Rack’em up!

Ever since chatting with Dr Mike at the Derby show I’ve been planning on getting a new paint rack. The old one I had was just not up to the job. You can read the construction report here and although useful for the larger ‘odd’ paints it was really no use for the large pile of Vallejo paints I now have.

So after seeing the good Doctor’s rack (so to speak!) I finally went for one of these from Progressive Engineering Solutions.

rackThis will take 89 Vallejo type pots which to be honest should be all I need! At £35 +£5 shipping they are not cheap. Mine arrived day after posting which given it was the Friday before Christmas was bloody amazing! I had a couple of minor issues assembling. Instructions are petty clear and the quality of the laser cutting is spot on. I’d have liked an extra layer of bubble wrap just to protect the corners a little more but no real damage done. I wanted to keep the ‘clean’ cut side facing the viewer on all sides so inserted the side as appropriate. There does, to me at least, seem to be a ‘smarter’ side to laser cut MDF. Anyway, duly constructed it looked a little skewed. I assumed this would correct itself when everything was tightened at the end. Bit no… still skewed. So I carefully took the WHOLE thing apart again and reversed one side panel and this pulled everything square again. So check it’s square when you make yours! Also, when you tighten it all it compressed the MDF where the little nuts slot in and when you come to reassemble it they don’t slot in as easily! Fiddly but doable. But best not done late at night after a few drinks!

Would I recommend them? Yes. They are solid. Neat. and I’m sure if you used a variety of paints you could get each layer with a different hole size.

The main reason I wanted this is this:

All getting a little messy...
All getting a little messy…

Now this is after I’ve removed all the ‘in progress’ stuff! I also use the desk for remote working so there is little space for typing and mouse. Before anyone goes for Gold in the Olympic Conclusion Jumping, the pile of tissues to the right are from a recent delivery of figures!

Now this is what the ‘in progress’ pile looks like:

Way too many projects on the go!
Way too many projects on the go!

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • GHQ T34/85s for CWC Syrians
  • GHQ British for North Africa
  • Stadden, Holger Eriksson for Ayton 20?? – well, not sure yet!
  • 6mm ImagiNation (center)
  • Stadden (bottom left)
  • 20mm plastic WW2 (don’t ask)
  • 6mm ImagiNation (front right on grey tops)
  • More Holger Eriksson

This lot excludes all the CWC Modern stuff I have on the go. And the 15mm Dux B!

So, I have way too much on the go and I still need to buy and paint stuff for Ayton next May! So the broad plan of action is:

sort out the table

sort out the ‘in progress’ pile to something more manageable!

make a plan for 2013

The latter is going to be the hard bit. As I only managed two games in 2012 I an going to aim for six, yes SIX!!! in 2013. And the plan is to play one game in each of six ‘periods’ to encourage me to actually complete enough of one period/scale to play a game!

More details on this soon as I make up my mind and try and plot a ‘sensible’ painting schedule!

I may even resurrect the old Wargaming Neutral plan again!



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Super Secret Santa! Ayton 2013 starts here!

Just a quick note as we are about to head off to the in-laws for excessive eating and drinking! Big thanks to my Secret Santa as I can now start work on Ayton 2013 as the first of the troops have arrived in a nice little package from Spencer Smith Miniatures! This may be just the thing to get my painting mojo resurrected!

Thanks to Ian (and Cath!) for the work in organising it and again to my Secret Santa for a great pressie!

Other pressies included the ASL Journal 10 (will I now start playing again?), a nice bottle of Talisker, some much needed posh smellies, numerous chocolates and a case of beer from Skinner’s Brewery. Hopefully more to come at the in-laws!

Kids have been good, especially Hannah who is not well (temp hit 40 last night) and is being a little star!

Hope you all have a great day!


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Merry Christmas!!

Suppose I’d best do this post now as I’m sure the next few days will be hectic. I’d like to wish all those who frequent my pages a Merry Christmas and Happy 2013! Hopefully your lead based activities will flourish and you may even complete a few projects!


I shall be posting my end of year review and plan for 2013 over the next few days. Once I figure out what the latter is! 🙂

Enjoy the festivities and eat, drink and be merry!

All the best


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A Festive Byzarbian Interlude!

Yesterday was the last meeting of the Tyneside Wargames Club of this year. And my FIRST game at the club this year! Not a good score really. Apart from the big Ayton game in May and a small game at the Pendraken Birthday bash, this is the only gaming I’ve managed this year. I’ve got a reasonable amount of painting done but the lack of gaming has been a little frustrating. But enough whining!

