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Tyranid New arrivals: Classic Lictor, Screamer Killer and Hive Tyrant

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, July 25

I’ve had these for a few months now, but things being what they are between work, ASL and home, I never managed to get some pics ready until now:

Mr Slashy, Mr Rippy and Mr Bitey

Mr Slashy, Mr Rippy and Mr Bitey

Mr Slashy

Posted in Articles, Diary of an Army V (Tyranids and Genestealer Cultists), Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rules, Tyranids, wargaming, WH40K | 3 Comments »

Little Marienburg – The German Defence II

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, February 27

And so we continue the pre-game deployment walk-around:

From this shot, it looks bad for the Germans...

Until you move back and see these...

These were placed on table because they took up horrible blank space, and because I could.

The forward platoon really aren't sure what they are doing up here, and those 152s look more like 16" naval guns from front on at this range

Because every Fallschirmjäger army has StuGs around somewhere - these are actually in reserve unable to move until Turn 2 at the earliest

Unfortunately after setting up the terrain, taking photos, setting up the figures, taking more photos, handling the club finances and general admin stuff, there wasn’t enough time to play a game if I wanted to get it all packed up and catch a train home at a reasonable hour. I should have been at the club earlier but I really did need the leisurely start to the weekend. Plus setting up and packing the terrain took a lot longer than I had hoped. I was pretty sure that there was an opportunity for a fun contest there, the soviet horde can do some nifty things in late war, and those 152s are vicious beasties at clearing out infantry.

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Diary of an Army IV (1943-44 Soviet), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rules, wargaming | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Little Marienburg – The German Defences I

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, February 27

And now for the German response, a few Fallschirmjäger platoons, a couple of lightweight Anti-tank guns and a Jagdpanther. Maybe the last is overkill, but there are two Svierbois and three KV-1Es  to contend with, and the FJs are pretty lightweight in the handheld AT department. I was going to add a few tigers but given my Soviets are still understrength tank wise, that would have been cruel.

The Northern Flank - FJs in slit trenches waiting for the juggernaut

10.5cm LG40s in ambush guarding the NW exit road - I don't think they're going to do that well against KV-1Es

Just because there are two AT guns guarding one exit, there's nothing to prevent the Hunting Kitty from guarding the main road

A better shot, right down the road between the trees - nassty russki hobbitses

A third shot, which is probably all this Kitty will need.

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Diary of an Army IV (1943-44 Soviet), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Little Marienburg – The Soviet Initial Wave

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, February 27

It would have seemed a waste of time to set up all this terrain without putting the models on it. Unfortunately no Brits were available so I had tro make do with my winter Soviets – a different look but rationalised by substituting East Prussia for Normandy in the description 🙂

T34 advance on the Northern flank - I'd like to field at least 30 of these suckers

Soviet Combined Arms, T34/76s with desantniki and an SMG company

The KVs enter the town with a modicum of infantry support

Meanwhile the SU152s prepare to support the assault infantry into the south of Little Marienburg, something rather brutish about this particular force.

The remaining company of Infantry advances down the railway line, looking to gain their first objective, the area of the crossroads on the left hand side, but they better watch out for the dug in FJs, even if they aren't too keen on facing 6 inch shells from the Zvierbois

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Diary of an Army IV (1943-44 Soviet), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rules, wargaming | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

At The Club

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, February 21

Made my way to the Corsairs’ meeting yesterday for a first game with my new terrain using FoW. I had hoped to set up a nice themed delaying, fallback defence using Fallschirmjäger versus Welsh Guards but it was not to be as Tyler was unable to make due to a conflict of commitments. I don’t think I’ll be schlepping the terrain collection to the club more than 1 in 3 meetings – it’s a fair whack of stuff along with armies and necessary peripherals. I really do need to get my ‘Straya drivers licence and buy a decent 5 door hatch or stationwagon.

Anyway I set up the table ready for a game with Soviets taking the part of the Welsh Guards (hey both were Guards and Armoured) and it was pretty heartening to get some good comments re the terrain set up. I still need to buy a shed load more trees as you’ll see from the scarcity of decent wooded areas. I think Miniature World Maker will be getting some business out of the FoW gamers after the comments re the roads and tracks. Certainly the quality and portability impressed other club attendees. The Crescent Root buildings were as usual oohed and ahhed. Now if i could figure out a way to set up a table more quickly I’d be a happy chappy. I’m still short a few road and rail sections to provide real flexibility, and I’ll need to finish creating fields and forest bases. but generally a very decent amount of terrain was on the table. No more billiard table although there were a couple of impressive sightlines.

View from the North West

View from the North West

The table size at Corsairs is actually 6 feet by 5 feet rather than the usual 6 by 4, which exacerbates any minimalist terrain setup – only reinforcing my view that the WH40K guideline of 25% terrain is woefully understrength and the usual FOW table I see is criminally flat and open. However the other problem I often see in FoW tables are heights that provide far too dominant table sightlines. Selecting hills to provide cover but not dominate the entire table means lower hills and more LOS blocking/obscuring terrain is not positional terrain itself.

View from the South East massif

As you can see, the lack of trees is a definite concern. I would like to have enough conifers and poplar types to line most of the road network as well as some deciduous types to populate wooded areas and cultivated land. Much of the open space will be eliminated in other ways by more crop fields and a few more smaller buildings.

View from the South West

One last shot for now of the terrain from the POV of the Soviet side, with the central village showing off the Crescent Root buildings nicely. I should have placed the village closer to thecentral sector of the table, but I had assistance and in the heat of a 30+ degree day, I was not up to much more fiddling around.

Little Marienburg

Little Marienburg

It looks really sparse in that photo, which is not what it actually looked like, partcularly at table top sightlines.

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Diary of an Army IV (1943-44 Soviet), Flames of War, Gaming, wargaming | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

I come from a land downunder (Shebangabang)

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, February 14

Ever since I saw this ad, it has never failed to crack me  or my partner up. I guess now I’m an expat kiwi in Oz, I’m far less thin-skinned about certain topics. Of the expats over here I know, almost all of them now refer to enzed as shebangabang. I think I’ll have to get a T shirt screen printed with Team Shebangabang for ASLOK.

In gaming news, not much progress of Project Tau or the Fallschirmjäger. With the pre-reg pack now ready for ASLOK, getting things in synch for that is taking all my attention for the next 4 weeks. I’m hoping for my annual work bonus to help out a little here as I’ll be booking my ASLOK room asap. There are a few things in the pipeline to be delivered from MMP as soon as they recover from the “Snocalypse” that seems to have shut down the Eastern US which will allow me to sort out a decent international ASL travel pack:

Plus there are a couple of still outstanding pre-orders for Journal 8 and Action Pack 6 due to arrive later this quarter which I’m really looking forward to. Having priced some Raaco lately, I think I’m going to have to wait until after ASLOK and get them for Xmas.

Posted in Advanced Squad Leader, ASLOK XXV, Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Flames of War, Project Tau, WH40K | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Project Tau: The Schedule

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 15

My Tau Schedule

Given the rules of the Challenge, I’m limited to using an RRP Limit of $500.00 plus the initial Battleforce and optional HQ blister. This effectively gives me an RRP budget of $650 total excluding any bits and pieces such as bases, conversion materials and spare parts for conversions which do not count against the budget. In the end I used $636 of the retail budget but only actually spent $350 which allowed me to justify spending the remaining $300 on more Tau (you really thought I’d stop there?) after the Challenge is over.

January 2010: Purchase: Battleforce ($150)

HQ 1a- XV8 counts as Crisis Suit Commander

Troop 1a: 6 x FW

Troop 2a: 6 x FW

Elite1a: 3 x XV25 Stealth Suits

For later use: Devilfish

Troop 3: 12 x Kroot
February 2010: Tau Crisis Commander (RRP$50) – HQ 1b

March 2010: Tau Pathfinders (RRP$22), Shas’Ui Pathfinder(RRP$22) – FA 2              $6 credit

April 2010: nothing bought ($50 put aside)                       $56 credit

May 2010: nothing bought ($50 put aside)                       $106 credit

June 2010: Battleforce 2                                                   $6 credit

HQ 1c: add 2nd Crisis Suit bodyguard

Troop 1b: Add 6 x FW

Troop 2b: Add 6 x FW

Elite1b: Add 3 x XV25 Stealth

For Later Use: 1 x Devilfish

Troop 4: 12 x Kroot

July 2010: Tau Pathfinders (RRP$22), Shas’Ui Pathfinder(RRP$22) – FA 3              $12 credit

August 2010: Pathfinders with RR (RRP$25)                      $37 credit

September 2010: 2 x Piranha (RRP$82)                                    $5 credit

October 2010: 1 x Piranha (RRP$41)                                    $14 credit

November 2010: Sniper Drone Team (RRP$50)                       $14 credit

So at the end, I should have the following:

HQ1:                                       Crisis Commander + 2 XV8 Bodyguard

Troop 1:                                   12 x FW

Troop 2:                                   12 x FW

Troop 3:                                   12 x Kroot

Troop 4:                                   12 x Kroot

Elite 1:                                     6 x XV25 Stealth

Fast Attack 1:                          3 x Piranha

Fast Attack 2:                         Shas’Ui, 3 x Pathfinder, 1 x Pathfinder+RR + Devilfish

Fast Attack 3:                          Shas’Ui, 3 x Pathfinder, 1 x Pathfinder+RR + Devilfish

Heavy Support 1:                    Sniper Drone Team

I’d say that most of the work will be building and painting the vehicles, especially the modular Devilfish/Hammerheads. This army is pretty much complete except for the purchase of a few Skyrays, a couple of Broadsides and perhaps more Sniper Drone teams. Even after adding those I should be able to afford some Forge World Tau models without exceeding the $650 limit (probably some TX-42s or an XV-9).

This would be a pretty sizable army for me anyway, even without adding in all the extra stuff I bought outside the Challenge, but as with all good intentions, I went overboard in obtaining models to practise on  before starting painting.

Posted in Articles, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Project Tau, wargaming, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

Project Tau: Themes

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 12

Conceptualisation, Background, Theme & Look

I wanted to somehow link this Tau challenge army in some fashion to my existing Genestealer Cult/Tyranid armies. Manifesting this could be done through matching basing themes, contrasting yet complementary colour schemes, or perhaps directly linked via conversions and integrated objective markers.

However the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to link the two armies via the background theme directly. As I’ve been working on assembling a Genestealer Cult army to work with Space Hulk/Space Crusade and in 40K, when I read a bit more about Gue’vasa and some of the background fluff from the Tau Codices (note I’m very new to 40K in terms of the backstory – it’s not really my cup of tea) I had a minor epiphany.

If I combined aspects of the original Tau homeworld isolation, how Genestealer Cults arise, and Gue’vasa concepts with the Farsight enclaves and Third Expansion, I had something I could work with. Factor in the ubiquitous deus ex machina of a splinter Hive Fleet to set up certain aspects and it all came together like an Ed Wood plot, only with fewer redeeming aspects.

So the short background is that this particular Tau force has been the planetary garrison on a warp-storm isolated world that has needed to fully integrate with the existing population to maintain existence. As a result of a splinter Hive fleet attack, the Tau forces have been debilitated to the point where the native human population has integrated throughout the planetary defence force and equipment has been remanufactured, cannibalised and converted to maintain Tau tactical precepts. Even other xenological equipment has been pressed into service after modification as circumstances and engineering facilities permit.

But behind the self-sufficient, industrious and progressive worldview of Scheherezade IV is a burgeoning evil – a genestealer Cult has established itself since the Hive Fleet was destroyed and it has infiltrated the highest levels of authority on the planet in a manner never before suspected.

Cheesy, definitely dubious and full of holes it may be but it’s a great way to hook a few projects and variations together.

Thematically I took my cues from articles at Advanced Tau Tactica, Tau Online and WargamerAU. I want this to be my showcase army for 40K, as it is more akin to my preferences in sci-fi generally than the crypto-gothica of the Imperium. So I’ll be doing a fair bit of detailing and converting/modifying as per the various articles on ATT/TO.

The look is pretty much set for me as an homage to the 4 colour camouflage scheme used by the Swedish armed forces in the 1970s and 1970s –

I had thought about an anime mecha scheme that I saw on an army that was up for sale but as I missed out on that army,

I decided to go with my instinctive choice. As additional motivation I was going to have to learn to work with my airbrush sooner rather than later and play around with template masking.

It certainly helped my enthusiasm to come across a Tau army that featured a very similar look

and by purchasing that I could start getting to grips with playing Tau while i was building my own army. This is an important aspect for me as I dislike using an unpainted or partially painted army (I don’t care whether my opponent is using unpainted figures/models but I do regard it as poor form on my part to do so) and I paint best with specific examples to have at hand for inspiration.

So now that I had my concept, theme, background and look all worked out I just had to sort out the actual purchase and build schedule for the Challenge.

