Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Magazines to Read

In a single trip to my FLGS, I picked up not one, not two but four magazines! Enough to keep me reading on the train for a few weeks to come. I don't usually mention my reading material, but this is the most recent issue of the English version of Ravage magazine that I have found. Issues 2 and 3 have been hard to get here it seems, but no 4 was in stock and is now in my hands. I mention this, as I posted a quite harsh review of issue 1 here, so I feel it'll be only fair to give this issue a read, to allow the editors to redeem themselves (apparently there's a completely new editorial team on board, and quite right too).

The other three mags were Wargames Illustrated 302, and 303 and No Quarter 46. A fine pile to read through on the train for the next few weeks, with plenty of content to get the juices flowing, so to speak.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bag o' archers

An impulse buy at my FLGS, and nothing more, but for $5, you really can't go wrong with a bag of 21 plastic archers. I'm pretty certain they're GW Bretonnians although I'm not certain of what vintage. I doubt I'll use them as such, but they would make great longbowmen, for historic use (maybe War of the Roses archers?). Three have been (badly) painted, but I'm sure I can clean that up easily enough. Two of the bows are broken, but again, that should be easily remedied.

Suggestions for what to use them for on a postcard to the usual address.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Kingdom of Britannia: Lieutenant

Post 3 today of what is fast becoming KoB Friday. A couple of WIPs for the Lieutenant, just to round off last night's painting efforts. There's a little tidying up to do, but he's almost there. I swithered for the longest time on how to paint his goggles and gun, in the end the goggles are fine, and the gun may get a little more highlighting with some silver over the bronze, just to bring out the details.

I'm still unsure about the microphone/communicator stuck on his face. It's a little too fiddly to paint well (at least for me)

The previous WIP of this guy can be found here.

With this and the tanks finished, I'll be able to field a force equivalent to the boxed sets in points cost. I don't plan to paint the Sky Hussars quite yet. For two reasons. Firstly, I don't think, from what I've read, they are the best section to use in smaller games. They seem to be a flanking force, or one that will finish off a wounded foe, so they'll be included by me in bigger games. Secondly, it's so damned cold here, I can't use any spray paint outside on the balcony, and I want to give the smoke a second undercoat in grey over the initial black. Once the temperature rises up to be over -10 again (it's been -20 to -30 all week) we'll take it from there.

Also, I just feel the tankettes will run better with the strategy I want to use for the KoB. at least initially. So close to having a fully painted army. My my, that never happens! Must be a leap year! ;)

Kingdom of Britannia: Basset Tankettes

I have made a start on the Tankettes that I had reviewed here. I decided not to go with a camouflage green/khaki colour, as I feel it doesn't fit with the redcoat image. Let's face it, if the bulk of your army is running around wearing red, you're not going to bother too hard to hide your heavily armoured tanks.

For inspiration on colour schemes, I turned to the nearest real life example of contemporary (to Victorian times) tanks. What I decided to do was use Artillery pieces as a guide for my colour scheme. This meant a washed out blue scheme. I think it works quite well.

They look a little boring from those angles, but with the engines and exhausts, the view from above is a little more exciting. I just didn't take a picture from that angle. That with a little more detailing, and maybe some rust and they'll really pop.

I was really happy with the little freehand numbers I painted on the sides, leaving'1' free for a Sergeant model when it becomes available. However, when I dry-fitted the treads, i noticed the number was half hidden behind them. Oh well, looks like I'll have to do some more freehand on the front, or maybe the big round engine plate at the back, after all, we don't need the enemies to see the numbers.

Kingdom of Britannia: Riflemen II

Finished the bulk of the section now, and the Lieutenant is not far behind. I will be putting a little more energy into this one, at least for his face, as he's a little more important than the average troopers. The drummer boy is also awaiting completion, as I want to give a just amount of time and effort to what I think is a great little mini (even if he is barefoot). As previously mentioned, these guys are painted with green facings to represent the 'South Wales Borderers'. The spare trooper that came with the specialist model will be painted up in the same scheme shortly, expanding this section to be the larger of the two I plan to field. The second section being then painted in green to represent the 'Kings Rifle Corp', just for a break from the red. I decided not to bother painting the eyes on these minis, except for the Sergeant, firstly to speed up the process (I'm terrible at painting eyes, so they take me forever), and secondly as they were mostly hidden beneath the pith helmets.

