Monday, April 26, 2010

Last of the 28mm Russians for the Great Patriotic War

Well… for now…

I just ordered a handful more from Warlord/Bolt Action and The Assault Group… and I still have the AT gun to paint… and that little GAZ jeep to assemble and paint…. AND I’ve been contemplating picking up a couple light tanks… maybe T-26 or a BT-7 from Army Group North Miniatures (or maybe BOTH!?)

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

…and again this is an assorted mix of figures from Artizan Designs and The Assault Group and Crusader Miniatures (the latter being the crew for the gun that yet needs to be painted…)

This is a KV-2 tank from Army Group North Miniatures that I picked up in a trade (Traded away 15mm Fallshirmjägers – got a pile of 28mm Russians from a friendly fellow in the Netherlands… I think…? – which started this whole mess… )

The whole (understrength) company (and optional supporting assets)… so far… Front and center is the Company Command group (Commander, 2IC, POlitical Officer, CSM, Medical Aide). Behind are the three Rifle Platoons (each had a platoon command section of Officer, Sergeant, and runner, and three sections of about 6 - on the books they should have somewhere between 9 and 11 - depending on what part of the war it is... I highly doubt any unit EVER had that many, so I don't feel so bad about fielding such an understrength unit - it's only at about 60%). Lurking directly behind them is an SMG assault section - not a normal part of a Rifle company... but I had a lot of spare guys with SMGs. They may be integrated into the Rifle sections... or attached as Tankodesantniki or Assault Troops or something. Off to the side is a single Maxim MG team... I should probably have more (I actually have one more team on the way... ebay...). Off on the wings are some Heavy KV tanks from a supporting independent tank brigade. Up on the hill in the centre is Uncle Joe looking on with pride (but secretly plotting to have the commander and a handful of others shot for having such a woefully understrength company - how are they!). Off to one side is a Scout/Sniper section (not sure if these are battalion or Regimental assets...?). Can you see them? They're all camouflaged and stuff... On the other side of Uncle Joe is the gun crew... without their gun... (hopefully I finish that up some time this week!)

One of these days I should add some slogans to the sides of those tanks.

What I ordered yesterday was some more command (so I had a full compliment of platoon commanders - right now a SMG guy is just filling in), a 45mm AT gun, Tank Hunters (with an Anti-tank Rifle, panzerfaust, and antitank bomb dog…!?), a BA-64 Armoured Car, and some tank crew (which I hope will fit into the tanks I’m planning to pick up from AGNM) all from Bolt Action (shipping is FREE worldwide until the end of April!). I also ordered a handful of more riflemen, from The Assault Group, to bring the average section strength up to 7 (When fielding the WHOLE company!).

(oh, and I ordered some more Germans and Canadians from Bolt Action Minis as well – but resisted the urge to pick up Polish lancers… If they’d had Russian Cavalry I might have broken down…)

I think I’ll finish up the gun next… and some Pulp Adventure types… Then maybe some Germans… or Canadians… we shall see… Probably germans to fight this Commie Horde! Actually tomorrow night I'm starting off a Savage Worlds WW2 campaign. You'll be able to follow that action over at Savage Timmy's Playhouse.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More 28mm Russians for the Great Patriotic War

Another batch of Russian infantrymen…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Once again this is an assorted mix of figures from Artizan Designs and The Assault Group… mostly… I think… Actually I think there’s a Battle Honors artillery crewman in this lot as well…

I have one more batch of Soviets of about the same size as this and then they are all done… well… until I decide to bring up the strength of my woefully understrength “company”. Or perhaps I will leave it as it is as "woefully understrength" would probably be more "accurate"...

I also have a gun, a Gaz light truck, and a KV-2 to finish up.

I would like to add some more equipment options that could be attached to the company for various scenarios... couple more tanks and/or assault guns, mortar(s), a lighter gun (I think the one I have is a 78mm - I'd like a 45mm, if anyone makes such a thing!?).

Before I go buying (and painting) any more Russians, however, I'd like to finish up the Germans I have... and the British... and all my "Pulp Adventurers"....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kelly’s Heroes

I have to admit I’m a sucker for miniature character ripped off from movies, literature and other popular culture media… I have The Foundry’s ”B Team” (though I haven’t painted them yet)…. Tintin and Haddock (though the figure I used for Haddock wasn’t so much an “homage” as the others and required some conversion)… I have more than one pair of Holmes and Watson… Probably others that I can’t think of off the top of my head.

