Saturday, November 23, 2013

On the Workbench October 2013

Last month I had the pleasure provided by a visit of a long time friend and his wife to Montreal. It was Olya's first visit to the city and  she seemed to enjoy the experience. While here, Doug wanted to check the limits of his new camera, a Nikon D3200 and took a few photos of some items I had on the workbench. Last night, I received these files and thought I'd post them on the Blog. Unfortunately the work on these miniatures has not advanced beyond the state shown in the photos. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cold War Warriors: West German Jagdpanzer Kanone

The Jagdpanzer Kanone 90mm was one of my favorite military vehicles from the 1970s. I like the look both it and the Swedish "S" tank had. Certainly by the mid 1970s the Jagdpanzer Kanone was undergunned and obsolete. I'm unsure of the make and scale of this model, but I suspect it is near 1/48th scale. It was included in a box of assorted items that I picked up one year at Cangames.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

WW2 Soviet 57mm AT-Gun ZiS-2 Model 1943

This post about the ZiS-2 57mm AT Gun is an update from August 2009. I was not happy with the previous presentation  of this excellent piece of Soviet equipment and remounted it on a 60mm x 80mm base, so the gun and the crew were both on the same element.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Men In Black: Japanese Ninjas

Long before Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones took to the screen, there was rumoured to be a secret organization that dressed in black and utilized special gadgets. The ninjas were covert agents or mercenaries in feudal Japan. Their functions included espionage, sabotage, infiltration, and assassination, and they used specialized equipment to complete these tasks.

According to Wikipedia, "By the time of the Meiji Restoration (1868), the tradition of the shinobi had become a topic of popular imagination and mystery in Japan. Ninja figured prominently in folklore and legend, and as a result it is often difficult to separate historical fact from myth. Some legendary abilities purported to be in the province of ninja training include invisibility, walking on water, and control over the natural elements. As a consequence, their perception in western popular culture in the 21th century is often based more on such legend and folklore than on the historical spies of the Sengoku (15th-17th Century) period."

I have completed 3 small "hit teams" that can be used in either the Bushito or Daredevil Adventures RPGs by Fantasy Games Unlimited. These were two of my favorite RPG Games. I ran a Daredevil's campaign and my good buddy Harris, ran the Bushito Game for our happy band of tabletop warriors.

Cold War Warriors: 20mm Soviets

This was a project that never got off the ground. Back in the mind 1990s I was visiting Toronto to attend a Rolling Stones Concert and I made a side trip to a game store that I think was located just off Queen Street.

 I picked up a couple of packs of what I think were Platoon 20 Modern (mid 1980s) Soviets. I recently painted and mounted the final figures and applied a wash of Transparent Burnt Umber to them all.

The heavy weapons Pack included the RPG-7, the Sagger AT-3 missle and IMO the star of the Rambo III movie, the Soviet 30mm AGS-17 Plamya Automatic Gernade Launcher. The miniature is a poor presentation of this weapon system.  

Sacred Martian Grove: Blood Crystals

Battlefield in a Box: Blood Crystals (BB541)

Last weekend I received a belated birthday present from my cousin. This is certainly not an item that I would normally purchase for myself but would be happy to find them in a deleted item bin or at a deep discount sale. I immediately thought that these would make a perfect Martian terrain piece for Space 1889 as a Sacred Grove.

In this photo I have included my standard 25mm Griping Beast Roman figure for scale and a Space Wolf  in terminator armour. I will pick up some autumn foliage to provide reds and yellows Martian plant life.

The bases were covered with Liquitex Resin Sand, that included a paint mix of  roughly 1 part red to 4 parts Raw Sienna. I then lightly sprinkled on some brown/red  ballast, which I think was a Woodland Scenics product. After drying overnight I painted over the soil with a watered down GW dark flesh.

Black Rider

Over the years I picked up a fair number of the LOTR figures by Games Workshop. To give them their due, Games Workshop produced a  beautiful line of figures, but too expensive for my blood.  I for one, would wait for 50% sales at local game stores or a lucky deal on e-Bay.

