Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Quarterly Review

     For a second time in a row I have managed to get my Quarterly Review done on time!  This past quarter has seen a slackening in games as my (and most other people's) schedule has interfered with gaming but I still managed to get 21 games in. I wrote forty-six posts in all of these I completed six minis reviews and four book reviews while  publishing four more fort walkarounds. I wrote After Action Reports on five games and painted an even dozen 28mm figures and ninety 15mm figures as well as two 1/700 scale ship models complete with rigging. Along the way I seem to have thrown together a 1/72 scale I-16. I added six "How-to" posts and got through giving away all of the rest of my 1/300 scale minis and all of the 15mm ancients (I will return to the Great Minis Giveaway in 2020 starting with the rest of the redundant 15mm stuff). I assembled and primed sixty 28mm Greeks to donate to Flintcon 2020 for their painting bench. The most overwhelming project for this quarter was completing the rebasing of 1600 15mm Thirty Years War minis (that sort of thing just sucks the soul out of me). All things considered a productive three months.

       Lets see what sort of pace I can keep up in 2020.

Literary Loot!

       What do you buy for a guy that has been collecting stuff (miniatures/rules/guns/woodworking tools, etc. etc)  for over forty years?  BOOKS!  Books of course; each new book is a package filled with hours of entertainment that fits into far less space than a 28mm Macedonian Phalanx or another M-88 Commission Rifle  (and it makes me look so danged ERUDITE to have a library packed with serious historical books). My family was kind enough to bless me with a mountain of reading material this holiday season and I can hardly wait to dig and fill the few remaining nooks and crannies in my brain with obscure facts (what was the facing color of the First Pomeranian Guards Regiment in 1688?......let's ask Anton!). I hope that everyone else was so lucky. And you best be prepared for more of my opinionated reviews coming down the pike!

in addition there is this mass of books and pamphlets 
that I collected from my trip to Florida in November

Sunday, December 22, 2019

San Marcos de Apalache, walkaround

       Perhaps the most confusing site that I have ever visited, San Marcos de Apalache has been the site of many forts over the centuries. Other locations benefit from having a careful reconstruction or a complete fort still standing to provide a visual clue as to the location and history. In this location we find that the early forts have been utterly destroyed by hurricanes and later (partially completed) forts were built one atop the other. The physical structures extant are puzzling at first glance. I have tried to gather as many drawings and maps of the location to provide an idea of what the structures looked like before they fell into their current ruinous state. The park has an excellent little museum with an informative video and a good many informative panels supported by artifacts and models to illustrate  the long history of the St. Marks area.

the inevitable historical marker, packed with tantalizing bits of niformation

Sunday, December 8, 2019

An Incident in Tunisia

       It being Pearl Harbor Day I thought that it would be appropriate if we did something WW2. Pearl harbor being a bit lop-sided as a battle I decided that I would present a game based on the first significant strategic invasion n that the US undertook in response; the invasion of North Africa.

a small airfield in the Tunisian back-country just after dawn
viewed from the West

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Book Review Osprey Men At Arms MAA522 The Khazars

The Khazars
A Judeo-Turkish Empire on the Steppes, 7th-11th Centuries AD
Osprey Publishing
Men At Arms MAA522
Authors Mikhail Zhihorov and David Nicolle
Illustrator  Christa Hook
ISBN 978-1-4728-3013-5

        I found this to be an informative and interesting book. Previously the Khazars had just been a name on an army list that involved painting too many horses for my taste, I knew nothing of where they were and cared little of their appearance. This data-packed little volume has enlightened me about who they were and where they rules (I'm still unlikely to build an army reflecting them as I'm even slower at painting now than I was twenty years ago).
        This book follows standard Osprey format with a brief introduction as to who the Khazars were and then follows the expansion and eventual collapse of their empire. There is a delightful lack of the usual horrible Osprey maps, instead we are treated to a series of information dense black and white line maps that,paired with the time-line, give a clear idea of the rise and fall of the Khazar Khaganate. Scattered throughout the text a nice clear photos and very precise line drawings of recovered artifacts that illustrate recovered item. In this aspect it looks like the very best sort of archeological dig report. From this the reader can gain an understanding of what the armor and weapons of these warriors looked like and how they evolved over time. Excellent work indeed!
       What really brings to life the intensely detailed archeological details is the atmospheric artwork of Christa Hook. I do confess that I started buying Osprey Men at Arms before they had numbers due largely to the artwork. Christa Hook builds on that sterling reputation and adds to its repute with her energetic, evocative and precisely detailed drawings.

