Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Two Riders Were Approaching

You may recall that a while ago Warlord had a 50% sale on their Judge Dredd lines. Well, I was fortunate enough to get to the website before a DDOS attack took it out for the afternoon, and I bought quite a few bits and pieces for my latest Dredd project. One of the sets I got on the cheap were two judges on Lawmaster motorcycles and I recently had the chance to paint them.

The first is a male street judge:

The colour scheme was pretty simple, but being such big beasts they still took a while to paint.

The detail is nice and sharp and there wasn't much mould flash on the models.

The second was a female judge waving her Lawgiver around like she just don't care.

The figures came in two parts, legs and torso, so I painted the bikes, attached the legs and then the torso so that I could bend the handlebars to fit their hands.

Both were painted in the comic-book style rather than with 'true' metallic colours. I also mounted them on bases of plasticard to give them some stability.

So, with Old Joe himself, that gives me three Lawmasters, not bad at about five pounds each!

Three is enough for my needs as I would only be using them for skirmishes on the streets, and it makes a nice little street patrol.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

15mm Soviet SU-152s

The other Zvezda kits I picked up at the Derby World Wargames was three SU-152s. I wasn't aware that Zvezda had produced these, so it was a nice surprise to see them. They were easy to build as well, having only a few parts each.

They are nice chunky models with lots of details that are sharp. I put stowage on the rear plates to round out the builds. The stowage came from various sources.

As with all my Russian tanks I painted them in my usual minimum way, most Soviet vehicles didn't have recognition markings, so neither do mine. One has been marked with a patriotic slogan to mark it out as the commander's vehicle.

As another addition to my 15mm Late War Soviets, these 152s will be very useful for knocking on Hitler's door in Berlin...

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

2mm Urbanisation

I have not been consistent with my painting output recently, flipping from one scale to another, but I am just trying to tidy up some projects and get stuff out of the way. That s why I recently finished off the last of the Brigade Models' 2mm houses for my Blücher games.

It is another village square, this time with no church. I was using up the last of the buildings for this tile and there are no ecclesiastical ones left.

So that brings my final total of bases to four (plus the two farmhouses), which when put together look like this.

As three tiles equals a city, I have enough for two towns, four villages or one city, easily enough for most games. And should I need more, I know where to get them from now!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The Big Boys Come Out To Play

Back at the Derby World Wargames show, I picked up some Soviet tank-destroyers from Plastic Soldier Company's stand. They are some of the new Zvezda 1/100 kits and I got two SU-100s and three SU-152s. Last weekend, I was able to paint the SU-100s in between 2mm buildings and 28mm Judge Dredd things! Here they are:

As with Zvezda's kits these are nice but require a little bit of construction. They are snap together so it's pretty simple really, but I was left with a few gaps here and there. It's not massively noticeable, but a slight bug-bear.

I also find the plastic of these kits to be very soft and the small bits to hold the pieces on the sprues are usually in what I would consider the wrong place, which makes cleaning them up a bit of a task.

Having said that, they are very nice little kits, they paint very well and the detail is very crisp and clear. With the expansion of the range and low prices, Zvezda are a great alternative for the 15mm market.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 11 November 2016


Langemark German Cemetery

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

QMG: 1914

Last Wednesday I got my Kickstarter backed copy of Quartermaster General: 1914, the third QMG game, set in... wait for it... the First World War. The Kickstarter was headed by Plastic Soldier Company, who had already produced the game, but I guess were looking for funding to manufacture it. 

The package arrived on Wednesday, but being away at work until Friday I wasn't able to get my grubby hands on it until last Saturday. The Kickstarter included a Britons Need You mousemat and a First World War aircraft recognition chart, both a bit superfluous to the actual game, but nice. Also there were some metal gaming pieces, which were a much better addition.

And then on Monday, I had a chance to try it out with Dean who called over for a game. He took the Central Powers of Germany (grey pieces) and Austria-Hungary/Turkey (dark red/light red) and I had the Entente of Russia (white), France/Italy (dark blue/light blue) and United Kingdom/United States (brown/green). Each power has its own deck of cards, with some for the smaller states (Turkey, Italy, America), so you can build the armies and navies of those powers as well. The board starts off pretty sparse, with just a few pieces scattered across it, but that will soon change... (note the cups)

Each turn is divided into phases in which you can Draft a card from your draw deck, with which you are able to create an army or navy later in the turn. You then Play a card, such as an event, use economic warfare or build or battle with your armies and navies. A few turns in, the Austrians had begun spreading across the Balkans, whilst Britain pushed her navies out into the Mediterranean. At this stage Germany and France were both quite weak and had yet to begin expansion.

