TFL Painting Challenge: Third Update of the Year

More entries coming in all the time. Today's updates are from:

  • Mr Naylor sends in his first update of the year, some 6mm Soviets from WW2
  • Matt Slade, of course, sends in a large amount of Napoleonic French. How does he get the time?
  • Egg has some more Cold War goodness on offer
  • Ms Flint pops in her first entry of the year: five boxes of 15mm plastic armour
  • Keith Davies is also back, and includes a few leftovers from last year as well
  • Chris Kay is new to the challenge, and has some lovely Napoleonic Brits for us to see
  • Ralph Plowman is back to sci-fi, with an exquisite battlesuit on show
  • Mervyn Douglas adds to his Dark Ages collection, and has a few Natal Native Contingent for us to see also
  • And last, but by no means least, Andrew Helliwell has some more Thirty Years War chaps for us to see

So we're off to a very good start already this year. Today's pics are below:

Mr Kay's first entry

Mervyn's NNC

A Quick AAR

As those of you who are regular visitors know, I like to think of this site as a bit of an archive for battle reports for the company-sized games produced by the TooFatLardies (IABSM, CDS, Q13 and their variants).

Many people now just send me in their reports direct, or drop me a line to let me know they've just posted a new AAR for me to lift from their blog or website. I always link to where I get the content from, so hopefully it's all mutually beneficial and generally promoting the cause of Lard...which means more potential opponents and therefore more potential games.

It's certainly not about money. For those interested, the 2-3 ad sites on Vis Lardica have been up and running for about nine months now, and have so far returned about enough revenue to buy a single battlefront tank, and a small one at that.

It's also great to see how other people have handled the games from the specials and scenario packs that you've played (or in my case often written!) yourself: seeing what they did when faced by the same situation.

I always try and get permission to lift content from other sites, but sometimes that's quite hard to get: not because of resistance (most people are very happy to help me grow the Lard!) but because of a lack of available content details or difficulties in communication because of language.

So here's a very quick AAR from Burt, from his excellent Spanish-language blog Las Partidas de Burt, which I'm going to translate as "Burt's Stuff". I have tried to get in contact with him to check he and the photographer are happy for the lift, but so far to no avail. Let's hope they are, as there's lots of good stuff on the site just aching for a wider audience.

You can visit his site by clicking on its name, above, and read the report by clicking on the picture, below.

IABSM AAR: Village Defense by Algiz

Fellow Lardy Algiz runs a Russian-language blog called All the King's Horses and All the King's Men covering the various wargames he and his friends play. You can visit his blog by clicking on its name, above.

He recently played an eastern front  game of IABSM involving the Germans defending a village in the face of Soviet assault, and has written a lovely battle report to go with the many pictures.  

I haven't been able to get hold of Algiz to ask his permission, so I hope he doesn't mind that I have used Google plus my own writing skills to translate his report into something easier to read than a raw Google Translate translation. I'd love to hear from him to confirm he's okay with that...and to find out what mostochka are, as my previous source on all things Russian is now, unfortunately, unavailable.

Click on the pic, below, to see all.

Incidentally, for those interested, this is the first AAR written using the blog function that I've switched to in the face of lack of available webpages (see post Page Limit Panic!, below).

TFL Painting Challenge: Second Update of 2017

Things are starting to get moving now, with lots of first-submissions received this week.

In no particular order, we have:

  • Dave Humm with what was the last of last year's output, but we'll let him claim it this year as last year's books are now closed
  • The Great Gatzemeyer sends in his first entry of the year: some rather nicely painted WW2 German infantry
  • Andy Duffell follows suit, but his are British Commandoes. Perhaps if the two of you...
  • Matt "the machine" Slade slams in another batch of Napoleonics destined for the Iberian Peninsula.
  • Mr Plowman goes gNorman on us in a change from his usual sci-fi offerings
  • Newbie John Haines sends in his first entry ever: some AWI British infantry
  • And other newbie Cabey Cabey has some French Hussars for us to admire, along with some pigs and casualties
  • Steve Burt has been watching Daktari, although I can't quite see whether the lion has crossed-eyes or not
  • We welcome back Mervyn, with his first entry of the year: assorted Celts
  • Egg also sends in his first submission: some lovely Cold War Brits with helicopters rescued from varnish hell with a little olive oil
  • And last, but by no means least, Andrew Helliwell pops in his second entry of the year: some more Thirty Years War troops

Today's pictures are from the Gatz, the Cabey and the Egg...

Cabey Cabey's French Hussars

Egg's Cold War Brits

Garrett's Gatzemeyer's late war Germans

Bloodaxe Miniatures Added

I try and keep my listings of manufacturers of WW2 and Sci-Fi figures as complete and up-to-date as possible, but I'm always coming across new ones that I've previously missed.

One such is Bloodaxe Miniatures, who produce a variety of esoteric ranges (Ancient Hawaiians anyone?) and WW2 figures for both the early and later war periods.

