Above is a pic of Lt. Colonel James Galbraith, Regimental Colour in hand, alongside Bobbie the regimental dog and some of the other "Last Eleven" survivors of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment, making their last stand in one of the walled gardens just South of Khig village, a few miles West of the Afghan town of Maiwand.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Vauban Gatehouse Weathered (& canoes go GREEN)

Since lightening the finish of the Vauban Gatehouse so it was a closer match to the rest of the fortress, something had been nagging at me.  Looking at all of the pieces laid out together, I couldn't help noticing that -- although the colors did match much better now -- the gatehouse simply looked too bright and fresh and clean.  I knew this was because I had painted the lighter shading over the weathered finish BUT had chosen NOT to do one last weathering wash on top of that last lighter coat of paint.  This wasn't due to laziness.  It was due to me worrying about damaging the portions of the model I had covered in wood filler.  The weathering process uses a hair-dryer.  The heat is no problem for wood or resin or hard plastic materials, but it poses a risk to wood-filler, which can start to dissolve away in the heat.  I had experienced this ill effect when weathering my Afghan hill tower and wanted to avoid a repeat.

After pondering this dilemma on-and-off for a while I had a breakthrough: I could make some mini "heat shields" to cover the sections at most risk.  I used a piece of spare cardboard box, since it had multiple layers and seemed like it would provide good protection.  I think it turned out well, and I feel like this FINAL finish helps the Gatehouse fit much better and blend in pretty seamlessly with the rest of the fortress...








Years ago I bought some F&IW canoes with Rangers and Indians in them.  They were all mounted on bases that were painted blue.  That was fine since at the time I used Miniature World Maker rivers that were also blue.  Then I built 10' of river terrain boards for my Charasiab game, plus swamp to match.  For years I felt I should repaint the bases on those canoes to better match my tabletop water features, but I never got around to actually doing it.  Until now.

I used Delta Ceramcoat ENGLISH YEW GREEN (a close match for my river color), Golden Gel Medium Extra Heavy Gel (Gloss) to add a touch of water texture, and a final coat of Delta Ceramcoat Gloss Interior Varnish to tie it all together and strengthen the finish against water-&-tear of game use.

Next up will be pics of the 18th Century SIEGE WORKS I based and painted for the same friend I pained the Vauban fort for.  After that I hope to post some "postcard" shots with my modest F&IW & AWI armies such as they are, posed in battle attacking and defending the fort.  Then it will be time for me to pack it all up and send it to its ultimate home, with my fingers crossed for safe and sound delivery.  Then I hope to start chronicling the lead-up to a 140th Anniversary game for the Battle of Kandahar AKA: Baba Wali, fought on September 1st, 1880.  The game is meant to occur some time this coming July or August.  If it can be managed in the available time, I will also attempt a 140th Anniversary refight of this blog's namesake, the Battle of Maiwand, some time around it's anniversary of July 27th.

On a personal note, this coming Summer will also mark the 10th anniversary of this blog.  Speaking personally, what strikes me most is that back in the Summer of 2010 our son & two daughters were children at home, in middle and elementary school.  Now he's a college grad with a job, our older daughter is in her second year as a cadet at West Point, and our younger daughter is about to graduate from high school and go off to college herself.  It was a very busy decade at our home, and I thank my wife, Xinhua, for not discouraging me from spending some of the little free time I had on the hobby.  And I thank all three of my kids for generally embracing it and providing me with many of my best hobby memories, hopefully with more to come.

For my friends and fellow gamers who've joined with me to play, build stuff, provide armies, and run games, both here in my home and near and far away, MANY THANKS for making it all possible, as the whole thing would be completely pointless without you.

And for those who've visited this blog over the past nearly ten years, thank you for helping to revitalize my enthusiasm for our hobby and keep it energized by making me part of a wargaming community that reaches beyond my immediate surroundings.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Vauban F&IW scenic views

HAPPY NEW YEAR to one and all!

I've been busy over the Holidays, with family, work, and... YES, hobby stuff.  All the hobby stuff has been more work on the Vauban fortress as well as a good amount of SIEGE WORKS to go with it -- or more accurately, against it.  I'm preparing another post on the siege works, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy these 100 or so pics showcasing scenic views in and around the fortress: