sci fi

sci fi

Friday, 30 September 2011

Impetus Picts [2]

I had a play around with some basing options for the Picts this evening after cutting a couple of 80mm x 40mm bases out of plastic card. I thought about buying a load of MDF bases from ERM but, in the spirit of keeping things as cheap as possible, I opted for the homemade equivalent.

As you can see, the FL spearmen will be grouped in sixes or sevens with plenty of rocks and rubble interspersed to fill up the gaps. I'd put a couple of extra figures on each base if I had them but, as this will be an army for practice purposes only, I don't think it matters too much.

I quite like the spacing anyway, as it's quite 'skirmishy'. The figures I used are the unwashed and unvarnished loose ones that had fallen off the original cards. They've now been washed and are awaiting a spray varnish once the temperature drops a bit. The figures still stuck on the old WRG 6th edition bases have been washed and sprayed already.

This means that I'll be able to crack on with the re-basing tomorrow, given a suitable window of opportunity. I'm thinking of texturing and painting the bases then adding the figures afterwards but I'll porbably just base everything up and then do the rest once the figures are in place.


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Impetus Picts [1]

Let's do the timewarp again...(aarggh!!!)

Cavalry and Chariots plus General

Some shiny happy painted people

Gunge washed and matt varnished bloke on the left
I went up into the loft after work this afternoon and, after a bit of a rummage, successfully located the dusty box of Essex 15mm Picts that I'd last seen in 1991 or thereabouts.

These had been painted up in enamels during one of my irregular stints on the dole in the last great economic cock up. It kept me occupied and helped to pass the time but they're not exactly up to my current standard, although that's not exactly earth shattering anyway.

However, I have the basis of a pretty decent 300 point army for Impetus with a little bit of touching up and re-basing being all that needs to be done. I've worked out the options using the Picts list in Extra Impetus 2 and have come up with the following line up, using every single figure to maximise the points total:
  • 1 x CGL Chariots (*) including General
  • 2 x CGL Chariots (various weapons)
  • 3 x CL Cavalry (javelins)
  • 8 x FL Warriors (long spears)
  • 5 x S Javelinmen (javelins)
  • 4 x S Archers (short bows)
This works out at 367 points in total, so there's more than enough for a 250 or 300 point starter army. I've also found some very old irregular miniatures sheep that I can turn into a baggage element for a few extra points, although I could do with a shepherd as well, otherwise it'll look a bit pathetic.

The figures themselves have survived that last twenty years quite well thanks to a thick coat of satin varnish but this makes them a little too shiny for my liking. I did a test gunge wash on one of the light cavalry figures (the one on the left in the photo) then oversprayed with Army Painter matt varnish.

I think it looks much better, so will do the same with the rest if the figures before re-basing them. The basing is what I'm looking forward to as I have some ideas for wild and woolly mountian landscaping. I'm thinking of lots of granite boulders and scree, with dark earth ground surface and tufts of highland grass.

If I can pull it off, it'll look pretty good and be well in keeping with the Pictish theme. I'll try to crack on with the washing, varnishing and re-basing this weekend so hope to have the army ready by this time next week.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Extra Impetus 3

Some of the chaps at the club were playing a 15mm Ancients game using Impetus yesterday and I had a brief chat with them about the rules. I have little experience of this sort of thing although I used to play WRG 6th edition many, many years ago when I was at university. Since then I've been a little less conventional in my choice of rules and periods, so that conventional gaming in the WRG / DBA style has very much passed me by.

I do have a well proportioned box of 15mm Peter Pig Wars of the Roses figures that would be a great starting point for Impetus, as I have more than enough for one if not two armies. As a result, I've ordered a copy of Extra Impetus 3 which includes the WOTR lists and a campaign system, to see if I can work something out as a project for next year.

At £15 it was expensive for a flimsy paperback but I haven't been able to find a copy cheaper anywhere, despite trawling ebay and various wargame suppliers. I hope it'll be worth it and, at the very least, give me something to do with the nice Peter Pig medievals. If not, I've got a box of very old enamel painted Essex 15mm Picts that I can bring back to life from the 1980's (if I can find them that is?)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Back of Beyond Battle Report [2]








I got well and truly thrashed by Chris in the second game of the Back of Beyond campaign this evening.

My 748 point army was vastly outnumbered by his Bolshevik horde but put up a good fight throughout the game. The loss of my aircraft to AA fire in Turn 2 didn't help. After that, my force held it's own for most of the battle, inflicting serious losses on the Reds whilst only losing a couple of unarmoured trucks and a single figure in return.

However, in Turn 5 the Red cavalry swept into my White Russian troops who stood their ground but were wiped out in the end, as were the cavalry themselves. At the same time, my Garford Putilov was knocked out and my expedition unit started to take some hits. This left me with little on the table by Turn 7 and, although Chris was in retreat at the end, the numbers spoke for themselves.

I enjoyed the game and learned a few valuable lessons about the vulnerabilty of aircraft to light machine gun fire, the relative uselessness of unarmoured trucks and the inadvisability of taking on lots of comparatively low value troops with high cost units. I think I'll avoid 750 point games with my expedition army for a while and ramp up the full on 1000 points as a basic mimimum in future!

Billy Bones Workshop Paper ECW Army

I'm doing the English Civil Wars with my Year 8 class at the moment including a case study of the Battle of Cheriton, which took place in March 1644 just a few miles up the road from the school. To make things interesting for the kids, I thought I'd download the paper ECW army from Billy Bones Workshop so that the class can create a paper cut out version of the battle.


I've thought about using these paper units before to try out WECW or 1644 but, somehow, never quite got round to it. I think they look great, especially in the original buff, so to speak. On the site, the units and scenery are laid out on a decorators cloth to create a full scale battlefield in beige. What a neat idea and one which I'm definately going to copy.

The whole shebang including pike, shot, cavalry, dragoons, guns, generals, scenery and special effects cost me less than seven quid, so well worth a bit of cutting and pasting to put the whole thing together.

Monday, 26 September 2011

AK47 Autumn Assault [11]

I've undercoated the militia technicals tonight in the hope that I may actually get started on them at some point in the next few days. The plan is to paint them up in various shades of rust and flaking paintwork but this may involve some head scratching and 'make it up as you go along' moments, so I'm not too sure how it will all turn out in the end?

If it goes well they might look something like this?





Back of Beyond Campaign Game 2

I'm up against the Bolsheviks again tomorrow, having been defeated by a narrow if telling margin last time. The bar has been set at 750 points rather than the bells and whistles plus kitchen sink 1000 points of the last encounter. As a result, I've had to make some fairly radical cuts to the force that I'm going to field, although I've managed to hold on to some key assets.
  • One Garford Putilov armoured car
  • One Improvised armoured car with MG
  • Two unarmoured cars with MG
  • One unit of eight wildcatters / roustabouts including one Lewis gun plus bombs
  • One unit of eight White Russian mercenary bodyguards with bombs
  • Two Maxim HMG's
  • One Aircraft
This lot works out a 748 points, so near enough to the limit to make the most of what I'm allowed to use. I think I'll need quite a lot of luck to beat Chris in an open fight but I'm hoping the aircraft and the Garford Putilov will do their bit, with the machine gun equipped units doing the rest. 

I'll post a game report once the dust has settled...

Sunday, 25 September 2011

VBCW Fifteen Minutes of Fame

I followed a link on the Northstar site only to find that the latest VBCW supplement from Solway features my Red Workers Militia FT17 on the front cover.

Huzzah!

...or should that be 'Onward to inevitable proletarian brotherhood!' (or something similar)

Not bad for a bit of dodgy painting and washing on a 'surplus to requirements' HLBS resin tank that had seen better days.

Time for a celebratory snifter me thinks.

:O)

Submarine Safari Submersible?

I've been looking for a suitable plastic toy submarine to convert into a 28mm VSF or Pulp submersible for underwater dinosaur hunting, rather than fork out for the expensive new Copplestone version. In Tescos today I spotted this bubble machine aeroplane toy for £1.75 so thought I'd have a go at some basic plastic bashing to see what I can turn it into. It's got some nice rivets to start with so....it might actually work??

AK47 Autumn Assault [10]




I managed to finish off the tanks and the jeeps last night and a little bit this morning, so here they are! The faces on the jeep crews ended up a bit blurred so I've subsequently touched them up a bit along with the berets using a bit of an ink wash.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

AK47 Autumn Assault [9]




It was my middle son's birthday party today so most of the morning and early afternoon were taken up with Cowboys and Indians. It was good fun and all the kids had a great time running like around like loonies in the woods, stuffing themselves with party food and making lots of noise.

When we got back home the kids were pretty whacked, so I had a chance to retire to the garage and get some long overdue painting shifted. I've done a fair bit in the last three or four hours, with the tanks and jeeps welll on the way to completion by the end of the weekend.

I'm even hoping to get on to the militia technicals by this time tomorrow, although this may just end up as an exercise in undercoating?


Thursday, 22 September 2011

AK47 Autumn Assault [8]

I've been tied up the last couple of days with work related stuff, so much so that I haven't had time for any painting or modelling. However, I have acquired a diecast 1/100 scale  Mil Mi24 Hind for next to nothing on ebay and have been pondering the possibilities it offers as gunship support for the AK47 army.

To be honest, it's a bit hi-tech for my army surplus 1950's vintage ex-Soviet equipped dictatorship forces but, if I don't get the Mil Mi4 gunship sorted, it'll fill the gap very well. I only need to assemble it, give it a quick undercoat and three stage drybrush, then do a bit of detailing before it's ready for action.

Dakka Dakka

 :O)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Full Thrust

I've been looking for a little project to get my sons interested in wargaming for a while now. I've tried 40K but most of their collection is still in it's boxes and gathering dust. I've also tried Legends of the High Seas and Saurian Safari, both of which they enjoyed but haven't asked to play again.

However, I have a cunning plan! I noticed that Brigade Models has a sale on at the moment on their range of spaceships, so I dug out my unassembled American and German models to show the sprogs what they looked like. The boys were mightily impressed, so I then showed them the pictures on the Brigade website.

Alex liked the look of the SAC range, so I've ordered a fleet pack and an extra carrier plus some fighters. This will give him a decent force to paint up using a quick spray, wash and drybrush technique. At the same time, I'll paint up my German spaceships for Thomas to use, although they're going to be Neo-Soviet rather then ONESS.

This will eventually end up in a game of Full Thrust Light which should be easy enough for the boys to grasp but still offer them a way into gaming that will grab their interest.


Monday, 19 September 2011

AK47 Autumn Assault [7]


Not a lot on the workbench tonight but I have assembled the extra armour that I bought last week, in the shape of two SU100's and a single T34/85. It took a while to find some decent crew figures, which I had to do as the tank destroyers had open hatches that couldn't be glued shut. I found a couple in the end having rejected some soviet tank crew because they didn't actually fit.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

AK47 Autumn Assault [6]





I managed to finish the Ilyushin 28 today although it nearly ended up in the bin after a fairly dodgy experiment with maskol and green spray paint. I didn't like the initial bare metal finish that I originally opted for so sploshed on some maskol then oversprayed with Humbrol Matt Olive Green.

After scraping off the maskol it looked a like a pigs breakfast, so I decided to add an overlayer of stippled Foundry Phlegm Green and Chestnut Shade, followed by the undersurfaces in old Citadel Horizon Blue. After this, I picked out the glazing in Foundry Sky Blue, which was a bit fiddly to say the least, then mucked about with the bomb bay in various ways to complete the overall effect.

The triangle decals were hand cut from some spare red decal sheet and the numbers came from an old MiG 19 kit that I have in the plastic pile. It's not what I intended to produce at the outset but I think it looks suitably army surplus and weather worn for AK47?

Saturday, 17 September 2011

AK47 Autumn Assault [5]




I had some time this morning to assemble the Tamiya Il 28 Beagle kit, which turned out to be very simple and only took an hour or so from start to finish. It won't win any prizes for precision plastic modelling but, with an undercoat of matt black and a little paintwork, it'll do the job nicely. I've also made some flight stands for the helicopters, using GW plastic base and tiddly magnets.

Friday, 16 September 2011

AK47 Tanks and TV's

After an exceptionally tedious and tiring week, I was very pleased to find a neat but weighty parcel waiting for me on the doorstep today, in the form of a delivery from Peter Pig. I now have two SU100's, a T34/85 and some stowage to deck them with. I also have a TV crew, some of which I think I'll use to decorate the army commander's base, once I find a figure for the big man himself.

I have been a bit behind this week with the AK47 painting, mainly due to work and the inevitable backlog of bureaucratic things to get shifted. I'm hoping that the weekend will give me the opportunity to catch up a bit. If I can, I'll assemble the extra armour and perhaps the 1/100 scale Tamiya Il28 Beagle plastic kit that I have on the workbench, as well as finishing the heavy weaopns teams and jeeps.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Impetus


I've had a very cursory leaf through of the Impetus rules that I bought at Colours the other day and, I have to say, they look rather good. I'm particularly taken by the clarity of the rules and by the neat system of multiple basing, which enhances the look and feel of the figures really well. I know this is of little consequence in gaming terms but, for me, it's one of the things that makes a set of rules seem 'right'.

Anyway, I've been giving some thought to what I could do with them. One option would be to have another crack at the 10mm Norse that I acquired for the defunct Warmaster project, which is why I also picked up Extra Impetus 2 in the bundle, as it features a set of lists for the Year 1000.

The other option would be to tackle my stockpile of 15mm Peter Pig WOTR figures, of which I have an ample supply. These were destined for Bloody Barons but, as no one would  be interested in this at the club, the Impetus approach would seem a better bet.

I'm thinking of getting hold of Extra Impetus 3 which has a set of WOTR lists and a campaign system. At another £15 this is not a cheap option but it would give me a good idea of the permutations that my leadpile might stretch to, given a suitable window in the painting schedule to actually get them done.

I fear another doomed project is in the offing....

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

AK47 Autumn Assault [4]



I decided to modify one of the militia technicals this evening by removing the portee AT gun, which looked a bit silly and replacing it with a katyusha rocket launcher rack.

I bought three of these at Attack! so I thought it would be a shame not to use the larger version in a  truck mounted configuration. I'm not sure what it will be in the AK47 rules, perhaps the equivalent of a tank gun or mortar, but it looks pretty cool either way.

I've also basecoated and drybrushed the HMG armed jeeps, then given them a good overall wash in the usual gunge. These will be tackled tomorrow once the wash has dried off.

Finally, I added a couple of additional small arms bases to the professionals and an extra recoilless rifle base, as they looked a little underpowered now that the helmet wearing regulars have been retired.

Monday, 12 September 2011

AK47 Arms Embargo

Mbote Regulars wonder where their T55's have gone?
I've made good progress with the AK47 dictatorship army of late and have almost completed enough to field the army for a game. I need to finish:
  • The regular heavy weapons bases and gun crews (half done)
  • The professional jeeps (started)
  • The professional small arms and heavy weapons
  • The professional APC's
  • The militia technicals.
  • The air support assets - either a couple of MiG 17's or an Il28 Beagle.
  • A helicopter gunship (although I could just use the Mil Hare)
This lot is more than enough for the five units I need to deploy. As a result, I'm going to cut back on the rest of the stuff I've based up by saving the helmet equipped regulars for another army.

I have enough of these for the core of a Superpower Backed force, with T55 and BTR60 APC's to back them up from the spares box. I can also use the old militia figures that I have for the two militia units, with Toyota technicals to give them some punch.

To compensate for the loss of the T55's I've ordered one more T34/85's and a couple of SU100's from Peter Pig. These won't take long to paint up and will give me a little bit of flexibility when trying out different combinations of units.

I think this is a good way to achieve the goal of a complete dictatorship army by the end of the month while giving me another AK47 army as a future project.