Sunday, June 29, 2014

New tutorial: Painting vehicles using washes

Just in time for Canada Day, I have published a new tutorial about painting vehicles using a white primer and various washes.

As with the other painting and basing tutorials I have done, these are mostly designed to provide new gamers with some quick-and-easy ways to get troops on their table.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

1/76-scale Matilda II

The first of the BEF troops for my Memoir '40 game is finished. This is an old Airfix 1/76-scale kit. I think this actually a later model than would have seen service in France but whatcanyado?

I did this in a two-tone wash. Meh. The decals help a lot--nice that they didn't shatter as soon as they hit the water. I endsd up using the Australian decals rather than the North African set, as the Aussie decals seem to work better with the green colour. Plus the tank was named "brassiere".

Up next: Likely back to infantry. I have a few French guys primed and a bunch of Zvezda units to build.

Friday, June 27, 2014

1/72-scale Char B and FT-17

These are the first of the French troops for my France 1940 Memoir game. These are an old Matchbox kit (so 1/76-scale). I'm not super-keen on the FT-17 paint job and will likely add a second colour in a bit--painted them to illustrate a later post).

I have two more kits like this to get enough French tanks for all of the scenarios in the campaign book. These were reasonably easy kits but the instructions are all in Chinese so I am working just from the exploding diagrams. I expect the next two bunches should go a bit easier!

Up next: Not sure--likely an article on painting armour using stains and a white base. Then onto some more troops and guns while I put together a larger order for reinforcements.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

1/72 37mm ATG

Here is the last of the German guns for Memoir '44 (for now). This is a $5 Zvezda 37mm ATG.

Nice model--I always find the angle of the shield to be a bit fiddly. Great crew figures.

Up next: A Char B1 and an FT 17 are underway.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

1/72 75mm infantry gun

Another of the Memoir 44 guns. This is again a $5 Zvezda model for their Art of Tactics game. This time it is a 75mm infantry gun.

I see the figures are vastly more shiny than the model so I will try to hit them with some paint-on dull coat. I may have also gotten carried away with the dust.

Up next: A 37mm ATG and then perhaps onto some French tanks by Canada Day.

Monday, June 23, 2014

1/72-scale 105mm howitzer

Continuing with the Memoir 44 units, today I finished off a 105mm howitzer for the bad guys.

This is a $5 Zvedza kit and is quite nice to put together. I love the base they include which allows you to easily sink the legs into the "soil".

If I had a complaint, it would be that the range of elevation on the gun was quite restricted for a howitzer. Perhaps this is historic, but the picture I see online suggest a bit more elevation was possible.

Up next: Some more ATGs--I am quite liking the freedom to use different models to represent the abstract "gun" in Memoir.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

1/72-scale Flak 36

My autumn 2014 project is going to be some 1/72-scale WW2, focused on France 1940 so I can play the Memoir 44 campaigns in the first (now out-of-print) Memoir campaign book. As I wait for some French to arrive, Dave picked me up a Zvezda 88mm ATGs.

This was a lovely kit to assemble and I'm looking forward to the second one. It took about 30 minutes to build (mostly waiting for the glue to tack-up before putting on the next piece). I sprayed, dry brushed and then dusted.

I'm not sure the colour is perfect--I was going for weathered Panzer Grey rather than a factory finish. I spent a fair bit of time applying rust washes and I see these largely disappeared under the magic dip.

One of my thoughts is assembling forces is that each unit would comprise a dioramic base with extra (individually-based) foot soldiers accompanying it to allow for casualty removal. I think this will look nice and also reduces the amount of kit I need to build.

A second thought was that the units didn't have to perfectly match (since Memoir is pretty abstract). So I tried to paint these guys up as a Luftwaffe unit (with blue-ish uniforms) while the next unit will have more traditional greenish infantry uniforms.

I may have overdone the highlighting as blue turned distinctly towards grey (it has been awhile since I've done any WW2 modelling). The kit also helpfully came with a few decals, including in the one I applied to the barrel.

The Zvezda infantry and guns offer a nice diorama base for units so I picked up a few more locally and have three guns sitting on the back deck built and sprayed.  These include a 37mm ATG and a pair of different howitzers.

Up next: Likely some more German guns and then perhaps some infantry and tanks.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Club night

We had 13 guys out last night, which was a good turn out given the nice evening and the start of holiday absences. There were four guys playing Warmahordes. There was also a bad "hitting the floor sound" which turned out to be dice, not figures (whew!).

I played a game of Zombicide with Andy, Craig, Scott and Terry. I was excited to get Wanda, whose roller skates gave her additional movement. She also eventually got tooled up with some pistols and became the willy jeep of the group.

This was one of the better Zombie games I've played--some interesting colour and options. Below, the board, just before things got bad.

Larry brought out a game of Samurai Battles using the Borg rules. This looked pretty good.

Finally the Zombie crew played a D&D game Craig brought out. Here you can see Terry's troll about to smack down Scott's dragon (which my guy is shooting in the ass).

Up next: I painted up a 1/72-scale German 88 that is just drying. After that, maybe more 1/72-scale stuff.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Some 20mm Romans

A couple of days of rain kept me off the bike and out of the garden so some painting got done! Awhile back the fellows at TMP suggested I look to Irregular for a few command figures to fill out my Strelets 1/72-scale Romans.

These arrived quickly as usual and I put together three bases. They fit in nicely with the plastics (on either side in the picture above). I gave one fellow a purple cloak (in case I ever need a CnC).

The figures are meant to form up in a line. They have very nice detail in the wolf skins.

I also ordered the two war machines I need for the various Roman scenarios.

Up next: I still have some late Roman cavalry. I am slowly starting to pick up stuff for my 2014/15 project: Memoir '44 (well, Memoir '40) in 1/72-scale. If the weather turns, Iw ill start to assemble a couple of these guys. I'd like to up the level of detail in my painting since the project is relatively small. We also have the club on Tuesday night. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Some 15mm 5150

Vacations and other summer activities will be interrupting my biweekly gaming with Bruce so I wandered out on Wednesday night four one last go.

We gave the 5150 ground rules by Two Hour Wargames a go using Bruce's 15mm sci-fi stuff. A meeting engagement and the guy who holds the two wins the games.

Overall, simple enough. I like the activation mechanism (although momentum does not shift like it does in other THW rules) and the morale system. Movement and shooting were simple enough but lacked something for me. The reaction system (in lieu of opportunity fire) is a good concept but tends to bog play down some. Not as good as FUBAR in my view. But a fun time (except when Bruce stripped my armour from the field... .

Up next: Some stuff on the painting table and it looks like I can make the club night on June 17!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

10 years at the EWG

We had 10 guys out to the club last night to celebrate 10 years of gaming! Dave hosted a Juno Beach themed game of Memoir '44 (which ran twice). We also booked the venue for MayDay 2015 (also its 10th iteration).

Bruce and I played a two games of 1775. Game one was quick as Bruces luck with the cards meant he had to play both truce cards (to end the game) in 1777. I think (and my memory is sketchy) that the Americans won this because Bruce couldn't time the game end with his cards.

We played again. Bruce again ended the game early on but there was enough time for the British player to undermine the American lead (maybe a tie?).

Up next: Bruce and I have some sci-fi scheduled for this week and it looks like the next club night is also a soccer bye (unless there is a rain out to play).

Up next for the club: An autumn auction to cover the rent and, hopefully, more games (we had a lot of onlookers last night) being offered.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

MayDay WW2 AAR

The first Saturday is May is the local club's annual MayDay convention. This year, Justin put in a huge WW2 game in 15mm pulled from an old Wargamer's Digest.

Each player received a copy of the map, a command roster, data sheet and their orders. Each player's orders included dated (i.e., misleading) information. For the Germans, it was that the recon elements had not yet seen any US forces as they reconnoitred south of the river before turning east and going off board (although they mentioned hearing engine sounds to the south). The fellow in the blue short is standing on the German base-line.

The Germans orders were to force a crossing of the river and capture a road junction about three feet south of the river for a minor victory. A major victory would occur if they captured the junction plus got the equivalent of a company in good order off the far southeast edge of the table.

The US recon information indicated that they had run into a small German supply column south of the river and had destroyed it. The US forces were also informed that the bridge at Neuberg(town in the photo above) had been blown by retreating US forces. The US orders were to prevent a German bridgehead on the south side of the river for a marginal victory and for a major victory they were to create their own bridgehead on the north side of the river.

The Germans deployed first and were surprised to find that the US forces were so far forward. Nevertheless, the Germans stuck to their plan of rushing to Neuburg to use the ford and repairing the bridge to create their own crossing. A supporting/diversionary attack consisting of elements of the truck-borne panzer grenadiers supported by a company of combat engineers and the AA section (burning, below) moved on the second ford.

Unsure of the opposition (all unspotted stands were just a numbered blind), the German attack slowed down as they worked to position themselves for the crossings. The first attempt at crossing at Neuburg saw a company of panzer grenadiers, on foot, rush the remaining structure of the bridge. A company of Panthers kept watch. However, a platoon of US infantry supported by a MMG made the crossing suicidal, but were forced to retreat under tank fire.

The Germans then reorganized their crossing forces and then cautiously advanced recon elements on foot across the bridge at Neuburg. Using the recon elements to expose the forward US forces, they were better able to ascertain the threat and call in artillery on identified positions. The German forces then made another push at Neuburg using smoke and artillery to cover the work of their engineers on the ford and get a company of infantry across the river. The cracks in the defence were beginning to show.

At the other ford, the German and US forces trade fire across the river with the German AA company being destroyed, but the US infantry began to melt away. Here too, the Germans began to gain the upper hand and slowly get across the river.

As the German's artillery began to take its toll on the defenders, the 1st Panther company crossed the river followed by more panzer grenadiers. With the US infantry battalion falling to pieces, the tank battalion of CCR arrived and began to counter attack the forming German bridgehead.

It was at this point that the game ended with a marginal German victory based on casualty counts.

Up next: I have some late Roman cavalry underway and just got an order of 20mm metals to create Roman command and artillery stands. I'm also hoping to get a game in with Bruce on Wednesday.