Why is this here..

A Lead Odyssey is about my hobby, collecting, painting and playing with toy soldiers. It will cover the various rulesets I use, the figures I am painting (very slowly), and some games. Thanks to Harry Pearson for the Achtung Schweinehund reference. The uniform jacket in the picture was adapted from a safari suit, the weapon is a wooden sub-machine gun made by me and my dad. Cool eh?

I play a range of scales, rules and periods.. scales are anything from 6mm, through 15mm to 28mm for little men, but I also use 1/1200 for Napoleonic Naval, and 1/3000 for Pre-Dreadnought period Naval.

My tastes are eclectic, but I have avoided most 'Fantasy' Games for a few years, as I couldn't get into the usual suspects for Fantasy Battles, and didn't have a decent group to play role-playing style games.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Cold War Gone Hot 1985

Number 1 nephew is all excited about Team Yankee, I think because of all the cool kit. Plus he's a bit of a tank nut (I foresee a trip to Bovington sometime in my future). Anyway, he's been buying himself a fair bit of East German kit to do Team Yankee in 15mm.

Regular readers of this blog (are there such creatures?) will know I did a whole lot of 20mm Cold War stuff, which is sadly, still in Australia. But if there's an excuse.. ok, 15mm it is.

Of course, being me, I couldn't just settle for something easy as an opponent, so I decided, rather than Brits, or West Germans, or US troops, I would do Danes..   they have cool kit, like Unimogs, Walker Bulldogs and even better.. that all time classic.. Centurion tanks! So an order has gone in to QRF.

So I have the softcover Team Yankee rulebook on order, some Zvezda M109 for artillery support, the QRF gear and an F16 all due to arrive in the post, but I visited HobbyCraft today, and there was the Revell 1/100 Harrier. Wrong version, a pre paint, dated 2010, but a Harrier none the less. Still one of my favourite aircraft.

It's quite a nice little snap together kit, I did use glue, and it went together in 20 minutes..

The observant will note a couple of minor differences, the nose cone got the bulges taken out, and the outrigger wheels were moved back out to the wing tip, Then it was paint out time...

An hour or so later, and this was the result. I have to go back and tidy up the paint job, especially the tail, add some further details, and  make a flightstand, but not bad for 1/100. If you squint your eyes, make some whooshing noises, it's pretty much "Good enough for Government work".

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Carronade 2017

Firstly. apologies - had camera difficulties, so no pictures. But Me and 'He' - aka First Nephew, took a drive to Falkirk for Carronade 2017.

I have to admit a certain fondness for Carronade. It is the first UK wargames show I visited when I got back (last year), it's large but not impersonal, great traders - big shout out as always to Warbases, and also to Lancashire Games, top blokes. When freedom comes a) 'don't piss in the water supply' (Alex Harvey), and b) I reckon we should ask for the border for the Scottish Soviet Peoples Republic to be about as far south as Manchester...   good people.

Ok, so the flea market.. 3 painted and based Irregular Viking longships - 1 squid, 3 sets of 1900 French legionnaire, tirallieur, 12  mounted Chasseurs Afrique, a Nordenfelt gun and a dozen naughty Arabs = 9 squids...   bargains! No idea what I will use them for, but can't resist at that price.

Then Renedra fences, an 'American Church' by Perry, and enough to do an AWI 16th Dragoons unit for Sharp Practice.

Good fun, and special nephew got all his 15mm Team Yankee East Germans...  now I need to source some 15mm Danes circa 1985...   I get to see how Centurions do vs T55.

Friday, 5 May 2017

AWI - British - or Webbs

Well, almost a year since I was at Carronade, the Falkirk show. While I was there I picked up some very cheap Wargames Foundry figures for the American War of Independence.

