Tuesday, February 20, 2024

When the Dust Settles...

As mentioned in my previous post, I have directed most of my hobby attention to the Pendraken painting competition the past few months. I was also convinced into participating in Badger Games painting competition which is to be judged by the attendees of Adepticon. The model is a Space Goblin "musician"...such an awesome sculpt from Regiment Games (see below).

I have to have him shipped to Badger by March 15 so I need to get him finished ASAP. I have to admit that I'm a bit burnt out from the Pendraken competition and it's been a while since I painted 28mm or Gobbos for that matter. At this point I'm.just hoping not to embarrass myself with my entry. 

When the dust settles from the two competitions, I will ultimately return to my 10mm Crimean War project. Before that return, I think I might indulge in a small diversion project. 

I'm a big fan of Tumbling Dice's Wings at War rulesets. Their free game is Desert Spitfires which is a quick play set to refight the air conflict during the 1948 Arab/Israeli war.  

It's a pretty interesting conflict, Israeli had volunteer and mercenary pilots flying Czech versions of Me-109s against Egyptian Spitfires. The Israelis ultimately upgraded to Spitfires (and some Mustangs) and the Egyptians added Macchi fighters to their air fleet. B-17s, T-6 Harvard's, C-47s, and plenty of other planes also saw action in the war.

I had previously tackled (and fumbled) this project years before. Figures had been purchased and priming had occurred but it languished. When I looked at my aircraft from the previous attempt, they were loose and mixed in with other projects. I decided to order some new planes for the project to start fresh. Tumbling Dice sent a small envelope with my order in record time. 

The impetus for restarting this project is that I've been reading Angels in the Sky by Robert Gandt which is an awesome account of the early days of the Israeli Air Force. It's a very readable book and I highly recommend it. 

I think it will be a nice little break from the pressures of painting for competitions and will give me something I can easily finish before resuming the grind of finishing my Crimean War project. 

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Pendraken Painting Competition 2024

I haven't posted in a bit but I have been painting...I took a hiatus from my various projects to paint up some entries for the Pendraken Painting Competition. I can't believe it's been full year since I was in this same position for the 2023 competition. I still remember making the conversions to the little Italian tankette and trying to figure out how they were painted up in the Spanish Civil War. So much of my life has dramatically changed for me in 2023, it really wasn't a good year.  Here is hoping that 2024 brings more joy and less sadness. 

Anyway, I decided the competition would be a good opportunity to kickstart some new projects and resurrect a few dormant ones.

First up is an M24 Chaffee in French service during the Indo-Chinese war, this is "11". I added some homemade storage and a radio wire. The Chaffee (or Bison as the French called them in the war) is a small little bugger but they were thought of quite highly by the French as they offered good firepower, protection and low ground pressure. 

I didn't really do anything spectacular with the basing as these are, first and foremost, gaming pieces. 

Next up is a Viet Minh platoon with attachments. These guys are based for Five Core Company Commander. Each big base is a section of infantry, supported by some support weapons and attachments: a sniper, commander, bazooka team and heavy machine gun. I painted them in a mix of khaki, yellow green and grey green to capture the polygot nature of the uniforms.

The sniper is actually a Japanese sculpt but since the Viet Minh didn't have a sniper in their range and they used a lot of old Japanese kit, I figured it would be quite suitable. 

Next up we visit the late 17th century, specifically 1685 and the battle of Sedgemoor. I painted up Kirke's Lambs, the Queen Dowagers Regiment of Foot. I have painted this notorious unit before in 15mm. If you follow my blog, you may remember I painted up some of the rebels for the 2022 Pendraken competition, after that I let the project languish for nearly 2 years before I tackled these fellas. 

I also painted up Oxford's Regiment of Horse in their blue uniforms and blackened armor. What's interesting about these guys is that I first began painting this unit in 10mm in 2016 or so. They were less than half painted and languishing in a bin for about 7 years so dusted them off (literally) and repainted them I in their entirety. 

From 1685, we go back to the future to 1866 with the wacky invasion of Canada by Irish American veterans (Fenians) of the Civil War. First up, we have some Canadian militia. The mounted arm of the Canadian force is the Governor General's Bodyguard in their dark blue uniforms trimmed in white. The GGBG weren't present at the Battle of Ridgeway but we're involved in some of the peripheral actions.

Most uniform descriptions I have seen indicate the cross belt should be white however I saw a black and white photo of a trooper wearing a buff leather cross belt and decided it was a an accurate way of adding a bit more color to the unit. 

