Partizan, Kelham Hall – May 30th 2010

Today – assuming I get this posted today! – was my first visit to Partizan at Kelham Hall, near Newark. The show has a good reputation but was one I have never made before. It’s a fair hike from Newcastle and even when I lived in Birmingham it was a bit out of the way, but this year the kids were away with their grandparents and my wife was happy to part with the car for the day so I went for it! I did have have various meetings and dealings planned but it was nice to do something different. So at 7.30 this morning I set off, picked up Ian, and headed down the A1.
It was a straightforward journey down and the venue was easy to find. Kelham Hall itself is an interesting building. There was plentiful parking and not too much of a queue to get in. £4 was fine and the concession for ‘reluctant spouses’ might apply if I can ever convince my wife to go!
There were two main halls and then a series of smaller connected rooms.

Although the show was busy it didn’t feel too cramped although in the main halls the space between games was a little cramped at the ‘peak’ times. Lighting wasn’t brilliant but that was more from a photo viewpoint rather than for general viewing. And there was no Bring and Buy. Which, based on the last few Bring and Buys I’ve seen, was no great loss! I’ll not comment on the food as the queue was always too long to tempt me to bother! A couple of apples in my bag and a stop at services on the way home substituting!
Demo Games.
These were many and varied and too many to mention all but were all of a consistent high quality and of the ones I stopped to chat at the gamers were friendly and enthusiastic. As I had arranged to meet (a thankfully fully clothed) Levied Troop from WD3 at the 28mm AWI game this was one I spent a little time at. A 28mm games by the Redcar Rebels it used the free John Bull – Patriots from The Perfect Captain. I’ve not tried these rules but they sounded interesting and the game looked lovely.

The other AWI demo game was from Peter Pig with their new Washington’s War rules and their new 15mm range. I’ve already got a copy of the rules and there are some interesting ideas. I quite like the extra and low ammo rules! Listening to the demo/participation games the mechanics sounded smooth and I look forward to trying these out.

The new 15mm figures from Peter Pig are very nice. I picked up a few at York earlier this year and grabbed a few more today, mainly the marker packs which give interesting casualty/ammo carrying figures, plus some waving women! Nice stuff anyway and I look forward to painting them.
I’m afraid I’ll be a bit slack here and just post a few pictures of other games as in not all cases did I make a mental note of what was what!
Couple of nice 28mm ancient games:

The new WAB 2:
Excellent 28mm Sudan game:

Society of Ancients

Wargames Developments:
Rather nice Wars of the Roses from the Perry Stable…

An excellent 15mm SF game run by a very friendly crew:

Some WW2 goodness:

And two more nice games with apologies for not having the details:

There was a good range of traders and being relatively south it attracts a few that don’t normally make the northern shows. I have a relatively narrow range of interests (which excludes the current plastic fad!) but it was good to see Baccus and the new Punic War and Spanish Napoleonic ranges. These figures are bloody lovely and if I didn’t have a commitment to Punic Wars in 15mm I would go for these! And I may still be tempted by a Lasalle Spanish army at some point! Peter has done wonders for the 6mm side of the hobby and is to be congratulated on some vey fine figures…
I suppose now I should get down to purchases. These were relatively minimal as most of what I came back with was from meeting people and trades! Apart from the Peter Pig AWI I also had a few packs of mounted militia and French from Lancashire games. I picked up a copy of Cold War Commander as I have the chance of picking up some 1/300th armies soon so may give them a dabble! And some MDF bases as the main purpose of the trip was to pick up 15mm Roman and Carthaginian armies from Mark (LOSH on the GdeB forums – who I have previously bought 15mm AWI from). These are mostly Xth Legion figures and very nicely done but are based for 6th Edition WRG so will need rebasing to fit in with my existing sets. He’s also brought along his remaining 15mm AWI so I picked up some more militia and hope to grab more in the near future. As I get these rebased I’ll post some pics but here are a couple of samples.

I’d also arranged to meet Brendan (RtL on WD3 and SM on TMP) to trade some OG AWI for Polly Oliver. It was good to meet the man in person at last, as with Timmo, and reasserts that WD3 is an excellent forum!

