Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Wow. The new Google Pics that replaced Picasa really sucks. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Photo review of Shapeways 1/100 scale pre-World War 2 US tanks

I've always been interested in the U.S. Army immediately prior to WW2. I have a book of tanks that was my father's that gives details on the pre-war tanks that never saw combat. When Flames of War 1st Edition was out (I played the free web version originally), there was a supplement that included stats for those very same tanks.

Recently, something made me scratch that itch and I saw where some enterprising soul has them on Shapeways in sizes from 1/100 up through 1/48. They are NOT cheap.

But I ordered one each M1 and M2A2 light tanks, and M2 and M2A1 medium tanks. They arrived Tuesday.
First up is the M1 Combat Car:
Here is a link to the digital render on Shapeways

Next, the M2A2 Combat Car, later Light Tank.
Here is a link to the digital render on Shapeways

This is the M2 Medium Tank.
Here is a link to the digital render on Shapeways


Close up of one of the four barbette machine guns
Quarter view 
And finally, the M2A1 Medium. Note how delicate the gun barrels are. In fact, I broke off the 37mm barrel when I picked up the turret to put on top of the tank. My fault, but still easily done.
Here is a link to the digital render on Shapeways
All of these tanks are available in other sizes, including 1/48, 1/56, and 1/72. They are by Arctic Skunk Designs by mpennock
I hope you find these pictures useful.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

San Antonio Muster, 25 July 2015

Some of the LSHM leadership have been organizing small mini-conventions to get people to try new games. Yesterday was the second time I participated.

I brought the 28mm LPE game out. Although the "con" only ran from 11am to 3pm, I was asked to run the game twice, so we went until 4:30.

I ran four players each time, French against Anglo-Brunswick. The games were bloodbaths, as LPE tends to be. I think the players really enjoyed themselves, as their was a lot of spirited mocking of each other and cheering at the dice.

Here are the best pics I could find. First, the table all set and ready to go:

Here I am helping the players work out a combat. The line of British flags in the foreground are Ray's beautiful Foundry figures.

Hmm. Again I'm pointing at toy soldiers.

And finally, the entire attending crowd gathered behind my game for a group shot.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

New figures and preparing for San Antonio Muster on 25 July

I mentioned two painting services in my last post. The one that had the problem with my order has been quite understanding and is working to fix it. People make mistakes and they are even implementing an idea I gave them to prevent it happening again.

I said I would name the other painting service after I received some figures. I am VERY happy to introduce you to Nigel Billington's Paintedsolider.net. You may have seen Nigel's work on TheMiniaturesPage.com, where he posts as "de Ligne."

Nigel is working on my Eureka, Minden and Fife & Drum figures. Here are pictures of his work on Eureka Arquebusiers de Grassin and Minden Legion de Hainaut. He did not base them at my request, as I have found that different painters' work can be tied together in my collection by having the same basing style. I think you will agree that he has done a terrific job! I'm looking forward to the Saxons, Prussians, and Austrians he has now.

Sorry for the photography. I’m crap at it.

Legion de Hainaut:

Mounted Arquebusiers de Grassin:

These figures from Nigel are filling some holes in my SYW collection, namely light troops and Prussian cavalry. I have some ideas for a new campaign and hope to post about them later.

Reduction of the lead pile has been a goal of mine. No, I’m not painting them. I find painting to be an increasingly frustrating and unfulfilling endeavor. So I shipped off a truly enormous number of figures to Nigel and other services. I still have an embarrassingly large supply, but feel I am finally accomplishing something with figures that have been around for years.

Meanwhile I have been preparing for the LPE game that I will put on at our club’s mini-convention, San Antonio Muster, on 25 July. I have placed a number of orders for bases and basing material, but they will probably not arrive in time, so I will be using the figures as is. I should at least have the primered bases seen below painted to match Ray’s British bases. Here are a couple pictures of a game that Ray and I played while he was in town last week:

We played two quick games. I routed him as the French, then he ground me down and destroyed every last one of my units when I played British. But he only had a couple left himself. It reminded us both of how much fun we have playing it.

It will be fun to introduce new players to this game next Saturday.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July!

I decided that I want to try blogging on a regular basis. So I decided that fortnightly seemed about right.


What to write about?

I played a demo game of the new version of GW's Warhammer Fantasy Battles yesterday. Titled Age of Sigmar, it is the new game set in the post-Apocalyptic GW universe.

To me the game plays a lot like the GW Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, only without any interesting "fluff." My reaction was a definite, "Meh." The figures themselves show an amazing amount of detail--too bad the detail is on figures that are quite definitely of no interest to me.

Then I looked at the downloads to make old figures compatible with the new game. Umm...double meh.

Maybe I'm just getting old, but GW lost me a few years ago. I refer any reader that has made it this far to my old post on the blog Ray and I share:  Ten Years of Dabbling in Warhammer

I recently received a batch of painted figures from a service that I regularly use. Sadly, this batch was short 24 mounted figures, and the infantry suffered from several shortcomings. I am at least partially to blame, as I had become accustomed to a level of service that didn't require micromanaging by myself. Mea culpa.

