Border Reiver 2017 – a late report…

2nd September. Border Reiver. My local show. Gateshead Stadium. I always like to go to this. Support the local show and traders and catch up with lots of people. I never seem to make it to local clubs at the moment. Kids and work. Never seems to work out. Anyway. The Show. To be honest I was a little bit disappointed this year. There seems a lot of ‘space’ in the hall and it didn’t seem that busy. There seemed fewer demo games this year and I know a couple of traders pulled out. Whether the extra space created by that gave the illusion of less busy I don’t know. A good spread of traders although someone pointed out there were a lot of people selling Warlord stuff at varying prices.

I got to chat with lots of people, some of which I hadn’t seen for a good while. The tabletop sale seemed busy for most of the show and there were one or two absolute bargains on there! None of which I took advantage of…

The games. Some nice ones on display (especially  the 30 Year War one) but taking pictures was a ‘mare as the yellow light ruined every shot. I’ve tried tweaking them but…

Rumbling Guns game
Battle of Newburn 1640
Battle of Newburn 1640
Harrogate Wargames Club – 30 Years War
Tyneside Wargames Club – Trojan Wars in 10mm
Whitby Wargames Club
Harrogate Wargames Club – 30 Years War
Section 8. Some good participation games
Redcar Ironbeards
Section 8 again
AP Wiley 28mm Wild West
Battlefield Design

I’ve not seen any official figures for the show but I hope the numbers were OK and that next year the missing traders return. It’s good to have a local show that attracts the bigger traders.

Did I buy anything? Well… I had nothing I REALLY wanted. The bargains on the tabletop sale were good but I don’t need another period or scale! So my only purchase was two pots of Vallejo paint! Bronze Green and Light Sky Grey. Not a huge purchase but all I needed and the day out was made by the social side with lots of good chats.

If you want to see more pics of the day then visit Herybird’s Nest for a full show report.



A Mahdist addition to the force…

After a bit of a delay I’ve finally finished the next batch of Mahdists for my 10mm Sudan project. Again, I have adapted Dave Docherty’s excellent approach to speeding up the process. A batch of shaved head chaps were done using the same technique as the Fuzzy Wuzzies detailed earlier. This post will detail the later Mahdists and the approach used.

As these chaps are predominantly dressed in white(ish) colours the whole batch was spray undercoated in white (Halfords Primer)The flesh areas were then painted in Vallejo Flat EarthShields painted a variety of browns and a few red bits added for contrastThen a thinned Vallejo Sepia WashAs the wash stained the white more than I planned I went over them highlighting with a mix of ivory and off whiteAnd final details and bases paintedAnd finally the flags painted. Text was done with a white gel pen. Only slight issue with this was when it came time to varnish where one flag smudged… And on to basing…

Having done a couple of command stands as well I think I have enough for a small game. Possibly with The Men Who Would be Kings. Possibly something else. Either way I thought I’d get some of desert tiles out and parade the troops!

What to paint next? I’ve got the next lot of 10mm 1806 Prussians lined up so maybe them. Or I might do some more Sudan. Quite enjoying these. 10mm can be quite quick to paint and looks excellent. Nice to finally get a project moving…



And the rules were Legion!

Many, and I MEAN many years ago I used to play wargames with my cousin Stuart and mate Mark using all our old Airfix figures. Needless to say there was a lot of Roman vs. Ancient Briton action! Somehow I had acquired a set of rules called Legion by Al Margolis published by Fantasy Games Unlimited. I’ve no recollection of where I got them but it is likely via my local club at the time, Shrewsbury Wargames Society. I liked these rules. Percentage based and relatively simple (compared to some rules at the time (c.1980 if not earlier…) . I recalled that in melees you resolved all the individual unit combats and then rolled again for the result for the battle line. I got rid of my copy years ago and every now and then I had a hankering to play them again.

Occasionally a copy would crop up on eBay or Amazon. Usually in the States and not cheap! Then a couple of weeks ago in a Facebook sale group there was a copy for sale. $8. Bargain! Got them shipped over ($14!). Thanks to Jason Pipes for the deal.I intend to try them out soon with my 15mm figures. I’ll likely just drop the distances from inches to centimetres and double rank my infantry. The slightly shorter distances should work on a smaller table.

