Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More on Fort Khalaam

I took some more pictures of the progress on Fort Khalaam last night. As usual, please click on the pictures for larger images.

After I had a good look at the walls with the stone effect spray, I wasn't completely satisfied. So I sprayed a coat of the Krylon Ultra-Flat sand camouflage spray paint on them. I think they look much better but could still stand some more work. In this picture, you can also see the "crazing" that occurred when I sprayed the yogurt containers first with the Fusion and then the camouflage paint. I've left them this way because I think the effect enhances the feeling of weathering that a fort like this should have.

Another view of the fort from the side. I also oversprayed the hillock upon which the fort sits with the camouflage sand color so it and the fort walls seem to blend together.

Here is one of the damaged wall sections in progress. After cutting the foamcore and styrofoam down to create the breech, I cut out a piece of very thin plastic as a base for the fallen rubble. Using Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty, I built up the rubble heap and then added rocks and pebbles to give it some texture. Tonight I'll spray it with the Krylon stone effect paint and then tomorrow night with the camouflage sand paint. Later on I'll probably add some more effects to the breeches, but this will at least get me through the game on Saturday.

I also made a three tiered hill at the same time that I was making the fort's hillock. This hill will be the home of a Pressman Pirate set tower. There is a pathway that starts mid-way down the left side of the lowest level and then runs around to the front of the hill before making its ascent to the tower. The rear of the hill is almost vertical face that will be too step for anyone to ascend.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Building Fort at Khalaam - Part 1

In preparation for my Victorian Colonial game on Saturday (May 30), I have been building a fort in which the wiley Emir Tubeir can resist the Anglo-Indian punitive expedition. I've had the materials (Yoplait yogurt containers and foamcore wall sections) for a number of years but never the right incentive. That time is finally here. I've patterned the fort after the example set by Major General Tremorden Rederring on his web site: Regnad Kcin's hillfort. I've not tried to be as elaborate as the Major General at this stage. As usual, please click on each picture for a larger view. In all the pictures, the figures are Ral Partha Pathan warriors.

I used a hot wire foam cutter on the two levels of the hillock upon which the fort will be mounted. It has been the first real use of this cutter that I bought a number of years ago. It is a simple affair powered by two "D" cell batteries. But it makes a fairly neat cut and is much, much, much better than a serrated bladed steak knife.

Rising on a small hillock, the fort at Khalaam begins to take shape.

Here you can see the wall construction from the rear. A piece of foamcore and a piece of pink foam were glued together to form the wall and parapet. Circular floors have been glued into the tops of the towers. The gate is a simple archway cut from foamcore. It will eventually have doors.

The fort with all walls and towers in place.

Illustration of method used to secure the walls and towers. For the walls, toothpicks were cut and inserted into the base and then the walls were pressed down on them. With the holes in the bottoms of the walls slightly enlarged, the walls can be easily removed and replaced. For the towers, I used toothpicks as internal braces to keep the towers in place.

A close-up of the gateway and its flanking towers.

I also added damaged sections for the gateway and the other three walls.

This was done to illustrate the breeching of a wall after artillery fire. I will add rubble to both the interior and exterior of each wall section.

Here's a view of the rear of one of the damaged wall sections.

I also cut two extra towers down to be used as damaged replacements. On the left-hand damaged tower you can see the toothpick brace inside the tower. There are two more that help hold the tower in place.

I mounted the fort hillock on a slightly larger hill section, painted both with brown interior latex paint, and applied sand to give it some texture. This picture shows the fort base prior to the excess sand being shaken off.

And here are the intact wall sections after I primed and then sprayed them with Rust-Oleum brand American Accents Stone spray paint. Unfortunately I have had this can for a long time and I could never get the mixing ball to work properly so the paint came out in blobs and in pure propellant, resulting in incomplete coverage. I think this evening I will respray the walls with sand colored Krylon brand Ultra-Flat Camouflage paint. I also spray painted the plastic Yoplait containers, first with black Krylon brand Fusion paint and then with the sand camouflage paint. I must not have waited long enough for the black Fusion paint to try and that coupled with the high humidity here resulted in the sand colored second coat to exhibit a number of cracks. But that effect looked very good, adding some "authenticity" to the towers so I'll leave them alone. I didn't get pictures of them taken yet but will have them featured in Part 2.

