About Me

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London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break and haven't looked back since. I must admit that I seem to be more of a painter/collector than a gamer, but do hope to correct that at some point in the near future. My gaming interests span the ages, from the "Biblical" era all the way through to the far future. I enjoy games of all sizes, from a handful of figures up to major battles (see my megalomaniacally sized Choson Korean and Russian Seven Years War armies).

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Ray's 250k Prize Draw

Ray over at Don't Throw a 1 has a rather nice prize draw going on at the moment, to celebrate having reached 250k page views.

He's offering to paint up a small batch of figures that you send him. Having seen his painting via his blog, it's definitely worth entering.

 Draw entries close at 1930 GMT on Monday, so if you are interested, pop on over quickly.

Back to my stuff - nothing to report on the painting front as I've been feeling incredibly sleepy all day (particularly when I've been asleep) so the next steps on the vikings will have to wait until tomorrow.

Hmmm - might have to do two posts tomorrow, a painting update and my blog-half-birthday prize draw.

Friday, 29 June 2012

WIP: Saka Vikings, both batches #2

I had a spurt of activity earlier this evening and painted the shield designs on all 32 figures. Each one is unique. That's right - 32 different shield designs. OK, they are basic 2-colour jobs, but some are fancier than others. Looking at the photos, there are a few where I need to go back and do a bit of tidying up, but not too bad overall.

So, here you go - pretty pictures (well, pictures although maybe not pretty):

Tomorrow I plan to get the detailing done and "correct" the over-heavy wash on the unarmoured guys - thanks for the tips. To be honest, I'm not sure if the wash step is necessary given that I'll be giving them a Klear/ink coat later on. Lesson learnt. I should have that stage done by tomorrow night (I'll take pics beforehand - you don't want to see these guys glossy) then on Sunday I'll do the matt varnish spray and at least make a start on the basing.

This bunch will give me enough for a 6 point warband (4 x 4 Hearthguard; 2 x 8 Warriors) so they should keep me happy for a while. At some point I'll probably want to add some Levy bowmen and a unit of berserkers, but I'll take some time out from playing with plastics first. Besides - I've still got my 30YW army, Scythians, the original "Secret Project" and a few Sarmatians to be completed (not to forget the battlebots, Chewks and space demons).

Thursday, 28 June 2012

WIP: Saga Vikings, both batches

Well, it seems that the grogginess I was feeling on Tuesday evening was a precursor to what I've been off work with yesterday and today. Slight fever, aching joints, fuzzy vision (thankfully cleared up this afternoon), "out of it" feeling, blah-di-blah....

I wasn't able to do anything yesterday, but was able to catch up a bit this afternoon and evening once the blurry vision had gone away.

Unarmoured Vikings

Hair- base-coat and dry-brush done
Highlighting - general dry-brush with Iraqi Sand
Wash - 3:1 mix of Burnt Umber and Black grey, quite heavily thinned with water
Shields - rears dry-brushed (mix of Green Grey and Khaki Grey) and washed (Burnt Umber, thinned with water); glued onto arms; primed; rims and boss dry-brushed with Oily Steel; face base-coated with Sand Yellow

The dry-brush was too heavy in places, but the wash softened it for the most part. Unfortunately the wash may have been a touch too dark and thick, so I may need to go back over some areas of the figures. They actually look worse in the pics than they do in real life.

Armoured Vikings

Highlighting - general dry-brush with Iraqi Sand
Shields - rears dry-brushed (mix of Green Grey and Khaki Grey) and washed (Burnt Umber, thinned with water); glued onto arms; primed; rims and boss dry-brushed with Oily Steel; face base-coated with Sand Yellow


Highlighting - general dry-brush with Iraqi Sand
Wash - 3:1 mix of Burnt Umber and Black grey, quite heavily thinned with water - only done on the warlord with two swords

I'm glad I only did the wash step on one of these - it has darkened his flesh quite badly, which I'll need to touch up when I do the detailing.

Next steps

Shield designs

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Half-Birthday on Sunday; Minor Updates

First off apologies for not getting round to adding the pics to yesterday's battle report. I've been feeling groggy all day and just wanted to veg out a bit this evening. I have done a little bit of painting though - basecoated the wooden reverses of 32 shields for my armoured and unarmoured Vikings and painted some basic designs on the front of the two warlords' shields.

Sunday will be the blog's first "half-birthday" and there will be a prize draw.When I first mentioned this a short while back, I was wondering if I'd make it to 25,000 page views in time - it looks as though I'll just miss that mark (unless I somehow get 1500+ hits in the next 4 days), but should reach it before the end of the prize draw period, so I'll be combining the two anyway. I've got a couple of prizes already, but I'll need to think of a couple more to reward you all for putting up with my wittering.

