Monday 31 October 2011

More Vikings

I am actually very impressed with the Gripping Beast plastics. A quick black undercoat and these guys look really good. I am actually looking forward to slapping some paint on them.

Friday 28 October 2011

A Viking we Will Go

Ok, so I found the GB Hirdmen. Very pleasantly surprised at how smoothly they go together. I did one sprue, and I reckon they look the business. They should paint up very easily. I am thinking nice washed out colours with some decorative borders. Lots of ink on hair/beards. Ultimately, they will be going on 30 mm round bases. And there another 34 in the pack  Good value.

SAGA and 54mm Aussies

So I was down the club very briefly last night, unfortunately, I was feeling way too sick to play, but Jason handed me a bag of 15 Airfix WWII Aussies.  Cheers Jason. I remember these well. Nice figures and it will be the first time I have painted figs this size in 30+ years.

Andrew also handed over the Achamaenid Persians he had for me, a mix of Black Hat and Chariot figures. They will go very nicely with my existing Chariot DBA Army. I just need to remember how I did the basing.....

Speaking to Andrew, he was playing some Polemos Napoleonics, using 6mm figures. I really need to finish mine.  And I got talking about SAGA from Gripping Beast. Now as it happens, somewhere, I have a box of Gripping Beast plastic Hirdmen.

Don't you love it when a plan comes together? 

Monday 24 October 2011

Late War BKCII

Okay, so Thomo has gone through the megalomania of acquiring enough Soviet armour to replicate several Guards Tank Armies. In an attempt to reduce the arms race, I suggested we could swap - I could take some of his Soviets and he could take some of my Germans. Then we would each have matching armies. After all, we normally play on 6 foot by 4 foot tables (1.8m x 1.2m), and there just isn't room to deploy 85 T34 (unless you want it looking like the railway siding of Ural Tankovy Factory No 16). Needless to say - sanity has not prevailed. So I created a list for 3000 points for my late war Germans (Sept 1944). Even using Heer (my preference anyway) and virtually nothing else I get a grand total of 9 armoured vehicles....

BKCII List  German Eastern Front September 1944
1 CO (CV9)   
3 HQ (CV9)           
1 Recce Unit Pzkpfw II Lynx   
1 Recce Unit (Aufklarer 38t)   
6 Infantry Unit (Heer)   
2 Support Unit (MG)
2 Support Unit (Mortar 81mm)   
1 Support Unit (ATG, 50mm)   
1 ATG 88mm Flak 36   
2 Assault Gun Stug III Lang   
2 Anti-Tank Unit SPAT Jagdpanzer IV   
3 Panzer Unit Panzer V Panther   
2 Panzer Unit Panzer VI Tiger

Hmmm.. maybe we need to use more points for Later War?

Guest Post

One of my friends from Canberra Games Society offered the following as a guest blogger.. over to Peter.

Up the Yangtze with 28mm Figures

I have never seen (or read) Sand Pebbles, but I have a bit of an obsession with gaming with sailor/marine forces, so when I saw the post of TMP about Tiger Miniatures new ‘Sand Pebbles’ range of figures I had to order some.

I was pleased with the figures when they arrived. There was a minimum of flash on them and they are well detailed with a nice variety of poses and weapons. They are on the heroic side of 28mm in terms of size, but that just brings them in line with ranges like Pulp Figures and Copplestone.

The faces of the figures are all nicely animated, although some border on cartoonish. The only concern I have with the figures is the hands – which on most of the figures are ridiculously large. It’s particularly striking when you are painting them, but fortunately it is not especially noticeable at a distance on the gaming table. From reading on-line reviews of Tiger Figures I get a sense that this new range is probably a cut-above their previous offerings and I would definitely recommend them. I understand there are plans to add more figures to the range, but Tiger advise that the timeframe is currently unknown.        

While I was impressed with the Tiger figures I was concerned that the range lacked fire-power, so I went searching for some suitable support weapons. To my surprise I found there is a second maker of 28mm Sand Pebbles figures (who would have guessed!). The Australian company Blaze Away Miniatures makes a US Shore Party Range that includes a two man navy Lewis gun team – so I ordered two.

