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

22 December 2013

State of the Commonwealth

This'll be my last post before 2014 comes and the end is finally beyond nigh, or some other nonsense.

It also herald's my son's 9th birthday..... which is sobering.

Hobby-wise, I've actually been working on one of my commissions, albeit slowly, but at least I've kept my pledge. I'm hoping to have the (Dark Vengeance boxed set librarian.) figure done before the 2nd week in January.

Merry Xmas, we've just invaded, I mean - liberated your country!
My Flames of War experience has been fun It's been about 13 months since I first started down this 15mm WW2 path. I've attended 4-times as many tournaments during this year as I'd gone to in my life prior. I've painted enough miniatures to be able to field not one, but two fully painted armies. I was lucky enough to be shown how to play the game by a more than able instructor (Who has since buggered off to North Carolina - Riha you git! :P) and introduced a close mate to the game and convince him to start up his own collection too.

Soon enough I'll be getting my Relic Knights Kickstarter stuff and so will be perhaps painting some different stuff early next year (I went for the rather lovely looking racers of the Cersi Speed Circuit.), though I do still have plenty of Brits to paint for Flames of War still. I also plan to paint up some 28mm sci-fi figs to start on my home-brewed setting project which I'll be playing using the cool 5150-Star Army ruleset by 2-Hour-Wargames.

With that, I offer up a state of the Dai's Canadian 4th Division run of pics, my first time showing them all together. I'm quite proud to be honest.

A "whats what" for you

Them on the left.

Them on the Center

Armour on the right - can kind of see the mud effects on the tanks here too.

And lastly these chaps, who aren't from my Canadians, but instead British Guards Armoured Recce. They'll soon be joined by some lovely Cromwells, Challengers and some other cheeky leftovers.

Thanks all who come here to read my witterings and view my hobby work. I appreciate each and every one of your comments and critiques. Your patronage does me honour. Merry Xmas to each and every one of you and the happiest of New Years too.

I'm off to watch Kick Ass2....

- Dai

09 December 2013

A bit of how's your father

Since being a small lad, wonderful RAF WW2 aircraft aside, WW2 armoured cars were always my favourite model kits to put together. Sure, I had a small collection of tanks, but the models that captured my imagination were the Daimlers and Staghounds and Humbers used by the Commonwealth forces during (And after) the war.

Some Staghounds from some Kiwi regiment or other.

Recce units are in my opinion some of the bravest sonuvaguns out there - driving around ahead of the main force to find enemy emplacements and formations in small minimally armoured vehicles, sacrificing heavy armaments and armour for speed and (Most times) maneuverability.

In Flames of War, recce units have some cool and handy abilities to set them apart from other units that allow them to break off from combat, hide in cover better, reveal tricksy enemies to make them easier for your platoons to fire upon, make it harder for enemies to drop ambushes and they also get an extra free movement at the beginning of a game. These rules make for a very versatile and useful unit. Staghounds themselves are pretty well armoured when compared to other AC's and can withstand small-arms and even some smaller caliber gun shots too at a stretch. (The models themselves are almost the size of a Sherman tank to boot!)

A Ford Lynx from the Canadian 12th Manitoba Dragoons. Love all the stowage on this thing!
My latest offering from the painting table is [again] for my Canadian Armoured Company (4CAD), the Armoured Car Platoon. This consists of two Staghound I's and a Ford Lynx (Which looked so similar to the Daimler Dingo, no-one's produced a model to represent them.) with an option to switch out the 'Dingo/Lynx for a 3rd Staghound. I've got just the basic set-up, though I do plan on getting a 3rd Staghound in the future so I have the option to play them armour heavy.

Still have to add weathering and cut down paperclips for the coax machine guns.
From behind, showing stowage (From the Guards Armoured Recce  and Open Fire boxed sets.)
Without a doubt, Battlefront Minis decals are too big for 15mm. But them's all I had so that's what I used.
The oilcans on this one were inspired by a cool pic I found of a real Staghound with exactly the same oilcan stowage on front. I also cut down decals to fit around the stowage here on both the hull and turret.
Next up on the painting table.... I have no idea to be honest. Okay, I do - commissions. Promise. Really.

