30 April 2014

Warbases Wednesday #9 - 15mm Fence Pack

This weeks edition is quite pleasing for me personally as this is a product that I designed a few years ago now and would not allow this to be produced for the general public in kit form, whilst I was operating my terrain business for obvious reasons.

However due to my health I was unable to continue with large scale terrain making. I had several products that Martin and Diane held designs for as they were my sole suppliers. So when it came to making some decisions about the way forward how better to allow the to be produced as a kit.

Now while these they may not be supplied as the finished article, they are not that difficult to paint up and finish for yourself and they work really well on the table top.

So I present the 15mm Post and Rail Fence Pack:

There is a lot in this pack with 130cm of straight sections and over 60cm of corners and special pieces. This accurately laser cut fencing with bases costs £15.00 for everything shown in the above image.

Here are some close ups of some sections that I have built and finished for the table top.
This is one of the 50mm straight sections there are 6 of these in the pack.
This is the gate section very well designed and with minimal work needed to get it looking like this.
There are 4 of these 100mm long straights
You get two of these 200mm long straights
4 of these corners which do need a small amount of assembly work as the sides are in two separate lengths.

The pack is completed with one of each of the Cross, Tee and gap section pieces.

However what you really need to see is do they look right against 15mm figures:

Some of my own good old boy's from the deep south proudly standing behind a 100mm straight section for you all to judge for yourselves. The figures are from the ACW range of Peter pig miniatures.

That good people wraps up this weeks edition, I will be back again similar time, same day next week with the next instalment.


28 April 2014

Falkirk 1746 What If ? - A Battle report

One of the things high on the agenda this year was to get a lot more gaming in. Something we had done reasonably well at this year although we have had a three week absence of rules, dice and tape measures due to some frenetic work for myself and Kevin and chunks of real life interrupting the regular session.

This week we got back to our Thursday session as Kev had written a nice scenario for a Jacobite rebellion game!

Now I am not going to go over everything Kev has already mentioned in his superb write up of the game HERE. Though I will take a couple of minutes to thank him for sorting the whole thing out for us to play, Oh and remind him that he got a proper highland welcome!!

One of the things I really like is having the underdogs to play with its a nice challenge and rather good fun trying to keep everything under control. Never more so than when you have Jacobites - a combination of lunatics and often bad command make these fun to play with.

 The table all set up and ready to go, the Jacobite's would enter from the right table side
 A view from the Jacobite side with some English pomp doing a spot of Highland clearing on the left Falkitk in the centre and some drag queens on the far right in camp!
So Myself and Glenn formulated a plan of how we were going to win this with so much to achieve we went for the massed highland charge approach with the clans.
 The Drag Queens are not going to like this as in the dawns early light I launch a full highland charge at the encampment on the first turn.
 The Scots cavalry decide to scout the road ahead and ignore the fighting in camp
 Lets just say Kev did not fair too well as the camp collapsed and two artillery pieces were captured, a unit of dragoons were cut down to a man and the last unit was so badly mauled it fled the field of battle. Also as a bonus two lots of supplies were now in Jacobite hands.
 The cavalry got distracted by supplies and looted the English camp at Falkirk and stole away the remaining supplies, this was one of the major objectives for the Jacobites as if we could now destroy the rest of the infantry on the table and English reserves would arrive with depleted ammunition.
 My Jacobite clans move out again and start to reform and march towards the road to Edinburgh to cut of any reinforcements that would arrive.
Kev decideds its time to stop the cleaning and get these into the battle before all is lost.
 Meanwhile Glenn starts the siege of Falkirk
 Kev just has to take a pic as another English Battalion fails its break test and quits the field, things are going really well for the Jacobite cause at the moment
 Falkirk though would prove to be a hard nut to crack as Clansmen poured into the fray from all directions and piled the English corpses high, Kev was on a rolling streak that would frustrate me and Glen for several turns.
Finally after having taken many break tests at -3, then -4 and beyond Falkirk fell but it was one turn too late and the reserves had started to arrive. It was at this point we called the game as Hawley would be unable to save the day as the Jacobite clans were well prepared and had only lost one unit in the days fighting, where as England had lost 3 entire Brigades two of which were wiped out completely.

