Sunday, March 30, 2014

Writing and not much else

Well not much has been going on hobby wise. I have managed to paint nothing. Not one single thing. No terrain, no miniatures, no nothing. It is all rather depressing.

But I have not been idle. First I have managed to do some more research on the Anglo-Zulu War. That is at least profitable. Second, I have been tinkering around with a novel. I have no idea why but the idea grabbed me for a Steampunkesque novel based on the crew of an airship in the 1880s. It is an alternative history where the Confederacy was able to achieve independence due to an alliance with England in 1864. The Confederacy enters into a treaty with Spain and supports them in the Caribbean against an expansionist Prussian Empire looking to add a colony or two at Spain's expense.

The novel is about 10,000 words into it so far. It has no bearing on anything else I have been doing. It was just something that got my imagination going for a bit and I have run with over the weekend. A couple more days and I might have something to share with some friends to see if I have something interesting on my hands.

Anyway, that is what has been going on here. Till next time.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Catch Up Post for the Weekend


Two new folks have signed up since I last looked. Welcome chaps! It is great to have you here. First up is the Mad Tin Hatter. He runs a blog called Mad Tin Hatter!. I just started following his blog and he has some interesting WWII stuff going on.

Next up is The Lord of Excess. He is the author of no less than 5 blogs. How on earth do you have the time?

Then there is Giles Allison. I could not find any links to blogs you write. Let me know and I will post a link.

Thanks for following folks.


I took the plunge into the Anglo-Zulu War a few months ago. I did a purchase of the offerings from Pendraken as a starting point. I immediately painted up a few figures then came to a screeching halt when I had no clue how i wanted to base them.

I want to play these as a one off of the TooFatLardies product Terrible Sharp Sword. My thought was that I really needed a feel of the scale of the combat and that is why I went for 10mm minis. I settled on the following as my basing method. (Excuse the mounted Romano-British mounted champion. He needed to be finished as well and while I was basing, he got done too.

Now, I had run out of pumice gel that I normally use for basing. i needed an alternative. Rummaging through the garage, I pulled out a tub of spackle. I thought about it for a minute and decided to give it a go. Using spare FOW small biscuit bases, away I went. Once that dried, I used some Woodland Scenics ground paint I painted over the base then flocked it once that was dry. With the pumice gel, I typically drybursh some lighter colors over the ground as well. I am not sure how well that would work with the much smoother spackle. I am thinking of trying to mix a bit of sand in the spackle to give it a bit of texture to it. Just not sure.

Here you see the front view of the two I just based as above and the extra 15mm mounted figure.

Again, the same figures from the side.

What I really want out of 10mm is to have big masses of troops to move around. So what would a Zulu Regiment start to look like with this project? Not sure yet. I have not painted enough. But anyway, here are three bases of Zulus together - two stands of unmarried and one of married.

I still have several more Zulus with knobkerries to paint (more married troops) and several skirmishers (not sure how I want to deal with those yet either). They paint quickly, even for me. Hopefully, I can get the rest of the pack done before ordering more metal. I am thinking of needing at least 5 bases per regiment. Each base with 3 to 4 figures per stand.

I also managed to paint up my Impi commander and one regimental commander as well. They still need basing.

Game Day

On March 22nd, I managed to run over to Alan's place in Minnesota and get in my first game of Savage Worlds. The game was set using the cast of Pirates of the Carribean but with others.

I was given command of a group of Pirates under the command of Captain Barbossa. The pirates had two pistols, a rifle and a nock volley gun.

Next up was a Royal Navy landing party (Alan's group) that had a naval officer and 8 marines. Next up was another group of pirates under the command of Jack Sparrow and ... oh, I forgot the female lead's name. They had a swivel gun and two other pirate goons. Next up to bat was a third pirate group. Lead by a generic captain and his six man crew. The next group was a surprise, Queen Elizabeth and five members of her guard. The last group was Solomon Kane and a monk and the carrier of the Holy Handgrenade of Antioch.