Posted in Articles, Project Tau, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

Project Tau – Challenge rules and guidelines

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 11

The Challenge Rules

Start Off:

  • 1 x battleforce of choice
  • 1 x blister of HQ choice
  • 1 x codex (optional).
  1. Monthly purchase allowance of AUD$50 GW RRP**.
  2. Try to fill out one option from each area of the army list (hq, fast attack, elites, heavy support) before adding a second (except troops which you should be free, nay encouraged, to spam).

**you can buy up to $50 at GW RRP, or buy the same items elsewhere for cheaper, but cannot use the money saved to buy more.

Painting:

Part of this challenge is to paint the army. There are deadlines imposed, but there isn’t any great penalty, though there is an award for having an army fully painted month to month.

The first month’s purchases, the battleforce + HQ, will have a 2 month time period in which to have it painted to 3 colour standard and based to be eligible for some of the ongoing painting awards, all other months will have one month (till the next meet) to be finished to still comply.

Any parts used or purchased for conversion are not restricted, and any paints etc too. This includes buying the codex, you are free to buy anything like that without penalty.

Shipping is not included in allocating RRP of models, so I could buy from GW direct, etc for RRP indicated on the site, wthout having to also factor in shipping on top, or if you buy something that is RRP of $48, but you get it at a discount online for $40 except shipping comes to $11, that wont take the total to $51, because it goes off RRP of $48 as if you were to walk in to GW and take it off the shelf.

Participants will start their army from scratch. Any models already owned by the participant are not to be included (except if broken down for parts for conversion?).

For clarity, black reach and macragge sets will not be allowed as a substitute for a battleforce, nor will resale of items from the battleforce in order to then buy other items. Make do with what you get in the battleforce to start, and if you really dont plan to ever use something from the battleforce then you can sell it by all means, but the money gained doesnt come off the total spent in order to then buy other things with it.

Because of the large variation in points costs, game size will be determined month to month by comparison of maximum points capable for each army*** and the lowest value determines size of game to the nearest 50, rounding up, i.e. lowest points value of army is 575, game size will be 600 (even if all others can make it to 750), and so on.

(*** participants to have lists in a week before the club meets, so that Patto had ample time to go through them and compare totals etc, then inform everyone what the game size will be for that month so they can rewrite their lists accordingly. With lists should come a short write-up of only a few paragraphs describing motivations for your purchases, progress of painting and converting, maybe some tactics you’ve found useful for particular units you’re using – something that would be interesting for others to read if they were considering collecting that army)

One may forfeit some or all of your allowance from one month, in order to purchase a larger item such as a tank that costs more than one month’s worth in the next month, but it was suggested waiting until you have enough points to meet the game size, rather than handicapping yourself in the early months, If someone does this, they will be ignored (go to next lowest) for purposes of determining game size by lowest point total of army, and will have to make do with being severely under-pointed in games, e.g. If you only buy a box that costs say $35 RRP one month, the remaining $15 carries over to the next month, so you could buy up to $65 RRP worth the next month (or less and have carryover once again).

#1 rule is Common Sense. Not only that, but also Good Sportsmanship.

Posted in Articles, Modelling and Painting, Project Tau, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

Why 40K and why Tau?

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 11

Why I’m playing 40K these days

When I moved over to Australia, I’d pretty much rationalised all my wargaming to three key areas, WW2, ACW and  mid-19th Century European wars, all in 15mm. The idea was that I’d finally get some armies painted and actually play scenarios etc at the Corsairs.

That sort of went west after I started attending meetings and met the various reprobates. Flames of War and WW2 15mm is still a very much nascent area for the club and it was going to take me time to build up some painted armies and more especially enough nice terrain to play games I would enjoy.

With the pending release of Space Hulk 3rd Edition and a reawakening interest in Genestealers and Tyranids, I soon found myself with a painted 40K Tyranid army. Sure enough, I ended up with a freaking Hive Fleet all of my own. I purchased a second hand Space Marine army from WargamerAU’s Buy, Swap and Sell just so I could at least play space marines as an alternate to the ‘nids and I thought cool, with Space Hulk as well I’d be pretty much sorted. Then along came Patto and the Challenge.

I found that I actually enjoy 40K as a game, at least I enjoy playing at the Corsairs which has a very similar ethos as my old club, the Manawatu Duellists, in terms of being more about gaming than competition/tourneys.

But why choose TAU?

Very simply, I already had enough Tyranids to last me until 2015 in terms of painting and I wanted something more sci-fi oriented than the bugs. Eldar were out as an option – I just knew I’d never summon up the courage to paint them and the models don’t appeal to me as much as they might to others. Oh and I wanted something a bit more shooty – I didn’t mean to go quite as far to the Tau extreme and have minimal close combat capability.

Posted in Articles, Modelling and Painting, Project Tau, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

Project Tau – My part in the Grand ‘Non-Spess Moron’ *Battleforce* Challenge

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 11

Project Tau

My part in the Grand ‘Non-Spess Moron’ *Battleforce* Challenge

The Origins of the Challenge

My local gaming club, the Central Coast Corsairs, have been discussing on our forum (http://corsairs.freehostia.com/index.php) ways and means of rekindling interest in gaming generally, but more particularly completing armies and projects rather than flitting aimlessly between the latest game du jour.

One of the club members, Patto, started a discussion rolling with this post (somewhat edited):

Space Marines are a good all-rounder army for a beginner player to collect, because they’re easy to paint, easy to use, and GW releases a new codex with better rules ever 5 minutes (when they’re not drinking Space Marine Cola™ out of their favourite Space Marine Sippy-Cup™, while scratching themselves with their Space Marine Lightning Claw Butt-Scratcher™)

But thats where the buck stops for me. I have grown bored of space marines, both using them myself, and playing against them, and have endeavoured to branch out once more into the deeper reaches of the 40k universe and collecting an army that isnt boring.

If it were up to me, the Imperial Guard would be the centre focus of the imperial forces, and the space marines would have a fringe role as…marines.

I have noticed that there is a very large representation of space marine players within our club, and the hobby at large, and would find it more enjoyable if there was more showing by other races.

Therefore I have decided to introduce this challenge to anyone (marine player or not) to take up, to create an army that is different to what they usually collect, and most importantly, isn’t space marines*.

*no spikey space marines either.

The challenge would start at the beginning of 2010 (January Meet = Day 1 of Month 1), and run all year long, with a ladder kept throughout, till the completion of the year (Nov/Dec) where the armies should be displayed alongside each other and voted for against a series of criteria for categories such as:

  • best painted army
  • most adventurous
  • best converted
  • league winner
  • best and fairest
  • best theme
  • most hazardous army (most injuries sustained during construction)
  • laziest participant
  • most consistent painter
  • always on time (everything painted, every month)
  • just in the nick of time (doesn’t paint anything all year and then manages to get it all painted by December) etc.

I am looking at starting off with 1x battleforce of choice, 1x blister of HQ choice, 1x codex (optional). I am thinking each month to have a purchase allowance of $50 Australian GW RRP**.

Painting. Part of this challenge is to paint your army. There will be deadlines imposed, but there isn’t any great penalty, though there will be an award for having your army fully painted month to month.

#1 rule is Common Sense. Not only that, but also Good Sportsmanship.

The Suckers…er…participants:

Patto – Dark Eldar (BDSM Brigade)
Synicbast (me)– Tau (Nice Guys)
Chiwie – “Manly McBeefington” Eldar (The Conmpensating Much? Army)
Spakka – Necrons (because someone just had to, didn’t they?)
Chadamus Prime – Imperial Guard Marines (Sempur Fidelis)
R3plikate – Tyranids (Gotta be more fun than the LOLbotz)

Overall some good representation of nearly all the factions that AREN’T space marines, my plan is successful so far.

And so it began.

Posted in Articles, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Project Tau, wargaming, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

Wanted to buy

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2009, July 14

I’ve added a new section to the blog – the Buy and Sell page – seen in the top menu above. Nothing for sale as yet just my wanted list for minis (I may add some boardgames later, depending on my success with a couple of current searches). Most of the minis wanted are Genestealers and Tyranids from the early days of 40K – although there are a couple of Flames of War minis I wouldn’t mind getting hold of.

Pete

Posted in Gaming, General, Modelling and Painting, Tyranids | Leave a Comment »

From Space Crusade to Tyranids – A fall into the dark side of gaming

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2009, July 7

Really, the subtitle should be “a project that evolved or mutated way beyond the initial direction” if I’m going to be honest.

A few years back, I’d bought a couple of sets of Space Crusade (including Mission Dreadnought) and was on the lookout for copies of Advanced Space Crusade and 1st edition Space Hulk with the intention of building a full tabletop version. That project died stillborn with the move to Australia and I offloaded my copies before I moved as part of my rationalisation of stuff. I utterly regret that decision now as I’m going to have to acquire it all over again.

When I first started attending the Corsairs meetings it was with the intention of playing Flames of War, some ACW games in 15mm using Johnny Reb and Fire & Fury with a sideline in 28mm ACW and 15mm Napoleonics. What i intended and what occurred in reality are quite different. Personally I blame the startup of Good Games Gosford, the enthusiasm of the Corsairs and the helpful and friendly denizens of WargamerAU for what has happened.

I hadn’t played 40K for some 20 years, indeed I hadn’t really thought about the game in that time. I pretty much left 40K behind about the time of 2nd Ed. A couple of games and gamers in wellington in the late 80s pretty much decided me against it as something i’d enjoy. Space Hulk/Crusade were as close to the genre as I wanted to get and even then they were very much beer & pretzels gaming themes.

However, as it happens, new country, new relationship, new gaming group. My partner collects/is interested in Sisters of Battle (Nuns With Guns – you get the idea) and Iwas looking to collect enough old style Genestealer models to recreate the old Crusade/hulk games properly.  I picked up a few ‘stealers from WargamerAU’s BB&S forum as part of a larger Tyranid force and once they arrived i was pretty muchj on the slippery slope. I made the decision that I’d build and play a Tyranid army but it would be purely for fun at either Corsairs or Good Games. No Tourneys, No Competitions, No Leagues. I’m interested in Tyranids through backstory, Space Hulk et al, not for 40K. This would get me gaming until I had my Flames of War winter Sovs and Normandy Brits finished and then I could get back to what I really enjoyed – WW2 gaming. You can see where this is going to end up can’t you?

One purchase lead to another, and another until now I’m at the point where I can almost field two complete separately themed Tyranid armies – one with lost of Monstropus creatures like Carnifexes and the other all about the rending, ripping, tearing and…oops got distracted there.

The classical ethos of Tyranids as a primarily close combat force appeals to me not only because of the Alien inspired creature design but also because it is diametrically opposed to my usual historical preference of army. This in itself is a refreshingly different appraoch for me to take and may well be why I’ve been able to regather some of that enthusiasm for actual gameplay that I’d lost along the way.

I may be showing my biases here, but one of the things that really sold me on the idea of building a tyranid force is that I could use it as a stepping stone to developing my painting in terms of technique and skillsets for larger 28mm models. As I’ve mentioned previously i’m primarily a 15mm gamer and painter. The last real attempt I made at painting 25mm or larger figures was when I owned and painted a Teutonic Knights army of Essex and Military Miniatures figures in 25mm back when I played Gush’s WRG Renaissance rules a lot in the early-mid 1980s.

I can”t put my finger on the appeal of tyranids beyond that although I must say I’ve become enamoured of the old Genestealer hybrid plastics and the story of the Genestealer hybrid army that featured around the time of 2nd Ed 40K. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve kept my expenditure to a minimum so far, and if I can resist the Ooh Shiny! aspect of this, I may well stay within a slightly expanded set of parameters. Definitely Space Hulk as a pure tabletop game is the primary goal still, but a genestealer hybrid and classical tyranid army for friendlies and scenario driven games is the other.

Pete

Posted in Diary of an Army V (Tyranids and Genestealer Cultists), Tyranids, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

Fallschirmjäger: Organising Figures

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, May 20

As I settle into my new digs in Australia, I’ve finally had the opportunity to start the process of sorting out the various FJ figures I have into discrete platoons and companies.

It’s a daunting task really, as I’ve managed to accumulate a fair slew of the original Battlefront FJ minis over the years and there are still more on the way. So far I’ve filled out one 1940 company of three full strength platoons plus a pioneer and glider assault platoon including an all optioned Company HQ and two MG platoons, one 1944 company equipped with FG42s and the optional Sturmgewehr 44 units, an MG platoon and all Panzerschreck and Panzerfaust options. Those are the complete units. I still have sizable cadre forces for my 1941 Crete, 1941-43 Russian Winter and 1943-44 Italian Theatre Fallschirmjäger companies, plus surplus amounts of 10.5cm and 7.5cm Recoilless (so many I would have to buy another three or four companies of FJ).

Lots still to do and a lot more to buy – basically I’m reconstituting my modelling toolbox from scratch – this is not going to be cheap or that much fun – but it offers the opportunity to concentrate on proper processes and function over expediency.

