October Update

A week in to October. Can’t believe how quickly the year has flown. Only SMOGGYCON left for me this year… not that I’m short of things to do!


However, last weekend saw my annual pilgrimage to Birmingham on the Friday night (beer and meal with friends) then over to Derby on Saturday for the first day of the Worlds. This is one of my favourite shows of the year. Nice airy venue, plenty of light and a good selection of traders. This year my phone had died so I had no camera so this little report will be truncated. There are some excellent pics here courtesy of the Pendraken crew.

This year was far more of a social trip. I had arranged to meet up with Andy H (from Newcastle but we never seem to meet up here!), Mick (Subedai on WD3), Ian Burt (Essex Boy), Stephen Davison  and Ian Willey (Custardpie on Gamesquad). So I spent a lot of time talking and ended up rushing around to get what I wanted! Most of the stuff I had pre-ordered so only had to get to the stall – more on purchases later.

The Bring and Buy was a little disappointing. Nothing grabbed my (fortunately) and the only microarmour I saw was painted in rather luminous colours! It did at least mean I didn’t spend anything there which has to be a good thing!

There were some excellent demo games and the 6mm Trebbia and Towton games looked excellent. There were other 6mm games as well so it was good to see the little men getting a bigger presence. There were a number of games etc. off in other rooms/buildings. I’m sure this was in the brochure but I rarely read that and so missed out on a few good looking games.

And it was hot. Lots of glass and light combined with the hottest October on record are not a good combination. Some complained of the odour but I must have been lucky and not smelt anything – unless it WAS me! 🙂

Overall, a fun show.


I had pre-ordered pretty well everything I wanted to make sure and this amounted to:

And that was it! With the GHQ it wasn’t cheap but it will keep me going.


The Skytrex and the GHQ are for my Syrian project. As the Israelis I have are all GHQ I had compare them with some of the H&R stuff I have and they are noticeably bigger so I had decided that my Syrians would all be GHQ/CinC to make them all match. Now, GHQ are not cheap and like all Soviet based armies you really need a good number of tanks so I was expecting this to be costly. However, Ian at work bought in his Skytrex T54s and T55s and I compared them with the GHQ T55 and the CinC T54s I have.

And there is very little difference in size. The Skytrex are on top. Now the GHQ bottom left is a really nice model but for the number I need it is not enough to justify the expense. And given the sizes are pretty spot on an the Skytrex quite nice anyway, I have decided to bulk out the force with the cheaper option.

I’ll be laying out the whole proposed force in a few days and seeing what I may still need.

Now, I’ve got a few batches of things on the go at the moment but things on my desk were starting to get a little out of hand and I was losing track of what was what! So it was time for a tidy up. Here are the before and after shots…

And these are the current batches waiting to be finished.

Top left are the few M60s I finished off for my IDF, next are some Adler AFVs and a couple of bunkers for my FUBAR project. Right hand side are the last batch I finished and I’m considering some sabots for the infantry to allow use with other rules. Center front are more of the buggies and the rest of the Sikkara infantry. Left bottom are the rest of the GZG stuff I have. These are earmarked for additional VonDon Corp. forces at some point. I do need some Adler IFVs for the infantry at some point and I have some DRM (in with the GZG) for the SovCorp forces.

All my RSM 28mm stuff has now arrived for my ImagiNation forces. Just need to plan them out and start them…

And I need to so the September Wargaming Neutral update which is not going to look good! Before Christmas I think I can get the credits for painting sorted but the cash side is going to be hard. I do have a pile of Brigade 6mm Chinese SF which I am tempted to paint and base and sell. Just finding the time…

There we go. Hopefully more pics soon as the FUBAR progresses and the Syrians start.

FUBAR – Progress report

After a little delay in getting this lot finished I’ve finally got a few opponents for VonDon Corp. Not quite enough for a game as I need scenery still but progress. But first things first.VonDon Corp LogoI’ve wanted a logo to attach to images so that I can reduce it down and use is as a signature image for all related posts. So far I’ve come up with two options. Once is a little ‘darker’ and I’m not sure reflects the ‘good’ that the corporation does around the Colonies.

 The second uses the corporate colour scheme.

And I can’t decide whether to add the full name in there somewhere as well. Any comments appreciated.

On to the new troops. Attached to the VonDon Corp. military investigation team is a UCOT (United Colonies Observation Team). Attached to the mission at the insistence of EarthGov to ensure transparency and respect for the rights of the Sikkara Colonists. Kitted out with VDC equipment but in the neutral UC blue, they are accompanied by a VDC Advanced Combat Walker to provide additional protection.

The Colonist, whose developing military arm is known as the SLF (Sikkara Liberation Force), although not equipped with the latest military hardware are still a force to be respected and their knowledge of the planet and its environment could give them a distinct advantage if military action is required.

The buggies unique to the Colonists provide a fast moving recon force with enough punch to do damage to an unprepared foe before disappearing again into the vastness of the Sikkara landscape.

