Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Gardes - progress

Done all the lacing, muskets, hair and gaiters!

Really just got the highlighting on the faces, hat lace and belts to go. Thursday night should see them done, I think.

I have some more castings that ought to serve to get the regiment to the 43-figure minimum level, so that's the next tranche.

As a sideline, I'm also starting to paint some Hanoverian grenadiers - I think I've one a pretty good job on their red coats, and the orange facings clash terribly. Still, they'll look better once their white lace is done.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Gardes Francaises

I've gotten on with the Gardes Francaises regiment.

I have two companies - one of Fusiliers and one of Grenadiers on the paint-bench today. I have taken them through a blue base-coat and highlight, done the base coat on the faces and facings (a dab or two of brown really helps the red cover over where the blue has been splashed with merry abandon) with an eye on doing the hats, hair and highlighting the facings this evening.

Once they are done, this will push the lads up to 30 figures which is only a baker's dozen or so short of their establishment of 43. I do intend to push the size of this regiment up to about the 60+ figures mark eventally to at least give a nod to the fact that this was more like an infantry brigade in "real life".

Guests will be arriving for lunch soon, so adieu for now.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mein Gott, these Englaners fight like madmen...

The lads are in the midst of a highly unsuccessful "cover the bases with sand and paint them green" experiment! Painting of the induviduals is complete.

What to do...

Just realised I have quite a few projects on at the moment.

I'm home sick today with a badly rolled ankle and am examining my (worryingly-growing) pile of lead and wondering what to do.

Shall I put my troops on maneuvers? Read a couple more table Top Teasers? Actually paint something? I've been shying away from painting my WAS/7YW troops for some reason recently. Perhaps it's time to get stuck in; do those light troops I've been banging on about. It'd be a good way to use up some odds and ends in varying poses. I'd like to do a Charge!-style regiment of two companies, each 12 strong of light infantry. OK - you talked me into it.

On the subject of being talked into doing things, I'd love some feedback on the Bauer-His Majesty-von Browne vignettes. What I'm trying to do with them is add a little depth to the Alzheim setting. I though it might be a way of exploring their little world. I have at least two more in mind and wonder if people are finding them, if nothing else, entertaining? If that's so, I'm really thinking of carrying on with them in the long term.

Sculpting. This is a rather scary word for me, but I'm starting to come up against the limits of what I think I can do with the RSM range. I'm starting to think about some head-chopping conversions, but this is going to lead me down a certain road. A road paved in greenstuff.

For example(s), the Prussian officer with spontoon would be better-looking were he looking off to his left and encuring the troops were maintaining their alignment. The von Kleist infantry (Loading) is the whole of what's available. I'd like a little more variety and think a von Kleist head on a Hungarian infantry body might broaden the range of what's available to the King of Prussia. On the topic of the head-swap, it might be nice to produce a British Light Dragoon who is doing other than firing at the halt - Emsdorf, anyone? Likewise, I wonder whether an "Advancing" torso mounted on "Marching" legs might not produce a somewhat satisfactory standard bearer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Melee - quick and dirty

Figures or unit bases in contact with each other during the melee phase are engaged in hand to hand combat.

Maximum odds are 2:1.


1:1 - each player throws 1d6**
2:1 - roll 2d6:1d6

Compare the scores*:

a) If equal, another round of HtH must be played out next turn;
b) Difference of one, the loser flips a coin - heads, his figure surrenders, tails he withdraws a full march move and;
c) Difference is more than one, the loser becomes a casualty and is removed from play.

Figures that have withdrawn may be rallied by an officer by making contact with the cotacting them and rolling on 5-6 on a d6.

*NOTE: Figures defending an obstacle get +1 on their score.
** NOTE: Cavalry throw 2d6 per figure if against foot.

Morale - quick and dirty...

Morale Checks are made under the following circumstances:

a) A unit takes 50% casualties;
b) A unit's immediate commander in the chain of command has become a casualty or;
c) Any unit subjected to artillery fire in the previous turn.


