Tag Archives: Woolshed Wargamer

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)  – http://www.flatminis.com

Deep Cut Studios (Mousepad style battle mats): http://www.deepcutstudio.com/

FGU Space Opera RPG (Star Atlas 4): http://drivethrurpg.com/product/169635/Space-Opera-Star-Sector-Atlas-4-The-Galactic-Peoples-Republic

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.

A Review of 2015 in the Woolshed

I have to say that this year has been the slowest year in ages for me when it came to the painting of miniatures, gaming and modelling.  There have been precious few miniatures posts. Saying that though, 2015 has been a good year for blog views.

It has, however, been a difficult year for me and my family.  My personal Black Dog made a major reappearance and made life difficult for everyone closely associated with me.  Needless to say I have a lot of bridge  mending to do and I am not talking about 28mm scale ones.

It was not a good period for my miniatures either.  I actually had finished painting two battalions of French Old Guard and ended up throwing them in the rubbish in a fit of depression.  My homemade Conflix-like village was also consumed in the fire.  To top it off  I also missed the big Waterloo 200th refight, although I am happy to say that my troops did fight in it.

The psycho was strong in me this year. Anyway, enough of that malarkey. On with the review.

I started 2015 out with a hiss and a roar, painting a Royal Navy Landing Party and their artillery support and also a battalion of Portuguese Infantry.

After that things just sort of died off until I got involved with the Anzac Chunuk Bair Diorama.  That was the highlight of my modelling/painting year, without a doubt. I had a great time working with the Perry’s, the guys from Weta and all my wargaming comrades from around New Zealand who were involved.  I get a real kick knowing that I painted some of the cool figures in this most impressive diorama.  It was a privilege to work on it.

I did spend a lot of time this year on my RPG interests – mapping fantasy cities/buildings and drawing star maps. Of course there were also a lot of star ship deck plans drawn and I have met some great people along the way with whom I have been collaborating with.

Lately I have been getting back into painting. Started with some old Citadel Vikings and then a boat load of Norse Dwarves – all circa 1980s that I have had in a box for nearly thirty years.

I started making some terrain – just simple stone walls. Got a lot of comments about them – people seemed to like them.

I only had two games this year. One was another Waterloo refight at the annual NapCon Convention. It was somewhat sad as the day before the convention the wargaming community said farewell to Nick Garden who tragically died way too young. I had met him at a few conventions and we got to know each other a bit better sitting next to each other at Weta Workshops when we were painting and retouching miniatures for the Anzac diorama. While I was not one of his mates, he was a gaming comrade and will be missed in the years ahead in New Zealand wargaming circles.

The other battle was a small Black Powder Peninsular affair played at home with a friend. Here’s hoping for way more gaming this year.

As far as the Woolshed itself goes – well this has been an eventful year. In June we had a pretty good flood. We were cut off from the rest of the world for four days before a digger got through the slips on our road. The river peaked at 12m above normal. Daughter got helicoptered out and back to school which was an adventure for her. We were OK, but some of the neighbouring properties were pretty badly hit.

In January my sister who lives in Australia  brought Dad’s ashes home to be buried as per his wishes alongside comrades in the veteran’s section of the Tauranga Cemetery.  The old bugger had two funerals as it turns out – one in Australia for family there and one here in New Zealand.

Later in the year I also discovered a giant rat’s nest behind some cabinets and decided to rebuild the wall in my Woolshed study.

On a really nice note, we had a wedding at the Woolshed. A young couple who transformed the place and had a wonderful day.

There were more than a few teenage parties in the Woolshed this year. No real problems except for a car taking out twenty metres of fence in my right-of-way.  IMG_2297

I did get to do a lot of spring cleaning this year. Got rid of a lot of old crap and rearranged things. The place is much more manageable now.

And of course, Mrs Woolshedwargamer kept me supplied with rations while I worked.

One thing about living in the country is that life goes on with a rhythm that goes on whether you want it to or not.  This year I lost a ewe and her lambs. She prolapsed and I tried to cut the lambs out to save them but they only lived 45 minutes.  The good old girl fed us one way or another though. I really should get a butcher’s block instead of using the dining room table.  The dogs seem to like it though. Some pics from our country life.

For an alternative look at our rural idyll, check out Jasper’s Doggy World blog.


Also this year my talented and beautiful daughter completed her first full marathon. She has done a number of half marathons.

Francesca Marathon.jpg

That is about it for this year.  Here is hoping for a much better 2016. You have to look forward and keep marching.

Happy New Year to you all and thank you for continuing to read my blog.

family photo 2.jpg
Have a safe and happy New Year. From the Woolshed Wargamer and Co to you and yours.










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.

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.


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.


Oh Joy

I am sure that I am not alone in having that feeling of expectation you have when you ordered something from overseas and then sit back to wait its arrival – this goes back to when I was a lad sending my £2 postal notes to Britain and waiting six months for the surface mail to arrive.  It is almost as much a part of the war-gaming hobby for me as actually painting and playing games.

So, it is Christmas time in July for me here at the Woolshed.  136 Zulus, 32 British and some special set/characters. My painting for the next month has been taken care of.

