Rex's hobby update

Final decision: Angkor Wat, 'mostly' grey plus lots of greenery

Over the last few days, I have managed to find a bit more hobby time than normal. Mainly I have been obsessing and worrying over paint, techniques and paint colours for 3D printed building terrain. Having just received 25GB of new STL files from a recent fantasy building Kickstarter I'm need to have a specific (and good) recipe to go forward with. After toying with the great looking colour scheme, that was shown in the Kickstarter I have gone back and forward but settled on grey (yep the same grey that every other wargamer uses from age 14 onward has used). In my defence I'm inspired by the temple of Angkor Wat Cambodia so hopefully I will push it slightly past my 14 year old self.

I have been having difficulty using my normal method of brick/wall painting for a couple of reasons. 

  1. The spray on primer/paint seams to have changed recipe and 
  2. the new and improved technique of using XTC 3D or resin has proven to be not such a good idea as it nets a result that wont take a wash at all and behaves like some sort of weird contrast paint. 


I had also planned on some Gondor-white buildings for something else, that DID NOT work so I abandoned it this time round. Long story short I have the technique and can now move forward.


The beginning of something, some Normandy brick walls done. Everything else is WIP

The other thing I have been obsessing over is gaming mats. Since I stored away the realistic Primosole bridge board I have been dis-satisfied with almost all of the terrain mats I own for various reasons.
After toying with the idea of making my own terrain mat for 5 years and with my dissatisfaction for existing game mats coalescing, with having a couple of evenings free with no responsibility and I have all my ducks in a row!

  • Yesterday I gathered the required materials
  • Today I washed and dried my paint sheet to preshrink it and also to get rid of the heavy folds from it being packaged.
  • I think I have thought of everything (famous last words), roll on tomorrow!
5 years in the making, tomorrow is the day
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The master plan: #1 BIG armies, BIG battles...is that the plan?

Hi Dan here, the first in a series of occasional articles mapping out what's in my mind. 

So. What to do with the armies I collect that are getting bigger and bigger?

Or...is that partly the answer and not the question? Should I ask myself what collections should I invest time in to make them bigger? Or should I be enjoying making smaller themed armies for different theatres, different types of basing to denote different environments? 

The reality is that I could go in either direction and have fun collecting, modelling, painting and playing with my forces. The idea about being able to invest time in a small bespoke force is a great one, and one I've seized upon a number of times such as my 'small Fallschirmjager force to represent a part of the battle for Primosole Bridge'...look how that turned out! 

But one of my wargaming dreams /goals has always been to play BIG games of fully painted armies on the battlefield in WW2 battles. Ever since our mother bought me the Orbis book of 'Model Soldiers' and I salivated over a picture showing what appeared to be a corner of a larger battle incorporating an amphibious landing. Of course, I had -as a young boy- vast armies of 1/72 green and grey plastic 'army men' and tried to emulate the picture and had many many happy hours doing so! But now I want to do so with beautifully sculpted metal and plastic figures and terrain and build it on a scale where i can provide everything, yet others can join in games in my version of 'Valhalla"!

So...time for a Q&A for myself;

What Scale would I choose for these big collections and big games?

Bigger games in my definition are lots of figures, possibly (probably) multiple players per side, large playing areas. My vision is 28mm miniatures so they can be seen by players flanking each other while playing on a ( or multiple) long/deep playing surface. However...I already have 28mm in Historical WW2- armies that continue to get larger- so that's a no brainer for me. in Fantasy and 40k i have nice armies, but not huge armies so if i wanted to choose a different scale I could. And the same goes for other historical periods. For instance; I have a desire to do American Civil War ( ACW). I have a great start waiting for me in the Perry Miniatures Battle in a box set...but I have been thinking is that the right size for ACW battles? should I be into 15mm/12mm/10mm for it? The Warlord Games Epic Black Powder ACW starter sets in plastic are great value ( although the individual sets start getting more expensive than metal manufacturers for some reason...) and inspiring to perhaps be worth a look. Watch this space for decisions, lol. 


What periods would I collect figures & terrain for to play in Big, Big games?

The reality is that I would need BIG forces, that would be capable of splitting into decent commands for a number of generals to control in the games. its one thing to look at a 'big' force on your shelves at home, but when it hits a table the size of those in my vision it will be eaten alive by the table that wont even notice the tiny morsel! "Figures...Fahsounds of them, Sah!" are what is required.  But what periods? 

