Category Archives: Historicals

Historical and quasi-historical gaming of various sorts. English Civil War and Thirty Years War, the Great War (World War One), the Russian Civil War and other interwar conflicts, and whatever else we wander into!

Half-Timber Barn WiP Part II: Thatched Roof

Picked up a cheap towel to use as thatching. Here it is in a quickie late-night photograph, glue still wet on the roof of the half-timber barn.

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Towel strips as thatch on the half-timber barn. As usual, click for full size.


The roof has a base of sheet styrene. I used white glue to stick the towel strips down, then more thinned white glue to soak the towel, which (when it eventually dries!) should solidify it nicely.

The barn has also been given a base of mattboard and mostly primed. My usual scenery primer is a 1:1 mix of white glue and black paint, mixed right on the model. It seals and protects the scenery surface nicely, even fairly fragile stuff like styrofoam toughens up a bit!

The main arched doors are also in progress, but I forgot to get a photo of them.

Still to-do for the roof, trim the edges and glue them under the eves for a more finished look, then paint and more paint. I also need to do basswood rafters under the roof, both for looks and for actual structural support, as the roof will still be removable when this building is finished.

The roof still looks a bit too towel-like right now, hopefully finishing the edges and painting will sort that!

Half-Timber Barn WiP

Something for the English Civil War/Thirty Years War table, as well as for pulp games set in the quainter parts of the UK or Europe! All those crops gathered from my fields have to be stored somewhere, after all.

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A stone-and-halftimber barn, work in progress. Click, as usual, for larger.

The whole thing is highly inspired by Warlord Game’s rather nice 16th Century Barn. Actually, scrub “highly inspired”, I’m outright copying the building, as a learning piece! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, isn’t it?

The basic structure is foamcore. The stonework is soft foam salvaged from a takeout food container; I’m going to have to swing by our local (awesome) plastic supplier to see if they have something similar in sheets, as one takeout container at a time is a rather slow way to accumulate building materials! I scribed/carved the stones with a sharp pencil, and quite like how they’ve turned out.

The timbering is 1/8th x 1/16th inch balsa strip from the Stockpile’o’Doom. I have about six lengths of it, and it is entirely possible it’s leftovers from our family model railroading setup in the early/mid-1990s when I was in junior high. I think I’ve carried that balsa around long enough — time to put it to use, right?

Doors, additional timbering at the corners of the building, and a base are still to do. The inside will get a bit of plastering just for texture, and probably a lot of straw strewn around and such — details to add interest without getting much in the way, ideally.

The roof will be towel thatching over a styrene base.

I’ve heard the suggestion that you try one new-to-you technique per project; I’m afraid this simple-looking building breaks that “rule” good and proper! Foam stonework is new to me; likewise half-timbered building construction, and I’ve never actually used the towel-as-thatch technique before either! Wish me luck!

Photos from My First Thirty Years War Fight

Sunday the 29th of May we got together to do a four-player 1,000pt Field of Glory: Renaissance battle; this was bigger than had previously been attempted and was my first actual game in this period.

I badly bent a rule I’ve held to for more than a decade, and fielded unfinished figures (a lot of them, in fact!) to get a force on the table. I had an allied German army of two units of standard pike-and-shot foot, a field commander, and an oversized technically-illegal unit of really good-quality horse (six bases instead of the usual four, all Superior Determined Horse, for the other FoG:R players out there), the rest of our side (centre and other wing) was all German Catholic. Opposing us was a French force, with one wing of allied English New Model Army. An a-historical mashup, to be sure, but a good game. The two allied wings wound up facing each other, my German Prods vs the New Model Army, while the two larger armies fought the other wing and the centre.

Photos, a bit more narrative and some thoughts after the jump!
Continue reading Photos from My First Thirty Years War Fight

ECW Painting, Other Randomness for 28 May 2011

An entire week since my last substantial post! The horror, how will our dedicated readership cope?

I’ve been painting up an English Civil War/Thirty Years War storm this week, filling that inevitable post-Lead Painters League void with 40-odd plastic pike-and-shotte foot and a dozen horse. You all saw 5 of the horse in one of my LPL entries, of course, the rest are taking shape nicely and all of the foot now have most of their basic paint on them. Sunday the 29th we’re running a 1000pt Field of Glory: Renaissance big battle, and I’m breaking one of my long-standing rules by fielding figures that aren’t even anywhere near finished just to get something on the table. At least they’re not straight-up Primered Legions — there are depths to which I will not stoop.

No pictures of my WiP paintjobs, but I’ll take the camera to tomorrow’s big game and try to get some reasonable shots to share here.

The Lead Adventure Forum is, of course, one of the greatest collections of creative wargaming minds I’m aware of. A random sampling of current coolness there that should be more widely known: Chicken Race on the Arumbaya, in which the estimable Hammers plans a pulpish steamboat race with a South American feel and some great-looking boats. Also, Boggler’s converted Improvised Back-of-Beyond Armoured Truck, very nice conversions of diecast toy trucks.

Elsewhere on the web (elseweb?) An Evil Giraffe has done his own versions of my riverbank pieces, and very nice they are too. He used broken cork sheet for his banks, so it has more texture (but also more height) than mine.

Finally, also via LAF but worthy of being mentioned on it’s own, Sarissa Precision have started selling a very, very nice looking line of 28mm laser-cut and -etched urban buildings that are perfect for pulp! Information here on the Sarissa site, and on sale here in their online store. I can’t wait to have some spare money to throw Sarissa’s way, the buildings are a good size (6″x4″ or 8″x6″ footprints and stackable for extra floors) and a fair price with enough detail to be interesting but not too fussy that they’re impractical. Hopefully at some point they offer their windows, doors and other details seperately, or even just the building fronts for those of us comfortable cutting our own side and rear walls.

Photos tomorrow or Monday of the ECW/TYW big-game madness, I promise!

LPL5 Week 9: The Horse Again, I’m Afraid

Week 9? There was no Week 9. Well, OK, there was, but it involved me running my ECW Parliamentarian Horse again, and them getting beaten. Again.

However, I still like the models and the paintjob I managed on them, so here they are again for everyone to admire:

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For God And Parliament! 28mm English Civil War horse charge down a country lane. As always, click for full size.

In better news, LPL5’s final, ultimate round, Round 10, with the bonus theme of “A Scene from the Movies” is running right now. All sorts of great stuff, including a bonus-worthy set of miniatures from me that I really like, and that other people do too, judging by the voting!

LPL5 Week 8: For God And Parliament!

For the 5th Lead Painters League’s 8th Round, something entirely new from me: 28mm English Civil War/Thirty Years War cavalry!

These are Warlord plastic horse, nominally ECW Parliamentarian horse but really destined for our gaming group’s quasi-historical nominally-Thirty Years War games. They’re also the first 28mm cavalry I’ve ever done, the first plastic wargaming figures I’ve ever done, and the first non-20th C historicals I’ve ever done. All at once!

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For God And Parliament! 28mm English Civil War horse charge down a country lane. As always, click for full size.

Unfortunately they got beaten soundly by a nicely presented and very characterful set of 28mm Middle Eastern figures.

Still, I’m pleased with how the paintjobs turned out. I’d be remiss if I didn’t credit this Games Workshop article on painting horses with making the horse painting and the resulting horses both more interesting! (I’ve just said something nice about GW, in public… this might just be a sign of the End Times…)

(I also just noticed that this is post number 100 on The Warbard! Now, that includes a lot of old website material brought over as posts, but it’s still been a busy 4-and-a-bit months here! Many more to come! — Brian)

LPL5 Week 7: The Lewis Gun

“Whatever happens, we have got/the Lewis gun, and they do not”

— with apologies to Mr. Kipling, of course.

My LPL5 Week 7 entry was more Brigade 28mm British, this time a Lewis gun team and supporting riflemen. The Lewis gun team are very nice sculpts, slightly more detailed than the riflemen from the same range. They got matched up with a rather nice set of pirates, including a great pirate ghost, and defeated, though.

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The Lewis Gun, my Round 7 LPL5 entry. As always, click for full size.

LPL5 Week 8 is on now!

LPL5 Week 6: White Russians!

No, not the (very tasty!) drink, but White Russian Rifles from sometime in the Russian Civil War; the figures are 28mm from Brigade Games and very nice.

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White Russian Rifles, my Round 6 entry for LPL5. As always, click for full size.

My Whites will, by the time you read this, have been fairly comprehensively beaten by an Irish medieval/Dark Ages warband with very, very nicely painted freehand shield designs, and Round Seven will be underway!

LPL5 Week 5: Hunting von Lettow-Vorbek

Week Five of the LAF’s Lead Painters League having just ended, here’s my entry. This was one of the bonus theme weeks; the bonus theme this time was “Africa”, with extra bonus points for producing an opposing team as well as your basic 5-figure entry.

I completely forgot about the extra bonus points for an opposing team, but that wouldn’t have mattered as I’ve no suitable figures anyway. I did manage to shoehorn the tropical British I’ve been painting in, as British and British Empire troops spent the entire length of the Great War chasing Paul von Lettow-Vorbek around various East African territories. They never caught him, he surrended shortly after the November 11 Armistice undefeated in the field.

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Hunting von Lettow-Vorbek, Tanganika 1917 (Click for a full-size version, as always)

Unfortunately my British riflemen got done for by a group of zombie nomads on zombie camels, but I’m still pleased with the paintjob on them and the photograph.

The larger base they’re on, incidentially, is a CD covered in sand and fine gravel, then painted to mostly match the bases of the British and some of the other figures I’ve been doing lately.

LPL5 Round 6 launched Sunday, go check out all the great entries!

LPL5 Week 2: Command On The Frontier

More goodness from the Lead Painters League, this time my Week Two entry, titled Command On The Frontier. The frontier in this case being the interwar Northwest Frontier, nominally. British officers and sargents attempting to control the volatile, dangerous border between what was then British India & Afganistan.

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Command on the Frontier, 192-. More Pulp Figures goodness. As always, click for full size.

Unlike my winning Round One entry, Command got soundly and deservedly thrashed by a spectacular field hospital entry from Hammers. Entertainingly, both cover the same ground — British interwar army — and even the same theatre (!) so the random match generation had a bit of a sense of humour about the whole thing.

Once again, the figures were all from Pulp Figures, a mix of PTB-1 British Army Tropical Command and a few from PHP-18 Rugged Sons of the Empire.

Anyway, onto Round Three, in which I have a much better set of photos, more colourful figures and (Dog willing…) perhaps a less overachieving opponent!