Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Battle of Almanza 1707-2007 reenactment video

 I just wish I knew enough Spanish to understand what they are shouting for orders

      I found this interesting, particularly for the example of firing by rank and how very open the formation was when executing it.  Almanza was the battle in eastern Spain that pretty much doomed the cause of the Hapsburg pretender to the throne. The uniforms are interesting, I wish I had seen this earlier on; I would certainly have wanted that purple and red unit (seen in the background of the above picture) in my collection!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Airfix HS 123 in 1/72 scale

     I have added a second game at Spartacon this year, I will be running a big 1/72 scale armor game set in southern Russia in the summer of 1942. In reviewing my stock of German ground support aircraft I found that I was rather short-handed. To remedy this I dug deep into the "this was once an important project" pile and recovered an MPC copy of the redoubtable 1970 vintage Airfix Henschel HS 123. I had three of these kits but had never opened the box (confession time, they have been in that project pile since 1984, yes, upwards of thirty years) so could only guess what the model looked like or how well it had been molded. Having built a few of MPC's other products in the past I was prepared to be disappointed.....

     To my surprise and delight it was perfectly molded and cleanly cast, with excellent surface detail and superb fit. It took less than twenty minutes to build the model and just over an hour to paint it. The only unimpressive feature was the decals which were rather thick. If I had a bottle of Solvaset around this would have been less of a problem. Anyway, I now have a nice little addition to my German airforce and have added an airplane to yearly out put.

the model was dream to put together, only small seams at the wing-root

Monday, December 17, 2018

Now I'm in Trouble

The main thing stopping me from building the new Cruel Seas models was the fact that the models are big enough for the crew to be visible but they don't come with them, that and I would have to paint them........

     Then I saw this:

     And they come pre-painted........

Friday, December 14, 2018

Year In Review, late Addition Update

I got roped into running another game at Spartacon and needed to add some air support

      No, I'm not trying to bring you the highlights of a year in the hobby in one simple post. I am just looking back at what I have managed to get completed over the course of the last year. I promised myself that I wouldn't buy more figures than I managed to paint, in this I have been largely successful as my purchases have been minimal.

      Unfortunately so has my figure output.

      One of the advantages of blogging is that it forms a record of painted figures and purchased figures. In looking back over the years worth of posts I see that I have managed to complete 84 mounted figures, 82 foot figures, two tanks and seven large terrain pieces or models. Not a particularly stunning output. I added a 1/72 Henschel HS 123 just today (20DEC18)

of all the things I made this year this is the one I like the best
it worked out as planned and got me motivated to build the rest of my Dark Ages stuff

these are the ones I am least pleased with; I look at them and wonder what I was thinking?
wrong period, wrong gaming toys they are OK but I don't game ACW!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Of Course I Fell For It!

free stuff that isn't really free, OK, I'm a sucker

      You have to hand it to Warlord, they are pretty good at marketing. They bring out Cruel Seas, a new rule-set and the attached models and then they give away just enough of the models to get your attention. I mean, I was going to buy the magazine anyways but then I noticed that you get a choice of the British MTBs OR the German E-boats. Obvious answer; buy both copies! So I did, Warlord wins big time but from my point of view I got $36.00US worth of product for $18.00US of cost and I can give the spare magazine to one of my wargaming buddies. The real question now is; Was it worth it?

Friday, November 30, 2018

Just a little post for Stew

Stew, you have been a constant source of encouragement regarding my Lace Wars Project so I thought I would throw out a visual treat. I had a test-game planned for Thursday evening but a personal emergency led to a last-minute cancellation. The table was all set up and I plan on running the game with the latest edition of my Nine Years War rules this Saturday, but in the mean time take a look at the pretty toys! I have to get one of those backdrops with the idyllic hills and drifting clouds.

I was trying for a Spanish look but now it seems more Italian countryside 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Scratchbuilt Ironclad Cruiser 28mm (return to Rivet City)

yeah, that's what I was talking about!

