Sunday, 7 December 2008

Russian Rifle Section

With the arrival of the Peter Pig figures (so many figures so little time :) I have been able to complete the two rifle groups. I also put the finishing touches to the busted T-34 I have.

The figures' bases have been modelled with patchy snow in hollows and under bushes. It is pretty generic sort of basing, so should be good for most scenarios. Plus the presence of some snow supports the wearing of greatcoats - so far only on the LMG gunners.

So here they are together, the first rifle group inspecting a destroyed T-34.

Points for picking the Peter Pig figure in there. But you cannot refer to past posts. :)

Updated to include a larger size image on request...

Saturday, 6 December 2008

T-34 Paint Guide

As part of the NUTS! painting effort I have dragged out a long forgotten objective marker of a destroyed T-34.

Apart from the obvious colour - some inspiration was needed about the finer details... The marker is basically base coated and needs work on weathering in general - tracks specifically.

Some nice pictures of a 1/16 scale (!) captured T-34 showing great detail on the tracks. Came from this post on the Scale Model site, which unfortunately needs a login to view.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

WW2 Russians

I have made a start on my forces for NUTS!. The discovery of some left over figures from my Guards Air Landing force for FoW settled the question of which theatre to play.

The left over figures did not include any of the Degtyarev DP LMGs, so I have ordered some from the local Peter Pig distributer along with an OPFOR of late war Germans.

I also have a vague inclination to get some Japanese as well, to be opponents in the Manchurian campaign - something a little different.

Here is an early picture of the two groups (aka sections, squads) of a Russian platoon. These figures are from the FoW range.

Despite my best efforts, these tovarishes look a little dark - they look better in person. Still a bit more highlighting and weathering to do, but they are beginning to take shape.

The basic set of colours in use here are:

Tamiya Khaki

GW Chaos Black

GW Bestial Brown

Vallejo Russian Green

Gun Metal
GW Chainmail

GW Graveyard Earth/GW Bleached Bone 50:50

Rain Poncho
GW Catachan Green over GW Graveyard Earth

HOTT Skeletons

While I had the camera out I decided it was past time to capture some class photos for my army of skeletons.

The spears are a recent addition and have not been based yet. In the meantime I have completely changed my basing technique, so I have to relearn the old way... Oops.

Artillery. Next to useless in practice, but nice little diorama.
Sand bags and cannon balls hand made from Milliput

Dark Riders. Someone ought to get those horses some oats.


Some effort was put into making the metal rusty looking, including orange surface rust and the deeper red iron cancer.

They are carrying crossbows if that is not completely clear.

Necromancer as the Magician who raised the skeleton army.
Has a skeleton standard bearer and a sorcerer or some other magical assistant.

The necromancer's Stronghold.
I was a bit inspired by Orthanc in the construction. All the rivets are PVA drops applied with a piece of brass rod.

Cannot quite figure out what the shako or WW2 helmet is all about...

Wraith Sneakers

Japanese DBA

I have put together a Japanese army for a DBA campaign at the club. We are using some modified rules to add teppo as Shot - basically Bow with factor changes.

Here are some photos of my army. I will be playing Uesugi, who was a monk. Accordingly his blade entourage are naginata wielding sohei.

The campaign is yet to start, but I plan to post some results.

Sohei Blades with naginata

Ashigaru teppo Shot

Ashigaru Spear

Ashigaru bow, being run as Psiloi

Samurai Cavalry command.
The centre figure is Uesugi, made with a head swap from a sohei figure.

WW2 Paint Guides

I have made a purchase of some figures for NUTS! and found myself wondering how to paint them.

So here is another post in the WW2 theme, this time tracking web resources on painting schemes and guides

Any recommendations for this list will be gratefully accepted. :)

British (and Commonwealth?)

  • Russian Infantry - Amazon Miniature. A general page with some good detail on Russians:
  • Russian infantry - Bolt Action Miniatures. Very detailed, some pictures. Colour selections for Citadel and Vallejo.
  • Russian Infantry - Great Escape Games. Step by step pictures and colour guide. Nice.

United States
for chris

Monday, 17 November 2008

Infantry Tactics WW2

In the search for better TO&E for Russian units, I came across a site with some discussion on infantry tactics and the corresponding units.

I haven't read it in detail, but seems good (not to mention they have some TO&E material).

