Category Archives: 15mm

Preparing for To The Strongest

Next weekend myself, Essex Boy, World2Dave and Goat Major will be gathering at the Foundry venue in Newark to play a big game of To The Strongest. Myself and Dave have quite big 15mm Punic War forces, Simon has a good few as well and Iain…well…Iain has a few Greeks…a very few Greeks…

Dave and Simon (W2D and GM) have collated all our forces and worked out lists etc. and basically there is nothing for me to do but turn up with all my stuff and play. But that is far too easy… So… I’m repainting shields and rebasing a legion, rebasing cavalry and rebasing command stands. And painting a few odd figures for the latter!

My Romans are the first 15mm I painted when I got back into wargaming in 1993 after my travels. I painted the first legion in traditional red. And while agonising over shield designs I read somewhere that they often had a plain cover over the shields so I decided to paint them a mid-brown colour. And then for some bizarre reason I then painted the metal boss and top and bottom metal edges! These would logically be UNDER the cover! This has bugged me for several decades but I’ve never got round to re-painting the sheilds. So now seemed a good time to start.


I went for white and then decided to do the plumes as well…


The whole lot will be rebased as well in my current style. I also decide that the command stands should be on round bases and not the old DBM CAV 40x30s… I’ve put the CinC on 50mm and the sub-commanders on 40mm. Plenty of time to finish them by Friday…

I also had six stands of Carthaginian cavalry that I bought painted years ago. I never got round to re-doing the bases and they were also an almost gloss varnish. So I’ve stripped them off the bases and matted them ready for re-basing.


Again, the Carthaginian commands are DBM style so I’m painting up four foot figures to make two sub-commanders and at some point will do a proper CinC.

A lot of the figures are still based in my old style. These broadly blend in but I think as I add to the forces I’ll re-base the rest as I go. So hopefully I’ll get these done before Friday! Pics if I do else you’ll have to wait for the full game report.

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Union…and on…and on…

Another little flurry of ACW activity. The remaining Zouaves. I only had five stands of the Zouaves in kepi which were part of the original Minifigs force. Seen in foreground here with the lone standardbearer:


Not really enough for a unit for RF&F so I managed to acquire some more of the figures via a trade on TWW. 


These I managed to strip quite well using Dettol. This works quite well but you have to brush the paint off using a little washing up liquid and NO water. As soon as you add water to the mix everything turns to gunk and becomes much harder to deal with.

I had planned to use the Humbrol Oxford Blue again but when I did the first coat and compared them with the 15 original figures they really looked different. So…I applied a GW blue wash. This made it a nice dark blue. So I carefully applied the same wash to the original figures and they then matched pretty well! The red was still a good match and the rest of the figure was fine. I did add red lining on the rear of the jacket of all of them and repainted the rear pouch and the bayonets on the old figures as the yellowing varnish had tarnished these. Needed to add an extra standard bearer and added red to existing officers to blend them in. The whole unit looks very red and dark blue! But they are based and GMB flags added. For some reason the pics are a little washed out…

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I also took the chance  to add some flags to a couple of CSA stands missing them and make one of the existing ones less shiny.


I’ve now cleared the ACW away as I need to do some prep for next weekends To The Strongest game in Newark. But I do have another batch of Union primed and ready to go.

I’ve also just finished reading Sear’s Landscape Turned Red. 


A very readable account of the Battle of Antietam. The narrative gives a good feel for the sequence of events and the maps, though few, are clear. It takes a few chapters to set up the action but this is required really. And Sears seems to not be a great fan of McClellan who does not come out of the account well! Probably with justification.

Next in line is:


Looking forward to this one as have heard good things about it.

Hopefully I’ll get another update in before the Newark game.


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Union Blues…

The ACW projects continues. And expands…. Many moons ago I bought some Lancashire Games ACW Union cavalry as I liked the figure. I then sold them! I then bought some more (because I still liked the figure!)

lgacwNow, Lancashire Games are currently revamping their ACW range and the new figures are really rather nice. But they are marketed as 18mm and they are way bigger than any of the Minfigs and old Peter Pig I have. But the old range are just about the right size (a tad bigger but fine on the table) and now that the range is ‘Archived’ they have been selling off some of the packs on eBay. I managed to secure six assorted packs (2 x ABP140 Marching Infantry, 1 x ABP141 Advancing Infantry,1 x ABP142 cavalry and 1 x ABP146 Artillery crew and guns) for the bargain of £38 and added another three bought direct at a reduced price. This lot was kindly picked up for me at Derby by Simon T (Goat Major) and when combined with other Lancashire stuff acquired from Iain Burt (Essex Boy) is quite a lot of figures!

