Saturday 31 December 2011

Planning for 2012

Hi all,

Millsy here with a bit of a wrap for 2011 and some plans for the coming year.

I've had a pretty busy year all up in gaming terms. 2011 was probably my highest output ever in terms of both figs and terrain, an outcome I'm pretty chuffed with. Over the year I knocked off a pile of stuff, including but not limited to...
  • A complete New Israeli force for Gruntz 15mm sci-fi plus a stack of terrain to match
  • Close to two complete 28mm armies for HOTT (soon to be for sale so watch this space)
  • A pile of Warhammer Lizardmen
  • Close to 30 x T-34s for Flames of War
  • Two decent sized (800pts or so) forces for Song of Drums and Shakos
  • Almost my entire backlog of 28mm colonials miniatures, plus a fort and associated buildings
  • 30+ figures for 1938 A Very British Civil War along with close to a dozen repaints of diecast vehicles
To be honest that list has surprised even me as I typed it out. I actually had to refer back to blog posts to make sure I'd not missed anything. There were other bits and bobs in there too but this is the material worth mentioning. I feel I've matured as a painter too both in terms of speed (which should be obvious!) but also technique. All up a great year from my point of view.

So what does 2012 hold? I'm planning a four pronged painting assault for the year ahead...

Warhammer Dogs of War
These guys have been sitting quietly in the background and slowly growing. Given I have mostly finished the Lizzies it's time to give these guys some serious love. I plan to make these a really special army with plenty of extra effort and not just painted ASAP to play. I've already started so stay tuned for some pics.

Gruntz 15mm
I've got two more forces bought and ready to go, plus there is a painting challenge on the forum. Things have wained a bit in terms of interest for me but a couple of the other lads are kicking off in the C&G clan. Hopefully v1.1 of the rules will finally surface and that will also fire the enthusiasm.

Colonial Sudan
I'm about halfway to where I want to be with these guys. I still have some basic Mahdists infantry to do but I can then hook into both the cooler Mahdist units and also add some more Empire troops. Finances have slowed this down a bit which is not so bad really even if it means my fleabay cravings have gotten a bit worse of late. ;-)

1938 A Very British Civil War
Again, these are about halfway done for stage one i.e. figs owned. Some pretty snazzy industrial terrain is in the works birthday-wise I believe and we've got the odd game on the cards too. Plenty to look forward to here as well.

Gaming-wise there are a couple of major upcoming projects...

Napoleonic Campaign
I've finished the rules and the map for Poland 1807. Nug and I have worked out our starting positions and we're in the middle of raising forces before kicking off properly in about a week. The campaign itself won't be heavily blogged as it might give things away but individual battles certainly will get reported.

Going the whole hog on the list of systems
Nug suggested we try and get a game in of EVERY major system we play this year, something I'm certainly up for. If that happens it will be pretty cool as it means close to a decent sized game every month.

That's about it from me for 2011. Just time for a quick Happy New year to all before closing. We've climbed to a "massive" 21 followers on the blog (welcome all!) so the sky is the limit for 2012.

Edit: This makes 10 posts in a month, also a new record for the blog. Woohoo!


Monday 26 December 2011

Alien podule plant-life

Merry Christmas and all that folks!

For me it certainly was, especially seeing and Mrs Millsy knocked out these little crackers for me as a completely unexpected presso. These are for my Bug Planet sci-fi project and quite frankly put my own efforts to shame.

The downside for Mrs Millsy is that she has set a precedent and will now be expected to produce others items of interest. Did I mention it's my 42nd birthday in a few days time???

Apparently these are made from styrofoam spheres, string, blue quartzy pebbles, dribbly glue, blue raffia and fake Christmas holly berries i.e. sans leaves. And much effort. Really, a LOT of effort. And oblique questions. And secrecy.

Enough blather, click the pics!

Comments welcome. Tell Mrs Millsy what you think!


Friday 23 December 2011

Battle Report - Expedition deep into Mahdist territory in the Sudan

For some time now the Fuzzy-Wuzzies in the surrounding hills have been causing trouble for the men of the Fort Djeli-Belli. Sick of losing cattle, scouts and face, Captain Barkingly-Madd decides to lead a patrol of Naval ratings and a Gardner Gun into the hills to try and flush the enemy out.

Remember to click for larger images.

Turn 1
Captain Barkingly-Madd leads his column into the valley, Royal Navy ratings marching in an orderly column with Lieutenant Shipley in command. The Gardner Gun is advanced as cover on the left flank. Scouts are sent out to try and flush the enemy from cover but without success.

Turn 2
Native tribesmen reveal their ambush and advance from both sides of the valley. Rifles emerge from the scrub at the head of the valley and also advance. Barkingly-Madd has some tough choices to make. The Gardner Gun is faced about and delivers a devastating salvo into the charging natives on the right flank. The Naval Brigade immediately wheel right also and deliver a further volley at which point the tribesmen run.

Turn 3
The danger of ignoring the charging tribesmen on the left flank becomes immediately obvious as they also charge. Fortunately Lieutenant Donnington-Smyth-Gibbon III, commanding the Gardner Gun, is able to about face his troops in time to deliver a burst of fire before the natives contact. Unfortunately it
only slows them down and they crash into the gun and a melee ensues. The combat desperate and bloody and sees the gun crew killed to a man, staunchly defending their piece to the last. They do their country proud and eliminate all but a handful of tribesmen in the process who turn tail and flee. There will be no Donnington-Smyth-Gibbon IV it seems...

Turn 4
Caught in the flank by the advancing native rifles, the Naval Brigade infantry are badly shot up losing half their men and worse still, their NCO wounded and Lieutenant Shipley killed outright. Staunchly British and not wishing to discredit the Widow at Windsor, they stand firm but count the cost.

Curses! NCO wounded and officer killed!

Turn 5
Spurred on by their earlier success the native rifles fire again and kill or wound all of the remaining Naval Brigade with the exception of Private Dawkins who can hardly believe his luck. With the threat of the Naval Brigade now removed, the remaining tribesmen charge Barkingly-Madd... And pay the ultimate price! They don't like it up em!

Oh no!
Oh yes!
Turn 6
All alone but for Private Dawkins and driven half-insane by shame and anger, Captain Barkingly-Madd charges into a ravine. Dawkins hears the crack of two pistol shots in quick succession followed immediately by a strangled scream and then the rising cries of the tribesmen. Who knows if Barkingly-Madd will return and if he does, would he ever be given another command?

Weeks later...
Dawkins, now completely alone high tails it into the hills. After two weeks drinking from brackish pools and eating nothing but termites and the occasional lizard he eventually crawls back to camp and reports the utter failure of their mission.

Millsy the Mahdist and Russ Barkingly-Madd Esq.

Thursday 22 December 2011

Heliograph Section, Royal Navy Gardner Gun and a few odd chaps

This is the last of the Empire stuff I have for the Sudan. Bigger pics when you click...

First off is a Heliograph Section from Redoubt Enterprises. These are a bit oversized being close to 30mm tall and really quite chunky but they've come out OK for all that. I bought these before the Perry Brothers also produced a set (darn it!). I've put a bit more effort into the base and made a small diorama to try and jazz them up a bit.

Next up is a Gardner Gun and crew from the Royal Navy. Perry Miniatures again and a cracking set. Once again I've put in a bit more effort on the basing...

And finally some odds and sods. Another "giant of a man" from Redoubt (Colonal Fred Barnaby apparently) accompanied by a couple of Old Glory figs painted up as an armed official and batman from a minor colonial power's trading company.

Here's the whole lot together...

That's it for now. Tomorrow all the colonial stuff sees the table for the very first time. Stand by for some pics and a battle report!


Perry Plastic Fuzzy Wuzzies done!

Rudyard Kipling called them "pore benighted 'eathens" in his poem Fuzzy-Wuzzy...

So 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
An' 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your 'ayrick 'ead of 'air --
You big black boundin' beggar -- for you broke a British square!

The Fuzzy-Wuzzies (or more correctly Hadendowa tribe) caused the British and their allies all sorts of trouble in the late 1800s in North Africa. Now mine are set to do the same on the tabletop. These took me longer to assemble than they did to paint. From bare plastic to based and done all 36 took roughly 12 hours. I'm pretty happy with the result and the speed they came together has made me want to start the Kordofan rebels and Ansar right away (the rest of the two boxes these came from).

I've got these organised into units of 12, despite the fact these are for The Sword and the Flame. Quite a few people use smaller unit sizes with the game and it works fine apparently. I've gone with smaller units as it gives a more skirmish feel to the battles I intend to play.

