Saturday, 31 December 2011

British Sixth Airborne Division - Part Two

Finally finished and based a unit of six Para’s advancing with Lee-Enfield Rifles by "Friend and Foe"; part of my planned British Sixth Airborne Division. I managed to crack on with these whilst listening to the November 2008 Memoir44 Podcast that actually covers the Pegasus Bridge scenario. It’s a pity the show stopped with Scenario Seven in August 2009. Here’s the link http://memoir44podcast.blogspot.com.

COMING SOON – I’ve based the second of my FM1 ‘Barbarian Heroes’ by “Copplestone Castings”. This time a female warrior who seems an ideal representation of Robert E. Howard’s Red Sonja. I’ll need to get cracking on these in the New Year as the range is expanding quite quickly and I’m way behind already. In addition I’m working on a Radio Operator for my British Sixth Airborne Division, as well as Major John Howard himself. As you can see the head I’ve chosen for him has a fault over one eye, which I’m hoping to turn into a monocle in order to give the DSO awarded war hero a touch of ‘stiff upper lip, wot’.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Battle of Marengo Project - Part Four

Finished the second base of four French Fusiliers from the 28mm plastic boxed set ‘French Napoleonic Infantry 1804 – 1807’ by “Victrix”, and I have a third well on its way. Unfortunately my progress on these plastic models has been slightly delayed after I realised that one of the straps at the back of the soldiers should have been brown (as it was on the front of each Fusilier) instead of white. As a result some careful repainting has taken place.

In addition, the sculpting on one of the models appeared to have the soldier’s left turn back melt into some strapping and leg. My white colour scheme just made the site look odd, so I’ve subsequently glued a black pouch over the area and this has adequately hidden the problem from view.

I’ve glued together another drummer for the Command base, having thought of a simple way to paint the drum and all of its ropes etc. A coat of Khemri Brown and Devlan Mud wash has really brought out the instrument’s detail, As the model will be tucked away beside a standard bearer at the rear of the stand, I think that’ll suffice (with the odd blue piping etc). I’ve also changed my mind regarding the composition of the Command base, and now plan for it to consist of a drummer, standard-bearer, officer and Porte-Aigle.

COMING SOON – In order to see how easy my painting style copes with the new “Victrix” Napoleonic Austrians, I’ve ‘boxed in” all the white areas on these four Fusiliers. I don’t plan to finish painting these until the New Year, although with just a couple of hours more work I reckon they could be finished.


Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Battle of Marengo Project - Part Three

Finished the first base of four French Fusiliers from the 28mm plastic boxed set ‘French Napoleonic Infantry 1804 – 1807’ by “Victrix”. I plan to field four such bases (amongst a mixture of Voltigeur, Command and Grenadier bases) to form a Line Infantry Battalion; and then field two such battalions along with one Light Infantry battalion in order to create a French infantry Brigade (having been inspired by the Army organisation structures found in "Napoleon At War" by "Man at War Miniature Games").

Painting is steadily progressing on a second base of Fusiliers, as well as the Command base; although my plans to have a drummer present alongside my standard bearers has fallen to the wayside, having spent a far portion of my time yesterday trying desperately to paint a drum and all its ropes etc. Instead each base will consist of an officer and two standard bearers instead.

COMING SOON - Despite my initial intentions to have this project be simply an all-infantry (and all "Victrix") affair, I've succumbed to the temptation that is "Perry Miniatures" and bought two boxes of their absolutely awesome "French Napoleonic Dragoons 1812-1815". I initially kidded myself that I was simply buying them in order to be to field a brigade of foot Dragoons. But having seen them in the flesh, the French will shortly be able to supported by a Heavy Cavalry Brigade consisting of one Dragoon Regiment (Elite Company with bearskins) and a second which can be fielded either as mounted or foot.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Battle of Marengo Project - Part Two

Managed to finish the white areas on the Subaltern and two of the Fusiliers. To give some simple shading to the white uniforms and straps etc I’ve used a simple wash of watered down Astronomican Grey/ I’ve also painted the tops of Junior Officer’s boots with Calthan brown and Devlan Mud.

To break up the monotony of white I’ve painted another Fusilier with Khemri Brown and Devlan Mud in order represent them wearing a pair of ‘marching/town’ trousers.

COMING SOON - Painting is slowly progressing on my unit of six Para’s advancing with Lee-Enfield Rifles. Hopefully this part of my planned British Sixth Airborne Division will be finished by the weekend.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Battle of Marengo Project - Part One

Inspired by blogs such as “Napoleonic Wargames Project” (albeit some months since it was last updated) and the batch painting method beautifully demonstrated at “WAB Corner”, I’ve actually started to try and paint a ‘battalion’ of French Napoleonic Infantry at the same time.

The ‘battalion’ will consist of twelve French fusiliers, four grenadiers, four voltigeurs, a drummer, standard bearer and officer from the “Victrix” 28mm plastic box set ‘French Napoleonic Infantry 1804 – 1807'. They’ll be painted to represent the Infantry of the Line as shown in “Austerlitz – The Empire at its Zenith” by “Histoire & Collections”.

As the majority of the soldiers will be white, I gave them all an undercoat of Skull White, and then painted a second coat over the trousers, waistcoats and straps etc. I then picked out the collars, cuffs and epaulettes that will be red with Mechrite Red. I then gave these areas a wash of Baal Red. I used a combination of Iyanden Darksun and Gryphonne Sepia for the Voltigeurs’ collars.

My painting style is based upon separating the different colours with Chaos Black, and then giving those areas an appropriate ink wash. As a result I’ve started to 'box off' the white areas from the rest of the models using Chaos Black, and also ‘cut in’ around the red areas as well; tidying the collars, cuffs and epaulettes up with Mechrite Red as and when needed.

