A few of my favorite projects

As Quetzacoatl Rampant begins to wind down, I’ve already started looking at some of many unfinished projects and what to work on next.  I’ve promised myself I won’t start anything new until at least next summer. My copy of The Men Who Would Be King, the next installment by Lion Rampant creator Daniel Mersey, arrived from Amazon yesterday.  I’m pretty sold on the Sudan Campaigns with all the various elements from Hicks to Kitchener, maybe even Tel-el-Kebir.

Another project, probably need like a hole-in-the-head.  I’ve done started lots of projects.  Parted with many of them too. 15mm WWII-couple of them-gone, sold them both. 15mm ACW, gave them a good home to an old friend. 15mm WRG Ancients and Renaissance-parted with decades ago. I only have a couple of 15mm projects anymore.  I have 30+ DBA armies I haven’t played with in years, plus a few unpainted for good measure. There is my 15mm Spanish Civil War army I’d like to rebase and perhaps play Osprey’s A World Aflame. I also have a bucket of 15mm fantasy figures I always intended to make into a Middle-Earth campaign built around the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

But my heart is really set in my 28mm projects.  I have more than I wish to name.  All of them have importance to me, and together with various air and naval projects will be what keeps me in the hobby until I can no longer see well enough to paint.

Even so, I have some favorites that are finished or nearly so, sort of. Maybe. Here are six in no particular order:


In 2011 I was utterly consumed by the Hundred Years War.  Today I only have an unhealthy obsession. While reading and painting anything I could get my hands on, I decided I ignored the naval aspects of the conflict and needed to do something about it.  After all there were the naval battles at Winchelsea and La Rochelle, and the decisive engagement at Sluys. I set out to acquire some very nice cog miniatures available from Outpost games.  Unfortunately they were about 3.5 pounds apiece, and needing about 80 or more ships began to consider a better way.

I decided to build them myself.  In the winter and spring of 2011 I did exactly that. I set up a cog shipyard, building nearly 100 ships.  I also built a half dozen galleys and all the terrain for the scenario.  British author David Manley graciously provided me with a beta copy of his medieval naval rules, and I was off to the races.  It was a wonderful accomplishment.  We playtested it once, ran it at Enfilade, and used the ships in a medieval naval campaign at Dave Schueler’s house for his annual naval games.  Just got to get those babies out some more.

It is a completed project that was all my own work.  Perhaps my proudest moment in the hobby.

Lewis and Clark and the Great Spanish-American War 1797-1810

No, there really wasn’t a Spanish American War 1797-1810.  But there could have been.  This project came about because I had another unhealthy obsession, the Lewis and Clark expedition from about 1997-2010.  After some reading Donald Jackson’s Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and running across the authorization of a Spanish force to arrest Captain Lewis and his followers, I decided there was a game in it. I tried it with mixed success at Enfilade and Drumbeat.

But the project really grew further reading about the Burr Conspiracy, the treason of General James Wilkinson, and some additional stuff about the Spanish frontier in America.  The country was so close to war with Spain before and after the purchase of Louisiana Territory, why not put together some forces for a hypothetical conflict.  I put together some Chickasaw allies for Spain, hundreds of militia for the Americans, and regulars for both sides. I also added some home built terrain.  The crowning glory was the game based on the Burr Conspiracy I hosted at Enflade in 2013.  It was simply the most interesting game I’ve ever run.

I have about 200 Indians, Spanish and Americans left to paint for this period.  I should probably just get ’em done.  Don’t see adding to it, though.

Any project with Daveshoe

I am blessed with some really wonderful friends.  Almost all of them are gamers of one stripe or another.  But our friendships go deeper than the gaming table. Dave Schueler is one of those guys. Whether we are talking games, baseball, politics or life in general, Dave is someone I want to grab a beer and hang out with.

We’ve done projects together for Enfilade at least the last ten years, and all of them have been memorable.  Dave is so much better at designing games than anybody I know.  If I have a harebrained idea, he can usually build a game around it that is balanced with intriguing options for both sides.  He is amazing.  And when I say projects together, I’m mostly the painting mule, because that’s what I’m good at-though Dave does his share and more.

