PIC

PIC

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Regia Aeronautica

I thought I'd post up some photos of my Italians which are a mix of Museum Miniatures Leading Edge (Macchi Mc200, Macchi Mc202 and Fiat BR20) and Raiden Minaitures (Fiat G50).

I was a bit disappointed with these after I'd finished them, although you'll notice that I haven't added the fuselage bands, tail crosses or squadron codes yet. I didn't quite crack the camouflage patterns and the canopy glazing is a bit hit and miss too. I guess I tried to do too much in one go.

They didn't do so well in the couple of BTH games I played either, being vastly outgunned by the RAF. Two machine guns don't stand up well against the six 50 cals on a Kittyhawk, however hard you chuck the planes around the sky! That's my excuse anyway.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Bogeys

I ordered a pack of these along with the Bag The Hun 2 rules the other day and they arrived yesterday. They're nice little semi-transparent hex markers in red and blue acrylic. A bit over priced at £5 for twenty but worth it if they save me the hassle of knocking something up myself.

Having used blinds in the original version of Bag the Hun, which is a great idea but a little clumsy to actually manage on the tabletop, I think these will work much better. The rules for bogeys seem pretty straightforward and I'll be trying them out as soon as I can find someone who is up for a playtest.

Desert Air Force

I've had a think about the 1.285th scale options for Bag The Hun 2 and have decided (probably) to do a few Raiden Kittyhawks as opposition for my existing Italian forces. My usual opponent, Andy, has some of these in his collection and they look the business. The advantage is that I can then set up games at the club without having to rely on Andy, who isn't always available.

I'm also going to tackle the Bf109's and the SM81 as they're already prepared for painting and would be a good addition to my Axis stuff. In addition, I may do a couple of one off RAF planes to go alongside the P40's, giving me a bit more flexibility for scenarios. I have some lovely Leading Edge Martin Baltimores that would be excellent for escorted bombing missions, for example.

I also picked up a book in the Oxfam bookshop today titled Desert Eagles. It's based on the diaries of two American pilots in 250 Squadron RAF, who joined up as Eagle Squadron pilots before being shipped out to the Western Desert. Although it's not very long it does have a number of action reports in the form of logbook entries and diary notes, which make it a very good source of potential scenarios.
Good stuff.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Marching On

It's now a week after the deadline for completion of the ARVN passed and, despite my best intentions, I haven't had the time to get them finished off. Although I have done some work on the vehicles, the infantry and artillery remain just undercoated in black. I could blitz them this weekend in a late night painting session and it wouldn't be difficult to finish them off at least to a point where just the bases would need to be textured, washed and drybrushed.

However, on the 1st March I'll have to move on as the Raiden bombers will be arriving from Mark the following week and I need to get some practice painting in before then. Mark sent me some pictures of the master for the Ju88A1 and it looks superb. He's going to send me an initial batch in a few days and I really need to get them underway as soon as I can. I have a week or so before they arrive so I still have some time to play with.

With this in mind, I'm going to dig out some pre-based and undercoated Axis aircraft I have for North Africa to practice my painting, masking, lining and shading. I have a Scotia SM81 Pipistrello and four Raiden Bf109F's that I will use to brush up my techniques. I may also tackle a handful of RAF aircraft for North Africa or some USAAF fighters for 1943-44. I haven't tried painting bare metal before and I need to fine tune my decalling, so some P51's, P38's and P47's would be an excellent way to get some more experience under my belt.

Back at the start of the year I listed both the North Africa and NW Europe aircraft on my list of things to do this year, which means I'll be chipping away at the leadpile in the process, without infringing the NYR rule.

Time to move on!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Rules for Steam Vehicles in Saurian Safari

As promised, here are the rules for using Steam Powered Ironclad Vehicles in Saurian Safari !

Movement
Steam vehicles move at a speed of 1D6 per turn. They can move forwards and backwards at this speed but must stop for one turn before changing direction. Any number of turns of up to 45 degrees may also be made during each move at the cost of 1’’ of movement.

A steam vehicle may climb low hills or slopes but steep slopes are impassable. It can travel through any areas of vegetation including forest or jungle without penalty, clearing a path the width of the vehicle as it goes. A steam vehicle cannot cross swamps, marsh, rivers or soft sand. If it attempts to do so it will become permanently bogged down.

