The Retreat from Moscow


I have been working for over a month to complete a batch of Retreat from Moscow figures.  These were a Christmas present two Christmases ago.  They took a very long time to paint, because each one was a different, so I couldn’t really paint them by assembly line.  I think they came out nicely.  What do you think?

The figure of New in the center foreground was a free giveaway figure at Historicon some years back.

We should see these in a Combat Patrol™ Napoleonic game soon…

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Downed Plane


A downed pilot captured by two members of the Home Guard

I recently completed building a downed German fighter plane for a WWII skirmish game.  The plane was a cheap ($13) snap together kit meant for kids, but it was 1:48 scale.  The crew and the Home Guardsmen are Foundry.

A view of the wrecked plane, including the wings that have ripped off.

Rather than a single, large base, I decided to make the plan on three smaller bases.

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Klaus Copperthumb, Dwarf Thief

Chris Palmer

   This past week I painted the Klaus Copperthumb, Dwarf Thief, figure from theBones 3 Dwarves set.   I have a Frostgrave warband of Dwarves that I never quite finished, that began with a couple Dwarf figures from Bones 2 as the Thaumaturge Wizard and Apprentice.  I had been waiting for all the Dwarves in Bones 3 to help fill out the missing soldiers in the group, and selected this figure to start with, to be one of the warband’s Thieves.
     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 then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer-mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

          I began by giving the figure a wash with heavily thinned Reaper “Grey Liner” using a wet brush.  When that was dry, I painted his face with Games Workshop “Dwarf Flesh”.  I then painted his cape with Americana “Zinc”, and his pants with Americana “Charcoal Grey”.

     Next, I painted his undershirt with Americana “Mississippi Mud”, and his tunic with Crafter’s Acrylic “Navy Blue”. I then did all his leather equipment and boots with Black and after that, painted the boot tops with Apple Barrel “Burnt Sienna”.

    After that I painted the hair and mustache with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate”, and the handles of his axes with Folk Art “Teddy Bear Brown”.  Then, there were also some small bags/pouches on his belt that I painted with Americana “Khaki Tan”.   I let everything dry for a while, then I gave the figure’s face and hair a wash with some Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” using a wet brush.  I let that dry, and then I gave the rest of the figure a wash with some Citadel “Nuln Oil” using a wet brush as well.

     When the wash was dry, I painted his eyes, and then highlighted his skin with a mix of Crafter’s Acrylic “Flesh”, and the base “Dwarf Flesh”.  I then highlighted his hair and mustache with the “Teddy Bear Brown”.  Next, I did highlights on his cape with Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”, and his tunic with Ceramcoat “Denim Blue”.  I then highlighted all his black leather parts and boots with Citadel “The Fang”, followed by his undershirt with Americana “Khaki”, and his boot tops with Americana “Terra Cotta”.  After that, I highlighted his axe handles with Americana “Sable Brown, and the little bags/pouches with Americana "Antique White”
   Lastly, I painted the figure’s integral base with Black.  When the Black was dry, I drybrushed the bases with some Apple Barrel “Rock Grey”, and then some Folk Art “Platinum Grey”.
    I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave him a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

    I am happy with how this fellow came out.  He’ll be a great addition to my Dwarf warband.

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Breaking News: BONES IV Kickstarter Date Announced!

Chris Palmer

     Reaper announced the dates for their upcoming Bones IV Kickstarter this afternoon.  The party proceedings will get underway on August 1st.  See you all there!

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Reaper’s BONES IV Kickstarter Announced!

Chris Palmer

   For those that may have missed it, Reaper announced their new Bones Kickstaeter will be starting next month.  Exact date is yet to be released.

   Also it looks like this year they will be doing an RPG quest map theme for the stretch goal journey.

      Just like with Bones 3, going into it I feel I’ll probably just pick and choose a few things, as I’m quite overwhelmed with Bones minis at the moment. 🙂  However, when the rubber hits the road I have a feeling I’ll fail my will roll quickly, and be going in for the full Core Set.

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Combat Patrol(TM) South Pacific Supplement is Almost Done!


