Wednesday 30 November 2016

Finishing up the Year

As it gets nearer the end of the year, I should be painting Normans, but I am also trying to finish up projects I started this year.

Firstly, some shock markers. Intended for the AWI and Sharp Practice, these were Warbases counter dials, that go up to12.  and should have more than one use. The animals are also from Warbases, in their farm animals set

Of course if you are going to play Sharp Practice, you need Cards or Chips to draw for the 'Big Man' activations. These were the Sharp Practice chips in the SP Bundle from TooFatLardies.

It also means, finishing up some 1st Corps Brits and Germans for Chain of Command. I originally did all my WW2 stuff in 20mm or 1/72 scale. But now all of that is in storage, I saw these figures at Carronade, and just really liked them. So here's a couple of squads of 'em. The Brits are 51st Highland Division (aka the Highway Decorators), and the Germans are an unidentified Division, which with the appearance of blue bits of kit, might be a Luftwaffe Field Division.

With this lot out of the way, there's a bunch of AWI Colonials nearing completion, and I still have to finish off my French Imperial Skies fleet with the carrier.

Tuesday 29 November 2016

A Pleasant Surprise

So having had to leave Targe early, (having tried the patience of my darling other for 4 hours or so), I left a figure to be entered into the Black Watch Quaich painting competition, and was pleasantly surprised to win it.

Having to return to collect the figure, plus be photographed with the prize, I found myself the fortunate recipient of a personally inscribed copy of 'Scenarios For All Ages' presented by Charles S. Grant.

Lucky Me!

Saturday 29 October 2016

The Ball of Kirriemuir aka Targe

There's a wargames show 'Targe' coming up in Kirriemuir, home of J.M.Barrie, and just a short drive up the road.

So me and the nephew, the one who scalped Custer at Skelp, are going to take a drive up there on 12 November. And they have a painting competition, including the 'Black Watch Trophy', for a single figure, any scale, of British troops.

Funnily enough, I had a Black Watch officer from the American War of Independence in the Stash, and as I was feeling a bit under the weather, and not up to doing much else, I slapped some paint on him this afternoon. Having photographed him though, the camera is unforgiving!

Thursday 27 October 2016

A Quick Nef - or 10.. later

Some time ago, I invested in the Imperial Skies Kickstarter, and as part of the package, picked up the French Fleet from Brigade.

Lovely Cast Iron, Steampunky Floating Dreadnoughty rules goodness, plus dice, markers.. I somehow managed to forget the new cast French Dreadnought.. but no matter.. on with the build!

Hannants helped out with a couple of these...  much drilling, wiring, glueing (and cursing at teeny tiny parts and tremulous tweezers) later... et Voila!

I also did some surgery like drilling out turrets to replace with open gun positions, adding crosspieces to masts, and so on. Scale is an issue... but whatever.

I also bought the deck cranes pack, plus the heavier than air aircraft from Brigade, added rails, cranes, boats, etc..  as clutter and brass are the essence of the period in my view.  Here's one example - ready for the paintshop.

Now it's time to get dramatic with the colours, after all, these are giant floating dreadnoughts, and as long as no-one sneaks up below them where there are no turrets, they rule the skies!

Starting to look the business I reckon.

Glamour shots of the Heavier than Air before decals are added.

The fleet in review.


One think I didn't buy was the French carrier, which to my mind wasn't impressive enough.. so - two cigars and some MDF later looked like this.

Add bits from a defunct USB key. a plastic kit mantlet, some sprue cutoffs, cranes, parts from the Tamiya detail kits, and two defunct Lithium CR2 batteries..

More USB parts, funnels from a pen, rear steering from MDF..   ready for paint.

In all her undercoated glory..  the 'Fraternite'..  ready for paint.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Basing Napoleonic French in 6mm

So a quick follow-up to the previous post, a guide to my basing.

First steps.

Using a wedge tipped brush, apply slightly thinned PVA glue, and dip into fine sand. The wedge shape lets me get in between the ranks, then turn the brush flat for maximum coverage. Once the base has been suspended in the sand for a minute or so, remove and tap off sand.

