Wednesday, April 30, 2014

All quiet on the blogging front

We mainly like sleeping on each other. 

I may have mentioned that there is preciously little blogging going on at the moment.  Quite a bit of that has had to do with working all the hours that God sends at the moment. I will be very happy when by mid May when this rush of stuff is over.  In other news, we are looking after some foster kittens again for the DSPCA. Now we have a rule that we never take fewer than three kittens, mainly because we're well aware that five cats is just too many. At least if we have three, we know we have to give them back. 

Now as it happened when I explained this to the new girl at the DSPCA, her ears pricked up and she said "So you'd be happy to take more than three?"  

Running, jumping, climbing humans - the days are just packed!

And that ladies and germs is how we ended up with six foster kittens - they are

Hillary - who likes climbing things. 
Myrtle - who moans and cries all the time. 
Louis - (short for Richelieu) because he has a black spot on his chin. 
Louis is their leader. 
Mary - who cleans things mercilessly. 
This is definitely not a reference to my mother in law. 
Spike - because his fur will just not stay down. 
Monty - short for "The Comte de Monte Kitten", so named because 
we couldn't come up with a name for him after the first few days. 

But also sleeping. 

...and occasionally washing. 

We will only have these chaps for five weeks, but they're already proving a hit. They are also much cleaner than the previous crew. 


But lest you think that there will be no wargaming at all in this blog, I present you with a picture from our Kursk campaign on Sunday. My semi-finished Stuka taking the fight to some Soviet lend lease armour in the final game.  This was a great success and went well.  This was one of the first times we've used the air rules in an Overlord game and they made for some interesting play. I was very happy with it, but that's for another post. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Some fearsome looking bocage

Things have been rather busy here at Joy and Forgetfulness, so blogging has had to take a back seat for a while. Sad to say, work has been responsible for most of it, but we did manage to get some gaming in on Sunday, which was great fun and I will be posting about that in a few days. 

In the meantime, as any fool who fancies wargaming the Normandy campaign knows, you need bocage. There are a variety of tutorials online, but to be honest I knew it was going to be a dirty job (most of them involve a lot of mastic) and have been avoiding it for a while. 

Another angle

This looks suitably tangled and awkward and unpleasent and was produced for less than the price of a pint by Skips Scenics.  They are a local outfit (buy Irish chaps) stocked by The Hobbyden, an online dealer in Kildare.  I was also able to send them some of my five inch MDF hexes, so that the bases would match my Memoir '44 setup and they just built the pieces on top. On the whole - I'm very happy. I got three of these for €20 including shipping and that's as many as I need for the first four scenarios in the Caen campaign. I'm not entirely sure what they are made out of, but I think it's a mix of filler and rubberised horse hair. Either way, it's very hard and will stand up to a great deal of abuse. I'm going to add some texturing to the plain wood of the hex, but beyond that they are ready to go straight from the box. 


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

The angel at the sepulchre by Gustav Dore

Christ is risen! Wishing you all a very Happy Easter. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Muster: Soviet Army

The somewhat battered Soviet hordes

With the Kursk game coming up, it was time to dig out my Soviets and make an account, now unfortunately my laptop was out of comission, so this was composed and photographed on my phone. Some of the pictures may not be as sharp as I would like. 

Urrah Podieda!

Most of these figures were based about a million years ago for a game called Warhammer Panzer Battles, which eventually became Flames of War. This like Crossfire, was a game that came with strict basing conventions which being young and foolish, I strictly adhered to. That said the figures have seen a great deal of service in WPB, Crossfire, Rapidfire and now Memoir '44. 

More infantry

Towards the end of my Second World collecting carreer, I started basing figures singly which is a great improvement.  The chap in the camoflage suit is a Razvedchiki, a Soviet Long Range Reconaissance Scout.  He and several like him played a large part in my long running GURPS Second World War game. These chaps a mix of Revell, Battlefield and Irregular. 

Chaps with PTRD anti rifles 
Revell Siberian Riflemen and a Battlefield Ravedchiki

I'll be using these guys to mark units with anti-tank assets in Memoir '44 game. The Battlefield figure was Danilko, the sniper from our Razvedchiki game.  He normally used a Moisin Nagant, but it must be said he did some great work with a PTRD.  One of my favourite moments from the campaign was how he discovered his father was dead.  I used to run a mailbag and get the players to write letters home and their family would write back. Life being what it is and the Red Army postal service being so awful, the letter were delivered in the wrong order and poor old Danilko thought his mother was losing it because she had started referring to his father by a different name. 

