Wargaming Week 11/12/2017

Let’s start, covering the 4th through to the 10th of December.

BLOG STUFF

Last week’s post was Thursday night’s game of Spectre Operations. It was a really fun time, definitely on the larger side of the things I would usually run. Someone asked if I play to take the game to shows – the current plan is no, but I am thinking of making these scenarios available. Also I’m not thinking about taking games to shows until next year – I still haven’t finished running the first one!

We’ve almost used up all the slots on it but the survey is still running! For everyone who hasn’t filled it in, you can find it at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2FXWLKF. For everyone else who has filled it in, thank you! The comment question has been really great – thanks for all the kind words.

GAMING

Thursday’s was probably the most fraught in terms of planning, with me still writing the briefing doc less than an hour before actually playing. As well as two club regulars, we also had two new players arrive Overall I think it went well – the staggered arrival of the Bazis meant that the SF players got a chance to be sneaky before it all went to hell and also meant we got to run through some turns before giving the new guys lots of tactical choices.

PURCHASES

Three things this week:

 

First up, more hobby materials! So, I haven’t varnished my models for ages after I ruined a batch while spray varnishing. Since then, I’ve just worked off a process of just patching up places where paint has peeled. This obviously isn’t great – coming back after the weekend in Cardiff was just a case of deciding between repair jobs or stripping models down. However, the idea of varnishing also seemed like a nightmare – either ruining brushes and unevenly applying it or the risk of spray varnishing. Then there was the concerns about matt vs satin vs gloss. But through all of it I kept hearing how testors seems to be the go-to for good effects.

Well Great Escape games had some in stock and so I picked up three cans. After the christmas, the aim is to get everything painted touched up, any final tweaks done and then varnished up.

Part 2, Spectre brought out some new releases! The 5 specialists that came out at Crisis are now on the store for general sale. These extend the Nomad, Tier 1 and Task Force Operator ranges by adding some more special weapons. My standout favourite has to be the Tier 1 Breacher I’ve listed above – the combination of tomahawk and SIX12 shotgun is fantastic.

In addition to the new stuff, I’ve also grabbed some more bits to finish off my militia technicals. As well as the ZPU1 and ZPU2 (ready to be painted up alongside the ZPU4 and ZSU-23), I’ve grabbed the rocket pod. I love these things – they are probably the most bodged together weapon systems you can get. The final item is the SPG-9; my plan with this is to use one of the .50cal stands I have spare and mount it at a height to stand out from it’s bigger brother. I look forward to solving the challenge (and documenting it along the way).

So last part, on Sunday evening I spotted someone on Facebook selling some Empress figures that grabbed my attention. Two of the models above were kickstarter exclusives – a great model of a NZ SAS operator and another combat diver carrying some satchel charges. I’m missing both of these from my collection and so just had to pick them up. As for the figures I’m torn – the paint jobs are really nice but part of me wants all of my figures to match in style (part of the reason why I haven’t start commissioning people to do my backlog of figures).

HOBBY

It’s a week where I ran a game so obviously it’s time for lots of new painting.

First up, I painted up the Nomad team! Once the new marksman turns up, I’m going to do a full impressions piece on them. But as a short preview, I really like them! Mainly lots of tan when painting and great fun to use ingame.

Second stage was painting up some buildings. Theses are two more from REDVector, and were ideal to stand out amongst the one storey Adobe buildings that were going to fill out the rest of the board. Painting method was black undercoat, Tan first layer, white lightly sprayed over the top and then a respray of tan for the final colour. The right building also got hit by some Humbrol Desert Tan and some watered down wash. I’m okay with the final result but I really should have added some texture on the outside, especially to cover up the gaps in the MDF.

The final step in painting was the SAS (full details coming in this week’s post) and an Empress BTR80A to drive the Bazistan Army around. It’s been sat on my “to be painted” list for a while, just needing the details done. As always, Empress have done a really nice job on the kit and I’m already eyeing up the BTR80 to back it up.

I picked up the closed gate back in August. I love it but I always knew I’m going to need to pick up some more to stand in as replacement parts after they are played with. As well as a base order, I also picked up two additional gates from Supreme Littleness Design. As for the new states, I decided on open and breached (although crushed by vehicle was a close runner up). Open was a simple case of shaving down the edges on the tabs so they would fit securely in the slots at a different angle. With Breached, I decided to make it very obviously what had happened. Going slightly over the top, I trimmed a big piece out of the center of each side and roughed up the edges. It’s a lot bigger than you’d expect but once painted it should be very obvious

No pictures for this, but I’ve started prepping the African forces and insurgents to be painted back up. Friday night was spent with a tub full of Iso and ended with me staining my fingers with the paint/iso mix. They are now all based so the next step is adding the sand and then base coating. Still deciding on painting plans for them – from watching The Brave, very inspired to paint up the SAS Jungle Guys in a slightly browner multicam and cam-creamed faces so they are ready for trekking across the savannah of Zaiweibo.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 04/12/2017

Let’s start, covering the 27th of November through to the 3rd of December.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post was the first stage of, Building a Force a new series for Spectre Operations designed to show off some hints and tips for building your own force.

Also the survey is still running! For everyone who hasn’t filled it in, you can find it at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2FXWLKF. For everyone else who has filled it in, thank you! It’s been great to see the responses coming in and I’m already planning some ideas.

One comment I got was that I have quite a lot of Spectre content on this blog. I wrote a big long post in response to this on ChargeBlog (you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/chargeblog/posts/1536228216453318 ). It’s a perfectly valid point of view though – I’m going to try to vary it up so the Friday posts are not always focused on one company.

 

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Also hey! If you like my work I’ve got a Ko-Fi page where you can throw a few quid my way. Every little helps me to keep the site running and have enough cash in the hobby budget to pick up new rules and figures.

GAMING

Super busy week at work (huh sounds like the last few weeks) so no more gaming. But the drought is almost over! I’m running a Spectre on Thursday at the club which should see multiple SF groups engaging each other on the streets of Bazistan while looking for the kidnapped Geordiestan Ambassador. Not 100% on how many people are going to take part so I’ll be assembling a selection of teams for people to use.

PURCHASES

I bought a lot of figures. Maybe, just maybe, I bought too many figures. This is my order from last week arriving and with it I now have all of the figures currently on the Spectre store. I also have about 40 figures ready to be painted up ready for Zaiweibo between the militia, rebels and the national government.

HOBBY

Speaking of Zaiweibo, it’s time to redo a few figures ready for the new setting. I have the African forces range but they were painted a long time ago in a not particularly good scheme of OD and tan. Seeing as I’m about to paint a load of rebels in the same camo, I’ve decided to strip them back and redo them alongside the new figures. I’m thinking DPM for everyone using the scheme I worked out for the Empress SAS assault team.

I’m also going to go back to my Insurgents. This was the first group of figures I painted that I haven’t stripped back and they are all dressed in OD and tan (seeing a trend here). They are also sat in the iso waiting to be stripped back. The plan will be painting them in a mixture of clothing styles to represent them as members of various militias.

As well as getting figures ready for Thursday, I’m painting two of REDVectors buildings up to be the target locations. I’m still not entirely confident with building painting so everything looks like sandy concrete. However, it will be nice to have a few more buildings painted up and it’s practise. I can see how getting an airbrush will be handy. I also want to investigate posters and artwork to decorate some of the walls.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 27/11/2017

Let’s start, covering the 20th through to the 26th.

BLOG STUFF

 

This week’s post was looking at the various Spectre models which are now classed as rare. It’s odd that such a small company has so many OOP models in the time it’s taken but they have been busy both making new stuff and upgrading the old to match changing standards.

This post also saw the site break it’s most popular day, hitting 473 views on Friday. I’m a little disheartened that the post that does the best in one day is one I did in an evening rather than one of my more involved pieces but I’m still glad people are reading it and enjoying it.

I’m also looking at Bazistan and doing some tweaks to it. Might be opening up a new front soon across the water in Africa thanks to some new purchases. As part of this, I’ll be replacing some of the references to Eritrea – don’t worry though, the core ideas will be kept intact.

GAMING

Nothing – still too busy with work and writing.

PURCHASES

So Spectre had their Black Friday sale and as part of it restocked a lot of their figures. Taking advantage of this, I finally got round to ordering the last few figures I didn’t own – the African Militia and Rebels. Really excited to get these painted up as it’s a chance to expand the scenarios I do. It’s also means that I now own all the figures (i.e. not terrain/vehicles/crew figures) that Spectre have on the store. Of course they do all need painting…

HOBBY

Again not much – busy with work so what little hobby time I had has been spent writing. However, I’ve done the base colours on most of the new SAS figures – now I just have to work on the camo.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 20/11/2017

Let’s start, covering the 13th through to the 19th of November.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post was looking the Under Fire Miniatures German Police. Its always nice to find a new company making figures especially when they release ones this nice. Really looking forward to what’s coming next.

In other blog news, I’ve got some good news on the photos front. I’ve upgraded my phone to a Pixel 2 XL and the camera is much improved over the Nexus 6P I was using. So hopefully nicer looks photos going forward!

GAMING

Still no gaming, I’m back on the writing train.

PURCHASES

No purchases, still painting up the stuff I bought last week.

HOBBY

Been a busy week between actual work, blog work and more writing so I haven’t had a huge amount of painting time. However, I’m continuing work on the SAS, starting with the rural and respirator teams.

 

However, I did get something cool to work on. Campbell, a frequent opponent of mine at SESWC, is also a terrain building king. Due to him being busy, he’s decided to pass over some WIP compound walls he has been building to add to those we already have. I’m looking forward to getting to work on these – it’s a different type of terrain to what I’ve done so far


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 13/11/2017

Let’s start, covering the 5th through to the 12th.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post was taking a look at the Tabula Rasa range from Knights of Dice. This is also the start of a new project which I’m looking forward to; the experience of building the demo board has made me a little more confident at building and painting terrain. Now I get to have the fun job of picking what I want each of the buildings to look like…

GAMING

Honestly not much – my thursday ended up being more work.

PURCHASES

This week saw the release of the Spectre UKSF on their website after being first shown off at Crisis in Antwerp the week before. These guys have been a long time coming and, after talking to the guys at Spectre, have been the result of countless hours of research.

Luckily, I was able to get my hands on them within two days of being released and take a look at them in the metal. I think it’s safe to say that these are some of the greatest figures they have made in terms of details. Looking at them out the box (with only one or two barrels to bend back into shape), it was easy to spot small features like the pattern on one of the marksman’s AFG which I haven’t seen before. More details coming soon with an impressions coming soon (once I get them all painted up – see below for some initial ideas).

An interesting thing is that some of the other new releases at Crisis (the support weapons for existing ranges) were not released. I think it makes a lot of sense (don’t want to lose them amongst a new range) but I am looking forward to what’s coming to some of the already released teams. Especially after getting the magnifying glass out.

HOBBY

I’ve finished painting my Under Fire Miniatures Polizei which I picked up at Fiasco. More details coming later this week but it was fun to paint something that didn’t use camo. It was also fun creating a uniform for fictional force – I look forward to painting more figures up in this scheme if Under Fire release more. I’m also looking forward to getting them on the table

 

I’ve also started work on the recently arrived SAS although no picture as they are still in the undercoat. The main thing I want to talk about is camo – I’m not a huge fan of the Arktis Comb and although the all black urban kit is cool, I’m not 100% sold on it for my collection. My current thinking is to paint up the rural squad and the respirator teams in multicam to match the rest of my operators. This lets me use them alongside the others more easily and it’s also a pattern I’ve used a fair amount. That said, I am going to do a few little tweaks to make them stand out, such as painting the vest and webbing in multicam rather than tan. However this is all subject to change. As for the CT Response guys, I’ll be sticking close to the default scheme as it just makes sense. Hopefully they will be ready for my game in December and ready to help rescue the Geordiestan Ambassador.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 06/11/2017

Let’s start, covering the 30th of October through to the 5th of November.

BLOG STUFF

Friday’s post was recapping the run of Operation Dragon Hoard at Fiasco 2017. As you might guess from my blog post and from the various other places I’ve talked about it, I had a really good time. I’m not 100% finished with it but it’s definitely getting there.

In other blog news, I might have messed up on Friday while doing some clean up. A few old posts reactivated and WordPress decided to remind everyone about it. This wasn’t intended and I should have put the site into maintenance mode when doing sweeping changes. On the plus side, the site should now be easier to access and things like search should be more effective.

GAMING

I managed to get down to the club on Thursday to get some games in! I spent the evening playing AK47, one of the older games I think I’ve played. Under the careful guidance of Jack and Derek, MDF Michael and myself grabbed our forces and got playing. Unfortunately, my phone knows it’s about to get replaced and has decided to turn off at 50% battery and so I missed out taking any photos of the game. After the pre-game political moves and some rough dice rolls, I ended up with only a single unit on the board. While the horde of religious nutcases bum rushed the dictator’s forces, my Colonalist armour sat on the objective for the entire game.

To make up for it, here are a few of the other games going on at the club on Thursday.

2 v 2 game of Warhammer 40k across a crowded board.

Angus ran a Back of Beyond game set in Poland complete with low flying planes

PURCHASES

Photo from Spectre Miniatures

Currently nothing – but Crisis was this weekend and Spectre showed off their upcoming releases. We’re looking at 3 squad packs of SAS, some SAS supports and a few extra figures for Task Force Operator, Tier 1 Operator and Task Force Nomad ranges. In fact the release is so big I’m going to have to split my release article in half – one looking at the new SAS guys, the other covering the additions to the older ranges. Now just to get Task Force Nomad painted up…

HOBBY

I spent the weekend at Berwick seeing my Aunt and Uncle while they were on holiday so spent a lovely weekend not doing much hobby stuff. However, I did manage to look through my stuff and start planning out some more games

As I mentioned above, AK47 really grabbed me. Its a fun game and the club are playing it in 15mm. At some point, I realised that I actually have some 15mm stuff (fresh from an attempt to dabble in Flames of War) that was sat in a box waiting to be used.

Turns out I had quite a lot of 15mm stuff.

Lots of Shermans, Fireflys, Churchills, Staghounds and some cheapo halftracks. There are also two platoons of US Airborne infantry and a platoon of British infantry. This should be more than enough for a AK47 force. The next step is to get all this painted. I also need to rebase infantry into smaller groups which is fine for the metal guys but could be interesting with the plastics.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 30/10/2017

Let’s start, covering the 23rd through to the 29th.

BLOG STUFF

Last week’s post was all about the SAS fighting Werewolves! Got to admit, this was the worst performing post so far this year which was a little disappointing but it was a fun time playing it.

GAMING

So werewolves fighting SAS. I had a good time playing it but there are a few optional tweaks I’d recommend trying out in the post. It was just the right sort of dumb for a Halloween game and everyone involved had a good time so thumbs up! It also seemed to annoy a few of the older more grumbly members of the games club so two thumbs up!

This weekend also saw Fiasco where I got to play a lot of Skirmish Sangin. They will be more on that this weekend’s post but it was a fantastic time and really recommend the show to anyone nearby.

PURCHASES

Actually less than planned. However its hard to not pick something up after a trip to a wargames and I finally picked up some packs I’ve been eyeing up for a while. Under Fire Miniatures are primarily 20mm figure makers but they have the start of a pretty solid Cold War range in 28mm. I had been looking for some police figures to represent officers from the Bazi Ministry of the Interior and these guys in formal gear and older military kit should fit in nicely. Their support guns should also be a nasty surprise. So I grabbed a pack of each of them, expect an impression piece coming soon!

HOBBY

Painting! Main focus this week was getting the SAS and wolves finished off for Thursday’s game.

The SAS are from Empress and are Direct Action guys based on Task Force Black. Initially when painting them I went for a uniform MTP smock and OD trousers (primarily to reduce time between arrival and getting on the table.) However, I looked back at the source photos and was struck by the sheer variety and mixture of camos on show, from UCP to desert 3 colour to both types of DPM. So when a new figure (the dog handler) was released, I decided to strip them all back and start again. When doing multi-camo groups, I pick one to be the key set to tie them all together. In this case it’s my darkened UCP. Combine this with the other camo and I’ve got the effect I wanted to

There is also the female officer from the US Rangers sets which was perfect for to stand in for the intelligence officer. I’m still deciding how to paint the rest of that range of up, but the current plan is UCP, Multicam and some softshells in OD.

So 9 figures, 5 different camo schemes, one happy project.

So the wolves. These guys are Warlord Games’s SchreckWulfen from their Konflict 47 range. I haven’t painted anything not in man sized for a while and never anything partially covered in fur. So I ended up going with the old staple – paint it brown and dry brush it til it looks good. Being genetically modified humans rather than pure wolves, there are also big patches of exposed skin/muscle. Rather than leaving fleshtone, this was drybrushed brown to make it look covered in short stubby fur. Finally, these wolves have clothes so with a dash of UCP they now look like mutated or biohacked US soldiers. Fun little project but I’ll be glad to go back to humans with guns.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 23/10/2017

Let’s start, covering the 16th through to the 22st of October.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post looked into the last set of Spectre Releases. From looking at the stats, these posts also do really well. Expect one every month if I pick the releases up.

GAMING

No gaming –  I had planned to go to the wargames club on Thursday but I ended up missing it due to work. Ah well, just have to make sure I get there for next week (especially as I’m running it).

PURCHASES

Nothing new was purchased this week but a few things arrived.

First up, the last three buildings from the Tabula Rasa range arrived from Shiny Games. These buildings are awesome, perfect base models for conversion work and I’ve wanted to get all the elements of the range together before doing an impressions. The plan is an initial article in the next few weeks, followed by a larger post once I finish them.

The other thing that was arrived was the second part of Project Little Bird. These two fully converted models arrived thanks to a lucky ebay auction I was sent to by the guy who sent me the other Little Bird kit. These two are a AH-6 armed with rockets and miniguns and a MH-6 complete with boards for troop carrying. I’m really happy I managed to grab these helos.

That said, I think there are quite a few changes I want to do to them. I need to sit down and work through the list of tweaks I want to make before I start on the project so I can gather all the little bits I need. Expect a post soon.

HOBBY

I got the figures for the releases post done. You can find more details in the impressions post but overall the biggest challenge is making sure that newer figures match older ones in the same collection.

I also started on repainting my SAS Direct Action guys ready for Thursday’s game. When I first painted them, I did them in a generic fashion with multicam smocks and green trousers. They looked okay and I had a good few games with them. However, I think Spectre’s ever increasing range is much better suited for the bang up to date operators. The other reason for the change was taking a look at pictures of Task Force Black and seeing the cool collection of kit they were seen wearing.

Due to working with US forces, camo ranges from British DPM varieties to US three colour desert and UCP. So for 8 models, I’m using 4 different camo patterns. To tie them all together, I’ve decided to use at least one item of ACU camo (either trousers or shirt) with the other being different camo patterns. So far I have done the four figures above (two only wearing UCP and two with desert 3 colour) and will be finishing the last four (and the SIS agent) before the game on Thursday.

And then there are the matter of their opponents for Thursday’s game. They are a little hairier than the usual bad guys…

 


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!