Friday, December 18, 2009

Big Gaming Plans for the Holidays

Ahem.....probably not. We go and visit my family up north in Chicago on Sunday. My father isn't doing too well lately, so despite the miserable weather that has just hit us here in eastern Tennessee, we are determined to go. I will probably bring all of my 1/600 aircraft with to have another duel with my nephew against my friend Karl. I will try to make sure that we stick closer to the rules this time. I'm sure Karl will fuss about that!

Dwelling on modern air combat rules, AirWar: C21 in particular, I noticed that in order to successfully target in on an opponent, you have to slow down. That doesn't make sense, does it? Or, are we not following the rules properly? Something that I missed? Well, all the more reason to re-read the rules while in Chicago.

Lately, I've really had the bug to start sculpting. I guess I've had it for awhile but there have been a micro-flurry of postings on a Yahoo sculpting group on 6mm sculpting. It really gave me the bug. But, like everything else, will I find the time? Odds are no. The other night, by 5-year-old daughter asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told her some time to work on my soldiers. She said that I could, so long as neither she nor my wife were home. Then it was OK.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


It is the last week of the semester before final exams. I have been siting in my office for hours now, doing nothing but get caught up on grading. I have not had the time to grade various tests, so there was a major backlog. Our department just finished a job search, and it really burned me out. When I step back from it all, it doesn't seem like it was a tremendous amount of work. Its not like I've been digging ditches for a month straight. But, it still seems draining.

About the only thing I've done, hobby-wise, is primed a bunch of 1/600 jets that I recently ordered. I've started using gesso as a primer. It seems to dry a lot thinner than a spray primer. My only worry is that since it is an acrylic, it might easily rub off.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Camouflage Confusion

The GHQ of Northern Chalupistan cannot seem to decide on standardized camouflage colors or patterns:

T-54's on the move (C-in-C R-15)

T-72 (C-in-C R-60)

Originally, I was going to paint them Russian green, but it seemed to dark and dry brushing was not very successful. So, I thought to try various camo patterns. I have yet to find something I like. The antennae are not positioned where they should be on Russian tanks, but I couldn't drill a good hole at where they are supposed to be, which is on the turret's side.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Behold, the Map!

This beast took forever to do. As I said in my last post, it was mostly the numbering of the hexes that took up the time. I found out recently that Adobe Illustrator has some sort of macro function to speed up things like this, but I didn't know this until I was just about done.

Now, I am making a set of campaign rules for Karl, who is playing Northern Chalupistan. It is being cobbled together by using the scales of the various rules that I will be using and fitting it to the above map. I am still trying to decide if I am going to go with one set of rules for each type of warfare (air, land, sea), or just use whatever depending on my whim. I am pretty sure that I will use AirWar: C21 for air combat, but I have several options for land and naval warfare.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Campaign Map Finished

I finally got my campaign map of the continent finished. The final touch was to number all of the hexes. Man, that was a lot of work!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Too Tired for Words

Am I the only one who does this?

Since I've been "promoted" to the chair of my department, its been a non-stop administrative ride. I compare it to those colored pencils that the girls in grade school used to have. There were several lead points in them of different colors. You pulled one out and stuck into the back end, and a new lead of a different color popped out at the front end. That is how I feel about my job. I get one task just finished and another task pops out. Between that, and home life, I get very little time to work on my gaming stuff. However, I spend a lot of time dwelling on gaming. For example, I spent most of today's long faculty meeting daydreaming about finishing another building I've been working on.

Yet, when I can devote my time to my projects, I don't! My golden opportunity arises, and I pass it up.

To make things short, I long to do something when I can't, but when I do have the time, I don't.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thor's Thumbprints

I quickly made this little viking longship for my daughter. Most of it is out of polymer clay, with the yard out of a copper wire and the sail out of paper. I still have to paint it, and I will probably glue some thread on as rigging. Note the large fingerprints...clearly fashioned by the Norse gods!

