Wednesday, April 21, 2021




Greetings Everyone,

The link immediately below offers my brief remarks about the Easter Season plus a short reading list I hope you will consider especially the last entry by Christine Watkins. Blessings to all of you and yours.


"Tis a fine thing on paper" (paraphrased) was spoken by The Duke of Newcastle to Prinz Rupert prior to the 1644 English Civil War Royalist defeat at Marston Moor. The battle plan and order of battle looked promising but the King's men lost. Things didn't work out as happens to all of us. I speak the Duke of Newcastle remark sometimes to remind myself of Heaven's unexpected plans rather than my own.

Below are my hobby plans; fine things on electronic paper.

"Hey Dad, are you sure your readers will be interested?"
"Unsure my dear Rocket."
"Okay, wake me up after you find out."


Wielding brushes in 2021 is barely happening. Getting one item done which does not need much of anything else to go with it is working best. So...

Here is Warlord's WWII Kriegsmarine 1/300 scale Minesweeper. See the mines perched on the aft deck?  It in company with a small destroyer and two merchant ships in the background will be fending off USA dive bombers and torpedo planes someplace near 1943 Norway. Did you know USA aircraft carrier Ranger flew air ops. vs German installations there that year? I didn't until six months ago.

In keeping with the Norway theme, two GHQ 1/2400 scale ships were added to my "Naval Thunder" squadrons. In the foreground is Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen to starboard of....

Battleship Tirpitz. Both are well-designed models. The plan is to have them sortie out to engage Ranger protected by Royal Navy ships. 

We are slowly opening up our homes to small numbers of players in short duration games compared to lots of pards and units on big tables of more than one year ago. "Those were the days my friend. I thought they'd never end." Reduced contact is the key for now. 

I've played more solo games in the past twelve months than in five decades. Solo games previously were difficult to enjoy and find satisfying. Face to face games have always been prime for me, you see. However, there is some exercise health benefit going back and forth from one table side to the other. Truly.

You contented chaps who find painting and collecting so very satisfying are lucky I suppose. Good for you and I mean it. However,  I'll drop  brushes to game anytime and only really paint to prepare for games. My thing mostly is to plan games, design rules and write General Pettygree Battlestories.

Recently I began pondering a "Nostalgia Game." My 25mm English Civil War forces have been mostly marooned in storage boxes since the early 1980s. Back then they were on the table a lot utilizing the first rules I published, Wargamer's Guide To The English Civil War. The 1977 second edition is still selling. See Anyhow, thoughts are percolating to march the Royalists and Parliamentarians back onto the tabletop and convince my oldest pards and newer ones as well to move units and throw dice in the interesting Pike and Shot era again. It is time to avenge Marston Moor.

Otherwise we have an unusual game planned for May involving 28mm Soviets versus Japanese someplace in an imagineered Mongolia. It will be a combined arms tactical situation using the clunkiest tanks ever and that's a good thing. I like that. Wide open spaces too. If only I had some cavalry, my most favorite branch to command. --- Should I tell players that Genghis Khan's lost tomb might be there?

Did you see General Pettygree's newest Battlestory, Tunisgrad? Here is Chapter 1:

"Hey Red!"
"What's on yer mind Mac?"
"When will Bill and General Pettygree post Tunisgrad's Chapter 2? We're in it ya know."
"Ah, I heard late April or early May. --- Want a cigarette?"


Click on images to make them larger. What do you think? 

USN Torpedo Bombers off Ranger heading for a stormy Norwegian coast.

Diving to drop torpedoes and spotted by two Me-109s.

Dauntless Divebombers and Wildcat fighters in the same operation.

What is going on?

Homage to The Battle of Midway.
"That Japanese can is racing back to her fleet. Let's follow."

Was ist das?

"Winston, how do you think things went for Dad?"
"We'll have to wait and find out at Comments below."

Thank you Everyone for looking in.
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  1. That last picture is priceless. The dog on the right (Winston?) looks so nonchalant.

    The cloud effects in the airplane pix look realistic. Nicely done.

  2. Be warned I'm working on some Skuas for the Norwegian area (only taking me 1 year) and of course the French are ready to sortie. I'm definitely a painter/builder, my output is increasing and I'm getting better at painting.

  3. Great blog,We should be getting back to gaming soon ,as we get our shots.Ihave painted over 1000 figures this year..almost painted all my stuff, I bought more..sigh...Love your airplanes...

  4. Just received the copy of your ECW rules - look VERY interesting and O.S. !

  5. Hi Bill,

    In regards to your latest blog post, “It ‘twas a fine thing on paper”, I never can remember how I used to comment on your blog, so I’m doing it by email. I’m glad you’ve found a way to stay active with the hobby through these times. I, like you, have always leaned toward the social aspects of the miniatures hobby. Face-to-face at the table with good comrades has been the best. We will be finishing off our Age of Eagles Borodino game in the next couple of weeks. We’ve never done a battle this dense with 15mm troops. We started right after New Years, once a week three hours a night. We get about a half hour of game time in each evening. Wouldn’t want to do it on a regular basis, but with the huge number of units you really get lost in the magnitude of the battle and I have enjoyed it immensely.

    Speaking of ECW, it was the second period of gaming we entered after Napoleonic. As I told you before, we play tested your rules using colored construction paper counters for units and liked the game. We purchased and painted 15mm troops from Minifigs and the game on the table when the pandemic shut down our gaming for eight months was an ECW battle that had been going on for six weeks or so using many of those troops painted in the 70’s. Many of them are in sad shape as I used them for game club at school and the pikes took a beating over the years.

    Hope to see you again across the gaming table soon


  6. Hi Bill,

    It's great to hear from you -- I look forward to new times. The horizon is lightening, and spring is here!


  7. Where do you get the little plane models from?


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