27 Jun 2012

And the votes are in!

I made my mind up last night, cos strangely nobody chose to call my premium charge voting hotline, and plumped to leave out the weapon pods and mount the Lascannons straight onto the fuselage. I also decided to keep the wings....but not wanting to be conventional I mounted them at the front and I don't think it has turned out to badly. The added bonus of poping the wings on the front is that the model has a smaller foot print and will therefore be easier to store. Result!

I really like this model. Ugly to start out with but for such an oddly shaped thing there is actually quite a lot you can tinker with to make it your own, much less stupid looking, swooping killy death machine!

26 Jun 2012

Zvezda Katyusha for Flames of War

So, whilst recently sorting out my Soviet force, re-basing some to get the right mix of weapons and to make sure I had the right number of bases I realised that I had an issue.  I like Katyushas.... Not an issue in itself as they seem to me to be one of the iconic Soviet units from WW2, but the issue was with how many I had, the availability of new ones and the army lists.

I shall explain as I can almost see your eyes glazing over ;)

So, I bought the Battlefront box of 4 and very nice it is too - 4 well detailed models on nice resin bases withholes for crew.  Perfect.  They're one of the units that I've finished apart from a bit of work on the base and I've used them pretty much every time I've used the Soviets (yep, around 3 times).  The army list tells me that I can either get 4 of them (for a double width template) or 8 of them for a DEVASTATING BOMBARDMENT (I just felt that had to be written in capitals).  All's well so far....

Well, I also had another two Katyushas from Battlefront that came individually in blisters as a birthday present a fair few moons ago.  "Great" I thought "only 2 more to get".  Only to find that Battlefront apparently doesn't do the blisters anymore..... So the only way to get 8 was to buy another box for about £35.  Ouch.  And then have 2 Katyushas spare.

Then I remembered a recommendation from the "Model Dads" blog (a very valuable resource for FoW - trawl their archived posts if you haven't seen it already) of small plastic single Katyushas from a company called Zvezda.  A quick internet search later revealed that they were £2.97 each and looked well sized.  But came with no crew.... But fortunately I have so many spare Soviets that a quick tally revealed I could staff them from spares - so there is an upside to buying too much as it saves you money sometimes.... honest :)

So I plunged in and ordered a couple.  They turned up and I took one out of the pack and here it is

Doesn't look too daunting, does it?
A quick peruse told me it was snap-fit..... which made me slightly concerned because the holes and dibbits would need to be pretty perfect, so I grabbed my glue and clippers and files (just in case).  The instructions were all in picture form (good job as I don't speak Russian!) and I was very pleasantly surprised by how well the model went together.  Some other plastic miniature manufacturers could learn a thing or two from these boys....... I still glued most bits to add to longevity, but all of the pieces went together very smoothly (apart from the bonnet, which was a bit of a chore but as it was the last piece I fitted, I magnanimously forgave it).

But was the scale right?  Pretty much spot on actually.  Couple of pics below of it next to one of the sadly neglected blister originated Katyushas.

Not bad......

........Not bad at all

The launching rails are thinner, probably due to the fact it's one piece plastic instead of metal, and it had a slightly sleeker feel, again probably due to the way you can use plastic, but I'd certainly have no concern fielding these two together in an army!

Bargain cost of less than £6 as opposed to £35 - well chuffed!

So, would I recommend only buying the Zvezda kit as opposed to any battlefront ones?  Depends on how much time you have.  The battlefront box includes the crew, command and observer teams and a truck for the command team.  Once you factor in 4 Katyushas (£12), a zvezda truck (also £3) and enough crew and command teams (about £10 from maelstrom for example with the little special order packs to get some ammo too) you're comparing £25 to £35.  But the time element is much greater as it's plastic sprue based kit as opposed to the 5 or so pieces in the Battlefront kit.  It's better when you compare for the 8 gun battery as you only need 1 command team and truck, so the saving probably goes up to £25 or so, which isn't to be sniffed at.

Right, I'm off to look for a DEVASTATING BOMBARDMENT template as I may need one in the not too distant future.....

Some choices...

I got to have a chance to finish the Storm Talon last night. In truth I would have completed it if it hadn't been for......well me.

I spent far to long uming and arring about what to do next. The photo shows the nose guns without the chunky pod and I have to say I had a clear idea what I wanted there so that happened pretty quickly. What I got stuck on is the wings and the lascannons.

Now the wings should be on the side of the engine pods sweeping downward slighty due to the little kink that they have in them. Problem is that I'm not sure if I like it better without the wings entirely!

I was also stumped regarding how to mount the Lascannons onto the fuselage. The side weapon pod are nice little designs in of themselves but I'm not overly enamoured with them sticking out of the sides. I've been toying with the idea of just mounting the Lascannon barrels straight onto the front of the block that the weapons pods are meant to be stuck to and then adding some power pack detail just behind the barrels on the side of the block.

What do you think then guys. Wings? No Wings? Gun pods? No gun pods?

Pretend it is like one of those Saturday night talent shows that hypnotise the masses have ruined TV. In fact it is exactly like them as I, like Simon Cowell choosing talentless numpties, have already decided what I am going to do and any pretence of a vote is a sham. The phone number if you choose to vote is 0800-UGLY BRICK-555 and is charged at £20.00 a second.

Still. It'll be fun to hear your opinions.


25 Jun 2012

Work in Progress

Urn and Von have inspired me to get back to the blog. I had intended to try for one post a week but that has falling by the wayside. I was trying to post finished projects and we've proven that this just does not happen as we hope so I am now intending to fling up more frequent posts even if they are jut work in progress stuff. After all that is what these blogs are about isn't it?

Anyhoo. First off is the recently acquired Ugly Flying Brick Storm Talon. What were GW Designers thinking? I can only conclude that it was one of the following:-
1) Someone snuck into the CGI dept after a few Bugmans brews and tinkered with the design as a joke but it was never picked up before the design was sent to manufacturing.
2) It was designed by a committee suffering from full blown 'Group Think' which manifested as an inability to see the flaws in the design.
3) GW were being asses the day this one was born.

In truth, many elements of the things design do work. Okay...it does look like a Rhino humped an Apache helicopter but it has the correct elements but still doesn't quite work. Why? Well in my opinion it is simply because they tried to make part of it true scale. Just part of it tho'!?! True scale cockpit slapped onto a micro-machine combat helicopter body. But......even that is forgivable compared to the 'chin'. Who. Designed. That?

So my plan is simple de-emphasize the ridiculous chin mounted weapon and then take a view on what to do about the side weapon pods which are also a little on the chunky side.

The kit itself goes together well and apparentley fairly quickly but sadly ones young daughter saw fit to interupt her fathers hobby time so I'll have to try and finish it tomorrow night. I think with the few small changes I am planning to make I will be able to learn to quite like this little model. ;-)

24 Jun 2012

Flames of War Soviets come blinking into the light.

So Dave and I have been playing Flames of War in Normandy for absolutely ages.  But in addition to the Germans (who I mainly got as Dave was a staunch British Army fan) I just couldn't resist the Soviets from the little I'd read about WW2.  Which wasn't a lot.  I couldn't tell the difference between a sherman, a tiger and a P4.  But as I collected them, I read more and more and was intrigued.  So did not having an opponent mean I kept my purchasing relatively small?  Ha!  I'm a wargamer and therefore pathologically incapable of applying that kind of logic to purchasing shiny stuff :)

I even put some of it together and undercoat/basecoated it with ary painter.  Heck, I even painted a couple of infantry platoons.  But not many figures compared to the total purchases..... It's probably easier if I show you what I'm talking about....

T-34s!  Both 76's and 85's for those in the know. Which i now am after playing FoW

Errr, more T-34s... And some KVs....

