Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Soviet Tankovy company for Flames of war.

Bit tight on hobby time again recently but I have been working on pulling together the large number of Russian tank models that I acquired some time ago in readiness for some Flames of War armour based encounters. The models are a mix of old resin/metal models by Battlefront, more recent plastic Battlefront models and some Plastic Soldier Company tanks. They all sit together quite well although I can see some variation in scale but overall not bad at all. I'm still working on final finish and all need varnishing to seal the decals etc but I can play game with them at least. The 20 tanks represent a Regular Tankovy Company (a couple of T34's still have Guards markings) around the time of Kursk. They breakdown as follows:
  • Command: 1st ic T34/85. 2nd ic T34/76
  • 3 platoons each of 4 x T34/76 and 2 upgraded T34/85's.
So twenty T34's in all, in just 3 hefty sized platoons and command tanks! That;s quite a force to be reckoned with on it's own, but I also have a regular infantry platoon of 8 rifle/mg bases and a 3 base HMG platoon in support. The list requires the infantry to be motorised with the addition of 4 captured German half tracks for which I have the models as yet unpainted. Finally for now I have a Sturmovik aircraft, a hefty 200 points but a lovely little model! 

I gave the infantry (Forged in Battle 15mm) a quite fast paint job having first stuck them all down on the plastic FOW bases. They were drybrushed with Vallejo 'Russian uniform' I tried to leave some black areas as shadow to add depth. Highlights were a touch of Ivory mixed with the Russian Uniform. Equipment was varied with Khaki and brown, flesh was picked out with sunny fleshtone alone, I usually paint a basecoat of medium brown, but as the figures do not have exaggerated facial features I went with the single colour for speed although I may redo this later. Base edges painted Flat Earth before texturing with dark flock (so no need to colour the base), and a final addition of static grass to finish them off.  I restocked my static grass last week but for some reason was sent the 10mm version by mistake and I only noticed once it was on the bases, all looked a bit too shaggy. Gave the grass a trim up with my trusty snips. I'm now cutting the stuff down by hand before use until I can get a replacement!

The Sturmovik also got a quick paint job, copied from the HO version I painted for my Bolt Action Soviets. I do like the little flight stands and dice supplied with these lovely little models.

So some pictures, massed T34's on the prowl, with infantry and air support. Still a bit of work to do on the tanks and bases. Need to add the small infantry command bases one the bases arrive from eBay. Germans coming next.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Bolt Action 2nd edition & FIW shots.

My copy of 2nd Edition Bolt Action was delivered earlier this week, I seem to have been one of the lucky ones having pre ordered back in early August, as the first print run has already sold out and Warlord are taking pre orders for a second printing. The demand has clearly taken Warlord by surprise. It is typical of modern rule sets, hefty hard back packed with colour pictures and well printed on quality paper. I have had an initial read through and the tweaks and changes seem reasonable enough to me. I suppose the biggest change is the use of blast templates for High Explosives, which come in 4 sizes, 1", 2", 3" & 4" according to the weapon firing. There has been lot's of controversy on the Warlord BA forum about this change, but personally I think it's for the better and quite simple to play. For £30.00 it would have been nice if the plastic template set could have been included with the book (as they are in the new 'Band of Brothers' starter set), OK so I got a free 'Patton' figure, but would have rather had the templates. All in all I think the use of the templates will tone down the effect of HE, which was a little too powerful in the first edition.

I note that light machine guns, as carried in my German infantry squads have had the range increased to 36", same as MMG's, and given the extra dice added to MG's makes them more realistically useful for pinning down enemy infantry. Still many complaints about the points cost of LMG's but I don't concern myself too much with that, as most German squads late war included an MG42 in LMG mode then it's realistic to include them.

I won't go into detail here of all of the many small tweaks in V2, but overall the game is still very much as it was, playable and fun. A couple of tweaks I can see include an 'At full strength' rule, where squads of 10 to 12 men  can re roll any failed order tests until the point it takes it's first casualty. Squads marked with  a Down order now get a -2 modifier instead of -1 when rolling to hit, that additional modifier can make a big difference. The Rally order is now more effective, as a unit with such an order will now rally a D6 + 1 pins, making the option of halting a squad to rally more effective as you will always rally (remove) a minimum of 2 pin markers. There is also now 'Dense Terrain' which addresses the previous issues re shooting into woods and LoS.

