Monday, September 22, 2014

Goodies From Abroad!

Today I received three packages in the mail, all filled with miniatures, all from the U.K.  No piccies today, I'll snap some tomorrow so folks can see some comparison shots.

First up, science fiction...Old Crow must make the most perfect vehicles I have even seen.  I bought two Trojan APCs (wheeled versions) along with a few packs of his 15mm infantry.  The vehicles are perfect, some sort of super resin I think, as there was not one hole nor miscast spot on either Trojan.  Amazing works of art, and includes my choice of missile rack, gun turret (think Marder), or plain hatch.  The infantry I will call the Peter Pig of the sci-fi world as they are small (but cleanly cast, detailed, and well-animated).  They might be close to the Eureka Germans I have in terms of height.  I might use these to go against the Germans if they blend well.  Regardless, the two APCs made the order shine, simply amazing quality.

More science fiction...several packs of Ground Zero Games 15mm!  I bought some colonial defense force, some Neu Swabian League packs, and some Crusties, taking advantage of the great "buy four, get one free" offer.  These figures are large 15mm, with a nice heft, and really some of the best sculpting I have seen on any 15mm figure, and that is saying something considering the quality of 15mm offerings on the market these days.  The Crusties will be used for dual purposes, portraying the Marshborn race from Tomorrow's War as well as serve as District 9 aliens, as let's face it, that seems to be exactly what they were intended to be!  The NSL figures will become some sort of German faction for Tomorrow's War, as will the colonials.

Last, a slew of Peter Pig Vietnam figures were in a rather long box.  I bought ARVN, U.S., VC, and Vietnamese peasants.  Not certain what rules I will be using yet, but Ambush Alley and Charlie Company are the front runners.  I might try to heavily modify Giac My to simplify the numerous die rolling that one must do in the original version of the rules.

Piccies tomorrow (hopefully)!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What ARE These?

Recently I picked up some assorted Peter Pig figures on eBay.  Well, at least I think they are Peter Pig figures!  When I compare them to other Peter Pig figures I have, they look spot on.  What is the issue?  The poses do not match any of the existing poses in either the AK47 or Men of Company B ranges, so I need your help.

It looks like there are two complete packs here, eight machine gunners and eight command figures.  They are wearing boonie hats, matching the Australians in the Vietnam range.  Some of the leaders are carrying something that looks like a FAL or G-3; again, that goes along with the existing Aussie Vietnam range.  But the actual poses do not match...there is no command pack listed for the Aussies.  

In looking at the AK47 range, while there are figures available wearing boonie hats and carrying SL rifles, and even while some of the poses are close, they simply do not match.

I am guessing these are Vietnam Aussies, older figures that for some reason are not being made any longer, but I need the esteemed readers of this blog to help confirm that.

Machine gunners on bottom, command across the top

Close-up of command figures

The three command poses

The three machine gunner poses

Monday, September 15, 2014

Progess on the Painting Front!

Recently I was able to get a paint day in with my gaming buddy The G Dog.  I went north to his place with bare metal figures to prime, already primed figures ready to paint, bare metal figures to mount on bases, and vehicles to put together.  An ambitious amount of work on my part.  The good news is the paint day allowed me to get brush to figure for the first time in a long time, and I was able to work on the Eureka sci-fi Germans I have for either an X-COM or Tomorrow's War project.  These babies were already primed, so I just needed to come up with some sort of paint scheme for them.  I settled on some Vallejo German World War Two colors, but shied away from any camouflage.  I wanted the figures to reflect a bit of throwback, but also be easy for me to paint (I kept the breathing masks black as to give them an even more sinister look)  Therefore I painted up this platoon as follows (I still need to finish the bases obviously):

The entire platoon of twenty-eight figures - their organization is detailed HERE

Fireteam - two heavy weapons, two riflemen, one team leader

Platoon support team - rocket launcher and ammo carrier, heavy cannon, sniper team

The leader of the band...er, platoon

Sniper team - the sniper is one of my favorite poses

Rocket launcher team - picture is a bit blurry

Rifleman, or whatever I make the typical small arms to be

BFG - big feckin' gun!

The heavy weapons for each fireteam

I was also able to get another RAFM Imp primed, along with priming the Peter Pig Iraq War Marines  for the Generation Kill project, the QRF post war West Germans for my Somali (Africa) project, and The Scene figures I have for Predator (which are now painted).  Priming figures in my condo is not an easy task as I do not have an area that I can freely prime figures, so having the chance to prime figures at The G Dog's abode really was something I had to take advantage of.  Now with all these primed figures I have plenty to work on for the next few weeks.  All in all a good day of accomplishment, and I look forward to the next painting session.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Khurasan *Not* Predator

A couple of posts ago I posted about my collection of special forces for the Predator movie that I had completed painting.  The Scene makes some lovely figures that covers Dutch's seven man team that goes looking for Harper and his missing men.  I mentioned in that post that I would soon have the Khurasan predator completed, and here he is.  I finished this lovely little chap a few days ago.  I am rather pleased on how he turned out.  I have tried to give him that yellow-green skin
tone that the alien had in tone that the alien had in tone that the alien had in the movie, not sure if I captured that well, but regardless, I am glad to have this little project completed (at least from a painted figure perspective).  

Now I need to pick up some jungle terrain, which I need to do anyway for my Vietnam projects, and I will be able to run a Force on Force/Tomorrow's War scenario.

As with all my posts, clicking on the picture will bring up a much larger image.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

By Dagger or Talon...'Bout Damn Time!

FINALLY!  I received my copy of By Dagger or Talon in the post yesterday, and I am glad it came.  When BDoT was first released I must have missed seeing an announcement, and missed out on the chance to buy one.  I've been pounding the poor folks at Ambush Alley Games about when it was coming back into print...told be told back in January "soon."  I do not live in "soon", I live in the now and I want a copy!!!*

Right before seeing the recent post on The Miniatures Page by Shawn of AAG, while perusing the AAG website I stumbled across the fact that BDoT had recently gone back into print!  I went straight to Wargame Vault and purchased both a PDF and hard copy.  I have skimmed through the PDF version a few times, but I am old school and like having the product in my hands without having to go through a ream of paper and two ink cartridges printing the PDF, so when I pulled the booklet out of the mailbox, I immediately started reading the goodies within.

For those of you who do not know, By Dagger or Talon is the first supplement for Tomorrow's War.  The supplement covers in its one hundred plus pages alien species and how to create them within the TW format (in far greater detail than what is given in TW.  It also adds enhanced special operations forces and other juicy tidbits like a slew of scenarios involving the alien races.  It gives some background on some of the first encounters with alien species and allows players to game within the TW canon (loose as the TW canon may be) or to create their own species to game on the tabletop.

I hope that Ambush Alley Games will continue to flesh out their historical background with future supplements (one can always check their forum for ideas from others), but in the meantime By Dagger or Talon is a hell of a good place to start!

* I have had nothing but great experiences with the folks at AAG, so I hope my impatience wasn't too annoying!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ground Zero Games Buy Four Get One Free!

NSL Panzergrenadiers - Picture from GZG website
Damn, damn, damn...another sale from a great miniatures company.  Yesterday it was Peter Pig (15% off
sale) so I picked up several packs of Vietnam figures.  Today it is Ground Zero Games with what amounts to a 20% off sale...if you buy four packs you can pick a fifth pack of equal or lesser value for free.  I've never ordered from GZG, but have drooled over their science-fiction figures for quite some time.  The sale was enough to push me over the edge.

I ordered some of their Crusties, which in Tomorrow's War serve as the Marshborn (which have some 2300 A.D. Kafer characteristics and look amazingly like District 9 aliens).  I also grabbed some Neu Swabian League Panzergrenadiers and some of the Colonial Defense Force.  The NSL figures continue my affection for all things Germanic and will become my enhanced special operations forces for TW), and the CDF figures just look cool with their light armor, helmets, and more conventional weapons.  I did add one pack of the NSK power armor guys as to me they are the ideal Starship Troopers (book canon, not those crappy-ass movies).

No doubt with all the existing 15mm sci-fi figures I have I did not need to add more.  But the GZG castings are some of the nicest out there, and I just HAD to take advantage of the sale, didn't I?  (look, honey, I SAVED us 20% on these figures.  Great deal, eh?)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Peter Pig 15% Sale

ARVN - Picture from Peter Pig website
This is something that doesn't come along very often, a sale at Peter Pig!  They are offering a 15% off sale on all their items with a minimum $65.00 order.  The sale goes until September 18th.  I've been dabbling with the thought of getting into Vietnam (I should say back into Vietnam, for like the tenth time!), and so took advantage of the sale to do just that.  I ordered a mix of figures, Americans, ARVN, VC, and peasants, so I will have a decent mix of forces to use, most likely with Ambush Alley Games' Ambush Valley.  I do have a copy of RAFM's Charlie Company on the way as well as I like the idea of a campaign and all players taking on the role of Free World forces.  

Peter Pig does a nice line of figures, but I still felt a bit limited without having U.S. Marines with M-14s or ARVN/ROK troops with Garands and M-1/M-2 carbines to choose from, or even CIDG forces to buy, but the sale convinced me that Peter Pig was the way to go...that and the fact I do like their figures.  That said, it probably took me three hours and several variations of shopping cart contents to decide what I wanted to order.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Scene's Not-Predator Special Forces

After having owned these little suckers for a couple of years, it was time to finally get them painted up.  My first completed figures in a very long time.  I still need to hit them with a layer or two of dullcoat, but overall I am fairly pleased on how they turned out.  I used mostly Vallejo and Coat D'arms paints, with olive as the base color and highlighted with faded olive.  I do not have the skills to paint woodland camo that should appear on some of the characters, but instead hit them with a light drybrushing of black, light green, and saddle brown.  Alas, that drybrushing got lost once I blackwashed the figures.  A bit of flesh wash, basing materials, and here are the results.  Be kind, my skills are not that great!

The figures themselves are easy to work with  Cleanly cast with good detail and animation.  There are ten figures in this range, but really one only needs seven to do homage to the movie.

I have a start on the Khurasan not-Predator as well (seen in the background).  Should be able to finish that figure this week along with some other goodies.




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chaco War - Odds & Sods But No Tacos

It has been quite the busy summer - I got married, I am leading a hiking group that meets on a fairly regular basis, I am a board of trustees member for a statewide hiking non-profit, and am now the activities committee chair for my local Civil War round table.  Add to that trips, honeymoon, planning other trips and hikes, meeting with folks after work, etc., and it has curtailed into gaming a bit.  So this post is a "catch-up" of sorts, a place to gather some Chaco War info together for my own reference, and for your enjoyment if the Chaco tickles your fancy.

I am pretty much settling on using Force on Force for the rules.  I like the rules, and instead of buying tons of figures to do battalion to division-sized games, I already have plenty of figures to use from Khurasan and Irregular to give several players players a squad or two to run in small scenarios.

Books


I've added two Chaco War titles to the library, those being Adrian English's The Chaco War - Bolivia v. Paraguay, and Aircraft of the Chaco War by Dan Hagedorn and Antonio Sapienza.  The latter book is a tour de force on the aircraft used by both sides of this conflict, but before you rush out to buy it, bear in mind it is a Schiffer publication, which means a hefty retail sticker price, and that there is very little air to air combat during the war, the aircraft being most used on recon flights along with bombing and support missions.  Try to find a reduced price copy if you must have this title as it does contain a wealth of information and is quite interesting from an interwar aircraft viewpoint.  The Adrian English book I have is the revamped edition published by Partizan, so it too has a large price tag, but is essential for gamers to not only obtain a good overview of the war, but to also learn about the forces and weapons for both antagonists.  However, for a revamped title, I am a bit put off by the numerous grammatical and formatting mistakes, it simply should be better and had someone read the book before printing it, they would have seen some glaring issues that needed to be corrected before going to print.  Beyond that, it is still a must have, just be prepared for some annoying reading along the way.

Vehicles


Based on several posts on The Miniatures Page, I decided to use the Zvezda Soviet ZIS-5, which in reality is a Russian copy of a Ford, and as the trucks were very cheap I bought four.  I have assembled one (they are snap-together kits) and here are some pictures showing the sprues and finished model.  They were not tough to put together, but a bit tricky at times (small pegs going into small holes being held by farmboy fingers).  I need to assemble the other three and get some paint on them.

Probably the most difficult part to get into place, the engine hood.  I finally got it where it needed to be.

Pictured with a Eureka sci-fi German stormtrooper

Lots of little parts to put together


Picture from Minairons website
Depending on what one reads, there appears to have been three Vickers tanks in the entire Bolivian army, so they would be very rare on the tabletop, especially within a Force on Force setting, but the tanks are so cool that I started researching which ones to buy.  I decided on two tanks (one armed with a tank gun and the other armed with two machinegun turrets).  I will need to create a reinforcement table for each side and the tanks would only appear on some like double ones or double sixes.  They should be rather easy for the Paraguayan player to suppress with machinegun fire, so the tanks should not cause much panic.  There are a decent number of options available in 15mm for the Vickers, and I settled on using the T-26A and T-26B kits from Minairons Miniatures.  The T-26 was a Russian copy of the Vickers, and for gaming purposes is pretty darn close to the Vickers.  Also, I was able to buy two of these plastic kits directly from Minairons for a really decent price, even with the shipping cost from Spain, making the option of having tanks appear on the game table very affordable.  I received the sprues this week, and put one together tonight.  These are not snap together kits, but darn close as the parts fit nicely before adding glue.  Here is the gun-armed version.

As packaged

This sprue can make either the A or B version

Gun-armed version


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