Monday 31 July 2017

International Naval Wargaming Day 2017

That nice chap David Manley has launched the first International Naval Wargaming Day, scheduled for Sunday 6th August, the birthday of Fred T. Jane, no less. I thought this was a genuinely brilliant idea, so am very happy to spread the message a little bit further with a rather natty poster, if I say so myself, courtesy of the US Navy and five minutes with MS Paint. Here's David's explanation:

Anyway, I'm on holiday so whatever I can come up with in naval wargaming terms for the weekend ahead, may well have to be a bit lashed together, if not last minute. I have a few ideas but all will be revealed on the big day itself. If I was at home I'd set up a game of Schnellrules for Schnellboote, Galleys and Galleons or Victory at Sea but I'm sure I can come up with something suitably nautical here instead!

Pershing's Punitive Expedition

I've been reading through the Fistful of Lead: Viva la Revolucion! supplement, with a focus on the Pancho Villa Expedition scenarios which are included as the last two out of the ten in the set. The first of these is based on the infamous raid by Pancho Villa on Columbus, New Mexico, while the second features the raid by Patton on the San Miguelito ranch to capture Julio Cardenas, although he was killed in the firefight that followed. These are both cracking little scenarios, with only a six to ten figures aside, so more than feasible in 20mm.

However, I have enough 20mm American Expeditionary Force figures and Villistas to expand the size of scenarios to twenty figures or so per side, which opens up all sorts of potential skirmish gaming possibilities. I originally bought two of the Shellhole Scenics army packs, which include about thirty infantry, nine mounted and dismounted cavalry or a couple of vehicles, together with a couple of machine guns or artillery pieces each. This means that I have more than enough figures for some decent platoon level skirmish games, with a few motorcycles and a Jeffrey Quad armoured car too.

All I need are some buildings, which I can get from the Blotz Middle Eastern adobe range in 20mm, and some railway track and a train, which I can source via eBay from the old Triang range. The Shellhole Scenics exhibition game featured a very nice train using the same OO gauge locomotive, box cars and caboose, which are readily available for peanuts if you hunt about a bit. I've also got an old 1/72nd scale Curtiss Jenny model kit that would be ideal for scouting ahead of an American patrol or supply column. I have all the terrain I need otherwise already.

This could be a lot of fun...if I ever get round to doing it!?

Saturday 29 July 2017

A Fistful of Lead: Viva la Revolucion!

Jaye Wiley has just published a scenario supplement for A Fistful of Lead: Reloaded based on the Mexican Revolution. This neatly combines one of my favourite sets of rules with one of my favourite historical conflicts. How neat is that! 

I will now, at long last, have a set of decent skirmish rules to use with the Shellhole Scenics 20mm figures that I bought at Warfare last year. The scenarios are squad or platoon level, so ideal for 20mm rather than the more expensive option of 28mm. I can also use a lot of my existing desert terrain.

The supplement also has rules for motor vehicles, trains and aircraft, to bring things bang up to date c1910 and to add some more excitement to the scenarios. I am now a very happy gringo! You can get your own copy of the Viva la Revolucion! supplement from Wargames Vault or direct from Wiley Games.

Battle of Britain Bookshelf

I'm reading The Battle of Britain: An epic conflict revisited over the holidays. It's had very good reviews and is currently only about four quid on the Kindle, so it's well worth grabbing a copy. I'm also going to be playing a series of Battle of Britain themed games over on my other blog, so should have plenty of inspiration. I really should run a Bag the Hun Finest Hour campaign too, which I have always wanted to do but somehow never managed to get around to. Perhaps I should stick to Wings At War: Scramble for Britain instead, as 1/600th scale is much cheaper and far quicker to paint than 1/285th!

Tuesday 25 July 2017

More Tea, Vicar?

As it's the Summer Holidays, I will be shuffling over to the other blog for the duration, where I will be doing the usual board, card and print and play wargaming stuff. This time I'll be giving the Table Air Combat system a thrashing over the skies of good old Blighty, for some linked campaign style scenarios set during the Battle of Britain. I'll also be trying out the one brain cell, print and play Napoleonic naval rules, Trafalgar (very original that) and I'll be continuing my attempt to play all of the scenarios in the excellent Tank on Tank hex and counter series, both on the Western and Eastern Front. If that's not enough, I may even try out Airfix Battles for some WW2 skirmishing or take some of my new 'off the shelf' games along to playtest, who knows?

Saturday 22 July 2017

Schools Out for Summer

It's been a difficult year at school, with my resignation from my twenty three year job and a fresh start as a supply teacher, although this has gone pretty well so far and I have plenty of work until the end of 2017. It does mean that I have a bit more job stability as well, at least for the next three or four months, which is a good thing all round.

Unfortunately, my wife has just been made redundant, despite having done nothing to deserve it, so things have been a bit less than brilliant over the last few weeks to say the least. This is one reason why I've been pre-occupied and away from the workbench but it's now the end of term and the summer holidays have arrived, one of the few things that we teachers have to look forward to these days.

I'll be off for a few weeks over the Summer, so will aim to make some more progress with the 15mm Sci-Fi project before we head off to France. I need to highlight the guns, paint the stowage, sensors and vision blocks then add some decals, before I can finish off with some light weathering. After that I just need to tackle the bases before they're ready to be deployed.

Monday 17 July 2017

Supreme Littleness Desert Fort Ruin

Here's one I didn't make earlier

I spotted this over the weekend and I'm sorely tempted to get one. It's 28mm and would work very well for the Back of Beyond or any other colonial skirmish themed game, from the North West Frontier to the Arabian Desert. In fact, I'm sure it will turn up all over the place in The Men Who Would Be Kings and Arab Revolt scenarios and such like.

However, I really want one in 15mm to use for my post-colonial retreat from Empire plans, as it would be just the job for the hilltops of the Radfan. I guess I'll just have to wait until the 15mm equivalent arrives in the web shop thingy. I think I'll ping an email off to the Supreme Littleness HQ with a polite request in the meantime.

Saturday 15 July 2017

15mm Sci-Fi Slowdown

I've been busy and really tied up with family stuff over the last week or so, which means that progress on the 15mm Sci-Fi Summer project has stalled a bit of late. I have painted in the gun barrels on the tanks, APC's and mechs, however, using a 50:50 mix of Foundry Black and Charcoal Grey Shade. I'm off to yet another cricket match tomorrow morning with the sprog but should be able to get some of the stowage painted by the end of the day, if I get my skates on.

Thursday 13 July 2017

15mm Sci-Fi Landing Pads

You can't really have a proper sci-fi campaign without some sort of 'get to da chopper' scenario objective or a dropship combat insertion of some sort. Not having a dropship, or even a chopper for that matter, I do now have two landing pads to either extract my forces from imminent overrun or to drop them from low orbit into the assault.

The bigger of the two is from the new sci-fi range by Warbases and should do for any heavy lifting, or dropping off, whilst the smaller and slightly more futuristic one is from Blotz. I particularly like the smaller one as I think it's a better design and really looks futuristic rather than the more industrial Warhamster 40K look of the Warbases one.

They didn't take more than ten to fifteen minutes to glue together and are very well designed, so particularly easy to construct. I did use up a whole can of Humbrol Sea Grey spray paint on the two, however, as the 2mm laser cut mdf doesn't half soak it up at a rate.

I'll do a bit of drybrushing and detailing when I get the time, with some masked up hazard warning stripes if I'm brave enough. Ideally, I'd base them on an irregular mdf template of some sort but I don't have any to hand that are big enough, so they'll have to be free standing in the meantime.

You can find them on the Warbases and Blotz webshop thingy:

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Stout Hearts

A great book at a great price on the Kindle. This is currently available for only a couple of quid and is a very thorough, systematic and well-structured account of the British and Canadian role from D-Day to the close of the Normandy campaign. It contains a wealth of information and some excellent primary source material including numerous first hand accounts and photographs. Absolutely brilliant if you have an interest in the subject and invaluable if you like a bit of historical depth in your wargaming. It even had me rummaging in the lead pile for 15mm Late War British and flicking through my copy of I Ain't Been Shot Mum, so it must be good!

