Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Napoleonics Rebasing Recap

My hobby focus has been a bit scattered this year, but for a while I was going gangbusters rebasing a collection of 6mm Napoleonics figures I purchased last winter.   Then I hit the French infantry and I kind of lost my nerve in figuring out how I was going to arrange them.  I need to get back on that horse.  

So, mostly for the Vis Lardica challenge, but also to motivate myself, here’s a recap of what I got done this year.  Incidentally, the rebasing is for the Polemos General de Division system.  

103 French cavalry figures on 14 stands.


3 light and 1 heavy French cannon.

38 Austrian cavalry on 6 stands..

7 heavy and 3 light Austrian cannon.

A whole mess of Austrian infantry - say on average 18 figures per stand on 51 stands - let’s say 900 figures.





By this time, I want to have gotten all these fellows and their unbiased brethren in a game or two.

I think this is my last post here for this year.  I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year, and blessings to your brushes and die rolls.


Monday, December 29, 2014

More 15mm Soviets For My Year End Totals

Glory to the little miniatures representing the Red Army!

Here’s another completed project as 2014 draws to a close.   Here are 81 figures (65 infantry plus 16 crew for various heavy weapons) for a substantial reinforcement to my 15mm Soviet WW2 army. I’ve been working on these fellows on and off throughout December and it’s possibly the largest batch of figures I’ve done at one time.  Very satisfying when completed.  The figures are mostly Plastic Soldier Company with a handful of Peter Pig and Battlefront thrown in.  All were done using the speed painting technique I’ve described earlier, using a base of Vallejo German Panzer Yellow applied by airbrush which becomes the tunic, and other colours applied for trousers, weapons, webbing, etc, and all finished with Army Painter dip.

Technically I shouldn’t be showing these pictures, as some of these figures (I won’t say which ones) are eligible for the Analogue Hobbies Challenge, and others were painted before the deadline, but I want to include the lot in the VisLardica challenge totals, so here we go.  Curt, pray forgive me.

Heavy weapons detachment - all figures and weapons are from one of the four sprues in the PSC Russian Heavy Weapons box.  A sprue gives you one heavy, one medium and one light mortar, a Maxim MMG, and a moving and firing anti-tank rifle - the number two figure for the moving ATR comes from the PSC infantry box.  I need to get the rest of these guys done for some more firepower.

Battlefront metal castings, kindly given to me by blogger Chris Stoesen a year or so back.  They don’t mix quite so well with the PSC and Peter Pig figures, so for the most part I kept them on their own bases.  The bases are 4Ground’s line of bases cut to Flames of War standard sizes, which is what the rest of my WW2 collection is based on.

PSC and Peter Pig figures mixed together - quite compatible, I think.

SMG armed troops.  I need to paint up a few more and I’ll have a complete SMG platoon, useful in close quarters work.  The leader on the small base at the front with hand raised is a BF figure.


These fellows had their debut on Saturday night in the battle of Turnipograd, at my mate James Manto's (aka Rabbitman) place.  This was in between him stuffing me with trifle, turkey sandwiches, ginger bread pudding, and delicious stout.  You can read his AAR here, and also see me in my very cool “I Heart CCCP” Tshirt, worn to honour my glorious Red Army soldiers.  Below you can see the opening stages of the meeting engagement, as the Soviets push into Turnipograd (The Turnip Capital of Belorussia) from the bottom and the evil fascist kitten eaters from the top.  The buildings are mine, a mix of 4Ground and Paper Terrain, also making their wargaming debut.  I have quite a few more Paper Terrain buildings to finish, from their Southern Russian Village set.



As the Germans were threatening my understrength HQ platoon in the large building, I ordered Lt. Nobsky’s platoon to make a glorious charge to oust the invaders.  Sadly, the attach was thrown back, and many posthumous martyrs of the People were made that day, but they did inflict enough casualties to check the German advance.


My T34s (also PSC models) advance on a platoon of PzIVs, and are doing some damage, just before a zug of Marders (visible top left) announce themselves.  The T34s were commanded by Comrade Mikey Barratt. 


Comrade Mikey drives off the Marders, but between their fire and the Panzer IVs, he gets messed up badly while revealing his hand too slowly.  It would have been better if the whole Soviet tank company had advanced and fired together.  I must have Comrade Mikey shot.  Some of the T34s in this shot were painted earlier this year, and some will be in a forthcoming Analogue Painting Challenge entry, but again I won’t say which ones.

It wasn’t a very serious fight but it was fun to get these figures on the table.  


These figures bring my 2014 totals to:

28mm Mounted: 13, 28mm Foot: 85, 28mm Artillery: 2; 28mm terrain pieces: 10 (counting that woods base from a recent post).

