GRUNTZ

GRUNTZ
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Saturday, 30 June 2012

Adventures in Jimland Figures


The Copplestone and Blue Moon figures arrived today, so I've spent half an hour or so sorting them out into a box, ready for basing and painting up over the summer holidays. The Blue Moon figures look like they'll be easy to paint and are very clean sculpts, whilst the Copplestone cavemen might take a bit more time to get right, as they're full of character and detail that's crying out for some layering and highlights.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Bag The Doodlebug Solo Game




I've got a Bag The Hun 2 game at the club in a couple of weeks so, to brush up on the rules I thought I'd have a go at Bag The Doodlebug, having painted up the models for it a couple of years ago:

http://jimswargamesworkbench.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/bag-doodlebug-finished.html

I didn't get round to playing this 'game within a game' then, so it will be a good opportunity to actually make use of the different aircraft that I have in the collection including Tempests, Mustangs, Spitfires and a Mosquito. I'm hoping to squeeze a game in over the weekend and have printed out some cards in advance, complete with some really nice pictures. Cool!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

RAF North Africa [3]


I based up another three Museum Miniatures Blenheims this evening and then spray undercoated the Hurricanes, Blenheims and the Maryland in Humbrol Matt Earth, as a basecoat for the first stage of painting. I'm going to try a light drybrush of Foundry Rawhide to start with, in order to bring out the detail and add some definition, with a subsequent wash of Citadel Devlan Mud to pick out the panel lines. If this doesn't work, it's back to square one. 

Adventures in Jimland Cavemen


I thought I'd add some native figures to the Adventures in Jimland project but, rather than use Blue Moon Deep Dark Africa ones, I've decided to go for the Copplestone 15mm 'Picts'.

These are archetypal pulp low browed cavemen complete with big pointy sticks and stones, so will look pretty cool as a lost world prehistoric tribe. The other advantage is that they come in two packs, one bow armed and the other with hand weapons, which is exactly what I need.

I've also splashed out on a Copplestone Nanotyrannus carnosaur which will look pretty impressive next to the 15mm figures. I had one of these a long time ago and it's a cracking sculpt, full of character and detail. I'm now looking for other 15mm compatible dinosaurs and beasties  to complement the handful that I already have in the leadpile.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Vive la France!




After a bit of a think I've decided to paint up the Blenheims, Hurricanes and the Maryland as Free French rather than RAF. This is easy apart from the Cross of Lorraine insignia on the roundels, which I'll have to paint free hand or adapt from something else. I might have a go at designing and printing some of my own decals if I can find some decal sheet that isn't too expensive. In the meantime, here's some cool box art for inspiration!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

RAF North Africa [2]


I based up the initial planes for the North Africa Bag The Hun 2 project tonight including three Blenheims, eight Hurricanes and a single Maryland. I may add four more Hurricanes and the rest of the Blenheims tomorrow but I don't want to bite off more than I can chew in the next four weeks.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Iron Cow ONESS AFV's [7]


I finished off the MICV's for the infantry platoon yesterday along with the infantry but I still need to work out how to base up the figures so that they match the vehicles. I'm now going to kick off with the Bag the Hun North Africa project so, for the moment, the Iron Cow project will be mothballed.

I'm planning to pick it up again after the holidays, with the CDSU units as the next thing to be tackled. The first installment of the CDSU arrived on Friday along with some really nice desert buildings, so I have I'll have plenty of things to play around with when I get back from France in a couple of months time.

Adventures in Jimland...in 18mm!


I finally made up my mind about the scale for Adventures in Jimland. About time really. I have all the figures I need for this in 28mm but thought it would be nice to have a change of scale and go for 18mm instead.

I tend to get bogged down more than usual when I paint 28mm stuff and seem to have an ever growing pile of based up figures that have yet to get even a whiff of a paintbrush. I tend to crack on with 15mm, however, as they seem less daunting and I don't get sidetracked by fiddly detailing as much.

The other advantage of 18mm is that it'll tie in with my existing AK47 stuff, so that any terrain that I scratchbuild can be re-used for that as well. I already have several African tribal huts, for example, which will be perfect for a native village.

I also have some 10mm colonial figures and Magister Militum dinosaurs but the humans are so tiddly they lose their identity a bit  compared to the larger scale figures, which isn't really ideal when you're playing a game with roleplay type elements. As a result, I think the 10mm stuff will be diverted for use with Tusk.