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Massive Atomic Cyclops Medium Mech

I had a go at working out the stats for the 28mm Copplestone Castings power armour figures that I'm redeploying as 15mm mechs in the Massive Atomic corporate army, using the ever so handy Gruntz Barracks software. In the end, I have made them Medium rather than Light mecha, so that I could load them out with a vehicle medium gatling, a couple of grenade launchers and a pair of vehicle machine guns, as depicted on the models. I didn't add any 'modz', as I thought this was more than enough to put the boot in as and when required, and at 43 points they are not exactly cheap either!

Monday 10 July 2017

15mm Sci-Fi Armour Hover Skirts

I started on the hover skirts, for want of a better word, this evening with a basecoat of Foundry Granite Shade and a second layer of Foundry Granite. I was aiming for a battle worn and washed out look rather than just painting them black, so I think I'm heading in the right direction. I may add a highlight of Foundry Granite Light and possibly a wash of GW Nuln Oil in the divisions between the skirt sections but, for the moment, I'm letting them dry out completely before I do anything else. It's all a bit shiny at the moment but I'll be spraying everything in Army Painter matt varnish when I've finished.

Sunday 9 July 2017

Starbase 962

I was just saying the other day that there's a bit of a shortage of laser cut mdf sci-fi buildings in 15mm, when Warbases go and start a whole new range called Starbase 962. This is designed around a modular style of building and some associated industrial and military structures, so pretty versatile and very useful. In the past, I've always used resin buildings and will no doubt go down that route in the future but, for speed of production and painting as well as cost and weight to a lesser degree, I'm going to try out the laser cut mdf option. I've ordered a few of the modular buildings and a landing pad (another one!) to see what they're like and how quickly I can put them together, with a 10% discount as an added incentive.

15mm Sci Fi Armour Block Painting


I made some progress with the tanks, APC's and light mechs yesterday, making up for the fact that I don't have an airbrush for this sort of thing. I started with an overall wet brush of Foundry Phlegm Green Shade, one of my favourite colours, followed by a heavy dry brush in 50:50 Phlegm Green Shade and Phlegm Green. After this had dried I washed everything in a 50:50 solution of water and GW Athonian Camoshade ink, which because of the heat dried with a white residue, so I had to go over this again to sort it out. I ended with another dry brush of Phlegm Green and a bit of shading in the panel lines and corners with some GW Nuln Oil wash. It's on to the hover skirts, details and decals next.

Saturday 8 July 2017

15mm Sci Fi Light Mech Scale Comparison

I have assembled and under coated the three 28mm Copplestone power armour figures that I'm using as light walkers or mechs for my 15mm sci-fi project, very much in a Heavy Gear style. I thought I'd take a couple of comparative photos alongside the 15mm figures and vehicles to see how they matched up in terms of design and scale. I think they look spot on and, when I have a whole squad assembled, will complement the GZG 'cyclops' helmet figures and Gauntlet hover APC's really well.

15mm Sci-Fi Infantry Basing

I textured the bases on the hard suit infantry yesterday, which took ages as I used a brush to apply the thick PVA and had to avoid getting it all over their feet. I was worried that the edges of the figure bases would show through the grit and sand mix once the glue had dried but, in the end, this only affected a couple of the figures and the rest look fine. I will now paint and dry brush the bases, although I'm tempted to just leave them, which is a bit lazy but would save a lot of time.

Friday 7 July 2017


I've finally given up on TMP, having just seen how a week of supporting member only posting seemed to restore a semblance of clarity to the site, only to be demolished by an avalanche of Tango related bumpf once the restrictions were lifted. I know Tango does post some interesting stuff now and again but I've had enough to be honest. I also have an increasing intolerance of the puerile banter and alt-right political stance of some other regular contributors. Anyway, I've now decided to switch off and do something more interesting instead, so will be tuning in to the Wargames Website from now on, which is a far more civilised place to be. Sorry TMP.

