Thursday, October 29, 2020

Some More VI Legion Firepower

Rapier chassis - heavy support for The Rout.

I'm trying to pick up the painting pace a little bit as we get settled into our new house in Ontario. In conjunction with those efforts, I managed to finish off this little 30k project this past weekend - a Rapier heavy support weapon & crew for the VI Legion Astrates, the "Space Wolves". 

"Look! Over there! It's the people who approved the new blogger interface! Open fire!"

GW's 28mm Horus Heresy ranges involve a bewildering array of weapons, but one thing I do enjoy so much about the range is all of the shout-outs to the very old Rogue-Trader-era weapons and vehicles. The Rapier is very much a part of that tradition, a new take on an old-school Rogue Trader-era kit. 


The Rapier is two parts - a tracked chassis, and a scary, heavy weapon mounted on said tracked chassis. This would accompany the relevant Marines into combat to provide heavy fire support in their missions. There were two "crew" - one on the platform to operate the weapon, and a second to guide/spot/direct (and presumably take over if his colleague is knocked out of action). 

The crew wear modified Mark III power armour - the vents on their power units are positioned at a different angle, and they are sporting some manner of ranging scope/tracker on the right side of the pack.

Entire batteries of these things can accompany your 30k Space Marines into the fires of Horus Heresy battles on the table! I haven't gone that far, but I do have one of these for my Sons of Horus - I thought it best to add this second one to the loyalist side, and thus it received a VI Legion paint job over the weekend. This model had been sitting around - primed - for many months, so I'm glad to finally get it completed.

The gunner has a bit of a "lean" to him...a byproduct of my lack of careful attention to the positioning of his right arm - this odd angle was the only way to ensure the joystick was actually attached to the chassis...oops...

This particular Rapier is sporting the traditional quad-laser battery, but you can select other weapons for them. The quad-laser is a fun selection because it is A) quite scary and B) very much the classic weapon for the chassis.

Ready for action!

Thanks for visiting the blog folks - stay healthy, and stay sane! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Sukhoi SU-25 Frogfoot Attack Aircraft for Team Yankee

Team Yankee escalation continues with some Soviet aviation - a pair of Sukhoi SU-25 Frogfoot ground-attack aircraft from Battlefront (TSBX20). Greg painted a couple of really nice Frogfoots (Frogfeet?) a few years ago, and since Battlefront's come out with an updated (and cheaper!) iteration of the models that I've just finished, a bit of a compare-and-contrast might be in order.
First of all, these are the latest and greatest SU-25s from Battlefront. While Greg's planes were resin, these are injection-molded plastic model kits. Like the Harriers I posted a short while ago, I believe that the sprues themselves were procured by Battlefront from a third-party manufacturer, Ace Corporation. However, while the plastic injection sprue includes drop tanks, rocket pods, and bombs, the Battlefront box also contains a sprue of resin KH-25 (NATO: "Karen") air-to-ground missiles. 

I elected to assemble the models as they would appear at the start of a sortie, with all 10 hardpoints filled with weapons. From inboard to outboard (fuselage to wingtip) they are: drop tank, KH-25, rocket pod, rocket pod, bomb. The canopy that's included is molded in the same grey plastic as the rest of the parts so I've painted it to match the rest of my aircraft. Speaking of paint, for the record I used Zandri Dust, Rhinox Hide, Castellan Green, and Vallejo German Uniform for the camouflage, washed Agrax Earthshade and re-highlighted Zandri Dust with some panel lines put in with Nuln Oil. The underside was painted with Mechanicus Standard Grey highlighted with The Fang (ugh) and Thunderhawk Blue. The canopy was done with Kantor Blue and Temple Guard Blue. Wingtips are Warpstone Glow. Rocket Pods are Leadbelcher washed with Nuln Oil.

The box comes with a full decal sheet as well, including these funky little flashes for the tailplane.

