Saturday, May 20, 2017

Banished from TMP and I'm OK with it!

It's been a long time since my last post and yes, my basement is still in tatters and disarray but work is slated to begin this week on the walls!  Gaming will be returning soon to the basement bunker!

So this happened:

And I thought I'd chime in with my .02

I caught wind of this thread that the editor of TMP began entitled "Arrogant Americans" and purported to be about substantiating or refuting claims of snobby British and arrogant American gamers (and if the hobby has an "Arrogant American" problem.  How would you even rate or quantify that, let alone address it?)

  My buddy Brandon, an actual rules author in his own right, made a comment about the veracity and usefulness of the thread itself after noting how many comments the editor deleted (including paying member comments).  He was swiftly banned so, in solidarity with him, I made the post above right before leaving work on Friday, with the hopes that he would ban me too.

"Editor Bill" didn't disappoint and I was kicked off TMP before I even got off the train.  Yes I kind of posted this as "click bait" for him, but TMP is that subject you talk "around" because of the sensitivity, stupidity, devotional, and almost canonical fervor of some of its loudest members about important topics to our hobby such as:

The definition of a scoundrel.
Napoleonic uniform button numbers.
The shade of musket stock wood after a long campaign.
The invincibility of British troops in the Napoleonic wars.
War of 1812 beef rations.
Defense of "Girl und Panzer" anime enthusiasts.
RT News re-posts.

In the years I've known about it, TMP has become a place where you dread starting a post almost as much as you would dread asking for a raise from your boss because you're not sure what the reaction may be to it.  I never liked posting replies to questions or even starting threads myself because of this unpleasant element.  So why even deal with it?

My eventual breakup with TMP was long on the horizon.

TMP's usefulness to me is touch and go.  Usually when I have a research problem about historical gaming, I'm led to a TMP post via a search engine anyways.  My posts were really only to help answer questions when I might actually have been able to help someone out.

So I'm done with TMP now and I'm not headed back.  While occasionally helpful, it only seems to enable the slathering, dim witted, fervent trolls out there who literally have nothing better to do with their time than criticize innocent and fun loving gamers whose shade of green was too dark for their tastes.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Russian Log Bunkers - A Tough Nut to Crack

Found a large bag of bamboo BBQ/Shish Kebab skewers in my tool kit and thought I'd finally give those Kursk-Ponyri Station Hill 253 log bunkers a go.  

Technically I should probably have built 3, but for my modest table, 2 will work just fine.  This was a nice Sunday afternoon project after all the madness and dust settled down around the house and the family got home from errands.  One is somewhat completed, just needs terrain and some more detailing but otherwise I am satisfied with it.  As opposed to have it coming out of the ground, I just ended up building this thing, which in my mind looks like an Appalachian Trail hiking hut/shelter and frankly made me nostalgic for backpacking.

A few quick layers of paint brought out the grain and detail in the wood and made these look more like logs instead of BBQ skewers.

Roomy, bulletproof and easily sleeps a squad of 8.  

Detailed the ends of the logs to bring out the grain in the wood and make them look more like cut timbers .

Will put ground cover, dirt, flock, and tufts down but so far I think it looks pretty good.  His counterpart will get the same treatment.

I don't have much experience with tabletop battlefield engineering, so these will make a nice addition to my bare bones collection of fortifications for Kursk and Ponyri Station.  I actually made these more with Battlegroup: Kursk in mind, but they'll work very well for Rapid Fire, housing almost a company of troops (in RF terms) and probably more aptly representing a fortification network, as opposed to a squad bunker.
Russian squad for scale

Russian squad inside of unfinished bunker #2.

Totally unintentional but this was glued down onto my "Close Combat III: The Russian Front" CD!  

HMG Team in Bunker #1
I was playing around with some log fences also but I ran out of time.  More to come.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

No Basement? NO PROBLEM! Outdoor 3D Print Cold War Kit Build

So with all of the craziness yesterday we were able to get caught up around the house prior to going up to celebrate my mother's birthday today.  In the morning though, I had some precious free time on my hands and turned the patio into a makeshift workshop to build some models.  3D PRINTED MODELS!

As most of you know if you've been following the blog, my basement is in shambles right now and all of my stuff is packed up or pushed to the center of the room.  Just wait until the floor needs to be installed....That being said, it hasn't been "too" difficult to get access to some of my supplies.

Butler's Printed Models BRDM-2 Platoon
 The selection of vehicles worked on today was mostly from my first Butler's Printed Models purchase, and a couple vehicles from "Bashytubits."  I thought I would do a small review of both of the lines on this post.

The BRDMs were a joy to prep for painting and the amount of "stuff" that had to be removed was not bad compared to the tanks and BMPs, which have huge amounts of extra stuff hanging off them.

The Butler's models are clean and crisp with lots of detail.  Next up are the rest of the BMP-2s from the first order.  I bought I think 4 more in the second order which will give me 12 BMP-2s if you don't count my "quality casting" ones, which I think I'll use for a  reconnaissance platoon now.

The Butler's models are a very hard plastic, but also a porous plastic so you have to go over a few times with the rattle can when priming them as they soak up alot of paint.  But overall, I'm VERY happy with them.

Bashytubits in the US is up next.  I bought a somewhat large order from them in the ballpark of 10 BTR-60s, 10 T-55 (I requested AM2 model but got the standard T-55.  That's OK by me though.  They'll look just fine on the table).

 The Bashytubits models have alot of extra material on them and require quite a considerable amount of effort to prep for painting.  They also have lots of lines, presumably a by-product of the printing process, which I think will turn some people off.  I've seen people on both TMP, and even my own blog go into a rage when they see a mold line on a 1/72 figure, so Bashytubits might not be the road they want to go.