Crew and Armament
A steam vehicle has a carrying capacity of four plus one engineer. When travelling by vehicle, one party member must be allocated as engineer and may not use any firearms whilst at the controls, unless the vehicle is stationary. It takes one move to embark or disembark from a steam vehicle. The rules for restarting a stationary vehicle (p14) do not apply.

Vehicle mounted machine guns or light cannon are permitted but may not be removed from the vehicle at any time and require a gunner and a loader to be used. If mounted in a turret they will have a 360 degree arc of fire. To traverse the turret takes one move. Any vision ports in the machine may also be used as firing positions for a single figure with a 45 degree arc of fire and line of sight. When rolling to spot a dinosaur from within a steam vehicle, add a minus 10% modifier due to restricted visibililty.

Malfunctions
At the start of the movement phase, a D100 roll must be made to determine possible malfunctions of the steam vehicle. Only one malfunction can occur in any one turn, so do not roll for malfunction if one is already in effect. Apply effects as indicated on the following chart:

01 – 60% No malfunction, Full Steam Ahead!

61 – 65% Steering jammed (vehicle may not change direction for D6 turns)

66 – 70 % Gears jammed in reverse (vehicle will travel backwards at 1D6 per turn for D6 turns)

71 – 75 % Low Steam Pressure (vehicle grinds to a halt and will remain stationary for D6 turns)

76 – 80% Boiler Leak (crew must abandon vehicle for D6 turns until steam has dispersed)

81 – 85% Turret / Gun Jammed (may not fire or traverse for D6 turns until fixed by crew)

86 – 90% Track or Wheel Thrown (no movement other than a 45 degree turn in one direction)

91 – 95% Piston Valve Gasket Spring Reciprocator has broken (no movement for D6 turns until fixed by crew)

96 – 98% Safety Valve Jam (will blow up after D6 turns unless fixed by a crew on D6 roll of 5-6)

99 – 100% Boom! (roll a D6 for each of the crew: 1-2 Dead / 3-4 Wounded -1D6 strength / 5-6 thrown clear)

To fix a malfunction, one crew member must be tasked with the repair attempt but may not perform any other action during this time.

Dinosaur Encounters
The majority of creatures will ignore a steam vehicle as it looks a lot like a dinosaur.

However, carnivores and pack hunters will attempt to attack a steam machine as they assume it will taste nice (refer to the relevant reaction charts). These attacks will have no effect on the armoured plated exterior of the machine, although pack hunters will swarm all over it and any self respecting carnosaur will attempt to bite and chew bits off. After D6 turns, the dinosaurs will give up and wander off, unless they have already been KO’d or killed by the crew. The steam machine may attempt to crush pack hunters under its wheels or tracks with an automatic chance of success if the dinosaur is silly enough to stand directly in the vehicles path.

Any encounter with a Ceratopsian or Ankylosaur will have more serious consequences. Use the reaction charts to determine if the dinosaur attacks. If it does charge and makes contact, roll a D100, with a 50% chance of the steam vehicle being tipped over on its side. Any occupants will be unharmed but the vehicle will be immobilised and the turret and/or gun will be out of action. The dinosaur will then wander off allowing the crew to bale out via the escape hatch.

If a stampeding Sauropod happens to collide with a steam machine there will be a 75% chance of it tipping over. Other dinosaurs that collide with the vehicle will merely bounce off.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Saurian Safari and Other Stuff

I finished off the scenario and rules additions for the Saurian Safari game this evening. I think I've covered all the things I need to include in order to use steam vehicles and have added a few unpleasant surprises for the players as well. I'll crack on with the Ironclad Miniatures steam tank soon and may add a couple of extra figures that I've got ready to paint as well.

I also managed to get all the tracks done on the ARVN APC's and tanks as well as the mantlets for the M42's the other day but forgot to log my limited but definite progress at the time. I'm hoping to paint up the APC stowage and perhaps start on the crew figures this evening.

However, I'm out of action for Thursday evening as I'm at work and on Friday due to a party my wife has organised for her friends, which means I'll be babysitting.

Bugger.

Oh well, I may be able to squeeze in some painting in between ?

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Axles and Alloys II Testdrive








The Axles and Alloys playtest at the club this evening resulted in a bit of a flaming pile up with both sides reduced to battered wrecks by the end of the game. We started off with one car against another then gradually introduced more until we ran out. In the end, Jon was the only survivor although it was a bit of a close run thing for both of us at times.

