tiistai 31. joulukuuta 2013

Painting Challenge entry 3: US Airborne Rifle Platoon

Next entry into the painting challenge is a US Airborne Rifle Platoon for FoW. All of the minis are Battlefront and the resin bases Kerr & King. A few normal bases with Peter Pig scenery in the group too.

After finding out that Kerr & King has some FoW bases with dead cows and other random battlefield debris I just had to get them. Saving Private Ryan is one of my favorite films so of course the cows had to make an appearance. The bases are quite nice, but there are quite a bit of holes from air bubbles. Nothing too hard to clean, but still a bit of extra effort required. Battlefront's minis are nice for 15mm's again with good varied poses. The only gripe I really have with them are the faces which are sometimes lacking in detail compared to their plastics and some of their other metals.

For the metal parts I decided to use normal paint instead of metallics to test if it looks any better than the shiny finish of metallics. Mixed a couple of greys and blues to get a good shade and I think it turned out quite nice. These are also the first paras where I decided to paint the 101st insignia and the American flag. Looks quite nice at least from a distance.

I still have a platoon of these guys left and a mortar and machine gun section, but I think I'll hold back on them for a while or paint them in smaller groups. Painting the same damn thing on 44 tiny guys at once did get on my nerves at times.

sunnuntai 29. joulukuuta 2013

Painting Challenge progress: ACW Union Infantry

I managed to finish the Paras this morning and send pics off to Curt. While waiting for them to go online on his blog so that I can put them here too, I started the next project on the desk. We are starting an ACW campaign at my club in February with 6mm armies. It's a new period and a new scale for me so will be interesting to see how it'll go. To test paint schemes and everything else I decided to paint a test brigade (why settle for individual test minis?) first before preparing the rest of my horde.

These Baccus minis are a lot more detailed than I expected from 6mm stuff and I was positively surprised that not all the infantry blocks are identical. I've now just airbrushed the base color on and painted some pants on these guys. Around an hour of work and I've got 140 guys + some generals with jackets and pants painted. Nice to see stuff actually progressing fast, instead of the slow slugfest that my Paras seemed to be. Probably won't be that nice and fast when I start painting all the straps etc. but that's future me's problem. And I have a feeling that the bases will take quite a lot of time as they will really be the focus instead of the tiny lead men.

And as a side note, I don't know how it's still possible that I'm amazed at what women find when they are shopping, especially if there is a sale on. Apparently this bunny sitting on top of a top hat was on sale at a clothes store and it just had to be bought. Though probably it's just the same with me when I'm at the local gaming store...

lauantai 28. joulukuuta 2013

Back in business

I managed to survive the Christmas even though it was spent at my parent-in-laws for the first time. Previously we've been staying at my parents or then both of us with our own families. Some missing dishes and new Christmas traditions, but nothing too serious. No gaming related gifts, but I guess the big pile of lead from the Winter War Kickstarter is enough for a while :)

I came back to the painting table with a reinforced platoon of Flames of War US Paras. Got them mostly done during the last two days. Still missing flags and insignia and the ammo belts for the machine-guns. I also still need to paint some of the detail on the bases like sandbags, dead cows and discarded equipment.

I also finally bought the Bolt Action rulebook and the rules supplement with all the required rules for Finnish troops in WW2. Had a quick glance through on the bus ride back from the city center and some of the Finnish special rules look quite nice and quite characteristic. Some exaggeration on the Kaukopartio background info, but I guess that's minor stuff :)

tiistai 24. joulukuuta 2013

Merry Christmas!

Time to put down all painting equipment and enjoy some peace and quiet. So without going too long into stories, I'd like to wish you all Happy Holidays and may your presents be filled with tin!

Christmas in the frontlines (c)

torstai 19. joulukuuta 2013

Painting Challenge entry 2: Norse Gaels

Time for my second, or the first published entry for the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge. First one should be published on sunday when the first fortnight challenge ends.

