Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Blastastic goodies

For some reason the internet loves 'goodies' posts. I cant understand them myself, especially 'unboxing' videos. I mean seriously?

But apparently I'm in the minority. Here's the loot I grabbed at Blastastic last Saturday in Bristol.

My best value buy was probably 10 heavily discounted Modern Empress Brits, but my favourite was probably the wraith with no hands, which, with a bit of work should provide the basis for a random post-apocalyptic crazy.

I also got a whole bunch of skeletons, both regular plastic ones and undersized ones, for a purpose I shall reveal later.

Also worthy of mention is the walking penis monster (actually a GW familiar) which I intend to paint up as a walking penis monster in order to scare players when playing RPG's.

Monday, 5 October 2015

More AtDE goodies

So these girls arrived a couple of weeks ago.

I've been looking forward to them for a while. I saw the greens and was really impressed. This photo doesn't really do them justice, but they really are good. I'll be swapping out the kneeling figures AKM for an SA80, but they're definitely going to see use. Eventually.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Across the Dead Earth - Wave 3 Biographies

Olivia, Julia and Nancy are the newest additions to the 8th Battalion MI. While DC was hoping for warriors, he instead got survivors. Maybe they'll prove just as useful in the long run.

Olivia, originally from Australia, was studying at Durham when the Fall made returning home impossible. Now in her late 20's She's been wandering the UK for a while, trying to work out what to do with her life.

Yob, Two-handed Axe - 22pts


Nancy is older than she looks; a kind soul, now fiercely protective of granddaughter Erin (not pictured). The pair of them have been on the road since their village (more accurately their extended family) was ravaged, first by a water-borne disease, then looted in the middle of the night by opportunistic neighbours. The only two survivors, Nancy is interested in little more than finding a safe place to bring up Erin.

Grunt, Chainsaw - 38pts

Julia, originally from Poland, was doing barwork in the UK when she was trapped by the Fall. She and Olivia have been friends for a while as they worked in the same bar in Durham. They have travelled together ever since, picking up casual labour and living off the land. Julia, ever the adventurer, even convinced Olivia to accompany her to the continent. They managed to convince some fishermen to take them, but slipped away when they thought they heard their erstwhile captain plotting to sell them. She's been wary of strangers offering to help them since.

Yob, Pistol, Small Axe (Yes I know, I ran out of points) - 15pts

Have another group shot:

Thing a Week 12

The third and final wave of Across the Dead Earth miniatures are finally complete!

The picture's a bit overexposed, but I'm actually quite happy with them this time, other than the flesh.

Each one has a different style of flesh paint. The one on the left is quite flat and was the simplest to do. I took more care to separate the colours on the middle figure and it looks like she has a skin disease and the figure on the left took the longest, with me using all 6 flesh paints, and didn't produce a noticeable difference... I need a tutorial.

Especially happy with the highlighting on this lassies clothes. I quite enjoyed painting the women in this group. I don't often get to paint them and while I can continue painting with my normal muted colour pallet, I can brighten things up by introducing bolder colours or splashes of primary colours.

I should probably note that, while the Wargames factory female survivors are probably well dressed for the sunny southern American climes featured in The Walking Dead, they're probably not particularly well attired for Brit Apoc. No matter. The Wargames factory box is probably the best option for a versatile collection of female survivors. I'm considering swapping them out for some of the more lightly dressed Scavenge Skirmish Survive women as my group becomes more advanced.

Here's a group shot.

The dog will be replaced too...

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Across the Dead Earth - Wave 2 Biographies

Charlie and Jaeger are long term civilian associates of the rump of 8th Battalion MI. For obvious reasons the military group picked up its own band of camp followers. These two are all the remains.


Jaeger has insisted on being called Jaeger ever since joining the Battalion in it's declining years. No one knows what his real name  is, except possibly Tavitok, who claims it's "Clive". This, along with his trench-coat, sunglasses and katana all help disguise the fact that he has no real personality.

Grunt, Scimitar - 33pts

Charlie was the irritating child of one of the men of 8th Battalion MI and got swept up into the camp followers as the formation settled into its new role as a sometimes mercenary group. Her parents were killed shortly thereafter, an event she seems to have recovered from fairly well. She has grown into, what Tavistok, at least, considers an irritating teenager, but one seemingly well adapted to the Post-Fall world.

Grunt, Pistol - 30pts 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Thing a Week 11

And here is wave 2 of my Across the Dead Earth band; here the two civilians who were already associated with the remnants of the 8th MI Battalion.

Biographies and stats to follow.

I'm actually quite happy with the flesh on the figure on the left. The figure on the right got pretty badly botched, but I think I managed to save it.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Across the Dead Earth - Wave 1 Biographies

These three men are the core of the Across the Dead Earth group I am assembling for our putative campaign. No doubt it has been replaced of late for obvious reasons, but hopefully, Xander and I will be able to return to it once All That Remains is in a good shape.

Military Intelligence 8th Battalion (reserves) was one of the last units to be called up to police the streets of Fall Era Britain. While many men did not report to their posts - for various reasons - these men heeded the call to arms, for what it was worth, and were in uniform as civilisation as we knew it went through its final death throws.

During the aftermath, as other men made their way home to loved ones, a motley collection of men found themselves alone and coalesced under DC's command. Following their military instincts, they did what they could to survive, living off the land, providing protection for other survivors, raiding groups they found to be... acceptable targets. As the situation stabilised they found work hiring themselves out as mercenaries to the new settlements, again usually as a protective force, but sometimes to break up raider gangs and other assorted malcontents.

These three are all the remain of the original cadre, others having died or settled in the new communities of this new world.

DC, Starling and Tavistok find themselves at a crossroads on their new lives - twisting in the wind - unable to settle and unable to let go of the past. So they agreed, one last contract, and then, something different.

"Captain" DC

DC - formerly Captain - when not commanding his men in the field, is a quiet, withdrawn man, a far cry from the imposing figure Tavistok remember stalking the corridors of the barracks. Something seems to be driving him, however, the face of a man in an ageing polaroid he keeps in his breast pocket.
Now in his late forties, DC finds the melancholy of his existence settling heavily upon him. 

Grunt, Leader, Pistol, Contract - 65pts

"Lieutenant" Starling

James Starling - formerly Lieutenant - is a gentle soul. Two tours in Iraq and the crumbling of civilisation failed to crush him, but his attempts to lift the souls of his comrades since The Fall have not been well received. These days he sticks to heeling peoples physical, rather than psychological wounds.
Now in his late thirties, Starling is thinking of finding a settlement that might benefit from skills and appreciate his less pessimistic view of this new world, and hopefully persuading his companions to settle with him.

Grunt, Shotgun - 35pts

"Lieutenant" Tavistok

Richard Tavistok - formerly Lieutenant - rounds out this triptych of thoroughly dysfunctional ex-military survivors by displacing his feelings with copious amounts of sarcasm. Those who remember him from before The Fall say he hasn't much changed.
Now in his early thirties, Tavistok lives from day to day, trying not to think to much about the future, and what it once held.

Grunt, Rifle - 35

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Painting British MTP

I'm quite proud of the camouflage I painted on the first wave of my Across the Dead Earth band.

I wasn't able to find a guide I completely liked, but I was trying to replicate the simply gorgeous paint job found here.

I used the paint colours found there, with the exception of the Dark Sand.

I actually tried three slightly different styles; the below is the scheme I followed for my favourite result.

The figure was based with Russian Uniform and then had 'reverse patches' painted onto it with Military Green

Streaks - rather than patches - of English Uniform were painted on top
Patches of Khaki were added, then little squiggles of Iraqui Sand,trying not to overdo the latter.

Finally squiggles of German Camo Black Brown are added

Probably better seen from the rear on this figure

The others were approached in slightly different ways.

My commander - the first attempt - started with 'splotchier' base colour patches, and I attempted to find a place for the Dark Sand, which I think made his trousers too light.

With my sniper, I tried a scheme reminiscent of my Flames of War Para's, in that three main camouflage colours were all painted on top of the first, which itself covered roughly 75% of the base colour.

Like so
Like I should be writing painting tutorials anyway. If you have a good tutorial for British MTP, please share it in the comments.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Thing a Week 10

I have spent the last two weekends in the Deep Nerd.

Last weekend I spent having the first "project meeting" for All That Remains then the next day I was at IPMS Thornbury, where I picked up some spikey death worms and some 15mm ruins.

This weekend was spent doing basically nothing but painting, and my output was so prodigious that I completed a whole 3 models that I'd already started and completely painted 2 others.

I just had to get something out of the paint queue. The thing has been completely inundated by Highland Spring Water Clansmen and something has to give.

So have a pic of my first wave of Across the Dead Earth warband.

This photo is perhaps a little over exposed, but I'm fairly happy with these guys, apart from the flesh. I think I really need a good tutorial for flesh.

I'll post individual biographies for all the characters later this week, as well as the scheme I used for the camouflage, as I never found one I particularly liked.

The figure in the middle has a coloured base due to a comment made by a friend I was playing an introductory game of AtDE with. He said that it would be a great help if the different classes had some way to distinguish themselves.

Here, I've coloured my Leader's base yellow; running on Star Trek rules for now - not that I know much about Star Trek.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

All That Remains - Big Reveal!

Time to let the cat out of the bags methinks. I'm putting some actual effort behind trying to make the post-apocalyptic rule set formerly known as Aftermath, a reality.

I've got a project blog and have teamed up with Xander to put this together and hopefully take it to Salute next year.

I'm not going to give many details here as I've given a pretty good summary in the About page on the new collaborative project blog, go check it out!

I probably won't do much cross posting, if any, so if you want to stay in the loop, you should follow All That Remains.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

BAOR driven back by Soviet armour

MoD Spokesman: Challenger not as OP as previously thought.

NOTE: This post might make more sense if you've read this thread.

Today, Challengers and support elements from the BAOR were driven back by a division strength Soviet armoured formation.

The local commander was apparently overconfident in the ability of the new tanks and broke from the standard doctrine of waiting in a gunline, and went "for a cheeky T-72 hunt."

British troops are said to be regrouping at a second phase line.

Images have been coming through from our European correspondent.

Soviet armour is reported to be advancing in force
The local commander was, unfortunately, surrounded and destroyed by surprisingly nimble T-72s
Rear echelon units were also caught up in the Soviet advance.
I had to tun these photos through 3 filters to get this effect. First they were taken with a programme called Camera 2 using it's 1980's setting, then the top two were run through a programme called Glitchr and finally through Androids own photo editor to add the frame. It's not exactly a slick process, and I may not bother in the future.

As for the game itself, both Stu and I had fun, Stu no doubt more-so because he one. I definitely made some grave tactical errors, but a turn of appalling shooting should have salvaged things for me, id my return fire hadn't been equally appalling.

Challengers are not invincible and Stu's rapid advance and quick gamble with his T-72B's placed him behind my front armour in 2 or 3 turns.

A few metagame elements probably also helped. At this scale the units are much smaller but the terrain footprint (especially buildings - admittedly we used Epic buildings) is the same as 15mm. This meant it was relatively easy to hide entire platoons behind a single building in the centre of the board.

The rules need a review, and possibly a few hotfixes, but I think they'll certainly tide us over until Battlefront stumps up Team Yankee. It certainly will be interesting to see how thing stat up in the official rules compared to this homebrew.

For the record we used normal distances, so we were essentially playing Flames with smaller units. We agreed that this felt natural.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Thing a Week 9

Whaddya know dear readers? Another week, another thing.

This week its the Hawker Typhoon I've been proxying a Spitfire for for years... yes, years. This thing has been sitting in the paint que for a while. A recent trip to our friendly local modelling shop yielded a ready to buy range of Vallejos, so I stocked up, both for my French infantry, and to get this wee guy done.

The model itself is a cheap as chips Revell Micro*Wings kit, and it shows. It was fiddly to put together, and the plastic was some strange consistency that meant the paint rubbed off when I handled it. Still though, good enough for was is essentially a token, rather than an actual unit.

Have some pics.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Operation Overlord

So, back on the 6th of June - which should give you some idea of my turnaround for this blog, we at the Bristol Vanguard had a game day focussing on the D-Day landings.

We had three boards, one representing the airborne landings, one the later battles in shore, and one, the landings themselves.

Normandy, where the beaches are fine...
A bridge. Pegasus not included

Meanwhile, in the future...
I, obviously, got tasked with kicking the sleeping Germans out of their billets very early in the morning, and to this end played a Seize and Hold mission from the Normandy Battles book.

I don't have many pictures of the battle itself, but it was a very close thing. I had to advance against Fearless Veteran SS occupying the only buildings on a mostly empty board, after most of my force - against the laws of probability - decided to turn up on the opposite side of the board from my pathfinder.

I moved quickly in the darkness and launched what I thought were some prudent assaults under the cover of night, quickly gaining a foothold near one of the objectives.

Setup on the right. My forces forced to attach the more heavily defended strongpoint.

On the left, a single platoon left to handle the 'weak' strongpoint, which none the less had two MG's in it.
The actions quickly ground to a halt as my troops were stopped in the open by machine gun fire, and unable to assault such heavily defended positions (even under the cover of darkness) dug in (or in one notable case, failed to, repeatedly).

My opponents heavy armour turned up and made a nuisance of itself, until wiped out by some lucky fire from my 6pdrs.

In the end, I wiped out all his support elements leaving him to fire at my dug in troops with small arms, while my artillery dropped barrage after barrage on his positions, until one objective cleared...

Seriously we must have played 30 rounds or so just trading small arms and 75mm howitzer fire...
... and the Tetrarchs rolled in for the win
Despite my uninspired victory, things went even less well for the allies on the other two tables. In the future, some British armour was junked by Panthers, and some very lost Soviets, unsupported by specialised landing equipment, and carried by the worlds worst landing craft (it took something like 3 turns for them to unstick) got machinegunned off the beachers. 

Overall a 2-1 victory for the Axis.

Everyone had fun though and the proceeds went to charity, so in the end are we not all winners?

It was especially great to have an operation specific theme event that worked so well. The organisers are to be congratulated, and indeed have been, profusely. They probably don't need any more...

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Thing a Week 8

More things!

This time it's the Renault R35, which means that I finally have a legal minimum strength Early War army.

I think they're a slight improvement over the Char B1's, mostly because I thinned the Devlan Mud I used for "detailing" at the end.

The plan is now to accelerate through the Across the Dead Earth band, in order to get them to a playable state.

Here's some pics.

The company command vehicle

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Thing a Week 7

So I've finally cleared the yari rabbits and the Char B-1 bis' off the painting table. I even got some decals on them.

Have some pics.

I have no current use for these guys. Furry mutant warband?

So if you know anything about the marking scheme for Char B-1's you'll notice that I screwed the platoon markings hard.

I only read the paragraph regarding special markings for Char B-1's after I'd marked them up and applied the melty decal overcoat. The only way to get them off now would be the take the paint off too, and to be honest, platoon marking debacle aside, I'm really quite please with the way they turned out.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Yet more Across the Dead Earth Goodies

So the latest set of figures from the boys at Across the Dead Earth just arrived (and by just, I mean about a month ago, but I've been busy!) and they are great.

I'm not joking, these are the best yet. The details great, the moulds are clean, and overall they really square a lot better than the vaguely cartoonish sculpts being produced at the start. Even the old guy with the assault rifle is pretty nifty.

So yeah, no complaints whatsoever... Nope... None whatsoever...

Pfft! Who am I kidding? What is that thing on her head, the cow lick from hell? Can you imagine the metric tonnes of hair gel it must take to keep that think up? She looks like Wakka from Final Fantasy!

Luckily, the one blemish on an otherwise spotless group is easy to get rid of. Now if only I could find my cutters...