Painting Challenge: Quick Wednesday Update

It's been a week and a day since the last Challenge update, so plenty of entries to get through. Still the core entrants providing most of the content, so come on the rest of you: pick up your brushes and get to work! Even I have managed to finish a unit, but more on that later in the week.

Here, in no particular order, are today's entries:

  • Carole with some barbarian cavalry
  • Sapper with quelque Napoleonics
  • A rather nice blockhouse from Chris Stoesen
  • Travis with some more French
  • Some more Assyrians from Steve Burt
  • Yet more pike and renaissance types from Mr Helliwell
  • There's basing galore from Stumpy
  • Jason Ralls sends in some lovely Dark Ages figures 
  • And last, but by no means least, Mr Slade has been painting cars for the Apocolypse, presumably caused by the Daleks and Cyberman he also sent in

As per usual, clicking on the name of the person in the list, above, will take you straight through to their gallery (opens in a new window).

Here are today's pictures:

IABSM AAR: Bashnya or Bust! #4A: Holm

Another great I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! AAR from Sergeant Steiner's marvellous blog, this time also supported by the comments of the Duc de Gobin, author of the epic Warfare in the Age of Cynics blog.

This time, The Sergeant and the Dice Demon, Steve, are playing one of the scenarios from the Bashnya or Bust! scenario pack for IABSM: scenario #4A Holm.

What's quite fun for me, as the author of Bashnya or Bust!, is working out which exact scenario they're playing from the photos. On this occasion, I knew it was Holm immediately (distinctive terrain!), but which one. Well the only one with that exact number of T-34/85s and that exact number of Panthers is hopefully that's it!

Anyhow, click on the pic below to see all. Recommended...along with a quick visit to the two blogs this comes from as well. Excellent stuff.


As usual, I hope that neither of the gentleman mentioned above objects to me re-posting their text and pictures. It is genuinely intended as a way to spread awareness of both IABSM and their excellent blogs rather than anything else.

Painting Challenge: Quick Tuesday Update

It's quite quiet on the Challenge-front...must be something to do with the weather.

Today, in no particular order, we have:

  • Carole with some more Ancients
  • More LOTR figures from Mervyn
  • Plenty of variety from Matt Slade
  • More French from Travis Hiett
  • Andrew Helliwell has a hill and some Germans
  • Mr Hodge smashes through his painting block with some AK-47 figures, both newly-painted and freshly-rebased
  • And last, but by no means least, Treadhead has a horde of tiny Soviets for us to enjoy

As per usual, clicking on the name of the person, above, will take you straight through to their gallery (opens in a new window).

And come on the rest of you: the year is ticking by and that lead mountain ain't getting any smaller!

Here are today's pics:

A Great Day at OML 6

Yesterday I made my annual pilgrimage to the bustling market town of Evesham (don't ask: about an hour away into tractor country) for the sixth Operation Market Larden Lardy Day.

Everything was organised, as per usual, to perfection by Ade Deacon and the other Evesham wargamers and, as I wasn't running a game this year, all I had to do was turn up and play.

In the morning, I played I Ain't Been Shot, Mum!, with Noddy umpiring a game set in the Ardennes during the Bulge campaign. Dave and I played the Germans and, in the morning game, drove onto to the table and set things up nicely for whoever would take over for the afternoon's game.

In the afternoon, I played in Stumpy's Zulu Wars game of Sharp Practice 2.  Here, again playing with Dave, we attempted to protect a supply column as it made its way to a trading outpost deep in the heart of Zululand. Dave ran the convoy guards, and I ran the defenders of the outpost.

Another great game, full of action and derring do. Dave's supply column and its Zulu attackers fought themselves to a standstill: I think there was only one unit left "alive" on each side at the end of the game. Meanwhile, my chaps rather sensibly stayed behind the walls of the outpost, happily blasting away at anything Zulu with their elephant guns. Not a Zulu penetrated into the compound, so all was good: we just won't mention what happened to the Boers caught outside!

There were loads of other great games also being run. I didn't take a comprehensive log of what they were, but here are pictures of three of them just to show you what an amazing set up we had: 

And, to top it all off, a lovely curry in the evening. Sometimes I really do pity the other people in the restaurant: "Fancy a nice, quiet, romantic curry tonight, dear?" 

Another great Larday Day. Highly recommended for those that have one in your area.

Great Movie Scenes #003


"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in tears in rain. Time to die."

No list of great movie scenes could ignore Roy Batty's final soliloquy in 1982's Blade Runner. The final version of the speech was apparently written by Rutger Hauer (who played Batty) himself.

