16 January 2017

Painting Challenge Week 4 Submissions

Two contributions from me this week, for different projects underway:

Wasteland Raiders

Here is the beginning of my first ever Fantasy army: a Conan-esque "Riders of Doom" / Game of Thrones Wildling inspired raider force.  These rather ominous looking chaps deliver two 6 Heavy Foot units for Dragon Rampant; one with 2 handed weapons and one with Shields (and led my a Sub-Leader with a Standard Bearer and a musical/signalling Horn blowing chap).

No, these are NOT Chaos Warriors (though the figs are indeed the venerable 2004 GW sculpts).  You can easily tell by the way their shields have been meticulously scraped clean of the characteristic 8 pointed star icons and most of the skulls, right? Right!
Yes that shield/banner device is indeed the Yellow Sign of Cthulhu mythos fame. 
No, they aren't wearing yellow.
Behold: the colourblind Knights of the Yellow Sign!

Painting wise, they were undercoated black and then I fell into the pitfall of enjoying painting all the lovely details and spending far too long on them - not good time economy from a points perspective, but I am pleased with their "just in from the wastelands" appearance.

Banner and shields are of course hand painted to avoid the unpleasantness than Alan unleashes on those who utilise shield decals, which are (and I quote verbatim) "evil and the work of the Devil" (as he is fond of exclaiming loudly into perpetrators' ears...)

Red Devil Jeeps

Another of my hobby objectives this year is to add to my 28mm Brit Para force, which I completed as part of my first challenge back in AHPC IV.  I really love this army (but JamesL's Germans generally don't) and am keen to add some some force options that I didn't do the first time around.

First up is a pair of Para Jeeps which come from the Brigade's Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron, but can also be used to tow the Para's Light Howitzers and 6pdr antitank guns.  Fitted with Vickers K machine guns, they can be very useful for a flanking movements and to throw some suppressing fire about in rear areas and cause havoc generally.  In BA2 terms, they probably wont be as good with the changes to the Recon skill, but I'm looking forward to giving them a go on the tabletop.

Jeeps are by Warlord Games, crews are by Artisan Designs and I've added a bunch of other stowage and gibbons from my bits box.  LMGs are modelled in a "stowed but ready" configuration for playing/storage longevity.  Yes, one of the Paras is toting a captured MG42 - to offset the captured Brit weapons that some of Alan's new Fallschirmjäger are carrying (which will also be posted today) and because its such a cool weapon!

Tip for Commonwealth types (standfast Canuks): note that the Jeep is an American designed vehicle.  Thus, the driver is on the Left hand side. Don't go into automatic and superglue your drivers into your more usual right hand side driver's position.  Yes I felt sufficiently purist (or sufficiently pressured by he who is called Alan) to remove said drivers, fix the paintwork and then re-glue them onto the designed -as opposed to proper! - side.

You can find this entry at AHPC VII here:

Overall, these two submissions added a satisfying 130 points to my challenge total:
 - 60 points for the 12 Raiders + some bonus points for the hand painted shields and banner
 - Para jeeps are 2 x vehicles + 6 full crew figures for another 60 points

So where does that put me for progress? Coupled with the Armour bonus round I have now achieved 271 points to put me above the line for my 850 point target.  Now to keep the pace up with my projects various.

And to feed Miles' love of spreadsheets and graphs, here is where I sit in comparison to my previous performances in AHPCs IV and VI:

12 January 2017

Soviet Spider Mecha

This week I submitted these for the AHPC Bonus Round: "Armour".

Presenting a pair of Spider Mechs from the Soviet 1st Guards Mecha Division, as seen on the Eastern front in late 1947 while operating with the 3rd Shock Army, 1st Belorussian Front.  

Russian doctrine is to field Light, Medium and Heavy Spider Mechs within a Mecha Division, deploying them in role oriented pairs to work in close cooperation for shock effect. This is a heavy "Hunting Pair”.  

The Hammerjaw class Medium Mech, while well able to take care of itself with it short barrelled 90mm, flushes big game for the larger and less mobile Nayk class Heavy Mech asks flanks the enemy while the bigger duel is underway.  With accompanying infantry support, this has been found to be highly effective in difficult environments such as urban/rubble, marsh and mountainous terrain not well suited to tracked and wheeled vehicles.
Hammerjaw Medium Mech

The Mecha pilots are dressed in distinctive uniforms with cooled padding, chest plate armour and communications equipment.  Shown dismounted is the famed Soviet Mecha Ace Konstantin Samokhin, Hero of the Soviet Union (limited edition figure)

Nayk Heavy Mech 

Characteristically, this Bonus round became quite an enjoyable distraction from my intended main push, but I’m very happy with the Result. All models by WestWind from their Secrets of the Third Reich range.  Putting these mocha beasties together was extremely challenging and they are probably the most frustrating things I’ve ever built, though it is nice to have them done after a few years of languishing in the garage.  Perhaps I need another Hammerjaw mech (which was my favourite) to complete the platoon though.  Maybe one transferred from the Naval Infantry bridge, all decked out in black and with Soviet Marines as Tank riders.  Thats would be cool...

I’ve swapped the crewmen around because, well I think they look better this way. All painting and weathering was by hand, including the turret markings which say “Crush the Facists!” (on the Nayk Heavy mecha) and “For the Motherland!” (on the Hammerjaw Medium).  If that’s not what they say…I don’t want to know :-) 

To Berlin Comrades!

