Tuesday, 30 July 2019

On yer bike!

A quick post, but I know everyone out there is definitely on tenterhooks to see what I've done in the last couple of days. So here you are...

Vrooom!
It's a WW1 motorcycle messenger!

This is another model I've had lying around for a long time, that I started painting while I was waiting for the 7TV Pulp box to arrive. It's part of a pack from Great War miniatures that I picked up years ago when I first started VBCW.

Parp parp!
I've deliberately not flocked the base in the hope it'll look like it's on a muddy road. I'm not really sure how well that's worked though, so I might give in and flock it later.

Anyway.

Here are some numbers! You'll notice that one of them has gone up slightly since last time. Huzzah!

Acquired: 126
Painted: 37

I'm only 89 behind now! This is getting close now.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

More Perishables!

I said last time that there would be another blog post about pulp models, since I approached the 7TV Pulp day by just painting anything vaguely appropriate I had lying around and then figuring out a cast later.

Time to make good on that threat. I give you... the extended Perishables!

Today's photography problems include
very poor lighting and a somewhat greasy lens
In order to spin this post out into something that seems vaguely worth writing, here are the models I've added...

A saboteur
Pretty sure this chap was an Artizan Designs model, from some packs I got when I was first playing Bolt Action and using partisans. I never really had a use for these models before now, and having seen the 7TV Pulp rules... I still don't.

This model pairs nicely with this one...

A man with a plunger!
The detonator bloke comes from the same pack, and feels like it might somehow be more useful in a game, but so far that hasn't come up.

Moving swiftly on...

Lovely boater
I also got this fella when I was building up the partisans and needed people with pistols - at the time I decided he was just too gangster-y. The hat in particular is a nice touch on this model, but unfortunately I can't remember who made it.

Next!

Two guns!
This is a Pulp Miniatures figure, from a pack that I think I got (again) for the partisans. The photo is terrible, but I was trying to do this as a 20's US uniform, since I imagine the Perishables to be a mishmash of ex-military people from anywhere.

From the same pack there was also this amazingly-square jawed pilot:

Have you seen a plane anywhere?
This photo is even worse, but if you could see him you might be able to tell that I've tried to give him a British uniform. I also have a WW2 RAF pilot that I got from Partizan a while back, who is pulling an almost identical pose. I might paint that one too at some point, presumably as someone to capture or something.

Then we move onto someone strangely sinister...

*shudder*
I think he's from the same pack as the pilot, and is fiddling with a knife in a very creepy way. He's another one that I've not yet worked out an appropriate 7TV card for, but I'm sure I can crack that.

Last but not least...

The Brigadier! He's another freebie from Partizan, joining two others that were already in the cast.

So, we've made it to the end of a series of very low-quality images. What's that done to my painting scores?

Acquired: 126
Painted: 36

I'm only 90 away from breaking even, so that's something. Not something good, but something.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Introducing the Perishables!

Well, it's been three months since I last was organised enough to post anything here, but now I have something to push me to do it - a new cast for 7TV, to coincide with the arrival of 7TV Pulp!

To pull this together, I raided my lead pile to find anything vaguely appropriate. I had the idea of creating a band of mercenaries in the mould of The Expendables, but set in the 1930's - so a variety of uniformed and non-uniformed cast members, but all with a military theme. 

I also got slightly excited at Partizan, and bought a pulp miniatures film crew for reasons that don't necessarily make sense.

Once I had that, and a billboard kindly donated by Kieron, I was pretty much duty bound to make a scenic base to keep it all on. And thus, the Perishables were formed...


 All of this was kicked off by the announcement of the Wargames Illustrated 7TV day for this year, which was held last weekend at Wargames Foundry.

To be honest, pulp isn't a genre that I've ever been particularly excited by. So it really was the strength of the 7TV Apocalypse day last year that drove me to pick up the Pulp version of the game and pull a cast together for it.

This year's was, if anything, even better, so I'm very glad that I did! We were each assigned to either Hydra or the Strategic Scientific Reserve to give an overarching theme to events. As a group of hopeless goody-goodies, the Perishables were on the SSR side.

On the day I played three games. The first, against Adrian's cultists, saw us scrapping over the components of a potential super weapon. Particular highlights for be were a scuffle between two spies on a cliff top, that was eventually resolved by my man shooting his opponent in a the back, and my completely forgetting to collect one of the objectives that I'd carefully deployed in front of until the end of the game.



Largely though, this was an object lesson why it's better to bring a gun to a knife fight if possible, as my rifles gave me something of an edge against cultists holding scary blades. I was thus able to snatch 4 objectives to my opponent's 3. All of which would have been more impressive if I'd actually won, but thanks to my failure to seize the McGuffin, I didn't.



