TFL Painting Challenge: Another Big Update

Apologies for the lack of posts this week: been very busy with real-world work.

As an example, I had a big battle this morning (Scenario #3B from Vyazma or Bust!) and was too tired to set it up last night: had just put the final figure down on the deployment table when the doorbell rang and the first of my four guests-players arrived. Great game:  AAR follows within a day or two.

In the meantime, here's another update for the Painting Challenge. Today we have entries from:

  • Andrew Helliwell with lots of 15mm foot
  • Matt Slade with more DC Comics figures and some nice ACW Confederates
  • Steve Burt with some more Napoleonics
  • Dave Humm submits his first entry for the year: a mixed bag of ancients, WW2, moderns and ACW figures in two different scales
  • Mr Naylor pops in another Soviet WW2 platoon
  • Andy Duffell is big into his 28mm WW2 vehicles at the moment. Here's another five.
  • Andrew McCarthy also sends in a bit of a mass entry: ancients figures and some scratchbuilt buildings
  • Mr Bairos is another lurker who emerges from the deep: lots of 28mm Napoleonics but no pics
  • And Mr Douglas sends another four-score or so of US troops to the front

Today's picture is from Mr Helliwell: some nice ACW figures from Peter Pig:

TFL Painting Challenge: Colossal Update!

Well that's taken me a bit longer than I expected!

Loads of entries today: people must be taking advantage of their summer holidays! Making me feel like I should paint something today, but I'll have to fit that in around chores and preparing for tonight's game.

In no particular order, we have:

  • Treadhead with some rather nice 6mm Mechs
  • Mr Luther with some entrenchments
  • Matt Slade with three sets of entries: Arthurians, Crusaders, and some chaps from the LOTRs
  • Mr Hodge with plenty of 6mm figures. He's preparing to play the Blenneville or Bust! campaign. Very sensible.
  • Steve Burt with some horse artillery
  • Mervyn pops in loads of 28mm US types for Chain of Command
  • Ralph Plowman showcases the latest Armies Army 15mm sci-fi release. Very nice they are too.
  • Owen sends in his usual cornucopia of figures: Nappy's, pirates and loot!
  • Mr Naylor has finished his first 15mm WW2 Soviet platoon. Must be preparing for Vyazma or Bashnya or Bust!
  • Keith Davies sends in some 6mm WW2 tanks and tank destroyers
  • Egg increases the size of his fleet
  • And Lief adds three Germans to his collection

In honour of the effort demonstrated by the above, four pictures today. Those of you who know what I like will know what's coming!

First up: Lief's three Germans

First up: Lief's three Germans

A Life On the Ocean's Wave: Egg's latest additions

A Life On the Ocean's Wave: Egg's latest additions

Latest releases from Armies Army beautifully painted by Ralph Plowman

Latest releases from Armies Army beautifully painted by Ralph Plowman

Some of Matt Slade's Arthurians

Some of Matt Slade's Arthurians

Vis Imperica Army Galleries: the Imperial Chinese

Another army that I really like: the Imperial Chinese with a few Boxers added in for good measure. This is another army made up of figures from a painting service and, again, I can't remember which service it was or even who the figure manufacturer is...I think it's Irregular, and I think that it was their in-house painting service, but I'm not sure.

 The great thing about the Imperial Chinese is how unrelentingly rubbish they are! A loss can be greeted with a shrug of the shoulders and no shame, a victory can be celebrated as an incredibly impressive achievement, especially as they are usually fighting much smaller but much better armies from France or Britain. I think the trick is not actually to engage the enemy at all ("the art of fighting without fighting") at least until you can get close enough to overwhelm them through sheer numbers. Oh, and don't tell the Boxers that their lucky amulets don't work very well!

Click on the picture below to see the whole collection:



TFL Painting Challenge: Loads of Entries Were Waiting For Me!

I see that everyone has been very busy painting whilst I've been away.

In no particular order we have:

  • Mr Ralls still alive and kicking, and painting like crazy: 28mm WW2 Germans and 1/48 modern Brits for Fighting Season
  • Stephen Miller adds some lovely horse in 28mm and 54mm: not bad for a man with only one arm working!
  • Mark Luther pops in some 20mm ATGs and sends in some pics for previous entries
  • Mervyn with some ancient horse and WW2 foot
  • Andrew "the other" Miller with an imagi-nation piece
  • Richard Naylor reminds himself how to paint 15mm figures
  • Mr Hodge adds loads of 6mm tanks
  • Thomas sends in some Viet Minh
  • Mr Davies enters some...well the photos aren't very good, so I've guessed at what some of them are!
  • And finally Mr Helliwell sends in loads of lovely 15mm figures from a variety of figures.

Today's pictures are from Mr Miller, of the Stephen variety; Mr Ralls; and Mr Helliwell. Keep them coming!

