Monday, December 30, 2013

Settlers of America: Trails to Rails

Not a picture from our game
Right before Christmas, we visited my wife's cousins for a couple days, and we played Settlers of America: Trails to Rails, and shockingly I won!  We played with the maximum of four players on the default map, and all players were seasoned Catan veterans.

Trails to Rails is an interesting variant of the regular Settlers of Catan, wherein you have a fixed USA map, and have to spread across it and build a rail network to win. It introduces gold, settlers, trains, resource depletion, and a few other changes to the basic game to make it more thematic (and challenging).  Aside from changing the victory requirements from abstract points gained in a few different ways to delivery of fixed numbers of goods, the game also removes victory points gained from cards, which reduces the number of ways to win the game; you must deliver the correct number of goods.

The reduction in victory routes is somewhat of a drawback, and another is that the game is somewhat slower (partly due to being a larger map) particularly in the middle section of the game where every turn is "more of the same".  It took over 3 hours to play our first game, and we figured that it would not have been much faster for a second run though.  Coupled with the 3-4 game players, it may mean that this games does not get at much rotation as it might otherwise.  It was fun though, and felt more "strategic" as the rail race aspect meant that we were looking across the map to see which western territories would be key.

We also got a game and a half of 7 Wonders in, one where I was trounced, and one where we had to pick the game up after the first round.  Still an interesting game, and we gave it to the cousins for Christmas, so I am sure to never win again...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Burning Paradise

The last week or so I have been working my way through Burning Paradise by Robert Charles Wilson, an author previously unknown to me.  The premise of the book is the main draw here, as the actual story is more than a little depressing: The history of humanity has been shaped by an extra-terrestrial entity dwelling in the upper ranges of the atmosphere, which edits electronic signals to make humanity more peaceable.  Consequentially, there is no war after the Great War ends in a truce, technology stagnates, and the world slowly lurches its way along in a sort of quasi Edwardian/Progressive path of progress to 2015 where the story begins.  The characters are survivors of the correspondence society which figured out the existence of the ET, and was attacked by green goo filled human simulacrums driven by the ET in 2007, and now, it appears that the ET is sending the sims on attack again.

The book does have some interesting ideas on what it means to be hyper-aware but not conscious, and the book within the book, The Fisherman and the Spider, has some interesting thoughts on this, using the biological research of the in book author to draw some conclusions about the ET.

The world posited would also make for some interesting gaming scenarios, as you have 1914 map lines into the 1950s, and only low level conflict is allowed by the ET, so military development is highly retarded.  Consequently you could make great use of inter-war miniatures for battles in the Sudetenland, or the multi-decade Russian civil war etc. Empress miniatures has a great selection of figures for that sort of fighting, from both their own lines, and those they distribute.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Figure Fanatic Giveaway

Lief, over at the Figure Fanatic blog is giving away some miniatures and models in honor of his 200th post. Usual rule apply, must be a follower, comment on the post etc, so get on over and dilute my chances of winning... wait a tick, why am I telling you about this?

In other news, the holiday weekend is nearly upon us, and I will be away from the blog soon, but hope to have some great presents and hopefully some gaming to talk about when I return.  I have been too busy to paint lately, but hope to have some time for it soon.


Last night I had a most disturbing dream, part of which was the following: A young woman in a red dress was writing on a wooden floor in blood, using the nail of the big toe of her deformed right foot.  The blood, which is dripping down her leg, is marking out some sort of spell that she writes almost unconsciously as she moves about the room.

Seems like this would have use in a more creepy D&D game, or WFRP, as to me at least, it is the sort of image that sticks with you for a while.  Is she a witch?  Is she being used by dark forces?  Whence comes the blood (it was not hers)?  Is the spell something that needs to be interrupted, or would there be dire consequences if it is?

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Close Run Thing

Picture from Amazon
This weekend I finished reading A Close Run Thing, by Allan Mallison. Acquired thanks to the local library, it is a Napoleonic historical novel, which introduces the character of Coronet Mathew Hervey of the 6th Light Dragoons.  Hervey is a young man of somewhat limited means in the times of purchase (a system where officers bought their rank in the regiment).  The book opens in the waining days of the French Empire, as Wellington's army crosses into France, and the Emperor abdicates.  Hervey is then posted to Ireland, and returns to the Continent for the battle of Waterloo.

I was originally fairly taken by this book, and was preparing to write a positive review; however, I quickly realized that unlike, say Sharpe or Hornblower, Hervey has no flaws, other than a naive blindness to the motives of others.  In addition to processing no flaws, young Hervey marries into wealth, is the best horseman in his regiment, the best with a saber, knows horses better than the regimental vet, has the best batsman, the best sergeant, speaks French "like a native", has German, Latin, and Greek, can impressively debate strategy with Wellington, is an amazing shot with his amazing breach loading carbine, falls into money whenever required, and very fortuitous in his acquaintances.  There are more attributes, but you get the point. Hopefully this is rectified in later books (of which there are many), but by the end of this one I was ready for it to end, and have little to no desire to continue on with the rest.

In addition to flaws in writing, the book has a few factual errors. For example, much is made of a passage from Pride and Prejudice, and the book is attributed to Jane Austen, when in fact the book was published anonymously and Ms. Austen was not identified as the author until after her death in 1817.  Mr. Mallison also calls a flintlock "a firelock" many times in the book, when that term is usually reserved for a matchlock.

Flaws and annoyances aside, there are some interesting parts of this book, and there is certainly a lack of description of cavalry action in novels, so that aspect is welcome.  All in all though it is hard to recommend this book unless you really like your protagonists to be practically perfect in every way.

Here is a link to some reproduction light dragoon weapons, so you can get a feel for what the author tosses around.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Early Christmas Gift - Silhouette Cameo

The wife and I decided to buy ourselves an early joint Christmas present, and got a Silhouette Cameo, which is a computer controlled cutting tool.  The vector file driven tool can cut 12"x12" paper (or smaller) into as intricate a shape as you desire.  The idea is to use it for crafty stuff, as well as wargaming purposes. 

The image above is our first test cut, consisting of the obligatory "Hello World", and a complicated sled/pine branch image.  This was cut on ordinary printer paper, and took less than two minutes to complete, the blade leaping back and forth faster than you would imagine for the tiny cuts in the pine branch. There are some tears from moving too quickly, but you can see the potential.

Ideas I have had for this:
  • Game Templates
  • Counters
  • Spray Paint Masking
  • Card stock kits
  • Terrain
  • Labels
  • Prototyping
  • Geomorphic maps
I am also keen to try it on thicker material suck as cereal packet cardboard, chipboard, and styrene.  Some other users have had some good success with those, and once you move from 100lb card stock to thicker materials there is real potential for building completed models that can withstand the rigors of the table top. 

So lots of fun experimentation to come with this one, and if you have any ideas, let me know.

Friday, December 6, 2013

OSR Blog Roll Call

Dyvers, a blog writen by Charles Akins, has an interesting post called The Great Blog Roll Call, which has a listing of OSR and OSR related blogs, and importantly, has a bit that sumerizes each blog with a listing of how frequently it updates.

A "randomly selected" example:
  • Lasgunpacker A war gaming blog that focuses mostly on Games Workshop materials. Well written and often filled with valuable advice on painting and game play. Updates: About six times a month
Which reminds me, I really need to post about the Pathfinder game I have been playing in, and about the Roll20 platform we have been using to play it.

Anyway, you should look over this list, and read some new blogs, and recomend those that you like that are not on the list to improve its value as a tool.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dark Elves III

As you might recall, I have been talking about a Warhammer Dark Elf army, and its costs.  Well, for $170 MSRP and $136 retail, you can now get what appears to be a replacement for the old battalion boxes.

Picture from

The box gives you 20 corsairs, 20 Dark Elf Warriors with swords/spears or repeating crossbows, the new cold one chariot, 5 cold one knights, and a corsair lord that could be decent with some work.  As well as a couple of spare beast masters from the chariot. Individual retail cost of the lot would be $212, so quite a savings when buying this way.  Whether or not this helps you build an army is a different question, as even two of these boxes at a discount would be at least $260 and the army would lack any light cavalry, monsters, or magical support.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

On Army Painting

I was supposed to post this after my Tau painting weekend, but time gets away from us all.

