Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last of the french & End of Year Musings

Around December 6th I had talked a random family member into ordering me some more Crusader french.   Ordered on December 6th, it got here(to Canada) in only 8 business days.  I had ordered  another pack of Rifle grenadiers, infantry w/ carbines  and Commanders(to round out my Platoon commands), as well as 1 each of 60mm mortar, 81mm mortar, and Hotchkiss HMG.(and a German 80mm mortar, but he'll get treatment later)
Crusader French painted & based on 26 hours

Well due to Christmas/preparations and a few other sidetracking occurrences I finally go to work on them Tuesday night around 10pm. I had trouble getting tired tueday night so I was up until 6, painting on and off.  I Woke up around 9, went out on errands until 2 and then painted off and on again until 10, when i finished all 32  french. they were all based by midnight.  Total turn around time stat-to-finish , 26 hours(actual time probably around 8-9 hours).

You May have noticed that that gun isn't Crusader(but the crew are). In fact I have no clue what manufacturer it is. Dave Hoyt gave the gun to me, as he had cannibalized the crew for something else. The 2 kneeling crew members are the 2 remaining VB grenadiers I had(sans rifle), with an Irate officer(he is pointing his pistol at one of their heads!).

You may have also noticed the quality of the pictures has suddenly gone up.  I got a new 12.2 megapixel camera(with super-macro!) for Christmas.  I also got the Black Powder Rules, along with 2 Hourtouille Napoleonic books (Wagram and Borodino).  I've been interested in trying black powder for a while, so this is a great gift, especially since I never seem to spend much money on rules.

As seems to tradition  with Miniatures blogger, i feel the need to sum up the year.  DEspite being unemployed for jsut over a year now, I've managed to stay pretty  busy. I  built a heck of a lot of terrain this year, which along with painting commissions was the main reason  I have been able to start into my World war 2 project. I built a lot of fields,  rock outcroppings, the Indian village, 6 2x4 terrain boards, and numerous hedges, walls, and fences. I also finished a lot of pre-made terrain, including  10 Pegasus Russian houses, 1 Pasticville log cabin, 30 Lionel telephone posts,  and several small pieces from Acheson Designs.

For WW2 I finished off my 204 infantry(including crews) 18 crewed weapons(just the weapons),  15 tanks, and scratch built 70% of a French truck(waiting until I can afford to have the wheels rapid prototyped to finish) in almost exactly 3.5 months.  Before that I painted nearly my entire collection of French and Indian wars figures(200 figures in it's own right). In between I painted all sorts of things, including some Napoleonic Dragoons, ECW dragoons, ECW infantry,  Renaissance Polish, and lots of 40k(mostly on commission).

Fore the new year, it looks like i might be starting into an 18th century Imagination project with Dave Hoyt and a few others  we will be likely using out preferred Horse & musket skirmish rules, Sharp Practice.  I'll be doing the Electorate of Lustigzollern - Großgesaß.  Which of course is ruled by Kurfurst Friedhelm Ivo Großgesaß.  I have done up an initial concept for the uniforms of the Kurfurst Regiment. I think I may change the pants to  the yellow.  the Kurprinz regiment will be yellow with baby blue facings.

Anyway,  I hope everyone had a merry Christmas(or a happy whatever-you-celebrate), and I hope everyone has a happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

AGNM Hotchkiss H-39 platoon

Sunday when i got to MIGS,  Dave Hoyt had 3 H-39 tanks  for me.  He had picked them up for me while having lunch with the owner of AGNM(to save me the cost of shipping).   I was very happy!  these are beautiful models. the detail and quality of these is even higher then I have come to expect from AGNM vehicles.
Hotchkiss 39 platoon from AGNM

The model comes in 4 pieces: Hull, turret, gun, and Muffler. the only piece that requited any cleaning was the muffler, and even then it was very little.  there was a 5th piece, but after a conversation with  Vince at AGNM, it turns out that it probably isn't for this kit.   I have to say that i enjoyed painting these. It took a bit longer to paint then normal, but I think it paid off. The black lining of the colours really makes them pop.

Friday, December 3, 2010

More On The Laffly S-20

Last night and this morning I spent another 4 hours on the Laffly S20 I'm building.

