Sunday 30 September 2012

Bag the Hun North Africa [14]

I scrounged an hour this afternoon to basecoat the Bf109's in a vague approximation of RLM78.  I used various arcane shades of Foundry and Citadel grey, green and blue, having somehow mis-placed my little square teutonic pot of Humbrol grey-blue paint. Anyway, it looks a bit of a dog's dinner now, but I'm sure it'll be fine in the long run...although it may be a little messy in the interim.

I also basecoated the extra Hurricanes and a replacement Martin Maryland using the Foundry Chestnut Shade and Drab Shade concoction that I applied to the previous RAF contingent. This was followed by a wash in GW Gryphonne Sepia, hence the somewhat shiny afterglow. If I have time, I'll add the camouflage pattern tomorrow and do something to relieve the eye strain incurred by the Lufwaffe. 

Peril on Patunapi

Here's my belated entry in the Lost World Safari Pulp Figures Rugged Adventures competition...

Peril on Patunapi
A Lost World Adventure for 4 players


On a grand tour of the exotic South Pacific, an aircraft chartered by a party of upper crust swells has crashlanded high on the central plateau of a remote tropical island. The pilot and crew of the aircraft must escort their aristocratic passengers off the plateau to safety, but danger lurks in the steaming jungles of Patunapi!

Forces (from Bob Murch's Pulp Figures range)

The Crew: 1 pack of PHP1 Buzz Barker's Island Hoppers (minus Patch the Dog)

The Passengers: 1 pack of PGJ14 Upper Crust Swells and 1 pack of PGJ15 Surly Servants
                          (minus McGinty the Handyman and Mrs Pike the Cook)

The Natives: 1 pack of PSS14 Melanesian Islanders with bows.

The Dinosaurs: 1 additional pack of PLT08 Saurian Predators.

Set Up

The Patunapi plateau is a 4' square area covered in jungle, with a few clearings and rocky outcrops scattered around to break up the terrain. At the centre of the plateau there is a crashed Lockheed Vega aircraft. There are four groups of figures, each of which should be placed adjacent to the plane in the following positions:

Team 1: Sparks, Berty Brewster and Chives the Valet - NE

Team 2: Adam Venture, Dowager Aunt Flo and Maisy the Maid - SE

Team 3: Buzz Barker, Lord Flum and Chesterfield the Butler - SW

Team 4: Sally Smith, Honoria Flum and Max the Chauffeur -NW

Special Rules

Each team must attempt to locate the edge of the plateau from which they may climb down to safety. However, the toffs are in charge and, convinced from birth that they are right about everything, will determine the direction of travel regardless of the correct route.

Each turn the teams must roll a direction dice. The team will proceed in this direction for 1D6 inches this turn, led by the crew figures and follwed by the aristocrat and servant.

A second D6 roll will be made at the end of each team's movement to determine what they encounter:
   1-3 = nothing.
   4 = a random hazard (quicksand, swamp, insect swarm, poisonous plants etc)
   5 = native ambush (will attack in groups of 1D6-1 but will run away if fired upon with guns)
   6 = dinosaur attack (roll 1D6, 1-3 = a pack of 2 small dinosaurs, 4-6 = 1 large dinosaur)

The crew are armed with a pistol and three clips of nine bullets, the servants with appropriate melee weapons (a sherry bottle, a golf club, hand luggage, hair pins etc) but the swells have no weapons and will only act to defend themselves, otherwise cowering, blathering, screaming or panicking when in any form of danger.

To survive, each team must reach the edge of the plateau with the following points used to determine the overall winner: +1 each crew or servant alive, +3 each swell alive, -2 each crew or servant dead, -3 each swell dead, +1 each small dinosaur or native killed, +2 each large dinosaur killed.


Saturday 29 September 2012

Bag the Hun North Africa [13]

I've had a stinking cold for the last few days and have had lots of work commitments in the evenings, so the Bag The Hun planes have been left on the painting shelf this week. I need to crack on with them this weekend, as I only have a fortnight before the game, so I'll be aiming to basecoat the extra Hurricanes and the Bf109's this evening, once I get back from a Scout backwoods cooking competition that I've been volunteered for by the wife. I'll try to get a couple of hours in tomorrow too but who knows how much time I'll get for myself given the inevitable family related distractions.

Thursday 27 September 2012

Pulp Figures Lost World Scenario Competition Update

I've been really pleased with the response to the Pulp Figures competition that I launched a couple of days ago over on the Lost World Safari yahoo group. Thus far there have been two really top notch scenario outlines for Rugged Adventures, Tapu Island Terror and Vacou Captive Rescue, both of which really make the most of the Pulp Figures range within the simple parameters that I've set for the competition.