     Having decided what I am going to present at Spartacon2019 I realized that I needed to add to my Predreadnought Fleets. The French have been on the losing end of more games than the Prussians so I decided that they would get the first of the reinforcements. There was a spare model from my most recent boat giveaway so I figured I would start with that one.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Oops! I did it again....Ship Happens Part VII (Updated)

when will I ever learn....

     In a move that was sure to set back my already tardy painting schedule I decided to make another ironclad; a monitor this time, to oppose the Confederate casement ironclad. Having not yet shipped out the promised models (apologies to all who asked for one) I copied the monitor model and set to work. This has proved to be another deceptively simple design that requires a stunning number of rivets.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Sometimes Things Just Happen Part VI, Accidental Ironclad

it was almost inevitable, wasn't it?

     A little while back I was playing around with my Proxxon Hot Wire cutter (how many of these stories start that way?)   and knocked up some ACW style ironclads. Knowing the danger such things presented to my painting schedule I offered them up to anyone who would like one. Most went to good homes. Sadly this orphan was left alone. 
     Having an afternoon free I considered just chucking it in the bin and getting back to my Lace Wars cavalry schedule, but, once I had picked it up I got to thinking how simple a job it would be. The next thing I knew I was gluing things into place and cutting index card to represent the railroad irons that the Confederates used for armor. Of course after a few hours I was in too deep to quit so I plunged on and finished the job. This is where we stand now; just waiting fore the rivets to dry so I can start painting. Another pointless project, I don't even game ACW in 28mm!
     This is how things played out.....

Sunday, November 4, 2018

ACW Ironclads perhaps?


     As only one person took me up on my offer of a D.I.Y. Predreadnought (you can see his model in the back there) and the fact that I had a stressful week and needed to blow off some steam (yes, I know, more bad puns) I decided to try my hand at some ACW style craft. I got out my trusty Proxxon Hot Wire Cutter  and started cutting blueboard. After just about an hour I found myself with these six models. One is spoken for (the torpedo cruiser in the left rear) the rest are up for grabs as I don't game ACW in 28mm. I tried to make them big enough that 28mm figures won't look hugely oversize when on or near them but small enough to be manageable on a game table. All the models are just rough-cut blue board shapes in need of assembly, sanding and details (as is covered under the tab above "Adventures in Blueboard amd Foamcore") If you like I will provide thinly sliced strips of blue board to represent timber or ironcladding.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Pro or Con 2018

     Another Pro or Con has come and gone. This year was again notable for several  spectacular games: from Hastings presented by Rodney Cain (of Flintcon fame) using the soon-to-be-published rules "Triumph"which was instantly recognizable from across the room with serried ranks of 28mm Saxons facing off with the ever-formidable Norman knights, to  "Charlie Don't Surf" using the TFL rules of the same name and featuring the claustrophobic Mekong Delta also in 28mm, and joined by "Mad Dogs With Guns" and "Gangs of Rome", two games with wonderful terrain that looked at the actions of criminal organizations twenty centuries apart. That is not to slight the other beautiful and well-organized games that filled the hall.  Below you will find a brief review of the games that I saw, my apologies to anybody that I missed, but I was running a game in the first session.

Senlac Hill: can William earn his sobriquet "The Conqueror"

Monday, October 29, 2018

Strange things on the telly, is that a pink T-72?

photo from  By Vitaly V. Kuzmin -, CC BY-SA 4.0,
     With an hour to kill and feeling to lazy to descend into the workshop or get a book to read I found myself channel-surfing. Flicking listlessly through the channels I suddenly found a title that tickled my fancy "Tank Biathlon". I figured I would watch it just to pass the time. As I watched it I was stunned by wide difference of results from over a dozen different teams all driving the same tank, a Russian T-72B3 (except that China drove their own  Type 96A). Skills included driving, main gun, coaxial MG and pintle mounted AAMG.

