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Borgward Wanze

Borgward Wanze

As I said in yesterday’s post… Virtually all the vehicles for the Battle of Berlin game were done ages ago. But one I defiantly wanted was a Borgward Wanze. The Wanze was a typical late war stop gap solution of the Third Reich. The vehicle itself is based on the Borgward B IV Ladungsträger (SdKfz. 301).

wanze_02

Borgward-B-IV-Ausführung-mit-RPzB-54-Wanze-7

0_8f63e_308f3087_XXL

Germany had some stocks of these vehicles left. It was the heaviest of the Ladungsträger in use, but it had some drawbacks. The biggest was that the driver had to drive it close to the target and get of. From that point on it was radio controlled to the target. Due to its larger size, it provided a better target than lets say the Goliath. In 1942/43 it’s armour no longer was sufficient to protect it. The vehicle had already proven to be useless in its intended role as an ammo carrier and mine clearer, so they were pulled out of service.

Borgward-B-IV-Ausführung-mit-RPzB-54-Wanze-3

capwanze

When the Allies got ever closer to Germany, a tank was needed that was small and agile (to operate in the ruins of German cities), yet pack a lot of punch vs. enemy tanks. So the drivers compartment and gunners position got some extra armour and it was fitted with 6 Panzerschreck 88mm AT rocket launchers that were linked to fire a single volley. It would then have to withdraw quickly to reload. Hardly any reports exist on its effectiveness, but I felt it was a must have vehicle.

Borgward Wanze (front)

Borgward Wanze (front)

Borgward Wanze (left)

Borgward Wanze (left)

The model itself is from Warlord Games. It is actually a very nice kit (only the bolts on the rear deck seem somewhat sloppy) with virtually perfect casting and nice detail. The only real problem I had with the kit is the arrangement of the drivers and gunners position. On the model the gunner is to the right and the driver left. On all photos I found online, the arrangement was the other way round, but I can live with that.

Borgward Wanze (rear)

Borgward Wanze (rear)

Borgward Wanze (right)

Borgward Wanze (right)

For the paintjob I wanted a look that represented the history of the vehicle. So the body was done in a Sandgelb with green camo like one would find in 1942/43 in Russia. The new plates were done in a anti-rust paint colour. I also added some welders markings to the plates. I guess any welder worth his money would rather cut on the markings than besides them (= they would disappear while cutting), but I wanted them anyway. Weathering wise I just went with some panel highlighting with my airbrush and heavy use of filters. After some tests with filters on my Sci-Fi vehicles this winter, I felt comfortable enough to use them in my historical models so this was the first go.

Borgward Wanze (top view)

Borgward Wanze (top view)

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in Wehrmacht, WWII, WWII: Germans

 

Preparations for the Battle of Berlin

Preparations for the Battle of Berlin

The time has come to prepare everything for this years game at Crisis in Antwerp. The obviously theme for this years Crisis is Waterloo, in line with this years bicentennial. Am I going down the same road? No. The Battle of Nations game two years ago was largely ignored (even though it was the bicentennial as well) and I would have been hard pressed to get all the minis painted in time. So what was my choice? The Battle of Berlin, after all that one has its 70th anniversary this year.

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

So where to start? Since most minis and vehicles for that were done years ago hardly anything remains to be done except for the scenery. Last year I already did  few test pieces and the lessons learned from that were put to use this time.

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

Again all the buildings are by Commission Figurines, with some added rubble (homemade from foamcore, sand, matchsticks, wooden strips and bricks cast from plaster), wallpaper and doll house furniture. As I did last time, I also added an extra floor to some of them using coffee stirrers and matchsticks.

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

What I changed were some of my techniques. Last time I applied virtually all the paint by hand. This time I only did that for the outside walls, windows / doors and stonework applications. All the rest was airbrushed. I deliberately over-sprayed the bricks a little bit to create an impression of brick-dust in the spots where the plaster had come off the buildings. I also over-sprayed the rubble to create the impression of a heavier layer of dust around the rubble heaps. All the buildings also got a slight dusting with the colors I used for the rubble, to create a general dirty look.

Ruins (inside)

Ruins (inside)

Ruins (inside)

Ruins (inside)

But there are also a few more lessons I learned. First I glued some tile and wooden floor imitations to the base, just like I did with the pieces last year. The more I do that, the less I like it. A lot of that gets covered up by rubble anyway and there is always a chance of warping. So in the future I will probably just cover up the whole ground floor with rubble.

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

The other thing is, that I must pay better attention to the floors that come with the buildings. For some reason I picked floors, that were all oriented the same direction. Obviously, that meant, that they did not fit for two of the corner pieces and I had to clip them down to prevent them from touching. I can not be helped anymore (and it eventually means that I will get the same problem on a mother two corner pieces later on), but I will have to make sure I do not botch up once more.

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

Up next will be some minis (actually tomorrow I will post some pictures of a Borgward Wanze), but then it is back to more ruins.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in Battlegroup, Fall of the Reich, WWII, WWII: Germans

 

Warzone Resurrection: Imperial Special Forces “Black Berets”

Warzone Resurrection: Imperial Special Forces “Black Berets”

So these minis have actually been sitting on my desk done and dusted for nearly two weeks now. So it is time to show them:

These are some Imperial Special Forces (ISF) for Warzone. Or to be more precise on the sub-unit… Black Berets. The Black Berets have always been my favorites in any incarnation of Warzone, mostly because I liked their Black and Grey uniforms. So there was no way for me not to paint  them one more time.