The game was great fun. The generic pirates managed to burn three buildings and nearly wiped out my leader. I left the game with only Captain Barbossa left. Solomon Kane is nearly impossible to kill. I did manage to wipe out the monk and the holder of the Holy Hand Grenade.

The Game started with my forces behind the bottom left building. Jack Sparrow & company began near my folks on the road and made a beeline towards the bridge. The Royal Navy contingent began at the top left. The Royal Navy headed straight for Sparrow's crew and formed up to engage them near the Church. They pinned the marines and Sparrow's swivel gun took out a bunch of them.

The Generic pirates entered from the top by the river and crossed it and entered the church. The broke into the church to begin looting it. The Royal Navy boys moved to the front door of the Church in time for the Pirate Leader to drop a grenadoe on top of them killing the remaining marines to a man. With only the Naval Captain left, they were ignorable for nearly the rest of the game.

The pirates investigated the basement and discovered a bunch of zombies and proptly set the church on fire as they abandoned it. They ran across the street and into a tavern. The burning zombies followed setting the tavern on fire. The pirates killed off most of the zombies before exiting.

In the mean time, Solomon Kane and the queen's forces pushed to the bridge. My forces managed to capture a drunk (mistaken for Will whats's his name). Will jumped out of the burning tavern with a barrel of rum. My boys tackled him as well when Solomon Kane arrived. thinking quickly and talking faster, I produced a document showing that I was aligned with the Royal Navy to arrest Will. The document fell from my hands and Solomon Kane's boys jumped me while Kane dispatched a pair of my pirates. (Unfair I tell you!) :)

The monk had knocked Barbossa to the ground. Barbossa responded by getting up and shooting the Monk in the face. Barbossa promptly ran for it. His remaining pirate in the brawl, shot the barrel of rum exploding it and knocking down everyone. Nearly got Kane, Will, Jack Sparrow. Did kill the man holding the Holy Hand Grenade and caught the body on fire. The grenade would later blow up and again injure Kane. My volley gun pirate then promptly shot Kane in the back with all barrels of the gun. AND MISSED! @#$%&^##$%!

Then the generic pirates captured Barbossa. Barbossa lied with a great story about the chest of gold he needed their help in fetching out of the nearby house. Instead they attempted to kill him and my remaining pirate. They failed and set another house on fire. All fled with my remaining pirate on fire. Barbossa got away clean. The Generic Pirate was the winner in my opinion. He burned 3 buildings and kept all of his people even though one managed to get caught on fire.

The queen's forces, somewhere in there, managed to fight off some deep ones that jumped out of the river and attacked. The chick from the Pirates movies had led Sparrow's crew across the river and discovered some folks from Bedlam. Then discovered more zombies. I think they all lived.

Solomon Kane, Myself and Alan's Naval personel were the big loosers. Potentially Jack Sparrow won as they had Will at the end. No one came away with any loot. Nothing was protected. Half the town was burned. But we all won in this six player game since we all had great fun.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy Day, I get to Play

Ordinarily business travel is more of a chore than a joy. This trip was more chore than joy but if there is a silver lining, it is getting to meet old friends. First, it was those from my customer of 10+ years. Next it will be getting to meet up with Alan and his gaming crew at his house on Saturday. Alan is always a gracious host and puts on a fun game.

But today, other than sleep deprivation from a nearly all night meeting, I managed to get some fun in. I visited Minneapolis' own The Source Comics and Games. Sorry that there is no pictures. I got slack. The Source is my idea of an ideal gaming shop. First, the place is huge. It has tons of Historicals from rules to miniatures. They cover many periods in several scales. Most important for me, they have LOADS of 15mm stuff.