Currently operating in five man teams they are expected to increase this to compensate for the reduced firepower their hardware can deliver compared to the latest military kit they are likely so face.

Although lacking in public support, the SLF are suspected of dealing with other colonial corporations to both obtain support for their cause and because the potential profits resulting from full control of Sikkara make providing such support, even if initially covertly, a risk some corporations are willing to take. It is suspected that SovCorp have been supplying them with military hardware.


The buggies are Pax Arcadia from Dark Realm Miniatures supplied by the estimable Angel Barracks (whose fault this whole 6mm SF project is!). The SLF AFVs are Adler Dark Star range, as are all the infantry. The UCOT are the ‘marine’ types. The Colonists are the mid-tech troops. Finally, the SovCorp vehicles are from Reiver Castings at Under the Bed. They do the same vehicles in small, medium and large sizes (for up to 12mm figures) and these are from the large range as I wanted something suitable ‘chunky’! I’ve seen the pictures on the website a few times and to be honest the photos do not do them justice. The ‘light’ paintjob washes out the photos and in the flesh (lead?) they look crisp and detailed. I think Gateshead Gaming are taking over supply of them and will be expanding the range. The large models are not cheap but do the job.

I have more of the Dark Realm range for the SovCorp and more Adler stuff to do for the SLF. There are more GZG AFVs for the VDC but at the moment I don’t want to make it to armour heavy.

At Derby I shall be picking up the rest of the stuff I need for my Syrians. As I didn’t want to rebase the IDF I bought I wanted to match the basing. I tried all the different pots of sand I had and none matched. In the end, Tim, who did the IDF, sent me up a bag of the sand he used (£3 to send up a 60p bag of sand!). At first it didn’t look like it matched but after PVA’ing it on and then applying a watered down PVA mix that darkened it and it now looks fine. The M60s and the M113 are my paint jobs and basing. The HQ at back is Tims. I’ve added some olive bush material to give contrast.

There we go. Not a huge amount but progress. I’d like to get a few more things done for FUBAR before Derby as after that I will be hitting my Syrians. And that’s not to mention the pile of 28mm RSM miniatures I need to start!


FUBAR – VonDon Corp. – complete

Well, after a few grabbed sessions over the last few days I’ve finally finished (for now) my VonDon Corp. contingent for FUBAR. This gives me enough for a viable little game so all I need now is some opposition, of which more anon. On to the Swans in Space…

The whole contingent looks like this:

I’ve added the Command Team with (from right cockwise), Cpt Lamm, medic, ATGW team, Lt. Schneider:

The contingent can still call on the heavy weapons if needed:

The Recon Team, with their Combat Walkers and prototype power armour:

There are 4 teams, each with their own IFV. Yellow Team:

White Team:

Red Team:

Blue Team are the rapid response team, either in their ARV (Airmobile Recon Vehicle):

Which enables team to deploy with support from the ARV HMG:

Or with their standard IFV:

Any of the Teams can be deployed further afield with the OSTV (Orbit-Surface Transport Vessel):


And yes, it is Starbug!

So there we are. Enought to be going on with. I have a small EarthGov monitoring team nearly done and have planned out the colonists and a rival corporation. And I have some Dark Realm Miniatures coming as well.

That will do for now…



Despite working in IT I’ve always avoided a lot of the trends and technologies that become popular. I’ve only recently started using Facebook in any meaningful way. Admittedly I’ve blogged for a while! And I don’t Twitter! Never. Ever.

Podcasts I’ve seen around for quite a while, both from the gaming viewpoint and from the Linux community, but I’ve never really bothered. I’ve either needed my PC/Laptop on and if downstairs then I get distracted by kids/wife/TV. And if in attic painting I end up drifting off onto the Internet. So recently, having finally got my HTC Desire, I’ve started listening to some either to and from work and occasionally at work.

First up were the View from the Veranda podcasts from Neil Shuck and Henry Hyde. Now having met Henry and obviously reading Battlegames I knew I liked his ‘view’ of the Hobby. And View from the Veranda showcases that view admirably. Both Henry and Neil chat well and I find I have a lot in common with their views on the rules and the hobby in general. They are well worth a listen. I started with Episode 7 and then worked my way back! It was nice to here Henry chat about the Ayton game as well.

The current and new episodes are on their own site here and earlier episodes can be found on the Meeples and Miniatures website here.

Which leads me to the Meeples and Miniatures podcasts! I’ve got to admin I only came to this via the VftV podcasts and having heard Neil’s enthusiasm for the hobby, both figure and board games, I thought I’d give them a go. I started with Episode 78, the latest, and an interview with Richard Clarke of Too Fat Lardies. This was an excellent interview. Informative and funny at times and giving a good insight into the thinking behind the whole Too Fat Lardies approach to rules and gaming. I found a lot to like. I have a copy of Sharp Practice but have yet to play (like lots of other things!) but as I’m finally starting to dabble in WW2 (I blame Henry for his Western Desert GHQ project!) I’m on the lookout for rules and I really liked what I heard about I Ain’t Been Shot Mum. As Version 3 is due out later this year I shall be acquiring a copy!

