Friday, 29 May 2020


My Sharp Practice models have been on the shelf for a little while as I’ve been heavily into WW2, primarily our North African games.  But the other day I just fancied painting something that wasn’t green/grey or sand coloured.  My Anglo-Portuguese army is coming along well so I thought I’d try painting a few of my French figures from Front Rank.

Getting these ready would be handy as I have friends who want to play regular Peninsular games, others who like the Russian theatre and yet others who have suggested a campaign with British naval forces (indeed one splendid fellow has written a whole campaign booklet!).  So getting these on the table would give me plenty of options for glorious victory ... or a “deferred victory situation” as sometimes happens 🤣

I wanted this force to have a slightly weather beaten, on campaign sort of look so I thought I’d try my base coat, wash and highlight technique.  Most of the figures are wearing greatcoats as again I like the overall look.  I’ve started with four figures simply to see if I like the results.

I’ll do a more detailed recipe with the next batch (whenever that will be!) but broadly, the paints were:
Greatcoat - Foundry Midnight Blue, Bay Brown, Rich Butternut, Slate Grey.
Trousers - same as the greatcoat just mix the combinations.
Pack - Foundry Spearshaft or Rawhide
Musket - Foundry Musket Stock Brown
Straps - Foundry Austrian Grey followed by white
Wash with Agrax and highlight with the base colours followed by another highlight of the next lighter colour in the triad.

Now to think up some suitably daft names for my Officers and NCOs

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Chicken Coop and Haystack

Painted these for my good friend, Colin at Charlie Foxtrot Models.  The first item is actually a raised grain store but adding some planks (coffee stirrers) to the front makes it an ideal cosy home for some chickens.  Colin keeps chickens and I've done my best to paint the models to look like his own livestock, including Colin's big black cock 😳 ... which he calls “Bert” 🤣

Both items are from Hovels and were beautifully cast plus great fun to paint.  The thatch and walls were painted in the same manner as this thatched hut.  The dog and chickens are from Redoubt.

This is a covered haystack which I reckon is probably suitable for a wide range of historical eras and regions.

The other 'side' ... which (funnily enough) looks very similar

Thanks for looking :o)

Friday, 15 May 2020

Peninsular Graveyard

This piece was commissioned by a good friend.  It uses the Debris of War graveyard kit with a few extra gravestones.  The bases were custom cut by Charlie Foxtrot Models.  Models are Front Rank and painted by me.

Thought I'd do a "sort of" step-by-step of how I went about it...

I started by base-coating a few gravestones then decided that it might be interesting to just arrange the pieces to see how it might look.  This proved to be a good idea as it was clear a few more gravestones would be needed!

The walls and gravestones were painted in the same layered style as for the Charlie Foxtrot Church and Grainstore I did some time back.  An additional step here was using a whole bottle of Agrax Earthshade to really bring out the lovely texture in these resin items.

With all the resin components painted it was time to lay it all out again just to be doubly sure it fits, looks good, etc.  Then I drew around each item so that I'd know where to apply ground texture.  I also used this pic to recall where I'd put each piece!

Next comes the ground texture.  First is a couple of layers of masonry paint.  I wanted the ground to have a mix of textures, i.e. masonry paint, sand and grit, mix of both, etc.

Next, glue the resin in place.  Good PVA wood glue (Bostik) was ideal for this as it allows some 'adjustment' before it sets.

The smaller board section had a slight positive curve (higher in the middle than the edges) so to overcome this I glued the walls and rubble in place then used a couple of clamps to keep it all straight whilst the glue set.

You might have noticed that the gates do not quite fully cover the gap.  This is quite intentional as the gap is then just wide enough for an 8-man group of figures to fit through.

This is most likely to be used with the splendid Too Fat Lardies rules, Sharp Practice 2, and a great many of the forces organise the bulk of their troops in to groups of 8 figures.

Next is more texture using sand and grit, again going for a patchy look.

With the ground texture complete it was time to start painting.

Basecoat was Americana Honey Brown, followed by highlights of Americana Fawn (the larger piece is at this point), then VMC Dark Sand (the smaller piece has this highlight) and finally Foundry Boneyard Light.  I then choose some small areas and gave them a thinned wash of Agrax Earthshade to bring out enhance the details, then re-applied the VMC and Foundry highlights.

Next it's time to apply static grass (Colonel Bill's Winter Grass) and lots of clump foliage, tufts, etc.

Finally, the railings were given a quick spray of black and highlighted with a little GW Tin Bitz and a very light highlight of grey.  They're held in here using blu-tak as they'll be glued in properly post delivery.

I hope you found that interesting/useful.  Thanks for looking.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Early War Calling

The Early War in Europe is, in my humble opinion, quite fascinating.  Whether it's the myth surrounding "blitzkrieg", or the astonishing collapse of France - considered to be the world's pre-eminent military power, or the adoption of new tactics and technology many of which were effectively lessons learned from the Great War, it's jolly interesting stuff and bursting with potential for some very satisfying wargames.

My Desert War project has reached the point where I have two substantial forces and lots of scenery, so I feel I can simply add the odd unit/vehicle/building as and when I fancy without it being one of those half finished projects many of us wargamers know only too well.

So my attention is being drawn to the Early War theatre.  Looking at my existing collection of (nominally late war) British I note that many of the figures are perfectly suitable for the early war era too.  Obviously equipment such as Sten guns and PIATs will have to stay in the box.  As will the few chaps with webbing covering their helmets.  But with the addition of just a couple of packs of figures I should have enough to field a decent sized force.  My Germans are definitely late war so only a handful will be suitable for 1940, but I'm going to focus on the British first.

In preparation I've acquired these two fine publications.


So, lots of interesting reading ahead!  Things might go a little quiet here on the blog for the next few weeks but rest assured normal service will resume.

Happy VE Day!

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Chain of Command (via Zoom)

The coronavirus crisis isn't stopping us from enjoying some gaming fun here at The Wargames Table! To enable us (me and chum Paul, who lives 160 miles away) to play Chain of Command I first set up a table in my lounge.  Then I moved a bookcase so that my laptop (using Zoom) could get a good view of the table.  To give a more detailed, roving view we also used Facebook Messenger video chat on our iPads.

Anyway, enough of the tech stuff ... here's the table.

As I was introducing Paul to the game, plus the fact that he was playing remotely, I got him to play the German defender holding the chateau in the "Attack on an Objective" scenario.  I would be using a regular British platoon.  Rolling for supports, Paul got an static MG42 and an Adjutant, I got an additional section, another 2" mortar and a Sherman.

On a practical note, we agreed that a certain amount of extra leeway in terms of lines of sight, distances, etc would be needed.  Also allowing your 'remote opponent' some pre-measuring at key points would be helpful to keep things fair and running smoothly.  The roving iPad camera was very useful as it allowed me to show things in a close up, 'eye-line' view.

I'm not doing a full battle report, rather it's just a few pics of key moments.

Paul deploys a squad in OW behind the ruined section of wall
I advance a section on the flank towards the orchard
But that didn't go quite according to plan!
The Sherman rumbles along the country lane
Another section moves in to the farmhouse
Yet another trample the farmer's fruit and veg
The fourth section deploy in support of the tank
At last... the 2" mortars can deploy and begin shelling the chateau with smoke
Need to put plenty of smoke down to block those pesky MG42s
I ran out of proper smoke markers!
The Germans pop up in the orchard and use a Panzerfaust to good effect
By the time I'd got enough smoke to shroud the chateau, Paul had a full CoC dice.  Ending the turn he cleared the smoke and let rip with a total of five MG42s!  He also managed to get a triple run of phases - although we do play the house rules of (a) weapons can only fire once in a series of consecutive turns, (b) each successive turn sees one command dice temporarily removed.  Even so his shooting throughout the game proved to be astonishingly good.  The loss of the Sherman signalled the end as my force morale fell to just 3 points.

It was a really good game with lots of humour and plenty of good natured banter.  We were both pleasantly surprised at how well it worked given that we were not in the same room.  Indeed we're planning another session soon so that Paul can introduce me to Oathmark.  So, if you feel in need of a game, get your tech sorted and get playing!