Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Rorkes Drift - Groundwork almost completed

Good Evening Folks

Since I last left you I mentioned that I was tackling the groundwork for my Rorkes Drift gamer - delighted to report that its nearly completed.

I now have 11 days to finish off all the bits needed for my Zulu Wars extravaganza on Sunday 22nd January.

When I left you last I shared the beginnings of the base for the Mission - these have now been finished...

previous post here

Once the polystyrene was fixed to the wooden mdf boards they were given a thin coating of filler.

On top of this I gave the whole board a coat of brown chocolate emulsion paint. This not only seals the boards before sanding it also helps to prevent the filler from cracking.

A Chocolate based Drift....

The cat seems to be amused

Once this was dry the surface was coated in pva and covered in sand and fine ballast. Again once dry a second top coat of brown emulsion followed by a drybrush of sand coloured paint.

The ledge wall running alongside the northside of the drift was touched up with black paint then drybrushed with two coats of grey. Only then when it was all finished fid I apply the static grass mix across the boards.

So finally we are getting there - aside from the Kraal on the left hand side of the picture its almost finished

A view of the Northern Ramparts

Looking from the East...

Looking from the Northwest with the Hospital in the foreground

Looking from the south...in theory I should add a cookhouse and a toilet here...will I have time?

Another view from the North

A clear shot of the Northern Ramparts with ledge wall. Once the table is set up there will be another wall running perpendicular to the ledge as per most of the pictures. Further North will be the Drifts garden with wooden fences and trees. These will come from the rest of the terrain I have stuffed in the shed.

I also couldn't resist painting up the rest of the personalities I bought for this project. Given my painting skills are very poor I just thought I'd share Surgeon Reynolds - I think he is having a tough day !

So with 12 days to go to the battles of Isandlwhana & Rorkes Drift my attention is turning to the rules of the two games. These will be based on Black Powder with tweaks but I'll be sharing them in time.

Finally whilst looking for inspiration on these projects I came across these two 'interviews' on you tube....well worth a listen

Interview with David Rattray

Transcript of interview with CSM Bourne

Until next time

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Rorkes Drift - Buildings Finished... Groundwork started

A few months back I posted some pictures of the Warlord Games Rorkes Drift buildings I had acquired -

more pictures here.


At the time I said the project was finished - well it wasn't. To be frank I had only just finished the buildings and wanted to get them out on the table but with hindsight their was still a lot more work to do.

So over the Christmas break I started on finishing these off. First up they were mounted on hardboard and given the usual ground treatment - static grass, foliage etc.

The Store house

The Hospital

The roofs were painted matt black and then drybrushed grey. I think this looks much better than the untreated fur look used previously.

Now having finished the buildings I thought it might be a bit of fun to lay out the defences. Using a map I found on the internet (see below) it was relatively straight forward to configure the bits I have into the set up below.

Of course nothing is ever really finished in the Shed and I have decided to build some bespoke boards for the defences at Rorkes Drift. Many of the reports read that the Northern defence mealie bag wall actually sat along the top of a low rocky embankment. Further investigation suggests that the defence sat on a terrace slightly above ground level.

So using a few precut mdf boards I have glued down some 20mm polystyrene to build up the terrace. This will incorporate the embankment along the northern wall and it will slope gently away on the southern.

The Map above shows the main frontages of the attacks - why the main attack would come in from the South and then sweep round and attack the higher northern wall is something I am going to need to investigate further.   

The picture below gives the right impression of the embankment & mealie bag wall

This weekend I'll get the filler onto these boards and then the serious groundwork can begin,

Oh yes - did I say this all has to be finished in 2 weeks ...

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Zulus Finished - Happy New Year !

Afternoon Folks

Its December 31st and I have finally finished the 240 extra Zulus I started at the beginning of December...

Once again these have been a doddle to paint with the process sped up by paintong, dipping and varnishing them off in blocks of sixty.

This now brings my total Zulu force to over 650 figures. They are all based in 12's on warbase's movement trays.

It only seemed right to mass all the figures together. When placed two trays deep the frontage is over 3 metres !

I only have to complete the finishing touches to Rorkes Drift and our anniversary game will be complete

Add caption

more soon in 2017

Wishing you all a very prosperous and safe New Year

Eric the Shed

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas from the Shed !!

Just assembled my new Xmas present - a fixed flagpole for the Shed

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year

Eric the Shed

Monday, 19 December 2016

More Zulus

Hi Folks

Life has suddenly become very busy which means very little time in the shed for gaming, building and painting.....and I have a dilemma...

A few weeks back I committed to my gaming group that we would be re-fighting the engagements of Isandlwhana and Rorkes Drift on their anniversary in January. Thinking no more about it I booked the date - Sunday 22nd January.

I then sent out the emails and blow me down interest is sky high for a day of assegais and redcoats. Thinking some of my chums must have reserves of Zulus in their own collections I put out the rally call.

Only Legatus had some...a contingent of about sixty. I needed more if this was going to be an impressive game.

Only one thing for it buy and paint some more. This weekend two more army boxes arrived each containing 120 Zulus - 240 in total.

If I can get these completed I should be able to field at least 750 of the warriors.

So Saturday night saw me glue together the full 240 and base them on washers. In a fug of glue fumes my head was reeling on how best to complete this little lot in less than four weeks.Actually its two weeks as January from a work perspective is manic.

Sunday night saw the first coat of paint on sixty and by the early hours of this morning this sixty were painted and dipped. With fingers crossed I might just be able to get the core painting done by the weekend. Even by Shed standards 240 figures in a week is going some...

I'll post piccies when they are done

Wish me luck

 PS The Jason Project is on hold until this lot are done

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 years.one. 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