Wednesday 23 December 2015

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Uhlan Command.

In an attempt to get my painting tray cleaned off for the new year I've got the 40mm SYW Uhlans converted and painted . I tried an arm conversion on them and it didn't work so I melted them down ,recast them and resorted to cutting away the lance and modelling a trumpet for the musician and a sword for the officer - L to R original figure , officer, trumpeter .(click on photo to enlarge) . Not as dramatic as I would have liked but they will do ! .

Monday 21 December 2015

Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers .

I've got the three extra 54mm figures I cast up painted and varnished and was going to do a photo shoot outside (the natural environment of 54mm figures) but the weather has been wet yet again so had to resort to my usual set up in the bathroom ( experience has shown it has the best lighting for photographing toy soldiers).

Here we see them with the rest of the finished unit , next year I plan to cast up some more 'Germanic' figures for there opponents 'Army Black' .

It was only when I came to put this photo on 'blogger' that I noticed - a) the dust on the bases of the older figures and b) the new figures are a slightly darker shade of grey - damn ! as it's nearly three years since I painted the original figures I've obviously forgotten which paint I used , perhaps it's not too noticeable .

Sunday 20 December 2015

Stop Press !

STOP PRESS:  Just arrived from Amazon my copy of 'Dragon Rampant' the fantasy version of the successful Medieval rule set 'Lion Rampant' . I have high hopes for these as they follow similar rules mechanisms and I have lots of various fantasy figures tucked away which never get used much . I have had a quick look through them with a cup of tea and biscuit and am impressed , more about these and test games after Christmas.

Friday 18 December 2015

Fifty Shades Of Grey?

Pinched off - to good to miss ! (click on photo to enlarge)

Tuesday 15 December 2015

A Case of Auto-Suggestion ?.

This morning my 'Toy Soldier Collector' magazine arrived in the post - It's the only mag I subscribe too nowadays - I rarely bother with the wargaming magazines . I then took the dog for a walk and this magazine had started me thinking about my 54mm project which has languished recently , by the time I'd returned home I was all fired up to cast a few figures  and start expanding my collection .

I'm expanding each of my units by 3 figures increasing them to 15 per unit . Here are the 3 figures for my 'Red' army .Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers . The 'Toy Soldier' moulds from Prince August are I think some of their older ones and are I find difficult to fit together - needing lashings of 'Green Stuff' modelling putty .

These additional figures will be another infantryman , a Sergeant and being a Light Infantry unit a Bugler rather than the more usual Standard Bearer . Here they are glued together, the gaps filled with 'Green Stuff' and based up. I've given the Bugler a instrument from the Irregular range of bits and pieces , They will need a bit of tidying up tomorrow - a bit of filing  of the filler etc and then a spray undercoat . I'll report back when I start painting them .

Sunday 13 December 2015

Planning for 2016.

Just been looking at last years plans for gaming/painting in 2015 and I must admit I did stick to my intentions - well more or less . This year I'm NOT starting any new projects (Hmm! how long will that last?) I may expand on existing ones (reinforcing success) but the emphasis will be painting up figures I have already got - such as finishing off my Napoleonic lead pile - I have lessened it this year but there are still figures to paint . I am also going to try to find a way to use some of the figure that don't get used very often such as my Conquistador/Aztec's and the Bronze Age collection which I think I will revamp and use with a variation of 'Lion Rampant' rules . On the 'home cast' front I would like to do a few more 40mm SYWish and expand my 54mm 'Toy Soldier' figures - these will need suitable terrain to go with them . This year I think I will be using the rule sets that I've found the most successful ie 'Black Powder', 'Bolt Action' , 'TSATF' and 'Lion Rampant' a s these are the ones I can remember easily and they play well. It will be interesting to look at this entry in a years time and see if I've stuck to my plan .

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Tidy, Tidy, Tidy.

