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!

Monday, January 26, 2015

In Which Rabbitman Gets Pwned

Patrick brought his 1/72 scale Chinese Warlord troops over on Saturday night for a game of A World Aflame. I played the troops of the Warlord Fengteng holding a line of entrenchments defending an aerodrome while the Mad Padre commanded the heroic Zhili Army.

I had a 47mm gun and 2 Maxim guns dug in on either side of a line of trenches.

The Mad Padre had an FT-17 and a an armoured car, some mortars and a horde of infantry. Very cleverly he weighted his attack on my left where there weren't any trenches and away from the enfilading machine guns. My gun did cause some grief to his armour, but it attracted a lot of mortar fire and was over run. My two reserve companies trying to cover the open flank were also cut down. Despite MG and rifle fire slaughtering his lead company, the following companies piled into my trenches, where they proceeded to spank me like a politician in an S&M club.

Zhili armoured car and troops swarm past the corpses of my reserve companies

Zhili troops storm my trench line

Fun was had. The Mad Padre was well pleased.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Samurai Baggage Train

Here are my Museum Miniatures Samurai baggage miniatures assembled.

As I said before I got two of 28/SAM14 pack horse and retainer, and one of 28/SAM07 Ashigaru retainers carrying supplies.

28/SAM14 x2

I was quite pleased. Each figure is subtly different and the different loads for the horses is a nice touch. There was minimal flash and the horses assembled without any fuss. The ashigaru are all one piece.

I have also some impressed peasants; two Pulp Figures (from PYG 08 Oriental Street Personalities), the Perry peasant carrying a load and an Old Glory figure from Mikey. So that makes a nice supply column of 11 figures and two horses to fight over.

Museum Miniatures is also running a 25% off sale until the end of the month, so you can get a deal on your own baggage if you'd like.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Husky Engineering Vehicle Assembled

I was able to assemble the first of the Trumpeter LAV models in only two evenings of Netflix watching. This beats the pants off the Dragon Models Leopard 2A6, which is still struggling along. The Leopard is mostly done, but is waiting for Mrs. Rabbitman's "Brigade Engineering Detachment" to sew the tracks together, so I can glue on the bazooka plates.

Husky awaiting stowage
Husky and LAV 
I found the Trumpeter kit to be very nice. Not overly fiddly and the instructions were very clear. The small pieces were also relatively easy to remove from the sprue without breaking.

Being an engineering vehicle, the LAV Husky is going to get buried in stowage. But then, so are the LAV IIIs. I have begged some from Pasha Dan and have more on order from S and S. Plus I'm going to model some out of wire and putty.

While in Wal-Mart the other day I also found a die cast toy pick up truck for $1.00.

It is a good size for the figures, and for only a buck I won't mind smashing it to look like a wreck. I should probably get a couple more and repaint them for transporting ANP or Taliban. It's a Ford F150, not a Toyota Hilux, but I don't think anyone will care.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

More Mail Goodies!

In today's mail were two parcels!

The first box contained more vehicles for my Canadian Battle Group. I should have taken a pic of the packing job. They were packed tight in a custom made box of polystyrene sheeting and sealed in a couple of layers of fairly heavy duty packing tape. Each box was filled with more polystyrene to stop parts from shaking. I saw these for pretty decent prices on eBay. They are Trumpeter 1/72nd scale kits of the LAV-R and LAV-C2, which when buried in enough stowage will pass for Bison APCs and the Husky Recovery/Engineering vehicle.

A preliminary inspection makes me hope that these will be easier/faster to build than the Dragon Models Leopard 2 which I am working on while watching Netflix.

The second parcel was from Museum Miniatures and contained the B Echelon for my Samurai. One pack of 28/SAM07 Ashigaru carrying supplies and two packs of 28/SAM14 Pack horse with retainer.

So I've got two pack horses, one with boxes of tea and/or ammunition and the other with rice bales, each with an Ashigaru holding a spear and with balls of rice draped around his shoulders. Plus another 5 Ashigaru carrying boxes of ammunition and supplies. There is a nice bit of variety in the heads. Once I add in the 3 peasants carrying loads, I'll have a nice little supply train to protect from Mikey's rampaging Monks.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

With the Patricias in Korea

Pasha Dan has been over the years buying kits and slowly converting figures to represent Canadian infantry in the Korean War. This past month he has put a burst on and gotten enough done for a game, which he brought over last night to fight on my new winter terrain.

The figures are mostly Bolt Action, British Commandos and Airborne with enough American bits in there and green stuff to make them look like this fellow:

So here are some staged shots of the figures so you can admire his converting handiwork:

Vickers team

Command team


Infantry section

NCOs with sten guns
The PRK/Chicom troops were made from Russians in the padded coats and fur hats:
Communist infantry

command group

The game involved a Patricias fighting patrol of almost platoon strength being sent to eliminate a Chicom mortar pit and snatch a prisoner. The Canadians get to start the game coming in behind the Communist trenches. After a freezing night of infiltrating through the dark, they now have to take out the objective and make their escape.

Canadians deploy
 I sent one rifle group to cover my left flank and keep the Chinese heads down in one trench. A bren group, the bazooka team and my HQ deployed around a small treed hillock to support my second rifle group which tried rushing the mortar pit. A second bren group went wide to the right to get up on the rocky hill behind the mortar pit to shoot down into it.
Advancing on the objective
 Patrick played the Chinese. He quickly reinforced the mortar pit  with the rifle section and LMG team from his right flank trench. So even though I was putting a pile of casualties on them (the Lt. took a bazooka rocket to the head...) there were lots of defenders still in the trench. A second rifle group tried rushing up the center but kept getting cut down by my central bren team.
Chicom mortar pit
 I almost got my assault team onto the mortars, advancing to grenade range, but defensive fire piled too much suppression on them to advance. Some Chinese infantry rushed in for hand to hand and got the worst of things. My Lt. came up to rally the troops and support the hand to hand netting me a prisoner.