Here's the link: infantry tactics of WW2

and their TO&E data

Monday, 3 November 2008


With NUTS! have a more historical (if somewhat cinematic, apparently) feel about it, it seems appropriate to consider some potential theatres for scenarios.

Thanks to the TO&E Yahoo group for this data.

My current thoughts are to start small - one combat section per side and see how that plays out. I'll be surprised if NUTS! can handle a full platoon, but some more games will tell. At that size it is basically a couple of Peter Pig packs. Sweet.

UPDATE: I have been struggling to make sense of the Soviet data from TO&E. The numbers haven't been adding up and I haven't been able to find any alternatives. Until now. :)

The Avalanche Press site has some detail on Russian platoons. This data is reinforced by this site.

    German Rifle Company Platoon (1942-43)

1 Squad
2 x 9mm SMG
6 x G98 Rifle

3 Squads
2 x 9mm SMG
1 x 7.92mm LMG
1 x G98 Rifle (Assistant LMG Gunner)
6 x G98 Rifle

Soviet Infantry Company Platoon (1941)
Platoon Leader w/ pistol
1 or 2 Messenger/Sniper w/ rifle

4 Infantry Groups
Group Leader w/ Rifle
6 soldiers w/ Rifles and some SMG (mostly rifle)

LMG Machinegunner w/Pistol
Assistant w/ rifle

Mortar Group (1+3 men)
Group Leader
3 Mortarmen
1 50mm Mortar

Monte Casino
    German Rifle Company Platoon (1944-45)
1 x 7.92mm LMG
1 x G98 Rifle (Assistant LMG Gunner)

3 Rifle Squads
2 x 9mm SMG
1 x 7.92mm LMG
1 x G98 Rifle (Assistant LMG Gunner)
6 x G98 Rifle

British Rifle Company Platoon
Second Lieutenant armed with a revolver
sargeant with a Sten gun
platoon commanders batman with a rifle
platoon commanders orderly with a rifle.

2” mortar group consisting of
lance corporal. Mortar group leader with rifle
mortar No1 with 2” mortar
mortar No2 with rifle

? Rifle sections
Corporal. Section commander with a Sten gun
Rifle group of six men armed with rifles.
Bren group of three men
Lance corporal, Bren group leader with rifle
Bren No1 with Bren gun
Bren No2 with rifle

US Rifle Company Platoon (1944-45)

3 Rifle Squads
10 x M1 Rifle
1 x BAR
1 x 1903 Springfield Rifle or M1 Garand
9 x M1 Rifle
1 x BAR
1 x .45 cal SMG or .30 cal Carbine

TODO: Normandy

Pacific Theater

    Japanese Infantry Platoon

3 Squads
1 x 6.5mm LMG
12 x 6.5mm Rifle

Weapons Squad
3 x 50mm light mortars
13 x 6.5mm Rifle

Australian Infantry Platoon (Tropical 1944)
(based on Australian War Memorial data)
Platoon Commander - Lieutenant
1x 2" Mortar, 2x Mortar numbers
3x Rifles

3 Rifle Sections
10 Other ranks
1x Bren LMG
2x Owen/Austin SMG
1x sniper rifle

Tobruck or Bardia?

    Australian Infantry Platoon [4 Officers, 62 Enlisted each]
Platoon Headquarters [1 Officer, 8 Enlisted]
1 x Bren LMG
1 x 2" Light Mortar

3 Sections [1 Officer, 18 Enlisted each]
Section Headquarters [1 Officer, 2 Enlisted]
Rifle Squad [16 Enlisted]

Sunday, 2 November 2008

WW2 15mm

The list of miniature manufacturers is getting a bit out hand. With the recent purchase of NUTS! it seems time to focus on a specific area - WW2 this time.

Here is a list of manufacturers of WW2 15mm in some more detail:

Germany, Finland Italy, Hungary, Romania, United Kingdom, USSR, USA
Infantry and Vehicles.
Clearly oriented towards Flames of War, so packs might be large. Vehicles have always been regarded as expensive. Happy with the Soviet Red Guard army I have for these rules.
Not sure where to get them from now that Napoleons has closed down... MilSims or Mind Games? Tin Soldier even - what happened to the Brisbane retailers...

Australians, Chinese, Italians, Japanese, US Marines
Really nice looking figures.
Typical Eureka - per miniature pricing at 80c ea.

Legions East
Early Russians, Finns, Hungarians and Romanians
Infantry only.
Nice looking figures, specialised range
Available from the US.

Old Glory - Command Decision
British, American, German, Early British, Early German, Russian, Italian, Japanese, French
Infantry and vehicles
Infantry in massive bags of 50 for £9. What an earth do you do with 50 figures in a skirmish game? 10 man packs available from Skytrex in the UK.
UK - postage expensive.

Peter Pig
Germans, British, Americans, French, Russians, Italians, Japanese & Dutch
Infantry and vehicles.
Huge selection of infantry, 8 per pack . Nice looking sculpts.
UK - postage will be expensive.
Available from Micks Metal Models in Australia - no entries in store.

Quality Casting
ANZAC, Britain, France, German, Italy, Japan, Polish, Soviets, USA
Infantry and vehicles.
Extensive selection of vehicles and good lists of infantry. No pictures. Figures seem to be in lots of 24 for US$10.
US availability - postage again

Quick Reaction Force (QRF)
American, British, Bulgarian, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, Romanian, Soviet
Vehicles and Infantry.
Vehicles are really strong. Basic selection of infantry. Vehicles about £5 - ouch. Infantry £2 for 8. Vehicles seem to be well regarded.
Available from the UK. Postage is again, the enemy - 30% of order.
Australian agent is Olympian Games (busted website).

Resistant Roosters
Americans, Finnish, Germans, Japanese, Soviets

Thursday, 30 October 2008

New rules

Been a while since I last posted. Must try and do better.

At the last club game I arranged to play a game of Chain Reaction 2 from the Two Hour Wargames guys. This is a free set of rules that predated the more specialised WW2 and sci-fi versions. This idea all started with some other members talking about playing TW&T from Too Fat Lardies.

Having these rules available for free made a great opportunity to get a feel for the Two Hour Wargames mechanics. And really this is what it is all about with these rules - new, novel mechanics.

The basic difference is that the figures will react to events around them - two big ones being: seeing or being seen by the enemy; and receiving fire. Depending on the quality of the troop involved the troop will react in different ways. All the reactions seemed reasonable and logical and for the most part made the game feel realistic.

As a first game we fumbled with the rules a bit and forget where we were up to in the heat of the moment. But as a first game it went quite smoothly and we all enjoyed it. A few more games should cement in the concepts and we can get on with some serious games.

This brings me to the other area of interest for me - not a points based, tournament driven game. I am not against tournaments and competitions per se, but it seems that rules tailored towards competitions lose something in the process. Not to mention the tournament weenies that super tune their lists and get very picky about applying and interpreting their rules (read anal retentive). Not so much fun.

So a game that focuses on scenarios (not necessarily "balanced" like a tournament style game) and therefore the story should be a lot more engaging. It will require more effort to assemble the scenario for a game, but should really be quite flexible. I can already see a scenario for the allied paratrooper landings after D-Day. The Two Hour Wargames rules support campaigns (or linked scenarios) by allowing Stars (your battlefield representative) to develop and improve over time.

The more focused rules NUTS! (WW2) and 5150 (sci-fi) are looking very attractive.

There are a number of reviews out on the 'net worth reading about the Two Hour Wargames rules. Recommended.

Thanks to the BIG guys who broadened my horizons.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

40k 5th Edition

Here are some notes on the upcoming 5th ed. rules, including a link to a torrent download of the pre-release rulebook: Samurai Gunslinger

I must say that I am facing this rule change with some trepidation. Mostly for the rumours about nerfing the Necrons gauss weapon ability. It seems that the ability to fluke a lucky vehicle kill via a glancing shot will be removed and the troops need to wear down a vehicle - one weapon at a time.

Ick. Yuck. Barf.

With the new rules vehicles like the Falcon will take 5 or 6 rolls of 5 or 6 to take down. That is a massive difference and I hope, but seriously doubt, that the point cost will be adjusted accordingly. The choice of high S weapons is pretty limited as I recall (codex not at hand), to the Heavy Destroyer and the Monolith.

I am yet to figure out what the effect will be on my growing Chaos army. But with the vehicle changes I expect something nasty to happen to the dakka predator I was planning. For reference a Dakka Predator (from Librarium Online):

Predator w/ AC + HB Sponsons + Havoc Launcher

Here we have the “dakka” predator. Capable of spewing out enough hot lead to choke a horse. This thing is usually seen running beside two of its AT brethren in larger sized games, the enemy should be so focused on killing the AT predators that this should receive little to no attention.

