Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Progress and Xmas Loot

Hi Folks - and Merry Christmas from me and mine to you and yours!

This last week or so I've gotten started on my first entry for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge 8 (AHPC8), but progress has been slow. In all honesty I've just struggled to find the motivation to paint German gun crew. I have made some progress, but I think the pile of prepped models has actually put a damper on my motivation. I finally decided to go back to basics, pick one unit at a time and get them done, rather than staring at the whole lot and fretting!

Yesterday I really lucked out on gifts, getting everything that was on the list I had provided Amy with earlier in the year. Again, books were the main focus as they are easier to pick up and less chance of things not arriving by the big day. But I did get some models...

I'm really pleased with all of these. The Normandy stuff should keep me going for a while, and there looks to be some really great info in them. Especially the info on the Canadians! Combined with a really really interesting online find on Christmas Eve, where I found a .PDF of a post war Canadian Army report into Totalise that is chock full of some really great info, I feel like I've got some great new perspectives on the battle to read through.

Stripes is also a really interesting book, with lots of great options for Team Yankee... I can see me expanding my 3mm Americans based on some of the stuff that's there.

Necromunda is the first GW game I've gotten in a long time. When I saw it was coming out I just had to jump on board (which is pretty uncommon for me). I've great memories of this game from my teenage years. The contents of the box look great, and I'll have a think about how I build the figures before I do anything with them... but it does mean I need to think about new scenery!

Over the weekend, I also took the opportunity to prime my prepped German guns. Gunuary doesn't properly start until the 1st of January, but I'm jumping in early as I've so much to do.

A can of Plastic Soldier Company 'Late War German Dunkelgelb' went quite a long way on these, and forms a decent primer coat on all the guns. I'll probably do another light coat of middlestone or green ochre over these before detailing, washing and highlights. I also have to prep quite a lot of bases!

Right now, I'm focusing on the crew and guns for a 3.7cm AA battery. The figures are from the Battlefront SS set, but I am painting them in my attempt at Luftwaffe ground uniforms for a battery of III Flak Corps guns.

Hopefully everyone else got what they wanted for Christmas and had a great day!

Happy new year when it comes!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Operation Totalize: Footage

Hi folks,

In keeping with my blog being a repository for info I've found on Operation Totalize, I wanted to post this link. It's from a Canadian Army Newsreel and it shows what I believe is one of the training columns for Totalize in action:

It's interesting to see how closely packed the vehicles are, and there is a good shot of towed 6pdrs and SP M10 (which appear to have the armoured roofs!). Some of the earlier footage shows infantry boarding De-frocked priests - including one shot that appears to have a 144RAC Sherman in the background (going by the light coloured turret number).

Interesting find, and great to see all this Canadian stuff for free on YouTube, while in the UK historic footage has been removed and requires substantial outlay for minutes long videos with no preview of what you are getting for your money.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Butlers Printed Models 1/285th Scale comparison vs GHQ

Hi folks,

Last week I was lucky enough to win a £20 voucher for Butlers Printed Models. This was a random prize for completing an online survey for one of the wargaming magazines.

I've used BPM before - these were the guys that designed and printed the Ram tank turrets I wanted to go on my Battlefront Ram Kangeroo's. I've not purchased any of their 1/285th scale (6mm) stuff yet, but since I had the voucher I'd fill in the gaps in my Team Yankee British force.

I got some Scorpions, FV432's, Chieftans, Abbots and Spartans. The Abbots were of particular interest as GHQ does not make these and I felt the Heroics and Ros ones were a little small compared to the GHQ models.

Everything arrived well packed, with one example in each bag cleared of 'flash'. The biggest downside of these models for me is this flash. It took a while to clean them up and it's quite a messy process:

Butlers Printed Models Abbots
Once I had everything cleaned up and assembled, I gave them a primer coat and got some comparison pics:


GHQ at the back, BPM at the front. Similar in size, but with some differences (length of gun, width and length of hull)

BPM on the left, GHQ on the right
You can see that the BPM models have decent detail on them, but there is the telltale 'rings' of 3D printing visible on the hull. For a 6mm model though, detail is good.


GHQ Fv432 is closest to the camera here - the Abbot was based on the same hull and GHQ don't make this model. In the centre we have the BPM models, which have a decent level of detail and fit well scale wise with the GHQ. At the back are the Heroics and Ros Abbots. Less detail and smaller than the BPM models. 

H&R Abbots closest this time, then BPM then GHQ Fv432

Another view, H&R on the left, BPM in the centre and GHQ on the right. 
Swingfire Fv432's:

GHQ Swingfire at the bottom, BPM at the top. 

