Friday, December 30, 2016

6mm AWI Preview

I am almost done painting up my entire 6mm Southern Campaign AWI Project from Baccus, and I intend to post a full report, but here is a preview.  I went from "Hey, I think I'd like to do AWI" to figures ready for the table in about 8 weeks.  Infantry units are 40 figures on a 100mm (4 inch) frontage.  I love 6mm.

Later I will post all the gritty details of what Baccus codes I used, my fit of terrain making, and my fascination with Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames, plus some reading.  Meanwhile, enjoy!

I staged a quick solo, Cowpens - like battle just to push some troops around.  I have more painted and am a few weeks from being 100% done.  Click photos to enlarge, apologies for the bad photos, I snapped them quickly.


The battlefield after a couple of turns


British Legion Cavalry 


SC Militia awaits the British onslaught


Patriot riflemen snipe from the treeline


71st Highlanders prepare to advance
(yes, I know they should not be in kilts, but that is all Peter makes right now)


Reading on the table too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

All The King's Men 54mm School Diorama Project

Apologies for not posting in a while, real life has dominated my time this year, but I have gotten at least one project in.

One of the classiest acts in the hobby today has got to be All The King's Men, fine purveyors of 54mm wargaming figures for the AWI, ACW, and War of 1812.  I had the privilege of playing in their recreation of the Battle of Camden last year at Historicon and I must say it was the single best convention game experience I have ever had.  Doubly nice as I am a Camden native and my dad lives a few miles from the battlefield,

Why?  The organizers were organized!  The had well organized reference sheets, markers and dice for every player, and enough helpers to guide folks through the rules (although I think it only took a couple of turns before most of us were operating without help.  Their terrain and figures were beautiful and the GM kept the game moving along at a good pace while keeping it fun.  Other GM's could learn a lot from watching how they do it, I know I did.

Now, my wife, who is a New Hampshire native, is an 8th Grade South Carolina history teacher.  It has led to some interesting conversations over the years, but I decided it would be nice to use my limited painting skills to make an American War of Independence diorama for her classroom.  I decided to go with ATKM 54mm figures for maximum impact and to do a sampling of troops that fought in the Southern Campaign during the war.  I selected:
  • 2nd SC Continentals
  • A SC, NC. or VA Militaman
  • 1st Maryland Continentals
  • 33rd Regiment of Foot
  • British Legion
  • Volunteers of Ireland
I ordered individual figures from ATKM with separate heads.  The separate heads were nice, I could get exactly the headgear I needed for the regiment I wanted to depict.  Ken with ATKM helped me select exactly what I needed and when he was a couple fo days late shipping (still well on time as far as I was concerned) even threw in an extra officer figure!

This was my first experience with 54mm in the raw, here are the figures being glued to popcicle sticks for painting.

They were very clean castings with minimal flash. They are similar to 1/72 scale plastics and proportioned more like real human beings than heroic 28mm figures, so look slender compared to them.  As a consequence, while being significantly larger, they do not take up that much of a larger footprint on the table.   I think they would be an excellent choice for the periods they cover, especially for something like Sharp Practice.

Here they are in progress after a little painting.

Meanwhile, I purchased a long narrow display case for model cars from Hobby Lobby.  It was entirely of clear plastic, so I glued down soem artist matt board to give me something to glue the figures to and terrain.

I finally finished painting the figures, I found it was not too much more than painting a 28mm figure.  I did paint buttons, but I took a pass on the eyes.  Even at 54mm they should not be too large, and back when I did add eyes to figures they always looked surprised.

I added my favorite product in teh universe, Army Painter quick shade and glued them down.  I was going to hit them with matte spray, but my wife liked them shiny,


I then terrained the base using my usual approach for gaming figures: 
  1. Wall filler to hide the bases
  2. Watered down PVA glue with sand / model rail road balast.  Let dry.
  3. Paint black, then dry brush tan and light gray.
  4. Add flocking, woodland scenics clump foliage, odel railroad plants, and some sticks.
To make it look even more professional, I ordered some engraved plastic name plates from Trophy Depot and they were certainly worth it.  Only cost me $20 for all 6 and they really add to the finished look.

And here is the finished product.

And some close ups:




I finally added the cover and here is what the finished product looks like.


My wife reports that the kids love it and I think I may wind up being talked int running a gaming club at her school.  I am subversively propagandizing the next generation of gamers!


In conclusion, ATKM is a class act, 54mm is a great scale, and I have the best wife ever for letting me do this. 

Until next time, may you roll high and live!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

These are not men! They are demons!


Many thanks to Tom for hosting Camerone Day again this year!  It was fantastic fun, even though I played the unlucky Lt. Vilain and make a few poor decisions which allowed the Mexicans into the compound...

A great set of rules that gave each side purposeful decisions to make in a desperate last stand.

Here are a few iPhone pictures: (click to enlarge)
Tom sets up while the commanders look on

My Section of the wall.  The hacienda has Mexican snipers in it that would periodically take pot shots at us

The third Mexican assault is about the break in, let us seal the breach with our Legion dead!


And they finally do break in.  My last 3 wounded troops sell their lives dearly in the lower left corner

Captain Danjou's last stand


Thank for hosting the game Tom!  Ok, back on the WW1 wagon, the last bit of painting took longer than expected, of course.  Next entry will be my reading list for WW1, until then, happy gaming!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Quick update and current projects

Ok, been far to long since I have posted.  The normal impacts of work and more importantly family life have gotten in the way, but I have been slowly puttering along in the hobby.

The biggest thing I did over the last 6-8 months was to sell of many, many half finished projects, that despite my good intentions would never get done any time soon.  I really wanted to narrow my focus and focus more in gaming that buys stacks of lead that I will never get around to painting!  So... Goodbye 6mm WSS, 6mm Ancients, 6mm Colonials, 1/300 WW2 aircraft, 28mm WW2.

I now have my ready to play periods narrowed down to these, and even then I am probably sprading myself too thin:

  • 28mm Victorian Science Fiction
  • 28mm Pulp
  • 6mm Napoleonics (Wagram 1809 campaign)
  • 6mm Sci Fi (for Company Commander)
  • 1/600 scale Cold War (US, West German, Warsaw Pact)
  • 28mm Lion Rampant / Dragon Rampant with:
    • Vikings / Rohan
    • Orcs / Goblins
    • Lizard Men
  • ~100+ 28mm Sci Fi skirmish figures from random manufacturers for, well Sci-Fi skirmish games
That should be enough to keep anyone busy, but here are the projects I have currently in flight in some stage of completion:
  • 20mm / 1:72 scale WW1 (more on this later)
  • 28mm Normans for Lion / Dragon Rampant
  • 28mm Sicilian Arabs for Lion / Dragon Rampant
And finally, I am down to only 2 projects which are just in boxes, ready to get going:
  • 1:72 scale plastic Colonials for Sudan
  • 28mm WSS for large skirmishes

Whew!  That is a lot, but I feel much better not having so many undone projects hanging over my head.

My main focus has been my WW1 project that I have finally gotten around to completing after buying the first figures for it 10 years ago...  It is nearing completion and I will start chronicling it over the next few weeks, including posts on:
  • My reading list
  • Figures
  • Painting
  • Terrain
  • Rules
Stay tuned!