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

24 January 2017

SMG to the face

After my last game of Bolt Action, one clear indicator to me was that my Soviet army was lacking in sufficient infantry.

Therefore I painted these fellows up to fill that gap. Mainly because I like both the idea of them and their models are cool too. I painted them whilst watching the dull NFL Conference finals last weekend.

These are Soviet Scouts - they recce ahead of the main force and disrupt stuff until the main force arrives. I believe they can be veteran or regular ingame.

These are Black Tree Design minis. Very nice crisp sculpts with very little flash and all too affordable in one of their recent sales. 

Scout bums - very chilly.
Outstanding for the Soviets in my painting queue are a pair of Anti-Tank-Rifle teams, Light Mortar team, Medic, Officer and Commissar. (And potentially a wee tank, dependent upon certain events falling into place.)

Look at that, two posts in a week. Up next? Perhaps some zombies, another Commando or three or some random fantasy minis. Will see what takes my fancy.

- Ciao!

23 January 2017

United We Conquer (Part 1 - test scheme)

As the title might suggest (to some), I worked a little on my first WW2 Commando fig for the small 500 point force I got for Xmas. This mini is produced by British company Wargames Foundry and was a simple piece to work on and a relatively well sculpted figure with minimal mold-lines to have to (mostly) clean up. (More on that below)

This fellow will represent my Forward Artillery Observer, calling in bombardments from ship-bourne guns - a free addition to most all British forces in Bolt Action.

This fellow is graced with a large nose. 

Unit and rank markings were swiftly applied and not at all in any effort other than to represent the black & red badges of the commandos. On the tabletop no one can see them properly anyhow.

I've no idea what the black/grey thing wrapped about his chest is supposed to be or which colour I should have painted it. I looked through my small WW2 library and searched Google and could find nothing on them. Any help on this would be much appreciated.

Remember when I mentioned mold lines? Yeah.... I missed a crap load on this piece and for some reason didn't even see them until I took these pics. Bah...
This paint job was fast and dirty and I think the other 25 Commandos in the force will paint up quite quickly like this. It's a bit sloppy but good enough for gaming. I like to think of these boys as being a 1940-ish Channel Isles raiding force!

As an aside, these boys got dunked into the stripping fluids this weekend. Blood Bowl fever has caught me - though I'll be saving my $$$ and not buy the new edition, instead, I'll play my old 2nd Edition rules. My son seems eager to play too, so that's a bonus. :)

Got these when 3rd Edition came out. As you can see, their paintjobs leave a lot to be desired. :/ New and improved Orcland Raiders coming to a blog near you soon!

18 January 2017

Lots to talk about

*WARNING – LONG post ahead!*

Nice to have a 3-day weekend to spend on hobby pursuits! Feel like I got lots done as well.
Sunday I had a game of Chain of Command planned with my mate Stewart and needed to paint up a platoon of 15mm WW2 British infantry along with some infantry support teams (Flame thrower, PIAT Anti-Tank and the like.).  Just tabletop quality paint job as time was of the essence.

Enough for a game of Chain of Command plus some Flames of War vehicles if required. (Please note the sexi freehand star on the bonnet of that jeep. Mad skillz.)

The game itself was a load of fun. Stewart hosted and we got to play on his very nice Western Europe setup. The mission rolled for was plain old “Patrol” – essentially a German Heer infantry platoon and British infantry platoon are sent out ahead of their main forces to see what’s going on in a French village. We didn’t have many resource points to spend on support units and so Stewart picked up an Adjutant to bolster his officer cadre and (If memory serves correctly) a Panzerschreck team. I in turn chose a solitary Universal Carrier with mounted Bren Gun, hoping it’s greater mobility would offer broader options. The rest of the platoons were pretty much mirrored otherwise: Officer, 3x 10-man infantry squads, light mortar team and for me a PIAT team.
In an effort to make a good narrative, I decided my initial deployment during the “Patrol phase” would stem out of the bocage in the lower left of the board. After some maneuvering deployment areas were sorted and we got going. The game was pretty brutal and bloody and for almost the first 5 or 6 phases it was certainly going my way. Then Stewart started wounding or taking out my squad leaders and stalled my carefully laid assault altogether! In the end, it was declared a draw and we decided that after our brief firefight that our bloodied lads sensibly withdrew to call up armoured assets to flush out any remaining enemy or perhaps just shell the hell out of the settlement and level it altogether!