Overall a cracking night and plenty of banter and laughter and the dice were as unpredictable as ever! The next game in this should be very interesting as France will now join the Jacobite cause.

27 April 2014

Weekly round up - 27/04/2014 - Shows, ECW and a good old Rant

I will begin this week by helping out a fellow wargamer and blogger who is a member of Milton Hundred Wargames Club unfortunately their advertisement should have been placed in this months Miniature wargames but things went badly wrong and the advert failed to appear so I offered to give it a shout in this regular weekly column.
Next I bring would like to bring your attention to some figures my partner in crime Kevin at Brigantes Studio has been working on. Click the picture and it will open a new window in our joint blog.
The week ahead is going to be a very busy one as I try to get two commissions wrapped up to be able to concentrate solely on the Warbases items in preparation for Sheffield Triples.

RANT ALERT!!!!!!!!!

Unusually for me I have been interested in a debate on the TMP pages after the subject was raised by several other fellow bloggers. In fact its been over three years since I last visited the hostile forum but!!! You see one of my real pet peeves in this hobby is being blatantly ripped off for something, then that gets defended with a pile of horse shit that is akin to truthful politicians and their expenses claims lately!!!
The latest pile of rubbish comes in the form of Warlord games and its repackaging of Italeri 1/72nd scale walls that have been out for years, just not in a fancy new warlord branded box and at a far cheaper cost than the inflation busting almost 100% mark up Warlord offers its loyal customers!!!

This is what the company posted in response to some criticism on TMP.

Look at the images of our 28mm miniatures with the plastic walls. They look spot on heightwise to me and, as already stated above, that's without any base for the walls themselves. Yes, these are also being sold as 1/72 scale walls by our partner, Italer, but- we feel they are a tad big for 20mm games but as with all things in our great hobby it is a matter of personal taste and your freedom to choose.
As you know, stone walls don't come in just one height, but in many. Do you want your troops to be able to fire over the walls or have no line of sight at all? At a comparable height of about 4 feet for a game played with 28mm miniatures I would suggest this is very similar to any of the stone walls dotted around England and doubtless other areas of the world where such things can be found.
These are the same price as the set sold by Italeri so no price hike at all. Over 4 feet of stone walls for just £14.00 GBP? I suggest that is more than a fair price for something that won't be easily damaged, doesn't weigh much and will surely enhance your terrain collection for a wide variety of periods.
I cannot vouch for Amazon of course – they are happy with their meagre profit margins and rely on the customer to think of their own pockets rather than that of helping support the manufacturer or local gaming store. We always hear a lot about gamers showing a lot of loyalty and solidarity with their local gaming store but what about the initial link in the chain – the manufacturer? Purchasing from Amazon and other deep discounting options isn't helping the store owner or the manufacturer who is investing in producing those very same products in the first place…

Now firstly one has to make a couple of observations about this statement!! 

1. Of course they would look OK height wise to you or you would not be trying to sell them to us. Your own admission we think they are a tad big for 20mm reinforces that fact. However you confirm they are manufactured as 1/72nd scale and not 28mm and these are only your opinions or thoughts and not actual facts! What clever angles were the images taken at to get them looking correct?

3. Yes I am aware walls differ in heights, but as far as I am aware it still means they are not 28mm scale as stated on the box. So the whole England's walls bit is really a poor attempt at spin doctoring is it not?

4. They are not the same price as the Italeri set you charge £14.00 and even at full retail Italeri only charge 10.50 euros (£8.65) how is that the same price or a fair price? or did you just feck up maths at school completely and really should not be in a business at all if you cant count?

4. Why would I consider the weight of the plastic as a viable way to make my purchase I want to make my purchases on cold hard facts and the Ronseal Factor "they do exactly what they say on the box"?, whereas relabelling a product designed at one scale as another is a bit misleading and inaccurate.

5. Many customers in the current financial climate think about how much they are spending. In fact in these days of the internet we are able to shop around far easier and more freely than ever. By making a purchase of the normal Italeri set we are supporting the manufacturer directly and if we go to the local hobby shop and purchase the same we are supporting them, but please do not assume we are so stupid as to pay twice the price for a bit of flash cardboard because you say that is how we should support the hobby!!

