Tuesday, 25 July 2017

More Tea, Vicar?


As it's the Summer Holidays, I will be shuffling over to the other blog for the duration, where I will be doing the usual board, card and print and play wargaming stuff. This time I'll be giving the Table Air Combat system a thrashing over the skies of good old Blighty, for some linked campaign style scenarios set during the Battle of Britain. I'll also be trying out the one brain cell, print and play Napoleonic naval rules, Trafalgar (very original that) and I'll be continuing my attempt to play all of the scenarios in the excellent Tank on Tank hex and counter series, both on the Western and Eastern Front. If that's not enough, I may even dust off Cry Havoc for some old school medieval skirmishing or take some of my new 'off the shelf' games along to try out, who knows?

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Schools Out for Summer


It's been a difficult year at school, with my resignation from my twenty three year job and a fresh start as a supply teacher, although this has gone pretty well so far and I have plenty of work until the end of 2017. It does mean that I have a bit more job stability as well, at least for the next three or four months, which is a good thing all round.

Unfortunately, my wife has just been made redundant, despite having done nothing to deserve it, so things have been a bit less than brilliant over the last few weeks to say the least. This is one reason why I've been pre-occupied and away from the workbench but it's now the end of term and the summer holidays have arrived, one of the few things that we teachers have to look forward to these days.

I'll be off for a few weeks over the Summer, so will aim to make some more progress with the 15mm Sci-Fi project before we head off to France. I need to highlight the guns, paint the stowage, sensors and vision blocks then add some decals, before I can finish off with some light weathering. After that I just need to tackle the bases before they're ready to be deployed.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Supreme Littleness Desert Fort Ruin

Here's one I didn't make earlier

I spotted this over the weekend and I'm sorely tempted to get one. It's 28mm and would work very well for the Back of Beyond or any other colonial skirmish themed game, from the North West Frontier to the Arabian Desert. In fact, I'm sure it will turn up all over the place in The Men Who Would Be Kings and Arab Revolt scenarios and such like.

However, I really want one in 15mm to use for my post-colonial retreat from Empire plans, as it would be just the job for the hilltops of the Radfan. I guess I'll just have to wait until the 15mm equivalent arrives in the web shop thingy. I think I'll ping an email off to the Supreme Littleness HQ with a polite request in the meantime.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

15mm Sci-Fi Slowdown




I've been busy and really tied up with family stuff over the last week or so, which means that progress on the 15mm Sci-Fi Summer project has stalled a bit of late. I have painted in the gun barrels on the tanks, APC's and mechs, however, using a 50:50 mix of Foundry Black and Charcoal Grey Shade. I'm off to yet another cricket match tomorrow morning with the sprog but should be able to get some of the stowage painted by the end of the day, if I get my skates on.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

15mm Sci-Fi Landing Pads





You can't really have a proper sci-fi campaign without some sort of 'get to da chopper' scenario objective or a dropship combat insertion of some sort. Not having a dropship, or even a chopper for that matter, I do now have two landing pads to either extract my forces from imminent overrun or to drop them from low orbit into the assault.

The bigger of the two is from the new sci-fi range by Warbases and should do for any heavy lifting, or dropping off, whilst the smaller and slightly more futuristic one is from Blotz. I particularly like the smaller one as I think it's a better design and really looks futuristic rather than the more industrial Warhamster 40K look of the Warbases one.

They didn't take more than ten to fifteen minutes to glue together and are very well designed, so particularly easy to construct. I did use up a whole can of Humbrol Sea Grey spray paint on the two, however, as the 2mm laser cut mdf doesn't half soak it up at a rate.

I'll do a bit of drybrushing and detailing when I get the time, with some masked up hazard warning stripes if I'm brave enough. Ideally, I'd base them on an irregular mdf template of some sort but I don't have any to hand that are big enough, so they'll have to be free standing in the meantime.