     These were the very best tank crews all from countries that operated the T-72 as part of their arsenal so the difference wasn't from lack of familiarity. I spent some time thinking about the huge gap between the performance of the "very best" crews from these different countries (the Kuwaiti team apparently managed to forget to downshift when climbing the hill and stalled their tank) and then considered just how wide a gap would exist between these elite crews and the average soldiers. You can find the video on Youtube

     Intrigued by such goings-on I dug around and found that NATO has been doing pretty much the same thing with the Strong Europe Tank Challenge (major fail in the marketable program title department!) which you can see here.   
     Now I think that my rules should include such "ace" crews in some way. I begin to understand such skilled warriors as Wittman and Carius.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Anybody interested in a 28mm D.I.Y. Pre-dreadnought?

    As I wind down the Lace Wars Project I find myself interested in some more Armored Cruiser action. Thinking about this reminded me of the Pirate Sloop  and the resulting Pirate Sloop Giveaway. Continuing this torturous line of thought I began to wonder if anyone would be interested in a "build-it-yourself " 28mm Pre-dreadnought kit. The model would consist of a hull blank with assorted parts for superstructure and turrets. The builder would need to provide card-stock, wooden dowelling and glue to complete the model. I would post a series of step-by-step articles to help guide the assembly of the model such as is found on my Adventures in Blueboard and Foamcore page.

     Please respond in the Comments section if this sort of madness is to your taste.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Return to Lace Wars, the figure modification madness edition

     At this rate I will never get these done. While building a Dragoon unit I was once again bitten by the figure modification bug. No longer happy with just changing a pose slightly I started cutting up the arms and hands that are provided, searching through other kits for arm in different positions and generally burning through a ton of time coming up with new and different poses for the figures. In the end I have a unit of Dragoons, no two in the same pose, but still a unit of Dragoons.  I think the next unit will all be posed exactly the same, just to move things along a bit faster.

pistoleers; all but one have had significant surgery

Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Return to the Lace Wars Part....oh heck, I've lost count

may I present the Danish Lifgarden til Hest

     Strangely enough, now that I am not under pressure to get units done for the convention on the 27th, I find it easier to get units finished. In my quest to find units of different colors I chose the Danish Lifgarden til Hest (Guards Cavalry in English). Matching the foot guards in snazzy buff-yellow coats with carmine cuffs and turnbacks they are a sharp-looking unit. The blackened steel cuirass contrasts nicely with the bright colors of the uniform.

Pikeman's Lament Rules Modifications for Pro or Con

     Having learned from prior demo games I am going to make some small changes to the Pikeman's Lament rules for the convention. I have no problems with how the rules play and am completely happy with them, but, for use in a convention I have found these changes make things play just a bit smoother.

      1. Rolling for Orders. A unit that has failed top pass its Orders check does not end the turn for that player. Instead we will be playing as if it were TMWWBK , a failed Orders check simply freezes the unit in question for the rest of the turn and you move on to the next unit. This keeps a string of poor rolls from ruining somebody's day after they have driven all the way to the Con.

     2. Each side will be subdivided into separate forces, they will all act on the same initiative  but they will be entirely distinct forces. Morale and Command effects will be specific to the player's force alone.

     3. I will produce the Commanders Characteristics and have them ready on a card in advance. Each side will be randomly dealt a number of Commanders  Cards equal to the number of players. They may examine them and assign the commanders to the units as they see fit.

     4. I will provide Unit Data Cards for each unit, these will list the Orders and Actions as well as the movement rate of all the units as well as a note regarding any special rules that apply.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Return to the Lace Wars, Sir Edward Villiers Regiment of Horse 1694

     I can breathe a little easier now that I have finished all of the extra units that I promised myself would be ready by Pro or Con. I present to you Lord Edward Villiers regiment of Horse circa 1694.

finally, a unit of Horse in red

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

War of the League of Augsburg Rules UPDATED ( a Fourth time)

field test of version 1.0 about to begin

     I was ruminating about my dissatisfaction with rules for the War of the League of Augsburg when it occurred to me that I have a word-processor and the ability to type (sort of). I then sat myself down and thought real hard about my impression of warfare before the advent of Marlborough (his impact seems to have completely overtaken the entire English wargaming community's view of the entire period 1688-1718). After I awoke from my nap the kernel of these rules was in my head, so I sat down and typed it. It seems to be working after a couple of tests. If you are interested in such things take a look and give them a try.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Con Jobs

     The Housemartin came over a bit early today and we gave his (and my own) scenario for Pro or Con a go. First we played through my Pikeman's Lament game, the results were satisfactory but the test game showed a couple of points that would benefit from a minor tweak.

