Thursday, 4 December 2014


The latest addition to support the USMC. A LAV-25 (LAV=Light Armoured Vehicle)*
                                                   *For a long time I thought it stood for Light Amphibious Vehicle                                                          

1/72nd scale Trumpter kit. Stowage is from Black Dog, CMK, 20mm Zone and home made. 

That's it for now more to follow....

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

It doesn't get any more exciting than......

Telegraph poles! A selection for your viewing pleasure.....

These have all been placed on old MDF gaming bases, with the edges bevelled. The actual poles are from Ratio in HO scale. The pieces on them are from Bachmann, Modelscene, Knightwing Models, 20mm Zone and Sgt's Mess. So a mix of railway (HO scale) and wargaming scenery.

The bases vary in size from 25x25mm to about 80x40mm. The dog is from Dart Castings, the bin from Bachmann and the sheep from Pegasus Hobbies.  The sheep have been painted to represent Awassi sheep, a breed native to the region.

The skip is from The Scene again. The rubbish inside is home made from off cuts of balsa wood and wire spears. The chair is from Faller and is OOscale so comes out a little small. But one of the legs have been cut off and with a bit of weathering it looks okay. The stool with the dog is also from Faller but that looks more in scale than the chair. All non-animal pieces have been weathered.

The idea behind these was to make the telegraph pole bases more interesting. To add a bit of character to the gaming board and where appropriate provide some cover. The Ratio pack comes with two sprues of eight poles. The next batch will be done similar but I may just base a few with foliage around the base, so nothing to fancy or time consuming. The only thing I would do different is place some of poles centrally on the bases. I got a bit drill happy when placing the holes and it was only after the poles had been placed did I realise I should have varied the positions.

Next up is a break from terrain. I have another USMC fireteam to complete, some more 1/285th FV432's and a plastic kit to build which I'm hoping will turn out well.

That's it for now more to follow........soon-ish.....   

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Shadow Army

Lashkar al-Zil or Shadow Army

These are Elhiem figures of al-Qaeda's Shadow Army. Though active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I intend to use them for Iraq. They will represent either 'normal' insurgents or foreign fighters such as Chechen's relevant for game set in places like Fallujah.

I must admit I do like these figures, Matt at Elhiem has done a cracking job. More are now available and I will be adding them to the collection.

If you want to know more about the Shadow Army the following links may help;

That's it for now more to follow.....    

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

New Project, Old Scale

GHQ 1/285th Modern British.


FV432 Trojan (Combat Teams)


These will be for use with the 'Modern Spearhead' rules and are my first test units. I refer to the Trojans as 'Combat Teams' due to the rules interpretation of IFV's. There is no need to have a separate base for infantry when dismounted, if they are traveling in armoured vehicles. The infantry figures are not needed on the bases, but make identification easier of 'combat teams' rather than them being just transport  vehicles. The bases are 30mm square slightly smaller than recommended by the rules by about 2mm! The bases are from 'Warbases', pay a little bit more for the rounded edge but worth it.

I will be building a BAOR force for 'Cold War Gone Hot' scenarios set in 1984. My good buddy the 'Secret Wargamer' already has a collection of Warsaw Pact and NATO forces in 1/300th. Have been play testing the rules (game reports can be found on his blog) and so far the experience has been very positive.

This project will run in conjunction with the 20mm.

That's it for now more to follow.....

Friday, 3 October 2014


A warm and  most pleasant day in August 1808, somewhere in Portugal. Amidst all the hustle and bustle of a military camp stood a large white tent. Within Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley tapped a pencil irritably on a map laid out on the table before him. A motion at the tent flap caused him to raise his head sharply;

'Ahh, Blunt glad you could join us' said Wellesley

'Apologies Sir, but this new uniform does chaff some' mumbled Lieutenant Dickie Blunt of the 95th, newly promoted after saving the General's tin bath from a French raiding party. Blunt pulled discreetly as possible at the crotch of his trousers and cursed under his breath.

'Get a better tailor man' Wellesley responded gruffly ' I've not called you here to talk clothing but about our mission in Portugal'

'Yes Sir' Blunt replied meekly.

'Heard of Father Jose de Castro?' Blunt shook his head 'Guessed not' continued the General 'Well he's a very important man who could help our cause. But he's got himself in a spot of bother, and he's stuck in a church in the village of Santo Figaro. You are going to get him out' 

'Me Sir!'

'You Sir! You'll not be alone, your lads will be under the command of Colonel Odysseus Hackswill, of the 29th Regiment of Foot, The Worcestershires, also known as the 'The Carrots'. Father Castro has a lot of influence with the Portuguese resistance and will be very useful. You up for it man?'

'Yes Sir' Blunt responded saluting smartly, and wincing in pain as the seat of his trousers dug into his John Thomas.

'Good Man. Now get on with it' snapped Wellesley.