Here we have the first half of the Gripping Beast Norse Gael starter warband featuring all the Dane Axes. Warlord, 4 Ostmen and 8 Bonnachts should allow me to play Norse Gaels with a 6 point warband when I combine these guys with my earlier Saxons. I definately like the GB minis way more than the Wargames Factory ones. No more open hand and long neck syndrome and a lot more detail. The only gripe I have with these is the amount of barefoot models. If there was something I learned in the army it was the importance of foot care. Maybe the Gallic Vikings are either pretty darn poor going without shoes, or then just really tough buggers, or then both...

I started out with a 3-color basecoat by first doing a light layer of black followed by grey at a 45 degree angle and then white straight from above. Gives a nice base to start painting over as you already have shades in place, emphasizes all the folds and shows you where all the shadows would be naturally. After that I painted all the base colors on and used GW and Army Painter inks to shade the model a bit more. This was followed by a few layers of highlights to bring out the detail. I like how they turned out especially the axe blades. The shinier blade part gives a nice contrast.

I ordered some Battleflag shield decals to make my task a little easier, but they are still on their way so I decided to paint some quick freehands that can be later covered. Tried to add a bit more variety by shading them slightly. Doesn't really show on the pics though.

Next up is a short break from painting as I'm leaving on saturday to see some relatives and I'll be coming back after christmas. So plenty of time to figure what to paint next. Fantasy Battle Chimera, 28mm Winter War Finns or some Flames of War paras.

 I really do like the second guy from the right. Nice sculpt on the face.
The fur cloak might need a slightly stronger highlight to make it pop more.

Another sculpt with nice character in the face is the one on the left.

maanantai 16. joulukuuta 2013

Painting Challenge Entry 1: Flames of War Objective Marker

Just finished my first entry for Curt's Painting Challenge. It's an objective marker for Flames of War. It's also my entry for the first fortnight challenge with the non-combatant theme. I was trying to capture the first place for a short time by getting the bonus points for the fortnight challenge, but hadn't noticed that all the bonus entries are grouped in the same post when the fortnight challenge ends. Well it was a nice mini and diorama to start the challenge with.

The resin base with the jeep is from Kerr & King and the dogs with their owner are from Peter Pig. I really like the Kerr & King bases and markers as they have nice character and are also nicely priced. Not too happy with the Peter Pig civilian as it's lacking in detail, but I had it in my bits box and it suited my idea for a mini dio.

It was quite quick to paint with my airbrush used for the ground, jeep and the wall. Army Painter inks used to shade the minis and then drybrushing and edge highlighting to bring out detail.

Next up Norse Gaels for Saga.

Winter War is upon us

Well I finally received a long awaited batch of the Winter War Kickstarter minis! The package included a full Finnish platoon and a Russian platoon without the HQ section. This pretty much covers the main pledge minis with all the stretch goals still to come. I had totally forgotten these guys when I drew up a schedule for the painting challenge, so I'll have to modify my timetable a bit and sneak some of these guys in!

Minis are quite nice especially for the price. The sculpting isn't phenomenal with the heads and arms looking a bit weird on some minis. Nothing critical though and won't be seen from a distance anyway. And there are also quite a bit of mould lines that need to be cleaned up. I guess this comes from Gavin having to cast over 400 sets of these so the moulds are under a lot of stress when they are used constantly. I'll post better pictures when I've tidied some up and based them.

On the background you can see my first entry to the painting challenge too :) An objective marker for my paras. Basecoated and the ground and Jeep have been started. Too bad that it won't get published until the fortnight bonus round ends. I was kind of hoping to get a nice lump of points with it to jump into the first place for at least a small while :)

  The Finns

The Ruskies

perjantai 13. joulukuuta 2013

Saxon Thegns

Next up on my list of completed long time WIP stuff is 16 Saxon Thegns from Wargames Factory. I originally bought these to have a cheap way to get into Saga, and cheap they turned out to be both on their price and their looks. I'm not too thrilled about the castings as they have some weird poses, terrible heads with really long necks that have to be cut down, bad detail on armor, arms too big for the weapons on the sprue, and all weapons being extremely prone to breaking apart.

