Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Legio Ignatum Reaver

I finished the Reaver titan for my Legio Ignatum “Fire Wasps” maniple. I magnetized the guns in case I end up getting the additional weapon sprue. Right now I only have the volcano canon to swap out the melta weapon. The carapace was the most time consuming part of the model, but I’m quite happy with the results. Hopefully I can finish the two warhounds before the painting challenge starts in a few weeks.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Legio Krytos Warlord Titan for Adeptus Titanicus

Reinforcements for Legio Krytos have arrived in the form of a Warlord Titan... just got this one finished over the weekend. It's an awesome model and actually wasn't as much of a headache to assemble as I imagined it might be. The Warlord is set up for the initial photos with Laser Blasters up top and Volcano Cannons. Let's look at it in detail...

As I said, assembly was pretty straightforward. It's always a bit of a crapshoot putting the legs and hips together. It can be tough to ensure that things line up and that when you attach the torso, it's not cocked in a different and unexpected direction. Fortunately with this build I just set up one of the legs "in stride" and everything else lined up OK.

There's lots of room for heraldry on the Volcano Cannon shielding. I used some decals from the Legio Krytos sheet to fill it up.

Rear view of the Titan.

I really weathered the Hell out of this one with the sponge chipping. Had to buy a new bottle of Vallejo German Uniform to do the green. I was worried because the colour of the bottle was quite different to that of my old bottle - but I needn't have been concerned, the match was great.

It's certainly fiddly painting those "eyes" inside the "helmet". Probably would be a good idea to do those before assembly.

A quick switch of weapons configuration to Plasma Annihilators and Apocalypse Missile Launchers. The standard kit comes with Apocs and Volcano Cannons of course - the alternate weapons (as well as alternate head shown here, and the Arioch Power Claw) come on a sprue available from GW separately.

Good view of the Plasma Annihilator. I should add that the kit is super-easy to magnetize - all of the weapon mounts are set up for 5x1mm magnets.

Apoc launchers up top - the traditional choice.

Top view of the Titan.

Here's a good view of the alternate head. I magnetized both so it's easy to swap back and forth. Honestly I'm not sure which I prefer.

The last weapon choice is one I'll not likely often use - the Arioch Power Claw. Yikes!

Here's the gang so far. Hoping to get either another Reaver or a second Warlord done before the New Year. Might have to start on the Warlord as the Reaver's missing its base, which hasn't yet arrived from the eBay vendor. I'll certainly paint more of the armour panels separately on my next Warlord - the ones around the "shoulders" made things kind of awkward to get to. I'll also magnetize the torso somewhat differently. On this build I attached a steel washer to the "hip" and disc magnets to the "torso". I'll do the same on the next one, just a bit more neatly.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Even More Random WW2 Painting - Big German Guns

Some serious late-war firepower for my 20mm Germans
More random 20mm WW2 painting as we arrive in December - back to the German side of things. Here is a Pak40 anti-tank gun with crew from Plastic Soldier Company, and a scary King Tiger panzer from Britannia Miniatures.

Pak40 Anti-Tank Gun & Crew

Here comes Ivan...
I have a slowly growing complement of T-34s for my Red Army 20mm collection. To counter the red tide, we start with this Pak40 and crew.  This hard-hitting anti-tank weapon is an iconic part of the late-war German arsenal. The gun, crew and accessories are all from the Plastic Soldier Company.

Gun commander figure on a square base.
I divided the crew for the gun among different bases to accommodate the various WW2 rule systems we play.  The "Battlegroup" rules, for example, have extra loaders as an option available for most crew-served weapons in the game, so I put two of the loaders on a separate base with an ammo box to allow that to be represented.  I also put the gun commander on a separate square base, which will help him stand out as a "junior leader" in games like "Chain of Command."

Extra loaders on a separate base.

Another view of the loaders.
The details on these PSC plastic figures can be a bit soft in places, but these kits are a great value (see more on that below). This Pak40 will be sure to put a few T-34s out of action - or at least it will until the Soviet players either blast it to pieces or simply run the gun and crew right over with one of their many, many tanks!

