Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Great Decision

I have been in this hobby for decades, and as I grow older and find less and less time to engage in the hobby, while my hobby closet runneth over, I have made a decision...I am getting out!  Well, not completely.  I am going to focus more on naval and air gaming, which takes up less space, requires less terrain, and is easier to haul when hosting games at a local shop or convention.  I may keep a few land projects, possibly Vietnam and some 18th Century stuff like French and Indian War or the Legion of the United States, and if I do I will still be able to reduce the bins of terrain down to one, and clean out a crap ton of rules and supplements...starting with the Force on Force/Tomorrow's War/Ambush Alley collection.  

Speaking of that collection, I have all the Force on Force stuff for sale, including Tomorrow's War and all the supplements for both, except Ambush Valley as Vietnam is a period I am going to hang on to as one of my land projects.

Ebay listing for the above.

I'll start moving into selling the various sci-fi figures I have next, since I am dumping Tomorrow's War.

Future plans will be to take the three gaming blogs I run and condense them into one.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

New Check Your 6! Projects

Ah, the latest batch of toys have arrived from Chris Geisert of I-94.  I have three World War Two projects with this grouping, a hypothetical Operation Torch threeway battle, a late war "what if" featuring the Ryan Fireball, and a Swiss/German encounter, based on an actual battle in 1940.  The turnaround time for the planes to be painted was less than two weeks from the time I shipped them until the time they returned back to my door.  I went with Chris as he did all my Korean War planes so I knew he would do a nice job.  The schemes were taken from various plates found on Wings Palette.  The tones are a bit dark, but look very nice in person.  All I need to do is to get magnets on them and they are ready of the tabletop!

To start us off we have German Bf.110s vs. Swiss Bf.109s.  

MSD Games Bf.110 and a Raiden Bf.109.  Cool Swiss markings, yes?

Then off to North Africa for a three sided affair.

Raiden De.520, Raiden F4F Wildcat, and MSD Games He.112

And finally to the Pacific for some very late war what could have been.
MSD Games Ryan Fireball and a Raiden Ki.100

I pretty much have the scenarios for all three projects worked out.  Time for some playtesting!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Wake (Not Woke) Island

Not sure of the artist on this work though!
Well, I am probably safe to say that anyone who is "woke" probably doesn't know Wake, but as for me, time to get another little Check Your 6! project knocked out!  And this time, I am going...small!  Ordered a few 1/600 scale aircraft from Pico Armor because I did not want to buy a slew of bombers in 1/285th for a one off sort of project.  While I picked up Wildcats and Nells, the Nells were only part of the earliest air attacks on Wake...pretty much ever other attack were handled by Mavis flying boats.  I have a list of dates, types of planes, and numbers, and was hoping to run a small campaign, but I really do not want to buy a bunch of Mavis's because even at 1/600 scale they are still three bucks a piece.

Once these little birds arrive I will be sending them off to Chris Geisert for painting, along with several 1/285th selections.  Kevin Hammond of Miscellaneous Miniatures simply does not have the time to paint commission projects any longer, which is a shame because I've enjoyed using his services, but I am very glad he completed the 1948 Arab-Israeli project for me.  Chris does nice work as well...all my Korean War aircraft are done by him.

As always, more on this in a future post!

Cat and Mouse Over Wake - Artwork by Marc Stewart

Friday, July 3, 2020

Vietnam Gaming Site

With the relaunch of the Field of Fire forum, it has me checking back into my Vietnam "stuff" more often.  The community on that forum is made up of some extremely helpful and friendly gamers (like local gamer Garryowen), and there are some chaps putting together some excellent projects with wonderfully painted figures and exquisite terrain.  Check out History, Hexes and Heroes for some 28mm Vietnam eye-candy.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

DEVGRU and the Aliens - The Forces

No, not the name of a grunge or pop group, but a play-through using Osprey's Black Ops and figures I actually have painted!

This after action report series is directly inspired by the various AARs posted by Just Jack on his blog.  Good shit there so go check it out!

The Forces

Eight man DEVGRU team, broken into two fireteams.  Figures by Khurasan and masterfully painted by Micropanzer.

Team Alpha
TL with HK-416 with grenade launcher
Designated marksman with Mk. 14 EBR
Operator with HK-416
Operator with HK-416 

Team Omega
TL with HK-416 with grenade launcher
Operator with Mk. 46 Mod. 1
Operator with HK-416
Operator with HK-416 

Twenty-two nomads (figures by Micropanzer and also wonderfully painted by same).

