Monday, 12 April 2021

Hang on fellas, I've got an idea...

So as I now have forces for 28mm Ancients (Infamy, Infamy) and Arthurian Britain (Dux Britanniarum), I have been thinking about terrain. Hills, Woods, roads etc, not an issue. But nothing says period like a well done building or built-up area. 

So far, virtually all of my 28mm buildings have been MDF. Untouched, when they come out of the pack, and after assembly, they are barely 'Ok', in my view. The better kits, such as Charlie Foxtrot, and Supreme Littleness, have additional pieces like greyboard or additional details that make them look less like a flatpack IKEA building, but even then, they still need a lot of work to add texture and character. (The Leanach Cottage from Supreme Littleness is in a previous update -  Painting Catch-up)

I also hate it when my buildings look exactly like every other building on display. At one particular show, I think I must have seen the same 4Ground 15mm Normandy buildings on three separate tables. Nice, but clearly just assembled and otherwise untouched. So I am trying to add something of my own to all my building projects these days. 

Anyway, I spotted a Roman Villa available from Gamecult very cheaply at £13.50 and thought it had potential. It arrived today, and I threw the basic shell together while watching TV. Then I looked at it again, and realised that not only had I bought a Roman Villa, but with a Stanley Knife (a boxcutter to our US cousins), I had also bought a Mediterranean Farmhouse for Sharp Practice in Spain and CoC in Siciliy, and a colonnade as well.  

Basic Build

I will be adding brick paper, grout texture to the walls for plaster, and greyboard details to the windows. But it has additional potential....

The basic model with the surrounding roofs and pillars removed.

What happens when you trim the base off at the visible line... you can see it running down the side of the building. (Of course, this would be easier if you did this before assembly.... )

Roofing taped for gluing
Still looks the same?

Et voila!
But now the roofing is removable as a separate colonnade, leaving the central building ideal for a Mediterranean villa. Or a colonnade as a separate feature. I will have to reinforce the front section with scrap MDF for additional rigidity, but otherwise..  

'Toothpaste Squeezer...  couple of quid from eBay

Of course, I have marked the roof line on the original building, and will line this with a couple of courses of brick paper, so the roofs slide into place easily. The rest of the building will get tarted up with grout texture, brick courses at the bases, some vines growing on the terrace, some new doors and  so on. And the roof tiles? Well, a cheap toothpaste squeezer will give me endless strips of corrugated roof tiles for this and other similar roofs.  

Groundwork and Vines to do. Tiles are a bit wonky

WW2 Japanese Test Paint

It seems like a very long time ago, but I put together a mix of Warlord Games plastic and TAG metal WW2 Japanese for a Malaya campaign using the TooFatLardies Chain of Command Rules. 

Well, what with Covid, all sorts of other things happening in real life, and the usual 'Oh Shiny' distractions, they have been sitting on bases, undercoated, since January 2020. The usual little plastic and metal accusatory gazes have been bothering me for some time, so I have been making gradual progress, trying to do at least one colour a night. 

In the past, I have been guilty of painting with results that were better suited to close up photography (not too close!)  - but I decided these guys were getting a 'table-top' finish with emphasised contrast, and finished up a test figure to check the approach.

The base will have some added 'jungle' foliage using aquarium plant leaves, but I will wait and do that in a single batch at the end of the process. He does look rubbish in the close-ups here, but much, much better 'in the flesh'. 

For those interested, the base colour was laid down with a yellow-green mix - airbrushed Tamiya Dark Yellow with a touch of IJA Green. Strapping etc Vallejo Leather Brown and Russian Uniform, flesh wash GW Seraphim Sepia, then the uniform etc, got a thinned cover of Coat d' Arms Dark Brown super shader, and uniform highlights added in with Tamiya Dark Yellow.  The Russian Uniform was highlighted with Vallejo German Camo Beige, mouth Vallejo 'red'.

The foliage is mixed herbs d Provence, and there's at least another 60 odd of these guys to go.. massive platoon. Supports are TAG flamethowers, snipers, MMG, and I am going to have to scrounge up some crew for a 3d printed 77mm Infantry Gun.  Hopefully these guys will all be finished this week.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Painting catch up

Over time, I have picked up all sorts of bits and pieces to add to core platoons for Chain of Command, and these bits and pieces have been hanging around, in some cases for years. So I decided it was time to clear the decks a little and get a few things painted.  

Senior British Officers - BTD

Engineers - BTD?

6lb AT, I think Warlord with Westwind crew? 