Once dry, (I normally allow about 24 hours), irregularly apply slightly thinned ink wash. Don't worry about making the coverage even, or splashing a little up the legs. Once dry, which should be minutes only, I then paint almost neat PVA onto the stained sand, and dip into some basing flock. I generally use two colours, green first (from Baccus), and then repeat the process with autumn colours,

Finally, I add a couple of grass tufts to the base. I normally use 'Leadbear's Tufts', but in the meantime, MiniNatur Short tufts, early fall.

I've also added the flag (Baccus), touched up the flag edges with v70.930 dark blue, and v70.947 dark vermilion, and then a few squirts of Spray Matt Varnish. All done!

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Painting Napoleonic French in 6mm

Someone asked me how I did my 6mm painting, and it's also handy for me as a guide, so here's how I paint a base of French Napoleonic infantry. These are the Baccus 6mm 1806 - 1812 French.

This is how they look on the Baccus website...  

And Lovely they are too..    here's my version below.

All colours Vallejo other than the washes..    Now assuming that you are going to highlight, use the sky grey v70.989, otherwise replace the sky grey with ivory v70.918

Undercoat matt black (I use a basic car primer aerosol, couple of thin coats.)
Sleeves and tunic backs and tails - ultramarine v70.839 
Dull red collars, cuffs, other trim (shako cords, shako ttim & epaulettes for Grenadiers etc) and turnbacks  -red v70.926 
Crossbelt left to right - sky grey v70.989

Errr.. Yuck at this stage
Other trim (voltigeurs) yellow - deep yellow v70.915 and deep green v70.970,
Paint main veste, trouser top, inside of turnbacks and shako trim - sky grey v70.989

Still pretty rough eh?
Packs - tan earth, v70.874
Greatcoat rolls - london grey v70.836
Cartridge box, tops of gaiters, top of shako, elites sword scabbard - dark grey v70.994

Back of the Grenadiers - I missed the standard bearers strap. You can just about see the white/red turnbacks 
Muskets - mahogany brown v70.846
Flesh - flat flesh v70.955
Bayonets & Officers sword blade - gunmetal grey v70.863
Shako plate, musket trim, drum barrel, and officers gorget, chinstrap -   old gold v70.878
Company colours - deep green v70.970, skyblue v70.961, bright orange, v70.851, violet v70.960

Skipped a few steps...
The voltigeurs look pretty rough!

Still rough
Ok, at this stage, Provided you used the optional 'white' initially, you could apply a dip or wash, and call them done..   but you are going to highlight aren't you?

Ok, first step -

Black wash over face, shako cords, white habit-veste areas and musket -  Citadel Nuln Oil

Step away from the models..   let the wash dry, it only takes 30 minutes, provided you weren't too heavy-handed with the wash.

Now get a fine brush, and make them pop...

Highlight white areas,just a touch at the bottom of the habit veste, the top of the breeches, and the cross straps, as with the red shako cords, I dab the hanging peces, then use light vertical strokes to create an illusion of braiding, and paint greatcoat roll straps & drum cords using ivory v70.918,
Highlight blue, a dab on elbows and back of coats, and paint flagstaff using mix of v70.839 ultramarine & ivory v70.918
Highlight red, again,, just a dab on cuffs, use slight downward strokes on the grenadier cord to create a 'braided' illusion using dark vermillion v70.947
Highlight yellow using lemon yellow using v70.952
Highlight green using mix of deep green v70.970 & ivory v70.918
Highlight bayonets silver v70.997
Highlight muskets using mix mahogany brown v70.846 & ivory v70.918
Highlight face light flesh v70.928 I paint a v shape down cheeks and chin, then dab the nose.

All done!

Showing rear view

Close up of command strip

Peel off the painting base

Ranked Up on the base (60mm x 30mm)

Other side..
And as they say.. Et Voila!

Chinggis rides out in Derby

So a quick update about the 'Worlds' at Derby, I played in the DBMM Teams competition, which thankfully had a nice round 8 teams, each team having three players, playing in each of three periods aligned with the DBMM List Books 2, 3, and 4. Teams were paired based on their progressive total score, i.e a Swiss Chess for teams.

I took the only army I had in 15mm, which I had finished the week before; Mongols, to discover I had one of three Mongol armies in the Book 4 pool.

Game 1 - Phil Hosker, Later Hungarian..  wedges, a mix of Light Horse and not much else.