Group of the First
Leader with energy pistol

First Band of the First
Three nomads with rifles
Two nomads with heavy weapons (either anti-material rifle, flamer, SAW, or grenade launcher)

Second Band of the First
Three nomads with rifles
Two nomads with heavy weapons 

Group of the Second
Leader with energy pistol

First Band of the Second
Three nomads with rifles
Two nomads with heavy weapons 

Second Band of the Second
Three nomads with rifles
Two nomads with heavy weapons

Next:  The Terrain

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Swart en Wit Teenoor Vreemdelinge

At first I was thinking about a project that involved a sci-fi setting similar to South Africa in the 1980s, pitting mostly black forces against mostly white.  In this case however I am going to add in a more threatening alien presence which will force the swart and wit to work cautiously together.

Brigade Models - South African Confederation - I purchased two packs (code SF15-660) from Brigade (nice models, great service).  Each pack has two five-man fireteams each consisting of a squad leader, three riflemen and a support weapon.   There are no repeat sculpts, meaning all ten figures are unique.  A good number of wit to combat whatever is thrown their way.

Ground Zero Games - Pan-African Union special forces infantry - I also grabbed two packs from GZG, codes P23 and P23 (as always, GZG figures are top notch, and Jon provides incredible service).  Both packs have eight figures each, which break down to two fireteams each with three riflemen and one SAW.  There are two of each pose in each pack.  Plenty of swart to tackle the latest alien threat.

The two ranges are fairly close in compatibility, with the GZG figures being a tad taller and a smidgen heftier, but not by much.  In comparing weapons and equipment the ranges match very well.

Aliens - I have all sorts already collected.  Could be the little froggies from Zombiesmith (Aphids), the nomads from Micropanzer, or several other factions/companies I own.  I like the thought of the nomads as they are not nearly as far fetched as the Aphids.  

Friday, May 29, 2020

Changing Scales?

Picture from Pico Armor site
Recently I have been giving some thought to doing more Vietnam air gaming, using Check Your 6!  I have some nicely painted 1/285th Raiden aircraft (painted by Kevin Hammond at Miscellaneous Miniatures...damn fine work he does), for a few scenarios from Crusaders Over 'Nam, but I recently picked up Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club, which adds a slew of opportunities for gaming with a variety of aircraft.  However, a slew of opportunities means a slew of aircraft to purchase and while 1/285th fighter aircraft are around $3.00 to $4.00 each, needing larger bombers and such precludes a deep dive into trying to purchase and have painted all the aircraft needed for both scenario books.  A possible solution is diving down to a smaller scale of aircraft (see what I did there?).

There are two companies making 1/600th scale aircraft in metal that I know of, those being Tumbling Dice and Osmial Osmy (Pico Armor in the United States).  The former seems to offer more modern aircraft, but apparently have some issues in scaling and looking a bit more "cartoonish."  The latter do not offer quite all the aircraft needed, but apparently are more to scale and more realistic in appearance.  Check this blog post from sixtwentyeight to see some excellent comparison pictures.

Detailing on this size of aircraft in terms of painting and details offers a perhaps more simplistic approach.  That is not to say I have not seen some amazing work in this scale, but some of the detailing (gun panels on F-86s for example) is not as necessary to paint.

I might have to place a small order with Pico to see if the quality of the planes, and the assembly of same, are both within my expectations.  And then i also need to see if I can have them painted!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

South Koreans for Vietnam

Yep, thinking once again about something not in the gaming mainstream for another project.  The ROK forces that served during the Vietnam War were tough fighters, respected by their American counterparts, and also prone to bursts of violence against the Vietnamese population.  The latter aside, I've been looking at figure options for South Koreans.  There is no one line in any size/scale that I can find that makes a Vietnam range for South Koreans, but that really isn't a huge concern as one can use Americans from Korea or even World War II as really close proxies for the first two years of the ROK presence in Vietnam.  What does become the issue is finding a range of figures that match up weapon-wise with other ranges I own (Flashpoint/Flames of War/Khurasan) but height wise are shorter than Americans.  I love the look of Eureka's US Marines, but not sure if they would be too tall compared to the aforementioned ranges.

All this comes about (again) because I am reading The Village for about the sixth time, plus being active on the reborn Fields of Fire forum.

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Black Brigade Dwa

Two row - two riflemen, NCO
Botton row - BAR gunner, officer
I finally received my Forged in Battle Polish Black Brigade yesterday.  Forged in Battle did a great job in communicating to me early on about their limited ability to ship, and even asked if I wanted to cancel the order due to the delay.  I definitely wanted the figures, so after nearly two months from my initial order I now have a platoon of Poles.

The figures are very well done.  Crisp castings, little flash, nicely proportioned and animated.  They are 14M on the Barrett Scale which makes them a little closer to old school 15mm than the creep towards 18mm..  And while I know that most of the line troops of the Black Brigade did not wear the long black coats, I am still going to paint them as such, because it looks cool!

I picked up the Skirmish Campaigns scenario book on the Black Brigade from Brigade Games.  I doubt if I will use any of the scenarios as written as they often call for AT guns or tanks, and I do not want to delve that deeply into the period.  I plan on a platoon of Germans, and that will give me games for four to six players as I will most likely use Nuts! for the rules, and a squad for each player is plenty.  I have some buildings from Novus that will work nicely for rural Poland.  I might pick up a tankette or a German light tank as well.  Small project, easy to knock out!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Fields of Fire: Reloaded Forum is Back

Finally, after a lengthy hiatus, the Fields of Fire forum has returned.  A long time Vietnam posting board, it is filled with some of the most helpful gamers out there.  All things 'Nam all covered, including the French period.  

If you have an interest in Vietnam from a gaming point of view, stop by!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Israeli Organizations for Force on Force/Ambush Alley

While Ambush Alley Games has pretty much disappeared, there seems to still be a decent amount of gamers interested in the rules, at least from the various scenario books and information one can gleam from same.  I came across the Foundry site today, only to find that they have re-released their old 20mm Arab-Israeli War range.  Now, I do not have terrain for 20mm (buildings), but can put together an arid/desert type setting without buildings, so it got me thinking that perhaps I will order some of these figures...perhaps.  Khurasan also makes a range of these figures, but to organize the sections properly I would have to buy several packs of the section command, leaving me with numerous figures I would have no use for.  Peter Pig also make Israelis, but while they are nice figures they are unfortunately armed with the Galil and not suitable for 1967 or 1973.

In looking at some old posts on a gaming forum, I came across a link to the Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers that had some organizations for various Middle Eastern countries in the 1960s and 70s.  Not 100% certain about the accuracy of the lists, but it does provide a building block.  Since I do like gaming at the fireteam/section/squad level, organizing a few sections of Israelis could be fun.  Here is the basic section organization for the Israelis:

2 x Uzi (I assume section leader and assistant)
7 x FN FAL

Breaking this ten man section into two teams, here is what I think they could be rated for Force on Force:

Team One
Section leader with Uzi - 2d at optimum range
4 riflemen with FN FAL - 1d each

Team Two
Assistant section leader with Uzi - 2d at optimum range
3 riflemen with FN FAL - 1d each
1 rifleman with FN FAL HB - 2d

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Black Brigade

Placeholder post for a potential project.

Photo from Forged in Battle website


While mostly officers and specialist positions wore the long black coat, other ranks wore a long coat (of a longer length) so I will be painting riflemen with the basic Polish infantrymen color and officers with the black coat...I think.  I've ordered a platoon of the Forged in Battle Black Brigade and will just have to see what the figures look like up close.  I may paint them all black just to make them stand out a bit more.


I bought the Skirmish Campaigns Black Brigade scenario booklet.  Most of the scenarios call for several vehicles, which I will avoid (one or two per side is plenty), but they do provide inspiration to create my own scenarios.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Mucking It Up

Picture from Skytrex website
A World War II skirmish project based on...guess!  

Most likely for rules I will use Nuts! as I want each player to command perhaps a squad and Nuts! is ideal for that.

Village - picture from MBA website
Figures are ordered (Command Decision from Skytrex in the UK as they have ten figure sets), I have some terrain already, but ordered a village set from Miniature Building Authority (they have a sale on many of their 15mm buildings at the moment).  

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Some More Painting

I've been picking up paints and working on my GZG Scandinavian Federation troops.  Doing a simple scheme on these since it has been quite some time since I have painted, let alone 15mm figures.  Light gray primer, off white base coat, dry brush white, white on gloves and fur around the hood, light blue on the goggle glass, grey green on the weapons and binoculars, dry brush steel on the weapons, and now looking for a white or light gray wash to complete them.  Then basing with some fine ballast and snow, along with a few tufts for some color.

Update - Worked on the bases a bit.  Fairly happy with how they turned out.  I still want to find some white or pale gray wash, then seal them with a flat varnish.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Sea Mat

Buying a gaming mat these days leads to quite a few rabbit holes, due to the vast amount of options currently available.  Used to be one bought some felt at the local fabric store, then that permeated into buying Geohex mats, then Geohex terrain pieces, and that covered the gaming needs for a number of years.  But more recently one can buy mats on fleece or mousepad material or PVC, beautifully printed.  One could also use various sign making companies and upload an image for the company then to produce a mat printed on banner material.  Then, does one want hexes or no?  All sorts of decisions to be made.

To use with my Figurehead Great War ships, mounted on Warbases custom bases, for the Coronel and Falklands scenarios, I spent a few hours weighing options at various online retailers.  Cost would be a primary factor as I did not want to spend too much on a mat, but still wanted to have a nice looking and functional surface.  To that end I went with a PVC mat from Deep Cut Studio.  

I placed my order on a Sunday afternoon (U.S. time).  The website is easy to use.  Find the mat you want, pick a material, pick a size, add to cart, and checkout with PayPal or a credit card.  My 6' by 4' mat was $72.00 which included included overseas shipping.

