Friday, April 20, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This is a story of 3 Panzer IVHs.  One of them is pretty scary looking.  Another, isn't so bad, and the third one, while not spectacular, is probably the least horrific (read most pleasing to the eye of all 3).  They are 15mm PSC and I have painted them for a large, Eastern Front Scenario I'm planning on playing someday in the distant future...
The Good...

The Bad...

The Ugly...
This has been a long and expensive lesson I've learned in painting larger models.  Turns out the spider-web styled lines work the best for my skill level.  And here I was thinking I was a good painter!  Anyways the other lesson I learned was free-handing the numbers and the crosses.

The block numbering looks way better than the sloppy "arabic numerals" that I painted on there previously.  Also - when free-handing a cross, paint the black cross FIRST!!!!!  Then paint small white edges around all 4 corners.  You will notice a nice difference in crosses between tank 1 and tank 2.  And a huge canyon of difference between 1 and 3.

All that's needed is some weathering on these guys' tracks and they'll be battle ready for action at Kursk or even Normandy.  The tank with the TC sticking up out of the hatch is the company command vehicle, and also serves as the Forward Oberserver tank for GHQ games.

I also figured out that brown wash works much nicer than black wash on Afrika Mustard.  Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go buy another can of spray paint to redo the half-tracks... Enjoy the rest of the pictures.
Lined up for comparison.

Nice numbers and clean looking cross.  The brown wash settled nicely in the recessed areas as well.

I like the personalization of the PSC products.  I removed a panel.  This camo scheme was taken from a 12th SS vehicle in  Normandy but works nicely for any theater.  

We all remember this nightmare....the 635 tank!

I like how this one turned out.

I like less how this one turned out..

Moving out - the rear vehicle gets killed last!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

1st Cavalry Division (Buford's), Army of the Potomac, 1863

You really have to love an Army to commit to painting 2 of the same units in different configurations.  In this instance, I needed to paint Buford's Cavalry Division from the Army of the Potomac, ca 1863 (Gettysburg Campaign).

Pictured here are Devin (6/5/3 Strength) and Gamble's (8/6/4) Brigades along with the Division HQs (Brigadier Buford is dismounted) and Caleff's Light Horse Battery of 3" rifles.
The division deployed for battle - Fire and Fury style.

I should admit that I will also need to paint up a mounted Buford's Division as I cannot have dismounts flying around the battlefield pretending they are mounted.  This dismounted configuration will work for my Gettysburg scenario.  You should listen to Gary Owen as you flip through the thumbnails...  Huzzah!
Colonel Devin rallying his brigade.  Do not have his sash or accoutrements painted up yet 

End of the line

Gamble's Brigade HQs Stand - do not have the colors printed out yet.

The man himself.  Brigadier General John Buford - the man who stole the initiative from Robert E Lee.

Caleff's Battery.  I had to special order the 3"

Caleff's Battery other side.

This trooper is yelling out to his comrades:  "STRETCHER BEARERS!!!!"

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Panzer IV Ausf G, 2nd SS Panzer Division

Finally started painting the fleet of 15mm vehicles from the boneyard.  While I am painting these up for my upcoming Eastern Front scenario, I thought I would give them a unit from Normandy so I can use them as 12th SS, 21st Panzer, or whomever I chose in either theater.  The 2nd SS really got around in WWII and is a unit that I am happy to model since it fought on so many different theaters I can use it for alot of different engagements.

Here we see the command tank 635 completed and while I am not really happy with the progress, I have to say it wasn't bad for working on it in bits and pieces here and there.  I free handed the crosses which is why they look like a kindergartner made them...
Assembled and ready for action.

The TC looks pretty neat up there in the cupola.  I like that PSC offers various crew figures. 

I have 5 in all but only need 4 for my scenario.  The spider-web type thin stripes I have not seen on Normandy plates but rather 1943 Eastern Front plates, which at least fits for the game soon.  Ahhh either way, it still looks neat.
His good side...

God I can barely stand to look at those hideous numbers!  I have to say though that a paintbrush gave its life for this model.  The brush I used is about spent.

dirty black wash for the mechanical aspects and the rear engine compartment.

