MERCS:Recon Kickstarter extras

So in the process of closing out a few projects which were on my painting desk here is another one. These are the extra miniatures that I got for the base MERCS:Recon board game in the kickstarter. I really wanted to get these painted so that I have the forces done – more completeness desire than anything else. They are extra player figure options for the two forces in the base game.

As a note, I don’t use a formula book which allows me to easily repeat paint jobs. So to go back to a project like this and paint extra troops to be the same is tough. I know some people do that but my creative ‘just do it and enjoy it’ mode for hobby stuff does not fit well to such planning. I think I did a reasonable job though and you can see the six extra figs below.If you want to see the original ones I did a couple of years ago then you can see them in some of the older MERCS posts from around Dec 2016.For the first lot there was a challenge getting the red/orange right. The photo’s here are ok but overall these work with the previously painted models. The light today on these did not help me taking good pictures. I am finding orange to be as hard to paint as yellows. Maybe that’s a reason that it’s not used on mini’s that much.The guy in armor and and cloak is an odd look as well. That is one that I would not normally go for, that but it kind of works. I doubt in reality the cloak is going to have any great effect for helping him hide, but what the heck.The other force are the green and grey crew. These are much more realistic in their patterns and color scheme. That to my mind does not work to really make them impressive as an end result though. The ‘realistic look’ is interesting and potentially makes these more useful in more realistic neo-modern games. Walking around a combat zone in red and orange is not really that sensible!These figs are interesting but again like many modern or sci-fi ones I have done them for the game vs. them really inspiring me. Maybe that affects how I paint them but I don’t think so. The models just are ok but do not that have wow factor for me. Finishing them though does mean that I have more options in the board game and for other games as well.There we are another lot of toys ready for the table. I can see them even being used for baddies pulp sic-fi or Superhero games, but I have to build out forces for such games.

Posted in 28mm, Board game, Sci-fi, Superhero | Leave a comment

Finishing up of a few projects

So for the first post in 2018 I’ll show some of the little projects which I finished up to close out the last year. All these would really not justify a post on their own (well they could but it would be pushing it) so I thought I would combine them. Most of these are left over items which have been hanging around on my painting desk. So I thought I would try to get them closed and shown here.

First we have some Russian SYW 6mm guns. These are left over from my SYW project and in theory could be any nations artillery. The Russians just have loads of them and thus they weren’t actually used for the game I have played with Maurice generated forces. Still nice to have these done now.img_4231The basing is the same as most of my 6mm forces so they will work as generic art. The Russian force was mostly created as a loaner for opponents so I played painted forces. img_4230Next we have some 6mm ancient camps. I have been planning to do these for a long time and in some ways they got delayed by me finding some 6mm buildings and doing those this year. img_4239These are the generic Baccus Dark age civilians painted up. I made the tents with cardboard. My thought is that for Picts, Saxons or other Dark age forces based in Britain these should be good. The tents are not ordered or even the same so  that fits well with that type of forces at the time. I did a couple of different types of tent as well so that they look different.img_4238These should cover all the camps I need in games with my 6mm forces. I put more terrain – bushes etc on these bases than the standard troop ones. That makes them a little different than the normal troop bases but gives them some extra interest.img_4237After that, there is a 15mm  artillery piece for my DBA War of the roses army. The ‘new’ v3 force has one of these as an option and the force I have did not have one. So to made one – using figures that I got cheap from the Hothead Bring and buy stand last year. img_4236The basing again matches the rest of the army. I quite like the little scene of the figures which these make. It’s a cool little conversation diorama vs. a typical crew in action look.img_4235I must admit the cannon does not look very mobile which is typical of guns for the period. It’s a big monster and not sure if anything like that would have moved at all. If so it would have been with a lot of effort.img_4234Lastly, a couple of deadball figs and a cactus from the wild west stuff I have done. These again are random figures which were lying around the painting desk which I finished to clear them.img_4233In theory I still have to base the Deadball figs on their typical bases but they are done and varnished which is good enough for being displayed here. I like the green guys face – one of the nicest models I have seen from Mantic to be honest. He may in the end become a superhero vs. a deadfall player…img_4232So there we are. A few things which were lying around all done and clearing things for the New Year – although I am getting not a lot of time for painting so far this year.