This Black Rider was a single loose figure I recently found mixed in a pile of minis I had stored away. I've been searching in town  for a package of 40mm or 50mm round magnetic bases by GF9. It's a product that seems to have been dropped by the wayside here in Montreal. So I mounted the figure on a 40mm x 40mm wooden base..

The figure was subject to a quick paint-job. Overall black, with gray dry brushed highlights and oiled steel for the sword.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Heroes of the Soviet Union: Heavy Metal

The T-34 was the most widely produced Soviet tank of the Great Patriotic War. This week I built two ARII 1/50th Scale T-34 model kits. They were included in a box of gaming supplies I picked up at Cangames in 2006. They have been in the cupboard ever since.

ARII T-34s with 28mm Infantry for Scale
These kits are for remote control motorized models and I am sure the diehard model builders out there will slight me for not going the extra mile and completing the kits as originally designed. All I intend to do is run a mid-war Soviet tank platoon alongside my 28mm Soviet Infantry. I have a third tank that has been shown in a previous posting. It too, was purchased in the same box of models and game bits and is clearly a different scale. That’s OK, it can be the Platoon Leader’s vehicle.

Today was a fabulous, warm day in Montreal. It was a perfect day to sit on the balcony, catch up on some reading, take some photos and spray some minis. The tanks were treated to a coat of Flames of War, Soviet Armour War Paint. Decals and detailing need to follow.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Battle of Britain Sunday

Today is Battle of Britain Sunday, a day of remembrance both in Britain and other members of the Commonwealth, such as Canada.

Churchill said “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Lest We Forget, take the time to reflect upon the service and the sacrifice of the few.  In the summer of 1940, with so much uncertainty, this was the sound associated with the defense of freedom and ultimately victory.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery

Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery is a fast paced board game set in Ancient Rome. The game includes backstabbing schemes, fierce bidding and bloody gladiatorial combat. It is designed for 3-4 players. 

Game Box
Among the many playing pieces included in the game are four plastic Gladiator figures that look to be about 28mm scale. The expansion, The Serpents and the Wolf, allows up to 6 players in the game and includes two additional Gladiator figures.

I was introduced to the game at Stack Académie III, a local weekend long board gaming event held last May. I thoroughly enjoyed playing the game and picked up both it and the expansion for my bi-weekly Friday night gaming group. We were going to play it last month but ended up with 5 players.  I had just ordered the expansion, so we played Eclipse instead. 


So if all goes according to plan tonight is the night and the figures are painted.

I also had a wicked idea and present Spartacus: The Bad Wolf Clan for the games….

Spartacus: Bad Wolf Clan

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Norman Knights

Another quick post. I recently finished painting a group of 12 Norman Knights. This is about 1/3 of the figures I need for a DBA army. I have blogged before about the infantry that I painted.

These figures are by Black Tree Design. I found them to be a very clean and easy to work with. I like the fact that the spears are incorporated into the figure. Shields need to be attached. I still haven't decided what to do about the shields. Do I paint them myself or do I order a sheet of decals? For this reason they are not attached. 

The standard bearer had the top half of the pole broken off. I removed the bottom half, drilled a hole through the figure's hand and added a replacement. The banner itself was downloaded from another gaming blog about 18 months ago. I cannot find the reference. Please let me know if it is your design and I will link to it.

I found the horses to be bigger than expected. I had to cut down the bases of two of them to fit on a 40mm deep DBA element. They still had to mounted at angles to insure a proper fit. It also took some trial and error to make  sure that the elements could line up together as the heads and tails of the horses extend quite a bit beyond the front and rear base edges. 

