On The Work Bench 26/05/2016

Still chunking through the US Army guys. They are all now base coloured but I still need to work on the detailing/camo. Been busy and haven’t got round to it yet.

However, some more stuff has turned up. My Day of the Rangers kickstarter arrived (after a minor snafu with it being sent to my old work address). Two groups of Somalis, three sets of rangers (enough for a squad, attached medic and FAC) and two sets of Delta – a fair amount to paint up but can be pretty easily combined with some of my other sets (such as the Spectre milita for bigger games in Somalia or Rangers against Taliban forces for early Operation Enduring Freedom) for a wide selection of games.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with them. The models are all hard-wearing, barrels bent but didn’t break in transit (always a better option). My main issue is posing – a few of the poses seem a little strange – quite stiff for a mid move position. The militia figures look very skinny (as you might expect) so could be a little strange if situated next to more stocky characters such as TAG’s. I also did some tidying up of some models, mainly duplicates, which I have sold off to people. Still got some more left and I’m looking carefully at what I still have in the box.

Spectre did do some more releases and a few of them did find their way into my cart. The Russians will now have some extra firepower and some criminals may soon be on the battlefield.

Napoleonic Tiny Mans?

So I spent my Thursday night down the club again, this time joining in a large Sharp Practise 2 game set in the Indian Mutiny. The game was set up on one double size table but in reality was split in two with a river separating two standard sized games. I took control of some well trained Sepoy Mutineers (both line and skirmishers) and had a jolly good time trading blows with the British player across the table while my secondary commander pummelled them with artillery. As its a Two Fat Lardies rule set, Sharp Practise 2 is something that plays very well but more importantly plays to reflect the period rather than being a generic framework.

The last time I saw my group of Yorkshire based wargaming friends, words were bandied around playing some Napoleonic Skirmish. We are all fans of Sharpe and the chance to take our own forces to battle across Europe with my friend Matt taking the role of the French while Chris and myself would take on two different British forces. Leaving Chris to take a look into a bulk deal on Rifle Green paint, I instead looked at my new home country and some of the more larger, angrier line regiments. With this basic idea, lets take a look at what my force and its leaders should be…


Captain Walters was the son of a wealth landowner once upon a time. Now he has fallen on harder times, money spent and lost from Edinburgh to Gibraltar, a trail of commercial mistakes stretching behind him. With the land gone to pay off his debts and refloat his wealth, he has bought his commission and joined the army to redeem himself, taking command of a forward element of the West Shiresdale Foot.

(Leader Status III, New money but personally impoverished, Honourable, Average Stamp, Fair of Face, Affable)

The West Shiresdale Foot is the standard British Army redcoat force. Drawn from the finest guttersnipes West Shiresdale could offer, the element under Walters has seen some battles in Portugal and is now ready to push into Spain.

(Three groups of 8 Regulars with Muskets)

Ensign Squirres should not be in Spain. In fact, he shouldn’t even be away from his beloved Oxford where afternoon spent by the river discussing the politics of the day was the norm. However a military father has a way of making sure a mispent youth is put back on track. A few choice words and Squirres was assigned to Walters in order to instil some honour in the boy. It isn’t going well. His education in Spanish, Portuguese and French however is much improved by the practical experience.

(Leader Status I, Military family with wealth and influence, Prig, Stunning Linguist, Average Stamp, Plain and Unremarkable, Dullard)

The West Shiresdale men under Squirres are not happy about their current lot in life. Compared to the affable Walters or the heroic McAdams or even the questionable O’Shea, Squirres is just dull. However, he does keep his head about him when the rounds start flying and so the men will deal with any issues they have so far.

(Two groups of 8 Regulars with Muskets)

Lieutenant McAdams was a former ranker. Working his way up from the gutter of Auld Reekie he was born in to now leading a party of His Majesty’s Highland Infantry to scrap across the sunny fields of Spain. Despite being a lowlander amongst highlanders, he is well regarded amongst his men. Some of this may be due to his attempts to parley his rank into gaining perks and impressing the ladies. Or alternatively, its because he should of been a Grenadier and is known for his feats of strength.

(Leader Status II, Risen from the ranks, Bounder, Giant of a Man, Plain and Unremarkable, Pleasant)

McAdams detachment of Highlanders are drawn from the more independent thinking soldiers in the company. The ones usually disposed to causing trouble. Sending them off to be someone else’s problem is just what the Colonel would want to do

(Three Groups of 8 Highlanders with Muskets) 

It is a miracle that Serjent O’Shea is still alive. It is even more of a miracle (or curse) that he is in charge of a group of soldier. With a face that has seen the wrong end of a fist too many times, a wallet filled with coins that weren’t given to him by the king and backed by a group of Rifles more likely to be found in the local establishments than on the battlefield, O’Shea is the picture found under the heading “Scum” in Mr Johnson’s fantastic book of words.

(Leader Status I, Risen from the ranks, Rotter, Average Stamp, Face like a pig’s backside, Thoroughly dislikeable)

Dirty, scruffy, rude and obscene. These are words often used to describe O’Shea’s group of rifles. Effective is also a good word for them.

(One Group of 6 Rifles with Rifles | In most cases, a marksman will join them)


So that’s the core idea of my force, what is it going to be made out of?

Perry Miniatures will be the core, with a plastic box of line infantry (supplemented by a frame of Regulars and a frame of Riflemen)  building up the bulk of the force. The Highlanders will either be Perry Minatures metal figures or Victrix’s set (although the idea of painting 64 models al with tartan is a little terrifiying). I may have to scrounge around for officer models. Once the core force is in place, I’ll be investigating artillery and cavalry options.

On The Work Bench 09/05/2016

Not much progress as last week was a bit mental but I did manage to paint up two of the US Army figures which will form the EOD team. The guy in the bombsuit is great but I was more interested in getting the test models painted in UCP. My previous attempt on some of the SF guys was done using the wrong method but sponging correctly it now looks pretty good.

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So this week will still be focused on the rest of US guys but I will also be painting up the standing version of the Navy Seal Sniper as a US Army Special Forces soldier “lending a hand” to his buddies.

However, there may be some other news coming this week seeing as I got a postage notification for a parcel from a Kickstarter. You can almost hear the sound of helicopters on the breeze…

Painted

  • Empress US Army – EOD Team

To be Painted

  • Empress US Army – Squad Leader
  • Empress US Army – Fireteam 1
  • Empress US Army – Fireteam 2
  • Empress US Army – Special Forces Sniper on the move

Taking Stock

I’ve finally got round to updating my collection page

First of all, how the heck did I get so many figures? A common cry from war gamers everywhere.

Second of all, I’ve been thinking about possible future purchases. One of the main thing I’ve been wanting to do is collect at least a squad for most nations available in 28mm so that any number of squads and fireteams can be run through their paces. With several different Brits, US Army, Russians, Africans and more already in place, there are a few more notable nations (Germans, French, Canadians, NZ, Australians and US Marines) that are available/coming soon, I still want to pick up. And of course, whatever new comes out might be joining as well

I have mentioned needing some more terrain already but this is both scenery and gameplay. A lot of missions that I want to play or that I’m writing will include civilians. Its a sad fact of modern warfare that most of it takes place in and amongst the local population. I currently have 5 civilian models (a TV crew and two randoms I got as a present) but they are not quite what is needed for the streets of Kabul. Eureka have two packs, one for rural Afghanistan and the other more suited to urban areas. I’ll be looking into picking both packs up at some point.

Apart from that, what else? I’m tempted to get into Napoleonics with a few friends but 28mm WW2 seems to be a useful set to own (perfect for Bolt Action and Chain of Command). But honestly, who knows what else is coming!

For the Kaiser!

(Sadly no pictures as I was too busy pushing models and throwing dice. Photos coming once the facebook page is updated)

Wargames require two things that a lot of people can struggle to have – lots of terrain and another person to play. In addition, because of how long they take to play, you need somewhere that doesn’t mind you taking up a lot of space. For most people, a wargames club is the best bet.

One of the things I looked into when moving was if there was a local wargames club in Edinburgh. As you would expect, yep there is a pretty major one. SESWC (or South East Scotland Wargames Club) meets once a week in the centre of Edinburgh, a 20 minute walk away from where I live. Deciding to finally give it a go, I walked through the cobbled streets to find my way there.

5 minutes after walking in the place, I was sat down at a table covered in trench systems and shell holes, all ready to take my proto-Stoßtruppen up the left flank and into the bulk of some entrenched Senegallese. Huh?

Chain of Command is something I have been looking at for a while and this game was being run using the custom WW1 rules set. We were using a big board, with two commanders per side as the Germans launched an assult during the Battle of Verdun (so no tanks here). I took the elite half of the German force with my ally (also called Michael) taking the regulars, while the french had regulars and colonials. We took some additional support options  based our reading of the map.

The right and centre of the map were dominated by attacking trench lines but the left was a ruined wood, covered in shell craters and patches of trees. Our plan was to push left hard while the right slowly moved forward. To assist, I took a flamethrower team and a sniper on the left, the right took two machine guns to support and the team also picked up two artillery bombardments and an adjutant to assist with bringing troops forward.

The patrol phase went well with our forces pushing forward into a good position while the french took up the best defensive setup. We were also able to prevent one of the French players from deploying at all thanks to our artillery hammering their jumping off point.

And then during the game my dice rolls went really well, with raining coming in and reducing visibilty for everyone. The flamethrower cut a bloody swathe through the defenders while a mad rush through a possible artillery bombardment managed to stop the frenchies utilising the centre. On the right the close combat ended up with a stalemate as our MGs were unable to support effectively due to the rain. A few good turns of combat later and the French morale had collapsed due to the loss of leaders and whole units

Overall it was a fun game and a great intro to the club. From talking to a few guys, they seem like a pretty active club with lots of different games. More importantly, a few people were interested in trying out moderns so I’ll be back soon pedalling tiny Operators and more.

Even better, I’m heading back next week to try my hand at the latest Too Fat Lardies rules, Sharp Practise V2. It seems like they are big fans of the Lardies so hopefully I’ll be able to try Chain of Command Fighting Season some point soon.

On the Work Bench 01/05/2016

So stealing from several popular blogs, I’m going to a weekly post saying whats on my painting table this week as well as any models that have turned up. I don’t plan to buy a huge amount until the painting is done though – the army case is pretty full already.

Newly Arrived:

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  • Spectre’s Agents set – Both sets look awesome and as someone who has been mainlining The Division, these guys are perfect for recreating the action from it!
  • Spectre’s Tier 1 Operators set – I would probably say these guys match up to my idea of PMC guys more than Tier 1 Operators undercover but either way they look pretty sweet. I did order all three packs but I received a duplicate of pack 2 and no pack 3 so will be waiting for its replacement to arrive before getting these guys painted.
  • Spectre’s Salute 2016 models – Despite not being there I got in an order very quickly to get the two exclusive models. Primarily because they are pretty damn great!
    • Model 1 is a kneeling sniper to match the Agents range. Silenced pistol, stored Vector and a Remington MSR make for a tooled up figure perfect for a vairation of the sniper hunt mission
    • Model 2 is one I have been waiting for ever since I saw the Russians being released – a tiny metal version of an old airsofting buddy. Heavy armour, PKM held in one hand while the other prevents a slung shotgun from swinging around, this guy will be a terror on the battlefield. However, I am green stuffing a metal face mask – the head seems tiny compared to the body so the face shield should improve and make him look more iconic
  • Empress’s Russian Bundle – New job, new project. This one is to make some Russians broaden my opponents. I was originally down on the Russian figures – they seem unaturally tall and some of their helmet designs are a bit meh. However, I came upon this post https://houseofqueeg.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/spetsnaz-empress-miniatures-28mm-conversions-fireteam/ and was suddenly gripped by a mania for all things Special Forces. So one bundle later I have two squads. One (with an attached anti-tank team and a stationary machine gun) is going to be dressed as the “little green men” or “Polite People” that one morning appeared deep in the Ukraine. All the heads I used have goggles or facemasks (or both!) perfect for obscuring your identity. The second group (including an additional MG loader who I found in the pack and will soon be on radio duty)have had hoods greenstuffed to their bodies and are now waiting for some bare/woolen hatted heads that Empress are releasing soon. I look forward to my first major conversion job!

In the Painting Queue:

  • 10 Empress US Army Infantry – Undercoated and ready to be painted!
  • 1 Empress EOD in bombsuit – Undercoated and ready to be painted! Should be relatively easy seeing as its mostly green
  • 1 Empress Insurgent – Undercoated and read to be painted! Okay, its odd I’m painting one but upon taking one look at this guy (shades, plate carrier, Pakol hat) its obvious this is some sort of deep cover agent or local translator (Meesh in the flesh). Plan is some UCP with a tan vest and maybe a dash of woodland