Monday, 8 November 2010
All of the models were initially treated to an undercoat of Chaos Black, before their shirts and ankle armour were painted with Dheneb Stone and Devlan Mud. Their body armour was first treated to a coat of Knarloc Green before being given a combined wash of Thraka Green and Devlan Mud. However I just used Knarloc Green and Thraka Green for their helmets, in order to make them stand out a bit more. Their trousers were painted with Calthan Brown and Devlan Mud. Although for the odd model (not pictured) I have used a combination of Dark Flesh and Devlan Mud. All of the gas masks' breathing apparatus and eye lenses were painted with Boltgun Metal before being given a wash of Badab Black.
Back in January 2010 I got hold of a couple of US-SOTR14 ‘US Battle Suit 50 Cal HMG–Comanche’ models second-hand (as part of a pair of SOTR-SP03 ‘US Armoured Infantry’ starter sets). At the time I complained about how dissatisfied I was with the models' joints and that even after some significant drilling and pinning, and some liberal applications of (various) superglues, I still found that the arms continued to droop or the torso fell apart. In the end, I resorted to some generous ‘dollops’ of "Milliput" to ensure a ‘fit’. I was never happy with the final result as I felt that the putty around the arms was so obvious, especially after I managed to fit the second model together without anywhere near as much "Milliput".
In the end, this unhappiness ground me down and in a moment of madness I pulled the beast apart in order to start again. I don't know what shocked me the most, the sheer amount of putty I had used or the fact that it was still soft despite some eight months of being on the model! Anyway, after half an hour of careful scraping, I managed to clean the limbs and set about re-attaching them to the body using "Games Workshop" "Modelling Putty (Green Stuff)". This stuff worked like a charm, and quickly set. Thus I was left with just the problem of repainting the 'damaged bare metal' areas of the battlesuit.
Previously the model had simply been painted with Knarloc Green and a wash of Devlan Mud and Thrakka Green. This time I painted the 'bare metal' areas Dark Flesh in order to build the foundation of a simple camouflage scheme. I painted over a few of the other areas of the model with Dark Flesh as well to expand the pattern. Then I added 'blobs' of Dheneb Stone to these areas and finally some further 'splotches' of Chaos Black. I gave the Deheneb Stone and Dark Flesh areas a wash of Devlan Mud to dirty them up and tie-in better with the rest of the model's Knarloc Green/Devlan Mud/Thraka Green paint scheme. However I still wanted to show that some of the battlesuit's parts had been recently replaced/patched up, so I simply picked out the odd piece of armour with Boltgun Metal and Badab Black.
Saturday, 6 November 2010
The purchase in question was a £20 bag containing a "World War Two German Winter Army Pack" by "Pendraken Miniatures" (pendraken.co.uk). I've always had a hankering to refight Stalingrad but never managed to get the project off of the ground. This time though I was determined to see the thing through. It took another week for the popular 10mm World War Two ruleset "Blitzkreig Commander" to drop through my letterbox, and another couple of weeks for the 'reinforcements' I needed from "Pendraken Miniatures" to arrive, in order for me to be able to field both a 1,000 point German Early Eastern Front Battlegroup and a Russian Early Eastern Front one as well. In addition I also purchased some resin Russian Village buildings, trees and decals from "Pendraken Miniatures". As you see I don't do things by halves.
I've currently made three of these areas of woodland, which for the purposes of "Blitzkreig Commander" will be Impenetrable High Area Terrain. The bases are 1.5mm ply wood movement trays from Fenris Games (fenrisgames.com) with a selection of PNTR1 Deciduous trees 35mm high, PNTR2 Deciduous trees 48mm high and PNTR3 Deciduous trees 50mm high stuck to them with 'green stuff'. The bases were then flocked using some 'sand' I bought elsewhere at "Colours".
Ordinarily I simply base my (28mm) models with "Games Workshop" sand and after a coat of PVA glue to ensure it remains in place, I leave it at that (having added some clumps of static grass). However, having been so disappointed with the the dour effect I'd previously experienced simply gluing “Games Workshop” “Citadel Snow” directly on top of “Modelling Sand” I went just a bit further and actually painted the sand with Chaos Black. I then drybrushed the bases with Dark Flesh and Dheneb Stone, before treating them to a wash of Devlan Mud. Once protected with a seal of PVA glue, I then applied 'drifts' of “Citadel Snow” to the base (as well as to parts of the trees).
This resin building is PS42 WWII Russian wooded village hall and proved a joy to paint simply (and hopefully effectively). The main wooden structure has been painted with Calthan Brown, whilst the window and door frames were painted with Dark Flesh. Both areas were then treated to a wash of Devlan Mud. The thatched roof was first painted Iyanden Darksun, then washed with Devlan Mud before being drybrushed with more Iyanden Darksun.
This 'second' building was painted in exactly the same way, and is PS40 WWII Russian thatched barn with wooden walls. Both buildings were then based using the same technique as used for my areas of woodland.
Having compiled an 'infantry-heavy' initial 1,000 point German Battlegroup, I still found the points to 'get in' some armour. These are GR77 Panzer I, GR186 Panzer Ib and GR196 Panzer III E/F 37mm gun. I do plan for some of my future armour to have camo patterns but for now 'i just want to get them on the table', thus I went for a simple 'field grey' look. The tanks were initially painted Adeptus Battlegrey before being given a wash of Badab Black. I then drybrushed them with more Adeptus Battlegrey. Their tracks were then 'picked out' with Boltgun Metal, before being washed in Badab Black.
These three units of Waffen-SS are made up from the mixture of miniatures found within the World War Two German Winter Army Pack. As the majority of my infantry units were to be Heer, I wanted these 'bases' to stand out from the regular troops, so gave them all 'field grey' helmets and simply stuck four miniatures to a base, as opposed to the five (which seems the 'BK norm'). Their winter uniforms were simply painted Astronomican Grey before being drybrushed Skull White. Their helmets and the odd piece of field-kit was 'picked out' with Adeptus Battlegrey and washed with Badab Black. Their flesh was painted with Tallarn Flesh, and their rifle butts with Dark Flesh. Both of these areas were then washed with Devlan Mud. Finally, any gun barrels were painted with Boltgun Metal, and washed in Badab Black.
Monday, 1 November 2010
All the miniatures are from "West Wind Productions" "Secrets Of The Third Reich" range.