I completed the South Pacific master cards today. These are for the South Pacific supplement to Combat Patrol™. I have sent them to DriveThru to do their magic to make the cards ready to print. At that time, I’ll send the revised masters to Sally 4th to get ready to print them in the UK. Soon afterward players will be able to purchase the cards from either DriveThru or Sally 4th. I have one more item to play test in the South Pacific supplement, vehicle-mounted flame throwers, and then it will be ready to go.
Why is there another set of cards? The vast majority of the rules are unchanged. There are a few new items in the free supplement, like Banzai charges, infiltration tactics, incapacitated Japanese lying on armed grenades, and die-in-place missions. This supplement is for the South Pacific, which had a very different tenor than other parts of the Pacific. One thing that came out in play testing is that the normal morale rules don’t seem very “Japanese.” These new decks have more unit-level morale results and fewer individual-level results. In play tests people felt that the new morale results seemed to represent Japanese behavior better.
There is a table in the supplement that can be used to cross index the card serial number from the 10 original Action Decks to find the Japanese morale result. I figured that people would get tired of that after a while, so there will be two new Action Decks just for Japanese units. You don’t NEED the new decks, but they will make life better if you play games set in the South Pacific. So the decks are finally done and ready to go to print. That should happen before the end of the month.

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Award Winning HAWKs at Historicon 2017


Geoff, Chris, Don, and Eric, HAWKs who won awards at Historicon 2017

We had four HAWKs win awards at Historicon 2017.  Geoff won an award for this Lego pirate game for kids.  Chris Johnson won an award for his American Civil War game for kids.  Don won an award for his Battleground WWII game on our French village table.  Eric won an award for his American Civil War game for kids.


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Brain in a Jar: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

    This past week I worked on the Brain in a Jar figure from the Bones 3 Stoneskull Expansion.  This was one of the figures that most draw me to this expansion set, as I saw uses for it in everything from Fantasy, to Victorian Sci-Fi, to Pulp, to regular Sci-Fi.
     It also reminded me very much of my own Brain-in-a-thing creation I had done several years ago with my “They Saved Hitlers Brain” project. 
     I prepped this figures in the usual way; soaking the parts 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 was first concerned that the figure’s three legs might sag under its own weight, I took a black primed 2" fender washer on which I had glued a piece of card over the center hole before priming, and glued a small section of sprue from one of the clear  weapons sets to the center with a little Aleene’s Tacky glue.  This would act as a support for the center of the figure.  I then glued the three legs to the washer with the Tacky glue.  I then used Gorilla superglue to glue the brain to the top piece and the clear chamber bottom to the leg piece.

     I began by painting the bottom and top all Black, and when they were dry, I drybrushed them with  Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”.  Next, I passed over the pieces with a lighter drybrush of Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”.  I then noticed the bad mold line running across the top of the chamber (visible in the below photo), and so took my hobby knife and trimmed it off; then did my best to repaint the section and blend it in.

     I first painted the small circular shape behind the crosshatch on the front panel.  It looked like the mouthpiece of a speaker to me so I painted it Black and did some Americana “Neutral Grey” highlights on it.  I then painted the little light in the upper right corner of the panel with Crafter’s Acrylic “Deep Red”, and then added highlights with Reaper MSP “Holly Berry” and Crafter’s Acrylic “Daffodil Yellow”.  I also used the “Holly Berry” to some reflected light effects along the edges by the little light.  Next I painted all the little ovals running around the edge of the base with Ceramcoat “Bronze”, and then added Ceramcoat “14K Gold” highlights.

     Next, I painted the brain with Crafter’s Acrylic Cherry Blossom Pink", and when dry gave it a thinned wash with some Iron Wind Metals “Red” ink.

     When the ink was dry,  I drybrushed the brain with some Folk Art “Milkshake”.  I then painted all the cables attached to the brain with Black.  I then went back and paint the front ones with Ceramcoat “Copper, and the rest I simple added some Citadel "The Fang” highlights too.

     Next, I flipped the top over, and painted the little panels in the lights on each side with Reaper MSP Bones “Dungeon Slime”.  When it was dry, I gave the lights, and a small area around the base of the lights, a wash with some thinned Iron Wind Metals “Mid Green” ink.  When it was dry, I went back and added a central highlight to each panel with, first, the “Dungeon Slime”, and then a little White.  Next, I lightly drybrushed an area around the lights with Nicole’s “Neon Green” to look like reflected light.
     Lastly, I painted the washer base with Americana “Neutral Grey”.
      I let the parts dry overnight and the next day I gave the top of the jar, and the base of the walker a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed the two pieces with Testor’s Dullcote".  When the Dullcote was dry, I glued the pieces together with the clear cylinder using Gorilla Superglue.

