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!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Compounds WIP

Stopped thinking and perusing other people's work and started cutting this week.

I'll get a couple more assembled then I'll texture and paint all at once.

I'm stalled on the big grape hut in the background. I think it's too big, but I'm not sure how to make smaller vents. I may switch to wood and use a drill and file to cut the vents.

The buildings with the thatched lean-tos is inspired by one of the Silver Whistle's buildings. I'm not sure if you can see them, but I am trying to build some rock walls under the lean-tos with fish tank gravel.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Some career advice from my Warrent Officer:

The jobs I interviewed for a few weeks back didn't pan out. They would have paid really well, but the shifts would have made keeping active with cadets challenging.

But earlier in the summer Wierdy-Beardy mentioned a friend who owns a small factory in town and he'd put in a good word for me.

"I'm not looking for anyone right now but maybe in the fall" says the friend.

"Ride out Ottaway (my temp job) for the summer and see how New Form (the friend of Wierdy-Beardy) shapes up  in the fall" says Mrs. Rabbitman wisely.

Weekend before last Wierdy-Beardy says his friend was looking for my resume and couldn't find it. I resubmit and Wierdy-Beardy takes a copy in person to put right in his hand.

So Thursday I had an interview plus another one at a different factory. Friday New Form calls back and can I come in for a second interview on Tuesday?

The second interview was a job offer starting at a few cents shy of what I'd worked up to at Schaeffler before that went sideways, plus it's straight days and weekends for myself.

I start Monday.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Irrigation Ditches

Now that the current stock of troops for my Canadians in the Panjwayi project are done I've been jonesing to get the terrain finished so I can put on a game!

One long section didn't make it into the layout

In the last two weeks I made 13 more sections of pot field, using up all my stocks of fake greenery and I finished the irrigation ditches. After coating the banks with glue and fine sand the sections were spray painted. The water was then painted a dark brown. I noticed some bald sections in the sand which I covered with some tan static grass.

I should add some trees along the ditch banks

A couple of the end cap sections had some cuts in the surface which I covered with tufts. Since the tufts were brown I coloured the tops with Games Workshop "Orc flesh wash" which is green naturally.

I sealed the ends with tape and then poured the Woodland Scenics "Water Effects Resin" the Madpadre gave me. Just to be cautious I gave it 48 hours to cure instead of 24. I then added green Woodland Scenics "coarse turf" in patches along the banks, covering any flaws. Pouring the resin was challenging, trying to get coverage but not let it get deeper than the recommended 1/8th inch thickness.

Inspired by pictures on the Silver Whistle blog and the Too Fat Lardies blog I made six foot bridges from match sticks and coffee stirrers. They are all movable. Painting started with a honey brown which was too bright. I weathered it with dove grey which was too pale. A brown ink wash was applied and then wiped off with a rag to get the final effect. Which was just right.

So now it's grape fields and huts, walls and a few compounds.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sniper team

This week in between working on the pot fields, I finished the last of my Elheim figures, my sniper team from the battle group's I&R (Intelligence and Recce) platoon.

I'm not sure if ghillie suits were used much in Afghanistan, but that's the way these guys came, so I did a proper scenic base for them to add to the atmosphere.

Taliban view
Although I imagine they are an off table support option in Fighting Season. But they look cool.

Tea time!

It's no secret that tea is my drug of choice. So when Artizan released this fellow for their North West Frontier line, I had to get him.

I finally got this version of General Sir Pelham Gronville Wooster at his ease painted up this past week.

The building is a gift from Pasha Dan. It is a resin aquarium piece but also makes a great tomb/palace/whathaveyou for the Frontier.

Saturday Night on the Road to Damascus

Last night Pasha Dan was over to try out a scenario he is thinking of for Hotlead 2016 next March.

It's an ancient Roman variation on his massively popular multi-sided Pulp adventure trust me games with hidden agendas, bribery and back-stabbing. But this time with pila and sword instead of Tommy guns.

We had the local cohort (me) holding a bandit chief, waiting for the convoy with the pay for my troops which would take the prisoner back to Palmyra. There were some gladiators on a tear looking for loot. A local noble hoping to exploit things for private gain. Another local merchant wanting revenge on the prisoner. The bandit chief's gang wanting to break him out. Hilarious hijinks ensue in this desert hive of scum and villainy. With more players he could add another 2 or 3 groups into the mix.

Dan set up quite an extensive town (reusing a lot of his colonial buildings), featuring a mix of Miniature Building Authority, a plastic Italeri kit, a repainted  souvenir, towers from an old toy pirates game, foam core buildings and some buildings carved out of the dense foam used for flower arranging (including the Fort) plus resin aquarium pieces.

Just another day in Canis Minor

"You pesky kids keep out of my amphorae!"
"Thanks folks, we'll be here all week! Try the fish."
After a bit of initial circling things got nasty when the bandits made a try for the pay chests.

Gladiators sally out to find trouble
Local merchant arrives seeking revenge
Pay convoy and escort
One of my patrols returns from the desert to reinforce the convoy

Bandits ambush the pay convoy!
And grab the camel with the pay chests!
But the bandit got a scorpion bolt from the fort through his shoulders and the rest of the bandits got cut down trying to flee into the alley
Gladiators ambush local equestrian
Merchant has shot down the prisoner after I handed him over to the convoy, now we face off in the street
Gladiators and equestrian's guards face off after exchanging a lot of blood
With the bandit chief dead we called the game and discussed who had been able to achieve  their objectives and what sort of excusing reports and angry letters would be getting sent to the governor.

Dan has been running these games for years. We met many many years ago when he was running a similar game at MIGSCON (when it was in it's heydays at the Hamilton Holiday Inn) and I was also commanding the dromedary troops chasing a bnadit chief.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pot Field WIP

Spent a couple of nights trying out my idea for pot fields. After a bit of time trying various arrangements on my gridded cutting mat I decided on 50x50mm squares.

Then it was a simple matter of cutting out the squares, gluing on a thin layer of sand and then using a hot glue gun to stick down the pot plants. After the glue set I painted over it with some khaki paint.

Tonight I banged out 10 squares from uncut card stock and greenery to taking the pictures in just under an hour and twenty minutes.

A small field to start
Compare Christmas decoration on left and plastic boughs on the right
Patrolling through the fields
Bringing in a LAV

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Why Not Throwing Anything Out Can Be a Good Thing

As I get to the end of painting the figures and vehicles for my Afghanistan project, I am pondering the terrain they will fight over more and more.

Some of that terrain could be marijuana fields, which is a big cash crop in the region.

Canadian soldiers establish an OP in a ruined Grape hut surrounded by marijuana
Tall dense fields of marijuana provided significant cover for the Taliban during Task Force Orion's (TF 1-06) Battle of the White School House in the late summer of 2006, allowing them to enfilade and ambush the attacking troops.

I had been thinking of something along the lines of Mikey's ACW corn fields:

But with the stems inverted and cut into more of a cone like tiny pine trees. I was thinking I would wait for the cheap artificial Christmas decorations to arrive in stores in the fall and get something small to be cut up. Then I remembered some ugly plastic plant bits Mikey had thought about turning into trees, didn't like the thought after all and unloaded them onto me. I shoved them into my yellow tub of odd bits where I left them, occasionally thinking I ought to throw them out but never getting around to it.

Then today I remembered them and discovered that I had quite the pile shoved in among useful bits of plastic tubing, steel wire and a stack of obsolete computer CDs.

Pile of junk turned hidden treasure?
As you can see they are quite long and I should be able to get 2 or more pot plants out of each stem. I also have a few artificial Christmas greenery bits (on the left) in the pile too.

There are also some cheap cake decoration pine trees, which might do as well. The one on the left looks like a pot plant already!
So I guess the next step is to decide on the size of bases for optimal flexibility and start cutting.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Afghan Security Forces

Since Canadian operations in the Panjwayi were mostly in support of Afghan government forces, I decided early on to include some ANA and ANP as options for my Canadian platoon.

I have finished a second quartet of Elheim figures ANP:

I painted these fellows with black belts and ammo pouches. The first four got tan pouches.

To give them a ride they have an S&S technical mounting a heavy machine gun:

I have also done some Afghan National Army as well, using Elheim's Syrian infantry:

Google Images showed both a digital cam pattern and a woodland green-brown-khaki patter.  I opted for the woodland pattern.  I probably should have gotten two support packs. I now realise that an ANA section is probably organised into two four man fireteams like the western armies training them. Someday I will fix that and maybe get them a Humvee as well.

The irony is of course that when our first troops arrived in Kabul there was much criticism of their green combats. And after getting arid pattern cadpats we're supporting local troops wearing green camo.

I also have a few Afghan civilians. One pack of men and one of women, mostly in the amazing blue burkas that seem to be most common.

It's down to a few bits now. The biggest will be turning a die cast pickup into a burned out wreck.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Mrs. Rabbitman and I are both liberal arts majors, so our house has books all over naturally. Each bed room has a bookcase. There is a big, hand made bookcase at the top of the stairs with everything from my medieval lit books to murder mysteries.

In my proto-mancave of a basement are my history books. Three bookcases all arranged by historical period. Now that the shelves of J&M boxes are out of the way I can see them and get to them.

And they need a good dusting.... :-\

Ancient to Medieval
Samurai, SYW, Napoleon, lots of Colonial and some WW1
Ospreys, WW2, Canadian military and historical fiction
Cupboard stuffed with gaming magazines
Science, Literary Criticism other stuff including a box of university essays to remind me I used to think Big Thoughts