Rhodesian African Rifles.

The Rhodesian African Rifles have had a long and illustrious career fighting firstly for the British empire and then after the UDI for Rhodesia against the Marxist/ Maoist insurgents groups of ZANLA and ZIPRA.

With a similar motivation to the previously posted BEF, I had a scenario in mind for these figures, I dug out 4 ‘sticks’ worth of Under Fire Miniatures’ Clicky 20mm RAR figures.

RAR 1

Clad in the typical Rhodesian camo I did half with painted rifles to add a bit of variety.

RAR 2

The 4 man stick was a unit organisation peculiar to the Rhodesian armed force, based around the number of men that could fit in an Alouette III heicopter as used in the ‘Fire Force’ missions in the later stages of the Rhodesian Bush War. The 4 men, as seen above, carried FN FALs and one had a FN MAG GPMG, one man was a signaller wilst a further man was trained as a medic.

For more information on the Rhodesian Bush War and the RAR in particular I strongly recommend John Wynn Hopkins’ blog : Rhodesian War Games

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

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1914 British Expeditionary Force.

I went to see the perimer of the Peter Jackson film ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ a couple of weeks back; if you haven’t heard of the film please look it up. Technically amazing and a very powerful piece of cinema. When it goes on general release I highly recommend you to go and see it.

I was inspired, partly by the film and mostly because I wanted them for a scenario, to dig out my small collection of WW1 figures and paint some up.

This small unit of 20mm BEF troops from 1914 are from Lancer Miniatures clicky and are mostly armed with rifles barring the few command figures that go with them.

1914 BEF 1

1914 BEF 2

1914 BEF 3

The figures have plenty of character and painted up very quickly using my standard techniques. Now I just need to get all the German opposition painted so I can game out the opening phases of the Great War.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Blogger Azazel rus a regular group challenge clicky where by you all paint/ make something according to a theme and post up the result. It is not competitive just something to get you motivated.

I’ve been meaning to join in for a while but I’ve not got had the enthusiasm for a while… until this past month. Octobers theme was to do units. This fits in nicely with my fast painting techniques so I thought I’d go for it.

I did say I was going to do some Van Saar gang members for Necromunda but I’ve yet to finish them. What I have done though is a lot of 20mm figures. This is the first of three post of my month’s work.

First up with have a mixed unit of RUC policemen and women (well woman) from Elhiem clicky . Ostensibly they are for the trouble but I intend to use them for some 70s Winter of ’79/ urban disturbance type gaming, see my earlier post about card buildings. They have a wide variety of weaponary: G3s, SLRs, Sterling SMGs as well as semi automatic carbines. This combined with the police uniform and bulky flask vest give them a different feel to modern SWAT teams.

 

RUC

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

 

Beating around the Bush (Horizons).

Last week I took a trip with Bill of Under Fire Miniatures to vist his friend Wing Commander Luddite aka Nick to playtest his African campaign/ battle system that he is developing called Bush Horizons. Also it was nice to see the Wing Commander’s model collection and be able to game with it. All models and terrain in the photos are his.

bush horizon 1

We were joined by Jerry and Kev to run through a full campaign turn and play out any resulting battles.

bush horizon 2

Basically the game was set in a fictional African country sometime in the 1970s/ 1980s. You create an armed/ political party: Kev and I formed B.O.P.M to take on P.R.O.F. run by Bill and Jerry. You then have 40 ‘elements’ to split between 6 different abstracted territories of the country. Once both side have committed their forces for the turn it is revealed to both sides. Any contested areas are played out. If you are massively outnumbered you can always conceed the territory to your opponent.

bush horizon 3

Once a battle has been decided upon both side roll a number of D6 equal to the number of elemnts that they committed to that battle to see what actually turns up. These elements are then grouped into units for the battle.

bush horizon 4

We managed three battles of various sizes in an afternoon so fighting a campaign to its conclusion wouldn’t take that long.

