Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 roundup - Happy New Year

The traditional end of year post , and Happy New Year to you lot out there.

2018 feels like it’s been a good year hobby wise with the various project moving forward. The blog has had 50 posts which is about average and has sneaked past 500,000 hits as well in the last few weeks.

For shows I attended York, ran games at Hammerhead & The Other Partizan , with another visit over to Antwerp and Crisis , rounded off with gaming at Battleground. The lead mountain has been topped up ready for a lot more additions this coming year .

The Old Guard group met pretty much monthly getting games in, and I had James , Martin and Scotty  over at mine a number of times playing modems , WW2 and Wings of War.

The gaming highlight was finally running the big Sudan game at Marks Wargames Holiday Centre - it will be back there again in May 19.

Seeing 5 years of hard work come to fruition - and everyone enjoy themselves was great - roll on the next big visit to the Sudan in May 19 

The 6mm modern project is essentially completed - odd bits n bobs as required - it had about 6 games    in the year.

The WW2 Normandy project has about completed phase 1 , with the US armoured forces just needing a last bit of infantry adding. Next up is the D Day assault units and landing craft. Phase 3 is US Paratroops. There is still a lot more terrain to do for this too. - I hope to get a D- Day game up and running with James and Martin by May at Partizan. Again we managed a number of games this year.

The slow burn that is the ACW project continues , I now have two Union brigades and one Confederate - with the lead for one of each in 2019

The Cowboys had a run out at Hammerhead in 2018 - it was good to get them out again .

a start of year left field new entrant was WW2 Wings of War - it will be back in 2019

December saw Cruel Seas enter the fray - there will be a few additions - I want/need a big ship! 

so far its RN 3 - Kreigsmarine 0 

There is one new addition for 2019 with the return of Necromunda - I have a Van Saar gang and some terrain bits to do for a group project

reading that back - it has been a good year!

Next up is a participation game at Hammerhead with Martin , James and Scotty - Pulp 1930s South Sea islands peril!

So - all the the very best for the New Year..

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Cruel Seas - E Boats

The local group has a games day tomorrow so I have been hustling along with some forces for each side. I have completed a couple of vessels for my German forces .

One each of S38 and S100 type. 
I have added some crew figures to these using some spares box Heroics and Ros 1/300th infantry figures,  cutting weapons off advancing figures to have them manning guns, and using a pointing officer figure for the commander on the bridge. I think they really add to the look.

Looking forward to trying the game out tomorrow.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Cruel Seas - a little diversion

One of the Xmas presents to myself was a Cruel Seas starter set. I had been looking to do something like this as last year I picked up a host of metal stuff from a bring and buy for bargain price. They were mostly the old skytrex stuff that is either 1/600 or 1/1200. I had picked up a sea mat from Deepcut  Studios last year  - its a good cold grey colour - just right to my mind for the North Sea.

So - first up the initial British forces - which have also kicked off my first entry in the painting challenge.
3 x Vosper type II
I have drilled through the mast at an angle to add a metal pin stay to support it and it also allows a good place to fly the ensign from.

I have staged the wakes on these with a bit of table salt for the photos - I am tempted to  model proper bases once  I have a had a game  and see how it all works.
 I have added some crew figures to these 3 - which I think really helps - some came with the set so I used them - but I think there will be suitable heroics and ros stuff in the lead pile to re-purpose too
Vopser type I MTB

the start of the merchants - this is the Tanker from the Warlord set I got - its about the size of 4 MTBs , not massive in scale terms , but it does look nice. I did have to add an extra layer of support to base I found the resin was pretty thin and was flexing a lot - I added a cardboard base which seems have done the job.

The scale for the models in Cruel Seas is billed as 1/300th which makes the smaller craft a bit easier to model and use a playing pieces. There will be a bit of scale mix and matching for larger vessels as practically and larger ship is going to need a really large table- even something the size of a liberty ship will be 35cm long .

you can see some of my other merchant ships from last years acquisition on the prep desk .- I have started on the E boats too...as we have a first game planned for the weekend

Thursday, 20 December 2018

AHPC - Challenge IX

It’s that time of year again for the winter paint challenge run by Curt and the minions. (You mad fools you).  This will be my 8th entry.

I have some stuff prepared ready to go , but perhaps not as much I would have liked , but it’s a marathon not a sprint so plenty of time. I have WW2 stuff  and terrain to do , plus a revisit to the Sudan .

