Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Laser Turrets and Power Generator

I ordered these ages ago as they’re rarely in stock for long. Anyway they arrived the other day, much to my delight. All from the GF9 Battlefield in a Box range.

Here’s a couple of closer pics.

They really are ready to go on the battlefield straight from the box, although I may add a little more weathering etc. I intend to leave them un-based so that they’ll look fine on any type of battlefield from the lush woodlands of the forest moon of Endor, or the ice fields of Hoth to the arid deserts of Tatooine.

Thursday, 23 March 2023

More WW2 Scatter

A petrol pump and a few barrels of fuel are the start of a Mediterranean themed rural ‘gas station’. Need to add a dilapidated shed and some piles of junk, rusty car, etc.

Spare gravestones (Debris of War, Ainsty Castings) and an unused medieval figure make ideal scatter to enhance graveyards or perhaps as roadside shrines or statues.

A pair of brick columns (Debris of War again) and a spare ornate gate (Warbases) make for a handy entrance in a walled garden.

Monday, 13 March 2023

Converted Charlie Foxtrot Pantile Stable

The Charlie Foxtrot pantile kits are very versatile, so here I’ve done a very simple adaptation of the stable converted to make a larger store house or perhaps a small dwelling.

As you can see, I’ve blocked off one of the stable doors and replaced the other two-part door with a single piece door from my spares box. A while back I asked Colin to cut some extra doors, shutters and window frames, etc as I knew they’d prove useful.

The side door remains as is, but on the back I’ve added a pair of closed shutters. Painting is the same as for all of my pantile models, please see the “How to” tab above.

Thursday, 2 March 2023

A Little Bit of Gardening

A very quick post to show a garden I’ve built from scraps of MDF and plasticard in between working on a larger project. It’s approx 4” x 2.5” so ideal for a miniature backyard.

This sort of thing is super easy to make given the huge range of tufts, flowers and foliage available these days and I feel they add a bit of extra character to a battlefield. Plus they can represent broken ground or, if taller plants are used, could be soft cover. Anyway, thanks for looking!

Sunday, 26 February 2023

Charlie Foxtrot Pantile Church

I’ve been intending to add one of these splendid kits to my collection for some time. Good mate Colin and I were watching the Sharpe series after a busy weekend of gaming when he said he fancied making a kit based on the chapel in the little town of Torrecastro where Sharpe and his men raise the gonfalon of Santiago. He began furiously sketching out plans and designs whilst I supplied tea and biscuits and, if I recall correctly, got on with some ironing! Anyway, here it is.

My earlier efforts with a CFM church painted for a friend can can be found here, including the painting recipe. Only slight changes were giving the entire church a coat of textured masonry paint (for better texture) and swapping Foundry Boneyard light for Americana Bleached Sand.

For extra interest I’ve added a little “shrine” using a small piece of resin from Hovels. I may add some clump foliage to represent a creeper growing up the stonework.

One feature of the kit that Colin was keen to include was being able to put figures, based on 2p’s, on to the roof. Looks like the chapel is still under French control…

… not any more! Bonaparte will not be pleased!

Friday, 17 February 2023

Buildings for North Africa

The only significant items missing from my North African scenery collection were some buildings so when I saw the Middle Eastern range produced by Simon at Blotz (very nice chap), I knew they’d be ideal. They’re good value and neatly designed too. I’ve bought and built three so far but will definitely add a few more, particularly the buildings with enclosed yards.

Here, some DAK troops are clearing the village.

This building has been built exactly as per the kit instructions.

This building has an added dome roof (not part of the kit). I made this from a polystyrene ball from which I sliced a “spherical cap”. Glue it to the roof and use some wet polyfilla to blend it in and hide the polystyrene texture.

The largest of the three kits, again with added dome. The flat roofs lift out to allow models to be placed inside and for this kit the upper storey lifts off too.

Highly recommended! Before painting I used a little all purpose filler to smooth over any joins. Painting was very easy: two or three layers of a masonry paint labelled as “cinnamon” followed by highlights of VMC Dark Sand and Foundry Boneyard light. The wooden beams were simply a dark brown with some sand coloured highlights.

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

British Desert Transport

A very quick post to show the latest painting for my Desert War collection.

Both resin vehicles from Warlord. Needed quite a bit of cleaning but nice models. Simple paint scheme: VMC Iraqi Sand, GW Agrax wash, then highlights of VMC Iraqi Sand, VMC Dark Sand and Foundry Boneyard light. Tyres painted in VMC German Grey followed by sand highlights. The canvas cover is Foundry British Canvas mid/light.

Thursday, 9 February 2023

Orks and Grots

More Games Workshop Warhammer 40K Orks and Grots are ready to conquer the galaxy. I'm planning to use these for the excellent Xenos Rampant rules recently published by Osprey.

