Wednesday, December 31, 2008

15mm ACW - Federal Sharpshooters

Happy New Years everyone!

Well, before I head back to the party, I thought I would post up at least one more set of miniatures for the New Year!

This is a unit of U.S. Sharpshooters. They are made up of Battle Honors infantry, painted in the traditional green of Berdan's.

Unfortunately, these guys really were just figures from the regular infantry pack, which was a bit disappointing.

So, I decided to do a little work on them to make them stand out. First off, I based them 3 to a stand, rather than five like my regular infantry. I then used very thin wire to add scopes to a single rifle per stand. I think it does look good and it makes the troops stand out a bit.

I also landscaped the stands a bit more than normal. One stand has a log on it, one has a dead Confederate, the command stand has a rock on it, and the last has a bush on it. I feel like these touches helped really finish the stands and make them look a bit more like the skirmishers that they are.

Figures courtesy of Battle Honors!

Last few hours for my Skaven army on eBay!

Only a few more hours of my Skaven army on eBay, which is at a fairly good price, so do come by and take a look... you've got to spend that holiday money from Grandma SOMEWHERE!

Click here to see the auction!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

25mm WWII Germans - Infantry Squad 1

Hey all!

Well, after SO many non-miniature posts, I thought I would get a few different miniature posts up. First up; the first unit of my 25mm WWII German army!

My 25mm WWII German force is quite small; in fact, it is only two squads of 10.
The stern officer with the briefcase here is actually from the second unit, but I included him here anyway. This squad has a few submachine guns, as well as a heavy duty MG42, which was one of the most famous German weapons of the war. It's ferocious rate of fire (something in the realm of 1,2000 rounds per minute) created a very identifiable sound, and it really became, along with a few other weapons like the Tiger tank, a symbol of the German war machine. My favorite is probably the officer with the submachine gun who is pointing which way to go.. the great coat is a good look, and he just looks mean as hell!

These guys actually have a modeled movement tray they normally sit in, and the MG42 sits behind a ruined brick wall (you can see one of the bricks on the stand of one of the submachine gunners) but for the life of me I cannot find it!

The officer in black is meant to be an SS officer... speaking of which, I highly recommend the new series "Hitlers Bodyguard," all about the SS and the other troops dedicated to protecting Hitler during WWII; fascinating stuff!

All of these guys are Foundry troops.

Coming up later on Wednesday... some 15mm WWII Germans, my 15mm ACW Sharpshooters, and my first ever music review, of some of the marvelous work of the Camp Chase Fife and Drums!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A few shots of the Wargames Room

Given that I think I am finally getting towards the end of decorating the Wargames Room, I thought I would share a few shots.

The room has a very rich, warm feeling to it. Honestly, walking in, with the lights as they are, the lit cabinets, the prints and the weapons and the pack and
the rest... it has really turned out exactly as I hoped.

To the right is a shot of my painting area. It is a bit of a mess at the moment as I have a few projects on the bench, and my painting lamp is in another room, but you can still get an idea of what the area looks like. My American Civil War sword and kepi hang next to the painting alcove, and my Scottish claymore hangs on the adjacent wall. There are two prints here; an 1811 French infantry officers, musicians, and sappeurs print, and an 1805 French cavalry uniform print. Above my painting table is my 1888 French military handkerchief, which has, printed around the outside, instructions for the newest soldiers to learn their responsibilities!

On the opposite wall is the main miniature cabinets. In the left-hand one (cabinet #1) is my 25mm French Napoleonic army, my 15mm WWII German army, and a bunch of my 15mm ACW soldiers, both Federal and Confederate. In the center of the wall is my original 1864 double bag. Above that hang two black and white photos of the "Cutty Sark" and the "U.S.S. Constitution." Between the ship photos is a collection of original minie balls and a Federal eagle button. On the right-hand side, in cabinet #2, is my 25mm Napoleonic Russian army, my Lord of the Rings figures, and the beginning of my 25mm Napoleonic Austrian army. And hanging above it all? My Brown Bess.

Finally there is the entrance, which has only a single print, the age of which is unknown, illustrating the proper techniques for the parry and the riposte!

So... that is The House of War! I'll have some more miniatures coming up soon, but with the room coming together, I thought I should take a few shots. And if anyone is in the northern NJ area and wants to come by for a game, just let me know!

Anyway... let's get back to miniatures! Next up... some more WWII Germans, both 15mm and 25mm!

Finally hung my original 1864 Pack!

Howdy all!

Well, the wife is out of town, so I have a few days of Guy Time. So, in celebration, after my buddy who gave me the sword left, I decided to FINALLY tackle getting the original 1864 pack up!

The pack was given to me by a very kind gent who happens to collect military antiques and has an amazing collection... you can get a glimpse of his lifestyle here.

Anyway, it has been sitting in storage for almost a year, until I finally decided just to get the best piece in my collection finally HANGING! I made a four-sided box, using a frame from Target for the front and regular pine for the sides. Screwed the frame onto the other three parts, stained the outside cherry, painted the inside to match the walls, and sat it all on a shelf!

I also put up two photos my father took, of two war ships... there are closer-up photos here. They are very beautiful shots; he is a photographer, so
they should be! I also included a small box of some original bullets and a Federal button given to me by my father in law on top of the pack.

Anyway, I am so, so happy to finally have this up. Next up; finishing the framing of my two huge Civil War battlefields and getting those up... assuming the cavalry lance doesn't get here first!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A revisit of Cabinet #1

Hey folks,

Well, my buddy and I took a bunch of ACW figures off of the table... it was simply too crowded. So we put the vast majority of the older figures into their boxes, but kept out maybe a fifth of them on a single shelf... I figured that a nice packed mob shot of the top half of Cabinet #1 might be somewhat fun! You can see the start of the 25mm Napoleonic French army below, and the left-overs of my 15mm WWII German force above... I'll get a few more shots of those guys ASAP.

Anyway... enjoy the "big mess" shot!

New House of War decoration

The same friend who brought the bag-o-flags also came by with a little gift for the wargames room... a nice officers sword to hang above the painting nook! This chap also provided the kepi, and is the proud owner of a beautiful collection of both period antiques and top quality reproduction gear... some of his older stuff that is more display-oriented has been donated to the war room. Good stuff!


A very good buddy of mine came by to hang out tonight, and brought with him his latest order of flags from Rick "The Flag Dude" O'Brien. This friend has around 50 or 60 units he has to give flags to, including two for each Federal regiment, so all in all it was a LOT of flags, and I thought it would be worth a photo! Rick's flags look real sharp, and we were impressed as we looked through the flags at the same time as watching a very nice ACW reenactment video... the miniature flags really do have a wonderful feel of movement.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just because I like the photo...

I just think this is a perfect, compact little photo of toy soldiers. A little bit of everything!

Anyway... just wanted to repost it. This one is good too.

A few more shots of "The Grassy Lane"

I am going to be giving this guy away as a gift on Christmas morning, so I thought I would post up just a few more photos!

It is a shame that two of my coolest pieces that I have ever done... indeed, all THREE of my dioramas, are all gifts! I should really figure out how to make some for myself:)

Anyway... here are the photos!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

For the holidays - Buy My Skaven Army!

Hello all!

Just in time for the holidays, I am posting and selling my Warhammer Skaven army!

Here is the link to my new blog that outlines the force, unit by unit!

Click here for MY SKAVEN BLOG!


Buy This Painted Skaven Army!

Friday, December 19, 2008

"The Grassy Lane"

I finally finished!

This little scene, which I have titled "The Grassy Lane," is a Christmas gift for my father-in-law. He is a big Rev. War buff, and I thought he might enjoy this.

I bought the figures for this at Fall In. They are 25mm from Eureka; they make
some EXCELLENT ragged Continentals, designed to fit in flawlessly with the best miniatures in the biz, the Perry figures.

I went with a brown jacket/red turnback jacket combo... I realized only after I finished up that I hadn't done the white and hearts on the turnbacks, so I'll do those soon, but probably not until tomorrow. Anyway, overall I think they came out pretty sharp.

The base is a piece from Gale Force 9, with pink insulation foam to build up both sides to represent the
slightly-worn sides of a New England path. Some sand, some bark, and voila! In the pictures it is hard to see, but the land is built up on both sides of the men... they are in a neatly worn depression, where they can, at least, find a modicum of cover!

I had to put a little thought into how the men should be set up... in my head I saw the two guys in the center as the centerpieces, as the heroes of this little
vignette. Someplace they must have had a near scrape, or dove for cover, or clubbed down a British redcoat, and so both have lost their hats, but they fight on. Are they, in fact, father and son? A ragged veteran of Bunker Hill and Bennington, and the new recruit he is trying to protect? Who knows. These ragged Connecticut boys have formed up on a little worn grassy lane and begun to exchange fire with some nearby Lobsterbacks... surely they won't all be standing shortly!

Anyway... I think it will be a neat Christmas present. Heck, I'd take it anytime!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Workbench

Here are the finished AWI troops!

The photos of these boys definately do not do them justice. I did a pretty sharp paint job on these guys, and then followed up with some mid-shade dip, which does cover up a lot of sins! It glopped a bit around one guys feet, but it will be fine once he is all grassed. These guys represent a Connecticut unit, and I do enjoy the brown and red!

25mm figures courtesy of Eureka miniatures... thanks Giles! :)

An old 15mm ACW gift

Here is a piece that is actually no longer in my collection!
I made this piece as a gift to a gent who very generously gave me the original 1864 double pack that I have in my wargames room. I know he is obviously a big Civil War buff, and I know that he also enjoys painting larger soldiers, so I figured a nice little scene would be a good return gift!
Obviously the scene is a bunch of Confederates holding a fence. There are actually about four dead men among the feet, and if you look closely you'll see three more taking hits... one clutching his stomach, another his face, and a third running off, having also taken a minie ball to the face, groping blindly for help. There is a mounted officer in the back, just stopping by to yell some orders before galloping off. The rocks are just some drybrushed bark pieces, and the fence made from some simple balsa wood.

All of the figures from the scene, with the exception of the dead, are from Battle Honours 15mm. The dead are Old Glory.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My first book review!

Hey all!

Time for my first book review! The book is "Human Interest Stories from Antietam," by the well-known Civil War guy Scott Mingus. I had the pleasure of meeting Scott at Fall In, and was thrilled to get a copy of this book!

Format first; it is a soft cover, fairly no frills collection of personal stories from the battle of Antietam. Small (albeit easy to read) text makes it a wee bit daunting at first glance, as it could look to be a touch dense, but after ohhhh, about a sentence you realize that the easy flow of the writing and incredibly personal nature of the stories will make this a good read:) The stories are anywhere from a short paragraph to three paragraphs long, so it is also an easy book to read in "chunks;" no having to devote an hour to "keeping up with the story" or anything.

Scott packed the book with all sorts of fantastic stories from the lead up to the battle, the battle itself, and the aftermath. They include stories about foraging parties gone awry (these guys foraged so much, when did they even find time to fight?!) near misses and bravery in the heat of combat, and a few of our most famous generals and even future presidents... who knew that Rutherford B. Hayes was such a total bullet-riddled badass?! Some of the foraging stories are, in particular, fascinating, not only because of what the men ate (who knew apple butter was so valued?) and how creative the men were when it came time to find some food, but also in that it really drives home how poorly fed the troops often were. The writing is clear and enjoyable, with just the right mix of somewhat sharp humor and an understanding of how horrible some of the stories do, indeed, turn out. The writing actually has a certain elegance to it that feels very period, but it is still very clear. Good stuff.

Animal lovers will enjoy that there are a number of anecdotes about adopted mascots for units... not counting, of course, the various pigs that made their way into the breakfast pans!

Anyway... a very enjoyable read, full of well researched personal stories of the thousands of faceless men who fought in the American Civil War. If I were to do book reviews on a regular basis, and were to grade books on a 5 point scale, I would give this one someplace between a 4 and a 4.5, with the only deductions really being for lack of beautiful color photos... which obviously was not its intended purpose. A GREAT Christmas book too, as it isn't too expensive... given the current economic times, this is something to consider.

Scott's books can be bought here, for a pretty good price if I do say so myself!

The Workbench

Merry December all!

Well, the start of the month was slow, as work was in a really rough patch. However, things are slowing down a bit before the holidays, so I thought I would post a few new photos!

Since it has been awhile, here is my Workbench... in this case, the sunroom table where I was painting. I am actually tackling my first 25mm AWI figures as a gift to my father in law for the holidays... he is a big AWI fan, and I though he would enjoy a little scene of some Connecticut troops defending a fence. I undercoated them white this time, with the idea of leaving the pants white, but now I somewhat regret it... white is an unforgiving undercoat! At least with black you don't really see any spots you missed in the deepest recesses of the figures.

Anyway... this is them, half done. Faces look a bit dark, and there is a lot left to do on them, but at least this way folks know what I am up to!

Friday, December 5, 2008

25mm Nap. Russians - First Wing Officers

Happy December, everyone!

In honor of the coming of winter, I thought I would post some wintery folks; namely, the first set of foot officers of my 25mm Napoleonic Russian army!

Like my French army, my Russian army splits rather neatly in two and each wing is commanded by a group of foot officers, who in turn report to the General. Unfortunately I could not find enough officers in great coats; however, I didn't really mind, as I don't want a Russian army totally devoid of green!

This trio includes a Grenadier officer, who is ready to report back to his troops, a rather demanding infantry officer who is pointing towards the piece of the enemy line that he wants his men to attack with most vigor, and of course the wing commander himself, who is urging his men forward.

All of these chaps are courtesy of Sash and Saber.