Monday 28 February 2022

Parthian Shots

I completed my holiday project, painting up the early Imperial Roman army for Strength and Honour, so decided yesterday to crack straight on with the Parthians. This lot consists of a core force of two cataphract units and two horse archer units, with another Roman Legion to add to the army I've already done, while I'm about it. 

I've tried a different method for base texturing this time, fixing the blocks in place with blu tack then adding PVA glue and sand, the idea being to prise off the blocks afterwards. This will hopefully avoid any gaps in texturing around the individual blocks. It's worth a try and should mean the blocks fit flush with the bases, if it goes according to plan. 

Sunday 27 February 2022

Legions on Parade

Two Legions and Five Auxiliary Cohorts 

FOB Judea

Left Wing

Right Wing

Auxiliary Cohorts

Which way to Parthia?

As it's a nice sunny day, I thought I'd set out the early Imperial Roman army for a parade in the desert heat, ready to march off on campaign against the Parthians or to crush another one of those annoying Jewish revolts. I had a Deep Cut Studios skirmish desert cloth in the terrain box, so used that as the backdrop but it's actually not bad with 2mm units if you ignore the trees, so I'll be looking to get something similar but with grid squares for the actual Strength and Honour games, as this one is only 4' x 4' square. I'm now thinking of starting on the Parthians, with some cataphracts to kick off the army.

Finest Hour Bomber Blitz

It's back to the Luftwaffe bombers and extra bits for the Finest Hour project now, as a break from 2mm army painting, with the main task being to finish the Heinkel III's and assorted other aircraft. This will involve the tedious but necessary camouflage patterns, then an ink wash and brush up, followed by the canopies and any detailing that needs to be done. It's a bit of a slog but I'll get there in the end! I also need to add the decals to the Bf-109's and Hurricanes, which I may well do a bit of today if I get the time?

Saturday 26 February 2022

Phantom Leader


I've been playing quite a bit of DVG games Phantom Leader over the holidays and it's been great, with one short USAF Rolling Thunder campaign completed and another USN medium length one currently on the table. It's not a miniatures game so the combat mission reports and campaign notes are all over on my other blog, where I have all the board wargaming stuff. If like me you are a bit of a air wargaming geek, then I can thoroughly recommend it as time well spent:

Tea and a Wad Wargaming: Phantom Leader

Strength and Honour Early Imperial Roman Army Finished

I finished the early Imperial Roman army for Strength and Honour today, with a couple more legions, a cavalry ala and some skirmishers in reserve for when I have the time to add them, so they are ready for a campaign against the Parthians. In the end I have five cohors of auxilliaries, one of which is a cohors equitata with attached cavalry and another a mixed cohors sagittariorium with a screen of archers, together with two legions - Legio I Adiutrix and Legio XV Appolinaris. I also painted up a Brigade Models Roman desert fort to use as a frontier outpost of some sort, with some more terrain features in the pipeline. They won't win any prizes but they are a good starting point for my Strength and Honour project and good painting practice for the Parthians, which will be a bit more of a fiddle.

Friday 25 February 2022

15mm SCW Nationalist Column

I decided to use my Peter Pig gift voucher to build a Nationalist force for the For Whom the Dice Rolls project, to go up against the Republican Mixed Brigade I gathered together last year but didn't start on. The force I've ordered consists of two regular infantry battalions and a Falange bandera, together with some supporting artillery attached including a mortar battery with infantry gun, a battery of light field guns and possibly at AT gun, for which I'll have to raid the spares box. I also ordered a unit of  'Assaltos' or Assault Guards to add to my Republicans, as all this right wing stuff made me nervous. This is a fairly compact force, representing a mobile column, but it can easily be added to if I want to make it larger, with some more infantry, some artillery and a few captured tanks being an obvious place to start

Thursday 24 February 2022

Peter Pig Pocket Money


My sister gave me a fifty quid Peter Pig gift voucher for my birthday back in January, which I've been holding on to for a rainy day. The word on the streets is that there will be a price rise in April, so I now have only a few days in which to make the most of the voucher before it loses some spending power. I have narrowed down the options to about three or four possibilities but I'm having trouble making up my mind, so wouldn't mind a nudge in the most interesting direction, bearing in mind that even fifty quid doesn't stretch that far these days. The options are:

1. A Chain of Command US infantry platoon and extra bits for WW2.

2. A Mexican Revolution rebel army for an as yet undecided set of rules (new project....aargh!)

3. A WW1 late war French company and support for Through the Mud and Blood.

4. A selection of extra RCW bits for Red Actions! e.g. tchankas, artillery, a staff car, some top up red infantry etc.

5. As above but for the SCW and When the Dice Rolls.

What would you go for in your infinite wargaming wisdom?

