Sunday 29 June 2014

Ork Codex 7th Edition

Just bought the Ork codex. The £30 price is very Wallethammer but to be fair it is colourful and over 100 pages.

The layout is completely different: the army list plus options is now combined with the unit description which seems sensible.

One problem has surfaced. The Mek description refers the reader to the Mek Weapons list but I can't find one. Hmmm. Well my Mek has a kustom blasta and will still have one. So there.

A Lord of battle slot is available to a normal detachment so I get to field my Stompa. Thraka is now a Lord of Battle, incidentally.

More when I've digested.

Onward, upward.

Saturday 28 June 2014

Black Powder: Sudan Battles

There are so many good 1/72 toy soldier figures available for the Battles of the Mahdist Revolt in the Sudan that it just cries out to be wargamed at this scale.

The Mahdist revolt was near identical to the ISIS revolt today with the same viciousness and fanaticism. It also occurred in an ex Ottoman Colony, or to be more exact a colony of an ex Ottoman colony.

Every so often, I like to get one of my armies on parade. Today it is the turn of the Sudan combatants.

It is dark today so I have had to use flash which is less than satisfactory. It is difficult to get any depth of focus so I have taken a few shots from different angles using bounce off the back window.

I use Priestley & Johnson's (sounds like a firm of dodgy undertakers) Black Powder Rules. I was put off Peter Pig's Patrol in the Sudan rules by the review by Clint in Anything but a One. Peter Pig Rules tend to be highly specific, which kinda restricts what one can use them for.

Black Powder is way more general but has a rules 'tool kit' to tailor types of troops so that they show the characteristics of their historical counterparts.

Even so, one has to use house rules to cover gun boats, and the Dervish ability to hide huge blocks of men in wadis that close at great speed through crummy terrain. British troops were instructed to treat Ansar infantry as cavalry to counter this.

These are the British troops that I have painted so far. On the left flank a cavalry brigade with two regiments of Hussars and one of Abyssinian mounted infantry supported by two batteries from the Royal Artillery.

In the British centre is a Brigade of infantry, two regiments of British light infantry and three of Indian, two small, supported by two batteries of machine guns and skirmishers from the Naval Brigade.

The British right wing has two battalions of the Camel Corps supported by a gunboat: a navigable river is a useful bit of terrain for the latter.

And here are the Mad Mahdi's men - who don't like it up them!

A 'brigade' of Baja led by Osman Digna, the only Mahdist general who understood modern warfare, consisting of two units of camels and two of infantry, one large, supported by two batteries of captured Egyptian guns whose crews have been 'persuaded' to man them.

The rest of the army forms a single brigade of Arab/Sudanese consisting of two unis of Ansar, one large, and two units of Jihadya riflemen. The Mad Mahdi banned his Ansar from using un-Islamic weapons such as firearms - what was good enough for the prophet etc. Two units of Baggara on Camels completes the brigade.

'Course, both armies are works in progress. I have boxloads of stuff unpainted. My next units will be some British Highlanders, some more Egyptian infantry, a few Bashi Bouzaks and so on.

So little time, so many models.


Spring in Kent

The spring flowers are doing well this year.

Gladius Bases: Your School Girls Have Arrived

This is Mik who owns Gladius Games. He sells, amongst other things, an amazing line of value-for-money, nicely modelled resin bases. They are nicely flat on top so you can actually stick models on top.

I took this photo at the Sittingbourne show where he greeted me with the immortal line: "the schoolgirls you fancied are now in stock".

I replied, "Have you met my wife?"

But yes, I do rather like the look of 7TV's St Trinian's models.

Friday 27 June 2014

Mahdist Standard.

Came across this interesting bit of 'loot' at the Royal Engineers Museum. It's a Mahdist standard in colours of copper and gold.


Popped over to Godingstone at the weekend for tea and scones. The garden is famous for Dephinium flowers so I took a pic on my 'phone.

Thursday 26 June 2014

Beasts: Early 'Elephant'

A resin model of an early elephantiforme from the family Gomphothereidae.

Gomphothereidae were around from the Oligocaene to the Pliocaene and were the first of the elephant ancestors to look like an elephant. They weren't quite as big as later elephatiformes but  Palaeomastodon, below, stood about two metres tall.

These ancient mammals are very suitable for pulp and steampunk games and make a welcome change from dinosaurs. They also look good in SF and Fantasy games.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

IHMN: Captain The Honourable Price-Waterhouse, Naval Brigade

Another of Warlord's Rorke's Drift models.

The Perfect Ale for Playing Britannia

May I suggest Kent's Boudicea Ale to refresh commanders of the Celtic Armies in games of Britannia or just those planning to burn London to the ground, a strongly flavoured pale ale for strongly flavoured tribesmen.

Leave all that weeny weedy weaky wine to the Continentals. Pah!

Tuesday 24 June 2014

IHMN: Hell in the Sudan

"It was hell in the Sudan, I tell you, Fotheringay. As if the heat and the flies weren't bad enough, my batman ran out of single malt and had to fill my canteen with blended Scotch."

Model from the Warlord Rorke's Drift range.

Saturday 21 June 2014

Happy Summer Solstice

Today is the longest day, the summer solstice.

I took this photo back in the mid 70s, when I parked my car by Stonehenge just off the A303 while travelling between Newquay and West London.

It is a scanned 35ml slide taken with a Russian manual SLR camera. I decided not to clean it up but just leave it as it was when scanned.

Wargames Foundry Dad's army

I have just purchased a box of Warlords new Dad's Army so I have decided to sell off my trusty old Foundry models on eBay.

The Vicar's trousers are a bit chalky but apart from that these aren't bad models. Still one must be ruthless.

Friday 20 June 2014

England World Cup Bid - Excitement Mounts

Bolt Action Dad's Army - The North Kent Coast

I took this photo at lunchtime today outside the Tate Gallery overlooking Margate Harbour on the Isle of Thanet, North Kent Coast. Turner described the light at Margate as the best in the world for an artist.

For the wargamer the interest lies in the fact that this was the Sealion invasion zone. You are looking west towards London but this Bay is the one that inspired the BBC's Dad's Army series (see new Warlord figures).

The towns in the distance are Westgate (=Eastgate as in the Eastgate platoon) and Birchington-on-Sea (= Walmington on Sea - Walmer Castle is a few miles away and the name of Walmington-on-Sea is a composite).

In the centre is the light house that you may remember Captain Mainwearing's boys guarding. There are many modern novelty rock emporiums to the immediate left of the picture on Margate seafront - and a wargame shop.

Bolt Action: Franco-Belgian Platoon

This is the full Franco-Belgian platoon. I dug the Belgians out from under the bed where they had gone to ground. All models are Warlord Games.

I could do with a French 75mm howitzer, and maybe another Belgian section (Ardennes heavy infantry possibly), and maybe a Belgian anti-tank gun and, uh, .........

Bolt Action: French Platoon

Finished my reinforced French platoon. Well, when I say finished, I mean finished until I buy some more models - :)

Haneeeway, I intend to play them with my Belgian police militia -hence the extra R35.

Lt Guy de Monsour has coopted a British WAAC as a 'medic' - bloody Latin lovers.

Thursday 19 June 2014

Wolf In Shadow

I received the author copies of the mass market paperback version of Wolf In Shadow that are going on sale on the 22nd July in the USA and then globally.

There is something very satisfying about seeing the physical book.

Sunday 15 June 2014

IHMN: Masters of the Desert

My Fida'in team is finished. I have added five jihadiyya (African riflemen), courtesy of Mik Hollands who gave me a Perry Madist sprue, and an air djinn.

Now I have to work out some stats.

London Sunset

Took this picture outside my house Friday night. I live in one of the outer suburbs to the east south east of the centre of London. We often get great sunsets as the light filters through the air pollution over the London basin.

Desert Rats: Loading

This is a telephone photo of a Royal Engineers Museum diorama of the 7th Armoured being loaded up for Normandy.

Friday 13 June 2014


Elite Stormtroopers of the Alex Salmond Borderers  stand by to repel invaders from The Chipping Norton Murdoch Commando.

Eat your heart out, VBCW fans.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Bolt Action: VBCW: The World's First Tank Destroyer.

The British Medium Mark C would have been the standard British tank of late 1918. It looked much like other WWI rhomboid tanks but that it is misleading. It only had a crew of four and could be steered by one man. It carried machine guns in a fixed turret and a cupola for the commander.

In the event the war ended and only a handful of Medium Cs were built. They were used to quell the Glasgow riots. :)

A Tank Destroyer variant of the Mk C was planned with a long barrelled 6pdr gun and two forward facing MGs for self defence in the turret. This was never built but would have been the world's first specialised tank destroyer.

This is a resin model from Copplestone. I have painted it in Russian colours as I believe some Medium Cs were sent to Russia during the Civil War.

The last four Cs were melted down in 1940, a fate dished out to many WWI survivors.

A great model for interwar and VBCW players.

Tuesday 10 June 2014

40K: Chaos Muties

I dug my Mutie army out. I created this some years ago and have never used it. I think it is time to put it on eBay.

The figures have beastman legs, IG torsos and Pig Iron masked heads.

It's quite a nice little army with a command section, two infantry sections, a heavy weapon section and a Leman Russ tank.

IHMN: Fida'in

Masters of the Desert: my new In Her Majesty's Name Army.

I haven't worked out the stats yet but it consists of The daughter of Hassan, the Old Man of the Mountain, her assassin bodyguards with poisoned fingernails, and a Djin of beasts that she has raised. She is escorted by Lasiqs (Followers) lead by a Rafiq (Companion) on a desert horse.

I need to buy some Perry Sudanese riflemen to round of the force.

Friday 6 June 2014

IHMN: Pterodactyl

As any explorer of remote Amazonian plateaux kno the place is often swarming with extinct beasts like the fearsom pterodactyl,which, as any fule kno, is not a dinosaur.

IHMN: Gypsy Caravan

Cold, soft, dusting skies,
Sweep away the gentle night.
Rich violet brings promises of the dawn-
Glittering stars grow quiet-then are gone.

The lulling whisper of the sand
Silences itself, once again.
Lays dormant and muted at your feet,
Voices submitting to enveloping sleep.

Soon the sun will scream it's rise,
And blaze relentless across empty skies,
Beat down upon empty land;
Beat down upon empty man.

And I'll wait patient-I'll wait for dark ,
Wait for the noise of day to depart-
And in its wake the cocooning reprieve,
Of the endless, satin star-lit sea.

Model by Sarissa, painting by me, poem by CS Ladon.

Thursday 5 June 2014

UK Nuclear Strike Targets.

This is a map showing likely nuclear strike targets in the UK in the 60s and 70s.

The extreme south westerly target is Newquay, where I spent my childhood. From there I went to college and to work in London and after I married we moved to Medway. That's the extreme south east target.

Funnily enough my generation never worried about nuclear war. Nukes had always existed to us and were a short of abstract threat, like the sun going out.

Medway is now a University town offering postgrad degrees in engineering subjects. The colleges are located on what was the naval base.

A Russian mature student was fiddling with a GPS at the Uny when he exclaimed in delight to see the coordinates. Apparently he used to feed targets into the Soviet missiles buy never knew where they were.

Now he did.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

25th Anniversary: Tiananmen Square Massacre

Extremist Political Ideology Kills

It is the twenty fifth anniversary of the massacre of unarmed peaceful protestors by the Chinese Communist Party. Another addition to the long ignoble record of Marxism, the most murderous ideology of a century of ideological conflict despite the best efforts of the far right to compete.

A plague upon political ideolgues everywhere.

Bolt Action: Jungle Terrain

Had a dig out of whatever jungle terrain I can put together for Bolt Action Burma.

Getting there but a way to go.

Tuesday 3 June 2014

IHMN: Desert Chieftan

My next IHMN will be some sort of Sudanese army. I purchased this little gem from Rochester models, painted by an unknown artist.

He will be the leader.

John Chard's Pistol

This is the pistol used by Lt (later Col) JRM Chard VC,  Royal Engineers, at the Battle of Rorke's Drift.

It is on show at the Royal Engineers Museum in the Medway Towns. He died of cancer and has a memorial at Rochester Cathedral, Medway Towns.

Monday 2 June 2014

Beautiful Kent

Lots of water still around from the unusually heavy rains earlier in the year.

Taken with my Sony 'phone.


Any self respecting pulp-games player needs some dangerous beasts for his heroes to rescue the heroine from - uh - from which to rescue the heroine.

I give you the Sabre-Toothed Tiger, long thought extinct it can still be found in remoter regions of the Americas.

Sunday 1 June 2014

Bolt Action: Russo-Balt Armoured Flak-Wagon

This is a Russo-Balt flak-wagon with an armoured cab from Scheltrum's excellent Shattered Empires range.

This was not an easy model to make. The wheel axles were way to weak and I had to support them with Milliput. I added the side panels from plasticard. The side stabilisers have hinges on the top but nowhere to attach them. They should have the spades flat on the ground but I could not achieve this without using a vehicle base, which would have taken up more space than it was worth so I settled for sticking them to the side panels in a semi-lowered position.

I added the additional side struts that were found on the real vehicle using plastic sprue. The figures are Warlord Blitzkrieg Germans.

On the plus side the model is unusual and looks good when kit-bashed a bit.

Recommended but expect to add some creative input.

Tea Time

Time for afternoon tea, Earl Grey methinks.