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....

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

Monday, 30 October 2017

28mm Sudan project - More Ansar & Khartoum Walls part 3

Good Morning All

This weekend I was able to crack on and finish a load more Dervishes and start on the walls of Khartoum.

If you want to see the previous post in this project head here

Up first we have the latest Dervish units painted with the first lot I completed last week - that makes a total so far of 35 bases (each with 8 warriors) - 280 figures

I have also tarted up the bases with some tufts from Warpainter sourced on ebay

There is another 100 or so foot still to be painted

These are all being stored in the A4 plastic file boxes - 50 figures to a box

Aside from painting up this lot I was able to start the walls of Khartoum - these are just regular fortified walls constructed from foam core. Four 30cm lengths have been completed and I have made a start on a tower.

I'll be putting together a full posting on this terrain project once it is complete

part 4 can be found here

More soon

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

28mm Sudan Project - First Fuzzies completed part 2

Morning All

Just a small post today to confirm that I am cracking on with my Sudan project.

Part 1 can be found here

First up a big thank you to a couple of folks from the Lead Adventure Forum who heard my call for 28mm Sudan Campaign figures. Both Orctrader & Harwood Hobbies offered some deals that were too good to miss and fees were duly paid.

As of today I now have around 380 Dervishes on foot, a battalions worth of British Infantry and several horse, camels and command figures. Enough to keep me going for the next few weeks.

By my reckoning I am going to need a hundred or so more Dervish, several cavalry and of course Camel to complete the Mahdi forces. Once these are done I'll turn my attention to the British and their allies. I have also started to think about terrain - I am going to need a river (the Niler) - at least one gunboat and some dhows - and a fotified town. Some of this should start to take shape in the coming weeks.

In the meantime I am proud to present the first 96 Dervish warriors - I still mneed to tart up the bases (waiting on tufts) and of course some flags.

These have been a very simple paint job - a base primer of Halfords Matt Camouflage Brown followed by a highlight of leather brown on the skin. The hair is matt black and the robes and loincloths are a mix of browns, yellows,  whites and creams. The figures were then wasjed with Army painter dip (strong) and then matt varnished.

These have all been based individually on steel washers and then set in movement trays (warbases). The edges of the trays still need to be blacklined and as mentioned above tufts added.

These are not going to win any prizes but look pretty good en masse

A couple of work in progress shots - the next 96 are painted and are awaiting final base treatments

and this little lot have just been sprayed

More soon !

Part 3 can be found here

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Brand New Project - 28mm Sudan - part 1

And so a new project begins….

Back in 2016 I decided that I wanted to recreate sufficient forces for the Shed to play the Anglo Zulu War in 28mm.

If you have been following this blog you might recall that at the start of the project it was my intention to not just fight the Zulu wars of Victoria's empire but also feature the other major wars.

As of today I can announce that my take on the Sudan Wars of the late 19th Century has begun. This does mean hundreds of menacing looking tribal warriors up against a smaller well armed, highly disciplined colonial army. It also means cavalry, camels, river boats and fortifications. So where do I start.

Fortunately Perry miniatures offers the discerning wargamer a range of options with which to build his force. These figures will no doubt be augmented with other manufacturers once I had had the chance to to asses their compatibility, price and availability. In the coming weeks I will be happy to share this analysis.

To kick things off I needed lots of Dervishes (Fuzzy Wuzzies as Corporal Jones called them) so a trawl of ebay quickly found several of these boxes (6 in total). Each box contains 40 multipart figures and over the weekend I assembled the whole lot in several sittings. These have all been mounted on my preferred option of the 25mm steel washer base. I think it’s safe to say that I have become quite adept at assembling plastic troops en masse.

Believe it or not that is 240 Dervishes - I will need more

Quick tips for anybody else wanting to attempt this laborious task –

1.       Remove body from sprue, clean up flash and superglue to base
2.       Remove all heads – glue heads to body
3.       Remove all Right Arms – glue right arms…

I think you probably get the drift

Unlike the Zulus where I based them in 12’s on movement trays I wanted these to be consistent with the TMWWBK – so I have elected to base these on the eight slot zombie trays from Warbases. Two bases gives me 16 figures for one of their warbands.

The next step is to get this lot primed.

part 2 can be found here

Friday, 6 October 2017

Battle Report from the Peninsular War

Morning All

Well on Monday night we finally got round to playing a proper game in the shed and what better than throwing out 40+ units Napoleonic troops.

Once again I would play the allies to be joined later in the evening by Rolf. The French would be commanded by Alastair and Mark. To create some randomness we each received 22 units (as defined by cards) from the deck and had to build six brigades. The Brigade had to have a minimum size of two and max size of five. Most brigades were 3 -4 units in size. The cards also illustrate the  units stats.

This was a straightforward engagement with the battlefield characterised by a number of my new Iberian village squares. For those of you not familiar with built up areas inb Black Powder these are tough nuts to crack. One area can only hold one battalion and that unit effectively saves on everything bar a one !

So battle commenced with each brigade dicing to arrive on the board in march column.slowly and steadily the forces arrived. First up for the allies was their left wing - a brigade of infantry and cacadores support.

The British centre emerged  it was a bit crowded - a british line battalion quickly siexzed the firsat farm house

By now the Frogs had arrived and soon poured forward in the same old usual way. The elite Swiss battalion took up residence in the central farmhouse

The French commanders survey the battlefield

By now all the units were on the table - the British heavy cavalry dominating the centre

French Light Cavalry screened the advance on the right wing. These guys soon came into contact with the Allied light horse opposite. Honours were even as both brigades broke themselves on each other

A series of poor command rolls along the centre of the Allied lines meant they weren't going forward

Eventually Wellingtons orders were received and the Allied line advanced

The Brits siezed the third farm. Digging in for a hostile reaction

By now the Brits on the left flank had advanced and were engaged in a furious firefight with a battalion of french occupying the farmstead on the extreme allied left flank. The Cacadores chareged and bounced off - these built up areas really are tough nuts to crack

Across the centre the French line marched forward - a foray by English horse soon put them into square but with no infantry or artillery support the attack was wasted,, in the distance Brigadier Rolfs infantry were fighting hard against the french column. A single highland battalion routing two french columns in quick succession

The centre was in a stalemate position - the French decided to release their infantry (light in skirmish fomation to goad the allies into action. The British horse took the bait but just didn't charge.

Rolf was having much better luck on the French left flank - his redcoats had all but destroyed two further battalions and very soon the French left collapsed

The centre still saw little action - but the French skirmishers were taking a toll on the allied lines. Very quickly the massed formation of voltiguers drive off one british line battalion and injured several portuguese allies

Fearing the British cavalry might eventually come out to play the skirmishers moved to their right and opened fire on the farmhouse with six shots - four hits, Was I worried no - my brave boys only had to avoid rolling ones...oops - three casualties (given i'd already suffered one a break test was called for) and guess what the battalion was routed. Add this rout to the other suffered from skirmish fire half my infantry in the centre no longer advanced.

If i thought my British had a bad time spare a thought for Alastair - his entire French command on the french  was broken - the plucky chaps in redcoats had delivered a pretty bloody nose to the French

Brigadier Rolf had won the game for the allies

A fast and furious game full of drama, suspense but best of all a British victory

thanks for following

until next time