Saturday, 29 November 2014

November 2014

Hello again folks,

I have been working on my 15mm modern miniatures, which arrived at the start of the month.

I have also got some bases, 15mm diameter and 3mm thick from Sarissa Precision in order to base these models. These arrived on the 6th November, so I quickly set to getting the models glued to the bases in order to try and get them ready for a game on the 7th November. Starting with one of my American packs, which was done within the night and ready for painting. Now I have based all the American Infantry, but want to label the underside of the bases so I can see without having to examine them in detail what country they are from before I start assembling the Chinese Infantry as well.

I had assembled both the Stryker IFV for the Americans and the Type 63 APC for the Chinese, with plans to stick these to 60mm square bases, which are big enough to hold them, but not big enough to take the eye away from the actual models. I debated using 40mm square bases, but these are not big enough and look odd. My bases for the vehicles are also from Sarissa Precision, and are the same thickness as my infantry bases, for the M113A3, I cut a 60 x 60mm base in half and used it to base the vehicle, otherwise the base took the eye away from the miniature.

I have also assembled and converted one of my four M113s from Flames of War Arab-Israeli War range into a current American M113A3, with plans to make it look like a medical vehicle, as it's my first attempt at converting a 15mm M113, so might not be the best looking, the other three will be a platoon transport section, with the lead and rear vehicles having variant weapon systems (an excuse to use the alternative gunner stations on the roof of the APC, so I have an Minigun in one turret, a .50cal on the Medical M113A3, probably another .50cal on the second transport, and I'm tempted to use the MK19 Grenade launcher on the last transport - the Flames of War Sets have alot of options in them). I have used the article in the October article of Wargames Illustrated to accomplish this -  adding the rear fuel tanks -  a combination of card templates for the sides and green stuff as filler, with a bit of metal rod as the rear lights. I also added some 1cm by 90mm rectangles as big red cross badges onto the sides of the vehicle, rather than just painting them on, as the sides looked rather plain -  and I have nothing with which to make (and a lack of ability to do so) the rails on the sides of the M113s. 
The Wargames Illustrated article that served as the basis of the conversion for the M113A3 from an M113

On Friday 14th November I played a game of Bolt Action, my Late War Germans vs another force of Late War Germans, and although the game finished prematurely, I felt that things were going my way.  My Tiger, having managed to corner around the house in the centre of the field, then rolled two 6s to hit and penetrate the armour of the opposing Panzer IV, and then a 4 to knock it out! My opponent rolled a Sdk Fz 251 with a squad of five "tank hunters" - Veterans armed with SMGs and anti-tank grenades to attack the Tiger, and these failed to do much to it, leading to them being pinned between their own transport, the Tiger and the house. Meanwhile, the Lieutenant of the enemy force, was also in the same transport, and stayed in it, meaning when a squad of 8 of my Veterans attacked it, he dismounted and fought them alone, leading to his quick demise! My medic saved my Officer, and one of my Infra-red sight armed Veterans, so he actually accomplished something. My ultimate success was the 150mm heavy howitzer, sighting and hitting a squad of 10 veterans with 12 hits, that cleared a squad off the board with no problems to my force! I felt it was a well balanced game, although as is mentioned quite often at Dice and Decks amongst us Bolt Action players, recce is a weird rule, a free reverse away from danger pretty much regardless of anything else! I have also tried a new and amusing way of writing these Bolt Action reports up, as "newspaper reports" of the battles, written from a British newspaper style of writing. I hope that the style is right. I shall continue to write them in a real world style as shown above as well, as these "newspaper reports" miss some details. Feel free to make comments and constructive criticism, here is number 1 (dated to suit the time news would filter home and dated for the war years), featuring Friday 14th November's game:
My Tiger takes out a Panzer IV having crept round the house my opponent felt would shield his tank from mine!

Some of my Germans, a 20mm Autocannon, Lieutenant and two infantry squads.

Infantry move in to support the Tiger.

Heavy Artillery supported by my Nachtjager Veteran squad.

The enemy on my left side.

The enemy commander in a half-track.

The same half-track carrying a small anti-tank grenade carrying Veteran unit, that failed to attack the Tiger, so my Veteran infantry attacked the half-track, forcing the enemy Lieutenant to disembark and fight 8 men alone, as per the Bolt Action rules! Need to be careful leaving single commander in a vehicle alone.

However, during the course of packing and unpacking my Germans for the night's game, I noticed some damage to my plastic Warlord Games WW2 British , much to my great annoyance. So I am debating on reinforcing them with some more metal miniatures to try and reduce the potential for snapped rifles and missing pieces! I have ordered some 16 metal Late War British from Artizan Designs, and the British Expeditionary Force metal boxed set from Warlord Games (this is to see size differences, and an excuse to get some more Brits! And I prefer Warlord at the moment for WW2 models, so was hoping to hide the BEF models in amongst the Late War Brits), hopefully this will lessen the amount of damaged models in my collection. I have also somehow suffered the great annoyance of my German artillery is warped, which in itselft sounds minor, except I have no idea how it happened as the metal is so thick I can't bend it back into shape.