This was my first ever order from Black Tree Designs so I was a little apprehensive. However, I had emails when the order was received, picked and posted. Then I got updates with an ETA for the parcel that said 28th July. Low and behold – it arrived on the 28th July.







Someone from Canada did the thirty thousandth view on my blog.

I know a lot of websites get 30,000 views in an hour, but still. That is a lot of fellow gaming nerds popping in to take a look.  Trying to update the blog regularly has really helped me get cracking on a lot of painting that was not happening.
Thanks for helping me out.


2014 Painting Schedule


The painting desk should get another work out this year. I have gone through what I have left to paint for my Peninsular War project – and it was more than I thought. I really do not remember buying all this lead. The magic lead-pixies must be bringing in more while I am asleep.


  • 2 x 12 fig Dragoon Regiments (Elite), 1 x Spanish Hussars (Perry plastic)
  • 1 x Spanish Line Regiment (24 figs) (Elite)
  • 3 x Spanish Guard Regiments (24 figs) (Elite)
  • 1 x Small Spanish guerrilla unit (Front Rank)
  • 1 x 24 fig Catalonian Light Infantry (Front Rank)


  • 2 x 24 fig Cacadore Battalions (one Elite and one Front Rank)
  • 3 x 24 fig Line Battalions (Elite)


  • 2 x 24 fig British Line Battalions (Old Glory)
  • 1 x 12 fig Dragoon Regiment (Elite)
  • 1 x 12 fig Light Dragoon Regiment (Elite)
  • Rocket Troop (Warlord Games)
  • Line Artillery Battery (Elite)
  • RHA Battery (Elite)

Then there is the plastic stuff that I may or may not use. About six boxes of various Victrix British/Scots and 2 boxes of Perry British.

For the French I have two half finished Guard battalions to complete – one each of Grenadiers and Chasseurs (both Front Rank). There are also about five French cavalry regiments to do (One of Hussars, 2 x Cuirassier, 1 x Saxon and another Dragoon regiment). I have no idea how many infantry battalions I have in lead – maybe a dozen or more (mixed Front Rank, Connoisseur and even some old Hotspur).  I am not even counting the boxes of plastic French infantry and cavalry (Perry and Warlord for the most part).

Then there is the War of 1812 stuff


  • 2 x Line Regiments (Old Glory)
  • Maryland Volunteers (Old Glory)
  • 3 x Regiments of Militia (Old Glory)
  • Maryland Dragoons (Old Glory)
  • Artillery Battery (Old Glory)


  • Glengarry Light Infantry (Old Glory)
  • Canadian Voltigeurs (Old Glory)
  • 2 x Regiments Canadian Embodied Militia (Old Glory and Knuckleduster)
  • British Light Dragoons (Old Glory)
  • 2 x Battalions of Sedentary Militia (Old Glory)
  • 1 x Caldwell Rangers (Knuckleduster)
  • Indian warband

So, the pirates/post apocalypse stuff is looking like a 2016 project. I just realised that I also have a bunch of unfinished Wild West stuff as well. A complete Dixon Samurai army. More GW Bretonnians. The list goes on.

Wish me luck.

A review of 2013 in the Woolshed

The Woolshed on a misty morning.
The Woolshed on a misty morning.

This time a year ago I started this blog as a prompt to get me painting and not sitting and staring at the piles of unpainted miniatures in my collection. You know, apart from a few months in winter when I just couldn’t be fagged, I have done pretty well. My painting totals are as follows:

10 x  Wild West skirmish figures (West Wind and Blue Moon)

1 x 4 gun French Artillery Battery (Perry Miniatures)

1 x 12 figure Saxon Garde du Corps cavalry regiment (Connoisseur Miniatures)

2 x 12 figure French Line Chasseur cavalry regiments (Connoisseur and Hinchliffe)

1 x French Old Guard Chasseur Battalion (Front Rank)

1 x French Old Guard Grenadier Battalion (Victrix Plastic)

1 x Bavarian Infantry Battalion (Connoisseur and Front Rank)

3 x Spanish Militia Battalions by Brigade Games (Cuidad Rodrigo) and Perry (de Mallorca and Oveido )

3 x Spanish Infantry Battalions (mostly Elite). La Reina, Valencia, Real Compania Irlandesa.

2 x Spanish Guerrilla units (Front Rank and a few East Riding Miniatures)

1 x 4 gun Spanish Artillery Battery (Elite)

3 x bases of various staff officers (Perry, Front Rank and Hinchliffe)

5 x Battalions of British Line and Light Infantry

1 x Battalion of 60th Rifles (Perry Miniatures)

1 x Battalion of 95th Rifles (Offensive Miniatures)

I also re-based nine French Cavalry regiments and twenty battalions of French Infantry.

Not a bad tally really. Twenty three “units” and some extras. Given the glacial nature of my painting output in the last twenty years this has been meteoric.  I intend to keep the momentum up this year. More Spanish and British and perhaps a few units of French or French allies.  What I would like to do is actually get a decent digital camera.

Add to this the work I did on my Traveller RPG setting, my Beasts and Barbarians RPG and the disruption that having a teenage party caused, I think I  have had a pretty full hobby year.

Here is to another fruitful wargaming year in 2014 for all of us.