Category Archives: Woolshed Wargamer

Spring Cleaning the Woolshed, Pt 3.

The spring cleaning efforts continue apace. I moved the last cabinet and found more of the giant rat’s nest.  I cleaned it all up but the wall lining was disgusting. Decided to replace it. Being a cheapskate I used scrap timber from a pile that we have been burning for the last five winters.

This is what a bit of a giant rat’s nest looks like. This nest had not been used for some time – possibly years as it was totally dried out. Yes – those are possum bones and skulls in there.
Cleaned out but the wall lining damaged. I have ripped the hessian that was covering the walls off.
New wooden linings up. Mostly from old pallets.
Some framing and skirting boards.
Pictures hung to make it more cosy for a wargamer.
OK, the chair needs some repairs. But still a nice place to sit and read.


Mrs Woolshedwargamer brought me food and drink. My own little cantiniere.
A camp follower hoping for some leftovers.

Spring Cleaning the Woolshed, Pt 2.

Getting there. Discovered an old rat’s nest behind cabinets in my study!!! There were at least three dismembered possum carcasses in it. I have been waging chemical warfare against the rats for some time so the nest was old – thankfully. I shudder to think how big a rat that can drag a dead possum back to it’s place would have been. Am away from home for a week with work so will get back into it when I return.

Paints and modelling equipment all in one place. The boxes on the desk will be shelved when I get back home.
Much better. I can see the floor.
The 6×6 table cleared – with only miniatures on it.
My Lead/Plastic Mountain Cupboard. A quick calculation showed I will live to be 176 years old before I get all this lot completed.
Models in a cabinet – bliss. In this case the Zulu Wars and Wild West cabinet.
Damn – the 6×6 table got covered again. This time by my 2000Ad collection (for the most part). Hmmm – those Mongoose Judge Dredd figures sure look tempting about now,
Mrs Woolshedwargamer brought me over some lunch that we were able to eat at the coffee table, sitting on actual chairs. A first in the Woolshed for a while.

Spring cleaning the Woolshed, Pt 1.

Spring has sprung here in the Southern Hemisphere and it is time to get the Woolshed ready for gaming and socialising. By socialising I mean by actual human beings and not teenagers.  One of the reasons that I have not been using the Woolshed much recently has been the teenage parties. I keep having to move all my stuff into the two lockable rooms. Not that I don’t trust teenagers but well, they are not to be trusted.

My fence alongside the Woolshed – victim of a teenage driver losing control – 20 metres of busted batons and strainers – and one written off car.

I started by clearing out the study and bedroom and starting again from scratch. It is amazing how much junk and crap you can accumulate when you have the space available. It may look like an episode of Hoarders, but in a few days I hope to have it looking spick and span. Has to be cleared because we are hosting a wedding in the Woolshed in late November.

I had forgotten I had these. Boxes of Perry French infantry and cavalry, Perry British infantry, Warlord Russians and more Victrix French.
Taken from the front door looking down the shed. It doesn’t look worse than it is, It really is that bad.
More boxes of models and random stuff. Topped by an Idol of Gork for my Orc and Goblin armies.
The 6×6 table covered in models and hobby supplies.
Looking back to the front doors. Have ripped out two old cabinets and am junking them. They were no good for storage so out they go.
Getting there. The bedroom is done and the study behind is looking clean and tidy.
Bookshelves tidied, spider webs swept away and almost livable again.


Winter is Coming

We are in the last month of Autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere and we are enjoying some lovely warm weather…but that is just for a bit because around the corner is ………. winter. Here at Castle Woolshed, in preparation for the oncoming cold we have been getting some late firewood sorted.  This is the reason that I have not been painting anything this week. I find after chainsawing and chopping firewood my hands are in no state to hold a brush. Cut into rounds with the trusty Stihl chainsaw and I split it all by hand. I am kind of old fashioned that way. As long as my back holds out of course. Lady SWMBO was delighted at all the firewood. At the rate she burns through it you would think it grew on trees.