Truth be told, I wanted to see what a ‘detachment’ of four fully painted Fusiliers on a 40mm x 40mm base looks like, so as a mini project I’ve been working away on them as well. The more ‘advanced’ fusilier is the fourth one of these soldiers.

I’ve almost finished the white areas for the officer, whom I’m painting as a Subaltern from a Fusilier company.

My hope is to get this ‘Battalion’ finished in just under three months, working on the rate of two models per week (as I do have a few other painting projects on the go), with the ultimate goal being that for Christmas 2012 I’ll have enough painted French (and Austrians) to field two ‘Battalions’ per army in order to ‘replicate’ the battle of Marengo using some homemade rules.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

British Sixth Airborne Division - Part One

These 20mm metal ‘British Para’s with Stens’ come from the “Friend & Foe” bag BP5. They come with the option of either wearing berets or camouflaged helmets. The models are somewhat crudely sculpted (e.g. large paw-like hands with tiny heads) but have a definite charm to them, and certainly look good on the table once fully painted and based.

The models base uniform colour is Calthan Brown washed with Devlan Mud. However to ‘fudge’ the impression of a camouflaged jacket (in order to get the miniatures on the table fast), these areas were also then washed with Thrakka Green. The ankle armour was painted with Dheneb Stone and Devlan Mud, whilst the soldiers’ webbing and pouches were painted using Knarloc Green, Thrakka Green and Devlan Mud.

The sten guns were simply painted Boltgun Metal, and then washed with Badass Black, whilst the flesh areas with Tallarn Flesh and Ogryn Flesh. The berets were treated to a thick coat of Mechrite Red before being given a heavy wash of Baal Red. The helmets were painted with Orkhide Shade, with the camouflage fronds being picked out with Dark Flesh. These areas were then washed with Thrakka Green and Devlan Mud.

Next in the queue are a unit of six Para’s advancing with Lee-Enfield Rifles; part of planned British Sixth Airborne Division I’ve bought in order to capture Pegasus Bridge. The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot that the models are sat upon some Hexon Terrain by Kallistra, and that can only mean one thing… I’m starting a project in order to recreate the opening scenario for Memoir ’44 by Days Of Wonder in 20mm. Utter madness.

COMING SOON – I’ve always wanted a 28mm Napoleonic Army, and finally at Warfare in Reading in November 2011 I bit the bullet, and bought some plastic Austrians and French by Victrix. Further inspired by David Brown’s battle report in this month’s Wargames Illustrated I also purchased enough Hexon scenery to recreate the Fontanone stream and viola… The Battle of Marengo will be coming soon (even if it does mean breaking my sacred law that thou shalt not game with unpainted miniatures).

Friday, 7 October 2011

Colours 2012 - "Micro Armour Marathon Begins"

Held on 10th and 11th September 2011 at Newbury Racecourse, Berkshire, “Colours 2011” lead to a series of purchases I’m determined to have fully painted before the annual show returns in 2012.

The show has also resulted in several subsequent purchases, most notably from “Wargames Emporium” and “Pendraken Miniatures”. In addition I’ve also added a collection of 15mm fantasy models from “Copplestone Castings” as they arrived through the post at the time of “Colours”.

This means that over the next twelve months I plan to ‘paint up’:

(1) ‘Modern British Combat Team’ and ‘Modern Mujahadin/Al Qaeda Combat Team’ Micro Armour boxed sets by “GHQ”; as well as several additional infantry packs I’ve bought from “Wargames Emporium” in order to bulk out the forces for a game of “Battlefield Evolution: Modern Combat” by “Mongoose games”.
(2) ‘British Expeditionary Force (WW2)’ 10mm packet and some accompanying ‘Bren Carriers’ and resin scenery; as well as some additional infantry and vehicles I’ve bought from “Pendraken Miniatures” in order to start battling for Norway in 1940.
(3) A selection of 20mm ‘Arnhem’ British WW2 models (including personality commanders) and German Gebirgsjäger from “Friend or Foe” figures.
(4) 6mm ‘Middle East Buildings’ set from “Baccus”.
(5) 32mm ‘Bushido – The Savage Wave’ starter set and ‘Bobata, the Bell Ringer’ from “GCT Studios”.
(6) 15mm ‘Barbarian Heroes’, ‘Northlander Warriors with Swords’ and ‘Northlander Warriors with Axes’ by “Copplestone Castings”; inspired by the excellent “Crom” homemade rule set and articles that can be found over at ‘Matakishi’s Tea House’ website (http://matakishi.com).

The ‘Conan the Barbarian’ figure is one of the several male models found within FM1 ‘Barbarian Heroes’ by “Copplestone Castings”, and seemed an ideal representation of Robert E. Howard’s fantasy warrior. The majority of the model was simply painted using a combination of Tallarn Flesh, followed by a wash of Devlan Mud. The loincloth and fur boots were also treated to a liberal helping of Devlan Mud, having been painted Dark Flesh first. The bracelets were picked out with Dwarf Bronze over a Dark Flesh undercoat, and then also washed with Devlan Mud. The sword was simply painted Boltgun Metal, washed with Badass Black and then drybrushed with more Boltgun Metal.

The Micro Armour British Infantrymen will represent the Corporal in charge of a Rifleman Section for a planned confrontation between one of the best trained military forces in the world and the Middle Eastern Alliance using “Battlefield Evolution: Modern Combat” by “Mongoose games”. The models were simply undercoated with Knarloc Green, before being washed with Devlan Mud. The faces and hands were then picked out with Tallarn Flesh and the boots and rifles with Chaos Black. Ogryn Flesh was then washed over the face and hands.


