Friday, January 31, 2014

The Fleet's In !

I recently bought two lots of old semi round warships. They are good representations of pre-dreadnought warships, as can be seen in the photos. In all there are 13 ships.

A nice French style warship.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Painting Peter Laing Figures as Toy Soldiers

      My job requires me to shovel snow. The school I work at has 51 doorways that must be cleared. As I work the day shift the doors we keep clear are the main entrances, and the other shifts clear the rest. Wednesday's snow storm hit in the morning right as the kids were arriving, and so we were out trying to keep the doors clear for the kids. And as there was only half a day of school, we had to turn around and clear the doors again before the buses arrived. What's more, after the kids left the snow stopped and the sun came out. I spent the rest of the day clearing the doors around the school so the other shifts had only to salt and sand the doorways.

    Now it was a very light and fluffy snow, easy to move. I also had to remove snow when I got home. As soon as I got home I went to work on my driveway. Now at first I was just going to shovel, but grew tired of it quickly and brought out the snow blower, did my drive way and a couple of neighbors and had the job done in less than an hour. I prepared a cup of coffee and settled down to start work on a new project, only to find myself drained of all energy and sat at my desk trying to get motivation. It didn't work so I ended up watching Youtube videos of the Trooping of the Colors. I suddenly felt inspired.  I went back and started going through my Peter Laing home casts of Victorian Parade figures. Pulling out some spiked helmet soldiers and high gloss enamel paints,  I slapped a coat of paint on them, and being happy with the results, pulled out some British Crimean infantry home casts and slapped more paint on them. It was then I remembered what drew me to Peter Laings in the first place, their toy soldier like appearance. I am thinking more that when it comes to painting PL figures,  I might be using the high gloss paint and simply paint them as "toy soldiers" and not "military miniatures". Below are comparisons between the high gloss paint job and flats.

    I also inspected my Crimean War British Guards I painted with high gloss paint a couple of years ago and they reenforced my decision to adopt this paint style.
My Peter Laing Crimean War Guards. If you notice the bearskins are of various sizes and shapes. These figures were originally painted as 1750's British grenadiers, with the bearskins trimmed down to look like mitres.  When I realized they were converted Crimean guards, I built back up the bearskins using epoxy glue. 

Close up of three Guards painted with high gloss enamel paint.

4 home cast Crimean British infantry painted the same style.

4 more British Victorian home cast infantry. The two on the left were painted with gloss enamel, the two on the right with flat hobby paints.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Minitrains Engines

In the last month I managed to buy 4 new narrow gauge trains, to go along with the 2 I already owned.
Liliput engine; it came with three passenger cars. At first it didn't want to run; after warming up it finally started around the track.

The first  narrow gauge train I got. A Jouef copy of Egger Bahn diesel engine.

Minitrains  western loco and coal car.

Another new loco. This engine ran fine right from the box.

I got 2 of these engines. Neither of these are in running order right now. One the frame was broken and contacts were bent. The other engine is getting power but still isn't running. Maybe after giving it some oil…..

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reorganizing My Peter Laings; A Major Project

      I have always been unorganized. To know where something is one day, only to lose it the next, then find it months later while looking for something else, is aggravating to say the least. The best example of this is my lost Persian Immortals.  They were forever in my way, until I decided to use my Persians. To this day I still haven't found them. My wife and I will joke that "Molly", the ghost of the former owner of our home, has hidden things on us.  I hope she returns those "Immortals" soon.

     It came time for me to at least organize my Peter Laings.  I have tried several different storage solutions. The best one I've had luck with are storage drawers. These drawers are made for hardware and have come in different sizes.
Two of my original drawers, filled with Peter Laings, 1st generation Minifigs and Heritage figures.

My new drawers. 8 out of 9 of the large drawers can be seen filled with Peter Laing figures. I am coming to realize that I have a lot more Peter Laings than I thought I had. Notice the piece of wood next to it. That is a support for the shelf above, which has the original drawer units on it and is bowing the shelf!

This is the bottom shelf. All those boxes are filled with toy soldiers; unfortunately they are not all Peter Laings!

The top of my desk. I must sort through many boxes like this as many of the figures are mixed  with different periods.

Friday, January 24, 2014

15mm Peter Laing Aztecs and Conquistadores

Ian Dury just sent me some Peter Laing and Minifigs 1st generation figures. He gave me some medieval figures (a big "thank you!") and sent me some Peter Laing Aztecs and Conquistadores for molding. Below are shots of the figures.

It's always great to see new Peter Laing figures.  Thank you again, Ian.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Peter Laing Battle: A King's Folly

         With my recent purchase of Peter Laing ancients, there were quite a few figures that I wasn't sure exactly what they were. I believe they are Germanic barbarians.  They seem ideal to use right through the Dark Ages.
        Years ago when I was going through a dry spell of wargaming,  I dug out some Airfix indians, divided them in half and quickly painted them two distinctive colors and slapped together some quick rules. On a squared playing board each side could have 4 figures per square. There was no organization to the units.  The enemy closed with each other and fought to the death. They would either be killed or forced to retreat. For each  "retreat" roll, only one figure would retreat, not the whole unit as with "Battlelore".  It turned out to be a fairly fun game; one I still play on occasion.

     While preparing "The Train Ambush" I came across the barbarians and realizing I could get another game in this weekend, divided the figures in half and painted their shields different colors. Each side also got three horsemen, of which one was marked as "King" of their tribe.
Red Army on top of picture, Blue Army on bottom.  Red King spread his horsemen throughout army, Blue King kept his together with him.

The two armies facing off from behind the Blue Army.

Red army pushed it's right flank forward, Blue army tried to advance in line.

First blood to Blue army, who killed 3 out of 4 in one red unit.

The fighting becomes general in the center.

The Red army is pushing hard on the blues left flank;Blue strikes hard at the center.

Blues cavalry strikes at Reds unit guarding the king. Two soldiers are killed and one has to retreat. Red king decides  to retreat (he can be seen galloping towards the rear). The Blue horseman can continue to attack but is held back by one spearman.

Blues attack in the center has almost divided Red army in half.

One red unit kills one of the blues cavalry and forces the other to retreat.  Red king turns to join the battle.

The king charges headlong towards a unit of spearmen, and is quickly cut down.  Usually I always have the leaders join a unit so there is always "fodder" to protect the king.

Even with the loss of their king the Red army breaks Blues center.

Red's forces are closing on Blues king.

The end of the battle. Blue has lost over half their army and the king is threatened. Red has won the victory; the loss of their king was  unnecessary and his charge was pure folly.

Just to show how this kind of game can become confused; the red dice shows where red units ended, the black dice shows were the blue units ended the game.

While the game was fun, I doubt I will use these rules again and I'll stick to the rules I've used for my Hyborian games.