Sunday, 31 March 2013

Finished Hedges

So I got a bit obsessed with making hedges! I went through 5 scouring pads, and then found some half finished hedges in my loft which I had started and abandoned some time ago. So I finished them off and some others over the last couple of evenings and this is what I ended up with in total.

That has resulted in me now having 12 feet of hedges!

I'm pretty pleased there not the best looking bits of terrain ever but they do the job and they look respectable enough. I think 12 foot of hedging should be enough to be going on with.

Oh and sorry for the naff pictures lights going and my camera's playing silly buggers.

Books: Military Blunders

Just a quick book recommendation today. I have had The Guinness Book of Military Blunders by Geoffrey Regan on my shelf for some 15 years or so, a gift from my father, and I have read it cover to cover countless times. For those that are unaware of this truly excellent book I will elaborate.

The book contains a myriad of Military Blunders committed by various commanders, of various nations armies predominantly from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. The content is very well presented and deals with errors of all types from the stupid, through to a failure to plan and supply forces in the field.

Each "Blunder" is very well presented with supporting pictures or drawings where possible. This is a very easy to read book, and the way each section is presented means you can easily open a page read for half an hour and then put it down again. The content is nicely written and has a story quality to its writing meaning it does not become bogged down in figures, statistics or unnecessary information.

I highly recommend this book to those with even a passing interest in Military History as it provides a fascinating insight into that subject many commanders so often gloss over, Defeat, and the causes of it.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Making Hedges

Those of you that follow my good friend Mr Barfields blog, here Panzerkaput, will be aware that he has been building some rather nice hedges to be used in our Partizan game this year. If you have not seen his hedges already I really suggest you clink the link above and check them out as they are bloody lovely and a standard to aspire to.

Inspired by Pete and having found an old copy the Games Workshop "Making Wargames Terrain" book, from 1996 no less, I decided to have a go at making my own old school hedges. As a quick diversion I was really quite pleased to find the old GW book as it was a compilation of the hobby articles which had appeared in GW whilst I was growing up. Ah the good old days when GW still had some hobby in its soul.

Anyway I digress.....

I built my hedges based on the old scouring pad, PVA Glue plus flock method. They are not as nice as Pete's but I'm rather chuffed with them. They took a few hours across a couple of afternoons to make (5 Feet so far) and the longest bit was waiting for the PVA saturated scouring pad to dry so I could add more flock. The other bonus, for me anyway, was that the only things I had to buy was the scouring pads for a quid, so they were virtually free as I already had the flock and stuff.

I based the hedges on the over sized lollypop sticks you get for kids craft projects and they have warped at bit, but not so much it matters.

Some more pictures below of the hedges, with an old battered figure for scale. I'm going to make some more of these today as I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed making them!

Oh and the other long, rather tedious task I will do in the next couple of days is label all my posts. 

Monday, 25 March 2013


Just a quick little blog post, I didn't like the fact that it would just be grass in the middle behind my Leicester Hospital build, so I knocked up this base board as an inner courtyard. Its not perfect (like an idiot I cut the board slightly squint and didn't notice until I was virtually finished) but still does the job. Could really do with some benches or a war memorial in the middle though :)

The other thing I finally got around to cutting is this as yet unpainted base board which is mocked up in front of the buildings here (just testing the fit)

Again I didn't want to go straight from the building to grass so I made this. It will be mostly grass to blend in reasonably with the green of the table, but there will be a path and some flowerbeds or something to make it look more like the front of a building. Again modular so I can opt not to use it if space, or taste requires it!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Farmer Giles

I've been a bit quiet of late, I was struck down with the flu a few weeks back and then had a whole load of work to catch up on as a result, so have not had much leisure time. However I had some time to spare yesterday evening and painted up this figure from Artizan Designs.

I wanted all the colours to mesh nicely with each other and I'm pleased with my colour choices, the tweed on the flat cap could have been better, but you can't win em all.

Now I am a big fan of Artizans figures, my display cabinet, and cupboards are bulging with untold numbers of their figures. However I was a bit disappointed with the casting on this figure. The face seemed a little miscast and the detail was lighter than is usual with Artizans stuff. The bigger moan though is the shotgun which the figure is carrying. The barrel is very thin and bends really easily (as is evident in the picture). This was a bit of a departure from the norm with Artizans figures as I usually have nothing but praise for them.

It is still a nice figure its just let down by just two relatively minor points which were a touch irritating.

In other news my Ginger Tom Loki was unusually compliant last night and not only let me take a picture of him, but endured having my scarf draped around him in a dapper fashion!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Went the Day Well - Skirmish Rules

My good friend Mr "Ook" Purdue (Simon to his Mother) has just had his excellent "Went the Day Well" skirmish rules published by Solway Crafts and Miniatures. 

