Tuesday 30 September 2014

British Napoleonics for Song of Drums and Shakos

Somewhere on the Peninsular 1812 a selection of cut-throats, ne'er-do-wells and thugs is on the prowl, looking for Frenchies.

So here's the finished force.
A officer, a sergeant a drummer and a selection of riflemen.

They're a mixture of Perry (nice) and Victrix (not so much) 28mm plastics.
They're painted over white primer with some basic basecoats, then they've been "dipped" with Wilkinsons woodstain.
They're a bit crude and grubby (and nothing like as nice as what they'll be facing) but it's got me a small force together.
Hoping for a game of Drums and Shakos next week.

Monday 29 September 2014

More Perry British Napoleonics

Finished these off . Simple dip over the basecoats and then some basing.

I took some single shots too.

They're a bit "grubby", but then, that's the dip for you. Were I a proper hobbyist I'd go back and add highlights, but if I were to do that, I'd rather use washes than the dip.

Another group shot

Now I need to get a shot of all the painted ones together.
Then it'll be time for war!

Sunday 28 September 2014


I recently picked up Lion Rampant. Partly because it's by Dan Mersey, who I've played soldiers with once before and who writes really nice rulesets - Dux Bellorum being one I'm dabbling with at the moment - and partly because Nick at Northstar had them on offer when they came out, so I was able to get them at a very reasonable fee without funding any large tax-dodging online retailers.

Anyway, I got them without any real plans. Chum Stephen has a fondness for War of the Roses, but I'm familiar enough with myself to know I'm never going to paint a proper army of medieavals, no matter how nice the Perry range is. So I thought that maybe this would inspire some skirmishing type behaviour that would scratch his Roses itch.

But then I started reading the rules, and I remembered that I had an unopened Warhammer 5th edition boxed set in my loft (a legacy of working for GW Mail Order) which contains 24 (two units in Lion Rampant terms) of quite nice and reasonably historical looking archers. Together with some rather more fantastical looking knights.

So anyway I ventured in to the loft, ripped off the cellophane and retrieved 12 of said archers. They've been glued to 2p pieces (plenty of glue on Brenda's face) along with a smattering of (unused) cat litter. The coins are all magnetic, in hope that I can eventually store and transport them in a container lined with magnetic sheet.

Just need to decide on some colours for them.

Friday 26 September 2014

Perry British Napoleonics

A week in Swindon during which I spent more time in the very jolly Gluepot pub than I did hobbying.
However, pushed on by my chum's picture of his dirty Frenchies I did at least manage to get the basecoats on these final three Perry British Napoleonics. A drummer, a sergeant and one more rifleman. I think this will bring me up to twelve models, which seems a reasonable size for a first game.

I'll dip them tonight and spray them on Sunday. Then its all go for a game of Song of Drums and Shakos.

Thursday 25 September 2014


My chum sent me this picture.
I was round at his place a couple of weeks ago and he showed me his Irish brigade made from Perry plastic French. We then talked about playing Song of Drums and Shakos.
Then he goes and cranks these out in less time than it takes me to dunk a few Brits in wood stain. Flipping lovely I reckon.
So I really need to finish off the three I've got on my painting desk and we can get a game in.

Friday 19 September 2014

Even more fungus up the Underway

I finished off some of the fungus bases for our Underway campaign.

 Both bases together

 From another angle

 The large base

 Another angle

 The small base

Same base different 'shrooms

The bases are from 4 Ground
The 'shrooms are from Wargames Terrain Workshop
The puffball is a polystyrene ball.

The individual mushrooms can be swapped around on the bases and I have a couple more bases I could use and some ideas for other things to go on them. I'm toying with adding a few bits of clump foliage and maybe some brown static grass to represent lichen and the like, just to break up the greyness.

I've added some rocks and a few pieces of dwarf and goblin detritus, especially skulls - it's for Warhammer after all. I think I'll see if Steve has some Skaveny bits I can add to future bases.

Ideally I'd like to go on and make some underground lava/mud pools and some piles of rock/broken ground and a mineshaft and....

Thursday 18 September 2014

War in the Underway - the climax!