My wife took the dog out for the afternoon so I decided to clean out the 'washhouse' . Our house being a 1940's ex council house, it was provided with an outside bricked 'washhouse ' this being the days before electric washing machines and everything had to be boiled and hand washed - sounds very Victorian now ! . It is now used for storing the lawn mower , tools etc. I also use a corner of it for my casting , being single bricked and concrete floored its a bit chilly during the winter months and its also the place to dump things we don't know what to do with - "Oh put it in the washhouse for now!" we say and after about 6 months you can't open the door for 'stuff'. So I set off on this Herculean task and the fist thing I did was accidentally knock all my moulds over onto the floor - the cat left at this point due to the language being used . So I reorganised my moulds and the casting area , now the more fastidious of you may not think it looks very tidy -BUT - you should of seen it before I started !. Half way through the cleansing process our neighbour called to ask if he could borrow my ladders (notice hooked onto the wall in photo) -I had to stop and get the ladder out- a process that resembled a 'Laurel and Hardy' routine. To celebrate this mammoth task I've cast up a couple of 40mm Uhlan figures which I'm going to turn into command figures for the recently finished unit and will post photos of them when done . 

Thursday 3 December 2015

An Old Postcard .

I was looking at this old postcard on Ebay and my wife leaned over my shoulder and looked at it and said " Oh ! that looks like you playing with your toy soldiers" - I swiftly asked which one was me ? - she then retreated without further comment ...........

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Desert Island Gaming .

Sad to say the RCW game didn't really work , this may be due to me rather than the rules . Still a bit under the weather with my 'man flu' , the conditions for dog walking are vile outside and I found the rules a bit bland . Hmm ! , I was tidying the scenery away and thought " I need comfy slipper wargaming!" , Soooo ..........

Back to my old favourite - 'The Sword And The Flame' Colonial rules. I've played the 'Desert Island Wargaming' game many times on long car journeys with 'A', 'S' and 'R'  - " if you were to be shipwrecked on a desert island which set of rules and two armies would you take with you ?". Mine is invariably TSATF and North West Frontier armies !.

So I set up a couple of forces and thought of a quick scenario , here we see the British command group Colonel 'Creepy' Crawley (mounted) and Captain Mc Donald of the Highlanders with Sgt. Major Scott who is directing the mules carrying the spare ammunition .

The Highlanders have a Maxim gun as well , the crew had to be converted from ordinary infantry by being given kilts . The pile of pennies represent the amount of ammo available .

A Company of Sikhs deploy in open order again with their ammo supply .

The Afghan tribesmen have deployed behind stone built sangars . (cat litter (unused) glued and painted onto a strip of wood) .

The Afghan Khan has a difference of opinion over the positioning of the artillery with the Russian adviser .

More Tribesmen move onto the table . I diced for the initial positioning of the units on the table . The figures are a mixture of Foundry and Old Glory .

An overview of the table , the British are nearest the camera and the Afghans on the other side of the table . The British must exit on the road opposite , the Afghans must stop them . The British outnumber the Afghans at the start of the game but they may have reinforcements on the way. Will report on the action as it takes place.

Monday 30 November 2015

Back Of Beyond Game .

I've had these rules for ages and have never really got to grips with them . The are simple enough -using D6's for movement and shooting , units are activated by the turn of cards and the game is meant to be more fun than simulation.

Hugo tries to get in on the act .

The 'White' leader Count Yermony and his religious adviser .

The 'Red' Commander Colonel Smiroff and his commissar .

I decided to do a simple encounter battle to try the rules out .

White reinforcements move onto the table through rough terrain.

The Red force moves forward .

The Whites take the high ground first . I'll report back on how the battle goes and how the rules play. The figures are mostly 28mm Copplestone 

Monday 23 November 2015

42mm Uhlans For The SYW .

Been feeling a bit under the weather of late (Man Flu or Consumption) which has slowed the painting down a bit , but I have managed to get the rest of my Prince August Uhlans done.

They are based on the Saxon Uhlan regiment Graf Renard but as the figure is not quite right and I might want to use them for both sides  I have only done an approximation of the uniform.

To make them more irregular I've given them a selection of different coloured horses . This is quite a complicated figure to cast and I was surprised how well the came out of the mould with hardly any mis-casts . The next figures on my painting table to do are 10mm AWI which will be a total change .