The rules are designed for Skirmish level games up to Platoon level plus (but there is really no reason why you could not use them in bigger games if you so wished. Originally conceived as home brew rules for 1938 a Very British Civil War they would also work very well for any WW1/Interwar and they could be used for early WW2 gaming as well if you so wished, particularly if it was a primarily infantry game you were playing.

The rules have been in beta testing for over two years, and I think the end result is really good!

The rules are simple and quick but produce a "realistic" result in combat. Now my view is slightly biased as I have contributed to the rules (albeit to a modest degree) and am therefore not exactly impartial. However I heartily recommend these rules if you are looking for a nice and simple skirmish set which is easy to learn and play.

Instead of a traditional "you go I go" turn system the rules utilise playing cards to determine who has the initiative. Cards are dished out with one for each unit, and a spare. You then place your cards face down on the table next to your units, and everyone turns them over at the same time. The highest card then goes first until everyone had moved, and the same order is then used for shooting. This gives a good balance of unpredictability in combat meaning that you cannot be certain when you place your cards that you are going to be able to shoot before your unit is shot at.

Units usually comprise of 3 sections of 10 men (1 to 1 ratio) with a HQ Section and support weapons and or vehicles. In the past the guys and I have used these rules at big games with 3 to 6 players on one table all fielding a platoon or more each. Equally I have used the rules to fight very small engagements, splitting my sections in half so 2 squads of 10 become 4 squads of 5 men and so forth.

Shooting mechanics utilise the trusty D10 with units having a "to beat" score for shooting so if two units of regulars are in the open in a field shooting at each other with no cover between the two, you would roll a D10 for every rifle and have to equal or beat a certain score to hit, wounds are then rolled for on a D6 with similarly simple results. Special rules for medics etc then come into play to negate any wounds.

If there is cover between the units, or one unit is in trenches the amount you have to get on the D10 goes up, making the chance of hitting smaller. This is a simple but effective mechanic making entrenched troops difficult, but not impossible to shift.

At the back of the book  there are some random events cards which can be photocopied and used in your games. Again a simple mechanic of rolling a dice and on a certain dice a card is drawn. Some are good for you giving a unit or your side a boost or allowing you to somehow cripple your enemy, others are bad for you, such as reducing your sides effectiveness somehow. Others are more neutral and effect both sides equally. These are also nicely VBCW themed with names such as Mad Dogs and Englishment, Teabreak and my nemesis "There's a Bug that's going around", those that know me will know that I almost always pull this card which slowly kills of your forces as a result of a bout of the cold. The random events are not compulsory, and can be disregarded if you so wish, but they add a nice bit of random fun to games, and few of the cards are so debilitating so as to cripple your plans.

I've posted a couple of pictures below of the insides of the book to give you a feel for how the rules themselves are presented. They come from Solway Crafts and Miniatures as a printed A5 booklet. Refreshingly light, and sticking to just the rules the book is nicely presented with Mr Barfield's lovely illustrations, and photographs of suitable VBCW miniatures.

If you are looking for fast, simple Skirmish rules which produce a realistic and believable result to combat I really recommend these. I believe they are available now from Solway for the princely sum of £10 including postage. They will also be available from any shows which Solway attend this year and I believe "Under the Bed Enterprises carry them at games for Solway as well as the other VBCW source books.

If you are curious about the rules and are in the Newark area on Sunday 2nd June 2013 why not come along to Partizan at Kelham Hall. Myself, Pete Barfield, Ook, and Mort as well as others from the Very British Civil Forum will be putting on a VBCW 1938 game using these very rules.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

6mm British Army

I have just finished the first bit of this, literally, little project. I have long had an interest in having a go at something in 6mm so I decided to take the plunge and picked up enough bits to make my first Battalion. The scale is one stand of 4 infantry figures is a single platoon, so 4 stands is a company (3 platoons, and company command).

This is my first ever foray into 6mm and it was a pleasant diversion, I tried to make the Company HQ stands as little Diorama's by including a vehicle on the stand, and I'm pleased with the result. I might repaint the vehicles as I'm not sure if I like the camo pattern on the canvas back or not.

I still need to complete the support elements of the Battalion such as the HQ Group, Carriers, vehicles, mortars etc but this is the bulk of the Battalion completed.

My very long term plans is to complete the 51st Highland Infantry Division as they stood in 1939/40 in this scale. This lot will be the 2nd Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders which was one of three Battalions which made up one of the Divisions 3 Brigades. So lots still to do, and that doesn't even include all the support units, like arty etc.

Some close ups below.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Super Bean

Sorry to continue to bombard your reading lists with the wife's work but she created the above digital art yesterday evening (just because she was bored) and I thinks its really funny. I'm now trying to convince her to get it printed on some T-Shirts so I can wear it!

Just a little glimpse into my wife and I's slightly odd marriage.

Back to usual war gaming programming next as I have just about finished a small project.