Saturday, 18 May 2013

Building an ASLAV Part 2- finishing the build

So, building has been completed on the ASLAV, the weather has cleared enough for me to undercoat ASLAV today, so paint should start tomorrow (all going well).

Adam correctly pointed out that my ASLAV was missing a spare wheel on the back. I had the plan of making a cast of one of the imprint wheels from green stuff, then build up the rest of the wheel from green stuff. Seemed to be a good plan, except I made an absolute hash of it! So, flagging that entirely, I opted to make my spare wheel with a cover on it. All the photos I have seen of the ASLAV show it without a cover, so I am using some artistic licence. I made it from a couple of 16mm washers, covered liberally with green stuff. I added a recognition panel to the cover to make it a bit more interesting. I plan to paint the cover in the desert AUSCAM, need to double check on the colour for the recognition panel tho

Another thing that which was missing from the kit was the ammo box for the pintle mounted FN MAG 58, so I whipped one up from some Green Stuff. I think that is all the building I am going to do, I could keep covering it in kit, but I do like the Australian vehicle camo, so I want to keep plenty of flat panels for the camo scheme.

So, off to undercoat the ASLAV, hoping to get the paint on it tomorrow.

Look Curt, TWO posts!


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Building an ASLAV in 28mm

Sorry for the lack of posting, in short I have become very heavily involved with Skirmish Sangin, which is taking up most of the mental capacity I have for writing, leaving very little enthusiasm for posting stuff up here.

Which is more than a bit lame, so I have decided to try to put myself back onto here. It will be pretty low key, but should be able to last a bit better than when I last tried this (all of 2 months ago!)


This is a first WIP look at my current project, an ASLAV (Australian LAV-25) in 28mm. The initial model comes from Imprint, and I have added my own modifications to it.

The primary difference from the Imprint Kit and the ASLAV is the exhaust, which I resculpted from Greenstuff and a bit of hacksawing. It was really the main problem, and took far longer than I had expected to sculpt (straight edges are not my forte). I am happy with how it looks currently.

Other additions are medical tape camo net on the front of the vehicle,backpacks from the Airfix 1/48th plastic Modern British Infantry and jerry cans on the turret.

Once the Green Stuff has dried, I will get some paint onto it, hoping to have it done by the end of the week, so keep looking out.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Day of Days 2013

So, as time rolls on, the inevitable occurs, it is time for Day of Days again! This year it is a doubles tournament, themed around the relief of Stalingrad. So Mid War, and none of the REALLY cool toys for the Germans, just PaK 40s....

Nick and I are working together again, after my successes last year with tanks (8 tanks, fielded in 4 games. 32 total tanks, 31 destroyed...) clearly the only solution was for me to bring tanks AGAIN! The kaiser won't be expecting that...

To balance the Axis/Allies, we opted to play for the Allies, meaning both Nick and I needed to get a Soviet Army! Tankovy was not to hard to get, Nick had the hard task of getting a Cossack army! To be fair, it was his fault for choosing the ponies...

My force of Guards Tankovy works out as..

HQ- T-70
Tankovy Platoon- 9 T-34
Light Tankovy Platoon- 10 T-70


That's it.

I chose again to use my winterwash technique using the sponges out of blister packs, and quickly worked up my force.

There are two more T-34s, which somehow missed this shot...

10 Plastic Soldier Company T-70s. I was really impressed with these, and plan to write something up about them in the future.

Lastly, the Company Commander in his T-70

Another tournament special thing is that in some rounds, we may get air support. So, I picked up a cheap plastic Zvezda LaGG-3 fighter- mainly so I can complain about lag if it doesn't come in!

The colour scheme has been taken straight from Google- this is the paint scheme on a LaGG fighter on display in Moscow. And conveniently, it works perfectly with my Winterwash colour scheme!

So there it is, a quick little update, I plan to do an AAR following the tournament. Big question, will I lose more than 31 tanks?


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

SAGA- Anglo-Saxon Warband Painted

So, as part of the Analogue Challenge I set myself the goal of finishing some of the many projects which I have purchased, and then not done a single thing with.

The first of these, is an Anglo Saxon warband for SAGA. I bought this when I bought my Irish Warband, so roughly a year and a half ago. All that it was used for in that time was for spare pieces, being repeatedly raided for weapons, heads and anything else that I thought might be useful. With SAGA starting to become popular here, there are about 3-4 warbands which I know are on people's painting tables (right Tim?), I thought it was about time for me to get these guys out and painted. To help inspire me to paint them, I decided to use Little Big Men Studios shields, because from seeing Kent's gorgeous Carthaginians I knew that the transfers would really make my Saxons "pop".

So, here we are, all six points of the Warband.

Starting with the Warlord, he is a Gripping Beast metal miniature, looking rather dapper in his purple cloak.

The first point is a unit of four Hearthguard. Two are metals from Gripping Beast, the one with two swords is a Gripping Beast plastic, and the fourth is a Warlord Games Celt, with some GB plastic parts. I am particularly happy with the tattoos on the Celt, that success was what actually inspired me to paint up a whole army of Impetus Celts!

The rest of the Warband is made up of four units of 10 Warriors. These are all Gripping Beast plastics, with Little Big Men Studios shield decals.

The first (of many) old projects finished!

Back to the painting table, I will keep updating here with more of the painting.


Monday, 4 February 2013

2013- It has been a long time coming!

Well, after a good month plus of a hiatus (unannounced of course), I figured I would put something up here, just to remind you all that I am still kicking around!

2012 ended on an insanely busy note. I moved cities, and began working on the Analogue Painting Challenge. It has taken a fair while to sort through the mountains of boxes, and certainly most of my gaming stuff is still in a box, but I am settled in! The new city has opened up new opportunities, I have been encouraging the new locals into a variety of my favourite games- Impetus, SAGA and Force on Force. Thankfully, there are more than a few locals who were already keen on them, so we are well on the way!

My painting has been trucking along really well, actually as it stands I am in the lead in the competition! Well, a 20 point lead, but a lead is a lead! But I will do big picture dumps of that soon.

The plan for 2013 then?

Well, I am thinking of going to some tournaments....

-Day of Days Nick and I are running some Soviets, by some, I mean a whole lot! My side of the army is already done, but more on them in the future.

-Nationals Although it is in Wellington this year, I just can't get excited about 3 days of Flames of War. There are some cool late war lists which I could run, but I can barely justify 3 days of gaming, and if I am not going to enjoy it... On the other hand, the locals enjoy the fantasy game Malifaux, which has a 1 day competition, which is altogether more tempting.

-Southcon For something new this year, Southcon are running an Impetvs competition, based loosely around Far Eastern armies. With EI 5 just coming out filled with cool eastern lists, it made total sense! There are plenty of armies being planned, and my idea is to run Ikko Ikki, an army of peasants! But more on those when I see the lists, and make some plans.

-Panzershrek Apparently a good tournament, I have heard good things! It is late war doubles, and Bob and I are making evil, evil plans....

-Call to Arms The grand plan here? A group of us have gotten together and have decided to refight the Day of the Rangers in 28mm. So what that means, is I am going to pick up and paint some sweet as 28mm US Moderns! On that too, I am having a game of Skirmish Sangin, which is a set of rules from a local company, will be interesting to see it in action!

Plus Conquest probably and that will likely round out my tournaments for the year!

So what else is on the plan?

ACW- The Gettysburg Refight is this year, and I need to get painting!
Moderns- Taliban, 2003 War US
Impetus- Romans, Greeks, Celts...
SAGA- I wouldn't mind those Plastic Conquest Normans...

Oh, and a whole host of Flames of War too!

A bit of a cop out post I know, but it is to try to get me back into the habit of blogging as well as posting pictures to Analogue!

Painting is progressing very well...


Friday, 21 December 2012

SAGA: The Taxman Cometh...

Adam and I managed to find time to have a game of SAGA last night (not that hard, SAGA doesn't exactly take long for us). The Brave and dashingly handsome Irish were fighting the ruthless, cold, kitten killing and generally bad guys, the Rus.

The Irish were hanging in their village, tending their crops, telling stories of their greatness and downing an ale or two, before the a messenger of the oppressive land owners arrived, demanding their due. Screaming something about taxation and representation, the Irish dutifully sent that messenger back headless.

Apparently that was not payment enough, so it was not long before the Rus arrived..

Cue the Imperial March from Star Wars....

The Warlord FionĂșir emerged from his castle, ready to do battle.

The Warriors sallied forth to defend the wagon (which might have been previously owned by the Rus. It was their own fault for leaving the windows down and the keys in it)

The Rus advanced relentlessly towards the Irish, but much to their suprise, the Irish sallied forth from their walls, and sought combat! So much for a walk over!

The Irish ran forward, throwing Javelins at the oncoming Rus. In spite of a ridiculous number of projectiles, no one died. Not even a scratch. Loki was pulling the wool over the Irish eyes!

There are meant to be less of them!

This clever plan of running out and throwing sticks seemed to maybe not be the best idea. First, the women and children were hiding in the woods, and were spotted by the evil lord along with his axe-wielding vassals...

Ruh Roh.

The Levies needless to say did not last long. They killed one of the enemy, but were not spared.

