Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Two steps back: stripping miniatures with Simple Green

Taking a bath in Simple Green
Following my personally unprecedented spray undercoat disaster, I've now embarked on the personally unprecedented experience of paint stripping, at least in a modelling context. If you've landed here after Googling "modelling" and "stripping", you'll be disappointed. Otherwise you may wish to follow this experiment in case you are ever unfortunate enough to have to follow suit.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Crossfire: Spanish Civil War game with WW1-style trenches

Fulfilling a long-standing intention to see how well the Crossfire building complex rules could be applied to WW1-style trenches, I set up a Spanish Civil War game with three companies of Republicans holding a trench and walled cemetery while they were attacked by four companies of Nationalists. I reported the experience on the Crossfire Yahoo Group which led to a highly informative but inconclusive debate about trench warfare and how best to represent it.

This was a very sparse set-up for Crossfire. The Nationalists are attacking from the left. The Republicans hold the trench. There is really only one line of approach - through the fields.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Bad day at the workbench

Barnacle Joe
My life as a modeller and painter might look like a perpetual triumph, but that's not always true and today is a case in point...

About a week ago I spray undercoated my 15mm Colonial Portuguese and Hollanders for Irregular Wars using some old tins of GW Skull White that have been sitting in the garden shed for, literally, years. They seemed fine at the time, but when today I came to give the figures a dark brown wash I realised that about half the figures - the ones I'd sprayed with the oldest paint - had a very pronounced roughness.

Elizabethan Small Wars: Part 10: Irregular Wars - Portuguese, Hollanders and Spanish Colonial

Whilst awaiting the release of the Khurasan English and Spanish for the Elizabethan Anglo-Irish Wars, my figure collecting for Irregular Wars has now refocused on the Dutch-Portuguese War (1602–1663) which takes me somewhat beyond 'Elizabethan' in both time and place. The figures are Grumpy's Miniatures Colonial Portuguese. They are depicted in cotton armour and will be doubling as both Portuguese and Hollanders. They will also be recycled as Spanish for lining up against the Mapuche or against my English rebel army in their guise as English Adventurers.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Ancient Naval Wargaming 1/600 1/650

During my first, childhood, incarnation as a wargamer, Ancients were a fundamental feature, at least once Airfix had released the Ancient Romans and Ancient Britons sets. In my second incarnation as a wargamer, it was Phil Barker's Airfix Guide to Ancient Wargaming that got me reinvolved and ancient land warfare became my main game. In my third, current, incarnation, I have yet to blow the dust off my ancient and mediaeval armies, but I did launch these fleets of ancient galleys for playing Corvus II. I suppose this is what comes of having had a Classical education.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Spanish Civil War - Reinforcements

Here are some pictures of reinforcements for my Spanish Civil War armies. They were completed some time ago but have not been featured here before. The figures are all 15mm Peter Pig and based for use with Crossfire, though I'm also planning to use my SCW armies for something more grand-tactical at some point.


The Spanish Foreign Legion and Regulares (see below) spearheaded Franco's revolt against the Spanish Republic and provided him with hardened professionals. The Spanish Legion was formed in 1920 in imitation of the French Foreign Legion but actually recruited mostly native Spaniards.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Elizabethan Small Wars: Part 9: Irregular Wars - Scenery - Wattle enclosure

I'll be posting again about buildings for Irregular Wars, but my first acquisition is this 15mm wattle enclosure produced by Baueda and supplied in the UK by the indispensable Magister Militum (15WFN Wattle Fence). The pieces have been mounted on plasticard and are ready for an addition of  my usual PVA and sand base texturing before painting. When finished I'll stick some felt on the bottom to stop the piece from sliding around.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Homemade and cheap game tokens

In large games of Impetus it can be difficult to keep track of which units are in which commands and whether they have yet been activated, so I made these markers from pennies (for weight) sandwiched between plastic counters and stuck with superglue. I have to admit that I'm not very good with superglue. Regardless of how careful I try to be - and I'm well aware of the dangers - my fingers seem to attract it like a magnet. Each unit begins with a colour indicating its command. Once activated you turn them over to show black or white for the two respective armies. At the end of the game turn you turn them all back again.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Elizabethan Small Wars: Part 8: Irregular Wars - Playtesting

The birth of my interest in Nic Wright's Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End coincided with the author commencing development of IW2, for which my friend Ian and I have been privileged to act as playtesters.  Although I've been involved with the development and proof-reading of wargame rules before (mainly Peter Pig), this is the first time I have had the time to participate in playtesting and we are both finding it quite exciting.

Our twelfth playtest game featured Ian and three of our fellow wargame club members whilst I umpired/advised, i.e. four players with one Battle (force) each. These comprised two battles of Royal English versus one battle of Mere Irish and one battle of Spanish Expeditionary Force, a sort of alternative Battle of Kinsale (1601).