In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sneak peek: Warlord Zulus!

A couple of sprues of Warlord Games new Zulu warriors showed up in my mailbox the other day.

Here are some sprue shots:
Married warriors front

Married warriors back

Unmarried warriors front

Unmarried warriors back
They sent me one sprue of each of the married and unmarried warriors. Each sprue will make four figures. One half of the sprues are the same on both, then the other half is unique, giving you 6 different bodies and 15 different heads. There are a variety of arms with moulded in weapon options. The option for the rifle firing figure has both arms moulded onto the rifle, which is nice. I remember trying to glue together the Wargames Factory British infantry with two separate arms and the separate rifle, making it awkward to line everything up in the way you'd like. The details on the shields, loin cloths and weapons are nicely sculpted and the positioning of the figures is such that there isn't any smudging of detail where the halves of the mould meet. As you can see the torsos are nicely animated giving a dynamic looking iButhu when they're all done.

Foodie Road Trip

Whenever we went to London to pick up bunny supplies, we always stopped in at Angelo's Bakery and Deli to buy some of their fabulous bread and of course, tea snacks. Unlike many grocery store bakeries which just use the same dough in different shapes, Angleo's breads actually taste different and they have some wonderful varieties such as potato, olive and corn breads. When they closed last winter we were quite upset and wondering if we'd ever taste olive bread or their herb-cheese sticks again. About a month ago I had learned from one of the Sales Reps that calls on the Buy Food that Angelo's had reopened in London at the old location.
Road trip!
As soon as my Snugglebunny and I had a Friday afternoon off together we were motoring down to stock up on bread and get some baklava.

While there we admired their smartly displayed imported foods on stylish wooden shelving. The deli counter was long and gleaming. The produce displays were clean, neat and the produce was fresh and crisp. The staff were friendly and helpful. Everything was bright, shiny and up-scale.

We then went around the corner to the Indo-Asian Grocery and Spice Market.

It's tucked in the side of a strip mall. The shelves are pretty industrial. Most of the refrigerator displays didn't have lighting. The water heater was sitting against the wall in the side aisle in between the cheese and bulk ginger. In one corner was a section for Hindu devotional accessories; incense, statues of assorted deities etc.. (Of course Angelo's had a display of Padre Pio devotional candles too.) But it has a wonderful selection of exotic spices and imported ingredients for anyone interested in exploring Indian cooking.

We found some interesting frozen samosas. Some of the varieties on offer required deep-frying, but the ones we bought were, as the box cheerfully states, 'ovenable'. The price, at $2.49 for 8 fat samosa plus tamrind sauce, was pretty reasonable.

We also found a 450g block of paneer cheese for only $4.99. We've made our own paneer at home and considering how much milk is required, this was a steal.

Snugglebunny wants to go back after she's had a chance to peruse her Indian cookbooks to make a list of spices she's missing.

This week she used the paneer to make Anupy Singla's sag paneer recipe in the slow-cooker. See my earlier post about her book here.

Sag paneer is curried spinach with chunks of paneer cheese. Anupy's recipe is extremely hot. We thought too hot, although having it the second night with some plain roast chicken helped. Next try Snugglebunny will tone down the peppers. The samosas turned out really nice with an excellent potato and veg filling.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

More Fallschirmjaegers (but not for me!)

Peter Pig MG42 teams moving
Here's what I've been working on this fall. I finally got these fellows done for a very patient friend. He only gave them to me about this time last year and they've been slowly making their way up the queue. (Of course a lot of people gave me commissions last fall/winter/spring.) The group is the finishing bits he needs to complete his 15mm WW2 German FJ battalion. Mortar platoon, MMG platoon, pioneers and enough riflemen and LMG teams to finish his rifle platoons off.
Mostly PP riflemen with auto rifles
The figures were mostly Peter Pig and a few Old Glory. 
Pioneers w/mines on the left and flamethrower on the right
My friend wanted a hodgepodge look, so I used colours for the smocks and pants suitable for both Italy and NW Europe (tan, camo beige and field grey). A few grey and desert tan helmets as well were mixed in with the camouflaged. The camo on all smocks was Vallejo 'Reflective Green' and 'Camo Brown' from their Flames of War "German" paint set.
Peter Pig LMG teams
I had hoped to fit a platoon's worth of my own FJ into the batch, but 80+ figures was enough to work on! And since my BOTC set me behind in painting this fall I didn't want to hold things up anymore than I had too.

Next up:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Breaking the Fast

So as previously stated I finally got some of the boys together for a game of Hail Caesar last night. I wasn't sure if Dan was bringing some troops so I left the scenario until the last minute. But the gifted temple prompted me to say "I think the Goths should try and loot it, don't you?"
A town was assembled mid-table. an army of Goths has penetrated the frontier and invaded northern Italy. A field army is marching to intercept them.

The town of Cuniculus basks in the Mediterranean sunshine
The Romans had a large force of cavalry with a few cohorts of lanciari skirmishers, sent as an advance guard.
Roman center

Roman left and center
The Goths with some allied Huns, came on from the other end.
Gothic center
Dan usually does really quite badly with any sort of cavalry. But not last night. Initially both centers held back due to bad command rolls, while both sides wings swept forward to engage around the town.

My Huns got the worst of things. The Roman heavy equites got tired of the skirmishing and charged home:
Notice the accumulated hits (red chits)? Notice my abysmal roll for the Break Test? The resulting Sweeping Advance gave the same result on the second unit of Huns.

Meanwhile the Gothic right wing under Mike was doing the same to the Roman left commanded by Patrick:

I tried to save things and with some good command rolls I was able to swing my center and charge into the flank of the Roman right wing. However, the target of my charge sensibly evaded, leaving my Gothic bucellari to careen into the midst of a swarm. They hit the flank of some lanciari, but crossed the front of some Roman LC who joined in with a certain gusto.
Gothic nobles stick their head into a bag of bees
The Roman heavy cavalry then started counterattacking, smashing into the flank of one of my supporting warbands. And by this time the Roman center had marched through the town to deploy on the edge of it facing my center which was in considerable disarray and suffering some bruises.

The Gothic king thought it prudent to ask for terms and join the Roman army.

Figures are 15mm and quite a mix of Essex, Old Glory, Chariot and Viking Forge. We accidently used inches instead of centimeters which got us into contact pretty damn fast. And I messed up a few things, but fun was still had by all.

A Gifted Temple

Broke my gaming hiatus last night with a small game of Hail Caesar. Upon arrival, my buddy Dan gave me a nice little temple for my 15mm armies.

It started out as a brass mantel piece decoration that someone probably brought home from a holiday in Greece or Italy. My friend's dad picked a pair of them up at a garage sale! My buddy removed them from their marble base and gave them a coat of paint.

Here it is beside the purpose made gaming model I got year's back from Miniature World Maker:
Quite the contrast. The one on the left is solid brass. The one on the right is hollow rubber! But they work well together I think.

And what is late antiquity without ruins of ancient glory?
A few years back I benefited from Dan's experimentation. The ruin on the right is made from washers and fluted wooden pegs that carpenters use to pin pieces together. The low bits of broken wall are I think match sticks.

So by adding in some buildings I made for my WW2 Italian games, I've been able to accumulate a nice little town for my Romans:
The little farm house and the big building with the three arches I made from card stock. The other two buildings are resin cast Bring and Buy finds.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bacon Marmalade

We saw this in our local Zehr's the other week and were intrigued:
That's right; bacon marmalade. It's part of the Loblaw's group's new 'black label' upmarket private label range of gourmet foods.

It's an orange marmalade with balsamic vinegar (from Modena, because everything is posher if it's from Italy), sauteed onion and bacon bits added. Very interesting flavours with it's sweet and tangy marmalade juxtaposed against the smoky salty bacony goodness.

We're speculating on how it will serve as a glaze for baked chicken breasts. But this morning I just had some spread on a thick heel of my wife's homemade bread for my eleven o'clock tea. Pretty tasty.

Those who espouse the view that anything is made better with bacon are right in this instance.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Olive Oil

We didn't need olive oil right away, but the Mrs. saw this in the store and had to get it:
Notice the brand name.

And some more olive oil won't go to waste.

Although I guess the Duchy of Mantovia should take on a more Mediterranean theme now.