The Channel Dash, the air attack on the Tripitz, a naval action in the Straits of Hormuz, hydroplane and air racing, these are some of the projects Dave and I have worked on together.  My favorite, however, is the 1942 Raid on St. Nazaire we hosted at Enfilade 2014.  We discussed it for years, usually over beers at the Elliott Bay Brewery in conversations that began, “Ya know, we outta . . .” The result-I became very familiar with the shade of paint known as Mountbatten Pink, and the game won best raid-themed game at the convention.

One last thing, Dave is always there to help me run games at the convention.  He always knows what I’ve got going on, and helps gamers walk through my crazy schemes.  He was there for the Burr Conspiracy game, a diplomacy/miniatures game which only allowed written diplomatic communications.  He helped out David Sullivan and I with our Fort Pickens game last year, an attempt at a convention style Ironclads game with simplified fort rules. Both went surprisingly well, but chiefly because we had extra hands.

We haven’t discussed plans for 2017, but I’m sure we will.  I think I have one more slot open. Maybe we should re-run an oldie but goody. There are so many to choose from. Nothing left to paint at the present time, except a dozen hydroplanes.  But there could be . . .

Mars and the Red Captains

I don’t know how many years ago it was, maybe as many as twenty, Mark Waddington and I began talking about our unpainted collection of RAFM figures for Frank Chadwick’s Space 1889 Soldier’s Companion Rules.  About ten years ago, or maybe longer, we agreed to get after it and turn it into a game.  All it took was a partner to really get me going.  I painted all my minis and got them ready to play.  But Mark was the true evil genius.  All I can do is paint, but Mark made the toys and caught the eyes not only of gamers, but of Frank Chadwick himself.  Museum quality air ships, steam tanks, earth-boring vehicles all magically appeared at his finger tips like so many shiny quarters

We were hosting games at Dragonflight, ConQuest, and Enfilade and regularly attracting crowds.  Games of 18 or 20 or more gamers would show up at our tables begging to play, with the two of us running games-we couldn’t swat ’em away. The game at Enfilade, however long ago, had 22 players, four GM’s and is the only non-historical game to win Best in Show.

But more than that, the Martian games really created a cottage industry of mostly South Sound gamers who wanted in on the fun.  We hosted regular games supported by guys who were quietly, but rapidly amassing their own RAFM, Parroom Station.  Venusians, Martians, European allies, various mechanicals, even Gene Anderson’s efforts to do the 1/1200 Sky Galleons of Mars in 28mm are all by-products of this project.  All the interested parties called ourselves “The Red Captains” for those non Martians seeking fame and fortune on the Red Planet.

Though our ardor has cooled a bit over the past few years, the interest never dies. Gene’s work was the last big thing, until our efforts to put together gunboat rules for the Canals this summer.  Still a project I’m proud to be a part of. Almost all of my stuff is painted.  About 40 figures of flying Martians left to complete, and a unit of steam-powered mechanical horse.  Less than 50 figures in all.


You almost have to be a native Northwesterner to understand my passion for this racing game.  It grew out of an air racing game designed post-9/11 when we were looking for a non-lethal game to run at The Museum of Flight. It morphed into hydroplane racing while a group of us were sitting around one Sunday afternoon at Enfilade, waiting patiently for the crowds to disperse.

Dave Schueler designed the game around a simple series of choices gamers could make constructing their hydroplane and driver, and in-game choices driven by probability as the game progressed.  I love running it.  I love playing it.  But most of all I love painting boats and promoting it to others. We’ve been fortunate to see the game played in other places, including the U.K., learned of through blog posts and other ‘net sources.

I really want to run a game at Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Museum in Kent.  I’d paint pretty much any boat I can.  I have twelve unpainted boats at the moment, including classic ’50’s and 60’s boats and the 70’s pickleforks.

The Hundred Years War

I’ve gone through various phases with the HYW.  I am completely fascinated with the history.  Every time there is a new book available I snap it up.  It is interesting, it is complex, and it has constantly evolving scholarship.  More than any other period, I am completely hooked.

