Slayer of Brushes? No More!

March 20, 2015

pinksoapI am one of those unfortunate souls who does not know how to keep a paint brush in a healthy shape.  Someone on TMP recommended a certain kind of brush soap and swore it would extend the life of a paint brush for quite a long time.  I don’t remember the brand but could not find it at my local craft store anyway.  What I did find was Pink Soap.  There are no directions but I assumed that it was a simple application to the index finger.  You then can work it gently in to the bristles with your index finger and thumb.  Then rinse the brush and store properly until the next time.   I have to say the results are quite impressive.  I’ve had 4 paint sessions with my latest set of brushes and there is no sign of wear what so ever.  Normally, I would have destroyed at least one brush by the 4th session.  The bristles have maintained their color without a trace of pigment.  I’d highly recommend brush soap to anyone who paints, anything (miniatures, pictures, ceramics whatever).  A little bit goes a long way.

Got Trees?

January 25, 2015
JTT HO Trees

JTT HO Trees

Our hobby can be expensive.  These days, it is hard to find inexpensive terrain.  I have noticed tree manufacturers are still selling, but at a premium price.  There was a kickstarter not long ago for a company called “War Trees“.  They were making resin trees ready for the battlefield.  The pine trees did not look like much but the deciduous trees looked like they would do.  The problem was that each tree cost about $4US.   Sadly, the funding was unsuccessful as they did not generate any interest.

The other day, I was up near a local hobby shop and popped in to see what they had in their model railroad scenery.  I found a bulk back of 24 HO scale trees (3″-4″ tall) for about $30.  This was the best deal I had seen in a long time.  I decided to take a chance.  The trees are made from natural material and come with small plastic bases.  The bases are inadequate to hold the tree up reliably on their own.  So some wider bases will have to be manufactured.  The plastic bases can still be utilized as they are molded to look like the roots at the base of the tree.  The flocking on the tree also seems to shed pretty easily.  I remedied this by giving each tree a generous coat of dull coat.  I am not finished basing them yet…who am I kidding!  I have not even got them started!  I’ll post some pictures when I get them done.  There are also other bags of 36 N-Scale trees (2″-3″) and 55 micro scale (1″-2”) for the same price.  Company website is here.


They like me! They really like me!

December 16, 2012
The prestigious Leibster award!

The prestigious Leibster award!

Dan Mersey has nominated me for a Leibster award.  I think it basically means that he is telling the community that this blog is worth reading.  It is a great way to promote the hobby.  Now I need to return the favor by nominating 5 blogs that I enjoy.  The problem here is that most of the blogs I read are already nominated.  So, I will be breaking the rules and nominating the ones I deem worthy whether they’ve been nominated or not!

First up is Here is no Great Matter.  This blog has a little of everything and a lot of Lost Battles, including some informative replays of the game.

Next we have Dale’s Wooden Warriors.  This was started as another alternative to the Wargaming on a Budget project.  I posted my armies some time ago for a game Matt Kirkhart and I ran at Cold Wars in March 2012.  The figures are extremely nice and very creative.

Up next is Men in Boxes.  Among other gaming aspects, this is a 1/72 scale soldier site.  Some interesting articles here including some warbands for Song of Arthur and Merlin.

I can’t forget Shaun’s Wargaming with Miniatures blog.  This site has many, many reviews using Ancients Wargaming rules set but with a spin.  He wants to game in a 2X2 board and finish the game in about an hour.  Some interesting ideas to “miniaturize” some otherwise hefty rules sets.

Finally, there is The 1/72 Scale Multiverse.  This site has been extremely useful to me on my quest to find 1/72 scale fantasy figures to use in my Lord of the Rings project.

As an honorable mention, check out Dan Mersey’s blog.  Lots of information about books Dan has published including some helpful tips about his excellent game Dux Bellorum.

So, sorry for the retreads but, the blogs I usually read are already nominated.  I guess I have good taste!

More thoughts on Ancient and Medieval Wargaming

November 25, 2012

I had some initial thoughts that after a few ore games I thought maybe were not such a good idea.  One thought was that skirmishers, especially javelin armed skirmishers were not any good.  True they could get slaughtered in a fight but historically they are simply harassing units.  It was thought by several folks that light troops in general should have some sort of evade rules.  I am not so certain.  In my last fight, my velites were able to shoot and then inflict a few more hits in melee.  True they took heavy casualties but I allowed them to retreat through the formed body.  I was then able to counter attack with fresh units on the next turn.   So I was able to pull back spent units before they were eliminated, and thuse being counted as victory points.

Some units are a bit weak.  Specifically, the Punic infantry and Hellenistic cavalry.  Though both units were substantial armor, Neil Thomas felt for some reason that they should only have a 6+ armor.  And yet, the Roman cavalry have a 5+ armor!  Both of these I would change to 5+.  Speaking of Punic infantry, I also had a notion that they should be classified as auxiliary infantry.  However, I think the Hoplite classification is fine.  they can deliver a punch and then start to fall apart when they lose that first stand.  I do think the Punic Veterans should be heavy infantry as the Romans are.

Finally, there is the differentiation between Hoplites and Pike phalanx.  Hoplites deliver a tremendous attack until the first stand is lost.  I think the Pike Phalanx should have a 3+ armor save against non-pike units (frontal only!) until the first stand is lost.  This 3+ only applies to melee.  They retain the usual 5+ against missile fire.

My next fight shall be Hereclea, the classic matchup between Pyrrhus and Rome.




New Yahoo Group

February 24, 2009

I’ve created a yahoo group for Ancients D6 and any other game that I end up designing.  Come on by to ask your questions or just say Hi.


The Photo Stage

January 31, 2009

Today, I built a photo stage for taking pictures of miniatures.  This will be useful for reviewing miniature lines and taking quick pictures for painting tutorials.  The box measures 15″ X 10″ X 10″.  The short wall is not necessary for photography.  It is there to stabilize the back wall.  I used a single sheet of 3/8″ foam board 20″ X 30″.   I cut it into 4 15″X10″ sections.  I cut down the short wall to 10″ X 10 3/8″.  I used PVA glue and wire brads to fashion it all together.

The stage with 2 100 watt lamps.

The stage with two 100 watt lamps.

 Still experimenting with photography.  I am not so good yet.  I know the general principles but it will take time to get the right mix of light and positioning.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2008

Wishing everyone a happy new year for 2009!

I am planning to be more active on the site.  I want to finish up the final minor tweaks to Ancients D6. As well, I am going to build out some early medieval lists for Norman/Saxon/Vikings and perhaps a few continental armies as well.

My big plan is to write and play-test Black Powder Wars.  The rules are basically done but I need to refine a few things such as how the turn sequence is done before I can begin the play-testing.

Finally, I’ll be doing some game reviews.  These reviews will include a battle report of the game complete with annotations on how the rules work.  If the games are not played solo, I’ll invite the other players to give their impressions of the game as well.

Stay tuned!  It all starts in January!



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