Thursday, 27 August 2015

FoW objective markers.

I'm close to finishing my 'phase 1' forces for Flames of War, the Germans are done and I'm slowly pulling the Allies together now, with just British infantry to be completed. So I decided to indulge myself in four objective markers ( FoW games are won by seizing objectives). I could not resist the crashed Typhoon base and the Ammo dump models but decided to knock up the other two from scratch. As you can see I went for a destroyed Sherman, nothing too gruesome, it's been penetrated by two AP shells through the front armour and the turret has lifted. We must assume it contains something that the Allies need to recover. I decided against open hatches and bodies.

The German base is just me having some fun with some Peter Pig characters. I know it's far too 'busy' but I could not resist showing the Germans with raised hands while the senior officer stands with folded arms as a Para commander gives orders. The truck is also a PP metal model with added fuel cans in the back.

Tanks don't look great in these pics but you get the idea, the green looks a bit flat, they look better in the flesh, more contrast. I'm still adding stowage, the sand bags you see are home made. I'll be working on all the bases with added foliage etc (cheers Jamie!), and have decals sorted to mark them all up. Aerials will also be added to command tanks.

I'm playing test games to get a feel for the rules, but I'm short on terrain for this scale so that's my next step.

Next up: 20mm Russian  Priests and plenty of ACW's for John.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

FoW new bits & what's on the painting desk.

I'm continuing to pad out my Flames of War forces and I'm just about at the stage where I can start to add some of the extra little touches I have in mind for these. I'm afraid that I gave in and went 'hairy' with the bases after all as you can see, I just felt they match what you see in most FoW games now, the grit/static grass combination. I still have a fair bit to do, more figures and vehicles to buy and paint including British infantry and a couple of Sexton's, I also need to sort out British marking decals for all the tanks and I like the idea of adding individual name decals too, plus I'm not finished with the stowage yet. I'm  also planning a few objective bases using the 'destroyed' resin stuff from Peter Pig and some of the fantastic 'character' packs, I have my eye on the German prisoners with raised hands for example, and there must be a use for 'Brits having tea'! I can see loads of possibilities. Just finished are the full 4 gun German Howitzer battery plus command and spotter bases and the little 'Brummbar' assault gun ,(the latter I can't use with these lists but I enjoyed painting it anyway).

Panzer Grenadier Company commander, could not resist using him! Command team base, SMG & Panzerfaust.

The new (metal) Peter Pig Pak 40 Anti tank platoon with command base. The two Tigers behind are metal and resin kits and probably my pride and joy currently. I'm still very much a newbie to camo patterns though yet.
Hairy Germans! I'm still trying to decide on a drybrush shade for that brown earth.

I went with shallower 50 x 50mm bases as I also use them for Memoir 44 games, but I'm thinking of rebasing them!

A joy to paint if not to put together! Resin, metal and plastic kit..... I mean, what are you supposed to glue them together with?

I only recently discovered 'The Mad Tin Hatter' blog but it's already proving to be a major source of inspiration for FoW. I have decided after seeing the fantastic array of troops and vehicles laid out on the table in the latest post that I want to base my tanks too, I feel they look so much better on the bases and it offers an opportunity to dress them up a bit, as I plan to do with all of the infantry bases in due course. I must find out where those lovely white flowers and grass tufts come from? Anyway, it's well worth a look if you're into FoW.

On the painting bench.
I have quite a bit to work through for John C next as previously said and some has now been prepped up ready for painting. It will make a nice change to paint wagons and guns etc. You can see some on the table including a couple of resin pieces, ACW signal tower and a cabin that have first washes on followed by a bit of detail work on the canvas so far. You can also see Mathew Brady with flashbulb and the mobile studio behind. The huge siege gun on swivel mount is a hefty piece indeed.

The seven plastic Russian Priests are for Mr Kinch :)

Mathew Brady.

20mm Surgeon gives an idea of the massive scale of this gun!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Some news!