The village of Santo Figaro came into sight. Locals had warned the British that French forces were fast approaching the village from the East.

Hackswill approaching from the South along the road, now had to put his plan into action. The church lay at the far end of the village, surrounded by a high wall. In the far distance dust could be seen rising as the French approached. 

Hackswill divided his forces thus. Sgt Patrick 'Paddy' O'Rourke of the 95th, good friend of Dickie Blunt, would lead his riflemen across the wheat fields to the church to link up with Father Castro. The redoubtable Irishman, always there with a humorous ditty and draught of the good stuff, could be relied upon to do his duty. Lt. James Smythe, would unlimber his 6pdr gun to cover the Rifles and prevent the French from exploiting the open ground.

Hackswill would accompany the 29th along the road, the forces split between Lt Reginald Cavendish, and Sgt. William 'Big Bill' Hook. On the left flank Lt Blunt would lead the second group of rifleman around the orchard to bring fire on any Frenchie who attempts to outflank them. 

Already the dastardly French, who want to force the world to eat frogs legs and sing 'Je le Taxi' are marching towards the church. The game is a foot!

Hackswill, now found himself issuing orders left, right and centre. Sgt. Hook using the butt of his halberd pushes and prods his men into a line and continues his advance. Lt. Cavendish with a soft lisping voice struggles to encourage his men to face down Frenchie. In the far distance Lt. Smythe has unlimbered the gun and is happily ramming home the powder and shot to fling at the enemy. Meanwhile Sgt O' Rourke with a battle cry of 'Paddy Power' charges into a wheatfield to take on the foe. But where is Dickie Blunt?

Our hero is floundering behind the orchard. Before leaving on the mission he received a 'Dear Dickie' letter from his sweetheart Miss Mary Beth Lewisham of Camden Town. She informed him that the engagement was off. Much to Dickie's distress she had been wooed by his Nemesis, that perfidious fop Lord Archibald Purcell, a toad faced weasel of a man always jealous of Dickie's success and quick to spread slanderous comments.. With a broken heart our hero was struggling to keep his mind on the work at hand. Meanwhile.....

A French column has worked it's way around the church, but in doing so brought it within range of Castro's guerrillas defending the building. They prove that with no training what so ever, only a war cry of 'God Will's It', it is possible to hit more than a barn door and bring down one of the soldiers. Lt Smythe spying the same tempting target, lets his balls fly from the mighty 6pdr. Unfortunately the men of this unit are all recruited from the Paris School of Ballet and nimbly avoid the Smythe's bouncing balls. The situation is looking grim on the British right flank!

In the centre Sgt. Hook presses on. Lt Cavendish has finally got his men into line and moving forward to support the right flank. Colonel Hackswill,converses with Father Castro and his gaggle of priests. Encouraging them to leave the safety of the compound and freedom.

Hook is now facing a unit of grenadiers. Both sides trade fire, but with little effect. Fortunately for the English a small number of the grenadiers, (a certain Sgt Gaultier and companions) have been distracted by a treasure trove of abandoned luggage over flowing with the latest ladies fashions from Gay Paree. Sgt. Gaultier is more concerned with finding a red satin number in a size 14 to wear to the Marshall's Ball than fighting the British.

With a cry of 'For King George', Hook's men fired a ragged volley into the Grenadiers and then charged full pelt. What followed is too gruesome to show in pictures. For the next few minutes the cries of 'Take that you fiend', 'Watch out behind you' and 'Ow, me toe!'  filled the air. Hookie and his men were outclassed. The big grenadiers (ooh, la la!), were tough men who all ate raw onion for breakfast to prove their manhood and the Worcester's were thrown back . No Johnnie Bull was getting down this road!

Whilst this was happening the valiant Sgt O'Rourke fell. He and his men had been trading fire with the voltigeur's skulking in the wheatfield opposite when a cannonade from the hill shattered his hip flask and penetrated his heart. No more would the brave Irishman entertain the troops with his bodhran playing. (Even worse was his insistence on singing!).

The French Line Infantry did just that and facing the wall began to trade fire with the guerrilla's. But on their left flank Lt Cavendish got his men into order and they sent a volley into their opponent. The French crumbled and fell back. Father Castro could now begin plotting his escape and with cassocks raised, the priests began to leap the wall. But what of Lt Blunt?

The French revealed their ace. A unit of Dragoons on a collision course with Blunt's 95th!!!

Blunt wiped away the tears from his eyes with a soiled handkerchief and then dropped the said garment to the floor (where it belonged). Cantering towards him were the enemy. Pulling himself together, Blunt steadied his men and they began to send round after round into the horses and riders. The accuracy of the Baker rifle was devastating. Try as they might the Dragoons could not close with the light infantry.

