Monday, 11 February 2019

From AlanD: Partizanke! (30 points)

This is my shameless bid for Sarah's choice....

The Jugoslavian partisan forces under Tito are important contributors to the history of WWII who don't get the attention they deserve in the West, and are increasingly overlooked in the Balkans thanks to the ethnic politics that have dominated in the region since the 1990s.

In our little hobby world, it is a glaring omission that nobody has made 28mm figures of Jugo partisans. There are French Resistance and Russian partisans, but they are almost always unsuitable to represent Balkan figures. I have approached a couple of manufacturers over the past couple of years to try to interest them in making some figures - offering to do the research and everything - but so far without success. So I have decided to have a stab at making some figures myself, kitbashing available figures until I have a useable force for Bolt Action.

For those interested in women in warfare, Jugoslavia is a powerful case study. Perhaps up to 100,000 women fought under Tito in WWII - up to around 1 in every 7 or so combatants. Of these, perhaps a quarter died. I knew that some of the first figures I would make would be a tribute to some of these women.

I have chosen to depict my partizanke as belonging to a Brigade in the west of Serbia or Bosnia in the Spring of 1945. They are fairly well equipped, with a mixture of captured German weapons and uniforms, those supplied by the British, and a few pieces of Jugoslav army kit. Most of the figures are kitbashed from Warlord plastic figures of Russians, British and Germans, with heads from Statuesque Miniatures and lots of Greenstuff. The Partizanka with the grey skirt is a metal figure, I think from Black Tree Design, with a Greenstuff Titovka (cap) and uniform collars.

I learned a fair bit about working with Greenstuff from this attempt, and the next figures will have better caps in particular, but I am pretty pleased with them. Only another hundred or so to go.

And figure manufacturers who would like to be ranted at about why this is a range of figures you need to make - I'd love to hear from you!

A blatant tilt at Sarah's Choice, surely the Lady will see this cynical entry for what it is?!

Very nice conversions! I particularly like the long skirt, it seems impractical. I like the different shades of green/ grey/ khaki you've used. We look forwards to being further educated!


From DaveX: Warhammer Quest Rats and 20mm Taliban (44 Points)

This week I got around to painting some Warhammer Quest (1995) Rats that I have had primed for a few months.  I have rebased them onto 20mm Square GW Bases as they come on this horrible thick plastic pudding base.  I chopped up some left over plasticard to create a flagstone cross dungeon cross ruins sort of effect.

I decided to mix up the colours and give them some variation and I think it looks really nice. I love the look of these Old School Plastic minis.  There are 12 in total coming to 60 points.


I used a variety of colours

Probably my favorite critter

This week I also quickly painted up another 5 Taliban giving me a handy 20 points bringing this weeks total to 80 points.  
Taliban using a suspicious package and 4 Riflemen

Very nice rats! Your basing and variety in colours is naturalistic and hides the uniformity of the sculpts perfectly. You can never have enough rats. Similarly, you can never have enough modern baddies, and the suspicious package person is sure to give drone feed operators agonies of doubt. Sadly, I'm going to downscore the rats as 15mm equivalents which will leave you with 44 points.


From JohnM: Carnevale Strigoi (37 points)

Two or three years ago, I backed a Kickstarter from TTCombat for the miniatures game Carnevale. They delivered a couple of months ago and I felt that they would be a good choice as a focus for this year's challenge. To be honest, it was more the terrain aspect of the kickstarter that got my attention rather than the figures, although they looked pretty cool. The backstory for the game can be seen in the following video.

I have been to Venice many times but I will always remember my first visit about 20 years ago in February during the Festival of Carnevale. It was a particularly cool and foggy year and at night the image of the festival goers flitting about in the dark is still with me. It has never been the same since.

