Friday, 18 August 2017

Pining for the fjords

   The weekend just gone saw me go somewhere I have wanted to go to for years, the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo and it did not disappoint. Considering how small the museum is, we were there for getting near to 2 hours, with a vast chunk of it consisting of my wife and me sitting on the floor staring down the length of one of the 2 mostly intact ships.

   We were in the ship museum on my birthday (how good is my wife?) but when we got home and I found out she was waiting on a ship from Adrian's Walls, I knew I was doing really well.
   The ship comes in a few parts that need to be assembled, but it is just the bits that just wouldn't survive the post*, so 10 minutes after opening it, the ship was waiting for a crew to set sail and plunder the known world.
* The only real thing I did do, was spray
 varnish the oars as they are metal casts.

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Darth Vader

   While I am terrible at keeping to a single project I do still feel the need to set myself project targets, that, while, I still mostly ignore them, they are always there buzzing in the back of my head reminding me what I still have to do. So, every now and then I settle down and deal with one of these buzzing noises to give myself a bit more space to go off track again later on. This is one of the buzzing noises I have now swatted.
   The two big projects I have in my head at the moment are painting the British Napoleon infantry so I can get a game of Sharp Practice and finishing the last of the first wave of Imperial Assault so we can play the whole base box campaign with painted figures and with only 3 models left to do, this seemed the easy box to tick off.

   The biggest issue with painting Darth Vader was there actually isn't much to paint. His outfit(?) is just black, gloss or matt, and even the detailing is in black. So the bit that took the longest was applying gloss varnish to the bits that needed to be shiny after I had already varnished him. He looks much better in person than he does in the photos.

    Lastly, there are the two AT-ST's. I hadn't planned on buying a second one as you never need more than a single one in the campaign (not seen a mission where you need two at least) and we had already played a mission that needed the upgraded one, so I was too late for that, but I was in Wayland Games and they had one on the shelf and the collector in me knew what to do.
   When I opened the box I realised that Fantasy Flight Games have been quite clever, you get the parts for both the upgraded one and the basic AT-ST in case you want squadrons of the things for the skirmish variant of the game. So I decided to make use of this and allow my second AT-ST to be both units depending on what I needed it to be, although, I left the General off as the hatch is just going to get damaged if you try to remove it too often.

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Friday, 4 August 2017

VBCW Albertine Flags

   This is a bit of a supplemental post and it's not really about anything I have done, it is more of a public word of thanks to PanzerKaput and the time he is willing to put into helping out the VBCW community.
   I rather cheekily got in contact with him on Facebook after seeing that he had not only done all the drawings and flags in the VBCW sourcebooks (which I knew he had done) but that he was also doing specially designed flags for individual warbands/causes on request. I got in contact more than expecting a fee or some kind of request to credit him if I used them but instead I got an apology that it might not be quick (it took a week and a half!) and then an apology afterwards that they had taken longer than planned, all without a fee.
   I gave him an image of the flag I had designed when I first created this blog (my second post) and explained what I was trying to achieve with it and a week and a bit later got the below results;

This is the first one I have decided to use, but I have one more bannerbearer that needs painting and I am sure the last will get used in the fullness of time!

Again, I can only thank PanzerKaput and direct anyone that hasn't seen his amazing work to his blog at;

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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Picnic in the Park

   I recently got talked into a game of Bolt Action's new campaign; Operation Sea Lion, based on what would have happened if the Nazi's had invaded Britain after Dunkirk. While I am not all that enthused with the ruleset at the moment a chance to get my VBCW models onto the table was not a chance to miss, so I duly popped down to Wayland Games and picked up my copy of the campaign book, managing to bag one that had the Winston Churchill figure attached.
   This all lead me to, not only to go through my box to find out what sort of army I could put together, but to also see what I had that still needed painting and this post is about what I found;

   After seeing the Warlord Game's paint job for Winston Churchill, I decided to give it a go myself, then, after getting strangely confident, I decided to copy the pin stripes onto a few other figures, my reasoning being that there is only so many brown or grey suits you can paint in a single militia before it starts to look like a uniform in itself.
   Going left to right we have; Winston Churchill from Warlord Games (I plan on just running him as a militiaman with an smg), the sailor with the lmg is a converted Black Tree Miniatures model (fairly sure he is from their Dr Who range), while the mmg and 3 other guys are from Footsore Miniatures (I plan to use the priest as a secret service agent).

   The bandstand was bought at Salute a good few years ago and sat languishing on a shelf, built and partially painted. Along with the postbox and police box from a while back, the bandstand will be an essential component in making the game feel a bit more like it is taking place in Britain rather than just another nameless field in Europe.

Now Operation Sea Lion has rules for a women's archery club, which feels remarkably VBCW to me, but where to get the figures?

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Friday, 28 July 2017

Girl Power

   I am in a bit of a Bloodbowl mood at the moment as shown by the newest additions to my human team at the start of the week, this team now and the next team that turned up at my local Games Workshop today. First, though, my Amazons;
   My Amazons were actually the first team I bought back when I used to go to Games Workshop's Games Days in the mid-2000's (every year I bought a different specialist games team/gang) and were the team I played with in store at the time, but due to not varnishing models and a lack of safe storage, they didn't survive the years. So, when this new edition came out I had two choices; Sell them or repaint and start a fresh colour scheme. The prices they were going for on eBay were just plain daft, but much as they were 'worth' I realised that I didn't have the heart to get rid of them.
   I picked green and cream as my new colours simply because nothing I own is in those colours and it gave me something new, and so, the Jungle Wildcats were born. Sticking to a few basic colours made this team much easier to paint, everything is green, flesh, bronze, white or a variant of cream, with the odd bit of desert yellow mixed in for lizard skins.

   Again the coach and cheerleading section were bought at the same time (I think they were the only Amazon blister pack GW either did, or had in stock at the show) and sadly I cut up the 3rd cheerleader as part of an ancient project that I can barely remember anymore.

I'm just looking forward to getting them on the table now to see what they can do.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The Full Roster & Keeping Score

   When I first played this edition of Bloodbowl on Christmas Eve, the thing I noticed about my team was that having the figures from the base set was absolutely fine for a stand alone game, but filling out some of those key positions would help my team do much better, my blitzers especially were having to do a lot of work.
   So over the last couple of months I have been keeping an eye out for cheap models on eBay to fill my team out and give a few different poses, I have picked up one of the new ogres and I have dug out my very first team and started working on them.
   But first, the last 4 players to get my team to the full 16. The two male humans are 5th edition metal models, one is catcher, while the other is a linesman. Catchers are my favourite position in my human team and the two that come in plastic stand out so much that two on the pitch at the same time looks odd, in my opinion. 
   The woman is my 3rd blitzer and is a repainted star player called Zara, she will stay a generic player in my team. I have read the Bloodbowl series of Black Library novels more times than is healthy since the first one came out years ago, and one of the things that always lept out at me was that the team always had 2-4 female players and the descriptions of their kit were that they were just as heavily armoured as their male counterparts, so mine was duly painted up as such.
   The ogre is just to give a bit of muscle and try some ideas out. He is the new plastic Bloodbowl ogre model, but has had a head swap and arm swap with some old ogre bits from my bits box.

   The one fear I did have about mixing 5th and 6th edition models was that the scale creep would be too noticeable, which I know it is for a couple of the other races - looking at the Orks mostly. However, as you can see from the photo below, while there is a difference it isn't that bad, especially when you think the smaller guy is supposed to be a more nimble catcher, so would be a tad smaller anyway.

   The last thing is a scoreboard I picked up from Blotz at the Broadside show and was one of those things I knew I just had to buy. All the dials move, so you can keep track of everything that needs to be kept track of and it means I am one step closer to a proper Bloodbowl stadium.
   I used my human team colours for the home and neutral bits, while the away side bits were painted in my brother's Ork team colours.

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Monday, 17 July 2017

Tusken Raiders

"The Sand People are easily startled, but they will soon be back, and in greater numbers."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi

   So yet again I have failed to keep on target on something that isn't my target. The Sand People are, again, from the second box set, while the Bantha is from wave 4 but they had been sitting on the side of my desk* for a while, waiting their turn and it just made sense to paint them as it kept the Imperial Assault progress going even if it wasn't something I should have been doing.

*Although I am not sure why!

   Looking at photos online of both the real props and costumes, and how others have painted their figures, the overwhelming theme was a limited beige pallet with a few browns on the details. So that is what I did, picking out some bits in different creams and beiges just so it didn't look like it was a quick drybrush and finish job.

