Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Result Of The Experiment.

Well I've tried out one of the brushes on a piece of Sci-Fi terrain I've been painting and it worked very well . I sprayed the building a stone colour then brushed a dark shading ink over it when it had dried.  I dry brushed it with an off white paint , wiping most of the paint off the largest brush then dragging the brush from the top of the building to the base so there is more of a highlight on the top of the structure and less on the base . There are lots of details to be picked out on the statues etc before it is finally finished. The brush was washed out when I'd finished with brush soap and has dried out well and not lost it's shape - so a successful experiment I think !.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

In The Nature Of A Experiment.

I've always used the best brushes for painting figures - usually Windsor & Newton as I believe you pay for what you get in this life , however I do tend to use one brush for everything till it dies of old age and bristleless . A bad habit I have is to use these good brushes for 'dry brushing' and nothing is worse for them - I have the odd brush suitable for 'dry brushing' but never can find it and so use the brush in hand which usually happens to be a good one . 

I was watching a podcast on You Tube and the chap was using women's make up brushes to 'dry brush' , now make up brushes are an unknown quantity to me - so I went and had a look at my wife's make up stuff that seems to litter the window ledge in the bathroom and found the afore said brushes . I thought it best not to try using her brushes for painting - in the cause of marital accord and had a look on eBay.

There are thousands of them ! mostly rather cheap , so I went for these ones - twelve for about £3 , they come in a variety of sizes . I will be trying them out and will report back how they work .

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

An EBay Find Of Old Magazines .

I have recently acquired some old wargaming magazines from 1968-69 off  EBay , which nobody else seemed interested in and I was the only bidder .

The are the journal of the Horse and Musket Society , it was the time I started wargaming but I have never heard of the society nor this publication . A quick Google search doesn't bring anything up about the society so I'm not sure how long it lasted .

The layout and quality is definitely pre-electronic media , they are slim but full of period feel , an era when gamers turned Airfix Guardsmen into any army or uniform using razor blades and Plasticine and nail varnish (I never did track down the 'banana oil' you were advised to use). We are so lucky now when it comes to uniform information with the mass of books and the Internet at our finger tips , in one of them is an article on Austrian Napoleonic Hussar uniforms (very basic) but you can imagine people seizing on this and start converting American Civil War cavalry into Hussars . 

On the back of several of them is a advertisement for Miniature Figures , I remember posting off orders to this address enclosing a Postal Order (no cheques for me, I don't think I even had a bank account then), They had a strange way of working out postage - and if you didn't send enough money the deducted figures from your order (usually the most needed figures !) and it took for ever for the parcels to arrive - you could easily wait a month or more , it's much easier now to spend money ! (luckily ?) 

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Finally Getting There.

Well I got all the required figures cast  and  started cleaning them up , filing the bases flat and getting rid of any flash or mould lines .

The finished figures ready for the necks to be drilled out to fit the heads .

At this point Charlie who had been fast asleep across the room heard me start unwrapping a 'Kit Kat' biscuit !.

Having placated the dog with some of my biscuit I started drilling the necks out . I used my trusty 'Dremel' with a small bit to drill a starter hole then a larger one the same size as the shank on the head. I held the figure steady in an old leather glove held in place with a mould clamp. 

The finished figures glued to their bases ready for spraying black.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

The Goddess Of Home-Casting Smiles .

Well I've got a new full gas bottle , I found there was a Calor Gas depot on a local industrial estate so I swapped my empty one for a full one. The Goddess of Home casting smiled on me and I got the remaining figures done , spurred on by this I tried casting from a metal Nurnberger Meisterzinn mould , now in the past I've had trouble getting successful figures from these moulds - but I was on a roll today so I got half a dozen figures cast from this mould* - enough to finish off a sub-unit of twelve figures . So next weeks task is to clean up all these castings, base them and give them a black undercoat .
*I've been told pre-heating the mould over the gas helps and it seemed to work today.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Casting Blues.

Things have come to a temporary halt on the casting front as my gas bottle has run out of gas . So I put it in my backpack (its awkward to carry and heavy-ish) and set off for the garage on the top road to swap it for a full one , I got there and found they had moved the safety cage they keep them in , on enquiring were they kept them now I was told - "we don't do them now - to much hassle with health and safety and we never sold many" ! - BLAST ! . So I'm going to have to find another supplier . 

I have done quite well in getting the next unit cast up seeing it's being very hot and so not pleasant slaving over a hot mould. The venting I did on the moulds seems to be working, but the metal I'm using is a bit rough but we are getting there.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Painted Ladies .

One of the hardest things to paint when it comes to figures are females , the average male figures has a somewhat craggy face which with a bit of shading and a touch of stubble can look convincing . Females however especially if they are done convincingly I find hard to do justice too (most females in wargaming are predictably portrayed with large out of proportion boobs and so somewhat a caricature) . Warlord have just done a set of female Samurai figures ( Onna- bugeisha ) for the 'Test of Honour' skirmish game and being a total 'fanboy' I had to get them . They are very nice indeed , slender and well proportioned and actually look like Japanese girls . Having got them I had to think of painting them , I must admit I was a little intimidated by the prospect . I looked at various illustrations and Google-pics which showed how hard it was going to be to get it right . Upper class Japanese woman tended to wear heavy makeup which whitened their faces and the eyebrows were drawn on , cheeks heavily rouged and very red lips , hard to get right in 28mm and not make them look like Coco the Clown. Here is my first finished figure and I'm happy with it , I pinched the colour scheme of the clothing straight off the Warlord advert , Well that's one down another six  to do .

Friday, 6 July 2018

A New Book .

I don't normally do book reviews but I think I must draw attention to this book , there is not much on the Thirty Years War in English , there are a couple of general histories of the war but not much on the details how the battles were fought or how armies operated . So I was overjoyed with this book , it's a period of the war I based my armies on and packed full of information including an orbat of the battle , details of captured flags and how the terrain affected the battle . 10 out of 10 .

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Deployment Point Markers.

One of the main things about 'Sharp Practise' is the use of Deployment Points from whence your force comes onto the table and if captured by the enemy  prevents further reinforcements and is detrimental to your armies morale . It seems la rigueur to have army / period  markers so I thought I would make some for my Tex-Mex games . I noticed some plastic cacti for cake decorations in a shop that does wedding cakes etc. so I bought their entire stock (much to the amazement of the lady behind the counter - I didn't enlighten her to my true purpose) . I glued these to some round MDF bases and textured then I also added a couple of Mexican peasant figures to them so they are ready for the next game.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

A Bit Of Casting .

Well Britain is baking in an unusual hot spell - to hot for me and to hot for the dog , so I'm getting up at  5am and taking him for a walk before it gets to hot . Having got that out of the way I had a go at casting some more 40 mm Prince August figures for the Prussian battalion I'm forming .

The results - not bad for a start , but was getting quite a few mis-casts especially on the bayonets, halberd and Officers sword . This maybe because of the less than pure metal I'm casting with (mainly old figures) or that I've not been casting for about 6 months and these are new moulds to me .

So I decided to cut a few vents in the moulds to encourage the hot metal to run to the extremities of the figures , here we see Hugo inspecting the doctored moulds . Hope to have another go tomorrow to see if these modifications have improved things.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Sunday Afternoon .

Well it is a beautiful sunny day but I'm bothered by hay fever so I'm inside watching England play in the World Cup and gluing Perry ACW plastic figures together . A lot of people don't like plastic figures because of having to glue the arms , weapons etc together - I find it very therapeutic (I did a lot of plastic kit building in my youth) , I got the boxes off Amazon with some birthday vouchers I was given and they will be used for 'Sharp Practise' . The metal ones are some that have been in storage for a couple of years and are finally seeing the light of day - England have just scored ! . The boxes are very good value having 40+ figures in them each of them and will provide two forces for 'Sharp Practise' - England have just scored again from a penalty ! . I must have painted hundreds of ACW figures over the last 40+ years (and probably sold half of them on) and I never tire of them , looking forward to starting on them and yes I know I should be really painting some of my other projects but what can I say - I'm a wargaming butterfly ! 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Half Way There ! .

