Friday, 8 January 2021


 Having worked on my Russian, Turkish and "imagi-nation" fleets in 1/1200 from the 1870s and 1880s last year I thought I could do with some "flatiron" gunboats. Looking through Thingiverse I found a file for HMAS Protector which, although oversized for what I wanted, formed an ideal basis. I needed up the gun barrels, replaced the funnel with something better looking and revealed to give a small and medium sized generic boat that looks OK. I could do with some civilian ships as well, but removing the guns from some of the auxiliary steamers I have already should make that an easy job.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Blackbird Finished

 Fresh out of the paint shop, I'm quite pleased at how this has turned out :)

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

BSG - The Blackbird

Alas "Battlestar Galactica - Starship Battles" is coming to an end as Ares has lost the licence to produce it. But the online discussion surrounding this has prompted a bit of 3D model building. Today I was pointed towards an STL for the "Blackbird" home-made stealth Viper that features in a few episodes of the reimagined series. It's just popped out of the printer and looks good. During tonight, paint job tomorrow along with a few more ships from The Expanse.

If anyone wants to try this themselves the model is by nic3pu and can be found on Thingiverse:

Blackbird by nic3pu - Thingiverse

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Ships of "The Expanse!

Many readers will be aware that I'm a BIG fan of "The Expanse", and that I have played Full Thrust foe decades. So it should be no surprise that I've wanted to add a few ships from the TV series to my FT fleets. I've got a load of old Halo models which look the part, but there are also a few 3D models online that cover actual ships n the series. In a brief window of opportunity before the printer has to go into hibernation again I flapped off a couple of UN Truman class battleships and an MCRN Scipio Africanus (which I think I should have printed smaller, but hey-ho). 

I'd love to get these painted up but its way to cold in my "study" just now.

Friday, 1 January 2021

The Plan - 2021

Welcome 2021. I wonder what you have in store for us? So here's my thoughts on DM's plan for the year. Past experience will show that only a modicum will get done and that other stuff will come in from left field, but its a start:


15mm Burma - having got the vehicles and artillery sorted out last year I will do the same with the infantry. Rules are still a problem, but I might just adapt the rules I have for 10mm Vietnam as they should work with a few tweaks.

AK47 - I will rebase the AK47 army I bought from Mike Slack many years ago. This was a pretty big haul of figures which I put on AK47 sized bases but never finished off. Some repaint and detailing also needed

10mm Vietnam - a hold over from last year, the Pendraken figures are on the bookcase shaming me every time I look at them. And its their 2nd anniversary in April.

ACW Naval 1/1200 - I have a load of riverine craft that i need to base and a couple of Union frigates to finish. I'd also like to build up my supply of riverside terrain such as buildings, wharves etc.

Sci Fi subs - tied in wit the rules below I want to expand the number of non-Stingray sci fi subs that I have on hand. I printed a few last year, just need to finish them off.

Other than that there are lots of “Odds and Sods” that I want to finish off, including making use of the the various ancient/medieval odds to make generic “rabble” bases and a Mahdi command stand for my Sudan campaign. I have a feeling  might also knock up a couple of new Full Thrust fleets in an "Expanse" style (there are a few 3D models that look OK and I have some old Halo models that also have the right look about them) - but thats definitely a side project.



Napoleonic fleet action. I've had "Far Distant Ships" finished for about a year, at last the rules themselves. They need to have "proper words" written around them. I may also look at a Crimean “bridging” set to cover the gap between these and "Broadside and Ram". Once that's dome I'll just about have a complete set from ancients to the end of WW2 (if the fleet action set works well for the late 1500s to mid 1700s - I may need to work on that as well).

Narrow Sea - I will sort out the campaign system. Again, notes and the basis system are done, what will take the effort is the theatre specific tables and maps/charts that will provide the detail.

I will try to get my campaign for the War of the Triple Alliance finished. Lots of notes done, campaign system nearly there, the (very linear, given its a riverine campaign) map is there in rough note form. When its done this will work with "Dahlgren and Columbiad" but should be OK for just about any ironclad set. 

Sci Fi Subs - with "Incredible Voyages" finished I will look to work the system back to its roots in future science fiction rather than Victorian. This will be a generic sci fi approach with background (but when its done there will, of course, be an unofficial "Stingray" variant as well).

Project X - to be honest this is done and dusted. I'm just waiting on a manufacturer to start producing the models which should have started last Summer but which was stopped in its tracks by covid. Details soon (I hope!)