Their main mission is and always has been spacecraft boarding operations. And I think in this incarnation of the rules they are best suited for this. In this edition the rules the ISF got backpack teleportation devices. I think they are over the top on the average battlefield (and for that matter I could have done without them). But fluff wise they are great when it comes to boarding operations. No more docking to an airlock or cutting through the hull, giving the defenders time to mass their security troops there. You simply fly your shuttles close the the enemy ship and teleport into the next corridor. Sealed bulkheads or fortified corridors… no problem you simply teleport past those.

As you may have seen when I posted another unit, The Sterlings, earlier on, these minis are wearing gas masks, berets and diesel powered teleportation devices and those simply will not do in space. The backpacks were easy enough to change… simply remove the exhaust pipes and pistons and call it the nuclear version. While one can always assume their suits to be insulated and airtight (like any modern spacesuit), gas masks simply would not help. So I removed their heads and replaced them with full face helmets from Anvil Industries. Just like I did with the Sterlings, I removed they bayonets from their rifles (stat wise the models do not have them anyway) to give their rifles more of a carbine feel. I also fitted their carbines with a lot of halo sights and forwards grips to give them more of a commando look. The last two soldier got the Gehenna Puker Flamethrower… nothing clears a corridor faster!

So off to the painting table they were. I started off with the black armour and decided to paint their suits in a dark blue, to keep enhance their sinister looks. At this point I was slightly undecided which way to go. Black Berets usually have grey camo on their armour, but I already liked their looks as they were. The biggest problem was, that usually Imperial camo take large amoeba shapes edged in a light colour. But to be honest… every version I tried on these looked extremely poor and turned me off the idea. So in the end, I decided to break with the Imperial norm and go for a pattern of thin branch or lighting shapes. And it worked fine. Up next were the helmets and I always wanted something that enhanced their sinister looks. So a skull pattern was painted on the lower parts of the helmets. I have to say, the first one was OK, after another three I thought “why did I decide to do this” but after the 6th one (when I had found my mojo) they became fun. The visors were painted red as usual. Taking another break from the Imperial norm, I did not want their national insignia to stand out as much in blue, white and red. So I painted them in a subdued pattern of dark grey first, but that made them virtually disappear against the armour. In real life that would be the intention and fine, but here i wanted more contrast. I went for a de-saturated version in lighter bluish grey, which offered a nice contrast. The rest was just the standard fare, except that I did not paint their straps and holsters in green but black.

The last matter to decided upon was their bases. When I started, I had wanted to do the same trench and mud theme, that I have used with the other model for Imperial. Painting them, I realized, that mud would look strange on these and space ship corridors would be much better. Luck would have it, that just the week I finished the minis, my pads from the Basius 2 Kickstarter would arrive. One of the two pads was one I want to use for deck plates when my Alien vs. Predator minis arrive, so I decided to put them to the test. They worked out fine, after a few tests. I have to say though, that they are removed best using pliers to pull them up straight. The thin MDF bases I am using can cause some problems doing that, especially with the water you use as a mould release for the Green Stuff). So some of the bases, it did not work perfectly and the details look a bit soft, but I am still happy with them.

OK… enough talking on to the minis:

Black Berets (1st Squad)

Black Berets (1st Squad)

Black Berets (2nd Squad)

Black Berets (2nd Squad)

Black Berets (2nd Squad, rear view)

Black Berets (2nd Squad, rear view)

Well I imagine you would not want to be in some huge steel coffin flying through space when these chaps come for you… or would you?

 

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Imperial, Sci-Fi, Warzone Resurrection

 

Battlegroup Kursk

Battlegroup Kursk

OK, it seems the process of catching up is not over yet. This is a game report of a game we (Julian and myself) played in May. This time it was Battlegroup Kursk (in 20mm). The scenario was the “Counter-Attack at Vinogradovka”, but with alternative forces.

 

Before I start, please let me say, that it seems I have waited a little too long writing this report, since my memory seems a little fuzzy by now. Be that as it may, I will try to give my best report.

The Germans (played by Julian) had a PzKw V Tiger, three PzKw III, accompanying infantry (if memory serves me right, about a platoon of them) and some off-board artillery.

The tanks were deployed on their right, the infantry in the centre and on their left (where the majority of their infantry was.

The Russians (played by me) brought 6 T34-76, three T-70s, two guns (IIRC a Zis-2 and a Zis-3), two medium mortars and infantry (again about a platoon worth plus a sniper team) to the fight.

One three tank group of T-34´s each were deployed centre and right, as was all the infantry. Only the T-70s were deployed opposite the German tanks.

Throughout the game, the Germans only rolled average when it came to the number of commands per turn. That being said, with one exception, the Russians rolled very low.

Almost from the start, the game turned into a heavy slugging match. The Germans activated first and pounded the Russian positions with their artillery and Tiger (since all other weapons were without range). They failed to do much damage to the infantry and gun crews they hit (IIRC only one dead), but two infantry sections and one of the AT guns were pinned. Some of the German infantry advanced as well.

The Russians returned fire with the other AT gun and the T-70s, firing at the PzKw IIIs, but the most they did was pin one of them. The T-34s in the centre started their advance towards the German tanks. At the same time the Russian that had been pinned by the German fire unpinned.

