28 May 2013

AW Miniatures New Releases for Muskets & Tomahawks

As you are aware I have been painting some of the AW Miniatures French Indian war figures for my Muskets & Tomahawks force. I had the fortune to meet up with Andrew and his better half at Triples and offered a few suggestions on marketing his range for the M &T game as his current range did not cater for this popular game.

I am pleased to announce that he has constructed 4 starter forces that come as close to 200 points as possible, using his existing range of figures. The pricing of these forces is extremely competitive and will definitely be on my shopping list I urge you to put these excellent figures on your wanted list .

Rangers - priced at £25.00 for the 200 point force

British - priced at £28.00 for the 200 point force

French - priced at £28.00 for the 200 point force

Indians - priced at £30.00 for the 200 point force

As a consequence of this meeting amongst other things he agreed to assist the Bloggers for charity project. More details on that to follow on the charity blog.

25 May 2013

A bit of a bad week.

Things looked really good at the beginning of the week and I had so many plans.

I had been doing some painting of the French, I was set to finish the plastering on the renovation work at Kelly's, had been working on the new charity project with James and had been sorting a few things with Andrew at AW Miniatures.

However it appears I have been over doing things in the last few weeks and whilst up a ladder plastering Kelly's ceiling my body decided it was going to shut down, and promptly did. I went home for a sleep and that's when I really had a problem as I woke up with the whole right side of my body very numb.

She Who Must Be Obeyed insisted despite my man mutterings of it will be ok!! don't need to bother the quack etc etc so of I trotted to the Docs only to be told, I really need to get to A+E pronto and I was promptly dispatched to hospital. The diagnosis was not the best, but it could have been a lot worse.

I am recovering nicely and although it may be a couple of weeks before I can get back to a paint brush. I will be able to organise some of the outstanding charity stuff as I can type left handed. I am no longer able to do any more building work however as it the docs have definitely ruled me out for this.

This means that my blogging efforts may be quiet for a short spell and I will not get the French painting guide finished in the next couple of weeks. I should be ok for a few games with Kev though as part of my recovery program. I believe rolling dice constitutes gentle exercise :)

23 May 2013

Spammers are they annoying or just thick


Now I am normally fairly restrained but those that know me, know if wound up I let fly.

What is it with these low life, spineless, complete wastes of space. Not content with being too fat to get off their back sides and do something useful, they sit and write piles of steaming crap, and cause others offence by sending it. Despite the spam blocker on Bloggers best effort in the last week 204 piles of crap have had to be self erased. It has caught more than that itself and in total I have received over 500 spam comments in a week.

Now don't get me wrong I expect the odd bit of spam, and can normally accept its part of life, unwanted like a kick in the bollocks but still happens now and again, and I deal with it.

I really didn't want to up the spam blocking harshly on the blog because I always wanted anyone to comment, freely and sensibly. Which ordinarily they do, however, I had 7 spam comments on eating placenta, 16 on how to get Viagra and a whole host of other crap tonight and as it seems constant at the moment, so I have turned off the ability to comment anonymously and shortened the post self moderation time. For this I apologise but I needed to do something.

I have not turned on word verification yet as this is a very annoying feature and as I previously said can often present unreadable script. I apologise for this move but doubt I would be allowed to run the streets with an AK47 shooting spammers as should be my right, after all the best way of dealing with vermin is eradication.

Right that's the rant over and done with for now.

21 May 2013

Triples 2013 - my haul

My haul from weekend was extremely modest by my standards and I normally spend a small fortune. However I am being fairly good this year and sticking roughly to the years plans.

I do have a weakness however when it comes to books and seeing a copy of the uniforms of AWI was to hard to resist and it sort of follows on from the FIW project I am doing and will form part of my plans for later this year.

I picked up a couple of packs of bases from warbases, I will need a lot of these over the coming months.

3 sets of the Foundry paint system were acquired, it really makes painting simple for me.

I did receive some more lead from Andrew at AW Miniatures to bulk out my French regular unit to 12 figures and he kindly threw in a British officer and NCO.

My bargain of the day was the Celtic Battle heroes book for the princely sum of £3.00 off the bring and buy,   it has info on 4 heroes,  two of those that intrigue me, Macbeth and Fionn MacCumhail are dark age heroes.

My last purchase was a ruin from commission figurines which I wanted to build and will blog this item in the future.

The rest of my weekend has already been documented and published in the earlier post.

20 May 2013

Bloggers For Charity

The new bloggers for charity blog has been set up and the basis of the plan for the coming year is outlined.

