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!

Monday, January 28, 2013

17 pdrs

Fresh out of the tub o' flock is a section of Old Glory 17 pounder AT guns from the Divisional AT Regiment to help my WW2 Canadians when faced with German panzer counterattacks.

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I split a bag with Brian giving me a section of 2 deployed guns and one gun being towed.
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The crew are a bag of Peter Pig figures with a couple of spare Battlefront officers.

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The models were much simpler to put together than the ones I painted for the Mad Padre back in 2010. The Old Glory models are two parts; carriage, complete with trails and wheels in one piece and then the gun with shield in another piece. There was a small amount of flash to clean up. The Peter Pig gun crew were quite nice to paint.
I cut the bases from heavy card stock and made them longer than the large Battlefront bases my 6 pounders are on. I didn't like the barrels overhanging and wanted the longer base to protect them from damage.
The Jerry 'Big Cats' now have something more to worry about!

Sunday, January 27, 2013


My first post from the painting bench for 2013 is rather small; a pair of 15mm sniper teams to support my WW2 Canadian infantry company. These are from the Peter Pig pack which gives you 4 teams; two moving and two shooting. Each team with a spotter and a sniper.

Although not on the official Table of Organization, in WW2 each infantry battalion headquarters formed a Scout and Sniper Platoon, commanded by the Intelligence Officer. Although these units did most of their work before the battle, patrolling, intelligence gathering, harassing the enemy and providing guides to bring the rifle companies to their start lines, some sniper teams to support my squaddies when on the defence would be quite appropriate.

snipers 001
I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! provides for snipers in a fairly abstract way. They are annoying and distracting without being too dominating. The figures aren't even necessary to mark their general position, but I like the look of them. I had previously used a pair of prone riflemen in helmets, but I like these fellows in their denison smocks and hessian headwraps, looking very professional and stealthy. The shooter using a sandbag as a rest is a nice touch.

I used 1 1/4 inch fender washers for the bases to set them apart from my rifle stands. This is also my first use of tufts on the bases. I found them as simple to use as the directions say they are, and they give a nice dimension to an otherwise pretty flat base. Plus they help the snipers hide and add to the air of stealth around the vignette.

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showing layout on bases
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German view

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Disappointment. A Review

Well I finally got out to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey today with Mrs. Rabbitman.

I have been looking forward to this movie for years and hoping, like many hobbitheads, that Jackson would take the project on after he finished with Lord of the Rings.

I just wanted a single fun movie, as well done as LOTR. That's all. It's a pretty simple tale, so one 3 hour movie is all you'd need right?

Then rumours came out about it being turned into two movies and I started to worry. Then I heard about the 3D and HFR (High Frame Rate) and got really worried. Would a good tale be lost in the movie tech?

I just wanted to see it in 2D at the normal speed, thanyouverymuch, we don't need anysillinessaroundhere! Plus I already wear eyeglasses, I didn't want to put 3D glasses overtop.

Alas it was not to be. The conventional screenings were limited and by the time my calendar cleared enough to go they had dried up. 3D HFR it was going to be.

My feelings after seeing it are a hearty Meh.

I liked the way they did the dwarves (although Thorin's beard was not long enough). I didn't mind the expansion of Radagast from a footnote to a comic character. Freeman's Bilbo was pretty good too. The treatment of the Necromancer, Saruman's duplicity and the poisoning of Mirkwood were well done.

I found however that there were too many scenes where they were showing off the 3D (do we need a panoramic shot of Bilbo running across Hobbiton?) and the HFR made everything look fake.

When I watch The Lord of the Rings on DVD (the extended director's cut of course) on my old TV, I get lost in Middle Earth. While watching The Hobbit I was constantly reminded that I was watching actors on a cheap set. During the scenes in Bag End I kept expecting an Ikea salesman to come on scene and make his pitch! And the scenes in Rivendell during the White Council just looked like a stage set for a BBC television production. In too many shots the layers were too obvious.

I also got tired of our heroes sliding about on out of control platforms and crashing from great heights onto rocks without getting hurt. Once is OK, but don't over do the gag. And then after all that Thorin gets cuffed by a warg and is mortally wounded? Really? REALLY? C'mon, he's tougher than that!

