Monday, December 26, 2011

years end and what to do next year

Christmas has come and gone this year, this means the end of the year looms all to close. 2011 was another year of started projects left sitting on shelves half done, as most years are for me. I want to try to finish some of these lost projects in 2012, as I always intend to, but never seem to. Of course the big news ending this year is the upcoming 3rd edition Flames of War rules next year.  and here is the video announcing the new rules, although I am sure everyone interested has seen it already.

This announcement has left me quite excited and looking forward to re learning my favorite game. On the other hand not knowing what changes are in store leaves me wondering if I should even bother trying to come up with any new list ideas, I have no idea what may be getting better or worse and that doesn't make me want to put to much effort into working on any of my models right now.

    Of course if I am not working on my Flames stuff I need something to do and that leaves me with 3 Warhammer Fantasy armies that have been begging for my attention. I don't play Warhammer but I have a good sized Empire army that is mostly built and primed but otherwise generally unpainted, a small Dwarf army which is still in its boxes and a few Skaven models which have been added to this Christmas Thanks to my wife buying me the current Starter box. Somehow I think it's time to get these models painted so I think I will work on either getting some of these empire troops painted or get a skaven horde going while I wait for the new Flames of War rules.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Flames of war 3rd edition?

I havent had much to share lately. After finishing the french I was working on I have kind of stepped back from painting Fow and have been working on a few side projects, none of which are moving any too quickly, and reading some books.

  There has been a lot of talk about a new version of FoW coming soon, I have basically ignored this for awhile and not thought about it too much. The Eastern front late war compilation books which should be available today have had me thinking more about it however. There is a big change to The soviet national rules with a new version of the Hen and chicks rules, link to the new rules for anyone who hasent seen them yet. I have tried the new rules and so far I like them when using T-34's, though I haven't played it with any other affected units yet. This change got me thinking though, a change this big however has to lead towards something bigger yet.  Could these books which are replacing a set of books the newest of which is barely over a year old be a way of bringing the lists in line with a new version of the core rules? Though there is nothing official at this point it does seem that a certain distributor has a new rule book listed as pre-release and I have heard that there is a small advertisement in the newest issue of Wargames Illustrated which indicates that a small V3 rulebook will be available this coming February .  I for one am looking forward to re learning the rules and seeing how big or small the rules changes are.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I finally completed the French I have been working on. The Tanks and guns were all very nice sculpts and were enjoyable to paint. The infantry was for the most part well done with gear and weapons being nicely sculpted, their helmets and faces however were for the most part not so well done with a couple of exceptions. There were a couple of nice figures for the spotting teams for the artillery with the radio hand sets being well done where I am used to them being a blob of something on a 15mm figure, the tank commanders also had quite a bit of nice detail on them and were better than I expected. Over all the level of quality is about what I expect from battlefront andI definitely think most of their stuff is the best 15mm available.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Char B1 bis and somua s-35's done

I have now finished all but the last 10 tanks. I am quite pleased with the speed I am getting these done.

Friday, November 11, 2011

rare WW2 footage

This looks like it could be a real interesting DVD. Check out the site, there are some clips of the footage. looks like the quality of the film is excellent as it the rare chance to hear the commentary by the vet who filmed it

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Making progress

I have made quite a bit of progress on the french I have been working on. Tonight I completed the Panhard Armored cars. These are the first models which took any decals and I was for the most part pleased with the Battlefront decals used. They are very thin and lift from the backing paper very nicely, as well as applying easily with minimal setting solution required. However the National roundels were 2 part decals with the center blue dot having to be applied separately. getting them centered is a little bit of a pain in the rear.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Early war french

As I mentioned in an earlier post I have been painting some Early war french. They are coming along and i thought i would share the work done so far. once the tanks are done the only thing left will be the crews for the guns.

current WIP 3 "Steel Colossus"

105mm howitzers

75mm Artillery, I really like these with the limbers.

infantry platoon

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Once upon a time in Germany

I came across this set at the Battlefront booth at Fall-In and for some reason had to have it. It is one of the Wargames illustrated vignettes but is a show exclusive meaning you cant order it anywhere.  it is 28mm and includes figures of Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goring, Martian Bormann, and Heinrich Himmler, Along with the banner and the Dias they all stand on. While I admit the subject matter will not appeal to many I can see this sitting in my display case along with my small collection of German equipment and medals.

I picked up a decent bit of terrain at the show as well and will be showing some of that here as I get it painted. I discovered Mark IV terrain and was quite impressed I will be reviewing some of their products soon.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Home again

I am back from Fall-in and I had a great time. I used the convention as an excuse to get together with my 2 best friends from Virginia. I hadn't seen these guys in almost 2 years and it was like we just saw each other yesterday. Of course being  busy acting like a fool with my buds when I wasn't shopping I didn't spend much time checking out the games going on and completely forgot about my camera. I did see some great games however. It was great to see some beautiful tables and some larger scales you don't see to often. I picked up a bunch of terrain for my in progress Eastern front table as well as a few bits to dress up any of them. I picked up a bunch of stuff for my newest 20mm obsession, vehicle kits, some plastic soldier Germans and the eastern front supplements for NUTS!.  I will showcase the haul soon. I have even already started painting stuff up, which means I am back on board the hobby train. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I haven't had much to say on the hobby front this month. Real life has left me feeling down and depressed and just not feeling like painting at all. On the bright side I will be going to Fall-in this weekend for some gaming goodness and meeting up with my old friends from VA for an excellent weekend. so long as I remember to bring my camera I will have some good gaming pictures to share next week. Lets hope this weekend brings me back to life!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Painting for profit....or not.

