Road to 1000pts… and more!

After typing up the last post, I did a quick tally of the points I’d painted for my Bolt Action army and found that I was pretty close to finishing 1000 points. All I needed was to paint up the Pak 40 and 120mm mortar teams. With that milestone so close, I decided to just go for it!

I really enjoyed painting both of these, the models are quite characterful and form this nice little vignette. The base for the Pak 40 was cut out of plasticard, as the round base provided was really too small.

Here’s the army in the current configuration I’m thinking of for 1000 pt games

After finishing these models, I realised that painting up another lieutenant model would let me fit in more of the tanks I’d painted a while back (In regular games of Bolt Action, you can add 1 tank per reinforced platoon, adding another lieutenant would let me split the infantry sections from my base list into two of these, giving me one more tank allowed). If I made these two tanks Tiger Is, the list would come really close to 2000pts (Tigers are veeery expensive, especially if crewed by veterans). I floated the idea of playing a game with these to some friends and they came back asking to play tomorrow! So I quickly painted up the second lieutenant this morning, ready for the game! He’s a little rough around the edges, but needs must!

Here’s the army at 2000pts:

As you can see, it’s not much bigger, just has larger cats!

I’m looking forward to this game, which will see this german army facing my 1000pts of 6th Airborne allied with 1000pts of late war russians! Might have to think a bit to make up a plausible explanation for how that scenario occurred!

German Reinforcements

I love listening to audiobooks while I paint, and have mostly listened to books about WW2 recently, which always pushes me to paint more models from the period. Recenty I listened to “Killing the Bismark” by Ian Ballantyne, which was a fantastic account of the hunt for Bismark by the Royal Navy, mostly old from the perspective of that navy through accounts of those who were there. That definitely has me considering naval wargaming!

Following on from that, I’ve been listening to James Holland’s “Brothers in Arms”, an account of the Sherwood Rangers’ participation in the later years of the war, again told from a very personal level through accounts of men of the regiment. I’m not all the way through it yet (so far it has been excellent!), but the early chapters cover Normandy on and after D-Day which has motivated me to paint more of my Normandy armies (and also consider buying Shermans…).

So here is the next batch of Germans for the late war army I’ve been putting together, with first up an officer and forward observation officer

The officer model I found really fun, he looks right out of Indiana Jones or another pulpy movie with the round glasses and the luger.

The observer I’ll either use as an artillery/air observer, or as a spotter for the mortar I still have to build and paint.
I had fun painting the reflection in the glasses so here’s a close-up!

Both models are from Warlord Games.

Next up are opponents that regularly show up in “Brothers in Arms”: the SS.

Last post on the army I made the comment about how I felt conflicted with painting an army of real world villains (thanks to everyone who commented by the way, I feel like some really positive and constructive discussions were had on the topic). If there was any unit to have misgivings about painting, here they are.

This camouflage pattern was a lot of work! I can see why display painters are drawn to it, and army painters dread it! My hands were cramping up after repeatedly dotting these 10 models. I used Vallejo German Camo Medium Brown, Vallejo German Camo Dark Green, and Vallejo Gobin Green for the pattern. As a reference I used an illustration in a very useful book I have on WW2 uniforms.

I plan on running these models in one of three ways: as a 10-man section, as two 5-man sections with an MG each, or two 5-man sections with MGs and assault rifles split up.

The MG models are some older Warlord Games metal models, which have one of the team members acting as a mobile tripod. I saw photos where this tripod-man was facing either way so I built the teams to have that man face both directions to add a bit of variation in what are otherwise identical poses. The rest of the models are from Warlord’s fairly new SS set.

This mostly leaves weapons teams to fill out the rest of the army as I currently plan on fielding it. Something like a couple of MG teams (with real tripods this time), an anti-tank gun, and a mortar team. I have quite a few more models in the collection, so most likely these plans will change, we will see!

Endor-ish

I painted some terrain over the weekend, finally getting around to the Endor bits I’d printed quite a while back now. Rather than just posting pictures of an empty board I figured I may as well use the occasion to take pictures of my Star Wars Legion army while I was at it!

This terrain is all from imperialterrain.com, and printed on my Ender 3 Pro 3D printer. This was a fair bit of printing, I think it took around a couple of weeks of almost full time running the printer.

I painted the trees to look like the redwoods used as the Endor backdrop in the Return of the Jedi, but decided against matching the basing the army has (see Endor bases) for the forest litter. For the army I used Jarrah (A local Western Australian wood) sawdust, I which I reckon matches dried pine needles pretty well. To collect the amount of sawdust needed to cover these pieces would have taken me quite a while, and Jarrah sawdust can be an irritant for some people so I decided against having large amounts of it flying around. Instead I used the method I described in my Wood Elf post, blended dried leaves mixed with foam flocks. This has the advantage of being easy to make in large quantities, and down the track allows me to paint up some fantasy ruins to match the tree bases to re-use them for MESBG and other fantasy games.

The ferns you see in the photos were made by cutting up a cheap fake fern I found in a shop around here. I have plenty of it left for future terrain pieces!