That being said, they're completely worth the price at 5 dollars a model.  They're all going to die on the table (quickly) anyways and get covered in "smoke" and "blown up vehicle" markers anyways so I'm personally ok with the lines.  Look at it this way - you can pay Battlefront 40 dollars for 4 vehicles, or your can pay BTB 40 dollars for 8 models.  I chose BTB.

 Just dont say you weren't warned at the amount of crap you have to whittle off of them.

One of the BTR-60s

Next to the BRDMs for scale

The fleet I assembled today.  My hands were killing me after this.  Those are 6 x T-64s that will do double duty as T-80s when I need them to.

I love the look of the T-64.
And a German Leo II for you, of which I bought 4.  Again, lots of printing lines on this beast which I am personally ok with, but again, fair warning, some people might not be.

Last but not least, here is the pile of sh*t that I took off all of these vehicles.  The nice straight pieces that are along the tracks can easily be used to make a 15mm fence for terrain.  You better believe I will at least try!

This weekend the weather was very nice and I couldn't help but think I could have played some outstanding games of OUTDOOR CROSSFIRE under our covered patio.  I might give that a shot next weekend if the weather is similar!  Again, no basement?  NO PROBLEM!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Sanity Paint Session #2: ACW Union Regiment

As promised, Sanity Paint Session #2 has been posted.  Again, I've certainly painted better, but hey it's a completed Regiment and hopefully sandwiched between my better painted Yanks I won't be able to tell the difference!  Still, they're not bad for a crappy desk lamp and the only brushes I had access to...

Lots more work done at the house today, this time repairing a sewer line that went bad.  Now that that's been taken care of, there are still some major projects to go but at least we're getting there.

 Painting these guys up really makes me want to play Johnny Reb III or at least the Neil Thomas ACW game.  Oh table is shut down for now!

A Bundewsher mechanized platoon is up next!  Stay tuned!

The thought also occurred to me that since I can't really game or paint, I can at least ASSEMBLE all of the hordes of vehicle kits I have laying around.  That doesn't require a ton of light like painting does.

Anyways, my German HEER mech platoon is up next, and then my US National Guard or 1970s infantry to follow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sanity Paint Session #1: Pennsylvania AWI Regiment

As I alluded to in a previous post, I was able to smuggle some 15mm basecoated troops out of the basement before the big job started.  I had a ton of units that were basecoated and were basically just sitting on paint stirring sticks awaiting their uniforms.  Most of my precious free time was spent finishing up my Germans and Soviets for Crossfire, so painting anything but World War II troops was welcome!

Additionally, if I had a dollar for every time I wanted to retreat to the gaming den the last 4 days, I'd be a rich man.  What's the saying about you only truly miss something when you no longer have it?  Well I'm only out of gaming down there (and let's face it - hobbying down there too is on hiatus) until probably June) and already I miss it very much.

 Admittedly, there is nothing special about these troops.  The paint job isn't my best but to tell the truth, it was much fun painting them because I have been missing painting and gaming lately.  Plus with all the craziness going on in our life lately with family things and the house, it was much fun to just sit down and throw some paint on these troops and it really took my mind off things.  Even with my crappy brushes and cheap acrylics, this was a sanity paint session for me.

Again, probably not even close to being historically accurate but the combination looks really cool. 
 So with that said, here is a purely fictitious Continental Line or State Militia unit from Pennsylvania during the American Revolution.  I say fictitious because I took some artistic license with the facings, cuffs, and turnbacks but I thought the combination looked excellent.  In reality, looks to me like the Pennsylvania troops' brown coats were adorned with red facings, cuffs, and turnbacks but you get the idea.

white packs with dark blue overcoats.  

I did try to give each face some kind of different characteristic but they're musket miniatures so the faces are bound to look the same!

So there you have it.  Add another Regiment to the shelf!  I have to say I'm quite proud of my AWI collection and someday will have to have a "proper" game.  Next up is a Union ACW Regiment who right now just need the gunmetal and brass buttons painted on and they're ready for action.

After that we'll jump into the modern day with a Bundeswehr platoon and a US 1970s Army Infantry platoon, complete with spit-shined boots, pickle suits, and camouflage helmet covers!  Then if I have the time, I'll paint up some 15mm Napoleonic Legere because they're always fun to paint.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

SAPPERS FORWARD! Ongoing Engineering Projects...

Did the headline get you?  Sorry, no cool sapper miniatures or games with engineer squads.  The only engineering going on here is concrete.  In my basement.  and lots of it.

Track system being installed
 After they cut into the flooring of the basement and tore off up to 36" of wall, more horrors were revealed.  The corners and the NW wall leaked so badly that the studs were rotted completely through. So naturally the project scope has changed again.  All of the wall coveringsare being replaced now.  Which is good and bad.  Good because the new walls are completely inorganic panels that will bolt onto steel studs.  Bad because they're HELLA CRAZY EXPENSIVE!

Track and stones before the concrete is poured.  Say goodbye to that wood paneling in a few weeks.
 I'm keeping my chin up.  It's going to be a hell of a room to game in when all said and done.

Without Conrete

With Concrete!

The system.  The battery has since been elevated.


and more concrete!
I do have a surprise up my sleeve, however.  I smuggled 4 painting sticks worth of 15mm troops upstairs along with a case of paint that I hid under the desk.  In my spare time I will be able to get some painting done up to and including:

A 15mm AWI Pennsylvania Regiment
A 15mm ACW Union Regiment
A 15mm Bundeswehr kit-based platoon (different makes)
A 15mm US Late 70's early 80's Infantry platoon (Mid 80s USNG?) with pickle suits and steel pot helmets.

The basement probably won't be done until late May early June so looks like all gaming here is off for the time being.