Here are my thoughts on painting a large chunk of an army in one go, which in this case was a short platoon, but could also have been a large-ish regiment, or a full skirmish warband (provided that the colors are restricted).

First, better lighting is needed, particularly when removing mold lines.  Failure to remove all the mold lines will be annoying when the project is closer to completion, so better to spend the time up front and do it right, and it will be easier with better lighting.

Second, get some proper seating, and if you are going to be sitting for 7+ hours as I was during the primary painting session, then you need to mix it up a bit. My back was sore afterwards, and I spent part of the time sitting on a yoga ball to help mitigate this.  Proper Posture Prevents Pain!

Third, proper base coat planning will save time.  Had I used the main armor color as the base coat for the whole miniature, it would have saved a couple of hours of time.  I could certainly have found a flat olive green for this project, and at Walmart or similar it would have been pretty cheap too.

Fourth, and this is something I knew but did not take advantage of, spray coats of primer and/or base coats will save time over brushing.  I brushed gesso on the figures, and it took some extra time and is slightly thicker than spray paint would have been.

Fifth, it is faster to paint by part than it is to paint by color.  By this I mean that painting a single color on all left legs and then right legs and so on is faster than painting all of the parts that use a certain color, and helps to prevent forgetting to paint the hoof of the left leg on a certain miniature or something.

No painting progress lately, as we had Thanksgiving/family/illnesses to get in the way, but I did get in a game of 7 Wonders, and spent a happy 20 minutes fitting together another random Inquisitor warband figure.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tau Weekend

This weekend, the wife and kids were out of town, and other than waste time on the computer and household chores, I also started a new miniatures project as a sort of time constrained challenge.

Now, you might think that it would be sensible to complete an existing project, and you would be correct.  However, this project did use (mostly) existing miniatures.  As I mentioned a while back, I have a "reserve army" of Tau.  I call them a reserve army, because they are in boxes in shrink wrap, completely untouched (much like dwarves, Eldar, DoW, and more other things than I am willing to mention at this time).  Anyway, they are reserve no longer, because I opened up those battleforces this weekend, and built AND painted a nice little force of Firewarriors.  Although I did buy a new box of pathfinders to go with it...

Crummy Phone Pictures:
Pile of sprues waiting to be clipped and realized
after 4.75 hours of clipping and gluing


Favorite pose, a NCO using Pathfinder arms
Basing in progress
Close up of base work
Brush primed with Gesso and paint mixture

All base layer paints finished!
Inked and ready for action
I still need to do a few highlights, finish the bases, and then seal them, but 90% of the work is done, and in only 15 hours to boot.  (~36 minutes per figure) I will post later this week some "lessons learned" about army painting, which may be old hat to you, but seem as new realisations to me.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Napoleon's Cavalry

Emir Bukhari
This week I finished reading Napoleon's Cavalry, by Emir Bukhari, illustrated by Angus McBride.  Supplied by my local library system, this book is a single volume compilation of five Osprey Men-At-Arms titles, and was published in 1979.  It covers Napoleon's Cuirassiers and Carabiners, Dragoons/Lancers, Hussars, Line Chasseurs, as well as Guard cavalry units.  I got it as a painting aid for the Perry plastic dragoons on foot that I got a while back.

Considering that Osprey still sells the constituent volumes for £10, this book seems to be an excellent value for anyone who is building more than one sort of regiment, or who just likes to look at colorful illustrations, particularly as it can be had used on Amazon for as little as $15. (or possibly free from your library)

This book does have the usual Osprey "style", where color plates are separated from relevant text, all other images are in black and white, and far too much attention paid to officers and other unusual members of a unit, but this is somehow more excusable in a book published in 1979 than it is in their modern reprints.

As you can see from the scan below, the original artwork is quite excellent, as you might expect from an Angus McBride book. With so many plates, the book is worthwhile to review, even if you do not value the text.
Who else would illustrate a Dragoon officer cleaning his muddy boot?
Speaking of the text, Mr. Bukhari's prose is quite refreshing, particularly after reading the mess that was my last Osprey title...  The text for the more important books covers uniforms, deployments, equipment, saddles, and all sorts of side information that makes it very entertaining.

So in conclusion, I highly recommend this book, and will be buying it for myself sometime in the future.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I have been on what might be termed "an eBay Binge" lately, which seems more substantial than usual because I have been actually winning auctions.  In any case, the total money spent has gotten to the level where I could have put the money to more productive use, such as buying that Chaos Battalion I was bleating on about, or the bulk of the forces I had planned for Napoleonic skirmish, or a couple of 15mm sci-fi forces, or any other new project really, rather than just odds and ends for existing projects.

I am not sure what it is about eBay that bypasses my planning instinct, but it does... must be the allure of the deal, or in some cases old lead. (I did at least get some nice old figures though)

In painting news, I have nearly completed my Neo-Soviets, and they only need a few more touch ups, sealing, and basing to be "complete".

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Basing - Inq

I have been pondering how to base my Inquisitor models lately.  Some of them are getting close to that stage, which I usually do right before priming.  (Although instead of doing the putty work to finish some figures, I used my meager hobby time to start a new batch of figures...)

Like Pulp miniatures, the problem with basing Inquisitor warbands is that they rarely stick to the same sort of terrain.  With pulp games figures move quickly from city to jungle to desert, and back to the city, and likewise in Inquisitor games one could move from Hive to Underhive to a verdant crop world, or an ice world.  Bases can already look a bit strange when they match the terrain, and having the figure drag a circle of city around the desert can look even more odd.

One solution to this problem is to either base in just black, or possibly even with clear bases, the idea being that very little attention is paid to the base, and more to the figure and the game.   This method does pose problems for the other 99% of the time, when your figures are not involved in a game, and are either in a display case or exist merely as pictures online.

So it probably makes sense to just base the best you can, with the most common sort of terrain you plan to play on, and just live with it.  In my case, since I am also (very slowly) working on Necromunda figures, it makes sense to base Inquisitor figures in a like manner, which is to say a modified Underhive sort of look, with broken terrain bits, some sand, and minimal plant life.

Something like this bounty hunter figure (old)
On the theme of basing, here are some useful blog posts about it from BigRedBatCave and Toy Soldiers and Dinning Room Battles.

Basing I
Basing II
Basing III - has a useful method for making multi figure bases.


And for something completely different, Orlygg has an old-school basing tutorial.

Friday, October 25, 2013

WIP Neo-Soviets

The last couple of weeks, I have been very slowly painting my Copplestone Neo-soviets.  These have been partly painted for something like four years, so it was time to get them done.  I finally decided I would just go with a camo pattern, and not just wonder about what would be best.  Naturally it is completely washed out in the picture, but it is there.  I also tried a stamping technique for the base camo color, but ultimately decided it did not work quite right.

Not very good picture, washed out by full sunlight
I really like these figures, and wish they were not quite so expensive so that I could have a reinforced platoon of them [they currently cost around ~$3 a figure shipped, so not terrible, but costs do mount up when you want to get 40ish figures].

Going forward, I plan to add some snow to the bases, and will be using the new GW flesh wash for the first time, so there are a few learning experiences yet to come.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Armies of the Napoleonic Wars: An Illustrated History

Earlier this week, I finished reading Armies of the Napoleonic Wars: An Illustrated History, an Osprey publication edited by Chris McNab.  As is often the case when I am interested in something historical, I gather up some related books for a read, partly as a way to satisfy my interest without spending much if any money, and partly to refine my thoughts on the period as a game.  In this case, being recently interested in the Napoleonic period again, I turned to this book, which I got as a gift from my sister a few years ago.

When this book was listed by Ospery as forthcoming, there was a great deal of interest on TMP, because it was assumed that this would be a collection of the Men at Arms books from Osprey, with all the text and plates.  While it seems unlikely in retrospect that Osprey would take their money making series and provide it in a more economical package, at the time that was the thought, and operating under that assumption, I put this book "on the list" and got it as a gift.

Unfortunately, as it turns out this book is more like an overview of the various armies involved and it has very few plates from the relevant MAA books.  Most of the text for each country deals with high level organization, which as you might imagine changed quite a bit from 1797 to 1815.  There is little in the way of tactical discussion, uniform discussion, or discussion of flags and banners.  Someone without a prior understanding of the period, major technologies, and battles, would likely be lost.

This book also has all the usual Osprey foibles, such as the reproduction of period color art works in black and white, concentration of strange or unusual uniforms in plates, and deep discussion of rare troop types while the common line infantry are skipped over. Smaller countries get little to no mention in the book, and more discussion of Balkan elements of the French army (and more plates!) than for any of the German states, including the larger ones like Bavaria or Saxony.  There is also a bit of editorial bias in this book verging on jingoism, where somehow the peninsular war is the most important theater of battle, but this is common in British texts.

So to sum it up, this book was pretty disappointing, both from a wargaming point of view, and from a history point of view.  It does have some interesting plates and paintings, and does cover a number of nations, but I think it can only be recommended to those who want an overview of the reorganizations of the various armies, and who do not already own the relevant MAA titles.

Warlord Games Sprue Sale

In the recent Warlord Games newsletter, there was a small item about all individual sprues being 50% off.  Naturally I had a look, and indeed, you can get the various reinforcement sprues for very cheaply, making the price of individual figures less than a dollar each.  The Bolt Action range of weapon sprues are as cheap as $2, which seems like it would be worth it even for a single gun per sprue, at least in comparison to usual GW bitz prices.

Worth $0.82 per figure?
I also noticed that they sell Renedra 25mm round bases, which I have had some interest in recently, after seeing them magnetized by Dave King. I resisted putting together an order this time (having recently been on an Ebay binge), but there certainly are some great deals to be had if you need a few figures to round out a regiment, convert, or to use in skirmish games.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dark Elves II

This weekend I got the new White Dwarf magazine at the FLGS, and I have been fairly avidly paging through it when I have the time.  This issue is featuring the redone Dark Elves.  Specifically, there are new kits for the basic Dark Elf warrior, Witch Elves, Hydra, and the Cauldron of Blood.  Naturally each of those has alternate builds, yielding three types of warrior, two types of witch elves, a hydra or a new monster, a cauldron of blood, or a showcase vehicle for a Medusa type monster.   These kits join the earlier, and quite excellent corsairs and cold one knights, and the line will be added to next month with a chariot kit, dark rider kit, and a Executioner/Black Guard kit.

Now, as I mentioned in the last post about Dark Elves, I have long wanted a Dark Elf army, and while I am not about to rush out and get one (with several more remaining in boxes and on sprues, I think that my wife might kill me), I do like to list build and fantasize about such things, so I put together a "reasonable" list, and priced it out.  Let me preface this by saying that "reasonable" in my mind is heavy on infantry and other basic units, and is over 2000 points.  If it gets close to 100 or more figures, I think that is reasonable.  Anyway, for my "reasonable" army I got to to approximately 115 figures... and over $600.  For a plastic army. Yeah, nothing reasonable about that.
Picture from GW
Breaking down my imaginary, and now no longer reasonable list, I find that part of the problem is that Witch Elves are $0.50 a point (in the US, ~$0.46 in the UK and undoubtedly more elsewhere).  This is not helped by 40 regular warriors at $35 for a box of ten. (10 monopose fixed head figures too btw, which is a significant step back for humanoid figures).  Without a battalion box, there is no option to get core troops for less.

So no Dark elf army is in the offing, although I might keep an eye out for bitz that I like.

Friday, September 27, 2013

10mm Easterlings

I have long harbored the desire to refight the great battles of Middle Earth with 10mm Warmaster armies.  Aside from the problem of needing a large number of regiments for most of the battles, another problem is finding suitable figures to represent the forces present, in particular the Easterlings from Rhûn, which are needed for the battle of the Pelennor Fields.   I had hoped that Copplestone would eventually get around to making these, but the line appears to be abandoned.

Yesterday I commented on Javier at War's comparison picture of Copplestone warg riders [they are large], and lamented that there are no forthcoming figures from Copplestone to represent the other followers of Sauron.  A fellow commenter pointed me to Tajimal miniatures which happens to make a suitable Rhûn Easterling stand in, with a look that is compatible with the movies, without being too ridiculous.

Here are a couple of regiments painted up [by Tajimal]:
£7.5 per unit
So that is pretty exciting, although getting enough regiments to represent the "several thousand" men from Rhûn present at the battle, will not be cheap.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Irony, MT - Part 3

Here are some improved photographs of the figures from my Irony, MT project.  As I mentioned in part 1, these are Foundry figures, with the exception of  the first figure in picture three, who is from Artisan. 

I wanted to show off the weathering on this coat, but unfortunately at four times the size and with the colors slightly off it is hard to see.  I painted in the ground colors to the duster, to represent ground in dirt and then sponged a bit of a lighter color on top for dried dust.

I enjoyed painting these figures, and would certainly welcome the opportunity to paint a few more, although some terrain would also be nice...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Night Goblins

As I mentioned yesterday and Friday, I finished painting a regiment of Night Goblins armed with spears.  The figures are from the Warhammer 7th Edition starter set, which had a healthy number of goblins in it, and which I supplemented with eBay.  As I mentioned on Friday, I painted these exclusively at work, and it took me around five hours, plus time to clean, base, and prep the figures at home.  Not too bad, other than being spread out over four years...
30 mean little buggers with pointy sticks
 For comparison purposes, here are some prior goblins.  The newer ones have much blacker cloaks, and are somewhat sharper.
Old, new, new, old, new, old
Here is a closeup of the two unit champions.  The new one on the left has a much sharper looking shield, since it has about 5 layers of highlights, as compared to just two or so on the older one.  The dags I attempted on the newer one's sword did not come out so well, less so with the sponge effect weathering (which itself is hard to see here)

As you can see, the figures still need a matte spray finish, as well as flock and static grass before they are 100% completed, but painting is done, and that is the part that always takes me the most time.

I really enjoy night goblins, which is good, since I have a bunch of fanatics, another regiment of spears, and one of archers as well to build up and paint. After that I have a couple of trolls to convert, and by time I actually get around to all of these, the 9th edition should be here, and hopefully it will have new rescaled plastic standard/forest goblins as well. (and plastic squigs?) So plenty to look forward to in the future.

Dark Elves

In the Warhammer world, the Dark Elves have been a popular, but poorly supported army for a while now, where the basic troops never seemed to match up to the artwork.  The Dark Elves army book for 8th edition is coming out next month, so as sure as rain, "leaked" pictures are appearing on the Internet.  Pleasingly, the core troops have been reworked, but of course a WHFB army needs to have a few... unusual elements, such as this:

And since Witch elves were never easy to rank up, GW needed to make them more difficult.
You say witch elves, I say death cultists
 I would be more excited by the figures, were it not for the very costly rumored prices.  WHFB is a great game, but building up armies is getting to be pretty expensive, particularly when a basic regiment costs up to $120.  So I probably will not be building a new army (particularly since I already have several in various stages of completeness).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Photography Weekend

This weekend my wife and son were both out of the house for an evening, so in between caring for the baby and taking care of some chores, I was able to break out the lights and the DLSR camera for a short photography session.
Photo Setup
I retook some recent miniature shots with better lighting (350watts of halogen light, and around 200 watts of incandescent light), took pictures of the night goblins that I just finished painting, and then worked on the pictures using Adobe Lightroom on my wife's new computer.

Here are some comparison shots of the Ork powerfist:

Old on the left, new on the right.  It seems that while the focus is better in the new shot (due to a new method I discovered) the color is better in natural sunlight than with the array of lights, even after correcting in Lightroom.

Similarly, the older picture of the Ork is not as focused, but the color is certainly better in the first shot.

In this next comparison, we have an old shot taken by OTT light, and the new one with the lighting array and manipulated in Lightroom.

I would say that the focus is again better in the new shot, but the colors are not quite right, the red in particular looking a bit too orangy. (I also need to hit these guys with some matte sealer!)

Here is the fellow from the Irony, MT bunch, where you can again see the improvement in focus, and here you can also see an improvement in color, although it is still lacking as compared to having the figure in hand.
I used the Perry Miniatures article on Painting Dark African Skin by Steven May
So in conclusion, it seems like the increased focus is beneficial (particularly for closeups) but that getting the correct lighting is important. When I have time, I will endeavour to take some of these shots again with diffused natural light, which we should have plenty of for the next couple of months.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any photography tricks to share?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Painting at work part 2

A while back, I asked about painting at work.  I know that a fair few bloggers do it, either because they have jobs that allow it (such as security guards, or on call work), or because they paint at lunch.

I eventually put together something, and began to slog my way though some night goblins.  Due to some restructuring, I lost the office shortly after that, and moved into a cube.  I painted an Ork, and a fair few cowboy types, and recently came back to the goblins.

My painting box is made of a cardboard corporate check box salvaged from work, and another smaller box inset into that, which returns some the strength lost from cutting out the front panel.  I use a plastic food container for water, and the lid as a pallet.  Simple.

Also seen here are my mix of paints, mostly Citadel of various vintage (mostly old), with the bulk of the rest being Vallejo with a few of the new Reaper paints hiding in the back.  Brushes are off camera, but are mostly of the "adequate" rather than the "good" category.

A disadvantage of painting at work that I have noticed is that without duplicate paint colors, I can not very well paint both at home and at work without dragging the box back and forth, which is not the easiest, and probably not good for the paint either (since my car gets quite hot should I forget the paint in the trunk).

Oh, and after around 5 hours of painting I have a nicely done night goblin unit. (pictures of that to follow eventually)  So painting at work?  Successful, and something I plan to continue.

Plastic Soldier Company Sale

The Plastic Soldier Company, which makes various World War II figures in 1/100, 1/72 scale and 28mm size, is currently running a sale on their 1/100 scale models, which are suitable for 15mm gaming.  30% off, which works out to 10% off after shipping to the US. (unless they discount for VAT for out of EU folks?)

A nice thing about their models, at least in the 15mm compatible 1/100 models, is that they usually come with more than one vehicle variant on the sprue, so if you only need one Panther A, and three Panther Ds, you can do that with the parts included in the box.

Panther Sprue guide
Now, since I have a 15mm army "in box only" I should not be buying more tanks or anything for it, but it would be nice to flesh out that Panzer grenadier platoon to a full company replete with Pak 36 vehicles, mortar carriers, and other support variants.  And I have always wanted a US armored company, and a Soviet Tank company...

Just because I should not, does not mean you can not, so go on over to the Plastic Soldier company and pick something up. (And they also sell models by other companies like Zvezda to fill in gaps in their line)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Napoleonic Company Level

The Wargamer's mind is a fickle thing [and possibly not the most stable].  Far too often when browsing about the Internet, or reading books, or even walking down the street, a new idea springs to mind.

Fortunately [for me] I have a blog to get such ideas out "on paper" so that they can be developed without the expenditure of money. (as with Eldar corsairs for Inquisitor, or Song of Ice and Fire skirmish games)

Today I stumbled upon an interesting blog through links from other blogs, which I probably reached originally from links in blogs I follow.  You know, as one does. In this case it was Matt's Gaming Page, and scrolling down, I noticed a lovely, and well illustrated battle featuring the British and French slugging it out in a company level battle.  Wait... company level?  Now that is exciting. 

A French company had something on the order of 140 men officially; but in reality it would be somewhat smaller, and if the ordinary privates get left out, you have a more colorful little army of around 50-60 figures.  The British and other allies likewise had similar sized companies, and could be reduced in a similar fashion.

In the post, Matt mentions that he used the Ganesha Games rules 61 65, which are designed for fighting the American Civil War at a company level. GG also makes the Song of Drums and Shakos for smaller level Napoleonic skirmish, and that book says it includes profiles for 160+ troop types from all major nations [Online squad builder here].  I wonder how compatible the stat lines are, and if you could combine the books to make a 03 15 variation...

Lovely paint job on Perry box FN100
My first inclination would be to look to Perry for the figures, but their own range is aimed at the 1815 period, which can be limiting in some aspects, as the uniforms and equipment changed somewhat through out the wars.  The Perrys also sculpted a large and fairly comprehensive range for Wargames Foundry, and the Eureka French Revolutionary Wars range could also be useful for earlier battles (or for units that did not change uniforms).  Victrix too has a large plastic range, which is perhaps more suited to skirmish gaming as well.

Wargames Foundry b50
The Napoleonic period is so colorful, it would be very exciting to paint some larger scale figures [also more difficult], and get some games in.  Now I just need more time!