Second, I was up against Matt's mobsters, attempting to capture a secret super weapon production facility, deep in the jungle. It's fair to say this went somewhat better, as a timely cliffhanger card combined with the gangster's positions to allow my rugged veteran to mow down half of the opposing cast in a single turn. I reduced Matt's mob to just the crime boss  (and I probably could have finished him off too if I'd remembered to steal the scene) and grabbed the lab too, but I can't claim this was due to tactics so much as pure blind luck at the right time.


The third and final game was where things got serious. The super weapon had been assembled, and the Perishables needed to destroy it before it could rain terror onto an unsuspecting populace. I was up against Simon's very nice gangster cast this time, and Simon made good use of cover to form two firing lines that covered every possible approach to the weapon. This made things very difficult, but I was able to combine stealing the scene and heaping almost all my plot points on one action to stagger through with the rugged veteran and plant the bomb. The mob boss made a stab at defusing it, but couldn't pull it off and so the Perishables saved the day!

The terrifying super weapon is just visible through the trees...

So, my results were a loss that I thought I'd won, and two wins that I'm not at all convinced I deserved. That's the wonder of 7TV, and part of the reason I enjoy these days so much. The game doesn't lend itself to competitive tournament-style play, so mostly people just revel in the glorious daftness of it all. It's a lot of fun.

Also, there were a few freebies and I managed to win some prizes by coming something like 4th in the overall rankings (there were a lot of prizes). After a bit of horse trading with Kieron, who also had some prizes, I ended up with 66 new models, so that's not going to have helped my painting totals enormously.

Incidentally, we'd been asked to provide a super weapon, and I struggled a bit for ideas. This is how I ended up with the terrifying spectacle of the board with nails in it...

Fearsome!
I wanted to get started early so I actually painted several more models than you see here. The rest are awaiting bases, but I've cunningly left a few spaces on the scenic base that I can slot them into. So that will be my next bit of work here, which you can expect to see here in another three months or so. 

Right then, painting scores. It's been months, so you'd expect a fair amount of movement in the figures, and indeed that's what we find.

Acquired: 126
Painted: 29

Right. Something of a mountain to climb there. The remaining pulp figures should help a bit, but it looks like I need some more quick to paint but numerous stuff to try to bring this under control. I'll see what I can do! 

Saturday, 13 April 2019

It's Another Tank. A French One. I bet you're surprised.

As I banged on about some time ago, Pete and I have spent actual years getting ready to play the linked Fall of France scenarios from the Germany Strikes! Bolt Action book. Last week we finally got going and played the Battle of Orp scenario - a battle based around French Somua S35's and a variety of German tanks.

It did not go well for me.

So, let's ignore that, and press on. The next scenario is the Battle of Stonne, which, as if to bolster my chances, is based around the much more interesting Char B1 bis.


I'd already got two of these slightly weird (much longer than they are wide!) monsters painted, so I needed to add a third.


Fortunately, I had one waiting - a Warlord Games resin version that I've had waiting in the garage for an almost embarrassingly long time.


It went together very easily. That in itself was something of a surprise, as it turned out that on the first attempt I'd managed to put the *&#@ing tracks on the wrong way around. I discovered this when I was looking at one the versions I'd already done so I could confirm where the transfers should go. I was of course thrilled that I'd get the chance to remove the tracks, reverse them, and then repaint about two thirds of the model to get the camouflage to line up again.

Sigh.


Anyway, I'm pleased with the result, and having three of these on the table will be interesting.

On the night, Pete's 88 is likely to be my biggest problem (again) - it'll have relatively little trouble getting through even the very thick armour of these things, and they're slow, so I might very quickly be looking at three burning tanks.

Still, we'll find out! Onward to victory!

Right, scores time. This is going to suffer somewhat from the arrival of the 7TV Apocalypse stuff, but lets have a look.

Acquired: 34
Painted: 4

That isn't quite the "pulling it out of the bag" that I hinted at last time. Err... I'll try to sort that out.

Bye then!

Friday, 15 February 2019

Towing the Line

We're a month and a half into 2019, and I'm only half a month late with my first "monthly" post. This is going... not "well", exactly, but maybe "close to adequate".

So let's crack on. In 2015, Warlord released the Germany Strikes! book, which Pete and I acquired almost immediately. Now, just 4 short years later, we're in danger of actually playing one of the scenarios.

We're planning to tackle the battle of Orp first. It's a tank battle so requires both forces to be entirely mobilised, and the French force also needs to be based around the Somua S35.

I already had two S35s, from Blitzkrieg miniatures, which I painted back in November. I needed one more, and fortunately I had one from Warlord that I'd had lying around for an embarrassing amount of time.


