A home made desert coloured caulk terrain mat

I’ve had a few busy months with work but thankfully I’ve also managed to paint quite a bit, recently its been mainly Vikings and Normans and before that I finished off my Footsore Baron’s war figures. I’ve also just finished the Norman Fort I bought in the Grand Manner Buildings bare resin sale. I just need to finish some basing and when more shield transfers arrive from LBMS I’ll complete them and take a few pictures.

Despite the fact that I have a large 15mm Napoleonic solo game set up on the table I’ve been distracted and only played a few turns.

A fictional Peninsular encounter
Lots of Minifigs in action
these are my basic terrain boards, I need some desert type terrain

The inevitable distraction has been my effort to make an acrylic mat for my Pony Wars and Crusades games and I made a start on this a few days ago beginning on the afternoon of the recent Matariki public holiday here in NZ. My recent Pony Wars post highlighted the poor quality of my base cloth and I’d long ago promised myself that I would rectify this. My 28mm Arab and Crusader bases reflect the arid terrain that I assume they mainly fought over and will not match the base terrain I have above. I have this thing that figure bases should ideally match the terrain boards on which they sit.

This was played pre-tarting of TSS terrain boards
I’ve since added another unit of Artizan Black Guard and some Gripping Beast Moors to this army
This picture is better at shows the way these figures are based

Consequently having bought a plastic backed drop sheet, lots of Selley’s acrylic caulk, some test pots of paint to match Vallejo Flat Earth and Iraqui Sand shades, isopropyl alcohol and some grit and builders sand I set to work

I had earlier watched different YouTube videos looking for ideas and mechanisms, there are so many but this one gave me the basic ideas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5W4FKqRbSs&t=22s

Working on the garage floor did not do my knees any favours!
This is when I discovered its easier to mix the paint with the caulk before adding the sand!

I basically mixed 2 tubes of caulk with a set amount of sand and brown paint but even then got quite a variation in colour

this is about 2 tubes of caulk worth
This is when I ran out of caulk and made a quick dash to the DIY store!

The end result after about 4hours of work – my mat is around 12 foot x 5 foot in size

This shows the variation in colour with each new batch of mixed caulks of caulk

I left this to dry and the following day I finished off the edges and re-caulked any areas where the base cloth showed through
A few days later I drybrushed with the Iraqui Sand type shade and also repainted my old Pony Wars hills
How this for storage – a 12 x 5 foot terrain mat

In the end it was much easier than I had expected, does not seem to peel off though maybe time will tell, the caulk gives it some texture and is the main thing that I see missing with the commercial mats that seem to be available.

In the end that leaves me pondering whether I should make another with flock and replace my terrain boards, it would certainly take up less storage space. Time will tell

Posted in Just off the Workbench, On the workbench, Uncategorized, Wargaming Terrain | Tagged , | 5 Comments

English Civil War – Royalist Infantry

Well with the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge now over and a rainy day today I find myself with some time on my hands. Now idle hands lead to mischief so rather than get up to this I thought I would drop in a quick post.

Its about time I documented the progress of my Royalist ECW infantry to date, I haven’t gone for any particular OOB just some regiments that drew my eye

The Royalist infantry so far

The first three Regiments are from Empress Miniatures

Allan Aplsey’s Regiment
Edward Stradling’s regiment of Foot
Anthony Thellwell’s Regiment

The next few are from First Corps Miniatures

This is a generic regiment not representing any particular regiment
are The same regiment minus the command stand to show the pike that are just a little fiddly to glue with epoxy
Colonel John Talbot’s Regiment
Lord Hopton’s Regiment
The Duke of York’s regiment

This time another generic regiment from Warlord Games – these are plastic and I can’t really say I enjoyed painting them

Again another generic regiment, not many flags on these

The last two are Bicorne Miniatures Figures

Charles Gerard’d Regiment
Bicorne Pikes can be glued to the base
The King’s Lifeguard
I really like the Musketeers at order pose, I think its my favourite
Running away?
Flags from Flags of War