Kradschutzen squad - BTD

Kradschutzen and an MG34 on tripod

Perry Italian Tanker on Tamiya 1/48 AB41

More Perry crew on a Rubicon M13/40

Warlord resin?

Blast markers and scatter terrain from Sabotag3d

Leanach (Culloden) cottage by Supreme Littleness

And finished...

My present to me.. it's a thing of great beauty

Oh, and it seems that while in my cups I may have accidentally ordered a 3d printer...  so I can foresee some serious misadventures with that coming up. What's an STL file I wonder...?

Friday, 12 March 2021

Did I mention Dwarves/Dwarfs?

Realised I had forgotten to post about finishing these bad boys... 

Sometime last year (Dwarfcember IIRC) - I grabbed a second hand set of Alternative Armies Dwarf Landwehr as a quick fun project to paint. All the cool kids were doing dwarfs so these were my contribution.

Lots of fun to do. And I love the blue/yellow combo.. 

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Saxons for Dux Britanniarum

Earlier this year I finished off my Sub Roman British (Arthurians) for the Too Fat Lardies 'Dux Britanniarum'. 

So having picked up Saxons from 'Saxon Miniatures' - now available through Warlord Games, in their pre-Christmas 3 for 2 sale, I thought it was time that Artorius had an opponent. So I have now finished up the matched opponents.

Two groups of elite warriors, three groups of warriors, a group of archers, the Warlord, his Champion and two lesser Leaders, plus a Shaman and a Priest. 

And I don't know what is going in with this camera, but it is flattening out all the highlights and shadows. Believe me, they are there! It took me long enough to paint them in. 

Monday, 1 March 2021

Tanks & Stuff

Over the last little while there have been a ton of pictures of work in progress, but very little of the finished articles. So I have made a concerted effort to get a few of the various projects up to date for my WW2 stuff. So here they are.

US - More Shermans than you can poke a stick at

Late War opponents, I suspect the PzIV J may yet get a whitewash

Early War German armour - 1939 - 1941 (sort of..)

Soviet Steel, the T70 is a 1/48 plastic kit

Japanese armour for Malaya and the Pacific (spot the mistake)

British armour for Malaya 1942, plus some trucks...

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Virtual Lard IV

For those of us labouring under the Covid-19 lockdown, Virtual Gaming has been an absolute boon, and the technologies, such as Zoom, Teams, Jitsi and others, are now part of our standard lexicon.

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that I have become a big fan of games from the Too Fat Lardies (TFL) stable, including Chain of Command, (WW2), Sharp Practice 2 (Black Powder), Dux Britanniarum (Arthurian Britain), and Infamy, Infamy (Romans vs 'barbarians'). In fact, thinking back, it must be nearly two years since I last played a non-'Lardy' game. 

Since March 2020, the indefatigable Jeremy Short has organised a series of virtual gaming days. Where previously face to face TFL gaming days took place across the UK, rejoicing in titles such as 'Wor Lard' (Durham) or 'Deep Fried Lard' (Musselburgh), Clotted Lard (Exeter) and so on, nowadays a group of gamers get together via technology, and play out TFL games from the comfort of their own devices, with their tipple and snacks of choice in their own homes. 

Virtual Lard 1 in June saw six hosts setting up tables and cameras to host players. Usually 2 players per side, games on offer included CoC, Dux, SP2 and Infamy. - games were run in morning and afternoon sessions so you could play CoC in the morning and SP2 in the afternoon. Afterwards a virtual pub was set up on Discord so participants and others could catch up and talk wargames and any other topic with other wargamers. 

From small  beginnings: that first Virtual Lard with six games has mushroomed and on Saturday 30 January 2021, there were (I think)  24 games on offer, around 180 'Lardies' online and a tremendous amount of fun for all.   

Games were allocated via the Discord Channel:

And a Google sign up sheet, and were essentially filled within 15 minutes of the sign up being opened. There were a huge variety of games on offer, from Coastal Patrol to IABSM, and looking at photographs of the day, game hosts had really gone all out to put on truly excellent quality games, with showcase standard terrain and figures. 

The other noticeable thing was how many countries were represented, from New Zealand to Newoundland, Ireland to Italy. In our afternoon game there were Italian, Belgian, Bavarian, myself and even a token Englishman. 

Being well prepared I had signed up to two star games, in the morning Big Rich Clarke (one of the Lardies and wargaming superstar..) put on a game of Infamy - in which myself and Pierre-Yves as the Romans were to burn a rebellious Gallic village and return to camp. 

