Thomo’s Hole has moved from Manila to Pampanga. This is a new temporary hole as Thomo’s permanent “he is never moving again … ever” hole is under construction. The new location is the province of Pampanga, famous for its food, volcanoes, screwing up air traffic for weeks in the 1990s, old US Air Bases and for being a considerably less expensive and lower stress environment to live in compared to Manila. I did think I was rather clever, managing to finish the move the day before Typhoon Rolly ripped through southern Luzon, however, perhaps I did not throw enough virgins into the volcanoes as Typhoon Ulysses managed to catch me at home last week (and scared the living you know what out of me).
I think I will have enough space here, in the new temporary Hole, for the completion of some kits as well as playing some board games and figure games.
I should note that there are a number of bags of books upstairs still to be unpacked and some additional figures as well. I’ll get around to them in the near future when I can purchase an additional book case.
So what am I starting with to get the wargames rolling I hear you ask?
I had a hard look at what I had here and considered doing some rapid painting of some 6mm ancients and finish either the Punic Wars or Erik Bloodaxe sets.
I then considered getting stuck into painting the several thousand 6mm Greeks I have laying around.
I then thought it a good idea to either finish up my World War 2 North Africa Italians but then I would need to purchase some 8th Army figures and vehicles and all wargamers know where that leads – on to the Afrika Korps and from there late war British and Americans. Yes, that way lies madness – or at least the normal wargamers megalomania.
I am also cautious at the moment about ordering items for delivery from the UK given the state of international logistics in these plague-ridden times.
That also ruled out the American Civil War project I have been considering.
I thought about painting my Early World War 2 Belgians – there are not so many and I have some other early World War 2 foes they can fight.
I then had a brainwave, for something really simple to play as a project. Why not refight the entire Peloponnesian War, both land and sea, over the coming months, until the permanent location is complete?
Right then, that’s decided.
I had one additional problem to deal with. Again, with all the moving and some work stress, I had lost my painting mojo. I looked at the projects here, both big and small, and settled on the idea of picking something that was already undercoated and ready to go and could be managed in small chunks.
World War 2 coastal vessels. So the 1/1200 scale Hallmark coastal vessels were examined and whilst there are some big vessels there, such as destroyers, liberty ships and such, 12 S-Boote and 4 R-Boote seem to fit the bill. I started them tonight and have the sea bases completed, well except for the wakes, they come when the hulls are painted.
The boats were previously undercoated. Here waiting for the application of Dark Prussian Blue to the base.
The paints used for the sea bases – from dark to light. One day I will try the grey seas used by some other wargamer as I recall when looking at the North Sea from Scotland, it is a grey looking piece of water
The paints that will be used for the boats
Dark Orussian Blue has been added to the base, next and “wet” dry brush of Dark Blue
A slightly lighter dry brush of Sky Blue
Very thinned and wet, the phosphorescence is provided by, in this case, lime green
Heroics and Ros 6mm Greeks for yet another Ancient project. I am still waiting on the delivery from Rapier Miniatures, but I fear these are the first order to the Philippines to go astray as it has been over 6 months now Update (May 1st) – I just received an email from Stefan at Rapier (not bad, about one hour after posting this) to note that the parcel was sent but they will send again. Brilliant service guys – thank you.
The Rapier Greeks duly arrived and the original parcel was received back at Rapier in the UK a few days after a replacement order was sent to me. Ah the vagaries of PhilPost. I digress however.
Last year I had also read a fair bit of Greek history, both land battles and naval, and had decided, with all those 6mm Greeks, along with a couple of fleet packs of Navwar’s 1/1200 ancient ships and a copy of GMT’s Galley, to refight the Peloponnesian War, both on land and sea, as a project.
Enter the plague! Several months of listless inactivity followed by a home move out of Metro Manila to a province and I had achieved absolutely nothing. In my defense, there was a good deal of work pressure at the same time as quarantine lockdowns and what-not (yes, I know, an excuse not a reason).
Tonight, sitting in the new residence (temporary for about 6 months while the final Thomo’s Hole is being constructed) and it occurred to me that to get rolling on this project, I could use my Commands and Colors (C&C) set. I have all six expansions from the Ancient C&C, although I had not placed the Spartan expansion figure stickers on the blocks for that yet. I started that tonight.