This AHPC entry can be found here:

09 January 2017

Woodlands Indians

The Christmas tree has been packed away, our guests have departed and the paint pots are finally open! It’s taken awhile, but I finally have something to share for the new year - my first entry in the years's Analogue Hobby Painting Challenge.

This is a small six man unit of Woodland Indians and with all that war paint they are clearly looking to blood their Tomahawks! (a sod to paint but it gives a great effect).  They will join two Ranger units that I finished last year (see here: Colonial Rangers for FIW) to complete my initial British FIW force.  These Mohawk Allies were a lot of fun to paint and I’ll be adding more to them in the future as Alan and I set off to progress a small campaign using Sharpe Practice 2 this year.  I'll need some British Regular Line Infantry too I imagine...

Figs are from the Northstar "British Wilderness Force” boxed set and this entry at the AHPC VII blog can be found here:

This modest entry gets me off the mark at last - 33 points (with some kind bonus points for the warpaint) - but I need to get my skates on to meet my mark of 850 points (with 1000 points being a hopeful aspiration!).  Next up is the Bonus Round: Armour, which I did something a bit different for :-)

28 December 2016

2016 in Reflection

Yes its time for another self indulgent look back at my Hobby year!  2016 was quite a shift in my hobby time after returning home to Australia after 18months without my gaming stuff in America and setting up in a lovely but small (i.e. no permanent hobby space) house in Sydney.  Some of the highlights were:

* Playing at our regular "Odin's Night" gaming club, which was BRILLIANT - reacquainting myself with old buddies Alan and John and meeting some great new opponents and friends - stirling chaps they are too.  Wargaming for me is all about a fun and thematic atmosphere with similarly minded people.  Just a few of the memorable highlights were:
Millsy hosted Dux and I to a great ECW game
...and rediscovered an old favourite game
A young Viking commander eagerly anticipates a SAGA battle
The Lad Pete and Ken and I caught up for a game in Melbourne
Comrade James and Q Man AKA "Jumper"

Reilly attacks the Dux with his lazer gaze attack in King of Tokyo, alas to minimal effect
John and Steve in a Galaxy far, far away...

* Acquired and most importantly played a great variety of games, but most of them only a few times.  Jugula and Dragon Rampant have probably been the most used that us far but my shelf also now holds Bolt Action 2Sharpe Practice2, Konflikt 47, Lion Rampant, Ronin, Baroque and Battlegroup Wacht Am Rhine just to name a few.

* Attended CanCon in Jan (with the fun Blogger meet up and dinner, finally meting a range of Blogosphere characters including the dapper Millsy) and MOAB in Oct.
The inaugural Aussie Blogger meet up at CanCon
* Wrote to the authors of SAGA on the back of appropriately beer soaked drink coasters, demanding a SAGA campaign supplement....

Which turned out to be great example of successful hobby lobbying and thus we claim all credit for this subsequent publication:

* Got a single miserable but satisfying entry in the Painting Challenge Season 6 and now very much enjoying participating in Season 7.  Its fun to be back with a plan and the opportunity to execute it.

* Spent lots of money with those lovely chaps at War and Peace Games!

Man Cave fans may have noticed that this year I have focused pretty much exclusively on sharing stuff I have painted and game I have played.  That has meant far less posts but the 2-3 a month have been more personal and meaningful to me, and I'm not really interested in the number of hits my blog gets.  It was nice to tick over 500 followers though.
Channeling my inner Viking in Norway last Christmas
So what did I paint? Actually not very much when compared to some, but I enjoyed it all given I hadn't picked up a brush in almost 2 years.

My Koryu Buntai for Ronin (during AHPC Season 6)

My "Blue School" Gladiator Ludus for Jugula (who somehow remain undefeated!)

Colonial Rangers for FIW:

A couple of bits of terrain

And who could forget my first 1680mm figure :-) 

My other completed objective for the year was my annual Reading Challenge at the Goodreads site.  Thats four years in a row now and while I overall read less this year for a whole range of reasons, I achieved my aim of averaging a book a fortnight which was satisfying.

So what am I looking forward to in 2017? (which BTW never seems to be what I end up being mostly excited about!)

- Finishing my projects with the Painting Challenge, including a new WW2 Army for use with Bolt Action and Chain of Command

- The upcoming release of Battlegroup Tobruk  - Alan and I have long been looking forward to some forays into North Africa for a number of years!

- The annual pilgrimage to CanCon in January and the Aussie Blogger's Get-Together!

- Fun with friends. Thats what its all about after all!

I hope you all had a great hobby year also and best wishes for another in 2017.

24 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

Very best wishes to you all for a wonderful Jule and a hobby filled 2017!

19 December 2016

Aussie Bloggers meet-up: CanCon 2017

Thanks to Millsy for knocking up this banner graphic 

After the success of last year's inaugural CANCON Aussie Wargame Bloggers Meet-up we'll be going around again this year. Kiwis (and even "Northern Folk") are welcome too cause we should always play nice and be neighbourly.... :-)
  • 1:00pm - Initial meet-up in the Board Games section in the Northern Hall at CANCON to say g'day, check out respective loot bags and plan for any shared afternoon shenanigans.
  • 6:00pm(ish) - Pub dinner and extended tall story session.
After last year's demands for a SAGA campaign book resulted in it being delivered just a few months later surely we can achieve something even bigger in 2017. Thinking caps on people!

If you're an Aussie blogger feel free to pinch any and all of this post to spread the word.

Be there to be part of next year's Rogues' Gallery!