Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fun Game at Zia

Got a game in today with Ken at Zia Comics and had a fun time.  1650 Late War to practice for a tournament next month.  I ran Cassino FJs from the new Fortress Italy book and Ken ran Polish armor (Shermans).  Ken's poor Fearless troops couldn't roll above a two for morale but still killed three of my platoons before I forced him to make a Company morale check which he failed.  4-3 win for the FJs.  The new book allows me to add Panzerfausts, which are always a good thing, but also increased the price of each Combat and Weapons platoon by 10 points because of the 2+ morale.  Luckily a few other options, such as the Marder IIs dropped by a few points and it's basically a wash.  Couldn't get any pics since my boys threw my phone in a bucket of saltwater yesterday (happy birthday daddy!) but did get to use my new Crescent Root terrain base which looked amazing.

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Terrain Bases from Crescent Root Studios

I don't usually post about stuff I buy but I'm making an exception.  I just purchased these terrain bases from http://crescent-root.com and I already love them.
The pre-painted town base is made from laser cut MDF and has a locking system to keep everything in place.  It also comes with three road caps that can mark the exits from the town or more road sections can be added. (most likely my next terrain purchase)
The smaller base comes in two parts and is unpainted resin.  For a little extra they can come painted, but I'm going to probably use these for an Italian board.
I can only recommend these.  The larger pre-painted MDF board is $90, the small resin unpainted one will be back in production come June 2014.  I guess I must have got one of the last ones!

Out of the box.  

Just needs paint!

With BF buildings and a few loose trees added.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

'Bout time for a game!

Got a game in with Ken today at Zia Comics, Late War 1750.  I ran Cassino Fallschirmjäger and he ran a Polish armored company with Shermans and Sherman Fireflies.  We rolled for a Hold the Line and I defended.

Deployment: I chose to defend the river and placed my Objective in the center of the deployment area, in the patch of trees near the road and river.  My small FJ platoon is holding it and the house near the bridge.  Ken placed his Objective in the patch of trees on the opposite side of the river and I placed my large FJ platoon there.  Ken's tanks and supporting infantry are spread out around his deployment area, his 25 pound battery in on the far hill.
Ken's recon Stuarts move up to the trees opposite the large FJ platoon supported by a platoon of infantry.  
Fallschirmjäger holding the river bank.  Attatched MG42s ope up on Ken's infantry, killing two stands.
Having given away their position, Ken's artillery is able to range in.  Fire from the Shermans kill three stands of FJs.
The Marder IIs reveal their Ambush, killing a Firefly from the left platoon and killing two Shermans and Bailing two more from the center platoon.  The latter platoon fails a Fearless motivation check and breaks.
The StuG platoon arrives and prepares to engage the left side Shermans now that the Firefly is gone.
My 10.5s arrive from Reserve as Ken's troops prepare to cross the river near the bridge.
Ken kills a Marder with artillery fire on his turn and crosses the river.  He attempts to Assault the FJs in the bridge house, but they are pushed back by defensive fire.  On my turn the Marders and StuGs kill three Shermans and Bail two more.  The smaller FJ platoon moves out to push back the troops near the bridge.  The panzershrek team kills the Stuart on the bridge and Assaults the infantry platoon that crossed the river, destroying it.  Ken calls it and the Fallschirmjäger hold the line 6-1.
Good to get a game in, it's been too long.  I've heard that there might be a small tournament about three hours away in May, let's see if I can get something new painted by then.  Maybe 150. Panzerbrigade or Hermann Georing troops?  Looking forward to the new Italy compilations.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Marder III H Platoon

These were my tank hunters.  They came out pretty good but I'm not super happy with the camo.  Still want to do some more work on the running gear too.  They performed very well for me since I went up against so many Tankovy lists.

I love the 38t chassis in all of it's incarnations.  I also needed to find some new crew figs for variety and used some dudes from other tank hunter types, a halftrack commander and a bailed out tank crewman.
I used some heavy tissue paper and folded it over a few spots that got airbrush ovespray.  They also broke up the 'sameness' of the three since there are no appropriate spare track links available.
I like how the 'canvas tarp' hugged the platform on this one.  My favorite of the three.

Shifting Sands Army Build- Part Three

I decide upon Marders as my fouth platoon so that I'd be able to kill KV-1s and also to give me enough shots vs. Tankovy.  They really proved their worth in every round.  I tried a camouflage sceme on these but it didn't come out as fine as I would have liked.  I contemplated repainting them, but with time running out before the event I stuck with the larger style.

Raw out of the blister.  Went with Marder III Hs since that's what was historically at Kursk.
I made sure to sand the flat surfaces but had to be careful with all the rivets.  Left the top cover off for airbrushing so I didn't miss any parts of the gun.
Stowage and crew layout.  I used some different crew than came with the models to add some variety.
After airbrushing.  Tamiya Olive Green XF-58 for the camo.  Gotta buy a finer point nozzle for the airbrush before I try anything more detailed.
Final product.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

HQ and StuH Platoon

The StuHs were supposed to be my major hitter against infantry and guns.  I reality, I faced three Tankovy lists without any of these...  In the one game vs. Strelk I had they performed brilliantly.  The earliest models of StuH were based on the F chassis so I wasable to use the models I already had collecting dust on my painting table.  The HQ tank was also modified from an F back to an E model.

StuG E Company Commander.  I used the Gosewich hero figure as my CiC because I wanted some kind of focal point.
StuH platoon came out pretty nice, I have to admit they were a little hurried.  I finished them the day I left for the event.  
I still want to add tie-down ropes on the stowage and do some more to dirty up the running gear.
Modded figs on the Command StuH, a chopped Begliet gunner and head swapped commander.
Re-used StuG G platoon from my Cassino Fallschirmjäger.

Shifting Sands Army Build- Part Two

StuGs!  I decided to run one of the custom lists that the organizers designed just for this event.  In Mid War the StuG is a nasty piece of equipment with Front Armor 7 and either an AT of 11 or 10 with Breakthrough Gun.  Having spent most of my points on these guys, I had to use an earlier model of StuG for my HQ.

This started as a reclamation project for the StuH platoon.  I had three old StuG F/8 models that were supposed to go with a Luftwaffe Felddivison army but it's been on my back burner for about three years now.  Figured I should put these guys to use.  Research showed that some of the earliest StuH 42s built were assembled on the F/8 chassis and since Kursk was one of the first battles that the StuH saw action it was very possible that these early models were there.
Assembly: make sure to remove any mold lines on the metal parts while also checking the resin for defects.  I like to sand smooth the flat panels to make sure any particles from the molding process get eliminated.  Test fit the parts before gluing to prevent angrily throwing your tanks against the wall.
Decide now if you want to have any crew hanging out of the hatches and position them either open or closed.  Plan which crew figs you want to use, along with what kind of stowage to hang, if any.  I like to drill my gun barrels and mantlets out to add some depth.  Remember you can disguise any bad spots or blemishes by covering it with stowage bits.
Modification work is a pain but can really make your models stand out.  The company diagram called for a StuG D but all of these tanks were out of front-line service by Kursk.  Needing to conserve points in my list I thought it reasonable that some ausf. E StuGs would still be in service with the Fs and decided to back-date an F back to an E.  The ausf. E StuG had the short 7.5cm gun and no roof mounted ventilator so I had to remove the latter and raid my bits box for an appropriate gun barrel.  I also wanted to open both hatches up since this will be my Company Commander.
I forgot to glue my stowage on before I primed but I took a series of planning shots so I knew where I wanted to mount it for later.  I also check my crew figures for positioning.  I do a quick sand of the primer where it needs it before busting out the airbrush.
After airbrushing the base color (Tamiya Dark Yellow XF-60) I hit the upper surfaces with a lighter color (Wooden Deck Tan XF-78).  This will give an impression of surface fading.  After drying for a day or two I use MIGs enamel filters for Dark Yellow.  A filter is basically a thin wash that will cover the entire model and blend the lighter shade with the darker one.  After a coate of Gloss Varnish I use AK Interactive's Wash for German Dunkelgelb along the panel lines.  Once dry, I clean up any overspill with thinner and a flat brush.  

Next, it's time for decal work!  The gloss surface is best for making them sit right, and Micro Scale's Set and Sol are great products to help this happen without silvering or bubbles.  I used a mix of decals from I-94 (crosses) and Battlefront (numbers).  Once dry, I spray a matte coat before using a fine brush to do any chipping.  It's really easy to overdo this and I'm guilty of that.  I use a dark hull red color from Vallejo and hit edges and surfaces that would get heavy use in service.  I also use it to cover up any additional blemishes in the surface (damage).  

I absolutely love AK Interactive's Streaking Rust.  I like to use it on the spots where I put the chipping and along surfaces where rain would flow down.  Once done with that I paint the stowage, add any chain and then do a black wash on these items.  I then paint the tracks in a dark red/black color before using AK's Track Wash, another amazing product.  Once that's all dry I glue in my crew figures (painted separately), do another spray of matte varnish and do any dry pigment work, usually along the tracks and running gear.  I still want to go back and add tie-down ropes on the stowage.