Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Quick Update

Hello everyone,
it has been a bit quiet in this corner of my hobby life...

My new job took a lot of energy from me (especially the late shifts till midnight) and I've had a lot of non-hobby-related stuff to do (as most of us, I guess).

So what IS going on?

I finished a 3-part review of the excellent Age of Tyrants for Bell of Lost Souls, which will be published over the next couple of days.
Additionally, I got a couple of their tanks to review, too, of which two are with a friend of mine who runs his own painting service to be made pretty.

A first glimpse at on of the Age of Tyrants tanks I got to review

Next I'll write my 2015 review (for BoLS, too), which means I am going and I  through all the posts on the Fix for this year - quite an effort!

Then there are multiple painting projects that need to be finished - foremost a bunch of Sigmarites I am painting as a commission, but I also started a vignette with modern soldiers, the 15mm diorama, and some bits and pieces for Frostgrave and DBA.

Spears to Blades - quite fiddly in 10mm :)

Talking about DBA - I did finish my army and played the tournament at the start of December, and I actually won! Well, it only had 5 players, but winning three out of four games was a very pleasant chnage from losing every match in my first two competitions. I guess it is true that miniatures painted by yourslef fight harder :)

I am still contemplating if I want to push to get a 1000 points Hungarian army for Bolt Action done in  the next 6 weeks to have them ready for an upcoming tournament - but I still haven't decided which infantry to use for conversions....

So, that was the short catch-up, I hope there will be more and better structured content soon.

Happy Holidays and see you in a bit!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Spray and Pray

I started with the 15mm SciFi diorama and painted the vehicles.

First, I used black spray paint as a foundation:

Then I apllied the the Anarchy Models stencil vinyl:

Next was a layer of light grey:

And more stencils:

Follwed by the main color:

The Tamiya spray is pretty good and the layers are reasonably thin. Now came the most exciting part - removing the vinyl bits:

I am quite pleased with the results. Of course the Anarchy Models masking vinyl is not designed to be used with spray cans, but the "stepping" is not too bad. The vinyl left some residue, I guess because of the rather hot temperatures around here, but those rub off easily. I think that the paint from the can is more likely to get under the vinyl than paint from an airbrush.

Now I should go back and paint some 10mm Normans - they need to be ready by sunday ;)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tiny Normans Part I

first, sorry for the long break. I wanted to post this last week, but then I had some trouble with my laptop and so it took a lot longer to get this one done than I wanted.

With a new DBA tournament coming up in early December Inow  started to build my 10mm Norman army.
Because my Normans are 10mm I am going to double base everything (i.e. use 6 miniatures on a 3Kn element) which I think is a great way to make the army even more impressive.

With what I have I can easily make enough elements to play Western Franks / Normans as well as Eastern Franks.

The spearmen line up very nicely into a solid block:

As do the bowmen:

These are two element of psiloi with crossbows (I fixed the "upright" weapons by now and removed the surplus metal bits):

But of course the main bulk of the army are the knights:

I had to cut the bases myself because I only got 40x20 bases. Front right is a base of camp followers.
Talking about the camp, I also started to build a Norman wwatchtower/keep:

 I'll add some windows and a gate made out of plastic card.

Most of the bases still need to be done, and of course there is the small issue of painting the 107 miniatures in the army... Well, at least I've started already ;)

I also did some work on the 15mm SciFi vehicles I showed a couple of weeks before. Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures soon!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Anarchy from the UK

So, time for a new post. Real life got in the way of my hobby time a lot recently, and I started to work on a german version of the Afterlife rules, so I am just going to show some new hobby material that arrived at my doorstep: Stencils from Anarchy Models

They are designed to be used with an airbrush (which I don't own) but I am pretty confident that they will work with Tamiya spray cans. I'll use the digital camo on the 15mm miniatures for the display I was talking about before.

The material is vinyl, which makes them quite adhesive by themselves, and there is a lot of stencils on each sheet. They are supposed to be reusable, but I don't think that will work out if I use a spray can. Here is a picture of the actual diamond grid sheet:

The stencils above are all from the HD series. There is also a HS series which has thicker, less flexible material. That makes them easier to clean and to last longer:

In other news, a friend of mine who's running his own painting studio outsourced some basic work to me, so I have to take care of a bunch of Sigmarines this week:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fulda Gap - Optional Rules: NBC Environment

A major conflict between NATO and the WarPac could have led to the deployment of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. Even if not, a battlefield might be covered in smoke and fumes from burning chemical plants or refineries, or a nuclear power plant went critical during the chaos of the fighting.
NBC environments demand troops to wear specialized personal protection gear and gas masks, significantly affecting their ability to fight. Additionally, a “hot” battlefield put increased psychological pressure on the combatants.

I therefore wrote some rules to represent these circumstances which can be used if both players agree.
If a scenario takes place in a NBC environment, the following rules come into effect:

Decreased visibility
Billowing smoke and protection gear make it hard to see.
All weapon and command ranges are halved.

Strained Nerves
The increased threat of a horrible death makes even hardened veterans more cautious.
Every unit that received three or more pin markers in one turn must go down, or if that is not possible (for example because the unit already received an order in this turn), receive another D3 pin markers (only apply additional pin marker once, i.e. every time a third pin marker is given to a unit and it can't go down. Subsequent pin markers do not trigger the effect again unless the unit has recovered to less than three pin markers in the meantime).

High Mortality
Even a close miss that breaks the seal of a soldier's gear might prove fatal in such a hostile environment.
All attacks gain +1 on to wound rolls. This does not affect penetration against vehicles or structures.
HE weapons cause one additional hit for every die they roll, (D6+1, 2D6+2, ...)

Button Up
The additional protection of an armored carrier looks way more promising than the hell outside.
Infantry must pass a morale check to dismount armored transports. Armored transports must pass a morale check to allow infantry to mount.

I haven't tried these rules so far, but I think they will change the dynamics of the game towards a more "cat-and-mouse"-style.
They should also work quite fine in a "What-if" game of Bolt Action in which one side decided to use chemical weapons. For such a game ignore the "Button Up" rule because there are no armored transports.

Some of the phrasing about artillery might sound weird, but it will become clear once I've posted the updated artillery rules later this week. 

In other news, I almost gave up on the Team Yankee novel. Only 25 pages to go, but I haven't touched the book in days.

I hope the weather will be fine today and I can spray paint some of the 15mm miniatures.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

15mm SciFi Display - Part 1

For quite some times I was playing around with the idea of building some kind of display. A couple of weeks ago I received my 15mm Ranger Project Salamander Mech, but at that time I wasn't too keen to do anything with it. Now I was rummaging through my hobby room (in fact, my significant other pointed out that it is in utter need of being tidied up...) and I found some more 15mm miniatures and terrain. So instead of doing my chores I started toying around with these things ;)

First, a closer look at the Salamander. The Kickstarter was kind of a disappointment with long periods of total silence, kits showing up on ebay before they were delivered to backers and at some point the general assumption that the caster run with both the models and the money. So I was rather surprised to actually finding the model in my mailbox.

The Salamander has some 20+ parts, including about 5 for which I couldn't figure out where they are supposed to go:

I also got some alternative weapons and the sniper head:

The quality is okay for a small-batch production. There is flash and some bubbles, but nothing broke and details are generally sharp:

Assembly is straight-forward. I washed the parts in warm soapy water and used liquid superglue:

But as expected the skinny legs are a problem, as well as the small feet. Those are made in a way that only 3 of the 4 toes touch the ground. It took some support to put these parts together, and the finished model is very top-heavy and prone to fall over backwards.

I decided not to use the hands of the kit. The lower arms look like weapons and I think it adds to the martial appearance of the Salamander. Despite its flaws I am very pleased with the look of the finished model:

The other 15mm sets I have are tanks and infantry from Darkest Star Games and modular buildings from Tehnolog. Here is a first rough set-up for a display board:

Next I'll have to find a good picture frame that can be used for the display and decide on a color scheme. At the moment I think of concrete for the terrain and urban camo for the troops, maybe splinter pattern.