COMING SOON - I'm currently painting up another company of Russian Regular Infantry (with Machine Gun and Mortar Support) and Panzer Mark I tanks for the second battle of Operation Typhoon. Plus more British Micro Armour Infantry, and another barbarian hero to accompany 'Conan' - Robert E. Howard's Red Sonja.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Operation Typhoon - "Near Vyazma"

Set at the very beginning of Operation Typhoon, this first engagement concerns elements of the Third and Fourth Panzer Groups encountering the Nineteenth Soviet Army, whilst moving east towards Vyazma, a town located on the Vyazma River.

As this initial clash was only to be a small (six turn) skirmish, the battlefield was simply made up of a centrally placed brick farm building, surrounding by three ploughed fields and two wooden barns. A number of wooded areas were scattered around the perimeter of the table to give the combatants some cover as they approached the Russian farm from opposing sides.

The German offensive plan was quite simple, with the Fourth Panzer Army (Heer and Panzer Mark III’s) holding the southern part of the battlefield, whilst the Third Panzer Army (Heer, Waffen-SS and Panzer Mark I’s) rushed northeast and swung across the farm and its buildings. To bolster the Southern flank, the Wehrmacht’s Commander accompanied the Fourth Panzer Army.

In response, the Red Army deployed its Cavalry (armed with submachine guns) and T-26 tanks to the south of their line, and its Veteran and Regular infantry to the North. A company of Conscripts was tasked to hold the centre of the line and push straight for the brick farmhouse. As a result, despite attaching himself to the Veteran infantry, the Russian Commander remained in sight of the Conscripts; ready to shoot any soldier who faltered in their duty to the Motherland.


With a patriotic yell, the Russian Veterans moved past a wooded area to their right, towards an L-shaped ploughed field (that would doubtless slow their approach to the farm buildings themselves. To their left, inspired by commissars with megaphones, the Conscripts ran towards the centrally located brick farm building. The inexperienced soldiers seemed completely oblivious to the fact that they were making themselves an easy target for the Wehrmacht guns. On the Soviet far southern flank, the Red Army cavalry spurred their horses forwards. Besides them came the grumble of engines, as the light infantry T-26 tanks tried to keep up with them. To the north, the Regular infantry mortar support opened up on the Panzer I formation, and tore open one of the armoured fighting vehicles.

Determined to form a strong firing line to hold off the imminent charge of the Russian Cavalry, the Panzer III tanks, accompanied by Heer infantry, moved east past an area of woodland towards a ploughed field. The German Commander hoped the boggy ground would protect his northern flank. To the north, the Waffen-SS headed for an area of woodland from which they could launch a charge at any soviet forces that came too close to nearby log barn. In addition, the elite German soldiers would also be in a good position to ‘protect’ the Panzer Mark I tanks from any Soviet close assaults.

The second turn of the battle, saw the Russian Conscripts continue their mad dash to the brick farmhouse, with some of the inexperienced soldiers actually making it inside the building. The T-26 tanks drove up alongside them, forming a strong Soviet presence in the centre of the battlefield. To the north, the Regular Mortar support fired a second salvo at the German Panzer I tanks, destroying another of the German Panzerkampfwagens. The remaining vehicle drove hard east and made for the potential cover of one of the farm estate’s wooden barns.

Worried by the Red Armies increasing dominance within the farm’s centre, the Panzer Mark III tanks, drove towards the Russian light infantry tanks and the farmhouse. However, the move brought them within charge range of the Red Army cavalry, and with a yell, the horsemen were amongst them hurling their molotov-cocktails. The German armour’s bulk gave them some protection from the onslaught, but things did not bode well for the tanks if the close combat continued for long. As a result, the Fourth Panzer Army’s Heer contingent moved east in support of the Panzer Mark III’s.

With the German Panzer’s already engaged, the Russian T-26 tanks took the opportunity to reposition themselves in order to obtain a clear field of fire upon the Wehrmacht armour, should their now dismounted Soviet brothers need to fall back. Far to their right, a cry of victory went up, as the Regular Infantry Mortar support team (ably directed by the Soviet Commander) destroyed the remaining PzKpfw I; so much for Heinz Guderian’s blitzkrieg.

It was clear that the battle was already starting to go in the Red Army’s favour, but the German soldier of the Third Reich was still far from defeated. The Fourth Panzer Army’s Heer rushed forwards and took the wooden barn directly in front of them, whilst both their Maschinengewehr 34 Machine gun and mortar support teams opened up on the nearby T-26 tanks. One of the Soviet light infantry tanks was knocked out. The Heer attached to the Third Panzer Army also opened up with its (machine gun and mortar) support units and started to take their toll on the red standard-carrying Russian Veteran soldiers. Meanwhile the Waffen-SS had taken up their position beside some woodland to the north, and from there started to pound the oncoming Russian Regular infantry with their Granatwerfer 34 Mortar, causing some casualties.

Unfortunately the German’s efforts to stem the oncoming Red Army flood appeared to be too little too late, as the Russian soldiers currently engaged in fierce close combat with the crews of the Panzer Mark III’s subdued their foes, torched the tanks and then (now on foot) swung northwest into the Fourth Panzer Army’s Heer infantry. Midway through the battle the German southern flank was badly faltering. With mortar and machine guns providing supporting fire, the Soviet Veteran infantry ploughed into the muddy field in front of them, bravely clawing their way towards the only unoccupied farm building left (i.e. a wooden barn). Beside them pushed on the Russian Regular infantry, despite more of the Motherland’s sons falling to the firepower of the German Heer and Waffen-SS.

