Tag Archives: gaming

Tumbling Tumbleweeds…

Hello anyone still following this decrepit dusty old blog!

I’ve been super busy with all sorts of non-wargaming things for the bulk of this year, but recently I’ve been studying for architecture exams, which involves me listening/watching online lectures and taking notes whenever the talking head behind the videos says something interesting.

There are hundreds of hours of these videos, but the positive side of that (other than me becoming a licensed architect) is that painting miniatures is the perfect accompanying activity to consuming the lectures. I have lots of time for painting.

I’m going to be concentrating on finishing up a couple of projects that I started long ago, namely 28mm Napoleonic skirmish forces, and some 15mm WWII. I will try to blog, occasionally, but I’m also giving Twitter a shot. If it proves to be more convenient/engaging, this blog may go (even more!) dormant. If you’re on Twitter, and think you might be interested, I can be found at @arkiegamer.

Here are a couple of shaky, badly lit smartphone camera photos, just to re-break the ice on this hoary collection of bits. Nothing but quality for my dear readers!


M8 Greyhound. I somehow managed to lose the AA MG off the back during the two years this thing rattled around in a random plastic bin. I think I’m going to try to keep my vehicle painting for this project fairly clean, with no weathering. This scout car was simply block painted in base colors, decaled, sealed with Future Floor Wax, and then I applied a filter and wash of oil paints. The oils add complexity, shading,  and a certain luster to the base colors. I like the look of it, anyway.


M8 Greyhound as seen from a descending artillery shell. This is a Battlefront model. 


Pea Ridge National Military Park – Arkansas

The Battle of Pea Ridge is an American Civil War battle that took place about 30 miles from where I live in Northwest Arkansas. At this battle, the outnumbered Union Army of the Southwest defeated the poorly led Confederate Army of the West over two days in March of 1862. Which puts paid to the apologist notion that the Confederacy was ‘unfairly’ defeated by overwhelming quantities of men and material from the densely populated and heavily industrialized north. In any case, the Union’s victory here cemented their control over Missouri and north Arkansas. Well, except for the utter lawlessness of raiders and other irregulars on both sides of the conflict.

Enough of my amateur history lesson. The battlefield as it currently stands is quite lovely to visit. An 8 mile hike is an excellent way to cover the ground-you’ll see beautiful oak forests and pass through groves of cedar trees only to emerge into golden fields (well, in winter, anyway) to see miles of rail fencing and dozens of cannon arrayed in their historical positions. There’s also a ring road around the entire site, if you prefer to travel by car, but I don’t think you get as good of a sense of the tactical situation the commanders and soldiers faced from the seat of a car.

Of course, my little trip to Pea Ridge today has me thinking about yet another conflict to game. Yikes.

You’ll have to excuse me succumbing to the lure of iphone photo filters on a couple of these shots.

Row of cannon deployed at a woodline.

Row of cannon deployed at a woodline.

Herds of white tail deer inhabit these fields.

Herds of white tail deer inhabit these fields.

Elkhorn Tavern, which sits at a strategically important road intersection.

Elkhorn Tavern, which sits at a strategically important road intersection.


Recommended Listening

I’m on a podcast binge, of late. Here are a couple of history-related shows that I can recommend for listening while jogging, cooking, driving, painting, and other zen-like zone out activities. Don’t zone out too much in the car, though!

  • The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast is an interesting (and detailed) listen. The show is hosted by an Australian named Cameron Reilley, and the resident expert is J. David Markham, who has written a couple of books on the emperor. I suspect that they have a considerable pro-Napoleon bias, but I think that’s fine.
  • I’ve recently started listening to the British History Podcast, which is quite good. The podcast starts with the pre-history of Britain (like 30,000BC) and intends to run all the way up until modern times. Jamie Jeffers is the man behind the mike, and he has a compelling speaking voice. Some of the humor is a bit forced and dorky, but overall the production is quite slick.

More MicroArmor

In my last microarmor post, I was hoping that I could paint up a platoon of tanks (or self-propelled guns, in this case) in under an hour, but those hopes proved to be ill-founded.

