Work away from work.

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve had time to add anything to the blog. I’m making it a point to get back to usual updates.

A project that I’m currently working on at home is a French Napoleonic army set in 1805-1812 in 1/72 scale.


These are made by HAT and are a project that I’ve been wanting to do for a while but lack of time due to life getting in the way has been prohibiting any progress.  It feels good to paint again!

The first batch are the Grenadiers. These were the veterans who were of a more elite status receiving a bit more pay.


Second are the Voltigeurs. They were specialized light infantry skilled at marksmanship.


Along with these are two 12 pounders with crew.


Next on the burner are two more cannon and crews along with 56 Fusiliers who make up the bulk of the army.


1/72 WWWII?


For a while now I have been considering how to incorporate some Weird World War II elements in to my growing 1/72 WWII collection.  I thought about the Dust Studios walkers and some of the Bones CAV stuff that will be on the market soon.  I came to realize that what I really wanted were some BIG walkers towering over the troops below and to achieve this I was going to have to do some “scale jumping”.  I had an opportunity to pick up a few of the 28mm Scotia Grendel Biped walkers for a clearance price I couldn’t pass up.  They appeared to be generic enough in style that they could be brought in and modified with some smaller details.



I added some DIY styrene cannon barrels and a commander from a Plastic Soldier Company kit.


These kits are resin metal hybrids and the resin parts (not my favorite material) do require a bit of time and patience to clean up.  I gave it a quick paint up involving primer, some washes and drybrushing:





Here it is scaled up with a couple of Dust Studios German walkers:


While building this model I managed to pique the interest of my teenaged daughter and we before we knew it we were able to get a game in using some home-brew rules that utilized the charts from Akula’s Bad Ar:se skirmish rules and here are a few shots:



My German squad flanking:


Her Russian answer:


The result:





Although she started out with some weak dice rolls she ended up prevailing in the end and kept the invading regime at bay.  All in all a fun time to be had.

Thanks for dropping by!

Night Owl

WWII Russian Greatcoats

I realized tonight that I haven’t posted anything in a while and thought well instead of one giant post I’ll try to add something each day over the weekend and get back up to speed.  It’s not that I haven’t been working on stuff, although I do plead guilty to not stopping and taking pics as much as I would liked to have, it’s just that I’ve been bouncing around a lot with different projects.  So tonight I’ll post the latest addition to the 1/72 WWII topic.

Introducing the Russians:


These are the Pegasus WWII Russian Greatcoats released in 2013.  The plastic they use is interesting because even after washing with soap & water it still looks very glossy and feels greasy and I always felt like I needed to wipe my hands on something but there is never any residue on my fingers.  It took a little getting used to while working with it.



They are currently based with sand and I need to finish this up with a grey dry brush to match the rubble I used on the Linka building Stalingrad ruins.

Also by Pegasus are the T34/76 quick build models:




And lastly, the Plastic Soldier Company Russian 45mm anti tank guns




Well, there’s a good start to the Stalingrad Russian defending army.  Eventually I would to add some T-70’s, T-26’s and BA-6 armored cars.  Eh, all in good time!


Night Owl


22nd Infantry Regiment

I was all excited and riding on the momentum of the Mormon Militia when I got these little fellas all primed up.  And…they sat there on the workstation and stared back at me…all unpainted…all 45+ of them.  And my fire fizzled, ugh.  But I rallied later in the week and sat in for a few marathon sessions and managed to get all but 10 of them done.   Now I remember why I like skirmish armies.  But the look of a battlefield full of companies and regiments all awaiting battle is just amazing so I plug on and have a new respect for some of the pictures I see from gaming conventions where the armies have 300-400 miniatures per side.



Really not much different than the Confederates other than the colors which may or may not be 100% historically correct but good enough for me.



Again, no basing yet as I’ve not committed to a set of rules but it looks like I’m leaning to a DBx style sabot that can be mounted up on an Impetus movement tray.  This will allow the Natives a little more freedom to move but still keep the formation look of the 1880’s.

Around here we’re trying (not very successfully yet,mind you) at getting back to our weekly winter board game night.  This week’s pick is a game called Quarto, published by a French company called Gigamic.  A simple game consisting of 16 high quality hardwood shaped pieces and a wooden board.


This is one of those “quick to learn – long to master” abstract games that is great for filling in some extra time.  The object is really easy: to get four elements, or characteristics,  in a row.  The elements are tall, short, solid, hollow, square, round, dark and light colored.  Seems easy enough but the twist is that your opponent decides which piece you will play.


So in the above picture my daughter has essentially won because any piece I choose for her to play will win by playing it in the center row, second circle down.  It will either be solid or hollow giving her the Quarto in a diagonal line.  A light colored piece would also win by playing it in the leftmost second circle up.  Easy enough, but for a more challenging game you can create a square of common elements as well as the lines giving you 9 extra ways to win.

I love games like this and wonder why we haven’t played it yet.  Time, never have time.  With winter rolling around again I am hoping we can get back to a schedule that allows it.


Night Owl


Mormon Militia? Who would have thought?

While researching some of the local history and visiting a local historical museum it has come to my attention that there was a little bit more to the Mormon settlers than I first realized.  In fact the deeper I dig I more I realize there really weren’t any “good guys” in this area in the mid to late 1800’s.   Mormons, Native Americans and U.S. Army all had their reasons for hostilities.


In 1849, the Mormons, who had migrated from Missouri, decided to create a new provisional state called Deseret.  The proposed territory spread from the Rockies to the Sierras, from the coast of California to the plains of Wyoming, but was never recognized by the federal government.


This led to the Utah War in which President James Buchanan sent armed U.S. forces led by General Albert S. Johnston into the Utah Territory from May 1857 – July 1858.  It ended with little bloodshed and negotiations that dropped the charges of treason against the Mormons in exchange for accepting U.S. Federal authority.

Around this period the citizens of the Utah Territory had volunteered militias.


When the Civil War ended in 1865 many of the Confederate soldiers migrated out west.  A large number of them found work in these regional militias. Hired guns offering their services to the highest bidder.


So it seemed pretty obvious to use the IMEX Confederate Infantry to depict these Mormon Militias.







I thought these guys would paint up pretty quick but I was surprised at the layers of details and how much time I ended up needing.  I haven’t based them yet as I’m not sure which rules I’ll be using.

One of the tricky things about this era and region is that while the U.S. Army and the Anglo militias used traditional formations the Natives were more skirmish based.  This may lead to the need of a hybrid set of rules.  Then throw in cowboy gunfights later and it almost seems like a campaign that will hop and skip through a 40 – 50 year period might need multiple sets of rules.  We’ll see what happens.

Next up: Company A, 22nd Regiment of Infantry, Fort Lewis, CO era 1885


Night Owl

Some men take great pride in how much they spend, I, however, take great pride in how little I spend.

I remember reading this quote years ago and have always remembered it.  For the life of me I cannot locate where it originated.  My gut tells me either Benjamin Franklin or Henry David Thoreau .  If anyone recognizes it please let me know because it’s driving me crazy.


When my not-so-local craft store was dropping the line of their IMEX 1/72 twin pack diorama miniatures for $3.59 I scooped up a half a dozen or so sets.

I have 2 sets of #523 Lewis and Clark Expedition,

2 sets of #508 Sioux Indians,

1 set each of #595 Union Infantry, #506 Confederate Infantry, #521 Pilgrims, and #522 Eastern Indians.

At 3 – 4 cents a miniature I think these will work great for this project.


I’ve started out with the Pilgrims.  They will represent the Mormon Pioneers who are attempting to settle the Four Corners.  I will use these as defenders for a skirmish set up vs. the natives who are resisting the presence of white folks.


I love that many of them are cast in farming poses because I also would like to set up a mini diorama, set in the middle of the table, as a objective point for a later skirmish involving Natives and 22nd Infantry.

The Natives objective will be to kidnap “X” amount of women, children, and livestock and kill as many men and Union soldiers as possible.

The Union’s objective is to prevent this and kill as many natives as possible.  Points will be issued accordingly in a series of campaigns.

This is all in my head and still evolving so more on that later.


While trying to get into the whole wild west mood I managed to get in a game that I picked up recently called Wyatt Earp.  This is an older card game from Rio Grande Games.  It involves 7 of the most notorious outlaws such as Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy and Wes Harding.  The object of the game is to collect as much reward money as possible.


It’s a fun rummy based game with a few twist, action cards, and is light on the learning curve so it can be picked up easily by anyone.  Cards such as Bank Robbery, Fastest Gun, Hideout, and Stagecoach Robbery allow you to take additional actions or shut down an opponents ability to score his or her sets.  You need to “Shoot” to successfully take this action.  A wonderful mechanic that I really like is instead of rolling dice when you shoot you flip over the next card in the draw deck and it will either have a bullet hole in the lower left corner or not.  This determines if your shot was accurate and if the action was successful.


Good stuff.  I will definitely be playing more of this game.

Well, that’s it for this week – thanks for stopping in.

Night Owl


World Map Hex Boards, Farm Houses & Dungeon Crawls…OH MY!


It seems this past week has had me working on several projects simultaneously but not really making any progress on any of them.  “Waffling” was the term an old economics professor liked to use, although I prefer the term “prepping”.  I have a few things to post this week and hopefully they’ll all catch their stride now that some things are in place.  I could have posted them all as separate topics but why not throw everything on the table at once?  It is more fun that way right?

First is the DIY World Hex map:

This has been made using the same technique as the skirmish Battle Board but using a 1 inch hex instead of a 2 inch:


Back during the holiday break my brother-in-law and I spent an afternoon creating a handful of little buildings using trim wood.  We used a band saw and a belt sander and came up with quite a little collection of village pieces.


They’ve been sitting patiently waiting for their turn in the queue along with all the other projects.  These will be used as markers designating resource centers and city/skill upgrades for the game.


I also received my resource tokens from  Mayday Games.  This is the King’s Deluxe Wooden Token Set and the Energy/Lightning Bolt Token set.  They will represent the resources stone, wood, gold and faith.


Another project that I finished was the Linka Farm House:



I took break last weekend and tried out some the rules I’m using to see if they transfer over to a dungeon crawl solo run.  Nothing too heavy, as it needs some adjustments for that setting, but I think it will work for a quick play set of rules or one for kids, families,  or those just getting into tabletop dungeon crawls.





After posting all of this I suppose that I actually have made some progress.  The nice things about this blog is it does help to keep me focused and on track with where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going.   So my goal next week is to work on the World Map and get it to the point where I can start some play-testing on that side of the game.

Thanks for dropping by,

Night Owl