Monday, 3 November 2014

Overload, overlord, overrun

Welcome back, feels like its been a while.

I don't know what got me thinking today. But something triggered in the dormant thing i call a brain.
I was off into Norwich for a job interview (fingers crossed on that one), and my brain was flitting around a virtual GW with thoughts of my High elves, wanting lizardmen and craving the stomping feet of knights and titans.
In truth it was probably a good thing GW were closed as no doubt another impulse buy would have happened, much to the chargrin of my long suffering fiancee.

But thoughts of hobby just would not rest.

You see i find myself at a moment in time. Since i moved to Norfolk, gaming has been at a premium and suddenly i find myself a member of the 'Aftermath' wargames club.
It's fantastic, but to a hobby A.D.D sufferer it brings up all those shiny moments.

I recently bought a copy of operation icestorm for the infinity game, luck would have it that it then got followed up by another copy won from Corvus Belli, the makers of infinity. It's a great game, has great scope and will allow me to unleash the sci-fi/Manga maniac. I am trying to push my hobby limits with the game and last night experimented with Zenithal highlights. I don't know if it will work, my first and usually overly critical reaction was FAIL. But, I'm going to forge on and see what it looks like with the full model painted.

Aside from that i can see games of Bolt Action in the future and maybe a possible return to the dust covered streets of Malifaux.

But it leaves me pondering my other Games/models.
There is a 2400 high elf army waiting for paint, most would scream beard staring at it with its 20 phoenix guard totting the banner of the world dragon.
There is my dropzone stuff, UCM and Scourge painted starters and a 50% painted shaltari army. All waiting for wars they may never see.
Then it gets more obscure....
Firestorm armada, deadzone, dreadball, kings of war, dystopian wars. There is even a on the sprue German bolt action army. Games craving to be played and games that may never see the light of day.

So much fun, so little time.
I don't really know the reason for this post. I guess i just needed to throw my thoughts down and put them out there.
Aside from the Bolt Action Brits and inevitable Infinity stuff. I don't have a clue where my hobby is headed. I know i tried Kings of War and enjoyed it even though i detest restic. I also crave (along with carol) a return to Malifaux. Though my Mali days ceased in m1.5 and the game has swept along into a much different looking m2e.
I guess the futures a bit muddled. Games for sure, painting and frustrations aplenty and somewhere in amongst it all a plan for a new tattoo.

Wish me luck folks. Got a feeling I'm gonna need it.

Monday, 13 October 2014

too much time is a bad time.

Morning long suffering bloggies...
was that even a word...well if your reading this yet again, you will know nothing is 'normal' on this blog. I mean it's all there, right in the name.

But anyways...enough of that.

Ever noticed how the weather can affect your hobby and i don't mean in a 'oh bugger it's raining and i can't undercoat' kind of way.
I set out with the intention of getting some serious painting done over yesterday and today. But the weather rolled in and it's been dark, dull, wet and windy...kinda like a really bad girlfriend/boyfriend.
The knock on effect has been no hobby thus far. I just want to curl up on the sofa, ipad in hand, heating on and drink tea.

It's not a bad thing i guess, well unless you want to paint etc. Or like me, you have too much time suddenly.
Then you kinda get the itch to surf twitter. See beautifully painted Pan O Infinity models painted by Mark Sheppard aka gorillawizard.
That stuff is not good for my health and half hour later there i am pondering ordering Infinity Operation Icestorm from 'the wargaming trader'.
Well you know my resistance to these things.
But i did try and i did really ponder as i only knew of 2 other players in the area.
But a short conversation on the Infinity facebook page and it turns out there is more like 8 or 10.
Bugger. Ordered. Oh and Aftermath wargaming club joined.

Much like Mario Ballotellytubby i have to ask. Why ME?

Oh yeah i am a wargamer.

So more poor than before.

But i will finally get to scratch that Dominion Tank Police/Akira/Venus Wars itch.

Now i just need the effects of this bad weather to clear off, so i can stop wanting to be an OAP who wraps up in thermals and slippers drinking tea and get back to the wargamer armed with an airbrush and absolutely no idea what i am doing.

Have fun folks.

Friday, 10 October 2014

all good clogs come to those who wait.

