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, August 31, 2020


I've been obsessing over suitable targets ... erm, I mean ships for Bag the Hun action. Probably more than aircraft to be honest.

I mean what's the point of Wildcats and Zeros dog fighting over the Pacific if they aren't trying to clear a path for, or stop, divebombers? Said dive bombers need ships to aim for don't they? But after perusing !:600 and 1:1200 scale models I realized that I'd be spending 10x the the amount of money on a few ships than I would on the aircraft the game is supposed to be about!

Then I hit on finding plan views in colour and printing them out on paper. Like this:

With a bit of reszing and cropping out the side views they might work OK. Plus save me a hundred dollars or so. I just need to reload the colour cartridge on my printer.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

New Period! New Scale!

I blame the Air Cadets and all the sexy pictures of Spitfires in the Squadron offices.

Or maybe some of my Twitter connections.

Or being taken by my dad to watch those classic war aviation movies Battle of Britain, Tora! Tora! Tora! and Midway. 

Whoever is to blame, I've been kicking the tires on some Air wargaming the past couple of years.  

This will be something different, and I hope, quite fun. Building 1940 French or Middle Earth Dwarves would also be enjoyable, but it would be more of the same. 

Tiny airplanes will be something different. 

A Twitter contact made his own vinyl mats, shared his digital designs and then alerted me to a 50% off sale at Vistaprint. So for Cdn$106 (including  tax and shipping) I got two 6×4 mats. One of ocean and one featuring a  coastline, fields and a village. Both have a 1" hex overlay.

Detail of land mat

Of course now that I have a nice sea mat the idea of Beaufighters going after German convoys in the North Sea and Channel has a sudden appeal. While searching options for suitable targets I remembered this kit:

It is a 1:700 scale landing ship (note the tiny LCVP) that was abandoned at a Hot Lead Bring and Buy. I kept it thinking to turn the hull into a 15mm canal barge. Now it will be a target for dive bombers. If it doesn't work for me, my friend Brian does 1:600 scale coastal patrol games.

Although for the Pacific I would definitely go with 1:1200 scale shipping.  Even then a carrier would be 8 inches long! So maybe even 1:2400 scale to do carrier battles in the Pacific. But early days yet. I still need to get some Spitfires and Heinkels sorted.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Discordant CoCs

Last night we tried a remote game of Chain of Command with four players plus Frank the host. Frank has a 4 camera security system set up to view his table and invited players can log in. We then all communicate over the Discord app. 

Two platoons of Canadians vs. two platoons of Germans. It was a bit slow watching Brian and Keith play out the Patrol Phase. But then I got a couple of good activations and was laying down some fire and moving up when my opponent dropped an 80mm mortar barrage on me just as my phone died. I was told later that my platoon took 13 casualties and morale collapsed pretty quickly. 


Frank running around doing the Patrol Phase while we shout directions

Other end of table 

My platoon deploying just before getting pasted 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Third Time Pays For All -More Elf Cavalry!

This second squadron of 6 Elf cavalry are the last of my "Not-Lead" Vendel order!

It took me three attempts to get the shields right. At first I had to strip the paint off and reprime because when I went to do the designs I could see the relief from the failed two trees design from my first squadron which I had just painted over. 

Then I tried a simplified tree, but it looked like rubbish so I quickly wiped those off with a wet rag and retouched the blue base.

So I went with another star, a little bigger and fancier than the first squadron to set them apart. Because these stars also made me think of flowers, I went with white flower tufts (from Shadow's Edge) to help differentiate them.

Finally, to confirm my credentials as a massive Tolkien geek, I have indulged myself and purchased 12 Tolkien themed d6. Even Mrs. Rabbitman thinks they are nice. They will probably roll badly for me though. I'm hoping that the Eye of Mordor or Horse of Rohan are available next time the group that I got them through do a dice purchase.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Not So New Normans

The article that side tracked my plan

I was going to get stuck into some terrain after finishing the Middle Earth figures. Maybe some urban ruins for Eastern Front games. But this article in the recent issue of Wargames Soldiers & Strategy got my attention.  I have always  loved the look of Early Medieval armour; conical helmets, kite shields, chain mail and lots of cavalry charging madly around.
Bit of research 

So this got me looking at my Norman/Crusader/11th century stuff, and then mining the lead pile and book shelves. 

