Painting a 3D-printed Caribbean building


‘Arrr, me ‘earty – that thar 3-D printin’ is sure makin’ inroads into wargamin’, ain’t it!’ And especially so for terrain, as shown by this exciting new model from Printable Scenery for my 28mm pirate gaming.  3d-printable-wargame-house65

Matt from Printable Scenery asked if I could do a blog posting showing how to paint this first model in his new range of Caribbean building files, which I was very pleased to do. The painting didn’t take long – one day from start to finish.  Here’s how I went about it:


The first step is to clean up any artifacts left over from the printing process, and then cover the whole model with black spray-paint. Apart from that, no other work was required to get the nice finish you see above.


The model prints in three pieces, which means you can view the interior of each floor. So the interiors also received a black undercoat.


The two storeys now received a light spray paint of sand colour (I used Tamiya model spray). I sprayed this in quick sweeps from above, so the remaining black undercoat would create the effect of shadows. The roof received a light spray too, but in a brick-red colour.


The interiors also got the light sand-coloured spray treatment. I don’t worry about over-spray on the floor – this all gets fixed later on.


Now comes my favourite step – dry-brushing the entire model with white. This really brings out the texture of the stone-work and tiles, and you start getting a feel of what the final product will look like.


I picked out some of the stonework with a yellow-ochre colour, then dry-brushed over it with white. The chimney has also been painted ochre and dry-brushed white.


I slapped some sky-blue paint onto all the windows and doors. As you can see, I was quite rough and ready with this job, but that doesn’t matter, as the next steps clean this up.


I coated all the blue windows in earth-coloured ink wash, and also inked in some of the shadowed areas in the stonework, such as under the arches. I then used my trusty white dry-brushing over all the windows – hey presto, sun-bleached light blue frames and shutters!


I picked out some random tiles with a range of colours, then game the whole roof another quick white dry-brush, before washing the whole roof with the earth-coloured ink to tone down the different shades.


The final step was to paint the interior. I dry-brushed white the previously sand-coloured walls. The furniture and window frames were mainly picked out with inks, but also a small amount of painting, for example the bottles and jars on the shelves. The floor received a wash of black ink to bring out the floorboard detail.


So there you have it, a perfect building for pirate games! Though, of course, this type of house could have many other uses – the Peninsular War springs to mind, or Maximilian’s Mexican Adventure, the Spanish Civil War, or even colonial games.


Here’s the rear of the building, as seen from a ship tied alongside the wharf. Matt designed the building in a semi-fortified state, with boarded and bricked windows on the ground floor as you would find is times of war and civil unrest. There is limited access on the ground floor, but lots of firing positions on the upper floors. Perfect for a last stand!


I’m really looking forward to seeing what other buildings Matt adds to Printable Scenery’s Caribbean range. I’ve plied him with photos of real buildings from Havana (Cuba), as well as pictures from the Disneyland ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ ride – let’s see if any of these come to fruition!

For those who wish to know, the building was printed on a Prusa MK2, using ABS filament. It cost about US$8 to print. Each section took about ten hours, so was printed overnight. It was printed it at .2 layer height at slow speed. I got it as a raw print, not treated at all, but just primed in Warlord black primer.


Filed under Pirates, Terrain, Uncategorized

Carden Loyd tankette for my WW2 Dutch army


Tremble ye Bolt Action players, and be struck with fear by my WW2 Dutch army’s first model! Shudder before the pent-up power of this huge … er, tiny … weapon of war – the mighty … er, puny … Carden Loyd tankette!


I’m about to build a Dutch army using the new soon-to-be-released May ’40 Miniatures range. Too get the project underway, I looked round for other manufacturers who make models that could add extra elements to my army, and found this white metal Carden Loyd tankette made by Reiver Castings.

Note: The figure in the above pictures isn’t a Dutch soldier – he is just there to give you an impression of the diminutive size of the tankette.


At the time of the German invasion, the Dutch army  had five Mark VI versions of these little British pre-war tankettes,  which they named after big cats: Lynx, Poema, Jaguar, Panter and Luipaard. They were used to defend Waalhaven airfield and on the southern Grebbe line.


The concept of a very economical and small tank was to protect infantry when assaulting a static line of defense (typically protected by rifle and machine-gun fire). The tankette could be used as a mobile machine-gun nest where it was needed most, equipped with the watercooled Vickers cal.303 (7.62 mm) machine-gun.

The crew comprised a driver and a machine-gunner, which allowed each to be fully concentrated on his own task. Two small domes protected the crew’s heads.

The Carden Loyd tankette was powered by a Model T Ford engine (true!) and had a road speed of 25 mph (40 km/h). The engine was mounted backwards between the two crew. The small bulge at the front of the vehicle housed the Model T’s transmission, which drove the front sprockets.


The Reiver Castings model is solid white metal, so it is surprisingly heavy for its small size. The tracks, roof, machine gun and tow-bar are separate pieces. The model did require a bit of cleaning up, but fits together well. I added the machine gun shield from a piece of plastic – this seems to have been an additional item carried on the Dutch vehicles.


I had a disaster at the undercoating stage, when my spray-can of automotive primer came out very gritty. I quickly wiped it off, but the photos show I wasn’t altogether successful with this. So unfortunately the model looks a bit rougher than it should.


I couldn’t find any suitable decals in the right scale, so made my own versions of the orange triangles that were used on Dutch vehicles during the hostilities. I’ve decided to leave off the wording and number-plate, as my homemade versions of these would only look awful!

If you want to know more about this fascinating little vehicle, I thoroughly recommend the following two short YouTube videos.

In this short video David Fletcher describes the Carden Loyd carrier ( lacking the armoured domes)  in the The Tank Museum. Don’t get too distracted by his amazing moustache!

In this video you can see this British reproduction Carden Loyd carrier in operation. I love its sound – it really is just like a Model T Ford! And at 2:16 minutes, watch how it can turn on a dime.


Filed under Reiver Castings, Uncategorized, WW2

Pre-orders for 28mm WW2 Dutch


Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Or should that be ‘Haast! Haast! Haast!’? Submit your pre-orders by 9 October to ensure you’re in for the debut release of Sander van der Ster’s forthcoming new range of  May ’40 Miniatures WW2 Dutch figures.

Several years ago Sander, who hails from the Netherlands, made the switch to historical wargaming, specifically WW2 using the Bolt Action rules. He started out with late war Germans. But he soon wanted something else, something that wasn’t readily available. So after lots of planning and thinking and re-planning, and putting things on hold because real life had other thoughts, finally his range of May ’40 Miniatures is becoming a reality.

May ’40 Miniatures is also a tribute to Sander’s great-uncle who fell on 10 May 1940 at Westervoort, defending his country at only 20 years of age. Furthermore, May ’40 Miniatures is Sanders’ tribute to all Dutch troops and civilians that fell during World War 2.

The brand new range, sculpted by Michael Percy, includes command figures, infantry squads, Lewis gun crews and ammo bearers, an 81mm mortar, a Scwharzlose heavy machine gun, and even stretcher-bearers and a medic (the latter whom I’ll paint as my father).

You can obtain a fully illustrated list from here:

For the pre-order, there are two reduced-price Platoon and Army Deals, which will only be available up until 4 November, the day before the range is officially released at Crisis in Antwerp (Belgium). These deals are a one-off that won’t be repeated afterwards.

Whilst pre-orders are open till the day before  Crisis, Sander advises that to make sure you receive what you want, pre-orders should be submitted before 9 October. Otherwise he can’t guarantee to have your order ready in time, due to the minis being cast in the UK and the travel time involved.

Pre-orders can be made via email to: In the UK, the full range can also be pre-ordered from Sally 4th:

Whilst the initial launch will be all infantry, not too far off will be a Landsverk armoured car modelled by Stephan Vroom. Dutch marines, the famed ‘Black Devils’ who defended Rotterdam, are also in the pipeline.



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Filed under May 40, WW2

A Dutch farmhouse for 28mm WW2 gaming


This weekend I completed a little ruined Dutch cottage to whet my appetite for the forthcoming exciting new range of 28mm WW2 Dutch figures by May ’40 Miniatures.

I spotted this Airfix model by chance in a half-price sale at a local model shop. I nearly walked past, because it was 1/76 scale – way too small for 28mm miniatures, I thought.


