Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fireforge Russian Foot

      I bought these a while ago and I am only now getting around to writing this review. Fireforge has brought out something that I've been waiting on for ages; Dark Ages Russian foot. I have a Byzantine army and have been cheating for years using Vikings as Rus. Now I can finally do the right thing and field a real unit of Rus warriors to assist the Emperor in defending Byzantium from the barbarians.Doubtless they will be striving to get promoted to the Varangian Guard!

      These figures show their Viking heritage but have a decidedly Eastern/Slavic look. They are molded in a medium soft gray plastic with very crisp details. A good selection of shields and weapons is provided, a bit heavy on the archers to my taste but that is just one man's opinion.You could easily back-date these by swapping in more round shields and hairy faces from other sets of minis.I can barely wait to start converting these models.

once again the back of the box shows a photo of the very pretty painted minis, 
one of these days the guys in marketing will realize that this would sell more boxes

not that there is anything wrong with the cover-art, very atmospheric
not at all like the tragic Wargames Factory cover art

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Looking forward, Game Schedule for September and October

     The rest of this month looks good for our normal schedule of 7pm Saturday games. October, on the other hand, is a complete train wreck; between family commitments and work I will not be able to host a game all month. Others are welcome to host a game at my place, just contact me in advance so I can set things up.

     Of course you all are welcome to host games of your own, I make no claim to be the only venue in town. Suggestions for games or offers to run one can be posted in comments or emailed to me.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Lace Wars Part VII, Into action at last!

     The point of owning and painting wargames minis is to actually play games with them, at that is what I have been told! The growing pile of Lace Wars figures had me thinking that I would like to see them in action on the table top, not just a staged photo-op, but a real game. So I concocted the following scenario.

    On the Island of Santa Margarita the Spanish have begun to construct a gun battery on a bit of high ground that overlooks the Straits. They have been concerned over the increasing tensions with Britain and want to secure the passage against interference by the Anglos. Right near the proposed battery is the homer od Senor Fernandez, the leader of the local militia. He has called them to his home to assist with the construction work and to guard the area while the battery is built.

     Having better and faster ships the British have found out that war has broken out against Spain. The salient problem is that while word has arrived, reinforcements have not. Lord Feversham understands the need to capture the battery position and spike or carry away the guns but he lacks the manpower for the job. To make up numbers he has struck a bargain with the devil and signed on a large number of Buccaneers to at as shock troops. They have been promised a free hand in looting the island as long as the battery is wiped out first.

     The British player was given the choice of flanking attacks from the north or the south, or an attempt to land directly onto the dock with the one schooner light enough to handle the shallow water. He chose to launch all of his units into a flank attack from the south with the schooner sailing toward the dock as a distraction and a signal to his own men to begin the assault. Below we have a map to the table

Monday, August 29, 2016

Lace Wars Part VI, Spanish 3rd Tercio

       I finally found someone that wore a color other than red, gray or blue. The Spanish 3rd Tercio wore green with red cuffs; a get-up the matches a certain Russian Guards regiment. I promptly set about painting them and in less than a week they had gotten to almost finished. The figures are 28mm plastics from Wargames Factory (now being produced by another company, Warlord Games I think). My objective is to be able to field a variety of readily distinguished units for a Imaginations  Campaign based (loosely) on the Caribbean during the Age of the Buccaneers. One thing I insist on is that all of the units be painted to represent a real historical unit, a needless restriction I know, nut one I will not bend!

 You can see the fruits of my labors below. I am still looking for a unit in brown or yellow.........

my inability to leave well enough alone is on display in the command figures of this unit, 
only the flag-bearer and one of the drummers have escaped modification

Friday, August 26, 2016

Odd Things that I have found

     I spend far too much time cruising the internet, it gets in the way of working on my projects from time to time.But then I find a gem of a site like this

Need a covered wagon? Don't want to spend a ton of money on what is essentially a prop? Try this:site, Need a dozen 15mm windmills and don't feel like scratchbuilding....they have them.