I have a little side duel with Millsy going on for our points totals .

Anyway . Nearly time to twirl the brushes!

Monday, 17 December 2018

Normandy 44 - Sealing the pocket game

Today saw the Old Guard weekend meet. A few of us decided to do another WW2 game (Martin and co were doing a large spear chucking game  )  Given the season things have been a bit hectic so the game was not as planned as usual. The scenario we came up with consisted of my US armoured forces strung out along the table having cut off a German battlegroup trying to escape a wider encirclement - how many would escape and what would be the damage.

The play mat, some hedges and a couple of buildings and the deciduous trees are mine and the rest of the terrain is James's  stuff.

the table was 12x5 with US forces strung out - the Germans would randomly arrive  from the right 

Battalion HQ 
Advancing nicely
M7'S deployed at the rear..

Small units of German began arriving along the 12 foot length of table searching for a way through.

German infantry try their luck 


Battalion HQ tries to work out what is going on!

M10 TD's dealt with a unit of Stugs that attempted to get through on the rail line

A couple of Panthers powered to the central crossroads - causing mayhem. Battalion HQ behind the barn had to bug out  as things were getting a little hairy!. This let a painter and PzIV through and off the board.. 

lead US forces turned back to hit the advancing Germans in the flank - and also running into  some flak and SP artillery which was also quickly death with

The breakthrough attempt was getting costly 

US Anti Tank guns getting set up ready for any more german stragglers. 

US armour advances to seal of the German entry points 

At this point we called it. It had been a good game . James had got some German forces off the board. The US tank destroyers had a good game, and racked up lots of kills - made a change for the German's to be out in the open! 

We will probably re run this one - with some more defined victory conditions as its got good potential 

We then spent some time planning for the larger 16 x 6 table that we might be getting to Partizan in May with beach and para landings. 

Overall a good day out - and we have a holiday games day booked for the 30th too. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Terrain - Hedges for Normandy WW2

The big project for next year for me is get a good sized 15mm Normandy game up and running - as in 16 x 6 . I am doing the US forces who fought in bocage country so I am going to need a lot of hedges.  I made 12 feet a few month back for a game with the guys , but decided this has to be an occasional task to make sure we have enough - and you must know the mantra - you always need more hedges!

I set about making another 12 feet - its on bases 20mm wide and range of lengths such as 12 inch , 9 inch , 6 inch and 3 inch to give to flexibility.

I thought I would take the opportunity to show how I do it.

finished article
raw material - industrial sheet of rubberised horsehair - currently £35 on eBay for 6 foot x 3 and inch thick -I bought this one a few years ago for £25 from an upholstery company (its used to fill furniture)  - still got plenty left!
Small sizes are of course available from a range of suppliers ..just expect to pay a premium for it 

cut a strip to height or width you want

cut bases - these are made from 1.5mm ply

hot glue the hedge hair to the base

add weight to help secure until glue is set

trim and shape the regular strip with pair of scissors to produce a bit more irregular shapes - and then add some base material I use PVA to stick on sand - and let dry

spray a dark colour - in this dark dark green

colour the base material an earth colour

highlight the base earth 

liberally apply neat PVA across the hedge area - working it into the weave

prepare your scatter mix - this is by Javis available at various model and railway modelling suppliers - its a mix of shades of summer/spring green

I had sourced some 15mm MDF gates and fences from Blotz - these were added as part of the sticking on to the bases - I just forgot to  photograph them.

all covered in scatter - allow to dry before shaking off any final excess

spray with cheap extra firm hold hair spray - it will stop the scatter shedding - and you can always redo this at any time  too

I also found some trees on e-bay a while ago and they were based singly - I cut those off and  I have added them in to some sections by just  hot glueing them in place

the hedge stash - only another 36 feet to go!

Now whats that hiding behind the hedgerow? 

Altogether took a couple of hours - spread over 3 days - most processes don't take that long - you just need things to fully dry between some of them 

Work in hand


No more than 3 things on the PAINTING table at once. Nothing new added until something is finished.

PREPARATION work is done when I don't fancy detail painting. Cleaning up, converting, undercoating etc.

PLANNING is expressions of interest or things that have inspired me to be created with no definite timescale as yet.

28mm Napoleonic

On the PREPATION table.
15mm Germans WW2
28mm Sudan

Storage wars