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Monday, October 17, 2016

Marine Snipers

   Adding nightmares to the Japanese, I present the perfect engine of war: a Marine and his rifle. Scoped Springfield '03 rifles, to be precise. Very precise, actually. In Flames of War Pacific, a Marine rifle company can have up to three snipers. So here they are.

Sniper 2 (on the right) is based for a volcanic island beach landing, like Iwo Jima. 
That's real volcanic rock (from my garden) on that.

Closeup of Sniper 1, partially hidden in a clump of bamboo.

  You can't see in these pictures, but I used a mold from Happy Seppuku to impress fern leaves into the putty on the base of Sniper 1. They are the brighter green bits on the base. It looks pretty nice, but I might go back and hit it with a drop of ink to darken it and add extra depth to the base and highlight.

Sniper 3 is standing for his shot, rising out of the bamboo and grass like an avenging god of war...
Or something like that. I'd shoot from prone, myself.

   The 'bamboo' is just some plastic rod cut and painted with darker green rings to hint at segments. It looks okay and it's dead easy. 

What do you mean, "Flash Gordon Approaching?"

   I may need help with two of these. One is obviously Flash Gordon from the film of the same name, and another is just as obviously Doctor Emmett Brown from Back to the Future.

  I think the fellow on the left is supposed to maybe be John McClain, from Die Hard? And the fellow in the blue jeans looks an awful lot like Colonel Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, to me. But not in his famed red track suit.

  Any help?

  By the way, Crooked Dice has loads of really great looking figures for all your nostalgia gaming needs. I may have to place an order soon.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Terrain woes

   I'm realizing just how little terrain I have. Well, not so much terrain in general, as in the specific. I have a good bit of rivers, and some roads, a few trees, a few rock outcroppings... I'm doing okay with the generic stuff, but I have almost no buildings. In fact, the only sort of building that I do have in any sort of sufficient amount is 15mm Desert buildings. And honestly, I could use more of it, too. At least those can be used for both historical and sci-fi.

   I have one more 28mm Victorian building (a store) that needs assembly and paint, to go with the one that I currently have. For a total of two 28mm buildings. Total. Full stop. Well, that's not entirely accurate. I have a few huts as well, and one or two painted.

   I've been working on the 15mm sci-fi buildings and terrain a bit as well. I have some industrial stuff, a bit of security fencing (need to make more, but I can make a 12" square gated compound as it stands. I've got a couple of desert sci-fi buildings made by Bart "Smokey" Allen for me. I've made some headway on the hab domes from Ion Age, but need more pieces to make that a true compound. Right now, call it a scientific outpost. I have a growing collection of street scatter bits, too.

   I do have a couple of very nice ridgelines, one done up as jungle and one as desert. Perfect for Venus and Mars. And the custom made canals - though I really need to build a few bridges for those.

  So what do I need?

   Well, a good deal of Victorian 28mm stuff. That's good for both VSF games and Very British Civil War, if I ever get off my duff on that project. At least four more terraced houses, a warehouse, a factory, some more shops, and a train station. Maybe some sort of government building to represent a library, town hall, museum, or something of that sort. Oh, and a church. And some walls.

   Same in 15mm, except that I have a train station and a sawmill for that. I'm thinking a mix of Battlefront and Miniature Building Authority. It means putting in more 20th Century Euro than Victorian, though. But at least it comes ready to play, which seriously improves the odds that it hits a table soon.

   6mm isn't as vital. A few buildings as representational is probably going to have to do a lot, and the same for fleet scale stuff. Of course, I haven't much of either of those. And, typically, what I do have is unpainted and sitting on a shelf. Or in a cupboard.

   The goal is to be able to put at least a small town in each of the scales. I want some specific pieces for each, and there are a couple of different genres: desert, modern/sci-fi, fantasy, and historic/VSF.

   Sorry, this post is mostly a bit of mental calculations and considerations of what I have and need. But I figured all of you have probably faced the same predicaments. Maybe someone has a pointer or two for me?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Marine Infantry - Gung Ho!

   I have a few stands of Marines finished as well. I'm mostly waiting to get my hands on bases to really start trying to crank out some motivated Marine infantry. As previously mentioned (I think), I am building a USMC Rifle Company for Flames of War Pacific. Most of the infantry figures will be Peter Pig - all of these are.

Captain Crow, Company Commander

You can barely see it in this shot, but the Medic's bag has a Red Cross emblem.
Also, that's one big radio the poor radioman is humping.

Forward Observers - Either calling for naval gunnery or a load of napalm...

F4U Corsair for Flames of War Pacific

   As I may have mentioned previously, I am working on a company of US Marines for the Flames of War Pacific rules. Marines need air cover, and it is ably supplied by the Vought F4U Corsair.

