Sunday, December 27, 2015

Shifting Sands 2016 Build

Shifting Sands is next month in Phoenix, AZ and I still need to finish a few items. It's an Early War event and I'm going to try out the StuG A platoon and an 8.8cm FlaK 18.  The FlaK gun will be towed by an armored SdKfz 7 that I'll need to do some major scratch building to complete. I've got about three weeks to finish 5 vehicles, a gun, and maybe some motorcycles and trucks.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

6MMRPC Final Report

First, the glamour shots of all of the minis I finished during the challenge:

Flames of War Germans
28mm miniatures for D&D
Custom ships for X-Wing Miniatures

Saving Private Ryan Diorama

Six months ago I jumped at the opportunity to join the Six Month Mountain Reduction Painting Challenge, thinking that it would be a great way to force myself to paint what I already have and save some money too.  I managed to stick with the financial rules of the challenge, spending my first Joker at the Historicon swap meet, my earned Joker (for finishing my Historicon army) on a small batch of unpainted Gebirgsjäger from a friend, and my final Joker on a trio of tanks during Battlefront's 33% off Sale last month.  I'm also happy to report that I was successful with some of my goals.  My initial list of planned projects, and their status:

    Partial - Assemble and paint a Great War British army for a commission. (Flames of War)
    Yes - Assemble and paint units to finish my Early War German army for Historicon. (Flames of War)
    Yes - Assemble and paint two entries for the Iron Cross Competition at Historicon. (Flames of War)
    Nope - Start a 1945 Late War German Volksgrendier army. (Flames of War)
    Yes - Paint some minis for my Dungeons and Dragons campaign. (D & D)
    Partial - Paint some samurai minis just because. (Kensei)
    Yes - Paint some custom ships for homebrew X-Wing Miniatures. (X-Wing)

Not too bad, considering the total burn-out I experienced after Historicon.  I achieved four of my goals, started work on two others, and only totally failed at one.

This is what I accomplished in the first three months:
     - Assembled about a platoon of infantry and three tanks for the Great War British. (FoW)
     - Finished four platoons plus more that I needed for my Historicon army. (FoW)
     - Finished two entries for the Iron Cross Competition and won! (FoW)
     - Painted four ships and a terrain piece for X-Wing. (X-Wing)
     - Started building a scale model of a Kawasaki Ki-45. (1/72)

This is what I worked on in the last three:
     - Finished a 7.5cm LG40 platoon for my Fallschirmjäger army. (FoW)
     - Basecoated, filtered, and washed three tanks and fifteen guns for the Great War British. (FoW)
     - Basecoated four Japanese tanks for a commission. (FoW)
     - Painted and based six D&D miniatures, assembled and started fourteen others. (D&D)
     - Painted several small batches of 28mm scenery items. (D&D)
     - Painted and washed the Kawasaki Ki-45, before losing the decals. (1/72)

I started and left unfinished about as many projects as I finished, which goes to show my scattered approach this year.  New games, new techniques, and new scales to try and combat painting fatigue.  

Thanks again to all of those who participated, you inspired me to keep posting every week, even if it was a day or two late a few times.  Special thanks to Dai, who introduced me to this event last year.  I look forward to the next, and I think I'll be continuing the not-buying-anything- until-you-finish-a-project aspect for the forseeable future.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

6MMRPC Week Twenty-Six: 7.5cm LG40 Platoon

In the final week of the painting challenge I delved into the unfinished-projects area of my display case and found a few things to knock out in the limited hours I had last week.  I just started a new job in retail and between the Thanksgiving holiday and the insanity that is the American holiday shopping season my hobby time was extremely limited.  All of my Great War projects are on hold until I can purchase rare decals, and my Ki-45 is also on hold until I find it's decals...

The 7.5cm LG40 recoilless gun was almost exclusively issued to Fallschirmjäger units and provides a cheap platoon for Flames of War FJ lists.  I started these a few years ago when I built my Cassino FJs but changed my list, putting these on hold indefinitely.  Everything was done except for the guns themselves, so I used AK Interactive's Wash for Dark Yellow along the lines, cleaned off the excess, and glued them onto the already finished bases before a quick coat of Testors Matte Varnish.  Only took about three years to complete an hour's work!

I love these little guns in game, now I can finally use them!
Tiny little recoilless guns.
I also put some finishing touches on some vehicles I painted up for Shifting Sands about a year ago, I hate bases on tanks but Forged in Battle was the only manufacturer that made the Panther F or the sWS version of the Panzerwerfer 42.  Links to previous posts:

A quick paint and wash of the base, plus some tufts from CGR for these '1946' Panther Fs.
Same here to finish off these alternate style Panzerwerfers.
 I spent my second and final Joker on a few items from the Battlefront 33% off sale, purchasing a pair of Sturmtigers, some BMW motorcycles, and a Sd Kfz 253 for my Shifting Sands list for 2016.  I made it all the way to the final week having only spent one, and that was at a 'con.

