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!


Hmmm... bacon wrapped filet mignon with a butter and rosemary topping... baked potato with cheese, sour cream, butter, and bacon bits, peas, and the best whole wheat bread I've ever had. Hmmmm...

Post 300!

Huzzah! Post 300!

I've really enjoyed keeping this blog. Many years ago when I first heard about this site, I totally thought "Ohhh I would enjoy blogging... keeping active records, sharing, and talking with people is right up my alley!"

Unfortunately my old computer had problems and I never took the time to solve them! But when I moved to my new house, I found myself suddenly able to access blogspot, and the rest is history!

Anyway... I've really enjoyed blogging, and I hope that people have enjoyed the blogging as well...
I have to say, blogging has been really useful and fun for a few reasons!

First, of course, it is great fun to show my toys to other people!:) I only have a single friend who shares the hobby, and we don't see each other as often as we'd like, so it IS nice to be able to show my recent work to folks, and to get feedback.

Secondly, it is also nice to be able to track my own work... I love being able to go back and look at blog entries from some time ago and see where I was... I love seeing stuff sitting in the background of a photo of the workbench, knowing those figures are now finished and sitting in their rightful spot in my cabinets.

Lastly, the blog also represents my own contribution to "more toy soldier eye candy on the web." I can remember so clearly the many evenings I'd be slightly bored, heading towards sleep, and just doing a few searches for toy soldiers... and I can remember when I would find a fantastic site I had never seen before, but which was full of great photos! I hope that somewhere, someday, my blog can be that for someone else.
Anyway... good times! Later today, my Fall In 2009 converage ends with a look at my purchases!
(Just so folks know, it counts 300 including drafts and such. Just roll with it.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall In 2009 - The Game I Ran!

Howdy all!

Well, as promised, here is Part 3 of "Lord Ashram's House of War Fall In 2009 Coverage!"

In my first two posts on the subject, I posted some photos from some random games I saw, and some photos from some games I actually played in.

This year, I also hosted a game! It was a 10mm Napoleonic battle, using the same figures and terrain that you've seen on this blog. I used my newest rule set, Brigades and Bearskins, that seemed to go over well... you can download it at the above link. I definitely learned a bit about the rules... they generally went over rather well, as everyone felt they were very simple and, indeed, a few folks said they were the most fun rule set they had played over the weekend, thanks in no small part to the lack of seventeen thousand charts! There are some tweaks I need to make, however... I'll get to them soon:)

It was a good time! We had six players all together;
two gents who wandered by and joined, a family of three that played, and myself. And while the beginning was very slow (it is hard to explain rules when A) you are SO familiar with them and B) you've had a few drinks) it did pick up quickly!

Anyway... on to some photos!

First up is a shot of the French left flank... in the center you can see the main French advance on the chateau, and to the right of that the mass French attack on the ridge... a ridge the British were also making a bee-line to!
The British artillery in the center opened fire on the French left, forcing the troops there to begin to take Steady! tests and softening them up as three brigades of British and Allied infantry advanced across the stream to attack...
The British closed on the French, who realized pretty quickly that they were heavily outnumbered... their cavalry had already been routed thanks to some musketfire, and now the infantry was on its own...
The action was fierce, and while the French managed to pound the British a bit, they simply could not hold on... the British eventually pushed the French back and routed them...
... allowing them to cross the stream again and advance towards the French center.
In the center both sides made a break for the ridgeline in the center of the board. On the far flank of the ridge the French got there very fast, while in the center the British got there first. However, the Old Guard got to the center immediately thereafter. Some incompetent commanders did not follow orders, leaving the British short of troops in the center, and the British cavalry was also caught being too aggressive and was punished... and it was finished off as the Old Guard climbed the ridge and smashed into the British lines that deployed just as they arrived. The first brigade of British infantry was crushed, but an Allied brigade managed to stand and fight.
Meanwhile, on the far flank on the edge of the ridge, there was a fierce fight as a British brigade attempted to get up the hill in the face of French musketfire. The British managed to rout two of the nervous French battalions but all of the redcoats were eventually routed, while the French recovered their nerve and returned to the edge of the ridgeline, leaving it firmly in French hands.

Unfortunately this is where we ended, as folks got tired... learning a new system is pretty draining! On the plus side, we played for almost five hours! The folks who played I think had a very nice time... one kind gent (the commander of the doomed French left flank) actually said it was the most fun he had had in a game all weekend, and his wife even enjoyed herself immensely! While tiring, it was a lot of fun, and I'd love to have another shot at a game now that everyone knows the rules!

Oh, by the way... if any of the players read this, I'd love to hear from you, and please, if ANYONE happened to have taken a photo of the game I'd love to get a copy... I was so busy trying to keep it going that I barely took any photos!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall In 2009 - Games I Played!

Hey all!

Here is Part 2 of my Fall In "coverage," such as it is... photos from the two games I played!

I have actually never played any games before at Fall In with other folks... a buddy and I would play two man games, but I had never ventured out of that before. This being my last Fall In, I figured I would finally break out and try my hand at other games!

With some suggestions and guidance from folks over at
The Miniatures Page, I picked out two games... first, a 40mm AWI game put on by Dave Bonk, and then a 15mm Napoleonic game put on by Sam Mustafa.

First up... AWI! The game was on Friday night, and while at first I had my reservations about 40mm (a bit larger than I normally game with) that was quickly put out of my head. The game was beautiful! A heavily flocked table formed a nice base, and some simple fake teddy bear fur fields and some basic fences really went a long way towards making the table look great. It was a six vs. six game, and while it felt like a tough, uphill climb as the Americans attacking a pretty scary looking British force, we managed to largely contain one of their flanks while rolling up the other! Some terrible luck on our left flank notwithstanding, we still managed to pull off a minor victory!

Overall the game was fun. It seemed to me to be a VERY quiet group (and a few observers commented on it also) compared to most games, but still fun. I enjoyed some aspects of the computer-moderated game (Carnage and Glory,) but I must admit that on more than one occasion I went to cheer on a teammate, only to realize that we weren't really rolling anything, so I was just cheering on a computer! A bit strange, for sure... and I wonder if that had anything to do with the extremely laid back game?
Anyway... here is a bit of eye candy from game one!

So then, after Dave's beautiful game, I had Sam Mustafa's 15mm Napoleonic debut of his new rules set, Lasalle! The book itself was rather nice looking, as seems to be the trend (and there are a few awful nice photos, including one of a French surgeon and another of a pretty sweet 10mm Napoleonic set up!) and the rules seemed pretty sharp, as one would expect. While the turn sequence is a bit "different" (first comes shooting, then close combat, then movement) the game itself seemed to move very well, and represented the era well.

I showed up five minutes late because I am an idiot and didn't see the game was at the All Star, but still got some troops, and along with another cavalry commander we managed to smash through the Austrian flank and, had things continued, I am sure we would have done well! Of course, Sam's figures were STUNNING, so I took a few (although not enough!) photos! Enjoy!

Coming up next... my game from Fall In 2009!