The rules worked very smoothly with only minor glitches that were more down to us not reading them through properly than any fault of the system. I can recommend the use of turret weapons which are very useful if you want to avoid driving around in circles, together with dropped spikes, which did some unpleasant steering damage to one of Jon's heavies.

I don't advise that you attempt any high speed jumps though, as they can have a bit of an impact on your structural integrity. I'm sure Jon would recommend the use of flamethrowers and ramplates, judging by the results of his efforts in both techniques which were quite impressive.

A couple of additions to the rules would be helpful. It would be handy to have an index to avoid flicking backwards and forwards through the rules and a blank car record sheet for light, medium and heavy vehicles would also be a bonus. These are only little things and we could easily produce them out ourselves, which is what we both did for the record sheets anyway.

Overall, a very good system and one which I'm sure we'll return to with yet more converted Hotwheels in the not too distant future, perhaps as a multiplayer club game?

Bag The Hun 2

I've just downloaded a pdf copy of Bag The Hun 2 from the Toofatlardies site. First impressions are very good, with lots of very clear explanatory bits and nice, simple mechanics in line with the original. The presentation has also been significantly improved, not that it was bad to start with and the overall 'look' of the rules book is superb! I've also ordered some of the new bogey markers and when they arrive I'll be digging out the 1.300th scale planes for a playtest.
Excellent!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Full Steam Ahead and Damn the Dinosaurs!

I've booked up a slot for a Saurian Safari game on the 23rd March which should give me plenty of time to work out a scenario and devise some random rules for steam powered exploration machines, like the aforementioned Impervious Steam Perambulator.

I've had a go at a basic scenario outline for the players including some details on the use of steam contraptions, turret weapons, firing from portholes etc, based on my existing expedition set up with added extras.

Now I need to produce some guidelines for the umpire including a malfunction chart and rules for dinosaur reactions. I'll try to get some more done this evening and I'll post it up here when I've finished. I'll also dig out the kit of the steam tank, as I'm not going to get very far if I don't crack on and build the thing in the first place!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Dinosaur Safari

It's about time I ran another game of Saurian Safari at the club, having had to cancel my last game before Christmas due to the usual family related stuff that seems to crop up with inconvenient regularity.

I've run several games over the last two or three years since picking up a copy of the rules on ebay for next to nothing. My subsequent collection of Copplestone figures and plastic dinosaurs has made the whole exercise slightly less inexpensive but it's been worth the outlay for the fun I've had running the games.

We've had an annual hunting competition in July, for the highly prized Compton Pauncefoot III memorial trophy, as well as a number of archaeological expeditions to the Lost World. The last game was a pulp era rescue mission, using the Saurian Safari vehicle rules as an added element to the game.

With this sort of thing in mind, I picked up a resin Ironclad Miniatures steam tank thing at Warfare last year as it looked cool. I haven't built it yet but will be using it in my next game as an alternative to the converted Model T Ford safari truck that I used in the last game. I just have to write up some extra rules for it's use in the scenario and then paint it up and I'll be ready to go. This could involve all sorts of 'interesting' random events and should be a good laugh.

I'm going to set a date for a game and, hopefully, get the usual bunch of loonies signed up for a bit of Victorian dinosaur safari action in the not too distant future.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Victorian Ironclad Naval Gazing

My wife had a bit of an accident this evening when she decided to tidy up my shelves in the garage because ' there's too much of your stuff' taking up valuable storage space.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, a plastic box containing my Skytrex 1/1200th scale French ironclads fell off the desk and ended up on the floor. The result was a tangled mess of masts and various broken spars which fortunately weren't rigged, as I hadn't plucked up the courage required to do them properly. I've un-bent the various bent bits and will re-paint the parts that need to be re-painted but...it got me thinking.

I have (yet another) box of Tumbling Dice ironclads in 1/2400 which have been waiting to be assembled and painted up after I aquired them in a bit of a Victorian naval moment last year. They're very good little models and would be quick to do up as they come with integral rigging, seperate sails and neat little sea bases, which cuts out a lot of the fiddly work. I've got both French and British fleets, plus some random Chilean, Peruvian and Prussian vessels for the period.

I'd planned to use them with Iron and Fire but have also considered using Sovereign Seas Lite, a board game that could be easily adapted to a hex cloth and miniatures, both of which I already have.