Next up we have a mounted officer of the Queen's Own Rifles (QOR) as he leads his men past a fence line at the battle of Ridgeway. The fence is courtesy of Pendraken's very nice fence range and I felt bad butchering a segment for the purposes of this base. I promise to use the remaining pieces in bits of scenery. 

I painted this mounted officer to represent Captain Otter of the QOR. As such, he sports a neatly trimmed mustache and brown hair. 

Next up is a mounted officer from the 13th Hamilton militia (same sculpt as the QOR officer) looking very triumphant as he rides past a fallen Fenian invader. I painted him up as a specific officer of the 13th but I can't remember his name.at the moment. The fallen Fenian was inspired by some beautiful artwork found in the Osprey volume (which was inspired by an actual black and white photo from the period) that covers the Canadian 19th century militia. 

Here is our Canadian army commander stand which depicts General Alfred Booker and a member of the GGBG acting as escort. Booker has a map of the area clenched in his right hand. 

Booker gets some criticism for his handling of the battle because he panicked when he saw some mounted Fenian scouts and ordered his units to form square in the middle of a firefight. The ensuing chaos forced the Canadians to retire from the field. 

Here we have 3 companies of Fenian invaders. I painted them in uniform bits described in Peter Vronsky's book about the Fenian Invasion and gave them a conjectural Fenian flag. The Fenians wore surplus ACW kit, some of which was trimmed in green, civilian garb and green uniforms bits.

The figures were sourced from the Pendraken ACW range. I quite like the ragtag look that's tied together by bits of blue and green. 

And finally we have some Canadian infantry, red clad 13th Hamilton and green uniformed Queens Own Rifles. I should state that I had some difficulty with the uniforms of the Canadians. They used very dark blues and greens that's were hard to replicate in miniatures and still be historically accurate. Hopefully I captured their look decent enough. 

And there we have it. Actually, not quite as I still need to finish up some 1973 Yom Kippur War Egyptians. They will also be based for Five Core Company Commander rules which are my default choice for 20th century conflicts at the company level. Stay tuned for them as I race against the clock to get them finished and photographed. 

UPDATE: I managed to snap some pictures of the 1973 Yom Kippur War Egyptians. I always imagined that if I ever gamed the conflict, I would probably do it in 3mm or 6mm and would probably focus on the armor aspects. Pendraken released their 1974 ranges and I really like the sculpts so I picked some up. I didn't really know much about the Egyptian uniforms so I was surprised to see them in their "assault vests". 

I'm fairly happy with the basing. I used a fiber past with sand glued once dry. The base color was craft paint "teddy bear fur", a diluted AP soft tone wash and then some dry brushing to even everything out. The figures are based for Five Core Commander.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Mystery Signet Ring

My brother recently purchased a signet ring that depicts a light infantry or rifles horn with a "WR" and what appears to be a rose or something at the apex of the horn strap (see below). 

The individual he purchased the ring off of stated he believed it was from 1930s UK military unit. 

We've been attempting to identify the unit for a bit of sleuthing fun. Does the "WR" stand for West Riding? The insignia looks like the 6th (Rifle) Battalion, King's Liverpool Regiment? Could it be a Commonwealth unit? Perhaps the wearer's initials? If anyone has any ideas or information, please leave a comment. Thanks! 

UPDATE: a fellow wargamer, "DColtman", appears to have identified it as a ring belonging to the Witwatersand Rifles (see below). The Wit Rifles were a South African unit that saw action in North Africa during WW2. Crazy to think that the ring probably started in South Africa, ended up in a UK militaria shop and now belongs to an American who learned about the identity from a Canadian wargamer! It really is a wonderful, and sometimes small, world...

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Fenian Fever!

I've been working on my 10mm Fenian Invasion project. The plan is use the rules from the Army of Ireland boardgame and tweak it a bit to my taste and to the tabletop. Scale will be roughly 10/1 so each base is a company of about 50 men. That will give me about 17 or so bases for each side with some optional bases for hypothetical what-ifs. Let's start with one of the units that wasn't present at the battle of Ridgeway but may be in my tabletop refights...the Governor General's Bodyguard (GGBG):

The figures are Pendraken and the sculpts depict them in their campaign uniforms with the pillbox hat instead of the helmet. 

I used the Osprey book on the Canadian military from the period of the Fenian and Metis conflicts. 

I found some conflicting evidence regarding their bandolier. A black and white photo depicts one of these chaos with a natural leather bandolier although I have also read and seen depictions with this bandolier in white. 

