Thursday, February 28, 2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

AHPC IX: Western Themed Buildings

Continuing the real estate-theme of this portion of the Challenge - I now present 8 28mm Western themed buildings.  All of these kits are from Sarissa Precision and are very nice.  There are six Mexican themed buildings (I got the Mexican village pack) and two more general purpose - a large barn and a foundry.
A close up of four of the Mexican themed buildings 2 houses in the back, a small jail (front left) and a catina (front, right).

The jail even has 3 cells!  It's just screaming for a jail break game
The village has a rather large bank.  - too be honest it's a lot larger than the other buildings so will look a little out of place but it's still a nice kit.

A small adobe church
The two more generic buildings are the large barn and a foundry.  I still need to do some detailing on these buildings but I suspect you'll see them at Cold Wars in a American Civil War setting.

There are a "few" more real estate projects for this years Challenge

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Quatre Bras In Reverse

 Last night at the club we had the second tabletop engagement of our Waterloo campaign.  It was fought just to the west of Quatre Bras and was essentially that battle in reverse.  For the French we had four formations on the table - III Corps, VI Corps plus the Guard Cavalry division commanded by me and then Napoleon himself with the Imperial Guard.  A powerful force, indeed, but we didn't know who was attacking us.  We're in the lower left corner of the picture.

Some of the units are hidden, hence the paper flag markers.
 We soon discovered that we were being attacked by not two but three allied forces with lots of calvary!  In fact there were even more allied reinforcements entering the table to the north and and east.

It was decided that discretion was the better part of valor and we attempted to retreat to the west and south (lower right corner).
Our retreat was successful, but not without cost - a lone brigade of Young Guard sacrificed themselves to cover the retreat - you can see their valiant final stand against a mass of British cavalry - there was a lot of British Cav on the table.

The campaign is very still very much in doubt and we shall see what comes next.

For the "official" record, I'm Grouchy during this little outing.  Thanks to Tom for putting on this grand show!

We're using the Blucher ruleset for both the battles and campaign and it's working out very well so far.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Yet another Sectional Terrain Project

I've embarked upon yet another sectional terrain project.  Why?  The likely answer is because I'm nuts.  The reason I tell most people is that I just prefer sectional terrain to terrain cloths.  Terrain cloths aren't "bad", it's just I don't like how they don't stay flat.  The fist pictures shows 2 of the boards with some testing for ground cover.

This third iteration of terrain squares are based on a 24 x24 inch  base size.  To make them easier to transport they are only one inch in height, which is plenty of room for terrain depressions like craters, rivers and trenches.

Why 2x2?  It's the Goldilocks principal - my first iteration used mostly 2x4 panels which I found two hard to both transport and store.  The second iteration used 1ft x 1ft precut panels for Sally Forth which is a great product but I found them tedious to set up and I've got a good workshop to build my own.  2x2 ft seems "just right".

If you don't have access to power tools the Sally Forth stuff is a fantastic option.  I will incorporate the Sally Forth sections I build last year so the can be used with these.

I'll do a series of posts on how to build these but the construction is rather simple.  The sides are 1/4 inch plywood, the bottom 1/4 in MDF and the interior is 3/4 inch Extruded Polystyrene (EPS)

Here's a rather boring shot of my cutting the sides to length.  I went with a simple but joint so two of the strips are 24 inches long and 2 are 23.5 inches.

After an hour or so at the Miter Saw, I've got all the wood parts cut to length for 10 2x2 ft sections.  I'm making a lot of these

 These sections will be held in place with wooden pegs.  I went with pegs over magnets as they are a good bit stronger and way easier to install as one doesn't have to worry about polarity with wooden pegs.

 Another test of different ground covers.  The base ground texture is pre-mixed and pre-colored tile grout mixed with a little PVA glue.  It provides a nice ground texture and dries rock hard.   I went with the "earth" colored grout and was very happy.  I also has dome paint mixed up to match the Vallejo "Tan Earth" color to use to paint the sides and touch up thin spots.

I'm not using static grass as the base ground texture as these boards will be used for lots of different scales form 6mm up to 28mm.  A few are planned to be savanna type terrain and those will use static grass.

 Of course there will be rivers!
Lots of river options.  There was a bit of a resin pour disaster so most of my river sections require a good bit of "restoration work"

 Lastly some shore sections.  I'll still use terrain cloths for sea but did want to build 6 feet of "shore line" to effect the transition

These terrain sections will likely make their debut at Historicon this summer.  There is a slight chance they'll be ready for Cold Wars.

