Wargaming Week 11/02/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 4th through to the 10th of February.

BLOG STUFF

Writing and photos were taken of the LTV this week for the assembly stage. I’ll be moving it onto the paint desk soon.

NEWS

First of all, Empress and Paul Hicks have been very busy! As well as the WW2 range, Empress have released the first look at the Vietnam range. This US rifleman is all ready for Tet in 1968 and looks pretty great! I’m going to be keeping an eye on this range while trying to resist picking it up and starting YET another project.

Spectre Miniatures are also pushing forward with work on V2 of the rulebook. This means they have been hard at work with the camera and this week they dropped a sneak preview of some of the images they have taken. I really like the style Spectre has with these, and I really need to improve my own skills in this area to make the blog even better.

Managing to avoid last week’s wargaming week, Black Site has shown off and put up for pre-order for a brand new kit. And oh boy, if you’ve been wanting an MDF ship but hated the idea of painting it, this looks ideal. As someone who wrote a scenario about fighting on a ship, it’s great to see the number of these kits become available, giving people the ability to play more interesting scenarios.

PURCHASES

With this being the week after Vapa, my hand is staying well away from the buying things. Apart from another can of desert tan.

HOBBY

First up, I built the LTV I got from Vapa last weekend. This was a really satisfying kit to assemble – several big chunky pieces of resin to put together sensibly and even the wing mirrors are nice and solid. Having built my first, I’m really thinking about picking up more – these things look nice and chunky without being ridiculously sized like the M-ATV.

As well as the vehicles, I also started assembling the turrets I go with the vehicles. After finishing the Land Warfare RWS, apart from a bendy barrel, I realised I had a few other systems to look at. So expect a lot of updates coming to Project HMV soon!

There was also more prototyping – we had a lot of barbarians.


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

Wargaming Week 04/02/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 28th of January through to the 3rd of February.

BLOG STUFF

There is blog stuff coming. I have a pile of it on my desk

NEWS

Tiny Terrain has shown off some previews of their upcoming Russian Tank Crew. Designed to go with their upcoming T-60, these guys are great for Afghanistan or Chechnya as well as a whole host of nations that use that style of kit. I’m quite excited to see them with the vehicle so well worth keeping an eye on Tiny Terrain’s page.

After weeks of teasing, Spectre has finally released the LTV. And I don’t know about you but MAN does it look cool all painted up. I’m really a fan of the two-tone camo on one of the vehicles (especially after seeing it in person) and I think this will be a great addition to any motor pool, giving you more options when it comes to designing missions. It’s also designed to mesh well with the HMV range, with many of the turrets, stowage and add-on items able to fit onto the LTV. There will be more details when I post about mine.

At the same time Spectre have also released the Land Warfare RWS, the horrifying 30mm cannon, ATGM and M240 combo. This thing definitely means business and looks awe-inspiring when mounted on the LTV. Having thought about it more, this system is really ideal for scenarios between neer-peer forces – something else the LTV is designed for.

PURCHASES

First up, I finally selected some replacements for the shitty brushes I bought last year. After weeks of waiting for Broken Toad to get the selection of brushes I wanted, I ended up buckling and just getting this Army Painter set off of Amazon. And the next day, it arrived on my desk.

I haven’t yet got round to using them but they seem good and at a reasonable price. Even better, they come with a really good guide on how best to use them.

And then I went to Vapnartak. As you might have guessed, I picked up the LTV from Spectre as well as the Land Warfare RWS and an upgrade pack to add the jamming aerial. The Spectre team also threw in two items coming soon, resin versions of items previously in metal. More details soon!

I also put in a pre-order and picked up some of the new Empress British for my WW2 project. One pack of bren guns and two each of the two rifle packs gives me enough for two sections (assuming the section leader carries a rifle). However, this would duplicate the poses which is not great but can be worked with. I’m thinking of doing some head surgery and green stuffing (as well as reducing the number of shovels these chaps seem to have collected)

HOBBY

I spent my Sunday visiting Vapnartak at York! This is one of my favourite shows, not just because it’s a chance to meet up with my usual wargaming buddy/opponent Peeb’s Gaming Nonsense but also because it’s the first show of the year meaning plenty of opportunities to talk to Spectre and Empress and hear what’s coming up. This year I got there pretty late but it did mean I got to get in for free AND run round with less of a fuss. Luckily I pre-ordered my items meaning I came away with exactly what I wanted.

