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.

10 April 2014

Six of Seven

Six out of seven ratlings are done! (The seventh had a mishap, and so I’ll have to start from scratch on him.)

But I’m calling this one done done done. The models weren’t cleaned up or anything prior to me getting them and I refused to do it myself after goods had already been exchanged and hands shaken. So they were painted au naturelle so to speak. Tabletop quality was requested so that’s what you see here. Nothing special, but good enough to get them laid down and ready to snipe out enemies of the Imperium of Man.

To celebrate, I also finished up another miniature I had promised a mate I’d do up for him over a year ago for a roleplay game character (From a campaign that we have since long finished…. *facepalm*). The figure originally sported a nice bo-staff to go with it’s “Brotherhood of the Wolf” look, but the character it represents hacks his enemies apart with a hand axe, so a simple weapon-swap was done. (No back view as it’s just a plain black cloak, which is…. Boring.)

 Once I get the final ratling done, it's on to my Desert 8th Army Brits. I have all but one truck (Out of 15 needed....) out of the models required for my Mid War list and I can't wait to get painting it. Stay tuned!

30 March 2014

Loss - Draw - Win

A bit of a lengthy post ahead due to me not posting for a bit:

Was given these aviators after a recent visit to family in Texas. These were my Grandpa's sunglasses that he used whilst posted with the US Airforce in Burhma in the early 40's. Cool eh?

The title describes my day and result yesterday at the Flames of War tournament at ConQuestSac, a great day of gaming at the Red Lion Hotel in Sacramento. I think there were around 16 or so players with some great looking armies and players coming from as far as Reno NV. This was the 2nd tournament of the NorCal FoW circuit (the 1st was last month at Gamescape North in San Rafael which I'll talk about below.).

The tournament theme was Normandy setting (So lists could only be taken from the Overlord & Atlantik Wall books and Normandy era pdf's.) and Infantry companies only at 1650 point lists. Three rounds saw us playing the No Retreat, Encounter and Counter Attack missions in that order.

Including the T.O. (DaveP) there were almost equal amount of both Axis and Allied lists and he tried his best (And succeeded for the most part) to match up Blue vs Red each round.

I faced a new (To playing Infantry companies)-ish player John in the 1st round who brought along a German SS Kompanie that he'd never used before having only played Tiger companies prior. So.... this game ended up being a very much teaching game to help John understand his options where playing and using infantry platoons are concerned (And he really didn't like infantry as a game mechanic - too fiddly I think.). In the end, John won 5-2. He was a really cool chap and it'll be cool to see him at a future event and hopefully he'll have some more games under his belt to make the play flow better.

These are the only gameplay pics from this game I got. Kind of got into the moment after this and forgot to pull out the phone-cam. Please note the Panzer iv's on the left having just ambushed and blown the shermans at the bottom of the pic to bits.....

With my Carriers burning in the background all hopes of winning the game through objectives are done for so my men are thrown in to last ditch assaults to claim whatever kill points they could before the game ended. The Panzer iv's bottled and gave me the single point to not end up a complete loss.
My next game was against Densmol and his own SS. We played on a table covered with bocage hedgerows. Up until playing this game I had the intention of picking up a bunch of these terrain pieces as they look so cool but after playing this game.... No. No bocage for my home collection. Our game whilst being fun was a very slow and frustrating affair. The bocage rules make for a very frustrating and stuttering gaming experience. Thankfully playing against Densmol (Our first time in a tourney setting!) we were able to see the fun side of it all and played out the game to a 3-3 draw.

For those not knowing, this is bocage. You can't see through it unless you are right up against it and it provides concealment and bullet proof cover - infantry were super tough to dig out. In real life with these things in mind, The allies had a nightmare of a time trying to dig out the germans hiding in behind this stuff.

My third game was against the TO himself and his son, some sort of mixed unit list with Luftwaffe troops and all sorts. This game went far better and my plan worked out from the 1st turn. The Naval Guns bombardments in this game really did a number on DaveP's infantry and along with some nasty flamethrower-ing by my Crocodile tanks, I ended up with a 5-2 win.

So in all a day that got better (points-wise) as it went along. I didn't place even close to the top of the rankings, but it was a really fun event with some very cool opponents. When awards were bring given out, I surprisingly ended up winning Best Sport! Quite the honour and a prize of 4 Jagpanzer iv's means that I may well start a German force afterall so I can teach my son how to play too.

 Next up some variable quality pics of some of the armies that were there:

My own Canadians posing as 50th Tynes & Tees for the day.

Really would love to pick up one or two of these pontoon bridges - so cool!