I haven't got any of them myself, but their site does contain a few pictures of unpainted models so that you can see what you are getting.

Here's a pic of something that did take my fancy: a "generic field car".

Might get one of these as a range tester!

First of the Xar

Regular visitors will know that my latest sci-fi army is to be the Xar, based on the range of the same name from Ground Zero Games or GZG as they are more commonly known. My inspiration (it's all about inspiration!) came from Ralph Plowman's beautifully painted models.

Ralph went for a sort of desert, sandy look...but I decided that I wanted something quite different to that or to any of my other sci-fi armies.

So I went for purple.

This first unit are the projectile launcher support troops, each weapon having a crew of three.

The launchers come separate to the figures carrying them, so you can choose what angle to have the weapons at: I've gone for an angle that can encompass a bit of indirect and AA fire.

Many more to follow!

Crimean War British Gallery

Inspired by having to convert all my other 19th Century galleries from web-pages to blog-posts (see my post Page Limit Panic below), I have finally got around to posting up the gallery of my 15mm Crimean War Brits.

This army is a mix of units that I had professionally painted, and some of the best 'block painting' jobs that I managed myself e.g. Lord Cardigan ("what is what, what is what") and the 11th Hussars.

Click on the picture below to see the whole gallery:

A Rather Useful Tool

I was in my local Games Workshop the other day, stocking up on various paints after the Christmas break, and was idling chatting to the store manager about various painting techniques and the like.

As I was popping a pot of one of their texture basing 'paints' onto the counter, I happened to mention that I used old paint brushes to apply the texture. Ah, said the manager, you should use one of these:


Now I'm all for having the right tools for the job, but this seemed a bit excessive, especially as that finely carved bit of plastic will set you back £5.

However, I was using up a voucher, and had enough left over to indulge, so I thought I'd get one and try it out...especially as I was fully expecting to be disappointed and have the opportunity to be suitably obnoxious about it next time I was in (what is it about GW stores that make me want to be obnoxious? I don't know: but it's true of all of them!).

Anyway, turns out I was wrong. I used this to base the Israeli half-tracks I posted about yesterday, and it really makes the job a hell of a lot easier that using an old paint brush, even when you attempt to carve said old paint brush into a suitable shape. I would go as far to say that that bit of plastic is the best thing as a basing tool since, er, sliced bread.

So, as compensation to GW for being prepared to doubt their products before I've even tried them, I'm posting about their tool here, and recommending one to everyone who needs to smear a bit of basing material onto a base!

Page Limit Panic!

This website is built on the Squarespace platform: very arty, very reliable, easy to use, and more than just blog functionality. Highly recommended for this sort of hobby site that needs a bit more than a pure blogging platform can offer.

I pay the $180 a year to have up to 1,000 pages and was somewhat surprised when, on coming to build the pages for this year's TFL Painting Challenge, I was told that I had reached my limit.

I can't have built 1,000 pages!

Of course, it turns out that I have. Two hundred pages for previous painting challenge galleries, five hundred pages of individual after action reports, all the different articles, army galleries and scenarios: it all adds up.

So what to do?

I contacted Squarespace and said "help"!

Their (very helpful) customer service chap couldn't give me any more pages, but pointed out that I was using the platform in quite an old-fashioned way: using web-pages rather than blog-posts for my content...a bit like producing a daily newspaper on super-high quality gloss paper rather than newsprint. 

He suggested that as Squarespace gives you unlimited blog posts, and that a blog post contains most if not all of the functionality of a web-page, if I was a bit clever about navigation and presentation, then I could actually archive a lot of my web-pages onto blog posts, thus significantly freeing things up.

Not only that, but Squarespace has various 'summary' functionalities that can group and present blog posts in a very pleasing way, and would actually save me the trouble of having to build second tier navigation pages line by line: I could just pop in a 'summary' block and the machine would do it for me.

Now the above makes me sounds positively antediluvian (hilarious, as I work in media and spend a lot of my time working on the commercial side of some very large publication websites) but as I sat and played with Squarespace, I realised that, as regards Vis Lardica, I was still in very much a pre-blogosphere mind-set.

So, gradually, over the next few months, I shall be migrating content as Squarespace suggest.


Trouble is, of course, this is very time-consuming and actually quite annoying: it's the web-designer equivalent of re-basing!

I've already spent four hours working out how best to present just one small part of the site (see below), and another four hours actually migrating the content. New areas will be built a la blog, but moving the old will take some time.

So, first area migrated is the gallery of my 19th Century (Waterloo to Mons) figures. Here, the navigation page is effectively a blog, with each different gallery being a different blog post, and with the links to the different galleries coming from a Summary content block. 

Click here to go to the navigation page and let me know what you think. I've also revamped the look and feel of the titling as well: always good to refresh look and feel occasionally!

TFL Painting Challenge 2017: First Update of the Year

And so it begins, with the first entries in already!

