Thursday, 29 December 2011

Female cleric and squirrel

Another female, this time “Muriel the Just” sculpted by Sandra Garrity and number 2176 in Reapers’ Dark Heaven Legends series. Fighter or cleric, it's your choice.
Paints used: armour: Vallejo 053 Chainmail Silver with 057 Bright Bronze highlights, trousers: 971 Green Grey, shirt 881 Yellow Green, shoulder bag: Formula P3 Bootstrap Leather, boots: 876 Brown Sand and hair 981 Orange Brown.
The usual coat of Army Painter Strong Tone and matte varnish over that.
The squirrel comes from Reapers’ Familiar Pack IV, no 2756. Painted with 981 Orange Brown and a wash of Citadel Gryphonne Sepia and matte varnish.
Die evil rodent!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Halflings from Reaper and GW

The first halfling/hobbit is “Pip Thistletoe”, no 2057 from Reapers’ Dark Heaven Legends series, and he is sculpted by Sandra Garrity. A lovely little figure I bought a couple of years ago. It’s got one weak spot, namely the sling, which broke off from the hand, so I had to pin it.
Paints used. Trousers: Vallejo 886 Green Grey, shirt: 971 Green grey, jerkin: 876 Brown Sand, belt: 875 Beige Brown, hair: 818 Red Leather. Coated with Army Painter Strong Tone and a final coat of Vallejo matte varnish.
Next in line is a halfling from, I think, Games Workshop’s Mordheim line. I bought it a long time ago, and it ended up half painted in the tin-mountain. As it is GW it is probably impossible to get now, outside the second hand market, that is.
It’s a neat little figure with full adventuring gear. Paints: Jacket: Formula P3 Traitor Green, helmet: Vallejo 054 Gunmetal Metal, belt/bag/quiver: 875 Beige Brown, hair: 981 Orange Brown, blanket: 991 Dark Sea Grey, trousers: 884 Stone Grey, fish: 052 Silver with a wash of 936 Transparent Green. Coated with Army Painter Strong Tone and a final coat of Vallejo matte varnish.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Battlegames issue 27!

During the autumn we got the unfortunate news that the excellent magazine Battlegames was dying. As this is my absolute favourite printed magazine that was very sad news indeed.
I bought one of the earlier issues a couple of years ago, and wasn’t terribly impressed with it. But after a very nice interview with the editor Henry Hyde in the Meeples & Miniatures podcast I gave it a new try, and was fully hooked. It is very good. It is usually full of articles that interest me, and then there are the other ones. The ones where I look at the heading and think- nah, not for me. But I often end up reading them anyway and are usually pleasantly surprised. So, it is a very nice magazine. I have since bought every issue.
So, anyway, Henry announced a while ago that Battlegames was saved! There was much rejoicing in Mälarhöjden. Atlantic Publishers would take over and the Battlegames would still look the same, feel the same and still have Henry as editor. Good!
Anyway, on the 22nd I got issue 27, the first under new management, and it was, as usual, a very good issue. A very informative article by Rich Clarke, from Too Fat Lardies, on his new I Ain’t Been Shot Mum WWII-rules, describing a scenario and the thinking behind it. Diane Sutherland describes a new terrain-building project, Lee Clapham has an article on painting 1/72 plastics and there is very interesting article on wargaming when you’re blind – fascinating! Neil Shuck, Mr. Meeples & Miniatures, is the new Forward Observer, i.e. presenting the news in the hobby. That is just the articles I have read so far, and there is a bunch more, to be read in the next couple of days.
So, with that I just want to say – go buy an issue now! Or even better, subscribe. This is a magazine we want to live on, it is just that good. It is “The spirit of wargaming”.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

28mm gravestones from Renedra

More Renedra stuff, this time gravestones in 28 mm. Painted with assorted beige and grey colours. Coated with Armypainter dip strong tone and a coat of matte varnish over that.
I based them on FOW-bases and sculpted mounds with filler. The usual brown sand/paint mix as earth and static grass on top. Got myself a grave yard.
The first zombie has risen, a local nun fed up with cricket (not to mention shotguns). Hero from Hasslefree and nun from Cold War Miniatures.
The solar clock, left in front, is from Black Scorpion.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


I found this figure in a bargain bin a while ago, and figured it would make a decent statue. It had a large square base, belonged to some sort of miniatures game and was prepainted. I removed the base and painted it with Vallejo Brassy Brass, Citadel Snot Green in all crevices and a heavy drybrush of brass.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Book review – England’s Last War Against France

