The Blog of Michael T. Murphy and his lifelong obsession with "little army men" and their imaginary glory, miniature wargaming, and other things...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Before Christmas update...

Well the Bongolesia game went off a lot better than I thought it was going to go. We had a full table, and Jerry did a good job as host.
I've been writing the AAR up in "installments" on the Bongolesia site. (; and including pics, but here is a pic of the table setup for the game. The BARF encampment is on the left, and all "rescuing forces", (to use the phrase loosely), came in on the right...

Junkotown is not listed on most maps of Bongolesia. After all one small crappy dilapidated village is pretty much like all the others there...

One of the things I wanted to do to make this game special was for my best friend Dan. Dan and I have been friends since around 1984 when were were serving together in the Army in Germany and essentially became brothers in many ways.
For a Christmas present, I decided to paint him up a mercenary force; "Merchants Marauders", along with a special "carry box".
The box is actually a wooden cigar box, with a plaid cloth lining in it. Once the figs were in, it
looks great!

The box without the figs in it...

And with the figs in it!

Needless to say, Dan was pretty happy to get them. He's been one of my two best friends for over 20 years, and it made me feel good to know that I could do something special for him.
Here's a pic of my chum holding his prize troops; Too bad they got bloodied the next day on the table...ah la vie!

With the ending of the year, I've been asked to run more than one game a year, and I am planning on slipping onto some 28mm Pulp Fun here in the future...We'll see what happens.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Troops and Tanks and Trucks, oh my!

Well, my orders from Brookhurst and Rebel Minis made it in. Sadly to say, that I only got about half of my Brookhurst order, so I guess I will have to simply go ahead and deal with what I have.
I have a game at Games2D4 ( ) that I am FINALLY running. Has it really REALLY been A YEAR since I ran a game??? (oh dear)...
Anyhow in order to "git 'er done", I once again have to go on a mad painting binge. I have about four days / nights to get this stuff done...hmmm..can I do it?
Here's what needs to be done...
207 Figs
1 Tank
3 Jeeps
6 Trucks

The first set of primed figs (Mostly Peter Pig with some Rebel Minis in the background), along with a FoW Jeep Set, and a Peter Pig T-55... All ready for the brush...

Another close up of the "Primer Greys"...ready to be painted and based and then sent to the little lead slaughterhouse...

The second batch of figs. Most of these are already in some form or shape of painted, but I need to finish them, base them, and seal them as they will be needed to add to the causalty count.
A close up of the second batch. Since they are more "hodge podge" they will take longer to paint I fear..oh dear...
The UN Supply Trucks...can't have a crisis in Africa without the UN getting involved. Since most of the Trucks are base coated, these shouldn't take too long. ..
I'm wondering if I will be able to get it done. and once I do, wow...more figs painted and a small dent is made in my little lead mountain...
But wait...I look across the room and there sitting there patiently awaiting my attention is my Boxed Starship Trooper Set! Arrrrgh!
And then there is the buildings I have to build...and the ship....and the stuff I have to cast...and I still have my US Marines to paint...and...and...and...
It never stops...this hobby is horrible...but I think that's why I love it so....
Check back on my progress...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

An update, projects, and more figs on order!

This morning I woke up to the sight of a slightly white powdered ground as a light dusting of snow had fallen during the night.
Hmmm...for some reason, it got me to thinking about "American Revolution", or "AWI".
Strangely enough, this is a genre that I am interested in getting into, but at the same time, I have so many right now, I don't know if/when I will get the time.

During this time period, (Thanksgiving, etc.), I made an enormous order from Brookhurst, (aka Peter Pig Figs)...
Here's what I ordered:
17-37 Reg G3/SLR Beret (X2)
17-52 Prof/Reg Beret (X2)
17-31 TV Media
17-56 Professional w LAWS
17-67 MG Gunners and MGs
17-128 US Inf. Adv (X2)
17-129 US Inf. Firing (X2)
17-130 US M16 Kneeling (X2)
17-131 M203 Firing
17-132 M203 Signalling
17-133 SAW Gun Firing
17-134 SAW Gun Adv
17-135 AT4
17-136 Command
17-137 Dead (X2)
17-138 M240MG (X2)
17-139 US Inf prone (X2)
17-140 US 50 Cal MG Teams
17-110 French Foreign Legion Beret
8-39 Partisan Resistance
14-8 Camp Followers

Hmmm...does anyone see a pattern here for troops? (If you said US, then you are correct...) With a 25% off sale, I couldn't help but go ahead and get the initial setups for my USMC troops.
I REALLY need to get to building that MEU..., plus I picked up some beret figures to build a special set of mercenaries that I want to build.
And along with the Camp Followers, (I'm thinking more refugees...what's a crisis in Africa without fleeing hordes of civilians?), and more media, (gotta win that Pulitzer that's for sure).