     Very highly Recommended!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

All About That Base......

       Having agreed to run a Thirty Years War game at Spartacon on 11Jan20 I thought that I had best get off my backside and finish re-basing the rest of my figures. By "the rest of my figures" I mean most of the infantry which is something on the order of 400 minis! I have probably mentioned this before but I find rebasing particularly irksome; undoing work just to re-do it!

       But there was nothing left but to get started so off to the workshop I went.

the first step was to tear all of the figures off of their bases
this was tedious but uneventful until I got to the ones that had been painted by Trunkmonkey, 
he had gone to great lengths when he did these figures back in the early 90s 
and had cut plywood bases and superglued the figures to them 
the entire bases were glued to the larger Tercio bases

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Fort Barrancas/Spanish Water Battery walkaround

barely still in Florida, 
Pensacola was "La Floridas" westward extremity for quite some time

a current aerial shot of the two forts, courtesy Google Earth
notice that North is in the upper left of this picture
       The most complete of the forts that I visited in my whirlwind tour of western Florida Fort Barrancas in on the Pensacola Naval Air Station. Like most coastal fortifications in the area it began as a Spanish effort and changed hands several times during the 1750-1820 period. The current fortifications consist of a late-period Spanish Water Battery and a U.S. Third System fort protecting the back of the Water Battery. Both are in excellent condition and are a nice contrast between the styles and thinking of the different systems of defense.These forts were built on the on the site of several previous fortifications dating back to 1698 which had been occupied by Spanish, English, and French forces in turn, for a delightfully tongue in cheek explanation of the convoluted military history of the forts around Pensacola check this post over at Starforts.com.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Fort King walkaround

       Located in downtown Ocala, at 3925 E Fort King St, Ocala, FL 34470 this reconstruction stands over the ground that the original fort stood upon.This is a new-built reconstruction (so new that it doesn't yet appear on GoogleEarth!) so it looks the way that would have appeared to the soldiers who built it; the wood still yellow and tan, not yet bleached gray from the tropical sun. Digging is still going on over the interior of the fort so the barracks and storehouses have not yet been reconstructed. There is a small museum that has a number of interesting (if difficult to photograph) exhibits as well as an informative video. The fort is run by the City of Ocala, an effort that I fully commend, the website is right here.

       U.S. fortifications built during the period of the Seminole Wars were not intended to be permanent and a good many lasted a year or less. They were designed in a way that could be constructed by the troops without need for advanced engineering skills or tools. As far as I can tell there was no official manual (I did find this Beast of a text from the era, but I haven't had the time to read through it yet) on the construction of these forts, just a rule of thumb approach. Boiled down into a graphic it looks like this;

       If the walls were going to end up longer than musket shot there would need to be blockhouses on all corners. If the fortification was going to need to house a large number of troops or control a significant amount of land the blockhouses would be spaced along the walls as seemed necessary (as in Fort Meigs). The blockhouses were capable of all-around defense in the event that the enemy gained access to the interior of the fort they could hold out on their own for a period of time.

The Last of the Big Guns

       Having gotten back from Florida refreshed and renewed I sat myself down and finished painting the guns and attendant gunners and then based them and flocked the bases, all in one afternoon! This gives me over thirty guns, in a rules system that envisions maybe two or three to a side, perhaps I went a little overboard? Ah well, it is better to have too much than not enough!

organ guns, a seemingly great idea that kept going nowhere until the 1860's

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

       My apologies for not posting for the past week and a half but I have been out of town and I lack the smart-phone savvy to be able to post from my hand-held computer. I did put the missing time to good use (at least from my point of view!). While Michigan was dealing with the aftermath of 12" pf snow I had repaired to sunny Florida. Palm trees, sunshine and temps in the high 70's are a pretty good argument on their own but the state is also littered with historical locations that I have been visiting for the last three decades. In one Herculean effort I managed to visit four locations comprising five forts and three hundred years of history (four of the forts in one break-neck paced day!). I managed to squeeze in visits to the following; Fort King, San Marcos de Apalache, Fort Pickens, Fort Barrancas and the Spanish Water Battery. The fruits of this effort will be appearing soon enough in this space.

grab a rum-based drink, put on some steel-drum music
 and turn on the heat lamp to catch the vibe...

