“Wagon’s Ho, No!”

Well it was Dead Zone last time so I guess that means it must be more “10mm Wild West” this, Well actually it’s the last of my 10mm figures, the “wagons”. Now I was rather dreading these, not from a painting point of view (though twenty four liveried horses, aren’t my idea of a fun painting session!), but more working out the best sequence in which to do them. You see I could of assembled the whole lot of them which would have made adding the filler on the bases relatively simple, but painting the horses and the basing material a blooming nightmare! Whereas painting the horses and wagons first would be easier but then not catching them with the filler and paint afterwards would be a problem! You see now why I’ve left these till last.

Now I’d ordered some 20x80mm MDF bases for the wagons to go on, I knew these were a little too long (and I could have ordered a custom size) but I wasn’t really sure exactly how long I did want them as they need to be pretty tight to the ends of the base so when they are placed in the ubiquitous “circle” there isn’t too big a gap between the wagons. So after messing about trying the wagons and horses on the bases I marked where I needed to cut off the ends (10mm, making them 70mm long) then taped all six bases together and using my precision mitre, cut off as close to the line as I dared, I then tightened my sanding board in the “workmate” at ninety degrees to the worktop and sanded the ends of the bases (still taped together) down to the line.

I began the wagons themselves by gluing the front wheels to the front axles, and the back wheels in place on the back of the wagons (there was a slight “hiccup” with the wheels, but I’ll hopefully cover this in a future post), I also glued the figures in place too as I decided that it would be easier to paint then “in-situ”, the wagons covers I left off, again to ease the painting of the figures. So after everything went outside for a spraying with some matt black, and was then touched up with more matt black and a brush, all the wagon pieces were painted in chocolate brown, and highlighted with butternut. Then the wheel rims a few other areas were picked out in more black with highlights of chainmail, and the occupants were painted in the same manner and colours as the settlers were the other week (so if you want to know how these were painted, follow the link at the bottom of the page*).

The horses I decided to paint separately so they were glued to coffee stirrers in strips, and undercoated in either chocolate brown (for the majority) or black, they were then highlighted in either chestnut or dark grey, then their tails and manes were added in black highlighted again with dark grey (chestnut horses only of course). Harnesses came next so these were all lined in with more chocolate brown and highlighted with leather brown, and the beams down the sides with a little butternut. Looking at them, they were just a sea of brown, so I thought I’d add a little (a very little!) interest to them by doing their saddles in dark grey, and then adding some socks and nose blazes in coffee and cream.

So now it was time to start putting all the separate pieces together (or the fun part (not)), after careful consideration I decided the best was to glue the right hand front horse to the shaft then add the right hand back horse, I discovered that the front axle wasn’t high enough to keep the shaft straight, so I added a small crosspiece of coffee stirrer under the wheels to lift it up (this was OK as it also meant the bases would be as thick as the figures ones were now), all of these were then glued onto the MDF bases, checking their positions by placing the wagons onto the axle’s. I then “filled” around the horse bases and front wheels, leaving space to add the other horses and wagons rear wheels (are you keeping up?). Once dry I painted over the filler with musket brown, as this would be the base colour for the painting of my bases. Then it was time to add the wagons themselves, so first I glued more small lengths of coffee stirrer between the back wheels and added a bit of filler over these, and painted this in more musket brown before gluing them down onto the bases and front axles, I then added more filler under the wagons and out to the rear of the baes and again painted this in musket brown.

Next I took the wagons canvas covers, I had already painted the front and rear inners in coffee and cream as these would be impossible to paint once fitted. I trial fitted these only to discover that they wouldn’t fit flush to the wagons and were not tall enough to go over the drivers without there being a gap between the canvas and wagon! So taking my trusty greenstuff I ran a “bead” along the bottom edges of the canvas covers before fitting then in place and shaping and smoothing the bead to shape. Next morning after this was dry I painted this new “green line” in black, then the canvas was painted coffee and heavily highlighted in cream. It was at this stage of the proceedings that I gave everything a coat of “Strongtone” Quickshade (including the still separate horses).

When everything was dry it was time to add the other two horses, this meant trial fitting the rear left hand horses, carving away a little of the base filler till there was a gap that the horse would fit perfectly in aligned to the right hand side one, this was then glued into place, before some more filler was spread around it, left to dry and then painted in musket brown. This process was then repeated with the front right hand horses. This just left the bases to be dry-brushed with some sand and coffee paint and a “blow-over” with some matt varnish to finish them off, looking at them now, it looks like a lot of work for what appears to still be just a sea of brown on them! Oh well. I have also been working on my “10mm wagon train attack” rules and once I’ve had chance to try them out, I’ll try and post a quick battle report, and put the rules up in the “Rules wot’ I wrote” section of the blog.

Lastly (if you are still with me after all that!) I present to you my last entry in IRO’s “T” shirt challenge, my new (and specially commissioned) wargames show shirt! As I mentioned to Steve (Maenoferren) a few weeks back I am constantly apportioned the “blame”, for this and that around here, so much so that I had thought of getting a “T” shirt printed! Well IRO’s challenge seemed the perfect excuse for doing just that, along with a little self-advertisement into the bargain. So next time I’m accused to making someone spend money or some such, I can say “Oh yeah, been there, done that, got the T shirt!”

Till next time, stay safe, and cheers Roger.

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27 Responses to “Wagon’s Ho, No!”

  1. Dave Stone says:

    Wonderful work on the wagons Roger, can fully appreciate the trials of what bits to stick together before painting and fitting, your method seemed to work out perfectly in the end.
    I so need one of those T-shirts ! LOL

    • Thanks Dave, the wagons did turn into a bit of a pain in the bum to be honest, considering this was supposed to be a quick and simple project!

