This was a rough week. Storms, power outages, sick family, construction at our apartment. I got done as much as I thought I was going to and then some, but it was more like mechanical movements than an escape and meditation. This coming week isn’t looking much better, but I want to play around with video and YouTube a little more so I’m keeping the painting expectations down.
I’ve been on a 6mm kick for some reason. I’ve rarely played any 6mm but they’re quick to knock out and cheap to buy so in the scheme of things it’s cheaper than a movie…
I’ve been going through my tubs of minis and clearing half finished projects off of shelves. I’m really not interested in moving minis with half a paint job on them, I finished a bunch of my planned painting early this week so I wanted to knock out some quick progress.
I started finishing off a whole bunch of painted 15mm sci fi minis whose’s bases were never painted. I’ve looked into a rules systems called Mech Attack which uses hex basing and infantry on movement bases which lead me to take some 15mm mechs I had put on washers and take them off for rebasing. Unfortunately in the process some paint was stripped off of the feet and needed to be retouched. These Khurasan 15mm mech walkers will be used as infantry support mechs, the smallest mechs I’ll be fielding and probably designed as vehicles in the rules. Mech Attack doesn’t have rules for anything this small so I’ll have to figure something out. I also pulled out two un-built models, so I’ll be doing a video when I assemble and paint them. These are simple walkers with two twin autocannons and a 2 shot anti-tank missile launcher. They’re small and squat and serve as lower tech walkers in my Tomorrows War forces. Khurasan sells these as the Python Power Armour under their Nova Respublik line
I learned about Mech Attack from the Chicago Skirmish Wargames blog where they’ve done several write ups of club and convention games they’ve used the rules set for playing in 28mm with some awesome terrain and mechs! Check out their archives here: Chicago Skirmish Wargames
I also pulled out two Combat Wombat grav scout armored cars from the same box. One was finished, but the second had it’s commander bust loose before it could be finished being painted. The vehicle commanders are Brigade Models vaguely Russian troops. I’ve used them as DPRG in Tomorrows War where these scout vehicles are higher tech than their usual equipment and provided by their Earth based sponsors. I’ll be basing them on a hex base and giving it a floating appearance with some brass rod, which has to wait for Litko to open back up. Combat Wombat has unfortunately been out of business for years with the fellow who bought the line refusing to even answer questions about it any more, which is a shame because their turned brass barrels were awesome and a unique product in the 15mm sci-fi scene.
The third project I finished off this week was a set of Warlord Games Higgins Boat gunners. I go these well over a year ago for our D-Day in July game and didn’t get them finished in time for the 2019 game so they sat on the shelf. I don’t know if we’ll be doing a D-Day game this year with the pandemic but I wanted to get them finished and moved off the shelf of shame. I also have a third Higgins Boat to finish painting. It’s tough finding color photos of the drivers and gunners but the ones I found had the life jackets painted in some ‘Army Green’ colors, which is boring. So I went with the yellow life jackets, might not be historical but it does give them some more character and they stand out now.
As far as my 2020 painting goals go I only get to count the 28mm gunners, the others are just retouching so they don’t really count towards my 350, but I have 25 or so GZG 25mm ESU figures based and prime and I’ll start knocking them out next week, so April looks like it’ll be a good month.
April wound up being a good month overall, with significant progress! I finished the equivalent of 44 more 28mm figures towards my goal of 350. I’m also 2 figures away from completing the commission of a German WWII army for a friend!
This week I worked on a couple of test color schemes for 25mm Ground Zero Games figures. I wasn’t happy with the last time I attempted an urban camo pattern, so I took another shot at it I’m fairly pleased with this first batch of figures, the only change I made on the next batch was painting the guns darker which helps them stand out against the grey armor plates.
After a couple weeks of good progress I slowed down on chipping away at the lead pile. I finished one single piece that had no paint on it when the week started from my own collection, and a fist full of figures that were half finished and sitting around for two years.
What I did do was almost complete a commission of Germans from a friend. I am a slow commission painter, which is why I only take commissions from friends. This one was a large German army with over 60 figures and half a dozen vehicles and had several pieces added mid commission, but it still took me about 6 months to finish. Clearly not the kind of speed to satisfy a customer I don’t know. I was down to 20 guys when the month started, and I’ve been banging out 6ish a week. The last NCOs are half done right now with just a MMG team left to build and paint and Chris will have a full force to march in front of my Americans.
Our local Dollar Tree had a couple of toys that I grabbed probably too many of and turned into wargame stuff. I’ve been hunting for a couple more things to use for scratch building some spaceships I’ll probably never actually play with, but this whole lockdown is cramping my style.
I normally don’t have much luck at dollar stores or thrift stores. I see something posted online and go search 14 dollar stores and find nothing. But these two have been consistantly in stock around me and I was able to pick up about a dozen boats and six or eight of the tanks.
As my ragtag platoon advances towards Saint Mere Eglise it comes upon a cluster of houses that is clearly being used to garrison some Jerry’s. We need to clear out these houses so we’re not leaving enemies to our rear when we get to Saint Mere Eglise. As we ready our assault we run into a lieutenant an eight more paratroopers. We split into three squads and advance to secure what will be our Northern flank.
One of the reasons I wanted to learn Two Hour Wargames’ system of rules was to play co-op games with my friend Murph. The stars aligned and Murph came down to play a game and catch up, so I picked up the Nuts! campaign Blood on the Risers campaign so we would have something a little more structured than the random learning games I’ve been playing solo. We played through the first scenario and I replayed it again at night.
The campaign begins with my lone lieutenant parachuting into Normandy in the middle of the night on D-Day. A AAA battery and three PEFs are deployed to the table. As my character searches the fields for some equipment bundles the PEFs move on up towards me.
Game number 2 has my platoon of US Airborne defending a farmhouse from an impending attack by the Germans. I set up my forces, generated the PEFs and started the game.
Not wanting to leave the cover of my stone walls and ruined buildings I waited for the Germans to advance, only shifting one .30 cal team to my right since two PEFs appeared in the woods. As the closest PEF moves into view it resolves into three armored vehicles! Since I have only one platoon with one bazooka I decide that they will appear as three half-tracks, sent in support of the advancing troops. It doesn’t make any sense that they would appear in the middle of the board, so I have them enter the board at the roads to my north.
I’ve decided to do some solo wargaming, in part to learn the Two Hour Wargames system but also to get some more gaming in. So tonight I set up my first solo game of Nuts! A squad from the US Airborne was patrolling through the Normandy farmlands.
One of my 2019 projects was to paint up a bunch of Nazi Zombies for our yearly Weird War II game at Council of Five Nations. I picked up a couple boxes of Studio Miniatures Die Verdammten, plastic Nazi Zombies. At the time they had a bundle that included two twenty zombie boxes, some alternate metal heads and a metal Nazi officer mini. I was excited to have cheap ‘multi-pose’ plastic miniatures so I could fill the table without breaking the bank.
While they’re technically multi-pose there is only two bodies, one alternate head and three sets of arms per sprue, so the actual range of poses is limited. I used the alternate heads and left over bits from my Warlord figures to increase the variety. The Warlord figure were also very usefully for using up the left over arm and head bits from the Zombie sprues, leaving little waste and ‘fleshing’ out the horde.