Painting this made me wish I'd gone for Warlord models for the other two!


It's a much more detailed model, and was also a lot easier to paint. I think this is mainly because it wasn't so heavily caked in release agent as the Blitzkrieg versions. It scales with them fine though, so I'm happy to use this as the command tank and claim it's a slightly different model or something.

Then, I needed to tow some guns around, so I got myself a couple of Laffly W15T tractors.


These are from Mad Bob Miniatures. They're nice clean casts but don't come with crew, so I've used spare tank commanders - not quite the right uniform, but it seems reasonable that a tank platoon would round up spare drivers from tank crews if they were short handed.

I've also added the machine guns to these. It seems like that would be a very useful thing to have on a vehicle that will hang around some otherwise very exposed artillery crews.


I didn't have any French machine guns I could use for this, so I carried out careful analysis of the available options... and then thought "sod it" and ordered some Japanese weapons so I could chop at Japanese machine guns. I also fiddled about with bipods to make some mounts - these would be improvised mountings anyway. The end result seems reasonable, provided people don't look too closely or think about it too hard.

I'm happy with how this all turned out, which is all to the good as I'll probably lose the actual game. So what's happened to my all-new 2019 tally?

Well, I got some stuff for Christmas, and I've been to Vapnartak where I encountered fantastic special offers...


... so I'm not into the black quite yet:

Acquired: 16
Painted: 3

There's more to come, too, as the 7TV Apocalypse kickstarter gets closer to delivery. I'll need to pull something out of the back for next time.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Hasty Wrap Up of 2018

Hello once again!

Hey, remember when I last posted, and said I had two things to post about so I'd split it in two? No? Well, that's not really surprising since it was more than a month ago. Whoops.

Since I never got that posted, and since then I've painted some stuff on a third project, and it's now a new year, I'll abandon my original plans and sort of smush everything together as one. This gives me some chance to clear the backlog and start afresh, staying on top of things this time.

The Hobbit Goblins

Right, first things first. In our gaming group, we had a brief flurry of interest in the new version of the Games Workshop Middle Earth Battle Game (I think it's called that, or something like it anyway (if only I was on the internet and could look this up)).

Five goblins!

A further five goblins!

Surprise! Five more goblins!

All together now
This prompted me to dust off the Escape from Hobbit Town box I bought several years ago, and I blasted through 15 of the goblins before getting sidetracked again.

In the event, I enjoyed painting these models more than I expected to. They're single pose plastics, which normally I don't like, but it had the advantage of making it much quicker for me to get stuck in to painting. They're reasonably detailed, which I didn't really spot looking at the bare sprues - slapping on some paint showed things up so they were nicer models than I'd thought. It also helped that I'd deliberately worked out a very simple paint scheme for these using Vallejo paints:

Skin - German Camo Beige
Loincloths, straps, weapon handles and pupils - German Camo Black Brown
Hair - Neutral Grey
Bone, eyes, teeth and highlights in hair - Sky Grey
Metal - Gunmetal Grey

I gave the whole thing a brown wash too to pick out detail, and it worked well enough. In fact I was all set to blast through the whole set, but then...

15mm WW2 Terrain

Every year at Christmas we do a big game with the four of us taking part, over the course of a day. This year we opted for the Berlin scenario from the Bolt Action Tank War supplement. We played this at a somewhat insane 9600 points per side, which came about as we played in 15mm and used our Flames of War forces.

I'd had some urban terrain at this scale kicking around for something like 15 years (there's a scary thought) so I figured it was now or never and dove into it. This was clearly a stupid thing to do as it was a lot of effort and it'll probably be a very long time for I use any of that stuff again, but it was nice to paint up something I'd been holding on to for ages. Plus, you never know, we might start that 15mm Tank War campaign we've been talking about forever.

In the spirit of getting this post actually published, I'll go without photos of the terrain specifically for now, but I took a few pictures of the game itself. As might be expected, this was carnage - even on an 8 foot table and at 15mm, we had so many tanks that a lot of bunching up took place, and both sides had rocket launchers available as well as lots and lots of guns. Kieron wrote up a proper report on the game so you should read that, but it was an amusing affair which is the main thing. We also won, which is of course excellent.

The table, before things kicked off

Pete doing some planning "Hmmm, that seems like a good hill to
have lots of my tanks explode on"

The master of disguise maintains his low profile

A shot from early in the game. The lines didn't move
much as time went on, but lots of vehicles exploded

The middle ground - pretty much everything
in this section was wiped out by the end

The end of the game!
A victory for the Germans, but a costly one...