Anyhow they didn't break the bank at less than 20 euros for 32 minis in a box so maybe I shouldn't complain too much. Would have wished for more spears though as only half of them can be equipped with them. I ended up trying to speed paint them. So I skipped all highlights and instead just used the army painter stuff like a dip instead of as a wash. Looks OK for gaming I guess, but I did have to go back and add highlights to the faces to make at least some part stand out a bit.

Shields are all painted as I didn't have any suitable decals for them. I did try painting some shields with animals and runes, but they just ended up looking horrible so I ended up doing everything with simple geometric shapes.

Still a some Hoplites to finish off after these fellas. Maybe tomorrow will finally be their time after waiting 3 months on the table for decals and basing :)

And the weirdest pose of the pack. Doesn't really look good with any arm options.

torstai 12. joulukuuta 2013

Nurgle Hero

Continuing to empty my desk of half-finished projects before Sunday. Earning their place in the spotlight today is a Nurgle Hero from GW. Love the mini, too bad that he probably won't be seeing that much playing time, at least whenever competitive lists come into play.

I went for the same yellowish skin colour that I used on the Gorebeast Chariot I did a while back. Started by airbrushing dark brown on shadow areas, followed by dark yellow and finally a highlight of dark yellow + light grey in about 50/50 mix. Shoulderpad painted with an airbrush too.

I decided to use this mini as a training for using the GW technical paints a bit better than I did on the Chariot and Knights. The blood effect looks a lot better now as does the slimy stuff too. The rusty parts are done with a mix of GW's Typhus Corrosion and AK Interactives Orange Rust.

I'm actually starting to think I should do the Nurgle bases as more of a autumn themed thing instead of a winter theme as I still haven't figured out a nice way of doing snow that seems right in the eyes of a Finn like me :) Baking soda + PVA glue looks quite nice, but I've heard a lot of people complaining that it turns yellow with time. Anyhow the yellow autumn grass with dark ground looks quite nice and is really fast and simple to do so I might stick with that only for those reasons too.

Anyway, here is my Nurgle hero in his natural habitat walking amidst flowers and green fields.

keskiviikko 11. joulukuuta 2013

Ready for the Challenge

I did a quick toll of the minis I was planning on painting for the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge. Doesn't look quite as bad as I feared, but still it's gonna be a busy 3 month period.

The pic is missing a whole divisions worth of ACW Union soldiers in 6mm from Baccus, but they won't need any prepping anyway so I didn't bother bringing them out. Also absent is a battalion of French line, a few Warhammer Chaos characters and a couple of minis that are going to go through heavy converting and need sculpting. If I get through this pile, I still have 6 battalions of 15mm Prussians lined up so I guess I won't be running out of things to paint. A bit ambitious, but then again you never exceed expectations without aiming way over your head.

My painting challenge goals:

  • Unit of British Hussars
  • Unit of French Dragoons
  • 2 Battalions of French Line
Flames of War:
  • German armored Company (around 20 tanks)
  • 2 British armored platoons (8 tanks)
  • US Airborne Company (around 40 stands)
  • 3 Skullcrushers
  • 2 Daemon Princes
  • 2 Sorcerers
  • Chimera
  • 12 Battalions of infantry
  • 4 Units of cavalry
  • Artillery
  • 4 VSF Buildings
  • 10 VSF Ottomans
  • 4 points of Norse Gaels for Saga
Bonus themes:
  • Non Combatant (FoW objective with a civilian and some dogs)
  • Villain (Daemon prince)
  • Vehicle (Tank(s) :D )
  • Hero (Ottoman captain)
  • Casualty (28mm French casualties)
  • Last Stand (French line under fire, or Ensign Kennedy of the 1st Royal Scots)

lauantai 7. joulukuuta 2013

Independence day and a promotion!

