Kettle Helms and Grit: Feudal Guardsmen for 40k!

Not every planet produces Guardsmen quite the same…

Cadians may be the standard, but almost every planet pays a tithe of men. Feudal Worlds are no exception!

It is a good time to be an Imperial Guard player, at least from a modelling perspective. While Games Workshops offerings may be limited compared to yesteryear, there has never been such a proliferation of 3rd party parts and kits to build exactly the kind of Imperial Guard Regiment you want. Wargames Atlantic, Victoria Miniatures, Anvil Industries. All are options(not necessarily cheaper though!) for adding a bit of the custom touch to ‘Your Dudes’.

3D printing is possibly the best option available, and with pre-supported models and bitz now commonplace it isn’t even a difficult task. It is also considerably cheaper; one can print the parts at home, saving on shipping and giving you immediate gratification to boot. I personally haven’t delved too deeply into printed Regiments as much as I could have, due to my love of the metal Regiments Games Workshop used to put out, especially the Praetorians and Vostroyans. However, The Makers Cult, a Patreon and Cgtrader store, offer one of my favourite options. While they make a ‘not Krieg’ regiment that looks amazing, it is their Feudal Guard that got my attention.

A picture from the 3rd Edition 40k rulebook. The only mainline 40k product to show us a Feudal World to my knowledge!

The Imperium of Man is a diverse empire, and within its borders lie worlds of every conceivable type. One of these is the Feudal World, a type of planet that usually but not always is locked technologically in the Middle Ages. These planets often offer some sort of resource that doesn’t require more advanced technology to harvest, and the Imperium is loathe to waste resources bringing them up to space-faring status when it doesn’t actually make the job any easier.

Often, these planets are easier to rule in their backwater state then many other planets, and their feudal hierarchy perfectly meshes with the Imperium as a whole. The Emperor is seen as a distant but powerful monarch, with the feudal lords owing their fealty to him. Sometimes a King or other titled ruler will act as the go-between of the people and the Imperial Governor, but this is not always the case. In any event, due to these planets generally having a smaller population, their tithe is mostly resource based and not manpower.

However, it is not unheard of for the Imperial Guard to raise regiments from such worlds. These recruits are in for a rude shock upon learning just how vast and unforgiving the galaxy is, and often require a bit of extra training and time to get into fighting trim. Such a Regiment might look like medieval soldiers given primitive and easy to use Lasguns or Laslocks to go with their plate armour and tabards. This is a really striking and distinctive look, and one many a hobbyist has tried to tackle. Historical kits, Warhammer Fantasy models (particularly Bretonnians) and such are kit-bashed with the good ole Cadian kit. The results can vary from amazing to mediocre, but the famous Dave Taylor Genswick 33rd are probably the best example of it being done extremely well.

The Makers Cult Feudal Guard range has both heavily armoured, plate mail encased soldiers, and more recently men with a more peasant appearance. It was these latter troops I was very keen on. I learned quickly that my original idea to use spare Cadian lasgun arms wasn’t going to work, as the models just don’t quite match up. However, the laser rifles provided with the kit grew on me, and I like to think of them as primitive and easy to use Lasguns provided to the regiment.

Just what I always imagined Feudal Guard to look like!

The ‘Kettle Helms’ were what tipped me over the edge into printing a set of these soldiers. The Militia kit looks like just the kind of levy that might be conscripted from a Feudal World, with the more heavily armoured men perhaps being from a different class or caste, and therefore in a command position. The parts were all pre-supported, and I was keen to get cracking on so I loaded up a build plate or three and got my two printers going.

Here are the bodies in Chitubox. As you can see, these are multi-part models. With three build plates to produce 9 Guardsmen with full equipment it certainly took some time to print!

Being multi-part, it was a time consuming project. But around evening I had all the parts ready to go. The quality was excellent, with lots of deep relief and crisply defined detail. The paint will go on tommorow, but we can take a peek at the models before I paint them!

The first 4. These were fiddly to put together, and my fingers have a nice coating of superglue.
4 more! The sculpts really look quite good, and while being more semi-truescale compared to the Cadian line of models, this is actually an improvement. Primaris Marines will dwarf these guys, as they should!
Lets take a closer look. The lasguns are very arquebus in appearance, with a top-loading energy cell. Perhaps the function of these lasguns is supposed to be similar to ease training? That’s the excuse I’m using!
The backpack sits on a square nub on the torso, and lacks any straps. Perhaps the armour underneath the tunic holds it on? Either way, it is a nice looking backpack.
While being multipart, the parts line up quite well with only a few gaps. I must say I really enjoy the sculpts on these guys.

I have saved the Plasma gunner for last. This model was particularly fun to work on, with a really dramatic pose full of energy. The cable broke off when I was removing the supports during cleanup, but it was an easy fix.

This unlucky peasant seems to have drawn Plasma duty. The brutal and simple design of the plasma gun gives it a unique look and fits the bill of being a simpler and easier pattern given to Feudal Guardsmen.
The plasma gun has a bespoke backpack just for this weapon, and it looks great. Getting the model to stand on one foot was a ‘fun’ challenge.
Something the fully plate-armoured soldiers lack is visible faces, something these helmets allow. They have some great character, and add a lot to these models.

Now this was a project I really shouldn’t have started. I have loads of projects on the go, but being stuck at home combined with my hobby ADHD means I couldn’t resist. I needed to use the resin in the vat of my printer as well, so while these models didn’t use much resin at least it helped keep it ‘ready’ for other prints. I have had resin go unusable on me before, so I try to print at the very minimum of once a week.

These are cheap models to print, and now that I know the workflow I might print up a lot of them! I needed another regiment like I needed a hole in the head, but sometimes you just can’t resist the pull of a cool idea.

For now, I’ll print them 9 at a time and paint them as I go. That way I don’t have to stare down a pile of unpainted models, which can be discouraging. You’ll notice I said 9, not 10. That is because the Sergeants are going to be kitbashed from the rest of the Feudal Guard range and I have yet to purchase all the needed sets to do so. But lets take a peek at the plan for them!

I originally purchased this set to make my Feudal Guard, but had a rethink when I saw the Militia kit. I’m thinking of using the tabarded models at the bottom…
…Combined with the Sergeant upgrade kit. The Kettle Helms with feathers are what I am after. No capes!

I’m keen to see how these models paint up, and I will share progress of that when I do so!

Now, it would be remiss to say that Games Workshop hasn’t also finally thrown Guard players a bone or two officially. They have announced a new Cadian upgrade frame with plenty of heads, special weapons, and more importantly for me, a bolter for the Sergeant. Like many other Guard players I started with Cadian models and such a frame fills me with a little bit of glee as I think about overhauling my older models.

And that is without talking about the new Tanith models! I’m super excited for these new Ghost models, even though I own a full set of the old Metal Gaunts Ghosts.

Men of Tanith, do you want to empty your wallets?

All in all, a fun day of 40k flavoured printing! My Feudal Guard need a name and backstory, and I’ll be back with painted models and lore to boot! But until then, Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and Forwards! For the Emperor!

Rattenkrieg: Stalingrad Part 2, The German 6th Army!

The humble Landsers in the ruins of a dead city…

File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R1222-501, Stalingrad, deutscher Soldat mit  Zigarette.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
A German soldier enjoys a cigarette, but the tension on his face never leaves-From the German Federal Archive

“The army’s exact losses are still uncertain, but there was no doubt that the Stalingrad campaign represented the most catastrophic defeat hitherto experienced in German history.” -Antony Beevor, Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943

When the 6th Army and 4th Panzer Division marched into the bombed out city of Stalingrad, they hoped that the fight would be a quick one. The Luftwaffe, in its wisdom, chose to bomb the city into the stone age. This instead made for a labyrinth of ruined buildings, sewers, and streets that instead become the grave for over 300,000 German soldiers. Fewer then 5000-6000 would return home.

For wargaming, the German Army is often depicted as the pinnacle of excellence, an elite force that defeats any foe with ruthless efficiency. Part of the alluring truths of Stalingrad was its utter rebuttal of this notion, and when I recieved my Winter German starter, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t make an unstoppable force at its prime when they entered the city. Instead, I wanted to depict the period from November to December when the encirclement of the would-be besiegers happened, and trapped them.

In all honesty, the Winter German kit is excellent, but perhaps a tougher choice to make work then the Blitzkrieg German kit. A few anachronisms sneak in by the fact the kit was obviously stretched to fit the Late War period so popular in Bolt Action. I had to make some allowances.

I had two major rules; no Panzerfausts or Stg-44s could be used. This was annoying since the kit had so many of these two choices. This was still easy enough to work with on the plastic models…but the metal ones were a tougher nut to crack. As well, I wanted no MG42s. While there were prototypes being fielded there in small numbers, I wanted to stick with the MG34 as that was far more common. This ruled out the included MMG team, which will have to be sorted out later.

Lets see how I cracked on!

I built 40 plastic landsers, with one MG34 and one MP40 or PPsh-41 per squad. This was interesting test to see just how far I could stretch the included bits to make it appear as if there were 4 distinct poses. The PPsh-41s came from my Soviet Winter starter, which had them in ample supply.

This NCO has got his hands in mittens to keep them from freezing off. He is moving from cover to cover, not expecting to shoot. This was an absolute pig of a model to put together. I took the extra step of removing the Mauser pouches in favour of the SMG pouches. That wasn’t so bad. The arms on the other hand didn’t seat right, and took some fancy glue work.
Ah the accursed mold lines that you only notice when you take a photo! I quickly fixed that up after I was done taking the photo. This Landser has acquired a Soviet PPSh-41, a popular weapon in Stalingrad on both sides. The Germans even rechambered a few for 9mm Parabellum, but many more were used as is. At this late stage in the battle, it might even be easier to find ammunition for!
Another NCO, another PPsh, this time with a stick magazine. This landser also has taken mittens off a dead Russian, but has taken them off to fire his weapon. They are attached to his sleeves, as his mittens are probably more dear to him then his weapon in the cold.

The NCOs were fun, if a little fiddly to put together. That was almost entirely my fault; I wasn’t happy with just slapping the MP40 pouches on top of the Mauser pouches, and so for the two NCOs(one is not pictured because honestly he just isn’t worthy of being photographed, being rather boring) armed with MP40s I shaved off the Mauser Pouches. No green stuff was needed luckily, and I was able to put the SMG pouches right over where the old pouches were.

The PPSH was very popular in German hands, so I made two NCOs with them instead. I didn’t file off the pouches on those models, but I might find some Russian pouches for them later.

Lets see some more, this time the squaddies.

The MG34 was a fantastic weapon for its time, and I’m glad that it was included on the sprue. I have given one to each squad, with one man acting as a loader and carrying ammunition drums. These were fun models to make, and a fun tiny challenge to make the no variety in arms work with different poses for a degree of diversity.
It is a little hard to see here unpainted, but this Landser has a grenade in his right hand, ready to be lobbed at Ivan.
This infantryman is armed with a Teller Mine; while I am using them as simply ‘Anti-Tank Grenades’ these mines were considerably more powerful in real life. Still, as visual shorthand it should remind me that I can blow up tanks with my squads.

Next up were the metal models. I love metal models…most of the time. These were not bad, but unfortunately they are more geared toward the late war period and I had to make do for now. Still, lets have a look!

A German Captain, complete with a fancy fur-lined coat. This might make him a tempting target for Soviet snipers…
A senior German NCO, which I will be fielding as a First Lieutenant(Oberleutnant). Lots of nice detail here, but no greatcoat, being lucky enough to have a shorter more practical jacket. This I believe was available to a lucky few at Stalingrad, but was by no means common and is one of my many minor anachronisms that I hope to resolve later.
Another great model that appears to be a little anachronistic is this Medic carrying a wounded soldier. They are both wearing the shorter winter jacker favoured in the Late War, and is a field expedient until I can find a suitable replacement.
Finally, some metal models wearing greatcoats! This mortar squad will keep enemies heads down.
Wearing a combination of short jacket and greatcoat, this Artillery observer won’t look too out of place and can remain as is.
This model was almost perfect, wearing the combination short jacket and greatcoat. I could almost forgive the helmet cover which is distinctly later in make….but what I could not forgive was it having a stonking huge STG-44 on his back! I cut it away…
….and added a much more accurate MP40! I got a bit clever here, as my greenstuff skills lie mostly in filling gaps.
So instead I used a bit of metal flashing from his base to make a sling, and attached it to where the plastic MP40 had its original sling.
Short of gluing my fingers together, this was actually pretty easy! While this model is actually from the included MG42, I at least found a new home for him as the Mortar Squad’s spotter!

Now let’s talk anachronisms and gaming. I would, if had been able, supplied all the models in this force with period accurate weapons. However, as the sleeves must remain distinctly greatcoat in appearance, I had to make some allowances. I firstly had to use the included Gewehr 43s, which are standing in for the slightly less anachronistic(if only just!) Gewehr 41. I was not entirely happy with this, but it was a decision to get these guys into the painting queue faster then I would have waited for replacement arms. It also, tellingly, still counts as just a rifle in-game. This to me is a forgivable anachronism, as these are at the end of the day wargaming models. My goal is historical accuracy, but at the end of the day I really just want to play some games too!

Secondly and more egregiously is the metal models…they are definitely meant for Late War, and only a few pass muster. I will be ordering some replacements for them once I get a chance, probably from Great Escape Games. I still made some effort to ‘back-date’ them a smidge, but they still aren’t perfect. However, they will still pass muster for the average layman, and being that I am one myself I will content myself with that for now.

Anyways, with this done I can move on from the irresistible force of the Wehrmacht to the immovable object that is the Red Army. Chuikov’s men are significantly more work to put together, being that their arms and weapons are separate, but Comrade Stalin is a harsh task-master and the city must be held.

I hope you enjoyed today’s ramblings, and I’ll catch you tomorrow! Happy War-Gaming wherever you are, and Auf Wiedersehen Kameraden!

The Sinister Minister Calls for More: BUF Section #2!

More Thugs for Mr. Mosley!

Every baddie factions needs its mooks, and the BUF have them in spades!

As April approaches, I am down for part two of my supposedly one part surgery. This, as of today, will leave me with plenty of time off as I recuperate, thanks to the generosity of my boss. While today and tomorrow are probably a wash because of pain, I’m viewing the rest of the recovery as another opportunity to get more hobby work done.

I was going to focus on the Royalists for my VBCW project, but the BUF, nasty brutes they are, shoved themselves to the front of the line. I actually got these done yesterday, before the surgery, but I intend to at least make a dent in these guys before my recovery period ends.

The BUF are a paradox for me. The priming job went down too satin, and while the actual primer is adhered to the miniatures good and solid, any other layer of paint comes right off if not handled carefully. And their facial features are particularly soft, proving to be difficult to shade well. But despite that, I can burn through a ten man section really fast once I put my mind to it.

I have less of these blighters then my rather massive Royalist force, at only three sections and support staff and weapons. So knocking out ten at a time really makes the job go by quickly, and as I plan on running the BUF and Royalists together, I actually have a fairly decent collection of painted models now! But enough of my ramblings, lets have a look at em!

Rough, but I don’t think I’ll do much better short of stripping and trying again. As metal models, I very well might do that down the road!

As before, the models fought me tooth and nail to get done. The faces look especially rough. These models are from Footsore, but originally were made by Musketeer Miniatures, a company no longer with us. As such, I imagine the mold is starting to get old, and the faces seem to suffer most from this. Of course, being a naff painter is also going to make that worse, so its hardly just the fault of the models!

Still, not too shabby for a nights work. They’ll do sterling service for the bastard over at Downing Street.

I’m probably going back to alternating Royalists and BUF. I don’t particularly enjoy painting the BUF, at least not the squaddies. As support for my Territorials, I could even stop here; twenty blackshirts is plenty of extra bodies on the table.

While I was painting, I decided it was about time to update my single Sergeant model I painted a while back. He had black trousers, and it all blended together quite blandly, and people online(in a gentlemanly fashion of course!) pointed that out. So I went over his pants in grey, just like the rank and file.

Here is him originally….
And now with spiffy grey trousers!

I think it looks a lot better! I might do his garrison cap again as well with a red stripe, but he isn’t actually meant to totally match the sections I’ve done. This brute I see more as a ‘Special Constable’, a Black and Tans sort of fellow. The different cut of uniform should help with that effect, being that the model is meant to be dismounted cavalry!

And the ‘to do’ list!

As you can see, I still have quite a lot left! The Vickers Team and Command beckon to me though, just because they are different then doing yet another section! But, I think I might do some more Territorials first, just as a palette cleanse.

I still have loads to paint for my VBCW games, but I could foreseeable play a game with entirely painted models now. My friend has been insanely busy however so a fight with the Albertines might be a long way off, and that is not even mentioning my complete lack of terrain on that front!

Anyways, that is all I have for now. I look forward to getting more of the collection done, and when I do I shall show off yet more of em! Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and God Save the King!

Reinforcements from Empire: Indians in Very British Civil War!

India sends some of her finest!

Brave veterans of the Afghan frontier, these men from Empire bring both courage and skill to a nation at war with itself….although the Vickers 6-Ton certainly doesn’t hurt either!

A while back, I posted a little conversion I made. Some Rajput infantry made from leftover parts. It was a happy accident; by adding four men into each section of Territorials, the spare riflemen started to really add up. Given that they had separate heads, and that I had tons of British 8th Army sprues from Warlord Games lying around with the appropriate heads, it took no time whatsoever to get them assembled.

Getting them painted was a different story entirely. I had a lot of other projects on the go, and so they were shoved in a drawer until they could be given the time needed to do them properly.

Work has been keeping me busy, but I decided to get some painting done today, and I was resolved to get some VBCW troops done! There has been a lot of very inspiring work on the Facebook page lately, and I really wanted to ‘do my bit’. I also had a Vickers 6-Ton lying around, so I went for a double whammy.