20mm Foot: 33, 20mm Artillery: 2, 20mm Vehicles: 2, 20mm Terrain Pieces: 2

15mm Vehicles: 7, 15mm Foot: 119, 15mm Terrain Pieces: 3

6mm Foot:  120, 6mm vehicles: 4, 6mm Terrain Pieces: 2

Kilometres Run: 1100

Thesis Pages Written:  24

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Peter Pig 15mm Fleeing Civilians

In my last post I showed off some of the good things I received from friends as gifts.  Part of the pleasure of Christmas is also giving, and as part of the Santa Clause project, I got a recipient who wanted some of the refugee models done by Peter Pig.  These castings might be suitable for any year of the Second World War and almost any setting.   I choose a pack with a pair of men pushing handcarts and eight walking civilians, a gentleman with two suitcases, a mother holding an infant, and a mother holding the hand of a young child.  Here are they are fleeing as German forces advance  - perhaps we are somewhere near Arnhem judging by that Tiger1 in the background?

 The handcart models are quite cleverly done.  You get two different loads, the wheels are separate to the body, and with a little drilling with a pin vice the handles of the cart go through the hands of the chap pushing it.  I did one in red to suggest that it was taken to the town market or perhaps pushed around by a street vendor, and the other one as a working farm cart.

 Bases are by 4Ground, with just a little flocking.

 My priming work obscured a little of the detail on some of the faces, I hope the recipient won’t hold that against me.  The last base reminds me of the final scene of A Bridge Two Far, where Lawrence Olivier and Liv Ullman and her children are moving through an empty countryside as the final credits start to roll.



So as the year ends, I will count these as 12 15mm foot figures and 2 15mm vehicles, for my own totals and for the VisLardica painting challenge.  They won’t count for the Analogue challenge, but that doesn’t worry me, I’m not overly invested in that project, and am merely content that I got these figures to their new home by Christmas.

I have a few more projects I think I can get done before the end of the year.  Blessings to your brushes!

These figures bring my 2014 totals to:

28mm Mounted: 13, 28mm Foot: 85, 28mm Artillery: 2; 28mm terrain pieces: 10 (counting that woods base from a recent post).

20mm Foot: 33, 20mm Artillery: 2, 20mm Vehicles: 2, 20mm Terrain Pieces: 2

15mm Vehicles: 7, 15mm Foot: 38, 15mm Terrain Pieces: 3

6mm Foot:  120, 6mm vehicles: 4, 6mm Terrain Pieces: 2

Kilometres Run: 1095

Thesis Pages Written:  24

Friday, December 26, 2014

Much to Be Thankful For

I have a lot to be grateful for this Christmas, and as part of that, I want to tell you the story of three people, members of our wargaming community, who were very kind to me.

First, several years ago, Paul Foster of Plastic Warriors very kindly represented me in miniature based on a photo of me from an army route march.  I had coveted that figure for some time and Paul very decently sent it to me just in time for Christmas.  Thanks, Paul, I shall treasure him and find an appropriate way of basing him for display.


Pat G, who played Germany so ably and entertainingly in the recent game of Diplomacy by blog run here, very kindly sent me some figures for Christmas.  I had asked if he knew of a figure to represent Miss Amelia Roosevelt, all-American Girl Reporter of the Gilded Age, and Paul very kindly sent me this RAFM Call of Cuthulu lady investigator, who will do nicely for Miss Amelia should she appear in my Weird War Two campaign or some other pulp project.


Also in Pat’s gift was this very energetic, youthful and trim-figured young priest (a dead ringer for me, really) who might do well for Tristram Mercer or perhaps one of his clerical colleagues from the Church of England’s E-Team.  


And finally, another RAFM pulp chap, who is holding some sort of futuristic weapon and looking quite dapper.   Perhaps he’ll be one of the technical boffins from Project Alice?

Thank you Pat.  My fondest hope now is that the CAF posts me to Ottawa in the new year so you and I can game with these figures.  You’re very kind, sir.


AS if this generosity wasn’t more than sufficient for one Christmas, I had been waiting for a very tense and suspenseful week to open a package from Germany, thanks to Stefan, the proprietor of the Monty’s Caravan blog.  Stefan was a participant in the Santa Clause project, and drew my name.  The idea behind Santa Clause is to research the blog of the person whose name you draw, and then buy and paint a fairly inexpensive figure that you think, based on your research, the recipient will like.  I have to say, Stefan nailed it.  Inside his package, carefully wrapped, was this figure, a 28mm 18th century civilian chaplain, one of the figures from Germany’s excellent Black Hussar Miniatures Prussian line.  Not only that, but Stefan included two very special bases, one with two slots for dice, and another with a moveable dial going from 1-12.  These bases will be very useful for keeping tack of morale, army cohesion, initiative, turns played, or whatever I decide to do with them.  Stefan, my friend, you are a kind and gifted man, and I do hope to repay your kindness one day and to thank you in person when I visit your part of Germany and you show me where the good pubs in Dusseldorf are.

