Friday 30 December 2016

Yet Another New Trick For An Old Dog.

I've started to notice I was having problems painting figures in the evening even with my desk lamp  , I usually paint in the morning benefiting from the better light but with the British weather especially at this time of year I was having to use my table top lamp to see properly . I was talking to my brother in law who ties flies for fishing and he has used a magnifying glass/lamp for years and swears by it ! . Now I have tried one before and couldn't  use it with any success , he suggested I needed one of the modern generation lamps so I had a look on EBay and Amazon . He had cautioned not to get a small one , so I ended up ordering one with a 120mm lens .

The lamp arrived very quickly and needed no construction ,  the base clamping to the work surface with a 'G' clamp . I must admit it took a while to get the arm set up in the right position for me to focus and co ordinate the paint brush , but  I'm rather impressed with it and the lamp is one of those 'day light' bulbs which helps a lot , I'll report back with how it's going .

Thursday 29 December 2016

Christmas Goodies.

Well I've weathered Christmas - had a grand time in Derby with my wife's sisters and families , lots of food, drink and joviality . I got mainly 'useful' presents such as new walking boots ,tee shirts , socks etc . I did however purchase the above rules for myself - they are the 'Arthurian' version of Songs Of Blades And Heroes and they may be the way to get my 28mm figures employed , I'll hopefully get around to reading them this weekend .

The other thing was a  total self indulgence ! - 'Mars Attack' - it was on offer at half price from 'Mantic Games' (£24) - so I couldn't resist it ! . I have had a quick look through the rules which look fun and simple , so I can't wait to have a go with it .

The game is based on the 1996 Sci-Fi comedy film by Tim Burton (which got mixed reviews , but I though  not bad )which took as it's inspiration the 1960's bubble gum collectible cards.

I can remember collecting these whilst at my Secondary School - you know the sort of thing - you got a chunk of hideously pink bubble gum and about three card (think there was about fifty in the series) which you had to swap with your mates to get a full set .

The big selling point to us lads was the graphic violence , however the school banded the cards as too horrific - (remember dear readers this was another age) and all cards found in school were confiscated, so trading of them had to be done off campus . I don't think I ever got the full set . I'm not sure if I'll bother to paint the figures , but will get some photos of them to put on the blog soon . 

Wednesday 21 December 2016

A Skulking Way Of War.

I haven't got all the figures paint yet for this project but I decided to have a go with what I have ready. The British force - Captain Morgan and 8 men of the 60th Royal Americans , Lt Featherstone with 6 men of Gage's Light Infantry and 4 frontiersmen .

The French force - Captain Camembert  and 8 men of the Regiment Rousillon and 13 Red Indian allies. The French mission is to get half their force from one side of the board to the other , the British is to prevent this.

The Royal Americans under Capt. Morgan advance through the heavily wooded terrain . As I was playing solo I diced for the entry positions of the various groups and drew cards - red for British , black for the French to activate the units .

Two of the Frontiersmen creep forward cautiously .

The British fire a volley at some hidden Frenchmen - killing one .

The Redskins dash forward to break through the British line .

The 'Long Carbine' speaks !

A quick update on my wet palette , it seems to be working very well and apart from a accidental spillage of grey paint is very satisfactory . The only thing I've noticed is that certain colours ( mainly metallic )seem to need stirring as the pigments separate somewhat .

Thursday 15 December 2016

Another New Trick For An Old Dog.

I've heard of a 'wet pallet ' but had no idea what it was till I saw a video on You Tube explaining it , it's a method for stopping your acrylic paint drying out and even keeping it moist over several weeks ! . Now we know how quickly acrylic paint dries out on a ordinary pallet and I find I have to keep topping up my paint over a painting session several times and I probably waste as much paint as I use . So I thought I must have a go at this - you can buy 'wet pallets' from the art/craft bit of EBay but they are rather large and quite expensive , on the video the chap makes one out of a Tupperware box , kitchen roll and some baking parchment . I couldn't find baking parchment at my local supermarket , so I ordered a 'wet pallet' refill from EBay  for about £4 which has some of the absorbent paper and parchment . I pinched a small Tupperware tub from out camping equipment (hopefully my wife will not notice ) cut the sheets to size added some water to soak into the bottom layer - tipped out the excess and laid the parchment paper on top , I them added my blobs of paint as above .

When your finished you fit the airtight lid and I'm reliably informed the paint remains usable -  you top up the water now and again . The figures are 10mm AWI Hessians for scale , I will report back how this experiment works . The video is -

Monday 12 December 2016

Wargaming Humour No.32

The Author ( distinguished by his grey beard ) tries  to explain Old School gaming to the younger generation . (print found on the web)

Sunday 11 December 2016

Redskins !.

I haven't got as many of these figures done this week as I would have hoped , 'real' life being the dominant factor .

They are very easy to paint , none of this modern creases and advanced moulding - but they have a charm of their own . Planning to crack on with the rest of the figures and knock up a play sheet for the rules this week .

Sunday 4 December 2016

Early Sunday Morning.

I got the figures based up and ready for spraying and so 'earlyish' on Sunday morning having fed the hens and dog - and taken my wife a cup of tea in bed I decided to spray them black - not ideal conditions - rather frosty ! .

Of course you need the proper gear for this sort of thing - carpet slippers and dressing gown .

Hugo came to see what was going on - and promptly left when I started shaking the spray can ! .

