Thursday, May 30, 2013

10mm Oil Storage Facility

10mm scale fuel oil storage depot for science fiction or modern gaming. This is all scratch built. The large oil drums are pill bottles the small ones are desiccant containers from the pill bottles (contents removed). The piping is plastic tubing from the hobby store bent over heat. I will probably add a cinder block wall, but wanted to paint most of this before adding it. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

28mm Numidian Skirmishers

This is my promised 'Numidian Horde' that was mentioned earlier. These are Old Glory figures, which come 30 to a pack. I only 'needed' a single eight stand battle group (16 figures) but since there are 30 in a pack, I painted 30. This is 28 of them in two battle groups: a six-stand group and an eight-stand group. The last two figures (not shown) will be runners for some Elephants that will be painted later.

These were an experiment in Army Painter 'dip' speed painting. Not including cleaning and assembly and basing these 30 figures were painted in two sessions that were about 3 hours each. I know this because they were painted entirely while listening to game 3 and 4 of the Bruins/Rangers playoff games. I skipped doing my normal 4-step eye painting on these and opted just for eyebrows and letting Army Painter do the rest. The shields are mostly home made on my laser and hand painted decoration. With cleaning and basing the 30 figures took a total of 9 hours, or 18 minutes a figure, bag to table top.

Next up a unit of veteran Libyan spear men for my Carthaginian army.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Dropzone Commander Arc of Fire Gauge

My friends Gordon, Chris and Russ are starting to play the science fiction miniatures game Dropzone Commander from Hawk Wargames. When I was younger I played science fiction, mainly Steve Jackson's Ogre/GEV rules. Once I got into historical gaming my interest in sci-fi faded. Gordon, Chris and Russ are good friends and a ton of fun to game with. I'm making the rare exception and joining them in playing this game. The authors recommend you copy the template page from the rules and use that. BAH! That just won't due for someone who owns their own laser engraver. This is their template in glow-edge transparent acrylic which is my material of choice for such items.

I may only make these for friends, or I may sell them on my website if there is enough interest. If you want one let me know by emailing me at my business email:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Luftwaffe 1946 - WWII Air to Air Gaming at Adler Hobby

Saturday I took a trip to Adler Hobby. Since my surgery I haven't been able to get down to Adler as much as I like. Things at work have made weeknight visits to Adler very difficult for me and Saturday visits haven't worked out in a while. This past Saturday things finally 'clicked' for a visit.

My friend Russ hosted a small play test of some rules he's working up a game for: Luftwaffe 1946. The premise of the game is an alternate history that allows the German air force to extend world war II. I'm not necessarily interested in the Alternate history, but the rules work very well for all historically-accurate air to air combat as well.

For our play test Russ tried three Me109s versus two P-38 Lightnings. Gordon and I were the USA, and Russ and Denise were the Germans. Denise got in early and shot down Gordon while I was tailing her and pumping her 109 with .50 cal rounds from my Lightning. A little too late I got revenge and put her 109 into the canopy. Meanwhile Russ was swinging around for another pass at me, but he dove a bunch to gain speed, while I climbed. Eventually I was able to make the altitude gap unsurpassable and get away from the two 109s. All the while I was thinking continuing to turn fight TWO more maneuverable opponents in a Lightning wasn't wise.

I like these rules. They give just enough detail without any brain-hurting over complex mechanics. You can have everything you need to know on one sheet of paper - big type. Soon Russ and I will work out some dedicated flight stands for his 1/300 models that I will make on my laser in acrylic.

May 2013 Game Night

Last Friday was our club's monthly game night for May. For a holiday weekend we had a very good turn out. Three games were run, and all had plenty of players or were full. I played in my friend Ed's Thirty Years War game. This is a game he's been working on for a while and has written the rule set for himself. He calls it a 'battle management' game. The main mechanism revolves around pulling units out of the main line of combat when they become worn to replace them with fresh units. Managing the rest and recuperation of your worn units and keeping a proper reserve are keys to success.

My opponent Phil (below taking a photo) played well and had good dice. Over the course of the game I went from having a superior force to hanging on by my finger nails. Ed called time just before things got ugly.