     From there we moved on to The Housemartin's Gangs of Rome scenario. I have to admit that I greatly enjoyed this skirmish level game and The Housemartin's collection of buildings certainly improved the pleasure of the game

      We are looking forward to seeing you all at the convention.

The Great Horse Race continues

     As I push ahead with my Lace Wars cavalry project I thought that I would take a moment and let my gentle readers into my working method. Not to suggest that this is the only way, or even a better way, to get things accomplished. It is just my way of breaking the project down into digestible sized pieces. As you have seen earlier I have assembled and mounted on bases all of my horses, next I assembled all of the legs (the only thing in the set that is provided with no options). In the case of this kit this is the lower half of the figure from the belt downward. After these were glued together and dried I tacked one set of legs to the back corner of a horse's base, see below:

the starting point for everything

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Old Fashioned Vaudeville

"hey Ed, do you smell glue?"
 Two men standing near a medieval cottage:
        LOU: (pointing excitedly) "Ooh, Ooh, herd of horses!"
        BUD: (with a hint of sarcasm) "Of course I've heard of horses"
        LOU: (pointing once again) "Not as in 'have you heard of horses" but as 'Look, there is a herd
                                                          of  horses"
        BUD: (noticing the large number of horses running by) "That's not a herd of horses"
        LOU: (frustrated) "A bunch of horses all running around together is a herd of horses, right?"
        BUD: (growing angry) "Of course it is, what are you, an idiot?"
        LOU: (pointing once more) "And that is a bunch of horses all running around together, right?"
        BUD: "Well, for the first time you are making sense, yes that is a bunch of horses together"
        LOU: (exasperated) "And would you be so kind as to explain why THAT bunch of horses,
                                          running around together ISN'T a herd of horses"
        BUD: "Don't you see, that isn't a herd of horses, that is Anton's next painting project!!!"
                                                                (drum sounds Ba-Da-Bum)

"yes I do Junior, but it is Testors, so we will be alright"

     OK, if I was any good as a comedy writer I could have Fernando paint my figures for me, but you just saw my skills in that vein. My self-imposed mission is to have all of these guys operational by Christmas. Once they are completed I will have 108 cavalry in service, which I hope will be sufficient for my rules.
     The hardest part is deciding which units to paint, I want to paint only real historical units even though they are being used in a semi-Imagination campaign. I would like to make full use of the variety offered by the Wargames Factory design and the wide choice of colors that units used during the period. Reader's suggestions will be considered but I warn you, there will be a red-jacketed unit, some Russian green-coated dragoons and at least one wild French unit in yellow with red facings (I swear it looks like they were dressing in Elton John's closet!).

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A return to 28mm Lace Wars; French Royal Carabiniers

     Just in case everyone had thought that I had given up blogging and painting let me correct that misconception; I have NEARLY given up blogging and painting because I have been busy with all sorts of annoying "grown-up" stuff. Happily that is mostly behind me now and I can get back to playing with toy soldiers. First order of business was to complete the forces that I will need for the game that I am hosting at Pro or Con 2018 (nothing like a convention deadline to get the paintbrush back in action). I haven't finished them yet but I have just finished the French Royal Carabiniers .

armed with rifled muskets these elite "dragoons" 
were given to Louis XIV's favorite son, the Duc du Maine

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Century and a half of Wargaming

     I'm not referring to the time since H.G. Wells seminal book on the matter (Little Wars, a book every gamer should read, it is free from Gutenberg click on this highlighted section), I'm talking about the total years of wargaming experience that was crammed into my game room the other day when my friends Kevin, Skip and Tom all showed up to play a couple of games of Pikeman's Lament. We had all been wargaming since the late 1970's and it just stuck us just how much combined experience there was in our little company.
       I hadn't seen Skip in ages, and Kevin lives on the other side of town, so we don't often see each other aside from gaming conventions, Tom is a rather more frequent visitor, but few of us are gaming as much as we would like. Skip and Kevin each brought 18 points worth of their ECW troops to stand in for Imperialists and I refashioned the Housemartin's Turks into a 36 point Ottoman force looking to seize Vienna.