I have been busy for the last couple of weeks but this blog will be updated as soon as my new laptop power lead arrives with pictures of the two completed Spanish Peninsular battalions for Tony, plus some shots of what I have here to finish for 'Old John', loads of transport wagons, siege guns, Brady's mobile studio and the man himself holding a flash bulb. John has been incredibly patient as usual and I'll paint what remains of this box right through now. There's some great stuff in there and I'm looking forward to painting it.

On the Flames of War front I have now completed both forces (German &  British/US) to around 1600 points to choose from, and all small command bases have been painted and added to complete the structure of command. For example I now have 14 Sherman tanks broken down into 1st and 2nd IC plus 3 platoons of 4 tanks each including a 'Firefly' the upgunned 17pdr that could tear through even a Tiger's armour. All infantry platoons have support weapons available. I just need to replace two aircraft, this time more appropriate to the Normandy campaign. Next comes the first of the lovely MDF house kits designed specially for FoW with lift off roofs and floors etc.

Edit ..... just added a lovely little Brummbar to my collection, how could I resist? I'll enjoy building and painting it. Any tips/ideas for 15mm stowage most welcome, especially camo netting, oil drums and so on as my tanks could do with a lot more, cheers.
This is a stock photograph provided by the distributor.
An unexpected surprise!
Six months or so ago I posted on the blog regarding a copy of Memoir '44 that failed to arrive. To say I was annoyed would be an understatement as the parcel had been signed for but not by me! With postage it cost me £42.00 and after contacting both Boardgame Guru (who supplied me with the electronic signature that was not mine, excellent service every time), and Parcel Force decided to write it off as lost. So Imagine my surprise this morning  when a knock at the door revealed a man from several streets away holding a large cardboard box that he said had been wrongly delivered to him! I was amazed to see it contained my copy of memoir order dated 12th January and dispatched same day. I am now the proud owner of TWO Memoir'44 sets which means I can now play the extended 'Overlord' style games with the two boards side by side. I'm going to look up Overlord but I think it uses two card decks too? Quite made my morning that did :)

Full photo update coming soon.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Flames of War (again!) and painting Spaniards.

While I continue to enjoy playing Memoir '44 games (and will keep this on my other blog), it has become apparent to me that in order to really enjoy a more accurate simulation of WW2 battle, and in particular tank warfare, I would need to find a second set of rules to play alongside Memoir. I have kept this in mind as I continue to rebuild my FoW forces using Peter Pig metal figures instead of the plastic Battlefront figures.

I'm rebuilding using the 'Open Fire' late war lists, adding a platoon of heavy tanks (Tiger 1 E) and artillery to bring  the Germans up to 1500 points for example. I have found recently that I retain much of the basics of the rules in my head, once you get used to the concept of a target needing to 'beat' the AT of an incoming shell by adding it's own armour rating to a modified D6 throw, (it's normally the other way round!), everything seems to fall into place. The  initial rolls 'to hit' are straightforward, this time depending on the skill and training of the target as they attempt to avoid the incoming fire, with only basic modifiers such as target over 16", target concealed or gone to ground.

Of course I will need to build some conventional terrain. It's very odd playing a game without hexes after so many years. FoW are very forgiving in these regards, for example infantry move 6" as standard with no deductions for rough terrain etc, and as you might only be playing with say five or so platoons there is no mass maneuvering of large armies of model soldiers, so the game flows fast and is easy to keep track of.

I thought a few shots of my WW2 collection as it stands would be good, I'm far happier with the Piggy soldiers, they have a character of their own, especially the faces. I keep looking at the Russians, I know I can't hold out much longer! I'll be adding the small command bases next week.


Allies (so far).

More Spanish infantry.
With the 30th Foot now returned home I have started on two more battalions for Tony. I think these may be units nine and ten?  not sure but I know it took a few units to find the best way to paint these white uniforms and I'm much happier now I have established a reliable method. I know the first few battalions were painted over a white undercoat and then built up from there, but I HATE having to paint black over the white u/coat, infact when I paint over a strong black undercoat I rarely re paint black at all, just a slight black grey to highlight.

