Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Brief Update

I just got the shipment confirmation for my order to paint for my Santa Clause. I am actually excited about this. It should be fun to paint even though it is larger than what I normally paint.

The new From Empire to Revolution book did rather well over the weekend. Hopefully it will sell a few more copies before becoming old news.

I have not had the energy to paint a thing. My blood pressure is getting wonky again since I started loosing some weight. Hopefully the doc has me straightened out with some new meds.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Random Thoughts

Well it has been a while since I have put up a post. I have been struggling to figure out what to post since the release of "From Empire to Revolution." It seems to have generated some interest out there which is nice. But you never quite know how well its going over.

I have actually had very little time lately to do any work on hobby stuff. But once again my mind has been wandering off course. I have been toying with trying out Dux Britaniarum for a Lord of the Rings game. There are already folks out there that have made the rule adjustments. I just needed miniatures. Well, a while ago, I won a contest and received a big bag of LOTR plastic orcs. While 28mm is not my scale, I kept these fellows. They have made it out of the cabinet over the weekend for a good look through. I have not taken the plunge yet to paint them but I may be getting closer.

My Romans have been temporarily paused. I just look at them and feel no motivation to paint them. What I am doing is finishing the basing on a number of miniatures that have been just sitting waiting to go so that is time well spent.

I am debating on two different projects for the short term. The first is an ACW campaign using Terrible Sharp Sword. And the second is a WWII Chain of Command campaign set in Normandy. I think I have everything that I need for both at the moment.

Santa Clause is going well. I just ordered the minis that I need to paint up and am waiting on them to show up. Hopefully I picked something that they would like.

My novel is getting some heavy editing. I have hopes of releasing it this year on Amazon. My reviewers are doing a splendid job of fixing my copious errors.

Friday, September 26, 2014

From Empire to Revolution is Released

Rich just let me know that From Empire to Revolution is now up on the TooFatLardies website. Please swing on by and take a look. I am very excited that this is up.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Santa Clause Update

After closing down the list initially, due a request on the TooFatLardies list, I opened up the chance to join over the weekend. We now have a total of 19 Santa Clause participants. I am very excited to see how this goes. We have some very talented painters taking part in this years Santa Clause so we should be in for a treat.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Ballad of Dangerous Dan

Over the weekend I managed to get in some games with my son of Tin Star. It is an under development game that I am part of the playtest group for. The rules are Set in the old west with gangs of 1 to 5 cowboys per side.

My son took on two of my 4 painted Peter Pig Miniatures and we had 3 quick games. We had a great time.

My son had great fun pushing the miniatures around. The rules were simple enough that he could follow them. I will be enjoying these some more and it is motivating me to paint. I need a Mexican Bandito gang next.

From Empire to Revolution - Getting Closer

Rich provided me with a proof on Sunday that I have been attempting to read through and look one more time for my gaffes. I am probably missing a bunch of them but it is looking really good. The maps that Rich did are great. He made some editorial choices that really improved it. I am very excited about this.

There are Sixteen total scenarios. There are several that are rather small with only a couple of squads per side. There are cavalry scenarios (including Cossacks), there are Austro-Hungarian and Russian shock troops and a historical scenario involving the theft of German Beer Trucks.

I am hoping that folks will be willing to give it a try.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Customer Service and Random Morbid Thoughts

Customer Service

Well really it is SUPERIOR customer service. I needed a single PzII Flamm for my early war forces in Chain of Command. I searched and could not find a single manufacturer that did one. I reached out to the Craig at Gaming Models. He also said he did not have one but thought they looked cool and asked how many I needed. My response was a sheepish "I only need one."

This did not daunt him. I received a follow up email that he said he would make it. Today I got another e-mail that it was done! I have sent my money and now anxiously await my new vehicle. The total time from request to finished product was only a couple of weeks. I am impressed. I will post pictures as soon as I can.