That said, I’ve been working away on figures for this period for a decade or more.  By far, I have more figures for the Hundred Years War than any other period–probably 600 painted figures, with maybe another 400 unpainted. I started with semi-skirmish, looking for rules that would allow me to do some hundreds of small actions of the period.  I cobbled together a homegrown set of rules called Arrowstorm, mostly inspired by Arte Conliffe’s Tactica Medieval Siege rules. But then Lion Rampant happened, and I was completely sold on those rules with their ease of play and interesting quirky randomness.

But my real desire is to build, not only my semi-skirmish, singly mounted, armies, but armies for large scale battles.  My dream is to do Poitiers, 1356.  I have a fair number of multi-figure based units, but lots more are needed.  I also need a set of rules I’m comfortable with that take into consideration the uniqueness of the period. Medieval combat mostly gets rolled into ancients rules that mash everything together and decide that Mauryan Indian longbows that fought against Alexander the Great at the Hydaspes and 14th Cenury English bows are the same,  and had the same tactical use. I think that’s stupid and lazy. So I’ll probably end up doing something on my own. I’ve run a sample example using a Fire and Fury engine.  It didn’t work well first time out of the box–another game Daveshoe helped me with.  I’d like to try it again.

Literally hundreds of figures left to paint, and I can see myself acquiring more of the Perry plastics that are recently released.

There are lots more projects I didn’t write about-American Revolution, Maxmillian in Mexico, ACW Naval, air and coastal gaming.  I love them all, but I’ve already blathered on too long.


Bins of stuff that needs paint 




Henry V’s Navy: Review


This is one of the naval history books I snagged a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and I confess a certain degree of initial disappointment at the book’s slim profile.  There are only 157 pages of text.  But my initial sorrow was quickly set aside once I began reading.

Ian Friel’s study of King Harry’s fleet focuses on the Royal Navy, those ships built, purchased, or captured for the king. Like many historians of this period, Friel struggles a bit to share what can be known and what must be surmised based on the evidence.

But what Friel is able to share is extremely valuable to understanding the importance of controlling the sea lanes to projecting  English power into France during the Hundred Years War

Friel does a great job of helping the reader understand, creating a common language to use when discussing the naval war between England and France in the early 15th century.  He limits his discussion largely to the Royal Navy, the king’s navy, or those ships purchased, built or captured and a part of Henry’s fleet as opposed to the many vessels and crews, privately owned, “arrested” and put into service as fighting vessels or transports for the king’s army.  He also carefully explains the classes of ships: great ships or carracks, ships such as cogs, and then oared vessels, barges and ballingers that all had important roles in King Henry’s navy. Friel goes on to explain further amount typical crews and likely armament for many ships.

Only after the reader has reached an understanding of Henry’s Navy, does Friel attempt to report the important naval combats accompanying the invasion of 1415 that led to the siege of Harfleur, and subsequently the battle at Agincourt.  He also recounts the Normandy campaign of 1417, the Battle of La Chef De Caux, off the Seine estuary.  Friel emphasizes the importance of the navy in its seakeeping role-ensuring the sea lanes were free of French ships, and just as importantly those belonging to their allies, the Castilians and Genoese. Finally, he includes the role of the navy in the siege of Rouen.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end.  The navy, a costly arm of royal power went in to decline as ships could not be maintained, rotted and simply sank in port. In most respects the story of Henry V’s navy is a mirror of the Hundred Years War, enjoying great success, but always costing more than England can afford, and silenced when resources became scarce.

My chief revelation from Henry V’s Navy is the important role oared vessels played in the royal fleet. Though these vessels were small with relatively small numbers of armed men, they played an important role in scouting and seakeeping. I had always believed oared vessels to chiefly a feature of Castilian and Genoese fleets, but clearly I was mistaken.  Gonna need to add some oared vessels to my cog fleets.

This is a very enjoyable, highly accessible book, and if you have an interest in the Hundred Years War and hope to understand the important naval aspect of Henry V’s campaigns, it is well worth your time and money.

What’s on my painting table. 

Well, this is pitiful.  I haven’t finished anything recently.  I’ve been stuck at school a lot.  But I did start working on the Miss Rock KISW hydroplane from 1983.Nearly done, need a bit more yellow trim on the numerals, some touch-up and varnishing. A simple color scheme, but I really like it.