Right so I have ranted a touch here so lets give some hard facts then we can all judge for ourselves if Warlord are getting their facts right.

Warlord set contains two sprues with 53.5 inches of walling. Italeri set contains 2 sprues with funnily enough 53.5 inches of walls. Both sets of walls from either box come in at 19mm height.

Now I don't know about the rest of you but my figure bases are 2mm thick so that leaves 17mm for the walls to cover if they are not based themselves. So where does that leave the walls final height well unfortunately for my 28mm figures thats the bollocks literally!! To prove this point I went to the trouble of getting a laser cut MDF section exactly 19mm high to take the above picture.The Napoleonic figures are on my normal bases and the MDF acts as a wall section without a base.
However they are excellent for my 20mm figures if the walls remain unbased they come to chest height of my units and look a lot more sensible as cover!!

So in my humble opinion they are certainly not 28mm scale walls from what I have shown, but do not get me wrong the product is a good one and well made my issue is the one of scale and the general gaming public being aware of the facts and options before purchasing these! I would highly recommend anyone wanting them to shop around and make a purchase of the normal Italeri version and save themselves a few quid!!

Now I wanted to finish this post on a cheery note so have left the welcoming of my latest followers till last so it's welcome aboard to Ronin Rumbler and Robbie3Rodiss, I hope you find something to keep your interest among my ramblings.

Have a great week ahead folks I will as we have Spring Blog con at the end of this one.


26 April 2014

Paint Table Saturday #25 - Putting the Horse before the cart!

Today I had a couple of spare hours so sneaked away for a couple of hours work on the display base that I have been working on. As revealed in yesterdays post I had sculpted a cobbled street ready for painting up this weekend.

So having spent the best part of an hour first thing this morning painting a multitude of individual cobbles in a range of browns, deep reds and greys, I gave the whole thing a wash of Vallejo sepia shade to add some tone and depth.

Once this had dried I base coated the horse and gave the cobbles a heavy wash of thinned black acrylic to further define the cobbles and recesses.
I am pleased with the final look at it is fairly close to what I wanted to achieve.
this is more in line with the original way a cobbled road was constructed before the square or oblong blocks were used later on.
So that left me the horse to complete for the initial part of this display stand to be completed.

That's the horse definitely before the cart on this occasion! things seem to be going well at the moment but I wont get over confident as there is still a fair bit to do before this will be completed.

25 April 2014

Cobbling things together !!!!!

With my package of pre-release bits from Martin at Warbases having arrived Tuesday I have been rather sidetracked by them all. To be honest I expected this to happen as I have a deadline to meet and that is to have things completed ready for the Triples show in Sheffield in May. This has not stopped me working on the other items I have already started in fact far from it! But as with everything some careful planning and time management are needed to fit it all in.

I made a trip out yesterday morning to go and collect a few bits we needed for another gaming table build. An undertaking we are about to embark upon shortly, before travelling to drop them off with Kev. Another reason for the visit is because I wanted to show him the new additions to the Hansom cab now they were all cast up!! He had only seen the horses he had sculpted up to this point. It was good to sit and chat about how things were going in general and have an hour out from the flat out pace we seem to be going at the moment. I also needed to acquire another horse for the current project as stupidly I had forgotten to ask Martin to send me an extra with the cab. He is relaxing on a beach in sunny climbs at the moment no doubt having a few cold beers and unwinding, anyway I digress, I knew Kev had been sent 4 horses and he generously informed me I could have one of them to get on with as it was surplus to his needs.

So back to the Great Hall I travelled with the lead and new horse ready to begin the next stage of work.
I need to make the whole thing look correct for it being on display, and felt that to do this it was going to need a much better base. The standard wargame grass land effect does not really work for a Victorian street. So I had to cobble things up!!!!!! 

So having worked out placements for all the various elements, removed the horses base and secured it to an MDF pill base. I broke out some yellow grey milliput and mixed it with gusto. I then began the task of starting to sculpt the cobbles in the road. I am aware that at this stage it does not look pretty but this stuff needs a couple of days to dry out fully before I begin to turn it into a cobbled road with paints.

