Wednesday 29 February 2012

The Soul Patrol: Hammer

John Hammer is a freelance spy from Harlem, New York, and head of the infamous 'Soul Patrol'. Brought up on the tough city streets, he is known as the sort of man who would risk his neck for another man.
Damn right!

Hammer is a Kiss Kiss Bang Bang figure made by Copplestone Castings.
Clearly influenced by Shaft, it has a decidedly 1970's feel to it, in contrast rest of the KKBB range, which has a more 1960's style. That said, he is clearly a bad mother (Shut your mouth!) who just had to be painted. I was going to paint his up for the Lead Painters League, but decided against it, so here he is. You can expect more members of The Soul Patrol to pop up here form time to time.

On the subject of Lead Painters League, I have managed to qualify for the competition. I have my first four weeks entries in the can, and so I can relax a little bit and paint some more stuff just for the blog. I am rather pleased with the standards of my painting for this years competition. The level is always high, and I think that the competitive element helps me improve my painting skills.

Sunday 19 February 2012

VBCW Game in Herefordshire

Yesterday I went to a 1938: Very British Civil War (VBCW) Big Game in Herefordshire, where we staged the Battle of Ledbury.

The battle involved a coalition of anti-fascist forces united as they tried to drive off a government BUF force from occupying the town, and to prevent BUF and Royalist forces from reinforcing the BUF in Ledbury.

I played a Red Brigade from the Stourbridge Socialists, and I was fighting alongside Somerset Freedom Fighters, Canadian Anglican League and a contingent of Abyssinians. It might seem a bit odd to have Abyssinians fighting in Herefordshire, but I am reliably informed that in real life 1938, Haile Salasi was in exile in Malven, having been driven out of Abyssinia by the Italian fascist- more than enough reason to hate the fascist.

The battle was bloody. The Stourbridge Socialists took the brunt of a BUF attack, including three medium tanks, and was forced to give ground. The Brigadier was killed in the fighting. In the end the power of the BUF in Ledbury was broken, and the advance of the reinforcements was halted, forcing the government troops out of Ledbury.

You can fine even more photos and fluff on the Gentleman's Wargames Parlor. These are just a selection of the many pictures I took on the day. These are not my figures, by the way, but they are too nice not to include on my blog.

Brave Abyssinian Troops keen to fight the fascists. They were forced into a meat grinder between BUF and Royaist forces and suffered terrible losses, but managed to hold the line on the outskirts of Ledbury.

Royalist troops use experimental rocket artillery to pound Red Brigade position's on the route into the town.

Royalist propaganda teams take advantage of the battle to portray government forces in a positive light.

BUF commanders plan their advance carefully.

BUF cavalry try for outflank Socialist positions, and are wiped out by Red Brigade armoured cars.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Test Model for my African Militia

This is my test model for my African militia. I have painted Africans before, way back in my colonial days, and I am relatively happy with the skin tones (basically GW Scorched Brown, followed by a good wash of Devlin Mud, then highlights with Scorched Brown again- simple, quick and effective). The 'uniform' will be fairly a fairly none standard mix of greens and cammo, together with brightly coloured tee-shirts and tatty trainers or army boots. That seems to be the done thing in African militias, judging by a quick search in Google images (Ah, Google images, taking all the stress and fun out of wargaming research.)

This figure is intended to be a slightly more 'elite' militiaman, part of my general's bodyguard. You can expect more irregular looking troops in the lower ranks.

This miniature is by The Assault Group, and is 28mm scale.

Sunday 12 February 2012

The Dilapidated Mission Church

Here's the last piece, for now at least, of my African shanty town scenery. It's a dilapidated church that has been taken over by the local militias and used as a head quarters. The roof is caving in, but still provides a dominate position with good sight lines over large area of the shanty town.

The roof of the church, and of the side chapel and the school room, both lift off so we can get the miniatures it.

Well that's it for a while. I have got a pile of Africans, SAS and Navy SEALs to paint now, as soon as the weather warms up enough form me to get my black spray can out.