To start us off for the year, in no particular order, we have:

  • Ralph Plowman, with some very nice sci fi ship's crew
  • Mr Slade with an incredible 300 points-worth of figures already!
  • Sapper submits a sapper's cart
  • Steve Burt begins the year in Africa, Darkest Africa
  • Andrew Helliwell finishes his Tudors (for now) and starts on the Thirty Years War
  • and last, but definitely not least, the Mad Padre kicks off with some barbarian types

Today's pictures are from Steve, Sapper and the Mad Padre. 

Steve's Explorers

Sapper's Sappers

The Mad Padre's Wild Men of Dunland

Q13: New Manufacturer: Space Goblins and Uruks

There's a new range of 15mm sci-fi figures now being promoted around the web: a small outfit that seems to be called e&c or ec.

They have one range at the moment: some rather nice looking space goblins and uruks that come with a variety of infantry types and even a support weapon. Click here to go to their new shop.

Here are some of their figures:

Goblins with Carbines

Goblins with Carbines

Uruk Warriors with Pistols, Swords, and Machineguns

Uruk Warriors with Pistols, Swords, and Machineguns

Goblins with Heavy Support Weapons

Goblins with Heavy Support Weapons

Although orcs aren't really my thing, these look pretty good to me.

6DW: Israeli Anti-Tank Jeeps

As an alternative to the reconnaissance platoon featured yesterday, the Israelis can field a platoon of anti-tank jeeps. These are basically a jeep with a 106mm Recoilless Rifle fitted on top of it. 

Now this seems a little crazy to me. I can understand sticking a RR on top of a jeep in order to give your infantry a bit of bunker-busting support, but to actively promote said jeep as an anti-tank vehicle? Well, as I said, I think you'd have to be very, er, brave, to take on a UAR T-55 tank, or even one of the ex-Soviet WW2 vehicles, in one of these!

A platoon of four anti-tank jeeps. Figures are from Battlefront.

6DW: Israeli Reconnaissance Jeeps

These have been sitting on my painting table for some time, and only a concerted effort over the Christmas break got them finished.

As always, however, the most difficult part of the painting process was actually starting: once I'd put the first bit of paint on the first jeep, everything flowed from there.

So, an Israeli reconnaissance platoon for my Six Day War force: four jeeps containing two squads of infantry. Figures are from Battlefront.

TFL Painting Challenge: 2016 Final Scores

A very quick update today with a few people's last minute entries into the 2016 painting challenge.

We have:

  • Matt Slade with some last minute Wars of the Roses fillers
  • Jim Catchpole sends his entire year's painting through in one go!
  • Mr Hodge completes some more Mutineers
  • and finally Lloyd Bowler adds to his Vietnam collection

Mr Hodge's 28mm Mutineers

So that's it for 2016. You can check everyone's scores on the Scorecard, and see their entries in their individual galleries.

The 2017 TFL Painting Challenge starts from now: first update at the weekend!

IABSM AAR: Christmas in the Ardennes

'Twas the week before Christmas, and I was off to Benson for the last game of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum of the year with John, Dave and Bevan. 

The battle would take place in the Ardennes as part of the Battle of the Bulge. A strong motorised force of Germans was thrusting forward aiming to capture a fuel dump that would provide them with the petrol needed to drive to the channel ports. In their way was a company of Shermans, supported by infantry occupying a small town, and expecting reinforcements from nearby British troops.

Click on the picture, below, to see all...and the AAR contains complete briefings for each side allowing you to play the game yourselves.

More 15mm Poles

Still working on my 15mm WW2 Poles for the September War, and the Christmas break has allowed me to finally finish the lancers.

I don't know what it is about cavalry, but they seem to take four times as long to finish as infantry. It must be something to do with all the horse furniture!

Anyway, here are twenty lancers from Forged in Battle which, if I say so myself, have turned out quite well.

I've also painted up four two-man anti-tank rifle teams. These are in infantry helmets, but will probably serve as dismounted cavalry as well.

These look okay on the tabletop, but haven't photographed particularly well.

Right, that's it from my painting in 2016. Plenty on the painting table that will just spill over into next year...

TFL Painting Challenge: Update 30th December

Thought I'd better do a quick update to keep ahead of the tidal wave of entries coming in. As you'll see, below, it's not so much the number of individual entries but the number of entries per individual that needs taking care of.

So, today we have:

  • The Mad Padre with a round up of his recent painting
  • Matt Slade with a huge number of 28mm figures: more WoR and some lovely Doctor Who kit as well
  • Andrew Helliwell gets into the winter spirit with some cold-looking Germans
  • Treadhead makes a welcome return with his latest Sharp Practice offerings
  • and last but by no means least, Thomas makes a surprise appearance with a very large entry of Star Wars and Zombie stuff

Today's pics are some of the best of the above. Do visit people's individual galleries to see all:

The Mad Padre's Rohirrin villagers

Two of Treadhead's British infantry

"When the tower is in our hands..." Cybermen from Matt Slade

Well, we couldn't not feature Thomas now, could we?