Friday, July 11, 2014

28mm French Napoleonic Figure Comparison

I have been assembling my new Napoleonic additions and though there might be some interest in a figure comparison.

Figures with paint are Victrix.  Unpaited figures are, from left to right, Old Glory, Warlord Games and Perry Miniatures.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Vacation Shopping

Another year and another July 4th trip to Southern California.  As part of this annual vacation ritual I visit a couple of great games stores and spend too much money.  The first stop is always The War House in Long Beach.  This a cool little hole in the wall place that is a neat mix of old stuff and the latest releases.  I found the new Battlefront Bastogne Church.  I have been waiting a long time for one of these and was very happy to finally add it to the collection.  I will do a separate review of this.  I also found a few items for my US armies - some jeeps, TD security section for late war and an armored rifle company HQ section.  I probably could of spent lots more there but I needed to pace myself.

After an inexcusably crappy lunch, Tim and I headed over to Brookhurst Hobbies in Garden Grove.  I have been shopping at Brookhurst for years and it is one of my favorite shops.  I always find lots of good stuff and this year was no exception.  I got a few packs of Peter Pig figures for various German projects for Flames of War.  I found a cool FJ Light Artillery battery for my never ending Fallschirmjager army.  I picked up a Barkmann set for my Normandy Panther Company project.  This is the new one with the plastic parts.  Now I will need to order the plastic parts for the rest of the army - doh!  I added some 4Ground 15mm walls to my European terrain collection.  These look really cool and more than 3 feet of walls for $13 is pretty good.  Finally, I added some Perry and Warlord French to the pile for my Napoleonic project.

All in all vacation was sand, sun, good food and great hobby shopping!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tank Restoration Project

A few weeks ago a local gamer was selling off some extra German tanks.  Always on the lookout for a good deal this on caught my eye.  There were about 20 tanks, mostly Panzer IV variants.  I made an offer sight unseen.

I thought I was kind of low-balling but it turns out I might have over paid.  I have never been afraid of an army restoration project and have done lots of 40K stuff that was severely used.  This was going to be a massive project.

Here are three of seven PzIV F1, F2 and G that were in the lot.  Most had very heavy paint with the looks of 2-3 repaints.  Many had damage that needed repairing.  All were very poorly assembled.  The tank in the middle is featured in the pictures below.
This Panzer IV G was the worst of the lot.  This picture shows the hull after 6-8 hours of soaking in Simple Green.  The top layer of tan came off very easy but the other 5 layers of paint took a bit longer. EDIT: The more I look at this picture the more it looks like it was pulled from a Russian bog after 60 years.

A few more hours of soaking and a hour of scraping with dental picks give you something like this. 

Not all the tanks were in bad shape and some cleaned up rather easy.  Here is a good one with less than an hour of work compared the worst after about the same amount of time.

Here are 6 of the 7 tanks after all the paint stripped off.  The worst one is in the upper left of the picture.

This is the worst of the lot after paint stripping and reassembly.  All the tanks got a fresh coat of Panzer Grey. 
In the end I managed to salvage 7 Panzer IV.  These took about 10 hours of work, not including the soak time.  These are ready for the next step to getting back to the table.  There are still about 13 mort tanks to restore in this lot so stay tuned for more.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Flames of War Fallschirmjager Reinforcements

 I just finished up a few odds and ends for my FoW Fallschirmjagers.  I have had these in process for more than a year but I just could not get them done.  I recently has the FJ back on the table and my love for this army was rekindled.

First up are a few extra command stands.  These will be used in various army configs where I need a command team for a small unit.

Next are three sniper teams.  I have never used snipers and I have never faced them but I am really intrigued by them.  I can;t wait to try them out as I know my regular opponents have very little experience as well.

This is the first of two character teams I painted up.  This one will be used as Major Von Der Heydte and also as an Infantry Ace if we ever do an aces campaign.