I still have to complete the damaged wall sections and make a doorway for the entry before Saturday's first play test of this scenario. Then I'll have three weeks before the next play test to finished the fort and get the terrain work completed. Part 2 will come shortly with more pictures of the completed project.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

First Battle of Khalaam

Finally, a week after the battle, the battle report is produced. This report is in a different format from what I normally post. I constructed the report as a PowerPoint presentation using from one to four pictures per slide. I then converted each slide into a separate jpeg file and posted them to the blog. The reader must click on each slide in order to view them properly.

The rules used were The Sword and the Flame by Larry Brom, which may be obtained from Sergeants3 (shameless plug!).

And now Col Campbell's Barracks presents:

Photographs are courtesy of Bill Hamilton, John Murdaugh, Ed Sansing, and Jim Pitts.

Troops are owned and were painted by Jim Pitts. Almost all are Ral Partha. The Indian lancer officer is Miniature Figurines; the two Haddabiera guns are Foundry Darkest Africa; the Russian officer is Askari; and the Niyam militia are London Warroom Abyssinians.

Terrain owned by Jim Pitts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Newly Painted Victorian Colonials

During the first half of May, I was really churning out the figures for my May 16 game. Here is a look at the ones that were done. Except as noted, all these figures are from the venerable Ral Partha 25mm colonial line, which is still produced by: Ral Partha Colonials. These are all organized to be used with The Sword and the Flame rules by Larry Brom, available from Sergeants3 (Brom).

As always, please click on the picture for a larger image.

The Anglo-Indian Khalaam Field Force commander and his escort
of a trooper from the 10th Hussars and a lancer from the 10th Bengal Lancers.

A troop of the 10th Hussars.
The swords are small straight pins that were super-glued into the hands.
The officer is from the British command group.

The dismounted figures of the 10th Hussars.

A troop of the 10th Bengal Lancers.
The officer is a Miniature Figurine trooper painted as a British leader.

The dismounted figures for the 10th Bengal Lancers.
The officer is a temporary fill-in of an Indian artillerist.

The battery from the Royal Artillery.

The Emir's Bodyguard cavalry is a mix of Bashi Bazouk and native cavalry.
Eventually I will acquire enough of each type of figure to have separate units.

One of the two native guns with its crew.
The gun is the Foundry Darkest Africa piece.
The "advisor" is Major Ivan Skavinski Skavar ( poem )
from the "Great Khan of the Steppes" (The Tsar of All the Russias)
(and is actually an Askari French officer!).

Over the past four and a half months, I've been able to make good strides in painting my small hillock of Victorian Colonial figures. This has been helped by this year's gaming theme of Colonial Adventuring in our wargaming group. For the rest of the month, I'll be building the "Fortress of Khalaam" for my games on May 30 and June 20 prior to the scenario being used for the 2nd Annual George Carr, Sr., Memorial Colonial Game at Bayou Wars, our regional convention in New Orleans, on June 27 ( Bayou Wars ).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Victorian Colonial Battle Teaser

Just a small teaser from the Victorian Colonial game we had this past Saturday (May 16). It pitted an Anglo-Indian punitive expedition of five infantry units, two cavalry units, and two artillery units against the Haddabiera tribe of five infantry units, one cavalry unit, and two guns in the Vale ofKhalaam in the North Central Frontier of Aooghastan.

A more detailed report will be posted on the Jackson Gamers blog (see link in side-bar) later this week.

An overview of the Anglo-Indian expedition as it enters the mouth of the Vale of Kalaam.

Part of the Niyam town militia fleeing a burning and collapsing building.

An overview of the battlefield as the game was drawing to a close.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Interim Report of May Production

Well I thought that April was a busy month for painting, with 62 Olley points done. So far in May (half-way through the month) I have done 106 Olley points, all Victorian Colonial figures. Wow! They have been:

12 Pathan cavalry (24 points)
13 British gunners (13)
12 British hussars and 9 dismounts (33)
1 British mounted staff officer (2)
12 Indian Bengal lancers and 9 dismounts (33)
1 Indian mounted staff officer (repaint of rider only) (1)

So all the Victorian Colonial figures that I need for my game tomorrow (May 16) are now painted. Whew!