I did manage to finish my platoon of Stug IIIgs, a couple of Sdkfz 11 prime movers, and two more Pak40s in an evening’s time, though. That’s  unparalleled speed, in my miniatures painting history! I’m pleased.

I got a little overzealous with the balkenkreuz on a couple of these guys.

I thought this was a nice touch: a pack of GHQ micro-armor (at least this pack of Stug IIIg’s) includes a couple of variations on the unit contained therein-notice the sections of track mounted on two of the Stug turrets (well, they’re not really turrets…fighting compartment?).

For now, I’m planning on going with un-based vehicles. We’ll see how that works out as a gaming solution. I’m a bit worried about bent barrels during games, as they’re quite fragile.

These Sdkfz 11s come with full body-length canopies, and I was going to do one of the miniatures with the canopy deployed. Unfortunately, I didn’t do any test fits, or I would have realized that having the deployed canopy would require trimming the collapsed canopy from the base model.

No way I was diving into that after finishing painting. These guys will drive in the weather.

Incomplete, but not forgotten

Here are the two deployed Pak 40s, based on pennies with tinted matte medium serving as basing material and adhesive.

We’ll see how the basing turns out. None of my normal ground materials are going to work in their usual manner. My model railroad ballast that I typically use for ground texture looks like boulders strewn across the face of Mt. Doom at 6mm scale.

The gunners were fun to paint. Three colors (skin, uniform, and helmet and boots) and an ink wash, and you’re done.

1/285 MicroArmor

The Gamer ADD is bad with me. Very bad. At least it’s WW2, I suppose.

I’ve been testing out some 1/285 GHQ microarmor, after being inspired by Mr. Luther’s stunning 6mm I Ain’t Been Shot Mum games over on Flickr. You really shouldn’t click this link, unless you want to start spending money on microarmor. If you do, though, you can take solace in the fact that it’s cheap cheap cheap.

Without further rambling, here are my first efforts at 1/285 microarmor: a StuH 42, and a couple of PAK 40s.

This scale is proving to be a blast to paint. You don’t really have to sweat the details, because the models are incredibly well cast, considering their size, and a quick drybrush and ink wash really makes them pop. I’d be really upset with myself if I’d neglected to blacken these barrels on a 1/72 piece of armor, but who cares at this scale?

I believe the pencil is German, as well. This scale is fun and very quick to paint.

Proof of the tinyness is above.


Viking Process

I’ve been making slow but steady process on my Vikings. I have to finish basing the three I’m  showing  here, and then I have another  three to go. I have three Perry Brother’s Norman Knights that are supposed to be the Vikings opponents (probably going to use Song of Blades and Heroes for small skirmishes), and I haven’t even cleaned and primed them yet. Oh, and I’ve got about 40 Napoleonic soldiers of various types waiting on deck, plus a jeep and a kubelwagen. That’s a lot of stuff, for me. I should have everything finished up by 2024.

28mm metal viking. This fellow must be the leader, because his hair is blowing dramatically in the wind. My first attempt at blonde hair and non-dip based painting methods.

Red and green are the colors of Christmas, a decidedly non-viking holiday. My commander’s pants and cloak may be detracting from the fierceness of his visage.

This guy is some kind of giant. He’s from the same manufacturer as the rest of my vikings, but would be about 7′ tall, at scale.

Giant Gudrick’s hair looks a bit two-dimensional, as does his clothing. I need to work on creating a sense of light and shadow, without going for that certain hyper-contrasty look that so many miniature painters use.

This ruddy brown hair looks better than the flat lifeless brown that my giant viking is sporting.

In my ignorance of ten years ago, I ordered these Vikings without their shields. This realization only dawned on me after considerable pondering on the fact that 4 of the 6 models had oddly clenched fists. I’m a dolt, sometimes. Shields, and even shield transfers, are readily available on the internet, so no big deal.


…Edit..While looking for 28mm shields, I’ve found where these figures came from (if you’ve read earlier posts, you’ll know that I purchased these vikings 10 years ago, and had no recollection of the name of the manufacturer)!

They’re Wargames Foundry Viking Characters. Mystery solved! Wargames Foundry also has a nice selection of Normans. Hrmmm…