Friday 18 May 2012

Recycled Frenchies!

I acquired off Archduke Piccolo today a number of second hand painted 20mm plastic Napoleonic French. The Archduke had recently acquired them himself, but was persuaded to part with them upon receiving appropriate trade goods.

A group photo of some of the French.

Close up of some of the stands.

A command element. there were three stands like this.
The paint jobs on these figures are quite average at best, and the figures have had a rough life - I have been told that they fared badly in the earthquakes - which easily explains the missing paint on many of them! In defense of the figures, they are good enough to put on the table, and Napoleonics are not the easiest of figures to paint. It also looks like some of them were painted with hobby craft paint, which would increase the difficulty in producing a top paint job. By and large, this would have been a fieldable army that hopefully the original painter had fun using.

First I cut them out of their stands. these Voltigeurs will form a skrimish line on each V&B stand.

The figures are largely from the HaT 1808 -1812 French Line Infantry set.

I then start to figure out where the figures will go on their new home.

 I am basing them up for use with Volley and Bayonet, as a way of quickly getting some usable french forces on the tabletop. After the success I had with putting a wash over my second hand WW2 Italians, I was curious to see if I could do something similar with other second hand figures. I present the following for you to judge:

Two French stands without benefit of washing.
The French on the left have received a wash of GW Devlan Mud

Front view of the almost finished stand.
The rear view of the French stand,

Side view. The printed paper flag was washed too!

I followed advice from the Archduke and used ink on the coloured edges of the flag to remove the white cut edge.
The printed flags most likely were sourced from Warflag, and the flagbears were mainly converted musketmen. For the completed V&B stand, I nicked an eagle from an Italeri French Line Infantry flag, (a number of the figures are from that set, and from others too!).

Overall I am very pleased with the results achieved from recycling these figures - and from the looks of it it seems that some of these figures are on at least their third rebasing!  With luck I should be able to get another two V&B bases with command figures on them, and enough figures to do another four.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

WW2 Italians WIP Pt. 2

Some more work in progress for my growing WW2 Italian forces. First up is the beginning steps in creating a 20mm Solothurn anti tank rifle stand. Each Italian infantry battalion has one of these stands. My plan is to replace the LMG on the prone LMG gunner from the Esci Alpini set with the anti tank rifle I have created by cutting down a suitable 1/35 scale weapon into a passable match for the Solothurn S-18/100.

Donor gun was a L7 GPMG.

To fit the weapons I had to use larger stands. I try to only do this for support weapons.
I then undercoated it, and some metal 45mm mortar stands with black spray paint. the next step in the Italian upgrade was to start touching up the paint jobs of the ones I  already have painted and then apply a wash of Devlan Mud.

The one on the left has been washed, the one on the right is unwashed...

Rear view of same stands. The wash really improves the paint job.
The painted 75mm AA gun.  I am not entirely happy with the colour.

i am till working on a gun crew stand. According to the TOE, it should be a double sized stand.

The MMG stand. crew are an Airfix Italian and an Atlantic generic gun crew figure.

The view from the other side. I mixed the uniform colour, but am now going to use Vallejo 888 Olive Grey for the rest of the Italians.

When I went to purchase the olive grey paint, I discovered that one of the local hobby stores was having a sale, and had model Italian equipment in stock.  So I was able to expand my Italian forces by adding some armour, and a SPG 90mm AA gun. Finding kits you want on the shelf is hard enough in NZ. Finding said kits on the shelf, and on sale is pretty amazing!

A good match for the diecast M13/40 from the 'Combat tanks Collection'
 I got a box of Italeri fast assembly M13/40 tanks (with two tanks in the box), a similar Italeri set except it contained two Semovente M40 75mm SPGs, and an Italeri fast build kit of a lorry mounted 90mm AA gun.
All went together very nicely and have increased the numbers of my Italians quite nicely!

Tanks and 75mm SPGs. I must get them ready to field against Mr K.

Autocannone 3 RO with 90/53 90mm AA gun. Very nice. I'm sure Mr K.'s Sherman's will love it!

So some more painting new stands, washing existing stands, and scratchbuilding some support stands should get the infantry component out of the way. I also want paint up a small force of Italians for the desert, and a small force up for the Eastern Front.

WIP Mk 1 Nod Flame Tank

I have been slowly working away on this vehicle for quite some time. after the earthquakes in Christchurch, it required a bit of repair work. the base of the vehicle is the tracks unit from a toy plastic excavator (purchased in a set of four from The Warehouse several years before). The fuel tanks are empty NOS bulbs, that had been discarded used on the street during the NOS craze in Christchurch several years ago,which I picked up because of their modelling possibilities.

Flame tank next to light truck.

The flamer nozzles on each side are  fashioned out of GW vehicle flamer bits that I was given as part of a trade. Giving this vehicle stats for use in CD3 has been an interesting exercise. Without giving too much away, it works as per a normal vehicle flamethrower (but with extra shots), and is barely an armoured vehicle.

Side view. Paint job needs tidying up.

Front view.
This flame tank is more of a terror weapon, than a battlefield weapon, so it seems appropriate that I make one up for my Nod forces, as this goes well with the background I am using for them.

Rear view

The main use of this vehicle will be as table decoration, or as part of a special objective for a scenario. I had fun making it, and I really enjoyed using flame tanks in Command and Conquer.

A warm day in Bosnia: Part 3.

Shuffling armour in the woods.

Turn 4. I manage to reorganise my surviving armour, by disengaging one platoon back into the woods, swinging another round into a firing position to guard against an advance on the left flank, and moving back into the woods with the remaining T-34/85s. Frank dismounts his mech infantry, and seizes the remaining hill. Nod now controls the high ground on the board.

The high ground is all Frank's...

 The BDRM fires a Spandrel and destroys one of my T-34/85s as it advances into the woods. I return the favour by using a TOW stand to destroy the BDRM.
TOW vs. BDRM 2.

The other TOW damages a T-55 putting it on red, forcing it back, while my T-62 fails to damage the T-55 it is shooting at. Poor shooting is not limited to just the Bosniaks - a battery of Nod twin 23mm guns opens up on my infantry on the edge of the woods for no effect. The Noddist T-55s open up on the infantry and TOW stand, destroying the TOW stand and chewing up the Bosniak infantry. In return, the infantry brew up a Nod recon buggy that advanced into effective range. Frank uses his 120mm mortar on the other TOW stand for no effect, but one of my infantry infantry companies pin in the morale phase.

Poor dice stops the T-55 from sharing its neighbours fate.

Turn 5. Frank advances his T-55s, and his infantry on the hill shoots at the TOW stand. The TOW engages and fails to damage a T-55, and the T-62 fails to hit the other T-55 in the opportunity phase. In the general fire phase, Frank finally gets artillery to conduct a mission, pummeling Bosniak infantry advancing in open towards the woods on the right.

 The sole remaining TOW survives further attack from a T-55 firing direct fire HE, while Frank's massed APCs on the left flank conduct long range fire at the Mujahideen occupying a BUA, doing little damage.

Massed Nod APCs - a perfect target for an airstrike. Sigh...

Bravely holding on.... but it's just a matter of time until they have to fall back further into the BUA.

At this point I decided to call the game, as we had been going for around 4-5 hours, which was the allotted time frame for the game. Frank's forces had advanced further along the board than I had, but were not in a position to advance further.  I had abandoned ideas of advancing some time ago, as I simply didn't have the numbers to advance in the face of Frank's artillery (battery of 120mm mortars, and a battery of 122mm SPGs), or his virtually unscathed infantry forces.That being said, Frank was very reluctant to attempt a further advance down the road in trhe face of my surviving armour. As such, I viewed the situation as being a marginal Nod victory.

The BDRM-2 with its Spandrels had been an unpleasant surprise for me, and the rapacity of advance by Frank's mech infantry is always troublesome. My lack of artillery support in these games is an area that I am working on, as it is artillery that seems to save Frank's bacon in most games. Still, a very enjoyable game, that has left me pondering a number of points.

A warm day in Bosnia: Part 2.

The sweeping vista of the bold Bosniak advance.
On the first turn I advanced my force boldly towards the Noddist hordes. My tanks engaged Frank's armour in the center and I fired all four of the lead T-55s at the Nod armour. This resulted in achieving 1 hit. I had hoped for a more satisfying results. Frank's gunnery was somewhat better with his four lead tanks achieving two hits on one of my T-55s, forcing it back and into the nearby woods.

Hiding in the woods seems like a good idea...

Frank is also using his Spandrel equipped BRDM 2 for the first time. He bloods it by taking out a light truck carrying a TOW stand.
Frank's new toy. S&S Models, BRDM 2.

Burning Bosniak light truck.

Sneaky thrust on the left flank...

Turn 2 sees a rapid advance forward by Frank's mechanised infantry on the left flank. Meanwhile, my T-34/85s advance and outpace their supporting infantry by 18" - or in scale terms half a mile! The speed of the T-34/85s advance surprises both sides as they charge unsupported into the woods!

Outpacing the infantry and charging into woods is not the best of plans...
Brewed Bosniak T-55.
Meanwhile, on the main axis of advance,  the Noddist BRDM 2 takes out a T-55, and his T-55s open up and do 3 hits destroying one of my T-55s. My tank gunnery this turn is shocking, causing no damage to his armour. The remaining T-55 platoon then pins in the morale phase - not really a surprise. The only bright spot of the turn was my brewing of Frank's recon BMP with the T-55. Overkill? - yes.

Take that, Mr BMP!

Turn 3, I manage to disengage my T-34/85s from the woods before they get close assaulted by Frank's infantry. I also manage to advance two infantry companies forward to support the T-34/85s.Both sides perform badly with tank gunnery, exchanging fire with no hits!