There was also some cool games! Arriving late means a lot was slowing down but anyone playing Indiana Jones just had to have a picture taken of it!

More prototyping was done. This time with beer and pizza as well as the dice rolling. We added some objectives so the game feels more like an actual game rather than just a scrap in a back alley.


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

Wargaming Week 28/01/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 21st through to the 27th of January.

BLOG STUFF

Blog has been quiet again. Still slowly working my way through things.

NEWS

The M-ATV J-LTV is getting closer and this week it has appeared with the ridiculous 30mm cannon mount that was shown off last week. Having now seen on the vehicle, I can’t wait to see what my players do once it hits the wargames table.

For some more pictures of both the new Remote Weapon System and the JLTV, check out this album the Spectre team put up. https://www.facebook.com/groups/spectreopwargame/permalink/2939681766057616/?tn=-UC-R

Spectre have put up several Black Site Studio products on their website to pre-order. This looks like the best way for anyone in the UK to pick up these pre-paitned MDF buildings.

In addition, if you’re looking for a bank for your criminals to get involved in, Spectre are offering some neat additions to the pre-order.

The LAV-3 is slowly rolling towards us – Full Battle Rattle have got a fully assembled master. As you can see, it’s looking pretty good. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Finally, Project WW2 is ramping up as Empress has released the first three packs for their late war range. I am already looking at them and planning what I can do with them.

But wait, that’s not all! White Dragon Miniatures have shown off some of their upcoming Taliban releases, now painted and on a playing surface. I think you’ll agree they look pretty awesome and I can’t wait to see the rest of the range!

For more photos, take a look at https://www.facebook.com/groups/628206883900507/permalink/1990061027715079/

PURCHASES

I caved – I picked up three Black Site Studios buildings from the Spectre pre-order program.

I’m also planning the purchases for York Wargames show next week. At the moment, it’s looking like the WW2 project will suddenly take a step forward.

HOBBY

My hobby time was limited this week due to various real world activities but I did manage to start on a conversion to turn one of the ghillie suited snipers into a spotter for my Brits. After chopping away the head and rifle, I just added a few bits from the plastic Brit para sprue. Next step will be green stuffing the detail back on, filling in the gaps and building up a hood around his head.

Game prototyping has continued. It’s really fun, and I’ve even managed to do it in the pub as well!


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

Wargaming Week 21/01/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 14th through to the 20th of January.

BLOG STUFF

Nothing this week – it’s not really been a very hobby active time.

NEWS

On the other hand, so much news.

Black Site Studios has released a pile of buildings suitable for Ultramodern Middle East battles. They have really focused on the more urban areas, and the first release is a nice pair of focal buildings as well as various walls.

As with all Black Site stuff, these are prepainted MDF and so are ideal for getting onto the board quickly.

But that’s not all! There was a second wave of releases focusing on smaller buildings designed to add to the battlefield, giving you a few smaller obstacles that will need to be fought around or through.

Finally, great news for UK gamers! Spectre Miniatures will be stocking the Black Site stuff this side of the pond. Initially it will be for pre-order but there are plans to have them alongside the other things you might need to get started wargaming.

Speaking of Spectre, they have also been showing off something new. The lump of resin you can see in the photo is a JLTV, the replacement for the Humvee and Spectre are adding it to their range soon! From talking to them, this is going to be cross-compatible with the Humvee turret and weapon systems, giving your troops a wide selection of weapon systems to get online and use.

And speaking of weapons, Spectre have also preview this rather heavily armed Remote Weapon system. Armed with a 30mm cannon, Javelin ATGM tube and a M240 MMG, this system really does have something for every occasion.

Empress Miniatures have also been showing off something new. This preview shows a WIP of a German Puma IFV, ideal to backup your Empress Modern Germans that came out last year. Finally, they can ride to battle as originally intended.

Lastly, Under FIre Miniatures have been expanding their 28mm Bush Wars range, with more RhSAS (including a mortar team) and even some Selous Scouts with a nice selection of kit.

PURCHASES

Nothing!

HOBBY

Honestly, this hasn’t really been a week for wargaming stuff. The only thing was meeting up with a friend on Saturday to play around with some rule ideas we had been looking at. More details soon? Maybe? I’m not sure.


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

Wargaming Week 14/01/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 7th through to the 13th of January.

BLOG STUFF

First up, I got a battle in on Thursday! As you can see on the post, it was an interesting game, both to organise and play. I’m looking forward to getting some more in!

