Something of an update.

I’be been a bit quiet on the blogging front recently and that is due to my upcoming megagame eating up all my hobby time. The playtesting and writing is over just now got the production side of things to do…

… I have been getting in the odd game here and there. Tonight was a playtest of some Vietnam mods to 5core Company Commander that Evan is working on ( sorry no pictures). The game before that was my Chechen game- the scenario needs tweaking before we play it again but it looked good- and I did take some pictures:

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A establishing shot of the table- a road that needed to be cleared going through heavily wooded ground.

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Some of my Chechens dug into and ambush position.

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A Russian Vodnik armoured car enters the table.

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Covered by the guns of the AFVs the Russian infantry begins to advance.

As is usual I took loads of photos at the start but then got wrapped up in the game and forgot to take so many. Still endless photos of my Chechens being gunned down by 14.5mm MG fire wouldn’t be a great reflection on my gaming skills now….

 

I was doing some reading on the battles that Army Group Centre was in in 1942 on the Eastern Front late in bed the other night and the thought occured to me that I wasn’t enjoying the book… that got me thinking it was perhaps because it was translated from Russian as I’ve never enjoyed reading any book that has been translated from Russian. Whether it is a history book or Dostoevsky and regardless of who the tranlator is they have never sat well with me. Have any of you noticed this?

 

One more thing of note: I did play in one of those ‘Escape Rooms’ that are very popular at the moment. Basically you are looked in a room and have to solve various puzzles against the clock to win, ours (I went with some of the Pennine Megagames crowd) was submarine themed- that got my vote straight away. We escaped with over 10 mins to spare so we did quite well considering there were lots in our team who’d never played before. Good fun and I’d do one again. No photos from that either as they don’t want to spoil the surprise for subsequent players. The link to the company’s web page is here.

Cheers,

 

Pete.

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Some more Elhiem figures- 50s Cold War Brits, Soviets in Afghanistan and a MENA sniper….

Been getting on with some painting, trying to reduce the lead mountain and more importantly those many boxes of figures I’ve got lying around which are started but not finished. I seem to have developed a habit of cleaning, prepping, basing and undercoating figures then leaving them sat in that state in a box for months. Tidying the shed found lots of abandoned projects in that state today. Additionally the take up far more space than if I’d left them in their packets in the bare metal… any way I digress, on with the pictures.

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First up is a generic insurgent sniper for the Middle East/ North Africa region. I made a little scenic base for him to fit into too to add a bit more interest.

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I painted his trousers in a Russian camo pattern, you can just make that out hopefully.

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Armed with the ubiquitous SVD sniper rifle.

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I’ll use this idea for other figures too as well as trying a rural base.

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Here we have 8 Soviets with a mix of small arms wearing the tropical uniform as seen in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

50s brit platoon

I’m getting drawn by the retro appeal of the 1950s to gaming the Cold War in that era. I painted up a three squads worth of Brits. They are suitable for that short window of time after the introduction of the SLR but before the WW2 still uniforms were withdrawn; so 1954- 1960.

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NCOs have Sterlings the section LMG is the 7.62mm version of the Bren the L4. Section AT weapon is a bazooka (one is slungg on the back of the figure on the left.

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One each of the Rifleman poses in the three squads.

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

 

Some Elhiem figures.

I’ve painted up some example of Elhiem’s [clicky] work that I’ll share with you. One of the good things about Matt the guy behind Elhiem is that he is very responsive to customer requestsd and suggestions, he has a Facebook page just for to post ideas to. The first group of figures is one that I said I’d be interested in when the idea was broached an a now defunct forum.

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This are men and women in suits, ideal as bodyguards for some VIP. I painted their clothing a fairly light grey to contrast with the dark weapons; unfortunately the silver paint for the mirrorshades didn’t worth that well, I may yet got back over it with black….

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This next group is 12 near future/  SF Amerrican types. Wearing full face helmets and advanced armour, they have exo- skeletons to give them a boost. It is a nice touch that only the LMG gunners have the exo- skeleton extending down their arms.

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To distinguish the different fireteams I painted each group of four’s guns different colours: here we have the ‘greens’…

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… the ‘tans’…

 

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… and the ‘greys’. 

 

There are some suggested rules for near future tech in the recent Osprey rules Black Ops so I will dig those out to. Also revisiting the novel Ghost Fleet should provide some inspiration for games.  I found this video too that gives me some ideas. I’ve got 12 near future Russians too to paint up so they’ll have some potential opposition. 20mm science fiction figures are rather thin on the ground so these area nice addition. I wouldn’t mind some more poses for both ranges, Officer and NCO types would be useful as well as some with rocket launchers of some kind….

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

NormandyTrip: Back to England and Bovington Tank Museum.

The overnight ferry from La Harve to Portsmouth was uneventful, I spent it either reading or watch films on my tablet, also it was the longest I’ve ever spent on a ship. As we arrived early on Friday morning I went on deck as the boat docked to see what was moored up in Portsmouth Harbour. The two historic ships HMS Victory and HMS Warrior were visible along with a fair few contemporary RN vessels including the new HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

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HMS Warrior, undergoing some restortation.

 

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HMS Victory.

 

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HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s biggest ever warship, I have to admit feeling a little underwhelmed by it.

 

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A Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dragon.There were at least 4 Type 45s berthed when I was there.

After docking we drove a hour and a half westwards to visit Bovington Tank Museum, a place that has been on my must visit list for a long time. The number of vehicles on display is mind boggling. Divided up into different sections it takes you through the development of the tank then we went through the Trench Experience covering WW1 and from War Horse to Horse Power and much more including the Tiger exhibit bring together a Tiger and Elefant, two Tiger IIs and a Jagdtiger. I took so many photos I can’t upload them all but I’ll put up a representative sample. If anyone has anything in particular they want to see let me know and I’ll post it.

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A view of the first hall we went in, Centurion front and centre.

 

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WW1 Mk IV ‘female’ tank.

 

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British Crusier tank from 1940.

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A Panzer III painted up in Africa Korp colours.

 

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A Sherman Firefly with Cromwell in the background.

 

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Moving on to modern stuff we have a T72 with a Patton in the background.

 

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A Saladin Armoured Car

 

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British Challenger.

 

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Another shot of the Firefly and Cromewll with the front ofa Chruchill peeking in.

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In the WW1 section we have a MkII tank.

 

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A Mk IV male with fascine.

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Austin Armoured Car of the type used in Ireland during the Anglo-Irish war.

 

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Tiger II with Porsche turret and Jagdtiger.

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Tiger II with Henschel turret.

 

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Elefant (all the way from the US) and Tiger 131.

 

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Hetzer SPG in front of a Jagdpanther.

 

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Protype of the Tortoise SPG- a British proposal to attack the Siegfried line.

 

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A T34/76 in Finnish colours.

 

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The ridiculous TOG II- a British failure from WW2, very cool all the same though.

 

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British heavy metal.

 

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The Sherman used in the recent Brad Pitt film ‘Fury’ still with its sfx weathering.

 

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Not all of the vehicles that are in the Bovington Collection are on public display- this is a view of part of the storage shed.

Going round Bovington took all day; all that was left was a long drag on a journey North back to Yorkshire to end Dad and I’s holiday.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

A few plastic kits.

Given the weather at the moment it has been too cold to go into the shed so I’ve been working on a few model kits inside. It is easier just to bring my making and gluing tray in rather than all my paints; it also gives me a chance to get caught up on my back log of plastic kits.

Yesterday I had a bit of a blitz and assembled all of these:

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From left to right we have the Hobby Boss Merkava IV, Two Bedford trucks by Airfix, the Revell re- issue of the Matchbox Sherman firefly and finally a Dark Age hut from Warbases.

The Merkava kit is a pleasure to put together, and the old matchbox kits are no drama at all. I think, however, that the Sherman would benefit from some aftermarket stowage and possibly a crewman. The two Airfix trucks were a little disappointing; given that they were a recent kit I found that they weren’t as well fitting as a new kit should be imo. Still with two in a box they are good value if you see them for sale. The Warbases kit was bought as an example of their range, simple to assemble and easier than cutting out a foamcore one myself. I’ll add some texture to the walls and a fake fur roof too. to finish it properly.

Not bad for a few hours work whilst listening to some CDs.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

Urban scatter terrain and winter PMC/ SOF figures.

To break up the long running series of posts of my holiday photos I thought I’d throw in some bits I’ve been working on.

I play a few PC games- I’m not a hardcore gamer by any means but I like a good co-op session with my friends, its good to relax chat and shoot stuff online for a few hours every now and again.

One of the games that I’ve been playing a bit of recently is ‘Tom Clancy’s Division’, set in a disease ridden anarchic New York city with gangs and a rogue Private Military Contractors running about. [I’m pretty sure Tom Clancy had nothing much to do with the game, it was released after his death, but his name still shifts units…]

 

Inspired by the game I’ve been making some bits and pieces for my modern gaming collection all in my usual 20mm size/ 1/72nd scale.

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A large barricade I made up from various bit and pieces: skip, shipping container, truck cargo bed and resin cast rubbish bags.

 

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Back view: the base sections came from old Matchbox kits.

 

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A couple of rubbish piles and skips mounted on Wills plastic scraps.

 

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Some sections of modern concrete barriers, these and the rubbish piles came from Anyscale models clicky.

 

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Some wooden barriers, MDF kits from Blotz clicky.

 

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These are my PMCs inspired by the game’s Last Man Battalion protagonists: I used Elhiem Minitatures clicky US Rangers from their Somalia range. White helmets and jackets, trousers in UCP and webbing in Olive green mean they’ll do for US SOF types if I need some in winter bases.

 

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For transport they get two HMMWVs. These started of as toys, a gift from Tim at Meghablitz and more clicky but scrubbed up very nicely. I painted them with spray cans using blu tack as a  mask. They were then finished with acrylics for detail and oils for weathering. A big thanks has to go out to Tim for them.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

Two different types of SAS in 20mm.

First up I’ve painted some of the recently released Under Fire Miniatures’ Rhodesian SAS. Formed from a nucleus of Rhodesian men who volunteered to go to Malaya in the 1950s the Rhodesian SAS served throughout most of the Rhodesian Bush War performing some of the famous external cross border raids. A good read on the men and their operations is Barbara Cole’s The Elite.

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The full range painted up in standard Rhodesian Camo.

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Two more painted in plain green fatigues for external ops.

 

The next SAS figures are from Elhiem’s excellent Cold War ranges. Ever since the publication of Bravo Two Zero there has been a deluge of books on UK special forces, although recent change mean that members of the elite regiment are now barred from writing memoirs; they are so well known for a special forces unit it is hard to separate the good books from the hyperbolic fawning ones but Mark Urban and Leigh Neville have done the topic justice if you want to move beyond the memoirs . I wanted these figures as they have got a wide range of weapons (MP5 SMGs, Shotgun, M79, GPMG, M16, M203) as they’ll be ideal for a raid game I’ve got planned as the first game in a small Cold War campaign I’m planning.

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You’ll next see these figures raiding a Soviet HQ in a Cold War goes Hot game.

Both sets of figures come highly recommended.

http://www.underfireminiatures.com/index.htm

https://www.elhiem.co.uk/

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.