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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Bommerz over da Sulphur River

   Again, I am deviating horribly from my intended painting tasks, but as this is a completely stand alone project this was as good a time as any to get it painted and get a game in.
    Bommerz over da Sulphur River (I can't begin to tell you how unhappy my spellchecker is about that name) is a board game from Games Workshop that I stumbled on by accident while on eBay and knew I needed it in my life*. I figured it was something so different from anything else I had that it had to be worth a try.
* Board games don't count!

bommerz over da sulphur river

   It was brand new and un-punched when it turned up, so the idea of actually putting it together felt wrong. However, I bought this game to play and that was what I was going to do.

bommerz over da sulphur river contents

epic 40k ork fighta-bommerz

   I kept the colour schemes for all 6 planes pretty simple, the orks in a variety of colours*, while making sure the planes were an uniformed mix of colours. The Thunderbolts were given the same scheme as my 28mm Thunderbolt.

* My fledgling Ork army is
mostly yellow, so I gave two
of the planes that colour.
epic 40k thunderbolts

   I have now played a quick run through and it really isn't a bad game. It is very simple, with the full rules being on three sides of A4 which is definitely the direction that I am starting to look for game rules.

   With the game including a running series of dog fights (which the Thunderbolt eventually lost), an epic bombing run attempt on the first of two dams by three of the four fighta-bomberz and flak guns firing into the sky, it does scratch the itch feeling like the sci-fi version of the dam-busters that it is. The Orks did lose the game in the end as it turns out a 3D6 flak gun on a dam that already has a 1D6 flak gun on, make light work of the Ork planes.

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Monday, 10 July 2017

Forest skirmish

   It turns out I can't even stay focused on something that wasn't my main focus. Deviating away from the British Napoleonics into completing the first wave of Imperial Assault and then I paint a character from the second box set and a figure pack from the 8th wave, instead, but I have an excuse, I had an idea on the character's colour scheme and I wanted to him done while I was both motivated and inspired.

   As I have said before, my aim with the camo scheme is to try and create a group of rebels that look like a unified assault group for those missions that a bit more take and control than the campaign games in the box set. My theory is, in games of skirmish the imperials will mostly be stormtroopers so their rebel opponents should have a theme running through their kit even if it isn't a uniform (thinking battle of Endor or the end scenes from Rogue One).
   I just couldn't get the lighting right in the photo below but the force is coming together. I think another unit of rangers and it will be done, although I want to try a game out before then to see how the skirmish side of the rules plays out.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Nexu attack

   There are 40 Napoleonic British red coats sitting on my painting desk, but after the heat of last week my painting mojo died and my painting board spent nearly a week languishing in my man cave untouched. In an effort to get me painting again I have gone back to small projects that I can get quick results out of and chief amoungst these is still Imperial Assault.
   Carrying on with my aim of having the whole first wave painted as soon as possible the Nexu found their way into my immediate to do pile. I hadn't painted these as looking online there are so many colour schemes all based on either pure imagination or on the various types of nexu in the Star Wars fluff. I found one scheme (that I think was based on the nexu in the second film) and it set me straight to painting.

imperial assault nexu

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Thursday, 29 June 2017

95th rifles

   While the general rule, when it comes to pretty much anything in life, is to save the bits that you really want to paint until last as a treat for getting through the bulk (see the IA Royal Guard), the post conspired against me and these arrived before my basic infantry.
   Here  my first unit of British infantry for Sharp Practice, the 95th rifles, plus officer* and sgt**. As I mentioned before, if you are painting a small model count Peninsular war British force there are a couple of wargaming laws that you have to abide by; 1. There has to 95th rifles. 2. The red coats have to have yellow facings. Who am I to start disobeying the law?
*Obviously not Sharpe as his sword is wrong 
and he is actually in the full correct uniform.
**Obviously not Harper, either, as the gun is wrong
and he isn't big enough.

   The one big this I have done on this unit is something I really should have done for my French too, make the troops look like they might actually be on campaign, so in the 6 rifles I have two with patches on their knees and 2 in the completely wrong coloured trousers and this will carry on through the rest of my redcoats.

