About this Squat Lover

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

16 December 2014

British Pioneers (Part 1 - The Troops)

British Pioneer (Non-paratroop mind) platoons in Mid & Late War Flames of War are tiny four-stand affairs mounted in jeeps with trailers. They are cheap, so sometimes can fill in when you've got points left over in a list, but typically there's usually better options out there. Saying that, they still have the ability to get rid of pesky barbed wire and minefields and can also scare tanks away from assaulting them with their AT4 in assaults.

4 men on a stand as opposed to the normal 5 on regular infantry made these fellows a swifter paintjob, which was nice.

This is a platoon that will not see much time on my playing surfaces seeing as my regular opponent has yet to use fortifications, minefields or barbed wire, but the first tournament of 2015 is a small Infantry companies only 1200 point effort and I found they were all I could fit in to my list. Battlefront's own Brit Pioneer sculpts are more for their Italy Campaign line, and so I decided to look elsewhere as I wanted mine to fit in with my current Late War Canadians who are based around a Western Europe theme. Peter Pig Miniatures had a wee pack of their own Pioneers and whilst a little smaller than Battlefront's sculpts, seemed to fit in and give enough character to my stands that they couldn't be confused with regular infantry.

Close up showing that this very suspicious cask needs investigating by these brave Engineers.

Yup, that's a bit dodgy looking alright.

More Pioneers on the move, cautiously scanning for hidden mines.

Jerry has booby-trapped these supplies. 

And taken all the wine and brandy from the crates to boot! Gits!

Platoon Commander
Next up for these blokes will be their Jeeps and a 15CWT Truck, but I'm still waiting for those to arrive in the post.

15 December 2014

British 8th Army HQ and others (WIP - part 2)

Saying that, I have gotten out of my slump and been painting lots this weekend, which is refreshing.

Here are the infantry stands for my 8th Army HQ. I honestly thought painting desert infantry would be easier (When compared to painting Western European Brit uniforms) prior to beginning these fellows, but they require about the same amount of effort. The one part that was easier was the basing. I used some grainy texture paste stuff by Liquitex and some Silfor grass tufts and I think it looks pretty good.

The transport vehicles for this lot are being worked on next and as you’ll see below, I’ve even stuck a spare dog in to further differentiate the White’s Scout Car as the 1iC’s personal transport. :)

1iC contemplating the enemy positions with a mug of tea and trusty pooch "Séamus" the Red Setter.
My 2iC will most likely be platoon commander for the HQ Mortars every game, so he gets some binoculars to help spot valid targets.

HQ Mortar #1. The crew are not Battlefront sculpts and it shows. No idea which company produced these, but they are bloody shite in comparison. Still, seems a lick of paint can improve the appearance of a pig afterall.

HQ Mortar #2. Again, non-Battlefront crew, but at least between the two teams I was able to not double up on any of the poses.

This is the 1iC's Scout Car transport. As you can see, I had a spare dog that I am going to paint up as though he's enjoying the hot desert air blowing his face and ears about as the car zooms about the battlefield. Red Setters are not known for being all that smart, so it fits. 

And these aren't the only models I've managed to paint either. I've also gotten about 4/5's of a British Late War Pioneers platoon done, with just some basing and also transport vehicles to get finished. I didn't have the camera to hand when I put down my brushes last night, so I'll get a new post sorted for those boyo's in the next few days. 

Lastly I finally managed to get in some games of the Fantasy Flight's X-Wing Miniatures game after my good friend Gregg managed to pick up the basic set and a handful of ships on the cheap. I played as the Imperials (Of course) versus Gregg and Frank who took on the mantle of the Rebel Alliance (Though Gregg was playing an E-Wing, which I guess in the Star Wars timeline would have made them New Republic?) We kept the game simple, leaving out the purchasing of gear, usage of named pilots and rules for torpedoes, etc so we could learn the core rules and get them down as best we were able. I think I managed to win one game and then got thumped the others. I will say I really like the moving mechanics of the game, though there is far too much reliance on luck with the dice rolling for my preferences. The models themselves looked very nice, but when I looked them up online, they were way more expensive than I had anticipated and trying to get hold of the early Wave 1 ships for their release prices is damned near impossible. Almost like a bloody collectible card game. That aside, I am looking forward to getting to play again, though I don't think I'll be buying into X-Wing and will let Gregg provide the game and pieces.

07 December 2014

British 8th Army HQ and others (WIP - part 1)

In my list for my Flames of War Mid War British Motor Company, my HQ is comprised of the following:

1. 2x Rifle Command teams (With Sticky Bombs for extra suicide Anti-Tank fun) representing the iC and 2iC
2. a White's Scout Car transport for the 1iC
3. a jeep transport for the 2iC
4. 2x 3" Mortar teams that were add-ons for the HQ
5. and 2 15cwt Morris Truck transports for the Mortar teams.

Over the past few nights, I have been diligently working on the basic paint and shade jobs for these and come up with the following. I think they should do okay for now; as with my Late War Canadians, I will go back later on and highlight their uniforms and skin colours, but right now, they are good for gaming.

Mark iii Churchills in the background taunting me. The transport vehicles are off camera, not worth showing as yet.

I also got around to finally getting some markings done for my finished 8th Army platoons. Not sure how accurate they are for the period I am aiming for, but I got so annoyed that I think I'll just stick with what you see below. At least they look pretty. (Still yet to add some wear and tear to them.)

I don't have the correct Numbered decal for this platoon, so will free-hand it on the opposite side of the hull....

.... and also next to the Desert Rats symbols on the rear.

I reckon the Crusaders look super sexi with their new markings.

Red Triangles for Squadron markings  are a great touch.

Some Crusader rumps for your delectation.

Lastly, I've been working on a little side project for my rpg group's current game - some Robotech mechas! (The GM got a load of them from the Robotech minis game Kickstarter) Each of us four players went and created our own paint scheme for our individual Veritechs and I offered to help out the GM in assembling and painting some up as he's still learning this hobby stuff, bless him. So far I've put together two Zentradi bad-guy bots that look cool but I have no idea what they do, except for one being a leader. I also started on one of the two Veritech Batloids, but will have to get painting first before full assembly as they are fiddly buggers.

A Zentradi Glaug Officer's Pod (Left) and Quel-Gulnau.... thing (Right). My Robotech knowledge isn't that great as I didn't get to watch it that much as a child. Luckily my gaming pals are all big fans of the anime.

Should have some pictures of finished pieces up later this week.

25 November 2014

Interlude (Part 9)

No post last week due to my taking (mostly) a break from hobby-work for health reasons and so had little to report on and less to take pictures of. Add to that my frustration with my Kingforce Churchills (PSC’s instructions were not correct and so mid-way through painting, I realized that certain pieces were not indicated to be glued on and so now I have to go back, file away areas of paint and get that sorted before I can continue to paint.), so I was not in the mood to pick up my paint brushes. I did muddy up the remainder of my Late War Canadian armour and armoured cars though in preparation for….

The last tournament of the 2014 Norcal Flames of War Circuit!

It took place this Saturday at Gamescape North in San Rafael – 1500 point, 3 rounds, strict red-versus-blue D-Day themed Firestorm event. 22 of us showed up with the sides equal (Which was awesome!) and wow, what an event, easily the best tournament I've attended to date. Richard Barnes, who had until early this year (He moved to New Mexico) been a member of our Circuit, travelled back to Northern California to not only run our last tournament of the year, but also provide and paint almost all the Firestorm units required.

Each of the tables were theme’d to specific events during D-Day – Pegasus Bridge (Firestorm units available were some Brit Paras for the allies and rare air support for the Germans), Carentan (Big 8.8 AT guns for the Germans and a P-51 Mustang for the Allies), etc. All 11 tables looked great and most even played great too. (Beach-landing mats and all in some cases!)

As mentioned in my previous post, I brought Canadian armour. Only Confident Trained though, so easy to shoot and being Shermans, well, we all know how good Shermans tanks were/are at suffering German tank/AT-gun fire, right?

I played John Murphy in the first round with the Mission being No Retreat, defending the Pegasus Bridge against his truck mounted Panzer Lehr hoard. My Firestorm unit ended up being a wee platoon of Brit Paratroops (Thematic!) and after mass volleys of artillery and a far too accurate Sporadic Fokke Wulf air attack almost every turn of the game, I managed to withstand him long enough until time was called and I had defended both of the objectives and scoring a 5-2, having only seen my game MVP’s (My Bofors AA guns) finally die off.

This bridge wasn't all that far away afterall.

The Second round I faced off against Wyn Roberts. Wyn is a very accomplished player, who has attended Masters tournaments in the past too. Already I was intimidated. Add to this we were playing Breakthrough on a VERY terrain populated table and my poor tanks were finding it hard to get anywhere without being shot at by “something” as soon as they left cover. Wyn’s deployment was very well done and I just couldn't stop worrying about his Firestorm unit for the game, some Pak43’s that looked so terrifying it they messed up my whole game plan. In the end I managed to take out a platoon of his infantry to scrape by on a 2-5 loss.

Pak43 - these things are bloody HUGE!

At this point, the Commonwealth players weren’t doing all that well with 4 out of 5 of us at only 7 points after the 2nd game. But I was one of them and so hoped I’d pull a favourable match in the 3rd and final game of the day to come out on top and maybe even win an award.

My 3rd game ended up being against Richard Gagliasso and his Confident Trained German Grenadiers list. ELEVEN PLATOONS of the buggers with four of them being some sort of artillery! The game was Free for All which meant that not only did I have to face all that horrid crap, but that I got to face it all at the same time as well. The game was long and drawn out. My troops killed an arseload of stuff, but only ended up managing to kill two full platoons. When time was called, I had just failed a Company morale check and I was left with yet another 5-2 loss. This meant I was out of the runnings altogether. In the end, the Germans thumped us emphatically and so our DDay landings were a total failure. 

We win Tommy!

The event was well put together and a whole bunch of fun – the best tournament I’ve been to yet, and it seems a template that future tournaments are going to be designed by, which is fine by me. The new 2015 Circuit is still in the design stages, but already there are some cool ideas being thrown about from an East Front (For which I have no minis for….) tourney, to a Tunisia theater one (Which would be perfect for my Desert Brits!).

It ain't 'alf  'ot out 'ere Mum...

This current hobby burnout will hopefully pass by quickly what with a 5-day break coming up for me for the Thanksgiving holiday two days away, so hopefully I'll have a new post up over the weekend showing some progress shots of my work. 

*edit* With all this poor hobby progress going on, I can take solace in the fact that I still have yet to purchase any new models, so the hobby pledge isn't a total loss. :)

16 November 2014

Eyes and Ears in the Desert

Whilst work has started on my Kingforce Churchill platoon, I decided to take a quick break from them (As they haven't turned out as simple to paint up as I'd originally envisaged.) and kick out the Universal Carrier Patrol for my 8th Army project. I've showcased a different patrol for my Late War Canadians previously and this set of three were pretty much the same models, though from a dodgy re-caster on Ebay. The sculpts were alright, though the crew (Driver and gunner, the passenger in the rear of the lead carrier is a metal mini I added.) were part of the cast, so were a bit of a pain to pick out, but otherwise, these being tiny vehicles, they painted up super quick. Again, markings and some weathering still in the works and this time I think I have at least 1/2 my Company's markings ready to apply.

These fellows' faces are all rosy to show their desert tans, or sunburn. :)

 This one makes me think these Tommies are sat gorping at the red-headed girl in the distance. :)
Lastly, I'm also trying hard to finish a last minute surprise project in time for the D-Day tournament on Saturday 22nd. I think it will look really cool once completed, just hope I can get it done in time.