Posted in 15mm, 18th Cent, 28mm, 6mm, Ancients, dreadball, Terrain | 3 Comments

Plans for 2018 and some gangster figs

Well it’s New Years, but rather than do a post on what I did this year I thought I’d show off some more models, and talk a little of my plans for the coming year. I will add that I have not done much over the holidays hobby wise. Definitely not done as much as I had hoped to do, but I have managed to move forward a few small projects.

For the coming year I plan to do more of the same from 2017 really. I know that’s not saying much or very inspirational but it is the truth. Changes in my job etc have not helped hobby projects this year. I still find gaming/painting a needed break and release though. So I’ll continue doing it for sure. My biggest surprise in 2017 hobby wise, was starting to play more GW games. Shadespire and Necromunda have got me back thinking about GW games and the models are still nice – especially as they have dropped that crap resin stuff they tried to sell. I have loads of fantasy figs (some painted some not) which I hope to dig out and get on the table again. I even have a small 40k collection of unpainted stuff picked up second hand over the years.

The painting plans for next year do involve the following projects though:

* Finishing the 15mm German army I have been working on this year. I have a load of early war vehicles -panzer 2’s and 4’s to do for that army.

* Painting up a 15mm British desert war army. To be honest I have been slowly working on these and will start showing them soon.

* I want to paint up the Shadespire figs I have and create Pulp Alley leagues for those figures.

* Finish the 28mm Norman Saga force I have been looking at on the painting table for a while.

* Work on a couple of the big box CMON games I got – Black Plague or Rum and Bones and get some of those models done.

So far gaming wise my aim for 2018 is to get Pulp Alley, Dracula’s America, Age of Sigmar rules systems on the table. I have designs on doing all those. I also want to play some more of the New Necromunda and Gaslands. I want to put on a couple of games at Hotlead this year as well if I can. I’ll have to decide which ones soon I know. I’d like to think that I’m going to try to buy less toys or at least sell some of the ones I don’t want/won’t use this year… Well that’s the plan. We’ll see if it works as I have designs on most of the toys I have in my collection.

As for the promised figs, these are from the Blue Moon range. Again 15mm Chicago gangland stuff and now ready for my gaming. Still not got these on the table though so not sure what I’ll use them for really though. I do like the figures though and that’s why I have them and now have them painted. They will work with my 15mm Wild West town. That is an option for the town scenery that will be needed to play a game. The first two pictures are of figures that definitely are gangsters and will be useful in most games. I went for fairly standard suit colours etc to hopefully give the, a realistic look. The ones below could be gang members or just armed civilians – especially in a more Texas or smaller rural town setting which my Wild West buildings will work well for.Next we have a group of ladies and other useful items. I’m tempted to use these figs for Pulp Alley due to the number of interesting ones in the set. After all, how many baby carriages or men using an old style camera do you see on the table! They are great for standard citizen bystanders in most games.The last group also fall nicely into that category. I could do Pulp Alley on a 2 foot square table using cm’s not inches. It won’t look very good but would work. I could just use the normal scale as well with the smaller figs. But that is less appealing due to the true skirmish nature of those rules. Likely some custom rules of simple gang wars will work though.So there we are. I hope you have a Great New Years and enjoy your own painting and gaming, as well as all other things.

Posted in 15mm, Gangster, Pulp | Leave a comment

Russian tanks IS-2 and ISU-152

Although I have been working on my Germans this year, I keep my eye out for deals for other armies I have which come up. So when some IS-2 and ISU-152’s turned up in the second hand bin of my local store I could not resist picking these up. Both are tank types which I did not have in my Soviet Russian army. Currently that has an armoured force made up of loads of T-32’s (all models), KV-1,s and SU-85’s. So some late war armour will be useful for my collection and allow my force to stand up better to Tiger and Panther based German forces. When I buy second hand models they sometimes end up ‘in the way’ on my painting table and so they get painted – which is what has happened here with these.

