Friday, 29 April 2022


 A quiet morning with an empty house presented the perfect opportunity to get the trusty folding card table out for a small game. It is of course the Crimean War and I'm playing a very simple game using a D6 activation roll and Commands & Colors basic rules on a square gridded board (75mm squares). The table is just 2'6" x 2'6" so a 10 x 10 grid dotted out in yellow. I had a couple of hours to play which seemed to fly by but gave me the opportunity to work a few things out as I went along.. Must say it all worked surprisingly well for an impromptu game and a good time was had in the process.

I know that I crammed far too many units into the space and many units did not get into combat but the fighting for the central town was very lively with the Russian Guards Division making a frontal attack and driving the British rifles out before occupying it and holding it against repeated attacks, destroying the British Highland Brigade in the process. The French infantry did very well too with a spirited advance that drove back opposing Russian brigades. Cavalry were used in only a limited way, the British Light Brigade advancing in support of the Horse artillery battery on the left flank being forced to retreat by musket fire. On the right flank the French Lights charged a battery of Russian guns taking heavy casualties. Mention must be made of the British Brigade of Guards who advanced in spirited fashion driving back two Russian brigades with rifle fire.

I do like the bright green board and the simplicity of the terrain items such as the downscaled 3mm buildings and individual small trees, both of which can be shifted around the square when a unit base enters. I'm also pleased with the mass effect of the figure bases which are marked for casualties by a small green 10mm circle. These markers represent the current combat strength rather than 'blocks' lost in this case. The small yellow circles you can see were used to mark activations (1 to 6) and removed once a unit has completed all of it's actions - move/fire/melee. 

In conclusion this set up allowed for a most enjoyable couple of hours play, and while I can see the advantages offered by a slightly wider and longer board I think this would make a very playable game against a live opponent, maybe limiting the number of units per side, possibly a random dice generated selection process and I'm sure the terrain could be used to play many of the One Hour Wargame scenarios with a bit of imagination.

Plenty of photos of course! First the deployment.

Mid stage as the struggle for the central town ensues.

Later stages.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Heavy Metal - Minifigs 25mm drum carriage completed.

As I finished this off this morning and wanted to share a few images around various places I'm giving this lovely old Minifigs model it's own dedicated post! It is of course for the collection of  'Old John' Cunningham and I have to say it was an absolute joy to paint. I basically copied the colour scheme from the supplied picture reference. Note that I still need a couple of minor touch ups here and there (spotted after the photos were taken of course!) and that the extended axle rods require cutting back - they actually proved useful during the painting to grip without touching the paintwork.

As the standing drummer arrived minus sticks I fashioned a pair for him, fiddly but worth it I think. had a few practice goes before painting all of the miniature yellow crowns on the carriage, horse furniture and livery, more of an impression really but I think they work well. Everything has been given a couple of coats of satin varnish and will be very careful packed for posting of course. John and I like to recycle packaging wherever possible and so the same set of boxes has travelled back and forth between Kent and wales so many times now I have lost count.

I have been trying to find out when this was first produced by Miniature Figurines, can't see it in the 1973 catalogue (here) but sure it was in the later catalogue, the one with soldiers from all different eras represented on the front cover, possibly early 80's?

I hope you like the pictures, not something I get to paint very often. 


Sunday, 24 April 2022

Busy week so lots of new photos!

I like to record weekly progress here as it helps to motivate me as well as providing a record to look back upon. Last Sunday I finished off the two regiments of WSS cavalry for Tony (which have just appeared on his blog based up and with flags added). I actually painted the second unit of nine in a single day on the Sunday as I wanted to clear the decks for Easter Monday when we had a nice family get together here. As usual they got a coat of Vallejo Gloss varnish as requested which does bring out the colours really well. They are of course Les Higgins with command figures by Irregular riding LH horses.

Tuesday I started on more for Old John. As John gives me free rein to choose what order I paint them in I decided to start with the 24 Papal infantry of 1708. The references were provided for four lots of six different units with as you can see varied coat colours, facings, stockings etc which I think I matched pretty well. They are all Les Higgins castings.

Next I did the ten various horses (minus riders as John already has them). My horse painting has improved a lot since I started the commission work and I might do a post on the shades I use now for them at some point, but the note said 'mix of browns, black and roan'.

Then it was onto six German mounted Dragoons, (think these are by Warrior?), and again nice colourful uniform reference plate was provided. Finally for this week this morning I painted five more mounted troops, 4 x Maryland Dragoons and a Papal mounted drummer, red coats all these again working from colour reference sheets provided by John.

So not bad for six days painting (Tuesday - Sunday), 24 infantry, 11 cavalry plus 10 additional horses.

This week will be starting off with the lovely Minifigs carriage model below. Its a hefty piece of metal and the horses are huge, packed full of character, I know I'm going to enjoy painting this tomorrow and once again the supplied colour references as extremely helpful and I hope to achieve the same high standard finish as it should be a true statement piece for John's collection.

Below: references supplied.

6mm Crimean War.

Beside the above commission work I like to relax by ...... painting a few more soldiers for myself! The order from 'Supreme Littleness' arrived containing more 3mm building kits and I wasted little time in putting them together. I selected some of the larger buildings this time and discarded any additional small out buildings into the spares box. I found this second time round they went together in no time and the results were much better, I did not even need to look at the reference links. Because of course they are going to be used with 6mm figures I glued each individual building onto a 3mm MDF plinth cut to the size of the model base, discarding any supplied bases with slot in wall etc. The new ones will get a coat of paint this coming week and I'm going to order a few more of these simply because I enjoy making them so much. The idea is that they be free standing on a template to represent towns and villages. I'm happy with the scale effect and next job will be reduce the size of my clump foliage trees to match as they now look too tall!

I also managed to paint more Russian infantry, just waiting on a couple more command strips in helmets to finish them off which completes 12 bases of 72 Russian line so far.

Terrain continues to occupy my thoughts, I am incredibly tempted to bite the bullet and dot out my Geek Villain mat in hexes, just very subtle dots at the points. I have 5 packs of 90mm hexes from warbases for this purpose (so a 13 x 9 C&C grid just fits onto a 4 x 3 board), it's do able, I have done it in the past, but think the new mat matches the figure bases so well. It does however require a full day and plenty of care and patience to achieve accuracy. We shall see how the coming week goes.

Note the neat little metal caps supplied with the kits for the church etc.