So 29 Packs equals out to about another 232 odd figures, and my current count is at 1482, (not including the Clan War mini I want to get rid of), and the Sebeki Crypt Lord that my compadre Alex Bates sent me.

Hmmmm....perhaps this is the season to be merry...with Christmas sales and stuff, I can finally afford to get some of the good toys and help even out my "needs"....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

An update! we are in November!
Where HAS the time gone??
Fall In is this weekend, and once again I didn't have a chance to go. Hopefully next year...hopefully.
My gaming has been slight to nil right now. I've done some figure painting and am "Still" working on the ship. I've also counted my figs. Currently right now, I have approx 1450 figs (of various genres and scales), that need painting, and I am sure that more will find their way once I start REALLY searching for them.
But I DID finish the "The Bongolesian National Independence Victory and Unity Arch" this weekend, and here are a few (bad) pictures of it. It seems that my digital camera just cannot handle what I want it to do, and so I am thus being forced to looking into getting a better camera.

But here it is for your review...
Whoops! A BARF color bearer holding aloft the colors of BARF in true revolutionary fervor! (or is that fever?)...How did HE get in here?!?! we go....

The Bongolesian Arch...Truly a thing of great beauty and pride for the People of Bongolesia! (Rhinestone Gemstones and all...)

An oblique angle shot showing the size of this thing, compared to a stand of Peter Pig 15mm News Crew...

Another size comparison shot. Truly this is a a spectacle to see in downtown Sudekia...
More to my Pulp figures and Cowboys are starting to ask, (nay, DEMAND), attention...
Comments are appreciated!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Update, no pics, and another blog by me...

Wow...September is gone already, and we are in the third week of October?!?!..
Okay dear reader, time for a quick update.
Unfortunately recently due to the fact that I am now employed (hooray!), I've lost more time to do "things I want to do" (sniff), and on top of that, my camera died, (crap). So I need to get a replacement so I can go ahead and get up and posting more pics.
So no current pics right now.
Projects on the table:
1: The SS Rattlehead is in it's third stage of building. With the hull and deck complete, now it's time for the superstructure, and deck fittings., then final paint job, and done!

2: I'm updating the Bongolesian Victory Arch!. I've decided that I cannot find a chariot like the one on top of the Brandenburg Gate, so I wandered down to Michaels Arts and Crafts and found a nice rubber/plastic Eagle. From that one, I have primed him, and mounted him on a base while will fit on top of the monument and make it look more "Official"...oh, and the eagle will be painted gold...(go figure).

3: I orded figs from Brookhurst. 12 packs of 15mm Perter Pig figs, plus a T-55 and a M113, and a copy of their CW Battles Ruleset. I'd like to get back into ACW gaming here soon.

Speaking of ACW, my other hobby (reenacting), is over with for the season, and in doing so I thought I would go ahead and make a small blog of my exploits there. So here is the link to that:

That way I can keep my general gaming stuff here, my acw reenacting stuff there, and my site dedicated to Bongolesia seperate from all the other madness...or so I think.


Okay, more to come as the seasons change and the pumpkins are out!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Happiness is a CLEAN game room!

Yes I did it.
I went yesterday to the Salvation Army store and spent 20 bucks on a nice bookshelf, and brought it back and put in in the game room this morning. Then I got to cleaning the mess up.One of my main problems is that I work on multiple projects "at once", and things get piled up, shuffled around and the place looks like a dump. It's one of the problems with mini wargaming. Your projects tend to take on a life of their own, and you accumulate "stuff"...
So I had to clean it, and with the new bookshelf, cleaning it was my project for the day.
So now I have it cleaned, and organized!
Take a look and see!

My painting/work table after the cleaning! (Egad look at the ROOM!)
And yet another shot of the painting/work area, showing the paint holder, work table area and tools table area. It amazes me how much room I actually have when it's clean...and yes...that IS the Bongolesian Flag on the wall...
For those that say that "Bongolesia doesn't exist"...Take THAT Wikipedia!!!!
The dresser for figs along with storage containers for terrain, parts, plastic, etc...all in all a LOT of stuff in these drawers for scratchbuilding.
A close up of the "Drawers of Stuff"...
Yes, a "Drawer full of lead"...15mm vehicles by QRF, 15mm Battle Honors Figs, Steve Jackson Ogrethulhus, SST Female Cap Troopers, Pulp Figures (In the box on the right), Some Bolt Action Minis, and some of the 28mm Pirates that I have, among others...
My new bookshelf and my closet of stuff. Terrain, scenery, vehicles, rules, and parts and stuff...Gods this hobby is horrible...
The ever lovely Ms. Linda Blair, whose graciously autographed photo adorns my wall, and tells me that "wargamers turn her on"...riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight...dream on sucker...

