Saturday, 9 March 2019

Charicon Bolt Action Tournament

I took part in the Bolt Action tournament held during the two day Charicon Event.
I was not really prepared for the event even though I had signed up before Christmas. Originally my plan had been to use an American Infantry force with an M16 and two Jeeps containing Bazooka teams plus a Veteran Paratrooper section. However I did some playtesting against a German Veteran Force using a Panther as a proxy for a Puma Armoured Car. I found a few issues with the force, mainly the very old paint jobs and my use of 1/50th scale vehicles so decided to go with the German Force instead. Now my Germans were painted over ten years ago but I was still very happy with them but needed to paint up a Puma quickly. The Friday before I managed to put the wheels on the Puma (which are still unglued) and did not have time to any camouflage other than a black wash (which I created myself). 

My Force was Veteran German Infantry of three full strength squads which had 2 LMGs, a Panzerfaust, an assault rifle and a SMG for the NCO. I had two HQ's which I found out was over kill, an HMG and the Puma.

The first day I had two games which I lost. My first opponent was very patient and explained the rules which I did not really know having only used Version 1 for solo games. He used a Russian Infantry Force but as I forgotten to take my Camera with me the first day I did not get any photos of them.

 The second game was harder as my opponent was a very competitive player using Japanese Infantry. I found out that I had  mixed up some rules with FOW like pinning. One other thing that caught me out was he had 7 Infantry-men standing in the open as close as he could move them to me. I thought I could shoot them easily but he pointed out that he had six men in a building and two with bases just inside the building making them all in cover. Later I thought I should have called him on the two partially in the building. So many options for adding secret Police etc that I could not really get an idea of what figures belonged to what unit.

The second day I took my camera but was too busy to take many photos. The organiser had also said that we could change our forces around as the Tournament was being run as a casual one. One player was using two Armies plus another had to pull out on the second day due to the weather. I had decided to drop my second Hq and split my squads into two giving me six sections and using the spare points added a Mortar (mistake) with spotter and more assault rifles.

The first game I played an old friend who used to Play Test FOW together. It was just like old times. He was using British Paras which I managed to out manoeuvre to just get a win.

The last game was against an old Club mate who I had not seen for at least ten years. He had a really impressive Early German Infantry unit with a couple of trucks, a Panzer IV and an Armoured Car.  The Scenario was Envelopment. I was successful in keeping his units out of my deployment area and destroyed a section but he won by driving a truck off the table. I guess I was concentrating too much on trying to kill his Panzer IV and the armoured Car. I had the armoured car pinned for most turns but my Panzerfausts never hit anything all weekend. The Puma was also destroyed in a shoot out with the PIV.

All in all a good weekend where i learnt quite a bit. I took some of my terrain along but was too late to set it up as the organiser had already done that and had enough. I was very happy with the Puma but may downgrade the Infantry to Regular and add a Hetzer and a SDKFZ250 and will definitely drop the Mortar. I may have to drop some of the squads to achieve this. Alternatively I may just go for an Early German list as I have plenty of Early War vehicles and tanks painted up.

My German Force

Not the Russian Force I played against 

Life got in the way. How often have I seen that when reading other Blogs?

 I often wonder just what that means as its usually left unexplained. Well life has been getting in the way of the hobby for most of this year for me. Over the Xmas break I had been working in my Garden while we had good weather leaving me too tired and hot to paint much at night. Then as soon as I went back to work I had to help my partner tidy up her house as she was changing rental agency and getting new tenants in. We worked a few evenings and weekends hanging curtains, touching up paint, fixing squeaky stairs and tidying the place up. Sounds easy but when you are unfamiliar with someone else property then its harder than working on your own. Then the Friday before Charicon I was advised that we were taking industrial Action on the following Monday and perhaps Tuesday. This was on my mind all weekend and put a dampener on the event for me but I don't think it effected my playing. I went back to work on the Wednesday which was uncomfortable and then at 4 o'clock found that a bus had hit the Car parked behind mine which was then propelled into mine pushing it two meters down the road and into the curb. I was in limbo for a week and had to hire a car so I could work. On Thursday I was advised that it will be repaired so I am still using a hire car. All this disruption has eaten into my time and patience for my hobby. The one high point is that last Wednesday I attended my New Zealand Citizenship Ceremony. Its only taken me forty years to get around to do this but totally worth it.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Pioneers, NNC Ammo and Porters.

I finished these well over a week ago but life has been too busy since Christmas to take and post photos. I based these figures as singles so they could be used for other games like Congo and will also be able to be deployed around encampments etc.

I've had the movement trays for years as they were intended to be used for Zombie movement trays. Unfortunately I found out that not all GW style bases are the same size. The ones I got from EM4 and other places were too big to fit once they were painted. However these were already painted grey with sand texturing so it was a simple matter to repaint and put some flock and grass on them. I have two more trays ready for some British figures which I will do later on.