Somethings never go as planned.
Sons of horus pft...

But lets go back to this morning.
For some reason i woke up with the urge to crack on and paint my Dropzone Commander Shaltari force, i also wanted to get the basecoat down on my Sicaran as well.

It started out well, good intentions and all that. I thought a few days the sons of horus were the way forwards, then changed my mind to imperial fists and purchased the vallejo model air paints to paint the sicaran up in fist colours. Then 2 days ago i started reading Angel Exterminatus. Oooops Iron Warriors it is then.
Today also started with me intending on a new easier scheme for my shaltari. Maybe making use of those extra yellow paints.

So off i went to the hobby room. I happily laid down a full coat of metallic black on the tank and aside from a few clogs on the airbrush all went well. (The airbrush im using is my back up brush and a suction feed and it clogs up no end, no matter how well you clean it and thin the paints).

Then i turned my attentions to the shaltari. Picked up a model and looked at one of the earlier painted models and a random and unusual though hit me. It went something like 'actually these look cool'. So a few colour swaps for the pallet and off i went into the merry go round of airbrush clogdom.

A good few hours passed with me hidden behind my respirator mask...the mask was probably a good thing, as was the loud music as it blanked out a large portion of the interesting swear word combinations i was muttering as i cleared another clog.

But at the end of it. I had this to show for it.

And my full 1500pts of Dropzone Commander Shaltari

Not a bad days work, the shaltari are coming along and i am really happy with the silver on the Sicaran Venator so far.

Monday, 22 September 2014

AfterBolt2 After Action Report

Welcome back to the hovel of madness fellow readers.

Wow, what can i say about the last few weeks.
In a blind panic i had to paint the best part of half my Bolt Action British Airborne army in just over a week.
Tears, tantrums, purity sealing frosty frustrations and a testors dullcote miracle. All this and more, built up to a crescendo as i took on my first ever adventure into the tournament scene.

On Sunday i ventured off to Aftermath Gaming Clubs second annual Bolt Action tournament. With a 1000pts of British Airborne i joined forces with other allied commanders to square off against the nefarious forces of the Axis powers.
Nerves jangled, going into the day i had a massive 2 games of Bolt Action under my belt and my expectations were low.

Registration complete, i waited nervously for my 1st game.

Table 10 vs Godfrey and his Germans in the Demolition mission. For those not familiar with BA. Both players have 50% of their forces on the table and 50% off table. Both armies nominate a 'base' that the opposing player has to capture.
Looking across the table my heart dropped. A flampanzer tank faced me and i knew how ill prepared my 12th Para force was to face off against armour.
Both sides gingerly probed across the battlefield over turn 1 with very little fire, though an opening salvo for my medium mortar team, put a German mortar to the sword.
Spying a large wood over the horizon, my Forward observer contacted base for artillery support and waited.
As turn 2 began, shells whizzed overhead, but where would they fall (anyone familiar with my FOO exploits knew that my own troops would be cowering in fear). But not this time, the artillery fell bang on target, knocking out a German gun in the woods and splintering trees. Alas the infantry that had been hiding up until then, cleared out of the woods just in time to escape.

As the turn progressed, both sides gained reinforcements and manoeuvred to better exploit any openings. The flampazer began its reign of terror immolating my flamethrower team in an example of 'my guns bigger than yours. Then its machine gun claimed the life of a mortar man.

Turn 3 and a slow paced game got urgent as i misheard the call of '45 minutes remaining' and thought they said 15 minutes.....
The flampanzer continued its reign of terror as it immolated half an infantry squad protecting my base. My Howitzer failed to do anything and a speculative mortar shot sailed off into the distance. My back against the wall, fearing time running out and chances. I threw my 2 recce jeeps at the enemy objective. Multiple Panzerfausts later and only 1 remained and only because he slammed the jeep into revers. Foiled.
Turn 4 got under way and a call of 30 minutes was made...hang on...what. Noooooo. My mistake realised. I knew i was battling to survive my first tournament game.
One of my medium mortars came to the rescue though as it landed a round square onto the flampanzer and immobilised it. The gun could still reek havoc but it would never get to roll onto my base.
A German puma rolled in from outflank on my right flank. But was summarily stunned into submission, when a squad of brave Paras charged into combat with it!. A speculative shot then put the enemy commander to the sword as the game ground to a close.
A draw the result as i took 6vp and my opponent 5.

