Monday, 28 December 2015

Rhodesian Infantry

Hi Chaps,

Just a very quick entry to display a snap of my Under Fire Miniatures Rhodesian Infantry. These little 20mm gems are easy to paint and really do feel like one is painting a 28mm figure because there is so much to paint!

The bases are a little vegetation heavy and the other two sticks I have will not be laden with as much of the green stuff.

The uniform camouflage was pretty easy in the end, I had worried about this as my previous attempts at camo have been awful. The base coat is Vallejo dark sand then just swatches of Warpainter army green and oak brown. The webbing is Khaki and the whole lot got a wash of Agrax earthshade. Ospreys excellent Bushwars supplement for Force on Force was used as a guide and is an excellent little book on Africa's modern wars.

Thanks for looking Chaps, helicopter next.

Keep Blogging.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Seasons Greetings from the Librarian

Hi One and All!

I do hope that you are all enjoying the festive season or at least surviving it! Santa has been good this year to me and I also hope to you Chaps as well.

It could be that Games Workshop get some money off me in the New Year though more internet crawling will be done before I decide for sure. Great figures, great back stories but pants rule sets that just keep seeming to endlessly expand and alter. Anyway grabbed an early start and painted a Librarian type of figure, he was actually a resin Ebay buy so I have no firm information on him...any ideas? He was fun to paint but will sit on my shelf along with a growing number of models that have no definite role in anything.(curse impulse buys and bids that should never have won auctions!).

The photo is as usual a little bit off colour (OK a lot) but when you consider the model is just over an inch tall it is not surprising that all the imperfections are shown when magnified a few 100%!

The 20mm Rhodesians will be complete and ready for action by the New Year so any new project will begin in the New Year, perfectly timed but completely by accident. What have you Chaps got planned? Please do post your ideas because I am a bit stumped at the moment-a combination of too much beer and too many books being read....may run a poll to solve this one.

Keep blogging, enjoy the festivities and drink more beer.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Under Fire Miniatures are Fantastic....

Hi Chaps,

It is not often that I am blown away by something unexpected in this hobby but I was driven to amazement by the quality of the miniatures from "Under Fire Miniatures".

The castings are very well proportioned and detail is clear and recognisable even from a distance on these 20mm figures. The quality is so good in fact I had to check against another miniature to make sure that they were 20mm!

Being on a (strict) budget I was at first reluctant to pay £1 a figure (yes it is a damned tight budget) but as I wanted to field a few vehicles and a helicopter or two I was cornered into purchasing what turn out to be some of the best sculpted figures that I have ever seen. And yes they are well worth the measly £1 that I was worrying about!

The figures shown are a mix of Chechens which I had to oder just to look at. Originally the order just consisted of Rhodesian Infantry but the longer that you stay on the Under Fire website the more things will catch your eye.....I wonder what their World War Two stuff looks like? Bolt Action suddenly becomes more affordable despite the 28mm plastics when you take the vehicles and terrain into account is 20mm is the way to go?

The Festive season stuff has slowed my painting but a cheap ICM BTR152 has been completed-my modelling skills did not extend far enough to cope with all the drive shaft gubbins but they cannot be seen anyway!

Transport is now sorted for a few of my Warsaw Pact types, this vehicle will acquire a base soon enough.

Have a really good Christmas lads (and ladies?) and keep posting your plans for the new campaigning season, I steal your brilliant ideas constantly.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Alouette 3 and crew arrives


A short post to share some goodies that arrived this morning...

Whilst everyone is recovering from too much food and beer etc I am hoping to get the time to create a suitable helicopter for the Rhodesia conflict...more stuff is on the way including some footsloggers and some general modern militia from Under Fire Miniatures that I wanted to take a peek at.

Keep blogging.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Lesney Unimog for 20mm Rhodesia

Hi Chaps,

It has been a bit of a slow week thus far. A couple of kits are inbound from a rather drunken Saturday nights clicking so things should pick up....more figures are on their way to be put aside for a rainy day as well.

Mostly I have been occupied with converting old Lesney toys into something that can pass muster on the tabletop. These yhings have been picked up at car boots and nothing costs more than a pound....avoid the ridiculous ebay prices where a Unimog without tyres goes for around £ may as well go to RH Miniatures and buy a new resin one!

Once on an appropriate base I think that these things will be OK, my next batch will be some more civilian transport.

By the New Year there will be enough equipment and figures to actually start gaming-what a shocker! After action reports will be posted.

Keep gaming!

Friday, 11 December 2015

1/72 Scale Transport....and girls

Hi Chaps,

It has been a busy time but unfortunately not on the hobby front. Christmas shopping and general life duties have interfered greatly with the miniature life I like to lead. At last though I have had time to delve into my stash of toy cars (that does sound so sad) to produce some more 20mm transport.

