Monday, August 31, 2015

New arrivals and adjustments

Firstly, the Litko custom counters I ordered have arrived and I am very pleased with them. I think they'll do the job I want them to do. Now I just need to get the rest of the troops in so I can start building armies.

I finally decided to just cancel the Warweb orders and order direct from I've initiated Paypal messages requesting a cancellation and citing the lack of communication. I have, however, decided to adjust my order in the process. I've dropped a couple of items and added a few more to better suit what I think I want for the final armies.

So the newly modified Old Glory order from is (totals of figures/vehicles, not packs):

Middle Eastern Regulars - 50
Middle Eastern Command - 50
African Irregulars - 100
African Irregular Command - 50
African Pickup Crew with HMG - 4
14.5mm ZPU Truck Mount - 4
Modern Pickups - 6
T-55 - 3
BTR-50 APC - 3
BTR-60A APC - 3
CMP 3 Ton Trucks - 6
AEC Armored Car - 3

Most likely, the army troops will get the tanks while the religious movement gets the armored cars, but we'll see.

I'm going to end up with an over-abundance of options for technicals by the end of this due to my random ordering from different sources instead of carefully planning. I've got a Landrover with RCL and a Jeep with RCL that came that way. But I've also got a total of 7 heavy machine gun vehicle mounts, 8 75mm RCLs, 6 ZPU-1 AA guns, 1 ZPU-4 AA gun, a quad 50cal MG mount, a twin-linked Gatling gun mount, a twin-linked auto-cannon mount, and a small rocket launcher mount. Which comes out to 26 possible weapon mounts (not counting the two pre-mounted RCLs), though some of those may end up as ground mounts too. This is partly due to the fact that several of them are multi-packs, particularly the RCLs that sent me too many in a pack and told me to just keep the extra when I reported it.

Lastly, I got an email from TheSceneUK that my order was complete. So hopefully it either shipped then or will ship by tomorrow.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Warweb Concerns

I finally went hunting on TheMiniaturesPage, and managed to find a number of posts from others having recent trouble getting orders from Warweb. It's very unfortunate. Looks like I'm going to need to just cancel, but I made one last attempt to contact them. If they reply soon, I'll perhaps move forward with them, depending on the status of the orders. If not, I'll cancel them and order direct through as I now wish I had in the first place.

Friday, August 28, 2015

We Get Signal

Today's mail brought the radio tower from Shapeways, extremely carefully packed. I was really impressed with the care taken in the packaging of the piece. So that's one more item arrived.

I also sent inquiry to the contact forms of Warweb and OldGlory15s to see the status on the orders I'd made. OldGlory15s replied to me Wednesday, saying the order was cast that day and would go out the next day, so I should be getting it sometime early next week at the latest. Still not a peep from Warweb.

Litko also emailed me that my order of markers from them was completed, and according to their tracking number it was picked up by the carrier today, so it should be here by the first part of the week as well.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Air Support

The Nu-bee 1/100 Mi-4 Hip arrived today from Hattons in the UK. It's a pre-owned kit, but everything seems to be present just as Hatton claimed, including the multilingual instruction book and the little roll of material to weight the nose. Looks, in unassembled form, to be a pretty clean little kit. Will have to see if it fits together properly when I get a chance to assemble it.

I haven't decided for sure what I'm going to do with it, since by rule helicopters can only be Professional units and neither of my current armies are allowed Professional units. I may just ignore that rule and let it be a regular if I use it, or save it for if I do another army that can use Professionals.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Minor update

Not much to report, save that the barbed wire from SnM Stuff arrived today.

It's yet another UK order that's arrived before some of my US orders that were placed before it. I'm thinking, when all this is done, of going through and listing dates of order and arrival for everything just to have a record for later.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Reinforcements Arriving

It's been a busy couple of days for the mail carriers in Kinyonga, though their labor is not yet over.

My full QRF order from Scale Creep Miniatures and my Peter Pig order from Brookhurst Hobbies arrived yesterday, but I was too busy with some real life things to open them until today. Today's mail brought the second order from Peter Pig UK, and the huts and blast markers from PaperTerrain.

With the Peter Pig BTR-152 in hand, I was able to compare the size of the old Maisto M939 diecast trucks I had. They're longer than the BTR-152, but the wheels are about the same size and the height is reasonably compatible, so I think for my purposes they'll work to fill in extra trucks where needed. The M939 is technically too modern for my setting, but I'm going with the "a truck is a truck" rule for now, at least until such time as I can acquire a significant number of proper period trucks for an insignificant amount of money.