Game 2 saw me move up to table 3 and face Darren's German armoured force Point Defence. An army i felt was more than deserving of the title 'Best Painted'. But like the game that was about to unfold, Darren's luck evaded him.
I took the defence roll and dug in as his force threw themselves at me.
Turn 1 saw a spot prize awarded to me in the form of a Sarissa Spot light as my voice boomed out Fuuuuubar. What fubar you may flamethrower team who in their blind panic at an earlier artillery bombardment, decided my commander was German and proceeded to roast him alive, not content with their achievement they then ran out of fuel and left the battlefield to many a allied cat call.
The rest of the game went my way though and dice came up trumps for the Paras as they put squad after squad to death and managed to avoid the attentions of German mortar fire and a Stuug tank. The final insult being mt sniper picking out Darren's officer with a cross board shot.
Final VP was 11-1.

Game 3 came about and i found myself at the dizzying heights of table 1 vying for the chance to be a tournament only my 5th game of Bolt Action.
My opponent was Dave's Japanese hoard, with the Tourney Organiser gently pointing out my newbishness in a plea for mercy, battle commenced in the 'Maximum Attrition' (straight up kill each other fight) mission.
What ever pleas had been made fell on deaf ears as not only did Dave continue his horrendous Japanese assault, but my luck dragon that had been flying so well, vanished. 1s to hit and double 6s and high rolls for leadership plagued me and by turn 3 i knew i was out of the game and vying not to be tabled.
With vengeance in their hearts my Recce jeeps claimed the life of Dave's commander and as turn 6 came to a close the only survive British troops were the crew of a loan mortar, facing off against an almost entire Japanese army. But my small aim was achieved and i failed to be tabled.
Final vp 1-11.

As everyone cleared away we gathered for the prizes and results.
Last years winner suffered a horrendous fall from grace picking up the wooden spoon or as it was called 'rubber bullet' as he was awarded literally a clip of rubber bullets.
Various other prizes went around for the people who went from highest to lowest after game 1 and vice versa.

Then the hobbyist award was announced. Based on Painting, presentation and fluff. I fully expected Darrens Germans to take the prize and was utterly shocked when my name was called. To be honest even now i feel a tad guilty as i felt his army outshone mine.
I am still in shock now.

The rankings were next up with a replica Victoria cross going to the top allied general and a replica iron cross to the top axis commander.
I cant remember the name of the top allied commander (sorry fuzzy brained i am). But i came in 3rd for the Allies. Dave and his Japanese went on to take the top prizes for winner, axis commander, casualties caused.

So at the end of the day after all was said and done, a pretty good day. Losing out only to the eventual champion, taking home best hobbyist and having some good honest fun games.

Of course to round of the rambling wreck of a expect pics and who am i to refuse. Incommmmming!

Prize hall , yaaaaar he be ma booty.

Darren's stunning Germans who i felt should have won Best Painted

and now for my stuff.

My display board for the day..that involved countless abusive words when trying to get the foliage on the trees!

My full army on display

2nd Lieutenant

Sniper Team

Forward Observer team

Flame Thrower team

Para Section 1

Para Section 2

Para Section 3

Para Section 4

Para Medium Mortar 1

Para Medium Mortar 2

75mm Howitzer

and finally my pair of Recce Jeeps

So there we go folks, something i haven't fielded in many years. A fully painted army!!!

Oh and for anyone not yet bored.
Here's the fluff i presented with my army.

