Friday 6 December 2013

Prep (1)

There  may not be a second "prep" blog post, but then again there just might. That all depends on if I can get my act together. I know, I know blummin' flaky git. Yes It's true but at least I am making the effort! Prep for what I hear you say. Well Curt's Analogue Painting Challenge of course! Most of my prep has already been done, but yesterday I thought I should build the models I want to apint as part of the challenge. Don't worry there are not many.

Back in June I bought this "Plastic Soldier Company" box set consisting of 5 sprues of hard plastic. Enough to make a reinforced Platoon of US army M3 or M5 Halftracks. I intend to use these for 15mm PBI by Peter Pig.

Each of the sprues comes with 8 crew figures as well as options for different winches at the front, different mounting systems for the .5 Browning HMG. It also comes with optional vehicle stowage. So if you choose you could easily make a variety of halftracks. There are clear instructions and all the pieces fitted together easily. There was the usual trimming to be done where sprue and component meet, but there was no flash or mould lines that needed any attention at all.  That being the case for the price I did find these a very acceptable alternative to resin. And should I need more I will be happy to get another box.

I did take my time with construction as it is always easier to fix any problems at this stage than when trying to juggle with a paint brush as well. But there were no problems and I could have assembled them quicker if I had chosen.

 I wanted a uniform look to my platoon though. So they all have the same MG copula but I have given different stowage on each and added the .30 Browning MMG to only 2 of the models. I will admit I was tempted to up-gun them all but thought that just looked wrong and unlikely in a war zone. Mind you I have got American troops so maybe I should have added the extra MG's. As you can see I have built them in two batches, and primed 2 at this stage. Today (Friday) they are all primed and waiting for the challenge to start.

The Eagle eyed among you will also have spotted that one has a different winch at the front of the vehicle (bottom left). This was deliberate. While I do want them to look uniform I did also want one to seem maybe slightly older perhaps being used as a replacement. This simple change of winch clearly identifies it. In my mind it is platoon command vehicle, but when it get to the table that idea may/will quickly change.

Overall I am very impressed with these kits. We all know in an absolutely ideal world some support variants could have been included on the sprues, but this is more wishful thinking than practical reality. I for example would like 2 M16 Quad AA mounts or a couple of M4 Mortar carriers. But then I have to wonder how much extra it would cost for the tooling of the injection moulds and then realise that it would lead to a price rise. Darn reality strikes again.

Thank you for Reading today and I shall endeavour to up date this blog on Sunday. All the best Clint

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Painting for a friend (3)

Yes another lot of British naval landing party. As they are a friends I am not totally sure but I do think there is one Copplestone and the other 4 Perrys. They are definitely two different makes yet do fit together very well. These are the last of the infantry (at least for now, who knows what will happen in the future!) I will be prepping some machinguns next for him which I hope to do today.
Given that these 5 figures would equate to 25 points in Curt's challenge I will need to pick my speed up somewhat. I will also have to start something else to take me up to the start date for the challenge but at present unsure what that will be. But I shall try to select something simple so that I can be finished in plenty of time. Ray Rousel has suggested I paint some of his figures if I choose. It is a very kind offer but at present I will decline this very kind offer.

Thanks for reading and with luck I shall have something ready for Friday. Take care have fun and get some brushes wet!

Cheers Clint

Monday 2 December 2013

Hammerin' Iron

Sorry for not Posting on the blog on Saturday. I was having a bad day, and justifiably. I won't go into details.

Anyway that's enough of the sadness and on to the important things like playing games and painting models. Far more important much more interesting and a whole lot more fun.

So at the club yesterday Graham, Matt and myself played a game of "Hammerin' Iron" A set of rules for ACW naval battles. A fun and quirky set of rules in which each side has 6 ships which total to a similar number of points. Graham had the confederates while Matt and Me had the Federal forces. It turned out that we were the attackers and Graham the defenders. Our mission was to destroy a supply depot and sink some barges. We started with 3 ships, 2 monitors and a tinclad which was only armed with light cannon. Graham started with 2 ships and a fort! I now hate forts! The pregame lead to a mishap for my monitor which had engine trouble that resulted in it starting the game unable to move until it was repaired.

I started with the Tinclad and sent it swiftly towards the storage depot. Matt chugged his Monitor forward and I repaired mine which was now on slow speed orders! Matt bought a reserve ship on.

Graham opened up with the fort and drew first blood (a single hit) on Matts Monitor. He moved his other two ships. The weaker one away from us and his own Iron clad directly towards us. He also managed to bring on one of his reserve ships.

The next few turns saw my tinclad fly past the storage depot doing minimal damage on it then speed on to attack the barges where it did manage to cause two hits. My Monitor parked right by the depot and was able to eventually, destroy the lot. Matt's ships did all the real fighting. His monitor took a beating as it was targeted by all of Grahams ships and the fort. Both sides managed to bring on extra ships which quickly got into the action.

Finally Grahams Iron Clad moved past Matts monitor and targeted his two other ships which were unarmoured, but carried a fair number of guns. The picture to the right shows my Monitor in the background firing at the depot Matt's monitor (with the blue order marker) and my tinclad in the foreground. The other two ships are Grahams, his Iron Clad on the right and a Cotton Clad directly in front of Matts Monitor. Grahams had a tinclad that managed to Ram on of Matts wooden hulled ships. While it did not sink it was quite badly damaged from being rammed.

By the time I had destroyed the depot. Graham had managed to destroy my Tinclad which was not too hard it only having a few damage boxes to begin with. He also rammed one of the wooden hulls and set that to the bottom and finally managed to force Matt's monitor to strike it's colours. While we had only sunk one of Grahams. Eventually we run out of time and Graham worked out the victory points while packed everything away.

Despite the Union Heavy losses we managed to score 41 Points while the Rebels could only claim 34. A minor Federal Victory. Due to the fact that Matt fought off the Confederates long enough for me to completely destroy the storage depot. So to conclude while we lost significantly more ships by staying on task we were able to scrape a victory.

Thanks for Reading, I hope to post again on Wednesday.

Cheers Clint