Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Terrain and stuff

It's over a month since my last post, and a busy month it has been. The family took advantage of cheap camper vans and we went to Northland for the school holidays. More on that later.
Wargaming wise, I've done a little bit of painting, but not as much as I would have liked. I've done quite a bit of terrain stuff though, so here comes the catch up.
I bought Infamy Infamy for the Gallic Wars, and although the figures aren't painted, I've prioritised terrain. So you can see below my hayfields, roads, marshes and Gallic homesteads. Also, half of the river - I've run out of Woodland Scenics 'realistic' water for the second half at the moment.
The new terrain collected together

Closer look at the Gallic homesteads with Renedra wattle fencing and resin buildings from Caliver Books' battlefield buildings range.

Change of period - we'll put a stone bridge over the river and march some Marlburians over it. 

The view from this direction gives a better of the effect of the realistic water. I feel it could do with being deeper...
C3P-0 and R2-D2

Death Troopers. An experiment of putting black contrast paint over a blue undercoat. It needed two coats, but pretty much worked.

General Veers

Taun Tauns for Craig.

I also painted a platoon of Goums for Chris and some villains and gangs for the Superheroes, but haven't taken any photos of them.

Northland is one of the more historic places one could choose to go in New Zealand, and our trip started with a detour to Ruapekapeka pa, the last battle of the Northern War in 1845-6. The rangatira Kawiti and 4-500 Nga Puhi warriors faced off against about 1300 British troops in a fortified position. It would have to be one of the best preserved of the battle pa left in New Zealand, which isn't saying much unfortunately. The gun pits and bunkers are still in place, although weather has taken its toll. I took photos of my daughter next to the 'holes in the ground' as a reference for how impressive the earthworks are.

Information board at the entrance  next to the car park.

Campaign map information board

Plan of attack information board

Looking toward the pa from the forward British position. It is the flat green area just behind the treeline.

The family at the gate after going down and then up a hill

At the pa - a carronade.

Number 1 daughter next to a bunker

Standing next to some of the entrenchments

Hopefully this gives an idea of their depth.

The Pou Whenua at the pa. A modern construction.

Walking back down the hill of the pa you can see the British forward and main positions in the centre of the photo.

Ruapekapeka is about 5 minutes off the main road between Whangarei and Paihia, and well worth a visit.
Flagstaff hill

The above is the flag pole that Hone Heke cut down multiple times - thus starting the Northern War (OK, there may be a bit more to it than that, and this is the replacement, not the original, but you get the idea).
We went to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, but my phone was out of battery, so no photos sorry. I highly recommend a visit though.
Hongi Hika's pa in modern Keri Keri

If you don't know anything about Hongi Hika, let's just say he made a name for himself throughout the North Island, becoming famous or infamous depending on where you live. Here is Rotorua I have seen him compared to Hitler (then again, what is an article without a sensational headline)! 
The Keri Keri Mission station and then general store - the oldest stone building in New Zealand. They had some Regal Enterprises 54mm New Zealand Wars toy soldiers for sale. I didn't buy any. Very restrained.

The lighthouse at Cape Reinga. The top of the North Island. 

Cape Reinga is quite a spiritual place (and that doesn't mean I'm about to open an aromatherapy shop). The legends say that the spirits of deceased Maori dive off the cliff here before heading to Hawaikii. But even without that, there is something about standing at the tip of your country that makes the hairs stand on end just a little bit.
Tane Mahuta - a 2000 year old monstrous Kauri tree.

So there we have the whirlwind sightseeing tour. One of the things about Covid 19 stopping international tourism is that Kiwis were out seeing their country in droves. It was fantastic, and we hope to use the next two sets of holidays to explore more with the kids. The only part of the country I haven't been to are the Wairarapa, Otago and Fiordland, so they are on the target list.

As to inspiration, the trip may have seen me commit to purchasing some Empress Miniatures figures, but more on that later.

I have some Star Wars Legion Wookies and rebel Pathfinders to paint for Craig. Then I aim to paint my armies for Infamy Infamy. Then Wild West Exodus figures for Craig. After that... well, there are plenty of options.


Friday, 26 June 2020


Firstly, a big sorry to the online community for not replying to comments and making comments on other people's blogs. Life has been exceptionally busy recently. Today I am off work with a sore throat (If you are sick, stay at home) and in half an hour I'm off for the joy of a Covid test, which I have confidence will come back negative. New Zealand has done a great job with the pandemic, and aside from those returning home overseas (who are quarantined), we have no new cases being spread within the community. I'm proud of the way we've accomplished what we have, although it has come at an economic cost to our Tourism and Hospitality sectors. 
At any rate, that does give me half an hour to just capture some of the stuff that has been going on in my little hobby world.
First up, I played my first game of Star Wars Legion last Friday night. It went really well, and I have learned plenty. I lost, of course, but I've got a good idea now of how I could improve in the future and a lot of it comes down to simply knowing what different units can actually accomplish on the table.
The TTCombat buildings were built in the weekend. I'm still thinking about how to paint them.

I purchased the Battlekiwi boards for my Superhero gaming, and I am really pleased with them. Here they are above with their base coats sprayed on and the buildings I have in various states of getting ready. Throw in some cars and civilians, and imagine the park with greenery in it, and it will be a nice space to game on.
Painting has slowed right down. I finished the Shore-troopers and the Occupier tank for my Imperials, but nothing since. I can't see it getting any better over the next fortnight, although I hope I can fit in Craig's Tauntauns.
The Shoretroopers were painted with Sorastro's instructions

A mix of traditional techniques and contrast paints.

The Occupier tank is a beast on the table.

My most successful unit last Friday

I've been watching videos about Infamy, Infamy, the new Ancients ruleset by TooFatLardies, and I think I'm a convert from what I've seen of Rich's battle reports. I've always been a fan of the Lardies approach to history, but the games themselves have left me a little cold. A lot of that has been in the number of things I need to remember that leaders of different status can do. It's not a major obstacle, but one that has been counter-intuitive to a lot of the games I've played. I'm determined to stick it out this time, though, and I've preordered the rules and begun reorganising my Romans and Gauls. Who knows, maybe I'll pick up Dux Brittaniarum and Sharpe Practice too?

OK, better go and have my brains poked out.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

First phase of commission complete

I'm pretty impressed with myself. I set this weekend as the due date to complete Craig's 15mm Flames of War Germans and I succeeded!
Support elements for the Heer forces that I completed a while back

Plenty of Panzerschreks in there.

The officers look suitably Teutonic

Those mortars are huge

And Germans aren't Germans without Hitler's buzzsaw.
Altogether 64 figures painted.
One of my students has a 3D printer, and he's been printing random things for my classroom this year. I asked him if he wanted to print me some triremes and I'd give him some money towards the plastic. The answer was yes and so far I've taken delivery of 12 triremes. Fantastic! I'm keen to get them painted up, so they are on the paint tray for tonight.
The other project that I'm working on right now is an upgraded cityscape for the Superheroes. I took advantage of Mighty Ape's Queen's Birthday Sale and now have a few TTCombat buildings to assemble. I also ordered an FLG City #1 mat to but it all on, but when it arrived I was really disappointed. The details were dark and blurry, not as crisp as they looked in the photo online. To their credit Mighty Ape have agreed to let me return it, so I can't complain at all about their customer service. As a result I cast around and discovered BattleKiwi's MDF urban boards. So I've ordered a 3' x 3' layout of them instead. Stay tuned, I aim to be playing a few Superhero games as soon as they are finished!


Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Dewback and Scouts

The latest figures to be finished are a Dewback and a unit of Imperial Scouts.
Great character in these models.
 I chose the rider with the modified Lewis gun in homage to my World War One obsession.
Once again I followed Sorastro's advice - wet blending followed by a wash.

The shading on the scouts is a bit too subtle in places. Some just look white.

The black is all Citadel Contrast Black Templar.
It took two evenings to get these guys painted, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Techniques like wet blending and using contrast paints are great fun.


Friday, 29 May 2020


Most of this week I spent painting 15mm Goums for Chris, but I also managed to finish off some heroes for Mortal Gods Mythic. These aren't the official figures, which are lovely, but some Black Tree Figures I had lying around. A bit of a different paint job and they became my Argonauts.
The Argonauts, with Hylas at the front

I painted this hero as an old guy, but I might do a bit of conversion work and turn him into Orpheus.

And this is Jason in his white cloak.
 I had some leftover transfers from the Successors so put them on some of the shields. Unfortunately, the Black Tree shields are pretty much oval, and the transfers didn't entirely fir, so they have been painted to take up the whole shield. One Argonaut group has their shields entirely painted - the ones with the tridents.

Supply dump
I also painted up this supply dump for Marlburian and 30 Years War games. Can never have enough terrain!


Sunday, 24 May 2020

Success with the Successors

Yesterday I painted the bases on the last figures for Craig's Successor army. So I think it might be time for a parade.
Pointed pachyderm on the left flank

More points - the phalanx covered by peltasts

Led by the strategos, the Companion cavalry prepare to scythe through the oppostion

The three syntagmoi in a row.

The full army
I have a late Republican Roman army to put together as opposition, but it was great to complete these guys for Craig. The units are expensive in terms of points - the phalanxes suck up a lot given their size - but the Romans are high cost too, so the armies look relatively small.

I'm just painting up my Argonauts for Mortal Gods and then it will be some 15mm Flames of War figures for other people. I haven't painted any 15mm for a while, and I have to say I'm not really looking forward to it - 28mm has really become my default scale now.


Sunday, 17 May 2020

Spanish town so far

The church is finished, bar a couple of little additions that I will get to when I have the chance to find the necessary accessories.

At the same time this building was completed:
So the Spanish village so far has 8 buildings and looks like this:
And if you add in the walled farm bases that I built, it looks like this:

I have more buildings planned, but they will probably be a couple of months away in the next school holidays.
The final touches of drybrushing were also put to the Great War building.

Right. Back to school tomorrow and back to evening painting sessions - I have plenty to get on with starting with the last of the Successors.