In other news…after a slight lull due to work and life I’m back painting the 10mm stuff. Have a load of Sudan stuff half done and have started the next Prussian 1806 battalion. How much time I’ll have over the next few weeks is moot as the kids break up tomorrow…


A Warm Fuzzy (Wuzzy) Feeling…

I’m still painting random stuff from my lead pile. With no fixed plan other than Ayton next year (and tradition precludes painting anything for that until at least February!) I’ve been painting what takes my fancy. So having painted some Sudan Brits I thought I needed some opposition. I spent a little time Googling for painting ideas for Fuzzy Wuzzies (Beja) and found this excellent blog post Painting Your Horde which I’ve only just spotted is by Dave Docherty on his One Man and his Brushes blog. It’s a good process for painting up lots of native types quite quickly so I thought I’d adapt it to 10mm! All colours are Vallejo Model Colour unless specified otherwise.

Step 1. Primer. Army Painter. Leather Brown Spray. Missed bits filled in with Flat Earth.Step 2. Hair and spears/swords painted black.Step 3. Paint all the robes a variety of suitable colours. I went for Ivory, Pale Sand, White, Dark Sand and German Camo Pale Brown. And spear shafts Mahogany Brown.Step 4. Wash. Vallejo Sepia Wash thinned with W&N Flow Improver.Step 5. Re-highlight cloth with same colour. Dry brush a few shields with Flat Earth and Khaki for a bit of variety. Dark Grey highlight on hair. Oily steel for metal bits. And Crafters Acrylic Country Maple for the bases.Step 6. Basing. I’m sticking with tablet MDF. The Brits are on 25x20mm but I thought that would be too small for the (hopefully!) lots of native bases I will have so I thought 50x25mm would be better for the bulk of them and then a few 25x25mm for command stands and odd bases.And I’ve tried to create the impression of a tight front rank and then thinning a little towards the back.And finally fine ballast added and painted with the Country Maple, highlighted with Antique White and some static Burnt Grass applied. A couple of rocks were added and a few tufts but not much as I don’t want to make it too grassy!So there we have it. The first batch of Fuzzies! There seemed a lot when I was painting them but when based they don’t looks as many! Here they are on the terrain boards I have and facing some of the Brits I’m quite pleased with them and will adapt Dave’s technique for the Madhists as well. This should give me enough to try out The Men Who Would Be Kings.

I’ve got the next lot of 1806 Prussians primed and ready to go and have started on the RSM Altefritzenburgers. Just need to keep the momentum going!


Sorting the paints…

Despite numerous efforts to keep my work desk tidy it never seems to stay that way long. Part of the problem was having paints everywhere. The rack I have for my Vallejo, although neat and solid, is not the most accessible and I have way more bottles than holes! So having looked at various options I settled on the vertical racks that Warbases do. I wanted something that took up little table space and these seemed the best option.

So they arrived today and I managed to get away from work early to ‘install’ them. There are only 6 pieces and construction took no more than 15 minutes for both. I applied a little PVA along the joints to keep everything in place:Then came the ‘sorting of the paints’… Each rack holds 45 Vallejo bottles and I filled them rather too quickly…I decided to use the old rack to hold duplicate bottles (of which there were 24!), inks and washes. And the stepped rack at the back to hold the big bottles of acrylics I use for basing and the Vallejo Primers.And the top of the rack held the ridiculous number of variants of green I seem to have! I’d been storing the surplus Vallejo (and others) in the desk drawer. This wasn’t ideal as it was hard to see the colours so I’m now using this for all the odds and ends of paints from different manufacturers:This freed up some space at the left to put all the big bottles that were previously getting in the way on the right hand side. So now I yet again have a nice tidy table!On the left you can see the current WIP stuff of which more in a day or so when some bases arrive!

All in all I’m quite pleased with the racks. At £7 each they are cheap and quick to make and take up little space. I’m tempted to get another one though. I want to organise the paints into my preferred and regular triads and label up the racks…



Musings of an easily distracted wargamer