Other games were a Column, Line & Square Napoleonics game run by my friend Pete S. (left) and my friend Mark D. ran his Falklands war game (right) that I play tested last week. From what I hear our suggested changes from the play test made a big difference and game was very good.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

28mm Ancient Gaul Cavalry

This is a battle group of 28mm Gaul cavalry for my Carthiginian army for our upcoming first Punic War campaign. They are based for Field of Glory rules. The figures are all Old Glory figures from their cavalry and command packs. A lot of gamers put their Gauls in very bright clothing. I just don't feel it looks right that way. On campaign such clothes just wouldn't keep their colors or hold up. Instead I've chosen what I believe are more period appropriate colors. The shields are hand painted. I'm not thrilled with them, but it's the best I can do free hand. Some of the shirts and pants are striped or plaid. I chose to do enough to get the impression of the correct cloths being used, but also allowed for some replacement clothing during a long campaign made from the cloths of the conquered. Again I feel this is a good historical's also easier on the brush strokes.

I've been posting a lot of my re-basing work on Ebay-purchased Napoleonic lead. These ancients were not purchased painted. I painted them up myself. Next up on the painting table is a large horde of Numidian skirmishers.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

28mm Austrian Napoleonic Jagers

This is the last of my units purchased in a recent buying spree on Ebay. These Austrian Jagers were purchased from Dragon Painting Services and re-based for Napoleon's Rules of War. These will be one of the primary regiments in my advanced Austrian division. The other infantry unit will be Grenzers which I plan to paint, or if I can scrape up enough 'pin money' I may have them contract painted.  Next up in the blog will be some Ancients units that I have painted myself. Several are finished and just waiting on basing to hit the blog.

Monday, May 20, 2013

28mm 'German' Austrian Napoleonic Fusiliers (2)

Another unit of Napoleonic German Austrian Fusiliers. These also were purchased from ppsbay and re-based for Napoleon's Rules of War. Both of these came painted with the grey regimental facings, collars and cuffs shown on the right-hand unit. I left this one with grey facings to match one of the other battalions that I have allowing these two to form a regiment. There's a chance in the future I may get another and re-paint it's facings green to match the other battalion I re-painted the facings on.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Falklands War Play Test

Last night we got together to help my friend Mark D. play test a Falklands War game he's planning to run next week at our club's monthly game night. Mark is able to use a meeting room at his work evenings and I must say it's one of the nicest gaming spaces I've played in: well lit, plenty of room and comfy leather chairs!

Mark's terrain is very nice and I spend the evening picking his brain about his techniques, including his homemade hex terrain that's very much like Geo-Hex.

Below left you can see the board layout and game in progress as I arrived late. Below right, the Argentinian commanders, Charlie, Dave (aka Olaf) and Ralph.

The scenario calls for the British to attack an entrenched Argentinian hillside from two angles: frontally and with a small flank force. Arriving late I got the reinforcements, including the flanking force. Waiting for me on the flank was a Panhard AML armored car. My squad ambushed it and fired it's one and only LAW rocket at it but missed horribly. Between a mountain of angry Argentinians and an armored car (proverbial rock and a hard place) I decided a close assault of the armored car was my best option. The outcome is shown below:

Fortunately for me my last squad member was able to get a grenade to detonate in a way that disabled the car's gunnery systems....then he ran for the beaches. The rest of the game I spent cautiously advancing my other squad from reserve, but they didn't see much action before we called it for the night. It was a very enjoyable evening with friends and I hope Mark got the constructive input he needed to fine tune his game. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

28mm 'Hungarian' Austrian Napoleonic Fusiliers (2)

The second of two Hungarian units for my Austrian army. These are more figures purchased from ebay merchant ppsbay_com and re-based for Charlie's rules, Napoleon's Rules of War. Together these two battalions will make up a small regiment. I could add a third later for a large Regiment. I may also paint up three additional figures to match to make a regiment of three battalions of three stands each.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

28mm Austrian Napoleonic Grenadiers (2)

This is the second unit of 28mm Austrian grenadiers that I've purchased from one of my new favorite figure sellers on ebay, ppsbay_com. This will complete my Grenadier regiment for my friend Charlie's homebrew rules, Napoleon's Rules of War.

