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!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Osprey Black Ops on the desk.

Hi Chaps,

It's been a great week! Most days are damned good but a couple of days this week got elevated to awesome. Osprey have done it again with their ruleset Black Ops which on first read through is very interesting-not because of the Black Ops nature of the game but because of the potential of the system it employs.

Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the forces knows that every task you undertake is thought out, planned and executed as cleanly and professionally as possible. Whilst I would not describe the whole scene as a Black Op most operations have the same planning....

I digress. The book is very well written and I hope that a standard war games version is published along with army lists. This system is really interesting and made me dig out some old 20mm US plastic figures to experiment with-I simply cannot afford to start another project in any other scale with Christmas on the way...bah humbug etc etc.

There is no getting away from the fact that these Chaps are cheap 20mm plastic but they have brushed up OK, there is a Bradley from Fabbri on the way as cheapo support as well. If things go well with the rules I may splash out on some Elheim figures which look incredible. Britannia (Grubby tanks) can supply the rest in the form of civilians and a T62, .

My desk is a mess at the moment which is a pet hate of mine, even the addition of a paint rack has not helped though my mood has been lifted by the arrival of some Tau figures. i do not game 40K and to be honest I only paint the miniatures to provide a change to my normal painting habits. The 40K figures are growing in number though! nearly 30 Space Marines and now Tau to go at!

The small plastic card accompanies me to car boots, charity shops and pound shops all the time....this is the second such device as the first went awol. It is 30mm tall and has small nicks in it to show 20 and 23mm....useful for measuring vehicles! This prevents me from amassing boxes full of toy cars that will never see use. I must mention that I have never found a tank suitable for 28mm in poundland yet everyone else is turning them up by the bucketload! Whats going on??

Well have a good week Chaps, I enjoy reading about your exploits, keep blogging and I hope you enjoyed getting a view of my little piece of heaven that is my painting table.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Librarian...or psyker...

Hi Chaps,

Yes, my copy of WarHammer is so old it has Psykers in it! These guys are pretty useless with only a few abilities and these will have little bearing on my games....the low level characters also have a difficult time in using their skills. I would have preferred a ridiculous looking model for my with a nose bleed as a result from failing a roll or something like that?

The model is actually a Librarian from Dark vengeance (ebay actually), but he will have to do. This is Space Marine number 26...wooo. On order is a box of tau and an old codex from that auction site again. Does any one else use these miniatures for their own rule sets?

Later this week I will hopefully be able to share with you a picture of a shelving unit for my paints...a portable unit that should keep together all the assorted junk that we painters need.

Keep blogging Chaps.