I may even get around to taking photos of figures and models rather than wildlife and scenery.

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Flames of War, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

Beginner’s Choice, Part VI: The Fallschirmjäger options

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, April 6

The Fallschirmjäger

It was time for a long hard look at my options for my various Fallschirmjäger proposals. When it comes down to it I’m well catered for in everything except the heavier mortars and Anti-tank guns. Vehicles are simple enough to add from existing stocks especially softskins where I’m blessed to be able to field as many Horch field cars as I should ever require. I am however a bit short in regards to the Opel Blitz type lorries.

As a rough calculation I can field three full strength FJ platoons for each of the four armies I have in mind, with the addition of at least 4 MG platoons. Other support weapons are a tad skimpy except for my horde of LG40 7.5cm Recoilless and LG42 10.5cm Recoilless rifles. As always the artillery has been the last on my list to obtain and nothing has changed in that regard.

0ne of the areas I should have little or no issue providing is supporting armour. Even the early war FJs will have their own matching Panzer IV platoon as help in the form of four Panzer IVDs. The later war FJs will naturally enough be able to call on armoured support from my mid-war/late war germans (notably stuff like Marders, StuGs and any tanks I can justify – there’s a reason I bought quite so many Tigers and Panthers) with some degree of plausibility.

Perhaps the simplest army of the lot to build, given its meagre supporting resources, will be the 1940 army with it’s almost complete reliance on infantry and man-packed heavy weapons. No recoilless rifles, Mountain howitzers or even light AT guns available for the Holland jumps after all.

The real centrepiece of the Holland campaign FJ army will of course be the gliders and JU-52s. I expect to spend a fair bit tracking down decent 1/144th scale JU-52s, Bf 109s, and 1/100th DFS-230 and Gotha-242 gliders.

Where this army will shine perhaps outside of the logistic components is that I will need to look at how I represent the various iterations of Pioneers, assault troops and specialist FJ troop types. I’m still going to use the original Diving Eagles source book as a guide for the early war organisation. Because Flames 2nd Ed has only really been worked up for Mid and Late war so far, and as I’m not looking to ever play the 1940-41 FJs in tourneys or even in points games per se, I’ve got a lot more leeway in how I organise them as a fighting force.

The basic premise for the 1940 FJ force is that it’s purely air assault. It’s not a ground based unit with heavy support except as a relief type column, so I can focus on the actual teeth arms.

  • Kompanie HQ: Company CO Team, 2iC Team, AT Rifle (PzB785s) section, light mortar (50mm) section
  • FJ Platoon 1: Three sections
  • FJ Platoon 2: Three sections
  • FJ Platoon 3: Three sections
  • FJ MG Platoon: Two sections
  • FJ MG Platoon: Two sections
  • FJ Mortar Platoon: Three Sections (81mm GW34Kurz)
  • Heavy Mortar Platoon: Two 10.5cm Mortar sections, one Anti-tank Rifle section
  • Light Artillery Battery: Two gun sections
  • FJ Pioneer Platoon: Three sections with three optional Flamethrower teams
  • FJ Glider Assault Platoon: Three sections with the option of three Flamethrower teams and one HMG team

That’s pretty much it for the initial force. I’m thinking that the composition of the Relief Column for 1940 Belgium and Netherlands would be along the lines of maybe one platoon of tanks or an Armoured car troop, accompanied by some grenadiers on Bicycles or an aufklärungs motorcycle/sidecar unit, all of which I can easily accommodate from existing stocks. Given that the linkup for Rotterdam was made by elements of 9 Panzer, it’s pretty much straightforward to assemble the following force:

  • Scout Platoon: Three Sections of 6 MG teams + Cmd MG team on M/c combos and a Kfz 15
  • Recce Platoon: One patrol of 2 Sdkfz 222 and 1 Sdkfz 231(6rad)
  • Tank Platoon: 4 x Panzer IVd
  • Tank Platoon: 4 x Panzer II
  • Krad Platoon: Three sections as per scout platoon

Optional Unit taken if only light Tank platoon of two used:

  • SP Inf Gun Platoon: 2 sIG33 auf Pz1 Bison

Now the interesting points of Motivation and Experience crop up. For Holland 1940, the FJ were effectively untried while the units of XVIII Korps were almost all reserve units or even third wave. For that reason, I’ve decided to rate the FJs as fearless trained while the Relief unit being from 9 Panzer had at least been blooded in Poland and was one of the few front line units in Holland and thus are Confident Veteran. If I was using a non 9th Panzer Unit I’d be using either confident trained or conscript depending on whether it was one of the third wave reserve units. I know one thing, Bicycle mounted Germans would be a tad interesting if they were the infantry support for the panzers.

Next up some thoughts on the Crete force.

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Beginner’s Choice Armies, Part V: German

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, April 2

Now we come to the OpFor for all three preceding armies.

I’ve already stated my opinion on the comparative strength of this force as written by Shaw and in relation to that this doesn’t really fit my view of a cobbled together mixed kampfgruppe in terms of equipment mix. I’ll probably drop one of the Panther platoons for a PzIVH platoon, keep the Heavy Tank platoon but use Tiger Is (I have enough of the suckers now), have the A/T platoon use Jagdpanthers cause I have them ready, and substitute the 105mm Arty with Nebelwerfers. So let’s see how that pans out:

German Armoured Kampfgruppe 1944
Battlegroup HQ
2 x Sdkfz 251 Halftracks, 1 x Sdkfz 7/1 with quad 20mm    140pts
Armoured Recce Troop
1 x Sdkfz 250/1, 2 x Sdkfz 250/9                    115pts    ( 255pts)
Armoured Recce Troop
1 x Sdkfz 250/1, 2 x Sdkfz 250/9                    115pts    ( 370pts)

Mixed Company
CHQ 2 x Panther, 1 x Sdkfz 7/1 with Quad 20mm            420pts    ( 790pts)
Platoon of 4 x Panther G                            750pts    (1540pts)
Platoon of 4 x Panzer IVG/H                        380pts    (1920pts)
Platoon of Panzer Grenadiers in 4 x Sdkfz 251            285pts    (2205pts)
Platoon of Panzer Grenadiers in 4 x Sdkfz 251            285pts    (2490pts)
Platoon of Panzer Grenadier Heavy weapons in halftracks     220pts    (2710pts)
2 x 81mm Mortar, 2 x 75mm short
Heavy Tank Platoon
4 x Tiger I                                    860pts    (3570pts)
Heavy A/T Platoon
2 x Jagdpanther                                 530pts    (4100pts)
Artillery
3 x Nebelwerfer 41                                130pts    (4230pts)

Just looking at the points differential alone is enough of a pointer to the skewed nature of the German force.  But jeez this would look good on the tabletop. Really I think I’m going to have to buy Shturmoviks, Thunderbolts and Typhoons along with boosting the Soviets with a full God of War Artillery complement and drop the Japgdpanthers and halve the amount of Tiger Is.

As for what I require to field this army, I still need to buy the 250s, the AA halftracks, and 9 or so 251 variants. Everything else is bought and mostly painted.

So here’s the washup in terms of points values:

British Armoured Recce:    2970 + Priority Air Support of Typhoons @ 220         = 3190
US Army Combat Command:    3135 + Priority Air Support of Thunderbolts @ 190    = 3325
Soviet Tankoviye Corps:    2720 + Katyushas @ 155 and Shturmovik Il2M3 @ 290    = 3165
German Mixed Kampfgruppe:    4230 – Jagdpanthers & 2 Tiger Is @ 960            = 3270

I think I’ve got the mix right now. But really it come down to what feels right on the table top, not reigid adherence to points values,  especially as points values have no bearing on the victory conditions of a game.

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Beginner’s Choice Armies, Part IV: Soviet

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, April 1

The Soviets are probably the easiest to get ready to field now that I’ve grabbed Kelly’s old Sov army. There are a few things that need to be changed: for example, the SU100s have to go, as they really only saw battle in ’45 and anyway, the SU152s look more styley and are more useful against dug in infantry. I’m not sure I want to field a complete 85mm equipped T34 force anyway as that will limit me away from the whole 42-43 era which my Sovs definitely will be used for.

This army is one where it should be the most canon, but I’ve disagreed with Phil on several levels about Soviet force composition many times and so I’m probably going to stick with what feels right to me unless I’m playing tourney or strict canon games.

Soviet Tank Corps 1944
Battlegroup HQ
1 x T34obr42 with desantniki, 3 x 12.7mm DShK AA on Truck 130pts
Scout platoon
4 x BA64 armoured carS 110pts ( 240pts)
Medium Tank Company
10 x T34obr42 with desantniki 630pts ( 870pts)
Medium Tank Company
10 x T34obr42 with desantniki 630pts (1500pts)
Tank Rider Company
3 x Platoons, 1 x MG platoon 325pts (1825pts)
Guards Heavy Tank Company
5 x KV-1e with desantniki 435pts (2260pts)
Guards Heavy Assault Gun Company
2 x SU 152 with desantniki 220pts (2480pts)
Assault Gun Company
4 x SU76M with desantniki 240pts (2720pts)

I’ve dropped the 2 SMG companies mainly because I don’t have the figures painted and to be honest my SMG infantry are destined for my Stalingrad themed army rather than this particular force.

The one glaring issue with this army is the absence of any real artillery. The army I currently have does at least have two Katyushas. To fill this out I still need to buy 10 T34obr42s, 4 SU76Ms and the BA64s, but my mid war version has BA-6s and the Katyushas. But the main thing is that my Soviets are ready to play.

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Beginner’s Choice Armies, Part III: American

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 31

The US Combat Command is the only one where I actually have far more of the Footslogger component ready than I do of the armour. In fact, this army is going to require some significant acquisition of vehicles which is scary. I’m actually rather looking forward to the release of the M4A3E8s – I have some of the original Easy Eights that BF made and I’m sure I can easily bring them up to scratch with some judicious acquistion of new suspension units.

U.S. Army – Armored Combat Command North West Europe 1944
Higher Command Team                                                  50pts
Cavalry Recon Platoon                                                  175pts    ( 225pts)
Patrol 1:        1 x M8, 2 x jeeps
Patrol 2:        1 x M8, 2 x jeeps
Patrol 3:        1 x M8, 2 x jeeps
Medium Tank Company
CHQ:            2 x M4A3(75), 1 x M4A3(105mm)                            210pts    ( 435pts)
Platoon 1:        5 x M4A3(75)                                        345pts    ( 780pts)
Platoon 2:        5 x M4A3(75)                                        345pts    (1125pts)
Platoon 3:        5 x M4A1(76)                                        445pts    (1570pts)
Armored Infantry Company
CHQ:             1 x M3 halftrack, 1 x jeep, 1 x Bazooka                     40pts    (1610pts)
Platoon 1:        5 x M3 Halftrack, 5 x Bazooka, 1 x 60mm Mortar                240pts    (1850pts)
Platoon 2:        5 x M3 Halftrack, 5 x Bazooka, 1 x 60mm Mortar                240pts    (2090pts)
Platoon 3:        5 x M3 Halftrack, 5 x Bazooka, 1 x 60mm Mortar                240pts    (2330pts)
Anti-Tank Guns:    1 x Jeep, 3 x M2 Halftrack + 57mm ATG, 3 x Bazooka            135pts    (2465pts)
Tank Destroyer Platoon
1 x Jeep, 2 x M20 Scout Car, 4 x M18 Hellcat                335pts    (2800pts)
Artillery Battery
HQ:            1 x Sherman OP, 2 x M2 Halftrack, 6 x M7B1 Priest            335pts    (3135pts)

If anything I actually have more infantry than is needed to field this force as I have the 81mm Mortars, the I and R recon platoons and the MG platoons for both a rifle company and an Armoured rifle company. What i am sadly lacking in are the vehicles. Oh I have numerous M3A1 and M3 halftracks but I really should look at grabbing a full company of Shermans at some point. I’m not struck on the using the Hellcats in place of the M10s. I like the M10 models more, and there’s something about a fully crewed M10 model that works better for me aesthetically.

So looking at what I still need:
11 x M4A3 Sherman 75s, 3 x M4A1 Sherman 76s, 4 x M18 or M10s, 3 x Priest, 1 x M20, 5 x M2 halftracks, 3 x 57mm ATGs, 2 x M8 Armoured Cars. So a fair bit required still.

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Beginner’s Choice Armies, Part II: British

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 30

There was no way I was going to be able to or even want to match the exact force composition of each army, particularly given I’ll be using Flames of War and trying to remain as Canon as possible, but as an exercise in planning an army including purchasing, it’s certainly interesting.

