Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Aircraft used during the Spanish Civil War

Over the past two days I have been working on the section of my book that deals with air forces that took part in the Spanish Civil War. This has proven to be bit if a Gordian Knot to unravel ... but I finally managed it. Both the Republican and Nationalist air forces underwent several reorganisations during the course of the war, on top of which the presence of both Italian and German independent air forces in Spain added another layer of complication. Sorting this out was not an easy task, especially as several of the references I am using contradict each other.

I am now in the process of putting together data about the main types and makes of aircraft used by both sides ... and it is quite a long list! With a bit of luck I should be able to get this data together by the end of tomorrow, and then I can move on to the next section of the book.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 15th August 1937

A new political police force, the SIM (Servicio Investigacion Militar), was formed in Republican Spain. It was controlled by the Communists and contained many Russian 'advisers'.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Some more (not quite) forty shades of green

Let it not be said that I don't read and act upon the comments made by my regular blog readers. I have therefore created an 8 x 8 'mix and match' grid of Heroscape hexes using those that I have already painted and a few originals. The resulting grid looked like this:

It certainly makes for an interesting and varied look ... and has made me wonder if there might not be something worth pursuing here.

Time for a bit of reflection, I feel.

Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 14th – 25th August 1937


After capturing Bilbao, the Nationalist forces in the North of Spain switched their offensive towards Santander. The Nationalists, who were led by General Fidel Davila, advanced westwards through the Cantabrian Mountains. Despite the large numbers of troops General Mariano Gamir had under his command, Republican resistance was weak. This weakness was due, in the main, to poor training and a shortage of weapons. On 23rd August the Basque forces in the Republican army surrendered to General Ettore Bastico, and because further resistance was impossible, Ulibarri abandoned his remaining troops and flew to safety in France. The Nationalists were then able to enter Santander almost unopposed.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

(Not quite) Forty shades of green

During the much needed breaks in my writing schedule, I have been playing around with different shades of green paint to see which looks best on some examples of Heroscape hexed terrain. The results so far are as follows:

I am tending towards the use of a lighter rather than a darker shade, but I have not yet made a firm decision.

It is something for me to think about whilst I am toiling away at my keyboard!

For those of you who are not aware, there is an old Irish folk song entitled FORTY SHADES OF GREEN ... and it has been around for a lot longer than new, slightly larger, similarly-named, grey upstart that seems to have gained a spurious literary notoriety over recent years.

The lyrics of the song are as follows:
I close my eyes and picture the emerald of the sea
From the fishing boats at Dingle
To the shores of Donadee
I miss the River Shannon and folks at Skibereen
The Moorlands and the Meadows
And their forty shades of green
But most of all I miss a girl in Tipperary town
And most of all I miss her lips
As soft as eiderdown
Again I want to see and do
The things I've done and seen
Where the breeze is sweet as Shalimar
And there's forty shades of green

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Ploughing on

I have spent the day ploughing on with the re-write of my book about the Spanish Civil War. I've reached the section on the air forces fielded by both sides, and this has involved me sitting at my desk surrounded by numerous reference books and copies of documents ... and three dictionaries. I don't speak or read Spanish, Italian, or German anywhere near well enough to be able to translate anything without constantly referring to one or more of the dictionaries. As a result progress has been slow ... but I have been able to correct some errors and add quite a bit more detail.

With luck I hope to finish this part of the book by the end of tomorrow, but I suspect that it might take longer.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Messing about with my Heroscape terrain

During a break from writing, I decided to try placing some of my Heroscape terrain on to my newly constructed 192-hex terrain board. The first thing I found was that the Heroscape tiles clipped together somewhat easier when laid onto the terrain board than when used without it. I suppose this is because the terrain board guides them into place, thus making the process easier.

The second thing was that hills are easier to model with Heroscape than they are with Hexon II. They may end up looking like 'old school' stepped hills, but the figures don't slide off them and they can be made to be more rugged, with lots of different levels being possible.

The end result of my 'messing around' can be seen below:

The ship models are ones that I built some time ago, the buildings were bought during a visit to Corfu, and the trees are ones bought from a model railway shop and subsequently based by me. I used water hexes for the sea, green hexes for most of the terrain, with sand hexes for the beach and some poor going inland, and grey hexes for the centre of the town and the roads.

I was rather pleased with the end result, and it has convinced me that I ought to make better use of my extensive collection of Heroscape terrain.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 10th August 1937

The Council of Aragon was dissolved by the Republican government.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

To paint and/or flock or not to paint and/or flock? ... that is the Heroscape question.

I am really not sure whether or not to paint and/or flock or not to paint and/or flock my Heroscape hexed terrain. I carried out some experiments with paint and flock back in 2011, and the results looked like this:

The seven-hex terrain tile was painted with Citadel Goblin Green paint and flocked with Games Workshop static grass. The uppermost single-hex terrain tile was painted with Citadel Graveyard Earth paint and the middle one was been painted with Citadel Kommando Khaki. Both were then flocked with Jarvis fine-grade cork granules. The bottom singe-hex terrain tile was painted with Citadel Camo Green paint and flocked with Games Workshop static grass.

As far as I know these paints are no longer available, but I am sure that suitable substitutes are available.

I have also used used Heroscape hexed terrain that has just been painted, and it looked like this:

In many ways this looks better than the painted and flocked terrain ... and it was quicker and easier to do.

Finally, I could just leave the Heroscape hexed terrain as it is.

Regular blog readers can see that I have a dilemma I need to resolve; to paint and/or flock or not to paint and/or flock? ... that is the Heroscape question.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

My latest book sales statistics

The latest sales figures for my books became available yesterday, and here they are:

This is the first full month of figures since DEVELOPING THE PORTABLE WARGAME was published, and it is interesting to see that the paperback edition is selling better than the hardback and ePub editions. It is also interesting to see that sales of the original PORTABLE WARGAME book continue to grow, albeit at a slower and steadier pace than earlier in the year.

My total sales are gradually creeping towards a thousand, which is a lot more than I ever hoped I would achieve. Perhaps my next book about the Spanish Civil War will sell just enough to tip my sales over that number ... but it won't unless I get a move on and finish it!