I have been wargaming for 10 years in which time I have finally settled on two eras, Napoleonic and WWII, both in 15mm (1:100). Most of my ramblings will be about gaming in these two eras. An attempt will be made to record my wargaming interests, building of armies, ideas, interests and hopefully some games played.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

A horse a horse my paintbrush and a horse

Someone thinks I enjoy painting horses. Hmmm well I have had these horse for several weeks if not months waiting to be finished. Painted on the undercoats but then ...... each time I pick them up I got painters block, could not not see how they should look. Am I alone in getting these blocks? I've kept try to tell myself that they are only horses but to no avail. I think part of this block is that someone has asked me to paint them, as in his opinion I can paint good horses. That immediately puts pressure on, and I want them to look good.

Anyway forced myself to slap a little more paint on them the other night. The starting point was as below with basic undercoats applied.


One problem I find with Minifig horses is that there is minimal releaf in the castings. The owner seems to like the big round rumps of these horses, (not sure if that is sexual or not :-) ), but to me they seem plain and stiff. I've no enthusiasm to paint them.

After a while and a few more slaps of paint and I think they're ready for stabling.



Not too sure about the grey but I hope they're acceptable.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Kriegsspiel

I've been trying to keep an eye out for a supplier of Kriegsspeil rules for some time. Have good memories of a game played in the early days of the "gang of four". When we became just two, the Kriegsspeil rules were lost to us.

If Kriegsspeil is new to you, these are rules devised by the Prussian military in 1824 as a training device for officers. They are regarded as the birth of wargaming rules so all wargaming rules owe there existence to Kreigsspeil. They concentrate on tactics at battalion level and below. Coloured blocks are used to represent units on maps at a scale of 1:7500. These maps may well cover 100 A3 sheets for the campaign tactics, down to 9 - 12 A3 sheets for the engagements.

Three sites of interest:

Too Fat Lardies to purchase rules and maps.

Irregular Miniatures to purchase Kreigsspeil blocks.

Kreigsspeil News a support site for the rules.

I don't know why I hadn't found these guys sooner but I feel another purchase coming on. At least it's not lead so will not add to the mountain.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Hellcats

Just to bring a little variety to this blog thought I'd introduce my Americans.

While I am concentrating on my German WWII force, I am also building a small American WWII force. This was started when my son was living at home with thoughts that we might get a game or two. I think I might have scared him off, as we had one game just before he left for uni and since then he has not been home long enough to organise a game. I will continue to build this force but only very much in the background so as not to deter the completion of the major parts of the required German forces.

Below are a couple of shots of the Tank Destroyer Company, two M18 Hellcats. Both are Flames of War castings.



More photos of elements already completed will follow in due course.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

120mm Mortar

Here is the 120mm Mortar support company for my Infantry Division. A bit of a mixed bag being made up from a Flames of War Steyr 1500 Kfz 70, Battle Honors 120m mortar and Peter Pig crew.

All packed away in their storage tray



Mortar being towed



Mortar deployed in its mortar pit

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Damn Damn and thrice Damn

I succumbed to those demons again. Could not resist some figures on ebay ....... and they arrived today. Austrian Militia, painted as Bohemian, brown coats with blue facings, white trousers. They will need basing and according to my information the facings are wrong, (I'll have to investigate further) but otherwise an excellent buy. I will post pics when finished and based, which might be a while.

Now then, 22 bought painted but I need to finish them, so will I be able to count them as painted when finished? ..... me thinks this is a loop hole in "The Honorable Lead Hoarder Vow".

Monday, 23 March 2009

German Infantry Regiment completed

Well here it is, the completed German Infantry Regiment of two battalions, following the OOB in Rapid Fire v.2 rules.




2nd Battalion HQ

6th Company

8th (Heavy) Company

Recce and Engineer platoons

Could have spent more time on them but there'll do. Have to keep reminding myself that they are only tokens for the gaming table.

The Honorable Lead Hoarder Vow

I thought I was alone and was the only mortal soul possessed by the Lead Mountain Demons. But it seems these demons are plentiful and have possessed many a fellow gamer. While digging in his garden, Thorbjorn Nielsen discovered an ancient tablet with the "The Honorable Lead Hoarder Vow" inscribed. He kindly posted the vow here on the Lead Adventure Forum.

I have it here in its original format as an easy reminder to myself.

"The Honorable Lead Hoarder Vow"
"I hereby vow to not buy a single miniature before I've painted at least two.


I shall display in public my will to resist the temptation of the lead, by entering into my profile the holy data of The Honorable Lead Hoarder Vow:


The letter P: stands for Painted


The letter B: stands for Bought


The letter V: stands for Vow-status-currently-as-by-the-rule-of-1-painted-gives-1-point-,-1-bought-takes-away-2-points


Be strong in spirit and resist the lead! Let not lead take over your life!"



What an excellent idea . I might have to adapt this idea into my blog but with a 1 for 1 point allocation. Do I start from zero as the high priests of the thread suggests or do I start from lead allocated to current live projects? As my blog is aiming to reduce my lead mountain I think I need to start from current position. The big question is, have I the time to climb the mountain and count each stone? Perhaps I should tread carefully and start slowing so not to scare the demons into drastic action.

My interpretation of the ancient vow with my legend explained.
Painted = any completed item (based and ready to use) 1 point for each figure, vehicle, or building (horse and rider count as 2, limber teams horses, limber and figures count separately).
Sold = Any item purchased and/or painted prior to 01-01-09 and sold.
Bought = any figure, vehicle, or building bought since 01-01-09.
Vow status = Painted plus Sold minus Bought ( + value shows reduction of lead mountain).

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The start of it all (a little background info)

After a little reminiscing I thought I'd put some background info on the blog to how I started wargaming.

It all started some 10-12 years ago. Life had taken a drastic turn and I seemed to have time on my hands in the evenings. A couple of lads at work were into wargaming and met with one other to be the gang of three. They kept asking me to join them for an evening. After a few put offs (too busy washing my hair etc.) I eventually turned up to a gaming night, armed with a few cans, to be impressed by a large section of Waterloo terrain. One of the guys own the complete Waterloo battlefield in Hex terrain. (More of this later in another blog). They were creating forces to campaign "what ifs" during the years after 1815. Nations fighting over the scraps of German states after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. With French, Dutch Belgium and Bavarian being the main armies and ideas to collect others. Their idea being to build armies for all the German states and surrounding nations. I was impressed the the game enough to ask what I could collect and paint. The first suggestion was an Austrian force "...dead easy their uniforms are all white...." was something like the comment made. I think that that was what put me off, the thought of painting a major nation in all white. (With hindsight I now know better). The 1815 Brunswick force was another suggestion for variation I could add British and other minor nations later. The black uniform also seemed to me to be an easy uniform as an introduction. So I stared to build a force based on the Brunswick 1815 contingent.

At this point can I say that railway modelling has always been a hobby that has a great pull for me. Why I didn't rekindle my interest at this point I don't fully know. The only reason I can think of is that I had found three guys with a passion. With railway modelling I would have been a lonesome modeller. So it was probably as much social aspect to get me out of the house as much as the historical and modelling aspect that interested me with wargaming.

After a few years of, once every 2 - 4 weeks, gaming and campaigning with many different rules, re-basing figures, painting new units etc. The gang of four became three then quickly two. At this point the two of us decided that we had had enough of using different rule sets each week, and never really understanding any rule set fully. We decided on Shako as our preferred Napoleonic set of rules. Not sure why apart from they were a set that my opponent had a preference for or at least owned a full copy. Another round of re-basing but this time down from 24+ figure battalions to 12. I also decided that I would continue to occasionally use the computer rules "Hard Pounding" so based figures to suit both rule sets.

We found that by sticking to one set of rules allowed us to get to grips with them. Once learnt Shako rules can give us a game we can complete within a short weekday evening. Even though some gripping games finish in the early hours. (Or is it due too much merry banter across the table). As yet we have not purchased the new rules Shako v.2 but this no doubt will happen soon.