Right I just have to pray that it is fully dry ready for the next stage of work on Saturday!


23 April 2014

Warbases Wednesday #8 - Building the Hansom Cab a step by step Tutorial

In this weeks edition of Warbases Wednesday I am going to give you a step by step picture tutorial on building the 28mm Hansom Cab. You might want to grab a brew before sitting down to read this one it is fairly lengthy.

One of the things I like within the hobby is building the odd kit. What I do not like is straining my limited intelligence too far. Working out how to turn a pile of pieces into what it is supposed to be. Now for a competent model maker these kits are child's play and relatively straight forward and logical to assemble even without instructions.

However I used to get really frustrated trying to work things out when I first started out. So I am producing a series of guides to make things easier for everyone both for now and in the future.

So you open your kit and inside you find a small square of grey card (Top Left) this will be the roof,  a laser cut card with various patterns on (Top Centre) this will form the front curved panel and rear drivers box, a length of dowel (Top Right) which is the axle and finally a full sheet of pieces (Bottom) the bulk of the cab. In addition to these you need a wood glue or pva to stick the components together and a sharp blade for trimming as required.
Gently remove the sections highlighted in RED from the main frame, these are the front draw bars and front of the cab floor.
Glue the bars into the slots as shown above and you have the first stage completed.
Next remove the two pieces highlighted as they are going to hold the remainder of the cab floor in a minute and are the suspension and will house the axle.
Glue these firmly into the slots on the section we previously built as shown.

Now we want the next two highlighted pieces.
Fit them as shown here glueing them into place. It should be obvious which piece goes where but in case of doubt the larger piece goes on the top.
Now we need to remove the highlighted sections again, these will build the main cab.
Start by glueing either of the sides into place as shown.
Then locate the two oblong pieces as shown, don't worry those holes will vanish soon.
Locate and glue the opposite side in place and set it aside for ten minutes for the glue to dry a bit. before moving on to the next stage.
So if you have done everything correctly, you should have something that looks a lot like the above. 

Now before we move on to the final steps, I am going to give you a sneak preview of some new additions to this cab that will be available very soon. I only received these Yesterday myself and have no further details at this stage.
From Left to Right:
Victorian Gent with Cane hailing a cab, Male passenger seated inside cab with top hat on seat beside him, A pair of coach lamps, a whip case and whip, and finally a driver. (Expect to see these fully painted and more details in due course)

I mention these at this point as one of the pieces is designed to go inside the cab and will not fit if you don't skip one of the asterisked sections at this point.

**** Assembling the front curved section. (this can be done last if you intend to use a passenger)
 I have labelled the card to make identification easier for myself for this next stage we need the parts A and the highlighted red piece
 Lay your pieces out like this to make it easy for your self
 The taller sections slot in first with the thinner pieces flanking the wider piece
Next glue the MDF rail in place and insert the card top sections.****

The next two sections will not affect fitting a passenger to the Cab interior so can be completed if you have skipped the previous section.
Next we are going to build the drivers compartment so take the card pieces I labelled B and lay them out as shown. The front piece is the base. Then from left to right we have side, back and side.
 Glue these together to form a box like this.
 The two holes in the rear of the cab are where we will now affix the two lugs of the drivers box.
Now our cab is almost completed.
 The only parts you should have left are the axle, two wheels and two outer rings.
 Affix one wheel and outer ring as shown onto the axle.
 Place the axle through the two holes in the bottom of the cab and attach the other wheel and rim leaving a 5mm gap either side of the cab. Mark the axle the remove the assembly and trim the axle to length before re- attaching.

****(this has to be done last if you intend to use a passenger and have already fitted the front curved section)
 Take the roof Section and glue it into place using a bit of weight to hold it onto the curved roof line.****
That is it completed and ready for a lick of paint if you desire. In my opinion good value at the £5.00 retail cost of these, they can be purchased HERE

That is this weeks edition and as you can see from the sneak preview there are some interesting pieces to make this look even more the part and are sure to make an appearance on this very blog in due course.


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