Schenectady Wargamers Association Feb Bolt Action Day

The NY/NJ Bolt Action escalation league continued at the Schenectady Wargamers Association with another Bolt Action day. We set up three tables and had five players come by for a day of gaming. I’ve been trying off and on to get a Bolt Action community going in the area for a couple of years now with little success. A new game store opened in Perth (Guardian Games) and they had a fist full of players actively playing at the same time we announced the joint NY/NJ escalation league and several of them jumped at the chance to join! This combined with the 4-5 other players in the area who are interested have given us the critical mass to get this off the ground! Th league continued into month 2 with 750 point single platoon lists on 4×4 tables. Me and my friend Murph have been busy buying and making more terrain, but keeping the tables at 4×4 certainly helped us fill them up. We’re confident that we will be able to fill 4×6 tables by next month and we’re looking forward to fielding 1000 point armies full of toys to play with!

We initially put together 3 tables, with Bruce from Guardian Games bringing some of his own terrain to fill out a fourth table with a factory setup that’s going to look awesome once painted.

We had four different German forces and one American force. I unfortunately lost two games and won only one. I narrowly missed drawing one game due to figure placement. I had to be 3 inches from the objective and I was 3.5, my opponent took a very hard fought win with American and German dead scattered around the battlefield. The highlight of that game was my Nebelwerfer hitting twice, one hitting two units directly and splashing damage onto a third squad of airborne TWICE,  dealing four casualties and FIVE pins to them. That squad never recovered and was eliminated on the next round. My nebelwerfer also managed to nail a sniper team that was positioned to take the objective. Runner up to that was three rounds of a .50 cal armed jeep and a bazooka team firing away at a kubelwagon at point blank range and either missing or failing to do any real damage to it. The game ended on the 7th turn with his LT on the objective and my mortar team having run up to great cover that was half an inch away from the objective.

I was taking pictures of the other games when I could, but didn’t pay too much attention to them. The highlight of my friend Murphs game I did catch was his opponent sneaking a Puma to point blank range behind his Stuh and missing, only to have a squad with a panzerfaust take a long range shot and blow it up! The Stuh got to live and rain HE death down upon some Waffen SS dogs!

 

Some more pictures here

(still) cleaning off the painting desk!

This past week I’ve managed to get a bunch more stuff that has been living on the painting desk for months finished and made progress on some more. I have to move the table in a week so I’m really trying to finish a lot.

I’m also working on my friend Murph’s Panzer Grenadier army at the same time so I’ve been adding in some of those to the work flow.

First up: Germans!

I’ve had these Nebelwerfer crew half done for months now. They needed to have a wash and highlights done and then eventually basing


I also had three riflemen from Warlord’s late war German’s and a Fallschirmjager officer from Black Tree Design sitting around with just a grey base coat for at least six months. I am increasingly displeased with the rifles in this generation of Warlord’s plastics. They are thin and break WAY too easily. I actually have a pile of soldiers who’s rifles broke while I was painting them. I actually bought metal rifles from The Assault Group to start replacing the broken plastic ones and any new figures I put together will have them. They scale very well and fit into the arms almost perfectly. The newer generation of Warlord’s plastics, the ones with the weapons molded into arms, are fine. They are a little beefier and will actually bend before breaking. The German blitzkrieg, Fallschirmjager and Panzer Grenadiers and the American Airborne troops are all the newest generation.

 

My friend’s Panzer Grenadiers: An officers/spotter, two machine gunners (to make up for the two extra loaders I finished last time!) and 5 riflemen (Bolt Action doesn’t differentiate from the Kar 98 and the Gehwer 43 so I’ve made them randomly.

Next up: A small group of Americans!

I had a .30 cal machine gun that was only primed and eventually got embarrassed enough to take it out of the case and start painting it. Six months later it’s finished!

Warlord’s machine gun, loader and ammo bearer! I magnetized the base for version 1, it took me long enough to simply paint it I’m not bothering to re-base it becuase of the template rules…

I also made a number of ammo bearers from a combo of the Blitzkrieg Germans and American plastics. Bolt Action uses 3 man machinegun teams but Chain of Command has 4-5 man teams depending on the nation. I got tired of having to make a team up of 3 machine gun guys and a couple of rifle guys and decided to put these guys together so they look better when grouped up.

And two men from the Warlord observer pack. I already painted the third guy, who is kneeling with a radio up to his face. I liked how other people have been painting little maps on these types of guy and decided to give it a try. The photo is a little washed out but there are green and brown spots there and a couple of black lines for a road.

I also made some progress on some minis last week that I’m hoping to finish this week. Murph’s first army was an LRDG/8th army combo and I have had some of Perry’s plastics sitting around in various stages of completion for awhile now. These are ready for a wash and then highlight.

during one of my Black Tree Design binges I got a couple of packs of their ‘Airborne’ .30 cal teams. They’re wearing spats/gaiters so they’re clearly not Airborne, not that I’m a rivet counter. So they got put aside since I was rushing to finish some Airborne for a convention scenario I needed to get done. I’m generally pleased with Black Tree’s minis, being well worth the price even if the Fallschirmjager’s weapons are comically large. But I think theses need new molds. The detail is all soft and rounded and not up to their usual standards. I know that they have taken minis off of the store to redo the molds and these should be next on the list.