the Turks went with a smaller force of elite Forlorn Hope Jannisaries in the center 
with the scruffy draftees on the flanks

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

More Action Under Sail

     Last weekend R.U.P. presented another sailing ship action, a close fight between a couple of Napoleonic featherweights; Portugal and Spain. A follow-on to this  earlier action. The history between the nations that share the Iberian peninsula is long and acrimonious so they probably didn't need to be on opposite sides in the Napoleonic era to take a chance to have a go at one another, but any excuse is a good one when you are looking for a fight.
       The problem being is that neither of these nations were on the cutting edge of naval power by the 1800's, in fact they were pretty solidly in the "has been" category. That didn't make them hate each other any less (or lessen their desire to steal each other's colonies) they just weren't real good at the fighting part of conflict any longer.
      The scenario is two Spanish ships fleeing a slightly stronger (and better manned) Portuguese fleet trying to make safe harbor behind the guns of a fort.

the layout, in the distance the Spanish, the nearer three ships are Portuguese,
 sailing slightly faster and closing in inevitably on their prey

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Half a Million hits...a pause for thought

500,000+     Well, my, my, thank you all!
     Little did I know when I started this blog back in December of 2010 that it would;
          A.   Last anywhere this long
          B.   Ever garner a half a million hits
          C.   Gain readers on every habitable continent

     Frankly I am a bit surprised at this success, and heartened by all the positive feedback that my ill-organized ramblings have provided. I thank all of my readers, and particularly all the kind souls who have provided advice, encouragement and honest appraisals of my work.

     Having noticed the milestone it gave me a thought to look back over the last eight years and see what has been popular, what hasn't and what I could do better. Blogger provides some (very) limited data resources but, as I haven't bothered to keep track, their data will have to do.

      Most Popular Post;
           In the last month; Blue Board Sabot Bases
           Over all time;       More Silliness with Blue Board   

    It struck me as odd that a off-the-top-of-my-head post about an Ork temple would be the most popular post. but then I noticed that the top five of the all time most popular posts were terrain articles, to wit;
         More Silliness with Blue Board
         Still More Silliness with Blue Board
         Blue Board Sabot Bases
         D.I.Y. Game Mats
         To The Blue Foam Beyond
     Now, I understand that a good few of these are from people linking to that page as an entry point to my blog instead of going to the homepage and linking from there (I have done the same thing myself with other blogs) but I do find it funny that the post that motivated them to link to my blog was one that stemmed from one of my rather mundane D.I.Y. efforts. This is further reinforced by the fact that of my organized Pages the link to Adventures in Blue Board and Foamcore  has gotten far away the largest number of hits with over 14,000

     Of the balance of the top ten posts three are figure reviews;
         Conquest Norman Foot  #6
         Fireforge Teutonic Knights   #9
         Perry's Mounted Knights 1450-1500  #10

     These I had thought would be more popular until just a few minutes ago when I Googled the subject, it seems that I am just one of thousands playing the "unboxing" game. Still I will continue to do them on any new figures that I purchase, I hope that they are received well as I do try to be honest and accurate (being as these are models I intend to add to my collection and not motivated by any commercial compensation).

    And the last two are photo-stories, at number eight an AAR on one of R.U.P's visually stunning Cold War in Africa games; Somewhere In Africa  which I thought odd as all of his games are over-the-top beautiful and at number seven a photo report on Spartacon 2018.
      I was a a bit taken aback by the low ranking of the AAR, all of R.U.P's battle reports were commented on heavily and favorably; even some of my game reports caught the attention of readers enough to get a comment or two.

     These sort of stats seem to indicate that I should stick with the arts and crafts postings but I suspect that the real truth of the matter is that the AARs and figure reviews are more popular than they seem as they are the producer of many more comments. Don't anybody get your hopes up for a better, more organized and streamlined blog. It is going to remain the same part-time stream of semi-consciousness mess that it has always been.