You can check them out on the group:

There's more on the way, including my humble effort, which I'm hoping will be a little different, although the other entries will be really difficult to beat. Anyway, without giving too much away, here are the five packs I'll be using as a basis for the scenario in addition to the bonus pack of dinosaurs that you have to use in the set up, all of which ties in very well with Bob Murch's rather splendid bonus system.

The deadline for competition entries is 1st October, so the clock is ticking........!

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Brigade Models 6mm Iron Cow Sale

I've been waiting for the Brigade Models 6mm Sci Fi Summer Sale to arrivce and, now that it's here, I've sent off my order for some CDSU tank and mechanised infantry company packs to add to the artillery units that I already have in the Iron Cow bits box. These will complete my opposition for the British (English) battlegroup that I put together earlier this year. 

I'm also sorely tempted by some of the ONESS German units, which would be used as the basis for a Private Military Contractor force in my East African campaign setting. The supply column of Thrall hover trucks looks really neat but I'll probably wait until the traditonal Brigade Models Xmas sale to pick them up, otherwise it'll be jut more lead in the pile.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Bag The Hun North Africa [12]

I've been researching the scenario for the Tobruk Bag the Hun 2 game and have decided to make a couple of changes to the set up, in order to make it more historcally accurate and a bit less one sided. This means that the Hurricanes of 73 or 274 squadron, depending on the exact scenario that I decide upon, will now be facing the Bf109E7/Trop of JG27, rather than just the clanky Fiat G50's or the previous set up.

This means that I'll be needing some new Emils for the game, so I've prepared and based eight of the Raiden Miniatures Bf109E7/Trop models, with a spray undercoat of Halfords grey primer to get them ready for painting. The current issue of Model Airplane International has a wide selection of full colour profiles of the desert Bf109's of JG27 as well, so I have plenty of excellent reference material in hand for the painting stage.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Pulp Figures Rugged Adventures Lost World Safari Competition!

You may have spotted on TMP that Bob Murch has launched a brand new Pulp Figures webshop thingy, complete with his free downloadable pulp era roleplay / skirmish rules Rugged Adventures. These have been around for a decade or so but look like a really good set of two fisted, fun rules with plenty of opportunity for semi-roleplay Back of Beyond meets The Lost World in Darkest Africa style action.

In other words, right up my street.

Anyway, to celebrate the wonderful Pulp Figures range and to try out the Rugged Adventures rules, I've launched a little competition over on my Lost World Safari yahoo group, just for fun but with a serious objective, namely to stimulate some great ideas for dinosaur hunting scenarios.

If you're not part of the yahoo group, then here's an outline of the competition rules for you to peruse:

To highlight the excellent range of figures produced by Bob Murch and the jolly good Rugged Adventures pulp rules, I thought a little fun competition would be a neat idea.

There's no prize but it will no doubt give us all some interesting ideas for Lost World dinosaur related scenarios, which we can take away and turn into something fun. Everyone, as they say, will be a winner!

So, here are the rules:

1. Design a scenario for Rugged Adventures (or any other miniatures based rules of your choice), producing a brief synopsis of the plot, an outline of the characters and ideas for terrain, special rules and other fun things.

2. The scenario can only use miniatures from the Pulp Figures catalogue, with a maximum of five packs chosen from any of the different ranges (you can mix and match from whichever range you like)

3. One pack (PLT 08 Saurian Predators 1) MUST be used (it's Lost World Safari after all!) but this pack does NOT count towards your five. If you want extra packs of dinosaurs, you can add them but they will be deducted from your five pack limit.

4. A maximum of 500 words is allowed for your scenario explanation.

5. The Lost World Safari members will decide the overall winner in a poll, once the entries have been posted on the group (they should be published as simple posts rather than documents of files).

6. Deadline for your entries will be 1st October 2012.

Good luck chaps!

Tally Ho!.


Saturday 22 September 2012

Bag the Hun North Africa [11]

These are the additional planes that I need for the Bag The Hun 2 game in October, with four Raiden Hurricane I's forming the final flight of the RAF squadron with a lone Hudson that I found all based and undercoated in my 'to do' box of bits. The Leading Edge Hudson is a bit superfluous, but it's such a neat little model that I couldn't resist including it, even though it won't get used this time round.

Friday 21 September 2012

DIY Hex Mat Lab

I've set up a Bag The Hun 2 mulitplayer game for mid-October, using my North Africa Italian, German and British 1/285th scale aircraft. As a result, I'll be concentrating on finishing off the Hurricanes and Blenheims that I started to paint up back in July, alongside a few extra aircraft that I need for the scenario. This will be based on a scenario I wrote a few years ago for the Battle of Britain, with a few adaptations for the skies over Tobruk in 1941.