I Recently agreed to paint some battlefront Early war french. I received the models over the weekend and have begun the prep work on them. I have not taken the time to look over the list in blitzkrieg yet so I am not sure what the break down company wise is but there are 25 tanks and armored cars, an Infantry platoon and 2 artillery units. There is quite a bit to get done here and as I am being paid to paint these I cant take my usual super slow approach to them. 

 On the other side of things I have decided to take a break from my usual Flames of war group for the month. I have been Playing a lot of FOW this year and decided I needed to slow down a bit. Of course this is temporary and in no way means I am not working on stuff for myself either. I have picked up some 1/72 plastic Germans and soviets which I am painting up for some games of  NUT'S!.  I am enjoying the scale change quite a bit, The figures are painting up nicely and I like the variety of vehicle options available in the form of Plastic model kits.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nuts! First impressions

click picture to go to 2 hour wargames site

I ordered a copy of Nuts! Second edition rules from 2 hour wargames recently and after spending a couple of days going over the rules I sat down and tried the intro mission. The mission uses only a few infantry models per side and is meant to give a feel for the flow of the reaction system used by these rules. I am not going to go into a detailed description of the system as I have still not grasped it 100% but I can say that it is very different from what I am used to.  The system felt wrong to me at first, between having to roll dice for almost everything and having to flip back and forth through the book to follow different charts and find rules, I found it fairly frustrating. after a couple of turns however things started to fall into place and I found myself rolling dice and calling  hit or miss or whatever without even having to look at the charts in some cases. I know I did some things wrong but that's just because we all know you never get it 100% down in the first go, but I think there is a good game here.  The only issue I have is that I do not have "properly" based miniatures for this game. Being a skirmish game minis should be single based while everything I have is Flames of war based. While I try the system out I will be using Flames of war style minis until I decide if I want to continue with this game. The next issue comes along if I do decide to continue to play and that is scale, I have 15mm terrain and tanks from my FOW stuff but I would really like to bump up to 20mm for Nuts!. Just what I need a whole new scale.

Anyone who has played at least a few games of Nuts! feel free to comment and give me your opinions.

Monday, September 19, 2011

solo gaming?

over the last couple of months of reading various blogs I have come across a couple of people calling November 2011 "solo tabletop gaming appreciation month".  I have been very lucky over the last year and a half when it comes to gaming. Last year I moved form Virginia to New York. I have some great buddies to game with in VA and if I was willing to drive about 45 minutes I had a very active Flames of War group available to me as well. Here in NY it was different, I was starting from scratch and I knew already that Flames of War was basically a dead game here. I was afraid I was going to have to take up 40k if I wanted to game anymore, I think I would rather gnaw my own foot off. Now Syracuse has a small but growing Fow community thanks to the efforts of  another player who got things rolling, he has since dropped out of the community but I have taken on the role of keeping things going and growing the group. Of course for awhile I thought I was going to have to take up solo gaming if I wanted to continue to play. Though I would much rather play with someone I appreciate the fact that sometimes that may not be possible for some people. so this November I will attempt to play at least one solo game and share the results here, this will either be a campaign of the old Avalon hill B-17 queen of the skies or I will try a few games of NUTS! from 2 hour wargames.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sundays gaming

Yesterday our Flames of war group had a change of venue for the day as we joined the salt city wargamers at Walts hobby for the day. The salt city wargamers were putting on a civil war game and had invited us to join them. I figured this could be a good way for us to not only meet some other local gamers but possibly draw some more interest to Flames of war as well.

The civil war game was quite the game to see in my opinion. Being played in 10mm on an area a little smaller than the usual FOW table it was quite the grand battle taking place. here are some of the pictures I took of their game.  Click on the pictures to really see the quality of the units.
The table was impressive.
union artillery, zouaves marching in the background

union troops

The confederate lines

 The troops were painted to a much higher standard than I would have expected from 10mm, I was most impressed by the extreme variation of the confederate uniforms. I even spotted one trooper wearing a red shirt in the sea of greys and butternuts. I will have to try to get a chance to play in the next game.

I set up my Normandy table and once my group showed up we fought a couple of 1750 point battles as well.

 Twice a British Armored Reece company of Cromwell's and firefly's took on a German Panzer company.
Both battles resulted in a victory for the British tankers.