Then the enemy levies sought combat with the brave Irish boys..

Which ended with the Warriors killing many Levies, but losing almost all of their number. Then they ran off (stupid enemy battleboard ability killing my dudes)

In the centre, FionĂșir surrounded by his loyal wolfhounds was ambushed first by enemy warriors, who sacrificed three of their number to roll an astronomical 20 attack dice!


And after...

The cunning Rus had sought to isolate FionĂșir, for without his loyal hounds he was easy picking for the heavy axes of the enemy Varangians.

But the Varangians themselves were then ambushed by yet another unit of warriors (I have a few), who pelted them with their javelins. This time, the missiles had an effect, killing almost all of the number. The last Varangian was killed trying to avenge the death of his brother in close assault with the Warriors.

But then those warriors were ambushed by the enemy Warlord and some more Varangians, the mutual destruction leaving just two men standing before the gates of the village.

The game ended shortly thereafter, when that lone warrior rolled many, many 6's on a dice to give himself a lot of Javelin dice, then proceeded to throw them all at the enemy Warlord. One missile was enough to cause a fatal wound, saving the village!

Not that there is anyone left alive in the village...

Was a fun game of SAGA, something very different! It was good to play SAGA after so long, the Irish were getting very bored sitting in a box without a game!

Right, painting challenge is all go, I need to get cracking. Moderns game Saturday, which will be awesome.


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Nam by Mark Baker, a review.

I bought Nam second hand when I was in Australia and had not got around to reading it until now. I would by no means call myself any sort of expert on the Vietnam War. I know a bit about it through my reading, but I know that there are a lot of people who read this who know far far more than I do. But yet, I am compelled to comment on this book. I finished up reading this book a couple of days ago, and after a few days of stewing about it, I was prompted to write about what I thought.

The book Nam by Mark Baker has been around for quite some time, published first in the 1980s this book is a collection of stories from people who were in Vietnam, soldiers, marines, nurses and others who told of their experiences through the conflict. Baker took the interviews and chronicled them together based on a series of titles, the start of the conflict, boot experiences etc, through to combat and finally coming back stateside.

The book is told from the first hand perspective of individual soldiers, and paints a pretty bad picture of them as a whole. The soldiers are portrayed through their words as being perpetually stoned, not giving a damn about their job, totally disbelieving about their purpose and totally immune to the horror of the lives that they take. Drugs are talked about at length, stupidity of senior officers (even from boot Lieutenants) is constantly talked about. Most of the book is following this track, it is almost horror writing. Americans (through their words) are seen as murderers, massacres are commonplace and sought after to perpetuate "kill-counts".

And that bothered me.

I have had the privilege of meeting servicemen, some of whom have served in different conflicts, including Vietnam. I know that I have a boyhood idealism when it comes to war, I grew up reading Kipling and the concept of the great adventure of war has stuck with me. Equally, I can comprehend the horror that was the Vietnam War through what I have read. Could I really understand what it was to go to war there? No, and I won't pretend I can.

But this book bothered me.

I am not so naive to believe that there weren't drugs in Vietnam. Equally, I know the war was not the heroic Americans saving the Vietnamese from the bad bad communists. But to portray every single character in a book as being that baby-killing stoner really bothered me. I can accept the fact that they existed. That war was frustrating militarily, fighting an enemy who refused to fight on equal terms, an enemy which held complete command of the local populace, who could melt into their surroundings.

How could you combat that? Collateral damage was tragically inevitable.

But I fail to believe that all of the soldiers who served in Vietnam were the stereotype presented in the book, and that is what bothers me. I know that the war was horrible. But perhaps I choose to believe that it did not destroy everyone like those who were portrayed in the book. I think there were heroes from that conflict, people who sought to help the Vietnamese, rather than simply racking up a kill-count.

And if I am wrong, so be it. Leave me to my delusions.

The saving grace of the book, was the concluding chapter. The plight of Veterans when they get home is something which the western world struggles with. We ask soldiers to do so much, but do we give them enough in return? I don't think so. I am sure statistics exist about suicides of servicemen, of them being incarcerated, of their inability to reform to civilian life. Is that so hard to understand? I think it isn't, they have gone through something unimaginable and unthinkable for society as a whole, broken rules which are socially taboo and have been kept isolated from society for the last however many years. And we expect them to reform right back in to line.

And that bothers me.

To all the veterans who read this, thank you for your service. I hope that you have found whatever form of peace which you need to be yourself. As for the book, well, I urge you to take it with a grain of salt. But there is a kernel of truth to the stories told, but I fail to believe that this was standard operating procedure for the conflict.

Please comment if you agree or disagree, correct me if I am wrong please.

Tonight, the painting challenge starts....