Friday, December 1, 2017

Tear Down this Wall! - Rebuilding Compound Walls

I had a lot of different wall sections for Middle Eastern Compounds that I made over the years -many different sizes, shapes and colors. Some mounted on tiles - my Afghan Village compounds for example - some single pieces.

I rarely used the village tiles. They turned out to be too inflexible and harder to transport and set up than necessary. All the different walls, compounds and colors didn´t really fit and they are not a good match with my new desert terrain mat.

So last week I butchered all the different walls and standardized them.

Work began by dismantling the wall sections, removing them from their bases. Most were on cardboard bases that had warped consirably due to painting, turning them into unattractive pieces.
I got rid of all the cardboard, slashed up the tiles into compounds and wall sections and began cutting PVA-bases.  The picture below shows how many walls were involved: 

Work was split over several days. At one point I had to take a break because I had a blister forming on my index finger from cutting the PVA. Fortunately I stopped soon enough and was able to continue working the next day when the irritation had gone.

After all the bases were prepared, I started mounting them. At that point, I had standardized their size, but you can still see the very different colors - Most of the walls were kept raw white and not even painted. Shame on my past self ;)   Terrain was never my strong suit.

After gluing, sanding and priming the pieces, I commenced painting and treated the wall sections with the airbrush.

After everything had dried, the sand received some treatment with drybrushing and washes. Finally, I added some flock and let all of it dry.  After a few hours of work, I had transformed all the ugly pieces to a new standard:

Ironically as I looked for space to store them neatly, I discovered more wall sections that I had missed on the first search. But I´m done with walls for the near future, they´ll either follow at a later point or find their way right into the bin.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Code Red - Blocking Detachment (Game 2)

In our last game, the Opfor units suffered a resounding defeat at the hands of a US mechanized detachment suppressing and outflanking them in a forward defense position.

After this rather one-sided game, we decided to play the game in reversed roles. I would take over Opfor and have my friend attack.

I have to admit I was a bit anxious - after all, I had to prove that the forces and setup were balanced and that the shortcoming of both sides could be overcome....

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Code Red - Blocking Detachment (Game 1)

Last weekend we didn´t only play By Fire and Sword, but also got some playtesting done for Code Red. 

This report covers the first of three playtest games. The games were quickly thrown together, without much thought about balance, dramatic scenarios or somesuch.  

We threw a US Mechanized Formation against a Russian-Style Force using my Soviet Cold War models. Somewhere in the Desert, a US Intervention force was pushing along a valley to reach a strategic refinery that had to be defended by the local authorities.  Let´s call our Russians OPFOR for the remainder of this report.

We wanted to test Vehicles some more, so both factions got vehicles. Unfortunately I forgot to give the Americans some spare AT weapons on their infantry squads -  it turned out to be an interesting tactical challenge to work with what you got.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Eagle and Lion - A Fire and Sword Battle Report

In the Dark woods of the north, a duel between Lion and Eagle takes place as two scouting parties clash on their reconnaissance missions.  

A Muscovite Force led by the venerable Golova Rurik Borikov makes contact with a Swedish Detachment led by Malte Larsson. 

Borikov has deployed a Group of Servant Cossacks on his right flank facing Swedish Dragoons while placing his cavalry in the centre and on the left flank.  The Swedish Deployment mirrors the Muscovite troop placement as both sides seek to contest the broken ground with infantry while sending their cavalry along the clearings in the forest and onto the ploughed fields.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Code Red - Quickstart Rules released (EN/DE)

After almost three years of design and playtesting it is time to release the very first playable edition of Code Red to our fellow wargamers.

Code Red is a standalone ruleset for modern wargaming designed to recreate real and hypothetical conflicts after 1945.

These rules have started out as a set of Houserules for a popular Modern Wargaming ruleset to address some of its shortcomings, but have evolved into a unique and distinct set of rules with a special focus on:
  • Command and Control and the role of leaders on the battlefield
  • Morale and Suppression and their effect on units
  • Tactical Depth and interesting decisions facing the player
The rules are designed to provide a level of tactical realism, narrative quality, scaleability and simplicity that makes them easy to learn but hard to master. We´ve been trying to master them for 3 years now and we´re still not there ;)

After more than 3 years of development and testing, we´re confident to provide a challenging and fun game for those of you who want to dive deeper into the logic of modern warfare.

As a first step on our way to the final release we´re making the simplified QuickStart rules available both in English and German. These documents condense the essential rules for your first experience of Code Red into less than 10 pages.

Of course we had to cut some things from the 90 page full rule set, but we´re confident about the scope of the quickstart rules and we´re hoping they make you look forward to the full ruleset.

We´re planning to release the German version of the full rules in late 2017 to early 2018.
The english translation will follow later and I will make no promises as to when exactly.

