Monday, 17 October 2016

Scenic planning and more beer!

Inspired by the videos of The Terrain Tutor I ordered up a few more packs of materials, some DAS air drying modelling clay and wire wool (smoke markers!). A trip to B&Q added several tester pots of suitable ground colours, a couple more carpet tiles and more sticks for my hot glue gun. Not had a lot of time this week, but I did manage to cut out and drybrush one of several planned 'ploughed' fields and add it to the table. My intention is to completely break up the board with a series of patchwork fields to represent ploughed up earth as well as harvested wheatfields and taller crop fields, all surrounded by 30mm tall 'bocage'. The fields are being cut to conform to the 6" & 12" hedge sections made for me by Simon at S&A scenics, slightly taller than his standard size 4 hedges. To this end he is making me another 4 packs of hedges plus another couple of packs of his size 3 trees. That should finish the job nicely. Once all the tiles are drybrushed and shaded they should look nice, and I'll be adding lots of hay stacks where appropriate, as done by The Terrain Tutor, very simple but amazingly effective, thus the DAS clay and hairy coconut matting! I'm just enjoying myself planning for this. Another TT inspired project is to make explosion markers from clump foliage, I could not believe how realistic they look when finished and painted and placed on top of a destroyed model tank. I have a load of clump foliage saved from my first attempt at making bocage, I'll make a few up this week and get them painted to illustrate the effect.

Meantime I have a game on the table German v US, loads of tanks, Shermans, M10's Stuarts, Tigers, StuG's and Panzer 1V's as I refresh myself with the rules. The enlarged Flames of War reference sheet has been reprinted and stuck on the wall at the bottom of the table, I can mostly still play off the sheet together with the printed army list from FoW army builder (here) that contains all of the stats for the selected platoons. THanks to 'Foy' for taking the time to enlarge and shoot the original A4 two sided playsheet into this magnificent double sized wall chart, it's 4 sheets of A4 card printed and stuck together and very easy to read.

I have a 4 base German HMG platoon on the work bench, plus 2 M20 scout cars to complete the US 2nd armored list Tank destroyer platoon ( 1 command recon jeep 50cal, 2 M20 Scout cars & 4 M10 tank destroyers). That will see the US list about done. Air support was a choice of a Thunderbolt or P38 Lightning, I went for the latter due to it's unusual shape and combination of bombs and rockets. Airstrike rules in FoW are quite straight forward, far more so in my opinion than Bolt Action. I find the little 'Battlefront' aircraft quite collectable, I have an ME262 on order for my late war Germans.

Tanks are a mix of Battlefront, Forged in Battle (resin) and Plastic Soldier Company, I have a platoon of 5 Panthers to build and paint in due course. Figures are mostly Forged in Battle with some Peter Pigs being added as I like them. I also have a lovely metal Bergepanther recovery vehicle by Peter Pig assembled and ready for painting.












In other news.....
My Son in Law usually picks up a box of beer for me when he visits his wholesaler, last couple have been 'Golden Ale' selections, my recently acquired taste, but he excelled himself this time, turning up with this huge festive 'Advent' selection of 24 craft ales! No way was I going to be able to wait until December 1st to try a few, and with the family round for Sunday dinner I sampled a couple of the beers. There are few odd ones in there, darker heavier Winter Ales, the usual Chocolate beer and even a Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale, but all seem eminently drinkable to me. The box included a nice glass and 24 x 330ml bottles, very nice, cheers Jay.










10 comments:

  1. Regardless of actual system, out of interest, with your recent close involvement with 28mm and 15mm modelling and gaming, which is your preferred scale to actually handle on the table? I like the 28 infantry, but find the vehicles too big and terrain is a
    So big, but perhaps you need less of it. Interested in your thoughts as you move between the two scales.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Norm, sorry for the delay in replying. I have been thinking about this question and come to the conclusion that I still really enjoy painting and handling 28mm figures for Bolt Action. I think my problem has been that I tried to cram far too much onto the table, full size infantry squads, tanks, half tracks as transports and tows, artillery, anti aircraft etc and the game I started off really enjoying got bogged down with far too many dice in the bag. For me personally Bolt Action is at its best as an infantry platoon based game with a few support teams, MMG, Medium mortar and sniper team. Add a single command half track for the Germans for example and don't bother with tanks, field guns, transports or tows that all add more complexity to the game. I'm going back to basics with BA now, small games with smaller squads for a fun fast game. To this end I have ordered a British starter army of 500 points from Warlord and added to it the 'Home Defence Volunteers' set (Dad's army characters in uniform). I plan to develop the scenery a bit to play 'what if' scenarios, the dreaded invasion set in Kent. I MIGHT add fallschirmjager force to match it in due course. I think this will help me regain my enjoyment of the game.

      15mm stuff looks good on the table, obviously terrain looks much more expansive and great for larger scale tank battles, but I like the way you can get down and identify with every individual figure in a small game of BA! I think I'll go with 750 points max for my BA games in future.

      Delete
  2. I should add I have the boxed starter for bolt action and also have several boxes of 15mm plastics infantry and vehicles (I like plastics) all of which are unpainted, so I could go either way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The BA boxed starter set is very good, I'd go with that Norm and try not to make the mistake I did of being tempted by all of the Warlord paraphernalia. That set contains everything you need for a good game of Bolt Action, and you can just add maybe a medium tank or assault gun per side. It's the random dice activation system that brings the tension into the game with priorities ever changing and just the basic 6 moves (possible final 7th on die roll) to win the game.

      Delete
  3. Good to hear you are motivated to work on hobby again Lee.

    Beer and gaming are as synonymous in my mind as chips and vinegar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Dai, I do enjoy a drop of beer!

      Delete
  4. Lee,
    Now that's the kind of son-in-law to have!

    Hmmmm... Beer and toy soldiers. Throw in some jazz and/or rock'n'roll and I'm in heaven.
    Regards, enviously,
    John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John,
      Yes, he's not a bad lad! I enjoy my music too, I'm slowly rebuilding my classic hard rock collection from the seventies :)

      Delete
  5. Excellent! Love the Bergepanther - can never have too much colour on the table and it would make for a good scenario objective....! I do find the Peter Pig stuff to be very characterful....

    PS. Son in Law is definitely a "keeper".. :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Steve, yes, Peter Pig figures have a wonderful character all of their own as you say, I love the faces, almost smiling and very animated and crisp. Never had a bad casting from PP.

      Pleased with the box of beers so far, some are bit 'heavy' for me these days, and some I probably won't drink, the Newcastle Brown, sticky toffee for example, a couple of the stronger darker ales I found too bitter for my taste, but there are plenty of golden beers in there, enjoyed a lovely couple of Pale Ales yesterday :) My taste has always been along the lines of Courage Directors, Fullers London Pride, Youngs Special etc, but I'm leaning more to lighter ales recently.

      Delete