The crew prepares to load another 75mm shell...I think I positioned the loader a little too "behind" the gun...wouldn't want to be directly behind that thing when it fired...
The PSC Pak40 box set is really remarkable - you get two guns, two crews, and you might think, "hey this is great." But wait, there's more! You also get two raupenschlepper ost vehicles - which can you build using TWO different cabs, and also choose between an open or enclosed rear compartment! OR...you can use the guns and the RSO models to build the very odd RSO Pak 40 SPG! Really an amazing kit from PSC! I'm still working on my first RSO model to give this gun team a tow option and a chance to escape from Soviet retribution after they have fired on a few enemy tanks.

Tiger II
The Tiger II - model from Britannia Miniatures.
I know. Who needs yet another King Tiger for WW2 gaming, right? These vehicles (thankfully!) represented such a small percentage of the overall available German tank fleet in WW2 - and even when available in some force, they suffered badly from mechanical problems and breakdowns, such that very small numbers tended to make it to actual action in the front lines.

On close inspection you can see where the casting had some issues...on the exhaust, and the chain on the hull...not the biggest deal, but slightly annoying.
Even with these factors, what can I say...I have a weakness for scenarios that feature the "big cats" in the late war.  This model is a resin-and-metal Tiger II from Britannia Miniatures. I picked it up as part of a second hand offering on TMP, unable to resist a "great deal" to add some of these ominous vehicles to my budding 20mm WW2 collection. 

The sculpting of the zimmerit was well done...even showing a few spots where the zimmerit has been shot/scuffed off. Some nice character.
I was excited when I closed the deal, but it was a bit of a let-down when I received the goods. The model is OK...but it is small. It seems more like 1/76 scale than 1/72 scale (which is the stated scale of all of my 20mm Plastic Solder Company models).  It is still bigger than my PSC T-34/85s...but doesn't seem quite big enough - even though the MG34 on the cupola is as larger or larger than that carried by any of my other 20mm troops.  The size of the model just seems...off to me.  It reminds me of the feeling I get when I see 1/56 scale vehicles on a table with 28mm miniatures.

There were also some casting challenges on the hull, always a risk with resin casting. A few bubbles, a few holes here and there, and the exhausts were snapped off in shipping.

But for all these challenges, there are many positive aspects to this model too. For starters, the metal accessories all fit very, very well. That doesn't always happen with these mixed media kits. And I have to hand it to the sculptors, they really nailed the zimmerit finish on the hull.  I like the look of the zimmerit on the German tanks...makes them look even more ominous than they already are! Finally, I got a great deal on this tank (and two more which came in the lot), and at the end of the day every Winnipegger loves a good deal.

That 88mm gun, with the huge muzzle brake, looks scary as heck.
I haven't painted WW2 panzer camouflage in several years, so was pretty rusty when it came to executing on this model...but it was good to practice and get back into the swing of painting WW2 panzers in a larger scale.

That's all for now - thanks for visiting the blog, and stay tuned for more.  The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge will soon be upon us...always some fun stuff there!    

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

More Random WW2 Painting - 20mm Soviets

Some random 20mm WW2 Soviets.
I haven't posted in a while, but I have been managing to keep the paint brushes going.  For some weeks now I have been really stuck into WW2 painting subjects - this isn't so unusual overall, as I really enjoy gaming the period - but given that interest, output on that topic has been extremely sparse over the past few years.  I feel like I have been trying to make up for that in the past six weeks...and here are some more products from those efforts - some 20mm WW2 Russians.

As with the random 15mm Germans I posted earlier in the month, these models were all sitting in a big pile in a box (see photo), a thing that passes for "organization" when it comes to my hobby hoard.  I was probably "just about to paint" these back in 2015 or 2016 or something, but then tossed them suddenly away as my squirrel-like attention span was swept up into some other project.

Part of my WW2 "Pile Of Shame" - a mix of 15mm and 20mm figures and vehicles. I'm trying to clear up at least SOME of this backlog!
One thing when I move on to something and leave a project behind is that I often forget what paints I used and in which combination I used them.  So these were kind of "test models" to see if I could get back on the Soviet WW2 wagon.

A BA-64 armoured car (from SHQ) and a messenger (from PSC).
The wee BA-64 (sitting primed on my desk for years!) is an all-metal model from SHQ Miniatures. I think the scale of the vehicle is probably more 1/76 than 1/72, but I'm not 100% certain, and at any rate it is hard to tell as the BA-64 is such a wee vehicle! This little vehicle will help with scouting and some light fire support on my gaming tables.

