Category Archives: Old West

2013 in Review

Time keeps going by! 2013 was a good year for miniatures wargaming, at least in my little corner of the world. I graduated from architecture school, which freed up a considerable amount of time, and starting making money again, which freed up a considerable (relatively!) amount of income. Both of these resources are, of course, absolutely essential to getting much of anything done in the world of historical miniatures wargaming.

I photographed the current state of my various projects at this date, and those photos will be shown below, but the REAL point of a post like this is to set goals for 2014. Here is my tripartite scheme for wargaming joy in 2014:

  • Finish existing projects.
  • Introduce new players to the hobby.
  • Play more games.



I have a number of projects in varying scales and from varying periods that could easily be finished up. By finished up, I mean put into a playable state. Reaching that playable state primarily involves painting up the opposing side and a bit of terrain work.

Having these projects completed will allow me to tackle task two.


This may be a quixotic task, but I have quite a few friends who really enjoy board games (including some light wargames, like Axis and Allies or Small World) and/or RPGs, and I feel like there has to be some potential for them to become interested in miniatures wargaming. If I can provide the playing surface and both sides, it should be easy to get them to play, and hopefully THAT will set a hook in someone’s gamer mouth, and they’ll be caught.


I did get to play some historical miniatures wargames this year. I participated in a massive game of Napoleon’s Battles, and just before Christmas the Scarlet J and I put on a small regimental American Civil War game using Regimental Fire and Fury.

I’d like to do more. Thus the finishing of projects, and the introduction of the hobby to potential new players.


So, those are the conceptual goals.

More concretely, I plan to play more Regimental Fire and Fury with TSJ. My friend Frank and I are going to do some Napoleonic gaming using Neil Thomas’s rules (which are very simple, and don’t require massive numbers of figures), with a jump-off date of ‘this summer.’ There shall be some WWII skirmish gaming using Chain of Command by TooFatLardies. I’d also like to finish up a long-outstanding 1/285 WWII project. The elephant in the room is the ~12.3 tons of terrain in various scales that needs to be produced. No problem.

We’ll see how it goes!


Finally, here’s my figure painting output for 2013, minus some fantasy RPG figures that I painted for some friends.

28mm Old/Wild West Skirmish

28mm Old/Wild West Skirmish

This would be an easy project to finish. It only needs terrain and some custom cards for The Rules with No Name.

20mm Panzergrenadiers for Chain of Command

20mm Panzergrenadiers for Chain of Command

My panzergrenadier platoon for Chain of Command. I could make this force more flexible by painting additional riflemen. Then I could also field them as a plain ‘old Wehrmacht platoon. I also need to paint up some scout cars, AT guns, and other fun things like that.

20mm US troops for Chain of Command

20mm US troops for Chain of Command

I have a few more unpainted 20mm US figures that would bring this force up to a full squad. I’m sorely tempted to order the figures needed to finish out the platoon from Eureka miniatures, now that AB figures are available in the USA. Also need scout cars and other fun additional forces.

15mm Confederate brigade for Regimental Fire and Fury

15mm Confederate brigade for Regimental Fire and Fury

15mm Confederate brigade for Regimental Fire and Fury

15mm Confederate brigade for Regimental Fire and Fury

Completing this brigade of Confederate troops (plus a battery of guns) was far and away my major accomplishment of 2013. I look forward to building on them in the future. In the short term, I’d like to add some cavalry, just because they look cool. I realize they’ll likely be next to useless on the battlefield, at least at the scale we’re playing at. I’d like to paint up a Union brigade, too, though that’s quite a way in the future.

TSJ and I plan to play once per month, which should roughly sextuple (it’s not a word, I know) my miniatures wargaming plays over the course of the year.

52nd oxford

Here’s the beginnings of the new project for 2014-15/18mm Napoleonics. Obviously I’m cheating and getting a head start. These guys are painted up as the 52nd Oxfordshire, and only lack a command stand to represent a battalion in Neil Thomas’s Napoleonic Wargaming rules set. Frank and I will be doing a division each. He’s doing a division of all KINDS of interesting (interesting means crazy, in this case*) French and French-allied troops. I’m going to be doing the vaunted Light Division, plus a battalion of Brunswickers and some KGL hussars. Oh, and some horse artillery. First contact should be early this summer.

I may try and get in some Sharp Practice skirmish gaming before our division level games.

I have to say, painting redcoats after 2.5 months of butternut and grey has been a real joy. I’m sure I’ll get sick of them soon enough, though.


There you have it, more than you ever wanted to know about my gaming plans for 2014!


*I’m kidding, of course. Frank really knows his stuff. It will be cool to see all of these obscure troops on the table, and I’m sure the uniforms are going to be awesome.

End of the Year Wrap-up

It’s been an interesting year. I dove into the wargaming hobby headfirst in late 2011, with the intention of developing forces and terrain in 1/72nd for WWII skirmishing. That objective lasted about 2 months, at which point I began to branch out in subject and scale. For instance, I’m currently trying to do WWII in 1/285! Other interests include 1/72 Napoleonic Skirmish, WW2 air combat in 1/600, 28mm dark ages and medieval skirmish, 28mm old west, 15mm sci-fi, and I’ve even started messing about with some old 25mm fantasy miniatures that I’ve had since I was a kid.

The impact of all this dithering about is that I’ve played exactly one game of historical miniatures in 2012, and it was pitifully small (though quite fun). I’m not too upset-I really enjoy being able to chase whatever hare crosses my path modeling/painting-wise, but I’d really like to do more gaming in 2013. So, here in bullet point form are my goals for 2013.

Finish company level forces (German and British) in 1/285 for WWII gaming by mid-January.
Decide on a type of terrain for 1/285. I’ve been waffling back and forth between some sort of sheet/pastels system and more formal boards.
Build the 1/285 terrain and put on a full WW2 game using Too Fat Lardies rules, I Ain’t Been Shot Mum v3.
Finish platoon level sci-fi forces (Khurasan Feds vs. As-yet-to-be-determined foe) by June.
Build a modular terrain system for 15mm gaming and play some Tommorrow’s War using the aforementioned sci-fi minis.
Once these two goals are complete, I’ll consider myself free to pursue other miniatures gaming interests.
What are the chances of me adhering to these goals? Practically nil. We’ll see, though. I’m actually pretty close on the 1/285 stuff. My Germans are 75% painted, and my British armor and a company of infantry arrived in the mail last week, so the barrier of having the figures has been crossed.

A few pictures of some things I’ve been working on in the last couple of months follow.

I have no idea what manufacturer they came from, but I love these sculpts.

I have no idea what manufacturer they came from, but I love these 25mm fantasy sculpts. The fellow on the right is far from finished, obviously.

I have big dreams of suckering the local gaming club into trying out miniatures wargaming through Old West skirmishing.

I have big dreams of suckering the local gaming club into trying out miniatures wargaming through Old West skirmishing.

Perry Brothers Crusaders and some Foundry Vikings. I'm not sure what to do with these guys, and obviously I'd have to buy more figures (and shields!).

Perry Brothers Crusaders and some Foundry Vikings. I’m not sure what to do with these guys, and obviously I’d have to buy more figures (and shields!) regardless of the rules.

GHQ armor, and Adler German Infantry. You're looking at a platoon of Stugs, a couple of Pak40s, and a platoon of Panzergrenadiers with some additional elements.

GHQ armor, and Adler German Infantry. You’re looking at a platoon of Stugs, a couple of Pak40s, and a platoon of Panzergrenadiers with some additional elements.

This is where I'm at with my German forces

This is where I’m at with my German forces

Adler infantry, GHQ armor.

Adler infantry, GHQ armor.

I struggle painting Napoleonics. I have a half-dozen unfinished Voltigeurs that are driving me nuts!

I struggle painting Napoleonics. I have a half-dozen unfinished Voltigeurs that are driving me nuts!

Hang ’em High

Such is the nature of my current life, that I have only time to piddle, when it comes to my hobbies. These are some 28mm Knuckleduster miniatures that I’ve been doing said piddling with. I’ve been experimenting with ink washes, and not drybrushing. I’m getting mixed results. Typically my figures have looked better up close than at table distances-I think I’ve reversed that trend with this group of miniatures, but maybe a bit too far in the other direction!

A pair of Knuckleduster figures. The guy on the left is a random gunman, the guy on the right is a version of The Man with No Name.

Below is Clint’s backside, and my first attempt at free-handing a pattern onto a mini. I suppose I should have included a chair as a prop.

The mayor’s back side.

Now we have another Clint character on the left, who I repainted after having initially tried the ‘dip’ method. On the right is a bandit, or someone who is extremely paranoid about SARS, and willing to do something about it. Mr. Sars is supposed to be wearing a chocolatey coat, similar to one in a famous Remington painting, but it was difficult to pull off.

At last we have The Duke, who stands alone. This is the figure that looks the best at table distances. Too bad his face was a bit mangled in the casting process.

After a disfiguring stagecoach accident…

So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. I have a few more western minis to paint up, and a couple of squads of Khurasan Federals are on deck.

At my friend Brendon‘s suggestion, I’m going to try to get enough stuff together to run a simple old west skirmish game. Maybe some desperate shootout at a Pony Express station or remote ranch house. I’ll be using the freely available “The Rules with No Name.” The link leads to TRWNN’s Yahoo Group, which you’ll have to sign up for to get the rules.

Hey, It’s the 19th Century!

A Smattering of Paint

I haven’t been totally lazy of late, but I still haven’t gotten back to my WWII stuff. This post will show that my gamer ADD is in full effect. At this point, I’m embracing it, rather than fighting it!

Knuckleduster Miniatures

First up are three 28mm cowboy miniatures from Knuckleduster’s (USA) line. These minis have oodles of flavor/attitude, and were pretty easy to paint. They do have oddly small feet paired with oddly large hands, but the proportions don’t look crazy at table distances. My girlfriend painted the guy on the far right, and I have to say that she did a much better job on her first miniature than I did.

Some of these are intended to be characters from movies and TV shows. I think the guy on the left might be Eastwood from Pale Rider, but I’m not sure about the other two.

Italeri 95th Rifles Officer

Next we have a test painting of an officer from Italeri’s British 95th rifles in 1/72nd. Painting figures in ‘true’ 1/72nd, compared to the overly large Valiant minis that I’ve been doing is quite an adjustment. They’re tiny! I’m guessing that the 95th rifles are one of the easier Napoleonic units to paint, and even they are fairly finicky and highly detailed (even if you can’t tell on this overly-dark mini). I can’t wait/dread getting to some of the more exuberant units.

Both of these groups of miniatures were done using the ‘dip’ method. I’m really not satisfied with this batch. They’re murky, murky, murky – even in these photos, which have had some pretty significant levels adjustment in Photoshop. The minis look OK at a few inches from your face, but at table-top lengths they turn to dark blobs. I’ll go back and highlight these guys and see if it helps, but I need to work on brightening up my painting!