Sticky Turrets

GHQ's micro armor is great, but the one annoying thing about them is the pin that holds the turret to the body of the tank. They are tiny nubbins. The slightest bump on the battlefield and they fall off:

Chinese Type 63 Light Tank (GHQ RC3)

There have been a number of posts on various sites including GHQ's rare earth magnets have replaced the tiny posts. So, I thought I'd give it a try.

I used rare earth magnets from K&J Magnetics. I use these to mount my aircraft. They have a huge variety to choose from and have very good service.

I sniped off the post and then tried to drill the hole. At first I used my old trusty pin vise, but the drill bit was too large for it, so I ended up buying a whopper of a pin vise. This thing could do some serious hurt'n in the wrong hands!

I drilled a hole in the turret and then widened and deepened the hole on the body of the tank:

You need to make sure its deep enough especially on the turret so that the magnet is at least flush with the bottom of the turret, otherwise the turret will sit at an odd angle on the body. I then glued the magnets in. Make sure the polarities are opposite.

As you can see, the magnet in the turret is a little off center. But, it seems to sit OK on the body, and nothing looks odd when you turn the turret.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Flight Stands for 1/600 Aircraft

I recently decided to conduct all of my air battles for the Gambusian Campaign using 1/600 aircraft. There are only two manufacturers out there, but they are really covering a lot of modern aircraft. After experimenting with different ways of mounting them on stands, I came across one that I think will work well using LEGOs. I sort of thought about this method awhile ago, but then came across a thread on TMP where a person explained his technique. Below is what I ended up using:

I ordered from the LEGO "pick-a-brick" online shop where you can order individual pieces (A-C). For the posts, I use clear cylindrical LEGO bricks (B & C). One brick has a rare earth magnet stuck in that happened to be the same diameter as the hole at the top of the cylinder (C). This brick is to hold the airplane to the stand. To glue in the magnet, I tried superglue formulated for car windows, but it frosted up the brick the same way normal superglue does. I ended up using a while glue that claimed to dry clear. It did. The airplane also has a rare earth magnet on it that I glued on using superglue (D). Make sure you roughen the spot on the airplane where you are to glue down the magnet. It helps hold it a lot. The base of the stand (A) is a parabolic disk that you can get from LEGO. There are different sizes, the larger size works the best. The result looks like this:

The cylinders come in several different colors and in a transparent blue as well. They can pop on and off fairly easily if you play a game were changes in altitude is necessary. I think the base I use is large enough to accomodate larger planes like bomber. !/600 scale aircraft are not all that heavy! I need to order more bricks and bases and figure out what to use to make air-to-air missiles that are flying to their target.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Update & Work in Progress

I've been swamped this semester, more so now that I am the chair of my department. Its not like I've had much time in the past, now it seems like time is in the negative territory! Plus, there seems to be plenty of family activities that are going on...not that I am complaining about those! On the up side, I recently saw two journal articles in print. This is what little I've done lately:

1. I've started working on my 1/600 aircraft for my Chalupastan campaign. I only painted a few of them for the battle I had this summer with Karl and my nephew. I am also mounting them on bases using LEGO pieces. This was something I had thought of, but someone else put into action on the I hope to take some pictures soon.

2. The plans for the Ziewback Motel are coming along very slowly. Once I decide what the back side that you don't see looks like, I will print it out on cardstock and then proceed.

3. I've been experimenting with mounting the turrets of some of my microarmor with small rare earth magnets. The problem with GHQ microarmor, especially their modern stuff, it they have the tiniest of nubbins to hold the turret onto the body. Again, posts on the suggested using tiny rare earth magnets. The problem has been how to mount the magnet. I have routed out the hole on the body and cut off the nubbin on the turret and made a hole for the other magnet. Unfortunately, the pinvise that I have can't acomodate the size of the drill bit. I couldn't drill a deep enough hole into the turret. When I glued in the magnets, they stuck out too much and look funny. I am waiting on a order for a larger pinvise to drill a bigger hole.

