Saturday, January 27, 2018


This week was very stressful.  I invested in a collection of about 200 28mm painted plastic ACW infantry.  They were finished with satin/gloss varnish so I organised them on trays to spray matt. 

All my 28mm figures have been successfully sprayed with matt varnish with not a single failure.  This time I was too impatient to spray them so took them out to my garden shed on a cold wet day Scottish day and a catastrophe  ensued.  A 100 figures approximately went frosty, some very much so!  Aaaagh disaster!  

What to do – I washed some in warm water no effect, painted some with white spirit – it looked good at first but dried to frosty.  Repeated each method with no effect.  Repeated again no effect.  Panic heightening at each failure!

Then my friend Jack Glanville told me of his solution.  Olive oil!  Yes amazing.  A brush with some extra virgin olive oil worked perfectly.  The figures emerged with no frostiness but with a glossy sheen.  Saved saved!  I have now got them back to the desired matt state.  My thanks to Jack - I owe him a couple of drinks.

Here are some photos of Zouaves before and after the olive oil treatment.

Some were much worse than this
The other side - panic!

After the olive oil - with no extra coats of matt varnish.  Saved!

Back view - after 3 days of the olive oil drying - much glossier originally

Saturday, January 13, 2018


On Wednesday I staged a slightly revised version of my Black Powder Napoleonic 1812 fictional Vitebsk game.  The first version is at:

This time Donald Adamson and I commanded the Russian force and Tim Watson & Colin Jack commanded the French and Allied force.  The OB strengths remained the same as the first game with the Franco-Bavarians having 3 infantry brigades (Bavarian, French, Polish/Neapolitan) and 2 cavalry brigades facing 4 Russian infantry brigades (2 Line, Grenadier, Opolchenie), a cavalry brigade and a Cossack brigade.  This time the French lancers were upgraded to Guard lancers and 2 of the Polish battalions were replaced by Neapolitan units.

In this version both sides started with their 2 initial brigades deployed on the table.  As before the other troops were fed onto the table one brigade a turn but this time the order of march was determined by the players.  We tried a few ideas from Clash of Eagles - lack of initiative and bigger Russian batteries - but abandoned the poor Russian command rules.  We used our standard alternative move sequence of initiative moves, firing, commanded moves, melees.

This time I had worked out the victory conditions.  If at the end of the game a side held both ends of the 2 bridges it won a decisive victory.  If this condition was not met a victory was determined by which side inflicted the most losses of enemy infantry and cavalry units.

It was a very enjoyable game and by the end of 10 moves the French had lost 7 units to the Russian 2.  However the French won as they held both ends of the 2 bridges.  The French rolled good movement rolls but threw truly abysmal break tests.  The Russians threw repeatedly poor movement dice so advanced very sluggishly.

Russian steamroller engages the Bavarians

Russian right flank held of by the surviving French hussars and a few infantry

French 2nd cavalry brigade arrived - moved smartly to the bank of the stream then never moved again!

End position showing the seriously depleted Franco/Allied infantry line