Here’s the British Force converted to Flames of War with points calculations done purely from an academic standpoint:

British – Armoured Reconnaissance North West Europe 1944
Higher Command Team                                                                                                 50pts
Motor Infantry Company
– Company HQ 2 x White SC                                                                                         30pts       (    80pts)
– Platoon 1 4 x M5 Halftracks + 3 Sections                                                            120pts     (  200pts)
– Platoon 2 4 x M5 Halftracks + 3 Sections                                                            120pts     ( 320pts)
– Platoon 3 4 x M5 Halftracks + 3 Sections                                                            120pts     ( 440pts)
Carrier Patrol:    3 x Carrier                                                                                             70pts      ( 510pts)
Carrier Patrol:    3 x Carrier                                                                                             70pts      ( 580pts)
Carrier Patrol:    3 x Carrier                                                                                              70pts      ( 650pts)
Armoured Car Troop 2 x Daimler AC, 1 x Daimler Dingo SC                           90pts      ( 740pts)
Armoured Recce Squadron
– Squadron HQ 2 x Cromwell, 2 x Cromwell CS                                                    285pts      (1025pts)
– Troop 1:  3 x Cromwell                                                                                                    230pts      (1255pts)
– Troop 2:  3 x Cromwell                                                                                                    230pts      (1485pts)
– Troop 3:  3 x Cromwell                                                                                                    230pts      (1715pts)
– Troop 4:  3 x Cromwell                                                                                                    230pts      (1945pts)
– Troop 5: 3 x Cromwell                                                                                                     230pts      (2175pts)
Recce Troop: 3 x Stuart VI                                                                                              155pts       (2330pts)
SP A/T Troop:  4 x M10 Achilles IC                                                                             260pts      (2590pts)
Artillery:  1 x White SC, 2 x Sherman OP, 8 x Sexton                                           380pts       (2970pts)

To field this currently, I’d use my M3 halftracks to sub for the M5s until such time as I obtain enough M5s. I’ll need to buy another 7 Cromwells, 3 Stuart VIs, 3 x White Scout cars, 4 x Sextons. And if I really was smart I’d not do Armd Recce per se but do a 7th Armoured Div Armoured Squadron, which would allow me to drop the 5th Troop of Cromwells and add 4 x Fireflies. It’s a very realistic force to think about completing given how much I already have.

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Beginner’s Choice WW2 Armies: Part I An Overview

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 29

I had thought I’d outlined my plan for the late war armies somewhere in the mists of time but it doesn’t seem to have survived the various domain shuffles, hard drive crashes and now the packing of all my data backups.

Years ago when I was still doing 1/300th WW2 and thinking seriously about dabbling in 1/200th (for what reason I cannot remember) I often used Ian Shaw’s TTG army lists as a convenienty way of picking a force for a game. As I delved more into the esoterica of OOBs and TOEs I found there were issues of interpretation and research.However it was more the move away from gaming WW2 locally that consigned the army lists to the bookshelf.

It was only when I started collecting WW2 in 15mm that I returned to Shaw’s book. It wasn’t the army lists per se, but the little appendix of Beginners Choice armies. These armies were designed to “give any of the others a good fight, whichever set of rules is used.” and were “not balanced in points”. What struck me as I started working on Flames of War was just how similar the force sizes were to the upper limit of armies we were fielding at points in the playtest.

The four armies were:

British – Armoured Reconnaissance North West Europe late 1944
– Battlegroup HQ  (4 x Dingos, 2 x M5 Halftracks)
– Armoured Car Troop (2 x Daimler AC, 2 x Dingos)
– Armoured Recce Squadron (15 Cromwells, 3 x Stuarts, 4 x Challengers)
– Motor Infantry Company (3 halftrack platoons, 1 x Carrier Platoon)
– SP A/T Troop (4 x Archer)
– Artillery (8 x 25 pdr)

U.S. Army – Aemored Combat Command North West Europe 1945
– Battlegroup HQ (2 x M3a1 Halftracks, 2 x Jeeps)
– Recon Troop (3 x M8 Armored Cars, 6 x Jeeps)
– Medium Tank Company ( 12 x M4A3 Sherman 75/76, 1 x M4A3/105, 5 x M4A3E8 Sherman 76)
– Armored Infantry Company (20 x M3 Halftracks, 3 x jeeps, 3 x 57mm ATG)
– Tank Destroyer Platoon (4 x M18 Hellcats, 2 x M20 Armored cars)
– Artillery (6 x M7 Priest 105mm)

Russian (sic) Tank Corps 1944
– Battlegroup HQ (2 x T34/85)
– Scout platoon (4 x BA64 armoured cars)
– Medium Tank Company (10 x T34/85)
– Medium Tank Company (10 x T34/85)
– SMG Company (3 Platoons)
– SMG Company (3 Platoons)
– SP Platoon ( 4 x SU76M)
– Tank Destroyer Company ( 5 x SU100)

German Armoured Kampfgruppe 1944
– Battlegroup HQ (2 x Sdkfz 251 Halftracks, 1 x Sdkfz 7/1 with quad 20mm)
– Armoured Recce Troop (1 x Sdkfz 250/1, 2 x Sdkfz 250/9)
– Armoured Recce Troop (1 x Sdkfz 250/1, 2 x Sdkfz 250/9)
– Mixed Company
 CHQ 2 x Panther, 1 x Sdkfz 7/1 with Quad 20mm
 2 Platoons of 4 x Panther
 2 Platoons of Panzer Grenadiers in Sdkfz 251
 1 Platoon of Panzer Grenadier Heavy weapons in halftracks (2 x 81mm Mortar, 2 x 75mm short)
– Heavy Tank Platoon (4 x Tiger II)
– A/T Platoon (4 x Jagdpanzer IV/70)
– Artillery (4 x 105mm)

My personal viewpoint is that the German force is far too strong for any of the others and would make mincemeat of the US and the Soviets in short order given the preponderance of long 75s and the four Tiger IIs coupled with the lack of any Artillery of note for the Soviets.

However what immediately comes to mind is just how close I am to being able to field all four armies almost to the exact mix of vehicles. Obviously a few tweaks and substitutions are required, but when one takes into account what I already have, I’m pretty well set already.

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Diary of an Army IV (1943-44 Soviet): Part 1 The start

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 28

I missed out on this the first time around, but it came up again and I just had to grab it.

Winter Russkies 

I paid a wee bit over the odds than I was comfortable with, however when I found out they were originally Kelly G’s army, I was stoked. Kelly is one of those machine like painters one admires for their output and craft, and what’s more for once he actually finished some basing 🙂

I’m pretty happy not having to paint oodles of Russkies myself (although somewhere I actually have about 120 more Old Glory and 1st gen Battlefront partially finished) and I can flesh out both the KVs and the T34s with the ones I have sitting around spare. I also have three BA-10s I can add as my “puma bait”. For me though the winter camo look is exactly what I wanted.

The main thing is that I now have all four armies I wanted to complete as my core gaming forces: late War ‘murricans; Late War Pomgolians; Late War Fascist bullyboys and last but not least Godless Commies. These will probably be the four armies I use at Tourneys over in Oz because they’ll be mostly canon archetypes.

Returning to the Russkies, I’m very happy to have them with Tankodesantniki because that’s the way I intend to field them anyway. But having a mix of KVs, T34s and SU152s as the backbone as well as a decent company of puddlesplashers  means I can really look at concentrating on the ancillary supports and take my time about upping the infantry quotient. Expect to see some 45mm obr1942 anti-tank guns added to the mix, plus I have all the excuse I want to add the Artillery as and when I feel like it.

Here Kitty Kitty 

Okay so I only have two of these beasties but that’s enough for now. I can always add a couple more and practice getting the whitewash look pat.

Swarm Them! 

Being able to field a full strength company of these is very useful. Given I already have another 4 in the spares box, I’ll probably experiment with fielding two 7 Tank companies relatively soon. Plus I actually like painting T34s, they’re nice and simple to work on.

12.7mm DSHk Goodness 

I just know I’ll run into some aircraft at tourneys but I like having these bods around anyway. Plus having the option of some 12.7mm death spitters for the inevitable infantry assault is a little more flexibility which for me is paramount when fielding the White Horde.

And now for the ubiquitous roadkill … er Infantry:

Da Boys 

A little tidying up of the basework, some TLC on the edging and I should be fine. This will probably be the first army to see action in Australia – something different to what I normally field and hopefully something a little less Soviet Amorphous Mass than is usual.

All in all, I’m very pleased with the decision to grab these. The Soviets were always going to be my bête noire in terms of assembling a painted army and now I can put that issue to the rear of the queue again.

 

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Terrain: Some Thoughts, Ideas and a Plan Part III

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 15

Trees:

For years I’ve been looking to obtain a decent amount of trees to use on the tabletop. I’ve never been a fan of the usual scraggly felt surmounted by one or two lopsided, dilapidated pine trees. Admittedly I’m influenced by the years of playing 1/300th moderns and World War 2 games with hundreds of trees on the tabletops, tree lined roads and lots of greenery breaking up lines of sight. However I’ve always thought that too many wargames have a dearth of terrain that obscures or interrupts line of sight, thus exacerbating the problems of omniscience with the issue of an artificially target rich environment and far too much freedom of action.

I had been looking at getting K and M trees from Essex Australia but it would seem they no longer import them and frankly I’m a bit loath to deal with EA anyway as their word of mouth reputation hasn’t filled me with a great amount of desire to spend hundreds of dollars with them.

From what I understand the Games Workshop trees are pretty much rebranded K and M trees but they lack the autumn shades and variations I really am looking for. I may make do with a couple of packs to start with, particularly with my need for some 25mm ACW terrain. However failing that I think Noch and Heki will suffice particularly if I can obtain some of their value packs – I’m not a big fan of a multitude of pines so may offload those to defray shipping.

Hedges:

Commercial hedge models tend to look far too artificial for my liking so I may just suck it up and scrtachbuild a several linear metres of ordinary and Bocage hedgerows. There are some very interesting tutorials floating around on the ‘net anyway, and with the quantities I want for 15mm, it’ll be much cheaper to do them myself.

Walls and fences:

Walls are something I really will end up having to shop around for, the variety and pricing means I’ll hbe able to go for some serious amounts and with some major stylistic differences. Much of my walling will actually be hardmounted into existing terrain pieces as I’m loathe to lug around a whole box of free standing walling all the time.

Fences are a difficult area, as I’m definitely in the market for some region specific fencing such as Snake, 5 Rail for the American Civil War and the ubiquitous post and rail types, the problem being I’ll need a serious amount of all three types just to get the look right even on a 6′ by 4′ table.

Crops:
Too many variations here, but probably a combination of the infamous floor mats, Teddy bear fur and maybe some of the BTA Cornfields for that quintessential North American look. the latter being probably the most expensive of all my terrain purchases particularly if I go ahead and do a modular terrain version of Gettysburg or Shiloh.

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Terrain: Some Thoughts, Ideas and a Plan Part II

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 15

Tiger Terrain is a new producer of terrain that I’m looking at. Referenced by members of The Guild  and Gentlemens Wargames Parlour  some of the items appeal as a means of breaking up the lines of sight, and hopefully avoiding the curse of FOW games – way too much open ground in the area of effective range band – 15 to  60 cms.

These are the particular products I’m looking to add as they will fit in nicely with the Crescent Root and Kerr and King items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only downside to the Tiger Terrain stuff is a combination of the price (somewhat on the high side for now) and the fact they require PayPal with no credit card facility  and having been badly burned by PayPal previously, I’m probably going to have to sort out an alternate means of obtaining them indirectly.

JR Miniatures offer a very low cost alternative and also some interesting alternatives to the previously mentioned manufacturers. Admittedly they’re cruder in terms of finish and somewhat more robust (read chunky) but with a bit of work, attention to detail in painting and some judicious application of extra material they have the possibility of really bringing a table to life.

The main selections I’m looking at are these three:

 

I’ve also been advised of Battlefield Accessories USA  and I’ll be picking up a couple of sample pieces to see how they work as well, notably:

 

This will fit in very very well with the Kerr and King Roadblock, I can see a few being bought for some urban slogfests.

So that’s the buildings sorted, now on to ground cover, hedges, walls, fences and trees…

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The end of the month…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 29

My copy of Paul Freyberg’s biography of his father arrived earlier this week. It’s a little battered, but still very serviceable. I’ve managed to get through to the first stage of the Crete battles and it’s reminded me that there is still so much to look at. Crete is one of those WW2 battles that I feel can only be really looked at with a line drawn through much of the scholarship of the pre-Ultra release era. So much was unable to be said, so much commentary without a core understanding of the realities.

What did strike a chord, and is still occasionally discernable in certain operations today, was  the total lack of understanding of British Higher command towards the commonwealth troops. The treatment of Freyberg and Blamey in Greece was not just poor, it was criminally reprehensible and Wavell and Wilson’s handling of the matters should have seen them sacked with the full weight of prosecution.

Wavell certainly comes across as a complete noserag.  I’m looking forward to reading more of Freyberg’s Italian Campaign recollections. Yes, the aurtthor is somehwat too close to the subject, but then again, having the source on tap and most importantly willing to talk about matters helps. Paul Freyberg himself being a soldier brings a degree of polish and understanding to the prose, yet he doesn’t fall into the trap of talking down to his audience.