BMWs were backordered, hopefully they arrive by January.
I had a blast with this challenge and I think I'm going to keep to the 'don't buy anything new' thing for awhile.  The vehicles weren't on my list of unfinished projects, but I do get to blast two guns from the Mountain!  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

6MMRPC Week Twenty-Five: Animated Weapons, More

Finally something I can call finished!  I wrapped up the Animated Weapons, a Shadow, and an Orc, all from Mantic Games.  They were previously featured here:

I used railroad ballast mixed with some other larger rock for the basing, washed it with a Dark Sepia from Secret Weapon, added a drybrush of Vallejo Medium Brown, and then painted the edges Black.  The static grass is a mix of colors from GF9 and the tufts are from CGR.  Didn't take long to finish these once I got back to them.

Orc: Challenge Rating 1/2 Humanoid
Shadow: Challenge Rating 1/2 Undead
Animated Weapon: Challenge Rating 1/4 Construct

Test model for a band of mountain orcs, dual-wielding hand axes.
Extra bits bashed into a stand-in for a Shadow.
Couple of swords, also extra Mantic bits.
Axes!  Animated Weapons are fun!
I also received my dungeon furniture from Mantic Games' Dungeon Saga Kickstarter.  I signed up for these in August of 2014 and I was a bit surprised to see them after all these months, having basically forgotten about them.  The doors and furniture should look nice on the D&D table.

$5 got me two large doors, six small doors, and a pair of iron doors.  All are made from hard brown plastic.
More barrrels and chests!  The chests all have separate lids, tables are nice too.
For $15 I got a Dwarven Throne, two different bookshelves, a weapon rack, a well, a large chest, and a bookstand with a separate book, plus the two tables, four barrels, and four chests from the previous image.  These are molded in a softer brown plastic.
I'm pretty satisfied with these, especially the larger furniture.  I'm glad I ordered two of each set.

I get to chop six D&D minis from the Mountain!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

6MMRPC Week Twenty-Four: Please Stand By

I went and bought Fallout 4 last Friday and the digital world has affected my analog hobbies since.  The game has been super-awesome so far.  That said, I did manage to get a litle bit of work in before the Bomb dropped, as it were.

I got an initial wash laid down on the Great War landships and guns, and also put a panel wash on the Ki-45.  I also started to base the D&D minis I worked on a few weeks ago, just need to do a few highlights, some pigments and tufts to finish them.  

Slow progress is still progress, I guess!
Another hour and these should be done.
I also received a large shipment of parts for my Mustang, might see it back from the body shop by the end of the year.  I was able to take advantage of a great sale at my old haunt, Sacramento Mustang.  

Monday, November 9, 2015

6MMRPC Week Twenty-Three: Random D&D Minis WiP

In another case of short-attention-span hobbying I spent the week working on a Star Wars RPG I just started running and checked out the local Renaissance Faire on the weekend.  I was able to squeeze in a few hours of painting on Sunday and put the first licks of paint on some Reaper Bones minis I bought last year.  I like all three of these sculpts quite a bit.  I also started on a donkey and wagon I picked up at about the same time from Otherworld Miniatures. (fantastic sculpts, though a bit on the pricy side)

A Halfling Assassin, a Necromancer, and an Elven Pirate walk into a bar...

Three weeks left to the Challenge, lots of work to try and finish!

Monday, November 2, 2015

6MMRPC Week Twenty-Two: Japanese Tanks

My scatter-shot ways continue this week, as I was gently reminded that I forgot to paint up some tanks for my gaming compadre Hal.  In return for a battery of Italian 4.7cm guns I agreed to paint four Japanese tanks for him.  He gave me these ages ago but with the madness of life, they slipped my mind.  These are a pair of Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks and a pair of Type 97 Te-Ke tankettes, both from unknown manufacturers.  So far, I've only been able to put down an initial layer of dark yellow paint, but I hope to get these done as soon as possible.  These were beasts to clean up, mold lines all over flat surfaces and between rivets.

Maybe Command Decision?  They're all-metal and only the turrets were separate.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

6MMRPC Week Twenty-One: Invasion!

With the Halloween holiday coming up, it was time to make some costumes for my boys.  My wife has thoroughly taken over my hobby space, preventing me from doing much of anything all week.  With yards of fabric and patterns strewn about, my painting has come to a stand-still.  I was able to clean up some FoW minis, but that's it.  It's ok though, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader costumes should lead to some epic lightsaber duels all over the house!

Monday, October 19, 2015

6MMRPC Week Twenty: Progress in the Cabinet

This week I was able to dedicate a couple of afternoons in my garage airbrush cabinet.  My lovely wife just returned from a trip to California and brought me back several colors of Tamiya acrylics, allowing me to finally get a nice match for both the Great War armor and the Ki-45.  I was also able to get an initial filter layer on the Great War artillery and armor.

My home-built spray booth.
The Mark IV and Whippet tanks were first primed in Tamiya Grey primer and then I airbrushed the recognition stripes.  Once those were masked I mixed up a dark tan color from Deck Tan and Field Brown.  Not much is certain when it comes to the color of these in 1918, but the one surviving Mark IV in original colors is a pretty good match.  The guns and mortars were airbrushed NATO Green.  

Slowly coming along...
The Ki-45 received a spotted came color of Japanese Army Green, and then I went back and sprayed the underside color between some of the spots.  Not perfect, but good practice.

My masks slipped and I will need to remove some paint from the canopy, but the rest came out pretty good!

I hope to get the landships finished up soon before moving on to some infantry.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

6MMRPC Week Nineteen: D&D Terrain Scenery

I finished the Dungeons & Dragons scenery bits from Baueda that I primed last week, and worked on a few other things as well.  No zombies though.

These were pretty simple to paint up, I airbrushed them with Tamiya colors and then painted the details in with Vallejo acryllics.  A quick thinned-down wash of Secret Weapon's Dark Sepia, a drybrush of Vallejo Iraqi Sand, and a quick spray of Matte Varnish seaded the deal.  These should look nice mixed into the other items I painted up several months ago, or in the back of a wagon.

All of these are from Baueda except for the large chest on the right.  Got that in a pile of bits at a swap meet.

I also got some work in on the Great War landships, masking and painting their identification stripes was a pain, so many rivets and other odd bumps wouldn't let the masking tape settle.  I'll need to touch them up later.

I hope to get these finished up this week.
 I even got the base color down on the Ki-45, though it came out a bit green.

Making some progress on several fronts!

I finally get to check something off as finished!  Three piles of terrain taken off of the Mountain!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

6MMRPC Week Eighteen: Some More Great War WiP

A few days late this week due to a power supply failure, but I have a little bit of work to report.  Not as much as I wanted to get accomplished, but a cold will do that.  

I managed to finish assembling and priming all of the weapons for the Great War commission, the male sponsons for the Mark IV landships, four OQF 18 pdrs and their caissons, seven Vickers HMGs, and four 3" Stokes mortars.  I also primed some bags, boxes, and chests for Dungeons & Dragons scenery.  

Great War bits from Battlefront, except for three Peter Pig Vickers HMGs.  D&D bits from Baueda.
 I plan (plan!) on airbrushing the Great War armor and weapons now that they're all primed this week.  I also want to get some other WiP items finished off and get these bags and chests knocked out.  The Ki-45 is also ready for paint.

While organizing my hobby space I stumbled across an old binder full of old gaming stuff, mostly D&D and WEG Star Wars character sheets.  I even found my first ever character, a 2nd Edition D&D Cleric named Red Bear, and realized it had been 21 years since I created it and rolled my first dice in anger.  I even found four survivors from my first set so long ago.

My first D&D charcter is old enough to drink...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2 vs. 1 Flames of War in El Paso

I made the hour drive down to Jon's house last weekend to get a game in.  This time Alex and I would team up to stop Jon's Soviets in Encounter.  Alex and I both made 1900 point companies, while Jon also had two 1900 point Soviet battalions.  We also each had an extra Higher Command team to represent a regimantal commander.  Jon had a pair of Rota Razvedki lists, one with cossacks, pioneers, T-34s and Spetznaz, the other with pioneers, T-34/85s, Emchas, and Spetznaz.  Alex had an SS Charlemagne company with 10 platoons, two SS platoons with attached HMGs, a Hitlerjugend Platoon, a platoon of Volkssturm, 15cm Nebelwerfers, 7.5cm PaK40s, Hetzers, Wirbelwinds, and Kleinpanzer Wanze.  I brought a company from Schwere Panzer Kampfgruppe Bäke.

We played on a longer table than standard, about 9' x 4'.  Each of our companies would need to keep half of our platoons in Reserve, Jon electing to deploy Pioneers, Cossacks, and Spetznaz from one battalion, and Pioneers, Rota, and Spetznaz from the other.  This would leave three Rota, T-34/76s,  T-34/85s, and Emchas in Reserve.  
Alex would deploy two SS platoons with attached HMGs, Volkssturm, Nebelwerfers, and PaK 40s, while I would deploy my Panthers and Sd Kfz 10/5s.  This would leave the Hitlerjugend, Wanze, Hetzers, Wirbelwinds, Tiger Is, and Sd Kfz 250/9s in Reserve.

Alex surveys our extra-large battlefield.
Jon started his My Little Cossacks and Spetznaz on his right, deployed in a wood bordered by a stream.  Jon found some plastic horses in a box and couldn't help himself!
My Panthers and HQ would deploy in support of Alex's Volkssturm and SS Grenadiers, opposite the ponies.
Jon infiltrated the Cossacks and I used Bäke to recon-move the Panthers.  They wouls move to oppose the brightly-colored Communists.
On the other side my 2cm FlaK deployed to support Alex's SS, PaK40s, and Nebelwerfers.  Jon deployed a Rota company, pioneers, and Spetznaz, infiltrating the Rota.  2cm FlaK would move to counter the attack and protect the PaKs.
Jon presses the Cossacks forward, and tries to get around the Panthers.  Many of the ponies are cut down by MG fire.
Fire from the PaKs and 2cm FlaK would hurt the Rota bad, causing them to break and run on Turn Three.
The Cossacks would fail their attempt to flank the Volkssturm, losing more half of their number to the Panthers.  The Panthers continue to press their counter-attack.  
An assault by the Panthers on Turn Three would see the Cossacks flee.  The Spetznaz are also reduced to one stand.  Panthers consolidate backwards to wait and see where Jon's armor would arrive.
Jon's T-34/76 (proxy Shermans) company would arrive on the far right and put fire into the PaK40s, destroying one.  However, on our Turn Four I would luckly get my Tiger I platoon from reserve.  Not only were they double-aces with re-roll misses and 2+ motivation, but they arrived exactly where they were needed to counter the Soviet armor.  They would roll onto the board, onto the wooded hill, and knock-out one T-34, while Bailing one.  Other Bails were from the PaK40s.
The remaining Cossacks would fall-back to defend the Objective.  My Bergepanther would chase them down.  The remaining Spetznaz team fails it's Sole Survivor check.
The Panthers would make their push to the now very open Objective.  Alex's SS would assault a Soviet Pioneer company just off-camera to the right, and the panthers would assault the three teams from the Pioneers that were on this hill, destroying them all.
On Turn Five Jon would get his other armor on the board, all in the same location.  The Emcha company would arrive directly in front of the Tiger Is, losing five tanks to the accurate fire of 8.8cm guns.  On Turn Six he pushes their flank, but only gets one hit, which is bounced.  The T-34/76s and Spetznaz would continue concentrating on the PaK40s.
Jon would assault the Paks with his Spetznaz, knocking the platoon down to a single gun.  His T-34s go in for the assault as well, but fire from the gun and several SS Grenadiers would halt it, Bailing four tanks.
On Turn Seven Jon would get a Rota company from reserve on the left side.  They would save the Cossacks from the aggressive Bergepanther.  
Alex's SS Grenadiers would easily assault the Bailed Out T-34s, destroying five.
Jon attampted to sneak a company of Pioneers up the middle through woods, but the arrival of my 250/9s and fire from the 2cm FlaK would keep them at bay.  Alex's Wanze tried to get to the tank abttle, but couldn't get there before the game ended.
On our Turn Eight the Panthers would assault the Soviet Battalion 2iC in this building, destroying him and capturing the Objective.  The two remaining Cossack stands were too far away to contest.  
Jon did get his revenge on the Bergepanther, a flamethrower would end his wild ride.
This was a really fun game, Panthers and Tiger Is can still be nasty when the Su-100s stay home.  The Panthers were able to blunt the Cossacks' attempt to flank the Volkssturm, break through a thin line of Pioneers, and claim an Objective by smashing through a house.  Bäke would only miss one or two shots all game, those on the 2iC in the house.  They would also knock out a pair of T-34/85s that arrived late from Reserve.  The Tiger I platoon would destroy an Emcha company and five T-34/76s while holding the right flank.  Alex's SS Grendiers were constantly moving to either support his Volkssturm or assault Soviet Pioneers that were trying to sneak up the middle and divide our forces.  His PaK40s were also instrumental in holding the right flank against twenty tanks plus infantry.  
The Germans would take a 4-3 victory, losing the 2cm FlaK to long-range T-34/85 fire on Turn Seven, and the PaK40s in Jon's final turn to the Spetznaz.  Jon's poor luck with the location of his reserves really was the difference in the game.  If one unit had rolled a 4 or 5 for location, they could have defended the Objective I captured.  Thanks again to Jon for hosting us!