You can see the full group below and it actually consists of the second hand tanks plus one plastic zvezda IS-2 which I had in the pile to paint. I remembered I had that so decided to do it at the same time. I had a bit of a challenge with painting these though as I found that the GW colour I used for my tanks years ago is now not produced any more and the one I had was dry… Still I got close with these and like the way they have come out. It’s close enough a colour match that no one will really notice.The ISU-152 had a huge gun and one of the longest running used tank destroyers post WW2 and a monster in most WW2 games. It can be used as artillery, heavy assault gun or a tank destroyer so will be useful in all kinds of games. It’s a great weapon system to back up infantry heavy forces which I have already. These three tanks are all from Battlefront from what I can tell. They were not well painted though but luckily for me it was mostly just a black undercoat and a green colour a little lighter than what I use. They were pretty battered though. One of the reasons I chose them was the paint was not thickly put on so I did not need to do a full strip job but could build on what was already on the models.Looking at the other set of models the three with the commander out on top of the turret are from Battlefront. I had to do a little repair on these, especially around the turret but I think that it came out ok. The biggest issue is the loss of some of the extra external gas tanks for them. But it makes no real difference in gaming and makes them look unique. I also was not going to spend more cash just to get replacements for those gas tanks.They were not mandatory from my understanding so in some ways having inconsistent numbers may be more realistic than it all be perfectly ordered.The other model as I mentioned is a plastic kit and was in the pile to paint. I think that fits well with the others and visually it is pretty close to the others. You can see it’s a tiny bit wider but overall I have no issue with mixing these models on the table. The extra tank gives me more options in force creation as well.These IS-2’s can stand one to one with the big cats of the German army so they are great for late war games. The difference between them came down to tank crew skills I am told. So in ’44 that was about even, but I believe as the war went on the average skill of the Germans dropped to the point that these tanks were masters of the battle by the end of the war. There were still great German crews around but the Russians were getting more skilled and definitely had more experience and more tanks than the Germans. So there we are. Some Russian tanks for my already extensive force. As a last point, as it’s Christmas Eve when I’m writing this I will also wish everyone seasons greetings!

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | Leave a comment

Gaslands cars

So with the new Osprey publication of a simple car combat game using templates similar to X-Wing (called Gaslands) we had to give it a go. Yes another case of the magpie syndrome but this is something that we have talked about in the past so it’s nice to see a professional style game for this. The plan is to play the game this week or two but to do that I needed some cars to play with! So a trip to the local discount store and I had a selection of hotwheels cars in my possession. Certainly some of the cheapest gaming toys I have bought for a while. But they don’t really look right for games without some reworking etc. I saw somewhere a statement that it’s a toys when wheels move while a model when the wheels don’t. This seems like a good definition for changing the toys to gaming models – but I wanted to do a little more than that.

Now after looking online there were a lot of blog posts and YouTube videos of customizing/painting Hot Wheels models but these were mostly for collectors and display models vs for car fighting game. So I thought I’d just have a go and try my usual style of undercoating and painting. Over all that seems to have worked out of though and you see the resulting three vehicles below.img_4062The first car I tried this with was some spooky ‘Frangula’ car. You can see the original version picture below. Although it could be used as is I thought it was worth redoing as this was a little to garish even for me!

Fangula hot wheelsI used a combination of white glue and super glue to stick the wheels in position. Then a did it a good coat of rustoloium black undercoat and away I went with painting for a ‘mad max’ style vehicle.