I have been raiding souvenir shops on all of my vacations picking up such items. I caution that some of the items are rather cartoonish and the scale is extremely variable, so buy one before placing a large order. It is remarkable what a coat of paint does for these things!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lace is the Place, back to the 28mm Lace Wars figures

I pushed aside my many distractions and pulled out the last two boxes of Lace Wars infantry. This builds four more battalions of infantry once they are combined with the remains of the previous boxes. I decided that two of the battalions would be grenadiers, just to liven things up[ a bit........and to use those cool looking heads with the silly hats! A couple of hours and I had most of them based and assembled.  I have found a unit that dressed in green, but I'm still looking for a real unit that dressed in brown, I know they are out there somewhere, I just haven't found a picture or trust-worthy source. If anybody knows of such a unit please advise.

almost done, the horse are next

the assembly process would go much faster if I stuck with the standard poses, 
I always end up modifying at least two figures per unit

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Little Rough Going, 15mm rocky ground

   OK, another distraction to add to my list of distractions..........I know. I know, I keep up like this and the Lace Wars project will die in the cradle. But I do so love making terrain.

R.U.P. is planning a Rhodesia game for the beginning of September and he mentioned that he needed some areas of rocky ground because the REAL Rhodesia looks like this;

be careful kids, this is not your average table top

   Being an irrepressible half-wit I immediately suggested that I would put some patches of rocky ground for him, mind you, this was before he sent pictures! I have never learned how to un-volunteer for something so I was truly stuck now. Fortunately I have tons of foam and my trusty Proxon hot wire cutter. A half hour later I had put this together;
ruler for scale, I was going to put a model of Louis XIV on the table
 but at the last moment backed away from the pun

   I sent R.U.P. a picture and met with his approval so I kept at it and added a bit of paint ending up with a few areas of rather rough ground looking like this.
hartdly an exact match 
but the wee soldiers need to be able to stand upon it after all!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Oh No !!!! More with the mats....15mm roads

I spent the afternoon making roads with my eight year old granddaughter, she is still young enough to think this stuff is cool. Same materials, same techniques as before so I won't bore you with the procedural stuff. Here is a photo of the finished product, they are made on a base width of 2 inches. I am not certain that I am fully happy with these as they sit rather high above the surface. I will have to see what they look like on a mat.
 these will be used as trails in 28mm, notice the connection pieces at the bottom
 these transition from 3" road width to 2" road width
the distortion is from me using my cell phone camera in "panoramic mode"
while standing unsafely on top of a stool

Sunday, July 31, 2016

My my....More with the Mats? Folding and Spraying

    I know that I'm starting to sound like a one-horn orchestra but there were a few questions asked by folks here and over on TMP. I have tried to find the answers and present the information below.

     First we have the 30lb ammo can torture test. Someone asked how the  mats handled being folded, I folded up a section and sat a 30lb ammo can on it for a week

for a whole week the poor mat lay there crushed under the weight of an ammo can full of cartridges

Friday, July 29, 2016

For Once I'm Working Ahead!

Saturday's game will be at 1900hrs, U.S. Marines vs Local militants (sounds dreadfully familiar) but here is the twist; it is the 1920's and the Marines are in Central America trying to keep the peace. We will be playing on my brand new game mats so everybody show up, let's break these in right!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Still more fun with cheap D.I.Y. table mats, the Endgame

   Let's face it, the idea is to play wargames on all this stuff. If we were just into building static displays we could do railroad modelling or build dioramas. But no, we play wargames.......this means that we need attractive, playable gaming surfaces. Small good gorgeous terrain is if it can't stand up to the rough and tumble of wargaming; errant dice, movement stands and the odd spilled beer.

So, after boring you all to tears with my construction project, I put a table together and laid out a game. I think that it turned out rather well. Take a look and feel free to opine!

I added the roads, my new hills, my refurbished trees
 and some lovely buildings that I had picked up at local Cons

Sunday, July 24, 2016

More fun with D.I.Y. Wargame mats, Caution Road Construction Ahead

       Having made a couple of straight bits of road I decided to go whole-hog and make a complete set of roads to go with my fancy new mats. This was made imperative when I realized that my usual roadway material (masking tape) wouldn't work on the fibrous mat surface. And, really, what point is there in having a good looking mat criss-crossed with masking tape roads?

     Construction was very simple, I decided that a road section should measure 3" across, with a roadway surface of about 2 1/2". To go with my 48" x 72" table all roads would be made in 3", 6"and  12"  sections. Curves sections would be cut from 12" squares to ensure that they worked with the other road sections. I drew the planned roads on the back of already dry-brushed 12" square sections of mat. I cut them out using a good heavy sharp set of shears. Then it was off to the paint works. The process is chronicled below.

all sections were cut from 12" squares to ensure that they were compatible