Monday, 31 January 2011

I/2nd Line Bavarian infantry, 1st three companies

Just off the painting desk (well, technically still on it for the photo :) ), here are the grenadier and schützen companies as well as one fusilier company of the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Line Infantry (_Kronprinz_) of the Bavarian army of 1809:

2nd Line

They're Foundry figures, and for the detail oriented among you, the only difference in uniform between these and their [1st Line]( [friends]( is that these have yellow buttons, whereas the 1st Line has white buttons. But you spotted that already of course :).

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Building a river - the story goes on

So, just to refresh your memory, after [building]( and then [basepainting it](, the river was left at this stage:


The next stage is painting the river itself. I want to build a typical large European river (like the Maas or the Rhine), which are more often grey/green/brownish in colour than blue. I remember staying near the Rhine at St. Goarshausen a few times as a kid on holiday with my parents and wanted to use the color of the river there as a reference. So, a quick Google later, I came up with this picture, graciously snarfed off of someone's holiday pictures:

Greenish, brownish tints were called for. I already had a pot of light brown paint used in previous terrain projects (the actual color is Histor 6376 which for some reason is called Survival but is actually brown) but for the greenish tints I went down to the hardware store and picked up two tester pots of a dark and a light green (Dulux Forest and Olive green, if you're interested). To paint the river, I dabbed thick spots of the dark and light green onto the river surface:


The light green is actually almost a light grey as you can see. While these spots or swatches were still wet, I painted over them with the light brown that had been mixed with some of the dark green, so that the green spots still show up as streaks in the finished river. This gives a pleasing, somewhat realistic tone in just a few minutes' work (the six pieces took me just over 10 minutes):


That finishes the painting of the river itself. Next are the banks and stones, and then a gloss varnish layer over the river bed that will finish the boards.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Celtic & Roman command figures

I've shown you these [earlier]( while their bases were unfinished. They're finished now, so here they are in detail:

BSG and standard bearer

Bartholomeus Sinister Grassus and his personal standard bearer. His personal standard being, as always, a duck on a blue field. One might almost call it a duck rampant on a field of azure, were that not silly.

Roman command

Next up is BSG's trusty lieutenant, Marcus Valerius Hillock. In my old DBM days, he usually commanded the auxilia off on a hill somewhere -- hence hillock. Here he is shown with some Celtic prisoners.

Roman cavalry commandRoman decurion

And two extra junior commanders for the Romans, as yet unnamed. One cavalry type, one foot slogger.


And finally Bartolomix, Celtic chieftain. This actually the second figure representing Bartolomix (the first one being [here in this post]( which also shows the Celtic version of the duck banner) but I could not pass up on the opportunity to depict him being carried on his shield.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Wet paint: Celtic & Roman command figures

Just off the painting desk, with their bases to be finished obviously:


Foundry figures, and two special edition Gripping Beast ones that came with the Hannibal supplement to WAB. Lurking in the hazy background, you can just make out Bartholomeus Sinister Grassus and his well known duck banner.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The battle of Bir Bagahr

(Update Febryary 2016: Link to pdf document restored)

Tuesday night, the Schild en Vriend Gentlemen Wargamers (we're too few to be called a club, and this sounds much better :) ) gathered round my wargames table to fight a fictional WWII desert battle. We used my 1:300th figures and [Blitzkrieg Commander]( as the rules. This is the scenario we played:

pdf file describing scenario.

The battle lasted for six turns and was declared a draw. The British, after a horrendous first two turns wherein they lost most of the Coldstream Guards to a well executed Italian artillery strike, broke into the Italian postions with both tank battalions and were poised to sweep behind the ridge. The Italians, having only suffered very light losses so far, were retreating towards the oasis with one battalion, with the other two in Bir Bagahr and cowering on top of the ridge respectively. As umpire, I judged that the battalion on the ridge would probably not survive the attack of British tanks and infantry, and that the other two battalions would hold out till nightfall before retreating. So, a draw as the British did not destroy the Axis, nor did the Axis manage to keep the British away from the gap in the escarpment.

Photos of the game are in [this Flickr set]( A sneak preview:

Bir Bagahr game - photo 6

Bir Bagahr game - photo 12

Sunday, 16 January 2011

1:300th Desert Village

Next Tuesday, I'm organising a WWII Western Desert game in 1:300th scale, and in what is becoming somewhat of a tradition lately, I've just completed some extra things for this game. I find that putting on a game now and then using some of my older collections inspires me to paint up some more bits and pieces for said collections. In the case of this collection (WWII Western Desert, possibly my first ever big army in this here hobby) and this game, I found some houses, palm trees and stuff by [Irregular Miniatures]( laying about that I had bought years ago but had not painted yet.

