Saturday, April 14, 2018

Urgent Fury - Preliminary Planning

Marine Corps Welcoming Committee
Come to the islands!

Some scattered thoughts regarding a Grenada project, you know, that thing called Operation Urgent Fury?  Some years ago I had some 20mm figures for this conflict for skirmish gaming, but as I have mentioned previously my space is limited so 15mm is the preferred scale...oh, sorry scale snobs...preferred size, for most of my land gaming projects.  And Grenada calls out to me every couple of years.  So today I spent some time doing some searching on blogs and gaming sites trying to find figures that would be somewhat accurate.  I will state it is going to be a chore.

Let's jump to buildings and terrain.  This is a bit easier to tackle.  First, I have some hand made shanties that should add a suitable slum element to part of the tabletop.  I also have tropical trees and plants (well, they are mostly desert, but they'll do in a pinch), along with some Flames of War Vietnam foliage and trees.  I have some green tiles from The Terrain Guy (now defunct) for the gaming base.  But I do need some additional buildings, and in doing some searching there are plenty of pan-tiled roof buildings on Grenada, shades of the Mediterranean.  Empires at War make a series of prepainted mdf and laser cut Spanish/Italian buildings that should do nicely.  Okay, terrain really isn't much of an issue.

Back to the figures. I own three packs of Quality Castings modern Americans.  Given the fact that these figures were probably sculpted well over twenty years ago, the term modern fits a bit more with late Cold War.  Do they have the correct weapons?  Let's try a bit of pass/fail.  The weapons pack has the M47 Dragon (pass), the M60 machinegun (pass), LAW antitank launchers (pass), Stinger missiles (no need for these), and the figures are wearing the kevlar helmet (fail for Marines, pass for 82nd Airborne).  The basic infantry packs have M16s, some with M203 grenade launchers (check), but again with the kevlar helmet.  And the Quality Castings range is so small in height (or should I say SCALE?) compared to other 15mm figures, with some figures showing strange poses.  I cut my WWII 15mm teeth on Quality Castings, but I am not 100% sold on there modern offerings, with so many newer ranges out there.

Photo from Khurasan website
I found a few pictures of US Marines wearing the steal pot helmet with their sleeves rolled up, so perhaps Vietnam era figures might work after all.  I already own some Flames of War Vietnam figures, but they have things like cigarette packs and what not cast on, so they have a decided 'Nam feel.  Then I stumbled onto the Vietnam range from Khurasan.  You have to know the secret handshake to find them (or this link) as they do not appear under the historical figures listing, so I am not even certain they are available for sale.  I'll have to send an email to Khurasan to check availability.

Okay, so perhaps Vietnam figures will work for the Marines.  What about figures for the bad guys?  A bit tougher.  The Cubans could be handled via Peter Pig.  Their hardened militia look the part of Cuban military, even if they might not be in proper attire for Grenada.  Peter Pig also make Soviet helmeted African troops, which might work for the PRA.  There are also some militia packs that might be suitable.  I like some Peter Pig figures, and others I could do without.  Their modern Marines are excellent - chunky in heft, the open gaping mouth that is Peter Pig's signature feature not nearly as prominent, and they have animated sculpting.  Some of their other ranges are not as good (mostly from being older sculpts).

For vehicles I am going to keep it super simple, perhaps one BTR-60 for the bad guys and one AAVP7A1 for the Marines.  Butlers' Printed Models make both in 15mm for a pretty decent price, even though the shipping is a bit high (more than the cost of the two vehicles).  Irishserb makes an AAV7A1, wonder if I can get him to do a BTR-60?

More to follow!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Grunt at the Moon

Just a short post with a piccie or two as I prep my GZG Chinese Moongrunt figures.

Heavy pulse laser and two laser riflemen with grenade launhers
Unlike most GZG infantry packs, the Moongrunt packs are of six figures instead of the usual eight.  This because there are two sprues of packs in each pack that need to be cut from the sprue and glued onto the back of each figure.  The figure has a small hole in the back and the pack has a small pin for fairly easy alignment.

The Chinese are organized into three man cells, with three cells making up a squad, with the addition of a squad leader.  Each cell has two riflemen with a laser rifle/grenade launcher combo, and the third man carries a heavy pulse laser.  (see my Moongrunt Ratings for Tomorrow's War post).

One squad of three cells, with a squad leader
In total I have four squads organized in this fashion.  I have yet to purchase the rocket launcher pack for either the Marines or the Chinese as I just do not have a use for six of these for each force, but mostly likely next time GZG runs a special I'll grab a pack of each.

Of course, being GZG figures, the quality is high while sold at a very reasonable cost (these figures are 58 cents each due to being in packs of six; a pack of eight infantry would yield a cost per figure of only 42 cents.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Bazaar Updated - Added 15mm Sci-Fi

In an effort to pare down the madness a bit, there is a widely varied offering of figures and magazines now updated on the Bazaar page.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

White Dragon MTU

A couple of piccies and some thoughts on these figures that actually arrived several days ago.  That is the first thought...from order date to arrival was just a week and a half, excellent shipping time from the U.K. to the States.

Casting is...interesting.  As you can tell by the pictures, the figures are cast by fireteam with a lot of resin being used for the base piece.  I am wondering if White Dragon could cut costs by reducing the amount of extra resin being used for that piece.  While it might be neat to see there name of the unit on that bar, it is very unnecessary and about half the resin used is going to be tossed in the bin.

The figures are excellent, some of the most realistic proportions I have seen, particularly when it comes to the weapons.  That also might be a downfall as the rifle barrels are thin, and one will have to be careful when removing the figures from the base piece so as to avoid weapon breakage.  I am hoping that once removed from the base that a coat of Gesso will help protect the weapons, but as an added precaution perhaps only game with these figures with fellows you know will be more careful in use.

There is a nice round base on each figure, but the base is only 12mm in diameter, so a bit small (for me at least) to use as is, so these figures will be mounted onto some Litko bases.

There is some flash on some of the figures, but as these are resin the flash is easily removed with a flick of the X-ACTO knife.

Standing figures measure about 16mm from sole to eye, and with their correct proportions I would rate them a 16L on the Barrett Scale.

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