Gruzzkup gazed off thoughtfully into the distance whilst stroking the shaft of his chopper.
At last, he had his enemy cornered. He'd pushed Snazzgob into the depths of the stunty hole and now he had the chance once and fer all to show all the greenskins who Mork or Gork liked bestest.
His gamble to force his way roughly up the gorge had paid off, he'd caught the enemy napping. Shame about that little runt Nubbinz, but 'dems da breaks.
Now, to war and glory for Gork. And Mork!

The final game in the Underway campaign.
Gruzzkup has tracked his foe deep into the abandoned Dwarf caverns and has bought him to battle by forcing his way up the gorge. Snazzgob and his lads were in a defensive position on a low rise, but I had the first turn and Gork (or possibly Mork) on my side. A rapid advance meant Nuibbinz and Muncha had fallen down a chasm, but apart from that my army was intact.
However as I prepared to advance ominous creaking noises came from the ceiling of the cavern. Steve and I placed our dice ("I'll be even,Steven" I duly said) and with a crack some slabs came down and crushed three boarboys to death. Ouch.
It got worse as fighting broke out between the Spider Riders and the Squigs holding up the centre of my line. However the chariots rumbled forward and the boarboys scared off the opposing spiders.

Snazzgob's spearladz

Shooty ladz

Bouncy, chewy ladz

Snazzgob cowers at the back

Da wagginz lead da way
Subtly different image

Snazzgob played cagey in response with only his boarboys advancing

Da left flank

Spearboys, no problem

Da enemy centre

My boarboys crashed into the spear block, but were held, meanwhile one of my chariots thundered into the Big 'Un boarboys, The Night Goblin block advanced to launch their fanatics toward the boarboys and the archers unleashed their fanatic toward the Savage Orc Boars

Rumble, creak, smash!

Stop squabblin'!

At this point I stopped taking pictures for a bit. Suffice to say it all started to go wrong.
The Squigs carried on squabbling and Gruzzkup and his Big Uns took a spell to the face slowing them right down
My wizard attempted Foot of Gork and got it off. The big green foot scattered away from Snazzgob's Black Orcs, before stamping down on my archers, killing all but two, before scattering again away from the Savage Orcs and then coming to a stop. Oh.
The chariots both killed a few Orcs, but not enough to really damage either unit, and so Snazzgob's Savage Orc boys were able to smash in to the Trolls. Meanwhile on the left the spearmen and the Savage Orc Boarboys made short work of my boarboys, and the resulting flight spread panic to the Night Goblin archers who ran away, never to return.
Critically at this point the Trolls were unable to hold the Savage Orcs and fled, taking the Savages away from my Big 'Uns. Snazzgob's boarboys splintered the second chariot and then made the Night Goblins flee their Terror causing banner and ran them down.
With that the game was really up. The Squigs finally munched their way through the crossbowmen and a unit of archers, but Gruzzkup and his lads were surrounded...

Gruzzkup leads da ladz on

The trap closes

Orc of da match

Gruzzkup and da boyz crush some spiders...

...and make off into the darkness

Snazzgob however, decided that discretion was the better part of Orcyness and held his boys back, fearful of the havoc Gruzzkup would visit on his men. And so the mighty Orc warlord was left to chase off some spiders, before leaving the field with his unit, if not his pride, still intact.

A bloody and painful defeat for Gruzzkup. Steve played well, learning from previous battles that hurtling forward into my Big Uns is not always the best tactic. I was a bit unlucky, if the trolls had held I'd have got into the flank of the Savage Orcs and animosity hampered my first couple of turns but was mostly simply outplayed.

I really enjoyed the Underway campaign. Nice and simple but with a bit of flavour, and the Orcs v Orcs was nicely thematic. And it finally pushed me to finish my Orc army. So a fiver well spent (by Steve). 
The Underway rules are of course now also available in the Nagash book. If you feel like paying forty five more quid to read three hundred pages of (humour free) Warhammer background.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

More Naps Dipped

Some Victrix Naps that I assembled many years ago, and have just painted in the hope of playing Song of Drums and Shakos before the year is out.
They're not as nice as the Perry ones, a bit cartoony, and they were a monstrous ball-ace to assemble - endless fiddly bits. I believe this has been addressed in recent kits - march attack and less Tamiya like assembly. They've also been in the wars a bit, a bayonet, a pom-pom and the officers sword have all snapped - a combination of more brittle plastic than Perry, less robust pieces and some rough handling too. I quite like the kneeling pose (especially for skirmishing) but the officer is oddly proportioned. I suspect I'll do a few more Perry ones before revisiting this set, if ever.
Simple block colours and dip - servicable.