They carry much of the Peter Pig lines. Unfortunately, the specific packs I was looking for, they did not have. They also do not carry the Viking range yet, so my Saxon fleet is still just one craft. :(

What they did have was a surprising find. Having limited funds on this shopping excursion, I was going to stick to my list. No matter what. Unless I can't find what I want. Then, trouble ensues. After combing the PBI and AK47 ranges for the desired packs and coming up empty handed, I let my eyes wander across the Old Glory ancients lines. Maybe they would have some Roman Auxiliaries. Instead, I nearly ended up buying a pack of Canaanites. Using every last bit of self control that I could muster, I put the biblicals back. Then I spotted something that ended up following me home. Dux Brit will have the Raiders supplement in just a few short days. What does every skirmish game need? Casualties and civilians. Well Old Glory does not do casualties but they do have civilians. This was actually news to me. I grabbed DC2 Dark Ages Camp Set. This set comes with a rather nice ox cart, 2 drivers and several man and women civilians. The pack I got had several bubbles in the lead on closer inspection but nothing too bad. There is also baggage and two tents. I am not wild about the tents but the miniatures will go very nicely with my Dux project.

I also picked up some paints that I needed to get a few DAK painted up for Chain of Command. All in all, it was a good day.

Adrift Among a Sea of Projects

Hobby wise, nothing has happened in the past week. With work, lately I have had little time for painting and definitely nothing for gaming. I have only managed to glue some foliage together. And I did not even complete that. Hopefully things will start looking up next week.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday Lack of Painting Table

Well, it has been a quiet painting week. The painting table has been temporarily relocated to the garage so my update is more of a lack of an update for two weeks in a row.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Toys

I just received my German DAK from Jason.

These are nicely painted figures that will be great for Chain of command. Just need a few more riflemen and I am all set.

Progress on tmy Anglo-Zulu War Project or My Return to my Lebanon Project

Best Intentions

What began an attempt to duplicate the instructions offered on the Architects of War website for how to make forests took a turn. I have the canopy well started. I managed to cut it to shape and since I did not have a black piece of foam core, I pained the foamcore. Of course it warped when I had painted the first side. A heavy coat on the reverse side did nto help but just bent the board in new directions. So off to the garrage to place something heavy on top of it for a while.

Well there I was next to the games cabinet and started thinking. Always a dangerous proposition. So instead of finishing up my Zulus, I dragged out my forces for the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon (1982).


I looked at what I had ready to go and was pleasantly surprised. My Israelis were in good shape. I have enough troops for either a Regular infantry platoon or a reservist platoon. For transport, I have three Old Glory M113 carriers and a command track that is one of the Peter Pig Zelda's with the Toga armor. For armor support, I have a Magach 5 that started life as a Old Glory M48. I had made applique armor for it and it looks servicable. All ready to go to the table top. But there was more. There was the makings of two other squads there. I had painted up a bunch of extra infantry back at one point. I have enough Isrealis with M16s for another squad and spare Peter Pig troops for an additional squad.

Then I looked at the unpainted pile of lead. There is a M113 mortar carrier that I have no clue what to do with in a skirmish game. Objective or something? No idea. But the useful piece of kit was a Nagma Sho't carrier. It is basically a Centurion with no turret and four machineguns. It was a very successful personel carrier design used in Lebanon.

That lead me to think of what was missing. The most notable, to me anyway, was the lack of Israeli figures with a 203. There is supposed to be one per squad. I could try to scratch build it of course. But the way the front hand is on all of the soldiers carrying a Galil, I would have to file off part of the hand or their hand would be under the 203. Peter Pig does not make Israelis with 203s. They have Modern Marines with them though. That means I would have to attempt a headswap. That is a task that I do not like doing in 15mm. I have done it several times and the result has never been pretty. I guess it is time to break out the file. Strange that neitehr Peter Pig nor QRF do these as there was a 203 gunner in every squad (both regular and reservist) in Lebanon.

Next up was armor. The Merkava tank is just cool looking. I have never gotten around to getting one. That needs to get on the to do list. QRF and Quality Castings both do them. QRF's is the Mk I model while QC is the Mk II. I also want an M109A3 self propelled gun. Granted that the M109A3 is nearly useless for skirmish games, I have an interest in the vehicle. Mainly because when I was in college, my Dad did the Sar-El program. Having helped a friend of his take apart and repair a deisel Volkswagen Bug, he believed he was a qualified deisel engine mechanic and convinced the Israeli army of the same. I received pictures at school of my Dad working on the engine deck of 109s in the Negev. I just hope he did more good than harm. For the last few years of his life, he just loved to tell stories about that summer. Still makes me smile thinking about it.

Did I mention that I wanted Israelis with a 203? Oh, I guess I did. Well lastly for the Israelis, I need casulaty figures. Fortunately, Peter Pig has these guys.


Then once I had looked at the Israelis, I just had to jump into the drawer of PLO and Syrians. Again, another treasure trove.

Recently, I had been gifted some of the new 15mm Khurasan miniatures of their Syrian infantry. (Thanks Jon!) As I looked at them, I thought they would make a great commando squad that caused the Israeli armor so much fits.

I have all of the miniatures that I need for a Motor Rifle Platoon with BTR60PBs to mount them in. The paint jobs on the BTR60s was a bit bland and probably could use a little update. I also noted I am just one RPG figure away from having all of the needed figures to field a Armored Infantry Platoon. They are nearly the same organization but have less guys with AKs and an extra RPG guy. But what about their vehicles? Sure enough, there were 3 unpainted and unassembled Old Glory BMP-1s right there in the drawer. Sitting on my painting table was some super glue and a few minutes of work and I have 3 assembled BMP-1s.

Great, this is looking good. But what about the designated Marksmen? Each squad is suppoesed to sport a designated markman hauling a Dragunov rifle. Well, I did not have one of those. I honestly am not sure if the Syrians had enough to equip all of their squads or not. Then there is the Sagger team for the Motor Rifle Platoon. I have some prone guys from QRF that are tinkering with something that I think is supposed to be a Sagger. I may pull the Sagger from one of the BMP-1s and use it there instead of the awkward looking sticks that came with the figure.

For my Syrian armor, I have a nice Old Glory T55 that I had painted up years ago. I thought it was great. Then, for Christmas, I received Santa (Thanks Fran) a marvelous Peter Pig wrecked T55. Aw man! The wrecked one looks better than my one in working shape.

I want to beef up my Syrian armor. I think a T-62 would be a good addition. That and two more T-55s. That and I need more casualty figures. Always more casualty figures.


The PLO are another kettle of fish all together. I have a squad worth of them painted up and ready for the table. The job I did on their head scarves are not great but passable. I have two more packs of these guys unopened. I would love to get one of the Peter Pig Toyota Pickup Trucks with the Vehicle mounted MG and crew. That would round out the force rather nicely.

What to do with them?

That is the question. I have gotten in a number of games of Troops, Weapons and Tactics with these figures. I want to give Chain of Command a try.

Looking at the master weapons table, I think the bulk of the infantry weapons are already present in the main rules. From my Rock the Casbah supplement I can calculate out some basics for the armor I have. The changes in Rock the Casbah separate armor values against RPGs as compared to a main gun. It also has separate armor values for ATGM's as well. What it does not have is the HE values for the main weapons on the vehicles. I may try to tinker with this by the weekend.

Here is what I am playing with.

Vehicle AC AP HE Speed Notes
M113 0/0 1* MGsFast Has 4 mounted MGs
M133 Toga 1(2)/1(2)1* MGsFast Has 4 mounted MGs
Magach 5 3(4)/1(2)5 4@Average
Nagma Sho't4(5)/3(4)1* MGsAverageHas no less than 4 MGs
BMP-1 1/0 3/5**3 Fast Coax MG
BTR-60PB 1/0 1 3 AverageCoax MG
T-55 4/1 5 4@ AverageCoax MG
* Is for the 50 cal MG onboard.
** The 3 is for the 73mm main gun and the 5 is for the Sagger ATGM
@ Wild ass guess
Infantry AT Weapons
Weapon 0-6"6-9"9-18"18-24"24-48"HE
RPG-73 3 3 3 - 2
M203 2 2 2 - - 3
Dragon ATGM - - 6 6 6 2
Sagger ATGM - - 5 5 5 2
So much for working on my Anglo-Zulu War project.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In the Name of Roma Updates Completed and Availible