By the way, If anyone is interested, I've got a bunch of nicely used 2x4 panels for adoption if one is willing to come to Maryland and pick them up!  They need a little touch up work but I'll throw in the storage rack and a bucket of the static grass mix for patching.

Please, somebody adopt us.  Our owner keeps saying terrible things about being torn apart for spare parts.  Historicon veterans like ourselves shouldn't be treated this way

A picture of the boards in their youth....

Monday, February 18, 2019

15mm Spanish Buildings

 No Peninsular war collection is completed without some Spanish buildings and I've built 8 so far from two very different  sources.
4 3D printed buildings that came out pretty good.  I printed then at 0.2mm layers so you can see the striations but it's not that bad.  They were printed using PLA and paint up really well.
The next four buildings are laser cut kits from Empires at War and they are spectacular - the detail is amazing and they are pretty much pre-painted.

I've got some more of these to build up over the next few days

Sunday, February 10, 2019

AHPC IX: Gunfighter Ball II

My latest submission for this year's Challenge is more figures and a saloon for Gunghighter Ball.
I enjoyed painting the batch of figures I got from the Kickstarter that I purchased some more factions from Knuckleduster - The James Gang in the front and the "Cowboys" in the back.  The latter group were the enemies of the Earps in the movie Tombstone.  The Earps will make an appearance in the challenge in the final bonus round - "Fellowship".
Some general townspeople and characters in the back row.  The guy in the tub is really funny.

Some characters that may or may not have been inspired by a certain movie depicting the rough and tumble world of Real Estate development on the Old West.

The "Alamo Saloon" also came with the kickstarter.  In addition to putting out the rules and figures, Forrest over at Knuckleduster also has some really nice building kits.  These kits are laser cut wood for the structures with metal and resin detail parts.  They are very nicely done and are much more substantial in terms of wood weight than any other MDF kit I've seen on the market.
The saloon came with a resin bar set up.  The slots on the stage are for some can-can dancers that Forrest makes so you pretty much know that will be an addition.

I'm looking forward to trying this game out at the club after a few weeks of business travel.

Monday, February 4, 2019


This Saturday I had the chance to refight the Battle of Ishwalanda at a game hosted by Tony J.    Tony is pictured to the left explaining how his very elegant rules for the game work.
The day started out as a nice walk across the savanna for Bob and my British troops.
I was given Durnford's calvary command and guarded the right flank of the British line.  Being over-confident, I elected to try and replicated Durnfords fighting withdraw and dismounted on a ridge to await the enemy.

Then some new friends showed up to the party...

Zulus, lots of Zulus.  My poor troopers just didn't have enough bullets.  The colored markers represent ammo status - red is critical and black is out.

The combination of low ammo and poor marksmanship meant that the Zulus pretty much crashed into my line and like that about half my troopers evaporated.  The remains of my command managed to scamper back to the main line of resistance and reload.
The Zulus started taking casualties but started to overlap our lines.  Tony had some really cool surprises - including adding table space on the right flank to allow those speedy Zulus to bypass my troopers.  It was a fantastically. played surprise!  There was also a tray of hidden Zulus that joint the battle midway on our extreme left flank.  Really superb GM skills for Tony.
Our lines kept shrinking until we were finally overwhelmed.  The grey and brown rocks mark casualties as they occurred.  Tony called the game a minor British victory but I think all the credit needs to go to the Zulu players as they were both very good opponents and fun to play.

Thanks Tony for a grand day of gaming!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Knuckleduster Miniatures: Gunfighters Ball

Knuckleduster Miniatures ran a successful Kickstarter for a new American West themed game: Gunfighters Ball.  I've really enjoyed reading the rule book and painting up the fantastic minis that were produced for the line.  These are "heroic-scale" 28mm so really closer to 30-32mm and are wonderfully sculpted.  The masters for all the minions were created in CAD and then 3D printed.  Even my very limited painting skills can make these figures look great.

I'll do some future posts about the game after I've played a few rounds with the club but I'm really excited about the rules.  This is that rare kickstarter that has not disappointed in any way.

The Hotel in the picture is from Sarissa Precision.  the GB line also comes with some of it's own buildings which you'll see over the next few weeks.