Wednesday 18 November 2015

The Oldest Of The Old. Reading Part 2

When I posted the photos on my blog yesterday I forgot some that were on my phone and on 'A's which he has sent me . Here we see damming evidence of gluttony - my good self in the act of buying a Cornish pasty , on various motorway service stations you find these caravans selling 'Authentic Cornish Pasties' - BUT - I have yet to see one actually open for trading and so when I found this one on our journey down to Reading I felt honour bound to buy one .

Exhibit A !

Those dammed donuts ! , we thought it a jolly jape to buy these, but towards to the end of the box we were a little jaded by their sweet goodness .

'A' with the air of a Early Christian Martyr devouring one of the last donuts.

The highlight of the show for me was a display by John Curry of the original Tony Bath's flats used to illustrate the Ancient battle in Donald Featherstone's  book on wargaming.

These were pirated home casts from some flats that Tony Bath got hold of from friends returning from doing National Service in Germany (there being no way then of buying them commercially from abroad)

They had placed then on a proper 'Old School' type table with slab hills and old fashioned plastic trees.

The famous elephants which caused such destruction in 'The Battle of the Trimos River' in Featherstone's book.

The figures are a fine mix of armies ranging from Ancient Egyptians through to Romans and of course being set in fictional  Hyboria this didn't matter !.

The Roman Onanger stone thrower . The figures were about 30mm and painted in a very plain style with no shading (I suspect using Humbrol or Airfix paints) and mounted on cardboard from boxes.

Around the back of the display were some of the flats from the collection of Deryck Guyler who as well of being a comedy actor from the 1960/70's was a keen wargamer and collector .

Deryck  Guyler , Actor - for our younger viewers.

These had a more detailed paint job and sophisticated basing . Deryck was a founding member of The Society of Ancients , it's first president and an authority on the Roman army. It must be part of my mid-life wargaming crisis that I thought these figures and their display to far out rival any modern offerings at the show.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Warfare 2015.

A decent into madness ! , the above photo sums a lot of the weekend up - we didn't eat all 12 donuts ourselves - only 10 of them ! . We had a better journey down to Reading this year arriving at just gone 9 o'clock - not the 7 hours it took last year ! and once settled into our room we set up our gaming board up on the table ( 2' x 4' ) on which to play our games over the weekend.

One of the first games was a 6mm Flames of War game provided by 'A' it worked well and I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with my attacking American force versus the Afrika Korps in Tunisia . I'm afraid I can't warm to 6mm miniatures , they have their place but not for me .

The following day we went round to the show which was only a few hundred yards from our hotel . I'm afraid I didn't want much this year and found the show rather mediocre , but there were several games of note in the competition hall that were of interest. 

This was a large ECW game with some stunning terrain made from 'teddy bear' fur .

It had as well some very nicely painted figures , not sure how they got the 'teddy bear' fur to look like that - a beard trimmer ? .

The Skirmish Association once again put on a stunning display using 54mm plastic figures , this time it was a Plains wars game - the battle of Beecher Island I think .

With hordes of Red Indians !!! 

On the Saturday afternoon we set up a 10mm AWI game using 'Black Powder' rules , we then adjourned for a excellent curry and a few drinks.

I took on the role of the American commander and did well initially , staling several of 'A's attacks even though badly outnumbered .

The view from the British lines - counters are for the command initiatives of the Generals.

The stalwart American militia , who were very poor but did rather better than expected . 'A' won the game after some very confused fighting and the Americans were driven off but had fought well. 

In the morning 'A' set up a 'Lion Rampant' game using 15mm Italian Wars figures with some stats he had been working on .

I did rather well in this game whittling down his forces and gaining victory - it worked very well as a period and had a different 'feel' to it from our usual medieval games.

As time was ticking on (we had to be out of the room by 12 noon) we had a quick game of 'Songs of Blades and Hero's' , both sides trying to capture the magical statue in the centre of the table . Now getting 'A' to play any sort of Fantasy game is an achievement in itself (very conservative in his gaming) - but he actually won and even enjoyed himself ! - wonders will never cease ! . We visited the show again then headed North again , once more a good journey and so ended a successful weekend .