When these figures arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of extra figures included to make up for the ‘delay’ in postage (I can’t say I had noticed – but full marks for customer service). It’s hard not to be impressed by these figures. They had with very little flash and are finely detailed with things like laces on the gators, buttons on pouches and wrinkles on faces all clearly visible. The figures are closer to true 28mm in height and thinner than the Tiger figures, but not so much that they look odd together on the same table (although you wouldn’t put them on the same base).  They are also nicely proportioned. My only concern is that they all seem to have been cast in an odd legs apart stance which gives them a slightly unnatural look. Despite this issue, these are still very nice figures and I would definitely recommend them. They are a quality alternative to the Tiger range, although be warned the website images don’t do justice to the figures.

PIC: Figures left to right; TM, TM,TM, BZ, BZ, Z

Peter West
Guest Contributor 

Thursday 13 October 2011

Full Thrust at the Club

Fun game down the club (Canberra Games Society) last night. Took my Brigade Models SAC (South African Confederation) Super Fleet Pack (finally painted up), down to play against Peter, who ran the GZG New Israeli. As I didn't have any 'official' stats for the Saffers, I got out the Fleet Builder tool, and ran up a few designs. I hadn't played any FT for ages, so I was very rusty. Thanks to Owen and Peter who were very gracious with me. Turns out my designs were 'less than optimal' - but a cracking game was had, and even though 3 shields may not be the best bet...  I had the last laugh when one was knocked out, and I still had full shields. In retrospect - 5500 points was probably too much - although we were down to the nitty gritty when we had to pack up. Peter had two badly damaged Battleships, and a relatively untouched Heavy Cruiser when time was called. I had some heavily armed but very vulnerable small ships, and two strike carriers, one intact - the other suffering slight damage. A bloody draw.

SAC Fleet - two carrier groups and a destroyer squadron
New Israeli swarmed by SAC Petrel fighters. (apologies for the glare.)

Peter - wondering which bit in the rules will stop me doing this...

FoF & Phil Barker

For those who like to criticise Phil Barker and WRG for their writing style, I would like to suggest they look at Force on Force. Page 20, under:
"End Phase: Move and/or Fire Remaining Non-Initiative Units." Paragraph 2.

"Only Overwatch units may react to a non-initiative unit that moves in the 'end-phase,' although units being charged by a non-initiative unit initiating Close Combat may still perform defensive fire under the rules for Close Combat."   

Well, that is clear as mud then...

Wednesday 12 October 2011


Amazon came through today with the Force on Force rules, plus two supplements. Total cost - about A$58. Which is very inexpensive. Haven't had much time to have a look, but first impressions are positive. Except all my 15mm Moderns are based on 30mm x 30mm bases suitable for Peter Pig's AK47.

I shall have a look at how the rules will work for multi-figure bases, or maybe I will be forced to look at one of two options - either rebase (yuck) or go to single figure bases, and if I do that, then the Empress Miniatures modern British are very tempting, as are the Eureka moderns. "Resistance is futile.."

Johnny Storm M1A1 Tank

I got a 'Johnny Storm' diecast tank from eBay, very cheap, and absolutely the best 15mm M1A1 model out there I have seen. So here it is with a quick wash with GW Devlan Mud, followed by a drybrush with cheap artists acrylic cream. I reckon it looks the business.  So now I am looking for some others.

Johnny Storm, 15mm M1A1
I think, given how heavily it has been drybrushed, that it needs some stowage and scrim netting to look right...  time to get the green stuff putty out I think. Anyone got any good ideas for doing a scrim net in 15mm?  (I am thinking a bit of an old nylon rolled up with tea leaves glued to it..  )

French - done!

The French finally got completed...  
HitT 3 x Army
105mm Artillery

Tuesday 11 October 2011

French Part 2

Discovered some 30 x 30 mm bases lurking in the bottom of the paint box. So was able to base up most of my French. Also touched up the FT17, but a comparison of the two models shows they are hugely different in size. I think one of them is Minifigs and one QRF, but I can't remember which! If anyone can help - please post.

