Saturday, 14 December 2019


Brmm, brmm! Dakka, dakka!  Rommel's finest now have some hot new wheels to race around the desert.

Prepared and ready to paint, the riders with tabs were glued to some old slotta bases to make them easier to paint.

The motorbike and sidecar combos are Perry, whilst the other is a Warlord kit.  Have to honest here and say the Perry castings were less than stellar and were quite fiddly to build and position.

In the pic above the handle bars have yet to be eased into a better, more natural position.

Painting and basing was exactly the same as all my other DAK infantry and vehicles - have a look at the "Painting" tab above to find some links if you're interested in the paints, technique, etc.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Sharpe Practice & Chain of Command Playsheets

Both Chain of Command and Sharpe Practice have quite a few tables in the rules so a playsheet comes in quite handy.  There are a few 'out there' on the interweb but I fancied doing my own thing.  I've got the PDF versions of the rules so it was easy to cut & paste my own playsheets.

EDIT Thanks for the big response! You can now download these from

They are both just two sides of A3.  Here are couple of them nicely laminated.

Page 1
Page 2

The SP2 random event tables aren't included but I think pretty much everything else is.

Here is the Chain of Command playsheet.  At the last Clotted Lard event Rich dubbed these "the bed sheet of rules".

Page 1
Page 2

Having everything you need on just one double-sided sheet should make for easy reference.  If you'd like an electronic copy then please just email (see top of blog).

Friday, 29 November 2019

Tabac Part 2

Buildings don't just stand around on their own (well, sometimes!) so I've decided to add a yard to my recently built Tabac from Charlie Foxtrot Models.

Top chum Colin custom cut the 'L' shaped base for the yard plus he also made an additional storey for the tabac itself as I wanted it to look a little different to the 'standard' model.

The walls and outbuilding are made from 5mm foam-core.  The gates are made from coffee stirrers (again!).

The gable boards and door are also coffee stirrers, with match sticks as the door frame.  The roof is made from an offcut of Wills textured plasticard.

I found some spare window frames (possibly Warbases?) in the bits box. 

The walls are capped with individual pieces of thin plasticard with the edges carved slightly to give a more stone-like look.  A bit fiddly but fine for small quantities.  The cobbles in the yard are textured wallpaper.  I trimmed out a couple of small areas so as to give a slightly untidy look.

The capping tiles are spares from a Charlie Foxtrot kit.

Best to check the fit before applying any paint.

The finished yard painted in the same style as the tabac.  I've also added some tufts, foliage and static grass.

I have plenty of resin and plastic items of scatter terrain (crates, boxes, barrels, etc) to add some ‘clutter’ to the yard.

I re-painted the ridge tiles on the tabac to match the outbuilding plus I added some roof lichen tufts.  I may add a few spots of bird wotsit too!

Friday, 22 November 2019

Desert themed Jump Off Points

To play CoC in North Africa I needed some suitable Jump Off Point tokens.

Looking through my bits box and existing scenery I decided to use the two Allied signs as JOPs, then add a few more to match.

So, Rommel's chaps also get a sign plus some odds and ends of equipment.  All were spare items from kits or resin bits from a variety of companies such as Debris of War and Grand Manner.  To help differentiate the JOPs from any other scatter terrain these are all on 30mm rounds whereas the rest of my scatter items are on rectangular bases.
The raw ingredients
Painting was a basecoat in suitable greens, greys or browns followed by a wash of Agrax Earthshade.  Then re-apply the base colours and follow up with a very light drybrush of any light sand colour.  For Bolt Action they can just be additional items of scatter terrain.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Thatched Hut and Water Trough

Painted up a couple of "Hovels" items for a friend for his Peninsular collection.

Painting Recipe
Walls -- Americana Honey Brown, Agrax Earthshade wash, then re-apply the Honey Brown followed by highlights of Americana Fawn, VMC Dark Sand and Foundry Boneyard light. Similar to the kiln etc I painted a while back.
Roof -- VMC Flat Earth, Agrax Earthshade wash, heavy drybrush of VMC Flat Earth, a heavy drybrush of VMC 877 Gold Brown, highlight with VMC 847 Dark Sand then a final very light highlight with Foundry Boneyard Light
Base -- Americana Honey brown followed by highlights of VMC Tan Yellow and VMC Dark Sand. The foliage is Colonel Bill's Winter static grass with tufts, etc.
Wood -- Americana Dark Choc then highlights of Americana Milk choc and Americana Honey
The pump was base coated in black then given a drybrush of GW Brass then GW Leadbelcher.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Probe Amongst The Hedgerows

Game 2 of the Kampfgruppe von Luck Pint-Sized Campaign for Chain of Command

For this encounter I could call on a whopping four points of support.  No prizes for guessing what I opted for, yes a Rifle Team and a Bren Team combined (with freebie Junior Leader) to form a whole section.  Re-organising the lads I now had three full sections (incl the support) with one of the platoon sections having an extra bloke.