My deployment points in blue.

Stew's own in red.

My initial troops are deployed. (The red box around the lower right house was supposed to be blue.... No idea how it came out red?) I brought on two infantry squads, one on the left, one hunkered down in the house at the crossing and my light mortar team in support in the center. Stewart brought on his own mortar behind the trees top left and his Lieutenant and a 2nd infantry platoon in the center.

My universal carrier comes on and some movement happens. 

(Again with the red box when it should be blue on that house!?) My reserves start arriving, a second squad on the left in support of my push to threaten Stewart's deployment point and my platoon Sergeant to bolster my light mortar. Stewart's own  2nd and 3rd infantry squads come out to play. 

The Brits make a push over the left-most hill! And stall... withering fire injuring squad leaders! All game long my mortar tried to drop rounds on the enemy and scored.... absolutely no casualties. -__-  The Universal Carrier likewise did little to nothing with it's own Bren gun. Wasted resource points there then.

Managing to overcome the injuries to their Corporal, one of the left-most squads rushes the germans and forces them back(!!!), but in turn are left out in the open and now easy prey to the German squad int he center.

Masses of small arms fire is exchanged all over the field of battle. On my right, Stewart's 3rd infantry squad manage to assault my boys in the house at the crossroads! The hand-to-hand fighting is swift and deadly and whilst my brave lads are cut down to a man, they manage to cause enough casualties on the filthy Hun so that they bug out and run back into the woods! At this point we called the game as a draw, with both sides retreating out of the village to lick their wounds and call up support.

Sunday was my opportunity to play my first game with my Bolt Action Soviets on a proper-job Winter themed table and against a late war Winter themed German opponent! My opponent was Craig, a very nice fellow I met through the Sacrament Bolt Action Facebook group and we each slapped down 1000 point forces playing the mission “Heartbreak Ridge” which involved taking and holding objectives with lots of reserves to have to drop into the game as the initial turns of the game came about.
My force was my previously previewed painted Soviets . Craig brought a Lieutenant+adjutant, a  couple infantry squads (One in a half-track transport), Sniper team, Panzerschreck team and a bloody nasty Pather tank that became the MVP of the game.
The game was a swift one with Craig’s dice rolls being the champion of the battle – it just seemed like even though he required 6’s to hit on multiple occasions he regularly rolled 3 or 4 and passing would rolls aplenty! His own Panther tank taking out not only my own tank in the 1st turn, but also a whole infantry squad and my ZIS-3 Anti-tank gun! My plan was pretty good, but I had to call it in the end after my infantry squads were either eliminated outright or just ran off after taking ugly casualties.  Even with so many losses on my side (I almost killed a mere single squad.) the game almost ended in a draw, but we rolled to see if there was to be a turn 7 and that game Craig the time to pick up a center objective and claim the victory.
A VERY fun game against a cool opponent and on a super cool table.

Craig's lovely set up at the game store.

He started with two infantry squads on the table.

The VERY nice ruined house with the center-most objective inside. This was an impressive and large resin piece, sadly out of print I think.

I start the game with my ZIS-3 AT gun and my Guards infantry squad.
The truck comes on in my first wave dropping off it's passenger cargo of my poor inexperienced squad. 

Those poor green boys would try to get forward but were no match for the output of small arms fire of their German opponents and bogged down in place for almost the whole game.

The Guards squad is tasked with securing the center objective, supported by a BA-64 Armoured Car.

Turn your head sideways (I couldn't get the picture to orient correctly for some reason) and you'll see that this horrible German Panther has taken a nasty shot at my poo T34/85, brewing it up before it even got to do anything! 

These germans had a field day blasting apart my poor inexperienced lads all game long.

W-A-Y back by Craig's elbow, behind the fuzzy log barrier is a Panzerschreck team. I could have sworn I eye-balled the distance between them and where I'd placed the armoured car correctly. Apparently not, an ambush shot took care of my plans. 

The Panther was king of the game. Here it is near center chasing down my poor Tank Riders. 

And..... I quit. With little to nothing left to threaten objectives, what remains of my force retreated. In bad order.

After painting all those 15mm Brit infantry I needed a distraction from tonnes of brown uniforms and so picked up the first of my Project Z miniatures (a Zombie Beast, some sort of large undead creature that came about as part of a scientific experiment or some such). I decided to go with a grey-green scheme for it’s skin as opposed to the sickly-yellow of my sci-fi zombies or yucky-green of my fantasy undead. It’s a really nice sculpt with crisp detail and the only really prominent mold lines were on it’s head (A separate piece to the main body). This mini only took me the span of me watching the new Magnificent 7 film to get done. I kept the scheme deliberately simple so future zombies for the project would end up being as swift to paint up. Kind of looking forward to working on some more!

Crappy yellow lines on the base to represent the middle of the road. They'll do.

Between the above infantry platoon and this zombie I'm already 40-odd minis painted for the year! 

That’s it – next post will feature some 28mm British Commandos I think. And maybe a zombie or two more.

09 January 2017

A big lad

The need to paint something wholly different from WW2 continued in my head, so I plucked an old fig from a neglected project and got to work. It's a metal Reaper Miniatures "Plague Harbinger", a really nice sculpt from 2004 by Werner Klocke that I'd bought originally upon release and had left on the shelf of unloved minis with the intention to paint up as the last member of my Inquisimunda/INQ28 Nurgle Coven! (I need to have a serious word with the "Hoarder" in me.)

Hadn't realised, but I had not worked on this project since 2012, the previous entry being a bits-mash-up deamonhost! O_o This feller is representing a "Big Mutie" in the rules, as well as being unnaturally large, he also has a "Claw" (Originally represented by an old metal Great Unclean One hand, but since replaced with a more manageable and better looking plastic hand from the GW giant kit.) and some sort of rotten flesh-type "toughness" mutation. Overall in-game he'll be awful when shooting with his ancient pistol, but nasty in hand-to-hand combat.

Dark pits for eyes made him seem more creepy in my mind. Check out the dirt under those fingernails - ew...

This brute claims to have taken those Templar pauldron shields from Space Marines he had slain in one-on-one combat. Whilst the rest of the team doesn't believe this story, they aren't about to risk a good  kicking saying so. 

Bone-handled knife is a cool bit that adds I think to the scummy wastelander feel of this mini.

Rust on most all of the exposed metal areas. (Looks good enough for me.)
Between his feet are a pile of bloodied bones - a previous meal/victim/captive/pet?

No idea on a name for this mutant as yet, though I’ll happily take suggestions.

With him finished, that sees my Chaos Coven complete. Still lots to do on other teams though for the future and after really enjoying painting this mini, I’m rather hankering to finish up some of the members of the (also) neglected Inquisitorial investigation squads. We’ll see what takes my fancy.

(I’ll get a group pic up in a future post when it’s not so rainy and nasty outside.)

03 January 2017

A hobby review of 2016

And there it went in all it's rubbishness. Good riddance 2016, you shall not be missed in the slightest.

The final moments of last year were spent coughing and spluttering and feeling like Nurgle's chosen vessel for all things snot-filled - o well. I hope that everyone else saw the new year in far more enjoyable circumstances!

One thing for 2016 that I can say is that I was far more productive on the painting table than ever before! As well as 47 posts for the year, I managed to get two full armies painted (My 15mm Confederates and 28mm WW2 Soviets) and a fair few sundry pieces to bring my yearly totals to:

146x 15mm minis
72x 28mm minis
2x large scale minis (A dragon and a Hill Giant - see below)
6x Vehicles and Artillery guns
3x Terrain pieces

Not bad at all in my books and a far improvement over last year's tally. I've enjoyed the projects I've worked on and have very much appreciated all the comments and words of support that have been left throughout the year.

My final painting effort of the year keys in with my final game of the year, which was with Sean of the blog Sean's Wargames Corner. He was in the area for the holidays and we were able to throw dice, drink tasty wine and do our best to run through a game of Dragon Rampant. The swift battle report can be found HERE.

