Swag!!

Just a quickie to show what I picked up at the Joy of 6 the other week (I would have done this sooner but had a terrible time of it health wise last week but feeling better now).

First up from H&R, enough kit to do the ‘teeth’ of a Soviet Tank regiment for FFT3. T-64’s and BMP-2’s. Both are nice models in my opinion, the T-64’s are primed and I should have both tanks and IFV’s done by the end of the week.

 

I was also picking up some planes and helicopters from Jonathan that he had going spare, I definitely needed the Soviet kit as I was lacking air support for my growing forces. Need to maybe do some repainting and slight repair work on them and add ‘my’ flight stand fixtures but not a bad haul for £15, cheers Jonathan!

 

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20mm WW2 Norman Buildings

As the club doesn’t have any buildings specific for Normandy ’44 games and as quite a few of the TFL ‘Pint Sized Campaigns’ are set there I thought I might try and invest in some appropriate abodes to help with my OCD twitches when using slightly ‘off’ kit. So I started to scan the interweb for cheap as possible options and was actually quite surprised by the dearth of buildings for 20mm figures for this campaign – tons of 15 and 25mm which I must admit I thought was a tad strange.

Anyway my three-quarter arsed search resulted in me narrowing down the likely places where my shekels would go to 3 outfits:

https://www.starfortminiatures.com/20mm-models

http://www.empiresatwar.co.uk/20mm-NORMANDY-KITS.html

And a German outfit called najewitz-modellbau.de but the link I had for them just brings up an error page and it seems as if they aren’t making their kit anymore which is a right shame as I really liked it, that’ll teach me! However I pulled the trigger on the Star Fort and Empires outfits ordering the 5 building Norman Village set from the latter and a Cottage and Granary from the former. All are MDF kits (I freely admit to liking the smell of burnt MDF, something quite pleasant about it I reckon, although the Mem isn’t too keen!) and with the village set being pre-painted I decided to tackle that first.

So far I have made 3 of the 5 buildings and I must say they have gone together reasonably easily, I am extremely cack-handed when model making so I am allowing for that, but I have had a couple of problems that maybe aren’t down to that. On the plus side they are ridiculously easy to knock up, I take my time and each one took about an hour to do. Once built they look really nice, the chimneys aren’t exactly wonderful but I can live with that as they are great value for money, and once I painted the doors they really came to life and I look forward to getting them on a table. On the minus side the instructions aren’t the best, a series of blurry photo’s don’t really help with the one or two ‘trickier’ bits but having said that once you’ve built one you can do the rest of the buildings without referring to them at all. The biggest gripe I have though is the dormer’s – I can’t for the life of me get the sodding roofs of these to fit properly so I am leaving it for a day or two and then will be trying again, or I might just try and get some etched card and make some of my own to fit – it could be my modelling skills as well so I’ll try another one and report back if it is a consistent problem (EDIT: Immediately after posting this I had another go and managed to get them on, it was deffo my cack-handidness ballsing this up!). I also decided not to remove the cut outs on the roof for the chimney’s as it just didn’t look right on the first one (I re-did it after doing the 2nd building differently and seeing the difference). All in all though I am happy with these and for only £35 for the 5 they are a bargain I reckon. I’d also like to say that the service was very good too, delivery was within a week so a plus there, I’ll be definitely getting more from them when they release more in this range.

I won’t be tackling the Starfort buildings for a bit as I need to get some enamels to paint them and also they didn’t come with any instructions! Now as they are a bit more involved that the Empires ones I think that it wouldn’t have harmed them to help us out by giving us a hint at what to do, I’ll be pinging them an email to see if any are available as I couldn’t see any on their site for these particular models.

Anyway here’s some pics of the 3 made so far, I’ll bung the other 2 up later once I have them finished, I reckon once they are all done and a shop or two plus a church are added they could make a nice little village.

 

 

 

WiP: PSC Pz IV’s

Just working on these two for my Chain of Command Germans. Basic paintjob nearly finished then need to paint the tools, do a wash and dry-brush then some detailing. Not exactly exciting but it is the first things I’ve done after a horrible hiatus so just glad to be doing something again. Looking forward to getting them finished in the next few days.

Workbench no. 5

As promised I am going to do a few posts that are not just about games I’ve played so here’s one finally!

I’ve had a quite productive day today and have also really enjoyed myself so this, hopefully, bodes well for an upswing in my output. Apart from finishing off the post about the Market-Garden games I’ve managed to start the rebasing of my Frankfurt infantry to get them ready for General de Brigade. I’ve finished the mucky part and am just letting them dry off before the re-stick tomorrow.

I’ve also been painting some AB Nassau-Orange as Anhalt infantry and should be cracking along with them tomorrow.

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Finally, I’ve primed this little lot for a new period for me – I’m taking the plunge into Ancients and will be building a Pontic Army in 15mm for Sword and Spear – and hope to get cracking with these over the next few days too.

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Pointy stick Phalangists

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Aaaargh, modelling!

I remembered yesterday why I really embraced 6mm wargaming when I discovered it back in the 80’s – you didn’t have to make the bleeding models, they come ready to go.

I thought I’d spend the afternoon putting together a couple of kits for my Chain of Command Germans as I need a choice of PAK guns for a game I’ve got against Philip and his Soviet hordes on Monday (and thought I might have a bash at the lovely PSC Panther I have as well just in case!). Even with the easy build models of today I still managed to get most of the glue on my fingers and could I get the bloody gunshield of the PAK38 to sit right , could I buggery. That’s when I remembered why I stopped making them all those years ago, my dad was right, I am the most cack-handed sod in the world. To make matters worse I then completely cocked up the paintjob on the PAK 40 so will have to make another one today! Complete and utter incompetent arse!!

