Thursday 29 September 2016


I bought this Tudor style house at the Border Reiver show, can't remember who from but it was only a tenner. Why are resin figures more expensive then metal ones yet resin houses are cheaper than mdf ones? Answers on a post card to the usual address.
Anyway there was very little flash and almost no trimming to make it fit was needed. Generally very nice. Painting was slow and labourious, it took a whole night to paint the bloody roof slates, I think slate may be inappropriate and they should have been clay or shingles but I had the colour.
It will make a nice addition to most of my battle fields

I've also had a couple of small deliveries but I'll wait to post those as I want to paint some for my next drubbing by Matt Crump in his dungeon in a couple of weeks

Saturday 24 September 2016

Les Cheveaux Rouges (The Red Skulls)

This is my first attempt at a comic strip,Comic Life, and I quite enjoyed it. A party of French adventurers are on safari in West Africa. They are searching for the Elephant's Graveyard and have been searching for 10 weeks under the command of Henri Conte de Nulle Part and the famous explorer Captain Jacques Mercier.
The jungle is thick and then are forced to stick to the trail, only being able to rest in jungle clearings. 

The battle was unexpectedly brief and bloody. The natives were random encounter and threw a 6 - immediate attack and another 6 - appear next to the front of the party. The French were overwhelmed in 3 turns but it did enable the porters, Capt Mercier and a single askari to escape. All the painted Les Cheveaux Rouge were killed but that was less than 1/2 the native force available so Mercier was right to run.

All Along the Watchtower

I have fought a very brief and bloody battle, post later or tomorrow. I have done loads of stuff though. I've been trying to get my painting going but not really in the mood. I have painted this Mayan warrior that I picked up at the Border Reiver show for £1.

This figure clearly demonstrates why I paint lots of figures. I really tried to take my time with this and really up my painting standard and it's turned out fine but it is no better than my normal standard - I like to think I paint to a good wargaming standard and I'm normally pretty proud of the output. If I wasn't happy then I'd take up gardening. Whilst i think I am constantly improving, I have plateaued. My standard is about this level no matter how many I paint, sometimes a little better sometimes a little worse. Looks like another points record for the challenge.
Enough therapy. Mainly I've been building watchtowers from card, garden cane, coffee stirrers

I built 4 of these

The walls I made ages ago

Now it's a fort - nice.

From the left over ends I made some fences

I went to the market to buy a painting for my Dad's birthday and found this. A road roller for £3. very VBCW

Finally on my way home I noticed that a new Hobbycraft superstore had opened so I popped in and bought a rubber cliff mould and some plaster of paris

Off to build a big hill now

Wednesday 21 September 2016

In Jungle the Mighty Jungle

I've still got my terrain head on, I have a battle set up but have been looking at it for a week now and made no moves. The problem is that I really want to fight the follow up battle but not really this one. Hopefully this weekend.
In the mean time I've been plodding on with terrain, specifically jungle pieces. I've started to add those extra touches to make my terrain better. Historically my terrain was something in the way on a battle field and not really adding to the story.

I wanted some massive jungle trees but they will get in the way. Then I remembered an old computer game called jagged Alliance, one of my favourites, and in the wooded areas you could remove the tree tops to aid visibility. So I did the same. The trunks are obviously sticks and the foliage is from a pet shop. The buttress roots are made form lollipop sticks and card.

More trees


more bushes

I've also done a little painting for VBCW

18lb howitzer and a 13lb WW1 AT gun from Irregular miniatures

1917 Steam Truck, bought from market for £1 and repainted. The scale is 1:61 so a little small but I think it looks OK.

Sunday 18 September 2016

Good Fences make Good..erm Terrain Features

The Analogue Hobbies Community webchats have been somewhat inspirational, although I couldn't make the connection work today with Paul down under. I could see him and listen to him playing Prince but he couldn't see or hear me - or I'm just not interesting enough.
I have been painting a lot of terrain

1st up some wooden fences for my African village. These are made from sticks in the garden

I added some lichen, again from the garden.

All villages need an entrance and I carved these to massive tusks out of  some more sticks, I appear to love whittling.

The African Tribe are Les Cheveaux Rouge (The Red Skulls) - one of those Boys Own tribes full of terrible rites and cannibalism. The skulls are 10mm resin beads I bought from China on e bay. £1.49 for 40 with free postage. An unbelievable price. Luckily post Brexit we will have free trade with China so that we can export all our manufactured goods to them. No wait that is bollocks, we make nothing they want at the price we would sell it. Sorry for swearing but I'm still in post Brexit shock and it's not getting better. 

Couple of piles of logs, sticks and lichen - notice a theme here

I've painted up the Irregular Miniatures pigs - more like hogs although I don't really know the difference

Steel Railings. I've had these for ages but not got round to painting them. 

There are 2 types, both for railways and they look pretty good.