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Tonatiuh's Gold

Northwest Zambia:
Local folklore told of a curious invasion from the West. A vicious invasion led by a light brown skinned people in search of the Sun. The stories were dismissed by historians as nothing more than a lost European expedition, possibly attempting to find their way home. What is curious about the tales, is that the invaders were said to be traveling with a large treasure train of gold. Bringing it further and further East. Something that is strange because Europeans were noted for *removing* wealth, not bringing it. The legend states that the invasion ended when the spirits of those murdered returned and killed the invaders with their own gold.

All this would have gone by the wayside, assumed to be exaggerations or misinterpretations, had it not been for a particularly strong earthquake that shook the area. Almost immediately locals started reporting seeing a strange light and some sort of stone structure in the jungle. After verification that there was indeed some sort of structure in the jungle, the international community assembled a research team and went in. It didn't take long to confirm that the structure was identical to temples found in Central America... just in the wrong place. As the mystery deepens, so does the greed, corruption and mistrust that follows all things African. 

This Saturday, come enjoy the frightful action surrounding the greatest mystery of our century.
Patrick's House, 6:30PM

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Empirical Testing: Lemax Cobblestone and glue UPDATED with paint info

       I've never been much of a scientist, and reading the fine print on the labels of various glues just gives me a headache (more than the fumes do!) so I have long relied on empirical testing.  Or, as my Brit friend would say. "Suck it and see". So rather than spending hours reading about plastic co-polymer and solvent interactions I decided to grab some glue, some small pieces of the cobblestone mat and some blocks of foam and start gluing stuff together.
     I was surprised how easy it turned out to be. Edison tested a thousand things before he figured out what to use as a light bulb element. I got lucky, the first thing I tried worked just fine, so did the second!  I must have started at the correct end of the list.

first I cut a 1" strip off of the roll of cobblestone mat 
and then cut it into roughly 1" squares

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Momentary Diversion

       Having done too much of just a couple of things for the last three weeks I decided to jump ship and do something entirely different. I dug into The Vault and found an ancient  1/72 Revell model of a Polikarpov I-16. This particular kit had been made in Spain some time in the late 70's I would guess. The model looked to be cleanly cast so I figured "Why not?". It would be cheaper than talking to a shrink or a good bottle of bourbon at the very least.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Veteran's Day Thoughts

       Having come from a family with over three centuries of military service the long string of veterans who are my ancestors are too many to name. So I will confine myself to thanking those veterans that I have had the honor and pleasure of knowing personally.
       My Grandfather and Father both served in the United States Army, my grandad joined the Army in 1917 as a first-generation American of German descent to demonstrate his loyalty to the country of his birth. He served in France until the end of hostilities and then returned home to settle in Detroit in 1920. My dad missed the draft for the invasion/occupation of Japan by way of a couple of atom bombs but was called up as a National Guardsman to serve in Korea. I thank them for their service and for not getting themselves killed (because I wouldn't be typing this if they had!).
        I would also like to thank my friends who have served, OldSarge did his initial time in Viet Nam and then served in the Navy. Brad, Trunkmonkey, Tankguy, Paul, Steve and Tom from Texas all served in the Army during the dark days of the Cold War. My son-in-law Paul served in The Corps for several tours before settling down to raise a family.
        Furthermore I would like to single out and specifically thank Honest Dan who continues to serve in the Army.
        These men have all either faced battle or were prepared to. They offered themselves in service to defend our way of life from regimes that were palpably evil and monstrous. They rarely speak of their service, and if they do it is more often of the friendships that they made and friends that they lost. They hide their scars, both emotional an physical, and just desire to live a quiet peaceful life.

    Thank You All!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Game at my place 9NOV19 7pm

Like the title says, there will be a game at my place at 7pm on the 9th of November 2019.

Be there, or we will say bad things about you.