The Russian uniform came out a bit too dark, but I was happy with the green on the armoured car.
There is also a single infantry model - this is a 1/72 plastic figure from the Plastic Soldier Company. He is not armed, but can serve as a dispatch/messenger, which can have a specific application in games like "Battlegroup" or just serve as an objective in general in many of the other systems we play.

I was trying to figure out the mix of colours I had previously used for the Russian khaki...this came out too dark.  I think I have the right colours, but not the right mix.  I'll need to keep experimenting - and write it down after I get it right!!!

T-34/85s from PSC - prepared to crush the fascists!
The T-34s are 1/72 plastic models also from the Plastic Soldier Company.  PSC had a sale a few years ago, and I must have really stocked up, because I found I have like four boxes of these things! Oh well, in just about any scale of WW2 Eastern Front game, you can always use a lot of T-34s...

I rough my tanks up a lot...maybe too much, but I like the battle-worn look.  It seems right for the Eastern Front!
The PSC models give me heartburn at times - why, oh why, are the tracks in multiple pieces?!?! But I suspect that's just me. Most people (any non-bot reading this) will not have the same challenges I routinely encounter...overall, these are EXCELLENT kits, a great value and a great way to build up a big Soviet WW2 armoured force. If you look closely, you will see I mucked up on the tracks...but, that's me - with some common sense, you'll avoid those issues easily.

And hey, paint them and muck'em up, and they're good to go!

As a bonus, these models come with two turrets, so you can use them for the earlier, more classic T-34/76 variant.  I have not painted the 76mm turrets yet, as my interests are much more late war than mid-war for now.

Curt will often refer to painting in this scale as "God's Own Scale". We all laugh - of course, all of us have our preferences for scales/periods etc - but he does have a point - I find painting the WW2 figures in this scale very, very fun! While my 15mm collection is much larger, my 20mm WW2 collection is growing slowly-but-surely.  These were great fun, and I hope to do more during the approaching Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

WWII Skirmish Gaming


The Conscripts play WWII infantry games in several scales (28mm, 20mm, 15mm, 6mm) and using several sets of platoon to battalion or larger sized rules (Bolt Action, Chain of Command, Crossfire, Flames of War, Spearhead, Blitzkrieg Commander, plus home brew).  I realized long ago that I am not going to be able to build up larger forces like several of the other fellows. The last couple of years my figure gaming has been focusing on skirmish gaming, of the science fiction variety.

Lately, I have been collecting rules sets to fight very small scale skirmish actions, from a fire team to maybe a couple of squads a side. Such rules include:

  • the updated version of Donald Featherstone's classic Skirmish Wargaming; the original book had scenarios from the Dark Ages to WWII, and the new edition includes a Lord of the Rings Third Age fantasy scenario and a sci fi scenario!
  • 5150 Star Marine; fast play sci fi rules, up to and including units of powered armour
  • Nuts! 4th ed.; WWII man to man combat, squad level and up
  • Rogue Planet; cinematic science fantasy 
  • Snipers! Duck, Dodge and Shoot; close up and personal, with one side a single sniper team or MG crew and the other side a single squad
  • One Hour Wargames; 8 sets of very simple rules for various periods, from Ancients to WW2, with 30 scenarios
  • One Hour Skirmish Wargames; diceless (uses two regular playing card 54-card decks), with historical scenarios ranging from the Napoleonic era to Cold War Afghanistan, and including Pulp Science Fiction 
  • Song of Blades and Heroes; fast-play, skirmish-level fantasy miniature system; it uses an action-point system that requires no book-keeping
  • Song of Drums and Shakos ; using the Song of Blades and Heroes engine, fast-play, skirmish-level Napoleonics

So, I have bit the bullet and started with some WWII infantry. The header photo and the one below are a 28mm female sniper team, for a small WWII Soviet force. A squad or two of infantrymen, and maybe a MMG team. These nicely sculpted figures are from Bad Squiddo Games. They have some very nicely sculpted female figures from several historical periods. From what I have read, Soviet women served in various specialist roles (medics, snipers, tank drivers, pilots) throughout the war. I used Vallejo acrylics and GW washes for 95% of the painting, with a little bit of artists' oils for details. 