So, as a reward for shifting two tons of topsoil from the front to the back graden over the weekend, I've bought myself three packs of Blue Moon 18mm Deep Dark Africa figures. These are the Missionaries and Explorers, the Askaris and the Porters. I've also added a pack of WTNW 18mm French colonial soldiers which were on sale for £1.20 over at Northstar.

This should cover everything I need for my Adventures in Jimland expedition party. I haven't got any natives, hostile tribes or animals yet but I'm sure they can be located without too much trouble. The Copplestone 'Picts' are particularly nice cavemen and I quite like the look of the Blue Moon pygmies, but they'll have to wait until I have a bit more pocket money to spend.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Easter Island Statues Scale Up




In the interest of science, with a very small S, I thought I'd take some pictures of the recently aquired Easter Island heads next to 28mm, 15mm and 12mm figures. I think they look good next to all three but, if I was pushed, I'd say the 15mm option is the most impressive. I'm sure General Papi Mpongo would agree.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Easter Island Statues


I found these today in Waterstones of all places and thought they'd be rather good as terrain features for either 28mm Saurian Safari or 10mm / 15mm Adventures in Jimland. There are four different resin statues in the box, which works out at £1.25 each, so not too expensive. They'll need a bit of washing and drybrushing, a decent base and a bit of weathering but I think they're rather good.

Friday, 22 June 2012

RAF North Africa [1]





The extras bits for the 1941 RAF North Africa project arrived from Raiden today and very nice they are too. I've sorted out the various models that I already had alongside the new stuff, so that I can plan which bits to tackle first.

I have six Museum Miniatures Blenheim IV's, a lone Raiden Martin Maryland, six (really very nice) Raiden Tomahawks and twelve Raiden Hurricanes, that I need to sort out into a manageable painting schedule.

I suppose I could do the whole lot in one go, as I've changed my approach to painting such things over the last couple of years and could shave off a fair bit of faff with the judicious use of washes and drybrushing?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

6mm FUBAR

I have to say that I completely overlooked this free set of sci fi / modern rules, assuming they were some sort of 28mm WW2 skirmish ruleset. In actual fact, they're designed for fast play infantry heavy games in a generic sci-fi setting, with the emphasis on a handful of 6mm figures and vehicles.

http://6mmfubar.blogspot.co.uk/ 

I was really impressed by the game reports and terrain on the Angel Barracks 6mm FUBAR blog and so downloaded the one page rules for a quick look over. As I have more than enough Iron Cow AFV's, all I'd need to do to have a crack at the rules is base up and paint some individual figures, in addition to the ones I'm going to group base for the ONESS and CDSU battlegroups.

If I did, I could run some skirmish squad or platoon level scenarios to run alongside the Iron Cow battalion level games, using the same terrain and AFV's. The rules look like they'd give a quick but tactically interesting game, which is why they seem to have picked up quite a following on the Forge of War forum and elsewhere.


Good stuff...especially as it's FREE!

Iron Cow East Africa

I found a map of Eastern African political organisations on Wikipedia and have adapted it to the Iron Cow 2103AD geo-political and military setting.

As you can see, the Khallistani League (KL) have occupied what was Egypt and the Sudan but have run up against the South African Commonwealth (SAC), which has occupied the Horn of Africa as a buffer zone against Saudi / Khallistani invasion. This opens up the possibilty of some further forces being added to my collection using Eurofed (Saudi) or Neo-Soviet (KL) equipment.

The SAC has also occupied Madagascar and Mozambique but has run into the CDSU in what was Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. This is where most of the fighting will take place in my campaign, as the CDSU attempts to hold on to it's mineral resources in the region.

There is also an area of disputed territory in former Zimbabwe / Zambia / Malawi, which is under nominal SAC control but is in reality garrisoned by ONESS backed Private Military Contractors, who are able to call on support from an ONESS rapid reaction airmobile battlegroup.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Iron Cow ONESS AFV's [6]



I decided to add some mechanised infantry to the battlegroup so have prepared and undercoated a platoon of MICV's and three sections of armoured infantry, each of three figures per base. In the two bases of each section there will be one AT fireteam and one standard fireteam. This will add a bit of punch to an otherwise fairly insubstantial force.