The Napoleonic Wars? Nope, later than that. The full title says it all England’s Last War Against France – Fighting Vichy 1940 – 1942. Colin Smith, 2009, 490 pages.
I’m most interested in early war, and I have read a lot about the lesser known campaigns the last couple of year, for example the East African campaign, Iraq, Norway, the Winter War in Finland and Operation Compass.
I have seen some information about Mers-el-Kébir, Syria and Madagascar also, but didn’t know more than rudimentary things about that. The solution to this gap in knowledge is this book. It is a very detailed description of Vichy and British politics and the fighting that took place between Great Britain and Vichy France.
You will find chapters about the slaughter of the French fleet in Mers-el-Kébir, the failed seaborne invasion of French West Africa, the invasion of Syria and the seaborne landing on Madagascar with the prolonged fighting there. Operation Torch is detailed and also the last days of Vichy France and the aftermath for the top brass of the Vichy regime.
The book gives detailed description of the fighting, and individual battles. There is a lot of very useful information if you want to wargame some of the battles, and I found several that would be great to game. The seaborne landings in the defended harbours of Antsirane, Madagascar (British success) and Oran in Algeria (catastrophic for the American/British force) could be fantastic to try out as a wargame and small scale, as it involves large vessels.
All in all a very interesting book about an almost forgotten part of WWII. I highly recommend it if you have any interest in these more obscure campaigns, and worth a read if you have a general interest in WWII.
I give England’s Last War against France a 4 out of 5 rating.

Friday, 9 December 2011

On the painting table

Painting table and killer rabbit
First of all, my painting space has expanded. Got a bookshelf close by now, so I have more space for some of my terrain materials, tools, balsa wood, wires and other stuff. Also up is a large shelf where I put a bits-box and paints (army painter dips, bigger paint pots etc). In picture you see ‘Puffe’, the rabbit with killer teeth. He is rather nice and lives in our converted garage, now storage and hobby room. But I have to keep stuff (especially electric- and phone-cables) out of his way, or snip-snap… He is soon reaching ace-status on cables…
On the table is, by the way, a telephone with an amputated cable (to be fixed by me, they say)... and some paper-figures I build with my daughter.
As usual quite a lot on the table. Need a bigger one I guess.
LRDG-heroes in the making
20mm. We, i.e. Scandinavian Lardies, have decided to go to North Africa at next years’ convention-games, and specifically a LRDG/SAS-raid on an Italian airfield. For that I just bought the Revell LRDG/SAS kit, and I’m looking at several other manufacturers, to find more vehicles. Also looking at ebay for suitable (=cheap) Italian planes to be blown up. It will be the first time in 35 years or so that I build and paint a plane…
I plan to start building the Revell kit as soon as the current batch of 28mm figures are finished. For once we’re out in good time, so we will hopefully avoid the traditional panic-builds from earlier cons J
Will have another go at ‘cloth’ camouflage for my Finnish Bofors gun, I guess my blood pressure is back to normal. I have a couple of more ideas, and want the gun finished this year. Got an idea for Finnish crew also, but that will come later.
Lots of early war English stuff waiting for me to mix the correct colours. I must do that during the holidays.

Paint me, Master! No me first!
In 28 mm I have mined a couple of figures from the tin-mountain, some females (hmm, I wonder why there seems to be an abundance of those…?) and two hobbits/halflings. They will hopefully be finished soon.
Still working on familiars, and finding some now and then in different boxes.

Giant pain in the...

The GW giant still looks at everything happening on the table, and he gets a blotch of paint now and then. I have promised myself that he will be finished within the next five years or so. Seriously, I want him off the table, another project for the holidays. Why did I buy him in the first place? Oh, a sale…
Digging a Renedra graveyard 
I bought some 28mm grave-stones from Renedra a while ago, they are in the process of being put on suitable bases, and will soon be painted. There are also some other grave-stones from the bits box. There will be a lot of them, a whole grave yard… usable in multiple settings.
Soon to meet the paintbrush
Also some odd figures more or less started - modern zombies, a centaur, skeleton, lovely Echo and more.

In 6mm I have a lot of finished Italian artillery pieces waiting for crew. These are bought and just waiting for the paintbrush. After that a lot of Italian infantry to be made for Operation Compass.
Enough writing, back to the painting table.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

28mm Kobolds from Otherworld

These kobolds come from the KB4 – Kobold Command Set from Otherworld. With that set are also two guards armed with polearms, but I painted those a year ago.
Skin painted with Vallejo 940 Saddle Brown, which I think turned out to dark. I will try something lighter for next batch.
Cloak – 821 German Camouflage Beige, fur coat 981 Orange Brown. The usual Army Painter Strong Coat and matte varnish.
Lovely figures from my favourite company. Their figures are real nostalgia trips to the good old days of AD&D 1st edition. Highly recommended.