The Lesney owners club will have a price on my head for destroying their historic little models but to be fair this lot must have had a hard life. Mud was still caked inside the wheel arches on these little vehicles which are now almost as old as myself...knocking 49!

The toy cars scale up rather well with the Landrover and Unimog being the best fit but to be honest will anyone notice when they are on the table? Obviously that was a rhetorical question as I play solo....

Die cast cars are easy to take apart, just drill out the rivet with a 5mm metal drill bit but do wear glasses or goggles, mazak is nasty stuff that is best kept away from your eyeballs. The Unimog and Landrover will be military green and the wagon the usual gaudy/effeminate Elton John finish.

You may have noticed the "Girls with Guns" in the first photo, I have had them for years and I have never known what to do with them...until I visited this webpage...

After more than 30 years of war gaming I am delighted to say that this was something that entertained and inspired me. Actually a breathe of fresh air! This man may just be living my miniature dream! Toy cars, aeroplanes and helicoptors have been recruited into his world and a damn good job he has made of it too! When not trying to become serious students/gamers/analysts this is what we should be doing-having fun.

The webpage above was chanced upon because I asked a question regarding the war in Rhodesia on the Lead adventure forum.

Whatever your gaming interests are please do visit this site the knowledge and the friendliness of the members on this site is humbling.

OK Chaps, a lot to read and think about, have a few beers over the weekend and enjoy Morvalonga....and have fun!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Israeli Infantry arrive

Hi Chaps,

It has been a slow week hobby wise but my Orion Israeli Infantry arrived and I am happy to report they are gamer friendly. The castings are free from flash and the figures are a nice chunky size that allows my old eyes to paint them and it gives them a presence on the tabletop.

Colour wise the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) is a bit of a nightmare with people using kit they have been issued with years ago (so it has become faded) alongside newbies with brand new uniform. In a way it makes life easy for the painter as you cannot go wrong.

The box art is a bit misleading as the infantry are all armed with M16 rifles or its later versions and I also found when looking on the web that the uniform is usually a darker green...also the webbing is a pale green or brown/khaki. Anyway as they are my toys I painted them a darker green but the next batch will be lighter and I will mix them up when they are put into their units.

The photo is a little misleading as the colours seem exaggerated but I hope that you get the idea. The only other bits I worked on this week were a couple of old Lesney cars and two SU 152s which saw service in Egypt and Iraq so they got a desert colour.

Hopefully the Force on Force ruleset will arrive this week-I have been reading The Bush War supplement and it is very well written and presented, I really do recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in modern Africa.

Keep blogging Chaps, we are the only sane people I know.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Civilian trucks in 20mm and a VW Camper....for pennies

Hi Chaps,

Its been rather busy on the hobby front but I was determined to see how a few toy cars that I picked up at a car boot for a pound would turn out with a new coat of paint. The models were stripped down and the metal (it is actually Mazak a cheap monkey metal) placed in boiling water which then had caustic added.

A wash and dry later they had a new undercoat of white acrylic paint over which normal hobby paints were used. The insides of the models were also painted but you can hardly spot it so this may have been a waste of time. The yellow trucks are 1:80 scale which is a little small for the huge trucks but they will work as 10 tonne 10 wheelers of the sort that trundle around the awkward small tracks of Afghanistan and Africa. I have resisted painting the Afghan patterns on them that would make Elton John yell GAY as I want to use them in Africa were the truckers are far more manly.

The Volks Wagon Camper is much more the correct scale (1/76?) and I really liked painting this one as I recently watched Blood Diamond and one of these Campers features for a while. In fact the next one I find is being painted the same colours as the one in the film!

Cost wise these things are cheap and when gaming in 20 MM our town boards should be full of them...if we can find the time that is.

Next up is an African street made from a frozen pizza defence budget is squeezed but that is not going to stop me playing games all over the world!

Keep blogging Chaps this hobby is amazing!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Grubby Tanks Taliban and BRDM 2


Well they arrived! An order to Grubby Tanks usually always arrives within 4 or 5 days and he always includes a figure (or in this case 3) extra which is great customer service. The figures are full of character and will be a useful addition to my plastic 20 MM bunch who need the support weapons.

The BRDM may end up in Africa as will the stowage which is destined to be put on the back of two toy trucks...they are a little small to be heavy haulers but will work as 7.5 or 10 tonne mules! As you may have guessed the 20 MM bug has really taken hold probably due to the Force on Force primer I downloaded...for some reason it just clicked.

Hopefully before weekend I will have in my possession the Bush Wars Force on Force supplement and also a box of Orion IDF troops. Any advice on uniform colours (with the paint name and number if possible) would be greatly appreciated as I have no idea where to start with these but I have wanted them for a while and if necessary I can put them away for a rainy day.

This lot should complete my Taliban project for now at least but I think few wargamers ever consider an army complete?

