Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vancouver Christmas 2012

Happy Holidays!  My wife and I went to Vancouver for Christmas this year to visit with my side of the family.  We had a great time visiting the sites and enjoying the company of family.  We only saw sun for part of one day out of eight, but the rain was a welcome change to the typical Denver, Colorado weather (sun).

What is a vacation without something history related slipped in.  Well, we visited the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology and I found some war related artifacts.  I thought I'd share them with you.  The museum mainly focuses on British Columbia native artifacts, but they do have a mix of other non-Canadian artifacts.

Museum in the evening.  Note totem poles inside.  View from a postcard.
The museum was built amonst WWII concrete gun emplacements.
Web page discussing the gun emplacements: Link

Korean turtle boat model.
Japanese Samurai Armour.
Japanese helmet.  Maybe Ashigaru helmet.
Japanese Ashigaru helmet.
Micronesia Armour.
Asmat Shields.  Asmat people are from New Guinea.
Micronesia swords.
Samoan Clubs.
Kiakavo (Fiji war clubs)
More detailed information and photos (i.e. what the japanese helmets look like under the helmet) can be found by just searching for these artifacts on the museum web site:

UBC Museum of Anthropology
Direct link to collections page

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Battle of Flodden Fans

I know some of you have been waiting patiently for more photos of my Battle of Flodden scenario.  Here you go!  I've held off so my local wargaming friends can enjoy first crack at the battle.  These pictures are from my club.  The game was well received and I was glad to see everyone seemed to picked up the rules pretty well (Renaissance Principles of War).  I will be running this game again at one of our local conventions, Genghis Con, in February.

Scots on the right advancing down the hill.

English deploy in line and advance to meet the Scots.
English borderers.
The armies meet.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blitzkrieg-Commander Scenario Playtesting

I'm in the middle of testing the next Canadian WWII scenario using Blitzkrieg-Commander rules.  All the terrain is finished and all the miniatures are painted.  Most of the dirt roads are currently packed away for another battle, so i'm using some thin strips of cork paper as stand in for testing.

Clumps of polyester fiber fill glued to squares of transparency sheets used to represent artillery smoke.
After smoke has lifted, Canadians advance.  Sherman Crab tank clears path through minefield.
I have changed the way the path is represented (probably will be seen in a future picture).
My last Normandy Canadian vs German scenario (Battle of Buron) was too one sided (German), so I want to really test this one out to see if it will work well.  This battle takes place one month later and the Germans are defending a pretty well defended area (anti-tank ditches, minefields, barbed wire, trenches and dug-outs).  Canadians have the troops and artillery to take the town.  The Germans need to hold out and use their artillery on the Canadians advancing in the open fields.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bataan Museum


This month my wife Liz and I went on a long weekend trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We had stopped there briefly before, but wanted to spend some more time to explore the city.  Liz surprised me by discovering the Bataan Museum and actually suggesting it as a museum we could visit.  I had no idea such a museum existed and also found it interesting that the museum would be in Santa Fe.  It turns out the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments from New Mexico were part of the force defending the Philippines when the Japanese invaded in 1941.

The museum is not very big and is actually mostly non-Bataan related, but it is still good.  It is free to visit.  I liked the sections on the Spanish American War and World War One.  I thought the Bataan/Philippines section focused too much on the Bataan Death March.  Having read the story of the defense of the Philippines, especially in the Bataan peninsula, there are many incredible stories of holding back the Japanese.  I highly recommend the book Bataan: Our Last Ditch: The Bataan Campaign, 1942 by John W. Whitman.  Post WWII the museum touches on all the major conflicts.  The museum staff employee at the museum was very approachable and talked to us about the various WWII veterans living in Santa Fe and shared some stories he was told.  Maybe because there was only Liz and I, and a Father and Son visiting the museum first thing in the morning he shared the stories, but I am sure he would be completely open to giving a guided tour around the museum.  Behind the museum outside there is an area dedicated to vehicles/artillery and a helicopter.

All in all, well worth stopping in and checking out the museum if in the area.  Both Liz and I enjoyed the museum.

