Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 - What Happened?

Well, 2014 is just about over and I feel I've regressed and accomplished very little on the hobby front compared to the goals I set for myself at the start of the year.  Oh, well...we do this for fun, so I'm certainly not going to lose any sleep over it!

2014 was a busy year for gaming at least as I got in more games than 2013, so I do consider that an accomplishment.

Late in the year I also had a major philosophical change in my gaming perspective.  After thinking long and hard about it, I decided to switch scales for the bulk of my ancients, medieval and renaissance gaming from 25/28mm to 15mm.  I had armies in both scales, and the games I played most often, Hail Caesar and Might of Arms, just play better in 15mm than in 25/28mm IMO...largely due to the size of the tables that are available locally.  I also have limited storage space and can easily fit 2-3 15mm armies in the space that it takes to store a single 25/28mm army.  As a result of this decision, I've spent a lot of time trading and selling and buying figures with good results IMO.  2015 will be focused on getting the 15mm armies I've acquired up to playable condition as many are a combination of painted and unpainted figures at the moment.

I'm not entirely done with 28mm.  I still have 3 forces in that scale for SAGA, 2 for Bolt Action (though the Poles I have are unpainted), and of course I kept my 28mm ACW collection as I enjoy the big battles we have using Black Powder

So, that's what's happened this year for the most up will be the "crystal ball" edition for 2015...I hope I have some glass cleaner and can do a better job on predicting than I did in 2014!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bolt Action - Painting Motivation and an Update

It's hard to believe that it's been since the end of March when I last posted.  I've kept up on my game totals on the side bar, but that is all.  It's not that I haven't been doing anything...I've actually been getting in a lot of's just that I haven't been motivated to paint anything or do updates here; maybe I'm just enjoying playing to be bothered?  I don't know.  Anyway, I finally got a bit of motivation; last week I played Flames of War and we agreed to play Bolt Action this Sunday.  I've had the last two units for my 28mm Italian Para's sitting around untouched for sometime.  I figured now was as good a time as any to knock them out.  So in the past 5 1/2 days I prepped, primed, painted, washed, drybrushed, based, poly-coated and dulcoted an AB41 armored car from Warlord Games and a Breda 20mm AA gun with 3 crew from Company B. Hopefully this has knocked me out of my painting funk! 

Here's one view of the AB41.  The camo is a variation on a pattern I saw in a color plate online.
 A second view of the AB41.  The resin was pretty clean with only minimal excess to be removed.
 Rear-view of the AB41 with the rear-facing MG and rear-driver position.
 The Breda 20mm AA gun with crew.  The models come in shorts; I had Tim K "green stuff" pants on them and I think it came out OK for the most part.
 The Company B models are nice and in scale with the Warlord Paras that make up the rest of this army.
 The one "fiddly" part of this model is the crew seat; very thin metal holding the seat and crewman up.  I may have to fabricate something in the long run if that doesn't hold up.

Well, next up is to finish off some Vikings I've been painting for Mike for some time.  I hope to keep my motivation going and have a good rest of the year.  I'm ahead of last year's pace in both the number of figures/models painted and the number of games played with a full 6 months to go in the year, so I'm optimistic at being able to do so.

Friday, March 21, 2014

653rd Schwere Panzerjagerabteilung

I think a lot of gamer's are drawn to unique forces of one kind or another, and I'm no different.  When I spotted the Flames of War list for the 653rd Schwere Panzerjagerabteilung a while ago I thought that this force would be a great chance for me to have something very unique.  The trouble is, I'm not much of a modeler.  I like painting, though I'm slow, but I've glued my fingers together on more than one occasion when assembling models!  Enter Tim K at Saguaro Painting Service who enjoys modeling and unique challenges like this.  I figured the best way to do this would be to use some 15mm Plastic Soldier Company  vehicles as the base since Battlefront resin vehicles would require filling in the turret rings for some of the vehicles.  Battlefront vehicles were used for some of the models though.  This force will be used in the next late war game I play in.  Now, on to the models:

Tiger I (P) VK4501 Battalion Command Tank - 
Battlefront Model which Tim sculpted the zimmermit on using "green stuff"