From this point on, things turned more and more into a gunfight between the tanks of both sides and the AT guns. Both the T-70s and PzKw III died pretty quick. The biggest problem was the Tiger. It slowly kept on taking out the T-34s. It is not like they did not fire back, but all they did was pin it from time to time. So by the end of the game, all that was left from the tank battle was the Tiger.

On the only thing that went somewhat well for the Russians was their right flank. Although they were subject to heavy fire and close attacks from the German infantry, they managed to dislodge them from the hill on that flank. Even better they also managed to take out the German spotters, which meant no more artillery coming down on their positions.

In the end it was too little though. I managed to always draw the high chits when unpinning or taking losses. So by the time they cleared the hill, the Russians had taken too many losses and had reached their breaking point and the Germans won the day.

 

All in all a very pleasant game, that was somewhat diminished by the bad dice rolling whenever it really mattered!

The Battlefield (Germans left, Russians right)

The Battlefield (Germans left, Russians right)

PzKw IIIs

PzKw IIIs

T-34s moving out of the village

T-34s moving out of the village

The beauty of the Russian countryside

The beauty of the Russian countryside

Tank engagement

Tank engagement

The Germans tanks

The Germans tanks

T-34 scaling the hill

T-34 scaling the hill

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2015 in Kursk, Wehrmacht, WWII, WWII: Germans, WWII: Russians

 

On the use of primers

On the use of primers

The idea for this post actually came to me as an accident while airbrushing some MDF terrain (which will go online in the near future).

Something one reads a lot  from newcomers to the hobby is why to use primers and which colour to use.

The former question usually is simple to answer. The primer improves the adhesion of the paint to the model.

But which colour to use?

Well there are lots of colors these days. They come in virtually all colours. Usually these are the base colours of (historic and fictional) uniforms or vehicles. Their use is obvious… prime your model in this colour and you can skip the basic colour of the uniform or vehicles. So let us ignore all these new colours and concentrate on the classics… black and white (which also includes off-white / light grey).

Well for some the choice between the two depends on their style of painting. Some like to paint using a technique that is called “black-lining”. Essentially this technique means that each colour and / or piece of equipment is edged in black to improve the contrast between the elements of a model. Many people who paint this way love black primer. This way they just need to block in the colors and leave the edges alone. That way they do not need to paint the edges in black.

I personally do not like that painting technique and if you are the same (or prefer to paint those black lines by hand none the less) you will be free to choose. In my opinion your choice will be dictated by the colour your finished minis will have. A light coloured primer will lead to the colours that are applied on top to be more vibrant and bright. A dark primer will lead to the colours being more subdued and sinister. All in all I prefer my minis to look vibrant. Therefore I prime 90% of my minis in (off-)white. With some colours like yellow this is virtually essential to make sure they do not look dirty. In other cases it just makes the colours pop and look alive, even if they themselves are dark.

Prussian Landwehr casualties (front)

Prussian Landwehr casualties (front)

Prussian Landwehr casualties (back)

Prussian Landwehr casualties (back)

Black primer is something I only use for minis that will be predominantly black (or very dark blue or brown all over) anyway or those minis that I want to look sinister (minis where even the bright colours are meant to look bleak). In the first case it simply safes one a lot of work, in the second case, it makes the brain perceive the colours differently.

2te Preussische Leibhusaren

2te Preussische Leibhusaren

But does it really make such a difference? Is it just imagination?

Well the other day I was airbrushing some MDF terrain. amongst the pieces were two (actually more, but these were the ones I photographed) that will represent wood when done. Both had been primed*. One I had primed in off-white, since it will be part of buildings that are meant to re-present light coloured plaster. The other was primed black, since it will be part of a Bailey Bridge. (I do not want to paint the underside of the planks and neither do I want a light colour reflecting off the surface of my river. Out of pure laziness I primed both top and bottom the same.) I did spray two light coats of Vallejos Model Air “Burnt Umber” over them. Two light coats, since I wanted a shaded finish, that would make it easier to make it look like wood later on. Burnt Umber is a very dark brown, almost like chocolate with a high cocoa percentage. So what did they both look like?

Comparison between (off-)white and black primers

Comparison between (off-)white and black primers

As you see, two light coats over the off-white primer gave me a result, that is slightly lighter than the brown itself. Two similar coats over the black gave me a result, where you will hardly notice the brown, if at all.

By the way, this also shows how one can use these primers to ones advantage while painting. If you have a paint with a low opacity, you can use a number of coats to change your colours and create shading on your minis. If you apply a number of coats over a dark colour your colour will become lighter with every coat (more so the lighter or brighter your colour). If you apply your colour over a light colour, it will become darker with ever coat.

Hope this gives some of you some insight.

 

 

[* It is always advisable to prime MDF before pairing it. MDF is essentially sawdust pressed into shape with glue. As such it will always “suck up” lots of paint in its natural state. Priming them means that a) they suck up your cheap primer instead of your expensive paints and b) you need less coats making your work faster and easier.]