The quest for correct camera set-up continues.

Monday 15 September 2014

Dux Brit Freebie

I finally painted this chap up that I got a couple of years ago free with Dux Brit.

I'm still playing with camera settings, hence the slightly different colours...

I have to agree with Scrivs, not the nicest model. The pose is very awkward, head at midday, feet at ten past one and arm at three. Not a pose I'd want to hold for very long. And he's small compared with the chunky Musketeer and GB figs. Still he'll do as a spare officer for my Late Romans.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Playing with the new camera

A couple of snaps taken as I'm trying to work out my new camera.
Struggling to get it to focus up close.
Mainly bashing buttons and shouting at it at the moment.
Sure it'll all work out.

Two shots of some British I'm trying to finish for a game of Drums and Shakos. Same models, same set-up, different white balance preset.
Think I slightly prefer the warmth of the top one.

Another mushroom for some underway gaming.

Sunday 7 September 2014


Today I went, accompanied by smallest boy, to my local wargames show, Partizan (actually the Other Partizan) at Kelham Hall in Newark.
Having missed the event in a tent earlier in the year I wanted to make sure I made it to this one. Partizan was the first non-Games Day wargames show I attended, and started me off on the slippery slope away from solely fantasy and into the historical. So it always holds a special place in my affections and I try and get along as often as possible.
This year some chums were putting on demo games and although family commitments meant I couldn't actually help out with the games I wanted to at least drop by and show support.

I grabbed my phone and took a few pictures, so here they are:

These three were from Scrivs' excellent Spanish Civil War game using Chain of Command rules, aided and abetted by Matt.
Scrivs reckons he's painted around 300 SCW miniatures and built most of the scenery on this board in the eight months since James introduced him to the period!
There's plenty more info over on Scrivs' blog.

These three were from Steve Jones lovely looking AWI game.
I'll hopefuly be helping him with a different game from this conflict at Salute next year (along with the usual suspects from Keren and Dux Bellorum games).
It all looks lovely and it's a fascinating period, but I'm staying firm.
More on Steve's blog abut his AWI obsession.

These two were from a very nice looking Dark Age game put on by the Westbury Wargamers.
Had a pleasant chat about Picts with the chap overseeing things whose name I neglected to get.
I'm a sucker for all things Dark Age and this had some lovely looking models and nice terrain

Finally these were from the massive Large Pydna 168BC game staged by BigRedBat and his chums. Small boy was very impressed with the massed pike blocks.

However, highlight of the show for smallest child was definitely the World War One Subbuteo game.
He loved it so much he played twice. Once against me (a 0-0 draw) and once against another gamer, who edged it 1-0 (at least he didn't go out to the Germans on penalties). It appeared to be Great War Miniatures in the main, on custom bases, and we flicked to kick in the time honoured fashion.

Although the aforementioned family commitments meant it was just a flying visit it looked a great show as always and I was glad I made the effort.
Bumped into the usual collection of reprobates and ne'er-do-wells that it's always a pleasure to see in the flesh, including Big Jim, Craig and Pete from Ooop North and Mike, Andy and Graeme of the Peterboro' massive who were running "Dead's Army" (sorry, forgot to take pictures) and encouraging me to attend their event in November..

My haul was modest.
A copy of Lion Rampant from the always reliable Mr Nick Northstar (I had meant to pop along to  Northstar and grab this earlier in the week, but work got the better of me). I do try and buy from proper wargames suppliers and avoid giving money to tax dodging online discounters.
Lots of info about the game over on author Dan Mersey's blog.

The other was a stag and hind from Warbases. To dress the table a bit in Dux Bellorum games.

I had hoped to see if I could spot Loki on the Warbases stand and congratulate him personally on his very brave post from earlier this week (do go and read it if you haven't already), but time (and small boy) were against me. Maybe at Derby.

In other news I got a new camera for my birthday, so hopefully the quality of photography will improve over the coming weeks.