40K Old School

I have never had a game of Warhammer 40K. I pretty much know nothing about the game or how it plays other than a lot of spotty little guys seem to love playing it. I think I threw a few dice once in a Games Workshop store when some over-eager lad tried to show me how cool it was.  However, eight years ago I brought some models ready painted at a convention, figuring that my son might like to play. He was not that enthused so they have sat untouched since then.  The models are all old school – which I kind of like the look of. I have added a few units and models – which kind of makes me one of the aforementioned spotty little guys I guess. This post will highlight some of the vehicles in my 40K Army. I think the Chapter is the Garish Angels or something like that.

First off we have the Whirlwind.  This model is really unbalanced. I don’t mean in game terms either. The rocket launchers on the back are metal and the body is plastic. It seriously needs a counterweight glued to the front end as it has an alarming tendency to pull wheelies.


Here we have the classic Predator Tank with Twin Las Canons, Double-Overhead foxtails and a mini-bar. The base kit is plastic but it has metal sponsons and a full metal turret. I got this kit in pieces in an internet trade for $5.00 including postage.


I tried to paint it to match the livery of the models I got in the trade.


When it comes to Old School, nothing says it like a Full Metal Landspeeder.  This is a great kit, but will have to go on a bigger base as it is also chronically top heavy. I like the look way more than the new plastic kits.


These guys look like they are riding a flying gun.  The modern Landspeeder looks like a flying jeep to me.


Lastly, this bike squad is made from the first edition of these models.  I added the trike to round out the squad. I have no idea if they are used together, but thought they looked cool.


and a final shot.


If anyone can tell me who painted the original models I would love to know.

Why I was banned from Battlefront Forums

Webb Cartoon from 2004
Webb Cartoon from 2004

After some email to-ing and fro-ing between Chris Townley (from Battlefront) and myself we arranged for a call from BF for this morning and subsequently today I got a call from one of the owners of Battlefront to explain why my account was deleted from the battlefront forum.  Peter Suminovich was polite and explained very clearly why I was evicted, which is all I was asking for.

Back in 2008 I made a post on a New Zealand political blog, at a time when a major New Zealand politician was in the news with regards to a big political spat over scampi, fishing quotas, alleged corruption, dodgy politicians, paper bags with money in them and an injunction on a video interview with a guy who worked for Peter S who said that he had told him to lie to a Parliamentary commission.   There was this big court case where Peter Suminovich and another joker sued a media company and state-owned TV for defamation and I understand it was settled out of court.  It is all on the internet as part of public record if you want to read about it.  Anyway, that is the background.

I had forgotten all about that period in New Zealand history and could not even remember the comment so after a lot of searching archives on a multitude of political blogs, I think I found the offending post.  I am not sure that there were others but if there were I couldn’t find them.


He said to me on the phone that I wrote a hurtful thing and he didn’t want anything to do with me and by inference that included my having any interaction with his company Battlefront. He obviously has a long memory.  My mother was a Southern European, so I know all about that.

So, there you have it.  It was not anything I said or did on the Battlefront Flames of War forums. He is exercising his right of ownership of the Flames of War Forum – and that is that. Perhaps in a similar circumstance I would do the same as Peter S did if someone called me Fat Brian.

Monday Music: Sergeants Major

Today I thought I would share a few classics about the backbone of any military – the Sergeant Major.  Every old soldier I have ever talked to has tales about sergeant majors and their propensity for yelling.

windsor davies

The first is the classic George Formby accompanying himself on his banjo-lele.  This clip is from the movie “It’s in the Air”.

And the other piece of music is “Kiss Me Goodnight Sergeant Major”.

If you want to watch the entire movie the George Formby clip was taken from here is the link (Update: Video removed from Youtube).

For those of you who remember the classic British comedy series “It Ain’t Half Hot Mum”, here is the very first episode with Windsor Davies playing Battery Sergeant Major “Shut Up” Williams.

The Big Dry

What has this post got to do with wargaming?

It is too bloody hot to paint.

In the last two months we have had about half a day of light rain that barely wet the ground before it evaporated.  Pretty much the entire North Island of New Zealand is now officially in drought. The only places we have any green grass is where there is shade from trees – fortunately I have a few big trees on the property.  Everywhere else the grass is being burnt away. Got quite a lot of bare patches in some paddocks already.  We are feeding the cows the apples, grapefruit and veges we would normally reserve for preserving and eating.


Here is a link to a news item on the drought.


I hope we get some rain soon. The sheep are going to be culled this week. Not enough feed for them. I might have to get another freezer.

The only thing keeping a bit of greenery in our valley are the morning river mists. They have been quite heavy but it burns off by about 0800.


Of course, we have a lifestyle block. Our livelihood is not threatened by the drought. The farmers around us are stressing.  Already they are having to use the supplementary feed that should be used for winter.

Banned from Battlefront’s Flames of War Forum


Today I got an email from Chris Townley (Design Studio Manager at Battlefront) with this rather terse sentence.

Hi Brian,

your forum account on the Flames Of War site has been deleted at the request of the senior management.

Chris Townley

Battlefront Miniatures

Well, I wondered why – I had hardly said or done anything controversial at the Battle Front Forum. The sum total of my contribution was posting a link to my painted Battlefront Stuart Recce tanks post (in the Galleries section), and to some of my Monday Music posts that had themes that may or may not interest people interested in social history of WWII and Vietnam War (in the Canteen section – the appropriate part of the forum for such posts).

Here is what I wrote about their Vietnam range:

Battle Front’s Tour of Duty line.  Quite extensive and looks pretty good. I have only ever seen the models in blisters but I am guessing that they are of the same pretty high standard as the rest of the BF line – arguments over the shape of a T-55′s turret notwithstanding.

Still waiting to see if I get a response from Chris as to why my account was removed, but I have to ask – has Battlefront become thinner skinned than an Opel Blitz truck?

28mm Spanish Militia: Milicias Prov. de Mallorca

Another militia battalion marches forth for my Spanish napoleonic army project.  These models are all Perry Miniatures Carlist militia infantry. I have no idea if the hats are all correct for the Napoleonic period but I have never been that hung up on that sort of thing. They look the part and will now take the field alongside their Brigade Games counterparts that I posted a few weeks back. I have one more Perry battalion to complete and that will be it for my Militia. I also have two units of guerillas to paint and then it will be on to the regular infantry.

The Battalion advancing with the colours of the Milicias Prov. de Mallorca.


Rear view. What I like about painting militia is the lack of straps, backpacks and accoutrements that regular infantry have. Hate those things.


Command Stand. All my militia battalions have spiritual help on hand in the form of an armed clergyman. The flagpole finial and tassel are from a Warlords Games Russian infantry box set I have acquired at a Bring and Buy.I thought the officer’s blanket came out quite well.


The mixture of hats, shirts, jackets – make these a great set to paint.


The other thing I like are the fact that half the chaps have their muskets shouldered on the opposite shoulder to the other half. A real motley lot – enough to make a regular grimace.


The priest tells the men that God is on their side. One hopes.


They look like they are ready for action but I have the sneaking suspicion that these Spanish infantry will flee at the first whiff of powder smoke. I guess time will tell. Their first outing is planned for three weekends from now when some friend come up to the woolshed for a weekend of eating, drinking and gaming.


Monday Music: I was Only Nineteen (A Walk in the Light Green)

The Vietnam War is one of those conflicts that I have only gamed a couple of times. It does not really appeal to me.  However, I have been looking at what is available in different scales and there is a fair selection.  I have only looked at 15mm, but there are also extensive ranges of 1/300th, 1/72nd, 20mm and 25/28mm ranges. Get Googling if those scales interest you. As far as the 15mm ranges go, this is by  no means an exhaustive list – happy to update if anyone lets me know of other manufacturers I have left off.


Battle Front’s Tour of Duty line.  Quite extensive and looks pretty good. I have only ever seen the models in blisters but I am guessing that they are of the same pretty high standard as the rest of the BF line – arguments over the shape of a T-55’s turret notwithstanding.


Flashpoint Miniatures.  These look really nice. I have never even heard of them until I started looking for Vietnam War minis.


Old Glory Command Decision Vietnam Range. Old Glory can be relied upon to get pretty good figures at a pretty good price (especially if you have the Army Card). Infantry and Vehicles available in the range.


Skytrex 15mm Vietnam Vehicles. A small range of soft skin vehicles. They look pretty trick to me.


Anyways, on with the Monday Music. When I was in my twenties I got an album by the Australian folk band ‘Redgum’ that had this song on it. The first time I heard it I was moved to tears. It still has that affect on me. This video has a Redgum live soundtrack and the video from some other group’s cover of the song. Enjoy.

and the band themselves performing the song

Monday Music: In Der Fuhrer’s Face


This is a great piece of comedic World War Two music.  Spike Jones and His City Slickers released this in 1942  Spike Jones was sort of early Weird Al Jankovic, parodying popular songs of the day. In Der Fuhrer’s Face is a parody of the Horst Wessel song – a Nazi anthem of sorts. The song was very popular and even made an appearance in comic book form and was used in advertising to sell War Bonds.


The catchy tune was used in the famous Donald Duck cartoon (1943).

28mm Napoleonic French Cavalry Division

I recently rebased a lot of old models – mostly painted in the 80s (and it shows) and also painted some French Chasseurs a Cheval that I found in a box. I had acquired them in 1985.  The models are a mix of Connoisseur, Hinchliffe and Hinchliffe Foremost ranges. The horses are Connoisseur, Hinchliffe and Essex I think.

Two regiments each of Chasseurs, Lancers and Dragoons.



French Line Lancers. Connoisseur models.


French Dragoons at Rest (mostly Hinchliffe and Foremost). Note the trooper second from right in the back rank with a scythe. Must have been out foraging.


French Dragoon Brigade Commander.


French Chasseurs a Cheval. They are all Connoisseur except for the Elite Company officer and the bugler who are Hinchliffe.  Again the horses are a mix of whatever I had. I am not even sure who made some of them – the result of buying horses at Bring and Buys at conventions over the years. I always figured it was cheaper to ship just the riders from the other side of the world to New Zealand than to bring their mounts with them – so I have a huge remount depot available.





Monday Music: D-Day Dodgers

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 Dad want’s played at his funeral. There are versions galore of this song, so I present to you two different interpretations.

and a version that is probably more like what the lads sung.

NZ inf

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