Of course clearing minis off of the table means getting more ready to go on!

But most of these are new additions, not old forgotten troops…

Big Bolt Action day at the Schenectady Wargamers Association

I’m participating in a large escalation league that includes groups in New Jersey and several locations in New York including my hometown club the Schenectady Wargamers Association. We had a large event at their monthly gameathon this past Saturday and it was a a huge success. We’ve tried getting the local Bolt Action community up and running and it’s been hard with mixed support from game stores and Bolt Action themselves. I got a buddy into the game a year ago and he finally got fed up with the lack of success and we teamed up to get something going. A new game store opened in the area with a group that was already trying the game out and we had a van full of people from 3 hours away come also! The tally was 6 tables with about 15 people playing at least one game each! It was a huge success and we’re looking forward to our next full day event in June, along with the escalation league days leading up to that.

 

We started the league off at 500 points, to get players used to the new version of the rules and changes to the missions. This gave us the added bonus of not having to fill 6 6×4 tables with terrain. I have a bunch of terrain that I use to fill out 6×4 tables for Chain of Command and Bolt Action and can put together a good looking table. But filling 6 tables up takes a trunk full of scenery! We were able to get the tables looking OK, although the felt clothes haven’t been painted yet and are bare. Next month at 750 we’re planning on using the same setup so I’m hoping that they’ll be spray painted and more of the bare terrain is painted!

Unfortunately the fantastic table my friend Ron set up, with 3d hills and streams and all scratch built buildings won’t upload for some reason. By far the best table we had.

The games went well, several players were experienced Bolt Action version 1 players and some had a couple of version 2 games under their belts. There was a lot of rules reading and lesson learning going on!

Here are some photos of the game play:

Cleaning off the painting desk.

So my painting desk is a mess. I’ve had some minis sitting there for almost a year. It looks like this:

It’s a modest 2 foot by 4 foot desk by a window that gets a good amount of light when it’s not sealed up for the winter. I had a day off so I decided to finish a couple of things off.

First up was a couple of SAS jeeps for my buddy. They just need some quick dry brushing and a coat of matte sealer, I had applied a wash to them yesterday and it was dry.

The bases aren’t done but none of the bases on the mini’s are flocked either so they’ll wait to be all done at once.

Next up was some German infantry for the same buddy. He’s doing a late war Panzer Grenadier army for the Bolt Action escalation league that just started so I made up about 30 guys to fill his projected list for 750 points and started painting them randomly. I want to emphasize the late war aspect of the army by changing up the uniform and equipment colors and I’m using ‘scavanged’ equipment in the form of spare gear from different sets.

Three riflemen

An observer/NCO, an officer with an assault rifle and a standard soldier with a machine pistol

A machine gunner and three loaders

I ran out of the washers we use to add weight to the bases. We’ve found that the plastic minis are so light that they simply fall off of hills. With the washers they have some more substance and stay where they’re supposed to. They also have the added benefit of usually;y falling with the base down, minimizing damage to the figure itself if dropped. I also mostly use galvanized washers which makes magnetic carrying cases usefully. I’m waiting to get a critical mass of figures done to flock the bases.

Lastly is a flesh golem for our weekly D&D campaign that I run for my boys and my girlfriend. I got this Reaper flesh golem once they found the magical manual to create it. I think they’ve forgotten about the manual but I needed to get this finished up and off of the desk anyways!

I generally put a little less effort into the monsters and sidekicks for the D&D game then I do, usually just a base coat and a wash and that’s it. Since this one might be on the board often, I gave it about 30 seconds of high lighting and called it done.

 

I cleared up a bunch of room, and of course filled it back up. I need to finish up some Gurkha’s which never got highlights and a matte seal so they went back onto the painting desk!

 

I need a little more practice with the light tent. The background needs to be ironed some more, I had hoped that the lights would blow out what creases were still left in there but in order to do that I wind up washing out the minis too much. Photographing on a white background also makes any dust on the sensor extremely obvious, and my sensor is filthy! So tomorrow I have to go in and clean all that dirt off of it.

A reader mentioned that the photos were small and sideways, which is odd becuase I rotated them in the WordPress software and they were showing up correct on my monitor. But once I visited on my phone they were all sideways. So I also figured out how to make the images clickable and rotated them before uploading. Not a huge learning curve, but its interesting.

 

New toy for photographing minis!

So I’m a professional photographer. I do mostly photojournalism and portraits. The newspaper industry is in the toilet and I’m retraining to get out, but that’s not the point of this blog… What I don’t do a lot of is product photography and until yesterday I didn’t have a very key tool for doing that, a light tent. I have everything else, flashes, strobes, hot lights, stands, tripods… Closets and cases full of stuff. I wanted to not only start this blog but also sell some stuff I’m never going to use again, so I bit the bullet and spent $20 on this.

I’m planning on selling the buildings/ruins I made here in a couple weeks after a large Bolt Action event I’m helping to run, so I figured they’d be my first subject!

 

These were all built to represent ruins (hard cover/obstacles) in Bolt Action for a very large multi-player game representing the battle in Achen. I donated a bunch to the club and don’t have the space to store these anymore.