Well this morning I passed the 500 miles mark on my walk a 1000 miles in a year project . I've been looking at the wall chart that I record my mileage on and over the last 20 weeks I have only missed 3 days (one of these was when we travelled to Scotland on holiday - the other two I can't remember the reasons for the absence of miles ?) . Here we see my companion for most of these  walks - Charlie - note how attentive he is to his master ! (I've got a treat in my hand to get his attention !) . Well here's to the next 500 ! . 

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Prinz Heinrich von Preußen Fusiliers .

I've cracked on and got the first batch of Prussian Fusiliers painted and varnished . They were relatively easy to paint once I got the first two or three done . I spray them black then paint the figure a darker shade of the required colours - ie a mid grey for the white straps , a buff colour for the yellow etc. . Then I overcoat with the correct shade trying to leave the darker colours for shading , I gave the yellow an extra lighter coat as it's so hard to get yellow right I find .

Prince August have a done a good job with these new wave of figures and they still match the older ranges in style and size . I will have to cast more figures up myself to form the next company so hoping to do that next week.

A close up of one of the Fusiliers , the heads are separate 'plug-in' and you can build Fusiliers , Grenadiers or Tricorned Line Infantry from this basic figure. I enjoy painting 40mm figures , probably because my eyes find it easier to see the details and also they look like 'real' toy soldiers .

Sunday, 10 June 2018

A Grand Unwrapping .

About a month ago I purchased some 40mm Prince August figures and moulds ( ) and with my holidays and other things I have just got around to unpacking and sorting them to see what there is .

They come with separate heads allowing them to be made into Fusiliers , Grenadiers and Line . I made them into Fusiliers and based enough for a company to fit my organisation -  12 Fusiliers , Sergeant , Drummer and Officer. I will need to cast up some more to complete the Regiment , but I have plenty of scrap metal to do it . 

I have had a look at 'Project Seven Years War ' and I like the above Regiment with it's bright yellow facings and hope to start painting it next week .

Monday, 4 June 2018

The Battle Of Mission Concepcion.(Part Two).

The second move started very well for the Texians two of their leaders and their four units came onto the table using the secondary deployment point and so were ideally placed to hold up the Mexican advance .

More Mexicans arrive but move somewhat tardily - you dice for movement .

Two units of New Orleans Grey arrive via the primary deployment point accompanied by the Texian General .

At this point I cocked it up for the Mexicans by allowing their cavalry to get shot up by the Texians in the buildings , they have 6 disruption point each - these slow movement and combat effectiveness . It took the rest of the game to get them out of the way and rally both units back to effectiveness .

The Mexican infantry failed to close with the rebel militia and their attack bogged down , if a unit has more disruption points than figures they have to retire which drags the army morale down .

The other column drove the Texians back on the left flank but in doing so suffered high casualties and disruption points and had to withdraw . 

The state of morale towards the end of the game , the Mexicans have got down to 2 points which removes some of their command cards making it harder to control them . Shortly after this they dropped to nil and lost the game . A quick game and a decisive win to the Texians , my handling of the Mexican cavalry was to blame (hangs head in shame) and they never got into action . I think I'm getting the hang of the rules and they play well for solo .

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Battle Of Mission Concepcion.(Part One)

This is a game played using 'Sharp Practise'  , the Mexican army under Colonel Ugartechea has surprised a Texian force based at the Mission Concepcion and their task is to drive the rebels from the table and capture their deployment zone . Here we see the Mexican initial deployment markers (discs with blue flags) where they will appear on the table .