But the architecture of this model kept drawing me back to look at it. It was just so like the little brick cottages I had often ridden past on my bicycle during my trips to the southern Netherlands to visit extended family.

Then I noticed that the model didn’t have a floor, so it might be easy to add a foundation to the bottom of the walls, and so heighten the front door.  Maybe, just maybe, this could actually work with 28mm miniatures after all?

Ah well, at half-price, even if it didn’t work out, it wouldn’t break the bank. So I splashed out and bought one to test.

Opening the box at home, I found a very nicely cast one-piece building in resin. There was also a small packet containing four photo-etched brass window-frames and some panes of plastic ‘glass’ for them.


The model itself is rather curious. As I’ve already said, the design is spot-on for what it is trying to portray. It really does feel like a Dutch cottage – as I remember them, anyway. But why oh why a ruined one? Firstly, I would’ve thought an intact cottage would have much wider appeal, to all those Dutch model railroaders for example.

Secondly, the ‘ruining’ isn’t particularly well done – there’s an odd square hole in the roof, total ruin at the back of the cottage but without any rubble, floorboards that look like they’ve been carefully cut rather than smashed, no rafters showing where the roof has come down, etc. The only ruining that looks right is where several windows have been peppered with bullets and small projectiles, presumably to target enemy marksmen sheltering inside.


Anyway, on with the project. As I had envisaged, it was dead easy to add a 1cm deep ‘foundation’ layer of foam-core board to the bottom of the walls.  This of course detracted from the distinctive very low window sills of a Dutch cottage, but it still looked OK. And it did make the door much higher, so that a 28mm figure could fit through (I haven’t got any Dutch yet, so there’s a couple of rather out-of-place French Foreign Legionnaires in my photos!). I also added some flooring on the ground.

Painting was easy. I first spray-painted the model black overall. I then painted the brick areas with grey, and dry-brushed them with a terracotta colour. This left the grey showing though as mortar. However, I thought this looked a bit stark, so I added liberal patches of a dark wash to tone down the mortar. I also picked out a few bricks in differing shades of brown and red. I was really pleased with the result, which as you can see from the pictures, has come out quite realistic.


I dry-brushed the black roof with dark grey, and then picked out all the trim with a very light grey, exactly as per the painting guide on the box-lid.

The brass window frames are a nice touch that really bring the model to life. However, only four sets are supplied, which means several windows have apparently had their frames completely blown out with no trace remaining. I thought this looked unrealistic, so I chopped up one of the window frames into several pieces, so that each ruined window could have at least a bit of frame still clinging tenaciously. I also found some frames in my spare parts box that fitted the small upper windows perfectly.

I cut the ‘glass’ panes to represent shattered glass – surely the windows wouldn’t have remained unbroken with the whole back of the house gone!


Finally, I decided the building looked silly without rubble. I found an old brick in my garden, and smashed off a corner with a hammer. I pulverised the piece of brick with the hammer, until it was just brick-dust and grit. I mixed this with PVA glue, and then slopped dollops of the mixture onto the house. I inserted some broken window-frames and pieces of old brickwork from my spares box into the piles of brick gloop, and – hey presto – perfect rubble!

If I was being really pedantic, I should probably have done something about the chimneys –  or, rather, about the lack of fireplaces and the odd positioning of the chimneys just above windows. But there is a limit to even my pedantic-ness!

So there you have it, a small ruined Dutch cottage, perfect for 28mm.


OK, it does still have a pretty small foot-print (10cm by 7cm). But I don’t think it will look too out-of-kilter, as you can see here with it placed beside the Perry Miniatures colonial church for comparison purposes.

Overall, a very nice little model that I think will work for my 28mm gaming. I just hope that Airfix will also make an intact version of this cottage one day!



Filed under WW2

I was there – a Kiwi at Pickett’s Charge


Back in 1998 I travelled to the USA to take part in a huge reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg. The highlight of the three days was taking part in Pickett’s Charge, the doomed frontal attack by the Confederates against the Union infantry and artillery ensconced behind a stone wall. In the real battle in 1863, the majority of Confederate troops fell or retreated before they got to this stone wall, but a few did make it over, until they too were killed or captured.

To reenact this turning point in American history, it was important that just as many reenactors fell before they got to the wall. Because every Confederate reenactor wanted the distinction of climbing over the wall, this was done by way of a lottery, with everyone except the winners having to die or retreat before reaching the wall – I was very fortunate to be one of the few who drew a winning number!


There were about 12,000 Confederate reenactors involved in Pickett’s Charge, which meant we were doing a full scale reenactment of the event. We had to cover about half a mile of open ground, before finally reaching the blue-uniformed Federal infantry, lined up about four deep for the entire half-mile or so length of the low stone wall and fenceline.

In silence, each Confederate brigade headed off towards its ‘destiny’. We did a few obliques (diagonal movements) to place ourselves in the correct position, having some problems with our line bowing all the time. It seemed no time at all till we reached the first obstacle, a wooden fence denoting the Emmitsburg Road.

At this point the yell came for those who had drawn ones in the lottery to take a hit. Marching onwards, it must have made an impressive sight to the spectators, as the units shrunk with casualties streaming our behind their trail – it certainly looked it on each side as brigade after brigade of Confederates headed towards the long line of Union soldiers behind their stone wall. (Jill Russell photo)


Down went our twos and threes, our corporal shouting for them to go down. Then at a run, instinctively bowing our heads, hunching our shoulders, and leaning forward as though walking into a headwind, we crossed the final gap towards the stone wall, the fours going down all around us. I clambered up onto the wall, behind which there was a twenty-yard gap, filled already with Confederate and Union ‘bodies’, then the solid line of Union blue. I ran towards them, watching others round me crashing down to the ground.

I felt someone brush past me, and saw it was General Armistead, carrying his hat pierced on the end of his sword (a famous moment in American history). At this moment, I made it to the front cover of the special Gettysburg edition of Civil War News. The photo below depicts General Armistead during Pickett’s Charge, and there I am right beside him! (Julio C Zangroniz photo)


I then decided that it was time I went down myself.  I stayed down for a while, watching Union troops shooting, and hearing their ‘Hurrah!’ as the Confederate assault was thrown back. I looked back at the field, which was totally covered with casualties and retreating rebels running back individually and in small groups. There was a group of Confederate and Union soldiers standing near me, so I ‘limped’ over to see what they were looking at. In the centre of the group lay the ‘dying’ General Armistead.

After a while the shooting began to ease off, and it was evident that the battle was at an end. Taps was played on a bugle, and in a very emotional moment, we all, Confederate and Union alike, stopped and took off our caps to honour those real soldiers who fought 135 years ago.

Note: You can read more about my three days at Gettysburg on this old posting about my Gettysburg experience (posted back in February 2012).



Filed under American Civil War, Reenactment

Bolt Action: Spahis and Foreign Legion vs Germans


Last night I pitched my WW2 Free French against Scott Bowman’s Germans in a 600+ point game of Bolt ActionScott, of course, is famous as being the owner of the Hobby Corner – probably the only pharmacy in the world that stocks wargaming models and paints!


The above mid-game shot shows Scott in action, closely watched by his son. As you can see, he has a large wargames room with three tables. He’s now even adding two more tables in the adjacent garage. A great venue for gaming nights!

The board loosely represented a cultivated area somewhere in the Middle East. Actually, it was just the table still set up after Scott’s last game, but with his pine trees replaced with palms, and a European cottage with a Middle Eastern house. So vaguely Syria or Lebanon or somewhere like that …

My objective for the game was to hang onto the cornfield and the adjacent piece of road situated in the middle of the table. We delineated the actual objective area with some miscellaneous crates and oil-drums. Scott’s objective, of course, was to seize this area.


Before the game started, I was allowed to emplace two units on the objective – I chose a Foreign Legion infantry unit and a 75mm howitzer (you can just see the latter in the distance in the above picture). I would then bring the remainder of my forces onto the table as reinforcements over the next two turns.

My first reinforcement to arrive was this Dodge Tanake truck, which careered in to take hold of the crossroads on the right flank. As it screeched to a stop, the Tanake’s gunners spotted a German sniper team hidden in the undergrowth, and let fly – no more sniper team! Unfortunately they couldn’t also hit a nearby forward mortar  observer, which was to prove disastrous later in the game.


At the other end of the table, my white-capped Foreign Legionnaires rushed from the objective area, scattering livestock as they raced the Germans to be the first to occupy a ruined building that could otherwise have threatened the French left flank.