Anyway I picked up the “Big Joe and Co.” pack from Artizan Designs ages ago (pretty much as soon as it was available)… but have only just gotten around to painting it…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

As mentioned These are from Artizan Designs.

I’m not really sure WHY I bought htem… it’s not like I’m ever going to go out and buy a couple Tiger tanks and a Sherman and a pile of American infantry to do a Kelly’s Heroes scenario…

While I’m at it… I’m not sure if I have a picture of Tintin and haddock together. The Tintin figure is from Copplestone Castings and the Haddock figure is actually an LRDG figure form Artizan Designs, which I converted (I have to admit I had seen someone else using the same figure as Haddock but can’t remember where to give them their due credit… sorry…).

I’d also like to find some figures that would be useable as Thomson and Thompson and Professor Calculus…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Russians… lots of them!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Explorers and Investigators

A couple more Pulp Adventure types rolling off the workbench.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

These chaps are from Pulp Figures “Yukon Peril” line. I’m thinking they might come in handy when I run Beyond the Mountains of Madness or Trail of Tsathogghua on Savage Saturday.

This lot is all from Artizan Designs Thrilling Tales line. I’ve had them for a while, as with the ones above, and just finally getting around to painting them (because I’ve started running pulpy adventures again). I gotta say some of these are great figures and a load of fun to paint! I am exceptionally pleased with how the plaid skirt turned out.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I have a few more Pulp Adventurers on the workbench along with some WW2 Russians and Fallschirmjägers… I think it’ll be the Russians and some Pulp Adventurers rolling off first… I’ve prepped and primed the Fallschirmjäger, but since then have mostly just been eyeing them with trepidation – despite the fact that I am keeping them at the very front of the painting desk… I’m sure once I get going on them all will be fine…

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Soviet Riflemen, Pulp Adventurers, Brits and a Space Marine…

Clearing up a few things off my painting table…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

This is another I-Kore Void figure (currently available from Scotia Grendel). In the sort of Sci-fi universe I like to run the Imperial Space Marines are THE BIG STICK! You do not want to mess with them. If you have attracted enough attention from Imperial authorities you have EFFed it up BIG TIME and are going to pay in PAIN!

Therefore I went with a bright orange power armour because they ARE the ULTIMATE badasses. They don’t give a f*ck if you know where they are… and, in fact, they want you to KNOW that they don’t give a f*ck if you know where they are!

An assortment of WW2 Soviet Infantrymen. These are a mix of figres from Artizan Designs and The Assault Group (I think…). I do also have Crusader Miniatures and Bolt Action Miniatures missed into my commie horde… but I don’t think there’s any in this lot…

Some Pulp-ish Adventurers! From left to right is a Bolshevik Heroine from Copplestone Castings, a German Zeppelin commander from Pulp Figures (who will be used as Freiherr Jöchim Von-und-zu Höllertal-Fürchtberg, retired German Army officer, in my new Savage Worlds Pulp/Chtulhu campaign – see more at Savage Timmy’s Playhouse), a “Trainee Agent” (also from Coppelstone), and a western type from Artizan Designs.

Two more Brits that I seemed to have missed when I did the last lot.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:
More Russians likely… another batch or two and they’ll all be done! I’ll have a full (well… understrength) company of them! Well, I also have a KV-1 to finish and a jeep-like light truck…. and some sort of field gun… At some point I’d like to add a few more things. Maybe some Sailors, AT riflemen, and more tanks…

I’ll also be working on some more 20s Pulp-Horror Adventure types… and some Fallshirmjägers (which just arrived!).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Painting Update… Sort of…

Not dead yet…!

I have been painting this past week – but not so much of little lead men. More on that in a moment.

Most of my hobby time has been spent doing a bit of sorting and planning and a whole lot of re-basing. I’ve moved from the Victorian Horror and Pulp stuff into the WW2 stuff and have mostly re-based the Russians, Germans and British in North Africa. The Resistance/partisans are in the process of being re-based and I still have the British Commandos and Paras to do.

I did start putting a bit of paint on some little lead men this evening. I’ve been thinking about the earlier half of the 20th Century and been contemplating both large scale (divisional actions using the HOTT variant) and skirmish games. While re-baseing and plotting I decided to work on finishing off all the WW2 stuff I have in 28mm. The collection is largely static (despite the recent purchase of some Fallschirmjägers and some guys I plan to use as late war North West European Theatre of Operations Canadians). For the most part I have what I need and don’t plan on making any large additions to it in the near future – and there isn’t a monumental amount of it. I could probably finish it all off in a month (or so) if I stuck to it and it’s a great relief to say “Yep, I’m DONE all the stuff I have for the XXXXX period” - Oh, I’ll add to it SOME day… but I have no great compulsion (or money to) at the moment.

Most of the painting I HAVE done this week was on a couple of paintings I was working on for my partner, Amanda. I used to paint a lot – as in pictures, not toys… though I’ve always done a lot of that too. I kind of stopped for about a decade, but over that last year or so I’ve been trying to get back into painting (pictures). For those that have been following for a while might remember me doing a uniform plate for the Timashek Legion. And those that follow my other blogs might have noticed the “critters on bikes” series I’ve been working on.

Anyway…. late last fall Amanda was simultaneously inspired by our friend, CVT, who took up running earlier in the year and then ran the New York Marathon, and was feeling like she wanted to do something for her niece was born last August was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. So she decided to run a marathon and raise money for CF. You can read all about her training and the raffle she’s organized and her niece and stuff on her blog;

Amanda’s Run for CF

Now I have to admit there’s a bit of a disconnect there for me. She says that she’s running the marathon to raise money for CF…? But I don’t really see how the two are related… You can donate money using the link on the blog (and, if you’re in Canada get a tax-deductible receipt) or you can buy a raffle ticket (if you’re a resident of Saskatchewan) and hopefully win one of the prizes… but none of that has anything to do with whether she finished the marathon or not…?

Don’t get me wrong… I am nothing less than in awe of her ability to organize and train and, dang it, I think she’s actually going to be able to RUN the marathon!

Anyway… what does all this have to do with me painting…? Well Amanda asked if I’d paint and donate a picture for her to include as one of the raffle prizes. And so I did. Two, actually… One for her to raffle off and the other for her to keep to remember what she accomplished.

The paintings are called “Frosty Dreams of a Marathon in May – Day and Night”. The Day one she decided to use as a raffle prize, the Night one she is keeping for herself. They both picture her and her dog Ollie running in the deep cold of a Saskatchewan Winter – something I felt needed to be immortalized. I mean really, what kind of a nutcase takes up running in the middle of a frickin’ Saskatchewan winter – with an intensive training plan to prepare her for her first ever marathon at the end of may…?! That kind of nutcase happens to be my wife; Amanda Plante.

If you happen to be in Saskatoon on Sunday May 30th, 2010, come on out and cheer her on (and our buddy CVT who’s coming from Edmonton to run with her)!

Oh and – if you happen to be in Saskatchewan - maybe buy a couple of her raffle tickets! For the rest of you out in internetland, I’m sorry, but you’re out of luck – The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (yeah, booze and gambling – always a good mix) prohibits the advertising (er… ahem…) and sale of raffle tickets outside the province of Saskatohewan.

I suppose I could have posted a picture of the painting here, but I’d really rather you mosey on over to her blog and check it out there:

”Artist Donates Painting to CF Raffle”

While you’re there check out her insane training schedule – which she stuck to even on the -40°C days!? - and give her a cyber-high five (post a comment telling her how awesome she is! Because she doesn’t seem to believe me when I tell her…?!) – it’ll really make her day!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Basing… Again…

Or RE-basing, I should say….

I’ve been thinking about re-basing my 20mm WW2, modern, and future war stuff for some time… the current impetus is my desire to try out Bruce McFarlane’s HOTT WW2 and Modern HOTT variants. More on that in a moment, though….

I’ve also been re-basing a bunch of 15mm WW2 stuff so they all have a common base frontage – mostly for the same reason. It hasn’t been so much work as only a few things that need rebasing. All the infantry and tanks were already on a 50mm frontage, some of the smaller guns and vehicles were on smaller bases and had to be redone.

There are a couple problems with the 50mm frontage… First is that it isn’t one of the suggested base sizes in DBA/HOTT, so will require some tinkering to figure out what “100 paces” and I’ll have to make new measuring sticks just for that lot. The other is that the deeper bases are all deeper than the base frontage (~63mm deep – I’m using the standard base sizes for Flames of War), which causes some funny business when units are flanked and have to turn to face…

I COULD have re-based the whole shebang to 60mm frontages and everything would have been just ducky. But that would have been a whole lot of WORK… (just to “try out” a game) and also from time to time I get thinking I’d like to sell or trade off the last of the 15mm stuff and I figure it would be easier to do so if it were left on a base size that would be most useful to other people (i.e. the FoW crowd)…

As for the 20mm stuff it’s, more or less, ALL going to have to be rebased. The question is what frontage to use…? I’m considering 60mm or 80mm.

Now, I’m not JUST doing this to play the HOTT variants. Whether they work out or I go back to playing Blitzkreig Commander, Cold War Commander, and Future War Commander. I’ve wanted to do this for a while - get everything on at least a similar frontage and, if possible, only a few different base depths – for maximum uniformity…

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages I can potentially foresee:

If using 60mm it would be the same frontage as 28mm DBA/HOTT. I could therefore use the same measuring sticks, terrain and game boards. Also some of the Modern tanks and vehicles are currently on 2.5” bases and would only require shaving ~3mm off one side to make it 60mm (it’s not as difficult as it sounds - I’ve tried it). This would make for a bit less work and wastage of basing materials.

The downside of 60mm is that some of the big sci-fi tanks won’t really fit at all and some of the bigger WW2 and modern tanks and guns that do fit are still on proportionally much deeper bases.

80mm is double the “suggested” base widths as 15mm figures – so everything’s pretty easy to figure out. This frontage would require proportionally less deep bases – even for the big stuff. This is really one of the biggest issues for me. Having units on bases that are much deeper than they are wide just kind of looks funny to me and causes issues in the geometry of most games –especially in maneuvering and falling back and turning to face flanking enemy. The infantry would be on 40mm deep base so that the total depth of 2 stands in column is the same as one base width, which makes things loads easier in terms of the geometry of the game.

My primary concerns about the larger frontage is that they’d look freakin’ HUGE and I might need MORE storage bins!? The space required to play would be bigger but for a standard DBA HOTT game it would only need a 4’x4’ area – which is no problem at all for me… of course if I was going back to BKC/CWC/FWC I might be pushing it for table requirements. And if I ever suffered the kind of head trauma that would make me think that skirmishing with 20mm figures would be fun some of the vehicles would be on bases that are just way too huge… of course… if I suffered that kind of head trauma I probably wouldn’t mind re-basing the whole shebang all over again anyway…

I did a few samples of each size for comparison and just to see what they look like….

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

From left to right; 50mm frontage (current), 60mm frontage, 80mm frontage.

60mm Froantage with 4 (SS on the left) or 3 (paras on the right) figure. I think if I went with the 60mm base widths I'd stick with 3 figures per base...

French Somua tank on 80mm (left) and 60mm (right) frontages. A lot of the WW2 tanks would fit on a 80mm square base – much reducing the number of units on bases deeper than they are wide.

British 6pdr on 60mm (left) and 80mm (right) frontages. On the 60mm frontage the base is deeper than it is wide and I think the barrel STILL pokes out a bit. On the bigger base there is no barrel overhang – a consideration for storage stands that have overhanging barrels (or any overhanging parts) are harder to fit into storage together and more likely to be damaged… I suppose it’s also an issue on the tabletop when trying to line up stuff.

The down side of the 80mm frontage here is it looks HUGE – the small gun and tean seem a little lost in the base… now this could be rectified with a bit more clever modeling – making these bases into mini dioramas. Perhaps some ammo boxes and extra crew could be added (of course that would require buying or manufacturing said sundry items… but..

German Pak 43/41 AT gun and crew on a 60mm frontage (left) and the British 6 pdr on the 80mm frontage (right). Even on an 80mm base I think the Pak 43/41 would still have some barrel overhand… unless I went with a REALLY deep base.

Jadgpanthers on 80mm (left) and 60mm (right) frontages. I think this is the largest of the WW2 tanks that I have in my arsenal currently.

Same Jadgpanthers with others for comparison – on the left are Jagdpanther and Somua on 80mm frontages and on the right are a jadgpanther and a british 6pdr AT gun on 60mm frontages. The Jadgpanther on the 80mm frontage is on a base that’s only 1.5x base width deep, whereas the Jadgpanther on the 60mm wide base is over 2x the base width deep.

Tanks supporting infantry. The 80mm frontage units (on the left) end up being only 2x the base width total depth. The 60mm frontage units end up being almost 3x the base width.

On to the Moderns…

These are Cold War Canadians, form left to right; 50mm frontage (current), 60mm frontage, 80mm frontage.

It’s in the modern stuff that the difference in base sizes between infantry and vehicles is most pronounced – for me at least. In the above example neither looks terribly wonky, though I’m preferring the 80mm (on the right) – it just looks a little closer to the right amount of stuff to have de-bussed from the APC. Below however…

With bigger APCs/IFVs this difference is definitely more pronounced. When I was playing
I said stands of Infantry were HALF platoons. Where the vehicles represented FULL platoons… of course if you lit up one IFV and the two half platoons were knocked out with it... that was a sizable chunk of your unit lost in one shot...

Same issues with the Canadians mounted in Grizzlies.

These are the largest of the Cold War tanks I have to deal with Russian T-72 (left) and American M1 Abrams (right).. they are on their current bases which are actually 63mm frontages (2.5 inches) – again they seem really deep – even if I move up a scale in gaming (where stands are companies or battalions)

On the left are 80mm wide bases (with an M113 and a blank one), on the right are ~60mm wide bases. With the 60mm wide bases the tank unit takes up almost twice the area of the mechanized unit… Where as the tank unit on the 80mm wide base would take up only 1.5x the area of the mechanized unit mounted up – and would be the same size as the mechanized unit once the infantry debussed (should have taken a picture of THAT!)

For the Russians I think both BMPs and T-72s would end up on the same 80x120(?)mm bases…

Another consideration… the future war stuff… The super heavy grav-tanks would just not fit on a 60mm front base… I could do the future war stuff on a different sized bases than the other stuff – but then I wouldn’t be able to use them together… and I WOULD like to be able to use them together, because the modern (and even WW2) stuff could be used with Future war units as troops from planets with lower tech levels… I even mix up ww2 stuff with modern stuff in brushfire conflicts where one side might be using obsolete WW2 vintage surplus while another is supplied by the latest their super-power supplier has to offer…

More of the Future War stuff and modern stuff that has already been re-based to 80mm wide bases.

One last shot – an M577 command post on it’s current base (63mm wide) on top of a 80mm wide base – the extra room could give me space to add some officer looking types looking though binoculars to make for a slightly more interesting looking general/command stand for my army…

Well just in putting this post together I think I’ve pretty much convinced myself to go with the 80mm wide frontages… What I should have done is done a couple infantry stands with 4 and a couple with 5… that’s pretty much the only question remaining – how many infantry to put on the base…?

I know, I know... I wouldn't even have to worry about this if I only did micro armour... don't even suggest it I'm not going to switch to a different scale.... but not that I've mentioned it... I DO have some Future War microarmour (battle tech and GW Epic stuff, etc) that I'm going to have to reconsider the bases for - they are all sorts of different sizes... I even thought about doing bigger bases for them (perhaps 60mm fronts) and putting multiple vehicles on a base - at lest for the smaller vehicles...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tropical British

…or Canadians…!? I got these chaps off Ebay and have no idea who manufactured them. If I had to guess I might say Battle Honours….?

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Almost a squad... with an officer...

Also got a couple of bonus officers. What’s a squad without three officers?

They may see some action in North Africa… but could also be passed off as Winnipeg Grenadiers (or Royal Rifles of Canada) defending the Island of Hong Kong…

….Or they could turn up anywhere the Tropical U-boat Crew surfaces to cause trouble…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I’ve been spending a lot of time rebasing stuff lately… 28mm skirmish stuff to get them all on a uniform sized base… or at least MOST of them…

I’ve also been re-basing a bunch of 15mm WW2 stuff so they all have a common base frontage so I can try out Bruce McFarlane’s HOTT WW2 Variant. It hasen’t been so much work, its only a few things that need rebasing – all the infantry and tanks were already on a 50mm frontage, some of the smaller guns and vehicles were on smaller bases and had to be redone.

I’ve also been eyeing up my 20mm WW2 and Modern stuff… I’ve been considering rebasing them for some time as well… That will be a bigger project and require some thought and decisions as to what size frontage to base then on… more on that later…

I was originally planning to type up a long winded post for this morning explaining how I was going to pack it all in and sell off all my stuff… (it being April fools, and all) but the I decided I’ve got better things to do… Like paint more toys!!