Saturday, 27 May 2017

Reviewing CONFLICT RHEINLAND

This weekend for the very first time CONFLICT RHEINLAND is taking place in Langenfeld. The city itself isn't too well known I presume but at least it's located between Düsseldorf and Cologne aka. the heart of the Rhine Area. Thus three reasons made a visit there mandatory for me:
- It's only an hour from the place I'm living
- Our club brings a AWI table to the show
- The fellows running the show are really decent fellows
Thus I headed the train to Düsseldorf at 07:00am where my friend Holger picked me up and took me to the club house where the show took place. After approaching Torsten and Thorsten the two major heads behind the show I met my THS club fellows at our table:

My friend Heinz prepared the table and most of the terrain and figures on it. It a AWI game based on some events during the Saratoga Campaign in 1777. Experimentally I made a short video of the British comun with my mobile phone:
video
Sorry for the poor quality. On the phone it was much better but after uploading it looks kind of downsampled... Anyway the tune you are hearing comes from a small gadget Heinz integrated in the scenery:
But besides ourselves there were some other clubs delivering interesting and exciting tables as well as wonderful participation games. Especially the Force on Force table caught my attention and finally I found an excellent introduction into this exciting game:
Hunt for Red October
Beginner's table Force on Force
Delta Force sneaking around.
But besides that there were more nice tables, good games and fine fellows. Here's a selection of pictures:
WW2 Operation Squad in 28mm
Whitechappel a detective tabletop about hunting Jack the Ripper
 

The Goulston Street grafitto
 
28mm Chain of Command
 
Bridge on the River Kwai with Poor Bloody Infantry
HeroQuest 3D
HYW with Saga
One of my current favourites: Congo


Team Yankee
15mm ACW Regimental Fire and Fury
28mm Sudan with This very Ground. The game I played at Tactica this year.
After all there were a couple of really excellent tables although the place of event was rather small with about 250m². But I saw people from Hannover as well as chaps from Karlsruhe which is a radius of 300km. In my humble opinion that's a great influence for a small show during its first year. From my point of view Torsten and Thorsten performed a sublime job organising this event and I dearly hope that for them it was as successful as for us visitors. If Conflict establishes itself it could become an excellent familiar show perfectly set between the gigantic players Tactica and Crisis. Best of luck boys!

Of course yours truly wasn't able to keep all the quids he brought. In Langenfeld were only a few local traders but nevertheless Didier's (More Terrain) work seduced me enough to acquire some pieces for Congo:
Alltogether a wonderful day and a real pleasure to visit the very first Conflict Rheinland Wargames Show. I really hope that many will follow!

1st Conflict Rheinland Wargames Show

Heading to Düsseldorf and Langenfeld then. This weekend there'll take place the first CONFLICT RHEINLAND wargaming convention. Some great participation games have been previewed so I'm looking forward to a good day out with my mates.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

African bearer - Congo figure and skin colour test

As I hinted at earlier the newish Congo game caught me somehow. Luckily has a low figure count only and I'm creating a British expedition with some of my 1880s Brits and a couple of additions. The setting of the game of course dictates that some native african figures matter.
Until now I havent painted any other figures than more or less Europeans or North Americans. Since I'm always a bit hesitant with experiments I decided to paint a native bearer before tackling Askari and Ruga Ruga units. The figure is a piece of Wargames Foundry's wondeful Darkest Africa range and as far as I know it's been sculpted by Mark Copplestone.
The figure is sculpted really well and especially the facial expression is very characterful. Only the muscles of the arms and legs could be defined more clearly to make painting easier, For the choice of colours I consulted a rather old article I found in the Cool Mini or Not homepage. It deals with skin tones for different ethnic groups and gives some excellent colour suggestions from Vallejo's Model Color range. For further reading find the article here.
After all I'm pretty satisfied with the look. Without any doubt I need to work on working out muscles but the skin tone is rather okay I think. It appears a bit too bronze coloured but darker shades would disappear when watched from gaming distance.

What do you think?

Monday, 15 May 2017

Resin hardened, river finished

Actually the resin hardened as fast as stated on the bottle - namely in more or less 8 hours. However in my humble opinion the result is really satisfying. Especially because it was my very first workpiece with resin:
As you see it dryed cristal clear and provides nice depth to the river. Overall I didn't discern significant shrinkage. Only the edges became slightly bent up.
Yesterday I fetched my trusted rowing boat and took a couple of shots. Unfortunately as poorly illuminated as the former pictures:



After all using the two-component resin was much easier to use than I was feared. Especially the 2:1 mixing ratio is simple to handle. Now I'm pondering about using some water effect gel like Noch Wassereffekte or Woodland Scenics Water Effects to represent ripples and waves...