Glad I finally got hold of a copy. Now to pick up a few more recent books on Crete and Greece.

In other news, the Tiger Abteilung arrived as well. Given it worked out at $15 per tiger , I’m well pleased.I had a quick glance through the little FOW handbook that came with it and I don’t think that much of the actual historical pieces. There’s something definitely offputting about the section on Wittman. Not overtly Nazi Fan-boy, but the hagiography reeks of Agte and phrases such as  “he died a soldier’s death”  make my skin crawl.

The models are ver’ pretty indeed.Definitely staying in the can until Australia though. I want to be much better with the airbrush by the time I tackle them.

Posted in Books, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, History | Leave a Comment »

More Feline Goodness Part II

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 26

the last lot of photos of the Germans until Derek sends me more…

Panthers 4 

I’ve got so many crew figures to play with I might take my time selecting the right figures for the commanders.

Purty Putty Tat 

The dark yellow is actually a mix of Tamiya Dark yellow and Desert Yellow with a little bit of white added. It’s not quite as pronounced as this picture might have you believe, and nothing that a light dusting of buff or yellow grey can’t tone down. It’ll be interesting how the magic wash works on the overall tone, I’m thinking even if it darkens the overall scheme, I’ll not be too worried. What does thrill me is that I’ll have a nice consistent look across the platoons. Makes for a nice homogenous looking force (a tad dichotomous for a bunch of camo schemes but it’s the aesthete in me that cares).

Bye bye Kitty kats 

I’m not sure when I’ll next get the chance to post a lot of pictures – but hopefully I’ll sort something out soonish. In the meantime I  really should set out my late war brits for a mass photo shoot before I pack them away for the move.

P-J

 

Posted in Articles, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

More Feline Goodness

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 24

Derek’s been a very busy lad it would seem. When I originally asked him to do some airbrushing, we hit upon a scheme that featured a fairly sparse coverage of olivgrun and rotbraun over the dunkelgelb base colour. Derek managed to alter those parameters slightly and I’m glad he did because the results are pretty damn good.

Panther G 

The thing that impresses me is that there’s very little I’ll need to do to get these to a level I’ll be very happy to field on the tabletop. I’ve got a fair amount of stowage and detailing I can and will add along with the markings and some subtle weathering.

Panthers 2 

I can see I’m going to have a bit of fun with Micro Sol and Micro Set. I’m also going to need to decide on exactly what unit I want to represent, as I’ll need to see what decals are available to get the look just right. And I still haven’t settled on a decent technique for the trackwork. I also have to think about drilling out the muzzle brakes…

Bergepanther 

The Bergepanther is probably where I can experiment the most with weathering, mud and paintchipping techniques as subtlety isn’t as paramount for a recovery vehicle as it would be for the teeth vehicles.

More pics later today but for now I’m just going to see where the Germans are in terms of a game-ready force.

P-J

 

Posted in Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

Reference materials and Reading list

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 23

I haven’t restricted myself to buying just models lately, I’ve also picked up a few books:

The first is a  biography of Freyberg by his son, which has been on my Holy Grail list of books for some time. It’ll make a nice counterpoint to the rather facile criticisms of the Cassino battles by some of the more acerbic British and American authors (Fred Majdalany being a notable exception) and will also compliment my collection of Crete references perfectly

Freyberg VC 

The second book is another one that will sit by my workbench at all times, and will hopefully aid me in my quest to improve my modelling skills:

The Handbook 

The third book should be no surprise to recent viewers, given what i’ve been buying lately:

How to Build a Tigger 

I had thought of picking up the Greenland Ospreys on Panzers etc, and may still do so, but this should give me a starting point with the detailing.

The last book I bought lately was to get me started on the various 2nd Edition Flames of War supplements. I finally completed getting all my 1st Ed Flames of War books (somehow I now have 3 copies of the early Diving Eagles book though) apart from Stars and Stripes, but that will be easy enough to find. The real book I wanted was the initial 2nd ed army book: Festung Europa:

Festung Europa 

So that’s my current reading pile, no real relaxing reads, but enough to generate some real ideas.

Posted in Books, Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, History, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

It only took one day…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 20

…to add more tigers to my collection courtesy of a bargain on Trade Me:

Pretty Kitteh 

and hopefully i’ll get them looking like this:

Very pretty kittehs 

I’m doomed. And now I just now I’ll need to buy the Wittman boxed set because it has a schwimmwagen!

 

Doomed I tell you. And this just after I bragged that I had more Cromwells than Tigers to show I wasn’t a panzerporn fanboy…oops, not true anymore.

Oh well at least I’ll be able to do a reasonable review and comparison with the second generation ones I already have. Now to explain this particular purchase to the other half.

P-J

 

Posted in Articles, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting | Leave a Comment »

The list

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 20

here’s the list of German models I have right now:

German tanks and other vehicles

2 x Tiger II (1st gen – painted ambush)
2 x Tiger II (2nd gen – unpainted)
4 x Jagdpanther (2nd gen – unpainted) – base coat by Derek Forrester
4 x Panther G (1st gen – painted 2 and 3 colour)
5 x Panther G (2nd gen – unpainted) – base coat by Derek Forrester
4 x Tiger I (2nd gen -unpainted) – base coat by Derek Forrester
1 x Bergepanther  – base coat by Derek Forrester
3 x Panzer IV G (unpainted 2nd Gen)
4 x Panzer III L/M
2 x Pzjgr Ferdinand (1st/2nd gen painted)
1 x Sdkfz 250/1alt (painted)

7 x Horch Staff car
2 x Kubelwagen
2 x Schwimmwagen
1 x Sdkfz 10/4 AA
3 x Krupp Protze
16 x Motorcycle/sidecars
4 x Pak 40 + crew
1 x pak 38 + crew
1 x leFH18 + crew
 

3 x Grenadier Platoons, 2 x MG platoons, 1 x 81mm Mortar platoon.

All I really need to add for my purposes are some Armoured cars (yes Pumas), Sdkfz 250s and 251s plus the ubiquitous StuG platoon and maybe a unit or two of Jagdpanzer IVs (JgPz IV/48s, JgPzIV/70s and IV/70As)

Posted in Articles, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting | Leave a Comment »

Where The Tigers Are…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 20

So here they are, the first lot of big cats to be airbrushed, courtesy of Duellists club member and all around nice guy Derek F. Derek’s opinion is that the Tamiya Dark Yellow is actually too green tinged for his liking, and although I can’t see it myself (I do think I have issues with the green/yellow /brown spectrum of military colours) I’m going with his call to use a mix of Tamiya Desert Yellow and Dark Yellow. I’m very pleased with the way the red-brown has a vibrancy that captures the look I was after along with the understated amount of the contrasting camouflage colours. Now all I have to do is work on the details and the highlighting before applying some form of Magic Wash/Pinwash shading. Thinking about it, I’ll probably err on the side of less is more in terms of weathering and highlighting and just make sure that the details are done to the best of my ability. Aerials and the bow MG, plus a couple of crew  will probably do more to set them off nicely than any amount of chipping etc. I’m still wondering whether to use some of the seafoam foliage Derek generously gave me but I’ll probably make my decision once I’m in Aussie with a complete painted force. 

 

 

the First step 

 

 

The best thing about all this model acquisition is that it’s actually been coherent, I’ve worked to a plan and the best thing is that it’s actually mirrored the exact purchase plan I had in mind when Flames of War was still in early playtest. What I have to do is avoid the temptations of the Gentlemen’s Wargame Parlour and The Guild discussion groups with their evil eye-cady personal projects and diversions into the “Other” scale (20mm), although I do have a hankering to do something Twilight 2000 related just because it’s so attractive to play around with 1980s/90s era European equipment.  

   

Where will it all end? Probably never. Much of my impetus at the moment is rationalising my collections so that I can turn up to the club in Australia with stuff that fits the type of games I want to play and offer. Hence the retrenchment away from Ancients and Napoleonics until I’m fully settled, and the concentration on my two main interest, ACW and WW2.  

   

With all my purchases of late, I’m pretty much ready to spend the balance of 2008 painting all of it, with no need to do anything else in terms of miniatures acquisition. Given my partner is supportive, encouraging and understanding of my hobbies, I’m happy to just concentrate on that aspect and leave further acquisitions to the areas of paints, tools and reference materials.  

   

Of course there’s also the sorting out of various things I’ll need to do in the meantime, i.e. scenery, terrain, and the occasional bit of scratchbuilding/conversion.

Posted in Articles, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting | Leave a Comment »

It’s started…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 18

So yesterday Derek Forrester picked up the first lot of German panzers to be basecoated: 4 x Tiger 1s, 4 x Jagdpanthers, 5 x Panther Gs and 1 x Bergepanther. I just have to rememebr to pick up some Tamiya Dark Yellow and maybe some buff to take the green edge from it for him. The cool thing is this will be a collaboration of sorts. Derek does the initial 3 colours and I spend my time doing the detailing – something i find I’m okay to do. I’m going to be working with a version of the magic wash/pinwash for the panel lines and some moderate highlighting.

Next up I’ll get him to do the Panzer IVs and the remaining two Henschel Tigger IIs. I’ll probably end up doing the dappling for the ambush schemes myself as I’m avoiding the dot version and going for the tickmark variant which I prefer the look of, plus you can get away with fewer tick marks compared to the tendency to overdo the spotted ambush look – sometime one sees a KT looking more like a refugee from the measles ward.

With regard to markings, well I may actually have the KTs as part of sPzAbt 506 Hummel of Arnhem infamy just because they’re a Wehrmacht unit rather than the SS types, and I’ve got enough SS troopers to to do some 10th SS grenadiers to accompany them.

August September means the autumn scheme for the Germans which suits me just fine, I don’t like the look of the bright greens of the spring version, the russets and browns work better for my eyes.

And because it’s Arnhem, I suppose I better think about grabbing some Para Recce Jeeps – Peter Pig or Battlefront? Probably a mix of both, depending on what sort of deal I can get from Martin at Peter Pig if I buy enough, as I’d like to do a comparison between the two without the input of some of the more virulent PMTers like Hodge or Cartwright.

I can also go ahead and finish off my old Panzer IIIMs (okay they’ve got schürzen which the ones in Then and Now didn’t have) but they’ll at least be more use than a Kursk army I’ll never end up completing.

Posted in Articles, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rules, wargaming | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thoughts

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 10

With all these nefarious Germans soon to arrive, I’ve arranged to do a partial exchange of services for models. I don’t actually need the Panzer IVs right now, so a local club member who’s got the time and interest right now to do some airbrushing for me is going to do some 3 colour airbrushing base coats on the big cats, so I can concentrate on the detailing, weathering and dealing parts.

The issue I have is that I really do need to look at what particular scheme I want to use for the Panthers and Tigers. Ambush scheme is out for now, mainly because I’m not going to ask the guy to do that sort of work in an exchange deal. I quite like the idea of the sPzabt 101 three colour scheme for my tigger 1s, as that will allow me some versatility and also there’s Hill 112 to be considered.

As for the infantry, well that’s one area it’s going to be very measured and planned. I’m going to see just how motley I can get the uniforms to look, and this may see my first experimentation with green stuff for the zeltbahn ponchos etc, given that I won’t be too concerned about stuffing it up using the older gen figures.

Posted in Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

Here Kitty Kitty (the latest additions)

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 6

Tiggers

1st Gen Sculpts again, but nicely finished . I have to get rid of the Balkankreuz on the Turret sides at some point, but as I know the exact shades Evan used when he painted these all those years ago, I’m pretty comfortable with being able to do so. Some highlighting and detailing plus decals and markings to bring them up to scratch.

Tiggers!

Mreooow!

Panthers

I paid a bit of a premium for these first gen Battlefront Panther Gs, and my reasoning was they certainly looked nicely done from the pics. The ambush scheme was the clincher for me really. I wasn’t disappointed in the flesh, although I will have to either replace the old style narrow tracks with newer ones obtained from Evan, or disguise them by basing them which is a serious option for me these days (I used to find basing the bigger vehicles a biit dubious but these days I prefer to have them based for storage purposes particularly if they’re going to be taken to club meetings or such. I may end up replacing the gun barrels anyway but they do fit nicely with my Tigger IIs (see above). I’ll probably give them a coat of magic wash to accentuate the detail before a very light highlighting and decals to finish with a good varnish. And yes I have fixed the misapplied hatch.

Ooh Kitty cats

Panther G / 3 Colour

Panther G 2 Colour

Panther G Ambush

 

Panther G 2 colour #2

More Germans

One of the more glaring gaps in my WW2 collection has been Germans. Sure I have a bunch of Fallschirmjäger but in terms of general wehrmacht line infantry – nothing. At least until now. So they’re mid-late war with the anklets rather than Jackboots but that just means they’re ideally suited to my Normandy and Holland theme. I now have a decent bunch of AT guns to work with as well, important given the scenarios I have in mind. Plus Pak 40s are way more styley than the overrepresented 88mm.

