Peshawar – Some Test Basing

2mm figures based and flocked
2mm figures based and flocked – a little out of focus

I have been a little remiss in the area of time management lately and have managed for a couple of months to do no preparation or painting, not just of the Peshawar project but pretty much of anything. Some of it I can put down to a combination of beer and rugby, but mostly it has been too much work combined with inertia.

I decided tonight to finish the painting and basing of two test pieces. They are the ones illustrated.

I am trying to decide whether to use a sand/dry brush/a little flock for the base or just flock only on a dark brown base. I am leaning towards the base on the right.

The images are a little out of focus – I guess macro on my phone is not as good as it could be. The squares you see a 10mm by 10mm giving you and idea of the size of the figures.

I am sure I will look at these figures again 30 or 40 times before I settle on one form or another.

Peshawar – the American Ground Forces – Part 1

The Yanks are coming
The Yanks are coming

The Americans were the next to be prepared for painting.

They are organised along the lines suggested in the Land Ironclad rules. Ready for the sand and paint are a Battalion of Infantry (4 companies); two companies of marines; an artillery regiment (4 batteries); and 4 regiments of cavalry (three of then having a dismounted equivalent – two dismounted bases to every three mounted bases).

s with the Russians, the figure models represent 10 men so the infantry companies are about 400 men strong and the cavalry regiments around 300 troopers.

Next off will be the conventional forces of one of the newcomers to Peshawar but an old power – the Prussians.



Peshawar – the Russian Ground Forces – Part 1

The Russian force arrayed, ready for sand to be added to the bases
The Russian force arrayed, ready for sand to be added to the bases

The Peshawar project is moving forward slowly. Over the Christmas break in between gorging on roast meats washed down with ice cold beers I started basing the “conventional” ground troops for this. Land ironclads and contraptions will come later. First cab off the rank here were one of the oldest protagonists in the Great Game … Mother Russia!

The Russians are organised along historical lines (and as suggested in the Land Ironclads rules from Wessex Games). Based and ready for sand on the bases and painting is an under strength battalion of infantry (one company detached), two sotni of Cossack, four squadrons of ‘ussars, two squadrons of dragoons and a brigade of artillery.

A Russian infantry battalion normally consists of four companies of regular infantry with a rifle company making up a fifth company. The companies are all about 200 men strong so that is represented by four infantry blocks (I am assuming each infantry block represents about 50 men).

The cavalry squadrons are all approximately 150 men strong.

Next off will be the conventional forces of one of the newcomers to Peshawar – the USA.

A battery and an idea of the size of these figures
A battery and an idea of the size of these figures


Peshawar – The Combatants

I mentioned that Peshawar was a Victorian Science Fiction campaign or game. If you click on Peshawar in the tag cloud or search Thomo’s Hole for it you will see that it was inspired by a VSF book, the Peshawar Lancers. I needed a universe for my Aeronefs and Peshawar provides it. Of course, it was then a small step to add Land Ironclads and as wargamers do, expand, expand, expand. Now I have six belligerents, all playing a variety of the Great Game. We have British, French, Prussians, Russians, Americans and the inscrutable Orientals, a mix of Japanese forces and Imperial Chinese.

I have enough 2mm forces to take care of Cavalry, Artillery and Infantry for the Land side of the game. I also have Land Ironclads for some of the forces. As far as ‘nefs go, I have six fleets awaiting paint. I have been considering organisations for these forces for a while and they will be the subject of a future post. In the meantime, I was considering colours for the various land forces and came up with the following basic plan.


The forces of Perfidious Albion, being located on the sub-continent, will be based around the British in India in the 19th Century. To that end, the following colours will apply (with some variations later):

  • Infantry – red coat, white trousers, dark forage cap with buff/white next cloth
  • Artillery – in blue
  • Cavalry – red jackets, dark grey breeches, brass helmet. Some variation with some native lancers


The Stylish French have been based around the colours of the French during the Franco-PrussianWar:

  • All arms – dark blue uniforms with red trousers

A picture of the French can be seen on this link.