      Thought you might appreciate the T shirt 😀

      Cheers Roger.

  2. Well done on getting them all finished Roger! 🙂 I like them! As far as wagons and limbers are concerned I stick to two-horse teams to keep them representative without having to paint a boatload of horses! I position everything and then glue the horses onto the base and then cover it with Milliput that I make look a bit like a cart-rutted track. Before the Milliput dries I put the wagons or limbers in place and press them down so the wheels leave a small indentation in the Milliput. I then paint the wagons separately and superglue ’em down once they’re painted. This method tends to keep the weight of the pieces being handled for painting down as well. I use magnetic rubber on the bottom of all my bases – placing the bases on a steel toolbox after putting on the Milliput prevents the bases from warping as the Milliput dries out!

    • Thanks John, I must admit I use a similar technique to you when I’ve done larger scale models, though I always use filler, rather than Milliput as I’m allergic to Milliput 😥.

      The main problem I had here was being able to get the brush in and around the models due to their size.😃

      And yes there was a lot of horses!

      Cheers Roger.

  3. Can’t believe those little guys are 10mm! Great job mate and love the t shirt 🤣

  4. Alex says:

    Lovely work on those teeny-weeny wagons mate! (great t-shirt too 😂)

    • Thanks Alex, people keep saying how small they are, makes me want to buy some 6mm stuff.😉

      As for the shirt “I blame IRO!” (maybe that will be on next years shirt!)

      Cheers Roger.

  5. Carrion Crow says:

    Love the t-shirt Roger! This might make me finally get the personalised one I was considering. I recently watched a YouTube video where the chap had decided to recreate his Kings of War army in 10mm, due to space considerations and am contemplating whether this might be an option for larger scale battles – although I’m not sure my eyes are up to painting that small!

    On an unrelated note, would you recommend Deadzone as a ruleset? Was considering whether to utilise this for my not Star Wars games, but wasn’t sure if it was too grim and gritty.

    • Thanks Jez, I got my shirt from “Vista print”, they have online templates to design your own (mainly for “hen do’s”, events and Birthdays I think), but with a bit of creative jiggling…. Moonpig were rubbish the templates were too restrictive. Not cheap though just under £18.00, gets cheaper the more you order but how many do I really need! 😀, not bad for a one off though. It’s washed alright by the way.

      I know of a few people who’ve done “Kings of War” in 15 and 10mm, the way the rules work does lend itself well to smaller scales, have you seen this on “Skinflint Games” blog….


      I think Dead Zone would work pretty well for Star Wars, the Enforcers would equate well to Stormtroopers, the DOG could be a Droid Trooper, and they even have “Rebels” as a faction 🙂, I’m not a 100% but I think the basic rules are a free download on Mantic’s site too, though you’d need to buy or make some of the activation dice.

      Cheers Roger.

  6. Wow!!! Your attention to detail on 10mm is incredible, Roger, and you clearly got yourself set up to become a painting machine to power through all of your wagons and horses. Great stuff. The bases look excellent too, so clearly worked out to your precise measurements.

    • Thanks Simon, yes your not even trying with those “huge” 13mm ACW figures! (LOL).

      I don’t know about a painting machine, it was more of a painful, one step forward two steps back slog to be honest, But I wanted to get these done before I return to work next week (end of shielding), and as I’d bought that T shirt special for IRO’s challenge I needed to get them posted before the end of the month! Who says challenges don’t motivate us! 😉

      Cheers Roger.

  7. Nice post Roger. Some figures and models need to be thought through before painting and assembly and these wagons are very much an example of that. Splendid work and the end results are excellent. A big pat on the back too for doing six of them! Love the T-shirt too. 🙂

    • Thanks Dave ,I do all my best thinking and planning in the bath, and the water was almost cold and I looked like a prune by the time I’d sorted out a plan for these!! 😉

      Cheers Roger.

  8. Guru PIG says:

    Love the way these have come up. 10mm may be the way to go for a plains war project a mate and I are planning. What is the make of the figures?

  9. Pingback: “Wagon’s Ho, No!” — Rantings from under the Wargames table | Ups Downs Family History

  10. Matt says:

    Nice to see someone putting some thought and planning into how to build and paint their minis… I should take notes 🙂 These look great, Roger, and again I’m amazed at how you get so much detail and character into these tiny miniatures!

  11. Pete S/ SP says:

    Really like those wagons- the T shirt is great too.



  12. angrypiper says:

    I think we ALL need one of those shirts, Roger. That really made me laugh. Thanks!
    10mm seems so small, painting would be quite a challenge. You make it look great. How much room do you really need to play a 10mm wargame?

    • Thanks Keith, I had hoped you would appreciate the T shirt as you are one of the main “Blame Game” culprits!! 😁 Perhaps I should go into production? 😉

      I know I’ve said it before, but there really isn’t any more to painting 10mm than there is to 28’s, just think of it as the same amount of detail, but without the blocking in of the larger areas of colour 😀 (except on bloody wagons that is!).

      Well I’m hoping that my “Circle the Wagons” rules will play out in about a two, or two and half foot square.

      Cheers Roger.

  13. 10mm – wow – that’s amazing work (and by the way Roger I CLEARLY detect that you actually planned all this out despite your prior protestations to the contrary!). T-shirt is great – but doesn’t anyone in the UK have a beer gut?

    Happy Easter buddy

  14. Pingback: Rantings from under the Wargames table – Featured Blogger of the Week June 17, 2022 | Ups Downs Family History

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