This third in a series of battle reports covering the German Reich’s (fictitious) invasion of the United Kingdom in September 1940, sees an Axis force attempt a sea landing at Lymington; a town on the English South East coast, which is currently doubling as a base of operations for a small American force. Each army costs 150 points.
Once the table was laid out, five objective markers were placed for the forces to fight over. These were positioned at strategic areas of interest on the battlefield and consisted of: (1) Lentune Inn – which is situated in the centre of the battlefield; (2) a road (to the Northwest) which turns North deeper into England; (3) a T-Junction on Lymington’s main town road; (4) a field to the Southwest and (5) a coastal farm, located to the Southeast. The encounter would last for ten turns.
The British deployed their Heavy Machinegun Team, Snipers, Bren light machinegun carriers, and two companies of riflemen to the west. Whilst the Americans positioned their two companies of U.S. Armoured Infantry and two U.S. ‘Comanche’ battle suits to the East. The British Parachute Regiment (consisting of one unit of Red Berets armed with Carbine rifles, a second armed with Bren light machineguns and a Recon Airborne Transport (R.A.T.)) held the centre of the line.
The Germans positioned the majority of their Undead units to the east, in order to take the farm [Objective Five]. To the west a single company of Mech Grenadiers armed with Assault Rifles was expected to capture the field [Objective Four]. The rest of the German force, including its Luftwaffe contingent and a Panzershreck team, prepared to rush to the North and challenge for the Inn.
At the start of the first turn, the Allies won the initiative and immediately took Lymington’s T-Junction [Objective Three] with their American contingent. This was followed by the British Regular Army reaching the town’s Northern road [Objective Two] and the British Parachute Regiment pushing south towards Lentune Inn.
In reply a mass of German Zombies and Werewolves reached the farm [Objective Five], whilst the field [Objective Four] was taken by the Mech Grenadiers armed with Assault Rifles. Inspired by the leadership of the Red Baron, the German centre struck Northwards to contest ownership of Lentune Inn. To support this, the Panzershreck team opened fire upon the Red Berets armed with Carbine Rifles, who were ‘screening’ the R.A.T. and killed three of them.
At the start of Turn two, the British Parachute Regiment reached the Lentune Inn [Objective One], and finding it uncontested (yet), dispatched its Bren Light machinegun company further west to support the US Allied contingent. Their extra four firepower was in desperate need, as the Americans opened fire on the horde of Undead that was moving towards them from the Farm [Objective Five]. Three Zombies crumpled to the earth. In the meantime, the British Regular Army also started to fire at the fast approaching German Luftwaffe but without any success.
As the majority of the German centre continued to push North towards the Lentune Inn, the Red Berets once again came under fire from the Panzerschreck Team (as well as from German Snipers). Having effectively lost the protection of its Infantry support on the previous turn, the Recon Airborne Transport (R.A.T.) found itself staggered by two hits despite its Heavy Armour.
Conscious of the anti-tank rockets that were already pummelling the Allied centre, the Americans decided to take the attack to the Axis and pushed South towards the Farm [Objective Five]. Covering the infantry’s advance, the 50 cal Heavy Machineguns of the ‘Comanche’ Battlesuits began firing on more of the oncoming German Zombies, but the walking cadavers Undead flesh seemed imperious to their firepower. Slighty West of the centre of the battlefield the British Regular Army continued to fire at the oncoming German Luftwaffe, and finally scored two hits on the flying menaces. Further West, the British Heavy Machinegun Team opened up upon hearing the howl of a fast-approaching Jager Werewolf. The Undead creature roared with pain as it was twice struck by the bullets.
Spurned on by the pain of the its wounds, the Jager Werewolf leapt into the British Army line and tour at a company of Infantry carrying Carbine rifles. Amazingly though, only one of the brave Tommies fell before its slashing claw and fangs. Across the battlefield, its werewolf brothers heard its bloodlust, and moved up North towards the American troops currently fighting off the German Zombie packs. Once again the R.A.T. became the focus of the Panzerschreck Team’s attention. But this time its Birmingham Steel Heavy Armour plating held it in good stead.
Eager for living flesh, the German Undead Zombie packs finally got their teeth into the American forces. A well-placed chomp penetrated the armour of one of the Battlesuits, whilst four US Armoured Infantrymen fell before the claws of two German Werewolves. In the centre of the battlefield, a rocket from the Panzerschreck team hit the R.A.T. again.
It was clear to the Allied Command that they had to hold their Eastern flank against the German Undead horde, if Lymington was not to fall, so orders were quickly given for the second US Armour Battlesuit to engage the Living Undead in hand-to-hand combat. Driven on by the loss of their comrades, the American infantry swung their rifle butts at the snarling Jagerhund Alsatian, and the beast miraculously went down under the blows. Meanwhile the British held Western flank continued to fire upon the Luftwaffe, scoring another two hits on the three flying German battlesuits.
Realising that the American Contingent could collapse if placed under enough pressure, a company of German Mech Grenadiers joined the melee taking place just North of the Farm [Objective Five]. In the centre of the battlefield, just North of the Lentune Inn [Objective One], more German Mech Grenadiers also resorted to fierce hand-to-hand combat; this time with the British Commanders themselves. To the far West, the British Regular Infantry fighting off the vicious claws and snapping fangs of the Jager Werewolf quickly met their bloody ends.
Desperate to ensure they did not meet a similarly gory demise, the British Heavy Machinegun Team, turned their full attention upon the Jager Werewolf and poured bullets into the beast. Three struck the snarling fiend, but only a single round penetrated its unholy hide.
Incensed by the stinging pain of the attack, the were-creature leapt amidst the cowering Heavy Machinegun team and tore two of the three-man crew to bloody ribbons. North of the Farm [Objective Five], more American soldiers were also meeting their demise at the hands of the Undead Axis forces. To make matters worse for the Yanks, one of their US Battlesuits was close to being opened like a sardine tin by the claws of a Zombie Pack. Determined to stave off the great German offensive the British Parachute Regiment had previously moved south in order to firm up the centre of the Allied line. Now they fell heavily before the combination of the pinpoint accurate firing of the German Sniper Team and the raw explosive power of the Panzerschreck Team. When the dust settled the R.A.T. continued to stand, albeit with less armour plating than it carried before, but it now stood alone… the Red Berets carrying Bren Light Machineguns having been wiped out to a man.