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2015 in General

 

Trucks, forklifts, cargo and a Monorail

Trucks, forklifts, cargo and a Monorail

So the struggle to catch up continues! ;-)

Now as some may or may not remember, one of the resolutions for this year was to definitely add to my collection of terrain, where I have felt an increasing lack, especially in the Sci Fi sector. So this is what I worked on besides minis over the few months (usually on weekends, when I actually had the time to work more than a few minutes in a row and when it was worth filling the whole table with stuff). But it is not all strictly Sci Fi. Some of it would also have its uses in a modern game, so I tried to keep it kind of generic. So lets kick things off:

Up first is a Container Truck. A lot of this post will be taken up by the Mad Mecha Guys Monorail system and associated items. And tis is one of them, as it came as part of the cargo stop set. So maybe lets start with a few words on his items. All his stuff are sound and simple (in a positive meaning) laser cut MDF designs. Easy to assemble, easy to paint and great value for money. This truck was no exception. Easy assembly, clear lines and nice to paint. Th only thing I did not like about this truck, is that the seams are easy to spot, but still, the end product looks really nice. Actually to the point that I think I will get myself a second one in due time. Please note, the cuts into the flatbed are supposed to be fitted with holding clamps, but they were missing from my set. But in my experience, Joseph´s (the owner) customer service has been top-notch, so I will simply mention it with my next order.

Container truck

Container truck

Container truck

Container truck

The next truck is from another company, CNC Miniature Scenery. Now again, these look nice and are good value for money. They are also a little more elaborate. But I did not like them near as much. Both this truck and the Heavy Forklift coming next had spots where a hole was cut in the wrong place and the parts had to be modified to fit. The Forklift was also missing some parts (they were not cut out). Also each vehicle came in a lot of parts, each fitted to the MDF sheet by two lugs. The lugs were fairly extensive (usually 2+mm longs) and the MDF is quite thick. So it took a long time to cut them out and there was absolutely no chance to do more than one a day, otherwise your wrists would hurt too much.

Cargo Truck

Cargo Truck

Another problem is the functionality. With the engine sticking out of the flatbed, you can hardly place any cargo on it and on such a large truck, a few small crates loo ridiculous.

Cargo Truck

Cargo Truck

The Heavy Forklift is from CNC as well. Again the functionality is not perfect. the centre of mass is very much to the front. Meaning it will topple forward even with small items placed on the forks. Unfortunately the model does not really allow for the placement of hidden counterweights far enough to the rear.

Large Forklift

Large Forklift

Before anyone asks… the heavy chipping and rust are not there to cover any imperfections with the models up, I just wanted something that looked like it had seen many years of wear and tear on a cargo yard.

Large Forklift

Large Forklift

The next item is a small Forklift. This time a 1:43rd scale die-cast from Siku. Pretty simple work here, as I simply weathered it, put some matt varnish on and painted the warning lights and indicators.

Small Forklift

Small Forklift

Small Forklift

Small Forklift

The good thing about this on is… the it actually works and you can actually place items on it. A fine example are these HazMat barrels from Fenris Games, which I also painted last month. Before anyone complains… yes I know, that they would have to be different colours, but I think all those Zombie movies and TV series in recent year have left everyone expecting yellow, so I went with that for all of them. As usually with Fenris, good value for money and easy and fast to clean and paint.

I glued three groups of six to some Siku pallets. To be honest, no one wants to arrange all these barrels on by one for a game, so that seemed like a good solution for me.

HazMat barrels

HazMat barrels

And to round the small cargo off (at least for a few weeks) some ammo containers from Fenris Games. Wanted more of a military coloration for them, so I went with green and brown here.

Ammo containers

Ammo containers

But What I really felt I needed now was some bigger cargo or in other words ISO containers. Again these are from Mad Mecha Guy. They were easy enough to assemble. I could also have done so with open doors, but I did not want that.

What I wanted here was something, that would be useful in modern games as well. So they received homemade decals with the names of well-known container companies. What bleeped me off though, is that I put a lot of effort into doing the decals properly. I let the containers dry for a couple of days in the sun, covered them with gloss varnish, let that dry for a couple of days in the sun, applied the decals with decal softeners and decal fix, let that dry for a couple of days in the sun and varnished afterwards. Still I got frosting. I cannot say for sure, but my guess is, decals and MDF to not like each other. :-( At least it is half as bad to the human eye as it is to the camera, so it is not quite as distracting while playing as it is on these photos.

Anyway, as a last step they got some rust marks using sponge techniques and various pinpoint washes.

ISO containers

ISO containers

ISO containers

ISO containers

A couple of years ago, I also bought four plastic container models. They were fairly expensive, but much more detailed. Yet all those years I had just left them plain. Now I was wondering what to do with them. Their hight and width was identical to the MDF ones from MMG, but the style too different for my taste.So I decided not to do them as civilian containers, but military ones. This way I could use them together, but the camo would distract from the differences.

While they look fine on the photos, they did give me some headaches. Even with proper cleaning and priming, the paint would still rub off easily during painting. So I decided to seal them with heavy-duty car varnish. Unfortunately, while drying, the varnish crackled. Even more unfortunate… the varnish did its job well and now nothing would easily rub off. So I decided to incorporate the crackles into the rust to a certain degree. Which is fine, since it actually looks a bit, like the containers are rusting below the paint.

Camouflaged ISO containers

Camouflaged ISO containers

But now on to the big one… the Monorail. Back when MMG released the 15mm version last year I was hoping that he would do a 28mm version as well, which he did soon enough. Even better, he was open to suggestions so the line grew really quickly into a complete system. Before I start with the rolling stock, I just want to say, that there is lots of track, both raised and low, straight and curved. I think about 15 meters in total length, or in other words enough to cover my whole table (3,5m x 2m). But to be honest… taking photos of meter upon meter of track is boring, so I will leave you with the more interesting pieces and will let it feature in future post here.

Now on to the rolling stock. My initial plan had been to do a mixed passenger and cargo train. So I bought a cargo locomotive, a flatbed and a passenger locomotive. Now painting it and doing the cargo stop, I feel that separate passenger and cargo trains will be better, so I will have to buy another passenger locomotive in the future.