bush horizon 5

The tactical battle system is fast and elegant and gives you a definite result with hte minimum of fuss. I’m looking forward to being able to get another turn of the campaign done.  I’ve not given away too much in terms of the mechanisms of the campaign or battle systems are they aren’t mine to do so with but it would be great to see the rules reach a wider audience someday. Playing the games got me thinking about other, historical, areas it could be used for. The South Africans fighting the Angolans and Cubans wouyld be an obvious one. You could play up the quantity versus quality difference there. Also I thought that the campaign system with a few tweaks would work well for the various wars that have broken out in the area around the Great Lakes, particularly the Kagera War between Tanzania and Uganda (I know its fairly obscure but I’ve been reading a lot of the Helion African at War series recently clicky ).

bush horizon 6

Wing Commander Luddite’s 6mm modelling skills are amazing and as the photos show it is something to aspire to. I will try to up my scenery game in 1/300th now.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Speed paints and a fail from the shed.

I’ve been hit with the painting bug recently so have been trying to get stuff finished off in the shed.

I quickly knocked out these Pegasus Vietnam US marines see review here I really liked them. Good sculpts and a wide range of weaponary being fielded.

vietnam marines

With the recent games of 5core: Brigade Commander that we have all been enjoying I’ve bought some more 6mm/ 1/285th / 1/300th aircraft to add some variety. The most recent ones to be painted up are:

il 28 beagle

An IL28 ‘Beagle, model from Scotia Grendel.

su 7

A Su7 ‘Fitter’, again from Scotia Grendel.

skyraider

A Skyraider painted in Vietnam era US Navy colours. Model is from Raiden bought via Magistermilitum when they were getting rid of their stock.

Panther

A Korean War USN era Panther again from Raiden.

f100

Last of the aircraft was an early 1960s USAF F100 Super Sabre, also from Raiden.

 

When I bought the GW 40k Chaos Cultists that I blogged about a bit back I also bought some poxwalkers the Nurgle Zombie type things. In my minds eye I had an idea of what I wanted then to look like… rotting green appendages going into pale sickly looking skin. Accordingly I didn’t think that my usual speed painting methods were suitable so I tried to paint them ‘properly’ you know, washes, shading, highlights and so on. I spent ages on them and I don’t think the end results justify the time invested. I mean they look ok but still a long way from what I wanted to achieve. Still, it serves me right for being clever I guess.

pox walkers 1

pox walkers 2

pox walkers 3

So for my Van Saar Necromunda gang that I’ve currently got on the painting bench I’ve gone back to my tried and trusted methods….

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Two very different houses.

I’ve always enjoyed making terrain- much more than making kits or painting figures. I guess that like many children of my era I harboured the ambition to go into special effects model making all of this came from repeatedly watching the original Star Wars trilogy… anyway enough nostalgia.

Our group has been dabbling with SAGA the dark age skirmish game. Whilst the majority of my terrain is for 20mm twentieth century gaming and as such the buildings will be of no use for 28mm early medieval set ups the trees and river will be fine. Accordingly we needed some suitable buildings. I bought an MDF kit from War Bases to try out some techniques with before building up a whole village.

I like MDF buildings a lot- but only the cheap ones… I think that they need a lot of work to get them looking right so I don’t see the point of spending a lot for detail that I’ll just cover up afterwards. As such I just see it in the same way I look at my own designs cut out of foam board.

If you look on War Bases’ site you’ll see how plain the kit is. Here it is after I detailed it.

viking house wip

Balsa wood and filler (spackle) were used on the walls whilst a towel was cut up to represent the thatch. I’ve previously used teddy bair fur but was unhappy with it, hence me trying towelling.

viking house finished

Here it is finished. Respendent in many shades of sandy brown.

 

Moving forward a couple of centuries I’ve decided to get a urban UK set up going, based on a couple of on-a-whim purchases at the local model shop. I want to game some Winter of ’79 type game (think late 70s civil war in the UK, popularised by a blog then published as a ruleset). To be fair it wasn’t that much of a whim as I was half looking for them- I’ve recently been sent a very nice detailed, almost RPG set of rules for the setting that I want to try out. I went for card railway models from Metcalfe models as they have just the right look of red brick terraced housing, I bought the basic terrace and a corner shop. The kits are quite involved, each one took a couple of hours to do. That said they are very well designed and make for a sturdy construction when finished.

card terraces 1

I’ve put up a few pictures of their construction so you can see how they go together.

card terraces 3

card terraces 4

card terraces 5

I can see myself building a lot of the basic terrace to fill the table in the way I want.

20180812_161856

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

 

 

 

Assorted games from recent weeks.

As much as I’ve been busy beavering away in the shed making kits and painting I have been getting quite a few games in too. I’ve not done a battle report in a while for the simple reason that trying to take photos at meaningful points in the game comes third to a) playing the game and b) having a laugh with my mates, the latter is the best reason for gaming imo.

Nonetheless I have taken some ‘happy snaps’ as it were of a few recents evening’s gaming so thought I’d put them up here:

battlemasters 1

First up we have the old Milton Bradley game Battlemasters from 1992. Done in conjunction with Games Workshop as an entry level game it comes with a rather nice printed plastic mat.

battlemasters 2

Paul had found a cheap copy in a charity shop so he took it up to the games club and gave it a run through that evening. It plays quick so we managed to get two full games in. The above photo gives you some idea of how the random card cannon mechanisms works.

battlemasters 3

The second scenario saw the ‘evil/ chaos’ army attempting to force a river crossing to take out a fortified tower. It seemed to be a quite a tall order for them to do that given that the ‘Empire’ army was at full strength.

Cold war game

I ran a nice little 6mm 5core: Brigade Commander game for Evan and Bill that saw Bill’s 1980s British defend a section of the German countryside from Evan attacking Soviets. You can’t beat a bit of 1980s Cold War what if? gaming to stir nostalgic memories of the 1980s. I really should get a CD of 80s music to go with these games.

Cold war game 2

The twist in the scenario was that the Soviets faced a large flanking counter attack that they weren’t ecpecting. Here Evan tries to reposition his troops in the face of approaching British armour.

Cold War game 3

Here a MIG 23 from the VVS tries to halt the encroaching Chieftans threatening to overrun the Soviet HQ. The game ended in a bloody draw.

great war french 1

I have managed to get a couple of games of the French expansion of The Great War board game. The op[ening games are based around the battles for Verdun. The first game seemed a tough ask for the defending French. I played the game twice in an evening with Paul swopping side: on both occasions the French were decisively beaten.

great war french 2

I played the second of the new scenarios with Evan. Again we played it twice, again the French were beaten both times. Evan played as the Germans the first time. Veteran gamer that he is he quickly indentified the the weakpoint in my defences and went for it winning comfortably. After we swopped sides I looked at the board and couldn’t come up with a better plan so copied his shamelessly for much the same result.

rjw 1

I dug out my modest fleets of Russo- Japanese War ships for a naval battle with Paul. We could have probably done with a bigger table as this turned out to be the naval equivalent of a knife fight in a telephone box.

rjw 2

Here Paul’s Russian battleship is trying to ram my battleship squadron, having crossed his ‘T’ I gave him little option. Fortunately he bounced off my side armour and a lucky critical hit roll sunk him. A fun game, I need to add to my collection though before I can play the war as a campaign as I intend to do at some point.

wat

Finally with have the recent Too Fat Lardies’ tank skirmish ruleset What a Tanker. Evan ran the game for Bill and I, I had three BT7s and a T28 facing off against a STUGIII, Pz38t and a PzII. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing around the table Bill whittled me down for the win. I’ve mixed views on the game (I think the games set in the early war don’t work, for boring mathematical reason, due to the game design) but that aside it was one of the most enjoyable evening gaming I had had in a long time.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.