I bought a new round of figures from Otherworld the other week, and they will hit the painting table soon.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Zombies from Studio Miniatures

This won't look good on my CV...
These modern zombies come from Studio Miniatures’ Zombie Mob 1 and 2. Studio Miniatures has some awesome modern zombies full of character and at very competitive prices. Unfortunately the batch I got had some figures with a lot of flash and not perfect castings. I could rectify most of it, but the female in nightie still show a bit of the miscasting on her arms.
I tried out skin colour for the zombies on this batch. The female with nightie got a base of Vallejo Game Colour Dead Flesh and a thin layer of Vallejo 955 Pale Flesh over that, painted on as a wet drybrush. The Vallejo Dead Flesh was to green in my opinion, so I tried another solution for the other figures. They got a base of Citadel Rotting Flesh and Vallejo 003 Pale Flesh over that. Much better.
The female’s nightie got a white base and a wash of Citadel Bael Red over that. That woman had a real bad morning.
The secretary type female had her dress painted with Vallejo 908 Carmine Red and hair 708 Beige Brown. The killer dress didn’t help her this day.
I won't be feeding those pigeons any more....
The male had his shirt in Prussian Blue with a drybrush of Citadel Ice Blue. He got Vallejo 883 Silver Grey hair. Unfortunately he won’t enjoy his pension any longer…
All blood was Citadel Red Gore. All figures had a coat of Army Painter Strong Tone and a final coat of Vallejo Matte Varnish. 
I think it was a mistake to paint the blood first, and then the coats. Next time I'll paint on the Army Painter coat and matte coat first, and follow that with blood and possibly a gloss coat for fresh blood, or matte coat for a more brownish dried blood.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Book review - Blitzkrieg in their own words

Blitzkrieg in their own words
First-hand accounts from German soldiers 1939-40
Pen and Sword Books, 2005, 255 pages.
This is a rather interesting book, first published in German in 1942, under the title “Mit den Panzern in Ost und West”, and then obviously a propaganda piece to get people to join the panzer-forces. It is about the campaigns in Poland and France.
It is filled with heroic deeds and deaths, defeated enemies who either fought valiantly or were cowards, very racist comments about French colonial troops, glorified versions of warfare and more.
It is written as short chapters or articles, 58 in all, presumably written by people in the field, describing an action they were embroiled in. Some detail well known actions, and others not so well known, and they could give some inspiration for scenarios.
I read a chapter now and then (decent bathroom literature, one article is about the right length
J), and they are interesting as time-pieces. All in all though, I’m not really sure.
“Blitzkrieg: in their own words” get a 2 out of 5 rating.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Chainmail wood elves in 28mm

Wood Elf Skirmisher 
A couple of wood elves from WotC’s Chainmail game. They are OK as sculpts, but rather flat. They will serve in the Chainmail skirmish game and also in "Song of Blades and Heroes". 
Me and the kids did a trial-game of the latter this weekend, just to get a hang of the basic rules. We only used two figures a side and no special rules. Worked out OK and next time we will have maybe double the numbers and have a couple of archers.
Paints used: skin Vallejo Game Color 003 Pale Flesh, pants/cloth Vallejo 881 Yellow Green and 894 Camouflage Olive Green. Hair: Scout 856 Ochre Brown, Starstrike Archer and Skirmisher 818 Red Leather and second Starstrike Archer 981 Orange Brown. Coated (as always painted not dipped) with Army Painter Strong Tone and a final coat of matte varnish from Vallejo.
Wood Elf Scout
Wood Elf Starstrike Archers

Monday, 21 November 2011

Book Review - Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II

Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II
Michael Bess, Vintage Books USA, 2008, 395 pages

WWII seems so easy, two truly evil regimes, Nazi and Japanese, against the good guys. Evil vs Good. But it wasn’t that easy, even the good side did some things that would today be considered high ranking war crimes. The question is why?
This book is very good at discussing the moral ambiguities of WWII. The author tries to answer some difficult questions, for example if the bombing of German and Japanese population centres were justified. How about the alliance between UK/US and Stalin’s Soviet Union, and the Nuremburg Trials - were they fair?
Race - Übermenchen vs interned Americans with Japanese ancestry. Japanese expansion in Asia vs American and European colonies. Why did the population of Plateau Vivarais-Lignon risk their own lives to save thousands of Jews, when others collaborated. Is it OK to become a monster when you fight monsters?
I read this book with fascination, as it really tried to analyse all the cases, and did a very good job at that. It put forth questions I haven’t even considered, and gave very thoughtful and sometimes painful explanations.
The subject of morality in war I feel is very interesting and important, both for historical reasons and for contemporary.
This is without doubt one of the best and most important books I have read in the last couple of years.

“Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II” get a 5 out of 5 rating. Read it!
(For an explanation on my rating system see the bottom of the page)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Wild West buildings by Paul Darnell

Paul Darnell of Battles in Miniature is one of my favourite diorama and terrain builders, and he made four outstanding books on terrain a couple of years ago, called Touching History. They are OOP and if you want them now you can get them as PDF:s, and they are well worth the investment.
Anyway, Paul is selling a lot of terrain and buildings via his blog, and among other tempting stuff he sold “Tall Barn and Shack” in 28mm. A perfect xmas present to myself :-). The order was sent and Paul promptly sent the stuff on October 6th. Parcels from UK usually reaches me in less than a week...
I waited, and waited…and waited. After a month we both gave up, it was gone in the void. But, a couple of days ago I got a box. A box postmarked October 6th, it reached me on November 15th. A sad record, and I wonder where it had been all that time. Anyway, I got them well before xmas...
Beautiful houses that will see action soon. I’m so satisfied.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

28mm Female Druid by Reaper

Say Hello to "Maralise Moonscythe, Female Druid", sculpt by Gene van Horne, no 3094 in the Dark Heaven Legends series by Reaper.
I started this one quite a while ago, and it just didn’t turn out the way I wanted it. It rested on the painting table, and I did the last bit during the last couple of days. High-lights and washes, and I don’t really know the paints used. (That’s one of the reasons I started this blog, as a reminder for myself on colours used). It will do.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Female Cleric in 28mm by Reaper

A lot of fantasy figures now, great fun and I’m full of inspiration.
This is "Elori Ebonscythe, Female Cleric", sculpt by Jeff Grace, no 3222 in the Dark Heaven Legends series by Reaper.
Hair Vallejo 818 Red Leather, the cape is 971 Green Grey and the waist cloth 885 pastel green. Skin 955 Flat Flesh and armor Vallejo Game Color Chainmail.
Coated with Army Painter Strong Tone and a coat of matte varnish.
I'm very happy with how this figure turned out.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Operation Barbarossa II or The Tale of Wooden Crosses

The gaming group, aka Scandinavian Lardies, went to Flemcon, a local and rather small con, this weekend. Our plan was to continue the Operation Barbarossa game we played at Stockcon earlier this autumn, using the new I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum! v3 rules for the first time.  Our ultimate plan was to make people interested in gaming with miniatures, and hopefully join us.
The game: We continue a couple of kilometers up the road to Minsk. A Kampfgruppe is exploiting the breakthrough made in the earlier game, but this time the Germans are in for a match, they happen upon prepared positions…
The board before the action starts. Germans will enter from the left.
Two of our men played the Russian defenders, and prepared their defenses before the public came. Everyone interested were able to get a unit of Germans and be part of the glorious advance on Minsk and Moscow.
We have two obvious routes in for the Germans, the central road going through the board, and one road going through the woods on the right flank.
The first German recce units went for the central road, and they sent one empty blind by the right road. That blind went a bit forward, started spotting and promptly found traces of tampering on the road ahead – a clever ruse by the Russian, they didn’t have one mine. That stopped all advances on the right flank.  Job well done J
For the rest of the action I let my pictures tell the tale.
The first recce unit leaves the road.
A platoon of motorcycle infantry drives happily forward. Ignoring a lone anti-tank rifle-man.
This doesn’t look good…
Oh dear, more infantry..
…and even more. Darn they shoot at us.
Ooops. Where is everyone?
The heavy armored car continues, until…
Panzer grenadiers attack on the left flank. There’s an AT-gun there, and a MG bunker. It was good to have a flame thrower.
More troops.
Even more troops, this time HQ with mortars, HMG and a Kfz 4, and an infantry gun. Unfortunately the German players forgot to give the appropriate cards to the umpire, so they just stood there for a couple of turns. Some things you learn the hard way.
Action near the village, assaulting a tank was a bad idea
Stop! Be quite, they might not have seen us.
Russian counter-attack on the right flank
Darn, another tank!
At the same time, the Russian counter attack hit the right flank, now with a T-28…
… and after a while a T-34!
Breakthrough on the left flank, supported by Pz IV:s. The Russians retreat.
What’s that, coming through the village? A moving bunker? A KV-2!

About now we called it a day, after about ten hours of gaming.  The Germans had a break-through, but a lot of angry Russians in their back and flank and rather heavy losses - and therefore an urgent need for wooden crosses. Would the Russians cooperate and the Germans get a Kessel, or was this an early set-back? Who knows?
 A nice game, and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. We were seven people from the gaming group playing, umpiring, explaining and having a good time, about ten people participating during the day and a bunch of spectators coming and going.
I was exhausted when I came home at half past eleven.