Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Storage Shelves

My friend Tom gave me some old media storage shelves and I decided to convert them into storage for my smaller non-Flames of War minis, mostly X-Wing stuff.  These had previously lived in boxes piled in a corner of my hobby area and I figured it was a perfect time to get them out and put them on display.  I went out and found a used TV stand at a thrift store and bought a third identical shelf unit from Walmart to give me enough matching material for extra shelving, then purchased some shelf pegs at Lowe's.  For less than $50 I now have plenty of space to display my X-Wing, Dungeons and Dragons, and associated terrain items.  I also have plenty of space for future purchases, such as Star Wars Armada, etc.  I may look into having some glass panels made for doors.

I mounted the two shelf units to the top of the TV stand and cut the third unit up to add extra shelves in the center and in both units.  
Plenty of space to expand my already extensive X-Wing collection, plus room for lots more.
Tom also gave me a fourth, smaller unit that I mounted to a small drawer unit I use to store my unbuilt models.  I was able to bring all of my hobby supplies out of boxes and put them in reach of my painting desk.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Expensive Hobby

Not gaming related but I wanted to start keeping track of the progress on the restoration of my old high school ride, a 1965 Ford Mustang.  I joined a local car club (Las Cruces Rodrunners) and we hosted our annual Wheels of Dreams car show last weekend.  My car is still in the body shop but I hope to get it back in a month or two.  I took some pics of the Mustangs at the show, there were over 200 cars but only a few Mustangs this year.
My 1965 GT Coupe with a 289 c.i. V8 Hi-Po engine.
1965 Coupe with a 302 c.i. V8 engine. 
1966 Coupe with a 289 c.i. V8 engine.
1966 Convertible with a 289 V8 c.i. engine.
1965 2+2 Fastback upgraded to Shelby GT 350 standard with a modern 5.0 L V8 engine.
1967 Coupe with a 200 c.i. six-cylinder engine.
1966 Convertible with a 289 c.i. V8 engine.
1965 Convertible with a 200 c.i. six-cylinder engine.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Flames of War Display Board

I built this display board for last year's Historicon but never posted any pictures of it.  I was inspired by the boards in 2013, most notably Dennis Campbell's.  I designed it to be mostly neutral, that way I could use it for multiple armies, but also wanted to represent some rural location that could fit the Eastern Front theme of my list last year.  I knew I needed a pretty large flat place for all of the infantry, a road to put the tanks on, and I also needed some kind of focal point to draw interest.

I layed out my army and how I wanted it to sit, then marked a rough idea of where I needed to make the terrain.  I decided to put a hill in the back left corner to give the board three height levels, and a creek on the far right edge.  A bridge would give me my focal point.
Pink insulation foam and a shadow box picture frame.  I think most display boards start life this way.
Marked so I don't cut the creek bed to wide.  Got to try out a foam cutter for the first time.
Because the creek would run all the way to the edge of the frame, I needed something to box in the edges.  Aluminum angle cut, bent, and welded.  This would give the board rigidity while still keeping it ight enough to carry comfortably.
MDF cut to fit into the frame, this would give the creek a botom and also provide added strength.
I sanded down into the foam to create a rutted road.
All together in the frame.  White glue and some c-clamps would keep this until dry.  One nice thing is that the entire assembly can be removed and swapped.
The hill is just a piece of scrap foam.  I imbedded the tree bases into the foam so that they could be removable for transport.  A piece of bark will be burried in the hill to provide some contrast.
Fine grit sand spread around most surfaces.
Flocked.  I tried a spray adhesive but it stayed too tacky.  Had to use watered down white glue eventiually.
With the flock finally dry I could fit the bridge.  It was some kind of balsa Roman-era footbridge but I was able to modify it to look like a rural Russain bridge.  Pilings woud be permanent but the ret of the bridge could be removed for transport.
Trees placed and a fence added from scrap balsa.  The fence really brought some visual interest to the foreground.
Close-up of the bridge.
Close-up of the fence.
Tufts, flowers, bits of flock added.  I also stained the balsa with enamel washes.  Dry pigments also added the the road.
Found some more small trees to add as well.
Grasses and scrub plants added to the creek bed.
Top-down view, pre water effects.  Everything else complete.
Final layout.
Here we are at Historicon, post water pour.  I used two-part epoxy and after some trial and error, got it to work as desired.
I'm quite pleased with how it came out and it made me feel comfortable if I want to attempt making my own terrain.  The little bridge was pretty fun to build and modify too.  I may need to make another one for this year though if I bring a Japanese list.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Same Blog, I promise!

I reformatted a bit, decided to brighten things up a little.  Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

1. Fallschirmjäger vs. 82nd Airborne

Battle of the paras!  Jon and I met up in El Paso for a game of FoW yesterday.  We rolled up Pincer and Jon set up a nice looking board using some of his new-ish Battlefront buildings.  1750 points, since anything more than that is a bit crazy unless you really want to play with lots of super tanks.
My list:
Jon had two Airborne platoons with attached LMGs, a battery of pack 75mm howitzers, a pair of 40mm Bofors AA, recon jeeps, and a platoon of British Cromwells and a Challenger.

A look from Jon's positions.  His AA is in the center field and one Airborne platoon is occupying the town.  The other is in Ambush.  His 2iC holds the manor house on the hill.
I deployed my large FJ platoon on the far side backed up by the HQ mortars and StuGs.  The smaller FJ platoon, the Gebirgsjäger platoon, LG 40s, and Marder IIs are on this side.  Nebs on the hill in back.
Gotta get moving!  Gebirgs move At the Double up the hill, while the FJs move to support.  Marders hold position in the trees, LG40s move into range of the manor.  
On the other side the FJs advance with the support of the StuGs.  I'm able to Pin Down the Airborne but only kill one stand in the church.
Jon deploys his Ambush platoon to cover both of the objectives, firing on the Gebirgs and FJs, killing two stands.  The FJs assault into the building, clearing it and capturing it, losing three stands but killing eight.  Gebirgs move up and Dig In, while the Marders get moving.  Jon's Bofors and 60mm mortars demolish the house, killing the remaining five FJs in one round of shooting the next turn.  
I attempt to brave the defensive fire from this building but cannot make it through.  Both smoke attempts miss.  Only nine shots, but Jon hits six times.  They remain Pinned Down for most of the game.
After several bloody assaults by Jon's troops to remove the FJs from his town, they are eventually killed to a man.  8cm mortars are able to kill two LMGs in the building allowing the 2iC finally clear the house of US forces.
The British tanks arrive from reserve but are caught between StuGs and Marders.  Once they are destroyed, the Gebirgsjäger, remaining Marder, and LG40s concentrate fire on a platoon of recon jeeps, killing two before the Gebirgs assault them.  They're chased off and the 1iC, LG40s, and Gebirgs are able to take the objective from the AA platoon.  4-3 victory, but it was bloody.  
That was rough!  Whenever I needed smoke, it missed, when I did get it my Fearless troops woudn't unpin.  All of my FJs died!  All twenty stands of 2+ morale goodness, never even got a chance to roll.  The Gebirgsjäger I put in to fill points won the game for me, shooting up and then assaulting two platoons.  Somehow the StuGs were able to sneak around the town and threaten the rear objective, forcing the British tanks to give their flank to the Marder platoon.  Jon's Airborne were stubborn, but they eventually failed a morale check and quit the field.  We may have found a few more players in El Paso too, probably going to try a regular gaming day at Sun City Games.