4. I joined an online battle using some rules called Combat Storm. If I can't game with anyone around here, I might as well on the internet. The problem is that I don't have time to go and check the website to play. They started yesterday, and I've only had the chance to check in this afternoon. I hope I don't have to back out of it, but I would feel bad if I held up the game.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Building the Zwieback Motel Part 1

I gotta say that my favorite books as a child were those of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel). I loved everything about them. In addition to the stories and the characters, were the fantastic contraptions and architecture of this strange and wonderful universe. One of the joys of being a parent is that I get to re-read all of my old Dr. Seuss books to my young daughter.

One of my favorites was Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book (1962). There isn't much of a story other than it is a long-running news report on various people and creatures going to sleep. As the "story" goes along, it keeps tallying up how many creatures are asleep. At the end, it includes the reader as part of the tally. I guess the idea is to make the reader sleepier as he reads it. The inside cover even states that, "This Book is to be Read in Bed." It is very entertaining.

Anyway, one report is on the infamous Zwieback Motel, whose beds are so uncomfortable that you really have to be tired to fall asleep there. It does not appear to be a very big hotel. It looks like it can hold about five customers (all of whom seem to be very blissfully sleeping according to the illustration). I thought that it would be fun to build a model of the hotel.

I am planning to build it in 1/300 scale. One of the problems is that building in Dr. Seuss' universe are not exactly symmetrical or rectilinear. Its going to be quite a challenge. Also, I have no idea what the hotel looks like from behind. I am going to use cardstock for the building and see where that goes. Currently, I am drawing up that plans on Adobe Illustrator. I will post updates as it progresses.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Columbian Meat Chopper

In the 1990's, the Columbian army converted some US M20 scout cars into AA/fire support vehicles by putting the Maxson M45 quadmount. This is an electrically-powered turret that had four 50-cal heavy machine guns on it and seen on the US M16 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage halftrack. I decided to make my own:

I used C in C M8 Greyhound armored car (US-30) and M16 halftrack (US-38). The quadmount from the halftrack fit perfectly into the hole for the M8's turret. I glued the quadmounts in with superglue. A very simple conversion.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Armored Car Conversion

I seem to have bad luck with C-in-C's French ERC-90 Sagaie armored cars (F-10). An earlier order of Sagaies that I got had the turretless mystery tank in it that turned out to be a WWII Japanese tank. A more recent order had a Sagaie model that was missing most of its 90 mm gun. I thought about replacing the nub of a gun with a piece of wire or pin. But, then I thought, "lets get creative." The result is this:

Its is a command vehicle (as if you couldn't tell!). I left off the turret and built a superstructure out of cardboard. I then cut and shaped it to angle the sides. The angles looked a little better before I tried smoothing them down with fine sand paper. This rounded off the angles of the superstructure more than I wanted. The window covers and hatches were also made of thin cardstock. Next time I do something like this, I will use styrene plastic.

Here is a shot of an unconverted ERC-90:

The dude manning the light machinegun is from GHQ's seated WWII US armored infantry pack (US53). Please pretend that the big pipe sticking out the back is a radio antenna....please!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The New House on the Block

It took me awhile, but I finally finished this building:

It is a little more Mediterranean in style than my previous buildings. I got the inspiration from some "pretty pictures" site on the web. I am not crazy about the balcony on the third floor and I should have added a little more height to the top floor.

