Friday 31 March 2017

Tiger Friday

Just because...

Tiger 131 at Bovington

And in 15mm

And in the museum
And in 6mm (...just for Tamsin!)

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Homogenised Terrain

Another day and another stroke of genius and/or madness (delete as applicable). I make a lot of my own terrain but I am not above buying pre-made items at shows. The problem with this approach is that painting styles and colour can vary a great deal between pieces. Personally this doesn't bother me all that much but with the prospect of having to put on a demo game later in the year I decided I needed to improve the 'visuals' as well as put on a fun game. Consequently I have spent a lot of time over the last few months repainting terrain to bring all the varied styles together. 

Some time ago I bought a felt gaming mat and gave it a repaint to give it a more natural look. I was contemplating painting desert scrub bushes on the mat but in the end I decided to glue actual tufts to the mat (yes, this is as laborious as it sounds!). The end result looks excellent makes a good background for all the terrain I will put on it.

The Libyan Desert seen from above
My desert gaming mat

On top of these I have a load of hills that I bought from TSS. The base color blends well with the game mat but I also added some shading in a similar paint job to the mat. These have also been had grass tufts glued to them to represent the bushes prevalent in the north African desert. Strangely the photo below looks a different color to the picture above but trust me, they are the same shade. 

Back in October I bought some excellent terrain from the Bring and Buy stalls at SELWG. Although painted in 'desert' colours the effect was far more yellow than my existing terrain. Several pots of Vallejo Iraqi Sand (819) were used in the transformation process. I also added my usual grass tufts to these (MiniNatur/Silfor, Late Fall 717-24s) again bringing them in line with the overall theme. The next step is to tackle more of my bought terrain. I have about 12' of Wadi (dried riverbed) that needs the color revamp. The models are great but I don't particularly like the way they are painted at the moment anyway, so redoing them in my color scheme will mean they get used a little more often!

The end result of all this effort is that my collection of terrain now looks like it is part of a unified set when I use them in combination. The Young Padawan has been asking to play some more desert games and I can hardly disappoint her can I !

Monday 27 March 2017

Town Planning

With the painting challenge done and dusted I can now turn my attention to some other projects. One that needed to be done involved a bit of town planning for my Demo game that I'll be putting on in June at Broadside. I have a lot of buildings to make up a fair sized Libyan town but all the buildings are un-based and free standing. I want to keep them like that for future games, but I felt some sort of base was necessary. What I opted for in the end was a temporary base that has the positions of all the buildings marked out and will be quick to set up.

I used an A3 sheet of paper to organise my building collection into something resembling a town. A few adjustments later and I had several streets and a town square laid out. I then used a pencil to mark the outline of the buildings on the paper. I used a modelling knife to cut out a slightly smaller footprint for each building and when I had the whole town done I used this template to paint on a large sheet of sandpaper. The result is a town plan laid out. I labelled each building and the footprints.

The next step is to add things like grass tufts, turf, a few stones and a small amount of clump foliage to represent bushes. I also need to ensured the edges are dry brushed in a suitable colour to blend in with my regular terrain and base sheet. I'm pretty chuffed with how this is turning out because it means I can set up really quickly, especially important when setting up for a demo game with lots of terrain. 

Incidentally I'm not showing the finished town because this is for my Demo game and I'm saving the 'big reveal' for closer to the date. I think it looks pretty cool, but you'll just have to wait and see for yourself in a couple of months time. 

Friday 24 March 2017

Desert Tank Skirmish

Over the weekend the young Padawan and I took my newly painted tanks out for a joy ride in the desert. Unfortunately her Italian M11 and M13 tanks bumped into my company of British A9 Cruisers and before you could say "Operation Compass" a fight had broke out.

This is purely fictional encounter battle 'somewhere in the Blue'. All the tanks start the game on the table edge and for the most part are out of view of the enemy. The Italians have more tanks and better armour but the British can fire on the move so hope to be able to concentrate fire a little easier.