Random Morbid Thoughts

In recent days I have been helping a widow deal with her late husband's war gaming collection. This is a privilege to do for her as I really liked her husband and considered him a good friend. I can't even imagine what she is going through. One thing that struck me is that when we make plans for what happens when our day comes, do we make note of what to do with our gaming stuff? I know I have not. My wife would be stuck with cabinets of what she would call junk with no way of knowing what to do with it. Fortunately I have a son who is interested and I have someone who would care for it. But right now he is 6 and things change. Anyway, that was just running around in my head for the past few days.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Santa Clause Update

I am happy to announce I have sent out all of the information to the prospective Santa Clauses out there and I have heard back from many of you. I am very excited about seeing this develop. Thanks to all the participants.

Now to hit the web and see what to find for my target and get cracking.

New Terrain Pieces

I have been given some new toys. They were part of a departed friends estate. I am working out sharing out some of this largess with his friends to the best of my ability. One of the items that was present in the lot was a set of barb wire entanglements.

These are small in that they are only 2 1/2" long each. But there are a number of them. They look pretty good. I am deciding if I should put some flock on them or leave them as is.

This gets me a step closer to finishing off my supports for Chain of Command. I will update those pages again.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Santa Clause

All of the initial e-mails have gone out. Everyone should know who they are painting for now. I am looking forward to seeing how this develops. Alright everyone, lets get cracking.

Santa Clause Update

The Clause is closed. I have almost everything I need. I still need two e-mail addresses and physical addresses.

I need an e-mail and a physical address for Stefan (aka. Monty) and Pendragon Without. Everyone else is good to go. I will put your through a randomizer and assign you your Santa Clause today. Be ready for an email from me shortly. With 14 total participants, this should be great fun. Keep me up to date on what you are doing and how the process is going. I look forward to this Christmas. We have some excellent painters in the mix.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

From Empire to Revolution Update

Rich just sent me the latest proofs of my Mud and Blood supplement. It is looking fantastic. I am so excited to see this starting to really come together. It is getting closer and closer to being published.

So far it has detailed information for the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires. Including Stormtrooper and JadgKommando information. I have details on cavalry formations and the changes to the standard infantry formations throughout the war.

I am anticipating updates on the scenarios over the next couple of weeks. I am hoping that this may launch as early as my birthday (October 7th for those who were wondering and wanting to send presents).

Friday, September 12, 2014

Slow but steady Progress - Dux Romans

I managed to get my next group of 8 Auxiliaries on to bases last night. They still need paint and flocking but are getting close. You can see them in the picture below with the sandy bases.

The centurions are primed and on a painting stick. I still have to prime my shields for them. I also have my next command group and 16 more Auxiliaries on the tray. I really need to order some of the Rebel Auxiliaries in the next few days to bulk up the troops.

I also worked on the watch tower. I added a wooden frame to what will be the 'rock' base of the tower. That went well. I cut up some match sticks and PVA glued them in place. I am still trying to work out how I will do the 'rock' portion. I will probably buy some grout or Spackle and carve the rock shapes into whatever I end up smearing on it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Another Welcome

Digger joins us as follower number 156. He is the owner of the My Mine blog. While it is in Russian, he often posts in both English and Russian. There are some neat posts on his terrain creation and some Russian hardware from what I guess is a nearby museum. Definitely worth a visit. Please stop on by and visit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Welcome to Paul Smith. Paul, I know you have a blog about but i cannot find the link to save myself at the moment. Please let me know what it is again and I will add the link here. I just found the link: http://mythostransmissions.blogspot.co.uk/ Anyway, welcome.

The Centurions Arrive

I just got my order from QRF for my Centurions. Over all, I am pleased with the pack. They all have transverse crests like I wanted. Five of the eight are in chain mail armor. An of the five, three look like they are ready for a fighting formation while two are carrying their vine sticks. So that gives me three usable miniatures out of the pack. I may use one of the vine stick wielding fellows but I am not sure.

Pardon the picture quality. I took it on my desk at work. If anyone is interested in the scale armored fellows and the six shields, I will gladly send them to you for cost of postage.

