Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Stuff on the table - November 2017

Here's what's on the table as the start the month:
  • Zvezda 1/144th Ju-87 Stuka (2017)
  • Minicraft 1/144th Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero (2017)
  • Privateer Press Hordes Ravagore (2016)
  • Artizan Designs 28mm WW2 Maquis (2013)
  • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites (2015) 
As we go into the last two months of the year it's all about trying to clear up the pre-2017 stuff. So the Ravagore, Maquis and Hoplites are the priorities for this month. The Maquis just need basing, so once I decide on a basing scheme these will be completed. The Hoplites are in a similar state but I also need to complete the shield designs.

The Ravagore has some awkward parts which can only be painted prior to assembly. This will be quite an involved process of paint a bit, assemble a bit and repeat. 

Current state of the Ravagore

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Stuff on the table - October 2017 UPDATE

Updates to the October list:
  • Zvezda 1/144th Ju-87 Stuka (2017) - no further progress
  • Minicraft 1/144th Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero (2017) - underneath painted and shaded, top surfaces base coated and weathered. Just detail painting and decals to do.
  • Privateer Press Hordes Ravagore (2016) - some further prep work done. 
  • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm USA WW2 Parachute rifle platoon (2016) - COMPLETED
The priority for the month was to complete the parachute rile platoon which was achieved. And here's some shots of the lads on their snowy bases. 








Additional items worked on:
  • Artizan Designs 28mm WW2 Maquis (2013) - cleaned, primed and varnished, awaiting basing.
  • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites (2015) - shield designs started (9 of 32)
These are the oldest figures that are outstanding. The Maquis were picked up very cheap from a Wayland Games stall at the Writtle Wargames show in 2013, with a whole batch of other Artizan WW2 figures they were selling off. I think it averaged about £2 a pack. I sold most but kept these, some partisans and the LRDG and i didn't really know what to do with them for awhile. Recently though I began to mull over an idea I had  about 6 years ago when I started to collect towards a squad level, early WWW2 game set in Nazi occupied Britain using AE:WW2 rules. This didn't go far but I kept some of the figures so I think I may resurrect this idea and the Maquis will fit well into this - they could as easily be British as French!. 

Friday, 20 October 2017

Getting a grip

I don't like having a lot of stuff sitting there waiting to be done. After a while it begins to cause me some anxiety. Which let's face it is a bit pathetic if that's the worse thing that I've got to worry about. That aside, I've been starting to feel like that again lately. It's partly to do with my impending birthday. It's also because we're into Autumn and I can hear the clock ticking as the year disappears fast. 

To try and counter this I've decided to take the following steps:
  1. Try very, very hard not to buy anything else that requires "doing". So no more kits, figures, terrain for the rest of the year. Must resist "bargains". Stop looking on eBay.
  2. Focus on the oldest outstanding items and get these done first. My trusty spreadsheet  (extract below) helps with this.
  3. Seek solace in the therapy of like minds. Not so easy when I'm a solo gamer.
Regarding point three I spent some time during my lunch hour yesterday reading TMP. I came across this thread, "How Big is Your Lead Mountain?" and read most of the 200 odd posts.I would recommend anyone who suffers from "Lead Mountain Blues" to have a read. There's quite a few fellow hobbyists out there who also feel like I do. And it helped me put my own feelings into perspective. My lead mountain is not even a hillock. I'm not smug about this, just relieved I don't have thousands of figures and hundred of kits sitting there. All scales taken into account I currently have 486 figures outstanding broken down as:
  • 31 28mm figures (4 pre-2017 purchased in progress. The remaining 27 have only been added in the last few months from KickStarter projects so comfortable with these). 
  • 132 15mm figures (52 in progress, another 40 pre-2017 purchased but I may sell these). 
  • 323 10mm figures (32 pre-2017 purchased in progress, I haven't decided on whether 10mm is a viable scale yet so after finishing those in progress I may sell the rest)
Additionally there's:
  • 18 1/144th plane kits (2 in progress, 10 pre-2017 purchased to do. One kit will definitely be sold as it was part of a job lot).
  • 2 1/100th armour kits (both 2017 purchases so ok with these)

I also have some odds and sods of old kits and figures from the 80s and early 90s like MiniFigs ECW but I don't count these as they'll not get done. And there's half a dozen 20mm part painted Berlin buildings to do. And the 15mm Italian village. But terrain is different isn't it?  

Anyway all this aside, by focusing and stop buggering about I could get the majority of the stuff that's been hanging around pre-2017 cleared up and that would be a lovely position to start 2018 from.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Stuff on the table - October 2017

A mixed bag to kick off October:
  • Zvezda 1/144th Ju-87 Stuka (2017)
  • Minicraft 1/144th Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero (2017)
  • Privateer Press Hordes Ravagore (2016)
  • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm USA WW2 Parachute rifle platoon (2016)
The priority is the parachute rile platoon which is part of my North West Europe winter 1944/45 project. 

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Stuff on the table - September 2017 UPDATE

Updated list for September:


  • Zvezda 1/144th Ju-87 Stuka (2017) - assembled
  • Minicraft 1/144th Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero (2017) - assembled and primed, painting started 

  • Additional items worked on:
  • Privateer Press Hordes Ravagore (2016) - cleaned up and started assembly
  • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Parachute rifle platoon (2016) - cleaned up and primed, painting started

  • I was away for a couple of weeks so not too much was done on existing projects. However, when I returned I got straight on with my winter project which is North West Europe winter 1944/45. 






    Thursday, 7 September 2017

    Falling in love again

    When I got the original black and white edition of Prime back in 2004 I fell for Warmachine in a big way. Khador and Cryx battle groups were duly collected. I was there at Salute 2006 for the release of Hordes and a Circle of Orboros battle group was added to the collection. A Legion of Everblight battle group followed in 2007 and then a steady addition of models for my existing factions. And every new book and each edition of No Quarter. 

    Then in 2010 PP released Mk II and I was pissed off with the thought of spending all that coin on new rule books, forces books, cards etc. I stayed pissed off until 2014 when I revaluated and got hold of the mini rulebooks and the MkII faction decks, even going so far as to get the correct tokens for all my factions and I was all set again. I even bought a small Skorne army off eBay. 

    Then we got to the end of 2015 and they announced MkIII. And that pissed me off. So I really thought that was it. I'd play the occasional game of Mk II and leave it at that.

    Then I got an email from PP about the Grymkin faction. It appealed. Dangerously. So I had a look and discovered that PP had made all the MkIII cards available for free in a nifty database that produced a pretty PDF for your factions. And the rules were a free download (like MkII). And then I got the new rules digests for a few quid each from a nice fella on eBay. So I'm all set again. It's 2004. I love Warmachine (and Hordes of course).






    Friday, 1 September 2017

    Stuff on the table - September 2017

    Here's the starting point for September and it's not much at all: 
    • Zvezda 1/144th Ju-87 Stuka (2017)
    • Minicraft 1/144th Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero (2017)
    The Stuka was a lovely modern tooled kit which went together like a dream. The Zero is a very old kit and horrid!  Not sure how much will get done this month as I'm away for 2 weeks. I'm much more motivated hobby wise now though so expect a strong finish to the year. 

    Wednesday, 30 August 2017

    Stuff on the table - August 2017 UPDATE

    Here's the updated list for August:
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) - painted, varnished, based COMPLETED
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016) - painted, varnished, based COMPLETED
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Japanese Hohei platoon (2016) - foliage added to bases COMPLETED
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 USMC rifle platoon (2016) - foliage added to bases COMPLETED
    A clean sweep this month - I don't think that's ever happened!  All things in progress as I started August have been completed. It's very satisfying. I bought some grass tufts to do the Japanese and USMC platoons and liked the effect, which overcame my natural tightness and I bought more to really fill the bases up. I've now gone back and added some more foliage to my Burrows and Badgers bases 

    Additional items I worked on:
    • Artizan Designs 28mm Partisan (2013) - cleaned up, primed, painted, varnished and based COMPLETED
    • Zvezda 1/144th Ju-87 Stuka (2017) - assembled
    • Minicraft 1/144th Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero (2017) - assembly started
    My order for the Dracula's America Nickstarter came earlier in the month than anticipated. Beautifully produced book and some nice figures. I opted for the Dark Confederacy posse and they look suitably grim. I was a tad disappointed with the book and think there could be much more background and options for the various posses, but maybe that will be covered in a later supplement. 

    Badger and Toad

    I finally got round to sitting down and finishing my last two Burrows and Badgers figures that I picked up at Salute 2016. 

    First up the Badger Mercenary:


     

    And the Toad Animist:


     

    Both fantastic figures, like all of the Oathsworn figures full of character and very enjoyable to paint. I hope that I've done them justice even though maybe the photos are a bit ropey.

    I have a nice collection of 15 of these minis now. Since I picked this batch up Jo and Michael of Oathsworn have released another two Kickstarters which somehow I missed. However, after an email to the aforementioned Oathsworn supremos I've gone all in for all the minis and the mouse house. That should be with me for Christmas so a nice present to myself. It also gives time to tackle some of the other items that have been sitting about.

    Tuesday, 1 August 2017

    Stuff on the table - August 2017

    Here's the starting point for August:
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016) 
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Japanese Hohei platoon (2016) 
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 USMC rifle platoon (2016) 
    The Japanese Hohei platoon and USMC rifle just need grass and foliage added to be complete. And then it really is time to tackle the last of my Oathsworn minis, the Badger and Toad. They've been looking at me for far too long on the painting table. 

    I've bought in to the Nickstarter for Dracula's America with the Dark Confederates bundle. That should come in August so I have a good incentive to try and clear the decks for that. I have loads of suitable Old West figures that I can use for this so almost feel that I'm ahead of the game which is an unusual place for me to be. 

    Monday, 31 July 2017

    Stuff on the table - July 2017 UPDATE

    Here's the update for July:
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) - no further progress
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016) - no further progress
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Japanese Hohei platoon (2016) - Bases painted and highlighted.
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 USMC rifle platoon (2016) - All figures painted and  varnished. Bases textured, painted and highlighted.
    I made good progress with the WW2 Pacific project this month.

     

    I took the USMC rifle platoon (above right)from primed to based and virtually complete. I also painted the Japanese Hohei platoon's bases (above left ). All that's needed to complete these two platoons is to add final highlights and then foliage and grass which I need to buy. And do two Japanese sniper teams which I managed to eke out of the Japanese pack. 

    As you can see in the photo above I left an empty slot on six of the USMC bases. This enables me to add either a rifle man or BAR gunner as required. The BF pack provided options to add a BAR gunner per rifle team so I have a nice lot of spares. These figures have had their cast on bases textured and painting to fit in with the team bases. They also got an additional two coats of varnish as they'll be subjected to more handling. 

    Saturday, 1 July 2017

    Stuff on the table - July 2017

    Here's the starting point for July:
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016) 
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Japanese Hohei platoon (2016) 
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 USMC rifle platoon (2016) 
    I really hope to complete the USMC rifle platoon and finish off the bases for the Hohei platoon this month. After that I'll take a break from painting little men and try and make some progress with the Toad and Badger or do something different like tackle some of the 1/144th plane stockpile. 

    Friday, 30 June 2017

    Stuff on the table - June 2017 UPDATE

    Here's the update for June:
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) - no further progress
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016) - no further progress
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Japanese Hohei platoon (2016) - based and sand added to bases
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 USMC rifle platoon (2016) - cleaned up, primed, test figure completed
    There was some progress with the WW2 Pacific Project this month. I based the Japanese platoon and added a layer of sand. I thought that by using the FOW bases with holes this would be a quicker process, However, the figure bases were much smaller than all the holes and I ended up filling all the gaps with green stuff. The USMC look they fit far more snugly.

    Thursday, 1 June 2017

    Stuff on the table - June 2017

    Another nice manageable list to start June:
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016)
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016)
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Japanese Hohei platoon (2016)
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 USMC rifle platoon (2016)
    The focus on this month is to make as much progress as possible with the USMC platoon. Their opponents, the Japanese Hohei platoon are waiting to be based. The plan is to do them and the USMC at the same time so there's a consistent look across all my WW2 Pacific troops.

    Wednesday, 31 May 2017

    Stuff on the table - May 2017 UPDATE

    Here's the update for May:
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) - no further progress
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016) - no further progress
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Japanese Hohei platoon (2016) - painted and varnished
    I've been focused on the Japanese Hohei platoon this month. I completed a test figure, which turned out well and for once I had the forethought to write down all the colours and mixes I used. I could then crack on to complete the rest of the platoon. They are the usual Battlefront mix - some poses excellent, some woeful. However, there is a nice variety (more then Peter Pigs) and you get light mortars and lmgs, so the one pack has given me my core platoon for my Imperial Japanese Army Bolt Action force. I also like the bases with figure holes as this will speed up the basing process. I will do a write up on these at some stage.

    Additional items I worked on:
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 USMC rifle platoon (2016) - clean up started

    Friday, 26 May 2017

    Stuff on the table - April 2017 UPDATE

    Here's the update for April:




  • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites (2015) - no further progress
  • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) - no further progress
  • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016) - no further progress
  • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Japanese Hohei platoon (2016) - Cleaned, primed, started painting
  • Privateer Press 30mm Hordes Gatormen (2016) - COMPLETED


  • Most of my hobby time this month was spent on the 5 Hordes Gatormen. These were the first plastic Privateer Press figures I've done. They needed a fair bit of clean up to remove flash and although they were supposed to be assembled using superglue I found this didn't work. I ended up assembling them by packing each joint with green stuff which did the job nicely. They came up pretty well and I'll add some photos when I get a chance. 

    I had a change of heart and decided not to attend Salute. Various factors went into this decision which I won't bore you with, but the key was that there was nothing I wanted to buy. Strange but true. I'm content with what I've got to work on. I spent the £12 cost of admission ordering a copy of the Osprey rule book Scrappers instead and spent the time working on my 15mm WW2 Japanese infantry platoon. 

    Stuff on the table - May 2017

    A very small list to start the month:
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016)
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016)
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Japanese Hohei platoon (2016)
    My priority for the month is to complete the Japanese Hohei platoon. I'll do the Toad and Badger when I fancy a change from the production line, which in itself is a nice change from painting the beasties (Oathsworn and Privateer Press) which has been my main focus this year. Therein lies the answer for me - swap it about to keep it fresh. I don't know how people can paint hundreds of the same thing. Hats off to them but it's not for me. 

    I've removed the Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites from the table and in progress list as I don't know what to do with them. The shields need completing and they need basing. However, I have another pack so may wait to do them and finish them off altogether. I have to admit I didn't enjoy painting 10mm that much which could be a problem as I bought about 300 last year!!!

    A year and a day on

    How time flies. I was thinking this morning that it was about a year ago that I created and first posted on this blog. So I checked and my first post was 25/05/2016.

    In that post I set out my aims for the blog "I'm hoping by writing this blog it will motivate me to keep on top of the hobby and share some stuff". Well I think I can say that I've done that. 

    After peaking in December and January my updates have tailed off this year due to other pressures on my time. We have lots of things going on with family, as we're at the age where parents need attention. And I've been busy forming a band. However, I am still painting and will try to get back to blogging as we hit the summer months where the light is good for hobbying and better for photos.

    Saturday, 1 April 2017

    Stuff on the table - April 2017

    Here's the starting point for April:

  • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites (2015)
  • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) 
  • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016) 
  • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Japanese Hohei platoon (2016)
  • Privateer Press 30mm Hordes Gatormen (2016)
  • Of course April is a big month as it's Salute month. My wargaming year starts with Salute and I like to try and get as much cleared up so I can justify buying shiny new things! The plan for this month is to concentrate on the Gatormen and if time allows press on with the remaining two Oathsworn anthropomorphic miniatures.

    Friday, 31 March 2017

    Stuff on the table - March 2017 UPDATE

    March was a productive and satisfying month. Here's March's updated list:
    • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites (2015) - all painted, awaiting basing
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Rabbit Heroine (2016) - completed
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) - primed ready to begin painting 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Marmot Mercenary (2016) - completed
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Fox Huntress (2016) - completed
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Otter Mercenary (2016) - completed
    • Artizan Designs 28mm WW2 Partisans (2013) - 2 of 6 completed 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016) - primed ready to begin painting 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Hare Warrior (2016) - completed
    Once I had completed the two Artizan Partisans, I decided to focus on only one Burrows and Badgers figure at a time. This worked very well and I got into a good rhythm completing five in the month. I only have two left to do now. I don't think I'll manage to complete them by Salute which was the original plan but I'm ok with that.

    Additional items I worked on:
    • Battlefront Miniatures 15mm WW2 Japanese Hohei platoon - started clean up
    • Peter Pig 15mm WW2 Japanese infantry - completed
    • Peter Pig 15mm WW2 14th Army infantry - completed
    • Privateer Press 30mm Hordes Gatormen - Cleaned up and assembled 
    I finally made a decision about collecting Far East WW2, which I've been wanting to do for many years. At Salute 2016 I bought two packs of Peter Pig figures to see how I got on with them. I then picked up a platoon each of Battlefront Japanese and USMC cheap off eBay in the summer and then was in two minds whether to go with BF or PP. Due to the fact I already have them I'm going with BF. In my opinion PP are the better figures but at 15mm it doesn't matter too much. So to cut a long story short I based up the PP figures to finish them off.

    Wednesday, 1 March 2017

    Stuff on the table - March 2017

    Can't believe it's already March, here's the starting point:
    • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites (2015)  
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Rabbit Heroine (2016)
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Marmot Mercenary (2016) 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Fox Huntress (2016) 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Otter Mercenary (2016) 
    • Artizan Designs 28mm WW2 Partisans (2013) 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016) 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Hare Warrior (2016)
    A few of the above just need basing so they'll definitely be finished this month. All of my Oathsworn figures are now on the table. I really want to get them done by Salute as that'll be the anniversary of when I bought them. Having seen that Jo and Michael are releasing a whole load of new goodies that's a great incentive. 

    The six Artizan partisans were picked up for a couple of quid a few years back. They're very generic rifle wielding figures that would fit into many eras. If I can find some muskets I may even shoehorn them into my make believe 19th century Old West collection. They're nice and easy to paint with a lot of character like all Mike Owen's figures.

    Tuesday, 28 February 2017

    Stuff on the table - February 2017 UPDATE

    Here's February's updated list:
    • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites (2015) - painted & varnished,  awaiting basing 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Rabbit Heroine (2016) - painted & varnished, awaiting basing 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) - no further progress 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Marmot Mercenary (2016) - no further progress 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Fox Huntress (2016) - painted & varnished,  awaiting basing 
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Otter Mercenary (2016) - no further progress 
    • Artizan Designs 28mm WW2 Partisans (2013) - 2 of 6 painted & varnished, awaiting basing 
    Additional items I worked on:
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Badger Mercenary (2016) - cleaned & primed
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Hare Warrior (2016) - cleaned & primed
    I didn't get round to that much hobby stuff this month. I was very tired after work and there was another distraction in the shape of a lovely new guitar to play with. However, I was pleased with what I did do. And I didn't buy anything more to the lead pile. 

    Wednesday, 1 February 2017

    Stuff on the table - February 2017

    Here's February's starting off point:
    • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites (2015)
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Rabbit Heroine (2016)
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016)
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Marmot Mercenary (2016)
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Fox Huntress (2016)
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Otter Mercenary (2016)
    • Artizan Designs 28mm WW2 Partisans (2013)
    I'm trying to complete as much of my Salute 2016 purchases before this year's show. I'm not doing too badly at the moment and if I can crack on with the above Oathsworn miniatures I'll be well on the way. 

    Tuesday, 31 January 2017

    Stuff on the table - January 2017 UPDATE

    Here's the updated list for January:
    • Cromwell Models 1/76th Pz IV (2014) - COMPLETED (AT LAST)
    • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites (2015) - main painting completed
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Rabbit Heroine (2016) - cleaned and primed
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Toad Animist (2016) - cleaned and primed
    • Artizan Designs 28mm WW2 Partisans (2013) - cleaned and primed
    I don't need to say anymore about the Pz IV, there's five separate posts devoted to it. The Greek Hoplites were the first 10mm that I'd painted. They've been sitting on the table for months, but I finally got stuck in and have enjoyed doing them which is just as well as I have about 300 10mm Ancients to do! They just need the final details such as shield designs and basing and they'll be complete.

    Additional items I worked on:
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Marmot Mercenary (2016)
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Fox Huntress (2016)
    • Oathsworn Miniatures 28mm Burrows and Badgers Otter Mercenary (2016)
    These were all cleaned up and primed with the usual thinned down Humbrol Enamel Matt Black brush painted on which I keep coming back to. The first 6 Oathsworn I did were primed with Army Painter Matt White primer but I think I work better over the black undercoat.

    This month I feel that I spent too much time working on the blog rather than painting. That sort of defeats the object as doing the blog was supposed to focus me. But perhaps it was just the cathartic nature of getting the Pz IV done finally. 

    Monday, 23 January 2017

    1/76th Panzerkampfwagen IV - The Sequel

    If you had more endurance than sense or were seeking a cure for insomnia and have stuck with this so far you may have wondered what happened to the Cromwell Models Pz IVH turret? 

    I have an ongoing project to build some Berlin '45 terrain and on looking at the Battlefront Flames of War website I noticed that they produced a Pz IV turret bunker. That solved that , I hated the thought of that nice looking turret being consigned to the spares box for eternity.

    I pulled the page up on the BF site on my iPad as inspiration and then measured and cut the pieces.  The top part was plastic card and the bottom part was cut from the the back of an old picture frame. I cut the bottom off the Pz IV turret to make it flush and then drilled a central hole with the pin vice. I was a little overzealous here and ended up drilling all the way through. This actually turned out to be helpful though as I placed this in the correct place on the bases and just drillled through the lot with the old pin vice. 

    To add some texture I glued some wet and dry paper to each rectangle and then stuck them together with PVA.  When it was dry  I painted with various shades of grey. I think I used Privateer Press Bane Base and then Coat D'armes dark grey. I then drydrushed lighter shades of grey. The turret was attached with a piece of brass rod. I carefully filled the drill hole with green stuff and built up the missing piece of rim with green stuff.




    The turret was basecoated with a mix of VMC Middlestone and VMC White and then washed with VMC Umber Wash. I used Citadel Devlan Mud to add further depth where required. I then added highlights with Middlestone mixed with more white. 



     

    Saturday, 21 January 2017

    1/76th Panzerkampfwagen IV - Pt 4 (of 4) The End or is it?

    So after painting both models I though it'd be a simple thing to add the schurtzen. Think again. When I lined them up I realised that one side fitted snugly and the other didn't. So I ended up hacking off all the inner supports and in the process cutting off one of the support rails. AARRRGGGGH. Luckily I'd had the sense to give the models a good couple of coats of varnish so I didn't do too much damage to the camo finish. They fitted quite nicely after that with liberal use of Super Glue.

    You'd have thought that by now I'd call it a day. No I wanted more pain so I cut some 1mm wide plastic card strips to make the schurtzen rail supports.I slightly shaped each end and fitted with not so liberal use of Super Glue.


    With plastic card side supports added
    And that my friends was that, apart from when I was showing boring my wife with what I'd done I saw that the turret was missing a schurtzen support. So I had to make a plastic card one. And paint it. And while I had the paint out I added a number of highlights to all the edges. And that really is that.


    Cromwell hull, Fujimi turret
    Cromwell hull, Fujimi turret

    Cromwell hull, Fujimi turret top view
    Turret and both hulls

    Fujimi hull and turret
    Fujimi hull and turret

    Friday, 20 January 2017

    1/76th Panzerkampfwagen IV - Pt 3 (of 4) - it's a saga now

    Right with all the fiddly, fussy, fixing done (or so I thought) I could get down to painting. 

    First off I painted the tyres and rollers. These got the usual coat of Vallejo Model Colour German Grey (VMC 995). By using a brush with a decent point and keeping a small moistened brush to hand I managed to do these without getting paint all over the inner parts of the wheels.

    For the main assemblies both of them had originally been painted in my usual Dunkelgelb finish which was Humbrol 83 Matt Ochre and Humbrol 34 Matt White mixed to about 65/35 ratio. On digging through my box of enamels I found that both tins of the fore mentioned colours had dried out! So I reached for the Vallejo and mixed VMC Middlestone  (VMC 882) with VGC White to get an ok if quite light base colour.
    Base coated and looking very light
    Using the Osprey Modelling the Late Panzerkampfwagen IV I chose the model that had the most complete set of photos showing the camo pattern from the most angles. This was a PZIV H from 5th Panzer in 1944 which fitted my gaming period. 

    I started with the Cromwell kit and drew the pattern on in pencil then painted the colours in. I used Citadel Calthan Brown and Knarloc Green paints that I got cheap years ago when the last local toy shop closed down and they looked ok. I wasn't really too bothered about the correct RAL numbers as I was going to do a lot of weathering. Once I'd got the camo on I then applied a watery wash of the base Dunkelgelb to tone it all down. This worked better than I thought. The final stages were to apply various washes of VMC Umber Wash and then Citadel Devlan Mud to the areas I wanted to add more depth to. 


    Fujimi (L) base coat, Cromwell painted
    Fujimi with basic camouflage
    Fujimi with Dunkelgelb wash









    Using the Cromwell kit as the master I then repeated the process for the Fujimi body. 

    I then painted all the tools, exhausts etc. Here's how the Cromwell kit was looking prior to adding the schurtzen where you can see the tools more clearly.


    Thursday, 19 January 2017

    1/76th Panzerkampfwagen IV - Pt 2 (of 4) - fixing

    Part 1. The Fujimi turret. Looking at the invaluable Osprey Modelling Guide no 38, Modelling the Late Panzerkampfwagen IV there wasn't too much difference between a H and a J turret. I simply removed the machine gun from the Fujimi model as both the H and J models detailed in the book didn't have one The H model should have zimmerit on the turret schurtzen but I can live without this, especially when you see how many wargamers have used non-zimmerit models for years.

    Part 2. The Cromwell Pz IVH hull. This was a lovely detailed piece, with nice zimmerit and stowage moulded on. The only problem was the lack of side schurtzen. My initial thought was to use the ones off the Fujimi kit. However. these were supposed to represent the wire mesh ones that Pz IVJs had and were wrong for an H. Going through the spares box I found a set of metal schurtzen that came from an SHQ Sturmpanzer IV. Although slightly too small they had the correct number of plates (5) and would do the job. I bent some florist wire round the top of each schurtzen to shape it and then stuck it on the inside to represent the fixing rail. Fixing them was another matter but this would wait until the finishing stage.

    Schurtzen  - before
    Schurtzen - with rails added
    The only other work needed on the Cromwell body was to drill a small hole and add an MG34 barrel from the spares box.

    While I was doing all this I started to think about what I could do with the Cromwell turret and Fujimi body. I then decided that I'd repair the Fujimi body and paint it in the same scheme as the Cromwell body/Fujimi turret hybrid. That way I'd have a PZ IVJ to use if I ever wanted to. So I now increased my work load.

    Part 3. The Fujimi Pz IVJ hull. When I removed the schurtzen I  pulled a couple of the track return rollers off one side and they pinged across the room never to be seen again. As I was going to model this without the side-skirts I needed to do some repair work. The surviving rollers were each made of two identical pieces glued back to back. By separating these it gave me the correct number of parts for a bodge/repair. For three of the rollers I removed the roller sections completely. I then attached a suitable size metal pin. Over this I slipped a small piece of plastic rod. Finally I added the correct roller. If you look closely and at a particular angle you'll see the rear roller is a little small but in normal use you'd never see it. I then straightened out and re-glued the tracks. 
    Fujimi body with track rollers removed
    Fujimi body with new rollers added
    To finish the body I removed the flimsy exhausts, drilled holes and then slightly countersunk them to make them sturdier. Finally I added a new hull machine gun as above.

    Wednesday, 18 January 2017

    1/76th Panzerkampfwagen IV - Pt 1 (of 4)

    Anyone that has read my start and end of month progress posts may have noticed the ever present Cromwell Models Pz IVH. I bought this back in 2014 and it's been sitting either on my table or at difficult times banished to a drawer ever since. I even referred to it as my bĂȘte noire at one stage.

    Like all Cromwell Models offerings it's a lovely kit, so what was the problem with it? The problem was it needed a lot of work. As I wrote in September "It's a resin kit with incredibly fragile turret schurtzen. All of the supports were either broken when I got it or have broken just by looking at them. Additionally the model didn't come with the side schurtzen or with the supports on the model which is pretty poor as all Pz IVHs had them."

    When I got my WW2 mojo back on in October/November time I had a burst of inspiration. I have a poor old Fujimi Pz-IVJ that has seen better days built many years ago. Why not use the best of each kit to make a half decent model? 


    The kits as they have appeared since 2014 - Fujimi PZIVJ on the left, Cromwell PZIVH on the right.
    So that's what happened and if you want to read on you can see what I did in excruciating detail - I want you to share my pain.

    Wednesday, 11 January 2017

    Finally a game - Bolt Action Western Desert 1942

    I coerced my wife to play the traditional New Year's Day wargame with me. This year we played a game of Bolt Action set in the Western Desert c.1942 at around 700 points a side.


    There was no real choosing of sides as my father-in-law had served in Eighth Army in the desert campaign, so my wife was obviously the Desert Rat.
    The Desert Rats: 2 Regular infantry squads with command, 2" mortar team and transports and a Lee for support.
    The Afika Korps: 2 Veteran infantry squads with command and transports and a Pz IIIJ for support.
    The Brits had the manpower advantage with 2 extra men per squad and also had a mortar for support. The Afrika Korps were vets though. After some moving round the shooting started. I lost a few infantry to a shot from the Lee but in the next round my Pz III took care of the pesky Tommy tank.

    One of my infantry squads was then decimated by a combination lucky mortar shot and the withering SMLE and Bren fire put up by the Brits. 

    The game was then decided by a British bayonet charge onto my remaining infantry squad (they don't like it up them!) After a right fracas I lost the close combat and was left with the Pz III and the transports intact. At that point we decided to call it a draw and have dinner!

    This was my first game of Bolt Action and I enjoyed it. I've had the rules since 2013 but I spend 99% of my hobby time in the prep phase and never get round to a game. If there's one resolution I want to stick to it's to play more games and actually use the stuff I've got. It was good to get the old desert board out the loft. Sometimes I think we're so intent on getting the next thing we forget how much good stuff we've already got. 

    You'll see from the photos that I use Battlefront minis and tanks. I have quite a large collection of their stuff for Western Desert and Med but have never played FOW.  I think that they work really well for Bolt Action with some modifications.  

    To help with identification and tracking I add a post-it note to the bottom of each base with a little bit left showing on which I note the armament of each base and leave a space to mark casualties.  In addition I don't have Bolt Action dice. I made 2 sets of chits with the orders on and then use different coloured dice to decide who goes next. The player them just places the chit next to the base. It worked fine. If I can get hold of a couple of sets of BA dice for a fair price I'll do it but there's lot of other things that I'd rather pay £20 on.