Yesterday was the Finnish independence day which means that half the population sits in front of the TV to see the official independence day party with around 3 hours of hand shaking by the president followed by few hours of people eating. All this is followed by huge headlines where all the dresses etc. are reviewed and all the etiquette errors are dwelled upon.

It does bring another part with it too. Reservists are usually promoted on the independence day and I too got my share! Finally got another rose on my collar and got promoted to a Lieutenant. Brightened my slightly hangoverish day after a rough company pre-christmas party. Too bad that the next promotion might be a long way away as the army is trying to save money and training for reservists is minimal.

  I also managed to finish the rest of my Sarissa buildings. Now I'll just have to wait for next week when Curt's Painting Challenge starts.

torstai 5. joulukuuta 2013

New real estate

I've been busy prepping new minis for Curt's painting challenge and clearing my table of all WIP stuff that I have (which is a depressingly huge pile with my attraction to all things shiny and new). However I couldn't resist taking a break from minis and putting together some Sarissa buildings that I got in the mail yesterday.

I ordered 4 different Gaslamp Alley buildings from Sarissa to start on a VSF gaming board to use with In Her Majestys Name and other skirmish games. Quality is excellent, but I would maybe have liked to have a bit more interior detail, but for 15-20 pounds a building these are a real bargain. They go together without any issues, as long as you put the side walls the right way round, otherwise they won't stack. I made the mistake on one of the floors and it was a pain in the butt to correct after the glue had already dried on the MDF boards.

The only real issue I had was that window details and balcony are done from a different material (fibreboard I think) which isn't as sturdy as MDF. I already broke one and I'm a bit worried that they won't last gaming. Also one of the detail parts wasn't cut into the right size so I had to trim them a bit so that they fit the walls.

On another note, I really have to take a tally on how much I'm going to paint for the painting challenge. At the moment the planned queue has around 400 6mm figures, 200 15mm figures, 20 15mm tanks, and maybe 60 28mm figures. Don't know if it will be enough to reach my goal of 1200 points, but we'll see.

sunnuntai 1. joulukuuta 2013

Battle of Austerlitz

We had a largish 15mm Black Powder game depicting the Northern part of Austerlitz with the French attempting to take Stahre Vinohrady and Prazeberg to push towards Austerlitz itself. Great game and many thanks to Juha and Antti for putting this thing together! Nice to try Black Powder with a larger battle too. Completely a different game with Corps sized armies compared to the division sized ones that we usually run in 28mm. Maybe I'll get my motivation up to paint my 15mm Prussians so I can get them on the table.

In the end the game ended up with a marginal French victory as they had control of their objectives. However Russian reserves were still mostly intact so no major gains would really have been possible.

 The battlefield

The battle began as both sides approaching the Pratzen heights. On the French left flank Lannes anchors his lines alongside Bosenitz in an attempt to halt Bagration's troops from flanking the French army.

 The Austrians reach Pratzen heights first, but are quickly counter-attacked by French colums. The slow grind for the heights would last for most of the game.

 Flanking Russian hussars are counterattacked by French light cavalry.

 With the first Austrian lines broken, the french press forward.

As Lannes's corps start to crumble under the russians superior numbers, the Guard and Heavy Cavalry move in to join the fight.

Fighting on the right flank where the French slowly grind their way through both Russian and Austrian troops.

The Guard moving towards Pratzen

 Guards hussars start the Russian counter-attack followed by the rest of the Guard

 One heavy cavalry division engages the Russians on the left flank to stop them from reinforcing the rest of the army.

 French Old Guard moves in to attack their Russian counterparts.

The battle ends with both Guards thick in the fight and the French controlling Pratzen heights

 Austrian heavy cavalry and one Russian division are still completely unengaged in the end so the battle could only be called a marginal victory for the French.