Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cooler Heads Prevail

 As I was parading the troops yesterday in preparation for making a list of "for sale" units...I was brought up short by the many messages I got expressing dismay that I was contemplating the sale of my stuff....and as Der Alte Fritz stated most eloquently, "Don't do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! " 
 And as the lads from both of my mighty Imaginations marched in review, there was not a dry eye on the K├Ânigliches Paradefeld...both the Grand Duchess and King Wilhelm were visibly shaken...
 So for now I've decided to hold off selling the me sentimental but it's the real reason that these fictitious little armies are so fascinating...they have character and a history that gives them a life of their own! An amazing thing really that I have not experienced with any of my many figure collections over the years. I just told myself to hang in there and find a way to make ends meet some other way than selling things that are dear to me...
 So I'll leave you with some shots of the Grand Duchess headed back to her estate in her coach and four...

...and many thanks to those of your who contacted me with both offers for the collection and words of encouragement! I'll be in touch with some alternate plans.

Monday, December 26, 2011

"I Told You These Blasted Games Were Realistic!"

I was amazed to find this ad that launched it all (for me...) was this one for Avalon Hill Games in a 1968 issue of "Boy's Life" magazine. The internet is pretty amazing sometimes...I can remember being obsessed with finding out about the games and the first title I bought was "Blitzkrieg." In a few short years it was on to miniatures via Don Featherstone, but this little ad was what started it all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Plans and Schemes

After some long soul searching, (and the grinding pressures of the economy), I have come to the realization that I do really love 40mm as a scale of choice, and since my Prince August Homecast project is coming along well, I am seriously considering offering my entire  25mm RSM/Minden Imaginations collection for sale!? 

Those of you have enjoyed the exploits of the Konigreich der Bleiherzen and the Grand Duchy of Grolstein over the past years, fear not as a change in scale will not mean these two most bellicose of little nations will disappear from the Lead Gardens. But it might mean the troops gain in stature from 25/28mm to 40mm...That being said, anyone who is interested in a buying really nice, beautifully painted, collection of miniatures Imaginations/Old School style, please feel free to drop me a line at

The Real Deal-Classic style!
I am currently counting the lads up and am working on a complete list. I am also considering including all of the cool "classic wargaming" buildings I have scratchbuilt over the years as well...(I'm going to ignore my longstanding rule: never sell the terrain!...) so...if there is any interest let me know!

I'm having to write this under the influence of a stout martini, because it's a bit painful to contemplate the necessary end of an era...but upwards and onwards...! Huzza!

10mm Panzer Brigade 107 circa 1944
...and remember I still have a nice collection of 10mm WWII Pendrakens (Brits and Germans) up for sale as well...

...and finally I've got some 28mm civilians (unpainted Blue Moon and Eureka up for auction on ebay):

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Nice Find

Today I devoted most of the day for an all day excursion with my wife to Charlottesville, Virginia to do some critical holiday errands, and though I was not expecting the day to be anything but a pleasant outing without the kids in tow, I did not expect anything in the way of my hobby to incite the bells and whistles this day...but I was mistaken! Thanks to Charlottesville's proximity to the University of Virginia, the downtown boasts a goodly number of used bookstores of truly high quality. I was just going to kill a few minutes while my wife was over in a yarn shop visiting a friend by stepping in to the wonderful "Blue Whale Books" next door.

I was not expecting to buy anything,
just a quick to look see... 

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a clean new copy of Knotel's "Uniforms of the World", 

and for only eight tiny dollars.

Away to the checkout I flew like a flash,
Tore open my wallet and drew out the cash.

The owner was skinny not chubby, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And ran my debit card, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, this card should work!

He sprang to his chair, to himself gave a whistle,
And away I flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere I walked out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

 ...for me I'll be tucked with this new treasure in my bed, 
while visions of new uniforms dance in my head...

Happy Holiday Hunting Everyone!

( sincere apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and my readers as I am no poet, it's true!) 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lorraine Regiment in 40mm

The Lorraine Regiment, Commanded by the Marquis de Villeroy- two "companies" of 16 plus an 8 man company of grenadiers following, so really the line companies are more like historical "wings"
 Here are some more pics of my new 40mm French (Prince August homecasts). I'm finding that since the figures are 3/4 flats they can be based to roughly the same frontage as my 25mm RSMs and still look impressive when lined up.

