Category Archives: 15mm

Rampant Plastic Normans!

As the great annual Ayton game looms at the start of May and I prepare my painting plan based in the army list I supplied for the big C18th campaign it it only logical that my limited painting and modelling time be firmly focussed on… Modern Microarmour, 15mm ACW and 28mm Normans! 🙂 I’ve posted some pics of the Modern Brits before but here are the vehicles for the FV432 and Saxon units. And some SPGs. Needless to say I’m still painting the infantry!

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A while back (pre- Christmas?) I bought some rather nice painted 15mm ACW Confederate from Iain Burt (Essex Boy) at a rather bargain price. These are I think Peter Pig and very nicely painted. They came mounted 4-5 on a base on unfinished steel bases so they needed to come off those and go on the standard Fire & Fury bases all my other stuff is on. That gave me two 10 stand units (usable for Longstreet as well) and a couple of spare command stands. Very nicely done figures by Mr Burt!

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Finally we come to the plastic Normans. Now I have always been a heft man! I was happy to concede the great opportunities the advent of hard plastic figures offered and have seen many people paint them beautifully. And they look great on the table. But for me the illusion was ruined as soon as you picked them up! 🙂 I had tried some of the Perry Napoleonics a long time ago and gave up sticking them together. Too many bits and too fiddly for me. So in theory that was me done with plastics. Forever…

Then Tim Hall generously passed his small C18th force to me to do service with Altefritzenburg. This force contained the famed Braunschweig Kuirassiers! These were Perry French cuirassiers with tricorn head swaps. A lovely unit and a great conversion.


So I finally owned some plastics but had yet to paint any. Move forward to the Ayton weekend last year where we discussed the plans for 2016 and 2017. Having just done a C19th Colonial bash tradition holds that the following year we return to our C18th ImagiNation games. But for 2017 it was proposed to try something different and Lion Rampant got the vote. We had a trial run of the rules at the Lion Rampant weekend at Foundry late last year organised by Simon Tonkiss (Goat Major – go look at his excellent new blog: Göaterdämmerung) and I had great plans to paint something for that weekend but it didn’t pan out. I had decided I wanted a Norman/1st Crusade type force with maybe a few Arab types thrown in. This would nicely reflect my C18th and C19th ImagiNation forces. As this was in theory just for a one off game I didn’t want to spend a fortune so I looked at the Conquest Games Norman plastics and thought, What the Hell! I’d give plastics another go. So I bought some infantry. And cavalry. And a few metal Perry miniatures for crossbows and command. And some of the archers. And then for the Arabs I bought Gripping Beast Heavy Arab Cavalry and Infantry. Then got sent some Dark Age Warriors by mistake. Which I bought anyway. And also got given another pack of the Arab infantry… So I now have a plastic pile to join my lead and MDF ones! And that excludes the Games Workshop Orcs I acquired (don’t ask!). And I won’t even mention the PSC 1/72nd US infantry and Shermans…

So we come to the Conquest Normans. I thought I would attempt a unit of 12 infantry to start. I actually stuck these together last year and even primed one but did nothing until a couple of weeks ago. They come as body, head and arms so you can vary the poses quite a bit. The bodies have a variety of armour and you can arm with sword or spear and even a few with round shields. I went for a mix of types but stuck to the kite shields. They stick together quite well. As the heads attach to a flat surface you have to be careful to get them central (some of mine are a little out) and some of the armoured heads seem a little long in the neck. One slight jarring effect is that all come with a sword IN the scabbard. So if you arm them with swords then they appear to have two! I know you could cut/file off the handle but I didn’t think it was worth the effort and the potential damage!

Figures were mounted on 25mm washers and primed black using  the Vallejo Primer (brushed on). I haven’t painted this period in 28mm since the late 70s/early 80s and having been in a mojo slump for quite a while I was unsure how to tackle them. I’d been reading good things about the latest GW washes (replacements for Devlan Mud and Badab Black) so I picked up a couple of the new larger bottles (how much!!!!!?!?!?!?!). So for these figures most was done with a base coat followed by one or the other washes and then a highlight with the base or slightly lighter. As these are still sort of linked to my ImagiNation theme I went for the green and red of Altefritzenburg for the shields. Needless to say my Swans will be making an appearance as well, later!

