(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.

 

First games of 2017!

So I started the year off with my first games of Bolt Action 2nd Edition for the escalation league I’m a part of. I played a lot of Bolt Action in 2015 and the beginning of 2016, but most of my year was taken up by ‘life’ happening non-stop in 2016. So with people getting their hands on the new rule book and things calming down for 2017 I got together at ToyWiz in Nanuet NY for their monthly Vets Night and got a couple of games in.

The two mandatory missions for this month’s league at 500 points were Top Secret and Manhunt. I’m not fond of Top Secret, but I think I had the perfect list for it, a six man squad and a two man LT group in a Stummel giving me that extra move to leap to the center of the board and grab that objective on turn two and use the first activation die of turn 3 to run back behind the Stummel for cover. My opponent tried desperately to kill my LT with the objective with withering fire from several squads and a machine gun. His fire was accurate on turns one and two, decimating a squad and killing the LT’s assistant. But once I had the objecting Lt Hans turned into Usain Bolt and was bulletproof! Turn 5 he ran off the board. I managed to get his sniper, since that is the bonus objective for this round of the league.

I had to proxy my engineer’s halftrack for a Stummel. I don’t have ALL the toys quite yet…

 

Game two was Manhunt against the Soviet horde! I was on the offense and had some bad luck on the preparatory bombardment. The objective is to capture the defender’s leader by assaulting and ‘killing’ him in close combat. Well my preparatory bombardment nailing him with a shell, killing him instantly and giving me a draw result before the game started! If we were a little more observant we would have read the part where it modifies the prep bombardment roll for the officer so he can’t be killed, but I guess we failed that perception roll! So I proceeded to fight for the bonus objective points and get more of my units to the center of the board than his. Considering he started off with more then I did and already had 4 of his 8 units there during deployment against my 6 units total, it looked like an up-hill battle. One unit of conscripts melted away on turn 1 to withering fire as the Stummel and a unit of engineers walked up to point blank range. Another unit of conscripts with AT grenades came dangerously close to my Stummel, but couldn’t attack it on the turn it came on. Lucky dice draws on the next turn had me sneak a squad of men behind the unit and force a morale check from casualties before it could activate. His Siberian veterans snuck in and SMG’d my LT to death and the rest of the game bogged down with me trying to dig the last units out of cover with withering point blank fire into the ruins they were ducked into. In the end a desperate close combat charge wiped them from the ruined building. His sniper fell to a Kubelwagon driving right up to him and machine-gunning him to death.

One win, one draw, two bonus objectives and two dead snipers for the tally at the end of the month! Not too bad for my first games in almost six months!

Time to get some more paint on these guys so there is less bare metal for the next games!