What had happened of course was that his father had died, his mother had met another man and remarried, but those letters hadn't arrived yet. 

A Britannia sniper and some homemade flamethrower chaps. 

The Soviets were aware that troopers carrying flamethrowers tended to be targeted, so they would disguise the flamethrower as a rifle. I needed some guys for a game at short notice and stuck some sprue on their backs as a stopgap measure.

One that seems to have lasted rather longer than I anticipated.

Soviet heavy metal

A Frontline KV next to two Pegasus quickbuild KVs. The chap on the right is a Pound shop Churchill, whose tracks have long since gone west. Not entirely sure what I'll do with him. The Pegasus kits are fine pieces and went together well. I must throw some paint on them shortly. 

These fellas are both hardened campaigners

One of the scenarios in the Rapidfire Eastern Front book called for a captured Stug.  This is an Airfix model with an extra thick barrel added from plastic rod.  The M3 on the right is another Pound shop special which I stuck together with crazy glue.  The camo netting is old plaster bandage that I went a little over the top with.

Hordes of T-34s

The chaps on the left are I think Italeri, I bought them made up from Mark Bevis to bulk up by Soviets. The Airfix T-34 however is the mainstay of my Soviet armour and despite the gun barrel being a little more delicate than I would like has served well.

Lend Lease armour

Armourfast Shermans to the left and Pound Shop specials to the right. I may have gone a little bit overboard with the weathering on the chap on the far left.


These were the best of the Pound Shop special armour that I picked up as an impoverished student.  I stuck them together as best I could, painted them brown and drybrushed GW goblin green over them. They've rampaged over most of Europe and took a brief detour via Korea towards the end of the second phase of my wargaming career. Whatever they lack in looks, they certainly made up for in durability.

PSC Russian guns

These are fine models and deserve to be photographed rather better than I have done.  Unfortunately, the suffered from my inattention and need repairing. The last gun also needs to be based properly, but we'll get to that. 

This is a truly awful picture of a really, really nice model. 

Britannia Soviet AA truck - this model is just a cracker. Simple, rugged, the little Britannia sculpts have bags of character and you can't argue with four Maxim guns can you?

This particular piece belongs to Fatz and has been on long term loan for quite some time now.

Soviet trucks

These have appeared in plenty of scenarios and appear on closer inspection to be ZIS-5s from Britannia. Really nice solid resin models. Recommended. 

Lend lease Studebakers from Frontline

Not quite as crisp and nice as the Britannia trucks, but still very serviceable.


These were in a box.  They were in the same box as the Tigers, so I'm beginning to think they were a gift from someone, possibly Vinny, though I'm basing that on his painting style more than anything else.  I would reckon that these are Pegasus quick builds based on the tracks and the fact that there are two of them. I've never used 'em in action, but we shall have to see about changing that. 


Lest my extremely sketchy knowledge of tanks lead me into repeating any of my mistakes of the last few days, I sent Mr E these pictures, an avid World of Tanks player, who correctly identified them for me. I won't expose my shame any further, but I console myself that I wasn't too far off.  These accompanied the IS-122, so I suspect Vinny again. They also haven't seen much service, but I've never really played much late war stuff.

And there you have it. A little shorter on infantry than I thought, but generally well provided for - there are no particular gaps that I can see. I might add a Katyusha, a few additional infantry and some special weapons, but on the whole I think the Soviet collection is in good shape.

And on a completely unrelated note, roll on laptop, typing this on a smart phone is not my idea of fun.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mystery Truck

This fine looking motor was a gift from Donogh a couple of years ago and very nice it is too. I remember thinking it was British, but I haven't been able to find anything like it online. 

Looking at the cab, I compared it to some Russian trucks (more because of the lack of markings than anything else ) and I think it may be a ZIS-5, though it seems a trifle under scale if it is. 

Anyone care to venture a second opinion? 

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Ferdinands or possibly Elefants

These are the stragglers from the great German army muster. They were collected with the battles around Ponyri in mind - though I note that these have machine guns, which marks them as Elefants rather than the Ferdinand's that were used at Kursk. 

Jadgpanzer IV & JadgTiger

These two make up the last of my German armour (for now!) and were a purchase from EBay. The Jadgpanzer IV saw enough service to justify having one in the stash. 

The same can not be said for its friend with the 12cm gun. I'm pretty sure that the Jadgtiger came bundled with these in an eBay lot as I can't imagine there are that many scenarios that it would be suited for. 

