From the Shed: Cross of Iron figures

One of my favourite war films is the 1970s classic, if rather violent and cynical, Cross of Iron. Directed by Sam Peckinpah and based on an earlier novel it features the escapades of the vertran Stiener and his platoon. Worth watching if you haven’t seen it.

Figures Armour and Artillery offer a pack of five figures in 20mm size based on characters from the platoon and I’m pleased I’m finally able to add them to my collection.

Just need to write up some skirmish scenarios for them now. Films have often inspired my skirmish games, as I’m sure it has for many of you. What has been the favourite you’ve done?

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Great War era King’s African Rifles.

My good friend Bill, boss of Under Fire Miniatures, asked me to do some painting for him, specificially his latest release. I tried my best at them, blending and everything. I’m quite pleased at how they turned out so I’m going to show them off here before the pictures get uploaded to the Under Fire Website.

These KAR men are ideal for any Great War games set in East Africa– the campaign there is rather interesting. A small German force moved around the area for four years evading all British attempts to catch then and eneded the war unbeaten. Well worth looking up. The figures are multipart so you get a choice of weapons and I believe they’ll be sold with different heads so you can make up figures representing the different Imperial regiments from that era.

I used Vallejo paints for these- Khaki for the uniform and Canvas for the webbing, Pale Sand was added to highlight the previous steps. A wash of Army Painter strong tome helped too. Many thanks to Bill for letting me use his pictures too.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Some more Winter War Finns.

As my last post intimated my uni work has been taken priority so hobby time has been limited. Plus both Nicola and I have been unwell (both are on the mend now though). Still I’vve managed to get a few bits done.

I’ve got some more Winter War Finns painted. I’ve made a list of everything I need from the scenario book I’m working to and I’m trying to get it all done before I start gaming. They are a mix of Euerka metal figures and Strelets plastics from the infantry and heavy weapons set. The wheeled gun is a Madsen 20mm cannon that was used in very limited numbers.

I also got some cheap Christmas decoration trees smarted up to add to the winter scenery collection.

Given the history of the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union various commentators have drawn comparison between that war and the ongoing situation in the Ukraine. Whilst I can see some similarities I think that the analogy is stretched a bit too much. Besides, there are already enough wars to study we don’t need any more, I hope that there is peace in Ukraine soon.

Right, it is getting late- time for whisky and a DVD….

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Modern and near Future Russians.

As I’m sure that you have noticed I’ve been really getting into the Zona Alfa game recently and I had the idea of getting some of the Empress Miniatures modern Russians with gas mask heads to add to me collection. However, I wanted to practice the camo they’d be in first so I dug out these modern Russians from Elhiem to try.

The new digital flora pattern (as seen onthe little green men of Crimean infamy) took a lot of layers to get that mottled effect but was fairly quick to do in the end. Whilst I was at it I decided to paint up the Near Future Russians I had laying around in the same scheme. These are the companion/ opposition figures to the near future US figures I painted some time back.

I also , as they were lurking in the same box, got these modern Russian special forces figures finished off. Clad in a copy of multicam they are based on the operatives that have been present in Syria and again finish off stuff I have painted earlier. They add a selection of LMGs, sniper rifles and RPGs.

Elhiem has expanded the ranges of both the near future Russian anmd US forces- extra support weapons, snipers and leadera to expand upon the original assault rifles and LMGs I’ll be interested to get them as these new figures are digital sculpted, printed in resin then cast in metal as opposed to the original figures being sculpted in the traditional manner in putty. Comparing the two styles will be a pointer to the future of the industry as 3d design processes will become more and more common.

I have thought about getting a full platoon of the modern Russians in the digital flora camo but the current tension in the Ukraine makes this less appealing somehow (here is hoping it doesn’t develop into a major shooting match). I’ll have to think on….

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Some 40k odds and sods.

As I had the lightbox set up I thought I’d take a few pictures…

First up is some of the old 90s Necxromunda Orlock figures.

I also painted up a box of the objectives that came out around the launch of 9th ed.

I do like bits like this as they can act as inspirastion for a scenario… tempted to make an Imperial archeological dig for them like when the Necrons were first introduced to 40k, also back in the 90s.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Even more Stalkers for Zona Alfa.

I wanted to paint up some Stalkers in a specific camo pattern, namely the Russian ‘Partizan’ scheme… that was all the excuse I needed to get a set from Pig Iron Productions that I had been coverting.

Here they are again in threes. I went for a sniper rifle a light machine gun and three AK style assault rifle, the dog is so I can try out some of the optional rules I got from facebook.

I also had a few more Cold War figures from Under Fire Miniatures that I converted- again using Pig Iron parts.

You may have noticed that I didn’t take these pictures outside on my backdoor step… I got a light box for xmas and this has made taking the photos much easier, especially in these wetter and darker months. I did print out a stone texture picture from google to use as a backdrop which I think works quite well.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Eureka NBC Soviets.

Following on from my recent Zona Alfa interest I’ve finished up a small batch of the Eureka Miniatures NBC Soviets. They are great figures, only slightly smaller than the Under Fire ones I’ve been using, they are a good fit with the Copplestone ones though.

I went for the tank crew and a few individual soldiers as a sample of the range.
The tank crew in NBC masks look great- rather heavily armed too really.
Three riflemen in the pea green rubber oversuit.

I’ll be getting enough later on for at least a full squad and possibly the AAHMG too as it looks a good set. Eureka Miniatures can be bought in the UK from here.

Cheers,

Pete.

Zona Alfa: From the Shed to the table.

I tend to work better to a deadline so was more than happy to run a game of Zona Alfa for friends with a week’s notice, even though I still had nearly 30 models to paint in that time. Firstly I needed to finish off the various zone hostiles that I had collected, these are the various monster/ fauna that inhabit the zone and make life difficult for the players. I had a mix of zombies from Mantic, Copplestone and Pig Iron. All were painted in a similar muted palette and complement each other. The Mantic and Copplestone ones go well together as they look like the reanimated corpses of previous expiditions to the zone….

The horde of zombies.
Pig Iron Production zombies
Mantic zombies
Copplestone zombie troopers.

I also had a small selection of Reaper Bones models to represent the mutants, both large and standard size, that can also appear in the game. Nicola very kindly painted these three for me.

Reaper Bones used as mutants.

I also wanted to round out my collection of military types witha few more figures. I got some of the Under Fire Miniatures cold war camo suited Soviets and added Pig Iron Productions gas mask heads and backpacks to give them more of a STALKER vibe. Whilst the hardness of the metal that both companies used made drilling them tough on the fingers I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

The converted Under Fire miniatures Soviets.

For the game at the club I wrote a brief intro to the game (which I can post if people want) and made up four forces for the players to use: two military, one scientist and one bandit. After a quick run through of the rules they teams set off to revover the protyped weapon left cached by a previous expedition into the zone. I purposely ignored the Allies and Enemies rules for this game, mainly as it was a one off zero sum mission it would added more combat to get the players better used to the rules.

My Zona Alfa collection in it storage box.

Set in a level one zone I placed the two hot spots so that the players would be able to interact with at least one lot of zone hostiles each.

The game table, the objective was in the cached ammo crate, the skulls are hotspots. Most of the terrain was from my 3D printer.

In the end the Scientist and the Military player ended up trading shots and finding out how bloody the combat syestem can be whilst the Bandits crept forward clearining a hotspot and then cunningly used electric juice to speed forward to snatch the mission objective, after the Military team had dispatched the rats it had spawned the previous turn. The scientist cleared the hotspot closesst to them, again hiding a rat swarm before finding an anomily there and getting a rare artifact. At the point the Bandits were attracting a lot of attention so began to take a lot of fire as the other two teams attempted to snatch the weapon for themselves… at the expense of most of their team they did manage to get it off the table. However, I did point out to the players that in a campaign game they’d need to watch their casualties more and that finding a rare artifact could mean that whilst you don’t win the game the money it earns your team may be more beneficial in the long run.

The Bandits emerge from the edge of the woods.

The Military team pinned down behind the ruins.

The game went down really well and there are a couple more players who wish to try it so hopefully there will be enough interest to get a campaign going. I’m sure I did some of the rules wrong but it has been a long time since I ran the game, pre COVID19 infact. As always I enjoy running the game and seeing how the players interact as much as I do playing.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: The balance of my Polish Home Army.

I decided to get the remainder of my (newer) Polish Home Army figures finished so I wouldn’t have them sat about half done. The majority of the second batch are the excellent TDQ figures available from CP Models. A few Blitz figures, Sgt’s Mess casualties and some Ceasar plastics round out the force.

Now they are done and boxed away and can await me writing up some scenarios for them.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: 3d printed houses

Some of the last things I managed to get printed before my 3d printer glitched* were these houses from 18Charlie of Wargaming3D. I liked the modular approach he has taken to his designs so bought a log cabin, a tin roof and the fortified brick building.

From the set of files I’ve got three nice buildings. They did take a while to print but the cost of them is really quite low.I’m particularly keen on the fortified and sandbagged one. The good thing about this sort of thing is that the files were designed for 15mm, I up scaled them again to 20mm and may well print them out a bit bigger still for my 28mm Zona Alfa games. Either way they make a nice bit of terrain for any games set in Eastern Europe.

Cheers,

Pete.

*I’ve got the part to repair it I’ve just not had the time to do it yet.