     I’m happy with how the model looks in general, but I wish I had been more careful making sure everything was straight and aligned before doing any gluing.  The legs are a bit more wonky than I would have liked (though in all honesty getting all three legs straight while steaming and reseting would have been a miracle.  This would have been a good candidate for the stiffer grey Bones material.) , and the brain is a little tilted.  The saving grace is that when it’s on the table and in a game things like that won’t be really noticed.

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Combat Patrol Games Run at Historicon 2017


There were several Combat Patrol™ games run at Historicon 2017.

French vs. Italians 1940

The first was a Thursday game run by Eric Schlegel set in southern France in 1940.  It involved the Italians attacking the French.  I only managed to get one poor picture of this game.  You can see that the Italians had to advance across open ground to get to the French positions or slog through the woods.  Despite some success on the Italian right flank, the game was judge a French victory.

Italians attack French positions in 1940.

The Bocage

I then ran two bocage games on Friday.  Don and I set up the bocage table and then ran three games on it.  I ran Combat Patrol™ in the morning and evening.  In the afternoon Don used to table to run a game using “brand X” rules (Battleground WWII).  In both of my scenarios the Germans were allowed hidden setup, and the Americans were tasked to clear the road.  Unfortunately I was busy running the game and didn’t remember to take very many pictures.  The ones I have don’t tell a coherent narrative, but you can at least see some eye candy.

An American halftrack has a bad day.

Germans along a hedge row managed to knock out one or two American vehicles and withstand some infantry close assaults.

After the first scenario, every US vehicle had been knocked out, and the Germans had taken few casualties, so it was a decisive German victory.

Don’s “brand X” game on the bocage table. This is the only long shot I took of the table that he and I used all day.

American halftracks advancing during the second running of this scenario. The Pz II survived to the end of the game despite a jammed turret and repeated infantry close assaults. The Americans attacking the Pz II had no anti-tank weapons, so they were forced to try to throw grenades in the hatches, which is tricky business.

A longer shot of the American advance

The Sherman advances and the Pz. II drops back under close assault from American infantry.

The first running of this scenario was a decisive victory for the Germans.  The Americans attacked across a wide front, weren’t very aggressive, and never were able to mass on a decisive point.  The second instance was much closer.  The Americans massed on the German right flank and enjoyed initial success.  Then they got bogged down fighting for the farm house in the center of the table rather than bypassing it.  The game was a marginal German victory.

Action around Pomme du Terre

We then set up a French village, called Pomme du Terre, and ran four games on it to amortize the effort of laying out all the buildings.  We ran three Combat Patrol™ games on the terrain and one with “brand X.”

The town of Pomme du Terre being set up for four scenarios. The town is almost exclusively Crescent Root buildings with a Sally 4th corner cafe and flagstone road, and Battlefield Terrain Concepts trees.

Another view of the town


Duncan used the town for Germans vs. Americans in 1918.  I was running one of the bocage games while this game was going on, so I only snapped two quick pictures.  Apparently the American platoon was pretty badly shot up trying to take the town from the Germans.

In these pictures you can see that Duncan uses flat disks from Fantasy Flight Games to mark morale checks.  You can also see that Duncan printed unit cards with colored circles on them.  These circles corresponded to colors on the figures’ bases and made it easier for players to figure out which troops were theirs when the fighting got close.


Saturday morning I ran a German assault to capture Pomme du Terre from the French in 1940.  The French were supported by an AT gun and three FT-17s, only one of which was equipped with a gun rather than a machine-gun.  There Germans were supported by two Pz. II’s

German infantry advances to the outskirts of the town.

Advancing German armored support

Close cooperation between German armor and infantry. In this picture you can see the command dice on the units that are used in the Double Random ™ activation mechanic used in Combat Patrol ™.

