Monday, June 1, 2020


Its time for monthly progress report and update.

As a reminder I have 6 projects I am running with:

1. Tier 1 15mm Napoleonics
2. Tier 1 20mm Moderns
3. Tier 2 15mm late ECW
4. Tier 2 15mm 2nd-3rd Crusade
5. Tier 2 15mm Imperial Romans in Gaul
6. Tier 2 Micro Sci Fi Fleets

Tier 1 just means these are my primary focus where I dedicate 1 month to each of them followed by 1 month to 1 of the Tier 2 projects.

Recently the focus has been:


And so we come to:


So where am I at?

* 100 or so figures of Imp Romans and some Gauls. 
* settled on a set of rules to use for the tabletop action being Black Powder's Hail Caesar.
* painted and based up 1 cohort of 24 Imperial Roman figures seen in the pic at the top of the page.
* arranged for a painter to paint up 48 Gauls which I then based and shielded as a prototype pictured below.

What is next?

The goal this month is to finish off 1 complete unit of 48 Gauls with shields and basing and get started on another cohort of Romans.

The workspace:

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Prototype Caulking on Canvas Road

Just finished a quick prototype road using caulking spread out on a strip of canvas from the local hardware store.

I then used a model wheel from a cannon to create vehicle lines down the middle, built it up with some roads and gravel, painted it and glued on some grass tufts and flock. A coat of spray to seal it all and its good to go.

The color looks okay to blend in with the new mat and being caulk on canvas it does contour to the mat pretty well, especially when I build some side terrain pieces such as fields and walls and such to side on or next to the edges. The pic really shows the difference in the colors but in reality its not that different.

The plan now is to make multiple pieces 12" long and some curve pieces and run a road from one side of the mat to the other. That will form the basic of a build project where I will then build all sorts of pieces to line the road, gradually building up what I would be aiming to game with.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Color Matching to the new Terrain Mat

I took the mat to the local hardware store today and picked up 2 colors to use as the base and the heavy highlight to try to get my terrain pieces to blend in to the mat.

This is proving more difficult than I imagined.

Below is one of the test pieces from the last few weeks highlighted with the new highlight color.

I am still not 100% happy with it yet so let me know what you think.

The pics certainly make it look more biege than it is. I thought it was actually too pink!

This was the piece originally

Monday, May 25, 2020

My new digitally printed on both sides neoprene gaming mat arrrived!

Just took delivery of this beauty!

Digitally printed on both sides of a 6x4 sheet of neoprene with european grasslands on one side and middle eastern dessert on the other.

Can't wait to put this through its paces.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Updated Technique Making Scenic Items

Here is the new technique I am using to make all my scenic items for the 20mm Modern Afghanistan tabletop as well as all my 15mm tabletops as well.

1. Use a section of hard product for the based. I used 3mm mdf for this example but thick tough card might also do the trick depending on how badly it may warp when done. Previously I have used 5mm cork tiles and even 2 cork tiles glued together to combat warping. I have found that if you paint or glue and flock sections of the piece at a time it is less likely to warp than if I was to paint or glue the whole in 1 step.

2. Use a sharp knife to chamfer the edges so when they are placed on a terrain tabletop, which for me is a mat, the edges will blend in better.

3. Glue on the main scenic item for the model. In my case here I am building a rocky outcrop so I added some filler using old left over pieces of foamcore and a couple of pieces of bark from my garden. Other models might include small buildings, stockpile or scatter pieces, woods, fields, gardens or any combination of those. Don't worry about all the rocks in the images below as I got ahead of myself.

4. Use plaster or filler of some sort to even out and build up the terrain so it looks like its naturally been that way for a while. I use a tube of SIKA WIDE CRACK FILLER - FILLER-105 from the local hardware store as it is a thick grey plaster/clay type substance with some texture already in it which works well as rough ground or wall render etc to give models a little more detail. I use my fingers to smooth it out and work it into the edges of scenic items but thin it out towards the edge of the base. If you are modelling a road or walking track into the scene you need to finish off my running a finger or two along the length of the track you are modelling a few times so it results in a slightly lower and worn out part of the model. With a water based filler you can dip your finger into water and rub it into the filler to make it more thin and spreadable where needed.

5. While the filler is still wet or after applying a layer of wood glue to parts of the scene, sprinkle various sized rocks and gravel or sand of the model. Remember to avoid tracks or roads as the traffic on those tend to be clear of such items.

6. Once the filler or glue for the rocks and gravel is dry, cover the whole model with a coat of your 1st color of paint. For me it is a medium brown acrylic house paint from a sample pot I got from my local hardware store matching the 2 most prominent colors on my terrain mat.

7. When the 1st coat of paint is dry, liberally apply 1 or 2 more "top" colors used to blend the model into the tabletop.

8. Apply any detail items to complete the model such as painting buildings, doors, windows, adding trees or shrubs or flock.