It's also a free download from the Bonegames site:

http://www.bonegames.com/games/ssl.html

This could, as a result, be a possible project this year if I get my act together. It's another one to consider at the very least.



Pithead Norwegians

Apparently Phil, the bloke behind Pithead Miniatures, is thinking of doing Norwegians in 10/12mm, which is pretty cool if it weren't for the fact that I've got a load o WW1 Austrians waiting to have their hats filed down into Norwegian field caps.

Oh well.

It's great to have the possibility of a dedicated Norwegian range and I'm sure I'll be able to use some of the artillery and vehicles to go with what I've already got. Anyway, it's all a bit theoretical at the moment, so drop Phil an email to get the Norwegians up and running if you share my interest in this otherwise uncatered for campaign (and don't forget to mention early war Germans in greatcoats and Gebirgsjager with skis)

Nice one Phil.

Back from the Back of Beyond

Got back from the Cotswolds yesterday after a quite successful holiday. Lots of bookshops and one wargame related day trip to Warwick Castle. It's not too bad if you can put up with the 'edutainment' theme park related guff and focus on the architecture. The Kingmaker walk through thing wasn't bad and the trebuchet was quite neat too, if a bit silly given it's slightly pathetic range and almost vertical trajectory.

I've managed to load myself with a nice selection of new and second hand books after trawling the bookshops of Cirencester, Cheltenham and Bath. I'm particularly pleased to have got hold of a copy of the autobiography of the commander of the 5th DCLI in first edition hardback which is a mine of useful information and scenario ideas. I also picked up about half a dozen of the Spearhead uniform reference books at £2.99 each including some for Vietnam and WW2 units, plus two of the Donald Featherstone Victorian Colonial War books, one for India and the other for Africa. To round off I bought a couple of discounted paperbacks on the Italian Campiagn, one on Anzio and the other Monte Cassino, as they were only £3 each.

I found the time to read through the Rate of Fire rules too. I'm not sure if they're what I'm looking for and there are a few wierd bits including, for example, the rules for moving heavy weapons which don't seem to make sense, but I'll give them a go. I've also got Disposable Heroes so I can always revert to them as an alternative, especially as they include rules for armour and vehicles. The Axles and Alloys rules also got a read through and look excellent, so I'm looking forward to the game on Tuesday when I can try them out.

I'm going to try to find the time to do some work on the ARVN today and tomorrow but it looks like I'm not going to meet my deadline of the 22nd so will extend it until the following Monday. It's a bit of mission creep but I'll cut the time from my next project to fit the ARVN in. The 28mm Late War British hven't arrived from North Star yet but they should be here in time for me to get started on at least a squad worth next month.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Rate of Fire Rulebook

I got the Rate of Fire rulebook from North Star in the post this morning. I'm off on holiday this afternoon so will take it with me for a thorough read through. It looks pretty good after a quick skim read but I want to get my head round the turn sequence and mechanisms in a bit more depth. I'm not sure about all the counters that seem to be used on table and think I'll try to find some alternative, less intrusive way to indicate what needs to be shown rather than the little coloured cardboard squares that seem to populate the RoF battlefield.

I'm also taking the Axles and Alloys II rules with me to flick through as I've got a game lined up on the 23rd and need to have some idea how they work. There's a new cheatsheet on the downloads site which should help with this and make the game go a little faster as we won't have to flick back and fro through the rules to work out the mechanisms. I still have to re-base one of my cars to match the desert bases of the others and make some smoke and flame markers but, apart from that, I think I'm ready to go.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Raiden Game Update

Things are starting to move along with the club Battle of Britian participation game, which is a good thing as time is ticking away if we're going to get everything sorted for Salute this year. The painting is well underway for the Luftwaffe and RAF units, with the exception of the Junkers 88's which Mark was sculpting for the game.

These should be available soon and I'll be starting on them as soon as they arrive. I've got 24 to paint up so it'll take up quite a lot of my time next month although I'm hoping to squeeze in a small project alongside, perhaps the Norwegians or Late War German paras for BKC2. Either that or I could tackle one or two units of 28mm or 15mm figures for Rate of Fire or AK47.

I still have to finish the ARVN which have slipped behind again due to my diversion into Axles and Alloys this last week. I was supposed to finish the ARVN by today (oops!) but have a couple of weekends over half term in which I can finiosh off the armour and paint up the infantry, which shouldn't take very long. If I can finish them before the 22nd I will still have met my deadline for the first project of 2010.