Wrapping Up the Year

Okay then, the important stuff! I've been diligently tracking numbers of models I've acquired against those I've painted, and for 2018 that's worked out really well. Totalling up the stuff I've painted recently and the 4 boats I got on the covers of Wargames Illustrated, I end up at:

Acquired: 34
Painted: 135

That seems pretty conclusive! I think the main reason for success here is just that I've bought such ridiculous mountains of obviously surplus models in previous years. I certainly took on new projects - Middle Earth, Post Apocalypse Top Gear - but generally I could do these with models that I already had so didn't need to buy more.

I'm going to try and keep that up for 2019. There are things I want to do - 7TV Apocalypse should arrive in the next couple of months, and there's a Pulp day for 7TV in the summer - but with the models I have on the way already and the bountiful lead pile in my garage, I ought to be able to address those without gaining too much more new stuff.

One thing I definitely want to do more of in 2019 is posting here. It's a bit of a weird one (I don't think anyone really reads this) but keeping a tally of what I've done and roughly when I did it is interesting and a bit of a motivator - it's nice to have things to write about. I might go back to an earlier version of things, and try for monthly updates - recently I've been hanging on to try to theme posts together, normally with the result that I don't post anything at all.

I'm going to have a think about projects, too. I can think of several that I'd like to do, some much easier than others. I'm going to try to figure out a sensible way of approaching things (and then almost certainly not actually do that) as it would be nice to finally get some things finished off.

Right, that's it. This post was pretty rambling and unfocused, but I've cleared the decks - so roll on 2019, let's get stuff done! 

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, 29 November 2018

My triumphant return

Right, hello everyone, thank you for waiting.

*Checks watch*

*Winces*

*Checks calendar*

Well, that's somewhat embarrassing, it appears to have been almost four months since my last post.

This makes my previous ISIHPIAP relevant. I can only apologise.

Anyway, while I've been slacking on the blog front, my paintbrush has been active at least. If it's alright with you (and, hell, even if it isn't), I'll split things across two posts as I've done stuff on two different projects. When will I get around to writing the second post, you wonder forlornly? Yeah, that's a problem. Errr, sorry.

Right, that's enough of this contrived imaginary conversation nonsense. On with the first set of painted stuff, which turns out to be for everyone's favourite, my WW2 French force for Bolt Action. Pete and I have gone back to Bolt Action recently and we're working up to doing some of the tank battles from the Germany Strikes book.

That needs me to have more armour and transports, so that's what I've mainly been working on, which gives me...

2 Char B1 Bis!
Big and shooty!
These are plastic Warlord tanks - they're pretty nice kits, and easy enough to paint. The kit is really versatile, you can make various versions of it, including the captured German versions. I still have another left to build, so you can look forward to that. 

2 Somua S35s!
Smaller and somewhat less shooty!
These are resins from Blitzkrieg Miniatures, and I should definitely have washed them better than I did. Painting these became quite a sysiphean task as the paint constantly peeled off. I persevered, in the proud tradition of the really stupid, and managed eventually to get the third and fourth gallons of paint to stay attached.

A staff car!

Shiny

This is a resin from Urban Construct, which I bought on impulse at Vapnartak a while back for a fiver. It is definitely just a resin cast of a toy car. When I turned it over (to cut off the massive unwanted chunk of resin stuck to the bottom) I could read the text from the bottom of the toy. It's also fairly large - whatever scale the toy was meant to be, I'd guess it's actually about 1:43. That's ok, but the tanks are 1:56 so it's not a great fit. Still, it was a really easy paint job, and in scenarios where I don't use many other vehicles it'll look fine.

2 Lorraine 38 carriers!

Adding these takes me up to having 3 carriers, which is nice. These are Warlord resins, and pretty nice when they're assembled. 

A little lorry!
Another Warlord resin model. I've had this lying around for years, and for a lot of that time I'd managed to end up with the resin and metal parts in different rooms. Eventually I reunited them, and this happened. So there you are.

A sniper team!
Pow!
More Warlord models, representing a troop choice that won't be available in any of the scenarios I've been planning with Pete for ages, making them an excellent choice for me to paint. I am a smart man.

An officer!
Over there...
This fella came with some Great War Miniatures gun crew that I bought for my medium howitzer some time ago. I mainly found him amusing as he has a walking stick, so there you go.

An anti-tank rifle team!
Ready...

There you go then. I'm still alive, and I've painted stuff.

Since I last posted I've also been buying things, so I've blown the negative score I had for "acquired" models since giving some stuff away in January. Anyway, as you'll definitely remember I've been counting off models that I've painted, so here are the updated stats on that...

Acquired: 30
Painted: 94

For sure, I'll be over the blog posting from now on, so you can watch for that.