Saturday 25 November 2017

Sudan Project part 7 - Mahdi Army finished

Good Evening Folks

As the calendar steadily marches towards Christmas I am delighted to that a sizeable part 1 of my Sudan project is now complete - The Mahdist forces - including camelry , horse and command

The previous post to this project can be found

The Horse below are a mix of Gripping Beast light Arabs and Perry Horse from their Sudan range

I am quite please how they have come out - there are currently 35 painted (just need one more to make three full units)

These two (below) are gripping beast with dervish heads and weapons added

As of today I have 12 Camel riders (all Perry) - if funds permit or I can strike it lucky on ebay I'll be adding to this force

The Camel train was sourced from Redoubt at Colours earlier this month

All the command stands are Perry figures mounted on 60mm discs

The Mahdi of course gets a bigger base

So there we have it the Mahdi's force can march forward into the Sudan

Up next - the British Colonial forces assemble

part 8 can be found here

Sunday 12 November 2017

Sudan Project part 6 - The Walls of Khartoum

Good Afternoon All

Part 5 can be found here

A happy afternoon was spent in the shed yesterday starting the terrain for my Sudan project - specifically the walls of a desert fortress/city walls of Khartoum. Indeed I am hoping that this will be generic enough for any engagement in the Middle East (Crusades etc)

The preferred material for this project was 5mm foam core and I have pretty much exhausted my supplies of this material. It is amazing what a sharp blade, a metal rule and some pva can dop to this stuff in a few hours.

What you can see in the photos are the builds achieved in about 4 hours - 4 walls, a gatehouse and four towers. These will still need to be coated in plaster to give the adobe feel but we are getting there. I'll need to add a couple of extra walls, another gate and of course some breached sections.

Above and below - the walls, gatehouse and towers - I'll be adding the crenalations before the plastering

The towers are simple boxes with the walls built up at the top to make them look thicker. The floors of the towers and walkways are all coffee stirrers trimmed to size

28mm figure for scale purposes

The towers themselves have been glued to a ply 10cm square base

The walls - I have added some strips of foam core to add extra depth

The front of the walls are in fact gradually sloped

The gate house - fixed with two towers (one either side) - this stretches 30m long - same as the walls

By having the tower on a base with no protruding edge means they can be usede for both straight wall sections and turns

The gatehouse towers have also been given a gradual slope - front & rear

The gate entrance itself has been lined with pva foam (it bends nice) - I embossed this with brick work before sticking in.

A spare gate entrance - better build another gatehouse...

More to come soon....

Part 7 can be found here

Friday 10 November 2017

Sudan Project part 5 - The Mahdi's Cavalry

Having almost painted 360 plus infantry for my Mahdi army its time to start thinking about their cavalry. (part 4 can be found here

Like most wargamers I am constrained by budgets and my biggest priority whenever putting together a new army is do this with value always in mind. As you have probably noticed in my last three big projects (ECW, Zulus and Napoleonic) delivering a meaningful army to the table takes a lot of figures – at best guess my Zulu project topped out at around 1000 x 28mm figures and through some rough calculations I reckon I paid less than 50p per figure to complete the project. £500 might seem to be a great deal to spend on one genre but by my reckoning the finished product is probably worth three times its initial investment (not that it is likely to be sold).

As you can see in the folowing pictures I have started painting these...

The Mahdi (Perry) based on a large warbase base (he's the General)

Back to the Mahdi’s horse - The typical Ansar cavalryman including horse sells for around £3 on the Perry website. This appears to be comparable to other Sudan ranges offered by Bicorne, Redoubt etc.

Fortunately I picked up some of these for a good deal and I spent a few quid on the Perry Website (mainly Camels)

However I have a vision of fielding around 60 horse (this should give 5 units at 12 figures strong or around 8 units - 8 figures strong) and at £3 a pop this is a big cost for metal. What are the alternatives unless I can get lucky on ebay?

Is there a plastic alternative ? When I put together my Saracen army it was at a time when Gripping Beast had yet to launch their Arab cavalry but the thought occurred to me that these figures (in particular the light versions) might work for a period later than the crusades, so I bought a box….

12 Horse & Riders for £20 (source ebay)

These figures are compatible in size (height) with some Perry horse I got from a deal on the Lead Adventure Forum but the GB horses look heavier in the flanks. They also have an annoying knot tied in the tail  (sadly if you cut it off the tail looks too short).

The riders however are almost perfect when you add arms and heads from the Ansar infantry box range. By adding a few of the fuzzies heads, some of their weapons including rifles and their distinctive swords you get a very different looking unit. The cost of 12 cavalry figures is about £20 ( or £1.66 each) – significantly cheaper than the metal equivalent.

Two Gripping Beast Horse & Rider Combos with Perry Dervish heads & arms (being painted)

Comparison of Gripping Beast/Perry combo with Perry Mounted Dervish - not bad scale wise

So I better go and buy some more boxes at the forthcoming Warfare show (hopefully somebody will have a multibuy discount)

So the cavalry starts to take shape - 32 Horse, 9 Camel six brigade commanders and the Mahdi General

Come back soon

part 6 can be found here

Latest on the Photobucket Issue

Morning All

So last night Photobucket advised me that my account and third party hosting privileges would be extended til the middle of next year (this was after I had manually downloaded every one of my 5000+ photos from the account) - as I wrote in my last post I doubted this was a coincidence

I subsequently wrote back to photobucket


Hi Moss

Am I able to extend my plan past Summer of next year please?