WW2..has to be. The original, and once again, love...of course! But what else?

ACW has interested me as above. Total painted ACW miniatures at the time of writing; Zero. But i DO have that big box of figures in the pile of shame, so...that counts, right?!

 Napoleonics. Yep...I have about 22 cavalry figures 'finished' for the napoleonic period ( a box of Hinchcliffe French Empress Dragoons that I bought second hand painted in a style 'of the time' (early-mid eighties i guess, judging from the Humbrol enamel finish)  because I had the opportunity and I wanted to own a Hinchcliffe unit because the brand is hand-in-hand with classic big wargaming at places like Peter Gilder's ( and those that have followed) Wargames Holiday Centre in the UK. 

 But I ALSO have a few boxes of Perry and victrix British in the that pile...and a desire to acquire Victrix French Guard Lancers, which are some of the most beautiful miniatures I've ever seen, so- that again, is an exceptional start, right?! 

On Balance I'd say I'm well ahead of the game then... I've just turned 49, and deciding to take on three periods that normally take collectors a lifetime to do one alone ( plus I have an unnatural desire to play the Sudan, but that can wait until I've knocked off these simple, short goals!!). And I've just been prescribed glasses in order to be able to hobby at point blank range in anything smaller than 1:1 scale. Simples! ;)

  But here's the thing; I'm inspired. And motivated. And this is making me make some SANE decisions along with the insane decisions we've talked about above; 

  •  Work on these goals for long term gratification and triumphant conclusion, and not to chase the next new game system on the block. LESS BREADTH, MORE DEPTH in what I do.
  • The fact that I do this may occasionally be less sexy and appealing as I grind out the next batch of 35 figures in the same uniform, but EMBRACE THE SUCK as I see those goals get closer with every unit I finish.
  • ENJOY THE PRICE, not PAY THE PRICE of the journey to completion. I enjoy the full spectrum of the hobby; Historical research, collecting, modelling, painting, and the wargaming. I also enjoy the spectacle- just enjoying the display or photos of a beautiful game, the figures and the terrain ( or truly scenery) on the table. The journey is as important to me as the destination, as the hobby as a whole continues to entertain, inspire and allows me to decompress from stresses in life, particularly work. Even the small things such as assembling and kit bashing/converting plastics are immensely satisfying to me. So while others might avoid the time it takes and prefer to get into painting metals quicker, I enjoy including both.
  • DIRECTION OF COLLECTION...i can look at things like what types of terrain, playing surface, buildings, even the ground cover based on theatres of battles/campaigns. I can narrow down and plan effectively, It  allows me to cascade these decisions down into workflow decisions and aesthetics such as coherent but versatile basing decisions for my troops bases.
  • TIMING IS EVERYTHING...Understanding and planning short/medium term goals such as games we want to play and record for our Channel, and working them into this greater long term, over-arching goal. For instance; I can base models for a summer historical engagement that we want to film as long as Im clever with the materials used I can then overpaint, apply snow, etc. But the reverse is more difficult and is likely to involved completely new physical bases. Doing urban bases on models can in the same way be changed to rural bases, if the 'rubble' doesnt contain walls etc, and the rubble is more gritty, with small pebbles instead of square edged bricks and the effect is gained somewhat from paint to get the effect. 


All these things can be well executed with effort and practice...as well as restraint and long term goals in mind! I'm learning how to do them better and better all the time. 

With all this in mind, I am quite enjoying setting out on my journey. I hope to achieve such armies as befits a warrior king to accompany him into the afterlife, as seen when I visited Xian a few years ago. I hope you enjoyed this brief outline of my intended trip into meglomania, and join me sometime soon for another installment of my 'Master plan' !. 

I'd be interested in your thoughts and feedback below as to whether you've tread this path, why or why not and any advice you may have- or disagree with. 

Dan 

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SAGA!

​Wednesday night gaming for the past few weeks has been SAGA, a great game I'm really enjoying it. Its new to me so thanks to Ian and Ian for the tutorials and Ian B for supplying all the lovely minis.

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Podcast EP28: Operation Shrike - Bolt Action South Australia

In this episode Dan and Rex are joined by Darren Merritt, the TO of "Operation Shrike", a Bolt Action event with an exciting format which will be held in Adelaide, Australia, in November 2023. 

