24 February 2019

AHPC IX Progress

With just under a month to go, I am looking at what is next for my AHPC participation:
  • Points rate of effort are well in hand despite 3 aggregated weeks away from home and one week of no submissions (which I anticipated when setting my target).
  • I should meet my target in the next week and with a solid push might even beat my current PB of 1228 points
  • Submissions thus far have been predominantly based on my 15mm DAK Army and 28mm 'Romanised Orcs' project.
  • I have only 2 points posted toward the Naval Side duel. Ironic really…
  • With just one bonus round left to go am on track to hit all 5 again this year
  • I have yet to do a Curtgeld figure, but it is in the project plan.
  • I am enjoying AHPC as much as ever - I hope the other challengers are enjoying themselves also
On on!

22 February 2019

AHPC9: Desert Oasis

The obligatory "sun shining off the water" shot :-)
Noting my DAK project of late, the topic of my Water Feature bonus round probably comes as no surprise: an oasis in the desert is key terrain regardless of what era one is playing.
SdKfz 222 was painted during AHPC 8 and is for scale only
While my immediate use is for 15mm North Afrika, I have endeavoured to keep this scale terrain feature scale agnostic.  It is also the first time I have used resin to attempt a water effect, so this Bonus round was useful in pushing my skills envelope!

I have used plastic palm trees, painted and drybrushed to reduce the overly artificial look they tend to have out of the packet. They do look better outside of direct sunlight though.


19 February 2019

AHPC9: African Hunting Party

Having enjoyed an introductory game of Congo a few weeks past, I thought I would pay some attention to some long neglected figures in the lead pile to start my own White Explorer force.  This is my initial Hunting Party, comprising 2 Big Game Hunters, 3 Askari Guards, and 5 Bearers/Servants:

After a bunch of my submission have taken much longer to finish than anticipated, I challenged myself to do these rapidly and got them done over an aggregated 3 evenings. Unfortunately, they are a bit grainy up close - likely it was too hot when I applied the undercoat (its been a stinking hot summer here in Sydney). Still good enough for the Congo methinks!
Figures by the lesser known Askari mini: https://askari-minis.com/

Another 50 points towards my total Bwana!

17 February 2019

AHPC 9: DAK Panzers and Tank Killers

This week sees more DAK Panzers joining my Panzer IV Specials from earlier in the Challenge.
First up - a platoon of Pz IV F1s:
Panzer Marsch!
Their short barrels limited their effective range but the 75mm guns were capable of ripping the heart out of any Allied tank in the early desert war.  Mercifully for the 8th Army, they were always in short supply throughout and thus saw heavy and constant action.

As befits their operational usage, I have painted them up as well worn desert veterans. These models are PSC plastic kits.

As Battlegroup Torch takes the Desert War to Tunisia I can now field the Tiger tank, which was in operational use there from Dec 42.  The thick armour and brutal 88mm gun were a lethal combination which, while far from unbeatable, established the concept of "Tiger Fear" amongst Western Allied tank crews.
I'm really thrilled with how crisp I managed to get the Tiger's finish
As a newcomer to the theatre, I have done this Tiger as looking new and an unbattered example.  This model is from the recent Battlefront release in plastic.

My final offering this week is a Pak 38 5cm Anti Tank gun battery.  I have also modelled additional crewing options (allowing it to stay operational after taking some personnel casualties), and with both SdKfz 10 tow tractors for mobile operations, and dug-in 'nest' positions for flexibility.

The guns, crews and tows are by Forged in Battle. The PaK nests are resin by Battlefront.


13 February 2019

AHPC 9: Barbarian Auxilia

This week sees me adding to my Orci Invicti army with something a bit different. Later Roman armies were known for incorporating warriors from conquered lands and using them as Auxilia troops to increase the Force's fielded strength.  I have always liked Bellicose Foot units in Dragon Rampant, so this seemed like a perfect excuse to get some into my army.

This unit of fur clad Shield Breakers is from a Hill Tribe that was recently (and violently) incorporated into the growing Orc Empire. Now they fight for something greater than their loose collection of villages.

They are old Grenadier Orc "Big Uns" from the 90s - and big beefy chaps they are too weighing in at a hefty 40mm. I picked them up at a Bring & Buy at MOAB last year and really likebthe old, characterful sculpts.
The Bigs Uns showing their size next to my Sattagarian Goblins from earlier in this challenge

I have been asked what my skin recipe is.  My intent was to go for a olive yellow tinged skin, rather than the more modern GW Green.  This is what I ended up with (though I do drift about a little they are Orcs, after all!):
Black Undercoat
Rough Drybrush with British Uniform Khaki, leaving key recesses black for shading/outline effect
Liberal wash with Army Painter Strong Tone (the brownish, middle one)
Highlight with Vallejo Green-Brown
Fine Highlight with Green-Brown lightened with some Bone

That submission was six 40mm figs at 7 points each for a total of 42.  Yes - the answer is indeed 42!!!