Ready to start work. Three trailer loads.
Note my trusty Saw Aardvaark (I thought Saw Horse did not do it justice)
End Result of three hours of axing.
Our Dire Wolf Jasper keeps watch for Wildlings and Rabbits. Go here to see more of Jasper and what he gets up to.
Done for the day. Collecting more wood this afternoon and tomorrow.

39th Ranked Blog in New Zealand

According to Open Parachute’s New Zealand Blog Rankings my humble hobby blog reached the dizzy heights of 39th most viewed blog (by visitors and page views) in New Zealand in April. My previous best was about 50th.  OK, the fact that 95% of my views come from overseas probably means that it is a bit of a stretch to call The Woolshed Wargamer the 39th ranked blog in New Zealand – maybe 39th ranked blog from New Zealand would be more appropriate.  Of course next month my stats will probably be somewhere down under here.

longdrop 1

Thank you one and all for visiting over the last month.

New Zealand’s National Day – Waitangi Day

Today is our National Day, a day that has little meaning for most people here because for so long it has been a focus for protest and division.  Still, as Fred Dagg (one of New Zealand’s most famous statesmen and philosophers) said “We don’t know how lucky we are”.


And some of my favourite NZ Music.

Patea Maori Club – Poi E (1984)

Made in New Zealand – catchy tune by some kids.

And what many consider to be our unofficial National Anthem. Written by a homesick soldier serving the in the Maori Contingent in World War One.








A review of 2014 in the Woolshed

This has been a pretty good year in the Woolshed despite a few hiccups along the way. I had a painting schedule for 2014 that I tried to stick to for about a month and then things sort of went down hill from there.  I ran into a bit of a painters block at one stage a few months back and had 2-3 months where I didn’t touch a paint brush. My life was going all over the place – my latest mid-life crisis apparently.  Things have settled down now and there is a balance.

Dad investiture
Dad receiving the Military Medal from Governor General Sir Bernard Freyberg.

The most important thing that happened this year in my life was that my father died in May.  He was a veteran of the New Zealand 2nd Division. Miss the old bugger.  He is being brought back to New Zealand for final interment later this month.  I think his death affected me more than I thought and was one of the factors that led me into a pretty deep depression there for a while.

I have to thank my war gaming and modelling friends who gave me so much support this year when I was down in the dumps.

On the painting and modelling front I made more progress than I thought I had. I started a new project on a whim.


I started this year with a hiss and a roar on Napoleonics. I was meaning to get my Anglo-Spanish 1808-09 army completed. Fat chance of that as it turned out. Bloody Zulus.

I knocked up a bunch of casualty bases for gaming to replace dice and markers as a method of recording casualties. Some cavalry casualties, some Perry British casualties and a bunch of French ones.

My British Cavalry Brigade got started. Two Elite Miniature regiments  – one each of heavy cavalry and light cavalry. I was particularly happy with how these turned out.

I added to my staff and also some mounted officers. Anglo Spanish command, British Brigade generals, some mounted British officers and Spanish Guerrilla Leaders.

My friend Roly (Dressing the Lines Blog) gave me some Front Rank Spanish guerrillas that added to my expanding irregular force.

My British infantry force also expanded by a number of battalions. Royal Marines, the 85th Bucks Light Infantry, the 50th West Kents, the 95th Rifles,  a battery of Royal Foot Artillery, and the fictional Loamshire Volunteers all joined the ranks of my army.

One of the most popular posts I did this year was posting 28mm colours for the fictional South Essex Regiment from the Sharpe series.

I had a few good games this year but the best one was the multi-player Black Powder Big Lepizig Game at Call to Arms, Wellington, in August.

On the Napoleonic painting front I managed about 9 complete units and another couple of units worth of odds and sods figures – command and casualties.


The Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. It has grabbed me and I am really enjoying it.   It sort of started when I painted two Eureka Rorke’s Picnic Teddy Bears as gifts for my girlfriend’s daughter at her wedding (yes I am cheap – I know).

