Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pimping My Ride

One of my biggest issues with painting and weathering vehicles is the fiddly bits such as national ensigns and markings. I often see the names and wonder how I am going to do that with a 15mm tank?

So I was happy to see these from Flames of War for their World War I German A7Vs. I am sure we will see similar ones for the British but my current German tanks are about to get an upgrade.

Link to the Flames of War page on how to use them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Missile Corvettes

While I have been working on my backlog of unpainted lead and resign miniatures I felt I was missing an important element in my micro-naval fleets. I was lacking in Soviet missile boats (also know in my club as targets). This is not an issue if playing in 1/1250 or 1/600, but my navies are in the 1/6000 scale at the small end up to 1/2400 scale. At these sizes we are taking about small boats with no miniature company willing to spend the time make them.

Along comes Shapeways were gifted armatures design these missing vessels. So I ordered a pack of eight Osa and eight Nanuchka class boats. I was surprised at the quality. I have based the Nanuchka class boats and you can make at the detail showing that they are what they are.  In the past white metal miniatures could just look like a blob.

Armed with the SS-N-2 or latter the SS-N-9 these are dangerous boats if used properly. Their track record has not been outstanding as they are often forced into situations were they do not have proper air cover. An example being the Libayan Ain Zaquit was sunk in the Gulf of Sidra by an A-6E on the 24th of March 1986. I hope my boats will do better.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Flames of War - 1918

I was glad to see Flames of War entering the gaming environment of World War I. They are the 800 pound gorilla and by them entering I can only hope that more manufactures will also join in and add to the wealth of 15/18mm figures and vehicles out there.

With a little surprise on my part I see they skipped the battle of maneuver in 1914 and the trenches of 1915-17 straight to the breakout offensives of 1918. Well Flames of War is in the business of selling tanks as Mark says so it makes sense. I do think they missed the boat in selling the infantry and cavalry for 1914. That is a colorful period, perfect for their rulebooks and trade publications.

They also went with German on British actions so we are missing the US Doughboy and French Poilu. Funny they already have the FT-17 already made.

And than I received in my mail box the email of their new releases. This is for the German forces…

Assembling Biltz's Battlegroup
with Blake Coster

Years of combat have made your infantry a tough fighting force. The cutting edge of your attack is the imposing A7V panzer and Stoss (shock) platoons. This tank is superior to British tanks in practically every way. Mass them against a weak point in the enemy line and use its overwhelming firepower to tear open a gap in Tommy’s trenches.


I am glad to see the Germans have a team of two tanks per company. There were only 20 A7V built so that is enough for two battalions.  I also did not realize so that they were superior to anything the British had.  Well the A7V was a big target with poor armor and poor off road speed. Its one strength is on road movement and most battles in 1918 did not happen on the road.

This is only a problem if people playing the game do not know their history. Gaming can come with a certain level of disbelief but this is historical gaming I thought. It is a concern to me a both as a gamer and historian. Do I own an A7V? Yes I have two. But if they are on the table the Germans are looking forward to a hard time. Either that or it is VBCW, but that is another story.

The German Shock Platoons will be useful for any 1917-18 battles and should be the strength of the unit. I guess it is all about the tanks.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fleet Additions

I have added seven ships to my micro-naval fleets. These are in 1/6000 scale adding four Charlie class, two Knox and a Farragut.

While they are planned for a North Atlantic Cold War battle I am sure I can get a lot of use out of them.

Painting 1/6000 scale ships is relatively easy. It is the basing and naming that has been the most difficult. I have tried a number of ways for naming the warships; ship name, class name and project number. While I liked the idea of using the project number for the Soviets most gamers are not aware of the nuances of the Soviet naming conventions. So back to NATO class names for now.

Also applying the names to the ships has been hard. I have tried label makers and MS Excel tags. I ended up going with the Excel tags and white glue. The glue works better than the tape less of a shine. Live and learn.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Oil Platforms

Today Britain stands tall in my wargaming universe with these latest acquisitions. We now have two oil/gas platforms to be based in the North Sea. Why you ask? Every country and navy needs secure access to Petroleum, Oil and other Lubricants (POL). We now have the means of getting it out of the North Sea. That also means we will need to defend it.

These were a recent purchase from Shapeways. For those not familiar with Shapeways, they work with 3D designers in creating interesting products that until recently required access to molds and casting tools. Now you can create in plastics, ceramics and metals. A simple search based on scale will reveal miniatures that can help fill out the missing slots in your collections. That is what happened to me, I was looking for “X” and found it, but also found I needed to buy “Y” as well. Happens all the time.

These will be used mostly as scenery and objectives on the table. Normally there is not a big call for scenery for naval games. While purchased for North Sea games these may make an appearance in both the South China Sea and Persian Gulf. Can you say Fast Attack Craft (FAC) gentlemen?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Cricket and the War

While I have often seen the special characters that miniature manufactures love to bring out I rarely take a second glance at them. While a prestigious officer or runner may get my attention, the soccer ball kicking or carousing soldiers have little use to me and my gaming. Or so I thought. Yes there were the Foundry figures that looked strangely like the Marx Brothers but I took a pass at them.

Than there is the cricket players found in many World War I packets. Never thought too much about them until this week when a strange juxtaposition of events brought them to mind and my blogs.

I started a new job this week and the person training me has two company trophies in his cubical for playing cricket. Now this is an international company so I saw not surprised to see trophies for this, although at first I thought it was for baseball. Later in the week I received from one of my World War I feeds a link to two cricket players that died in the war. Two of many I am sad to say. It is interesting piece of video from a sports channel. I hope we see more pieces like this.

I hope you will take the time to watch this. Please let me know if you have any local sports legends that were lost in the war. Also I may have to take a second look at those special characters. And thank you Sunil.

Video from Skysports