30 January 2019

AHPC9 - Panzer IV Specials

A challenging week but I was determined to submit something - anything really - to keep the mojo engaged and the run rate ticking.  So here are a couple of long barrelled Pz IV F2/G models.

Pz IV 'Specials' after the battle of El Alamein
Dubbed Pz IV 'Specials' by the Allies, the high velocity L/43 gun with muzzle break significantly increased its anti-tank capabilities and made a big impact in the desert war.  As a result, any long barrelled enemy tanks became priority targets for Allied crewmen. However, the German supply lines could never muster them in large numbers, though some were present at El Alamein.

These are from the PSC Pz IV boxed set, and crewed with Battlefront tank commander figures -  I really like the casual pose on the commander of Panzer Hull #3. Painted up using my habitual 'way too many layers and washes that you can't even see' method :-)


28 January 2019

AHPC 9: 'Sport' Bonus Round

Studio Tomahawk's Jugula is a game that I quite enjoy, though it is quite a different style of Gladiator game. It has excellent resource mechanics and its building tempo feels like an escalating spectacle entertaining the Arena's mob crowd. I have also historically (and uncharacteristically) won more often against Dux than not with my Ludus Caeruleus (or Blue School) which helps a fair bit too...

So my Sports Bonus round entry is a minor addition to my gladiator barracks with a bow armed Sagittarius, who as a missile armed fighter will add a new dimension to the early stages of the combat before the Gladiators get to melee distances. Fig is an old West Wind model from their Light Gladiators set.

As all Sport needs an audience to jeer and cheer, I have also painted up a characterful spectator figure by Crusader Miniatures. I will use him as my marker for Vox Populi, which in Jugula is a measure of the crowd supporting your Ludus in its endeavours (which adds to your gladiators' performance).
Any likeness to Dux himself sans beard is surely accidental...

...or is it? :-)
2 x 28mm Figs for this Bonus round, totalling 60 points


And I was thrilled to get another Honourable mention in the voting- that 2 for AHPC 9, my equal best with AHPC 8!

22 January 2019

CANCON meet up this weekend

2019 Aussie Bloggers CanCon Catch-up this coming weekend - now in its fourth iteration!

If you run a wargaming blog then come along and say g'day, meet old friends and new, tell us what you've bought and lament your dice rolls.

Sunday 27th January 2019
Coorong Pavilion (Top Hall) by the Bolt Action tournament

See you there!

16 January 2019

AHPC9: DAK Specialist Vehicles

My second submission this week was a grab bag of DAK specialist and support vehicles that I have enjoyed researching and collecting.  I am building options for force lists and these help me both in the early years in the desert as well as and expanding into Tunisia and the Operation Torch era.

SdKfz 265 Panzerbefehlswagen - modified from a Pz I Ausf A, this was a Command Tank variant with dedicated radio transmission equipment and operator.  Here it is accompanied by a SdKfz 250 Halftrack, for use as the Luftwaffe Air Liaison Officer to control Air support (this has a tabletop control function in Battlegroup rules)

SdKfz 254 - Produced as an artillery tractor by the Austrian Army between the Wars and prior to Anschluss, it has a  unique and adjustable system of tracks and wheels. The Wehrmacht used it as a Forward Observer vehicle. Its such a cool and distinctive vehicle that I had to have one. This Battlefront model has the options to model with the wheels either engaged or retracted (I have done the latter for resilience)

SdKfz 250/10 - A classic 250 Halftrack, fitted with a 37mm AT gun and frequently utilised as the Recon Platoon Commander's vehicle. In the 41-42 period in the Desert, the 37mm gun is very useful against an array of light armour and Armoured Cars.

Schwimmwagens - who doesn't love the mighty Schwimmwagen? My dream car is not a Ferrari, Porsche or Audi, its a Schwimmwagen! No, the irony of fielding amphibious vehicles in the Sahara Desert is not lost on me.  I promise that if there is an oasis on the table, they will always try to schwimm across it, regardless of the tactical value of such a move. Unless I'm playing Dux of course.

Lorraine Schleppers - converted from captured French Lorraine 37L tanks, this motorised 150mm Artillery gun platform provided highly mobile fire support in the desert in support of the fluid nature of combat in North Afrika.

Marder III (SdKfz 139) - Classic early-mid war German Tank Destroyer made by fusing a Pz38t body with a captured Russian 76mm AT gun.  It is accompanied here by a captured British Truck to act as its ammo hauler across the desert.

StuG III Ausf D - Who doesn't love a StuG? I needed one, though only a very small number served in Afrika, the rest being sunk in their transports en route. Due to their later arrival in theatre, I have presented it as newer and less weatherbeaten #stuglife

SdKfz 11 - Medium halftrack prime mover which saw widespread use throughout the war with over 9000 produced and its chassis was used as the basis for the SdKfz 251 Halftrack. I will be using these to move towed guns which are on the painting desk

Models are predominantly a mix of Battlefront and Forged in Battle, the British Truck is a metal model by Peter Pig and the Marder and SdKfz 250s are by PSC.  In aggregation, this is 13 x 15mm vehicles and 10 crew figures.  

Overall, I am well on track for my challenge goal:

13 January 2019

AHPC9: Orc Legionaries and Goblin Sagittarii

After the very positive comments about my Romanised Orcs and Goblin Auxiliaries submission a few weeks ago, I decided to advance the timetable for this army and produce two new units.
First up is the mainstay of the Army - the Orc Legionaries, deployed here in a double line wall of spears type of formation. I have done them on two bases so I can denote when the formation to gets to half strength (which halves your attack dice in Dragon Rampant).  Figs are Oathmark Goblins fitted with Warlord Roman Shields

Second is a Goblin Sagittarii unit to support the main Orc foot troops.  To be honest I haven't found Bow units to be very effective in Dragon Rampant but this is how Roman Legio were built so I am following suit.  Figs are GW LOTR Moria Goblins.