Having taken the ruined building and survived the German unit’s return fire, in the next turn the Legionnaires launched an all-out charge against their enemy. Luck favoured the bold, and the German unit was eliminated after two rounds of vicious fighting – though in doing so the brave Legionnaires lost half their number.


Meanwhile, back at the crossroads on the French right flank the action was also hotting up.  A German command car (a captured Jeep) had rushed up the road to threaten another unit of Legionnaires who had just arrived as my second reinforcements. But it was a move too far for the Jeep, which was quickly hit and destroyed.

The red plastic marker is a clever device that indicates a unit is pinned down by enemy fire. You can turn a dial on the base to show how many pins it represents (the more pins a unit suffers, the harder it is to get it to obey orders). Whilst these markers are indeed clever, I do think they look artificial and so detract from the overall look of the game – I would perhaps disguise them with some cottonwool smoke.


Another view of the burning Jeep. Scott’s smoke even contained a little candle-light flickering away to create dramatic effect! In the distance, the French 75mm gun in the objective area was still hammering away unsuccessfully at some German units located on that hillock on the horizon.


Now the Germans brought on their own anti-tank gun to threaten the crossroads. It aimed a potshot at the Dodge Tanake. Luckily the driver spotted the threat. He quickly graunched into reverse gear, and, engine screaming,  the Tanake accelerated backwards around the corner and out of danger. Whew!


The second unit of Legionnaires also turned at the crossroads and followed the reversing Tanake towards the objective area. I had just remembered I would lose the game if I left the objective unoccupied through becoming distracted into firefights on other parts of the table. The rules state that the objective can only be claimed by infantry, not vehicles.

Meanwhile, the 75mm howitzer carried on banging away ineffectively, having already lost a crew member from a hidden German mortar fire (remember that pesky spotter the Tanake hadn’t been able to eliminate earlier in the game?!).


Sacre bleu!  Disaster as my howitzer gets destroyed by another direct hit from that German mortar!


On the left flank, my newly-painted Conus auto-canon finally made its gaming debut, its Moroccan Spahi crew distinctive in their red sidecaps. The Heath Robinson-ish contraption accelerated up the road to reinforce my men at the objective area.


Remember that first unit of Legionnaires we last saw as they charged and destroyed an enemy infantry unit at the ruined house? Well, off they go again, this time charging a German machine gun nest. Once more luck was on their side, and the machine gun crew was wiped out.


The French began to converge on the objective area. There had been a moment of panic earlier when that blasted mortar got a direct hit on a unit of Legionnaires who had been sheltering behind the Tanake, killing them all.


But once the French commander and his small team arrived, along with the Conus, they quickly regained control of the situation.

All guns now bore on the only remaining German infantry squad hidden behind the stone wall in the distance. There was no way they could stand so much fire, and when the German squad was eliminated, Scott reached over the table to shake my hand and concede the game.


Let’s finish with another quick look at my two rather curious vehicles. Firstly, here is the Dodge Tanake by Perry Miniatures. During the war, approximately ten Dodge trucks were armoured and armed with 37mm anti-tank guns and a couple of M24/29 light machine guns. They were used by the French, Vichy French, Free French and Syrian forces.


And now my latest model – the Conus, also by Perry Miniatures. The Moroccan Spahis used these Conus guns, which were CMP 30cwt trucks with a 75mm M1897 gun mounted on a turret race taken from a captured Italian M13/40 tank. The idea was proposed by a Lt. Conus, hence the name. Twelve Conus guns made up the 3rd Squadron of the Régiment de Marche de Spahis Marocains.


Filed under Perry Miniatures, Warlord Games, WW2

‘Sharp Practice’ game report – Fondler’s Colonel

British infantry in town

“With his ‘extensive’ Militia (sorry, Miwitia) background, Colonel Grabbe-Ghoullies felt it should be he, not that guttersnipe Captain Fondler and his Rifles (sorry, Fondwer and his Wifles), who should be the one to rescue (sorry, wescue) the beautiful spy, the Marquesa de Una Paloma Blanca (and no doubt weap whatever wewards were on offer).” 