While the box instructions advise modelers to affix a provided clear socket to the underside of the fuselage, I elected to use magnets. The one advantage of the resin planes was that there is a recessed slot molded in to accommodate a magnetized stand, whereas the injection kits have no such feature.
All in all a pretty nice box set and should come in handy in games of Team Yankee. Can't argue with the price point either - $39 CAD compared to over $60 CAD for the old resin box set. The only downside of the injection kits is a slightly more fiddly way to mount them to the flying stands - but I'll take that tradeoff for $20 per box. Plus most of the weapons are injection molded and perfect - no worries about the crappy resin ordnance that plagued Greg in his build.

Onward to the West!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Last Gasp of the Classic Space Marines

Games Workshop has released the latest version of Codex Space Marines and I decided to see what kind of army I can make out of my long dormant silver and green SM chapter. After looking through the units it became pretty apparent that, despite the vast number of units available, you're only going to be using a few of those units and they're all going to be Primaris. That's not to say that the classic marine units aren't good. It's just that Primaris are more efficient point wise and have waaaaay better guns. I don't have any Primaris, but I can read the writing on the wall and will probably collect a few at some point.

My current space marine army is a bit old, with the bulk of it dating form the late 90's and early 2000's. Now I know there are several readers of this blog who are rolling their eyes and groaning that I don't know what old is and that they have space marine armies from 1987 or that their knee swells when a new edition is about to be released! Ok, Boomer, take it easy! My stuff's still 15-20 years old which my 7 year old regards as some long lost before time. Anyway, my point is, the army's showing its age and never had a great paint jog to begin with. This led to the obvious conclusion to strip the models and repaint the entire army!  

Ancient models from a bygone era!

Why can't I focus on a project!

The army will remain an all classic marine army designed for 9th edition. I have always liked the Minotaur Chapter and Pop goes the monkey makes their chapter insignia through Shapeways. Their stuff is really creative and is higher in quality to some stuff on Shapeways. You can find just about any chapter insignia. I ended up buying enough insignia for the entire army and I managed completed my first model which is a Predator.  It still happens to be the least useful heavy support option in the codex, but it's a classic.

You can see the chapter symbols from Pop goes the monkey

Not sure how long the repaint will take, but I'll post the progress here!

Battle Fleet Gothic

 When I was in high school, Games Workshop released Battlefleet Gothic. A friend and I went in on the box together. He kept the rules while I took the Imperial and Chaos ships. He ended up buying an Eldar fleet which resulted in all our games being one sided affairs and we soon abandoned the game and moved on. The two fleets I had, were cannibalized for conversions and ultimately went missing during one of my many moves between home and University. It has only been in the last few years of searching Ebay that I learned to appreciate how stupid I was for squandering those models. Oh well, if that's the stupidest thing of done, I guess I'm in good shape. However, nostalgia for the game persisted and after locating a digital copy of both the rules and Armada expansion I decided to "acquire" a few fleets. I found the Litko made the necessary templates and counters while the order dice used in BFG are nearly identical to Adeptus Titanicus.

Ships were obviously the hardest part since GW hasn't supported the game in years and Ebay is charging a fortune. Luckily, others have stepped in to fill the void. Many of the ships I purchased were from Vanguard Miniatures in the UK. They make great looking Imperial proxies complete with side mounted batteries and launch bays. I decided to make a Space Marine chapter fleet and Imperial Navy fleet. The chapter would be the Executioners who were on the side of the secessionists in the Badab War. During the conflict they specialized in attacks on Imperial shipping and used a modified cruiser named the Night Hag as their flag ship. The Imperials would represent Battlefleet Solar. 

For the more iconic ships like the Battlebarge and Retribution Battleship, I went with Shapeways. I'll rank those models as fair. They won't win any awards, but they're fine as game pieces. Here are some photos of the fleets. I still have two ships to go for the Executioners including the Night Hag!

Yet another gaming option once gaming resumes.