I’ve made slight progress on my Riders of Rohan, but it is something.  The riders are now mounted on their horses, and I’ve made some progress on the two bowmen.


Music to paint by

I’ve written about my love of Blue Oyster Cult.  I went to see them for the second time at the Emerald Queen Casino on Saturday night with some friends from work.  I wrote a review of the show here.  BOC comes to EQC fairly regularly, and I can’t recommend their show highly enough.  Though Eric Bloom and Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser are the sole remaining original members, the band is incredibly talented, and play with passion and professionalism.  Bloom is a great frontman, and Buck is simply the greatest guitarist I’ve ever seen.  The tickets are cheap for a show these days (we paid $25 for view seats), and even though a concert at the Emerald Queen is liking watching a show in a large high school gym, it was still wonderful.


This Bud’s for me

Though my interest in hydroplane racing  waned by the time I became an adult in the mid-1970’s, Seafair was still an important annual event. By 1975, I moved to California and back and been away from the Northwest racing scene.  When I returned, many of the boats of my youth were long gone–no more Miss Bardahl, the Gale boats were gone, and so was my interest in following the sport.  I lived in the Bay area for five years and my interests were the Giants and A’s, the 49ers and Raiders, and that team that played basketball in the Seattle Center Coliseum–those Sonic guys.

Even so, as Seafair approached each summer, I’d catch the buzz and find a boat to root for.  One boat I never rooted for was Bernie Little’s Miss Budweiser. By the mid 1970’s the Budweiser had gone from something of a joke in the mid 60’s, a regular finisher, but not a winner, and developed into a powerhouse. Little’s gold, and later red hydros went on to dominate the sport for decades, though there would be intervals when a new team seemed to surprise him with a new design or new technology.

I hated the Budweiser team.  They were like Tom Landry’s Dallas Cowboys and George Steinbrenner’s New York Yankees.  They had money, they could build the fastest boats and hire the best drivers, and I hated them for it. Between 1969-2004, a period of 35 years, the Budweiser team won 16 Gold Cups and dominated the APBA high points standing, winning 24 times.

1973 was a big year for the beer boat. Purchased from the the Pay and Pak team, it featured the picklefork hull design, though it had not yet placed the driving compartment in front of the engine, “cab forward,” and it retained the traditional fighter plane tail. It continued with its striking, but familiar color scheme of gold, white and red.  Though it was fast, and was driven by the extremely talented Dean Chenoweth, it would barely lose the APBA high points championship to the radically re-designed Pay n Pak boat, “the Winged Wonder.”

One of Shawn McEvoy’s designs simply is that 1973 Budweiser boat.  Because my knowledge of the 1970-81 period is so limited I’ve had to do a lot of searches for usable boat paint schemes, but when I finally spied the 1973 Bud, it was clear I had to do it whether I like it or not.  And let’s face it, from an aesthetic standpoint, what’s not to like? The gold decking together with the white canopy and engine compartment, together with red and white striping make a striking contrast.


1973 Miss Budweiser is painted Vallejo Old Gold, Vallejo Foundation White, and Vallejo Flat Red

I painted the boat hull Vallejo Old Gold.  The regular gold color was simply too bright, and this is the correct shade.  I also used Vallejo Flat Red for the striping, though I used the somewhat browner Skorne Red by Formula P3 for the red A in the Anheuser Busch logo. I got a bit adventuresome outlining the numbers and lettering on the boat hull.  Always a challenge, but I felt it needed the contrast.


The washer is about quarter sized.  Just to give you an idea of what I’m working with.

I’ve identified the other boats I’m going to do for Enfilade.  They will be Miss Pay n’Pak 1974, Miss Atlas Van Lines 1976, and The KISW radio boat, Miss Rock 1983.  I’m not sure how quickly I’ll get them done, but they are needed for Enfilade, so time’s a wastin’

On my painting table.

Those same six Rohan cavalrymen are staring at me from my painting table.  The horses are done, but I haven’t progressed much since I last posted about them.  I’m hoping to have them finished by my next post.


The horsies are done. I just need to get my act together and finish the riders.

Music to paint by

I collect album covers by Hipgnosis, the graphic arts company featuring the photographic art of Storm Torgerson and Aubrey Powell.  They did tons of interesting covers for Led Zeppelin, 10 CC, The Alan Parsons Project, Pink Floyd and a host of less well-known bands.


