Monthly Archives: January 2019

Ghost Archipelago ’19, Game 1: An Unexpected Excursion

Chris Palmer       This past Saturday we played the inaugural game of our 2019 Ghost Archipelago Campaign.  We had 8 of our 9 regular players in attendance.   Instead of doing a scenario we went with just a straight-up fight in order to give everyone a chance to test drive their new Heritors, Wardens, and Crews.   With 8 players, that put 4 Central Treasures into play, evenly spaced down the center of the 9.5’x3’ table.
      I decided to go with a Halfling Crew this time, as I’ve never run a Halfling group in Frostgrave or Ghost Archipelago before, so I thought it would be a nice change, and a chance to use some of my little-used figures.  Also, I was hoping their short height would help me with cover. 🙂 Along with my Halfling Heritor, Barley Gimblehill, there is a huge Human Beast Warden named Tork, two Half-Halfling (half Human) Archer brothers, a Halfling Scout and Crossbow-woman, as well as an assortment of scurvy Halfling Crew.
    I was terribly lucky with my set-up zone for this game, drawing chip #2, and getting second choice of location.  I went against conventional wisdom, and didn’t choose a corner spot, but instead went for the spot I thought had the best potential for snatch and grab treasures. 
     I also had gone against conventional wisdom in the stating of my Heritor, adding her free extra stat point to her Movement score, instead of the more usual Fight or Health choice  I hoped this, combined with her Wraithwalk Ability, would allow her to grab stuff quickly, and get back to safety quickly.   (As a note, we rolled for our Heritor abilities randomly at the end of final game of last year.  We rolled for 6 Abilities, and could discard our least favorite and choose which would be our primary.  I ended up with Backswing (primary), Wratihwalk, Spellshield, Leap, and Waterlung.)

A view of the table at the start of the game.

     When all the entry zones were chosen, I found myself situated with the Gnome Heritor, Gnomeo, and his Beast Warden, Juliet, across from me.  On my direct right was the Heritor Cassilda Blackmane, and her Earth Warden, Quartz.  On my left was Heritor, Barl of the Library, and his Storm Warden, Lorria. To my diagonal front right was the Heritor, Safar the Seafarer, and his Storm Warden, Willow of the Water.  To my diagonal front left was the Heritor, Ragnam Eichenherz; and his Beast Warden, Bengel.

Prologue

The young Halfling, Barley Gimblehill, nimbly padded through the thick jungle underbrush intent on the way before her.   As the Heritor’s large feet carried her forward, her mind wandered back to only a couple months before, when she had still been working as a serving girl at the Mindful Farmer tavern in Upper Willingunder, somewhat unawares of her true destiny.
     She had first heard the tales from her old Grandda as he sat in the shadow of his burrow, smoking his long pipe.  Tales of a distant Great-Great-Great Granda, who had been a cabin Halfling onboard a vessel that had discovered a magic fountain.  While Barley’s Grandda loved to tell of the feats of adventure and daring of his long distant relative, when the mood was right she could get the old man himself to show her a trick or two that he was capable of this many generations later.  She once saw him bend a metal bar clean in half, and another time he threw a large rock clear across his sunflower fields.    But these stunts were few and far between, especially in his later years, when they seemed to tire him out excessively.    For the most part he had been a simple farmer his entire life, any spirit of the distant adventurer long since gone from the simple old Halfling. 
      When Barley had grown up, she was surprised to discover that she also had developed a few special tricks of her own.  She could jump clear up to the roof of the Tavern where she worked from a standing still position,  and she could swim like a fish, unlike most of her friends.  On slow days at the tavern she would earn a few extra silvers by betting the patrons how long she could keep her head in a bucket of water without coming up for air. She always won.  But the tricks always made her arms and aches ache with a deep burn, so she didn’t do them often.
      Once, when an overbearing Human tavern patron had made unwanted advances towards her; backing her into a corner up agains the wall, she could have sworn that she actually passed straight through the wall of the great room, clear through into the kitchen.  But no one had seen her, the patron was too drunk to ever remember, and Barley never talked of it because it spooked her, and made her incredibly sore afterwards.  The Halfling barmaid merely thought of her gifts as novelties, like her Gandda’s; quirky traits passed on through her family, and never sought any particular power or wealth (other than her small wagers!) from them. 
    Unknown to the simple Halfling tavern girl though, thousands of miles away in the Southern Seas, a mysterious chain of islands had appeared in the misty ocean waters; the Ghost Archipelago.   And something awoke in Barley’s blood, and the sea began to call to her…

Barley Gimblehill and Tork

     The girl began to find any excuse to run errands to the town’s docks.  There she would linger, staring wistfully at the sails of the big ships, not quite knowing why.     It wasn’t long before Barley had almost absent-mindedly stuffed a pack with her belongings, gathered all her saved silver from under the loose stone in her bedroom wall in the tavern, and found herself on board one of the big ocean-going ships (she never quite remembered going on board), and signing on as a galley helper for their voyage to the South Seas.  The little Halfling’s heart thrilled at the thought of going to sea, and she wasn’t quite sure why.
     On board the  Siren’s Lament, Barley kept to herself; though she kept her eyes and ears open and picked up what she could about life on the open water.  She often spent long hours just sitting at the prow of the ship staring at the horizon.  It was there that she met Tork; a Beast Warden who also traveled south.  A massive outcropping of a man, Tork valued his privacy, but found the little Halfing tolerable company.  For her part Barley delighted at seeing the varied sea-life the Warden would call to the swim alongside the boat.
     Tork also told her all about the Ghost Archipelago and the Crystal Pool.  The big man wanted simply to explore the lonely islands, and see the strange creatures who lived there for himself; but being a Human he was well aware of Heritors and the powers they possessed.  And, as Barley told the quiet Human about her life in Upper Willingunder, it was the Warden to put the pieces together and told the Halfling the truth of her real nature as a Heritor.  Finally, the full extent of the strange things in her life, like her Grandda’s tricks and this uncharacteristic journey, all made full sense to the girl.
    Once on land at one of the many South Seas ports that neared the Archipelago, the pair stuck together out of familiarity, and pooling their coins saw about chartering a Captain and ship (They were lucky to find one, The Jolly Scallop, with a good number of Halflings in it’s crew.)   They also saw about hiring some worthy Specialists to join them on their search for the Crystal Pool.   Barley was partial to taking on the few Halfings she could find on these distant shores; and most were more than eager to sign up; having been passed over by the taller Heritors who had travelled through this port.  Tork was fine with all this, having no love for his fellow Humans; and having discovered he was much more comfortable in the company of the simple little folk.

The Crew is organized.

The Report
     And so the little Halfling Heritor, Barley Gimblehill, and her Warden, Tork, found themselves on  a strange island on the fringe of the Archipelago, hacking their way though the bush.  Barley keen on  finding some clue to the location of the magic pool that called to her.
     She had divided their little band into three groups. With her she had the Scout, Perkin Littlebump; the Crossbow-woman,  Lily Tomtinkim; and the Crewman, Corel Bink.  In the shadow of the towering Tork were the two archer brothers, Jikam and Billy Wizzit, as well as the crewman, Dink Smitter.  Bringing up the end of the column were the Crewman, Habby Wilkersnit, and Crew-woman Ginsink Damum.
     They reached a relative clearing about a mile from the beach and halted and spread out.  Barley surveyed the area.  Directly in front of them was a giant fallen tree, and beyond that some sort of ruined structure.  To her right was some sort of ancient stone idol, while directly in front was more jungle and the sound of gurgling water; seemingly a large stream of some sort.  Following the sound, the Heritor could tell the stream curved around to her left, where she could see more ruins just beyond it’s banks.  From his taller vantage, Tork reported seeing an apparent tar pit directly to their front as well; white bones of strange creatures sticking from it.
     Barley decided that she and her Scout, Perkin, would move forward quickly to scout the river along Lily the Crossbow -woman and Crewman Bink.  She suggested to Tork that he along with the two Archers, and  crewman Smitter,  go check the ruins on their right.
     On their way, Tork tossed a small packet to the Archer Billy Wizzit that contained a small amount of green goo wrapped in some waxed parchment.  The Warden said simply, “Put it on one of your arrows, it’s a poison.  (Casts Envenom.)  The pair paused behind the large fallen tree, and Billy drew an arrow, dipped the point carefully, and tossed the parchment that had contained it onto the ground.  He didn’t need to wait long to use it, as in the distance they herd a distinct chattering, and were surprised to see several Crewman Gnomes come into view  (Belonging to the Heritor Gnomeo’s Crew).   Quickly Billy drew his arrow and let it fly at the nearest Crewman.  It hit true, and the target dropped to he ground.  But the Gnome apparently wasn’t dead, as he stood up groggily and proceeded vomit the content of his stomach upon the jungle floor…the poison had done its work.    For his trouble, Billy tried to duck back as two arrows sliced towards him; one hit his shoulder and a second hit his head.  Luckily it struck at an angle, knocking him out, but just cutting a deep crease in his temple and not actually penetrating.  The Archer dropped to the ground, unmoving.   Meanwhile Jikam the Archer continued on along with Crewman Smitter to the ruin; which proved to be an old well house.
     Across the clearing, Barley and her group had advanced, and as they neared the patch of jungle near the stream, the Heritor had become aware of the approaching Gnome crew as well, and she hissed at the Scout behind her, "Quickly”!  As she spoke, dark clouds roiled up in the previously clear sky above and a grey shadow limited her vision.  (The Warden, Willow of the Water, cast Cloud Cover, sighting reduced to 16".) Crewman Bink huffed and puffed along behind them trying to keep up, and Lily Tomtinkim trailed even further behind, having paused at the stump of the giant fallen tree to ready her weapon.

Opening moves, as Barley and her command move towards the jungle in the upper left of the photo, and OTrk and his group move toward the ruined building on the mid-right of the photo.