Off the Radar


I've been off the radar for a few days, party due to a power cut and subsequent three day wifi black out and partly due to a couple of days away in West Wales. I'm back now though, so I have a long weekend before I go back to work, in which to make up for lost time with the Strength and Honour army. In the meantime, here are some obligatory holiday snaps in which I drag the reluctant teenage offspring around various crumbling medieval fortifications, in this case Chepstow, Aberystwyth and Raglan castles (again). The dog liked it!

Sunday 20 February 2022

Ooh Shiny!


I've been a bit busy over the weekend but the early Imperial Roman army for Strength and Honour has now been wet brushed in Vallejo Grey Black and dry brushed in Vallejo Oily Steel, ready for another dry rush on the helmets in either Foundry Spearpoint or Vallejo Brass and Army Painter Gold, depending on the unit. Its all a bit experimental to he honest! I'll also need to paint the horses but I can do that at the same time as the shields on the cohort blocks. 

Saturday 19 February 2022

Roman Desert Fort

As an extra to add to my Strength and Honour army, I am painting up a Brigade Models desert fort which I originally bought for my 1/2400th naval games. It's based on a third century outpost in what is now Jordan, so a good fit for my Parthian Wars timeframe. I've only under coated it at the moment but will add some layers and washes to finish it off over the weekend, further power cuts notwithstanding! 

Winter War Reading


We had a power cut yesterday so I had some time to do some reading, even if I couldn't get any painting done, as the garage had no light. I finished this Osprey on the Winter War and it was excellent, although primarily focused on the land offensive rather than the war in the air. The illustrations are particularly good and complement the text very well. 

Thursday 17 February 2022

Strength and Honour Roman Army


I had a day off work today so had the time to sort out the early Imperial Roman forces for Strength and Honour, undercoating the metal blocks and texturing the bases. This line up has changed a bit, as I now have five auxiliary units and another legion base, Legio XV Appolinaris. The cavalry ala has been pushed to one side so that I can work out a way to paint the horses, using the cohors equitata base for practice. I also have two more legions to assemble and paint but I have enough to do with this lot, so they will be done later too. I'm on holiday next week so plan to get the whole lot finished then, ready to move on to the slightly more tricky Parthians.

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Huns in the Sun

I've been ordering stuff from Warbases lately for the Strength and Honour project, so added on a few bogey markers for Bag the Hun to save on postage. I had put this off for ages, as I couldn't decide what to have written on them, but finally settled for the flexibility of AXIS which means they can be used for lots of potential nations on the wrong side of history, not just the Luftwaffe. I also couldn't make up my mind on a colour, having used all of the other options for the RAF, Soviets and Japanese, so went for a nice bright transparent yellow - 'Beware the Hun in the Sun' and all that!

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Tumbling Dice Early War Soviets

There's a new web shop thingy for Tumbling Dice that I finally managed to get an order through, after a few initial problems. I have ordered some more 1/600th early war fighter aircraft including some Yak 1's, MiG 3's and LaGG 3's. I really enjoy painting these early war planes, as they have bags of character and look pretty neat with those red star decals!

Cohors Sagittariorum


I have three spare Antonine Miniatures small cohort blocks left over from the units I've assembled, along with four strips of specialised troops that I didn't end up using for the cohors milliaria base, so I'm thinking about combining them together to make a cohors sagittariorum auxiliary unit of archers. 

The idea is to have two parallel lines of archers up front backed up by the three infantry cohorts behind, or vice versa, as I've read that a tactical formation that was used by Imperial Roman auxiliary archers placed them behind a screen of protective infantry so that they could shoot over the top with plunging fire. I think this will look pretty good and clearly show that it's a unit composed primarily of archers rather than an infantry unit with some archers attached.

The other option is to base two of the archer strips together on a skirmish base, slightly wider than the usual 10mm x 120mm strip, and then attach them as required to auxiliary and legion units. The wider base will look better than a narrow skirmish one as the specialised troop castings are wider than the skirmisher castings, and it will have the bonus effect of making them look like larger contingents, even up to cohort numbers rather than just skirmishers. The only issue is how they would work in the rules?

Sunday 13 February 2022

Cohors Equitata


I posted a question on the Strength and Honour FB group about now to go about modelling a cohors equitata, with a mix of infantry and cavalry. The answer is to have a standard unit of infantry on a 120mm x 60mm base with an attached cavalry block on a separate 30mm x 30mm base, so that's what I've done. I used a large cavalry block for this, pinched from my Parthian cataphracts, as it looked better than one of the smaller ones. I've added another auxiliary infantry unit to attach them to, a standard cohors quingenaria, so now have four of them to paint up not including the cavalry ala that I've left out for the moment. It will be really useful to try out my painting method on the single cavalry base, so that's an unexpected bonus.