Pics under the cut.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oldhammer find

I take a break from what seems to be turning into Dystopian legions January, to bring you this cross post from my RPG blog, as it may be of some interest to the Oldhammerians who sometimes visit.

I know the word Oldhammer has been coined for 3rd ed WFB, but I think it works ust as well for the GW version of WFRP. In a trip to an LGS, I found a batch of first edition hard back WFRP supplements. Mostly for the Enemy Within Capaign. Commonly thought of as one of the best campaigns for any RPG.

WFRP was one of the first RPGs I really got into, and I had played in, bought and run the campaign as it was sold in the early 90s in the guise of Warhammer Adventure and Warhammer City of Chaos. I had never got round to either buying or running the latter parts of the campaign.

The Books I found today were Power Behind the Throne (1988), Something Rotten in Kislev (1988) from the Enemy Within, Warhammer City (1987) and The Restless Dead (1986). The only issue seems to be a missing map from Warhammer City, and from SRiK, but since either will likely be available online, I don't see that as a big issue. All the other handouts still seem to be in place. At $8 each, they were a bargain, even if I never play with them, and sell them on at some point. There was one other old WFRP book that was there that I didn't pick up, the Castle Drachenfels adventure supplement. I own this already, (although my copy is in the UK), and I was never really taken with it as an adventure. It was much more in the realms of a dungeon bash, with each room being weird and whacky. I think it was written based on a Warhammer Jack Yeovil novel, but I have never read the novel, so most of the references went straight over my head. I left that one on the shelf.

I was particularly excited to find The Restless Dead. This is a module I have heard lots about, but never seen. It contains such classic adventures as Rough Night at the Three Feathers, The Haunting Horror, and Grapes of Wrath. I'll be putting these guys away for future use for sure, although whether i bought them to play with, ot it's the collector in me that has come out to play, I'm not entirely sure.

It is a real treat to flick through these guys and look at all the old artwork, adventure details and PCs supplied with the campaign. Brings back some great memories.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dystopian Legions: Britannian Specialist

Although I have yet to play a game (soon, I promise myself), I just can't help but pick up the miniatures. Shinybloodyitis at its worst. Yesterday, it was a choice between buying Col. MacDonald or the Kingdom of Britannia Infantry Section Specialist. I chose the latter, as although 'Big Mac' seems like he's the man to support all the Rifle Sections I plan to play, at least in early games, I'm far from 100% sold on the mini.

Indeed, I wasn't planning to buy the specialist mini, as I'm more likely to be running my Rifle sections as just that, and if I were to add a flame thrower for short range support, I'm unlikely to add two of these guys to a single section, but I do have 2 sections of riflemen to play with.  To be honest, I think one of the main reasons I bought this pack was for the rifleman you get rather than the specialist, as I think he's likely to see the table more often, at least for beginning games.

The pics below show exactly what you get in the box (along with 2 typical 30mm bases). I was forewarned about the weakness of the join between the Specialists left hand and the flamethrower (it is an extremely weak link), so take heed, and be extremely careful when removing the flash. On the wrist of the left had there is a long thin rod of metal, I can only assume this is there to be used as a pin. If so, great thinking Spartan! The separate hose is exactly the same as the one you get in the starter box, to be bent to shape to fit the mini. I haven't yet tried to place this one on the mini, but the last one wasn't too hard to get right.

As to the Rifleman, he's just that, another rifleman to add to your sections. In yet another individual pose, bringing the total number of poses on the standard infantrymen available to 7. I like this variation, especially in a skirmish game. This one is in a pretty simple pose, and should offer no problems to painting. My only issue is which of my Sections to add him to, as I plan very different paint schemes on these.

In summary, great little models, up to Spartans normal standards, with a little flash, minimal mold lines that should be easily dealt with. Only issue seems to be the weak connection between the left hand and the flamethrower. I give these guys 8 out of 10.

That's enough of the reviews. Time to get on with some painting!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dystopian Legions: Basset tankettes

I bought these little monsters a couple of days ago, so I thought it might be an idea to put up a review of them here, as there are a couple of things I would like to say about them.

