Sunday, November 9, 2014

Warlord Games US M3 Halftrack

One of the fun things about playing a new game is that none of us has a stock of fully painted miniatures. Every game is an opportunity to paint additional models to add to the group. Our collective lack of painted models also makes me want to paint models for both sides of the game, ensuring we have some interesting choices on game day. Because the forces are known and the color schemes are not surprising, we can easily mix and match from what we all have available. Hopefully this truck will get to serve with the US Infantry continuing its advance off of the beaches. Our next game table contains bocage, which are dense French hedge groves. I can see this truck following closely behind a Sherman tank, letting the Sherman cut a path through the bocage.

This kit is the plastic m3 kit from Warlord Games. The kit was a bit annoying to put together, and the driver is a bit mushy on the detail, but I am happy with the kit. It is the older all metal kits from Warlord that I would stay away from. Painting was quick easy. The dull coat added a blue tint which I've noted before. I thought it would not be as noticeable, but stands out pretty well. On this model I tried a new technique for the first time. I had been reading about tamiya Buff colored paint, and how a general spray overall added a nice subtle dust appearance. I mixed a roughly 10/1 thinner to paint ratio, and sprayed Buff all over. I think that worked really well. It is subtle enough to not have obliterated my shading, but also ties everything together. As usual powders are all Secret Weapon Miniatures. A second application of powders will be done on the tracks and a few key places such as the fenders.

Just realized that I forgot to add streaking!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Warlord Games Bolt Action Panther WIP

I had my first game of Bolt Action a few weeks ago. It was good. It was really good. I strongly recommend the game, and think the mechanics could even cross over to 40k. The random activation mechanic, and the reduced dice rolling from 40k, makes for a fast reactive game where tactics appear to matter.  In one afternoon we managed to play three games of BA. Kudos to Steve for organizing our Bolt Action outing.

One of the benefits of Bolt Action, is that it is very inexpensive to get into, and there are a lot of alternatives to the heroic scale BA miniatures. This low barrier to entry meant that I have started three armies. I've painted more than one tank at this point, which is overkill for most games, but I think having some equipment variety will be fun for scenario building.

BA was designed for infantry tactics, so more than one tank is overkill. On the other hand, the tank expansion was just released, which allows for players to field platoons of tanks. A tank destroyer is on the painting table as I write this.

In the far back right of the second photos, a shot of the 30 German Heer infantry can be seen. Those are Wargames Factory models that I picked up for 20 dollars. A single box produced 5 squads, a sniper team, and an HQ section. There are downsides, the models have very shallow details which makes washes hard to apply, and the parts are labeled, but there are no instructions. I think the models will look nice enough on the field, and I like that they are more realistically proportioned.

In the wings is a D.A.K army which is undergoing paint scheme testing. I love the look of sand worn vehicles with Germany grey showing through, however I have yet to manage to make the look work.

So all things considered, I am loving this foray into historic gaming. I makes me want to build more interesting gaming tables.....and on that note, a giant box from Secret Weapon Miniatures arrived...whoa... so good.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bolt Action Stug

A bunch of us have been bitten by the Bolt Action bug, so a collective speed painting has ensured. Presented here is a resin Stug from Warlord Games. This model will eventually take part in the Normandy campaign, being setup. While fun to paint, this kit was unreasonably malformed. I enjoyed painting the model immensely, but this is going to be a gaming model, not a display model for me. The DAK models on order might end up being the gaming and display models.

WW2 models (basically anything non-gw) have become my modeling tests of choice.

At the NOVA Open I managed to win a full set of secret weapon miniatures weathering powders. I had already been using quite a few of them, but since I had the whole set I decided to give the track tutorial Justin posted on the SWM miniatures a try. The only thing I added was some more rust pigment on the spare tracks on the hull. You'd think that having every weathering powder would be the most exciting thing, but weirdly, I was more excited to try the bottle of pigment fixer included.  I 'd been using x-20A thinner as my pigment fixer, and had been wondering if actual pigment fixer would work any better. Well, it works, but due to me not understanding the bottle cap (you just have to see it--it is not a dropper!) I managed to poor out the entire contents of the bottle onto the vehicle, and my desk. I like how it worked, and will have to pick up another bottle.

So how does all of this Historical work play into 40k? I am thinking about painting my DKoK next, but with a historical bent.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Battle For Salvation

This Columbus day weekend, I had the opportunity to travel up to New York to attend the the Battle for Salvation 40k GT and play in their first painting invitational tournament. This is the first time I have heard of such a thing, but the idea is great. Play in a GT, but make the painting score count for more. I love this spin on tournaments.

I think if you play 40k, and live within a 5 hour radius of BFS you should attend. The tournament is that good. The guys that run it are top notch, and each year they put me down as a club member even though I live 4 1/2 hours away.

BFS got me thinking about army sizes, game lengths, and tournaments in general. One of the things that I regret at a tournament is that I don't have enough time to mingle. There are so many people I want to meet, and so many friends from all over, that we end up never seeing each other at the tournament but instead end up staying out all night trying to catch up. Wouldn't it be great if game time at tournaments was reduced? Eight games at NOVA was too much for me, even though it was an incredibly fun narrative event.  Six games at BFS better. I think 5 games with a lower points value would be best. Let's got back to 1500 or 1200 points.

How about this for different spin. Let's play x8 1000 point games. Game time would decrease dramatically, but we'd still meet new people. It would also cut out a lot of the cheesy units

You should book your hotel now for the next event. Don't get Nynack Motor Lodged! (The good hotels fill up quickly)

The competition this year for painting was really tight. Chris Dubuque showed up with his Lamenters and took away best painted miniature for his dreadnought. I was lucky enough to win Paint Master for the painting invitational.

I am really proud of my Sons of Horus, that allows me to post photos of my latest creations. (hint--not so proud about them!) After the BFS paining award, I thought, "hey, maybe I'm a good painter after all" and tried to paint 16 WW2 US Army troops for Bolt Action in under 5 hours. This is why I don't paint IG. While the painting was fun, and the speed at which it happened was phenomenal, the minis are more like gestural pieces rather than art, but they are for a game I really want to try, and at least now I have some troops and a tank. 20 bucks for around 34 minis was not too shabby either. Ok, maybe I'll paint that other batch.

The moral here is simple. Don't get cocky. I did, and my desk is now covered in mud.

So there you go. A week in review. Go to BFS. You'll be happy you did.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Improved Smoke

In a few days I will be headed up to the Battle for Salvation in West Nyack New York. I haven't finished painting my army yet, but I think I've managed to create two nice looking smoke markers. I took a suggestion and balled up the cotton a bit. Now if only 40k had random unit activation.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bolt Action British Sherman V WIP

Rather than paint up the missing bits to my BFS force, I decided to experiment with tamiya paint and a Bolt Action sherman tank. This is the first time I have really used Tamiya, as well as my first Bolt Action miniature.

So how was the paint? Good for airbrush, terrible for brush. As weird as that sounds, I could not get the paint to brush on easily, yet it was simultaneously the best air brush paint I have used. I only wish they had more colors.

How was the tank? Fun. It was a nice break from 40k. I am not a fan of the extremely soft white metal bits, but the casting is ok. A little misshapen, but it works pretty well. In terms of weathering,  I have yet to spatter mud all over the lower hull and tracks. Before I do that I want to base some troops so I can get an optimal color. The mud will be pigment mixed with sand and plaster, so I need to get it right.

Since I found out that some friends were getting interested in BA, I've been watching videos on how to play. So far, I really like the idea of random activation.  I can picture a squad advancing behind the sherman towards a fortified town. In game play terms that seems to work, so for once tanks are useful.

(sorry about the photos, my camera's battery died!)

Battle for Salvation

The Battle for Salvation GT is next weekend, so after being drafted into a painting invitational, I decided I had to add a little lighting to my display board.  This worked out well, since I've wanted to make tea lamp smoke markers for a while. I only wish I hadn't broken two of the lamps during construction. It would have been nicer to have all four so each vehicle had a dedicated destroyed marker.

I haven't mastered the cotton shaping in to smoke plumes yet, but I think it is going to look good in the end.

Yep, that is the 11th company podcast in the background. Neil, let's paint a rhino.

My BFS army. So, how broken is Adamantine Lance? I have to convert the rhino into a razorback, but then I think I am done.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Great Blood Angels Salvage Pt2

It seems repainting or touching up an army is a relatively rare occurrence for most people. I know I've stripped models to add to new armies, but even for me this feels weird. I am immensely enjoying the process, however, since there are no expectations. I am not even bothering to carefully remove mold lines. Normally I would spend a lot of time prepping my models. That is the right way. But since these guys are already painted, and are getting new highlighting sprayed over their existing base coats, the focus is on getting them consistently paint chipped and streaked so I can move on to the mud/dust phase. I really like how that mud base turned out, and there is a good chance I will go with chocolate brown wet mud, with dried mud higher up on the vehicle chassis. I have to decide if I save that base type for my DKoK and leave the BA on desert bases. Desert bases would at least match my gaming table.

Yes... I hate the top hatch on the rhino. Maybe it is time to add stowage and gear up there. That would limit the glowing edges.

another thing of note, I have a batch of vallejo matte varnish that is blueing my models when it drys. Maybe vallejo always does this and I've just not noticed due to the colors I usually use.

Greg asked for some before photos to go with these WIP repaint shots. It is kind of cool to point out, that I am not paint stripping these models. I am airbrushing directly over the original paint job. I thank Dave Taylor for the idea. We just did not have have enough time to paint strip the model, in time for the charity army raffle for the NOCF. Prior to his model, I can't remember ever repainting a model intended for use.

I've added a photo of my old Blood Angels force, painting in 2011. I've come a long way painting-wise. (tracks, chipping, streaking, and mud/weathering have not been completed) I am only mid-way through repainting the LR above. So far the Storm Raven has shown the most dramatic change.