It was clear that the Allied Army was close to losing ground, predominantly thanks to the German’s Undead horde ‘bogging down’ the majority of their forces whilst the Panzerschreck and Sniper Teams took their toll from a distance. Powering up the vehicle’s weapons the pilot of the R.A.T. was determined to turn this tide and gunned down one of the German sharpshooters. Inspired, the British Regular Heavy Assault Company (carrying Bren Light Machineguns) and the British Sniper Team engulfed the German Mech Grenadier’s armed with Assault Rifles in a hail of Tommy lead, and slaughtered them to a man. To the East, the threat of the Americans being overrun by Zombies was thwarted as a U.S. Battlesuit finally crushed one of the Zombie Packs in hand-to-hand combat. Beside it, the other ‘Comanche’ similarly despatched a company of German Mech Grenadiers.
Unfortunately, the Americans cheers were swiftly silenced as the Panzerschreck Team blew up the U.S. Battlesuit that moments before had been victorious over the Nazi Undead menace. Suddenly disheartened one of the U.S. Armoured Companies finally fell below the crushing jaws of the German Jagerhund Rottweiler. The were-creature was not to enjoy its meal for long however as the combined charge of the surviving American forces swiftly felled it.
The battle was fast approaching its climax as the British R.A.T. desperately waded into the German forces contesting the Lentune Inn [Objective One]. With a strike from one of its mechanically enhanced arms, the vehicle smashed a Zombie to pulp, before finding itself surrounded by the Undead fiends. Behind the Recon Airborne Transport, the British Sniper Team had just the time to shudder at the shrill howl of the Jager Werewolf, before the beast was upon them and had ripped them apart. Exhausted the Allied Forces began to slowly withdraw from the town, silent and sullen at the thought that the German’s had finally established a bridgehead for invading Britain.
Sunday, 11 April 2010
This second in a series of battle reports covering the German Reich’s (fictitious) invasion of the United Kingdom in September 1940, sees an Axis force attempt to establish a base of operations on the outskirts of Bognor Regis; a seaside resort town on the English South East coast. Each force can only consist of infantry units, and cost 100 points.
Once the table was laid out, five objective markers were placed for the forces to fight over. These were positioned at strategic areas of interest on the battlefield and consisted of: (1) a field surrounded by bushes in the Southwest; (2) an area of settled coastline in the Southeast; (3) the centre of the battlefield; (4) a T-Junction on Bognor’s coastal road to the Northwest and (5) the residential outskirts of Bognor town to the Northeast. The encounter would last for six turns.
The British, having already started work on some barbed wire barricades following the failed Axis landing at Selsey, deployed the British Parachute Regiment (consisting of one unit of Red Berets armed with Carbine rifles, and a second armed with Bren light machineguns) to the west of the town. The majority of the defending force however remained within the outskirts of the town, including the British Commandos, a Heavy Weapons Team and a Heavy Machinegun Team.
The Germans fielded a strong Undead centre, placing their Sniper Team between two units of Zombies and a Werewolf. Alongside these unholy horrors, and in front of the German Mech Grenadier Command Unit, a unit of Mech Grenadiers were deployed knee-deep in the sea as it snaked its way northwards, culminating into an inland pool (near Objective Two).
At the start of the first turn, the British won the initiative and so could move/fire/fight (hand-to-hand) with all their units before the German’s turn began. The main body of the defending force pushed forwards south of Bognor’s residential buildings. In particular the British Parachute Regiment advanced down the west flank of the battlefield towards the field [Objective One] in order to ensure the German’s couldn’t outflank the British from that direction at least without a fight.
Tucked away besides a building in the most eastern part of the residential outskirts, the British Sniper Team opened fire on the ‘overly exposed’ German Infantry wading up towards the settled coastline [Objective Two]. The (two) Snipers have the special ability Long Range; so can shoot at anything up to 30 inches away as opposed to the normal shooting range of 20 inches. The marksmen also have the special ability Sharpshooter, which means that instead of ordinarily hitting an exposed (vulnerable) target on the roll of a 4, 5 or 6 (using a D6), they would hit a target on the roll of a 3, 4, 5 or 6. Amazingly though, having presumably missed their Bully Beef breakfast, the Snipers rolled a 1 and 2, and failed to hit the Axis ‘sitting ducks’. The Bazooka Team (positioned just east of the Red Berets) also have the special ability Long Range, so opened fire on one of the units of German Zombies. One of the animated corpses fell to the earth. Like the majority of combatants, the Living Dead have the special ability Armour. Ordinarily this means that in order for their armour to save them and so they can remain on the battlefield, a ‘casualty’ needs to roll a 6 on a D6. However the Bazooka Team also have the special ability Armour Piercing, which put simply, cancels out any opponents Armour ability. First (coagulated) blood to the British.
At the beginning of the Axis turn, the ‘weakened’ Zombie Pack activated its Regeneration special ability. This allows a player, at the start of their turn, to roll a D6 for each missing model within the unit. Upon the roll of a 6, that model is ‘returned’ to the unit. However on this occasion no corpse returned to its feet. Enlivened by the British Sniper fire pinging around them, the German Mech Grenadiers hauled themselves out of the water to claim the settled coastline [Objective Two] for the Fatherland. The ‘unscathed’ unit of Zombies and a Jager Werewolf soon joined them. To the Southwest the second Zombie Pack and more Germany Infantry (armed with automatic rifles) clambered over a hedgerow to enter the field [Objective One].
Far Southeast the German Panzerschreck Team utilised its Long Range and Armour Piercing and blew up a single Tommy emerging from the residential outskirts of Bognor. The German Sniper Team also fired, aiming their sights on the ‘steam-powered’ British Armoured Suit who was just starting to cross the Bognor dirt road (running east to west just south of the residential outskirts). One bullet struck the British steel clad warrior. Because the marksmen were close to the German Mech Grenadier Command unit, the Sniper Team was able to call upon its officer’s Command [German] special ability and (re)fire its missed shot. A unit with Command allows any friendly unit (as defined within the Command parenthesis) that is within 12 inches of it to re-roll a single dice roll once per turn. Unfortunately the retaken shot also missed. Even more disappointingly for the Axis Forces, the British Armoured Suit has the Heavy Armour special ability. This means that in order for their (heavy) armour to save them a ‘casualty’ needs to roll a 5 or 6 on a D6; and the encumbered British soldier did just that. Finally the German Heavy Weapons Team blazed away at the oncoming British Parachute Regiment, felling two of the carbine-carrying Tommies.
