Bank Holiday Painting Challenge Update

It’s the second of the British summer bank holidays (not that the weather seems to accept the “summer” bit) so I’ve plenty of time to update the TooFatLardies Painting Challenge.

Not just an update, but I’ve also had a chance to load last update’s points totals as well: so we should be totally and absolutely up to date now.

In no particular order, in today’s challenge entry we have:

  • Mr Plowman with some nice looking sci-fi vehicles

  • A mixed bag from Chris Stoesen

  • Joe McGinn sends in some Brunswickers

  • After a long gap, Steve Burt return with some Saracens and Pygmies.

  • Travis deploys some rather good skeleton knights and some sailors (apparently painted for a friend, don’t yer know)

  • The Hat is still sailing the ocean’s blue: this week’s entry is a somewhat anonymous tanker

  • Carole pops in some armoured knights for her Condottieri

  • It’s a mixture of samurai and fantasy for John Haines (sounds like my perfect movie)

  • Mervyn’s been ill, but sends in some houses anyway: brave lad!

  • There’s a HummVee and partisans from Mr Duffell

  • And, in a circular fashion, a mixed bag from Mr Helliwell

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).

Today’s pictures are below:

More To The Strongest

Just to leaven the flow of I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum! battle reports that have been flowing through this site, here are some pictures of another day spent playing the Ancients ruleset To The Strongest.

One of the great things about the game is how fast it plays, so an afternoon’s gaming can often involve three games of TTS…and so it was the last time that friend Neil came around to play.

The action began with Neil playing a Pyrrhic army against my Ancient Britons. Not exactly contemporary or contemporaneous, but not spectacularly unbalanced either.

I placed my warbands in the middle of the field, and my massed chariots on either flank. Neil lined up his Hoplite and pikemen on his right flank, his cavalry in the middle, and his elephants and light infantry on his left wing.

Unfortunately for Neil, his Hoplites took too long to advance forward, which allowed me to engage and pin his centre whilst I sent a mass of chariots around behind his left flank. This led to me rapidly capturing his camps, and then threaten the rear of his main line: a victory to me.

Here are some more pictures of the game:

IABSM AAR: Return to St Aubin (again, again)

Another superb AAR from Desmondo Darkin based on his D-Day St. Aubin scenario.

This time, he and the South London Warlords are using a bigger piece of coast and a sandy beach instead of shingle. For rules, they used I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum! with Desmondo’s Chain of Command-modified activation system.

Click on the picture below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Winter Attack!

Fellow Lardy Desmondo Darkin and gang have played their first game using their new winter terrain.

They had just over three hours to play a German attack on a Soviet held village in 1944, and used I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum! with Desmondo’s Chain of Command-modified activation system.

Both sides had a core Infantry Company and each side then picked support options using a Support list which is basically the Chain of Command list but sized up to IABSM-sized games.

Click on the picture below to see loads of pictures of Desmondo’s superb terrain and some shots of the game itself:

IABSM AAR: Bashnya or Bust! #2A: Osen

Another great battle report from Captain Cliche this time featuring action from the second scenario from the Bashnya or Bust! scenario pack.

After a Soviet victory in the first battle of the campaign, this clash takes place around the small town of Osen. The Germans are holding out whilst their engineers set charges on the last remaining bridge , before withdrawing their remaining troops over the river and blowing the bridge to bits. They are outnumbered and face a swift Soviet attack that features plenty of T34s and SMG-armed tank-riders. The Russians need to drive through and capture the bridge.

Click on the picture below to see if the Soviets took the bridge.

TTS Battle Day Game 3

Onto the third battle of the three that took place as part of a TTS battle day with friend Bevan. Regular visitors will know that by this time I was down two-nil, so rather keen to finish the day with a victory! The sides would be Pyrrhic (played by Bevan) and Ancient British (played by me).

The Ancient Brits are a favourite of mine: in fact, they were the army I used to use when I played WRG 6th competitions in 28mm some thirty years ago…when your chariots were known as the Ancient British Panzer Division.

