More Dux Bellorum Saxons

Rob Dean

I have been intending to get back to working on the French Revolution project, but I have actually spent the last few painting sessions finishing another project already primed on my desk. I’ve been working intermittently on Dux Bellorum for a few years, and recently reached the point where I could field the whole Saxon force out of various home cast figures.

In a burst of enthusiasm after that game, I built and primed four more stands of troops, but then set them aside while some other project got done. This week it was their turn…

I am hoping to get back to metal work preparations soon.

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Sally Forth Jousting Barriers


I was gone most of the weekend, but my daughter helped finish these jousting barriers while I was gone.

I got a copy of the jousting rules used by Brian De Witt to run his jousting game in the HAWKs Battle in a Box contest.  I finished printing and cutting up the cards and lining out the board (not used in these pictures).  I plan to bring this game to Barrage in case we have an overflow of people.


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Pig Cart: Bones 4 Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past week I painted the Pig Cart set from the Bones 4 Core Set.   This was another one of my favorites from Bones 4.
     I prepped the 2 pieces in the usual way, soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying them.  I then glued the pig to a 1.5" to a black-primed 1" fender washer, and the cart to a 1.5" fender washer, both with Aleene’s Tacky glue.  I then placed the pig figure in my painting grip, and attached the cart to a pill bottle with a little blue-tac.

     I began by painting the pig a mix of Apple Barrel “Apple Flesh” and “Apple Lt Pink”.  I then painted the hooves with Americana “Asphaltum”.

     Next, I gave the pig a coat of Citadel"Reikland Fleshshade" wash.   Then, when the wash was dry, I drybrushed the pig with, first, some Folk Art “Milkshake”, and then some Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.  After that, I highlighted the hooves with Americana “Mississippi Mud”, and painted the nose and undersides of the ears with Crafter’s Acrylic “Cherry Blossom Pink”.   I wrapped the pig up by painting his eyes and nose holes with Ceramcoat “Black”.  Then, lastly, I painted the entire base with “Americana "Mississippi Mud”.

     Next, I got to work on the cart.   I first painted the cart with Reaper MSP Bones “Tropical Blue”.  After that, I painted the wheel rims, harness fittings, and chain with Reaper MSP “Scorched Metal”, and then did the harness strap with Apple Barrel “Burnt Sienna”.

     I then worked on the harvest load in the back of the cart; painting some of the pumpkins with Crafter’s Acrylic “Orange Spice”, and some with Reaper MSP “Pumpkin Orange”.  Next, I painted the apples with Americana “Cranberry Wine”, and what looked like yams to me with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”.  I then painted the big squash with Crafter’s Acrylic “Bright Yellow”, the pumpkin stems with Duncan “Olive Green”, and some leaves here and there with Americana “Forest Green”.

     Next, I painted the log side pieces, and the corner pieces with Americana “Grey Sky”. Then I did a little floral border pattern along the top of the front and back of the cart, and in the corners of the two sides.  I allowed all the paint time to dry, and then I gave the fruits and veggies in the cart a coat of Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash.  Then, when that wash was dry, I gave the rest of the cart a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.

     When the washes were dry, I highlighted the blue parts of the cart with Crafter’s Acrylic “Tropical Blue”.  I then highlighted the logs and corner pieces with Americana “Snow White”, and the leather harness with some of the “Orange Spice”.  After that, I highlighted the chain, wheel rims,  and metal fittings with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”.
    Next, I worked on highlighting the fruit; using Crafter’s Acrylic “Pure Pumpkin” for some of the pumpkins, and Americana “Tangerine” for the others.  I then highlighted the apples with a mix of the base “Cranberry Wine”, an a little Crafter’s Acrylic “"Tutti Frutti”.  I also tried mixing in a little Americana “Margarita” with some of them to give them a some yellow-greenish areas.  The yams were highlighted with Folk Art “Butter Pecan, and the big Yellow squash with the base "Bright Yellow”.  I then highlighted the pumpkin stems with Americana “Olive Green”.  Lastly, I painted the entire base with “Americana "Mississippi Mud”.
      I let the pig and cart dry overnight and the next day I gave them a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to apply a sand mixture onto their bases.  When that was dry, I gae the sand a little drybrushing with Americana ‘Bleached Sand".   Another overnight dry, and I sprayed the pieces with Testor’s “Dullcote”.