For a) or b) above, throw d6 per unit: 4+ they operate normally 2+ they may operate defensively 1 they must either surrender to an enemy unit that is within 12" or run away in the next move phase a full charge move.
For c) above: 4+ they operate normally 1, 2 or 3 they must either surrender to an enemy unit that is within 12" or run away in the next move phase a full charge move.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

An "Actions" move

I was daydeaming yesterday morning in the shower.

I was thinking about what I'd been re-reading in "The War Game". I was also thinking about points which had been somewhat discussed of late on the OSW Group.

Points do strike me as a very useful concept, not so much in terms of providing game balance - I'm not really very interested in balanced games; give me a long, losing retreat any day. I like points as a measuring stick, either of damage done or to limit what may be done.

Apropos of nothing I started applying the concept of points to the move.

For the sake of argument, lets say a unit has 20 points to spend on actions per move. Unspent points are lost.

10 points - fire a volley;
5 points - move 3" (5" if cavalry...);
5 points wheel 90 degrees;
10 points to change facing of rear rank;
15 points to about-face the entire unit;
5 points stand fast.

Any casualties are removed at the end of the "actions" move - before the "melee" move begins.

I suppose you could make an argument whereby a unit that stands fast for so many moves (shall we say 3?) may accumulate 5 points per move that may be expended on movement only. Perhaps this could represent a charge that descends with the fury of a thunderbolt?;^) Perhaps such a charge ought to get a bonus in HtH combat?

Give me a week and I'll try to draft a one-page ruleset to test the idea and I'll put it up here.

Any comments?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Old School Pub

*Act the First*
"Bauer, stop fussing! It's only a puddle!"
"Your Majesty's shoes ARE only embroidered paste-board..."
"Don't call me that! One is enjoying a night of roisering abong thelower orders! One is incognito! Remember! tonight I am merely the simple old Fritz. Now, Browne, you go first; what about that one there? You'rethe military man - reconnoitre."
Von Browne looks dubiously at the sign above the door. The sign reads 'Scab and Piquet'. "This one?" There is quite the hubbub comingfrom within.
Bauer says: "Isn't this the one you always take us to?"
His Majestat shrugs his beefy shoulders then winces. "Damnation takethis gout! Now, are we going in or what?"
"Chacun a son gout, I suppose."
"Bauer, you speak French too! Is there no end to your accomplishments?"

Inside, the three are momentarily taken aback."Good God, they've changed the place around haven't they? Look, youcan nearly see the floor, AND there's an oompah band playing in thecorner. I love a good oompah band! Nothing like a little oompah! Eh,what! Browne, the drinks are on you. Bauer here will have a porter andI'll have... ohh, there are just so many choices. I'll have one of those estalian lagers with a slice of lemon in it. Unbelievable -who'd ever have thought you could get a beer with a lemon stuck in it?"
"Your Majesty remains as ever a paragon of taste and discernment -er, I mean, what ho old Fritzy, this porter's going down a treat, me old mucker. Hey? where's von Browne going?"
"Don't let's be TOO familiar, Bauer - Whey-hey-hey! looks like he's going to challenge those old fellows in the corner to a game of some sort."
"Whazzat Fritzy? Er, your Majesty."
"Hm. Those sour 'old Prussians' in the corner there. Look at 'em -here every night just about, swanning around in their red coats. Hob-nobbing with one of my Sergeants of the Grenadiers! Always hogging the booth in the corner. Scoffing beefsteaks. Look at 'em with their pipes (incidentally, when we get back to the palace, make a note thatI want a pipe just like that one) and their enormous steins (and one of those steins) - they probably don't like the new rushes on the floor! Ha! I like them just fine. Probably muttering in their moustaches about the oompah band, too!"
"Uh-oh. von Browne just stuck four creutzer on the table." Bauer wiggles into a more inconspicuous posture.
"Well, good. It's everyone's toy soldier table - it's there by My decree. I love those tables. I used to have one for playing football when I was just a princeling,but the handles came off. Look they even have a little woodencannonball for the grenadiers to kick around! Barkeep! Bring me wine!Bauer! He's ignoring me! I say this is a rather splendid disguise; I'll have to make you Master of My Revells!"
A loud shattering noise marks the breakdown of amity over the toy-soldier table. Cries of "Take that Jerry" and "Mein Gott, theseEnglanders fight like mad-men!" are heard.
"Your Majesty, I suggest we retire to the palace."
"A capital suggestion Bauer. You know, you really are quite theindispensable factotum."
"Why, thankyou your Majesty. Ah, shall we leave von Browne to it?"
"Well he IS a military man. He should know what to do."
*exeunt omnes*
*The curtain falls*