A sermon on the sin of gambling, with giant dice as sermon illustrations.  With the gray hair (well, powdered wig) and blue eyes, he rather looks like me!

Brethern, let your life be free of dice, as this base is free.


With twelve numbers displayed on this base, I could perhaps turn it randomly and choose one of twelve sermons to read to my opponent before the start of a game, or perhaps read to him while he is making difficult tactical decisions.   :)


The two padres together.  Now I have an 18th century avatar and a modern avatar, so I can represent myself in two different periods in two different scales.  Cool!


This was also under the tree, from me to me.  Mrs. Padre says I’m hard to buy gifts for.  Strange, I don’t have that problem.

I hope you all had good things under your Christmas trees, and that you are as blessed with kind friends in this hobby as I evidently am.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas From Santa Viking

Here in my part of Canada it’s still five minutes to Christmas at midnight.   I wish all of you kind enough to read this blog a blessed and joyous Christmas, and wish you your loved ones all manner of blessings for the year to come.

Hopefully you wake soon to good things under the tree, because if you’ve been bad, this version of Santa is going to do a lot worse than just leave coal in your stocking!

Cheers,  Michael


Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Beautiful Mind In A Terrible Place: Weird War Two Character Alistair Kitchings

This fellow was an entry in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge V and I promised when I posted him there that I’d provide a bit of fluff for his backstory.   He’s an Artizan sculpt, and a very fine one, from their Cadd’s Commandos set, which makes him sound like a bit of a rotter.  He’s decidedly non-regulation, shockingly long hair, a rather civvie looking scarf, no cap or beret, and the Webley in one hand and the bottle of champagne in the other suggests either a looter or someone who’s a bit unstable and possibly dangerous.  The Artizan catalogue describes him as “Captain Withnail” which suggests the film that I’ve never seen.

I gave him an officer’s British Warm overcoat, somewhat muddied, and painted the scarf in the colours of Trinity College, Cambridge, since I had an idea that my the Allied Force for my Weird War Two campaign needed a resident scientist and Trinity is famous for its science faculty.  So he’s Alistair Kitchings, a brilliant young physicist who finds himself in a world his research never prepared him for.   Possibly tedious fluff follows.  If nothing else, these sorts of posts help me sort out plot points that I may write up later.

Some years before the war, Kitchings got into a conversation with some fellow dons over whether it was possible to prove the existence of the supernatural.  That led him to write a paper speculating on alternate realities and dimensions that might be connected in some way to earthly reality.   The paper was entirely hypothetical, and done as a bit of a lark, simply to prove an intellectual argument made in the common room.  As a sceptic and non-believer, he was just interested in the mathematics of it, and was satisfied when it was published in a small journal dedicated to arcane theoretical physics, providing a pleasing bump to his career.   When the war came along he was working on particle physics, and was in touch with a team of emigre scientists now working in American universities.   There were rumours of a new US research project, and when the War Office called, Kitchings was expecting to be sent to the US to join his colleagues.  Imagine his surprise when he was told that he was being “recruited” as an expert in the occult.  He tore up the letter in anger, suddenly remembering the article, and forgot about it until three days later, when two burly detectives arrived at Cambridge and told him he had half an hour to pack and come with them.

In the year since, Kitchings has found himself in the secretive world of Project Alice, and is confronted regularly with evidence of things he wants to refuse to believe in.  His job is to conduct analysis of supernatural phenomenon, and to try and determine whether science and reason can provide explanations, and perhaps weapons, to fight this new menace.  However, since there is clearly a theological part to all of those - the undead, pure evil, etc - he has to work with concepts and people that he despises.   This will make Kitchings an excellent foil for Major the Rev’d Tristram Mercer, Project Alice’s senior clergyman and religious adviser.   I expect the two to be thrown together in several situations with some excellent opportunities for banter and debate.   

Since Kitchings regards himself as a prisoner, sworn to secrecy, cut off from academia, and unable to leave Project Alice until the war’s over, he’s a bit of a rebel.  He often wears his Trinity College scarf to show what he considers his true identity and to annoy the military types in Project Alice.  To manage the strain of dealing with things he would rather refuse to believe in, he’s also a bit of a functional alcoholic, and will grab a drink whenever he can, hence the champagne bottle.   Fortunately, the head of Project Alice, Brigadier McAllister, recognizes Kitchings’ brilliance and tolerates his behaviour, provided he gets the job done, and has appointed Fr. Mercer as a minder for the rebellious don.

I hope that if you don’t care for the fluff, you like the mini.  Thanks for looking, and blessings to your brushes!


These figures bring my 2014 totals to:

28mm Mounted: 13, 28mm Foot: 85, 28mm Artillery: 2; 28mm terrain pieces: 10 (counting that woods base from a recent post).

20mm Foot: 33, 20mm Artillery: 2, 20mm Vehicles: 2, 20mm Terrain Pieces: 2

15mm Vehicles: 5, 15mm Foot: 26, 15mm Terrain Pieces: 3

6mm Foot:  120, 6mm vehicles: 4, 6mm Terrain Pieces: 2

Kilometres Run: 1,086

Thesis Pages Written:  24

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Commando Company Coming for Christmas

Well, not a company.  More like an understrength platoon, but that doesn’t alliterate so pleasingly.

With the old year drawing to a close, I can boost my painting totals a bit with twenty 28mm WW2 commandos for my Weird War Two project, a mix of Artizan metal and Warlord plastic sculpts.

The Artizan sculpts comprised my first entry this Thursday for the Analogue Painting Challenge V.  I stayed out of APC IV but decided this would be a good way to motivate myself to get some work done.  The Artizan figures were the first I’ve painted from that company, and were a treat to do.  Very crisp, dynamic figures, with just a touch of cartoony exaggeration.  Perfect for the pulp gaming I have in mind.

Artizan NCOs and Bren gunner.  I used the commando patch and rank stripe decals from the Warlord plastics box, fairly easy to put on.

Artizan riflemen.  Given what’s facing them in the near future, they may wish to fix bayonets.

Practising all-round defence to face unnameable horrors.

I had a Great War Miniatures sniper left over from their British Characters pack, and I figured he would work well as part of this team.

In fact, I rather prefer his stocking cap to the berets that the rest of my commandos are sculpted in.  To my mind the berets and regulation battledress and webbing look a little too late war for my tastes, as opposed to the images of early war commandos that have a desperate, rather improvised look about them.

And here are some of the Warlord figures.  I found it quite a chore to assemble these guys.  There are so many parts that I had trouble visualizing where arms and weapons should be in relation to the torso, so some of them look like they are handling their weapons rather strangely.  I originally assembled them in 2013 before my last military move, and ran into trouble when I was priming them with Army Painter White Spray.  For some reason some of the figures reacted poorly, and the spray went on in globs, obscuring some of the detail.  I even had to discard a few figures, something I almost never do.  So, since I was working on the Artizan figures, I decided I should pull the Warlord guys out and bite the bullet.  They didm’t turn out so badly after all

More Warlord figures.  The chap second from right has a broken rifle - the plastic of the weapons is thin and easily bent/broken.  I shall need to fix or replace it.

Some of the Artizan figures are sculpted with bergens.  The Warlord set gives you the option to add bergens, which I did, so with that rope they look ready to tromp through the mountains and scale a cliff or two.  I realized late in the day that the replica commando bergens I saw online were a dark green with tan straps and sewn edging along the tan flap.  For the most part I was using Vallejo Khaki for the webbing and bergens, but was able to make some a little more green with VJ Russian Uniform.


Not that the Warlord figures are terrible.   While the weapons are a little flimsy, they seem a little more accurate than the Artian ones.  In this comparison shot of two Bren gunners, I think the Warlord figure on the left has the more accurate looking weapon.

The Warlord figures also have the merit of allowing you to choose which weapons you’ll kit them out with.  I choose to put a knife in this fellow’s hand for the ever-popular silencing the sentry scene, though it looks more like an American bowie knife than the Fairbairn Sykes commando dagger.

Major Macallan, the Laird of Kinch, welcomes the new lads to S Commando and tells them it’s going to get jolly interesting.   If they think they’re trained and ready now, they’ll soon think again once they go trough the S Commando indoc course. Then he’ll find out how tough this supposedly tough men really are.


Class shot of all the figures I’ve completed since 2012 for the Allied contingent of my Weird War Two project.  If you are new to the blog and are curious, check out the Weird War Two labelled postings for the background.  This eclectic group includes a ghost, an undercover agent posing as an Oktoberfest fraulein, a padre, a disgraced Oxford don with a heart of gold, a Canadian cowboy and his cowgirl wife, a ruthless Resistance leader, and assorted other characters.   I predict that we’ll meet more characters in 2015 and maybe even see some gaming, though there is lots to think out still.




Thanks for looking!  Blessings to your brushes!  MP+

These figures bring my 2014 totals to:

28mm Mounted: 13, 28mm Foot: 84, 28mm Artillery: 2; 28mm terrain pieces: 10 (counting that woods base from a recent post).

20mm Foot: 33, 20mm Artillery: 2, 20mm Vehicles: 2, 20mm Terrain Pieces: 2

15mm Vehicles: 5, 15mm Foot: 26, 15mm Terrain Pieces: 3

6mm Foot:  120, 6mm vehicles: 4, 6mm Terrain Pieces: 2

Kilometres Run: 1,086

Thesis Pages Written:  24

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