Ottawa Conscript Sean traded me three squads of painted German troops for some Warmachine figs. The were long-serving toy soldiers, with some chips and dings. I fixed up the damage with the appropriate Vallejo acrylics, applied some GW washes, and re-sealed the figs with Tamiya (TS-79) semi-gloss spray. I now have a full squad of early war Germans (mostly from Foundry), a separate LMG team, and a small command element.



I have yet to paint some Artizan Designs Soviets in great coats that I have, and ordered more figs from Bad Squiddo. There's some late war Germans from Sean that also need some touching up.

Other Periods

I have a "battalion" of 24 painted French Napoleonic figures that I got when Pendragon Games closed down. I can base them on 25mm round bases. I recently ordered some 28mm plastic Prussian Line Infantry and some plastic French Hussars (some of whom will become Prussians with shako head swaps from the Prussian infantry box), from Perry Miniatures. 

Also in the long-term queue are some Fireforge 28mm Templars I purchased awhile ago, both mounted knights and on foot, that I will convert to the Order of Santiago.

I look forward to trying out some more historical periods, in small, bite-sized chunks!

What a Tanker! at Game-iToba and with the Conscripts


Game-iToba 2019

Lately I have played a lot of What a Tanker! I love its simple rules, concentrating on the confusion of fighting a tank as 3, 4 or 5 crew get in each others' way. Also, there's the low bar to entry (one tank per player).

I ran three sessions of What a Tanker! at the Game-iToba game convention (in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) back on November 9th. I brought out 1941-era tanks. Simple scenario: capture objective markers n the ground for 1 VP, and be within 6" of a fixed objective (the knocked out armoured car and command tank) for 2 VPs. I was scheduled to run two 2-hour slots, but there was interest, and the table was free, so I ran an third impromptu game! Yet again, talked myself hoarse. People seemed to have a really fun time.

Game One

Russ and Don go head to head, pitting a StuG III against a T-34 (76)

Below, Russ' StuG III moves past a disable Pz. I command tank as Don's T-34 crashes through a fence to seize an objective.


General view of the table:


Russ moves forward his second StuG; I allowed re-spawning like in a video game.


Don, having seized two objectives, moved his (Fast) T-34 toward the German command tank objective. However, by this time he was reduced to only 1 Command Die! The game ended in an exciting  draw.


Game Two
Andy, Cole, and a couple of other kids slug it out.

Below, Cole moves his T-34.


Below, Andy's Pz.IV E seizes an objective marker.


The kids in the fray.


Cole rams Andy's tank, destroying it!


One of the other kids moved his T-26 (1933) past his friend's knocked out Pz. 38(t).


Game Three: Four more bystanders got introduced to the game.

Below, the T-34 rides again. In the background is a well modeled Frostgrave table; the GM ran her game a couple of times while I was there. 


The smoke of defeat.


World War I What a Tanker!

Last Thursday, just a few days after Remembrance Day here in Canada, the Conscripts played a WWI scenario loosely based upon the tank on tank action at Villers-Bretonneux in March 1918. Dallas hosted and I facilitated the game. The rules we used came from WillieB's gaming group on the WaT! forums: https://toofatlardies.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10318

The Mk IV’s just could not stand up to the A7V’s, with their thicker armour. My own Mk IV was reduced to one Command Die, LOL!

Below, the German players; their mission was to exit the opposite (short) table edge.


Club member Frederick painted up three of the 1/56 scale tanks just that week!


Another one of the new models.


Hugh’s A7V advanced to point blank range, just before passing Dallas’ damaged tank.


Me contemplating the futility of action with only two command dice. Little did I know.


Below, Bill’s captured Beutepanzer poured a ton of fire into my hapless Mk IV.


A7V’s can be seen exiting the table...


...as the Germans win the scenario!


For the future

I have been collecting die-cast or finished, built-up models. The beautifully painted StuG III seen above came from FloZ. The great KV-2s below came from modelers in, respectively, the US and  the UK.



Thanks to Conscripts Curt and Dallas, I have unbuilt model kits for another Bandai T-34 (1941) and a Tamiya SU-122, both in 1/48 scale. There are even variants online for Arab/Israeli War and Warhammer 40K! I look forward to playing and running more of this game.