Just a gentle reminder that the final date for pre-order/collect on the day orders for Plastic Soldier Company and Battlefront/Gale Force 9 for Carronade on the 10th of May is this Sunday – the 27th!!

We are also able to offer the same service at the Durham Show on the 14th of June – order deadline is 1st June!

For all the details of this opportunity, see http://theratreport.com/?p=20

Hope to see you there.

Monty the Desert Rat



We’re all going…….on tour!! Although I have attended many shows and helped with games, I have never staged one myself – GULP! This year with the emergence from the shadows of Monty and with the opportunity to team up with TooFatLardies as a Lard Ambassador (someone seeking to help spread the Lard!), that is changing.

 So, where will we be? So far we are looking good for:

Carronade on 10 May – PSC and Battlefront products available for pre order, deadline is 27 April.

Deep Fried Lard on 7 June – PSC, Figures in Comfort and Battlefront products available for pre order, deadline is 18 May.

Durham on 14 June

Claymore on 2 August – PSC and Battlefront products available for pre order, deadline is 20 July.

Battleground on 29 November

I have also applied to Border Reiver in August, Skelp in October and Targe in November, but these are some way off and nothing is confirmed at this stage.

 And what will we be doing (with the exception of Deep Fried Lard):

The aim is to run a series of scenarios – 2 games at each show generally running 10:30 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 15:30 (a rat needs a good lunch!)

Every game will be different – I have produced a total of 22 scenarios covering Operation WINTERGEWITTER (WINTER STORM), the German drive to link up with the Stalingrad garrison in December 1942, all focussed on 6th Panzer Division and the Soviet units they fought against. I have also been discussing publishing these scenarios in conjunction with TooFatLardies, more to follow!

I will be ‘telling the tale’ as we go through this Blog and, possibly, the Lard Island Blog too. We will follow our respective sides through this operation as they battle each other.

What rules: TooFatLardies’ OUTSTANDING “Chain of Command” and campaign supplement “At the Sharp End”.

Can I pre-book a place – of course, I’d be delighted.

What do I need to bring – nothing except yourself, a sense of humour and a good slice of luck, everything else (less refreshments!) will be provided.

 Will we be doing anything else:

Subject to the permission of the Show organisers, I may be able to offer my ‘pre order and collect on the day’ service for Plastic Soldier Company and Battlefront (including Gale Force 9) products (see http://theratreport.com/?p=20). I have annotated some shows already with this option and, if available, I will notify it here well in advance with clear deadlines for orders and payment.

I may also have items for sale on the Bring and Buy but that depends on on the day arrangements and probably the presence of an assistant – great I may be, but I haven’t yet mastered the art of being in 2 places at the same time!! If this is going to happen, I will post here so everyone knows and I will also give an idea of what I’ll be bringing!

And I’d be delighted to meet anyone for a chat, although I would ask for patience during game time as the players will have to be my focus at those times.

 I hope to see you there!

 Monty the Desert Rat



Yes, we’ve also been working away on some woods and broken ground, moving on from our first version and switching to using Monty Mat material and scatter, which allows you to use the same template for woods or broken ground. I know not everyone likes templates, but some do and it does help define the extent of an area and avoid any confusion. So here goes with some pics!!

DSC00953 DSC00954 DSC00955 DSC00950 DSC00951 DSC00952 DSC00956 DSC00957 DSC00958

The ones with straight edges are designed to sit against the edge of the table to represent an area jutting into the table.

Monty the Desert Rat



Matt varnish, that old chestnut!! I really do wonder how much ink has been spilt on the subject! Anyway, first up, I prefer a matt finish – it’s not for all and very much horses for courses. I have searched high and low for the best matt varnish and I have tried LOTS! Late last year, good Monty chum Erik of Figures in Comfort suggested I try the varnish he sells and so I did and I am VERY pleased. Plus points:

  1. A very matt finish with no need for glossing first (I have been told some matt varnishes work better dulling a gloss coat). But this really is a good, even and matt finish – in my opinion, as good as Dullcote, which seems to be the standard everyone refers to.
  2. A very good spray mechanism. It is not too powerful, has an even coverage but not too wide an arc allowing you to spray at a gentle pace across the models and get a thorough but even coverage.
  3. No wastage so far! I often have problems with sprays clogging or the mechanism just not working very well anymore despite always turning them upside down at the end and spraying to clear. Not so with these.
  4. Value for money. These are £9.00 for 400ml, Dullcote is about £4.60 for 85g. Now I am only a rat and maths was never my strong point, but I reckon based on size (which DOES matter) that the Figures in Comfort spray is more than twice the size of the Dullcore one.
  5. Availability. I have never known of an issue getting varnish from Figures in Comfort, I have personally experienced a lot of difficulty over the years getting Dullcote.


  1. I have not experienced any issues but I am told this varnish can be affected by cold weather, as can, in my experience, pretty much all sprays and especially varnishes. I have also been told that a simple second coat in better conditions solves any ‘misting’.
  2. I have been told some people have suffered from ‘clogged nozzle’ syndrome – no problem, let Erik know and he’ll send you a new nozzle.

Overall, these have become our default varnishes and we are very happy with them. Many thanks to Erik for bringing them to our attention.

Rat Rating: 8½ out of 10

Note: Health and Safety – I’m no expert and this is no place for a lecture, but there are risks associated with spraying and it really is very important to make sure we understand these risks and address them. Personally, I just get one of the staff to do the spraying………..!!


Monty the Desert Rat