It has taken me almost a year, but I finally finished up the batch, and I elected to paint them very simply. My intent is to use the Too Fat Lardies 'Sharp Practice 2' rules.  These usually have between 30 - 50 troops per side, but as usual megalomania kicked in, and I added some boxes of Perry plastics, and the Warlord Games Woodland Indians & Artillery. Troops are organised into groups, of varying sizes ranging from 6 figures for skirmishers, to 8 for regular infantry, 10 for militia, and 12 for tribal troops. There are no set army sizes, but games normally scale for 5 or more groups.

I now have enough figures painted to field a decent sized British force, with Hessian grenadiers &  jager, British skirmishers, a group of Highlanders and 3 groups of line infantry. The poor old continentals have been somewhat neglected to date, but they are now a priority!

The last lot of troops I decideed to make 'multi-purpose' so they can double as British line, with one group retaining their laced coats. The other two groups are wearing the simplified coats without lace, and can double as the American Webbs regiment.

The pictures aren't the best I am afraid, I need to work on my photography.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Call of Cthulhu - miniatures

Out of the blue, sometime before Christmas, number one nephew announced that he loved the look of Achtung Cthulhu. So what is an uncle to do except encourage him by getting him the CoC rulebook and Achtung Cthulhu as a present.

Of course, as I was trawling teh Interwebs for content to encourage him, I saw a bunch of painted miniatures and was struck with nostalgia for the original Cthulhu I was playing in Glasgow in the early 1980s. Back then, I had a bunch of the Grenadier figures, which now retail for silly money on eBay, and thoroughly enjoyed painting them.

Temptation is never far away, and before I knew it, parcels from Moonraker and Northstar had arrived, hard-fisted pulp detectives and brawlers, clergy and lizard men. I rather enjoyed painting these, and I would like to think they have turned out a bit better than my 1980s efforts!

I experimented with oils on these guys. It's hard to see on this picture, but undercoated a brown, then oil that I then partially rubbed off.

Clergy, Detectives & Doctors

Diletantes, Explorers, Professors and Dandies

A Nightgaunt & Ghouls


Dread Mi-Go

Deep Pne, Servitor and Proto-Shoggoth

Tough Guys

More Tough Guys

More AWI in 28mm

As promised, I hacked away at another batch of figures for the AWI and got them to a finished state - though when I look at the close-ups, some of them make me shudder.

So here they are:
American Militia

American 'Regulars'

Big Men & Musicians

Black Watch & British Officers

British Light Infantry (Royal Scots)
Finally, I also received my decals, so managed to finish off some British armour for Chain of Command. 

Sherman by Warlord/Italeri, others are diecast

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Hessians in 28mm for Sharp Practice

So I have been periodically adding various AWI figures to the lead (and plastic) mountain since last year, but thanks to my jackdaw nature, not really getting anywhere with them. I finally knuckled down and tried to get at least a couple of 'squads' finished for Sharp Practice 2.

The figures themselves were part of a job lot bought second-hand for next to nothing at one of the Scottish shows last year, probably Edinburgh. I think they are 'Elite' figures, which looked pretty unprepossessing in the raw, but when painted I rather like them. They are from the Seven Years War range but can easily do double duty if you sort of squint a bit and ignore the Jager cartridge box being at the hip rather than belly.

So here they are, apologies for the lighting which has flattened the colours a bit:

I have quite a few other 'units' which are nearing completion, so with a bit of discipline, I should have a few more to post over the next week or so. What with the buildings that I have been working on, I should have a decent chunk of the forces I need to put on a game.

Friday, 6 January 2017

MDF Buildings from Hoka Hey

I was unfamiliar with Hoka Hey Wargaming, but thought I would provide a thumbnail review, as I purchased some MDF buildings from them this week. Firstly I was looking for 'generic' buildings that were re-usable, so I figured I would give their 'Animal Pen/Outbuilding' and 'Ruined Farm Building/House' a try.