Most concerning to me right now amongst the not yet received is the Old Glory figures and vehicles ordered from Warweb. The earliest of them were ordered 19 days ago. They're just barely inside their "allow 2-3 weeks" timeframe, with no notice yet of anything shipping, and no answer to phone or email. This makes me a bit nervous since I've never ordered from them before. I wasn't expecting so long a delay because I thought everything I ordered was listed as in stock; I'm wondering if I overlooked one that wasn't or if their stock count wasn't up to date.

Other than that, I'm waiting on the Old Glory ZSU-23-4 and M40 Jeep w/RCL that I ordered direct from OldGlory15s, the casualty/wrecked/pinned markers from Litko, the barbed wire from SnM Stuff, the Nu-bee Mi-4 Hip from Hattons, the AA guns and rockets from TheSceneUK, and the radio transmitter pylon from Shapeways. Of those, the last 4 are all overseas, so I'm not too worried about the timeframe on them. Litko produces when the order is received, so it always takes a little while for them to ship, but I'm used to them and their communication.

I need the Old Glory orders (both Warweb and OG15s) and the TheSceneUK heavy weapons to be able to start sorting bases and units, especially the technicals since there are 4 pickups and 4 crew-served guns in the Warweb order and an additional 3 guns and a rocket launcher from TheScene. Once I have those, I can sort out which weapons I want mounted on which vehicles. The pickups, Unimogs, Land Rover, BTR-40, and M939s are all candidates for weapon mounts.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Totalling Up the Purchases (updated 9/14/15)

One of the hazards of buying a little here and there is you can quickly buy more than you need or spend more than you wanted. I'm pretty sure I've ended up doing that already with the AK-47 project. I won't really be sure until I have everything in hand so I can sort it out and figure up points, but I was going through to figure up how many things I'd ordered and thought I'd post the list here in a single post at the same time. Counts are number of figures/vehicles/items, not number of packs.

Old Glory
original order from Warweb cancelled

New Old Glory Order
Middle Eastern Regulars - 50 *
Middle Eastern Command - 50 *
African Irregulars - 100 *
African Irregular Command - 50 *
African Pickup Crew with HMG - 4 *
14.5mm ZPU Truck Mount - 4 *
Modern Pickups - 6 *
T-55 - 3 *
BTR-50 APC - 3 *
BTR-60A APC - 3 *
CMP 3 Ton Trucks - 6 *
AEC Armored Car - 3 *

Old Glory 15s/Battle Honors
ZSU-23-4 Shilka - 1 *
Jeep w/106mm RCL - 2 *

BTR-40A APC/scout vehicle - 1 *
Ferret Mk 1 armored car - 2 *
Saracen APC - 1 *
Landrover LWB w/Wombat RCL - 1 *

 Peter Pig
Seated Drivers - 6 *
ZPU-4 AA gun - 1 *
ZPU-1 AA gun - 2 *
Gaz Jeep - 1 *
AA Crew - 6 *
75mm RCL - 8*
Dictator character - 1*
Religious Leader character - 1*
BTR-152 - 2 *
Toyota High Suspension - 1 *
Unimog Truck - 2 *
Landrover - 1 *
MG Gunners - 3 *

Rebel Minis
Hostages - 12*
News Crew - 2*
Modern Rioters - 21*
Riot Police - 20*
African Military (berets) - 27*
African Militia - 27*
Modern Police - 22*
Modern Civilians - 21*

Khurasan Miniatures
Galactic Dictator - 1*
Modern Western Civilians (rioters) - 10*

30x30 bases - 200*
30x40 bases - 25*
40x40 bases - 50*
Wrecked vehicle markers (custom, blue) - 10 *
Wrecked vehicle markers (custom, red) - 10 *
Casualty markers (custom, red) - 30 *
Casualty markers (custom, blue) - 30 *
Pinned Markers - 20 (+10 I already had = 30) *

SnM Stuff
Barbed Wire - 10 meters *

Paper Terrain
15mm Grass Huts - 15 *
Blast markers - 25 *

Mi-4 Hip model kit *

Finger and Toe Models
15mm ShantyTown shacks - as many as I feel like printing and assembling*
15mm ShantyTown Shops - as many as I feel like printing and assembling*

The Scene UK
Quad linked 50 cal machine gun - 1 *
Twin linked Gatling gun - 1 *
ML001 (vehicle rocket launcher) - 1 *
Twin linked auto cannon - 1 *

 Transmitter  Pylon - 1 *

Besides all of this, I may or may not use some diecast vehicles I have on hand for the project, once I see what the sizes of the 15mm vehicles are compared to my diecasts.

* - indicates I've already received it. Everything else is waiting to arrive.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A few more arrivals

Today's mail brought a couple of AK-47 related items.

Firstly, a set of diamond needle files ordered off of Amazon for about $16. I realized once I started receiving the figures that I really wasn't supplied for metal files, so I did a quick search on Amazon for highly rated ones and these seemed the best choice for my needs. We'll see how they perform.

And secondly, my first order of Peter Pig figures direct from Peter Pig arrived (faster than some of my USA orders have). One each of  17-68 75mm Recoil-less Rifles, 17-43 Dictator, and 17-44 Religious Leader. They're remarkably clean sculpts, very nicely done. The Dictator will likely serve as the leader of the MUZ forces, while the Religious Leader will of course lead the MBU.

This evening...or I suppose now it's morning...also saw me finally figure out how to get to the right Peter Pig range on the Brookhurst Hobbies site and get the page to display 100 items instead of the default 10, so I may be forced to order a few more Peter Pig from Brookhurst to test them out now that I'm no longer having to page through all 2000 or so Peter Pig items 10 at a time.

Monday, August 17, 2015

More AK-47 Tinkering

Finger and Toe Models (yes, that's really their name) makes a set of paper buildings in 15mm called Shanty Town, and an expansion with shops, that I picked up in PDF form from Friday I decided to print one set out on cardstock, and Saturday I cut out a single shack and folded it to see how much difficulty there was to it. Folding all the slender tabs down turned out to be more of a nuisance than cutting it out, but I managed it. I haven't yet dug up where I put my glue to try gluing it into a finished product, but as long as that part works well, I think I'm going to be reasonably pleased with them.

I also pulled out a Maisto M939, of which I have several I got cheap off Ebay a few years back, and stuck the gun shield and gun from a Roco 105mm howitzer in the cargo bed. At the moment, it's simply wedged in, not glued. The 939 is technically too late a model truck for my needs, but it'll do in a pinch. I'm waiting until the first of the actual 1/100 models arrive to see how they compare in size and decide whether I'll use the diecast with them or not.

I also put in an order for one set each of 15mm Grass Huts  and Blast Markers from, who are currently having a sale. I'm curious to see if they'll work well for me.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

More Recent Arrivals

I've recently added to my wargaming library the excellent Wargames Compendium by Henry Hyde. I've read chunks of it, but far from all of it, and found it just as good as I expected. Henry has a love for the hobby that comes through clearly, and a wealth of knowledge available both in his own brain and in his many contacts.

To give me some inspiration in painting up the new troops, I picked up Modern African Wars (2) : Angola and Mozambique 1961-74 (Men-At-Arms Series, 202) from Osprey. I've only really skimmed a bit of the text, since the war itself is not of great interest to me, but may go back later to gain more knowledge and flavor from the conflict. I may later pick up the volumes on the Algerian War and the Indonesian Confrontation from the same series.

Noble Knight carries some of the Rebel Miniatures figures, but not all of the line, and several of them are out of stock, so I ended up ordering part of what I wanted from them and part directly from Rebel Miniatures. Noble Knight also used the wrong photo on their Modern Police, so I thought I was getting Riot Police from them and turned out to be getting regular officers without the riot gear. I picked up a pack each of African Militia and African Military, the mistaken pack of Modern Police, and a pack of Modern Civilians. Today's mail brought the figures direct from Rebel Minis, comprised of 1 pack each of Riot Police, Modern Rioters, Hostages, and News Crew w/Robber. Yesterday's mail brought a tiny order from Khurasan Miniatures as well, comprised of one pack of Modern Civilians (despite the innocuous name, these are running and shouting and provided with bricks and molotovs as optional weapons) and one of "Galactic Dictator and Techno-Ninja." I really only needed the Galactic Dictator, a woman with long flowing hair and a suitably ornate military uniform, complete with frilled epaulettes, medal, and eye patch. I haven't decided what I'll use her for, but when I noticed her, I knew I needed one.