Thursday 6 July 2017

Friday Off!

I'm not needed at work tomorrow so have a day off, which means I will be able to put in some serious painting time on the 15mm sci-fi army. I very rarely, if ever, have time off, so this is a great opportunity to kick back and enjoy some painting. I've also just been re-employed until the end of the year and I've had a pay rise, so it's been a pretty good week all round.

Wednesday 5 July 2017

15mm Sci-Fi Light Mech Squad

I've ordered three more of the 28mm Copplestone power armour figures with rotary cannon from Moonfleet Miniatures, to build a six figure strong light mech squad for my 15mm sci-fi Massive Atomic corporate army. Although they will operate as single figures I thought it made sense to group them together into a unit, rather than have them wandering about on their own. I have some walking and standing bodies so that the unit will have a bit of variation and I can position the weapons at slightly different angles too. I think they'll look pretty cool, especially if I paint them to match the armoured hover vehicles.

Tuesday 4 July 2017

The Real X-Men

No, I haven't gone all superhero, just the latest book to hit the reading list, along with a trio of books by the same author all discounted to 99p on the Kindle. I have been fascinated by this subject for years, so this should be an interesting read and a source of ideas for underwater wargaming. If only there was a range of suitable figures in swimming poses and a matching range of chariots and maiale. It reminds me of the diecast and plastic versions when I was a kid, not to mention that old 1950's film The Silent Enemy.

Monday 3 July 2017

15mm Copplestone / EM4 Light Mech

I was looking for something in the storage boxes this evening, when I came across a box of 28mm ex-Grenadier Future Wars figures, which you can now get from EM4, Moonraker Miniatures and Copplestone Castings. Amongst the troopers, post-apocalyse road warriors and so on, I found several of the large Power Armour figures complete with separate weapons arms.

I then realised that they would make really cool light mechs alongside 15mm figures, so grabbed one, stuck the arms on with blu-tack and took a comparative photo. I'm sure I'm not the first to think that these 28mm power armour troopers scale out very well with 15mm GZG figures, with the torso and head very much the right size to accommodate a crewman or pilot.

I may glue two or three together and paint them up, either for the current Massive Atomic corporate army or for another less tank equipped force. They are good value for money too, with single figures priced at three quid over at EM4 / Moonraker, with a pack of two available from Copplestone Castings for a less attractive eight pounds and fifty pence.

Sunday 2 July 2017

Sci-Fi Landing Pad

All I need now is a dropship or shuttle?

I thought it was about time I got hold of some decent sci-fi themed terrain pieces to go with my 15mm armies. It's not been as easy as I thought to find some suitable laser cut sci-fi buildings but I have just sent off for this rather cool landing pad from Blotz. I will be using my generic Middle Eastern / North African style buildings in the meantime but hope to find some more sci-fi style structures in laser cut mdf as well. I've read that Warbases might be doing something along these lines soon, which should fill a gap in the market?

15mm Sci Fi Infantry Finishing Bits

I have added a final few details to the 15mm GZG hard suit 'cyclops' helmet figures including some shoulder tabs in red and blue screens on the handheld computers. I've also pre-painted the bases in Vallejo US Field Drab so that the black undercoat won't show through after I've added some sand texturing. This will then be painted and dry brushed to match my desert terrain, before I decorate them with some static grass, tufts and so on.

Saturday 1 July 2017

15mm Sci Fi Infantry Weapons

Here is the latest stage of the 15mm sci-fi painting, with the small arms base coated in Foundry Black, followed by a mid layer of Army Painter Wolf Grey and a highlight of Wolf Grey mixed with Vallejo Pale Grey. This was a bit of an experiment but I quite like the final results, although they're a bit scary up close. I also painted the rocket launchers in three stages of Foundry Phlegm Green followed by a wash in GW Athonian Camoshade, to pick out the details which had become a bit mushy. I've nearly finished the figure painting but still need to add some details and a bit of colour to complete the task, before I tackle the bases.


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