Museum website:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WWI Austro-Hungarian Naval Miniatures

I have had these WWI Austro-Hungarian naval miniatures sitting around and thought I'd take some photos and post them to my blog.  They are 1:3000 Navwar miniatures.  I've used them for two theoretical scenarios involving the Italian or French navy.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Upper Canada Militia

Here is my last group of Knuckleduster 28mm War of 1812 figures.  These were sitting on my painting table for the longest time.  They are the Upper Canada Militia.  I say "last group", but it probably won't be.  For now it is my last because I am all out of Knuckleduster.  I actually enjoy painting up the Knuckleduster figures.  Am I a 28mm convert?  Nope.  I still enjoy the 10-15mm miniatures.  I will say that I think this scale will work great in skirmish.

Now, I am in holding pattern until my compatriot finishes up the bad guys (Americans) for some War of 1812 skirmish.  We will probably be using Song of Drums and Shakos.

Friday, October 5, 2012

German Defences around Buron, France, July 1944

I finished up my trenches for an upcoming Normandy Canadians vs Germans BKC game (10/12mm).  I think it's turning out not too bad.  I'm debating whether to change the trench base sides from green to a light brown.  So left to right we have an anti-tank ditch, mines, barbed wire, trenches interspersed with dug outs, town walls/hedges, and then the town buildings.  We'll see what it takes to get through this.  Maybe the Canadians will find a way to bypass the defences.

I still need to make up a 75mm anti-tank gun emplacement.  Fortunately for the Canadians, there are no 88s in this battle.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blitzkrieg-Commander Trenches

I am a big fan of Blitzkrieg-Commander (BKC) and Cold War Commander (CWC).  BKC is what got me back into WWII wargaming since playing Command Decision and Rapid Fire years ago.  I've been playing BKC/CWC since probably 2004.  I have not played as many games as other people, but it is my WWII/Modern ruleset of choice.

This post shows my latest 10/12mm trenches for BKC.  The size is based off the BKC version 1 size.  They are made from thin birch and balsa.  The picture below shows the progression of the construction.  They will be used by the Germans defending against a Canadian attack in Normandy.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Canadian Voltigeurs


These are my next set of 28mm War of 1812 Knuckleduster Miniatures.  They are the Canadian Voltigeurs.  Too bad none of the figures available are shooting.  My next set of figures I'm painting up are Upper Canada Militia.



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Glengarry Light Infantry

These are my painted 28mm Knuckleduster Miniatures Glengarry Light Infantry for the War of 1812.  I've seen reenactor wearing grey pants, but regulation was green for the Glengarry Light Infantry, so figured I'd go with green.

Glengarry Light Infantry in a dry part of Upper Canada in the War of 1812.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tacticon 2012

Colorado has two gaming conventions a year (Genghis Con and Tacticon).  Tacticon is the smaller of the two conventions but still good.  All the gaming genres are represented and there is a room of vendors.  Both conventions essentially go from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.  I always try to make an appearance every year to see what is going on in the historical miniature wargaming area.  I try to run one game at each convention, but I have been busy the past couple years trying to get a good scenario painted up.  While I was editor of our club newsletter, I would write up a synopsis of the convention with pictures, but now that I have a blog, I guess I can continue to post a review.

I do not attend the whole convention.  When I am running a game I just show up and run my one game.  When I am not, I purchase a visitors badge and walk around checking out the games, talking with fellow gamers, then check out the vendor area.  I don't get to see the whole event, but get to chat with everyone and see how things are going.  Why do I not pay for the weekend and join in the action?  I would say it is cost.  This year was $24 for the whole weekend, and $3 per game, so it could have added up to $39.  I used to do it years ago, but now I have enough gaming going on throughout the year.

I popped in Saturday morning and was impressed with the number of historical miniature games going on.  Probably too many as two of the games had no people sign up for their games.  Some of the other games were lightly attended.  Our club members put on a number of games every year, and this year was no exception.  The usual historical periods were represented: Ancients, WWII and ACW.  There was a Modern Chechnya game.  The scenario sounded interesting.  The vendor area was (as usual) lacking historical wargaming vendors.  It was good to see JR Miniatures back again, but they did not bring much stock, so ended up not buying anything.  At Genghis Con, they had, I think, everything to choose from their company.  Hopefully they attend Genghis Con and bring everything.  I can always find something from them to buy.

Walking around the convention sometimes you run into some local historical wargame "celebrities," such as Bob Jones, of Piquet rules fame.  Good to see him again.  Also it was good to see Dan Black running a game again.  I have yet to get in one of his games, but they look amazing.  He did a great 25mm Boxer Rebellion game a few years back.

While Denver conventions can not compete with the conventions back east, they are good.  Next game convention will be our clubs Veterans Wars convention in November.  After that will be Genghis Con in February and West Wars (club convention) in May.

Organization that runs Genghis Con and Tacticon conventions:
Denver Gamers Association

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Painted 25/28mm Ever

Yes, up until this year I had never painted any miniature bigger than 20mm.  Our club was getting interested in doing skirmish Napoleonic wargaming at the beginning of the year, so since I had a bag of Old Glory British advancing infantry sitting around, I figured I would give it a go.  I have seen so many great painted 25/28mm figures out there, I did not want to even try, but thought I couldn't go wrong by starting with just one figure.  It turned out to be easier than I thought.  I will never match the great 25/28mm painters I game with.  I have been painting up some of this scale for War of 1812.  No plans to go big into this scale, just at the skirmish level, and try to avoid buying any terrain/buildings.  I'm happy with the 10-15mm scales.

I ended up putting too much black Citadel wash over the whole figure...oops.

A future posting, you will get to see some British/Canadian War of 1812 I have finished.  I am really impressed with the Knuckleduster Miniatures.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Kanal movie

This is a Polish 1956 movie focused on a company of Polish resistance fighters near the end of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.  I just finished watching this movie and recommend it.  I previously watched the movie Katyń, also directed by the same Director Andrzej Wajda, so thought I would see what this movie was like.  The movie is gritty and you feel like you are right in the action.  First time I've seen a German attack using goliathes in a movie.  The German tanks leave much to be desired though.  Not a lot of action scenes, but still a good movie.  Katyń is a good movie as well.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stands Entering Buildings

Somehow I came up with an idea how I could handle stands moving into buildings on the table top.  We all hate to see stands balancing on top of buildings.  I thought maybe if I took an overhead picture of the building model then resize the picture to the size of the building, print out the image, then just cut out the building.

Building with cut out image underneith.
Building model removed leaving image cut out below.  Infantry stand is now ready to enter.
Infantry stand now in building.
Maybe other people have done this before.  But I just discovered the concept.  Once the infantry have left the building, the building model can be put right back on top of the picture.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Flodden "Bow and Bill" and Casualty Markers

First up is the Christopher Savage unit of Bow and Bill.  Christopher Savage's contigent was under command of Edmund Howard.  I basically went with a 50/50 split with Bow and Bill miniatures for these English bases.  Longbow in the front rank.

Note Ray's flag, of Don't throw a 1 fame, that I printed out.

The last miniatures I'm painting up are the casualty markers.  They are 15mm Freikorps Pict/Scot Casualties (PI09).  As a side note, all the Renaissance Scots 15mm miniatures have recently been transferred from QRF Models (UK) to Sgt Major Miniatures (USA) (news article).  I guess these were part of the old Feudal Castings line.  I had no idea they were different from the Tudor English in the Freikorps listing.  I just knew I needed Scots to fight the English.  I guess if I ever need more Scots they are little closer to home now.

Left to right showing basing.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Local Wargaming Club

What does my wargaming club (Colorado Military Historians) look like?  Well, below is a typical meeting.  We meet in a community center building which is a single good sized room with two bathrooms.  It does get a little warm in the building in the summer, even with air conditioning.  Good lighting with tables and chairs.

Rarely are the foostables in the foreground are used.  We are there to wargame.
Our club has existed since 1965.  Great group of guys to game with and discuss military history.  I've been a member since 2001 and was club secretary from 2005 to May of this year.  I say I'm in retirement from the Board, but I can't predict the future.  Our club membership is about 40 members.  Currently our annual dues are $35.

I've known Ancients is popular at our club, but for some reason today it dawned on me that Ancients is by far the most popular.  There is always at least one or two Ancients games at every meeting.  World War 2 or American Civil War does not even come close and those are popular wars to game.

I struggle with why some new people come to visit the club, end up joining, then dissappear after about a year.  We are welcoming to everyone.  Maybe other clubs have the same issue.  We would like the new people to stay and keep enjoying the club.  But maybe it is just me being a Canadian and want everyone to get along.

Colorado Military Historians

Friday, August 10, 2012

Battle of Flodden Hill Slope

Here are some initial views of the terrain of the Battle of Flodden scenario.

Battlefield.  Scots will be starting on the slope on the right.  English will be setting up to the left.
Layers of rigid insulation topped with foam board all gluded together.
Hills on top of the cloth are made from the same rigid insulation.
Bottom of slope showing foam board.