Saturday, June 16, 2018

Slow Progress on the Painting Front

Well, my Christmas wave of mojo finally ran out.  I loaded up my painting table five weeks ago, with expectations of a painting frenzy, and in all that time have painted only 13 miniatures.

A bunch of game scenarios that I want to play await one bit or another to be finished before they can be played, but just can't work up the juice to get much done.

I have been doing a bit of reading, re-visiting some of Drake's Hammers Slammers stuff, cruised through "Fighting for the French Foreign Leagion" by Alex lochrie ( a great read by the way), and continuing (of all things) my 40k adventure with the Horus Heresy series. Quite the departure from my usual peace loving sci-do fare from Arthur C. Clarke and whatnot

Anyway, Horus heresy; I sort of got bogged down in the first half of "Fulgrim", but otherwise have quite enjoyed it thus far.  I've always struggled with the pageantry of 40K, and the way it manifested in the game, but the books have actually helped reduce my struggle a little.  I could do with a little less repetition of the magnificence of the space marines every bloody time one of them walks into the room though.

I even considered jumping back into 40k briefly, despite not having played since the days of Rogue Trader. After a bit of digging, I considered painting up some salamanders ( I had s great idea for a paint scheme where the flames world have broken up the green into a scale pattern on parts of the armor), but found that my force would cost upwards of $4500 and kind of scrapped that idea.

Would have been nice to be able to game at the local shop, but then again, I could buy almost none of it through the shop, and that doesn't seem right to me.

I've also been researching for a WWII Barbarossa campaign with some focus on and around Smolensk, but trying to find detailed maps for tactical games has been a pain.  Maybe for the time being, I should just stick to 1940 France; I've got lots of maps for that.

So that's what I've been spinning my wheels on lately, instead of painting.  Hope you've had a little more mojo than I have.  I'll try to get some pics of something interesting up soon.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Military and History Books for Sale

It has gotten to the point where I can't function again in my book room, so I am selling off some books to make room (for more books, no doubt).  I've created a google web page listing books by historical period with photos.  Historical subjects vary, but this batch has a fair number of modern, WWII, and ACW titles among others.

The page is located at:

irishserb's Books for Sale

Please-mail me at to order and ask any questions that you might have.  For those who might have to pay overseas shipping, I am located in the US.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

31st Annual Armed Forces Day Celebration - Findlay, Ohio

This morning we trekked over/up to Findlay for the 31st Annual Armed Forces Day Celebration.  This is our first visit to this three day event, and I'm happy to say that it far exceeded my expectations.

It consists of a model show, re-enactors, vendors of militaria ranging from books to vehicles, displays of equipment, weapons, and vehicles, demonstrations, and if so inclined, rides in Huey medevac choppers from Vietnam.  I'm sure that there are other activities and events that I've missed, but you get the idea.

As we left the parking lot, we immediately happened upon WWII German re-enactors with an outstanding display of small arms and equipment, each doing an great job of engaging the public and sharing their knowledge.  Following that, was an equally nice American Rev War encampment.  As we were leaving that area, we were overtaken by a US Army squad conducting a patrol circa 1969.

Next was a live fire (literally) demonstration with flame-throwers, presented by the local USMC recruiters.  We were probably 75 feet or more from the flame, and the heat was surprisingly intense.  Spectators that insisted on crowding the fence probably 50-55 feet away from the flame, were pushed out of their area from the heat.

There were buildings each housing the scale models, and then equipment displays, and several more buildings with vendors.  Prices ranged, but were generally better than Ebay, flea markets, and auctions that I've been to.  I picked up a couple small uniform items as painting guides for figs I'll soon be working on.  the focus of the products is heavy WWII to modern, but there was a smattering of earlier stuff ranging back to the Rev. War.

Intermixed among the buildings of vendors were displays of privately owned vehicles, mostly wheeled, but with a few tracked vehicles.  In all it was a great time, with a polite and well managed crowd, easy access, and a bargain for admission fee of $5.00

I didn't take a lot of pics, but here are a few:

Just an example of the types of displays in one of the buildings. 
Subject matter ranged mostly from WWII to the Gulf.

A beautiful halftrack.

An M16A1.


Can you imagine being the neighbor of the guy that
wheels this thing out of his garage?  

A Nike Hercules, I wants!

A Jeep for my daughter, she has a thing for this chassis.

From the flamethrower demonstration, an M9A1-7, and a M2-2.

The M35 (? I think) gun truck, the nearest weapon on back is a torch...

... as you can see here.

And the demonstration of the man portable weapons.

The guy operating the M2 was surprised by the kick from the projector, 
as he was jolted back a step on firing for the first time.

I should have taken a lot more photos, but had eaten a lot of battery with taking some video, so was shooting sparingly.  I'll be better prepared next year.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Loading Up the painting Table Again

Both last year and this, I've been out-purchasing my painting, so I decided that it was time to catch up a little bit, and loaded up the painting table.

