15mm Bamboo Houses from MiniWarfare

About a month ago, I saw an ad. or a post or something from miniwarfare.com talking about their new range of 15mm mdf buildings for the Vietnam War.

Now I already have five or six large 15mm far east-type buildings from Sarissa Precision, but one can never have too much of a good thing, so e-mailed ‘Frank’ in China and placed an order, paying by PayPal. This may seem like a somewhat foolish thing to do, but the prices were very good, and I like to encourage new traders even if there’s the possibility that I was going to be conned!

Frank was very easy to deal with, very prompt in his replies, and, about a month after payment, in through the letterbox came my huts…and very nice they are too.

Stilted Bamboo House $9.50

They are also incredibly easy to build: each wall and its stilts come in one piece and slot through the base giving the hut an automatic stability lacking from separate-stilt versions. The detailing is lovely, and although the roofs are perhaps a bit artificial looking, I can always cover them with my patent green fur technique that makes my Sarissa huts stand out from…well, everywhere really!

Large bamboo house $7.50

I particularly like the way that the large and small bamboo houses have windows that you can prop open on a stick. I thought that these would be a nightmare to glue into place, but one end of the stick comes with a little wedge-y bit that hooks it onto the window sill beautifully enough to make a dab of superglue take hold without any problems at all. The shutter then glues to the side of the house and the top of the stick. Much to my surprise, I had no problems whatsoever with doing this.

Small bamboo house $5.00

The matting inside the doors and open windows are just a bit of hemp cut and glued onto the inside of the huts, again something very easy to do.

So miniwarfare.com gets a highly recommended from me, and I wish Frank every success in the future. I wonder if he’s planning to do a 15mm Russian church yet…

PS Do feel free to mention Vis Lardica if you do buy anything from them. Oh, in case you are wondering, I have no connection to Frank at all: this is just a genuine glowing review!

IABSM AAR: Slim River

Scenario #10, Slim River, is one of my favourite battles from the Fall of the Liongate scenario pack for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum.

Taking place on 7th January 1942 (i.e. a month after Pearl Harbour), the Japanese have been hammering down the centre of Malaya, smashing most British Indian troops aside, and slowed only by the efforts of some Gurkha regiments and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. To continue their advance, they launch a sudden thrust down the single road that leads to the village of Trolak, their objective being the bridge there over the otherwise impassable Slim River.

Click on the pic below to see if the Japanese manage to take the bridge:

IABSM AAR: Fall of the Lion Gate #04: Jitra

I umpired a tremendous game of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! on Saturday!

Using the fourth scenario from the Fall of the Lion Gate scenario pack for Malaya and Singapore, the game focussed on the British defence against the main Japanese advance down the Malayan pennisular on 11th December 1941.

Previously the Japanese of the Saeki Detachment have chewed through the British Indian troops at Ban Sadao and The Ledge (cf) but now come up against somewhat stiffer opposition in the shape of 2/1 Gurkha Rifles...

Click on the pic below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Action in the Far East: Ban Sadao

Cracking game of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! at the weekend, with a scenario from the Fall of the Lion Gate scenario pack.

See if the British can stop the Japanese advance into Malaya at the village of Ban Sadao. Click on the picture below to see the whole report.

Sarissa Precision Ltd: Buildings for the Far East

I've never been big into terrain.

I am never going to make any (far too much like hard, and messy, work) and in the past it's always seemed like a waste of money that could be spent on more soldiers. 

That, however, was before I got my wargaming room back after its sabbatical as a kids playroom, and before I moved this website to Squarespace. I'm having more games now, and the photos are easier to process and upload, and my existing terrain...well, it just isn't up to scratch any more.

Wooden huts for the Eastern Front from 4ground

I have had very good experiences with 4Ground's range of wooden huts for the Eastern Front, so I thought I'd see if I could get some more of that sort of thing, but this time for the Far East. 

A quick search of the web, and I found Sarissa Precision Ltd: a UK company that do a nice little range of laser-cut wood buildings just like 4Ground's.