I now have a project, doable in short order — refighting the classical Greek world using C&C. I have the blocks, I have the reference material and best of all, I don’t need much space or to paint anything. When I get up to the Peloponnesian War I will probably consider breaking out War Galley as well. However, for the time being, it’s lock shields and advance!
I managed to finally get around to finishing the Middle Eastern Buildings I had for the Peshawar project. THe buildings were sourced from Brigade Models and from Irregular Miniatures.
Most of the bases are 40mm x 40mm square with the exception of the bases with the mosques which are 80mm x 40mm. This sort of fits with the ground troops and the Contraptions and Land Ironclads when I get around to getting some as they will also be on 40mm square bases.
The infantry, artillery and cavalry will be on 40mm wide bases with depth of 10mm, 20mm or 30mm mostly. In the meantime, the gallery below covers all the Middle Eastern buildings. I do have some European buildings to paint as well but those will now need to wait until I move house*.
Paint is various colours from the Vallejo Range, base is sand from Baccus 6mm which is the finest I have come across and there are one or two home made trees tucked away in there. Final varnish is Liquitex Professional Matt Varnish.
Mosques and general buildings – Brigade models
Desert forts from Brigade Models
Mosques and general buildings – Brigade models
General Middle Eastern buildings – Brigade models
Middle Eastern village – Irregular models
General Middle Eastern buildings – Brigade models
Large base with fat hand for size comparison
The Middle Eastern Buildings
The Middle Eastern Buildings making up Peshawar Town in 2mm
* Wargamer’s excuse for not painting something today number 17 😉
So, we are now at the week after the week that was. The condo building has three more days quarantine to serve then should have its quarantine restrictions eased. The mega city that is Metro Manila has another week to go before the government decides on whether to ease, tighten, or leave the restrictions as they are. Some of the cities in Metro Manila are performing better in comparison to others but will the government set tighter restrictions for some cities over the others?
After watching Kesari last week I have avoided rushing off and building a Sikh force for the Pehawar project … just!
I was able to work back in the office from Tuesday which was great. I am slowly cleaning my stuff out of the office in preparation for my exit from SOFGEN at the end of next week. Four more work days, then I think I will take a couple of weeks with my feet up, then full on looking for more work … if you know anyone who wants an old fat project manager, CIO, country head or similar, I am available!
On the wargaming front, I completed the Anglo-Saxon DBA Army this time last week with the varnishing. Last Monday night I took the press shots of them (on the left and see 6mm Anglo-Saxons for DBA — 701-1016 CE). They are now waiting for me to get off my fat backside and paint up an opponent.
As for the middle eastern village buildings I was working on, let me note that I have actually managed to do nothing at all on it this week.
It still looks exactly the same as the photograph below – in fact, it hasn’t moved at all on my painting/office table area thingy.
Plan is that today, I WILL finish these buildings. Some roofs, some windows darkened, a little sepia (maybe) wash and a dry brush and they will be finished.
I will then clean up the coffee table and my painting desk so I can do a couple of things. One is prepare the 2mm army for paint. Second is to sort books that arrived in the last nine months in a read/unread stack. Then I want to lay out some board games for a few solo games. Lastly I will need some space for a new laptop. My old one (now 5 years old) is giving me problems with the power supply – but it is probably a good time to get a new one.
So, a week when not so much has happened but hopefully ready to springboard into my last week at SOFGEN, then a couple of weeks of relaxation. Of course, the prospect of spending quality time by a pool with a hollowed out pineapple, a rum based drink in it and a fruit salad hanging off the side with an umbrella to reduce evaporation, well, in the middle of a pandemic, that may be hard to arrange but we will have a little period of relaxing.
Well, that was the week that was. Monday was a normal day, well as normal as it can be under General Community Quarantine. Tuesday morning, however, things got interesting. There was a note on the wall of the condo elevator as I was walking to the office. I didn’t read it until getting to the office. It noted that there was an active Covid-19 case identified in the condo. Letting my Admin Manager, know, I was instructed to:
Get a test to ensure I was negative, and
That the office would be closed until after my test then a deep clean would be organised (I did wonder why the wait)
The specimen was collected when a doctor dropped around to the apartment and shoved a swab the length of my umbrella up each of my nostrils. Technically it does not hurt but my goodness don’t the tears half fall?
