Wednesday 27 May 2020

Pacific Gravity

I'm certain that there's a better pun available for a title here, I just can't work out what it might be.


All the way back in January 2018, Warlord Games sent me a box of Japanese tanks by mistake, and told me to keep them when they sent the replacement.

At the time, I thought that this was great customer service, but I now realise that it was, of course, the old dealer's tactic - the first hit was free, and so this was inevitable:

Yep, that's a full Japanese force for Bolt Action.

As a devious sort of fella, I've basically been planning this for about two years, while all the time pretending I wasn't. This basically consisted of issuing denials while doing things like using Japanese machine guns on other models, suddenly buying palm trees for flimsy reasons, and adding loads of models to my "acquired" total without explaining why.

Chi-ha - from the packing error that started it all
I picked up the army book early on, then got a few bits and pieces over time, but never really committed to the project - the Japanese force for Bolt Action benefits from large numbers of big squads even more than other armies, and I could never quite face starting the job.

Suicide anti-tank troopers - from the plastic sprues
This all changed fairly recently with the arrival of the Citadel Contrast paint range. This looked like a way to tackle an army without it taking me years to wade through, so I decided to give it a go.

A squad!
I started with a couple of models and straight away was impressed with the speed I could manage - finishing two models in a night doesn't sound like much, but realistically a night's painting for me is about an hour, so I was very pleased with that!

I was deliberately aiming for speed over a beautiful finish - so in places I've just ignored details. Part of the advantage with the contrast paints for me is that you're getting an ink wash with an appropriate colour at the same time, so you sort of get away with it. Certainly, to my eye there's nothing glaring, so for gaming standard I'm perfectly happy.

Another squad, having a lie down
The drive to do these quickly also led me to make a couple of decisions that I'd probably not make with other projects. First, on the banners for the squads - I'm never 100% happy either way, but tend to come down on not using pre-painted banners as it's so hard to get them to line up and they look a bit "printed".

The third squad, printed banner to the rear

This time though, I figured that making my own banners would take longer, and the printed ones from the boxed set were fine, so I've stuck with them. We'll see if I eventually get fed up and replace them! I'm thinking of using the banners as loaders for machine guns, so they'll definitely be used.

A pair of Chi-Ha Shinhoto variants - in flat green
Second, I decided against doing any shading or highlights on the tanks. I can never get these to work well on 28mm tanks anyway, and anything I might do takes precious time!

Kempetai officer
I also decided not do a camo scheme for them, sticking instead with a simple flat green colour scheme that was listed as an example with the instructions. I'm expecting that at some point I'll want to add other vehicles (I normally do) so having that be as easy as possible will help.

Sniper team

For the infantry, the colours I went for were:

Undercoat - Grey Seer
Skin - Darkoath Flesh
Uniforms - Skeleton Horde
Webbing, puttees etc - Aggaros Dunes
Boots, gun stocks - Snakebite Leather
Helmets - Militarum Green
Gun barrels - Basilicanum Grey

Not that anyone else will care, but writing that down will enable me to add new models in the right colours when I suddenly decide to add a second platoon in a year or something.

Flamethrower team
To be honest, I think this probably needs another box of infantry - the maximum size for each squad is 15 and I'm not there yet, plus at the moment I can only use one of the three tanks in a standard game!
This is definitely enough to let me start playing games with a new force though, and it'll hopefully spur on the creation of some Pacific-themed opponents (come on Kieron, get those Chinese started).

So, that ought to have helped out my painting scores, so let's have a look...

Painted: 73
Acquired: 77

I've still got an entire board game full of terminator endoskeletons to go at, too...

Sunday 17 May 2020

Getting Terrain Locked Down

I've given it some thought, and I'm of the opinion that this whole "global viral pandemic" business is a right pain in the arse.

One of the more minor ways this has manifested is in the Wargames Illustrated 7TV day in July being cancelled - scarcely a surprise, but still an embuggerance. That's particularly the case as I'd been beavering away on terrain for the event.

Still, there will, of course, be other 7TV events at some point. So, eventually, all of this will be worthwhile again and I'll be able to break out the insane table I have planned.

Right, that's enough of that - the world already has an abundance of Coronavirus commentary, but at the same time is woefully under-supplied when it comes to pictures of terrain that I've painted. So let's attempt to redress the balance with this...

First of all, a ruined factory!

This is a Sarissa Precision kit I'd picked up about 18 months ago and never got around to, so it was particularly nice to get this done at last. Part of the challenge was finding somewhere to keep it - it's pretty massive.

Then, a satellite dish!


I really like this model. It's a Crooked Dice resin job, and in my experience those are always really nice clean casts. As I write this, I realise I should have taken a photo of it with a figure for scale. It's big!

Wow, that was informative.

Both of these things were big, but they only count as one thing each. Thus, the impact on my scores has been limited...

Painted: 19
Acquired: 77

Anyway. Since the 7TV thing has been cancelled, I'm going to do something else! So, watch out for that, whenever that happens. There's every possibility that the next post might make considerably more sense than this one.