Tuesday, 22 July 2014

While I was at it...

With me spending time last night finishing off the basing on my AA platoon last night, I realised that the 17 pdrs I finished recently were based differently from the halftracks they have as towing vehicles. Since it was a quick job, I updated them with some of the white and yellow flower clumps I've been using.

I've a visit to the Edinburgh Wargames show 'Claymore' coming in August so on the shopping list are more of those flower clumps and moss tufts.

Still not happy with the faces of the crew here, but I will revisit them when my technique improves.

Monday, 21 July 2014

40mm Bofors Anti Aircraft platoon - Finished!

"Huzzah" I hear all regular readers of my rambling blog cheer.

"Thank f*ck those as done" I think to myself!

This unit has been a bit of a slog. Originally picked as I thought it would be a quick platoon to finish I rapidly found myself disliking the sculpts and struggling to make progress against my own apathy. Thankfully some support from the blogging community spurred me on to finish these off.

Now they are done, perversely, I kinda like them. Although I think the bases could be doing with more detail (spend brass, ammo crates, etc). Those may come later. 

Missing at this stage is the final 2 guns of the battery and transport. These guys are representing 40th Light AA Regiment, Royal Artillery - As usual, part of the 51st Highland Division. I am tempted to get the last two guns as the self propelled versions (BR182) - mainly because I like them and it saves me having to work on the Forged in Battle mini's again - as I wouldn't like to mix  the Battlefront ones into this platoon. But it would also give me some different models and would be nice for Battlegroup Overlord.

Guns were painted standard Russian Uniform Green (Vallejo Model Color 70.924). Wheels/tyres were just black with a Vallejo Panzer Aces Dark Rubber (306) highlight. Crew were standard Vallejo Model Color English Uniform (70.921) with Vallejo Model Color Khaki webbing  and gaiters (70.988), black boots and well... flesh coloured flesh. Helmets are Russian Uniform Green. Highlights on the crew are mainly shades of English Uniform and Khaki. Khaki was also used to highlight the guns. A coat of Dark tone Army Painter was put on before the highlights, and a matt coat of varnish after the highlights. 

One of the things I am glad I did with these models was to add my own gunsights. The Forged in Battle minis had no gunsight included and I felt the model really needed one. They are very prominent on this gun and the Battlefront model does include them. 

The crew poses are a bit strange - they could have really done with people with binoculars and some different ammo carrying poses. 

Still, as much as i have struggled with these guys they are decent models for the money. Scale wise they fit in well with Flames of War models to the extent I had no worries about mixing them on a command base. It's probably important to note that the Forged in Battle 40mm Bofors guns have no base included and models for command stands. There were a few spare crew mini's, but none that have any real command style.

Once they were based up I was much less focused on the individual models and my annoyance at the one part gun shield/crew sculpt. But I do think the guns are a weak part of the model and I have broken one already. They are also a bugger to keep straight. 

So that's it, another platoon down and time to move on. I'm going to try and pick something I want to paint this time... Certainly NOT the 4.2" Mortar platoon.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Birthday Pressies, Cakes and Battlefront Customer Service...

A busy couple of weeks for me which has seen me make not very much progress on these damn 40mm Bofors guns. Still, today I managed to get the bases mostly done. Hopefully tomorrow the weather here will be good enough for a spray of matt coat for the guns.

Last weekend was my birthday, which I spent with A and her family at her niece's christening. Which was a lovely day and the wee one was beautiful in her gown and very well behaved. As A is also her Godmother, I was on photo taking duty! A got me some lovely gifts, which included a box of 25-pdrs from Battlefront (exactly what I had asked for!). This will give me a full Battery of 8 guns.

Image from the www.flamesofwar.com website - not my picture!
And this is where Battlefront customer services comes in again!

You'll see the box says "Contains a complete 4 gun battery". The spotlight section of the website also says:

4 Guns and Limbers
2 Command teams
1 Observer team
1 Staff team
4 Gun team crews (20 miniatures)
3 Small bases
1 Single piece resin OP Carrier with crew
4 Different resin scenic bases
1 Scenic Staff Team Base

I've added my own emphasis.

Well it turns out that the box has been changed since the spotlight article was done - which is really the only thing on the website that contains any detailed info on what is in the box. I assume that the things that were missing were the things most people would ignore - the Limbers.  

So, being a stubborn sod I emailed Battlefront customer services to complain - replacing missing limbers would cost me money. It would actually double the cost of the transport for the unit, as instead of getting only two packs of BR277 Quad Tractor I would have to get four of BR276 Quad Tractor and Limber (x1) as I could see no where else that sold the Limbers by themselves. 

Probably Battlefronts intention when they changed the box!

I complained on the basis that the webstore still says the Limbers are included and that the only info on the website about this product was inaccurate. Thankfully the chap that responded was very understanding (after an initial misunderstanding about what the Limber actually was - fixed by sending him the links to Battlefronts own products). The emails were sent on Monday, by Thursday I had 4 brand new limbers to go with my new artillery troop!

The Scenic bases are very nice, but I'm not very sure about using them as the other Troop doesn't have them. Also, I have an issue with the bases looking like the guns are 'dug in' - which is a separate rules thing. At this stage I may sell them on (or trade them, if anyone has anything interesting to offer in exchange). The command base I'm not sure I will use, but the models for it may come in useful - especially the dispatch rider model. However, the quest for a WW2 British dispatch rider on motorcycle continues.  

Final picture for the blog (as it's been a wall of text). The cake stall I was helping to run last Saturday that raised nearly £200 for the church A's family attend.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Forged in Battle 40mm Bofors WiP

I blogged on Friday night about the issues I was having with getting these measly 4 models painted - having hit something of a wall with regards to my painting progress.

These are just not models I am enjoying - although I have to say they are looking a lot better now than when they were bare metal. However, they did not add my my love of them when applying the army painter quickshade out in the garden, one of them fell off the stick I had it glued to, bounced on the tray and sent the head of one of the gunners into the gravel on the path...!

Having butchered a spare Bren gunner from a Universal Carrier to obtain a new head, I repaired the model and did a quick highlight to them tonight.

Not 100% done yet - still to make the faces look decent, apply soot to the guns, get them mounted on bases (I made up 4 bases, then realised they need to be large ones rather than the medium ones I had done - d'oh!) and sort out the final highlights. But getting there.

17 pounder ammo crates and the wheel sections for the Bofors guns.

The current bane of my existence. These may be on sale painted and based - Price would be two packs of Battlefront Bofors! Note the guy on the far left with the new head - needing a wash and varnish.

Still needing final highlights and matt varnish!

Friday, 4 July 2014


Not my picture!

Nearly every night this week I have come home with the intention of finishing off these Bofors AA guns.

And done nothing with them.

This has been the case for a few weeks. I think part of it has been how much I dislike the models... but there is so little left to do on them I'm beginning to think that's only part of the problem. I had a similar issue last year where I went for weeks with little progress - and I think the lack of having played anything for the last 4 or 5 months is now having a big impact as well.

With my better half having moved in (and now working two part time jobs through the week) I've not managed to get to the Saturday club and I cut down my roleplaying to 2 games a week (one on a night A works, and one on her night off so she has some time to herself...) so I want to keep my weekends free for time with her and can't now really fit in or justify any more gaming in the week.


The result of this has been that even though I have been buying models - I'm not doing anything with them. The Bofors guns have had the crew painted and just really need the earth colour on the bottom of the cruciform legs done. Then they will be ready for Army Painter varnish, etc. I'm hoping (!) that just blogging about this issue will help me overcome it - give me a little motivation this weekend to get over this hump, But it's a big wall, and I am struggling!