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I paint small metal and plastic figures and rarely get to play with them. But that is fine with me.

06 June 2018

D-Day

74 years ago, the largest amphibious landing in history commenced as hundreds of thousands of brave Allied military personnel landed on the shores of Normandy with the intention of pushing the German defenders out of France.

In 10 days, my local LGS (Ogre's Den in Orangevale, CA) is holding an event to commemorate D-Day and I intend to attend along with my good pal Densmol. As my own Bolt Action armies are unsuitable for Western Europe in early June I had to borrow an army from Densmol's growing Germans collection, so I'll be fielding some Regular Heer with some Inexperienced Kreigsmarine (Sailors), Strafbattalion (Military inmates) and a tonne of Light and Medium Machineguns to defend the Normandy beaches.

Densmol's collection though didn't extend far enough to fill out a full 1000 point list, so he purchased the Kreigsmarine and said that I'm welcome to include them, but I had to paint them up first along with a Captain (See below) and Medic.

Here I present to you my force's Captain - I included him in my list as I am all too sure that my poor squads are going to be suffering a LOT of bombardments early in the game and his extra command bonuses will help remove any pins that ensue. The model was a freebie included with an order from and is by Warlord Games. (Though I can't seem to find him on their website?) Nice one piece sculpt with a few annoying moldlines running right down the face of the sculpt, but otherwise a simple one to paint up. Because time is of the essence I didn't put too much effort into this one, but I think he looks like a good tabletop job. He'll be staying with Densmol after the event as a thankyou for lending me an army (again).





Of course the errant bit of fluff on his cap peak somehow was not noticed until I am at work editing these pics... le sigh.

Please forgive the lighting in the pics, my tiny cheap photo box seems to only have one brightness setting and I've yet to work out a way to diffuse those LEDs. (I'm thinking perhaps a strip of wax paper?)

Next on the painting desk will be the Kreigsmarines. I've already blocked in 75% of there base colours, but so far they have been excellent sculpts to work with and have varied uniforms which will make painting them up for more enjoyable.

01 May 2018

Comrade! (Part 27 - KV Wip and something ancient-y)

Only a little hobbying to show since last post.

I built the KV-1/2 kit I get as part of my prize from the Stalingrad event  I went to on the 21st. It was a relatively simple model to put together and I really love the fact that it comes with two distinct different turrets for the chassis so you can make either the standard KV-1, or the crazy top-heavy looking KV-2. (Differences between the two - the KV-1 mounted a medium anti-tank gun, whilst the KV-2 had a scary arsed Heavy Howitzer!)

Just a pic of the build so far. The only real fiddly bits were the two tiny machinegun barrels (One on the hull as pictured and another on the rear of each turret) that were hard to handle without getting one's fingers glued up.

Silly design really - these things could potentially tip backwards if they were set up on an incline!


I also was excited to see this new shiny thing arrive in my postbox on Saturday! This is a new game put out by Andy Hobday, who seems a jolly nice bloke. Along with this new starter set, the Gangs of War game in general seems to be very well supported with lots of free to download scenarios that can take new players beyond the one in the box. I really like how it's a really small scale game (So only a handful of minis each that need to be painted!) and after a quick scan through the rules, seems very straight forward to learn. This set also was a steal as it includes a beautiful Temple to Apollo in mid-construction (By Sarissa Design.). I've begun gluing it together, though there's not much to look at so far, so instead, here is a derpy picture of me and my acquisition from the weekend.

Ladies, this hunk is avail... oh feck, who am I kidding. There're no ladies following my blog!
In my last post, I briefly described a very funny (At the time) moment during the Stalingrad event where my team-mate, Tony sent in from reserve his Ampulet team up a sewerage canal on an inflatable dingy. Well, here's a pic he took of said team! Bloody ridiculous and we all (German player aside) had a good laugh over it!



Last night I had a wee bit of time to slap a little paint on a couple of my zombie collection to cleanse the pallet sotospeak after painting so much WW2 uniforms, so next post they should be finished and ready to show off - watch this space!

24 April 2018

Stalingrad Event

The Volga Crossing where I played

Pavlov's House in the center of the long table

The Tractor Factory. The lavender yarn was used to mark deployment zones. Those diagonal deployment zones made for an interesting setup.

My view up the table.

In my last post I described an event that I have been very much looking forward to, the first I've been able to attend this year. The area's main hub for Bolt Action, Ogre's Den in Orangevale graciously opened doors and allowed the group to set up a 4'x18' table to represent three of the most iconic parts of the Battle for Stalingrad in World War 2 - The Tractor Factory, Pavlov's House and the Volga Crossings. The table(s) looked simply breathtaking, easily rivaling anything I've seen posted online. Andrew Bergthold was the on-the-day organiser and was also celebrating his birthday (So we all got free BBQ'd burgers, kindly provided by his father.) and had designed the overall scenario and specific conditions that each section of the table had to abide by. Each table section had a pair of players for each side playing 5 turns over two connected games. The 1st game we could not affect what was happening on the tables next to us, but in the 2nd game (After we were provided reinforcements, we could, which made for some really fun matchups.). It all made for a very fun and thematic day of gaming, with the overall winner who had the most kills, taken objectives and also managed to get their troops into their enemy's deployment area.


My list for the day had a few restrictions in the players packet, seeing as Tony and I were "Crossing the Volga river". No vehicles (In the initial crossing, though any taken could come on as reserves, no
gun teams larger than a light AT/Howitzer and to reflect the constant peppering those poor sods had to endure on those wooden boats all units that arrive in the "1st Wave" (A turn 1 mechanism in Bolt Action) arrive already having a pin on them.

My force on the day.
1st Lt.
2x 12-man Regulars each with 2x LMG's - Fantatics
2x 7-man Regulars all with SMG's - Fanatics
1x (free) 12-man Inexperienced Squad - Fantatics
Regular Sniper team - Fantatics
Regular Flame Thrower team
Regular Anti-Tank Rifle team (Ended up just taking the one) - Fanatics
A Forward Artillery Observer
Medium Mortar Team - Fanatics
And here are some of the other armies present at the event - some really nicely painted forces I think!









The following are just the pictures I took of the day's gaming; that is, when I remembered to take them. Our main objective was to have more troops on the wooden square just past the beach then the Germans by the end of the 1st round. I will say, #1 highlight of the day was my mates Gregg and Frank from my rpg group turning up to check out the game and my old Flames of War pal Rich (Of Flames of Nerd blog fame likewise dropping by and feeling so inspired he went and picked up a whole new Japanese army later that day! Woo, a new opponent!) who stuck around for the early stages. 

That crashed aircraft terrain piece was lovely. Have since bought a 1/48 Spitfire to make something similar myself!

This StuG did a good job of scaring the Soviets on the beach to keep their heads down, but in the end would end up immobilised and thereafter, ignored. 

Forward you dogs!



When you aim to be killingest general of the day, this is how one should roll. (A rare day where my dice and I loved eachother.)


So close!

There had been a Kraut Flame Thrower team at the crest of that rise for a second there.... wonder where they went? 

Getting a bit packed on this beach.



Meanwhile, over behind Pavlov's House.


Action shot of Travis Hiett's Assault Engineers stomping through some rubble

Wait, there can't possibly be more troops coming from across the river???

That's right Nazi pigs!

Sudden breakthrough on the left flank! Soviets assault the German sniper who had set up in the left side ruins.

The Tractor Factory was incredibly hard fought. 
Well, somehow, that person was me. My first #1 placing at any sort of event. :)

Highlights of the game:

1.  One of my fine opponents, Aaron brought on his Flame Thrower team from reserve a mere 6" from a squad of my own poor troops who had just managed to crawl off the beach and take their first step on dry land. Aaron gleefully throws his to-hit dice to spread fiery death upon them and rolls.... a "one", thoroughly missing his shot! Next he rolls to see if his Flamethrower still had fuel left and rolls.... another "one"! Seems the silly buggers forgot to fuel up before leaving for the front lines! (Free kill point for me.)

2. My Soviet partner, Tony (Who's company made the day even more fun), brought along a T-34 tank, which seemed to cause our German playing opponents some concern (Even though, throughout the game, the tank shot and hit NOTHING). So both Aaron and Kat called in an Airstrike by the Luftwaffe Stukas to take it out. Both roll to see if/how the strike was coming in and.... both rolled a "one" at the same time! In Bolt Action, that means the incoming aircraft mistake their own forces as targets and the opposing player(s) (In this case Tony and I) got to pick their targets instead! Whilst the ensuing airstrikes didn't kill all that much (Mostly due to both German forces being Veteran skill level throughout for the most part), they caused enough pins on the German units to be really annoying.

3. Kat's lone remaining Veteran Grenadier that had been withstanding a withering hail of small arms fire and yet surviving all of it, was eventually charged by Tony's 6-man Naval squad and forced to defend himself in close combat! Of course, Tony rolled not one dice enough to take the bugger out and Kat in turn did just enough to win the combat, wiping out all 6 sailors with a cheeky grin on her face. (She now has a reputation for this sort of shenanigan after doing similarly against me in my previous matchup against her)

4. My Medium Mortar team refused to come in from reserves 3 turns in a row.... Then when it finally set up for a shot, ranged in first time and annihilated the remainder of a 5-man Veteran Grenadiers squad. (The Commissar had just brought out his pistol to execute traitors to the Motherland as well...)

5. The last two turns of the day saw a KV-1 tank (Borrowed from Jason, a very nice chap) brought on from my post-game reserves come on over on the Factory table to tackle some nasty stubborn German StuG (that had a heavy howitzer!?), but it couldn't penetrate the makeshift tankhunter's extra-thick armour; and Tony's Ampulet team come on on the same board, paddling an inflatable raft up a sewerage canal and try to lob globes of firey death at the StuG (Also to no effect.). This in turn caused Craig (The StuG's owner) to angrily pick up his tank and claim "It wouldn't stick around". Needless to say, he didn't enjoy the game. LOL.

In the end the day was an emphatic overall Soviet victory and called off early, with the Commies holding all three main objectives and really piling the hurt on the poor Germans. Also, it seems the Luftwaffe were on drugs or something that day because as well as the two fouled-up airstrikes on our table, a 3rd was called in and also fouled up (Destroying it's own German gun team I think) on the Tractor Factory table too, along with a general strafing of the whole board after the 1st round that hit absolutely nothing. (!?)

The winner of the event was... me, with 11 kills for the day, 3 of my own units in my opponent's deployment zone and our main objective taken (And had the game gone on one more turn I would have grabbed one of the German secondary objectives too.).  My first time winning a gaming event too. With my in-store credit that I received as reward, I quickly spent it prior to heading home, leaving with a new Warlord plastic KV-1/2 tank kit, a Soviet Anti-tank Dogs team, Soviet Heavy Mortar team, a 2nd red orders dice set (So I can play armies larger than 12 units total.) and the below Rubicon Models Soviet Studebaker truck (That I glued together last night.). A fine haul!



If you got down to this part, then congrats, didn't realise this was going to end up so wordy!

The paint table is a little cluttered right now with many project on the go at the same time. I think a little non-WW2 is in order to clean off my hobby palette?

20 April 2018

Comrade! (Part 26 - We're not gonna make it!)

My painting opportunities this week ended up being far fewer than anticipated, so this is where these four fellows have gotten to. Still skin/eyes/hair and some tidy-ups here and there to get done and then of course snow effects added to their bases to go.

But, with my regular rpg session taking up this evening, that leaves me with about 30 mins after I get home from work tonight to get all that done!

O_o

Yikes.

I take it back, the two on the right already have their skin/hair/eyes done. So perhaps not so insurmountable a task? Maybe some 2am painting post-rpg'ing will be enough!?

16 April 2018

Comrade! (Part 25 - 2 more members for my veterans squad)

At the Ogre's Den LGS in Orangevale this Saturday, there's going to be a Stalingrad theme'd Bolt Action game event. Of course I'll be taking my Winter Soviets along and have been drawn to play the Volga Crossing table, attempting to get my reinforcements across the river and head in to back up the beleaguered brave defenders in the city proper.After choosing a list on EasyArmy, I realised I was two soldiers short for one of my squads, so after a wee search, found these minis that fit in perfectly with my Winter Onesie squad of Veterans. They are produced by Annie Norman's Bad Squiddo Games and turned out to be very straight forward to paint up.

They'll provide a 2nd LMG for my Fanatic (Stalingrad selector allows almost all your troop choices to add "Fanatic" to your units.) regs, making the squad rather nasty on the table at range AND in close combats.

Trooper on the right looks a bit surprised/googly, but I figured I'd leave her that way seeing as her helmet is down so low that on the table, no-one will see her features anyway.

Bad Squiddo is a minis company that specialises in ranges solely of female figures, but in more realistic/practical attire/armour. These WW2 ladies were originally part of a kickstarter prior to regular release and are sold as "Soviet Scouts", though they blend in perfectly with Warlord's Winter range and so will just be regular troops for my purposes


Next up the only other oustanding units from my army list, two Anti-tank Rifle teams. No Panzerfausts in Stalingrad, so my poor boys are going to have to try to tackle and German armour with these things. They'll also double up as psuedo-snipers too, which will be extra annoying, I'm betting. :)

Am pretty sure the bipods are incorrectly placed, but they'll do. I have yet to use Anti-tank guns in-game and always pass them up when choosing units for some reason.