Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Japan Surrenders

I decided that I am going to sell off the few Japanese soldiers I have. I'll play the Pacific with my club buddies, but I'll just contribute my Americans. I am considering a small USMC contribution, but we'll see how that plays out against continuing to collect 25MM ACW and my thoughts on 25MM Zulu War.

Here are the pics of the Emperor's soldiers before they go. I added the rifle flags to two of the riflemen.


Death or Glory Boys

I just finished off the first group of Zulu War lancers for my brother...here they are. I also completed some more dervish "leader" types (not pictured). More to get painted this weekend. The figures are 15MM Old Glory.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rebel Flags

Some rebel flags. I am going to replace my current flags with some of these that I made.

Yankee Flags

Here are some Union National Colors and Regimental Flags for 25MM troops. Gonna work on some rebel flags too.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Wheat Fields

I ordered a coco-mat online to cut into wheat fields for the ACW games. I think they look pretty good. I am well on the way for a beautiful game. Looks like we're going to play 25/28MM ACW - using Black Powder - on Friday night the 8th of January. Honestly, I can't wait to see the table and play in the game!

In the center left of the first image, you can see the scarecrow in the cornfield.


28MM Cornfield Tutorial

Just in case there is interest, thought I'd post a tutorial on how I made my cornfields. First is the materials:

A small "Christmas tree". I got mine at a local craft store for about $6. It has thin branches, thinner than the wreath material. Unfortunately it has no part numbers or description.

Bases. I use a fiber board base. Each base is marked three rows and each row has 5 corn stalks. Each row is 3/4" apart and each stalk is 1/2" apart. This makes the bases about 2 3/8" by 2 3/4". I marked out 44 bases and marked each of them for rows and stalks before cutting them out. Once cut, I drilled a 3/32" hole for each stalk...and spray painted the bases brown.

Using a small snipper, I clipped the stalks from the tree. Each stalk is approximately 1 3/4" tall. Some are slightly larger and some are slightly shorter to achieve some variance in the corn.

The stalks are then glued into the holes on each base. The wire core of each stalk fits almost perfectly into the holes.

That's it. Pretty easy...and monotonous...but easy...and monotonous.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The First Cornfield

Ok, had some time to spend today making cornfields...and...my first cornfield is pictured below. The cornfield shown is made up of nine tiles of corn, each with 15 stalks.


These tiles differ from the prototype (shown in an earlier post) in that they are a little wider, with 3/4" between the rows...and...the stalks are a more appropriate height (a little shorter).

Well, gotta make more, I cut out a ton of tiles...I like seeing cornfields on a Civil War battlefield! Let me know what you think of the corn!!!

Next: 28MM Colonials?

Well, I have been thinking that after I get enough 28MM ACW figures collected, that I want to get into 28MM Colonials next. I really like the Zulu War - no doubt fueled by seeing the movie Zulu when I was young.

When I see the Zulu War range of models offered by Empress Miniatures, I am just blown away. They are truly awesome.

I, like many, have done colonials before using the famous range of Ral Partha miniatures. While those are perfectly fine miniatures, the more recent releases have simply surpassed them in beauty and historical accuracy.

I am thinking that I'd collect a combination of metal and plastic miniatures. The bulk of the Zulu warriors would be plastics with all of the key or "character" miniatures being metal. The British and thier local allies would be mostly metal miniatures.

15MM Dervish

These are some of the miniatures I am painting for my brother. He has a tremendous collection of 15MM colonials around the wars in Sudan. I am painting some leader miniatures and British cavalry and some highlanders.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

28MM Cornfields

I saw a picture somewhere of some 28MM cornfields that were made from Christmas wreath material...and got inspired. I wanted to make some good looking corn stalks, and I wanted them to be high. Every time I drive past the cornfield that butts against our neighborhood, I see the tall corn and dream of the Miller Cornfield at Antietam. In my mind, I can see the flags above the corn level and imagine the lines of men trampling through the corn.


I am going to mount them similar to my prototype shown in the picture. This way, I can move the elements of corn as units enter a cornfield and trample it. The rows will be 3/4" apart and individual stalks in a given row will be about 1/2" apart. I think I may dry brush a touch of yellow on the tops, we'll see. I think I am going to leave the base brown, the dirt of the field. Any thoughts on that?

Monday, December 14, 2009

28MM ACW Wargaming Goals

I have a special place for the American Civil War in my heart. From my youngest days, I have always had an interest in the period and my first wargaming experiences were ACW games.

I thought I would toss out the goal I have in mind for some 28MM ACW wargaming. The mission statement would be "Play beautiful, fun and flavorful wargames with friends". So, let's breakdown the concepts of the mission statement:

I think that 28MM, more so than many other scales, offers a terrific mix of playability and visual appeal. Beauty is one factor that hooks newcomers to the hobby. Once someone with historical interest sees an incredible wargaming table they want to get involved.

