Friday, January 31, 2014

Some 25mm rats!

I picked up a small commission of board game pieces to paint. These are 25mm(isn) figures and are a bit smaller than GW skaven.

First up are some rats. These are nice models with reasonably deep detail that allowed for dry brushing and washing.

Up next: Some heroic mice are drying now and I'll post them tomorrow. I'm also working on a batch of nasties, who will likely be finished on Sunday. The club is this coming Tuesday!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Panzergrenadier in miniatures

Bruce hosted a miniaturized game of Panzergrenaider last night, expanding upon the play test he ran at the club last week. The Allies entered the board on the left and there were Axis forces coming from the bottom and right of the board.

The Allies had to get off the left side of the board in 12 turns and the Germans had to prevent that. I've never played Panzergrenadier before but the rules were reasonably easy to pick up. Below you can see the flood of Allies entering the board (Shermans were indeed cheap and plentiful!).

I managed to tie up the Allied advance in three places with close combat. One I won against expectations (yay dumb luck), one I was in the process of losing (because I was stupid about it) and one I won by feeding troops in (good tactics!) and rolling high (good luck!). Both of us rolled a huge number of snake-eyes (including two in a row for me--about 1 in 1300 chance)

Tactically, this game was a German win (lots of Shermans burned and the drive stalled). Strategically it was likely a German loss--I lost about half my force, which would have been irreplaceable in the context of Normandy while the Allies would have been back with new tanks and troops the next day.

The rules had some interesting features. The combat results table takes advantage of the binomial distribution of 2d6 in a way I had not seen before (although I'm no expert on CRT).

Up next: Some board game pieces are underway and some more 15mm Germans have also shown up. Then back to some 1/72-scale ancients.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

15mm artillery and plane

Finishing off this 15mm WW2 commission is a four gun battery from Battlefront.

The unit comes with a command base (gathered round a table) and a security squad.

There are also two forward observer bases.

The final part of this army is a plane. I couldn't get a sharp picture of it on its flight stand.

Up next: Some gaming with Bruce tonight and then I'll be working on another commission: some neat little rats and mice from a board game.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

15mm armoured cars and rocket battery

I picked up a small 15mm WW2 commission and managed to finish almost all of it this weekend. These are Battlefront model.

There were a pair of eight-wheeled armours scars. One of them had two turrets so I paint both and will let the owner choose which vehicle he wanted to field.

There was also a battery of four half-tracks sporting rockets.

These were interesting models (I've never painted these before) with crew.

The battery also came with two command cars, a forward observer team and command stand.

Up next: Some 15mm artillery and a plane plus some gaming with Bruce on Tuesday night. Then onto some board game pieces.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January 21 club night

We had an awesome turn out at the club last night with 15 or 16 players showing up. There were eight (I think) war machine players prepping for a weekend tournament. There was also a game of Battlefleet Gothic in the far corner (too crowded to get to for a picture).

My CCA game didn't attract any players so I packed up at 7 and went home to bed. But Bruce's game of Panzergrenadier ran (been awhile since I've seen his micro armour).

There was also a game of Battlelore.

Up next: I have some 15mm WW2 to start paying down some camo on. After that perhaps some more CCA units.

Monday, January 20, 2014

1/72 Celtic Bow

I find myself in the unusual position of having to paint up troops to fill out an orbit! The CCA game I'm planning on hosting Tuesday at the club requires two units of light bow for the British, troops for which I have made no provision! Huh.

Anyhow, a quick rummage through the box-o-spares turned up nine 1/72-scale guys who will do in pinch. Four of these are Dacians (from Dave, I think) and there look like three old Airfix. And then there two mystery figures (the bald ones--well, perhaps a skull cap that I converted to baldness with some thick paint--maybe medievals from the Robin Hood set?).  

It was strange painting in a lot of nine, instead of 50. Quick! And more enjoyable! Here they are based up on magnetic movement trays (how did I get such detail on the trays, you ask...) ready to drive the Romans back into the Channel.

Up next: Club night is Tuesday and then I have a bunch of 15mm WW2 Germans base coated that need some love.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sturmtigers in 15mm

Two more small Flames of War painting commissions arrived on the weekend. The first are a pair of 15mm Battlefront sturmtigers.

Nice models, with a cool open-top option for one. I don't think I have ever painted a sturmtiger (wow, a "new" WW2 model!). The decals in the box don't match the decals shown on the box, which is a common Battlefront issue. Based on the box diagram, the cross should be centred above the numbers, but there is no way to do that with the decals provided.

The other commission is a small German force with some interesting pieces. A big artillery unit, some cool armoured cars, a plane and some armoured rocket launchers (again, a new set of models to me). These are mostly built and I will prime and base coat this weekend.

Up next: I'm going to run a game of CCA at the club on Tuesday:

I'm pretty sure I have enough figures to miniaturize it but I will need to check on the one unit of British bow--maybe I'll be painting four bowmen this weekend!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

CCN Austrian expansion

Bruce hosted a game of CCN using the Austrian expansion last night. This was a vanguard-rearguard engagement with few (5 and 4 respectively) command cards and a nasty deployment.

The French are mostly cavalry and are heavily weighted to the French right. The Austrians are mostly line foot and are heavily weighted to their right, with reinforcements on the far right. The Austrians also move slowly and have a slightly different "form square" mechanic.