I wanted all the trains to be somewhat inspired by the Transport for London trains, but not an exact match. So the cars were painted white and the lower half was painted blue (but a lighter one). Instead of painting the doors red, I decided t do the roofline in red. The roofs on all the cars can be taken off and minis paced inside.

Monorail (Cargo locomotive)

Monorail (Cargo locomotive)

When all that was done, the passenger car looked a little bleak, so I decided to break that up and chose some graffiti for it. Back when I was in school my best friends were “graffiti artists”, but that never caught on with me. I have never regretted that… until I had to paint these, since I had to find that these took me ages. The first one I applied (Ozone) is actually a copy of one I found on the internet, which someone had sprayed on the London tube. With the rest I got more experimental, creating designs of my own from graffiti alphabets I found online. Some of these are completely fictional (Stalk), others have a reference to Warzone (the Algeroth logo with the words Rulez) and one is a reference to my gaming club (DHC). There are also some other small references hidden in there, like my initials and year, the tag my best mate in school used and so on. I am sure and real life “graffiti artist” would be laughing at my designs, but I think they are good enough for the gaming table.

No I am never too comfortable with freehand. If you look at real life graffiti, all the lines are usually pretty clear and surprisingly hard-edged. I did not feel comfortable doing this with an airbrush, so I did it all with a brush, trying to mimic spray can effects.

Passenger car (front)

Passenger car (front)

Passenger car (rear)

Passenger car (rear)

And here is the whole train (with the cars I currently have) on one of the two ramps I have that can be used to connect the raised and low-level parts of the system.

Monorail ramp

Monorail ramp

Now at one point I said to Joseph, that a switch would be nice as well. What I was expecting, was that he would do something that looked realistic and stop at that. Quite to my surprise, he came up with a design, that actually works.

Switch (straight)

Switch (straight)

Switch (interchange)

Switch (interchange)

Passanger car on the switch

Passenger car on the switch

For the low-level track, he also provides level crossings. I have two set of two, which should even be more than I would ever need. Again, these are working.

Level crossing (closed)

Level crossing (closed)

I just need to do some road sections, that fit these. As you can see, there are beams, that hold the track when lowered, but these are in the middle of the road. So I will have to cut some road sections, where the lanes split for the level crossing.

Level crossing (open)

Level crossing (open)

What I really love is the cargo stop. The crane is moveable. It can be moved along the track and left and right. The operators cabin can be opened and minis placed inside.

Container terminal

Container terminal

Container crane

Container crane

Container crane

Container crane

I also wanted a passenger stop. Now this one is not 100% finished. It will receive some signs with the station name, but the color cartridges for my printer died while printing them out, so that will have to wait until the replacement cartridges arrive.

Monorail Station

Monorail Station

I really like this station. At first I was unsure, if I had made the right decision to buy the raised version, but now I am really happy with my decision. The hight provides a nice raised level to the battlefield. And the pylons, together with the pylons for the track also provide nice cover on the ground level. The bus stop and ticketing machines also provide some extra cover on the ground level.

Monorail Station

Monorail Station

Monorail Station

Monorail Station

Monorail plattform

Monorail platform

As you can see, the platform is a little bare right now. I need to find (= buy or scratch build) some trash bins, modern benches, flower basins or even a small kiosk to provide some cover on the platform. Until then, two soda machines from Ainsty Castings will have to do. One was painted as a generic machine, the other in a future Version of a coke machine.

Soft drink machines

Soft drink machines

And here are some close-ups of the ticket machines and the bus stop. The bus stop features some recruitment and movie posters fit for Warzone that I photoshopped.

Ticket machines

Ticket machines

Bus Stop

Bus Stop

So this is it… probably the longest terrain post I have done to date.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Modern, Sci-Fi, Terrain building

 

Catching up (second attempt)

So last month, I posted, that I had wanted to keep a steadier flow of posts on this blog. So far so good. Just a few days later we were supposed to get high-speed internet and that was when things started going down the drain. Here in Germany all the telephone and internet infrastructure is owned by one company (the formerly state-owned provider). If you get your services from a different company (like we do), they only rent the cables. If anything goes wrong, it is still the owners job to correct it. In our case the owner wired us up wrong in the last switch box, so we actually did not get a signal at all. But since we were using another provider. they took their own sweet time to correct the mistake, including appointments for the technician to fix things where no one showed up. So after more than two weeks without internet or phone (except on my mobile) we were back. But it is amazing, how many things you actually need the internet for these days. Which created a huge backlog of things. Once I had worked my way through that, German mail ended their 4 week strike and I had to work my way through the backlog of snail mail. Bottom line is… I am only now back on track. So this will be the second attempt to catch up. I actually took a lot of photos this weekend so there should be enough to post for about a week now. So let’s get started with some minis. Again these are for Warzone: Resurrection. Up first is Timothy McGuire, one of the Warlords for the Imperial faction. He hails from a unit called the Golden Lions. Now as you can see on that link, I painted the unit in classic red body armour. Most times they are also depicted with black-grew tiger stripe camo on their armour. Back then I was unsure if I should do that or not, so I planned to try it out on McGuire (better repainting one mini if it goes wrong than a whole unit). But then Prodos published new artwork of him in yellow armour with blue-grey and red tiger stripes. I felt that looked a bit ugly, but non the less wanted to try how it looked on a mini, so the plan was hatched to paint him that way, which I did. I think the results look a bit strange, since I can imagine no place where such a camo would work, but I like him none the less, so he will stay this way. Looking at the photos though, I think I will have to go back and add some colour to the hinge of the right arm and the valves on his chest plate.

