Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some 15mm ACW pictures with the new camera

Hey all!

Just figured I'd post some more work done with the new camera... I clearly need to keep working, but I'll get to it.
I think I might take down the 15mm ACW setup soon, actually, as I am dying to play another game of the 10mm Nappies, and this time take some NICE photos as I go... we'll see what happens!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Photos with the new camera

Hey all!

Well, one of the Christmas gifts was the camera that I took those high res Napoleonic shots with earlier in the year! I've started playing with it, and took a few shots this morning... I don't have a lot on the table at the moment, but there will be more coming soon!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas gift!

Hey all!

Well, I did pick up a FEW toy soldiers bits for Christmas... mainly, a copy of "Black Powder" as well as a SUPER nice camera for photographing toy soldiers, both courtesy of my father in law!

I thought I would snap a few photos as practice of the bears I painted for the wifey... let's see how they turned out!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Workbench

Well, the bears are basically done! All that remains is painting the pole of the flag and straightening out the piece at the top, adding a few bushes, and voila! I am very happy with the way they turned out... very rich, vibrant colors, very toy soldier like... really, I think they turned out great. When I finally give them to the wife and I can openly have them around I'll take some final photos with a good background, but for now, this ain't bad!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Workbench

Well, the bears are almost done!

I ended up going with a few different shades of brown (and even one black bear) but overall I think they turned out looking good.

All I have to do is grass them and get the flag on, and they will be ready to go! The grass might actually be an issue; I am almost out, and am not sure if the local hobby place will have any! I hope they do...

Anyway, as always, comments and suggestions welcome!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The best video game ever

Howdy all,

I don't often post about video games, unless it is one I've worked on, but I just have to post once about the Take Command: Civil War series.

It is, without any shadow of a doubt, the greatest video game ever made.

I just played a game today... three Federal corps against roughly the same from the Confederates. I was in command of one corp, and advanced my two divisions to a secondary objective. After about five minutes of marching through the lush American countryside, one division arrived at the objective, a large wooded hill, while the second deployed in fields to the right of it. But... where was the enemy?

Then, in the woods to my front, I saw the head of a Confederate column. Quickly my right-most division got into line, and a ferocious firefight ensued... the Confederates pushed up with a great number of men, but close in artillery support, as well as some cavalry used as a flanking element, helped hold the Confederates back and, eventually, push them off.

It seemed the Southerners had been defeated, so I began to move the Division holding the objective towards a distant, Confederate held objective... only to run into the second Confederate corps, which had flanked me through the woods while the first attacked me! Half of my division was smashed to pieces before I could bring up more men, holding the hill against wave after wave of Confederate infantry! A good number of Federals ran, and one entire brigade had to make an emergency withdrawal after being caught flat-footed...

Eventually, using my entire corps, I was able to hold the determined Confederate attack back, only to have ANOTHER Confederate corps appear in the woods in my initial front! Thankfully my computer allies engaged them, allowing me to move what remained of one division up and to their flank, where I was able to get the attacking southerners in enfilade... they almost broke my allied troops, but at the last minute, we pushed them back, even though a number of my men ran out of ammo and had to withdraw to be resupplied.

The game lasted a solid two hours, and included at least two BRILLIANT flanking attacks by the AI, something which happens with great frequency with Take Command.

If you have never had the opportunity to play this positively amazing game, I cannot recommend it enough. Best video game ever made.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The 15mm ACW table is done!

Howdy all!

Well, the 15mm ACW table is, basically done.

The table features a river that runs down the center of it, the outskirts of a small town in one corner, and most importantly a large set of Confederate entrenchments overlooking the town.

There is a road leading across the board to the town. This is actually the first time I've attempted to do a road using flock rather than the cork roads, but I think that they look okay. I might like to sprinkle a few other colors in with the road flock to shade it, but overall I think it looks good, and allows me to have as much road as I want.

On an aside... I did not clip the photos this time so the background is visible... hope it is not a distraction?
Any comments or suggestions MORE than welcome! If you see something that could use moving or changing, or heck, if you even want to suggest where the soldiers should go, please do!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Workbench

Hey all!

Well, after a VERY busy work time, I managed to get a little more work done on the wife's Christmas present today... the two musicians are nearing completion! A little work with black on the eyes and drums, and a bit of touching up, and I think they are good to go!

I am going with the idea of all the bears being slightly different. I thought about a panda, but am not sure it would work... same with a polar bear... namely because there would be so much white on them, and since they already are wearing the red and white of British soldiers, I am afraid it would be too much! But who knows...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Another layout for the 15mm ACW fortifications...

Howdy all!

Okay, based on feedback I got, I did some reworking of the work... basically I got rid of the straight layout and created some interlocking fields of fire, as they should have had. Obviously it is not flocked into the table and I still want to play with it. Overall, I think it looks a LOT better, although I think there are still things that need working out... plus, I really do need to dig out the rest of my Confederate artillery; for now, I am just too lazy!

Looking better? Any helpful hints?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More work on the 15mm ACW table

Well, I've gotta go outside and collect leaves, but I figure I'd post a few photos first...