     As Barley reached the edge of the jungle, she willed herself to pass through the dense growth more quickly; and with a familiar ache in her blood, the Heritor suddenly found herself passing through the very plants themselves as if she was a ghost.  (Uses Wraithwalk ability.)  The ever increasing magical gloom (14" Line of Sight now.) combined with the shade of the tall palms, made seeing her path an ever increasing challenge; and a few yards into the heavy brush and trees, she almost stumbled over an old half-rotted shield in the grass.  The Halfling then saw the shield was leaning partially against a long sword which had been thrust vertically into the ground.  Around its hilt was tied a small pouch. (The Central Treasure.)  Barley could see the weapon was of good quality since even though the shield was mostly lost to time, the sword still gleamed as if freshly polished.  Quickly she grabbed the weapon and the pouch.  It was hard to get a grip as the blade was almost as long as the Heritor was tall.  Perkin the Scout came up next to her, and she waved him forward to guard against the approaching Gnomes.  He didn’t get far before he called back desperately,“They’re here!”; and two arrows and a crossbow bolt sailed by within inches of Barley, somehow miraculously missing her.
   Then with a crashing and hacking of plants, 4 Gnomes burst upon them; two against Perkin, and two at Barley.  The brave little Halfling Heritor drew her sword, and readied herself.  As she did so, Crewman Bink finally caught up, coming up on her left.  Then out of nowhere, Lily the Crossbow Halfling came up on her right.
     Over by the well, Jikam now found himself the target of the Gnome Heritor, and the shaft went deeply into his thigh (-6 HP).  Tork, over by the log, cast Water of Life on the Archer, helping heal  the wound.   As the Warden worked his spell, Crewman Smitter scrabbled up over the side of the old well, and peered inside.  Seeing a glint of metal at the bottom, he scurried down the old rope, and found the remains of a small ancient chest, its contents of Gold Coins spilled out onto the well floor.  Quickly he scooped them up.
   Likewise, over on their left, Crew-woman Damum searched through the brush by the shell of a long-dead Soldier Crab, and happened upon a rather fine looking pair of boots, and a pouch of coins.  Remnants of the crabs last meal, she pondered? 

Clash in the jungle as the Gnomes attack.

     Back in the patch of jungle by the stream, as the cover of black clouds above completely filled the sky (Line of Sight now 12"),  Crewman Bink came up just as the first Gnome reached Barley.  With a quick thrust, he skewered the enemy Sailor with his sword, and sent him tumbling back out of the jungle. (Rolled 19 + 2 F +2 assist from Barley.)  Likewise, on the Halfling Heritor’s right, Lily, brandishing her dagger, gave the enemy a nasty gash, sending him staggering away clutching his wound. (15 + 2 F +2 assist from Barley.)   Quickly, the Halfling Heritor took up her treasure over he shoulder and dashed towards the far edge of the jungle,  While a short way away Perkin the Scout, dodged and feinted against his two opponents (denied to Fight) and tried to buy Barley some time.
       Over by the ruined well house, the Gnome Heritor fired at Jikam again, using his Trick Shot ability, this time dropping the Archer.    A little further out towards the river, Crewman Wickersnit ran into the sights of one of the Gnome Archers as the Halfling attempted to race out to retrieve a chest near the river.  A shaft in his leg brought him tumbling hard to the ground, where his head hit a fallen branch knocking him out cold.
       Tork the Warden, back by the giant fallen tree missed seeing these two crew members being brought down, as his attention was drawn back towards the direction from which they had come.  He had heard movement in the brush to their rear and, turning,  was amazed to see a pair of Erithereans appear.  The two large elephant-like creatures snuffed around a small area under a tall tree gathering up fallen fruits that lay under it, oblivious to the carnage all around them.  In all his days, Tork never thought he would see such a rare sight!
    But the Warden’s amazement was not to end, as on the trail of the Erithereans there appeared a large Soldier Crab.   Tork worried for the big gentle creatures searching for fruit, and quickly cast Control Animal on the Crab.  The spell worked, and the big Warden had the beast’s mind under his command.

One of the wandering Erithereans in the foreground as Tork, by the ruined well-house, waits for Crewman Smitter to gather the coins in the well.  And near the center left of the photo towards the top Crewman Wickersnit can be seen making a mad dash for the treasure chest by the river.

     Tork controlled the crustacean just in time, as nearby Crew-woman Damum called for help as a pair of Ghouls emerged from the brush near where she trotted with her treasure back towards the rendezvous point.  Deftly she drew her sword, and leaping up sliced the head clear off the first Ghoul. She then landed and quickly braced for the second one.  She only managed an awkward thrust at the second assailant, but it was enough to set it off balance and send it stumbling a few paces away.    That bought her the time she needed, and  as she dashed off into the tall grasses again, Tork’s Soldier Crab came up behind the second Ghoul, its large pincers snapping fiercely.   The Ghoul turned towards this new distraction and launched itself at the crab.  A quick snick-snack and the Controlled beast had almost severed the Ghouls in two (1 HP remaining).  It fell to the ground and continued as best it could to scrabble at the Crab.  In an instant the Soldier Crab had finished it off.
     Back in the jungle by the stream, the two Gnomes facing Perkin the Scout had had enough of his delaying tactics, and launched at him like tiny whirlwinds of fists and steel.  The lone Halfling didn’t stand a chance and was left pummeled on the jungle floor.  A short distance away, Lily the Crossbow-woman, free of her assailants now found herself the target of the Gnome Archers, and two shafts struck her bringing her down.  (1 HP left)  Weak and bleeding she tried to stand; and leaning from tree to tree made her way painfully from the jungle.  Only Crewman Bink was left unscathed and he bravely stood as a Gnome Crewman came at him.  He tried to use the delaying tactics the Scout had used (Denying to fight in his turn), but his opponent didn’t have time for games; and with a quick roundhouse across the chin with his free hand, put Corel Bink’s lights out like a candle in a gale.
    The two Specialists and Crewman had not sacrificed in vain however, as they had bought Barley the time she needed to break free of the jungle brush, and high-tail it back towards the meeting point with her treasure.
      Lily Tomtinkim staggered out of the jungle a few long lengths behind the Heritor.  From his vantage by the well, Tork saw her and cast Water of Life upon her Instantly she felt a bit stronger, but nowhere near fully healed.  Barley now paused, and turning back, called to the Crossbow-woman behind her, “Lily!  I’m sorry; but I need you to hold here, and buy me some more time!"  The heavy-set Crossbow-woman came to a stop, and hearing the order, signed resignedly, and bravely turned to face the jungle she had just left.  The Halfling Heritor turned away, and continued on with her awkward load.
   