I received my mat on January 24th, the Friday following my order.  During the process I received updates about shipping with a FedEx tracking number.  A Sunday to Friday turnaround time is really amazingly fast from Europe to the United States!  The mat came in a long tube, which I should be able to use when the mat is being stored.

I am very happy with how the mat looks with my Warbases custom blue bases.  Now, time to determine rules and to host this game at a local shop!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Coronel and Falklands Ships - Based and Ready

Using tacky glue I have been able to base the various ships for the Coronel and Falklands battles.  I am just waiting for my Deep Cut Studio mat to arrive to see how well these blue tinted bases from Warbases will look on the gaming table.  I am really looking forward to running some games with these little beauties!

Sunday, January 19, 2020


It is time to get these Figurehead ships for Coronel and the Falklands (picked up from Tiny Tin Troops) on their newly acquired bases!  I recently received my custom bases from Warbases, each base etched with the name of the ship.  Should make it easy for players to know which ship is which, while not being as intrusive as a print out of the name.  The blue color of the base will blend nicely with the gaming mat as well. 

Now, next quest, to find a glue that will not cause any hazing or smoking of the base itself, just in case I get a little glue beyond the miniature itself!

And the other next quest, a nice sea mat to game on!

UPDATE - Per the suggestion of some on a gaming forum, I've tried some tacky glue on the Scharnhorst to see if it will hold decently enough for game play.  Checking it after a night of drying, the ship is firmly in place.  Thus, the basing glue conundrum has been solved.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Painting...Well, Sort Of

I am a hoarder when it comes to buying figures, but terrible at getting them painted.  I was much better years ago getting troops ready for the table, but my painting arrangements were more conducive then.  I decided over recent days to pick up some paints and start getting some figures painted since I am not currently working (quit my last job).  Because I live on the fifth floor of a high rise, I really cannot use spray paint to prime figures, which is really the biggest hindrance to getting figures painted.  We have an enclosed balcony, but the dust residue from spray priming has a tendency to get on the walls, so not good.

In my recent spate of purchasing paints, I picked up a bottle of AK Interactive grey brush on primer.  Expensive when compared to a can of aerosol, but again, no spray in the condo.  I decided to prime a few figures just to see how I like AK.

The primer is very thin, even after a good shaking.  But I plowed on and applied a layer to some Terrain4Games modern Poles that I have had for awhile (hoarding you know) and was happy to see that the primer covered these resin figures fairly well.  Drying time is supposed to be 24 hours, so I will see how they look tomorrow, but thus far they seem to be drying nicely, meaning that the details on the figures are starting to pop.  The figures were cast in three, no make that four, different batches of resin, but the primer has made them all an even shade of light gray (or grey as it were).  So far, so good.

I tried to brush on the primer to the resin vehicles I have, but coverage over larger and flat surfaces doesn't seem to be this primer's forte.  I will have to try another solution for brush priming my vehicles it seems.

Next day update:  The figures dried nicely, and the primer covered very well while leaving the details to shine.  At the very least, while brush priming is a slow pain in the arse, at least I have a primer I can use to start getting figures painted!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Return to Grenada - Random Thoughts and Idea Placeholder

The love/hate affair with Grenada continues....

Back to this oft-considered gaming project.  I have five buildings from Empires at War mostly assembled, but overall not as happy with them as I had hoped I would be.  There are a few steps in the building instructions missing which caused a bit of a headache, and the foot-space in the buildings will barely hold an individually based 15mm figure (using a 20mm base).  But. they are more affordable than most, and come pre-painted, so there you go!

I have ordered some figures, in this case the Khurasan Vietnam offerings to use as Marines.  For Rangers I will probably have to go with Irregular Miniatures modern US infantry wearing the soft cap.  For bad guys I have a few options - African military and militias from Peter Pig (but they might be small compared to Khurasan), or perhaps some Cold War Russians from Khurasan for the PRA.  The latter are probably a bit too well equipped, but I need figures with helmets and they would be sized more in line with the Khurasan Vietnam figures.  Cubans are covered by the hardened militia by Peter Pig.  Still some considerations to be given to various figures.

A suggestion on one of the gaming sites yielded a nice tutorial on painting woodland camo using Vallejo paints.  

US Dark Green - Vallejo #893
Saddle Brown - Vallejo #940
Black - Vallejo #950
Khaki - Vallejo #988
Off White - Vallejo #820
Beige - Vallejo #917

Hmmm, now I am also considering this in 10mm.  Miniature Figurines make a large line of 12mm, which would cover the PRA in helmets, US infantry in the Fritz helmet, and African insurgents which could represent the militia.  They have vehicles like the BTR-60, an these might scale better with the Empires at War buildings.  Sheesh, I cannot make a decision!
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