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.

Monday, 2 October 2017

My Rolls Royce

I have no idea why I would buy a model Rolls Royce Armoured Car. I suppose my best excuse would be some lame and circumlocutory explanation involving the Dad Army figures I picked up from Warlord Games. (It is really a WW1 model, but in the alternate war history, after Jones' van was disabled, Walker managed to source it for them, for a price... ).

Anyway, I have seen the assembled Rolls Royce model on the Warbases stand, and mighty nice it looked. It was also very reasonably priced at a tenner. And I needed some bases anyway, so it duly arrived.

Spot the dirty finger mark that needs cleaning
 Let me just say I am thankful that Warbases provides a PDF instruction leaflet on their site - although this still left me assembling a bit by trial and error. Essentially, I picked out the known bits, and what was left...  

The model itself was straightforward, once I had figured out which bits went where, and the card components seem fairly rugged. After undercoating and painting, then some decent varnish, it should be pretty sturdy.

There are one or two things to watch out for. The turret is a resin cast, and on mine there were a couple of bubbles underneath, so I had to replace the muzzle with a piece of wire (not shown on these pictures). Secondly, the mudguards and the curved rear body need the card rolled to make sure you get a good curve, and finally, the folds in the card need to be handled carefully, on mine the armoured vision panel that hinges down from the roof, and the boxes on the rear fenders were tricky to get a clean fold on.

The headlamps don;t appear in the instructions as far as I can see. 

Overall though, I think it builds into a handsome model, and I am going to spend a little time trying to find some suitable colour scheme.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

General de Brigade with Charles Grant

Another fun day up at Kirriemuir, Dale had set up a straightforward encounter battle over control of a stretch of road between two chateaus. Each side was three infantry brigades, a cavalry brigade and an artillery battery.
Charles and Dale discuss the finer points of the rules...
My opponent was to be Charles, and we had a really fun game. I was delighted to have a heavy brigade of cavalry attached to the three infantry brigades, that included the Scots Greys,

First British Dragoon regiment goes in.. with little success
True to form, after the other British Dragoons had been seen off, (ok, retreated and reformed), the Greys then smashed through not one but two French Dragoon regiments in a series of charges, much to my amusement, and to Charles' chagrin.

The first French Dragoon regiment is shattered by the Greys, and is pulling back to reform on the left,, as the Grey horses get stuck into the second regiment.
This however was pretty much a sideshow, and on the other flank (my left) - the need to try and press home an attack against a fortified chateau costs me dearly. On the whole, the game was huge fun and a gentleman's draw.

British lines against fortified positions.. not good.
I do confess to feeling just a little sorry for Charles though; in GdB, each turn you roll for initiative using 2d6, I managed to win the initiative in virtually every turn after turn 4 or so, which didn't help him much.

Fasands of 'em
Another fun day, looking forward to Skelp and Targe. My only regret is that my good wargaming mate John is arriving from Australia the evening of Skelp, and I would have liked to have taken him up there.


Friday, 22 September 2017

Need Help Identifying these



I picked up some bargains some time back at the Bring & Buy at Carronade, French Colonials, and sundry others.

Looking at the figures though, I am going to have to expand the selection, which means hunting down the original manufacturer.

So if anyone can help identify the figures, here's some pictures.
Legionn and Tirailleurs

More Detail
Nordenfelt - different manufacturer I think

Chasseurs d' Afrique

'Arabs' - I have a sneaking suspicion these may be form a Darkest Africa Slavers range 

Mystery men in desert kit - very much 'slighter' than the previous

More mystery men, again perhaps from a Darkest Africa range

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Blasphemy!

I'm really not sure whether Nephew no 1 gets this whole wargamer thing; oh sure, he plays, he has a drawer full of tanks, but the other day I caught him throwing out the remains of the Flames of War - Open Fire box..   including a few infantry, some Pak 40 and even 3 Stug III.

Throwing out!

THROWING OUT!!!

What kind of wargamer actually throws things out? I mean, next thing he will be saying he doesn't need things, and then not buying new stuff. It's the thin edge of the wedge, the end of civilisation as we know it, unheard of, unthinkable. I just shake my head in wonder,

So naturally; despite the fact that in Oz, I have WW2 aplenty in 6mm and 1/72 or 20mm, and here I have been building forces in 28mm, I had to rescue those poor unloved figures & models. The Stugs had already had a basic paint job, but I thought that I might tart them up a bit. So - a lick of paint and accessories later..





Pretty happy with how these look, though looking at the pictures, I realise I need to finish the tracks, and add mud. But not too bad for some poor neglected models due for disposal...

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Fierce Foot - 28mm Gripping Beast

So the other day, I was lucky enough to get to play in a big game of Lion Rampant at the Kirriemuir club. The figures and terrain were all provided by club members, and were spectacular.

The Table... Norman Castle at Shrewsbury
The Welsh - a nautical people, complete with ladders

Let Battle be unconstrained! My Leader challenges his.. sadly, to no avail.

A lot of fun, and in the car I discussed whether the nephew and I could see ourselves collecting a retinue for the game.

At first I was thinking 'Dark Ages' using Gripping Beast, then potentially, Norman period using the Conquest Games plastics. He however, is keen to do something Scottish around 1300 for the Wars of Independence. If we were to look at the Fireforge plastics, then they could do for 1300.

Ok, the germination of an idea..   and incidentally, when I looked through the various sprues lurking around the place, I had acquired a single sprue of Fireforge Sergeants some time ago, that on close inspection, are ideal, in period and very nice models with tons of variety. But the 'Fierce Foot' from the Scottish list are a little more tricky.  I looked at the Frostgrave Barbarians... too hairy. So I then thought about using Gripping Beast Vikings as Islesmen.

Here's how they turned out. Basing I am still not decided on. The pictures are also somewhat washed out in artificial light.



Friday, 4 August 2017

Maus - WIP

I had an hour or so the other day, and thought I should whack some paint on the Maus. It's not even as if it fits with any of my other stuff, but I do have a nephew who is a bit of a Panzer nut, so he may get it.

Still a bit to do on this one, I am going to have a good play with weathering etc. But here's how it look after initial mask and airbrush, decals, some chipping and some initial weathering.



Saturday, 29 July 2017

'Ere Ron, does this thing have a reverse gear?

So I was down in the local model shop, and they had Zvezda 1/100 (15mm) in stock..   and there was this model staring at me...  well.. it would be rude not to? And I built a 15mm Sherman for my nephew...


Ok, so I just bought it to play with late war colour schemes. It's massive. Even in 15mm it's a big model.

And I have to congratulate Zvezda, it's fantastic design and model making. Admittedly it is a fairly simple shape, but it just fits!

For anyone who tried to put together 1960's Airfix designs, the engineering tolerances and mold quality are outstanding - hat's off to Zvezda, I have a number of their figures and models, and they are outstanding. To be fair, the very latest Airfix kits are pretty impressive.

I shall post further updates as paint gets laid down...

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Last of the Danes

Not Hamlet, but the additional bits and pieces I wanted to add to the Danish Cold War battlegroup.

I again went back to QRF, and added some dismounted TOW, some mortars, some 'Blowpipe' missiles, which double as 'Hamlet', the Danish version of 'Redeye', additional Landrovers and Unimogs for transport, plus the very charming Walker Bulldog M41 for reconnaissance.

So here are the reinforcements. I still have air assets in the form of a Tornado, a Phantom and a F16 to finish, but it seems like overegging the pudding.

Landrovers for the Redeye Teams


TOW armed Lynx
The QRF Lynx is a much later model, so I had a lot of hacking to do around the exhaust nozzles. Not an easy job.

Dismounted TOW in front, Hamlet (Redeye) SAM in the second row.

Unimog tows for mortars 
Walker Bulldogs & Mortars
Reinforcements

The whole battlegroup
As always, a very simple paint job. My new airbrush got a work out, (yes, I cracked - ordered a new one on the Friday I broke the old one, it arrived on Saturday, thanks to Amazon Prime).

Green for vehicles is sprayed XF51 Tamiya Olive Drab over the black undercoat, and the 'Grey' is Vallejo German Grey. Infantry uniforms are sprayed Vallejo Russian Uniform - webbing is Vallejo Grey Green. I used Vallejo Military Green for some equipment (Mortars and 'Hamlet' launchers). Washes are by GW, 'brown' & 'black' (Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade... or whatever they are called these days)

Camo netting is old stocking with white glue and tea leaves.

And right.. that's it. No more to add. Seriously, I am calling this Battlegroup done.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Not a Good Day

So some time back, I picked up the Tamiya 1/100 model of the Il-28 Beagle. I love the look of this plane, and I had a vague idea I might pick up some of the PSC T55 and build up a Polish battlegroup as an opponent for my Danes.

So having assembled it... minus the 'glass', I put it aside, and this morning thought I would give it an undercoat of gray primer...

Now whether it was the humidity, or something else..  it went on like sandpaper..  gritty and horrible..

Yuck...  all gritty
Not much I could do about it at the time..  so I had to leave it. So when I did get back to it, rubbing it down did nothing, so the last resort was to scrub with white spirit.

And this was the result..  

Oh dear
Ok, so having got it back (almost) to bare plastic, I undercoated using black. Much better. And then I had a moment of insanity, and thought I would airbrush it silver..  with Vallejo Acrylics..  I knew it was a dumb idea, but frankly, the whole model was a disaster, how bad could it be?

Utter disaster.. the Beagle looks like it has been painted by Jackson Pollock, and of course I clogged the airbrush, several times, then trying to unscrew the brish to clean it, sheared off the front stem through which the needle passes, rendering the whole thing unusable, and I believe - unrepairable.

Not my best day. Down 1 Beagle and 1 Airbrush.  

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Defending Butter & Bacon

As I mentioned in the last post, I ordered some more Danes from QRF, and hey presto! They arrived yesterday. Great service from QRF.
Files, scalpel and glue at the ready, I've transplanted the MG from the Walker Bulldogs to make Recce Landrovers, added crew and stowage as necessary. Today will be the messy bit with stocking mesh, white glue and tea-leaves.


Generally speaking, the QRF models are easy to assemble and make good representations of the vehicles, while the infantry paint up quickly and look pretty good, but the Unimog is a real pain to assemble.

Post tea-leaves, ready for black undercoat
Now all I am wondering is whether to add anything further to the battlegroup. It's very tempting to grab a few more landrovers as transports for the SAM teams, and the dismounted TOW. Plus another couple of APC and some more infantry would give me basically a mechanised battalion plus supports. Hmmmm...


Monday, 12 June 2017

Danes Finished

Very happy with these, both how they have eventually turned out, and secondly, with how fast they have been to paint up.

The force is designed to be a small Danish All-Arms battlegroup that could be expected to operate defensively in Denmark itself.

The M109 are Zvezda 1/100 plastic models, the Harrier is by Revell, and featured in a previous post, and the rest are all from Geoff at QRF.

When I say these are finished, I succumbed to temptation and put through a follow up order with Geoff for some mortars, Unimogs as tows, more Landrovers, and reconnaissance in the form of M41 Walker Bulldogs..   utterly useless on a wargames table, but pretty.

A borrowed RAF Harrier

M113 APC

Armour Command, Centurion Mk 5/2 

M109 SPG, the FAO in his Landrover, and the Engineers' Unimog

AT capability, TOW on Landrovers

Battlegroup Command and the Forward Air Controller (I may give him a blue beret)

The PBI, conscripts mostly.

And the whole force assembled, small but perfect.
Rather fun to put together, I am hoping the nephew will finish up his East Germans for Team Yankee and we can get forces onto a table.

I also still have acccess to the Cold War Commander  battlegroups online tool, so I ran up 2000 points for each, and I am pretty confident I can play 90% without the rules (which are in storage). So if TY doesn't work* there's a fallback. And Plan C is to take inspiration from Chain of Command and write my own.

*Well - actually, I am pretty confident they aren't much chop, but I will give them a fair go.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Danes Blocked In

And here's the view of the Danes with the first colours blocked in...

I'm very pleased with how they are starting to look. Not too bad for a simple black undercoat, airbrushed green, and some highlights applied to the black.

Next step, tracks, green highlights, first base colours, then I am going to do a 'khaki' dust using the airbrush, flock etc, and see what else needs doing.


I am well pleased with how fast these are coming together.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Danish Centurion

Amazing what you can do with sprue, greenstuff, laminate, an old pair of stockings, brush bristles and some tea....

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Ball o' Kirriemuir

So this weekend, I took the short trip (30 minutes), up the road to Kirriemuir, to play at the Kirriemuir Wargames Club.

Attendance was a bit thin, primarily because quite a few of the members had been to Partizan in Newark with the 'Bloody Big Battles' Gettysburg game. So we were very fortunate that Dale made a huge effort to organise a smashing big game using some of his 28mm Napoleonics.

Now in common with most wargamers, there's a touch of Obsession, a soupcon of Megalomania and certainly an uncontrollable lead lust, so the game naturally was 'Big'  - in keeping with the Auld Alliance, I took the French, tasked with defending a vital river crossing somewhere in Spain.

The rules used were General de Brigade, which I have played before, and they give a pretty good game, though to be honest, the initiative roll seems to be absolutely critical. Late in the game, the British had a series of rolls to win the initiative, and I was virtually steam rollered in one sector.

All in all a great fun game, thanks to my opponent, Chris, and to Dale for doing all the heavy lifting (literally!)

A sleepy Spanish town, somewhere near the French border.

On my left, one of my battalions routs in the face of a suicidal British charge across the river, The neighbouring French battery does great execution though.

Chris moves up the Royal Scots in another suicidal attack, this time, French musketry drove it back.

On my right the Brigade of Guards shrugs off enfilading French Horse Artillery

French Dragoons hang about optimistically hoping to catch the Guards disordered by the river.
Lots of fun, classic style wargaming, and I am now keen to get my Napoleonics painted up, though as my basing is designed for Sharp Practice, it's not really compatible with these guys.