Battle of Bréville
The battle of Bréville took place in the days following d-day. Fought between June 7th and June 12th 1944, It pitched elements of the 6th Airborne division, 1st Commando battalion, 12 Battalion of The Devonshire Regiment, 12th Independent battalion and the 13th/18th Royal Hussars.
The force you are facing is comprised elements of the 12th Parachute Battalion from the night of June 12th 1944, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Johnson. These men would lead the final assault to clear the German presence from Bréville.
On 6 June 1944, the 6th Airborne Division landed in Normandy to secure the left flank of the British landing zone. The division's objectives were to capture intact the Caen canal bridge, the Orne river bridge, destroy the Merville gun battery and the bridges crossing the River Dives.
The division's two parachute brigades, landing in the early hours of 6 June, were scattered across the countryside during the parachute drop. They did,however carry out all of their objectives.
The 6th Airborne Division, now with the commandos of the 1st Special Service Brigade under command, had to defend the Orne bridgehead. This was not an easy task as it had to face elements of the 21st Panzer Division from the south and the 346th and 711th Infantry Divisions from the east.
The airborne division's brigades prepared to hold the positions they had captured, with the 5th Parachute Brigade, as the division's depth formation, dug into the east of the River Orne bridge.The 6th Airlanding Brigade was in the south between Longueval and Hérouvillette.
The two remaining brigades dug in along a ridge of high ground that, if lost, offered the Germans a position to look down on the British landing zone. The 1st Special Service Brigade was in the north on a line from Hauger to Le Plein. In between the commandos and the airlanding brigade was the 3rd Parachute Brigade.
Their defensive line, however, was incomplete, as the small village of Bréville-les-Monts, between the commandos and the 3rd Parachute Brigade, was held by the Germans. Located on the ridge line it gave the Germans a view into Ranville, at the heart of the British position, the two captured bridges and in the distance Sword beach.
The battle for Bréville
Between June 7th and 10th, The allied forces had to fend off numerous attacks from the German forces in and around Bréville. As the Germans gathered strength in the village of Bréville, it became apparent that the allied forces would need to take the village to secure the line.
Elements of the British 1st Corps were ordered to reinforce the 6th Airborne division. This included the 51st Highland Infantry division and the 5th Battalion Black watch, who were ordered to prepare for an assault on Bréville.
June 11th.
At 04:30 on June 11th, supported by artillery fire, the 5th Battalion of the Black Watch launched their attack. Crossing the 250 metres of open ground towards Bréville would cost the Black Watch 200 men and see their attack fail.
June 12th.
General Gale realised that to relieve the pressure on the allied lines he had to take the village as soon as possible. The only forces left at his disposal were 12th Para, D company the Devonshire regiment, 13/18th Royal Hussars Tank regiment and 3 field artillery regiments with 25pdr guns.
Hoping to catch the Germans off balance after the previous assault. The attack was launched at 22.00.
What happened next of course will be decided by the games you are about to play.
But for historical accuracy, 12 Para lost 126 men, leaving its 3 rifle companies with just 35 men between them. By the end of the battle every officer, warrant officer and sergeant major had been killed.
The Germans however, would not attempt to break through 6th Airborne's lines again.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Project Pegasus and adventures in weathering

Well making the most of my day off. Today i set about weathering the bridge and road network.

This throws up some challenges. 1 I don't generally weather anything, 2 i have never even tried pigments and 3 i have never even touched oil paints.

So with those points in mind. I set off on a grand adventure of sorts.

Many hours later the mad scientist exited his lair and thus was revealed his madness...also known's some pics.

Overall i am pretty happy with the effect. Enough so that i don't plan on going back and doing anything more to the bridge (other than painting the road barriers).

Next up, Painting the cafe, bunker, telegraph poles and sandbags.

Monday, 18 August 2014

I had the i need the bridge!

So it's been about a week and a half since my last update.

My holiday over and returning to work has slowed my progress a bit, along with the mayhem of my children still visiting :).

But progress has been made!

I still need to weather the bridge, paint the cafe gondree and bunker and the little odds and ends like sandbags. But just over 3 weeks from embarking on the project to salvage an old board and turn it into a pegasus bridge board, the end is in sight!.

But ofcourse you want pics and who am i to disappoint!

 Now to chase some elusive sleep!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Bolt action and a proud achievment.

Welcome back for the latest update on my 2 week battle to turn a battered old gaming table into something worthwhile.

As you may recall i started out with this.

Well after some swearing, experiments and prayers, the board has taken on a great deal of changes. Long suffering readers will have seen recent pics of the project as it has progressed along.
Well the main board is now finished. I just have to paint the buildings etc to call it done (Just...he says!)
But of course you want some pics to look at right..... well?