Panzergrenadiers

  • 1 x Grenadier Platoon
  • 1 x Panzergrenadier/Grenadier Company HQ
  • 1 x Panzergrenadier/Grenadier MG Platoon
  • 1 x Panzergrenadier/Grenadier Mortar Platoon
  • 1 x Fallschirmjager MG Platoon (like I need any more)
  • 2 x 7.5cm anti-tank gun (to add to the two I have already)
  • 1 x 5cm anti-tank gun (one of my favourite AT guns)
  • 1 x 10.5cm field howitzer (I’m sure I can find a use for this)
  • 70 + other miniatures, mostly older (rectangular base) Battlefront minis which will flesh out the infantry sections along with the Grenadier Platoon I already bought last week.

German Vehicles I

A bunch of vehicles including some older softskins to match my existing ones, along with a couple of very welcome Jagdpanthers.

German Support Vehicles

 

Left To Right, Top to Bottom

  • 1 x Horch Kfz70 (I already have oodles of these, but I still have need of some)
  • 1 x Krupp Protze (Again, I needed a few more anyway)
  • 2 x Kubelwagen (just like Jeeps, I never have enough)
  • 2 x Schwimmwagen (very useful for Recce teams)
  • 1 x Sd Kfz 10/5 2cm Flak halftrack (a bit of a luxury but my FJs need a few)
  • 1 x Sd Kfz 11 3t halftrack (bonus vehicle here)
  • 2 x Jagdpanther (yeah baby, yeah)
  • 4 x Sd Kfz 251/1D/10D halftrack (I just need to get some seated Germans to populate them)
  • 1 x Sd Kfz 251/9 7.5cm halftrack (I need more)

German Vehicles II

I couldn’t resist picking these ones up as a complement to the previous lot. I wanted at least 4 Jagdpanthers,and the additional Tiggers were very welcome. Even though these models are not the latest sculpts from BF they match my existing ones and are still very serviceable as far as I’m concerned. I did pay close to retail but these are worth it especially as the Jagdpanthers are no longer available.

Lots of Heavy Metal late war panzertruppen

Left To Right, Top to Bottom

  • 1 x Jagdpanther (almost a full platoon)
  • 3 x Tiger 1E (Zimmerit) (now I have four of them)
  • 2 x Kingtiger (Henschel Turret) (that makes four as well)
  • 1 x Jagdpanther (there’s my four Jagdpanthers – can you sense a theme?)
  • 2 x Panther G (Okay so added to the four above plus my original G and D, that makes Woot! two platoons)
  • 1 x Bergepanther (because one should always have a recovery vehicle)
  • 3 x Panzer IV H (I’ll always find a use for Panzer IVs, but I really do need another 5 or so)

Summary

In one fell swoop I’ve accumulated almost the Late War Kampfgruppe force I wanted to do in 15mm. Just need to add some more Panzer IVs and perhaps some recce vehicles (234s of various types or 250s) and maybe some more Flak or ATGs ( Pak97/38s appeal for novelty value).

One of the reasons I was happy enough to go with buying all these older gen models is that I can practise my airbrushing on them, which I’d be nervous about with the more expensive recent German armour. I’ll probably try for some cohesive camo schemes though, it’s always easier to get into a groove when you’re working with the same parameters. Probably a 3 colour scheme similar to the first Panther G rather than an ambush tick/dot scheme or the broad swathes of colour. Somehow I think Panzer Colors 1, various Squadron Signals and Histoire et Collections books are going to feature on my reading list soon enough.

Posted in Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

Some not really new additions

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, January 19

I’m gradually assembling  couple of long term project forces bit by bit outside of my main focus. Yes they’re German, and yes they’re late war. One is SS but that’s more a case of the vehicles limiting the choice to a specific unit. Anyway the other unit is late war Normandy/Holland and these are the particular vehicles I’ve been wanting to get hold of for a while (no longer in production – the only alternative was QRF – been there done that, not really willing to pay for the experience again):

 

The first Bambina

 

I bought two boxes worth so I now have four dinky little alternatives to Kubelwagens and Schwimmwagens to swan around the lanes and villages of North Western Europe. Now all I have to do is load the back seats up with Panzerfausts, ‘schrecks and teller mines. Muahahaa. I don’t think I have enough of them yet though – I probably need another 8-12 to be satisfied.

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | 1 Comment »

An Update of Sorts

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, November 19

WW2 Projects Update:

Late War British:
I had hoped to attend the FOW NZ GT in Auckland this weekend, but unfortunately work requirements and the need for $$$ prevented me taking the trip up. Good thing too, I’m almost finished redoing my Cromwells from 7th Armoured Div to 11th Armd, and I’ve just got to get the bases finished on the Infantry after that.

Late War Fallschirmjäger: Organised and ready to be started once and for all. I’ve sorted out the mix of figures, Camo schemes and what supporting armour they’ll have available to them – a mix of Panthers, a Tiger IE and the usual Stug IIIs (albeit with Saukopf mantlets of which I prefer the look). I had pondered using my 4 Panzer III ausf Ms but I’ve deceided to use them for a Winter 43 project based on the very nice artwork on the Squadron Signal SS Armor in Action.

Early War BEF: Very slowly progressing now, although the basic uniforms and webbing are done for all the figures now, just the small arms, boots and flesh to be picked out. Once I get the full Infantry company out of the way I’ll be able to go to town on the Cruisers – The Matildas will probably wait a while as I’m still not sure on how far I want to go with Infantry tanks – I’ll probably end up needing a lot more Matilda Is and a few more Matilda IIs to obtain the look I’m after.

Other periods:
Ancients:
I’m hopefully getting hold of a second hand Freikorps Ancient British Chariot based force that will serve nicely as a counterpoint to my Spanish and Romans. Yes the Ancient British panzer division will ride again – there’s something about fielding 21 Chariots on the tabletop that appeals.

Napoleonics and ACW: I’m in the final stages of offloading my Napoleonics – they just weren’t getting used and I can put the money towards the move to Australia. I’ve not sorted out whether I’ll be angling for an ACW army in 15mm in partial trade but it does appeal, which will flesh out my existing ACW forces nicely. I’ve been helping troubleshoot (I wouldn’t call it playtesting – I’m that poor a gamer that I tend to break  most rules sets through my ineptitude) a locally written set of Grand tactical Napoleonics rules which are set above the level I’d normally enjoy but work really well – fast play but enough plausibility in results and flavour enough to suit. Of course it helps that Evan and Kelly have gone nuts with regard to painting some AB 18mms  – some of the nicest figures I’ve seen and the painting is worthy of the sculpts. I’m hoping to grab a few decent pics of a game in progress as it really does look rather good.

Boardgaming:
Very little activity these days, as between work hours and personal commitments I really don’t have the time or space to set up anything and the last thing I want to do is face an extended session on the PC after 8 hours at work.

So there you have it, very little actually getting done, and it’s unlikely to change between now and May 2008 when I should be ensconced in Aussie. Mostly I’ve been doing a little reading (mainly Lachoucque’s History of the Garde Imperiale) or watching some classic documentaries and series (The Beeb’s The Great War, Stalag 17, Colditz Story, Paths of Glory and The Wooden Horse come to mind).

Posted in Diary of an Army I (1944 British), Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Gaming | Leave a Comment »

Review II: QRF Renault D2

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, May 11

So let’s see how this one turns out:

Four pieces: hull, turret and two identical track/suspension pieces.

 

The hull is a hollowcast piece with a very thick nose area, a subdivided hollowed middle chamber and a solid rear end that isn’t as deep as the nose. The turret is a solid one piece casting (like the original really) with a 2mm peg as the mounting point. The track/suspension units are reversible single piece mouldings.

 

All in all a pretty tidy model, much better than the FCM 2C. I still have some issues however: notably in the area of the trackwork and finish of the hull.

At each front end of the lower hull superstructure (where one attaches the suspension units) QRF have a large flat plate that continues down from the mudgaurds. This is about .5mm higher than the rest of the corrsponding attachment area and thus the track sponsons are not going to sit flush longitudinally. This would be a minor point, albeit annoying, and fixable with a simple shim of plasticard (something I have no qualms about doing normally anyway to get a flush seat on any model) if it wasn’t for the issue of these reversible track units. Nice idea in terms of mould efficiency but an absolute bear to keep everything square on the model if the contact surface is not flush. And given the various nooks and crannies of the suspension sponsons, that’s not going to happen. It’s exacerbated in this case by the fact that the trackwork itself is wider than the sponsons and suspension so again one has the problem of a non-trued mounting in one aspect. Combine that with the frontal plate issue and you’ve got issues of load bearing on the glue . Fixable properly by using Milliput as a gap filler to obtain the 90 degree true aspect but a bit more work than I’d want if I inteneded to field an entire company of this model.

 

The hull itself is pretty good although the angles of the stowage bins at the front end of the tank are blurry in definition and incorrect in aspect angle. A minor nitpick, solved with some judicious use of a file and a decent blade. Details generally are okay although somehat perfunctory and not as crisp compared to those attainable by resin models in general – but that’s always been an advantage of resin in any scale. My hull casting has a 1-1.5mm diameter sinkhole and a secon smaller one but both obvious and deep to the naked eye behind the left hand stowage bin. Again fixable but annoying. Looking at the hull directly from above, it’s slightly out of true at the upper glacis area and where the sloping engine plate meets the turret deck, but nowhere near as objectionable as the FCM2C was. This is something you’d have to be looking for to notice and shouldn’t show up from the usual oblique vantage point.

 

There’s some sinkage on the rear engine plate which mars the fairly basic grill detail but if at this stage you’re worried about that you’re probably thinking about redoing the engine grills anyway so you’d fix that at the same time with some milliput. The rear plate of the hull isn’t too bad with basic detail.

 

 

The Turret

 

Generally okay. Horizontal mould line around the turret is a personal annoyance. The real issue here is the fact that the armoured shroud for the coax interferes with the driver’s periscope badly. The turret is unable to be placed properly fore and aft as the shroud rests on the periscope and raises the turret slightly. This also means that it catches when turning the turret. Not a problem if you glue down your turrets but I don’t as I need to show turret traverse/armament orientation in my games. Fixable with a circular shim of plasticard easily enough. Details are somewhat crude at times and the casting is pretty rough in finish but a good primer and smart paintwork will smooth that out nicely.

 

The suspension units are not too bad apart from the issue of attachment mentioned above. The finish is a bit rough with some pitting and sinkage but nothing too drastic. Be prepared to remove some of the flash around the front drive whee but be careful of the rear idler, as the casting shape of it means it can look like flash. I did note that the rear idler on my model has signs of shrinkage in the metal which shows itself as a gap between the misshapen rim and track. Also the track at the rear is almost pointed rather than conforming to the expected curve. Rudimentary tracklink detail on upper surfaces and visble front/rear asp[ects but I hate painting tracklinks anyway so this works okay for me. There’s an obvious join/gap in the track midway along the bottom run.

 

Summary:

 

Average to poor quality in terms of casting crispness and shape, basic details are there, some aspects could be improved. I’m not sure I’d want to buy a whole company of them given the price per model, but it is effectively the only available model of the D2 that I know and it is after all a French tank which means you get to paint something that looks like it was designed by Dali with a colour scheme from Picasso. An improvement from the FCM 2C and very usable. Just be prepared to do some work and don’t rush the painting and preparation. A good paintjob will work wonders on this model and disguise most of the faults. Finally it’s not as cliched as fielding Somuas or Char Bs so you get style points.

Posted in Articles, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Reviews | 6 Comments »

On the Painting Table

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, May 10

I thought I’d show my little work area – very simple, very cluttered, very much not used enough 🙂 But funnily enough it works nicely. Or it did until I got distracted by boardgaming again. I am not a goldfish! Oh look a shiny pebble!

The Painting Desk

Starting from the lower left and moving clockwise: Battlefront BEF infantry gradually getting painted as and when the muse strikes me; on the dowels behind theusual selection of Vallejos are the last of my late war British 3″ mortar crews – actually Italian theatre styled; my brush/common tool holder; More late war Brit mortar crews; Vallejos; Immediately to their front, a trio of the older Universal carriers from BF – these are the last of the kit type ones rather than the newer one piece resin castings; a pair of Daimler Dingos about 40% finished; and finally a group of Shermans in various stages of completion – for the main part assembled and base coated , just awaiting final detailing with smaller metal parts, crew, hatches, markings and weathering.

