Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Basing tutorial

The lovely Phil Robinson ask me about my basing...
So I have put together a little tutorial on how I do my simple but (hopefully) effective bases.

WARNING... this post contains obvious and unashamed product placing...

The first stage is to texture the base...
I get all my bases from War Bases...

I apply a thin layer of lightweight filler to the surface of the base.

I discovered this material by accident at my local Wilcos (this is a British hardware-general store)
when I picked up a tub of filler that appeared to be empty, the only way I can describe it is aerated doesn't appear to have any real shrinkage and therefore doesn't cause any warping.

Wilkos lightweight filler.

Next I stipple the filler using a cheap firm artists brush...

A cheap artist brush...

I use Tamiya flat earth diluted with about 30% of Tamiya thinner.
The combination of the lightweight filler the diluted paint  and capillary action means that paint is sucked across the surface of the base, making it much easier to get between legs and other obstacles.

Tamiya paint...

I dry brush the base with Wargames Foundry's Boneyard trilogy ...

Yup! surprises there...

I edge the base with Citadel Dryad Bark... I like my base to have a dark edge, I feel it frames the figures... if that is not your thing , just ignore this bit...

You still get to see the paint pot...

The dry brushed base...

I apply PVA from a small bottle with a nozzle... putting it on quite thick...

And there it is...

Next I cover it in static grass and leave to dry thoroughly..

Yes its static grass... I really cant do any product placement here... my static grass is made from a mix of different materials from different sources...I put all of the flock I had acquired over the years into one box  and mixed it around until I got a colour I liked.

A grassy base...

Okay now its time for my little innovation...

I wet brush (for want of a better description) PVA onto areas of the static grass...

Then I dunk the base into K&M Medium Olive scatter material...

What I am trying to recreate is the look of the different small leaved plants that you find meadows and uncultivated ground...a bit like my garden.

K&M make red and yellow scatter so you could do some sort of floral arrangement if you really wanted to.

All done...

I hope this slightly light hearted tutorial has been of some help to you.

I have earned no money from the product placement on this tutorial.....yet!

All the best.   Aly

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

15th Century French

One of the side effects of a really good game is that it sets off my wargames butterfly...
This can sometimes lead to me dropping what I am working on to pick up a stalled project or diving head first into a shiny new one.
I have been good this time and scratched that post game itch by taking a couple of photo's of my 15th Century French.
They currently stand at three units
More of a contingent than an army...

The Scottish Archers of the Guard.

The rather English looking flag is based on the Durward (Scottish)Arms and indicates the presence of a certain Quentin Durward.
If you haven't watched The Adventures Of Quentin Durward starring Robert Taylor, you are in my opinion missing a treat.

The first unit of infantry.

The second unit of infantry.

All the flags were made by me using Photoshop although I have since over painted the French Royal Arms and will probably do the others in time...its the butterfly in me.

All the best.   Aly

Sunday, 16 July 2017

From my side of the table... Ferrybridge and Dinting Dale

I had the most enjoyable wargame this weekend, hosted by Michael Perry.

The actions at Ferrybridge and Dinting Dale ( I couldn't resist referring to them as Fairybridge and Dingly Dell throughout the game) were a precursor to the battle of Towton.
Michael used this large skirmish as a basis for a more substantial game.
Alan Perry and I took the part of the Yorkists, Alan taking control of Lord Fauconberg and I had control of Lord Fitzwalker and Warwick.
Dave Andrews and Rick Priestly were the baddies...

A green and pleasant land... for the moment.

Fitzwalkers men slumber in their camp.

Ricks marauding cavalry make an early morning call.

Fitzwalkers men, now awake form up at the front of the camp.

Fitzwalkers mounted archers wake up mount up and bugger off...
They make next to no contribution to the rest of the battle.

Ricks cavalry charge home...destroying one unit and sending the other across the river.

Warwicks men now start to arrive and make their way across the bridge.

Only to be charged by Ricks cavalry...destroying two more units.

More of Warwicks men push across the bridge.

Ricks men pull back to reform, taking the luckless Fitzwalker with them as prisoner...rumours that he was captured in the toll booth while studying his collection of dodgy illumination's are mostly untrue.

Alan (for the moment playing the part of god) looks on in despair.

Lord Fauconberg arrives (Hurrah!).

With support from Warwick's remaining infantry Fauconberg moves in on Ricks cavalry.

As Dave's men arrive on the battlefield (Booo!)

Not soon enough to stop the demise of Rick's men.

And the liberation of Fitzwalker.

The two armies close in one each other.

A state of violence, bad behaviour and name calling break's out across the battlefield, but despite some glorious actions and small victories the Yorkist's can make no headway against the forces of darkness, with all our brigades effectively broken it is time to concede the game.

Fitzwalker manages to get back to his stash of porn illuminations.

And we all had a jolly good time.

More can of course be found on the Perry Miniatures Facebook page.

All the best.  Aly

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


At the tender age of Sixty I have decided it is about time that I started to record my "Butterfly" approach to wargaming and toy soldiers in a blog...

I was given my first toy soldiers when I was about seven years old-A Kleeware Crusader Castle I think..


Not long after, I discovered H.G.Wells's Little Wars at the local library...

As time and birthdays passed I was given Donald Featherstone's War Games and Tackle Model Soldiers This Way...

Signed by the man himself

Followed by Blandford's Military Uniforms of the World in Colour and a subscription to Miniature Warfare...

I also received my first Lead soldiers-Hinton Hunt 20mm Napoleonic's- 25 British and 25 Saxons(I liked the white uniforms).
Sadly I can not show a picture of these as they are long lost in the mists of time.

Of course by this time I was hooked.

My Mother always says that when I saw my first toy soldier I said "I am going to get a job making these when I grow up".
And I did...(the toy soldier making bit...not the growing up).

After nearly forty years in the business and most of my life in the hobby I have come to terms with my inner butterfly and now happily flutter from one shiny thing to the next.
All the best.. Aly

My desk at the moment