  • Speed - Ordered 3 January, arrived today, so top marks for order fulfilment.
  • Cost -  £8.50 for the Animal Pen, and £6.00 for the ruined house. Top marks for cost as well. Note that the ruined building also had a 'debris' MDF sheet with some 'rubble' and rafters.
  • Overall package.. included instructions for the 'Timeline Miniatures' models, with image and build sequence,not really necessary, as I probably could have figured it all out, but handy.
  • Build quality - excellent...  everything went together well, though I found the points where the mdf was attached to the sheet were thicker than I was used to, and needed freeing with a knife if I didn't want to damage delicate parts.
  • Detail..  some nice little touches, so for example the ruined farmhouse included separate window-sills so the window frames were recessed properly.
  • Features - each of the buildings had a MDF base. Very much more convenient, some other companies could take note. The build surface is smooth other than a couple of locations with engraved detail showing bricks or blocks underneath a render, and engraved planking detail on doors and the 'pigsty' and pen building roof.
  • Criticisms? Hmm...  being very picky, the roof detail on the animal pen shows boards that are wider than you might expect. The gate on the animal pen appears to attach directly to the wall, not to wooden uprights, which would be unusual.
Overall, I am delighted with these, and as the ruined farmhouse contained separate window frames, I used some of the left over MDF frames to create 'wrecked frames to make some replacements, and liberated a couple of the window frames. I then used the 'double doors' from the animal/pen to create two end doors on the building, scrap MDF to fill in where the doors would be, attached the frames, and now it is a small dwelling with yard and animal pen. 


So for a grand total of £14.50, two usable buildings..   that could be pretty much 1740s on. I am now wondering how to finish these, and whether I could make them generic enough to do double duty from AWI to Northern Europe. The main issue would seem to be the construction methods and roofing. As I intend to update the roofing with cardboard shingles/tiles, it's just the underlying wood vs brick that creates issues.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Happy 2017

So here it is, 2017. One can only hope it is an improvement on 2016. Not to say that there were't some good things about 2016, but on the whole, best left behind. I got a bit of painting done, but interrupted by moving continents, it would have been nice to achieve more. My final tally, according to Vis Lardica

6mm & smaller - 456 foot, 85 mounted, 4 vehicles/artillery, 7 'ships'
15mm - 128 foot, 72 mounted, 9 vehicles/artillery
28mm - 30 foot

So I thought I would post some ideas about plans for painting in 2017. There's a lot of toys already lurking around, so here's where they are at:

  1. 28mm Chain of Command - Germans and British. I have a couple of squads painted for each side, plus some support options like vehicles close to being finished. I need to purchase one more British squad, plus some bits and pieces like engineers,medics, and so on.This will probably be the fastest project to finish. I estimate 1 week. Which probably means 3 months.
  2. 28mm American War of Independence for Sharp Practice 2. I have all the figures I need, including Hessians, Indians, and artillery. Most are reasonably close to completion apart from the last three named. Probably a months worth of work in this project.
  3. Normans in 15mm for DBMM - at least 2 months required to finish this lot, but I am also waiting for crossbowmen to be released by the manufacturer. So pushed down the list for that reason.
  4. Picts in 15mm for DBMM, loads of work required for these guys. Plaids, checks and tartans take a long time to paint. 3 month minimum I reckon, plus I am still waiting for some allies to arrive.. they're 'in the mail'.
  5. 6mm Napoleonic French and British - there's thousands of these guys. Plus the complexity of Napoleonic uniforms means a long time. 2 months each.
  6. 6mm War of Spanish Succession French & Imperials. I got the system down for these guys, so much faster than their later brethren. 1 month each.
  7. 6mm Sasanians. I have no real use for these to be honest, but I like them. I know that some of the 28mm DBMM gamers do hybrid games using 6mm and 28mm, so maybe that will be the go for these guys. 6 weeks. Low priority though. They will probably also have to have sabot bases to conform to the DBMM 28mm basing standards.
  8. 6mm Franco-Prussian War for HFG or Polemos. Both sides. A month each.
You will notice no mention of terrain. Well, to be honest, I have no room to play in this place, so I will be expecting my playing to all be at club venues, or other people's houses.  And the final tally? 

Estimated about 16 months worth of work. And let's go...    1, then 2, then see where fancy takes me.