Then an armoured car rolled up to help the Chinese out. It's MG took out two of the bren team on the hill (they'd been doing a nice job of shooting up the occupants of the mortar pit). The bazooka immobilized it, but not before it rolled up to a nice firing position.
Just can't get up the slope! Yellow chits are suppression markers

MORE reinforcements!
 A few turns later a T34/85 clanked up and sent an HE round towards my support team. I decided with about 4 (or 5?) men down, a prisoner in hand and enemy armour about, it was time to bug out.

Time to go!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

In Today's Mail

Another Christmas present from Mrs. Rabbitman arrived today:

Issue 76 of the very fine periodical Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy. I would always look for it when we were in London at the big chain bookstore, but now I don't need to be disappointed by finding it sold out.

I always enjoy Richard Clarke's and Rick Priestly's regular columns, plus their well thought and objective reviews of miniatures and games.

A bit of light enjoyment in these dark days of frigid weather and sectarian madness.

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Daughter no. 2 has just opened another social media rabbit hole for me, called Pinterest. I've decided to give it a try and see what use it can be.

Pinterest, like much social media, is aimed at those younger than I, but I try to not be too set in my ways. I think it also has the inherent danger of being a massive time suck as well. But he wins who dares and all that.

Like many of us, I find all sorts of good ideas and inspiring useful images on the interweb. Instead of downloading them to a single machine's hard drive, or saving the web page, or copying the URL to a word doc, or heaven forbid, printing them all out! One can now (after downloading the appropriate app) just "pin" the image with its source data to a virtual design wall. These pins can be sorted and organised by project or topic as well.

So I've started boards for the samurai and modern Afghanistan projects to save useful pictures, blog posts and things that I come across during my digital travels. Other boards for other terrain, building and miniature ideas, plus amusing things about tea and pie are also set up.

So now when painting in the basement o'rabbits I can use my tablet to bring up my Pinterest board and have my visual references handy, instead of scattered all over my digital environment and sometimes unreachable.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Mounted Mahdists

I've been working on these since May. Perhaps setting up 4 dozen plus mounted to paint all at once was a bit ambitious. Although 8 months for 54 mounted figures isn't so bad.

They were actually done a few days ago, but vomiting does impede the blogging, somewhat.

These are for a customer who has a large and ambitious 15mm Sudan project in the works. I've blogged about in previous instalments here and here.

Emirs with banners and drummers
The figures are all Blue Moon and the banners are from the Virtual Armchair General. The nifty oval bases were custom made for the customer by Litko.
Shades of camels
Part of the delay was trying to figure out how to get different shades on the camels and horses, so they weren't so monotonous. I like my technique of using ink washes and dip to get a deep, shiny coat, but it doesn't give a lot of variation.
Massed camelry
I also had my tin of Army Painter dip gel up beyond what I could save with mineral spirits. So I've switched to Minwax for the same effect. It's also considerably cheaper, so you can play with different shades.

Massed cavalry

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Having spent the end of 2014 feeling really quite dreadful, I have arisen this morn new born, or at least not feeling quite as sick any more.

So time for the annual introspection, review and outlook.

2014 was I think a better year than the one before. I think I got a bit more painted than in 2013 and I'm pretty sure I got in at least one game a month! The Medievals got some play and the Colonials got plenty of action with TWO Gen. P.G. Wooster stories. Although once again I don't think the SYW armies got any action.... sigh.

The big shockers for me were breaking the No New Periods! No New Scales! rule in spades and delving into both Samurai and Modern Afghanistan (only a few scant months after I had written the period off too). I don't keep tidy sums of figures bought vs. figures painted like the Mad Padre does, but I'm worried that my lead pile didn't go down very much, if at all.

Looking ahead I hope that 2015 will shape up in these ways:

  • Samurai- finish what I've got, plus build them an in house opposition (I'm thinking bandits/Ikko-Ikki), considering we haven't played a 100 pt skirmish yet, building up to army levels can wait until next year? or not, depends on finances and how I feel painting wise. Army level games might be easier, since they can accommodate multiple players.
  • Modern Afghanistan- really hoping Elheim rounds out the Modern Canadians so I can field a complete platoon and building some terrain for them to fight in. This will be less money but more labour than the Samurai me thinks.
  • WW2- get my Churchills painted. Get my FJ platoon for CoC painted. Play some more CoC. Get those dug in troops and my platoon of Rams painted up too. More 4Ground terrain is always good too! But really, unless I branch into a whole new theater I've got NW Europe and Italy pretty well covered. So unless PSC brings out something shiny that grabs me I shouldn't be adding anymore to that collection.
  • Colonials- I've got loads, but actually getting my Imperial casualty figures painted might be fun, so I can dispense with the casualty caps. Perhaps branch into the Boer War (I've had 30 more Commandos and artillery primed for years, so enough for SP skirmishes). Just more games would be good. Maybe we can find out how the General won his VC.
  • SYW, Medieval, Ancients- as the mood strikes I guess.
So two big projects to continue on with and then some minor bits for other armies/periods when I need a break.

The store is ticking along nicely. I doubt it will ever be enough to quit my day job, but sales were still pretty respectable with fewer promotions this past year. In 2013 I ran very aggressive promotion schemes and doubled my sales, but ended up in roughly the same financial position so it wasn't really worth it except to increase visibility.

So as long as my real life job holds steady, and things are looking good there (it's always a good sign when they are buying new machines), I have high hopes for this year on the gaming front. I just need my energy and enthusiasm to hold out.