Regardless, I think these is a nice looking unit. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Reaper Madness II: There be Dragons

A quick post to show off the Reaper Dragons that I obtained for use with HOTT. Both are shown with a 25mm Gripping Beast Roman Centurion for scale.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Heroes of the Soviet Union Part 1

I present my latest platoon of Soviet Infantry based for the WRG War Games Rules Armour & Infantry 1925-1950 © 1973.  I already have 3 Soviet platoons (28mm figures) mounted on individual stands and felt like doing something retro with this group of figures. It consists of
  1.   A three man command stand
  2. Two three man LMG stands
  3. First Rifle Squad with 3 four man Rifle Teams
  4. Second Rifle Squad with 2 four man Rifle Teams and 1 four man SMG team

Command and LMG Teams
This rule set has always been a favorite of mine. I've been playing with them practically since they were first published. Over the decades I have played  with many other WW2 rule sets, and I even own a number of them. I keep coming back to this set for a quick and simple game.  

As they are based, I’d have no problem using these figures for Blitzkrieg Commander, the most recent ruleset I've purchased for this scale of game.

In my opinion the front line soldiers of the Red Army deserve the title “Heroes of the Soviet Union”. Regardless, if they were conscripted or volunteered:  they overcame frightful losses, often due to the incompetent leadership during the early war period, and later war attitudes  which allowed Soviet generals to squander thousands of lives knowing  they had the manpower and a belief at the top, that the ends justified the means.

First Squad
Without a doubt to paraphrase the Right Honourable Winston Churchill, “the Russian Armies tore the guts out of the German Army.” 

His words may be read here, in their entirety, in his report on the War Situation given to the House on August 2nd 1944.

2nd Squad lead by SMG Team

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Martyrs of the Seawolves

Black Tree Design Monks.
My planned posting on “Martyrs of the Seawolves” was beaten as a headliner today by the author of The Land of Lead.  On that blog there is fantastic description of a small “Viking Raid on a Monastery”, well-illustrated with photographs.

The Viking Age is considered to commence with the raid against the monastery of Lindisfarne on England's east coast in the year 793 AD and is documented in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles.

According to Wikipedia:

“Her wæron reðe forebecna cumene ofer Norðhymbra land, ⁊ þæt folc earmlic bregdon, þæt wæron ormete þodenas ⁊ ligrescas, ⁊ fyrenne dracan wæron gesewene on þam lifte fleogende. Þam tacnum sona fyligde mycel hunger, ⁊ litel æfter þam, þæs ilcan geares on .vi. Idus Ianuarii, earmlice hæþenra manna hergunc adilegode Godes cyrican in Lindisfarnaee þurh hreaflac ⁊ mansliht.

“In this year fierce, foreboding omens came over the land of the Northumbrians, and the wretched people shook; there were excessive whirlwinds, lightning, and fiery dragons were seen flying in the sky. These signs were followed by great famine, and a little after those, that same year on 6th ides of January, the ravaging of wretched heathen people destroyed God's church at Lindisfarne.”

A slightly more detailed description is recorded in “History of the Church of Durham” by the monk Simeon:

On the seventh of the ides of June, they reached the church of Lindisfarne, and there they miserably ravaged and pillaged everything; they trod the holy things under their polluted feet, they dug down the altars, and plundered all the treasures of the church. Some of the brethren they slew, some they carried off with them in chains, the greater number they stripped naked, insulted, and cast out of doors, and some they drowned in the sea.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

28mm Early Hungarian Light Cavalry

I spent my evenings this week completing the unit of 20 Old Glory Light Cavalry miniatures that were taking up residence on my cribbage board. It was not a hardship since I owe three, and the board will now be occupied by two dozen colonial lancers that I want to work on. The flocking was completed early this morning.

The Hungarians were an impulse buy on eBay. They were inexpensive and the horses were already painted and mounted on appropriate (WRG/DBX) 60 x 40 mm magnetic bases. I did a wash on the horses and reattached a couple of them to their bases.

I’m not sure which army will use these troops but I imagine they will see action either for or against the Saracens at some point.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Danger Lurks: Work Table Fire Hazard

Last month I moved my painting table to be located in front of my window. It is a great place to watch the birds in the tree and to take full advantage of the natural light, or not. Most of my painting is done at night or in the early morning hours. I will work on minis during the day, but only on weekends.

I can even go out on the balcony to paint.

As you can see my desk is quite cluttered. After all a clean desk is a sign of a sick mind. This morning at 6:30 AM I added texture paint to the miniatures in the foreground. 