I've also been thinking about how to base the infantry figures and have experimented with cutting circular holes in a Renedra plastic base to match the diameter of the circular metal stands on the figures. The idea is to countersink the figures into the plastic bases then paint everything to match the desert finish that I have used on the rest of the units.

If I can make it work, I think it'll look better than just sticking the figure on top?

Bag The Hun North Africa

The Italian Air Force
I had a rummage in the boxes yesterday and located some early war aircraft suitable as opposition for my Italians. In previous games at the club, my Macchi Mc200's and Fiat G50's got in plenty of shots on the P40's of my opponent but failed to cause much damage, due to the rifle calibre armament they were equipped with. Conversely, the Kittihawks with their eight .50 calibre machine guns caused havoc when they managed to get on my six.

The solution to this problem is, I think, to push back the timeframe from 1942 to 1941. This will avoid duplicating the Kittihawk, Baltimore and Beaufighter equipped force of my erstwhile opponent, Andy, and allow for more of a fighting chance for the Italians. I already have six Leading Edge Beaufort MkIV's and six Raiden trop Hurricane I's as a starting point. I've now ordered another six Hurricanes to make up a full squadron and eight P40 Tomahawks to back them up. I've also added a nice Martin Maryland for recconaisance work.

When these arrive I'll be able to start on the Bag The Hun desert air force...but in the meantime I'm hoping to finish off the Iron Cow ONESS British battlegroup and make some further slow progress with the SAGA Vikings.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Squadron Forward!


I saw this on the Toofatlardies site and thought it would be worth getting hold of a copy for use with Bag The Hun. I have a good selection of 1/300th scale aircraft for WW2 aerial gaming including RAF and Luftwaffe for the Battle of Britain, Italian and German stuff for North Africa, together with  a handful of late war RAF planes for NW Europe. However, I've only managed half a dozen games at the club as interest is fairly limited.

I'd like to have another crack at BTH, either at the club or solo, so this looks like a good way to roll up an ad hoc but linked set of scenarios that might appeal to some of the chaps who've dabbled before. It's also not tied to any one campaign, so I can use my North Africa or late war NW Europe kit as a starting point. It would also give me an incentive to paint up the 'other half' for these theatres and, needless to say, I have plenty of little lead planes to start with.

I might make this an up and coming project, moving other things to one side for the moment such as the SAGA Vikings and the Normandy Firefight project. I haven't resolved the scale issue for Adventures in Jimland, so that can also be moved to waiting list until I make up my mind. This all depends on whether or not I can drum up some interest at the club and if I can spare the time before the summer holidays next month but it's worth a thought..

Monday, 18 June 2012

BKC Aegean Campaign Again


I've sent in my orders for the club BKC campaign turn three tonight and, although I rushed them a bit, I think they'll be coherent enough for the umpire to interpret in a manageable way. They make good use of some of the additional assets I was given last turn as a reward for my successful submarine commando raid, which succeeded in sinking a heavy cruiser and damaging several other ships.

This turn, I'll be making an amphibious landing on one of the neighbouring islands, launching yet more X-MAS human torpedo attacks on allied shipping and conducting some behind the scenes cloak and dagger stuff using submarine based commando reconaissance units, floatplanes and secret agents. I don't want to give too much away, as the enemy might be tuning in, but reckon I might have a cunning plan!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Long Weekend


I've been away from home for a long weekend in Cornwall. A very old friend of mine was getting married on Friday, so we travelled down to my Dad's so that we could attend the ceremony and the reception. It was a naval wedding with all the trimmings but was, nonetheless, very low key and very enjoyable. I had a great time, which is a rarity given my usual aversion to all things nuptual, so it was a cracking day all round.

Today we decided to head up to the hill behind my Dad's for a bit of fresh air. As you can see, it's a really nice part of the world to grow up in and a fantastic place for kids. We had a really good time exploring the old mines and quarries, although my erudite industrial archaeology lecture fell on deaf ears. The boys were too interested in scramblimg up the finger dumps and my daughter was far too busy torturing tadpoles to pay attention.

Anyway, back to the real wargaming world and on with the BKC Italians this week...