Join us as Darren- who describes himself as a 'newbie' to Bolt Action- talks about what has encouraged him to make the jump from new player to new event organiser, and what it is about the 'Combat Patrol' game format that has him and other players excited to play Bolt Action with smaller forces in dynamic games! 

We really loved Darren's enthusiasm and passion to help build his local WW2 wargaming community, and we are sure you will too, so join us and hear the full details and contact information for the event. 

Enjoy! Dan & Rex.

Subscribe by searching for Valhalla Games in your favourite podcast app or by clicking the link below.... Stay classy Adelaide

https://podcastaddict.com/valhallagames/episode/161377196

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Game on...

 We so love it when we see people having fun playing games from our book!!

Well done Dennis and son, stay low and keep moving!

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746 Hits
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Photos from a local Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game event

Follow this link to view photos from a local Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game event I went and had a look at yesterday. This event was (I believe) organised by Andrew Medbury of Medbury miniatures https://www.medburyminiatures.com/. Some great armies and everyone looked like they were having fun. Fantastic to see some events on the NSW Central Coast (of Australia) and only being 5 minutes away from my home, VHG_Rex

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Podcast EP27: The Black Death Kickstarter

Join Dan and Rex in this interesting episode as we interview Steffan from Flank March Miniatures about his currently running 'The black death' Kickstarter for 3D printable 28mm WW2 Soviet Naval Infantry STL Files.


Soviet Naval Infantry aren't normally on top of everyone's list when thinking about a new WWII wargame army, but we found the whole topic hugely interesting, and this podcast has trigged us to order several Osprey books and a whole lot of web research to go along with our little men.

We hope you enjoy our journey into Soviet Naval Infantry, check out the Kickstarter here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flankmarch/black-death

As we progress with painting our sample STL's Images will show here and will be updated as we continue with our projects:
https://www.valhallagames.net/ep27

(..and sorry about Rex's audio!, should be fixed next time) 

Search for Valhalla Games in your favourite podcast and subscribe to us so you don't miss an episode, or clink on the image below to listen in the web player.

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Progress photos - WW2 Soviet Naval Infantry

Progress photos - WW2 Soviet Naval Infantry... to follow check back on this page

'Finished' Soviet Naval Infantry…

I promised myself I would have these samples finished painting before the Kickstarter ended, well I'm finished… apart from: Faces/skin, eyes, hair, hats, any highlighting whatsoever, bases and detailing. (sad face)

Proof that time, tide, and Kickstarter wait for no man, hopefully they still show off the minis themselves and inspire just a little.
Get it while you can, only a few hours left.

Flank March Miniatures
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flankmarch/black-death

PS not a paid promotion I just love this guys stuff and was inspired when Dan and I interviewed him on Valhalla Games podcast. Ill put the paint recipe up here when I'm done.

Finished photos and Dan's efforts to follow...

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Soviet Naval Infantry Kickstarter

Dan and I just finished recording a podcast with Steffan of Flank March Miniatures about his currently running 3D printable 28mm WW2 Soviet Naval Infantry Kickstarter.

We had a great time and learned a lot of interesting things about the Soviet Naval Brigade, also known as the Black Death, plus an interesting (unique?) extra at higher pledge levels.

Not only great looking printable miniatures but a huge quantity all sorts of different options.

Podcast to follow ASAP but in the meantime have a look at this Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flankmarch/black-death

Also, (rather cool) share this post:
https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid05jbJnUvgB8GmcDG8YAG3x1npcyr6k678iTSPK1EDoftZZZ8nyXqY7RavS2hhA9fAl&id=100089882083627
… on Facebook, and if it gets enough shares some extra stretch goals get added.

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Army Organization Explained: Squad to Army Group

If you have an interest in historical/actual 20th and 21st century Army organization; Squad, platoon, Company etc. This is an outstanding video explaining how it all works including using Easy Company from Band of Brothers as an example.

Thanks DigitalBattlefieldTours on YouTube for putting together such a fantastic resource.

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I'm in [small scale] production, just what I need...

I'm in [small scale] production, just what I need, unlimited near free minis to add to my pile of shame :-/. What do you mean 8 British airborne jeeps is too many?? :-)

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I asked 'Skynet' a couple of important questions and this was their response...