GHQ on the left, BPM on the right
So scale wise the BPM models are pretty close to GHQ. Detail wise, I would say they are worse than H&R's best, but better than H&R's worst... if that makes sense. The clean up on them is a bit of a bugger, and the Chieftans are more expensive than H&R models - although I don't have any of their tanks to hand to compare the detail or size.

Certainly for the Abbots I would recommend the BPM models over the H&R's ones, as they are a better scale fit.

These models are all (hopefully!) going to get painted during the upcoming AHPC challenge...

Monday, 11 December 2017

Finished: 3mm Dreadnought Stalker and AHPC 8 Prep

Hi folks,

Apologies for the lack of content of late, I've been focusing on prepping for the upcoming Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge as well as trying to finish off my first Dreadnought Stalker for my 3mm Sci Fi army.

First up, the prep. I'd already done some prep on my 15mm German arty, but needed to finish off the rest. I've not got quite a bundle of this stuff to do - which will be my Gunuary project as well. I'm hoping that the guns themselves will be quick to paint, but am not looking forward to all those gun crew!

I've also been prepping some more 3mm Sci Fi stuff as well as my 6mm Team Yankee British force. We're hoping to get some games of this (myself, Dave and Martin) in the new year. Dave has a load of Russkie stuff done, so I want to get some of my Brits painted up.

Linked to the 6mm stuff, I won a competition for a £20 voucher from Butlers Printed Models this week. Just a random draw for completing some wargames magazine quiz, but that has gone towards getting some of the BPM 1/285th printed British models.

The model I've finished is my first Dreadnought Stalker for my 3mm army. In the DiD universe these machines are operated by the Cybershadows, who are a breakaway faction of the Novans.

I've painted mine up to be a Reaver Titan proxy for my Ultramarine proxy infantry. I've not gotten a name for it yet, but the model is roughly painted up in Legio Praesagius colours.

I'm pretty pleased with how it's turned out. I used decals I had from the 40k Primus Marine decal packs I had bought online. I'm waiting for some other bits from Vanguard to see if I can add some banners and stuff, as well as some other decals which might help add some Ad Mech elements. This is one of the early prototype Dreadnought Stalkers, so has a fixed head. I understand the newer ones have variations in leg pose and head options. The models also come with a huge range of weapon loadouts. I've kept mine in keeping with the Legio - lots of precision weapons and anti titan loadouts.

Looking forward to getting some of Vanguards scout stalkers, and hopefully one of their newer style stalkers - a variation on the Dreadnought Stalker seen here.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

AAR: Battleground Wargames Show - "Battle of Stones River, Dec 31st, 1862" - RF&F

Hi folks,

This week, I've been working on a bit of prep for the AHPC VIII challenge, which will be starting in December. I've been putting together some 'big boys' to support my 3mm 'not-ultramarines' and due to a last minute change of plans was available to got to the Battleground Wargames show in Stockton, where the chaps from the club were putting on a 10mm ACW Regimental Fire and Fury game. So limbers and other odds and ends also got added to the painting pile.

The scenario is from the RF&F rule book, I believe, and has the Rebs attacking a Union position. As a club project this year we'd all painted up some 10mm Pendraken ACW figures, and Dave D very kindly sorted out terrain for us. Hopefully you'll agree it's a cracking looking table!

The show itself was busy, with free entry this year apparently making a big difference to the number through the doors. The bring and buy, which we were near, certainly saw a lot of trade. Myself and Martin went halfers on a 6mm Cold War British army, and I picked up some West Germans as well.

The table got a lot of interested - especially Dave's LED smoke markers, which drew a lot of comments and questions. A lot of people also stopped to check out the table mat. The scale of the figures got a lot of comments as well, I think people were impressed by the mass effect of the 10mm.

Angus got stuck in from the get go, storming into the Union positions. I tried to re-deploy to support and to secure our flank. Pete and John's chaps moved up as quick as they could. 

Not a lot of confederates holding this flank...

Overall, the Rebs hit the Union hard on our left flank, taking two of the objectives. Meanwhile I tried to hold of Martin on our right flank while we got more forces forward. My guys were pretty much out on a limb. A mix of experience levels and weapon quality didn't help... and two of my regiments were off trying to help Angus!


My forces on the right flank kept getting pushed back due to poor command rolls and disorders being put on. I took a few stands from Martin, but generally wasn't going to be able to stop him with gunfire. In the final Union turn, he charged my weakened line.

One unit's charge faltered due to my gunfire while the other got in but was beaten off by a narrow margin. In the centre a charge by one of the Unions green units was also beaten off by some of my chaps. I think in the last turn some Union charges against Angus' troops made some headway, but did not get close to retaken the lost objectives. Maybe with more time the Union would have had more luck against the exhausted Rebel troops!

