Saturday, September 27, 2014

Some 54mm AWI Continentals

A couple of weeks back, Scott brought some 54mm War of 1812 figures and rules from All The King's Men out to the club. We've had big figures out before (Dave had some nice WW2 figures as well as some Naps at one point. But I was blown away by the toy soldier look Scott achieved.

A few days later, there was a fellow on TMP selling some AWI figures by ATKM so I plunked down my money. A 12-man infantry unit plus command, a 6lb cannon and a Washington figure were included (plus rules, tokens, bases and trays. The 12-man unit had the coats, facings, vests and trousers done (a mix of block painting the darker colours and washes over white for the lighter colours) so I picked up where their former owner left off and also added in some layering and the magic dip.

Given this Frankenstein's-monster approach to painting, I was pretty happy with the results (especially given the eye-searing risks of red over white primer). The bases look like Litko--not sure who makes the movement trays. I think these guys could use a coat of flat sealer. I've made some progress on the command figures (need to fabricate a flag and pole) and have primed the rest of the figures.

Up next: I have built the second set of 10mm Dropship Commander figures Craig gave me to paint. I will spray they copper tomorrow (needs a bit more heat than we have today) and proceed to detailing. Then maybe back to these 54mm fellows.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Nations at War: Belgium 1940

Bruce put on a Nations at War game last night, focused on the German push through Belgium in May of 1940. I played the bad guys with two mixed brigades of Germans against a two French (one armoured and one infantry group). Points were awarded for destroying units and taking towns.

I advanced to contact and tried to swing around the right side of the French infantry line. After some dithering, I managed to do that and started to roll up his position, aiming to get my tanks into his rear area (where the very annoying artillery barrages were coming from...).

The left side of the line saw a tank slug-fest where the armour of the French tanks gave them immense resiliency. Here I managed to overrun a few tanks and get my heavy tanks (well, Panzer 3s...) with the commander in a position to also strike into the rear area--essentially abandoning the rest of my brigade (fortunately the French were equally disordered).

These two pincer met in the artillery park. At this point, the Germans were well ahead on kills and starting to take towns. And Bruce twice got hooped by the activation cards so we called it for the Germans. I know this game isn't for everyone, but I quite like the level of decision-making it offers. It feels like running two DBA-sized armies and nicely models some stuff, including breakthroughs.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

10mm Dropships and infantry

I finished up the human faction Craig asked me to paint for him out of the Dropship Commander starter box. There are three drop ships, with two variants.

These are pretty nice models. They can be rigged with magnets (by modellers more skilled than I) to actually carry the other models they are supposed to "drop". I added some decals but I didn't try magnets!

They also some with clear flight stands that I did not assemble (will likely break in transit so I left them on the sprue. These stands allow the ships to hover over the table about three inches up.

I also painted and based six stands of infantry. Nothing like a photo to bring out the part of the base you forgot to paint... . (I will get that fixed Craig!). These were nice models but painting 10mm is trickier than I recall it being when my eyes were younger!

Up next: I'm of to game with Bruce tonight. Then more Dropship Commander stuff and a slight diversion into some 54mm models.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dropship Commander vehicles

Craig asked me to paint up his starter box for Dropship Commander. I finished off the decaling on the human faction vehicles today.

These model looks to me to be about 10mm and are hard plastic. They are fantastically engineered and cast with amazing tolerances. I don't really care for assembly, but these were a dream with well thought out joints, no flash and simple construction.

I painted these up much like the book suggested. I may have strayed a bit light (I used a can of Russian green I had laying around as the base colour). The APCs are nice enough models.

There are two different tank-like vehicles. The anti-air type (above) has a gatling cannon while the anti-tank type (below) has some sort of laser (or rail?) gun. I didn't read the background fluff in the rules.

Up next: There are three drop ships that I'm just finishing along with six units of foot.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Flashback: Gunslinger

We had nine guys out at the club last night. Dave hauled out his 10mm WW2 troops and put on a Russian front game using Blitzkrieg Commander.

Bruce took us back to 1982 (or 1882?) with a game of Avalon Hill's Gunslinger, including Gamescience miniatures he won in an auction around about that time. 

The marshall and Miss Kitty were left to defend the town against two desperadoes. The bad guys split up, with Terry's fellow exchanging wild shots with the marshall, while I snuck around the buildings to get the drop on him. Miss Kitty moved into the saloon and pulled her derringer out of her bodice.

Alas, the marshall pulled a whole lot of bad, bad cards (too much coffee?) and was unable to hit me. Eventually, we dispatched the marshall and made a terrible mess of the saloon with gunfire.

Up next: I have some Dropship Commander minis underway. The human faction is based coated and I'm working on the details. These are nice models!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

1/72-scale WW2 French Infantry

The recent spate of nasty weather (plus a commission that is demanding attention) inspired me to move some of the WW2 French infantry that have been crowing my desk through the final steps.

These are 1/72-scale models from Caesar Miniatures. There were about 40 in a variety of poses. I decided to base them single-ly for my Memoir '40 project.

I also have a box of Pegasus French that I will multi-base to create the core of each Memoir unit. The tunics came out about how I figured they would but the helmets came out way darker.

The Pegasus models were (mostly) multi-part models so I left them to be assembled later. But I did paint the two poses that didn't require assembly. Below, you can see the Pegasus and Caesar poses side-by-side (Pegasus in the number 1 and 3 spots). Pretty compatible, I'd say.

I've moved some stuff around in my hobby room to better organize it. This has affected level and angle of the natural night available for photo box. The picture below shows an interesting effect, with the background fading out the mini.

Up next: Some Dropzone Commander minis are built and will be primed tonight (if the weather cooperates). I have two batches of these. Then probably back to some more 1/72-French.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

War of 1812 at the club

Our first games night of the fall and we had 16 guys with five games running (basically a full house--any more games and we would have spilled over into the foyer!).

Chen hosted a game of Strange Aeons and there was some Warmachine. Bruce hosted a WW2 game. And Dave hosted an ancient game. Lots of genres last night and almost every scale from 6mm to 54mm. One of our better nights, I think--thanks to all of the hosts for their efforts!

I played All the King's Men (War of 1812) with Scott, using his lovely 54mm metal figures. Wow, what a look! This was my first time through the rules. I like the card activation and the multiple activations (with decreasing effectiveness). 

The first game was all Britain. It was the second battle of Mackinac and the British artillery quickly brewed up the American arty. Then the indian allies paid a surprise visit to the American flank.

And then another visit on the other flank and game over. Yankee go home!

We played a second game switching sides and this was much more close run. The Indians were still a pain in the butt for the Americans but the Americans managed to break them with disciplined fire (and dumb luck). At the end, I'd say it was a bloody draw.

Overall, an interesting game. I wonder what it would play like in centimetres. There was little room for manoeuvre in the game--basically set 'em and go forward. The decisions were about which units to activate, when. These were good decisions, mind you. But a slower game with more modest ranges might make for an interesting experiment (not sure about range versus unit footprint). I'd certainly play again. And 54mm is very attractive!

Up next: Assuming the weather starts to turn, Iw ill get bad to some 1/72-French. Then I picked up a DropZone Commander Commission which requires some building and painting.