20161024_160715The other bag at bottom right is mostly Peter Pig (collected from SELWG by EB) and is assorted casualty and low ammo type figures. And an Essex ambulance.

This should keep me going for a while!

And to show I’ve not just been adding to the project I’ve actually painted a few more of the Minifigs. As mentioned in the last ACW related post where I finished off the Zouaves I had decide that Humbrol 104 Oxford Blue was a good match to that used on all my old Minifigs. So I decided to paint up a full unit using that. And now I’m not so sure…

20161024_155757 20161024_155740 20161024_155732It’s pretty close and may be affected by the varnish yellowing on the old figures but although it would do I’m really not sure it’s the right blue! But I’ll do the remaining Minfigs I have and the Zouaves I need to match and then additions like the Lancashire games stuff will be done differently. I think… Maybe the Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue. Maybe something else…

And I finished rebasing a few more low ammo markers and officer figures…

It’s never ending…


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Framlingham 2016 – Day One

Another LAW gathering. This time in Framlingham, Suffolk (again) and ably organised by Tim Hall. Ten of us gathered for a most excellent weekend of gaming. Day One, Saturday, saw The Two Tim’s hosting a 54mm FIW game using Tim H’s lovely collection.

20161015_113719 20161015_113728 20161015_113736 20161015_140209 20161015_140221 20161015_140236It did, as ever look excellent. I believe the game was played twice with the victory shared.

The other six of us (Gary, Alex, Dave, Simon, Peeler and myself) partook of a large DBN game of Vitoria. I’ve played DBN a couple of times before and rather enjoyed it. I do have this minor craving to do the bases using 3mm figures rather than 15mm but I have to concur that once the game is underway the scale of figures becomes irrelevant. The rules give a good, fast moving game that FEELS like a battle.


The French were deployed historically, myself taking the role of Gazan. Peeler was overall CinC and Simon took the role of Reille(?). The decision was really how long to try and hold Wellington/Hill on the left before the bridges were forced to the North.


I tried to pull back gracefully but the dice were not kind and my sacrificial units, although fully embracing their sacrifice role, died a little too quickly!

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Rather carelessly (and assuming a modicum of honourable behaviour from the British) I left Gazan a little exposed while cordinating the withrawal and a battery of horse artillery rode up and poured canister into the poor chap!


This rather impeded my plans and allowed the British to push forward. I still managed to get my troops back to the designated line of resistance.


However this was not without cost….

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Meanwhile, Peeler and Simon were battling valiantly to defend the bridges and although inflicting heavy losses the crossings were forced.

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The game was to last 22 turns and in that time the loss of 22 French stands would spell defeat. Come turn 20 a sequence of rather bad rolls by Peeler saw a quick succession of losses. This was to prove too much on top of the losses of Gazan’s Corps and victory went to the Allies despite the French being well placed for a last stand!


It was good fun. I did roll a lot of 1s and lost a lot of combats that should have lasted a turn or two more. But in the end, the excessive losses from the retreat, and the loss of Gazan was the decider. So close…

Thanks go to Alex for the scenario and ‘running’ the game and to Peeler for creating the excellent table! An excellent day! All the pictures are in this gallery: Framlingham Day 1



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I think I’m done basing ACW…for now…

At long last I think I may be done! The last bits I wanted to get done for my 15mm ACW re-basing are done!

First up: low ammo markers

20161012_093033I’ve still got four of these to do but need the bases which I will get this weekend.

Disorder Markers:

20161012_093041Only have ten of these but again, will be picking up some Peter Pig casualty figures at the weekend.

