Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Team Yankee 15mm British Challenger Tanks and Harrier Jets

Fresh off the painting desk I've got a squadron of beastly British Challenger tanks from Battlefront's Team Yankee range.

I painted these in the same style as my Chieftains. Basecoated Catachan Green, highlighted extensively with Vallejo German Uniform. Camo painted with a mix of craft black and Mechanicus Standard Grey. The tank was washed with thinned Nuln Oil, then the green was re-done with German Uniform. Drybrushed all over with Ushabti Bone, then dusted up with the same. Tool handles painted Skrag Brown, machineguns and shovel blades done with Leadbelcher, fire extinguishers in Mephiston Red.

Each of the five Challengers in the box can be assembled as standard or with the upgraded ROMOR armour pack shown above. 

You also get enough alternate fuel drums to outfit the unit with those as well.

Three crew figures are included in the box as well.

As well as the alternate track skirts, you also get the ROMOR front hull armour add-on. No decals included with the box though. The Union flags were from my spares box.

Here's the standard armour configuration. Note track skirts and lack of reinforcement on the front hull.

Here's a closer look at the skirts.

Rear end sans fuel drums...

...and plain front end. I'm thinking that the Challys will be a useful addition to my British force. They're certainly worth a bucketload of points but they should be, with a front armour rating of 20 (standard) and 21 (ROMOR) and an anti-tank factor of 22 for the main gun! 

The Challengers are BIG... from left to right I've lined up a T-64, Leopard 2, Chieftain, and Challenger.

Crazy how much bigger this thing is than a Soviet T-64. Length of the Soviet tank hull is 6.54m vs. 8.33m for the Chally... looks about right I guess.

As if the Challengers weren't enough of a force multiplier, I also painted a pair of Harrier ground attack aircraft.

These are also from Battlefront... sort of. These are the new plastic kit Harriers that have replaced the previously offered resin kits. Good on Battlefront for offering plastic kits at a lower price than the old resin box, but that's not really the end of the story. The fact is that the new Battlefront Harriers are just repackaged sprues from "Ace Corporation". It's kind of funny actually... the sprues include landing gear and other parts that aren't even referred to in the Battlefront assembly instructions.

The box comes with a nice decal sheet though, including extra serials, tail flashes, and even roundels.

These two chaps should come in handy... being jump jets they can shoot at helicopters (!) and arrive on a 3+ each turn (!!)

Heh... another funny thing about the "Ace Corporation" sprues is that the canopy was obviously meant to be clear in the original (it was on a separate sprue from everything else) but in the Battlefront version it's cast in the same grey plastic.

I was thinking about getting some SU-25 Frogfoots for my Soviets and note that there are new "plastic kit" versions of those available from Battlefront now too... guess who makes a 1:144 Frogfoot kit? You got it, Ace Corporation.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Horus Heresy Battle Report and New Game Mat!

Some of the Conscripts gathered last Thursday evening for our first in-person game in some time. For a variety of reasons we decided on a Horus Heresy game - mainly because both Conscript Greg and I (especially Greg) have painted a lot of new models that hadn't yet seen tabletop action. In addition, I wanted to try out a new game mat I bought some time ago but hadn't a chance to get out for a game. So I sent out the invitation along with a request to refrain from attending if you were feeling unwell, and to wear a mask if you were coming out. And to bring your own snacks of course :-)

How good does that mat look with the ruined buildings, eh? I'm really quite pleased with this product. It comes from the good people at urbanmatz.com in the Czech Republic, and it is fantastic, a nice neoprene mouse-pad type material that rolls up fairly easily as well. It came with its own storage bag too, for a quite reasonable cost of 57.77 euros. Unfortunately the only shipping method is FedEx, and that's where the pain comes in... but let's not talk about that. They also sell some really cool pre-painted resin buildings that Conscript Dave and I have added to our terrain collections.

A few little funky touches spread around the table. The Slurm machine is a must for the thirsty Legion Space Marine.

Of course any Heresy game has to incorporate the "God Box 2.0". What a great little piece of scatter terrain.

I'm not going to go through the battle in detail... honestly, the point of the game was less to play out a battle and more just to get together and put some figures out on a good-looking wargame table.

The battle itself pitted my own IV Legion Iron Warriors against Conscript Greg's superb VI Legion Space Wolves reinforced by some X Legion Iron Hands Space Marines.
One of the big draws of the game was to get Greg's and my new Storm Eagle aircraft out onto the table. They are certainly monsters in game terms!

Loyalist dreadnoughts take out an Iron Warriors dread.

Greg's new Space Wolves Vindicator also made its first appearance. Unfortunately the Iron Warriors Havoc team posted in an upper-storey window (five Marines each with a lascannon) were able to knock it out.

Speaking of the Havoc squad, here they are...

The IV Legion Medusa siege gun never quite lives up to the hype in my mind... high strength and a good gun, but I always forget that the range is only 36".
The Iron Hands Medusan Immortals cower take cover behind the promethium pipeline, guarding the (new) GF9 Power Generators.

A closer look at the Immortals.

