Thursday, 28 February 2019

Rebasing incoming 28mm AWI figures

Left: British on 1p and 2p coins. Right: American on
plastic base and 2p coin.
My incoming 28mm British and American figures were both already based, but I still mounted them on 2p coins. The British were actually on 1p pieces and the Americans on Warlord Games plastic bases of almost 2p dimensions.

The 1p coins made the figures ridiculously light and tippy IMO and this reinforced my view that 2p coins were the right way to go for single 28mm figures. The WG plastic bases neatly fit within the tiny rim of the 2p, so both sets of figures were easy to position on their additional bases. (When existing bases and coins are exactly the same diameter, it requires more effort to ensure they stick flush.)

The gun and single mounted officer models were both
already on MDF bases and have simply had some steel
paper added.
1p coins are about 1.5mm thick and the plastic bases are 2mm thick, so these armies will end up a tad higher than my ACW ones which I mounted directly on 2p pieces.

Note that the original owner of the American figures did not use filler before adding flock which left the rim of the figure base showing.

The base tops will be given a new finish at a later date approximating to the finish already used on the gun base.  The British bases are nicely finished but I will need to resurface them because of the added 2p coins.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Rebasing incoming 28mm ACW figures

I base my individual 28mm figures on 2p coins but some of the recently incoming American Civil War figures were already nicely based on 2mm MDF discs, so I decided to leave them as they were and to add steel paper so they will 'stick' to my magnetic-lined storage boxes.

The figures rebased on coins will be finished to match by adding filler, sterilised builders sand, and small clumps of foliage. The filler hides the edge of the figure bases. Builders sand is already brown so doesn't need to be painted. The sand is sterilised to avoid mildew and this is achieved by cooking in the oven in an old tin.
 The cavalry will be getting rectangular steel bases to give them a bit of stability.
The artillery pieces are being mounted on MDF and steel paper with the filler added first as they have no moulded bases to level off.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Homemade QRS for Rebels and Patriots

Osprey will be publishing a downloadable Quick Reference Sheet (QRS) for Rebels and Patriots here, but currently there isn't one. As I have my first game planned for Monday week I decided to knock one up for temporary use. This has been a good learning exercise.

It's correct AFAIK but may not reflect exact Osprey/Rampant style and is totally unofficial. I've added references to page numbers which I find helpful.


• Choose Scenario
• Determine armies
• Set up tabletop and define terrain (38)
• Dice for Officer’s Trait (9-10)
• Dice for who will attack/defend (38)
• Muster Companies (7)
• Deploy
• Battle

• Attacker always goes first (38)
• Select a unit to activate
• Declare Action (optional)
• Action Test
• Repeat for other units
• Other player’s turn
• Check victory conditions

• Move (any unit) (23)
• Attack (any unit except Artillery) (24)
• Fire (any unit that has a firing value except Natives and Light Cavalry) (28)
• Skirmish (Light Infantry, Skirmishers, Natives, and Light Cavalry only) (31)
• Form Close Order (Line Infantry, Light Infantry, Shock Infantry and Shock Cavalry only) (31)
• Volley Fire (Infantry units in Close Order only) (33)
• Rally (any unit) (33)

Roll two dice and add the total, modified by:
• For each Disorder Marker -1
• Unit’s Discipline
• Close Order +1
• Officer’s unit within 12” +1
Result must be 6+ to pass
Note Double 1s and Double 6s

Roll two dice, add the total, modified by:
• For each casualty that the unit has taken in the Action causing the test -1
• Each Disorder Marker -1
• Unit's Discipline
• Close Order +1
• Officer’s unit within 12” +1
Result must be 6+ to pass
Resolve the outcome immediately:
• If passed, the unit does not add any additional Disorder Markers, but retains any markers it already has.
• If failed but above 2 add one Disorder Marker. If already disordered become broken and Retreat half move (36). Must attempt to Rally on next Activation. If already Broken, Routs.
• If failed and 2 or less, add two additional Disorder Markers. Retreat half move (36). Must attempt to Rally on next Activation. If already Disordered or Broken, Routs.

Roll two dice, add the total, modified by:
• Each Disorder Marker -1
• Unit's Discipline
• Close Order +1
• Officer’s unit within 12” +1
Result must be 6+ to pass
Resolve the outcome immediately:
• If passed, the unit is no longer Disordered or Broken.
• If failed but above 2, remain Disordered or Broken and retreat half move (36).
• If failed and 2 or less, add one additional Disorder Marker and retreat half move (36). If 3 Disorder Markers, Rout.
Note Permanent Disorder Markers (34)

I suggest copying and pasting this into Word. It will fit neatly on an A4 sheet in two columns.

Friday, 15 February 2019


Today is Fleamarket day in Tonbridge, Kent, and I have half a table to flog some of my surplus books. I think this must be the first time I've reported live. My wife has the other half of the table to sell clothes.

As we don't drive we had to drag everything here in shopping trolleys, but we've got enough stuff to fill the table and will hopefully have lighter loads on our way home.

Books would not be a good option if I was trading for profit. They're bulky and the bottom has fallen out of the second-hand book market. So many books can be bought for 1p plus postage on Amazon or in charity shops for 50p which is where some of these books were originally accumulated.

But my motivation for disposal is my storage crisis. It was books or figures, so I decided to dump books. I started with my least wanted ones, but some of them are just duplicates which I tend to accumulate accidentally despite having a database on my phone!

Sunday, 10 February 2019

De-basing incoming 28mm ACW figures

These eBay figures are much nicer than their basing. My
own strategy is to make the basing better than the figures!
As I have only limited time to paint, I’ve been looking to eBay in recent times to raise 28mm armies for Rampant games. I’m buying only ready-painted figures, but rebasing remains an issue.

If the basing is completely inappropriate (e.g. multiple figures on rectangular bases) it has to go. OK, I know you can play these games with multiple-based figures and record the casualties, but it’s not my preference.

Even if figures are based singly, it’s probably best to rebase them in order to achieve uniformity in an army put together from different sources. However, it’s a shame to destroy nicely decorated bases and sometimes quite difficult to do so without running the risk of damaging the figures.

My latest acquisition were some ACW figures - painted Federals and unpainted Confederates (which I will probably sell on). The figures had been stuck onto MDF, then into plastic movement trays and finally covered with a thick carpet of flocking material which may have been applied with a hot glue gun and was still extremely gooey.

I prized the MDF out of the movement trays and then stood the figures in warm water to weaken the MDF. Then I used a scalpel to cut and scrape away the MDF and flock. Finally I used a cotton-bud dipped in Isopropanol to rub off some of the remaining flock and glue. In some cases, however, the Isopropanol  just made everything more sticky, so I returned to the hot water treatment which seemed to shrink, harden and loosen the glue rather than spreading it about.

I'm hoping that repeated immersion in hot water isn't going to cause the plastic to degenerate during my lifetime, but I don't have a lot of choice. The figures have been coated with Army Painter Quickshade or similar. This is giving them good protection, and there is no visible damage to the paintwork.

I don’t have to achieve 100% removal of the offending glue and flock as the new bases are going to be textured and reflocked anyway, but it’s good to get the old flock off the figures’ ankles.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Thoughts on Dragon Rampant

Dragon Rampant - fantasy version of
Lion Rampant.

I drafted this post before last year’s mid-year wargaming hiatus. It’s out of place in time, but I thought I’d go back to catch up with this interest.

As most of you will know, Dragon Rampant is the fantasy version of Lion Rampant. I'm not generally given to fantasy games, but I'm drawn to anything in the Rampant series.

I did collect a couple of 15mm HOTT armies (Pirates and Skeletons) but I never got round to painting them. I'm not keen on being drawn into the ever-expanding Games Workshop universe, and I find Lord of the Rings too well-trodden and at times a little twee.

I'm rather more attracted to Poul Anderson's darker vision in The Broken Sword. I read that many years ago, and last year reread it on Kindle. (To be exact, I mainly listened to it.) So if I did do Elves and Trolls they would as far as possible be as depicted in that book, which is set in the Viking Age.

Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword
- a dark version of Faerie Folk.
Mike McGraw (Skrapwelder on TMP) used Elf heads on Dark Age figures,  but I already have a 25mm Viking army and don’t want to duplicate it with pointy ears!

The best range of Elves that I've been able to find is the Grenadier range now sold by Mirliton in Italy, but at least partly available from a few suppliers in the UK. They look more Celtic than Viking but the castings are very good. I'd model the Elves on a Viking army, using High Elves for the Huscarls and Wood Elves for the Bondi.

There are a number of Orc options for the Trolls. These need to be a little shorter than the Elves, mostly semi-naked and armed with clubs. They are rather more simple and primitive than the way in which Lord of the Rings Orcs are usually depicted and the best option I've identified so far is the small range from CP Models supplemented by selected Reaper castings.

There would also be wolves, giants and sorcerers. Dragon Rampant very cleverly introduced the idea of reduced size and single model units as long as they add up to 6 or 12 Strength Points. For example, you can field 6-figure units counting 2 points per figure. Convenient sized units are, therefore, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 or 12 models, which gives you a lot of flexibility and is potentially very economical.

Foundry North European Bronze Age figures
Other possibilities would be to recycle my 25mm Vikings with the addition of some fantastical elements, and my 28mm Late Mediaevals as an Arthurian Romance army. More recently I've also been thinking about Nordic and Greek Bronze Age armies using Foundry figures, or something skeletal using the North Star Skeletons. So many options!