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, 9 May 2022

Gaming - ACW - 2nd Manassas - Alter of Freedom

 Yesterday saw a meet up of the various Old Guard regulars and we had decided to get the ACW stuff out. Stig had previously picked up a copy of Alter of Freedom and after a couple of small games that went really well he wanted us to run a bigger one. 

The rules major on the grand tactical- it’s all about commanding  your divisions and brigades and not worrying about formations or what weapons the guys are carrying. We have made sabot trays to hold 6 stands - each of these represent an infantry brigade .

As we are using 10mm rather than 6 that the system is designed for so we increased the size of the battlefield accordingly .

The view down the tabie . The Bull Run river is only crossable at bridges or fords . The main stone bridge would be the main victory objective for the Confedarates along with not having Jackson’s army wing -which starts heavily outnumbered - not losing 5 brigades or more. The game is 7 turns long .

Robert E Lee arrives on turn 1 with some of Longstreets divisions , Longstreet himself does not turn up until the end of turn 5 

The Union army is 5 Corps strong with a break point of 9 brigades destroyed. Overall the CSA army break point is 10 .

There is a neat in turn clock system which means it’s not  guaranteed all units will move - so if you want to ensure a division follows order you need to spend command points and move priority is then done in a descending order of points bid . 

On turn 7 the Union just managed to hold the bridge from an attack by JEB Stuart’s cavalry that had crossed the river at the Ford and chased off the Union brigade at one end . Meanwhile an outflanked and fatigued Union unit at the other end held off two Confederate brigades - aided by Ian throwing a 1 for the CSA close combat - anything but would have seen a victory . The Union had lost 3 brigades with a lot more on the verge . The CSA had not lost any. However as the day ended it was a draw and Lee would choose to break off again .

Martin  spent the day marching his Union reinforcements to the sound of the guns - we all agreed to increase movement rates next time .

Overall it was rated a very good game , and everyone enjoyed the rules - they will definitely be getting more gameplay. 

Painting is currently curtailed due to an injury so the projects are a bit backed up at the moment. Things are on the mend however slowly  

Friday, 18 March 2022

Normandy 44 - St Mere L’Eglise hospice & Battery Casemates

 First up a nice new large 15mm building . this is a a 3D print from Frontline Terrain. It’s a copy of the Hospice building at St Mere L’Eglise in Normandy . The walled and garden area is an A4 sheet with walls etc made from balsa walls , ready mix tile grout . The gates are from plasticard. the cobbled paths are from a sheet i found in the bits box.  

It’s by Frontline Terrain 3D printed . The roof and 1st floor all comes apart , with some nice internal stair detail too. 

Looks like General Patton has his eye on it !

I have made it removable from the walled area so it can be used in a more built up area .

There is a great photographs from just after D Day that shows more detail of the large walled area with extra buildings and a crashed glider etc . So something for future developments 


Next up are the four main casemates for the Azeville Battery . This battery was located north of Utah beach and the para DZ’s and was armed with 105mm guns . It was assaulted by a small number of paras on D Day  but they didn’t take it . It took a proper assault on the 9th of June to knock it out along with fire from the USS Nevada’s 14” guns.
Again by Frontline Terrain 3D printed.

I visited this site last year on holiday and it’s very intact - we were able to wander around the underground galleries, rooms and casemates. That is where I picked up the camouflage options . These will see action this weekend for an attack on the battery as part of my US forces campaign ladder .

These are 3D printed- again by Frontline Terrain 


And here are a few shots of the weekend game 

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Normandy 44 - Soft skins etc .

 It’s backk to a bit of of WW2 stuff for a few paint session , I picked up a pile of soft skin stuff a while ago and decided to crack these Mostly battlefront resin items, and a few 3d printed options



6 trucks- 2 are 3d printed Studebakers from BPM, the others are from Battlefront 

two jeeps - two trailers - two m32 cargo carriers 3D printed from BPM  bit ropey but they are from the where the hell do I get these from stable. 

4 3/4 ton trucks - 4 drivers - 6 crew , two guns - all from battlefront

2 DUKWs , 2 drivers , 14 full figure passengers - plus two separate interchangeable cargo loads 


Next up a collection of 3D printed terrain items. 

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Gaming - Assaulting the Azeville Battery - Normandy 44

 James and i met up today to play through another scenario for our Normandy campaign ladder. This time it was the initial assault just after D Day of the Azeville battery - which is on the Cotentin just north of Utah beach. I have recently completed the 4 casemates which i found as a 3d printed option (i will do a post on this shortly. 

The assault is make up of relatively small number of the scattered paratroopers for the 101st AB. 

The four casemates with 105mm guns are protected with a range of tobruks , bunkers , entrenchments , barbed wire and some minefields. The lightly armed Paras approach from the eastern frontal side of the battery

covered by their own MG's the paras got through the wire and subdued a tobruk
They were working their way around to the rear as they came under sustained fire from the rear bunkers and a 3.7mm AA gun

they tried a desperate assault on the bunker but were held off - and had to retreat , with less than started with - they tried again from the other side of the casemate

but it was not to be - the defence was too powerful - they decided to retreat back to cover - the battery continued to engage the US forces around UTAH beach

This first assault was repulsed with the paras not having enough men to absorb the battery position defensive fire.

A few days later other American infantry were back , but with a barrage from the 14" guns from the USS Nevada and tank support - this would make all the difference! in addition the assault be be from the western rear side of the battery .


the barrage knocked the hell out of the battery destroying an MG bunker completly and pinning down the defenders under the weight of fire .

3 Shermans advance looking for any  anti tank defence - the infantry at the hedge sprayed MG with no care to the ammo being spent . 

The tanks led the infantry forward plastering the pillbox - which went quiet.

the German defenders were being picked off with volume of fire - or were still cowering pinned as the tanks broke through the wire . The battery commander led a brave charge that knocked out a Sherman - but that was it as the commander died after - the battery surrendered. 

it was a good gaming afternoon!

Sunday, 20 February 2022

Gaming - Napoleonic- Battle of the Katzbach 1813 - In the Grandest Manner

 This week saw the return of large Napoleonic gaming. I have spent the week with some old friends and made new ones . We had 10 players altogether,  5 French , 5 Prussian/ Russian. We were using Gerry’s massive 10mm collection in his “Situation Room bunker . The rules are Gerry’s “In the Grandest Manner “ set designed for these enormous battles . The tables are 24 feet long , with around 35,000 10mm figures used from Gerry’s total of around 100,000. I was playing on the French side.

The battle has a lot of standard and poor quality troops along with the added complication of bad weather each turn . Obviously rain can be very detrimental to firing. Our troops had to deploy in divisions from column of March across a limited road network and a river only crossable at the few bridges .

The battle went to and fro with villages being assaulted and changing hands - at least you were dry in them !

In the end we got a very historical result with the French being broken and chased away but that didn’t happen until very late in the day . 

All in all a great weekend of gaming plus being social was had . Gerry’s wife Anne also looks after us with lunch and teas and coffees through the day , and booking restaurants for the evening she’s a star . 

So just a selection of various pictures - with these large games you get so absorbed in your own area you rarely really know what is going on across the rest of the table - seems pretty historical to me .

Next one should be March time with luck 

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.

15mm Terrain bits
15mm WW2 Germans

On the PREPATION table.
28mm Sudan.

15mm Napoleonics .