As this was to be a big event for me I wanted to make it a decent game and it made sense to bring out the 28mm ImagiNation forces again. As two other Ayton participants live locally  – Phil (Norman D Landings) and Ken (Marshallney) I thought a small game to follow on from the game in May would be nice. To keep within the framework of game milieu meant that myself and Ken were on the same side and Phil’s forces the enemy. As that meant a rather uneven bias in the forces I tried to pick a scenario that worked around that. Reading through Charles S Grant’s The Wargame Companion I saw details of a small Teaser call Wagon Train. I thought this had possibilities as I had a decent set of wagons and guns and limbers in my forces. I then had a look through the Battlegames Magazine Table Top Teaser compendium and found a variation on the same Teaser and decided to use this as the basis of the game.

If you want to see how the game went before reading some of the details and comments below you can find an eyewitness account from the ever reliable Private Lamm in his Journal entry. And an annotated galley: Byzarbian Interlude. I’ll apologise in advance for the odd shot with tape measures and dice in but given the amount of vodka I’d drunk throughout the game I was lucky I could hold the camera steady!

The defenders were to be the forces of Altefritzenburg defending the wagon train and Wheyeydia coming to the rescue. The forces of the Sultan Pasha are normally allies of Altefritzenburg but for this game a thought a little treachery on their part might even the odds. Phil’s forces, though small, was quite tough with the camel gunners providing good firepower and the lancers a good strike force. The plan was that they would be the starting force. On predetermined turns they would have two forces arriving to support them. These were to be the forces of the Pasha Sultan! The Sultan has always had dealings with pirates (he counts some his friends and allies) and it seems those about to be put to siege in the town are old friends and he feels obliged to turn against his new allies and return to his old ways. The forces of Wheyeydia do not know this. When they arrived on table I moved them as supposed my own troops but at the orders of Phil. At the point they would declare their intentions (i.,e. fire on or attack their allies) they would then move over to Phil’s control.


The forces of Wheyeydia again had a predetermined arrival order by choosing an envelope at random which listed each unit and the turn they arrived at point D. Luckily Ken chose the envelope which saw his forces arrive from turn five onwards.The main attack force arrived on turn one at point A. The forces of the Pasha began to arrive on turn three at point B with the cavalry arriving on turn six at point C.

The version of the Teaser in the magazine had the wagon train moving at 4″ a turn. In retrospect this turned out to be too slow as once Phil’s lancers drove off the Uhlans they descended on the wagons and stopped the main force getting across. The table was also slightly smaller than the 9’x 6′ of the original and I think this meant that Phil’s troops got in sooner than planned. We also game him the first move which also helped.

The arrival of Ken’s troops was not helped by failing his first 2-3 command rolls which reduced his movement to 100mm a turn. And we also forgot that troops in column away from the enemy could make double march moves! This meant that although Ken’s troops effectively drove off the enemy it was by their impending presence rather than through combat! I must apologise to Ken as yet again his fine troops struggled to come to grips with the enemy through no fault of his own.

The rules we used were the same as at Ayton and are from Henry Hyde’s forthcoming The Wargaming Compendium. As none of us had played the rules since May I’m sure we missed a few things (like the March Moves!) and I’ll hopefully be giving Henry some feedback in due course. Overall they played well though.

It was nice to get the troops out again and there was a fine selection on display. Ken’s forces were a mix of Old Glory, Jackdaw and Wargames Factory.

Ken's Troops
Ken’s Troops
Ken's Troops
Ken’s Troops
Ken's Troops
Ken’s Troops

While Phil’s were a fine selection of Old Glory for his (N)Ottomans and I think Foundry for the Pirates?

Phil’s Ottomans
The attack at the ford begins
The attack at the ford begins
The dreaded camel gunners
The dreaded camel gunners

My own were predominantly RSM with a few Eureka for the Turkish pirates and the Sultan Pasha himself.

From the Eureka Harem set!
From the Eureka Harem set!
RSM Austrians
RSM Austrians
RSM Ottomans
RSM Ottomans

And the fine desert scenery was supplied by Lawrence. If you browse Richard’s (Herkybird on TMP) blog you will see many examples from Lawrence’s collection and having decent terrain really helped make the game look good.

And as it was the last Club meet of the year there was copious alcohol to be had so many thanks to all the chaps at the Club for making my first game of the year a memorable one!



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