What they are missing is the phalerae that is worn over their armor. Any centurion should have something there in either gold, silver or bronze. It was held on with leather strapping in a grid pattern. I am not sure if I have the energy to attempt to model this onto the figure. 15mm is kinda small for my fat fingers to make such a small change. I grew rather frustrated trying to mod my padre figure for my Italians in 15mm. I don't think I will try it here.

I plan on getting a pack of the QRF signifers and possibly a pack or two of their auxiliaries as well. That should give me lots of flexibility.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Distractions - Battle of Alligator Bridge June 30, 1778

I am thinking of taking a short departure from my current projects. I just found a good description of the Battle of Alligator Bridge in June 30, 1778. This was an interesting battle that brought to the end any attempts of the Georgia Militia and Colonial forces from taking British Florida. It would be the closest that they would get to Saint Augustine during the war.

It was a battle that Elijah Clarke fought in and was wounded. It was a very unbalanced battle with 700 British Regulars and 100 Provincial troops (Thomas Brown's boys) against about 200 Rebels. It did not go well for the rebels. This would end up as a small campaign series of a few scenarios. It should be fun.

Anyway, I am thinking about it.

CSS Appomattox - Novel and Roman Stuff

Well, I have submitted my book to some folks who are proof reading it. It looks like by the end of the month I might be able to put it up on Amazon. That might be wishful thinking given the notes I received on the first chapter.

I think I mentioned this project once before. It is set close to 1880 in an alternative history where the Confederacy won its independence through the recognition of France and Great Britain. The Confederacy has aligned itself with Spain and is fending off the colonial ambitions of the Germans who are trying to seize Puerto Rico.

I am excited to have this project mostly completed. This puts 2 items close to being published (Mud and Blood supplement that Rich is working on).

Roman Stuff

The tower now has a base that it is resting on. I am trying to figure out how to do the stone work for the base. I will be cutting up some matchsticks to frame it and provide the base for the ladder to reach the door. Next up will be making the tiled roof. I am not sure why I want to go with a tiled roof other than I just want to. I have a plan for how I will go about this. It will be based on round, plastic coffee stirrers. Basically, I plan on cutting them in half long ways. Then over lap them to provide the tile look. Glue the mess together and when it is dry, cutting it in strips and gluing it down. It probably won't work but I have high hopes. I will try to take pictures as I go.

Next up are some more Roman Auxiliaries. The miniatures are done all but for basing and shields. The standing pack of CB roman auxiliaries all came with the shields as part of the miniature. These had the shields separate. I actually like that better. I have the shields painted except for the edges. Then I still need to dip them in my watered Windsor and Newton ink and varnish. The designs are the same as the other Romans but I don't think I had quite as steady a hand this time. I will probably base the miniatures first before finishing off the shields.

I only have 2 more packs of CB auxiliaries left to paint. Both are with swords drawn. They should be at least started before the week is out. I will then have 34 auxiliaries. That is a less than half strength centuria but enough lead to start pushing around the table to see if some of my ideas will work. I will probably get a bag of Rebel minis Auxilia to flesh the centuria out. Any day I should get my QRF centurions.

That is it for this update. Hopefully I will have more soon and with pictures.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Santa Clause Update and Welcome


I just saw that we have another new follower here on the blog. Welcome Robbie3rodiss! Please let me know what your blog address is so I can add it to the post. Thanks for joining.

The Santa Clause

So far we are doing pretty well. Several of you have sent in e-mails rather than posting on the Blog which is perfectly acceptable. So at this point we have six folks signed up. This is only 2 shy of last years numbers for the Santa Clause. But of last year's participants, only three have resigned (including Ian and myself). I figure with a week left to go, this is not too bad. I received the list from Ian on who had who as a Santa Clause. I will try to mix it up this year to make sure we don't have the same arrangement and give everyone something new. I still hope that some of last year's participants will still sign up.

Let me know, Is the time frame too short? Should I extend the deadline for signing up past the 15th? Anyway, I am looking forward to this.

Roman Terrain and a tree

I did manage to get some work done over the weekend. I built a Warbases Roman watch tower. I really like the model. It came together pretty quickly as far as that goes. But once assembled, It struck me that it did not look like the reconstructions that I have seen along the German Limes. Then again, the reconstructions might not have looked like that actual thing either. What I wanted for the look I am going for is having the entry door raised above the ground. Right now, it looks too short to me. So I am adding a block of foam under neath it. This will provide a bit more height to it and allows for a ladder to access the doorway instead of it being on the ground.

Here is the model as it stands so far. The base for it has been cut. Warbases provides a small block of wood to help with the assembly. I will use it on top of the foam as a spot to glue the main tower to it. This should hopefully make it a bit stronger with that join. Then I need to make it look like stone. Not sure how I am going to do that yet but one step at a time.

Next up, was an attempt to make a tree. I saw a great tutorial on petitguerre.blogspot.com. He had trees made from repurposed junk. I tried to duplicate that effort. But since 15mm is smaller, I purchased some cheap flower wire instead of coat hanger wire. I then wrapped the shape in floral wrap. It still needs some flocking to make it look more than a dead tree. I wanted a few Larger trees than I currently have. This did not take a huge time investment to get to this point. Once it is flocked, I will determine if it was worth the effort.

Now I need to lay down and try to get over a case of Strep that I picked up somewhere.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Calling Sidney Holland

I just sold a book to Sidney Holland this morning but am unable to reach him as the address that came across from Paypal bounces. If you are Sidney or know him, please get in touch with me. I want to make sure you got your book.

Chris Stoesen - cstoesen@corecard.com

Friday, September 5, 2014

Impudent Mortal Terrain

Ii just picked up the Workshop from their new 15mm line of terrain. The workshop is very nice. Since they are local to me, I met the owner just north of my work for lunch and picked it up. Now I just wish that I had this when i was working on In the Name of Roma! These would be great for the industrial areas in the Ukraine. Please check them out. Impudent Mortal has some very nice stuff.

The 2014 Santa Clause is Open for business

Ian from The Blog with No Name has called out for volunteers to help with the Santa Clause part of his Christmas program. I was a first time participant last year and had a GREAT time. Before I knew what I was doing, I volunteered to help out.

How Does it work?

Rule number 1:
To enter you need to either have a blog or be a regular follower of this blog (or Ian's) already. This is to give confidence to all involved that everyone will follow through to the end. If you have a blog and don't follow this one it's OK to join in.

Rule number 2:
The idea is that each person involved buys a figure or figures to the value of less than £5 and paints them up to fit in with what the target blogger wargames or collects. Best would be some kind of command for the bigger scales but maybe a unit or two of such as 6mm or a building or... you get the idea.

Rule number 3:
Please try to send out your items so that they will arrive by December 20th in plenty of time for the big day. I will send out who you have on September 16th.

Rule number 4:
Please post on your blog about your participation. The more we can get on board, the more fun for all of us.

Rule number 5:
This is not intended to be a cheap alternative to Ian's Secret SantaTM. Instead it is a great opportunity to send and receive something that will be special BECAUSE it's a one off from a fellow blogger. Not that you have to limit yourself to something useful, feel free to paint up something that will just sit aside the painting desk or study etc and just give pleasure.

So that's the idea, it is another great way to connect with your blogging friends and get something really exciting at Christmas. I hope that this year will be as great a success as last year. Ian's wife did a fantastic job with it and from what I can see, everyone had a great time. If you are interested, please leave a comment here with your blog address. We need to be able to look and see what you are interested in. Then shoot me an e-mail to chrisstoesen at gmail.com. I need to know where you are located as well so I will need a mailing address to send to your Santa Clause recipient. I will cut off the registrations on September 15th.

That's it folks, lets get this going!

Seeing some progress

I am working on my next strip of 8 Roman Auxiliaries. So far it is going well except for how the armor is coming along. I did not like it at all and ended up repainting it black to start all over on it. Not sure if that was a mistake or not yet.

I was reading a post by someone on a forum about not priming with spray paint but using a brush on primer. I am tempted to go this route as I keep finding spots I missed with spray paint.