The leaders of the two forces , the French Officer on the left the British on the Right .

Once sprayed I quickly took them inside to let them dry , my wife came downstairs and said "what's that funny smell ?", oops ! thought she was still in bed !?.

Saturday 3 December 2016

Wallowing in Nostalgia .

I've been looking at Featherstone's 'Close Wars' rules and wondering about them , he suggests you only need about two dozen figures a side , Hmm ! - I have a thing about Old Schools rules - you need O.S. figures for it to look right .

I was looking through some boxes of figures sorting them out for melting down and I came across these , Mini Figs Seven Years War figures , rather cute ! . The only trouble was no French or Indians .

I sat down with a cup of tea and biscuits and had a think about it ! . I like projects with a limit to them and this would only need about fifty figures of which I had about half already .

You can see how I was talking myself into this ! . Sooooooo - I sent an order off to Caliver Books who do Mini Figs now and this arrived very promptly today . So I have spent the evening cleaning the figures up (very clean castings , hardly any flash at all), I am going to base them on pennies - I have a large box full of these which many of my Napoleonic were based on and scraping the remaining base texture took most of the time .

Some of Redskins based up ready for spraying tomorrow morning . I will paint them up in a Old School style and give them a couple of coats of gloss varnish . Better photos to follow .

Thursday 1 December 2016

Painting Up Odds and Sods.

It's that time of year when I try to clear up the backlog of things to paint, worthy things that have been based up and undercoated but past over and pushed back in the 'to paint' queue when a more interesting thing comes along . I've had these objective markers for 'Songs Of Blades And Heroes' (SOBAH) ready for painting for about three months and so I thought it was time to get them done.

They are resin pieces mounted on round MDF bases , think I bought them from 'The Dice Bag Lady' .

Guarded by a fierce Gorgon (?) , a plastic Reaper 'Bones' figure,  again undercoated about last Easter.

And finally some 10mm American buildings for my AWI project , which have been waiting for over a year ( I hate painting scenery).

I had the pleasure of 'S's company this morning and apart from gossiping and drinking tea we played a rousing game of SOBAH's , for the possession of the treasure in the Wizard's tower.

Didn't get to take any more photos as I had my hands full as 'S' proceeded to slaughter my Gael warband with his Orcs and claim victory.

Friday 25 November 2016

Gazing at my Wargaming Navel.

It that time of year when I start thinking about were I'm going with my hobby in the forthcoming year -  then totally forget the pronouncements I've made and go off on a completely different tangent !. But I find it interesting to look back and smile wryly to myself . Last year I said "no new projects!" - well that lasted about five minutes ! but I did finish off my 28mm Napoleonic collection . As I get older I don't like learning new rule sets - so I plan to stick to the ones I like - and can remember (TSATF , Black Powder, SOBAH etc ). I play most of my games solo and the games have to 'flow' so to get them finished and not sputter to a halt when boredom sets in half way through . We are all familiar with the term 'page turners' when talking about books (and in my case these tend not to be 'high literature' category) and I find some wargames are 'page turners' - when you can't wait to start the next move and if there's a break in the play you can remember were you were and pick up the flow without a problem . Amongst my top 'Page Turner Wargaming Rules' are TSATF , SOBAH and anything Old School and because of this I find myself playing these rules more and more whilst others fall by the wayside .So I'll end my ramblings with a few photos of my latest 'Page Turner' - Featherstone WW2 .

The reverse periscope - essential for OS WW2 .

The view through it .

The action hots up - the dice with each unit denotes the order of activation .

A Sherman gets the drop on a distant Tiger tank . Sadly my camera batteries died half way through the game . The rules were very entertaining and quick - 'Page Turners' !

Thursday 24 November 2016

10mm Hessian Grenadiers.

I've got my first two units of the Hessian contingent for my British AWI army finished , I always find it a bit daunting photographing small scale figures . Here are the Grenadier Regt. Von Rall.

This unit was unique in that the entire unit wore Grenadier mitres , just the sort of thing that attracts wargamers to paint them . Unfortunately the historical regiment was captured at the disastrous  Battle of Trenton.

The next is a composite battalion comprising the grenadier companies of the Hessian Regts. Prince Carl, Von Donop, Von Trumbach and Wutginau .

That's a total of seventy two figures , which once I got into a rhythm of painting them didn't take to long . I'm ready to go back to painting something a bit larger now though !.

Thursday 17 November 2016

Featherstonian World Wars 2 Rules

                             I've been reading Donald Featherstones 'Tackle Model Soldiers This Way' which is about model soldiers and the painting ,casting and the research of them , but it does have three very basic sets of wargaming rules in it . The WW2 ones rather took my fancy so I've copied the rules down as a play sheet , VERY Old School in their starkness - but it does take me back to the days of plastic Airfix tanks and unpainted figures - I have some 1/72nd scale figures somewhere so I'm going to dig them out and give it a go !.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

From One Extreme To The Other.

This weekend I ended up painting from both ends of the figure scales . On the left a 54mm figure for my collection of WW1 pilots purchased off EBay and painted  in the 'Toy Soldier' style and on the right 12mm Hessian Grenadiers from 'Kallistra' for my AWI project .

I haven't done much with my 12mm American War of Independence recently , but 'Kallistra' have just added Hessians to their range and I had been awaiting these to expand my British forces . You shouldn't really photograph these tiny figures so close as I think they are best viewed 'en masse ' and I will post more photos when I get a battalion finished .