The new book also includes an additional army list for the Japanese, as well as German, US & British.

I need to play a game to see how the changes work in practice, but I don't see any problems as read.

Not got a lot done but did manage to finish off a Soviet SU - 76 self propelled gun to add to my collection, this is a resin and metal model purchased on eBay for £15.00 assembled and undercoated, cosy new would be £23.00. I note that Warlord AFV models do not command a great price on eBay, probably due to there being so much available so you can grab the odd bargain. I also have a second M3 US half track to paint at some time, again an eBay bargain. What I would like to be able to add at some stage is two of the 'Deuce' two and a half ton trucks in resin and metal as transports for a couple of squads, they are wonderful models.

Soviet SU 76 waiting on decals.

Borrowed from the Warlord web site.

French & Indian Wars.
I have been trying to find the time to get some shots of all of my FIW stuff together. This morning being overcast and windy I made the effort to do it! Everything is now sitting in multi figure bases (Warbases 2p slots) which certainly makes the job easier. I might add a few more figures at a later date, but for the time being I'm refocusing on Bolt Action and getting to grips with the changes.

Lots of pics, slightly overlit! Wanted to show all of the types including the wagons. The 'loose' figures are my command and character pool for Sharpe Practice.

A massive THANK YOU to John at Kingscolours Painting Service for his help in putting this collection together so quickly, I'd say 70% of the below is his work and very fine it is too.

Canadian Militia to front. Grenadiers and regular line behind.
A lovely Front Rank command figure, I'd say these are around 90% Front Rank, the rest being Warlord.

French Grenadiers.

These are the 'French' Indian allies, note the looted British jackets on some.

'British' Indian allies, and Americans to right of them.
British Light infantry skirmishers.
Rogers Rangers to front.
Grenadier company.
'Jersey Blues' American Loyalists.
British 'Hatmen' companies at rear.

More British command and character figures.

Added the artillery and wagons to front.
Some of the Warlord 'Mohican' box set. Can be used as scouts or characters.
warbases wagon (mdf) with Front Rank driver, horse and load.
Warbases water cart with Front Rank figures.
Front Rank metal ammo cart.
Lovely Warbases mdf engineers cart with resin load included, horse is FR.
FR model, he's my Engineer!
The engineers cart with engineers up front. Need to add traces between horses.
The lot so far!
Royal Artillery.
French artillery.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Rounding off the French & Indian War project.

Time seems to be flying by at the moment, Dymchurch has returned to some semblance of normality with the kids back to school and it's nice to be able to walk down the High Street without being jostled by crowds of holidaymakers. It's a sign of just how busy the place has been during the Summer season that one local business 'Beach '48' has broken all records since opening, and the owner said they had sold a staggering 1.5 tons of chips over the 3 days of the Bank Holiday weekend! All the more staggering when you consider that they actually buy in quality local potatoes and chip them all themselves, no pre cut convenience products. Their fish is fresh daily, again locally sourced where possible and on several days completely sold out causing the business to close early. It certainly has a reputation for quality and is well supported, we eat there regularly, the haddock is beautiful! Brian May and Anita Dobson have been spotted eating in there on more than one occasion, they have a property on the Marsh.

Anyway, I digress. For some reason my enthusiasm for playing wargames has seen a real dip recently and I ended up packing away the Bolt Action table without even playing a single move. I'm not letting trouble me too much as I have been slowly finishing off the Sharpe Practice collection with the help of John from Kingscolours who painted me the lovely 'Last of The Mohican's' set below as a last commission for this project. It has all come together very fast and I have a collection of figures that I am extremely proud of. Last touches have been to add wagons plus the two 'Deployment Point' markers you see below. I removed the cap of a spare Grenadier and having carefully drilled it out placed it as a trophy on an Indian war club on the French base. I do intend to buy some quality flags for  both bases to replace the temporary paper ones.

At the weekend I intend to lay out all of the figures for a photo session for the blog and that will be project completed. I have some plastic Russian priests on the bench now to finish off for a fellow blogger, had them for ages. After that I finally made up my mind to begin something fresh, more of that in due course.

Last of The Mohicans character set by Warlord Games, painted by John.

The two 'Deployment Point' markers for Sharpe Practice, painted by me!

The final wagon for SP, engineers cart in mdf by Warbases and comes with resin load. Horse is a Front Rank model. Should be painted by the weekend.

And finally the plastic priests about to get a paint job for CK, long overdue!