At least I stopped before tackling the Panther but I’ll have a go a that today, it must just be the small fiddly ones I have problems with as the PSC Panzer IV and Sdkfz 250 I made came out ok. Thank god you don’t need much for CoC.

 

Workbench no.4: Panzer Grenadiers

Since I got the dreaded lurgy a couple of months ago my painting output virtually stopped altogether, no matter how much I tried I just couldn’t get into it – sum total has been one 6mm Drakken for my Austrian force, shite basically.

So, it has been nice to get the jazz back for painting again. There are two reasons for this I reckon. Firstly I have been put on a drugs trial for my Polycythaemia which has meant that I have stopped taking the chemo drugs that I’ve been on for the past 3 years which seems, touch wood, to have given me back some energy. Secondly, I have discovered the joys of Chain of Command by the Too Fat Lardies and have been so enthused that I’ve bought enough kit to make a late war Panzer Grenadier platoon. (If you are into WW2 and you haven’t tried these rules out, give them a go as they are seriously great, one of the best rulesets I’ve played).

They will initially be used as 21st Panzer in Normandy as it looks as if me and a couple of the guys at the Warlords will be playing through a couple of the Pint Sized Campaigns in the New Year, so I’ve also bought a couple of their funky French half-track conversion jobs!

The figures are a mixture of Blitz, which are really, really nice, and AB, usual great work by Mr Barton. They both go really well together and I’ll be happy to mix them within sections to get variety. I’ve also bought a couple of MG teams from SHQ, which are OK figures but seem a bit on the thin side next to the Blitz and AB’s so not sure if I’ll keep them yet – I’ll paint them up first though and see how they look then. I’ve got some more figures on order, some Fantassin/Warmodelling/Capitan, some Kelly’s Heroes and more Blitz so I’ll have enough for a platoon and all of the support options. I’m hoping to get the whole lot done by the new year, I reckon that’s a realistic target.

Here’s a few pictures of the initial paint-slapping. I’m trying to go for the scruffy, differently kitted out, veteran look so uniforms will be a mix of Field Grey, Camo and Brown Violet. I’ve done a basic skin, jacket, trousers, headgear job on this batch so the next session will be adding camo and then equipment (I have done the equipment on a few figures to test out colours so I’ve a head start there!).

The half tracks are from Ready to Roll and are quite nice. The Somua with the Pak 40 was a bit of a faff to put together as for some reason the spigot that should have been on the bottom of the breech to allow placing on the pedestal in the fighting compartment had been cut off so a bit annoying, also the photo of the model on the website didn’t have the gun-shield on it so that caused a wee bit of confusion – good job we have the internet!

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Somua with Pak 40 – who needs a Hetzer!
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Unics half track. I’ll be starting on this next week.

 

 

Workbench no.3: Pizza hills!!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this but you know when you see something and think – ‘Ooh, I could use that to make…….’.

Well it happened to me about a year ago after bunging a pizza in the oven. I was about to chuck the packaging into the recycling bag when I thought, hello that polywhatsit disc thing the pizza comes on could be useful, I might be able to make hills out of that. So I started to collect a few of them – actually got quite a few and didn’t do a thing with them. Until today!

I’ve been a bit disappointed with the scale of the hills at the club for use in our 6mm games as they are all quite large and have that ‘every hill in the world has to have a rocky bit showing’ vibe – which I can’t stand – or we have to use odd bits of carpet (see Battle of Klinkerhoff posts – looks awful!) so I thought I’d finally have a go at knocking something up. I’d also bought some felt squares from Aldi a while back with the intention of using them for terrain pieces somehow and I suddenly had a lightbulb moment.

I’m quietly pleased with the results, a bit simple looking but as they will be for use down at the club and they’ll go well with the felt mats we have down there, I reckon they’ll be fit for purpose – and anything is better than those bleeding carpet pieces! Oh, and they are an absolute piece of piss to make:

Take your pizza base thingy – make sure it is clean.

The Pizza base
The Pizza base

Glue it to another one.

Glued together and cut to a rough shape - this is 9mm high so perfect for 6mm.
Glued together and cut to a rough shape – this is 9mm high so perfect for 6mm. It is also surprisingly ‘solid’.

Wait for it to dry and then cut into desired shape (making sure felt piece can cover it sufficiently)

Chamfer the edges to give a slope – I make some bits steeper than others for a bit of variety.

Glue top of the hill and stick it down onto the felt

Shaped hill stuck by top onto felt
Shaped hill stuck by top onto felt

Glue the sides of the hill, do a bit at a time, and fold felt onto it and stick.

About to stick sides on, do a bit at a time so you can ensure bond.
About to stick sides on, do a bit at a time so you can ensure bond.

Trim felt around the base of the hill – I have left this bit long so there is a bit of a skirt (I might trim this up closer to the edge of the hill, haven’t made my mind up yet which is best)

Finished sticking, before trimming felt
Finished sticking, before trimming felt
After a trim, notice slight 'skirt'.
After a trim, notice slight ‘skirt’.
Side view of finished hill.
Side view of finished hill. Will only get better with practice!

I have noticed that some slight white marks appeared as the glue dried on my first attempts due to me not spreading the glue out sufficiently, these do brush off easily enough though and I could always add a bit of clump foliage on the worst bits to cover them up!

Sorry if this was a wee bit like teaching yer Nan to suck eggs but as it was so easy I thought I’d share it!