Monday afternoon I arrived home late in the day and took off my backpack and noticed a whiff of smoke arising from my work table. It looked like it was enjoying a cigarette.

In this photo I recreated the situation to illustrate the danger. The magnifying glass was sitting on the desk. Due to the position of the lens and the sun angle, the sunlight converged as a focal point directly onto the tabletop. In the following photo the focal point is to the right of the green paint. The table began to smoke, and the heat raised a blister in the paint. I was lucky to have caught it when I did. 

Can you spot the danger??

The lens is no longer on the table, nor is it in the path of any sunlight. I wrote this post to be a word of warning of possible dangers lurking on your own work desks.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vikings 28mm Wargames Foundry Part I

I'll begin this posting with some light entertainment by the Muppets about our fun loving Norsemen.

While I was painting my Seljuk Turk DBA army I thought I could kill two birds with one stone. Every time I dipped a brush into paint for the 15mm figures, I would use the same brush and colour on a larger scale figure. I looked around and saw that I had a clear plastic storage box with a collection of Wargames Foundry Viking figures already cleaned and primed. I won them on eBay about 5 years ago.  In total there are about 80 Figures and I thought that I would work on a quarter of them at a time.

Six Elements of 4 Blade
1 Element of 3 Aux (ulfhedinn)
2 Elements of 3 Blade/Aux
Since I prime my minis usually with 4 or 5 foot 28mm figures on a craft stick at a time I figures that this was more a more sensible approach then trying to paint 80 large figures at once. My attention does wonder, especially in summer. Like much of the northern hemisphere in Montreal we experience our first real heat wave of the summer. With the humidix the temperature was in the mid-40s C most of a week. It’s hard to paint in that type of environment.

Possible Choices for General (4 man Blade)
1 Element Bow, 1 x 2Ps (Scouts)
Recently I was checking out the troop types needed for a Viking army due to my recent 2nd place finish at Cangames and the resulting prize. The 80 Foundry figures should provide enough figures for a DBA Viking Army. The Foundry Figures are just too chunky to base on the standard 20mm deep element. So this army will be fielded with Blades with a 30mm depth

Painting Totals for the Month of July
39 x 28mm Vikings
43 x 25mm Colonial Gunners
1 x Siege Engine
18 x 15mm Seljuk Turk Cavalry
18 x 15mm Seljuk Turk Infantry

Some Other Odds and Ends that were also Painted
1 x 15mm Baueda Wargames Tent

7 x 15mm Essex Medieval Cavalry (Came with the tent)

1 Element 4Kn (Eastern)

1 x 3 Cv (General)

6 x 28mm Medieval Cavalry (Mix Revenge/Black Tree Designs)

A Couple of Young Rakes Showing Off the Lastest Style of German Armour

DBA Army III/73 A: Seljuk Turk 1073-1276 AD

I purchased this army from David at Crossed Swords while at Cangames in May 2012. My intention was to be able to field a matched pair with the Nikaian Byzantine (IV/31) army that I already owed.  It was my hope to have it ready for this year’s Cangames DBA tournament but it sat on my worktable only at the undercoat stage. It became my initial project for July. Other than needing to finish the bases, it is done and I am happy with the results. 

DBA Army: The Sultanate of Rum (Steppe Ag 3)
The Seljuk Turks have two options available to them and I purchased the "A" Rum option. The Sultanate of Rum was a medieval Turko-PersianSunni Muslim state in Anatolia, It existed as a state from 1077 to 1307.

1 x 3Cv (Gen), 1 x 3Cv, 1 x 3Kn, 6 x 2Lh, 1x 4Sp, 1x 3/4Bw or 2 Ps, 1 x 2Ps or 3 Bw or 3 Aux

1 x 3 Kn (Armenian and Georgian vassals)
1 x 3 Bw/ 1 x 4Bw
1 x 4 Sp

2 x 2P

1x 3Cv (General)
1 x 3 Cv (The emirs of Anatolia)
1 x 3 Aux
6 x 2Lh (Mounted Seljuk and Turkoman tribesmen)