The Texian end of the table with their deployment markers , the one nearest the table edge on the left is the one the Mexicans must capture to win , the other in the centre is a secondary one where Texians can deploy but has no tactical significance .

When a Leaders card is drawn he and the units under his command can deploy . Here they can deploy at 18" - 12" for being cavalry plus another 6" for being out of sight of the enemy deployment marker.

The Texians get lucky and draw two leader cards, each leader has two units of militia under them . I decided to deploy them on the secondary point to hold up the Mexican advance . Being infantry they  have to deploy within 6" of the marker.

The Mexicans draw another leader card and three units of infantry appear . Then the 'Tiffin' card was drawn and the move ends,  the cards are re-shuffled ready for move two. 

The two forces have an initial morale which diminishes as bad thing happen . The Texians are on 8 (militia) , the Mexicans 10 (regulars) . Too be continued …….

Sunday, 27 May 2018

I Knew It Would Come In Handy Sometime.

I found this box on a skip at work about ten years ago and thought 'that could be useful' , so I brought it home and put it in the spare bedroom (the depository for all useful things) and there it sat . It has been threatened with the dustbin several times but I've managed to save it . It originally housed teabags I think and had the faint smell of tea . For 'Sharp Practise' you need markers for disruption points which when accumulated prevents the units from functioning properly , I got some off EBay which are marked 1-10 and I have them in blue and red . However finding the relevant ones where a problem - then I remembered my 'useful box' - there are segments so that they can be sorted from 1 to 10 , a space for other markers and the cards fit in the last one ! - I KNEW it would come in handy ! (still probs with the Internet, an engineer has been dispatched and arrives on Tuesday - we await with anticipation !)

Friday, 25 May 2018

Cookies ?

For some reason an announcement has started appearing when you come onto my blog about 'cookies' - I was momentarily interested in this - thinking of American biscuits - but I fear it isn't !? . I'm having problems with the Internet , BT have fixed the line in but my provider thinks it could be the modem  and has dispatched another one , hopefully this will fix it ! - I hate technology when it misbehaves , so there maybe interruptions in posts , I'll keep you posted .....

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Dabbling !

Back from the hols only to find problems with the Internet/phone system (oh ! the temptation to smash inanimate objects to smithereens !) and back to painting . I have lots to do but felt the need to dabble in a couple of periods which have been dormant for a while rather than something worthy . The above are Warrior Monks from 'Warlord' in 28mm for my 'Test Of Honour' project which scratched my itch for something fancy in 28mm .

The next is to start the Hessian Leib-Regiment in 10mm from 'Kallistra' for my AWI collection , this is more worthy as they have been undercoated and awaiting paint for over six month , ah ! the life of a 'wargaming butterfly' . Just noticed that both sets of figures need their bases finishing . Hopefully I will get back to a semblance of order in my painting schedule in a week or so.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

A Lucky Find ! .

So I was surveying EBay and noticed somebody selling 40mm Prince August SYW figures , Now I have suitable moulds and could cast up figures myself , but these were their new SYW figures . I had admired these  but decided not to buy them as I already have lots of moulds  . I kept an eye on them and nobody seemed interested - two groups of 30 figures , one Austrian , one Prussian - Hmmm ! I could use the Prussians with my Allied army - then I noticed in the written information that he was selling the moulds as well  - that's 30 figures and two moulds for £30 !!!! - so I placed a bid !

Nobody else bid for them ! (strange) and I won them - so I bid for the Austrians about four minutes before the time was up - and won them as well . Today two heavy boxes arrived, the figures with their heads and weapons etc individually wrapped - nicely cast as well ! 

Here are the moulds , now I know at the beginning of the year I was hoping to keep the figure purchases down - BUT I think this was too good a deal to miss (desperately try to justify his buying more figures) . Got to unpack all these and start gluing equipment and heads to them - but I must get my Tex-Mex stuff finished first.