Blood Red Skies – Messerschmitt Bf 110

After a little break for other projects, now is a good time to show some of the additional planes that I have finished for Blood Red Skies. I am a big fan of the Battle of Britain for air games, and as I have said previously, I’m aiming to have all the main planes used in the daytime battles available for games. With that in mind, one of the second wave of releases for Blood Red Skies was the Bf 110. That became a purchase I had to make really. Below you can see 7 of these – a standard 6 pack, plus the ace. I also have done an additional ace Bf109. That’s nice as it shows the difference in size of the aircraft as well.

To that point, from the shot above you can see the size difference between the Bf110 and Bf109… Although I have seen and read the stats for years on this, the picture dramatically shows the difference in the aircraft. That is a core factor why the Bf110 was not a great dogfighter aircraft.

After and actually even somewhat during the Battle of Britain the Bf110’s were actually pulled from their original role as a Zerstörergeschwader (“destroyer squadron”) service and used as night fighters/interceptors etc. It was found that although they had a ‘huge punch’ if they got a plane in-front of them, the maneuverability of Bf110’s was lacking vs more modern single seat aircraft. They needed protection from the British Spitfires and Hurricanes over time in true dogfight. The Spitfire especially was much faster and more agile which made the 110’s a bit of a liability in daytime raids.

That said, I enjoyed painting these and they are an iconic aircraft for the battle. I must admit that the canopies were a little challenge and likely a better painter would do a better job of those. Still they work. You will notice I have done the 110’s in various paint scheme’s, all based roughly on schemes which were used at the time. I have not tried to replicate any specific squadrons markings though. So for the planes below you can see two slight variations of the yellow and grey markings used for over France and England in 39 and 40 .

As with all German aircraft of the period the underside is a basic ‘cloud/sky grey’. All the waterslide markers are again from the same company I have used before -Miscellaneous Miniatures (www.miscmini.com). They finish off the planes very nicely in my opinion. I believe Warlord have finally realized they should do these type of things for the planes as well and have started including their own versions in some newer kits…

Below is the alternative paint scheme I used for the second ‘batch’ of planes. You can see this is a two tone grey with straight lines. This a scheme which saw quite a bit of use on various planes. It works well with all these aircraft, including the 109. Visually it’s different and a contrast to the British aircraft. As with all my aircraft they have unique ID numbers/letters to make it a little easier to identify who controls which plane on the table top in multi-player games.

I have yet to use these in a game so we’ll see if they play correctly – realistically they should not be as good as the single seat fighters. However, I suspect from reading on the web a little that the BRS game model may not work that way. I have heard that they are ok vs. other fighters. But it’s a game so what the heck but I may be wrong on this. We’ll see when I use them in games I guess.

Below is the underside of the above planes. The Bf110’s are nice planes to have available, as they are a legacy of the intra war concept of a heavy fighter. The P-38 lightning was by far the most successful aircraft of this type, much more so than the Bf110. I believe the Beaufighter (which is available for Blood Red Skies from Warlord) was not that bad as well. Both were much better than the 110.

So there we are – the core of my WW2 1/200 scale aircraft collection is now getting there. Next up for aircraft are some bombers I think – but I always have a projects on the go at once so those will be a little while to till they are a focus item.

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Posted in Aircarft, World War 2 | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Marian Mules – Gladiators, Skirmishers, Elephant and Art

I have shown the red and yellow Roman Republican legions previously, so it’s time to bring out the support troops which I have painted for those forces. First we have some Gladiators. These are from Museum miniatures and I got a pack of one of each sculpt plus I think some random repeated ones which they have. I was tempted to paint some up individually for small scale games but I already have 28mm gladiators – which are occasionally used, so better to base them up for games such as this. Gladiator games don’t take up a lot of space anyway so these have been used for ‘bigger games’.

You can see that I did 2 bases of separate 15mm deep 4 base figs and then one 30mm combined one. These should be good for DBA forces and also for ADLG armies. I tried to ensure that various skin colours and gladiators styles are shown across the bases – although the majority are caucasian/middle eastern as I expected that was the case in reality of gladiators who were nearly always slaves in Rome.

Next, up we have more gladitors – this time on 20mm (and 40mm) deep bases and 3 per base. Some of the DBA forces use gladiators in this format. With the figures I had I decided to do bases for thistle as well. Note, some rules have an option of having Gladiators as medium infantry vs the heavy as the previous 3 bases. In reality they were not trained for close packed infantry so medium infantry may actually be a better designation for them in larger games.