The French cavalry were decimated. The day was won. Lt. Dickie Blunt had saved the day by holding the left flank. The priests were saved, carried back to the British lines in the muscular arms of their brave allies.

Bravo Blunt!!!

So ended a little game of Sharp Practice. It is perhaps apparent I played the British. All the figures, terrain and copious amounts of coffee were supplied by my opponent. A grand game, with hopefully more to follow in the further adventures of Lt. Dickie Blunt.


Thursday, 2 October 2014

Fedayeen and a Technical.

Completed the first technical for the insurgents.

Resin model from SandS Models. The MG comes with the model The figure is from Elhiem. Added a few details. The 'roll bar' is made from piano wire and the 'bull bar' is brass wire (Not sure of the actual terms for them so, so sorry if I offend any pick up drivers!). The model does come with a metal 'roll bar' but it was a bit 'chunky' so decided to make my own. The base is MDF made from a pre-laser cut MDF base.

Also completed a another four Fedayeen, with RPG's;

I've settled an a paint combination for the black uniform. The Coat D'Arms triad works well IMO. Go to Black Hat Miniatures for the full range. But the figures still needed a little highlighting. So I mixed Vallejo 'Black Grey' with Vallejo 'Buff' and for me it gave the figures a lift, took away the starkness. To my eyes 'Black Grey' appears to be mid way between the triad colours of 'Iron Grey' and 'Dark Grey'. I found a 50/50 or 60/40 mix in favour of 'Buff' worked well.

Used the same on the previous figures and I'm much happier with the result.

That's it for now more to follow.....


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Farewell to the DAK

Decision reached! My 15mm DAK have had to go; and have done so, to a far more deserving home where they will actually be used. These are the last bases to be painted and will soon be joining their buddies.

That's it for now. More to follow very soon...  

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Fedayeen, Skips and a Well

Gosh! Over a month since my last post. Time does fly by even if you are not a driver of  a train!

Change to life plans took up a lot of the last few weeks and also a stock check. Decided to delve into dark corners to discover what was squirrelled away. No gold doubloons, but lots of unpainted lead. A lot of unpainted lead, I even found stuff I forgot I had bought and some items I thought I had given away. Not sure what I'm going to do with it all other than hide it in some other dark corner, to avoid embarrassing cross examination from Mrs G.!! Of course I could paint it all; don't make me laugh!

Also took the opportunity to tidy up my work stations. Having been subjected to the torture of viewing photo's of very tidy painting desks e.g. Loki's, Mr Awdry's to name but a few. I felt compelled in the best British spirit to pull my self together, and tidy! I now actually have room to swing a cat! Marvellous (try saying that in your best Brian Blessed voice)! Any way enough of the boring real life adult world....

Did manage to squeeze in time to paint a few pieces of terrain and some more Insurgents/Fedayeen Saddam for the OIF project. First up the terrain;

A well. This is one of the pieces I found hiding at the bottom of  a box. It's 20+yrs old! The well was part a 20mm Vietnam range, and came molded onto a scenic base with pots. I smoothed the base down slightly, to lower the height and mounted it onto an old MDF base (pre-laser cutting). Built up the edges with DAS clay, textured and painted. The rope is a piece of broken metal chain I found lying on the floor in my girl's room. I'm guessing it came off some costume jewellery. So I spirited it away until I could find a use for it. I realised that when I came to paint the well, there was no bucket or similar receptacle modeled on it. So the rope/chain is meant to represent the bucket having been lowered into the well.

I purchased this item from a shop which used to be in Towcester, and was run by a chap called Mick (I think?). He started to produce some resin terrain in 20mm-Vietnam and 15mm-ACW. They were nice pieces, but I don't recall what happened to the shop or owner. Anybody else remember it?

Next up some Skips which are resin from the 'The Scene';

These are the empty ones. I added the rubble myself, which is made up from cork, balsa wood and sand. Not much to say about these. Nice little models which I have painted and weathered in the usual way. These are available in 15mm and I think 28mm. I have to my knowledge only seen one photo of a skip in Iraq which was actually painted white. But I decided to go with UK yellow!

Now a photo of one of the skips in front of one of homemade houses with a couple of insurgents to give an idea of scale. Followed by a photo of all three terrain pieces together again to give idea of scale;

Also finished a few more insurgents and the first of my Fedayeen Saddam (Saddam's Men of Sacrifice).


These figures are all from 'Elhiem'. The Fedayeen are nice figures but since they wore a black uniform not more I can say. Struggled with the photo's of these. For some reason the camera did not seem to like the all black figures. They also look darker than they actually are. The skin on the Fedayeen may appear darker since after painting the basic colours I put a wash on them to shade, but forgot to highlight them again! I intend to use the figures in civilian clothes to represent the Fedayeen along those in the uniform.

On the workbench more Fedayeen, another T-72 and something old, something new, something borrowed (?) and something yellow!

That's it for now more to follow.....