Crew-woman Ginsink Damum is assaulted by two Ghouls; oh, so close to getting off the table!

     No sooner had Lily turned back to the jungle, then the bushes at the edge split with a shower of leaves, and a pursuing Gnome burst forth.  Heaving her weapon to her shoulder, the Crossbow-woman fired, but her aim was off.  So, she shouldered her weapon, and drawing her dagger, charged at her pursuer.  Tork could see the valiant little Halfling’s desperate move, and once again attempted to cast Water of Life, be in his hast he got the spell wrong, and he felt the magic begin to slip.  Pushing with his mind  to make the spell work, he willed the magic to work, and it did. (Pushed for -7 HP!)  The Crossbow-woman felt a slight surge of energy as she met her opponent.  Slashing at him, she cut a short gash in his arm, and he staggered back.  The Gnome paused, as behind Lily he could see Barley appear to simply disappear into a large area of brush in the distance (She Wraithwalks through the  patch of bushes and plants with the Crab Shell.)   The Gnomes could tell the pursuit of the Halfling Heritor was futile now.   
      Over by the Well, as Crewman Smitter made his way towards the rendezvous point with his Gold Coins recovered from the well, Tork rested  against a ledge of the ruined building for a moment to catch his breath.  He felt weak and exhausted after his magical exertion.    Nearby, one of the Gnome Archers noticed the hulking human standing still for a moment and saw his chance.  Letting an arrow fly, he hit the Warden square between his muscular shoulders sending him toppling forward into the ruin and then onto the ground.  A small cascade of stone and rotted wood fell down upon the Warden’s head and back.

Lily the Crossbow-woman (in red) bravely turns to hold off the Gnomes, as Barley runs with the Central Treasure.

     It was all but over now, the Gnomes could see in the cloud-induced gloom that pursuit would be useless, so they went in search of other possibilities.  The four Halflings who remained standing; Barley, the Crossbow-woman Lily, and from the Crew, Ginsink Damum and  Link Smitter, made their way to the boats, where they waited for the survivors to follow.  One by one the fallen hobbled back.
     Later that night, aboard the Jolly Scallop,  Barley and Tork sat at one of the tables in the galley and studied the day’s haul.  The Heritor had only a few scrapes and cuts from some of the sharper jungle plants, but the Warden’s torso, was wrapped in bandages which held a compress with a poultice  against the arrow wound in his back.  He had had a Close Call for sure, but luckily he was not carrying anything of importance.    The rest of the crew was mostly unscathed except for the Archer, Jikam, who had been Badly Injured by the Gnome’s second arrow and would need to spend a while resting aboard ship before he would be able to venture to an island again.
     Barley’s 2-handed sword proved to be of Superior Quality, and the purse with it held 30 Gold Coins (Rolled 14 +2 for Central Treasure =16) .  The Boots that Crew-woman Ginsink Damum had brought back proved to be Boots of Swimming, and the purse also contained 30 Gold Coins (Rolled 19); and lastly the coins Crewman Link Smitter had gathered from the well totaled 20. (Rolled a 1!)  Not a bad inventory for a first outing, the Halfling Heritor thought; but they were not one step closer to finding the Crystal Pool.  Yet, it still called to her  and she knew her search would continue.

A view of the other end of the table.

     Epilogue

     Well, it was nice to have a really successful game after the dismal luck I had with my Heritor, Lord Fortrywn, last year!   Though it’s too early to tell how things will go the rest of the campaign, it was a refreshing start; getting the Central Treasure and two other treasures in my sectors, and to top it off no one died.
    The gamble with adding my Heritor’s bonus stat point to her Movement really seemed to pay off when combined with my Wratihwalk ability.  It’s what allowed me to get my hands on the Central Treasure first, and then escape successfully.  It’s often overlooked, but speed certainly plays a roll in this game.
    It was an interesting game from a casualty aspect, as we all forgot just how fragile beginning Heritors can be. Surprisingly, 4 of the other players’ Heritors fell during the game.  Luckily, none of them died; though some of the other players did lose Specialists.
     Just out of curiosity I thought I’d record my initiative chip draws each turn of the game, as it always seems like I did poorly when it comes to initiative.  In the end, at least for this game, they seemed pretty balanced; T1- 7, T2- 6, T3- 2, T4- 6, T5- 1, T6- 8.  That is an average of 5 initiative out of 8 initiative chips, or just on the bad side of midway.  However I have to  say I got the two early initiatives when I really needed them most, which really helped; and the two really bad draws, the 7 and the 8, happened on the first turn (I- 7) when it actually benefited me as I could react to others’ movements, and on the last turn (I- 8)when the game was mostly concluded.
    I’m looking forward to the next game already!

Final rollcall. 

via One More Gaming Project http://onemoregamingproject.blogspot.com/2019/01/ghost-archipelago-19-game-1-unexpected.html
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Building a Panzer Army Africa Tank force for What a Tanker

Mark A. Morin

January has been a busy hobby month.  After I had built a significant number of 8th Army British tanks for What a Tanker© games set in WWII North Africa.  Subsequently,  I really needed to build out an opposing and suitably-sized group of Panzer Army Africa tanks and tank destroyers.  This post focuses on my January efforts on German forces.  I will augment these with Italian tanks and tank destroyers on my next project.