The 15mm ACW table continues along... I cleared out the space in front of the Confederate trenches and it does look a lot better. I am also experimenting with flock to represent roads, but I am not sure how I feel about it yet.

Here is a look across the table at the Confederate trenches overlooking the river. I am going to continue looking at the layout of the trenches, and hopefully with some advice from all of you about how best to lay it out it will look great!

Here is a look at the bridge at the river... I have a feeling this spot will be hotly contested! I am going to put in a ford as well at another part of the river, probably down near the barn... we'll see how that goes.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Painted up the 15mm ACW fortified pieces...

Well, while my wife watched cheesy Christmas movies, I worked on toy soldiers!

Tonight I painted up the resin pieces that I picked up from Acheson Creations and I think they turned out nicely! I did a few layers of brown, with the brown for the gabions being a lighter shade so they stood out from the redoubts themselves... then a bit of flock on the edges of the bases and voila! Now, I still need to move them around a bit so it looks right, but overall I think for now they look okay.

There is still a bit of work to do, obviously... I think I need to get rid of the building and fields in front of the fort, and I want to see if I can figure out a way to disguise the back a bit... of course, as always, any suggestions (for example, how to lay them out) welcome!

Continued work on the 15mm ACW table...

Okay, more work has been done... the forests are, generally, down, and I've begun hedging and fencing... I tried to define a few roads despite not having road pieces for them (far corner, and then around the bridge) and we'll see how that looks. I put the undercoated bridge and fortress pieces on the table as well, to get an idea of how they will look... below is a close up of the fort pieces! If anyone who is more knowledgeable about fort layout wants to make suggestions, I would gladly take them! Should there NOT be so many fences and such right near the fort? Would they clear more space? Or is it possible that there WOULD be farmland right near it?

Beginning a 15mm American Civil War table...

Howdy all!

Well, I've finally got the War Room getting back into shape, and one of the last steps is offloading all of the stuff for the table out of the boxes and back onto the table!

For this current set-up, which will be up past Christmas (and therefore around if, perchance, I get a nice camera for Christmas!) I have settled on a 15mm ACW table.

I've primarily decided this because it will give me incentive to paint up the new redoubts and gabions that I got at Fall In! They are scrubbed and undercoated, and so today maybe I'll get some paint on them.

The idea of the table is a Confederate fort being attacked. The fort will be on the low ridge to the rear of the table... the building and tents mark where the center of the fort will be. There will be the edges of a small town beside the fort, and lots of woods on the other side of the river... the idea being that the people of the town and the soldiers in the fort have cleared a lot of the woods on their side of the river. There are some ridges and hills around the outside of the table as well. I have a bridge as well that will go where there is a gap in the river.

So this is the basic layout... I think I'll play with it a bit more, and then start putting down the bushes/hedges/fences! If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations, please do share!:D

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Sandwiches

Okay, let's get serious.

It is Turkey Sandwich time... my favorite time of the year! And given that I've done food posts before... I thought I'd do one on the making of my favorite food of ALL TIME... the turkey sandwich!

Step one... get yourself a good potato roll, and cover it up with some pieces of turkey. Avoid ones with any sort of gristle... use your hands to tear, that will give you a good "feel" for the meat you are using.

Step Two... cut yourself a nice sized piece of stuffing. Now, the trick with cold stuffing is that it is SUPER easy to cut into the EXACT size of your sandwich. Make sure you take advantage of this!

Step three... mashed potatoes. These are my dad's, who was trained at the Cordon Bleu, so they are particularly good... cheese and breadcrumbs and all sorts of goodness! Now, the key here, again, is use your hands! You could really mold the potatoes down around the edges of the stuffing, and make yourself a nice indent in the top for step four.

Step four... gravy! Be careful, you don't want to OVERDO it, but that is hard to do with gravy. Make sure you get a nice amount right into the indention you made earlier in the potatoes.

Step five... put on the cover, and nuke for about 40 seconds. Do not toast; you want mush and heat, not crispy. Then, when it comes out, push everything down and around the sandwich with your hands, and voila! Turkey sandwich for a KING!!

I love Thanksgiving.

My current flags...

Hey all!

Well, as I mentioned in my last blog entry, I've been working on cleaning up the War Room. There had been purchases and acquisitions and moving of troops, and I never really reorganized, but instead just stuck them all where ever I could find room... and now I've got to undo all that mess!

I haven't been able to finish it recently as work has been overwhelming, but with the Thanksgiving holiday upon us I've had a bit of breathing room, and one of the things I did was stick all my flags in a new piece of foam... and having done that, I thought I would take a picture, because, let's face it, flags rock!

All my flags are from Rick O'Brien (you can find his link on the left there.) Currently I have the following flags ready for regiments...

* A few 15mm ACW flags
* Two 25mm Napoleonic Russian infantry flags
* One set of 25mm Napoleonic Austrian flags, and then an individual flag for some grenadiers
* A 25mm Napoleonic Russian cossack flag
* A few 25mm ACW Confederate flags (including a Louisiana flag, which I love.)
* A 25mm AWI British flag, intended for my bears.
* A set of 25mm ACW Federal flags.

Can't wait until they all have homes... and I can buy some more flags!:D

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Workbench

Hey all!

Well, work has really picked up, so the fun has had to be put on hold... however, that doesn't mean EVERYTHING has ground to a halt!

I have started work on my wife's Christmas gift (or rather, one of her gifts) and so far, so good! It is an eight man... or rather, eight bear, unit of soldiers! I've gotten them all based up and ready to go, and I have almost finished my first example, just as a test... I have to say, it was a bunch of fun to paint, and I am super happy with how he has turned out so far!

Now I have only one real major question yet; to dip, or not to dip? Dipping certainly makes them look nice, but I almost wonder if NOT dipping will make them look MORE toy soldier? Opinions welcome!

Anyway... I'll get the rest done over the next month or so.

Also, I figured I would share a picture of the room of war... after getting back from Fall In, I decided I would have to pull everything out of storage and reorganize... it was getting just too messy, and driving me a little nuts! Of course, now it looks worse, but heck, it is a work in progress...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fall In 2009 - Stuff I Bought!

Hey all!

Whelp, here is the last in my four part series on Fall In... namely... what I bought!

Now, I am generally pretty frugal with conventions. I tend to roll with a rather serious buyer, however, so I've been around some pretty huge purchases... the biggest probably being the purchase of an entire collection, including terrain, from a well-known miniatures guy in the Gettysburg area... it was a biggie!

This Fall In was, compared to all the previous ones, a restrained affair. The collapsed economy has hit everyone, so this one was pretty restrained. But of course... SOME money had to get spent! So here is what I purchased!

First up... a jar of white paint from Howard Hues. No idea if the paints are any good, but heck, I'll give it a try... how bad can it be?

Next up... some flags from The Flag Dude, Rick O'Brien. I have tried to be pretty careful with my flag purchases, and generally don't have a ton of surplus. However, I knew I needed to pick a few up for the next few painting projects! I got a pair of flags for my 25mm Napoleonic Austrians and another for some Grenadiers from the same collection. Then I picked up some ACW flags (Confederate and Federal). Overall they should be enough to keep me going for a while!

Maybe the "steal of the show" was found at Acheson Creations. They do a lot of resin pieces, and I found some FANTASTIC 15mm redoubts and gabions... they are GREAT! Perfect for 15mm but totally usable for 10s as well, these pieces are nicely molded and SUPER cheap... fifty cents a section! For only 8 or 10 bucks I was able to buy everything I would need to make a very nice defensive position... and, in fact, 15mm ACW will likely be my next set up so I can get these boys on the table!

Here is a close up of some of the redoubt pieces along with some of the gabions... they look awful nice.

I also found some other FANTASTIC pieces at Acheson... these GREAT stacks of barrels and boxes, and a stone wall! These pieces were also only 50 cents each, and will look fantastic on some fancy movement trays with my Napoleonics and also scattered next to buildings... for fifty cents they are AMAZING. I have to say, these were maybe the best thing I bought at Fall In!

Next up... a relatively simple find at Battlefield Terrain Concepts. Now, generally I like the BTC stuff, but man, it is NOT cheap. However, this simple bridge was not terribly expensive, and quite frankly I needed it. I have nice 10mm streams and such, but I really did need a good looking stone bridge to use as an objective for games. I am looking forward to getting it all painted up... I bet it takes a drybrush like no ones business!

My most expensive purchase of the convention was a support purchase for my 25mm Napoleonic Russians. Like my French, my Russians were planned with having two "centerpieces." The first is the Blessing of the Pavlov Guard. The second was always intended to be a scene of French prisoners guarded by Russian guards. Well, with the release of the Perry French sitting on their packs, I knew it was time.

I made this little scene with two packs of Perry troops and a pack of 2nd edition Old Glory Russians. There will need to be a little converting done on the Russians to make them standing at attention, and I may move some of the Frenchmen around, but overall I like it... two circles of French soldiers, beaten, held back near the supplies of the Russian army... when the piece is all done it should look AWFUL sharp. And if I could figure out how to sculpt some great coats, it would be even better!

I also picked up a few things at the flea market this year.

First up... I lost my copy of Flames of War some time back, and figured I would grab another copy when I saw it for sale for only six bucks! Heck, for six bucks, why not? I also got the newest issue of White Dwarf for another three dollars, and two tiny little 10mm Napoleonic houses for a dollar. Not bad for ten bucks at the flea market!

Finally, I did get one more thing... a combo of Eureka Miniatures and Flag Dude flag... namely, this group of teddy bears! Having first seen them on Der Alte Fritz's blog, these guys were purchased and will be painted up as a Christmas present for the wife. They will be painted up as British troops (hence the flag) and I do hope that she likes them!

So... that is what I bought at Fall In 2009! I'd love to hear what purchases other folks made... it is always neat to hear about it!