Welcome to "Adventures in Lead", a blog dedicated to the hobby of miniature wargaming. The figures and terrain on this site are mainly for a campaign set in exotic "Indostan", a distant land bearing remarkable similarities to 18th century India during the Seven Years War. Bits and pieces from other projects may pop up here as well from time to time, including colonials, gladiators, pirates, dinosaur-hunting and even some RPG'ing.
The actual campaign journal and after action reports for the Indostan campaign can be found on their own blog - "Indostan: The Jewel in the Crown", the link to which is found by clicking the small image below-left.
If you do find anything remotely interesting on this blog please leave a comment, it's what keeps these sites going and their authors motivated - Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Making Lance Pennants

After deciding to give my noble Indostani cavalry some lance pennants I starting looking for easy and inexpensive way to create them. The general consensus is to use the foil from a flattened out toothpaste or food product tube. I've had a hell of a time sourcing any of this type of stuff, but I have found an alternative source of strong malleable foil that is found under the lids of malt type energy drinks (like Milo in Australia) and baby formulas. These foil seals can be removed, flattened out and easily cut to an appropriate shape. Attach with super glue and bend to shape with a thin tube. (Click the images to enlarge)

The foil pennant in action.
The foil in its "natural form".

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Photography blues...

One of the most challenging aspects of this hobby involves another entirely separate hobby in itself - photography. Having very little skill with a camera I can sometimes struggle to get a decent photo at all. While on the other hand, when I'm really not trying, I often get lucky.
The type of camera of course has a vast influence over the results. I have a few different cameras to choose from, but all are very simple, relatively cheap affairs and they can all produce different results, some good and some not so good. Even the cheapest and oldest model I have has managed to give me some good shots over the years.
Lately I have been using a Kodak EasyShare Z1085 IS, which is supposed to be pretty idiot proof. Guess they never had me in mind during the design process. This camera has a Smart Capture feature that assists by adjusting the settings to suit the environment. Now this is where I can run into problems.
As mentioned previously on this post, I have wrestled with the age old question of "to flash or not to flash" before. Most folks in the know agreed that for the best results in taking photos of miniatures, a flash should not be used. So not wanting to become a trendsetter, I try to conform to the status quo and turn off the flash, secure in the knowledge that more skillful people have paved the way.
Alas, turning of the flash often gives me less than good results. Take for example my last post where I showed some Foundry gladiators I had recently finished. The photos I think are pretty poor, and really don't show the miniatures in their "best light". They appear muted and washed out. While taking these photos, ashamedly, I really tried hard to get some good pictures. I set them up under a very good light source, set the camera on a tripod, turned off the flash and gave them a quick doctor in Photoshop. All that work for some substandard pictures.
Mulling over it all, I grabbed the camera this morning in an effort to see if I could work this thing out and snapped away at some minis on my desk. The shots I produced are shown below. They were taken in all natural light with the flash on. I think you'll agree they are of a better standard than what I produced the other day and with no effort at all. In a state of total confusion - I give up! (Click the images to enlarge)
A quick snap in natural light with the flash off.
Now with the flash on.
Same conditions with the addition of the white background.

Friday, October 7, 2011

More Foundry Gladiators

Here are some of my latest additions to the arena - all from Foundry. (Click the images to enlarge)

A barbarian Dimachaerus.
A Myrmillo with a face mask.
Another Myrmillo.

A dwarf Retiarius.

A dark skinned Thracian.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Genuine Indostani Rug Sale!!

I have compiled a small sample, for your viewing pleasure, of my genuine 28mm scaled Indostani rugs, that will be on sale for a very short time. This over stocked, half priced, closing down, clearance, end of financial year, camel soiled, sale will not be repeated and at these prices my stocks can not last! Hurry, hurry, the finest rugs in all of Indostan.
This sheet of rugs can be downloaded, printed on bright inkjet paper, cut out and used to add a more exotic feel to your gaming terrain. Enjoy!! (Click the images to enlarge)

Click the image once to enlarge it, then right click it and select Save Image As... to download.
Chowdri Poomba, the esteemed Indostani war-chieftain, tests each of our rugs personally.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Royal Navy Sailors and Captain

While planning the start of our Indostan campaign, Dave and myself decided that the first scenario will involve some Pirates and the Royal Navy. We already have a handful of sailors and a stack of pirates that belonged to our late mate Rotary. Unfortunately he never really got a chance to game with them himself, so hopefully he can have a chuckle looking down on our little games.
To even out the Royal Navy I painted up some Foundry pirates, that Dave had bought for the very purpose, in royal blue and white. Although during the period there was probably no uniform to speak of, it gives the figures the impression of belonging to a crew. The other sailors are from the Foundry Napoleonic boarding crew, are so out of the time frame completely, but are such nice figures.
The Captain is a ring-in, one of the better figures from the Old Glory European Captains pack. Again there are many typical Old Glory shockers in there that suffer from contortionist like poses, broken swords and pigeon chests, but they are fairly priced at $20 US and can be used for many different purposes.
They were all painted with "house paints" and Army Painter. (Click the images to enlarge)

The Captain and some of his crew.