Galvanised by the imminent arrival of the submachine gun carrying Russians, the Fourth Panzer Army’s Heer opened up with everything they had, and saw some of the Soviets fall before the bullets of their Maschinegewehr 34 machine gun. In addition, a T-26 tank exploded following a solid hit from the German Heer’s mortar support team. Unfortunately the Wehrmacht’s morale soon dwindled with the news that the Russian Conscripts were not only firing upon the German’s sheltering in one of the farm’s barns, but were close to wiping its occupants out.

Most of the action was now centred upon a ‘last stand’ by the remnants of the Fourth Panzer Army, and the ‘block war’ that was fast developing between the German inhabitants of one wooden barn and the Russian Conscripts steadfastly holding the farmhouse. Despite their mortar accounting for more Russian dead, the Fourth Panzer Army were swallowed up by the rampaging Soviet ‘tommy gunners’, who had now overcome the entire German southern flank. The situation then worsened for the Wehrmacht when more fire from the Russian Conscripts finally put an end to the last of the German resistance within the barn to the west of the farmhouse. With a triumphant shout, many of the exuberant Soviets rushed out of the stonewalled farmhouse in order to occupy the outer building.

The German’s only glimmer of hope was to take the farm’s other barn, and somehow hold out… but no sooner had some of the Third Panzer Army’s Heer infantry entered the building, then they saw the approaching Russian Veteran contingent finally pull themselves free from the muddy field they’d been ploughing through, and ready themselves to storm the thatch-roofed shelter.

Desperate to blunt some of the impact of the imminent Russian assault on the barn, the mortar support of the Waffen-SS pounded into the Motherland’s Veterans, and managed to kill some of the Soviet soldiers. Exhausted from their muddy trek across the field, and their strength further weakened by these fresh casualties, the Red Army’s charge was thrown back by the German Heer. However Soviet perseverance was still to take the day, as nearby Russian Conscripts also charged into the German-held barn, causing enough Heer casualties for the occupiers to loosen their grip on the building. It was clear as the battle approached its end that the German’s were close to losing their only hold on the farmstead. However the death knell for Wehrmacht came from the shell of a Russian 82mm Mortar Model 1941, not the falling of a wooden barn into Soviet hands. Remorselessly pursued by the Submachine gun soldiers of the Red Army, the German Commander inadvertently strayed into the sight of the Russian Veteran mortar support team, and fell victim to a direct hit.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Operation Typhoon - Part Four

Sadly there's nothing worse than a painting mishap to dampen the enthusiasm for a wargaming project. A pot of super-thick 'Ardcoat' gloss varnish by Games Workshop has caused my latest disaster, completing covering two of my Russian BT7a 75mm CS tanks with a goopy film that completely ruined the models' crisp details and visibly altered their Knarloc Green paint scheme. Into the Methylated Spirits they've gone, hopefully to re-emerge as either battered hulks, or as captured prizes for a future Finnish Army. In the meantime I've ordered some replacements from "Pendraken Miniatures" and got some new gloss varnish.

This Russian Commanding Officer base is made up from models from a number of different “Pendraken Miniatures” Soviet packets. The miniatures come from SV7 Officers, SV22 Officers winter clothing, and SV35 Commissar with megaphone. The vehicle is one of the two models you get from packet SV53 BA64 armoured car. The officers’ uniforms were painted either using Knarloc Green, Thrakka Green wash and a dry-brush of Knarloc Green, or Calthan Brown, Devlan Mud wash, and dry-brush of Calthan Brown. Their trousers were either Calthan Brown or Mordian Blue. The ‘Bobik’ 4x4 light armoured car was undercoated with Knarloc Green, washed with Thraka Green and then dry-brushed with more Knarloc Green. Its machinegun was painted with Boltgun Metal and Badab Black.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Operation Typhoon - Part Three

This Soviet armour formation consists of three packets of SV58 T26 tank. The models were simply undercoated with Knarloc Green, before being washed with Thraka Green and then dry-brushed with more Knarloc Green. The light infantry tanks’ tracks were painted Boltgun Metal over a Chaos Black undercoat, before being washed with Badab Black. The red stars come from “Pendraken Minatures” decal range PNDC6 Russian Stars, whilst the tank numbers are from PNDC7 Russian tank numbers red/white.

I'm just finishing off my fifth (and momentarily final) Soviet formation, with some veteran infantry (identical to my Russian Regulars except they'll be accompanied by the Soviet flag). Then it'll be on to the Germans, with some of their formations already 'in the can' from my BKC days - although a few require repainting as I now dislike the all white winter clothing I've previously painted them in (and some have bizarrely discoloured a pinkish brown over the months!?!).

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Operation Typhoon - Part Two

The bulk of my Soviet Infantry will be Regular soldiers, with each formation consisting of three stands of five models, plus two support stands (Mortar and Machinegun). The infantry stands are made up of the two poses found within “Pendraken Miniatures” World War Two Russian selection SV20 and the two further poses which make up SV29. Both of these packs are described as Riflemen, winter equipment. The Mortar Team is made up of the models found within pack SV48 120mm Mortar with crew. Whilst the Machinegun Team come from SV31 Maxim model 1910 team, winter equipment.

Instead of wearing great winter coats, the soldiers from packet SV20 wear Telogreika (a padded winter jacket) and so, along with any Ushanka worn by some of the other models (e.g. the Maxim crew), these figures were undercoated with Dheneb Stone, before being washed with Devlan Mud and dry-brushed with more Dheneb Stone. The Regulars’ helmets and the 120mm mortar were painted with Knarloc Green, before being washed with Thraka Green.

