Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer
  • .: Welcome to my blog :.

    I'm John R. "Buck" Surdu. I have two Web pages that contain relatively static information about my professional life (including papers I've written) and my hobby life (including information about rules I've written and my wargaming projects). This blog is where I plan to post personal tidbits, like vacation pictures, wargaming projects, etc. Enjoy!
  • Friday Feudal Fracas

    Posted By on February 17, 2019

    The War of the Roses game begins.

    Friday night at our club meeting, Chris ran a game using Feudal Patrol.  Feudal Patrol is the under-development version of Combat Patrol(TM) that is more for mediaeval games (or games in which there is more melee than shooting).  This is still very much under development, but it is at a stage where it is playable.

    The table layout early in the game.

    The game involved a baggage train that was desired by both sides.  Seeing armies approaching, the civilian drovers bugged out, leaving the wagons and supplies for either side to loot.

    One side nears the baggage train.

    I have play test card decks that are in their fourth revision.  I think they are getting pretty stable.  One thing I am thinking about changing as a result of the game on Friday is armor.  Right now, if the hit location icon is red, the target’s shield doesn’t count.  If the hit location is yellow, it does count if that area is covered by the shield.  I was thinking about making two or three of the icons black.  In this case it would be that lucky hit that cancels out all armor.

    Lord Hawke’s Banner.

    We had some questions about how cavalry works.  I think we just need to re-read the original rules on cavalry and the modified rules in the Napoleonic supplement.  As much as possible, I’d like to keep the cavalry rules in Feudal Patrol the same as the Napoleonic supplement for Combat Patrol to avoid confusion.

    A wide shot of advancing Lancastrians.

    In general, I think people were pleased with the rules.

    Savage Worlds Flash Gordon Kickstarter

    Posted By on February 14, 2019

    Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for Flash Gordon.  I love the old serials (three of them), the old comics, and I can even tolerate that campy 1970s movie.  So, when the Savage Worlds Flash Gordon Kickstarter occurred, I jumped on the bandwagon to get the figures.   I have just about every other manufacturer’s Flash Gordon figures, but you can never had too many Flash Gordon figures — at least that’s what I tell my wife.

    Since I have been home this week (first of several), I have been getting some painting done in the evenings.  Last night I finished the Flash Gordon figures from the Kickstarter.

    Princess Aura and Ming the Merciless.

    I painted these figures in comic book colors.  The figures have nice animation and styling that is consistent with the Alex Raymon drawings.

    Ming’s soldiers.

    The space ship in the background was made from a Denny’s happy meal sip cup.

    Dale Arden, Flash Gordon, and Dr. Zarkov.  I love the animation of the Dale Arden figure with the rifle.

    All of the figures were fun and easy to paint.

    Prince Thun of the Lion Men, Prince Barin of Arborio, and Prince Voltan of the Hawkmen.  I’m not overly happy with how the wings turned out on Voltan.

    And for some reason when I pulled these figures out of the to-be-painted box, I also pulled this Superman figure.  I don’t know where it came from or who was the manufacturer, but I painted it up anyway.  I don’t even play superhero games; although, To Be Continued… by GASLIGHT has rules for Pulp-era superheroes.  Does anyone know who made this figure?


    The Last of the Mantic Terrain Crate Pieces

    Posted By on February 12, 2019

    The abandoned mine sets from Mantic terrain crates.

    I have been posting pictures from time to time of the various terrain pieces that I got in the Mantic terrain crate Kickstarter.  Tonight I finished the last of the two crates and various add-ons that I purchased.

    I finished two sets of the abandoned mine.  I will use these in an upcoming game I’ll be running at Cold Wars in a few weeks.

    Mission complete.

    Two Martian Tripods

    Posted By on February 10, 2019

    In the continuing effort to reduce the unpainted lead collection, I knocked out these two tripods this weekend.  I went with battleship gray for the paint scheme thinking that they might be Earth imitations of Martian tripods (I have the ones from here to be real Martians).  They looked too clean, so I gave them a heavy brown wash.

    I like the quirkiness of these. They look like water towers on legs to me.

    I bought these at Barrage 2017.  I may buy a third one at Barrage 2019 if they are available.  They were pretty easy to assemble, and they painted quickly.

    Science Fiction Scatter Terrain

    Posted By on February 10, 2019

    When I bought into the Mantic Terrain Crate Kickstarter, I was able to add some science fiction scenery bits to my pledge.  I only have a handful of terrain left paint from the two crates I bought.  This is almost the last tranche.

    Some items for the cargo hold.

    Some consoles and shelving.

    Some consoles and a weapons locker.

    These are all for 25/28mm science fiction figures.

    Interesting New Product from Gamers Grass

    Posted By on February 8, 2019

    The Battle Ready Bases product from Gamers Grass.

    I recently tried a new product, called Battle Ready Bases.  These are bases for wargaming figures that come pre painted, textured, etc.  They have different ones for different terrain types, from desert to these winter ones shown.

    A pack of bases includes ten pre-textured, pre-flocked bases with tufts on them.  I bought three packs, and each base was slightly different.  At $20 a pack, or $2 a base for Greg, they aren’t cheap, but the time it would take me to do these myself makes $20 worth it.  And I wouldn’t do nearly as good a job or take the time to apply this much detail.

    I wouldn’t base 1000 figures this way, but for skirmish games, I think these are a good value.  Since they are complete, you need to stick figures to them that have no bases, like slot-a-base figures with the tab removed or some of the plastic figures where the base is a separate piece.  I think a lot of the Warlord plastics come that way.

    Two Russian figures mounted on the bases.

    I based 19 figures last night.  Whatever they are made of or finished with, super glue sticks to them almost as well as my hands.  The figures seem to be securely attached without pinning.  I’m sure that I am as likely to break one of these brittle, plastic rifles as I am to knock the figures off their bases, and the figures are easily re-attached.

    Anyway, I very much recommend this product.  When the hobby funds build back up, I think I’ll try some of their other terrain types, like desert.


    Here Come the Sky Gods!

    Posted By on February 7, 2019

    I have been thinking about getting some of my VSF figures on the table again one of these days.  I have been focused on WWII mostly since the release of Combat Patrol(TM).   Over a year ago at Barrage 2017, I bought these two kits.  I finally got around to putting them together, because I was looking for something I could do quickly.  Work has been crazy busy lately.

    They might also work for some back of beyond type pulp games.

    They are pretty sturdy little kits.  I made a base for them and use clear acrylic rod to make the flight stands.

    Phone Home and Eat Cats

    Posted By on February 5, 2019

    I recently posted to TMP that I was looking for a figure of Alf, from the 80’s televisions how.  Someone sent me to this page.  I found Alf, Were-Alf, and Dracula-Alf.  They painted up quickly, and I wanted to share.

    Three Alf figures from https://l72smetalminiaturesmusings.wordpress.com/?s=alf

    While at the site, I also noticed that he is making an E.T. figure.  I got two and painted one with his finger and heart light glowing and one without.

    E.T. figures from https://l72smetalminiaturesmusings.wordpress.com/?s=alf

    Painting these figures inspired me to re-watch E.T. this weekend with my daughter.  It has been so long since we watched it, that she didn’t remember much.

    Look for these to show up in a game in time for Historicon 2019.

    Magnum P.I.

    Posted By on January 26, 2019

    Magnum, TC, and the Ferrari.

    I have been looking for a 1:48 scale Ferrari like the one in Magnum P.I. — the original series not the remade crap.  I found this one on eBay after years of searching.  It is 1:43, but close enough.  Then I needed a Magnum, T.C., and Rick.  I went to Crooked Dice to find a figure I could make into Thomas Magnum.

    Crooked Nice men from the future.

    I started with the figure on the left.  I figured mostly it would be paint conversion, but I had to add a collar to make a Hawaiian shirt.

    Flamboyant Agent Heads

    I started with the head on the right, but in person, it didn’t have enough hair.  (I have been watching old episodes of the show, so I know that Magnum has a lot of 80’s hair.)  With some green stuff, I added a little more hair and made the mustache a little bushier, which you can see in the top picture of this post.

    Another view of Magnum and T.C.

    I had a hand holding a .45 M-1911 from a box of Warlord U.S. Marines.  I hacked the right hand out of figure and added the hand holding the .45.  You can’t see it in these pictures, but T.C.’s shirt says “Island Hoppers.”   I figure just about any figure will pass as Rick, and I’m sure I have a suitable Higgins figure.

    The Magnum faction will be added to the A-Team, Ghostbusters, and Scooby Doo factions in an upcoming wild and wooly To Be Continued… by GASLIGHT game, hopefully in time for Historicon 2019.

    Sarissa Precision Peel Tower

    Posted By on January 25, 2019

    I started to build this peel tower for my border rievers games.  This was a nice kit.  I did a bunch of the painting before assembly, which was the right answer, but I think I could do a much better job if I was to build a second one.

    Sarissa Precision peel tower.

    All the doors open with tape hinges.

    Another view.

    A third view.

    Bottom floor.

    The next floor.

    Third floor (in U.S.) or second floor (in the U.K.)

    Top floor

    I can’t wait to get this on the table!

    This is my submission to the February painting challenge on Azazel’s Bit Box:  https://azazelx.com/2019/01/23/neglected-models-february-2019-community-painting-challenge/