I purchased these figures based singly. I've re-based them using my normal basing process that I've recently documented.

Below is a photo of both battalions which could make up a small regiment.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Carthaginian Chariots

When Mike thought of doing an earlier campaign in Italy and the Mediterranean he originally thought of doing the Italian wars prior to the first Punic War. During the discussion of this I purchased these figures to use with my existing army to start an early Carthaginian army. Later in the discussion we brought in additional players and a First Punic War campaign fit the lead we all had better. Still I had these figures and they were partially painted, so they'll be part of the campaign representing the last gasping breath of chariot warfare in Carthage.....i.e. I bought them and painted them so we're using them! They'll replace one of my elephant battle groups in my army.

These figures are from SHQ Miniatures. I think they'll match up favorably to the Old Glory figures in the rest of my army just fine. I'm counting these as 32 figures in my 28mm painting tally: 16 horses + 12 crewmen + 4 chariots. I'm definitely not of sound enough mental fortitude to paint an entire chariot army. This one battle group almost broke my will. Too much painting for a semi-effective combat unit in my opinion.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Huzzah! 2013

This weekend was the Huzzah! 2013 Wargaming Convention. I was only able to attend Friday night and Saturday morning and afternoon sessions due to other commitments. Still I had a great time. This was the first year for the convention in a new hotel conference center and I have to say the new venue is a great improvement. There was a lot more room, on site 'quick food' catering and separate rooms for board games, large on-floor games and also a Field of Glory ancients tournament. Although the convention spanned many areas, the majority of the action centered around the main ballroom where most of the games, the vendors and both WWII tournaments (Flames of War and Bolt Action) were held. Below is a video panorama of the ballroom on Friday evening. Please excuse the poor quality, my still camera suffers in video quality particularly in low light.

My good friend Gordon from Adler Hobby was there as both a vendor and also as the organizer of both of the aforementioned WWII tournaments. For my part I donated some prize support in the form of the sportsman prizes and donated my laser time to manufacture the trophies. Gordon did a nice job finding a variety of interesting 54mm figures which he painted to look like sculptures to decorate the award plaques.

Friday evening I pre-registered for a "paint and take" session hosted by Eric Jones of Hotspur Historicals. Eric is a fantastic painter and had a great session planned where we all followed his instructions to learn how to paint using his 'big battalions' method. This wasn't like any other speed painting techniques I've seen before. I learned a bunch of great tips: spot washing, how to efficiently black line small detail items like musket barrel straps and buttons, and other great tips like which colors to use with a wash so you get the correct final colors you desire. Even though I was painting in a dark room and not at my usual work station, Eric's techniques produced a great looking figure in a little more than two hours including instruction. I could probably reproduce these techniques on a half dozen figures in two hours at home. Twenty minutes per figure for something looking this nice is pretty awesome - especially for ACW Zouaves with lace details!

I've been painting figures for almost 30 years and I always benefit from learning how other people paint. Even if you're an experienced painter I highly recommend you participate in such seminars yourself. Also holding such a seminar at your club or with friends is a GREAT way for everyone to improve. A huge thanks to Eric for sharing his knowledge and for hosting such a great session.

Saturday during the mid-day session I played in a Carnage & Glory game hosted by Peter Lowitt. The game was the battle of Crysler's Farm 1813 - part of the war of 1812. This scenario showed how unique Carnage & Glory is. The battle featured a 4:1 advantage in numbers for the American army but the battle ended in a British victory. Fatigue from crossing battlefield obstacles and traversing muddy fields took a toll on the Americans in the battle and C&G models that well enough that as a scenario designer, Peter was allowed to use a historical order of battle and still host a competetive game. In the end this time the Americans lost horribly, but Peter has run this scenario several other times where the Americans have been able to achieve victory.  Thanks for the fun game Peter!

Also at Peter's table, but not part of the game, was a 28mm Monitor he built for anther game hosted at the convention by a friend of his. I was impressed at the workmanship of this scratch built gaming model.