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Overall, I’m quite pleased with how they come out. The faces were a different approach to normal and I may vary that for the next batch as I’m not sure it fully works.

Not sure what to paint next. I REALLY should line up the stuff for Ayton in May. Not a lot to paint but it will take time. Maybe as the mojo seems to be returning it would be good to get them out of the way. I also need to clear the decks a little as I want to try and have a game at home with my 7 year old. Might look at the One Hour Wargames ACW rules. And I need to sort out my Punic War stuff for the big To The Strongest Game in November. And get to the Whitley Bay Club so I can keep to my once a month plan!

Onwards and upwards!


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SYW at WB3D!

Last night I managed to arrange a game at the recently formed Whitley Bay 3D Gamers club in, unsurprisingly, Whitley Bay! The club has been running for a good few months now but being on a Tuesday night it’s hard for me to rearrange picking up of kids etc. But last night worked out so I managed to arrange to take part in a 15mm SYW. Figures and terrain supplied by Ian. Rules supplied by Neil. The rules, Battle Factor, are in development and last night was one of several recent playtests. We had 6 players, 3 a side, Austrians v. Prussians. I took the mixed cavalry and infantry division on the Austrian left, Ken (CinC) took the infantry center, and Ian the right flank. As usual, I’m crap with names but the Prussian opposition was Lawrence (facing me),  Karl(?) facing Ian and I think Darrel as Prussian CinC.

Command and control works from Army, then to Division, then Brigade commanders. As orders are issued, units can carry out several actions but the enemy can respond to each one (within restrictions) so you can get quite a lot of activity in a short space of time.

The table at start with my two cavalry brigades either side of the woods just before the Prussians deployed. Deployment can be as close as 30cm so action can start pretty quickly!

2015-06-23 19.34.57My left hand brigade went forward, charged and was counter charged. And just defeated… 2015-06-23 19.51.10Falling back through the rear regiment, these in turn charged. Breaking the already worn down enemy.2015-06-23 20.13.25

My two central cuirassier regiments then moved forward. Successfully engaging the first regiment, driving them off and following through to do the same to the second. Now blown (their Battle Factor was negative) they retired to allow the second regiment to advance.

2015-06-23 20.29.142015-06-23 19.35.11However, the threat from Prussian infantry produced a stand off.2015-06-23 20.37.422015-06-23 20.58.07My carabiniers returned to the fray after my dragoons had done serious damage on the left again.2015-06-23 20.29.022015-06-23 20.28.54Having finally driven off both regiments they fell back to re-group along with the dragoons.2015-06-23 21.52.49Although the result was a stand off with my cuirassiers, with time I planned to bring back the regiments and then roll up the flank.

Meanwhile, on the rest of the table, stuff happened! 🙂2015-06-23 21.53.12 2015-06-23 21.53.04 2015-06-23 20.58.18 2015-06-23 19.50.56 2015-06-23 19.50.47 I have to admit to being rather lucky with the dice.2015-06-23 20.26.23As casualties (reduced battle factors) were based on dice rolls divided by 6 rolls like this served me well! There was some discussion during the game about how the command rolls worked. All the action on my flank happened in two turns. Lots of orders and reactions. The idea of the flexible time scale and the to and fro is a nice idea. I look forward to trying them again.

It was good to get a game in, good to see Ian, Ken and Lawrence (and NDL later!) and good to try new rules. I should make it down the club again in August!