I picked up a few records cheap by Wishbone Ash, a British rock band featuring many Hipgnosis covers.  I finally got around to listening to Pilgrimage, their 1971 second album.  It was a fascinating record.  Reviewed as progressive rock, I’m not sure I quite agree. It’s more blues-based guitar rock, with a very avant garde feel.

The first song, “Vas Dis” opens with an intensely picked guitar, strong rhythm lines, and a vocal track that basically sings scat.The album is dotted with interesting instrumental pieces.  Really great stuff. Very progressive, with jazz overtones. I have a couple more albums by Wishbone Ash and really need to give them a listen.


Defending Pensacola

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Front view of the Bay Area Fort Jackson star fort. The miniature is pretty good sized, with the interior sans bastions about six inches across.

I’ve blathered on about my plans for Enfilade and my Ironclads game.  Well, I’m prepared to reveal just a little bit more.  I’m thinking a Sunday game, if that works for my partner David. Sunday is a good time, though it often excludes Canadian attendees.  If David is selling stuff at the B and B, he has incentive to be there on Sunday.

Our game is a hypothetical action in late 1864.  Admiral Farragut’s attack on Confederate defenses in August 1864 are disrupted by a Katrina-like event that severely damages many vessels in the Gulf Squadron as they lay at anchor at the mouth of the Mississippi. With Farragut unable to act, Confederate admiral Franklin Buchanan takes the matter into his own hands and launches an assault on the outer defenses of Pensacola with vessels from the Mobile defense forces, and meets some of those nasty ships abuilding in British yards, led by Confederate Commodore Raphael Semmes.

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Another look at the miniature. It was a true pleasure to assemble and paint, but unfortunately it’s no longer available.

Pensacola was occupied by Confederate forces April 1861-May 1862.  They took control of Forts McRee and Barrancas that provided two angles of the “triangle of fire” controlling the ship channel into the city. They also laid siege to and tried unsuccessfully to capture Fort Pickens, the great star fort on Santa Rosa Island. McRee was shelled mercilessly by Pickens and the Federal sloops Niagara and Richmond in September 1861. When the Confederates evacuated Pensacola in spring of 1862, they destroyed what was left of McRee’s defenses, and it’s unclear what happened at Barrancas. Pensacola’s fortifications went largely unimproved as it became a backwater, an ignored enclave in Confederate Florida, the action moving on to Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia

One of the stars of the scenario will be Fort Pickens, the 1830’s era star fort that anchored the defense of the ship entrance to Pensacola Bay.  In my previous entry I shared a photo of the Bay Area Yards model of Fort Jackson, which has to be a reasonable substitute for Pickens.  First let me just say it’s a beautiful miniature.  Steven Taylor and Dave Brandon have my salute, because there’s nothing about it I found to be a problem.  Well-cast in resin, I think I found one small inconsequential bubble. Unfortunately, a limited number of these babies, together with Fort St. Philip, were cast and are no longer available.

I’ve never been to Fort Jackson or Fort Pickens, but I have been to Fort Pulaski in Savannah.  Though Pulaski is pentagonal like Fort Sumter, rather than a classic star, I was struck by the beautiful brick work, like Jackson.  I painted the brick areas, the exterior and interior walls, the ground colonnades Vallejo cavalry brown.  I dry brushed it with Ceramcoat Trail Tan, and then washed it with Vallejo brown wash.  Same with the interior citadel. I decided on Vallejo neutral gray for the horizontal surfaces and then dry-brushed with Ceramcoat light gray.  The citadel roof was painted Ceramcoat charcoal and again dry brushed with light gray.

The model comes with a passel of guns for the fort, and if I made a mistake in my painting choices, it was with the guns. I painted them the same neutral gray and should have painted them any other color.  I also glued them to the fort before painting–another “doh!” moment. I found the model required lots of handling, so I made sure to dull-coat it multiple times along the way.  Really a pleasure to build and paint with some very moderate challenges. I really like it. IF THERE IS ANYONE OUT THERE READING THIS WHO HAS THE FORT ST. PHILIP MODEL AND DOESN’T THINK THEY’LL EVER BUILD IT, PLEASE CONTACT ME.  I’D LOVE TO TAKE IT OFF YOUR HANDS.

