Monthly Archives: June 2019

Carnivorous Pudding and Acidic Ooze: Bones 4 “Darkreach” Translucent Figures

Chris Palmer

     This past week I also painted the Carnivorous Pudding and Acidic Ooze translucent figures from the  Bones 4 Darkreach Expansion Set. 
       I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.   I then superglued the Carnivorous Pudding to an unprimed 1.5"x1.5" steel base, and attached the Acidic Ooze to a 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue.

     To begin with, I painted the entire Pudding with Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  When it was dry, I then gave the figure a coat with thin Vallejo Game Color “Black” Ink.  When the ink was dry, I drybrushed the figure with, first, Folk Art Color Shift “Black Flash”, and then, Folk Art Color Shift “Purple Flash”.   
     I was starting to find it awkward to paint the pudding just holding it in my hand, so at this point I glued it to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s glue.   When dry,  I painted the skeleton parts with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”, the shield with Americana “True Blue”, and the sword with Americana Zinc.    I then painted the sword grip with Accent “Rea Umber”, and then drybrushed the skeleton parts with Americana “Antique White”.
     Then, to try and give a corroded look, I painted the parts of the shield and sword that were touching the Pudding with Reaper MSP “Aged Pewter”,  followed by Reaper MSP “Scorched Metal”.   After these, I hit it with some spots of Accent “Golden Oxide”.  After that, I gave the skeleton parts, shield and sword all a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.     When the wash was dry, I highlighted the skeleton parts with some Americana “Bleached Sand”.
     I then glued the Acidic Ooze to a tongue depressor as well, with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.
    For this figure, like the Pudding, I painted the entire thing with the “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  When it was dry, I then gave it a coat with thin “Black” Ink.  When the ink was dry, I simply drybrushed it with some Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”.  To finish up, I painted the base with Americana “Neutral Grey”.
      I let the two figures dry overnight and the next day I gave them another coat of the “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    I decided not to spray varnish these as I have had some issues in the past with the translucent figures getting a little tacky after a while; so I’m just going to go with the brush on matte varnish. 

     I’m really happy with how these two came out.  And like the Darkreach crystals I did last week, I think the Color Shift paint really gives the translucents an interesting sheen.

via All Bones About It
from Tumblr


Steve Barber Early WWII Americans, Work in Progress


A few months ago, I and a couple of others commissioned Steve Barber to make a handful of early WWII Americans in 28mm for the Philippines, Wake Island, etc.  These need the WWI helmets but early WWII kit.  Three or four figures have been commissioned, but we need one or two more people to commission a figure in order to complete a squad.  If you are interested, please contact

View of running soldier.

Another view of running soldier.

I just sponsored a second figure, the BAR gunner.  This will be figure 4.

Figure 2, a leader figure.

Another view of Figure 2.

Before we started this project, the only suitable figures were from Pulp Figures.  The Pulp Figures are excellent, but there are only two five-figure packs with tin hats in their inter-war line.  This doesn’t give enough variety for skirmish games.  I am hoping with these additional figures, that I can field a platoon that doesn’t look too cookie cutter.

Figure 3, standing and firing.

All figures come with separate heads for further customization.

A sprue of the separate heads.

Please contact Steve Barber to commission a figure, which costs about $250 dollars US.  It would be great to have 10 poses, to make a reasonably full squad.

from Buck’s Blog
from Tumblr


Female Djinni: Bones 4 “Fan Favorites” Figure

Chris Palmer

  This past week I painted the Female Djinni figure from the Bones 4 Fan Favorites Expansion Set.  I’m thinking of doing the Frostgrave rulebook’s “Genie in a Bottle” scenario for this year’s Ghost Archipelago campaign, and this figure just seemed like it would be perfect to include.

    When I got the figure, I was a little disappointed in a couple things.  First, it’s a very cartoony looking figure; sculpted more in big broad strokes than in the fine detail I expect from Reaper.  Secondly, for some reason, they made the sword so it attached to the figure in a reversed and inverted position from the initial concept art (Compare the illustration above with the production example figure photo below.) Now I have no problem with the Djinni being a lefty but the the sword now hung incorrectly with the bird’s head beak pointing up (A good way to impale your palm when reaching quickly for the sword), and the end curve pointed down.   One third and last quibble, the sword is just attached to her butt, without any sculpted straps to show where it would attach to her belt.
(Photo from Reaper Kickstarter Update)
        I prepped the figure 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.      The next thing I did was cut off the lamp from the trail of smoke (It is cast as one piece as you can see in the above photo.)  I wanted to mount them separately, so I could use the lamp and or Djinni as unique pieces.    I then sliced the tab off the sword, so I could glue it to the figure in the correct position as shown in the concept illustration.  Lastly, I cut the base that comes with the figure into two pieces, and glued the figure to its part of the base, minus the part I trimmed off where the lamp mounts.  
       I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1.5" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue after trimming the base so it would fit.  I also glued the lamp to its piece of base, and then glued it to a black primed 1" fender washer. I then placed the Djinni figure in my painting grip.

     When I first saw this figure in the Kickstarter, being a child of the 60’s and 70’s, the first image that flashed in my mind was Jeannie from the classic  I Dream of Jeannie TV show.   I knew that this was the color scheme I wanted to use on my Djinni figure.

     So, to begin painting; I painted her skin with Reaper MSP “Rosy Skin”.  I then painted her smoke plume/pants, and top, with Crafter’s Acrylic “Cherry Blossom Pink”.  (I don’t think she is sculpted as necessarily wearing pants, but they way they blended into the billowing smoke cloud, I thought I could get away with it.)  After that, I painted any decorative trim that obviously wasn’t metal, with Folk Art “True Burgundy”.

     Next, I painted her teeth with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”,  her hair with Accent “Golden Harvest”, and any metal decorations/jewelry/fittings/ etc., with Americana “Grey Sky”.   After that, I gave her skin a wash with Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash.

     When the “Reikland Fleshshade” wash was dry, I gave her hair a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash.  I followed that by giving her clothing and smoke plume a wash with heavily thinned Iron Wind Metals “Purple” ink.   When wall the washes were dry, I painted all the metal with  Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”.

   After the “Metallic Silver” had a while to dry, I went over the metal parts with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  Then when the wash was dry, I painted her eyes and lips, and highlighted her teeth with Americana “Snow White”.  I then highlighted her skin and corrected any errors with  various mixes of the base “Rosy Skin” along with Reaper MSP “Rosy Highlight” and “Rosy Shadow”.

     Next, I highlighted hair; first with the base “Golden Harvest”, then with the “Golden Harvest” mixed with some Americana “Moon Yellow”, then the just plain “Moon Yellow”, then the “Moon Yellow” mixed with some Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”, then the plain “Lemon Chiffon”,  then some of the “Lemon Chiffon” mixed with some “Snow White”, and lastly just a little plain “Snow White”.   I then painted the flowers in her hair with the “True Burgundy”, and the flower centers and leaves with the “Grey Sky”.

     I then worked on the pants/smoke cloud, highlighting them with the base “Cherry Blossom Pink”, and then with the “Cherry Blossom Pink” mixed with some “Snow White”, and lastly, a few hits with just the pure “Snow White”.  I then highlighted the dark pink “True Burgundy” areas with a mix of Americana “Burgundy Wine”, and Crafter’s Acrylic “Tutti Frutti.  After that, I painted the leaves and flower centers in the hair with the "Metallic Silver”, and wen dry, I went over them with a little of the “Nuln Oil” wash.   My next step was to highlight all the metal, using the base “Metallic Silver”, and then Metallic Silver mixed with some of the “Snow White”, and then just a little of the pure “Snow White”.   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”.  
     It was now time to work on the lamp, so I placed it in my painting grip next. 
     I began by painting it with Accent “Mustard Seed”.  

      When the “Mustard Seed” was dry, I repainted it with Folk Art Burnished Metal “Burnished Bronze”.   When that was dry, I gave it a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed it with Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”.   Lastly, I painted the entire base with “Americana "Mississippi Mud”.
       I let the lamp 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”.

