Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January 2015 Posting...

I'm in the process of reading Embers of War.  I'm 150 pages in a 700 page book on French Indochina from 1940-1960.  Once I get done reading it, I'll post a blog review of the book.  Alas, it's a long work...

This month has seen what paging I've been able to accomplish work on 28mm 1870 French Turcos.  I based and primed a bunch of 28mm Vikings.  I'll get around to them once I get the 28mm Franco-Prussian figures finished.  I only have a regiment of 28mm 1870 French Turcos and an 1870 French 4 pdr battery to paint.  Then that project is completed!

I also have my 30mm Menoth Protectorate Warjacks, warcaster, and heavy infantry to finish painting.  I'll work on that as soon as I have the 28mm 1870 French complete.

Anyway, it's always something...

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review of U.S. Navy Seawolves by Daniel E. Kelly

Author:  Daniel E. Kelly.
Title:  U.S. Navy Seawolves - The Elite HAL-3 Helicopter Squadron in Vietnam.
Publisher:  Presidio Press.
Copyright:  2002.
Pages:  269.
Price:  $7.99 (US).

Impressions:
U.S. Navy Seawolves - The Elite HAL-3 Helicopter Squadron in Vietnam by Daniel E. Kelly is a fast-paced book.  I enjoyed reading it.  It takes about how the Navy organized a attack helicopter service for its SEAL teams along the Mekong delta and around Saigon.  The description of actual combat operations took place in 1967 to the Tet Offensive of 1968.

I didn't realize how active the Navy was involved along the Mekong with its "brown-water navy" of riverine craft and swift boats.  SEAL teams were still relatively new in Vietnam.  I also realized the helicopter pilots were their own unique breed.  My uncle was an Army helicopter pilot in both Vietnam and Korea.  However, he never did talk about the combat and rescue missions he flew before dying several years ago.

I would have liked to have known more.  However, U.S. Navy Seawolves gave me some insight into the world of a combat helicopter pilot.  Recommend.

Monday, December 22, 2014

End of the year painting projects...

I completed a 72 figure 1870 Bavarian infantry regiment this morning.  But the bases need flocking.  This means all my 28mm 1870 Germans are done!  I started 28mm Franco-Prussian War in 2011.  It's now almost 2015 and I have an entire 54 figure 28mm 1870 French Turco infantry regiment to finish painting along with another 4 pdr French artillery battery.

When I started this project, I didn't intend for it to take over eighteen months.  I've been side tracked several times.  I look forward to be finished with everything by the end of February 2015.

I'm currently working on some 30mm Warmachine Warjacks and an unit of heavy infantry for my Menoth Protectorate army.  I also have an entire 30mm Mercenary Steelhead Company army to assemble and paint in the coming year.  There are also loose ends like a 28mm Viking army and 30mm WH40K Baneblade to paint and assemble, also.

Those are my goals for 2015 as far as gaming miniatures go...

Happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year,
Blake

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Review of Battle for the Falklands: The Winter War by Bishop & Witherow

Authors:  Patrick Bishop and John Witherow.
Title:  Battle for the Falklands - The Winter War.
Publisher:  Harper Press.
Copyright:  1982.
Pages:  157.
Price:  $4.99 US (ebook).

Overview and impressions:
The Falklands War was a new subject for me.  I read the book by Patrick Bishop and John Witherow.  It was an unexpected conflict.  Argentine invaded the territory and the UK came back to reclaim it.  I'm not sure if they're still arguing over who should control the islands.

The conflict could be divided between the air/sea battles and the land invasion.  From what I read, the whole thing was a close run affair until the actual D-Day.  The British used regular army troops.  The Argentines had conscripts.  Both sides fought well.

The Argentines could have done much more damage if their bombs had properly armed when their pilots flew at twenty to thirty feet in the air.  The ship missiles did enough damage to the British Navy to make them think twice about their anti-missile defenses.  By the time of the ground of war, the Argentine will to fight was done for.  The Argentines had time to entrench and fortify their positions.  But no one wanted to die in the Falklands.

I enjoyed the read.  Though I admit it's biased because the authors are UK newspaper reporters.  I wouldn't mind reading someone from the Argentine perspective.  Unfortunately, I'm not fluent in Spanish.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Review of Hill 488 by Ray Hildreth and Charles Sasser

Authors:  Ray Hildreth and Charles Sasser.
Title:  Hill 488.
Publisher:  Pocket Books.
Copyright:  2003.
Pages:  359.
Cost:  $7.00

Overviews and impressions:
Hill 488 is the first hand account of the 1st Platoon, 1st Recon Battalion, 1st Marine Division stationed on Hill 488 and the VC/NVA battalion that attacked it on June 13, 1966.  One Congressional Medal, four Navy Crosses, thirteen Silver stars, and 18 Purple Hearts were awarded to the unit.  The highest decoration of any small unit in US history.

The books is engrossing.  Hildreth tells his story from first person.  Sasser shifts to third person during some of the battle scenes to keep the narrative moving.  I felt I was on top of Hill 488 with the Marines when they were attacked.  It's the closest I've come to actually being in combat since reading We Were Soldier...  And Young Once.

Recommended.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Review of Warriors of Thlassa Mey by Dennis McCarty

Author:  Dennis McCarty.
Title:  Warriors of Thlassa Mey.
Publisher:  Del Rey Books.
Copyright: 1987 (out of print).
Pages:  337.
Price:  $3.50 (US).

Overview and impressions:
This is the second books in the Thlassa Mey series.  The heroes are scattered around the inland sea.  Slowly, they're drawn together to the Temple of the lost Polonians.  The mad wizard Alyubol has plans for them there involving the desecration of an ancient king at Sparth's Head Castle.

The novel builds up to that ending.  More background is given about the various places of the Thlassa Mey.  The reader learns more about Palamon, the disgraced knight of Pallas who has been given the quest of stopping Alyubol.  Still, an enjoyable read.  Recommended.

Review of Flight to Thlassa Mey by Dennis McCarty

Author:  Dennis McCarty.
Title:  Flight to Thlassa Mey.
Publisher:  Del Rey.
Copyright:  1986 (out of print).
Pages:  319.
Price:  $2.95 (US).

Overview and impressions:
This was a fantasy novel set around a young princess and a knight turned bouncer as they fled around the inland sea called the Thlassa Mey.  They were constantly being chased by Lothar the Pale's troops and the minion of the insane wizard Alyubol.

The novel takes off from there.  I read it in the 1980s when I was graduating high school and needed diversions from my daily life.  I hated high school and couldn't look forward to college.  Reading was a way I'd keep my mind occupied with other thoughts besides working at McDonalds and not having a car.

Recommended for a rousing epic fantasy fan.