IV Legion command squad advances. Apothecary is visible at left... to me the Apothecary in 30K is much like Brad Marchand. If he's on your team you love him, but if he's on the other team you hate him with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns.

Iron Warriors approach an Imperial statue, as yet untoppled by peaceful protestors or otherwise.

Space Wolves Terminators teleported in to ruin the Iron Warriors' day.

Iron Warriors Siege Tyrant Terminators sought to return the favour, but their missile racks didn't quite do the massive damage they have done in past games.
Legion Medusa blown up by Space Wolves Storm Eagle.

Like I said, in the end it wasn't necessarily about playing a game, so we won't go into how badly the Iron Warriors got hosed. But it was great to get a few of the guys together, push around some figures, and oooh and ahhh about the great models and terrain. Unfortunately we seem to be on another upswing in the pandemic so I don't anticipate any in-person get-togethers again anytime soon, but we'll keep collecting, painting, and waiting for the vaccine...

In the meantime stay safe and healthy everyone!

Friday, September 18, 2020

VI Legion Vindicator for 30k

Prepare to FEEL the loyalty! A new tank arrives for The Rout!
Another 30k vehicle rolls off the painting table! This is a "Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer", an armoured fighting vehicle of the Horus Heresy in the grim and dark future. The chassis will look familiar - it is the same as the Deimos Pattern Rhino and the Deimos Pattern Predators seen in earlier posts. The "Vindicator" has been around Space Marine arsenals for a long time, but the main weapon on this variant of the tank is a little different. Instead of a huge howitzer, it's sporting a huge laser.

Yes, to come up with this vehicle, the tech adepts of the Mechanicum have taken the Space Marines' favourite APC, filled the troop compartment with scary batteries and other abominable technologies, and mounted a "Laser Destroyer" on the front.

Decals courtesy of the legion-specific decal sheets from Forge World.
In the fluff of the Horus Heresy story, these vehicles are presented as something of a stop-gap improvisation, borne of the need for more tank-destroying vehicles than there were tank-destroying-chassis available. Nonetheless, I think Dr. Evil would approve!

I love the whacky look of this thing, and while that "laser destroyer" looks plenty-destroyer-y, this weapons is a pretty "average-sized" one compared to the other weapons and vehicles in the Space Marine Legion arsenal. But there would only be so many Falchions to go around, and a Space Marine Captain in the Horus Heresy needs to take whatever armoured support can be found. Yes - 30k is bonkers!

Closeup showing the combi-bolter and command cupola for the vehicle.
This is a mixed resin-and-plastic kit from Forge World - and I must once again acknowledge the assistance in Steve B, who put this model together for me so I could get it painted.  Like the other recently-painted Space Wolf vehicles, this had been sitting primed and ready for quite some time as I worked on other hobby projects...but here we are, it's now ready for battle. Thank you Steve!

View from the top. I'm sure having those cables exposed to enemy fire isn't any sort of safety problem at all...
Still the good ol' general-pupose hatch on the back...have to access the batteries on that laser somehow, right?
The Marines of the VI Legion Astrates will no doubt be pleased to have some serious firepower now backing them up on the table. As a newly-painted tank I'm pretty sure the chances of it being knocked out the game on the first turn are relatively low...or, probably, more like 82%, but whatever. It's fun to have another tank finished off as I slowly-but-steadily balance the firepower in my 30k collection between the rebels and the loyalists. 

Ready to roll for The Rout!
Thanks for reading, and I hope you are somewhere safe and sane. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Zvezda 15mm Sturmtiger

So after a bunch of faffing around building and painting 1/72 aircraft, I felt like having a bit of a "palate cleanser"... so I got out a Zvezda model I'd bought at the new hobby shop in town, back when they opened a year or two ago.

The Sturmtiger is one of my favourite German AFVs of the late-war period. After some success with the Sturmpanzer IV ("Brummbar") armed with a 15cm howitzer, Alkett designed and had approved the "38cm RW61 auf Sturmmorser Tiger" - an assault rocket mortar on the Tiger heavy tank chassis.   

As with most 1/100 Zvezda kits the tank was quick to build with only a few parts. The one challenge I find with the "snap" kits like this is that some of the snap parts can be fragile. I ended up having to glue the track parts to the chassis.

After assembly the model was primed black and basecoated with my own Dunkel Gelb formula - in this case GW XV-88 mixed with Zamesi Desert. 

Camo was applied by lightly stippling GW Doombull Brown and Catachan Green. The tracks were painted with Vallejo Track Primer.

The main armament was a 380mm mortar firing rocket-assisted ammunition. The distinctive vents in the gun tube wall exhausted the propellant gases forward. Range of the weapon was 4,600m (!)

After the camo was laid down the vehicle was washed with Agrax Earthshade and decals were applied. The model was then weathered with sponge chipping and some dirt (GW Rhinox Hide and Mournfang Brown) brushed up from bottom upwards.

The model was quite inexpensive - I think $8.99. Well worth it.

A nice addition to the WW2 German force in 15mm. Pictured next to the Sturmtiger is a PSC Sdkfz. 251 and crew.

Until next time - stay safe everyone!