Friday, 28 January 2011

Unnecessary Purchases

It's been a long and horrid week here; the bitterly cold weather persists - which means I can't sit in my garage and drill little holes in commissioned little tanks. Not to mention the day job has been, erm, pressurised.

Consequently I elected to to what all wargamers do when they're miserable - toy soldier therapy! Conquest Games recently released a rather nice looking set of plastic Norman Kerniggets. It was a toss-up between them and the plastic Saxon Thegns just released by Gripping Beast (no doubt they'll come later).

I'm vaguely working towards a bloody great Medieval collection - I have around 130 early Saxons from Musketeer, hopefully to be complimented by his to-be-released Romano-British of the same period. My intention will be to supplement them with plastics from the GB late Saxons and hopefully-to-be-expanded CG Normans.

Expected completion date with this lot is a way off into the future - the MM Saxons have dragged on for two years, with only one 24 man regiment of Duguth sort of finished, and a 6 man detachment of armoured horsemen largely completed.

Anyway, I'm still undecided on the current trend for plastics. I have a set of Perry Napoleonic British infantry, and whilst they're very nice by any measure, I couldn't bring myself to nail them all together - partly because I'm not that interested in gaming Napoleonic skirmish, and partly because they are immensely fiddly.

So, looking forward to seeing how I get on with a dozen Normans on hosses.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

1/600 Air War Lego basing.

A somewhat lengthy and picture heavy post this one. A discussion over the last few days on the Sturmovik Commander Yahoo! Group about basing little aeroplanes prompted my to document what we use. Whilst I'd love to claim credit for the inspired idea of Lego pegs for basing aeroplanes, I can't; I found it on a blog some while back, but cannot find it now. So if you chance across this post, and do know who came up with it first, let me know so I can credit accordingly.

The basic premise is that you only need to buy one set of bases for your entire collection of little planes - I've got over 60 aeroplanes, but only 10 bases on the basis that I'm unlikely to ever put more than 10 on the table at any one time. This obviously saves on money long term if you intend on having a very large collection.

Okay, step 1:
Go to the Lego Pick a Brick shop here

You're looking for 1x1 'round bricks' in transparent. They're a complete git to find, so use the search facility (left arrow), then filter by clicking on the colour (right arrow)


We use a red brick every 3rd peg to easily identify altitude on the table

You'll also want some bases - we use 'Parabolic' dishes from Lego. Although I'm beginning to think it would be better to glue a peg to a more traditional wargaming base as the bigger planes can be very top heavy, and the direction/fire arcs would be easier to transcribe.

Then get yourself some magnets - I think these are 2mm in the bases themselves. Stick ten or so in some pegs. Take care to ensure you get the polarity the same on all ten...

Then 1.5 - 2mm magnets in the underside of your planes - make sure you get the polarity correct with the bases, otherwise you'll never get them to attach.


You're now ready to swap planes infinitely




Note on the Phantom I experimented with printer transparencies for plane ID, fire arcs, etc. Sort of worked, but they come unstuck with depressing regularity.

The magnets are man enough to hold even the bigger 1/600 stuff upside down - Stirling with 2mm magnet.


Then you're ready to roll - adding or removing pegs as necessary during the game. Just leaving one Speed dice to accompany the base in our case.

We think the overall effect is very good, as you get a clear perception of relative altitudes of all the planes on the table



Sunday, 9 January 2011


All was right with the world, until one of my sporadic online chats with my chum Bill @ Musketeer Miniatures this evening. An annoyingly talented bloke who can not only sculpt, but also make Army Painter dips look better than I can using the long-painting method. He also appears to live the life of Riley, and spends his days listening to music and mucking about with greenstuff... I 'ate him, I really do.

Anyway, seems he's looking to release a range of Romano-British to compliment his early Saxons in April. The same early Saxons of which I have a dirty great army (largely unpainted) lurking in the box. Could be the motivation to actually crack on with them before I end up buying more stuff I'll never push round a table.

In other news, current commissions are now at;

Customer A;
2 x Cromwells

Customer B;
2 x A13
3 x Vickers VI
1 x A9

Customer C;
2 x A13
2 x Vicker VI
1 x CS9
1 x Guy Ant
1 x 2pdr
2 x Scout Carriers

So, that's 15 Vehicles (which will contribute towards the Musketeer Romano Brits) to complete before tackling a hundred or so 28mm Saxons (which are very time consuming), all to be done alongside the two dozen 15mm Romano-British.

One day I might even get round to doing my own 28mm BEF stuff... and the 10mm Napoleonics which are half-finished... and the 6mm Greeks which are still in the packets.

That's 2011 sorted then.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Tiny men

Not the tiny tiny men from Redline I've got (10mm Napoleonics), but slightly less tiny 15mm Romano-British from Splintered Light

Painting these up for Brytenwalda (see my blogs I'm following) which looks to be a cracking little set of FREE rules.

My Horse, my horse...

Off the painting table today;

2 x Ebob's excellent horses, painted up to resemble our horse - Merlin - as a present for my long-suffering woman.

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Butterfly Has Landed

Flutter flutter flutter.

Hello pop pickers, a run through of the what's been tickling my butterfly this week;


Robin and his awesome looking small-scale sci-fi world from Crawley. Dab hand at painting too - I shall be investigating forthwhiff, although I believe in return it'll cost me a game or two of Splintered Lands. Such hardships.

Legend of the Five Rings

Cos me and one or two others are looking for something different for RPGing, and by crikey L5R is a comprehensive and rather absorbing pseudo-Japanese medieval world. Worth a read, although £45 is a bit much. About 1/2 way through it now, so will report back when we get it underway (if ever).


Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the cost scale is the rather intriguing Parsec - which I picked up in Wargames Vault's sale last month. Five USD, nicely presented, with more than a sniff of Bladerunner to it (a very good thing). Thoroughly looking forward to having a play soon.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Splintered Light

The kids and wife are asleep, and I can't be arsed to paint this evening - so a little glance into part of my wargaming world.

As much as I enjoy the collection, research, painting and pushing around on a table of small representations of historical military units (all whilst arguing over rules), it can get a little bit serious. War, largely, isn't funny - so deriving enjoyment from recreating little bits of War usually comes from, for me at least, the winning. On the fantasy side of the hobby it's all quite serious too - high fantasy, low fantasy, sci-fi, near-future, etc all strive to create a believable, serious, environment in which one can become engrossed.

Having inherited my Father's appreciation of the silly, and raised on comedic diet of Python and Milligan, I had for some time craved the absurd. Chuck into this mix my inherent butterfly tendancies, and it's no surprise that I 'got' the whole Splintered Light Miniatures thing. Specifically their Splintered Lands range.

Along with the excellent Song of Blades & Heroes rules and Song of Splintered Lands supplement, this Bob Olley sculpted range ticks all the right boxes. Who could possibly say no to charging an armoured Badger into a line of Mouse Spears, or battering pesky Squirrel Archers with a Wolverine?

David, the proprietor and arch-overlord of Splintered Light is a thoroughly nice and personable chap - which always makes the whole experience much more enjoyable. He introduced me to the Brytenwalda rules which, if anything, look even better than Songs rules, and consequently I ended up buying a small 15mm Romano-British warband from his historical range too.

Anyway, the point of this meander is that apart from fun, this largely boils down to two things; Time, and Money. Whilst having a vast collection of 28mm 1940 British and Germans, that is neither cheap, nor is it quick to paint, nor quick to game. My current fad is one of cheap wargaming. The whole kit and kaboodle for Splintered Lands came to something like $50 USD - all the rules, all the miniatures (plus some I didn't really need) for less than the price of a Land Raider.

Quick, simple, cheap, fun; Can't go wrong, borne out by the fact that I've played more Splintered Lands games in the last twelve months than all the other game/rule systems combined.

They also paint up nice, which is rather important.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Muddy Cat

Completed Panther with the perennially hit n miss affair that is pigments.