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!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cold Steel 2016

Jobs and geography have conspired to keep my gaming friends and I apart. So we try to get together over the holidays for a day of comraderie and dice rolling.

One of the games was Dan's Cold War Gone Hot game. He's been converting 28mm figures all summer to have 1985 era Canadians with FN rifles vs. Soviet paras in winter camo in the far north. Dan puts a lot of little details into his games like the detailed interiors of the buildings and the inukshuk. The snowman started moving around to mark aiming points for the Canadian mortar.

Dan has plans to make a DEW Line station for the Soviets to attack. But for now they are fighting over the trappers hut.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Cheesemas everyone!

Holiday greetings from the Basement o'Rabbits!

Last night we had daughter number 2's young man for our Christmas Eve tourtiere.  He gave my daughter "Exploding Kittens" (the NSFW edition) which caused some after dinner jocularity. Mrs. Rabbitman enjoyed making me explode. It is a simple but interesting game with unique decision points and strategies.

This morning I found some extra yummies in my stocking with the nuts and figs.

Three locally produced cheeses.  Once the driving is done I'm looking forward to tucking into these and the port.

Daughter number 2 also gave me some G.M. Fraser novels and Mrs Rabbitman has some Crescent Root Studio buildings on order for me.

I hope everyone has a good holiday season.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Dwarf Reinforcements

Promised expansion for the troops of Khazad Dûm. Another 6 figure unit of elite foot in heavy armour and two handed things to bash the forces of Angmar with and a hero.

Like the last unit, these are a mix of the Vendel Dwarf huscarls and Dark Lords packs. The figures with the groovy face masks are from the Dwarf Lords.

Biggest change was finding my Vallejo "shining bronze" which covers much better than the metallic I used on the last bunch, so I was able to pick out some of those helmet details and the rings better. If you look closely at the hands gripping weapon handles you'll see rings.

The fellow with the "Princess Leia" man buns was quite amusing. But I suppose the very big sword he has will stop any teasing.

This fellow is the Hero. Baldor Heavy Hand. I got the name from a bench grinder I was using one day at work. Good thing I wasn't at the bench grinder to my left, or he'd be called 'DeWalt'!

Added more richness in the fabrics this time. Being elite troops they would be better dressed. So a purple and some yellow plus more designs at the hems this time.

This means that I have painted the entire order from September and after a few commission units it will be time to paint up the Second Wave!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Many years ago I bought quite a few Rubbermaid totes to store my armies and terrain. They were great; neatly stackable and modular. Small ones for troops and big ones for terrain. Two small nicely fit on top of a big one. I even organised the lead pile in totes, so I could see what I had already primed.

Then Rubbermaid stopped making them and my totes all filled up. Terrain started getting put in small totes to try and sort it. But of course there are items that work across several periods, so it could get awkward as pieces moved from one tote to another. This also meant that small totes with terrain got onto the shelves among the troops. Another weakness in the plan was the big totes (2 with trees and 1with buildings, plus a very large one with the Afghanistan terrain) were stacked and whatever I'd played last ended up on top.
Stack of totes beside the file cabinet used to have three large and 2+ small totes in it and the shelves were crammed with totes containing buildings 

But during the clear out at the Squadron, my one civilian instructor emptied two three drawer plastic storage units. Judging from the children's stickers on the backs I'm guessing that they were donated. We had no use for them at the Squadron so home they came for a good scrubbing with soapy water.

These are now tucked under my secondary table. One has common use items, the other is organising my 15mm buildings.
Bottom is fields, roads and rivers. Middle and top are trees. A large Rubbermaid tote with hills sits on top

I didn't realise that i had this many buildings!

Bottom is Black Powder era European. Middle is Mediterranean and Middle Eastern/ancient. Those nice Faller buildings in the back corner used to have lay on their sides, now deeper drawers means they can stand upright lessening damage during storage.

Top drawer is WW2 NW Europe (it's pretty full already), ancient fortress and ww2 bridge in small totes above)

This has freed up a lot of the Rubbermaid totes for more troops!
I think I should get a third set of drawers for my 28mm buildings and reduce the awkward stacks of boxes that they are currently in.
The white labeled boxes at the back are colonial, samurai, mediaeval buildings and winter terrain plus some more hills.....

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Barak Khazad!

The dwarves didn't get much time in front of the camera last week.
So here they are being all stubborn and heroic.

Hopefully they can hold on. I've been working on 7 more this week, which will reinforce them with another company of elite foot and a big damn hero with shiny sword and magic armour.

Add in Gandalf and that's a nice little warband (if somewhat tactically limited).

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Angmar on the March!

Had a brain storm the other week and decided to use my NWF mountains for Middle Earth mountains too. Gives a bit more drama to the table and helps define the edges more (especially if I'm not using the entire table top).

My oldest friend Chris was down last weekend to help coach my squadron rifle team, but Saturday night was beer drinking and dice rolling. I decided to put out my new Middle Earth troops for some light and easy Dragon Rampant.

True to form all the new shiny got beat. Orcs got shot up by Elf scouts, the Trolls charged the Elf spears and broke, the Dwarves got destroyed by dragon fire and even Fingol with his shiny sword was grievously wounded in a duel with Morithol, resulting in the elves retiring behind their scouts and relinquishing the river crossing to Angmar. Of course, late in the game I realised that I'd forgotten about the expensive"invisible" upgrade on the scouts and ent, which would have saved them some fiery dragon breath!
Scouts and ent harass Angmar right flank 

Trolls charge elf spearmen 

Scouts shoot up orcs holding Angmar left flank 

General action along the river, Fingol and Morithol duel

This week though I've been able to finish off the second company of Orcs and the rest of the Trolls (who had been fighting with unfinished bases).

I am reminded of my very first lead figures. Purchased from the Squadron Shop in Detroit back in Grade 7 or 8. A pack of Der Kreigspieler "Fantastiques" orcs of the Misty Mountains. Even though they are long out of production, some thoughtful soul has put the original catalogue and many pictures up on the Internet.

Three of each pose. I was so excited by those 6 crude figures! I pored over that unillustrated catalogue listing a lot, day dreaming of more and someday refighting the Battle of the Five Armies, Helm's Deep or the Dwarf Goblin Wars. I never added to them obviously and they got sent to the box of D&D heros and monsters that grew during High school. But this latest project represents a bit of a return to those early day dreams.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Coming Together at Last!

As mentioned previously ( there were renovations at the Armouries which are home to my Squadron. 75 years worth of stuff had to get shifted and then put back without any time to sort through and discard the junk beforehand.

It's only taken 2 and a half months of sorting and sifting and throwing old files out (so many old files) but things are looking tidy and functional finally.

Plus my desk is cleaned off at last!

Clearing away the sedimentary layers of stuff also meant I could move the Admin Os desk into my office which really eases us working together.

Over my desk, under the cool picture of a Spitfire, is the certificate of authorisation signed 18 October 1941, officially forming 19 Squadron.

Door to my office with Squadron Standing Orders, Squadron Routine Orders, RCSU Routine Orders and Building Fire Orders finally posted. Visitors from higher HQ like to see that.

The pictures of the Golden Hawks aerobatic team and the Snowbirds aerobatic team to the right of the door are both signed by the pilots. The Golden Hawks were an aerobatic team flying Sabre jets from 1959-64.

Door to the Training staff office and training aides storage room. Clean out the junk and you can actually find the useful stuff. The vanity licence plate is from an old CO who did many tours in the big chair and served with the squadron a long time. His grandsons are Flight Corporals.

Among the junk was this interesting box found in a locker in the basement.

Buried treasure! Not sure but I think navigators on Lancaster bombers used these to take bearings.

While a pair of Civilian Volunteers and I were doing this our marksmanship coach was getting our shooting programme started with some help from my oldest friend Chris. When Chris was CO of my old unit he took our shooting team to Provincial competition twice. He volunteered to help my team out.