For those of you who don't know the context, Batty is a replicant, an artificial human with a limited life span used for jobs deemed too dangerous or unpleasant for people to do, who has escaped his bonds and fled to Earth to find his maker and ask for more life. Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, is a Blade Runner, a sort of policeman who specialises in hunting replicants. In this final sequence, the hunter becomes the hunted as Batty chases an unarmed Deckard across the rooftops. Deckard attempts to jump to another building, but misses the jump, and is about to fall to his death when Batty saves him. As Deckard lies on the roof gasping for breath, Batty feels his death upon him...

TFL Painting Challenge: Quick Update

Must be time to do a quick Painting Challenge update. So, in no particular order, this time we have:

  • Mark Luther makes a welcome return with many, many little ships
  • It's "The Dark Ages": a big entry from Jason Ralls
  • Joe McGin is still in the Congo
  • Carole has some more later Romans
  • A return of his mojo gives Sapper enough of a boost to send in some SYW and Napoleonics
  • There's more lovely Frenchmen from Travis
  • And more lovely eastern front buildings from Chris Cornwell
  • Last, but not least, Mr Helliwell is painting up his winter Germans on the hottest day of the year so far!

As usual, clicking on the name of the person in the list above will take you straight to their gallery (opens in a new window).

Here are today's pictures:

IABSM AAR: Piotrkow Trybunalski

Just written up an AAR from the game we played yesterday using scenario #45 from the second September War scenario pack: the battle of Piotrkow Trybunalski.

A big game covering the actions of 5th September 1939 as the Germans drive down from the Borowska Heights.

Each side fielded a company of infantry and tanks, with the game taking about 3½ hours.

Click on the pic below for more:

More Astagar

More from my latest project: a company of Astagar, the 15mm sci-fi snakemen originally from Critical Mass Games but now part of Ral Partha Europe's offering.

Here is the first of the two infantry platoons that I am painting: 

Really nice models that paint up well. I like the variety in poses and tail positions.

If I have one gripe, it's their size. I know they are designed this way, but the models are mostly easily 20mm tall, which makes them very large when compared to a standard 15mm human. Either humans are the shortest race in the universe, or the world of 15mm sci-fi wargaming is suffering from extreme scale creep!

It also means that they are quite difficult to base. I had to use the Warbases equivalent of a small FOW base for each model, which means that they will take up an awful lot of room on the tabletop. I shall just have to see how that turns out.

Anyway, I like them...and would repeat my request that if anyone has any of the Astagar MBT or SP Artillery models that they don't need, I'll happily come to some arrangement to take them off your hands. They're not yet available from Ral Partha. please.

First of the Astagar "Foot"

As, of course, they have no feet!

Anyhoo, here are the first of the Astagar foot (sci-fi snakemen originally from CMG and now available from Ral Partha Europe): the mortar support weapons.

Nice figures that paint up well: I only wish my painting skills/patience were good enough to do them justice.

And, as a reminder, if anyone has any of the Astagar MBTs or SP Artillery that they don't want, do please get in contact ( and I'll happily come to some arrangement to take them off your hands.

TFL Painting Challenge: Sunday Morning Update

A lovely day outside after last night's thunder and lightning (very, very frightening, oh, Galileo...).

What better time, therefore, to do a quick Painting Challenge update.

So, today, in no particular order, with some shameless advertising, we have:

  • Mr Helliwell with some WW2 stuff in 15mm
  • Lloyd "The Hat" Bowler with some rather tasty Numidians and some 1940s British tanks.  I do hope he's bought my Blitzkrieg in the West: The BEF handbook!
  • More barbarians in 15mm from Carole, plus some 28mm later Roman cavlry
  • Mervyn pops in his second entry in as many weeks: Irish javelinmen
  • Ed Bowen returns to the fold with his first entry of the year: lots of AWI goodness
  • And last, but by no means least, Mr Hiett starts a new project: 1940s French this time. I do hope he's bought my Blitzkrieg in the West: France handbook!

As per usual, clicking on the name of the person in the list above will take you straight to their gallery, which will open in a new window.

Today's pictures are below:

Q13: Astagar Army List Now Loaded

As I'm busy painting up our viperous friends, I thought it about time I produced a Q13 army list for them.

That's now available on the Army Lists page of the Q13 section of this website, or by clicking on the picture below.

An interesting "light" army, better suited to raids and quick assaults than to a stand-up, toe-to-toe sustained fight. I wish now that I'd got the MBTs and SP Artillery models when the Kickstarter finished, as I can see me sorely needing these in the tabletop clashes to come.