My formation of Soviet Cavalry (carrying Submachine guns) consists of three stands of horse, and a further three stands [only two shown] of Soviets on foot for when they dismount (e.g. to fortify a building). The riders are from packet SV54 Cavalry with Submachine gun. As with the Telogreika and Ushanka wearing models from SV20, these figures were undercoated with Dheneb Stone, before being washed with Devlan Mud and dry-brushed with more Dheneb Stone. Their horses were painted using either Chaos Black or Astronomican Grey with Badab Black wash, or either Dark Flesh or Dheneb Stone with a Devlan Wash. The models on foot are from packet SV21 PPsh Submachine gun, winter equipment, and consist of soldiers wearing both heavy winter overcoats, Telogreika and Ushanka.

I currently have the first of my Soviet Tank formations close to completion and my Russian's fifth and final unit (for now at least), some Veteran Infantry.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Operation Typhoon - Part One

This series of articles and battle reports (using a homemade quick play rule set) will initially cover the Third Reich’s invasion of Russia from October – December 1941. The 10mm metal models and the majority of resin scenery are by “Pendraken Miniatures”. The paints used are predominantly “Citadel Foundation” and “Citadel Washes” from “Games Workshop”.

Having decided to play a series of weekly skirmishes over the next month to ‘test-out’ my quick play rule set, I thought the opening confrontation should be a simple small battle on a 4 x 4 table, with both armies only fielding five formations each, most of which will be infantry (of varying quality).

This should give me enough time to get the necessary miniatures painted, and provide me with enough models per side for a reasonable (hour-long) game. I can then add to these ‘core’ formations over the next few weeks, creating larger (and longer) battles.

I have first turned my attention to the Soviet Army, and already painted up all the models needed for a formation of Conscripts. These five stands are predominantly made up of the two poses found within “Pendraken Miniatures” World War Two Russian selection SV29 Riflemen, winter equipment. Each stand also contains a single model from SV35 Commissar with megaphone (in order to keep the inexperienced soldiers in line when the going gets tough).

The soldiers were undercoated with Calthan Brown, and then washed with Devlan Mud, before being dry-brushed with more Calthan Brown. The models’ face and hands were then picked out with Tallarn Flesh, and their rifles’ with Dark Flesh. Both of these areas were then washed with Devlan Mud. The rifle barrels and the Commissar’s megaphone were painted with Boltgun metal and then washed with Badab Black. The Commissar and the Conscripts’ helmets were painted with Knarloc Green, before being washed with Thraka Green. The Commissar was then dry-brushed with more Knarloc Green.

I next plan to paint a formation of Soviet Regular Infantry. These will consist of three stands of five models, plus two support stands (Mortar and Machinegun).

Monday, 23 May 2011

"I Suppose You've Come For Me?"

These models are the ‘classic version’ of “Crooked Dice” Game Design Studio's "Robo-Rodent Infestation", and are sculpted by Greg Storey. As I wanted them to represent the Cybermats seen in the September 1967 Doctor Who TV story "The Tomb Of The Cybermen”, I simply drybrushed them with Boltgun Metal before painting their eyes with a combination of Skull White and Baal Red.

These models are from “Crooked Dice” Game Design Studio's "Femdroid Harem", and are sculpted by Andrew Rae. As with the sculptor’s previous model, “Pandora King”, the builds of the 28mm miniatures are very slight and don’t readily lend themselves to the ‘black-lining’ painting technique I employ. In addition, the figures’ bases, which were sanded before I started painting the models, almost completely covered over the detail of the Femdroids’ slippers; somewhat ruining the silky and fluffy aspect of the scantily-clad nighty-wearing killer robots.

FUTURE PROJECTS: Waiting in the wings are a small number of "Revell" 1/72 plastic KSK Modern German Commandos to be painted up in order to try out both the "Battlefield Evolution - Modern Warfare" rule book by "Mongoose Publishing" and the "Flying Lead" PDF by "Ganesha Games"; A party of Hyena Men (Gnolls from the "Wizards Of The Coast" "Chainmail" 28mm metal fantasy skirmish range) for "Song of Blades and Heroes"; and a "Crooked Dice" "7TV" battle report featuring ("Heroclix" versions of) the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

"They're Made Of Plastic. Living Plastic Creatures."

Two of these models are from "Crooked Dice" Game Design Studio's 'Minion Mob'. They are actually “Unarmed Minions” but were first ‘converted’ with their sprues’ optional pistol hand, and then given two coats of Fenris Grey (and a wash of Asurmen Blue). This was in order to give the impression that they were wearing boiler suits (similar to those worn by the Autons in the January 1970 Doctor Who TV story “Spearhead From Space”). Their Emotionless Mannequin heads were painted with Tallarn Flesh, before their face plates and ears were highlighted with Elf Flesh. Both of these areas were then washed using Ogryn Flesh.

This simple ‘single-colour’ painting scheme was also applied to 'Pandora King' (Also by "Crooked Dice Design Studio), but this time I used Adeptus Battlegrey and a wash of Badab Black.
I planned earlier this month to simply turn these four of Cooked Dice’s “Advancing ARC Astronauts” into versions of the Doctor Who ‘monster’ the Vashta Nerada by simply picking out their space helmets’ visors with Chaos Black. However in a moment of madness I changed my simple plan and decided I'd try to actually show the creatures skull heads. So instead I removed all of their astronaut heads, and replaced with some plastic skulls taken from the old Games Workshop PBS5 Skeleton Army Boxed Set.

However, I quickly shelved my other idea to replace some of the astronauts’ hands and limbs with some taken from the Skeleton Army box after just the first ‘conversion’. The plastic skeletal fist proved just too difficult to superglue ‘securely’ to the 28mm metal miniature, and as a result, I repositioned the figure’s arm (in an uninspiring pose) in order to ensure the fist was securely fastened to the rest of the model.