We´ve published the rules for free on my website - klicking the banner below will navigate you to the right place to download them for free:


Saturday, October 14, 2017

As they lay dead

Just a quickie today - finished three Insurgent Casualties today which will be part of the next batch of releases.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Your orders, Sir?

By Fire and Sword requires order markers to play -  three kinds, to be precise:
  • Move
  • Charge
  • Defend
Lacking these markers turned some of my first games into an ugly mess, as we had to improvise using paper slips to display our orders.

Being a cheapo, I refuse buying expensive tin order markes when I can build them easily. After our latest game with paper markers I decided it was time to prepare some proper markers.

These are pretty simple if you know how they are made.
The base are my usual synthetic cork pieces cut into slices - you might as well use metal, plastic or coins, doesn´t matter.
The symbol on the marker is a slip of plasticard cut into triangles and rectangles, which I then used to build these simple symbols by gluing them onto my base.  Then they got a treatment of oxide paste and a bit of gravel on the symbol-side before they went into painting.


Of course orders aren´t the only thing I´ve been working on. I also completed the last base of Cavalry to add another 3 Boyar Son bases to my force for our game scheduled tomorrow.

As these troops are not exactly high performers, I also prepared some casualty markers for my Muscovites. These were a bit more work than the orders, as I sculpted these from scratch.

I actually tried the Tony Barton tile technique (read more about it here) using oven-baking clay for some of them. For casualties that worked quite well - which prompted me to take the experiment one step further and try a full figure.

Read more about how that went soon ;)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

New SpecOps available

Today I put the new Special Forces sets online at Enfilade Figures.

Two new sets have entered the shop:  Another group of Special Forces in Light Gear in skirmishing poses and a pair of Snipers. 

Klick on the banner to go to the shop if you want to get them :)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Lurking in Broken Ground

Broken ground is some very useful terrain in a lot of settings. As my terrain still sucks compared to the figures I have available, I recently invested a minor sum into extruded pvc-boards and started leveling up my terrain.

After a lot of cutting, carving, gluing and flocking, my broken grund pieces are ready for the battlefield and will provide some nice scatter terrain.

And here are some potential occupants of the Terrain:  Some Servant Cossacks - a dismounted base and a horse holder base.  Again, the AB Napoleonic Horses are doing a great job! I just added a saddle and boom:

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Northern Lion - Sweden joins the fray

As usual when I start an Army, it doesn´t take long until I start a second faction to provide enough figures to play a game even if my gaming compagnions cannot field their own minis.

With my recent Fire and Sword adventure, I´ve decided to add a tiny Swedish Force - though I tried to cheat a little by making the Reiter units suitable both for Russian and Swedish Service.

This way, I only had to paint a few bases of Dragoons/Musketeers and a Command Unit. For a Start, the Reiter squadrons would be dual-use for my Muskovites as well as Swedish Service.

Here are the Dragoons: 

The Swedish Commander - I have to work some more on th Banner, it´s a freehand design and needs a bit more shading and highlighting. I´m going to rework it as some point once the Command Unit has earned some renown.

And finally, two Bases of Reiters.  I added some beards and painted the coats in colors that would be suitable for my Muskovite Force a well.  The Swedes will get some dedicated units later, right now flexibility and economy is important as I am trying to paint them to a nice standard.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Russifying Cossacks - Making more Boyar Sons

One of the things that are starting to annoy me somewhat is the ungodly amount of crappy Boyar Sons that I need to produce and paint only to see them flee from the battlefield at first opportunity.

After making most of the Boyar Sons for the first units from scratch, I´ve started to take some shortcuts for the next batch of Boyar Sons. There will be fully sculpted figures, but I´m starting to mix in converted Totentanz figures  (Tartars and Cossacks).  With a little bit of conversion, they can easily be russified - and much quicker than building an entire rider from scratch.

Below are two Totentanz Cossacks, one with minor conversion (just added a full beard), another one up-armored with a thick brigantine.

And here is the latest scratch-built cavalryman.

I was also able to finish my Reiter unit of two bases, but haven´t taken any pictures yet. This is something I´ll fix after my holiday.  Until then - happy wargaming to all readers! 


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cacadores - AR10 Portugese

They´ve been requested for a long time and I finally got around to sculpt them:  Portugese AR-10 Riflemen for the Bush Wars in Angola and Mozambique.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Frozen Horsemeat - Skirmishing with the Muscovites

Last saturday I was able to attend our local wargaming day after many months of absence. As agreed before, we had mustered our forces for a Skirmish game of By Fire and Sword.

My Muscovite Skirmish force found itself in conflict with a large horde of Ukrainian Cossacks with a mix of Infantry ranging from rabble to registered molotsoi.

We fought the Foraging scenario, the stronger player (Cossacks) had to defend the loot (Frozen Horsemeat) he found in the villages against the smaller force (Muscovy).  The Cossacks started the game split up between the two build up areas which enabled the muscovites to focus on one flank to even the odds.

