Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Tanks, Terrain & Other Things

I've been pretty busy making various things over the past week or so. So where do I start?

Buildings: I ordered some colour printed card houses by Plastcraft. 4 buildings for about $45.00. Not bad.

However, when I say "card" they are really printed on that acrylic, foam-card stuff. Not foamcore... Sort of a plastic board stuff. They were reasonably cheap and, although they have some very noticeable joins and edges, they were quite quick to make and look half decent. I guess I can always patch up the edges and whatever but at this stage I'm happy with them.

The only thing that was annoying about them was that there were no instructions in the box. This was quite daunting when I first opened the box but after making one house the quantity of pieces was less and construction became progressively easier.

For what I paid, they look okay.
 Some 20mm figures for comparison.

I also made a card church (real card this time). This is HO scale from a model railway company and it's not bad but it wasn't easy to make. It's a very solid little model considering that it's made of cardboard. Some time in the future I think I'll mount it onto a base with walls and a little grave yard for effect.


Roads: I made some dirt roads. I've been wanting to make some of these for a while but I couldn't find a suitable material that I was happy with. But a couple of days ago I found a small roll of non-slip rubber mat for $4.00 at ALDI and I thought it might work.

I cut it into 3"x 12"strips and added a coat of dark brown caulk. I waited for it to cure overnight and then found that the mat material had curled. I remembered a video I saw on You Tube where a guy used gaffa-tape on the underside to counteract this curling and so I applied some gaffa-tape. And it worked!
 (Note: gaffa-tape is what Americans call duct tape.)

I then gave the pieces a drybrush of some sand colour and then used my home made flock to do the edges.

So, all up it took me around 4 hours of work at a cost of about $15.00 to make 14' of flexible dirt roads with a couple of junctions and bends. They're only marginally realistic but they look effective and they'll be adorning my wargaming tables for years to come.

AND... Today I visited ALDI gagain and picked up another roll of the non-slip mat and a tube of darkgrey sandy textured caulk and I'm going to make some tarmac roads next.


Tanks... I finished some more tanks. I made these little guys a couple of weeks back and they've been waiting for some paint.

A carrier section. The carrier on the right is metal and was gifted to me by a friend when I bought a Cromwell from him. It will be the platoon command vehicle when I finish the final section.
These are Pz 38t's from Pegasus models. I was a bit suspicious of this kit (one box, 2 models) but I was really surprised at how easy they were to make and how good they look. I'm hoping to get another box this weekend.

And also... I made some blinds for I Ain't Been Shot Mum. These are used for hidden movement and I think they could be usable for other games. I used Photoshop to make them because I didn't like any of the generic ones available for download. As you can see they are alphabetized from A to L with a pair of blank ones in each set. If I can work out how to share pdf files on this blog I'll put them up for download.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

British Armour WWII

I picked up a bunch of AB 1944/45 British infantry last week and decided to work on this era of WWII for a while. I also picked up a bunch of models at the Model Expo a couple of weeks back. I do have a bit of stuff for this period - some infantry, halftracks, carriers and a few tanks.

I also bought the pdf of the Too Fat Lardies game: I Ain't Been Shot Mum. It looks good as it has a lot of simple rules for some regular WWII battlefield concerns that are not covered by the Battlegroup rules.

Anyway, I decided to paint up the infantry as well as a few tanks. There's nothing outstanding here, just basic stuff. The models are from a mix of manufacturers.

Thes Achilles tank destroyers are from Armourfast. They are cheap and nasty but they look okay. The only problem is that they have zero detail inside the turret so I added some AB crew to, at least, fill up the space. I also added some stowage (the rolled up tarps I did with green stuff).
 You can see the total lack of detail here.
These Cromwell IV's are all Airfix. An easy model to build and it looks the part. I added the optional hedge cutter to two of them. Add the Firefly below and I have a viable Armoured troop.
The Firefly is actually diecast. I've had it for a while and I don't recall where I got it from. I looks nice and it's put together well.

I also picked up these German field cars from the Model Expo. These are dodgy resin recasts. But they were going cheap and they saved me a bunch of time because they were already primed. I just had to base them and add paint. One for Africa and one for Europe.

That's all for now.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Napoleonic Demo Game

My friend Robin and I put on a Napoleonic demo game at the Melbourne Model Expo today. This is a three day event held every year at the Sandown Racecourse outside Melbourne. Other members of our club put on games on Saturday & Sunday, and Monday (today) was our turn.

Here's some photo's:

What's this? A secret liaison behind the farmhouse...

Saturday, 9 June 2018

28mm WWII. Hmmm...

Despite the name of this blog (which started to chronicle my 28mm sculpting) I'm not a fan of WWII in 28mm. It is my firm belief that 1:72/1:76/HO/20mm is the right and proper scale for WWII wargaming and none shall sway this belief because is one of the foundations of the universe. It is one of the fundamental laws of physics and no other scale should be allowed to exist as far as WWII wargaming is concerned.

Now that that's said, I played a game of Chain of Command in 28mm at my last club meeting. I wanted to try the rules and John (who made the 1:1200 trireme wreaks for me) walked Richard and I through a basic game. That's the same Richard with whom I played the ancient naval battle with a couple of weeks back. It seems that our ancestors must have had a long running antagonism running throughout all of history. We wondered if this feud also runs into the far flung sci-fi future.

The game was very basic, a platoon each - Richard played Germans and I played the U.S. I liked some aspects of the game but I don't think this is the WWII game for me. It's too small and doesn't seem like it will handle vehicles well. I prefer WWII at company to battalion level with small AFV and support formations (tank platoons, AT batteries, etc.). There's no way that I could justify spending $40 per tank and $200 on a single platoon.

Having said that, I did enjoy the game and the 28mm figures do look nice. I do like the Patrol Phase in this game but I would really like to find a set of rules that handles hidden troops and movement well so that recce units and patrols can be used effectively with figures/models on the table. I'm not sure that CoC does this because the Patrol Phase seems to do it in a abstract sort of way. Maybe I'd be happier if small bases of figures were used instead of markers. Who knows?

As it is, I've ordered a set of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum. I'm keen to see how these rules suit what I'm after.

Anyway, we did the patrol thing and I tried to lock down the Kraut patrol markers into a central area whilst trying to spread out my own deployment area. It kind of worked.

There was plenty of cover on the table and we pretty much got into position and then proceeded to shoot each other up. The result of this was that the Krauts took a lot of casualties spread out amongst his troops whilst my Dogface's took minor casualties but quite a lot of Shock. This entailed constantly trying to reduce it through the use of Command Points. My section on the right ended up with lots of Shock and got pinned due to those nasty MG42's constantly targeting them.

The game ended as a stalemate and we finished without a conclusion. But it was a good intro and we got the hang of the basics pretty easily.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Little 8th Army

I've been getting my British 8th Army together for some Western Desert action in the near future.

I started with a box of Esci 1/72 and a box of Revell 1/72 plastic figures. The Revell figures turned out to be the old Matchbox 1/76 figures and they are tiny and poorly moulded. So that was a wast of money.

The Esci figures looked nice and I painted up a platoon:

But then I went to Little Wars Melbourne where Eureka & AB Miniatures did something reprehensible and nasty. They brought out these beautiful 20mm 8th Army figures:

I only bought one infantry section, a platoon HQ section, mortar section and a Vicars HMG section. Now it looks like I'm going to have to buy more infantry sections. The swines!!!

Not really. These figures look fantastic and the range covers just about everything we wargamers will need. The only thing I don't like about them is my own painting. I added a wash of GW Agrax Earthshade and I think that ruined the paint work a bit. The next lot that I get (and I must get more of these now - For, it is written!) will get a watered down wash.

I also made up a box of Plastic Soldier Company M3 "Honeys" and put some paint on them. They came up okay. One of the commanders is from the AB late British range. I'll have to get some more AB commanders for future models.

These models below are resin recasts. I got them because I'm having trouble getting actual models for much of the early war British stuff. They sort of look okay but I don't like them much and I doubt that I'll get any more in the future. However, I still have a few other recast things that I got at LW and I'll make them up soon. As it is, we have a big, big model show happening in Melbourne this coming weekend and I'll see what stuff I rustle up there. I really want a few Matilda II's.
The commander in the Dingo Scout Car is the "Monty" figure from the Revell/Matchbox figure set. I can foresee these figures being used for conversions and suchlike. Currently I'm thinking that they might make some good dead markers.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Ancient Navies at Little Wars

Little Wars Melbourne was held this week and my friends Richard, Bob, Mark and I put on a display of naval gaming with the good old triremes, quadraremes & quinqueremes taking to the table on the wine dark sea.