This was a nice Sunday project, I started mid-morning and finished in the evening, drying times incuded (helped along by the heat we’ve been having here!). I look forward to playing some games with it and using the pieces as backdrops for forest miniatures!

Wood Elves of Lothlorien and Rivendell

It’s been a while since the last post (almost a month in fact!), the holiday period is definitely a busy time and it took me a while to finish up this latest project: a 500 point wood elf army for the Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game.

The army is lead by Galadriel on the Lothlorien side and Gildor for the Rivendell contingent. My goal was to cram as many elf bodies in the list as I could while also having access to relatively powerful characters.

Galadriel I’d painted many years ago, so she got a touch up and a rebasing to match the others. Gildor on the other hand is new for this army (one of the rare metal models GW still sells!).

The wood elf plastics are definitely showing their age, as single piece plastics from that time the detail is rather soft, and the single piece restriction leads to some significant filled in undercuts etc. I think they look good at the tabletop level though, if not under close scrutiny, and painted them appropriately (i.e. to tabletop rather than anything else standard).

I tried to stick to the rather desaturated colours you see on the wood elves in the movies while still keeping some variety of colours. The military colours I’ve been collecting for my WW2 models have definitely come in useful here! As you can see most of the areas of the models are 3 stages to keep things nice and quick.

I had some fun with the bases, I wanted to try something else than my previous attempts at forest bases and I really like the outcome, especially when considering how simple this was to do. I took some dry leaves I had ready for basing purposes, and broke them up using a spice grinder. I took the results and mixed in some Woodland Scenics foam flocks and ended up with what you can see in the photo below. Then simply coated the bases in glue and dunked them into the pot of my forest mix. I did seal them in watered down PVA to fix everything properly as an extra precaution. Nice and quick!

I painted these for a tournament that is coming up in February, so for once I have some time to practice games ahead of time! We’ll see how much practice actually happens though.

2021 Recap

2021 marked the first full calendar year for the blog (I started it in September 2020), and coincided with one of my most productive years ever when it comes to model painting, with 326 models finished for the year! It’s the first time I’ve documented a full year’s work so I can’t be sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t the most models I’ve ever painted in 12 months.

Here’s to another hobby charged year, and I hope you all have a great 2022!

Imperial Specialists

This has wound up being a nice and quiet weekend, so that means more painted models! These three models are the remainder of the Imperial Specialists set (I painted the officer from the set back in Febuary), and also the last three models in need of painting in my current imperial collection (I have some spare storm trooper models but I have more than I need already painted).

From left to right, we have an R4 astromech droid, a comms specialist, and an FX-9 medical droid. That medical droid is rather sinister looking I must say, not sure I’d be very excited to have that hovering over me if I was injured!

I ended up using the same recipe on the trooper as for the Grenadiers I painted last week, it looks about right for Imperial uniforms which isn’t surprising, the influences for the designs of the costumes are pretty clear!

With these three done, I probably have enough for two standard games’ worth of models (i.e. way more than I need 😉 ) but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed painting Star Wars models and I’m sure there will be more coming my way in the future.

Inferno Squad

My friends have been talking about playing Star Wars legion again, and that motivated me to finish up some models that have been built and primed for probably close to a year: the three members of Inferno Squad, a commando unit of the Empire.

Gideon Hask, ID10 Droid, Iden Versio, and Del Meeko

Inferno Squad made up some of the protagonists of the single player campaign of the Battlefront II video game that I enjoyed a lot when I played through it last year some time. I got excited when I saw that there were models of them for the Star Wars Legion game, and doubly so when I found them under the tree last Xmas! The kit for Iden Versio comes with a selection of weapons that match what she can use in the game, so I kitted her out they way I enjoyed playing the most, which I thought was a neat thing to let players do.

Painting-wise there is not much new here, they were painted with the same black recipe I’ve used for all the black models in the army (i.e. build up highlights using Vallejo Dark Sea Blue and Vallejo Ghost Grey, with shiny materials – the armour, boots, and gloves – highlighted brighter than the cloth elements).

This was a nice break from larger projects, a quick two-session paintjob (one this morning and one tonight!). It’s nice to be able to have these done, they made up most of my remaining Legion models needing to be painted. Left now are a couple of droids and a comms trooper!

Grenadiers

The WW2 bug is still very much around and I’ve now started painting the infantry in the German collection that was given to me. Starting with the Grenadiers, from Warlord Games’ plastic kit line.

I have 2 squads of these in the 1000pt list I’ve written up, both imaginatively armed in the exact same manner! 8 men, two as an MG team, one with Panzerfaust, and the rest with rifles.

I painted these using Duncan Rhodes’ guide, following the steps exactly up until some of the more detailed highlights that I skipped.

These were based with more base ready materials, this time the Scrublands mix. I think it looks quite nice, especially given the low amount of effort required!

I’ve been on a bit of a journey with these models, building and painting models that are evil in fantasy and sci-fi settings is one thing, but these are miniature representations of an organisation that caused harm in an unprecedented scaled to real people. I’ve had serious misgivings about painting and posting about this army, but at the end of the day I think historical wargaming can have a positive role in helping us and others keep in mind what happened in the past.