Unfortunately, I am having some difficulty getting up the interest to paint the figures. They are resin figures, the first I have dealt with and I find the detail is not as to my liking. They were a nightmare to assemble, very fragile and I broke a couple of them....just not a lot of fun. I think I have around 25-35 figures, it was difficult to know where to start. I believe I have 4 factions, so I had a look there are 6-8 figures in each faction so I decided to go with the Strigoi first as they looked the easiest to paint. Character information for the following figures can be found here as well as the faction cost.
A Strigoi Priest and 2 Nosferatu


Two Romani and a Blood Crone

Well, I am somewhat pleased with the painting, they did not come out exactly as planned and as usual I am having all kinds of trouble with the photography. But I got some painting done and that is the good part!

It is no secret that some figures can be a grind to paint if they don't inspire you. When they're frustrating to put together, doubly so. The Venetian scene is wonderfully evocative, but requires some specialised scenery- I'd love to see your approach to this. The Varcolai looks like a bigger figure, so have some bonus points, and good luck with the rest!


From BenF: Allez, la legion! 6mm Cold War French test (15 pts)

My second entry this week is a little one. I've got a decent sized force of Cold War French basecoatwd and before I started on the mass of infantry, I wanted to make sure I had the colors right.
My force will be based around the Force d'Action Rapide, the french rapid response force made up largely of foreign legion troops. Lightly armed with armoured cars and VAB personnel carriers, the FAR looks like it will be an interesting challenge to use. 

For the test, I painted up a few support units. First off, a brace of Milan anti tank launchers.

Next, two M2 .50cal HMG bases. 

Finally, a couple of deployed 120mm mortar bases.

These latest sculpts from Heroics and Ros are brilliant, I love the tiny FAMAS assault rifles, and while mortars are usually as boring as paint drying, those MO-120s are little works of art. I'm pretty happy with the colours, I think they capture the greenish olive look of the French uniforms seen in period photos, and the tricoleur shoulder flash adds a dash of colour.

So points for this entry should be:
26x 6mm figures = 13 points
(I've scored the HMG and Mortars as figures, as there is not crew served weapons points for 6mm)

Expect lots more Cold War French in the near future.

A double entry! I like the shrubbery, you'll have to share your secrets with us. I do think you're a little bonkers for doing shoulder flashes in 6mm... so you're in good company here, and get a couple of bonus points. I'm looking forwards to seeing those cool French AFVs!


From BenF: 6mm Cold War Soviet odds and sods (95 points)

Baby induced sleep deprivation continues apace, and after a few weeks of parental leave I'm due to head back to work this coming Wednesday so hopefully I've got a few more entries in me this challenge. Baby Evie is wonderful though, and its amazing how much new forms change each day. Also amazing, I've managed to meet my target for this challenge! I'm feeling lucky, so let's raise it to 750 points.

For this entry, I've painted up a bunch of leftover Soviet items which I need to finish off my 1984 forces. First off, I've got some engineering assets. For our planned campaign, 3rd Shock Army will have lots of water barriers to cross, and what better to do so with than an MT55 and a TMM bridgelayer. The MT55 is based on the T55 hull, so is armoured, while the TMM is just a bridge on a truck. Both of these are from Heroics and Ros, and I have an order in for deployed bridges for both of these, along with a GSP ferry. 

My motorised rifle forces required some extra support to meet the historical OOBs were using for our Cold War Commander campaign. First off, some Gaz-66 trucks and mortars to support the motorised battalions. Unfortunately I've managed to lose one mortar team, so another is on the way from Heroics and Ros. The trucks are GHQ.

Here is a pair of BTR-50PK armoured personnel carriers, which will serve to carry my engineering company. Soviet engineers tended to use older equipment, the latest kit going first to the 'teeth' of the army. These are Heroics and Ros.

I was also short a few infantry bases, so here they are from Heroics and Ros.

I've found in my games so far that artillery is key to succeeding with a Soviet force, particularly when faced with those nasty Chieftains, M1s and Challengers. To that end, here are some gods of war  - 180mm S23 howitzer. The guns are a divisional asset, so will be only occasionally used, but they pack a hell of a punch. The guns are from Scotia Grendel, crews from Heroics and Ros.

Next up, a brace of 9P148 'Konkurs' anti tank guided missile carriers. Based on the ubiquitous BRDM-2, these are lightly armoured but deadly long range killers. These are painted to support my motorised rifle troops. The cars are from GHQ.

I've also painted up a company's worth with the Naval flag insignia to support my Naval Infantry force. Also for the Naval infantry is a much needed Forward Air Controller base. 9P148s are from GHQ, everything else from Heroics and Ros. 

Next is something which is a little different. One of the cold war forces in my painting queue is a small Swedish One-  how could I resist the iconic S-Tanks. Now the Soviets did have forces slated to attack northern Sweden and Norway, but they were very different from those in Germany. Tank battalions tank regiments were equipped with T54 and 55 variants, obsolete on the central front but perhaps not so much facing NATOs thinly held northern flank. In the motor rifle regiments things were more dire still. In place of the BMPs and BTRs found elsewhere, in the north infantry were to be carried in thinly armoured and poorly armed MT-LBs, ostensibly because they had lighter ground pressure. The tank battalions which were a part of these regiments were equipped with the antiquated PT-76 amphibious tanks. So in order to let me field a northern front force, I've painted up some extras.

Fist off, a company of T55AMVs from Heroics and Ros. Together with the six I've already painted for my Naval Infantry,this will allow me to field a full battalion to battle it out with any pesky Swedes., .

Next off, more MTLBs than you could shake a stick at. This should be more than enough for any game. They're from GHQ.

Finally, the better part of a battalion of PT-76s. These are from Heroics and Ros, and the final two are in my next order.

To finish it all off, here's a command stand. All are Heroics and Ros except for the MTLB.

And finally a group shot. The total for this entry, the total should be:
36 x 6mm vehicles = 72 points
37 x 6mm infantry = 17.5 points
3 x 6mm guns = 3 pts
Total =92.5 points

Next up, either some more 6mm Cold War RAF aircraft, or a Star Wars Legion Han Solo and Chewbacca.

Wow, you're not letting Evie slow you down. Mouth-watering stuff, and I have a soft spot for the logistics tail of your Soviet horde. I wonder if the S23 will have appropriate air defence nearby, because it will be a juicy target for some NATO fast air... The infantry are 18.5 points, have 1.5 bonus points for the hand-painted insignia and to remove the ugliness of the lone 0.5 point, to take you to 95. Congratulations on upping your target!


From AlanD: More Fall of the Reich and a New Project (88 points)

This week I had the pleasure of painting a box of 8-rad German armoured cars from Battlefront. This is a terrific box set, enabling you to build 6 vehicles of the Sdkfz 234 series. I painted up 2 as Sdkfz 234/1s, a brace of Pumas and one each of the Pakwagen and Stummel.

All but one of the Pumas are painted as belonging to SS units, and are destined for games of Battlegroup Spring Awakening or Fall of the Reich. I even had a go at painting some bits of uniform in a very stylised SS pea-dot camouflage, which is sheer folly in 15mm!

Continuing on my terrain project, I also painted up a bombed-out factory to add to my urban layout.

I also started a new project this week. I have been wanting to make a Jugoslavian partisan force in 28mm for some time, mainly for the challenge of converting the figures. Nobody makes a suitable range of Jugo partisan figures, as their appearance differed markedly from the French Resistance or Soviet partisans that comprise most of what is available in 28mm. Consequently, after a lot of research, I've started trying to make my own. The first figure is a proof of concept test, being an easy kitbash from Warlord bits. There will be more.

So for points this week, I make it:

6 x 15mm vehicles = 48
6 x 15mm figures = 12
2 x 15mm half figures = 2
1 x terrain of 34x15cm = 20?
1 x 28mm infantry = 5

Adding up to 87 points, I believe. And now to bed!

A new project! Very interesting to watch this evolve. Was this inspired by your recent trip to Serbia? What makes a Jugoslavian partisan recognisable?

I've always liked the 8-rads, and I'll give a bonus point for the pea-dot camo. That's a WW2 German-appropriate 88 points.