Under TTS, the Ancient British have an even greater proportion of their army as light chariots than under WRG 6th, so I decided to keep things very simple and employ that well known AncBrit tactic known as “the horns of the Highland Cow”!

This actually worked surprisingly well. My light troops on either flank overwhelmed his light troops through sheer weight of numbers and, most pleasingly, before his Hoplites could start trying to chew through my warbands.

As my chariots curled around onto his rear, the Pyrrhics realised that this was not going to be a Pyrrhic victory so much as a Pyrrhic disaster, and surrendered.

End of the day score: Bevan - 2, Me - 1 .

A great days gaming with what is a delightful little rule set!

Type 89 Japanese Tanks

Some of you may know that I am currently writing the I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum theatre handbooks for the Far East, starting with the Japanese armies that invaded the Pacific region: Malaya, Burma, the Philippines, Borneo, the Dutch East Indies etc.

All the research, particularly into the 7th (Medium) Tank Regiment that fought in the Philippines, inspired me to finally get around to painting the two boxes of Type 89 Chi Ro tanks that have been sitting in my lead mountain since Salute two years ago. These I bought from Troll Trader for the princely sum of £12 each: a huge discount off ratecard at only £2.40 per tank.

These went together really nicely: even the back sled-things weren’t too hard to build. Not only that, but this makes 23 tanks consecutively from Battlefront without a single piece missing. Given my previous rants about quality control, this is a real (and very welcome) improvement.

Painting was just a matter of following the patterns shown on the box art. I now just need to tone down the gloss lacquer a bit with some mat spray.

My only disappointment was that when I went to enter my new Type 89 tanks into my Japanese roster, I found that I already had five of them, bought and painted some time previously. Ah well: you can never have too much of a good thing!


TTS Battle Day Game 2

Game two of our To The Strongest battle day involved using Bevan’s collection of 28mm medievals: a clash between the Feudal French and the Feudal English.

The sides were fairly homogenous: each consisting of a core of Knights supported by some missile shooting peasants…longbows for the English, crossbows for the French. The English also had a couple of units of billmen.

We used the terrain rules as laid out in the book, which led to quite an unusual battlefield and both sides squatting opposite each other in one corner.

Bevan had warned me that TTS medieval was very little about tactics and more about just smashing into each other and trying to make sense of the resultant carnage, and he was proved quite right.

Initially, however, I did try something quite tactical: marching a unit of knights up the side of the forest on my left flank and attempting to curve round the end and hit some English infantry in the flank. This almost worked, but was stymied by the cards and some defensive advances by the rest of Bevan’s army which, if you want the technicalities, put my advancing knights into another unit’s Zone of Control (there’s a lot of ZOC-ing in TTS!) and therefore stopping them completing their mission.

After that failed, it was my turn to receive an English charge, one that punched through my line as the perfidious English aimed themselves at some mercenary crossbowmen rather than rising to the chivalric challenge posed by my knights. This lead to a general breakdown of everything into a smashing, crashing melee from which both sides emerged with just one or two victory coins left apiece.

It was then just a matter of who broke another unit first…with Bevan taking the honours as another unit of crossbowmen fell to an armoured steamroller.

A great, fun game that I look forwards to repeating next time we play.

Two-nil to Bevan, with one game to go.

TFL Painting Challenge: a Post Paris Update

Regulars will have noted another two week gap between the last Painting Challenge update and today. I went to Paris for a week, and was regrettably too busy climbing the Eiffel Tower, visiting the Louvre & Orsay galleries, and wondering why my new yellow jacket brought me so much attention to have time for the usual weekly update.

