Tuesday, 27 December 2022

The Lord of the Rings Radio Play

I found this in a box recently and thought “Hello old friend!”. Haven’t listened to it for many years so I’m currently really enjoying it whilst I get on with a bit of hobby fun.

Originally recorded by the BBC in 1981 (though subsequently remastered for better sound quality) it’s a little dated in some ways but I rather think that just adds to the charm. A few of the sound effects definitely remind me of Monty Python!

Anyway, if you like LotR and haven’t listened then I certainly recommend it. Here are a couple of pictures of some of the cast during recording sessions.

More info here.

Sunday, 25 December 2022

The Galactic Empire …

… wishes you a Merry Christmas!

“I find your lack of festivity disturbing”

Sunday, 18 December 2022

Grand Manner Pantile Bread Oven

Grand Manner produce some very characterful resin scenery. I especially like this bread oven.

Painted for friend, this piece has been completed as per all of my other pantile scenery. Handy for WW2 Italy, Crete, etc, plus Peninsular Napoleonics.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, 12 December 2022

Vines, vines, vines!

Continuing to be inspired by Pat Smith’s excellent book about Mediterranean wargames terrain, I resolved to expand my vineyard collection with another batch of vines. Here they are safely stored in a 20 litre RUB.

As before each section starts with a wood and wire armature.

On to which I glue pieces of Woodland Scenics clump foliage

I have enough sections now to comfortably cover an area approximately 3’ by 2’, so effectively a quarter of a conventional Sharp Practice or Chain of Command table.

Here are some in a recent WW2 game.

Happy gaming! 😎

Sunday, 4 December 2022

Refurbishing Trees with Geek Gaming Scenics

I really like the Last Valley trees and think them ideal for games set around the Mediterranean. However a few of mine were starting to look a bit tatty after too much wear and tear. I’ve no idea what the original flock was, so a simple fix was a heavy brush over of watery PVA and a sprinkle of Luke APS fine blend flock.

This flock is ace, see https://www.geekgamingscenics.com/ Highly recommended! 
Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022


Good chum Colin kindly gifted me these pieces for my recent birthday. They’re from Paul’s Modelling Workshop and highly recommended.

Originally they were going to be painted in the more arid desert style suitable for our WW2 North African games but I decided to paint them for use in our Crete, Sicily and Italian games instead. Recipe is Americana Honey Brown, followed by highlights of VMC Tan Yellow, VMC Dark Sand and Foundry Boneyard light.

Here’s a closer pic.

Thanks for looking

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Legion Priority Supplies

Here are the moisture vaporators, computer terminals and crates from the Priority Supplies boxed set

The vaporators and crates were primed in grey then given a heavy dry brush of VMC Stone Grey followed by a wash of GW Agrax. When completely dry, highlight with VMC Stone Grey then pick out the edges using any light, pale grey such as Foundry Austrian White shade. A few dabs of GW Typhus Corrosion completes the weather worn look.

The terminals and the larger crate were even easier! Black spray followed by the Foundry Charcoal palette. The buttons are simply dots of very light grey followed by red, green, yellow, etc.

In games these items can be used as objective markers (there are several mission cards that require such features) or just as suitably atmospheric scenery.

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Making the most of your palms

I’ve had a collection of plastic palm trees for my North African tables for some time now and they looked fine, but after seeing some excellent jungle terrain pieces recently, I decided to try to pimp my palms a little. Here’s the first batch!

I began by pulling the palm fronds off the trunks and temporarily sticking them on cocktail sticks (or kebab sticks for the larger trees). Prime them with a dark or mid green spray. I used AP Army Green, I think. Then I gave them a very heavy dry-brush of CdA Army Green, followed by a lighter dry-brush of a VMC green (833 whatever that is). I also dry-brushed a few of the lower fronds with a light brown.

I primed the trunks with either a light brown or mid brown spray (AP Skeleton Bone and Leather Brown). The smoother ‘banded’ trunks were painted in a range of light browns whilst the more gnarly trunks were painted darker brown and washed with GW Agrax to bring out the texture, followed by a quick highlight of a light brown.

This is a WIP pic of the leaves. Highlights in a range of greens and yellows would look best. Appears quite shiny mainly due to the lighting, although I did give the finished articles a light dusting of AP matt varnish to remove any residual shine.

Here’s the new and the old side by side. Definitely an improvement I reckon!

A couple of evening’s work but worth it.

Saturday, 15 October 2022

74-Z Speeder Bikes

Two units of 74-Z speeder bikes to give my Galactic Empire forces some fast attack options. I’ve also re-done the basing scheme to use only white flowers and red tufts, both from gamers grass. All of my other troops had the first lot of tufts and foliage removed and replaced with this. Gives a much more coherent appearance.

These chaps should prove handy on the table. Move 3, surge to hit and to block, plus that blaster cannon packs a punch especially with the Impact 1 rule which will allow these guys to potentially tackle enemy armour. The white defence dice make them a bit fragile, but at least they generally get a cover save thanks to Cover 1.

Next on the list for the troops is either Vader or maybe an AT-ST. Although I might divert briefly to paint the Priority Supplies boxed set. Nothing says Star Wars (and specifically Tatooine) like a few moisture vaporators! Happy gaming 😎

Monday, 26 September 2022

Episode I: Clash of the Noobs

The Bristol Biguns Star Wars Legion campaign is up and running! Organised by David Clark (thank you), there are a group of us who keen to get gaming in the Star Wars universe. I’m a relative newcomer to this game and Rob even more so, hence the title. The first game is a 500 point skirmish. I have Galactic Empire led by General Veers whilst Rob has Rebels led by Luke Skywalker.

The view from my side, Stormtroopers, Death Troopers and some Scouts. Thanks to Paul for valuable assistance with getting the list together.

Rob has pushed one rebel squad far forward in the centre supported by an AT-RT with Luke not far behind.

During the first turn I concentrated the bulk of my shooting on the rebel walker and very nearly destroyed it, before blasting it to pieces at the start of turn two. Luke suffered a similar fate during turns two and three … it’s tough to deflect HH-12 shells with a light sabre. To be fair, Rob’s dice rolling, especially with the white D6 armour dice, was terrible!

The mission objective was to get squad leaders in to the enemy deployment zone but we got caught up in a hard fought, close range fire-fight that inflicted heavy casualties on both sides. In the last couple of turns the advantage swung to the Empire as the rebel squads were whittled away until only the heroic Drabatan warrior Pao (from Rogue One) remained. Veers and a squad of Stormtroopers, covered by the Death Troopers, made a dash for the Rebels deployment zone to claim victory! Vader will be pleased.

Good fun all round and great to see the Bristol gang as I haven’t been along to the club for a while.

Thursday, 15 September 2022

More ACW Extras

A little more painting for my ACW forces. A pair of pack horses and a handler for the Union army.

Two more casualty/shock markers for each side. Can’t have too many!

Horses by Redoubt and men by Dixon.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Galactic Empire Starter Force

My initial force for Star Wars Legion, 500 points of Galactic Empire, is ready to rock!

Figures painted using a slightly simplified version of the methods described by the excellent YouTuber Sorastro.

Next up will be either a similar sized Rebel force, or perhaps some additions to this force such as Vader, a squad of 74-Z speeder bikes, a scout sniper team or an AT-ST? All primed and ready to go.

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Mini Mos Eisley

These buildings are ready to use straight from the box. However I do intend to jazz them up a bit with some weathering, foliage and so on. But they’ll do for now whilst I focus on getting figures painted.

They’re from the “Battlefield in a Box” range, more specifically Galactic Warzones, and are often available from bigger retailers like Firestorm Games or Goblin Gaming, etc. There’s also a huge range of stuff available via Etsy but some can be very expensive. I got these buildings at a bargain price.

Friday, 12 August 2022

Star Wars Terrain

This interestingly shaped piece of cardboard packaging was lurking in my recycling so, along with a few bits of leftover tank kits, I made it in to a sort of power generator ‘thingy’. 

The structure is Americana Honey Brown, then Tan followed by Bleached Sand. The base is Americana Honey Brown, VMC Tan Yellow, VMC Dark Sand, Foundry Boneyard light. Then a selection of tufts and clump foliage from Gamers Grass, Warlord and Woodland Scenics.

Next are a few resin items from TT Combat.

The recipe here was simply VMC Stone Grey and Foundry Conker Brown washed with GW Agrax Earthshade. Then highlights of the base colours followed by GW Mephiston Red.

I have a few more resin items on the go including some buildings that are rather “Mos Eisley” in style.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

First Star Wars Figures

A quick post to show the first of my Stormtroopers for Star Wars Legion.

The recipe is basically a simplified version of the truly excellent tutorial by Sorastro, you can find it here. Plenty more figures to follow.

Chum David Clark has organised a Bristol based campaign/league (thanks mate!) which will kick off in September so we’ve all got plenty of time to get our forces battle ready. 

Friday, 29 July 2022

More Orks and Da Rusty Junk

I felt like painting something a bit different recently so dug out these Ork Nob figures.

I may give the red another highlight of GW Wazdakka Red as it’s a bit intense but it’ll do for now.

I’ve also been experimenting with some rust recipes (mainly from Mr Scrivs blog) and these are two test pieces. I’ve slightly over done the rusting as I wanted to try it out on larger areas and I’m quite pleased with it. Grey primer and a coat of GW Leadbelcher (or Black primer and heavy drybrush) followed by a wash of GW Agrax. Then apply large patches of any a dark reddish brown such as Foundry Conker Shade or VMC Flat Brown. Then add highlights of the base with increasing amounts of orange and yellow. Try to leave a good range of colours from base to highest highlights. Then go back with a bit of wash here and there and perhaps some Leadbelcher on any freshly scraped edges.

Monday, 11 July 2022

New Pantile Buildings from Charlie Foxtrot

We’re very excited here at the table about these new pantile kits! They’ll be perfect for our games of Sharp Practice in Spain and Portugal, and Chain of Command or Bolt Action in Crete, Sicily and Italy, plus Silver Cutlass in the West Indies.

First up is Pantile Carthouse 2. I plan to build mine as a small roadside or waterfront tavern. A few barrels and a simple sign (and perhaps a figure representing a lady of “negotiable virtue”) will complete the look nicely. Charlie Foxtrot have stock of the splendid Debris of War barrels so that’s that sorted.

Next is Pantile House 5. This will be ideal as a more up-market residence. I can picture Captain Horatio Longshaft RN keeping a careful eye on the harbour from the top balcony. More about him when Silver Cutlass weighs anchor!

Here is Pantile House 7. Another splendid residence. I particularly like the bricked up “folly” doorway. A couple of these, maybe leaving out a storey on one, will be ideal for giving a little town in Italy a more urban look. Those balconies are perfect for dropping grenades into a passing Marder… watch out Jerry! Plenty of windows for snipers too.

This is Pantile House 6. The robust looking door suggests that this could be good place for the French to store their stolen Spanish gold? Rifles to the rescue!

Last but by no means least is the Pantile Store 2 which in this pic looks like it’s being used as an ammo dump for the Fallschirmjager forces invading Crete. The Kapitans will no doubt be very keen to blow it to pieces!

So there’s a few ideas of what we’ll be using the kits for. Also, I’ll probably look to customise some with additional exposed brickwork or shutters, etc. The latter are easily made from card, balsa or coffee stirrers. These MDF kits lend themselves well to such ad-hoc extras. Have a look at Pat Smith’s (a.k.a. Silver Whistle) excellent book on Mediterranean themed terrain for a host of ideas.

Happy modelling!

Friday, 8 July 2022

Crete Campaign: Game Five

Following on from the earlier unsuccessful attack on the Olive Oil Factory, the Australians of 2/1st Battalion have regrouped, called in armoured support (just like the real attack) and launched another assault on the heavily dug in FJs. Here’s the table laid out the same as before.

Orange Dave played a very aggressive patrol phase, pushing his markers forward along the road with all possible haste. He was determined to make the Aussies cross as much open ground as he could manage. This resulted in my JOPs being mainly in the sunken lane (out of shot, left) and adjacent woods whereas his own were nicely placed around the olive oil factory (ammo trolley in the gardens, the motorbike in the courtyard and the camo tent just outside the walls)

Jerry gets a succession of double turns and soon has plenty of men ready to give the Australians a warm welcome. Due to casualties one of his squads is half strength and the other two are a man down, but that’s still an awful lot of firepower. I bring on the Matilda (no HE tho!) and a section to support each other as they begin the attack.

The Aussies make a good start with an almost textbook attack on the nearest building. The Bren provides covering fire whilst the corporal and the rifle team hot-foot (rolling 17” for movement) to the house.

Next they post a couple of grenades through the window causing absolute havoc on the depleted FJ squad inside.

The 2” mortar plops some smoke right outside the window allowing the platoon sergeant and Bren gunner to move and rejoin their mates.

Dave has deployed his dreaded LG40 just next to the pig shed behind the house and has been potting away at the Matilda. A couple of hits inflict some shock and rattle the gunner but the tank’s thick armour proves very effective. In reply the turret machine gun has picked off several LG40 crew but each time the JL and attached SL avoid being hit. Whilst advancing, the platoon sergeant is lightly wounded dropping my morale from 9 to 7.

All the shooting and grenades have pinned the few surviving Jerries in the balcony building so, fixing bayonets, the lads charge in and slaughter the FJs. Dave’s morale drops from 11 to 9.

However, the Aussies are now pummelled by shooting from two directions as the FJs pour belt after belt of rounds in to the building. Here’s the squad in the main factory building.

Sensing an opportunity Dave moves a squad over the wall and up towards the building.

They rush the building and quickly slaughter the platoon sergeant, the corporal and the few brave Aussies. With a slain senior leader, junior leader and a section wiped out, my morale collapsed from 7 to 1.

Another fantastic game to add to the narrative of our Crete campaign. This table is a particularly tough nut to crack even for quality troops like the Australians. From game six onwards the Allies have the option of calling in an RM Commando troop from Layforce. We might also get those splendid chaps in the RN to give the area a thorough pasting before sending the lads in. Jerry won’t enjoy that!