30 November 2013

The [kind-of] Big Guns

Been fighting a little painting-burnout of late, but trying to get through some of my backlog regardless. Easiest option for this were my 25-pounder Artillery who's most difficult aspects to paint are their resin bases! (Which by-the-by actually look pretty cool.)

So far I've gotten the Guns and crew, Observer and a Command team done. Only for 4 of the guns though, I'm not about to torture myself trying to paint up 8 at a time. Just have the Observer's Universal Carrier transport and the 2nd Command team to paint and it'll be done. (Won't bother to do a post once I've done them though as it's just more of the same really.)

For those interested, 25-pounder artillery are sorrowfully stat'd in Flames of War when compared to their historical precedence. These guns were used well beyond WW2 by Commonwealth forces due to just how good they were, yet the powers that be at Battlefront (Creators of the game.) made them sub-par compared to just about any other same-sized artillery piece..... These things leveled Caen for cripes sake!

In game I use these guns to drop smoke bombardments and pin pesky dug in infantry (Or enemy artillery to stop them shooting back) platoons prior to an assault. Their bombardments have a 5+ firepower (Should be an obvious 4+....) which really lets them down though as mine rarely kill anything.

On to the pics.

Next up on the painting table are another Armoured Car platoon from the Manitoba Dragoons - a Daimler Dingo and 2 lovely Staghound I's.  I couldn't help myself - I love Armoured Cars... Aside from some Pioneers and some 5.5" Medium Artillery, I believe I am done purchasing for my WW2 Commonwealth. (Though far from painting - I still have 2x 17pdr guns, 4x Mid War 6pdr Portee trucks, 2x Mid War Motor Infantry platoons, my Guards Armoured Recce company and a bunch of other stuff....)

12 November 2013

Dead 'ard

This is Sergeant Major Stan Hollis. He was involved in the D-Day landings and was awarded the Victoria Cross for umpteen instances of insane bravery and bad-arsery including storming and taking out two German pill boxes in succession, single-handedly. He accomplished lots more feats of scary killingness all through to the end of the war and is deservedly a character you can take in your British Commonwealth D-Day lists. 

Because of the tale of his solo bunker busting, I felt he deserved to be modeled by himself on the stand. Then I had a sudden thought that he'd at least need "Someone" to rush in with him, so I shoved on "man's best friend" in the form of this terrier (Painted up to look like my own pup', Pickles.). If anything, it just makes him stand out all the more I think, which is fine as a special character. 

Photobucket's editing thingie is rubbish. These were all cropped and saved damnit.
Forgive the Dai-fingers in these pics.
Not a pretty job, I'll probably go back and define his details better at a later date. Have to say though that the facial sculpting was shite on this mini.
Tree was given some black treatment to it's extremities to offer a burnt look.
Yes, that is a punching bag in the background. 8-year-old boys need something to help them get their excess energy out of them. He mainly headbutts it though...
Pickles is the on on the right. :)

07 November 2013

A Rack of PIATs (Part 2 - Finished)

The PIAT Battery Carriers are based and decal-ed and finished. Didn't have a "41" unit marking decal, so went and did a horrid freehand job instead. I think I need a brighter blue in future though.

My regular opponent Densmol is currently laid up after some serious knee surgery, so I won't be able to try these out any time soon, but I've already got a lit made up and ready to showcase them once he's back in gaming level fitness!

Hooray for kitchen cooker overhead lighting!

Chap in the middle's PIAT rack was left over night for the glue/greenstuff to set, sadly his one ended up drooping to the side somehow - so now he's the Platoon leader, easier to pick out on the table! (Stuck the NCO in the back too, jus' chillin' in his "ride".)

When I get time or inclination, I think I'll see about adding some strong-bow-type stowage inside the carriers to account for the masses of PIAT ammo they'd have carried.

Supposedly these things were rather effective in the field. Makes one wonder why they weren't more prevalent?

I also managed to put together my Stan Hollis Warrior stand. He's supposed to be one bad mo-fo of a Sgt. Major or something, so I stuck him solo on a small base to show for this, but added a wee terrier-looking pup (Courtesy of Peter Pig.) to run with him as I don't like my troops being so lonely (And if you're going to run at Hun MG nests, man's best friend should be there with you to gnaw on their Bratwursts!)
Think he'll be in my next post.

Next up on the painting table is the conspicuously absent command team for my Land Mattress platoon that I'd somehow forgotten to take care of when I was painting up the rest of the stands, then on to those "terrifying" 25-pounder artillery that I've been avoiding for whatever reason. And of course a smattering of commission work.... I think I'm giving up commissions forever after this - so not fun... ~_~

06 November 2013

A Rack of PIATs (Part 1 - WIP)

The PIAT Battery Universal Carrier is another crazy Canadian creation that I just had to have for my 4th Canadians.

There's not much on these WW2 vehicles out there on the interwebs.

Rules-wise they're pretty terrible to be honest, but they look so cool I couldn't help myself when a local FoW gamer said he had some spare conversion kits to make the builds (That are no longer sold by Battlefront - of course.) and I snapped one up.

So far basic painting's done, I just need to finish the basing, add a little mud and slap on some decals and I'm calling them done. No point putting extra work into a unit that will rarely (If ever) see the games table.

When they're finished, I'll take some better lit pics.

A wee front-rear view so you can see them a little better.
Hope to have the completed pics up tonight or tomorrow assuming things go to plan.

01 November 2013

Super Roman Conquest

This is just a plug to give support for a mate's Kickstarter project that is currently going on.

[I'd normally stick a picture here, but don't want to get slapped incase I shouldn't have.]

I know Tim through his brother and he's a terribly talented chap who worked his arse off for Lucasarts and got shafted for his efforts. (I don't know the other blokes of the team, but have been told they're also rather good at all this gaming stuff too.)

I'd love to see this Kickstarter get funded and hope it'll end up being the first of many great titles from this burgeoning computer games company. So far what they have is still in the very early stages of development - the graphics are going to be upgraded once they get more funding (Hence the KS) and other stuff too.

Plus it looks like a lot of fun. If you like your Romans pixelated in an 8-bit style and killing barbarians throughout Europe, this might be the Kickstarter for you - plus, a mere $10 gets you a buy-in for the full game, not bad eh?

Here's the link:

... and I hope it's something you'll want to help support and make happen.

28 October 2013

Training Day

Sunday the 20th saw my 37th birthday come about and in fine form Densmol was on hand to play a couple games in celebration. Unfortunately my suggestion that he stop by was last minute, so he was forced to have to play some of my British Commonwealth mini's instead of his preferred filthy Hun!

We managed to get in two games and decided some easy quick lists were in order so I swiftly drummed up two armoured lists from the Market Garden source book, one 4th Canadian Armoured, the other British Armoured Recce. Each list was rather similar in composition in that there were HQ of two tanks, two platoons of 4 tanks each, an infantry platoon, a Universal Carrier Platoon and Typhoon Air Power. The only main difference is that the Canadians sported Shermans/Fireflys and the Guards Cromwells/Challengers
Being Canadians on Brit, we decided these were per-cursor war-games between the two forces in preparation for the actual Market Garden operation.

The first game I took the Guards and we played some defensive mission where I rolled low and got to be defender with only half my platoons on deck. Which was the story of the evening and the death of any hopes I had to pull a win out. The second game we switched it up and I took over the Canadians and once again had to deal with damned reserves and I was sorely beaten a second time. (It didn't help that the dice were not cooperating whilst Densmol's dice were loving his foul Gerry-loving taint!)

Just an example of how Densmol's rolls were happening. Git.
Per usual, I'll not go into too much detail (Especially as the cheap beer was flowing all too freely  the night and details are sketchy.) so here are pics I took during the evening with a little commentary.

Game 1 and my Cromwells are lined up next door to Densmol's Shermans who handily hide behind my new 4Ground houses. Trying to get through open ground to that objective in the top left of the picture was hell, even with 16" movement!

Densmol's view with ALL of his bloody army on the table. The objective on the right was the one I decided was best to head for as his infantry were bound to camp on the one closest to them.
Densmol's Air thoroughly raped my poor tanks who hid shivering in the cover of this hotel.

