Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I do hope nobody minds, but I thought that I might add one last element to this wargaming blog, an element ANY wargamer will appreciate...

... namely, a little food!

So if I make something that is particularly tasty, or if I have a thought about food, I might put up a post now and then about it!

Above is a photo of three filets of beef (I ate the fourth one already) that I recently grilled up.

I don't do a lot to beef; the taste is important to preserve. At the moment I crush some rosmary in my mortar and pestle, a gift from my father in law. I then put it in a bowl with some coarse french sea salt, some fresh ground peppercorns, a minced clove of garlic, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. This tasty mixture gets brushed over both sides of the beef, and it sits for a few hours. Then onto the grill, and a little medium rare later and you have a fantastic dinner.

The Workbench

Sorry for the delay in updates! I will try to get a few up in the next few days.

First tho, a shot of the current workbench project. This is my overall Russian general. He is still WIP, but starting to come along. He is meant to mirror my French general, pictured to the right, and is based in basically the same way, with the overall General at the front and his two adjuncts lined up behind him. Instead of a manservant, like the French general, he has a Cossack bodyguard marching beside him. Also, I decided to add a nice big shaggy dog to his stand, maybe captured from a French officer. The dog is a briard, a nice big sheepdog that looks good on the stand with him.

Obviously this is only a WIP shot, as all Workbench shots are; when I feature the Russian army I'll show him up close.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

25mm Nap. French - 25e Legere

While I realize I put up an update rather recently, I thought I would continue today with another new regiment from my 25mm French Napoleonic army; my second unit of light infantry!

Like my other unit of light infantry, this unit can be put into one of two movement trays; in this case again I chose to showcase them in their skirmish trays, rather than their unit tray.

A note about all of my light infantry in my Napoleonic collections. The skirmish trays are actually exactly the width of a regular unit of infantry. This is true of my French, my Russians, and will be the same for my Austrians. The idea is that a single tray of light infantry can successfully screen a single tray of regular infantry. I like this regularity!

The first two trays worth of lights are the officers and a tray of men defending a stone wall. I have a similar tray in my other unit of light infantry, and I like being able to link the two up to form a single wall. This particular wall is crumbling in a spot, and the men are starting to rush through the gap to advance!

The second set of light infantry are similar. One is a blank tray; originally I was going to have a dead Frenchman on the tray, but I found after I had painted him that I liked him better with the surgeon; a good surgeon and hospital needs a generous smattering of dead and dying men! The second tray actually has a sacrificed left-over piece of a second surgeons wagon... no one needs TWO surgeons in an army this size, and I wanted to use the piece. It is painted the same color as my French artillery and other wagons, and I enjoy having this tray of lights near the artillery; it gives the feeling of men advancing over a devastated part of the field.

To the right is a close-up of a few figures. I very much enjoy the Perry figures and wish I had Perry commands for these guys, but the Old Glory guys work fine.

The majority of the light infantry is from Perry Miniatures, with the officer, standard, and musician from Old Glory and the sappeur, like always, from Front Rank... nice beefy sappeurs!

The Workbench

Here is the latest shot of the workbench; I am currently working on limbers for one section of Russian artillery. With the French, the sections are in twos and each pair has a caisson to share. For the Russians I wanted to do it slightly different, so I put the guns in sections of three and, rather than have a caisson, decided to have a wagon to carry the supplies. I know the Russians had a formidable (and usually well equiped) artillery arm, but I liked the idea of the wagon carrying the supplies!

To the right you can see my next unit; namely, the Russian General! I've been waiting on this guy for a while... more details on him later. After him? Another unit of 32 infantry, this time Guards. *sigh*

Sunday, April 20, 2008

25mm Nap. French - Foot Artillery

Welcome to the latest edition of my 25mm Napoleonic French army features!

This time I am showing the foot artillery. This is my second artillery unit (the other is my guard artillery.) The foot artillery has slightly smaller pieces than the guard. Honestly all of the Old Glory pieces are tiny; I hate that. Having stood next to my fair share of artillery pieces, they are BIG. Anyway, I have five crew per piece and two pieces. Each piece has its own limber, and the two pieces share a caisson. I particularly like the guy kneeling getting the fuse out of the case; a neat position and two man stand.

As previously mentioned, the entire unit is made up of 25mm Old Glory.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Scenery - The 15mm ACW Terrain

Having made a guide earlier in the month to my 15mm ACW buildings, I thought that the beginning of a week off from work would be a perfect time to post my follow-up; a guide to my 15mm ACW scenery!

Of course, this scenery is not limited to 15mm ACW; it would also work for 15mm AWI, and some would work fine for my 15mm WWII collection, but for now, I will show the elements as they are on the table, with the Civil War as their main focus.

First up is my trees. I have two different ways of putting trees on the table. The first is my pin trees. These have had a hole drilled in the trunk and a very thin pin inserted with some glue. These trees are then able to be pushed right down through the felt that covers the table and into the foam underneath. Not only does this do away with the ugly bases, but it also helps keep the felt down nicely. These trees are also used for 25mm set-ups.

For 15mm I also have a second set of trees, which are all mounted as woods. These woods actually start life as pieces of the same felt I used to cover the table. I then hot glue some of my smaller Woodland Scenic trees
down to them. The felt gets a painting of dark green (as well as some dark brown) and then I glue flock to the entire thing. On the underside of each tree I glue a coin to help keep the woods flat. I then lay out the woods and use a little flock when I want to to cover up the edges and make them blend into the table! A little bit of bush around the edges often looks good too, and makes the woods look thicker.

Of course, no battlefield, particularly in North America, would be complete without a LOT of fences. The Civil War, especially in the east, took place more often than not over rolling farmland, and without a lot of fences to set apart fields the battlefield just doesn't look right.

The type of fence I have the most of is snakerail fences. These fences are very common on Civil War battlefields, and indeed I cannot even see that type of fence without immediately imagining men taking cover behind them. I have a good amount of snakerail fencing, which was originally painted a reddish-brown but then got the proper drybrush of grey to make them look accurate. I will be making more of this shortly, and have already made a few new pieces.

The second type of fence that I have is a regular old post-and-rail fence. I made maybe four or five feet of post and rail fence in various length sections. Unlike the snakerail, the post-and-rail fences don't sit flat easily, so each section has a pin (much like the trees) glued along the post to keep them upright and secure. These look particularly good with the wheat fields, as the edge of the wheat is squared off and can fit against the fence nicely.

Speaking of wheat, my wheat fields are made of two types of teddy bear fur. The fur sits up nicely and gives a
good, 3D wheat effect that really elevates the look of the battlefield. I am very happy with how it looks.

The last type of fence that I have is a short bit of white picket fence. These look best when along a road or near a house; they are certainly not the most practical type of fence for farming, but they look awful nice around a garden! These, like the post and rail fences, also have a pin secured in each section that, with a little white paint, is easy to cover up and keeps the fence in place without the need for a base.

I have one last way to divide up fields, and that is my stone walls. Made out of thin strips of cork that are undercoated black, and then given a few drybrushes of grey, the stone walls look rather nice near the road and around fields. I still need to make some rougher stone walls (stacked stone) but these look good for now.

In the shot of the stone wall you can see another field type; namely, a plowed field. This is made with the ever-useful corduroy, which really does look like plowed fields! It has the added bonus of sitting very flat, and really looks good. A buddy of mine donated a few different types of corduroy to best simulate the different shades you see on farmland, and overall it looks very good.

I also have a few other types of plowed fields. These are rubberized fields that sit nice and flat on the table and help break up the terrain nicely.

Surrounding the ones pictures to the left is my last trick for making barriers between fields; my hedges. Unlike the fences, the hedges and bushes are not secured or pinned in place. Instead I used carefully torn clumps of Woodland Scenics foliage (normally used for making trees) of a few different colors simply placed in a line. They are cheap, and they look awful nice for 15mm, both around fields, on the edges of woods, and wherever else you need to break up the green.

Now, not all terrain on a wargames board is perfect for farming. I picked up a
few large stone outcrops when I was last at Fall In for a good price. They are made of large pieces of bark secured to bases, which are then painted (black with a few progressively-lighter grey drybrushes) and flocked. They look good on the table and match well, and look particularly good in the forests, creating an almost Devils Den meets the Round Tops feeling.

The last aspect of my terrain that I have not really done is using flock to disguise edges. Many people have boards that are a veritable carpet of flock, and this flock can be used to really nicely hide the edges of things such as fields. I have not used enough of this yet, but after I stain the table I will likely be using it more.

For the first part of my 15mm Guide, please see 15mm ACW - The Buildings.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Workbench

Having finished the Russian cuirassiers, tonight I took a few minutes to savor having a week off from work and decided to add to the 15mm ACW collection by completing a unit of Federal zouaves to put on the table. 20 man strong units of 15mm all wearing a single color positively FLY when you are used to doing units of 32 25mm troops. Phew! They will hopefully get based and grassed tomorrow and be on the table by tomorrow night.

Next up you can see two projects; to the right of the Federal infantry you can see the beginnings of a lumber pile to make more snakerail fences; I made some last night and decided I need more. And in the background you can see the next painting project; the 3 limbers and a supply wagon to go with my already completed 25mm Russian artillery.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

25mm Nap Russian - Cuirassiers

I recently finished another unit of Russians, and thought I would cheat a little and give a single preview of the next Napoleonic army to be featured; my 25mm Napoleonic Russians! I know it will be awhile (the 15mm ACW Confederate army is up next, and I still have cavalry, artillery, light infantry, and line infantry left for the French...) but I couldn't resist.

This particular unit is a unit of fearsome cuirassiers. This heavy cavalry, armored and mounted on the largest horses, was the shock cavalry of the Russian army. They were feared on the battlefield by infantry and cavalry alike, and able to run straight over most targets... as long as those targets weren't infantry squares!

The troops in this unit are rather nice looking, with their green and white and armor, with red piping making the armor stand out a bit. Their commander is a severe looking fellow with a nasty stare. The musician, whose trumpet is wrapped in a white and unit-appropriate green cord, rides at his side.

This entire unit is 25mm Foundry.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

25mm Nap French - 32e Ligne

It has been awhile since I put up a unit for inspection, so I thought I would remedy that with another unit of 25mm Napoleonic French!

This time it is the third of my regular units of line infantry. This was the latest unit of ligne that I had painted for the French. The pom poms are a bit more correct than the rest of the force. Also, I wanted them to be a little different, so if you notice they are all in their proper uniforms; no coats! I wanted to represent a unit that had only recently reached the field and were still thinking of things like "looking nice." Ahh, that won't last long.

I particularly like their officer. He is a snappy looking fellow, although with a
wicked stare and an equally wicked sabre. The NCO with the flag is also pretty cool; the red is a VERY deep color and I am rather happy with it.

The whole unit with the exception (as always) of the sappeur is Perry.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Workbench

Even more recently updated!

I thought I would post up a quick update on the latest unit; the Russian cuirassiers are coming along! There is still a bunch of work left to do with them, of course (the horse gear and details, and a host of detail on the cuirassiers themselves; faces, pants, swords, armor, etc etc) but at least they are starting to take shape!

Now... what do I do next? A Federal 15mm ACW unit to go on the table, or 3 25mm Russian Artillery limbers?

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Table

I figured the addition of the wheat fields and some more fences called for some new shots of the 15mm ACW table!

So far it looks pretty good. I will add some more fields shortly, and need to make some new fences; I am a bit short, it seems. I would love to get a wheat field front and center in the set-up, but at the moment the fields A) look cool as they are and B) are very irregular shaped, so I don't want to cut a custom piece of fur for them!
Above is a slightly older shot, without the new picket fence and one or two things moved around. I am also thinking I simply don't have enough troops for this table, and am thinking I need to pump out a few quick 15mm ACW units. The collections I have are decent sized but honestly are getting a little lost on the table.

Below is a reverse angle shot from the normal shot, where you can see some things more clearly that you don't normally see.

Scenery - 15mm wheat fields

The teddy bear fur has arrived! I got two different types; so far, I have cut up one into a few fields to see how they would work on the table. They seem good (although a little messy; they lose fur quick it seems...) I wouldn't use these same for 25mm; they just aren't thick enough. But I bought these primarily for my 15mm figures, and they do seem perfect for it. I want to try to cut it in geometric shapes that match the lengths of my fences... I did break the rule with the above field, but I plan to cut it into squares and triangles that can be combined depending on the set-up. There won't be many irregular fields... I just don't want to sacrifice the fur!

BTW, I got the fur here .

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Scenery - 15mm fences continued

Tonight I sat for just a short time and worked on a few more fences. I now have maybe three or four feet worth of fence; I figure if I do half of what I have again that is probably enough for now. Fences seem to be SUCH an important part of modelling a good looking North American battlefield, so I need to spend some time on them!

To the left is a shot of a single small piece with the pin visible. The pins beingattached to each fence is really great; it helps keep it down while allowing me to not base them and also helps keep the felt down! You cannot really see them, and if for some reason you notice one you can always put a piece of bush against it to cover it!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Scenery - some new 15mm fences

As a break from painting 25mm cuirassiers (I did pretty well on them, getting closer to done every day!) and in anticipation of my teddy bear fur showing up (just in time for the teddy bear picnic... right in The Wheat Field!) I thought I would work on a few new fences for my 15mm ACW collection.

I already have a pretty generous amount of snakerail fences, and I just made up some stone walls, so I figured a
different, more standard fence type might be nice. So far this is all I have made. There is a pin in each length of fence so that it can attach to the table. However, do I paint them white? Or do I paint them grey? The shot at the top shows a few in grey. I am honestly not sure yet... input welcome!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Workbench

Well, my painting has been a bit slow recently, as I've been working on table stuff.

However, I did manage to finally finish this Russian infantry unit I've been working on. I also finally repainted and rebased a very old Confederate officer I got. I think he is a Minifig miniature, and I was given him as a gift some 20 years ago by a buddy as part of a group of Confederate officers and personalities. We have a habit of repainting some of the old classics to get them back into the regular rotation, so he got his turn! He is supposed to be a bit of an ass-kicker; hence the two dead (or one dead, one dying) Federals at his feet.

Next up; a unit of Russian cuirassiers, followed by three limbers for my Russians.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

25mm Nap. French - Cuirassiers

After the forge, I figured I would get back to showcasing a standard unit. This time I went with that gold standard of Napoleonic heavy cavalry; the French Cuirassiers! The cuirassiers are the heavy cavalry of the French army. The largest horses, ridden by the largest men, all clad in steel breastplates... the Cuirassiers were a terror on the battlefield, especially to vulnerable infantry!

This is a unit of twelve men, divided into 2 sections. There is a command section and a standard section. They are in blue, with the musician in the traditional green. Cuffs and collars are yellow, and the breastplates are a shiny metal!:)

The figures are 25mm Old Glory.

15mm ACW - Some incredible photos

A buddy of mine came by today, and we worked on the table some more. Added some fields, moved men around, made a new forest, and did some general changes.

Then he realized I had some panoramic photos of Gettysburg, and that they would fit nicely in the ends of the table... there is NO photoshopping done with these shots; they are merely cropped.

And then we took some photos. And they turned out GOOD.
Above and below are some shots of a Reb line and a Federal line just about to hit each other...

I am going to wrap up this post with a new shot of the table; it underwent some big changes today, and I think it is looking pretty sharp now. As always, comments and suggestions welcome!