Next the Soviets I think. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A hostile horde of Huns.

A hostile horde of Huns

We had a shindig for my birthday on Saturday and the War Room was temporary turned into a bar, which necessitated quite a bit of cleaning and tidying. As a result the table was clear for the first time in ages, so I took the opportunity to lay out my German forces. This is handy for two reasons, firstly it means that I could actually get a look at everything and secondly because I intend to run some Memoir '44 and it means that I can work out how many units of X and Y I actually have. 

Command staff - Kubelwagens and radio trucks. Britannia and a variety of ancient plastics. 

Most of these were collected for use in my Razvedcheki - GURPS World War Two campaign, so the choices may be a little odd for a wargamer. 


A Britannia 120mm mortar, plus two infantry guns and a variety of anti tank ordnance.  I have more of those Revel 105mm somewhere. Possibly not. 

Britania crew with a Revell Pak.  I didn't notice the missing wheel on the AA halftrack until now. The self propelled piece is a Wespe, I think and was picked up via eBay, nearly a lifetime ago.  I think it's rather dinky. 

SHQ early war German paratroopers

These guys have probably seen more service than any other part of this collection.  When I began historical wargaming the second time around, my only opponent was a huge early Second World War enthusiast and we only played games that revolved around my fellows duffing up Belgians, Norwegians and on one notable occasion, the entire armed forces of Luxemberg. 

Italeri and Revell Panzergrenadiers. 

I painted all of these myself during a period of illness. They are based for Crossfire, a game that I enjoyed, but did not play as much as I would like. 

More Panzergrenadiers, including one deceased chap that I had thought was out of shot. 

Command staff and a lad with a flamethrower. 

Unpainted bits and pieces. 

I am actually surprised I don't have a painted 88. I shall have to attend to that I think. 

A better shot of the Command staff. 

My gallant Russian partisans murdered that jodhpurs wearing officer more times I care to mention. 

Some of the recurring villains of the piece, Britannia German Field Police. The dog handlers are from Irregular.  These guys spent a lot of time getting ambushed. 

A Britannia motorcycle combination with some plastic chums

I have no idea where the plastics came from, but these guys were used in quite a number of Indiana Jones style chases. 

A Panzer II from Revell and some other scout type stuff. 

Matchbox Panzer IIIs and a Revell Panzer IV

There aren't quite as many of these as I thought. I may have to invest in some regular Germany armour in the midst of all the big cats. 

SHQ dismounted Panzer crew

Some Sven Hassell characters from Drews Militia (or was it Battlefield?)

These guys were recurring villains in the game as well and were pulled out for one memorable game session, where one of the characters was having a nightmare.  It was great - all the other players were in on it and played along beautifully.

A Maus from Frontline

This slap of resin was used as a sort of Death Star type device in a convention game pitting Soviet Partians ("The Red Death Commando!") versus some hiliariously evil Nazis. 

"You have not heard the last of Colonel Siegfried von Stahlfaust!" was a recurring line as the villain, a Panzer officer with a prosthetic metal fist as he would make his escape for the third time that day. 

As one grows older, one asks oneself questions...

...and one of these questions is "Why do I have eight Tigers?" 

I don't even remember putting all of these together. The chaps on the left are repainted diecast models and I know I inherited two of the kits from a pal. This is rather more big cat than I need. 

An Italeri Blitz (right) accompanied by three Frontline Maultiers

The Maultiers were ordered because I got the code wrong when I was making up my order and was too embarrassed to say anything. 

Another three Blitz's  I think these are Frontline again and were ordered to replace the Maultiers. 

A collection of half tracks

The big gray one was from a weird Japanese company that I found in a pound shop for a euro. The others came with other kits I think and are either Italeri or Revell. 

Two big cats

These are Revell, I believe - though I assembled them more than ten years ago now. Krisztian did a job on the camouflage.

And lastly, two resin Hanomags. 

I think these are resin models from Frontline.  They were a gift from a friend a couple of years ago and I had intended to add a few crew to jazz them up a bit. 

And there you have it, in many ways a very typical early wargames army and I say this mainly because the plethora of Tigers. There is less standard armour than I had thought and a little shy on 88mm guns, but for the most part I think it should serve.

I have realised that I forgot to take a picture of the two Ferdinands, the King Tiger and the Jadgpanzer in the centre. I will remedy that in time.

In other news, the Padre is running a caption competition over at his blog and you should enter.  There simply will not be enough fart jokes, I fear.

You will find a link here.