After the Play phase comes the Attrition phase, which strikes at your opponent's deck of cards and reduces them, limiting their abilities and eventually damaging their score. Then we have the Prepare phase, which is a very important aspect of the game. This involves you laying cards face down on the table that may be triggered by future events such as sustaining a land battle, or defending against attacks. This is where the beauty of the game lies and what makes it period-specific for the First World War. Operations on the Western Front were undertaken with a lot of preparation, the build up of material and men gave rise to the massive casualties. This is what comes to the fore in the preparation phase, for example, Britain wasn't able to launch a large offensive really until 1916, half-way through the war and playing as Britain it took me a long time to build up enough supply lines to even land troops in France before being able to attack Germany.But by then I had prepared several cards for the forthcoming offensive.

However, even with the help of the Americans in northern France, there were no less than three massive assaults on the German forces that proved fruitless. For all the prepared cards I was able to play against him, Dean's Germans had prepared defences to thwart my efforts. However, this was the point of the attritional aspect of the game. Every time I fought him, he was losing cards by playing them as defence. So, although I was not gaining ground, I was in fact, weakening his overall defences, just as happened to the German army in 1918 through years of attritional warfare.

Another aspect that rung true from the real war was the destruction of Russia, I ran out of cards from their deck towards the end of the game which rendered them all but useless. My mistake was not really using the initial cards I had been dealt properly and hoping for build armies and battle cards, which didn't come. In future, I will use Russia to deal a blow to the Central Powers through economic warfare whilst I whittle away at Germany on the Western Front with France and Britain. In our game, the Germans reached and captured Moscow, but were being attacked on the Western Front and this is how the board looked on the final turn of the game:

With the fall of Russia and failures on the Western Front, I lost the game 41 points to 57, a clear win for the Central Powers, but no less entertaining. There was a lot to think about and the first few moves saw us puzzling over just what was best for each of the powers, however, it didn't take long to get into our stride and remembering each phase became a lot easier. That is also about the time that the game 'clicked' with us and I regretted the fact I had spent a lot of time preparing cards that didn't really have much use in the end. It is one of those games that benefits from the players knowing the cards in their deck and how to capitalise on the ones they have in their hand.

As for period feel, this game has it in buckets. If you have played Quartermaster General then this is a slightly more rounded out version, and it feels as it is based on Operational level warfare rather than Strategic warfare (which QMG is). The key is to get a strategy early on and stick to it, make sure that all your preparations are aimed towards that goal. As I said, it felt correct for the period. If I had started my attacks on Germany sooner, I think I would have been able to swing the game more towards me, drilling down their cards and forcing them to remain on the back foot. Time will tell in another game, but for the first one, it was excellent. 

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

I Am The Law!

The other week Warlord had a 50% sale on their Judge Dredd lines, it was mentioned on The Wargames Website that they may be shifting this line of figures to someone else. Luckily, I was able to get on to the site before the DDOS attack that affected the east coast of America took the site down and I bought a few sets. One of these was Judge Dredd on his Lawmaster bike, a bargain at only £7.50! 

It is a big and hefty piece and is very heavy, especially as I am more used to plastic these days! But the mould lines are clean and sharp, the detail is good and the overall character of the comic version of the bike is kept.

It was a pretty simple job to paint, but took a while, given the size of the vehicle. I painted the armour and gold/yellow in the same way as the other Judges that I have.

Overall, I am pleased how it has turned out. I put it on a small plasticard base to improve the balance.

The colours came mainly from references in the comics themselves, but there is obviously always some artistic license, so as long as the colour scheme works, anything goes.

In the Warlord sale, I also bought two more Judges on Lawmasters. However, it'll be a while before I get them finished, indeed, even started, but stay tuned for when I do!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Digging the Trenches

Back at the Derby convention, you may recall that I bought a trench section from Early War Miniatures. It was one of their miscast sections. To be honest, I can't see what is wrong with it apart from a slight crease in the base of the trench and as it only cost me £2, it was a bargain as far as I can see. Now I work part-time I am able to paint a bit more on my down-days, so I finished off the section:

It was painted exactly the same way as I had done the other trench sections that I also bought from Early War Miniatures, the blog post on this is HERE.

Also, on Sunday, at Fiasco, I bought some EWM craters, at only £6.50 for thirty craters this was another bargain. These were also finished off quickly and you can see them around the trench section alongside one of my original trenches:

This was a quick job for both the trench section and craters and has added a bit more scenery to my Square Bashing and Through The Mud and the Blood projects. 

Thanks for looking!
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