Project status

The Project Status page will be updated monthly to show 'things done' and is intended to encourage a gentle discipline that keeps projects ticking over.  My 2017 goals are to round off my ACW armies, get ACW hex based rules into good shape, get two 1066 armies up and running and generally improve my battlefield terrain. A gentle regime of making sure something gets done every month should make this year more productive than 2016.

May 2017

ACW - In 12mm. Blissfully sleeping Unpainted lead pile remains - 1 x Confederate cavalry (16 figs), 1 x limber.

ACW hex rules - At last ... completed and shared via DropBox both here and on the blog. This fairly significant project will close as an item listed here.

AWI - Blissfully sleeping. Lead pile - nil.

Napoleonic 1809 - In 10mm. Blissfully sleeping. Unpainted lead pile remains - 1 Pendraken 10mm 1809 Austrian army pack and 1 Pendraken 10mm French 1809 army pack.

1066 - In 12mm. Blissfully sleeping, though there are conflicts of interest here as I have added to my 28mm plastics and now have 8 boxes of plastic (enough for the project I think) that beg to be put into the painting queue - Oh Dear! Unpainted lead pile - 1 x command, 1 x un-armoured spear, and 1 x un-armoured cavalry.

WWII - in 10mm. Blissfully sleeping. Unpainted lead pile - nil

6 x 6  grid project - Blissfully sleeping.

TravelBattle by Perry Miniatures - All the miniatures, boards and their fittings have been painted and the game is ready for play. This took quite a bit of time this month. There are two blog posts up, one an intro and the other about painting and rule observations. This start-up project is now closed.

Terrain - There is plenty to do, but this month, time was squeezed by other things.

April 2017

ACW - In 12mm. The Confederate artillery blister (4 guns) has been painted and based. With just one and half blisters left, there is light at the end of this particular tunnel. Unpainted lead pile drops to - 1 x Confederate cavalry (16 figs), 1 x limber.

ACW hex rules -  Work on these has been slower than I would have wanted. I dragged more elements across from my Eagles at Quatre Bras rules, to try and get a better cross-over between the two sets. The rules are now tightly written, but need more work to get some of the processes to reflect what I want.

AWI - Blissfully sleeping. Lead pile - nil.

Napoleonic 1809 - In 10mm. Blissfully sleeping. Unpainted lead pile remains - 1 Pendraken 10mm 1809 Austrian army pack and 1 Pendraken 10mm French 1809 army pack.

1066 - In 12mm. The armoured Norman Cavalry blister (16 figs giving 4 bases) have been painted and based. Because of the amount of horse flesh, I decided to prime in Vallejo brown primer, followed by a Nuln Oil (GW) wash, it seemed to work quite well. I also discarded the 40 x 20mm bases that came with the blister and instead used Kallistra 40 x 25mm bases. The extra depth just allows for a softer look as the horses can be shifted away from a very rigid line. Unpainted lead pile drops to - 1 x command, 1 x un-armoured spear, and 1 x un-armoured cavalry.

WWII - in 10mm. Blissfully sleeping. Unpainted lead pile - nil

6x6  grid project - Blissfully sleeping.

TravelBattle by Perry Miniatures (new project) - Released in late April (at Salute), my pre-order has recently landed and I am immediately distracted by this. It has 8mm plastic figures that move around a small board that has been gridded in one inch squares. It is a simple game and I don't know how much play I will get from it, but I am compelled to paint the little beggars, so this will be grabbing my time over the next few weeks. I have opened a 'Square Grid' page here, to follow my involvement with the game. Plastic pile - several sprues with game parts and troops and two 10" x 10" plastic boards.

Terrain - I have been buying several 10mm buildings this year, but the 'gathering resin' has not seen a paint brush yet - so to make a start, I have done an initial batch of three - a wooden Russian Church, a Normandy cafe and a Townhouse number 2 (see photo above - the buildings are still on their painting blocks while they await mat varnishing). All are from Battlescale (dot com). The Painting Page has been updated with a photo. I like the compact nature of the Russian church and I am tickled by the adding of a menu to the notice board on the cafe piece. I like this range.

March 2017

ACW - in 12mm. Four Union artillery guns and crew painted and based. Both armies have been give a coat of Mat varnish following their recent repair and touch-up and are ready for action. Lead pile - 1 x Confederate cavalry (16 figs), 1 x limber, 1 x Confederate artillery (4 guns).

ACW hex rules - Blissfully sleeping (annoyingly neglected this month!)

AWI - Blissfully sleeping

Napoleonic 1809 - Blissfully sleeping. Lead Pile - 1 Pendraken 10mm 1809 Austrian army pack and 1 Pendraken 10mm French 1809 army pack.

1066 - In 12mm, two Norman archer units and two Norman heavy infantry units painted and based. As an experiment, I tried a white primer followed by a black primer wash in an effort to get some bright colours into the smaller scale, but I think I will be returning to my black undercoat with a white dry-brush. Lead Pile blisters - 1 x command, 1 x unarmoured spear, 1 x armoured cavalry and 1 x armoured cavalry.

WWII - The Tigers at Minsk rules were used in the new 6 x 6 project (see below) and I have received a few requests to do something for the France '40 campaign - so research has started on this and will likely lead to the next (free) add on module to the rules. I will be testing a change to the 'restricted command' rule to make it bite a little harder, to help reflect those 1 man turrets and shortage of radios.

6 x 6  grid project - This is a new project that I hope will become an occasional series on the blog. Emphasising the ethos of a small game in a small space, I will be using a 6 x 6 gridded game surface to highlight that it is possible to get a lot of action and decision making even on such a small format. This month we start it off with a WWII tactical firefight in an urban setting. It has been given its own page here on the Commanders website, which will hold the links to any full coverage over on the blog.

