Bandits, Cats and High Five Commanders

The Copplestone Castings collection for Bob is pretty extensive, except for the mounted commanders, which ended up in the rather comical high fiving incident between two opposing commanders at the big game. So, I let Rich loose with a suggested simple conversion.

I’ve tried cajoling Mark C to no avail, to produce a separate set iof mounted commanders.

So it was a quick hand swap with a Circassian Cossack. Rich pinned and greenstuffed the hand into place (thanks). The Circassian got the hand in return (!), so a unique command figure as well.

Now the next lot of figures that Rich brought round on Sunday deserve an entire posting in their own right, and will get one, but for now here they are:

Yes, Copplestone White Russians with Great War Miniatures German heads. This will be a unit from the Baltic/NW Russian RCW theatre, or indeed could be used for Bolshevik International brigades in Central Asia.

Simple head swaps using the German stahlheim heads from the mortar crews I’m also working on.

Having done the shotgunners for the MHC, I also found the bandits – a unit of 10 with rifles, some assortted assault types and their leaders. So having actually enjoyed painting the individualistic shotgunners decided it was high time to do the same with the similarly disparate bandits.

Again by coincidence JP sent out a calling note for our planned AVBCW Big Game on 27th September, so I thought it timely to get another unit sorted for that game as I know several players will be coming cap in hand to borrow figures.

The cats weren’t impressed with any of this, and played dead because its really hot, and I don’t blame them….

It’s hot – The March Violets:

I’m gonna tell you a story
About love about love…c’mon

Living with a family that ate rock and roll
I discovered hunger
Discovered the rise and fall
Of going under for the third time

Obsessed with nails
And leather shades and lizard scales
And maybe Hades looked this good
But I don’t think it’s good enough to eat
Real cheap Jesus
Leatherhead incinerator
Nail head try to break the atom

Head head

It’s so hot in here it’s running down the walls
And it’s dripping in my eyes from my hair
It’s hot it’s so hot

Living with a family that ate rock and roll
I discovered the golden rule
That big brother wasn’t watching me at all
Watching me at all

It’s hot it’s so hot

Living with a family that ate rock and roll

More to come on the WHFB game, and the AVBCW Big Game tomorrow.

Base(ing) Instincts & Emplacements

The new AQMF tank sprues come able to build the basic Mark II tanks and the larger Mark III tanks that have a bigger superstructure. Obviously theis leads to lots of redundant/spare parts. My brain cell had a brain wave on Saturday when I was building more tanks as to what to do with the spare parts.

I had already ditched a number of the spare parts, but had retained enough to make 5 turrets, four with cannon, one with an HMG as a “command” turret.

I remembered that the French and Germans in WW2 used dismembered tank turrets as static defenses.

So I chose a 60mm base to mount them on. These are by co-incidence the same size bases that I use to base support weapons (HMGs/Mortars) on for my AVBCW and BoB units.

I’d started off a few years ago using the old GW bases that their WH40K heavy weapon teams came on, but they phased these out. So I did some scratching around on evil-bay for them, but they are few and far between.

In this picture, the top left one if a GF9 60mm base that is magnetic, I picked it up in a store in Cardiff, but its heavy, expensive and as you can see twice as thick as the GW 60mm that is lower right (upside down with the circular pits).

Doing a quick search, I found a new company called Hurlbat that now do 60mm bases as cheap as chips. their only downside is that they are “shiney”, and have no surface texture so you need to spray them before trying to paint them with a brush and normal paint.

By using this regular size of base for support weapons I can use my CD scenery bases and design some so that you can place the support weapon actually in the cover, rather than balance the weapon and crew rather inelegantly on top of the scenery.


The turrets mounted on the bases, just the right size !

the turrets painted up easily. Same as the tank:

  • black undercoat;
  • Foundry Moss Shade;
  • GW Camoshade wash
  • GW Leadbelcher silver;
  • GW Nuln Oil black wash.

Now I have a static line defence to use in AQMF.

Obviously with a little bit of imagination similar bunkers and scenery pieces can be made – loading bays for instance – camouflaged redoubts and so on. Therte are some rules for fortifications in the rule book so I’ll be offf working out what these items really represent.

BoB: Big Game – Важно полустанке Part 1

Yesterday’s Big Game went well. The tables were set up, with one featuring the village, and the other the steppe.

Much more open:

On Table 1, at the village the French interventionists and their White “definitely not brigands” set up their defensive lines.

There was much chat about the french running a brothel.

The brave French pushed their colonist levies forward.

The Whites pushed forward.

To be faced by hordes of Reds !

On Table Two out on the steppe, the ragged White Russians set up their defensive perimeter.

Whilst the German hirelings, the Don Cossacks swept in across the open steppe.

Along with their Turkish allies (NB: Matt’s Turks were based for mountain warfare, hence the white bases !).

BoB Big Game 31st May – Once Upon A Time In The East

Details of the BoB Big Game I am organising are now up including the overall scenario, table dispositions of players and useful resources. The trains and rolling stock shown before should be deployed for the first time.

As inspired by:

One of my favourite films: “Once Upon A Time In The West”.

The door is still open to anyone wanting to take part, its based in Hereford UK.

Train (now arriving at platform 1)

Some more rolling stock:

An armoured train.

Coach, and high sided truck.

Flat bed trucks with varying height side pieces.

A flat bed truck would often be put in front of the train so that any sabotage/explosives would destroy it, rather than the main locomotive. The flat beds with higher sides would be used for supplies, horses and troops.


In the RCW/BoB genre, armoured trains feature a fair amount in the bibliography but rarely on the table. Years ago, I bought the Brigade Games rolling stock (not all of it!) and now I am hosting big BoB games, wanted to roll it out.

So here’s the juicy Armoured train. All 12 inches of it (oo-er).

The resin features such as the rungs were fragile, one broke off when I picked it up.
So taking it to Byakhee Richard’s pining service, a lot was replaced with brass rod.

The three turrets, all armed with artillery guns and HMGs were all magnetised. The wheel bogies also got some attention to cope with some modest curves in the track.

The photos show it on the little S Gauge track I have acquired.

If I thought that wargames suppliers were retrograde in terms of commercial service, then my eyes have been opened by the sheer unwillingness of railway model suppliers to have decent websites, decent catalogues and their sheer unwillingness to actually respond to e-mails and telephone calls in order to sell their wares.

More rolling stock to follow, plus my own painting efforts.

BoB: 4 Ground Buildings pack of East European buildings

Following on from the AVBCW Big Game, several of the attendees asked whether I’d be dojng another Big Game, and whether it would be BoB. Simple answer is yes.

So whilst recovering on Sunday evening, I decided to buy some more scenery suitable for BoB/RCW. I remembered I had seen the new 4 Ground Eastern Europe scenery and decided to check that out.

I ordered it Sunday evening, received a dispatch notice Tuesday morning, and an hour later the courier turned up with it !

A veritable pile of pieces. I opened up the Russian building pack. The figure gives some idea of how many components are involved in these buildings. The figure is a 28mm piece from the Mannheim Partizan convention that I bought and was delivered a week or so ago. (A dismounted Cossack – lovely figure)

I thought it was going to take a month of Sundays to build these buildings given the double sided A4 instruction leaflet.


But I didn’t think I’d be using clothes pegs to hold stuff together.

By 8.30pm however, the building was 90y% complete. I did the main walls and interior and then the roof section in parallel which reduced the time. I did not press out all the wall sections to further ‘distress’ them as I wanted a half habitable building. This morning all I had to do was glue on the shutters, cut and paint a base, and then this afternoon glue the building to the base, flock and add static grass.

Ta da !

  • A bit pricey at £20+, but you get a fully painted building with interior and exterior detail that you can customise, so worth it.
  • Follow the instructions closely
  • the building is solid with good thick walls.
  • I’ll be buying their paints to finish off the joints better.

Well worth the money and a super quick service.

BoB: The Czech & Slovak Legion in Siberia, 1917-1922

BoB Book 1001

New book arrived, just published by McFarland.

It covers the Czechoslovak Legion during the dying days of WW1 and more particularly WW1. The author has obviously used personal reminiscences of friends and family of the legion. The book is chunky and has lots of photos I have not seen before. These are non-combat photos but nonetheless very handy when modelling/painting the legion and understanding its history.

