Sunday, 1 December 2019

Contrast Paints - First Try

In June, the day after the Great Game finished I wandered into Games Workshop (I can't quite train my brain to think Warhammer) in Glasgow and picked up a few of the new Contrast paints to give them a go.

I've always liked the idea of Imperial Fists as a legion except for the unfortunate fact that they are yellow. Yellow and I don't get on, it has a habit of going green at the merest hint of brush contamination and even when it works it's either so dull as to be anonymous or so effervescent it dominates the pallet.

So here was a chance, not shading, no highlights just slap it on is what GW said. The result is below.

The yellows and browns are Contrast paints, the metals and red traditional acrylics and washes.

I'll have more thoughts on Contrast in a later post.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Nostalgia - SPI's Jena Auerstadt

This was the first wargame I bought - well to be honest my Dad bought it for me - in 1980. I can remember vividly selecting from what looked like a wonderous selection of similar games in John Menzies on Princes Street, Edinburgh. Expensive game - £4.95!

Box in not too bad a condition

It turned up again when I was looking through random boxes in my parents' cavernous loft; must be thirty years since I saw it last and perhaps another five since it was played.
The major difference between SPI and Avalon Hill - SPI boards were paper and this one hasn't fared so well
I don't recall much about it other than it was incredibly difficult for the Prussians to get any better than a losing draw. Guess that would be about right!
It was one of a quartet of games known as Napoleon at War which shared base mechanics

Relatively small number of counters. That die used to be white by the way. 

Sunday, 3 November 2019


I have spent a lot of time looking for a suitable play mat for the opening section of my Blood Red Skies (BSR). Specifically I wanted something with at least a little bit of sea so that my imaginary Hurricane squadron could take on the Luftwaffe’s Kanalkampf in July 1940.

Having purchased a couple of maps in the past notably one to refight Waterloo with the Blucher rules:

And another for X-Wing/Armada

I thought this would be easy. However, despite there being some wonderful prints out there nothing really hit the spot and I took the unusual step (for me) of making something myself.The terrain needed to be:
  • Flexible – usable with other systems;
  • Able to transition from sea to land;
  • Allow planes to stand;
  • Take up little storage space – I do have a double garage to store and play but every little helps to borrow from a well known super-market.

In the end I decided to use Sarissa’s new terrain system with a simple texture paint followed by a little washing and drybrushing.The base tile:
Paint blue (in this case GW Kantor Blue):
Spread Vallejo Water Texture North Atlantic with a lollipop stick…

This takes at least 24 hours to cure.

Then add random patches of Biel Tan Green wash – this is just to break up the solid blue.
Dry brush with a light grey and then white.

I’ve also expanded the tiles to include:A sand bank:

Shore line:
Pretty pleased with the results so far and it doesn’t take long to make, maybe 20 minutes effort per board. Most time is spent waiting for coats to cure or dry. All I have to do is keep adding boards and soon I'll have a decent sized playing area.

So all I need for Kanalkampf is some painted aircraft but more on those later. I’m also very tempted with Black Seas…

Sunday, 20 October 2019

October - already!

Where has the time gone? The Great Game came and went and much as I enjoyed the preparation and weekend I was looking forward to getting on with other projects and blogging about something other than cuirassiers.

There is life after cuirassiers, allegedly

But, well, life kinda gets in the way. Nothing bad just a lack of focus on my part means there has been nothing up here other than some more pictures of the Great Game and that was a couple of months ago.

I haven’t been idle; I’ve been mucking about with contrast paints, playing Blackstone Fortress as a solo game and preparing for a solo Blood Red Skies campaign which will follow an RAF Hurricane squadron through the Battle of Britain.

Proof of both Blackstone Fortress and Contrast Paints!
One of the unexpected side effects of the Great Game is I have actually been playing more games thanks to a chance meeting with a couple of former League of Augsburg Weekender veterans at the Carronade show in Falkirk. So, over the past few months I have had a go at Black Powder, Warlords of Erehwon, Battlegroup and Chain of Command. In 2019 I’ve probably played more games than I have over the past five years.

One day some of this will get played with... or at least opened!
This of course has led to more projects… but more of those in a later post.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

More Waterloo Replayed Pictures

Last of these, hopefully the next post will actually show some movement on the lead mountain - I have been using GW's Contrast Paints!