As I did not have enough figures to fill each tray with the same type of figure I raided the spares box and did some converting. The figures are a mix of Foundry AZW and Darkest Africa figures, Casting Room, Black Tree and a Warlord plastic.  The converted Black Tree Zulu Chief reminds me of Errol Brown so wonder what chant they will be singing?

The flesh tone looks much better and less glossy in reality.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Goals for 2019

This is something I don't normally do (making plans). I usually just go with the flow and see what develops with the exception of trying to get more units painted for which ever major project I am working on. I try and do a few units just for a novelty or to add to some other project. So here goes.

1, More gaming. The new Club that had started in the area had to close due to lack of numbers. We had about 6 people turning up regularly and playing on two tables, but with ten (I think) paying members there just was not enough money to pay the rent. I have joined up with my old Club. The Warlords and have had one game there which was a pleasant but unexpected turn of events. (A Zulu only Black Powder game). I want to host a WAT game at my place but have been too disorganised over Christmas to arrange. I have signed up for a Bolt Action tournament but am not going to paint anything for it as I have enough old figures etc stored away.

2. Finish something. I am currently trying to finish my Zulu War Armies and lost focus a bit lately but am in the process of completing a NNC unit carrying supplies with some Pioneers.
The Berlin Buildings have been pushed back a bit as I am waiting for  some warm weather to cast a batch of windows for the 3rd and 4th buildings. The figures have also been moved down the queue as I have been distracted.
I also have a Platoon of British Commandos that need finishing so they can be used.
I have a Turkish Army but only a few British or ANZAC bits to oppose them.
My Robin Hood Collection have an Unpainted French Force to be painted and some English Knights to protect King Richard.

3. Less novelty units. I painted my Goliaths as I wanted something Necromunda wise to play with. However I then signed up with two Necromunda Facebook Groups and now this has become a major project. The Arbites Team was an unplanned project. I also have enough terrain for a 6x4 table that need finishing construction and painting.

4. No new projects. Yeah right. Warlord Games brought out Cruel Seas which is something that has always interested me as I had great Uncles who were in the Merchant Navy. I didn't like the look of 1/600th or there about ships but the 1/300th scale looks right to me. Most people stick 1/600th scale ships on large bases anyway. It also looks like something you can take to a club and play with random people. Shame about the issues they are having with the rules and missing components but I will stick with it. I have just undercoated 15 ships/boats so this project will be a quick one.

5. New additions to old Projects. There is a long list of things I want to add to older projects. I have four Platoons to add to Vietnam. US, ARVN, NVA and PLA. Also dismounts for my tracks. I don't really need them but want to paint them up.

6. Sell something. Another yeah right moment. 
I bought some Perry Samurai years ago and made some Terrain. Because I have the terrain I don't feel like selling the figures. 
Foundry Elizabethans are really nice sculpts but I don't know what to do with them? Possibly combine them with the Samurai?
Foundry Mexicans were bought as I wanted to use them with my Old West in a Magnificent Seven game. But then I would have to buy and make a village and buy all the bad guys.
Modern British, Kiwis and Afghanistan figures. I like the concept but don't feel like doing the project.
I have almost got rid of all my FOW unpainted pile. Just a medium sized box to go.
I started buying Tamiya Late War British Vehicles, and now think this was a mistake as I don't have Infantry for them. Although I have seen some lovely new sculpts but cannot remember who they were for?

7. Project queue. Have to decide what comes next.
28mm Falklands, should be a fairly quick paint project as small numbers involved.
28m Pirates. Big project as there are at least three toy ships to convert. Three crews plus a Spanish Army to paint. Could use the Mexicans as locals??
28mm ECW. I always think of this as my retirement project. It was started when I was using enamels in the late 80's so might need repainting. Retirement is only another 7 or less years away. 
20mm WW2. I'd love to go back over this collection and add more stuff but again feel like it is a retirement project.
20mm Cold War. This really appeals to me and would like to buy up more before the figures go OOP. I buy kits when I see them.
28mm 14th Army. I intend this as my Bolt Action Army but have done nothing about painting them.
Retro Raygun, I think this was replaced with Necromunda since I have used bits I recycled for that in my Necromunda terrain.

8. Less Rules. I seem to keep buying new rules sets. Read them and then put them in a pile. Take for instance Bolt Action. I have the new set of rules but still use the old version for my Solo games. I also have two copies of the US Army book! I bought Chain of Command to replace BA but have not gotten around to organising any of my forces to play a game. I should buy the new version of Black Powder but was not using the original version as I prefer Sharp Practice. I bought Lion Rampant to replace LOTR in my Robin Hood collection but have not done anything with them.

Anyway thats its from me for now. I may come back and add some things to this when I remember them. I hope everyone has had a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.

Thursday, 27 December 2018


Since I have not come up with a concept for an Esher Gang yet (plastic or metal) I thought I'd put some paint on some old figures I've had laying around for years in the form of an Arbites Squad. Using the Venator rules which I found on the net. I found out about the White Dwarf version too late to buy. 