I just sent out an e-mail to all of the purchasers of In the Name of Roma with the instructions on how to download the newest version 2.03. It is mostly just minor changes to formatting and some typos that I discovered while preparing the kindle version.

If you did not get an e-mail from me and you should have, please contact me so I can get the update to you. Providing you want it of course. :)

Speaking of the Kindle version, sales are moving at a glacial pace with 6 copies sold. 4 on and another 2 on Amazon UK. Kindle has some very nice tools to view your sales reports that I am very impressed with. The only real issue with it was converting all of the charts.

Anyway, the Kindle version has 2 reviews so far. If you feel so motivated, please visit the book and post a review on Amazon for me. The link to the book is

Thanks everyone.

Monday, March 10, 2014

More Shapeways

I finally got one of my shapeways Nieuport 10 fighters painted up.  The Nieuport 10 was designed as a 2-seated observation plane that was pressed into service as a fighter by covering over the rear seat. 

I am unhappy with it as the khaki looks too dark to my eyes.  I am just not sure what to do.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Shapeways Aircraft

I just managed to finish off my first of the 1/144th scale aircraft. It is an Austro-Hungarian Fokker Eindecker III aircraft. It is a really nice aircraft. I picked up some decals from I-94 Enterprises and just finished it off.

I still have one more Eindecker left and two Nieuport 10 fighters. Those are underway as well.

Anglo-Zulu War of 1879

In attempting to do some research on the Anglo-Zulu war i stumbled upon a very interesting volume: Hart's Annual Army List, Militia List, and Imperial Yeomanry List.

This is very interesting in that it gives you the names and dates of rank for serving officers including the various engagements that they fought in. It mentions any awards that were awarded to these officers and the campaign that is associated with it. It is a very interesting tool to use for these Victorian Era conflicts.

If you have any interest in the men involved in Victorian Conflicts and are looking to create scenarios, this is a great resource.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Viking/Saxon Longship - Decision Time

Well I have mostly finished the longship. Now, instead of Vikings, this will be ferrying my Early Saxons across to the Saxon Shore for my Dux Britanniarum games..

Peter Pig supplies several different sail options from their website. There are three separate PDFs each with 4 separate sail plans on them. I wanted to go with the more "traditional" red and white striped sails but my printer ran out of ink half way through the page. This set was the better of the two that I did manage to print off. I printed the sails onto card stock and used tacky glue (a thick PVA) to glue the sail together and on the mast.

Here is a side view of the ship.

And a closeup of the steersman for the ship.

All in all, I really like it and I think it came out well. The scoring of the deck and strakes of the hull are rather shallow and did not show the ink wash very well. The shields came out OK. The raven shield came out a little better than I thought it would.

Now for participation time from our studio audience. Should I add rigging to the ship? I am not going to put any other miniatures on this one. With the bases I use, I would have to use something else to even try that. Here is a picture of a rigging diagram that I found at:

Should I try it or just leave well enough alone?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Saturday Painting Table late on a Sunday Night

Very little painting got done this week. I did get in some time working on the Viking Longship. This is a very nice ship to paint. I really am looking forward to picking up the rowed version. I am using this for my Early Saxons so I tried to paint the shields on the side of the ship to match my Saxons. I managed to get a few to match. But some are new.

It still needs a considerable amount of work.

Also still on the table are some dead Italians and my new Ba-10. The Ba-10 is a Zveda kit. It was very fiddly to put together. I could not manage to do the headlamps.

Anyway, things are moving slower than they were before.