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Daydreaming when I should be at work...

I was noodling around the internet and straggled my way to Phil Olley's Italian Wars page of his excellent website ( when I remembered I have some GW Empire plastics floating around at home somewhere. I could do some of those halberdiers... Then I remembered that I have a dozen or so of their Greatswords...

This is the point when alarm bells start to go off in my head and I start looking on eBay for bits and bobs I can buy on the cheap.


Rapid Fire Progress

I've just about finished the first battalion of British infantry - just two more figures to go then it's on to basing. I'm going to go pretty simple, just sand stuck to PVA glue painted green and washed with brown ink. I might dry-brush if it seems necessary.

About half of the second battalion is either undercoated or has it's first wash. I've another dozen figures in the "almost finished" state, too. along with two stands completed.

Two more boxes of Revell Infantry arrived last night, so, on I go.

The Achilles TDs have been base-coated and washed as have the first two M4 Shermans. The second pair are under construction and will be finished off tonight. I finished assembling and undercoating a Matchbox Dingo scout car, too which is the cutest little thing... Sometime I'll have to assemble Monty's Caravan as well! Nice little group of Officers with this kit; I'll turn them into my Brigade Staff with an addition of two from AB. Still looking for a pair of Fireflies.

So I'm looking at about a Brigade of Infantry with an attached MG Company, SP AT Battery and a couple of Squadrons of tanks. I was thinking this could be supplemented with a towed 17pdr Battery and a Battery of 25pdrs and another of 5.5in with Matador tows. I'd probably expand the Tanks to a full regiment and then take stock. I might also need a Squadron/Company of Churchills at some point, too...

Just free-wheeling here...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Painting 20mm Plastics

As you can see from the pictures i'm using promarily a "wash" method of painting the troops. I start by preparing the figures with a wash in dishwashing detergent, then a spray of varnish to stiffen the figures up followed by a spray of white.

Then the fun begins. I mix up my version of khaki and add a very generous amount of water and slop it all over the figure, really trying for a thorough coverage. I'm really only careful to keep the hands and face clean.

Next I paint the face and hands and helmet with a slightly thinned flesh wash. I also paint any wooden items (like pick handle and entrenching tool handles) brown. Leather jerkins also get a careful wask of slightly thinned brown. If I'd been thinking, the rifles would have been done at this stage too!

Finally the whole figure gets a wash overall of a dark-brown ink - again rather thinned. This really defines all the straps, does a lot of the work on the fleshy areas and defines the details of netting and camoflage on the helmets.

Later I'll paint all the boots and metalwork black with some mid-gray highlights, give the web equipment and bandoleers a little targeted highlighting to make them stand out and last of all run a mix of red-brown into the lips and jaws to bring them to life. I might follow up with a little highlighting on the faces if they seem to dark.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Latest goodies from SoldierPac

Just arrived in the mail, five marching Infantry ad one officer from SoldierPac in the UK. These are very reasonably priced at GBP1.80 for a foot figure of GBP5.00 for a cavalryman. I'm very impressed with the cheapness of the postage to Australia and the speedy delivery. All round excellence is something that you don't come across too often, but here it is.