The Germans advanced steadily through the town but then got bogged down trying to clear the town square.  Had they advanced around either flank, rather than right up the middle, they might have gotten to the French AT gun and cleared the road.  The result was a French victory.  All the players seemed to really enjoy themselves.


My second game in Pomme du Terre was an American attack on the town.  It was more of a meeting engagement as the Germans weren’t prepositioned in the town, but the onus remained with the attacker to clear the road.  The Germans had a Panzergrenadier platoon with halftracks, two Pz. IV’s and a Marder.  The Americans had an armored infantry platoon with halftracks, a Sherman, an M-10, and a Stuart.  The Americans had a bazooka as well as several captured Panzerfausts.  The forces were of roughly equal size.

The Sherman advances

The Germans lost a Pz IV early in the game from a shot from the M-10.  The Marder was knocked out by a long-range bazooka shot.  On the other side of the table, the Germans got THREE shots off at the Sherman but rolled very poorly and didn’t knock it out.  They did damage the main gun, turning it into a mobile machine-gun platform.  The Americans handled their vehicles aggressively.  The combination of the Sherman, M-10, and Stuart kept the remaining German Pz. IV busy but didn’t knock it out by the time the game ended.

Marder knocked out by a long-range bazooka shot

Both the American and German infantry advanced into the town and got into close quarters combat in and around the town square.  Despite heavy casualties, neither side managed to get a clear upper hand.

The Sturt and a halftrack advance through the town

A funny moment came when, after the left-flank Pz. IV was knocked out, an American halftrack dashed around the flank, dodging Panzerfaust shots, and circled behind the Germans.  Big surprise for Herman as their infantry started taking fire from three directions.

Though the Germans didn’t knock out any US vehicles, they did knock out the 75mm gun not he Sherman.  The objective was for the Americans to control the road through town.  They didn’t manage to do this by the time the game ended, so we called it a marginal German victory.

We had one player who struggled to get his head around the card mechanics of Combat Patrol™ and another who wanted to argue the ratings of guns and armor for some of the vehicles, but otherwise the weekend was a big success.  Many new players had a chance to try Combat Patrol™, and several went down and bought copies from the dealer hall — or at least said they did.   I also had quite a few players who came back from either previous conventions or from previous games this weekend.  Every one of my games was completely full, and I even added a couple of extra players who really wanted to try the rules.

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HAWKs run Games for Kids at Historicon


As usual, the Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielsers ran several games focusing on kids at Historicon.  Below is a quick rundown on some of them.

Navies for Kids Giveaway

Buck Surdu ran a game in which a group of kids were given a box full of boats and other materials.  They then chose sales for a stack of patterns and colored them.  Then we helped them hot glue the sails to the masts.  With a set of rules designed for this game, we ran a naval action pitting side A against side B.  When the game was over, the kids took hope their two decorated boats, two more the assemble, rules, dice, measuring sticks, a sea cloth, and everything they would need to run the game at home for their buddies.

Some of the kids inspecting their supplies

Decorating sails

Getting help to hot glue the sails to their masts

Waiting patiently

The game in full swing

The kids and their loot

Armies for Kids Giveaway

We worked all year through a series of club painting days and other events to build six complete sets of armies (one French and one Prussian) for a 15mm Franco-Prussian War giveaway.  As in previous years, the kids played the game and then each went home with a French Army, a Prussian Army, terrain, dice, tape measures, and a ground cloth.

Some of the kids playing the FPW game

Another view of the game in progress

Duncan puts a set of figures back together after the game.

Putting sets together to hand out to the kids.

Santa Duncan hands out loot

Duncan and the six lucky kids

Chris Johnson’s Award-Winning ACW Kids’ Game

Chris was presented an award from the convention staff for this kids’ game.

Eric Schlegel’s Award-Winning ACW Kid’s Game

Duncan Adams’ Lionheart Game for Kids

Geoff Graff’s Award-Winning Lego Pirate Game for Kids

This has been a perennial favorite in the HAWKs rooms for many years.  Geoff never fails to keep the kids entertained and engaged!

The game gets under way.

You can tell that Geoff enjoys these games as much as the kids

A boat full of Lego pirates. The ship comes apart to reveal the lower decks.

The answer to my question, “Who had fun?”

A happy Geoff and some happy kids – or maybe that’s redundant…

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