With all that rambling out of the way, lets have a look at what I got done!

I didn’t get all 10 done. I simply didn’t have it in me today. But 5 will suffice, another day will see the section complete!

Adding Indians into Very British Civil War was a bit of a departure from my normal Royalist and Fascist troops. I wanted to add some Colonial flavour, and while it would be incredibly controversial at the time for King Edward to involve Indian troops in the civil war, I could see him doing it. They offer veteran troops, ones involved in putting down rebellions and border skirmishes, the very kind of Counter-Insurgency troops the King could really use on the Home Isles.

Another hobbyist on the Very British Civil War Facebook page had brought in some Sikh troops, and I wanted to be distinct. My Rajputs offer a slightly different turban shape and lack of beards to the usual Indian troops one might see. I went with Navy blue turbans, a slight nod to the armband stripe that all my Royalist troops wear.

Adding the Indians was a personal touch of my own oft-neglected heritage. My family comes from Anglo-Indian background, and I often forget that, favouring(Not intentionally!) my English background over my Pakistani/Indian background. Bringing in some soldiers who actually look like me was surprisingly a really fun project, and the research I did helped me learn more about my own lineage.

Painted mostly the same as my Territorial Army units, these British Indian Army units were nonetheless a nice break from my usual 40k painting shenanigans.
I choose for them mostly running poses, bayonets fixed. They will be using distinct rules on my table to make them more fearsome up-close. The locals don’t like it up em!
One cannot forget the Armbands! Even if these soldiers from Empire will not be mistaken as often for the foe in combat, redundancy doesn’t hurt here!
Charge!

On a different note, I also got a tank done up. While the tank itself is not from the British Indian Army, it also has an interesting story behind it.

The Vickers 6-Ton was not adopted by the British Army, and Vickers produced it mostly for export, where in our timeline it was a success, if a bit outdated by WW2. The Soviets copied the tank almost wholesale, and the Polish and Finnish made good use of the Vickers in their wars.

In the VBCW timeline I’m making an assumption that the export orders were seized, as every armoured vehicle suddenly became a hot commodity. Those taken by Royalists or Fascists were turned over to Territorial units and formed into Ad-hoc Tank Squadrons, crewed by whomever they could find. This Vickers is one such example.

Lightly washed and probably over-weathered! Still, I’m happy with it! The Royalist icon on the side helps to identify the tank in combat.
This vehicle is labeled #1. But I have yet to decide what that means!
Imagine my surprise when I found out the running gear was usually painted the same colour as the rest of the tank! Boring, but simple and effective.

All in all, nothing too fancy. But still, an honest days work. I’m still really happy with them! I may be distracted by all the big-name projects like Star Wars Legion and 40k, but I’m still enamored with the VBCW setting. There is just so much potential to tell your own story!

I plan on getting the other five Rajputs done soon, and then its back to regular old Territorials and Fascist thugs. But that is all I have for today! If you liked what you saw feel free to leave me a comment, I love talking about all this stuff! In the meantime, Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and God Save King Edward!

Back in Black: Imperial Death Troopers for SW Legion!

“Send my guard squadron into battle. Two men, with me, now.”-Director Krennic

Lethal bodyguards, in sleek black armour.

I’ve been on a good painting kick, and to keep it up, I decided to let these Imperial Death Troopers jump the queue! I got these a long time ago, along with Director Krennic himself, when I first got into Legion. They just look so darn cool!

Honestly, we don’t have a great deal of lore on these scary looking troopers. We know they have some sort of body augmentation, and that they are the elite troopers of the Imperial Intelligence division. They do go on missions, and are trained in everything from guerilla warfare to unarmed combat…but are most often seen in current lore as bodyguards to Director Krennic, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and even Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin at times.

Image result for death troopers bodyguard
Death Troopers hit the beach on Scarif in this still from Rogue One!

More tellingly in the films, Death Troopers hit like a freight train, and actually hit in the first place. They cut through unnamed rebels like a hot knife through butter, and even give the named characters a bit of pause.

With such hype, one might expect that I’d have painted them a lot sooner, but a bad prime job left them overly shiny and tacky. I left them for a few months, and they eventually dulled down and lost their stickiness. And I felt optimistic that I could get them done during this marathon of painting progress.

Lets have a look at them!

I purposely went with a subtler drybrush then on my Imperial Special Forces, as these guys in every reference photo I’ve seen look very dark.

They posed a bit of a challenge, as they are predominantly black overall. In reference photos, very few details are not either a matte black or gloss black armour. I decided to go for a subtler drybrush then on my Imperial Special Forces units, to maintain that dark tone. While this leaves them hard to photograph, I hope that shows up a little.

Here you can see the lack of colour variation. I tried to at least get some contrast in, but it was minor. I wanted to retain that dark, menacing palette.
Here, the drybrush shows up more readily.

I did their helmet filters in green as some of the action figures have, to add some contrast. I also tried out a different wash; instead of Nuln Oil, I used Biel-Tan Green to add some creep factor into the armour. This doesn’t show up on camera very well at all given my current lighting set-up.

I did the weapons in Eshin Grey and the muzzles in Leadbelcher. This adds some visual interest, along with the green helmet filters.
Another trooper aiming down sights at some Rebel foe.
The DLT-19x adds some heavy firepower to the squad. It might be a trick of the light, but I hope you can see the greenish hue I tried to impart.

They were all based as per my Imperial armies theme, the campaign on Mimban. Death Troopers canonically exist by 13BBY(Before Battle of Yavin, a common date nomenclature used by Star Wars) and therefore could see some action there in their intended role as commandos, not just as glorified bodyguards.

That being said, they will be used in-game as a bodyguard entourage by Director Krennic…so I guess that is still a bit contradictory. Legion is a much more ‘gamey’ ruleset then I’m used to, and lore and crunch must exist apart, not necessarily in tandem as I would in 40k. This is not such a bad thing, as the game does seem like a lot of fun from the couple games I have managed to play.

I don’t think I will need another squad of these death-dealing spooky troopers, so this was a fun little unit to get done without any worries about being consistent with a later unit.

Anyways, that is all I have for you today! I hope you all are staying safe, and Happy Wargaming wherever you are!

Tank of the Century: Centurion Tank for Bolt Action/Konflikt 47!

A great tank, a little late…for WW2 and on my Table!

Quick and dirty, but its on the table and ready to be played!

Almost two years ago, I made a post about heading to Miniwargaming. In that, I dropped a side note saying I had started playing Konflikt 47. The game came into the Clubhouse like a whirlwind, and left as quick as it came. While I still have a few opponents, the lack of activity locally killed my interest short-term as well.

It is funny though. The game was popular for being so utterly different then the usual 40k grind, yet 40k was what did it in again. I never sold my stuff, instead stuffing it into a bin and forgetting they existed.

My friend in the city profited this, acquiring a Japanese army in one fell swoop. This has successively revived my interest, and I started to unbox my old models, to give them a quick paint-job and put them on the table.

My buddy got this all for an absolute steal…all those suits will be a problem!

I wanted to do a Walker for this, as Konflikt allows for some weird and wonderful Mechs to take the field alongside normal troops….but my Bruin walker suffered from a bad resin mix from the factory that wasn’t apparent when I put it away, causing it to be sticky and shiny. Warlord is replacing the model, despite the age of the purchase, and I hope to feature the replacement when it arrives.

Pictured: Resin seepage! Warlord was on the ball and was willing to replace it, so no harm no foul.

But, I did get a nice surprise. Pre-Pandemic (literally by days!) I had made a trip to the city and grabbed some firepower for my Konflikt British Paratroopers. It was a choice between the A34 Comet or a Centurion Mk3, and I went with the bigger tank in the end. I had completely forgotten about it when I dug the Red Devils out to paint.

Well, Hello Beautiful!

This was a very pleasant surprise, and even more nice was that it was only -3 degrees outside….so it quickly got a coat of Vallejo Russian Uniform, a colour that works really well for British armour.

Now, I’m not the best painter in the world, and this is a big, hefty chunk of resin. So I didn’t get too fancy. I wanted something dirty, generic enough to be used in NW Europe and (Spoilers!) pushing into Burma/Thailand…and maybe even Korea.

And today, an hour ago, it was done! Lets get to showing it off!

Watch out Tigers, here I come!
I went heavy on the dirt around the tracks, to hide my rather slapdash painting of the roadwheels.
It’s not much but its honest work.
The Allied Star on the side is a bit of a departure from WW2 norms, but was used on Korean War era Centurions, giving this even more usage!

I have left off the divisional markings, although once I get decals I will apply some other markings. The reason for lack of divisional logos gives me some lee-way in using this for three different theatres, Korea for Bolt Action, and NW Europe and Burma for Konflikt. Your thoughts may vary, and I’d love to hear if my idea is daffy or not!

I had a lot of fun painting this, despite my shaky hands. It looks good enough for tabletop!

As for Konflikt 47, I have some plans. My Paras will need some painting, but such troops and their camouflage will take some practice and skill I don’t quite have yet. I do have US Marines, but with their Walker currently out of commission, I lack heavy support. What I do like about this tank is I can quite easily swap out the supporting infantry for different theatres.

My plan is to grab either the Korean War British Infantry Section box…

These guys look sharp, if just a little too uniform and clean for my tastes…(picture from Warlord)

Or I could grab a box of Chindits….

Chindit Section – Warlord Games Ltd
Much dirtier! Much more up my alley! (Picture also from Warlord…please don’t sue!)

While the war in Konflikt has dragged on for quite a while longer, I personally feel the Chindits fit the ‘look’ I’m going for much better. Conversely though, the Korean War Section allows me an ‘in’ to the Korean theatre for Bolt Action proper….that may be a bad thing!

If you have any thoughts let me know, but I think I probably will end up with the Chindits, as they are just so characterful!

Well, that is all I have for now! Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and stay safe everyone!

End of the Beginning: El Alamein in Flames of War!

The decisive battle of the Western Desert Campaign, and a turning point in the war. Time to play it!

“Here we will stand and fight; there will be no further withdrawal. I have ordered that all plans and instructions dealing with further withdrawal are to be burnt, and at once. We will stand and fight here. If we can’t stay here alive, then let us stay here dead. I want to impress on everyone that the bad times are over.”- General Bernard Montgomery

It was the day before New Years, and I can see the mistake already unfolding. Having now built up and rather enjoyed making my Late War British Army for Flames of War, and the weather making me unable to undercoat models, I had a thought…what harm would it be collecting a Mid-War British 8th Army force, just for fun?

The price tag of such a force, that I really didn’t think would see much play, was pretty large and almost put me off entirely. Of course, at that same moment I found this, on the website of a store getting out of Flames of War.

I smudged out the price, as I don’t want to get into how much money I spent, or even saved!

This, frankly, was a staggering amount of models. While lacking infantry it covered the armoured side of things quite comprehensively. I had just gotten paid….while I won’t get into details of how much I spent, I will say I saved an insane amount of money, to the tune of hundreds.

I didn’t truly realize what I had gotten myself into until I opened the very large parcel.

Bloody hell, that is a lot of plastic.

It is well over what I can foreseeably use all at once, but I have many options to make varied lists out of. I got cracking the same day, and after a while, got Monty’s Desert Rats out of the way. This consisted of three Crusaders, five Grants, and two 17/25 Pounder ‘Pheasant” Anti-Tank guns.

The Grant is one of my favourite WW2 tank designs. It was arguably the best tank the British had in North Africa until they got the Sherman
A ridiculously tall tank, with both a 37mm and 75mm guns.
Crusaders! Much faster but pay for it with thin armour and anemic weaponry. I’m going to have to rush around the flanks for kills with these tanks!
A quite good looking tank, which shows that looks count for nothing when it comes to performance!
The 17/25 Pounder is a prototype or early production 17 Pounder on a 25 Pounder gun carriage. It’s ugly, but when Tigers are on the prowl, you’ll take what you can get!
It is quite an imposing Anti-Tank gun. I quite like the look of them!

Next up I assembled a troop of Valentine II tanks, sturdy Infantry Tanks meant to keep up with and provide support to infantry…at the cost of speed. Valentines are slow!

The Valentine was a well armoured but tiny tank. They suffered from cramped fighting compartments and anemic weaponry until replaced. Still, it is very good at supporting an infantry advance!
It is actually quite staggering how small these Valentines are! The turret barely fits two men, and with only a 2 Pounder you’ll need to get lucky to get kills.

A 6-Pounder platoon provides some light-AT options. While I also have the large 17 Pounders, there may come a time when I want something less overkill.

Four 6 Pounder guns, ready to strike out. These are quite competent anti-tank guns.
The base is getting awfully cramped!

A Motor Platoon gives my force some infantry, best at taking and holding ground. The detail isn’t as good as the late war British infantry, but they’ll suffice.

A motor platoon, notably missing the ‘motor’ part. I intend to buy some trucks to carry these men into battle, even if they are just for show!
The detail isn’t bad, but the late war infantry are notably better. I still like my rolled sleeves and shorts, so I quite like the look of these guys!

A few Humber Scout Cars help me keep tab on the wily Germans. The Humber is a rather large vehicle, and will help me get my Grants where they need to go.

A metal/resin kit, these weren’t too bad for assembly. Still, I would have preferred plastic.
The detail isn’t too bad however, and with my over-used radio using Tank Commander, it looks the business.

Of course, seeing as neither of my two gaming groups have opposing Mid-War forces at the moment, I thought how bad would it be if I made a small Afrika Korps list to demo the setting and game with? They would be considerably cheaper, as their stuff generally costs a great deal more points.

With one already built tank but the rest on sprue, I got a good deal here.

With that, and a cheaply snagged box of Rommel’s Afrika Korps secured, I started yet another army! While I have only a few models complete, here is what I have started with.

Unfortunately, the built tank was built rather poorly, and the turret was glued stuck to the hull. The other two I built, with long 75mm guns. I might grab a single Panzer IV from somewhere else to replace this one!
The Panzer IV cuts a great profile. A damn good design, and probably the best German tank in the desert. The Tiger was good, but realistically it was overkill.
Panzer IIIs are the mainstay of my German force, and I’ll need three more built for my list. Luckily, I have them!
The mainstay of the German Afrika Korps, the Panzer III offers me a solid tank, with a good gun, and excellent crew stats.

So those are the models! I still have a lot to build, and I’m really looking forward to getting them all done before Lockdown is over.

Now, El Alamein and the North African theatre of conflict hold special places in my heart. My Grandfather served there, and ‘getting it right’ matters a great deal to me. And it is an ideal front to cover with the Flames of War ruleset.

A great picture of plucky infantry capturing a German Panzer.

El Alamein is rightly considered one of the turning points for the Western Allies. As a wargaming subject, you can certainly do much worse! With easily available maps of the battlefield, I’m hoping to make a table that can easily represent different parts of the battle with ease.

With the Qattara Depression preventing Rommel’s signature outflanking move, the British were able to force Rommel to fight a defensive battle, or risk a dangerous assault on prepared positions. This was not something he could do with the supplies he had!

I’m hoping I can snag a player or two locally, after Lockdown is over, to play out some battles on the Alamein front. Luckily, seeing as the rules are quite similar to Team Yankee, it shouldn’t take long to teach. My friends in the city have decided that if I’m willing to do Late War for them, they can do Mid War for me, and Patton’s Fighting First will hopefully see my table. My other friend is going for the Afrika Korps as well, using a different type of list then what I am using.

I’m gunning for you, Rommel!

But that is all I have for you folks today. My recent foot surgery has gone slightly awry, and I’m stuck on bedrest. More time to plan the battles to come! Next time I post about Alamein, I’ll have terrain sorted for it, and some more models built to fight it.

So, Happy War-gaming wherever you are! And Stay Safe everyone!

Home in Time for Tea and Medals: D-Day British for Flames of War!

Taking it to the Hun in 15mm!

Juno and Sword Beaches Finest!

In my last hobby post, I featured some Flames of War Sherman V tanks, the start of the British starter force I was working my way through.

Well, just in time for the New Year, and mug of Earl Grey in hand, I have finished the lot!

This starter box is a great deal, and was a lot of fun to work through, even if it did seem like a slog near the end. My friends in the city have all the other major Late War factions covered, so my addition of some stiff upper-lipped Brits to the party will make for some fun battles! I may even have some competition locally, once Lockdown is over and it is safe to do so!

It was a decision between the Soviets and the British for me to play, but really, the choice wasn’t hard. I have always been an Anglophile and my love of the Sherman tank, especially the vaunted Firefly, meant I went for the older, Fortress Europe released box set. There is a newer box, for the D-Day landings specifically and featuring the Desert Rats, however I wanted a force with Shermans, not Cromwells.

Without any further delay, lets have a peek at what came in the box!

Churchills! They may be slow but they have a charm all their own.

First up was the Churchills. You get three in the box, with the Late War sprue variation. I could have built them as later Mark VIII or Crocodile Flame Tanks, but instead I went with 75mm armed earlier pattern Churchills, which from my research were fairly common in Normandy.

A very distinct, and I must say, lovely, profile.

I intend to use these tanks to support my Motor Platoon, and take objectives, not to hunt my opponents tanks. But if pressed, the 75mm is no slouch!

The kit comes with several door options. Make sure you pick the right ones!

The Churchills proved to be my favourite of the bunch; A lovely kit to build with a stupid amount of options. I’ve picked up the D-Day British unit cards so while the box comes with the Italy version, I can field them as the proper Normandy configuration.

Next up we have the M5 Stuarts! Not my favourite variant of the Stuart chassis but a great kit nonetheless!

Ready to recce!

This was another easy, fun kit to build. I had no trouble with it, and they went together in an evening. These tanks will serve as my spearhead and flanking choice, to get the rest of my armour to places it’ll hurt!

Drat, I see a couple mould lines I forgot to clean up! Always catch them late…

My favourite Stuart is the M3 ‘Honey’ fielded by the British in the desert, but those are long in the tooth by now and these newer, M5 Stuarts replaced them by this point in the war. It’s a better design, and the extra point of armour might save them from the odd anti-tank shot.

Next up we have the 17pdr SP ‘Achilles’, a kit I thought would be a bear to build but turned out surprisingly well.

Open topped? Better hope it doesn’t rain!

I actually enjoyed building these a lot more than I thought I would. With three options for the kit, the hardest part was making sure I picked the correct options. The crew took some creativity to fit using the tank commander sprues included in the box.

The crew look serviceable, and at this scale look fine enough!

The crew I’m strictly just okay with. They could be better, but they give enough of the appearance of a crewed tank destroyer that I’ll give them a pass. I can’t see anyway of making this better without losing the Battlefront Miniatures characteristic turret peg. A minor criticism to be sure, and I’m still more then happy to field them.

I’m not sure tactically how to use these yet, but seeing as I only have two Fireflies they might be a crucial unit against my friends Panther’s, Tigers, and the odd IS-2.

The crew look absolutely fine from this angle!

Rounding out the armoured contingent, if only technically, are some Universal Carriers!

Easy to build, but I’m not sure as to their utility….

These were an easy and fun kit to build (One can sense a pattern here!), but having not played Flames of War yet I can’t seem to find a use for them. They are an additional scout unit, but with just Brens they are strictly anti-infantry. Not a bad thing by any means, but both my opponents field mostly armoured formations!

Without a Piat, these little Universal Carriers lack the needed punch.

While the option exists to field them with PIATs, this option was not in the box. I have a lot of anti-tank as it is, so perhaps they can find a use solely harassing enemy infantry. I may go back and replace the Bren gun on the top with a Vickers, drastically increasing their firepower.

The box has not yet given up all of its goodies. I also got a Motor Platoon of infantry to accompany my tanks!

Surprisingly good looking infantry!

I was expecting soft sculpts, but in all honesty these are great! The detail is mostly sharp, and at this scale they are particularly good, and durable! The kit comes with only five stands, but the sheer amount of spares has me wondering if I should get a few more!

These will be either a joy or a pain to paint, depending on how much detail I choose to add!

I assembled them glued to the stands; my limited experience with Team Yankee infantry has shown me that it is fairly easy to paint them on the stands if you aren’t overly picky about detail. Still, they should have enough detail to take a wash well.

The officer has quite a bit of character for being this small!

I intend to use my infantry to hold my own objectives on the defense, or to aid my Churchills on the attack. With a PIAT team of their own, they can defend themselves against armour in a pinch.

Finally, we have four 25pdr Field Guns! I was expecting these to be rather fiddly, and they were a little. But they still went together rather quickly!

Ready to receive coordinates!

While small and rather fiddly to put together, the limited parts count meant they went together really fast. The majority of the time was spent laying out the crew on the bases. They are almost miniature dioramas!

I wasn’t sure about the limber until I saw it on the base. They add just that little bit extra.

For a unit I wasn’t too jazzed about, they were a lot of fun to build, and a good way to end off building the box. While these are already replaced with reinforcements in the way of Sextons, they are still really pretty little field guns, and might see some play on occassion!

This ended off the British Armoured Battlegroup Starter set. With the addition of a Sherman Armoured Troop, I’m now well placed to start playing Flames of War in earnest. Of course, that is when Covid-19 cooperates with us! I have already supplemented this existing force with some additional reinforcements, in the way of Sextons, Typhoons, and a Daimler recce patrol. I have also managed to snag a copy of the Command Cards, although that was from a foreign source and will be a while before they arrive!

I have yet to give some thoughts on what I will be painting these gents up as. I have an urge to either do a Canadian force, but that might be a bit on the nose given I am Canadian! Alternatively I am tempted by the Guards Armoured Division, and the decals I have will make that particular force doable right from the outset. Either way, I want to at least make a token effort on some historical authenticity.

This will be my last post of this year, and with that I wish you a happy New Year, no matter where you are, and may 2021 bring you happy wargaming! And until next year, God Save the King!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Lock-Down!

Preparing for the Long Haul!

Merry Christmas! As I may have stated in previous posts, I am based out of Ontario, Canada. And, as of Boxing Day, the province is starting a 28 day ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown.

While as far as lockdowns go this is fairly relaxed, it does mean I’m both laid off(luckily, not permanently!) and probably staying at home most if not all day. I was running low on supplies, but luckily I had a few good paycheques and decided to treat myself.

Glue for the glue god, Paint for the paint throne!

Those of you who following the blog are mostly likely aware of my recent love-affair with Team Yankee. As my first foray into 15mm wargaming it has been a blast, and building up tiny tanks was actually my project for the first lockdown. While I’m still enthusiastic about completing the British I have begun, I’ve ended up with quite a few ‘modern’ armies, and I am very inefficiently plugging away at all of them. The Fate of a Nation box below is actually meant for my Iranian army.

It is a pretty good deal, with nine T-62s and two Shilka AA vehicles. Fate of a Nation itself I find very interesting, but alas my regular Israeli opponents favour the more ‘cool’ Merkava tank, and selling either of them on the Yom Kippur War is a tough sale indeed. However, seeing as you buy the Iranian unit cards separately anyways, you lose nothing by getting the Egyptian T-62 Battalion box, and actually save a good deal of money.

They are the full plastic kit as well, and I’m well and truly torn between assembling them as Soviet T-62s(which, bizarrely, can ally with Iran in the Oil War timeline…), which gives me solid AT-23 tank punch, or instead using them as Iranian ‘T-62s’, which were more likely North Korean Chonma Ho’s or Chinese Type 69’s in our timeline. Oil War allows the Iranians greater access to the Soviet toolbox then the Ayatollah ever got to play with, and one can take T-62’s en masse as a Revolutionary Guard flavoured tank company. I hopefully will make up my mind soonish!

Now Flames of War, a WW2 15mm game had crossed my radar before, I had always dismissed it because I played WW2 already with Bolt Action. 15mm seemed fiddly and time consuming, and I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the company level scale of the game. Team Yankee has proven I do, in fact, prefer the smaller models for company level actions and higher, and one of my friends in Toronto had gotten into it recently as his lockdown project. While chances are I won’t see him until the vaccines have rolled out, I figured I’d take a chance on the game in the hopes of playing him when the world returns to a sense of normalcy.

I was stuck on either the Soviets or the British, and in the end I went for Shermans instead of T-34s. These Flames of War Late War starters are really good value for money, and with the addition of one extra troop of Sherman V’s, I’m well set to play D-Day and onward with the contents.

For Christmas Eve, I decided to get cracking, and started on the Shermans.

Three 75mm Shermans, with two Fireflies. Two of the 75mm vehicles are going to be my command section, and the two Fireflies will be slotted into the two Troops I will have once the full set is complete. The spare 75mm will be another tank in one of those said Troops.
They are very pretty little tanks, but quite fiddly! I found the Yankee kits to be much easier to assemble. I do love the included tank commanders!
And a 17 Pounder Firefly! A beautiful little tank. My full force sadly only includes these two!

Now I’ve got a lot of stuff to work on. My goal this lockdown is a bit more modest; clear my Flames of War and Team Yankee assembly backlog. Will I succeed? Chances are, no! But it’ll keep me busy and out of trouble. Tomorrow I will crack on with the T-62’s. If I’m feeling particularly handy, I might knock out some WW2 stuff as well!

For now, happy War-gaming wherever in this wonderful world you are, and a very Merry Christmas! Stay Safe everyone!

And The Army Goes Rolling Along: Team Yankee Americans!

America, F**k yeah!

As so often happens in our hobby, I have wheeled and dealed my way into yet another Cold War army. This time, it is the patriotic poster boys themselves, the United States Army.

Valley Forge, Custer’s ranks,
San Juan Hill and Patton’s tanks,
And the Army went rolling along!

This was an interesting deal indeed, as it travelled between several people before eventually ending up in my hands. I was never intending to play Americans, but having an army pretty much fall in your lap is hard to say no to.

My plan is for this army to be a ‘demo’ army, one I can wheel out at the Clubhouse for games if a person doesn’t own a Team Yankee army and wants to try it out. Of course, I’m getting awfully attached to these wee plastic men, so I reserve the right to be selfish and keep the Freedom all to myself.

However, this army was a hodgepodge, mixed from many sources and missing a few of the unit cards. I decided early on that the M60’s (the not-Abrams tanks on the left) would instead be used…for yet another different army. But more on that later. The rest of the force was viable, and I decided to add some of the newer releases, along with the newer book, to my collection.

First up, I added some more modern airborne punch with two Apache gunships. While the jury is out on just how ‘good’ these helicopters are in Team Yankee, the kit itself is beautiful and a great example of how far Battlefront has come in their kit design.

These are robust, well detailed, and well designed models. I had no trouble putting them together!
They are also quite large! Absolutely dwarfing the Cobra gunship on the right!
While the size difference isn’t that comical, it does show just how imposing an Apache really is!

Secondly, two of the Abrams tanks in the army I got were done up as the later M1A1 variant. While, oddly enough, the kit included this option since its release many moons ago, it was never reflected in-game until the American book release this year. As such, I didn’t have the cards.

I also wanted more of them, so I purchased(on sale, might I add!) an additional platoon of Abrams. These will be assembled as 1 M1A1HC, and 4 M1A1 tanks, allowing me in total to field two platoons of three and command of these heavy-weight US bruisers. Expensive points wise, but with T-80’s on the prowl I’ll need the protection…and firepower.

While the rest of the Abrams remain on sprue, I have managed to assemble the command tank. With just the auxiliary power unit being the only difference(on the kit, the real tank differs quite a bit!), I wanted to add some spice to the model.

I was inspired by a model Battlefront did, featuring an ACAV turret from an M113 APC on an M1 Abrams. While in no way historically accurate, or even doable(I have no idea if the cupola would even match up correctly), it had the advantage of looking really cool.

So, I cued the music, and got to work.

The CO peers out, looking for Soviets. Or just posing for Stars and Stripes, who knows?
I also took another massive liberty and replaced the loaders machine gun with yet another gun-shield and an M60 machine gun. Not realistic. Very cool.
Combined with the APU(Auxiliary Power Unit), this command tank will not be mistaken for anything else.
Cutting an imposing figure from the front!
All in all, happy with my work!

While I took some pretty large creative liberties with this tank, I hope it looks good! I personally quite like the effect it gives off, and the calibre of the machine guns remains the same so no conflict with the unit card. Perhaps the Captain here is leading his company into a West German town, and traded for the turret. A tank like this deserves a little story to go with it.

Christmas promises some Bradley’s to go with my Abrams, so I can mount my grunts into some more protected transports. While the M113’s aren’t bad, I did want something similar to my British Warrior IFVs.

Story Pile: Pentagon Wars | press.exe
I may be watching this movie for inspiration!

As for the rest of the army….Since I lacked unit cards for the M109 artillery pieces and the M60 tanks, I had to think for a bit. The M109’s I can easily grab the new plastic M109 kit to add some additional firepower to the battery, and grab a slew of extra cards as well, the M60’s were another matter. I didn’t see myself using them as Americans, Marines or regular Army. And they weren’t kitted out as Magachs for the Israeli variant either. And I know two people with Israeli armies anyways.

But one other nation in Yankee also use M60’s, and that is Iran. With the Team Yankee sale on at Meeplemart in Toronto, I purchased the Iranian unit cards, and two boxes of Ayatollah’s Revolutionaries. While I’ll need to steal a Chieftain command tank from my pile of unbuilt Brits, combined with ten M60 tanks I have, at least at my local level, a viable force.

I’ll be chipping away at my pile of unbuilt Yankee goodness over the next few days during my surgery recovery, so expect a few more blog posts over the holidays. Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and Merry Christmas!