After a time we both discovered that our interests in WWII was mutual. We thought that it would be a small distraction to Napoleonics. Before I joined them the gang of three had briefly used the Rapid Fire rules with a small collection of 15mm figures. At that time they had decided that a 6 x 4 table was too small for WWII and dropped the rules and era. This briefly put us both off for a while but thought that this could not be correct as there seemed to be many WWII games played on a 6 x 4 table. With thoughts that this could have been another case of the rules being quickly read and some critical elements being misinterpreted. We promptly dug out these rules and figures and had a couple of very satisfying games. One thing lead to another and we now have a good selection of British, German and American forces between us, which are still expanding.

What I enjoy about this hobby is the research, the history, the collecting and painting of units as much if not more than the gaming. Without the gaming there would be no incentive to do either the research or collecting and painting. Some times I do spend too much time researching when time would be better spent painting but any hobby should be enjoyed in what ever fashion and pace any individual wishes.

My gaming partner has the skill and patience to paint units up to an excellent standard in a short space of time. Where as I paint in short stints and take long to finish units. After a while I personally found that painting two periods and interleaving games in both was having a negative effect on my painting and moral. Units were not being finished before having to change era's and try to finish another unit for the next game. So a decision was made that we would focus on one period for 12 months. A dice was thrown and WWII became the chosen period.

WWII projects on the go at the moment include:
1) A German Infantry Division.
2) A small German Fallshirmjager Regiment/Kampfgruppe.
3) Building a Panzer Kampfgruppe based on the 21st Panzer Division in Normandy.

Not sure that all the above will be completed within the year but I'm making good progress.

My current Napoleonic projects that are on hold:
1) Completing an Austrian Army of 5 divisions.
2) Finishing KGL Division.

So that's how it started and were I am at the moment. The German Infantry Regiment is very near to completion along with some of its supporting units. Photos will follow.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Bookshops are dangerous

Well dangerous in as much as my partner and I find bookshops fascinating and normally if entered cannot escape without some purchase under our arms. This Sunday being no exception. After we both decided to walk into Lincoln to have a bimble around, it was inevitable that we would end up inside a bookshop. The book below is one that did not escape my grasp.



Once picked up I knew it had to find its way back onto my bookshelf. It focuses on the common Infantry Division soldier between 1939-45. It does not cover Panzer or SS troops nor has it any officer uniforms or equipment. However, it is a fantastic book, covering all items of clothing and equipment carried by the common German soldier during WWII. All illustrations are photographs of actual items in full colour with informative text. It starts with an introduction that sets the scene for the common soldier then continues with chapters on helmets, through uniforms and equipment, ending with chapters on music, tobacco, and leave and leisure. Contents of chapters contain such items as cameras, ration books, field telephones, shoe mines.....I don't think there is much missing.

It can be difficult to identify what each item is on some castings before painting. With this book in hand all items should be identifiable. I only wish I'd found this book before painting my German Infantry.....

Saturday, 7 March 2009

German Infantry Regimental Colours used

These are the colours used on the last batch of German Infantry

Undercoated - Chaos Black

Face -
Base coat Burnt Sienna finished off with Colour Party Continental Flesh.
Tunic - Valjaro 920 German Uniform
Trousers - Valjaro 920 German Uniform or Valjaro 830 German Field Grey or Valjaro 821 German Beige Camoflage with ???
Helmets - Valjaro 830 German Field Grey or Tamiya XF-63 German Grey
Rifle - Burnt Umber
Bread Bag - Tamiya XF-57 Buff
Gas Mask - Tamiya XF-65 Field Grey or Valjaro 830 German Field Grey
Water Bottle - Tamiya XF-64 Red Brown
Gaitors - Tamiya XF-49 Khaki or Tamiya XF-65 Field Grey
Tent Quarter - Valjaro 821 Germain Beige Camoflage with ???
Leather bags - Burnt Umber or Tamiya XF-65 Red Brown
Holsters and some straps - Burnt Sienna
Boots and straps - Black

Thursday, 5 March 2009

German Infantry Regiment photo update (1)

Just a few photos showing the state of play of my German Infantry Regiment. These are of the first battalion. Still need to finish off the storage/movement trays but otherwise this is complete.




3rd Company


Battalion HQ


1st Company