No matter: means today’s update is nice and big, or grand as us Francophiles say. In no particular order we have:

  • Chris Stoesen sends in a large and varied collection of entries, particularly featuring fences

  • Andy Duffell’s been painting the Po-Po

  • A few undead from Travis

  • The long and winding road, 108 inches of it, from Jon Yuengling

  • I may have been to Paris, but Caroles returned to renaissance Italy

  • Planes, Indians and Ancients from Ken

  • The Hodgemeister has been at the WW2 6mm again

  • John Haines has split his time between Portugal and Japan

  • How appropriate: trenches from Sapper

  • Lloyd continues to add to his already sizeable ACW collection

  • Mr Helliwell joins me at Versailles, and then whizzes off to the American War of Independence

  • Mark Luther fills in many of his pictorial gaps, and adds a whole load of Sugar Island terrain

  • And last, but certainly not least, in any sense of the words, is Mr Slade, with some fighters, some civilians and a doggy!

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

I’ll update the scoreboard this weekend.

Here are today’s pictures:

A To The Strongest Battle Day

Friend Bevan and I took full advantage of the recent bank holiday to play a few games using the To The Strongest (TTS) rules.

TTS is played on a grid, so no measuring, and activation is by playing card: you need a basic 2+ or 3+ to activate a unit dependent on the difficulty of what you want to do and then, if successful, have to get over the card drawn to activate that unit again. As I said, a fast-play set of rules that give fun battles!

First up were a couple of my 15mm armies: the Sasanid Persians (Bevan) versus the army of Pyrrhus (me).

This game involved an army composed almost all mounted troops (the Sasanids) versus an army of mainly hoplites and phalangites (the Pyrrhics). I was determined to keep my battle line together, use my lighter troops on the flanks, and advance space-invader-like across the table until I squished his troops against their edge.

Unfortunately, although I kept things together for the first two thirds of the game, one of my flanks crumbled, letting some of the enemy horse archers through to loot my camps (rookie mistake: I left them unguarded).

Worse, I then succumbed to temptation and let my heavy infantry loose against Bevan’s heavy horse. Although I achieved a bit of short-term success, kebab-ing some Clibanarii units, this split my line and enabled my opponent to start knocking off my units one by one until I ran out of victory coins.

In short, I came on in the old way and was beaten in the old way!

One-nil to Bevan!


A lovely and impressive set of photographs from Desmondo Darkin that first appeared on the I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum Facebook group.

Desmondo and friends play a slight variant of IABSM where dice rather than cards/chips are used to govern unit activation. Now whilst we don’t countenance such heresy here at VL, if it helps spread the Lard, then go, Desmondo, go!

Click on the picture below to see the action:

One More House from MiniWarfare

When I ordered my bamboo houses from Frank at MiniWarfare in China, he kindly added in a freebie Chinese brick house to my order, which I have finally had a chance to make up.

Nice little model that I’m actually going to use, I think, as part of a Soviet factory complex. It will be the offices or a foreman’s house or something.

Anyway: easy to put together and paints up well.

Highly recommended, and you can find the rest of the range here.

SU-57s from Battlefront

More Soviet vehicles rolling off the production line as a result of Battlefront’s last sale: this time it’s the SU-57 self-propelled guns.

More correctly called the T48 Gun Motor Carriage, the Samokhodnaya ustanovka 57 was what the Soviets called the M3 half-track with a 57mm anti-tank gun mounted on top. The Russians received 650 of them, and used the SP AT guns in Operation Bagration et al. in 1943/4.

I usually hate putting Battlefront artillery together, especially those with a gun shield, so was pleasantly surprised at how easily I could build the four SU-57s. The M3 body has a fits-just-right post for the gun, with a lovely little ledge just in front of it for the edge of the gun shield. No swearing required at all!

The crew are good too. I chose to mount them as part of the initial build (as opposed to painting them separately then putting them into the painted vehicles) and this seemed to work quite well. There’s enough room to get a brush right their way down to the feet, if necessary, so my standard block colour-wash-highlight technique worked well.

Almost to my surprise, another highly recommended.

IABSM AAR: Kicking in the Door

Here’s an AAR from Alastair Birch first published onto the I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum Facebook page, so I hope he doesn’t mind me reproducing it here.

This is a cracking little encounter written by the big man himself, Richard Clarke, back in about 2005. I actually have a Word version of the scenario, designed for IABSM v2, although where I got it from I have no idea!

Adolf himself has told his troops that “the Soviet Union is a rotten structure, that we only need to kick in the door, and the whole thing will collapse before us”. Click on he picture below to see if that’s true!

KV-85 Tanks from Battlefront

I’m continuing to work my way through all the tanks I bought last time Battlefront had a significant sale, moving on from the Germans (Jagdpanzer IVs) to the Soviets.

The first batch of Stalin’s toys off the painting table were a company of heavy tanks: KV-85s to be exact. These filled the gap between the KV-1E (and a few lend lease Churchills) until the arrival in 1944 of the JS-III.

I’ve always liked the shape of the KV class of Soviet tank: nice and chunky!

These, the usual Battlefront combination of resin body/turret and metal tracks/gun/hatches, went together really easily (makers of plastic vehicles take note), and were a joy to paint up as well.

I did add a bit of extra stowage to a few of them: somewhat ironically given my previous comment, the canvas rolls on the front two tanks are actually the furled up canvas tops to the PSC Steyrs that I posted about a few days ago. Nothing ever goes to waste!

KV-85s from Battlefront: highly recommended.

IABSM AAR: Operation Sealion #04: Take the Heights

Another great Sealion AAR, but not this time from Karim and friends at the Stipsicz Hussars. No, this time it’s Tim Whitworth and his friends at the “Like a Stonewall” wargames group who are playing out the action.

Click on the pic below to see whether the Hyde Home Guard Platoon, under the watchful eye of their daring commander Major fforbes-Cole MC (retired) can defend Paddlesworth against the Fallschirmjaeger Hun.

Colossal Painting Challenge Update!

What with Salute and work and training and all that, I didn’t get a chance to update the Challenge last week: a minor disaster as everyone suddenly got very active with their brushes!

As a result, we have a colossal update this week, with three-figure scores from lots of people.

So, in no particular order, we have:

  • Matt Slade warms up with some Gnolls and archers, and then moves into overdrive with an entire 8th Army platoon. A huge update from the master!

  • Carole takes a break from the Renaissance to rush a Sharp Practice company into action

  • Mervyn has forgotten the way to his painting table, but manages seven cowboys and some siege equipment

  • There’s a bit of a mix from Travis: WW2 Pioneers, scorpions and a necromancer, and the last of the orcs…and, to quote Boromir himself (assume Sheffield accent) “they have a cave troll”

  • A marvelous collection of WW2 canal terrain from John Emmett

  • Andy Duffell has gone sci-fi

  • Chris Stoesen builds and paints some more 15mm houses

  • More Sugar Island campaign figures from Mr Luther (there are now some pictures in the gallery as well)

  • A huge 10mm DAK entry from Sapper

  • Chris Cornwell has had a good month: Dacians et al.

  • Lots of lovely SP figures from Joe McGinn

  • The first entry of the year from John Haines: Victorians miscreants, lots of them

  • The usual humungus entry from The Hat. Lloyd has sent in a huge 6mm ACW army plus more Cruel Seas boats.

  • And last, but by no means least, Andrew Helliwell has some more 15mm SYW Prussians for us to admire.

The Scorecard is updated (including last update’s update)…and, as usual, clicking on the name of the people above takes you straight to their gallery (opens in a new window). Highly recommended, as there are some great paint jobs to see.

Here’s a selection to whet the whistle:

Keep the entries coming!

IABSM AAR: Operation Sealion #03: Capture the Port

Another great AAR from Karim Van Overmeire and friends at the Stipsicz Hussars, again from the Operation Sealion scenario pack for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum!

This battle report features Scenario #03: Capture the Port, in which elements of the London Irish Rifles defend the small sea side village of Seabrook against the German 21st Infantry Regiment. The Germans had to capture this position on their way to Folkestone: securing the port of Folkestone was necessary to allow German armour to be brought ashore.

Click on the picture below to see if Seabrook will fall under the Nazi jackboot!