Where is the Bosniak infantry?

Frank's air support arrived this turn as well. At this point I start to seriously doubt my air defense... my stingers fail to hit the MiG 21, but the MiG fails to damage anything in its attack. It does generate a morale -2 penalty for any of my forces within 20" of the target. This results in one of my infantry companies becoming pinned. Not the worse possible result from air attack, but still quite disruptive.

Guess what my Stingers can't hit....

 In better news, one of my TOW stands destroyed one of the Nod T-55s! Frank then uses his BRDM mounted Spandrel  to toast one of my T-34/85s!  Frank's artillery missions fail to arrive this turn, as he doesn't have an Artillery Spotter or Forward Observer with his force -meaning his chances of getting fire when he wants it is fairly average. Frank then vows that in future missions he will always take an artillery spotter.

Brewed Nod T-55.

Brewed T-34/85. The Spandrel is very effective.

To Be Continued...

A warm day in Bosnia, 1992: Pt. 1

Last weekend frank and I played a small encounter game of CD3 set in our alternate history Bosnia. The alternate history that we use is very rough, and not well defined, as it is only used as a rough framework for staging pickup games. The background is as confusing and as fratricidal as the real world Bosnian conflict, but with the added presence of both Nod (aiding the Serbian forces) and GDI (fighting Nod and its allies).

Turn 0: Let the games begin!
Frank has made up a number of very nice Bosnian themed BUAs, and his Nod forces are loosely based around the Soviet Motor Rifle regiment organisation used in Combined Arms.

Frank's Noddists use Soviet equipment and organisation.

A vast horde of Noddists prepare for battle.
Nod Infantry and a 120mm mortar battery get ready for action.
Nod T-55s rumble into their assembly areas.

Our game had my forces, Bosnian Muslims, advancing forward to counter an advance by Frank's Serbo-Nodian horde. For either of us to win a decisive victory we had to sweep the other off the board!

Frank used the Orion Federal Russian Forces set as the basis for his Nod troops.

We had earlier agreed that Frank could use air support. I was expecting him to use a Hind, and had taken a force that I felt could deal with attack helicopters. Unfortunately, Frank's Hind is still awaiting repairs from damage it took in one of the quakes, so I would be facing fast jet instead. We also decided to use simple ammo rules, and only keep track of special rounds and anti tank missiles. We did this as we were both too lazy to write up ammo sheets. we also decided that we would both be fielding high grade, well motivated troops. Both sides would be Troop Quality: Experienced, Morale: 10.

Fast Jet air support in the form of a 1/144 scale Mig 21.
After my last game, I figured bringing some smoke would be useful!

My force was based around two ideas, firstly, that taking a force with T-34/85s and T-55s would be awesome, and that by playing a Bosnian Muslim force I could use infantry, that I have painted up for Harad, as foreign volunteers and mercenaries.

Bosniak Task Force commander sets up HQ in the BUA, while elements of the Tank Battalion, and the Mujahideen, prepare to advance.

Bosniak Forces - Troop Quality: ExperiencedMorale: 10.
  Task Force Headquarters w/
  1 Command  Stand
     Mujahideen Volunteers w/
     1 Command Stand 
     1 RPG-7 Team
     3 Infantry Stands
     1 82mm Mortar Stand (ds)
     1 Support Stand

Mujahideen Mortar stand. My sole artillery element!

     Composite Tank Battalion w/
        Headquarters Company w/
         1 Command T-62
            2 Tank Companies w/
               1 Command T-55
               1 T-55
            1 Infantry Support Tank Company w/
            1 Command T-34/85
            2 T-34/85s
The two T-55 companies.
The T-34/85 company, with the 9th Volunteer Infantry Company, with elements of the 5th VIC (on right), a Stinger team (at bottom left corner), and a light truck and TOW stand of the Anti-Tank Company on the left.
     Air Defense Company w/
          2 Stinger Teams
     Anti-tank Company w/
          2 TOW Stands
          2 Light Trucks

Foreground: The "Red Devils" of the 5th VIC prepare to advance, supported by armour and the 9th VIC.

    "Red Devils"  5th Volunteer Infantry Company
          1 Command Stand
          2 Infantry Stands
          1 Weapons Stand
          1 MMG Stand 

    "Sudanese"  7th Volunteer Infantry Company
          1 Command Stand
          2 Infantry Stands
          2 Weapons Stand

    "Nubian"  9th Volunteer Infantry Company
          1 Command Stand
          3 Infantry Stands
          1 Weapons Stand

 My Bosniak force was quite a powerful force, having a great deal of firepower in the volunteer infantry companies, quite a few tanks, and consisting of experienced and highly motivated troops. In terms of supporting assets it was very light, having only the 82mm mortar platoon as the sole artillery support, very light air defense in the form of the two Stinger teams, and no air support. Still, I was very confident of success as I had faith in my TOWs and my tanks to deal with any major opposition from Frank's Noddists. What could possibly go wrong?

To Be Continued...