Here's a unit of "Berserk Infantry", which is a category that nicely suits the regular Orks in this force. The rules allow a variety of up/down-grades for each unit so you can tailor them to meet your own particular view of the force under your command. This, IMHO, is one of the really clever things about XR.

These figures have some resin mechanical legs which I picked up from Kromlech / Bits of War. In XR these could serve as a visual reminder of a unit upgrade to that makes the unit more mobile.

Da Boss!

More Dakka! This fellow has plenty of ammo for his big shooter. Again, this figure could represent a unit upgrade that confers more or better firepower.

Orks need Grots to do all the things they can't be bothered to do, so here they are. In XR they'll count as "Militia Rabble", pretty useless but quite entertaining.

More about XR soon.

Sunday, 5 February 2023

Mediterranean Garden

Walled garden for my Mediterranean collection made using some spare Charlie Foxtrot movement tray bases and some Hovels resin walls.

The only “work in progress” picture I took was this, which shows the basing recipe.

I’ve found that giving the areas intended for flock/grass a coat of mid brown first seems to give a richer grass colour plus also provides a contrast from the lighter areas that get grass. The capping tiles were painted in Americana Terracotta, then washed with Agrax, followed by highlights of the base then the base plus VMC Dark Sand.

I’ve also used some small offcuts of mdf and plastic to represent brick scatter as I wanted to enhance the tumble-down look of the walls. The walls include some modelled-on bushes which I initially painted a range of greens but I couldn’t get it quite right, so covered them in some of the Luke APS scatter mix.

The walls are great value see 2A, 3A and 4A.

Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Crete Campaign Game Six

Another instalment of our ‘what if’ campaign to prevent German airborne forces from capturing the island of Crete. In game four, the first attempt by the 2/1st Australians to take the Olive Oil Factory was repulsed after heavy fighting, so HQ deployed some of the scarce armoured resources (a Matilda tank) for the second attempt, however that attack was also repulsed but with heavy German casualties. So the third attack will be pressed home by the newly arrived Commandos of Layforce, preceded by a heavy bombardment (or “Naval Gunfire Support” as it’s known) courtesy of the Royal Navy. Let’s hope the matelots give Jerry a hard time! Surely Dave’s lads must be running low on ammo by now?! 

Our initial rolls for Force Morale were Commandos 9 and FJs 8. Was this a sign? Anyway, we agreed that the RN had given the area a pounding with their big guns, leaving Jerry somewhat dazed and confused. The original Von Luck campaign has a Naval Bombardment listed as a support option that effectively shifts the campaign along one whole turn. The Allies certainly wouldn’t want this as it would be playing right in to German hands. Instead, we used a modified version the Werfer Barrage support option - we agreed that on each successive phase the difficulty would ease by one dice pip, representing the Germans gathering their wits as the naval shelling slowed and stopped.

The patrol phase was, as usual, good fun in its own right. Crucially the Commandos were able to push forward on their left flank and keep the FJs out of the rubble of the ruined building. In previous games I’d had to feed troops along the sunken lane which exposed them to German shooting for much longer. Dave’s JOPs were placed in and around the factory compound itself. Again, this seemed appropriate as with fewer men the German leader had pulled his defensive perimeter in to the stout walls. 

We agreed that the NGS would have destroyed one of the buildings. So here the “house of death” (a nickname earned during the last battle due to all the fierce close quarter’s fighting in/around it) has been blasted to rubble. Plus there are a number of blast craters which may (or may not) provide valuable cover.

Here come the brave Commandos!

But the barrage was keeping Jerry busy!

More Commandos join the attack. These were accompanied by the Lieutenant who was definitely the “lead from the front” type!

The sub-section led by the Lieutenant dashed forwards, knowing that at any moment the barrage might cease.

Some FJs have deployed in to the courtyard of the Olive Oil Factory but they’re still struggling to mobilise properly. Meanwhile the Lieutenant’s men have reached one of the buildings, another sub-section have set up a position in the rubble of the destroyed building, whilst a third have deployed. 

Look! Here are some Germans!

Dave deploys his LG40 team. The Lieutenant has led his men inside the low building.

The LG40 hammers the Commandos in the rubble, killing several men and crucially the Sergeant too.

The courtyard becomes the scene of a vicious firefight as a squad of FJs and the Commandos in the store building trade shots. The Commandos are having the best of it though.

Another group of Commandos pour Bren shots through the tumble down section of wall.

The German JL is wounded and the LG40 team (including its own JL) are badly mauled so FJ morale starts to slide. Indeed, the gun team are broken and the lone crewman has made a run for it.

