GRUNTZ

GRUNTZ
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Friday, 31 May 2013

Late War Luftwaffe Extras



Inspired by this (who wouldn't be) I've ordered a couple of Scotia Collectair Heinkel He219 Uhu to add to the late war Luftwaffe project. I've also added some Me163 Komets, Heinkel He 162 Salamanders and a single Arado Ar234, although what I'll actually do with them is a bit up in the air to say the least. I've had a mixed experience with the Scotia range in the past, some of which have been excellent and others mediocre, but I'm hoping that these ones will be good enough to include in the mix.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Bag the Hun Operation Bodenplatte [18]






Here are the GHQ Me262 Schwalbe which I painted up this afternoon and finished off this evening. They're expensive models so I only have two of them but, according to those in the know, they are pretty scary in BTH2 terms, so I'll keep the numbers to a minimum. We're off to Warwick Castle all day tomorrow for number one son's birthday treat, so I don't expect to get anything else painted until the weekend. I am arranging a late war game at the club for the end of June, however, so I'll need to get some Fw190D's and A8's done at the very least, not to mention the opposition.

Bag The Hun Operation Bodenplatte [17]




As promised, here are the last of the JG27 Bf109K's together with the two that I finished the other day, all ready to go. I couldn't be bothered with more spiral patterns, so settled for a simple if less than typical finish to the prop bosses on both of the new additions. I'm now going to tackle the GHQ Me262's and some really smooth Museum Miniatures Fw190D's, using a production line approach rather than painting one pair at a time.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Drokk!







The first half a dozen volumes of the 2000AD Judge Dredd Case Files, together with several other Judge Dredd books are on sale via Amazon in digital format at the moment. I've downloaded half a dozen for the Kindle at less than £2 each, which is a fantastic reduction on the cover price and well worth it if you want to relive your mis-spent youth. If only the Strontium Dog and Rogue Trooper compilations were also available in the same deal...!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bag The Hun Operation Bodenplatte [16]





It was much harder than I thought to paint the late-war camouflage on the B109K's but the end result isn't too bad. I have another two to finish off but they're half way there already, even if they look a bit rough around the edges. The pair that I've finished need the hex stands painted but are otherwise ready to use. I'm definately a bit rusty when it comes to painting the glazing but I think a new 000 brush will help a lot, assuming I can get one in town tomorrow. Next, I'm going to finish off the Karl's then have a go at a couple of Me262's.

Change of Plans...Again!



I've decided to leave the AK47 army for the moment, as it seems very unlikely that I'll make any significant progress with it over the half term holiday, at least not enough to achieve anything like a finished job. I'll pick it up again next month but, in the meantime, I'm going to try to tackle another of my projects for this year, which offers a much higher probability of successful completion.

There was some enthusiasm for late war BTH2 after the game the other day and, as I already have the Luftwaffe fighters prepped and based, it makes sense to try to paint up at least some of them over the course of the half term. They're less fiddly than the early war stuff, for a start, as the camouflage patterns are a bit ad- hoc and have plenty of scope for variations in approach.

If the weather continues to be rubbish, I'll also be able to escape from forced labour in the garden, giving me some quality painting time in the garage instead. I'm a bit worried that something disturbing in the DIY genre will be foisted upon me by the Ministry of the Interior, but she's off for a five hour hairdo this afternoon, so it looks like the coast is clear.

...first up, some Bf109 Gustav's and Karl's, to be followed by some Fw190 Dora's.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Bank Holiday Bonus



I've spent most of the day in the garden, sorting out a section at the back so that I can move the trampoline tomorrow to a new play area, as far away from human habitation as possible. As a result it's been a washout as far as painting is concerned, although I may get some undercoating done this evening once the kids are in bed.

However, I was very pleased to find that the Toofatlardies have pulled a fast one and have published their latest Summer Special, well in advance of the actual Summer. I haven't had a chance to slim through it yet but there's an article for BTH2 which looks very interesting, along with all the other stuff that is always worth a read.

I've also taken advantage of the 15% off bank holiday sale at The Scene to add some more of his excellent 15mm katyusha rocket launchers to the AK47 army that I'm currently painting up. These will be destined for use as ground mounted RCL for the main body of the militia units, with a couple set aside as armament for Toyota technicals.

...not a bad result.


Sunday, 26 May 2013

AK47 Summer Safari [5]



Here's the regular infantry and APC unit that I based up this evening, having squeezed one more small arms base out of the dregs that were left over from my old colonial settler army. I'm going to put together a couple of T55's as well, so that I can paint them up at the same time as the BTR 60's. It's a full on day in the garden tomorrow, under duress I may add, but I'm hoping to make a start on some basecoating by the end of the day.

AK47 Summer Safari [4]



I finally found the time to wrap up the painting on the tribal militia unit for the AK47 Religious Movement army. They need the bases textured, painted and flocked but that can wait for later. They're a bit 'ho hum' but then it's a supposedly quick project, so I've been less than meticulous. It's onto some T55 tanks and BTR60 APC's for the regulars next.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Bayonet and Ideology

 
One of the guys at the club suggested a game of the Peter Pig Bayonet and Ideology rules for the Spanish Civil War the other day. I have the rules, thanks to Ebay many years ago, so jumped at the chnace of a try out, especially as all the figures would be provided for play. It's something I've fancied doing for ages, so I may even get a small International Brigade or Anarchist Militia force together using the re-scuplted Peter Pig SCW range. It's an cross-over extension of my AK47 and interwar interests in many ways, so I may well get engrossed in a new period this year, assuming the rules hit the spot.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

AK47 Summer Safari [3]



A bit of a **** day at work, so I thought I'd cheer myself up by sorting out the next unit for the AK47 Religious Movement army, not that I've actually finished the first one. Anyway,it's a regular unit of two clanky old BTR60 APC's, which can between them cart around four bases of regular small arms equipped troops, plus a couple of bases of RPG's, mortars or RCL's. I've really scraped the bottom of the lead barrel to put together the infantry bases for this lot but it does cover the extra points that might pop up in the fowcharts, just to be on the safe side. It should be fun to paint up, so roll on the weekend!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Air War C21 Earth Movers



I was really pleased to see this pop up on TMP yesterday, as it's a set of rules I've long been planning to try out, using my extensive stockpile of Tumbling Dice tiddly planes. Although my plans revolve around the Alto Cenepa War, I can still appreciate the need for some heavy ground pounders, especially as the proceeds go towards the restoration of a real life Avro Vulcan. If some rules for helicopters managed to appear, I'd be even more chuffed!

http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_164.shtml

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

BTH2 Channel Dash Game












The BTH2 game went well this evening, although it lacked a bit of something or other. The end result was a hard won but narrow victory for the RAF, which lost two Hurricanes shot down and a third with instrument damage, although the skilled pilot managed a successful landing back at Tangmere along with the other three survivors.

The Lufwaffe bomber force was mauled and ended up with four out of eight Dorniers in the drink. As a result, the RAF achieved their objective of shooting down half the bombers but the Luftwaffe failed in their attempt to save two thirds of their aircraft, while also failing in their secondary objective of destroying half of the RAF fighters....but only just.

I think I need to devise some tokens or markers for the various critical damage effects, as it was difficult to keep track of the things once the action picked up. The smoke markers worked well, though, so I may make some more with thinner pipe cleaners, if I can track some suitable ones down.

I'm taking a break from Bag the Hun for a while but will be back with more games later in the year.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Bag the Hun Channel Dash Cards



I've made a few changes to the scenario that I'll be running tomorrow at the club, so a new set of turn cards had to be sorted out. I've now adopted a very simple approach to this which makes it easy to churn out a whole set of cards without any hassle.

I've bought several boxes of slightly smaller than postcard sized visiting cards when I've been on holiday in France. The required deck of cards are produced in WORD using a basic template, printed in colour on paper, then cut out and stuck on to the standard sized visiting cards.

It's not very sophistcated but it does the job. I have laminated the end result in the past but now just use the cards as they are, which seems to work fine. It's great when you need to knock out a set for a particular game in a short space of time, then subsequently have to modify things when you realise that the scenario needs a bit of tweaking.

Anyway, I'll post some photos of the Channel Dash game tomorrow, when I get back from the club.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Once upon a Time in the West Indies




I was up in the loft this morning to find some camping kit for number one son, so took the opportunity to rummage in the wargames rules box that I have stashed up there. A quick bit of digging turned up an old copy of Pete Berry's Once Upon a Time in the West Indies pirate rules, which are a supplement for the similarly entitled '....West Country' skirmish rules for the English Civil War period.

What I had failed to appreciate and had completely forgotten is that the booklet contains a very simple set of pirate ship rules, which look exactly like the thing I've been looking for. The movement and firing system is based on a dot to dot grid marked out on the playing surface, which is pretty simple but doesn't include the effect of the wind. I would need to convert this to hex based movement and add in rules for wind but the basic idea is quite neat.

I'll add it to the list of potential rules and give it a try, once I've put together and painted a couple of the Peter Pig Pieces of Eight ships. This will happen at some point this year but I'm doing the AK47 army for the next six weeks or so, which means that any other things are on the ever expanding 'to do' list. When I do get round to it, I may well write my own set of rules using a card based turn sequence, hex based movement and lots of 'random events' to make it interesting.

Yo Ho Ho.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Build Your Own Stonehenge?


A bit of a wierd day. I had been volunteered by the Ministry of the Interior to help out with car parking at the local agricultural show, so spent the morning playing at traffic control in a field. It was actually quite good fun, although I'm now very sunburnt. It was all to raise some money for my son's scout troop, so well worth the effort, even if I now glow in the dark.

We also have some French guests staying for the weekend so it was off to Stonehenge in the afternoon for  some touristy sightseeing. It doesn't seem to have changed much since my last visit in 1973, as the concrete soviet style bunker visitor centre thing is still there in all it's post modernist glory. It's a bit embarrassing to be honest but the actual henge bit is still pretty impressive, once you peer over the assembled coach loads of people.

Anyway, to save something from an otherwise unproductive day, I bought a Build Your Own Stonehenge kit from the gift shop. I'm not sure what I'll do with it but it does have potential for Adventures in Jimland and Tusk, although some pre-historical suspension of dis-belief will be a pre-requisite. It's a nice little injection moulded kit, in what could be 6mm or 10mm at a push, so worth the £5.99 that I handed over for it?

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Bag the Hun Channel Dash Scramble



I was hoping to have finished eveything for the BTH convoy attack game next Tuesday but real life has been chipping away at my evenings of late, so I'll be running an updated version of my Battle of Britain Channel Dash scenario instead. This was originally written and played using the first edition of the BTH rules, so there are some ammendments and adjustments to make before I can re-run it next week. At least I know that it works, which is a bit of a change!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

MDF Scratchbuilt Shanty Town...a cunning plan!


I've been stuck in a very long and dull meeting this evening, so to while away the time I doodled some ideas for a shanty town terrain template for AK47 on the seemingly endless agenda. I've had some thoughts about scratchbuilding a shanty town template or two before, having been inspired by the one that my arch-nemesis Jon built from cereal packets, chewing gun and string a few years ago. I don't know how he does it but he always makes something amazing out of stuff that you'd probably bin.

Genius!
Anyway, I thought about the quick 'off the shelf' option first, using either the excellent resin shacks from The Scene or the newly published paper version from Finger and Toe, both of which popped up on TMP today. However, the otherwise top notch resin ones look a little too post-apoc for my liking, while the paper ones look a little bit too bland. So, it's definately back to the scratchbuilding option, for which I have a very cunning plan...sort of.


I have a pile of old East Riding Miniatures MDF bases that have now been superceded by the far more precise, laser cut version from the same source. These have been languishing in a box for ages but would make an excellent basis for construction of sturdy shanty town shacks, with only a minimal amount of cutting and trimming required. I can glue them together and stick them onto some MDF terrain feature bases, then cover them with corrugated plastic card and other detritus to make the perfect shanty town feature.

Job's a good 'un....

:O)

Operation Suicide


I'm starting reading this on the Kindle HD today, having downloaded a copy while it was reduced in price a couple of weeks ago. I'm feeling in the mood for something cloak and dagger, so this fit the bill perfectly. There are a number of books out on the Cockleshell Heroes at the moment so, if I enjoy reading this one, I can dig deeper into the story.

Monday, 13 May 2013

AK47 Summer Safari [2]



Here are the naked tribal loonies after a three stage Foundry Bay Brown skin shade, followed by some Citadel Knarloc Green and Scorpion Green on the RPG's, with the stocks on the AK47's picked out in Foundry Spearshaft. It's a all a bit messy at the moment but I'll clean things up and add some more layers to the webbing and guns tomorrow, together with a wash of something or other to add a bit of definition. I definately need to sort out the asparagus RPG's for a start.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Catastophic Structural Failure!



At the last Bag the Hun game one of the players suggested that some pipe cleaner fire markers would be a good idea, as he'd seen them used in other games and they looked really neat. I've been looking out for some suitable pipe cleaners for ages, the usual thin ones being pretty useless, so was really pleased to find some over-sized ones in the local art shop yesterday, especially as they came in a dayglo orange colour.

I folded them in half then sprayed them in a black, grey and white colours, followed by an overspray in satin varnish to seal everything in. After that, I cut the pipecleaners in half and trimmed off the ends to make them look less regular. Although the end result is a bit over-scale I think they look OK, so have produced a small box full ready for the game next week.

Lost World Temple Thingy




I found this in the local branch of Petsmart today, while on a bicycle repair mission to Halfords next door. I'd seen it before but when I went to get one they'd sold out. It's rather good as it is and perfect for Saurian Safari, but I may tart it up a bit with a wash and some additional drybrushing. I really should sort out some decent jungle and other terrain for Saurian Safari but this is a good start.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

AK47 Summer Safari (1)



After the recent AK47 games that I've run at the club, I really what to crack on with another army so that I can set up a campaign later in the year. Although I have tinkered with other things in the last few months, I keep coming back to AK47, which is why I've set out to paint up a Religious Movement army by the end of next month.

I could tackle the Superpower Backed force that I prepared last year but the mix of unusual units and vehicle kit bashing that the Religious Movement army involves is a definite vote winner. Anyway, as a case in point here's the first unit, a small arms and RPG equipped militia force. The army lists specify at least three miltia units, so it's probably the best place to start.

I thought it would be distictive to use only naked figures, although this meant I had to be imaginative when it came to basing, as I only had three figure poses plus the kneeling RPG chap to use. In the end I did some conversions on the RPG figure to create a standing bloke and drafted in a few native trackers from my PITS box for variety.

All together, the basic unit of eight S/A and two RPG's is only worth a feeble seventy points but it's enough to field a militia unit as one of the two compulsory vehicle free units in the army. They will be easy to paint up as well, using a black undercoat and layered skin shades, together with some detailing for the guns, webbing and so on. I may even add some tribal war paint, if I can work out how to make it look like the real thing?

Friday, 10 May 2013

Crocodiles!

 
In AK47 game the other day, the attackers got the upper hand early on thanks to some repeated five and six rolls in the deployment phase, so had four of their five units on table at the start of the game. The defenders rolled a series of ones and twos, so only had one unit on the table making it very difficult to avoid being over-run by the time reinforcements could arrive.
 
To avoid a walkover by the attackers, I decided to throw a spanner in their works, if only to slow them down a bit. The defenders had wisely set the attacking table edge on the other side of a river, with the only way across for vehicles being the bridge in the centre. I had already ruled that the river could be waded by infantry, which isn't actually allowed in the rules but seemed reasonable to me.
 
 
Anyway, to stop the defenders being wiped out by Turn 4, I decided to deploy the crocodiles. When the attackers tried to cross the river with their infantry, I made them roll a D6 for each group, with 6 resulting in an instant kill. This meant that they lost a group then got caught in the crossfire from the defender's HMG's, making it possible for the outnumbered MDF to hold their position in the nearby jungle.
 
It worked well, so I'm adding some wildlife to the AK47 collection and may even make up some additional 'enter a template' random events for future games. There was an article by Chris Peers in an old issue of Wargames Illustrated along similar lines, so I'll have to see if I can dig it out and make up some house rules of my own. In the meantime, there are some crocodiles in the post!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

NEWSFLASH - FART claims decisive victory in battle for Watumbi (Reuters)


From our correspondent in Watumbi

In a decisive retaliatory cross border strike, units of the Nbuto Force Action Rapide Territoriale, supported by helicopter gunships and air-mobile infantry of the Patrole Action Rapide Parachutiste, have smashed through the Nbuto-Mbote de-militarized zone along the Bagombo River.

Initial reports indicate that a spearhead of armoured vehicles and jeep commando units penetrated deep into the border zone adjecent to the Watumbi Bridge. A combination of overwhelming firepower and co-ordinated support by helicopter gunships, threw the local Mbote Defence Force border guards into panic, driving them into the thick jungle undergrowth on the banks of the river.


This tactical success enabled a fast moving FART jeep commando unit to advance across the river and sieze their key objective, before a counter attack by Mbote Defence Force armour, anti tank artillery and militia units caused a localised tactical withdrawal. With daylight fading, elite paratroops of the PARP held the bridgehead enabling the FART mainforce to successfully disengage.


Having achieved their objective, FART troops are now digging in and fortifying the border zone adjacent to the Watumbi Bridge. This pre-emptive strike by the FART is clearly a defensive strategy aimed at consoldation of the disputed border with Mbote. Thus far, there has been no information from the Mbote Government about the skirmish but a press release is expected soon.
  

However, it is highly unlikely that further raids such as this one will be made in the near future, as sources close to the Nbuto Government have indicated that severe losses in troops and equipment were suffered by the FART. In the meantime, the border town of Watumbi has seen jubilant crowds welcoming units of the FART as they return from the frontline.