Legions Advance!


Here's the next lot of units for the early Imperial Roman army, with another full legion and four auxiliary formations including a cavalry ala and three cohors of foot troops. I was going to include a third legion base but a couple of the castings were wonky, so I used the good ones to equip an auxiliary cohort instead. The cohors milliaria originally had some missile troops deployed in front, but I decided to save those to make a whole unit of Eastern Auxiliary archers later on, consolidating the infantry cohort blocks into one unit instead. I'm also thinking of how best to model a cohors equitata with a mix of infantry and cavalry elements, although without the rules to refer to this is a bit of a grey area. I'll start painting the auxiliary infantry units first then move on to the rest once I've worked out the best way to paint the cavalry. I'm really busy today, however, so it may be a while before I can slap some paint onto some metal!

Jagdpanther Junior

The eldest is at university but still finds the time to do a bit of modelling and painting. Here's his 1/56th scale Warlord Jagdpanther, which I think he's done a brilliant job on, including some nifty airbrush camouflage and track weathering. It's not finished yet, as he forgot the decals when he packed his modelling stuff and so he hasn't been able to add them or do the final weathering. Pretty good so far though, I think you'll agree? 

Saturday 12 February 2022

Legio I Adiutrix

Here's the first unit for my Strength and Honour early Imperial Roman army, Legio I Adiutrix of Trajan's Parthian campaign c115-117AD. It was a doddle to paint and only took about an hour, drying time not included, to do the cohort blocks and the base. I was going for an arid semi-desert look as the campaign was fought over what is now Armenia, Syria and Iraq I'm quite pleased with the end result, so I'm going to crack on with two more legion bases and two auxiliary cohors quingenaria bases tomorrow, using different colours for the shields so that they can be identified on the battlefield. 

Finest Hour Flight Deck Decals

I'm taking a short break from the Finest Hour project to concentrate on painting an early Imperial Roman army for Strength and Honour. This means that the half painted Heinkel He-111's will be moved to the shelf above the workbench for a few weeks while I speed paint the 2mm units for the Strength and Honour project. However, I am going the have a go at applying the decal on the squadron of Hurricanes and Bf-109's that I painted last month, which is something I've meant to do for a few weeks now but put off as its a bit daunting, the decals being very small indeed. When I do get the on to the models, I'll be ready to play the first game in the campaign, which sees B flight of no27 Squadron bouncing a full Staffel of Bf-109's!

Friday 11 February 2022

Imperial Roman Legion Test Base


The test base of an early Imperial Roman Legion in triple acies is on the workbench this weekend, with the first stage being to texture the base and undercoat the cohort blocks. The plan is to paint the blocks separately using a quick dry brush in metallics followed by the shields in red and possibly some minimal detailing, then stick them on to the textured and painted base, which I will prepare alongside the cohort blocks. I'm hoping this will be both very quick and also very straightforward, with an end result that will look okay at arms length?

Bag the Hun Franco Thai War Ki-30 Ann

I'll be working on a series of scenarios for the Franco Thai War for Bag the Hun later this year, probably as a holiday project, so I have been collecting together the aircraft I need in 1/600th scale. There are a couple of gaps that I need to fill, one of which is the Mitsubishi Ki-30 Ann flown by the Royal Thai Airforce, which isn't available in the Tumbling Dice range. I only need a few so don't want to go down the 3D printed route, so I have decided to use a proxy model, either a radial re-engined conversion of the Kawasaki Ki-32 Mary model or the off the shelf Kawasaki Ki-51 Sonia, which is similar enough to get away with it. This means I can write up a couple of scenarios that are dependent on the Ki-30, which was the most modern aircraft in the Thai arsenal and widely deployed for light bombing missions.

Wednesday 9 February 2022

The Strength and Honour Project

It looks like the chicken entrails have predicted the arrival of the Strength and Honour rules at some point in April, so I better get on and start assembling my Roman and Parthian armies. I have all the units I need from the Antonine Miniatures range, apart from some baggage camels, so it will be a straight forward conveyor belt approach to painting and basing them up. I have a day off on Friday this week, so I thought I'd have a go at a test unit of an Imperial Roman legion in triple aces, painting the blocks using a quick dry brushing and basic detailing method, then texturing and painting the base separately before putting it all together. I think this will be easier and faster than gluing the blocks in place first. I am also going to get a couple of the new marching camp sets from Warbases and some baggage for the Roman army, as it will be on campaign against the Parthians and will do doubt need some logistic back up.