Back in May 2009, the now-defunct Kapiti Fusiliers website published the following game report of our first game of the Too Fat Lardies’ Sharp Practice rules for skirmish battles in the age of black powder. As this was our first game with these rules, we got a few things wrong. But overall the rules worked, and a story emerged from the chaos.

I thought it was such a fun game report, that it’s worth re-publishing here for your entertainment.

The scenario we played was Fondler’s Colonel from the The Compleat Fondler scenario book, also by the Too Fat Lardies. Captain Richard Fondler, of course, is a take-off of that well-known mullet-wearing 95th Rifles officer, Richard Sharpe.


The premise of the game is that the British are to pick up a Spanish spy, the Marquesa de Una Paloma Blanca, who is currently under the care of Abbott Costello at a local monastery. At the same time, they are to deliver a cart-load of gold to a Spanish guerilla chieftain, El Cascanueces. Meanwhile, Colonel Daniel Laroux of the French Imperial Intelligence Service is setting a dastardly trap to capture his hated nemesis, Captain Richard Fondler.

Before you continue reading this game report, you might like to scroll to the bottom of this page to read the scenario notes leading up to this battle. Spoiler alert: if you intend to play this scenario, be aware that there are some spoilers contained in the scenario notes.


(above) Colonel Grabbe-Ghoullies, the new commander of the South-East Essex, leads the column to rescue the Marquesa.

With his ‘extensive’ Militia (sorry, Miwitia) background, Grabbe-Ghoullies feels he should be the one to rescue the beautiful spy (and no doubt reap whatever rewards are on offer), not Fondler and his Rifles (sorry, Fondwer and his Wifles). No low-born guttersnipe who has become an officer out of the ranks (sorry, wanks) will outshine him. So he orders Fondler’s Rifles to a lowly wagon-guard role. The scenario rules state that the Rifles can’t do anything major until they are either fired upon or the redcoats suffer three or more casualties.


(above) French voltiguers under the command of Caporal-Bugler Petain (don’t ask – I just didn’t have enough ordinary French NCO figures, so used a bugler instead!) open fire on the British column from their eyrie amongst the rocky outcrops.

Lieutenant Harry Cost peels his company of redcoats away from the column to chase off these pesky skirmishers.


(above) Oh dear, the skirmishers score a kill on Lieutenant Cost’s company. Captain Fondler and Sergeant Paisley of the Rifles look on helplessly, still being under Grabbe-Ghoullies’ orders to stay out of the fight and guard the wagon.


(above) Caporal-Bugler Petain’s cornet catches the sunlight, making a perfect target for the redcoats. A bullet flies right down the cornet’s tube, badly wounding the caporal-bugler. His voltiguers obviously don’t think too much of him, because he is left lying in the hot sun for the remainder of the game, instead of being carried to the rear.

Shortly after, Sergeant Ducrot, another French NCO, runs up the hill to take over command (not in this picture yet), so no major damage is done (other than to poor Petain and his cornet, of course).


(above) Harry Cost’s men blaze away furiously, while Fondler grits his teeth and wishes they would just get up there into the outcrops and weed those Crapauds out – or send in the Rifles to do the job. Even his wagon has been taken away from him now.


(above) Grabbe-Ghoullies finally gets his column moving – or inching- along the road, taking the gold cart with him, ordering Fondler to deal with the skirmishers at last.


(above) But hark, what is this? Do you hear the sound of drums coming from up the side road?


(above) Four companies of French infantry, lead by the Colonel Visage de Vache, hasten towards the battle. They were supposed to close the trap after the British passed the intersection, but their attack is launched prematurely and they march steadily towards the intersection before the British get there. Meanwhile, Sergeant Ducrot and his voltiguers continue peppering the British from the rocky outcrops.


(above) Colonel Visage de Vache proudly leads his column out. The grenadier company takes the lead.


(above) “Hop to it, mes amis, form line, and let’s give zese Ros Bifs some French dressing!” roars Colonel Visage de Vache to his men. The four companies swing into line with well-drilled precision.


(above) Colonel Grabbe-Ghoullies looks around wildly. A Fwench line in fwont of him, skirmishers to his left … maybe he should’ve stayed in the compfowtable miwiltia officers mess back in Bwighty.


