In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Full Battle Rattle Fire Team

I've just finished the pack of 28mm modern Canadians from Full Battle Rattle that I picked up at Hotlead. I'm quite pleased.

These are wonderfully detailed sculpts and nicely cast. I didn't have much flash to clean up. The weapons are really fine and I was worried about breaking a few muzzles off.

I painted them in much the same way that I did my 20mm figures except I tried to do some highlights on the weapons and ballistic eye wear. I also tried doing their patrol packs in temperate climate cadpat to give a bit of relief from all the arid pattern tan.

They were fun to paint up. I'm not going to switch scales though. I'm too far down the 20mm rabbit hole to go back. So these have been deployed to the modern section of my bookshelves.

But if you're already a 28mm modern gamer and already have vehicles, insurgents etc. then these are really gorgeous figures and highly recommended. Next year I may ask Alex if I can buy just the radio operator and leader from his command pack though.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Middle Earth Wave 3 Arrives

A while ago my friend Pete, who is always prowling for bargains, spotted a fellow selling some Vendel Elves on the Lead Adventure Forum Marketplace and sent me the link alerting me. He also suggested that to save postage, I have them mailed to his parents and he'd collect them when he went to visit. He visits every year and takes in Salute while he's at it.

After a few messages and a paypal transfer I was the happy owner of a goodly pile of Elves for about half what I'd have paid to buy them new. This lot comprises:
  • 1x Elf King and command group
  • 1x Elf Nobles
  • 3x Armoured spearmen
  • 4x Elf Archers
  • 2x Unarmoured spearmen
Each pack is 4 figures. So that's going to add another unit of Light Bows, and a unit of Light Foot with Missiles, plus 2 or 3 units of Elite armoured spearmen (depending on how many of the Nobles I want to use). Even though there'll be some figures going straight to the leadpile, there is one more bag of archers than I thought I was getting so I'm pretty happy really.

In other news my new Soviets got trashed in their first outing under the Chain of Command rules. A platoon of Rifles tried holding some swampy pine woods against the advancing Fascists. But an 80mm mortar barrage pinned my Maxim gun and half the force while a StuG rolled up to hammer the other half.

I also got this surprise in the post:

My friend had tried to order some 20mm samples from Butler Printed Models and got this 15mm Archer by mistake.

It's not bad on first look. I'll comment more when I paint it up.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


My wife has been observing me trying to command my Air Cadet Squadron this past year, as myself and my two key staff members all work shifts. I see my Training Officer only about once a month. It makes it hard to have those running conversations that really help get things figured out.

But when I came home from a tour of Toronto International Airport the other week, she with Daughter Number Two's advice and assistance, had purchased for me a low-end Samsung cell phone as a birthday present.
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This caused great shock and amazement among my young staff, who all think of me as a lovable dinosaur.
Image result for lovely dinosaur

It's not that I don't like technology, I just can't see the point of rushing out to buy an expensive item if it won't make my life better in some way (it's money that can be better spent on miniatures or dinners out). So far the home phone and answering machine have been working fine. Our old cell phone (complete with antenna) was good for emergencies when out with the car. Looked at flip phones and having to push the number 3 nine times to get the letter 'i' seemed like a waste of life span.I need a proper key board to text. Anything important could wait until I got home. If someone needed to talk to me they could leave a message.

Until this year.

And now to facilitate being connected to my cadets I have enabled Facebook (for real time posting to the Squadron Page) and Remind (an app used by teachers to send out class announcements) on the cell phone as well. Thus the tentacles of the Big Machine get more of a grip on me.

But my young staff officers are really enjoying being able to get hold of me more quickly when I'm not at cadets.

I think the present was more for them than me.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tying Up Loose Ends

Got a few more things checked off this weekend.

The terrain bits/set-dressing I got at Hotlead are table ready now.

The Lord of the Rings statue I redid with autumn leaves, so still bleak and giving a sense of faded Numenor, but I can use it on more than the snow table. The autumn leaf mix is some really old ground scatter that I've had since I was a kid. It is a mix of green, red and yellow dyed wood shavings plus some tea leaves from some really crappy low-end tea I got for free somewhere.