Who am i to argue.

Bridge board complete.

Throw on some unpainted scenery annnnnd

Now some folks on various forums have asked for measurements of the bridge etc. So here goes (more self gratifying images to follow after)

Bridge span end to end

River Width

Narrowest point on the river (between the 2 support piers)

Now back to the fun the pics.
Views from the 2 ends of the board, looking across the bridge

 Now you know i had to get some models down on the board...i am a gamer after all.

It all looks so peaceful from the cafe Gondree

But cross the bridge and its Achtun Fallschirmjager!!! As the men of the Ox and Bucks break from the treeline to assault the bridge.

I took some more pics of the troops moving out of the trees. But well this is WW2 and colour photography was well into its infancy, so some photoshop fun and suddenly its June 6th 1944 again!!

Over my years in wargaming i have taken many pics of models and games. But this one pretty much stands as my ALL TIME favourite. I literally get goosebumps looking at it. I hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

Well that's the update for now folks. Might be quiet for a few days. I need to prepare myself for the painting of the bridge, i also need to spend some time with my kids and somewhere between now and late September, i need to paint about 500pts of British airborne for a tournament too.

May your dice never roll a 1.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Project pegasus 1 step forward

So over the last few days i have continured my frantic hacking, cutting and plastering of this poor board.

9 packs of wall filler, some woodchip wallpaper and a metric gallon of pva glue. Plus countless hours, some interesting language and 1 poor plaster coated dog later.

And i am almost ready to throw some paint at the board.

Its been a labour of love and frustration so far.

Some ideas have been tried, discarded and sworn at.
Some have been successfull and some have been utter fails.

But they have bought me to this point.

Just waiting for the road surfaces and river bed to dry before finally hitting the board with paint.

Up the Ox and Bucks.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

I love the smell of burning polystyrene in the evening.

So lessons learned today.
Polystyrene is messy, it also sticks to absolutely anything!!
Hot airguns make a unusual smell when introduced to polystyrene.
Rejuvenating secondhand wargames tables is a long process.

But ofcourse these lessons mean more progress has been made.

I started off by removing the top covering of old green matting.
Carving out the river and shaping the banks.
Then i lifted out the 2 land sections to reglue them to the board as they were incredible loose.
Trenches were cut in and the whole board textured up with some light passes with a hot air gun.
Finally i made a start on plastering the slope and 'pier'. The rest of the road surfaces will be added after a visit to a diy shop tomorrow.

But pics are what you all want. So here goes.

Main bridge end of the board with the gun emplacement fixed in and banks/trenches carved in. (the trench bases will be raised significantly to allow models to see out of them)

Opposite bank, where the second set of trenches are located along with the site for the 'cafe Gondree'

Now with the scenery placed but not fixed as theres lots of work to do setting the bridge height and levelling off ground.

Main bridge end with control tower, slop and gun pit, along with rough positions of telegraph lines.

Opposite bank with cafe gondree etc

Best attempt at an overhead pic (boards so big its hard to photograph)

Finally the obligatory cross  bridge pic

Thats enough fun for this evening me thinks, i need to dwell on how the hell i am going to 'make' the river look good.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Back to Bolt Action

Welcome back long suffering bloggers.

Well the last few weeks have been somewhat ... interesting.

3 weeks solid decorating and reorganising has seen me lose my hobby space. But today i got it reclaimed!!
But alas my Dropzone commander gaming group has swapped nights and left me in limbo.

So in an attempt not to lose the decent turn of painting i have had this year, i thought i would turn my attention back to my Warlord Games Bolt Action stuff.
I have a tournament in september.
But today was not about that.

Today i took an old relic of a gaming board and introduced it to some violent force with a claw hammer.

It started the day looking like this.

After a few hours spent hacking at it with a claw hammer to remove the 'scenery', followed by some serious photo observation, research and marker pen/ruler time.
It began to look like this

Now this is all in order to finally get me working on my Pegasus bridge model.

With some basic components in place, you get the idea of where i am heading

I hope eventually to have something that resembles this. A long way above what i can achieve but i can aspire.

So thats the plan....only time will tell if i succeed or fail.