Thursday, 11 May 2017

River with resin water

During the last weeks I've been working on a couple of things: Some more Black Plague survivors, some tribesmen and Brits for Northwest Frontier and a nearly forgotten project of mine: A river.

Actually the realisation of the issue came together by chance. Somehow some pieces of MDF I acquires months ago fell into my hand just in time when peripatetic Mrs Monty spend a couple of days by the sea with those Janus-faced creatures yours truly calls his beloved daughters. However buoyant, joyful and frivolous as I was I collected my trustworthy jigsaw and decided to bring this long procrastinated project into being. A far reaching decision as you will discover later.

Initially things started easy. The MDF board was literally cut into shape in no time. The river banks were constructed of 10mm polystyrene, shaped with our Crème Brulée torch and covered with two layers of plaster bandage. A mix of sand, gravel, pine bark and PVA glue made it a reasonable structured riverside than :

Now I had to decide whether to target for blueish water or to emulate a muddy, brownish river. After some pondering and a series of two experiments I opted the dirtier version. In my humble opinion it looked more credible and it appeared more useful for my ongoing NWF and Congo projects:
After the embankment was humbly colored and planted yours truly had to decide how to recreate the river itself. Robert, a friend of mine and well-known contributor in the Lead Adventure Forum as 'Steam Flunky', designed a awesome 15mm with a river of resin running through it. Since I caught sight of this piece of art I was keen on creating a resin river myself. Thus I consulted a specialist dealer for epoxy resin and saturated polyester resin. The truly kind and helpful salesmen there suggested a two-component epoxy resin called 'Resinpal 2416'. Thus I ordered about three pounds of the stuff and prepared the piece for pouring:
From various online tutorials and Youtube videos I learned that sealing the mould is absolutely essential. Thus I created two clasp pieces for both ends of the terrain piece. They are made of a slat of wood, a strip of sponge rubber and a thin layer of plastic film. The idea was to create a piece which is able to carry pressure (wood), to cling to small irregularities and to provide a surface the resin would not stick to.

After that the resin was to be mixed. Fortunately this Resinpal 2416 needs a very comfortable ratio of 2:1 meaning two pieces of resin and one piece of hardener. Yours truly calculated 225g of material needed to cover the riverbed with 5mm implying 150g of resin and 75g of hardener. No problem with Mrs Monty's trustworthy kitchen scale.
Because I wanted a rather muddy river I added some - namely 15 - drops of Armypainter Quickshade 'Strong Tone' and produced a clear but brownish liquid. Then finally the moment of truth came and the resin was to be poured into the carefully prepared river bed. Please join my and be eye witness of the exiting moment:

video
Afterwards the most exhausting hours came. The resin had to set and to harden. How would the resin set? Would it really harden dry and non-sticky? Would it remain clear?

Questions over questions... Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Zombicide: Black Plague - Grom painted

Lately a friend of mine brought the newish CONAN board game to our club meeting and lead us into the world of Hyboria. This however brought an old love to life again. Although I've never been a true fan of Robert E. Howard's I wasn't able to escape from the very special vibes of the iconic 1982 movie. Anyway I had to channelise this inspiration and turned my attention to Zombicide: Black Plague again and digged out the survivor which is clearly inspired by the famous Cimmerian: Grom.
Grom was one of the characters that came as an Kickstarter exclusive additional buy. Together with his companion Thalia (an obvious interpretation of Red Sonja) he was available for $18 but now the duet it's listed for much higher prices on the secondary market.
The paintjob was pretty much straight forward. As you see our barbarian friend is hot blooded enough to go with the absolute minimum of clothing. Thus there was a lot of skin to paint and it was indeed a very interesting experience to work out his enviable muscles. The six skin tones of Wargames Foundry's excellent paint set were of invaluable help of course. For the other parts yours truly employed different shades of brownish colours.
The base is covered with the usual mix of sand and stones, painted greyish brown and drybrushed slightly. It will receive some pieces of clump foliage and static grass later but not before Grom is varnished. As usual I took the pictures before.

Well then... Next time our gaming group heads for smashing some zombie heads we'll have a sturdy companion. He looks pretty able to plough through hordes of undead.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Zombicide: Black Plague - Klom painted

From time to time I leave the fields of history and take a walk back to the realms of fantasy where my passion for miniature painting started ages ago. So it's very suitable that a fantasy game with excellent figures has become our favourite board game with friends: Zombicide: Black Plague.

Hence after having painted a couple of heroes last year to start with I turned my attention to a supplement with heroes based on artworks of Paul Bonner. It includes four characters of very different appearance: A dwarf, an ogre, a female sergeant and an inquisitor. Although I prepared all four of them the most impressive figure took my attention first:
Klom the Orge
Klom is a massive figure measuring 42mm in his stooping position. That means that all parts on this miniature are large enough to deserve a special share of attention. On the one hand that makes painting this fellow rather time consuming but on the other hand that delivers the chance to try out the limits of skill.
As usual I employed Wargames Foundry colours for the skin parts and a variety of Vallejo colours for the other parts. It was a great experience to work on the larger areas and try to work out the folds of Klom's gown. But the most exciting part was the face. It's significantly larger than at other 28mm miniatures and it's full of expression. The large scale granted me the chance to go much deeper into the facial traits and I'm really satisfied with the result.
As you see the base isn't finished yet but I couldn't wait to take pictures. I'll keep the base simple because Klom's chain unfortunately blocks the way of the brush.

Some great sources of inspiration for this project where the Zombicide web page which holds the character card and some background information about Klom (here). Besides that gifted Michael Awdry painted him last summer and created a wonderful interpretation of this crumpy fellow (here).

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Final Rush: 15mm T-72 for Team Yankee

Actually I thought that the boat would be my final entry for this painting challenge but then I regonised that only 30 points were missing to fulfill 500 points goal. Luckily I've been working on a couple of 15mm T-72 tanks during last week. I inserted a night shift yesterday and a final rush this afternoon. So here we go:

All ten T-72 tanks.
The models are plastic kits from Battlefront's Team Yankee range. They are pretty easy builds but nicely models on the table anyway. As usual I primed them and gave them a thin coat of the Sovjet greenish base colour.
Numbers one to four...
Then some ink (Armypainter 'Strong Tone') and a couple of different layers of drybrushing. After all I wanted a 'quick and dirty' technique because I'm afraid the the Sovjets will obtain much more reinforcements than my German Bundeswehr in which I but some more work for the three colour camouflage sheme.
... numbers five to eight...
After all I'm pretty satisfied with the result. I haven't applied decals yet because I'm not sure for which country to field them. I'm undecided between Red Army and East German Volksarmee though...
... and finally numbers nine and ten.
However that's my final entry for this year painting challenge then. It was great to join the bunch and I enjoyed the many tremendous entries a lot. Many thanks to all participants and especially to Curt for taking the efforts of organising the gathering again!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Rowing Boat with 13 men crew and 26 infantry passengers

Another humble contribution for our February show game in Hamburg was one of the rowing boats Perry Miniatures released last autumn. It a pretty piece sculpted by Alan Perry to represent a Napoleonic British rowing boat used for several landing operations during the campaigns in Flanders, Egypt, Denmark and Spain as well as in the whole Carribean area:


The boat itself is a two part resin kit with six rowing seamen attached already. In addition there's a supplemantary set of six further seaman and a coxswain giving it a crew of 13 Royal Navy seamen.





However the boats were meant to transport troops so troops were needed to man the 28mm equivalent as well. For this purpose Alan created two sets of sitting redcoats which fits perfectly on the boat's benches. One of the set comes with 18 soldiers joint to thress or fours while the other contains eight solitary figures to supply bow and stern with brave Brits. Altogether the boat has a complete 26 figure infantry unit in addition to the 13 men Navy crew!



Painting the boat was a rather unusual experience. The Navy figures were pretty much business as usual. Although seated the rowers were complete figure that I painted more or less like any other 28mm miniature. But the strung readcoats were a challenge. On the one hand the missing feet made the surface to paint smaller which should cause time saving. But on the other hands the details were much more difficult to reach causing loos of time. After all I presume painting these chaps caught sligtly less time then painting 18 standing figures.



The solitary figures of course went in the normal manner. Especially the officers are wonderful sculpts wearing the top hat which feeld iconic for the early campaign especially the campaign in Egypt. For that reason I decided to use the 'old' pre-1801 colours. It is doubtful whether the units at Aboukir carried these or whether they had received new colours with the Irish Saint Andrew's cross early enough. Since I wanted to use the wonderful colours by GMB again I opted for the oldish version since the newer (Peninsular) version is already bearing the battle honour for Egypt.









On our table we had three of these boats in addition to two further rowing boats by Britannia and a British gunboat I built from Laserdreamworks nice lasercut kit.


Unfortunately the boat itself isn't appropriate as an entry since I started working on it before the challenge started. During late summer last year I assembled and painted the hull but didn't manage to complete my work.


During challenge time I reworked the cabin, created the mast and painted three artillery pieces for it. At least the guns might find consideration here.


Well... That's it for now. Of course my share of the Curtgeld project which Michael A., Sander and I executed mutually is pending but this will be brought to your attention by our most appreciated fellow Michael. Yours truly is working on a couple (ten...) T-72 tanks in 15mm but they'll not be finished until our challenge time runs out.