All Dave has to do is get a team off my table edge!
The outskirts of Ranville (Para table edge at the top)

The cobbled track denotes the sunken lane - up to the buildings

View from the Paras side

The Patrol Phase resulted in the Paras having jump off points on the left flank by the fields and amongst the buildings on the right.  The Germans did well to push one right forward alongside the narrow track with the other two in the orchard (upper mid left in the pic).
JOPs in place

Dave brought on plenty of troops in quick succession so as to put pressure on me right across the line.  But the early part of the game went well for the Paras as they inflicted plenty of hits on the Germans their morale took a heavy beating.
Paras pop up behind the wall to hammer the Germans in the open
Dave’s cause was not helped by a squad getting stuck on the road and repeatedly being unable to clamber over the embanked hedge due to shock and low dice rolling.  The Paras amongst the farm buildings poured magazine after magazine in to their hapless foe.  Indeed at one point Dave felt that the Paras would hold his lads off... but numbers (and the associated firepower) began to tell.
Dave's men avoid the road! (eventually)

Fresh targets German squads arrive

After some “re-deployment” Dave put everything in to a concerted push down the middle of the table, along the track.  One squad advanced whilst everyone else in a grey uniform targeted the Paras.  I brought men across so as to hit any advancing German squad with crossing fields of fire.  That would also probably have meant the Germans losing their last couple of points of morale.  But Dave was able to get a CoC dice and interrupt me at a crucial point.  With a superb movement roll a squad of Germans sprinted over the line to win it.
The Germans gather to rush along the track

Thankfully I had only a few casualties whereas Dave’s men took something of a beating to secure the win.

The Butcher’s Bill
Paras, 3 casualties so 1 dead, and 2 missing the next game.
Germans, 16 casualties so 8 dead including a Junior Leader, 4 missing the next game, although again Dave can use a fresh platoon.

CO’s opinion: Down by 1 to -1
Men’s opinion: Up by 1 to +2
So whilst the CO isn't too happy, the men were pleased to give the enemy a thumping.

CO’s opinion:  Up by 1 to 2
Men’s opinion:  Down by 2 to -1
The CO is delighted but the men are most definitely not!

Lessons Learned
Not much here for me really, I think I played fairly well. But after the debacle of game one I just didn’t have enough chaps to cover all the approaches.
Next time I reckon Dave will view my cheery "Oh your chaps will be fine running up that road" with more reserve!

Another fab game against a splendid opponent! Many thanks Dave :o)

Saturday, 28 September 2019

A Spot of Gardening

The backyards and gardens of our buildings can often just be open table enclosed by walls or hedges, perhaps with the odd shed or outside WC.  This is fine for most games as it makes it easier to place our models but I wanted to make those open spaces a bit more realistic.  So I've made some garden sections using offcuts of mdf.

I began by chamfering the edges then added some putty to give ridges for rows of potatoes. 

The planks are wide coffee stirrers roughly snapped whilst the raised beds are narrow ones.  The bean poles are are simply wire spears from which I've snipped the sharp points.

The holes were drilled at a slight angle as the steel wire can be tricky to bend in to place.  Super glue gel holds the the cross piece in place.

A good coat of PVA and a variety of sand/grit finishes off the construction.

I used the following paints to get a good earthy colour:
  • Americana Dark Chocolate
  • Americana Milk Chocolate
  • American Honey Brown
  • VMC Dark Sand

Then it was out with the grass, foliage and tufts!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Patrol on the Ring Contour

Game One of Kampfgruppe von Luck

Private Goodbody scanned the hedgerows through his telescopic sights.  There was just enough light now to properly make out the shapes of trees and bushes across the wide fields of wheat.  He shifted his weight slightly, as his left ankle was still sore after the drop.  Laden with extra kit and plenty of ammo, his landing had been heavy.  His ‘stick’ had been fortunate as they’d landed close to Ranville but plenty of his fellows in 12 Para were still unaccounted for.  The drop had quickly become a shambles as aircraft weaved to and fro through heavy flak.  He wasn’t too concerned though as the lads were gradually turning up in 1’s and 2’s, sometimes more.
Sergeant Cameron appeared at his side and held out a tin cup of scalding hot tea.
“Movement?” he asked, his broad Scottish tones barely a whisper.  Private Goodbody was the sniper in No. 3 section and had the sharpest eyes in the platoon; if anyone could spot Jerry approaching it would be him.
For reply Goodbody simply shook his head.  He and Cameron were the furthest pickets out on what was known as the ring contour.  The Germans would be looking to re-take Bas de Ranville and the most likely route was right through this position.

At last Dave and I have got Kampfgruppe von Luck up and running!  It’s taken a while to post up though (sorry Dave) as things have been pretty hectic recently.  Anyway, this will be one of those fairly lightweight AARs ;o)

Rolling for the random structure of my platoon I got 1 Senior Leader, 1 Sniper and the 2" mortar team for the HQ.  Sections two and three came out as just one Junior Leader and a Bren team each.

A quiet piece of Normandy...

The Paras take up position

The Germans arrive!

I played it fairly cautiously through the early stages of the game and was doing well in terms of keeping my distance and inflicting shock and kills on the advancing Germans.  I had expected Dave to rush my position but thankfully he deployed troops then paused for a few phases of shooting.  Even with his superior numbers that was a contest I felt my men could do well at, and they did!  With his troops closing in on the hedge line I was still doing fine in terms of both casualties and morale.

Then I let it all fall apart ... For some bizarre reason instead of withdrawing with most of my platoon intact I threw a whole yet-to-be-deployed section of Paras straight in to combat with the Germans.

Working through the combat dice table I began to realise the dreadful mistake I’d made.  Dave was chuckling maniacally!  Sure enough the combat was bloody but the Paras came off worse by far and those were men I simply couldn’t afford to lose.  We agreed that the Para JL, Sergeant John Cameron, was captured by the Germans as then we might be able to play a rescue mission at some point as a little extra for the campaign.  Utter madness!  Oh well, lesson learned.

Germans hold one JOP but the Paras deploy from the other straight in to combat!

It looks like George rolled my dice!

One Para flees in to the wheat field as the retreat is ordered

Following that disaster I sounded the retreat. Thankfully everyone managed to withdraw successfully, well, everyone who wasn't full of bullet holes!

The Butcher’s Bill
The Paras took 11 casualties, so 5 dead, including a JL captured, and 3 missing the next game (9 of those casualties were from that fateful combat!)
CO’s opinion: Dropped from +1 to 0.
Men’s opinion: Dropped from +2 to +1.
Neither the CO or the men are particularly happy with Lieutenant William Campbell after that debacle.

German 1st Platoon, CO Lt Klinsmann
Squad 1, 2 casualties including JL Matthaus.
Squad 2, no casualties
Squad 3, 1 casualty.  JL Trochowski – Awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class for destroying a Para squad in combat & capturing 2 JOPs.
CO’s opinion: Up from 0 to 1.Men’s opinion: Dropped from +1 to -1. (ouch!)
The German CO is pleased but Dave's men took a dim view of the death of Obergefreiter Matthaus.

Lessons Learned
  • Remember your objective!  Don’t pointlessly throw men in to combat, doh!?

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Petrol Station

Continuing with the theme of shops for my World War Two collection I decided to add a (mini) petrol station.  Here it is...
More of a 'petrol shed' really!
I've built it to be used stand-alone or butted up to another building.  Here it is next to my newly painted Tabac.

The 'shed' is made from a foam-core box covered in coffee stirrers (it's the only thing I use them for as I don't have sugar in hot drinks!), the door frames are matchsticks and the windows are spares from another MDF kit.  The roof is corrugated plasti-card.

Rummaging through the bits box I found some resin crates and a barrel.  The splendid petrol pump is from 1st Corps here.  The cobbles are pieces of textured wallpaper.

I primed it using Halfords grey primer then set to with my brushes ... The green woodwork is Foundry Storm Green, washed with GW Agrax, highlighted with the base colour then Foundry Dragoon Green shade and mid.

The roof was painted using the Foundry Slate Grey triad whilst the cobbles are the Foundry Stone triad.

I wanted the shed to look a bit dilapidated so I painted some rusty areas on the roof using a base of Foundry Conker Brown, then adding yellow to the base to get a range of orange colours.

I added a 'new' piece of roof to cover the big rusty section.

The paint scheme for the pump was based on pics from Google.  When I find my box of Sharpie pens I'll add the "SHELL" lettering to the top of the pump.

The ground was painted using VMC 983, 877 and 847 with some of Colonel Bill's summer static grass plus a few tufts.  The crates are Americana Dark Chocolate, GW Agrax then highlights of Americana Milk Chocolate and Foundry Bay shade, GW Agrax then highlights of the base followed by a light drybrush of Foundry Boneyard mid.  The oil drum is VMC Russian Green, Agrax, then a highlight of the base colour.

Some vintage Shell and Michelin signs add a bit of extra character.

The bicycle came out of my bits box too.