Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

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Tuesday 31 December 2019

Laserburn Red Redemptionist Trike Squadron

One of this years Challenge Island locations is Millsy's Millpond where you have to paint some figures from the 1980's or 90's and give a little back story, here is my attempt.

Back in the very early 1980's when I was at 'comp' I moved on in my war-gaming journey, having graduated from throwing cricket balls at 1/32 Airfix figures to reading Military Modelling and finding out about the availability of commercial rules and figures aimed just at me.

What a great stride forwards was made when John and I found out that Tabletop Games (TTG) on Nottingham Road, Daybrook was only about an hours bike ride away from our homes. We made many trips to this place to spend our pocket money, paper round earnings, etc. and it was a treasure trove of dust and fantastic stuff. If you blew away some of the - probably highly toxic - dust you revealed a trove of figures including lots of their own 15mm ranges, Ancients, Napoleonics, Colonials, American Civil War to name but a few. Among this collection was a range of figures for a set of rules called Laserburn and I likely got very giddy at the thought of blasters and light sabres; remember we were only five years out from Star Wars: A New Hope at this time.

I don't recall exactly what I bought at the time, but I do recall that I did buy some 'Red Redemptionists' including at least one Trike. They were painted white and I recall that I made a 'Hoth' wargames table using some polystyrene roofing tiles.

Having embarked on Challenge Island I have placed an order on a company in the UK for some other memory lane 15mm stuff, but was concerned that it would not get here in time, but, browsing the online catalogue of my local games store was delighted to see that after the demise of TTG that not only had Alternative Armies picked up the range, but a Trike Squadron was available in stock. It just had to be done! (It said six models in the blister, but there were only five when I opened it).

With a shudder I recalled the original white Humbrol Enamel paint-job of the originals I had daubed on these models circa 1983 , no primer, no highlights, no varnish and discarded that thought completely. Instead I went for a burgundy bike and armour with white robes and black for the guns etc.

I also decided against Hoth basing, these are instead on desert bases with a few cork rocks and some scorched grass tufts.

These did take me back, but I don't think I'm in any hurry to start a new project.

The initial post on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge can be found here.

Monday 30 December 2019

The wood store - Phillippeville (7)

Mondays gift from Victoria was a wood store, this was stuck on a base (4" x 5") and a small fence added then the groundwork was textured with spackle/polyfiller then the whole thing coated in PVA and allowed to dry overnight.

This morning it was all given a primer coat of dark brown paint before painting the groundwork then drybrushing the shed and fence with an off white colour to represent lime washing and painting the roof to look like tar paper. 

This outbuilding will be a useful addition to the growing town.

Sunday 29 December 2019

The Peach Orchard at Shiloh

Friday saw Kevin and I driving down to the Chicago area to meet up with the Chitown Wargamers for a festive gaming session.

First game of the day was a Bag the Hun Battle of Britain game that I ran to give folks a taste of the system, a flight of Spitfires were tangling with two Schwarm of BF109E and things were looking bad for the RAF until the closing stages of the game when a pair of Luftwaffe Johnnies were shot down and a semblance of honour restored.

No good photos, so this will have to give you a taste, I had forgotten to pack my usual altitude markers so the huge dice rather distract from it.

It was then over to Eds for the main event of the day.

We would be playing the area around the Peach Orchard during the Battle of Shiloh April 1862. We were using the Pickett's Charge rules from TooFatLardies a set I had not played before but was looking forwards to giving a try.

Mark, Pete and myself would command the Union forces while Pkil, Kevin and Liam the Confederates. I was in the centre commanding Hurlbut's division.

The game flows really well and is a good representation of some of the staff challenges that would be faced, the planning of the use of your ADSs and the problems troops suddenly going hesitant at the start of a turn are well represented and it's an important part of the game system.

The use of blind movement also adds a great feel to the game, Prentiss's command on our left flank was quite thin, but we were able to reinforce it, and make it look much larger by redeploying several blank blinds to that flank.

At a critical stage in the battle, neither of my ADC were available and both of my brigades went hesitant. Fortunately, I was able to ride it out, mainly due to some rather poor shooting from the Confederates before me.

Although some of Wallace's command was pushed back on our right flank we were able to hold a solid line at the end of the battle so it was a declared a close victory to the Union forces.

I'm enthused by the rules and have just bought a set from TFL.

Saturday 28 December 2019

Warbases hay cart

Over the past few weeks Victoria has been gifting me some great items that she picked up from Warbases while we were at Partizan in the summer. Last weeks surprise was a hay cart and a draft horse to pull it. These were cleaned up, assembled and primed ready for the challenge starting on Saturday.

I've noted before that I seem to have a thing about taking something made out of wood, spraying it with grey primer and then painting it to look like wood and I did it again on this model.

The hay load is made from Noch wild grass foliage and I do like the effect more than the resin cast hay loads that are available.

Phillippeville (6)

A collection of miscellany from me today, I need to work more on my planning.