Order of Battle
Company HQ - 2x A9 Cruiser Tanks
Three troops of Three A9 Cruisers

Company HQ - 1x M13/40 Medium Tank
2 Platoons of 5 M13/40 Tanks each
1 Platoon of 5 M11/39 Light Tanks

The Action

The Young Padawan and I before the game commenced

She was taking meticulous notes throughout the game...should I be worried? 

Two of my A9 Cruisers roar across the desert kicking up dust. 

I move one platoon into a Hull Down position behind a low ridge and make my initial moved with my other tanks behind the hills. No point exposing myself to fire unnecessarily. 

The Italian gunners get very lucky, knocking out one of my hull down cruisers and forcing the crew of another to bail out. 

Burning vehicles begin to litter the battlefield. The Italians had unwisely moved onto an exposed hill without support. The British tanks were able to take advantage of their doctrine of shooting on the move (aka the Talley Ho special rule) advancing quickly and concentrating fire on the Italians.

Her tanks are burning and still she's smiling! 

The 2 pounder gun on the A9 wasn't a bad weapon for its time but against the frontal armour of the M13's its effectiveness is reduced. I'm going to have to get behind these Italians to get the kill shot. 

Having 'cleared' the ridge I move forward only for a lone Italian tank to get behind my guys Fire from him and another dug in M13 across the valley results in hits on both my tanks forcing the crews to bail out! 

My tanks are now horribly exposed and unable to return fire until the crews pass a motivation test and remount their vehicles. 

Fortunately two other Italian tank platoons have been taking a beating and with nearly all their vehicles destroyed or bailed out the Padawan throws in the towel and concedes defeat. 

This was only meant as a quick game and an excuse to try out my most recently painted models. Having said that it showed that the British don't necessarily have it all their own way and need to use manoeuvre and a touch of guile to best the Italians. We had a great time playing this and the first thing she said after being defeated was to ask me when we could have another game! 

Incidentally I didn't use the new 4th Edition version of the rules for this game. I haven't fully read the rulebook yet and decided to stick with what I know for now. Hopefully by the time we play again I can try out the new edition and see how the changes effect the game.

Wednesday 22 March 2017

My Analogue Painting Challenge VII

This years Analogue Painting Challenge has come to a conclusion and I have to say its been an absolute blast. My painting output has been consistently high throughout the event and I have shaved a significant portion off the summit of my lead mountain! I'm never going to be a contender for the top ten but I'm very happy with my final points tally which not only smashed my target but also topped my personal best for any of the challenges so far. I've set the bar high for next year!

So, in true Geek fashion I have had analysed the points distribution and come to a startlingly unsurprising conclusion...

Most of my points came from 6mm submissions!
Who'd have guessed it!

...and last but not least photo's of my completed entries.

A lot of miniatures and one BigLee.

A terrible first entry but I was feeling horribly ill at the time....

Greek and Epirote Pike Phalanxes

Bonus Round - WWI MkIV Tanks

Macadonian War Elephants

Greek Slingers

Pyrrhus of Epirus

Asorted Generals and Heroes to lead my Epirote Army

Two Phalanxes of Hoplites

Thessalian Heavy Cavalry

A Roman Farmstead

Greek Heavy and Light Cavalry

Tarrantine Light Cavalry

Successor Elephants and Greek Bowmen

The Completed Pyrrhic Army

Bonus Round - Sherman Firefly

Fart the Jester

Italian Ariete Tank Company

British Cruiser Company

A9 Cruiser Tanks

Rolls Royce Armoured Cars

2pdr Portees

Mk IV Light Tanks

Bonus Round & Curtgeld - Inglorious Rejects

Valentine II Tanks

Marmon Herrington Armoured Cars

25pdr Battery

LRDG Patrol - Chevy Trucks

SAS Jeep Squadron

Selenite Warriors
The 7th Analogue Painting Challenge has been a fantastic event from beginning to end. The standard of entries has been exceptionally high and a vast quantity of lead (and plastic) has been painted. On a personal level I have had my best Challenge so far, not only hitting my target but smashing it to smithereens. Everything I set out to paint got painted and a lot more was added as the weeks ticked by and I realised how good my progress was. I've set the bar high for myself next year, I just hope I can live up to it!