Britain’s main competitor in the Great Game:

  • Infantry – buff or light grey greatcoat, white straps, dark blue or black hat, black bots
  • Artillery – as the infantry
  • Cavalry – Heavy cavalry in brass breastplate, white coat, white breeches and brass helmet. Lancers in dark blue coat, yellow breast (maybe), light grey breeches and white lance pennants (based around Crimean War Colours). I may add some irregular cavalry later

Japan and Imperial China

The Asia contingents:

  • Infantry – White coat and trousers or dark blue coat, white trousers with a grey blanket roll. Chinese forces in black (Boxers?).
  • Artillery – as for infantry
  • Cavalry – mid-grey coats, red breeches, grey hats


As the Germans try and carve an empire in the sub-continent, they sent their troops in colonial colours:

  • Infantry – mid grey coat and trousers, black boots, dark helmets or mid green coat, grey hat, grey trousers and black boots
  • Artillery – in mid grey coat and trousers, black boots
  • Cavalry – as er the infantry (they are Germans after all and are therefore very uniform – based on late 19th century or Boxer Rebellion Germans)


The Americans are playing the game as well. The forces are based around those of the American Civil War with a touch of Teddy Roosevelt:

  • Infantry – mid-brown/khaki all over or blue grey shirt, khaki trousers and hat. US marines in dark blue coat, light blue trousers and khaki hat and gaiters.
  • Artillery – same as the infantry
  • Cavalry – same as the infantry

And to leave you wit a taste of more 2mm, the remaining two armies – USA and Japan – are pictured below:


Peshawar – The Continuation

Sometime back in 2009  started a project for 1/1200 scale Aeronefs. As is the way of wargamers, I then expanded it to include Land Ironclads. In both cases using rules from Wessex Games; Aeronefs and Land Ironclads and buildings from Brigade Models; and period(ish) infantry, cavalry and artillery (in 2mm scale) as well as buildings and scenery from Irregular Miniatures. As it also the way of wargamers, something else bright and shiny appeared in front of me and so the project was shelved. At the time of shelving, I seem to recall that I had expanded from the original two combatants (the French and English) to add the Russians and the Prussians.

Well, looking through the figure stock here in Manila I saw the 2mm terrain and Russian and British Crimean Armies sitting forlornly still in their plastic bags. Some Aeronefs were located as were most of the British Land Ironclads. 20 minutes online to Irregular Miniatures and I had expanded the whole Peshawar idea to add the Americans and maybe Japanese. These Americans are an easy add to the universe but the Japanese will be a bit more problematical – I will need to craft a good back story to justify Japanese ‘nefs but a mix of European Land Ironclads.

Whilst online I also looked at getting some 2mm Napoleonics. I have a plan for another little project (in 2mm scale, little is the operative word) but more of that later. I think I have found my Christmas project for Manila this year – Expand Peshawar!

I do have smaller figures Anthony

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.


Notes on Dystopian Wars

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.

Hi Ian,

I am not going to give you advice on the actual painting as you are far better than me. :lol:

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

The “bits and Pieces” will be optional weapons/equipment for the models. The Model Assigned Rules(MARS)  will cover this.

You might also want to mention that Tumbling Dice do some 1:600 AA guns that fit in quite nicely , also some of their planes may be suitable


Another Parcel — More Dystopian Wars

The box, the sticker
The box, the sticker

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).

The packing
The packing

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.

The contents
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.

Empire of the Rising Sun
Empire of the Rising Sun

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.

Federated States of America
Federated States of America

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?

A Surprise Parcel

The Box
The Box

Well, not so much of a surprise, as I was expecting it but rather a surprise with the speed it arrived here. I was sat having a quiet cup of coffee yesterday afternoon when there was a loud, confident knock on the door. “Hello” thinks I, who can this be as we were not expecting to have to repel any boarders. Opening the door revealed the DHL man with the box pictured to the right, firmly in hand.

He asked, “Thomo the Lost?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Sign here please.” After signing the electronic gizmo he handed me the box. I checked the receipt on the outside and it was the items I had ordered from Spartan Games, in the UK, 5 days previously. This is a new record for me. I ordered late in the evening, Singapore time, on the 21st. The parcel arrived mid afternoon of the 26th. Less than 5 days from order to delivery, very impressive.

So, the contents?

The contents of the box - rules and paraphernalia for Dystopian Wars
The contents of the box – rules and paraphernalia for Dystopian Wars

Spartan Games were having a sale on some of the Dystopian Wars stuff, specifically the publications. I had ordered some vessels from Magister Militum and I guess that order is being processed but needed some rules, A special price at Spartan Games was hard to resist and so I ended up with a bundled price for the rules and two scenario books. I also took the opportunity to purchase a template set (turning templates and such) as well as some Dystopian Wars cards. The cards are used to add another dimension to the rules by providing a degree of “fog of war” into a game.