The final units to be done were Zouaves. I had two existing small units. Seven bases with turbans and five with kepi. As mentioned previously I was undecided on whether to strip all the figures and repaint as I had three more in turban and nearly 30 in kepi to add to them. The issue was matching the colours. If I could do that then no stripping required. None of the Vallejo/GW/CdA paints I have matched the existing blue and I didn’t have much luck mixing a colour. Then last weekend I went to the newly opened local Hobbycraft. They stock the Humbrol range so I grabbed what looked like a decent blue (104 Oxford Blue) and it is a match!! Then it twigged. The figures were painted years ago and likely then Humbrol Acrylic was the main choice. I then dug out my VERY old Humbrol red. Match. And my Humbrol Flesh. Match. Although the latter may be too far gone so needs replacing.

I ended up needing to paint four additional figures as I snapped the drummer removing him from the base. And there were four of the figures that had dark blue pants and gold piping that needed changing to red to match. And the white bits on the figures had yellowed with the old varnish so I needed to match that as well! But basically I think you’ll be hard pressed to spot the new figures in the unit.

20161012_093055 20161012_093104This means I can now strip the kepi figures I acquired and paint them to match the existing ones. I do need another standard bearer though….

So that is it. The Union army has gone from this:

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To this:

20161012_093116The CSA looks like this:

20161012_093202And this is the whole shebang!

20161012_093215I have more units to paint (some Minfigs and a LOT of other stuff!) and a few more markers to do. But enough now for a decent looking game. Although still need to do fences and more trees.

And this weekend is the LAW gathering in Framlingham which I am most looking forward to!


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And now the end is near….

I’ve had a bit of a push on the re-basing. Partly to try and get it finished and partly because at the gaming weekend in Fram next week I’ll be picking up a load of unpainted lead to add to the project! So basically now I’ve finished the main bulk of the troops. The latest being these chaps:

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I still have limbers to do for those guns.

This leaves the Union army looking something like this:


I may need to do a few more command stands to allow for smaller units. There are all generic units (although one lot are clearly Iron Brigade) and I’ll be adding ‘real’ units as I paint extras.

The only outstanding are the Zouaves. There are two small units of these which MAY do for most games but for the turban chaps I may try and paint three spare figures to give me 8 stands. The kepi chaps are a smaller unit still.


I do however have a load of similar figures lined up to strip. I’m not sure whether to strip the lot and paint them all again or just strip and paint the new lot and mix them all in. It will depend on the turban chaps I paint and if the colours are a close enough match.


I’ve also started basing up the markers. The ones I have seem to be Freikorps but they will be fine for markers. I’m short on 20mm bases until next week to still have 4 to do. Need to think on whether 20 low ammo markers is enough for most games?


And also how many disruption markers I need. I only have the following so far but have more Peter Pig casualty figures coming.


I went for ovals for these as they don’t fit well on the 20mm rounds and  have a load of the oval bases from an aborted 28mm basing idea!

So there we are. Almost there….

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Finally limbering up….

The not going very well EB vs CB Painting Challenge has hit another way point and needless to say I have still failed to paint the 28mm Altefritzeburgers  I had planned. Iain however has finished another excellent Spencer Smith unit. See the details on his blog: but here are the chaps in their glory!


Iain updates his new blog even less frequently than I do mine but it is worth watching for some lovely troops and he will eventually get more content up there.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my head is just not in 28mm mode and having recently played a few Fire and Fury games I’m firmly of the opinion I should crack on with the re-basing, paint a few 15mm and finish off the project! So that is what I am doing for now…

To that end I have finished the three limbers I started and done the bases on three guns and added a divisional/corps commander…

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The limber riders are done in the dark blue I’m using for all my new stuff. I’ve tried finding a blue to match what is there but had no luck finding or mixing one I’m happy with. I’ve realised the slightly off colours of the old Minifigs is down to the varnish used yellowing. So I’m never going to be able to match them really…20161002_163429

So, as you can see, I am getting there. I need to re-base the CSA officers and think what I need to add to them. And paint more Union cavalry!

Onwards and upwards!

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Yep! Still rebasing!!

Been rather busy of late so not much progress but I thought another update was due. I actually completed some more basing a few weeks ago but haven’t got round to posting it.


Some more generic Union and at the back some Berdan’s Sharpshooters.  There are still a lot to finish painting the bases on but getting there.

I suppose as basing was getting a little tedious I decided to break it up with a little painting. Three limbers for the Union. Needless to say, they still need basing!

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While rummaging through boxes I found a load of unpainted fences. Most of these I know are Irregular as I’ve used others of theirs. But the three pole fence I’m not sure on as I picked it up from Gateshead Gaming ages ago.