Of course, keeping the room safe and sound, and inspiring us all, is the ever present and gracious gentleman; Mr. Adam West outfitted as The Caped Crusader...
Comments are appreciated!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Photos of my guys and past games...

Ouch folks..sorry for not having anything to show you in this latest update, but I've been lax. I've a couple of things being built right now, and hope to get some pix up soon.

But for get to see some of my older stuff...

Enjoy...I hope...

A picture of the US SF team landing in their LZ outside of the "peaceful" village of Ebowla in Bongolesia. Little do they know what is in store for them...

US SF Troops take up fighting positions and engage Bongolesian Territorial Troops. Putting the whammy on the locals.
This is one of my favorite shots that I took for this game as it shows the US SF troops in action and a good view of the urban surroundings of the town that they had to deal with...
The "business end" of the the US SF Teams engaging the locals. This is another one of my faves as it shows it a good position, cover and engagement area. These guys know their job!

Perhaps one of my most disturbing photos that I have ever taken at a game, is this one. A UN Jeep burns with it's casualties as a truck load of rebels pass by. For some reason, I guess the angle of the shot, and the imagery of it, has always stuck with me. They may be toy soldiers that we play with, but I often see them and remind myself that they represent some of the most horrible things that happen in this world...

In Feb of 2005 I attended Owlcon in Houston, and saw a gentlemen who had assemble a W40K Dark Eldar Force and had painted it in the colors of "Barbie"...
I'm not a GW fan, but I was IMPRESSED with his paint skills, his detail, and just the quirkiness of it...and the fact that it REALLY disturbed a LOT of the GW fanboys at the convention! I just had to take a pic of it. It's THAT good!
Okay...hope you enjoyed it. The next entry hopefully will show you some more of my stuff...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Of gaming and this and that...

The gaming side has been quiet as I haven't played in a while, and my painting has been really slow. I'm still working on the AK47 figs, and hopefully by the weekend will be FINALLY able to finish my fourth (And final) urban block of downtown Bongolesia, (appropriately named "Funkytown")...

My supply list is growing: I need
1: More white glue.
2: A better XActo knife.
3: Catalyst for my moulding and casting projects....

grrr...curse having three hobby stores (Jo Anns, Michaels and Hobby Lobby) and NONE of them carries the catalyst that I need for my moulding and casting!

It's a conspiracy I tell you...

Other things that I want to talk about.

I love gaming, I really do, and it breaks my heart to have to see companies announce that they are raising their prices due to the cost of fuel, postage, transportation and material costs. Yes, resin AND metals have gone up, and it will only be a time before plastics go the same way. If you CAN support your local store, please do so, and push your support for the companies also. That being said, if companies like GW keep raising prices, even their fanboys will eventually stop buying, (Except for the diehard fools)...
Our hobby is changing due to external influences in world resources. It's been a while in coming but now it's hitting us in the pocketbook....

Friday, August 15, 2008

145th Gettysburg Pics

Well, I don't have any updated gaming stuff to show you dear reader, so I thought that I would share with you some of the pics that I took and had taken during the recent 145th Gettysburg Reenactment this past July.

It was the largest reenactment I have ever EVER seen and despite the humidity, the battles were hard fought. Unfortunately there were cases of heat exhaustion due to the excessive humidity. More on that as we go...

This was my home away from home for the days there. A 2 man "dog" tent. It does have some of the "comforts of home" well hidden in it (an igloo cooler with nice cold drinks!).

My good friend Dan and I made it our "journey", and we had a blast. It was a great way to renew the fact that we had been friends for over 20 years!

Since those long ago gone days of when we were in Germany.

Strangely enough, we had some rain on Thursday night. Since we were camping outside in the open, we didn't get much water and stuff dried out quite quickly, unlike our pards who decided to sleep in the woods and ended up soaked.

Yeah yeah, yours truly sitting on his butt doing KP and cutting up potatoes for supper for Dan and myself. Believe it or now we worked quite well together, and with the food we brought we ate better than just about anyone there.

Who says that you have to survive on hardtack and coffee? I like my ribeyes medium rare...mmmmmm....iron skillet cooked ribeyes on an open flame...yum yum yum...