Lorraine grenadier company...these are some of the older molds that PA offers. They are a bit flatter than the newer molds but I think they still look pretty cool.

The Marquis de Montrimal leads two squadrons of the Royal Roussion Cavalerie
 A few weeks ago my son and I could not wait to get to the gaming space we have in the back of my wife's yarn shop so we set up a quick battle on our kitchen counter one evening. He of course clobbered me and the French drew first blood. But I claim that my lack of cavalry was the problem not my bad rolling...
Grenadier company of the 12th Foot

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

No Joy In Mudville...

Regiment Lorraine
Though you might well think I have dropped out of sight these past few months...with nary a post...I'm still here though still struggling with life's complexities (read: money...and work). I'm going to get back on the horse this holiday season and devote some quality time to getting the Lead Gardens back into trim.

In the few months that I have been away from the blog, I've taken up 40mm home casting in a serious way by virtue of a storage room clean-out of piles of old figures that instead of trying to unload on ebay (which seems to be really flat these days...) I got the notion to buy a few Prince August molds and turn those old figures into new 40mm stuff. I've got a lot of metal that I accumulated over the years and it has really played out in the casting as I don't have to buy metal ingots.

I've managed to build a basic old school horse and musket force (both sides) for almost nothing save the start-up cost of the molds. I decided that since I had already collected a nice 25mm collection of 18th century Imaginations, that I would base this new collection on historical SYW French and English units with a few fictitious light infantry and such to spice it up a bit. In that effort the fantastic Seven Years War website  was my weapon of choice as far as units, painting, as well as names of commanders and such. Much more on this throughout the month. But suffice to say, classic gaming is alive and well here at the Lead Gardens!
British 12th Regiment of Foot
I have been also toying with getting some 40mm semi-flat French and Indian War stuff from Irregular Miniatures to further spice things up.

These are some images of the Prince August castings. I have been much inspired by the blog Ilkley Old School and Battlegame of the Month in this endeavor which is really great if you've not had a chance to read these two fantastic blogs.
The mighty 12th Foot... 2 wings of 16 plus a grenadier company (8 figures) in all it's glory!
 I'm going with the unit organizations found in the  "Charge" rules minus one company or basically I'm using 2 company or troop units instead of seems to work with 40mm better than three which would cover a lot of table space.

I'll be sure to post better pics and more comprehensive battle reports this holiday season since I have some time away from work (...the academic's life has it's perks...)

In the meantime it seems I literally can't seem to give away a collection of nice 10mm WWII Pendraken stuff!? on I'm giving up on the ebay thing and I'm posting some pics of them here and if any of my faithful readers are interested just drop me a line at and make me an are some pics (just ask me for a detailed list if you are interested)...they are painted to a high level and I know you'll love these minis if you are in to this scale!

All the best for your Holiday Season!—littlejohn

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bellicose Imagi-nations!

Classic action!
Through this seemingly short summer I've managed to play a few games before the Fall term begins and my "day job" kicks in... Here are a few pics of my latest game using the great "Hearts of Tin" rules by Ross over at "Battlegame of the Month" .
Cavalry melee.
The rules were a nice change from my usual "The Wargame" rules and I really enjoyed the blend of contemporary and classic approaches that "Hearts of Tin" offers. I even tried two games using both an earlier version of the rules and the latest update that even runs smoother! For a guy who has little time to game these days, the rules are just the ticket for a fast-but-thoughtful game.

Grenadiers hold a hilltop.
Just time to post a few pics now, but hopefully will give a more thorough report of another game later this month.
Hey, where are you hussars off too?!...aren't you supposed to be covering the flank?

Friday, July 29, 2011

20MM Colonials Action

This week some pics of another small colonial action that I managed to squeeze in between work, family and dental surgery!
Highlanders move into a small valley in column
A half company of Ghurkas 
Bengal Lancers in advance of the column
Pathans draw up in ambush
A band of Pathans  surge through a narrow defile
though the British column looses initially they quickly are able form up and deliver several crushing volleys
...that eventually send the small Pathan force off the field.

Still don't have enough Pathans painted up to give the Brits much resistance, so I'm going to have to step up the painting this month.

Please also see my FOR SALE link at the top of the page for some cool ships up and other minis  for auction!

Friday, July 8, 2011

...and the Up Side.

After a discouraging few days lamenting the demise of my paper buildings...I buckled down and repaired and rebuilt them all and on top of that, built a nice church (also available free at GHQ) that takes only about an hour to construct. I was able to get all the wrecked buildings back into shape and despite a few bent spots they don't look too bad. One of them had a hole torn in the roof which I just left and painted some fire damage and it looks pretty convincing. Adding some bits of clump foliage around the bases also makes a huge difference (especially with paper houses since it encourages your eye to perceive the flat surfaces as more three dimensional and less "papery")

So now I have experienced the full ups and downs of paper terrain...and hopefully I can keep that little monster away from my stuff till she gets a bit older!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Gamer QUIZ
This picture is either:

A)  ... the remains of a quaint Dutch village circa 1944 after a particularly severe bombardment
B)  ... the unfortunate downside of paper buildings

I think I'll coin a new adage... Never, ever, turn your back on a two year old...!

Friday, June 24, 2011

10mm WWII Action: Attack on Uden

British infantry in the foreground defend "Hell's Highway" the village of Uden in the background...American paras under assault in the far distance.
Today I had some time to set up and run a small WWII action in 10mm using some terrain boards and my new Pendragon 10mm figures. The battle was just to have a go at the rules (I've not played them before) and to see how the terrain boards look and work with the figures.
A British 17lbr rushes to aid the Paras
The boards are made of 1/4" mdf with sections of outdoor carpet adhered to the surface. The sections are 2x4' and though they are abstractions of the real terrain in Holland, I tweaked the roads to make them "geomorphic" for more variety. The mdf color makes a decent road surface that will get some further texture with paint and foliage to make the roads a bit rougher. The buildings are 6mm paper buildings from GHQ's website. They have a nice selection of Dutch buildings and since I'm modeling the Arnhem battles, they work perfectly.
Elements of Panzer Brigade 107
The hedges are homemade using sections of 3M scrubber dipped in glue/paint and then dipped into flock...simple and fast... Still working on how to make convincing forests.
A Bren carrier scout platoon in some serious peril...
So far I'm enjoying the project and the rules as the figures paint up easily and look good, and the rules are interesting. All in all a nice break from my usual larger scale stuff.

(also...I've put up a link to some 15mm WWII Desert War unpainted stuff that I'm liquidating this week, just click on the For Sale link in the header.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jumping On the 10mm Bandwagon

There are a lot of guys out there who are doing some really great gaming in 10mm so I'm a bit late to the party, but this summer I'm scaling down all my WWII stuff to 10mm. I think the figure lines have really taken a leap forward in coverage and detail so it makes something I always wanted to do become something I definitely need to do now.
10mm Pendragon Germans and GHQ 6mm paper houses
What you are seeing here is an initial batch of Pendragon 10mm Germans next to some 1/285 GHQ paper houses (available free on their website). I'm finding a lot of 10mm players use 6mm buildings for less table coverage and it seems to look right with the initially, I'm doing it too. I'm going to collect armies for the Arnhem operations of WWII. There were lots of different troop types involved and that always makes for some fun army building. I'm using Blitzkrieg Commander rules for a start.

The initial German force I'm building is going to model Panzer Brigade 107...a unit that figured in the attempts to cut the main highway to Arnhem. It's an interesting unit typical of the period and is outfitted with Panthers and Jagdpanzer IVs so fun to paint. I just used the OB from the "Rapid Fire Rules" supplement, and just converted it to 1 stand = 1 platoon level.

These are just a few workbench pics of the Brigade as it is getting finished. Since I'm in the US I'm ordering these from "The War Store" online...and getting the usual great service even if Neal has to order the Pendraken stuff every 2 weeks. I was able to produce this brigade for around $120. USD...a real advantage over my usual 15mm Battlefront/Flames of War purchases which, though they are a quality product, really sting the pocketbook!

I'm pretty excited about the quality of these Pendragons and will post the British Grenadier Guards Battlegroup in a few weeks.
In the coming months, ultimately I'm hoping to rebuild my North Africa collection in 10mm as well since my 15mm desert collection has all been sold off to fund new projects...(and other more pressing financial things as well).