You can find them on the Warbases and Blotz webshop thingy:

http://blotz.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=23_28_184&products_id=1101

https://warbases.co.uk/?product=landing-pad-and-ramp

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Stout Hearts


A great book at a great price on the Kindle. This is currently available for only a couple of quid and is a very thorough, systematic and well-structured account of the British and Canadian role from D-Day to the close of the Normandy campaign. It contains a wealth of information and some excellent primary source material including numerous first hand accounts and photographs. Absolutely brilliant if you have an interest in the subject and invaluable if you like a bit of historical depth in your wargaming. It even had me rummaging in the lead pile for 15mm Late War British and flicking through my copy of I Ain't Been Shot Mum, so it must be good!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Massive Atomic Cyclops Medium Mech


I had a go at working out the stats for the 28mm Copplestone Castings power armour figures that I'm redeploying as 15mm mechs in the Massive Atomic corporate army, using the ever so handy Gruntz Barracks software. In the end, I have made them Medium rather than Light mecha, so that I could load them out with a vehicle medium gatling, a couple of grenade launchers and a pair of vehicle machine guns, as depicted on the models. I didn't add any 'modz', as I thought this was more than enough to put the boot in as and when required, and at 43 points they are not exactly cheap either!

Monday, 10 July 2017

15mm Sci-Fi Armour Hover Skirts



I started on the hover skirts, for want of a better word, this evening with a basecoat of Foundry Granite Shade and a second layer of Foundry Granite. I was aiming for a battle worn and washed out look rather than just painting them black, so I think I'm heading in the right direction. I may add a highlight of Foundry Granite Light and possibly a wash of GW Nuln Oil in the divisions between the skirt sections but, for the moment, I'm letting them dry out completely before I do anything else. It's all a bit shiny at the moment but I'll be spraying everything in Army Painter matt varnish when I've finished.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Starbase 962




I was just saying the other day that there's a bit of a shortage of laser cut mdf sci-fi buildings in 15mm, when Warbases go and start a whole new range called Starbase 962. This is designed around a modular style of building and some associated industrial and military structures, so pretty versatile and very useful. In the past, I've always used resin buildings and will no doubt go down that route in the future but, for speed of production and painting as well as cost and weight to a lesser degree, I'm going to try out the laser cut mdf option. I've ordered a few of the modular buildings and a landing pad (another one!) to see what they're like and how quickly I can put them together, with a 10% discount as an added incentive.

15mm Sci Fi Armour Block Painting




   

I made some progress with the tanks, APC's and light mechs yesterday, making up for the fact that I don't have an airbrush for this sort of thing. I started with an overall wet brush of Foundry Phlegm Green Shade, one of my favourite colours, followed by a heavy dry brush in 50:50 Phlegm Green Shade and Phlegm Green. After this had dried I washed everything in a 50:50 solution of water and GW Athonian Camoshade ink, which because of the heat dried with a white residue, so I had to go over this again to sort it out. I ended with another dry brush of Phlegm Green and a bit of shading in the panel lines and corners with some GW Nuln Oil wash. It's on to the hover skirts, details and decals next.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

15mm Sci Fi Light Mech Scale Comparison



I have assembled and under coated the three 28mm Copplestone power armour figures that I'm using as light walkers or mechs for my 15mm sci-fi project, very much in a Heavy Gear style. I thought I'd take a couple of comparative photos alongside the 15mm figures and vehicles to see how they matched up in terms of design and scale. I think they look spot on and, when I have a whole squad assembled, will complement the GZG 'cyclops' helmet figures and Gauntlet hover APC's really well.

15mm Sci-Fi Infantry Basing


I textured the bases on the hard suit infantry yesterday, which took ages as I used a brush to apply the thick PVA and had to avoid getting it all over their feet. I was worried that the edges of the figure bases would show through the grit and sand mix once the glue had dried but, in the end, this only affected a couple of the figures and the rest look fine. I will now paint and dry brush the bases, although I'm tempted to just leave them, which is a bit lazy but would save a lot of time.

Friday, 7 July 2017

TMP R.I.P.


I've finally given up on TMP, having just seen how a week of supporting member only posting seemed to restore a semblance of clarity to the site, only to be demolished by an avalanche of Tango related bumpf once the restrictions were lifted. I know Tango does post some interesting stuff now and again but I've had enough to be honest. I also have an increasing intolerance of the puerile banter and alt-right political stance of some other regular contributors. Anyway, I've now decided to switch off and do something more interesting instead, so will be tuning in to the Wargames Website from now on, which is a far more civilised place to be. Sorry TMP.

http://www.thewargameswebsite.com/

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Friday Off!


I'm not needed at work tomorrow so have a day off, which means I will be able to put in some serious painting time on the 15mm sci-fi army. I very rarely, if ever, have time off, so this is a great opportunity to kick back and enjoy some painting. I've also just been re-employed until the end of the year and I've had a pay rise, so it's been a pretty good week all round.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

15mm Sci-Fi Light Mech Squad


I've ordered three more of the 28mm Copplestone power armour figures with rotary cannon from Moonfleet Miniatures, to build a six figure strong light mech squad for my 15mm sci-fi Massive Atomic corporate army. Although they will operate as single figures I thought it made sense to group them together into a unit, rather than have them wandering about on their own. I have some walking and standing bodies so that the unit will have a bit of variation and I can position the weapons at slightly different angles too. I think they'll look pretty cool, especially if I paint them to match the armoured hover vehicles.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Real X-Men


No, I haven't gone all superhero, just the latest book to hit the reading list, along with a trio of books by the same author all discounted to 99p on the Kindle. I have been fascinated by this subject for years, so this should be an interesting read and a source of ideas for underwater wargaming. If only there was a range of suitable figures in swimming poses and a matching range of chariots and maiale. It reminds me of the diecast and plastic versions when I was a kid, not to mention that old 1950's film The Silent Enemy.

Monday, 3 July 2017

15mm Copplestone / EM4 Light Mech


I was looking for something in the storage boxes this evening, when I came across a box of 28mm ex-Grenadier Future Wars figures, which you can now get from EM4, Moonraker Miniatures and Copplestone Castings. Amongst the troopers, post-apocalyse road warriors and so on, I found several of the large Power Armour figures complete with separate weapons arms.

I then realised that they would make really cool light mechs alongside 15mm figures, so grabbed one, stuck the arms on with blu-tack and took a comparative photo. I'm sure I'm not the first to think that these 28mm power armour troopers scale out very well with 15mm GZG figures, with the torso and head very much the right size to accommodate a crewman or pilot.

I may glue two or three together and paint them up, either for the current Massive Atomic corporate army or for another less tank equipped force. They are good value for money too, with single figures priced at three quid over at EM4 / Moonraker, with a pack of two available from Copplestone Castings for a less attractive eight pounds and fifty pence.

http://www.em4miniatures.com/acatalog/TROOPERS.html

http://moonrakerminiatures.com/troopers.htm

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Sci-Fi Landing Pad

All I need now is a dropship or shuttle?

I thought it was about time I got hold of some decent sci-fi themed terrain pieces to go with my 15mm armies. It's not been as easy as I thought to find some suitable laser cut sci-fi buildings but I have just sent off for this rather cool landing pad from Blotz. I will be using my generic Middle Eastern / North African style buildings in the meantime but hope to find some more sci-fi style structures in laser cut mdf as well. I've read that Warbases might be doing something along these lines soon, which should fill a gap in the market?

15mm Sci Fi Infantry Finishing Bits




I have added a final few details to the 15mm GZG hard suit 'cyclops' helmet figures including some shoulder tabs in red and blue screens on the handheld computers. I've also pre-painted the bases in Vallejo US Field Drab so that the black undercoat won't show through after I've added some sand texturing. This will then be painted and dry brushed to match my desert terrain, before I decorate them with some static grass, tufts and so on.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

15mm Sci Fi Infantry Weapons




Here is the latest stage of the 15mm sci-fi painting, with the small arms base coated in Foundry Black, followed by a mid layer of Army Painter Wolf Grey and a highlight of Wolf Grey mixed with Vallejo Pale Grey. This was a bit of an experiment but I quite like the final results, although they're a bit scary up close. I also painted the rocket launchers in three stages of Foundry Phlegm Green followed by a wash in GW Athonian Camoshade, to pick out the details which had become a bit mushy. I've nearly finished the figure painting but still need to add some details and a bit of colour to complete the task, before I tackle the bases.