8. Spray with a clear sealer to lock everything into place and protect it from the years to come.

Any comments/suggestions are welcome so feel free to add a comment below.

Monday, May 18, 2020

20mm Afghanistan Project - Test Pieces

After watching and researching a few different techniques for creating some good gaming terrain for my modern Afghanistan project I found some information on using mdf bases with caulking and rocks and paints which really inspired me to try to take my modelling to a new level.

Currently I have a desert mat from Cigar Box Battlemats which I love but over time I've really struggled with how to model uneven terrain and especially to incorporate rivers and roads into the scene.

Previously I modeled cork tiles to sat them close together to create a gaming scene but I resent the 1 use wonder some of these pieces creates and struggle with how to find a common ground of using such terrain pieces but also having some flexibility from game to game. My solution to this is to model pieces which sit on top of the mat but also if large enough have open cut spaces to accommodate smaller pieces which vary from game to game. So a terrain section might have a road built into it with 2 rectangles cut out where a field may be placed in 1 game and a building placed in the next.

Below are some pics from previous games using such cork terrain squares:

I've decided to start again still using my mat as the based but using mdf and card to scenic items and matching a new set of house paints to the mat.

Below are 2 test pieces I did over the weekend:

Next I have a rocky piece to complete as well as a larger section of rural road passing through a couple of fields.

I'm Back Part 2 with Project Updates

So let's see where I'm up to.

A lot has happened since I was last here. Around my last posts in 2017 I had made the decision to drop 6mm projects in favor of 15mm. This in part was due to eyesight adjusting and making it harder to paint but also a renewed interest in unit distinctions and painting skills.

I am still however a gamer over a painter but I do spend a little more time and effort researching uniform and equipment colors as well as a desire to improve my overall painting and modelling skills. My perfectionist character traits will continue to tell me I will never get painting or modelling skills to the level I envisage but that too is a journey I am on - to allow myself to not be perfect and find that line between good and not good enough.

Here is the current list of projects I am engaged on and the status of each as the new beginning point for the resurgence of this blog:


This has and will always be my Tier 1 project. After selling my 20,000 odd Adler Napoleonics in 2017 I have quickly acquired around 7-8,000 15mm figures.

These are made up of:

  • brand new ABs direct from AB and Eureka Miniatures in Australia
  • 2nd hand ABs collected from other wargamers off eBay and Facebook groups
  • dodgy prepaints off Ebay from China (initial collections to get started)
I began building armies based on the 1815 campaign. Currently I have completed the 1st and 2nd Divisions from the French 1st Corps in 1815 under D'Erlon, the British 1st (Guards) Division, the British 3rd Division and some of the 2nd Netherlands Division.

I have large goals for this project. I intend to build the majority of forces from the 1815 Waterloo campaign and 1812 Russian Campaign playing both solo using board games such as War and Peace and tabletop rules of Empire V. To do this I still need to work on solo rules for both the campaign and tabletop portions of the project.


For rules I am still using Empire V as I still find these to give me the best results from a Napoleonic battle I have come to expect through 30 years of readings and research.

Final touches to British 1st (Guards) Division
1st Brigade from the 2nd Netherlands Division


My second Tier 1 project is ultra moderns gaming Afghanistan, Iraq and ultra modern Special Operations in 20mm. Over the past few years I have collected a good amount of infantry and vehicles primarily focused on Afghanistan around 2006-2012. I managed to complete a platoon of 2006 ADF and bought a 2nd hand group of British to go with a group of SEALs I had painted for me. I now also have a large collection of Taliban and various uncompleted attempts at a tabletop modelling Helmand province in Afghanistan.

Most of the figures are:
  • Elheim
  • Wartime
  • Britannia
To campaign modern Afghanistan, Iraq and eventually modern special operations.

The rules I use for this project is Spectre Operations v2.0. I was using Force On Force and still really like the rules but found the Spectre rules more individual which is what I like for this level of skirmish gaming. In time I may add a few house rules to cater for some extra flavor I like from some of the other rule sets I have picked up over the years - Chain Of Command Moderns, Force On Force, Black Ops, Skirmish Sangine and Point Of Contact.
For the campaign system I have various board based games such as A Distant Plain, BCT Command Kandahar and Enduring Freedom. I need to spend some time getting familiar with all of these but I have also begun work on my own system based on being in command of military forces in an area (AO) and juggling a roster of units and orders being passed down. 

Continue developing terrain making skills through various scenic pieces
Continue rules learning games using Spectre


The first of four Tier 2 projects for me is based on Imperial Rome using the 15mm figures and the rules Hail Caesar. These past couple of years sees 1 cohort of legionaries built up and a few rule sets reviewed with a single set chosen. My focus for this period is in Gaul and so a few dozen Gauls have been purchased and painted up.

Campaign to generate tabletops battles loosely based on Rome vs Gaul.

Black Powder Hail Caesar

Finish 2 units of Gauls - awaiting their basing and shields


This project is based on the period around the 2nd and 3rd Crusade and the fall of Jerusalem and to date all I have done is to build a unit of foot and a unit of mounted knights. The historical reference for this project is very liberal for me seeing as its a Tier 2 project. 

To campaign loosely based on this period using a board game for campaign movements and Hail Caesar for tabletop engagements of 15mm figures.

Black Powder Hail Caesar

Build more units of crusader foot and horse
Explore board games of the period to choose a system to use going forward

2c. SCI FI

This Tier 2 project is very early in its life having just purchased a 3d printer and producing a bunch of test starships. 

To campaign large fleet actions but also incorporate 6mm planetside combat and maybe even 15mm-28mm special forces skirmish type actions as well.

For the campaign rules I am yet to find a good system but for the fleet based battles I have been experimenting with Full Thrust and its addons and for the planetside battles a combination of Star Grunt II and Tomorrow's War.

Build prototype fleets
Get more familiar with Full Thrust rules


Another Tier 2 project still in its infancy with only 1 unit of Royalists completed and a set of rules selected to use.

Campaign the 2nd half of the war in 15mm

Black Powder Hail Caesar

Build a Parliamentarian 

So there it is. Where I am for all the projects I have chosen for my lifetime. Stay tuned for regular updates as well as a Monthly Progress Report on the 1st of each month.

I'm Back!

After a few years of dropping the blog and throwing pics up on various Facebook pages I have recently stumbled back on this blog and realised I really don't have a place to journal my own personal projects for my own reference. Besides a few comments and followers who I help to inspire (and thus giving the feeling of giving back for all the inspiration I get from others) I also love rereading older posts and logging the progress of various projects I work on.

So from this week I will be back updating this blog on a regular basis along with Monthly progress reports to help keep myself on track.

See you soon!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Roads Reflocked

I bought a tonne of roads and rivers from an eBay seller called Fat Frank. They are great but I didn't realise they would come already painted and flocked with static grass.

This week during my Tier 3 time I was able to begin deflocking the edges, repainting them in my standard table colour and then added my flock to match my Cigar Box mat. I also paint and flock further in from the edge to reduce the width of the actual path.

On the right is the standard road section and on the left if my reflocked version.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Rebellion Has Arrived

One of the Tier 3 project ideas I have is 15mm AWI. I think Empire V will be took much for this period and the quick game goals I have so I purchased Black Powder for this project. The Paint and Chat groups I have been linking to lately suggested I get the AWI update for BP called Rebellion and I am glad I did. It contains so much information about armies and uniforms and the battles. Its a great resource.

I know Peter Pig and Blue Moon make the best 15mm AWI figures but at this stage I am moving to my other Tier 3 project of 15mm Crusades next as the figures are a good break from painting Napoleonics. Orders for AWI will be placed in a couple of months.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Video Updates Coming Soon!

The other thing I got into this week was movie making.

A couple of the guys on the paint and chat lines suggested using my Iphone to film updates to my blog. At first I passed it off but then the idea took hold. I decided I could take small snippets of footage and edit them together into a small 5 or 10 minute update once a month to the blog.

This weekend I took some test snippets and downloaded Windows Movie Maker and edited it into a small sample clip. I must admit it was a lot easier than I had expected and so am now excited about using this media to journal more of my gaming journey and keep myself accountable to you readers.

Feel free to comment or make suggestions and I will see what I can do to respond and include any material requested.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

ADF in Afghanistan section complete in 20mm


A few years ago I bought some ADF troops in 20mm from Wartime.

I got to work on them researching the paints I needed to depict troops in Afghanistan and painted a few dozen.

Then they sat. And sat. For a long time.

This month 2 things happened.

1. One of my new years resolutions for 2017 was to split my month into the 3 main projects I have with:

* 1st week of each month for my 3rd tier project of Terrain, 15mm Crusades and 15mm AWI
* 2nd week of each month for my 2nd tier project of 20mm Moderns
* the remainder of each month for my 1st tier project being 15mm Napoleonics

2. Joining 2 online paint and chat sessions. These have been fantastic with not only the chance to chat to some great people about gaming and painting but also as a focused to paint.

* Tabletop Commander Forums chat which is every day at 4pm EST which is 0600hrs here in Brisbane. It runs for 3 or so hours and I have been able to get on for 30 to 60 minutes. It runs through Google Hangouts but every day the episode is posted on YouTube at Tabletop Commanders Youtube channel.

* Rocky's War Room chat is every Mon, Wed and Fri at around 9:30pm EST which is around 12:30pm here in Brisbane. It runs for a few hours and also runs via Google Hangouts and every episode is posted on YouTube at Rocky's War Room Youtube channel.

As a result of these 2 things, I dug out my partly painted ADF troops and arranged a standard infantry section of 8 figures and finished off all the painting. All that remains is basing to be done.

This week I need to put them away again until next month and now move back on to my 15mm Napoleonics.