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Rear view of the Bay mortar battery and brick water battery.

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Another sizable model, the Bay Battery Buchanan miniature is quite nice. My friend, Al Rivers painted it for me. Thanks Al.

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This is my tub o’ land based leavin’s. It includes fortfications, buildings and one must have a Martello Tower-always. No, really.

I completed a few more Bay pieces.  They may or may not make it into our game.  A few years ago, my friend Al gave me a miniature of Battery Buchanan that was part of the Fort Fisher defenses of the Cape Fear River. Al did a super nice job with it, and all it needed was armament.  Thankfully I had plenty of surplus guns.  In addition I had the Bay brick water battery and a seacoast mortar battery and I wrapped those up too.  There going to have to be more landbased pieces acquired, probably both from Thoroughbred and from Bay Area Yards.

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Weisfield’s Jewelers. There are countless things I would do differently with this miniature. Too many to list here.

Last on my list of finished pieces was another picklefork hyroplane, the Weisfield’s Jewelers from 1974-5.  It’s unique tail simply had me.  Not an easy miniature to paint with all the lining required. Still, it’s always fun to paint these miniatures, though I confess I don’t quite have the same attachment to the later boats I do to the 50’s and 60’s boats.

What’s on my painting table?

Well, with the fortifications done I can spend all my time working on the dismounted men-at-arms I started working on a while ago. Still a ways to go, but I’m hoping to have them finished by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.  Why?  Well, because I just received to Thoroughbred ships in the mail.  I bought the T-Bred Gaines.  The Gaines was a small, but well-armed gunboat that served on Mobile Bay together with her sister ship Morgan, and the Selma.  They became consorts to the ironclad Tennessee. They look nice, and they should be fun to build and paint.

Music to paint by. 

David GilmourYesterday I picked up a vinyl copy of the first solo album by David Gilmour.  Gilmour is the lead guitarist and sometime vocalist for Pink Floyd.  His first solo record was released in 1978.  I bought it after hearing “There’s No Way Out of Here” on the radio when the album was released.  I had a 1974 Ford Pinto and I installed an eight track player in it.  Gilmour’s album was one of my first eight track purchases. The album is more accessible than Pink Floyd’s Animals, which was released at the same time.  The songs are reflective, wistful and generally, a very pleasant listen.  This record also has a Hipgnosis cover, which made it a must-have for my collection.




I was gone, but now I’m back.

So, it’s been about a month since my last post.  The last time I wrote I was discussing Enfilade.  In that intervening time, I was wrapping up school, finishing the last issue of JagWire and getting ready for my prostate surgery.

Well, all that’s come and gone.  Surgery was last week and pathology report shows I am cancer-free, so that’s good news.  I’m in a recovery mode right now, which means I need lots of rest.  I am physically incapable of playing a game at the moment, though things are in the works to start playing the weekend of  July 19th.

Even so, I’ve been trying to paint a little bit.  Mostly I’m painting for fun.  I’ve got some hydroplanes I’m working  on.  I finished the 1959/60 version of Miss Burien, a local favorite.  It’s denoted by the big swoosh like decor on the tail and the deep red cowing and engine decking.  I also decided to paint myself the Hawaii Kai.  The Kai was one of the very few pink hydroplanes during racing’s Golden Age. I painted one for Dave Demick years ago, but I decided I needed one of my own.  The other boat I have on the painting blocks is the Miss Bardahl from 1968, “The Checkerboard Comet.”  It is in fact painted a creamy yellow with black checks everywhere.  It seems like a really big headache, but I thought I would at least try.  It’s one of Shawn McEvoy’s new hulls.  I think I’m actually going to pencil grid out the design as best I can.  I’ve finished one other boat, a second fantasy hydro, the JagWire, in honor of the school paper and all my students who have worked so hard on it.  It’s in ERHS school colors, with our flag on the hull.  It’s green and black with a jaguar paw on the tail.  I like it.  You may think it’s a bit much.