Tuesday 8 February 2022

Cold War Plan Postponed

They look a lot better in the photos! 

I got the 10mm Plastic Soldier Company British in the post today and first impressions aren't great. The proportions of the models and the scaling looks right but the plastic resin stuff they're cast in is pretty nasty, with mushy detail and bendy or snapped off barrels. These were second hand but supposedly new, so it's not a great result, although they are still useable with a little remedial effort. It's put me off 10mm, however, as I was relying on this range to form the bulk of my battlegroup, mainly due to the price tag. I've decided that 6mm is probably the best way forward now, using Scotia or Heroics and Ros 1/300th scale kit, which is still cheap enough to be cost effective without being too small. However, this will have to wait until later in the year, as I have other projects to clear first including Bag the Hun and Strength and Honour, both of which are on the workbench in the next month or two.

Monday 7 February 2022

What a Cowboy


There's a new set of rules based on the What a Tanker system currently under development and in playtesting for Wild Western gunfighting, aptly if rather unimaginatively titled What a Cowboy. As I am a keen Western wargamer and also play What a Tanker, this looks really interesting and would require no extra costs for me to set up, bar the rules. I won't be ditching Fistful of Lead any time soon but will definitely give this a go. There's now an FB page dedicated to the rules if you are interested as much as I am in the project. Excellent! 

Sunday 6 February 2022

Night Fighter Command

I've been invited to so some playtesting for a solo print and play game called Night Fighter Command, basing on the Corvette Command rules, so the Finest Hour project will be on hold for a couple of weeks so that I have time to get some games organised. I'll be posting some after action reports over on my other blog, which is where I have all my board wargaming things, so you can follow along if you are interested:

Tea and a Wad Wargaming: Night Fighter Command Playtesting

Tally Ho!

Saturday 5 February 2022

PSC 10mm Modern British

As a bit of a dip of a toe in the water, I've managed to get hold of a Plastic Soldier Company 10mm British starter army via eBay for a lot less than the full price. I've heard some good things and some not so good things about these models and figures but at least it will give me an idea about whether I like them or not and, if I do, I will have a solid set of units for a Seven Days to the Rhine battlegroup, to which I can add more units as I go along. The set consists of four Chieftains, four FV432's with 36 infantry and two Scorpions / Scimitars, so not a bad force and worth around 400 points. If I don't like them, I can always switch to another range or go back and look again at 3mm or 6mm instead. 

Friday 4 February 2022

Cold War Options

I've been mulling over the options for the Seven Days to the River Rhine potential project over the last week or so but still haven't been able to make up my mind about the scale. I did remember that I backed a Kickstarter several years ago now for 15mm Soviet and British figures in arctic kit, which was launched by the now defunct Armies Army. I don't think they available any more and I'm also not entirely sure where they actually are in the lead pile but it's a possible option for some Norwegian scenarios. I quite fancy the idea of some Norwegian 'What If?' Cold War wargaming, which would be a change from the usual North German Plain tank clash. 

Jim's Wargames Workbench: Armies Army Cold War Kickstarter (

I also have some very nice 10mm Royal Marines from Pendraken, which I bought for Norway as well but stashed them away as no suitable 10mm Soviet figures were available. I have subsequently discovered that Red 3 make a range of Spetnatz that would double up as VDV airborne troops or Soviet marine infantry, with a white paint job to give them arctic camouflage suits, so that's yet another possible option. The Red 3 airportable and amphibious AFV's are also really nice and I'm sure I could justify some armour too, perhaps a platoon of ASU85's or PT76 light tanks. I just need to make up my mind about which scale to go for, once I've excavated the figures to have a closer look.

Wednesday 2 February 2022

Finest Hour Bomber Basecoating

The Luftwaffe aircraft have now had a basecoat of Foundry Storm Green Shade and look terrible, simply because the paint is very greasy despite a good stir and mix with water. I'll give them a second over coat when they are fully dry, which should improve the finish. If not, they'll need stripping back to start all over again!

Tuesday 1 February 2022

Bomber Command Handbook

I made my customary monthly trip into town to the barbers this afternoon, although there's not much left up top to actually be barbered, and popped into the local Oxfam second hand bookshop as you do. I now have a good hardback copy of the Bomber Command Handbook, which I didn't have in my library but which will be extremely useful for Target for Tonight background research, especially on early war bomber tactics and technology. It was a bargain at less than the cost of a BLT sandwich, price comparison being cutting edge as I was a bit peckish shortly afterwards. 


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