     I’m really pleased with this little set.  While I’ve seen a number of carts done in plain wood, I like the look of it painted up with a little decoration on it.

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GASLANDS brings Maximum Carnage at Mass Pikemen’s Johnny Cab Invitational

Mark A. Morin

Last Saturday, September 7th, Scott Howland ran a very fun game of GASLANDS at our September gaming session.  We had several new players and some young players with their dads (which was cool in and of itself).  We had played this game a few times before, and Scott had some really cool new terrain for the race.  His scenario was the “Johnny Cab Invitational” as a nod to the Johnny Cab in the 1990 film Total Recall.  Scott plans to run this game at CARNAGE in Killington, Vermont in November.

As I got to play I got to take a few more pictures – the race was a real thrill ride (pun intended).

09072019 GASLANDS at Mass Pikemen
The flyer for the game
1 Scott briefs the gamers
Getting ready to play.  Each of us got a different cab-type vehicle for the race.  On the right, new player Steven (sitting) and his dad Steven (in orange hat) joined us for the first time with his daughter in tow. 
2 Scott briefs the gamers
Here you can see the tabletop – we had to cross 5 gates in the race.  The cabs had weapons that were not active until you fully crossed gate #1.
3 and the race begins
The start of the race – you can see the starting gate on the right.  Vehicles were assigned at random – I had the little Johnny Cab in the foreground.  Above me in this photo respectively  were Mike and Leif’s yellow cabs on the edge of the tabletop.  In the starting gate from top to bottom were Christine in a VW truck/cab, Jack/Jared in a tracked cab, and Steven/Steven in a motorized rickshaw.
3 Johnny Cab Open
Johnny Cab!
4 Mike careens into Leif
The wrecked tractor trailer was part of the game terrain.  I’m on the right about to take my first (of many) flip outs.  On the right, Mike attempts to crash into Leif.  This would go (at first glance) badly for Mike as he rolled badly and got turned around back towards the starting gate.  He would end up crashing into the wall behind it and surviving to turn around…eventually.  Note that Scott has two welded dice to denote turn and gear segments – very cool.
5 Trying to cross gate 1
I try to get through the gate after both Christine and Jack crash into me.  I ended up flipped over by the right barrier – safe but damaged.
6 Scott GM's
Scott effectively GM’s!
7 Leif's Car is torched
As I was already through the gate I had to back up to get aligned.  I used a Molotov Cocktail on Leif’s cab and caught it on fire.  It soon exploded and I avenged a past Bolt Action whupping that Leif had put on me earlier!  Jack’s tracked cab was run into a wall at the top, while Steven’s rickshaw was closing for a kill.  Christine’s blue VW also shot at Leif with a machine gun.  Mike was busy out of the picture hitting a wall in 4th gear!
8 Steven's Rickshaw dies
Steven’s attack on Jack’s tracked cab fails.  Jack’s tracked cab returns fire, and destroys the rickshaw.  Christine’s VW tries to go around away from Jack.  I’m just surveying the carnage from the safe rear.  Mike is still back along the wall in the rear of the starting gate. 
9 Jared and Jack plot next moves
Jared and Jack discuss choices with the dice, while Leif looks at his burning cab.
10 Jack wipes out and explodes
Christine turns the corner and shoots up Jack’s cab – knocking it out of the game.  She then dropped caltrops behind her.  This left the VW, my Johnny Cab, and Mike still in the game.
11 I set Chris on fire and move in
Johnny Cab turned on the gas, and attempted to shoot at Christine’s blue VW with a machine gun, missing.  I threw another Molotov cocktail and hit, catching the VW on fire.