Book Review, Osprey Men At Arms, Byzantine Naval Forces 1261-1461


     Byzantine Naval Forces 1261-1461
     The Roman Empire's Last Marines
     Osprey Men-At-Arms MAA 502
     Author Raffaele D'Amato
     Illustrators Peter Dennis and Igor Dzis

        This volume addresses the naval forces of the rapidly declining Byzantine Empire in its final phase. Little more than a city-state by this point Byzantium represented the idea of an empire far more than the physical reality of one. That being said they still possessed the capacity to assemble effective naval forces in the brief periods when they weren't busy fighting each other. This book is particularly focused on the troops that manned those vessels, how they were organized and paid, what they were armed with and how they fought. In passing it addresses the Fleet itself and alludes to the ships that were used, if you are looking for a detailed assessment of the Byzantine Dromon of the period you will need to look elsewhere. What this book does very well is provide a feast of color pictures from original sources, the margins have been populated with full color pictures of manuscripts, mosaics and paintings in addition to the brilliant artwork of Mr. Dennis and Mr, Dzis.
       Happily devoid to the usual horrid maps found in most Osprey publications, and with a delightfully short chronology, this volume is loaded from front to back with the sort of detailed pictures of original works that would take the reader many years (and simply piles of money) to obtain on their own. The text is clear and easy to follow aside from the annoying habit of placing the references in the body of the text (perhaps apropos in a thesis but bloody annoying to the casual reader who has little chance of being able to check the source material on their own). It provides an understanding of how and where the naval troops were raised, their specific duties, their dress and arms and some of the battles they were involved in. The inclusion of the political and military situation is only supportive of the descriptions on the uniforms and is in no way a military history of this era, the text's main focus is on the troops and what they wore. This it does with consummate skill.

       Supporting the text is a comprehensive array of photos of original art depicting the troops as they were seen by their contemporaries.  Bringing this all together is the superb artwork of Peter Dennis and Igor Dzis, All of the drawings have a draftsman-like precision but do not lose the feeling of the sun-drenched shores of the eastern Mediterranean, they capture the brilliant color of the uniforms and the feel of the countryside.

       In all and excellent book, it certainly could be many times longer than it is but it is a good way to get started in the period. I'm happy to have it on my shelf .

        Very Highly Recommended

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Game this Tuesday

My place 7pm.
Covert operations in the Epicurean Campaign using Pikemans Lament rules.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

This is all your fault, Kevin!

       As I was watching the fifth coat of terrain effect drying on the Afghan Village project I got bored (OK, so this happens a LOT to me so I should have seen it coming). As I looked around for something to occupy my hands I saw that Proxxie was still sitting out and there was a pile of blue board to hand, from such things madness often comes! I recalled a statement on TMP by a fellow who was interested in the Thirty Years War and building a starfort. My fingers began to twitch and I became restless, then suddenly this happened.

 so here I sit with a 15mm starfort when I already had one
hopefully Gallocelt would like it

Friday, November 1, 2019

Strelets R Rif Rebellion 1/76 20mm

     Strelets R continues their range of Rif Rebellion miniatures with the addition of the appropriately named Rif Rebellion set; it could have been named Rif Command just as easily. Cleanly molded in a stiff orange-brown plastic these figures depict leaders and commanders. The deeply undercut figures capture the flowing robes of the Rif very well and the horses and camels are very well detailed and nicely proportioned as well. The posing, anatomy and, especially, the facial detail is outstanding. These figures should be a breeze to paint. The unnamed sculptor has done an excellent job of capturing motion and energy with these tiny figures and should be commended for their work.

cover art, again the odd amalgam of photo-shopped art

Strelets R Mounted Rif Rebels 1/76 20mm

     Strelets R continues their Rif War range with Mounted Rif Rebels. This rounds out the Rif warriors needed to model this conflict; joined with the Foot Warriors and Rif Rebellion (command figures) they provide a very good selection of miniatures. The figures come molded in a stiff orange-brown plastic and are very well detailed and cleanly cast with only traces of flash on some of the small parts.
box art, a good start on how to paint the miniatues

Strelets R French Foreign Legion Desert Patrol 1/76 20mm

     Strelets R has expanded their French Foreign Legion range again to now include a desert patrol. This dovetails with their earlier release of FFL infantry. These minis are crisply molded in pale gray plastic for the soldiers and buff plastic for the camels. This plastic accepts very fine detail and the figures exhibit only the tiniest evidence of mold lines and flash. As with all the other releases in this range the proportions and attention to detail displayed by these figures is exemplary

the box art is the usual odd photoshopped sort of thing that Strelets loves
but it does give you a good idea of how to paint the minis

Strelets R Foot Rif Rebels 20mm 1/72

      Strelets R had extended its coverage to include the Rif War. One of the "small wars" that followed the insanity of the First World War this conflict was one of the early attempts by native North Africans to eject colonial powers from the continent. This war saw many innovations including the first landing of tanks in a sea-borne invasion! This set pairs nicely with the French Foreign Legion just released by Strelets R.
      The models are well-detailed and cleanly cast in an odd orange-brown plastic that holds the deeply cut sculpting very well. The craftsmanship and skill of the sculptor is on real display with this set; the flow of the robes, the detail of the faces and hands and the proportion and poses are simply superb. Whoever the unsung sculptor is has really raised the bar for further models in this scale. This set is useful outside of the Rif War setting as there was a much slower evolution in local dress that one sees in the uniforms of most armed forces. These figures could easily be used as early as the 1880's (aside from the fellow with the Lewis gun) though to the Second World War without any issues.

the box art provides useful, if uninspired, uniform color ideas

Strelets R French Foreign Legion 20mm 1/72

     Strelets R continues to be the largest producer of new figures in the "20mm" market the recent torrent of U.S. Civil War products has finally run dry and they are back to covering more diverse sunjects. First up we find the new French Foreign Legion  Early XX C. Cleanly molded in a fine medium gray plastic that retains detail very well these figures are actively posed and realistically proportioned.
        The figures are well -detailed and cleanly cast with only the faintest of traces of flash anywhere. Inside the box you will find an officer and trumpeter, a light machine gun with a two-man crew and thirty-nine standard FFL troopers. There are three of the those Strelsi figures as a bonus for those who collect such things.
         I really like this set except for a small point; they seem to be from the entire "early twentieth century" the uniforms and equipment are spread over a period of time from the turn of the century to the end of the Rif War (which, given the other sets in this series of releases, is the likely intended target). This is a very broad period when one considers the changes in weapons and tactic over the first quarter of the 20th century. The heavy back-packs and neck-cloths point toward a pre-First World War timeline while the helmets and machine gun would indicate a post-war situation. Not a deal-breaker, military organizations have long been known to only issue new equipment when the previous issue has been thoroughly worn out. I plan on using them all together as part of a small Rif Wars project.

the cover art

Monday, October 28, 2019

Book Review, The Paraguayan War 1864-70

The Paraguayan War 1864-70
Osprey Campaigns CAM342
Author   Gabriele Esposito
Illustrator   Guiseppe Rava
ISBN 978-1-4728-3444-7

        More than just a campaign this is an outline history of the entire conflict. It covers the causes, leaders, armies and military planning in the run-up to war. This conflict was the largest, most lethal, war in the 19th century in all of South America. Paraguay still bears the scars from it to this day. Overshadowed in the Anglophone world by conflicts such as the U.S. Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War this is nonetheless a crucial conflict in the political development of the nations involved. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Back to Bases......UPDATED!

      Having started the Epricurean Wars Campaign it occurred to me that the armies that I had drawn up considerably exceeded the figures that I had based for the Tercio rule set that we are using. After a deep sigh I descended into the workshop and cut a bunch of bases  out of matte board and sat myself down to the tedious task of carving minis off of the bases they were on, only to them attach them to the new bases and conduct the flocking procedure. I find that decaf coffee and Vivaldi's Four Seasons helps with this......

not bad for a ninety minute work session

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Basing an Afghan Village Part IV, Let the Sanding Begin! UPDATED

     Having cut the foam to shape I touched base with Kevin, we agreed that the hills were a tad overpowering and I swapped one of them down to thinner section white board, it was still taller than the rest of the terrain but no longer challenged the "Big Man's" house for strategic importance (or altitude!).  After double and triple checking the spacing and alignment (I actually checked the size of a Hummer three times just to be sure I had some critical dimensions right) I glued the foam down onto the plywood base.
my usual go-to glue, Titebond, was more than enough to attach the foam, 
I avoided the hot-glue gun because I wanted some adjustment time before the glue set
 (and, frankly, I burn myself nearly every time I fire up Satan's minion)

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Basing an Afghan Village, From Paper to Blue-Board

the terrain sketch that Kevin chose

      Having consulted with Kevin as to which layout he preferred I took my sketch to the workshop and began laying out the terrain directly onto the surface of the plywood.

the first step was to grid the vase off into one-foot squares
to simplify transferring the sketch to the full-sized base 