(above) A pall of smoke drifts between the two formations, as the British column is decimated by the disciplined fire from the French line. The British companies suffer so much shock that after two volleys they begin to lose their bottle, and the game ends with a British surrender.

Oddly, it wasn’t till after I took the above photo that I noticed that Grabbe-Ghoullies, who had supposedly been badly wounded in front of his men by the French volleys, had not been wounded at all, but merely scarpered into cover (those sneaky British players!).

And so, what was the outcome?

Grabbe-Ghoullies, only his dignity harmed, will be captured by Colonel Visage de Vache. No beautiful Marquesa to entertain tonight, only a few wats in a locked woom behind the Fwench lines.

In the monastery, Colonel Daniel Laroux jumps up and down in frustration (then promptly falls over as he forgets he is tottering round on high heels). His carefully-laid plan to dress up as the Marquesa de Una Paloma Blanca (who is safely closeted miles away in a prison cell) and so ensnare Fondler to finally get his revenge for the false teeth his arch-nemesis had smashed in an earlier encounter, has been foiled by the over-efficiency of the line infantry officers. “One day, Capitaine Dick Fondler … one day I’ll get you!”

El Cascanueces, however, is pleased. He had thrown in his lot with Laroux. But with the British surrender, he has got his gold without having to risk anything at all.

Abbott Costello sleeps blissfully on, happily drugged with several bottles of cheap French plonk provided by the beautiful (but rather hairy and with big hands, now that he comes to think of it) “Marquessa de Una Paloma Blanca”. He remains totally unaware of all that has happened today.

Meanwhile, Captain Fondler and Sergeant Paisley beat a hasty retreat to the British lines. Fondler will have to report to Wellington that he has lost the gold and not rescued the Marquesa. But the two riflemen are sure to march together again one day soon, and retrieve Fondler’s honour.

OK, probably not the best of games for the British players, but that wasn’t so much their fault as that of the game-master (er … me) who let the French fusilier battalions come into the battle far too soon, and thus prevented the latter stages of the scenario from playing out. However, it was our first time, so lesson learned!




Scenario Notes

Based almost entirely on the scenario Fondler’s Colonel in The Compleat Fondler scenario book by the Too Fat Lardies.


“I see, Captain Fondwer, that you and your men weah the uniform of the Wifles. Is there a weason why you do not wish to be a pawt of my wegiment?”

Whatever Captain Richard Fondler had expected of the newly appointed colonel of the 1st Battalion of the South-East Essex, Sir Henry Grabbe-Goullies was not it. After three years fighting in Portugal the British Army had weeded out most of the stuffed-shirts amongst its commanders; they either learnt to fight or had been replaced. But the Army must’ve missed Sir Henry.

“No, sir.” Fondler fixed his eyes on an imaginary mark some six inches above the colonel’s head. “I am proud to command the light company of the South-East Essex, but I and my men are also proud to be riflemen, and we continue to wear this uniform as a mark of that.”

The colonel paused, his knuckles turning white as he fought to control his anger. “I must say, Captain, that I disappwove of your attire and, sir, of your wifles. Why, you’ve even got some Portugwese with your wiflemen! I am a fiwm bewiever in discipwine. My expewiences in the Miwitia have taught me that a unit that has dissipwine fights well. Your wiflemen and Portugwese do not have dissipwine!”

Sir Henry paused to wipe the spittle from his chin. “It is my intention to wemove your wifles and weplace them with muskets so that your men may line up with the west and fight as men!”

The colonel paused and stared at the rifleman before him. He had heard much of Captain Fondler, and none of it he liked. Now he could see that the rifleman was fighting to control his anger, confirming Sir Henry’s suspicions that Fondler would not be a good man in battle, would not have the clear head and cold heart needed for command; traits that Sir Henry had, he was sure, in abundance. He stroked his moustaches and allowed his lip to curl into what was both a sneer and a smile of victory. Order would be maintained.

CRASH! The door did not so much open as erupt, and a large man with a mop of unruly red hair wearing the uniform of a major of engineers flooded into the room. “Top o’ the mornin’ to you!” the newcomer bellowed.

Major Michael O’Stereotype was well known to Fondler; as well as being a major of engineers, he was one of Sir Arthur Wellesley’s exploring officers, roaming through the Peninsula in an attempt to discover information that would harm the Corsican Tyrant and assist the cause of His Britannic Majesty King George.