Now, I know I am late coming into Dystopian Wars, I had been resisting them for some time, concentrating instead on Aeronefs and Land Ironclads for my Victoria SciFi fix, but weakened when I had the credit and the prices at both places were so good. Yes, I know, another bright shiny thing for the lead-pile.

The rules are paperback whilst the scenario books are both hardback. They are all in the glossy, colourful, full of eye candy mould of modern rules and scenario books. The rules themselves run to 128 pages and cover air, land and sea rules for the games. There are detailed descriptions of each of the major combatants 1 as in there as well as tables of data for the different vessels, vehicles and aircraft. There is also a single quick reference sheet.

The scenario books are labelled Book 2 and Book 4 (I should investigate that further I suspect) and are 137 and 183 pages long respectively. Storm of Steel (Campaign Guide 2) covers operations in the Low Countries and British Isles. This is a combined Land and Sea campaign and uses some of the minor powers.

Campaign Guide 4, Operation Sirocco, looks at the African Fronts – new Carthage and Ottoman Sudan. This also involves most of the main protagonists (only the Empire of the Blazing Sun is not included) and adds the Ottomans and French. It also includes an additional set of rules known as Armoured Clash 2.

I have been thoroughly enjoying reading the rules at night before sleep – they have even replaced my regular pre-sleep entertainment of watching old episodes of Farscape and are giving me a nice SciFi fix at the moment, especially as I have finished reading the “Black Jack” Geary Lost Stars series.

I am also arguing that this does not add to the lead-pile as the books are paper and the models are basically resin so there is, unfortunately, no increase in my lifespan!

Dystopian Wars – at this stage – recommended!

The Bit at the Bottom

1. Dystopian Wars core nations included in the rules are the Prussian Empire, Kingdom of Britannia, Federated States of America, Empire of the Blazing Sun (Japan). Also included but no vessel statistics provided in the rules is the Covenant of Antarctica. Look at the Dystopian Wars General write-up for details of the other nations included in the Dystopian Wars Universe.
2. Armoured Clash is a game within the Dystopian Wars Universe for massed armoured battles.

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

Fresh from deciding on the Dystopian Wars forces to purchase, and waiting patiently for their arrival, I was getting myself into an Aeronef; Steampunk; Victorian Science Fiction mood. Reading around and in particular about the airships of the early 20th century I came across a little aircraft I had almost forgotten.

One of USS Macon's Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk
One of USS Macon’s Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

The Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk. This was an aircraft designed to operate with airships and the one shown to the left is one of the aircraft that was carried by the USS Macon and of the same type as those carried by the USS Akron, two US Airships. The plane itself was a light biplane fighter aircraft.

The Steampunkness of the Sparrowhawk is partly because it was a “parasite fighter”, a small plane which has been designed to be deployed from a larger aircraft such as an airship or bomber. It was a small aircraft and was therefore the perfect fighter to be carried by an airship – see where I am heading with this?

The historical Sparrowhawk was armed but was primarily used for reconnaissance. The US Airships carried three or four of them.

Launching and recovery was by a hook/anchor, known at the time as the “flying trapeze”. The hook was mounted on the Sparrowhawk’s top wing and attached to the cross-bar of the trapeze.

So, you can see why I like this aircraft. I also particularly like the colour scheme shown in the picture and part of the painting research for the Dystopian Wars is now, I think, complete.

General characteristics of the aircraft (for the record)
Crew: 1
Length: 21.08 ft (6.27 m)
Wingspan: 25.5 ft (7.75 m)
Height: 10.92 ft (3.34 m)
Wing area: 185 ft² (16.1 m²)
Empty weight: 2,114 lb (959 kg)
Loaded weight: 2,776 lb (1,259 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-975-E3 radial engine, 415 hp (310 kW)

Maximum speed: 176 mph (153 knots, 283 km/h)
Range: 297 mi (258 nmi, 475 km)
Service ceiling: 19,200 ft (5,853 m)
Rate of climb: 1,690 ft/min (8.6 m/s)
Wing loading: 15 lb/ft² (78 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.15 hp/lb (240 W/kg)

Guns: 2 × .30 in (7.62 mm) Browning machine guns