Please click the link below and +1 this post to help us make this an event to remember through the power of blogging.

Thank you for taking the time to visit.

Triples 2013 a quick round up

For me it has been a busy weekend. It all started at 4pm Friday helping my good friend Martin set up the Warbases stand for the show. Saturday started at 8am finalising the stand set up and getting ready for doors opening. It was a busy day and the customer flow was constant till 5 pm. I had some time to do a little networking with traders for the secret project I have mentioned previously all will be revealed for this shortly.

Sunday saw the coming together of a small band of bloggers to finalise some details for a collaboration project. We are hopeful that many other wargaming bloggers will get involved in any way they feel they can assist, and James will be setting up a blog specifically to deal with this project.
From left to right,a dubious bunch of fellows Kevin, Myself, James and Mike. We will be trying to steer the project safely and blogging its progress on a multi author basis. Once everything is set up and we have finalised a few details I will publish full details here.
This is the logo we have designed for the project and will be using to promote this project, we aim to have this completed and running for Triples 2014, subject to us being accepted to run a game at the show.

I can announce that we have got the support of a figure manufacturer for this project after some negotiations and he will be designing some additional figures for his existing range to complete our project with we will be using the French Indian war ranges from

19 May 2013

Spanish peninsular buildings.

I purchased a set of Warbases modular buildings, designed for 28mm Mediterranean dwellings, and decided to see how well they would work as Spanish Peninsular buildings.

The first buildings I used were the Two storey building and the Tower, to make a farmhouse. These went together very well, assembly was quick and both buildings come with a good amount of windows and a couple of doors. I did a little conversion and replaced the roof with a sheet of plastic pan tiles. An exact fit (whether this was by design I do not know).

After assembly I added some very fine sieved sand to the exterior to create a rendered effect. Then mounted the entire building to a large base board, adding a low stone perimeter wall from a mould I have already.
The building was base painted in a mid brown before being dry brushed up in several shades of off white. The window frames and shutters were finished in traditional green (it wards off the devil). The pantiles were given three progressively lighter terracotta shades.
The walls and the ground work were given a mid brown base coat, before being worked up to there respective final colours through dry brushing.

The final thing to do was add some scrub and turf in suitable sun bleached colours.
I have two other buildings from the range that are under construction at present, I can see many possibilities from this range as they appear very adaptable. With prices from £2 to £3.50 plus VAT these are a reasonable base for a scratch build. Requiring just a little time and effort to turn into usable items.

16 May 2013

Triples 2013 awaits and a new blog page

The Wargames train arrives in Sheffield, the annual weekend event Triples is this weekend.

Two years ago I had just completed a major terrain build for a Saga Demonstration game with a couple of former club members.
This table has featured in Wargames Illustrated several times since and now belongs to the boys at Gripping Beast.

This year Triples will be a different event for me as my shopping list is very small, However I plan to be very busy as  I meet up with James, Mike and Kev, all fellow bloggers to discuss plans for a charity event at Triples 2014. Plans are already under way with some battle plans drawn up and a few traders to discuss plans with. I will be getting involved with the project and will be offering advice and skills for the terrain build.

I cant say any more at present until we have something concrete to take forward. So watch this space for more news. It promises to be a very good year!! its always good to give something back too.

I have also put up a new page on this very blog, I am selling off some terrain. I inherited all the terrain that I made for the now dissolved club, and have kept what I need for gaming. However there is a large amount of it and most has not even been used therefore I have decided to sell this off. I thought I would give you all a chance to purchase this directly from me. I have spent a few hours installing a PayPal checkout for the items. So pop over and take a look, there are some bargains to be had.

15 May 2013

Tamsin's Blog giveaway

Tamsin the owner of the blog Wargaming Girl is doing a give away for the next 5 days to celebrate the milestone of her efforts reaching 100,000 hits.

Of course my quick post here is purely to obtain an extra 5 entries for the 1st draw. Who knows one day I might actually win something.

Too find out what goodies are inside the bag head on over to her blog and sign up!!

14 May 2013

Muskets & Tomahawks - French regular infantry (part 2)

Continuing with the French regular infantry figures from AW Miniatures, I have chosen to paint these as the French Regiment No 34 La Sarre.

On April 3rd 1756, the 2nd battalion boarded fleet transports to Canada along with the new French commander Montcalm. It disembarked at Quebec on 12th May, and from there went to Fort Frontenac on lake Ontario. They featured heavily in the battles in New France during Montcalms campaigns.