Bergepanther with a stationary Panzer IV turret -
Both the Panther chassis and the Panzer IV turret are from Plastic Soldier Company

Bergepanther with a quad 20mm AA gun -
The Panther chassis is from Plastic Soldier Company and the AA Gun and crew are from Battlefront

T-34 with quad 20mm AA gun - 
T-34 chassis is from Plastic Soldier Company, AA gun and crew are from Battlefront, 
turret armor is plastic card converted by Tim (the Germans used armor off of half-tracks)

And finally, the Elefants - stock Battlefront models

Thanks to Tim for putting this together and getting it painted for me!  I look forward to using it soon.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

28mm Italian Paratroopers - Bolt Action

Like my gaming, my painting has also been doing ok for the year.  Just today I completed my first force for Bolt Action - a 28mm Italian Paratrooper force.  Completing this puts me on a good path to getting more painting done this year than last; quite an accomplishment in my book since it's still February.  Though I've only played one real game of Bolt Action, and I've never used this force before, I'm going to use it in a 1000 point tournament this weekend.  I figure it will be a good way to learn.  I've painted up more than I can use at 1000 points, but it does give me flexibility to configure the army several ways.  I have a commander with 2 riflemen, a medic, a forward observer team, a sniper team, a flamethrower team, 5 squads of 8 men, a medium MG team, a 46mm mortar team, an 81mm mortar team, and a Semovente 75/18.  All of the infantry are from Warlord Games; these are metal figures that painted up quite nicely.  My only criticism is that a few suffered from mold lines down the middle of the face...that's something I never can understand, no matter who makes the figures.  I am modeling the force after the Italian Para's that stayed fighting with the Germans after the invasion of Italy.  The Semovente is a model I purchased years ago as part of a collection and sold to Drunken Samurai only to get it back recently in another trade.  It is a resin model from NZWM, and I believe it was a limited production run as it is numbered "6" on the bottom.  I believe the NZWM line was sold to Army Group North, but I could be wrong.  It is a nice model that was basic grey; I've added the camo and some more detailing.

Up next for me on the painting front is some more 15mm WWII along with some 28mm Ancients and Medievals.  I hope to keep my painting momentum going and posting more frequently here too!

Shifting Sands 2014 - Kursk

My posting has definitely been slow this year, but my game playing certainly hasn't.  I've been playing a ton of Flames of War, starting with "Shifting Sands 2014 - Kursk"  that was in January.  "Shifting Sands" is a great event put on by the Arizona Desert Rats Flames of War group and this year focused on Kursk.  It was fun playing in an event where it was Germans vs. Russians (no blue-on-blue) which isn't something you always see when it comes to Flames of War.  I took a balanced Russian force with two companies of T34s, a tank rider company and a battery of heavy mortars; I ended up finishing 2-3 and well out of the running but I still had fun.  One thing I noticed (sadly) is that with the exception of a couple of StuG companies and a few Panzer IIIN's supporting Tiger's, there weren't any forces based on Panzer IIIs or IVs for the Germans.  There were German forces with Panthers, Tigers, Ferdinands and Brumbars a plenty.  I did manage to kill a Tiger in I game...when my best AT can only bail it from the side/rear, I consider that a huge accomplishment.  Thanks to TJ and crew for running this year's event & I look forward to participating next year.

One of the tables I supplied...
 The other table I supplied...
 Robert's table (Drunken Samurai)
 Tim K's table (Cursed Treasures Blog)
 I think this is Cliff's table...
 I think this is Mark's table...
 The first army I faced...SS T34s!
 Nice large venue...
 Another shot of the venue...
 The rest of these are shots of some of the armies.  I took more pictures, but some didn't come out so well.

A few weeks after Sands I participated in another themed FOW tournament, Market Garden, and used my 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade force.  I ran it as all infantry and hoped that the Night Attack rule would help me out; no such luck as I got swept...I have to stop bringing knives to gun fights!  Mercifully, I didn't take any pictures so I don't have to relive the drubbing I suffered.  Themed events are a fun way to get in some historical based games and I really enjoy them; the next one on my "to do" list is the D-Day event for Fortress Las Vegas that's happening in June...I love Vegas, so I'm definitely going to be there.