Gaming - Sudan , Saving Gordon weekend

This last weekend saw another big bash down at Marks Wargames Holiday Centre. There were 6 Imperial players  Bob , Brian and John with the desert and river columns who had played last year.  Rich & Josh  were having their first outing in the Sands of Sudan assisted by Andy and they were in charge of the Suakin field force and tasked with getting the railway built on day 1.   Dean - who also brought some more mahdists! -, Mark and I ran the forces of the Mahdi and made the tea.

Once again there were two games running simultaneously on Friday/Saturday with the teams and individual commanders competing against each other for prestige points... points make honours and medals.

I had also added in a new rule of "Imperial Heroes" allowing various acts of valour  (improving the combat results) at the risk of wounds or worse ! This worked well I think and has some a bit further potential as well to be applied to other parts of the game too , not just combat.

The railway progresses

The baloon is up , looking for any ambushes

A native caravan arrives as a hidden Mahdist gun opens up on the Camerons (picture from Rich)
Prepare to defend yourselves!
The Scots Guards have some heavy work to do
The Camel Corps advances

After their last outing the Camel Corp commander was diligent in building zariba defences this time!

Brigade square time

Khartoum is in sight

A young Winston is seen fighting off some tribesman 

The attack on the city commences
Gordon explodes his secret mines
man the walls!

The steamers arrive 

It was a good game , with good feedback from the players - lots of laughter was had!

Work in hand


No more than 3 things on the PAINTING table at once. Nothing new added until something is finished.

PREPARATION work is done when I don't fancy detail painting. Cleaning up, converting, undercoating etc.

PLANNING is expressions of interest or things that have inspired me to be created with no definite timescale as yet.

28mm Napoleonic Brits

On the PREPATION table.

Storage wars