This just leaves me one regiment of Foot to paint as I have flags for John Lamplugh’s Regiment of Foot and this will be another from Bicorne Miniatures. I have also finished the Pike on another generic Warlord Regiment but I need a few extra command for these and a hefty dose of enthusiasm to tackle the musketeers

After this my aim is to quietly make a start of some Parliamentarian infantry next, I have 3 regiments of Empress Miniatures undercoated to date along with some artillery, dragoons and I think 2 or 3 regiments of cavalry. However having just splashed out on some Perry Miniatures Stradiots for the Italian Wars and more Footsore Barons War, Normans and Vikings I’m going to wait a little before hammering the credit card again

Posted in Bicorne Miniatures, ECW, Empress Miniatures | Tagged | 7 Comments

ECW Cavalry – Empress Miniatures

About 3 weeks ago I finished another ECW regiment for my Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge but only really have had time to update my blog with the pictures today

As it turned out this was my fifth unit for the challenge and this time P is for Prancing, as on the back of an horse and the cavalry in question are from Empress Miniatures. I bought 3 regiments a few years ago and I think I’ve painted 2 of them now

Empress Miniatures ECW Cavalry


I fell in love with Empress Miniatures ECW range several years ago, I just love the horse sculpts though the ones painted here are less dynamic than the charging cavalry

They aren’t painted to represent any particular unit and I hope that when I eventually get around to painting enough for a game they will double up and can be used for either side
Many of the poses come with a pistol arm that has to be attached so allowing a bit of variation and I normally use epoxy to glue these, holding the arm in place with blu-tack while it dries. Sword and scabbard and the face guards also come separately and need to be attached.
The crinkle cut bases are from Simon Millar’s Big Red Bat shop- https://bigredbatshop.co.uk/

To date my units starting with P completed to date are Pike & Shotte, Pointy Sticks, Peasants, Pious and now Prancing, leaving Parliamentarian, Personality, Posh, Polished, Pagan, Perry Miniatures & Plastic to follow I hope.

2 posts in a day That’s a record for me, I hope to have another tomorrow

Posted in ECW, Empress Miniatures, Just off the Workbench | Tagged , | 3 Comments

P is for Pike and Shotte

P is for Pike and Shotte

I’ve hardly had time to post or browse recently as trying to stay on track on my Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge schedule has been very time consuming. My plan was to produce 1000 points worth of figures but perhaps more importantly 12 units with a connection to the letter P.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve managed to finish another few units in the past few weeks though it has been a bit of a mission having had to paint late into Friday and Saturday evenings to complete things for my Sunday deadline. I wouldn’t normally paint on these evenings, though I paint most other evenings and as a consequence rarely watch TV.

One entry deadline was saved because one of my sons came home for a few days and agreed to jump on the ride-on one Sunday morning and cut the grass – so this meant that I could get out my pretend grass and so base and finish the Kings Regiment of Foote . So I’ve finished another for my Royalist army

I think this is the last of my Royalist infantry regiments bringing my total to 10 infantry regiments to date. I say I think its the last – I’ll have to take a look at how many of the Royalist standards I bought from Flags or War!

I started collecting ECW figures almost 3 years ago when I knew I just had to have some of those exquisite Empress Miniatures ECW  figures  https://valleyboyinnz.wordpress.com/2019/05/05/oh-look-shiny-yet-another-new-project-and-other-bits/ 

As one might expect, I then discovered other equally nice figures out there and have since added figures from the First Corps, Bicorne Miniatures & Warlord Games. I’ve generally painted a unit here and there bumping them up or down the painting queue as the mood takes me.

These are Bicorne Miniatures Figures, I generally don’t mix figure manufacturers in a unit

As one might expect from a newly painted unit – it will inevitably run away in its first game so here we go…

Flee for your lives
Not exactly a Pike block but at 12 figures I think these look respectable enough  and so have chosen to field all my units with 12 pike. I think this is the minimum I can get away with but on reflection I wonder if 16 would have been better 


I like Bicorne’s “Musketeer at order” pose and almost wish I’d bought more (but then I suppose I would never have finished the unit in time for that day’s deadline!)

Finally there’s the command group with their Flags of War standards https://www.flagsofwar.com/collections/ecw-royalist

I didn’t know Marty Feldman fought in the ECW (guy on the right front rank – I never paint eyes but I’ve only just spotted that and will need to sort it)
In painting these I’ve tried to go for a bit of a faded red, VJ Cavalry brown, washed with Army Painter Dark Tone, then highlight with a mix of VJ Flat red and Cavalry Brown before the final highlight with added VJ Cork Brown

My plan is to use for King and Parliament Rules by Big Red Bat, with the inspiration from his work here https://forkingandparliament.blogspot.com/Unfortunately as a solo gamer I need to collect and paint both sides

I’m definitely a fan of lots of big flags 

I like the mixture of headgear in these figures

 Oh what the hell..
Here we go here’s what I have to date

I drafted this post a few weeks ago but have been painting furiously since and had little time to finish editing it. Now however I have a few days off and am away at a rented holiday home on a beach in Whangapoa. Consequently I hope I can catch up and post a few more pictures of what else I’ve managed to produce for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

Posted in Bicorne Miniatures, ECW | Tagged | 1 Comment

P is for Pointy sticks

That was a nice long Christmas break which meant more painting days than usual. This has resulted in the completion of my third and so far my biggest unit beginning with the letter P – this time under the guise of  P is for Pointy sticks

As I’m using the AHPC to make inroads into my lead-pile I chose Pointy Sticks because it is loose enough to allow me considerable latitude (or indecision if you like) in my choice of unit. My overall aim is to make progress on my new Barons War project, finish my ECW Royalist army, start their Parliamentary opponents, make some progress on my very slow burn Italian Wars project,maybe knock off a few Vikings and generally add a unit or two other longer standing and more complete armies.

In the end I decided to paint some cavalry because this allowed me to take a decent bite into my points target as well and these Footsore Miniature Norman Cavalry could double up at a pinch and be incorporated into my Crusader Army.

Duke William of Normandy
Footsore make 3 different packs of heavy cavalry

The Warlord and Banneman pack leads the way
The first thing you’ll probably notice is the different basing, some being based singly and others in threes on a 60 x 60 mm base. Did I mention I was indecisive?
The reason for the differing basing is that they can add to my Crusader army but having some on single bases will allow me to build a Norman Army for Footsore’s new “Conquest” supplement for the Barons war rules. I’m hoping to use some of my old Dux Britanniarum forces for this as well. When I bought the figures originally I had intended to base them in threes but this was before I knew about the Conquest rules

When using all of these for close or I’m going to have to fudge it somehow as 2 based singly take up 50 mm of width and the multiple base is 60 mm wide

I don’t think I’v ever painted 27 cavalrymen in a week before but I used the Speed Painting Method for horseflesh that gives reasonable results having cobbled together a technique that works for me here. https://valleyboyinnz.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/speed-painting-horses/

The Dark Side! showing the larger bases


A good productive week and without much of a beak I’ve moved onto the next unit which are some Bicorne Miniatures ECW figures

I hope to get them up here in the next day or two

Posted in Barons War, Crusades, Dark Ages, Footsore Miniatures | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The Priest of St Oswald and the Pious

Having such a nice long holiday break has been good for the leadpile. Its too hot here to do much in the garden and I’ve pulled a hamstring so can’t play golf at the moment. Provided I keep adding plenty of water and stirring, the Vallejo’s not getting too lumpy

As a consequence I’ve managed to complete my second entry for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge – I’m trying to produce 12 units all with a connection to the letter P. This time P is for Pious

So I thought I’d start by showing something sort of Pieus

This was made by Nicki some time ago – I’d add that the glaze is not by Vallejo!

My actual Pious unit is much less mouthwatering I’m afraid.

The Priest of St Oswald leads the way ahead of the Bishop of York on ye Medieval road trip

These are figures from Footsore Miniatures Barons War range, sculpted by the incredibly talented Paul Hicks. They are actually from the BW3 kick-starter that were delivered a few months ago.