Quick question for you all: over the last couple of weeks I've noticed that Blogger seems to be randomly inserting white background to my text. It always does this for bulleted lists, but sometimes does it elsewhere in my posts (it did it in yesterday's post). I've also noticed it on a couple of other blogs - the worst example was on one blog which uses white text on a black background, so you couldn't actually read it. Have you encountered this anywhere?

I'm looking forward to next Thursday - it appears that we should have a big bunch of Saga games going on at CLWC, possibly including a 4 player 4-point "Feast of Crows" scenario.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Ironclads In Action: Battle of Plum Point

This evening at the club I was taking part in an ACW ironclads game. The Battle of Plum Point pitched the Confederate's river defence force (all "cottonclads") against a flotilla of Union ironclad gunboats. The Confederates also had a fort with some very useful batteries *if* any Union ships actually came into line of sight. The Union force also had a very large mortar mounted on a raft.

I ended up commanding the Confederate forces assisted initially by Thomas, a visitor from Sweden (and follower of this blog) and we were later joined by Martin. Mike took command of the forces of Northern Aggression and was later joined by Alan.


Fort Goodearl (lots of guns) - initially commanded by me, passed to Martin later on
Little Rebel (flag) and General Sterling Price - me
Earl van Dorn and General Bragg - initially commanded by me, passed command to Martin when he arrived
General Sumter and Beauregarde - Thomas

Northern Aggressors:

Mortar raft and Cincinatti - Mike
Various other ironclads - Mike and Alan

I did take pics, but I won't be able to add them until tomorrow (need to sort through them, do resizing etc).

The first two turns were spent rounding the bend in the river whilst the Union's mortar lobbed shells at us. One of our ships took a minor hit on turn 2.

On turn 3, the Cincinatti had come into LOS and there was an exchange of fire, with some damage done on each side including a quite big hit against the Earl van Dorn (EvD). At the end of the turn, a second Union ironclad came onto the table.

Having written my orders for Turn 4, I popped out to the bar to get another drink. When I got back I found that they'd done the movement, which had resulted in the EvD successfully ramming the Cincinatti. Both ships took 6 damage, which was unfortunately enough to sink the EvD. It was at this point that Martin took over command of that echelon (sorry!!).

At this point the current played into our hands, causing the Cincinatti to drift into LOS of the fort's batteries which scored 3 hits and sunk it. Score 1 to me!

I'd put the Bragg on course to ram or shoot the mortar raft, but Martin was unsuccessful on his attempts to shoot it out of the water, although he did manage to suppress the crew, meaning they'd have to wait an extra turn before they could shoot again.

Having missed with his guns and realising that continuing on his current course risked missing the raft and going full speed into the riverbank, Martin decide to veer off. Fortunately I had the Sterling Price nicely positioned to come in and ram the raft, which I succeeded in doing a couple of turns later. Score 2 to me!

Meanwhile, over in the midstream and on the other side of the river, Thomas was steaming ahead to intercept the chuggily approaching USS Cairo, as was the Little Rebel. Sadly, the Beauregarde and Sumter misjudged their ramming course, but the Little Rebel was more successful and rammed the Cairo sinking it. Score 3 to me!

At this point, both of Thomas' ships were on fire, as was the Bragg. Thomas did manage to put his fires out eventually, but Martin was less successful and the fires spread eventually reaching the arsenal - "Kaboom!".

Whilst all this was going on, the USS Essex had come on-table and was steaming towards the inside edge of the bend. On Turn 12, the Essex and Sterling Price rammed each other, both taking 6 damage. Unhappily for the Sterling Price, the Essex was able to open fire at point blank range with here guns. Happily all she achieved was killing the captain - no great loss according to the bosun.

Having taken the mortar and a few ironclads out, we decided that it was time to get out of the way and head back to base, letting the fort take out any Union ships which decided to pursue us. I think the fort did take out another ironclad in the closing stages of the game.

Overall, it was a tactical victory for the Confederacy. However, if this had been the real campaign we would have had to say it was a strategic loss as only 2 of our surviving ships would be fit for the next battle. But we had been more successful than our historical counterparts.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

WIP: 2nd Vikings #3

Once my chores were out of the way, I managed to get a few more steps done on the unarmoured vkings:

  • breeches
  • tunic sleeves
  • boots
  • belts and scabbards

I just need to get the hair don and they'll be usable for gaming while I do detailing and paint up the shields. When the shields are glued on, I can do the Klear/ink and then to the basing.

Well, you want the pics don't you?

WIP: First Vikings #5; WIP: 2nd Vikings #2

Well, I've managed to get a reasonable amount done today on both batches of vikings.