Before the challenge started I got built and primed in preparation a whole load of terrain and the last of that was painted today. Firstly, five six inch long sections of fencing that I made on tongue depressors that will come in handy for marking boundaries or denoting road edges, etc. I had ran out of the tongue depressors after this build but a trip to Michaels has furnished me with enough to build a load more of this stuff.

These were made with matchstick for the posts with split coffee stirrers for the planks. The gates are made from lolly sticks as per the instructions in the great Setting the Scene books.

At the same time as the mass terrain build I also built a couple of hills, the large one is about nine inches across and two inch deep and the smaller one is about a six inch diameter an one inch deep.

I bought a hot wire cutter last month so was determined to get some use out of it. The hills look a bit of an odd colour in these photos, but blend in quite well with my usual gaming terrain cloth.

I've not been buying figures for a few months now, but that has not stopped Victoria picking me up a few treats. Back in August we were in the UK and attended 'The Other Partizan' where Warbases furnished her with the ideal gifts for me.

The first one painted is the stag and hind from the Red Deer set, I can see though that at some stage in the process I managed to chip some paint off of his magnificent antlers, likely will get touched up before they see some use on the gaming table.

For an idea of size this pair are on a 40mm base.

She also picked up for me a splendid pair of Longhorn Cattle that will come in very useful in our games. I now have quite a lot of potentially stampeding livestock for our Sharp Practice games.

This pair are mounted on a 50mm base to give an idea of the size.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

The Stable - Phillippeville (6)

I'd built and painted a small stable with a walled and fenced area a couple of weeks ago and quite liked how it came out, so set too to make another one for the challenge.

The donkey was from Warbases and was a gift from Victoria

The stable is made out of artists mount board then planked with cut coffee stirrers. The fence posts are matchsticks while the fencing is also split coffee stirrers.

The gate, like that one from the orchard is constructed as per Pats instructions. The roof is mount board painted as tar-paper held down with some planks of wood and a boulder.

The last thing painted today was a couple of wall sections made from small pebbles stuck onto tongue depressors, these are quite an easy build but I think they look quite effective and come in very handy.

These are also part of my first entry in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge for this year, if you are not aware of the event I suggest you pop over there.

I hope to get a couple more of these fabricated over the next few weeks.

Che Guevara from Wargames Illustrated

Although committed to joining the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge I've been on a moratorium on buying new lead for a few months now, so had a dig in the lead pile and found a Che Guevara model that was given away by Wargames Illustrated at Salute and Historicon in 2014

It's rather a nice model and was and a simple paint job in his combat gear.

As part of the challenge, there is a side event - Challenge Island.

Che will be my prize figure for the Island and has they don't get much redder than Marxist Che I'll start off at Sander's Sand Dunes and shall be declaring the Peoples Republic of Challenge Island and forming a revolutionary committee to ensure that the plans for the capitalist exploitation of Challenge Island are thwarted and their running dogs sent scurrying.

Sorry, got a little carried away there....

Monday 23 December 2019

The Shack - Phillippeville (5)

The next piece of Phillipeville is the re-purposing of a rather horrible Sarissa Precision house from their Americana range that I bought many years ago when we were playing some Dead Mans Hand games.

This took rather a lot of prep-work to get it more like I wanted it. I'm not bothered about having access to the interior, so, the windows were filled in with cereal box to be painted as glazing and the roof stuck down permanently.

I added barge boards and planking to cover the bad corner joints, the stone effect chimney and footings were completely redone by gluing on small chips of stone then rendering it with Polyfilla, a gate and fence were added at the back to create a small yard area.

I'm much happier now with how it looks than the original kit.

This is part of my first entry in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge for this year, if you are not aware of the event I suggest you pop over there.

The Orchard - Phillippeville (4)

Inspired by the orchards in Setting the Scene II I've made a couple of section of walled orchard, per Pats recommendations, the tree armatures are from Woodland Scenics while the walls were carved out of high density pink foam board. The gate was made using the method described in the book. Each section is 6" x 8".

I Initially thought the walls were going to be a disaster as after I had carved them out, coated in diluted PVA and primed they started crumbling badly, but I was able to stabilise them with a coat of neat PVA.

This is part of my first entry in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge for this year, if you are not aware of the event I suggest you pop over there.

I hope to get a couple more of sections of orchard fabricated and painted over the next few weeks.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

WWII Germans reboot (4)

Edit - Updated with some corrected manufacturers

Saturday sees the opening of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge and <checks blog> I've not painted any figures at all for the last four weeks. That had to end, so to get my eye in I painted a few WWII Germans that have been sat on the painting table.

They are a mixed bag of figures from various manufacturers, but will drop nicely into my collection.

The first chap is a German cavalryman, a Crusader Miniatures model. Most likely to get used as a patrol marker or jump-off point.

Second is a le.IG18 75mm infantry gun from Warlord, as is the kneeling crewman, teh standing crewman is from the Empress '88.

Four random infantry, think the one in the camouflage smock is likely Artizan, the one with the flare pistol is a Crusader and the other two are probably Chieftain Miniatures, these will make a good assault engineer team.

Lastly, the PZIII I painted ages ago finally got a commander, Michal Wittman from Warlord Games.