Partially completed Shermans Achilles IC Troop

The Shermans are a mix of the most recent sculpts and some of the middle period models (notably the Firefly and cast hull Sherman next to the BEF figures) – The old Firefly is probably going to sit around morosely once finished unless I can find some older stablemates for it. The cast hull Sherman is going to be used as an OP tank so will need some extra work on aerials, etc. The three other Shermans are going to have lots more stowage and extra work added most probably and will join a fourth Sherman which is sitting with the rest of the 1944 Brits already

The Achilles were painted by an old friend of mine and just require the addition of markings and some of the new SP crew from Battlefront to flesh them out. I’m not concerned with the 17lber compared to the new releases, with a complete 4 vehicle troop I don’t have to worry about mixing generational casts. In any case they’re good enough for me and will look even better with crew and markings.

Posted in Articles, Diary of an Army I (1944 British), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting | Leave a Comment »

QRF Review

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, May 10

To be honest I’ve never thought that much of the QRF stuff from what I’ve been able to glean from the pics on the website. The quality of the castings always looked slightly hit or miss, and somewhat rough in finish. One of my pet hates is mould lines around turrets, hence my aversion to the OG/Command Decision stuff so I was quite happy to limit myself to an initial sampling, especially as I’ve not seen QRF stuff in the flesh before.

As for the cost of the order, the total came to £13.69 plus £6.00 shipping so just on NZD$56 for three models. That’s with the 20% discount applied. Somehow unless I could get that discount with every order I’m not sure I’d be ordering that often. It’s not an outrageous amount but just the reality of ordering models from the UK.

The order arrived on Monday 15th January packed in a standard bubblewrap envelope with each model in a ziplock bag and wrapped in newspaper. Pretty standard packaging and nothing had escaped. I was a little surprised that there was no invoice enclosed but perhaps I should have specified I would have liked a hardcopy one included in special instructions.

Because of the relatively new status of the models/masters (in the case of the D2 and FCM 2C) I had some reasonable expectations about casting quality and fit from the outset, particularly based on the photos I’d seen on the website (I’d seen the painted example of the 2C from another customer and discounted it as a useful reference because of the quality of the photo and the less than stellar paintjob).

The only damage in shipping I could find was that the main gun of the 2C was bent out of true to 90 degrees but given the vagaries of shipping, that was understandable. Thankfully the metal used is pliable enough to allow readjustment without real issues of metal fatigue (good thing that LKM moved away from the FreiKorps metal type years ago).

The FCM 2C comes in 6 pieces: Hull; twin double sided suspension units; main turret; subsidiary turret; and a smaller upper hull superstructure/engine deck. On first impression, the castings aren’t as good as I’d hoped. The main hull is warped and bowed along the longitudinal axis on the sides, there’s significant shrinkage on the upper horizontal surfaces (a problem consistent with the nature of big single metal castings) and the model itself isn’t square along the front or rear hull lines, with a fairly obvious bias to the lefthand side. Much of this I believe to be due to the nature of metal casting, particularly the shrinkage, but I was surprised to see how far out of true the casting was.

F2C Parts
F2C Overview

The main turret looks to be a tad too short, almost squashed as it were, and on closer inspection I know why: the turret casting is lopsided, which is rather obvious when viewed from the front. The left hand side is deeper than the right hand side, it leans to the right. I’ve compared the model to the 6 view plans I’ve got and indeed the turret is askew. Other issues with the turret include the fairly significant mould line around the circumference, and the fact the locating hole for it needs to be drilled out, and that even when the turret is located correctly, the rear abrades and catches on the hull raised detail (this actually is a problem with all three models). Thankfully by adding a small plasticard riser to the underside of the turret I can get around this, but it will involve a fair bit of work to reverse the lean as well.

F2C front alternate
F2C Front profile

The suspension units are interesting. QRF cast them as double-sided, so that they basically just needed one master. There are issues of a minor nature with these as well. The trackwork is serviceable, although there’s some pitting and slippage along the top sides, and the track detail is rudimentary at best, with the bottom run of tracks being plain along the contact area with the ground. The MGs on the bow quarters are in bas relief which I find offputting, better to have left them for the gamer to add themselves or included a couple of barrels separately. The actual detail on the sides is okay if a tad simplistic, but there’s a lot of scope for extra detail that I’m used to getting with resin production. As for the attachment procedure, well let’s just say I’m glad I have decent line drawings so I can determine where exactly I’ll need to affix to the hull. That in itself will be a mission as the framework cast onto the hull sides for this very reason is misshapen, miscast and because of the significant bowing, will need to be replaced.

Attaching the units to the main hull will need a fair bit of work to get a decent fit. No use of superglue here, this is a case for a fair amount of two part epoxy araldite, model clamps and I hate to say it, filler putty. It’s been many a year since I’ve had to use the amount of filler on a single model that I know I’ll need for this. The double sided suspension units don’t offer a flush perpendicular surface to attach either so some shims of plasticard are necessary to get a proper squared off look .

The upper superstructure was very simple and had no major issues although again it’s slightly bowed and out of true. The subsidiary turret is probably the least problematic of all just needing a quick rasp with the file to clean up.

F2C Arse

In summation, I was disappointed with the quality of this model. I had expected a lot less blurring of details (there’s some chunky flash on the front and rear of the hull) and the level of detail is rudimentary as well. What was really disappointing was that with such a newish master and model release that the castings require so much work and in some respects (the hull) are irredeemable. I’d started out with a fair degree of reasonable expectation, and frankly the reality hasn’t matched up. I’m still undecided as to whether I’ll order more FCM 2Cs as the effort required to bring them up to the level of finish I’d want to field on the table is significant and even then I might be better off scratchbuilding my own.

I’ll be looking at the Renault D2 and Japanese Type 89 tomorrow.

Posted in Articles, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Reviews | 6 Comments »

Don’t laugh too much, it’s been a long night

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, April 28

I’ve finished a Sherman platoon. Only taken 4 years to get it assembled and painted to the pioint where all I have to do is add the markings and one or two crew.

In fact I’ve been so productive I’ve started work on some BEF infantry as well while I had some English Uniform to use on the palette.  Anyway, this bodes well for the next club meeting where I’m meant to turn up with a 1500 point army – I may even get the army finished this week.

Posted in Diary of an Army I (1944 British), Flames of War, Modelling and Painting | Leave a Comment »

Diary of a Late War Brit Army – progress report

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, April 24

I had a few days away staying at a friends where I had a good look at the next Flames of War battle book: Omaha and at the remastered Cromwells. The good new s is that the new cromwells are very nice indeed, yet my existing ones are still very useful in that they are type D hulls and can be used for the uparmoured welded hull Mark Vw and Mark VIIw versions. The new Cromwells are Mark IVs so I’ll end up fleshing out my Squadron with another 7 models.

I managed to get another three bases worth of Late War infantry painted and based along with the mortar crews – I still need to fill some gaps with regard to Command teams inparticular, but it looks like I’ve got enough to field three full Rifle platoons. I took a quick look at my options for a Armoured Recce Squadron force for Panzerschreck VII and I think I need to buy at least a couple more Carrier patrols. I’d be happier if I could use a proper 7th Armoured Division List but it’s unlikely to be released before the cut off date for Panzerschreck army lists so that means no Cromwell/Firefly combinations either. Good thing I’ve got enough Achilles to make up for the loss of the Fireflies.

I might see if I can flog some of the all metal Typhoons that Evan still has – I prefer the heft of the suckers.

Other than that general news is positive: I picked up a CD with all the Duellists graphics onboard so that means I can actually look at designing the new Club webpages complete with decent photos of various armies etc. I ‘m still working on some ideas for terrain but i’m not holding my breath on getting them completed before Panzerschreck although it’d be nice.

Posted in Diary of an Army I (1944 British), Flames of War, Modelling and Painting | Leave a Comment »

Diary of a Late War Fallschirmjäger Army Part 3

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, April 17

There are three parts to the core makeup of this army:

  • Mediterranean/Italian theatre Fallschirmjäger painted by Wayne at Battlefront
  • Normandy Fallschirmjäger painted by Andrew “Hunter”
  • all my unpainted Late War FJs

Initially my first thought was I would need to rebase Wayne’s figures as he couldn’t remember which paints he’d used to do the bases. Now while most of his FJs have the tropical tan trousers, I can live with that to a certain extent – particularly if I end up having a Cassino themed army. The real issue was the basing scheme which in typical Wayne fashion is very well done. Thankfully I’ve managed to match the paints he used with the aid of some Resene Paint charts and so the thought of using expensive model paints for basing is no longer needed.

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger) | Leave a Comment »

Diary of a 1944 Normandy Fallschirmjäger Army Part II

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, November 1

References:

  • The Green Devils, Histoire et Collections
  • Fallschirmjäger in Combat, Squadron Signal Publications
  • Painting Fallschirmjäger, Evan Allen, Battlefront Miniatures
  • Diving Eagles, Battlefront Miniatures 2003
  • Diving Eagles v2, Battlefront Miniatures 2006
  • Festung Europa, Battlefront Miniatures 2006
  • Flames of War, 2nd Ed, Battlefront Miniatures 2006
  • Fighting In Normandy, Ed. David Isby
  • Various emails, posts and forums Too many to count or list individually. Thanks for the help

Next Instalment: The Painting begins

P-J

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Diary of a 1944 Normandy Fallschirmjäger Army Part I

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, October 31


Rationale and Inspiration

I’ve always been interested in building a late war Fallschirmjäger army, mostly as a result of reading about their exploits in Carentan, Cassino and the defence of Aachen. It helped that along the way I’ve played three tourneys using a 1942/43 Flames of War FJ army (Evan Allen’s original Battlefront one as featured in Diving Eagles) and that inspired me to paint and model a unit as it would have appeared in Normandy.

For me, it’s not the armour that fascinates me in a late war German army but the rich mix of weaponry, equipment , uniforms and organisational changes betweren the various service branches. Such distinctive weapons as the FG42, the Sturmgewehr 43 and the Panzerschreck always seemed to epitomise the Fallschirmjäger in Normandy, a view reinforced by the various Dragon 1/35th scale figue sets, particularly in association with the heavier weaponry like the LG40 Recoilless Rifles and the GebG36 mountain guns.

A force based on the Normandy campaign wiould allow me to model all these variations in kit yet depart from the FOW canon in terms of absolute adherence to the Diving Eagles TOE as there was very much a make-do/can-do attitude to equipment usage in June-September 1944. In this case I feel justified in using PaK 97/38(f) guns instead of the PaK 38s to equip the Anti-Tank Platoon as by setting the unit in France/North West Europe usage of such second-line equipment is plausible given the execrable logistics at this stage of the war in terms of equipment allocatiion. I’m also looking at using a mix of Civilian, captured French, appropriated Italian softskins and some of the more style point friendly transports such as schwimmwagens and Horch cars instead of the usual Opel Blitzes. If anything building this army will mean a veritable smorgasbord of options for transport models.

One of the defining factors in choosing this army was the availability of figures. I already have a sizable number of the first generation Battlefront FJ miniatures to complete 90% of the units and with a bit of judicious and enterprising selection and purchase of the more recent FJ minis, I should be able to fill any major gaps. This also allows me to dedicate some funds from the budget template for this army towards a few smaples of the Peter Pig Fallschirmjäger range as well as fully populate the vehicles with full crews and passengers to get that lived-in look that can really distinguish the army from its peers.

Following on from this, I can also look at constructing Pinned and Entrenched status markers that look better than the Gale Force equivalents and don’t detract from the aesthetics of the tabletop. Thus my dug-in FJs will actually look dug-in rather than standing behind berms and chest high sandbag walls. A lot more work but something significantly more impressive to look at.

Composition and Organisation

This is about the only area that is plain vanilla FOW for the most part. I’ll be taking this army to Natcon or Panzerschreck VII initially (I think my Late War Brits are looking more likely to be ready for Natcon anyway) so the first core part of this army will be arranged into a tourney-legal, 1500 point ground force and I can play around with the canon stuff beyond that one-off event (I’m thinking of the PaK 97/38s here in particular).

So here’s the initial force:

Company HQ: 55
Upgrade to Panzerfaust Teams: 10
Add 3 x 8.8cm panzerschreck teams: 135
Add 3 x ‘Stummelwerfer’ GrW42 8cm: 120 320 points

Fallschirmjäger Platoon I (3 squads) 280
Upgrade 6 teams to StG44: 45
Upgrade 3 teams to FG42: 30
Upgrade all to Panzerfaust teams: 50 405 points [725]

Fallschirmjäger Platoon II (3 squads) 280
Upgrade 6 teams to StG44: 45
Upgrade 3 teams to FG42: 30
Upgrade all to Panzerfaust teams: 50 405 points [1130]

Fallschirmjäger MG Platoon I (1 section) 105
Upgrade to Panzerknacker team 5 110 points [1240]

Fallschirmjägerpionier Platoon (1 squad) 140
Upgrade to Panzerfaust 20
Upgrade 2 teams to FG42 20
Upgrade 1 team to Flamethrower 30 210 points [1450]

Sniper 50 50 points [1500]

A very small force but then again I’m not looking to field this exact force except at a tourney and only the one time. It’s all a matter of style, I expect to get hammered in terms of results but wow them with painting hopefully. Beyond this initial core I intend to flesh out the platoons to full strength and add a 3rd FJ platoon; a Light Gun (7.5cm LG40 plus 10.5cm NbW35 mortars) platoon; two heavy mortar (12cm) platoons; an Anti Tank (PaK 97/38) platoon; an Anti-Aircraft (2cm FlaK38) platoon; and a Artillery Battery (4 x GebG36 7.5cm/LG40 10.5cm) along with one Tank-Hunter Platoon (Stug III). No doubt I’ll add some variations as I’ll not be constrained by the tourney canon either but that’s the workload for the next 9 weeks with priority given to the tourney force.

Aside from the GebG36s, Flak38s, the various Mortars, PaK 38/97s and the StuGs, everything is first gen Battlefront FJ. These figures match nicely with the newer scuplts by Evan and fulfil a very important criterion; they’re effectively costing nothing from the current budget as I already have them here. The StuGs will feature Peter Pig StuG crew with replacement Battlefront FJ heads while the pinned markers will feature casualty figures from both BF and Peter Pig. The good thing about buying the PaK 97/38s is that the standard Heer crew minis will go straight into the spares box where I’ll be able to use them for future projects and order lots more FJ crew figures to fill gaps.

Naturally it being a 1944 force there will be lots of Panzerfaust armed figures sprinkled hroughout the bases (Given I have around 80 PF figures already this is not an issue). Of course the Command teams will look the part with panzerknacker figures and SMGs added although the FG42/StG44 is an easy option to add as well. Because I’ll not be bothering with Air Support for this army anyway, I can even do a non-canon Recce Unit mounted in softskin vehicles for sheer variety (hence tracking down Fiat Topolinos whereever possible).

Unlike previous armies where I went for a very plain and nondescript basing scheme, this is the start of a new era in basing for me, with a concentration on a much more verdant technique that better reflects the way the veteran FJs made use of every scrap of available cover in Normandy. Of course this means I’m really going to have to doll up my existing wargames terrain to match, which is needed and a worthwhile project in and of itself.

Next Instalment: References and some more thoughts on constructing the army

P-J

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The Next Army Update

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, October 11

Now that I have a definite date for the start of my new contract (November 20th – a bit of a later start than expected but all good) I can finalise my choice. The only problem with the polling was not so much the lack of responses (I ended up with 6 respondents) but having to recall them rather than easily accessing them on this blog. The funny thing was that most people went for the Winter War Soviets, an army that will force me to practice and experiment with techniques as well as being the one army selection I’ll need to purcahse a fair bit of stuff for. I think some of you chose it because of the voyeuristic schadenfreude possibilities myself.

But you’re out of luck, in so far as immediate gratification goes. With the confirmation of the new contract I will be able to fast track my plans for that army. So it may well get started as the next but one choice.

The winner for the November Army is…
Late War Fallschirmjager (Normandy

Camo smocks, StuGs and Pak 97/38s galore. I have enough late war figures to do two companies if I get too enthuisiastic and efficient, plus it ties in with my terrain building projects for November and December.

As for the other armies, they’re gong to be put on the secondary level of completion, restricted to weekend painting time rather than weekdays which hopefully will result in some serious progress by the end of the year. The new contract involves 7.30am starts so I will be home by 5pm most days leaving me plenty of daylight hours to paint, and if the weather is good enough I’ll be able to sit on the porch and paint. Can’t beat that for peaceful environment.

The projection for the other armies is pencilled in as follows:

  1. Late War Brit Paras
  2. Late War US
  3. Early War Soviet Summer
  4. Early War BEF
  5. Early War Fallschirmjäger(crete)

And the extra surprise projects I’m going to be doing are:

  • Reviewing, painting and building QRF’s FCM 2C model in multi-colour french camo
  • Edit: Added QRF’s Renault D2 as it’s newish and the only one availabe in 15mm plus it actually has a reasonable photo that doesn’t make it look too crude. And it’s another from the Dali-Picasso school of style over substance in design and camo scheme.
  • Reviewing, building and painting QRF’s British Medium Mark II in Desert caunter camo
  • Reviewing, building and painting Stronghold Miniatures’ German Nbfzg V
  • Plus a review of either a Peter Pig, Resistant Rooster, True North or Legions East Infantry selection (TBD)
  • Lots to go on with, and I’d say that most of it will be completed by the end of the summer, including the articles and photography.

    Ciao for now,

    P-J

    Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Flames of War, Modelling and Painting | Leave a Comment »

    Diary of a Late War army Part IX

    Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, September 2

    What a great day. Not only have I managed to organise most of my miniatures logically, I found all my old tools and craft supplies so I’ll be back in the swing of things almost immediately. I set up the PC so I could at least avoid listening to crap radio for another day, and just afterI sorted that out, Evan arrived bearing gifts: a new office chair which I really needed, but get this: he went and made me some painting rods and a painting stand so I could keep going with the Late War Brits! He made a whole bunch of the rods and will do another stand so I’ll be able to have at least 36 figures on the go if needed. This means I’ll be painting by platoons if needed and I can also mix and match infantry, arty and vehicles without having to handle the castings at all until after they’re varnished. To say I’m blown away is an understatement. He even managed to change his usual remark about me being able to get my A into G to being able to continue my progress.I don’t think I’m able to paint tonight though as I’m a bit tired after unpacking all day. I think I saw some nice and cheap china display cabinets at one of the local goodwill type shops in town so I’ll have a gander at them on Thursday when I’m next in town (by which stage I’ll be ready to start doing the full basing for the brits as I’ll have the Resene paints and the field grass). I may just leave the next instalment of this as the final one when I’ve completed the basing of the infantry and just post once more after that when I’ve completed all the super-detailing and the objectives for this particular army.

    TheArmy as it looks today (20 Sept 2006) except for the Cromwells and Fireflies which are still at Evan’s, the mortar platoon and the rest of the infantry :
    September 2006 - Taking shape

    Posted in Diary of an Army I (1944 British) | Leave a Comment »

    Diary of a Late War Army part VIII

    Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, September 1

    Nothing concrete achieved today painting wise except that I definitely have room for a work area and even a space for a proper display type cabinet for my finished armies. I unpacked and reorganised my old Citadel/GW/Ral Partha paints to go with my Vallejos, so I can even start looking at the ACW and Ancients if ever I need a change of pace. The good thing is that I have 90% of the materials needed for basing purposes, I just need some Woodland Scenics Field Grass and some Resene test pots for the basic ground colours (I refuse to use my Vallejos for something that mundane and material intensive) and I’ll be good to go.

    Talked with Evan about going to Bunnings Hardware tomorrow to pick up some dowelling so will see where that goes as I’ll just whack it on the credit card. Must say that the Lounge/Workspace area is just about perfect. I still have to set up the PC and the Home Theatre System but that’s going to take some time. I just know I’ve got lots of transcription of handwritten journal entries ahead of me tomorrow once I have a spare moment.

    Posted in Diary of an Army I (1944 British) | Leave a Comment »

    Diary of a late War Army part VII

    Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, August 31

    Moving day. I spent the morning packing up almost everything and then spent the afternoon getting 75% of the stuff in storage installed in the new place. Evan and I dropped off everything I had packed up that evening, including the half-painted brits ( I have no painting rods anymore so the army will definitely be languishing for at least a week until I have some cash to get some ones made up. Organised the lounge partially (still waiting for the desktop, bookshelves and couch to arrive) and I’m pretty sure that I will be able to have enough storage and workspace there to easily keep good work habits. I’m looking forward to finishing off everything tomorrow and then starting the unpacking and sorting – I’m sure I’ll find a whle bunch of stuff that I forgot I had (I just loaded up boxes as fast as possible when packing so there was stuff I’d never really got around to looking at closely) – but I now have the freedom to leave projects in being on the workspace.Went to the club tonight and it was excellent. I was pretty positive about the whole progress thing and that in itself was a marked contrast to previous visits. Jem and the others were pleased I think to see I was now being active again – I’ve spent far too long coasting along as an observer rather than participating at any level in the hobby. Now if only I could get started on the Brits again.

    Posted in Diary of an Army I (1944 British) | Leave a Comment »

    Diary of a Late War Army Part VI

    Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, August 30

    I only managed to make a little progress with the last lot of figures – basecoat, helmets and blacklined webbing was the state of play by the end of the night. Evan will want his painting bench back tomorrow (he’s been very patient and generous with his work space) so that’s the end for this lot of infantry until at least next week at the earliest. Thefunny thing is that these are all the prone figures – a bren team and three (3) PIAT teams plus a few standard riflemen to fill out the remaining bases. Once I’ve done these, I’ll glue them all to the bases and get stuck into the Mortar Platoon. I might see if I can scrounge some more late war brits from my last source – but that’ll take a little bit of work given that I only found these by looking closely. I’m really pleased that I’ve got so far with the army since effectively the 14th August.

    I’m actually rather pleased with myself right now – I’ve proved that I can still paint to a fairly high standard, my confidence at completing tasks is back and I don’t fear picking up a paintbrush anymore – I do however have a very high regard for painting in manageable quantities which is why I doubt I’ll try and finish my ancients and ACW armies in short order. I’ll leave them until I get a decent palette of Vallejo Model and Game Colors so I can get the correct tonal qualities.

    Posted in Diary of an Army I (1944 British) | Leave a Comment »

    Diary of A Late War Army Part V

    Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, August 29

    Finished off yesterday’s twelve figures with a minimum of trouble although I was trying to get the move into the new place organised which effectively took most of the day away from the painting bench as I was not really mentally up to painting for very long at a time. I did manage to get the remainder of the figures undercoated (leaving just the 3 inch Mortar platoon to be sorted out ready for undercoating).

    Given that I’m moving into the new place tomorrow I really needed to get everything finished tonight but I just wasn’t able to. I’m a tad worried that if I don’t get these infantry done now, I’ll lose my impetus until such time as I have a painting setup ready at the new place, which means I need to get some dowelling and some wood blocks ready. I’ll also need to grab some decent lengths of 2″ square section balsa for the mass undercoating. So it may be some time before I get another chance.

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    Diary of A Late War Army Part IV

    Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, August 28

    Almost completed the second twelve this morning – everything but the metals and the varnish to go – If I wasn’t so fearful of a poor result and having to do all the previous figures I’d look at some highlighting of the base uniform colour (Edit: I went back and did some of the existing figures, and I’m satisfied with the overall look merging seamlessly within a platoon). I experimented with using Luftwaffe Camo Green for the bedrolls and helmets to get an increased contrast as I find it difficult to separate the base helmet colour (WWII Russian Uniform) from the khaki I use for the webbing and netting/hessian strips.

      Ten Lessons Learned:

    1. Paint helmets completely in base colour, let the drybrushing do the work of blacklining.
    2. Check that undercoat isn’t too thinned down, redo if necessary – it’s worth getting it right to begin with.
    3. Don’t sweat some casting flaws, most of the time they can be fixed simply by judicious painting and even ignored if they’re not likely to picked up by anyone except the most anal observers (and those are the types I don’t let touch my figures anyway – usually I’ve never seen any examples of their work and they’re usually slobs with greasy fingers and BO issues.
    4. Varnishing with Humbrol MattCote really tones down the harsher contrasts nicely and does a little bit of blending it seems as well.
    5. Twelve (12) figures is about right for detail work – anymore and my hands and legs get cramped from sitting in the one position for that length of time. Sixteen (16) to twenty-four (24) is okay when doing base colour work but only occasionally.
    6. Keep the hordes of unpainted stuff out of sight and therefore out of mind – the more progress you can see in front of you the more you end up painting and completing.
    7. Schedules help a lot, they really do. Getting into a routine of undercoating last thing at night, then basecoating the following morning usually results in the figures being done by the end of the day just in time to watch Boston Legal, ER or The Sopranos (yeah I watch those three series, about all I watch on broadcast TV these days).
    8. Paint when you have not only the physical energy, but also the mental energy – I suffer from depression so I often find I’m just not able to paint sometimes. As soon as painting becomes a stressful activity, it’s time to walk away from the painting area. Always have a drinks break/walk around/ sit back in a comfortable chair between colours – you’l return to the painting table with not only renewed enthusiasm and energy but your attention to detail and accuracy will be much the better for the break.
    9. Check the figures a couple of days after varnishing them and gluing them to the bare bases – you can do any last minute corrections, consistency touchups at this point, then do the actual groundwork basing safe in the knowledge you’ve done the best you could.This is one reason to leave the basing for a while after varnishing as well.
    10. Base the figures en masse in a production line. Don’t base one lot one day and wait a week before basing the rest. You’ll never get the consistent look that really sets off an army. If you’ve ever tried to duplicate an existing basing scheme from scratch, you know it’s actually far easier and faster to start over the whole lot in a new scheme.

    Posted in Diary of an Army I (1944 British) | 2 Comments »