Monday, September 11, 2017

Look What I Got in the Mail, Part 2...

...Warmaster Ancients.

I ordered this along with Combined Arms, again from a third-party vendor on Amazon.com. I have the original Warmaster. I really like the rules, but never got around to playing them. Prior to publishing this, a number of pdf files came out with the rule adjustments and lists to make Warmaster into Warmaster Ancients. I never bothered to buy the book. I somehow lost both the files and the hard copies of them. I happened to see it, so I ordered it.

The rate I am going, I am so in need of a new bookshelf.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Look What I Got in the Mail...

...its an autographed copy of Frank Chadwick's Combined Arms!


This was totally unexpected. I ordered it with Amazon.com through one of their third party vendors. It was relatively inexpensive. I have the feeling that the vendor had no idea the author's signature was on it. Nothing was mentioned in the description other than it was in good condition. According to my peeps over at the Facebook 1/285 Scales Miniatures and Wargaming page, their reserved copies of a rule book has a sticker added and were autographed. Cool beans! Now I have to look at my other GDW books to see if they have them on there. I went to college at Illinois State University during the late 70s and early 80s. ISU is in the town of Normal (yes, that's the name of the town), Illinois, which was the publishing headquarters of GDW. You could go into their office and buy rules books there, which I did.

As far as the rules, I've only spent all of 10 minutes reading them over, but they pass my test that if I can understand the mechanics on the first pass of reading, it's got a lot going for it. It focuses on mid-1980s potential NATO vs. Warsaw Pact conflicts, which is the latest tend. I think I can figure out those of AFVs and weapons not in the rule book using stats from other rules like FFoTs.

I still haven't playtested the various rules I have for microarmor like I had planned in an earlier post, but when I do, these will be in the mix.

As a separate issue, I've noticed that there are some older posts that are duplicated. Sort of annoying. Anyone else have that issue with blogger?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Federal Republic of Gambusia Armored Battalion

This past week I managed to work on some projects. The rebels got a some additional firepower in the form of a Russian M1944 100mm anti-tank gun. Sorry no pictures at this time. The Federal Republic of Gambusia now has a battalion of more modern tanks in the form of the Vickers MK III MBT. Here is a thrown-together shot of the battalion:


In reality, the anti-aircraft tanks and the tank destroyers are in separate companies, but I spaced them out for ease of photographing them.



The table of organization of the FRG is somewhat similar to that of many modern nations where the largest standing unit is the battalion. Units are combined depending on the mission. The AA company is attached. The 3rd battalion's mission is dedicated to fighting such foes as Northern Chalupistan rather than going after rebels.

Each company is represented by a different colored thermal sleeve.  The command tanks are represented by having antennae and either a tank commander or just a machine gun.

Vickers Mk III MBT
 The minis are old Skytrex ones, which are now sold by Heroics & Ros. This is their second paint job. Originally, I had a wash on them, but they looked awful. So, I repainted them with a basic gloss green  that I bought at Lowe's, and decided to skip the wash. They still look pretty glossy despite the coating of Vallejo clear flat. I would spray them with Dullcoat, but it's been awfully humid out. They are not the best models, but they are the only representatives of the Vickers Mk. III, so they will have to do.

The tank destroyer company is made up of the FV 120 Spartan MCT (Milan Compact Turret). These are Heroics & Ros models and they painted up rather nicely.


The AA battery is made up of the French AMX DCA with two 30mm AA guns. These are C in C models. I painted them up a long time ago before I really decided on a paint scheme for the FRG. These are probably among my best paint jobs for micro armor in terms of highlights and shading.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Back From China and Inner Mongolia

I am finally back from a week in Chicago and about two weeks over in China visiting in-laws and doing some sightseeing. This isn't intended to be a long travelog, just some pictorial highlights.

We spent the first week of our trip in my wife's hometown, whose name I cannot remember, but it is in the Hebei Province near the larger city of Chengde, which is about 4 hours northeast of Beijing.

Hebei Province. Chengde is the region in the northern part of the map.
Source: Wikipedia
Chengde was home to a summer palace for the Qing emperors. Like most of China, it is very rugged. Some relatives took me to a shrine that was on top of two pillars of rock. How the monks managed to climb up there is beyond me.


A common feature of all cities and "towns" are the enormous apartment blocks. The view is a stark contrast from the temples and various monuments that were in the hills.


The big highlight of the trip was to Inner Mongolia.

Source: Wikipedia

This is the part of Mongolia that is on the Chinese side of the border. My wife's college roommate is Mongolian from the region and set up a college reunion in the city of Ordos. The reunion was a pretty big affair with banquets with lots of drinking! We also took a couple of sightseeing tours.

Genghis Khan is revered and is said to be buried in Inner Mongolia not far from where we were staying in Ordos. There were lots of statues commemorating Genghis:


Even though no one knows exactly where his tomb is,  there is a large shrine that is dedicated to him. The shrine contains his saddle, bow, and a number of other artifacts pertaining to him and his wives.

The Shrine

Statue located at his shrine.
 
Our trip began and ended in Beijing. Whereas Inner Mongolia was heaven in terms of heat and humidity, the weather for the most part of the trip was hell. High temperatures and humidity made sightseeing a drag. Even though the subway system is air conditioned, it doesn't help when we were packed into cars like sardines.  There were a lot of crowds of sightseers in Beijing that was something I didn't notice the last time we were there. We went to the Summer Palace in the early evening, which turned out to be a blessing temperature-wise. One of the things I got to see that I don't recall seeing last time was the famous or infamous Marble Boat.


It was built by the Empress Dowager Cixi in 1893 using funds earmarked for the Chinese Navy.

There is my much shortened highlights of my visit to China. It is still crazy almost a week after we got back. We are still suffering some from jetlag and the kiddos are back in school, with my son starting kindergarten, and me trying to get ready for upcoming classes and preparing a poster for a scientific meeting. I hope to get back into the swing of things hobby-wise soon.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Post for the Sake of Posting

I was on a roll in May, but then came June. I've gotten almost nothing done. It has been endless driving to tennis tournaments and then a five day vacation to Florida and Legoland. Legoland is not a monstrosity like Disneyland or Universal, but there are plenty of things to do. One of the cooler parts of the park is that there is a number of dioramas built out of Legos. Most are various cities in Florida and in the US, but there is a series of scenes from Star Wars:

Cantina scene

Fighting off storm troopers
Chewie at the controls

There were plenty of figures to go with all of the dioramas, but the interesting thing was that instead of the usual Lego mini-figures, the people were built out of separate Lego pieces. They still had plenty of character to them.

My boy and his current favorite superhero

I managed to start a few things, but nothing worth taking pictures for. Just before I left for Florida, I decided to strip the paint off of my Vickers Mk III MBTs. As much as I hate stripping paint from figures, I was not happy with how I painted them for the Federal Republic of Gambusia. They sat in a jar of Simple Green for about 6 days. That was enough time to do the job. It didn't hurt that they don't have much detail to them. The paint came off pretty quickly when using an old tooth brush. If I have a chance, I will add some commanders to them to indicate that they are company HQ tanks.

This will probably be the only post until August. Next week we head to Chicago and then off to China and Mongolia to visit the in-laws for three weeks.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

6mm Head Swap

I've made lots of head swaps for 15mm medievals, but this was both 1000X more tedious and felt weird. One of the riders of the MT-LB was missing his head, but I didn't notice it until I primed the model. So, I cut off the head of another mini and glued it on.

Before:

Can you spot the new head?
After:


Not perfect, but good enough at this scale. I just hope it stays on. Another piece of hardware for the Gambusian rebels!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Curvaceous Thief

I bought a role-playing adventure party from a Shapeways shop called Small Ox Miniatures.


They were a little expensive, but I wanted to see how good 3D printed minis could be. After washing them a lot, I primed them with acrylic gesso. The last time I primed a 3D model with spray paint, it melted on me. Plus, the gesso helped reduce the surface graininess.

Here is the first to be painted.


She is either a thief, or an assassin, I am not sure. She seems to have a lot of heavy plate armor on her. She also has the curves, not that there is anything wrong with that! I would like to have seen some side arm like a sword, and a quiver for her crossbow bolts. If you look at the above picture, they all seem to have rather large heads in proportion to their bodies. I assume all but the Dwarf are humans, but the look a little on the Gnomish side to me, maybe it's the big heads.

Small Ox has several other lines of fantasy figures, but they seem be a little on the expensive side for the price.