Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lee's Lieutenants and More Cleanup!

During my sorting and sifting process, I came upon a first edition set of Lee's Lieutenants, by DS Freeman.  Unfortunately, its not a signed copy....but then if it was, I wouldn't be offering it for sale!   If anyone out there reading this is interested in a mint copy of a 3 volume, 1st edition of Lee's Lts, you can get in touch with me via this blog, or email me directly at .

I don't want to give the impression of a vast disorganized mess that I'm working through....rather its a compactly stored area of 15 years worth of various books, project materials, and miscellaneous "stuff" that a wargamer accumulates.   Which wargamer's then forget they have, and when they come across it they think "I'll do that someday".    Well, I've discovered from my half century on this planet, that "someday" never comes unless you make it so.

Hex terrain.....gone!    Various paperback novels, read and unread ....gone!   A couple of boxes of old wargame rules.....gone!    I'm investigating CD/pdf versions of my Wargames Illustrated and other magazines to save space.   I truly enjoy the feel of a magazine vs. reading on a monitor, but lets face it - its virtually impossible to find an old article, which then means that old magazines are little more than space taking objects.

I did find that I most likely have more ECW figures (Old Glory and Redoubt) than I could ever possibly use!  That, and enough 1/60th WW2 armor to field multiple armored divisions in FoB:WW2!  

The plan is to get all the unpainted lead neatly organized in plastic storage boxes under my game table (enclosed).  Finished terrain pieces and terrain project materials will be moved to my storage closet.  After that, time to work on adding more shelving in my figure cabinets, and time to build more figure storage trays.   Time flies when you're having fun!

In the meantime, I'm up at 4 AM every day, using the first 50 minutes of my day for uninterrupted and dedicated painting.  Since I started this around 100 days ago, my output has been startling - I LOVE knowing exactly when I'll be painting.   Hit the painting table, turn on ESPN2 and listen to Mike and Mike go over the previous night's sports results while laying on some new color.   Very cool, very relaxing, and for me - the perfect way to enjoy my hobby and make progress on my armies.

As part of the cleanup, I ran across some old Historicon and Cold Wars Photos, taken with my (now gone) trusty Sony Mavica - the height of digital camera technology at the time.   I think the two photos below were from a game at Cold Wars in 2003.   Recognize anyone?

I of Piquet Inc.'s owners!

Could that be Freddie?  Jeff?  Serf #1?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

River Tiles - Next Step

Sorry for the delay...its been a busy week.   I'm currently hip deep in sorting out a storage room.  There's nothing quite as liberating, and depressing at the same time, as sorting through various boxes of stuff gathered over the years for projects yet done (or even started!).   Stuff like various bits of fake fur, welcome mats, turf, wood bits, box after box of lead waiting to see the light of day, more boardgames than I could play in a lifetime, various rolled up maps, craft christmas trees waiting for conversion to wargaming trees....and the odd discovery of stuff that I'd sworn I had but couldn't find.   For example - a while back I was bitten by the bug to paint some Churchill tanks for my 25mm WW2 collection.  I KNEW that I had previously bought 3, but could never find them.   After a while, I thought "maybe I imagined that I bought them....".    So, today while cleaning I found the 3 original Churchill tanks I bought, plus the 3 ADDITIONAL Churchill tanks I'd purchased because I'd convinced myself that I never bought the first 3.     Oops.    Onward and upward.

Next up on the river tiles was first to give a heavy spray of Dullcote to the caulking river bed.  This seals it and keeps sand from the next step sticking to it.   After that was allowed to dry, I applied a bead of yellow carpenter's glue to the bank areas and then covered that with my sand/ballast basing mixture.  This is the stage shown in the photo below.

Next, I'll paint the sand areas with a diluted earth brown, and drybrush with American Mississippi Mud and Driftwood.   The sand areas will be finished to match my figure basing style.   I'll post an update with that later this week.

Tomorrow is the first day of OTA's (organized team activities) for the Broncos.....with PEYTON MANNING!!!!!!   I am SOOOOO excited for the NFL season to get here this year since the Broncos will have their first legit QB since the big guy (that's John Elway) retired.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Making River Tiles - Part 2

Step 2 goes fast.  Put a bead of caulking in the center of the river bed.  Smooth that out with your finger.  You'll want to keep paper towels on hand as this is messy.

Take the handy dandy caulk river texture smoothing device (aka cheap paintbrush from Home Depot) and dip it in some water.  Run the brush over the caulking to get rid of the large ridges and rough areas from your finger smoothing.   You'll now have something that looks like the photos below.  

Why not just leave the tile surface and paint it as water?   Well....water has texture; it moves, it dips, it raises.  It's not flat like a sheet of steel.   Using caulking gives that movement texture to the river area.

Let this dry overnight, and give the caulk "water" areas a heavy spray of Dullcote or whatever your favorite spray fixative is.   Sealing the caulk will keep bank texture sand from sticking to the water area.

More in the next post as we move the river tile construction forward.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Making River Tiles

Battle 2 of our 1809 campaign uses a terrain layout that requires 2 different rivers on table.  This means that I have to build 2 new river terrain tiles for the game set up.   A good time to summarize the build process!

I use 1.5" wide rivers at the edge.  Measure from each corner so that the river edges line up evenly.  I use a pencil to sketch out the general river course and then score along that sketched line with the utility knife.  Starting at an edge, slowly bend the tile at the scored line...then go to the other edge and start there.  After a few bends, it will snap off cleanly.   Do the other side of the river line similarly.

You now have the two top edges of the tile.   Apply a bead of superglue irregularly around the bottom of the top pieces and place on the full bottom tile, aligning on the corner - using your fingers around the corners to make sure they line up.

There you go - you now have the basic river tile.   Next up is applying texture to the river.   More later.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Start of New 1809 Campaign

We played battle 1 (of 3) in our 1809 campaign season last night.  A close fought battle between the Austrians and Franco/Bavarian alliance, resulting in a slim win for the Austrians.  The Austrians had 3 Army Morale Points (in Field of Battle, 2nd Edition) remaining when the French force failed its army morale test.    After the game, 3 French units were downgraded to "Raw", along with their CiC who falls to "Poor" - undoubtedly its a reflection of his self worth shining through after the loss!

The Austrians fared much better, with 1 unit jumping from "Raw" to "Regular", and 1 line infantry unit going from "Regular" to "Crack"!

Bad things coming for the French!

Some photos from the game:

Bavarian John surveys the battlefield.  The large hill mass in the center of the battlefield was key to both army's deployments.

Genl. Chris' heavily Hungarian command moves under cover of the hill.

Bitter fight for the town ends with the French evicting the Hungarians.

Furious firefight between Tony's Austrians and John's Bavarians.

Austrians form square, because of.....

These guys!