Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A distracting dilemma.

Today you find me with a familiar dilemma faced by many a wargamer.  As you will know I currently have a large amount of 15mm Flames of War gear to paint up, and I've a load of 28mm Bolt Action minis steadily getting love from a paintbrush.

My dilemma is this:

Ordered sometime after Christmas and only recently dispatched and arrived. I've always had a soft spot for the Eastern front, mainly as it seems to be somewhat forgotten by the gaming community in the UK (well maybe just the battle of Stalingrad is a popular choice for re-enactment). This was the battle that turned the war in the East, and I've been more interested in masses of tanks and field guns over sweeping the streets of a ruined city. All boys love tanks and guns. Those who say they don't are fibbing to themselves!

First impressions are good:

Big, heavy book with lots of interesting pictures and broken down into logical chapters.

Nice layout, plenty of eye candy and content to match the weight/price tag.

Order of battle for both the Germans and Soviets present, there is also a historical break down of who fought where and when during the battle, which is great for beginners interested in keeping some historical accuracy while building their forces.

Some cheeky advertising near the rear of the book - if it's good enough for the market leaders in the miniature wargame world (I'm looking at GW and Battlefront here) then I suppose it's acceptable here too...

As I already have 2 WW2 systems on the go I'm kinda torn with starting BGK in a new scale. I have terrain and loads of minis for 15mm, but it's mainly Normandy related stuff (bocage, European houses etc...) so I would still need to buy Russian buildings. The roads/woods/rivers I have for 15mm are in scale for 20mm (the scale I'm looking at for BGK) so any additional outlay would be happening for BGK anyway. I'm not too much of a fan of painting 15's at the moment either...

28mm is too big for this system given my limited space for storage and game playing.

So on to 20mm: it's cheap (Plastic Soldier Company/Armourfast etc), there's a whole world of choice for kits/diecast/resin models/metal minis/terrain and I'm not restricted to one or two manufacturers - more choice usually means better offers and deals/cheaper products.

Given my original dilemma and the fact I may well have drunkenly bought a load of 20mm metals from CP miniatures it looks like there is no dilemma at all really!

15mm for Company/Divisional level engagements using FoW initially and then possibly the Battle Group ruleset when Battle Group Overlord is released.  (FoW seems to be the WW2 tournament rules of of choice after all).

20mm for Platoon to Company level games using Battle Group Kursk.

28mm for Squad level games using Bolt Action.

Until next time...

Sunday, 10 February 2013

For the Motherland! part 4

More work continues on the rather dusty T34:

I've varnished the beast which has reduced the level of dust somewhat; I might re dust it and then seal it with pigment fixer. Other than that all I need to do is finish off some details (light, bits and bobs) and tidy up the tank riders (some minor chips here and there) and I'm done.
I'll post pictures of my completed work later on. In the mean time I'm desperately trying to build the Warlord games multi part plastics but I'm finding they are sapping my mojo; I'd much rather play with metals, even if they are limited in pose-ability.

Until next time...

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Random post for this week.

Today see's the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad. A turning point in WW2 for sure, without which many in Europe could possibly be speaking German and eating wurst for every meal. Cheers Joe Stalin and friends.

This week has seen a limited amount of hobby activity in the house of Gonzo; mainly because work was busier than expected and also because my misses decided to adopt a new member into our family.

Lily, our wee French Bulldog mutt.

Lily likes lazy days in bed, eating chocolate spread while watching war movies.

Normal service will resume shortly. Until next time...

Monday, 28 January 2013

For the Motherland! part 3

Part three of "For the Motherland!" sees me deviate from my plan (as usual). Instead of sticking plastic Russians together I decided to wade into my T34/76 (1941 turret) by Warlordgames.

Painting in Progress pics:

 Basic block painted, I was going to airbrush but didn't have the time to setup and faff about. The slogan is bigger than i wanted but A) I can't paint fine details too well and B) I don't have a heap of stowage to add to this beast, the right flank looked a little bare. Given it's a small turreted 76 (not a big 85) I thought the slogan would look better on the side of the tank. It might not be historically accurate but erm it's mine and I like it this way?!?

According to Google Translate it "should" read "old beauty" but probably says something horrible about my mother/dog/wife/your sister etc... I went with "old beauty" as I will be using this in a 1944 list and thought the crew would have named their ride who has served them well in dozens of engagements with Mr Hun.

 I smashed out some chipping too, German Grey, Ivory and Gunmetal.

 More of the same.

 Scale shot so you get an idea of how compact this is compared to some other stuff, makes a change from 40K tanks!

The driver, Stan(islav). He's just needing a flesh wash to finish him off.

Something I thought I'd try out, video clips. I first saw this on MODEL DADS and was impressed by their video reviews of products. This is only MK1 video, I had to strip the audio as my camera seemed to have a shed load of hiss during playback. I need to work on a mechanism to rotate the turntable at a constant speed, now where did I put my lego technics?

Black and brown oils added, still slightly wet so the camera has picked up some patchiness, this will be sorted with a clean brush and white spirit later when it's dried a bit more.

Stan(islav) in all his 20 minute glory. I need to learn how to paint eyes.

So, T34 needs pigments then she is done. Working on nights these next few days will allow me to concentrate on building my plastics (honest) and also painting up my 4 Tankodesantniki (and Sapper SG43 gunner!).

Until next time...

Saturday, 26 January 2013

For the Motherland! part 2.1

And they are finished:

 LMG for the win!

 Still a shite pose.


 "This way to Burger King lads, mine's a Double-Whopper with cheese!".

 King of the castle. Get some!

 All 5 of my new Red Army recruits.

All 10 of my demolition-maniacs. Pass the C4 please!

I'm really happy with these minis. Great quality castings and so much cheaper then the Games Workshop stuff I have concentrated on in the past few years. If this is the way of 2013 I will paint lots this year.

Next up, I need to build my plastic Russians. I never managed to buy some black primer or varnish today :( with any luck I can have them all built and buy the primer this weekend.

Once I have built all my ruskies I will start work on my T34/76 (1941 turret). Complete with Tankodesantniki. Beards and all.

Until next time...

For the Motherland! part 2

Fourth post of 2013, I may need to sit down as I'm getting a bit of a nose-bleed!

Well some PIP pics to show I'm still alive, please excuse the random flash photos, my camera is playing funny buggers. Without further ado more 28mm Red Army for you:

 "Grenade!" nice wee sculpt this guy.

 "Forward, for the Motherland!"

 Generic SMG firing pose, possibly the weakest pose of the bunch.

 Squad LMG gunner "getting some".

"I am the God of Hellfire!"

And the happy bunch of demo-psychos to date.

All that's left to do is a final touch up, some grey on the boots and flamer hose followed by the amoeba camo. Finally base rims black and flock so they should be complete some time tonight.

Until next time...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

For the Motherland!

New week, new post.

I've been a bit busy with work and had limited time for my hobby but I did manage to paint the first 5 of 11 Soviet Assault Engineers.

 The SG43 loader page-7-fella, mid pose.

Sapper with SMG and mine "dude, is this thing live???"

 "I spy with my Red Army eye..."

 SMG firing. "Blam, Blam. Uri, I got you, you're dead"

Sapper with Panzerfaust, "Hey, guys, you could like carry some stuff too you know."

Group shot, minus flash.

Group shot with flash.

So a weeks work (two nights really) and I'm done. So happy with the results, I really love the Warlordgames Russian metals, I have 40 plastic infantry to build this month with a view to having them painted by the end of February. Then I can do some fun stuff - T34/76 that's under coated  a Zis3 76mm gun team and I might plump for either an assault-gun of some sort (SU-85 or SU 100) or maybe a captured Panther/Tiger, with adhoc Soviet paint-over.

There will be the new soviet scouts too, so nice and it'd be rude to not include them (with a captured schwimmwagon too ;) )

All in all, 3 weeks into 2013 (almost!) and 3 Blog updates, only 49 more to reach my target for this year!

Until next time...

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Idle hands

Being on a shift pattern at work recently has given me more time to get stuck into my hobby toys and build. Night shifts have been particularly quiet so here's what my idle hands have been up to...

M18 's and security section. The security section still needs some filler where the wheels of the M20's mate with the resin body. Not nice models to fit together.

 US Para 57mm AT sections. Quick minis to build though I had a lot of flash on my two blisters...

 US Para 75mm pack howitzers. Nice and clean boxset from Battlefront (quick and easy to assemble).

 US Para Engineer platoon. Not a great variety of poses with these. For a relatively new blister the moulds of some figures were awful.

 A moment of indecision. I love Stuart tanks but also fancied some M4A3's as support for my US Paras. The answer? Buy both! (and sustain the global economy single handedly!).

 Some 15mm wall sections. Quick to build with minimum cleaning and only now require flock to finish. You get loads of walls in the pack and it's cheap too. Remember, I'm lazy and I like a bargain.

More 15mm lasercut terrain. This time a graveyard. Again; cheap, easy to build, good quality and lots of it for the money. fences in 15mm. Not much I can add that I haven't above.

Some pics of a terraced house. A real pleasure to build in under 40 minutes (plus drying time). Sturdy, well made and the kit went together perfectly. I have a load more of their kits to finish off and a church to build. They might look a little clean but with some effort these can be painted up to look battle worn as much as any resin house I've seen.

Finally, I had some time to clean up my boltaction Russians:
 Soviet Sappers, menacing. I decided to put the SG43 team on individual washers to make casualty counting easier. I have seen larger 60mm bases with magnets being used, it's something I might have a play with in the future.

After starting to clean up my plastic Ruskies I realised I never had my army list to hand, so stopped before I gave every one an SMG! Also in picture is a Maxim team (top right) and the turret for my T34/76 (1941 turret). This model was a bit of a pig, but more on that next time...

Until next time...