Moss (Photobucket Support)
Nov 9, 12:50 PM MST

As long as you keep your recurring billing active your plan will automatically renew for another year of the Plus 20 plan.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions regarding this.


Moss@Photobucket Support
Have a question about something else? Our help site is packed with articles to get the help you need quickly. Click this link to access our help site -

so in summary I was informed on Monday that the Plus 20 plan (20GB) would be defunct in 30 days and to maintain access and third part party hosting rights I had to switch to their new 200 Plan for $400/year

I asked them if there was any other option for hosting my blog photos at a lower price - no response within 24 hours.

I recovered all my photos from Photobucket one by one ( I have subsequently discovered the album download function is NOT working/Not available). Having done this Photobucket write to me and tell me that they acted in haste and it now appears that providing I renew my contract next year they will give me another years grace.

Net result I appear to have a lot more breathing room to make my decision

However the actions of Photobucket should be classified as wanton vandalism....millions of images have been disconnected from the worlds greatest library, years of research, stories and threads across hundreds of forums have been wiped out by a single button.

I count myself lucky that I have been able to recover my images and be afforded the time to think about my next steps. 


Thursday 9 November 2017

A strange turn of events....The Bad News Update

Hi All

Following my previous post I took the liberty of using the last two evenings (I reckon about 14 hours of work) to down load every one of the photos I had on photobucket (count over 5500).

I tried using some apps to do this en masse but they kept falling over so it was the very painful task of doing each one individually - thank god my broadband speed was up to the job.

So eventually when I crawled into bed at 2am last night I could sleep easy knowing that all my hobby photos are now in my possession !

and guess what.....

I get this email from photobucket this afternoon....

Moss (Photobucket Support)
Nov 9, 11:25 AM MST

Thank you for reaching out to us about this. In regards to the email you received, we have decided to make an exception for your account. You will be able to stay on your current Plus 20 subscription and will not need to upgrade your account at this time.

As stated in our current Terms of Use, you will continue to be grandfathered into 3rd Party Hosting capabilities until the end of December 2018 or when your subscription ends in 2019, whichever comes last.

We apologize for the confusion and any inconvenience this may have caused. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns regarding this.


Moss@Photobucket Support
Have a question about something else? Our help site is packed with articles to get the help you need quickly. Click this link to access our help site -

is this a coincidence? I don't think so - I cannot be the only premium account holder they posted to on Monday who has decided to take matters into their own hands by downloading images from their own accounts.

Might this signify the start of a U Turn from Photobucket?

I have left all the images ( I have my own copies now) sitting on photo bucket for the time being and to all intents and purposes whilst they are still there and can be used for third party hosting I'll stick with them. It does mean that I can continue to use the account until June next year. So the pressure is off on what to do next.

I'll let you know my decision in the coming days



Wednesday 8 November 2017

Some Bad News !

Good Morning All

For some strange reason I thought I had managed to escape the photobucket debarcle that arose earlier this year. This was on account of the fact that I already had a premium account with said organisation. This was a fair price (£36 /year ) if I recall and I could upload my images and use third party hosting.

However earlier this week I received this email

 Hi ,
This message is to inform you that we discontinued the Plus 20 plan in June of this year. We have grandfathered your expired plan for several months as a convenience.
In order to keep your account current and all of your content available, we are asking that you migrate over to one of our current Plus plan offerings: Plans
Failure to do so within 30 days will result in your billing to be suspended, and your account will be reverted to a free account.
If you have any questions about your account or which of our current offerings is right for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
your personal account manager

This effectively means they are going to switch off all my images on the Shed Wars blog this December. Unless I pay them $399/year

It gets worse....I now have to do two things 

1) retrieve all the photos uploaded on photobucket
2) find another site that offers a third party hosting service for a considerably lower fee

I'll deal with point 2 in time but my priority is to retrieve the photos currently stored on photobucket pronto. By my estimate there are over 5000 and these all have to be downloaded individually (Photobucket in their wisdom have disabled the download album function)

I spent a considerable part of yesterday retrieving around 1000 (these are now saved on my hard drive) - I just have to keep going. This blog has been a big part of my hobby in the last six years and I'll be buggered if this is going to beat me.

So what does this mean - well until they switch me off I'll carry on as normal (a bit like a duck serene on the topside whilst my little legs paddle furiously under the surface) - but it is likely that the blog will need to be rested/updated in the very near future.

The pain of re-attaching all the photos of the past fills me with dread

Thanks Photobucket !

Monday 6 November 2017

28mm Sudan project - Ansar Infantry now complete - part 4

Morning All

Just a quick post - I can now report that all of my Dervish Infantry are now painted and based. Thats around 360 figures.

Previous post on this project can be found here

The flags are just images copied from google and cropped to the right size...

Up next the Mahdi's horse and camelry

Part 5 can be found here - part 5