I changed that over the past few days:

Desert Village - photo 11

Please excuse the bad Photoshop job (well, [Pixelmator]( actually) :). The individual buildings were glued to 60x60mm bases (two in the case of the oasis) which were then covered with shell sand:

Desert Village - photo 2

After that had dried, the bases were spray painted dark brown. A few drybrush layers of various earthy tones later and the job was done. More pictures, including individual bases and the source for the picture above to prove I'm not cheating :), in its [Flickr photoset](

Ah yes, the picture of the desert above is a pic of an actual bit of Libyan desert, found [here](

Friday, 7 January 2011

State of the Republic

I was already writing up my wargaming plans for the year, when I saw Bart's post appear. So here's my list of projects for 2011, and a little reflection on 2010.


- Actually, I didn't make that much progress this year in terms of new figures or games. A couple of years ago I made a promise to myself not too buy any new ***unpainted *** figures (emphasis is important here) as long as I still have unpainted stuff left lying around. So, I have been slowly chipping at my unpainted collection. See the Samurai posting below to see some recent work.

- My forte has always been more in the games designing and rules writing, rather than in painting. We have experimented quite a lot with a Napoleonics Divisional rules based on the original writings of Paddy Griffith. Also, I ran an experimental matrix-style game, in which all players could control all of the forces (of both sides) all the time. Great fun.


- More painting of unpainted figures. I have the grandiose plan of trying to finish everything by the end of 2011. I haven't made an exact count yet, but that should several hundred figures. So far this year, I have finished quite a few: 20 20mm Vietcong; about 8 28 mm Copplestone Future Wars; and 3 flats(!) acquired through Berliner Zinnfiguren. As you can guess, my painting standards should not be too high. The Army Painter dip is a blessing from heaven!

- More 'committee' games. I would like to run some more of these, stressing cooperation between players, and often (but not always) involving a miniature component on a classic gaming table.

- Experimenting with a new 'look' for the gaming table. I've become enamored with flats, or maybe I should try out some of the more classic toy soldiers in 42 mm as produced by Shiny Toy Soldiers or Irregular.

- Organization of more games with my collection of figures: WW2, WW1, ACW, SciFi, Fantasy, ...

- The quest for the ultimate fantasy ruleset continues!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

State of the union

Just when you thought you'd read the last of those '2011 plans and
resolutions' posts, here's mine. In my defense, I did one of these [last
year]( and it's my blog anyway. So there.

First, let's recap the projects from last year and see what I did for them
this year:

* Poltava. This is that rare beast -- a project that actually was
finished. We collected and painted two armies,
built the terrain and put on the [Poltava game at Crisis]( The armies in
question have been used several times since and will be used more.
* Bavarian Napoleonics: currently, these have two line and one light
infantry battalions (24 figures each) painted, as well as a two gun
artillery battery (bought off Ebay). I also purchased a painted 36 figure
line battalion off Ebay. In the same general area - 28mm Napoleonic
figures for the 1809 campaign - I purchased a fully painted Austrain
army on Ebay (exhausting my wargames budget for the year, had I kept one
able to put on a game with these figures (because it was a few for each
nationality instead of lots for one), I'm still calling this a success.
* Romani Plastici. Another success. While I only painted one extra unit
for them last year -- the [auxiliary cavalry]( -- this did turn out to
build up to a playable force, as we played a game with them against my
[Celts]( last week and it turned out that they are more than a match
for those, so I'll have to switch to painting more Celts instead of
* Sideprojects: not much happened here I'm afraid. I did paint the
Uncharted Seas ships (evidence thereof [here]( ) but did nothing for
the Future Wars stuff (except buy more figures :) ).

So, all in all a successful year in projects. Which brings me seemlessly
to my project list for this year:

* 28mm Napoleonic figures for the 1809 Danube Camaign. This now becomes my
main project for the year (and probably several more years,
given the all embracing nature of Napoleonic wargaming). I'm
painting the Bavarians myself, have sent off the French line to a
friend's [painting service]( and have an Austrian army that only needs
to be rebased. The initial goal is to be able to refight the Abensberg
battles (featuring about a division each of Bavarians and Austrians) by
summer. By then, the French should be underway so I can move on to
Teugn-Hausen by fall.
* Romani et Celti Plastici: I'll continue building up the Romans and
Celts, mostly in anticipation of the new Ancients ruleset by Priestley
for Warlord Games.
* Side projects: still the Future Wars stuff (the land phase for the
Beryllium Wars narrative campaign), as well as refurbishing a Russian
Cold War era army I bought second hand (do you see a theme developing
here?) to face off against my Brits. Additionally, I'll paint up the
occasional extra unit for the Great Northern War armies. I'm planning on
refighting some of the Russian campaign battles and find that I'm short on
cavalry for many.

And finally, a new project:

* 28mm Fantasy wargaming. I bought the Island of Blood boxed set by Games
Workshop to have a set of figures to play games with the kids with. Not
being able to contain myself, I have since expanded both armies and bought
dwarves (Mantic) and Orcs (Foundry) to go with them :). So this year will
see me painting up some of these. Of course, this is all a subtle plot to
put pressure on Phil to develop his ultimate fantasy wargame ruleset :)

That's more or less my high level plan for toy soldiery this year. If I can
stick by it as well as I did last year, I'll be very happy. I will make one
resolution as well though: buy less figures this year :).

What's everyone else up to this year?