Muscovy deployed all troops on the right flank, hoping to crush at least one half of the enemy force while their commander was on the other side of the battlefield.
Above you can see the Muscovite Servant Cossacks perparing to storm the village defended by a lot of Cossacks.

A skirmish Sotnia was sent out to block and drive off the approaching commander.  Unfortunately they ended up charging the large group of cosscaks on the far edge in the flank, tempted by the opportunity, but ultimately failing.
However, they succeeded in their mission to hold off the enemy commander for a long time...

On the right flank, the battle commenced with several waves of indecisive charges of Muscovite Servant Cossacks against their free brethren in the village.
The Russian Cavalry rode close to the spearmen and let lose several volleys of close range fire.

After several failed attempts of the servant cossacks to storm the village and a long period of indecisive shooting of the horsemen against the spear-armed cossacks defending the rear of the village, a charge was ordered and the spearmen broke.

However, there was still one unit of cossacks stubbornly holding on to the village.
Just before the Muscovite Boyars and Reiter managed to crush the Cossack spearmen, their Infantry became exhausted and disorganized after several failed attempts to clear the houses.

On the left flank, the Skirmish sotnia had now charged and broke against the much larger cossack unit. The commander was free to ride to the part of the battlefield were the main action was raging and coordinated the defense. 

The Russian cavalry tried twice to drive of the defenders, but without help of the infantry (still disorganized) they failed to complete their task.

In the end, after a futile attempt to disrupt the enemy foraging party, the Ukrainians got to take home the frozen horsemeat, resulting in a major victory for the Cossacks.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wonder Women - New Women Militia Preview

New miniatures coming up - the next batch of masters is ready and getting packed up for casting.

Among them:  New Women Militia  / Militiawomen  / whatever they are called ;)

I still find that I struggle a bit more with female faces, but there is a small and steady improvement - my personal favorite is the kneeling figure with the beret.

Monday, June 26, 2017

You think you´re Special...

After a lot of Fantasy and painting in 28mm, it´s time to turn back to Sculpting and Modern in 20mm. Progress has been slow on the latest set of miniatures, but I´m finally coming close to sending a new batch into production.

Here´s the first pack of the Summer 2017 releases coming up in the next weeks I hope:

With this set I want to provide an addition to the already existing set of Special Operatives in Light Gear.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Wasting Warband

And so the warband gathers to plunder and kill, their presence announced far beyond the horizon by the gutwrenching stench they carrry.

I hope you enjoyed this little special week of Nurgle models.
If that was too much fantasy for your taste, I´ve got good news: I´ll be presenting some new 20mm figures soon.

If you liked all that Fantasy, I also got good news: More is on the way, I much enjoy painting these models and I´ve got more in the pipeline, with a slightly different focus. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Ironclad

Clad in corroding armor plates, some Champions contain their bodies to prevent guts and rot from spilling all around. They carry armor not just for the sake of protection - layers of rotten flesh and nurgles gift are providing resilience far beyond any conventional armor - but for mobility.  At a certain level of decay, armor becomes less encumbering than carrying none. 

Especially if demonic strength provides power and endurance of unimaginable plenty.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Legions of Decay

The endless Legions of foulness accompany the great plaguelords as they scour the lands. Their presence spreads terror, for their biggest weapon is invisible and deadly: Nurgles Gift.  Once contracted, you are given a terrible choice: Serve and replenish the unending legions or succumb to the terrible symptoms of the scourge.

The Legions are growing stronger. Soon, they will be among us. Steel yourself for the inevitable battle.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Insatiable

Driven by insatiable hunger this Champion of Nurgle marches forth to slaughter and consume the mortals, with tentacles stuffing their bloody remains into his belly.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


As the minis look so much better on a dark background, I used the opportunity to take decent photos of the already finished Blightkings when I had the equipment all set up for the Plaguebearers.

Some of you might know them already, but I find it remarkable to see how a different backdrop and a good camera (with the right settings figured out thanks to some good tutorials online) makes all the difference.

So again from the Mist of the Chaos Wastes emerges the first Chosen of Nurgle to spread pestilence among the living:

Stay tuned for more of these improved shots  :)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Walking Rotbags

I´ve long been looking for a Fantasy Skirmish System that allows me to use the limited number and mixed factions of Fantasy Figures on my shelf - most of what I looked at so far was not to my taste, mostly because the forces involved where too big and I couldn´t muster a coherent force.

So, despite my concerns that it might be too simplistic, I decided to risk 7€ by buying the new release of the Warhammer AoS - Skirmish version, hoping to field a small warband of 3-5 Minitures in a Fantasy Skirmish Game.
As I wanted to bring my lovely Nurgle Blightkings I ordered a set of Plaguebeareres with the rules and added some cheap infantry choice to supplement the heavier Lord/Heavy Infantry style Blightkings.

