Saturday, 18 March 2017

Something Different ~ Some Sci-Fi

I played a game of Warpath: Firefight a couple of weeks back that a friend, James, was showing at one of our club nights and I was surprised that I really liked it. I didn't expect to dislike it or anything but I was surprised by the way the game worked and found that I could see myself playing this game quite a bit.

I was given a pdf of the rules to look at and I've really been getting into it. The actual rule book will be available next month & I'll get that as soon as I can. I could just print off the pdf but I'd prefer to support the game by purchasing the actual rules.

However, I'm not so gallant when it comes to buying the game miniatures. The game I played was with a couple of armies made by James with a mix of figures from all over. Which is fine by me.

I got the chance to get a bunch of 40K Necrons at a bargain price from another guy at the club who is downsizing dramatically. $50 for 28 figures. Very cheap in GW terms. The figures are painted and based so I could use them as they are but... They're Necrons and they look like Necronny and they will always be identified as Necrons. So I had to change them.

Because I bought a bunch of cheap robots fate decided that I would make a Asterian force. They seem pretty good and they suit my idea of sci-fi. Robots and drones and such things with a single flesh & blood overseer commanding them about the place.

So I did some modification on the Necrons in order, as one chap put it: "to reduce the Necron silhouette." I like that turn of phrase. So here's my first little unit of Cyphers (as they are called) and this is how they came out:

My first idea (still too Necronny):

And after shortening their weapons (and reducing the Necron  silhouette).

By the way, I wanted them to look very plastic, as if they are a metal humanoid structures covered with plastic/synthetic cowlings.

I also got a cheap box of some other sci-fi dudes that had a couple of heavy weapon drones and I ordered a second box to get more. As it is, I've used the drones as they came out of the box and I think I'll use the dudes to make up a second faction later on.  The tall drone is made up from 40K Tau stuff.

So, there you have it. The start of my little sci-fi guys (well they're really robots).

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

1st Vermandois - WSS

My first post for a while and I'm back to getting my French for the War of Spanish Succession painted up and ready. I'm still going fairly slowly on these guys and interspersing their progress with smaller (& easier) projects.

These troops form the third battalion of Montmorency's Brigade at Blenheim - the 1st Vermandois. I only have one more battalion to do to complete the brigade and I hope to get them done in the next couple of weeks. Then it's on to some cavalry!

This is, again, a very nice looking battalion with a great colourful flag of red, yellow, purple and green quarters - Although you can't really see much of it in the pics. Once again these figures are from Ebor Miniatures. I love the finished look of these figures but I have to admit that I don't enjoy preparing them. They require far too much filing to get rid of mold lines and removal of excess metal from torn molds. But the end results are always nice.

You may have noticed, if you've looked at my other battalions, that I'm using a painting method that I believe brings out the best in historical big battalions. After undercoating the figure I paint in the flesh parts and then apply a flesh wash. The rest of the figure is painted in flat colours with no shading or washes.

Doing things this way means there is a need to be fairly accurate with the brush as mistakes can be pretty glaring. Having said that I don't go out of my way to make things perfect - Just fairly accurate. This method is great for big battalions as it really makes the figures stand out and gives the formed unit a great presence at a distance on the table-top. I used this style for my Napoleonic Prussians too.

P.S. - The background buildings and paved foreground are made from printed terrain.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

More WWII British ~ Heavy Weapons

My fledgling British forces needed some heavy support so I made an investment in some AB 20mm figures and they're lovely. These figures match well with the Plastic Soldier Company stuff I got at Canberra. There is a slight difference but overall they fit together nicely.

Some of these figures will make up a carrier platoon and other will take up other heavy weapons slots in whatever list I use.

The figures below will form the basis of an engineer section. I'm not really sure how to build an engineer unit but there are more AB engineer figures available so I'll just add some of those fellows into the mix. Some Bangalore torpedoes would be a nice addition.

Also... I finished a troop of StuG III's from PSC. I'll be heading off this afternoon to get a couple of commanders to fill the hatches,

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Variety WWII Stuff

I haven't posted for a while but I do have the excuse that I was away on a brief holiday, part of which involved a stay in Canberra and a visit to CANCON. As far as I'm concerned about this penultimate Australian convention: It was bust and crowded and I didn't like it much. But the shopping was good as were some of the people.

Anyhow, I have been busy doing WWII stuff. I know this year was supposed to be all about the War of Spanish Succession but my opponent said I was painting faster than he, so I thought I'd do some WWII to slow me down.

I've also discovered the game Battlegroup from Iron Fist Publishing and, for the time being, this will be the WWII rules that I intend to use.

So... I painted some Germans and some British infantry recently. Being 1/72 scale that are easy. I've painted about 90 odd figures in the past couple of weeks. I started with painting some Valiant Germans. Great figures but I'm just not certain about the scale. It's all wrong. They are too big for 1/72 - 20mm and too small for 25mm (or 28mm). But they look great and the price is also very attractive.

Here they are:

I then decided to paint up some Zvezda Germans. These also look great and they're very detailed for their size but they seem a bit delicate for gaming purposes. Also, I'm not very keen on the MG34 pose. In fact the poses, over all are pretty limited.

And I also did a platoon of Brits by Plastic Soldier Company. These are really nice. The right scale, solid plastic and with a good range of poses. They also go well with metal AB 20mm which I'll be using for heavy weapons and other stuff. Actually the command stand below are AB 20's. I'm very tempted to forgo the plastic Krauts I've painted so far and just use AB.

Keep in mind that these pics are only a few of the actual figures that I've painted recently.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

1st Nivernais

It took me a bit longer than I anticipated but I finally finished the second battalion of my French WSS force. Like the 1st Bourbon this battalion is part of Montmorency's Brigade at Blenhiem.

I like the colours of this battalion. The strange mix of blue cuffs, red gaiters and yellow hat lace makes them look very colourful. This contrasts well with their flag which is somewhat understated.

I'm not sure about the cuff colour. I looked at a lot of reference material and other models of this unit and the colour varied dramatically, from a light cobalt to a very dark blue (even a dark green bordering on black). I opted for a dark sky blue.

Again, I made the flags using photoshop.

I mounted them on the custom 60 x 50mm bases that we had made by Mike Parker.

The photos are taken in front of some card-stock buildings that I made a few weeks back, just before Christmas. For a dollar per pdf, paper and pages from a watercolour pad they make very nice 28mm terrain (they can be scaled to any figure size too). The most expensive part about these is the printer ink cartridges.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

My First WSS Regiment

Well, I've started into my 2017 War of Spanish Succession project.

This is the 1st Bourbon Regiment from Montmorency's Brigade as at Blenheim. I decided to use Blenheim as a reference point because there is a lot of information available and I decided to start with Montmorency's Brigade because I once use to live in the Melbourne suburb of Montmorency and it isn't far from where I live now.

I'm going to make about 7 or 8 infantry regiments, 2 or 3 of cavalry, one dragoon regiment and a few guns. For "Lily Banners" that's about three commands and should be enough to get some decent games underway.

The figures are Ebor Miniatures and although they look quite nice they're not as easy to paint as Front Rank and they require quite a bit to effort to clean up mold lines. I hope that then next regiment I do are a better cast.

Anyway, the end result looks nice.

The flags were, again, made by me using photoshop. The flag finials are by by Front Rank, they top the whole thing off very nicely.

Monday, 2 January 2017

WWII ~ My Introduction to Wargaming

I decided to paint up some WWII stuff.

Like many folks of my era, I was introduced to wargaming and modelling via Airfix kits and plastic figures. These figures were HO/OO scale or, 1/72 or, as they are called today 20mm. I played a lot of WWII wargames in my youth and I had a very large collection of figures and vehicles of all nations. Unfortunately I sold them off a long while back for a variety of reasons and never played WWII again.

Until now!

In getting back into WWII, I had options. This time around I can go for 15mm, 28mm, 18mm etc but I opted for good old 1/72 (20mm). To me this is the correct scale for WWII. There are loads of cheap figures available as well as a huge range of vehicle, AFV and aircraft kits.
One thing I really don't understand is WWII in 28mm. To me it just seems an expensive and limited option to take.

I like WWII wargaming at the tactical level using a 1:1 man/figure/vehicle ratio and I like games to be platoon or, at the most, company sized encounters. The rules I use to use are not appreciated by today's players so I've had to look for something new and as yet I haven't settled on anything. I might just be a stick in the mud and keep with what I like. Who knows?

So, I went out and bought some troops. A box of Germans and a box of G.I.'s. I thought a platoon of each would be a good starting point. I figured a platoon of each, with a couple of vehicles added should be able to provide some simple games as well as being good for testing out various sets of rules.

The figures I got are by Valiant Games. They are supposed to be 1/72 but they are actually a bit bigger. No worries though because I don't intend to buy many of them. Each box has a full platoon as well as heavy weapons so they are just what I want.

Anyhow, I painted up a platoon of G.I.'s first ~ 41 figures in three 12 man sections and a 5 man command team ~  and they took me about a week (due to Christmas festivities). I expect the Germans to take less than that when I get started. They are nice figures. I did a pretty basic paint job on them and they came up okay. They are based on washers because they're cheap and to give them some weight.