It's been a tough year, whilst the last couple of months has been bloody annoying to tell the truth, with hospital visits, work, union business and a string of family guests staying with us over consecutive weeks.
With my health restored to a degree where I can enjoy a normal life, I want to crack on now and make the most of what remains of this year. So where am I with Winter of '79?
Maff and I started this project from scratch with no 20mm resources at all. Thanks largely to Ebay I now have a basic rural terrain with enough buildings for several different table configurations. I still need to work on accumulating some accessories and building lean-to's and tin cow sheds to bring life to the table, so that's my main focus for September.
SSWG last year (see photo to the right), I've just started putting together a small(ish) housing estate. In my case using Dapol HO/OO plastic buildings.
The most time consuming part will be recreating gardens (front and back) but it will be well worth the effort to create additional cover and manoeuvring space. Take a look at this photo from Trev's blog for an idea of what I'm aiming to accomplish:
Well, sort of, my mind is in a state of flux about what to try and represent. I'm currently thinking more along the lines of an embattled housing estate that's under siege. See the photo below:
I envision a number of buildings in varying states of decay and distress. Some burnt out, some damaged, others fortified by their owners, squatters or local military/urban militia forces. This is one of the reasons why I chose the Dapol kits over more colourful pre-printed cardstock buildings.
The mainstay of my collection currently consists of Britannia Miniatures' 20mm Cold War BAOR & Stonewall Miniatures (ex-Hotspur) Operation Corporate and Urban Operations ranges. With no sign of my order from RH Models, I've decided to push on with my original plan for Britannia's Cold War minis to make up the bulk of the main force Regulars and Territorials for both sides. Whilst those lovely ex-Hotspur Falklands figures from Stonewall will provide shabby rebel forces, SAS, local militias, bandits etc. More about this in more detail over the coming week or two.
Urban guerrillas, terrorists, undercover operators etc come from Stonewall's Urban Operations and Platoon 20's Post War ranges. Maff has this sorted.
I'm keeping my eye on Elheim as the modern Indo-Pakistan War Indian figures have a very British appearance and can become rebels forces with just a paint-job. IND04 Indian officer in turban even provides a great character figure.
Vehicles & AFVs
Largely sorted thanks to both Airfix (& ex-JB Models) and B.W. Models. I need a few more civilian vehicles and Land Rovers. Plus some Spartan CRVTs from S&S Models.
Tempting as it is, even to have a hastily armed Cessna appropriated for the rebel air force, airpower would be devastating at the level of game I currently wanting to recreate. I have an Airfix Westland SA 330 Puma helicopter waiting to be made up as a nostalgia trip, but really want an Airfix Westland Scout or two for SAS incursions. I guess that whilst I play the 'long game' on Ebay for the Scout, l'll have to settle for the readily available Westland Gazelle.
Geezers: Shut IT for the urban stuff. Cold War: 1983 from Wessex Games, plus Force on Force and Ambush Alley from Ambush Alley Games when it suits or the inkling takes us, for the 'hard' military based games.
If I wasn't such a miniatures meglomaniac and if I hadn't thrown myself so fully into this project, I could have been up and running with fig painted and on the tabletop in under a month - all done for around £60-£80 including buildings. Hands up, I admit it guv, but that's just not me. I do enough of the rational, planned and thought out business stuff in the day job. Maff and I both agree that we've had tons of fun getting the ball rolling and coming up with the ideas so far, but a tipping point of sorts has been reached, certainly for me personally with my new bill of health.
As September is about to fall on us, I'm keen to put the 'wellie' down now and springboard forward to get some 'hard' military games on the table, even if the games are episodes played in advance of our current stream of unfolding alternative history events. Stay tuned, there's plenty of action to come.....it'll be a riot!