First off, the resin. I am extremely impressed by the quality of the resin on these sculpts. there are no issues with mold lines, bubbles or excessive flash (which has been somewhat of an issue with Spartan's metal minis so far).

There are a couple of things I did not like so much, mostly with the metal parts.

First off the bat, the kit comes with 4 little metal parts that I was unsure where they went. With a little experimentation, I figured they went one on each side, as a middle support for the treads. I'm unsure as to whether or not they are completely necessary or not, but there you go.

The offending part, in what I assume is the right place.
Secondly, I would have preferred if the part of the gun barrel that goes into the tank was just a touch longer. The hole in the resin is of ample size, but there is only just enough of a nub on the metal side to place in the hole. In fact I may end up having to pin these, the joint is so fragile. An extra millimetre on the metal would have more than fixed this issue.

Another niggle I have with the metal parts is the doors of the hatch. I love that the hatch doors are separate, this allows for addition of what I assume will be a leader figure for the section at a later date. Great idea. However, the to allow for this figure to be placed, the hole in the hatch is deeper than the hatch doors that are supplied. I understand why this is the case, but it did mean I had to find a filler to ensure the hatch doors I glued as closed did not sink into the tankette. This was easily remedied with a chunk of metal flash from the treads. On the plus side, this space leads to easy conversion options, and as I stated further options for Spartan to sell tank commander minis. Also, the doors being metal, even if you glue them closed, they look a little more realistic than moulded parts.

This brings me onto my last point. The treads this to me was the major issue with these models. At the back of the tread, there is a point where each part was attached to it's sprue. The point of contact was rather large, and was snipped at the factory before packaging. What you are left with is a rather unsightly flat part on the back of the tread. This shouldn't really be a problem, as you can file it flat, or try and shape it to look like the rest of the tread. I think the best way to deal with it is to cover it when basing, with either mud or something else, as it's placed on the back of the tread at the bottom. So maybe not a deal breaker, but it was less of a quality finish than I have come to expect from Spartan.

Other things contained in the box include a blank activation card, and two game cards that will work for all Britannian Ironclads. There were also a couple of random cards with pictures of The Prussian character and the Teutonic Knights artwork. These seem to just be adverts for Spartan Games.

In summary. These look good, and although I have stated some niggles with the metal parts, for the most part, these are miniatures do exactly what is says on the tin.

All in all, I give this kit a 7 out of 10. I can't wait to get them put together and painted, and get them on the table.

Wonky gun on the LHS and if you zoom on the RHS you can just about see the metal holding the doors in place.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Colore ton Monde: January

I didn't get any where near as much painting or modelling as I wanted to do over the holidays (in fact, I didn't even sit at the table once), so needless to say I didn't comnplete Decembers challenge. However you can see those that did complete the challenge here.

January's challenge is as follows:

On se cache dans la neige

La neige a recouvert la lande, et il suffit d'un manteau blanc pour qu'on vous y perde. Comme le lièvre, cachez vous des prédateurs.

Pour le mois de janvier, nous vous invitons à peindre un modèle avec du camouflage, physique ou techno, ou bien un éclaireur. 

We hide in the snow

Snow covers the land, and there is enough of a blanket of white for us to lose ourselves in. Like the winter hare hides from its predators.

For the month of January, we invite you  to paint a model with camoflage, physical or technological, or even a scout. 
Thinking caps on for this one. I might paint up the tanks, but I wasn't planning a camoflage scheme. It doesn't really fit when the rest of the army is running around in bright red. Otherwise, there's nothing in the queue that fits this one.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New year

Happy New Year to you all. May 2013 bring all you wish.

As for me, 2013 is going to be a busy one, at least at the outset as my better half is starting a new job, so we'll be a month or two getting used to the new routine. Also, we have rented a chalet in the mountains for a month starting next week, so the weekends will be spent up there making the most of the huge amounts of snow that has fallen here in the last month with friends.

All this goes to suggest that winter evenings, once the time to get out the brushes and glue, will be replete with winter fun.

Still, I would like to get my Dystopian Legions Britannians finished at least (almost there with the line section, and after that, there's only a couple to go). Including the little tankettes I bought yesterday, so if you're looking for resolutions, that's as far as I'm willing to push it!

"Lang may yer lum reek, a'body!"