Tuesday, September 17, 2013


An unexpected commission means I'll be unable to spare time to game this week, and possibly next. In the meantime here's a photo of the Darkest Africa casualty figures I recently cast from resin. They're glossy with the first coat of varnish at this stage, but the final coat of matt varnish will kill the shine.
 L-R, two askaris, two natives, British army.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Casualties of war

My new casualty figures mold is working - sort of. 

From left to right: Two natives, British, two askaris.

The first batch came out okay - they're the white chaps at the bottom of the photo. Those on top are the next. That strange gelatinous pale yellow is down to a moment's inattention while mixing the resin. It came out with the consistency of toffee. Ho hum. It'll paint up fine once it sets.

With luck and a following wind I'll be able to play the next Darkest Africa game tomorrow or Monday. Watch this space...   

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A little bit of sculpting

My planned Darkest Africa game is set for sometime in the next few days. Since I've been dissatisfied with the limited poses on my casualty figures I made a few more using Sculpey. I'm certainly not the greatest figure sculptor in the world, but these figures are meant to be more representational than specific.

I added a new British and native figure apiece and two askaris. They'll serve as Belgian Force Publique, but will be used for other askari types. I might add another couple of native poses for the sake of variety. The heads and arms are left over from a Wargames Factory Zulu pack and will be added once the Sculpey has baked.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Five years on the lead pile...

...but finally painted. Here's a group of armed natives, freshly painted and based, ready for the next foray into Darkest Africa sometime this week. I have an idea for a slightly different take on the usual game pattern for this. I'll see how it pans out. 
The pale cove at the back is a Ral Partha (I think) ghost figurine, bought over thirty years ago and only just painted and based. This poor old thing really has been kicking about the lead pile. I found it when we moved, kind of took pity on it and finished it, and it'll go into the cast of characters for a dungeon bash one of these days.

In other news, I hope to get a solo game of AVBCW sometime soon too, using the Went the Day Well rules set from Solway Crafts and Miniatures. It'll be the first outing for my British Civil War collection, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out. 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

RIP Donald Featherstone

The hobby was left the poorer yesterday at the passing of Donald Featherstone, 1918 - 2013. 
Donald Feathestone and the late Peter Gilder

I remember as a boy haunting the local library in search of his titles on the shelves. His rules were simple enough for me to grasp, yet gave great games with all the flavour of the periods they represented. In later years I bought a number of his books for my own collection, and they sit, much treasured, on my shelves today. His narrative approach to Colonial games is one I admire and try to emulate in my own gaming. A veteran of the Western Desert campaigns in WW2, he lived to see the golden age our hobby now enjoys. RIP, Don, and thank you. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Martini-Henry Grenade launcher?

I've had a busy couple of days painting the kitchen, getting rid of the horrible 'neutral' beige color left by the house flippers. It was the same color as dishwater and just about as cheery. I know why realtors insist on such tricks to sell a house, but I don't care for 'em. In between times I'm getting ready for the Archon art show the beginning of next month, so gaming has to take a back seat for a while.


My friend Paul Daly alerted me to an interesting gadget which surfaced in the hoary atmosphere of World War One. It's a grenade launcher based on the venerable Martini-Henry rifle. Designated the Blanch-Chevallier Grenade Discharger, it trialed with the British army around 1916, although it didn't see action. Here's a photo of the beast...

...and find the full article here.

I can certainly picture it in use by the army in a VSF setting. One of these issued to each section would give an attacker pause for thought.


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