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So… all moving along albeit slowly…

Books. Yes. I’ve been adding to the books.

61gg21viiol-_sx365_bo1204203200_ 51wqpdckkgl-_sx322_bo1204203200_ 51uqmyd-mdl-_sx357_bo1204203200_ 51trvv4ml4l-_sx369_bo1204203200_ 51p639cdk9l-_sx321_bo1204203200_ 51fjgjxsx2l-_sx334_bo1204203200_ 51chm9racal-_sx332_bo1204203200_ 51asgehn3ul-_sx362_bo1204203200_ 41wbwsfial-_sx331_bo1204203200_

Possibly slight overkill… but most were bargains!

And to finish off, the new Dan Mersey rules: The Men Who Would Be Kings


And to claim the Free Postage the new Osprey on Cowpens:


And having not played a game for a few weeks I will be setting off for the wilds of Suffolk (Framlingham) in two weeks to join assorted LAW members for a weekend of gaming, beer and taking the piss out of Essex Boy! Looking forward to it.

Oh… and someone might be picking up a load of Lancashire Games 15mm ACW for me. These are from their old range and I quite like some of the figures which will fit well with what I have. Their new range is VERY nice with some lovely figures but they are 18mm and just too big to mix with my old Minifigs.

Hopefully I’ll get the limbers and a few other bases finished before that weekend…

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What a long and tedious job re-basing is… I can’t base the last few infantry stands as the new bases I have are ever so slightly too big. This is being corrected. But I have finally got everything off old bases and onto new. And the ballast/PVA mix applied.

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I’ve gone for three crew for the guns as I think two just looks a bit light…

I say I’ve re-based everything but I exclude the Zouaves. I have just traded for 26 more in kepi and a couple in turban. I need to get an idea on unit strengths in various battles to see how many I may actually need. Either way I will likely strip both lots and re-base them.


But I did make an effort to get a couple of units actually finished!

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And at the front you can make out some sample strips of the 4Ground MDF fencing. I decided that leaving them MDF/Brown would just be too well, brown, given my dark basing. So as I have lots of cheap grey acrylic paint I sloshed that on and drybrushed with a lighter mix.


I think they look OK. I was concerned that they are very light and would move around but the surface of my Mat-o-War seems to snag them and hold them in place. I do wish they would do the fencing in longer sections though!

And to finish off I thought I’d lay out the CSA troops I have. These are a total mix of all makes and painting styles but the basing brings them all together I think. And I need to re-base the officers.


So good progress being made and hopefully get the rest done by the weekend. Oh…and I need to paint ten limbers as well…



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I hate re-basing!

I continually agonise over basing. Partly because I get some sort of perverse pleasure out of it and partly because I HATE re-basing! And for some reason I can’t cope with a basing convention that doesn’t let me have my troops marching down a road!

As I’ve been dabbling in Fire and Fury again I’ve finally decide to re-base the Minifigs Union force I have. As mentioned in previous posts this was acquired many moons ago at the Edinburgh show and was based using the ‘standard’ 1″ Fire and Fury bases with mostly three figures to a base but also a good few with just two (I assume to eek out the figures for more units).  20160831_092114The CSA troops have been based to match this and as I have NO intention of re-basing them. And the only Minifigs I have added to the force myself have been based the same and using my standard colours.20160831_092141 20160831_092215However, with the intention of trying Regimental Fire and Fury I had a little pang of indecision. The standard Fire and Fury bases ‘look’ right at the brigade level on the table. However, if representing individual regiments I think troops in two ranks look better. Although RF&F deploys bases two deep I wasn’t sure on the look of that. Some people just do two ranks and treat it as two bases under the rules. This also allows more flexibility for use with other rules. However, taking this route would mean re-basing the CSA to match and that would reduce the number of units I can represent. And the more I looked at battle reports of RF&F games the more I decided that the standard basing looked fine! So I’ve started the process…20160831_092250 20160831_092154As I’m keeping the army as all Minifigs 2nd Generation (as much as possible) there may be issues making up full units all in the same general poses. I have already sorted a trade for some Zouaves in kepi so can make the existing unit up to a size usable in RF&F. But until I pick some scenarios that use them I’ll need to wait and see if I have enough!

But I still hate re-basing!


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