Tuesday, 8 January 2019

PeterA - GW Reivers + a lone 28mm Bolshevik (31 points)

Back to work means painting time gets slashed, so this is a small entry that was largely done before work resumed.

Because I have been a good boy (and the evidence to the contrary has been heavily redacted), Santa brought me something for GW's Kill Team for Christmas - the Fangs of Ulfrich box set (where do they get these names from!), which included  a 5-man Reiver squad. Although the backstory in the box was for Space Wolves, I am not a fan of the powder blue look, so looked elsewhere for inspiration. I decided on a colour scheme with, apart from the skull mask and the right knee pad, variations on grey, the idea being that the terror they inspire is accentuated by them being concealed in and then emerging from the shadows. The shoulder pad skull insignia was inspired by modern day special forces sporting 'Punisher' patches, so these Marines are from the Punishers Chapter, terminating the brief of all transgressors with extreme prejudice. Finally, the Spec Ops look was finished off by adding suppressors and laser pointers on all the weapons, with reflex sights on the carbines as well. These items were all from Anvil Industries and are really crisp resin pieces that fit perfectly onto the GW parts.

First up we have the squad's leader. He was originally going to have a pistol and knife combo, but whilst putting these together I watched Equalizer 2. Whilst not as good as the first Equalizer movie, there is a scene where Denzil W takes out one of the bad guys with two knives, and so this pose was born.

Next we have two pistol and knife armed Marines. All of them are based on GW Necromunda bases - I have never used moulded bases like these before but am very happy with how they look, plus they come up nicely with a drybrush, so are nice and quick to do. I did them to match the industrial terrain that came in the box set.

Finally we have two Marines armed with suppressed carbines. I did try to pose one as if he was actually looking through his reflex sight, but it was beyond me; clearly he has got close enough that he can just blast away down range! You will also note that one is without helmet and backpack - he came off second best in a canine ambush. I don't have any more Primaris backpacks and didn't want to use an older style one, so will have to source a replacement off of Ebay. Luckily there were several alternative heads, but no more in full helmets (WHY would you take off your helmet? The grimdark future is dangerous!); clearly he is just nails!

Finally, we have a standard bearer for the Bolsheviks from last week. The figure is Copplestone Castings again; in the photo he is quite shiny, even though in the flesh (metal?) he is not. The banner was downloaded from a website with a small selection of Russian Civil War flags and apparently translates as 'Freedom From White Oppression'. The flags have been inspired by information from the Pygmy Wars website - thoroughly recommended if you are at all interested in the RCW/Back of Beyond.

Not quite sure of points due to the missing backpack on the Reiver, so I shall defer to the wisdom of the mighty, witty and devilishly handsome Tuesday Minion. 

Flattery will get you everywhere Peter! A great looking kill team and I like the colour team you have gone for on these. Don't worry about the missing backpack, just gives that one guy a backstory ("I only it down for a second.."). The Bolshevik with the flag is an impressive figure and that flag looks excellent. 

Six 28mm figures will get you 30 points and an extra for the flag brings this up to 31 points. 

KenR : 28mm Italian Wars Gendarme Part 1 (62 Points)

Hopefully these lads will sneak under the wire for this Tuesday, a set of 5 12 hour shifts has dented the paint time this week but I am determined to get at least one small unit done a week.

Individual units of Gendarme were generally small, 100 maybe 120 strong so I am representing them with 6 fig units, which is ideal for a cheeky little submission on a busy week.

The figures are 28mm Foundry, the horses done in oils, the riders in acrylic. The flags are from eBay, a guy called Pete's Flags who does a great selection of period flags. 6 figures at 10 pts a piece is 60 pts plus any bonuses for the flags.

The flags are representive of the Italian Condottiero Micheletto Attendolo who was related to the famous Sfoza family of Milan. He is a little before my period as he died in 1451 but he did serve Pope Martin in the early 15th Century so he will do nicely for my Papal Army. The Italian Wars is such a colourful period and as my army builds up I am really happy with how it's looking especially when I add these 6 to the other 12 which I finished before the challenge began.

The Papal Pike Block continues to grow in the background but is probably a fortnight away yet, Next week there will be a minimum of 6 mounted Crossbow. Gotta keep that scoreboard ticking over!

Lovely entry Ken. They look very impressive and very complicated to paint. The detailing is beautiful. 

Six 28mm cavalry will earn you 60 points plus a couple more for the flags so 62 in total. Nicely done sir. 

From JamesM - 15mm Scale Battlefront LCA Flotilla (120 Points)

Hi folks,

My first weekday entry, following a rush job on my paltry Recon round entry. I've actually been fairly busy since the start of the challenge, working on these models. Suffice to say painting white on large area's is a total nuisance...

