Hotlead 2018

Well another Hotlead convention weekend has come and gone. Again as is usually I went for the full day on the Saturday. If you are around southern Ontario next year and like wargames then I highly recommend you come and try it out.

Overall, I think it was again a great event and from taking to some of the organizers it matched or was very close to last years attendance, with more games being put on. The number of vendors about the same but there was more variety in what they offered with the number of raw generic mini vendors was down. That’s not a bad thing – but it also shows a bit difference between Canadian and Uk shows. Canadian ones are much more about the participation games and the event while UK shows are about shopping. I will say though that still found ways to spend my cash though and the bring and buy did a good trade from what I saw.

I helped run a game of gaslands in the morning with Anthony and that seemed to go down very well. These are the Osprey ‘mad max’ car battle rules and the game played fast and deadly.img_5004We had 8 players in an arena style game. Each player was on their own and looking to pick up tokens for points as well as kill each other. In the end 3 players came in joint first but all the players had fun. As an intro to the game everyone soon got the hang of things and the fun event for all is the main thing. It did not take long to teach people the game and several already had it and others asked about how to get it – so I’d call this is s success. img_5003After lunch at the gourmet burger place down the road Boomers (which is Soooo good) I joined in an air game- using the Check your 6 rules. This was 1939 Poles vs Germans.

I love these big con CY6 games and was doing ok till I had my two 2 planes collide in mid air. Being too aggressive and my die rolling failing to match that aggression at all. Sigh…my usual disastrous die rolling made a fireball that took out three planes and damaged s couple of others. Shall we say the game was over at that point really on our side . Still everyone seemed to have fun which was the main point and we had a fair number of jokes about the poor piloting skill.img_4915Even wth my poor rolling I was not the only one as no damages German bombers got home as they also could not roll the pilot skill checks to avoid the off board hazards. Lets just say it was a poor day for the Germans but fun for all the players.img_4916In the evening I wandered around and talked to people in general. I did not play just one game. I spent some time watching the ‘flint and feather’ demo games and I must admit that’s becoming harder and harder to resist. Especially with the full rules due out later this year. The models look so good as well – but more of that another time.

Below are some shots of various games on being played in the Saturday. I did not get pictures of all the games (I missed over half by playing games) but this should give you an example of games on offer. All I can say is I had a great time and lots of interesting games were available to try if people wanted too. You should be able to click on any of them for a bigger view of the picture.


Posted in After Action Report, Review | 2 Comments

Run and Bones – First undead pirates

Ok now for something different. As I have mentioned before, one of the ways I keep painting things is to swap when I have had enough of a project and do something different, then come back to it. So now is one of those times – but don’t worry the 8th Army will be back next week.

However, a long time ago now I backed the first Rum and Bones Kickstarter. I really liked the models that it had and we played a few games but I never really got around to doing anything with the figs. I also did not play it that often as it was unpainted…So now, long after Rum and Bones v2 was backed an delivered and is also sitting in my to be painted pile, I’m going to change that.

Here you can see the first set of undead pirate figures I have competed from the original base game. These are 8 identical models. In fact in the base game there are 3 sets of 8 models and then one set of 6 which make the standard ‘troops’ of a force. Just because these are pirates though I wanted to have each of the figures be unique. For the human sailors I may make them more standard but Pirates (even undead ones) I don’t believe roll that way. Maybe I have seen too many Adam and the ants videos as a kid…You can see what I have done with the basing below. Because the game is based on a ships I wanted to make the bases planks. It does not make sense to flock the bases and as a board game I dislike flocking figs for them anyway.  It’s not prefect, but hopefully I’ll get better at that. But it works for rough planking which suits an undead pirate group as well.img_4823Below you can see the close up pictures of the first 4 miniatures. You can see the details of the models and the different colours – both of clothing and skin. In the end I went a little brighter than I would have done normally to making them stand out. After all there is no point doing a dark wash just because they are dead!img_4828img_4827Below are the second set of 4 models. This set nicely shows the various skin colours and effects I used on these models. Although it makes no difference in the game it does at least make me feel that they have some different character. img_4826img_4825So there we are the start of another project from my side of things. There is a whole collection of really cool character models in this game for me to get too but I need to get the standard troops done first. Do hope to use these for the Osprey Ghost archipelago rules as well as the board game.