   I did a bit of research on paint jobs for the Corsair, and essentially there are three. I went with a sort of midwar version, the three-color. On top is a dark blue (I used Prussian Blue), with a thin intermediate blue color (Pale Grey Blue - too light, really) transition of irregular shape, and an underside of insignia white (Ivory). The engine cowling is yellow (Deep Yellow). All colors used are Vallejo Model Colors.

   I used decals for the national insignia and the aircraft number. You may note the lack of kill markers. It seems that the Navy and Marines by extension were much stricter about the personalization of an aircraft; also, it was unusual for a Navy or Marine pilot to have a single aircraft assigned to them. So personalization was even less common, and strictly forbidden by the Navy. I am painting mine as land based (hence the lack of tail markings which would denote the carrier from which the squadron operated) and therefore Marine Air Wing, not Naval Aviation.

   This particular Corsair isn't quite finished. I need to add the rockets under the wings. Historically, apparently they should be olive drab. But that would look like crap. So I think I am going to go with white rockets. It might be a bit anachronistic, but it will look better, and this is just toy soldiers, after all...

Friday, October 14, 2016

Some 15mm Sci Fi goodies

   More goodies for 15mm science fiction today. I believe everything here is Khurasan Miniatures.

   First up, the scientists. These are hapless civilians, in three varieties of posing: standing, running, and dead (well, one is). I have another pack of them, I think I shall paint them in more alien colors. I think alien scientists still wear white lab coats, though, right? Oh, maybe a set of antennae and a green skin for one of them? Go classical?

   Next is the vending machine. Yep, a vending machine. Good for cover in a city and a quick bite to eat, keep one's energy levels up when fighting the Felid Domination or the Pelagic Empire or whatever. I'm currently painting its cold beverage companion. I went for a neon-esque look on teh sign. These should not be confused with the AI-robot vendors that I have already painted and posted previously. Those are from Ion Age, and are very fun.

I painted in the snack bags. You can have Freetoes, Cheesie Puffs, Chocobars, or Roast Chicken crisps...

   And a Recyclebot, there on the lower right hand side. An autonomous solar-powered refuse retrieval robot, programmed to deliver garbage to the recyclers. Notice the green tri-arrow cycle and the green leafy logo. From EcoBots, the Giant Robotics MegaCorp that Cares. It's really just for street scatter in an urban setting. 

   Finally, you can also see some more scatter or perhaps objective markers: crates. I have left them loose rather than gluing them to a base and stacking them or something so that they are more flexible. I might get a few more packs though, just to do a base with a pile of them.

   I'm also working on a park terrain piece that is a larger base, with benches and a statue and everything. Maybe even a hedge. The benches are done, and the statue is mostly finished.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Be Careful if you look at this.

The image of an angel becomes an angel, after all.

   These are Reaper Bones figures. I have another pack as well. I like how these came out, and will enjoy painting the others as well. They paint quickly, too.

   I am trying to think up some sort of mechanic to use them as a sort of landmine or something for In Her Majesty's Name. I think that they activate if a) any living creature approaches within 12", and b) no one actually has them in their line of sight, based on the figure's facing (again, within about 12"). The Angel then moves adjacent to the target (nearest first) and makes a melee attack. The merest touch sends the afflicted model back in time. A successful Pluck roll means that the model is saved by a Mad Man in a Blue Box (yes, I have a TARDIS in 28mm). At the END of the next turn, the Blue Box appears in a random location, disgorging the model. A failed Pluck roll means gone for good.

Hordes and VSF beasties

   No, not police officers. Shame on you.

   These are big piggies, warbeasts from Hordes. The Minions faction. Razor Boars, if I remember rightly. I plan to use them for both Hordes and VSF games, where they are mutant giant pigs created by the twisted Doctor Vardu.

   I have also finished a Bull Snapper Light Warbeast, also for Hordes and seconding in to Vardu's plans. He's the lesser cousin of the big Blackhide Wrassler I already have.

There is a puddle at its feet.

   I've got a new camera, so I am still fiddling with it. These photos seem okay, though.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Tournament Results

   Well, this is going to be short because it's late and I am tired, and there are no pictures because I was too busy trying to play to take photos. Sorry about that, because there were some really nice looking minis on the tables.

Game 1: Victory, 5-2
   The mission was Fighting Withdrawal." I played against a guy with, I think, pretty comparable skill level (mediocre). He was running an Italian tank company, so I was the defender. I made some mistakes, the biggest of which was forgetting to place an ambush of anti-tank guns the turn before his tanks assaulted my infantry in the objective. My air support made a big difference in the end, causing enough casualties in the last turn to force a company morale test, which he failed. There were lots of assaults, and my Indians proved how tough they are when defending the trenches.

Game 2: Victory, 4-3
   The mission was "Breakthrough." Again, I played someone of roughly equivalent skill level, and again I defended. This mission is not one of my favorites. It was a blue on blue situation as well, with the 'enemy' being an American Armoured Rifle Company. This victory was largely on the strength of his dice failing him on a couple of key points, mainly with two major units being pinned or bailed out, slowing his momentum. They did still wipe out my tank platoon in the second turn. I had fun bringing my Indian Pattern Carriers into his backfield, shooting up his nasty 105mm artillery. He also had some difficulty with his reinforcements bogging down in a wood, preventing them from bringing enough firepower onto the infantry platoon defending the objectives. My artillery was helpful, and air support made a difference again. I held a platoon in reserve one or two turns too long, and I forgot to move my portees again, which cost me that platoon (and made it 4-3). Honestly, I won this one by the skin of my teeth - time ran out and he was denied a 5-2 victory which he probably would have had in the next turn or two.

Game 3: Loss, 1-6
   The mission was "Dust Up." I played against Chris Jackson, a nationally ranked player running a German Armoured Pioneer Company. I got creamed. He played a very clean game, and was a great sport. I both made some serious mistakes and had some terrible luck. My air, for example, never came on the table the entire game. Eight turns, eighteen dice, and not one came up 5+. Also, my delayed reserves were very delayed. I lost before the first turn, however, as I had NO effective anti-tank on one flank, the very spot where his reinforcements would come into play. Additionally, he was ready for dug-in infantry with a platoon of SP guns with the "Bunker Buster" special ability (SiGs). In the end, Chris won 'Best General' in the tournament, for his scores in win/loss.

   I came in somewhere in the middle of the pack. I don't know what my actual placing was out of the sixteen players, as only about the top five were announced. I did get a $25 gift certificate for bringing a table, which helped offset the $35 entry fee. I won't be doing that again, though, as I heard several people complain about the table I set up. They felt that the North African desert was 'too open', with a village in the center of the table, a couple of largish rock outcrops, a palm grove, railroad, road... Fine. I won't bother to pack it up and drag it across town next time. Sound a bit childish of me? Probably. But it was incredibly rude on their part, when most of them didn't bring anything to help. I think this is my last FOW tournament. I've never really enjoyed them much, but I got lured into this one by a chance at part of the $1,000 worth of prize support. My lackluster performance, the expense of playing, the hassle getting stuff in and out and setup and taken down, the rude comments about what I did bring, and how tiring it is to play for almost 10 straight hours (only had 30 minutes for lunch because first game ran long)... offset by meeting a few new people (not that I played against anyone new - I've faced all three of my opponents before) and winning a minor prize. Just not enough reward. I should have stayed home and set up something to play against a friend down here.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

British Indians going to FOW Tournament

   I am taking another swing at a local tournament today. I will run my British 8th Army Indian Rifle Company. I haven't ever had a lot of luck with these fellows, but I do like them. Part of it may be that I just haven't got how to use them best figured out. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

One thing I lack is a Tiger killer, except maybe for air support. But I have gone an entire game before without getting air support to arrive.

Here's the list for 1500 points of Mid War. Indians are Fearless Trained.

Company HQ (Indian)
  • Company Command Rifle Team
  • 2iC Rifle Team
  • 2x Blacker Bombards
2x Rifle Platoon (Indian) - I usually plunk one over a key objective. They're really hard to root out.
  • Cmd Rifle/MG Team
  • 9x Rifle/MG Team
  • Light Mortar Team
Carrier Platoon (Indian)
  • 6x Indian Pattern Carrier - I use these to keep ambushes back and to machine gun the hell out of a position my infantry is about to assault.
Mortar Platoon (Indian)
  • Cmd Rifle Team
  • 3x Observer Team
  • 6x ML 3" Mortar

Machine Gun Platoon (Indian)
  • Cmd Rifle Team
  • 4x Vickers HMG
Infantry Tank Platoon (Confident Trained)
  • 2x Valentine III - useful against lightly armoured opponents
  • Valentine VIII - 6-pdr gun can do some damage
Anti-Tank Platoon, Royal Artillery 8th Army (Confident Veteran)
  • Cmd Rifle Team
  • Jeep
  • 2x 2-pdr Portee
  • 2x 6-pdr Portee
Field Battery, Royal Artillery, 8th Army (Confident Veteran)
  • Cmd Rifle Team
  • Staff Team
  • Observer Team
  • 15-cwt Truck (I usually leave this off table)
  • 4x OQF 25-pdr
Air Support
  • Limited Air Support, Hurricane IIC