Unfortunately I missed the first two kickstarters and have been quietly buying packs with no particular Lord’s retinue in mind but rather by the Oh look shiny method since. The cloaked figures are from the Templar pack (unfortunately there’s only 1 pack at the moment) and the other models being “The priest of St Oswald” and the “Bishop of York”

Even with their backs turned with this amount of protection I don’t think anyone’s going to bash the Bishop! (snigger)

There are some other models in the range that I think would have been a nice addition to the unit but I’d already started painting the Stephen Langton figure but to date have not bought the Aymeric de St Maur (Templar Master) figure or the Milities Christi Monks packs. I think such a future purchase along with painting a few foot sergeants, spearmen and a few missile troops in Templar livery and supplementing them with some peasant levy will really flesh out this force into a coherent retinue to use in the game.

I’m not sure why I have 2 Oswald foot figures but painting brown made such a nice change to painting white

Next in line for Project P are some Normal Cavalry again from Footsore

Posted in Barons War, medieval | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The Peasants are…. Selling and not Revolting

Belated Christmas wishes or Nadolig Llawen to all and best wishes for the New Year. I hope you all have a trouble free 2022 and a productive hobby year.

I’m really pleased to have secured a place this year’s Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge http://thepaintingchallenge.blogspot.com/. In the past I’ve often watched it from afar but a timely listen to a Yarkshire Gamer podcast https://yarkshiregamer.blogspot.com/ while painting was fortunate. In this particular podcast YG was interviewing Curt Campbell the creator of the AHPC and as a consequence made an application and I got a slot.

Because this is the 12th Challenge I felt I needed to play catch up and so have committed to producing 12 units, each worth at least 25 points. My overall target is to manage 1000 points worth of figures by the end of the challenge in late March. A 28mm foot figure is worth 5 points

I think I was painting some Pike at the time and thought that a theme with a link to the letter P would be a good idea. On reflection I don’t know why, possibly because I was also a bit pissed and that this was a Project after all! I felt this would allow me to wander between my various projects, rather than say try and produce 1000 points worth of ECW figures for example – wandering is something that helps my productivity.

I took a few days mulling this over, discarding some P’s such as Prussian, Pandours, Palestine WW1 (which looking back I should have selected as this would mean I’d have to get on and paint those WW1 British and Arabs I’ve had for an age) and came up with the following list

1 Pike & Shotte

2 Parliamentarian

3 Pointy – As in Pointy Sticks

4 Peasants

5 Pious

6 Personality

7 Posh ( as in self important or gaudy posers)

8 Polished

9 Prancing (as on the back of an horse)

10 Pagan

11 Perry Miniatures

12 Plastic

I hope this allows me sufficient latitude to paint things from the Footsore Miniatures Barons War range, my planned ECW Parliamentarian army, expand my Italian wars collection, maybe some Normans or Vikings. I reckon “polished” allows me a choice to paint some Italian Wars Gendarmes or maybe some AB French Cuirassiers for example

I’ve just finished my first entry and these are the lovely 18th Century Civilians produced by Igor Karpov in his Ratnik Miniatures range. I got them here https://www.gamingfigures.com/product/16664/Ratnik-Miniatures-18th-Century-Civili

Its Sunday Market

I first came across his sculpting a few years ago and bought a few figures from the Lead Adventure Miniatures Bruegelberg Range and loved their characterful nature. They really are a joy to paint

A view from the back
A closer look
Ive only just spotted that bare metal – Can’t see it on the figure with my magnifiers even- bloody Camera close ups!
Any idea what the bloke on the left is meant to be carrying?
I particularly like the Ladies carrying the firewood and bread

I can’t recommend these figures enough

I’ve just trawled through some old photos for the peasants from the Bruegelberg range and just added them in below

This is a collage of an old LAF LPL challenge from 2012
The plague?
Medieval Bob Dylan?
Alms for the poor? Help an old soldier?

So there we are

Not sure what I’ll try and finish next – unfortunately I started quite a few Barons War figures a day or two before the challenge started so making them ineligible. Never mind

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Aoraki

I’m taking a break from painting at the moment as I’m in NZ’s South Island at at Aoraki or Mount Cook National Park

We started out from Christchurch yesterday after spending a few days there. We took a look at the Botanical Gardens amongst other things …

A Stairway to heaven?

My kind of chandelier and light fittings

Then across Mckenzie Country to Lake Tekapo and eventually Aoraki

Never had such a view from a restaurant before

So today we went on a bit of an hike – we walked the Hooker valley track

The start of a comfortable 5kms hike
The Mueller Glacier lake
Looking back
This is why you don’t get your feet wet!
Kopukupuku or Mount Cook Buttercup
The way ahead
Onward and upward
Over the last rise and here is Hooker Lake
Complete with its own icebergs
These got closer as we stayed
Journey’s end, cant recall a nicer place we’ve had a picnic
People actually climb this!
The walk back is just as stunning

Please forgive the lack of wargames content!

Posted in Holidays | Tagged | 8 Comments

Oops – Not Quite a Lion Rampant

Just a quick update this time – what a daft thing to do!

Doh! -Spot the deliberate mistake

I’m really enjoying painting Footsore Miniatures Barons War Miniatures but from now on I think I’ll drink coffee rather than wine as I paint

Here’s the progress so far and the mistake fixed – good thing those standards come in pairs!

Posted in Barons War, Footsore Miniatures, medieval, On the workbench, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Pony Wars or B Troop Ain’t Coming Back

Recently I felt I needed a break from painting so decided I’d play a game instead and thought its high time I got my Pony Wars figures out again. Its probably more than 25 years since I started collecting figures for this whilst a member of Cardiff wargames club. Added impetus or motivation also came from the knowledge that Baccus were about to release the original rule set printed in 1980

Where can you buy a rule set these days that costs GBP1.95!

Before I moved to NZ in 1999 I’d made the requisite hills needed for the game along with a fort, somehow I found room in the shipping container for them. They’re all a bit dated now and in need of a touch up and a future project will be to repaint these but to also produce a home made base cloth rather than use the mixture of an old sheet and old GW mat that I’m using now. Its worth doing I think as I will beable to use the base-cloth for the Crusade and El Cid period. This means that the terrain in the following pictures is not that good but will be improved upon.

The figures themselves all 15mm, are quite a mixture including some from Peter Laing, Peter Pig, Freikrps, Tabletop games, Irregular miniatures and Minifigs. Most could also do with a rebase.

Tee two tone base-cloth! that needs replacing
Mainly Irregular Miniatures figures here I think
I think these are Freikorps

The new version of the rules and cards (these arrived by post mid game ) are very well produced and are designed as a multi-player participation game where players take the side of US Troops and the appearance and actions of their Native American opponents are generated by cards and dice . In the republished edition the original text has not been changed and are unashamedly meant as a fun game, Hollywood style, bearing no resemblance to reality. As the foreword indicates the original text has not been changed is such that they might be best described as culturally insensitive.

I played the “Homestead game” where 20 Us Cavalry marched out from the fort with the intention of rounding up the various settlers and bringing them back to the safety of the fort. In addition an half troop and 1 Gatling gun appeared on the left hand side

Yes I know, 1 Gatling too many!

It wasn’t too long before the hostiles started arriving and by turn 3 one of the special cards indicating the “drums were beating” had been drawn meaning that a second card was drawn on each turn increasing the chance of more hostile forces appearing

Reaction test = head across the table looking for trouble!
Us troops draw a card that may result in an ambush like this when deciding to enter those potentially dangerous passes
Its not long before settlements are burning
and another
A wagon train arrives and will need escorting
Its looking a bit hairy in the right hand corner
The fortunate and timely arrival of an ammunition wagon, another cavalry troop & 12pdr within the space of 2 turns mean these civilians are likely to make it under escort to the fort
Looks like a few prayers are needed at the mission
No prayers were answered on this occasion though, but at least it looks as if the wagon train might make it now that the Cavalry’s arrived
A bit of nostalgia, don’t think I’ll be using these cards again!

Clearly I have a bit of work to do on the terrain and re-base many figures and there’s no doubt the old fort is a bit battered and needs a touch up but it has travelled half way around the world!

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments