Saturday, 27 December 2014

Oh, the depths of WW2 geekery...

As part of my regular Xmas I normally get a WW2 aircraft print calendar. This years has some cracking art in it and having an admiring look through it tonight on my return home, I came across this:

Spot the mistake!!!

(I did immediately, resulting in loud sighs from A - 'does it really matter??' says she - all I could do was splutter in outrage and defence! Still unsure whether to write to the maker!!! Imagine getting one of my favourite planes wrong!)

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas! + Swag

Merry Christmas every one. I hope Santa has been good to you all.

I received some great gifts, including:

Three M3 Stuart's, 1 AA Crusader and 2 M10C's. Finishing off three whole platoons. Also, two Kolinski brushes. 

Hope everyone has a great day. 

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Full Thrust - Loss at Tab 1

"... Questions were asked in Pariament today after the Admiralty reported the loss of the Heavy Destroyer RNS Duncan and Destroyer RNS Dunkirk while enforcing the no fly zone around the interdicted colony of Tab 1. Unknown forces, presumed to be human but of no declared faction, were intercepted on an approach vector to the planet...."
From NAC Today News

Myself and C (one of my Full Thrust converts) had a quick low points game (400pts) - the first use of my kitchen table for gaming since the move. 

C used to build his ships. He got himself a small fleet of the new British ships from Brigade ( and statted them up to be a low thrust, heavy weapon fleet. I think the plan is for them to be a corporate/private military contract fleet. For his 400 points he could field 2 destroyers and 3 frigates.

I went for two destroyers and a heavy destroyer using the stats for the new style NAC ships here:

The result was me not identifying the points and mass cost of thrust 6 on my ships and the weaponry and defenses that thrust 2 ships gain. Combined with my appalling dice rolling led to my heavy destroyer and one destroyer being obliterated in a head on pass, and my remaining destroyer running with no systems remaining. And all I managed in return was some desultory damage on a couple of ships.

A rather sharp reminder that when you have maneuverability, you should use it!!! The next episode is in the works however! 

Also in the works this Christmas has been my second lot of infantry figures for the 6MMRPC, including my two Military Police figures. 

Merry Christmas everyone! 

Monday, 1 December 2014

15mm Loyd Carrier Comparison (Battlefront, PSC, Forged in Battle)

On Saturday I was in Teeside at A's parents so went along to the Battleground 2014 show - formerly Smoggycon (my visit being cunningly organised by me to allow me to attend the show while A went to the hairdressers). While there I picked up some models - hence using my other Joker for the 6 Month Miniature Mountain Reduction Painting Competition.

The models in question were the Plastic Soldier Company 15mm Loyd Carrier and 6-pounder plastic box.

Image used without permission, no ownership claimed by me!
While I don't need these models just now, my Recce company list will eventually need 4 of these guns. And I really liked the look of the Loyd Carrier with the canvas hood on!

The models had a little flash on them, but were easy to clean with a craft knife and a small file. The instructions...

...were fairly straight forward but oddly difficult. The step 2. handily says 'Check orientation of Axle' - but gives no indication of what that actually means. The Engine sub-assembly section was also a bit strange as the front and rear sections of the engine are different, but the image has them being the same (the engine cover with the extra detail on it goes to the rear).

The sprues themselves have a lot of detail on them, including some jerry cans, ammo boxes, etc. The crew figures look a decent size for using with Battlefront models, but I have left them on the sprue for now as I will paint them separately  rather than as part of the model.

The model itself scales very well with both the Battlefront and the Forged in Battle Loyd carrier. For the purposes of the pictures I placed the plastic PSC model on the FoW medium base, as the other two models have the bases cast on.

In the pictures the painted model is the Battlefront model.

As the pictures show the plastic kit is a good match. Once I've had some time to put the 6-pounder together I will take some comparison shots of it with the Battlefront model. All in all a very nice kt, fiddly to assemble but it looks great and the detail is impressive. I love the canopy, and it really gives another option to something that can be quite samey when in a large army or collection.

So these will take quite a while to paint up, but I'm glad I got them (even though I felt a little like I was buying them just because there was such a lack of other options - 15mm WW2 models are getting in shorter and shorter supply at shows currently).

Sunday, 23 November 2014

#6MMRPC Update - infantry progress

This week I started on the sticks of infantry and gun crews that I had prepped and primed last week. By this point I know how to cope with painting infantry figures. And for me that means splitting the task into smaller parts and handling each one in my own time.

However, my time this week was also taken up by having to spend a lot of time fixing my blog. Given the time it takes for photos to upload to Blogger, I had taken to uploading pictures to Facebook and linking the images into my blog. At some point in the last few weeks Facebook seems to have moved/changed the URL of some of my pictures. This meant I was left with somewhere between 50 and 100 blog entries with no pictures, including some of the most popular ones... However, hopefully this issue is now sorted - if anyone is seeing broken image links or images that won't display, please let me know!

So these infantry are all pre-wash/pre-varnish and just really have the base colours blocked in. They are a miss match of infantry, mortar and gun crews. This includes some simple greenstuff conversions - like my attempts to make the mortar bombs for the 4.2" mortar crew bigger and one officer that has been converted from a 8th Army model (and has some sort of popeye arm now).

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Battlegroup Overlord game 22/11/14

I had a chance to get along to the Carluke and Law Wargames Club this Saturday as A was working. Having organised with YD to play BG:O we had planned on a 300 point game. However we decided to ask through the week if anyone else wanted to play.

The answer was everyone.

It turns out that these rules have become the favorite WW2 system in the club, replacing the previous champion Rapid Fire. In reply to my text to YD about what points to play, the reply was 'bring everything'!

We set up a long table with the aim of playing up rather than across. The club has adopted the game with a couple of small modifications. Currently, they ignore the force BR and just play to a set BR level for each side. This worked pretty well for a pick up game, but talking to YD afterwards I felt that the method of BR tracking disadvantaged the Allies. But for pickup games it works fine. The other major modification is that instead of randomly drawing counters Big Stu had re-arranged the counters sheet into a random format, and you roll 1d8 for row and 1d12 for line. Pretty simple... but I think the rules have drawn counters removed from the pot so that there are a limited number of '1's and '5's.

Still, great game. Highlights were our (the allied) cunning plan that had us attacking in waves with each wave having a objective. Our infantry secured the start line and then the mobile forces came on...  Our Shermans coming on and bravely engaging the front armour of the Jagdpather - one shot pinging off into orbit causing the Jagdpather crew to roll a 1 for morale and be pinned!

Our 25-pounders had the crossroads pre-registered and we called down all 4 guns onto the crossroads behind the Jagdpanther - and the first ranging round scattered to within an inch of the big cat. I can imagine the FOO calling fire for effect before the dust had cleared! The result was one dead Big Cat.

Nebelwerfer fire raining down to pin and destroy, Pak40's lurking behind every hedge and nice models on the table. All good fun.

The high tide of the allied advance was the large dark forest on the right, beside YD's model box. 

The Typhoon is acting as a BF109-G - running into ambush fire from our Bofors 40mm gun placed on Ambush fire on turn 1!

Smokes fallen off the big cat!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Blog Disaster

I'm having to undertake some maintenance to my blog currently as posts from Sept 2013 until recently have broken image links.

Apologies for this, it seems to be due to Facebook moving/changing the URL of the pictures involved. I am having to download the images from facebook and re-upload them to blogger to make sure they do not vanish again.

As you can imagine, trying to remember which picture goes where makes this all the more interesting. I am also enjoying how poor the lighting is in many of my pics!!!

Normal service will resume presently!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

#6MMRPC Update

As I continue plodding towards the aim of having everything on my painting chart green within the 6 months time frame.... I thought I should update my actual chart.

I've reached a bit of a dead end with the vehicles because of the weather, time and not being allowed to use varnish in the house any more (the injustice! - although I am working on being able to use the box room so my varnishing isn't stopped for the whole winter). 

While I try to resolve the vanishing issue, I have now moved onto trying to clear my feet of the various infantry and crew figures I have. 

Hence the updated chart with a bit more orange on it!

The last week was spent cleaning all these figures up, getting them prepped and now they are ready to go (although I'm not sure whether or not I am!!!). 

So 21 'sticks' worth of figures. About 100 individual figures. *Sigh* 

Plus the three jeeps I have been working on...  

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

In Remembrance

My thoughts this morning will be with the fallen of all wars, past and present. Specifically though I'll be thinking of the men of 144RAC.

As the dedication on the first page of 'Blue Flash' states:

"To all who served in the Regiment

"I had rather have,
Such men my friends than enemies."

Julius Caesar, Act V, Sc. iv."

Lest we forget.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

15mm Ambulance Jeep - WiP

Part of my painting chart for the 6 Months Metal Mountain Reduction Painting Challenge is an ambulance jeep, for use with Battlegroup Overlord. And also because I thought it would be interesting to do as a project, and would fit in with the other wartime medical models I was planning on doing.

The original plan had been to use the stretcher models from the Skytrex medic's packs I had bought. However, having prepared one of them for the model I became concerned that it would make the model look a little too busy. So the other night I began 'constructing' this:

These were done using some of the styrene I had ordered via ebay a few months ago. The pack contained various lengths and thicknesses of styrene. Combined with some thin plasticard I had, I built two stretchers and then a framework for the hood of the Jeep.

The reason for the framework was that I realised that in order to paint the jeep and get the decals I want to put on in place, I would have to add the stretchers once the jeep was finished.

Obviously, the stretcher poles and supports still have to be trimmed!

The Jeep itself needed a couple of extras. I don't think I would be able to work with styrene thin enough to make the pole like supports. I should have mentioned I am using a 20mm model from Milicast as a guide (pic found here). However, I may give using the thinner stuff a try depending on how I feel once all the bits are done.

The supports at the front still need to be trimmed to the correct length to support the front of the stretchers.

And a (very rough) assembly of all the bits:

The metal support in the centre is in the pack as a post for an optional machine gun, but I had thought it could be trimmed to act as additional support for the rear stretcher. I'm still not sure on that (and can't find my clippers currently - another victim of the house move) and may remove it.

So that's the plan so far - hopefully I can get it looking decent once all the bits are trimmed and fitted. But it does give me something to work on while I wait for a chance to varnish the small tank horde I currently have sitting on my desk. When it comes to painting this up I will also do the other two jeeps - one which will be a MP jeep and the other which is part of the HQ for my Bofors unit.