Books I have read and recommend.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Tale of Two Farms. Part Three


ABOVE: The Duke inspects the BA farm house (left) and the WLG farm house on the right

Hi Guys
Well we're finally here. Part 3 of my review of the WARLORD GAMES (WLG) and BATTLEFIELD ACCESSORIES (BA) La Haye Sainte Waterloo (LHS) farm set.

A reminder I'm just reviewing the actual MODEL that comes in the Box Set, which also includes plastic and metal miniatures (see PART ONE).

The first thing I noticed when I commenced construction of the WLG kit was the poorer quality of the material compared to (BA) kit (see PART TWO).
This kit from WLG is made from a much thinner and flimsier material. It's more like really thick cardboard rather than the thicker MDF(?) type material in the BA kit.  
BELOW: Compare the pair. BA material on the left and the thinner WLG material on the right

The instructions however are a different story. They are very professionally produced and assembly is simply as long as you follow the instructions. You could probably get the job done without the instructions but hey, they are provided, they are clear and easy to follow. 
BELOW: BA farm house on the left and WLG on the right

The level of interior details on the WLG version is very light on in comparison to the BA version.
Actually, apart from some interior walls within the Stable there is no interior details at all.
No second floor in the Farm House. No loft in the barn.
All of the various buildings are set upon 'bases' that interlock with the other bases upon which the other buildings are built.
This makes for a sturdy base however it does limit the versatility of the set. I want to be able to use the various buildings as stand alone buildings for other games like CHAIN OF COMMAND, FORCE ON FORCE or BOLT ACTION for example.

 ABOVE and BELOW: The WLG Farm House. No steps leading into the house, no interior details / walls and no second story. Just a big empty shell.


 ABOVE and BELOW: The Main Gate / Gate house. 
Best bit? The gates are hinged and freely swing open and shut. Cool!
Worst bit? Its affixed to this big arse base!

Construction was knocked over pretty quickly and took about two thirds of the time it took to assemble the BA version.
The roof construction was particularly easy.
If I could have the same system of roofing for the BA model I'd be beside myself. WLG version is much simpler and more robust I think.
BELOW: The WLG Barn and the BA Barn. Notice the loft in the BA version on the right.

 All in all however the BA Model is much more impressive and more robust due to the higher quality of the materials used in construction. Only the roofing is superior in the WLG version.
Furthermore the level of detail is superior in the BA kit.
Also the 'Online' support from Mike Parker is great, what with the Video Tutorials on YouTube and his own Facebook Page (search 'Battlefield Accessories').
You do however get an additional wall and small building (cook house maybe?) with the WLG version.
I'd be very keen to see which is the more historically correct kit.
The WLG LHS does come with a few extra pieces worth mentioning.
Two wagons, a small plough, three tables and six chairs, (for barricades or dinner), and some branches for barricades.
Also, you get some cardboard 'detailing' items for creating open shutters near windows and framing for windows and gates etc. (See Below)

 ABOVE and BELOW: Details of the WLG LHS farm yard and 'extra' bits.

 IN CONCLUSION

I think that the BA set is of better quality, more versatile, more detailed and excellent value for money.
The WLG offering is slightly easier to assemble (particularly the roofs) but isn't as flexible due to the individual buildings being affixed to some rather large bases.
Furthermore the BA set is the Farm Set and the Farm Set alone.
The WLG set comes with a swag of miniatures that you may not need or like.
The wagons and furniture are nice, but I can always purchase those things if I want them.
For me it's the QUALITY of the buildings / models that clinches the deal and why I give a nod in the direction of the BA version.
If however you do like the Warlord Games Miniatures and you're not too fussed on the detail of the actual farm itself the the WLG set is certainly worth considering.
As they say,...
"Ya pays ya money and ya makes ya choice".


 ABOVE and BELOW: The complete WLG LHS Farm set with roofs ON (above) and OFF (below). Notice the extra length of wall and small building in the bottom right corner


BELOW: The complete BA LHS set. Roofing removed. Noticed the second story in the farm house, and loft in the barn and small room in the stables.

 BELOW: Both the WLG (left) and BA (right) complete LHS Farm sets

I hope you find this review useful.
If so feel free to make comment.
UBIQUE!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Tale of Two Farms. PART 2

ABOVE: Two Perry Miniature 28mm French Infantry scope out the barn. How much blood will be spilt capturing the place?

Hi Team
Well, its been some time coming but finally I've arrived at PART TWO of my review of both BATTLEFIELD ACCESSORIES (BA) and WARLORD GAMES models of La Haye Sainte farm sets.
After comparing contents of the two sets in PART 1 in this and following posts we'll look at construction and the level of detail in the respective models.
Let's start with the Aussie offering from BA.

One of the things I really like with BA's models is the VIDEO tutorials on construction you can access via YouTube.
These are a real God send!
As you can see I watched the videos on my IPad as I constructed the kit and the little tips on construction are simply excellent.
Construction proved to be pretty simple. Honestly there wasn't anything tricky here. Anyone with even the slightest experience in model construction would find assembly pretty straight forward.
Assembly was rather intuitive for the most part.
I was impressed with the details included in the models including interior walls and staircases and lofts in barns.
Ensure you have a good PVA / White Glue, (I like Selleys), an old paint brush for cleaning up any access glue, and PEGS,... lots of pegs!!!
I also found rubber bands to be useful tools as you can see.
I found the model to be simple to construct (did I mention that).
I assembled the ENTIRE farm set including sheds, walls, main gate house, farm house, Coach house, barns etc in a single day. I started at 9 am and was finished by 5pm including a hour long lunch and a couple of brews.
It's fortunate that assembly is so simple and that the videos on YouTube are available because there are no written assembly instructions to speak of, just photocopy images.
The detail available in the photocopies is rather poor but ultimately it wasn't an issue so "Meh".
ABOVE and BELOW: Probably the trickiest part of the assembly, the roof and second story windows.
BELOW: I did say LOTS of pegs.
BELOW: The second story of the Main farm House.
TIP: For ensuring you get walls squared to the floor I use a laser cut 60mm square base and use it as seen below. By butting it up agains the wall as it sets you get a perfect Right Angle / 90 degrees.
TIP: Use some of the 'Punched Out' off cuts as braces for internal walls. Not really required but it cant hurt IMHO. 
BELOW: A nice view of the interior of one of the barns

BELOW: Two of the nifty little shed that but up against the farms walls.
I believe these might eventually be available as separate items to add to 'other' BA models.
The overall quality of the entire set is EXCELLENT and is well worth the asking price.
ABOVE: The COMPLETE FARM SET
Part Three will cover the WARLORD GAMES La Haye Sainte model and a direct comparison of the two farms side by side

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Reviews a'plenty PART FOUR

Flags, Faces and Bases!
That's what makes your miniature armies 'pop', or so I've been told.
In this post I'll talk a little about bases and how they can be improved with the addition of some nifty little 'Tufts' I recently discovered.
Leadbear's Tufts are small foliage 'tufts' that you affix to the bases of your miniatures.
They come in a variety of colours and types including 4 shades of Green (including Yellow Green, Light Green, Dark Green) and Beige / Tan.
There is also 'Stoney Tufts' and 'Flowering Tufts'
They are super easy to use.
Simply peel them off their sheet and apply directly to the miniatures base.
Unlike other tufts I've used these don't require any additional adhesive and contour nicely to the base surface.
These truly are the best tufts I've used and are very reasonably priced

BELOW: Just some of LEADBEAR TUFTS



Here are some details on the tufts I obtained directly from Barry at LEADBEAR.

Tufts - Mix (Qty: 140/pack)
These tufts are approximately 4mm high with an additional scattering of a lighter coloured 6mm long static grass to give some contrast.
Beige
Light Green
Green
Dark Green
Dry Grass
Wild Grass

Tufts - 6mm (Qty: 120/pack)
These tufts are approximately 6mm high with a scattering of a lighter coloured 6mm static grass to give some contrast.
Beige
Light Green
Green
Dark Green
Dry Grass

Tufts - 12mm* (Qty: 55/pack)
These tufts are approximately 12mm high.
XL Beige
XL Green
XL Dark

* There is a major discrepancy with regards to the quantity of tufts supplied in the retail packs (55) and the packs I sell personally to friends, via various forums and on eBay (80). However, with the packs sold via retail outlets you receive tufts and larger patches, whereas you only receive tufts when I supply direct.

Flowers - (Qty: 100/pack) 20 each of Red, Pink, Yellow, White, Purple.
Leafy Tufts - (Qty: 100/pack)
Leafy Tufts with Purple Flowers - (Qty: 100/pack)
Leafy Tufts with Red Flowers - (Qty: 100/pack)
Stony Tufts - (Qty: 64/pack)

I plan to add the following to the range - Stony Tufts with Flowers, along with 2mm and 4mm tufts.
As I wrote, I do like people to support the retail outlets which are currently, Eureka Miniatures in Melbourne and Military Hobbies in Adelaide, but I understand this isn't always possible, therefore, I can be contacted at leadbear@internode.on.net

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

BELOW: Some photos of some 28mm 'Jerries' based using fine sand washed washed with a dark brown ink and slightly dry brushed. I've added just LEADBEAR tufts so you can see how they look.





Monday, April 6, 2015

Reviews a'plenty PART THREE!

















ABOVE: LASER TOUCH markers on the Left, and TFL Markers on the Right, as modelled by Corporal Harris wearing khaki in 28mm

Hi Guys
Continuing with my reviews I thought I'd mention a new manufacturer of 'Gaming aids' here in Australia.
Laser Touch create gaming aids / 'Markers' for wargamers, and other useful things like Foam Cary Trays.
Craig is the man in charge.
I noticed he created markers for 'BOLT ACTION' so approached him about making markers for 'Chain Of Command' (CoC).
It took a while but eventually I was able to have the following markers produced:

Patrol Markers
Tactical Movement
Covering Fire
Overwatch
Immobilised
'Shock'

Laser Touch Produce 'CoC Token Sets' and Patrol markers (a bag of 4 'Large' Markers) with your Army / Formation's symbol.
There are plenty to chose from including:

 SS
Soviet
Jap Army
Brit 8th Army
US 82nd Airborne
US 101st Airborne
German Luftwaffe (FJ), and:
US 29th Division
  just to name a few.
ABOVE: Again the Laser Touch markers are no the Left with the TFL markers on the right.
The Markers themselves are attractive, sturdy and practical.
Each token set comes with 3 each of the 'Tactical Move, Overwatch, Covering Fire and Immobilised' markers and 20 'SHOCK' (blood splatter) markers.
Each set retails for a reasonable $38.50 AUD.
PATROL MARKERS are available separately
I recommend you check Laser Touch out,...

 
 ABOVE: "Despite some 'shock' Lancer Corporal Jenkins maintained overwatch". 
 ABOVE AND BELOW: "COVERING FIRE"!
 BELOW: "Cpl Tomkin's lads moved tactically down the village road",...
 BELOW: Various 'Wound / Shock' tokens. Top: Laser Touch Blood Splatter, Middle: Gale Force 9 I think. Bottom: TFL.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Reviews a'plenty: PART TWO

Hi Team
Yet more reviews
Yesterday I was out at EUREKA MINIATURES and as usual I was treated to a sneak peek at some of the upcoming releases and some of the currently available but not well known products
Firstly a look at some cute 'Pulp' characters.
I really like the female sculpts that EUREKA produce. The always look so 'Girly' rather than simply male figures with longer hair and breasts.
These US G.I Janes' are excellent examples:
The ladies can be purchased with backpacks and Garrison Caps / bareheaded or if you're so inclined with Rocket Packs and 'Futuristic' helmets.
BELOW: The MG Team is my favourite.
I can just see this young lady lying prone behind this MMG with her feet casually swaying to and fro as she sends some tracers down range,...
BELOW: Seems Rosie the Riveter is not content on the production line anymore,...
She means to do some harm to the vile Nazis with her spanner!

Now Last time I posted I mentioned that GUNNER DUNBAR (GD) was now taking commissions to paint miniatures.
I recently sent him some EMPRESS MINIATURES 28mm Modern Australians.
The EMPRESS MINIATURES are very nice sculpts and the fit in very well with my predominantly EUREKA MINIATURES Afghanistan Campaign collection.
Firstly to the actually painting that Dan did.
I'm simply blown away at how well GD captured the Disruptive Pattern Camouflage Uniform  (DPCU) 'Oz Cam' pattern.
Not only are the colours and pattern spot on, but they subtle shading and subdued style works perfectly in this scale
He also added Goggles to the Helmets (with Green stuff I suspect) free of charge and without my prompting!!!!
How cool is that?! I mean, it hadn't even crossed my mine to request the modification but it's an obvious one really as ALL Australian Troops are issue Eye Protection as standard and no Digger would leave his FOB without them on him.
(Mods were done AFTER these photos were taken)
I could have had them painted in DigiCam, DPDU (the 2nd 'D' is for Desert) or DPCU.
I chose DPCU as it was the most common pattern used throughout Australia's commitment to OP SLIPPER (2001-14)
The photos speak for themselves.
Again, I cant recommend GD highly enough.


 BELOW: DPCU (left) DPDU (right)

Now as for the actual miniatures.
They are excellent.
As far as I know no one else does Aussie Diggers in 28mm apart from some SASR types that EUREKA do on Motorcycles and Quad Bikes
The sculpting is crisp with little flash to speak off. The range is comprehensive and there are no 'silly' poses.
One criticism,...
No self respecting Digger would EVER use his master hand to make a hand signal.
This chap below would get his arse so kicked by the Platoon Sergeant to using his master hand and taking his eyes away from where his muzzle is pointing whilst on patrol!!!







I purchased these Diggers from ELITE MINIATURES AUSTRALIA whom I HIGHLY recommend to anyone in Australia or New Zealand!
Service is OUTSTANDING and the owner Nathan is a top bloke and Ex Australian Soldier so he knows his stuff.
Anyway.
That's all for now.
More reviews shortly including a look at Chain Of Command V Bolt Action.