OVERVIEW

I finished a total of 17 tanks/tank destroyers this month.  These were all 15mm scale and from Battlefront Miniatures.  Thirteen of these were for North Africa, while four would augment my forces for my France 1940 scenario.  The largest single number were nine Panzer II variants.  I had purchased a box of five Panzer II’s previously, and built one for France 1940, but the box was short one tank guns.  Battlefront made good on this, and sent me another entire box of five tanks!  This allowed me to convert an extra British A10 gun I had lying around into one for a Panzer IIC.  It’s not perfect, but should work on the tabletop.  I also had a Panzer IVD from Battlefront, and discovered that it had two left tracks.   Battlefront has done right by me on that too, and replaced that entire tank as well.  I will probably take the extra Panzer IVD and make it into a wreck later on.  So this post will review these 17 tanks I built and painted:

  • 2 Panzerjager I’s (one for France 1940 and one for North Africa)(15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE100)
  • 3 Panzer IIC’s (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX108) for France 1940
  • 6 Panzer IIF’s (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX108) for North Africa
  • 2 Panzer IIIE’s (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE030) for North Africa
  • 1 Panzer IIIH (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE031) for North Africa
  • 1 Panzer IVF2 (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE042) for North Africa
  • 1 M3 Stuart “Honey” tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR006) –  one captured by the Germans for use in North Africa 
  • 1 Tiger I (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE070) for North Africa 

I will review each briefly, and give bigger shots in the eye candy section.  Of course, I list the paints and other materials I used at the end for those interested. And there were 61 decals!

PANZERJAGER I’S

Images that I used for modeling.

In the end, I chose a camouflage pattern for my Panzer Army Africa version similar to what you see on the Marder II image.

PANZER II’S

There were nine Panzer II’s!

I modeled my Panzer IIF on this image.

PANZER IIIE’S

I had two unpainted Panzer IIIE’s left over from France 1940. They were not easy to sue decals on – so that was minimal.

PANZER IIIH

Panzer IIIH assembled

After camouflage applied.

PANZER IVF2

After camouflage – Panzer IVF2.

I modeled this tank on this image.

CAPTURED GERMAN M3 STUART “HONEY”

The Germans did a good job of recovering all kinds of AFV’s in North Africa. This included enemy vehicles – so I decided that an M3 Stuart would be a good addition.

I saw this and had to give the Germans a little American-made steel.

TIGER I

The last tank that I will share here is the centerpiece of the collection – a true behemoth – the early Tiger I. I modeled this one on the famous #131, which was captured virtually intact by the British in 1943 in Tunisia. A lucky British AP round lodged in the Tiger’s turret ring, and its crew abandoned it. Today, it is the only functional Tiger I on the planet and is at the Bovington tank museum.

Assembly of this model was NOT easy. There were 21 pieces and no assembly instructions, which is amazing given that Battlefront has assembly instructions for much simpler models. I also had issues with getting the tracks to fit the hull as there were no slots for the detents on the metal tracks.

Turret close up after decals and crew added.

One of the three images I used to finish the model.

The second image showing the rear of the actual Tiger 1 #131.

The third image.

I wanted to install a radio aerial, but in the end I decided that it was impractical due to the size of the model and the likelihood of future damage. I also wanted to include this Tiger as my “centerpiece model” in the January monthly painting challenge that I participate in – run by Azazel (whose blog is well-worth following).

So now, its time for…

EYE CANDY!

Panzerjager I, right side

Panzerjager I, left side.

I completed two Panzerjager I’s – one obviously needs to get a paint job for North Africa!

Rear view showing the crews of this early tank destroyer.

The three Panzer IIC’s that will be for France 1940. The one on the far right has the converted gun.

The six Panzer IIF’s for North Africa.

Panzer IIF convoy.

Front close up of Panzer IIF.

The two Panzer IIIE’s.

Rear view of the Panzer IIIE’s.

Panzer IIIH, right side.

Panzer IIIH, left side.

Front view of Panzer IIIH, with nice view of DAK decal.

Panzer IVF2, right side.

And the Panzer IVF2, left side.

Front view of the Panzer IVF2.

Captured German Stuart “Honey”.

Other side of the German Stuart.

AND THE TIGER I!

Tiger I, left side.

Tiger I, right side.

Tiger I, rear view.

German motor pool! The 13 German tanks for Panzer Army Africa.
All 17 German tanks for January! Bigger motor pool!

This was a big project – and now on to the Italians (and my replacement Panzer IVD).

I thank you for looking and hope this was enjoyable for you. What tanks are your two favorites (I know the Tiger I will be a big favorite!). Please share your thoughts and any feedback in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THIS TANK GROUP:

  1. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  2. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  3. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  4. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  5. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  6. Secret Weapons Washes “Armor Wash” (wash)
  7. Battlefront “Panzer Gray”
  8. Vallejo Model Air “Base Grey”
  9. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “Green Brown”
  11. Vallejo Model Air “Green Brown”
  12. Vallejo Model Air “German Green Brown”
  13. Vallejo Model Air “Light”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Cam. Grey Green”
  15. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  16. Battlefront “Boot Brown”
  17. Battlefront “Dry Dust”
  18. Battlefront “Black”
  19. Battlefront “Oxide Red”
  20. Army Painter Quickshade “Light Tone” (wash)
  21. Battlefront “European Skin”
  22. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (shade)
  23. Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow”
  24. DecoArt “White Pearl”
  25. Army Painter Quickshade “Mid Brown” (wash)
  26. Army Painter Quickshade “Strong Tone” (wash)
  27. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  28. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  29. Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
  30. Battlefront “Rommel Shade” (shade)
  31. Battlefront “Bradley Shade” (shade)
  32. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (wash)
  33. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  34. Gorilla Glue
  35. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Gloss Varnish”
  36. Microscale Micro-Set
  37. Microscale Micro-Sol
  38. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  39. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  40. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  41. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish
  42. Aleene’s poster tack
  43. Sponges

Thanks for looking and for sharing your feedback!

