Wednesday, 28 June 2017
There's a lot of sabre rattling in the Baltic at the moment, with the Russians moaning about getting a taste of their own medicine from NATO interceptors, while NATO BALTOPS amphibious exercises wind them up to even greater heights of self-righteous indignation. It's all a bit of a storm in a teacup, unless you are unfortunate enough to live on Russia's doorstep. The video clip has been all over the Russian news of late and shows a Russian SU-27 warning off a NATO F-16 as it shadows the foreign ministers plane on a recent visit to Kaliningrad. This would make a great excuse for an accidental shoot down or mid-air collision incident, leading to a flashpoint for a Target Locked On! mini-campaign.
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
This is the GZG open topped command hover APC that I will be using for my mechanised platoon commander's runabout, rather than the enclosed command APC that will be used by the platoon command squad. I've only added one of the three guns provided in the kit, leaving the other two mountings for aerials, which I will add after the painting is completed. I've also cut down the bases on a couple of figures so that they can fit into the crew compartment, which means I have used up virtually all of the figures in the packs I originally ordered for the project. The undercoat on the APC needs to cure before I can start painting, which will kick off once I've finished the infantry.
Monday, 26 June 2017
It's on to the webbing now, with a three stage Foundry Rawhide layering approach to bring out the detail a bit more than a simple dry brush and wash. This took a bit of time but I think it was worth it to contrast with the basecoat. I'll tackle the weapons next using a simple two stage black and dark grey method, possibly followed by a wash of black ink to add some shading. The GZG open topped hover APC has also arrived, so I'll also be gluing that together and adding a duplicate platoon commander figure, so that he can keep up with the rest of the mechanised platoon.
Sunday, 25 June 2017
I've started the painting today with a basecoat dry brush of Foundry Moss in three stages, followed by an overall wash in GW Athonian Camoshade ink. It all looks a bit horrible in close up but not so bad when at arms length. I will block in the weapons and webbing next, by which time they should look a little less horrible and a bit more presentable. I'm aiming for a quick turnaround with these figures so that I can get on to the armour, so I don't mind a few short cuts if it means they get finished faster and to a workmanlike standard.
Saturday, 24 June 2017
I have now completed the assembly and undercoating on pretty much everything, ready for painting over the next two or three weeks, give or take one or two minor additions and extras. I'm really pleased with the overall make up of the mechanised platoon and I'm really looking forward to slapping on some paint. I still haven't decided if this will be a desert, jungle, arctic or temperate scheme, so will have to make up my mind. I should be getting started tomorrow, so I better get on with it!
I was in the local charity shop this morning when I saw this shiny metallic blue curtain material, which looked perfect as a sea cloth for my WW2 coastal warfare games. It's a massive sheet, measuring 208'' x 56" or around 16' x 5', so I could cut it in half and have two cloths, if I can tape up the edges to stop them fraying. It matches the bases on my 1/600th scale models fairly well and does look very much like a patch of the North Sea at night time. I was thinking of spending some serious money on a custom made sea cloth but for twenty quid this will do very nicely indeed.
I've had second thoughts about using the GZG US power armour figures as a heavy assault squad, although I may put one squad together just to see what they look like before I decide. While browsing TMP yesterday I noticed that the Critical Mass sci-fi range has been re-released by Ral Partha Europe, so I took a closer look. As I was scrolling through the figures I spotted two packs of X29 Blockhead Battlesuit figures, which are either power armoured infantry or some sort of robot.
I thought these would be an excellent alternative to the GZG power armour squad and would make a very good battle robot assault unit, with their head design matching well with the 'cyclops' helmets of the hard suit human infantry. They would also fit well with the Massive Atomic corporate army theme. I'm hoping that the figures will be slightly larger than the GZG infantry but I'll have to wait and see. If not, I can always use them for something else.
Friday, 23 June 2017
I've been trying to squeeze the last drops out of the GZG figure packs that I have been using for the 15mm sci-fi project. The obvious way to do this was to pair up some of the leftover figures to make specialist bases on two pence coins. So, I now have two AT missile tank hunter teams, a heavy sniper team made using a modified prone SAW gunner, and either a Recon or FAO team, depending on what's required for a particular mission.
I still have a couple of command figures that I'm debating what to do with but these will probably end up as crew bases for open topped vehicles. I have ordered a couple of GZG open topped hover APC's for this very purpose, being light transport for the various specialist teams so that they can keep pace with the rest of the platoon. I now only have the command squad to base and then I'm ready to start painting.
I thought this might be useful when planning ahead for 15mm sci-fi platoon level gaming and, as usual with Nordic Weasel material, it delivers exactly what it says on the cover. There is a scenario and campaign generating system in No Stars in Sight already, which is perfectly good, but I thought this little supplement for generic use would also be handy.
The scenario generation bit consists of a series of charts and tables which, together with a D10, will give you a well focussed and logical basis for a range of missions including defensive, offensive and 'patrol' type objectives. I particularly like the way on which unequal or unbalanced forces can be incorporated so that neither side has an undue advantage over the other.
There is also quite a lot of 'randomness' to throw some uncertainty into the equation, so the Fog of War aspect is well represented. This includes side missions and unexpected circumstances that can pop up to spoil your day. This is a really good little supplement at a very good price and I'm keen to give it a try when I get my 15mm sci-fi forces are finished.
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
For want of a better idea, I've decided that my 15mm hard suit mechanised platoon will be a unit of a corporate army, tasked with asset protection, counter-insurgency and resource acquisition on the fringes of the Gruntz heliosphere. I really like the retro sound of Massive Atomic, so this will be a military force operated and equipped by the company. It also fits well with the mid-tech style of the platoon, given the description in the Gruntz rule book:
'Massive Atomic...have focussed production on less specialised but still significant technical military assets ranging from hand held Gruntz equipment through to economic to operate vehicles which are sold through mercenary, private and Gal-Com contracts'.