03 March 2015

A weekend in Washington DC

Yes, he is!
The family went down to Washington DC last weekend for official purposes, but we got to enjoy a day on the Mall and visiting some of the excellent Smithsonian Museums (Air and Space, and the History of US), as well as the International Spy Museum which was a lot of fun.  We'll be back in DC for a week in April and look forward to seeing more then!

007's classic Austin Martin from Goldfinger

SS-20 'Saber' ICBM and Pershing II IRBM
Vengeance weapons...the lad is now called V-3!

Classic lines: Albatros D.Va

General Eisenhower's uniform

General Sherman's monument in front of the treasury building

01 March 2015

Painting Ostfront Germans

I am copying this very handy reference to my blog for use with my WWW2 Germans. Published at the Warlord Games website here


Friend of Warlord and grand master of the Volley Fire Painting Services paint mines, Andy Singleton has written a fantastic guide for new German players – a guide on how to paint three of the key uniforms worn by German troops on the Eastern Front.
Handily, Andy has included the specific paints used – and their equivalents from the Vallejo and Citadel paint ranges – as well as some pictures of his own collection of German equipment for reference!

Singleton Winter Germans (1)

One of the most potentially daunting and baffling forces to paint for WW2 gaming is the Germans. Due to the way the German military was formed, each branch was, in essence, competing against the other for resources and to get the best equipment, which led to a bewildering array of uniforms becoming present in a very short period of time! To help bring some clarity for those unfamiliar with German uniforms I’m going to explain the styles and who wore what.


This colour sounds simple, but even the name is misleading as Field Grey is actually green…! Throughout the war the colour changed quite considerably and had very little consistency, especially after around 1942, but even prior to that the colour could vary massively. To illustrate this I’ve included a pic of two of my  reproduction caps. The bottom hat was brand new when I took the photo, and the other I’ve had for ages and has faded, been rained on (lots) and generally had lots of dirt and dust build up in it – so you don’t need to sweat getting the colour right too much. I prefer Russian Uniform as a base colour, with army painter Strong tone for shading, and Green Grey for highlights, with increasing amounts of white mixed in to create starker contrasts. If you only have access to Games Workshop paints then I’d suggest using Straken Green or Nurgling Green for the base colour, giving the model a wash of Agrax Earthshade, and then layering on highlights using increasing amounts of white paint mixed into the base colour.
Field Grey real
Field Grey uniforms were worn by all Heer and Waffen-SS forces, as well as by the Fallschirmjäger as trousers, though the Waffen SS and Fallschirmjager also usually wore them in conjunction with camouflage smocks, which I’ll come to later.


This is the camouflage used by the army (Heer) and Airforce (Fallschirmjäger and Luftwaffe Field Divisions). Splinter Pattern Camouflage is used for Army infantry wearing hooded parka jackets, smocks, and the triangular Zeltbahn Poncho, which can be seen in the new Veteran Grenadiers set. Although regularly used as a poncho by soldiers its original guise is as a quarter of a tent as can be seen below. Splinter pattern would also be worn on trousers, however these were purchased privately by the soldiers and were quite rare to see. Winter over-trousers were also made, but these tended to only be worn in the winter as they are heavy and hot. As you can see below there is a slight difference in patterns and colour, as with the field grey:
Splinter A
To paint Splinter Pattern, I use Vallejo Khaki as the base colour, then shade this with Army Painter Strongtone, then highlight the smock using increasing amounts of white, before finishing the camouflage pattern with reflective Green and Flat Earth disruptive patterns. If I were to use Games Workshop colours I would use Ushabti Bone, Loren Forest for the green and Skrag Brown for the brown.
Fallschirmjager Splinter


Waffen-SS camouflage is a very extensive subject, so I shall concentrate on one of the most common patterns seen on the Eastern Front:
Oakleaf Camouflage. This was the most common camouflage pattern, and came in the form of smocks, parkas and helmet covers. These were all reversible, the smocks and helmet covers had autumn browns on one side, and summer greens on the reverse. A little further down the page you’ll find a picture of my parka which shows the autumn brown side. Parkas could be reversed to white for wearing in the snow, however this side tended to absorb far more water than the camouflage side and attract lots of dirt, so wearing the camouflage side even in the snow wasn’t uncommon!
Waffen SS SummerTo paint the pattern I use Vallejo Brown Sand as a base colour, shade and highlight this as with the other items of clothing, and then apply the camouflage using large dots to small dots. For summer camouflage I start off with Vallejo Extra Dark Green, then on top of this apply dots of reflective green, and finally finish the pattern off with tiny dots of Golden Olive. With Games Workshop Paints I would use Balor Brown for the base, then Loren Forest, Straken Green, and Moot Green for the decreasingly sized dots.
Singleton Autumn SS camo
For the autumn side I use the same technique, but start with Brown Sand, then dots of Hull Red, Flat Earth and Orange Leather. In Games Workhop colours I’d use Balor Brown as the base again, then Doombull Brown, Skrag Brown and finally Tau Light Ochre.


