Monday 25 August 2014

Work In Progress - 12mm Napoleonics - 1 Week On

So after a weeks work where have I got to?

Four units based and ready for some tufts and static grass but otherwise useable.

French Line Infantry

More French Line Infantry

French Skirmish unit

A solitary British Line unit

These four units were already painted by my friend so it was just a case of rebasing them.

These French Dragoons were short of a few figures, brought up to strength with some unpainted figures and based ready for texturing.

British Light Dragoons, all painted from scratch.

A Rifle unit waiting to be based.

Another British skirmish unit barely started.

Another unit of British Light Dragoons, half finished.

Some odds and ends from the French infantry so far unused. Can I get another skirmish unit from them without repainting too much? A few more wait patiently in reserve.

There are still these waiting their turn.

And all these too!

At least my working space has gone up to 3 foot by 2 foot.

How is my progress?

I need at least 8 units per side to start testing out Neil Thomas' rules. Something like 4-5 Line Infantry, 1-2 Light Infantry, 1-2 Cavalry and 1 Artillery unit so I have some way to go yet.

I would hope to double up these army strengths again or perhaps even more. I need to see how much manoeuvring space armies of these sizes need.

Monday 18 August 2014

Work In Progress - 12mm Napoleonics

I have based up a few of the figures already painted and here is how they look so far.

Two battalions of French infantry in column screened by a light battalion approach some British in line.

I copped out a bit and decided to go for a close match to Neil Thomas' Napoleonic rules. Most units have four bases and can therefore model columns, squares and lines. A basic army in these rules is 8 units so this is a good start.

A base has a frontage of 40mm, close order with 8 figures is 40mm deep and skirmish troops have 4 figures and are 20mm deep.

The units are shown here on Hexon II tiles which are 100mm across the flat but the rules do not need hexes although I may compose a hex variant.

This system does not allow me to easily represent a French style 3 deep line and a British style 2 deep line but I'm not too upset about that. I have to make compromises somewhere.

Here are some cavalry on their painting sticks. Two units of British Light Dragoons and one of French Dragoons waiting on some more paint.

 The painting style is black undercoat dry-brushed white then colour added where appropriate. Since these are 12mm figures and I am applying the 'four foot rule' I'm not going to spend too much time adding detail.

One of my painting sources is Funcken, good enough for me.

Here is my available working space at the moment, a 2 foot by 3 foot corner of my 12 foot by 4 foot table. Neil Thomas' rules only need about 4 foot square so I'm living in hope of getting a game soon.

Keep on watching, painting these units is my top priority at the moment.

Sunday 10 August 2014

Stuck Out on a Peninsula

My next little project is to make a plan without going out too much on a limb but certainly going out on a peninsula.

My late chum left, amongst many other things, a box of very dusty figures in a variety of part finished, part started and still in a bag condition. 10mm sized apparently.

Clearing away the muck revealed:

French Napoleonic Infantry, so far so good.

Skirmish figures on UK 1p pieces, 20mm in diameter.

Main body, on 20mm x 30mm bases, 4 figures to a base. My first thought was he had chosen a 9 company organisation. Closer inspection of the pompoms revealed a 6 company setup. I don't know a great deal about French infantry battalion setups but thought that 6 was more accurate than 9.

I need to do a little bit research.

You can see here that the bases have been marked and then re-marked which tells me that my friend wasn't exactly sure of his setup. It was not something we had discussed.

The figures themselves look a bit spaced out, each being on a 10mm frontage.

There was a second battalion setup the same way so he must have made his mind up at some point.

He had done a British battalion too! 30mm x 30mm bases, 6 figures to a base. Knowing that British infantry battalions normally had 10 companies there will be 2 companies to a base. Closer inspection of the plumes confirm that, 3 white for the Grenadier, 3 green for the Light company and the rest white over red.

More research to do.

Light company also based on UK 1p pieces.

Again, they look a little bit spaced out.

The figures are gloss varnished too, I'll need to matt them down a bit.

Some part painted figures. I wonder what they are. French, Prussian, Portuguese?

Even more research to do.

More of the same with a bit more paint!

These are definitely French but still only part painted.

There were a collection of figures still in their original bags although some had been opened and some obviously not in their original bag.

At least they revealed the manufacturer, Wargames South. Result I thought, wrong I was!!

Wargames South (in the UK at least) are no longer trading although some of their lines (WW1 and WW2) are marketed by Arrowhead Miniatures. Enquiries revealed that the moulds had been acquired by Pendraken (of 10mm fame) about seven years ago but were never used in production.

Close inspection of the figures revealed that they are actually about 12mm (scale creep they call it) but more to the point I had no manufacturers listing to tell me what the figures actually were. A couple of evenings work with a magnifying glass revealed a fair idea of what they were. A coat of paint will work wonders in ascertaining their final wargames role.

The final problem they presented was that there was not enough of them to make up a reasonable sized force to allow some games to be played.

Solution (perhaps); I ordered a bag of Pendraken figures for a size comparison. I wish I had done this the week before last as I could have taken some of the figures into Claymore for a direct comparison and made a choice then.

No matter, c'est la vie!

Dong! Went a little bell in my head, well quite a big bell actually. Being partially deaf I don't hear little bells very well.

Earlier on during my clear out of my friends bits and pieces I had put aside a multi-compartmented box full of unpainted 10mm figures. I had stashed them away for a rainy day.

I dragged them out for a look-see.

Yes, you got it, more and more Wargames South figures, French and British Napoleonics, Peninsular going by the British stovepipe shakos. Hundreds and hundreds of them.

The problem now was to identify them, some in bags with no label, some mixed up in bags, some loose in the box. It was another couple of days work, afternoons and evenings to assess them but I now certainly have enough to make up a couple of forces for a game.

Now for the 64,000 dollar question. What rules to use?

My own, of course!

I have an extensive collection of Heroscape tiles as well as a ton of Hexon II. Which to use?

Heroscape tiles are quite small, about 45mm across. I have quite a few of them flocked which makes them a bit more scenic than a boxed game. I have enough in total to cover a 6 foot by 4 foot table including multi-layer hills.

An 80mm x 30mm rectangle fits over two adjacent hexes quite nicely and a 40mm x 30mm rectangle fits a single hex too!  The bigger could be an infantry battalion and the smaller a squadron of cavalry or an artillery piece.

These same sizes fit quite neatly over Hexon II tiles although you can get more of them per hex.

I have some thinking to do about how I want this game to look and play.

For example here is how 30 French infantry in 3 ranks looks like on an 80mm x 30mm base.

The spacing looks a bit better for me than those of my chum. Maybe I'm biased!

British infantry could be similar but in 2 ranks of course.

I need to have a think about how to depict skirmish and other light troops or will I abstract them out.

I will also have to think about adapting concepts from others rulesets. Neil Thomas' come to mind. He seems to use a 4 base element per unit. This concept allows distinction between column, line and square formations but then I may abstract these out too!

I wonder where I will go with this? Not too far out on a limb I hope.

Keep watching!

Sunday 3 August 2014

Claymore 2014 - View from the Alcove

Claymore 2014 started a bit like this.

But was very soon filled with tables like this.

While everything was happening in the two great halls I was ensconced in a corridor alcove midway between the two somewhat akin to the Führerbunker without the 'rauchen verboten' signs.

Never-the-less myself and my 'gallant manservant' Hugh did a roaring trade in support of my recently deceased best friends charitable donation.

We disposed of 4 large boxes of books, dozens and dozens of figures, a good few resin vehicles and some buildings. I was greatly heartened when on more than one occasion a complete stranger walked up and said 'here, take these books to add to your charity'. Wonderful.

Later on a trio of young men clustered round a box of figures but said that they were students and had no money to spend. They wandered away but one of them popped back and handed over a two pound coin. Even more wonderful. I thought that that was even better than either of the guy who gave me £120 for some old magazines or the chap who paid £300 for an extensive but unfinished collection of WW2 figures and vehicles.

At the end of the day (actually the following day when I counted the money properly) I had £1194.56 in the kitty. Since I started with a £50 float this mean't that the charities involved would benefit to the total of £1144.56. Not bad for another days work.

The main charity benefitting from this donation is Combat Stress but since Claymore itself supports a different charity I will be offering 10% of the days takings to SESWC as the space (quite a pretty alcove really) was without charge. There will be £115 winging its way towards the club treasurer once I can be sure that both of his brain cells are functioning in parallel :)

During my brief escapes into the main halls I clicked my shutter at a few games which caught my eye. Here is Kirriemuirs offering. Dale Smith (King in the North) recounted a not-so-brief story behind the game but it seemed to boil down to some Macedonians thrashing some Thracians or maybe it was the Thracians who were thrashing the Macedonians, I can't remember now. It seems I have lost my head. The rules in use were Crusader by Crusader Miniatures.

Dale and Co. will be pleased with their Best Display Game award.

The Durham Wargames Group offered a small game (sarcasm) based on a small part of a small battle that took place Once Upon a Time in a small part of Belgium in 1815. Unfortunately their figures were 54mm in size which immediately destroyed my 'four foot rule' where even across their large table I could see details like buttons and lace. * see note below

You can find out more about these guys at:

The Falkirk guys, mutineers, man and boy, well, they mutinied.

When these guys are not mutinying or otherwise faffing about they do clever things like running Carronade.

Great bunch of guys.

Dave Imrie of Claymore Castings put on a nice Medieval game.

 His figures are   WONDERFUL

If you ever have a day to spare speak to Dave about Claymore Castings, failing that look at the website:



The Veterans from Leuchars put on yet another DAM fine display. Best Public Participation Game.


I really must find time to play in one of their games.


Jed, can you or one of your guys send me an up-to-date weblink for your club and I'll post it here.

Speaking of veterans, here's another one.

Slim Mumford and his henchmen (henchboys, henchgirls, henchpeople) terrorising some 'innocent' gangsters in this prohibition game.

More details somewhere in here, but be quick, this site does not hang about!

I did peer at the Bring & Buy but it looked so busy I ran away. (Rumour has it that this might be the last year that Claymore can support a B&B, Flea Market here we come).

My old chum Billy G is a dab hand with a camera.

You can find his show report at:

SO, what did I get out of the show.

Well, sore feet (very sore feet), some paint (not the paint I wanted but some paint none-the-less), some empty boxes, a very large pile of pennies (charity bound) and a great feeling that the day was a good day. Oh, and a few kind words from complete strangers and friends alike.

 * Note

The 'four foot rule' is one where if you cannot see the detail on a model from across a four foot table then don't paint it!