Above is a Historex plate of the Regiment and others.
This is an image of the La Sarre regiment and its soldiers in various states of dress and Undress uniforms.

Musketeers - Black tricorne laced gold with black cockade. Capote red brim with blue bag yellow fleur de lys on brim.


grey-white coat, with blue collar and cuffs. Horizontal pockets with 3 copper buttons




crossbelt, pack, waistbelt and cartridge box all natural leather
Here is my test figure painted up, next I will do a full step by step painting guide for the remainder of the figures.

12 May 2013

Muskets & Tomahawks - French regular infantry (part 1)

Finally I have got some figures back onto my painting table. While at Salute working I just had time in the last 10 minutes of the show to run out an pick up a pack of French regular Infantry to expand my Muskets and Tomahawks force.

I had been looking at the ranges of AW Miniatures for the French Indian war, on the Internet for some time. Patiently awaiting the release of the French, I had seen the rangers at Derby last year but as I have plenty of rangers I resisted.

As with my review of the North Star range I will break this review into a couple of sections. Firstly I will deal with the castings then the painting.

Overall the quality of the figures is impressive, they are well sculpted and should suit most painters styles. Being chunkier sculpting these should fit in with Redoubt and Front Rank figures nicely. They do have a small amount of visible mould lines, but none that are hard to remove or placed were an important part of the figure will get damaged. My pack did have some figures that were a bit flashy but this was easily cleaned away and in total I spent 5 minutes cleaning all eight figures from the pack, ready to paint.

I bought the small pack of eight figures for £9.00 this is excellent value for money considering these are metal miniatures, coming in at approx £1.13 a figure. The pack contained 1 Officer 1 NCO and 6 rank and file. The rank and file come as 2 firing, 2 advancing and finally 2 advancing in capote.

This does give me a problem as they are not usable for Muskets and Tomahawks in this format. Units have to be between 8 and 12 men containing 1 NCO. An officer is only available for units of 10 or more figures however he is treated as a separate unit for game purposes.

A similar problem occurs with the larger pack of twenty figures, and they cost more coming in at £1.25 a figure. You get 1 Officer, 1 NCO, and 18 rank and file so on this occasion you are an NCO short of making two units. Hopefully the NCO and Officers will become available for purchase individually.

Next up for these will be the painting and they will be the first figures that I will give a painting guide for.

10 May 2013

The beginning of the forest

First of all let me say thank you and welcome to the new members of the longship crew, good to have you aboard and I hope you find something of interest.

In the final instalment of the tree making for now , I have the makings of a decent forest for our Muskets and Tomahawks games and a suitable amount for use on a 6ft x 4ft table. I have a long way to go for the Gettysburg terrain and have calculated that I need enough trees to completely cover a 6ft x 4ft area.

being composed of random shapes that loosely interlock I can create many alternative layouts from these bases.
Now when I need to go where a tree stands I simply remove it from the base and put to one side.
I simply move up to cover the hole.
Then replace the tree when I move off giving me a nice looking woodland again.
I have used a mid sized armature, this means they will work for both 15mm games and 28mm games without the need to use larger trees. as shown above the trees with 15mm Tigers and below some 28mm woodland Indians.

9 May 2013

Would you really have Loki as the best Man !!

This post is scheduled as my good buddy of many years is about to relinquish his freedom once again, and is getting married to Charlie tomorrow. It is an honour to be chosen as the best man, why he asked me I have no clue as there has to be safer bets than I with a skin full.

In true Gaming spirit we are having a wargame tonight on the eve of the wedding, we are hardcore!!! and at the time of this post I should be shooting a naval landing party subject to the dice gods approval.

Charlie his wife to be has given me the brief on the requirements of the best man speech, to be kept clean devoid of any naughty references to Kevs past etc etc and knows I will ignore 99.9% of said info.  I've seen the speech and its far from safe, were's the fun in that.

Charlie is Lord of the Rings obsessed or should that be possessed so I can guess this image will be in her mind tomorrow. Talking of rings, is it me or is it ironic that "The One Ring" that has the ability to bind mankind and bring nothing but pain and misery to the world looks suspiciously like a wedding ring!!!

All that remains is for me to wish them well for the day ahead tomorrow, as I will be busy consuming alcohol after a visit to the pawn shop with said 'precious'.

8 May 2013

Tree Armatures a step by step guide.