A few more 15mm GAZ66 trucks from QRF for my fictional third world conflict, and a few more 28mm scavengers for the post apocalypse, mostly Gaunt's ghosts from GW.

A company of Cold War 15mm East Germans from Battlefront, and some Peter Pig 15mm French Foreign Legion for a little after the Cold War.

And some 28mm post apoc terrain bits from Crooked Dice.

Now if I could just remember where I put my paint brush.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

My Gaming Projects List

I don't know if anyone else does anything like this, but about 20 years ago, I reached a point, where I was failing to remember that status of some of my gaming projects.  On a couple of occasions, I scheduled games at my house using terrain that I had not yet finished.  In each case, I discovered the problem a day or so before the game, and in a mad scramble of building and painting, filled the void just in time for the game.

In an effort to avoid such crisis in the future, and to just generally keep track of all of my gaming projects, I came up with the "Gaming Project List". Simply, a paper listing of all of my projects, showing the current status of each project.

At the time, I really wasn't sure of what a gaming "project" even was, nor how to describe the current status of such projects.  I knew that a project was not a period or genre, and probably not an army either.  After considering it, it seemed that a gaming project could range from a single figure or terrain piece to an army unit, a village worth of buildings, or a table of terrain. A project expanded, or provided an element, for a game/period/genre.

I tinkered with how to qualify the status, eventually settling on ten "steps"; Design (can be researching items to purchase, or engineering something to be built), Purchase or Cast (which includes creating a master, molds, and castings as a single step, or just ordering something), Assembling, Basing, Painting, Detailing (lettering, adding decals,or other fine details), Flocking/finishing, Researching and rules development (as in, technical data, calculations, etc,), Writing/creating/typing (rules), Printing and organizing/labeling/boxing.

These may not seem ideal or even very logical, but they have achieved their purpose over the years. And, I haven't scheduled a game on terrain that wasn't yet built, since creating the list.

Currently, I have 239 projects on my list, which are 51.3% complete.  Projects range from being only in the design stage (51 of them exist only as notes and/or sketches), to only needing labels or proper storage boxes made for them.  This has been an extremely productive year with 15 projects already complete (as opposed to 10 for all of last year).

Probably the most important use for my Gaming Projects List has been as a motivational tool.  I find that when my mojo is down, the list helps me focus on a single step of a single project, allowing me to check off a box, and build a little steam.  When the mojo is good, it lets me organize and prioritize projects, such that they are completed in an orderly sequence, allowing me to bring something new to the table a little faster.

Another thing that the list did, was help me reduce the range of my gaming periods/genres.  Some years back, I went through a couple stages of cutting things down.  Looking at the list, and seeing that some periods (such as the Norman Conquest, Franco/Prussian War, and Great War) always got bumped for something else, helped me recognize that some projects just weren't ever going to reach the table top.

So there you have it, my Gaming Project List , a crutch for my feeble hobby brain. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Wanted: Heritage's Panzertroops Boxed Game, Circa 1981

Panzertroops was one of the first published miniatures games that I ever played, and I would like to acquire a boxed copy of the rules.  I still have my photocopy of the original rules, but the actual game was swallowed by the labyrinth of time.

Anyway, I'd like to find a copy of the original boxed game and rules.  I believe the game was published in 1981; though, I am not positive.  I am hoping for as much of the original components as possible, though all of the original figs are not a must.  My understanding is that the game came in two versions, "Infantry Assault" and "Armor Attack".  Infantry Assault is preferred, but either is good.

If you have a copy that you are willing to part with, please send me an email at with details and price.


Monday, May 7, 2018

SFB: Converting Lyran Tugs Into Lyran Tugs

A little ways back I ordered a Lyran Cougar transport tug and a light cruiser with intentions of performing conversions on both models.  These are metal versions of the miniatures from ADB's Starline 2400 series.

The Cougar is basically a Heavy Cruiser hull with the addition of two plain, very low profile cargo pallets. I plan to run my Cougars as Battle Tugs most of the time, and decided that I would modify one of the pallets into a Battle pallet.  After receipt of the model, I conducted a search for depictions of the Lyran BT, and using that as inspiration, I decided to scratch-build a new pallet for the Battle tug.

Lyran Cougar Tug as received from ADB, with two cargo pallets.

I started of by cutting off the base mounting lug on the underside of the hull, and adding some structure to the underside of the hull, such that the pallet wouldn't interfere with the impulse engines.

I estimated dimensions for the Battle Pallet, and shaped the "U" shaped pallet from styrene sheet.  Detailing was added using the SSD as a guide with respect to weapons and other features.

My scratch-built battle pallet, next to the original cargo pallet.

The battle pallet attached to the ship, a hole was drill in the underside of the pallet to receive the mounting post from the base.

I'm pretty happy with the finished model, a reasonable interpretation/representation, I think.

I then converted a Light Cruiser into a Puma using the same process, first modifying the underside of the hull, and then adding a simpler scratch-built cargo pallet, resulting in the following model.

And a comparison shot of the two.