David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Friday, 31 August 2012

An Unusal Month...

Very unusual in fact, in that I did n't buy a single figure during the whole month! I think it must be some sort of record to be honest. I did buy something: a Bordello and the Gallows set, both from Battleflag, for my new Old West town. {If you've not seen them, they are featured in earlier posts this month} I suppose it is an acquisition really, but I also received three more Battleflag buildings as a gift from a kind friend ~ thanks Dan! ~ in return for something I completed for him a while back.
As I result I've been building the newish Undertaker's Building, as it seemed logical after building the Gallows! I've got the basic kit built and the interior and the frontage painted, just have to do the windows and doors and do some base work. Oh, and the bl**dy shingles on the roof too! Its a great kit and a splendid acquisition for New Paddock City. { I've also got the new Frontline resin on order to use inside the building!} In the building queue for post-op time I've got the Photographer's, which I think will be the town's Courthouse, and the large hotel ~ I'm really looking forward to trying that one! I've been thinking of ordering one of the Hot Matz{?} felt base mats for the western games and wondered if anyone had one? Are they recommended is what I'd like to know really?
I have managed some painting amongst all the distractions of health {Sue's} and Hospital appointments {mine}: 68 figures and 21 resin furniture items! The figures were for existing projects: the last Hill Tribesmen from Foundry for the Mutiny; a set of limber and caisson teams for the Union in my ACW games ~ 1st Corps horses, Dixon crew and Foundry limbers; and lastly, a new ECW Foote unit, Gell's Foote, using Perry miniatures. I've also started a second ECW unit, Rupert's Bluecoats, but have only got the basic colours on the command stand figures as I type this.
Games wise, I've managed five in August, a respectable total I think given all that's going on around me: two F&IW games, using Sharp Practice; an ECW game using my own ECW rules in development, A Crowning Mercy; and finally, two Indian Mutiny games, using my own The Devil's Wind. How did I get on? I was afraid you might ask that! I drew two and lost three! I think that's three months without a win of any kind! Must be close to a personal record :~/ Oh well... Soon be September! And Partizan!!!!

I thought I was doing so well at that point in the Mutiny game too: then things all went south! Still great fun though, and that's all that matters to me now!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Mutiny at Byklabad

Earlier this week, Jon and I got together for an Indian Mutiny game here in GHQ. Jon elected to take on the command of the Mutineers, leaving yours truly the command of the HEIC and Regular forces. The action centred around a native village to the north of Byklabad in the foothills of the northern mountain ranges.

The buildings are from the splendid Mutineer Miniatures range.
In the distance you can just make out Ranjit Whyt Singh's Native forces.







In the centre the Rajah's Personal Troops threatened the village, while the mutinous infantry, supported by a battery of artillery, secured his left flank.
The figures are mostly from the old Foundry Miniatures range.









The British right was held by Company foot and irregular Sikh horse, whilst Gurkhas and the Gordan Highlanders scaled the hills to the east of the village ~ a mistake as it turned out!





The British left, comprising two Regular regiments, a siege gun and the baggage secured the high ground to the west of the village. Again, all Foundry figures.




Meanwhile, wild Hill Tribes in the Rajah's pay seized the deserted village, supported by the Rajah's personal household troops.



With the Mutineers threatening the British position on the hill, the Gurkhas and Gordans began to withdraw.











The climax of the game: while British cavalry get the upper hand in the background disaster looms for the British Regular regiments in hand to hand combat with the native irregulars!











Although successful in beating off the cavalry's frontal attack, the second regiment was routed by the native infantry ~ the effect of appalling dice on my part for two turns. This lead to the loss of the baggage and artillery in the next turn! A convincing win for the Mutineers. The rules used were my own "The Devil's Wind" and allowed the game to go to eleven turns in about two and a half hours.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Hanging Judge

Well, every Old West town needs the Law, and New Paddock City is no different in that respect to any other town. Here the Law is handed down by Judge Paddock, a "Hangin' Judge" in the best tradition! Of course, to carry out sentence the town needs its own gallows, and, without more ado here are some shots of the town's newest acquisition, a Gallows fit for the Old West...

The gallows is the latest kit from Battle Flag and is very easy to assemble. The working trap door is a nice touch!










The whole town seems to have gathered to witness the villain swing. Tying the hangman's noose in scale was NOT easy, but at the third attempt it was certainly worth it.






The undertaker's hearse is an old GW kit I think, a gift from many years back. In the picture Judge Paddock  'works the crowd', while Rev Jeremiah Bykleigh exhorts the sinner to repent at the eleventh hour...






A final shot of the scene before we draw a veil over the gruesome events of the day...












The MDF kits from Battle Flag are every gamer's dream I would think. All of the parts are accurately and cleanly cut, fitting together with almost no fuss first time. I've painted the interiors and exteriors of seven now and found no warping at all ~ using 'cheap' acrylic paints and old GW ink washes. This Gallows kit is no exception: it benefits from the usual clear illustrated instruction booklet which even I can follow! For the first time its planned to have no visible joints showing, something I know the purists will welcome ~ not that its bothered me I must say before. With this kit, my only problem was in tying the hangman's noose in scale with thin twine. Tricky; although Richard's emailed link to a You Tube demo made it a little easier.
Next up will be the Undertaker's kit ~ logical really. I hope to complete this and post it here before I go into hospital on 7 September { for a total knee replacement} and then move on to the Photographers ~ although I feel that may be my town's Courthouse. That will leave the large Hotel to finish off the assembly of the buildings I already have in stock. I think I have a bad case of  "New, New, Shiny,Shiny Syndrome"!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

New Paddock City 1887

Ever since I was a small child, I've always enjoyed a good cowboy film: from the era of the 9d seats in the 'Saturday Morning Matinee'; through the era of John Wayne movies; to the 'Spagetti Western' genre, and beyond. I decided on a whim, having sold off my 'scratch built' Old West town, to venture back into the Old West and build a new town: New Paddock City, 1887 to be precise. My excuse is that I was beguiled by the wonderful adverts I saw, in magazines and on various Internet sites, for the MDF building range offered by Battle Flag. I've so far assembled, painted and furnished seven of the Battle Flag buildings { and one from the old H G Walls range}. The furnishings are all in resin from Frontline Wargaming and, I think, set off the buildings and figures beautifully. Take the Tour and see what you think...


Homemade 'Town Limits' sign adorned by some skulls from Dixon Miniatures.












The town of New Paddock City as it was early in 1887. 'Boot Hill' in the right foreground was made a long time ago, as was the gallows...









The noon stage rolls into town, passing the offices of the local newspaper, the 'Paddock City Observer Times'.
The stage is a wonderful model from Dixon Miniatures.








The town has a small, but growing, Commercial District to serve the needs of its honest citizens.







The local lawmen, the Twerps, keep the honest citizen safe...or not.







The town's 'Entertainment District' is growing too. "Madame Moustache's House of Pleasure" is opening soon! It seems the Rev Jeremiah Bykleigh is none too happy about that!
The 'Aces High' Saloon is already doing a roaring trade! Sneakin' Pete Sabo faces off with Doc Green!
Well, that's the tour over for now folks! Figures and waggons are mostly from Dixon Miniatures, supplemented by a few from the older Wargames Foundry range. The street detritus is mostly from Hovels nice range of goods.

Madame Moustache's...

I've been working on an addition to New Paddock City for a few days: the Battle Flag 'Bordello'. It's the most ambitious of their kits I've tried so far, especially for someone like me who's not especially gifted in the modelling area of our hobby!

As with my other buildings I've included some interior details from the resin range from Frontline. See what you think.

Friday, 10 August 2012

A Brief Interlude

To add to my recent difficulties my computer has come out in sympathy with Sue, it's poorly too! I shall be unable to post new stuff for a while! Doubly unwelcome as I've managed two Sharp Practise games and painted several ACW Union limber teams. Also, the Bordello for New Paddock City arrived from Battle Flag today! Hope to show it all when "Computer says Yes!"

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Lad with the Lamp?

I should be at Claymore today if things had n't gone t*ts up with Sue's health; as it is, I'm finding the odd moment to myself between nursing and domestic duties to keep things ticking along in GHQ! I've completed four more stands of Bhurpas for the Indian Mutiny games and I'm working on several limber sets for the ACW: horses from 1st Corps, figures from Dixon and limbers from Foundry. Trust me, they'll look OK when they are done. I've even managed to shop at Claymore via long range shopping through Kevin! Thanks Kev!!!
I've also been working on another building from New Paddock City, not a Battle Flag one but an 'old' H G Walls building I received for a Christmas present a while back. The wonderful chaps and chapesses at Frontline once again provided the resin 'furnishings': I can't praise their wonderful service highly enough really. They put together the items I requested from several different sets without so much as a murmur. Excellent service! If you don't know them, give them a look up. So, without more ado: H G Walls, Gunsmith, awaits your custom...

The building has a sloping roof. I actually prefer these to Battle Flag's flat roofs, although 'back shooting ner do wells' often slide off in games!










Let's take a peek inside...
















Rifle racks and filing cabinet from the Sheriff's Office set; safe from the Bank set; counter from the Hotel set.HG hisself from Dixon.

As Phil might say, "It'll do!" At least it will for me!







This is only a very minor project for me, I find making the buildings restful both to the eye and the spirit, and I've no intention of going overboard with modelling, weathering and the like. That's for other folk not me. These are toys in a game we might play two or three times a year, so I'm more than happy with the look. Next up will be Madame Moustache's House of Pleasure ~ I'm told it went in the post today! Now 'furnishing' that should be amusing!