Saturday, 31 May 2014

Sturm Abteilung Vor!

If I waited for Dean to finish off the Germans he's been painting for Through the Mud and the Blood, the centenary would be over before we managed to have a game... So, I decided to paint my own, to speed things up. 

I am just kidding, but I did want some late war Germans to use for the game and as Dean is concentrating on early war Germans I bought a box of the Caesar German WW1 Army figures. They promptly arrived and I was quite impressed with the figures overall. However, they are German Stormtroops, not regular army. It appears to be quite difficult to get hold of 20mm Late War Regular Army Germans as most manufacturers concentrate their efforts on these elite units instead...

The box has 45 figures in 12 different poses, some of which are quite dynamic, including a guy wielding a trench club. However, there are a few too many trench armoured figures. Although it was used, the armour was quite rare as it was found to be too cumbersome for combat. I also found that some of the soft plastic was bent and proved difficult to bend back into shape.

I started with the first section of eight men, just as a tester. They were painted using Sidney Roundwood's late war German template as a starting point. However, I thought that the German Uniform/German Grey mix for the tunics and trousers was slightly too grey for my tastes, so I highlighted the uniform in World War Two Feldgrau, instead.

The bases were in keeping with the British units that I have already painted.

I then quickly added a second section plus two Big Men to the mix, so now I have half a platoon ready.

I did run out of usable poses in the box after putting together a third section (still waiting to be painted), so I will have to get some metal figures to add to the force. Plus I need some support in the form of Machine Guns and Mortars, so it is still far from done at the moment, but thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Five Uncle Joes and an Award

I found out last weekend Jay at Jay's Miniatures Enterprises Blog nominated me for the most prestigious of awards; the coveted Leibster Award!

Humbled by his action, but not being entirely able to work out what the Liebster Award is, here are my nominations:

Lock Up Your Sheep
Waterloo to Mons
Megablitz and More
Gaming with the Gnomies
Roundwood's World
The Games We Play
Shed Wars
The Angry Lurker

OK, now with that out of the way, let's get down to the meat of this post...

Plastic Soldier Company have recently released the late war Soviet IS-II in a five tank box. I got my 15mm set at Triples last weekend and finished them off over the week. Here they are!

There is the option to make the IS-I, IS-85 and of course the IS-II. I went for the IS-II option on all the vehicles for the simple reason that there were only about 100 IS-85s completed and the few hundred IS-Is that were completed didn't reach combat units before being upgraded to IS-IIs anyway!

As these tanks were first issued to combat units in 1944, it is reasonable to assume that they would have the white aerial recognition bands around the turrets and I painted these as though they have been applied quickly in the field.

Stowage came from Skytrex and Reiver Castings, as I am desperately awaiting the release of stowage sets by PSC (if you're reading this, I am begging you to release them, I LOVE stowage!!)

Now they just need to take to the field and duel with some big cats, but that is for another time. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

20mm First World War Indians!

Another addition to my 20mm British First World War force is this platoon (and a bit) of Indians. The plastic majority are from HaT, with metal additions from Tumbling Dice. The HaT box only has 32 figures, which is enough for a platoon, but only the other ranks. I bulked it up with Big Men and some Lewis Gunners from Tumbling Dice.

The Tumbling Dice website doesn't have pictures and my policy is, no picture, no buy. However, I did see some of their figures on the Waterloo to Mons blog and decided that they were nice enough to take the plunge. The fact that TD are the only company that make Indians in metal also swung the vote...

When they turned up in the post, I noticed that they were slightly smaller than the plastic figures.

And some of the weapons were 'interestingly' proportioned. The Lewis Gun in particular looks a bit like a length of drain pipe...

Despite this, they mix in well together and I now have five platoons.

And the attendant Big Men, two of whom appear to be throwing grenades whilst lying down...

I also bolstered the British support by the addition of this Stokes Mortar. This came from the HaT box of British heavy weapons.

So that now brings my total amount of units to three full platoons, plus some support. I may add one more British platoon to the force but that is for another day... Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Ladies From Hell!

The latest addition to my growing First World War British force are these 20mm Highlander soldiers, replete with khaki covered kilts! They are mostly from HaT, augmented with a Lewis Gun section and piper by Early War Miniatures. The HaT box comes with only 32 figures, which was just enough to create a platoon, but left me with no Big Men, so I added the EWM figures to readdress the imbalance.

Some of the HaT figures were perfect for creating sentry figures, so these were individually based.

The two chaps on the front right are EWM Scots. Although they are slightly chunkier, you can see that they fit in well with the plastic figures. All the figures, both metal and plastic, are well posed and reasonably proportioned.

The usual lack of rifle grenadiers means that I have two sections of riflemen, but I was able to put together a section of bombers from the HaT box.

As you can see, all the Ladies from Hell are wearing kilts. However, in active service these were covered in a khaki skirt, which was a good thing for me as I don't have any Tartan paint...

The Lewis gunner and his number two are from EWM and are really nice figures. I like the way that number two is reaching for the magazine drum.

And no Highlander force would be complete without the obligatory piper! Here is Wee Middenface McNulty blowing for all he is worth.

I know I should have been listening to Scotland the Brave whilst painting the Highlanders, but for some reason I couldn't get this little ditty out of my head...

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Triples 2014

I spent the morning and early afternoon over at Triples, the annual wargames show put on by Sheffield Wargames Group. It's my local show, so I always like to attend and I always end up buying things. This year was a great show actually, there was a lot of games going on and many more participation games than last year, I noticed!

As I went around the demo and participation games I took photos, here they all are with what I remember about each game. I didn't take photos of everything, but this is a selection of what was there. First up was my favourite board layout, a Franco-Prussian game set in January and on a suitably wintery looking board:

Isandlwana played out in 6mm (?). Another excellent board with correct terrain for the battle!

A shoot out in an MDF Western Town. These cheap(ish) wooden buildings ave really taken off and look excellent in a set up like this!

This fort was part of an excellent Indian Wars game.

As were the Indians canoeing up the river to attack the fort!

I met my mate McGurk at this Wars of the Roses engagement at St. Albans.

Close by, but separated by several hundred years was the fight for Stalingrad, all in 54mm!

This was some of the detailing from an Ancients game, I particularly liked the goddess statue at the top of the hill...

...and the view down from the top towards the advancing hordes!

Another Stalingrad game, this one incorporated the sewer system of the city.

Whoever had built this castle had spent a long, long time putting all the individual bricks together...

But it made an impressive set piece for a massive medieval game.

I particularly liked this Samurai battle, the buildings could be removed to reveal ruined versions below.

In the smaller room, Junkers 52s approached an enemy coast (England?)

Whilst a trench raid got underway.

And more Samurai action, with a skirmish game featuring a crawling ninja!

And more MDF buildings were mixed into the terrain in this Bolt Action game.

And just what did I buy (along with Dean and Ninjasaurus)? This stash of goodies:

The three of us finished the afternoon of with a game of Settlers of Catan, accompanied by beer and pizza. Dean won.

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