I'm off on holiday to the Cotswolds on Sunday and won't be back until the end of the week, so it's the weekend or bust as far as painting is concerned.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Dropped Weapon Markers

Here are some dropped weapon markers I've very quickly scratchbuilt for Axles and Alloys 2 on 2mm mdf 30mm x 80mm bases.

The spikes are made from mapping pins with the pin tip cut off using DIY pliers. I drilled some random holes in the mdf bases then pushed the pins through from underneath before supergluing them in place. I then textured the base, undercoated with Humbrol spray Matt Earth then painted it in three tone Foundry base sand. The spikes were then picked out and highlighted in grey. A bit of flock then covered up any dodgy bits.

The mines were made by cutting the plastic top off the rest of the mapping pins, the bit you push down with your thumb when pinning things onto a board, then sticking them down onto the mdf bases. I then textured, painted and flocked the bases as before. The mines were painted in three tone Foundry Phlegm Green and a little red dot painted in the centre. They're a bit big and a little crude but at least they look unmistakably like mines, to me at least.

The oil patches were made in exactly the same way but with a puddle shaped area left untextured in the centre of each base. I then textured and painted the bases, before glooping on black paint and finishing off with a thick coating of GW Hardcoat varnish to make it look liquid. They're the ones I'm least happy with but they will do for the moment.

Very cheap and very quick!

Churchill Tank (Rate of Fire)

I've just recieved one of these in the post to add some tank support to the 28mm British Infantry platoon for Rate of Fire.

It's a Corgi diecast in 1/50th scale which is close enough to 28mm not to cause me sleepless nights. I'll definately be re-painting and detailing it though as it looks far to bland as it is. It cost about a tenner on Ebay so not too pricey. I may even get another if I can find one cheap enough. Although I can't use it now due to a lack of rules for armour, there's going to be a supplement added later which includes tanks and other AFV's.

The weapons bits from EM4 arrived in the post too. They're not bad but have the arms cast onto the guns so I'll have to do some cutting and sanding before sticking them onto the diecast cars. They're a bit on the big side but will look fine as heavy weapons for Axles and Alloys.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Flying Circus

Just back from the WW1 aerial game at the club which was as much fun as ever, despite the Roland DII living up (or should that be down) to my expectations. Actually, compared to some of the unluckier pilots, Leutnant Freiherr Ritter von Popenfahrt didn't do too badly, getting several shots in on various enemy aircraft and surviving to fly another day.

The unwieldy Roland has seen better days though, with three engine hits, two wing hits and a couple of large holes in the fuselage. In the end I was forced to dive out of the dogfight with a shot up engine which, after a couple of turns kicked back into life, leaving me stranded at low altitude. I had no way to get back into the melee above, due to an earlier engine hit power loss that had rendered my flying machine unable to climb, so decided to fly off into the sunset.

This would be a bad idea as it would have been the wrong direction in February 1917, assuming I didn't fancy being a POW.

Still, a good game was had by all, so I'm thinking of adding a few more aircraft to the collection in order to set up another multiplayer mission later in the year. It will be something in 1917 as this gives the greatest scope for scenarios. I have a very nice Eduard Junkers J1 kit that would be great for a ground attack game, together with a few escorting Dr1's, or I could build a few Airfix DH4's for an allied bombing mission.

I've got lots to choose from whatever I decide to do.

Monday, 8 February 2010

WW1 Knights of the Sky

We've got a WW1 aerial game at the club tomorrow night using a set of club rules called Knights of the Sky. It's a neat system which uses hex movement and a set of order codes similar to Blue Max or Check Your Six. The author, Richard, has fine tuned the rules to be simple but very flexible, so that individual aircraft can be manoevered with accurate flight characteristics. It's fast and furious, always resulting in some frenetic action and some very funny moments.

I thought I'd post some pictures of the planes I'm going to take along to the club to lend to other players or to fly myself. They're all 1/72nd scale Airfix, Revell or Esci kits, with the exception of the Roland DII which is an old Merlin Models limited run injection kit. I think it's going to be my plane of choice tomorrow, assuming I fly for the Fatherland, as I built it last year but never used in action. It's built like a brick and will probably fly like one too but at least it'll be a bit different from the standard Albatros or Roland CII's.

