Thursday 30 December 2021

Minifigs Samurai armies progress

I have returned to painting my mainly old Minifig Samurai miniatures with a few Dixon figures purchased many, many ears ago. Having done a couple of army parades as I progressed to keep myself motivated, there was one thing that bothered me, and that was the infantry basing which looked all a bit too regimented and close order. 

Since I started the project I have been doing more reading about the armies, their equipment, organisation, formations, etc. This along with some timely comments as I posted painting progress updates (thank you Rob) has convinced me for the need to rebase all the figures I have done. The rebasing aim will be to give the impression of more open formations which tended to be used. Additionally, I want the show the combined pike and arquebus/bow formations without one row of figures being stuck behind the other.

My previous style of basing is behind a rebased unit

The looser basing approach allows arquebus figures to placed between pikes rather than behind as with my previous basing approach,

Now is a good time to do the rebasing. I am on holiday and Melbourne temperatures for the next couple of days are expected to be in the high 30's Celsius (approximately 94 Fahrenheit or more). I can apply the paint, PVA glue and flock and wait no more than 15 minutes for the stuff to try when placed outside in the sun. This really speeds up the process. I aim to have all the rebasing completed over the next couple of days.

Preparation work has already begun. I use a chisel to remove the miniatures from the old bases, and for the most part they come away cleanly with just a little bit of tidying up to do.

Monday 27 December 2021

Saxon buildings and a couple of bridges

In preparation for a few Norman vs. Saxon games, which will most likely be using scenarios from One Hour Wargames, I needed to create some buildings and bridges. I use the pictures from paper soldiers "Wargame 1066" by Peter Dennis as a guide to the design of the terrain items.

A band of paper soldier Saxons (42mm) with the new terrain pieces.

As with my previous terrain, I tend to use blocks of wood cut then roughly painted. This allows me to pack away the terrain without having to worry about breakages, and it is cheap. I used to use just the blocks painted, but now I use a Gesso Paste to create the roofs which in most cases have the most texture. This helps speed up the painting process with washes and dry brushing.

The building process once cut moving left to right. The Gesso paste gets  textured with a toothpick.

A Saxon church and buildings suitable to represent a village. All the building features are painted on using various washes and dabbed on blobs of paint for stone buildings or stripes for timber buildings.

Saxons defend their village.

The bridges take a similar approach to the buildings. Normally I would not have applied the Gesso Paste, but decided to give it a try and see if it was effective.

The cut wood has some dowel added to the sides. Then Gesso paste added to give a rough texture. A strip of card cut the width of the bridge is used to give a ripple effect of logs or planks.

A close up photo of the finished bridge. As with the buildings, these are painted with washes and a few lines to emphasise the planks.

These terrain items were completed over two days. One day to cut up the wood, stick and apply the Gesso paste. Then a second day to paint.

Sunday 26 December 2021

A couple of wargaming items for Christmas

A couple of Christmas presents were wargaming and modelling related this year. The Gallic troops by HaT will allow me to expand the number of Gaul units for my Punic War collection, while the Green Stuff was a timely present to replace my existing Green Stuff which is old and well past its used by date.

Christmas presents

On the tabletop at the moment is a Norman vs. Saxon game using the paper soldier armies. I am hoping to play a few quick games with them over the next week or so, but I will first need to make some dark age buildings and a suitable bridge or two.

A game underway

Norman spearmen cross the river while Saxon forces wait on the hilltop.

Friday 24 December 2021

Trying out the Airfix Battles game

Only a little bit of painting has occurred since the last post and a couple more Samurai bases were completed, and as I look into the boxes containing the remaining unpainted Samurai it would appear I am now two-thirds of the way complete. I certainly have enough painted now for a small one-hour wargames style game.

On wargaming front I was able to try out scenario 1 from the Airfix Battles game. Rather than use the boxed game and counters I opted to setup the tabletop. The rules are fairly straightforward with most of the information is easily at hand on the unit cards and order cards.

First game using scenario 1 to learn the basic rules

I do like the approach the game has used to activate units with Command cards. You are able to hold a number of Command cards in your hand depending upon your leader's capability. For example, a Captain can hold 4 cards and a Major 5 cards. Your leader's rank also determines how many Command cards you can play during your turn.

The Command cards can be used face down to move a unit or have it fire. The preferred option is to use Command cards face up as they provide a variety of extra movement or combat capabilities for units, while other cards provide the ability to interrupt your opponent's activities to shoot or take cover for example.