Of course this also offered the opportunity to practice some more speed and batch-painting using airbrush techniques and faster painting methods than I use on the larger or more complex models, which can be very time consuming.

The Plaguebearers where simple and organic enough to use mostly airbrush, washes, drybrush and only a small amount of manual brushwork to work out the highlights.

And so I was able to produce the first batch in comparatively little time to a nice standard.

Three more are on my painting table still waiting for the detailling and highlighting after the washes :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fueled by Chaos

Time for another picture from my recent photography session.

This Bloodletter is a few months old - the idea was to try something different from the  usual blood red scheme you always see, so he got a somewhat tzeenchy look.
The big experiments on this guy was the effect on the hand, the blade and the OSL-look of the glowing eyes. 

Can you see how he fuels the sword with his daemonic powers, flowing from his arm into the blade?


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Tank Busters - 15mm Sherman Firefly

A few months ago I receieved two Sherman Firefly as a gift - I believe the intention was to get me into 15mm WW2.

They´ve been sitting on my painting desk and someday I grabbed them and gave them some airbrush treatment because I felt like using the airbrush and these were suitable models to do so.

Of course I had to finish them up after getting them halfway done, so here I am with two 15mm Sherman Firefly.

I don´t want to get into 15mm WW2 - I just painted these for the sake of painting.
They´ll probably be sold off at some point to finance some new minis or equipment :)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Painting Pestilence - The Conclusion

Hi all,

I´ve done it again, the blog has gone silent for quite a while now as I didn´t have much motivation to post here. But rejoice, it got some cool stuff finished and in the pipeline for the blog that will appear shortly.

I´m starting today to finish something I left off back in december.
Remember my attempt to record a step by step documentation on painting a Blightking?  I never posted the second part - until now.

So I dug out the photos from december and prepped them for you.
First however, the final result to wet some appetite:

Well - too bad blogger doesn´t like transparency.  He was supposed to look like this

Last time, we left off when he still looked like this:

The next step was to paint the left armor. I chose to glaze them in a light purple towards the knee and upper leg, fading into a green towards the feet.
You can see on the palette that I´m not using pure purple - I believe the base color Hexed Lichen was modified with a bit of ivory to achieve a more pastel effect. The transition was achieved with a wet blend.

Like the armor on the torso, the trick was to apply thin layers and leave the pre-shading from the priming stage shining through to create shadows and highlights.

At this stage, I also painted the belt using different shades created with cork brown as a starting point.

Next, I added edge highlighting on all the armor parts - I went with a mix of orange, tan and ivory to create the light orange edge highlight and re-used my purple and green with added parts of ivory to highlight the leg armor.

The hood was painted in a  brown, not sure if I mixed it on the palette or took something straight from the pot -  again, the edge highligh was just base color + added parts of  tan/ivory.

As you can see, at this stage the hands and straps on the armor have also been painted in. The straps are using the same colors as the hood

Next I painted the armor on the arms in Dark Sea Blue and highlighted them using the same technique as above  - no pictures though.

That left me with just the antler - they were rather tricky, I finally settled for giving them a very suble glaze of browns to create a natural look. I think I used Agrax Earthsahde here. The rotten interior was shaded with green and re-established the shadows by brushing in some very dark brown.

Towards the end I also hit the blades with some rusty orange pigments that I watered down and slapped onto the blade to create the rust effects.

Last, I painted the base in a very swampy theme like the rest of my BlightKings and mounted the mini. So, here he is:

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Onto the Field of Battle - Deploying the Muscovites

It is time.
After weeks of preparation and relentless efforts to muster and train the forces, the Golova is finally ordered to move his troops into battle against the Ottomans...

So today he moved out to fight a first resounding defeat against a much larger Ottoman force...

More details on the battle might follow in a later post, if I ever feel like working my way through the foto-editing.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Golova - Russian Skirmish Force Command

Time for another update on my ongoing project.  Next week I´ll have to be ready to field at least the most basic skirmish force for our wargaming day. To work towards that goal, I´ve greated my Commander and russified the Musician and Bannerman from the Totentanz Mounted Cossacks Command set.

Together, thes should make a nice command stand to represent my Golova, the commander of my Muscotive Skirmish Force.

With all the work done so far, I´ll have to finish the Command Stand and the last two Boyar Son cavalrymen to get a basic playable skirmish force on the table.  I´ll probably have to lend a unit of cavalry to represent a skirmish sotnia if need be - but we´ll see.

Then I can focus my attention on adding the Reiters and paint mounted Cossacks to represent my Servant Cossacks when mounted and moving on horseback.

So far, my Scratch-Build Boyar Sons unit looks like this:

Two more to paint.