Tuesday, December 30, 2014

1940 goodness with Crescent Root Studios

Spent the day in Trenton playing some Chain of Command with Michael & Phil (the latter recently back from the wastes of Manitoba and soon to be back at his permanent posting in Gagetown, new Brunswick). Besides an opportunity to see Phil again (ok, and Michael), I was able to put on the table my Xmas gift to myself, the Cresecnt Root Studios Series 2 complex. This is a beautiful model but will require some additional work (to be chronicled at a later date). We set up an attack/defend scenario with my new British platoon defending the complex and surrounding buildings against a German Wermacht platoon. Rather than a full AAR, a collection of photos from the game below...
Aerial view of the table with the new Crescent Root buildings at the top. The British defended the top board edge and the Germans attacked from the opposite side.
A look down the main thoroughfare.
 A better view of the new buildings.
A view of the rail line running behind...more eye-candy than anything else.
French civilians trundle past before the shooting starts.

A German section befuddled by smoke laid by the British 2" mortar.
A Vickers MMG and British section deploy to lay fire on the Hun.
A German StugIII moves down the main road, ready to lay waste to the British defenders (but the laying of waste was not to be...German Force Morale plummeted soon after and the Hun scuttled ignominiously from the field).

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Xmas goodies (part one)

I was able to meet up with the younger army brat and his lovely wife before Xmas. During the brunch Lieutenant Dan gifted me something expected (since I had given them to him to assemble and paint) and another completely unexpected. Although I've added the photos here, for a more comprehensive view and extensive verbiage, check out his blog Red Over Blue.

First up, two Universal Carriers to support my 1940 British platoon. These are the superb Warlord Games models. However, it must be mentioned that the crew figures are a little less spectacular than the carriers themselves...not the painting, rather the sculpting/casting. This is a fairly minor quibble when taken in the context of some superb modelling and painting. Lt Dan suggested I have one carry my FOO but I will save my Daimler Dingo MkII scout car car (also from Warlord games and also now residing in the waiting line of Lt Dan's painting queue) for this purpose.

And the unexpected...four new Jump Off Points to go with my 1940 Fallschirmjager platoon. As Lt Dan says on Red Over Blue

"My intent with these markers was not to create a perfectly scale representation of fallschirmjager weapons cannisters, but rather a simple marker using only materials I happened to having lying around in my bitz box. Therefore, you will notice that the design specifications of these markers does not hold up to much scrutiny from a “count the rivets” sort of analysis, but I am happy with the overall result. From arms length these markers create the right impression and I believe the techniques used in this guide can be adapted to other projects."

These will look fantastic on the table (once my FJs are ready!). For a guide to the construction of the parachutes, see here. Very clever...

Xmas goodies (part two)

Trekked to Trenton yesterday with the entire clan to visit the eldest brat. I was surprised to receive as a Xmas gift some terrain pieces for our impending 6mm Napoleonic project (see here). This scale is Michael's forte. This is very good since I'm rubbish at this tiny scale (we'll see when it comes to the miniatures). 

The pictures below tell the tale....

Generic European chateau and grounds. 
What can't be seen here is that the main building and the stables lift out on 60mm x 60mm sections to be replaced with brigade-sized figure stands.

Rural farm complex. 
In this one, it's easier to see the lift out sections.

A selection of small fields.
I particularly like the autumn colours. This adds some variety to the table and is sadly lacking in most of my past terrain creations.

Forest pieces with lift off canopies. 
These are quite clever and allow deployment in woods in a way that is unusual for most games.

Now I just need to get through my impending move so I can start on this project...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Branching out on my own - the launch of Red Over Blue

Hello all,

I have been a periodic contributor to this blog for a number of years now, and though I have enjoyed posting my various wares for your viewing pleasure, I have oft pined after having my own blog space to hawk my crazy ideas and shiny things. In light of the recent sales of several large projects (as posted on this blog over the past months), I feel I must start my own space. To this end, I have constructed my blog, which will be my new voice on the interwebz.

I would like to officially announce the launch of:

The goal of this blog is to reach out to the "everyman" of the miniature wargaming hobby. Some blogs and websites can be intimidating with impossibly godlike paintjobs that leave the rest of us wondering "how'd they do that?" I seek to break down these barriers and show the average wargamer that high-end tabletop quality painted miniatures are easily achievable and fun to do!

I have started with a series of articles, including three photo showcase posts: Warlord Games' German Fallschirmjagers, Warlord Games' Sdkfz 250/1, and Warlord Games' Universal Carriers. I have also included a step by step guide on how to build your own gaming mat, as well as a "Blast From The Past" article reminiscing about a project that has since left me, 28mm WW1.
I have many interesting articles and posts planned for the near future as well as sales.

And speaking of sales, I have kicked off the blog with the sale of a complete GW The Hobbit Escape From Goblin Town boxed set, painted to an expert level.

I have enjoyed my time as a contributor to Much Ado About Nothing and I hope you take a look at my new venture and become a new follower.

Thankyou, and happy holidays.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

1940 British platoon

The latest addition to my WWII project is a 1940 British platoon. These are all 28mm Crusader Miniatures, as is the majority of my WWII collection. These have all been painted for speed, using Army Painter desert yellow as a primer, details block painted, and finished with Army Painter dark tone dip (and topped with Dullcote). There are no highlights before or after the dip. I wanted to produce these quickly and cheaply (in terms of effort). I think the process produces a decent effect for the three foot rule. At the more detailed level, there is little subtlety, especially  in the flesh tones, but the effect from above the table is quite good.
I have also started using the 16mpx camera in my Galaxy S5, playing about with the settings (an ongoing process). I recently purchased a clamp to hold the phone on my tripod and results are quite pleasing. The backdrop was printed from an image available here. I also used some photography ideas from the Rust and the City blog here and here.
Platoon commander making his voice heard over the din of battle:
"Over there, you bloody idiots!"
Platoon sergeant, urging on his men (or telling them to "keep their bloody 'eads down").
One of two Vickers MMG teams.
For Chain of Command, these need to be a 5-man teams. There is another singly-based figure for each team not shown here.
2pder AT gun and crew.
There are two more singly-based figures to complete this 5-man team plus Junior Leader (one of which is the observer below).
Observer for the 2pder AT gun.
You can see clearly a downside to the dip method. The dip has pooled excessively at the bottoms of the pant legs. That's my mistake, not dabbing that away...tsk tsk.
One of four 8-man sections.
The basic platoon has only three sections but I decided to add a fourth as a possible support option (besides three 8-man sections makes for a very small platoon and I suspect the fourth section will be a common option).
2" mortar team.
Next up on the painting block...finishing off the 1940 fallschirmjager platoon but this may need to wait...i'll be moving in February so little scope for painting in the next few months.

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Xmas Goodies

Some pretty new toys from the talented brushes of Lieutenant Dan, soon to be in my hands over the Xmas holidays: this time, two Warlord Games Universal Carriers to reinforce my 1940 British platoon. Lt Dan has used a subtle two-tone green camouflage pattern that shows well in his new photo box. These will be handy little additions to my Brits, particularly as I plan to have a FOO trundle about in one of them. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Meuse 1940: Scenario 2 - Chaumont

Because Scenario 1 - No Man's Land was so short, Michael and I decided to carry on and set up for Scenario 2 the same night. This saw the German recce kampfgruppe probing farther from the Meuse bridgehead toward Chaumont. This game used The Probe scenario from the main Chain of Command rule-book.

As a refresher...

Leutnant Alex Geiger  commands a platoon of Kampfgruppe Geiger, a recce force made up of elements of 90. Aufklärungs-Bataillon, itself part of 10. Panzer  Division. This includes three armoured cars (two Sdkfz 222s and one Sdkfz 232 6-rad), a command car for himself and his platoon 2iC, Wachtmeister Otto Burg, and a recon infantry section mounted on motorcycle combos. 

Facing Geiger is 2e Peleton, 1er Compagnie, 2e Battalion, 213e Régiment d’Infanterie (part of 55e Division), a standard French infantry platoon under the command of Lieutenant Gerard Authier. 

As the French player, I chose to defend the short table edge (to the left in the picture above). This was especially important, given that the German force is highly mobile (and the French...umm...not!).Knowing the German vehicles would need to enter on the road in the top right of the picture and map, I tried to position my JoPs to try and cover this entry point. I also chose a 47mm AT gun as my support, hopping to do as much damage as possible before the inevitable German successful run to my baseline.  I had no other AT weapons and realized that the German armoured cars would see my AT guns and choose another route down the table. Thus, I hoped to get at least a few shots in on the way by.

German armour begins to debouch from the woods, supported by a Pzkpfw IV. Yikes! But I do see the more vulnerable motorcycle skulking behind it.

The French deploy their AT gun and an infantry section on the right flank to look for targets of opportunity. I was able to do some damage to the motorcycle section but the PzIV and armoured cars remained out of reach because of the surrounding contours (not very noticeable in the photos).

Another shot of the PzIV and German motorcycles facing off against the French right flank.

It quickly became apparent that I would not be able to stop the armoured cars from making an end run down the German right flank. A few more shots from the French infantry and it was decided to voluntarily withdraw...again...sigh.

So, on to Scenario 3, an attack/defend scenario. Time to pull out the French Armoured Counter-Attack wildcard!