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The Forlorn Hope


I was fortunate enough to find a rather impressive framed print of this picture in my local Marie Curie charity shop this afternoon. It was only £15 so I decided that it would look jolly good on the dining room wall, regardless of the reception I would receive from the other half. As it turned out, she raised an eyebrow or three at the purchase price but, after I deployed the charm offensive, she lost interest and wandered off to do some additional hoovering. Huzzah!

Iron Cow CDSU Artillery [1]


I really enjoyed painting up the ONESS battlegroup the other week so have decided to dive in and start putting together a CDSU battlegroup from the ground up. I'm starting small and will add extra bits later, so have ordered an artillery battalion of SPG's and MLRS, together with a couple of long range AAA missile carriers. I've also ordered a handful of the new sci fi desert buildings to start my 6mm terrain collection. The extra Renendra bases also turned up today, so it's all systems go as soon as the CDSU models arrive.

My plan is to squeeze these into the painting schedule, some time before the end of July and the start of the holidays. I'm now working on a suitable background for an ONESS - CDSU regional conflict to fit in with the chronology in the Iron Cow 2130AD rules. The current idea is to have an East African clash between the CDSU units in what was Tanzania / Mozambique against a combined ONESS - SAC taskforce, sent in to sieze back mineral assets from the Chinese.


Rifles


I finished this last night and, while not being a masive fan of Napoleonics apart from skirmishy level games and naval engagement, I really enjoyed it. I have a couple of Mark Urban's other historical books including The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes, so I'll have plenty to read over the summer. It's certainly given me some ideas for what to do with the Victrix British and French boxed sets that I got for Xmas a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Adventures in Jimland?


I was browsing through my rules library the other day and dug out my copy of Adventures in Jimland by Minden Games, which I had bought when it was re-published a couple of years ago. I originally intended to approach this dinosaur hunting expedition game in 28mm but was put off by the number of figures involved, around forty or so if you go for all the options.


Although I have plenty of suitable 28mm figures and plastic dinosaurs for use with Saurian Safari, I thought to myself that it would be a great mini-project in either 15mm or 10mm, making it both quicker and cheaper to complete. A small scale game would also make it possible to scratchbuild some really good terrain features which would be easy to store and transport.


Anyway, I dug out my Pendraken 10mm figure box and rummaged through for suitable colonial types, natives, bearers and so on. I have a couple of WW1 East Africa army packs which have been raided for the bulk of the figures, so the exploration team is covered but haven't found any suitable native types, so will have to order a pack of Pendraken's Ancient Indian forest tribal warriors to fill the gap.


I already have a handful of the Magister Militum 10mm dinosaurs and reckon I can find some plastic toy ones to add to the collection. Other wild animals and creatures will have to be scrounged in a similar way.

I've also costed up the 15mm/18mm option using the Blue Moon Manufacturing Deep Dark Africa range, which has some great figures of explorers, natives, askaris and porters. This worked out at over £40, however, so it would be much cheaper to use either 10mm or 28mm.

It's all a bit theoretical at the moment but I think it could be a cracking little project!


Monday, 11 June 2012

BKC Aegean Campaign Update


Things are looking pretty good for my Italian general, Commandante Robusto Gorgonzola, in the club BKC Aegean campaign. As intended, the elite X-MAS special forces crippled the Royal Navy in a daring attack on the enemy forward naval base, sinking the heavy cruiser HMS York and damaging several other ships. He's really pleased that this daring attack came off and so will be using the frogmen again as soon as they're read for action.

Bravissimo!

Commandante Gorgonzola has, as a result, boosted his reputation for aggresive action with the Hungarian and German allied commanders. At the same time, he's managed to humiliate his rival Italian socialist counterpart, winning plaudits and shiny medals from high command back in Rome. The overall result has been to win a slew of political points and some very handy new assets to play with.

Unfortunately, he also hasn't really achieved very much and has now been given a distinct prod by HQ to actually do something other than PR. As a result, he's planning  an impressive if rather limited offensive to occupy the islands immediately adjacent to his base of operations. These are lightly defended by local partisans but Commandante Gongonzola is confident that his staff adjutant, Tenente Bellusconi, will work his magic to big up the opposition in the post-battle press release.

