Wednesday, 19 December 2012

4ground walls and a Paratrooper

It can't be avoided the recent explosion in MDF products, buildings, scenery etc. which is swamping the wargame world. Having purchased from Warbases (still be best for bases) and Sarissa (great buildings) I finally made a purchase from 4ground. Nothing to large but some of their MDF damageable walls for 28mm. Though I actually picked mine up from Northstar.

I had first nearly bought a set at the Alumwell show earlier in the year, but decided against it at the last minute. Well having spent the last week or so assembling and painting them. I can say they are GREAT!!!

Like similar products they come 'flatpacked' and after breaking them off the sprue, you have to glue the two separate halves together and mount them on the supplied bases. It is dead easy. There are little tabs on the bases which you have to break off to be able to fit the walls together, a design feature I quite like. So here are the finished pieces...

The two end pieces are missing from this picture, but not from this one...

I've used 4grounds own base render on the 'smooth' part of the wall. I had used this before on one of the Sarissa buildings I did earlier, but this time I followed the directions which come with the kit and are available on their website as a PDF.

It is good stuff and a little goes a long way. I found it was easiest to add a watered down layer first then leave it for a few minutes then add a slightly thicker layer and leave for a minute or two and then stipple the render for the desired effect. Now as mentioned above the set does come with instruction sheet, but I did not completely follow this. As described earlier I did build the walls then paint once assembled.

For the render colours I used Decoart craft acrylics (reasonably cheap, picked up mine from Hobbycraft). I used 'Tan' as the base colour, then dry brushed 'Cornfield Yellow' and finally 'Antique White'. The brick was painted using a very old pot of GW 'Terracotta', then washed with 'Ogryn Flesh' and then 'Devlan Mud' but mainly in the recesses, the mortar joints. I also used 'Devlan Mud' on the lower part (but not exclusively) of the render. The gate pillars were painted GW 'Codex Grey' and then the bricks and pillars were drybrushed DecoArt 'Sandstone'. The wooden gate I did not paint. NB I did not apply a base coat to these models. This meant particularly when applying the terracotta that the amount of paint applied would decide on the level of stain to the MDF, so if some of the bricks look lighter its probably because I used  thinner paint on that section.

To give an idea of height. Here is a section of the wall with a 28mm figure. A Bolt Action US Airborne Paratrooper....

And from the side...

As all ways the figure is mounted on a 2p coin.

I have another set to build, the damageable short wall set (the above is the long wall set). I have glued the damage sections in on this set and probably will on the next one too.  I will probably get at least one more set of these MDF walls, which I may 'damage'.

The figure is another recently completed US Para to add to my growing collection. Once again a very nice figure from Warlord..


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Five Paratroopers and an Injun....

Just to prove I've not been I complete slacker here are a few things I've completed recently (very few).

Woodland Indian

Fallschirmjager with FG42
Fallshirmjager with Kar98
US Airborne with M1A1 carbine
The Woodland Indian is from Conquest (now available from Warlord). The Fallshirmjager are Artizan and the US Airborne trooper is from Bolt Action (aka Warlord).

The Bolt Action US Airborne are absolute beauties. Packed full of detail, in fact so much detail it is easy to miss some of it. But they are full of character. Mr Hicks did a sterling job on these figures and I'm only now getting round to painting them.

I have actually painted more than this and I'm still working on a project which I intend to complete before posting anything on here. More to follow....

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Escape to La Barquette revisited

Put on my little scenario for 'Troops, Weapons & Tactics' by the TOOFatlardies once again. The Secret Wargamer couldn't make it, something about a rendezvous in a car park and involving his dog, strange thought I he hasn't got a dog?!  Anyway he sent along his lovely assistant the Secret Wargamers Friend with strict instructions not to lose. Honour was at stake.

The scene is set;

The view from the American end of the table.

    American Blinds advance.

Surprise, surprise the German blinds advance.

And they just kept on going.

Not wanting to be caught out like before. I decided to take two of my squads off blinds. The Germans are awfully close.

The first Fallschirmjager appear. The second half of the squad has occupied the cafe building accompanied by the platoon leader. I see trouble ahead!

The two American airborne squads are left milling around in the centre of the table . The blind in the bottom of the bottom of the photo is my third squad, which has fallen for a cunning bluff by my wily opponent.  

The Americans start to take casualties. Return fire is rather ineffective.

My third squad comes off its blind to deal with a German blind sneaking down the table edge. But its a bluff. The other German squad is on my left flank not my right. I've been had! D'oh!

Some fortunate cards mean I can shake off the wounds and start advancing. I need to dislodge the Germans from the cafe.

Darn' it. I spoke to soon.

I think their happy!

So the game ended in draw which meant I won. Hurrah!

I kept the brief simple since S.W.F. had not played these particular Lardie rules before. Once he had picked up a few of the ideas mooted in this set, a very enjoyable afternoon was had. Yet again the rules gave at times a tense and in my opinion realistic simulation of a small unit action (without any one actually getting hurt). This re-play was not so bloody with the US Airborne suffering 4 casualties to the Fallschirmjagers 1.

The forces deployed were small, and represented units from the 3rd Battalion, 506th PIR, 101st Div., and 1st Battalion, 6th FJR. attached to the 91st Airlanding Div..

The Fallschirmager consisted of two squads each of eleven men, 2x 5man LMG teams plus a lvl 3 big man. The Platoon leader was a lvl 4 big man. I rated them as Good for morale purposes with an EDNA rating of 3 for hand grenades. I classed the jager was Good rather than Elite to represent the large number of new recruits which made up 6th FJR at this time but with good NCO's/Officers.

The US Airborne consisted of three squads; 2x 9man, broken down into a 3xman LMG team, a 5xman rifle team and a lvl 2 big man as squad leader, the other squad consisted of seven men; a 6xman rifle team plus a lvl 3 big man. The Platoon leader was a lvl 4 big man. I rated the Airborne has Elite, to reflect the elan of the paratroopers but with less experienced leaders overall. They had the same EDNA rating as the jager.

The original game can be found here escape-to-la-barquette.

Next time I'll bring in support weapons and try some of the national characteristic cards.    


Saturday, 3 November 2012

What's this? 28mm Plastic Vehicle from Warlord

Some how I managed to miss this very important piece of news from Warlord Games. Picked up this announcement from this blog johns toy soldiers.

1/56th scale (28mm) SdKfz 251/C halftrack in plastic. The initial release will be a box set of 3 models plus 30 plastic German soldiers retailing at £60.00. According to the article the kit will be released in the near future as a single model for purchase. Does not give a price for a single model but using the box set price as a guide this would give an approximate retail value of £12-15, so potentially slightly less than a resin version at current prices.

I've shied away from 28mm plastic WW2 figures for a while. I'm a die hard must be metal model for me, kind of guy. But with diminishing spare cash to spend on toy soldiers, Warlords offering of multi-part plastic soldiers is starting to look very tempting.

I'm also waiting with some interest for these to be released;

8th Army and Afrika Korp in 28mm, in plastic, in a box! Fantastic!

These will be released by everyone's favourite twins the Perry brothers. No release date yet. Read more here Perry-Miniatures  I personally think they look great and the 8th Army figures take me back to the 1/32nd Airfix multi-part 8th Army models I had as a kid. Apparently the greens were on display at Salute this year. I'm disappointed I didn't go now, but I'll get over it.

Though reading some threads on TMP and similar places, some of the miseries on there are moaning (what people who play with toy soldiers like to moan about toy soldiers, and manufactures of toy soldiers, and rule writers etc. etc! What is the world coming to?) that the Perry's are wasting their time with WW2, and the Desert War at that. How dare they produce figures which some people may not want to buy!!!

Since I already have Fallschirmjager, I'm thinking the 8th Army could be useful for games set in Crete in 1941.

Apparently the Perry's are also going to be producing AWI in plastic, in 28mm of course. So if you are one of those weirdo's who likes that sort of thing it might be of interest. (You know who you are, nuff said).

Anyway I'm busy painting a few different things at the moment, which I'll post up when I've finished a particular little project or part of it. Played two games recently (forgot camera so no piccies), played two, lost two, sulking twice! (S'pose I'll get over that as well.)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Making a river

Back in March 2012 I attended the West Midlands Military Show other wise known as Alumwell. Must admit it was the first time I had attended for a while, at least since it had moved to its new venue (I think its been at the new venue for at least five years). Amongst the few purchases were some river sections from Products for Wargamers.

Now because a bought a few road sections from them as well I got a discount. Which is exactly why I got the river sections. As they are they are perfectly useable but I wanted to 'tart' them up. By buying the pieces pre-cut it saved me the trouble. So for about the last two weeks, I've been working on making myself a river.

So to begin with I cut out some card pieces to shape the banks. Stuck them down with PVA and then covered the sides with filler, to give it a slope. The original pieces have banks built up with sand/grit so I wanted to smooth this out ready for the next stage. 
Once again I've used the paper/kitchen towel with PVA glue to cover the bank and give them a better shape and then put sand onto the banks to give it a bit of texture in places.

Now I was quite impressed with the result so far. So I decided to make some more pieces myself. I just happened to have a sheet of 3mm hardboard lying around. So some twenty minutes later, after using the handy jigsaw (and Mrs G. said it would be a waste of money! 'What do you need a jigsaw for?' She said). I had cut myself a couple of small straights and corners plus a ford. To make the banks on these I quickly cut up some corrugated card, stuck it to the edges and then covered in filler. N.B. the edges of the hardboard bases are not bevelled and I used the original pieces as templates.. For the ford I placed some thin card where the road will be to make it easier to represent a slope into the water. Once the paper and sand were on, all the pieces were sprayed grey (Halfords car primer again) and then painted and flocked. 

The banks have been painted in suitable earth colours with some 'sandy beach' areas (inspired by a boating lake at a local stately home). The river I have painted in GW colours, old colours I hasten to add. These are Dark Angels Green, Scaly Green and finally a dry brush of Catachan Green (as recommended in the Making Terrain guide by GW). I have then applied three coats of Ronseal gloss varnish to the river to give the water a sheen. The footbridge I've put on one of the small straights is an old metal model. I think it was from Skytrex. I've had it for years (literally). The river is for use with 28mm figures, though its more of a stream now.
Overall I'm happy with the result. I left off reeds, small stones etc from the sides of the river for ease of storage.  Now I just need to find a suitable bridge, or make one.      

Monday, 17 September 2012

Escape to La Barquette

1800hrs, 7th June 1944, D+1. South of Vierville, Normandy, France.

Lt Randy Winkleman, swept back his hair and placed the steel helmet back on his head. With his Thompson sub-machine gun cradled in the crook of his left arm, he motioned forward with his right hand, rose to a standing position and stepped into the road. Behind him the twenty six paratroopers, of his depleted platoon advanced.

Lt. Winkleman had attached himself to Sgt. Ralph Liptons squad. Their objective was patrol to the east of the Douvre River, and block any move South by German forces. 'George' Company had reported enemy paratroopers, 'Fallschirmjager', to their front. So it was 2nd Platoon, 'Item' Company, 3rd Battalion, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division, who was tasked with preventing the enemy from crossing the river. High ground, thats what he needed, Winkleman thought. Take the hamlet at the crossroads. He pushed his men forward.

Unbeknown to the earnest commander; men clad in field-grey uniforms were heading towards the same objective. Desperate men eager to escape the closing Allied trap.

Winkleman lead Liptons 1st Squad to the left, a small copse of trees obscured his view. As per his orders, Sgt Larry Hill and his 3rd Squad had occupied the walled courtyard behind the small, French home. Sgt Joe Cassidy, moved the 2nd Squad towards the Cafe at the crossroads, but the damn French countryside snagged at their boots slowing progress.

FALLSCHIRMJAGER!! Too late the enemy was before them. Winkleman rushed his squad forward. He and his men crashed through the undergrowth and foliage. 'FOLLOW ME' he cried.

Winkleman pulled up fast. In his haste, he had lead his men into a trap. A second squad of German paratroopers stood before them, like hungry wolves. The young lieutenant, started to lift the Thompson to a firing position, but his mouth was dry and his breathing ragged. The only sound he could hear was the retort of a half a dozen Mausers and the hideous growling of the Spandau machine guns. 

Winkleman fell forward to his knees. Then he pitched forward into the soft grass. He stared vacantly to the left. All he could see, the last thing he would ever see, were tan coloured forms collapsing grotesquely around him.
Sgt. Hill was aware of the carnage taking place to his left, but immediately to his front was a greater threat. 'LET THEM HAVE IT.' He yelled, and the retort of M1 Garand rifles, filled his ears.
The Germans ducked and weaved to avoid the Americans fire. The rounds found their mark. But the Germans held.

1st Squad was decimated. Pfc Joel Clarke, suddenly found himself very much alone. Being alone was not a nice feeling. Still gripping his rifle, he turned and ran into the copse behind. Sgt. Hill and 3rd  Squad hunkered down behind the stone wall. A stone wall which suddenly seemed to be getting lower; as German bullets tore chunks from it.

Now some of those bullets began to find their mark. Around him Sgt. Hill watched his men die. He needed support. Where was 2nd Squad?

Sgt. Cassidy, deployed his men in the Cafe. He was aware of the gunfire coming from the near distance. But what was happening? No time to dwell on that. There in the road-Germans-'FIRE'.

The American fire found its mark, and German's fell onto the hard tarmac. But it was too little, too late. The Douve was crossed.

2nd Squad could do nothing to prevent the German's advance, all was lost.

So ended the first game of 'TOOFATLardies' 'Troops, Tactics & Weapons'.

I had the misfortune to play the Americans (or the U.S. Airborne had the misfortune to be controlled by me) and the 'Secret Wargamer' played the other side. Overall an excellent game. For a first run through the game played quickly and relatively smoothly. There were of course teething troubles, rules missed and mistakes made. My main blunder was not taking the 1st Squad off a blind before moving them-'D'oh!'. This set of rules will become, for now at least, my 'skirmish' rule set of choice. Probably the most enjoyable 28mm WW2 game I've played since I started to collect the figures. Next game will probably introduce support weapons, and maybe a tank or two.

The scenario was based around the retreat of 1st Battalion of the 6th Fallshirmjager Regiment, on 7th June 1944. The 1st Battalion was all but destroyed. Though of course the rest of the Regiment went onto famously defend Carentan.( As re-created in 'Band of Brothers' (Episode 3) (well at least part of action to take Carentan)).N.B. The 3rd Battalion, 506th PIR was one of the blocking forces on 7th June 1944 which prevented the escape of the 1st Battalion, 6th FJR. 

Figures and terrain used are all mine. (Except some of the dice which belong to S.W.).

For a German view of the game go here-thesecretwargamer.