Since then I have knocked off six 36 figure Zulu regiments –  iNdluyengwe, iNdlondo, InGobamakhosi, uMcijo, uDududu and iSangqu.   I have another seven or eight to go to finish all the regiments at Isandlwana.

The British have not been neglected and I have painted five companies of the 1st battalion, 24th Foot.  These are 16 figure units.
A Company, C Company, E Company, F Company and H Company.

For later war games I have a squadron of British 17th Lancers.

A unit of Boer volunteers to help the British fight their old Zulu foe.

The first of the British native troops I will enlist was a company of Natal Native Contingent.

To give the British some fire support I have added some Royal Artillery.  Actually these were the first models I painted for this project.

And of course both sides needed some command figures to lead them into battle. Some British officers and Zulu Command.

Last but not least a casualty vignette painted under the influence of too much red wine.

So as far as totals go – A total of 16-17 units comprising

Zulus – About 230 models painted.

British – About 130 figures


Not much on this this year apart from posting some more card decks for The Rules With No Name.


Managed to get the last lance of Bretonnian Questing Knights finished that I have had sitting about for ages. I might clean up and repaint my son’s old Orc and Goblin horde this year.


Knocked up some more Conflix-like buildings. I have a whole bunch of material  sitting around to make more of these – they will form part of my pirate town when that project gets a rocket underneath it and kicked off.


I got on a starship deckplan kick about mid-way through the year and spent an awful lot of time on Microsoft Paint making plans for merchants and other small star-ships. I still have another dozen or so unfinished plans that I will get done and posted this year. They were very popular and generated a lot of hits and downloads.

I also posted some fantasy maps I had drawn. These were also popular with fellow role-playing nerds.

My one and only attempt at drawing a comic – a report from a role-playing session in the mid-80s. Judge Dredd Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


Real Life happened too. There was Lambing Time on the Lifestyle Block, and earlier in the year I was busy making jam and chutney from our own fruit.


So this year across all the periods I game I managed approximately 25 units completed. Not too bad. One every two weeks on average. Here’s hoping for a productive year this year. Finish those Anglo-Zulus, finish those Anglo-Spaniards and make a start on the Pirates.

Monday Music: Snoopy’s Christmas

It is Christmas time so a traditional seasonal song is in order.

Happy Christmas to everyone who has taken the time to read The Woolshed Wargamer Blog and who have encouraged me to get painting and wargaming. Thanks for your support and I hope to have lots of interesting stuff for you next year.


The Woolshed Wargamer

In New Zealand we always know when the Christmas season is upon us when we hear Snoopy’s Christmas on the radio for the first time.


This year, for me, it was quite late – just last week. I think that it drives a lot of people nuts, but I find it quite reassuring. A bit of local tradition.  The song is by the group ‘The Royal Guardsmen’ who are in fact a US group.from Florida.

Snoopy’s Christmas

Another Snoopy v The Red Baron Song

And apparently Snoopy didn’t get The Red Baron the first time.

It is reassuring to know that Snoopy is still on the trail of bad guys in these modern times.

Enjoy the music and Happy Christmas to all.


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Hit the Wall

After a year and a half of reasonable painting output I have hit the wall. I just cannot look at a paint brush or a miniature. I have tried, but every time I pick up a brush I fee like throwing the whole lot in the bin.

I am going to have a break from painting and blogging.

Thanks for visiting over the last year and hopefully I will see you again.




This blog has made a big difference in my enjoyment of the hobby and I am really glad that I started recording my progress as I attempt to scale the heights of my own particular lead mountain.

I have met some really nice wargamers from around the world who have given me some great feedback, fair criticism and lots of inspiration.  All in all I have been motivated to get out there and put paint on models (or pixels on screens for that matter).

While fifty thousand hits is not much, to put it in perspective I have been the 63rd and 64th most viewed blog in New Zealand as reported by Open Parachute Blog Rankings over the last two months.


63 The Woolshed Wargamer 1860 3000



64 The Woolshed Wargamer 1770 3000


Here’s to the next fifty thousand.