 I have also started converting some British in short sleeved shirts or with sleeves rolled up on khaki shirts, as found in Osprey Publishing's The British Army (2): Middle East & Mediterranean. As I found a relative who served in the Cheshire regiment in WW2 was in Italy during the invasion in 1943/4, so my British are being converted to suit this theatre. I played a Bolt Action game using the British on Friday 21st November, which featured two British players against a Russian army. We won this game, using a Sherman Firefly to knock out the main Russian tank threat, a feat that apparently no-one else has managed to do before.

A picture of the mortar team in the ruined building, with officers on either side and a hill with a pair of Vickers MMG teams in front

My force, sniper team and tanks!

My BEF Vickers MMG team next to another Vickers MMG team, with an allied mortar team in the ruins, my officer is next to the pond on the right of the picture, next to the tape measure

My British allies! Alot of infantry with their commander stood next to the Dingo in the bottom right corner

Last night, Friday 28th November, I played a German force using my Brits in a Bolt Action game, and lost profoundly, the dice were not on my side. My only successes were immobilising a Panzer IV and taking out a German sniper with my own. 

I have also as a finale for the month, been assembling my Imperial Starter force for Prodos Games' Warzone Resurrection, which I am enjoying assembling and painting as they are incredible models, 32mm resin, crisp and solid.
My Imperial Officer - he has started being painted now!

My first trencher!

HMG Gunner - a loose term, as Imperial Trencher HMGs are actually Miniguns!

Rhino Tankette - a flamethrower equips this little thing.
 And that sums up the month folks! Hopefully some painted Warzone Resurrection models will grace my next post...

Sunday, 2 November 2014

October 2014 - Mars Attacks! Star Trek, and 15mm Modern

Hello again folks,

I have finally got my hands on my Attack on Greenville Mars Attacks set from Mantic Games, and have started preparing this for games, undercoating and starting to paint the US troops as Marines in MARPAT camouflage.
Mars Attacks - Attack on Greenville pre-order set

I will say that the models are not made out of 'traditional' wargaming miniatures plastic, but a more boardgame style plastic, although the US troopers seem to be better than the rest in terms of feel. The two Martian commanders that came in my box both have extremely flexing weapons, capable of being bent in both directions and returning to shape, which is also an issue of some of the normal Martian's weapons. Which means if bent before unboxing they will return to their bent position if moved to a straighter shape.

I've played two small games, on Friday 10th October, and enjoyed it, the game playing very similiarly to Deadzone. A visit from Square Orange Games on the same day also led to me purchasing some more bits and pieces for Deadzone, including a Strider for my Enforcers (being built solely for them as I haven't the skills at present to assemble it so it can be changed out for Enforcers, Rebels or Plague), and a starter box for The Marauders, which rather than being the disorganised Orks of Warhammer 40k, these are greenskins, but organised, well armed mercenaries, and so I intend to paint them to resemble such, although I might use various camoufalge patterns to give them a more mercenary appearance  rather than a true army.
Below are some pictures of the Strider and the Marauders so far: 

Enforcer Strider


On Friday 17th October, I played a quick game of Star Trek Attack wing, using my "currently repainting" ships from the starter set, and enjoyed it. So a week later I ordered another ship to add to this growing collection - a Nova Class starship - small and quick.
Two of my starships being repainted

I have also received the beta rules to 3rd Generation Warfare, a set of modern wargame rules I am keen to try out. And having had a nose through the rules, I ordered some 15mm Moderns in order to play it, as the rules utilise large numbers of troops and vehicles, such as a tank company etc, so a smaller scale from 28mm has been chosen by myself as 28mm is too expensive and large for multi-vehicle games. I have found Quick Reaction Force, a 15mm modern miniatures retailer, and ordered my two first 15mm forces. I have based my introduction to this set of rules and 15mm moderns on the video game Battlefield 4, using the fictional War of 2020 between the USA, Russia and China as my background, although I will end up slightly altering to fiction to suit the purpose. So to that end I have so far ordered 40 US Army infantrymen, 1 Stryker IFV, 40 Chinese PLA Infantry and 1 Type 63 APC for these. These arrived yesterday morning (Saturday 1st November) and I have built the Stryker:
The 15mm scale Stryker IFV - hull is one piece, each wheel is seperate and so is the remote controlled 0.50cal machine gun.

Chinese Type 63 APC

In a trip to Hereford, I also bought a boxed set of 4 plastic M113 Armoured Carriers, intended for the Arab-Israeli War period of Flames of War 15mm miniatures range. I have decided these will suit my modern war collection of 15mm models, as extra transport and some specialist vehicles - I intend to use the first of the 4 models as a medical vehicle. First I intend to use the instructions in the October 2014 issue of Wargames Illustrated to upgrade the M113s to M113A3s - the modern upgraded version of the original APC. Pictures of some elements of progress are going well:

The bottom hull of the M113

The card I intend to use to build the fuel tank extensions on the rear flanks of the M113A3.