In total that is 24 x 28mm figures ready and arrayed for battle Prefect!

These AHPC submissions are posted here:

My Orci Invicti Army thus far:

I'll probably add another unit of Legionaries, some Equites and maybe a unit of Praetorians to finish it off.

08 January 2019

AHPC9: Recon Kradschutzen and Dark Age dwellings

A couple of Painting Challenge entries this week, lead by my Kradschutzen Platoon entry for the first of this year's Bonus Round, themed for Reconnaissance.

The Motorcycle borne troops of the German Army were critical to the effective implementation of Blitzkrieg doctrine - searching out the enemy, seizing opportunities and using their mobility to conduct wide flanking manoeuvres. They are the essence of a force purpose built for this Reconnaissance Bonus round.

In the desert they came into their own, so naturally I need some in my 15mm DAK force for use with Battlegroup Tobruk and Torch!

Presenting my 15mm Reconnaissance Platoon, comprising:
- 3 Kradschutzen rifle groups of 6 men each,
- 3 Kradshutzen LMG teams,
- Kradschutzen ATR section,
- Kradschutzen 81mm mortar team,
- Motorcycle borne medic,
- Pak 36 AT gun and Kfz70 tow, and
- 75mm Infantry Gun and Kfz 70 tow
(Not shown: Plt HQ which will be mounted in a a Horsch Heavy car that I completed last challenge)

While I am really happy with how this force came out, I had a real love-hate relationship with these follows from assembly onwards, including the myriad of wonderful detail that I felt obligated to give due attention. Glad I persisted, as these will give me a great flanking force with infantry to seize objectives and with some punch to keep away those pesky Armoured Cars and Bren Gun Carriers of Dux's 8th Army.

Overall that is 12 motorcycles, 11 sidecars, 2 tow vehicles, 2 crewed guns, and 42 figs, all in 15mm and posted here:

EDIT: The voting results are in and my entry came equal 4th for an Honourable Mention - a nice way to start the AHPC IX Bonus Rounds!

Separately, for my routine weekly entry I continued my theme of distracting side projects with some Dark Age buildings I have been meaning to get to for a few years. I have a large village worth now and should probably stop, but I do love building them so I wont...
They are lovely resin casts by Gripping Beast, sold as Large and Medium sized Wattle and Daub Buildings, but the cute elevated storage building seems to be no longer available.  All were given to me by Slowpainter John, painted up in multiple washes and dry-brushes in various acrylics.
Together in a block these three buildings occupy the table area of two imperial terrain blocks (noting they are measured in anachronistic, non-metric units!) (Figures for scale only, not for scoring)

Points wise I am now on track for my target of 1000 points and my achieved 'run rate' is better than previous challenges (just got to keep it up!)

03 January 2019

AHPC9: Goblin Auxiliary Troops

I'm working through my main AHPC project (15mm DAK) but must admit to being challenged by the shift in scale and I'm still trying to paint them like they are 28mm figs - thus I'm not progressing as hoped. Time for a quick and dirty, morale boosting side project!
(Dux: I promise that all shields in this unit were hand painted)
This is a small Goblin scout unit intended for Dragon Rampant. They are older LOTR Moria Goblins with Oathmark Shields swapped in.  I've based them in an experimental 3-2-1 formation for dioramic effects and to reduce figure movement, while still allowing the exact number of casualties to be removed.

These will join my longer term "Romanised Orcs" project which is a bit of fun and may see some other units during the challenge. Orci Invicti!
Goblin Auxiliaries alongside the Orc Legionaries I painted prior to the Challenge
Thats 6 x 28mm figs = 30 points added to my paltry 2 points thus far!

This AHPC entry is here:

01 January 2019

2018 Reflections

First of all - Happy New Year to all the hobbyists out there in the blogosphere!
Midnight on Sydney Harbour, as viewed from the backyard of the Man Cave 

Which also means its time for my annual, self indulgent recap of my 2018 Hobby Year.

Overall it was fun but curtailed, my returning to sea seeing me away and offline for multiple extended periods.  Painting was down, games were down, blog posts were down to barely 30 for the year - but what Hobby I did, I quite thoroughly enjoyed.
My AHPC 8 tally
I really enjoyed participating in AHPC VIII, meeting my stretched goal and gaining two RU position in the Bonus Rounds. Always a great event backed up by a wonderful online community.
The favourite entry of AHPC 8: Freikorps Armoured Car
Games wise, Battlegroup continued to be a favourite, with Dux and I playing the Barbarossa Campaign followed by a number of really enjoyable Battlegroup Tobruk games with Slowpainter John.
Dux takes in the lie of the land as his British Armour advances against my DAK recon force in Nord Afrika
I also discovered Frostgrave this year, thanks to Dave of the Left Handed Panzerfaust - a fun, quick game which really suited my schedule.  Lots of fun
My Orc warband for Frostgrave
At the club we also played a number of WW1 games as our homage to the Centenary of Remembrance

Some other stuff I painted this year:
Dwarf Command Group for the Lad

Orc riders I painted for Slowpainter John

Celtic Roundhouse I really enjoyed building
The start of my Romanised Orc army
I did get to one convention this year: MOAB. Me and the lad caught up with Comrade James and had a great game of Gaslands - riotous fun!
The Lad betrays his godfather on the race track - probably my fav game of the year
I anticipate 2019 will be similar - lots of absences and dalliances with a range of gaming projects, though I do hope to get to CANCON at the end of this month. I'll just take it as it comes, surrender to the new shiny, and enjoy the great company along the way.

Best wishes to all for an enjoyable and hobby filled year.