 Laffly S20 WIP show with

The model is sitting on a plastic bottle cap, which makes the vehicle  5mm higher then it should be. also the wheel is just one I had on hand, and is about 2-3 mm in diameter larger then the final wheel will be.  So far I am pleased.  I still have to make the grill for the front, sculpt the engine vents on the sides of the front, and  use putty to smooth joints and  fill gaps.  When it's finally done,  it will come in at about 31mm tall, plus the 3mm base it will be put on when it's finished.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Progress on the 1/56th Laffly S20

I selnt about 2.5 hours working on  my 1/56th Laffly  model.  I had mentioned my attempt to build one of these in a thread on TMP and asked for some help on dimensions and such. 
Plans by M.C.Bell, provided by BlackWidowPilot, 
rearranged by me to have all hte views I wanted in a single file.

Two posters stick out  as as particularly helpful: Jeff Ewing and Leland R. Erickson(aka BlackWidowPilot ). Jeff Ewing was helpful in deciding on which set of dimensions to go with. he also gave me link to pictures i had not yet seen.   BlackWidowPilot  said he had some plans and scale drawings of a few variants of the truck, and sent them to me Sunday night.  I sized and printed out some of these drawing and you'll see them  in the pics.

WIP(bottom) compared to scale  
colour printout(WW2 drawings website)

Anyway, yesterday i cut out the 2 side pieces, and tonight i cut out all the other pieces present and assembled them. so far I'm about 2.5 hours into the project. I'm fairly happy so far with the results.  I need to add a slight ridge to the side and back and i still need to flesh out the drivers bench and dashboard.

 Side and rear views of the S20 WIP, compared to scale 
printouts from M.C. Bell Plans

I'm not going to go nuts on the detail of the undercarriage, since the final product will be a single resin piece with smaller add-on (steering wheel, etc) on a base(similar to AGN miniatures, which make up nearly all my vehicles). I'm only going to do the stuff that will be visible from the side.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

More french

I finalized my french colour scheme. I decided it was too green and went a little more brown-beige.   I kept the helmets a little greener then they should be to highlight the difference in colour between the coat and helmet.  it also adds a bit of needed colour.  I tend to be of the school of painting that believes in over exaggerating colour for effect, so it doesn't bother me like it might some people.
French Platoon with Hotchkiss HMG 
and 81mm Brandt Mortar

aside from what is here, i have 1 more squad and another platoon command. I also have 3 Hotchkiss H-39s that will be in my possession shortly.

Close up of Crusader French
I've also noticed that no one makes Laffly S20 trucks for the french in 1/56th(or anything close to 28mm, from what I've seen). this seems odd to me, since this is the vehicle that, according to what i have read, was used the most by French motorized infantry(Dragons) in the light Mechanized divisions(1040 were In service by May 1st 1940) . Since the truck itself has very little complex surface detail(complex patterns & shapes, wood paneling, etc etc), I've decided to try and build one from scratch and cast it. the first one will be the infantry carrier. if it works out I'll probably modify one to be the artillery tractor, and cast it as well. I'm already familiar scratch building and low-run resin casting, I'd just have to switch to a different resin(which is also cheaper and less prone to bubbles).

Monday, November 22, 2010

French test scheme

Last Wednesday I received my Crusader French figures. anyway, last Night I played around with paint schemes and decided to go with a khaki green colour.   I think it looks good, but I might just make it a little less green on the infantry squads.

I have enough figures for 1 platoon command and 4 squads, plus the 2 support teams above(more to be added later), but I'd like to be able to field it as 2 platoons of 2 squads each as well. Dave Hoyt has graciously offered a few extra figures for the 2nd command.

I'd like to replace some of the officer figures i have with Crusader French NCOs  (Helmets and coats) since  I ended up getting mostly Officers with no trench coat and with kepi. I'm also looking for an extra pair of French riflemen and 2 VB rifle grenadiers to be able to add the optional rifle grenadier to the command squads.

If you happen to have any extra french figures that fit in well with crusader, you can email me here .  I have a few extra Crusader Germans, TAG WWII marines and Japanese, and a couple of TAG Iraqis i could trade.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A New take on an old house and Telephone Poles

in 2001 when i first started buying GW Lord of the Rings figures, I built a little house as some terrain as at that point I wasn't a terrain maker yet, and had none.  I have meant for a while to re base and re-roof it. i finally got around to it earlier this week. unfortunately i forgot to take pictures of the house before i repainted and rebased it. but needless to say, it was very poorly based and the paint job was mediocre at best. the old roof was made out of  very thin plastic that curled over time.