    Thanks again to everybody who has put up with me so far, I hope you continue to enjoy the hobby as much as I do! 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

More blue board sabot bases

     So, I was playing around with the Proxxon hot wire cutter and made some more sabot bases . Nothing new with the techniques so I won't bore you with all that. I made them into long narrow irregular shapes to depict troops moving in files through bad terrain or (turning ninety degrees) an infantry line that has become unformed or disordered

marching in poor order

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Beat to Quarters! Ships Sighted!

This Saturday, September 15th, Rich Uncle Patrick shall be hosting another game of Close Action, the game of 18th Century Sail.

Quarrelsome Catholics face off in a small engagement of utmost enormitude and importance off the coast of South America! Gather up your men, get the blessing of your Padre, and set off on the waves to glory for crown and country*!

*Glory not available on all Seven Seas. Please consult with your local governor to see if this applies to you. You must be Catholic to collect on this glory; please contact Pius VI for more details on glory and afterlife. Glory not redeemable for following things: food, shelter, money, happiness. Glory is non-returnable after 1807. Do not taunt glory. Glory should only be taken in controllable, select doses; using too much glory may lead one to Armada obsession, Imperial disfunction, and Naval gazing. Void where prohibited.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Painted minis and models for sale

     My long-time friend, Tom from Texas, recently made a couple of large purchases of collections to get certain figures into his own collection. The problem being there is a very significant number of figures and models that are excess to his needs. To avoid hauling this mass of things around to Conventions trying to sell them he has set up an Ebay store and a blog to pass along the extra figures. All of the items are complete and well-painted, and he is offering them at prices at or below the cost of the miniature.

         You will see him in my blogroll as The WargamesAlchemist

         The Ebay store can be found here

         He assures me that new items will be added daily so keep an eye out for that certain something to add to your toy collection.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Blue Board Tower and base completed

the tower, as we last saw it

     It was far too miserable to be outside today so I bestirred myself and retried to the workshop where I found my tower in the same state that it was a week ago. Shamed by my sloth I decided to put in a couple of hours work and get this thing done. The first step was to find my container of Tidy Cat kitty litter (always buy the unscented variety) this was liberally applied around the foot of the cliff and the inside edges of the moat. Soaked in a mix of Titebond wood glue and water and left for an hour or so this sets up quite hard and looks rather nicely like mounds of small rocks.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Further Adventures in the Nine Years War

     Both Joe and I had an evening available so I once more imposed on his good will for further testing of my rules. The scenario was a follow-up to the previous one; with the success in the last battle the French were able to force the Allies to turn and fight a major action. Unbeknownst to the Allies the wily French had dispatched a force to turn the Allied flank. Discovering this threat at the last moment the Allied commander sent a brigade of foot and a couple of guns with the intention of slowing the French enough that they would arrive too late to affect the outcome of the main battle.

a quiet looking bit of north-east France

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Little Side Project...UPDATED, YET AGAIN !!

     I was growing tired of painting minis so I began to think of starting a little side project, you know, just a little something to stay busy until painting seemed interesting once more. I had seen a video on how to cut circles using the Proxxon Hot Wire cutter so I figured "What the heck, I'll give it a try". An hour or so later I had it down to the point where I could make decent circles.  But what to do with them, I asked myself.........then this happened.

I really have to start making a plan before I get the tools out

Friday, August 17, 2018

Blue Board Sabot bases completed

      Following on from my earlier post on scratchbuilding base from blue board
   I spent a couple of hours texturing, painting and flocking the irregularly shaped sabot bases that I had made. To my eyes they turned out well, maybe a little more color in the greenery is needed....

first, I rounded off the edges with a little 60 grit sandpaper

Thursday, August 16, 2018

D.I.Y. Sabot bases using the Proxxon hotwire cutter

     I have never been a patient man, waiting is what I do worst.

     While working on my War of the League of Augsburg rules it was apparent that handling the loose figures was not going to work and I needed to base them as groups rather than individuals. But I didn't want to base them all only to find out that a change was needed or, worse yet, that I was scrapping the project and going back to just using them in skirmish games.