All aboard a little tender.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Old Glory Pathans

I purchased a bag of Old Glory "Pathan Tribesmen with Muskets and Jezails" a long time ago and they have been kicking around on the lead pile since. I must say that Old Glory is usually a bit hit and miss, but their Pathans are probably some of their finest figures. In saying that they do exhibit a bit of Old Glory "charm".
I have gotten around to prepping most of the 30 figures (that are pretty reasonably priced) and during this process discovered that all the Pathans in a firing stance were missing the right sleeve of their poshteens (Afghan sheepskin coats). This isn't a huge deal, but does pose a problem when painting them, because their robes and their poshteen are different colors and meet at the shoulder. I remedied the problem with a small strip of greenstuff, that will hopefully give the illusion of a sleeve.
Quite a few of the Pathans are kneeling or sitting and these are my least favorite poses. I understand that Pathans would adopt these poses in real life, but kneeling/sitting miniatures can look a little odd, especially when out in the open.
Below are the first two I've done. Painted with "house paints" and Army Painter, they were fairly quick and easy, and for Old Glory don't look too bad at all. (Click the images to enlarge)
Two Pathans walk into a bar.
A Pathan with fashionable greenstuff sleeve.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Some Foundry Gladiators

Here is a small collection of some of my old Foundry gladiators, painted many years ago when our group first got into gladiatorial combat. Some of them have had new bases attached and sand applied.  I've used a touch of Army Painter here and there to refresh my pretty ordinary paint job. The minis have been used off and on for years and have lately seen a revival with my latest renewed interest in arena combat.
In the day, Foundry was the only range with some decent gladiators, but since then Crusader have come out with a very nice set. The Crusader range, in my opinion, tend to be more historically accurate, having done a reasonable amount of research on the subject. I have a large pile of them at the top of the lead mountain. (Click the images to enlarge)

Secutor and Retiarius

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chase's Antagonist

What follows is a dispatch from Captain Charles Chase of the Honorable East Indostan Company to General Sir Richard Hardballs. The report was written by Dave and pictures from the battle can be found below, using the Sharp Practice rules. (Click the images to enlarge)
Dispatch To General Sir Richard N. Hardballs


