Saturday, May 28, 2016

Little Big Horn

It's time to check out another new character for the Dark Nation... and his name is Big Horn.  This is part of the latest Wild West Exodus kickstarter campaign.

He is on a 50mm base, so that gives you an idea of how big he is :-)

He can deal out a lot of pain with either his axe or that shootin' iron, so look out!

The Dark Nation chose to split from their Warrior Nation brothers, utilizing the RJ-1027 energy source as the white invaders have done.  The Warrior Nation see this as a betrayal of all their beliefs, so I think there will be a number of interesting fights between these former kinfolk.

Beware of the deadly eights!

We continue with the desperate struggle between the French and the Axis terror.  Just when the brave French defenders thought that the line could be held by the power of their heavy guns, flights of Stuka dive bombers pounced again and again.

They attempted to fend off these attacks as well as possible, but to no avail!

Eventually the heavy guns would be wiped out by the persistent bombing, and the entire battery would no longer take part.  You will see some interesting consequences of this issue in coming WIP hobby reports!  Let's just say that from now on, there will be at least 2, if not 4, layers of air defense.

The looted Czech tanks stormed across the tracks, heading for the now vacated base!!

Nothing stood in their way, so the unit of Heavy machine gunners was ordered to leave their positions in the woods and advance towards almost certain death...

They knew that reinforcements were coming, but none could be seen.  Eventually some did arrive, but poor communication meant that the foot slogging infantry came in the wrong area!  

This meant that the hapless machine gun teams were completely on their own.

In desperation, the Somuas and Hotchkiss tanks halted their advance towards the German base and headed back towards the clouds of smoke and flame by the key railway yard.

It is just as well, since the German reinforcements did begin trickling in.  They brought with them one deadly 88mm gun, which took no time in making it's presence felt.  One of the Somua tanks was blown apart...

All enemy positions would have to wait for another time, as the delayed and misguided French reinforcements left them on the verge of defeat!

By now, strong emplacements were set up by both of the far objectives, making them unassailable. 

This phase of the battle showed me why the French categorized these two tank models as "Cavalry" tanks.  They charged in to rescue the machine gun platoon, only to find their charred bodies all over the rail yard.  They would have to hold that position themselves.

Off in the distance, the rumble of ancient Renault tankettes could be heard, along with the shouts of French soldiers, rushing ahead as fast as feet to bring them.  Once again, modifications have been made to rectify such eventualities of misplaced reserves.

Huzzah!  At long last, the communication issues were resolved, and a rifle platoon marched straight into the rail yard.  By now, the French tanks had stabilized the position.

The German tank destroyers proved to be an ever present threat, although the woods seemed to wreak havoc on their aim.  I don't think the French tankers will be quite so fortunate next time.

When the last looted Czech tank went up in flames, so did the German hopes of a rapid victory.

However, they were now in place with highly mobile units, and would surely make another push to the rail yard, and possibly beyond that.  The line was held, but only by the narrowest of margins.

Can the French continue to stave off imminent defeat?  Will new units brought in to the front honor the noble sacrifice of the Machine gunners?  We shall see.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Purple Haze

This classic Sandra Garrity figure was a lot of fun to finish off at last!  I had used it as a demonstration piece at Marcon in the dealer's room.

It was very interesting to paint the same miniature which I am sure I painted way back in 2002 or 2003... knowing all the things that I have learned in the years since!

The techniques and materials available for the basing alone are incredibly different than those early days :-)

She's also here:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

La Bataille De Wappelville: Part One

So, there's a first time for everything, and last week was the time to play my first real game of Flames of War!

We tried to simplify things as much as possible at 1500 points.  I took what I could with what I had, and also tried to take "a little of everything", or balanced between armor and infantry and some artillery support.

I forget what the scenario was called, but it would be a basic fight over some objective markers.

Each deployment zone had a pair of them.  However, one in particular would become quite the focus of the fracas!

My options were somewhat limited, as I have no specific anti tank figures as yet... no Laffly 15Wcc, no gun emplacements, etc.  I only have the large self-propelled 75mm AA guns, so this would mean no anti air whatsoever.

The infantry was all on foot, which would be so excruciating, it made me scratch build ten Lorraine Carriers for the game this week!

The medium and light tank platoons had Soumas and Hotchkiss vehicles, etc.

Having played Bolt Action, I knew that there would be all kinds of pain from one man turret... and slow tanks. :-)

The Germans were coming into town with quite the head of steam!  While the transports didn't play a huge role in this particular game, I was taught an immediate lesson in why they are a must have... even when you are completely on the defensive.

The air power would be particularly devastating in this game as well.  Apologies for the blurry image!

We had to take our forces, divide the in half, and deploy the starting batch on the table.  I chose the Machine Gun and artillery batteries, along with the Souma and Hotchkiss units and the command stands.

I still think that I got too worried about artillery templates, leaving me very spread out.  Also, I didn't know that the game was not a six turn limit!  This would affect a great meany choices... 

Seeing all the transports of the Germans, I figured that many of them would be coming down the road, trying to deploy into the town before the French defenders.  The heavier Soumas were placed there, where they could react to such a move.

The Artillery battery had some eyes on the horizon, searching out the enemy tanks.  They could hear the distant rumble of armor advancing...

Sure enough!  The looted "Panzers" blasted trough the train yards, heading straight for the ridge that partially hid the guns!

Sadly, the brave observers sacrificed themselves to alert the gun teams of the impending steel advance.

The drivers of the German anti-tank vehicles must need a little more training in rough terrain, as one of their number found himself bogged down in the woods for a number of turns.

The Stuka pilots, on the other hand, pounced on their targets with deadly accuracy.  Again and again they would strafe the hopelessly exposed artillery crews.

This prompted the French to effect a change in the trajectory of the battle... sending the Souma unit down the road out of town as rapidly as possible.  The enemy had been focusing more and more effort on the French right, so this was supposed to be a flanking maneuver.

If anything, it would limit what the anti-armor vehicles of the Germans could do... and possibly threaten their base which had been established just out of town.

 The pesky German armored cars had been a huge thorn in the side of the French, seemingly ignorant of the danger that faced them with so much nearby firepower!  The drivers were either very brave, or really nuts!  One of them would pay the price for his rashness, however, at the hands of the advancing Soumas.

Can the French hold off the great tide of the enemy?  Will the flanking maneuver work?  Or will death from the skies prove too much for the forces of the Republic?

Stay tuned for the next episode!

Shining Blades

This was originally painted for my Galadhrim Elf army, serving as my overall Captain.

I had a lot of fun painting the various muted tones on the face, and seeing how many colors I could reflect onto the shiny swords!

These types of flowing, curved weapons present many options, but also challenges.  The blades were held at such an angle that they picked up the cloak, the ground, sky, and more.  Add in the curved surfaces, and there was a lot to work out!!

He's also here:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A bigger gun

After last week's article on scratch building the French 105mm howitzer, I thought you might like some images of the completed gun, and the base that was created for it.

The four crew are comprised of a few 'regular' crew from the Bolt Action 75mm gun, and a few extra mortar crew.

It's great to see everything together at last!  This is already mostly painted.

I added a little Oxide Paste to the wheels and other areas when I did the base for some extra texture.

In this side by side, we have the Flames of War 105mm which was used as a sample.

And then next to the 75mm.  That piece is completely painted, along with a number of other significant items, so stay tuned!!