Finally I met with Rhys from Raise the Colours who has been painting some 6mm 1806 French for me and I picked up a finished unit and left him some cavalry to paint.
A bloody good show. Good venue, traders, games. Friendly atmosphere. And I achieved all I set out to do. I’d like to go again next year but whether the star, wife and kids will be in alignment again is too far away to tell!

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Review – Field of Glory Markers – Pt 2

Following my review of AJ’s Field of Glory markers, Justin over at Veni, Vidi, Vici sent me a set of their own FoG markers for review which duly arrived today and as I had finished work early I managed to get a few snaps off so I could get on with the review…

These are not currently available on their website as they are waiting for work on their laser before cutting more, but some are available via eBay and should be listed here. The sample set are a blue-green and come in a single zip bag. There are currently other colours available on eBay e,g, orange and they are £4.95 plus £1.50 shipping.

So what do you get?

  • 3 (three) ambush markers
  • 6 (six) disrupted
  • 6 (six) fragmented
  • 6 (six) broken

The big, so to speak, difference between these and the previous batch is that these are much smaller.

And are less ‘intrusive’ when next to the units.

Again, I can’t fault the quality. Neatly cut and the white lettering is more subdued. My only concern is the size. I found them a little fiddly to manipulate but that may just be my chubby fingers! The one colour for all makes it easy to have a different set for each player and the ambush markers are a bonus.

A few people on TMP (well one!) commented that they prefer more subtle markers that are less intrusive on the table. For those, these would be better as they are small, neat and with a suitable choice of colour wouldn’t stand out too much. I have to admit I prefer the larger ones, but that is a personal choice as I also like the colour coding in the larger set. I hope to get a game in again soon and will try both sets in anger!

Thanks to Justin for the chance to review.

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REVIEW – Field of Glory Markers

Over on the Field of Glory Forums Allan (AJ) Wright has been developing his ideas for FoG markers using a laser engraver and coloured acrylic. They are available for sale here and the development can be seen on his blog and the FoG forums thread here. Allan was kind enough to send me a set for evaluation and they arrived last week. It’s taken me until now to get the time, space and camera sorted so I could write a review!

They come neatly packaged in individual bags within one large sealed bag.

And you get:

  • eight (8) green DISRUPTED markers
  • six (6) yellow FRAGMENTED markers
  • six (6) red BROKEN markers
  • six (6) green DISORDERED markers
  • four (4) yellow SEVERE DISORDER markers

All markers are made from 1/8″ thick acrylic with engraved and colour-filled lettering. The cutting is neat and crisp, as is the lettering and they have a nice feel to them. When laid on the table they look very professional. And the colour coding for severity is helpful as well.

I will have to bow to more experienced FoG players than myself as to whether the numbers and proportions are correct but I assume it would depend on size of game – personally I’d probably need more of the red ones!

At $17.99 plus $5.25 shipping I think they’re good value and I intend to order another set for me and also one for my opponent.

For my AWI games I’ve gone for more scenic markers but these are spot on for FoG and I highly recommend them.

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The Painting Master Plan – HOWTO

I’ve been asked to comment on how I created the Painting Master Plan on the right. It’s basically a spreadsheet. I use a Linux system and Open Office but I’ve put the file I used at: 2010Plan.xls as an Excel spreadsheet if anyone wants to use it.

Once created I then printed to PDF (easy with OpenOffice but I think you can use CutePDF under Windows) and then used the ImageMagick command ‘convert’ to convert the PDF to a TIFF. I then edited the image down to the correct size using the GIMP image software and I use this still for filling in the red boxes!

A bit fiddly but it works for me. There are no doubt better ways of doing it.



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And another Prussian base done!

Finally managed to paint up the two mounted officers and base up the first of my Landwehr stands for my 1815 chappies. I may still do another stand of these for the same brigade but for the time being I’ll leave as is and move on. Here they are:

Still a long way to go, but getting there! I’ve yet to do the labels for the stands as I don’t have decent printer to play with the various options. Mounted chaps are Adler. The rest, Baccus goodness.

Next up will be more Line troops. And the command stand for the Brigade…

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A Little Progress: Part 2 – Basing

And so it continues…

After completing the paint rack I decided to finally base up some of the 1806 6mm French I’d had painted. I’ve had a few done by Phil over at Firezone which have been based up before and had another eight strips from him to do. I’m still waiting in another full unit from him – hopefully soon. I also had some from Michael at Angel Barracks and they were the main ones I wanted to get done as they had arrived last week. There is a unit due next week from Raise the Colours and then I shall do a proper little review of all three but in the mean time I thought I’d write up my basing in a bit more detail. Photos have suffered a little in the early shots from the camera playing up but it gives the general idea…

As mentioned before, my 1806 chaps are mainly for use with Lasalle but the basing system should allow them to be used for Grande Armee as well. I use 60x60mm bases with 2 40x20mm sections cut out the middle supplied by with a 1mm thick bases piece to fill the gap. Figures are based on the 40x20mm with 4 strips to a base for main stands and 4 figures for skirmish.

First step is to coat with PVA and then cover liberally with a mix of fine and medium model railway ballast.

This is then painted with a Hobby Craft Burn Umber.

I  then dry brush with a lighter brown.

And then finish with an Antique White.

The flock is a mix of Baccus short flock, some Games Workshop Autumn Grass and occasional Silfor tufts and model railway ‘foliage’.

These are the Angel Barrack troops in their Lasalle incarnation.

And in their Grande Armee form.

And a few of the combined units for Lasalle.

It was nice to make some progress. I still have a couple of 1815 Prussian bases close to completion and if I get the 15mm Punic armies I’m chasing then I may detour to finish a couple of units for them.

Anyway, nice to have finally achieved something after a bit of a break…

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A Little Progress: Part 1 – The Paint Rack

Well, after the failed attempt at any gaming activity last weekend while my wife was away I decide to take last Thursday off work. I was feeling rough anyway but not really bad enough to justify a sickie! So with a day of ‘freedom’ I decided a little progress was required. After watching episode seven of Pacific (good series but not grabbing me the same way Band of Brothers did) I adjourned to my attic and began task one: assembling a paint rack.

I’d seen a picture of one belonging to Micheal at Angel Barracks and after enquiring he said he had a spare which he offered at bargain price! What he didn’t tell me was that it came flat-pack and that the construction would stretch the patience of a hardened IKEA man like myself!

The model was from Australian firm Model Scenery and was their 34 pot holding standard model which forms part of a modular system including corner rack, part racks etc. The product comes as several sheets of cut 3mm mdf templates where you have to snip out the components prior to contruction.

This relatively straighforward but sometimes it can be a little confusing as to what to snip and what not! Not something I would attempt either drunk or very tired!

The instructions are minimal but pretty clear and the first stage is to put together the actual holders, applying a little PVA to secure the joins:

And then construct the outer frame:

The difficult bit is deciding how much PVA to put on and where. I was probably by turns over-zealous and stingy! Once you have the main frame together it’s a pretty straighforward process of slotting in each layer from the bottom up until the rack is complete.

At each of the stages you need to apply a little pressure to hold the layer in place. I probably rushed things a little and if you are not careful where you press then lower levels can come apart again.

Overall, it took maybe two hours but I wasn’t rushing! The end result is:

It takes most paint pot sizes but the Vallejo drop down into a smaller hole. This, to me leaves them too low. There is a section of MDF which is clipped out from thse holes which could be left in and in retrospect I would do this. I’ve ended up putting three strips of card on each shelf to stop the Vallejo falling through! The only paints it doesn’t take are the few old large pots of Humbrol I have but it holds enough of my current choices to make them accessible and visible.

My only concern is that there is a lot of leftover MDF which I’m sure I could find a use for!

VERDICT: I’m glad I got it. I’ve since seen other options which may work better for me but to be honest, for the price, this does nicely. I’m tempted to get another but Michael hints that the corner units are harder work – but then he got his wife to make his! – so I may just get a matching one. Anyway, there aren’t enough brush holders in just one!

Disclaimer: sorry for the crappy pictures. My camera was playing up. I’d obviously changed a setting somewhere that affected the brightness and it was only after a camera reset that it got back to normal!

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