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Napoleon – Tinder profile vs reality

Have you ever happened to pick up a miniature you painted many years ago, but which you’ve hardly taken any notice of since, and examined it afresh? That happened to me today when I was clearing a wall-shelf in preparation for some house repairs we’ve got coming up. As I was moving a group of rather dusty figures off the shelf, this 28mm model of Napoleon drew my attention. A handwritten note underneath the base informs me that I painted this figure (made by Wargames Foundry, if I recall correctly) fifteen years ago. Since then, I’ve walked past the shelf where it sits numerous times every day. But only today have I actually picked the figure up again and studied it carefully through new eyes. Speaking of eyes, back in those days painting eyes was probably my biggest problem area. I mean, jeepers, creepers, look at those peepers! He’s like something out of Thunderbirds! Nowadays I only hint at eyes with a wash of a darker shade, rather than trying to paint them in detail. The figure

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More cardboard buildings from Paperboys

I’ve been quietly boxing on making some more of the cardboard models from Florian Richter and Peter Dennis’s book European Buildings: 28mm paper models for 18th & 19th century wargames. In addition to the windmill I have previously posted about, I now also have a mansion, a church, and a watermill. This impressive mansion will be perfectly at home as either a country house or a town hall. The book also provides roof connectors to so you join more of this model together to form a larger building – making the entire Palace of Versailles wouldn’t be out of the question! I’ve made this and the other models straight out of the book. The only additional work I have done was to strengthen the inner structures with some heavy card. The northern-European church looks surprisingly solid for a cardboard model. I think it is the buttresses that make it so sturdy-looking. If you wanted to super-detail this model, you could cut out the windows and then re-inset them behind the holes to

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Review: XCOM: The Board Game

Last week, Sigur introduced Virago and me to XCOM: The Board Game. In contrast to my mates, I’ve never played the computer game, but when I was a kid, I avidly watched the British TV series UFO, which seems to be the inspiration for the world of XCOM. XCOM is a cooperative game where the players take to role of the staff of an international organisation defending the earth from aliens. To start with, I have to say that the artwork is not my style. I was a bit surprised by the dark and serious tone, as I expected more of the cheerful camp of the TV series. But then again, contrary to what I might wish this is not an adaptation of the TV series. I like the look of the models though, and Sigur’s paint job transformed them into stunning playing pieces. The innovative and (for me) new thing about the game is that it is app-driven. That means that an app is taking the role of ‘game master’, pacing the game, declaring events and helping to resolve them. I was first pretty sceptical about suc

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Review: Lee’s Invincibles

I recently discovered a series of board wargames called Blue & Gray. They are published by Worthington and cover a range of American Civil War campaigns. Now I always wanted to play a more operational-level game, but – as you probably know – wargames of the hex-and-counter variety somehow put me off. Those games looked nice, quick and simple, though, so I decided to pick up a copy of Lee’s Invincibles, the game that covers the Gettysburg campaign. The game uses point-to-point movement, so no hexes! Instead, there are places connected by roads or railroads. The playing pieces are blocks. Each block represents one corps for the Union and half a corps for the Confederates. Each player also gets cavalry, which can be used for screening actions and a commander. The game is rather simple: Spending action points, each player may activate and move a certain amount of blocks each turn. If a block moves to a location occupied by the enemy, a battle is fought. There is a simple battle resolvement

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ACW Vignettes

I’ve recently made some terrain vignettes for the ACW. The first one is a smithy. I didn’t do much research, I just looked at images from 19th century American blacksmith shops and then built a simple hut. The blacksmith figures are from a medieval blacksmith set from Donnington Miniatures I’ve had lying around for years now.   As always, I made the building out of plastic sheet and covered it with match sticks. The chimney is sculpted out of green stuff. I’m not completely happy with it, but it looks ok. The other vignette is a small scene that links to the topic of friction. A limber broke down on a road and the crew is working (more or less) frantically to replace the wheel. As always when such things happen, two guys are actually working on the problem while the rest is standing around and doing other – certainly important! – stuff. A straggler is chatting with the horse holder. A sergeant is stopping the traffic and securing the scene of the accidentR

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