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.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Carl and Rose

In between working on my two building upscaling projects for North American settings here in GHQ I had these two Partizan freebie figures on my desk too. I could apply the odd splash of paint as I waited for glue to dry I found. I must say though that as sculpts go they are more than a tad uninspiring, very flat in pose, lacking movement and action, but they will do to add to my VBCW collection ~
After these I'm unsure what to tackle next from the Lead Pimple, I suppose I must wait and see how the mood takes me. I can choose from three ongoing expansion efforts I have on the go: FRW; War of 1812-15; and ACW. As I said, we shall have to wait and see where the mood takes me...

Friday, 3 April 2020

From barn to cabin

I decided a break from painting figures for a while would be good for both morale and focus so I looked around my box of bits for inspiration. I found two barns by Warbases, sold as 15mm buildings. They were for an abandoned project, at least it is for now, and I wondered if they might be repurposed. Testing the idea out it seemed I could make a small cabin out of the smaller of the two barns, so I assembled it and added the 28mm scale doors and windows to it and left it to harden off overnight. Here's stage 1 as it stood ~
The back of the cabin to be, which is really the front of the barn kit, looked very odd at this stage, but the planking will put that to rights later ~
The next phase is to start adding the planking. I use thin card for this stage, very fiddly for my hands and eye, but I  the want it to match the look of the buildings I've made before for the theatre, as far as possible anyway ~
When the planking has hardened the next phase is to add the rustic shutters to the windows. These are available from Warbases and were also found in my trawl of the 'box of bits' ~
I've mounted the cabin on a spare 3mm Warbases 'Terrain Base'. It's 100 X 100mm and left over from my Italian Wars project from last year. Next up in the process is applying the roof shingles using sheets of precut strips from Oshiro; messy but quicker than individual shingles! I added some spare plastic tubing to suggest the venting pipework for a pot bellied stove, after all they seem to have been first used in 1800 in Pennsylvania ~
The next phase was to paint the entire cabin. When that was done it could be weathered and the base textured. The final phase was adding static grass and tuft type vegetation to help bind the building into its surroundings visually.
I first washed the walls sparingly with GW's Nul Oil, but any thin dark wash would do. When that was thoroughly dry I dry brushed all the walls in a succession of Foundry Arctic Grey shade, light, Canvas light and lastly Arctic Grey light. The shingles I painted first Foundry Bay Brown shade (only because I'd let the glue run fixing the pipe to the shingles!), Then dry brushed lightly with Foundry Stone shade, followed by a light dry brushing with Stone midtone. Grassing and adding vegetation to taste and it was done!
And in situ here in GHQ~
Now it's on to the 'L' shaped upscaling...

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

A small ACW vignette

After finishing my last unit of Dixon Miniatures ACW Confederate Infantry, the 3rd Louisiana, I decided to press on and complete this small vignette by Redoubt Enterprises. I bought it from Colonel Bill at the recent Hammerhead wargames show, remember them? They were labelled up as Union Generals and I gave them only a cursory glance before handing over my cash. I’d planned to add the scene to my Union camp collection but now I shall have to think about adding a Confederate camp collection! I quite like the look of the Old Glory 2nd Edition ACW camp sets, so I may order one up at some stage. I’ve altered the look of the piece a little, seating one figure on a chair and adding a pile of books on the long pew the three others are seated on (It’s from a Pulp Figures set, I just snipped the skull off!) There’s a drum wreck covered in a cloth between the pew and chair, with some representative drinks on top, for now. If/when normal life re-emerges from this pandemic then I’ll get some better items to replace them, but that will have to wait for now ~


As a break from figure painting I thought that I might have a go at repurposing a Warbases small barn in 15mm into a small cabin for 28mm games set from the F&IW up to the ACW. We'll have to see how it works out, at the moment it's assembled and I've added a door and windows in 28mm from the 'box of bits'. More in due course on this.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Sir William Sidney Smith RN

An overlooked naval hero, serving in the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars, as well as in the Swedish navy in the Swedish-Russian War, and now available from Wargames Illustrated in their Giants in Miniature range.
I picked up the figure at the recent Hammerhead wargames show, as my War of 1812-15 sailors and marines lacked a suitable command figure for their landing party. Here he is in close up and in action, as befits a hero ~

Dan has signed off my efforts as regards the photographs to accompany my War of 1812-15 article in Wargames Illustrated, whenever it may next appear of course, so I have been stood down and can revert to my status as keen amateur!

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Back in Dixie!

I mentioned in an earlier post on my last ACW unit, the 10th Tennessee, that the figures had languished in the Lead Pimple for a couple of years or so. These good ol' boys shared their wait in the queue for their moment under the brush so I thought it only right to see that they were completed too. As ever they are Dixon Miniatures with flags by Flags of War and bases by Warbases. The base texture is the last of my old pot of Colour Party Basetex, the Dried Earth version. (I've had to buy a new pot, something I thought I'd not have cause to do, but just before the lock down came into force I'd received an order from Dixon Miniatures - a 20 figure Union regiment and an 8 figure Union cavalry regiment.) Anyway, back to the latest addition to muster in to my Rebs, the 3rd Louisiana ~

Continuing my ACW theme I picked up the Redoubt Enterprise's Confederate seated general set from Colonel Bill at Hammerhead, so I thought I'd tackle those next. I've added a few bits from stock to help create a point of interest. After those I have a set of Perry Miniatures Union personalities - Howard, Sickles and Sykes. I'll need other figures to accompany these and as Perry Miniatures are currently closed that will have to wait I'm afraid.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

The War of 1812-15

While this period of self isolation rumbles on its nice  to have hobby related activities to provide both distraction and purpose. As some of you will know I write for Wargames Illustrated from time to time and recently Dan had accepted a piece I have submitted on my War of 1812-15 project. Of course, he can't now drive over to take the pictures to go with the article and so I've had a temporary promotion to acting photographer! I've spent some time this week setting up a table and agreeing a layout with Dan by email, so I thought you'd enjoy a general table view before I get the ok to start the individual pictures ~








I would hope to have all the required pictures taken and emailed off over the next day or so, though when we shall see the magazine again I'm trying not to think about really. I hope you and yours will all keep safe and well and that we can all look forward to The Other Partizan in October!

Monday, 23 March 2020

VBCW ~ Vickers 6 ton tank

A while back now, when the world was normal, I posted a picture of a kind gift from Phil. It was an FAA Vickers 6 ton tank, complete with tank commander sporting a leather cycling helmet! I'm not a natural modern vehicle painter, I found 20mm hard enough let alone 28mm, and I'm certainly not in Phil's class when it comes to the finished product. Nevertheless I give it a go and the results are usually ok from tabletop viewing distance at least. Here it is anyway ~



The Vickers 6 ton tank was one of those interwar designs which failed to be adopted by the British army, although it was sold or licensed abroad to several governments, notably the Soviet Union. As such it's a natural for the VBCW genre and joins my three Vickers Light tanks MkVI and my lone Matilda MK1. I've given the commander a bright red scarf/cravat, so you can easily see his political affiliation! Our VBCW games set in Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire are not tank heavy, but every little adds to the variety to choose from in designing scenarios and forces, so it's a very welcome addition to my collection.