I am looking forward to getting to the sword armed auxiliaries next.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fun with Stats or When do you look at others blogs?

I when I was working on my earlier blog post I passed by the stats for my site and noticed that I had a bunch of views for the day. This made me curious and I looked at the graph for the pattern of when folks were hitting the site.

The chart shows that most of the views showed up at 5am in the morning. Now I think that works out to about 10am in the UK. So does this mean that most Americans read their blogs before they get to work or late at night after work while those in Europe are looking at them at work? Or more likely, the Russian spider bots move hot and heavy in the morning while everyone else looks sporadically all throughout the day?

Given that I really want to be an optimist, I will assume that I have a huge legitimate viewership at 5am in the morning here in Atlanta. So what time are you usually looking at blogs?

On this Day in History: September 1941 - Dnieper River Islands

Well close to today anyway.

On September 8th and 9th, 1941 the Pasubio Division launched small scale attacks on the Soviet Garrisons on Shelyugovatiy and Velikiy Islands in the Dnieper River. This was a successful if brief action that opened up the River for crossing operations and kept Soviet troops occupied that could have been used to reinforce those engaging the Germans further South.

The Soviets counter attacked the Italians on at least one occasion but were driven back.

There are three scenarios that cover these actions in In the Name of Roma that are set for Chain of Command or Troops, Weapons and Tactics. For more information, please check out link above for the book and a sample from it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wargames Secret Santa III

The Blog With No Name is running their Secret Santa program again. I participated in the Santa Clause part last year and really enjoyed it. I ended up with a nicely painted destroyed Syria T-55 from Peter Pig. I sent out a Zulu War Heliograph team and British Padre.

I am going to sign up again this year for both the Secret Santa and the Santa Clause. I think they were great fun. And it is likely the only way I will get miniatures for Christmas. Head on over to Ian's site and check out the rules. They are simple enough for me to be able to follow them.

New Toys have Arrived

Dean over at Battlefield Accessories USA has just delivered my last order. I had ordered some of his barb wire entanglements. These come unpainted and are short five inch sections with upright posts and a separate string of barbwire. The initial thought is these are just what I need for Chain of Command. Definitely more cost effective than buying the pre-painted Flames of War/Gale Force Nine version of the same. They are slightly smaller than the 6" by 2" linear obstacles called for in the rules but I think they will still do the job.

Next up was a set of rubble and shell craters. These were nice resin items that I will eventually paint up. They look rather nice.

Lastly, I had asked Dean about the suitability for using his cobblestone roads for "Roman Roads." To my great pleasure, he pitched in a painted sample of his cobblestone roads for me. It is a very nice road. It has the flagstone edges that I was looking for. It is wider than the standard roman road as law for the Via Munita was for them to be 8 feet wide (2.4 meters). I think it will be workable. The road is a stiff material and will really only work on a flat surface. It will not bend to any elevations on the board. It does not have drainage ditches on either side of the road but that could be made with a little bit of effort.

I bought a set of the FOW/Gale Force 9 cobblestone roads. Those are nearly double the width of the Battlefield Accessories ones. I am starting to rethink the GF9 roads. The size of the cobbles are absolutely huge in comparison. He has two different sets of roads. The one I have a sample of is the Village road pack. You can get over 2 feet of roads for $15.50. His city roads include side walks and are about $10 more for nearly the same length as the village roads. They are now on my wish list.

Of course I have none of this here now to take pictures of. So you will just have to imagine how great they are (of rush off to their website and look at the pictures. I got the crossroads from the pack "Village Corner Pack - BA24.") I am a very happy customer. I managed to bring them back in from the car and get some quick snaps at my desk. Sorry for the blurry picture of the crossroads. It is very nice.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Great Giveaway

Well another blogger had hit some milestones and is offering some giveaways. Edwin King has some nice stuff up for grabs. There are some rather interesting books in the mix as well as a few toys. None of the toys are in my preferred scale.


Stop on by and check it out.