Tuesday, 2 June 2020

A Visit to Burrough Hill Iron Age Hillfort, Leicestershire

Last weekend my girlfriend took us to Burrough Hill for a picnic. Having lived nearby for most of my formative years I'd come here quite often both on family and school trips. The latter was quite memorable for an incident which involved a teacher wishing to educate us about the defensive nature of the hillfort by forming us into attackers and defenders. Naturally being a group of rowdy school kids it erupted into a chaotic mass brawl on the earthen ramparts as we envisaged ourselves as bloodthirsty warriors intent on blood and glory.

The recent picnic was a far more relaxed and gentle affair I'll hasten to add. But other than the joyful delight of sitting in the summer sun and marvelling at the view, I also took the opportunity to take a few photos. As with anything like this my mind also starts to gravitate towards wargaming and things like "how would this look as a piece of modelling terrain?" etc etc.

Rather than repeat the history of the site in my rather inadequate way, I'll post the link here to the University of Leicester who have done some sterling work on the fort over the years. It's still astounding to me that excavations have shown occupation of the area going back to the Neolithic period:

Leicester University Burrough Hill Project






Sunday, 17 May 2020

Wars of the Roses Yorkist and Lancastrian Armies

Here I prophesy: this brawl today,
Grown to this faction in the Temple Garden,
Shall send, between the red rose and the white
A thousand souls to death and deadly night
(Shakespeare. Henry VI. Act 2 Scene 4)

Somewhere in England...my Wars of the Roses Yorkist and Lancastrian Armies. Edward IV and the Earl of Warwick on the left do battle with the Earl of Northumberland. All figures are Perry Miniatures 28mm.

Still a way to go with more boxes of bow and bill on order plus some bombards. I'll probably make a start on Henry VII and Somerset's retinues next.





Thursday, 30 April 2020

28mm Boxer Rebellion British Marines

A quick one today. The last few days has seen me adopt a strategy of 'grab it and paint it'. So, anything that was kicking around in a box for a while was undercoated and went on the painting table. I managed to complete a few Saga units of Vikings and Normans (picked up about three years ago from ebay) and these Boxer Rebellion figures from Victorious Miniatures. Note: I did paint the webbing in white rather than khaki. Just a personal preference.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

28mm Anglo Zulu War Figures and 4Ground Building


After being sidetracked by several part finished projects I finally got round to completing a few more of my Anglo Zulu War collection. I'd say this is now 99% done with only another 4Ground building and a handful of Zulus and Brits outstanding.

I'm blaming Wargames Illustrated for this foray into another period. I'd dropped into the WI office before Christmas with some painted buildings for them and before I left James had given me about ten plastic Zulu sprues from Warlord.

Along with the Warlord figures I managed to pick up some Empress models from the Bring and Buy at the Hammerhead show and some unpainted extras from my mate Rob. So in all it's due to folks generosity and an eye for a bargain that I've managed to collect quite a tidy army for both sides. Hopefully when this lockdown is over I'll be able to post up some pictures from our games at the club.



Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Milites Mundes Rules Test 28mm Egyptians Vs Hittites

Last night at the club we had a crack at playtesting the new Gripping Beast 'Milites Mundi' rules. Originally designed for smaller scale battles (10mm, 6mm etc) it was decided by Simon and Lester to run a quick encounter game using 28mm.

This larger scale was fine and just meant that we had to reduce the size of the units. The main thing was to navigate the rules and work out what on earth we were doing.

Naturally the army lists for New Kingdom Egyptians and Hittites contained some interesting specialities. The use of 'chariot runners' adding an extra die for the Hittite assault chariots would show its worth later on. This, it seems, is the key to Milites Mundi: getting those bonus die and using them carefully to break down the enemy with pressure. It seems the more you initially succeed, the more bonus die you will receive for your next round. Giving an example of impetus I suppose.

On mine and Lester's side the Egyptians had taken some points to upgrade their troop choices. So we had a unit of Sherdan Guard and added armour and 'superior fighters' (I think that's the term) to the Chariot arm.

I noticed a while ago that there was much debate amongst Ancient wargamers about the previously assumed idea that chariot troops were some kind of wonder weapon - just bashing into the enemy line and scattering all before them. Rather they are now considered to have been used in a harrying and pursuit/flank attack role.

Disregarding such nuances at first I decided to just throw everything forward and see what happened. This....is a bad idea when using chariots against close order infantry! (I'm not a seasoned Ancients player by the way). We received a few bonus points for charging, superior fighters etc. But the close order infantry started on six dice per unit compared to our three per chariot. I had added an attached commander to get some more points, but together with some poor dice rolling from me it turned into a slugging match. The infantry had a distinct benefit from supports and the best I could hope for was pushing them back to break their battle line.

On the other side Lester was having similar issues, but at least he had better dice rolling in his favour. The crunch came when the center of the Egyptian army came under pressure and a unit of Marines were pushed back and the Hittite chariots hit them in the flank. Although in the last stages I managed a similar success by wheeling a chariot unit around and adopting the tactic I should have used all along, bashing into a disordered unit and wiping it out.

I really enjoyed the tension of the game, reflecting the push and shove of hand to hand combat as points are added and lost to the dice rolls. The momentum points (as they are called) really make you think about where you need to spend them and achieve success. Especially if you're on the back foot and the amount you have get fewer.
Hittite Chariots fly into the attack
The armies square up for a fight, while the players feverishly try to work out the rules
Trying to keep the cohesion of your units as the enemy fire and casualties are taken.
 An Egyptian commander urges his chariots on.
Hittite infantry looking fierce!
More Hittite infantry causing a headache for the Egyptian general.




Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Warlord Games 28mm Panzer IV Painting Guide Ambush Camo


This model was kindly donated to me by my mate Robin. I had committed myself to a Monday night game of Chain of Command - under condition that I brought along a painted Panzer IV for the Ardennes campaign. This photo is the build, which was pretty easy despite the superglue being a bit crap. 
Next I undercoated it with GW Zandri Dust spray. Avoiding the usual Middlestone colour spray from Army Painter as I think it's a bit too yellow for my taste.
I intended to paint an ambush camo design, so the next stage was to paint circular type blobs in Vallejo Cavalry Brown and German Camo Green. Making these overlap in some places.

Then I added the dots around the blob patterns again using German Camo Green. Then dotted the blobs themselves with GW Zandri Dust.

  1. I gave a heavy painting of GW Rhinox Hide across the tracks and the base of the armour. This was a quick and heavy brushing to cover all the tracks and wheels so I could avoid having to paint the tracks themselves in a black or grey metallic.

Next I did an ink wash all over the vehicle with GW Agrax Earthshade. Once dry I then did a quick dry brush across the tracks and wheels with Vallejo Light Mud. Gradually flicking the brush all over the vehicle with the same colour to create a worn look.

Finally I painted the MG's in black and then added the decals.

Friday, 7 February 2020

28mm Colonel John Frost WW2 using Contrast Paints


I have been dabbling with the Contrast paints again. Despite being highly sceptical at first they've now finally won me over. I think once you get used to them you can achieve some lovely effects in a very short space of time. Which is great if you have a huge lead mountain like I do. This Wargames illustrated Giants in Miniature character figure was completed in about 45 minutes. I'll try out some more figures in the coming days and post up the results.

For those interested. I used a combination of Instar and Games Workshop contrast paints. The full list is here:
GW Guilliman Flesh for the skin.
GW Agarros Dunes for the smock.
GW Snakebite Leather for the trousers and gun butt.
GW Creed Camo for the helmet, webbing, pouches and gaiters.
GW Black Templar for the gun and boots, chinstrap etc.
GW Creed Camo and Militarum Green 50/50 mix (or Instar Forest Green) for the camo splashes.
GW Wyldwood for the camo splashes.