Stephen Miller's 54mm French Carabiniers

Stephen Miller's 54mm French Carabiniers

Jason Ralls' "Fighting Season" Brits in 1/48th scale

Jason Ralls' "Fighting Season" Brits in 1/48th scale

Mr Helliwell's Pike and Shot

Mr Helliwell's Pike and Shot

Back From Holiday!

The perceptive amongst you may have noticed a distinct lack of posts recently. That's because I've been on holiday for a week or so.

A lovely holiday, in fact, down in Cornwall, staying in a little cottage just on the beach in Polzeath. Only one small problem: no wi-fi, no 'phone signal: pretty much cut off from anything wargaming related!

So what was I doing to fill this major gap in my life?

Well, to prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks:

An update to the painting challenge follows shortly...well, after I've summoned up the energy to do so!

TFL Painting Challenge: Thursday night

Lots of entries again today, including two (from Topi and Sapper) that seemed to have been lost in the ether for a couple of weeks. Just arrived in my Inbox today despite having been sent some time ago: weird!

Righty no particular order we have:

  • Topi with a plethora of German WW2 vehicles
  • Sapper with some lovely mounted samurai
  • Keith Davies with some WW2 20mm kit
  • AJH returns with a bang...and an eclectic mix of figures
  • Andrew Helliwell with some AWI Brits and WW2 Germans
  • Treadhead returns with some cracking-looking Taliban
  • Thomas pops in some palm trees and a cheeky half-track
  • Mr Burt submits some more great looking Napoleonics: British this time
  • Mr Miller, of the Andrew variety, returns to the challenge for the first time in 2015, almost equaling his 2014 total in one go.
  • and Egg adds some more to his collection of Italian ships

Today's pictures are from Egg, his ships; and from Treadhead, his Taliban:

IABSM Basing: Problem Solved!

Those of you who have gamed with me or seen my AAR will know that most of my infantry figures are based individually: a typical eight-man squad being made up of six figures on 5p pieces and the LSW team of two figures on a 2p piece.

This means that I can remove casualties without the dread "rings of death" ruining the look of the tabletop, and also position them along uneven terrain features as well.

Those are the positives.

The main negative, however, is that it takes an awful lot of time to move individual figures around the tabletop.

I have got around that in the past by using rectangular movement trays as shown in the picture below:

Functional...but not pretty!

These are fine: very functional...but they are not at all pretty.

Now, however, I have the solution, thanks to Warbases.

I contacted them a couple of weeks ago asking if they would do some custom bases for me: movement trays that would take my unique squad basing regimen both for 8-man squads and for 10-man squads. Needless to say, they came up trumps.

Here, for the first time, are my patent Avery-bases for IABSM:

Well, this is one of them after I've painted it a simple green and then flocked its upper surface. 

You can immediately see that in addition to the holes for the figures, there's even a hole for a mini-dice which, in IABSM, I'll use to note Shock. Other systems could use mini-dice of different colours to differentiate units.

Here's how they look full of figures:

The new bases allow me to move figures around the tabletop quickly and easily, to remove casualties, and to make sure I don't get Shock dice lost or mixed up as well.

Well done, Warbases. I am one very happy customer!

Vis Imperica Army Gallery: the Crimean British

I do love my early war British army! They've fought in India and in the Crimea, and have always given their all!

Embarrassingly, I can't remember what make of figures they are, but they are a real mixture. Even more embarrassingly, I do know that I didn't paint all of them (I used a painting service) but I can't remember, or even tell, exactly which ones I painted and which ones I didn't! I'm pretty certain that the two command figures, the Grenadier Guards, 66th Infantry, 11th Hussars, and the Rockets are my work; which means that the 57th Infantry, Rifles, Lancers and both Light and Heavy Dragoons aren't. I'm certainly claiming the 11th Hussars and Lord Cardigan, as I'm quite pleased with them.

Click on the picture below to see the whole gallery:

Vis Bellica: Battle Reports Being Added

I've finally got around to starting to add the five years or so's worth of Vis Bellica ancients period battle reports to the site. 

As they vary in length from a few paragraphs to a major dissertation, rather than giving each report it's own page, I'm adding them in blocks defined by months. Might make it easier to read a whole lot of them at once as well.

Re-reading them all as I transfer them across has made me pine for the game a bit. I really must get on with the second edition...

Click the picture below to go to the VB After action reports page:

Q13: New Manufacturer Added

I've added DLD Productions to the list of 15mm sci-fi figure manufacturers.

They currently produce a range of vehicles under four different headings:

  • the CMF (Coalition of Military Forces)
  • Opfor (Opposition Forces)
  • Shazakeem Defence Force
  • Kir (aliens)

What I like about the ranges is that they add something new to a somewhat crowded marketplace.

