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

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.

12 November 2014

Tally Ho! (Desert Light Armour Platoon - Part 2 - Done!)

I'll start this post off by saying a big thanks to all who've stopped by in the 3 or so years I've been keeping this blog. I hit 40'000 views today, and whilst in comparison to most of the blogs I follow isn't all that much, it's impressive to me considering that my own hobby blog is a wee one. Here's to the next 10'000 - and maybe I'll do a giveaway or something. We shall see.

As the post title would indicate, I've both been working on my British Desert Camo Crusader tank platoon and have indeed completed painting them. (Again, minus the unit markings.) Am really happy with how they turned out and surprisingly enjoyed getting them to this finished state.

Center Command tank was from my last post. I stuck him in the picture for completion's sake.

Side view. As you can see, each tank has a different camo to represent the Adhoc attitudes taken by the troops in North Africa and how they applied their schemes. (In the background, next to the "Krackle" is a Relic Knights figure I've started on.)

From the little I've read thus far, British Mid War tanks didn't have too much in the way of a strict system for unit markings. This is going to make keeping these accurately marked a pain I think.
After these, I then went on to work on 8 feet of hedges for my game table using a tutorial that was highlighted (though also borrowed by) Cameron on his Rust and the City blog. Whilst my hedges look crap compared to his carefully crafted efforts, they'll do for some extra pieces to break up my boards. I still have to add some grass, etc and so will post pictures at a later date.

Lastly, (And I know it's considered a bit of a faux pas in the blogosphere) I would like to highlight some Ebay auctions I have going right now for some Warhammer 40K Space Marine stuff that I've decided I'll never get to. Trying to drum up funds for a new American Civil War project that I'm planning to tackle in the New Year after a very fun demo game of Regimental Fire & Fury with a NorCal Flames of War forum pal, Stewart. But more on that when we determine scenarios we want to concentrate on.

My current 5 auctions can be found here - and keep an eye for more Warhammer 40K stuff being put up on auction in the near future!

03 November 2014

Tally Ho! (Desert Light Armour Platoon - Part 1)

I started work on my Flames of War 8th Army Light Armoured Platoon yesterday and pretty much finished up the platoon commander. The unit is comprised of a Command Crusader II tank and two Crusader III's. I tried to do a bit of research on camouflage schemes  and so forth as I wanted my force to be roughly based on troops that were present during the 2nd Battle for El Alamein and so went with the following scheme.

The lighting washed out some of the shading in these pics. That oil drum for example looks a lot more "rusted" in real life than this picture would otherwise have you believe. 

Poor commander only gets a pitiful 2-pounder to play with. This gun will barely bail a panzer III!
As with my previously shown armoured cars, these will get a little weathering once I've worked out correct markings for them and applied the decals. I painted this tank up entirely by hand, which is a bit silly what with my airbrush sat downstairs (just waiting for me to make this whole process easier and quicker), and so this one tank managed to take up most of my painting time yesterday - about 4-5 hours! The other two tanks from this platoon are both ready for highlights and so forth and I should have them done by hopefully Friday.

Next up, as a really quick side-project, I finally managed to get my rpg character's miniature done! Here is Pillip the Grippli - Priest of the Croak Mother. This mini is bloody small, like, a tad shorter than my 15mm Flames of War infantry figures! O_o So lots of careful application of paint required. Saying that, because he's so small, it only took me maybe an hour and a bit to get him finished? As he's a gaming mini (And our campaign storyline is almost over), I'm not putting all that much effort into him, but I think he looks pretty cool as is.

Lastly, I also started work on another random rpg mini. I let my wife choose it out of the 140-or-so random roleplay figs I have waiting for some colour and she picked out an old plastic 1980's  Heroquest playing piece, the "Chaos Sorcerer". So far I"m only managed to get basic colours on and highlight the skin some, so no pics as yet, but it was fun to get working on such an old silly sculpt. :) I'll post finished pics soon.

01 November 2014

Zomtober 2014 Part 5! (The Finale!) & 6MMRPC 2-Month roundup!!!

It's 50 minutes into the Day of the Dead, but this will still count by my reckoning as my last post for Zomtober. So lots of pics, an AAR and a few other things. Here we go!

I'll start off with an AAR for a game of Flames of War I played on Saturday against Densmol to get some practice in with my Canadian Armoured list for the D-Day tournament on the 22nd of November.
We played at 1500 points with Densmol fielding a Mechanised Panzergrenadier list out of the Atlantik Wall book.
We rolled for Mission and came up with Breakthrough, which was a good one to practice on as it seems to come up more often than not at tournaments.

Me: 4th Canadian Armoured
HQ - 1iC and 2iC Shermans with .50cal MG's +1 Extra Sherman
Armoured Platoon - 3x Shermans and a Firefly
Armoured Platoon - 3x Shermans and a Firefly
Armoured Car Platoon - 2x Staghound, 1x Daimler Dingo
Self Propelled Anti-Tank Platoon - 4x M10 Achilles 17pdr
Full Lorried Infantry Platoon (With no lorries....)
AA Gun Platoon - Cmdr, 2x 40mm Bofors AA guns
Artillery Platoon - 2x Cmdr, Staff team, OP, 4x 25pdr Guns

Densmol: Panzergrenadier Company who's name I can't remember
HQ - 1iC & 2iC infantry command stands (Think they got half-tracks too?) and I think 2 Panzerschreck Anti-tank teams too.
Panzergrenadier Platoon - Cmdr with Panzerfaust, 6x MG Infantry, 4x half-tracks
Panzergrenadier Platoon - Cmdr with Panzerfaust, 6x MG Infantry, 4x half-tracks
Light Armour Platoon - 3x Panzer ii Luchs
Light Armour Platoon - 3x Panzer ii Luchs
Self Propelled Artillery Platoon - Cmdr, 3x Hummels, OP
Heavy AA Platoon - Cmd, 2x 8.8" Guns
Panzergrenadier Heavy Platoon - 2x HMG's, 2x Mortars + OP

Pictures are shady, but the lighting in the garage is suspect at the best of times.

Setup: I was heading into the opposite diagonal corner, to the far church. I held the M10's, infantry and Anti-Air guns in reserve. I placed an objective pretty close to the corner where they would come on and so wasn't worried about having to travel far to be able to contest later in the game if need be.
I stuck the Artillery in a well protected corner and loaded up my tank platoons for an armoured strike toward to the opposite corner using the buildings and smoke as cover.

Densmol was annoyed as this mission used the Mobile Reserves rule and so was left having only his 88's, one platoon of Luchs and an Infantry platoon to deploy (Minus it's halftracks.). He also combat attached out his mortars and HMG's to the infantry.
The infantry hugged the tree line along the long straight road that followed the river, had his 88's sat with good fields of fire in the opposite corner and a lone platoon of wee (SO CUTE) Luchs to defend the objectives my boys were going after.

Turn 1: The 2iC and his sherman pal decided to move off to provide covering fire as the rest of the shermans headed off toward the objectives, hugging the buildings for cover against 88 shots.

That git Densmol got his Hummels like Turn 2 to start horrible bombardments far too early in my humble opinion.

Tanks are ready to roll across the ford. Please take note of the lack of 88's in this picture - they died horribly to a withering hail of MG fire.

The poor brave Luchs start taking fire. It's only my typical poor dice rolls that leave them down only one tank though.

Densmol starts getting a little frustrated as I get reserves and roll on my M10 Achilles tank destroyers to help secure one objective.

That little black tank next to the bridge is the Hummel battery's OP. It sees all of my poor advancing shermans. :(

Densmol gets reserves (2nd Luchs platoon and another infantry platoon in 1/2 tracks.)! My poor Armoured Car recce lads take it in the bum with the last car buggering orf. Wisely.

Shermans at long range typically kill what they aim at. Good bye krauts.

And we'll take this objective too, though these jammy gits didn't run away even though they had one dead and the other two bailed.

Infantry and Luchs toddle over to try to take out my 25 pounders. Sadly he had his half-tracks go through the slow going of the plowed field..... 4" a turn is grueling at the best of times...

Whilst the Shermans and Firefly send shots down to try to take out the Hummels, the M10's finish off those stubborn Luchs. The 2nd objective is mine!

You see that tank on the left, next to that building? Yeah, that the 1iC. He finished off stuff very valiantly.
With me holding the objectives safely and Densmol managing to take out my poor Recce platoon, I won 5-2. Not bad. Made some mistakes, but otherwise I feel that this list can do exceedingly well against a Mechanised infantry force. Now, if he had brought a King Tiger or some silliness.... I think it might have been a different story.

Things I learnt:

1. Trained Artillery is shite. Horribly so. I tried to range in/hit on five different occasions andonly got one barrage (Smoke or otherwise.) ONCE! 4-guns only for me.

2. Playing aggressively is not typically my forte, but this game I tried to step out of my comfortable Defensive-playing slippers and it paid off. Mostly. Some better placing and remembering where the opponent's reserves deploy and this may well have ended 6-1 instead.

3. Semi-Indirect fire is super fun. :)

After this, we got in a second game, this time with Densmol playing the actual list he plans to take to the tournament. 13 Luchs!!!! (And two Tigers and 3 Jagdpanzer iv's and some other stuff.) It was a good game and a lot closer than the first. In the end I think he won 4-3. I think. No pics though as by then the wine was flowing freely.

On to hobby stuff.

I put together these!

One resin and 5 plastic German 1/2-tracks from the latest Panzergrenadier boxed set. The Plastic models went together really well with only a little clean up. Not sure when I'll get to painting them, but at least they are ready for primer and paint. Speaking of my Germans project - I decided I didn't like my airbrush jobs on my Panzer iv's and so stuck them all in a bath of Simple Green. We'll see what different scheme takes my fancy in the near future.

The post title says it and so it must be true, Zombtober is over. (Officially it ended last weekend, but I felt that with Friday (Yesterday) being the last day of October, that I could squeak in a last post before I call it quits. So the final 2 zombies of my collection got some paint slapped on. I hope you like.

The fellow on the left brought a snack it seems, whilst his erstwhile companion on the right may well perform an impressive nosedive from a standing position any time now...

A family pic. Say.... "Brains!"

Thought I'd add in this fun pic of the brave Paladin of Greyskull, defending holy ground against the vile necromancer and his summoned deathless horde!
Lastly, I'd like to babble a bit on the whole 6 Month challenge I've been stumbling down. I've been doing rather well I feel, having still not spent any funds on new minis to add to my unpainted mountain. I will admit though to using a birthday giftcard to picking up a Serpent Priestess for my Relic Knights Noh Empire faction; but I think that keeps me good. 2 months now almost done and I'm feeling rather proud of what I've gotten painted. Tanks, zombies, roleplay minis - not bad really.
Now Zomtober is over I aim to get some more Flames of War Desert Brits done and get working also on my Germans project. Then there's also some Dreamforge Eisenkern Stormtroopers that have been grabbing my attention... Lots to do still. Too much.

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween - Happy Day of the Dead!