Batch 1 (Armoured)

  • Basecoats of hair
  • Highlights of hair (possibly too heavy in places, hopefully washes will tone it down)

Still to do:

Warriors - detailing, drybrush/highlights, add shields, Klear/ink coat, basing
Warlords - a lot more detailing, careful highlighting & shading, Klear/ink coat, basing

Batch 2

  • Primed
  • Weapons and helmets dry-brushed with Gunmetal Grey
  • Spear shafts and axe handles painted
  • Leather jerkins painted
  • Flesh painted

Tomorrow I'll try to get the following done:

  • Boots
  • Breeches
  • Tunics
  • Belts and scabbards
  • Hair (basecoat and highlight) if I have time

Friday, 22 June 2012

WIP: Second Vikings #1

I've finally finished assembling these (minus shields - to be added later). This batch are 16 unarmoured warriors - at some point I'll need to get another pack so that I can make up some bow-armed levies.

I'm going to leave them to set overnight, then they'll be primed tomorrow. I might even be able to start painting them. I think I'll probably paint a few of them as having leather tunics/coats.

I did go to the club last night, but didn't get a game in - there were very few people there. However, I did get to do something with Saga - Ian M was playing a 4 point game (Jomsvikings vs Scots) against his son-in-law and I was acting as rules adviser/looker-upper. It was definitely interesting to see how the rules worked with warbands of this size - it was much more interesting than the 1 and 2 point games we had played on Monday. One of the funniest moments (for everyone but Ian) was when Ian had charged his warlord and a unit of 4 hearthguard into a unit of 8 warriors, used abilities and their target's fatigue to get themselves to 15 attack dice needing 3s to hit and only scored 2 hits (1 saved).

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Brief Updates

Yup, I didn't post anything last night, largely because my camera battery had run low and was re-charging, so I wasn't able to take pics of troops on the new terrain backdrop.

I have got myself some more liquid polystyrene cement and have resumed assembly of my plastic vikings (after spending a while cleaning up the mold lines and sprue joins of 16 heads, 16 right arms, 16 left arms and 16 weapons).

Tonight I'm heading to the club again, to offload some plastics to a couple of people and (hopefully) to get in a 4-point Saga game or two. If I get ho,me early enough, I'll try to post some pics.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Secret Project #1 - Finished

I finished this yesterday, but with going to the club and posting a quick write-up of the Saga games I wasn't able to do this post too. Just as well, as I wouldn't have had anything to post today otherwise.

I know you've all been on tenterhooks, wondering just what it was that I was working on, so here you go - a terrain/display board for doing my miniatures photography on.

Hill sections shaped with a cheapo hot-wire cutter then glued into one corner. These were then sanded to provide a suitable surface for painting and to smooth off sharp edges on the hill sides.

Reeves Modeling Paste smeared to fill air bubbles and the joins between elevations.

Reeves Coarse Texture Gel with some brown ink added was then smeared over the whole board to add some grainy texture (and also to provide some extra hole/gap filling). Why add the ink? So that I could see where the gel had gone!

Basecoat of Galeria acrylic paint (Raw Umber)

Heavy dry-brush of B&Q Cocoa Bean matt emulsion paint

Medium dry-brush of Galleria raw umber with some B&Q cool grey matt emulsion mixed in

Light dry-brush of B&Q cool  grey with a little Galleria raw umber mixed in.

I forgot to take a photo of the next step which was sticking on rocks and sand/gravel/ore mix in various places. Once the placement glue had dried, they received a sealing coat of Woodland Scenics scenic cement.

Next up, 50% PVA was brushed over the non-graveled areas, leaving some patches bare then flock (the Gold/Green mix I've used on the Sarmatian bases) was applied using a puffer bottle. After a few hours, the excess was shaken and brushed off onto paper and returned to the puffer bottle. The whole board then received a sealing coat of scenic cement. For some reason this took ages to dry fully.

Finally, patches were sprayed with scenic cement and "Meadow Grass" static grass was applied with a puffer bottle.

Not bad for a few days work, a few minutes a day. The photo above doesn't really do it justice. Now I've just got to think of where to store it and clear a space somewhere to make use of it!

Saga is....


Put it all together - Saga is bloody good fun!

We had a small group of us at the club tonight getting stuck in with learning the rules by playing or simply watching. It possibly didn't help that only 2 of us had actually managed to obtain copies (the rest have them on order and should get them soon, now that a new print run has been done), so those of us who had were having to try to explain things like turn sequences having never actually played ourselves.