So, if you have any Astagar MBTs and/or SP Artillery models that you don't want, preferably unpainted, but I don't really mind, then please contact me at and I'm sure we can sort something out.

Incidentally, the Astagar list is the twenty-fourth now available for free for Q13. Plenty of AARs to read as well, and plenty of room for more AARs if you want to send them in...

Great Movie Scenes #002

Just to show that the last one wasn't a one off, and to commemorate the sad death of Lois Lane actress Margot Kidder last week, here's Great Movie Scenes #002.

It's 1978, I was twelve year's old, and one of THE film's to see that year was Superman, with Christopher Reeve in the leading role.

So far you've seen Superman as a child, as a young man and, very briefly and unspectacularly, as adult Superman in costume. Clark Kent has come to New York, awkwardly met Lois Lane...who now climbs into a helicopter to take her to a news event somewhere.

Excuse the 70's fashions, but you will believe a man can fly:

TFL Painting Challenge: Royal Wedding Weekend Update

No, I didn't watch it!

I spent the day hitting people with big sticks: much more satisfying.

Some of you, however, were more productive, and sent in entries to the Painting Challenge. In no particular order, we have:

  • Stumpy with a tank and some dead Napoleonics
  • There's a few WW2 15mm odds and ends from Chris Stoesen
  • Mr Duffell has got his lazy ass in gear (if he'll excuse the expression) and painted some Soviets
  • Blue Moose Ken has lots for us to look at
  • Some scenery and some tanks from Mervyn
  • and last, but by no means least, Travis finishes off his early war German platoon

As usual, clicking on the name of the person above will send you through to their gallery (opens in a new window) and, shock - horror, I've updated the Scorecard too.

Here are today's pictures:

Q13: More Astagar: Very Snakey

Those who follow this blog regularly will know that I am currently building a 15mm Astagar army for Quadrant 13, the company-sized sci-fi wargame published by the TooFatLardies. The Astagar are a range of man-sized snakes originally from Critical Mass Games and now held by Ral Partha Europe.

Last time's post featured the six APCs needed to transport my two platoons of armoured infantry. Lovely models, but not very snake-y: they could have been from any vaguely humanoid race.

This post features the two types of, well, walker is the equivalent, although I'm not sure that "walker" is an appropriate term to use where the Astagar are concerned! These are most certainly snake-y enough to do the term justice.

First up is the Viperia Powered Armour i.e. battlesuits for our serpenty friends:

These are lovely models that paint up really well. They were painted the same way as the APCs: an undercoat of green, a bit of brown sprayed in random patterns, then a heavy drybrush to bring out all the detail. Finally, a nice gloss green for the visor/windshield.

The only pain is actually building the things. They come in five parts:  tail/base; torso; two arms and the shoulder-mount. The arms and shoulder-mount go on okay (a mixture of superglue and PVA glue does the trick...although it can sometimes take a few goes to really get that concrete fix) but getting the torso to stick to the tail/base can be a little annoying. The torso isn't stand-alone (i.e. it doesn't balance upright) so you really do need to pin or support the join whilst the glue dries. 

I say a pain, but it wasn't that difficult really. big are these, I hear you cry? Here's a quick comparison shot with a 15mm H-35 tank from Battlefront:

Next up are the Volos Assault Mecha: either a bigger battlesuit, or some kind of robot/android:

Exactly the same comments apply as for the Viperia, except magnified by the fact that these are bigger and heavier! Here's a size comparison with the same Battlefront tank:

Loving these two!

And, before I forget, there's several variants to all these: including this version pf the Viperia which I will use as an electronic warfare or communications Specialist.

So that's the support arm of the army done. Highly recommended, although the Volos aren't available from Ral Partha at the moment. I can't wait to get them onto the tabletop!

Great Movie Scenes #001


At lunch today a friend and I were discussing not our favourite movies of all time but our favourite movie scenes of all time.

So, as I've got nothing particularly Lardy or wargame-y to post today, I thought I'd start an occasional series of my favourite movie clips of all time.

These won't be in order (i.e. today's isn't my number one movie scene of all time) but numbered just so I can keep track of them.

Today's clip, number one, is from the classic film Casablanca. If you haven't seen it, see it. It is a timeless masterpiece of a film with so many quotable lines that to list them all would almost be to list the dialogue as a whole.

In keeping with a military theme, the film is set in Casablanca some time after the fall of France. The Germans have occupied the territory, and some of them are in Rick's, a nightclub...