Friday 28 February 2014

Rogue Trooper: Nort Infantryman

The "bad guys" in Rogue Trooper are the Norts, a human power bloc with a heavy Soviet concept influence. Accordingly I used a Russian palette when painting the Nort, block painting, dipping then highlighting as previous.

I was not sure on the boots and gauntlets and had originally planned to do then a dark brown, but re-reading the first Rogue Trooper stories, whilst the art is black and white, they appear to be a black leather. Whatever, they provide a better contrast to the main brown uniform.

I did tweak the base this time, I've kept the groundwork the same, Black Grey drybrushed Buff, but painted the base edge London Grey which seems to work better than Black Grey.

2014 Painting Target: 103/1000

Thursday 27 February 2014

Rogue Trooper: Souther Infantryman

The radioactive and chemical wasteland of Nu-Earth requires all troops (other than the modified Genetic Infantrymen) to wear full protection on the battlefield and this Souther trooper is equipped accordingly.

Uniform colour schemes for Nu-Earth are very few and far between so I decided to use the same Vallejo Reflective Green I used on Rogue's helmet and backpack for the Souther NBC suit. As with the GI he was block painted, dipped and then highlighted. I painted the visor the same Dark Sky Blue as Rogue's flesh to provide some additional themed link.

I'm quite happy with the end result, the scheme is very quick and simple to paint so when Mongoose start shipping the Southers, they shouldn't take long to get ready for some tabletop action...

2014 Painting Target: 102/1000

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Rogue Trooper

Last year I pledged towards Mongoose's Rogue Trooper Kickstarter, I have always loved the Nu-Earth stories and thought it would make for a great skirmish game. Unfortunately the Kickstarter has been bedevilled with problems and Mongoose are getting a kicking for it. In retrospect they may have been a bit optimistic launching this so soon after the Dredd one which they had not finished shipping stuff out on and to be fair they have been let down by the same sculptor who let me down with the Geheimkrieg miniatures.

However things appear to be moving, photos of greens have been seen so fingers crossed 2014 will be the Year of the Rogue!

Ironically the Dredd Kickstarter included a set of Rogue Trooper miniatures comprising of Rogue, a Souther Trooper and a Nort and these arrived recently. I'm not sure how compatible these will be with the eventual releases but I decided to slap some paint on the three figures starting with the blue-skinned Genetic Infantryman himself.

I tried the block paint, dip, then highlight paint approach to speed things up and think the result is reasonably good. I'm not sure on the base effect, I want to do something different for the radioactive wasteland of Nu-Earth and have drybrushed Buff over Black Grey. Not sure on this but it will do until something better suggests itself.

2014 Painting Target: 101/1000

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Generic Inter-War Tankette

A few months back I picked up a generic 28mm resin tankette of eBay for no other reason than it was cute looking and very cheap (IIRC about £3). Since then it has been sat on the workbench as I did not have a clue what I was going to use it for. I still don't, but somehow inspired by the Orinoco Miniatures Chaco War range of infantry I decided a generic tankette warranted a generic paintjob...

As you can see it has painted up well and for the price is an absolute bargain (even if it is not historically anything). The Rif miniature is to give some idea of scale...

The tankette brings up the century of painted models this year, 10% of the painting target, however any celebrations are on hold as we are now 15% of the way into 2014 so I need to up my game (and dig out the dip!)

2014 Painting Target: 100/1000

Monday 24 February 2014

Whirarwistan: US Mechanized Infantry II

I managed to finish the third and final squad for my US Mechanized Platoon last night. I realised when painting them that I had painted the first squad up all as Caucasian which hardly reflects the diversity of the US Army. Squads two and three are a mix of Afro-American and Latin/Oriental and I'll reorganise the squads to be a racial mix.

Just the Bradley IFV's to do now and then to get on with the Soviets!

2014 Painting Target: 99/1000

Sunday 23 February 2014

Whirarwistan: US Mechanized Infantry I

Strange how the brain works, a night of insomnia the other day led me to pondering digging out the Whirarwistan US and Soviet infantry and cracking on with them. Having dipped a load of Zulus I was in the "dip zone" so I got on with the remaining two US Mechanized Infantry Squads, finishing the first this lunchtime...