CMF Badger FO Vehicle

CMF Badger FO Vehicle

The two main ranges, the CMF and Opfor, have more than just the MBT and SP artillery vehicles that dominate other ranges. Each base chassis has a number of different configurations that include such things as ARVs, scout of FO vehicles (loving the periscope scanners) etc. There's even at least one cargo hauler, so my need for tail as well as teeth is well satisfied.

The alien vehicles are very alien. Not, I must admit, to my taste, but very bold in terms of design: very, er, alien, in fact...and I'll def get some of their drones.

All in all, an excellent addition to the 15mm sci fi shopping mall!

CMF Truck

CMF Truck

TFL Painting Challenge: Large Numbers!

Evening all. Large numbers of entries already this week, so about time for an update.

In no particular order, we have:

  • Egg with beaucoups de Francais
  • Thomas builds some trees
  • Ashley pops in some nattily painted sci fi infantry
  • The Matt Slade machine rumbles on: riders on chickens?
  • Paul Baldwin submits some creepy-crawlies and 4ground houses
  • Mr Naylor finishes his US Marines. Is that Maggie I see there?
  • Tony Stapells writes an essay on his painting: some rather nice 6mm figures
  • Mark Luther does some barbed wire, some more 6mm aeroplanes, and some tanks too
  • Owen enters enough Austrians to make the Sound of Music many times over, and some naval cannon too
  • and Mr Plowman paints up some very nice sci-fi stuff from newbie manufacturer White Dragon and old favourite Khurasan.

So many picture opportunities today. Very difficult to choose. After consultation with various offspring who should be in bed by now, I'm going for Matt's chicken riders and Ralph's pair of lovelies from Khurasan.

Want to see more?  Check out people's individual galleries. Well worth it: very inspirational.

Q13: The Chuhuac Get Some Logistical Support

Some of you may already have seen my Chuhuac: 15mm velociraptor-like aliens from Loud Ninja Games. They are a great set of figures, full of life and animation, that are a real pleasure to paint up and play. I usually use them as mercenaries: a rapidly-moving, light infantry force designed to hit hard and fast and then disappear again.

So when Loud Ninja Games announced their second release, the Ikwen, I was at the front of the queue to buy a set. These are salamander-like aliens, also in 15mm, whom Eli has conceived as a sort of low-tech planetary militia. 

I loved the figures, but didn't really like the idea of fielding them as I've come up with an alternative use for them: they are paid by the Chuhuac as their logistics tail. The little dinos are the teeth, the Ikwen the tail...and just as the various cooks and bottle-washers in other armies have sometimes had to pick up their rifles and fight (Hurtgen Forest, Battle of the Bulge etc) so the Ikwen occasionally go into battle as well.

Here they are:

Vis Imperica: Prussian Gallery Added

As the title suggests, I've had a chance to photograph the Prussians in my 19th Century figure collection and add them to the Vis Imperica army galleries.

Ah...the Prussians. Amazing troops in the system we used: big units, good weapons, excellent artillery, good troops:  very hard to beat. So hard to beat, in fact, that beating them often became the be all and end all of any game that they featured in. They were the favoured army of one particular player, who was always keen to extol their virtues, so the rest of us were always equally determined to thrash the pants off them, and would do anything we could to do so.

Click on the picture below to see the whole gallery of much-maligned figures who probably had no idea why everyone was always out to get them!

TFL Painting Challenge: Sat AM Update

Enough entries to justify a quick update this morning:

  • Matt Slade has his usual submission: some Dreadball players and some very nice Batman figures
  • Topi roars back into the challenge with some 15mm WW2 Germans
  • Mr Hodge re-bases some more, and paints skeletons and Picts
  • Steve Burt finishes off his French
  • Mr Naylor enters some more 20mm Marines
  • And Mr Helliwell survives all that the world can throw at him and pops in some 15mm Germans and a huge chimney!

Todays pic is from Mr Burt: some more of his lovely French


Vis Bellica: Scenario Loading Underway

Just in case anyone was wondering why the post count as slowed slightly, it's because I'm making a real push to re-load all the content for the Vis Bellica and Vis Magica sections of the website. VB is up first, and I'm currently in he middle of loading all the scenarios I wrote for the game. 

Macedonians in action

Macedonians in action

Each scenario comes with a history of the battle involved, so they are well worth a read even if you're not a VB or Ancients player. So far I've managed to load scenarios for the battles of:

  • QarQar: Assyrian action in the desert
  • Leuctra: the Spartans get a bloody nose
  • Chaeronea: Philip of Macedon in action against the Greeks
  • Hydaspes: his son, Alexander, fighting the Indians
  • Zama: Hannibal and the Carthaginians take a beating
  • Cynoscephalae: action at the Dog's Head
  • Carrhae: the Romans under Crassus come a cropper in Parthia

All available under the Vis Bellica tab in the top nag, or direct by clicking here.

More on the way. In fact I might do another now...