Refining the Concept

      I had a chance to speak with Kevin and gather his thoughts about my sketches for the Afghan Village project. He was able to provide me with a clearer idea of what he wanted. He is less concerned about the bases being fully geomorphic and that opened up the possibilities for the terrain by quite a bit. I no longer had to be concerned about bringing all of the elevations down to grade as they approached the edge of the base. This led to some deep thinking (which of course led to a nap) and then some Google-Fu  looking at images of Afghanistani villages. To a Midwesterner it is an odd looking place; so much dust, dryness and rocks to contrast with the shocking green of the irrigated and cultivated areas. To make my thinking more concrete I went back to this drawing;

Basing a Village in Afghanistan

       A short while ago I was approached by my friend Kevin (known among blog-followers as Zhodani Commando) about building some terrain for him. As brilliant a painter as he is it seems that Kev just doesn't care to make terrain.
      He showed me some pictures (see below) and explained that he had purchased the buildings through a Kickstarter and wanted me to construct the terrain on which to base them. I thought to myself "hills are a pretty straightforward, what the heck" and when Kev offered to sweeten the deal by trading me two of his Saga armies (did I mention that he is a brilliant painter) I suddenly found the idea irresistible. He dropped off the buildings the other day and I framed up the two three foot square bases that the village and snippet of Afghan countryside would be based on.

these are the handiwork of a more talented artist than I

Monday, October 21, 2019

Book Review, Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848-70 (2)

      Osprey Men At Arms MAA520
      Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848-70 (2)
      Author Gabriele Esposito 
      Artist Giuseppe Rava
      ISBN 978-1-4728-2624-4

      I had ordered this book through my local brick-and-mortar (Michigan Toy Soldier) after reading the first volume and was eagerly awaiting its arrival, I rushed down and purchased it as soon as they called saying it was in. To be honest I was slightly worried that it would not be as good as the first volume, how wrong I was. This slim volume traces the uniforms and organization of the armies of the Papal States and the various and sundry volunteers and minor states through the turbulent 22 year struggle for Italian Independence. Happily free from the usual horrid pastel maps that plague many Man At Arms volumes there is one small map delineating the States at the start of the Wars and a foreshortened chronology of events that only consumes two pages between them. The rest of the book is jam-packed with informative text and period illustrations.
      After addressing the national armies of the Papal States, the author guides the reader through the increasingly smalled nations of Tuscany, Modena and Parma before branching of into the incredibly convoluted array of volunteer, revolutionary and Republican troops. Esposito does this with a flowing style that keeps the ever-changing uniform and organizational situation clear in the reader's mind. Interspersed through the text margins are a very large number of period illustrations of the uniforms he is discussing. This helps greatly in providing the reader with a visualization of the the look of the uniforms in question.
       Bringing this vast amount of information to life is the inspired work of Giuseppe Rava. He captures an sense of energy, perspective and place in his artwork. The illustrations are precise without being formulaic and I would be delighted if a manufacturer would release minis that posses his eye for detail, proportion and energy. Well,, I'll be..... it seems that someone had already!

      Very highly Recommended!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

New Blog Link

      I have collected all of the posts regarding this special brand of silliness into a new blog, click here or on the picture to jump there.

A House Divided, Followers of the Small Plate Heresy

the tortured land of Gluttonia

    The untimely demise of Ferdinand III has left a rift in the fabric of Gluttonian society.His jovial nature and the force of his personality kept the tension between the factions of Proper-Mealers and Small-Platers under control. Without his firm hand on matters of state things have come entirely unstuck. Even as the army was en-route home from Mindoro the tension had risen to a fever pitch, with the Small-Platers blaming the Proper-meal faction for the death of the King. The return of the troops to their respective cities and the discovery that all of the heirs to the throne were in the hands of the surrounding kingdoms have left the nation an armed camp on the brink of civil war.

     The more progressive soldiers gravitated to the Small-Plate faction, these troops joined together and and sought to employ the latest fashions in combat. These opinions tended to be grouped by area and thus the various cities declared for Proper-Meal of Small-Plate, not to imagine that there was complete unanimity within any community, just that there was a prevailing mood.

Friday, October 18, 2019

First Blood, The battle before the walls of Mozzerella

it all looked so peaceful as the sun went down,
the Ferndalian army camped below the walls of Mozzerella
north is at the top of the picture in this view

     As the Gluttonian Succession Crisis blended with the civil strife caused by the Small Platers vs Proper Meal Unrest, Peter the Famished put forward Hanz Flamboise as his candidate for the Gluttonian throne. this quickly ruffled feathers among the Boozonian Parliament not to mention the Gluttonian advocates of either Franz or Clauz. Undeterred Peter sent Hanz to the border city of Mozzerella along with a portion of the Ferndalian army. By doing this he had hoped to act as a magnet for the Gluttonian supporters of Hanz and to place his man on the throne without undue conflict. Of course this was not meant to be.....

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Lace Wars 28mm Hautepol Dragoons

      Now that I have my painting mojo back I hope to get the rest of the Horse done this year. Here we find the Hautepol Dragoons (at least that is what I think the unit name is......I have to confess to not being able to clearly read the unit name on my painting note). A French unit from before the turn of the century (that would be the 17th-18th century divide). To represent their "Jack-of-all-Trades" mission I modeled them with some soldiers waving swords, others armed with pistols while some other lads were using their long guns. The figures firing the musket got their arms (both literally and figuratively) from the spare parts from an infantry set. I will probably break down and build some converted foot to use as dismounted Dragoons.
      I do love plastic figures, all of the models in this unit were built using the same basic figure. The Warlord set provides a vast array of options and the ability to import parts from the infantry set expands the possibilities even further.

A little something that I threw together

     Some time back The Housemartin was running a game set in 1939 featuring the Japanese and Russians slugging it out in Manchuria. He was running the game in 15mm, Flames of War I believe, and wanted some aircraft to use in the game. A short search of the internet revealed that there was a shortage of aircraft in 1/144 scale for that conflict and he prevailed upon (more like he implied that I wasn't up to it) me to scratchbuild some for him. I knocked out an I-153bis and a Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate" from some balsa and cardstock.



       Certainly no award winners but they are easily identifiable

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

1/300 micro armor giveaway

I found these in a dusty corner as I was collecting 15mm figures to give away. No idea where I got them or why. Now they are free to the first person who emails daftrica89@ yahoo . com and claims them.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Free Stuff for Wargamers the 15mm Edition Part II, the Middle Ages CLOSED


          So here we go, having disposed of the Ancients minis we will now move on to the Middle Ages. The usual rules apply; first come, first served, and you have to promise to donate whatever my shipping cost is to your local Veteran's charity. Claim your Lot by posting your request in the Comments section below (the time-stamp on the comment will be the proof of service for who gets what if there are multiple people claiming the same item) These comments will not appear until I have reviewed and cleared them to appear, please do not send multiple claims. After you have staked your claim in the Comments send me an email at daftrica 89 @ yahoo . com

  In this round there are four Lots, see below;

Lot #1, DBA Flemish Army, or thereabouts.....three bags of spear/pike, three bags of handgunners two bags of light crossbows and a bag of swordsmen, all this is accompanied by three units of horse

Lot #2 and #3, two siege towers, I have no clue who made these, or how I came to own them,
all metal castings that assemble into a tower about 4" tall, reasonably well detailed

inside the box...

Lot #4, three cards of Ral Partha "big" 15s and a bag of Museum Miniatures halberdiers with a dozen of so figures in it and another bag of cavalry with about twenty figures in it

Thursday, October 10, 2019

1/700 Black Seas Brig; Standing and running rigging with sails

      Less than happy with my first attempt, and with criticism taken to heart, I gave it another go.  For starters the lack of sails on a square-rigger is akin to a lack of tracks on a tank; "Nice model, how does it intend to get about?" So sails were a must. If you have sails there has to be a suggestion of running rigging to go with them. There is no way that I'm going top have a go at properly rigging a 1/700 scale sailing ship but the masts look slightly absurd with billowing sails and no ropes controlling them, so a suggestion was an absolute must. A period of introspection and a bout of searching the internet for plans of rigging for a brig left me with a decent appreciation for what was in order, so off to the workshop it was....

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Rigging a Black Seas Brig

I started out intending to just add the paper sails
 that I had downloaded and printed out. It didn't end that way....

Monday, October 7, 2019

Desert Village finished

I had a little spare time today so I finished the Desert Village for Michigan Toy Soldier Shop's adventures into North Africa (it is surprisingly difficult to research Chibi desert villages, so I sort of winged it....I hope that it looks suitably "cartoonish")

Saturday, October 5, 2019

A Productive Evening

the guys at Michigan Toy Soldier are taking their What A Tanker game to the desert and needed a few buildings so I knocked out a half dozen as well as a start on an oasis and some dunes

then I finished painting the other two brigs
 from Warlord Games magazine cover giveaway

     Not too bad for a couple of hours of free time....... it sure beat watching TV!