Shapeways Battlebarge

Vanguard Miniatures gothic ships

Vanguard Helian Dreadnought

Good proxy for a Mars Battlecruiser

Shapeways Retribution Battle Ship

15mm Waffen-SS Infantry from Peter Pig

Lots of painting going on lately at Conscript Towers, and one of the things I've been trying to do is get models painted that have ben languishing for some time. My wife gave me these 15mm Peter Pig Waffen-SS troops a few Christmases ago and they'd been sitting in primer for a couple years... but the recent purchase of the excellent "Colours of War" book from Battlefront got the juices flowing again for painting WW2 in 15mm.

You'll note, of course, that these guys are individually based (i.e. NOT for Flames of War) and this was quite deliberate... Conscript Greg has single-based WW2 forces and I wanted to have some figures for the odd Bolt Action game in 15mm, hence this basing decision. I have some US paratroopers as well and the grand plan is to base them individually as well, allowing some D-Day or Market Garden battles against the Waffen-SS.

The Piggies are pretty good models, albeit maybe not as chunky as Battlefront's Flames of War range. I followed the Waffen-SS camo guidance in the Colours of War book, using MSP Driftwood Brown as the base, painting random shapes and dots over top with GW Caliban Green, and filling in the shapes with GW Warpstone Glow. Turned out OK after being washed with the ubiquitous Agrax Earthshade.

Here's a good look at how the camo came out. I used Vallejo German Uniform for the trousers and random tan yellows for the webbing and breadbags. Rifle furniture and waterbottle covers are Mournfang Brown.

The boss (for now)... some Battlefront miniatures are on the way to supplement these guys. A couple of MG42 medium machineguns will add some supporting firepower as well.

Here's the group - should be enough for a reasonable game of Bolt Action I reckon. Next I'll get at the Paratroopers from the Open Fire! Flames of War box - this also contained German infantry, a couple of StuG IIIs, and a bunch of Sherman tanks that I'll paint as British. 

Well that's it for these guys, hope everyone is staying healthy and sane :-)

Monday, October 19, 2020

Some Small Figures, A Big Move

10mm Prussian Infantry from Pendraken.

It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything, so good to get back into a bit of the blogging and painting pace a bit with this entry. These are 10mm Prussian infantry for the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. The figures and flags are from Pendraken, purveyor of top-shelf 10mm figures. 


Prendraken make fantastic castings for this scale.

Most of the figures are wearing their coats, but two of bases feature infantry with the coats rolled around their chests, an image from the war that is more common. If you stare closely (sorry about the crappy photos), you will see I painted coloured facings on some of the coats. Ooops! Not sure what I was thinking there...anyway, it adds a little variety and once a whole bunch of these fellows are out on the table you don't really notice anyway. 

These two bases in the forefront feature Prussian infantry wearing their coats wrapped around their chests...the rest in the background have the troops wearing their coats.

These bases are useful for all sorts of rules, from the utterly perplexing "Polemos", to the excellent "1870" to the tried-and-tested "Black Powder". The base could represent anything from a couple of companies to a regiment, depending on the level and scale of battle one is looking to represent on the table. For my initial 10mm battles I will be looking to use each base as a single battalion of infantry, so a regiment would, on average, be comprised of three bases. But over time I hope to try different rules and different battles. It will be fun to experiment!

The Prussian "needle rifles" will be ready for action!

I have now painted enough 10mm Franco-Prussian stuff for a small game - specifically, the Battle of Wissembourg. Who knows when we will get a chance to play it? The public health restrictions related to COVID continue to increase in many areas of North American, including Winnipeg. But there is one additional wrinkle...that would be the reason my painting progress has been so non-existant for the past several weeks. This photo should explain it:

Thanks for everything, Winnipeg!

Yes, I have moved - or, as I believe they say in the UK (and possible elsewhere), "moved house". The reasons are good ones, linked to a career opportunity at my firm. After having lived my whole life in Winnipeg, this summer we put our house on the market, bought a new house in Ontario, and then prepared for the move, which took place at the end of September. 

Moving is a very stressful experience - I don't know anyone who ever enjoyed it. Moving a long distance is particularly stressful, and I must say coping with the clowns and cretins at the moving company, the various and sundry contractors, lawyers and other nonsense has been particularly trying. We are only now just starting to get our heads above water again, settling in to our new house - and I have been able to find some time to paint! We love our new house and new location very much, but wow...this has been hard.