This is a bit more of a serious tone than usual on the blog, but I did want to address this as I think it’s important. I’ll probably talk some more about all this when I get to the troops of a more political nature…

More Skaven Clan Rats

After my foray into 1944 armoured warfare, time to come back to my Skaven project! This is the second unit of clan rats for the army, and the last I’m painting for the first 1000pts. I haven’t quite decided if I will add more as I grow the army, it will likely depend on how much I feel like painting more of them!

There isn’t much to discuss painting wise, I followed the guide I wrote for the first unit pretty much to the letter, the only exception being that I replaced the basecoat of the teal cloth with Scale 75 Arphen Jade. I’d used Lupercal Green on the first unit but found I didn’t get very good coverage over my ochre undercoat.

I’m not too far from having painted the 1000 point list, just needing to paint two characters and a unit of 20 stormvermin. I’ve been getting excited by all kinds of games lately so who knows if the next post will be more Skaven or another distraction!

More Tanks!

I decided that while the motivation to paint tanks is there, it should be fully utilised! I still had 3 Cromwell tanks to paint up before we could play this big tank battle, so after finishing up the last post, I decided to keep going.

I decided to paint them as 7th Armoured tanks, as North Africa is also a campaign I’m fond of and the Desert Rats are hard to pass by! The kits came with decals for the 7th which made life easier, although I don’t believe the regimental number decals are correct, as all the reference photos I could find had them with a stag head in the top half and the number in the bottom half. Still I’m not enough of a stickler to let get in the way of finishing these!

British tanks are somewhat simpler to paint than the German camo, being simply a single colour all over, but I otherwise replicated the process I used on the German tanks last post. The decals are a mix of the ones that came with the warlord kits (the regimental numbers, the unit symbols), the allied star warlord decal sheet for the stars on the turrets, and the registration numbers from the Italeri version of the same kit (while these are Warlord branded, Italeri produces them, and sell their own version of the kit). I’m glad I had all these on hand, I think together they make a pretty complete picture, and am a little disappointed that all the decals I think are needed are not just in the box.

Some of the decals aren’t the straightest but then I remember that a lot of these were hand stenciled on, so some variation may be somewhat more realistic (at least it’s a useful excuse 😉 )

These were fun and very quick to paint, now I just have to figure out how and when to have this big tank battle!

Tank War!

A friend of mine gave me his Bolt Action army last weekend after a year of not doing too much with it, he felt he’d rather not have it than having the pressure to complete it, and focus instead on Star Wars Legion. He’d amassed a pretty large collection of models, so this was very generous of him indeed. I’ve been itching to get a game of Bolt Action in after all this time so decided to act quickly and paint all his tanks so we could play the Tank War set of rules for Bolt Action, with the goal of painting the infantry later. After tallying up his vehicles (1 Puma, 2 Panzer III, 2 Tigers), I ended up at around 1500 points, so decided to round that up to 2000 by buying a couple of extra tanks to fill out the numbers (a Panzer IV and a Stug IV). This would let this army play against my own 1000pts of British tanks and another friend’s 1000pts of Russian tanks.

I decided to go for a late war scheme (the famed Dunkelgelb, Olivgrün, Rotbraun camo) to match my own armies which I mostly picked because of their presence in Normandy. The Panzer IIIs are a little bit out of place there, but I found three sources that mention there being a handful present, good enough for me!

With that goal in mind I decided that for time efficiency I would paint the lot together as there are a lot of efficiencies to be gained there. Tank painting with oils washes and layers of varnish has a lot of drying time in between steps, while the steps themselves are relatively short. Here’s a quick summary of the steps:

  1. Undercoat – Vallejo Dunkelgelb Primer through the airbrush for the tank bodies, Vallejo Plate Mail Metal for the tracks (Kept separate where possible)
  2. Camo – Vallejo Olivgrün and Vallejo Rotbraun through the airbrush, I decided to do a loose striped pattern.
  3. Basecoat the bits that are not tank bodies (Rubber on the wheels, tracks where attached, attached equipment etc.)
  4. Gloss Varnish the lot
  5. Apply Decals
  6. Gloss Varnish again
  7. Overall oil wash – Abteiling 502 Dark Mud
  8. Streaking rust, applied dots and streaked them downwards – Abteilung 502 Oxide Patina
  9. Satin Varnish all over
  10. Used Graphite pencil to wear the edges
  11. Applied mud to tracks – AK Wet Mud
  12. Applied dust – Mig Europeant Dust Dry Pigment
  13. Matt varnish all over
Some of those decals were very tricky to apply! Luckily decal solvents saw me through! (I used Mig Decal Set/Fix for this)
Very happy with the outcome of the rust streaks, I’ll definitely use that technique again.

Here’s a gallery of all the vehicles

The Tigers – Warlord Games/Italeri Plastic kits
The Panzer IIIs – Warlord Games/Italeri Plastic kits
The Puma – Warlord Games/Italeri Plastic kit
The Stug IV – Die Waffenkammer resin kit
The Panzer IV – Die Waffenkammer resin kit

Very fun little project, now I need to paint my British tanks otherwise this will all be in vain!