Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Counters, blocks or 2mm?

Painting all the armies I'd like to have for all the rules I'd like to play is too demanding on time and space, if not pocket, and I find myself thinking more and more about counters, wooden blocks or Irregular Miniatures' 2mm strips.

I began with making some counters for Maurice (pictured above). Counters are very cheap and straightforward. I adapted some top-downs from the Junior General website and printed the designs onto labels which were then cut with a scalpel and applied to smart laser-cut MDF bases from Pendraken.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Square Bashing 2012 - Second Game

I played a second 'Quick Game' of the new Square Bashing 2012 rules, this time against a different opponent. It was another attempt to learn the rules and try things out, rather than to play competitively. At least that's my excuse. I played the British attackers against a German defence. This time the defending army was more balanced (more infantry, less artillery).

My opponent was quick to pick up the rules and to play them to maximum advantage! By placing the transverse road (and thus the crossroads objective) in Row 4, the defender was able to incorporate the other objectives into his Row 3 defensive line. My opponent was also struck, as I was in my first game,  by the amount of scenery. I find this a good aspect, adding to the realism, the game play and the aesthetics.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

19th Century Grand Tactical wargaming

In almost 50 years of wargaming (with a 10 year break) I can't remember ever attempting to refight an actual historical battle. This is mainly because most classic wargame rules deal with battalion level tactics, and it is difficult or even impossible to gather together enough figures or find enough space to recreate the whole of a major historical battle. The problem worsens with the historical growth in the size of armies.

1632Lutzen19,000 v 27,000
1704Blenheim52,000 v 56,000
1757Leuthen35,000 v 60,000
1815Waterloo68,000 + 50,000 v 72,000
1865Gettysburg95,000 v 75,000
1866Koeniggratz278,000 v 271,0000

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Square Bashing 2012

I played my first game of Peter Pig's new Square Bashing 2012 rules using the Quick Game option and my Pendraken 10mm 1918 British and German armies. The new version is very clearly and attractively presented and the game went smoothly despite this being a first attempt.

Following placement of the objectives and other scenery, my opponent deployed the German attackers fairly evenly with cavalry and a tank unit in the centre. My fewer British defenders formed a thin front line backed up with a central reserve. This thin khaki line seemed  considerably thinner after the depletions phase.

Friday, 27 July 2012

10mm ACW - basing before painting

My last post described using a white undercoat, washes and a stain to paint 20th Century figures. For my more colourful 10mm 1690 armies I spot painted over a black undercoat, but I find it increasingly difficult to see detail on a dark surface. More recently I have also experimented with the method very ably demonstrated by Nik Harwood ( in which figures are based first and then given a dark brown undercoat, followed by spot painting of the bits you can see/reach. I am using this approach for my 10mm ACW armies currently under the paint brush. It works, but I found it rather like painting through a keyhole so I doubt if I will use it again.

Figures based but not painted. They are a mixture of UK Minifigs and Pendraken (old range). The idea was that I could start using them in games, but 10mm muskets and bayonets are a bit fragile without reinforcement with paint and Ardcoat.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Painting and basing 20thC miniatures with washes

This is another article from my old website and describes how I paint and base 20th Century figures using washes over a white undercoat and then staining. Most of the figures I've painted in recent years have been 20th Century with drab uniforms, and I think this approach works well for that era.

This article shows 10mm and 15mm figures. I also used the same technique on my 28mm IWI figures. I'm not sure whether it's applicable to earlier, more colourful, periods. I did start painting some 15mm ECW figures along these lines but the project stalled so I don't know what the outcome will be.

Some 15mm Peter Pig figures are 'Blu-Takked' to tongue depressors (giant lolly/popsicle sticks) prior to spray undercoating. These particular figures are Moorish Regulares being added to my Spanish Civil War armies which I use with Crossfire rules. The figures on each stick are identical. This greatly speeds up painting.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Making 10mm (N Scale) bocage

I'm reposting an article about making bocage that originally appeared on my old website. Bocage is a French word for the thick country hedges that characterise parts of Normandy and were a major feature of the Normandy Campaign in 1944, particularly in the west where the Americans fought. The landscape in the east, around Caen, included bocage but was more varied. This item shows how I made bocage for my N Scale (10mm/12 mm) armies but the dimensions can easily be scaled up.


DAS Modelling Clay (500 gms makes about 20 hedges)
MDF Bases 15mm x 100mm
Natural twigs from a real tree or bush
Tetrion filler
Sand and ballast mix
Earth-coloured emulsion
Woodland Scenics 'Static Grass'
Woodland Scenics 'Hob-E-Tac glue'
Woodland Scenics 'Underbrush Clump-Foliage' (predominantly Medium Green and Dark Green, with some Light Green and Forest Green)
Woodland Scenics Foliage Clusters (various greens to represent different types of tree)
Woodland Scenics 'Scenic Cement'

28mm IWI conversions with Greenstuff

When I first started collecting 28mm miniatures for my Irish War of Independence project I didn't have enough figures for the Republican side so I pressed these Empress Miniatures Spanish Civil War Assaltos to which I added overcoats and bandoliers using Greenstuff. I wouldn't want to model hundreds of figures in this way, but it's certainly an option for 'skirmish level' forces.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

28mm Irish War of Independence

After a very long haul and in between showers of rain I finally managed to Ardcoat my 28mm Irish War of Independence figures. These pictures show most of them. The core figures are Musketeer but they have been supplemented by others, notably Canon Fodder, and some conversions. They aren't going to win any painting competitions but they took long enough to do as it was. The figures are going to be used with the FUBAR skirmish rules. I hope to post some pictures of a game in due course.

Auxiliaries. The CO is sporting a leather coat and shotgun. Lewis guns in the rear. The building is a scratch-built barn made from foamboard with stone cladding from Antenociti's Workshop.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Second thoughts about 15mm painting...

I don't suppose many people read this blog as a matter of course, but I find it quite useful for sorting out my own thoughts and plans.

My immediate current interest is in planning some armies for use with the 18th Century Maurice rules, so I sent off for some samples of 15mm figures. It's a long time since I painted any figures with detailed uniforms, and I was a bit taken aback by just how diminutive 15mm figures are! I certainly never intended to put in the level of detail that some people put on 6mm figures, but I'm beginning to question whether I could, or would want, to add even the basic required detail on figures this small. And that brings me back to the idea of 28mm figures after all.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Current priorities

28mm Irish War of Independence for FUBAR rules

All finished apart from varnishing. That's waiting for a warm dry day but there's little sign of that.

15mm Crossfire 'Stalingrad'

I'm now planning to create some new cork terrain boards incorporating roads and to add separate pavements to the buildings. This will hopefully improve the aesthetics and make the 'Stalingrad' cityscape a little more convincing.

15mm Armies for Maurice rules

These rules have recently captured my interest. I'm looking at doing the the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and the Irish Rebellion of 1798 in 15mm and maybe the American War of Independence in 15mm or 10mm. The Seven Years War (Austrians vs Prussians) also appeals.

I've been drooling over the look of 28mm figures, but they would take a long time to paint, would be bulky to carry and require a big table. I think 6mm could be rather fiddly with each unit consisting of four separate square bases. So 15mm, or maybe 10mm, seems a better idea.

In any event, painting up even two new armies in 10 or 15mm is time-consuming. I get there in the end, but by then my interest in the period and/or rules has usually passed on to something else. It's a no-no in some clubs but I'm seriously wondering if putting unpainted figures on the table is the only answer. I could then be using one pair of armies whilst painting another. Alternatively I could make up some counters like the birds-eye-view counters used in the rulebook diagrams.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

10mm Nine Years War armies for Rules of Battle

Here are my Jacobite and Williamite armies for the war in Ireland that formed a part of the Nine Years War. These are based for use with the DBx-style Rules of Battle rules.

Jacobite foot

Friday, 13 April 2012

10mm WW1 Western Front 1918 Armies for Square Bashing

Here are some pictures of my 1918 Western Front armies. All models are 10mm Pendraken mounted for Peter Pig's Square Bashing rules.

British machine-gunners and riflemen.

Work in Progress

My interests have come to settle not only on simple rules but also on small armies, at least with regard to any I intend to paint in the near future. I hope this will make my projects easier to complete and easier to get onto the table. I'm currently focusing on the following:

15mm HOTT
I've always had a strong bias towards historical wargaming, but HOTT is good fun and I've ordered some figures to create an Undead army (Chariot Miniatures) and a Pirate one (Peter Pig).

6mm and 15mm DBA
A recent reintroduction to DBA has inspired me to dig out my old 15mm DBM armies for DBA. The figures are all painted but I will need to add some camps/BUAs.

This project is very close to completion. I just need to varnish the figures and finish the vehicles and buildings.

15mm Crossfire 'Stalingrad'
This project is already operational, but to capture more of a Stalingrad feel I'm reverting to green baseboards with black felt roads and am adding pavements to the buildings.