Friday, September 28, 2012

More tidying up ... "odds and sods"

It's been a busy hobby week amidst the 'wind down' from one heck of a school term. Pottering through the boxes of stuff to be done/projects to be completed (searching out anything else remotely interesting for the 20mm Spearhead project) I came across three unpainted GW Imperial Guard Kasyrkin figures that had apparently been surplus to requirements. So these three have now been recruited into the ranks of the Traitor army. Feeling a little lazy I painted all three in the jungle camouflage scheme. It seemed to be the one requiring the least thought.

I also discovered a solitary Imperial Guard officer painted, but missing an arm. He had come with the bulk lot of IG I'd bought already painted several years ago. No arm? Well not entirely 'armless.. but a complete sitter for a mutant.

One mutated arm (well, an Orc arm actually, but somewhat out of proportion for an ordinary human) and another mutant is added to the list.

Never under estimate the value of the old 'spares box' eh??

Now, I have some of those 20mm zombies and zombie dogs on the pins ready for painting for the HotT Undead army.

I must try to figure out why I get that dark area lower right on the photos when I use the flash.. I'm not obscuring anything with fingers, so it's a bit odd. Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

German 75mm IG support: the 20mm Spearhead project rumbles on

While not yet finished with the Soviets, there are gaps in the support weapons available to the 20mm German force. This is important because at the level of command/play represented by Spearhead. It's the significance of support weapons, and the player's ability to use combined arms to defeat the opposing player, that represent the biggest appeal of the rules set. I love what call the 'layering' effect that the rules simulate where variety of weapons systems simply yet effectively build 'layers' of effect that cumulatively erode the effectiveness of the opposing force. The system is simple to play yet effective in simulating outcomes (I have always believed that rules sets are either 'means' focused or 'end' focused. Spearhead is 'end' focused.

I reckon that the Moderns set does this best of all because of the greater variety of support weapon options available to a modern army.

So, the other purchase that I made last weekend was a box of HaT German 75mm Infantry Guns. Spearhead OOBs place one stand of these with the regimental support weapons, so generally I won't need more than one or two of these on the table, but ... well ... there were four in the box, and ... I couldn't help myself.

The only downside is that, in my opinion, HaT, these aren't your best work. Here is the PSR review. The crew sculpting is not high quality, and this detracts from the overall quality of the set. However, they are German 75mm IGs, and you still don't see to many other sets of these around, so I'm grateful to HaT for producing them. They will do the job nicely on the table top.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Russian armour almost complete

My 1943 Russian Tank Corp attack list (using Keith's Scenario Generation System) requires two Tank Brigades which, with HQ stands, comes to 13 x T34 models. By ferreting around amongst the boxes of bits I found another couple of T34's, one of which had been given to me aeons ago (actually quite a few of these T34 models had been given to me by players 'giving up' on WW2 because they couldn't find rules sets that worked for them.. pre-Spearhead days, of course).

This is what I had to work with, with these last two models.

Here is the end result after the application of just a little paint today.

So here are the T34's required for the two tank brigades, plus the Tank Corps HQ. I did decide to leave two of the models in the original khaki colour. I may also base them all, as I like based vehicles.

I also repainted the T34 ARV.. I really quite like this model for some reason. Maybe I'll have to take an engineer detachment just to use it on the table top (and engineers offer useful factors in town sector fighting).

Finally, because they all came with two turrets (remember that? you got a T34/76B and a T34/85 turret in the one kit) I felt that I ought to paint up a few of the later turrets.

Cat hunters, Nick!!!

Those German 75mm IGs are almost done.. photos soon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More KV1's, and a couple of interesting conversions from the archives!!

Latest stage in the 20mm Spearhead project, the completion of the second pair of KV1's. Again these are the Pegasus, although this time the KV1s which were slightly more demanding in their assembly.

Amongst the other vehicles from the 197p0sis this T34A (note the modified mantlet - back in the 70s I cared about that sort of thing), modified as a flame tank.

The flame fuel was held in a tank added to the rear of the vehicle. Not sure that I would have been that keen on crewing this though.

While on the subject of 'cute' conversions from the 1970s, there is this T34 ARV/Engineer vehicle (still covered in dust). There wasn't too much variety in the way of Russian vehicles, so we converted what we could with what was on offer (the Airfix T34). The conversions came from the old Airfix magazine, and I think this ewas one of the famous Ken Musgrove conversions, but I stand to be corrected. No idea if it would have any use on the able, maybe if I took some combat engineers in the OOB, so I'm pondering whether or not I'll give it a coat of that more correct olive green

A footnote: this looks like a lot of vehicles, but it does represent vehicles for two different scenario lists. The heavies are attached to infantry divisions as break through regiments, while the T34's are taken from the armoured division OOB, so they wouldn't appear on the table in the same game. They represent options, and therefore a greater variety of games.

It has always been a concern of mine that we don't end up with the 'track to track' visual appearance that was so common in our games of the 1970s (and that of course is one of many big attractions of playing these games in 6mm); I believe that force density is very important in games. Nick and I hope to try a game or two over this term break so I'll post photos, and we'll be interested in feedback.

In the meantime, the other purchase last weekend was some HaT German 75mm IGs to support the infantry battalions. I've actually enjoyed this brief flirtation with vehicle modelling again, but now back to guns and figures. I'm much more comfortable painting them.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pegasus KV1 kitsets

Oh the relief... the Pegasus KV1 models, that is. Having picked up a couple of boxes on Sunday, I set too to assemble the first two from the box. Now it's probably over twenty years since I assembled a plastic tank kitset, so yep I'm a little out of practice. Even so, these kits are a joy to assemble. The accuracy of the molding is such that when I came to dry fit several pieces (the hull top to the remainder of the hull, and the turret top to the bottom, for example) the fit was so good there was no need for glue, they simply clipped into place. On many of the pieces there is a locating key molded into the piece to make sure that it is easy to fit into place with 100% accuracy.

The kit comes with four turrets, two of each design shown below. I chose to assemble both variants from the kitset. I like the visual variety on the table top.

They have been painted with the Flames of War (Vallejo made under license, I think?) Russian tank green. The running gear and the rear deck were given a wash with Citadel 'Tinbitz' before the whole vehicle as given a black wash. Finally the vehicle was 'lined out' using a lighter shade of the original green.

Yep, these will do the job. Another two to assemble (it's term break, so I've already started) to give the attack list option with a heavy tank regiment, and a breakthrough regiment, to support the two weak infantry regiments.

Pegasus kits: based on this experience, highly recommended.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

T34's in the 'green'

More vehicle renovation last night (can you tell that term break has started??) ... four T34/76B's repainted in the Soviet olive green, eliminating a couple of the slightly bizarre colour schemes that you can see in the previous post.

The vehicle front right is one of several small conversions I did in the 70s.. the vehicle has boxes on the rear that housed 'smoke candles'. The idea was that the vehicle drove around emitting smoke from these boxes so laying a smoke screen. Cute ... although not a lot of value in Spearhead. However these things create some nice visual diversity on the table top.

This morning I picked up a couple of boxes of those Pegasus KV1's (quick assembly) to create the 'break through' regiment to supplement the Infantry Division attack list... YES!!!, and a box of German 76mm IG to support the German infantry battalions... honestly Lorraine, I'm just finishing old projects, not starting yet another project, no.. seriously, just finishing....

Forcing the Uvarova

The vastness and the difficulty of the terrain through the Caucasus meant that by 1915 there were still avenues to be explored if victory wa...