The squad comes from Urban Mammoth and is a Vasa Suppressor Riot Control Team. I did not use the Team leader as I thought he could be used as a Brat should I feel the need to paint some up. I converted one figure to be a Sergeant with the addition of a Bolter from a Space Marine set. All Vasa markings had to be cleaned off the front of the helmets and the round shields. The Long shields came from the Foundry Street Violence SWAT teams. I think I need to add something else to the shields, maybe some Battenberg hi-vis blocks? The leader is a Mordian Guard Lieutenant and last but not least is an Assassin which I painted up over ten years ago to go with my SOB Army. I touched up some of his equipment to match the others and used some left over paint from the Leader to improve the body suit. I left the Urban Camouflage on his weapons and helmet as I still like them that way. I tried to make the battons look like they are glowing with some use of blue ink. I have not come up with a way of differentiating between the ranks which I would need in a campaign.

If I don't use these for Necromunda then I can still use them in my Future Wars collection.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Berlin Buildings - number 2 modified roof.

I needed to do a large modification to this building as the roof was looking too large. I cut off about 30mm from the bottom edge using a steel ruler and box cutter knife. It turned out easier than I previously thought as there was also a few sections of foam core bulkheads that needed cutting through as well. Everything seemed to come up nice and square and I hid the trimmed parts with some balsa.

Before modification

I now need to add some dormer windows and then do the tiling which I am probably running short of. I should order some now but with Xmas postage I may just leave it for the moment.

The method I use for making consistent sized rod for the windows started off being difficult so came up with a cheaper version of a plastic strip chopper. Using an aluminium box square and plastic card I managed to cut consistent strips. I only had problems when I allowed the knife blade to cut at an angle. A picture paints a thousand words so I hope this make things a bit clearer.

In the photo above the long thin rod is dropped into the slot in the photo below to give the correct length. I have coloured it red to stand out. The card marked block is used to stop the strips from moving around. The other piece of card is used as a backstop for the rod. There are wider channels in the aluminium box so I hope this works with other sized strip. I am using 1.5 plastic rod. I use the right hand edge of the box as a cutting guide.

Untrimmed rod in the device. 

The small strip is the lengthI am using for the windows.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Goliath Gang - Necromunda

I bought the boxed set in January but had just put it aside until I felt I could devote some time to painting the figures properly. Little did I realise just how long these would take to paint. I spent the first week painting metallics as there is rather a lot of it. The second week was spent painting the three layers of red (which does not really show in the photos) and touching up the Metallics. I then spent two weeks painting everything else, and then did the bases last. There are three layers of flesh which again does not show in some of the photos. The Juves were converted from Catachans with 1mm added at the waist and knees. The guns come from a grot sprue that I had left over from years ago when I had an Ork Army. I don't ever want to paint another Goliath so won't be doing any ungraded models to show upgrades (if I ever play a game). I'm not really looking forward to painting the Eschers and have also a metal version of them to do.


Friday, 9 November 2018

Berlin Buildings - an update on progress.

Well this has turned out to be a much bigger task than I anticipated. Progress has been a bit slow as I am finding that I am taking two steps forward and another sideways, but progress is happening.

I built two buildings with windows from Resin, copied from some which I had built in plastic. I have attempted to assemble another two buildings but had issues with making more resin windows so put that aside till the warmer weather. I figured that the resin making kit stored in my back room is too cold most of the year and have just cleared a space in my cupboard where I keep my security monitor, as that seems to have a constant temperature most of the year.

The first building is ready to paint but, I am bothered with the way it looks. I suspect most people would say to not worry about it but the rest would say I messed up. Luckily its not too late to correct.
The issue I feel is that the roof looks like it has been designed by one committee and the building by another with different versions of the plans (what plans?)

The fix for this is actually quite easy as it turns out that by switching some small window sections with some larger ones the roof will fit exactly like it was meant to. The building is all glued together so I have had to cannibalise parts from buildings three and four to make a new version of building one.

Building two had the roof built to the same design as one but since I have not done any detail work on it yet I should be able to cut it down for a better fit.

Building four has now become a problem as I was originally going to make a copy of building two, but have taken out the larger window sections and replaced them with the smaller ones. I also have loads of bits left over so could make a large odd shaped building or the smaller one. For the moment I will be going for the small version and try and get another kit to use the spare parts on. I feel the large version will be hard to store and transport.

I case you are wondering what materials I have been using I will give a rundown.

Dark Grey Plastic - The Dust Tactics Tenement Buildings (2 versions)
Black parts - Foam Core.
White parts - either plastic card or cardboard.
Cream Windows - Resin.
Blue Roofing tiles - Charlie Foxtrot Roofing tiles (2 versions)
Down pipes - BBQ skewers.
Lamps - Mega Miniatures Medieval lamps.
Chimneys - Lego wrapped in Plastic card.
Roof edging - Balsa wood.
Black roof material - Sandpaper.

I would like to build some drop in rooms at some stage but want to concentrate on the buildings first for the moment.