Also exciting was seeing that I’ve been playing Skirmish Sangin for 4 years this week. You can tell how much I like it by the fact it’s still my go to. I’m also seeing all the photos of my first painted models which are :|.

NEWS

Interesting news from Warbanner this week. They and Special Artisan Service Miniatures have partnered up to help bring SASM to the UK and the EU and make it easier for our American cousins to get their hand on Footsore and Warbanner. Warbanner also has a very good relationship with Sarissa, which could mean great news for anyone looking for more modern terrain.

I’m not going to add my own comment to this news – but I wish everyone involved the best in this endeavour.

New release wise, Spectre has popped up with another IFV. Perfect for backing up your Russian SF or as aid to your local regime, this upgrade to the BTR should be a pretty major threat on the battlefield while still carrying a squad of guys to grab the objectives.

PURCHASES

Nothing! The BTR82A is very tempting but I think I want to clear off my lead pile a little bit (and maybe finally get round to selling the stuff

HOBBY

This week was a lot of little things. My original plan was to get this all done for Thursday but as part of my new plan for 2019, I decided to slow it down, take my time and get them right. As I mention in the battle report, some scatter would have really helped to break up the sight lines. Well,

The other stage was breaking out the rattle cans and getting the Sarrisa North African buildings undercoated. I covered them in some previous posts. But now I get to add some details, to get them ready for the table. More details coming soon.

Humvee Number 4 has been assembled! For this one, I decided I needed another less well-equipped Humvee for the local forces. So rather than antennas, I decided to use good old stowage. There will be a full post coming but most of it is from the Empress pack.

Finally, I assembled some WW2 figures. There will be a full post on these guys in a week or two once I nail down the concept for the platoon. But for now, a teaser as to what they are.


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

Wargaming Week 07/01/2019

And we are back in 2019! Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the Christmas Break!

BLOG STUFF

First up in terms of posts was the second part of my fantasy game project! With two new sprues to look at, I managed to create a few more heroes ready for painting from the crewman and female soldier sprues. Now I just need to get to painting them…

But that wasn’t all for posts! I managed to get a game of Chain of Command in against my usual wargaming buddy Peeb’s Gaming Nonsense. Clashing over a compound in the desert using his Western Desert forces, we had a really good time! And you might be seeing more Chain of Command soon!

Looking ahead, I do also have some thoughts on my Killteam Day that I should write up at some point. Also this week I should be running a game so keep an eye out for a battle report on Friday, as well as other posts if I get anything extra painted and ready for it.

NEWS

Of course, just because I took a break didn’t mean everyone else did. So there was a bit of news waiting for me when I got back to my blog writing desk.

Black Site Studios, who will be sharing a stand with Spectre Miniatures at Adepticon, have shown off some previews for next year which is quite exciting. As someone who has been playing a lot of Insurgency Sandstorm, that second building could be very interesting to fight through.

Spectre Miniatures came in with a triple threat of new things. First up, and probably the biggest news, they have announced V2 of Spectre Operations coming this year. I’ve actually had a few opportunities to play with the WIP changes and they really help to polish off the sticking points I have had with the rules, especially with vehicles and larger games. The new additions will also help to extend the game with some new features.

Next up was the arrival of the Chinese in Spectre’s range. The first of two releases is the Assault Team. These guys are equipped in a similar way to many Western SF units and carry a modular rifle system complete with all the usual toys you would expect. Much like many of the other squad packs Spectre has released, this pack includes figures suitable for some other roles, such as a marksman, grenadier and an SMG to assist with stealthy eliminations.

The second SF team is a bit more of a specific role. Named as Jungle Squad, these guys are ideal for fighting through the dense rainforests around Chinese interests in some part of Africa. As well as bullpup rifles, there are also some truly unique weapons such as a M79 clone, a crossbow and, perhaps most worrying, a flamethrower. There are also some neat touches on the models themselves, such as the gaiters around the boots, to really make them ideal for their role.

Table Top Tactical Simulations continue to add releases to their range – this now includes US gunner figures matching their Army range and ideal for their trucks.

Tiny Terrain, fresh off their Kickstarters, has shown off something new coming next year. They are working on a 1:50 scale T62 – ideal for a whole host of conflicts. I’m really looking forward to it so expect news when it’s available for purchase!

So this popped up on the Modern Miniatures group. After doing some digging, this description came up:


 in Fire Team Echo1, players take on the roles of an elite force similar to Seal Team Six. Game play is scenario based and extremely deadly. If a downed PC isn’t stabilized before the end of the mission he’s KIA… and combat skill don’t carryover to the new recruits.


each player takes on a role. The enemy is ran by the games tactics. The game can also be played solo as well.

This seems like a really interesting idea for a game, especially for someone who prefers the more RPG esque systems. I’ll be keeping an eye on it.

Finally some great news from Full Battle Rattle about their LAV-3 which went up for pre-order last year. Trenchworx has finished their first master and (aside from a few tweaks) are heading to production. Good news, we might see Canadains in Bazistan sooner than originally planned.

PURCHASES

It was Christmas! So I got a few presents. Sadly the Broken Toad brushes I asked for were unavailable meaning the only gift from family I got related to wargaming is Leigh Neville’s new book. I have been eagerly awaiting it since it came out and I’m looking forward to sitting down with it properly. And then remembering all those little birds I need to finish getting ready for the tabletop.

And then there is this Christmas present that my long time wargaming buddy/opponent bought for me. Just a reminder – do not talk to your buddies about future projects you MIGHT be interested in doing in the future at some point even though you have a literal pile of other models to paint. Because they will remember.

But seriously, I am incredibly excited to sit down and build this. The Churchill is my favourite tank and there is something exciting about making one and then detailing it.

Of course, you can’t just have a single tank – it needs some infantry support. So I went to the Warlord games site and picked up… some things. I’ll be writing up a blog post at some point with more details on what I’m planning to do. Here is a hint – I’m watching Fury to get a feel for the tone of the platoon. There is going to be a lot of conversion work.

Finally, I picked up Spectre’s new Chinese SF Assault Squad. These are going to be a fun team to use on the tabletop and I’m a big fan of the poses. I haven’t picked up the Jungle team – I’m not quite ready to jump across the Red Sea to Zaiweibo yet and want to do a clean out before I reach that point.

HOBBY

Just before I left for my holiday break we had a big old Back of Beyond fight down at the Wargames club. As you might expect, it was a ridiculous 8 player bloodbath. Pictured above is the White Russian commander counting their pile of loot.

For more details, go take a look at SESWC’s summary, including links to the other participants.

I painted some Space Marines! My Deathwatch Killteam has been sat unpainted for a while and I have the silly idea of speed painting them in time for the Killteam day my friends were running over Christmas. And then I started painting and realised that I actually wanted to take my time with them. So I painted the base, skin and arms and marked them as ready.

They were not ready. They did… not well. More details when I write up the post.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week! And Happy New Year!

Wargaming Week 17/12/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 10th through to the 16th of December.

BLOG STUFF

Surprise, I’m back! Last week I took a look at the Ember team guys from Spectre Miniatures. I really like these guys and I really hope we’re going to see more figures from this partnership with Echelon Software.

And just as I get back, I immediately go away again for my Christmas break. There will be a new Wargaming Week on the 7th of January but I might try and drop a few things during the break. For example, I think the last figures for my fantasy project should be arriving today so I can at least get them glued together.

NEWS

Empress has revealed their plans for the next year. As well as showing off some late war British figures (which are really making me think about building a force for crossing the Rhine) they also mention some of the other ranges they will be adding to. For Ultramoderns, I am very excited about the prospect of some Kurdish Freedom Fighters. With so much variation, it will be exciting to see what they are equipped with.

I seem to have missed these but Miniature Building Authority has some cool weapon caches. These would be ideal for objective markers or setting the scene. I’m really tempted by them.

PURCHASES

Now owning a BMP 1, it is only a matter of time before it takes a hit, spews smoke and sends the crew running for cover. So, I needed some crew! I ordered some of the Chechnya War AFV crew from Empress and they arrived super quickly. These guys might be a little overdressed for operating in the desert but they should do for now.

HOBBY

I finally finished Ember team. Turns a month and a bit off from painting the models means you’re a bit slower when you come back. On the other hand, not rushing to get these guys done means I had a lot more fun painting them.

I’ve also started to look forward at what I’ll be doing next. There are a few forces I should look at (including that platoon of Brits that’s hanging over me) but I really like the latest undercover operator. I’ve been playing a lot of Overwatch and I think I’ll be taking some inspiration for her based on one of my favourite characters who is also from the MENA region.

