Friday, May 28, 2010

1st Batch of Flags

Hey Everyone -

WOW - two posts in one day, can you believe it?!

I went to the post office a little bit ago and found a neat little brown box waiting for me from the Flag Dude.

First word that came to mind - AWESOME!!!

Here they are.

The standards for the Simbirsk Musketeer Regiment.

I really like how vivid the colors are and how 'alive' the flags look.

The next set are for my version of the 'South Essex' from the Sharpe's Series.

Now I know there's a company out there that already makes a regimental color for this unit, but to be honest, I never liked it. It always looked funny to me - not quite right.

I also know that this flag was based on the artistic rendering done for the 'Sharpe's Appreciation Society'. Still, I don't like it.

In looking at the painting, and the other flag out there, it dawned on me what looks funny - the chained eagle.

The chained eagle looks way too big for the flag! Almost cartoonish.

So, I started looking at all the British flags for the period I could find. Now I'm not even close to being an expert, but to my eye the special emblems, such as the chained eagle, were smaller. Sometimes they were really small.

With this in mind I started playing with my paint program and came up with a flag that looks 'right' to me. When satisfied I contacted Rick (the Flag Dude) and asked him about making this flag. He said it was 'doable'.

Basically, this is what I sent Rick.

You might notice there is no chain on the eagle - I couldn't figure out how to make one on my paint program. So this part, along with the wreath and such, I left in Rick's capable hands.

This is what Rick sent me.

Aren't they grand!!

Check out the chains on that eagle. You will also notice the cypher used is that of the Prince of Wales. Since the unit eventually became know as the 'Prince of Wales' Own Volunteers' I thought this cypher would be more appropriate than the King's. You will also see it on the King's flag as well.

Perhaps the cypher is completely wrong and wouldn't have been used, but hey - the South Essex didn't really exist anyway did it?

All-n-all Rick did a stupendous job! I can't recommend him high enough.

BTW - before I forget, Rick did supply poles with some finials. I asked him to leave the flags off for a reason, but you will see them eventually.

Hopefully my painted minis will do these justice.

Till next time...

Larry ~

New Mobile Painting Table

Hey Everyone!

Several days ago I was inspired by the mobile painting station made by a person named Aaron over on the Lead Adventure Forum. So I decided to build my own.

It would be easier for me to paint in the evening but in order to spend time with the wife it's hard to do. She likes to work on her laptop while watching TV and there is no TV in my painting room.

So, I dug out an old typing desk that came from the High School across the street and adapted it. Casters were put on the legs and a new, slightly larger, top was attached (the old top broke apart).

They're hard to see in the picture but there is a small drawer under the area where the mat is and a pull out board to lay papers on under the area where the light is.

Now I can roll it into the same room where she, and the TV, are.

BTW - I do plan to stain, and seal, the top.

For those of you who are curious, the dresser behind the table contains terrain building supplies.

Till next time...


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finally!!!! An Update

WOW!!! It's been quit a while since I last updated this thing.

Oh well, what are ya' going to do about it - string me up like a piñata and let a bunch of pissed off women beat me with sticks?

It's not like I haven't been busy though. I've been busting my hump working on the house as well as a few other projects, but have been piddling in the wargaming world, just not painting minis as much as I'd like.

Okay - I've been call a 'Gear Whore' in regard to many areas that interest me. However, in the wargaming world you could probably call me a 'Rules Whore'. Then again, aren't all gamers 'rule whores' at heart? In the past several months I've purchased a few new rules and am looking at adding a few more to my collection.

The first one I picked up was 'Killer Katanas II' by Brian Bradford. I've always been fascinated by Samurai. Presently I'm contemplating the purchase of enough minis to build two Samurai armies for the Sengoku period.

And here they are!

I have heard that these rules are way different than the typical Mediæval/Renaissance rehashed to represent Feudal Japan. Just thumbing through the section dealing with army setup will prove this AND boggle the mind!

You can order them directly from Mr. Bradford or even through eBay and other sources.

When I ordered my copy of 'Killer Katanas II' from Mr. Bradford I snagged a copy of 'Date's Battles' as well.

This is a supplement book, but you don't need to have 'Killer Katanas II' to use it. It's actually a guide to the army and heraldry of the one-eyed dragon - Date Masamune. It's similar to an Osprey book, complete with color pictures and tons of info on various aspects of Masamune's army such as organization, weapons, clans appearance and Heraldry.