To that end, I have collected a few nice buildings and stone walls and an awesome stone bridge (think Burnside’s Bridge). I have made wood-rail fences. I have nice wheat fields and will be making some cornfields from Christmas wreath stuff (I’ll post on this after I make a little so I can get some pictures up).

Fun and Flavorful
In this period, with the 28’s, I am not looking to play a game that is a "simulation" or has to be very "historically accurate". Notice the quotes around those words? I think that those concepts are few and far between with wargames anyway. I want to have fun! Also, winning is not the object of the game! For me, fun is the object of the game.

What is and is not fun for me? Fun is not lining up miniatures in an unending row of units from table edge to table edge. Fun is not limited maneuver. Fun is not complete control of my troops and wholly sequential time management.

Fun is a game with an opportunity for deployment and maneuver. Fun is a game where my lead minions don't always do exactly what I wish exactly when I wish it. Fun is when the movement and actions of the opponent's lead minions cannot be exactly determined.

Flavor in the ACW period, to me, is: A variance in infantry weaponry - I like it when some of the regiments are armed with smoothbore muskets. Similarly with the artillery - rifled guns, smoothbore guns, and the occasional larger gun. A variance in quality from unit to unit - the ubiquitous green, veteran and elite troops. A variance in officer quality - from blunderers to geniuses.

Clearly, friends are a part of the fun equation, but I wanted to put them in a distinct bucket. Once you figure out that winning is not the object of our games you then realize what it is all about. I believe that it is about the spectacle of the table, the enjoyment of the miniatures (and your hard work in collecting and painting them) and the friendships we create.

Enjoying a fine drink with some fine friends while enjoying a fine game helps me put a little “gas back in the tank”.

So, what about the rules? I am going to try out “Black Powder”. They look fun and the authors seem to subscribe to the above goals. I have played one test game (in 15MM) at the club and found that my initial impression is favorable. Of course, I want to play a few more games before I can determine just how much I enjoy them and how they can help me to reach the above goals. I like the “useful rules” section of the BP rules; I really think those can give some extra flavor to some of the regiments.

Yep, I am a big fan of the “Johnny Reb” rules, and have played all of the editions. Those first gaming experiences I mentioned above were with the first edition of the rules (five stands per regiment, etc., etc.). There are lots of things I enjoy about “Fire & Fury” too, but I simply prefer rules in this period that are based around the regiment (I have not yet tried the regimental variant of these rules).

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Here are the first three stands of some zouaves. I gave them a neutral flag so that I play them on either side. The miniatures are Redoubt (and fit in very well with the other miniatures in the collection).

Rebel Regiment

Just posting a picture of some rebel troops. I have artillery for both sides as well, but I don't think that I am going to paint up any cavalry for either army. Miniatures are Old Glory.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Yankee Regiment

Here is a Yankee regiment from the 28MM ACW collection I recently began. No regiment in particular, despite the presence of a regimental mascot. One of my buildings and some fencing can be seen in the back.

I hope to play the "Black Powder" rule set with these miniatures. We recently played a 15MM test game and liked the rules. Of course, I need to play a few more times before I can really appreciate them. A Friday night in January is the next game. Miniatures are Old Glory.


WW2 Japanese

These are the Japanese that helped to recently break my painter's block.

The base color used on the miniatures is a spray paint, Krylon Khaki (#4291). The other uniform colors are all Vallejo paints as follows:

  1. Boots and gun stock: German Dark Brown (#70822)

  2. Helmet and blanket: Brown Violet (#70887)

  3. Belts and cap bill: US Field Drab (#70873)

  4. Gun strap: Light Brown (#70929)

  5. Skin: Sunny Skintone (#70845)

  6. Hair: Black (#70950)

  7. Metals: Oily Steel (#70865)

I washed the miniatures in Minwax Polyshade (Tudor Satin) and mounted them on 1" diameter washers. The ground cover is built up with Wood Filler and painted Vallejo Buff (#70976) and also washed with the Minwax. The "jungle" plants are aquarium plants cut to proportion (I think they need a wash of the Minwax too).

Miniatures are Old Glory.


I have had “painter’s block” for the last few months. I had gone after it pretty hard, cranking out 28MM Americans and Germans for WW2 and 28MM Yankees and Rebels for ACW, then worked picked up…blam…the painting stopped. So, I thought I’d start my own wargaming blog to help get me rolling again. Paint, post pics; paint post pics.

I just got a good chance to pick up the brush again. My friend Dave had some spare Japanese WW2 soldiers, so I grabbed them from him and cranked them out. They appeared to be…and were…a nice simple task. The group I am gaming with is going to begin to do some Pacific theatre stuff in 2010. I may hold on to these Japanese soldiers or sell them off (I have Americans already and sorta want to paint some US Marines).

Another benefit of the blog is that, my brother, who lives on the east coast, can sorta keep up with the stuff I am working on and playing. Over the summer, he sent out to me some 15MM colonial troops to knock out for him…just in time for the painter’s block. So, this blog can also let me post pics of the Brits and Dervish pieces I will continue to work on.

Ok, on with it already…