At this point, I closed for the kill.  Nothing remained between Johnny Cab and the race course but Christine’s damaged and burning vehicle.  Mike’s cab was far behind.  My machine gun missed again – but my third Molotov cocktail hit and unfortunately caused a chain reaction with Christine’s own unused Molotov cocktails.  The explosion damaged my Johnny Cab and destroyed it and the VW.  At this point, Mike was just getting back to Gate #1 after getting off the wall.  As the sole survivor, he won!  Amazingly, he won our last GASLANDS game as a survivor as well – enjoy your prize Mike – a free trip to Mars!  Your second trip!

12 Mike wins again!
The game ends.  Both cars in the foreground are destroyed – in the right rear one survives – Mike wins!

The game went very quickly even with many new players.  Scott’s vehicles and board were fantastically fun!  I lent my new blast markers to the game and I think they worked well (and were very popular with the younger players to be sure).  Thanks VERY MUCH to Scott for a well-run and fun game.

Our next session is a road trip to the Fort Devens Game Day on October 19th.  Scott will be running a pulp game there, and I will be running my Normandy Breakout game.  The November session for the Mass Pikemen will be on either November 2nd or November 9th from 2-7 PM, games TBD.

If you are interested in joining the Mass Pikemen, our Facebook group link is here.  Join us!

from Mark A. Morin
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Italian Renaissance Figures


This was a rare weekend at home in which I was able to play games AND paint figures.  Given the amount of travel I have had to do for work, it was fun to focus a fair amount of the weekend to my hobby.  I have had a pack of figures from Eureka that are Italian Renaissance duelists and assorted bystanders.  I like the figures, but frankly, the sheer riot of color for the Italian Renaissance had me continue to push this project deeper and deeper into the queue.  I didn’t want to start this project and then have it languish on the painting table for weeks or months.

The figures had enough relief on them that they were easy to paint.

These were fun to paint, because I was completely unconstrained on which colors I could use.

I will use these with Blood and Swash.  It will essentially be the same as my pirate tavern games, but with different figures.

from Buck’s Blog
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Terror Fish: Bones 4 Dreadmere Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past week I painted theTerror Fish, from the Bones 4 Dreadmere Expansion.
     I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.

  I thought the figure reminded me a bit of those deep sea fish that have the little illuminated antenna that hover over their head to attract prey; so I set about modifying the figure to resemble one of those.  First, I sliced off one of the spikes on its head.  I then drilled a little hole where the spike was, and inserted a a short bit of translucent plastic string I had; gluing it in place with superglue.
     I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued it to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmers glue.
     For fun I thought I’d base the color scheme off of the Dory character from the animated movie “Finding Nemo”.  Dory is based on a real fish called a Royal Blue Tang.

      I began by painting the body of the fish with Americana ‘True Blue".  I then painted markings on the body as close as I could to those that appear on Dory, and I painted the eyes, with Ceramcoat “Black”.   When all the paint was dry, I gave the painted areas a wash with Citadel Nuln Oil wash.

     Next, I painted his tail fin and side spikes with Accent “Golden Harvest”.  After that, I painted the inside of his mouth with Apple Barrel “Apple Lt. Pink”, and his teeth with with Americana “Bleached Sand”.

     I then painted the tip of his antenna with Tamiya “Clear Yellow”, and then gave the inside of his mouth a coat of Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash.  After that, I gave his teeth, tail, and side fins a coat of Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash", and then painted the rim of his eyes with Americana “Grey Sky”.

     Next, I highlighted his body with Reaper MSP Bones ‘Tropical Blue", and highlighted his tail and side spikes with Crafter’s Acrylic “Bright Yellow”.  After that, I highlighted his feet and his black markings with Citadel “The Fang”, mixed with some of the base “Black”; and then highlighted his teeth with Crafters Acrylic “Light Antique White”.   I also highlighted his antenna dot with some of the “Bright Yellow” with a dot of Americana “Snow White”.  I also used this white to add eye highlight dots.   Lastly, I painted the entire base with “Americana "Mississippi Mud”.
      I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”.   When the “Dullcote” was dry, I went back and hit its eyes, the light dot on his antenna,  and this teeth with a little Americana “DuraClear Gloss” varnish.