I am off now to dismember a VW camper van and two identical trucks, I will photograph the process and they should be ready to re appear in 20 MM Africa soon.

Keep blogging Chaps!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

20 MM Taliban Plastics-the full set

Hi Chaps,

I cannot remember the last time that I ever painted every piece from a box of plastic Ultima Ratio take a bow! It is almost as if the guys at Ultima Ratio (who ever and wherever they are) knew what a war gamer would want. Robust strong figures in usable poses-all of them useful to the gamer and contrary to what the plastic soldier review thinks those donkeys are damned useful.

So the Taliban have taken over my painting table no doubt waiting for the Grubby Tanks order to arrive with their HMG, Commander, Mortar and civilians...and of course the goats to keep the lads happy. It will be interesting to see how the figures mix with the metal castings and for sure once they are painted that is the "army" complete.

The painting of 20 MM will not end with these chaps though! Modern African "troops" are already on the table awaiting some camouflage which is proving trickier than I first thought. Maybe I should wait until the Osprey Bush Wars book arrives?

A final thought...would anyone like to swap (or even sell for reasonable English money) a copy of Force on Force core rulebook? I have to trade an excellent copy of Hail Caesar? I like the book I just don't have the time to paint an ancient army!

Thanks for looking and keep blogging, you are all very creative!

Friday, 13 November 2015

20 MM Taliban-on the cheap!

Hi Chaps,

Well I am fairly broke! It is nearing Christmas, the winter bills are rolling in etc etc so my financial condition has gone from skint to acutely skint. Fortunately the war gaming Gods smile kindly on those in my situation and one can swerve the shortage of cash problem by adopting a smaller scale, going for skirmish or going plastic.

This month I went ebay plastic-to the extreme of 1/72 scale! A new company called Ultima Ratio has in it's catalogue a box of Taliban which have painted up quite well. They also produce some Soviet mechanised infantry but I have not been able to track these down (forgive the pun).

The plastic is hard and the castings thick enough to prevent any bending or the dreaded curved barrel! These chaps got a coating of PVA to protect them from general wear and tear...they have lots of comrades soon to join them including some great pack donkeys and a man armed with a stinger missile! I have just noticed I missed the lenses on the binoculars....I will sort that!

Back soon when my Grubby Tanks order arrives and I can complete the T 55 which is a cheap ebay Fabbri find....keep busy lads it's the only way to stay sane.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

20 MM Afghanistan here I come!


Today was very interesting. The postie arrived with a few packages of goodies that I have been eagerly waiting for what seems ages (OK last weekend).

The first pleasant surprise was the Ultima Ratio box of 1/72 figures portraying the Mujahidin, Taliban Al Qaeda bad guys/drug dealing scum or if you are that way inclined freedom fighters? The figures are well proportioned with useful poses and all of them can be used-especially the pack donkeys! I have never heard of this company before but they are certainly worth a look and I will keep an eye out for future releases.

Next to be examined were the Warbases MDF bases which as always were perfect arriving within 2 days of ordering. I just cannot stand basing light plastic figures onto unbalances them so much, just a pet hate of mine sorted for less than a pint of lager.

The Fabbri (I think) T 55 was won off ebay, delivered for less than £7. I have never tried painting modern armour before so I could not resist starting a repaint with the Russian Green from may be totally wrong but it is too late now. Weathering and stowage will be added over the next few days.

I have on order from Grubby Tanks some crew for this ancient beast as well as command and a few heavy weapons. My table will also acquire some civilians from a few manufacturers including the old Britannia range.

So there we have it a force of around 50 infantry, a tank and some civvies for less than £50, I don't need to do the maths to know that I could not have afforded this in 28 MM which is a shame but when life gives you lemons...

Keep blogging Chaps I need your ideas!

By the way if you need some modern inspiration or are just curious as too what can be achieved in 20 MM check this guys work out...he is a total genius!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Turning Old Toys into 20 MM Gold (almost)

Hi Chaps,

This week has been fairly productive with 20 painted US modern soldiers and half a dozen bad guys. A street plan has been drawn and reading material sourced. It was whilst looking in a drawer for an Osprey book that I came across a few old toy cars-perfect candidates to occupy my time on a rainy Sunday afternoon!

The cars came apart easily and were tipped in hot water and caustic soda....always add the caustic to the boiling water to avoid a nasty bubbly surprise.

Once stripped the little cars were under coated and then given their final coat of white. Re assembly is straight forward with everything being held in place with a Bostik type glue. Final touches included the lights and a guy hanging out of the window doing a 20 MM drive by.

With their bases now finished these cars were great (cheap) fun to mess around with......I will need many more to grace my little table.

The Bradley is a cheap Fabbri (I think) that was won on may yet receive the caustic treatment.

Keep blogging Chaps!