Friday 10 February 2012

Knuckles the Clown

Knuckles the Clown is a circus entertainer and small time thug (small being the right word, he's only four foot tall) who got hooked up with the Killa Klown gang. He makes money from menacing shop keepers and business men, with threats of sending 'Bonzo and the boys' round to have a little fun if they don't pay up.
Knuckles preferred weapon is the brass knuckle dusters. And given his height, the chances are he's going to be punching below the belt.

I was aware of the lack of four colour content in 2012, and thought it time I added a few supers to he blog. I found this little fellow waiting to be painted (where he has been waiting for about 12 months). I painted him in about 30 minutes, just to get him finisghed- he's not the best painted figure I have ever done, but I am satisfied with him, especially when stood in with the other gang members.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

More Little Bits of Africa

In the absence of any new figures to show you (see the previous posting to see why) I have added a few more pictures of some of the African shanty scenery I have been working on.

The first is a corner piece- a small badly polluted river that the local villagers used as their only souse of water. Its made from card, foam board and modrock, then coated in a thick layer of PVA and sand.

The foot bridge is made from chop sticks (from Waga Mama- in case you were wondering) and matchsticks. The barrels are resin and are made by Fenris Games, available on eBay.

I might add a bit of dry looking grass flock in patches as I think it looks bare, but otherwise I think it looks OK.

Next is my scratch-built market place. Built from balsa and corrigated card. Suitable scruffy for the locals of my shanty town to buy their water melons and AK47's. Inspired by the COD MW3 mission 'Fatal Extraction'.

Hope you like them. I have nearly finished the dilapidated mission church, and will soon start working on the shanties armed inhabitants. I have bought Force on Force and have begun poring over the rules- it looks exactly what I am looking for!

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Hello...I am still here!

It has been too long since my last post. There have been a number of reasons for that- I have been finishing off my African scenery: I have been rather unwell with a nasty stomach bug; I have been painting for the Lead Painters League. The Lead painters League (LPL) is a painting competition ran by Lead Adventure Forum. I have entered the last two years and really enjoyed it. The basic idea is that you have to submit a new entry each week for ten weeks. Each entry must comprise of a 'team' of at least five figures. Exactly what constitutes a team is quite open, as long as there is an obvious theme running through them. Additionally there are three bonus rounds where there is a extra points if you can produce a team that matches the theme for that round. This year the bonus rounds are Old Lead (any figures older than 1991), Tolkien and Maritime.

The LPL is a great way of making a bit of progress on the many half finished projects I have kicking around, as well as upping my game when it comes to painting miniatures. This year I am looking to do some more Saxons, some Old School Citadel, some stuff form my African adventures, some VBCW and defiantly some KKBB.

This year there is a restriction on the number of entries, and as part of the rules changes we have to submit three 'teams' by the end of February, hence me being rather busy getting my entries ready. Because of the rules of the competition, I can't show my figures on the Blog until after the competition has started, so February might not see to many post with new figures, but you will still be treated to a few bits and bobs, along with some scenery.

I had a nice parcel in the post yesterday form The Assault Group with my African militia men. I have been shopping about on the Internet trying to find some nice modern African 28mm to go with my shanty town scenery. Basically it seemed to boil down to two UK manufacturers, Britannia and The Assault Group (TAG). I ordered a few testers from both companies, and was impressed by the customer service from both.

A Britannia Somalian and a TAG African Militiaman

Here is a picture of a couple of miniatures from these companies. Scale wise, as you can see, they are very compatible, and the weapons are a good scale match too. While being defiantly 'Heroic' proportioned 28mm miniatures, they work well together. The Britannia miniatures are dynamic, while TAG tend to be more statically posed. Cost wise, there is not a lot in it, with both manufactures minis averaging about £1.45 each, if you buy 30+ minis at a time.

I have decided to opt for the TAG for the bulk of my force because I prefer the sculpt. The lines and styling reminds me of Mark Coppletone's work, although I don't know it he did the sculpts. They certainly would not look out of place mixed in with Copplestone miniatures. That said, Britannia do a fantastic range of resin and metal vehicles that will be prefect for my needs, including the ubiquitous 'Technical'- a Toyota pick-up with a .50cal HMG on the back. I am sure to be getting some of those to build up my force soon enough.