About Me

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London, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Sunday Workbench 24 September

So, time for another Sunday update on what I've got going on. Since last weekend I've had two of my orders delivered:

From Timecast:

These arrived yesterday; more Ming and Koreans. There are still a couple of packs to come from this order (and one from the previous order).

From Everest Models (EBay seller):

A veritable forest of twisted wire/foam trees and plastic palms.


I've almost finished the Ming cavalry - since taking the pic below I've given them a ~Klear/ink coat. Tomorrow I'll airbrush them with matt varnish then do satin and gloss varnish where appropriate. I should be able to get the initial basing stages done as well.


I've done the initial prep on all 8 packs that arrived - snipping off excess metal and smoothing the bases with a rough file. I've also managed to fully prep half of them. Two bags (Korean infantry, Ming crossbowmen) have been washed, dried and stuck onto painting sticks.

Another two bags (Ming infantry) are currently being washed. The rest will get prepped during the week.

Playing With Trees

The twisted wire of the cheap EBay trees looked a bit obvious so I decided that they needed something to disguise that. I'd seen people using brown acrylic caulk for various things and thought that would be perfect. Sadly, none of the DIY stores in my area stock it, only white. So I bought a tube of that to play with (at £1 it's worth trying).

I took a few of the trees and experimented a bit. Acrylic caulk is paintable, but that would mean an extra step. However, I wasn't sure how easily it would go onto the wire neat or whether I might need to thin it a little with water. I also wanted to test whether it would mix with acrylic ink.

I tested one tree with neat caulk. It was difficult to apply, so I thinned the caulk with a little water. That went on a bit easier, but I think I needed a touch more water. The third tree I added a few drops of brown ink to the caulk - that thinned it just enough, and the colour mixed in nicely.

Here are the results of my quick tests:

Untreated, neat caulk, slightly-thinned caulk, thinned and inked caulk

The neat and slightly thinned white caulk didn't really cover the twisted wires, unlike the slightly more thinned and ink-coloured mix.

Untreated, thinned and inked caulk

So, a useful experiment. I now know that the caulk will mix with acrylic ink and that it needs to be thinned a bit to apply easily. I've also worked out that I need to spread out the wire branches a bit more before applying the caulk mix.

I'll also be titivating the foliage at some point with flock and sealing with PVA to prevent shedding. I'm not sure how I'll need to work out how to do that with the fruit trees to stop the flock getting onto the fruits - maybe a dab of oil to stop the glue adhering?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Finished: First Ming Chinese Troops

Having Monday off work was incredibly handy as it meant I was able to sit down and start painting the first of my Ming Chinese troops. I was initially just going to paint up one mixed spear & bow unit but decided to paint up a generals stand as well. With very little on TV in the evening, I actually managed to finish painting them and give them a coat of Klear/ink.

Last night I airbrushed them with matt varnish, then touched up shiny parts with satin and gloss varnish (as appropriate). Once that had dried, I popped them off the sticks, superglued them onto bases, left them a while for the superglue to set and then added the basing texture - I glooped some of my bulk khaki grey mixed with PVA glue onto the bases, sprinkled them with medium grey ballast then added some sand to cover the rest of the bases. An hour or so later I used a plastic pipette to drop a slightly thinner mix of the khaki grey over the top to seal it. Once that was done I left them overnight for the gloop to dry fully.

This evening I drybrushed the bases and added static grass. So, here are the first of my Ming forces:

First General

First Spear & Bow Unit

No flags yet. I've ordered a sheet of "Warring states Chinese" flags from Little Big Man studio. Wrong era, but they'll do as I can't find many images of Ming flags to make my own.

Having finished these so quickly means that I'll be able to field an allied Ming contingent for my Koreans tomorrow evening at the club. OK, so I've got to sub in some Mongols for the heavy cavalry but that will be fine.

I also started work on the next set of figures last night - nine horse archers - putting the basecoat and washes onto the horses. This evening I've done their markings and a bit later on I'll paint the bridles and reins. With the game tomorrow night and being away this weekend it will probably be early next week when they are finished. After that I'll do a unit of spear & dao infantry before painting the second spear & bow unit.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sunday Workbench 17 September

With the dragoons almost finished, I decided last week to start prepping the Ming and Korean figures which arrived a week or so ago. The last batch were drying this morning and I'd glued the rest onto painting sticks yesterday, so this morning I started priming them with the airbrush. I got the final batch primed this afternoon.

I've got the Ming set up to make two 6-base units of mixed bow/spear units and one 6-base spear & dao unit; they will also cover my infantry needs for a Ming ally force in ADLG. At the back are some spare command figures, mounted generals and enough horse archers to provide 3 units in ADLG (but one base short of a FoGR unit). At the front are the Koreans for the "pikemen" stands, with 5 figures that I had left over from before.

I decided yesterday to take advantage of this weekends "free postage" offer from Timecase and placed an order for enough Ming figures to expand to a reasonable FoGR army and enough Koreans to do six (rather than two or three) "pikemen" bases and two bases of heavy swordsmen.

After doing that priming I decided it was time to prep the 6mm SYW figures I'd bought at Salute. They needed very little clean up, so a couple of hours later they were all done. One batch (half the infantry, all the infantry command strips, all the dragoons) have been washed and are now drying; the remainder (half the infantry, cuirassiers, hussars and artillery) are being washed now and will be dried overnight.

8 dragoon regiments, 8 infantry regiments, 8 infantry command strips

Yesterday afternoon I made up a bulk batch of "almost VMC Khaki Grey" from craft paints. this will be for painting bases and terrain.

It's close, but needs a touch more of the green, it's also a bit watery. It will do for now, but I might add a bit of green and some acrylic matte medium to thicken it up.

I also spent an hour or so yesterday adding ball bearings to all my Vallejo Model Colour paints to help with mixing them.

I've got the day off work tomorrow so will make a start on painting the Ming.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Finished: SYW Russian Dragoons and Combined Grenadiers

Well, this week I finally got around to gunking, drybrushing and flocking the bases of the combined grenadiers and dragoons this week. That means time for decent piccies:

Combined Grenadiers

No flags this time as the officers and men were drawn from the grenadier companies of the line regiments.

Nizegorodskiy Dragoons

With this regiment done, that is (finally) all of the Russian cavalry regiments painted that took part in the Seven Years War. If I do add any further cavalry, it will be more Cossacks.

I do still have another 13 line infantry regiments to paint, but I think I'll take a fairly long break from this army before tackling them. and another long break before tackling the Observation Corps.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Sunday Workbench 10 September

Now, about those AARs I keep saying I'll write up...well, you see I keep getting caught up doing other more pressing things like reading new books, the odd bit of figure painting, surfing the web for more stuff to order, you know the drill. I *will* get them done this week - promise!

So, what's on the workbench? Well, I've finished painting and varnishing the Russian dragoons, pinged them off the sticks and glued them onto their bases:

At some point this week I'll add the basing gunk to these and the grenadiers, then drybrush when it's cured and add some static grass.

During the week I also got the Star Destroyers cleaned off with white spirit, followed by a soak and scrub in warm soapy water to clean that off. Quick rinse and dry then I did a black oil wash, left it for a few hours then wiped off the excess from the surfaces with a white spirit soaked rag.

They do look much better but I think they could do with a white or very light grey drybrush. I'll do that at some point this week, then add some identifying marks in different colours before doing a spray coat with satin varnish. I'll also be doing the TIE fighters and interceptors this week, or making a start on them.

A few more purchases have arrived:

Short bamboo stalks and books from Amazon

Most of my order of Ming Chinese and the extra Koreans to do Pikemen bases.

A big bag of herbs for ground scatter - I might have overdone it a bit!

A couple of cheap statues for jungle terrain (28mm figure for scale)

I also received a bag of 250 ball bearings to add to my paint droppers as agitators and some 50ml and 100ml dropper bottles for big paint/wash mixes (no pics of those).

I've got a few more orders still to come in - some longer bamboo stalks (from Amazon), some cheapo Chinese-made trees (various, from Ebay) and odds and sods like tongue depressors.