"And you bought all these without an opponent you say?"

"Errr, yes..... But in defence these aren't T-34s!  Does that even help a little bit? No?  Thought not."

Some infantry!  And some even have filler on their bases....
More infantry!  And trucks... and recce vehicles.... and.....

Hurrah - some painted ones at last!

Oops... back to not really painted ones.....

So Von's decision to really go for it with his FJ has cheered me up no end - I get a chance to use the Soviets!  It's amazing how much more I'm incentivised to work on them now I know there is some game time coming up.  And looks like this might also inspire Eddie to get some Germans finished to give me two opponents.  Excellent!

The plan is to get at least a 1500 point army ready for play and go from there.  I'm excited by this - new version of the rules, new army, new opponents and what more could a gamer ask for? :)

Say Guten Tag to mein kleine freunds

Whilst everyone is getting geared up for 40K VI I've taken a complete jump to the right and dived into Flames of War. I know. Odd considering my love for 40K but for some reason I'm not feeling the excitement and so have transferred my hobby time to the Fallschirmjager.

Now there's a lot of them in an army so it's going to take a little while to do but thought I'd chuck out some WiP shots to show where we are right now.

Thought I'd paint up a single Rifle/MG Squad first to get a feel for the camouflage scheme.

First up add some Flesh (GW)


Then Field Grey (Valejo). I'd forgotten just how green field grey is! Just the trousers for this lot. My first try with Valejo and I'm very impressed so far: good consistency and very good coverage. Painful switching from 28mm heroic to 15mm mind - almost had to get the magnifying glass out! 

Then German Camo Beige (Valejo) on Smocks and covered helmets. This will form the base for the splinter camouflage.

Now the fun begins. According to various paint guides I should be aiming for angles with the camouflage and then some thin green lines to create the splinter design. I took one look at the amount of space to paint and immediately said no to that! Instead I started with German Camo Brown (Valejo) and painted on some zig-zag lines.

Then using Luftwaffe Green (Valejo) I added blobs to the design. The one piece of advice from the paint guides that I did stick to was to only cover about a 1/3 of the area with the brown. This means that at least we can still see the Beige showing through. Quite pleased with the effect and it wasn't too long a process which is good considering how many of these I have to paint in an Infantry Company.

Final pieces were then painted: rifles, SMG, Helmet (Dark Camo Green) and bottles/ammo (green/grey). I then decided to wash them with Earthshade (GW) to tone them down a bit as they were quite bright. This is supposed to be camo so having them standing out like a beacon isn't exactly right!

The base is not yet completed as I've yet to decide exactly how to do them. I've used Army Painter Steppe Grass for the initial covering and allow the mud to show through: I want this to look like there are fighting in the Russian countryside where the grass has been churned up by tanks...

The final stand:

Currently seeing how long it takes to paint the other 8 bases + command team in this Platoon.

Wish me Luck!

The Covenant of Antarctica sail in!

I'm on a bit of a hobby frenzy at the moment, knowing that any day now my hobby time will be cut to zero and who knows when I'll get it back (I've just realised that this sounds a little like I'm going to prison, doesn't it?!).

Anyway, having culled a bunch of things from the garage and sticking them on eBay, the second prong of my hobby attack was to paint stuff.  Ingenious, eh? :)

So, here are the first of the things I've recently painted, my Dystopian wars fleet.  Ronseal Wood filler from a tub for the base as this holds it's shape marvellously for the waves and showing the direction the ships are travelling (as some are somewhat hard to tell the front from the back!)
Lots and lots of ickle ships

I went with the paint scheme from the box, blue and green distortion camo and decided to have quite a rough sea to make them stand out.

All the big ships and a Time Orb by Jove!  No idea what it did when I bought it, but how can you resist a TIME ORRRRRRRRRRRRB!!!!!

I'm really rather pleased with the results...... and someone tell me that we will play this game at some point.......  Right?  Lads?!?!?