Friday was the first day of the event and there were two battles. Our brigade participated in the second one where we got hit the yankees harder than they expected. Below is a picture of my very first prisoner EVER taken in all my years of reenacting! A nice fine Captain of Co. A 5th Ohio Infantry. I touched his shoulder told him he "was mine", and then we had our photo taken while the fight was still going on! In the background right over my shoulder you can see Dan yelling for the Yanks to "get some".

The unit before the battle...This is Co. K 44th Tennessee. They were originally part of the unit that I am attached to Co. A 33rd Va, but due to differences, broke off and became their own unit.

Most of them are pretty good folks, and I like fighting with them.

After the rain on Friday night, Saturday was just too damn humid for Dan and Me, so we farbed out and did the town and the battlefield. It was my first trip to Gettysburg and walking that battlefield is stepping on hallowed ground. Everywhere you look are monuments and markers to the men that fought and died here, and the feeling that you get is one of overwhelming emotion.

This is me at the Virginia Monument.

After wandering the battlefield, Dan and I did the "town" (a little bit). I grabbed a couple of t-shirts and some trinkets and then we had real "Farb food", at O'Rorkes. Here's a picture of my lunch that day...mmmmmm... Another pic of myself at the Monument to The Confederacy...
It's amazing who you will meet at Gettysburg and to prove that it's a small world...allow me to tell you a little story...
That evening Dan and I wandered into the Lincoln Diner...(Yeah that guy is everywhere!), to grab some supper.

Yeah the guy is everywhere...Honest Abes House O' Eats...come on in...Confederate Money NOT accepted...
The menu to this house of culinary delights. Notice the blatant smirk on his face as he waits for you to order the meat loaf or the chicken tenders with fries...
So we order.
As we are sitting there three people walk in; a young man dressed in Confed. Uniform, a lady and a guy bringing up the rear. I look at the guy and think "DAMN...that guy looks like Dan Bennett."
Dan was a good friend of mine and my indirect supervisor when I was at CCSN back in Las Vegas. He's always been a wonderful person to work with and to get to know. We had a great relationship and keep in touch. I'm thinking that there is "NO way" that this can be him. I mean...what are the odds?
But what the hey...
So when I am in line, he walks past me and I say "Dan?...Dan Bennett?"
He stops looks over at me, takes a second and then you can see the recognition on his face.
We grab one another in the diner like long lost brothers. He took me back to meet his lady and her son, (In the 12th Tenn), and it capped off the night.
I mean...truly it is a small world when two friends, five states apart, meet each other in a totally different state in a diner in a small town.
And here's the pic to prove it.
Dan usually pulls for the Yankees, but I've forgiven him for this transgression...

Sunday morning...up and at 'em...starting to break down and get ready to leave, but then we have morning formation and orders. General Pickett is to advance his division on the Union Center. It's the third day at Gettysburg...and we all know what is coming.
But it still has a hum in the air...

The Confederates wait to march down the road to assault the Union...the dark blue line waaaaaayyy up on that hill...

A close up of some of the line....waiting for their move to glory...
Oddly enough I have very few still pics of the third day and Picketts charge. Instead I had mostly video as I had the camera mounted and running.
The guns went off...a ferocious pounding of sixty odd cannons for almost an hour. Then we moved forward. Closer and closer we marched, a mass of grey and butternut, our canteens bouncing, cups clanging, grit and determination in our eye. The first rank went in, and started taking hits. We got to the fence and started firing. The smoke rose in a thick blanket, as we poured fire into the yankees and they poured fire back. The man next to me went down. I found myself singing "Amazing Grace" while firing and then noticed three or four more joining in. It was a humbling moment. Then, Capt. Reger yelled for us to "Tear that fence down!" and we went to it like a pack of devils. The wood came down and the command to move forward went out, and across the ground we went, to our glory.
We started taking hits and men dropped. I took a "graze" and stumbled but the Capt was right next to me and we took some more steps forward before we both went down in a volley. I laid there, wounded (camera running), and saw the next wave pass over me. I could see the men up to the front, dying in masses...Great God Almighty what a sight!
And then it was over...the attack was shattered. The fight ended.
And gladly...we all got up and came home. None of the "deaths" were real, and there would be no graves dug that night for Union or Confederate boys to lay in.
Gettysburg is a place that should be seen to be felt. You can read about it, look at pictures, talk about it, and study it, but until you physcially walk the ground you cannot even begin to understand and fathom the sheer folly, foolishness, and bravery of those men that fought here.
Indeed it is a hallowed place...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Industrial Progression, and Law Enforcement...scenics!

