Saturday, December 9, 2017


One of my upcoming projects is painting up 28mm miniatures for Philippine-American War (1899-1902).  I bought some Tiger Miniatures 28mm to start with and have painted up a few.  They do look pretty good.  I then decided to go full on 1898 MINIATURAS 28mm.  This company is based in Spain and focuses on the Spanish-American War and Philippines.

Here are some photos of part of my order to give you an idea of what you get.  I was surprised to see head and arm parts.  This will be first for me...assembling figures and painting them up.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Veterans Wars Convention 2017

Our club just had its annual Fall convention "Veterans Wars."  I will go out on a limb and call it our best yet.

I ran my Vietnam War Battle of Kontum game at the convention.  It went better than the playtesting I did.  Rules were Cold War Commander with 10mm figures.  I can add more detail about the battle of there is interest.

Here are some pictures from the convention:

Battle of Kontum
NVA attempt to breakthrough the ARVN defenses at night.
NVA breakthrough ARVN left flank.
Daylight and U.S. air support arrives.  First time TOW missiles are fired from helicopters in combat (May 1972).

Colonial Sudan Battles

Short video of part of the action.

Battle of the Bulge

Other Battles
HOTT tournament game

Battle of Cambrai board

Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
WWI: Austro-Hungarians vs Serbs

Battle of Jenin

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Coloured Pencils on Miniatures?

I just discovered that you can use a coloured pencil / pencil crayon on a painted miniature.  Thanks to a friend of mine who told me about it.  Maybe old news to you, but I would never have thought of using coloured pencils on miniatures.

I borrowed my wife's Prismacolor Premier White and drew lines on a Philippine Insurgent 28mm Tiger Miniature.  I had painted some blue Rayadillo uniforms, but without lines.  I popped on my magnifier glasses and started drawing the lines.  I think they turned out good, though probably pointless because you cannot see the lines when gaming with them.

Not exactly what makes the best coloured pencil to use (type or brand).  The Prismacolor ones are soft and have good wax content.  A sharp point is certainly key to getting into all the parts of the figure.

Side note, I have ordered a bunch of American and Filipino miniatures from the 1898 Miniatures company for a future skirmish battle using The Men Who Would Be Kings rules.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

10mm Palm Trees Tutorial

Here's an option for creating your own 10mm palm trees.  I made these up for my WWI Middle East battles.  I'm sure I can use them for other scenarios needing palm trees.

Palm tree leaves.

Aquarium plant, toothpick, coffee stir stick/straw, cork sheet.

 Everything cut to size.

 All the pieces put together.
 Glued and painted up.
Trees in action (Battle of Gaza).

Friday, September 29, 2017

Miniatures Storage Option

I was in a recent discussion regarding storage and gave me the idea to do a blog post about an option for storing miniatures.

We all struggle with amount of storage space we have and .  I have used tool boxes, plastic drawers and random left over boxes to store my miniatures.  I find these options are really inconsistent size wise or more pricey.  I discovered these cardboard laminated gift boxes from a store called The Container Store (in the U.S.) that were only $5 each.  I like them because they are very sturdy and easily stackable.  I really don't need drawers to constantly get at my miniatures or try to stack random box sizes together.

Content labels on the outside are certainly useful.
Inside box, left to right scales: 10mm (kneeling observer), 15mm, 25mm, 28mm
As you can see, the boxes are recommended for miniatures smaller than 28mm.
Here's the specs on these boxes I use:

Name: Medium Premium Box White
Size: 14-7/8" x 9-1/4" x 2" h
Price (2017): $4.99

I have not tried the larger box size (Large Premium Box White, 18-7/8" x 12" x 3" h) which might work better for 28mm, but it is definitely a larger box and costs $7.99.

I recommend these boxes or something similar to store your miniatures at home.  I don't really recommend them using them to transport the figures to games outside your home.  Maybe I'll blog about that in the future.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Arctic Convoy Game

I ran my WWII Arctic Convoy scenario at the club last month.  The game went very well.  I ended up too busy to take many photos, but if requested I can take some additional photos of ships or planes.

The scenario was a summer 1942 based convoy from Scotland to Archangel.  It was a 14 day trip similar to historic convoys PQ16 or PQ17.  I was thinking this could have been convoy PQ16.5 (non-existing convoy).  The game was designed to fit in a 4 hour time block.  I think we finished the game in about 3.5 hours.

Here is the breakdown of the rules I used:
  • The scenario was fully built from Journey of the End of the Earth by Mal Wright.  I pre-rolled all the ships and events for the convoy.  Events range from U-boat encounters, German air attacks, and poor weather resulting in merchant ships colliding.  Thanks Mal for researching and writing these rules.  I also used these rules to resolve what happens to the merchants that lag behind the convoy.  I did not use the combat rules.
  • General Quarters I and II were used for air attacks, collision resolution, and torpedo damage.  I chose these rules because they can be resolved quickly.
  • Seekrieg V was used for U-boat detection resolution.
  • The Hunters solitaire game rules were used for U-boat attacks and depth charge resolution.

The convoy does not move on the table.  Each ship in the convoy is in a single hex, with a one hex separation between ships.  Mal's rules layout the convoy composition (merchants and escorts).  I decided upon 1:3000 scale and pretty much found everything I needed.  Aircraft are based one, two or three planes to a stand and each stand can occupy a single hex.  Bombers have to be adjacent to target ship but Torpedo planes can be up to four hexes away from their target to launch their torpedoes.

Each turn in the game is an 8 hour time block, which basically ends up morning, afternoon and night/twilight.  So this scenario ended up with 41 turns.  I made a PowerPoint presentation that contained a number of initial slides with background information on the scenario (OOBs and map) and then a slide for each turn.  The turn slides have the turn day number, time of day, events, photo of the main event and a map with a red symbol showing where the convoy current is.  I had a remote for the laptop to advance the slide while I sat at the other end of the table.

Two Wellingtons supporting the convoy for two turns.
The convoy made it to Archangel and took comparable losses to PQ16, 8 merchants, which was fairly light.  Winston Churchill had said that he would have been happy of half the merchants made it to Russia.

Having playtested this scenario a couple times and running the game at the club, I thought the summer 1942 Arctic convoy scenario was a good one for a convoy game.  I hope to someday run Operation Pedestal (WWII Malta convoy) using similar rules to this game.

I did discover there were some errors in Mal's rules (i.e. events).  This was not a big deal and I simply reworked them.

What would I change if I run another convoy game like this one:
  • I probably won't use The Hunters rules again.  There are too many depth charge dice roles.
  • Less movement of ships around in the convoy between turns.
  • Figure out how radar factors into early warning of air attack.
  • Work harder on the roles of each player in the game.  It is easy as a two player game, but I want to get four players fully involved.
John figuring out the AA on incoming German aircraft.
Three spectators in the background talking about something wargaming related.
Post any questions/comments and I can also expand this blog post to include more information if requested.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Locomotive 844

Why would a steam locomotive show up on my wargaming related blog?  Well...I guess I will just say it could have been used to pull U.S. troop trains during 1945.  Locomotive 844 was the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific.  It was taken out of service in 1959, but was fortunately saved and still runs today.  It was originally designed to run on coal, but in early 1945 was converted to oil.

I happened to catch it when it was stopping in Greeley, Colorado on July 23.  Amazing locomotive and definitely recommend seeing it.  I do need to work on my video skills.

Pictures and video below.