Repainted and based house with Original roof and a 
28mm Soviet officer

At the beginning of last week i wandered over to the local gaming store and discovered that they now carry Model Builders Supply plastic sheets.  I picked up a sheet of ceder roofing  cut it to size and glued it to some sheet styrene. I then applied wood filler to the edges. i replaced the original  Sheet styrene base with a smaller piece of MDF with edges sanded for a smoother transition. this make it fit in with most of my other terrain. all in all i think it will pass as a rural European house.

Repainted & based House with new roof

I also got an opportunity to take some pics of the mass of Telephone poles I painted over the last 4 days. I really find that little things like telephone poles make a table more vibrant. 20s of the trees were actually a commission for Ron Peraziana. these are also based on MDF bases approximately 45x45mm.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New world War 2 Russians and a Game

The week before Fallin(3 weeks ago) I asked Fellow MIGS member and Gamer Larry McGee if he could pick me up a box GF9 econobases while he was at Fall In!. he agreed and I gave him the money to cover the box.

Last Friday(nov 5th), Larry Showed up at the club with my GF9 bases. But he also had 2 BTD soviet ATR teams and a Maxim team firing!  Given how difficult it is these day to get reliable service from BTD, this was a boon for my Russians!  I paid $15 for the 3 teams(7 figures and the Maxim).  I painted them Saturday night, but Failed to post  them here because i was laid up Monday-Wednesday with serious Allergy issues, and then frantically tried to get my remaining projects for the week done to stay on track.

 Last night our new friend Mark came down from Cambridge(1 hr drive) and braved some of the thickest fog I can remember, to play another game of disposable heroes WW2 With Jon and I.  We played an eastern front scenario, in which a surrounded soviet platoon with armoured support attempted to break through a rear area German garrison(with a bit of help from a Pzkmpfw IIIJ en route for the front lines).  the Russians has 4 infantry squads, a platoon command, a commissar, a Maxim team, an ATR team, an 80mm Mortar, 2 T34As, a T26( 2 Mg turrets) and a T35. the germans had 2 infantry squads, a Platoon command, an HMG team, 2 5cm mortar teams, a PaK 38, a 75mm IG18, 1 pzkmpfw. Ib, 1 Pzkmpfw IIc, and a Pzkmpfw. IIj. The soviet objective was to get at least 1 unit off for a marginal victory  and 3 units off for a major victory.

 In the first turn Mark's T-34 took out the Pz II on hte left flank.  the Russians  put up a line of smoke to cover teh advance, and my PaK 38 repositioned to cover the flank


the smoke limited the fighting to small bursts of gun fire until the 3rd turn when the smoke cleared half the Russian infantry concentrated fire on the PaK, 38 taking it out in time to save the T35 looming up the road.


THe HMG started to move from hte central road to hte right flank to catch the soviet infantry appearing on hte edge of the woods.  after a well placed shot at the infantry, hte gun was flanked and killed by a soviet LMG team. the Pz III went to the right flank, and shot up some infantry. once they were out of sight in the woods(and unable to Assault)  the German commander(me) brought the tank out and took out the T-34 with a well placed as it was cresting the bridge.

Despite the stiff resistance of the Germans, the soviets got a T-34 off the table, winning a marginal victory. In hindsight, if i had moved my infantry squad on that flank a turn sooner I might have been able to assault and immobilize the T-34. but even as such, i only lost 4 German infantry, An HMG team, a PaK-38 crew, and a Pz II  not bad given the initial odds.

IF you look carefully at the pictures you can see some Lionel O-scale  telephone poles. i was workin on these this week.  i have 30 of them, 20 of which are a commission for another fellow wargamer, Ron Peraziana. these really make a table look Fantastic in my opinion. they are cheap too. $11 for 10.

Stay tuned for more soon.

Friday, October 29, 2010

All Done for Now!

Last Saturday was a busy Day.  I managed to paint an AGNM PaK-38, a BTD Soviet M1897 75mm Feild gun,  and my remaining 8 Crusader Russian infantry on Friday.  On Saturday, I finished up a   German Squad, a German recon Squad, an MG-34 HMG team, and a  75mm IG18 Infantry Gun.