Just a few figures

30 figures later I've discovered a tidy little army, and I'll be knocking some 25 year old pieces of the lead pile off. Mostly Old Glory but a few Foundry and I think some old Minifigs.
And there's some crossbows too

I'm also pondering if it will be worth it to replace the heater shields on some of my already painted figures with more kite shields. I've always preferred kite shields and I think the lance pennons are a tad big to be honest. 

I'm also pondering rebasing them all to conform to my other medieval armies: 4× heavy infantry,  3× archers or 2× cavalry to a base. Too many single figures to move around now. 
Current troops. Nice but room for improvements. 

These additional squadrons will bring my Early Medieval cavalry up to 12× 6 figure units. That should divide nicely into 2 feudal hosts. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Wolf Packs!

A big pile of reinforcements for Sauron in the form of two 6 figure wolf packs and another 6 figure squadron of wolf riders. These are Vendel Miniatures from Thistle and Rose in Illinois. I requested small round shields because I dislike the original square wicker  shields. 

The wolves all painted up very fast. Just layers of dry brushing successively darker colours from stomach to back. I did one pack with grey fur and the other with brown, just mix it up.

I broke my usual routine and painted the riders before gluing them to the wolves because I remember from the first squadron that the riders got in the way of the dry brushing of wolf fur. I also painted the shields separately because I anticipated them being very close to the wolves and being in the way when trying to mount the riders. So they got attached to the riders after mounting.

For bases I used some round steel off cuts from work. I like the round blobs, it makes the wolves more irregular and wolfy than the neatly ranked up 25x50mm rectangles my first squadron is based on. I hope they aren't too thin to be easy to pick up.

Here is a comparison shot with the big, lean, red-eyed and slavering dire wolves:

Of course, now I need to make the wolves and dire wolves different somehow. 

But now the Dark Tower has a pretty nice mounted division. I could make an entire 24 point mounted warband for Dragon Rampant! I'm feeling a sudden need to crack on with that 2nd box of Gripping Beast plastic Gothic cavalry I bought and do a little wolf on Rider action!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

A Banner for Rohan

I've have added 4 guards to my Bad Squiddo Lady Aethelflaed figures to give Rohan  (or the Goths) an elite foot unit for the shieldwall. Naturally they need a banner to defend.  I took inspiration from Little Big Man Studios Saxon and early medieval designs. 

As usual I glued blank paper to the pole and then cut it to shape and painted free hand in-situ. I know, I'm mad. But it works for me and helps me decide how I want it to look.

This banner was so traumatizing I was cursing my hubris and folly the entire time and had to take a break between sides.  But I'm pretty pleased with the results. 

The guards were gifted from Pasha Dan's lead pile.  I think they are Foundry but I'm not sure.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Painter's Block

We've all had it.

You want to hobby but you look at your painting area and lost, somewhere in the bottles of paint, and random bits of projects pulled out to ponder, you just can't find the motivation. 

You've lost your mojo. 

You're just stuck, baby.  

I've been stuck on my latest figures for a few weeks.  Tired, easily sucked into Netflix all evening and just not sure where to go. This time it was trousers and shirts.  Really stupidly minor, since you can't see much of them. But that was the next step before ink wash and shields. 

Earlier this week I was in a black foul mood. I retreated to the basement for therapy I but wasn't going to attempt anything delicate. So I switched gears. I slapped a bunch of burnt umber on some resin pieces (wooden bridge and the entrenchments) and then gave them some quick grey dry brush as well as painting the reeds on that pond and flocking the edge (see last post). Easy and mindless as I listened to some classical music CDs. Job done and a feeling of accomplishing something.

That seemed to unplug something in my head. 

It's a rainy long weekend here, so I've been painting a lot and getting those figures done, at last.

Sometimes you just need to change gears. Flock bases. Assemble and prime the next project. Give your hobby space a good tidy. Maybe all the clutter is cluttering your creativity,  and perhaps under all the mess, you'll find it.

You'll find your mojo.