Anyhoos, back to work tomorrow after my week off...

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Wednesday Update 06 September

I've had quite a relaxed-but-busy day. This morning I headed into central London to pick up some sheets of latex foam - more on that later. As I was nearby, I thought I'd pop into Orcs Nest then realised they don't open until 11am. Oh well, a quick coffee and croissant, then on to Foyles for a browse while killing half-an-hour or so. Books may have been purchased...

I got to Orcs Nest just as they were opening and made a couple of purchases, then headed home. About 10 minutes after I'd got back and unpacked my goodies, the doorbell rang - a parcel of goodies for me.

Today's goodies:

The Norman Knights are the start of a planned winter project - a 28mm army for ADLG. As for the dragon, well, it's a dragon! Why not?

There was another book (Alfred Bester's "The Demolished Man") but that wasn't wargames related so I didn't include it in this pic:

What inspired me to buy these? Well, I had been thinking about what else I could use my jungle terrain for and came to the conclusion that Burma and the South Pacific campaigns of WW2 would be interesting to do.

Ahh, but what's in that box? Well, I'm sure you can make out the branding and will relaise that it's from Shapeways so it must be the TIE fighters I ordered at the weekend. Here are some close-ups:

TIE fighters

TIE interceptors

The lot - 24 pegs of fighters, 12 pegs of interceptors

Seven Years War Russians

I finished painting the grenadiers yesterday and brushed on a coat of matt varnish last night. Today I did touch-ups where appropriate with gloss and satin varnish. Once that had dried I popped them off the sticks, sorted them into groups of six and glued them onto their bases:

I'll be adding the basing gunk and flocking when I've finished the dragoons. Speaking of which, last night I started on them, getting the basecoats and washes done on the horses. Today I've added the black bits to the bays, done the face and leg markings and painted the tack:

Tomorrow I'll start work on the riders. I should be able to get a decent way through them and finish them on Friday.

Some Terrain Bits

On top of all of that I've also done some terrain-y stuff today. First port of call was cutting the latex foam into suitably sized shapes for ADLG terrain markers that are light and easy to transport to the club. I particularly needed some rectangular* pieces for fields, plantations and villages, but also decided to do make some small lakes and forests. And a few road sections.

*the rules require those to be rectangular - before today, none of mine were!

Tomorrow I really will write up those AARs in between bouts of painting.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Sunday Workbench 03 September

Until today, I haven't done much on the painting front since my last post.

I did put an oil wash on the remaining Star Destroyers but managed to thin the paint too much which caused the pigments to separate out. That left a fairly bright blue in the recesses so I've soaked them in white spirit and scrubbed them with a toothbrush to remove as much as possible. I then washed them in soapy water to get rid of the white spirit. I'll try again with a thin black oil wash this week. I also took a look on Shapeways to see if anybody had made suitably sized TIE fighters and found some - I've ordered a couple of packs of TIE fighters and Interceptors.

I did play another game of ADLG on Thursday and suffered a big defeat against a Feudal English army led by Eddy the Oneth. My own tactical stupidity was as much to blame as my poor luck rolling for arrival of my flank march - the cavalry did arrive, but not in time to engage the enemy before my infantry were destroyed. I will write up an AAR this week, and one for the game against the Samurai which I meant to write up last week.

Discussing the game with my opponent afterwards convinced me that I should sort myself out with a Ming Chinese allied contingent. I've placed a small order for the figures I need this afternoon, and a pack of Korean spearmen to make up a couple of "pikemen" bases for ADLG.

At work this week I was helping with the clearout of a lab where the main researcher has moved to a new job in Germany. I spotted that they had some plastic aquarium plants which were destined for the bin, so I nabbed rescued them from that fate. I gave them a good soak in dilute disinfectant and rinsed them off. Quite a decent haul to add to my collection of foliage for when I finally start making the jungle terrain:

This afternoon I made a start on painting the combined grenadiers for my SYW Russians. I should finish them this week.

I should get these painted along with the dragoons by next weekend as I'm on leave this week. Then I might finally get around to the command groups I promised to the others in the SYW side duel during the last Challenge.
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