Sunday 29 July 2012

A New Project: Afghanada

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

Well, it has been a long time since I posted anything. I've been working on a 1/35th scale Tiger, but I ran aground a bit and needed to wait for some new supplies, so I started in on another project that has been percolating for a while: my 15mm Moderns collection. The brass ring at the end of this project, if I have the time and the stamina, is to put together a campaign based on Afghanada, the outstanding CBC radio series about Canadians fighting in Afghanistan.

I have a huge load of Canadians and Taliban for Afghanistan scenarios, and I've been painting like a mad bastard. The miniatures I'm using are about 90% QRF and 10% Peter Pig. All of the figs in this post are QRF. I'm using USMC as Canadians, since they have essentially the same kit.

The QRF miniatures are... okay. They had the range of figures I want, so I'm happy with the selection I have, but some of the miniatures are a little questionable. One of the USMC/Canadian commanders has a large, silly bobble-head helmet, one of the Talib poses seems to have two elbows on his arm and another is holding his AK in a really awkward, strange position, and a lot of the miniatures have very muddy / non-existent faces. A high proportion of the gun barrels are either missing or so thin that they are going to snap off the first time someone mishandles them. All that said, they make for a nice force when they are all painted and viewed as a group.

At 15mm these problems aren't such a big deal, but still, I spend a lot of time on my minis, and it would be nice if I had a bit more to work with (or a bit less to work against).

Anyway, blah blah blah here's the pictures.

Canadian commanders / RTOs / medic:
These were the first of the moderns I painted. I tried to add in some brown dots on the uniforms to better replicate the CADPAT-AR camouflage worn by our guys in Afghanistan, but I don't think it worked out... I will probably paint over the khaki / tan parts of their uniforms to cover it up.

 Canadians with C7-ish rifles:

Canadians with C9-ish LMGs:

Taliban with AKs:

More Taliban with AKs:

Taliban with RPGs:

Taliban with RPKs:

I have enough painted minis now to play some games. All I need now is for my buildings to arrive from Gamecraft and my new battle mat to arrive from Zuzzy and to build some other terrain bits, and I'll be ready to go.

Sunday 8 July 2012

Panzer R35s

I painted a couple of captured French tanks pressed into German service for this month's game at Trumpeter. They are resin tanks from Bolt Action, and they were super simple to assemble and paint:

I ran into the same problem I've had with several of the vehicles I've painted, namely overdoing it somewhat with the weathering powders, and then being unable to clean them off. The tanks look a bit better in these photos than they do in real life, where the camouflage is almost hidden beneath the dirt. 

TW&T at Trumpeter

This month at the Trumpeter Society I hosted a game of Troops, Weapons and Tactics. We played a scenario from the Red Devils Of The Orne book from Skirmish Campaigns. It is the "sequel" to a scenario I hosted two months ago, also with TW&T as the rules. I find I'm becoming more comfortable with these rules as I play them more, and the more comfortable I become the more I enjoy them. The fog-of-war and command-and-control aspects are especially well done, and they make for an unpredictable, chaotic, and very fun set of rules. 

Anyway, on to the pictures:

A newly-arrived German squad advances into cover.

Two captured French tanks advance cautiously down the road towards the gatehouse.

These troopers apparently like the cover they have in this house, because I haven't been able to make them move from it!

A German halftrack with infantry gun in tow heads cross-country down the German left flank to cover the pillbox there.

Traffic jam in the village! One of the tanks got stuck in the alley as the German troops crossing the road were pinned down by mortar fire.

A view  from the German deployment area, over a tank and some troops, looking at the Para defenders in the gatehouse.

A German MG team sets up behind a fence to harass the enemy mortar.

The remains of the German HQ team jump over a hedge and close-assault a Canadian bren gunner, the only survivor of the Allied MG team that was rousted out of a house by tank fire.

A German MG team that tried to jump the hedge and close assault the Canadian mortar position, only to get caught in the open and suffer some murderous fire.

The Canadian HQ team, handing out the murderous fire.

The German tanks slowly advance towards the gatehouse. Moments after this photo was taken, one of the tanks was knocked out by the Paras, manning a captured Pak-40 anti-tank gun.

The game ended when we ran out of time at the end of the night, with the Paras still in control of the key building at their end of the table. This is a really fun scenario - things look very grim for the Paras at the start, as they are faced with an overwhelming number of the enemy, who has tanks and an infantry gun in support. However, they do have the advantage of elite status, more dummy blinds and good defensive positions, and thus the Germans are forced to move with some caution or risk getting mown down.


By request, here are the photos again, this time in full colour: