Thursday, 31 December 2009

Zulus, just a few

My gaming club, after a couple of ales decided that the Anglo-Zulu War would make a good game and spurred on by the rather nice Empress Miniatures and the cheap plastic Zulus about half a dozen of us agreed to paint some figures. We are all doing Europeans and Zulus at a rough ratio of about 3:1.

For my contribution I have a couple of packs of the plastic zulus along with some foundry metals from ebay. My europeans are Naval brigade from the Perrys with a Nordenfelt MG alongside a Rapier (ex Newline) 7lb cannon and crew. The game, Nyezane, is on the 30th of Jan so I am needing to pull my finger out some what.

These chaps with the fetching red rags around their heads belong to the Natal Native Contingent.

uVe regiment

The rest of the figures, all have basing material and are undercoated, movement trays from GW.

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Okay so maybe no Clarence the Cross Eyed Lion, but I remember having the Corgi Landrover in zebra stripe with model Lions as a child.

All of the following are from HLBS although the animals are now available from North Star.

Hopefully many of these, perhaps not the raptors, will feature in the club refight of Nyezane in the Zulu War.

The Hippo is a plastic toy of unknown foreign origin.

Lions, could do with a few more lionesses.


Cattle, useful as game objectives or for pulling wagons.

Giraffe (quite fond of this paint job)


Still to come, 5 Oryx and 5 Zebra.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Plans for 2010

Well November is not over yet and I am thinking about my plans for the year ahead.

American Civil War

This is going to be a major focus for next year, with hopefully a playable army by the middle of the year, with at least 8 regiments of foot plus horse and guns. I will probably then think on painting a similar quantity of Union troops.

Ambush Alley

There are a few figures I still want as well as more buildings for my collection.

Zulu Wars

My intention is to have three regiments of Zulus which added to those in the rest of the club will be pretty impressive. As for imperial troops I have some Redoubt Royal Marines, they didn't serve in the Natal but but they are contemporary, the Empress figures are nice but I am favour Copplestone's Naval Infantry.

The Lost World
This project came from nowhere just because I wanted to paint the cavemen. I shall add some more dinosaurs as I come across them and perhaps some Neanderthals or lizard-men.

Cold War Commander
I still need to build some Soviet opposition for the British, I will most probably sell the excess Brits to fund them. I also need to carry on with the micro terrain.

Hott / DBA / Uncharted Seas

These are quick easy wins. Cheap to purchase and hopefully fun to paint. I shall add some more ships to the Dwarf fleet in time when I have played some more games and I am thinking to try and combine a HoTT and DBA army without restricting my army choices too much whilst a saving in cash and painting time.

I have found my copy of DBA from the garage and it appears to have been chewed by a cat some years ago. I shall pick up another next.

For Sale

I continue to recycle my old unneeded miniatures via ebay, I shall probably sell my 20mm WW2 Germans as I don't get to play in this scale, as well as my 28mm Black Hawk Down figures as I have suitable figures amongst my 20mm Ambush Alley collection.

Other stuff is likely to crop up during the year like Dr Who (I have the Heresy Dr Hugh McCrimmon and some UNIT troops already) and Blitzkrieg Commander where I need to refresh my US and Russians and add German opposition.

On to Africa

Well since the last posting I have been cutting out and cleaning up the various components for the Zulus, shortly I shall be assembling them and putting together my first regiment.

The fauna is ongoing and I hope to have photos soon as the giraffe and wildebeest are almost finished. I also bought a selection of raptors and a pteranadon from HLBS to add more variety to my 'lost world' games.

Another building for Ambush Alley is almost complete, a garage type with roll up shutters. I am going to try and build some adobes using stone blocks cast with Hirst Arts blocks, not wanting to cast the blocks myself I have bought some from ebay.

Monday, 16 November 2009

God, I hate losing stuff ............

Perhaps it's a sign of approaching old age, in my 8' square office / painting room I seem to have lost of copies of HoTT and Zulu. It must be here somewhere, I have looked all over, but no sign.

Today I had an ebay parcel containing a selection of HLBS african animals now out of production, I have lions, zebra, cattle, oryx, a giraffe and a plastic hippo which seems to scale right. These once painted will no doubt find themselves moving around the savanna avoiding impis or perhaps avoiding the spears of my cavemen. Also HLBS have re-released some of their dinosaur range to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Bog-a-ten.

Any way about time these appeared, sorry about the blurry one! The dinosaurs are from a childrens game called 'Dinosaur King' and the cavemen are from Copplestone Castings.

Dinosaur King dinos with the ugly bases covered up

Same again but this time the 'angry ones'

C25 Cavewomen

C26 Cavemen

C29 More Cavemen

C47 Cavemen Characters

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Zulus, thousands of 'em

Well just when you thought that I had enough painting to do along comes Stu with this notion of doing the Anglo Zulu war in 28mm using figures from Wargames Factory and Empress Miniatures.

I have a set of the Wargames Factory plastic zulus, I have built multi part plastics before from GW but these are more true scale than GWs 'heroic' scale. The parts are small and fiddly - clearly some of the arms fit better than others, photos when painted.

I went off today looking for books, particularly the Osprey Men at Arms on the Zulu War, alas the local Waterstones has a pitiful selection and I came away empty handed. Coming back into town I popped into a local 2nd hand book shop and came away with both Donald R Morris "The Washing of the Spears" and Ian Knight's 'Zulu, Isandlwana & Rorkes Drift'.

There it is, the first five, the next five will be better. It seems that although they are slender, waving your arms about causes a 2p size base to be needed.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Remember, remember the fifth of November!

Well work has been very busy cutting in to the painting and modelling time. I seem only able to start projects rather than finish them, as a result I have Cavemen almost but not quite finished as well as Palm Trees and some more Adobes for Ambush Alley.

I have finished some bases for Uncharted Seas, these are volcanoes and a sand bar. All are based on old freebie CDs with the volcanoes being made from the black polystyrene that comes under Tesco's pizzas, cuts easily and can be sanded! Lava is painted glue.

I have painted a few test bases of Baccus ACW, they have ended up darker than I anticipated so will have to remember that when painting in earnest. These have gone to the club to encourage the others to get painting.

This is the smallest size unit we will use, representing 320 men.

Artillery and two bases of skirmishers.

A brigade command stand and a cavalry base.

Lots of interesting stuff around at the moment which I am trying to resist including 15mm Vietnam from Flames of War and Stu keeps going on about Zulu's! Hopefully should be going to Warfare at the end of the month for some more 20mm moderns and 6mm ACW.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

So wheres them damn yankees?

After many prayers to Patrick, the god of post, I had a parcel today. The first part of my 2010 6mm ACW project, I started with a Baccus Polemos Confederate army box although future orders will be in packs to get the mix of figures I want.

As with all my future plans, I shall be collected both sides with the Confederates first, the rules will be 'Guns to Gettysburg', but to make things look more impressive I want to model the units at 10:1 this makes the smallest unit (16 figures) 4 bases wide.

Here's the figures in their bags, they don't take up a lot of room, the box was mainly packing.

Here is a '20 figure' unit represents 400 men.

A Copplestone caveman gives an impression of scale.

Hopefully the all the Copplestone cavemen will be finished over the next few days and I shall be resisting the temptation to dive into these. I need to ebay some more surplus to pay for the next batch!

If you are curious the figures are crisp and well cast, the artillery particularly impressed me as I have assembled 6mm guns in the past and it is very fiddly. Can't wait.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Uncharted Seas

Well my first run through with Uncharted Seas went well last night, the game plays without too much looking at the rulebook and after a few turns you really get into the swing of things.

Here's are some shots, a brief game report will be on the club blog, the game has inspired me to build some islands, sandbars and wrecks, so watch this space.

The game after a couple of turns.

The pride of my fleet, my still unnamed Battleship.

Shroud Mages Battleship, now sunk to provide a habitat for marine life.

Shroud Mages Cruisers and Frigates

Sunday, 4 October 2009

I blame 10,000 BC .......................

Tonight's club meeting is our AGM, after that my Dwarven fleet for Uncharted Seas gets it's first outing, not having any templates I made these.

Well, I had them laser cut on mdf from the original template download, I painted them. I think they look pretty good. I'll let you know how the game goes.

A while ago I saw 10,000 BC, the film was ridiculed for daring to mix homo-sapien with mammoths used as beasts of burden to build pyramids - silly stuff really, but when you aren't expecting any special a grain of an idea gets planted. Now Tusk has been released as a PDF edition for the bargain price of £3 I couldn't resist it. Well one thing let to another ...........

The figures are from Copplestone Castings, he has made the four packs you see here, 17 figures in total, at least are open handed to take the various spears, stone axes and flint knife provided. These are great figures and I have really enjoyed painting these so far.

These dinosaurs belong to a children's game called 'Dinosaur Kings', they look pretty good and they will fit in great when the bases are finished. The best thing is they should all appear on ebay pretty cheap as children get bored with them.

This should all end up as a fun kind of lost world type game and would also give me the excuse to buy those 3 packs of Perry Twins Sudan era Black Watch infantry I wanted to paint.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

This weekends painting

I seem to have done plenty this weekend but not actually finished anything.

I have assembled and based the final figure from the Foundry Civilians pack, just some more stuff needs to go on the base, it's all a bit bare.

2 Timecast houses, from the Eastern European range but probably equally at home in the American Civil War. I am from time to time going in to the selection of unpainted Timecast bits I have collected over the last few years, I shall base them all together.

I have done some more on my Battletech lance, also behind them are some Soviet flats again, Timecast, and to the right two bases made with the cheap Chinese trees. I have ordered another box again £7 inc postage for 100 but this time in a darker colour.

This is a older shot showing the painting 'helper'.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Farewell Indian Mutiny

I had a impromptu day off today and amongst cleaning one car, managed to list some stuff on ebay. This has resulted in my selling my Indian Mutiny collection. These are about 20 years old now and they hadn't seen the light off day for a couple of years. Hopefully they are off to someone who will give them a game.

Well I have now been able to order the book on Gettysburg that I have been coveting ever since I saw it on Amazon and I also have the funds for the first part of next years project, ACW in 6mm.

I also managed to assemble my last tricky mech, so that will be seeing paint very soon and my lance is complete.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Painting Update

I have been catching up on my painting since I played last, some of these pieces had been painted already, some years earlier but the forthcoming game gave me the impetus to get them finished.

First up are some Brits I have painted but not based as I wanted to include some scenic items on their bases, a quick order to Angel Barracks got me a few bits and pieces.

The gates and fences are Irregular and the walls and hay stack are from Angel Barracks, who also have an excellent 6mm based forum.

A now for a heretical Battletech moment, these are a Work in Progress, althought the bases are largely done.

I was annoyed that you don't get the hex bases in the blister packed miniatures, which I have always thought were too small - making the mechs unstable. So as I have no intention of using the hex maps I got some laser cut hexes off ebay.

The Wargames Foundry "Dads Army" figures were released years ago, back when Foundry were value for money, some were started and the rest squabbled in a box with the German Paratroops.

Here are the main characters ready to repel the Hun!

Now the civilians, always useful to have. But is that a Nun or a German paratrooper in disguise? One figure is missing from the pack, as I need to sort out the bicycle.

Downed Luftwaffe Aircraft, from a bomber presumably because of their numbers and the Machine Gun.

I'm off for a game later, so a game report will appear soon.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Trees from China / Painting Update

I needed some variety in my 6mm trees so I decided to buy some more, avoiding the typical k&m trees. I had seen cheap chinese trees on ebay before. So feeling brave I put in a massive 99p bid and won. Ok the postage was £6 but for 100 trees that's only 7p each.

Well the box is smaller than expected!

They do look rather green!

Example next to a Time Cast house. Well if the rest are similar to this one then I am happy that I have excellent value for money, I may keep them a quick pass with a green spray to tone down the brightness but other than that just need to find some time to make some tree bases.

They also do palm trees and other stuff too. Here is the seller.

Spent an hour tidying the office today, here's a blurry shot of painting corner.

Another WIP shot of the Foundry WW2 British, with boots, flesh and webbing painted.

I need to find a technique for painting spectacles on miniatures as there's a bunch in this lot. Right, time for a movie.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Dont Panic!!!

In preparation for the next club game, I have decided to finish my Wargames Foundry Home Guard, I am missing a couple of packs from the range and I might pick them up one day.

Here's the finished models, with an odd touch up needed here and there, and below are the ones I have started tonight, just a coat of Vallejo English Uniform. I'll do more tomorrow.

Also whilst out today I picked up a copy of Battletech: Total Warfare and a couple of Mechs from Waylands Forge - a cracking games shop in Birmingham City Center. Good stock of Board Games, RPGs, Figures, Magic etc.

Monday, 7 September 2009

The defence of Hong Kong

At long last my 6mm BAOR collection finally got to see action. Stu and I played our first game of Cold War Commander with 2500 points each. As it was our first game we looked on it as a chance to explore the rules and see what we thought.

Here's a nice opening shot of the table before we started. Buildings are from Timecast and Irregular. Miniatures from GHQ and Navwar.

Well below is what you get for 2500 points, playing British.

But play Chinese and you get this many!

Luckily for me I had an edge over quality with the Chieftains against the T-62, they did have numbers. Stu is posted a battle report so I won't spoil it and pre-empt his work.

Here they come, who's idea was it to play across the table?

And from the other flank too!

Luckily the Sabot rounds didn't let me down.

In the end we had a great game, made loads of mistakes with the rules but I think we are happy with the result. I shall be rebasing all my WW2 Soviets soon for Blitzkrieg Commander, in the meantime the Home Guard painting is coming along nicely for next weekend.