You notice that I did a double base for each of these styles of forces. That should allow me to make a Hail Caesar units if I desire as well. The double depth basing will be usable in ADLG as well as a single unit. This basing also allowed me to use all the models in the pack and create the above units. Although the double based elements do not not quite meet the figure numbers specified in the rules I doubt anyone will confuse these bases with any other units in a standard historical game.

Next we have the allied skirmishers for the Republican Romans. I just have a few of these as I generally have a load of Spanish (and others such as Gauls eventually to paint) which can be used as well. But I did a few more slingers with shields. These will again work for both sides. Interestingly one of the thing Roman forces seems to not have loads of are skirmishers – I guess with the heavy foot they could overpower most opponents.

I would like to do some dedicated Roman slingers – the Velites of earlier time and have some in the lead pile to do. They have a specific look and I will get to them when I paint earlier Romans. However, to be historical correct these models are actually better for the skirmishers of the late Republican forces.

As the Romans used allies for these troops – not real but poor Romans as in pervious times they would not be the dressed the same as the legions. So I varied these but made sure that they look somewhat formed. I doubt the Romans would have allowed them to just be completely random in dress. The basing is the same as always though so they will match in well with the forces as well.

Next we have the Artillery. Not used that often in field engagements but I wanted to provide the option for this. In DBA they can be fun once in a while to use. They can be interesting and a fun edition in the game. For this I have an Onager – a sort of catapult that the field army used as well as bolt thrower.

These again are from the Museum miniatures range and provide some extra options for the the forces. I really wanted to have these as much because they were fun to paint. They were manned by troopers of the legions and so I wanted to ensure that they all looked the part – which I think they do. Although they have red armbands I’m sure that that they will work for either legion.

Lastly an Elephant. This is an option in lots of rules – the Romans don’t get many of them but it seemed like an option that I could not turn down on having. Now this would not be part of the formal Legion and so I have painted it as much as something of an add on. The troops in it are definitely not part of the legion – I suspect it would be a wary Roman Legionnaire who would fight in one of these beasts vs. in the foot forces. This is actually a Carthaginian Elephant from the Museum miniatures range – so this seems perfect for the allied Roman troop supply.

So there we are some interesting troops to support my Marian Romans. These all should work well and provide some colour options if nothing else for my Romans.

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Extra German infantry teams

So after last weeks Soviets I thought I would show the other extra teams that I have done, this time Germans. These are all from Peter Pig miniatures this time – well, all apart from a single figure anyway. First I’ll show the Mortars. I don’t have any for my current German force and so it seemed a good idea to get a couple of bases of them so that they can support my German infantry. I believe these are 82mm mortars but at a push they could be used as 120mm as needed. The size difference in 15mm really that big IMO.

Now we have some LMG’s. These are the classic pose for them in my opinion. So I had to get some of these from Peter Pig. There is also the one guy in the ‘Rambo’ pose – stood up to get a better shot. It may look great on the movies but in real life it’s very bad for life expectancy in a firefight… Still it they look good, and it would not surprise me if it happened once in a while.

The second set of LMG’s are all ones with the figures standing up. They are either in the in the two guys firing – with the loader supporting the barrel or just moving into position. The stood up firing position is historical but can’t have been that accurate. Still with enough training I guess it wold work. I have followed the same basing style as the rest of my German infantry so these should fit into the force with ease. One of these models – the guy with the soft hat is a spare one I had lying around and I used it to build up the correct figure numbers. It is a battlefront Russian but will work for what I need here.

After taking these these pictures and then looking at them, I realized they did not really do the poses justice. So too the show below so you can see some of the detail from the side. They are very nice models and easy to paint as well. The lighting for this extra shot was different though – done in my basement, but you get the idea of the figures. I do need to get a better lighting rig set up – I have one but just have yet to use it.

Lastly, I did also got pack of German flame throwers from Peter Pig. Again this is as I don’t have any in my German army so it seemed a reasonable addition. The Flame Thrower is a nasty weapon to face and most games have them being very effective, but also vulnerable. German engineer teams used them effectively throughout the war. Here are 3 small bases of them. I will point out that one of them also contains an LMG figure – so, if I so desire I can use it as that instead. After all the flame thrower is not a large weapon really and its easy to mix them.

I thought I would include a picture from above so you can see the basing from a different angle. The summer long grass and ‘bad grass’ look I think works well for the late summer/fall in Russia. These should even work for battles on the outskirts of Stalingrad etc. I think the look will also work for most of the fighting in Italy and Sicily. The soil is a little dark for that really but it will do. At a push they can (oh and will) be used for Normandy and the fall of Germany as well.