Hawaii Kai was quite a fast boat in the late 1950's and early 60's.  I painted this for my friend David, but noticed I had no pink boats in my inventory

Hawaii Kai was quite a fast boat in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. I painted this for my friend David, but noticed I had no pink boats in my inventory

I painted JagWire for my school and in honor of our paper.  I tried to emulate our flag with it's brackets and Helvetica font.

I painted JagWire for my school and in honor of our paper. I tried to emulate our flag with it’s brackets and Helvetica font.

Miss Burien was a local favorite, though I don't remember it having a lot of success.  This is the 1959/60 version of the boat.

Miss Burien was a local favorite, though I don’t remember it having a lot of success. This is the 1959/60 version of the boat.


I’m also working on some ACW ships I’ve had for a few years, but really need some paint. I finished painting and rigging an armed sailing sloop.  It may be a Bay model, but it looks kind of Thoroughbredish.  I also have a sailing merchantman by Bay as well as the Confederate river ram, Webb.  From Thoroughbred I’ll be working on the river monitor Neosho, as well as Toby’s truly awesome Benton. They’ll be fun and relatively easy to paint thought I’m hoping to put some rigging touches on all of them.


Pretty sure this little sloop is a Bay Area Yards miniature.  I have another three or four ships I plan to paint and rig this month.

Pretty sure this little sloop is a Bay Area Yards miniature. I have another three or four ships I plan to paint and rig this month.


Racing at Enfilade

Gee Bee Z leads Gee Bee Y in the early stages of Golden Age Air Racing on Saturday night

Gee Bee Z leads Gee Bee Y in the early stages of Golden Age Air Racing on Saturday night

I ran a pair of racing games at Enfilade. Friday night I pulled out the inaugural race for my Shapeways planes.  Saturday night I hauled out the hydros for a Thunderboats! game. Both were quite fun, and I have lots to share about both.

I run Golden Age Air Racing at the Museum of Flight each year, so my planes are often out where the public sees them.  However, I don’t often bring them to Enfilade.  It requires three large tubs to hault the 1/48th planes around, and I often have a carful of other stuff to bring to the convention, so they’re easily left at home.  Not so much the 1/144th planes.  Just a single tub for the pylons, and a smallish plastic box for the planes.

I made space for seven racers and with 12 planes let everyone make their choices.  Some were veterans, like Doug, Arthur, and John, while others were noobs, like Jeff and Owen. For some the race started off with a bang, as racers went full throttle at every opportunity, while others pushed every corner.  Others took a little time to get oriented.  By the end, however, everyone was madly screaming for the finish line.  Jeff Condon won the race on the final turn, and I doubt he’ll ever miss any race ever again.  Odd fact–Bruce Harborne suffered an engine stall on the second turn in all three laps.  That’s a tough way to win.

With the race over on Friday night, I decided to enter the three Gee Bees in the painting competition, and they won in the aircraft category.  That they had no competition means little to me.

Saturday was the Thunderboats! night.  There was some buzz about the boat race.  I’d run into Sean the night before and he told me he had some new boat miniatures he’d brought to the convention.  Picklefork hulls from the 70’s and 80’s, but still pre-turbines. He showed them to me, and they were absolutely beautiful miniatures.  I promised to buy six of the boats on race night.  I made sure Sean got into the event.

Chris's Tahoe Miss passes Jeff's Miss Wahoo, while John's Miss Bardahl follows closely.

Chris’s Tahoe Miss passes Jeff’s Miss Wahoo, while Nick’s Miss Madison follows closely.

When the event arrived, it was filled mostly with those who hadn’t raced before, including Jeff, Nick and Darcy.  But there were some cunning veterans like Chris, Sean and John too.  I had a feeling it could get wild.  And it did as Henry Sr. and Henry Jr. burst into the lead.  Both Henrys lit up their nitrous bottles early and took an early lead as Junior promptly set himself on fire. He put it out quickly, but both busted quill shafts early and fell out of the race.  John was driven out with a bad hull bounce.  After a rocky start, Chris eventually took a lead he would not relinquish, but barely edged out Nick who had a stupendous finish.  A late stalled engine put Jeff out of the running and Sean and Darcy battled to finish.  All agreed the game was a lot of fun, and that’s all we can ask.

I’ve pledged more games for the near future.