Result came back today, SARS-Cov-2 viral RNA NOT DETECTED.
Great, life can return to near normal and I can exit the Condo from time to time.
I still managed to work from home, uncomfortable as it was, finishing up a few things before my enforced retirement at the end of the month. I also worked on finishing up some wargaming things that had been hanging around. I also managed to catch a few movies on Amazon Prime and Netflix.
One that I really enjoyed was Kesari, a movie made in 2019 (IMDB Reference) which is based on the real story of the Battle of Saragarhi in which an force of 21 Sikhs fought against 10,000 Pathans in 1897.
The background story is based around Havildar Ishar Singh disobeying orders from his English officer and saving a Pathan woman from the local mullah and men. This was on the North-West Frontier in Tirah, about 20 miles from Chat, 40 miles from Peshawar. After that, Havilday Singh was sent to the outpost and then the Pathans decided to get restless.
Wikipedia notes about the battle:
The Battle of Saragarhi was fought before the Tirah Campaign on 12 September, 1897 between the British Raj and Afghan tribesmen. On 12 September 1897, estimated 12,000 – 24,000 Orakzai and Afridi tribesmen were seen near Gogra, at Samana Suk and round Saragarhi, cutting off Fort Gulistan from Fort Lockhart. The Afghans attacked the outpost of Saragarhi where thousands of Afghans swarmed and surrounded the fort, preparing to assault it. The soldiers in the fort, who were all Sikhs and led by Havildar Ishar Singh, chose to fight to the death, in what is considered by some military historians as one of history’s greatest last stands. The post was recaptured two days later by another British Indian contingent.
Well, according to the movie, 21 Sikhs and a Pathan cook.
The movie was brilliant, although without English dubbing. Still the subtitles were adequate for following the plot lines and once the Pathans attacked, it was not difficult to work out what was being yelled.
Best of all, the area the filming was in allowed me to get an idea of land form and colours on the North-West Frontier and therefore for my Peshawar project.
Over the rest of the week I worked on finishing the Anglo-Saxon 6mm DBA Army as well as the Middle Eastern Peshawar buildings (building progress photographed to the left).
The DBA Anglo-Saxons had the edges of the flags painted to remove the white edge and blend the flags in.
The Anglo-Saxons were then varnished with a spray matt varnish. The varnish is Liquitex Professional Matt Varnish an seems to have worked well. The army is shown on the right with the varnish drying.
The Liquitex Matt Varnish was the only spray varnish I could get from the local paint store. For gloss or satin, all I have are varnishes that require brushing on – perfect for ships, less so multiple figures on a base.
What’s next? Well tonight it is time for the Virtual Wargames Club (and tomorrow at 14:30 local time). After which, I will take some “press release” photos of the Anglo-Saxons, finish the Middle East village and then clean my painting table/office, as well as the coffee table just over there to the right. I want to lay out a board game or two and have a play. In addition, I will also be looking for a new job more seriously as well as brushing up my COBOL skills and maybe learning ELM.
In the meantime, let me leave you with a little more of my movie recommendation (and in case you are wondering, in true Bollywood style, they did manage to weave two songs into the movie!
Way back in 2009 (yep, 11 years ago) I first made mention of S. M. Stirling’s Peshawar Lancers, which, as described in Wikipedia, is
“an alternate history, steampunk, post-apocalyptic fiction adventure novel […], with its point of divergence occurring in 1878 when the Earth is struck by a devastating meteor shower. The novel’s plot takes place in the year 2025, at a time when the British Empire has become the powerful Angrezi Raj and is gradually recolonizing the world alongside other nations and empires that were able to survive’.
It was a great read and certainly fired up my imagination and it looked like it would suit Brigade Models Aeronef’s and by extension, the Land Ironclads. I decided build a series of Imagi-Nations for that period. The forces contained would be a mix of Aeronefs, Land Ironclads and Contraptions, as well as standard infantry, cavalry and artillery. As the Aeronefs and Land Ironclads are nominally 1/1200 scale, it meant that 2mm figures were the perfect size to make up the ground forces. Irregular Miniatures make a great range of 2mm figures so they were perfect for the land forces.