They have six different village huts in their Far East range, so I bought one of each, and have spent the last few days putting them together: I love the smell of laser-cut wood in the mornings!

Once built, however, I felt they were slightly lacking something. Not in the models themselves, I hasten to add, they were lovely, just that the setting demanded something more.

So I have been very brave, and I have pimped them up!

First I've added a toupee of wool roving (whatever that is!) bought from the local Hobbeycraft to their roofs. This was quite difficult: it involved smearing white glue over the roofs, then carefully snipping off and sticking down layers of wool cording so they look a bit like some kind of vegetation. Don't ask me what sort of vegetation: just enjoy the look!

It didn't turn out just how I wanted it too.

Building One: Planked Style Village House - Low

Apparently you're supposed to be able to comb this stuff, and I had envisioned a sort of green thatch effect...whereas what I have achieved is more Boris Johnson! But I like it, and I think it will look good on the tabletop amongst the plastic palm trees and lichen.

Next, I thought that the empty holes for every door and window (on some of the huts: others have a wooden lattice effect) looked a bit odd.

Building Two: Small Village House

So back to Hobbeycraft and the purchase of a roll of hemp trimming. From this I have made crude blinds/curtains which actually round things off nicely. Flocked bases and the odd shutter finish things off: at least until I can buy some little pots and other household detritus with which to decorate the bases.

So a little bit of work to make them look super, but highly, highly recommended. Oh, and they cost £52.50 for the six, with only £2.50 p&p.

Here are the other four:

Building Three: Woven Palm Style Village House - Low

Building Five: Planked Style Village House

Building Four: Woven Palm Style Village House

Building Six: Small Village House - Low

A Small Village Somewhere In The Far East

Website Update: Malaya Day Nostalgia

The Christmas holidays mean I have more time to finish re-loading all the content onto the new VL website. 

I'm still working my way through the IABSM AARs, and great fun it is too. I have done all the scenario pack AARs, and the one-off game AARs, and am now working my way through the TFL Games Day AARs.

I have just finished uploading all the reports from the 2006 Malaya Games Day: a colossal battle involving over a battalion of infantry on either side at 1:1 scale, with the Japanese trying to force their way through the Lardak position, held by British Indian troops.

Click here to go to the IABSM AAR page. The Malaya Games Day reports are in the right hand column, down near the bottom.

Here are a few photos to whet your whistles...


Fall of the Lion Gate Redux

Originally posted 19th November 2011


The next scenario pack updated for IABSM3 is "Fall of the Lion Gate". From the original press pack:

Make sure you can Banzai! with the best of them this Christmas with Robert Avery's latest pdf scenario booklet for "I Ain't Been Shot, Mum!". 

An extensive history of the Japanese invasion of Malaya and Singapore accompanied by twenty-one unique scenarios for "I Ain't Been Shot, Mum!" including attacks, counter-attacks, encounter battles, an opposed landing, ambushes, fighting retreats, and even a last stand! 

"Fall of the Lion Gate" contains the following scenarios: Kota Bahru; Ban Sadao; The Ledge; Jitra; Gurun; Grik Road; Kota Tampan; Kampar; Kuantan; Slim River; Muar; Bakri; Batu Pahat; Mersing; Layang Layang; Airstrip Road; Kranji Peninsular; Bukit Timah; Jurong Road; Nee Soon; and Pasir Panjang. 

Each scenario contains a background history, maps, a full game briefing, and a full briefing for each player. Simply print out the pages you need, unpack your figures, set up the table, and away you go! 

AAR: The TooFatLardies Malaya Day

Originally posted 21st June 2006

I have added a microsite for the recent TFL Malaya Day 2006: where almost a score of the country's finest Lardies gathered to re-fight the battle of Lardak, a thinly disguised version of the battle of Kampar.

The microsite contains all the briefing documents, photographs and after action reports for the day. If anyone there has anything else to add (the missing AAR's or some more photographs) please click here to e-mail them to me.

Click here to see all.