Finally we have another character team.  This one is Oberstleutnant Walter Koch.  The only time I have ever used a special character warrior team in Flames of War was at this year's Shifting Sands event.  My lack of experience meant that I did not get the full potential from the character.  I am looking forward to trying out both of these characters to see how they really work in the game.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Workbench Update

So far this year has been pretty sad for me and getting regular updates on the blog.  This is mainly due to not painting as much stuff as normal.  Or maybe I should say that I am not completing as much as I have in the past.

This has actually been a pretty good year, so far, for playing games.  I have gotten in quite a few Flames of War games as well as Bolt Action games.  I have even managed to get in a Black Powder game.

I have been working on a few projects and I should have lots more updates soon - good ones, not just lame excuses.  Coming soon are some more FoW Fallschirmjagers.  I am nearing completion on  some extra command stands as well as some snipers.  We are trying to gather forces for a Market Garden campaign later this summer and my FJ should get lots of table time for this.  I also have pioneers, heavy mortars and heavy artillery to add to this army.

I acquired a collection of used German tanks for Flames of War from a local gamer.  At first it seemed like it might be a pretty fair deal but having spent some time with the tanks it is looking lots like a charity deal.  Oh well, I really like salvage projects and this one is definitely salvage.  I plan to use most of these tanks for a late 42 - early 43 11th Panzer Division project.  This will be focused on the Chir River battles.  It should be pretty fun as this will be my first winter force.  I am planning several posts for the restoration of these tanks and building of the army.

My Kampfgruppe Hummel project will be continuing as well.  This army should see time in the Market Garden games so I need to get this done.  I need a few more Tigers and then a couple of Pz IV and Pz III to finish it up.

For Bolt Action I finally decided to build the Perry British 8th Army and have started the assembly and collection of forces.  I have nearly finished assembling the first box of troops and I have a British Mk VIc tank that I got for Warlord during their big tanks sale.  I need to add more support and troops.  This should see some progress as the summer progresses.

I need to get my Napoleonic French project back on track as well.  I did manage to assemble all the Victrix models I have collected and started painting but then it got back-burnered.  We are still hoping to get a BP game in for the 1813 campaign this Fall so time is a wasting.  I still need to acquire some more models for this.

There are lots of cool plastic releases in the pipeline that have me really excited.  Plastic Soldier Company has KV-1 and late PZ III sets coming soon and there new IS-2 box is really cool.   This is just the type of stuff that will get me inspired.

Maybe I should finish painting my Captain America and Bucky figures...

Enough chitchat...time to get back to painting.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

US M3 Halftracks for Flames of War

On a whim a few weeks ago I bought a set of Plastic Soldier Company M3 Haftracks.  OK, it was not really a whim, I have been wanting some of these for my US army for a long time.  An Armored Rifle Platoon will be a nice addition to my mid-war US Tank Company.  The Armored Rifle platoon can be a very expensive unit to model for FoW (but it is getting a little cheaper with the new plastic set from Battlefront).  The tracks are one of the main expenses for this unit and the PSC option saves lots of money.

The kit is pretty nice and very similar to their other sets.  The instructions are adequate for the job. It would have been nice to get a little detail on the different models and options but it is easy enough to find on the web.

 I did find these to be a little fiddly (the first model of a new PSC set is always the toughest) to build and if you don't like to build models you are probably not going to like these much.

Since these are for my 1943 Tunisian theamed US force I opted for the M3 rather than the M3A1 model.  The only real difference is the A1 has the ring mount for the AA MG rather than the pintle mount.

The platoon HQ track is the only one that gets the winch.  All the others get the bumper with the roller.

I really love these models, and all the PSC models I have built.  Now I need to dig out the infantry and the 37mm AT gun and get them painted up.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Black Powder ACW Game Photo Dump

Last weekend some friends and I got together for a Black Powder American Civil War game.  It has been about 6 months since we have put on a big game and it was great to see it back on the table.  W played a simple meeting engagement with 3 brigades to a side.  Tom created some random unit generation charts and we tried them out for the first time.  This randomizes the number of regiments per brigade, the size of each regiment, the troop quality and the special abilities of the unit.  This worked pretty well and is likely to be a regular feature of our ACW games.

Here is a quick photo dump of the game.  Sorry for the lack of photo editing and resizing but my laptop is in the shop and that make things a little tough.