Little Wars: It was a great day and I did a lot of shopping for my British 8th Army and Afrikakorps. There were games of all different shapes and sizes and I'll post some photo's of the various games in the next few days.

I got to use my nice new sea mat - which is just 2 meters of mid-aqua crushed velvet. It met with many nice comments regarding it's effectiveness. The two fleets we had on display were Richard's Romans and my Macedonians. Mark and Bob had a static display of their pre-dreadnought Japanese and Chinese fleets.

My 28mm model of the Argo that I made a few years back
for a Jason & the Argonauts game that never eventuated.

Bob and Mark spent much of the day recruiting names and email addresses for their Melbourne chapter of the Naval Wargames Society and managed to sign up 20 good and willing fellows.

A Game...

After much shopping, wandering around and eating German Sausages we eventually got down to a game late in the afternoon. Using Ad Mare Bellum by David Manley the two fleets finally put backs to oars and engaged in battle. For this game Richard's Romans had the Maneuver advantage and I had the Boarding advantage.

 Looking at the Romans in the distance from the deck of my flagship ~ The Triton!
The Romans got off to a flying start with two consecutive moves whilst my chaps sat still and watched them come. Then it was my turn with two consecutive moves to maneuver. My plan was to try a dieklpous maneuver (force a hole/gap) in the Roman line and exploit it.
I shifted one of my trireme squadrons to the right
but the maneuver left them a little ragged.

 I'll need to straighten up this squadron before the Romans get into range.
 At the end of turn 1 both fleets had advanced but the Madedonians were slightly hampered in the center due to the slow speed of my flagship (an 8). But at least the majority of the line was in good order. We'd both learned from previous games that our big ships need to get into the thick of it due to their killing power and ability to punch holes in the enemy line.
I didn't manage to straighten the line but the Romans didn't manage to reach me before the Macedonians managed to start ramming. But one ship did take some damage from some engine shooting (blue marker) and I managed to inflict some crew damage on one Roman ship (red marker) with some missile shooting.
 However, none of my ramming was effective. I did try to board and came off second best in one effort and a draw in the second. I shot some other engines but they were non-effective too. In the pic below it looks like I've managed a perilpous (out flanking maneuver) but there is another Roman squadron close by out of shot.
 On the other flank it looks like my strategy to create a gap might work. And there's that other squadron.
On the Macedonian right my trireme squadron was getting pummeled. The big Roman 7 shot it's engines at one trireme doubling my defensive score and wreaked it by obviously piercing the hull with a telling blow. At least we got to use on of my new Wreak Markers. Unfortunately one of my ships was also captured and by the end of the turn I'd lost another ship wreaked and a second ship captured. This was my weaker flank and it showed. 
During the same turn other ships on my right took hull and crew damage from engines and missiles so I pulled back and tried to inflict as much missile damage to the Roman crews as I could and had some success (red markers) and also captured two ships (black markers amidships).
On the left flank I did some ramming and boarded some of the Roman ships. Both sides took crew damage but I managed to get on to the flank of Richard's squadron and captured two of his ships 
More importantly, I managed to create that gap I was looking for by pinning the center Roman squadron and inflicting crew casualties with my engines. I was then able to redirected my third trireme squadron to take advantage of it.
Unfortunately, we had to call the game at this point because we noticed everyone else was packing up. This was a shame because it was the first time I that I looked like winning a game (this was my 3rd or 4th game). By this stage I'd lost 2 ships wreaked & two captured whilst Richard had lost 4 captured. I think I was also in front when it came to crew casualties and two of my squadrons were still fresh. So I think I might have pulled this one off given another turn.

Oh well. We shall never know...


We need more games. I'm pretty sure we have enough ships but a couple of grain ships would be nice and some smaller vessels wouldn't go astray if we wanted to do Greek/Persian of Peloponnesian War scenarios. I have the little harbour now so maybe an attack/defence scenario could be in the future.


I forgot to add these photo's that I stole from Richard my opponent. So here they are: