Friday, 12 July 2019

Explosion Markers

A quick post today to show you some explosion markers I’ve made for our World War Two games.  I made a couple quite a few years back and kept thinking “need to build a few more” 🤣 so at last here they are!
One is still green coz I ran out of spray!
They are very easy to build: start with an mdf base (I used 40mm squares, 3mm thick) and drill one hole in the middle and then several around the edges ensuring the drill is held at an angle.  Next, glue cocktail sticks or kebab skewers in to the holes to form the armature.  These should have a variety of lengths.  Then, glue on lots and lots of scenic clump foliage (or similar foam) starting with large pieces around the base and smaller pieces as you work out towards the “arms” of the explosion.  Keep turning the piece around so as to ensure a roughly even shape.

To paint them, first spray a couple of heavy coats of black (or very dark grey) until the base colour of the foam is hidden.  Ensure it’s thoroughly dry then apply a couple of very light sprays of light grey then pure white.

These will be useful for representing blown up tanks, mortar strikes or just generally giving the game a bit more bang! 😉

Friday, 5 July 2019

I am still here!

It's been a busy few weeks recently hence the blogging has rather tailed off.  However, things are still moving along gently in terms of hobby fun.  A recent (and fantastic) holiday to France has inspired me to add to my scenery collection.  So I've made a start on the splendid "Banque de France" kit from Colin at Charlie Foxtrot Models.

This will probably feature as a more up-market residence with gardens, etc, or I might make it in to a "Mairie" for the forthcoming "village" project.  I'll do a couple of proper blog posts on this as it develops.

I also want to build a small garage / workshop / petrol station so I've ordered the workshop kit from Warbases. 

Additionally I bought some cold frames and a greenhouse for the grounds of the larger house.  I've ordered the petrol pump set and a 30's style car from 1st Corps too.

But it's not all Normandy!  My DAK forces will get some hefty reinforcements in the shape of a Panzer III Zug.

I'm hoping to get these ready for a big game with Orange Dave on the 8th.  We're going to try the "put all our toys on the table" kind of battle.  So I'll be blogging about that soon.

Happy gaming!

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

The Orks are coming!

Here's my first 40K figure in well over 20 years and I've thoroughly enjoyed painting it!

I'm leaning towards an Evil Sunz themed army and my paint scheme reflects this, i.e. quite a bit of red, but much of it is equally applicable to all Ork clans.

The recipe, starting from a black undercoat (GW Chaos Black), is as follows:
I began by drybrushing various metallic items (weapons, armour, etc) in GW Leadbelcher, GW Warplock Brass and GW Gehenna's Gold (use this last paint sparingly).  Do this first as it can be a little messy, then tidy up with black.  Be sure to leave some of the plates and glyphs in black as these can be painted later in clan colours.

Base Colours
  • Ork flesh - Foundry Dragoon Green shade
  • Trousers/Vest/Boots/Straps/Pouches - a variety of browns or leave some bits black. Good browns are GW Mournfang Brown, GW Scorched Brown, VMC Leather Brown, Foundry Spearshaft shade, VMC Flat Earth - just get a good mix of dark/mid/light browns.
    • Tip - paint any bits you definitely intend to remain black in a coat of black paint - I found that the GW Agrax Earthshade dissolved a little of the spray undercoat and turned some parts of the model cloudy!  A quick re-paint solved the problem but it's best avoided in the first place.
  • Armour, plates, glyphs, etc that are going to be red are first given a layer of a good red-brown, e.g. Foundry Conker Brown shade.  It covers the black easily and is a good base for the 'proper' reds. Follow with a couple of coats of GW Mephiston Red.
  • Any details that you'd like in yellow should now be painted in a light brown or ochre colour.  If your contrasting colour is different then just pick a slightly darker shade as a base.

This is nice and easy. Wash with GW Agrax Earthshade being careful to avoid any unsightly pooling of the wash then set aside to dry thoroughly.

Metals - highlight (drybrush very carefully) with the base colours but leave plenty of the grimy, washed base colour showing.  Be sure to pick out any sharp edges.  The GW Warplock Brass can look good with a very faint highlight of GW Gehenna's Gold but go easy!
Flesh - here I used the full Foundry Dragoon Green triad as I felt that getting the Ork skin right was key to the overall look of the figure.
Red - GW Mephiston Red then a few highlights of GW Wazdakka Red, again pick out any edges.
Yellow - I've used Foundry Ochre light (as it's the only yellow I have!)
Trousers/Vest/Boots/Straps/Pouches - highlight the base colour and maybe add a few very quick highlights of a very light brown (compared to the base) for some extra depth.  Black can be highlighted with a very dark grey or charcoal colour such as Foundry Charcoal Black (34B).

Add a few dags or checks here and there. Do this in yellow or black & white.  Glyph plates look good in colours that contrast the surrounding area, e.g. a gold or yellow glyph on a red background.  Pick out the teeth and claws with Foundry Boneyard shade & mid and the eyes with GW Mephiston Red.  These figures have lots of extra bits and pieces so take a few moments to pick them out.

I've opted for a desert theme as I think this will look cool and fit in nicely with all the desert style terrain I've built in the last year or so.  It's the same recipe as I used on my DAK.  A base of Americana Country Maple followed by highlights of Americana Tan, VMC Dark Sand and Foundry Boneyard light.  Then add a bit of clump foliage and a some tufts.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Dakka Dakka Dakka

The Orks are coming!

It's been almost 25 years since my last game of 40k. That was back in the 90s with second edition.  It all began back in the 80s with "Rogue Trader" - Tim had Space Marines and I had Eldar.  After that I collected a fairly sizeable Imperial Guard army to face his Orks.  Then we all played Gorkamorka which was an absolute blast!  Eventually these forces gathered dust and were sold on as I moved towards more historical games in the early 00s.

So why 40K now?  Well, quite simply because I love the models and indeed the whole background of the game.  I've had a desire to play something non-historical for a while.  I had hoped that Warlords of Erehwon and my Middle Earth Orcs & Goblins would fill that role but I really didn't enjoy the game so I turned from fantasy to sci-fi... I'd heard good things about Star Wars Legion but whilst I love the films I didn't actually fancy gaming them.

A friend and colleague, Rob, had recently started collecting 40K models through the weekly Conquest scheme published by Games Workshop.  He brought some figures in to the office and I think that kind of set the ball rolling... thanks Rob!  I soon found myself browsing the 40K ranges and doing a bit of reading to refresh my memory of the game background.  This is probably complete gaming madness given how many other projects compete for my rather limited hobby time... but you know how it is!

Some successful eBay-ing meant I had some funds to spare for hobby fun, so I jumped in and bought the rulebook, the codex and a box of figures.  All at considerably less than the usual GW prices too!  I'm not planning a large army; just enough to get some good games in.  Several friends also have 40K armies (Eldar, Harlequins, Marines, Chaos and Imperial Guard) so I shan't want for opponents.  I've still quite a bit of loot to sell on (e.g. some plastic Napoleonic cavalry, WW1 ANZACs, Normans, etc) so this will hopefully fund my expanding green horde.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Redcoats for Sharp Practice

Here are some fine fellows from the entirely fictitious Royal Somerset Regiment.

Six men led by their (Level 1) NCO, Sergeant Ebenezer Goode.

As with the 95th Rifles in my earlier post, I've painted these relatively quickly by limiting the number of layers to one or two.  I've also been a bit less "tidy" but at tabletop viewing distance it really doesn't notice!

Here's the recipe (from a Halfords grey primer undercoat):
  • Flesh - Foundry Flesh shade/mid/light
  • Jacket - Foundry Madder Red shade, Foundry Bright Red shade
  • Trousers - Foundry Slate Grey mid
  • Coat roll - Foundry Slate Grey mid/light
  • Backpack, Boots, Cartridge box & Shako - GW Black, Foundry Charcoal Black mid
  • Facings - Foundry Cornflower Blue shade/mid
  • Canteen - Foundry Night Sky shade/mid (strap in Rich Butternut shade)
  • Haversack - Foundry Boneyard shade/mid
  • Plume - Foundry Dragoon Green shade/mid
  • Musket - GW Scorched Brown, Foundry Conker Brown shade
  • Belts & Straps - Foundry Austrian White mid, Foundry White

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Some 95th Rifles

Crikey! Real Life(tm) has been rather hectic recently...  When I haven't been working towards crazy deadlines I've been out having heaps of fun with my lovely girlfriend Sarah.  Anyway, I've managed to squeeze in a bit of brush time and fancied painting something a bit different.

The figures are Front Rank miniatures - beautiful sculpts!  The resin fountain is by Grand Manner and the church is from Charlie Foxtrot Models.