Unfortunately the dark skin tones mean they look a bit flat in the pics but that can't be helped. Remember to click for larger versions...

The full tribe of three rubs
First rub, armed with spear and sword
Second rub, armed with spear and sword
Third rub, armed with captured rifles
I still need to buy a mounted leader for these guys, plus some camel mounted chaps but for now that's it.

Sunday 18 December 2011

A few random native chappies

I'm not sure what these fine fellows are. They came amongst the colonial troops from my previous post. I suspect they might be Old Glory North West Frontier types but I'm not by any means convinced of that. If you know what they are let me know!

As I didn't have any particular plan for these I've used them as a test for varnish dipping (although I'm painting it on). I used Cabot's Walnut Stain & Varnish in an undiluted form. I think they're a bit dark and flat but overall I'm happy enough with the result. I think next time I'll mix it 60/40 varnish/water for a slightly more subtle effect.

As a test they fine anyway and it gives me confidence I can pull this off for all the Mahdists which was the point of the whole exercise anyway.

I've also just finished a couple of random officers and NCOs from some minor colonial power and I'm working on a Naval Brigade Gardener gun plus a heliograph section. That will knock off all the Empire and allied stuff I have and then it's Mahdists all the way for a while.

Actually, having said that there will be a brief interlude for a couple of units of French Napoleonic Chassuers for our upcoming campaign in the new year beforehand I think...


Saturday 17 December 2011

Colonial Militia for the Sudan

I bought these as an impulse buy when I won a couple of auctions on fleaBay. I always wander through a seller's other items on the off chance there will be something else of interest. I figure if I am already paying postage I might as well see what else I can snaffle up.

These figs went for a song, I suspect because they're a real mixture of colonial types from various theatres. I'm not too worried about that. I'm going to use them as a militia unit raised from troops on sick pay, dock workers, porters and servants. They've been equipped with old red coats that were no longer fit for use after regiments arriving from the North West Frontier and elsewhere in the Empire switched to khaki or grey.

Most of the unit facings have been stripped off and the troops have been told to keep the rest of whatever clothing and equipment they could provide for themselves. The commander is a junior commissary officer who would most likely rather be elsewhere!

Next up is a few other odds and sods before I start on my pile of Mahdists...


Sunday 11 December 2011

British Naval Brigade in the Sudan

OK, last post for today. Something of a record for even for me, finishing and blogging three different things in one day, especially as I had time to jam in a BBQ and a football match as well! I wonder how long this will last???

Enough rambling! Here's some Naval Brigade for my Sudan colonial campaign. I'm planning on using these with The Sword and the Flame (TSATF) but I'm going to use half-sized units just to keep things under control. Even so I have 80(!) Mahdists to paint during my Christmas break.

I've been in love with these figs since they we first released. The ratings in Sennet hats are Copplestone and the NCOs and officers are Perry Miniatures. If I had to choose I'd say I prefer the Copplestone but only because I prefer the slightly more chunky look to them. They're both absolutely beautiful, mix perfectly and are easily amongst some of the nicest sculpts I've ever bought.

I'm no Kevin Dallimore (darn, the link I had no longer works!) but I'm pretty happy with them all the same. I'll be even happier once the Gardener Gun is also done and I can move on.

Here's a final few pics. I hope you enjoy them!

Edit: I just received a brilliant early Christmas present - a copy of Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice by Major C. E. Callwell of the Royal Artillery, first published in 1899. It's chock full of great stuff about all things colonial and Victorian just for starters. Great inspiration...


VBCW: The Port Sunlight Company of Territorials

Hi All,

I said I've been busy and here's more proof!

The Port Sunlight Company of Territorials, ‘D’ Company, 4/5 Battalion, the Cheshire Regiment is a mainstream military unit for my campaign in 1938 A Very British Civil War...

More info and plenty of pics on the Port Sunlight 1938 Blog.


Lizardmen Salamanders

I'm in a bit of a painting frenzy at the moment. I made myself a promise to clear all the half-finished projects from the paiting table before Christmas and I'm very nearly there.

This is a couple of older style Salamaders for my WFB Lizardmem army. Initially I wasn't sure if I liked them but they're growing on me.

You can click on the images for larger versions as usual.

Feel free to tell me what you think...

Edit: You can include my spelling in that feedback. If you can't sleep and get up early to blog you really should use the spell checker before posting ;-)

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