Basically just tried to be mindful of where dead leaves would collect.

The pots and sacks are also painted, based and with my mediaeval village.

And last night I assembled the pack of Renedra gabions. The circular ends (you only get one per gabion) are plain, so I had to glue some sand on top to make them look full of dirt. You end up with 20 from the pack.

Here are some with the Wars of the Roses cannon I got at Hotlead 2016, which is getting slowly painted in between other projects.

Monday, April 24, 2017

URRRAH! Part 3- First Wave Done

This must be the fastest I've ever gotten this many troops done.

A dead simple paint scheme helped a lot, I'm sure.
Big Men

So from my two blister packs I've got 4 rifle sections and 5 SMG sections plus 9 Big Men. For battles set in 1944-45 when Soviet Rifle Battalions were severely understrength, that's a company each of rifle armed and SMG armed assault troops. Or for games of Chain of Command a platoon of each plus extra sections for support options.
SMG Company

Rifle Company
You'll notice that I based half on Flames of War bases for ease of moving, and half on 15mm MDF rounds for removing casualties and playing Chain of Command.

I've also got an obligatory Commissar and a female Medical orderly.

Thanks to the Mad Padre, I've also got 3x 50mm mortars, a platoon of 82mm mortars, a platoon of Maxim MMGs, and two sections of PTRD anti-tank rifles.
Loads of support!

Maxim MMGs, I had to get creative to add more crew. The fellow waving his binoculars about was a big naff

82mm mortars, rather boring poses and fiddly mortars to assemble

50mm mortar

I'm going to need tanks and guns soon!

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Concurrent to working on the Soviets, I also got my battery of Brummbär assault guns assembled and painted.

Since the later variant comes with the separate plastic schurzen, it behooved me to take advantage and clip out one of the middle panels to give a more lived in look.

Painting was Vallejo German Cam Beige (70821) dry brushed over black base coat. Then I used pieces of the sponge packing to apply splodges of German Cam Medium Brown (70826) and then Reflective Green (70890). Americana Mississippi Mud was then applied liberally to the tracks and road wheels and dusted up around the mud guards and bottoms of the schurzen.

So they are now ready for Italy, Normandy or the Eastern Front.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Urrah! Pt.2 -Getting my Soviets Sorted

I've been scraping and sorting out my Heroic Defenders of the Workers and Peasants Revolution since Hotlead. Since I'm wanting to play both small Chain of Command sized fights and bigger IABSM engagements anywhere from the summer of 1941 until the storming of Berlin some flexibility is required. Although it appears that my SMG platoons won't be suitable for the early battles at all.

The lists in the Chain of Command rulebook are aimed at late war, 1943 and on. Same with my IABSM army list supplement Vpered Na Berlin. But on the Lard Island News Blog there are very nice FREE downloads for all sorts of forces for Chain of Command. In particular Germans and Soviets for Barbarossa here. Whilst I was there I did a poke around and downloaded the 1939 and '40 German infantry lists, plus lists for the Poles and French. Because you never know. Preparedness is all, as they say.

This week a nice package arrived from the Mad Padre containing reinforcements for the Mantovsky Shock Army from his lead pile. Three sprues from a PSC Soviet Heavy Weapons box have netted me a platoon each of three Maxim MMGs and three 81mm mortars (their minimum range is short enough that they could be on the table in IABSM), plus 3 fellows carrying the PTRD anti-tank rifle and three PTRD teams firing. The PSC figures were fiddly to assemble and some poses are a bit naff. The Maxim MMGs are missing a number 2 with ammunition box, which I think is an odd omission, but free is good. I used some extra mortar crew to make extra machine gun crew. The Padre also included three Battlefront 50mm mortar teams, which I like better than the PSC, so I left them and the 120mm mortars on the sprues.

After priming with Krylon khaki spray paint, I block painted some test figures with basic face, hands, boots, weapon and helmet then a brown wash with this result:
Basic block painting

After brown ink wash
Soviet uniforms were pretty monochromatic. My Osprey book shows the kit and bed roll to be the same colour as the uniforms. Plus the castings are from some old moulds, so a fast and easy paint job is all we need here.