Friday 28 August 2015

Here is a picture of Peter Pig's Polish lancers from the First World War.

It's rather nice.

Thursday 27 August 2015

Dice Trays and Dakotas

A quick trip to Hobbycraft last week saw me pick up two plastic trays that I used my years of modelling and hobby experience to turn into two handy dice trays. A very useful little item to prevent your best figures being bombed by dice. Warning though, don't try to copy these unless you're an experienced modeller.

We are just back from a few days camping with friends, one of whom is an ex British Airways pilot who back in the day worked for Air Atlantique. They had in their small fleet Dakota DC3's in which he would transport rare items around Europe or do a bit of environmental work spraying oil slicks at a height of 20'.

Our campsite was close to RAF Cosford Museum and so on the way home we paid a visit. It was fascinating listening to him talk about flying and aircraft in general. He was extremely pleased to see this Dakota on display. Nostalgia hit home and he regaled me with many stories of his time flying one.

Cosford is well worth a visit if you're in the area, details here.

I have had a day at home alone today and so I have knuckled down and painted a load of ECW. Counting cavalry as two pieces, I have painted 102 figures to be exact whilst listening to the excellent Dan Carlin's 'Blueprint for Armageddon' series which can be found on his Hardcore History podcast. If you're interested take a look here. It is a series of 6 podcasts covering the entire First World War and clocks in at what must be over 18 hours of listening. I finished it off todasy and it is well worth a listen.

Off to play tennis now, but more soon...

Sunday 16 August 2015

Men of Company B and Regiment of Foote

Barry E came over for a game of Men of Company B (MOCB) last week. I reckon we first played a Vietnam game together 20 years ago using the old Peter Pig rules 'Search and Destroy'. Barry has recently purchased the Men of Coy B rules and has been busy working out forces for himself.

I have US Marines and VC that I painted up years ago. I also have 3 Hueys, a few M113's and a couple of M48 tanks. I really should get some regular NVA at some point. You only really need a handful of figures for MOCB but I have so many projects on the go as per usual, they are way down on the list of priorities.

The game went really well. It was set in my ficitional Vung Bac province, in early '67. We kept things simple with no off table supprot for the US. Barry had 3 platoons of foot slogging grunts out on a search and destroy mission. The village of Vung Bac was the target with word of VC sympathisers been located in the area. Typical fare I know but it added to the game!

Despite an early set back where a platoon was ambushed by a HMG followed by an interrogation of a group of peasants that went wrong, the mission was a great success. The US suffered no casualties and recovered a large amount of stores and caches. The small VC platoon was destroyed and effectiveness in the area has been greatly reduced for some time.

 Vung Bac province from a reconnaissance photo (hence the poor quality...) 

The unfortunate incident with the group of peasants.

The US cautiously approach the village.

Job done and time to call in the slicks.

MOCB is a game I really enjoy as its quick and bloody. The sneaky use of the VC also appeals although I didn't play them particularly well this time.

I spent Thursday and Friday in Weymouth with Martin at PP HQ playtesting the new Regiment of Foote. 5 games in all, including 3 siege games. Had a great time and managed ot pick up a few figures too. I also had a go at casting a few figures which was nice!

More soon...

Thursday 6 August 2015

Painting and a game!

Ade D came over for a days gaming yesterday. The plan was for some Warmachine in the morning followed by Piggie action in the afternoon. He arrived just after 10am and dice were rolling before 11. We played 35pts, Ade using his new Mortenabra Cryx army against a list I've wanted to try for a while using Captain Kara Sloan with all the guns. Things worked out well for me with two quick games ending in round 2 with Sloan shooting Mortenabra between the eyes on both occasions.

We then had lunch with an impromptu jam session, Ade on my Ukulele and me on guitar. The original plan was PBI to be followed by Hammerin Iron. Ade fancied HI first and so we set to with Ade playing the Union Admiral He neded up defending. This left me as the Reb admiral, attacking which can tend to be a tough gig. In the new Hammerin Iron (2011) players must buy a navy consisting of 6 ships AND a fort. If you attack you don't get use of the fort. If you defend you lose one ship from your fleet. I had three ships on at game start to Ades one, but from the start things went poorly as I couldn't catch his lone ship (the USS Signal) and by the time I was down river, Ade had a couple more ships on table, one of which was the Monitor. Without going into the gory detail, at the end of the game I had one ship left, the wooden clad General Sumter. I had barely scratched the Union fleet. Final points tally was 67 to Ade and 0 (ZERO!) to me.

 I have played many Peter Pig games over the years. I've lost more than I won. But I have never failed to score a single point! But it was a great game. Once refreshed on the rules the game went along at a fair old pace. It even got me looking at which ships are missing from my collection! 

The first picture shows the first turn with the USS Signal making a run for it from the oncoming Reb fleet.

 Early game action, with I think the General Bragg stuck on a sandbank and under fire from the Union fort.