At the end of a turn player's draw a number of additional cards to refresh their hands.

For a bit of fun I tried the game using some of my Warhammer 40K figures, and I may well progress this further and create some unit cards specifically for the 40K units. The Command cards should be reusable without modification.

Saturday 18 December 2021

Ancients campaign - turn 4 game 1

The first land game of campaign turn 4 has Rome and Carthage facing off in Northern Italy at the battle of Bellunum 212 BC. I ended up playing the game three times as I was trying out some army resolve rules, replacing the previous rules where the first army to be reduced to one unit had to retire. The new test rules have an army losing its resolve when they have half or less army resolve points than the enemy. Resolve points are calculated for each unit still available:

  • 1 point for each light infantry, light cavalry, warband, and artillery unit
  • 2 points for each heavy infantry, heavy cavalry and elephant unit

At the end of each turn a resolve check is made to see if an army will retire.

The Roman General and troops (all HaT plastic figures) doing a quick count of his resolve points.

Carthage has the advantage with two armies in the region and will gain an additional rally chance card for the game, replacing a no event card.

The order of battle is...


  • 4 x heavy infantry
  • 2 x light infantry
  • 1 x catapults


  • 2 x heavy infantry
  • 2 x light infantry
  • 1 x warband (Gauls)
  • 1 x light cavalry
  • 1 x heavy cavalry

Rome has deployed their centre well forward intending to get their heavy infantry involved as soon as possible and start wearing down the Carthaginians. Carthage on the other hand had a long line with light cavalry and Gaul on one flank and their heavy cavalry on the other.

Carthage's heavy cavalry commanded by their general is positioned on the flanks.

Catapults are positioned on the other flank, hoping to create some disruption in the enemy.

On to the game...

The Roman centre pushes forward while Carthage moves forward on the flanks and decides to wait in the centre.

Part of the centre clashes, but other Roman infantry have been delayed. On the flank the Gauls charge a somewhat unprepared light infantry.

The Romans appear to be struggling at this point and the flanks have been won by the Carthaginians.

The Roman centre pushes forward trying to breakthrough before their flanks are attacked.

The battle is definitely in the balance as Rome has had some success in the centre, but it is now fighting off attacks on its flanks.

Carthage's centre is just holding on and their heavy cavalry may prove a threat. While on the other flank their light cavalry are delaying other heavy infantry from joining the centre engagement.

The Roman commander's unit is committed to the fight in the centre and is quickly under pressure from all sides.

In a bitter fight in the centre Roman heavy infantry are just able to hold on, while other units start to move in from the flank. 

A count of army resolve points at this time has:

Rome (6 points)
  • 3 heavy infantry = 6 points
Carthage (3 points)
  • 1 heavy cavalry = 2 points
  • 1 light infantry = 1 point
A victory to the Romans as they have double the resolve points. It was a game that both sides at one time of the other seemed to have the advantage. However, in the end the Romans were just able to hang in there and grind out a victory.

Out of the three games played testing out the resolve rules, two went in favour of the Romans, so I am happy for this game's result to stand.

Saturday 11 December 2021

Ancients sea battle and campaign turn 4 moves

Ancients campaign turn 4 began with a sea battle to decide whether Rome or Carthage would get the opportunity to be moving first or second. The winner of this game gets to move second and with it the advantage of countering any of their opponents moves. 

The sea battle is being fought somewhere along Southern Italian coastline.

Start of the game. Both forces have chosen to split into two groups due to the rocky islands dotting this coastline. Rome's fleet is on the right and Carthage's on the left.

The fleets quickly engage in the open water, but around the rocky islands both fleets manoeuvre for position uncertain of their opponents intentions.

A close up of the scratch built ships. Already some of the ships have become entangled during ramming and boarding actions.

Around the rocky islands the ships are finally engaged in battle. While in the centre the battle is well underway with multiple ships becoming entangled. Although Rome appears to have gained a slight advantage by keeping their ships all grouped together.

In the end Rome was able to press home their advantage and Carthage's fleet is defeated.

With the sea battle decided it was now time for campaign recruitment and moves. As the campaign stood at the end of turn 3, Rome was unable to recruit an army as they did not have the numerical advantage in any of the regions. Carthage on the other hand could recruit and chose to recruit one army in Spain.

Campaign position as at the end of turn 3.

