Monday, 5 December 2016

Shed Wars - 5th Birthday

Well today is the Shed Wars blog’s 5th Birthday and I think it is still going strong. As is usual for me on these events I like to look back and summarise the previous year in a short review.

I’ll firstly talk about the stats and then come onto the review proper.

As you can see from the numbers below the page view count continues to rise – this year it looks like I’ll be just shy of 200k hits in a year but the good news is that my page view count still seems to be on the upward curve each month

Number of followers
Number of page views
Dec 2012
Dec 2013
Dec 2014
Dec 2015
Dec 2016

Earlier this year the Russian bots seemed to have plagued everybody’s sites and delivered an unwanted spike July and prior to this aberration my photo session from Salute always drive the highest monthly volume in a year.

On the subject of Salute .....
This year was no different with over 6000 hits to the site just for my Salute photos. I also learned this year that a couple of my fellow bloggers got press passes to Salute so if there are any of the Salute organisers out there who want to give me a pass I’d be very happy.

As far as I can tell my Salute photo post has always the first up on the web in the past three You can reach me by PM on either the LAF or TMP (thanks!)

On the follower front this has clearly slowed down with only 387 listed. Perhaps this has hit the threshold?

Stats over....................................

So what of 2016 – was it a good year?

Well of course the hardest part of this year was losing my Father. He had been an inspiration for me when it came to this hobby, always interested in my next project and offering words of wisdom.

He was a journalist and although I write badly, this blog does to a certain extent maintain that family tradition.

We do miss him and Christmas will be hard for the family but in his words we need to push on and get things done.

The Old Man at Waterloo

If I was to summarise the 2016 year in one word it would be BIG.

The highlight for me was extending the Shed – this was a very big challenge but with the help of my gaming buddies on a warm summer’s afternoon the pre-built sections of new shed extension arose and took shape.  Over the autumn months this has been insulated, electrics installed and shelving added. It’s a much better environment than before and once the weather improves you’ll be seeing a lot more games on display.

Shedson doing the groundwork in April

Assembling the panels


The new extension

Inside the extension

Clearly the Shed extension was a BIG project but this did not slow down the introduction of new projects to my gaming world. Indeed for the first time ever I built two complete 28mm painted armies.

Back in December of last year my gaming chum Mark set down the challenge for us to create the English Civil War in 28mm. Over a period of four months we assemble and painted between us the best part of 1600 figures. Indeed my Parliamentarian army is one of my proudest achievements. I not only think it looks great it also wins games.

The Parliamentarian Army taking shape

An ECW engagement

Mark & I (along with other Shed Regulars) have probably played around a dozen games of Pike & Shotte this year and everyone has been a real joy. By my reckoning the Parliamentarian forces have had a slight edge in victories and from next year I get to upgrade the forces to New Model Army status (we agreed this earlier in the year)

The first ECW battle

The second BIG army project was the Zulu Wars in 28mm  - over 400 Zulus painted and the best part of 200 Allied troops. This was a labour of love and is dedicated to the old man. Thesis little lot has only seen the table a few times but we have plans to refight Isandlwhana and Rorkes Drift on the anniversary of these engagements in January (still think I need more Zulus).

The finished Zulu Army

Rorkes Drift (still not been fought over in anger)
A Zulu Black Powder game in Full flight
Usuthu !!!

Although not strictly wargaming I did receive three BIG Kickstarter projects – Blood Rage, The Others and Conan. These are all big boxes of games and now the weather prevents the shed from being used these types of modern boardgames have become the staple fare of our Monday night sessions.

A Big Delivery

Aside from the Zulu and ECW games the Shed has actually been quite quiet this year (clearly this was in part down to the rebuild) but this will hopefully change in 2017.  

On the terrain front its been really quiet - this used to be a big pull for the blog. A few bits and pierces were created but not as much as I would have liked - hopefully things will change in the new year.
One of the very few new terrain pieces in the Shed - breached walls
Pulp Submarine

Other news includes the successful hosting of BLAM once more in the local pub – for my sins I hosted a very enjoyable Dads Army game using the Pulp Alley rules.

Dads Army Game at BLAM

So what of 2017. Well if you have been following the blog you’ll know I have embarked on a new project centred around the Greek legends and myths. I am currently writing the ruleset for these and once the figures and terrain are completed we’ll be playtesting these and then seeing how these can be developed further.   

The Start of the Jason project

Other projects that hold an interest are getting into Darkest Africa (I bought the Congo ruleset at warfare and enjoyed a great game of this in the Shed hosted by Alastair earlier this year). I also have a yearning to revisit the post-apocalyptic period but this time with a Fallout theme. Twelve months ago Mrs Shed bought for me and Shedson an XBOX One with Fallout 4 – I have been enjoying this tremendously and feel that it could be easily transferred onto the table top.
As the year progresses we’ll see what develops but it should be exciting

Thanks for reading and following

Eric the Shed


As I was putting this together I realised that in January 2016 I finished off my Frostgrave boards and figures. Total number of games played - about 3 - just goes to show we can invest all the time (and a lot of money )into a hobby and then forget all about it.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Jason and the Argonauts part 5

Hi Folks

A bit of a hodge podge of progress on the Jason project today...

Part 4 can be found here

First up a few more hoplites and heros painted - these are all either Black Tree Greeks or Foundry. The only way I can differentiate them are the bases I have used - Foundry are mounted are on 2p's and BTD on washers.

I have decided that each Hero commands 5 henchmen/minions and so to add the players each six man unit has a different paint scheme - hence the blues, whites, blacks and reds. That makes 24 human figures painted so far with 12 more to finish off.