Have a good weekend 

Friday 9 September 2016

Disaster at la Makan - The Men Who Would Be Kings AAR

I fought my first battle using The Men Who Would Be Kings rules. The set up was a simple meeting engagement battle to test out the rules so I didn't use a scenario nor the Mr Babbage variant for solo play (sounds like a version of Mornington Crescent).
The forces were 19 points each and played on my 4x3 table so it was a little crowded. My standard British unit size is 10 and the rules recommend 12 for regulars and 16 for tribal units so I scaled them down to 10 and 13 respectively.
The British
50th Staffordshire (my old Scout Troop) under Captain Fitzjohn who was a weakling so can't fight in melee and has a leadership of 7+
1st Brigadoon Highlanders who are fierce. They are lead by Captain Kelly who was inexperienced so the Highlanders couldn't make a free move but he did have a leadership of 6+
Royal Artillery field gun under the "Jolly Good Chap" Lt Bowden with a leadership of 5+
The Mahdists
3 units of tribal infantry with leaderships of 6+, 7+ and 8+
2 units of irregular infantry. One unit was armed with modern weapons and had a leadership of 5+. The other had obsolete weapons and a leadership of 7+

Each turn is UGOIGO and you activate each turn. If you fail the activation then the unit is limited to a couple of prescribed actions dependent on the type.

The set up, palm trees are soft cover but don't hinder movement and the walls of the wadi in the centre are impassible

The 1st turn sees the side advance with the Staffs climbing the hill and the Highlanders entering the palm trees at the top. The plan is to hold the hill and butcher the upstart Mahdists. The Mahdists are strong on the left and will attack from there.

The Mahdists press forward and the Staffs open fire at long range reducing the strength of the good unit of Irregular infantry in the centre. But they pass their pin test and press on, returning fire.

A lucky shot takes out Captain Fitzjohn and the Staffs are in instant deep trouble. They are now leaderless (8+ activation) and pinned. They must remove the pin in their next turn or retreat and continue to do so until they unpin.

With the Staffs in retreat the Mahdists surge forward unopposed. The Highlanders are thinning down the irregular infantry at the top but are firing through soft cover so need 2 hits to score a kill. THe field gun is epic, it rolls 8D6 and kills on a 4+, the tribal infantry in the centre have been hit and stopped for now.

A unit of the Tribal infantry smash into the Staffs, kill 4 and they leave the table. The extra pins are a mistake (the rules are a little confusing here) but it made no difference as their rally rolls were shocking

The irregular infantry charge the Highlanders but the Highlanders are fierce and force them back and in the next turn follow up and butcher them

The field gun has hit the tribal infantry that routed the Staffs but the next turn they rally and the field gun fails it's activation

The mahdists charge and butcher the crew. Only the Highlanders are left now

The Highlanders survive a couple of melees but fire from the irregular infantry whittles them down 

The final attack finishes them off.

So what do I think. It was pretty good, IHMN is better and my big unit mod was more fun. It smacks a lot of Lion Rampant and Dragon Rampant. The activation is generally irrelevant unless you are pinned then it is vital. I lost an officer (roll 2D6 if your unit takes casualties and on double 1 it's your officer). This made the Staffs useless.
The firing and melee work well. 
What would I change, the instructions around pinning and rallying are clunky, the QRF is rubbish. There is no overall leader. This is wrong. All forces have a boss. This guy could then be attached to leaderless units or used to reroll a failed activation if his leadership is better. There aren't enough unit types and this could be solved by increasing the racial variations etc.
What is good. It has real potential with more practice and some minor tweaking to be a fab set of rules. It will work well with big battles and lots of dice, think Warhammer 1880. 

The Best laid Plans

So I have today off work and friends arriving this evening for a weekend of jollity. Only I don't. I awoke this morning to find that my curtains had fallen off in my living room. Not only fallen off but dragged the plaster and mortar with them.

So I've had to apply fresh mortar and leave to harden so that I can drill them tomorrow, that is bound to be a disaster. But that's OK by mate Dave (don't we all have a mate name Dave) and his other half Emma are coming up and he is a DIY kinda guy. Only they're not as Emma's aunt has taken gravely ill and she has had to fly to Ireland. It's been a week of extreme illnesses, a friend and colleague Prof Paul Younger has had to retire at 53 with a brain tumour. For those of us with mental and not physical prowess it is the thing that scares us most.
This is all too sad so on to fun stuff. I'm sitting at a prepared battle field for TMWWBK (that is an effing awful acronym ) and from now on will be called Peachy's Wars (until there is a better name)

This is a 19 point per side Brits vs Mahdits on my 3ft by 4ft space. Little to crowded but I need the spare room to play bigger and I have guests wait I don't. Too late now. It the curtains go up easily then tomorrow Zulus or the such like.
Finally I had a delivery, yay. I ordered some figures from Irregular Miniatures earlier in the week, no mean feat as they have no online ordering, and they arrived today. Which was great.

6 Horses with bridle and reins

I have some old Napoleonic British Dragoons ( I think) but no horses. These we £1 each and are perfectly acceptable if a little small. 
In July I painted some Belgian WW1 machine guns on dog carts for the postmen in VBCW. However the machine guns were not separate

 So I bought 2 French WW1 Hotchkiss machine guns

 Some Mules - very useful

WW1 AT gun

WW1 18lb howitzer

 An then quite a lot of pigs

The whole set was £30 \and the quality of the animals and guns is generally high but the gun crews aren't great. The whole lot was on £31 though
Hopefully will post the AAR later today