I had some Aeronefs already, painted, for British and French and that fit rather well with the world of the Peshawar Lancers. I decided then to call the project Peshawar and clicking on “Peshawar” in the Tag Cloud to the right will return a list of posts here related to this project.
The real Peshawar is a city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan – an area better known perhaps as the North West Frontier and the Khyber Pass. This was the area of the “Great Game” of the 19th century, where the principle players were Russia and Britain – Britain with India in the time of the Raj behind her and Russia looking to expand and open and control the path to India. The Khyber Pass was also the location for those famous movies such as Errol Flynn in the Charge of the Light Brigade (well, at least the start of the movie); Kenneth More in the North West Frontier; and perhaps the best – Sid James and Kenneth Williams in Carry on Up The Khyber – with Kenneth Williams playing the infamous Khasi of Kalabar!
The French have a small force of Aeronefs painted (and it will expand). The Aeronef models from Brigade are lovely models and as I have had some of them for 10 years, many have been redesigned and remodelled.
I also used the French for testing the infantry and painted some and based for future use. I am not certain currently whether for the basing I will flock or just paint the bases a dry, Khyber Pass sandy brown. I did originally start with the prospect of lining up the British against the French and a green field seemed appropriate. Peshawar grew on after that.
Some French Battalions and Cavalry Squadrons formed up on flocked bases. In the background is a large British Land Ironclad as well as some scenic items such as a small wood in a hill and an English village. A couple of trains are also present. They may be small but they are great models. There is an Australian $2 coin in the photo for give some perspective, although I suspect that perspective will only be apparent to Australians and those who have visited Australia
Speaking of models, the little village in that background in the photograph above is from Irregular Miniatures as well. So are the trains. These have been painted for Europe rather than the Khyber Pass. I will amend in due course – or maybe keep as is … the joy of a long planning session, one gets to change one’s mind several hundred times.
The image to the left is some of the Russian Aeronefs waiting construction. These will be one of the main opponents to the British (along with the French, both opponents to the British and the Russians).
As you can see from the still to be constructed group here, they look significantly different to the French Raiding Force above.
Brigade also supply “spare parts” such as turrets, masts and cranes etc so that the models can have some gilding of the lily.
The Japanese form part of another of the nations in Peshawar.
The image to the right is a Japanese Aeronef fleet waiting in the construction yards as well. The Japanese have a natural opponent in the American fleet and both the American and Japanese fleets were the first to introduce fighter carriers to the Aeronef world.
The six contesting powers in this Imagi-Nation world therefore are based around the following:
Japan and other Asian groups.
In addition to the above, I have Aeronef fleets for Italy, Spain and a few others. I keep promising myself to start working on them and then something else bright and shiny pops up and I get distracted.
When I first started painting the Aeronefs, I glued them to the clear flight bases. I am thinking now to start to use the 3mm, 4mm and 5mm rare earth magnets to fix them to stands. Being able to break them down and lay them flat for transport is a driving consideration there.
As for the Land Ironclads, Contraptions and Land Forces, I do not have so many of the Ironclads and Contraptions so I am planning on starting with the more traditional forces initially, and will expand to the Ironclads and Contraptions later.
So, as I am finishing up the 6mm Anglo-Saxon army for DBA, and as there are books, rules and figures tied up somewhere in the postal system, and have been tied up there since early March (it is currently late June), I am thinking I should break out some work on the Peshawar project.
I will probably start with the rest of the Brigade and Irregular Middle Eastern village stuff (see photograph to the left). I am thinking that I may reconsider the basing process here as well and maybe set the buildings a little closer together and on larger bases. The Irregular villages are groups on bases already (village to the right above). Dunno! Stay tuned for updates.
Once I decide on then approach to take with the Peshawar project, pictures of progress will appear on my Insta-Twit-book feed (See below). With that, gentle reader, good night!
I was listening to podcasts on the drive from mum’s at Macksville to Sydney to catch a flight back to Manila. One podcast I listened to was the last episode (number 283) of Meeples and Miniatures (https://meeples.wordpress.com/). This podcast has been running for 12 years and whilst I can’t say I have been listening for the last 12 years, the last couple of years have provided a great deal of wargaming amusement.
In this last episode Neil Schuck (Twitter – @TheBrummieDwarf) and Mike Hobbs (Twitter – @HobbsThe Gamer) discussed their 4 or 5 best games. It was pleasing to note that I had at least one of the games they had mentioned. The podcast finished just prior to my arrival in Sydney so I spent the rest of the trip considering wargaming tasks for 2020.
As many of you will know, I have an interest in matters nautical as well as a commitment to 6mm. Two things that amazed me while at mum’s. First was the number of books that I will need to ship to the Philippines, I am thinking that maybe it will be 2/3rds of the collection that needs to be eventually shipped. The second was the commitment I had to 15mm Ancient wargaming. I will need to decide at some point whether to sell those collections or ship them.
That is not what I am talking about here though. Currently in Manila I have literally thousands of 6mm figures to paint – some sets have been discussed here previously. I also have hundreds of ships in both 1/3000 and 1/1200 scale. There are also aircraft, principally the Winter War collections, Finnish aircraft having graced my Instagram account.
I decided to reduce my Christmas gifts to myself then to just the following:
Terrain items and buildings from Irregular Miniatures
General d’Armee from Reiswitz Press from Too Fat Lardies – Napoleonic Wargaming
Later in the year I may add some 6mm Napoleonics to the collection or perhaps 6mm American War of Indendence. I will make an order for some 1/1200 modern aircraft from Magister Militum to finish the modern 1/3000 naval collection. I may also buy some more rulesets … but just to plan for 2021 😉
This year then will be one for painting and finishing collections (and maybe getting off to Makati Marauders to play some games). I will play some more boardgames (more? I haven’t played any for about 20 years). I have many books to read and review on the table and hope to get two or three of those off in the next two weeks. Lastly, I want to start some more research and writing, and I am looking at both my admittedly poor YouTube channel and considering some podcasting.
So, 2020, the year of getting on top of things!
Late Addition (1 January 2020): Of course, I did neglect to remember that I had also sent some readies off to Warlord Games for copies of Black seas and Black Sails – just the rules as I have a collection of 1/1200 coastal vessels and it would be a shame to not get them on the table at some time. In addition, I have some 1/2400 and also some 1/3000 sailing vessels that need a reason for painting and then an outing. And I will be sending an order off tomorrow to Magister Militum for some 1/1200 scale modern aircraft to complete the modern naval fleets.
Any other pruchases in 2020 will be rules, books and, maybe, occassionaly, some figures to finish out a set I am starting to paint!
Anthony has often teased me about my love of 6mm figures, with the usual remarks about too small to paint, too small to see and so on.
I thought then I should show him some of my 2mm figures. These are painted for Land Ironclads and Aeronefs. The figures are from Irregular Miniatures and form part of the French contingent for my Peshawar project, when I get around to doing some more on that.
The grid in the pictures is 10mm square. There is also a beer bottle top there for reference to size.
The French force, overall, as it stands now
The cavalry brigade
THe division assembles
The Frencyh Infantry ready to advance
The village – well there are quite a few more of these pieces to go
The two trains – the quick and inexpensive way to have a train set.
After my post Another Parcel — More Dystopian Wars the other day I asked the question about painting the resin models. Specifically, were there pitfalls and traps to be avoided, that sort of thing.
Mark, one of me old mates from the Tring Wargames Club, famous in Tring, Berko and Winkwell, sent back the following information. I will paint some test pieces soon and try our his comments. When I have painted some stuff, I’ll convert it all to a page for future reference. In the meantime, here are his notes.
I am not going to give you advice on the actual painting as you are far better than me. 😆
The thing we have noticed at Tring is that the release agent Spartan games use on the resin is a real B*gger to get off, stopping the paint adhering properly
I did my usual wash with hot soapy water and a soft toothbrush that I do on all resin stuff before painting and when it had dried started to undercoat with black acrylic and a brush. It was awful , in fact it looked like I had not washed them at all. Back to the drawing board (sink)
I put all the models into hot water to soak.
Putting a small drop of washing up liquid direct on a model I brushed the neat soap onto the model getting a good froth, made sure I had scrubbed all the model, then rinsed it in hot water. This seemed to do the trick and paint adhered ok after that.