Zoom - a rogues gallery of players and two views of Rich's splendid table

Needless to say.. a less than stellar middle-game left us nowhere near the village and in danger of being overrun by masses of irate Gauls. A cracking game in which both sides were left with a Force Moral of 1, (0 is game over..) and awaiting the turn of the card to see who would get to inflict the final cut. Sadly for the Romans - it wasn't us and Centurion Chrismas Bonus will have to live to fight another day. (I'm comforted a little by learning the afternoon game saw the Romans massacred... obviously a completely unbalanced scenario in which we did well not to lose too badly 😀 )   

In the afternoon a Chain of Command game hosted by Dom and the Boys in Bavaria, as we fended off 1st Para's attempt to push through to Arnhem Bridge on the first day of Operation Market Garden. Historically, we managed to keep them pinned down and the risk of history being rewritten was averted.

If you do get a chance to play at a Virtual Lard - or indeed any online gaming opportunity, grab it! It is surprisingly fun, satisfying, and the opportunity to play with folk from round the world is one real plus to how we wargamers have managed to stay sane during the pandemic.

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Sub Roman British

I've previously posted a couple of pictures of the work in progress on a force of Sub Roman British for the Too Fat Lardies Dux Britanniarum

The game is based on the ongoing struggle between Saxon incomers against local British leaders circa 500AD. It's designed to be played as a campaign where players take on the characters of the leaders and use raids, battles and other means to carve out their own kingdom, or repel the Saxon invaders. There is also an expansion pack to add in Scots, Irish and raiders. I have had the rules, the expansion packs and the cards to play the game for several years, but never actually played until 2020.

Thanks to the Virtual Lard games days, I have now played a few stand alone games (not a campaign) and thoroughly enjoyed it. And by coincidence, there was a bargain unpainted Gripping Beast Late Roman/SRB army in 28mm offered for sale by a gamer on the Society of Ancients forum. That's one side taken care of. 

Then, just before Christmas, Warlord were offering a 3 for two sale on some of their ranges, and they had taken over what used to be the 'Saxon Miniatures' range of Early Saxons, so 'kerchingg...'  that's snapped up too. In these covid times, I have learned my lesson: do both sides and at least you can play solo.  

I suspect I will want to add in the Scotti and/or the Picts at some stage, so I will just keep an eye out for sales/bargains. In the meantime here is the SRB host arrayed.

Leaders and Elite warriors

The Big Man himself!

Skirmishing archers

The peasant levy

Slightly better warriors

The whole force

I still have a ton of additional SRB Lead, including a Scorpion (catapult), mounted warriors, loads more archers and a ton of spearmen. As a campaign progresses, you can recruit additional forces, but this is the starter army plus an additional leader. 

Now on to the Saxons!

Sunday, 17 January 2021

More snow covered vehicles

Well, this little project seems to be humming along nicely. Rubicon supplied a Schwimmwagen and a Sdkfz 251 with my Rubi discounts - very inexpensive, I also dug out a couple of earlier purchases that just needed finishing. Passengers were Warlord plastic from another set of purchases.

In addition, Warlord had another of their discount deals and 20% off the Heer Winter Support Pack, that netted me the HMG plus extra figures for jump off points, medic and additional crew for the HMG team. I also picked up their package with flamethrower, sniper and panzerschreck team. So overall I am pretty happy that virtually everything purchased has been at a substantial discount. 

Everything is there for a German Heer force suitable for Volksgrenadier Divisions from late 1944 - 45.  With one exception, a Panzer IV J. I am so tempted by the Rubicon offering. Will I, won't I ? Oh, and since I have three Hetzers, surely one would be improved by adding Bicarb?

Painting underway...

Nice and polished, well. actually just the gloss varnish to prepare for decals and pinwashing.

Enough dithering, Here are the additional vehicles - finally resplendent in their Bicarbonate of Soda 'snow'.

L-R - 75mm gun mix of Warlord plus 1st Corps crew, Schwimmwagen (Rubicon) with Warlord passengers, and Sdkfz 251 Ausf D (Rubicon), Warlord passengers. At the back is a Warlord Resin UNIC Halftrack, used by 21st Panzer Division. I spotted it was pretty much done other than detail painting and weathering so slippe dit in with this batch.

And here's the UNICs friend from a much earlier post, another converted French vehicle using the Lorraine tractor as a base and with a 150mm mounted on top to make the Lorraine Schlepper. 

So the target is to finish off this platoon this week. And then resist the temptation to add winter US...