25 May 2017

Hobby Highs and Horrors

How cool is this guy? Love the camo pants!

This week my Man Cave saw the best and worst of our hobby.

Firstly, a wonderful parcel arrived from Canada, courtesy of Snow Lord Curt himself - my reverse Curtgeld thank you for my assistance as a Minion during AHPC VII.

Opening the box...
 Thanks indeed Curt - I love this guy (and his strange similarity to the main character from Fallout New Vegas) but the message under the base is the best bit

This great treat more than made up for a far more frustrating incident from Sunday afternoon.  Odin the playful Beagle pup decided that my completed, based and varnished new Scrapper force needed to be removed from the drying area and reduced to its component parts again. Scrapped indeed.  Not quite the way I wanted to post these guys
On the bright side, some bits are still attached... Little bugger!

19 May 2017

Burn and Loot

One day you are happily hobbying along with the next 3 months planned out in detail and far more projects and models than you know what to do with. Then for no good reason, something twists your head and you are off down a whole other path of awesomeness its new plans and purchase in mind.

Pretty sure I'm not alone in this regard, right?...

Anyway, Deus Vult - bought it when it came out. Looked great but needed big armies, so I shelved it for another day.  Then some guys at the club buy its little brother Burn and Loot.  Smaller, SAGA sized games - fun games in a few hrs.  More detail than Lion Rampant but less than Deus Vult.  Then Alan does a Medieval Russian force, while other chaps do Hospitallers and Moors.  Hmmm, the Baltic and the Northern crusades might be fun for something different.  The next thing I know my desk looks like this:

...and so I am once again distracted and seduced by the shiny side of this hobby...

Alan and Aled - this is for you:

13 May 2017

FIW Fences

I wanted to add some linear type obstacles to our FIW games, so this week I made some fences.  Two packs of Renedra Cross Rail fencing to be precise.  The kits are really great kit, but its like constructing a mechano set with lots of bits to put together, which was a fiddly process.  On the other hand, it is ultimately flexible.  This is what I ended up with:

I've been deliberately trying to put more colour on my table this year, thus the brown wood colours of a new construction rather than weathered greys.

I was trying to emulate this type of fencing which was prolific in the New England region in the colonial era (I took these pics when I lived there)

30 April 2017

The Siege of Port Arthur, 2016

This week's post is a shout out to fellow blogger Colonel Scipio, who runs the blog Palladian Guard (here).  Of particular note are the "Supercampaigns" he runs which integrate RPG like elements into a war-game campaign structure.  Very cool and naturally I was intrigued so we ended up chatting via email.

Last year I was invited to participate in the latest Supercampaign "Doomed but Defiant" set in the the siege of Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War of 1905-06.  As the Colonel his merry men are in UK, I as the overall Japanese Commander submitted my orders weekly, and subordinates would execute them as they interpreted them, and I was subsequently advised of the outcomes.  As you can imagine, this generated all sorts of realistic friction as orders were misinterpreted and subordinates took 'unauthorised initiative'.
The culminating engagement of the campaign, as depicted in the very cool narrative book
It was a great deal of fun and I must admit that I quite looked forward to my Monday lunchtimes with my office door shut - reading the weekly dispatches and crafting my orders.  I also recorded weekly war diary entries.  The lads at the other end did likewise.  The Colonel has now crafted them into this great book in an Osprey narrative style with great maps and graphics, inserting excerpts from the war diaries as appropriate.  I am thrilled with it as a wonderful relic of the game which lasted from May until September 2016. But the Colonel didn't stop there.
Just arrived with my book is this great little momento - a Imperial Japanese Army Command Stand featuring General Nogi, Commander of the Third Army and my alter ego during the campaign.

Thanks indeed for including me in the campaign Colonel - it was a great experience.  Thanks indeed for the great momentos too: they will have place of honour in the Man Cave!

You can read about our RJW Supercampaign at the Colonel's Blog here:

23 April 2017

British FIW Command stand

Over the weekend I completed this project, which I've been working on for a few weeks.

The is a British Senior officer is a Front Rank figure from the SYW range, as is the staff Officer (he is from their artillery crew collection). The hound is from Warbases and I painted up with the same colouring as one of my beagles :-)

Overall I'm thrilled with how this came out and think its probably my best work to date, aided significantly by how consistently I've been painting since Christmas.  Now to put him on the table and find out if he is a seasoned and clever Officer, or an ignorant man of entitlement...

22 April 2017

Weekend reading!

Nice to get home after a busy week at work to have not one but two pre-orders waiting for some attention.  So which one to digest first...

21 April 2017

More Redcoats!

Just before Easter I received reinforcements from Front Rank miniatures for my British FIW Army.  I also got my new sabot bases from Warbases to help rank them up and speed game play up (moving all those figures was taking quite a toll on game play).  So I got busy over the great and here is the result.

Overall, I've added a mounted Officer as a commander, another unit of Regular Infantry and this unit of Grenadiers in fur covered mitres.  The figures match up well against my Warlord ones and the uniform differences are relatively minor and simply add variety.

