Tuesday, December 29, 2015

USMC reinforcements...

So it has been a busy week, and I have gotten a lot of painting done of recently.. to the point where my Americans are now finished.. well at least what I have available on the table right now.

This latest addition was full of conversions, and add ons. Mostly Bazookas, the last 2 squads for the forces, and some HQ models..

Over Xmas I also received some of the above here.. being the official HQ unit for USMC. Along with 2 packs of specials. So more bazookas, snipers, and flamers.

I had also converted up some Dog Units to help sniff out some of the hidden troops that plague the battlefield ( like snipers and the like ).

And some mules to help bring in some of the AT guns over the mountains..

The majority of the force shown above, just missing the last pieces. Was quite a journey to show off all this, and the tank section of the army is going to be shown soon.. Just waiting for it to be posted on the main contest blog first before showing it here ;)

That should be a nice post to show off things for the final army photos.. and the first game is to happen tonight with the Americans.. this should be fun to see how this goes, and how different the playstyle is.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

USMC forces incoming..

Over the past few days I have begun to paint my USMC forces for Bolt Action. I have to say that I am having a lot of fun doing them.. more so than the assembly process that is..

The painting is more set for table top here, so are not the best, and could probably use some more. I might go back over them at some point, especially the bases, but for now everything is fine. They are definitely good for gaming with at the very least.

The basic colors here are the US Field Green, with some Grey green mixed for the highlights. And some German Camo Brown for shading. Not the most diverse colors to play with, but they are working for me.

Above I have 2 full units of US Marines built out of Warlord and Artisan plastic/metals. Each unit is holding their NCO with SMG, 2 more SMGs, 3 Bars, 3 Shotguns, and 4 rifles. It is a mix therefore of Airborne, Infantry and Marine models and parts. But with the paint scheme in play right now it works for me.

In front of them is a conversion for a FAO ( Forward Air Observer ), MMG gunner special character, and a loader for the Bazooka team ( Bazooka still waiting for paint ). The 2 guys on the right are for my HQ choices. Again another special model to the left, but the guy on the right no idea. Both look Airborne though, but again painted to fit with my Marines. One of the few times that the Airforce and Infantry worked together perhaps? :)

On the second side of things I have another 2 units of Marines. Same configuration as the other 2.

In front I have a few more conversions in play here. The HQ unit on the left there are actually Italian HQ models from Warlord. Left overs from when I was painting up an Italian to give to Raffaele Picca on one of my many visits to Germany. They just had some plastic head swaps for them, and now fit in well enough, well for some maybe junior HQ units :) They look a bit skinny and scrawny compared to the other models..

The other unit there is a FlameThrower unit.. with his loader holding a bag of extra gear, and some extra fuel in a jerry can.. cause why not? :) No effect for the rules, but makes the model interesting all the same.

I have 2 more squads built, the bazooka teams, and another HQ section to paint up that are waiting now. As well, I still have plenty of other spare parts left over from creating these guys. So medics, and more FAOs will be created as yet. Hopefully I will receive a few more special weapon teams for Xmas to fill in some of the slots here and there.

And of course a full platoon worth of tanks.. 4 Shermans, 2 Chaffees, and a Halftrack are all waiting for paint.. not to mention what else might be incoming at some point :) Go big or go home I guess with building armies for me :D Lots more to come from these soon enough :)

And to finish off.. a really bad photo of them on my GW gaming mat.. they blend in very nicely.. so job done for the paint jobs so far ;)

Enjoy Christmas! And post more after the break!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Painting competition bonus rounds...

Curt is the one with the Whistle apparently.. I'm in the blue ;) 

Within the competition there are apparently some bi-weekly bonus rounds. Something to break up the monotony of the line painting and grind that comes with a points based painting competition ( which is mostly against ones self unless you join into the side competitions.. which I did.. ).

There are 6 rounds in total.. 
  • January 3rd: Nostalgia
  • January 17th: Epic fail
  • January 31st: Defensive Terrain
  • February 14th: L'amour
  • February 28th: Nautical
  • March 13th: Gambler/Risk-Taker
Some really interesting pieces here within the list. I cannot think of something for all of them, but I think I might be able to participate in some at the very least. 

The big thing for them is your interpretation of the topic I guess? 

So things like Nostalgia.. it could be things from the past that hold meaning. Be it that the model is doing that or that maybe the model itself is something of a nostalgia piece. I have found a very old Slannesh Greater Deamon from GW.. one of the first models I received when I began to collect gaming models properly.. Though no idea why it never got painted up :) 

Epic fail.. well.. I can see a gun split and a black soot covered faced warrior here from WW2 perhaps? 

Defensive terrain.. well.. maybe I can figure something out here in FOW or something for my WW2 USMCs? I dunno really for this, so will really have to investigate it further.. 

L'amour.. well.. really honestly no idea here.. I have a figure from Relic Knights that has hearts in her exhausts? But I doubt that is going to fit in there.. 

Nautical I have ideas for.. some of the Dystopian war models are kicking around ( more americans there ) that could do the trick!

Gambler/Risk Taker.. this I think I have something for it.. Frank from Sin-City could do well. I have a few in different scales that would fit.. though I think this is the last challenge as you also need to send Curt, the organizer, a model pertaining to this theme as part of your entry. So perhaps the Hasslefree version of him might work in this case.. but again will see as we get closer to this time and dates. Just need to keep this all in mind while I begin prep and lining up the models on the desk for painting!

In any case, it shall be fun, and I think if I can accomplish a few of the bonus rounds, I might get closer to my 2500 point goal since each bonus round entry is another 50 points and with 7 of them that works out to be 350 pts extra! Huzzah.. 

Let's see.. now to get home and enjoy some Holiday time off!

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge - 6th Anniversary

Year after year ( at least for the past 6 years ) Curt over at The Analogue Hobbies painting blog has been holding a painting event to help clear through the yearly collection of models. Each year I attempt to join, but end up far too late to catch the sign up phase.

This year I watched his site like a hawk since beginning of November, waiting for the announcement so that I could be a part of it. There being a good reason for this as well.. I have a lot of unpainted, unassembled, unused plastic, metal and resin kicking about that needs work! And with my playing more and more these days ( as compared to the past few years ) now in UK, I think getting some of my table top pieces completed would be a grand thing to have!

Officially it kicked off yesterday, but I don't really like posting on the weekends, and thought it might be a better thing for a Monday morning read through :)

What I can also say is that the past 3-4 weeks I have been feverishly building, gluing, and assembling all my waylaid models lounging in my cupboards as of late.

Below are some of the photos of the work that I have started in on to get going on this..

With my basing materials in hand, and some decent shows on Netflix, I sat down to a few marathon nights with the Mrs in the living room getting everything prepped up here.

First up were some Bauhaus Warzone models, alongside a lone lost German WW2 model. These have been sitting around since my first conventions in UK almost 2 yrs ago..

This group is a mad dash of Raging Hero models for a one Mr Zzzzzzz who has been waiting patiently for them to get finished up. So they are all based now, and will be in the first batches to get painted up.

Above is an Odd Mix of models.. Some Ronin Samurai pieces, some Western models, some more Bauhaus models, some civilians... a real mix of randoms that can work for a variety of gaming systems..

My relic Knight Kickstarter models. There is a painted Noh Hound there, but I will be repainting him to match the rest of the unit. Some of these are still great models, but a lot I cannot really stand. But it would be nice to have 2 full teams painted up, and to give the game a go. Only been sitting around for what can be described as forever now.. and it seems that there is a bit of a community in UK for them. So they might see the light of day at some point!

And then a recent acquisition here in the form of a USMC Bolt Action force. Spent far longer assembling them lately to get the right gear on them than I anticipated, but they will be a nice change of pace compared to playing with my Japanese forces.

And I still have some more to assemble and add to the list.. and I suspect a few random busts and showcase pieces will be added to the lot as and when I have the chance to get them done. Would be a nice break from line painting at times I am sure!

And to see them not in black and white.. here they are now stuffed into 2 large plastic containers ready for prime and paint..

You can catch a few more pieces available there as well which have been assembled long before, but needed some paint. I might even go and finish off the Open Fire FOW boxset I bought last year while at a visit to the tank museum.

Overall though the final list of pieces to be painted ( hopefully ) over this contest are:

  • 105 USMC Infantry models
  • 3 Sherman Tanks
  • 2 Chaffee Tanks
  • 1 M3A1 Halftrack
  • 7 Chaos Marines ( dark vengeance )
  • 20 Cultists ( dark vengeance )
  • 1 Cult Leader
  • 2 Infinity models
  • 35 Catachan Girls ( Raging heroes )
  • 36 Iron Sky Girls ( Raging Heroes )
  • 3 Mini tanks ( FOW )
  • 1 Ork Commando ( Kromlech )
  • 1 Space Commander ( Kabuki models )
  • 3 Western Bio-mercs ( Maulifaux )
  • 1 Macbeth ( Saga )
  • 3 Ottoman Soldiers
  • 3 German HQ ( Warlord )
  • 1 Brit Soldier ( Salute model? )
  • 23 Bauhaus Troops ( Prodos )
  • 1 Bauhaus Walker ( Prodos )
  • 12 Western Models ( Black Scorpion )
  • 18 Ronin
  • 14 Civilians 
  • 8 Tokens ( Soda Pop Miniatures )
  • 25 Doctrine Troops ( Soda Pop Miniatures )
  • 1 Mounted Hero Doctrine ( Soda Pop Miniatures )
  • 17 Noh Infantry ( Soda Pop Miniatures )
  • 1 Mounted Hero Noh ( Soda Pop Miniatures )
  • 1 Plague Daemon Hero ( Forgeworld )
  • 1 Plague Daemon Skidekick ( Forgeworld )
  • 1 Noh Super Dungeon Explorer ( Soda Pop Miniatures )
All told, if I have my math right for what they are worth ( as many of these are larger than 28mm scale ), it should run me for about 1945 pts out of the 2500 pts I was aiming for. Guess I will need those extra models afterall, and also to participate into some of the bonus rounds. Time to put my thinking hat on and see what I can come up for that then!

Anyways.. lots to do now.. holidays are fast approaching.. so the time to line paint and do the mad long hours is upon us! Let's hope my airbrush is up to the challenge and doesn't fall apart on me at the worst moment!

Enjoy the last week before Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Brick 2015... a Lego convention?

So normally I post about miniatures, miniature events, miniature painting, miniature reviews etc.. today I have a slightly different post in that this is a convention review, but for Brick2015.. or the Lego Con of London!

Last week my son received a flyer that had Brick2015 details within it. Explaining how it was in London, and how it was everything and all things about Lego. So naturally he wanted to go.

After making a deal on being good for the week, we decided to pick up tickets and head out to the show. Knowing it was at the ExCel center we also planned out our route, and tried to make the most of the day ( which was to include some time in London since we don't do that enough apparently ).

So bright eyed and bushy tailed, we set off to London via the trains and underground to make our way to ExCel and Brick2015. Uber tired as we left quite early in the morning to "beat the rush". My bad in thinking that more people would attend than actually did.. but at least we had the afternoon to chill in London.

Sam received another free magazine while in the line, and started in on the lego star wars comic held within...

Once inside we were immediately to some of the lego pits to try our hand at some creations. We did a lot at the car race track, but no photos from me ( was too busy building my car! ) but we did get photos of our house that went into the build Britain map! Sam was quite clear on what we wanted to have on the house ( 2 stories and a door like our place ). And then the fun of seeing the lady try to find space on the map for it.

The family chipped in with building part of a mosaic for the convention. Sam's piece was a bit out of the way still it seems, but it would be used in time. By the time he was finished it though we could see that it would be full of xmas like minifigs.. which is pretty wild to see such a piece come together.

We saw this theme come through quite a few times though whereby the participants were helping to build a larger creation. In some cases like this mosaic it was interesting to see, in others not so much. Like the build a snow man or build a Santa. As the there was not much thinking involved more just manual effort ( build a larger brick out of smaller bricks, rinse and repeat ).

The brick pits were interesting, but definitely kid oriented, except for the purple pit. Which had benches and seats, alongside 4 large tubs of just purple bricks to play with.

The master builders section, and the fan section was quite interesting though. People who are mega lego fans bringing in some of their pieces to show off. The top 4 photos there being of photos or videos or pieces, but made completely out of bricks!

Many great pieces from a lot of different builders across many different countries it seems! Many throughout central Europe as well.

Although we skipped past a lot of the events within the event.. Such as things like the Ps4 games, most of the brick pits ( Sam wanted us to join him.. not happening in those ), the shops, and the more strict building sites ( build a snowman or Santa ). But this was just cause junior was not interested or we just didn't have the energy for it.

We did make it to the minecraft tables, but the lego selections by that time were quite slim ( and it was only around 1 or 2 pm ) so Sam was having difficulties getting to build something that he wanted. As compared to the other tables, here he was very clear on what certain colors represented. Blue was water, orange was lava, grey was stone, etc.. and you cannot have a water and lava house obviously...

Overall a great day out with the family. We topped it off with a snack of mini burgers, and a trip to the London Bridge and Xmas fair nearby. A quick stop off at Dark Sphere ( since it is near Waterloo station ) and then home for dinner and an early bed. Since everyone was tired from the mega walk around London and the convention.

Have to say that although the event cost was quite high, Junior did have a ton of fun. So there is a good chance we will go to it once more next year if he is still so into Lego. And the fact that we were able to escape without purchasing anything at the show is double good considering how close to Christmas is already is.

Now to finish off the decoration around the house, and get ready for some much needed family time at home this season!
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