And, of course, none of this is good for the hobby collection/hoard. Like many gamers, I have access to an assortment of foam trays and containers to allow for the safe transport of quite a few figures over to another house or location for a game. But there was no way I would ever have enough of that stuff to move all of my collection at the same time - and as it was, email inquiries out to various suppliers were for nought, as many are either disrupted by COVID or simply don't reply to emails (step up, KR Multi-case). Things had to happened so fast - and, because of COVID, kind of had to happen very fast - that 1-to-1 scale sadly needed to take priority, and many, many hard hobby decisions were made. On the plus side, many items from my collection made their way to new homes with friends, which is great - if stuff has to go, best for it to go to a good home :) I need to recognize and thank Byron, Dallas and Mike for their help this summer as I made crash preparations to get the house ready for the market and the collection as transportable as it could be...


And of course the cretins at the moving company made it difficult. I packed things up with as much care as I could, but they found ways to damage them regardless, tilting and tossing assorted boxes marked "fragile", knocking over a pile of boxes filled with my 28mm Franco-Prussian War collection, which I had PUT ASIDE so I could move them myself...they didn't even make it safely out of the basement! Sigh...

Anyway, the unpacking is now underway, and I will continue to make repairs where I can as I settle into the new house. I will very much miss my gaming friends - I am SO glad we managed to cram one more game in during the relative COVID respite in late summer. But I will be back in Winnipeg often to visit - and the web is a great tool to stay connected and stay in touch, and I will lean on it very much to do so. 

So thanks everyone - stay safe, stay healthy and stay sane!  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Tamiya 1/48 M8 Greyhound and Winter GIs

Well, it's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and last year at this time, we had a foot of snow on the ground... thankfully it's pretty nice here still this year (I cleaned the leaves out of my house gutters today) but we know that winter is just a matter of time. 

When I posted about the Solido M20 Command Car and winter Sherman I threatened to post again with the entire army, and it's only taken seven months :-)  Most of the infantry are from Artizan Designs.

These are supplemented by a command squad from Bolt Action, that I've posted about before.

I also augmented the Artizan troops with a veteran Bolt Action squad. All of the models in the army are metal.

Lots of .50 cal. "Ma Deuces" in the force... along with one tripod-mounted HMG, there's also one on the Sherman, one on the M20 armoured car, and one on the Greyhound.  

A couple of Artizan .30 cal. MMG crews in the force as well.

The latest addition prompting this post is the completion of this Tamiya M8 Greyhound.

Turned out pretty good. I also added resin wheels and tirechains from Black Dog (, a manufacturer based in the Czech Republic. The fit was absolutely flawless and a really easy conversion to make.  

I left off securing the front and rear fenders to the model until after I'd painted the wheels. The paintwork was done the same as on the M20 and Sherman - Catachan Green basecoat, Rakarth Flesh stipple followed by White Scar. Done! 

The crewman required a bit more thought. The crew model was supplied in the Tamiya kit but the pose was kinda boring - just holding a pair of binoculars in front of his chest. So I pinched a pointing arm from a handy Bolt Action plastic US Infantry set and added that.

Now, how to secure him in the turret? Magnets to the rescue of course... I superglued a 5mm rare earth magnet to the crewman's feet...

...and stuck a corresponding magnet on the top of the seat in the bottom of the turret (see next pic)

You can just see the magnet on top of the seat in this pic. It actually worked really well; the crewman stands up nice and straight and is quite secure.

A couple other models added to the army... first a .50 calibre machinegun team. This one is from Warlord's Bolt Action range and is actually a weird little set. You get these very useful crewmen for the .50, but the pack also contains two other oddballs, one of which is warming himself over a fire (!)

I haven't painted the other two models from the pack yet.

I also got a couple of .30 cal. MMG teams from Artizan. They should come in handy in a game, if these guys ever get to see the tabletop.

Hope you enjoy the post and stay healthy, friends.