This is a MUST HAVE for those into Samurai history. The supplement can be ordered from Mr. Bradford or eBay as well as some other sources.

The last item I got from Mr. Bradford was a copy of 'The Imjin War - Army Lists & Rules Supplement for Killer Katanas II'.

This supplement contains lots of info on the organization and weapons of the Korean and Ming Armies that fought Hideyoshi's Invasion from 1592-97. For being just 16 pages long is crammed full of information - along the same lines as 'Date's Battles' but without the pictures.

Again, another MUST HAVE for the Samurai enthusiast.

The other two rule set purchased are along the more 'normal' line for me - Napoleonic.

First up is LaSalle.

There has be a lot of positive buzz about these rules so I just had to get a copy.

I purchased my copy direct from Sam Mustafa off his Honour site.

One of the best aspects about Sam and his rules is the entire web presence created to aid the gamer.

There is a forum where you can discuss the rules and get some great ideas.

There's also a download section where you can get all sorts of errata, tips and suggestions, new army lists, & etc.

However, the most unique section, to me anyway, is the Scenario-Wiki. You can go here and get loads of scenarios as well as supplements and even an army list for the US.

I really like these rules. They are well written and even a thick headed, heretic, gamer such as myself can understand them. The only issue I have is with the Army Builder section - I don't see eye-to-eye with how the British and Russian armies are treated. Like I said though...I'm a heretic.

There are lots of places on the web that have reviews and AARs, TMP has several, and I'd suggest you look through some of them if you are still curious about the rules. There's also an excellent review/AARs on Trailape‘s Wargame blog. It is in more than one post but well worth the read!

Another good 'meat-n-potatoes' overview can be found on Deep Fried Happy Mice.

Now this next set of Napoleonic rules are a bit more dubious.

Here they are - Napoleon by Matthew Fletcher.

I say "dubious" at the moment because I have not received my copy yet (it's in the mail) and can't comment on them personally. Also, there are tons of negative, sometimes brutal, reviews out there. Again, I would suggest looking around the web for reviews, especially TMP.

Don't get me wrong, you will find some positive, and kind of positive, reviews out there. However, for every positive review there are probably a dozen negative ones. Right now the negative press centers around the rules which make up about 32 pages out of 232 pages.

The main reason I wanted to check out these rules for what's on the other 200 pages. According to Foundry there's information on painting and collecting Napoleonic models plus other sections detailing uniforms and historical background as well as advanced rules covering pontoon bridges, grand battery fire, ground conditions, setting fire to buildings, friendly fire and ambulances.

As one guy on TMP said "OH LOOK PRETTY PICTURES" - that pretty much sums it up for me. I like lots of illustrations and pictures. According to the guys at Foundry - it has over 400 color photographs and illustrations, including many Knotël prints, plus numerous diagrams, maps and other illustrations.

I'm a bit frustrated right now that they haven't arrived yet. I ordered them through Amazon and the shipping confirmation says they shipped on April 16 and estimated delivery was May 10th!!! So this means they could arrive any time.

Now onto another subject altogether - Building Construction!!

Last Monday I had an appointment in the big city. I don't often get to the city anymore so when I do go I try to hit as many hobby type shops as possible. This trip was no different.

My first stop was to the main hobby shop around that carries anything close to wargaming. They carry lots of stuff for the fantasy gamer, but not historical. While there I found a nifty little tool used for cutting foam core made by Foam Werks. I have seen the other tools offered by this company and they weren't cheap. The tool at the hobby shop was no exception!! I passed on it.

I then ended up close to a Michaels Arts & Crafts store so I popped in. This turned out to be the best stop in a long time! Not only did I find the same tool that was at the other shop, but Michaels had the whole line. Now get this, the price here for the tool was about 25% less than the first shop but the best part(!) Michaels was having a clearance sell on most of the tools!!!


This made the tool more than 50% off the one at the first shop!!! So I snapped up a few new tools for building gaming structures.

The first tool is the straight/bevel cutter.

As the site says "Features include adjustable blade depth, ergonomic handle and on-board blade storage".

Just a drawing of how the cuts look.

Per the site you simply rotate the angled base block and it transforms from a straight cutter to a bevel cutter.