     Then it struck me that all I really needed was sabot bases that would fit the pennies that the figures were mounted on. A quick search on the internet revealed several sources that would happily make the bases for me; but I would have to wait until they were made and shipped! This wouldn't do.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Further testing of League of Augsburg rules

   So, I dragooned Joe into a test game of the rules I have recently updated . Despite the fact that he had worked for ten hours in the sweltering heat (95+ degrees Fahrenheit) he got the gist of things within a couple of turns and we finished the game in about two hours of playing time.

never one for subtly, Joe planned a massive left-hook punch 
a view from the French left rear

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Best Laid Plans ...

Here is the Story, as those of you who read these construction reports know I am working on a Roman Tenement using TT Combat buildings to create a row of 4-5 story buildings snugged up against each other for Gangs of Rome games.  One particular kit I liked was called "Small Store A".  In reading over the company's building measurements I thought I had figured out how to add on to this one as well and get it scraping the sky.  Unfortunately those plans failed miserably leading to a need to adjust and adapt.  More on those gyrations in future posts, but in the mean time I decided to go ahead with the basic building.  Then it dawned on me that while I have walked through construction of these building many times I do not recall ever walking through the prep to get things ready to build. So I decided to make this post all about the prep steps of sorting cleaning and painting everything before the actual assembly. 

Be warned this is a photo heavy post.  So proceed only if you (and your band width) dare!!

Strelets-R Confederate Troops Standing - Posted

     Strelets-R has moved into the US Civil War in a big way having recently released nine different boxes of figures in the "semi-hard" plastic that is becoming the standard in 1/72 (20mm) scale.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A Naval Incident

     R.U.P. brought by some of his lovely toys and taught J&R and myself a new Naval Wargaming rule set called Close Action. These play with a similar level of granularity as Wooden Ships and Iron Men but emphasize different aspects of sailing and combat. I enjoyed them very much even though I had a slow pig of a ship and an hilariously incompetent crew. We played using R.U.P.'s beautiful collection of GHQ Micronauts on a Deep Cut Studios sea mat, the boats are mounted on Langton Miniatures bases.

     The scenario is a simple one, on 20 April 1776 the Spanish 70 gun ship of the line, the San Augustin, is fleeing from two Portuguese ships the 64 gun Prazeres and the 32 gun Pilar. The San Augustin is trying to get to safety under the guns of the fortress on Santa Catarina island. The San Augustin has one huge problem; she has been at sea for far too long and her bottom is badly fouled rendering her very slow. And, by the way, the crew of pressed farmhands and shop clerks have very little training and very poor morale.

this is my Spanish ship, the San Augustin, 70 guns, captained by Don Jose Techain
R.U.P. always goes all-in on his projects, 
he is currently completing another forty or so of these GHQ beauties

Thursday, August 2, 2018

A Great Deal on another great book!

The Swedish Army of the Great Northern War is available from the Book Depository for $18.44US (free shipping worldwide). While you are on that page check out the other great Helion titles in the scroll at the bottom of the page......I might just have to take out a loan! It is also available through the League of Augsburg site at 15GBP. Whichever way you buiy it this is a great book at a great price!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

OK .. This is what happens when I have too many projects, but a fair amount of time.

So, as it turns out I have managed to get four projects done at once so I have just decided to go ahead and inundate Anton's board with all of them even though this one is not quite done. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Usual Suspects ... Roman Style

Or "Coniecturalem artem esse medicinam Medicine!"  ("Round up the usual Suspects!")

Looks Like Blood Bowl this Saturday

     Unless I hear waves of sorrow and lamentations we will be playing Blood Bowl this Saturday. I have been swept up in the craze and am fine tuning my Orks. It might be that I actually completed a couple of passes, or I just like this version of football, it reminds me of the way we used to play as kids; rules were real vague, tripping and piling-on was allowed, a general mayhem sort of thing!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Sailor's Lament

So, as warned previously I purchased a couple of Sarissa Roman Cargo boats months ago and have finally gotten around to completing them so here is the review for those who may be interested. 