And what was up with the Goblin King's rather mellow voice? Had he gone to Eton? Was it Stephen Frye?

I guess I'll live with my disappointment. I will still buy the extended DVD when it comes out and see the next two installments. But it's not anywhere near as good as LOTR.

A very good movie got lost behind all the technology. Very disappointed.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hotlead 2013

Well it's high time to start gearing up for the highlight of the Spring wargaming calendar; Hotlead 2013! This year it will be held on 22, 23 and 24 March at the very commodious Arden Park Hotel in picturesque Stratford Ontario.
Once again I am looking for game masters. Any MINIATURE wargaming event is open for consideration. Things are tight for tournaments however, as those take up a lot of table space for the number of participants. The Game Master gets in free. IF the event is rather large (8+ players) and/or logistically bulky I will consider an assistant GM too.
If you want to run a game and be like all the cool kids then what I need form you are:
Name of the event
Period/Genre of game
How many players
Table size (5x6, 5x8, 5x12 etc.)
Time slot: Friday evening, Sat AM Sat aft Sat Evening, Sunday
Scale/rules (people like to know this when signing up)
A BRIEF synopsis of the scenario (we don't need a history essay or detailed over view of your rules, I'm just going to edit that stuff down)
Any special requirements
Put the above info into an email with the subject line "Game for Hotlead 2013" or "Event Listing for Hotlead 2013".
Again this year I'm hoping to offer over 50 events covering all scales and periods of miniature mayhem; air, land, sea and space, historical, fantasy and SF, 1:6000th scale to 28mm, Pulp adventures and skirmishes to big battles. If it involves miniatures I'd like to see it on offer.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Recap

For the last couple of years I've taped to my shelves, in view of where I paint, James' painting line up for the coming year, so I can keep track of projects and commissions and get a small sense of accomplishment when I cross something off.

I guess it's a plan, sort of.

wyrd sisters 004
This year I haven't managed to cross off a lot of things. I didn't get any progress on my 28mm ancient Romans. No new 28mm Colonial units figures painted either. No Medievals except for finishing the three witches (who weren't on my list). I did get some paint on some 28mm Russians, but then got distracted. And the less said about my piles of 15mm ancients, the better.

But I think the things I did cross off are pretty significant. Plus my focus on terrain has paid some dividends.

My Medieval village is looking pretty good now:
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And finally getting a Pathan hill fort built after many years dreaming about it, was gratifying:
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This even featured in some games as I start trying to learn Sharp Practice and apply it to the North West Frontier.

The blown bridge for my WW2 games was simple but dramatic and gave a nice focal point for a fun game:
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The singly based orchard trees were time consuming to produce, but have filled an important gap in my terrain (seen here in a game):
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The only major things left on my terrain list are getting some white fleece for winter terrain, some teddy bear fur to make wheat fields and churches; 15mm Italian, plus Norman and central European churches for WW2 and the SYW. A 28mm parish church for my Medieval figures would be nice too.

Figure wise I did make some good strides on my 15mm Fallschirmjaeger with a second rifle platoon, Company HQ platoon and some supports.
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Totally unplanned was the expansion and upgrading of my 15mm WW2 Canadian armour from 2 troops to a full squadron:

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Building up my SYW baggage trains was also fun:
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Now I just need to get my Sherman squadron and SYW baggage into some games. I suppose getting some more Austrians painted up will help with that. But the Fallschirmjaeger have been played with and I did get a good game of Hail Caesar in during the summer with Dan.
Viking left gets overrun
Hotlead was pleasantly successful and I see it's time to start planning for Hotlead 2013.
Starting up J&M Miniatures was serendipitous and not part of any plan. It has taken up time but it has been a fun learning experience, and getting some toys wholesale has been nice too.
I was feeling rather down about this year, mainly because the past few months have been a bust gaming wise, but I see looking back over last year's blog posts that I did do a lot, even if it wasn't to a plan.
So I'm just going to change the date on James' Painting Line-Up and carry on trying to paint and play more. I'll keep pushing forward on the WW2 and SYW. I've got loads of SYW Austrians, plus a few more platoons of WW2 Germans and Canadians in the box. I'll try and get some Napoleonics and War of the Roses figures done as well and maybe build myself some churches.
I think that's enough ambition for one year.