In my recent post on making woods I got asked how I kept the foliage on the trees. Now I could have kept this knowledge to myself as it took me a lot of hard work, and many hours to perfect the technique so the trees did not defoliate on a regular basis when gaming.

However, I shall share my method of making trees using woodland scenic's excellent armatures.

Before I start you need to have the right equipment as shown below:
You will see I am using foliage clusters (not clump foliage) for this demonstration, the reason for this is the clusters are denser and don't fall apart so easily at the start. I'm using three colours for variety. As an aside clump foliage can be used but it needs a treatment ( of which I wont impart the knowledge) before use to give it similar properties to the clusters. You need a tube of SUPER GLUE GEL nothing else is really good enough  believe me I have tried many different types of glue. A tin of extra strong hairspray, a can of clear matt varnish and finally the use of a hair dryer.

cover the entire branch on short stubs or down to the divide on longer branches.
Break a lump of foliage of and make some smaller chunks, make them rough.
Wrap a chunk of the foliage cluster around the branch and hold until the glue has set.  DON'T GRIP TOO HARD or you will be attached to the tree.
Work one set of branches at a time from bottom to top, and work the main trunk section last.
You should end up with trees like this now, but the job is only half done. If you want this stuff to stay put then a little more effort is required.
Give your trees a really good spray with the hairspray staying about 10 to 12 inches away from the trees, this should soak into the foliage and any small pieces that are not attached will fall off at this point.
Now give them a good dry using a gentle heat from a hair dryer. It is at this point once they are dry the foliage should feel stiffer.
Repeat the hairspray and drying process again.
Finally give them a good coat of clear matt varnish and leave them to dry. They are now ready for gaming with or in my case completing the woods.
Next I use a special mix of flock and apply to the tree base and the woodland board. I leave a rough edge to the outer rim of the wood board for the flock that matches my tables.
Finally I apply flock to the outer edge to complete the woodland base.

6 May 2013

The Blue and The Gray ( part 1)

Ok so the wargames butterfly has struck again. This particular butterfly has been around a while, gently fluttering away in the background. Myself and Kevin (Kev's wargames cabin) decided to work on a joint venture over a long period. The aim is to refight Gettysburg and other notable battles of the American civil war during my 50th birthday year using our favoured rules Fire & Fury the original version.

My part in all this will be to make the terrain, purchase and base up all the figures, while Kev beavers away at the brushes and paints up the forces for both sides. Now 4 years may seem very long term but one look at the number of stands Antietam requires and you will know why.

We have chosen to use the excellent Peter Pig range of 15mm figures for the entirety of this project. The first 50 plus stands have been completed and I have made some progress on basing them. However currently the figure production is at a stalemate with Kev's wedding fast approaching and a large commission slowing him down at the moment. However that will change shortly as he frees up some time to get another batch of figures completed.

Here is the first batch.Of course when doing this period you have to start on one side or the other, fortunately for me the first completed figures are all Confederates.

Confederate commanders, Army commander, 2 corp commanders and 5 divisional commands
 Robert Edward Lee Confederate Army Command stand

Thomas Johnathan"Stonewall" Jackson (above), James Ewell Brown Stuart (below) Corp commanders

 4 Confederate artillery battery's

3 Confederate 4 horse limbers

 6 stands of Reb cavalry

Obviously we have a lot more to do, and we have decided to make life a little easier by making many of the infantry stands generic for both sides, so they can be used in most battles, or it would be overly expensive even in 15mm scale. 

5 May 2013

Dark Age Terrain reworked

When the club dissolved it was agreed that as I had made and donated a major amount of terrain to the club, it would come back to me to deal with as I saw fit.

While I have done very little figure painting this week, I have done some terrain work, mainly because two of the Dark Age buildings had been badly damaged in recent weeks due to careless packing away.

I was rather annoyed that the scratch built Church had had a heavy plaster building thrown onto the roof meaning the roof had to undergo a reconstruction and then repainted. The watch tower had also been flattened into the bottom of a box again annoying but easy enough to repair.

Whilst I was doing this I took the opportunity to touch up the minor damage to the huts and re flock all the bases to match my table.

This has now given me plenty of buildings for me and Kev to play Saga and other Dark age games with.
4 huts and a rebuilt watch tower.

The church with new reconstructed roof and rebuilt wooden tower (late Dark age), all re flocked to match my tables.
This is Loki's Great Hall, this has been re flocked as I had this at home already.

That's the Dark age terrain completed, my efforts now are going to be on some AWI and FIW war buildings recently obtained from warbases.
A block house and Barn in the early stages of construction.
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