I've also been thinking about 'terrain' for the game, as I've been using my Hotzmat sky coloured hex cloth for my BTH games until now. If I'm going to set up a game over the Libyan desert I really should use a hex mat that fits the scenario, rather than my default 'blue skies over the white cliffs of Dover' offering. As a result, I've been experimenting in the lab (that's the garage, to you) using a rectangle of felt, a brown OHP marker pen and a plastic hex that I pinched from the Maths department at school, when they weren't looking.

It took a couple of minutes to knock up this prototype, although I was a worried that the hexes would drift a bit as I ascended from top to bottom of the felt sheet. In the end, there was a bit of a slide but nothing to make the concept unworkable if scaled up to a full on table-sized hexcloth. I have a large light brown felt cloth, which I acquired from EM4 for PITS, that could be converted using this method but I need to work out how to avoid the drift problem if I'm going to make it work.

''Igor, fetch the OHP pen...!''

''Yes, master.....''

Thursday 20 September 2012

The Longest Siege

After a bit of a hiatus on the reading front, I've finally settled down to read The Longest Siege by Robert Lyman, which follows on from Hurricanes Over Tobruk which I read over the Summer holidays. I have a Tobruk Bag the Hun 2 game organised for the club in October so this will be useful background research. It's a good read thus far and I'm sure it will be well worth it!

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Aaarrgh! Matey?

As it's International Talk like a Pirate Day, I thought I'd post some completely gratuitous pictures of my pirate crew, complete with their saucy four gun sloop.You've seen them in action before but they only get dusted off once in a blue moon, so they've probably got a nasty case of cabin fever....or even scurvy. 

I really should set up a game at the club sometime so that they get some much needed exercise! I quite fancy the idea of scratchbuilding another ship, complete with a crew of 'goodies', the Treasure Island variety rather than the 70's TV version that is (although it does have some potential...?)

Anyway, I've got far too much to wade through first, before I even think about embarking on such dastardly diversions...arrrghhh!

Tuesday 18 September 2012

BKC Air Support [2]

I got back from work late after a very tedious meeting this evening, so decided to cheer myself up by posting some photos of the 1/144th scale Sweet Macchi Mc200 Saetta that I completed yesterday. I tried the mottle camouflage decals at first but gave up, so painted the green blobs by hand using an old pot of Citadel Battle Green.

The rest of the decals behaved themselves but I couldn't be bothered with the white fuselage band transfer or the microscopic insiginia, so left them off. I knocked up the base from some acrylic rod, a GW flight stand and a couple of tiddly magnets, which makes it easy to store the aircraft away with the rest of the Italian units.

I'm taking a break from the BKC stuff for a bit, so that I can get some of the other things shifted from the workbench. Next up will either be the BTH2 North Africa RAF aircraft or the VBCW Red Militia, which have been hanging around for ages.  How virtuous am I?

Monday 17 September 2012

BKC Re-Basing

Way back when the first edition of BKC came out, the club decided to go for 25mm x 25mm bases as standard for infantry units with support weapons on 30mm x 30mm bases. As I had the BKC bug back then, I based up a company of early war French infantry to this specification, complete with armour and artillery in support.

When the club BKC Aegean campaign began, I based up my Italian units to the same sysytem but soon found out that things had moved on, with the new edition of the rules suggesting 25mm x 50mm as a standard. It seems that the rest of the club have re-based or set out in this direction, leaving my poor Italians out in the cold.

Not that it really matters but, for the sale of appearences and etiquette, I'll be re-basing my units once the campaign is over, with the simple expedient of sticking two bases together as the obvious way forward. As I have two regular battalions, I will easily have sufficient bases to make up one 'large base' battalion using this method. This wil leave the paras and the coast defence battalions at half strength, but that's fine with me.

The armour, vehicles and command bases won't change at all, so it's a minor bit of aesthetic surgery for minimal cost or effort. It's also got me thinking about my other 10mm BKC project, the Norwegian Campaign, for which I have a small selection of figures. This will obviously follow the second edition style of basing, which means that I'll need some extra figures to fill in the gaps.

...whenever I get round to doing it that is.

Sunday 16 September 2012

BKC Air Support

I've had a go at sticking together a 1/144th scale Sweet Mc200 Saetta kit as a ground attack asset for the Italians. It's a lovely model and very easy to assemble. You get two models in the box and the option of clear transparencies or solid cockpit mouldings, so it's ideal for wargaming purposes. The decals include the camouflage patterns for the wings and fuselage as well, so if should be a bit less daunting to pull off the otherwise scary sand and spaghetti finish.