     I’m really happy with how killer Dory came out. 🙂   I like the addition of the light antenna, and I think the color scheme is kind of fun.

via All Bones About It
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Triumph of the Orcs

Rob Dean

As mentioned in the previous post, it was my plan to get a game on the table with the “new” Middle Earth figures, and my brother was able to give me a hand by commanding the orcs remotely.  We played using Dragon Rampant, and tried the “Death Chase” scenario, basically an ambush.  We surmised that the orcs ambushed the allies while the latter were marching between Dale and Laketown, or some such…

My brother had a unit of elite foot (the goblin king and bodyguards), two units of better orcs (light foot with bows mixed), one unit of lesser orcs (light foot), one unit of wolves (lesser warbeasts) and  one unit of goblin scum (ravenous horde).  I had the elf king and bodyguard (heavy foot), two elf foot units (light foot with mixed bows), one human foot (light foot), and the dwarves (elite foot with magic weapons).  We rolled for leader special characteristics and both rolled a 9, giving us the ability to ignore fear.  Since there were no fearsome units in the game, we promptly forgot about that.  I rolled to see if the dwarves’ magic weapons were effective, which they were not.  
With Norman remoting in, we kept the board simple, so that my forces were basically just trying to get down a road, and the only piece of terrain that got involved in the action was a small patch of woods on my right.
The basic set up can be inferred from the overarching shot (3rd picture) below.  I had, from left to right, humans, elves, elf king, dwarves, and elves, and the orcs were split into two detachments (per the scenario instructions) with a better orc, the lesser orcs, and the goblin scum to my left, with the balance, the wolves, the other better orcs, and the goblin king to my right. 

My brother consults the rules, with his view of the table inset on the left
The ambushed side cannot, by the scenario special instructions, attack or shoot in the first two turns. One of those was quick, as we each failed to activate early in the turn, but, unlike some Dragon Rampant games, we didn’t have many turns with sudden shifts of fortune related to activation failures.  We had plenty of turns in which all units successfully activated.
Armored goblins, in their first outing as a full unit

Norman’s basic plan was to sweep in with his two detachments and block the road.  The light foot predominating on both sides is better defending than attacking, and I had the obligation to attack him to push through to the far table edge, so it was a good plan. 

As the battle develops; note the wolves lurking in the woods

As can be seen above, by a few turns in, each side ended up in a U.  The red marker on the humans above is a battered marker; they were routed early by the shooting of the armored goblins.

The elvish foot on the left stands off the lesser orcs

In the center, the lesser orcs attempted to drive back elvish foot, but failed, and were eventually routed by bow fire.  Unfortunately for me, the elves soon went the same way…

The wolves make little impression on the dwarves

The dwarves advanced straight up the road, and were first hit by the wild charge of the wargs.  They successfully repelled the wargs, and then went toe to toe with the goblin king.

The dwarves withstand an attack by the goblin king

By that time, everything else on the goodly folk side had routed, leaving the few remaining dwarves to attempt a heroic charge up the road into a somewhat reduced unit of better orcs.  Unfortunately, the orcs shot well, and the last few dwarves perished under a hail of black-feathered arrows.

At the end, all allies fled, the dwarves final charge at the orcs

So it was another sad day for the good folk, and there was celebration in the tunnels of the Misty Mountains.

It took us about two hours to play the game, and Dragon Rampant works pretty well remotely.  The 3" required spacing between units and the one unit at a time activation mean that exact positioning is seldom important, so command is made a little easier for the remote player.
These figures are likely to be back out again as soon as a few additional units are painted…

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Minifg ME Orcs — Game like it’s 1975…