This is the Freestyle Cutter. As the name implies it cuts any freestyle shape you want.

Again it "features ergonomic handle, on-board blade storage compartment, blade safety shield and two blades".

Another drawing of how the cut can look. Looks like the beginning of a tabletop stream!!

The advert says "easy to use, just insert the blade into the board and push to follow the desired shape".

We will see... I have some Middle Eastern type doors and windows I want to cut and you know those have a lot of curves to them.

Okay, this next tool is the one that sold me on FoamWerks when I saw it a couple years ago. For those of you who are familiar with the 'Rabbeting the Corners' section on the 'Building Construction' page over on Major General Tremorden Rederring's Colonial-era Wargames Page you will appreciate this tool.

Here it is - the Rabbet Cutter.

The product site says it "features on-board blade storage and includes two blades and can be used as either a right-handed push style or left-handed pull style action".

Now doesn't this drawing look just about like the one on the Major General's site?

FoamWerks claims the following: "Create perfect adjoining foamboard joints with one-stroke finished results". I hope it will work like it says.

This next tool is the one I found at the hobby shop that leans towards fantasy gamers. They were selling it for $36 and I got it for $14!! It's called the V-Groove Cutter.

Doesn't it look like some sort of viscous insectoid type thing?

This sucker includes adjustable blade depth, quick change blade clips, magnetic blade slot, on-board blade storage drawer and five blades. There is a straightedge channel rail that it works with but I didn't buy that. I'm probably going to regret not getting the channel rail, but I figured I could use one of the straightedges I already have.

This drawing is what first drew me to the tool.

Apparently, if you use it correctly, it removes the need for rabbeting the corners and creates a seamless corner. Isn't that cool!!!

Kind of makes you want to ask "why did you buy the Rabbet Cutter?" doesn't it? Simple reason - I'm also a tool whore!! Besides, I know there will be times I will probably need to use the smaller of the two cutters.

Now if you think this feature is cool just wait till you see the next drawing!

Do you see it?!

That's right - you can use the V-Groove Cutter to make rounded forms!!! Think of all the rounded towers, wall edges, tunnels and arches you can make! Now this is a cool tool, at least to me. I just need to figure out some cool type building to make. Perhaps a Bavarian church for the Naps, or an outpost fort from the Sudan or the NWF, or perhaps some Pasha's fortified palace. Hmm...decisions, decisions...

Till next time...

Larry ~

Sunday, September 20, 2009

South Essex - Prince of Wales' Own Volunteers

WOW!! I can't believe how long it's been since I've up-dated this blog.

It was intended to keep a boot to my butt to get some painting done...guess it didn't work.

I have been doing some sporadic painting while working on the house and Land Rover, but not near as much as I have wanted.

I am gearing up to start on a new unit though, the South Essex ~ Prince of Wales' Own Volunteers. It is based on the fictitious regiment in the Sharpe Books by Bernard Cornwell.

Going along with the ITGM rules this unit has 30 figures.

You might note that there is actually 31 figures. I'll get to that later.

If you look real close you will see a Rifles figure in the second row (second from right).

The light company is going to be a mix of Rifles and Light infantry, just like Sharpe's Regiment. Since there are only three minis per company I might go with two Rifles figures instead of just the one like I have now.

And here is Mr. Sharpe.

I know it's not one of THE Sharpe figures some companies make, but until I purchase one it'll have to do. What I would really like to have a Sharpe & Harper figure to make a small command stand.

I do think this is one of the best, single, officer figures made by Old Glory though!

And here is my vision of Sharpe's regiment.

You might notice that the officer figure it it's own stand. In game play this figure would be purely eye-candy.

The miniature regiment originally had two drummer figures on their own base. This base would have been eye-candy as well and placed behind the regiment.

I know that these mounting style is unorthodox, but I saw some photos of some Napoleonic armies done this way and they were the coolest things!! The guy who made them said that they were there ONLY for the aesthetic value.

Here is a close-up of the flags.

Since the regiment is purely fictional there is no flag for the South Essex ~ Prince of Wales' Own Volunteers I had to come up with my own.

I would really like to have these flags look as nice as the one you can get from the likes of the 'Flagdude' and GMB Flags. I need to find someone who can makes these for me or see if one of the flag makers out there will do it. Either way I think the flags look great.