Two days ago, on Friday 31st October, I tried the 3rd Generation Warfare rules, using the Scenario 2 - A scenario based on Wireless ridge during the Falklands War in 1982. It features an Infantry platoon of Argentinians versus an Infantry platoon of British with a support element of a Scorpion and Scimitar. We used a mixture of Assault Group 28mm Moderns and Bolt Action miniatures to play the game, we didn't get very far, but started to get an idea of the rules, but the firing system is a bit complicated at the moment, with reference to various pages in the rules. I'll post how well gaming with these rules goes.

I also entered my Deadzone Plague Stage 1A as an entry to Dice and Decks Gaming Club Iron Painter competition.
My Deadzone Plague Stage 1A

Until next time folks.....

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Mid-Late September

Hello again folks,

So, what have I been up to since my last post?

I've built, labelled and used my Afrika Korps for Bolt Action, bar about 5/6 models. All squads are assembled, so perhaps I can make a small unit of Veterans to accompany the regulars.

The game was last Friday (Friday 19th September), and was played on my Desert board, and resulted in me losing! A slight disaster of a game, starting with a Dingo ramming my 20mm AA Gun and destroying it, bad dice rolls cost me this, and my Panzer III, which had failed to take out an enemy Sherman II. My Major and his accompanying officer were both killed by a small unit of British Veterans in a Bren Carrier, and my other Lieutenant and a squad were killed by a large unit of British regular soldiers, although they had taken out 60% of the Brits before their eventual demise!

In Airsoft related news, I also have new American early style replica MICH helmet, more like a PASGT and not so high on the sides than on some models. I also have a MARPAT cover, but it is a slightly different version of the pattern compared to that on the fatigues I wear, but this will have to be tolerated for now. I have a game this Saturday and another Sunday!

I have also been painting some Deadzone stuff, as I've neglected this stuff for far too long - and I'm really enjoying painting the Plague Stage 1A.  On a related note, also from Mantic Games, I have also ordered the Mars Attacks: Attack on Greenville set, which contains the boxed set, and a few extras! I really like the heavy narrative theme, but still enough space for random skirmishes and games of my own design.
The Attack on Greenville set (courtesy of Mantic Games site). The top left is the averga boxed set, and the other items are extras included in the deal.
I have plans for colour schemes on the US troops included in the game  - USMC MARPAT camouflage, the same as my airsoft outfit. As this is a) approriate (if you allow a slight alteration in narrative from army to USMC) and b) it's an incredible painting challenge for me to try.

This Friday just passed, which I have no pictures for due to no battery on my phone, so apologies, I played two games of Deadzone, by Mantic Games. Partially because of Mars Attacks and also because I've gone on a bit of painting spree with the Deadzone kit and nearly painted my Stage 1 Plague and another Enforcer. These do have pictures (well, the plague does anyway) and are shown below: 

This shows how I painted the "skin" over the muscle beneath, using Scab Red I went over the black undercoat, except for the area near the eyes, and then used Vajello Iraqi Sand for the skin - which I interpret as having morphed into a tough carapace, thus why it is cracked and pitted.

So there we have it for now folks, until next time...

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Early September 2014

Hello again Folks,

I've been working on a variety of different things.

Starting with Dystopian Legions, where I have finished my Captain, wearing a slight variation of my Desert uniform so he stands out as an officer. I am also working on my machine gun.
My Dystopian Legions Captain ready for action, wearing a variation of my Desert uniform I made up for my Dystopian Legions, based loosely off the Sudan War.

I have painted a Vampire from Westwind Productions Empire of the Dead range, ready for Dice and Decks Halloween Painting Competition (more of a whilst I remember thing than a need to get it done).
My Vampire from Westwind Productions, only thing that isn't finished on this model is the base

My third thing is building my Penisular Regiment of Napoleonic British Infantry from Warlord Games I mentioned in my last post. I have cut the regiment from large unit of 36 to a slightly larger than normal standard sized unit of 32 for Black Powder.
My Peninsular War Napoleonic British Infantry, slowly assembling.

I also have built a few more British for Bolt Action. As I have neglected this army compared to my German forces, which isn't very patriotic of me!

I had a game last Friday, Germans versus Airborne British, which was finished early, but was a close game that I enjoyed much more than I sometimes do - my tanks did something creative and took out a Sherman through combined fire! The Tiger immobilised it, and the next shot from my Panzer IV destroyed it, ending any threat to my heavy vehicles. Pictures below:
The Tiger stalks a Sherman from behind a house

The battlefield, Germans taking up positions behind the Church, and British Paratroopers head through a garden on the right.

This coming Friday I will be playing a game on my desert board against British 8th Army using my Afrika Korps force, which should be an entertaining game, if I get my last squad built. So until next time folks.....