German straps and boots were black leather and the field gear varied greatly in colour again. I tend to use either Vallejo Middlestone or Reflective Green with some Army painter Strong Tone over the top, although there’s a lot of choice here, and you can pretty much use a fairly huge range of colours depending when and where your figures are themed for.
I’d also really recommend digging further through the Warlord range – there are loads of possibilities for conversions and kit-bashing to create unique units to add character to your army. On the Eastern Front, there was a lot of kit-sharing and looting of enemy gear – I have, for example, had great fun combining the Soviet Winter Infantry sprues with German weapons to create some distinct squads…
Singleton Winter Germans (2)
Singleton Winter Germans (8)


Singleton German ColoursSingleton German Colours 2

27 February 2015

Thank you for the Adventures

Vale Leonard Nimoy.

You did indeed Live Long and Prosper, and took us on journeys to the stars.
You will be missed and most fondly remembered.


24 February 2015

Awesome Man Cave

This got posted on FB the other day in an RPG group but it just has to be shared more widely.
This guy is either a life long bachelor or he has a very understanding better half!

see more great photos of this setup here:

16 February 2015

Review - KURSK : The Vital 24 Hours

by Will Fowler

I had borrowed this from a library around a year ago, really enjoyed it and knew it had to be on my reference shelf.  Unfortunately out of print (but not for a long time), I figured I'd bide my time and find a cheap second hand copy.  I got a very good used copy this week for the princely sum of 78 cents, about the cost of a single 15mm figure from battlefront, plus $3.50 postage.  What a bargain!

Filled with great maps, pics, first hand accounts and a good operational level narrative.  Great stuff for both military history reading and generating wargaming scenarios though I would have liked some more tactical level maps for the latter purpose.  4 out of 5 stars and I'll be searching for the author's other works on Stalingrad and D-Day.


14 February 2015

Declare Sir!

...being a new blog venture by Alan (aka Dux Humunculorum) and I for our joint 6mm ECW project.   There will probably be a bit of cross posting, but we are hoping that it will be a good spot for us to collate our intermittent project activity.

Are ye for King or Parliament?   http://declaresir.blogspot.com

12 February 2015

More ECW Reading

Thanks once again to Amazon, I am now enjoying some more ECW reading.  While we have yet to determine which more modern rules we will use (Impetus, Polemos etc) these classic titles have some great content.

I must admit that as nice as it would be to have original editions, the Curry reprints of classic books are very nice, at very reasonable prices, and immediately available.

...and thanks for the tip on the Wesencraft title Millsy!

09 February 2015

Contemplating Tiny Terrain

To support our ECW project (see here), I started to cast my eye about for appropriate 6mm terrain.  I have a bunch of old SF terrain in 6mm but obviously not a lot of that will be useful (and to be honest after 20 years in boxes undergoing around a dozen house moves I have grave doubts as to its condition).  So another lovely excuse to spend Hobby money emerges!

What do I (think I) need? Enough terrain for a 4 x 4 or so table, including a river, a few roads with bridges, and a town or two.

First up, Baccus (whose lovely figures we are using) is an easy starting place with this nice village set

Here are some nifty tips for DIY stuff:

And here are some more manufacturers
6mm Terrain Manufacturers:
     Some painted up nicely here: http://walladvantage2.blogspot.com.au/search/label/6mm%20ECW
     Curt's nicely painted up granary set here;: http://analogue-hobbies.blogspot.com/2013/03/product-review-total-battle-miniatures.html
Curt's lovely granary terrain set (Total Battle Miniatures)

While its listed in their Napoleonic rage, Leven Miniatures make a nice fortified Manor House that would do nicely as a Royalist stronghold
Leven's NAP06 - Fortified Manor House from here

Leven also make these fine Tudor Style buildings - can't have an English village without a pub now can we!
GEN11 - Tudor Style Public House
HOU14 - Detached Tudor style house

Dungeon Castings make this nice "House with Tower" as an alternative Manor House (DC-D0118)

Total Battle Miniatures also do this fantastic walled town set - very pretty but not sure if I need to drop 65 pounds on it at this stage and instead need more functional terrain.  Very shiny though!  Would make a great centrepiece for a Campaign though
The unpainted pics show what you get in better detail I think:

And finally, what kind of Royalist would I be without a good keep or castle to fall back on?  But my quick look around didn't provide me with the lots of options that I expected.  I thought for sure there would be many examples of big '5 star' castles like Conwy, Raglan or Caernarfon.  What I'd really like is a nice tower like Donnington (where the battle of Newbury was fought in 1644). 
JR Miniatures' "European Siege Castle"

And finally, some inspiration for baggage/camp elements here (all made with Baccus figures):

If you other suggestions or recommendations for us I'd love to hear them!