So here's Angel & Eva, with their supporting cast of 75mm, and Hotchkiss MG. Mixed in there are a FOO, a General (with compulsory Red Kepi), at rear, the rifle bases, at front the Trench Raiders, with bombs and pistols.


Artillery, Trench Raiders, behind Hotchkiss, and Rifle Companies

The Famous '75'

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Cancon 2012

The details about Cancon 2012 have gone up on the CGS website. The biggest tournament in Australia, and possibly (probably) the biggest convention of its type in the Southern Hemisphere. Online entries are available for a wide range of tournaments, and payment can be made by Paypal. (There is a link on the Cancon page to the SouthernBattleGamers shopping cart.)

Put in my entry this afternoon - (first entry online?) - for the DBMM competition, which this year runs for 6 rounds over three days, rather than last years 4 rounds over 2. This is a shame as I wont be able to compete in the DBA comp, and so will definitely not be eligible to defend my 'Maurice' aka 'Magister Militum' -  (Best ACT DBA Player over the Year).

Tuesday 4 October 2011

French Progress

Making slow progress. If only I could focused for longer than 5 minutes at once.

Undercoated & Wet Brushed

Ayyubids - Part 1

Last year I played at the national DBMM championships at Cancon using an almost all Cavalry list based on the Ayyubid Egyptian list in DBMM Book 4. Despite all evidence to the contrary, like my lowly finish, I reckon there is a half decent list in there trying to get out. So I invested some money in the Mirliton Miniatures Ayyubids. A bit fiddly with half people, separate shield/lances and the like, but very nice figures with lovely animation and variety.

Undercoated - some base colours
Here is the first bit of the WIP for the DBA scale army, which I am using as the testbed for the final army. 
A few more colours..

Monday 3 October 2011


As every wargamer knows, the little lead things just seem to multiply, courtesy of some very obliging manufacturers. And these interwebs things just make things worse. So I tackled the problem by nipping down to the local hardware store, picking up some big pine boards, some edging strip, 4 castors, and having a chat to a mate who works in sheet metal..   et voila! (much sweat and cursing later) I have a rolling storage cabinet. Magnabases grip the steel sheets which slide in and out as required for transport. Now I just need to build another three of these..

(apologies for the darkness of the picture..)


I generally dislike markers in a game. Apart from being a bear of very little brain, who prefers not to have to remember states, I generally dislike table clutter. If I have invested in aesthetically pleasing figures, terrain etc..  I don't want it cluttered up with chits, tokens, bits of paper, etc. But sometimes, you just have to have a marker. The ones in the pictures above are from Litko, who make a very nice range that I use especially with DBSA.

The game was DBSA vs Thomo, who took my German East Asian Fleet vs my French. Sadly for him, many of the explosions seem to be on the German ships, (in white).

On the Painting Table

A very nice selection of 15mm WWI French for HitT (Hordes in the Trenches). Mainly Minifigs. Not much to them, spray black, wet brush 'Space Wolves Grey', added bags, belts and rifles, so now just waiting for that to dry thoroughly before doing a wash, and then flesh. And I just have to wait for my bases to get here from the UK. I am hoping that having to Blog my progress should get me motivated to do more painting.


So now I have had hours of fun scraping my Hard Drive and other locations (how many USB drives does a man really need), but unfortunately, until recently, I have only had a fairly cheap Caplio Digital camera. It is good for most uses, but macro isn't one of them. Other photographs are courtesy of a series of Blackberrys of various quality. I now have a very good Canon EOS, so I am hoping that I can get some better pictures to include on the site.

A Lead Odyssey begins...

2011, A Lead Odyssey. After prevaricating for some time, I finally decided to start blogging, and record my Lead Odyssey. Which is nothing to do with Lead (Pb) the metal, and is unlikely to require my return from foreign climes in a ship with black sails.
Simply, I collect, paint and play with toy soldiers, in all sorts of sizes, plus all the accoutrements that go with them. After all, what would our tiny toys terrify the enemy with if they didn't have elephants, tanks and chariots? Traditionally, these toy soldiers were made of lead, and although now they are made of all sorts of obscure alloys, the 'lead' tag has stuck.