Note, one of the things which I have noticed is most of the painted Rum and Bones figures shown on the web are done by ‘professionals’ or really good painters. I try but I believe you’ll find this thread will show a reasonable painters attempts at the models.

Posted in 28mm, Board game, Pirates | 2 Comments

8th Army – Transport Trucks

Ok so let’s see if I can get this back to posting on or around weekends…

This next post shows a key element of the desert war but one which is not that glamorous – transport trucks. Transport was a key to success in the desert campaign. It was needed for food, gas (petrol) and general supplies/ammo as well as for moving troops. So I could not do the 8th army without having some trucks.

First are three here are smaller ones. These are useful for moving infantry squads/sections to be closer to the front in games, as well as providing potential targets in scenarios.I have kept the same theme and base colors as I have used for all the vehicles. I found little evidence that they ever did any real camo on trucks so I just went with base colours. I used a tan with lighter highlights for sun fading/wear which I think looks good. I’m actually quite pleased with how they have come out.Next are four larger trucks. They are pretty much the same as the smaller ones but with more carrying capacity via a larger bed in the back. All these are battlefront resin models from an old 8th army starter pack.The extended carrying capacity makes these more useful in real life. With all 7 of them I should also be able to run some decent Amish scenarios, even though the Germans were not the best known for such things.Actually that brings up an interesting point. As I hardly ever paint/l or add the specific force/side markings to vehicles. So in theory these can be used for German/Axis trucks with ease as well. It was well known for both sides to use captured transports so that’s perfectly reasonable in any game.

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

8th Army – Sherman’s M4s

I have shown the artillery and some infantry so time to show the tanks! Also as it’s Feb 28th seemed I have to post today to get it in this month…

So here you can see the 3 Sherman M4’s (I think – they may be M4A2’s). These will be the core armour component of my later desert war armies. The Sherman was the one of the standard tanks in the British forces in the later desert campaigns due to it’s general availability and usability. It was a lend lease vehicle but that made it more available in the desert than the British made tanks in the later aspects of those campaigns. The Sherman’s first saw action at the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942 and were around in every fight after that in some form.
img_4671The paint camo style is one I saw when doing my research for the desert vehicles and I thought was real striking. It’s simple enough to do as well but unique to the Brits – at least in the desert. I believe it or something similar was used in ’41 and maybe into ’42. However, I have taken the idea of it and used it on all my tanks for this army to be consistent. It’s simple and yet effective I believe in a 15mm scale. img_4670Two of the tanks have the 50 cal machine gun on the turret while the other has the commander out of the hatch. This makes it easy to have one of the tanks a command/officer tank. All these come from Battlefront – standard metal/resin Flames of War packs I have had for many years.img_4666If I so wanted and was to play Flames of War then a second platoon of M4A1’s would not go spare. These welded Shermans (they have sharp corners on the hull) and the M4A1’s which have more rounded hulls were intermixed in the field from what I have read. A second platoon could be used. However, for the desert I have other tanks, as you’ll see in later posts so I did not see the need for a second platoon. I should have enough different armor in my forces so I just have three of these for now.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | 1 Comment

8th Army – Infantry Sections

OK so I have been really busy with travel and work in the last couple of weeks so have dropped a little in my usual schedule of posts, which I try to do every week. So time to add this post to show you some more of the 8th army figures I have completed. This post is simple one with a few bases of standard infantry. First you can see 8 full bases of infantry below. All these are metal Battlefront models. img_4628You can see the same models in a bit more detail in the shots below. You can see I have gone with  a colour scheme for the models which aims to work in the desert. The packs and webbing that the figures all have is a little darker than might be expected, but thats because it works as much as anything else. There is not a massive contrast between the packs and the uniform but it is enough and works in my opinion.The helmets are the only things which have a black wash on them. I tried that and it really seemed to help with them and differentiate them as metal from the rest of the uniform. The rest of the models all have a dark flesh wash which provides a couple of things. First it help with the lines between the different colours in the uniforms. It’s not as stark as black lining but does work. It also added depth to the folds and lines in the packs/webbing etc etc. I added the light socks and the flesh highlights after a wash of the models, which help to differentiate them as well.Lastly, as well as the above 8 bases of standard infantry, I have the obvious support units. So the first to show is a platoon of heavy machine guns. These should be useful especially in the flat area’s of the desert where there are less terrain to disrupt their fields of fire. Well that’s the plan anyway.All these models have a standard flat varnish to protect them and we’ll see how well they hold up in the long term. So there we are I’ll show more soon.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | 2 Comments

8th Army – Royal Artillery

Ok so time to start to show my next big project. This is a matching army to my German DAK (Deutsches Afrikakorps) desert force. I hate having a force without an opposing one as well. I find that I can usually find people to play games with but it’s harder to find people to play games with, who own the right matching forces. So to play historical games with people this really helps! This also allows me to host games and run games in the local group for people who don’t paint toys – as well as those who paint much better, but sower than I do. Added to that the local group has a project for us all to get the desert forces for games and this means I’ll have 2 forces for this period.