6 Jun 2012

Finally - some proper Bocage!

So, after literally years of playing Flames of War set in the Normandy countryside against Dave’s British Infantry, I’ve finally gotten around to making some nice bocage.

We’ve been through a few different options to stand in as bocage, from the original pieces of square foam lightly coated in green paint (the Silverback was particularly enamoured with those!) and resin 28mm hedges as they were tall enough to block LoS (although just the wrong scale and had no dirt bank).

So the pic below shows the 8 feet of bocage that I’ve put together over the past couple of weeks in between other projects.

Pretty simple really, plasticard base, square of blue foam in the middle, brown grout to slops the sides to the edge of the plasticard, dip in sand and add a few pieces of kitty litter as larger stones. Dark brown emulsion coat, drybrush light grey and pick out large stones.

Glue gun used to stick clump foliage in different greens to the top, stick the metal tree stems through the foam and glue gun in place and hey presto – some very difficult terrain for all to struggle through :)

I left some with gaps and used model railway fences and a stile to give a bit of variety (and also make it easier to navigate those pieces per the rules I would think) but I thought I’d leave any T-pieces or cross road pieces to Dave if he felt like making them as a project!

And probably just in time for Nick's FJ to defend against Allied attack ;)

(And yes, I do know they are set up on a beach instead of the countryside in this pic, but that's where they were drying when finished!)

5 Jun 2012

Blood for the... oh you know the rest

Good Evening.

Blood for the Blood God! Erm, sorry. That just sort of slipped out...

Anyway I said I was aiming to complete a squad of Bezerkers by the end of the Jubilee Celebrations and I've got damned close. I'm out tomorrow as the Wife has asked nicely if we can go shopping and then tomorrow night is Gog night so this is as far as it goes.

Is it ok to park the Rhino here?
Another 10 Bezerkers then and their Rhino transport just about ready to join the World Eaters. Just the basing to go which involves sand, washes and 3 highlight colours so hopefully sorted by the end of the week.

For those of you who know this army you'll be blanching no doubt at the fact that this is the 4th squad of Bezerkers thus pushing the total number of these frothing maniacs to 40. Don't worry though as Kharn tends to take care of a few of them each battle!
Blood for the Blood... look do I have to keep saying that?
Paint scheme is dead simple (in fact the basing is the longest job!). Base coat is sprayed using a Desert Sand colour from Humbrol. Then paint on Mechrite Red and Boltgun Metal. Finally add 2 layers of washes: Gryphonne Sepia and Baal Red (have to try the new ones soon to see if they give the same effect).

Thanks to the yellow tinged Sepia and nice Red they go a slight shade of orange...
I have a Shield. Call the Avengers!
I will have to work out how many points of World Eaters I've now completed - got to be 2,500 at a minimum. Will also see about getting a picture of the whole army sorted out as well: might need a wide camera angle for that one.

So what's next? Oddly no more World Eaters for the minute. I have a variety of squads and vehicles that I could add such as Bikers, Possessed, CSM + Rhino, Predator, Obliterators but I want to hold off now until the new Codex is released as I'd hate to invalidate anything.

In the meantime I've picked my next painting project and this will leave the GoGs with their jaws on the deck.

Yes it's time to break out my historical gene. We had such a great game on Saturday of WW2 that I am clearing the decks and starting up my Flames of War dudes...

... the Green Devils, Fallschirmjaeger, are coming to a tabletop near you soon!

1 Jun 2012

The Fleet comes in!

I have finally finished my DW Kingdom of Britainnia fleet.
I've been staring at these on the shelf for a while so it is nice to have them done and floating with the rest.

So far this year I have cleared the Malifaux stuff I had. Now the DW stuff is done and I have moved back to the Pulp City figures. I've got several of the ARC to finish as a priority and then I can move onto the last of the citizen figures that I recently got from Reaper.

That is going to keep me for a while but then I have to decide what to do after that. I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be Dropzone Commander ;-).