The figures are a mix of Esci and Revell plastics and painted up using the techniques detailed here. The final squad just needs the basing finishing and that will be the infantry for the Mechanized Platoon complete.

2014 Painting Target: 90/1000

Saturday 22 February 2014

Warhammer: Black Troll

Last month I painted up a couple of old Heartbreaker trolls I found in Lead Mountain and mentioned I had found a third, a Sedge Troll from their Magic: The Gathering line, which shared the same body and would end up joining his two companions. Here he is...

Even though he has hair, I went with the same black skin paintjob...

And here are all three together, off to rape the livestock, pillage the womenfolk and eat the buildings...

2014 Painting Target: 81/1000

Friday 21 February 2014

Flames of War: An Un-PzIV-tunate Mistake...

You may have seen that Battlefront's new plastic Panzer IV Ausf H has a bit of a quality control issue or as stated on John's Toy Soldiers a "cock up"! For non-rivet counters out there, there should be five schürzen plates not four. Unfortunately it is rather obvious when you notice it...

However from adversity and all that, Battlefront come out with some credit. Rather than hide, stick their fingers in their ears and pretend that all is ok in the "Flames of War hobby", they have held there hands up, admitted their mistake on their website and offered replacement parts to anyone who has the gammy four plate schürzen. In a world where I can't get a reply from Dell, let alone anything approximating customer service regarding a PC order, hats off to Battlefront for the way they have dealt with this...

Thursday 20 February 2014

Lone Survivor

As it is half-term we take the opportunity to get to the cinema as much as possible so following Robocop we decided to watch Lone Survivor. This film is based around the failed US SEAL mission Operation Red Wings, where a four-man SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team was tasked to track Taliban leader Ahmad Shah but ended up surrounded by the Taliban and out of comms with their base.

It is a very powerful movie, at times extremely violent and certainly very moving. Some reviewers have said it lacks character development and one described it as "war porn" but that is certainly not the case. The SEALs are not some faceless grunts, no time is wasted in establishing that they are all friends and that they have families they miss back home, I'm not sure what any more "character development" would add, you are certainly moved by the deaths of characters when it happens and in a poignant photo montage at the end. The action is intense and does go on for some time but calling it "war porn" misses the point that the film is showing just what these men went through - it is unrelenting, it is violent, it is shocking, but it is realistic.

Overall, the film tells a story in a powerful way, it is neither a pro or anti-war film, it "just" is a war film but one well worth seeing at the cinema...

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Zulu War: The Leopard's Lair

It has been far too long since I finished the uMbonambi regiment for my Zulu army, but at long last there are some reinforcements in the form of the iNdluyengwe (the Leopard's Lair or Den).

Another thirty strong regiment of unmarried Zulus, the  iNdluyengwe were raised in 1866 and fought at Isandlwana, Rorke's Drift, Kambala, Gingidlovo and Ulundi.

The miniatures are Warlord plastics with a metal Empress inDuna to lead them, base painted and then "dipped" in Army Painter Strong Tone. They won't win any prizes but en masse they look pretty good...

Zulu Army painted running total: 60/288 infantry

2014 Painting Target: 80/1000

Tuesday 18 February 2014

The Future of American Justice...

I went to see the Robocop remake yesterday. Hollywood does not have a good track record on remaking classic genre films and I only went as Saul had heard good things about it and insisted we did. There were a number of things that should have turned me off this version - Murphy not dying, no female police partner, the prominent inclusion of Murphy's family, that it's only a 12A(!), but...

Yes, despite all the things I thought would annoy the hell out of me this is a very good film and well worth going to see. From the ED209's patrolling the streets of Tehran to a great training session sequence in a disused warehouse (with Focus' Hocus Pocus as the music) to a classic Samuel Jackson performance to the "Dead or alive. You're coming with me..." line, it's a great movie and well worth going to see at the cinema (and it is pushing the boundary between 12A and 15 IMHO).

Monday 17 February 2014

Grands Chapeaux: Ogre of the Cardinal's Guard I

As any student of Dwarven history knows, the main rivals of the King's Dwarf Musketeers were the Ogre Musketeers, who followed the orders of the infamous Dwarf Cardinal...