And since then I’ve been working my way back through episodes and currently on Episode 70. There are some excellent reviews of products, explanations of new rule sets, interviews with gaming alumni (so to speak). I particularly liked the Force on Force related interviews. And it’s proved a good way of getting an overview of the hobby over the last year or so and hearing about things I’ve missed. You can’t fail to hear Neil’s enthusiasm for the hobby coming through and I envy the amount of gaming he manages to get in. I tend to be quite insular in my gaming. As I don’t get many games in I have a focus on the painting (and blogging) and tend to stick to my own little periods so if I get to a club I want to play with MY stuff! :).

The podcast related posts are here. And include the Incoming shorted reviews which I’ve yet to get round to. Neil is to be congratulated on keeping this project going for so long and still keeping it interesting, so long may it continue.

I’ll be keeping current with these podcasts and slowly working my way back through them. I can’t see me really seeking out other podcasts, if only from a time commitment viewpoint but they are proving an interesting addition to my hobby. Go listen!


Border Reiver 2011

And so the first Saturday in September comes around and we have Border Reiver again at the Newcastle Metro Arena. I usually make it down for doors opening but a lie in and a last minute decision to finally accept that the Cold War is over and reduce my lead stockpiles meant I I was throwing packs of figures into bags to deposit in the Bring and Buy. So I didn’t get there until 10:45. Anyway, let’s look at this from four viewpoints: the show itself, the games, the social side and purchases.

The Show: seems to have a reputation for poor lighting and a certain gloom. I didn’t notice any particular change in the setup this year but the light seemed better and to be honest I wasn’t really aware it. According to Rob the numbers through the door were up on last year which is a very good thing. All the traders I was interested in were there but it did seem a few less than last year. Hopefully the improved attendance equated to improved takings for all there. The Bring and Buy seemed quite brisk and I shifted most of what I out on (all unpainted lead) so I was happy. However one chap cashing up at the end seemed to have one or two items ‘missing’ which is not good. The staff on the stall were pretty efficient so I’m sure it wasn’t an accounting error. Not what you want at any show…

The Games: again, there seemed to be slightly fewer this year. As I’d been busy talking I hadn’t taken any pictures and only zipped round at the end for these. So here’s a quick summary.

A rather nice 15mm SF game using Critical Mass figures put on by the Wigan Wargames Club. I was tempted by the terrain mat for my desert games but at £75 it can wait! Looked good though.

A small demo/participation game using Infinity rules from Beasts of War? Was a little remiss in getting details and as it was near clearing up time it was not shown at its best!

Next to that was an excellent Star Wars game by the Phoenix Wargames Club from Glasgow.


Tyneside Wargames Club mounted (so to speak) Mount Badon using Great Captain rules. Always good to see the massed 15mm on the table and looking very effective.


Shot and Shell Wargams Club were running a Hammers Slammers games but using models from Under the Bed SF range (although soon to be changing hands). The game and models looked quite effective.


There was also a rather nice Hail Caesar 28mm game.


A 10mm Horse and Musket game (WSS?) using Black Powder rules.


And an excellent looking Flames of War 15mm Desert Game. I wish I had taken the pics when they had their lighting on as it did look very good.


And finally it was good to see the boardgames out from the Newcastle Boardgames Club. I saw a few games of Combat Commander under way but it’s just not ASL! 😉

Overall there were some nice games and those running them were happy to chat which is always a good thing.

Social Side: met and chatted with lots of people. Chaps from the North Tyneside club, regulars from the Tyneside Club, Phil (Norman D Landings), Neil, my used to be regular ASL opponent and a good few others. It was good to finally also meet Andy H who as been a generous chap to me on a number of occasions over the last year despite our never having met until today!

Purchases: I was very restrained! Mainly because as school starts next week and both kids need shoes and uniforms I was broke! I sold £35 on the Bring and Buy, spend £10 on paint etc. with Caliver and bought a few odds of microarmour on the Bring and Buy (only about £5 worth). The surplus funds are currently with my wife at the shop so we can eat tonight! 🙂

All in all a good little show again. I do like the local shows (mainly because I spend less!) and this is one of my favourites.

One of the chaps from the Northumbrian Adventurers Guild was talking about a planned new website focusing on North East Wargaming and trying to pull together the local clubs and information on gaming in the area in one place. His thoughts being that there is activity in the North East but not as much interaction betweer clubs as in other parts of the country. And that pooling this information and resources will help that and help promote the clubs and attract new members. A good idea and I’ll try and post more when it happens.

Next up is Derby… I do have stuff I want to buy there… 🙂


Musings of an easily distracted wargamer