Rob Dean

I have a game using the Mythical Earth (ME) collection scheduled for this afternoon, so I was pleased to be able to put a final varnish coat on a few more troops.  Several of these guys will be needed for the game.
As seen in the August painting post, I have managed to acquire some inspiration (from epic muse Calliope, no doubt; historical muse Clio having taken the week off) for working on the ME project, and that carried through this week, with 4 ME23 true orc archers and 3 ME24 true orc swordsmen.  The ME23 isn’t a bad one to paint; with modern techniques you can get a quick shading effect on the folds of the cloak and tunic, but there isn’t much to do with ME24.  My brother has done some with red eye tattoos on their foreheads (since it’s the largest blank area on the figure), and I took that as the inspiration for some warpaint.  Since I already have a composite unit of archers and swordsmen completed (with three of these archers), these swordsmen are the first of a second composite unit, and I think I’ll go ahead and do the warpaint on the rest of the swordsmen as a handy way of identifying the units on the table.
However, before I do that, it’s time to file and prime, because these seven were the last orcs and goblins ready to paint.  With any luck, I’ll set up another 8 this weekend, and a unit of 12 ME50 goblins.

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ACP 164 Vehicles


I was involved with the Albedo Miniatures Kickstarter.  I adapted Combat Patrol for the Albedo universe.  I also bought into the Kickstarter to get some of the figures and vehicles.  The figures are really nice and will work by themselves or mixed in with other science fiction figures and games.  I am working short days this week, so yesterday afternoon I painted two vehicles and an aircraft that I had prepped and partially assembled two days ago.

An Albedo fire support vehicle and APC

The fires support vehicle comes with a more traditional gun, but somehow during prep, I accidentally threw out the barrel, and it was trash day, so by the time I realized it, my barrel was on the way to the landfill.  So, I replaced it with a “Tesla gun” from Company B miniatures.  I am going to have to order another couple of packs of those barrels.  They have come in hand recently.


I really like this aircraft.  In fact, I have ordered two more of the kit with more optional variants.  I had a little trouble figuring out how to attack all the various weapons, and had to refer to pictures online, but I love this kit!  I plan to use this both for Albedo and for other science fiction games.

At Historicon I purchased a giant gorilla from Eureka Miniatures.   Two weeks ago, when I opened up the packaging, I discovered that the gorilla’s left arm was missing.  Rob put one in the mail right away, and it arrived before I returned from my long business trip.  So, I painted it while I was painting my Hawaiians.

Eureka giant gorilla and giant crab from Reaper Bones MCMDLXMI (or whatever they are up to)

from Buck’s Blog
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Eureka Polynesians


Polynesian civilians from Eureka Miniatures

Several years ago, Eureka Miniatures had a line of Polynesian (Hawaiian) figures.  I have been kicking myself for years for not ordering them, because they went out of production.  Recently a new line came into production, and I ordered two sets of them.  (I also ordered four canoes [which are still out of production], but that is for another post.)  Having returned from ten days on the road and a lot of long days for work recently, I decide that I would knock these out.

Hawaiians vs. Captain Cooke’s men

We returned from a recent vacation in Hawaii, and I was in the mood.  I REALLY like these figures.  My plan is to run a small skirmish game involving angry Hawaiian’s and Captain Cooke’s men during his second landing on Hawaii, when he was killed.  As can be send in the picture (above), my plan is to use my Old Glory French and Indian War British for Captain Cooke’s troops.

Hawaiian spearmen face British soldiers

They are very nice figures, with nearly no filing needed.  I like the way they turned out.  Being predominantly skin, after base spraying them brown and hitting them with Agrax Earthshade, they were nearly complete.  I just had to paint in the details.

Polynesians fighting each other

I know the popular myth is that the natives were happy and peaceful until Europeans arrived — whether we are talking about North America, Hawaii, or South America.  The truth is that these were violent cultures at war with each other for dominance.  (I highly recommend Mayflower, if you haven’t read it, and the truth about King Philip’s War.)  On the plane to Hawaii, my wife read some stories to me about ancient Hawaii, and the violence and barbarity is amazing.  The infighting didn’t really stop until, armed with European-provided muskets and gunpowder, King Kamehameha, conquered the islands under threat of extermination for those who didn’t pledge allegiance to him.  So, I think it is also fair to have a skirmish game in which Polynesians are fighting each other.

I don’t know when they will get on the table, but they are painted, boxed, and ready for action.

from Buck’s Blog
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