My hopes to quickly paint the models up using a watered down wash of Astronomicon Grey over the top of their Skull White Spacesuits also proved disappointingly unrealistic, owing to the number of buttons requiring ‘picking out’ on the figures’ breathing apparatus.
COMING SOON - Currently recovering from a 'flesh-wound' received at Wenley Moor, this Captain will prove to be the Brigadier's dependable deputy...

Monday, 25 April 2011

"And Who Are These Friends Of Yours In Fancy Dress?"

These models are from “Crooked Dice” Game Design Studio's ‘Corn Doll Hoedown', and are sculpted by Mark Evans. The four 28mm miniatures come with separate arms and two different torsos, so they were assembled in order to create four distinct poses. As I wanted them to represent the animated scarecrows utilised by Son Of Mine in the June 2008 Doctor Who TV story "The Family Of Blood”, I opted for their sack heads to all be uniformly painted with Calthan Brown and Devlan Mud, and their straw hands and tufts to be painted with Iyanden Darksun and Devlan Mud. In addition all of the Corn Dolls’ rope was painted using Dheneb Stone and Devlan Mud.

It was then a case of giving each scarecrow their clothing’s own unique (dirty) colour scheme. This was achieved using a variety of different paint and wash pairings: Fenris Grey and Asurmen Blue, Dark Flesh and Devlan Mud, Mechrite Red and Devlan Mud, Blood Red and Baal Red, Macharius Solar Orange and Devlan Mud, and Knarloc Green with Thraka Green.

As with all my models (these days) the bases had already been undercoated Chaos Black before being drybrushed with Dark Flesh, then Dheneb Stone, and then washed with Devlan Mud.

This Needle Monument is from “Terrain Warehouse UK” and was quickly painted using an undercoat of Dheneb Stone followed by a heavy wash of Devlan Mud. The ‘Aztec head’ feature was picked out using Burnished Gold, Skull White and Blood Red, before being treated to a combination of Thraka Green, Ogyrn Flesh, Baal Red and (oop) Red Ink washes.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Beneath The Surface - Part One

Having spent the weekend reading the "7TV" rulebook by "Crooked Dice" and continuing the theme of "Doctor Who And The Silurians" and its potholing adventures, I plan to build and paint up a number of pieces of cave-based scenery so as to replicate an underground network. However, rather than build specific terrain boards, I plan to base my rock formations and cave pools individually. Then they can simply be placed upon a brown cloth at irregular intervals across the table and (hopefully) generate the impression of a cave system, ready for exploration.

The larger of these resin pieces are from the ‘Battlefield Scenery Rock Formations’ range by “Terrain Warehouse UK”, whilst some of the smaller rocks, areas of rough terrain and cave pools are from “Total System Scenic”. In addition, there are a couple of pieces from the ‘Eccentric Range’ of “Frontline Wargaming”, specifically “ER10 Movie Power Units.” All have been based on either pieces of wood or plastic in order to make them sit flat upon the surface and to increase their stability.

A couple of the larger rocks, as well as the Needle Monument (all from “Terrain Warehouse UK”) have also had their bases covered with sand, in preparation for these to be drybrushed first with Dark Flesh, and then Dheneb Stone, before being washed with Devlan Mud. This will bring all the scenery in line with the basing colours used for the "Crooked Dice" 28mm models. In addition the Needle Monument has also been given its first undercoat of Dheneb stone.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

"I Take It You're Another Member Of The U.N.I.T. Team?"

This model is from “Crooked Dice” Game Design Studio's 'Minion Mob', and has been painted alongside two more ‘hard-hatted soldiers’ in order to bolster my Unit Nations Intelligence Task (UNIT) Force. As this miniature is going to represent the military organisation’s Scientific Advisor, Doctor John Smith, I gave him one of the Peaceful Space Explorer Minion heads and then gave him a much larger nose using ‘green stuff’.

Having re-watched the January 1970 TV Seven-parter "Doctor Who And The Silurians", I decided to put a couple of coils of rope around the cave explorer’s shoulders (using string) and, despite it not actually appearing in the televised story) also gave Doctor Smith a sonic screwdriver. This was quite a simple conversion as having chopped the model’s right hand off I simply replaced it with a crowbar-wielding hand from a plastic “Heroclix” Lackey miniature. I then snipped the ends of the crowbar off and stuck a suitable looking jewellery bead on the end.

I also noticed that the Scientific Advisor wears a different darker set of overalls to the UNIT soldiers, so painted his attire Calthan Brown and then washed it with Devlan Mud. His hair was simply undercoated Astronomican Grey before a combination of Devlan Mud, more Astronomican Grey and Skull White were applied.


COMING SOON - Continuing my "Crooked Dice" themed month, these models are also from the Game Design Studio's 'Minion Mob', but use some of their Alien Heads. I've also done a simple conversion (for fun) in order to try and answer the question "Do you take milk and sugar?"

Thursday, 7 April 2011

"Hello, Sweetie."

These models are from "Crooked Dice" Game Design Studio's ‘ARC Astronauts’ and include their Melody Lake miniature. I have assembled them to represent three members of the Strackman Lux expedition who encountered David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor in the May 2008 Doctor Who TV story "Silence In The Library”.

As I planned to use the Melody Lake model to represent the archaeologist Professor Song, I wanted her companions to better represent two of the explorers who accompanied her; namely Proper Dave and Other Dave. As a result instead of super-gluing an astronaut head to one of the ARC Astronaut Datapad bodies, I attached one of the Peaceful Space Explorer Minion heads instead. In addition, I chopped the model’s right hand (with datapad) off and replaced it with a clenched fist from an Unarmed Minion body.

All of the ARC Astronauts were then given an undercoat of Astronimicon Grey before being given two coats of Skull White. Their flight suits were then washed with watered down Astronimicon Grey. Whilst Other Dave’s face was painted using Dark Flesh and Devlan Mud, the skin of Professor Song and Proper Dave were treated to an undercoat of Tallarn Flesh, before being highlighted with Elf Flesh. These areas were then washed using Ogryn Flesh.

A future painting project will be to turn four of the Advancing ARC Astronauts into versions of the swarming, carnivorous Vashta Nerada. These models have already had their out-stretched arms repositioned (i.e. bent) in order to make them all appear in slightly different ‘menacing’ poses. As all four models have also been painted Skull White, each miniature now only requires a watered down wash of Astronimicon Grey, and their visors being picked out with Chaos Black.

COMING SOON - Continuing my "Crooked Dice" themed month, this model is from the Game Design Studio's 'Minion Mob'. He should prove an invaluable scientific advisor to the small collection of models I've assembled to represent members of the Unit Nations Intelligence Task (UNIT) Force from "Doctor Who And The Silurians".

Saturday, 2 April 2011

“Don't Worry, Brigadier. People Will Be Shooting At You Soon."

Corn Dolls, Femdroids, Robo-Rodents, Minions and Scary Statues are due to be launched against the planet Earth during the next four weeks, and nothing but a College Professor, his Sidekicks, some Astronauts and some Minions of his own stand in their way…

These models are from "Crooked Dice" Game Design Studio's 'Minion Mob'. They are part of a small number of models I have been assembled to (hopefully) represent members of the Unit Nations Intelligence Task (UNIT) Force who accompanied Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor in the January 1970 Doctor Who TV Seven-parter "The Cave Monsters". Because the story features the military organisation hunting for Silurians in the caves of Wenley Moor two of the models simply consist of (Hardhat) Human Heads on Armed Minion Bodies. Though clearly their Scientific Advisor has been tinkering with their rifles…

As their leader had to be Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, one of the (hardhat) Human Heads was given something of a green-stuff moustache. This is somewhat larger than that of the TV character, but I wanted him to stand out from a distance. In addition, his pose needed to be different to that of his soldiers, so I used an Unarmed Minion body instead. Even that though, wasn’t enough to make the model stand out as much as I wanted, so I chopped his right hand off, and swapped it with the datapad hand from one of the Game Design Studio’s ARC Astronauts. The datapad was then painted as if it was a folded map of the cave system/collection of papers.

The soldiers’ uniforms were simply painted using Dheneb Stone, and their pouches with Dark Flesh. Both areas were then given a wash of Devlan Mud. Their helmets were painted Skull White and washed with watered down Astronimicon Grey. The models’ skin was treated to an undercoat of Tallarn Flesh, before being highlighted with Elf Flesh. These areas were then washed using Ogryn Flesh. The soldiers’ weapons were painted with Boltgun metal and Badab Black.

COMING SOON - Continuing my "Crooked Dice" themed month, these models are from the Game Design Studio's 'ARC Astronaut' range, and include Melody Lake. I've assembled these models to represent some of the explorers who accompanied David Tennant's Tenth Doctor in the May 2008 Doctor Who TV story "Silence In The Library". As a result, two of them are called Dave, but which is the proper one...

Saturday, 26 March 2011

"These Aren't The Droids You're Looking For."

Since January 2010 I've been trying to purchase enough of the Star Wars (pre-painted) Miniatures by “Wizards of the Coast” to use for a game based upon the “War of the Ring” rulebook by Games Workshop. Unfortunately as I predominantly wanted to use the minis from the “Rebel Storm” initial release set the entire project has become somewhat cost prohibitive, and essentially 'sat on the shelf' for the last twelve months.

No longer. Having written a 'War Of The Force' homemade ruleset similar to that which I've previously 'showcased' as Unternehemen Seelowe, I've finally managed to get some games in, and thought you may like to 'see' the summary of one in action. Unlike the Weird War battle reports I've not tried to explain the rules along with the narrative, but can do in future if there's any interest in me doing so.

Currently I have only re-based a number of Stormtroopers, Scout Troopers, Imperial Navy Troopers, Rebel Troopers, Tauntaun Riders and a few character models. But I hope to expand upon this over the next month with some Scoundrels, Bounty Hunters, Jawas, Ewoks and (if I can get them cheap enough) some Dewbacks. Though as the models of those cold-blooded reptiles from Tatooine are at least twice that of the Tauntauns (and they cost me a pretty packet at Salute a couple of years ago) I doubt I'll have the numbers I'd like to have.

This first in a series of battle reports covering the Galactic Empire’s search of the galaxy for the missing schematics of the Death Star (after they were ‘lost’ following the pursuit of a Rebel Blockade Runner) sees an Imperial force, lead by Lord Vader, attempt to capture five droids located within an industrial complex on the planet Mustafar.

Once the table was laid out, using pre-painted scenery purchased from the Industrial Range of “Tablescape”, five droid models (objective markers) were placed (at least 10 inches from either deployment edge and from each other) for the forces to battle over. The clash would last for six turns. The Rebels, flanked by two units of Tauntaun Riders, held the southern floor of the factory; with General Kenobi leading three companies of Rebel Troopers beside some large piping in the South West, Princess Leia commanding some Troopers behind some crates in the centre, and Luke Skywalker marshalling a handful of Troopers in the South East.