This is an artists rendition, what follows is Sarissa's version. 

Gripping Beast Late Roman Heavy Cavalry finished (at last!)

they spent quite a while on the painting bench

      So, after two months of being retired I finally finished a wargames unit. At this rate I will have to be retired for about 170 years to just work through the pile of miniatures on the "urgent" desk. Not a good start at all. I do think that they turned out rather well. I painted them entirely with Americana acrylics, sprayed over with Krylon Workable Artists Matted Finish, then a light coat of Armory Matte finish spray. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Did Somebody say Blood Bowl?

I like Blood Bowl! 

The Impossible has Happened!!!

     No, I didn't win the Lotto. But this did happen; twice, in the same evening, my Orc Blood Bowl team completed a pass!!!!!!!!!   Snab-Stab the Gobbo (a.k.a.  Concrete Paws) and Lineman B (they aren't entitled to names until they survive a season) both caught passes. I still lost both games but things are definitely looking up!

Snab-Stab ended up one square short of the end-zone when time ran out

Lineman B was so flummoxed by the fact that he had actually 
caught the ball that he was unable to evade the 'Umie players

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Cool stuff I found on the web; 3-D starforts and such

     Part of my endless fishing around on the internet found me seeking a 3-D model of Castillo Des San Felipe in Cartagena des Indias, Columbia. Well, eventually I found this:

it is like a fortress wedding cake, look at all the layers!

        Along the way I did find this gem .  3-D Warehouse hosts thousands of 3-D models of everything imaginable (lampshades to ocean freighters) among which is a pretty cool collection of castles, fortresses and fortified cities in 3-D. The link leads to a collection in Spanish but a bit of work in the Search bar will lead you to what you seek (be careful the Spanish and Portuguese seemed to name every third fort they built "San Felipe"). 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sturdy, Cheap and Fast D.I.Y. hedges (UPDATED)

    A long while back I grew tired of loose lichen as hedges; it was either too big, too small, too disorganized or too easily moved. A chance trip to a local dollar store found me looking a a cheap door mat in natural autumn colors (it being the height of summer this item was in the "for sale cheap" section), it struck me that the stiff natural fibers of the mat would make a decent stand-in for the branches of a hedge and the durable rubberized fabric base would hold things together nicely. I thought to myself "Heck, if it doesn't work out I can just use it as a doormat in a few months" I went big and spent the $3.00US on it. I took it home and it lay in the "Projects-Someday" pile until Trunkmonkey dropped by with his 15mm Lace Wars figures. The scenario requires hedged fields, and the lichen towered over the figures in a most unsatisfactory manner. I quickly grabbed a box-cutter and sliced off a few strips of the door mat and deployed them onto the table. They looked much better, aside from the slightly garish colors. see below;

I guess they would be fine for those three weeks in the Fall when the hedges are changing..... 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Pike and Shotte tries the Dutch War of Devolution

the field of battle, the French are at the near edge 
and the Dutch and their allies are on the far side of the table

     A few days ago Trunkmonkey was kind enough to bring over his collection of Editions Brokaw 15mm Lace Wars figures and host a game of Pike and Shotte focusing on the Dutch War of Devolution. The Editions Brokaw miniatures are from a bygone age ( I can't find anywhere on Google that shows them in production anymore) simple, perhaps simplistic and a true 15mm figure. Trunkmonkey's careful painting made them look quite impressive on the table, as the picture above shows. We had a few snags in playing as it has been a VERY long time since we played a game using any of the rules from the Black Powder/ Hail Caesar family. Once we had ironed out the correct application of modifiers play moved along.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Strelets-R CSA Infantry On The March - Posted

     Strelets-R has moved into the US Civil War in a big way having recently released nine different boxes of figures in the "semi-hard" plastic that is becoming the standard in 1/72 (20mm) scale.

Friday, July 6, 2018

A Small Summer Refreshment

So, I found myself facing a day I knew I would be running around a lot but still wanted to get something "accomplished".  That was when my eye caught the fifth item I had ordered from TTCombat above and beyond the Building I recently posted about.