Needing a 6 to shoot my well placed Challenger, Densmol promptly does just that = one dead Challenger.

Not looking good for the Guards Armoured Recce.
The Guards Universal Carriers made a mad dash to hide behind the ruins and paid the price for their cheekiness.
This standoff should have gone another way.... but my dice said.... "No".

Anyone who says Air is too unpredictable to include in lists should have been in my garage to see otherwise. Ouch.

Game 2 saw me taking the reins of the 4CAD - (Not as many pics as along with my tactical decisions, the beer was running low in the fridge and large in our guts.)

Game 2's set up. Defending objectives is not what Shermans do best.....
Densmol's Cromwells were massed and ready to wipe my Shermans off the table. They followed through on this threat with impunity.
No more pics as I think I lost on turn two or some rubbishness. It seems Densmol's getting lots better at this game. I need to turn up my tactics to 11!

On other news, my birthday also had me traveling into the mountains to go enjoy the American national pass-time of shooting guns for no good reason. I am all for this as it makes me feel more manly. Sadly, when we arrived at our out-of-the-way destination in the California wilderness, we found all the side roads to the fun shooting spots closed due to the pesky Wildfires that plagued the area earlier this Summer. It was heart breaking to see so much life blackened and turned to ash, but still, the view was breathtaking and after a lovely beer and salad (Got to balance things in my old age) I quickly forgot about the dead and crispy trees and animals.

Lastly, my plans to go to the last NorCal tourney of the season fell through and so my Mid War urges have seen my attentions go in another direction. So ignore or forget that previous post about me putting together a British Motorised list - Instead I leave you with this teaser of the 1st buy for my new Mid War (And potentially Late War if I can make the right purchases.) list from the Eastern Front.

And as a hint, it's most certainly NOT Germans.

17 October 2013

2 years

It went by and I didn't even realise but on the 11th this blog turned 2!

That I'm posting on a semi-regular basis is pretty impressive if I do say so myself.

It's been about the most productive year in my hobby's existence. Since beginning my collection for Flames of War 11 months ago, I've gotten a load done for that 15mm madness and also a little GamesWorkshop stuff too. (Well, a lot for me in any case.)

Just to re-cap, (Mostly for me really.), I managed to completely paint:

1. For my 15mm WW2 British Commonwealth

2x Infantry HQ stands plus a Command Character stand
2x Stands of Snipers
2x Full Infantry Platoons
1x Platoon of 6-pounderAT guns
1x Platoon of 6-pounder AT Portees
1x Full Platoon of Heavy Mortars
1x Full Platoon of regular Mortars
1x Full HMG Platoon
2x Platoons of 4 Sherman/Firefly tanks
2x HQ Sherman tanks
1x Armoured Car Platoon
2x Universal Carrier Patrols
1x Full Platoon of Canadian Land Mattresses
1x Hawker Typhoon aircraft
1x Staff team for my still primed 25pdrs
2x 15CWT lorries
2x Jeeps
4x Loyd Carriers
4x Random other Universal Carriers

With all this, I can field two whole Flames of War forces at the same time. I guess I could even count that as being fully painted twice over? That's a flippin' first for me. :) I've still plenty left though to get done and a nasty habit of shinies-itis (Recently picked up some 15mm dogs that me and Densmol are planning to split for extra fun pieces to further differentiate command teams, etc.). I'm still putting together a diagram/list thing to show what is painted and what's yet to be tackled for all this. (And it's not pretty....)

2. For my other projects

1x Dreamforge Eisenkern Kickstarter Special Ada
Rogue Trader Company Command Squad and Commander Creed
Random super-heroine for a Charity thing
Custom Herald of Nurgle
... And a bunch of Fantasy or Sci-fi stuff put together or sat primed. Which I guess shouldn't be on this list really afterall. :)

Have to say, that's a longer list altogether than I was expecting.

Thanks goes out to all you chaps and chapesses who have supported my efforts and offered encouragement and kind words on my work. Your own blogs are an inspiration to me and a large part of what keeps me going in this hobby. Let's see if I can keep this going for a 3rd year.