I used exaggerated enemy strength and flank attack stratagems to try and get him to focus on my left, while sending a flank march on my right.  I basically misjudged the distance, and the small LH command was hit by an overlapped wedge vs my General, plus two other Kn marched into the LH at the other end of the command... I had of course forgotten that Kn wedges weren't overlapped, and a series of 1s and 2s on the dice against his 5s and 6s.. and I had lost the general, plus two LH to break the command ...   Not great.

Oops. my left hand command is monstered, as the flank march arrives.
My flank march came on and very quickly caught and eventually broke the LH opposing, but in the meantime, I was having to dance to try and line up attacks on the numerous Kn wedges. Phil did a brilliant job of minimising chances for a successful attack with really strong local tactical and PIP ise skill. I had 3 or 4 opportunities with the wedges hard flanked at even or better odds, including one with a flank, and my CinC using a brilliant stroke at 4(S) to 2..   not a single one came off and Phil's dice continued to be exceptional. I managed to knock over 20% of his army with his broken LH command, and I had my chances.. but eventually the Kn(S) wedges were simply unstoppable.  21-4 to Phil.

Game 2 - Peter Kershaw, French Ordonnance

Game start
Peter saw what he thought was an exposed space, and perhaps assumed he should push forward as fast as possible before a possible flank march arrived. Except that I had a concealed command behind the central hill, which rushed forward and charged downhill into his column.

Downhill attack and Mongols redeploying
Peter took heavy casualties from the initial Mongol charge, and proceeded to put on a master class in using PIPS to fall back, get exposed elements out of the way, and hold off the Mongols to the end of the game. A draw with Chinggis unable to convert a winning position into an outright win. 15-10 to me.

Unfortunately, none of the team had been very lucky on day 1, and as day 2 started we had drifted inexorably to the bottom tables.

Game 3 - Javan Brierley, Teutonic Knights

You had to feel for Javan, this was his third Mongol opponent in three games, and I benefited from his frustration after spending the first two games swinging at air. I must confess to doing the same. I deployed a massive total of 14 fighting elements at the game start...   with one Concealed Command and another on a Flank Attack. Javan decided to come out fighting, and just got caught front, flank and rear all over the place. Not much else he could do except try to kill a few.

The Mongols dance
And that was that.. 25-0. Somewhat undeserved; as Javan had been softened up by the previous Mongols, and had no combat dice luck at all.

Game 4 - Steve Scott, Mongol

Another Mongol, this one larger, but with fewer elite cavalry, and with allied generals. Steve wasn't having his best day, and I made it worse. We literally finished before the neighbouring game had rolled their first movement PIP dice.

Mongols Charge!!

After my first move! His ally general on my left was unreliable, so I decided just to go hard..   having Cavalry versus Light Horse in several spots. I rolled good PIPS and was within 15mm of him after my move. He had nowhere to go...  so charged me, and did some damage, but my second move was also good for movement, and I was able to exploit where overlaps had been created to blow several holes in his line. I had three Cavalry generals in combat, and was able to get the bonus for their wing men (in DBMM a General who destroys his opponent, inspires his neighbouring troops).  His ally became reliable, but was simply too late to do any damage to my flank guards before I broke his army. 25-0 to Chinggis.

So at the end of the day, a couple of lucky wins, and with maximum points from Games 3 & 4 against unlucky opponents, I somehow managed to sneak into 3rd place in the individual standings. I will draw a veil over the overall team results, where we managed to manfully hold up everyone else. Oops.

Pretty happy for my first DBMM competition outing in the UK, and fantastic hospitality from John Saunders, but I can see from the games against Peter and Phil that I will have to really up my game.

Saturday 8 October 2016


I have been holding off on this post for a while, because I intended to play at the Derby World Team Championships..  (Wargames seems to be like wrestling, there's IWF, WWF, XWF, and WTF.. ok, the last one was made up..)

Anyway, Jeff Caruso announced some time ago on Fanaticus that he was stopping casting his figures, and having seen pictures, I contacted him, and asked what he had left.. almost enough to make a DBMM 400 point army, (assuming I took a Brilliant General and some 'stratagems') - I was still four figures short, and Greg found some in the pile and very kindly posted them to me. So with a month to go, figures available..   it's painting time!

The whole army...  one of the smallest I have ever used

Mongol Light Horse

More Light Horse, Pack Camels in the background

And yet more..

Light Horse and the Khitan Liao Sub-General with his escort cavalry