The tank on the right no detailing or wash on it - wanted to compare the two.  The wash was subtle.

A different camo scheme that I borrowed from the 12th SS in Normandy.  Most of the future tanks coming up will have that scheme on them.

The company moving out!
Getting alot of modeling done this weekend.  Finished almost the entire German force for the scenario coming up.  All halftracks are built and have their Afrika Mustard undercoat, and all of the Russian vehicles are built.  (still waiting on a Zvezda KV-1 to arrive)

In other hobby news, I just finished basing the last of Buford's dismounted Cavalry Division for Fire and Fury.  Both Devin and Gamble's Brigades are represented along with the famous Yankee Cavalry General himself.  Caleff's Battery has also been finished and is drying up.  Pictures soon. Onto some nappies while I still have the energy!  Huzzah!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Next Eastern Front Scenario....

While I've played this scenario many times before, I have to admit I'm excited about playing it in 15mm!  Scenario is the "Introductory Scenario" from GHQ's WWII MicroArmour rules.  Pits 2 roughly equal forces against each other with a German tank-infantry battalion team and a Soviet tank battalion with a company of submachine gun infantry in support.  Both sides have artillery support and I'm thinking there will be dedicated air support as well.  Can't wait!  (lots of painting to do before this battle however...)

Also - I'll accept tactical strategies if anyone wants to submit their solution for the problem.  If your submission wins, you'll gain fame and notoriety by having your plan acted out on the 15mm tabletop!  Huzzah!

Map from the GHQ Website (and in the rule book).  I think an additional ford over the river will add some spice to the game.
Victory conditions are self-explanatory.  My kind of party!
The German forces.  Looks like trouble for the Russians.
The Russians will have to use their artillery to tip the balance.  High ground suddenly becomes important for Forward Observers!
The statistics for the units

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

From the Procurement Office...

Ordered some welcome reinforcements tonight to bolster my WWII 15mm (1/100) forces off of Amazon and I am amazed at how much money you can save if you dig around. 
The Plastic Zvezda miniatures are amazing and some of the prices off US Amazon are incredible.  I spend a little over 30 dollars US for the following (NOT counting shipping..which put me well over 30). 

Ordered 2 of these sweet T-34/76 for less than 9 bucks

Ordered 1 KV-1 for less than 5 bucks

Ordered a Panzer IVF2 for under 5 bucks

Ordered 5 of these 251/1s for under 4 dollars apiece!!  That's almost 10 dollars less than PSC - but will their quality hold up?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Modern Russians & BTR-80 Part II

Here is my first, 90% completed Modern Russian squad for Seek Out, Close With, and Destroy (Disposable Heroes).  I still need to flock the bases to get them into the fight.

These forces will participate in the Summer, 2016 Russian Invasion of the US as portrayed in Modern Warfare 2's storyline.  While somewhat unrealistic, it is still a great game and the story makes a good background for a nice little miniatures battle with some modern equipment.  I plan on adding an M3A2 Bradley IFV, my Strykers and maybe even a T90 and M1 for good measure.

These troops are Orion's "Modern Russian Federals" and their camo scheme was inspired by the Russian Airborne forces' camo scheme from the game.

I purchased this sweet BTR-80 from a website which sold MRC die-cast models.  I love this model!  THe weathering is already applied along with unit decal (this one belongs to a guards unit) and the camo scheme is done very well.  It should be for the price I paid but for a little $$ this beats ordering one from S & S and paying shipping from the UK as well.  Then I'd have to paint the bugger as well - but enough of me being lazy.  Enjoy the pics.
Russian airborne fireteam at a Traffic Control Point, Northeastern VA, USA

Team Leader

RPD Gunner (with ACOG of course..)

Rear Security and the business end of the 14.5mm

If I had more of these russians, I'd swap this guy's stupid police helmet out with a normal one but alas.  I love the AKSU carbine he's carrying.  This is an outstanding set of minis.

MRC's BTR-80.  Nicely done MRC!

Couldn't have done the weathering better myself.  Tires look like a vehicle on campaign in a warzone.

Rally on me!
To see an interesting take on these same figures, check out Ben's Iranians at Ben's Soldiers!  Excellent choco chip camo.