Friday, 29 March 2013

Force on Force: Transport for AU Peace-Keepers

The Nigerian Peace Keepers operating in Zugando have received some re-enforcements to improve their mobility and effectiveness.
First off is a Saracen APC. While without doubt the Saracen is out dated by the standards of a modern army they still have a role to play in peace keeping operations. They were used very successfully by the British Army for peace keeping operations in  Northern Ireland until the 1990's and are still used by the Nigerian Army (NA), although they are being gradually phased out. In terms of armour, the Saracen is comparable to a Bradley or a BTR, but it is lightly armed in comparison. Passengers can fire their weapons from portholes in the side and from the top hatch. 

Second up is a Land Rover Defender. This one is not armoured, and is effectively a standard civilian model, designed to transport rear echelon personnel in low risk areas. If a fire fight breaks out it will offer very little protection. 

The Saracen is, I think, by Britannia Miniatures. I bought it of a fellow Lead Adventure Forum member a while ago- I wasn't really sure what I would use it for, but I was delighted to discover the NA still use them. The latest statistic I could find on the net says they still have 10 in service, which isn't many, but enough to justify me including it in my peace keepers force. I Thought about converting the rear gunner, who is using a Bren gun, as the NA definitely don't use the Bren any more, but in the end I decided it would be too much hassle. 
The Discovery is a  Burago 1/47 scale die-cast I bought on Ebay for a few quid. It is the same model as the police Defender in the previous post, although this one was a Fire Department one. I removed the blue lights and filled the hole. It scales very well with the Airfix Snatch Landy, but was cheaper and didn't need assembling. I can also be used by Zugandan army and Rebels, and even PMC, if I ever get round to doing some of them. 
The photos have come out well, thanks to the good quality natural light we are getting in the UK, thanks to all the snow. The jungle scenery is from the latest load I have been busy building. It's very useful for Burma as well as Zugando.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

East End Apocalypse: Coppers

Here are some photos of some British police. I am not really sure why I wanted to do these. They're one of those projects I sometime start thinking it is a good idea, but not really sure what to do with it. I could use them in a Supers campaign set in the UK, or for for an addition force for my East End Apocalypse, somewhere between zombies and ASBO hoodies. Anyway, what ever I do with them, here are a couple to start with. These figures are by Warm Acre for No-Go-Zone. They are 28mm. 

In fairness, these are not great sculpts: Scale is odd; proportions are quite peculiar;  limbs come in variable length  even on the same model; details are soft and lacking in accuracy.  All in all there is not a lot going for these models, other than the fact they are the only UK police models in 28mm without guns (in case you didn't know UK police do not routinely carry guns). There are a few manufacturers who make SWAT type figures and Hasslefree even make armed police, but if you want unarmed police you have to use these guys. Also, I got them really cheep on eBay.

This is a Burago 1/47 scale Land Rover Defender 110 I got on eBay for a few quid. It scales really well with my police figures, particularly as they have thick urban bases.

Father Christmas brought me a couple of these in my stocking last Christmas- cleaver Father Christmas. Not sure who made them  but they say made in China on the bottom. They are very slightly over scaled, compared with the Land Rover. They are probably something like 1/44 scale i.e. still usable. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Force on Force: T-55 MBT

Just another quick one because I am rather excited. This is a Russian made T-55 Main Battle Tank, as used by both the Nigerian and Finnish army (Hmm, very useful indeed!). 

This one is a 1/55 scale die-cast model I bought on eBay. It is a James Bond collectable replica from the film Golden Eye (you may remember the scene when Bond drives one through a wall). It wasn't cheep, costing me £15 including the postage, but that is still cheaper than buying a resin tank. I have another one on the way too. 

It obviously comes ready assembled and painted, so I can use it right away. In all probability  I will repaint it at some point, as it looks a bit flay and boring in real life, as it has been painted a flat green with no highlighting or shading, let alone weathering.  

To those who don't know 1/55 scale is just about right for 28mm, and finding military vehicals in that scale is something of a coup.  Here it is in my garden with it's happy owner- a Nigerian Army peace keeper. 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Force on Force: Radio Areial and Cell Phone Mast

Here is a couple of quick WIP shots of a cell phone (mobile phone) mast and a radio aerial I have made as objectives for Force on Force. They are made from Hornby Trains OO gauge pylons I got form the local model shop. I built them and then trimmed off the bits that stick out the side to hold the power cables. Then I rooted through my bits box of Games Workshop tank parts and added some bits and bobs to make them look the part. The cell phone mast also has some plasticard receivers too.

The Radio Free Zugando aerial

The Cell phone mast is to be used in my modern Finland campaign  It will be painted up and given a light dusting of snow flock. The Radio areal will be part of a radio station complex for my Zugandan shanty town. Both will be important objectives, as securing them can effect the oppositions command and control. 

A mobile phone mast in Finland

The Pylons come with three in a box for £15.99. The other one might get made up as a more traditional BBC radio mast without all the satellite dishes etc to be used for Very British Civil War. 

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Force on Force: African Union Troops in Zugando

As the international community attempts to stabilise the deteriorating situation in the West African country of Zugando, UN Peace Keepers come under increasing pressure as they try to protect the Urban areas on the coast from the Peoples Resistance Army of Zugando. The Peace keeping force is mostly made up of British and African Union (AU) troops, especially Nigerian Army (NA).

The search for suitable figures to use as AU and NA troops has proved a tricky one. Most AU nations, including he Nigerians, use the AK assault rifles (AK47 and AK74). The Nigerian Army also have ballistic protection and kevlar helmets, known as K-pots of 'fritz'. No one, as far as I am aware, makes anything like that in 28mm. Well, if it doesn't exist, you have to invent it, as someone once said in a guinness advert. 

I began by taking a TAG Russian  chopping off his head and hood with clippers, then used a West Wind WW2 German helmet with canvas cover. The German helmet is similar in shape to a modern K-pot, and with the canvas cover are close enough to pass muster. I used Pro-create epoxy putty to make a back plate to their ballistic protection (which helped cover up where I had carved off the hood).
Hey presto...NA peace keepers!

The conversion was easy enough, and they were great to paint, so I think I might add some more, and perhaps make it up to a platoon strength force. I will also be adding some armour soon too.

Please forgive the dodgy photos. I am working on some new lighting techniques and its a bit trail and error. 

There are some Work In Progress shots here on Lead Adventure Forum. They give you an idea of what was involved. 

AU Troops in action

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Winter War 2015: WIP

This model is a bit of a sneak preview of something I have floating around in my head for Force on Force.

He is a soldier from the Finnish Defence Force. This one is a test model, and I am rather pleased with the results.

Basically, although I love developing my African Force on Force campaign setting, set in the fictional country of Zugando, I felt that I would like to explore other areas of the world. Not feeling terrible comfortable with gaming in Afghanistan or similar locations, I began to look further a field for somewhere to set my new campaign.

The  ‘eureka’ moment came when I was researching the 1939 ‘Winter War’ between Soviet Russia and Finland and I thought ‘Aha…I could use this for Force on Force”. All I had to do was let my imagination go a bit wild, and to engineer some sort of conflict between Russia and Finland, set just a year or two in the future.

This has the added advantage of being more appealing to my regular gaming buddy Pulp Citizen. I think its fair to say that the FoF bug has never really gripped Pulp Citizen, and he is decidedly cool on the whole Ultra-modern thing. But as he is by decent part Finnish, and still has relatives over in that frozen Land, I reasoned that he might feel more motivated to play Force on Force if it involved protecting Fins from Russia.

As to the back ground…well I think I have a lot more work to do to iron that out. Rather like VBCW I will do some research, base some things in facts, make some leaps of logic, and then just fabricate a whole lot of stuff, to end up with a semi-plausible background to the conflict. I know Russia isn't really going to invade Finland, and that the two countries are on fairly good terms (diplomatically at least) but it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a reason for the conflict. Just look at Georgia in 2008.

As to the time scale for this project? Well I am still planning to get my Bolt Action Burma stuff finished first, and to wrap up a lot of Modern African stuff I have in the pipelines, so it will be a while before Russian tanks cross the border into Finland, but I am hoping I will be able to get the first few games in before the end of the year.

This figure is from The Assault Group and is a Russian soldier in a wool hat. It’s fair to say there are some similarities between the look of the Finnish Defence Force and the Russian army, and the TAG figures will serve for both, with different paint schemes. Red Star also makes some nice modern Russians. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Burma: Some Chinidts

Just another quick post to show off a few of the Chindits I am currently working on for my WW2 Burma campaign for Bolt Action.
Work continues apace, with me having something like 40 models already finished. I have to pace myself a bit so I don’t get over fatigued painting uniforms (not one of my favourite things after spending too many years doing Imperial Guards for 40K).
 In fairness painting Chindits is a doddle compared to the Japanese, and if I could delegate the job of painting the Japanese army to someone else I would be able to churn out the Chindits in no time at all.

These figures are by Wargames Foundry and Warlord Games.

I estimate I need about 80 figures in total to complete a basic Japanese and a Chindit platoon for BA, so I guess I am about half way there. 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

East End Apocalypse: Alysha

Alysha is a hard case. Raised in a tough council estate in the East End of London, she grew up quickly into a streetwise, aggressive youth. At fifteen most of Alysha’s teachers had already written her off as a bad-seed, never going to amount to much. That was before the zombie apocalypse.
The only people Alysha cares about is her two little sisters, Tia and Angel. She is determined to protect them no mater what it takes.

Inspired by the brilliant film ‘Attack the Block’ I have decided to make a small number of Zombie survivors based around the youths and hoodies of a council estate in East London. These much-vilified ASBO hoodies, with their violent gang culture and access to weapons, might be humanity's best hope when the dead start to walk.

You can expect to see a few more East End Apocalypse figures appearing on the blog over the next few months, starting with Tia and Angel. Whether or not I ever get round to making a whole post-apoc council estate complete with fly-overs and sub-ways, burned out cars and so on…well that remains to be seen. 

This figure is by Crooked Die. It was lots of fun to paint.