With the new rules, any movement over 6" will reduce this torrent of horse-choking lead, possibly making other units like heavy weapon Chosen or Havoc squads more useful.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Magic Wash - Pledge One Go

I have noticed that as a thinner, Magic Wash (Pledge) makes the paint flow beautifully. I also noticed that it leaves a slightly glossy (about semi-gloss I think) finish. Looks real nice on metallics, but probably a bit much on the non-metallics.

So I went searching for flat coat choices to both protect the miniatures and make them look realistic. The popular choice seems to be Testor's Dullcote. As a lacquer there are some concerns about it yellowing over time. Other people recommended PollyScale Flat and something similar from Model Master. The lacquer based sealers use a thinner that can be harsh on acrylic paints, especially silver apparently, which is a bit of a concern.

Unexpectedly my searching turned up a technique based on Future (known as Pledge here). The idea is to mix a matt medium, such as Tamiya X-21 (get it from Toyworld) to make the normally glossy Pledge flatter, leaving a tough, flat finish. Remember that despite all this modelling fun, Pledge is meant to be tough enough to be walked on.

A number of different finishes are possible, just my varying the amount of flat base used:
  • dead-flat: 1 part X-21, 3 parts Pledge
  • flat: 1 part X-21, 10 parts Pledge
  • satin: 1 part X-21, 15 parts Pledge
  • gloss: Pledge (what else :)
I am really impressed with the apparent flexibility of Pledge as well as it cost - available from Coles or Woolies for less than $6 for 500ml. How good is that?

For reference here are some links:
The Complete Future - a great reference. Includes an image of the bottle (centre bottle).
Future Floor Wash - as used by a railroad modeller.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Partial Painting Results

Well I started testing the new painting techniques on a guinea pig Raptor (everyone else took one step back).

The first picture is of a brush primed Raptor next to a "raw" Raptor. This was obviously more time consuming to actually paint on than a spray can, but because it is water based it can be painted on much sooner. Especially if you have access to a heat gun! :)

I thinned all these paints with a magic wash, which worked well. Still getting the feel for appropriate dilution - not sure I agree with the TAB Studio video - yet. The primer covered in three coats - and that means about 3-4 drops of primer. The difference is a bit hard to see - it is bit more obvious in the flesh (metal?).

Left is the basic marine and on the right is the brush primed model.

After the primer dried I started working on the metallic armour for the Raptors. The colour is Dwarf Bronze and I thinned it down in the TAB Studio way - about 10 drops of magic wash to a drop of paint. I though this was so thin it was completely useless - I swear I could count the mica flecks after I had done a coat. I figure that this due to a difference in pigment content in GW versus the Vallejo paint in the video.

I used a thicker wash than before and proceeded to carefully wash on thin coats of the bronze. Between coats I hit the model with a heat gun to drive out the water, speeding up the process. Even with the thickened wash the results below took a fair while and about 7-8 washes.

Time consuming, but a very smooth result.

Here are some pictures of the test piece. Note the highlights on the armour. How cool is that? :) Stoked in short.

Front view of the Raptors armour

Rear view of the Raptor.

I am a convert, and intend on using this technique further including normal non-metallic paints. Stay tuned...

Saturday, 17 May 2008

New approach to painting

The brush on primer mentioned above is white (Vallejo have one). I have been an advocate of black on the 28mm sized figures since the beginning, but the latest round of metallics have been disappointing (note that the silvers work like a bought one). So with all that I am going to give the brush on primer a try.

The challenge will be to ensure that all areas get some sort of paint. Missed areas on a black primed model look like deep shadows. Missed areas on a white primed model really stand out and look, well, shit. The other trick will be in getting the darker "scale" colours and grungy feel you get for free with black undercoats. It will really be a matter of darkening paints accordingly, which will require some work on palette mixing. Cool.

I should that my 15mm work gets a white undercoat followed by a brown shadow wash, so this won't be all new. It will be a challenge but I am sick of fighting with red, white, yellow and the non-silver metallics - so here I go...

Painting Videos

After complaining about painting metallic golds in a recent post, I got referred to a video tutorial series.

All in all very good.

Highlights for me were:
  • Use of "magic wash" as a paint thinner instead of straight water. This wash is one part acrylic floor wash and three parts water. This is supposed to help with keeping the metallic flakes in suspension, instead of lying about on the bottom.
  • Undercoating with an acrylic brush on primer. The basic idea was that spray cans while much faster can produce inferior results due to temperature and humidity. I have seen a powdery finish due to the paint drying in the air and an uneven finish due to high humidity.
Here are some links to the series. The home website appears to have gone AWOL, so these links are all to, but the videos come from TAB Studio.
They can take a while to download and the client does not appear to buffer at all. So I suggest some manual buffering - leave it on pause until fully downloaded.

Friday, 16 May 2008

The Big Kahuna

After doing some assembly on my Raptors (pictures as they get painted) I kept rolling and assembled the Daemon Prince.

The assembly was harder than I expected. The model came in thirteen metal parts, including a front and back torso. Nothing seem to fit quite right and in some cases the contact surfaces for gluing were pretty small, which is not good for superglue. I thought I was pretty proficient with pinning but I was stretched with this model - and improved my technique.

The front torso was pinned in place simultaneously with 5 pins. This was not for fun. One for each arm, one for the waist post and two for the body. Getting that precisely lined up was tricky. In short I put all the pins in one side, aligned them all carefully and drilled some over-sized holes in the other side and jockeyed it carefully into place.

Once assembled it was obvious that a fair bit of filling was going to be necessary. A few hours later I had bogged up:
  • left and right torso joins
  • left and right armpit/shoulder joins
  • top torso join
  • waist
  • hip
  • head and neck
  • wrist
  • exhaust pipe thingies on the shoulders.
I think that this kind of lack of quality with the assembly is really is pretty poor form when you consider the premium price paid for the figure. Shame on you Games Workshop.

The figure comes carrying a sword, but since I had equipped my Prince with the Lash of Submission ability I decided to give him a physical whip. Rather than butcher the hand with the sword I carved a new hand for him holding the handle of the whip. The handle is a section of styrene tube that I formed the fist around. The handle will be trimmed to size and detailed further, including the addition of the lash and tails of the whip.

This is my first attempt at carving anything at all and I must say I am pretty happy with the result. The fist is larger than the original, but seems to fit the model really well. His thumb is a bit deformed looking, but rather than make it worse I decided to just leave it as is.

The big ticket item remaining with this figure is the creation of some wings. I found that wings were really useful for this guy in play testing, so now I need some way to model them. I have been studying the structure of bat wings (the things we do!) and figure I will make the bones out of a few different sizes of styrene tube. The skinning of the wing is still a bit of an unknown at the moment.

I initially wanted to have his wings at full extension like he was had just landed or was about to take off, but figured that this would always be banging into terrain, so I figure now that he will have his wings furled up at rest.

Back to Games Workshop again: why can't a company that insists on WYSIWYG modelling actually supply all the options for the models? Even old models could have some add-on bitz. How hard is it?

Here are some photos for this stage.

The Prince with one of his marines for size comparison.

Close up detail of the new hand.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Class Photo - Royals

The first Chaos warband has been completed - the Royals.

A group that considers themselves a notch above the rest, they have adopted a regal colour scheme, including gold leaf, to demonstrate their superiority.

They have turned out pretty well, but the gold metallic was a pain, and I am totally over it. These paints are built on a yellow base which doesn't cover well and the metal particles are quite large. There wasn't a lot of room to swing the brush properly for dry brushing, so I tried washing the metallic on, but it was too easy to get it wrong. If I was not careful the paint got a bit thick and grainy looking, which was/is super irritating.

You will notice that there are two bases with gold edges in the photo. The right-most one is the results of 4 or 5 washes of Burnished Bold. Looks pretty good in the photo? In real life it looks grainy. Frustrating.

So the search continues for the master class technique for painting golds (and brass, bronze, etc).

The Royals. A Plasma Gunner Warband

Monday, 24 March 2008

Chaos Beckons

The new codex for the Chaos Space Marines has inspired the need to start a new force, something different from my Necrons.

I really like the new background of Chaos warbands, so I decided to work along those lines - a group of warbands, temporarily united under a warleader.

The core of the force will be two squads of CSMs. One prefers plasma guns, and the other melta-guns. An example of the first squad is included below. They are based on the Warriors of Mayhem - and for now are known as "the plasma gunner group". :)

They were supposed to be like the Night Stalkers in the new codex, but I could not figure out how to replicate the look. So instead I just worked with the original purple shade colour and did some highlighting and further shading.

"Plasma gunner" Warband