29 June, 2013

First Platoon!! On me!!

With Historicon right around the corner, it's time to put the paintbrush and basing into overdrive. I've recently completed what will be one of two platoons of 82nd Airborne troops for this years tournament. I seldom reveal what I will be playing at any event, but seeing as it's my first National event....my expectations are less than high. I've been busy working on one platoon at a time and one stand at a time. I find it a little easier to keep track of what I have left to paint and once they're complete, I can move on to tanks.

The hardest part, has been the color schemes, I went with a few different ideas to really make these guys pop. The scrim on their helmets is a very bright, almost neon green, but once it has been washed, it certainly subdues the color and it leaves a nice eye catching effect that is not distracting. Red Leather for their pistol holsters, airborne knives(M3) and gun slings. I used a Flat Brown for the boots and stocks of all the weapons, this included the BAR, M1 and Thompson MG's. Adding Gun Metal Grey to the barrels of the weapons, makes them stand out a little more. Though I find extreme detail a work a bit beyond my skill level so far when it comes to painting 15mm figures.

In a past post, I mentioned before I was using a wash made by Warpainters. They come in several different shades and each one leaves it's own look on what ever it is you are painting. The darker ones are better for the armor/vehicles and some even have more of a gloss finish once they are dry. Basing these has been relatively fun to do and I have used a few things to get them just right. The initial basing is a fine coarse train ballast, followed up by a layer of dark brown paint. Spreading white glue liberally on the base, then place the entire base into some Burnt Grass from Games Workshop. The remaining tufts of grass are more train modelling flock and a whole bag of that will go a long way for $4!

With a few more stands to do, including command and bazookas, I will be taking my time. Even though we have moved into July, there are still a few weeks left to get some more done and I will be on leave starting next week, so there will be even more time to get that armor up and ready to support the 82nd Airborne! The original plan for me, was to get some Canadians together for Historicon, but after doing 15 Chaffee tanks for my US Light Tank Company, I really feel like I have enough armor running around and wanted to do something different. There really is nothing like getting a new army on the table for a tournament. Once the whole army is done, I'll be sure to break out the game mat and set up some scenery to show the whole thing off.

In case you are not a visitor to WWPD.net and it's vast network of sites, blogs and forum. This weekend, Operation Overlord kicks off it's 6 week campaign for Flames of War. Get over to the website and sign up if you have not already done so. Something else I am excited to announce, is the creation of the WWPD Challenge Coin,  aka:'Project Ultra' until I had everything necessary from Steve of WWPD, including giving me the 'ok' and letting me run with this idea. The coin will look like the picture you see below and will measure 1.75" in diameter. The cost is $20 USD and can be found on the WWPD site for payment/delivery information. Some of the proceeds from the sale of the coins will be going to Wounded Warrior and there will only be 50 coins produced. Over half the coins have already been sold in the first week, so if you are interested please leave a comment or email me. They will also be available at Historicon for sale if you happen to be down there as well. I'm hoping to have them in hand for the tournament, the company minting these coins has given me an indication they will be done and in my mailbox well before that date.

17 June, 2013

Friday Night Fights & Project Ultra for WWPD

This week on the virtual battlefield, it was an all Infantry affair as I continued to test Rob's Canadians for the upcoming 2013 Historicon tournament. We rolled up 'No Retreat' as the mission. Seeing as we both field foot footsoldier lists, we had to roll over who would attack. I came up with the higher number after Rob rolled a big fat 1. After choosing which end he would defend, we began deployment and objective placements. Enjoy the video of the game and I happened to take some pics as well covering most of the action.

Looking at the board layout, Rob chose the best side from which to defend. No matter which way I wanted to approach from, there were going to be a lot of slow moving anti-tank guns and bog checks moving 4" at a time in order to get range on those dug in Canadians. I have to say after being bombarded nearly every turn, rocket batteries are the way to go for maximum effect on target.

88's in tow, the Germans make their push!
88 nach unten! PAK 40 VORAUS!!!  (88's down! Pak 40's advance!)
I had a hard time breaking through all the terrain to get my guns going during the game. Rob did a good job of deploying his reserves to prevent my Tigers from over running his rocket battery positions at the rear of the table. His 6 Pdr guns in ambush made quick work of my Tigers, destroying two while they tangled with his Shermans and Fireflys.
Canadian tanks hold off the Tigers from taking any more ground!
I hope you enjoy the video, it was not as shaky as the last one and I captured most of the turns with all the 'key' action. I won't tell you how it ended, but there certainly was a lot of back and forth between both sides during this game. I have also been working on a side project for WWPD that should be made public shortly, I have some things to discuss with Steve, and I look forward to his feedback and going ahead with letting WWPD nation into what's transpiring. I think a lot of other people will be excited about this as I have been putting it all together.

I'm also hoping that those of the WWPD Network affiliate sites have a chance to get together 'post-podcast' at Historicon. I'll be looking into a place where we can maybe get to and have a drink or two and share some war stories and meet others that make the WWPD what is, the best community for Flames of War! I am making significant progress on my US Para troops and all their support elements. Here is a latest pic of on of my LMG stands, just so I have something other than a rifle/mg and command team stands being posted over and over again.

Enjoy the game!

09 June, 2013

Death From Above!

Never having painted strictly a mass amount of 15mm 'Infantry' figs before, I'm finding myself a bit overwhelmed to get through them all! Back in April I had some time off work to do a few stands and really experiment with colors and techniques in order to get it right the first time. If you missed it, you can find that entry HERE Doing this ahead of time when you have never painted 104 figures before, is the best way of getting the necessary research together. Painting videos, color charts and countless hours of Band of Brothers all helped in my road to victory......at least the uphill battle part of getting them done. The greatest delay of getting through all these is partly because I was working on some armor for a tournament around the same time I started my Paras. Since then, I have been playing my Germans almost every 'Friday Night Fights'.

Three completed stands up front.

Final detailing, washing and basing details are next!

Aside from war gaming, I am an avid WW2 history buff and have always been fascinated by the men and missions that shaped our world. I've been lucky enough to feel the waves of Utah,Omaha, Juno and Dieppe crash against my feet while I made tracks in the sand. I've dug up artifacts the Germans left behind in the 'Falaise Pocket'. I've even lit a candle and had some time to reflect on it all, in the famous church at Sainte-Mere-Eglise. Vimy Ridge, Pegasus Bridge, all the museums of Normandy, and locating Michael Wittman's resting place were all small highlights of my trip in 2007. Though let's be clear, a member of the SS himself, I respect Wittman's abilities as a tank commander, not any of his political or fanatical viewpoints.

For now, I can only look back at pictures and think of all the sights and experience of seeing it all up close as I finish what will likely be my last army for Flames of War for some time to come, that is until I start to assemble the boxes of Battlefront M4A3 76mm Shermans, Plastic Soldier Company M4A1 and Firefly tanks I have lying around!

One of the guns of the 'Longues-sur-Mer' Normandy battery. Four 155mm guns made up the battery.

01 June, 2013

FnF and Other Randomness

I'm certainly behind uploading some of the latest battles from The Dice Devils crew. A lot has been happening in preparation for our exodus to Historicon to play in their Flames of War 'Nationals' event, as well as a doubles event being held the Thursday before the rest of the convention really kicks off. We'll be attempting to gain access to the WWPD podcast while we're there and if you're not familiar with WWPD and it's network of tabletop, board and online gaming shenanigans...I know......let's have a spelling contest.

I had a chance to take a short video on a re-vamped Canadian list vs. my back up German 1780 point Infantry with a hodge podge of everything from 88's to Tiger I E's running around and assaulting unsuccessfully. I have been hard at work attempting to finish my US Para Coy in time for July. So far, with work being so busy and life in general getting in the way of my ability to sit without being distracted and paint when it's so damn nice outside, is tough to do. (cough)GOLFING(cough)

Sorry about the camera angle, I am not used to filming with this phone in the upright position and will do all my other vids in the standard 'wide screen' format from now on. I'll likely resurrect my Samsung Wave for pics and filming since it will do HD and takes great pics as well. I also do not like the fact that I have to film in segments on my current HTC OneX. This was an interesting game and I had fun playing against Rob for maybe the third or fourth time ever. It's nice to see him playing more and getting some more stuff painted and on the table. I also need to keep track of turns and try and get the WHOLE picture, but it's tough to play, film and keep track of what I am trying to accomplish during the game.

A "small" diversion...

 BATTLTECH! This was my first miniature game. As I mentioned in my last post, Battletech holds a dear place in my hobby heart. I remember do...