Friday, 30 June 2017

15mm Sci Fi Armour Markings


Thinking ahead to the hover tanks and APC's, which I hope to get started on over the weekend, I realised that I'd need some suitable decals for the unit markings, tactical numbers and so on. I had a rummage in the decal box and found quite a lot of useable stuff but also took a look online for some sci-fi style markings. I didn't find much but did turn up this sheet of 15mm Vietnam era ANZAC Centurion tank decals, which I thought would look pretty good on the sci-fi armour, especially if I can use them to create a common unit identity alongside the individual tank slogans. I just hope they will fit?

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Flashpoint Baltic Update


There's a lot of sabre rattling in the Baltic at the moment, with the Russians moaning about getting a taste of their own medicine from NATO interceptors, while NATO BALTOPS amphibious exercises wind them up to even greater heights of self-righteous indignation. It's all a bit of a storm in a teacup, unless you are unfortunate enough to live on Russia's doorstep. The video clip has been all over the Russian news of late and shows a Russian SU-27 warning off a NATO F-16 as it shadows the foreign ministers plane on a recent visit to Kaliningrad. This would make a great excuse for an accidental shoot down or mid-air collision incident, leading to a flashpoint for a Target Locked On! mini-campaign.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

15mm Sci Fi Command Hover APC




This is the GZG open topped command hover APC that I will be using for my mechanised platoon commander's runabout, rather than the enclosed command APC that will be used by the platoon command squad. I've only added one of the three guns provided in the kit, leaving the other two mountings for aerials, which I will add after the painting is completed. I've also cut down the bases on a couple of figures so that they can fit into the crew compartment, which means I have used up virtually all of the figures in the packs I originally ordered for the project. The undercoat on the APC needs to cure before I can start painting, which will kick off once I've finished the infantry.

Monday, 26 June 2017

15mm Sci Fi Infantry Webbing


It's on to the webbing now, with a three stage Foundry Rawhide layering approach to bring out the detail a bit more than a simple dry brush and wash. This took a bit of time but I think it was worth it to contrast with the basecoat. I'll tackle the weapons next using a simple two stage black and dark grey method, possibly followed by a wash of black ink to add some shading. The GZG open topped hover APC has also arrived, so I'll also be gluing that together and adding a duplicate platoon commander figure, so that he can keep up with the rest of the mechanised platoon. 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

15mm Sci Fi Infantry Basecoat




I've started the painting today with a basecoat dry brush of Foundry Moss in three stages, followed by an overall wash in GW Athonian Camoshade ink. It all looks a bit horrible in close up but not so bad when at arms length. I will block in the weapons and webbing next, by which time they should look a little less horrible and a bit more presentable. I'm aiming for a quick turnaround with these figures so that I can get on to the armour, so I don't mind a few short cuts if it means they get finished faster and to a workmanlike standard.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

15mm Sci Fi on the workbench




I have now completed the assembly and undercoating on pretty much everything, ready for painting over the next two or three weeks, give or take one or two minor additions and extras. I'm really pleased with the overall make up of the mechanised platoon and I'm really looking forward to slapping on some paint. I still haven't decided if this will be a desert, jungle, arctic or temperate scheme, so will have to make up my mind. I should be getting started tomorrow, so I better get on with it!

New Coastal Warfare Sea Cloth


I was in the local charity shop this morning when I saw this shiny metallic blue curtain material, which looked perfect as a sea cloth for my WW2 coastal warfare games. It's a massive sheet, measuring 208'' x 56" or around 16' x 5', so I could cut it in half and have two cloths, if I can tape up the edges to stop them fraying. It matches the bases on my 1/600th scale models fairly well and does look very much like a patch of the North Sea at night time. I was thinking of spending some serious money on a custom made sea cloth but for twenty quid this will do very nicely indeed.