In the above Batrep a Hill Giant features, but was not fully painted just yet. I managed to finish him up prior to the end of the year:

This is a Reaper Bones Hill Giant. Not the best paintjob, but it'll do for gaming and rpg's.

In his batrep, Sean had given all the characters in our game names. This giant is Skeggi - I like this name, so it stays.
This Xmas I was lucky enough to be gifted a few hobby-centric things, a couple small Charliefoxtrot Models Eastern Front buildings to add to my collection, some Wargamesfoundry early war British Commandos (WW2) and a nifty book from my son on late 80's/early 90's jet fighters. Knowing that Xmas was going to be a bit lean, I indulged myself and spent out in early November on the pre-order for the recently regular release of Warlord Games "Project Z: Lock and Load" set. I know, more new projects and in an entirely new setting, but it came with 40-odd zombies, some SpecOps soldiers, a pack of dogs and a lovely mdf compound terrain set with a tonne of scatter terrain pieces too. At the pre-order price, I couldn't pass it up really.

This brings me to my initial hobby goals for 2017.

#1. Paint up those British Commandos - for a 500 point Bolt Action army, there's only 25 or so figs to paint and no vehicles. Really shouldn't be a problem.

#2. Project Z - with so many zombies and special forces figs and terrain to boot, there'll be plenty here to get on with. The sculpts  are all very crisp and relatively easy to put together. The game though seems a bit simple for my tastes, but we'll see how I feel after a few playthroughs.

#3. I've mentioned them before, the opponents for my recently completed Winter Soviets, a 1000 point Bolt Action Winter Germans force. All sorts in it and I'll post more on this project at a later date.

#4. Get my Winter theme'd gaming table sorted. Lots of snow drifts to be cut out of polystyrene insulation, tree's to base and add snow to and buildings to paint and also add snow. It won't be an amazing effort as I can't spend out on this, but it'll look good enough for some snowy WW2 battles!

#5. I read that Flames of War 4th Edition is being released in a couple months. Guess I should really finish those left over projects so I'll have fully painted armies to play with when me and Densmol test out those new rules.

#6. That game of Dragon Rampant made me realise that I need to paint up loads more of my fantasy minis so I can play some more of this fun game with some more fantastical options.

To close out, here are some photos of where I'm at with both terrain and minis right now (Not pictured {cos I'm a tit and forgot to photo them} are 42 Project Z zombies and a dozen Spec Ops troopers awaiting paint:

This is a mix of Black Tree Design and Wargames Foundry earlier war Brit Commandos. The two producers sculpts mix in well enough and should be a fun little project. They've since been primered and are ready for paint!

In this pic to the rear I've got the left-over Soviet pieces, a squad of Scouts, a 2nd Lieutenant, Medic, Commissar and a pair of Anti-Rifle teams. In the foreground are a trio of Project Z dogs (Mastiffs or Rottweilers I think) a Zombie brute and some sort of scientist character mini who looks suspiciously like Doc Brown from Back to the Future. These are also primered  and are ready for paint.
Terrain pieces are all put together and also ready for paint and weathering.

Project Z compound buildings. All by Sarissa Precision terrain and very easy builds that look smashing once done. Not pictured are seven other wall pieces, large enough to completely surround the building with room to spare.

A small Hunter's cabin type thing for my Eastern Front project by Charlie Foxtrot Models. There's also a second similarly sized building that didn't get pictured. Both are also ready for paint and snow effects! The mini shown for scale purposes is some sort of ancients freebie sent in the Wargames Foundry parcel. A Persian maybe?

Gaming wise, I already have a game of Bolt Action with my Soviets scheduled for a couple weeks against a fellow member of the Bolt Action gaming group here in Sac, which is a good start. There's been mention of a tournament as well next month at a local LGS that I may well attend. Stuff to look forward to!

Thanks again to all who stop by to read and leave comments here. Your kind words, encouragement and your own wonderful blogs help keep me motivated to continue to whittle away at my unpainted mountain of plastic and metal. :) Let's hope 2017 is a good one, eh?!