 All infantry & HMG team are Crusader, Russian field gun
is BTD,75mm IG18 is Bolt Action, PaK-38 is AGNM

Then yesterday, I painted my remaining German squad, a Soviet 76mm ZiS-3 AT gun, a 120mm soviet mortar and 4 soviet infantry in recon suits.

Germans are Crusader, 76mm gun is BTD with 
Bolt Action Crew, Mortar is Battle Honours?

and With that, i have finished a platoon for each force.  These are essentially complete now. I may add a support team here and There(especially for the Russians, as i locate sources of BTD support teams)and some tanks that i actually own for the Russians( only the T-28 is mine, everything else is loaned from friends Jon Holmes and Dave Hoyt).

My entire WW2 Eastern Front collection

 My Russian Force( T-34s Loaned by Dave Hoyt, 
Green stuff Loaned by Jon Holmes)

My German force(this one is all mine)

I will be expanding my WW2 collection in the future. I plan to do Finnish for the Continuation War, and after that perhaps a British Highlander platoon, using BEF miniatures, after that.

So now that this project  is out of the way at least in the short run, it frees up painting time for a few other things.  I think first upon the painting block is a Friends WW2 Japanese Platoon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

THis weekend was Migscon, and a good weekend to be selling tanks.

So last Thursday I received my Bolt Action 75mm IG-18 infantry gun, and 4 Soviet crew for my 76mm AT gun.  then that evening i got an email from Dave Hoyt that he had received our joint order of Crusader miniatures. This package contained 2 squads of Germans, plus the remaining 3 figures for my recon squad and an HMG team, and the last 8 Russians I need(1 pack each of SMGs and LMG teams)

 Tanks I painted Monday and Tuesday

Then Friday night at Migscon, I discovered Don Cameron at Five Arrows Books had a pretty good selection of Army Group North miniatures on hand.   I picked up a PaK-38 for my Germans. I didn't have a lot  more money so I had to wait until Saturday for my terrain to sell in the flea market. one of the guys helping set up the tables at the con also sold me a BTD Soviet M1897 field gun for $10.

Saturday i sold most of my terrain, and picked up an AGNM Pz Ib and  a Pz IIf, and a JFTM Pzkmpf Nbfz-1 from North Bay Hobbies. I very nearly didn't get the Nbfz-1. I was so busy setting up tearing down, and running games(3 back-to-back), that I didn't get to the North Bay Booth until he was starting to carry is boxes to the Truck! Dave also dropped my part of the Crusader order.  Dave went on to by 3 or 4 AGNM vehicles too.  

Sunday I went back to Five arrows and bought 2 Panzer IIIjs and a StuG IIIc. That was basically my weekend.

My friend Jon also bought 1 T-28 and 2 more BT-7s.  He gave me the T-28 to paint up the other 2.  So he now has 3 BT-7s, 1 T-26 twin turret, and 1 T-35.  I think between Jon, Dave and I we accounted for a significant portion of Don Cameron's AGMN sales.

So at the end of the weekend i had 9 tanks, 33 infantry and 5 support teams to paint.  Monday  night I painted the T-28. I chose to use a different scheme from Jon's tanks for easy recognition.

 AGNM T-28

 and yesterday I painted the remaining 8 tanks. I also mounted the JTFM Nbfz-1 on a base to match my AGNM tanks.

AGNM Pz IIf and Pz Ib



and this is what I have remaning on my desk:

Thursday, October 14, 2010


WEll tommorrow I'm off to MIGSCON.   I'll be helping with set up tomorrow morning/afternoon. I'll be there all weekend.  I'm hosting 4 games this year. Friday night I'll be hosting a Sharp Practice FIW scenario involving a Colonial force attacking s small half-finished french fort.  

Saturday I'll be hosting 3 games. in ht morning, I'm running a Sharp Practice FIW scenario in which a french & Indian force attack a British settlement, hoping to capture the British generals daughter.  In the afternoon I'll be hosting yet another Sharp practice FIW scenario where teh british froces gather to counterattack the french staging area. in hte evening I'm running a Disposable Heroes modern game in which the one British platoon must rescue another british platoon from a Iraqi insurgents(and some other unnamed forces...)

I'm also taking along quite a bit of terrain to sell at the flea market.  Some of these(the buildings) were proof of concept models.  others are being completed this afternoon. if you happen to be around at the con Friday night and want something, just ask me, I'll have it all there tomorrow.