Also, I have added several new links and such to the side bars so be sure to check them out as well.

Till next time...


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Quick Up-Date

Hello Everyone -

I'm posting a quick up-date just so you all know I'm still alive and kicking.

I have spoken to some of you off line and part of that discussion was me being able to devote a lot of time to painting the past few days. Well, let's just say that didn't happen.

If you are interested in the whole torturous reasons go to my house blog and you will understand.

I did manage to do one painting related thing on Friday though. I had to go into the big city to pick-up SWMBO from a business trip. I went a little earlier so I could go by the comic book store that sells miniature paints such as Vallejo and Citadel. It isn't often that I get to do this and I was going to be less than 2 miles from the place.

The main reason I wanted to stop by there was to see if they had a set of the Citadel Washes. A new cyber/gaming friend of mine, Iannick (from Canada), highly recommended the set, as well as a few others.

The set contains the following wash colors:

Badab Black
Gryphonne Sepia
Ogryn Flesh
Devlan Mud
Baal Red
Leviathan Purple
Asurmen Blue
Thraka Green

When I went up to the register to buy the set I noticed what looked like coffee had been spilled on the box. It was under the clear plastic covering so I figured one of the bottles leaked. The guy who worked there let me open up the box to have a look. Sure enough, one of them had leaked - the Gryphonne Sepia one.

The guy offered me the set at a discount so I took it. Once I got home and got a much better look (the dried wash had glued the bottle to the package tray). Turns out that MAYBE 1/4 of the wash leaked out.

I have seen a few sites that offer some in site to these washes, but one of the best is here. Out of everything I've read about these washes no one has had much of anything negative to say about them.

Anyway, I am determined to get some painting done tonight...really, I am...honestly.

I'll keep you posted.

Till next time...


Monday, February 9, 2009

My 'Core' Russian Army

I have finally organized the core of my Russian army.

This should give me a good table top army and one that is easily added to.

Following the organization chart is a break down of the figures.

4 Musketier Regiments (32 figures each = 128 figures)
2 Jäger Regiments (32 figures each = 64 figures)
1 Pavlovsk Grenadiers (32 figures)
1 Cossack Regiment (20 figures)
1 Hussar Regiment (32 figures)
1 Dragoon Regiment (32 figures)
1 Cuirassier Regiment (32 figures)
1 Foot Battery (3 Guns & 12 figures)*
1 Horse Battery (3 Guns & 12 figures)*

NOTE* The artillery batteries will eventually double per the ITGM rules.

This comes to a total of 365 miniatures + 6 artillery pieces; and does not count a General or other personalities.

I do plan to add additional miniatures such as limbers w/crew; caissons w/crew and other assorted baggage wagons and such.

Geeze - I guess I better get painting!!!!

Till next time...


New Toys

Hello Everyone!

This past week has been a major pain. Not only have I been fighting with the wood stain in our kitchen but I've also caught the 'crud' that's going around. SWMBO has been keeping me doped up for the past few days.

With the exception of a few hours Saturday afternoon I've been in bed for the most part. Towards miniatures I've been doing research and playing with some organization stuff on the PC. I decided not to do any painting. Not to be gross, but painting with a runny nose would not be good.

Anywho...Saturday we had promised to take SWMBO's father to the train show in the big city. I also needed to pick-up a few items for the house as well.

While I really like model trains and such, my father-n-law is the big train enthusiast. I like to go and see the scenery and the items that can be used for modeling.

This year did not disappoint - even if I was doped up. The problem is is that there are more items for the 15mm gamer than the 25mm gamer. However, I managed to come away with three items.

From the top there is a 'Wonder Cutter' (gotten dirt cheap); some Faller HO fencing (excellent for 25mm trellises); and a section of stone wall in plaster.

I have wanted one of these styro cutters for quite awhile and couldn't believe my luck in finding a new one in a junk box!

Now I can build some items out of foam without the mess now. I have read that these things eat through batteries so eventually an electrical one will end up in the tool box.

Here is a closer look at the stone wall.

I am thinking about making a mold of this thing so more can be made. I have a few projects in mind that will require stone walls and making a mold is not hard.

Hopefully I will get some painting in tomorrow. I wanted to some tonight, but my arms are sore from all the sanding and my nose is running again. At this rate I'll be lucky to get a Russian army finished in the next 10 years!

Well, till next time...