I'll be posting some pictures of the new units and of the game sometime next week.

I've got another game (in the mini-campaign in the North Central Frontier of Aooghastan) in two weeks (May 30). For that game I need a "fortress" for the Anglo-Indian punitive expedition to assault. I think the next two weeks will be totally absorbed in designing and building the "Fortress" of Khalaam, the lair of the wily Emir Tubier of the Haddabiera tribe.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A New Letter from Scot's-Land

After another swift passage from Scot's Land, the following letter was received by Major General Seamus Campbell, currently in the service of the Margrave of Carpania.

Dear Cousin,

I have just a few minutes to dash off this note to you. Siggy and I are readying ourselves for an upcoming action between between the forces of the Britannian government and the Jakobite rebels. At present, we don't know whether another attempt will be made on the fortress of Carmudgeon or if there will just be a large scrum between the two armies. Intelligence received in the government camp indicates that two new clan regiments have joined the Pretender's army - one from Atholl and one from Clan MacDonald. There is also word that the Gallians may have sent some more reinforcements but that has yet to be confirmed.

I expect that by the time you receive this note that a fight will be in the offing. As soon as I can after the battle, I will write you with the results.

Please pass our felicitations to the Margrave and his family (especially my friend, Princess Buttercup).

Your affectionate and devoted cousin,



As Der Alte Fritz prepares for a Jacobite battle tomorrow (see Der Alte Fritz Journal ), Alistair Campbell and Siegfried Hapnich get ready to assist the government forces. Meanwhile, Count Mikhail Pavlov is doing the same on the Jacobite side. I think that it is probable that after this battle, our "gentlemen adventurers" will be returning to Mississippi to impart their tactical knowledge to their respective statelets.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Further Update from April

I realized today that I had not made any postings lately - last one was over two weeks ago! So let's bring things up to date.

Almost all my hobby time these past weeks has been concentrated in getting ready for the first of a series of loosely linked games that will culminate in a convention game at our regional Bayou Wars convention (see link for more details). This mini-campaign involves an Anglo-Indian expeditionary force advancing into the vale of Swat in the north central frontier area to punish the Haddabiera tribe for its more recent depredations. We will be using the venerable The Sword and the Flame (TSatF) rules for these games.

I finished the fourth and final 20-figure Pathan infantry unit for the Haddabiera tribe, the three mounted leaders, including Emir Tubeir himself, the eight gunners, and the 12-figure cavalry unit. So all of the Pathan forces I had planned for my game on May 16, are completed. Now to the Imperials - the thirteen British gunners have been completed except for a few splashes of paint on the rammers, etc. and putting the terrain effects on the bases. I've begun the 12-figure mounted/9-figure dismounted troop of British cavalry but haven't completely decided if they will be hussars or lancers. They will probably be hussars as I have a troop of Indian Bengal lancers already primed and waiting in the painting queue. Now I just have to figure out how to do the swords.

I've also done four hill masses for part of the terrain. They will match up with some hills I did earlier to make the battlefield look like the rolling foothills common in the southern part of the Vale of Swat.

I've also been doing a little gaming with our local group. We've fought the Assyrians versus the Egyptians in ancient times (and that is a game I would like to forget - my die rolling was abysmal!), the Carlists versus the Isabelistas in sunny Spain in the 1830s, and the Germans and their askaris versus the British and their askaris in German East Africa in the Great War. The ancient games were played with Jay Stribling's 20mm figures using a set of rules he developed. The Carlist games were played with Mark Steven's exquisitely painted Perry figures using Larry Brom's To the Sound of the Guns Napoleonic rules (slightly modified), and th eGerman East Africa game was played with Jay Stribling's 20mm figures using a set of rules by Tom Dye of Game Figures, Inc., which Jay slightly modified. Even though I was soundly beaten in the ancient game, on the defeated side with the Isabelistas, and was the one success in a German defeat in East Africa, the gaming was enjoyable and, most importantly, FUN! Battle reports will be available for all these games on our group's web site - The Jackson Gamers .

Well, back to the work grindstone!