I asked Skynet a couple of important questions just to make sure we were on the right track with things and this was their response... (for your mid-week amusement read the response in the second image below)

I actually think that was a a very nice and complimentary response Skynet, thank you.

Also for completeness...

We will see I guess wont we ;-)
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779 Hits
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Podcast EP26: 80th anniversary of the invasion of Sicily and Italy game day

In this episode of the Valhalla Games podcast Dan and Rex talk about the 80th anniversary of the invasion of Sicily and Italy game day held in Sydney, 18 March 2023.

Will the allies get a foothold in the soft underbelly or will Italy kick them off, back into the Mediterranean? Perhaps more importantly will the Primosole bridge book scenarios and terrain stack up against the expectation of the veteran Bolt Action players of Western front gamers in Sydney Australia?

Game on…

Subscribe in your podcast app by searching for Valhalla Games or play in the web player by clicking on the image below.​

Images and video of the day to follow at https://valhallagames.net/youtube shortly(ish).

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Rex's hobby goals 2023 Update 3

Share your progress?

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Ancient olive trees, the final result

Ancient olive trees, the final result (well, enough for the event tomorrow at least) I'm pretty pleased with these I sculpted the bases on the bottom of the trees along with the rocks (the centre one is by games workshop for comparison) and made the all flock from scratch. I have also finally worked out how to glue the flock on in a way that it will stay!

Here is more on the construction process: https://youtu.be/mzXmLBeq3lA

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Twitter me?

 Testing out that twitter thing the young kids are using... Still not so sure about all that tweeting nonsense but I'm looking for a way to share MORE content but in a less obtrusive way... or should I just spam you? :-)

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Trees!

I needed some pretty specific trees in a hurry and the manufacturer the we used last time has gone out of business, so... here we go!

Reference photo
Continue reading
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Rex's 2023 hobby goals status update

Rex's 2023 hobby goals status update. OK 3 weeks off with an ear infection didn't help my cause but I'm back now and that March 18 deadline is fast approaching.

Dan, give us an update on yours? fiends of Valhalla Games feel free to share your own goals for 2023. Your not going to achieve goals if you don't set any!*

*So long as goal setting is fun for you and a good way to motivate yourself.

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1063 Hits
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Podcast EP25: The completionist and 90% guy

Join Dan and Rex as they go on a rambling journey that somehow turns up a whole heap of nuggets talking about:

- Italian Campaign 80th Ann. Campaign Day Sydney Australia
- Hobby Goals for 2023
- Storage space for your hobby kits and a solution to maximize it
- Display solutions for your collections
...and a heap more! 

Subscribe in your podcast by searching for Valhalla Games or click on the image below to listen in the web player.

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Arnhem Heroes Kickstarter ( 10th March) - Photo compilation.

Hi All, I just wanted to help the cause by compiling the photos that I have seen posted by BOTH Pauls...Paul from Empress Miniatures and Paul Hicks of course, the sculptor! There may be other pics out there that I've missed, and there was a few further 'angles' of these same models that I didn't post here to avoid further repetition.

  I will avoid captions or naming characters etc. but I've grouped them together logically (I Hope !). Enjoy! I will discuss more during our next podcast.     

Continue reading
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Latest podcast

Podcast EP24: A chat with Jon Russell:

The latetst podcast episode is live now. This should appear in your podcast app if you have subscribed (Search for valhallagames podcast in your app) or you can listen on web player (link below).

Podcast EP24: A chat with Jon Russell.

In this bumper episode, we are joined by Jon Russell of Warlord Games fame. In addition to his dedicated work for Warlord, Jon is a multifaceted wargamer and also veteran of many years service.

In this episode we spend time learning about Jon's wargaming pedigree, before learning more about his role at Warlord, the writing of 'Bolt Action: Korea', and Jon shares with us what he can about what Bolt Action V3 might look like, and the 'Raiders Attack!' Supplement that still has much life left in it.

All this plus Warlord event support, balance in tournaments and other definitely non-controversial(!), highly entertaining and informative topics. Sit back and enjoy a chat with Jon, and us, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Subscribe in your favourite podcast app (search for valhallagames) or click here to listen in the web player.

Don't forget to check out the YouTube channel at https://valhallagames.net/youtube

...and don't forget if you would like to support us https://valhallagames.net/patron