I used reds browns and a black wash to give a slightly beat up look. Part of the reason for choosing this model is it did not need any real modification for the wild combat look. It even has that pod on the hood which can easily be a weapon.img_4069I did the Kaji symbol of fast on the top of the vehicle as looking at it it seemed appropriate and needed something. I could have centered it better but as this is one of the first attempts I have made of doing something like this I was not that unhappy with the result. I think I’ll get do that again at some point though, but try to center it better.img_4068Just a shot at the rear here – you can see the highlights on the rear chrome and the engine from this angle.img_4067So after doing that I though I would try a more customized car. Still not going made though at this point. This is a an old camero with a spare Flames of War tank turret . It also has extra tank tracks across the windows as side protection. The same undercoating and a matte finish like the above car gives this a beat up look.img_4066This could be a partner with the first car or part of a different team. I thought the colours would end up being similar but I think I used more browns on this one. The car certainly looks weighted down which suits it having things like armor and a turret, thats for sure.img_4065Lastly, I tried painting a more sporty car. This one I did not finish with matte varnish but just left it with a coat of satin (future floor polish) varnish. The gloss gives it a different and new car look compared to the previous two. The car started as a black one with all the upper work glass. It looked ok at best so I like the final effect on this.img_4064Rather than putting weapons on this I thought to paint danger markings on the headlights – to indicate that there is a weapon behind them. After all the Bond cars always are fast but have weapons inboard so I thought this one would as well. Sleek and deadly.img_4063So there we are – some repainted Hot Wheels cars ready for the table this week to try out a new game. I’ll let you know what we think of the game after we play it.

Posted in Gaslands, Modern, X-Wing | 4 Comments

German halftracks and anti-tank guns

So back to my current big project – building a full 15mm German army. One if the things I did not have were any halftracks for troop transport. So some Sd.Kfz. 251/1 were needed. These are D models – from build from ’43 from what I understand. I really don’t want or need a huge number of these but they are very much part of German tactical doctrine, so I should have a few of them.

Luckily, for me I got these three as a set as part of a free give away from a subscription deal of miniature wargames illustrated magazine a few years ago. So it seemed fitting to paint them up as part of this projectimg_3992The crew figures are from the kit (it did not come with a full load of troops) but I have to say these do not look like fun vehicles to spend a long time in. I suspect that it was a tight fit for a squad of troops in them, especially with all their kit. But better than walking and with more protection, so I suspect they were welcome transports all the same.img_3991As these are late models  (Aust D) with the more angular doors than earlier versions. So it seemed fitting to paint them like my later armour. They will work well providing protection for the grenadiers who often used them. If I use them for earlier models then I will deal with the incorrect models and paint scheme. img_3990Then I have some anti-tank guns. These are again late war models – very big guns really and useful against even the biggest Russian or allied tanks. I did the bases like the rest of the infantry but included a few bushes for added impact. I think they really came out nice in the end. They are I think PaK 40’s but will also work for PaK 43/41’s as well. They won’t work for earlier guns (which were much smaller) but at that point the Germans were on the offensive and anti-tank guns are much better in defensive scenarios than when attacking.img_3994These models came from the used bin of my local gaming store. They were very roughly painted and at least one of the gun barrels was broken. So it was a deal I could not refuse as they were cheap. The basing was awful as well. But I repaired them and although not well painted they were at least not thickly painted so I could touch up and repaint them without stripping the figures. The basing took more effort but I scraped it all off and fixed it. My painting is not sat an expert level but they are now good wargaming standard.img_3995So in the end all these models were obtained at bargain prices, but now join the ranks of my German forces like the rest. They all add some capabilities my force did not have, so so that’s an added bonus.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | Leave a comment

CY6! November game 2017

It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to run an air game at the end of November – which fits with the US Thanksgiving vacation. I started this as I could pretty much guarantee that I won’t be traveling that week on business. This year was no exception to this, so 5 of us got together and had a game of Check your six this week. Yet again this was using my Japanese vs. US planes. I have multiple requests now to finish painting my WW2 Western Europe models so that in the future we can try a German vs. US bomber raid. So watch this space for more on that – likely next year.

