Monday, August 29, 2016

End of Summer review

I have been fairly low on my normal output this summer, so I opted to roll the " six month review" back a few months to capture my status after the typical summer craziness had subsided. So where I am with my goals?

My overall goals:

1. Complete castings for the following ERAs.

6mm Fantasy - No forward momentum since April
6mm Moderns - I am almost done with the Toyota technicals.
6mm WWII - 30 tanks nearly done.
6mm Napoleonics - Those Saxons still have not painted themselves.
6mm WOTR - Feeling a little depressed
6mm Terrain - This is getting ugly....
28mm WWII - I have two teams of LMGs to finally bring the US Paratroopers up to the Chain of Command MTOE
28mm Han/Qin Chinese - I think I have two units of Cavlary left...
28mm Fantasy -
20mm WWII - Just a few models left for the germans
10mm ACW - All done save for some seige guns and command stands.
15mm Sanurai - Umm no.
1/6000 Naval -Started to lean towards "selling" now

2. Eliminate the following:

6mm WWII - I have at least inventoried the excess and put them out on line.
6mm Moderns - See above
6mm SciFi- IBattletech blisters up on line.
20mm War in the Pacific -Two under-strength USMC and Japanese units need to go.
15mm Romans and their enemies -I am still  sprucing up the painted figs before posting them up for grabs.
15mm Fantasy -need to the more massive Dwarf and Undead contingents on line.
15mm Early Renaissance and late Middle Ages - Lots of unpainted lead here from numerous manufacturers. I already have sufficient stocks in 28mm and 6mm, they are now redundant.
15mm Colonial French and British -10 years on and I still haven't gotten to these. Time to go.
15mm ACW - Only a few infantry regiments left.  I have a pile of artillery and gunners that desperately need sorting.
15mm ACW terrain - Too big for 10mm, to small for the 28mm skirmish. Time to make some room for the rest of the collection.
15mm Napoleonic - No changes
28mm Fantasy -No changes.
15mm War of 1812 Americans - So much to sort out with these.

What's on the desk for the near future

1. 28mm Cold War - Just a few left to finish
2. 28mm Renaissance - Pike regiment and supporting Handgunners
3. 6mm Saxons 
4. 10mm Artillery
5.  28mm Korean Garrison Infantry
6.  Terrain

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Armageddon 84 -The Russians

Hot on the heels of their American Counterparts are some Soviet Troopers in Chemical PPE.  Eureka has a much larger line of Russians in chemical suits that really look dynamic.  (The US set is basically the same 12 figures done with and without helmets)  I picked up 24 total figures including some specialists.   There are three different RPG-7 and RPK gunner models as well as a 81mm Mortar and 12.7mm HMG team.  Strangely their is no SA-7 to complement the US Stinger model.    In fact you get almost everything you could want with this collection.  (I wouldn't mind an AGS-17 team)

For paint scheme, I used "Tunic Green" from the AP Saga paint set for the rubberized suits and then gloves, masks and overshoes in AP Grey-Green from the FOW US paint set.    I went with the same sparse rubble basing to tie them together with the US squad.  I envision them duking it out over the remains of a blasted West German village or small city.

End state for this little sideline project is going to be roughly one motorized rifle platoon for the Soviets and a couple of squads for the US.  I am hoping to pick up a 28mm BTR-60 and/or BMP-1 to round out the group.  For the US, perhaps an M113 and/or some M151 jeeps.  Does anyone know any good sources?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Jump Off points for Chain of command part II

I finally finished these markers off to complement the others I produced last year:

I think they came out much better, as I used FAA and SHQ metal pieces rather than old plastic models.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Japanese Terrain pieces

I though I would take advantage of the plummeting value of the UK Pound to order some 4ground terrain pieces from Caliver Books.  (My goal to refrain from spending more was dealt a serious blow by the Brexit)  I opted to pick up the Village Rice Barn and some fencing to get a feel for 4Ground's products.  

I really like their stuff.  This is the first MDF building kit I have picked up that includes a completed interior.  The product is even designed for a removable roof.  The colors are done in such a way that I really don't feel a need to paint it.  (with the exception of the roof piece which will probably get done in dark brown)  

The game table is currently awash in Lego Minecraft kits, so I was unable to set out the fencing, but it looks great as well.  Here is a comparison shot next to a PlastCraft house.

I plan on ordering a few more of these houses, and perhaps replacing the Plast Craft village over time.  Now if they would just do a Torii gate..

Friday, August 19, 2016

Armageddon 84

And now for something completely different....

I have been planning to pick these guys up from Eureka for quite some time now.  I have a soft place in my heart for these sculpts as they so perfectly capture, what for me, was the essence of the looming war in Europe in the 80s.  Growing up, I always assumed WWIII would start in the Fulda Gap with an onslaught of Sarin and HE rounds on the front lines, while the POMCUS sites and airfields were doused in persistent slimes like VX.  Inevitably, the nukes would start to fly and civilization would collapse.  MOPP gear and an M17 Promask would be the last set of clothes for many of us...  I know cheery.  The front cover from GDW's "The Third World War" pretty much cemented that picture in my head.  (Perhaps it was not the best christmas present my parents ever got me....)  

