Christmas Loot 2013

I think I did quite well this year. I knew I was guaranteed some lead under the tree as yet again I took part in The Blog With No Name’s Secret Santa. I’ve done this three time now I think? And it’s always good to give a receive some wargaming stuff! I must admit I tend to be quite specific in the guidance list I publish for my buyer. I like to give a wide range of stuff but also male sure it is stuff I want and will use! This year had a quite specific list of Spencer Smiths and Holger Eriksson models I wanted for my ImagiNation forces and as I was going to be optimistically giving the same list to my wife I had asked my buyer to email my wife with their choice to avoid duplication! Which they duly did!

So I got a nice haul of the newer WAS Spencer Smiths to bring my units up to the (new) correct strengths, both from my Secret Santa and from my wife, and I have some Holger Eriksson artillery and limbers on the way. My wife had forgotten they some from Sweden when she ordered them on the 16th! So thanks to my Secret Santa and my wife. And I hope the gift I sent my ‘target’ hit the mark as well!

I also got:

Wargames Annual 2014 – always a good little read and this year’s looks good. I especially like Stokes’ vignette article.

Watching War Films with my Dad by Al Murray – now I rather hate his Pub Landlord but this book/memoir is apparently rather good and conveys a real love of the subject matter so I’m looking forward to reading a non-Kindle book for a change!

A rather nice single malt – Ledaig

Book tokens and chocolates

So quite happy with that lot. All I need now is some time to pain stuff…

And last night we did manage to get out to see The Hobbit and to be honest I was a little underwhelmed and a little more annoyed at the padding and additions and ‘comedy’ moments. I’m still glad I saw it on the big screen but having seen the rather abrupt ending I really think there should have been only two films. I’m sure the third one will be suitably climactic but this one definitely suffers from ‘middle film of the trilogy’ syndrome…

Now, can I get time to see 47 Ronin before I go back to work? Doubtful…

So there we are, another Christmas pretty well over. I shall hopefully post some plans for 2014 in the next few days.

Try not to laugh too hard…


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Merry Christmas!

Seasons Greetings to you all! Have a brilliant Christmas and I hope the roof joists are put under strain when Santa’s lead laden sleigh touches down tonight!

Thanks to all who’ve popped by and commented on what has been a relatively non-productive gaming year for me!

All the best



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Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

Despite the evident madness of it, I have entered myself for the 4th Analogue Painting Challenge organised by Curt Campbell over on his blog. You can find the details in the link above but basically it’s a case of setting a points target and aiming for that over the winter months. Starting on 15th December and ending on 20th March 2014. There are options for a few extra points by doing ‘specials’ and I’ll grabbing a couple of them! But the main aim is to give my painting a focus in the run up to the next Ayton game in May! To give myself a little variety I’ve put some 20mm stuff in for the WD3 game in October 2014, some 15mm for Longstreet and some 6mm vehicles. If I can do the two full battalions of 28mm with limbers to go with some guns I already have then I’ll be happy. I’d like to do more but it’s probably asking too much!

My target is 1000 points. I’ve listed the main effort here and via the menu above but Curt will post updates and keep a running total on his blog.

Here’s to hitting the target!



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Today was SMOGGYCON. I quite like this show and was pleased to see it appear on the calendar a couple of years ago as a sort of replacement for the Stockton shows (which now have a proper replacement with A Call to Muster). I’ve always enjoyed the shows. Good range of traders and always a chatty friendly show. This year the organisation had been taken over by Pendraken and they did an excellent job. Well publicised well in advance and although I’m sure they had their traumas in the background but as a punter it all seemed to go very well!

I arrived at 9.45 and got in promptly having been handed a blue wristband to allow re-entry and a neat ‘guide’ to the show. The wristband is a good idea but I can imagine a few of the more ‘substantial’ punters losing feeling in their hand after a couple of hours! 🙂

There was no bring and buy and again this year they went for the flea market approach. I’d been critical of this the first time I saw it at York when they moved to the format but to be honest it seems to work quite well. And it’s good to see the tables changing and new stuff appearing.

There was a good range of display games on display and I’ve posted a few picture in a gallery here: SMOGGYCON 2013

The highlights for me were Border Reiver’s Battle of Trafalgar 1984 with some excellent models and a popular theme for the North!

2013-11-23 11.04.062013-11-23 11.03.58

I was also taken with the Lancaster Cellarmen Second Day at Gettysburg. A very neat looking 6mm game. Plus point was they had a useful handout explaining where everything they used came from. I particularly like the trees made from dried Alder and Casuarina cones. A good way to get good ground coverage cheap!

2013-11-23 11.05.58 2013-11-23 11.06.15And my final pick goes to Brompton Bankers’ The Chronicles of Toytown. An excellent looking little game and very nicely presented.

2013-11-23 11.12.07 2013-11-23 11.12.36Although the gallery is up it may take me a while to fill in all the details for the pics. And as with last year, the pics from the main hall suffered from the dreaded ‘yellow light’ but overall they are not too bad.

The Haul!

I didn’t really have a huge shopping list but managed to find a few things! I’d arranged with Martin at Warbases to pick up some sample sabots I want to use for basing my 28mm ImagiNation artillery (idea courtesy of World2Dave). And after numerous exchanges with Essex Boy I picked up some SYW limbers from Irregular (thanks to Ian Kay for sorting the order really quickly). From Tim W on the flea market I’d arranged to pick up a GHQ 8th Army combat command to add to the North Africa project for 2014 2015 2016… And thanks to Leon for sorting a small order at the last minute as well!


As last year, a really enjoyable show. Spent a lot of time chatting with Goat Major, Peeler, NDL and other WD3’ers and with assorted chaps from the Tyneside Club. Grabbed everything I needed and got home in time to not annoy my wife! As I emptied my bag this evening I noticed a flier I’d missed. Next year the show is moving back to Stockton and becomes Battleground. Details here: Battleground Show. Based on today I’m sure Leon and crew will put together an excellent show and it’s already in my diary.

Only minor downside (apart from the lighting) was the queue for the food. They just weren’t geared up for that many customers. Not a major hassle but if I’d been more pushed for time it may have been. And academic following the move to a new venue!

Thanks again to Leon and Pendraken. An excellent day.



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The Short Road to Longstreet

Another diversion? Possibly…

Many years ago I picked up an large 15mm ACW Union army at the bring and buy at Claymore in Edinburgh. I then acquired a Confederate army from my mate Billy in Birmingham along with a copy of Fire and Fury. And then I did nothing with them! Eventually I sold them back to Billy who added a few figures to the Confederates  but again, did nothing with them. Roll forward 7-8 years and I have been quite taken with Sam Mustafa’s new ACW rules, Longstreet.

Now part of the problem with my gaming (or lack of it) is that I find a new period/rules and immediately want to do both sides, never complete them and hence never play…This happened with Maurice, as I’m still painting up 6mm for that! But I didn’t want it miss out on Longstreet so despite the temptation to buy 6mm or even 3mm armies I remembered the 15mm in Birmingham and when I went down for the Derby show I reclaimed them! This would at least give me a fighting chance of getting a game! So the last couple of evenings I’ve sorted them out to see what I have.

The Confederate army is a nice little force with a mix of manufacturers (most of which I don’t really recognise!).


Nine units of infantry, two regiments of cavalry and five guns (three with limbers), plus officers. These are all based for Fire and Fury, three to a base. Annoyingly there are only 8 stands to each cavalry unit so I may need to remedy that, along with a couple of limbers. Also, four of the units are based on slightly deeper (and unevenly cut) bases so these are going to get re-done.acw02

As you can see, lots of variation in figure makes but they all fit together quite well. And the flags will need redoing at some point as well. Either way, enough to get me going.

The Union army is a little more problematic. There is more of it, it’s all quite neatly based and is entirely Minifigs. These also look like 2nd Generation? Definitely different from what is listed on the current site.

acw03 acw04As you can see, there is quite a lot. Eleven or twelve infantry units, lots of markers, 8-10 guns.acw05Most are based with three figures but there are quite a few with two to a base. And there are also a lot more flag bases than units. As most of these have unit names on I assume either Fire and Fury has lots more smaller units, or extras are for specific units in a campaign? I plan to use the spares and break down the two figure stands to make up full units for Longstreet.

There are also a few stands of sharpshooters which can be used as markers in Longstreet.acw06

And plenty of officers and markers…acw07

And what looks like the Iron Brigade…acw08

The issue is the two Zouave units. There aren’t enough for a full unit so I’d be looking at adding to these and trying to paint to match.acw09

The front unit are definitely Minifigs and I assume those behind too. But not sure if these figures are still available?acw10There are also a fair few unpainted figures. Enough for another 3-4 units. There are no Union cavalry. There is not quite enough unpainted for a full unit and given these may not be the current Minifigs range it may be easier to buy a new unit or two – either Minifigs or I quite like the Lancashire Games regular cavalry. The Minifigs are also quite small figures so mixing with other ranges may not work too well.

I’m not sure why there are so many with only two figures to a base? Is this a Fire and Fury thing? Or just stretching figures to make more units?

So, a little rebasing and I’m good to go! Any comments/advice on the whole Minifigs generation thing and where I might get older castings would be a help and any comments from a Longstreet perspective on what else I might need would be appreciated.


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