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Painting Challenge – 15mm ACW

Last night I finally uploaded my next entry for the Painting Challenge. I’ve now officially ‘cleared the decks!’ so I can make a start on the Ayton stuff…

Here we go:

Many moons ago, late 90’s I think, I went to the Edinburgh Wargames Show (Claymore) and on the bring and buy spotted a large 15mm ACW Union army. These were all 2nd Gen Minifigs and based for Fire and Fury. The paint job was simple but neat. I then managed to acquire a 15mm Confederate army from my mate Billy in Birmingham. I re-based them and had great plans for ACW gaming! The Union army was lacking cavalry and somehow I never got round to painting any of the numerous unpainted packs that came with it and eventually the project fell to the wayside so I sold the lot back to Billy! Fast forward 13 years or so and the arrival of Sam Mustafa’s Longstreet rules and the desire to give ACW a go again! I bought the lot back off Billy and sorted the unpainted stuff out and there was enough to do a basic 8 stand cavalry unit.

I couldn’t match the blue used on the originals (and thought it too dark anyway) so upon some research amongst friends tried Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue and Prussian Blue on a sample next to an original:


Happy enough with this I went ahead with the the main lot. I had decided to keep them simple and over black undercoat just painted round straps etc. (Thanks to Loki for the Vallejo Black Surface Primer recommendation). I eventually decided they looked too plain so added a Ogryn Flesh Wash and assorted washes on the horses. And the cross swords on the kepi to give a little contrast:

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I knew I needed dismounted versions. Although there were about a dozen already done I decided the difference in colour was too much so repainted the lot!

pc14 pc16And obviously I needed a symbolic horse holder stand as well. And took the chance to do one for the Confederate cavalry as well:pc17And here they are in two ranks.


Flags are by GMB (which were fiddlier than I thought in 15mm!). All figures are Minifigs 2nd Gen although there are a couple of 3rd Gen horses in there (e.g. dismounts and command) and I think the horse holders may be Lancashire Games?

I’ve also finished rebasing all the Confederates so in theory could go for a game. However I think I might want to re-base all the Union to match first… 🙂

Now, where are all those 28mm figures I need to do!

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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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Post Derby Update

Well, the various comments over on TMP re the ‘Derby’ show have been interesting. I hope the organisers don’t take it too much to heart as I think most critisisms were pretty valid and meant constructively. Price of food, noise and atmosphere are, I suppose, very subjective.

Still feeling tired from the excesses of the weekend and with my wife away last night and today in Manchester (and so the added stress of sorting our sometimes less than cooperative kids!) and being full of cold, I decided to take a flexi day and spend some time at home. I had great plans of doing lots of things in the attic but in the end managed the following:

Watched S02E02 of Homeland – getting interesting!

Watched Expendables 2 – very silly…

Confirmed the extras I had ordered from Baccus enable to finish off the units I wanted. I know have enough to do five more battalions, which will be all Altefritzenburgers, once I decide on uniform colours. And standards… I have one units on bottle tops waiting to go though.

While at Derby I picked up a sample sabot base from Martin at Warbases. I had had some steel 15mm discs done by Precision Wargames Supplies to use as bases for my 15mm Splintered Light minis for the TFL Dux Brittanniarum rules. I’ve only got a few painted but will be putting the two starter armies together slowly. The bases are very thin and light so normal depth MDF sabots are just too deep. Martin spent a little time investigating the options and came up with the following:

The actual base is 1.4mm mount board under the normal 2mm MDF with an insert in each round hole to raise it to the level to make the thin steel bases flush. The 3mm hole in the middle is for adding a small magnet to hold the figure in place. The steel bases do not give enough weight to really steady the figure. The magnet will help.

So this gave me the chance to base up what I had painted so far.

I only have one unit of warriors, my leader and four archers. The archers and leaders will be on 20mm bases. I’ve yet to decide if they need a sabot as well.

The main unit is the 6th Century incarnation of my Savage Swans!

The plan is to have nice regular bases for the shieldwall (though I still think they are a little too far apart) and the ‘random’ bases for loose groups and Saxons. When I get round to painting them!

Next up will be more 6mm Imagi units. And hopefully I’ll sort the colour schemes so Ian can paint the other ‘French’ units.


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