After receiving my orders to advance into the province of Yoursore to probe the local Indostanis, I soon received intelligence that the Indostani troublemaker Ali Harshit was close by with his newly trained contingent. My Indostani scout, Runoff, informed me that my old foe, had a European adviser, from where we are not sure, but Runoff was adamant that a white man was drilling Harshit's men.
I gave orders that the men would advance on the enemy at first light. The regiment was in fine fiddle, a company of line, commanded by Lt. “Chinstrap” Sutton with Sergeant Nobbs and a half company of grenadiers, commanded by Lt. Smallgoods with Sergeant Uppem.
At Dawn we struck camp and I, mounting my faithful steed, Clag, ordered the men to march towards the camp of
Harshit. Runoff soon returned after his early morning scouting mission to find the enemies camp, with news that the Indostanis were drawn up in battle line and awaiting our advance. I asked if there was any sign of cavalry, as you know the sight of horses makes one very nervous, and Runoff had reported he had seen none.
So I drew my men into battle line placing my grenadiers at the front to act as skirmishes followed a few yards behind by the line infantry. The plan was simple. March up give them a volley and then charge with the bayonet. The grenadiers would push through their lines, allowing the troops to charge through and harry the enemy as he fled. Well it was a good plan....on paper
I was in high spirits, as were the men. The Indostani had deployed in a long line and the battle appeared to be a set piece one with whoever could lay down the bigger volleys would win, the sort of warfare we British are excellently trained for. The enemy had taken a position next to a road, with a thicket of jungle on my right, but open ground in the middle. To the left lay the road with a small rude hut. We would advance straight up the middle and give the Indostanis what for.
Things didn’t go according to plan.
The grenadiers and infantry advanced in fine spirits, the Indostanis itching for a fight, also advanced and through my spyglass I saw Indostanis in faded and dye run jackets of our own sepoys! Deserters! The grenadiers advanced until the jungle thicket was on their extreme right and then from those leafy depths a volley rang out causing the men to halt. The Indostanis had deployed men into the jungle and were now pouring fire on the grenadiers. I ordered Nobbs to take a detachment and clear the jungle. He seemed quite grateful for the job which left me wondering. 
It was then I spied cavalry advancing down the road. My grenadiers also saw them and held their position, for if they did not they would have been caught between the hammer of the cavalry and the anvil of the Indostani fire from the jungle. It was about this time that my men deafened by the firing being poured on them and returning it in good order were oblivious to my orders. Even the drums and fifers were drowned out by the rolling fire from both sides of the field.
The cavalry on our left had stalled our attack and the Indostanis took the advantage. Slowly they advanced and I could see they were starting to form a great crescent around my grenadiers, who were suffering fire on all sides. The only glimmer of hope was on my right where Nobbs had taken his men into the jungle and the sounds of a fierce fight had erupted. Soon Nobbs had successfully forced the Indostanis from the jungle with little losses, however his men were weakened and disorganised after the fight and milled around, quite some distance away.
Meanwhile the cavalry on the left started to advance and the grenadiers were taking serious casualties. A cheer went up from the Indostani line as the grenadiers first retreated and then ran through the lines of the infantry. It was at this point that I had had enough and raising my sword I rode forth with my infantry, taking them into the attack, to teach the Indostani rabble whom their betters were! The line infantry bravely advanced and then opened fire on the Indostani  line. A furious exchange of volleys opened up and soon those dastardly sepoy deserters broke and ran. My men seeing a ray of hope charged, were repulsed and were counter charged and bravely fought off the attack. A desperate melee had broken out.
On the left things were teetering back and forth. The cavalry advanced but were forced back by a hail of shot. However , those infantrymen were soon forced back by shot from the the Indostani line. The cavalry seeing my grenadiers in the rear shaken and unorganised renewed their attack and were soon bearing down on Smallgoods and his men. Bravely the grenadiers faced the charge and even though pushed back took down a few riders. The battered, bleeding and bruised grenadiers charged and after a bloody skirmish saw off the cavalry for good.
Our casualties by this time were great. The dead and dying littered the field. Our lines were in tatters and the Indostani fire and charges had been brutal, but still we stood and faced the enemy. Through the smoke I saw Harshit himself on the back of his horse. He seemed to be having some bother with a tiger that had appeared close by. However he ignored the beast and advanced through his men waving his sword and calling me out.  Amused, for Harshit wasn’t a big man and appeared quite comical astride his horse, I advanced, spurring Clag through my men. Honor is honor.
The men seemed to pause in their fight as Harshit and I trotted out to meet each other, raising my sword in salute I prepared to engage the general of this rabble that had nearly destroyed my force. I wish I could report the duel would go down in the annals of history, however it was extremely brief. What Harshit held in strategic cunning, he defiantly lacked in the art of swordsmanship. He swung his sword at me rather clumsily, grazing my shoulder and leaving a nasty welt, however I deftly flicked my blade and drove it through his stomach. With shock and alarm he looked at me and then slid from his horse.
My men offered up a great cheer, including Nobbs and his men who had appeared out of the jungle onto the field, and seeing their leader fall the Indostanis who could turned and ran. Those who could not surrendered on the spot.
We achieved victory but at such great loss. We are going to have to review our tactics for fighting the Indostani forces, especially those who are trained in our drills. At least my antagonist, the wily Ali Harshit, will no longer trouble the Crown in Indostan.

Your servant
Captain Chase


The Indostani lines.
The layout.
The grenadiers revealed.
The infantrymen form up behind them.
Chase directs the troops.
The ambush!
Sergeant Nobbs moves in to address the hidden threat.
Harshit orders his men forward and...
...they open fire.
Their cavalry show themselves.
The grenadiers respond.
Meanwhile, Nobbs moves through the jungle under fire and...
...charges the enemy...
... pushing them back!
He pushes his advantage and...
...expels them for good.
Still, the grenadiers continue to exchange volleys.
But bringing less muskets to bare...
...suffer under the hail of fire.
The cavalry advances and...
...Chase orders men to counter the threat...
...whos firing sees the horsemen off!
The grenadiers can take no more - they falter and fall back.
Smelling victory, the Indostanis close in.
A terrible exchange ensues...
...that sees heavy losses...
...on both sides.
The cavalry returns to harass the British rear!
And charge the retreating men behind the front lines.
They fail to finish the fleeing grenadiers and must retire with heavy losses.
Chase throws his lot in and gives them the bayonet - CHARGE!!!
A vicious melee is joined.
The British hold, but just!
Ignoring the Indostan tabby, Harshit calls out Chase and...
...the two meet in mortal combat.

Dave and myself played this game on a whim about three weeks ago. We had not tried a stand up fight between the two forces and so it presented a good opportunity to see how they would fare. A lot of the firing was done on the Tiffin card and this proved pretty devastating. There was a lot of Shock given and both sides suffered heavy losses.