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.

Sunday 24 April 2016

Sudan - Terrain Work in Progress - and some thank you's

Work continued this week on some more terrain bits - still only part way through on these. First up a couple of large buildings. These are resin from a company in Germany. They were a bit of a pig to put together as they were fairly badly flashed and warped , but I think they will end up fine. I have just finished adding some texture to it with filler/tile grout ready for first paint up. The figures are 28mm so you get a real sense of the size of these

 The Bazaar and a Government Building

This just leaves a mosque or minaret to add for the larger town/city and that will be it for building i think.

I had some cork bark sections in the spares box , so I have started making up some rock outcrop type pieces. Nothing much to these really , glue them on and weight them down - apply some sand and then a good drybrush will sort these.

So now a few thank yous.

That kind gent (and master of the large pike block) Simon Miller from Big Red Bat very kindly sent me over the Young Winston figure he got at Salute - most appreciated Simon.

Blog follower (and former work colleague) Andrew also sent me over his goodie bag from Salute too. So i may not have got there - i still did pretty well. - Thanks Andrew

I am still waiting a reasonable dry weekend to crack on with the 12 x 6 mat for my game in June.. I have it all rolled ready for working on. It a plastic backed dust sheet available from Screwfix in the UK (size 24 feet x 6 - for £12) - I got it cut in two last summer!

Its a good base colour to work with - just needs a bit of extra texture and colours adding. Will the great British Weather play ball some time soon i ask myself.

Sunday 17 April 2016

Sudan - A first game

Well instead of heading to the wargames paradise of Salute I though I would finally get in a game with the Sudan Collection.

So a quick e mail exchange with old friend Gerry resulted in a visit to Gerry's  "Situation Room". A finer set up I doubt you will find. We used a mere 18 feet x 6 of the total available. While there we were able to survey the setting up of part of his upcoming battle of Borodino - the wing around Utitsa which you can see in the background.

The weather gods have not been good the last few weekends for completing the large playing mats so we played on the base green surface with my added terrain items.

The scenario saw two Egyptian battalions and a gun - with limited ammunition,  lets not make it easy eh..- under siege in a village from a larger force of Mahdist.

 The besieged village of Jandu

The relief column - the Black Watch, R.I.F. , RMLI, a Naval Brigade detachment with Gatling gun, and a squadron each of 19th Hussars, 9th Bengal Lancers, and Guards Camel Regiment. These were also accompanied by supply baggage, engineers and war correspondents.

The Camel Corp squadron dismount in open order to see if there are sneaky Mahdists hiding in the brush. Rather than have hidden map deployments we usedf "blinds" so blank cards and some ambush cards randomly filled each feature so it was completely random as to if "hostiles" were present.

 Mahdist attacks
Pressure builds on the village - time for some "rapid fire" and damn the ammunition!

A company manning the wall were cut down to a man - Scott Pasha was found looking for his escape camel!
The gunners aided by the infantry poured fire onto a spear of Mahdists . They ended up fighting them off hand to hand! The reduced attackers retreated to lick their wounds.  Where was the relief column?

Meanwhile a few ambushes had been sprung against the advancing column ,time to deploy the Gatling and get into line lads!

A vanguard mob of 400 Mahdists appeared having broke off from the village siege and howling as they charged across the field towards the screw gun battery, they encouraged a further mob of Fuzzies to follow them.. this could get tight!

Steady lads - take aim! pick your targets! fire at will... the mobs just reached the battery under withering fire - hacking down the lead gunners - before turning tail...and fleeing

A reformed spears of 1300 Mahdists led by an Emir picked up a head of steam and headed for the fray, the Column commander let them come - whole swathes fell under the disciplined volleys , but still they came - they hit the line , and the Naval Brigade - who suffered a round of Melee before the mob were finally subdued by being charge into the rear by the Bengal lancer - pressed front and rear the mob withered.

At that we called it a day - the garrison had been saved - and the war correspondants had a fine story in the bag for daily papers!

 All tidied up.

Gerry and long time gaming buddy Steve 

We had used the Sands of the Sudan rules - as with any first run out , we got a few things wrong, and identified a few things we thought needed tweaking.. we wrapped up and headed for the Curry house.

Overall a great first game , and day out. A big thanks to Gerry for his hospitality as ever. Looking forward to the next one. 

Sunday 3 April 2016

Sudan - Terrain - Thornbush Zariba

I am still cracking on with terrain elements. I was hoping for a dry weekend to be able to get the 12 x 6 dust sheet I plan to use for the games in June and July, out on the patio to give it the first lot of texturing and painting. Yesterday was rubbish weather, and today kept looking iffy - hopefully the next few might be better.

I decided to do some work on some thorn bush "zariba" sections. These are a horrible prickly bush found in the Sudan that was used to help form a barricade to defend.

For these I turned to an old favourite,  rubberised horsehair -it is probably better not to ask what it really is, the answer might may involve pet ponies and French horse butchers. Although I am sure is man made stuff nowadays. Now you can buy this in small sheets from wargames and railway suppliers - where a piece 4 inches by 6 inches and an inch thick will cost you a pound or two (about £4 a square foot) . This is just madness. If you want a decent amount look on line for an upholstery supplier - this stuff fills sofas. Last year I bought a sheet 8 foot x 4 foot x 1 inch (32 square feet) for £28 including postage - way better value - and it will make a shed load of stuff.  Bocage anyone?

Ok - so here is a walk through

1 - the stash of rubberised horsehair.
2 - Unfold it.

3- Cut with household scissors a strip around  20-25mm wide x 300mm long - does not have to be straight

4 - Cut some basing material - this is 1.5mm ply cut 30mm wide

5 - Liberally apply hot glue (quick) or PVA (slow) to the base

6 - Affix strips of material - and trim ends

7 - Apply pressure until  glue sets

 8 - This is what you get - a regular trimmed hedge ..(or bush -- ooh- er!)

 9 - With scissors remove bits, and cut irregular shapes,cut it a bit thinner in places and tease it apart at bit.

 10 - This is what you end up with

 11 - All basic work is done.

If you want a more European hedge with green leaves - spray a dark colour - allow to dry. Daub with neat PVA cover with mix of scatter material. Once this is dry apply firm hold hair spray to stop it dropping off. 

 12 -I wanted  a dried wood/bush effect - so I hit it with a mid grey spray - from about 15 inches away  and did not cover everything completely.
13- Apply a light drybrush - lighter grey, off white across the material - allow to dry

14 - PVA the base area and add sand mixture - allow to dry.

15 - Drybush the sand material a light sand/off white mix - allow to dry.

16 - Hit it with cheap extra firm hold hair spray which will firm it all up. - Job done!

I made a total of 12 foot in length of zariba in a mix of sizes - 8 x 12 inches,4 x 6 inches,6 x 4  inches - I used just over a square foot of material... with ply cost, glue and hairspray - it cost about £2.50.. and few hours effort over the weekend.

17- This was made from the various off cut clumps added around a larger base. It fits a couple of bases

Still got plenty left for other projects!