For the club's introductory campaign, each player starts with 1 point of warriors or levies, but no warlord. To compensate, levy units give you Saga dice and you get a free one to make up for not having a warlord. You gain army points as follows:

  • 1 per win
  • 1 per 2 successive losses
When you reach 3 army points you can add hearthguard to your band (but still no warlord) and lose the free Saga dice. At 4 points you get a warlord and restrictions on troop selection are removed.

Playing this evening:
Me - Vikings
Ian M - Jomsvikings
Ian G - Anglo Saxons
Andy - Anglo Danes
Martin - Anglo Danes (borrowed from Andy for a quick game)

My first game was against Ian G and I lost quite quickly. Next up against Andy I won - yay me! Both of us moved up to 2 point warbands. Then I gave Martin a 1 point game which was a very quick and bloody loss for me.

Finally, I had another game against Andy, this time of 2 points.

Saga of the Death of Sven, son of Grymn and his Vengeance by Ragnar

(piccies added)

In the year of 894 since the birth of the weak god of the South, Sven and Ragnar the two younger sons of Grymn son of Grymn son of Harald set sail from their father's fjord to seek fame and riches by viking in the lands of the Saxons and the Danes. With them sailed 18 sturdy warriors and they landed in the marshes known as the Gewaesc. Leaving 4 men to guard their ship, they set off inland to find a village to pillage.

A local fisherman must have alerted the local Thegn, for they soon found a shieldwall blocking their approach.

Thinking to outflank the Saxons/Danes, Ragnar led his group of warriors to the left, but the worshippers of the forgiving god countered this by moving to their left - Ragnar would not be able to join the fight as soon as was needed!

The cowardly Saxons and Danes, outnumbering Sven surged forward first with one half of their force and then with their other. Sven's men, caught outnumbered by this trick, lost two men in the first fight and were pushed back. By the time of the second attack they had recovered and exchanged 3 for 3, repelling the vile abandoners of the true gods of the north.

Knowing his group were outnumbered, Sven pulled back to recover and give his brother time to join the fight. Ragnar and his men rushed through the rocky outcrop towards the Saxons and Danes, eager to soak their blades with their enemies' blood. 

The larger party of Saxons charged Sven's small band. "Thor, give us strength!" cried Sven - his entreaty answered as Norse swords and axes struck home killing 5 of their foemen. However, Saxon swords felled the last 2 of Sven's men, leaving him alone to face 3 warriors.

The three Saxon curs closed in on him. "Odin! I give you blood!". Sven's sword hit again and again, sending two of the Saxon's to their grave, but he could not avoid the third one's spear and was felled.

Ragnar, seeing this, swore vengeance and charged the other group of Saxons. Eight swords rang out against five. The Northmen's fury held true and all the Saxons died for not one loss. The last Saxon, the slayer of Sven, was left alive to tell the tale to his village and prepare them for the justice which was soon to be unleashed.

Some of the Northmen there that day swear that they saw a woman clad in mail and bearing a spear kneel by Sven's bloody corpse and carry his spirit off to Valhalla. He died with his sword in his hand, killing more than his share of foes, so their tale could be true....

Thoughts on Saga 

Other than "Saga is bloody good fun! some things stood out. In low point games, certain abilities are very powerful - the anglo-danish "Intimidation" in particular. Looking over to the next table where Ian M was using Jomsvkings, their "Wrath" seemed to be particularly devastating. This probably won't be the case when we get onto using larger warbands, but for the introductory campaign it could give them a distinct advantage. At this point, it is difficult to say by how much or whether any others would have even more advantage.

One thing we all agreed would be useful on the QRS is a "turn sequence". I guess that is something that can be knocked up easily enough.

Terrain placement - again something that could benefit from having a summary on the QRS. As we were playing on 3' x 3' tables, the "at least 12" from any table edge" caused a few problems

Sunday, 17 June 2012

WIP: First Vikings #4; Secret Project

I've managed to do quite a bit on the Vikings today:

  • armour and metal bits of weapons dry-brushed with Gunmetal Grey863
  • hands, faces and necks painted with Flesh Base (Panzer Aces 341)
  • wood painted with Flat Brown 984
  • belts, pouches and scabbards painted with Leather Brown 871
  • tunics and trousers done (the reds were painted over a basecoat of Yellow Ochre 913)
  • boots painted

I'll do the hair tomorrow, which should be enough for me to reasonably use them as WIP figures for gaming. I'll then work on them indvidually or in pairs/small groups to do the detailing and shading/highlighting. Aha, just remembered - need to do the shields. That shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Some piccies:

Secret Project

I've done a couple more stages, but have hit an unexpected hurdle - something is taking much longer than expected to dry. Grrr! If it had dried, I'd have been able to get the final step done this evening. Hopefully it will have finished drying overnight and I can complete them tomorrow before heading off to the club for our first games of Saga.