I have several building projects in mind, including a fuel storage facility, a market area, and something along the lines of Dr. Seuss!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A COIN For Your Thoughts

Scotia Grendel ( makes several interesting minis of weapons systems that never got beyond prototype stage. For example, they have a 1/300 model of the Brazilian Osorio MBT (BZ3). A tank for export that no one bought. It doesn't even seem like the Brazilian Army used it. Another example is the Cavalier Mustang III from their Collectair line (CAUM10). It was to be sold to nations for COIN operations, but went nowhere. Here is one I painted up for Southern Chalupastan:

I added the spinning propeller by cutting out a piece of clear plastic. The rocket pods were made by cutting down a toothpick and rounding off the tip. I then painted on where the rocket tubes exited. There was no way I could carve them out.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pre-Prototype of a Car in 1/300

Here is my first attempt at a scratch-built car in 1/300 scale:

Its supposed to be a Volvo C30. I make a chassis out of thin cardstock and then used a mixture of FIMO an Sculpy III polymer clay for the body and wheels. Not great, but ya gotta start somewhere, right?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Air Battle

While visiting family in Chicago, I had a jet fighter game using Wessex Games’ AirWar: C21, second edition.

It was my friend Karl vs. my nephew Kyle and me. The night before, Kyle and I had a practice game so that he could have some understanding of the rules. Karl and I had a game but about two years ago using the first edition rules.

The scenario had Karl escorting two, heavily loaded Super Etendard strike fighters with two Saab Gripens. He had to get his Super Etendards to the other side of the table. Our mission was to prevent that. One of his pilots was rated a veteran, the other regular. Kyle and I flew Kfir C7 jets. The jets were armed with the missile listed in the AW: C21 Data Annex. Kyle and I had four heat-seeking missiles apiece, whereas Karl had two heat seekers, plus four radar-guided missiles.

I didn’t take pictures of the game because many of the planes were not painted. It was a complete victory for Karl. He managed to shoot down both of our Kfirs and get his two Super Etendards off the table. A few times we lost opportunities to do some harm to Karl’s planes. For example, early in the game, I could have lined up a good shot at one of Karl’s Super Etendards, but I forgot to slow my speed and over shot the plane. Karl managed to stall one of his planes twice, but we failed to take advantage of that. Kyle managed to hit one of the Super Etendards, but scored only a single hit off of a D10 die roll! Also, I overlooked some things in the rules that might have made a difference. First, I failed to notice the a statement in the rules that says that jets that launch radar-guided missiles need to keep their target in sight once launched. Karl’s became fire-and-forget missiles. Second, we didn’t use the critical hits table, which might have made Kyle’s hit more of a success. Third, we didn’t take advantage of the tailing rule. That might have also made a difference.

It is hard to critique the rules since these are the only other air warfare rules I have played with (I won’t count the old AH Richthofen’s War board game). They are pretty well written, and fairly clear. Things that I missed were more my own fault than anything else. My only criticism is with the turning, and it’s not a biggie. In the first edition, you turned your plane in 60 degree increments (or is it 30? I can’t remember). The more maneuverable your plane, the more 60 degree increments you could turn in a phase. In the second edition, there is a compass-like template with the turn radii labeled. It was a little trickier to make the turns exact. For example, when you are making a 30-degree turn, is your model really turned 30 degrees, or is it 35 degrees, or is it 27 degrees? In other words, there was a little more “slop” to our turns. But, as I said, it was not a big deal...I am not a rules lawyer.

Despite our loss, it was a fun time all around. Next time, I will make up some rules crib sheets for the players that will highlight some of the critical aspects of some of the rules.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"We are experiencing technical difficulties beyond our control..."

The various rebel groups that plague the Central Highlands region of Gambusia are always in need of some transportation and firepower. Transportation is walk. But what about some extra firepower for dealing with government troops? Answer: technicals. Here are some that I have made:

Above we have a GMC pickup truck (Navwar CM4) painted in a civilian red (BTW, it seems like a lot of my civilian vehicles are red...must be a popular color in Gambusia). With the addition of various weapons, we have our pickup truck technicals:

On the left, I added a Russian AA machine gun (C-in-C ACC-19) to the Navwar CM4. On the right, I added a German 20mm AA gun (Navwar FK-20). I deliberately left off a figure manning the AAMG. The figures with the appropriate pose have military uniforms, which I didn't want with a rebel.

GHQ is making some nice vehicles for their Third World Warriors series. Above is an unpainted GHQ TW7 Toyota technical with DsHK MG. As always, very nice sculpt.

I've also converted some various trucks into technicals:

The truck on the right is a Scotia FM29 VLRA Light Truck without any weapons on it. Its nice because its got a wide cargo area and no top on the cab. On the left is one with a 50 cal heavy machine gun mounted on it (C-in-C ACC-4).

On the left, I added a medium (106mm?) Scotia NE25 recoilless rifle from their neutral equipment range. On the right, I added a WWII German 37mm Flak 43 AA gun (Navwar G118).

On the left, WWII US 1 1/2-ton truck (C-in-C US-21) with a spare 106mm recoilless rifle leftover from a GHQ Ontos (VN25). On the right, WWII US 3/4-ton 4x4 Dodge gun portee (C-in-C US-17) with another medium recoilless rifle from Scotia. The gun portee worked really well; the 1 1/2-ton truck, not so much. It seems very low to the ground as compared to the other vehicles. Oh well, I guess its the "low-rider" version.

Finally, we have this funny duck....

I had ordered some French armored cars from C-in-C. Out of four vehicles in the box, three were the armored cars, but one was a light tank missing its turret. I am guessing its a WWII Japanese Type 95 Kyu-Go tank. After much soul searching, I glued on a MG turret from a OT64 SKOT 2A Polish APC (C-in-C P-3). The rebels probably found the tank rusting in someone's barn. They restored it to running condition and replaced the original turret with the MG turret due to a lack of proper ammunition for its 37mm gun. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Projects in the Works

Here are some things I am currently working on:

1. Cleaning up my workbench. I am not known as a neat-freak! I am in the process of doing a major cleaning.

2. My first scratch-built model. For a long time, I've wanted to make my own stuff (long time as in since the 70s). Not just modifying things, or building a house or tree, but my own from-scratch gaming pieces. I am in the process of building an Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano tuboprop trainer in 1/300.

3. Painting a 28mm warrior-fairy for my daughter. I haven't done work like this in awhile. The eyes and the hands just ain't what they used to be.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Room with a View

For my Gambusian campaign, I needed some buildings to represent larger urban areas. I still have not completely decided on what sort of architectural styles abound on the continent. I built this small building as a generic urban dwelling:

I built it out of Sculpy polymer clay and hence, it has a rather warped look. The windows are out of cardstock. Not the greatest building, but from a distance, it doesn’t look too horrible. The problem is that its sort of pain to cut the slabs of sculpy to make the walls of the buildings. Oh sure, they look nice initially, but when you even start to move them, the corners warp. It was also a lot of work to bevel the corners evenly to glue the corners together. So, I think this will be last of my 6mm sculpy buildings.

Recently, I ran across Matakishi's Tea House ( It is an excellent site where the author has a lot of how-to stuff. He is very good at going step-by-step in how things are done, which really helps a lot. One of his projects is a how-to on building generic Middle Eastern buildings. He even provides the plans. Here is my take on them:

These buildings are modified from his plans. His are for 28mm scale. Also, they are built so that you can stick your troops inside. So, there was a lot of reduction in size. I am never too good at getting my proportions right. I think my buildings suffer from scale creep. My trees seem to come out that way, too, but that is for another entry.

Here is the first one I made:

I used Adobe Illustrator to reduce the size, and to adjust for the fact that I won’t be putting figures inside the building. The windows and doors are made out of sculpy. There is some warping on some of the windows, but it’s minimal. Besides, we’re talking “developing nation” here. To get a sort of adobe effect on walls of this building and the following, I took craft paint and mixed it with some baking powder. It gave the rough texture. You need to paint fast because the baking powder dries the paint quickly.

This first apartment looks cool with the balcony wrapped around the two sides of the building, but it was very tricky to pull off. So, I got lazy and put the balcony only on side of the second building. Besides, the tenants pay lower rent at this apartment:

Again, same methods. I got a little fancier with the doors and even tried my hand at building a dormer for the top floor apartment.

The third building is more of a shop or restaurant:

The awning outside the shop is just a piece of paper held up by segments of wire. I didn’t intend for the building to be this dark a brown. It seemed to darken a little when I mixed it with the baking soda. The building’s walls look rougher than the others because I let the paint-baking soda mixture dry a little more before application, and I think I added more baking soda than on the other two. One nice thing is that the mixture also works as filler and can cover up some gaps between cardstock and can smooth out edges a little bit.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Defending the Northern Skies

Ever since the "line of death" incident occurred in the summer of 2007 in which a Northern Chalupistan MiG-21 (flown by the now commander-in-chief General L. Alliruhc) shot down a Southern Northrop F5E, the North has been on a constant state of high alert. The North has deployed various AA defenses.

A SA-6 Gainful AA missiles (C in C R-86) with its Straight Flush control radar vehicle (C in C R-87)

Northern militia man a ZU-23-2 23mm AA guns (Heroics & Ros SM-48) mounted on a slightly modified Scotia RM81 Zil-131 heavy truck (at least I think it is).

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Blast from the Past

Here is an example of my earlier painting skills:

It is a Ral Partha magic-user figure. I made a quick look through the web to see if I could find the catalog number, but no such luck. Ral Partha was probably my favorite miniatures company. I still have some of their early ones from the 70s. I was really bummed out when they went out of business.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where is Gambusia?

A lot of people...ok, only one person, a friend who is a geographer, asked me where Gambusia is. You'd think he would know being a geographer and all, but that is part of the mystery that is Gambusia. The mini-continent of Gambusia is located in the Indian Ocean:

It is the little green splat west of Australia and south of Sumatra and Bali. In spite of its location, few people know that it is there. You'd think it would be of great strategic value...but its not. And you'd think it has played an important part in shaping global events...but no, it never did. I will gladly get deeper into its history in a later post, but for now, I just wish to provide a short introduction.

If we examine the region closeup, we see that there is the main, mini-continent and several smaller islands.

Being marginally trained as a geologist, I will gladly go into the geologic processes that formed Gambusia, but its tax season and I have more pressing things to do. I am going to introduce the three nations that exist on Gambusia. They are:

The Sultanate of Northern Chalupistan

Also known as Northern Chalupistan, this nation occupies the northern two-thirds of the continent proper, plus the three islands to the east. It was originally settled by pirates in the 1500s, but became a unified sultanate by the early 17th century. It has the highest per capita income of the three countries thanks to tourism, ship building, and growing high-tech industrial sector. Politically, it is a constitutional monarchy. Islam is the dominant religion, but it has been always known to be extremely tolerant of other religions. Citizens have always been proud of their pirate past much the way Australians are proud of their past as a place to send convicts. Two years ago, as part of a tourism PR campaign, the country altered the spelling of its name from "Chalupastan" to "Chalupistan." There was also a move by the Ministry of Tourism to replace the crossed swords (representing their pirate heritage) with crossed palm trees, but this was voted down in a national referendum.

The Viceroy of Chalupastan

Also known as Southern Chalupastan, this nation occupies the southern part of the main continent. Southern Chalupastan was "discovered" by one of Magellan's ships that sailed off course on the way back to Spain. Although it was granted independence from Spain in 1924, it continued to have a viceroy as its head of state. Like its neighbor to the north, it has a constitutional monarchy as a form of government. Economically, it ranks second. The economy is largely agricultural. The main crop is the Bu-Bu berry, which is used in several manufacturing processes as well as eaten. Additionally, Southern Chalupastan produces some of the largest carrots in the world. Carrot lengths of over 3 meters have been recorded. Several international firms have recently established technology parks in some of the larger cities. Southern Chalupastani are a mixture of Spanish, Gambusian, and Chalupan heritage. Sadly, social status and wealth is based largely on ethnicity. Those of more pure Spanish ancestry tend to be higher up in society, and more economically well off.

The Federal Republic of Gambusia (FRG)

This is the smallest and youngest of the three countries. It occupies the western side of the continent. Prior to the coming of the pirates and the Europeans, the mini-continent was inhabited by the Gambusians and the mysterious Chalupans. Whereas the pirates and Spanish invaded the eastern lands, the western region was carved up first by the Dutch, then later the British and French. It remained three separate colonies until the three gained independence separately in the early 1960s and then united into single republic in 1965. Britain and France still have some influence, and maintains a military presence. They are the poorest of the three nations, with their economy based solely on agriculture and fishing. In the past few years, the FRG has been trying to cultivate an eco-tourism industry, but rebel activities in the eastern part of the country have hampered their efforts. Despite being less well-off compared to the other two countries, the people of the FRG are proud of their indigenous identity.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fantasy Giant

Besides microarmor, I am a big fantasy wargamer. About 10 years ago, I found that even though 25/28mm figures have a lot more detail, they dented my wallet too much to really build the armies that I wanted. Plus, I felt like I was doing more painting and far less gaming. So, I switched to 15mm. Not as many companies, so you have to improvise and not be so picky as to what your orcs and elves look like. Here is are some that I painted last year.

The giant, which I bought at Walmart, is from a series of Yu-Gi-Oh plastic miniatures. He was supposed to be a cyclops, but I re-painted him with two eyes. His opponent is from the now-defunct Demonworld line of 15mm fantasy figures. Very nicely sculpted, but rather pricey.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Small Gambusian Village

Recently (about 2 years, give or take a few months), I got interested in modern wargaming. I never really thought I would, but the more I read, the more I got interested. I also got burnt out on my 15mm fantasy figures. Being poor, I decided to stick to 6mm. Besides, I figured I could use a lot of my WWII microarmor. Anyway, I decided to have a campaign on the fictional micro-continent of Gambusia, which is somewhere in the Indo-Pacific. Why a fictional country and not real nations?

1) Maybe due to my interest in fantasy wargames and having played D&D many years ago, I just
seem to like fictional settings.

2) The various nations can have a hodgepodge of weapons. I can pit any AFV against any AFV.

3) It seems like a lot of smaller nations seem to jury rig weapons endless source for
model conversions.

3) Because of (2) & (3), I can create all kinds of TO&E's for the various nations.

The campaign is slowly progressing via PBEM.

OK, enough background for now. Gambusia is a semi-tropical continent, hence, palm trees. Also, the poor folk live in mud huts:

A typical Gambusian village

The hut were made of Sculpy and painted with craft paints. The roofs are acorn caps. I left the caps their natural color. To make the palm trees:
First I looped 28 gauge copper wire.
I then twisted the bottom 2/3rds of the wire together.
Cutting the untwisted part gave me eight stands that I bent to make a radial pattern.
I then cut thin strips of paper, ran some PVA glue on them, then folded them over the wire.
After they paper dried, I cut out the frond shapes.
I then smeared epoxy putty over the twisted part to make the trunk. As it dried I made grooves around the trunk with a scissors.
Let it dry, then paint.

Frankly, buying plastic palm trees would be a lot easier and faster than making them, but I have never been one to do things the easy way.

Gambuisan rebels armed with a recoilless rifle wait to ambush a passing troop convoy.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Miniature wargames have been my hobby since about 1976. My friends and I graduated from mass battles shooting marbles at Airfix and Roco HO scale soldiers and tanks to the various Avalon Hill board games. One day, my father showed me a news article about a shop in Chicago called Sutler's Wagon that specialized in miniature figurines for wargaming. One Saturday, he took a good friend and I to check it out. Since then, I have been hooked!

Why "Just Another Wargames Blog?" I know, it is not very novel or clever. I've been toying with the idea of sharing my wargaming universe for a long time, but like many things, it took me until now to go ahead and do it. It seems like there are zillions of blogs now with this same theme. I had some other names that were more witty, but they seem to been taken. I hope that future postings will be far more interesting than the title of the blog.