Thats quite a lot I've put on my slop chit - I reckon of I get 2/3 of those done I'll be happy. Bring on 2021!!

Thursday, 31 December 2020

2020 - The Plan in Review

As is customary for my blog, as as I sit here huddled in the cold (our  heating has failed, we need a new controller for he heat pump and there's no spares available until Tuesday) waiting for this dreadful year to come to a close it is time to review how things went against "the plan". 

So, here goes:

1) 10mm Vietnam - I have a load of new Pendraken figures to replace the older types I've had for a couple of decades. So #1 on the plan is to sort out the new figures, fix the various bits of broken terrain that I have and then make sure my rules are fit to use.

No progress on this at all, apart from working on some Swift boats, PBRs and aircraft thanks to Nick Hewitt asking me to 3D print a few for him. I guess I also got to renovate a whole load of old riverine landing craft and monitors that I've had in a box for a decade or so, but nothing happened as far as the replacement figures were concerned. The rules I'm using look ok so probably no need to work on them anyway.

1/200 Swift boats

2) 15mm Winter Skirmish and 20mm Burma Skirmish. Yes, I WILL get these sorted and ready to play. Rules need to be decided upon (fast and fun, not too serious), I may just end up writing my own for quick games at Berkeley Vale. That or heavily modify Bolt Action.

Lots of good work here. I decided to use my "Fireforce" skirmish rules for Burma and the "Winter Skirmish". I played  few games over the Summer and all seemed to be well. I also did well working on models, with plenty of new Russian Front vehicles for both sides coming out of the 3D printer.

15m Russian tractors. These ended up in civilian colours as they are destined for the "imagi-nations" element of my Spanish Civil War collection

3) Sci Fi Submarines - The rules I've used for my "Stingray" games are pretty stable now. I'm going to work on them to create a set of generic sci fi submarine rules (into which Stingray will fit), but I'm also going to look at a Victorian "subpunk" version, having found some interesting models to work with. Something different I guess. Both versions will have their own bespoke backgrounds (who knew, for instance that the British Empire, the French and the United States fought a clandestine war beneath the waves whilst also fighting off mysterious anarchists??)

These came on really well, at least the Victorian version has. With luck these will hit the streets very, very soon. I knocked up a good selection of models for submarines, sea bases, seabed crawlers and divers, again via the 3D printer. Good work here :)

4) WW2 coastal forces - I have a horde of new boats painted up as a result of getting this blasted 3D printer, so a major task will be to get them properly based. Then more games, especially some Pacific theatre ones. This will hopefully get me in a position to finalise my "Narrow Seas" campaign system as well.

The campaign system develops slowly, but the models are coming on well. I based up most of the printer "back log" - then went and developed a load of new models which then also needed to be based and painted. Pride of place I think has to go to the  Finnish coastal battleship Ilmarinen, a ship I've wanted to have in my collection for many years. Another 3D print that came out well. I also worked on Finnish MTBs, Russian and Axis craft for Lake Ladoga, RN MTBs in Hong Kong and a small set of WW1 British CMBs and German LM boats (along with a couple of RN monitors and  a German coastal defence battleship) so I can extend "Narrow Seas" back to the Great War.

Of course Covid put paid to just about evety plan I had to actually play games (along with everyone else's plans of course), so I spent a lot of time modelling, painting and working on various rule projects. In 15mm I painted all the 15mm Pacific WW2 models that I've had in a box since Peter Pig's XIV Army range was released, some 100+ vehicles, and printed a load more - mostly Japanese. The plan is to sort the figures out next Spring. I also blitzed a very large pile of 15mm Vietnam and AK47 figures (around 200) that have been sitting around for far too long (some of the Vietnam figures were original PP from the 1990s), and in fact that was a bit of the theme - hunt out odds and sods (or in some cases entire armies) that have been sitting in boxes and finishing them off.

On the naval front I revamped my ancient fleet action set of rules, created Greek and Persian fleets in 1/2400 and refought Salamis on the 2500th anniversary of the battle. The models were put up for free on Wargame Vault and to date over 200 sets have been downloaded. 

I picked up a set of Tywlite;s 1/1000 Russo Turkish naval war 3d model files, revamped them (some needed quite a bit of work), and created a load of new models to represent steamers and paddle auxiliary warships, then went on to create squadrons of hypothetical 1870s and 1880s ironclads and turret ships for an "imagi-nation" project I've had on the back burner for a while. But the Russo Turkish fleets themselves amounted to over 70 new vessels - all 3D printed.

