Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New recruits?

Having a dig around in the lead pile can pay off. I found these chaps from a large batch of Plains Wars figures. 

They're Dixons Miniatures dismounted US cavalry, but with a suitable paint job I think they can represent a militia made up of white settlers in Colonial lands. Armed with near-obsolete weapons they can defend their settlement until the army arrives, or serve as a useful adjunct to the regular force in the field. 

There's probably three times as many figures again in the collection they came from, but ten or so seems enough.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Doctor Doctor!

Milder weather is here and I will be able to reclaim my table for gaming again soon. At the moment it's still playing host to trays of seedlings ready for transplanting once the frost risk is over, which should be around May 15th. My next planned game is from my Darkest Africa campaign.

In the meantime I have a batch of Doctor Who figures ready for the painting block...

The figures are mostly Heresy Miniatures from a recent special offer, with the Third Doctor and Sarah-Jane (plus pterodactyl!) from Black Tree Designs (North America). Thanks to Shadowking's blog I was led to a wonderful source of cult TV figures at Crooked Dice. This company produces a treasure-trove of figures suitable for skirmish gaming and Pulp games. They even have stone angels - Don't blink!

Friday, March 28, 2014

A whole lot o' nuthin' going on

Not much is happening on the gaming/modeling front. I've been busy working on a new novel and reviewing books by other authors. The window side of my gaming table is being encroached upon by seed trays in an effort to give the seedlings some light before transferring to the greenhouse or planting outside. From the way the weather's going around here, that may be a month or so. 

I've yet to run a game of Pulp Alley, either. For some reason our printer refuses to print from .pdf format which means I can't run off a set of cards. Grrr!  

At least I spent an Amazon coupon given me by my lovely wife and bought Setting the East Ablaze by Peter Hopkirk. It's the story of events in Central Asia following the Bolshevik Revolution, covering Russian attempts to spread Communism and the efforts of Britain and other powers to stop them. I'm only a few pages in, and it's already gripping reading. Recommended for anyone considering wargame campaigns in 'The Back o' Beyond.'

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Unusual Suspects

I've rounded up a few figures to serve as leagues for Pulp Alley games. The versatility of the rules allows games to be set in any period, from cavemen times to far future. My setting is High Victorian Africa, which allows me to make use of existing figures and terrain.  I might also use the rules for small-scale games featuring some of the characters from the regular campaign.

The figure second from left is a Eureka Miniatures "Nanarchist" throwing a bomb. She's a big lass compared to the others, but I think she'll fit in any scenario. I also found two Asian girls - I can't remember which company makes them, but they'll suit nicely. I do intend to get some of the Copplestone High Adventure figures when funds permit, probably packs BC10, and BC19, which includes that female character who seems to have become a firm favorite with Pulp gamers all over the world. 

The figures need some touching up, but hopefully I'll get a game in with my wife soon.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


A couple of matters cropped up recently which resulted in me shelving my Chain of Command project for a while. I still wanted something different to the colonial gaming I've played recently, though, so I opted to buy the Pulp Alley rules instead. The appreciation for these has been high since their release two years ago, and I've enjoyed looking at all the pulp-related blogs and AARs on the Lead Adventurer Forum

My wife and I are both fans of Pulp fiction, so it'll be something we can both enjoy. The rules suit most of my existing models, figures and scenery, too, although I'll buy a few figures expressly for the games later. I can even use the rules for individual games featuring some of the Barsetshire characters from my Colonial world if I want. Sweet!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Arab town house - further progress

Yet another bout of snow last night led to a nice, snug day indoors, so I turned my hand to working on the Arab town house. It's languished on my work table for over a week so was due some attention.

Wargames Foundry Force Publique figure for scale.

I stuck the building on a foamcore base to prevent any warping then built up two layers of spackle on the ground and walls for the mud/plaster rendering. The photos show it drying out, elevated on a packing tape reel to prevent the wet spackle from sticking everywhere. 

Next up will be a bit of paintwork, ground effects, vegetation and some woodwork.  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Arab-style town house

I have some spare time after finishing a couple of commissions so I turned my hand to a building for the Darkest Africa campaign.

It represents a town house belonging to a fairly prosperous citizen. The carcass is made of foamcore, with cardboard trim and plastic embroidery battening for the window grilles. The archways at the front and the steps and landing at the rear are Hirst Arts pieces cast from plaster. At this stage I've yet to coat the walls and base with spackle. I'll add pieces like plants, wall trellises and so on as I go. The roof has space for six or seven of my gaming figures; the courtyard can hold ten along the walls. For the sake of simplicity I made the house as one unit, so the roof and top floor don't lift off. I'm not a big fan of placing figures inside buildings anyway, and since I fight solo there's no dispute over which figures are inside or not.

It's gone pretty well, and I may make another or something similar. After that I'll build either a barracks or railway station - maybe both.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ten-mil, or not ten-mil..?

That is the question I've puzzled over since looking at the early war Western Desert CoC lists put out by the Too Fat Lardies. They have a number of vehicles and weapon options for 8th Army and DAK, both for the core force and support units. Given this diversity, I'm beginning to think it'll be easier and cheaper to go the 10mm route as more seems available in this size. 

I think I'll buy the CoC rules set and try a few games using my current VBCW 10mm figures. If they work I'll get a couple of platoons and supports for both sides. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Local Library Booty

Our local library was holding one of its periodic clear-outs of old books, so my better half and I battled through the snow to see what they had. I picked up three nice little numbers for free...

...which I'll get around to reading as and when.

My WW2 Western Desert project is on the back burner for a while as I've got too much else on at the moment. Once it gets going I plan to build an Allied platoon and either an Italian or DAK opposite number in 15mm. Rich Clarke of Too Fat Lardies stated 15mm is closest to the ground scale for the Chain of Command rules. I see The Plastic Soldier Company produces figures this size. Can anyone comment on their quality?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Post Office problems

Many of you will know I have a business making decorative bookends of various kinds for sale. In the past four weeks two customers have reported goods arriving damaged in the USPS system. This in spite of our efforts to protect the items from such damage. It appears the PO is now in the business of destroying boxes marked Fragile...

Did someone jump on this..?

We will continue to make and sell bookends, but as it now appears parcels and boxes will require armor-plating and extra insurance to survive the not-so-tender mercies of the USPS, mailing prices will rise accordingly.

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