It was a good day of gaming and I am looking forward to being able to join the salt city wargamers again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Plastic soldier company Allied M4A2 sherman tank reveiw

As mentioned in my previous post I picked up 2 boxes of these recently. I mostly picked them up as I wanted to see if the quality was there for the cost. I have built up the first box of 5 at this point and can honestly say I am happy with them thus far.

What you get in the box.
   Each box contains 5 sprues and a very basic instruction sheet. Each of the 5 sprues contains all the parts to make one tank, the box says "some assembly required" and they aren't kidding. Most of my experience with gaming models comes from Battlefront tanks which would be something like 7 parts for a tank like this, each sprue here contains 45 parts. going by the basic diagram on the instruction sheet your at about 22 parts per tank and depending on the variant you build it will be even more parts. I myself enjoy assembling a kit like this while watching a movie or some TV, so I don't mind this at all.
I am not kidding when I say a basic instruction sheet, on one side it shows a picture of a single sprue and 3 variants which can be made, on the other it shows the major parts to make one variant. This isn't too big a deal though as its not too hard to figure out what parts you need. If there is anything missing from the box its decals, though its not like I am used to getting decals with my gaming models anyway.

The tanks

 The detail on these is quite good, I think they may even have better cleaner detail than the best models Battlefront has put out. The biggest issue I have had with tanks has been the excess metal which destroys the detail on the one part of the tracks you can see, to a point this is replicated on these models though not nearly as bad as it is on a metal model. The tracks are made up of a top and a bottom half which connect at this same point. Very careful clean up of the tracks and careful assembly could make this 100% unnoticeable unlike the metal models where no matter what you do it will never come out right. each sprue has the parts to make a couple different variants, as well as one U.S. and one British Tank commander. There are also a couple of pieces of stowage and a few parts which I cant Identify for sure what they are. The first failing of this kit is in the turrets in my opinion. You have the option to model two different turrets one for the 75mm or 105mm gun and the later turret for the 76mm gun. There are only enough hatches however to do one or the other. One of the biggest things I kept hearing about the T-34 kit is the ability to have both turrets and thus field them as either tank as needed. I intend to scratch build some hatches so I have the option of either a 75mm or 76mm but it would have been nice to be able to do this out of the box.  there is one other failing of this kit and it will be the biggest issue for some. The hull of this tank is an M4A2 while the 76mm turret is for a M4A3. If your not going to use the 76mm turret then this kit seems to have no real issues, if you are and want your model to be accurate then your not going to be happy. I myself am going to try to ignore the inaccuracy, Though it may annoy me to no end in the long run.

 I gave one tank a basic paint job so you could better see the details on these. While there is still a lot to do before they are done you can see here what you get with these. The last picture here is a comparison with a Battlefront Firefly which is the only type of Sherman I have to compare it with. The Battlefront Firefly's always seemed like they weren't quite wide enough to me, well it seems that compared to these they are about the same width but the BF tank is a bit longer which would make it seem like it needed to be wider. I am no expert on the Sherman tank but the PSC tanks look like they are better scaled to me than this particular BF Sherman.

BF Firefly on the Right is a bit longer
All in all I like these models, I like the ease of assembly and the extra little bits of extra detail on the BF tanks better, but I think the PSC tanks are closer to being scaled properly (though other BF Shermans may be better in this respect).  I would not recommend this particular kit for 76mm tanks however as the hull is wrong but if you need 75mm or 105mm tanks this is a great set. Both BF and PSC tanks have flaws, depending on which flaws you find easier to tolerate will help determine which ones are right for you. For me cost wins the day as neither kit is perfect and PSC comes out on top.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I finaly give in

Anyone who has known me and my gaming preferences may well be surprised by what I am about to post. I have stood by many times and stated that my minis need to be metal and maybe resin, when Battlefront started using plastic parts I was not a happy gamer. I believed (and I still do) that going to plastic at the same time as giving me a price increase is a slap in the face. Now don't get me wrong I have nothing against plastic used in the right way. I have been building plastic models for 20+ years but these are display models (as in "DO NOT TOUCH"). I couldn't get past the idea that plastic was for display as the fine parts are fragile or for toys (for a minute lets pretend our miniatures are not toys) which are extremely over scaled to make them able to withstand handling without damage.

When I first started playing Flames of war a tank was about $7.00 They have now almost doubled in price. I kept hearing how great the new models from Plastic toy soldier company are and decided it was time to give them a look. My local hobby shop is stocking the new 15mm lines from this company and I saw they had the new M4A2 Sherman boxes in, I am a WW2 gamer that has no Sherman tanks (I know, whats wrong with me) I figure I can use them as lend lease tanks with my soviets so I bought 2 boxes. So I finally gave in and am now on the plastic is good train (as long as its cheaper anyway). I will post a complete review of these models with all of my unsolicited opinions on them soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pak 40

I have been working on and off on terrain a lot lately but unfortunately I have little to show for it yet. So I thought I would share one of my favorite FOW units today. Gun teams may die all too quickly all too often in FOW but I love the way this unit of Pak 40s came out and when they work they work quite well.

command team

holding off the allied advance somewhere in France