The AK-47 Republic Rules require both armies to be formed of exactly 5 units, but allow for each side to have one optional sixth unit of "Unarmed Militia", which means not so much unarmed as not equipped with military weaponry. They can still have knives, bats, pistols, bricks, molotov cocktails, and other such implements common to violent mobs. Under normal circumstances, this unit is required to always be off-board as a reinforcement unit that dices for arrival. However, I have it in mind to set up a scenario with the rioters as the cult's "Unarmed Militia" and the riot police as the government's "unarmed militia" and start both on the board in a confrontation, with military units of both sides responding to the eruption of violence.

The other arrival in today's mail was a set of bases from Litko Aero. A lot of 30x30, the standard AK-47 base size, and smaller quantites of 40x40 (towed weapons and tanks), and 30x40 (cavalry and possibly trucks, technicals, etc). The 30x40 may end up being superfluous, because I'm no longer sure if the vehicles will fit on them. I'll have to wait and make my decision once the vehicles arrive.

I'm still waiting for arrival of figures and vehicles from Peter Pig, Old Glory (via Warweb and Old Glory 15s), and QRF (via Scale Creep Miniatures); Barbed wire from SnM Stuff; some markers/tokens from Litko; and a set of needle files from Amazon.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

AK-47 Flags

I found a free online flag creator and decided to see if I could generate flags for Kinyonga and the cult that I was happy with. Below are my results. You can find the generator at

For inspiration and to be sure I didn't directly copy an existing flag, I used this site that shows all the African flags on a single screen:

Kinyongan National Flag

A classic tricolor with the victor's laurel on the left. This the national flag of Kinyonga created after they evicted the settles. Papa Noote's wife sewed the first such flag by hand, and it flew over the capital for a time before being placed on display in a sealed glass case in the Presidential Palace.

Church of the Enlightened Flag

The Church of the Enlightened has taken the national flag and changed the colors, as well as replacing the victor's laurel with the golden keys of knowledge. Sky blue is the holy color for the cult, and is likely to feature in most if not all of their uniforms. You can't be killed when wearing the holy color if you are righteous enough. Perhaps the casualties didn't donate enough to the treasury or had too much unholiness in their family line to overcome. It is believed among the faithful that the Grand Bishop's wife, Grand Sister Naomi, washed a national flag seven times in a washboard tub blessed by the Grand Bishop to remove its uncleanness, and when she withdrew it the seventh time, the holy blue stripe and new color and symbol of the triangle were found upon it.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

AK-47 Update

After some puttering about with an African name site online, I've decided to rename my new AK-47 Republic from Ztumsia to Kinyonga. It's supposedly Swahili for Chameleon, which seemed quite suitable. This means the Nationalist army MUZ is now the MUK.

I also decided to rename the tribes mentioned in the narrative.

The Zaitu are now the Chandu (Swahili for Octopus)
Papa Noote's tribe are now the Twiga (Swahili for Giraffe)
And the new religious appointee, Brother Isaac, is now of the Imfezi tribe (Yoruba word for Cobra)

For now, I've left the names of the characters unchanged, but I may later find myself giving them "real" names as well. We shall see.

The first order of figures to arrive included one pack each of Rebel Minis African Militia and African Military. I've sorted out 6 small arms bases and 3 RPG bases of the militia into tiny bags. Those may not stay sorted as they are once the rest of the figures arrive, however. I also received a package each of Modern Police and Modern Civilians, but I'm not sure they'll work for what I was initially thinking about. All of those were ordered from Noble Knight.

I'm still awaiting deliver of a mixed group of Old Glory 15mm infantry and vehicles from Warweb, so once those are delivered I'll be able to sort out my troops better. Also waiting on an order of suitable bases from Litko.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

AK-47 Classic Plans

Because the best thing to do after failing to complete several wargaming projects is to start another one, I'm taking my first dips of toes into the waters of AK-47 Republic, classic version. It's actually been on my wish list for a long time, but I just recently learned that the classic version was available as a PDF purchase now, so I've acquired it.

One small order of figures arrived today, but more figures and bases are pending arrival, so I can't yet really put together my army lists. I do, however, have a setting background written up, and the names and types of the two sides figured out. I used the in-rule generators for most of the names, with a bit of tweaking. There's a chance I may change the name of the nation later, as I stumbled across someone else who had generated the exact same name a few years back. I ran a couple of the names through Google Translate to produce a Swahili version; if anyone happens to know Swahili and sees something Google Translate got wrong, feel free to let me know.