Nearly everything I plan to take and sell
(minus the hussars, they are there for scale)

Size comparison with Perry plastic Hussars
Rock outcropping close-up with BTD WW2 Soviet scouts

The rail fences are resin-cast. I got sick of building the fences from scratch. it was tedious and time consuming. these will be the first items to be made with the new resin fences.

I've also received the remainder of my WW2 stuff( 2 German squads, the rest of the recon squad, and HMG team, and a 75mm IG18) , and the remainder of my soviet stuff( 8 more infantry and the crew for my 76mm ZiS-3). I'm hoping to grab some tanks this weekend for both sides in addition.  Next week is going to be busy!

If you in southern Ontario this weekend, come out to the MIGSCON .

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Desert Compound Completed

 I finished up my new desert compound this evening.  I added some lighter green foliage to break up the monotonous  colour.  Also, the little shed/lean-to adds a bit of much-needed colour as well.

The completed compound

Reverse angle

 With roof pieces removed.

This turned out pretty good. I think it will match the buildings I bought from Chris the Model Maker nicely.

Now i can start planning for my 2'x2' Mosque...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different: Desert Buildings

 I recently decided to expand my desert building collection.  Right now most of my stuff is small individual buildings. I want to be able to do something that looks more like the outskirts of a city or a a poor city neighborhood.

Middle Eastern compound WIP

I decided to start with a small compound made up of 3 buildings with an inner and outer courtyard.  all the walls and buildings are 1/8" Plywood, and the stairs are mostly basswood. the base is a 12x12' piece of MDF.Look a little rough now but once the whole thing is textured you won't even notice.

Close up of the inner court yard with stairs

I'll be finishing it off tomorrow, Just need to texture and paint it. I'll also be adding some arid looking foliage to the planter beside the stairs. If I can find a source of hinges small enough, I may also add some working doors.

Reverse angle

Monday, October 4, 2010

Russian Vehicles

Yesterday my friend Dropped off a few Russian  vehicles to be painted.  he had a trio of Amy Group North Miniatures he picked up at a convention 4 or 5 years ago, and never got around to painting them.  He has a hard time painting these days due the Physical discomfort caused by an injury.  I offered to paint Them if I could borrow then until I can afford to get my own.

Aside from the obvious benefit of getting to use the vehicles until I acquire some, it lets me experiment a bit with a paint scheme.Work out to be a win-win deal for both of us.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday was German Day

I've decided to paint up a platoon of  early Germans to fight my Russians.  I always try to do 2 sides of any project, just to make sure if someone disappears I'm not left with only 1 side of a war.  Ive been burned by people before, and i decided then I would not let it happen again.

 I've inherited some extra Bolt Action/Warlord and and crusader early German leftovers from my friend and gaming colleague  Dave Hoyt .   I also picked up the 50mm mortars on a recent trip to London, Ontario. so yesterday i decided to paint them up.  So far i only have enough for a  1 squad a platoon command, and 2 50mm mortar teams.  but i should soon have in the mail  enough Crusader Germans to round my meager force out to 3 full squads, a platoon command, a Recon squad, , 2 50mm mortars and an HMG team.

Bolt Action Early Germans

Crusader Early German Platoon command 
and 50mm mortar teams

Also last Friday,  while in London, I picked up  an Black Tree Designs Russian Maxim team from Imperial Hobbies. Sadly, this was the only Russian support team he had.  He did have a ton of regular BTD Russian riflemen, a few packs of SMGs and 1 or 2 each of Officers and character packs. BTD are hard to find these days, mostly because they withdrew from retail distribution, and then became unreliable with filling orders.  this is unfortunate, because I think they have the most complete WW2 Russian line out there.

 Russian scout squad and Maxim HMG team 
by Black Tree Designs

So Saturday I painted the Maxim, and a couple of russian scouts I had kicking around. the scouts are in the camo smock so i decided to do them in the autumn amoeba camo scheme.

Closeup of Maxim team from the other side

I'm still looking for Black Tree Designs Russian support teams. I'm looking fro pretty much everything but 76.2mm AT guns.  if you have any you'd part with, Drop me an email at crucible_orc AT sympatico DOT ca. I have various 28mm Warzone (Sci fi)Epic 2nd ed Eldar vehicles, and a few other items kicking around to trade.