A ruined Italian house.

I picked up one of the Airfix resin buildings cheap a while back. It was one of their Italian/ mediterranean styled building. I thought the basic building ( as seen here ) was a bit plain so I jazzed it up a bit. I added the remains of a ceiling/ attic and based it with some rubble. I remembered to paint the underside black before I stuck it down too.

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I painted it with some cheap acrylics and then added some static grass and tufts. I’m quite pleased with how it has turned out. It should be a nice addition to my scenery collection for that part of the world. Just need to get it into a game next, now where did I put my 20mm partisans….

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

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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.

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

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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.

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.

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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.

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Twilight 2000/ Post Apocalypse Soldiers.

Growing up, as I did, at the tail end of the Cold War one of RPGs that really drew me in was Twilight 2000; a game that I’m sure most of you are familiar with too. I never played many games of it: the combination of modern weaponary and 19th century medical care meant that and wounded characters didn’t last that long… I keep thinking of returning to it but as a battling warlord skirmish campaign type thing rather than a straight RPG. Nonetheless in the meantime I keep collecting bits for it as and when, in fact my earliest modern figures started of being collected for Twilight 2000.

 

Elhiem Figures have released a very nice set of mounted (ex)soldiers suitable for the game. Even better, due to the modular design of the figures you can have the same figure mounted and dismounted.

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To give them a ragtag look I mixed in bits on non- camouflaged clothing. They have a nice mix of weaponary too. I think it would be worth making them up as a special group of NPCs for the player characters to encounter if you were running a campaign.

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First up with have a guy in a black T-shirt carrying a shotgun.

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Next we have a guy in the earlier M1 helmet talking on the radio.

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Man waving pistol about- there is a slung rifle on his horse.

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One man carrying M16 and binoculars- probably my favourite one.

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Bareheaded with an M16.M203 combination.

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Floppy bush hat with an M249 Minimi Squad Automatic Weapon.

The horses have the legs of the riders suclpted on them- the torso fits in with a plug, a sperate set of legs are available for the dismounted figures so you can mix and match until you are happy with poses. It is nice to have this much flexibility when putting together the minis. If some more were to be released but with Soviet/ Russian weaponary I’d be very happy as they’d complement this set immensely.

Cheers,

 

Pete.