Thursday, 18 December 2014

Prussian Scrunts II

I managed to finish a couple more of the Olley's Armies Prussian Scrunts today, a mechanic and a medic. I used the same dip technique as the other figures, though I am contemplating putting some paint chips and rust on the mechanics tool box...

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with these, but now have had an idea to combine them with the original Victorian Steampunk Scrunts (currently hiding in Lead Mountain) for some kind of Victorian Dwarf Steampunk Civil War loosely inspired by the German Civil War with Imperials v Communists.

Painting Target: 654/1000

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Prussian Scrunts I

I finished the first batch of Olley's Armies Prussian Scrunts at lunchtime...

I have started with the basic infantry types and am pleased with the way they have come up using the Army Painter Dark Tone dip. As previously mentioned I undercoated the figures grey, then basecoated the rifles, helmets, cuffs etc, painting the faces and beards dark brown before painting on the dip.

Once this had dried I applied a coat of Testors Dullcote before painting the faces and drybrushing most of the beards with a lighter brown or sand (one I repainted black and drybrushed grey for some variation).

I think they have come up nice enough given the time spent on them and hopefully can grab some more time to finish the others.

Painting Target: 652/1000

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Death of the Small Wargames Company

I suspect not many of us are aware of the changes to VAT regulations that the EU are implementing from 1st January in respect of digital sales. Those of us that are, probably applaud the reasons for the change, to stop multinational companies like Amazon, Google etc dodging paying a fair rate by "residing" in low VAT countries like Luxembourg.

However, due to some bureaucratic SNAFU in Brussels, anyone selling an e-product direct to a customer, no matter how little they sell it for, will have to not only register to pay VAT, but also play the appropriate VAT for the country of the purchaser to that country (that's 75 different tax rates in 28 countries). And no, the £81,000 UK VAT registration threshold does not apply, you sell one set of rules to Germany for a fiver, you have to pay the VAT and comply with all the other rules including keeping customer details for ten years etc. A complete nonsense.

To make matters worse, the intention of the EU is to extend this to physical goods sold online from 2016 so that will effect almost every small wargames company and put many out of business as they will not be able to afford to administer the regulations. This article in today's Telegraph sums the farce up quite nicely.

There are two petitions on this matter that I urge you to sign, one to Vince Cable here and one to Pierre Moscovici here.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Medieval Buildings - Out The Box!

Last Wednesday evening's impulse purchase of the discounted Tabletop Workshop Medieval Buildings from North Star arrived on Saturday morning and after dipping a load of Scrunts this lunchtime I decided to have a look inside the boxes - wow!

I have to confess that the box photos do not do them justice and they are superb. The designs of all three buildings is very clever and they can be snapped together without glue.

Detail is top notch and slightly exaggerated in a wargames style that will ensure they fit in with wargames miniatures and allow for excellent painting results using a simple wash and drybrush.

What caught the eye though was the interior wall detail. Tabletop Workshop haven't gone overboard but the interior of the chapel has benches moulded into the stone wall and the barn, farm implements alongside the wooden frames.

Whilst this is obviously not necessary, it has not added any extra parts to the kits and as the roof does not need to be glued to any of the buildings, figures can be placed inside and the inside can be painted if desired.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with these buildings and am looking forward to painting them soon.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Heil Hydra!

Clockwork Goblin have posted photos of their forthcoming 28mm scale German Light Mechpanzer Spinne, which looks absolutely wonderful.

I was wondering what on earth I could use it for and then had a Eureka moment watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Howabout a 28mm WW2 ear Hydra force led by the Red Skull? Got to be done...

Saturday, 13 December 2014

War Plan Red

During the 1920's and '30's the US military devised a series of colour coded war plans covering a number of varying contingencies. These included War Plan Orange where Japan was the enemy, War Plan Green focusing on Mexico, War Plan Gold against a French enemy and War Plan Red, a war against the British Empire.

There is a quite a lot of material on the internet about War Plan Red and it could make for an interesting "what if?" gaming background. I came across this documentary on You Tube that provides a lot of interesting information about it...

Friday, 12 December 2014

Vorwärts Prussian Scrunts! Vorwärts!

Earlier in the year I took part in the Olley's Armies Prussian Scrunt (Dwarf) Kickstarter and they arrived yesterday. Pondering overnight about this new addition to Lead Mountain, I decided I was going to do something drastic and try and get them painted before the end of the year!

They are lovely figures, a bit on the large size compared to other Dwarves and I have no idea what I am going to do with them, but today I based up half and dug out a can of grey spray to basecoat them. Subsequently I have managed to add some more colours in preparation for the dreaded dip come Sunday....

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A World Gone Mad (Max)

Warner Bros posted the trailer for the forthcoming Mad Max: Fury Road and it looks like it will be a lot of post-apocalyptic fun! No doubt we'll be dusting off those old copies of Dark Future or Car Wars next year!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Medieval Building Sale at North Star...

Earlier today I'd been looking at the hard plastic 28mm medieval buildings from Tabletop Workshop, having seen a number of ads on Facebook about their new plastic castle. Whilst that looked nice, the buildings looked more useful. I mentally filed that information away under "one day"...

Later in the day I discover Nick at North Star is clearing out his basement again and has the range discounted by between one third and half! Reading this review of the buildings, I decided that "the stars were obviously right" and whacked off an order for the chapel, cottage and barn. I was tempted by the other three boxes, but decided three was enough.

The review has certainly whetted the appetite and they look like they will not only be useful for medieval games but fantasy and some later historical periods...

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Blitzkrieg: Danish Infantry III

It's been a few months since I converted and painted the last batch of 1940's Danish infantry, but I have now managed to finish the lmg team.

Looking at the photo I'm going to have to trim a couple of mm off the Madsen's magazine, it is big, but not that big. I converted the lmg out of a Warlord plastic Bren, the two figures being converted Warlord Blitzkrieg Germans. Three more to go...

Painting Target: 642/1000

Monday, 8 December 2014

Dreaming of a...Red Christmas!

Best laid plans day today with nothing achieved on the hobby front (well, apart from gluing one miniature to a stone!). I did come across Amazon having reduced the prince of the Osprey Raid Red Christmas - The Tatsinskaya Airfield Raid 1942, an excellent book about a fascinating deep penetration raid by a Soviet Tank Corps! Well worth the 99p Amazon have it currently for.

Great series the Raid series, there are a number of others for just £2.46 at the moment that are worth picking up, even if not your regular period as they are chock full of inspiration.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Attack on Leningrad

I watched Attack on Leningrad today, a Russian film set during the 800 odd day siege. Despite a cast including Gabriel Byrne, it was badly acted, badly scripted and had a ridiculous opening battle scene where the Soviets and Germans charge into no mans hand to engage in hand to hand combat rather than shoot each other...

However, despite being pretty poor fare it did have some great imagery, and was very atmospheric, capturing the plight faced by the civilians very well. On one side the German high command are seen waging a war on calorific intake (starving the defenders) from their plush HQ, on the other Soviet children are licking the wallpaper for the flour paste that had been used to hang it.

One of the two main characters is a police officer and from a gaming point if view could easily be included in a militia unit through a simple paint job (black uniform with light blue tabs). This has got me thinking about extending my Winter War project (when I eventually get the miniatures) to include a 1941 Leningrad offshoot, using the BTD Germans in greatcoats I bought earlier in the year - it'll give me an excuse to buy some of the Crusader winter Soviets!

So, whilst not a brilliant film, it may be the spark to something new on the miniatures front next year...

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Blitzkrieg: Kriegsmarine V

I finished my Warlord Kriegsmarine section today, completing the lmg team...

As stated previously, the box set comes with an MG42 team, which restricts the units use, so I chopped off the barrel and replaced if with a plastic one from the Warlord Blitzkrieg set. I'm pleased the end result.

Here's a photo of the complete section, I'll keep a lookout for a miniature to replace the U-boat commander, but now I have a unit that can be used from 1st September 1939 in Danzig to 8th May 1945 in Berlin.

Painting Target: 640/1000

Friday, 5 December 2014

Blitzkrieg: Kriegsmarine IV

Unfortunately no wip pictures of the first Firefight Burma figures as I decided to revisit some of the converted poses, then spend more time researching the "look" of British troops in Burma in 1944. I am now happy I am on the right lines and will be digging out the liquid cement again later this evening.

I did however finish two more of the 28mm Warlord Kriegsmarine. Whilst I would have liked all my section to be wearing sailors caps, there aren't enough to do this, so three figures have had to wear steel helmets.

The helmet is the same as that worn by the army, the only difference being the decal on the left hand side of the helmet is gold, not silver as with the army (you can't see this in the photos but I did dab a minute bit of gold paint on the Warlord decals - honest!)

The third figure is part of the lmg team which hopefully will be finished tomorrow.

Painting Target: 638/1000

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Normandy Firefight: Road to Kohima

I didn't have enough time today to finish the last few Kriegsmarine I have left (hopefully over the weekend) but I did get a bit of time to "scratch an itch" by starting sticking together some 1/32nd Airfix Multipose for a Normandy Firefight project based on the Battle of Kohima in 1944 Burma.

I like the rules and the idea of having three differently posed figures for one infantryman, it reminds me of my youth when military modelling was as much a hobby to me as wargaming. It will require fair bit of converting as typically each box of six figures has four standing, one kneeling and one lying, but I think I'll be able to cope.

I'm mixing legs and torsos from the two British infantry boxes to have my troops in shirts and long trousers. This will leave me with battledress torsos and legs with shorts but I have seen British troops in this attire in Italy so after Kohima, maybe Salerno?

Not a lot of progress today, but hopefully some more advanced wip photos tomorrow after I have added arms, guns and helmets!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Blimey! My Magazine Is Talking To Me!

As you may recall I have gone exclusively digital when it comes to wargames magazines, having been a WS&S PDF reader for some time, falling under Henry Hyde's spell when he took over MW and recently switching to digital for WI.

The latter is really making full use of the possibilities offered by the digital format, with photo slideshows within articles, 360 rotating views as well as video. Great stuff but  WI326 (December 2014) has now gone further with sound!

The Rules Showcase with Simon Miller's new Ancients rules includes a short video interview (alongside the article text) with the man himself, which is really interesting as much more can be covered by the spoken word than the written one.

Less cool was the battle sound effects that burst into life with the Ligny article which scared the life out of SWMBO as I was quietly reading my e-magazine when the Napoleonic Wars erupted from my iPad whilst she was watching Eastenders!

Obviously early days with WI testing what they can do with the opportunities offered digitally, but hopefully they rein in some of the out of the box thinking or soon it'll be "my magazine is singing to me!" :-)

Monday, 1 December 2014

Into Sicily?

I've been revisiting the Operation Husky campaign in Battle Academy and having a lot of fun doing so. It's not really an operation I've ever studied in any depth due to the short period of time the Sicily campaign took, my interests moving from Tunisia to the likes of Salerno, Anzio and Monte Cassino with out diversion.

However, the iPad campaign has been really interesting, especially the variety of troops and mixed nature of AFV's and I have been pondering whether to make this a mini 6mm project in 2015 or combine it with the planned, but yet to be launched, Operation Torch 28mm project. The scenarios in the computer game would certainly make for some great 6mm games...

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Reveille 2014

I managed to grab an hour today to pop my head around the door at Bristol's local show, Reveille, this morning. It is only a small show mainly in a couple of rooms but it did seem very busy.

There were only a few games, but they did include some nice ones which I grabbed some photos of...

I bought very little, just some Red Star Coven Henchmen (which look very similar to the Minions out of the Despicable Me movies), but I spotted a few things for future purchase from Angel Barracks, Clockwork Goblin and Ironclad Miniatures.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Blitzkrieg: Kriegsmarine III

The only figure in the Warlord set that I could not paint up or convert to fit in with the rest of the unit was this figure, as it is wearing the distinctive U-Boat battledress.

Whilst a nice figure to paint, it looks a bit odd, the MP40 seems a bit overly large and I think I should have done something about his lack of neck...

Painting Target: 636/1000

Friday, 28 November 2014

Blitzkrieg: Kriegsmarine II

Continuing with the Warlord Kriegsmarine, these three figures have been painted up as wearing the other ranks pea jacket (the Collani) to make them suitable for early war use. For other theatres they could be painted up in back or grey leather jackets.

Painting Target: 635/1000

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Blitzkrieg: Kriegsmarine I

I managed to finish the first two of my Kriegsmarine section today. As previously explained, the Warlord set contains a few figures with specific late war weapons, so I have had to employ a sharp knife and some Green Stuff to ensure their usefulness in the Polish and Norwegian campaigns.

These two figures are modelled in the traditional pullover shirt with kieler kragen and matrosenmütze sailor's cap, one had a slung panzerfaust which has now been removed. Nice figures and fun to paint (except for the white borders on the kieler kragen!). More tomorrow, hopefully...

Painting Target: 632/1000

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ostfront: In The (Soviet) Navy...

My order of Warlord Soviet Naval Infantry turned up today and have been cleaned up and based. These go nicely with the BTD figures I started painting the other day. I'm not quite sure why painting the Kriegsmarine has got me in a mood for naval troops, maybe it is the dark blue as I've been thinking about ACW troops as well recently! Hopefully the first of the Kriegsmarine will be finished tomorrow.

Soviet Naval Brigade (photo Warlord Games)
Checking out the Warlord website for the above photo was a bad idea, as I now want this... :-)

Soviet Bronekater Patrol Boat (photo Warlord Games)
Perhaps Father Christmas might read this...

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

More 99p Book Bargains...

Amazon is rapidly turning into an e-book version of Poundshop and my Kindle rapidly filling with interesting historical books, bought at bargain prices.

The latest is Robert Forczyk's Where the Iron Crosses Grow, covering the military operations in the Crimea from 1941 to 1944. This was not a campaign I am overly familiar with, but was intrigued by the programme on the 1942 battles in the Soviet Onslaught series. Given the fact I had just slapped some paint on my BTD WW2 Soviet Naval Infantry and ordered some Warlord ones to compliment them, this book being made available on Kindle for 99p was perfect.

I also bought Bill Yenne's The Imperial Japanese Army: The Invincible Years 1941-42, also available for the Kindle for 99p. Whilst my focus on the Far East will be the 1944-5 fighting in Burma, this book caught the eye as it contains details of Japanese paratroop operations and the battles against the Dutch which are normally lost in the coverage of the fall of Singapore and the Philippines.

Both should be interesting reads, I just need to find some free time now. Whilst I know many people still prefer "proper" books, it is worth noting that I saved £38.02 buying the e-books over the paper ones and that buys quite a few toys to play with...

Monday, 24 November 2014

Osprey's Steampunk Soldiers just 99p!

I have just spotted (and bought) the Kindle version of Osprey's Steampunk Soldiers: Uniforms & Weapons from the Age of Steam for 99p on Amazon UK.

I haven't had a chance to do much than look at the first few slides but it looks good, a review can be found here. If you don't have a Kindle, don't despair, Amazon provide free apps for various electronic devices (including PC's) here.