The downside is that I now have to do a rush job on the Italian infantry and tanks, ready for potential deployment next month. I'm not expecting that there will be any significant oppositon but, just in case, I really need to finish off the two regular infantry battalions and some light armour in the form of several tankettes, so that I'm covered for a game next month. This means that the SAGA Vikings will be on hold for a week or so...

Iron Cow ONESS AFV's [5]




I finished off the CO and HQ bases yesterday but the internet went down, so I couldn't post any pictures. I'm quite pleased with the 40 x 40mm CO base for Future War Commander and the converted Prometheus HQ command vehicle for the SPG and MLRS unit. I'm planning to add some more stuff to the ONESS battlegroup later along with another battlegroup for it to tackle, which will probably be either CDSU or Eurofed. I'll think wait and see if Brigade Models have a sale on this Summer before I take the plunge.

Not too bad for four days work methinks?

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Iron Cow ONESS AFV's [4]



I'm hoping to wrap this up tomorrow with the CO and HQ units as the final elements of the battlegroup, for the moment at least. I've also converted a spare Prometheus SPG into an HQ vehicle for the artillery, as the hover truck that I originally painted up looked a bit inadequate. With this handful of models completed, I'll be back to the SAGA Vikings, which is what I should have been concentrating on over the last couple of days.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Iron Cow ONESS AFV's [3]





Another tank squadron and a troop of recce light tanks now completed and the battlegroup is starting to look like a force to be reckoned with. Next up are the battlegroup HQ troop of three tanks and two AAA tanks, which I'll need if I'm going to get any sort of command and control over the battlefield as well as some anti-aircraft firepower.

I'm also going to do a CO base of a tank and APC, so that I can use them with Future War Commander as well as Iron Cow, which seems like a sensible thing to do as the latter may get me some games at the club. If I have time, I'll knock out some MICV's and armoured infantry too, although I'm starting to run short of Renedra bases so it may not happen just yet.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

SAGA Viking Dice


These arrived in the post today from Northstar, so I can now have a play around with the battle board and see how the whole thing works. They're an expensive outlay at £1.50 per die (aaargh!!) but I'm hoping it'll be worth it, given the fact that I'm effectively reducing a small but structurally integral corner of the leadpile. No progress on the figures today, however, as I've been busy with domestic things, but I'm hoping to move them forward tomorrow.

Iron Cow ONESS AFV's [2]





I whizzed through this lot yesterday and, despite the dodgy photos, they look not too bad. I'll need to find a way of showing the individual troops and squadrons but I think I have a possible approach that might work and not be too obvious. If I get the time today, I'll clean up another small unit and crack on, perhaps some mech infantry APC's or a light tank recce troop.

I'm also thinking about potential opposition as I don't think I'll find an opponent at the club so will be going solo. I quite like the CDSU models and the SAC wheeled vehicles but might go for New Soviets, as they have some cool artillery units and a good range of stuff. How this fits in with the Iron Cow background I don't know, so I'll have to do some reading up.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Iron Cow ONESS AFV's [1]






Way back in January 2011, I decided to have a crack at Iron Cow, with the intial idea being to complete an ONESS English armoured regiment using the Brigade Models range of 1/300th scale AFV's and figures. It didn't get much beyond the planning stage but I did stockpile a few packs of tanks and vehicles, ready for a rainy day.

Anyway, I decided to muck about with the Halfords Camouflage Khaki ultra matt spray that I picked up last week as a trial basecoat for a quick production line style paint up of a sample Apollo tank. This was in between painting up the SAGA vikings this morning. I worked out a simple scheme, which I think looks fine at a respectable distance:

1. Undercoat with the Khaki spray.
2. Wash with 50/50 GW Badab Black and GW Devlan Mud wash, diluted to taste.
3. Drybrush with 50/50 GW Kommando Khaki and GW White.
4. Paint the skirts in GW Codex Grey, highlighted with GW Fortress Grey.
5. Paint the vision block in GW Ice Blue
6. Spray varnish in GW Satin followed by Army Painter Matt.

The bases are from Renedra and were basecoat drybrushed in Foundry Boneyard Shade and three stages on Foundry Base Sand, followed by a wash in diluted Foundry Gryphon Sepia ink. I've started on a basic force of one tank squadron and one artillery battery of MLRS or SPG's, complete with HQ vehicles. If this doesn't take too long, I'll do a second tank squadron and a mech infantry unit as well, along with a regimental HQ.