Yes, I know the labels for Popov and Novgorod are the wrong way round: I've changed them already :)

Back on land I finally painted up the camp follower and farrier sets  bought at Devizes in 2019, finished off a half dozen stands of ancient Greeks for my generic DBA armies - and gave them some mythical opponents in the form of a minotaur and Medusa - printed and painted loads of new vehicles for AK47 (my warlords have a host of technicals and second hand armour to play with now, as well as a few new helicopters) and my "War on the Moon" set in 6mm is now just about complete (although lacking rules).

Out in space I printed a load of "original series" ships for Battlestar Galactica (bittersweet as only this week it was announced that Areas is having to pull the plug on the game as they've lost the licence). Sails of Glory also benefitted from the 3D printer magic as I made the 44 gun razees Indefatigable and Anson in 1/1000.

There are probably loads of things I've forgotten - Maunsell sea forts in 1/1200 and 1/600, Japanese and Australian WW2 aircraft, some long lost AW steam frigates, and many others. 

Modern subs in 1/1800 for "Conn, Sonar"

South Africans for AK47 - those Casspirs were horrible things to put together!

BAE P1216s in 1/300

The infamous "T55 Roadwheel" garden wall, as seen during my time in Eritrea in 2017

ex-Israeli M51 Super Shermans for AK47 - another vehicle I've wanted for ages

More boats in the "long ago" pile, a 688I SSN and Echo II SSGN in 1/700. The latter has a 3D printed lower hull as the plastic kit is made from is a waterline model

28mm Wild West ladies for when we get "Liberdy" going at Berkeley Vale again

RN MTBs from the 1941 Hong Kong squadron. I created the 3D files and printed these

Swedish "Visby" class corvette for my "Bulldogs Away" collection. The print wasn't brilliant so plenty of filler needed.

Laura's pony Domino immortalised in 15mm. The real thing did his best to kill Laura on several occasions this year.

Japanese Ka Mi amphibious tanks in 20mm. A good example of the cost-effectiveness of 3D printing; if I'd bought similar sized traditional models the cost of those models would have been less than a 1 litre bottle of resin - and these three vehicles only used a small fraction of the contents of the bottle. 

Ruleswise, apart from the ancient fleet action set I worked up a campaign system for the naval side of the Haitian Civil War ("Salnave's War") to accompany Spithead's models covering the war, statted up the Austrian and Italian fleets of the Lissa campaign for "Dahlgren and Columbiad", and completed a naval campaign system for the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, again finishing a project that has been on the go for a decade or so. I also started work on a solo board game covering convoy escorts in the North Atlantic in WW2. 

Of course I had planned to document all of this in the blog, but for some reason i never got as deeply into writing as I should have done. I guess there's various reasons for this, none of them satisfactory. Must try harder next year.

So there we are, not a bad year on the modelling and writing front - pretty dire on every other. 

Adios 2020, I won't miss you.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Ten Years On

 Today is the tenth anniversary of my first blog post (As well as my birthday). I was planning to put up a long retrospective looking back over the decade, but alas I've not had time to put something together. And that has been something of a theme as far as the blog itself is concerned - lots of good wargamy stuff happening here (I've painted over 200 Peter Pig AK47 and Vietnam figures in the last week or so - figures that have been languishing in the lead pile for longer than this blog has existed) but I don't seem to be getting time to record my various successes here. I will try to do better :)

For now though I'd like to that everyone who has encouraged me to do this, from Steve Blease back in 2010 who recommended blogging as a way to increase motivation, to all of you who have taken the time to comment on my various ramblings here. I do appreciate your interest and I hope to be able to get you more interesting things to read in the future.

For now I'll end with a few photos of things I
have managed to paint up recently and take snaps of. 

Donnington "New Era" farrier and camp follower sets, to give me some camps and nice "background" for my various 15mm medieval DBA armies

I'm quite pleased with how the farrier's stall came out. Its a lovely set and full of character

My daughter's pony Domino finally immortalised in 15mm :)

Domino approves :)

"Grub's up!"

With the (hopefully) soon-to-be-reprinted "Pony Wars on the horizon I've been working on some bits and pieces to supplement the very large collection I bought from Stuart Barnes Watson back in the 90s. This is "Fort Neaf", which will be familiar to wargames in South London :)

Longhorns and bison for "Pony Wars"

Narrow Seas - A couple of Japanese targets escorts for my 1/700  PT boats to chase