I have a lot more aircraft in my collection including several flights of three or four planes, but as the game tomorrow is set in February 1917, only the ones here will be taking to the skies.

Bag The Hun 2

As Bag the Hun 2 is about to be released at last, I thought I'd get myself re-focussed on aerial warfare in 1:285th scale by posting some pictures of my RAF and Luftwaffe planes, most of which are from the excellent Raiden Miniatures range.

The RAF are grounded as I recently discovered that the squadron codes I used, which are supposed to be for Hurricanes are actually for a squadron equipped with Spitfires. I guess I should have checked but it's the manufacturers mistake and you sort of assume they'd get it right? Oh well, at least the Luftwaffe have generic insignia so I didn't screw that up!

I've got quite a few more planes including a formation of Dornier 17's, some Defiants, Blenheims and Beaufighters, which I'll post here when I get the time. I'll also try to get my Italian stuff for North Africa posted up as well (that reminds me, I should have another game against Andy's Desert Air Force sometime).

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Diecasts Done and Dusted

I've managed to finish off the four diecast cars for Axles and Alloys today, although a few minor details could be added if I was being picky. I'm not too happy about the windows but they'll have to do in the interest of getting them done and dusted.

The stand in Lamborghini came out looking the best of the bunch despite it's rather boring grey paintscheme, whilst the two base sand cars turned out not quite up to scratch, although perfectly presentable in game terms. The odd one out of the pack, the brown country club thingy, isn't too bad and has some neat passive weapon drop pods on the back end that look quite effective (although you can't see them in the pictures).

I might get a couple more done during the week as they don't take too long to convert or paint up. I also have to make the various markers for Axles and Alloys, which we're trying out at the end of the month, so the ARVN will be taking a back seat for a couple of days. It's looking unlikely that I'll finish the ARVN by the end of the week but I'll hopefully get most of the battlegroup done by the end of February, any extra time I spend having to come off the next project.

Axles and Alloys Upgunned

I've run out of the old Dark Future turret and heavy weapons that I'd stockpiled from ebay, although I still have a few of the silly ones left for conversions, so I've been looking for some suitable replacements. I thought about the Stan Johannsen packs of weapons and bits but, like Jon, I'm not keen on buying from the US having been stung by customs once when ordering some resin MTB's from PT Dockyard.

So, I was looking around the EM4 site ths morning for some plastic Space Marines for my son when I spotted some add on metal weapons for their 28mm Future Wars plastic figures. There are two sets, one for military troopers and one for gangers, both of which consist of five heavy weapons including what look like autoguns, chain guns, missile launchers, flamethrowers and the like.

They may be completely useless, in which case the boy will get them for his Space Marines, but they do look like they might fit nicely onto the Hotwheels as turret, roof or side mounted heavy weapons. I've ordered a pack of each and will see what they're like when they arrive. If they are useable they'd be pretty good value at £2 per pack or 40p per gun.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Painting Up

I've started painting up the diecast cars for Axles and Alloys this afternoon, in between all the usual family related stuff I have to contend with. I've gone for the 'quick drybrush then tidy it all up later approach' as haven't got a lot of time to spend if I'm going to get the ARVN armour done this weekend too (unlikely, but it's worth a try).

Anyway, I've gone for two cars in Foundry three stage Base Sand, one in GW Greys of various shades and one in GW browns. They look OK so far and I'm hoping to finish them off to a pre-detailing standard this evening.

The fourth car is one I bashed together yesterday to replace the one I didn't like the look of. It's a very old Maisto Lamborghini something or other, with the spoiler removed and replaced by grills made from a couple of bits of N gauge pallet, together with the last of my Dark Future turrets as a roof mounted machine gun. Sounds a bit dodgy, but actually looks pretty good!

I'll post some photos as soon as I've got them all to a decent level of finish, if possible with bases to match the sort of thing that Jon has done for his stuff.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Crusader Late War British

I've blown the birthday dosh on a full platoon worth of Late War British infantry for Rate of Fire from Crusader, plus a hard copy of the rules.

With a box set plus an extra pack of a command team, a kneeling command and bren team, 2'' mortar team, PIAT team and a couple of packs of kneeling riflemen, I've got all I need to build three sections and a platoon HQ with mortar section attached. I also splashed out on a Vickers as it looked good and could easily have been attached to a platoon from the support company.

This is what I'm going to replicate, a platoon of the 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, assuming it fits with the rules:

Platoon HQ
1 x Officer (Sten)
1 Sergeant (Rifle)
1 x Signaller (Rifle)
1 x Runner (Rifle)


Light Mortar Section
1 x 2'' mortar (sten)
2 x loaders / ammo carrier (rifle)


2 x Rifle Platoons each:
1 x Corporal (sten)
1 x Lance Corporal (bren)
2 x loaders / ammo carriers (rifle)
6 x riflemen (rifles)


1 x Rifle Platoon (the PIAT could be assigned to the HQ section instead)
1 x Corporal (sten)
1 x Lance Corporal (bren)
2 x loaders / ammo carriers (rifle)
1 x PIAT (sten)
1 x PIAT loader / ammo carrier (rifle)
4 x riflemen (rifle)


This should be more than enough for a decent size game, with a total of 47 figures plus the HMG I'll have plenty to deal with any situation that Jon can throw at me. Northstar are usually pretty quick on delivery so I should have the figures and rules next week. I can then start cleaning, basing and undercoating them after half term (The 10mm option for this is therefore off the radar but may resurface next year, as it's still something I'd like to do using the Pithead range of figures).

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Battlecars

I found my box game of Battlecars and the extension set of Battlebikes in the loft this evening. It's a really great 'beer and pretzels' type one braincell game, which naturally suits me down to the ground.

I spent many PE and A level Public Affairs lessons in the Sixth Form at school playing this with my fellow skivers, as it was quick to set up, quick to play and often very funny. The rest of the time we played a lot of Squad Leader, Panzer Leader, TTG micro games and Cry Havoc, the old Standard Games medieval skirmish boardgame (we also played quite a lot of MERP, Laserburn and Call of Cthulhu but that's another story).

Anyway, I picked up my current copy of Battlecars on Ebay a couple of years ago and had a few games with the boys before shelving it when the wife complained. I'm now going to dust it off and set up a few games with the kids while the other half isn't looking.

Dangerous I know, but worth the risk.

If you can find a decent copy on Ebay, then it's worth getting hold of for a few quid, especially if you want to get your kids interested in gaming. Check out this review and you'll see what I mean: http://www.headlesshollow.com/archives/2004/11/boardgame_revie_2.html

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Grunge Washing

I tried out the grungy wash that I mixed up yesterday on the ARVN armour this evening. It's not quite the right shade I was looking for but will do well enough.

I subsequently found the recipe for the original batch that I used on the CO stands, 50:50 GW Black / Scorched Brown plus a top up of Future. I may well mix up a small batch of this formula and slosh it over the engine grills and hatches of the APC's and tanks just to add a little definition. After that it's onto a light highlight with GW Dheneb Stone and they're three quarters done.

I'm looking foward to finishing the ARVN so I can change the picture at the top of the blog and so I can start the next project. Mark from Raiden hasn't sent me the Ju88's yet so I might have a breathing space in which to paint up the Axles and Alloys cars over the weekend (except for the snail which has been consigned to the unfinished dustbin of doom).

I'm also deciding which of the next big projects to start alongside the stuff for the participation game. Current front runners are the AK47 dictatorship army or the DCLI in 10mm for BKC2 or 28mm for Rate of Fire. I may even tackle the Norwegians despite the lack of suitable opposition at the moment. Who knows?

Rate of Fire

These look like an interesting set of skirmish level rules for WW2, perhaps as a potential alternative to Disposable Heroes, which is the other commercial ruleset I've considered for this level of gaming.

Although they don't seem to include rules for tanks, from the blurb on the webpage at least, they do cover most of the things I'd expect to see in a WW2 tactical squad level set and some extra bits that sometimes get left out.

The sample pages look good too, with clearly laid out content and some high quality graphics which, while not affecting the gameplay at all, certainly go some way to justify the price tag...why have rules all become so bloody expensive?. At £18 plus postage they don't represent fantastic value for money but I may well get a copy for 'research purposes' anyway, possibly the download version which is only £6 (bargain!).

I've already got some Artizan late war US troops in greatcoats that I could paint up for WW2 skirmish level games, so the N.Y.R. rule won't be infringed by a 'new' project.

On the other hand, I might be able to justify one of the Crusader box sets of British late war infantry, especially if they do some sort of deal over at North Star. They seem like good value for money and I really like the Crusader style of sculpting, having already got some of their Normans for WAB Shieldwall.