Anzac Day 2017

Appropriate for Anzac Day 2017 and thinking about my Dad.

The Woolshed Wargamer

I have always loved the saccharine sweet Lili Marlene in almost any language I have heard it sung. I have copies in German, Hungarian, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish and of course, English. The song was parodied during the war by Allied servicemen in Italy who took exception to a supposed comment by Lady Astor that those serving in the Italian campaign were ‘D-Day Dodgers’ – having an easy time away from the real fighting in France. The bitterness in the lyrics is still there after all this time.  My father served in Italy and he loves this song. When I hear it I picture the young man he was then.

I think that it is highly unlikely she ever said it and she herself denied it and there is no documentary proof of such an utterance.  However, the supposed slight was the genesis of a great ballad. One that my…

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Wild West Skirmish

While I have been doing no painting recently, have gotten a few games in here and there. Some pictures from a Western skirmish game. Six teams of four. Each group had their objectives. Won by the Pinkertons who defended the bank against Mexican bandidos. The other teams didn’t really achieve much apart from turning on each other. Rules used were The Rules with No Name.

See my other posts on this rule set including new cards and some of my other Wild West Miniatures.


Water, Water

Another reason why I have not been doing any painting. Can’t clean the paint crushes when you have no water.


Our water tank. It is filled from water coming off the woolshed and yards. Our water tank. It is filled from water coming off the woolshed and yard roof.

Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas. Now as you all know We live in the countryside. As the locals would say, We live in the “wop wops“. Far, far away from any city amenities, such as water.  We rely upon a combination of tank and bore water for our water needs.  A 30,000l tank supplies the house with water for everything expect the toilets and outside taps, which come from the bore.  The bore also supplies the household needs of two of our neighbours, as well as a number of stock troughs.  Over the last week it was apparent that there was a problem with bore water supply.  So it was D.I.Y Daddy to the rescue.

Firstly, the suspected leak had to be located.  Our property has been in existence for over 150…

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The Big Blow

Our only damage from the weather bomb that swept up the country today. Free firewood indeed.


Honey from Farmer Van Honey from Farmer Van

Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas.  Now as you all know it is supposed to be summer here in sunny New Zealand, therefore, hot, sunny and warm.  But for some reason this summer seems to have other ideas.  Today a weather bomb passed over the country with 154 km (95 miles) winds blowing through Wellington.  Accompanied by torrential rain. It certainly was windy here and this morning when mummy went out to feed those pesky chicken she saw a big branch blown off a tree in the paddock.

Daddy looking at the branch.  Daddy looking at the branch.

img_7432img_7433So sometime this week, daddy with the assistance from Farmer Rae will be cutting down the branch.  Yeah more free fire wood.

Off We go.  We have heard mention of visitors coming this weekend. As loyal readers know Me and Nellie love having guests to stay.  More people to give Us the love…

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A review of 2016 in the Woolshed (July to December)

Continuing my review of 2016 in my corner of the wargaming world.


I got a present from overseas – an autographed copy of the first new module for Space Opera to come out in a few decades – another great Star Sector Atlas (The Galactic People’s Republic).  If you have not seen it I did a review.

The first miniatures of the month were a regiment of Perry plastic cuirassiers. I painted these as Spanish Coraceros. This unit had maybe a troop uniformed in captured French cuirasses and helmets. I did a whole unit.  I also did a unit of Front Rank Catalonian Light Infantry. These guys came out particularly well despite the lace driving me somewhat batty.

Then, as is my want, I went off on a hobby tangent. I unpacked a box full of old GW orcs – some that I had started painting with my son over ten years ago and a whole bunch of second hand ones I had brought at the time. This consumed my hobby time for the next few months for the most part. I decided to base and use  them for Kings of War.  The first unit was some Boar Boyz that I had pretty much done back in the early to mid-2000s.

AUGUST or perhaps ORCGUST would be more appropriate.

Everything this month was Orcy. An Orc general on a boar, lots and lots of GW Orcs based into Regiment bases. I really wanted to show that Black Orcs Matter – even old ones.

Ancillary units were not neglected. I did a Regiment of Trolls, two Hordes of Orclings and a Regiment of Orc Chariots.

Finished off the month with another unit of Savage Orc Boar/Gore riders and used a spare Grimgor and a chariot to make a Krudger mounted in Chariot.


More Orcs. I got some heroes finished (a flagger, a krudger and a godspeaker) and finally painted my Frothers Unite-UK! miniature of Big Dave the Orc.   The Orcs were rounded off with a final Regiment of Orc Boyz (or Ax Regiment in KoW) and I also converted a Papo toy orc into an Orc Giant – Big Fecking Dave.

September was also saw the arrival of a few future additions to our freezer.


This was a quiet month hobby-wise. I didn’t do any miniatures but did do some other bits and pieces. I made a bunch of buildings in the style of the Conflix buildings so popular with gamers around the world.  I also made a half-hearted start on turning my GW Bretonnians into a Kings of War army – exactly what one I am not totally sure yet. Check out the Bretonnian Standard Bearer and a unit of mounted Yoemen.

One of my other passions is food. I have been trying out some new recipes this year. Here are two of my favourites. Pork a la Normand and Walnut and Blue Cheese Ravioli.

Finished of the month with another starship deck plan. This was one inspired by the great Scifi TV show The Expanse. I did a freighter suitable for a PC group.



This was the month that we got All Shook Up. New Zealand lived up to it’s reputation for the odd little earth tremor. On November 13th just after midnight we got hit by a 7.5 and a bunch of big aftershocks. A lot of damage but only a few casualties directly related to the quake. We came away with a few things fallen off shelves and about three days later discovered we had a broken water pipe. Being a resourceful country lad I fixed it myself.

I only got one “unit” finished this month. Painted up some Elite Miniatures Spanish as a battalion of Spanish Marine Infantry. Something a little different.


Added two more Spanish units for my Spanish Peninsular Army. A unit of Spanish Light infantry in blue coats and bicornes and also a battalion of Spanish Militia.

Any my lucky last unit of the year was a unit that I am not sure was ever constituted much beyond the planning stages – The Regiment Elisa Napoleon. I made it from Perry plastic French line and Carabineer heads left over from my “Spanish” Cuirassiers (and some from TMPer Virtualscratchbuilder).

This past year I also did a number of product reviews and hopefully will be able to do more in 2017.

Flat Minis (plastic flats for RPG gaming)  –

Deep Cut Studios (Mousepad style battle mats):

FGU Space Opera RPG (Star Atlas 4):

Well, that was the hobby year (and a few other things) for me. All in all it was not too bad. What is in store this coming year – well, more Napoleonics of course. I have stacks of metal still sitting there waiting.

War of 1812 Americans and British also need completing.  Not to mention the Kings of War Orcs, the toy ship conversions for Pirates and the old Traveller figures.  Kings of War Brets and even a horde of Japanese that I think would make a good KoW Kingdom of Men army are on the cards. Of course, all this will probably be out the window and I will start doing ACW or something.

A review of 2016 in the Woolshed (January to June)

Well 2016 has come and gone. A few dead celebrities in the tail end of the year and everyone and sundry talking about the worst year ever. Guess things like  1347-50 or 1939-45 just don’t stack up. For me it has been a pretty good year. Been surprisingly happy and life has been, for the most part, pretty good.  We had no floods or other rural drama. The biggest thing to hit us was the 7.5 quake back in November, and apart from a busted water pipe and a few things off shelves we were sweet.

Blogwise it has been a very good year. Doubled my page views and almost doubled readers. I have made a bunch of ‘net friends’ through here that I would not have otherwise met or known. They gave me lots of encouragement and I thank you guys for your input.

So, how did 2016 pan out?


Started out doing some repairs on the Woolshed and building myself a new work bench. Miraculously, it is still standing and in one piece. If you are surprised at that then that makes two of us.

I spent most of  January drawing deckplans for Traveller and other Scifi games. Had fun with some Reddit competitions run by the Traveller subreddit. I didn’t win but thought my ship was pretty cool nonetheless.


February was a Zulu Wars month with work on Casualty bases and an actual game – the Battle of Van Lunteran’s Farm.


March saw even more Zulu Wars activity as both the Zulus and Imperials got reinforcements. The Imperial forces were reinforced by some converted Perry Plastic ACW cavalry becoming British Volunteer and Auxiliary cavalry.  These were my first plastic conversions of any note.  Also some nice Empress dismounted versions to go with them.

The Impi was bolstered by two new regiments. The uThulwana Regiment in full dress and the Evil Omen – the uMbonambi regiment.  Lastly, the Fly Catchers also made it onto the table. All Black Tree Designs miniatures. Just love painting these guys. I cannot believe I did three regiments in one month.

All these new regiments needed some more command figures so also added a few more Zulu command bases.

Also scratch built some British infantry casualty bases and painted some brought casualty figures.

And lastly for March – a decent sized Anglo-Zulu game.  Played with Black Powder Rules and four players new to the rule-set.


I finally finished the fourth and last of the Zulu Regiments that formed the Reserve at Isandlwana and who made the attack on Rorke’s Drift. This Regiment was the uDhloko “Savage” regiment.

Then it was time to get back into Napoleonics. The first Napoleonic unit painted in 2016 was this Portuguese Regiment that I started way back in January 2015. I got the bit between my teeth and cranked out three units in a week. Also done were some Portuguese Artillery (Elite Miniatures of course) and some Cacadores.


May was Peninsular Cavalry Month. A regiment of British Light Dragoons and a Spanish Line Cavalry unit were completed.  Also managed a Spanish Line Battalion – the Cordoba Regiment.

We also managed some non-wargaming related activities. A tramp up our beautiful valley looking at old abandoned homesteads.


Two more Spanish Cavalry Regiments. The Maria Luisa Hussars. I made a cock-up with these by reversing the colours of dolmans and pelisses. By the time I realised I had already done half of them so left it as is. Also a lovely regiment of yellow coated Spanish Dragoons.

Two more infantry battalions also marched into the storage cabinets. The first was a battalion of Spanish infantry in British uniform. The Colorados were captured in Beunos Aries, imprisoned on hulks in England and finally wiped out at the battle of Medina del Rioseco.  The second battalion was one I was particularly happy with. The 42nd Black Watch.

Without a doubt though, the highlight of this month was the reception of my first D&D Miniature. I was really happy how it came out and many people suggested that I should enter it in painting competitions. I did this awesome D&D Invisible Stalker.

Part Two (July to December) tomorrow. I really need to go and do some chores.

Regiment Elisa Napoleon

A few months back I saw this picture on my Facebook feed. I immediately thought that was a Wow! unit. Bonaparte’s sister Elisa was Grand Duchess of Tuscany and something-or-another of Lucca and Piombino (Princess I think). She authorised the raising of a bodyguard regiment from her Luccan and Piombonese subjects and given the uniform I am guessing she and her ladies-in-waiting had some hand in the design. I am not sure that the unit was ever raised in it’s entirety before she had to abdicate and retire to private life. But I knew that I wanted to try to paint it.


However I did not want to buy any new figures so decided to do this unit as a ‘What If’. What if it were raised and Napoleon, with his need for manpower had called it to duty. To that end I decided to model this regiment on campaign.  I have half a dozen boxes of Perry French plastic infantry and the spare Carabinier heads from the Perry Cuirassier/Carabinier box set. I needed some more heads and I got these from TMPer Virtualscratchbuilder who posted them to me from Denton, Texas. A couple of weeks later I have got them as finished as I ever get anything.

I have modelled them as a French Infantry Battalion with a Grenadier and Light Company. Also a couple of separately mounted voltigeurs and a custom casualty base for the unit. The flag was too complicated for me to bother with so I went with a simple tricolour in the colours of Lucca and Piombino. Oh yeah – and I gave them an Eagle – why not I say. There is also a solitary Victrix officer in there.

They will be joining some of the other fictional and almost fictional units in my Napoleonic armies in the cabinet.  Hope you like them.

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