These models are 15mm Scale Battlefront Landing Craft Assault's (LCA's). The LCA was the British equivalent of the smaller American Higgins landing craft. Each could carry a full platoon of infantry (so 37 men). The Battlefront models (XBX04) are quite nice resin models, with only the front ramp and crew figures needing added. Each boat does also come with passengers, which I hope to paint later in the challenge, once I figure out how to paint Canadian uniforms.

Unfortunately, from a rivet counting perspective, these models don't quite reflect the look of the LCA, with the passenger area being too open and a second sent of armoured doors being missing from the front section. The overall shape is much more enclosed than these models are. I think battlefront made the decision to allow space for visible passengers.

If you want shivers down your spine (it certainly has that effect on me) you can check out this film, which was automatic camera footage from on board an LCA showing troops of the Canadian North Shore Regiment disembarking onto Juno beach, on 6 June 1944:

So you can see that the Battlefront models are not quite so enclosed.

15mm Polish Sherman for scale

Swimming tanks are also in the painting queue...
In typical fashion, this madness is the result of Mr DaveD, who wanted to do D-Day for his Americans, which led me to decide to branch out and do some stuff for Juno beach. Which lead to me not only buying a horde of LCA's, but scratch building (and painting) a big brother for them mid 2018... Displayed here for showing off purposes. Crew figures for the LCT will form part of a challenge entry at some point.

Each LCA is individually numbered (and I hate trying to freehand anything) in three places (hull siddes and rear). Numbers came from this truly fascinating source.

The numbers actually came from the 6 LCA's carried by the HMS (or SS) Duke of Argyll, a converted ferry that was converted into an LSI (Landing Ship Infantry) in 1942. She carried (as far as I have found) troops of 1st Battalion, Canadian Scottish Regiment, who landed on Mike Green sector of Juno beach at around H+45 (around 9am). This unit was the reserve battalion for 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade, advanced 6 miles inland on D-Day itself and took 87 casualties while taking 200 prisoners. The Scottish element (and the reference to Argyll) was a neat link to the rest of my collection.

One interesting snippet from the units activity of D-Day I came across was the following:

"A German 88-mm gun camouflaged in a hay stack, began firing and destroying vehicles as they moved off the beach. Major Plows commanding officer for 'A' Company ordered Lieutenant Bernie Clarke's platoon to take out the dangerous gun emplacement. Clarke's classic reply was "Who? Me?", and he immediately set out to clear up the spot. They crawled up a knoll to within 75 yards of the position, nabbed several Germans, and then raced in. It turned out to be a gun emplacement encased in concrete with hay piled on its roof for camouflage. A door leading into the emplacement was pulled open and someone threw in a grenade. That did the trick. So quick and sudden was the Canadian action that about fifty German soldiers came out of their slit trenches - all surrendering. It was at this point that 'A' Company's second in command, Captain William H.V. Matthews came running up, asking Clarke, "What the hell are you trying to do, win the VC?""

Challenge wise, each LCA consists of one (large) 15mm vehicle and two crew figures, who were individually painted and glued in place. I'll leave Lee to judge on the points for the LCA's, but I'd respectfully point out a smaller 1/300's transport ship was recently counted as a 28mm vehicle, and the LCA's are a bit bigger than the Sherman I included!

6 x 15mm Landing craft = 48 points???
12 x 15mm crew figures = 24 points


I've long had a fascination for those turning points in war when the outcome of a battle could completely change history. D-Day was one of those moments where if it had failed who knows what the outcome would have been. But for all the technology, planning and secrecy, in the end it came down to some very very brave individuals standing in the hold of an LCA, with seawater and vomit sloshing over their boots as they waited to hit the beach and run into a hail of bullets. I've met some of the veterans that landed on D-Day and it still amazes me that any man (no matter how well trained) could do this. But do it they did, they prevailed, and history changed direction. 

As for scoring I'm going to court controversy a little. These are double the size of a regular 15mm vehicle such as the tank you showed in your pictures so I'm going to score them as 15mm vehicles but award an extra 8 points each to take into account their size and for the fact you've hand painted numbers rather than using decals. With the 12 crew that brings this entry up to 120 Points. 

From TamsinP - 28mm Early War Aussies (245 points)

My fifth entry is again in 28mm.  I don't think I've ever got this far into the Challenge without painting something in 15mm.  It's quite possible, given the number of 28mm projects I have in the pipeline, that none of the 15mm ones will see light of day over the next three months

But enough of my introductory ramblings.  For this entry I am presenting (almost) the start of my early WW2 Australians. These will primarily be for the 1942 campaigns in New Guinea and Malaya, before the switch to jungle green uniforms.

Brace yourselves - there's a veritable pic-fest below!