Timothy McGuire

Timothy McGuire

Timothy McGuire

Timothy McGuire

Timothy McGuire

Timothy McGuire

Timothy McGuire

Timothy McGuire

Up next is Morten Oakenfist, Chieftain of the Wolfbanes. He is a bear of a man and the mini is huge for a human as well (even larger than MacGuire in his power armour). If you remember Slythe from the previous post, I felt that his colors were  to earthen, so I went classic Wolfbanes on him and went for blue clothing and only did his armour in browns. I really liked that, so my other Wolfbanes will receive blue clothing as well. I also tried some different brown combinations on his armour, but that was not my cup of tea, so the next ones will revert back to what I tried on Slythe. The bigger problem was his tartan. I have now decided, that all my Wolfbanes will have some tartan items, both to give them some colour and to be able to distinguish the basic squads later on. But most obviously, there is no Clan Oakenfist today, so what pattern to pick? Well his mother is a Murdoch and today the Murdoch families is allied to the Clans MacDonald and MacPhearson. But in the Warzone universe the Murdochs have become a clan of their own and a powerful one at that, so they should have their own tartan. I personally liked the MacDonald tartan better than the MacPhearson one (and being a big Runrig fan MacDonald seemed to be a better homage), so I took that as a basis for my Murdoch tartan:

Chieftain Morten Oakenfist

Chieftain Morten Oakenfist

Chieftain Morten Oakenfist

Chieftain Morten Oakenfist

Chieftain Morten Oakenfist

Chieftain Morten Oakenfist

Chieftain Morten Oakenfist

Chieftain Morten Oakenfist

Up next are the Pathfinders. These can be taken either as advisors to squads (essentially making them faster and allowing them to pass through terrain more easily) or as Warlords. The one on the large base is the Warlord, the rest are the advisors. As you can see they are a mix of Oakenfist and Slythe colourwise… blue clothing and lighter brown leather armour. One thing that gave me headaches here were the grenades. As the reader with a keen eye might notice, they have grenade launchers strapped to their right forearm and the corresponding grenades to their right leg (yes I know, they would make more sense on the left legs, since you would have to load them with your left hand). Since they can fire different types of grenades, I wanted to represent that. So some grenades got golden tips, while other had blue or red metallic ones (as in real life). The big problem was, blue did not show up on the blue clothing and red looked strange, so in the end they all got golden tips. They other thing I am still unsure about is their faces. They are supposed to have blue tattoos on their faces, but I did not like that though too much, since I felt it might ruin the character of their faces, so I did without those. On the other hand it does not fit the background, so I might still go back to them, but I guess I will decide that once I have most of the Wolfbanes painted! Up first are one advisor and the Chieftain. The advisor is sporting my Murdoch tartan, while the Warlord wears a pattern based on Clan Munro. Since my unit is based on the Black Watch, I felt that it would be nice to have a Warlord that features the same colors as their first commander. Plus it is yet another homage to Runrig.

Wolfbane Pathfinder (Advisor left, Warlord right)

Wolfbane Pathfinder (Advisor left, Warlord right)

Wolfbane Pathfinder (rear view, Advisor left, Warlord right)

Wolfbane Pathfinder (rear view, Advisor left, Warlord right)

And another two advisors. The one on the lest is wearing a tartan based on clan Stewart and the right one a Government tartan. Both patterns have a strong association with the Black Watch (the former is their pattern, the later was often worn by their pipers), so these just felt the way to go. All these patterns will feature strongly amongst my Wolfbane forces, although i could kick myself for the Munro and Steward patterns, since they take a bleeping long time to paint!

Wolfbane Pathfinder Advisors

Wolfbane Pathfinder Advisors

Wolfbane Pathfinder Advisors (rear)

Wolfbane Pathfinder Advisors (rear)

 
13 Comments

Posted by on July 14, 2015 in Imperial, Sci-Fi, Warzone Resurrection

 

Catching up

Catching up

Live has been extremely busy over the past few weeks. So much to do (both private and work related) that I hardly found any time for the hobby related things in life. I guess not much will change in the near future, but at least I try to update this blog from time to time. And this shall be the start. These are the minis I managed to paint recently, all of them Imperials for Warzone. Not much really, as some of these were painted as much as two months ago.

Michael Farraday and Andrew Drougan

These are two special Blood Beret characters for Imperial. I have to say, I was not too much in a mood to paint these. They are limited edition miniatures from the Kickstarter era of Warzone Resurrection. As such they are noticeably different in style in size from the current Imperial models. Therefore I really hope that they will be re-done in due time and until then I will probably not use them too much (which is also underlined by the fact, that they are pretty expensive points wise). As a result my motivation to paint them was not too high, but I did anyway.

Andrew Drougan & Micheal Farraday

Andrew Drougan & Micheal Farraday

Andrew Drougan & Micheal Farraday

Andrew Drougan & Micheal Farraday

Isaac Alfreds

Now Alfreds was a team member of Drougan and Farraday´s before they became Cartel Agents. He costs as much as the other two, but I like his stats and abilities better than theirs. Plus his model is from the recent models that were created to accompany the Mutant Chronicles RPG rules, so he actually fits the current style.

Isaac Alfreds

Isaac Alfreds

Isaac Alfreds (profile)

Isaac Alfreds (profile)

Gordon Slythe

Slythe is another model from the RPG. I really like this model, since I felt that the pose was quite cool and I liked his resemblance to Ewan McGregor. I got this model shortly before Prodos released their Wolfbanes last month, so I painted him as a test piece for the other Wolfbanes. I actually like the way he ended up, but I am not sure if I went for too much tan and brown here. In the end I loosened everything up by adding a (fantasy) tartan pattern to his cloak. The blood dripping from his sword was a late addition to the mini I made, but I think it really enhances his ferocious looks. Also went for a different basing theme with him (as I will for the other Wolfbanes)… Highlands instead of trenches.

I have to say though, what slightly bleeped me off is the fact that they are using the very same model as part of their Wolfbane Commando pack, which make him less special. :-(

Gordon Slythe (front)

Gordon Slythe (front)

Gordon Slythe (profile)

Gordon Slythe (profile)

Gordon Slythe (rear)

Gordon Slythe (rear)

Grey Ghosts

The are the first of the new Imperial models I painted, a three women squad of Grey Ghosts. They act as saboteurs and snipers. Their trademark is the dark grey catsuits and I went along those lines. I am still a bit torn about them game wise. They are pretty expensive, but they might also be quite effective. I used them in a game last weekend and while they earned their points, I think you need the right types of enemy troops for them to do so. Lets see how they play out in the long run!

Grey Ghosts

Grey Ghosts

Grey Ghosts (profile)

Grey Ghosts (profile)

Grey Ghosts (rear)

Grey Ghosts (rear)

Imperial Special Forces (Sterlings)

The last infantry unit for this post is a squad of Imperial Special forces, or in this case Sterlings. There are nearly two dozen different Special Forces units one can pick from. To be honest, game wise they are no different from one another, as they can all receive the same equipment and so on. But they all differ when it comes to fluff or their uniforms. So I bought 6 packs of them and wanted something I could go wild with for the first unit. So it is the Sterlings, which wear desert camo. The plate armour was inspired by the US “Chocolate Chip” camo made famous during Desert Storm. Underneath they are wearing 3-color Desert DPM, although I think I could have left that off, since so very little of it can actually be seen under all that plate. I slightly modified these minis with scopes and laser designators from Anvil Industries.

Sterlings

Sterlings

Sterlings (rear)

Sterlings (rear)

My two favourite Sterlings

My two favourite Sterlings

Offensive and Defensive Sentry Tokens

I have the option to use Offensive and Defensive Sentry Tokens with my Imperials in the game. They are not sure to arrive on the tabletop, since I have to draw the right cards, but if they do they are mighty effective. So I often use them and I always disliked the fact, that I had no designed tokens. So I bought these small robots from Anvil Industries and based them accordingly. The HMG ones are the Offensive ones (since they have stats very similar to an HMG and fire at targets of my choice) the grenade launcher ones are the defensive ones (they react to enemies firing in their vicinity). To give my opponents another method to identify them, the Offensive ones are designated by a small Greek letter Ω, while the Defensive ones sport a Greek letter ∆.

Offensive Sentry Tokens

Offensive Sentry Tokens

Defensive Sentry Tokens

Defensive Sentry Tokens

Offensive and Defensive Sentry Token (rear)

Offensive and Defensive Sentry Token (rear)

 
6 Comments

Posted by on June 9, 2015 in Imperial, Warzone Resurrection

 

Terrain, terrain and more terrain

First of all apologies for not posting anything over the past three weeks (shock horror… so long!). As seems to be the norm for me this year, live has been extremely hectic. I did get things done from time to time, but did not find the time to take photos or much less post them.

Until last week. But then again time was running out due to me and the better half driving to the other side of Germany for a job interview (well that was only me) and then taking a few days off to get to know the region in case the interview leads to something. So I uploaded the pictures to this blog with the idea to post stuff while we were away. That is until we arrived at the self catering place we had booked only to find that it had no internet as advertised. So no posting. Well that is until the last night when I urgently needed an Internet connection and remembered, that I could use my iPhone as a modem (doh!). It could have been so easy!

Some of you may remember, that one of my big goals for this year is terrain building. With the weather getting better, it is now time to tackle that. So what do we have?

Nodding Donkey Oil-Well

This model is from Fenris Games in the UK and made from laser cut wood. The looks of the model alone are great and it allows you to build it in any position during the pumping cycle. So far so good. The big problem is that it is not cut from MDF like most kits these days but some kind of sheet wood with strong fibres. So you have strong wood grain on the model itself. I went and sanded the parts as much as I dared (for fear of losing the etched details). But a lot of the graining still remained. So I decided to depict it as heavily used equipment. This meant a yellow base, fading, lots of chipping and rusting. Makes it look were hodge podge and effectively masks the wood grain(at least a bit).

Nodding Donkey oil well

Nodding Donkey oil well

Concrete road barriers

The next items are from Frenris Games as well, this time their resin range. Nothing to complain there. Great casting quality, excess resin was minimal and easy to remove and great value for money. I wanted to keep them generic, so no markings or anything else on them. I airbrushed them in USN Ghost Grey and sprayed a homemade wash of Vallejo Panzergrey Primer and Grey primer over it to make them look well used and exposed to a lot of pollution and that was it.

Concrete road barriers

Concrete road barriers

Concrete road barriers

Concrete road barriers

There are actually about twice as many pieces, but well… they are not the most interesting subjects to photograph, so these shall suffice!

4Ground World War II buildings, repaints

When 4Ground released their pre-painted buildings about three years ago, I was high as a kite and bought some of their WWII buildings. Do not get me wrong, they are great, but there are some things that are not perfect. Inevitably some parts connect in a way that the burned edges of some parts (key) can be seen where they connect to the painted sides of others (slot). This leaves some ugly dark brown squares on otherwise light colored areas. Some details like the stonework on the building corners are just etched in and not painted. And parts were cut from the wrong sheet of wood (colour wise) which leads to stone chimneys the colour of plaster or window sills the colour of the front door. And then there are those spots where the scorch marks left by the laser, just look wrong. Eventually all this needs to be painted over. I assembled these buildings the previous two summers and actually fielded them in three games (where you may have seen them already), but was never too happy. So I repainted, or rather overpainted them now.

Repainted 4Ground houses

Repainted 4Ground houses

Unfortunately I had no colour to match the green painted buildings, so removing the scorch marks on their plaster will have to wait, till I can get the appropriate colour from 4Ground.

Repainted 4Ground houses

Repainted 4Ground houses

I have to say, after it is all said and done, I am not completely sold on these pre-painted laser cut buildings. You pay a premium since they are repainted, which is technically fine, if it actually saved you time, but I felt it does not. Since the inside walls are a different colour they are separate pieces that are glued against the outside walls. Every piece of exposed brickwork has to be glued into both the inside and outside walls and so on. Essentially I found that assembling a “good condition” building takes about twice as long as it takes for an unpainted one and the ruined ones take even longer. And then you have to spend some time to paint them over to hide the imperfections. In this case with these 8 houses this amounted to about a weekend. So I personally felt that it took about as long to get these to a state where I am content with them, as it would have taken me had I gone for unpainted ones. But then you have already paid your premium and have buildings that will look virtually the same as thousands of others used around the world. So I guess this will have been my last batch. Later this year I will be getting some pre-painted MDF buildings from another company that are cut using a different method. I am really looking forward to see how those work out.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on April 23, 2015 in Terrain building

 

Warzone Resurrection: Corporate Agents

Last year Modiphius Entertainment ran a Kickstarter to launch their Mutant Chronicles RPG. For those who do not know… it is the same universe as Warzone, with Warzone being the wargame. Anyway, the Kickstarter contained a number of miniatures for use with the Wargame, so I pledged. The fact that I will also get the RPG books in PDF format is a little icing on the cake. Now I had planned to paint the Imperial set up first, but sadly, that one was accidentally not shipped along with the rest and will go out this week, so I had to choose something else. I am in no mood to paint Bauhaus or Mishima right now and I am still waiting on base stamps for Dark Legion. So I picked something of universal use… Corporate Agents.

So, what are Corporate Agents actually? Well when the megacorporations that had essentially taken the role of governments left Earth they began battling each other with their military might. In order to have a forum where the corporations could discuss their differences on a purely diplomatic level, without having to resort to hostile activities, the Cartel was created. The Cartel has, with the appearance of the Dark Legion, been given a more aggressive role and extended authority to battle the new evil. This was the one place the corporations could pool their resources together to stand against the Darkness. One of their assets are the Corporate Agents. They act as an intel service trying to find and weed out Dark Legion sympathizers and as bodyguards for high value figures from the corporations. And this is, what they do in the wargame… act as bodyguards.

The set consists of two types of miniatures. The first are three actual corporate agents. Looking at the minis, the two male versions instantly reminded me of a certain movie. Want to have a guess?

So the choice how to paint the minis was easy. Although all the black suits and ties made them slightly boring, so they at least got brown shoes and belts (were visible) to break that up. Although the facial features and the hairdo does not completely match I also painted the two male agents up to be inspired by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith.

Corporate Agents

Corporate Agents

The other two minis in the set are Iron Mastiffs. These are mechanical dogs under an artificial pelt to make them look like rear animals, while still being able to operate even in hostile environments. Extremely efficient at sniffing out heretics and as attack dogs on the battlefield. The inspiration for them came from this original Paul Bonner painting (left hand side, together with a Corporate Agent btw):

warzone art

The basing gave me some headaches. They can be used in virtually any non-Dark Legion force, so I wanted their basing to be generic. The high heels of the female agents suggested an inner city type of basing, but that is what I will be using for my Dark Legion, so I felt it would be strange, if they blended with the bases of those troops they can not join. So in the end I went for some summer grass ground, like I did on my Brotherhood minis (which serve as auxiliaries for other armies as well).

Iron Mastiffs

Iron Mastiffs

They other thing that gave me a headache was the varnish. I varnished them matt on Saturday evening only to find that it had formed small bubble in some crevices over night. I was able to fix that on most of the minis, although one can unfortunately see some of them on the back of the black agent and the dogs on close inspection. But I was in no mood to strip these, so they will have to do.

Corporate Agents and Iron Mastiffs

Corporate Agents and Iron Mastiffs

Oh and for those of you who got the pack as well but are wondering why there is no info on how to field the Mastiffs… here is the text missing from the cards (straight from the proofreading phase):

Squad Upgrades: The squad may be increased by up to three Corporate Agents for 14 points per model. Up to 2 Corporate Agents in the squad may be replaced with an Iron Mastiff for free.

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Cartel, Sci-Fi, Warzone Resurrection

 
 
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