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Grenadiers showing them how it is done

   Carrying on from the last post and maintaining my Coherent and Focused new mindset are two units of French Grenadiers. I hadn't planned to use any of these in my first few games, planning instead to see what the basic troops were like and building up to some elites but as the British list had to include a unit of rifles (I think this is basically wargaming law) I needed a way to bulk up points without giving me too much more to paint.
   Keeping it simple, these are the plastic Warlord Games French infantry with the elite unit backpacks* and painted in Grenadier company colours to set them apart from my orange (3rd) company basic line.
* They have swords

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Engineering a solution

   As I mentioned on the last post and after a spate of painting space ships and Star Wars figures I have decided to return to something a bit more traditional. Again, in another of those quiet periods where you get a chance to do some proper thinking I decided that much as my normal opponent has been making some noises about painting up a British Peninsular war force to give Sharp Practice 2 a try, I doubt that it will ever actually come to fruition, so a couple of quick orders and I have a British army in the post, this however, means I need to get my French finished.
   An hour or so sitting in the sun clipping sprues, filing metal models and sticking the results together and I had the last things I needed for my planned first game's list, plus the normal extra bits that had annoyed me enough that they got included. The first results from this particular drive are below;

First are the last unit of basic line that I plan to do in the immediate future. I got this weird idea in my head a while back that I needed to make my basic infantry seem a bit more varied, so I picked up a single sprue of great coats from Warlord games, stuck my usual heads and backpacks to keep the uniforms as correct as possible, and painted as normal. I plan to mix this into my units rather than have a single block of them.

Two French infantry sgts from Front Rank Miniatures to remedy my lack of leader 1 status figures.

french peninsular war engineers sappers Napoleonic
While not in my list, I had to get a unit of engineers painted up while I was still motivated. When Sharp Practice 2 was first announced and the hype online started I got excited and ordered a few bits that I figured were 'dead-certs' to either be in the list, or look cool enough that I would just be able to use them, chief amoungst these was the engineer's wagon. I only found out while I was painting it that I needed a unit of engineers to go with it, so here they are, a mix of Warlord Games and Front Rank Miniatures to get the unit to the required size.

Now I need to get back to painting French.
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Monday, 19 June 2017

Rounding off the the corners

   This is going to be the last Imperial Navy Battlefleet Gothic post for quite some time as I have a hankering to get on with some other projects. I spent an evening last week sitting in front of the tv staring at my painting tray with a complete lack of inspiration while I decided what to paint next, until the obvious answer dawned on me, finish the one you are currently blogging about and be Mike's Focused Coherent Wargames Blog for at least a few posts. So I went through my lead mountain and pulled out all the remaining ships for my Imperial BFG fleets, no matter how much work they needed.

First up is my second Emperor class battleship. I picked this up really cheaply on eBay as she was in one hell of a state and I had been joking a lot, recently, about having a squadron of battleships. I doubt she will see the table all that much, but I like the threat just having her can give me when I play. I named her Universa in homage to Battlestar Galactica as she relies on her squadrons as much as her main guns.

As part of my plan to make my fleet as punchy as I could make it, I decided I had to bulk up my escorts to better sized squadrons. My cobras were all painted in one go, but finding a pair of Firestorms for a sensible price meant they were picked up after the rest of the squadron had already been painted, but better late than never.

Sword class escorts are pretty much the most over looked escorts in the Imperial fleet, and for good reason, but I knew I had to have a squadron for sheer flexibility if nothing else.

If my painting desk at the sec is anything to go by, Mike's Focused Coherent Wargames Blog should carry on for the foreseeable future, but with the welcome return of another project I just can't seem to finish.
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Thursday, 15 June 2017

Tactical flexibility

   Carrying on from the last painting post, there is a second part to the fleet which hasn't seen the table quite as much yet. These ships are either much newer or more recently painted, so with no further ado. While I got slightly distracted by new toys at Broadside I am carrying on trying to get projects finished and this fleet is an easy one to get to that point with.

Lunar Cruiser.
The all round cruiser of the fleet, give it a job and it will be able to do it.

Dauntless Light Cruiser.
This was more of an experiment for me. With the way you build fleets relying on having a set amount of basic cruisers before you can buy the next ship, a light cruiser was a cheap way to fill one of these slots in points sensitive space. So far my opponent has used his twice and had more success by squadroning it with some escorts for extra punch.

Cobra Destroyers.
Like the Firestorms, these are the same ones from my Space Marine fleet repainted and bulked up with extra numbers.

 Transports and a system ship.
Just about making it on this post are a batch of transports that I picked up so we can, theoretically, play any mission from the core rules. I added in a single system defence ship in the hope that my opponent doesn't spot it early enough and I can get a cheeky surprise attack.

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