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.

Saturday 25 February 2017

Game On - Hammerhead Show 4th March

I have booked a big table for the upcoming Hammerhead show to give "some" of the Sudan collection another public airing.

You will find me on table GB10 - Guisborough "Occasional" Gamers. If you are there pop along and say hello.

I have a "big" Sudan game planned - using Black Powder and bits from the "Sands of the Sudan.

If you are interested in game let me know.

Thursday 23 February 2017

Old West - Viva Zapata!

When I opened my Xmas presents I found another wonderful 54mm casting by Andrea miniatures of an Old West era Mexican.

I have a collection of these 54mm cowboys by Andrea Miniatures from Spain. They are great to paint. This one had such a dynamic pose too. I challenged myself getting some facial hair and 5 o clock shadow on as well. I even had to resort to the magnifying headset to paint the bottle label.

I have another 54mm figure to complete this painting season as well - so the 54mm collection is growing nicely.

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Sudan - The marketplace.

Time for another little side project with completion of a set or two of civilians from the lead pile. These are the Arabs of the Market sets by Connoisseur Miniatures from Bicorne - original Peter Gilder creations.

Of course these are old school style sculpts, they a different style and standard than you would get today.  I think though with a simple paint job and the right setting they do come up well - they have some life about them - classic Gilder.

The smaller market stall is part of the set and is a metal construct with a piece of old handkerchief added over it , fixed into place with PVA given a diluted PVA wash to harden it and given it a paint job.

the other 4 were a set purchased from Adrianswalls These were given a repaint to give them a bit more life

With the rest of the already completed ones added - I think these can work from biblical to modern times!

Saturday 18 February 2017

Sudan - Bashi Bazooks and Mounted infantry

Typically of  course when I came to run the recent battle of El Teb and looked at the OOB there were a couple of small scout/skirmish cavalry units in it. While I could have just used some of the existing units that were not planned to be used I decided to actually get on and paint these up.

These bring a nice splash of colour to the table

I was really impressed with the standard of the casting of these (big improvement Perry - big tick from me)  , and faces are really good. The first 6 completed - I think I will take these up to a 24 figure unit.

I picked up some Boer War Wargames Foundry mounted infantry figures at the York show . They mix in well being sculpted by Perry's anyway - almost near identical bar a different water bottle and kind of rifle - I can live with that. I also found an Empress Miniatures figure in patrol jacket which I just fancied painting up.

Both these units were fielded last weekend - while neither actually ran away - I don't think they did much - but at least they are now blooded!

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Sudan - Major Kitchener

It is great getting to the point in a large project where you can indulge yourself with oddball bits and pieces. I have over the last few years acquired a number of reference books and frequently take inspiration for thing to do from them - this little addition is one of them.

Major Kitchener was one of the most brilliant intelligent officers of his era fluent in local languages. He spent the winter of 1884-5 criss crossing the Sudan by camel with his guard of  'Ababda Bedouin (I need to make a small unit of these yet) scouting out the way for the Gordon Relief column. He eventually rose up the army ranks and led the reconquest of the Sudan in 1898, becoming Kitchener of Khartoum , Earl Kitchener and on to become the face on the WW1 recruitment posters. Of course like most famous British Generals he was Irish!

The rider is a Perry Bashi Bazook figure with old long musket. 
The camel is a Perry British Camel Corps one with milliput saddle/cloth added. I remade the rein with garden twisty wire and soldered it into hand and onto the camel head bridle

I think his services will be useful when it comes to any large game for scouting the enemy positions.

The original inspiration for this one.

Sunday 12 February 2017

Gaming - Sudan - 3rd Battle of El Teb 29th Feb 1884

A fine days gaming was had with the lads from the Old Guard Wargame club today. I set up a Black Powder rules game to re fight the battle of 3rd El Teb. This battle was the initial driver for doing my Sudan collection so its great to see it played out.

The table we had was 12x6 with plenty of troops for both sides - as per the scenario in the Black Powder rules book . We stuck to this as it was the first BP game for us all and we were all learning. 4 Brits - Roy - CinC , Martin 1st Brigade, James 2nd brigade, John - Cavalry Brigade, and 3 Mahdist players - Pete Cinc, Steve - 1st Rhub- lots of Beja infantry, and Stuart 2nd Rhub - the mounted stuff and myself umpiring to try and learn the rules and how to run a BP game.

it turned into a real duff up. It was played with a great spirit by all - a great game...  so on with the action!

The British struggled to get themselves in order with various failed command roles in the first few turns. The mahdists marksmen and captured gunners were also unerringly finding their mark at long range too. 

all quiet 
The visible mahdist defenders are deployed 
The imperial column advances
its a large distance to cover to take the village
The brigades start to expand to check for mahdists on their flank
Scouts lead the way forward
Excellent long range shooting from the mahdist guns and skirmishers cause problems
Mahdist rifleman appear from the wadi 
The Black Watch deploy to chase off pesky marksman
just as 4 Beja warbands turn up. The Hussars join the fray cutting one down completely 

The right deploys into line , but the centre is a bit thin....
The gatling deploys to provide more support
The mahdist mounted troops bound across the wadi to press 1st Brigade
Terrifying charge are held .. but only just , casualties are taken.
Maximum firepower deployed....
Volley fire!!! sees of the cavalry ..
it wasn't a good time for the gatling to jam boys!! the gunners are cut down!
The RMLI find themselves under pressure - with screaming Beja all around..
it gets worse as the Yorks & Lance retire leaving the RMLI surrounded - and  massacred!
The British pressure on both flanks finally breaks both mahdist brigades and the army  flees!

Brits - Martin, James, John... CinC Roy is hiding!
Mahdists - Steve, Pete Stuart  

It was touch and go for the Brits , the initial poor command roles left them problems to resolve. Their  rolls finally came good in combination with some fragile mahdist break tests . It could easily have been two British brigades breaking with a few different rolls . 

Overall for a first play of the rules we felt they went well, and were being picked up well. Certainly we will want to play more with the scenario and stats etc ..we will play them again.

We had enough time left just to stick some ancients on the table for a knock about Impetus game - more of that another time. 

Not sure whats up for the next days game , but looking forward to it. 

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Sudan - Indian Army units & York show

I finished the final unit I needed for the Indian army brigade that was was involved in the Sudan. The unit is the 17th Bengal Infantry the Loyal Poorbeah. Its made up from Perry metal figures and has them with covered turbans. It is 60 figures in close order, two separate officers and a mounted officer. Nice simple khaki colour scheme.

The entire brigade consists of the 15th, 17th and 28th Bengal supported by the Queens Own Madras Sappers and Miners.

The full brigade in square watching our for the Fizzy Wuzzies.

Last weekend also saw an attendance at Vapnartak the York show - the first of this years.  I will be at Hammerhead in early March with the Sudan game coming up too.

As the lead pile has been significantly reduced I did I have a bit of stock up. I picked up more terrain items, some hills which just need a bit of PVA and sand adding to match my existing ones. A ready made set to make up a wadi , and some more wall bits. I stocked up a few figures for the last Camel Corp regiment (Mounted Infantry), some Bashi Bazouks and figures suitable for crewing a paddle steamer. I picked up a few books as well.

the Wadi sections about 7 feet altogether

Vac form hills , and ready made ones

Figures and some tokens to use as markers 

Yes that does mean a future Zulu project!

A good day out , meeting up with various friends through the day. Next weekend sees a full days gaming with the Sudan collection in use for the battle of El Teb