The MBU will definitely be classed as a Religious Movement army. Right now, the MUZ is classed as a People's Popular Front (Nationalist) army, though I've been tempted to redo it as a Dictator army. Problem is, while I would like to have the Professional quality unit the Dictator army would allow, the People's Popular Front really is the best fit of Political Maneuvers sheet for how I envision the group, with the caveat that rather than stirring up dissent against the existing government, they ARE the existing government. There's still dissent to be stirred, however, against the popularity of Grand Bishop Mbosa. Hearts and minds must be won.

And thus we come to the present iteration of the background story, which I reserve the right to alter or rewrite later of course.

Ztumsian War of Succession.

Once home to warring clans somewhere in the African savannah, there was little to draw more than a few stray explorers and missionaries to Ztumsia in the early days of European colonization. That changed when a power struggle in a neighboring European colony led to the remnants of the defeated uprising wandering into the region of Ztumsia and aligning themselves with one of the smaller tribes in the ongoing conflict, the Zaitu. The addition of their European firepower changed the course of the conflict decisively in their ally's favor. In time, their numbers grew with other outcasts, treasure seekers, and malcontents until they finally seized full control of the area. Unregulated by any colonial power, they eventually subjugated even their own former tribal allies. While treasure hunters gradually filtered elsewhere as Ztumsia proved to have few apparent natural resources, the white government still managed to keep an economy going with agricultural products, fees for protection of trade routes through the land, and a small but lucrative export of the native Ztumsian Spearfish as an exotic delicacy in certain European cities, gradually modernizing Ztumsia as much as was feasible to keep up with the neighboring colonies.

Inevitable discontent with the European usurpers would build along with increasing knowledge of western ways and technology through the years. The final straw came when a protest for greater rights by the former Zaitu allies was brutally crushed in a massacre that curiously became known even in Ztumsia by its French name, Pleurant de l'Zaitu (Weeping of the Zaitu). Some say the name was coined by a French nun from the local mission who worked tirelessly to help the victims in the wake of the massacre. This one event set the wheels in motion for reconciliation between the Zaitu and their former enemies, the Lbote. Within two years, the Lbote chieftain Noote united all the tribes into a full uprising against the white government, finally throwing off their yoke and driving all but a few whites out of the country. Now affectionately titled Papa Noote, the former chieftain estalbished a national government under his own leadership, with the chieftains of all the united tribes forming the Presidential Council to advise him, including a newly appointed chieftain of the Lbote to emphasize that Papa Noote was now a national leader instead of a tribal one.

This arrangement proved effective, providing stability for the new nation of Ztumsia that would continue not only through the life of Papa Noote, but would also lead to the selection by the Council of his only son to rule after him. President Sianog proved a popular ruler as well, following in the policies of his father, but his life was cut tragically short by a heart attack at the age of 40 and he died without having produced a son. It was this death without an immediate heir that was to cause a fracture in the peace of Ztumsia. The Council of Chieftains began meeting to select a successor, and for the first time they had to consider the question of who was worthy to be President with no descendant of Papa Noote available. Should it be another from the Lbote? Should other tribes have a turn? Should the Presidency be retired in honor of President Sianog and the Council rule directly?

As the latter idea began to gain ground in the public eye, since it offered equal representation to every tribe,  a new voice waded unexpectedly into the debate. Grand Bishop Jacob Mbosa of the Church of the Enlightened, a group generally regarded as a cult in neighboring countries but popular in Ztumsia with thousands of adherents, suddenly declared on his weekly radio broadcast to the faithful that he had seen a vision, and that Brother Isaac, one of the hand-picked elders of the Church and an up and coming warlord of the Mogate tribe, was in fact the reincarnation of Papa Noote himself, and the heart attack of President Sianog was a sign that the Presidency should be opened to the other tribes. He prophesied that from thenceforth Papa Noote would be reborn after each death into a different tribe, his identity revealed only to the Grand Bishop and his Elders, naturally, and would continue to lead the country forward in this way. His call for the faithful to flock to him and place Brother Isaac in the Presidency spawned an armed host with shocking rapidity, which the Grand Bishop named Mwanga wa Bure Urithi, Light of the Free Heritage (MBU). Faced with this sudden mobilization to armed conflict, the Council of Chieftains directed Ztumsian army general Ntebo to mobilize the army, which still bore its revolutionary name of Mteule Upanga wa Ztumsia, the Designated/Chosen Sword of Ztumsia (MUZ).