“Tis a fine day to be meeting yourself, Colonel.” The big man had turned to address Sir Henry. “I am havin’ your orders from Sir Arthur with me here, to be sure. Gather round this map and I’ll tell all.”

Sir Henry was aghast. He had been told to expect the major, and knew that the man was one of Sir Arthur’s most trusted confidants. It seemed clear, however, that the army in the Peninsula had lost all sense of discipline and propriety. First a guttersnipe who had been promoted to a captain, and now this bog-trotting buffoon!

The buffoon spoke, and Sir Henry had the distinct feeling that Sir Arthur’s orders were being conveyed to Captain Fondler rather than himself.

“You’ll loike this, Dick, it’s a cracker! One of our main agents in Spain is the beautiful aristocratic Marquesa de Una Paloma Blanca, the wife of the suitably absent Marques who happens to be many thousands of miles away in South America, and is probably impotent anyway. Now, the Marquesa has, through her incredible beauty, sophistication and not entirely appropriate behaviour for a married woman, penetrated the French intelligence network headed by Colonel Laroux of the Imperial Guard, a truly evil man whose sadism knows no bounds – oh, I forget Dick, you and he have already met.”

Fondler looked grim. He and Laroux had indeed met, and on several occasions the rifleman had been instrumental in foiling Laroux’s dastardly plans. In an act of revenge that he now felt he may come to regret, he had smashed the Frenchman’s false teeth.

“Well, the Marquesa has been unmasked,” the big Irishman continued. “It seems that she was caught whilst getting her hands on a list of French spies in Lisbon and only just escaped with her life. In a desperate act the Marquesa made contact with one of Spain’s most notable guerrilla leaders, El Cascanueces. He is escorting her to the Monastery of Madre de Deus, where Abbott Costello, one of our agents, will protect her until we can arrive.

“The monastery is two days from here. Dick, I need you to deliver a consignment of gold and powder to El Cascanueces. I fear that he is an untrustworthy ally, little more than a bandit in fact, and we need a gift to ensure he fulfils his part of the deal. Ten thousand guineas in gold should do that.” He looked across the map at the two faces, grinned and reached towards the colonel’s brandy decanter. “Now, let’s drink to your success, Dick!”

The colonel spoke first. “Hold with that bottle, sir! You pwopose, Major, to send Captain Fondwer to undertake a mission of such import?”

“I do, Colonel, and what is more, I know that he will not let me down.”

Sir Henry spluttered in amazement. “You, Major, may be pwepared to leave matters such as this in Fondwer’s hands. I am not. I can see now that life on campaign has been too fwee and easy these past years, and that a lack of discipwine permeates nearly all stwata of our army. Order must pwevail!”

The engineer’s expression had changed, his drink now forgotten. “Colonel, I will not release the consignment of gold and powder to any man other than Captain Fondler. These are my orders from Sir Arthur himself.”

In the ensuing silence Fondler could almost hear Sir Henry’s brain at work, his discomfort and anger as clear as Fondler’s had been earlier in the conversation. Then the colonel spoke.

“Vewy well. Captain Fondwer and his wiflemen may escort the gold, but it is my intention to lead this wescue mission, and fwom that you may not divewt me, Major. The Captain may guard your pwecious wagon. I think, however, that you will find that it is my wedcoats and their muskets who do the gweatest service.”

The colonel turned to the rifleman. “Captain Fondwer, be weady to march at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning.” Then, secure in the knowledge that he had out-manoeuvred both the captain and the major, he dismissed them from his presence.

O’Stereotype and Fondler walked together across the main square. “Mary, Mother of God,” the Irishman blasphemed, “you’ve got your work cut out with that eejit, so you do. You take care, Dick. Laroux has his men combing the mountains looking for the Marquesa. I can only pray that you get to her in time. Between you and me vital information is haemorrhaging out of Lisbon all the time and things look bleak for old Nosey. The sooner we get a list of Laroux’s agents the better things will be.”

Fondler’s face was troubled. “Aye Mick. If we fail we shall die at the hands of Laroux. If we succeed Sir Henry will claim a victory for the musket and we shall lose our rifles and, most likely, our green jackets too.”

British big men

Collated cards



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