Bloody good show all round.

Cuirassiers du Roi

The first instalment. Love that officer.


Snapshot taken of a pair of Achilles Tank Destroyers passing through Alzheim in MArch 1945.

Captain Crunch was told by a native: "Thank heavens you're here! None of us were Nazis, you know. It was all that fellow Hitler's doing! I hope you won't be turning us over to the Russians?"

Sadly, Alzheim spent the next fifty-four years as part of East Germany.

Riders of Alzheim

Riders and Warriors of Alzheim as depicted by the Alzheim Histoical Re-Enactment society (Keeping History Alive!).

There is some debate as to the veracity of the green cloaks, and some still question the absence of horns from the helms of the mounted men.

Most of the information we have from these, the dark ages of Alzheim are taken from the famous "Donau Tapestry" depicting the victory of Helm Eohorn over "Da Orkz" in the year dot. As is well known the tapestry now resides in the Louvre, having been looted by a revolutionary army en route to Italy in 1795.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

New Blog

Take a look at Scott Robertson's new blog. It's a thoughtful look at WAB/WHECW with some very well photographed pictures of his lovely miniatures - those Cossaks! Those Lithanian Hussars!

One for all the WABBITs out there!

Friday, June 02, 2006

War Plan Red

The War Room.

A terrain is laid out on a large table. It groans all the while under the weight of all the hills and valleys laid out in dampish sand. Streams and ponds and so forth are finely shredded blue paper. Figures by Meisterzinn.

"Ah ha" cries his Majesty in triumph. "Caught you there Keith you old devil!" I bet you never expected my Cuirassiers to be lurking behind that hill!"

"No indeed, your Majesty", says old Keith. "But did your Highness note my Croats in that spinney yonder? What do you think of that, eh Bauer?"

"I am sure His Majesty will riposte in a most effective wise in the fullness of time. Now, gentlemen, some light refreshment? Where is Schmundt with those sweetmeats? Schmundt? You, blaggard, idling as usual! Ha! Shall I cuff him Your Majesty?

"By all means Bauer, deliver the fellow three solid buffets! Stint not your blows! You see Keith? That's how to keep the idlers and shirkers in line! Eh! What! (Strike on Bauer) "Oh, blast my breeks! The fellow's knocked the table over. Imbecile! Conduct the Generalfeldmarschall hence that he may have the sand brushed from his coat!"

"Your Majesty, realy I am quite all right."

"No, no Keith, I do insist!. Bauer will set the table for us that we may take up later; I assure you my memory of our respective dispositions is quite exact."

"Your Majesty."

"My dear Generalfeldmarschall."

Bauer walks over, a silver Grenadier in his hand, bayonet slightly bent. "Your Majesty has the same way with the soldiers as the King of the Prussians."

"Why thankyou Bauer. You are really quite a usefull fellow yourself."

Thursday, June 01, 2006


In the robing chamber, the Southern Wing of the palace.

"Insupportable!" bellowed His Imperial Mightiness.

"Indeed Sire" murmured his suportive valet.

"It's not to be borne!" The walls quaked before the Royal Wrath.

"Indeed, not, your Majesty!"

""I've never cheated at cards before in my entire life..! Sparing that regrettable incident when I was Rosenkavalier to poor von Ochs!" A sniff. A delicately applied kerchief.

"Tsk, tsk. More powder sire?"

"A little, yes. I say, do you think this bit of broderie anglaise sets off my coat nicely? Ha! Bah! Have the court assembled. It's war to the very knife!"

"Your Majesty will cut quite the dash, of that I am sure, Sire."

"You are a fine fellow Master Bauer. Whatever would I so without you?"

"I'm sure your Majesty would soon find someone."

New Toys Courtesy of eBay

A couple of Britains Hussars c 1993.

More Gunners

Three od the same basic casting with one arm change to produce the bloke with the rammer. I've two more in preparation at the moment - another gunner and an officer with binoculars.