But the cold war ended, and with it that apocalyptic vision.  Yet, somehow I still found myself as the third guy from the left in the above pictures, only with a Kevlar helmet instead of the steel pot.  The suits were incredibly uncomfortable, and I hated the way the sweat pooled in the mask on road marches.  As an officer I branched armor, specifically to get away from that.  At least the tank offered an air hoses to help cool you off.  

Back to the figs.  Eureka has 24 separate models which are really just the same 12 sculpts with and without helmets.  They are sculpted with Y-harness style field gear (TA-50) including a pair of canteens and magazine pouches.  Strangely, none of them have the carriers for their pro-masks on their hips, which would seem a big omission if you are sculpting soldiers in MOPP 4 for like this.  

The figures come with M16A1s, a pair of M203s and a pair of M60s.  One guy is sculpted firing an M72 LAW while another has a FIM-92 stinger in the ready positions.  The steel pot helmets seem to place these guys in the 78-84 timeframe, so I went with green-violet for the MOPP suits and woodland camouflage on the helmet covers.  I recall seeing rubber boot covers in both pale green and black, so I went with a mix of both and did the same with the gloves.  The inner nerd in me required that I at least paint some M8 detection paper onto their arms and legs for historical authenticity.
The sculptor actually went through the effort of picking out eye detail inside the lenses, which makes them look a little odd up close.  I am thinking I will add some clear resin to each hole to give the sense of the lenses over their eyes.
For the bases,  I opted to try something new and went for more debris to represent them duking it out in one of the hundreds of tiny hamlets along the route to Frankfurt.

One figure I want to call out in this collection, however, is this guy...

Don't get me wrong, this is an excellent sculpt of a guy with a Stinger, including the IFF box on his belt and the cabling  My question though is why a Stinger?  This is not a very useful figure for wargaming at 28mm.  If I am only going to get 12 figures to choose from, and no point am I thinking "boy, I hope I can get some SHORAD"  Why not an M16 with a bipod for the Automatic Rifleman, or an M202 Flash?.  Why not an M47 Dragon to give the group some actual anti-armor capability? 60mm Mortar?

Eureka also does a set of Russians in chemical suits.  Here is what they get to support the basic infantrymen:

  • 3 different RPG gunner sculpts
  • 3 different RPK sculpts
  • A DsHK HMG on tripod.
  • 82mm Mortar team
  • 2 engineers with flame throwers
  • 1 engineer with chem detection kit
  • AT-2 sagger set with gunner, controller and two missiles.
  • Sniper with SVD rifle.
  • A five man tank crew (someone watched "The Beast")

What does the US side get:

  • 2 M60 gunners
  • 1 guy with LAW
  • 2 M203 gunners (no grenadier's vest..)
  • Singer missile launcher

This is where things get difficult to support a miniatures line to me.  Troops in MOPP gear is a very niche market.  It doesn't help your sales if a buyer can't assemble a reasonable force with what's on offer.  I would like to be able to at least match up the two sides for a skirmish game.  Otherwise, what is the point?

O.k.  rant aside, I really like these figs.  If Eureka ever gets around to adding to it, I would humbly request:  Dragon ATGM and Mortar.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Confederate Raiders

Coupled with the CSA Infantry I also have these Pendraken "Raiders" completed finally.  These models are much more dynamic than my other GHQ models, which makes up for their 'chunkier' appearance.  

I went for the same hodge-podge approach to uniforms as the CSA infantry as a counter point to my more uniform CSA regular cavalry.

For those looking for a figure comparison, here are the Pendraken figures next to the GHQ models.  They are one piece castings rather than 2-piece like the GHQ ones, and the detail is not as crisp.  I have probably made the analogy before, but Pendraken looking like larger scale baccus figures while GHQ comes off as tiny 15mm.

Monday, August 15, 2016

CSA Reinforcements

It has taken most of the summer to finally get these guys finished, but they represent a significant gain in the 10mm ACW project.

One of the reasons for the healthy time requirement here is my tactic for painting confederate infantry.  Small scales lend themselves well to an 'impressionist' view, so I want the confederates to look like a patchwork quilt compared to the uniform Union blue.  I broke these models up into thirds and then based coated each set with different foundations: Grey, Tan (AP Skeleton Bone) and Butternut (AP Leather Brown)  I kept these colors for the Jackets and then randomized the the pants using the same three colors, plus the odd pair of 'acquired' sky blue trousers.  

Once the whole set was done, I mixed them up and randomly selected the figures for each stand.  Probably not the most historically accurate approach, but again I am going for impressionist art here...

These four regiments bring me up to 12 all told for the CSA, so I am considering this collection "game worthy" and will only need small additions for the future.  I have a few odds and ends to finish, but should have most of this project caught up this month.

I would also be remiss to point out that I finally got around to finishing part of my secret santa gift for this year.  I received a pair of GHQ ACW infantry blisters: 1 confederate and 1 Union Iron Brigade.  I rolled the confederate infantry into the blisters I had already ordered from GHQ, thus the significant delays getting them completed.  The Iron Brigade is in storage until I get around to making another order as I need at least 1 more blister to complete a regiment.