These are Ziv's Brits. He's based them to look like they are trudging through the Polder in the Nederlands. tres cool!

So that was yesterday. Seeing as it's been so long since I've posted, there a little more to report on.

Last month was the 1st tournament in the 2014 Circuit and was held at GamesScape North in San Rafael. It's a nice little shop with a good stock of just about everything you could want and run by some stand up chaps who put on a good event. The day was super fun and I was horribly betrayed by my dice losing every game throughout the day and almost ending up last place out of the 24 or so players attending! >_< But there was a silver-lining and that was that I was voted Best Presentation (Painted, etc)! I've never been awarded such before and it meant a lot to me that my hard time and effort spent on my hobby was appreciated enough by my peers to earn me an award. :)

With this month's Best Sport that makes two awards in as many tournaments which is also a first. Now if I could finally win consistently and win a tournament..... heh. This is one I'll have to keep working on. New dice were bought yesterday and they rolled pretty well, so I can't blame dice rolls anymore. No more excuses I guess, eh?

On the hobby side of things, I'm still working on my final commission. It's been a slog because I am not at all enthused by these figures even though I consider them to be wonderful sculpts. Considering they are just 7 ratling snipers, you'd think they'd be done by now eh?I also have all but 3 trucks for my Mid War 8th Army Desert Brits. So once I have finished the ratlings, it's on to something completely new - the next Mid War tournament is in May at KublaCon and I'm hoping I can attend and display these new toys in all their sandy grandeur.

That's about it chaps and chappesses, if you got to this point, then I applaud your tenacity. Ciao!

20 February 2014

Marching under the cover of Dawn

I’ve not been idle these last two weeks, as the terribly shot pictures below will attest to.

Saturday will be the first Flames of War tournament of the year for the NorCal circuit – a 1650 Late War affair, 3 rounds with 1st round starting in darkness with Dawn rules (Meaning after turn 3, rolls are made each turn to see if the sun decides to pop up!), the 2nd a regular game and the 3rd will be played with the Dusk rules (Opposite to the 1st round, in that come turn 3, rolls are made to see if night comes down to ruin best laid plans!). Missions have also been pre-determined, which is novel.

A Tiger having a kip in a ditch.

I put together a list from the D-Day allies book, “Overlord”, from the 4th Canadian Lorried Rifles (Sans the lorries.). It’s a Trained (skill level) list and will be my first time trying out a Trained list in a tournament setting. The reasons I chose it were –

  1. I can get more platoons into the list (9 in this case) so even though my troops are going to be easier to hit, there should be more of them than there is of my opponents. Should.
  2. All my stuff is painted up as Canadian 4th, so fit the bill perfectly and I’ll only have to paint one unit for the tournament!
I don't really fancy my chances at this shindig, although I do have all the tools necessary to tackle most every list out there aside from perhaps a Soviet tank horde. I will be happy if I place midway through the results. So far I believe there is a full compliment of 24 players, so it'll be fun to see people's painted forces and see some of the cool players I got me meet last year. Wish me luck!

Speaking of which, that unit are my much used, but never loved – my M10 Achilles Self Propelled Anti-tank guns (With the obligatory 17 pounder guns). For some reason, I use these a lot, yet have never actually painted them up. Well, that’s changed now and they are as done as they’re going to get prior to Saturday. Really all that’s left to do is add some mud effects so they match my tanks and armoured cars.

Top of the stove, best lighting in the house.

I’ve also been frantically painting up a birthday present for Densmol for his birthday earlier this month (That he’s also going to be using on Saturday.), a German Flak36 88mm gun – terror of just about every battlefield it was deployed upon. So far I’ve painted up the crew and the gun and cruciform, it just needs basing, which I hope to have done tonight.

8.8mm showing the scratches and stuff.
All the figs on their bases waiting for the filler to dry. (I even managed to paint the red shoulder markings.)

Lastly, in an effort to help my painting queue get smaller, I spent a couple hours basing my 100+ collection of random fantasy miniatures that I have been using for roleplay games. It’s my intention to have these on hand to just pick up and slap a tabletop paint scheme on when burnout threatens. In this collection are miniatures from multiple makers that go back all the way to 1983. TSR, Ral Partha, early Citadel and Marauder through to more recent Reaper, Malifaux, Mantic and Privateer Press. I’ll be sure to put up a post for each one that I get off my queue.

There's about 30-odd more to add to this picture.
Some of the minis needed some 1st Aid. This Citadel Norse fellow had lost his sword arm. Now he leads the way in the darkness.
This Old 1st Ed Talisman Dark Elf needed a new sword blade. With paint, this won't look so shite.

Old old old TSR pig-faced orc. Spear head was well flimsy, so I gave him this over-the-top glaive with horsehair type stuff to cover his badly cast hand.
This one got a nasty simple spiked spear.

Old 80's TSR Trolls. My 9-year-old son can sculpt better than this. I love these minis! ^_^

06 February 2014

40mm Bofors

Although it's been a while I have little time so I'll keep this brief and to the point.

I painted a small platoon of 2x Bofors 40mm Anti-Aircraft guns made by Old Glory. Horrible miniatures to paint which is sad for suck simple two-piece models (Gun and base.). For fun I magnetised the guns so they can swivel and to make them a little more convenient to transport.

As to the use of this unit, with the newest Eastern Front Book (Desperate Measures), it seems every German list and it's mate is taking the new unkillable Stuka Ace Rudel, so in games where air power is plausible, I'll shove these chaps in to protect my boys - they also double up nicely at popping light tanks and armoured transports and utterly shred infantry.

Scanning the skies.
Simple usual basing to match the rest of my platoons.
Shooting over this chap's head will not make him your friend.
That NCO on the right had a miscast face....
In other news, the first regional Tournament of the year is coming up on the 22nd in San Rafael and so with my army list submitted, I need to get painting the one platoon I've been avoiding for quite a while so I'll have everything ready - 4x M10 Achilles Self Propelled Anti-tank guns. Nice vehicles that are perfect for ambushes against armoured targets, though shite versus infantry due to them lacking any High Explosive ammunition.

I've also taken on the task of painting up a german 8.8cm Anti-Air gun and crew for Densmol's list for the same tournament as a birthday present. Lots to get on with!

12 January 2014

by Request

Admiral Drax, this one's for you mate.

As requested, my painted guard figures all in one post.

These are from a Rogue Trader's retinue, traveling about the dodgy parts of the galaxy, searching for new planets to claim in the name of profit and the God Emperor, and so forth.

Grand High Commander - Plutarco Etcheverria de Dios Otero Antormarchi and his motley retinue.

Chosen men with their long las' rifles, Bombardier General Horatio Vanderbilt and one of the 'Trader's Gretchin bodyguard.

Ship's Captain Gulliver Bevingham-Nixon and Navigator Armaud Destrierre strut their stuff on the right flank.

Trader Prince surrounded by trusted subordinates.

Sergeant Lorch, Overseer of the Mutant Penitents squad

Commander Isiah Tholme and Pay Master (Commissar) Scheiner of Platoon Command Squad #1

Squad #1 of 1st Platoon. (2-3 more of these in the pipeline)
Lieutenant Sayyid and his band of misfit Mercs take care of a lot of questionable duties that no regular trooper in his right mind would accept.

A wee diorama:

On the now re-discovered planet Oso XII, the Lord Trader wishes to investigate the possibility that ancient artifacts may well remain in the ruins left behind. 1st Squad of the household guard is sent to safeguard the area of the ruined mission.

Sergeant Coomes sends his squad inside.

Commander Tholme watches on, eager to get off this graveyard world and back into the comfort of his barracks. Pay Master Scheiner looks on to make sure all is carried out according to doctrine.

Meanwhile, in a small administrative ruin, self-styled Lieutenant Sayyid  and his band of mercenaries secure  their objective.

"All clear!"
Watching the treeline from the 2nd floor.

Not everyone is busy, Corporal Cointreau takes the opportunity to smoke a quick Iho-stick whilst others of his squad move supplies and ammo in from their lander.

Everything seems to be going as it should.

The area designated safe, the Lord Trader himself prepares to enter the ruined Mission building to seek the artifact, flanked by loyal Gretchin bodyguards and his faithful mutant standard bearer.

Overseer Lorch and his Mutants are fully trusted by the Lord Trader. Here he organises a patrol.

The Chosen men are ready with their sniper weaponry, scanning about for any threat that might pop it's head out.

Ship's Captain Bevingham-Nixon and Bombardier General Vanderbilt attends the affair, hoping to be amongst the first to set eyes upon any discovered treasures.

With bodyguards in tow, the Lord Trader sets about his self appointed sacred duty......

Little does the landing party realise, but they are being watched!

Skirmishers move in from hidden foxholes!

Airborne units alight upon the higher reaches from the skies!

Stealth units materialise from the shadows!
I wonder what will happen next!? Feel free to finish the story in a comment or some such. :)

Lastly, I think the Librarian commission is done!

 Per usual, the client prefers to do his own basing, which suits me fine. I hope he likes what he sees. I've not yet given it a coat of flat varnish in case he requests any changes be made.