08 February 2019

AHPC 9: Mercenary Bonus Round

During the Vietnam War, North Vietnamese propaganda derided the collective Free World Military Forces (including US, Australian, New Zealand, Phillipines, South Korea and Thailand) as "Mercenaries" in the pay of the "illegitimate cronies" of the Republic of South Vietnam. In this vein, I have used this bonus round in homage to one of my favourite screen characters: Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore - callsign "Big Duke 6" - Commander of 1st/9th Air Cavalry, in Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now.

Kilgore is fantastically portrayed by Robert Duvall and delivers some of the most memorable parts of the movie including: distributing Death Cards, the 'Charlie Don't Surf!' beach BBQ scene, the Helicopter Assault playing Ride of the Valkyries and the iconic 'I love the smell of Napalm in the morning' monologue.

I have endeavoured to faithfully reproduce Kilgore's uniform from the film, though trying to get his flat jungle greens looking a bit more exciting was a challenge.
"You either surf, or you fight soldier!"
From start to finish I loved painting this figure and attending to detail like shiny spit polished boots, the orangy tint of the Vietnam soil, making the death card in front of him, and of course the pearl grips of his M1911A1 Colt sidearm.
"Big Duke 6" watches his boys in action
In addition to this Bonus round submission, I guess that I have now started a Bolt Action Vietnam force. Maybe just a few of those nice Company B grunts to watch his back in the jungle...  :-)

The sculpt is from Wargames Illustrated's "Giants in Miniature" range

04 February 2019

AHPC9: Irish Slingers for SAGA

This week my submission finished off a long standing project with a unit of slingers for my Irish SAGA warband, which was quite satisfying.
My new Irish slingers defend their village (terrain not part of this submission)
Great figures by Footsore miniatures, with nice variations to make every figure of the 12 man unit different. However, I did find the plain jerkins with an appropriate lack of adornment hard to paint, given that I wanted to keep them poor and peasant like.  I have based as per the rest of the force I put together earlier this year.  This submission yielded 60 points for the Challenge and I am well over half way to my target now.

This is my completed SAGA Irish Warband in totality:
Yes Dux, the shields are indeed all hand painted...
In SAGA terms this is a 5 point warband:  2 hearth guard units, a unit of spear armed Warriors, a warhound pack, and a sling armed levy. The Warlord has both foot and mounted options, with accompanying Curaidh champions (which Dux kindly painted for me - thanks mate). Nice diversity which will be challenging to harness as a cohesive force - sounds fun!


And this is the 2000th post here at the Man Cave - Huzzah!

01 February 2019

January Gaming + CanCon

Good times with friends
Looking back on my January hobby month I was struck by the variety of games I have played, many of which were new to me, and all of which were big, multiplayer games. And also that I kept getting invited too :-)

General d'Armee (2 x 2) French vs Anglo-Spanish
My first foray with these rules, hosted by Aled and his dad, which I really enjoyed.  Slowpainter John and I ended up facing off on an action packed flank and it came right down to the wire.

Slaughterloo (3 x 3)
This fun game is a tongue in cheek Napoleonic big battle in a fantasy setting - good fun but also very god rules which would work equally well for historical games. All sorts of mixups and mayhem, and we converged on Slowpainter John's Orc Guarde with a singular purpose - and tough buggers they were too!
The Battle lines are Drawn!

The Advance to contact!

The last stand of John's Orc Guarde - sandwiched between my Flank attack and Marty's Cavalry charge

Dragon Rampant (4 x 4 with a twist!)
A return to our Foulwarren fantasy campaign when I hosted the guys at mine for a big 4 v 4 player Battle Royale on a 12 x 5 table.  But one of them was a traitor, and just didn't know it yet...  I'll write up and post the scenario later but it was an awesome 'toys on the table' mega game

Three Quarters of the table (and players!)- I had to take this pic through the window from outside
The wearing of Hawaiian shirts and a fez earned players additional army build points!
Kaiser's Pirates
We played this GMT game at the club a few times actually.  The theme is really well executed and the resource management is quite dynamic. With 3 or 4 players this really hits a sweet spot.  Now to find my own copy (its OOP).

I enjoy Studio Tomahawk games and their innovative mechanics but hadn't tried this before. Cub mate Mac shared his lovely terrain and figs with me for an introductory game one club night and I really enjoyed it (and not just because my Tribesmen War Party cleaned up his cursed Zanzibari Slavers!).  I really liked the multi-layered resource management that the game uses bu without slowing play pace, and most of all it felt like an adventure not a scenario.  A game I am definitely interested in playing more, and maybe making a warband for.

And then to top it off, a bunch of us did a road trip to CANCON and had a cracking hobby day out. Good times indeed!

The fourth Annual catch-up: thanks for organising Barks!
So thanks indeed to all the club lads and lassies for their companionship, time, and sharing their wonderful toys.  A most memorable summer of fun gaming.  It comes at expense of AHPC painting time, but I'll choose my gaming friends over a brush any day :-)