So back to the desert for me in WW2. A good place to start is the Royal Artillery. These were key in the desert where the 25 pounder guns were used for both Artillery and anti-tank direct fire roles at times. The later more because the Brits did not have a great deal of effective choices in that role early in the war and these worked! So needs must and the 25 pounder was an effective and very fast weapon. I remember a comment that the Germans often thought these guns had auto-loaders because of the speed of fire that the crews maintained.The advantage of showing these first for me is this gives me a nice intro to the project. It allows me to show the colors I’m using for the sand, vehicles and troops all in a single post. So you can see those in the pictures in this post. You can see the 4 bases of guns, crew and the ammo trailers in these pictures. All these figures are form Battlefront and in fact I like have had these again for many years – easily over 10 years. They are slowly being pulled out of the large lead and plastic pile and getting painted. So this is helping me reduce the lead pile – well if I would stop buying more toys…The next pictures pictures show the models closer up to give a better view of them. I have tried to change pretty much everything on these compared to the DAK forces I have already done so there is no issue of identification on the table. I was also not sure of exact colours of the real forces. Doing some research there seems to be a lot of variation and the climate really impacted the colours especially in the uniforms.Part of the model set included a command group. I have the standard command figures as part of the general figures and will show them separately, but below you can see the targeting/command table. I liked this little scene so included it here. The map is something which I created with some paper, and a couple of fine pens. I liked how this came out so thought I would highlight it as well. It was actually pretty easy to do.So there we are are the first of quite a few posts around this force, which I’ll be showing. So these should see some time on the table soon as well I hope.

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

Necromunda Van Saar Gang

Now it’s time to show the full original Necromunda Van Saar gang. All the models are shown below in the one group picture. This includes the Juve’s shown in the previous blog. Oh and yes just as with those Juve’s I seem to have collected quite a few of these models. I really I have more than you need for any normal gang. But that does mean I can use these for super hero games or other near future games. I nearly did the basing sand as these would work well for ‘Dune’ style games but I doubt I’ll ever really do that type of gaming so the grey works well for them.In this post I’ll highlight the 12 extra gang members finished for the gang. So yes 22 figures is a lot but that’s the collection I have. I could likely run 2 gangs from this lot, but I don’t have multiple leader or heavy weapons figures.

Talking of the Leader and the heavy weapons guys, they are shown in the pictures below. The leader has a plasma pistol while the other has a heavy booster or something. Pretty standard GW sculpts for the time and they painted up well enough.Then we get to the standard gang members. I have a few repeats of the poses but at least I tried to ensure the weapons are painted differently even if they are the same sculpt. I must admit the pistol and one handed rifle look is not a great sculpt IMO but that seemed to be standard one for this gang.At least the next pose is more realistic but is really another uninspired one. You can see the basing is again GW texture paint over some stones and texture, followed up with a good wet brush then a dry brush with progressively lighter colours. It’s not super stunning but does the job of providing a decent base for them. The next pose is at least realistic, aiming a rifle of some sort. It works and shows up the environmental suits well. As a background comment, I’m not sure why they are green for GW’s background. I nearly did them in a brown but as the old GW artwork paint colour was green I kept with that in the end. It does work but as mentioned a black or brown might have got a little closer to the ‘Dune’ stillsuites look.For the figures below, the one on the left seems to be a sniper or at least have such a rifle which is cool and useful. The other is the third instance of the pose two above. This one is quite different than the others in style of gun – a purposeful attempt to make them look a little different.Lastly, we have another weird pose with the two guns, and then the best of the lot IMO – a ganger with a bolt gun. The bolt gun is the classic 40k weapon and its nice to have a fig with one in this gang. His face is actually quite characterful as well for these figs. So there we are, a full gang of old style Van Saar models. I look forward to getting these back on the table again soon.

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