8th Army – Jeeps and Quad tractors

Just a quick post this week. I have been posting some completed infantry and tanks for this force, so time to change it up and put some of the utility transport items in the limelight.

First up are the standard Willis/Ford Jeeps. These are all Battlefront ones and in the end I’m not sure what I’ll really use them for in games. They are useful for moving a squad or two around and getting places faster than you can on foot. In the desert that becomes a big issue. I can see these being used for some scenario’s where I’m using the trucks etc for troop transport as well. After all, you can’t expect a commanding officer (or big man as the Too Fat Lardies call them) to sit with the troops… My gosh what a concept!

In the Flames of War rules you need these for command elements etc. but I don’t see myself playing those much any more though so we’ll see what real use I make of them. Maybe to transport of infantry art spotters etc.img_4645Overall, I like the way they have come out. They were a little fiddly to put together but when all glued they are ok, and seem solid enough. They have the same base colour as the tanks but I decided that few were likely to have a camouflage job on them – after all, if you go anywhere near the fighting you’ll be off them in a hurry. I have seen few shots of them done that way but I think the majority were one color in the desert. It’s not a fighting platform but will allow for rapid re-deployment, if needed as well as to give the bosses a chariot of sorts. img_4646Lastly, this time are the Morris Commercial C8 FAT (Field Artillery Tractor) ‘quad’ transports from the gun kit. These are for moving the big guns I showed earlier here in this post. They are the transport element of those and in many ways I really doubt they will ever hit the table in anger, although if I got any 17 pound AT guns for the force then they could pull those. The 25 pounders I have I suspect will always be ready for the fight – but you never know.img_4679-1They are nice models and although very different just remind me of the modern hummer’s for some reason. Anyway more stuff ready for the table.

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8th Army – Individual infantry

So after showing some tanks and various other stuff, it’s time to show some of the PBI – the Poor Bloody Infantry, as they are commonly known. Actually, there is a game of that name which I have and have not tried/played yet, but that’s another matter.

So here we have a selection of infantry which are individually based. These have come out ok but not great IMO, both from the photo and painting point of view. The models are all the ‘new’ plastic models from Battlefront. I have to say I’m really not impressed with those. OK so the weapons won’t bend but the detail, especially on the faces are a lot less pronounced than the metal models. I got these to support my local gaming store vs. ordering from Peter Pig, which was a nice move, but means I got poorer models overall. Peter pig are by far the best WW2 15mm infantry figs I find.
img_4648 img_4647I just have 12 models here in this post – the remainder have been based in 2’s and 3’s which will shown in another post or two. That’s so I don’t overload a single blog post with pictures and also to ensure I have content, because as I mentioned last week I have not been painting for a month!

I have shown the front and back shot of the models in these picture. This ensures that you can see the webbing and other details on the models. One of the most interesting items is the socks – which were worn even in the heat of the desert. Then again, anyone with any military experience will relate to how important socks are to morale and fighting spirit, so it makes sense! You do see the socks in some of the period pictures as well.
img_4649img_4650What is interesting is that in trying to black line the nose it looks really bad/rough in these closeup shots but looks a lot better on the table. It’s not perfect but at table level it shows up and is less drastic. I did try to correct faces a bit and use less drastic shading, but it did not look that good either and tended to fade into the models. I’m sure would be possible with a more skilled painter but heck. At least this does show up and does seem to frame the face/nose quite nicely in reality.
img_4651img_4652These will be used for small units and when casualties occur in games such as Chain of Command/Force on Force/Battlegroup and likely other games. That’s part of the fun of creating a force for various WW2 games vs aiming just for one rule set. These should be useful in all sorts of games.

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8th Army – Matilda 2 Infantry tank

Well so far this month I have not touched a paint brush in anger! With me back on the road this week for work I suspect that will mean I won’t do anything till at least Easter. Maybe Easter Friday will allow me to do something. This weekend I spent most of the time trying to sort out some of my ‘lead pile’ and much to the horror of the Mrs I’m not getting rid of any of it. But it’s all sorted out a little more now and I remember all the projects I have to start. I do have a large painting backlog I will say that, but so do most of us…

Anyway, back to the desert for this post and one of the mainstay tanks of the British campaign the Matilda 2. This was an effective infantry tank – i.e. designed to support the infantry vs. charging around in anti-tank actions. Not great but not bad. They were slow, fairly well armored and with a reasonable gun. This turned out to make them much better than some of the other British tanks, which were lacking punching power as well as protection. For this time of the war a fairly well rounded tank. That means it makes sense that I needed some of these in my desert force.img_4673These have the same paint scheme as the tanks I showed earlier and it still works for them. These models are all from Zvevda (the Russian manufacturer). They are decent models and approx. 50% the cost of the battlefront versions. The tank barrels are a little thin in plastic but they would have the same problem in metal and so that may be more of a problem for them.  img_4672I could have ‘gone to town’ and got a lot more of these. However, as I mentioned in a previous post I prefer smaller scale fights in WW2 rather than big actions. So a platoon and a command tank are likely enough for what I need/want. With all the other platoons of different tanks I have they should be ok.img_4664Finally, a shot from above just to show them from this angle. So these are another nice addition to my British desert forces.

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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 https://www.cruciblecrush.com/flint-feather/ 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 | 4 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.

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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