Kind of related to wargaming, but I’ve been playing a lot of Insurgency Sandstorm. This game is one of my favourites at the moment, perfectly blending high-speed shooting play with the requirements of a tactical game (and customisation that lets me dress up in some really good looking Tigerstripe). But more importantly, it has a really nice variety of environments. I’ve been taking a look at them, capturing screens shots ready for the next stage of painting up B-Town. I’m going to try to pull out some of the graffiti just to put it on the Sarissa buildings I have.

The gameplay is also an interesting idea that could lead to a simple participation game, letting players drop in and out while working through a map. Now, I just have to build a load of structures to push through.


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

Impressions: Spectre Miniatures Ember Team

To say I have an interest in Black Powder Red Earth is putting things mildly. I think it’s an incredible series that, despite having a few issues with the pacing sometimes, details the activities of a PMC named Cold Harbor operating in international hotspots, all detailed in a striking (and sometimes very unpleasant) art style. It feels unlike any other comic book, presenting a realistic take on the world packed full of action and operators operating operationally.

More importantly, I love the look of these operators. Equipped to the nines with the latest military kit, their faces covered by bandannas, these guys look operators. Hearing that Spectre had managed to sign an agreement with Echelon Software to bring these guys to the wargaming table made me very happy indeed.

The first pack represents several operators from Ember team, a force shown in the Black Powder Red Earth Yemen series. This set includes 6 operators, all equipped with heavily modified 5.56 carbines. As someone who has an interest in all the latest gear (such is the curse of the airsofter) it was easy to spot that these guys are covered in all the latest and greatest kit. The carbines are decked out with parts that you may recognise if you have been on the BCM website recently, including cool details like offset red dot sights alongside short dot scopes or upgraded stocks and rail kits. The operators themselves, over their civilian clothing, have Haley Strategic rigs and belts. Even their side arms, a tiny detail, are setup like they are in the comics, in custom holsters and with red dots on their slides.

It’s important to note that this pack includes the NOD sprue – you don’t need to buy additional packs unless you want to swap some of the two tubes out for the panoramic versions (maybe your operators got a particularly well paying client this time).

As with all these Spectre figures, the posing is one of the unique features that sets them out from other manufacturers. This pack has a neat variation in terms of poses with two in the firing pose, two in the rapid movement and the last two readying up. Out of all of them though, I really have to say I’m a fan of the guy using his backup optics (pictured here in his red shirt). However, all of them look as cool and dynamic as expected.

It’s well worth looking at the selection of operators currently available from Spectre and showing off the different options each of them provides.

From left to right:

  • US Rangers – Much more uniform look. Everyone wearing the same uniform with similar kit
  • Task Force Operators – Varied style of uniform and equipment. Everything from full-sized plate carriers down to low profile chest rigs. Also the widest selection of weapons and poses
  • Ember Team – Civilian clothing mixed with a very specific set of gear and weaponry
  • Tier 1 Operators – Military-style clothing (can be painted as camo or plain colours), a wide selection of modern weapon systems, chest rigs and soft headgear.
  • SWAT – Older style of kit and weapon however still pretty uniform.

Painting wise, I decided to set these guys up as the QRF for my other Tier 1 guys, having stopped long enough to grab their helmets and NODs before going out on the street. As part of this, these guys were once again treated to the irregular force painting scheme I’ve used before, By picking a small number of colours and making sure each is used in different locations on a few models, it helps to make the team look a little more unified. With these operators, there was also a third region (as well as the shirt and trousers) with the bandannas to populate and I’m pretty happy with the overall look.

So what do I think? Well, I think Spectre has done a fantastic job of capturing the style of the Ember team operators. These guys look exactly like the team from the comics, and if you go hard on the original scheme you could make some really impressive looking models.

If your warzone doesn’t include Cold Harbor, then these guys would still be ideal for any number of heavily armed and well trained groups, from private military contractors to special operations forces. And best of all, you get to put the very latest in gucci kit on the board

I’m also looking forward to what comes next from this partnership. Ember is from the Yemen books but there are other operators from the earlier books that are also pretty stylish looking, especially as someone who loves the baseball cap and ear defender look. This first pack also only includes troops armed with assault rifles – it would be handy to get some alternative weapons for different situations. Either way, I’ll be keeping a close eye on them.

So remember – All Kill No Capture.


As an aside, I also recently ordered the Ember team ID patch from Echelon Software itself. And when it arrived, this spilled out of the packaging (along with a few stickers).

Nice try Echelon, but I’m already hooked.