Great day out, lovely table and good fun. I picked up a few bits, bumped into Rubbsalot and Matt Crump (briefly). More will no doubt follow on Dave's blog and on Martins!

Oh, and here are the 'big boys' for my 3mm stuff:

Monday, 20 November 2017

3mm Vanguard Sci-Fi figures

Hi folks,

Something a bit different has been the focus of attention for me over the last few weeks. Having got a little sick of painting Germans... I moved on to getting some test painting done on a bit of a side project I've taken up. Specifically some 3mm Sci Fi stuff from Vanguard Miniatures, part of their new 3mm 'Defeat in Detail' range for a free rules set they have released (Dominion; The Wars of Tusculum Nova).

I've always been a huge fan of the 40k Ultramarines chapter/legion. These nice little sci fi figures proved to be excellent proxies for 40k vehicles, so I decided to paint up my force as Horus Heresy Ultramarines (although it doesn't fit with the game background... but they are my figures!).

So far, I've managed to get a few different types of vehicle done, and one unit of infantry. Just to figure out how I want to paint them and what the units look like.

The Trojans (rhino proxies) are based on the British 432 APC. At the back I've got Scorpions (432 hulls with sponsons and turrets) and Hailstorm Rocket Tanks. The infantry are backed up by some Gladiator robots.

The models are super detailed - I'd go as far as to say they are on par with GHQ. My Scorpions (the tanks) are the older style sculpts with fixed turrets. The newer style ones have loose turrets. The infantry are stunning!

I need to tidy a few bits up on them and sort the edging on the bases. But other than that I'm pretty happy. I've tried to keep a very Ultramarine feel to the force. The large bases are 60mm by 40mm, while the smaller ones will be 40mm by 40mm. The idea is to play really big massed battles, with lots of units on each side. As an example of scale of force, these models are worth 39 points... with the concept being that most games being 150 to 300... I've more in the painting queue, including more infantry, APC's and Heavy Tanks.

I've got lots more planned for these, and will hopefully be doing some during the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge which I've entered again this year. More details on that as we get closer to the start date!

Saturday, 11 November 2017


Hi folks,

Lots of these posts around, but just wanted to pop some words of my own down.

Remembrance is something that a lot of people do once a year, and something that most wargamers probably do a little more frequently.

My own efforts in the hobby have always focused on remembering and honouring my Grandfather, Trooper Percy Hurst, 144th Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps. But also the men he served with - those in the British, Polish, Canadian and other allied forces - both those that got home and those that did not. If the extend I go to with my collection seems a little extreme, it tends to be because I want to get things right. Because that's my way of paying tribute, and 'one Sherman is the same as another' is an insult to the men who died in those vehicles.

Every year that passes, I read more material, or re-read material I read when I was younger. My realisation (I don't think anyone who had not been there could truly understand) as to the depth of the hardship those men and women endured both in the war zones and at home for years later grows with each remembrance day. While those that were present get fewer and fewer.

But today I also spare a thought for those from other conflicts, ones which are perhaps not always at the forefront of our minds.

So I continue to remember them all, in my own way.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Finished - German 5cm Pak38's and 7.5cm IG 18 guns

Hi folks,

I had hoped to get this posted over the weekend, but only managed to finish the models last night.

I've a whole host of German artillery in the painting queue currently - a load of AA to help fend off the Tiffies I painted a few weeks ago. But at the moment I've focused on the infantry guns and lighter A/T guns.

A small amount of foliage added to the guns - these are Battlefront plastic Pak38's from their mid war plastic boxed set. I've only used a couple of the new plastic figures, and replaced most of the crew with spare metal ones I picked up. That new plastic holds detail OK and were fine to paint, but the facial details were terrible and getting the mould lines off them was a real nuisance.

I applied the camo with  a sponge, but ended up toning it all down with the highlights. Again, this is a technique that looks much better in person at a bit of a distance. The camo does come through...

The infantry guns are much more likely to be used in more of a support role, so I've not added foliage. I did complete the spotter team for these, but no command teams for either (yet). I might paint some, I might not. I'm pretty sold on 4th Ed at this point, and I'm unlikely to be playing 3rd any time soon. If I did, I'm sure I can steal a command squad from somewhere!

Again, a mix of crew figures, but mainly those that came with the pack. The 89. Infanterie Division apparently had Russian infantry guns in Normandy, so these are not quite correct. But as I've already got a load of spare French gun crew due to this project, I didn't want to add random Russians as well!

I've got a lot on with work currently, having started a new job and doing training. I had planned to get my ACW Limbers done before the show on the 25th, but can't make that now so the motivation has fled. I've also got a book to edit for my sister, which I've not looked at in months. So not sure what I'll move on to next!