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, 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.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Uurrah! WW2 Russians

My Early War Germans have been languishing ever since Patrick sold his French. Doing French or Poles myself had been rattling around in my head ever since. Those French tanks are kinda nifty.

But I've also been thinking about a Soviet army for a long time. When I had the store the plan had been to build one entirely from Plastic Soldier Company sets. Now I don't have the store. But as usual serendipity has played a decisive role in new project planning and some heavily discounted FoW packs were the tipping point. If the guy selling FoW had had French or Poles, I might have gone that direction.

So I'm going to start with focusing on a force for Chain of Command first and build from there to a force big enough for I Ain't Been Shot Mum.

For Chain of Command I need Jump Off Points. I usually like some rear echelon vignettes for JOPs, or even just a truck, but I don't have anything like that for the Russians yet. Given their lack of armour my heroic defenders of the Motherland will be on the defensive in early games blocking the advance on Leningrad or holding out in the Pripet Marshes.

The log defensive works I got at Hotlead gave me the idea of getting some bunkers to deploy from. I've had these for a while and never used them:
I think they are from RAFMs Vietnam range. But I thought they needed more. The openings are just kind of there and are a bit lacking.

So a base to tie things together and adding some bamboo skewer logs to the face to make them look more Russian.
To make the entrance look more dug out I added some green stuff berms of earth on either side and while still sticky, coated with fine sand:

A week later I get a chance to paint and flock, and here are the results:

You'll notice a fourth bunker. That is a resin Flames of War objective marker that Mikey brought back from Fall In. I painted and flocked it at the same time. So I'm probably set to do some Seigfried Line/Reichwald scenarios too.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hot Loot -the shopping!

Had a very good Hotlead this year (my AAR covering the games is in yesterday's post). I didn't find everything I was looking for (like a hard copy of Dragon Rampant), but enough and even found a few things I wasn't looking for.

I think this year will see more WW2 action.

One of the vendors was a chap blowing out his stock from his now closed Flames of War store. I'd been thinking that my Germans needed a few more SP guns and these Brummbärs at 5 dollars each were too cheap to pass up.
Clearly says "Late" on the package. Oh well. I like schurzen.

Didn't notice until I got them home that one is a late model with MG42 ball mount and schurzen, and the other is an early model. Silly me. But I don't think my Germans will mind. Fortunately for the wallet he didn't have any Panzerjaeger IVs or Hetzters.

Then on Sunday while I was availing myself of the coffee nearby, I thought "Hey! I bet he's got Russians." Sure enough. At 10 bucks a blister pack I've got enough regular infantry and SMG troops for Chain of Command.
Trying to sort out what I've got. Looks like 4 sections of rifles and 5 sections of SMG troops plus a variety of Big Men

I'll wait to add tanks.

For Saturday's Bring and Buy a chap I know was lugging in a box. " Oooh, watcha got?"
"My Flames of War stuff"
So I grabbed his pack of nicely painted up entrenchments and told Scott that he really needed a US Armoured Combat Team. Which he decided he did.
My Russians can dig in even before they are painted!

Bought some terrain bits from Ontario Hobbit Adventures, who were mostly demoing the Games Workshop Hobbit game on a couple of very nice little boards.
Happy staff at the Ontario Hobbit Adventures booth 

3 for 5 dollars deal on the bushes. A stack of primed and ready to paint grain sacks plus some pots and wicker baskets. I may remove the snow from the Gondor statue. Not sure.

A pack of Renedra plastic gabions for mediaeval and fantasy siege lines.
Been trying to get these for a year, but he's always been sold out

A pack of Full Battle Rattle's Afghanistan war 28mm Canadians, just because.

And some free books. Although the one about Sam Hughes is on extended loan.
Command Legacy will probably be dry but informative. Sam Hughes and his relationship with Sir Arthur Currie is important to understanding Canada in WW1

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Hotlead 2017

Hotlead 2017 has come and gone already. Now it's the post-Hotlead recovery and longing.

This year went the smoothest ever, for me at least. Michelle, who's husband attends regularly, asked if she could be of more help and she took over the game scheduling in between having a baby. So that was a huge headache off my shoulders.

Plus she's younger, and has decent technical skills, so I now have a nice digital hall layout I can work with. Her new born was also a happy attendee, making the new mom's weekend easier.

Friday was well attended. Lots of games. I tried to get a few snaps in between playing a massive Dragon Rampant game with the Mad Padre. Most of my Middle Earth troops with most of his. My good guys faced off against his bad guys and at the other end his good guys faced my bad guys. Over 110 points per side!

There was much fun and under the Padre's command, my werewolf finally found his mojo and did something. Apparently he ate Theoden. I didn't see. My Ents were busy thrashing his Dunlendings.

Some pictures:

20mm Vietnam

28mm Arthurian 

15mm Russo-Polish War


A pick up VSF game

Dan Hutter's game with drug smugglers, pirates, mercenaries and corrupt government forces somewhere in the Mekong River

Chrysler's Farm

Saturday was also booming. Line ups, activity at the Bring and Buy, crowds of happy gamers. I don't know if it's because the economy is improving or because I've delegated running things to more capable hands, but attendance was up a solid 10% (from 260 paid admissions last year to 291. GMs and Vendors are on top of that.).

Saturday morning. On line registration would be another level of difficulty however.

Busy hall
We had a great assortment of games; naval, air, space, micro scale to a massive 28mm Napoleonic battle. Here is an assortment of pictures:

Space fleets

ACW ironclad

Space fighters over the Death Star (using X-Wing rules)

Battle of Kursk

Micro scale Napoleonic battle using Blucher rules

Brian's IABSM game refighting 3 CID attacking Buron in Normandy, July 1944

Another micro scale game, Franco-Prussian War I think, using Bloody Big Battles

Ian Tetlow always does gorgeous games. This one is an Iran-Iraq War battle
A hot LZ in Cambodia. Some 20mm Charlie Company.

Super Heroes

Drop dead gorgeous Stalingrad game from the London Miniature Gaming Society

More of the table. Bolt Action rules

Battle of Eylau. 28mm. Shako rules

Something in the Italian Wars

Russo-Finnish War, Chain of Command rules
More of Eylau

Canadian Corps storms Vimy Ridge by the Bytown Barbarians of Ottawa


A beautiful table featuring a 28mm Indian village

Dan's pulp silly hat game

Keith and Pete brought out their Battle of Ridgeway game with improved terrain and troops. The house above is a model of the Anger farmhouse on the actual battlefield. Black Powder rules.

Green Beach at Dieppe (more Bolt Action)

15mm samurai (Chipco's Chrysanthemum Throne rules)

Saxons storming a Romano-British fort using the Dux Britannarum rules. Frank Kailik's Dux Britannarum games have become hugely popular and always have good eye candy. I was one of the defenders btw. We are now happy to welcome our new Saxon overlords.

I left my tablet at home on Sunday. But the room was hopping with more Kursk, more Dieppe, more Star Wars assault, some Road Kill, and the annual big VSF game. Plus some more.

I was pleased to see the wide variety of genres and rules being used. There was an excellent variety of historical periods. I think the only one missing was Victorian Colonial to be honest. There was also a good variety of Canadian themed games (Chrysler's Farm, Ridgeway, Vimy Ridge, Buron.... I guess I should have brought my Afghanistan stuff to complete it).

More pictures can be found in my Flickr Album here.

There's also been a nice number of blog posts about other people's Hotlead experiences helping to spread the word. Check them out. They saw things from different angles. Played and GMed different games and took more good pictures.

and this one with more good pictures.

So there we are. Just need to sort out the Charitable donations, pay some last invoices and nail down the date for next year.