Lord Vader’s Imperial Force was spread across the Northern length of the factory. The Dark Lord of the Sith, accompanied by a Platoon Leader and a Stormtrooper armed with a T-21 light repeating blaster, personally led a large number of Imperials located close to a pressurised reactor plant in the North East; whilst three squads of Imperial Stormtroopers formed up behind a large collection of radioactive barrels in the centre. A mixture of Imperial Navy troopers, Stormtroopers and Scout Troopers spread out amongst more radioactive barrels in the North West.

At a gesture from Darth Vader, the Stormtroopers and Scout Troopers positioned behind the radioactive barrels in the factory’s North West corner, pushed forward, hoping to find shelter behind a series of large pipes just in front of them. The Imperials were met with a volley of Rebel DH-17 pistol fire. A large number of the blaster bolts struck the Stormtroopers distinctive white plastoid body armour, but only three of the Galactic Empire’s elite soldiers fell. Meanwhile, General Kenobi ordered the Tauntaun riders to the West, to gallop north, straight towards the collection of radioactive barrels some of the Stormtroopers were positioned around. The patrol mounts loped forward, catching the attention of the nearby Scout Troopers who aimed their Holdout blaster pistols only to fire short of their targets.

A squad of Imperial Navy troopers moved up alongside the Scout Troopers, and fired at the riders with their (standard) BlasTech Industries E-11 blaster rifles. These weapons had a better range and badly wounded one of the reptomammals. Concerned that the edge of the Tauntaun’s charge may be blunted by Imperial firepower, Obi-Wan Kenobi directed the surrounding Rebel Troopers’ attention to the surviving Stormtroopers hiding behind a large pipe. Blaster bolts roared into the Imperial position, but were harmlessly absorbed by the Stormtroopers’ armour.

By now the Rebel Alliance’s mounts had galloped even closer to the Scout Troopers, giving the specially trained Imperials, another chance to prove their marksmenship. One of the beasts fell to the ground, despite its thick blubber taking the brunt of the Scout Troopers’ combined firepower. Another Tauntaun was killed by the Imperial Navy Troopers, and for a moment it looked as if the charge was going to fail.

Urged on by their veteran Clone Wars General, the Rebel Troopers desperately tried to pin the Imperials down, and give the remaining Tauntauns some covering fire. The last of the Stormtroopers finally fell before the withering hail of Rebel blaster bolts. However it was still not enough to stop the ‘crack-shot’ Scout Troopers from bringing another of the mounts crashing down. But then with a grunt, the sole-surviving ill-tempered beast was amongst the Imperials and its horns gorged one of the Scout Troopers to death. The victory was only short-lived though, as the rest of the Imperial marksmen dragged the Rebel rider off of his mount, and blasted him at point-blank range with their Holdout pistols.

Enraged by the death of their comrades, the Rebels opened fire upon the remaining Scout Troopers, who dived for cover amidst the pipes surrounding them. One was cut down by the DH-17 pistol fire; whilst another was thrown against one of the nearby metal constructs as a result of a Force Push by General Kenobi. The Scout Trooper’s lightweight armour was no match for the crushing impact.

Sensing his Force’s Western flank was losing ground; Lord Vader dispatched two squads of Stormtroopers (one carrying a T-21 light repeating blaster) towards the remaining Scout Trooper. Then, with a deep rasp, turned his attention to the East where a second patrol of Rebel Tauntaun Riders were fast approaching the Imperial positions. Feeling the eye of the Sith Lord upon them, a nearby squad of Stormtroopers fired a salvo of rifle bolts at the (exposed) beasts, and managed to bring one of the patrol mounts down. Realising that the Imperial soldiers already had their range, the Rebel Tauntaun Riders spurred their reptomammals onwards, losing another one of their number to a hail of E-11 blaster rifle bolts.

However, the gap between the charging Rebels and the Imperial Stormtroopers had closed fast, and with a cry from their riders, the Tauntauns had crashed into the elite soldiers of the Galactic Empire, trampling two into the factory floor.

Darth Vader sensed the fluctuations in the Force, and realised that the Hoth creatures must be held, if he was to capture the droids for his Master. With his lightsabre singing, Palpatine’s apprentice raced towards the Stormtroopers bravingly battling the Tauntauns; whilst at the same time ordering the rest of his Imperial Forces forwards in an attempt to encircle as many droids as posssible.

As he watched the Imperial Forces capture an RA-7 protocol droid that was dithering on a gantry bridge in the centre of the factory, General Kenobi realised his Rebels would never get their hands on more than the Artoo unit and GNK Power droid they’d already rescued this day. With a wave of his lightsabre, he ordered his Rebel Troopers (who were still using the factory’s pipes as cover) to fire a final salvo at the approaching Imperial forces. When that failed to do nothing more than bring down a solitary trooper of the Imperial Navy, it was clear that little else could be done this day to further the Rebel Alliance’s cause, so together with Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Master signalled the Rebels to retreat. Darth Vader had captured three droids and won the day.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

"Don't Look Away, And Don't Blink."

These “Crooked Dice” models are from the ‘Scary Statue Coven'.

All of the models were initially treated to an undercoat of Chaos Black, before being simply drybrushed with Adeptus Battlegrey and (to a lesser extent) Astronomican Grey. Odd drops of Devlan Mud were then washed into some of the detail, to give the statues a more decayed feel.

Their bases were first given a coat of modelling sand and then painted Chaos Black. The bases were then drybrushed with Dark Flesh and Dheneb Stone, before being washed with Devlan Mud. Finally clumps of static grass was added.

COMING SOON - These models are also from "Crooked Dice" and are from the Game Design Studio's 'Minion Mob'. They are part of a small number of models I've assembled to (hopefully) represent members of the Unit Nations Intelligence Task (UNIT) Force who accompanied Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor in the January 1970 Doctor Who TV Seven-parter "The Cave Monsters". As a result, I've given one something of a moustache...