The other FJ squad was on the wooded flank and caused heavy casualties on the group of Commandos without their leader. But the firefight in the courtyard ground on with the FJ squad eventually being wiped out. The German SL moved to bring the remains of the other squad under his control but by this point FJs morale was very low.

In a final hurrah the Commandos and the FJs exchanged grenades over the pantile walls which resulted in the German SL being wounded. Out of ammo and with their leader badly injured, the few brave remaining FJs put their hands up.

Another thoroughly brilliant chapter in our Crete campaign. My thanks to Dave for a fun game of toy soldiers. I think we were both relieved that we wouldn’t be playing a fourth game at the Olive Oil factory.

So, with their flank and rear secure, the Australians can press the attack on Pervolia. But time is fast running out. Two tables to go and only two campaign turns left. Crete seems to be slipping from the Allies grasp.

Saturday, 21 January 2023

Going Commando!

With the potential to include some Layforce Commandos in our “what if” Crete campaign I initially looked at building a full Commando troop, or at least a couple of sub-sections. Then fiscal prudence intervened! My research concluded that these amazing fellows did not in fact wear power armour and carry bolt guns. Rather, they were equipped in much the same fashion as regular troops albeit in a much more flexible way. So, I decided to use a mix of my regulars and some additional figures built using the extra heads supplied with the Perry sprues, mainly the woolly cap option. Although maybe when the shooting started they switched to metal helmets? I also picked up the Perry SAS Bren teams pack (the figures wearing the keffiyeh/agal will be saved for the desert war).

The Layforce men are quick to make use of Jerry’s kit!

This will give me the “look” I was after without having to acquire lots more figures.

Pinning down a precise TO&E for the Commandos is not easy. There’s quite a bit of info available but it can be contradictory. Plus their organisation changed quite rapidly throughout the war and was also often modified to suit the circumstances, as you might expect for such specialist troops. Anyway, Orange Dave and I have combined forces and settled on the following of 1 Officer and 30 ORs:

Layforce Commandos

Lieutenant (senior leader) SMG. 
2" Mortar (or Boys AT rifle) and three crew

Two Assault sub-sections, each of 9 men 
Sergeant/Lance Sergeant (superior junior leader) SMG 
Rifle Team
- four Riflemen 
LMG Team
- Bren Gun 
- three crew
- one rifleman

One Support sub-section:
Sergeant/Lance Sergeant (superior junior leader) SMG
LMG Team
- Bren Gun*
- three crew
- three rifleman

Special Rules: Aggressive
Command Dice: 6 (see CoC FAQ)
Force Rating: Elite, +2

*Later Commando forces (‘42 onwards) could replace the support section Bren with a Vickers GO (or “K”), treat as an MG34.

Also the list of supports has the following entry:
List Five, Assault sub-section of 9 men, including SJL, as per main list.

We’re using the TFL British North Africa 40-41 support list as a starting point (minus a few things like most AFVs), then adding in items using the Consolidated Arsenal as we deem fit for a particular scenario.

The Commandos on Crete are reported to have suffered terrible casualties as they made a series of audacious and incredibly brave attacks on German positions whilst providing a defensive screen to allow many thousands of British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers to evacuate from the southern port of Sphakia. Approximately 75% of the Commandos were listed as dead, missing or wounded. Some remained after the island fell, either to help train partisans, or to slip away when an opportunity arose.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

Ork Warboss and Nobz Mob

There’s something so cheerful about Orks! I really enjoyed painting these figures. Here’s Warboss Grimbog and his retinue of Nobz from Da Rusty Fist tribe of the Evil Sunz Clan.

Grimbog and these two Nobz like to get up close and personal hence the power claws and sluggas, etc. The Warboss also has a personalised Kustom Shoota as is right an’ proppa!

Some of the Nobz prefer extra Dakka (wot Ork don’t eh?) so have Kustom Kombi weapons, mixing shootas with flamers and rokkit launchers.

All in all, a pretty fearsome bunch! Thanks for looking 🙂

Monday, 9 January 2023

Darth Vader

Here he is! Probably the most iconic movie bad guy ever. No Galactic Empire collection is complete without him.

An easy paint scheme but I felt that the big man deserved his own post. Black primer followed by the Foundry Charcoal palette. Some dots of colour for chest and belt. Light sabre in a range of GW reds through to orange. A few other little details in GW Leadbelcher. Some of his armour was given a couple of coats of AP gloss varnish.

Along with the recently completed 74-Z speeder bikes, this brings me to approximately the “standard” 800 points, depending upon equipment options.

However, my AT-ST is primed and ready to paint. So, when complete, I’ll have a few support options to build around the core of Storm Troopers.

Really excited by this model!