And here’s the final outcome:

     I’m really proud of how this one came out.  I know it’s a large figure, but I think the face turned out pretty good.  Now if I could only do that good with standard 28mm tall figures! 🙂  In retrospect, I don’t think I used the correct shade of dark red/pink to perfectly match the original Jeannie outfit, but I think it gets the idea across well enough.   My one real regret is that I didn’t pay more attention when basing the two parts so that the tip of the smoke plume actually could touch the lamp.

via All Bones About It
from Tumblr


A Gentleman’s War reviewed

Rob Dean

According to my shipping records, I received my copy of A Gentleman’s War (AGW)(by Howard Whitehouse and Dan Foley) back on the 24th of April.  Having seen the pre-publication versions of the game being played at conventions, I anticipated that it was going to cover the later 19th century, and that I was just buying it out of curiosity and a love of toy soldiers.  However, while it was on order, and before it arrived, I was playing a remote game with Ross.  I mentioned that I had AGW on order, and Ross told me that the rules also covered the 18th century.  So, instead of needing to go out and buy a bunch of late 19th century toys, I knew that I would be able to play as soon as the rules arrived.
As noted in my Huzzah report, Ross and I had the opportunity to try the rules out a couple of times with the figures we had brought to the conventions for our “official” scenarios.  I tried a third game with my older son, on my relatively compact home table a couple of weeks later.
With the preamble out of the way, what about the rules?
I got the softcover version from Amazon, at $30.  There’s also a hardcover available, at $40, which suggests this is a print-on-demand product.  Personally, I haven’t had any problems with PODs, but you would have to decide whether the hardcover would be durable enough to justify the $10 price difference. 
The book weighs in at 112 pages, including hardcopies of the quick reference sheets without page numbers in the back.  The sections are an Introduction (2pp), Building Your Army (12pp), The Country (i.e. terrain, 2pp), the Rules of the Game (28pp), Engineering (2pp), Scenarios (6pp), A Guide to Armies (of the H.G. Wells era, 9pp), On Colonial Matters (rules and army guidelines, 25pp), From Flintlocks to Needle Guns (earlier period rules, 2pp), Cameo Roles (5pp), and the balance is various flavors of designer’s notes (9pp). 
The authors’ intent is to provide a pleasant relatively quick game using large scale figures (40mm or 54mm are the default) with an updated Little Wars flavor.  
In the Army Building section, we find that, while variations will not break the flavor and flow of the game,  cavalry is deployed in 6 figure units, infantry is deployed in 12 figure regular units or 6 figure specialist detachments (e.g. engineers), and artillery is deployed as individual guns with 3-6 crewmen (more for the odd siege gun).  There is a point system to use if desired, with units having a base cost modified for “distinctions” (special abilities or disabilities, like better, or worse, shooting or morale).  So far, the games I’ve played have been built around symmetrical forces, so I don’t know whether the points would hold up to a determined assault by players intending to squeeze every possible advantage from the system.  Most points systems won’t, so don’t do that.  Armies are divided into small (6-9 units), medium (10-13 units), and large (14-18 units).  The Country chapter suggests that the table width needed to accommodate those army sizes would be 3-4, 6, and 8 feet wide respectively.  For those that don’t want to use the points system or deploy symmetrical armies, there is also a random army generation table, where armies are determined to be field forces, advance guards, or garrison forces, with a few core units, and additional units are randomized, with the three types being balanced, cavalry-heavier, and infantry/artillery-heavier respectively.  Ross and I tried that with the second game we played at Huzzah, and ended up with perfectly symmetrical forces anyway. C’est la guerre… I should also mention that basing is discussed in this section.  It is anticipated that you will not wish to rebase your troops, and the default expectation is that you are using individually-based figures on approximately 1" wide bases for infantry, and perhaps a little wider for cavalry.  (That happens to fit with my existing NQSYW collection perfectly, so Bob’s my uncle, as they say.)
The rules are generally conventional, and the authors acknowledge the influence of Larry Brom’s The Sword and the Flame and various versions of Ross’s With MacDuff to the Frontier.  A card deck (with jokers) is used for activation, with each side being assigned one of the colors.  The unconventional part of the activation rules is that there are no turns, per se, and as each side finishes a cycle of activating all of its units (including dead/removed ones), it can start over.  Units activate one at a time, except that up to four units can activate at once if a face card is drawn, or if a general is attached to one of the units.  An ace will allow you to activate a unit previously activated in the current cycle.  The first joker ends restarts both players’ cycles and the second does the same and also causes the deck to be reshuffled.  There is an interesting hold card mechanic; each player is allowed a limited number of hold cards which can be used to interrupt the turn sequence, to gain extra abilities in a charge, and to allow additional charge responses.  It took me a while to really pick up on the flow of this, which is my problem rather than the rules’.  Generally speaking, it looks like you want to hang on to a good hold card for a charge response, and that cycling your units as quickly as possible should be your goal.
Movement is where the TSATF influence is strongest; moves are in dice thrown, with 2 dice for infantry line movement and and 5 dice for light cavalry charge movement being the usual extreme ends.  Doing things like changing facing, changing formation, or shooting reduce the movement by a number of dice.  Personally, I like this as a mechanic; it abstracts a lot of fussy terrain definition and command and control representation into something I can remember and use without looking at tables.  
Fire combat is done by throwing a handful of d6s, one per 2 infantry or 1 artillery crewmen, with a target number based on range.  Each hit gets a saving throw based on target type and cover status.  A full strength infantry unit in line is going to get 6 dice of fire, and would need a 5-6 at short range (half the maximum), so would have an expected value of two hits.  Against another line in the open, the saving throw would be a 5-6 as well, so 2/3s of a figure would save; leaving an expected value of 1 1/3 hits.  With numbers like that, units will typically stay around for a while.  With the default 1890s technology of the rules, long rifle range is 24", and extreme field gun range is 72", which is a significant chunk of a 5 foot wide table.
Melee combat is a bit more involved.  There is a list of circumstances providing advantages of 1-2 points.  The advantage status of the unit (+2 or more, +1, Tie or lower, tie or lower and disordered) gives the target number for the melee.  The saving throw is collected from another table in which the results (doubled, more casualties, indecisive; I’m paraphrasing) and the melee type (cavalry vs infantry, etc.) are cross referenced.  This feels a little fussy for a d6 toy soldier game, and one definitely wants to have a copy of the table in a quick reference sheet for each player, but it’s not too slow overall, and gives a wide range of possible results.
Morale is built into the melee results, but in other circumstances is checked at 1/3 and ½ casualties with a d6 roll, giving results from “run away” to “carry on”.  There are two lines to the table, “bothered” and “disconcerted”, and when I customize the quick reference sheets I’ll add something about disconcerted being disordered, routed, or below 50% and bothered being anything else, because I’m having a little trouble remembering that at three games in.  I’m sure it will stick eventually.
There’s a short summary of engineering tasks for special scenarios, weighted toward things that wouldn’t take too much time (i.e. demolition over construction).  Time is measured, when necessary in cycles for short things or jokers for longer things, without attempting to give real time correlations.  Given the level of abstraction, that seems reasonable.
There are short descriptions of nine general scenarios, with some information on force balance and objectives.  While these should work, I haven’t tried them yet, nor have I tried translating the general scenarios from the C.S. Grant books into these rules yet.
The guide to armies section has some suggestions about the translation of historical troop types into game terms, plus some suggested likely distinctions and deficiencies for the types.  Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Russia, Turkey, and the United States get write-ups.
The colonial section has the same sort of information on the great powers’ colonial armies, plus rules for additional troop types such as porters, tribal infantry, tribal cavalry, and obsolete artillery.  Tribal units are half again as large as regulars, so based around 18 foot or 9 horse.  I would have to try it to see (using my existing 25mm colonials), but it feels like the larger units would probable lead to a wish for a larger table size than for the regulars.  
The main effect of the Flintlock to Needle Gun rules is to add optional loading (I’ve tried two games with and one without; doesn’t seem to be necessary, but it’s there if you disagree) and to shorten the weapons ranges.  All three games I have played so far have been with the flintlock-period weapons tables.
Once you have the rules and the distinctions firmly in hand, the Cameo Roles rules add a touch of whimsy.  There are a number of possible roles, ranging from civilians who impede traffic to spies who affect initiative cards to the regimental mascot who can add to your melee capabilities.  The intent of these rules is to give an excuse for all the odd miniatures one might tend to collect.  As someone’s whose miniatures collections includes livestock, civilians, marching bands and what not, this looks like fun, although I haven’t had a chance to try it yet.
The book finishes up with a discussion of philosophy.  The intent is to provide something fun and not too serious, with what I might describe as a neo-Wellsian aesthetic, all goals which I support.  
My initial experiences with these rules have been very positive, with the caveat that I’d like to tweak the quick reference sheet.  They have the advantage, from my point of view, of allowing me to use them with my existing 40mm collections (including the odd stuff) immediately, and to play games that feel enough like the Charge! battles that I’m used to to be satisfying, and to do it in a significantly smaller space.  With my recent move having left me with a smaller space, that’s a plus.
Overall: Solid rules with an interesting initiative mechanic.  Highly recommended…
(And I just started expanding the French Revolution project and ordered a bunch of 40mm Franco-Prussian War molds, so you can see I was hooked.)

via The Sharp End of the Brush
from Tumblr


Expanding the French Revolution Project, Part 4

Rob Dean

Having finished the British infantry, the next task is to try to do something with some British cavalry. The excerpt below shows a sergeant of a British light dragoon regiment in 1793, and is from Funcken’s The Lace Wars, Vol. 2.

For A Gentleman’s War, I will want a unit of 6, and the recent casting sessions have produced the necessary pieces:

I started in on one this morning, and have concluded that I want to file down even a little more of the lapels and lace originally cast in.  I also hope to suggest the helmet crest a little more closely by filling in the gap above the brim with epoxy putty.

Here’s where the first one is so far:

via The Sharp End of the Brush
from Tumblr


My HUZZAH! 2019 Recap

Mark A. Morin

The 10th running of the HUZZAH! wargaming convention was held last month from May 17th-19th in Portland, Maine.  It was ably run by the Maine Historical Wargamers Association.  There were a lot of games, including some run by friends from both the Maryland -based H.A.W.K.’s (Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers) and the Historical Gaming Club of Uxbridge (Massachusetts).  Several members of the Mass Pikemen were also in attendance.  I missed the sign up to run a game, but I was nevertheless happy to make the trek to Maine, attend and play.

As I am catching up on my blogging, and as I did not get a chance to take many pictures of games that I was not involved in, this post will focus on the five games that I did participate in at the convention.  It will hopefully give a flavor of the games, and my experience – however slim compared with all the events that were run there.

Game 1  – “The Enchanted Valley; Rules – Blood & Swash/Thunder & Plunder

The first game was run by Eric Schlegel from the H.A.W.K.’s.  The scenario was “The Enchanted Valley” – a fantasy game in which you had a small squad, and you had to battle GM-run bad guys for treasure and points.  In my case, I had a squad of halflings (hobbits), and the figures were old Grenadier ones from the 1980’s.  I spent the game battling giant armed frogs and goblins, while other players were similarly battling other creatures.  The rules were Blood & Swash/Thunder & Plunder written by two friends of mine, Buck Surdu and Chris Palmer, and were the basis for their later set of rules – G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.   You can read about these and other rules here (just scroll down).

1 The Enchanted Valley

2 The Enchanted Valley
Eric and Vickie await the start of the game
3 The Enchanted Valley
My squad – these are Grenadier halflings from the boxed set Halflings – which was issued in 1980 by Grenadier.  You can read about them here.
4 The Enchanted Valley
My squad stats.
5 The Enchanted Valley
Nice view of the board and some of the players, including Bruce Carson on the left and another H.A.W.K. Duncan Adams on the right.
6 The Enchanted Valley
The frogs I battled.
7 The Enchanted Valley
My hobbit leader dispatched a goblin leader and a few giant ticks.

I fared OK, but did not come out on top.  I think that there were close to 8 or 9 players.   I think that Eric and Vickie ran the game well and it was quite fun.

Game 2  – “Mortwald Under Siege: Zero Hour”; Rules – Warhammer 40K

Many of you who follow this blog are avid 40K players and GW miniature painters.  The minis that you assemble, convert, and paint are truly a sight to see.  Additionally, the terrain is very eye-catching.  Of course, I missed that whole era/genre of wargaming when it launched and as it grew.  I wanted to give this 40K game a shot, and I will likely give the game another shot at some time in the future.  But before I go on, I want to say that the following is not an attack on anyone who loves 40K – it’s just my experience with it at the HUZZAH! convention.

It was the absolute worst gaming experience that I have ever had.  Sorry, but it was.

The terrain was gorgeous, and the figures were well-painted.  The game scenario, unfortunately, had no story or reason as to why anything was there in terms of terrain or figures.  There were two tables next to each other, and mine had several newbies and some experienced players.  A couple of the GM’s were subbing (and admirably trying I will say) for another GM who could not attend.   But hurting their efforts was the fact that there were hardly any cheat sheets or charts available, and those that were were microscopic in font size.  Much of the game was spent figuring out the stats of the different space marine factions by either looking at the rule books or some players using a GW app on their iPads or iPhones.

The players on my side with whom I played also had a similarly negative experience.  What I remember about the game was that a large number of Plague Marines moved in, and over us (whoever we were – the figs were blue and some kind of space marine) with seemingly no way of effectively stopping them.  I don’t remember many strategic of tactical gaming choices we made except to move and take up defensive positions and try to shoot.  Was it balanced or play tested?  Who knows.  My memory of the game includes spending a lot of time looking at other people consulting rule books and devices, interspersed with being overrun by gloppy plague marines.  Oh yeah, there was the conversations on my side with teammates asking WTF multiple times.  I was told by someone I trust that this game was not typical – and that perhaps Kill Team is better.  Again, I’ll keep an open mind, but for beginners this game was definitely was not!  I also want the GM’s to know that we did not hold the experience against them at all – at least I did not.  It’s not easy to be a GM.

8 40k

One of the two tables  – not the one I played on.

9 40k
Table 1
10 40k
Table 1
11 40k
Table 2 – we were defending this side.
12 40k
We came, we were confused about the rules, the scenario…then plague marines wiped us out.

Just to be clear again, I follow several blogs whose authors do a great job on GW stuff.  I mainly tried to play because I have been inspired by their projects.  If you want to see some of their excellent painting and conversions of GW stuff, check out any of the following sites:

These guys give me hope to try 40K again…sometime.  This game finished off Friday at HUZZAH! for me.

Game 3  – “Clash at Palmer’s Island, Chesapeake Bay 1637”; Rules – Feudal Patrol


(as of yet unpublished)

Duncan Adams of the H.A.W.K.’s ran this scenario on Saturday morning.  It featured Marylanders (my side) contesting the “illegal” occupation of Palmer’s Island by Virginians and some Indian allies.  The rules used were Buck Surdu’s soon to be published Feudal Patrol


, a card-based system similar to Combat Patrol


, but for eras/genres with more swords and arrows and matchlocks than modern warfare.  As a huge fan of Combat Patrol


, I was really looking forward to trying the system.  Here, it was a skirmish action.

The game went very well, with the players grasping the game’s concepts very quickly.  Also, I liked the changes on the cards for melee and missile weapons.  Our team’s matchlocks (and troop maneuver) held the day with a major victory.

13 Feudal Patrol
Game set up.
14 Feudal Patrol
Maryland militia move in for the assault.
15 Feudal Patrol
Duncan Adams ably ran this fun game.
16 Feudal Patrol
Virginia had Indian allies – shown here attempting to flank our attack through the woods.  
17 Feudal Patrol
A relief column of Virginians (upper right) kills one Marylander (forefront).  The Virginians are then taken quickly under matchlock fire as they exit the woods.
18 Feudal Patrol
Marylanders take out the Virginian leader as he less than bravely hid in the brush.
19 Feudal Patrol
This became a bit of a scrum afterwards, with casualties mounting and the Marylanders prevailing.
20 Feudal Patrol
Close up of some of the figures and terrain.
21 Feudal Patrol
The Indians made a flanking charge from the woods, but were beaten back.

Game 4  – “Battle of Hannut” with 28 mm tanks; Rules – What a Tanker

I have been very much into playing What a Tanker© by Too Fat Lardies since I attended BARRAGE last year.  I was very psyched to try this scenario, The Battle of Hannut, which happened in Belgium in 1940.  Christopher Boynton ran the game and did an excellent job.  There were 10 or 12 players.  His tanks were 28mm (I prefer 15mm but 28mm are fine and fun).  His tanks and terrain were very well painted.  The terrain and set up were cool as well.  I played on the French side and took a SOMUA.

Interestingly, Christopher had a few changes he made for the game.   First, for activation, he used a card-based system.  Second, he had everyone roll all of their Command Dice at the same time at the beginning of the turn.  Lastly, he allowed you to turn in all your dice for one you wanted if your roll was bad.  The card system was interesting, but really not too different than rolling dice, except that “banking” a six from the previous turn got you an additional card for activation that could be better than what you would have gotten.  I’m not sure I like all players rolling all the Command Dice at the beginning – it allows you to see what your adversary can do before you take your turn.  You also get to choose which Command Dice you lose if you take damage.  The house rule on converting all your dice into one desired action was interesting, but I would not add that as it helps damaged tanks too much.  It was different, but consistent for all players.

My SOMUA moved up quickly and was the target for no less than four German Panzers.  My armor absorbed the hits, but eventually my tank was knocked out – with the crew surviving.  I respawned as a new SOMUA, and rammed a Panzerjager 1.  The game ended there.  We achieved a minor victory for the French.  Thanks to Christopher for running a superb and fun game.

22 WaT Battle of Hannut
The Battle of Hannut set up.
23 WaT Battle of Hannut
My SOMUA attracts a lot of German attention (upper right).
24 WaT Battle of Hannut
Eventually, my SOMUA was knocked out.
25 WaT Battle of Hannut
Late in the game, I got to ram a Panzerjager I with my second SOMUA, doing minor damage to the German.  Christopher Boynton used the flame markers as “ACQUIRED” markers.

Game 5  – “Test of Honour Returns to Hanghai”; Rules – Test of Honour

The last game for Saturday was “Test of Honor Returns to Hanghai” using Mike Paine’s wonderful and extensive Hanghai tabletop.  Ted Salonich and Ryan MacRae split GM responsibilities as Chris Rett was unable to attend.  They did a marvelous job running the Test of Honour rules by Grey for Now Games.

I also finally got to game with Mike Paine, a true legend in the New England gaming community.  We were teams of three, and Mike faced off with us.  We had a back and forth, but in the last couple of turns we were beaten back soundly.

Thanks again to Ted and Ryan for running a fun game.

26 Test of Honor
Ryan (standing on the left) getting set up, while Mike Paine and his team wait for the game to start on Mike’s table.
27 Test of Honor
Mike Paine’s board is so much fun.
28 Test of Honor
Final scrum on the island – we were soon pushed back.

Game 6  – “Returning to Hanghai”; Rules – Mike Paine’s home brew rules

On Sunday morning, I had the chance to finally try Mike Paine’s Hanghai game.  It is a 1920’s pulp game, and it is a big hit at a convention with both young and old.  It was pretty much the same table as what we played Saturday night, but there were ships and planes and many other cool things all scattered everywhere.  The amount of work that went into the table is staggering.  You have to see it to appreciate it.

I took a naval crew in a gunboat – and I had a submarine.  My leader was Captain Nemo.  The goal of the game was to grab treasures and key items.  I was playing next to Eric Schlegel, and I decided to try to eliminate the competition, which led to counter-fire, with Eric getting the better of the exchange.  I ended up with only a submarine and one sailor, so with a long drive back home, I surrendered my sub to Eric with Mike Paine’s blessing.

Truly an epic game to try!  Thanks to Mike Paine!

29 Hanghai
My crew and gunboat.
30 Hanghai
Eric Schlegel’s forces return fire on me.
31 Hanghai
Mike Paine – master of Hanghai game.
32 Hanghai
The game attracted a lot of players, young and old.  The amount of terrain is unbelievable.
33 Hanghai
View of the harbor.
34 Hanghai
My gunboat and Captain Nemo – before Eric shot them all.

This was my first HUZZAH! but hopefully not my last.  By my count there were 117 games over the three day weekend, so this is a very small sample.  Thanks to the folks of the Maine Historical Wargamers Association for running a classy convention!

If you have any thoughts or feedback, please let me know below.  Thanks for looking!

from Mark A. Morin
from Tumblr


Crystal Formations: Bones 4 “Darkreach” Translucent Figures

Chris Palmer

   This past week I also painted the translucent Crystal Formations from the Bones 4 Darkreach Expansion Set.    They seemed like a nice quick side project to work on while I painted other stuff.
    I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.   I then glued the largest to a black primed 1" fender washer,  and the two smaller to 7/8" black primed fender washers, with Aleene’s Tacky glue.  I then glued the washers to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue each.

To begin, I gave the crystals all a wash with some thinned Iron Wind Metals “Purple” ink.   When dry, I painted one facet on each crystal point with some Folk Art “Color Shift” Purple Flash".   I then gave one facet on each of the crystals’ shafts, located opposite the side of the point I just painted, a wash with a mix of Vallejo Game Ink “Black” mixed with some of the “Purple” ink.
    When the ink had dried, I painted the bases with Americana “Neutral Grey”, and when dry, I gave the bases a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the based with some Folk Art “Platinum Grey”.
       I let the crystals dry overnight and the next day I gave them a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Once again I decided not to spray varnish these as I have had some issues in the past with the translucent figures getting a little tacky after a while.   So, to finish up,  I painted the crystals with Americana “DuraClear Gloss” varnish to give them a nice shine.

     I’m really happy with these.  The addition of the color-shift paint really makes an interesting and somewhat realistic looking reflective pattern.

via All Bones About It
from Tumblr


BARRAGE Is Just Over 3 Months Away!

BARRAGE, the HAWKs regional miniatures gaming con held annually in Havre De Grace, MD, is now just over 3 months away! It’s time to mark your calendar for the weekend of September 27-28, start thinking about your travel plans and, if you’re a GM, what game you might like to run. Be sure to bookmark our website, so you’ll be all set when we open for game submission and registration next month. We’re looking to make this year the best ever!



Vintage Historicon Programs from ’84 & ’86

Chris Palmer        I was doing some cleaning and came across these old programs from the ‘84 and ’86 Historicon conventions.    I decided I didn’t need to keep them anymore, so took some photos to list them on eBay.  Since I had the photos, I thought I’d share them here, since there are probably other old-timers like me who would enjoy seeing them.

Click any photo to see it larger.

via One More Gaming Project
from Tumblr


Expanding the French Revolution Project, Part 3

Rob Dean

As I started into the work week, I had the basic colors down on all twelve figures, but had done the final detail work on just one.  I reached yesterday evening with all 9 troopers done, and the three command figures remaining. 

Nine troopers completed this week

I finished up the officer and the fifer without too much trouble this morning, and that just left me with the flag.  I haven’t done a historical British flag in quite a while, and I hoped it was going to be similar to the flags I’d done for the French and Indian War.  This turned out to be true, so I had the choice of doing the King’s Color (a Union Jack with a wreath and the number) or the Regimental Color, a flag of the facing color with a Union Jack in the canton and a wreath and number, and chose the latter, to keep my straight lines down to short ones.  A quick internet search turned up a site with a picture, fortuitously, of the flag patterns of the 37th Regiment.  Of course, it turns out that there was a picture because it was special, but that specialness wasn’t too hard to paint.  The 37th is one of the Minden regiments, and the wreath on their flag afterward includes roses intertwined with thistle flowers.

The flag, after a little recreational vexillogy

 By lunchtime, I had everything based and sprayed with a varnish coat, and there we have it: The first reinforcements to this project since 2006, if my painting records are correct.  I’m not sure if that sets a new personal record for longest time between things painted for a project, but it does, at least make it look like painting a dozen units or so by next May is merely ambitious, not impossible.

And done!

via The Sharp End of the Brush
from Tumblr