On another front, though, I have contracted with a new painting service (which I will name later upon receipt of figures) in order to reduce my lead pile. The service is VERY knowledgeable and communication has been great. I hope to post pictures very soon.

The last thing I will mention today is a company that makes bases and movement trays. Shogun Miniatures is a great service.

Years ago, Ray and I agreed to base all of our 25/28mm figures on 20mm squares for foot and 25mm x 50mm bases for mounted. Then we use sabots or movement trays to work with different rule sets. This was one of the best decisions I've ever made in wargaming.

Shogun makes outstanding steel movement trays in a huge variety of sizes. They also have some very good magnetic bases. Please look them up and give them a try if you need anything like this. Tell them Ed from Texas referred you.

Cheers. Time to go try to keep the spaniels calm as the locals fire off a gazillion fireworks.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Organizing and repairs

Talking about LPE on the Chipco Games Yahoo Group got me back in touch with my friend Steve S. Steve is primarily an ancients and medieval gamer (he is listed in the credits of several of the Warhammer Ancients Battles supplements), but enjoys all of the Chipco Games.

Recently Steve has been conducting a solitaire campaign using the Chipco rules Days of Knights to resolve the battles. He has been posting the results on the Yahoo group.

Steve suggested he and I get together for a game at a newly established San Antonio store, Tabletop. Tabletop’s new location is only a couple miles from each of our homes. So last Friday night we arranged to have a game there. While everyone around us played GW or Star Wars, we brought out the Chipco rules and historical figures!

Steve brought along Successor armies, but used Fantasy Rules! Tournament and Campaign Edition or FR!TCE as the rules. It was the first time I had used them, but having played LPE for so long I picked it up easily. Not enough to prevent being thoroughly defeated, but at least I understood why!

Then I pulled out my LPE armies and we had a game of that. It was a very bloody game.

Neither game was particularly interesting in a tactical way. There was little terrain (okay, there wasn’t any terrain) and essentially we lined up and had at each other. Basically, we were refamiliarizing ourselves with the rules and trying to generate some interest in historicals. We did get a couple, "Ooo ahhs."

On other subjects, Ray has been on a collecting spree. And since he’s coming out to San Antonio in a few days he has had the goodies sent to my house. So I’ve been vicariously opening his packages, pawing through the toys, and sending him pictures to tease him. Objects have so far all been Napoleonics from Warlord Games, including French Light Infantry, Guard Grenadiers, Chasseurs a Cheval, Vistula Legion infantry, paints, brushes and the free figure of Napoleon on foot.

I’ve been cleaning up and organizing my 28mm Napoleonic collection. Ray and I long ago decided to base all of our 28mm stuff singly and then use sabots to play any particular rule set. It works, but I managed to get lots of units split up into different boxes and otherwise mixed up. All are now properly sorted, but I found a lot of detached cavalry riders, broken bayonets and swords, and missing flags. Surgery is being performed.

By the way, what is the Interwebz opinion about broken swords, bayonets, and plumes? Do you bother fixing them? Only the “easy” fixes?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Coming Back

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. We’ll skip the why’s and wherefore’s and just move on to toy soldiering!

Ray and I have been gaming partners for almost twenty years. Early during our association he discovered a new set of fast play Napoleonic rules titled Le Petit Empereur by Chipco Games.

LPE was an immediate hit with our club. We could play a game to a full conclusion in an evening. Sometimes even two games. It is similar to DBA in that the basic game has a fixed number of elements (28 + a general) with each country having a different mix. There are only seven unit types:

EC – Elite Cavalry
OC – Other Cavalry
ET – Elite Infantry
LN – Line Infantry
LT – Light Infantry (in the 1st edition, these were more like conscripts)
ART – Foot Artillery
LtA – Light (Horse) Artillery

Our club, Lone Star Historical Miniatures, played in 15mm and many of the club members built armies. In fact, I have ten or so! Soon we were playing games including two, three, and even more armies. Our local convention, MillenniumCon, even hosted a hugely successful LPE tournament in 1998.

As such things go we eventually burned out and moved on to other games.

But in 2006 Ray and I were finally moving into 28mm historical games. We decided to use MillenniumCon as a deadline to motivate us to prepare new armies. Our first subject was Napoleonics. Although we wanted to play large games with big units of 24 or more infantry, we knew we needed an intermediate goal.

So out came LPE again. I ended up building a bespoke 28mm French army, but Ray did as originally planned and used his Anglo-Brunswick LPE army as a building block to larger army. At the 2006 convention we put on the game several times and it was a great success with players, both returning veterans and new conscripts. Sadly the websites hosting our pictures are gone but the AAR is at The Miniatures Page. I put on additional LPE games at 2009 ChimaeraCon and 2010 MillenniumCon.

Ray used his original Anglo-Brunswick army to expand into a 25:1 British division. Now he has decided that the plethora of plastic kits means it is time to build a French army as well. We are going to use this coming MillenniumCon as another deadline to build up our armies. I already have French, British, Dutch-Belgian and Hanoverians. I will use this opportunity to build Prussians.

But instead of just 28 elements per side, we plan to have at least double-sized armies and hopefully triple! Stay tuned to this channel as we work toward MillenniumCon!