Winning the sea battle was important to Rome as it meant Carthage would want to keep two armies in both their Spain and Africa regions, to deter any Roman counter moves where they moved one of their armies into these regions and created a one on one situation. In they end Carthage moved another army into Northern Italy from Spain. After considering the situation Rome decided to keep their armies put for this turn.

The positions at the start of campaign turn 4

Two land battles will be fought during this turn in Southern and Northern Italy. The battle in Southern Italy will be important for Rome, for if they can win they will be able to recruit again the next turn.

Friday 10 December 2021

Ancient campaign beginning turn 4

I had a look back to find out when I last played a game from the Ancients, 2nd Punic War, campaign. It was way back in late October. After re-reading the posts of previous games to refresh my memory, I setup the campaign for the start of turn 4 covering the period 212 BC to 211 BC. In the previous turn two battles were fought and on both occasions the Romans were victorious. These wins were desperately needed as Rome was definitely on the ropes with Carthaginian forces invading both Northern and Southern Italy after a series of victories in opening campaign turns.

The campaign at the start of turn 4 covering 212 BC to 211 BC 

Campaign turns as always begin with a Naval battle to decide which side will get the advantage of moving first. One addition to the tabletop this time is the addition of a clear sheet or heavy plastic over my blue felt marked with hexes. The idea for the plastic sheet and information comes from one of the blogs I follow -

Using the plastic sheet has two advantages:

  1. It provides a reflective look or sheen to the sea.
  2. It is much easier to move the ship which being made of wood have a tendency to snag on the feld when moved.

Tabletop with the new clear plastic sheet over the blue felt.

The fleets face off.

A closer view

The sea battle will be fought over the weekend.

Tuesday 7 December 2021

The post turns up earlier than expected

Just over a week ago I took the opportunity to buy the Airfix Battles game which as on sale. It was a game I have thought about buying in the past when it first came out, but just never got around to doing anything about it. It turned up on my doorstep less than ten days after ordering if from the UK which was a very nice surprise.

My latest purchase.

It is now on my list of games to play along with Zombicide, now that I have painted all the miniatures for the game, and also I must not forget the next turn of my Ancients campaign to see it the tide has turned for the Romans. Although at the moment I do have a ACW game on the tabletop which should be cleared by the weekend.

ACW game in progress on the tabletop

Friday 3 December 2021

Zombie miniatures painted

I have finally completed all the Zombies and six character figures from the Zombicide boardgame. There are some 70 odd miniatures in all. I will be reading the rules this weekend and hopefully having a few games over the nest week to become familiar with the rules. All being well at Christmas I be having a remote game of Zombicide with the kids who are both living abroad and will not be home for Christmas for a second year.

Here are a few photographs, not the best lighting unfortunately.

All miniatures painted

Three of the characters

The remaining characters

With these done I can now return to painting the Samurai armies.

Saturday 27 November 2021

A week and weekend of painting

While I still have more samurai figures to paint. Their painting progress has been interrupted by the painting of zombie miniatures from the Zombicide board game. My aim is to get them all zombies finished and ready for a game at Christmas. 

The latest samurai unit to be painted

This week most of my hobby time has been spent trying to put a dint in the painting of some 70 plus zombies. I have kept the paint really simple and used a black wash for speed. This seems to work well for that zombie look, along with a lot of dark red for that gory look. At the very beginning I did try some contrast paints, but it did not give me the finish I was looking for.

Zombies completed so far

A closer look

Picking up from last week when I made some rocks from some left over mortar I had. I sealed the rocks with some watered down PVA glue and a black pigment. Both were commented suggestions to reduce dust and help bring out the texture. So thank you. 

The photos below are of the tabletop setup for a quick ACW game tomorrow all being well.

The recently completed rocks

The figures are MinFigs 15mm

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Rock formations

Two weeks ago I was repairing a small brick wall in the garden and at the end of the job I had some mortar remaining. Not wanting to waste it and with an idea forming to create some cheap terrain, I put the unused mortar on some boards and set it aside for a week to let it dry.

Unused mortar set aside to dry

Once the mortar was dry and using a hammer I broke up the mortar into a variety chunks mainly of between 1-2 inches.

My collection of rocks after a bit of hammering.

Now I have a nice selection of rocks to make difficult terrain, rocky rivers, and possibly building rubble. Cost wise this cost nothing as it was left over mortar, but if I had to purchase some mortar to do this again the cost of a bag was between $5 to $10.

Rough terrain


Rocky river

I have noticed there is a bit of dust with the rocks and I may in the future dilute some PVA glue and give all the rocks a quick coat to seal them.