On speaking to the guys at club, all of them confirmed having the same trouble. Some had just painted several layers of paint on after a first wash, but with all the fine detail on the models I was reluctant to do this.
I have since found the metal planes also seem to have a bit of a problem with the release agent, but not as much as the resin.
The models have a lot of detail to pick out either by brush or by wash.
Pendraken do I-94 decals on the Minibits site that fit quite nicely for the models . I used the ones for 6mm Aircraft, but I see on the 10mm armour listing are some Japenese flags and roundels of assorted sizes, as well as American white stars and flags. Its probably worth looking at all of the ranges to see if there are other bits you might want like numbers
Why is it that the postman with the bulky item notice always manages to put it in your letterbox about 10 minutes after you collect your mail? Yep, yesterday he put a bulky item note in the letterbox after I had checked (and collected) the mail. Today I retrieved it the notice and went for a walk to the Post Office. I was expecting a parcel from the lovely folks at Magister Militum1, a parcel with two navies for Dystopian Wars. This was the order I placed with the credit note I had there from my screwed up delivery last year (screwed up by me when I put the wrong address for delivery).
First thing I noticed was that the box, apart from being light, rattled. I also noticed the “Fragile” sticker on it. The sticker and the rattling filled me with trepidation until I got the box home and opened it.
The contents however were in four separate packages and the whole box was topped off with the little expanded polystyrene knuckles that do such a good job of filling empty space in a package.
I cooked dinner for the troops and immediately after dinner I settled down to examine the contents.
There were the two fleet packs I had ordered as well as the two carriers. One fleet and carrier is the Empire of the Rising Sun (on the right in the photo to the right).
The other fleet was the Federated States of America (FSA — on the left), The two carriers each come with 10 aircraft bases, presumably for launching air raids against opponents and for providing a Combat Air Patrol for their own fleet.
I was also struck pretty immediately by the size of the FSA carrier. It is huge compared to the Empire of the Rising Sun’s carrier.
I did not open the carrier packages at this stage as I am not sure when I am going to get around to start painting them and at the same time, I am not sure whether I will need to move country soon or not as I am chasing new work at the moment.
I unpacked the Empire of the Rising Sun box. Inside are four cards with turning templates and game markers. There is also a packet with the statistics of each of the vessel and aircraft classes enclosed in the box. There is also a battleship, three cruiser or destroyer types, 9 small boats (destroyers or torpedo boats), 10 aircraft bases and two bombers in white metal.
There are also some bits and bobs – gun turrets for the large warships, flying bases for the bombers and some other bits that I have no idea about where they belong.
The second box, with the FSA fleet in it contained a mirror of the Empire of the Rising Sun with one battleship, three cruiser/destroyer types, 9 destroyer/torpedo/gun boat types, 10 aircraft bases, two bombers and the bits and bobs to finish off those models as well as flying bases.
Having already received the rules and cards direct from Spartan Games, I am tempted, at the least, to start with some test painting on the small vessels first. I can also use them as a learning tool to learn the rules as I don’t know any Dystopian Wars players in Singapore and whilst I would happily trek back to Tring and learn the game from the guys at the Tring Wargames Club, and I know the lady would be more than happy to spend a few days or weeks in ‘ertfordshire (I do miss Herts) the old finances are a bit stretched at the moment.
There is the option of heading up to Kuala Lumpur on the bus again as the Broken Bayonets have a couple of guys playing Dystopian Wars and let’s face it, it is much easier to learn a set of wargames rules when you are playing with someone who knows the rules — saves you have to read them at least.
The models themselves are sweet. I have had resin models of buildings before (and have a shed-load of them to paint for the 6mm World War 2 projects) but this is the first time I have had resin models to play with. The detail is crisp on the models and I am itching to get some paint on them sooner rather than later — although common sense tells me to hit the Interwebs and do some research on painting resin, just in case there is a pitfall or two I can avoid falling into.
Tonight’s bedtime reading will be the Dystopian Wars rules.
A note at the bottom of the page
1. Magister Militum has a new website and e-commerce system and I must admit it is a darn side easier to find things on that web site now than before. Waiting until I have sorted some new employment before trying out the e-commerce part, but a fellah can dream can’t he?