So there we are. These should allow me to play games which need more separate LMG teams in the forces. It also provides smaller squads for games such as Iron Cross. Oh and as a final though, I will wish everyone has a happy Canada Day – from here at least. We get to have a day off to celebrate the creation of the nation here.

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WW2 Soviet extra MG and Mortar teams

I have been looking at trying out different rule sets for WW2. I’m not 100% satisfied with the current ones I use even though I really don’t have a lot of time these days to read new rules. Realistically, I’ll continue to play chain of command, bolt action and iron cross but I always have an eye on other rule sets as well. I’m looking at trying Peter Pigs’s Poor Bloody Infantry, Crossfire and Blitzkrieg command at some point. For at least the first two of these the forces are at the squad level – and the last can work at that level as well. I want a simple but tactical game which does not look like the Flames of War tabletop tank park…

However, in my Soviet forces although I have a load of figures I don’t actually have any small base LMG sections. most of the above games do have the LMG teams separate which makes it a bit of a challenge to play those games with my current collection.

My figs/bases were set up for FoW (always big bases for soviet infantry) and Bolt Action (individual based figs). So here I’m showing the results of converting some figures to be small log teams for the soviets. Note, the figures are actually left over from me getting some soviets from a friend (David). Their paint job is similar to mine but their basing was very different. I have not used these models though – they were just in a box so I decided to use them for this. You can see the results below – first with minor changes. I also pulled out the few interesting bases which will be useful for games at this scale.

Above you can see the basing of the figures is different than the one on the left – which are my standard soviet basing. I decided that the above bases were good to go with just a repainting of the edges. They give me another HMG base, two light mortars and a LMG stand for no real effort. I know I could have taken the figures off the bases and made them like my others but I was not sure it was worth it.

Now the rest of the figures I had to rebase and you can see them all below.

I did this by taking apart a 4 or so large FOW bases and adding a few spare LMG figs I had painted. I ended up with 11 new separate LMG bases. That should be enough extra bases – with the one above (so 12 LMG bases in total). I will not need for any more for a company level game set.

Below you can see the bottom left base is one that I did a many years ago with my original Soviets. The other 5 are from this weeks work. You can see that the new ones are a little brighter, (I do not write down paints so had to work out what I used etc.) but I think they are close enough to fit in with the others in the force. I think the difference is I did a black undercoat originally and only did a grey one for these.

Below you can see 6 of the new bases with the ‘old base’ off to it’s side. Again I think these will work and fit in nicely. They match close enough to be of use without standing out too much. As I said the first 4 bases above do, but I decided I likely will use those so rarely it’s not worth rebasing those.

So there we are – more Soviets. These should allow me more options for those different games though, which is good.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Marian Mules – Yellow Roman Support and Command

A few weeks ago I showed my new yellow legionaries so it’s time to reveal their command and cavalry support. These are very much like the red legions I have done previously (and I fact the same figs to a large degree) but they now provide me with more flexibility for the force. It also allows me to use both sets of figures in civil wars – of which there were many in the late republic/early empire period.

First up are the Cavalry. Four bases of these is all the Yellow legion gets – but that’s more than enough in most games such as ADLG. Even in Hail Caesar this is 2 units should be enough. The way I do it, with 15mm games is 2 cav bases make a unit so these work out perfectly. This is enough for historical games. The legions were never known for their cavalry.

Speaking of the Roman legions I have been listening to ‘The history of Rome’ podcast again while working on these. If you like history and listen to podcasts I heartily recommend this one. A really well done and comprehensive pod. It is a few years old now, which means it’s all complete as well so you can listen to loads of them!

I was quite happy how these legionary cavalry have come out. Although the pose is a little annoying (with their javelin raised) they work ok. All these models are again from OldGlory15’s. They generally are nice models and great value for what they are. They can have a few odd poses at times but none in these ones – although I would have preferred some none raised javelin poses in this set.

Then we have the light horse. Just two bases of these but again enough for the army lists of the period. Romans had even less light cavalry and that they did have was used for scouting not really battlefield manoeuvres. Also, the raised javelin works better for these troops as they are not so tight on the base.

The flocking on the bases are done like the others in the force, so these troops will fit nicely in with all the other troops I have.

Lastly, for this post at least, we have the commanders bases. The Commanders are again oldglory15’s – taken from the Republican command pack. I have 4 yellow bases for commanders. The two below have 3 figs a piece which nicely indicate a standard commander.

Below are the same stands but from a different angle. Again I liked how these have come out and so used most of the command figures I had for these bases.

The remaining two command stands I have done with 2 and 4 figs a piece. I like how you can make little dioramas with these bases to make them have some character. Rome’s Stories are full of commanders with their troops in battles so this works really well. Roman commanders rarely sat at the back of an army but lead from the front.

I include 3 different view of these last bases. These are the bases which give the most flexibility and creativity for these armies. I expect these having different numbers of figs will hopefully allows me to identify them on the table top with ease as well.

So there we are. Another set of 15mm figures for games in the ancient period, I’m all set for doing the civil wars of Pompey and Caesar. Well I will have more to show but that’s it for today

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Resin Hanomags for D-Day anniversary weekend

With the 75’s anniversary of D-Day this last weekend, it seemed appropriate to do something specifically for that, and then have a post with some WW2 models. I really wanted to do things which might have been in the area of the landings as well. That became a bit of a challenge. I do have some British in the ‘lead mountain’ but I did not want to break those open and start them. That was a dead end for now.

However, I have been working on the Resin models that I got years ago and showed some recently. So, it seemed sensible to dig out some of the still to be done German models I have and finish them. You can see those all below. They are halftracks and Hanomag’s is the nickname which I believe both sides gave these vehicles. Thus, the naming of the post.

For some reason I always like the look of the SD.Kfz. 250/9 leichter Schützenpanzerwagen. So here are 2 of those vehicles. They are based on the 250 frame and were general recon vehicles, used throughout the war. These are nice little models really. I can’t complain about them at all for what they are. They are reasonable for many forces that that I may use in various games as well so they add to the recon elements that I have.

The resin seems to be ok for these. The barrels are fairly short and they are support vehicles for the most part. So they should stand up to decent play/usage. Their cross country capability compared to most other German recon troops will be useful for either infantry or armored forces. Many rules sets will give them special abilities with the recon function as well, which is a bonus in games.

The rest of the models are SD.Kfz. 251 transports. There are the work horse of the combat transport units for German forces and definitely would have been present on D-Day. Germans used a lot of trucks like most forces but I won’t count those. They are not really true tip of the spear front line combat vehicles or ‘battle taxi’s’ as they are sometimes called now but are a definite step on the way to that. That said they were armed and armoured (to an extent), so could stand up in a simple infantry firefight – just not for long, or against any real anti-vehicle weapons.

Again the models are not bad. Not great but they will do fine for the limited time they will see the table. I don’t have extra figures to put in them so I’m not going to bother. They will work fine for simple transports as they are now. They really look like they are empty – as they are.

I already have some SD.Kfz. 251transport models from Battlefront in my collection and so here is a simple size comparison. The Battlefront one has figures and extra cargo items such as the hang on storage etc. Note, in reality these were often covered on the sides with such things as that was the one extra storage location for the crew. They are not big vehicles really. You can see that the two models below and the resin ones are slightly smaller than the Battlefront one. The different size is not that significant which will stop me using the models, but does highlight the challenges of using different manufactures vehicles together.

Well there we are, a few models for my WW2 games. Oh and do spare a thought for all those who served in WW2 and other conflicts on this anniversary. Many of them went through hell (and some still suffer the effects mentally or physically) as well as those who did not return at all. All for us all to be safe and sound and able to do things like play with our toys.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Rum and Bones- First Mate Undead Pirates

This is a long time project which is going very slowly – I really should focus on it but there always seems to be something more interesting to do. I have been focusing on 15mm stuff as of late but thought I do finish these as they were waving from the corner of the painting desk. They are something different from the historical models I have been doing and will show in a bit. This does mean I have finished 6 more figures from the Rum and Bones pirate faction. This completes all the ‘mooks’ i.e. standard troops for that faction. Just the characters to do now, oh and the other factions !

There are only 6 of these First Mate figures and I wanted each of them to be different. They also are not quite as weird a pose as the standard pirate figures – but still have an odd look to them.

They also seem to have a small head compared to the rest of the figure – but I guess that is try to show the large frame of the pirate mate compared to normal people. I guess it works but it seems odd even compared to Zombicide fatties.

It’s funny as although I like pirates and undead themes, these models I found quite hard to finish. They are not bad for gaming pieces and we have actually played the game but as these seem to be a tough project for me to get through they are taking years to complete.

I’m still not 100% sure about the outlandish colors but heck they were never going to be realistic were they. Still these count as another group done which means I can move onto the more interesting character models.

So there we are. It’s taken a long time to get these done – hopefully the rest won’t take as much time as these have.

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