Friday, October 29, 2010

Project SNAFU's

Must be due to this coming Halloween, but two projects have run into some minor problems. The first has some incorrectly sized movement trays. These are my long awaited Litko trays with steel paper inserts. I ordered them in September and finally got them the other day. Today I put them together and two trays are too small, and the custom sized ones look correctly sized, but  their inserts are too small. I ordered the "roomy" option for all trays (including the custom ones); this option is supposed to give a 3mm extra fit for depth  and width.
As may be seen the below photo of the custom sized ones, the steel paper inserts are short. I called Litko and Jim said they are supposed to fit exactly so they must be not be custom sized. I told him not to worry about sending me replacement inserts for these, but I wanted correctly sized (roomy option) trays for the two that are too small. I ordered two trays each for 9 X 3, and 7 X 3 figure units; all on Litko 20mm square wooden bases with magnetic bottoms. Jim said he'll have those made and shipped as soon as possible. I get to keep the incorrectly sized ones.
This next photo shows one of the trays that is not correctly sized with the roomy option.
Litko's customer service is very good, but as these items weren't exactly cheap, and the wait was long enough (about a month), I was hoping that everything would be in order. I normally build my own movement trays, but since the figures for this group have magnetic bottoms (Litko), I figured I'd get the trays along with the steel paper inserts from them. I've long since based figures on either steel squares or metal washers. It's a lot easier finding magnetic sheeting than steel paper. In any case, I was hoping to get these figures on the table soon for a Chariot Wars game.

My second "not going so well" project is a long overdue one. I had recently decided to re-start my early Holy Roman Empire army - mainly the cavalry. Awhile back (when I had an Old Glory Army membership), I ordered a pack of Teutonic Knights and some Turcopoles. The infantry was completed over a year ago, and the cavalry figures were sitting in a drawer awaiting inspiration. Well, the inspiration (or resignation) came to me last week when I thought of painting the knights up based on the Codex Manesse knights. Well, when I looked at the OG Teutonic Knights, I realized they all had capes, and the knights in the codex don't. The light bulb went on, and I started cutting off the capes as best I could. Then it occurred to me that this may not have been such a great idea. The image below shows the sorry state the knights are in right now.
One good thing did come about this affair, I re-looked the figures that Mirliton makes and found a US supplier (soon to go out of business) that had a couple of figures left in his stock. I've ordered these and will start on them as soon as I get them. I think Mirliton sells the riders separate, so I can still use the OG horses I already have.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Victory Force Minis - Fallshirmjaeger HMG & AT Team

These are Victory Force Miniatures that I ordered a couple of weeks ago when they were on sale for 45 percent off. I figured I might as well get them in addition to the panzerschreck guys.

The MG 42 gunner and loader were painted with splinter pattern smocks, while the NCO giving orders and the panzerfaust guy are in tan water pattern.
The next photo includes the earlier painted panzerschreck firer.

I like these figures, and only wish some had the cloth covers on their helmets.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Victory Force Minis - Waffen SS Squad & Panzershcreck-ies

Here are several more VFM Germans; this time some much-needed panzerschreck firers. These guys should help stop US armor in future Disposable Heroes (or other WW2) games. Starting on the left, the first guy is a standard Heer infantryman with a field camo'd weapon; the second guy is a Waffen SS guy in late-war pea dot camo; the last guy a Fallshirmjaeger in splinter camo smock.

For painting tutorials, this Flames of War article was used for the pea dot camo; and the old Resistant Roosters article for the splinter pattern. Both articles are very good and easy to follow.

Here is the late-war Waffen SS squad - now with the addition of the panzerschreck guy. I made the "pea dots" larger on the 'schreckie dude, as the earlier attempts are harder to make out.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Victory Force Minis - Waffen SS Squad - WIP

After about three years, I've finally gotten around to painting up a small unit of Victory Force Miniatures Waffen SS. These guys were sitting in a cabinet collecting dust as I had lost interest in the period. However, after a recent Disposable Heroes game, my interest has been rekindled. I'd never painted SS camo before, but with the abundance of tutorials available, it was a just a matter of finding one that worked for me.

Here's the HMG team - the leader and gunner were painted wearing fall oak leaf pattern smocks, and the loader in spring oak leaf pattern (or at least my attempt at them). Only three colors were used for each pattern.
The next figures are in various patterns of camo - the guy with the panzerfaust wears a smock in pea dot pattern; the center guy (who time-traveled to snag an AK-47) has a jacket made from Italian camouflage cloth; and the guy with the MP43 has a fall oak leaf pattern smock and pea dot trousers.
For the oak leaf and pea dot patterns the Flames of War and SGT Perry tutorials were used. Both are very good and quite simple to follow. I managed to pull off the Italian one by looking at pictures of the pattern on the internet - the pattern is pretty bold and simplified.

I now feel pretty comfortable with these patterns; which is good as I ordered several more Victory Force figures (thanks to a 45% sale this weekend due to James Bland's 45th birthday). I ordered some panzerschreck guys - much needed as they have twice the range of panzerfaust (according to Disposable Heroes' rules, that is).

UPDATE: Just need to finish the flocking of the bases.
Check out this late-war MG42 gunner - although a black and white photo, the pea dot pattern can clearly be seen:
Oh, and the VSF airship is slowly coming along. I decided to leave the top deck on as it would save me the trouble of building up the top portion it sits on. The starboard side has some plasticard added - these will be sanded down and Green Stuff added to make it follow the original lines of the ship.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Victorian (Meiji?) Sci Fi/Steampunk Airship

Thanks to a recent TMP post about a VSF airship, I'm thinking of converting a toy airship into something to carry my Boxer Rebellion/RJW figures. I think the toy has something to do with Yugio cards or toys. I salvaged it out of my neighbor's garbage when I stationed in Korea some years ago. No, I didn't dig into their trash or anything like that. We shared a common trash can area and it was sitting on top of their trash bin. This was about six or seven years ago, and the thing has been collecting dust in a closet ever since.

Here it is next to a couple of 25mm Old Glory Boxer Rebellion Japanese troops.
It actually opens up - that's a latch on the side of it. I think I'll remove the top and bottom pieces. Then I'll have to construct some sort of gondola below it to carry figures. There was a really cool-looking VSF airship displayed at a local convention here several years ago. I believe it's the same one in the picture posted by Micman in the TMP link above.

Here are a few illustrations of VSF/Steampunk airships that I quickly found on the internet.
This one has some potential ideas that may be incorporated into the project.
I should mention that I've never played VSF before, although there is a big following here in the local area. I've even passed up quite a few games recently. I will need to get into one of these games soon.

UPDATE: The top portion of the ship has been removed. Although it looks like a nice deck for weapons systems, most of the VSF airships appear to be clean on top. The hinges were sawed off from the starboard side. Bluefoam, or something similar, will be added and shaped to have the lines flush where the two items have been removed.
 Upside down, it looks like a pretty fat submarine.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Operation Cobra - DH/CF7B

On a whim, I decided to host a Disposable Heroes/Coffin for Seven Brothers game today. My usual gaming buddy, Adrian N., was tied up with school work, so I offered to host a small game with Ted H. I warned Ted that I hadn't played DH/CF7B for several years and only re-read the rules last night. However, Ted being the stoic trooper and always willing to try anything once, happily agreed to play. We determined at the outset to play five turns and see what happened. Surprisingly, we managed to play all five turns; although we did a lot of rules checking throughout. Mainly this was for checking stats for vehicle hits and such. We agreed that these rules are strongly geared to favor infantry over AFVs; or at least it gives the infantry good odds - you just need enough AT weapons.

The scenario is based loosely on Operation Cobra - the breakout from the Normandy Beachhead. The 4th Armored Division played a prominent role in this operation. Their opponents for this game were mostly Fallschirmjaeger, along with armor support. Here are a bunch of photos of the game.

Most of the figures are Victory Force Minis, and most of the vehicles either Corgis and those cheap plastic vehicles that Walmart carried several years ago. The majority of the terrain are the pieces kindly supplied for use at The Game Matrix where the game was played.