In both games, each player refused their left (or lost all of their units on the left...) which created serious command card woes with so few cards. The first game was a 5-4 Austrian victory because I got lucky and picked off a bold cavalry unit. In the second game, the French attack was much more coordinated and the Austrians took it on the chin, 5-3 (but it was far less close than the score suggests--complete French romp).

Overall, a fun night and an interesting discussion of a new book on Dieppe that posits Dieppe was actually a cover operation for a raid looking for the Germans new Ultra codes. Which explains a lot of the odd aspects of Dieppe.

Up next: I have some 15mm sturmtigers just about done and need to build some more 15mm German units for a commission. I also have some 1/72 cavalry underway.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Some 1/72-scale Greeks from HaT

Over the weekend, I painted up a box of 1/72-scale HaT Thebans. The box contains an "army" of 72 foot and 8 mounted, all in useful gaming poses.

There were 8 mounted--one armoured and one unarmoured pose. Both provide light units to fill out several armies, although I expect they will mostly oppose my (as yet unpainted) Persian forces.

There were a fair number of armoured and unarmoured spearmen. Above you can see the Theban shield design embossed on most of the figures (and my efforts to add some diversity using the non-embossed shields). The command figure is a nice one and will serve as a general.

Below we have a selection of rather flat "side-shot" figures. I'm not crazy about the starker or diaper poses on the left but they'll do for light troops, I guess. I quite like the guy on the right despite the spear being cast attached to his head.

There were also two poses with ring hands for spears. I appreciate the effort to give us poses that are less two-dimensional. Setting aside the lousy photo, I'm never all that thrilled with these as the spears are delicate, the ring hands never fit properly, and they are a bit too perpendicular for my tastes.

Anyhow, a decent start on a Greek army. Perhaps a bit out of period for some of the battles they will fight but cheap an plentiful has a quality all of its own.

Up next: Some 15mm WW2 tanks, some CCN with Bruce and then some more 1/72 ancients (Germanic horse, I think).

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dystopian Wars Prussian Fleet

I traded some painting for a fleet of 1/1200-scale Prussian ships from Spartan Games' Dystopian Wars line. Over the last few weeks I've painted them up. 

This is the Rhine Class fleet carrier with three Stolz class destroyers. I wasn't sure how to paint these guys up. I wanted a militaristic functionality that I associate with Prussians (hence the blue/grey colour and camo on the sides of the ships). But I also wanted some spit and polish (thus all of the brass and silver).

This is an Emperor Class battleship with four Arminius class frigates. The sheer number of ships also meant that I needed a painting scheme I could replicated across all of these ships without spending a month on it. And all of the lovely detailing meant I wanted to play up the wooden decks.

Here we have three Reiver Class cruisers and another five frigates. I've tried some close-ups to show the detailing. Below are the battleship and the carrier.

There were also two Geier class bombers. These have lovely clear flight stands but I couldn't get the camera to focus on them while on the stands.

And then there were 17 (I think) bases of these tiny fliers. The base is about an inch-square to give you a sense of the size of the planes.

Up next: I have some 1/72-scale Thebians that I'm block painting and a bunch more 1/72s primed. I also have two 15mm sturmtigers to build and paint (wow, a WW2 model I've never painted before!). Then I will move onto a Confederate fleet to match the Prussians above.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Club Night January 8

We had 15 players out at the club last night, with three games of War Machine, a game of Fireball Forward and a Napoleonic block game underway.

There was BBQed schnitzel during the first play of Fireball Forward as the might of early war Russian armour lit up Terry's tanks.

I drew the French on this play test of Bruce's new Napoleonic block game.

After pushing back and joint Austrian-Russian attack on the peace-loving French, I extended the (mailed) hand of Friendship to the Austrians. Only to be stabbed in the back by the dastardly English! The French are so misunderstood.

Up next: I have some dystopian wars ships to decal. I've also started block painting a 1/72 Theban army (HaT figures(.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cops and Robbers

For a change of pace, I have been painting some Red Box Policemen and Citizens and Gangsters in 1/72-scale. I painted half of each box, giving me some duplication of poses and I've tried to show only one of each pose below.

There are five police officers, with a mix of firearms and clubs. The sculpting is a bit murky. These looks infinitely better painted than they do as bare plastics.

There are also some citizens. These are the worst of the lot in terms of sculpts. Yet they may be the most useful--they could be civilians from virtually any period from the Boer War to the late 1950s. Again, murky sculpts--you can tell a long arm from a pistol, but that is about tit.

The gangsters are maybe the best sculpts, with some nicer pieces. Lots of flash to carve off. The bases look a bit lame here but they are designed to fit in with the city streets I built awhile back.

The figures are vague enough you can do lots of paint job conversions. Above, I've made a farmer and a fisherman from the same figure. Below, the brawlers are not bad. The fellow in the centre I've done in a barbershop quartet outfit but his mate (not show) looks like a barkeep.

Then there are a few ladies. The granny is the winner sculpt here--reminds me of Marg's mother on the Simpsons. I would think these figures would do for WW2 resistance fighters.

These guys should fit in with the HO scale buildings I've been working on. I plan to get back to finish these buildings this month.

Up next: I have a fleet of Spartan Games' Dystopian Wars Prussians on the go. I also have a US fleet coming (part of a contra deal trading painting for figures). And Tuesday is club night.