This is one of the Ogre Musketeers released by Iron Mask Miniatures as part of their Kickstarter. I have painted it up is a vaguely historical way and he provides a nice contrast to the blue surcoated Dwarf musketeers.

Like the Dwarf, the Ogre comes with separate head and hands allowing for a lot of customisation. Around 35mm tall, they owe much in appearance to the old Maruader Ogres of the eighties.

As a comparison here is the Ogre up against the Dwarf I painted earlier this month - one for all!

En garde!
2014 Painting Target: 50/1000

Sunday 16 February 2014

Project Arbiter - Weird War Two...

I came across this excellent short (20 minute) Weird War Two film on You Tube. Well worth watching if you like this kind of thing...

Saturday 15 February 2014

Battle Academy - War on the iPad...

Following on from my "discovery" of the excellent iPad strategic level games from Shenandoah Studios, I've now been hooked by another iPad game, Slitherine Studio's Battle Academy. Whereas the Shenandoah games are computerised boardgames, Battle Academy is like playing a 1/300th wargame on the iPad.

Units are individual AFV's, light weapon teams and infantry sections and the basic game covers a selection of theatres including the Western Desert (above), Normandy and the Ardennes. There is extra downloadable content covering other theatres such as 1940, Sicily etc. (which you pay for) and also quite a bit of free stuff designed by fans of the game which includes the Pacific, Crete and WWI. I actually started with the WWI stuff and must say the Cambrai campaign was superb and extremely challenging, especially the canal bridges battle (below).

At £13.99 is its a premium price product but it is exceptionally good value for money for the amount of entertainment provided. The game can also be synchronised across other platforms such as PC and MacBook and played against players on those platforms if desired.

All in all, if you have an iPad and are interested in WWII (or WWI) this should be a must have game.

Friday 14 February 2014

Italeri 2014 New Releases

Italeri have released their 12 page new releases and re-issues catalogue and there is some very interesting stuff for wargamers - especially 28mm WW2 ones! :-)

Old school 20mm'ers might be interested in the following...

However, it is the launch of a new 1/56th (28mm) series for wargamers that gets the excitement levels raised...

This range involves some co-operation with Warlord Games as Italeri list four sections of Warlord British, German, Soviet and U.S. infantry alongside the AFV's. Interesting times ahead...

Thursday 13 February 2014

The Boy Done Good!

You may recall we spent the end of December and much of January taking Saul off for university auditions/interviews. The good news was that he received conditional offers from all four courses he went for.

He chose the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham Spa as his first choice and was gearing his efforts to attaining the grade conditions they required for him to attend.  Yesterday he received another letter from the University...

 "We were very impressed at your interview by the outstanding production and composition of your portfolio. We have been reviewing all applications and are making a small number of unconditional offers to outstanding students who have demonstrated real potential in their field; I'm delighted to let you know that you are one of these."

We are so very proud of him! Are you ready to rock Cheltenham?! :-)

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Donnybrook: Coldstream Guard VI

Having finished my second unit for my Donnybrook Coldstream Guards I decided to paint up a second character, this time painting up an officer figure.

Another Warfare Miniatures model, I really enjoyed painting up this slightly flamboyant model.

Here is the officer leading the completed unit of pike...

2014 Painting Target: 49/1000

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Donnybrook: Coldstream Guard V

A bit of free time allowed me to finish off the remaining four pike for the Coldstreams. Once again I've used the excellent Warfare Miniatures range.

2014 Painting Target: 48/1000

Monday 10 February 2014

Donnybrook: Coldstream Guard IV

Back to the painting table and more progress on Donnybrook. These are the first four pikemen of a drilled regular army Coldstream Guard unit to go alongside the first unit of musketeers. The miniatures are Warfare Miniatures and great fun to paint, despite all the red (the lighting has bleached much of the shading created with a brown ink wash...)

I'm now pondering the remaining two units for the regular army unit. I intend to paint up another unit of musketeers but am torn between a unit of cavalry or one of grenadiers. A standard game has six units a side so perhaps I should just do both...

2014 Painting Target: 44/1000