I also decided to start painting the Grand Manner Argo - its by no means finished but it is nearing completion. Tho protect the very delicate ram the ship is going to be based on a sheet of clear plastic. The mast will be kept loose for easy storage.

You may recall that in the original Jason movie they disembark on an Island that has a large number of statues on plinths  - one of which is the mighty Talos

Of course I am going to need such a terrain piece so the last couple of nights has seen me make up some foamcore plinths for the various bronze and brass figures I have sourced off ebay. The following pictures are very much work in progress

In the last photo you can see a 28mm figure in front of one of the plinths. I think these will work

By the time I'm finished there should be about six of these plinths each one mounted with a different statue.

Onto the terrain.

Last weekend saw me down the shed building more rocky boxes - you may recall the desert boards I built a couple of years back. I realised when I finished these that I hadn't built in enough curves so these were definitely needed in addition I have built two longer 50cm straights. These are going to get the Heroic Greek treatment with stairs built into the rock faces.

Desert Board Construction thread can be found here

The first staircase is complete (using 5mm foamcore) and hopefully the photo illustrates where I am going with these. The flanks of the stairs will have pillars (cake pillars) and will then me surrounded with cork bark.

Ultimately my board will be configured into these rocky boards.

More hopefully soon

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Look what Postie brought me today

So I am quietly minding my own business working in the study at home and there is a knock on the door....a man with a van and a very big parcel.

It can only be one thing my kickstarter the Others has arrived - I cannot believe what $140 dollars bought me just over a year ago

In the end I plumped for the core pledge and the Apocalypse set...

Here's a picture of the pile of goodies....

Thought I'd break open the Apocalypse box - the minis are gorgeous

Here's a couple next to a 28mm mini

For those of you interested this was what you got with the core pledge in the end...

now I need to go and hide this lot in the Shed

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Jason and the Argonauts part 4

Good Evening (or morning, or afternoon)

Its been a week since my last post and unfortunately I think my posts might become less frequent in the next few weeks. Too much to do on the Work front...;-(

However by means of relaxation I am continuing to plough on with my Jason and the Argonauts project. In this post you get a double whammy, both a finished piece of terrain and some figures painted.

Previous post

When I left you last I was in the process of mounting the aquarium temple on an mdf board and starting the groundwork. This is all now complete. I did debate about repainting the temple itself but it would have been such a fiddly job I left it as is.

The board itself has been painted to blend in with the rest of my desert boards

Entrance View

Onto the figures - well in the film the temple is inhabited by Harpies - and so these were the first receive a coat of paint. They are from Reaper - the first time I have painted these bendy plastic figures. They were easy to paint and the details are good.

Whilst painting the Harpies I also decided to paint the two Mortar Gargoyles I purchased (although not strictly from the Heroic Greek Myths) I loved these figures and reckoned they would add some extra colour. Indeed they could always double up as 'alternative' harpies.

Finally I turned my attention to some of the Greek Warriors. I decided on two colour schemes for these - Red and Whites. In time all the figures will be painted in different colours to aid the players controlling the units. The rules I am working on allow each player to control one Hero and up to 6 henchmen.

The Greeks are a mix of Foundry Argonauts and Black Tree Greeks - they are virtually the same scale and quality of design.

More up as soon as I can....

part 5 can be found here

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Jason & the Argonauts part 3

So as I suggested in my first post on this subject I have been ordering a few bits for this project and if by magic postie arrived with a few gifts...

Part 2 can be found here

First up from Grand Manner the Argo...

This is a resin cast Bireme perfect for the genre. It comes with resin mast, sails (furled) and steering oar. In addition the Stern post is a nicely carved curvy bit. Shame really as I wanted a goddess figure head. Maybe I can customise something here.

The package was so secure it took several cuts to open. Not surprised really because the ramming horn on the bow looks really fragile. I think I am going to have to mount the whole boat on its own base lest this gets broken. Painting this little model will get its own post in the future.

This is what it looks lioke painted on the Grand Manner Site

In addition I received another parcel of Reaper Minatures - these include all sorts of enemies for my Greek Heroes - Medusae, Harpies, Giant Scorpions etc. As these get painted I'll post up progress.

I bought these from this vendor on ebay - good price and swift delivery

Of course the pride of this purchase was the £16 Hydra - and what a nice beasty he turned out to be

Off to warfare in Reading this weekend so no doubt more stuff will get added to the pile

Part 4 can be found here

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Jason and the Argonauts part 2

A fairly busy day kicking off this project...

What a new project you say well if you want to read the intro head here

OK - so what happened today. Well first up I based and primed all the Greek Warrior figures - these are a mix of Black Tree Greeks and Foundry's Argonaut range.I reckon I have around 36 of these to paint. The monsters are other figures should arrive later this week.

all primed and ready to paint

Secondly I primed and then put on the first coat of my Talos figure - really happy with the base bronze achieved. If interested its just a GW bronze paint mixed with black and brown paint. I'll begin the highlighting later on this week. Of course Talos is going to need a plinth so that will need to be custom built

Finally I turned my attention to the first terrain piece of the project the temple ruins. Firstly I cut down the resin base so it could sit almost flush on a 50 x 50cm mdf board. This was then levelled off with some bluestyrene blocks

The temple is sitting on a 4cm high rocky base - I had to cut this away to lower the height - that a 28mm in the forefground for scale purposes

Once all dry the area around the temple was smoothed off using filler. This dried quite quickly and then got coated with PVA.

block work to level off

filler added to create smooth finish

Once the pva was dry I added the first coat of sand. I left an area near one end of the temple clear onto which I cut and place some blue foam flagstones. These look very similar to the stone flooring inside the temple. Ill leave all this to dry over the next 48 hours before moving onto the next stage

sand added and tiles placed at entrance

Until next time
part 3 can be found here