The key for me has been Foundry Arctic Grey Shade. I spent a lot of time trying to find a grey that would give the right kind of subtle contrast with white when used as a base coat for uniforms. I now use a fairly dry brush to apply the grey over all of the uniform and belts, straps etc, carefully avoiding the black areas of course and the musket. It's a quick but steady job and once done it really helps the white to stand out by adding contrast.

Below are a couple of 'production shots' (ie unfinished!) of the first battalion so far. I think they illustrate well the perfect contrast between the Arctic grey base shade and the white overpaint. The white will get a further pure coat later to try and add more highlights. Bit to do yet, collars need piping, brass/gold for buttons, musket bands, plume clips etc, but they are coming along nicely.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Fall in the 30th Foot.

Completed and satin varnished, here are the 30th Foot ready to be packed up and posted. I'm straight onto more Spaniards now for Tony as I'm in a pretty productive painting mood right now. I enjoyed painting the flags, was a challenge with lot's of touching up of stray lines etc!  The engraving in the flag was extremely helpful.

These are all vintage Hinton Hunts I believe, and includes the lovely officer of the Guards who stayed far too late at the ball :)

Things have settled down on the domestic front and Mum in law is comfortable in a very nice care home with a full funding package in place so for the time being it's relatively normal.

Today in Dymchurch 'our' Martello tower will be open to the public, it's a rare thing these days, only been open a few days over the last few years so I'm going to brag some photos of the interior for the blog. I recall the original musket racks were still in situ and it's very atmospheric inside.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A peep at the 30th Foot!

About done, saved the two flags for last and all just need a final detail check and varnish. I need to check the shade of officers sashes. I'm pleased that they will make it in time for Vintage Waterloo, British Napoleonics are always a challenge to paint but I'm pleased with these I must say.

I'll do a last pic with close ups once all removed from the caps etc prior to packing them up.

Edit: Flags painted and figures satin varnished, a couple more shots outdoors added.

*Edited to add: no brass or steel bands on the Brown Bess barrels as I believe is correct? Not sure quite how but the Bess barrels were 'pinned'.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Recent comments.

I have only just noticed that I have loads of unpublished comments awaiting moderation and that I have not yet replied to. Thank you to everyone who has sent comments etc, I will reply to them all individually but in the mean time your words are much appreciated and all info and links will be followed up :) Also thanks to those who emailed links and suggestions, I now have some good ideas going forward for the colonial period. Sadly, Martin at Peter Pig miniatures does not make a Zulu range (I wonder why? I must ask him), otherwise I would begin there. So I think Egypt is the place to begin as it offers much painting diversity. Meantime I'll get my head screwed back on and have removed moderation to see how it goes.

It's been another busy week that has seen little painting, but I continue to make slow progress on the 30th Foot and am currently painting the command group, which includes the lovely casting of the Guards officer in bearskin. Ian has provided a nice little tale to explain his presence in the 30th Regiment of Foot, namely that he stayed far too late at the Duchess of Richmond's ball and was unable subsequently to rejoin his own regiment. I have given him the blue facings of the Guards, which contrasts nicely with the light yellow of the 30th Foot. I won't post pics until all is completed.

As my interest in the late WW2 period continues to grow I have decided to stick with it for the near future. The more I learn the more I want to wargame the period. I have everything I need now to play through the Memoir '44 scenarios, and I'll continue to do that on my dedicated memoir blog. I'm starting with the Pegasus Bridge scenario and working through in order.

And some late news, it's been a scorcher in Dymchurch today, far too hot for a certain 'large' cat of our  acquaintance who has spent the morning asleep on a chair in the dining room. It's 'Kenco' who for some reason has turned into a somewhat overweight cat, while her litter mates both remain slim and agile. I had to grab the camera for this one. Portrait of a happy cat!