The Militia

The Australian Army in WW2 was composed of two parts - the Citizens Defence Forces (CDF, the Militia) who were only to serve in Australian territories and the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) who were for overseas service.  There was initially some hostility and resentment between the two parts.  The militia referred to the AIF as "five bob murderers"; the AIF referred to the militia as "Chocos" (chocolate soldiers - will melt under fire) or Koalas (not for export outside Australia; not to be exposed to danger).  After the Kokoda Trail and Gona-Buna-Sanananda campaigns, both parts appreciated each other.

When the Japanese began their invasions in 1942, with New Guinea at risk, Australia sent the 30th Brigade of the CDF to Papua to establish the defences around the capital, Port Moresby, which was expected to be a target for the Japanese.  A seaborne invasion was expected, but following the Battle of the Coral Sea it was clear that they would have to take an overland route, the Kokoda Trail, to threaten Port Morseby.  One milita battalion, the 39th, was sent up the trail, with B company in the lead.  B company established  some defences at Kokoda (where there was an airstrip) and sent two platoons forward along the track towards the Gona-Buna-Sanananda beaches where the Japanese were most likely to land.

Now, one has to bear in mind that these militia troops had very little military training (it seems that some might never have even fired their weapons), were not well equipped (the company had only one Bren gun; the other LMGs were old Lewis guns) and had not taken any heavier weapons forward.  They had also had to cross the Owen Stanley Range - steep mountains covered thickly with jungle on paths which were slick mud from the constant rain.  And with limited supplies of food and ammunition.  And the Australian high command seemed to think that they would be able to stop a Japanese invasion force...

They didn't stop them, but they did hold them up for several days which allowed a relief force of the AIF to be sent up the trail to Kokoda.

But that's enough wittering, on with some pics!


 2" Mortar and Boys AT teams

Bren Teams

Bren and Tommy guns were issued to the rest of the 39th as they departed up the trail.

Corporals (junior leaders)

Officer, Sergeant (senior leaders) and Radio

Dismounted Tank Crew

Some M3 Stuart tanks from B Squadron of the 2/6th Armoured Regiment saw service at Buna and Sanananda, but most fell prey to Japanese anti aircraft guns. These two could represent objectives in a rescue mission.

The figures are all 28mm Perry metals from their 8th Army range.  I do have some of the plastics, which might appear later on in the Challenge.

I went with green helmets to help distinguish the militia from the AIF.  It was while I was painting these that I again kicked myself for having started my Australian project with several layers of highlights as I was bound to continue this.  For this lot I decided to try to speed things up by skipping my initial wash step - it didn't save any time as it made it more difficult to determine where to apply highlights. The Perry figures didn't help - they're a lot smaller than the figures I've painted so far and have more creases and folds in the uniforms.


The AIF 7th Division was also sent to New Guinea in 1942.  21 Brigade were sent up the trail, the 2/14th battalion leading.  They joined the 39th Battalion at Isurava.


Bren Teams

Vickers MMG

This won't be used for Kokoda Trail campaing games as the senior commanders believed that it would be impossible to carry heavy weapons across the Owen Stanley Range, leaving the Australian troops there with just LMGs and 2" mortars.  Perhaps someone should have told the Japanese that it was impossible - they carried forward MMGs, HMGs, medium mortars and small artillery pieces!

At least I can use them for Malaya...

Corporals (junior leaders)

Officers (senior leaders)

These figures are 28mm from Artizan. They will be joined by some Warlord Games plastics and metals for my AIF force.

The very senior officer is from the Thrilling Tales range.  I saw the figure while browsing and thought "Hmm, that could be General Blamey" (the most senior officer in the Australian army) - he might be used as an objective marker "Blamey's plane has been shot down near Japanese positions - you must rescue him (NB do not give this mission to members of 21 Brigade after the 9 November 1942 Koitaki parade).

Of course, these figures can also be used for Australians in the Middle East and Greece.

For scoring:
47 x 28mm foot = 235 points
1 x 28mm Vickers = 5 points (it's small - count it as foot)
Total = 240 points

Great entry Tamsin. My interest in WWII is usually focused on Normandy or North Africa and so I freely admit my knowledge of the war in the Far East is 'lacking'. Well you've piqued my interest now and I'm going to have to pull out some history books and have a read up! I love that story of the rivalry between the CDF and the AIF and I can imagine some ripe language was used on both sides when describing their counterparts. 

I'm going to stick with the official scoring on the Vickers and give you 10 points for this. It may be a small Crew Served Weapon but for my money the Vickers was one of the most important weapons of the war. Easy to build, easy to maintain and ruthlessly efficient and very reliable it did its job so well it was in service for over 50 years. With the 235 points for the infantry that gives you a total of 245 points for this entry.