Saturday, 17 February 2018

Warcon 2018

Today we attended Warcon 2018, a small local gaming convention. Co-blogger Bart (yes, we run this blog with two people, increases the blogpost count :-)), ran a one-man show  and showed a small version of Lesnaya, a Great Northern War battle (see his twitter stream for some live updates). I was merely there for some moral support.



Although I couldn’t attend for a long time myself, a good small con can be very productive for getting your wargaming mojo back.

I did buy a few things from the B&B, and some scenery items and figures from some of the traders. Add the entrance fee, some money for drinks and a sandwich, and before you know it, you have spend 50 to 60 euro. But it's all in good spirits, to support the organizing club and encourage traders to come back the next year. Although I honestly do wonder whether they can make a profit from such small local cons. But I guess that's their decision to make ...


I’m pretty happy with the Citadel combat cards, and one can never enough fantasy monsters, hence the original Gorgon and Bullette AD&D Ral Partha miniatures. Not shown are a dozen painted GW figures from their movie-based LOTR range.

The cards are quite fun and go back to my GW fanboy days during the late 80s and early 90s. Perhaps I can use them somehow as a pre-game mechanic - or simply to decprate the wargaming room.

I was also on the lookout for some old miniature wargaming magazines to add to the wargaming magazines index, but didn't see any ... apart from some old issues of  Strategy & Tactics.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Refighting Arnhem - again

One of our best Crisis games was a kriegspiel like refight of Arnhem on a big custom made terrain, which we schlepped around the shows in 2005/2006. That terrain has since been destroyed (I decided not to take it along on my latest house move), but parts of it -- notably the trees, buildings and railroad -- were recovered.

I spent the last couple of weeks setting up a Kallistra based terrain using this scenery, together with quite a lot of new 3D-printed houses to come up with this:


This time the terrain does not feature the drop zones and villages around them, but starts with the woods west of Oosterbeek and continues to Arnhem. Obviously, some of the forest bases need to be painted and populated with trees (I've got a good sized box of trees left) and the 3D printed houses need to be painted, but this is pretty much the table I'm going to use. The idea is to have the paras land in the fields in the lower right corner (a bit closer to Arnhem then they landed historically) and see where they end up. 

Rules used in the game will probably be Rommel by Sam Mustafa. 

More to follow :)

Friday, 26 January 2018

Escape from Colditz

I picked this up today in the 2nd hand store ("Kringwinkel") for the modest price of 4.50 euro. It is the Dutch version of the game.

I always wanted to play this game as a kid, but it never happened. The recent rerelease by Osprey was a bit too expensive, in my opinion (also because the game itself is perhaps not that good), but I still wanted to have it. Perhaps we might even play it - if the game is complete, of course.


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Switching back to Vallejo Model Colour

Over the years (and I dread to count their number), I've had three major brands of paints I used.

Way in the beginning, when animals still spoke and we were all much younger, hairier and still at university, I started out using Tamiya acrylics and a smattering of Games Workshop paints (the round pots with flip on lids). This was mostly for practical reasons, as those were the paints that were easily available in Leuven at that time (mostly at the Lonely Mountain game shop, our home away from home at that time, and the Christiaensen toy store).

Some years later, when the internet started breaking through, I switched to Vallejo Model Colours, both mail order and from a model train store in Leuven which then carried this range. The period I used Vallejo Model Colours also coincided with the period I painted every single figure, whether it was a leader or a rank and file soldier, in full-on 3+ layer mode. This meant that, while I was very happy with the quality of the paints themselves, I did spend a lot of time mixing colours.

When Foundry then came out with their triad system and this happened to coincide with my tendency to ease off on the complexity of the painting, I made the switch to Foundry paints exclusively. Not having to mix colours any more but being able to use them straight from the pot was the main reason I switched to them, even though purely quality-wise, the Vallejo paints are the better ones IMO.

Which brings us to today. After somewhere between 5 and 10 years of using Foundry paints, I'm switching back to Vallejo Model Colours. I have two main reasons for this.

The first reason is my drift towards army level painting and away from display level painting which is now at the point where I only use two layers of colour on the vast majority of my paint jobs. This means that on the one hand one pot of paint in each Foundry triad remains unused while on the other hand it will also mean that, given the vast range of Vallejo paints, I am much more confident of finding matching colour pairs in their range without having to resort to mixing again.

The second reason is a more negative one and has to do with the Foundry paint pots themselves. More and more, I find that my pots end up like this long before the paint in them is used up:


On virtually each and every pot of paint that I have that is older than a year and is regularly used, the lids are broken. It starts off with the little tab you push to open the lid breaking off, usually within the first few months of using the pot. It then gets progressively worse, with the lid (which now has to be wedged open with a screwdriver or a set of pliers or some such device) breaking up more and more until all that is left is the bare minimum to seal the pot, as can be seen on the pot of Teal Blue on the right. The Vallejo paint, with its screw-top eyedropper bottles, does not have this problem.



Having taken to decision to switch back to Vallejo, I splashed out and bought a 72-bottle set from Scenery Workshop in the Netherlands. This, and the handful of bottles I still had stashed away somewhere will become my main set of paints.

What's everyone else's favourite brand of paint and why?


Saturday, 20 January 2018

Wet Paint: mimic

Here's a few shots of a little mimic that has been hiding three-quarters finished in my painting box for a while before I finally finished it tonight:





The miniature is another Reaper Bones one. Even though the mimic has long been on of my favourite 'classic' D&D monsters, I think I've never used it in one of my adventures so far. Time to correct that oversight, I would say :)

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Wet Paint: mushroom men



These guys are Reaper Bones miniatures which I got as part of either the first or second Bones Kickstarter (I forget which). In the deep background you can see the first of the three mushroom men, whom I painted quite a while ago -- he made it back on my painting desk as a painting reference for his two friends :).

All three mushroom men will form a part of my growing 'it came from the forest' fantasy force.

My wargaming plans for 2018

Many fellow wargaming bloggers are writing about their wargaming plans for 2018. Mine are very simple: play more games! That's it.

Ok, now that's covered, something else. I was interviewed just before the Xmas break by the alumni magazine of my university for a regular feature "Crazy professors and their weird hobbies". Well, ok, that's not exactly the title, but you get the idea.

They needed some pictures as well, and I send them a few links from this blog. But that was not good enough. The pictures needed people, not just toy soldiers. So I staged a few photographs in my wargaming room (these are the low quality versions), with me "in action" playing an ACW battle.



Thursday, 4 January 2018

Oldhammer: Treeman (3)

In a previous blogpost, I told the story of how a scratch-built treeman became part of my wargaming collection (see here and here).

Through some good fortune, my long-time gaming pal David recovered one of his original scratch-built treeman in his pile of old wargaming stuff. This particular one was still unpainted. David was so generous to trade the model for some old Magic cards I had lying around.

The unpainted model:



Of course, I wanted to paint him. My first thought was to paint him in a brownish colour, to match the treeman already in my collection. But then I had the idea to give him a somewhat special appearance, and I decided on trying to paint him like a birch tree.

I spraypainted him black, then drybrushed him with various shades of grey, ending with white. Then I added fine black horizontal stripes to provide the birch tree texture. The result you see below.



And here are my two very special and unique treeman, engaged in conversation:



And no, there are not for sale!

Gerardus Mercator and 3 Cultists

I finished a couple of figures today.

First, a figure representing Gerardus Mercator. This was a limited edition figure for one of the CRISIS conventions. Since he was a professor at the university of Leuven (1530-1532) where I am currently a professor, I painted his robe as a university gown, with a proper light-blue lining for my faculty ;-)


Below are 3 cultists. I have no idea who the original manufacturer is, so any help is appreciated.


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Imaginations in 42mm (11)

My generals are finished. I gave them a coat of matt varnish and gloss varnish yesterday, and this morning I mounted the figures on the horses. I remounted the figure on the right slightly after taking the photograph, such that he has a more upright pose.

I am pretty happy with the colour schemes and the paintjob. Painting figures has never been one of my fortes, but this style (blockpainting and gloss varnish) seems to suit me well.

Now I need to come up with some proper names for these gentlemen, and then perhaps, a first game.

(Pictures taken with my iPad, quality could have been better ;-))