Some Fenians charging at you in this picture. These are a mix of ACW Union and Confederates.

I painted these guys up in a mix of Union uniforms, Fenian attire and civilian garb. Green jackets and kepis and green trim on Union blue was also popular. I found the flag image online and scaled it down to 10mm and printed it out. I'm not sure if this one was at Ridgeway but it's too cool not to include on the tabletop!
Canadian militia charging right at you!

The redcoated Canadian militia depict the 13th Hamilton militia. There were about half a dozen companies of this unit present at Ridgeway. Some aspects of the Canadian uniforms were a bit tricky with the black/blue pants on these guys and the Queen's Own Rifles (QOR) blackish rifle green uniforms.

Speaking of the QOR and their dark green uniforms, here they are. There were about a dozen companies of the QOR present and I am halfway finished painting all of them. 


Ottoman Update

I have a whole heap of Crimean War Ottomans primed but I've been diverted with other projects. I did manage to paint up an Ottoman dragoon unit. According to the Flaherty book, the Ottoman dragoons had some interesting colored tunics (light brown, purple, light blue, etc). I went with purple because you don't often get to paint purple uniforms. I think the color helps break up the blue masses of infantry. 
The Magister Militum Ottoman sculpts aren't their best work. They aren't bad but a bit undersized. 

They probably won't have much success on the tabletop but they will look very smart prancing around. 

The command stand with a very large Ottoman banner. I have another dragoon unit on the painting table, the regular cavalry will be supplemented by some irregular bashi bazouks. 

And some Ottoman higher command. The base will be the senior commander and the single bases will be brigade commanders. 


Sunday, January 7, 2024

Ravenfeast: Berserkers and Scottish Mercenary Spear

This will be a quick post (as far as pictures go, I may ramble a bit with the words). I have had a bit of a scatter-hobby brain this past month or so. Prior, I had been pretty focused on the 10mm Crimean War project. For several reasons, I have been dabbling in different projects this past month: Turnip28, some Krapistan, 10mm Fenians, Crimean War, 10mm French Indo-China and some 10mm RavenFeast. I really need to regain focus!

Anyway, here are some Scottish spear that appear in the Viking army list for Stamford Bridge. 

The figures are Magister Militum Dark Age Irish and Welsh if I'm not mistaken wasn't sure how to paint their shields but I went with a natural leather drab. I kept the color palette to earthy blues, greys, greens and yellows. The majority of the project consists of Old Glory but they don't have Scottish spear so I went with these as a proxy. They will do the job. 

And here are some Berserkers.

These are Old Glory berserkers. I think there's only base in all of the three scenarios. I picked up a pack of the OG berserkers even though I'm only using four of them. 

Pretty cool sculpts. 

This evening, I remembered that I have a bunch of 6mm Franco-Austrian War that I bought during the pandemic. Even tho I also have the same armies in 10mm, I think I need to paint and base these for Field of Battle. But I digress...

Saturday, January 6, 2024


I first became aware of the Turnip28 world when I received the June, 2021 issue of Wargames Illustrated in the mail. As I flipped thru the pages I saw an article on Turnip 28 which centers around a post-Napoleonic apocalyptic world ravaged by war, pestilence and root plants. The muddy lands are dominated by root tubulars that mutate the people that consume them. It's a mish-mash of Napoleonic, medieval, mud and gnarly vegetation. 

Using various leftover sprues, I put together a few figures back in 2021 and then put the project back in storage. Recently I was in a bit of hobby rut where I was having issues painting my beloved 10mm so I dusted off the Turnip28 figures and bits and resumed my work. My figures have shrubbery protruding from their backs and various roots growing out of them as well. 

Here is a unit of "Brutes" armed with melee weapons. They are based off some plastic Crimean War Russians with Fireforge halberdier and 3D print sci-fi morion heads. This unit has dingy grey overcoats with pale mauve cuffs. 

There are three types of infantry: fodder (line), brutes (similar to grenadiers in that they are a bit more effective) and chaff (skirmishers). These different types of infantry can be armed either with missile weapons (bows, etc), gunpowder weapons or melee weapons. 


Here is a partial unit of Fodder with gunpowder weapons. They are a real hodgepodge of figure bits but they have a dirty wine and pale yellow colored palette as a unit. Fodder units have 12 figures so I need 4 more to complete them. Brutes have 6 figures and Chaff have 4 figures. There are also cavalry and artillery and  special units specific for different "cults". Not sure what kind of units I will add to my force but I know it will be fun and meandering. I will keep you posted as I progress...