Friday, 27 May 2016

20MM Pak 40

Hi Chaps,

Today I got a couple of hours to begin work on half of my anti tank company. This is a plastic box from Italeri and costa around £8. The quality is astounding and everything in the box is useful, It includes two guns each with five crew. The plastic is hard and can be glued and the detail is chunky for plastic and easy to paint.

I have attempted to give the figures the "Plain Tree" (?) cammo jackets but it does not really come across in the pictures. The anti tank company will be easier to ID because of this but as I only have a Marder 3 and crew left to paint to complete it I needn't have bothered I suppose.

The figures are on the large side and are not a bad mix with the even larger Valiant guys without too much difference. Tomorrow if I get up an hour sooner I will start on my little plastic pile of Zvezda mini's which are a motorcycle and side car and a mortar team,

Hobby wise this is a very exciting time for me. New spectacles (god yes-I am that old) mean that I can see these little guys clearly for the first time in years. Add to this the cheapness and plethora of models available and it becomes an opportunity to take advantage of. Speaking of cheapness I just ordered the Valiant Miniatures German Army Battle group....

Probably more infantry than I could ever use at once but this should be a great start too which I intend to add some resin vehicles from Grubby Tanks.

No company will be planning a holiday home on the back of my orders but I am getting value for money...I just need Valiant to start producing some Russians! Colin Rumford come on buddy Valiant Russian infantry please!

Keep blogging Chaps and Chappesses I need your work to inspire me and to copy from!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Communists in Thailand....

Hi Chaps,

I have previously posted pics from roadside museums in Thailand but my wife Oijai just sent me a few more from a mountainous area in the North. The equipment certainly has some "groovy" colour schemes and would be a great alternative for those extra Vietnam figures that you bought by accident. By the way M113's etc are still in use as are Willis jeeps and all manner of what we would consider vintage artillery pieces!

These little museums have been built on old military bases, the mortar pits and artillery parks have just been left and I assume that the exhibits are abandoned pieces of kit. If you ever visit do not go picking up any shells or handle the ammo of any sort.....

Cambodia is far worse on the safety issue but if you talk nice to the military guys there they will usually get you onto their base and have a look around. For a few US dollars they will let you onto the range. Be warned though they always seem drunk! George Best/Gazza drunk not just tipsy.

The bulldozer is an essential part of any attempt to build anything out in the far east, plants seem to spring up the armour on it!

Keep gaming and blogging Chaps!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Valiant Miniatures 20MM German

Hi Chaps,

It has been a slow hobby week due to being back temporarily as a single parent but a few models have been painted.

The most rewarding-and surprisingly quick to paint were some Valiant Miniatures German infantry. just lately I have been painting almost all 28MM but I often wonder if I should have stuck with Elheim moderns in the smaller 20MM scale. I may even unload some figures to commit the worst war gaming sin of all.....the same period in two different scales! It's the damned tanks-in 20MM I can actually field some without placing them back in a safety deposit box after use.

The Chaps at Valiant need to produce some Russians because my old Italeri look tiny compared to these huge Aryan warriors. Maybe it's the free time I have but I keep looking at the Plastic Soldier Company website and making lists....then go to Elheim and Grubby Tanks and do the same.

Hopefully by the weeks end there will be several new Taliban completed, The Assault Group politicians are almost complete, there is a dude in traditional arabic garb but he is still awaiting a white undercoat.

Now I am off to cost out the price of a Russian tank battalion in 20MM. Or maybe a Modern Brit Battalion from Grubby....great problems to have!

Keep blogging Chaps.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Empress Miniatures order arrives

Hi Chaps,

My order from Empress Miniatures arrived this morning and the figures appear to have a lot of character. I only ordered two packs (no one is getting rich from my orders sadly) from two different codes CWC and INS and they are noticeably different size wise...

I do not find this a problem at all as humans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the weapons are definitely petite compared to The Assault Group but are probably more realistic for it.

The middle guy is a TAG figure and on the table there should be no problems mixing these manufacturers together.

It will take a couple of weeks to paint up the moderns that I have now so the next stage of this project will be a few buildings and a rule set. There are a lot of rules out there now for moderns so I am a little spoilt for choice....some of them are even free for download or cost less than a coffee to buy online. Happy days indeed for this financially challenged gamer.

Keep blogging Chaps!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Assault Group based at last

Hi Chaps,

It has been an unusual week here at HQ. The wife is visiting her parents so the chores are down to my good self as is the school run etc. which restricts my painting time. All is still good though.

The generic sniper was fun and will prove useful in a lot of scenarios. Sorry about the blurry pic-I was rushing....didn't want him to spot me!

There is a few more Taliban to paint and I am awaiting an order from Empress for some insurgents who are grim looking bunch indeed!

I am off now to sketch some town houses and shops to make a busy street....then to find a source of 28mm bicycles, street food carts, people etc.

Keep blogging!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Taliban Work in Progress

Hi Chaps,

Just a quick update on my TAG moderns. These figures are a pleasure to paint, they do seem very similar in design to Copplestone castings-it may just be down to their chunky size? Painting is much more enjoyable and much quicker when I am not having to squint or attempt to paint fine or faint lines of detail. I love these man size figures!

The bases will be next a simple glue, sand and coat of chocolate brown emulsion with an odd clump of scatter. For the contractors I may try to suggest some paving with green stuff, just to suggest an urban environment. I am having a lot of fun with these guys so I may order a few more modern types, they can always slot into a Zombie game or future war.

I never find any useful toys in this scale! It seems that Grubby tanks will be the best place to source a couple of Humvees and by now Warlord Games should have released their modern plastic soldiers which look excellent....happy times for the financially challenged even in 28mm.

Thanks for clicking by. Later this week I will be making some modern buildings to provide a backdrop and some cover for these guys. Always cheap of course!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Assault Group and some scatter terrain

Hi Chaps,

My two orders to The Assault Group (TAG) arrived on Saturday and I am absolutely astonished at the quality of these little figures. (TAG had the common sense to combine my separate orders...I am a dullard). The miniatures look very paintable and each figure is full of character, as a bonus two extra figures were included, both very useful-a western style sniper and a Taliban character armed with pistols.

I would recommend TAG to anyone interested in the modern period but their catalogue seems to cover lots of different conflicts.

Orrin Deforest's book Slow Burn is an excellent read for anyone who games the Vietnam War or is just interested in military intelligence. I am sure that a lot of scenario's could be built around some of the chapters in the book, as gamers we do seem to restrict ourselves to the more common military activities-the modern period especially has so much published material that we should never run out of gaming ideas.

The TAG figures busy being glued....the scissors are being used to keep a figure upright until the glue dries...despite not even starting these guys lists are being drawn up for more support! I did have a Taliban army in 20mm but I find 28mm easier to paint, easier to see and just generally more enchanting.

The pallets are made from matches and coffee stirrers and are a great way to use up some hobby time when you don't feel like like painting or if time is short. Eventually you will end up with a couple of little stacks that when based will provide a bit of detail to the table and break up lines of sight.

Keep blogging Chaps, all these ideas have been stolen from various places around the blogosphere.