Now in train is a final unit of Infantry and another light infantry unit.   I also still need to paint and flock the sabot bases, and have this WIP Senior Officer figure underway (any likeness to Trump is entirely accidental!)

14 April 2017

Indian Longhouse

Presenting my Indian longhouse which was waiting in the wings for attention during the recent painting challenge (where terrain doesn't score for points) so its nice to get it completed.  Hoping to get it on the table in the coming weeks for a FIW Sharp Practice game.

Like my log cabin, I've gone for a brighter look vice weathered greys and like the finished look.  Its mounted on an mdf base so I could do a few thematic pits around it.  I've been looking forward to doing this since I saw the recreation ones at Plymouth Plantations (see here) though I went with a brighter, less weathered look.

Size wise, it works well with the Indian villagers I completed earlier this year (28mm Redoubt figs), which is good seeing that this is a 15mm building :-)  I went with the smaller scale for a better ground scale and think it works well overall (noting the doors would have been smaller to retain heat in winter).  It is a resin model by Blue Moon.

And that completes the last of the FIY goodies I bought at Fall-In 2015 in the US :-)

09 April 2017

FIW Scatter Terrain

A few pieces of scatter terrain I recently made for our FIW games. Its been fun to do some terrain after all the figs during the painting challenge :-)

Firstly, some rocky outcrops, made from bark.  I spray painted them black and then drushbrushed with cheap acrylics before my standard basing process.
4 different sizes and 2 different base shapes, because I'm not sure which I prefer yet :-)

Learning from previous projects, I ensured the outcrops had flat surfaces so figs would stand  comfortably on them.

And also some deadfall sections for use in forests, made from bits from the garden and mounted on MDF scraps.

 Again, I left space on the bases to fit the figures on, so they can move through them as required on the table

03 April 2017

AHPC VII Reflections - Part 2: the Pics

I thoroughly enjoyed AHPC VII and am still lamenting its conclusion. It has easily been the best sustained hobby productivity I have had in at least a decade.  Modesty aside, I also think its some of the best quality 28mm painting I have ever produced.

This is what my new personal best of 1228 points looks like (previous best was 850 odd in AHPC IV).  I participated in all five Bonus rounds, received a Runner Up position in the Armour Bonus Round and my Red Skull figure was nominated (not by me!) in the Challenger's Choice voting.  Very humbling.

These Russian spider mecha picked up runner-up slot in the Armour bonus round

I really enjoyed painted figures as gifts - these were a true highlight for me.
Millsy with the Gimpy leg for Dave D
Centurion Alanus for Dux
this Orc beast rider for Slowpainter John
Looting Landsknecht Curtgeld
So its been a great challenge, for which the regular gaming at our Odin's night gaming club gave me great focus (thanks lads).   But most importantly,  it gave Reilly and I some dedicated hobby time together which has been fantastic.  Thanks again for an awesome hobby activity Curt!

Finally, I was delighted to be part of the AHPC team behind the scenes, in my capacity as Tuesday co-minion with Dux.  It took a bit of time away from my painting, but it was so very satisfying to be on Curt's staff to help make this great blogosphere activity happen.  In return Curt has very kindly painted this figure for me, which I'm absolutely thrilled with.
Kurt the wasteland survivor and prospective wasteland gang leader (once I get some more figs that is!)

This fellow was a bit too cleanly kitted-out to my way of thinking, so I added a slung blanket roll and chest pack to make him look a little more a seasoned Wasteland Wanderer. I did up the base similar to my Metro 2033 stuff, with hi-contrast A-bomb ash, shattered brick and a partially buried I-beam for him to trip over.

AHPC VII - so long and thanks for all the fish.

From Paul O'G: AHPC VII Offerings from my Man Cave

26 March 2017

AHPC VII Reflections - Part 1: Facts and Figures

While not a mathemagician anywhere of the calibre as the redoubtable Mr Miles, I have found myself tainted by his interest in some of the stats around AHPC.

So here are some completely self indulgent figures and graphics that will mean little to anyone else, but I wanted to capture them for myself :-)

Total Points: 1,228
I finished in the top 25% of the list (overall 22th place of the 96 participants) and I feel very chuffed to be in such august company at the upper end of the ladder (but still far below the productivity of some very impressive painters)

Figures: all 28mm scale
  • Figures: 139 (wow- that many? Well, its a lot for me!)
  • Cavalry: 7
  • Vehicles: 8 (4 AFVs, 2 jeeps and 2 canoes!)
  • Guns: 1

Totals by Genre (including bonus rounds)
  • French Indian War: 457 Points (Terrain bonus round)
  • Fantasy: 300
  • WW2 British Paras: 172 (Movie/book/song bonus round)
  • Weird WW2: 130 (Armour and West bonus rounds)
  • Misc: 141 (East bonus round)
My average points per week - interesting to see the impact of not starting until after the Christmas/New Year's visitors had departed, and a long weekend away at CANCON.  After that I settled down to a rather consistent average of just under 100 points/week.
Which was made up of a more fluctuating series of submissions each week:

Comparison between challenges:

And to complete the graphical homage to Miles and his amazing spreadsheet...
Next Up - round up pics and the submissions assembled!