Having won the initiative, the Germans ensured they had a ‘tight’ hold of the settled coastline [Objective Two] with their Mech Grenadiers by pushing the accompanying unit of Zombies and the Werewolf further North, towards the British line. To the Southwest the second Zombie Pack and unit of Germany Infantry took position of the field [Objective One].
The German Panzerschreck Team continued to fire anti-tank rockets at the British Infantry emerging from the buildings of Bognor, and killed another two brave soldiers. The German Sniper Team also kept the British Armoured Suit in their sights, but those shots that struck the steel plating were frustrated by the thickness of the armour. To the west, another Red Beret fell before the assault rifles of the German Heavy Weapons team.
Facing a withering hail of Axis firepower, the British gritted their teeth, remained in position and simply unleashed upon the Germans all that Queen and Country could muster. In the centre of the line, the Heavy Machine Gun Team poured bullets into the Zombie Pack approaching them from the coastline, returning three of the putrid cadavers back beyond the grave. To the West, inspired by their own British Command unit, the British Commandos slew two of the Zombies stumbling towards them from the field [Objective Two]. A blaze of fire from their Bren light machine guns saw the British Heavy Weapons Team finish this particular horde of the Undead off. The British guns then turned their attention to the German Infantry in the field, and the Armoured Suit dispatched one Jerry with his handheld Vickers machine gun. Two more of the Mech Grenadiers fell to a bazooka blast, leaving a solitary German stood alone in the middle of (but still holding) the field [Objective Two]. To the far West, a German Jagerhund Alsatian had steadily been moving forward amidst the cover of some farm buildings. Having finally emerged the Undead beast faced the British Parachute Regiment, and with a howl of pain and anger took two wounds as a result.
The British won the initiative for the third turn of the battle and bravely took the centre of the battlefield [Objective Three] with a unit of Commandos. Then, with the exception of their Command unit moving south in support of the British Infantry, the Tommy firing line remained stationary, gripped their weapons and prepared to give the Hun ‘more of the same’.
Inspired by their earlier success at dispatching the Undead, the British Heavy Weapons Team turned their light machine guns upon the remaining German Zombie Pack, and gave a hearty cheer when the last of the walking corpses fell still. The Heavy Machine Team therefore turned their sights upon the German Infantry holding the coastline [Objective One] and thanks to their Command unit being within appropriate proximity struck the Mech Grenadiers five times. No amount of body armour was going to save the Fatherland’s ‘favoured’, and the entire German unit was wiped out to a man. The sole surviving German Infantryman in the field fared equally as poorly, being gunned down by the British Armoured Suit. With no closer targets available to them, the British Bazooka Team turned their attention to the German Sniper Team and fired its high explosive round (four dice) at them. Because the Axis marksmen have the Camouflage special ability, an enemy unit always suffers –1 to its dice roll when firing at them, so the British unit needed to roll a 6 to hit them. Therefore despite the ferocity of their barrage only one of the Nazi crack shots was killed. Finally, somewhat understandably unnerved by the slavering man-dog tearing towards them, the two units of Red Berets only managed to inflict a single further wound upon the Undead German Jagerhund Alsatian.
Devastated by two turns of withering British fire the Axis Forces moved quickly to try and penetrate the British line, and gain a foothold on the English Southeast coast. The Jagerhund moved itself into range so as to charge the Red Berets in the next turn. The Jager Werewolf moved itself into a similar position, facing the British Commandos in the centre of the battlefield [Objective Three] over a barbed wire barricade. Both the German Panzerschreck Team and the Sniper Team tried to provide the red-furred beast support by firing at the Commandos, but only one Tommy was slain. To the West the German Heavy Weapons Team finally put an end to the unit of Red Berets armed with Carbine rifles.
With howls of bloodlust, the Axis Forces won the initiative for the fourth turn of the battle, and immediately charged their were-creatures into their respective foes. In addition the German Heavy Weapons Team placed their assault rifles over their shoulders and started to clamber over the hedgerow that formed the perimeter of the field. The Germans would need to take and hold this plot of earth if they were to have any hope of ‘winning the day’ and establishing their Axis beachhead.
Unfortunately the impact of the German firing was less than was hoped for as only the Panzerschreck Team scored a hit, and that saw just one of the three-man British Heavy machine Gun Team fall.
However, the British Forces were left reeling from the hand-to-hand onslaught of the German were-creatures. The Jagerhund Alsatian, who easily tore through their body armour, slaughtered the entire British Parachute Regiment to their last Red Beret. Equally as devastating was the assault by the German Werewolf upon the British Commandos, who were quickly cut down to a man by tooth and claw. In a matter of seconds the entire British line was about to be broken by Lycanthropy.
Blazing away with his Vickers machine gun into the Jagerhund Alsatian, the British Armoured Suit gave the were-creature a taste of British steel and dispatched the beast, saving the British line from faltering. In the centre the Heavy Machine Gun Team also poured lead into the Jager Werewolf, and amazingly, with three wounds inflicted upon it, it too fell dead to the ground. Inspired by their colleagues shooting, the British Bazooka Team once again turned their attention to the German Sniper Team and killed the remaining marksman with a high explosive round.
Despite having taken a heavy toll upon the Axis Forces, and being numerically superior, the British Army were still without an objective, and so having won the initiative for the penultimate round, set about moving all of its surviving units South in order to ‘take the battlefield’.
Demoralised and battered, the German Forces still clung to the slight hope of holding off the British Tommy and achieving a draw, if they could recapture the field [Objective One], the Coastline [Objective Two], and contest for the centre of the field of battle [Objective Three]. As a result, those meagre Germans alive forded water and hurdled hedgerows in their advance Northwards.
Both the British and the Germans rolled the same for the Initiative roll for the sixth and final turn. The Fatherland therefore went first because if the roll is a draw, then the player who went second in the previous turn gets to go first. The German Panzerschreck Team therefore crossed the water and, despite being horribly ‘out in the open’, reached the Coastline [Objective Two]. The German Mech Grenadier Command also rushed forwards, clambering up and over a hill in their desire to reach the centre of the battlefield [Objective Three]. Desperate to ward off any British unit daring to enter and contest the field [Objective One], the Mech grenadiers armed with assault rifles riddled the oncoming British Armoured Suit with bullets, but could only cause two of the four wounds needed.
Spurred on by the ‘invulnerability’ of his British steel suit, the ‘mechanized’ Tommy crashed through the hedgerow and into the field [Objective One], ensuring the Germans didn’t solely hold the ground. The British Command unit rushed and claimed the centre of the battlefield [Objective Three]. The British Heavy Weapons Team remained just outside the residential outskirts [Objective Five], whilst the Bazooka Team ensured it ‘stayed put’ on the Bognor Road T-Junction [Objective Four].
Determined to make the Axis Forces pay for daring to mount a second raid upon the English Southeast coast, the British Sniper Team ‘picked off’ both members of the Panzerschreck Team, vacating the area of settled coastline [Objective 2] of any soldiers whatsoever. The Heavy Machine Gun Team also opened fire, this time upon the fast approaching Mech grenadier Command unit. Three of the German officers crumpled to the ground dead, with the fourth ‘offiziere’ only saved from an inglorious death by his body armour. However the ‘leutnant’ was only given a momentary respite, as the British Heavy Weapons Team quickly gunned him down. In an effort to completely eradicate the invaders the British Bazooka Team fired upon the German Heavy Weapons Team. However only one Mech Grenadier fell before the onslaught of the high explosive rounds.
With the battle over, it was now a simple matter to determine who had ‘won the day’ by counting who held the most objectives on the battlefield. Inspired by some Armour saves earlier on, the British Armoured Suit had marched southwest far enough (within six inches) to challenge the German Mech Grenadiers armed with assault rifles for the field [Objective One]. As a result neither side could claim the ploughed soil as exclusively theirs; nor could either force claim the unoccupied coastline [Objective Two]. However the British had taken and held the centre of the battlefield [Objective Three], the T-Junction on Bognor’s coastal road to the Northwest [Objective Four] and the residential outskirts of Bognor town to the Northeast [Objective Five], giving Churchill’s men a strong and decisive victory over the invading German Forces.
Friday, 2 April 2010
All three of the “Ice Gamin” were undercoated with Mordian Blue and then generously washed with Asurmen Blue. The single-piece metal models were then ‘dry-brushed’ Mordian Blue and Ultramarines Blue. Their claws, toenails and spines were ‘picked out’ first with Chaos Black, and then Skull White. These areas were then treated to a wash of Devlan Mud. Their eye sockets were first painted Chaos Black, before a tiny ‘dot’ of Skull White was used for their eyes.
“Rasputina” was undercoated Chaos Black and then ‘dry-brushed’ Mordian Blue for her skirt. Her stockings were painted Dheneb Stone and Devlan Mud, whilst her sash was painted Mechrite Red and Baal Red. To make her skin appear icy and cold, it was painted Skull White and Asurmen Blue. Areas such as her nose, cheeks, thighs and fingers were then ‘picked out’ with Skull White, and all of her flesh was again treated to a wash of Asurmen Blue. The Arcanist’s bearskin armour was painted with Fortress Grey and then washed with watered-down Asurmen Blue. However, to make the cuffs, collar and hat stand out they were painted using Codex Grey and Devlan Mud. These areas were then ‘dry-brushed’ Fortress Grey. Ice Blue and Asurmen Blue was used for her hair.
As with the “Ice Gamin”, the “Ice Golem” was undercoated Mordian Blue and then washed with Asurmen Blue. However the four-piece metal construct was then heavily ‘dry-brushed’ with Fortress Grey before being given a light ‘dry-brush’ of Skull White.
The “Hoarcat Pride” was bought separately from the “Rasputina” boxed set and proved fiddly beyond belief, as each model (despite its tiny size) came in two pieces. Each beast was undercoated Codex Grey and then washed with Devlan Mud. The pride were then ‘dry-brushed’ Fortress Grey before and Skull White. Their eyes were ‘picked out’ with Blood Red.
With the exception of the “Ice Golem” and the one of the three “Ice Gamin” models, the “Rasputina” “Cult Of December” set has proved somewhat disappointing. Two of the “Ice Gamin” figures appear to have been ‘squished flat’, whilst painting “Rasputina” herself proved a real test due to the uninspiring nature of the (rather frail and thin-looking) figure. At £4.50 the “Hoarcat Pride” does seem somewhat overpriced for what the blister actually contains but the “Malifaux” range is expensive.
An additional demoralising disappointment was the dour effect simply gluing “Games Workshop” “Citadel Snow” directly on top of “Modelling Sand” had for the miniature’s bases.
Thursday, 4 March 2010
All of the models were initially treated to an undercoat of Chaos Black, before their uniforms were painted with Adeptus Battlegrey and Badab Black. Their body armour was then treated to a coat of Calthan Brown and Devlan Mud. To make them stand out from one another, each of the soldiers’ headwear was painted differently. A facemask and a field cap were painted Calthan brown and Devlan Mud in order to ‘fit in’ with their body armour. Another soldier’s field cap was painted Skull White and then washed with watered-down Astronomican Grey. All of the models’ visors were painted with Skull White before being given a wash of Baal Red and then Devlan Mud.
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Despite my enthusiasm for the Napoleonic period currently being on the wane, I've still completed three more bases of 15mm “Essex Miniatures” (just two pictured above though). My “Song of Drums and Shakos” project has recently been waylaid by efforts to paint up yet more blisters from “West Wind Productions” “Secrets of the Third Reich” range, as well as my recently purchased “Open Fire!” boxed “Flames Of War” starter set by “Battlefront Miniatures”.
Two of the Highlanders are from the ‘blister’ PNB6 “Highlander at the ready”. The Highlander bagpiper is from PNB10a “Command pack: 2 Highlander Officers, std. bearers, drummer in kilt”.
The three 95th Riflemen are from the ‘blister’ PNB11 “Rifleman advancing”. The 95th Rifleman bugler is from PNB13 “Command pack: 4 Rifleman Officers, 2 Buglers”. All of the models were undercoated with Chaos Black, before their uniforms were painted using Orkhide Shade and Thrakka Green. Their ammo pouches and some strapping were painted Calthan Brown, their faces and hands with Elf Flesh, and their rifles and some of their other straps with Dark Flesh and “Coat d’arms” Brown Ink. All of these areas were then washed with Devlan Mud. Like the Highlander models before them their water bottles were painted with a combination of Ultramarines Blue and Asurmen Blue and their backpacks with Astronomican Grey and Badab Black.
It now seems doubtful that I'll complete any further Napoleonic models in March 2010, as my painting of the fifth and final resin model from the “Flames Of War” starter set is coming to end. The German StuG G assault gun has currently only received the first of two undercoats of Tausept Ochre. Once based I plan to finish off the remaining models from “Battlefront Miniatures” OOP ‘blister’ BR722 Rifle Platoon (BEF); a project which was started in July 2004. Currently I've only finished the Command Stand, Light Mortar Team, Boys Anti-Tank Rifle Team, and half a Rifle Squad.
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
The models are by “West Wind Productions” and come from their ‘Secrets of the Third Reich’ ‘blister’ G-SOTR25 ‘German Mech Grenadier Command'. This is an interesting set as it comes with four separate and very different ‘character’ heads (two of which were different to those shown at the Westwindproductions.com website). Frankly the radio operator’s head, complete with earphones, would look somewhat odd on a body other than that of the one carrying the two-way radio transmitter. But I did enjoy the jest of placing the head wearing a ski cap and smoking a cigarette upon the field medic’s body. The two remaining models seem to be simply officers caught in dramatic pose, so I gave one the head of a thick-moustached individual wearing a helmet (which somehow now makes the model give off the impression that its an America soldier?), and the other a bizarre (and poorly designed) head, complete with goggles and visor cap.
With the exception of the radio operator I painted their uniforms with Adeptus Battlegrey and Badab Black, but painted all four models’ body armour in Calthan Brown and Devlan Mud. This is the colour scheme I have previously used for my Mech Grenadiers and obviously wanted their officers to be similarly dressed. Having attached a spare mast from my “Brigade Models” ‘Aeronef’ collection to his backpack (to act as an aerial) I simply painted my radio operator in Chaos Black. This was in an attempt to give him (along with his blonde hair) the appearance of being from the ranks of the Gestapo, and because I wanted the models on the table quickly. For their skin I used a base coat of Tallarn Flesh, roughly highlighted with Elf Flesh, and then washed with Ogryn Flesh. I must confess to not being entirely convinced by these models (nor indeed my own painting of them) and may well revisit them at a later time, probably to ‘dress’ the radio operator in an Adeptus Battlegrey uniform.
Monday, 8 February 2010
This first in a series of battle reports covering the German Reich’s (fictitious) invasion of the United Kingdom in September 1940, sees a tiny Axis force attempt to capture a small foothold on the outskirts of Selsey; a seaside town on the English South East coast. Each force can only consist of infantry units, field a single specialist unit and cost just 50 points.
Once the table was laid out, three objective markers were placed (at least 12 inches from either deployment edge and from each other) for the forces to battle over. The clash would last for six turns.
At the start of the game both sides rolled a D6 to establish who would place their first unit (of models) on the table. Each unit must be deployed within 6 inches of their starting edge, and once the side with the highest score (who therefore won initial placement) has deployed their first unit then their opponent places one of theirs and so on and so forth…
The British, surrounded by a handful of Selsey homes, deployed a unit of British Commandos and their Sniper Team to the western edge of the town, a second unit of Commandos and a Heavy Weapons Team in the centre, and a unit of Red Berets to the east.
The invading Germans, with water to their east, and a small forest between them and the town, placed their Heavy Weapons Team on top of a small hill to the West of Selsey. The Axis force then filled their centre with two Zombie Packs and a Sniper Team, before fielding a unit of Mech Grenadiers as far east as the watery terrain would allow.
At the start of the first turn, both players rolled a D6 dice. The British had the highest score and so could move/fire/fight (hand-to-hand) with all their units before the German’s turn began. As a result the Red Berets immediately moved 6 inches forward (their normal move) towards the dirt road that bordered the southern outskirts of Selsey. Just beyond this was an objective [number three].
The British Heavy Weapons Team picked up their Bren light machine guns and moved 4 inches (their normal move) in order to better cover the centre of the ‘battlefield’ (and objective number two); the central unit of Commandos accompanied them. Both the British units on the western flank wanted to shoot, so remained stationary (as only units, which did not move during the movement phase, and are not in hand-to-hand fighting, may fire at an opponent).
The British Commandos fired first, and at the German Heavy Weapons Team atop the western hill. Unfortunately they were more than 20 inches away (normal shooting range) so did not actually fire. The Sniper Team on the other hand have the special ability Long Range, so can shoot at anything up to 30 inches away. The (two) Snipers also have the special ability Sharpshooter, which means that instead of ordinarily only hitting a target (in plain sight) on the roll of a 5 or 6 (using a D6), they would hit a target on the roll of a 4, 5 or 6. The Snipers rolled a 1 and 5, so struck one of the assault rifle carrying Germans. Fortunately the majority of all infantry wear some sort of body armour, and have the special ability Armour as a result. However, in order for his armour to save him so he could remain on the battlefield, the soldier needed to roll a 6 on a D6. Unluckily the infantryman only rolled a 5 and was removed from play; first blood to the British.
Already a man down, and under fire, the German Heavy Weapons team sped 7 inches (north) down the hill and sort cover behind a tree. Such encumbered soldiers running can usually only move 6 inches. However as the unit was moving down a hill it gained +1 inches to its movement for the turn. In the German centre the Zombie Packs continued their slow (4 inches) advance forwards, whilst the Mech Grenadiers ‘snuggled’ up to the foot of a hill that was located just southwest of objective three.
The German Sniper Team decided to open fire on the British Bren light machine gunners. Unfortunately, despite their 50% chance of a hit (on a D6 roll of a 4, 5 or 6), the marksmen failed with both of their (shooting) dice, rolling just a 1 and a 2.
The British won the initiative for the second turn of the battle and continued to move its Red Berets south (and across the dirt road towards objective three). The Commandos in the centre of the town’s outskirts also pushed south and ‘took’ an old abandoned two-storey shack [objective number two], ‘nestling’ against its wood and plaster structure for protection. With the German assault riflemen now out of sight (behind foliage), both the British Sniper Team, and their Commando companions moved south. Now the Commandos’ carbine rifles would be able to reach the German lines, whilst their brave bodies (now slightly further forward of the Sniper Team) would ‘shield’ the marksmen from oncoming fire (as a unit must always charge or fire at the closest (viable) enemy unit).
The British Heavy Weapons Team blasted away (four shooting dice) at the Mech Grenadiers. But because over half of the Germans were ‘tight’ up against a hill, the “Englanders” were penalised a -1 to hit (as the Axis soldiers counted as being In Cover). This meant the British needed to roll a 6 to successfully strike the Grenadiers and they failed to do so.
Encouraged by the poor shooting of the British Bren light machine gunners, the German Mech Grenadiers scrambled on top of the hill they had been using for cover, and made ready to charge the unit of Red Berets approaching them (and gambling that the Germans would win the next turn’s Initiative). The Nazi Undead continued to stumble north towards the British lines. The Germans carrying assault rifles took the opportunity of using these ‘screen’ of rotting flesh to get into a better position to fire upon the Commandos and British Sniper Team.
The German Sniper Team aimed their rifles at the British Heavy Weapons Team and threw a 4 and a 5. Because of their Sharpshooter special ability, this meant that both shots had struck their target, and having failed to make their Armour saves, two Tommies crumpled to the ground.
For the first time the Axis ‘landing’ force won the initiative and immediately the Mech Grenadiers charged (11 inches) downhill into the Red Berets. Both of the Zombie Packs shambled forwards, with one of the Undead hordes moving next to the abandoned two-storey shack [objective number two]; their German masters knew that if they survived the initial charge of the occupying British Commandos, then the walking cadavers would probably win in a hand-to-hand fight and wrest control of the objective from the British. The German Sniper Team became a victim of their own success, and having wrought two casualties upon the British Heavy Weapons Team, could now no longer see the (remaining) Bren light machine gunners. Instead, they shifted position in order to better see units on the British west flank (British Sniper Team and British Commandos).
The German Heavy Weapons Team fired their assault rifles at the oncoming British Commandos (as they were closer than the British Sniper Team). Despite rolling four D6 dice (for shooting), they only succeeded in killing one of the British soldiers. The Mech Grenadiers hurled themselves at the Red Berets, and because of their charge, rolled four D6 dice in order to establish whether they’d struck any of their enemy. Ordinarily the Grenadiers would only roll two D6 dice whilst in close combat, but a unit that successfully charges gains +2 Attack Dice for their first turn of hand-to-hand fighting. As a result a single Red Beret failed their Armour save and was removed as a casualty.
Ignoring the stench of rotting flesh the British Commandos holding the two-storey shack charged into the Zombie Pack, bayonets at the ready. Whilst the Heavy Weapons Team moved into the shadow of a nearby tree ensuring that the German marksmen could still not get a bead on them.
The Commandos to the west opened fire on the ‘fast’ approaching (second) Zombie Pack, rolling two 5’s. Although the Zombies don’t wear actual armour, they are still entitled to an Armour save due to their undead nature but failed them both. One of the British Sniper Team also managed to ‘headshot’ one of the groaning walking corpses, reducing the Zombie Pack to a single model (when they started with four). During the hand-to-hand fighting stage the Red Berets grappled with the Mech Grenadiers but failed to cause any casualties, and despite charging the Zombies (and therefore rolling four dice), the Commandos failed to wound the creatures filing around the two-storey shack.
Both the British and the Germans rolled a 6 for the (fourth turn) Initiative roll. The “Englanders” therefore went first because if the roll is a draw, then the player who went second in the previous turn gets to go first. The Bren light machine gunners moved forwards ready to support the Commandos in ‘hand-to-jaw’ combat with the Zombies if needed. The Commandos, ‘holed up’ on the western outskirts of the town, shot dead the last of the (second) Zombie Pack, giving their Sniper Team a clear line of sight upon the German assault rifles. Disappointingly though the marksmen failed to hit anything, as did both the Red Berets and Commandos during the hand-to-hand fighting stage.
At the beginning of the Axis turn, the surviving Zombie Pack activated its Regeneration special ability. This allows a player, at the start of their turn, to roll a D6 for each missing model within the unit. Upon the roll of a 6, that model is ‘returned’ to the unit. However on this occasion no corpse returned to its feet. As all the German units wanted to either shoot or were in hand-to-hand combat (so are not allowed to move), the Axis soldiers all remained where they were.
The German Sniper Team ‘picked off’ one of the Commandos on the western edge of Selsey. The assault rifles opened up with their (normal) four dice against the British Sniper Team. However, because the marksmen have the Camouflage special ability, which means that an enemy unit always suffers –1 to its dice roll when firing at them, the German Heavy Weapons Team needed to roll a 6 to hit them and missed entirely. Fortunately the Axis forces fared better during the hand-to-hand fighting stage killing another Red Beret, and two British Commandos.
Both forces again rolled the same score for their Initiative roll, meaning that the Germans had the ‘advantage’ for the penultimate turn. The surviving Zombie Pack immediately activated its Regeneration special ability but failed to reanimate another corpse. Whilst the Axis Heavy Weapons Team moved out of the cover of some trees towards the town’s western roadside (and objective one).
The German Sniper Team finally had a clear shot at their British counterparts. Their Sharpshooter special ability offset the British marksmen’s Camouflage, meaning that they hit on the roll of a 5 or 6. One of the bullets ‘hit home’ and because snipers don’t wear armour, the result was an instant kill. In the centre of the battlefield, the Undead ‘ate’ the remaining Commandos, finally giving the Germans ‘control’ of the shack [objective number two]. The Mech Grenadiers also killed another of the Red Berets, coming closer to securing the eastern beach (and objective three).
Horrified at the Zombies consuming their colleagues, the British Heavy Weapons Team moved towards them in order to contest the two-storey shack. Things were starting to get desperate for the defenders, as the remaining Red Beret failed to injure any of the Mech Grenadiers. However with a volley of fire both the surviving Commandos and the British Sniper Team brought down two of the oncoming German assault rifles, securing the western part of Selsey from the Axis forces.
The German soldiers retained the Initiative for the sixth and final turn, but still failed their third successive Zombie Pack Regeneration roll. Instead the Undead horde remained stationary, surrounding the two-storey shack, but out of sight of the approaching British Heavy Weapons Team (so safe from any gallant charge as any unit charging an enemy unit must first be able to see them).
However the remaining British Bren light machine gunners had other things on their mind, as having run out into the open (in order to try and reach the shack) they were mercilessly taken out by the German Sniper Team. The surviving German assault rifleman prayed to the Fuhrer to deliver him from a similar fate as he moved into full sight of the British marksman and surviving Commandos (contesting the western flank of the town). Amazingly the British Red Beret survived a final push by the Mech Grenadiers to clear the eastern approach to the town.
Holding their carbine rifles steady, the British Commandos killed the final German assault rifleman. The western Selsey road [objective number one] was secure and safe in British hands. The British Sniper Team managed to take out one of the Zombies, but as no British units were within 6 inches of the shack, the Germans won the centre [objective number two]. However on the eastern coast [objective number three] there no clear winner, as both the Red Berets and the Mech Grenadiers were within 6 inches of their prize. The battle was therefore a draw with an objective apiece.
Sunday, 7 February 2010
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Monday, 11 January 2010
The two infantry models are from ‘blister’ G-SOTR28 ‘Panzerschreck Team’. Their uniforms were predominantly painted Adeptus Battlegrey with Badab Black, and their body armour with Calthan Brown and Devlan Mud in order to ‘tie-in’ with the rest of my German forces.
The same livery was used for the G-SOTR20 ‘German Para Drop Armour Flamethrower’ with the exception of his lower left leg, which was painted Mechrite Red and washed with Baal Red. I plan to field a number of Germans wearing Para Drop armour, and didn’t want them all to be simply ‘drab’ grey (as my philosophy is to apply simple paintjobs in order to get my models on the tabletop quickly). “Shining Gold” with a “Coat d’arms” Brown Ink wash was applied to some areas of the model’s flamethrower and backpack in order to distinguish some details from an ‘overall’ application of Boltgun Metal and Badab Black.
I managed to purchase the US-SOTR14 ‘US Battle Suit 50 Cal HMG – Comanche’ second-hand (as part of a pair of SOTR-SP03 ‘US Armoured Infantry’ starter sets), and am glad I did as despite its significant weight, I’m unsure whether I would have been entirely happy paying £9.99 for so difficult a model to construct. The joints provided by the sculptor have no hope of keeping this ‘beast’ together. Indeed, even after some significant drilling and pinning, and some liberal applications of (various) superglues, the arms continued to droop or the torso fell apart. In the end, I had to resort to some generous ‘dollops’ of "Milliput" to ensure a ‘fit’ and even then in order to guarantee its sturdiness, acquiesce to a rather ‘unthreatening’ pose.
Fortunately, the model was simple to paint with its dominant Knarloc Green with a wash of Devlan Mud and Thrakka Green colour scheme. To break up this ‘monotony’ however, I picked out different areas of the model with Boltgun Metal and Badab Black.
Sunday, 10 January 2010
I first encountered the fantasy skirmish rule set “Song of Blades and Heroes” by “Ganesha Games” last year, and immediately purchased the PDF version from the “Wargame Vault”. At the time I planned to use them to help encourage me to paint a rather hefty consignment of “Heresy Miniatures” I bought a couple of years before, but alas, the project never took off.
A few days ago however, I discovered that Sergio Laliscia has written an adaptation of the rules for the Napoleonic era. “Song of Drums and Shakos” seems the perfect solution to help me maintain my enthusiasm for my long-term “Black Powder” project. It should let me ‘field’ my painted 15mm "Essex Miniatures" models almost straight away, as opposed to having to wait several months before I’ve painted enough to play a (small) game of “Black Powder”. Admittedly instead of using single based models I’ll be using a (40mm x 20mm) base of troops, but it should make the skirmishes appear more ‘large scale’.
As a result I have already set aside eight bases of my (already painted) Napoleonic French into a 401-point force, and begun painting (in earnest) a 395-point British contingent. This later ‘army’ will consist of three bases of (Gordon) Highlanders including an Officer, three bases of Chosen Men (Rifles), a base of Light Company infantry and a Grenadier Company.
The ‘standard’ Highlanders are from the ‘blister’ PNB6 ‘Highlander at the ready’ from “Essex Miniatures”. Having undercoated them with Chaos Black their straps and plumes were painted Skull White, treated to a wash of Devlan Mud, before being ‘picked out’ with Skull White again. Their face, hands and knees were painted with Elf Flesh, and their pouches in Calthan Brown. Both were then also washed in Devlan Mud. I painted their water bottles with Ultramarines Blue and Asurmen Blue; their backpacks with Astronomican Grey and Badab Black; their collars and cuffs with Sunburst Yellow and (oop) Yellow Ink; their rifles Dark Flesh and “Coat d’arms” Brown Ink; and Mechrite Red and Baal Red were used for their red coats.
In order to speed up the painting process, and ‘cheat’, the predominantly red tartan of their ‘Highland dicing’ consists of a simple wash of Baal Red over Skull White. Orkhide Shade and Thraka Green were used as an alternative for the dark green tartan of their kilts.
The red jackets of both the officer and standard bearer were painted using Blood Red to make them stand out. Mechrite Red was used for their sashes, and both areas were then washed with Baal Red. Both figures’ sword guards were painted using Burnished Gold and “Coat d’arms” Brown Ink.
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
These ‘War of the Force’ models are predominantly from the “Rebel Storm” release of the Star Wars (pre-painted) Miniatures Game by “Wizards of the Coast”. They’ll form part of a six company strong Rebel Alliance Infantry formation based upon the rules for Oathsworn Bowmen (The Kingdom of Rohan). I’ve already based a General Obi Wan Kenobi model to lead the formation as a Captain, and a Princess Leia figure as a standard bearer.
The models were simply cut from their original bases (one of which was square?) and glued upon 25mm round bases. The bases were then flocked with modelling sand before being painted with Chaos Black. They were then dry brushed with Dark Flesh, then Dheneb Stone, before being washed with Devlan Mud. Finally some static grass was added to each base. This technique was also applied to the movement tray.
Saturday, 2 January 2010
However the very recent purchase of Rick Priestley and Jervis Johnson’s 1700 – 1900 rule set has changed this goal. Instead, I now hope to have painted enough figures for me to participate in a ‘proper’ “Black Powder” battle (with twenty-four strong Infantry units) by December 2010.
As a result I intend to complete work on at least one (40mm x 20mm) base of 15mm Napoleonic models each week. Only then will I pay any attention to some of the other minor projects I have tentatively given the green light to for 2010.
Foremost amongst these other ventures is a ‘Ghostbusters’ themed homemade rule set using a selection of models from (predominantly) “Heresy Miniatures” and “Wyrd Minatures”, as well as scenery from “Ainsty Products” (via “Old Crow Models”).