Terrain - Last year I repainted my Kallistra streams to give a darker blue and used a blending with two colours, but forgot to make a record of the colours used and now find it difficult to add new lengths of river to match, so I picked up some Vallejo USAF Light Blue from the Model Air series, which seems a good waterway colour. I have re-done all of my water pieces in this single colour.

This  revamp also gave an opportunity to add some additional grasses. While doing this I modified a 4 hex lake tile and a 3 hex lake tile into a boggy marsh type tiles for flanking the Hastings 1066 Senlac Ridge feature. Using a hairspray as a fixative for the flocks, had the unintended consequence of making the water reflective

Lesson learned .... I have started to keep a notebook that records all the colours that I use on the various figures types / terrain pieces and any unusual techniques used.

An order has gone in to Battlescale for their new 10mm Russian wooden church (see photo insert above), plus a couple of other town buildings. My collection of commercial 10mm buildings has significantly increased this year, but most still needs painting.

February 2017

ACW - Quite a good month for ACW. The Kallistra dismounted Union cavalry blister pack has been primed, painted and based. As with all Kallistra ACW packs, you get 4 plastic bases, which for infantry usually means the 32 figures give you 8 figures per base. However for these troops I wanted a skirmish look and for them to look different from standard line formations, so I have used  another 2 bases to give 6 bases with just 5 figures per base. This also means that the blister gives three dismounted units in total. I have also taken the second half of a blister pack of unpainted confederate infantry (16 figures) from the lead pile, enough to make a two base regiment and they got painted and based. Remaining blisters in the ACW lead pile are 1 x Confederate cavalry (16 figs), 1 x limber, 1 x Confederate artillery (4 guns) and 1 x Union artillery (4 guns).

ACW hex rules - Having completed a Beta version, I felt the result a little disjointed and not intuitive enough. Some streamlining has been done and a couple of new ideas added, in particular adding disorder and linking this to the game clock. These are fun rules rather than a simulation, but I would still like to feel they give a period feel, so I have started reading (and taking notes from) the rather wonderful 'BATTLE in the Civil War' booklet by Paddy Griffith, which gives a close look at battlefield tactics, just to make sure that my rules have not got anything obviously silly in them (see photo insert).

AWI - Blissfully sleeping

Napoleonic 1809 - Blissfully sleeping

1066 - To get this started, I cracked open a blister of Norman heavy infantry (spear) Kallistra 12mm figures. The 32 figures give 4 bases, so two units of 16 figures. Since the bulk of each figure has chainmail, they make for a relatively fast paint, except that painting small shields is not my thing and I kept having to go back into them. So a painting bonus by making a start on this side project. I have 6 other Norman Blister packs in the lead pile.

WWII - Three new 10mm Pendraken vehicle types have been added to my forces. A German Brumbar and the rather wonderful looking Hetzer, plus a couple of Soviet BA-64 armoured cars. The (free) Tigers at Minsk rules had an optional rule added last year to reflect some of the ambush characteristics of the Hetzer, just to bring a bit of flavour at the tactical level. The base on the Hetzer has been extended forward to protect that rather vulnerable fixed gun ...... as I am bound to drop it at some point! (I have put a photo up over on the Painting Table page).

Terrain - Not much on the terrain front. I now have enough Kallistra sloped hexes to give me a ridge line of either 8 or 10 hexes wide for a Hastings representation and I have ordered and received a few more resin items from Battlescale (a Russian cottage, another town house ruin and their rather nice 10mm bridge, which at a 120mm span looks be a very nice and natural fit with my 100mm / 4" Kallistra hex terrain.)

January 2017

ACW - The rewrite of my (free) Two Flags - One Nation hex based rules is going quite well. I am just going through my Eagles at Quatre Bras rules to see whether there is anything there that I want to bring across. At the York Wargame show, I picked up some dismounted 12mm Kallistra Union cavalry to help with the McPhersons Ridge scenario that will be used to illustrate the rules. I want these painted and based quickly just to make the play test games feel nicer.

1066 - This year I want to get two small armies made up (12mm Kallistra) to get a Hastings game going (this was also a 2016 wish!). I have previously had a boardgame published on Hastings and so would perhaps like to see a cut down version of the rules from that working on this table and maybe tempt gamers who have never used figures to have a go. The reduction may not work, but it is what I will primarily aim for. At the York Wargame show, I bought five blisters of 12mm Normans from Kallistra just to get things going and some of their hexed slope pieces, as I will need to provide a long continuous slope to represent Senlac Ridge.

Napoleonic 1809 - Pendraken 10mm French and Austrian army packs were bought a couple of years ago with honest intentions - the project is sleeping.

AWI - The project was meant to start in summer this year, but will likely be squeezed by the 1066 project.

WWII - The (free) Tigers at Minsk tactical rules have information for typical east front 1943 Orders of Battle. I would like to do a module that looks at both east and west front in 1944 and that also does something with the rules to show differences in infantry quality.  This is on a go-slow at present.

Terrain - There will be a determined effort to improve hex based battlefield terrain this year. This has started with resin building purchases from Escenografia Epsilon (supplied pre-painted by Pendraken), Battlescale and Timecast. Kallistra slope hexes are being bought to supplement the generic hill pieces that they sell. The plan also involves gradually replacing my bristle type trees that look like small loo brushes with something that has a softer, more realistic look like those trees that are built up with clump foliage. To this end, I picked up a pack of 8 small trees from the new deluxe range that Simon is doing at S&A Scenics. Very nice. Not that they needed it, but I have sprayed additional scenic cement on them, followed by hair spray, just because I do that with all foliage. When the air brush is next out, I will pass a very light yellow / green over them, just to catch a highlight and create contrast.