Painting Napoleonic figures has always been a slow process for me as I tend to get bogged down with lots of details.  So with these I've tried a slightly different approach.

The flesh is painted in the usual Foundry triad but most of the rest of the figure is just block painted or given a very quick single highlight.  I decided that lots of highlights and details are just lost when you're actually playing and viewing the figures from several feet away.  A friend (thanks Paul) suggested I follow the old adage of "faces, bases and flags"... no flags for these lads though!

So the basic recipe is:-
  • Flesh - Foundry Flesh shade/mid/light
  • Jackets, Cords and Plume - Foundry Dragoon Green shade plus quick highlights of mid
  • Trousers - either as jackets, or block painted Foundry Slate Grey or Chestnut shade
  • Packs, Straps and Boots - mostly black with highlights of Foundry Charcoal Black mid
  • Haversack - Foundry Boneyard shade/mid
  • Canteen & Strap - Foundry Night Sky shade/mid & Spearstaff Brown
  • Blanket Roll - Foundry Slate Grey shade/mid
  • Rifle - GW Scorched Brown & Foundry Conker Brown shade
  • Sergeant Strummer's sash - Foundry Conker Brown shade, Foundry Bright Red shade
Make sure any highlights are done quickly without any fuss.  Up close it can look a little untidy but on the table it looks fine.  One little indulgence to detail was to pick out the buttons first in black then silver.  I felt that really made a difference even at tabletop distance.

The basing scheme (trays by Charlie Foxtrot Models) is a mix of stones, coarse grit and sand.  Base coat with Americana Honey Brown, followed by highlights of VMC Dark Sand then Foundry Boneyard Light.  Finally, the tiniest highlight of pure white.  Then it's Colonel Bills (4Ground) Winter Grass, some tufts and a few clumps of Woodland Scenics foliage.

I'm keen to get a few more figures painted as I'm looking forward to playing some SP2 with an old friend in June.  When I say 'old friend' I don't mean he's old (Lol!), I mean he's been a friend since Uni days!
Sergeant Strummer gives the orders!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Warlords of Erehwon Mini Review

Like many of us I was playing fantasy wargames ‘way back in the day’ using various incarnations of GW’s Warhammer Fantasy Battles.  So when Warlord announced these rules I was mildly interested, then I noted the author and my interest increased substantially.  Some good chums got the rules and said many good things, so I jumped in and bought the book.

The Book. The pic I took for eBay (oops... Spoiler alert!)

Initially I thought the production quality was very good, despite the book arriving with an errata card for some missing text.  But after an initial read through I see that Warlord still aren’t bothering with a thorough proof read.  This is a pity because otherwise the book is a thing of beauty.

Reading rules and actually playing them can be quite different experiences.  I skimmed through to get the gist of things knowing that a friend was going run some games for me and another friend me.  There are plenty of detailed explanations of how the rules actually work so I’ll not do that here but suffice to say players familiar with the basic Bolt Action rules will soon pick up these.  However, there were a few aspects of the rules that I didn’t like.

Or, more precisely, measuring distances, ranges etc at any time.  This irks me considerably.  It seems to take away part of the skill IMHO.  A typical unit movement seems to consist of establishing how far they could actually move, moving the unit, then checking ranges to all nearby units (often asking if the troops have any different movement rules), then tweaking the unit back so as to be just out of charge range.  Similarly for missile ranges too.  Players look to spend more time faffing the unit ‘back’ rather than getting on with game.  It just feels gamey.

This was less of an irritation for me but still mildly annoying none-the-less.  Simply put, unless you roll very well, your unit is likely to be ‘spent’ after just one combat.  Yes, they should be less effective but not practically useless.  Bear in mind that being a fantasy game I would expect to have  a lot more hand-to-hand combat troops (depending upon the exact army).  You end up having to hide them behind woods and hills – oh very heroic!

Four smaller units of 5 figures are far more effective than two larger units of 10.  This is due to the ability to inflict more pins with more, smaller units.  Again, it feels gamey.  This is technically also true of Bolt Action although in our group we tend to stick to section sized units of infantry.

This was just plain annoying.  For example, units can be repeatedly moved back to your own baseline.  Dull.

There are clearly a lot of players out there who are thoroughly enjoying these rules.  This is a good thing.  Rules are very much a personal choice.  But I don’t think I’ll be playing these again!