I undercoated the model with Halfords Khaki camouflage spray then over brushed with Foundry Boneyard Shade and Vallejo Tan Yellow. This was followed by a wash in Citadel Gryphonne Sepia and a drybrush in Citadel Terminatis Stone. The next stage will be to paint the undersurfaces, the cockpit glazing, the cowling ring and the prop boss, before I tackle the decals. It shouldn't take too long to complete, as long as the decals don't go wonky?

I had a browse in the local Games Workshop on Saturday and was really impressed by the new Citadel paint range, so picked up a few pots to try out. The Terminatis Stone drybrush paint is excellent, so I reckon I'll be getting some more of the various combinations that are available. It looks like this range might be stiff competition for the likes of Foundry and Vallejo, assuming the price is competitive.

BKC Aegean Campaign [12]

I finished off the armour and artillery units today, spending an hour or two farting around with the bases to makes them look less dayglow green. They look fine now but I haven't quite cracked it, so will be doing some more experimentation with the next batch of units that I tackle. The camera's been playing up too, so apologies for the dodgy lighting and blurry bits.

Saturday 15 September 2012

BKC Aegean Campaign [11]

I had to abandon plans for Full Thrust this weekend as I belatedly realised that I need some re-inforcements for the Italian BKC battlegroup, pending the imminent prospect of a follow on to the Battle of Mikonos last Tuesday. I spent some time this morning in deep thought and shot off an email packed full of cunning plans to the long suffering campaign umpire.

One such plan, which I hasten to add is not definite (in case the enemy is listening in), is to reinforce the defenders with the other half of my mechanised battalion. In the campaign rules, each protagonist is allowed to field 700 points of armour, most of which must be light and/or ad hoc. This is relatively easy for the Italians to manage, as it fits well with the 'top of the range' kit that they have in their inventory.

As a result, I spent a couple of hours painting up three Pendraken M13/40's, three Pithead L6/40's, a Pendraken AB40/41 and an HQ base of a Pendraken M13/40 armoured command tank. This is about as powerful a force as I could manage given the restrictions in the campaign rules and the existing value of the L3/35 tankette units that I've already deployed.

I originally planned to include some FT17 or Fiat 3000 tanks in the mechanised force but I've decided to leave them out for the moment, unless I'm in desperate need of some WW1 vintage tank support in extremis. However, I have painted up three 75mm field guns as an element of the 250 point fire support battalion that I'm allowed in the campaign.

What I actually deploy in the second day of the Battle for Mikonos now depends on the deliberations of the campaign umpire, who thus far has been very supportive of the Italian war effort. However, there are limits and I wouldn't be at all surprised if my so-called 'cunning plans' get no further than General Robusto Gorgonzola's over stuffed out tray.

It's worth a try though!

Friday 14 September 2012

BKC Aegean Campaign AAR - Mikonos

Italian Headquarters Andross

PRESS RELEASE - Victory on Mikonos!

Friends, Romans, Countrymen!

I am delighted to inform you of the imminent liberation of the island of Mikonos from the imperialist force of the ever perfidious British.

The British have once again attempted to deny the Greek peoples of their rightful place alongside their Italian cousins, launching a despicable invasion of Mikonos using an overwhelming force of tanks, infantry and paratroopers.

Clearly the safety and welfare of the local population was completely ignored as the brutal British military machine attempted to crush it's way though the defenceless villages and towns in it's path.

However, they did not expect the island to be defended by the valiant Italian expeditionary force under my one expects the Italian expedition!

I, General Robusto Gorgonzola, threw my troops into a valiant defensive action to protect the lives and liberty of our Greek allies. Shoulder to shoulder with the brave partisans of Organisation X and the local gendarmerie, the Italian troops threw back the onslaught of the criminal gangsters in a furious battle for the port and airfield, which I ordered to be defended to the last man.

Using a defensive screen of tankettes and light artillery to block the British advance, the brilliant commander of the expeditionary force, Capitano Dolmio, was able to inflict severe losses on the enemy whilst suffering minimal losses and holding all of our objectives to boot!

Not even an amateurish last minute paratroop assault by puppet greek traitors could save the calamitous collapse of the British invasion.


The defence line has now been consolidated and night has fallen. Tomorrow will see the dawn of a new day of total victory for the Italian liberators and the complete destruction of the imperialist British remnants and their duplicitous stooges.

Even as you read this, powerful Italian re-inforcements will be approaching the island by sea and air to bolster our troops in their immiment offensive assault on the quivering, demoralised and utterly out manouevered British.

People of Mikonos!

I urge you now to rise up and throw out these interlopers.

Your island will be yours and your future assured under the benevolent guidance of Il Duce!

Ciao baby

General Robusto Gorgonzola


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