Late game action. By this time the Tuscalloosa had been blown sky high with a boiler room exploded. My shore battery had been destroyed and most of my ships were battered.

I have used Army Painter dip for years. It has always given me the result I want and I must have painted thousands of Peter Pig figures with it. There are downsides. It costs around £18 per tin, it wrecks your brushes and it leaves your figures with a gloss finish meaning they need matt varnishing for the table. I still have several pots and will no doubt continue to use it. However I have been experimenting with Games Workshop washes, namely: Agrax Earhshade, Reikland Fleshade, Seraphim Sepia and Nuln oil. These are respectively a dark brown, reddish brown, light borwn and black wash. What is interesting is that they tend to sink into the recesses of the figure but don't overly stain the top surfaces similar to other acrylic based hobby inks/washes. I have been really pleased with the results and for the moment favour them over the Army Painter dip. They are water based for a start. Plus they dry in no time to a matt finish. The cost pro rata is probably similar to Army Painter but it doesn't feel so bad paying a couple of quid or so for a pot that will last some time.

Anyway, this afternoon, taking advantage of an empty house I cracked on and managed to paint 3 Regiments of Foote, 1 Regiment of Horse and some dragoons for my ongoing ECW project. I now have 15 Regiments of Foote, 8 Regiments of Horse plus guns and dragoons painted, but not based.

First picture is the dragoons. All of these figures were seen back in February having been sprayed in various base colours. These 6 dragoons were sprayed blue, had details painted on and then washed with Reikland Fleshade.

The afternoons work. I varied which wash to use based on the base colour. I think all of these were done using either Reikland Fleshade or Seraphim Sepia.

A closer look at a foote unit. These were actually sprayed white and then given various colours of coat, breeches and equipment to represent a hastily formed regiment. These were also washed with Reikland Fleshade.

I'm really pleased with the result. Its easy to go back with another wash or to touch up a colour that has darkened too much. I might even try a short tutorial with pictures to explain better how I go about things.

I also painted three STUG IIIG's which came with the Flames of War starter set that I picked up a while ago. Not sure why I bought it now, but I am making use of the vehicles. I followed the tutorial on YouTube and they look ok. No pictures I'm afraid.

I might get some time tomorrow afternoon for a bit mor painting. I'll try and get some more pictures up.

More soon...

Saturday 1 August 2015


A short update to cover the last 4 months or so.

Salute was a great day with several members of the Stoke club in attendance. I helped out a bit on the Peter Pig PBI  game along with Rob R and Tim C. I had a great time talking to Tim about various subjects and we both were of the opinion that you should always go for a kill rather than a pin in PBI!

I did speak briefly with a chap who claimed to be a fan of the blog (!!??), Steve I think. If you read this Steve, I'm so sorry I didn't get chance to talk to you about Regiment of Foote and yes, I should post more. Please email me at and we can swap notes on RoF.

Gaming wise I have managed a few games of PBI and 1 game of Longships. I have a game of Hammerin Iron lined up for Wednesday which I hope to report on. For the last 5 months of the year I aim to play at least 1 PP game per month. I hope to visit PP HQ later this month which should see a few games played. The Stoke club is in the middle of a Warmachine Journeyman League link that I am taking part in meaning it will have to be mid week games for a while.

I am just back from a trip to Germany via France and Belgium. We have friends who live in Morzheim in the Rhineland Palatinate and it was great to see them and other friends too. I love our trips to Germany but always find myself wondering what the places we visit were like 70 years ago. For one meal, Nicole, one of our hosts, had invited her grandparents to join us. Her grandfather was born in 1931 and I would love to speak with him about his early life and experiences, but his English and my German make it difficult! I am planning on taking some German courses over the next year, so maybe on our next trip there.

On our return on Wednesday, I had the urge to paint figures for the first time in an age and so have made progress on my ECW, I have painted all of the artillery crews, the dead markers plus a regiment of foote and one of horse. I am going to really try to push on to get these finished in the near future. This is alongside the ACW, AWI and Wars of the Roses. I have no shortage of figures to keep me busy.

As if I didn't have enough, I am going to take advantage of discount offer from PP for frequent customers. I always said that when the late war French WW1 range was released I would buy an army, so I have made a list and they will shortly join the leadpile.

No shows to report on. I plan to visit a show later in the year, Colours, Warfare or SELWG. I'm not sure which one yet. There has been a drastic reduction in the amount of shows I attend. I think I've managed 3 this year with Alumwell, Salute and Triples. Triples I can do with out. This year I went on the Sunday and it was dead with no atmosphere and very little trade going on from what I could see. I seem to recall there is talk of a change of venue for next year. I do wonder whether the days of 2 day shows is over. I'm not sure there is the appetite for them anymore. I maybe wrong but that's my feeling.

OK, enough for now. Lets see if I can post a few more times before the end of the year!

More soon....