However, this time it was 9 Betty bombers with 4 Zero escorts vs. a flight of American aircraft scrambled to intercept them. Using the Guadalcanal as the setting the US players got 4 Wildcats and 2 Aircobras. The Betty’s were in a single defensive line, as generally they are pretty weak with LMG guns to the front and side, but do have a ‘sting in the tail’ with the single LVC in the rear.The American’s started well in front with 2 flights high and another lower than the bombers. The bombers were at level 3 giving the most Altitude options for the fighters to use. One pair of the Zero’s pulled out and headed for the Aircobra’s coming from the high left. Meanwhile, the other zero’s (controlled by me) decided to stay high and behind the bombers- so they could pounce on the Americans when they came close.The Zero’s on the left side I assume expected the Aircobra’s to dive and get ready to hit the bombers. So they started to turn and dive, but lost a lot of speed doing it. They also made themselves a potential target for the incoming American fighters to get into a dogfight with. Meanwhile, the Aircobra’s just kept coming and did not dive, keeping them safe from the Zero’s pre-emptive move. The Wildcats to the front and left were set up for a dual high and low pass in frontal attack. The first Shooting was on that frontal attack and one of my Zero’s managed to take out a Wildcat on the first shot! So first blood to the Japanese. In return the Wildcat’s managed to damage two of the Betty’s – but both rolled well enough that they survived that first flurry of shots. The robustness of Japanese planes is always an issue compared to the much stronger US ones.Over the other side of the bomber flight, the Airccobra’s got into a great position to take out some bombers but missed completely! The Zero’s on that side were behind them but due to the loss of speed in turning they were now trying to close on them to get into good firing aspects. Then came the turning of the Wildcats to get behind the bombers. This gave my Zero’s a set of close targets for them to go for. At the end of the turn the Japanese were still all ok but one of the Wildcat’s had Airframe damage. I use white pipe cleaners for airframe and black for engine damage markers. The build strength of the American planes saved them several times, In the next turn I then took a risk and went for a head to head shot with the Japanese ace vs. a Wildcat. I thought the risk worth it to get another great shot off. I could have modified the move to mean that I did not have a shot but neither did the Wildcat. That risk did not work out well though, as I missed the but Japanese ace went down in flames…So much for taking the aggressive option vs. trying to play it safe.The Wildcats finished the turn to come around behind the bombers and got into a great position to start to take them out. Unfortunately for them that also continued to exposed them to the rear cannon’s of the bombers and plus the remaining escort Zero’s. One of the bomber rear gunners was on target and another Wildcat went down, in exchange for another damaged bomber. Both the other wildcats were damaged by this time so things were starting to look ok for the Japanese. As a bonus my Zero was set up in a great place for dealing with the remaining Wildcats, along with help from the rear gunners of the Betty’s.Over the other side the  Aircobra’s had destroyed one of the bombers but a great shot from a LMG in the front of a bomber had managed to damage one of them in return! The lone front LMG’s are very weak but heck once in a while even they can cause a problem for the robust American planes. The Zero’s were chasing and starting to get closer but not before the Aircobra’s would have more shots on the bombers.My poisoning of the Zero on the Wildcats tail came to nothing as I rolled an out of ammo hit and still failed to take down a wildcat. In return the Wildcats each took down a bomber and then they too both ran out of ammo. A few too many sticky fingers on the trigger over this side. So after a laugh about it all three fighters turned for home/dove out of the game. We joke about ramming each other but decided to play it more realistically. As the two Wildcat players had both their planes now out of the game they went and played a quick game of Shadespire (but more on that another time), which left 3 of us still playing.  The Aircobra’s continued their great move through the bomber group, but their shots were far from effective. Poor rolling for them on hits and then better than average robustness rolls meant their great move was not playing off. They did manage to damage some of the bombers but so far only 3 bombers were shot down. The two Zero’s from the left were starting the close the gap on them as well.Soon the Zero’s got in decent range of the Aircobra’s and with their moves now the Betty rear gunners could also target them. That in combination took the already damaged Aircobra out of action. That left a single Aircobra, in action but that now took down another of the bombers. The Zero’s now closed and like predators quickly dispatched the last American. That left 3 undamaged bombers and 2 damaged out of the original flight of 9. Meanwhile, one Zero and 2 each of the Wildcats and Aircobra’s were shot down. So a close and bloody encounter for all sides.In the end I declared it a slight American win but one which the Japanese did reasonably well in considering. As always everyone had fun and it’s great to get a fun game of CY6! Not too much dogfighting this time, but a couple of effective runs on the bombers so next time I think we’ll have to mix it up with a different scenario.

P.S. Sorry if you saw something hockey with this post. WordPress seemed to mess up the pictures so I had to repair that when posted.


Posted in After Action Report, Aircarft, World War 2 | 2 Comments