The development of the Legion during WW1 is detailed, and its subsequent involvement in the RCW is covered. There is nothing new in that narrative, but it is very useful to have the individual frustrations of Czechoslovaks detailed. It fleshes it out and adds more personal insight. The Legions role in the RCW is covered again offering no revelations but a host of detailed events and personal experiences. The growing gulf between the aspirations of the Allied intervention, the Whites and the Czechs is however much more detailed than I have read before.

The prolonged agony of retreat is detailed well and tallies with all the other versions I have read/seen. The Legion certainly did not get treated well either by its Allied overseers (Gen.Janin) or its nominal comrades in arms the Whites. It held on to the end, defending Kolchak and the bullion, before evacuation. However Gen.Janin comes out as the unfortunate middleman, damned if he did, damned if he didn’t. Kolchak’s light wanes further with more witnesses commenting on his dissolute regime.

The book covers not just the legion but the RCW in general. Sadly, I wish it had stuck just the legion. T The text also suffers from repetition of phrases such as various towns being repeatedly described as “…began to resemble Omsk…”. It also jumps around the timeline too much, so you do have to have a very thorough grounding in the RCW and in particular events in Siberia to keep a track of what is going on. There are many details of what the Legion did behind the lines (esp its organisation). There is a paucity of information as to its military activity, uniforms, equipment and front line engagements. This is more a social and political history.

Overall, it is a valuable addition to an RCW library, however, it is really only for those with a thorough grounding in events in Siberia and not for wargamers interested solely in military Orbats.

As you can see from my picture (scan) of the book, it has lots of great items of info that I have marked so I hope this doesn’t come across as a negative review. Rather this is a book for the serious RCW enthusiast.

Filler, or something has been weighing on my mind…

Finally, the weather changed yesterday and today and I could spray varnish the figures I’d done before Xmas, and undercoat some more.

In return for a hand written and signed Xmas card, Byakhee Rich had assembled a Copplestone Castings Schupo Sonderwagen (or rather two), and delivered them during Xmashammer. The two MG turrets held in place by magnets as usual.

The newly varnished Dark Elves needed to be packed into the box, and also weighted. I’d done some ad hoc weighting of bases during Xmashammer for Anthony’s Dwarves, but had neglected to do my own. So I set about weighting them.

Why weight them ?

Plastic figures are very light, and can often be top heavy. When moving/placing them on the battlefield,especially on slopes, they can fall over. For WHFB games this is especially annoying as you can see an entire forest of spearmen fall over virtually every time you move them or the table gets knocked.

Therefore, I weight the bases with polyfilla, and or metal weights – off cuts from sprues and such like.

Sorting through my Dark Elf Infantry box, I found I’ll be doing a lot more weighting than I thought ! But at least I have now finished off that box entirely:

  • 3 x 10 RXB units
  • 1 x 20 RXB unit
  • 1 x 50 Spearmen (with options for two units instead)
  • 1 x 35 Ladies of Spears
  • 1 x 35 Silver Talons


One A/C in progress and the highlights on Greatwing are being done. The brass etched foliage is being added as well now its been painted and highlighted.

No rest for the wicked…

AVBCW: Ramshackle Barn – 1

Acquired today were some milk chruns and a Ramshackle barn kit:

Both were acquired in preparation for the latest AVBCW Big Game I am planning with JP later this month.The ramshackle barn is a plastic kit from the Perrys/Renedra and will do me for AVBCW, BoB, WHFB and AWI (the sleeper project). A very simple kit.

As t is plastic, I immediately decided to put it on a base, so I used the usual artists’ mounting card, and measured out a base large enough for the barn plus 30mm all round, and 60mm at the front. This means that I can move figures on 25mm bases around the building even if I have surrounded it with hedges/fences/something. I also rounded off the edges as square card edges always start getting damaged and fray something chronic. And look crap.

Painted the base immediately, and also undercoated the underside to prevent the card from warping too much.
The lean to was assembled after the main barn had been assembled and undercoated.

Its already been base coated with Foundry Bay Brown in prparation for tomorrow’s highlighting and general abuse.

It took less than an hour to do – ok it was spread out through the day whilst the gardeners gave me reasons to go to the tip twice with four builders bags of hedge clippings, and the project manager from the builders came and sized up my ever expanding boiler wreck project (he’s expecting more damage to be found).

I hope to complete this tomorrow as a mini project.