Well it's been a few busy days for me here, as I am in the process of job hunting and doing the interview thing. Plus I have an ACW event this upcoming weekend in Knightstown, so I doubt if I will get much gaming stuff done, and more stuff for the little old site here.
However here are some recent things I have finished this past weekend.
First off, the sign for "Perverticus Industries", and their newest acquisition...ahem..."slightly used" Storage Tanks!
For more information on this, check out for all the juicy details.

(Ahhhh yes...the smell and sights of "Progress in 3rd World Nations...far from those pesky health and environmental regulations that so slows things down...)

(Really...just cut the grass, add a little paint here and there, and no one will notice the seepage into the ground, or the green stuff dripping...)

(Even third world hellholes needs some form of "Law Enforcement", and what better way to "Keep Law and Order" without a Police Station, complete with chain link fencing over the windows...)
(Unfortunately the police are often busy and can't be bothered to keep their building looking spic and span...)
I'll be truthful though. The police station was an idea that I borrowed from another site, and it was one of those 'yeah yeah whatever projects", you know, the kind that is always there and waiting to be worked on and finished, but you just put it aside and then find yourself working on it when there is absolutely NOTHING else to work on...
But it's done now.
I'm hoping to get some pics of my scratchbuilt ship up soon and some more pics of my figs. The 15mm ones are coming along quite nicely, and I look forward to working on the pulp figs here real soon!

Friday, August 8, 2008

What's on the Painting Table?

Well, it's Friday and time for me to update this thing here. I got up early today and got myself on a painting binge. I decided to get some figs on the table and some paint on the figs. Lord knows it's been a while and some of my stuff was getting pretty dusty...
After putting the figs on that I need to paint "for this round", I did a quick count.
  • 159 15mm Peter Pig AK47 Figures in various states of completion.
  • 10 28mm Pulp figs in various states of completion.
  • 3 20mm Vietcong (local).
  • 3 28mm Old West Gunfighters.
TOTAL: 175 figs...
And that's just the tip of the iceberg!
So I decided to get some photos, so I can do the "before" and "after" stuff.
Here's the first photo, showing the entire group on the table.

Figs that need painting...just this round...yeesh!

Can you ever REALLY have enough 15mm figs???

Not just personnel but support weapons too!

15mm Peter Pig Media and 15mm Rebel Minis Zombies...(Zombies???...oh dear)

15mm Sniper, 20mm VC, 28mm Pulp figs and 28mm Cowboys...what an eclectic bunch!

I was also able to get some other things finished this morning and will be getting their photos onto the Bongolesia website since they are specifically Bongolesia oriented.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Larry is my type of guy...

Okay so in all forms and fashion, we poor gamers have our own comic strip.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Larry Leadhead...

Strangely enough, so much of what he says I have found myself saying...

What does that mean?...oh dear...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My favorite games...

Okay now dear reader...Now that this thing is "officially launched", lets get down to business.
My favorite games (in miniature), are the following:
1: AK47 Republic (15mm).
2: Charlie Company (20mm Vietnam).
3: 15mm American Civil War. ( I still use the old "Rally Round The Flag rules), but have figs based for JRII/JRIII and F&F instead.
4: GUTSHOT! (Well duh!)
5: Pirate Games
6: Pulp Games
7: 1/285 Modern Micro Armor, (wish I could find a good set of rules out there...)

As you can see I am pretty much all over the place when it comes to games. When it comes to them, I would still like to get into:
2: SYW
3: 28MM Moderns
4: Age of Sail
5: Colonials
6: WWI Aerial
7: WWI in general
8: WWI-WWII Naval Warfare...

Yes..sadly enough, it's true. One can spend an entire lifetime devoted to these little figures and systems and never "Have enough". But that's the glory of it.

Greetings and The Very First Post!!!

Wow...thanks to the fine fellows at TMP, (Der Alte Fritz, Lord Ashram, and others), whose creative talent and genius have inspired me to do the same thing...start yet another miniature gaming blog!
And here we are.

This blog is going to simply be a chronicle of my adventures, misadventures, quest for glory, ridiculous vanity, and life in general. Althought mostly focused around this life-long obsessive hobby of mine, (Which the fairer sex calls "Little Toy Soldiers", when in reality we know they are called "Historical Miniature Figurines") that is known as "Historical Miniature Wargaming, I will also foray off into things such as ACW reenacting, road trips, and things in life in general that make living the better for it, (such as fine wines, rums, good food, and the good cigar!).

Please feel welcome to visit this site at anytime and comment. This site is as much for you dear reader as it is for me.