ON MY RESEARCH MATERIALS

As for research materials, I used the same ones as I cited before – but for completeness here they are in case you are interested (you can find them on Amazon):

  • One by Jean Restayn:
    • WWII Tank Encyclopaedia, 1939-45
  • One by the Smithsonian/DK:
    • Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
  • One by Michael Green:
    • Axis Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War (Images of War)
  • One by Robert Jackson:
    • Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles Visual Encyclopedia

I would easily recommend all of these books as good resources for gamers and modelers.

from Mark A. Morin https://markamorin.com/2019/01/29/building-a-panzer-army-africa-tank-force-for-what-a-tanker/
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Lesser Stitch Golem #2: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

     This week I decided to finish up the Stitch Golem set from the Bones 3 Stoneskull Expansion, and painted the second of the two Lesser Stitch Golems.  You can find his brother here: Lesser Stitch Golem, and the big one here:  Gutrags.
     I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.   I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.

     I began by giving the figure a wash with Reaper MSP “Brown Liner”; and when that was dry, I started painting by doing the large square of fabric on his belly with Crafter’s Acrylic “Navy Blue”.  I then painted some of the textured sections of fabric with Americana “Antique White”, some textured section  with Folk Art “Butter Pecan”.

       Next, I tried to finish painting the textured fabric bits, using Folk Art “Barn Wood”, Americana “Mississippi Mud”.  and Americana “Sable Brown”

      I then worked on painting the smoother fabric; painting his head with Crafter’s Acrylic “Tutti Frutti”, and his “diaper” with Folk Art “Porcelain White”.  Next I painted parts of his arms with Americana “Forest Green”, and Ceramcoat “Denim Blue”.  After that, I painted the large square on hs back with Apple Barrel “Yellow”.

       Next, I painted the lettering and border on his belly to try and make it look like part of a flag, and then did some red polka dots on the “Yellow” square on his back.  After that, I painted the buttons an assortment of random colors I had around the table, and his claws and pattern tracer  with Americana Zinc.     Then, after everything had time to dry, I gave the entire figure a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash.

     After the wash was dry, I began highlighting by drybrushing all the brown/tan/beige colored cloth with the “Antique White”, and then did a lighter drybrushing with Americana “Bleached Sand”.   This was followed with highlighting his head  with Crafter’s Acrylic “Cherry Blossom Pink” and highlighting the flag cloth on his belly with some Americana “True Blue” and highlighted the letters with the base colors.  I also highlighted the polka dot section with some  Crafter’s Acrylic “Daffodil Yellow”, and the dots with Ceramcoat “Bright Red”.

      Next, I highlighted the green on the arms with Americana “Festive Green”, and then highlighted the “Rusty Red” sections with some Crafter’s Acrylic “Orange Spice”, and the blue section with Apple Barrel “Apple Scotch Blue”.  After that, I did the stitching, using both the “Bleached Sand”, and Ceramcoat “Black” in different spots.  I highlighted the buttons a variety of colors I had sitting around, and then painted the claws and needle with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”, and then highlighted them with Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”.
      Lastly, I painted the figure’s integral base with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate”.
     I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

      I’m really happy with how this last one turned out.  They were fun figures to paint.  And, to finish things off, here is a family photo of the completed trio from the Stoneskull Expansion.

      Also to note, since Reaper announced last week that there would be a slight delay in shipment of Bones 4, pushing it back one month to March; it looks like I’ll have more time to get more of Stoneskull completed. 🙂

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/01/lesser-stitch-golem-2-bones-3-figure.html
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January Activities

Rob Dean

We are pretty well settled in the new house, although I have not yet staged a miniature war-game there, not even a small one on the dining room table….soon.
However, there has been some painting done since the last post in September.  I have been working on Oathsworn Miniatures Burrows and Badgers figures, among other things.  My brother and I are planning on hosting some B&B goes at Gencon this year, and I am comfortably well along with the painting.  As a small war band skirmish game, each player needs about 5-6 figures, so the 16 I’ve finished so far represent three players’ worth of the six that we’ll need, and my brother has two, so this should be comfortable.
January painting
I also have been working on a few vintage figures this month, with the Archive wolves and wolf runner shown above (original catalog number 820) being the most unusual.  I’ve had these figures since they were new in the late 1970s, but got stalled on repainting them a couple of years ago.  I found them while stowing boxes on the new basement shelves and decided to finish them.

Back to the Ghost Archipelago

We started the club Ghost Archipelago campaign yesterday, and my freshly painted crew start off by losing two specialists permanently killed.  One hopes this isn’t a taste of things to come…

via The Sharp End of the Brush http://sharpbrush.blogspot.com/2019/01/we-are-pretty-well-settled-in-new-house.html
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Magnum P.I.

Buck

Magnum, TC, and the Ferrari.

I have been looking for a 1:48 scale Ferrari like the one in Magnum P.I. — the original series not the remade crap.  I found this one on eBay after years of searching.  It is 1:43, but close enough.  Then I needed a Magnum, T.C., and Rick.  I went to Crooked Dice to find a figure I could make into Thomas Magnum.

Crooked Nice men from the future.

I started with the figure on the left.  I figured mostly it would be paint conversion, but I had to add a collar to make a Hawaiian shirt.

Flamboyant Agent Heads

I started with the head on the right, but in person, it didn’t have enough hair.  (I have been watching old episodes of the show, so I know that Magnum has a lot of 80’s hair.)  With some green stuff, I added a little more hair and made the mustache a little bushier, which you can see in the top picture of this post.

Another view of Magnum and T.C.

I had a hand holding a .45 M-1911 from a box of Warlord U.S. Marines.  I hacked the right hand out of figure and added the hand holding the .45.  You can’t see it in these pictures, but T.C.’s shirt says “Island Hoppers.”   I figure just about any figure will pass as Rick, and I’m sure I have a suitable Higgins figure.

The Magnum faction will be added to the A-Team, Ghostbusters, and Scooby Doo factions in an upcoming wild and wooly To Be Continued… by GASLIGHT game, hopefully in time for Historicon 2019.

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Sarissa Precision Peel Tower

Buck

I started to build this peel tower for my border rievers games.  This was a nice kit.  I did a bunch of the painting before assembly, which was the right answer, but I think I could do a much better job if I was to build a second one.

Sarissa Precision peel tower.

All the doors open with tape hinges.

Another view.

A third view.

Bottom floor.

The next floor.

Third floor (in U.S.) or second floor (in the U.K.)

Top floor

I can’t wait to get this on the table!

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Vegypygmies: Bones 3 Figures

Chris Palmer

     I continued to work through the Bones 3 StoneSkull Expansion this past week, and painted the pair of Vegypygmies that came in that box.
     I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.   I then glued them to 7/8" black-primed fender washers with Aleene’s Tacky glue.  I then glued the figures to a  tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue each.

      I began by painting each entire figure with Americana “Avocado”, and then painted their cloths with  Americana “Forest Green”.   After that I painted their hair with Apple Barrel “Apple Black Green”.

     Next, I painted their spear shafts, and the back of the shield with Folk Art “Dapple Grey”, and the spear points with Americana “Zinc”. I then painted the face of the shield with Ceramcoat “Black”.   After everything had a while to dry, I gave each figure a complete coat with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash.

          When the wash was dry, I highlighted their bodies with  a drybrush of Aleene’s “Dusty Khaki”, and then painted their eyes with Americana “Margarita"with "Black” pupils.   I then used Americana “Festive Green” to highlight their cloths, and Folk Art Artist’s Pigment “Hauser Green Medium” to highlight their hair.  Next, I picked out the design on the shield with Crafter’s Acrylic “Citrus Green”, and then highlighted the spear shafts with Folk At “Grey Green”.  I then decided against painting the spear points a white metal (which I had intended), and go with a bronze look instead; so I first painted them with Folk Art Brushed Metal “Brushed Bronze”, and then did highlights with a bit of the “Brushed Bronze” mixed with Ceramcoat “14K Gold”.
     Lastly, I painted the figures integral bases with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate”.
     I let the figures dry overnight and the next day I gave them a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock their bases.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed them with Rustoleum “Matte Finish”, since I unfortunately ran out of Testor’s Dullcote" without having time to replace it.

     Well, I’m happy with the figures, but not thrilled with the Rustoleum “Matte Finish”.   I definitely think I’ll hit these with some Dullcote when I get a new can.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/01/vegypygmies-bones-3-figures.html
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Combat Patrol(TM) Commandos

Buck

Last night at our club night, Greg and I ran a commando game using Combat Patrol™.  We are trying to work up rules for sentries and commandos to put into a free supplement.  For purposes of this supplement, the attacker is referred to as “commando” regardless of nationality.  Bottom line: it worked okay for a first run, but we have some work to do.

This scenario involved British Commandos (Guts: E, Accuracy: E, Melee: 2, Endurance: 3, Reaction: 4) attacking a chateau in France to kill or capture a high-ranking officer.  The Germans (Guts: R, Accuracy: R, Melee: 1, Endurance: 3, Reaction: 3) had two teams (5 figures each) that were in fixed positions, three on roving patrols, and two pairs of sentries in fixed positions.  The Commandos were in six, two-figure teams.  This gave them maximum flexibility, but also made it difficult, when the fur began to fly, to mass fires.  The Commandos also had three “Where’s my card?” counters that they could play if the reshuffle card came up before either card of a given number was drawn from the Activation Deck.  Greg played the Germans and worked off of a small board, so the game was “double blind.”

I let the Commandos enter anywhere they wanted on one of the short table edges.  They had to kill or capture the high-ranking officer and exit off the other short table edge.  The table was roughly five feet by three feet.  I used the spotting rules and night rules from the FREE optional rules supplement.

The driving mechanic of the Commando games is the notion of an alert level (AL), which started and 1 and could go up or down based on different events.  The table was divided into a 3×5 grid.  When the AL reached certain thresholds, the Germans were allowed to take different actions.  For instance, when the AL reached 5, the sentries were allowed to be more active.  At 10, the fixed German units were released to move toward “sounds.”  At 15, the Germans could begin to fire.  At 20, the German reinforcements would arrive.  On the drive home, I also thought that at 30, the Germans could kill the prisoner.  These thresholds are set before the game, but they can be different from game to game.

If Commandos and Germans were in adjacent zones, the AL increased by 1.  If they were in the same zone, the AL increased by 2.  Until the AL reached 10, the Commandos used a modification to the normal melee procedure.  The Commandos couldn’t apply the HtH modifier for their weapon unless they decided to fire during the melee, which would increase the AL.  If the Commandos lost a hand-to-hand, the German player drew a card from the Action Deck to determine if the Commando was wounded or incapacitated like normal.  In either case, the AL increased by 1.  If the Commando won the melee, he too drew card from the Action Deck to determine the result.  If the German was incapacitated, the AL remained the same.  If the German was wounded, he was incapacitated anyway, but the AL increased by 1.  Also, if the hand-to-hand occurred within sight of another German who wasn’t incapacitated during the same activation, the AL increased by 1.  The first three times that small arms fire occurred, regardless of who fired, the AL increased by 2.  In subsequent activations, if the Commandos fired their weapons, the AL increased by 1.

To encourage the Commandos to exercise some stealth, on turns in which none of the Commandos were spotted, the AL decreased by 1.  There was a point after the first German patrol was killed that the Commandos might have concealed themselves back into the woods, but they unluckily ran into a patch of woods occupied by a fixed German unit.  So, instead of decreasing the AL, a melee occurred, which eventually drove the AL to a level that allowed the Germans to begin shooting.  After this point, the German combat power continued to increase as more and more units arrived and more shooting occurred.  Eventually, the AL got high enough that a nearby Pz. 38(t)  arrived on the scene.

A high point for the Commandos came when the 38(t) moved into the courtyard of the chateau.  One of Duncan’s Commandos was caught in the open.  This is the one we dubbed “Mac the Knife” from all the Germans he had incapacitated in hand-to-hand combat.   All of the Commandos was equipped with a satchel charge.  Mac the Knife assaulted the tank, got a penetrating hit, and brewed up the tank.  This of course increased the AL but was a major morale boost for the Commando players who were watching their forces get attritted.  The smoke from the burning tank also provided some concealment for the Commandos from the Germans in the upper rooms of the chateau.

We played a few more turns, but the Commandos just didn’t have enough men left to even get to the high-ranking officer.  The Germans began the game with 30 figures and ended with 10.  The Commandos began the game with 12 figures and ended with 2.  This was a first play test of a scenario that has so much randomness that it is probably impossible to completely balance, but this particular instance hinged on the Commandos unluckily running into the German patrol early on turn 2.  If the patrol had moved in the opposite direction, if the Commandos had chosen a different entry point, or if the Germans had failed to spot, the Commandos might have slipped past, and the game might have been lopsided in their favor.  The AL mechanic seems to work.  The Commandos had a good time, despite being defeated.

While Commandos were dying in France, Zeb Cook was running a Finland Winter War 1939 game on the other table.  Below are some pictures.  From the whooping and hollering, the game seemed to be a lot of fun, and I really like the look of his table.

from Buck’s Blog http://bucksurdu.com/blog/?p=8393

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WWII Americans in Greatcoats

Buck

I have been painting a bunch of figures in greatcoats lately.  First, they are relatively easy to paint.  Second, they look a little different that other figures on the table.  So I finished two squads of infantry.  The nice this about the Artisan figures is that they come in full squad packs.

One of two squads of infantry I finished. After taking these pictures I put small patches of snow on the bases of one squad and small rocks on the other to distinguish them from the squad I completed some weeks ago. This makes it easier for players to find their squads when the figures get mixed up during a game.

Two bazooka a teams and a machine-gun team from Crusader.

The platoon headquarters with a Konflikt 47 Mudskipper.

For Christmas, a buddy gave me the Konflikt 47 Mudskpper kit from Warlord.  It was fun to assemble and will enable me to run a few “weird war” games.  I’ll bet the Americans wished they had one of these on New Years Even when they were facing the space aliens!

A dwarf with a portable catapult.

When I am painting a batch of like figures, I usually put a handful of random figures on the table at the same time.  Sometimes I just use them as a place to apply leftover paint on the pallets.  This time I had this dwarf and the Lara Croft looking figure on the table, so I finished them at the same time.

Lara Croft, I guess.

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Gutrags, Stitch Golem: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

   This past week I painted Gutrags, Stitch Golem from the Bones 3 Stoneskull Exxpansion.    I think I’m going to try and complete the Stoneskull Expansion box before Bones 4 arrives.  We’ll see how that goes… 😄
      I painted one of the other Bones 4 Stitch Golems back in October of last year: Lesser Stitch Golem. So I had had then blog entry to guide me in painting this bigger one.
      I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.   I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1.5" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.

  I began by giving the figure a wash with Reaper MSP “Brown Liner”; and when that was dry, I started painting by doing the large square of fabric on his belly with Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”.  I then painted some of the textured sections of fabric with Americana “Antique White”, some textured section  with Folk Art “Butter Pecan”, and others with “Sable Brown”

        Next, I tried to finish painting the textured fabric bits, using Folk Art “Barn Wood”, and then Americana “Mississippi Mud”.  I then painted his head with Reaper MSP “Hearth Fire”, sections of his arms and legs with Reaper MSP HD “Rusty Red”.  I also used some Reaper MSP “Christmas Wreath”, and Anita’s “Violet” to help finish the remaining fabric sections.

      I painted the small patch on his back with Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey, as well as one other small section of fabric I found.  I then painted a tartan pattern on the fabric sections i had painted "Christmas Wreath”, and a little blue flower pattern on the large “Lemon Chiffon” square on his belly.  After that, I painted the buttons an assortment of random colors I had around the table, his claws and needle with Americana Zinc, and his open mouth and belly rip with Ceramcoat “Black”.

          Then, after everything had time to dry, I gave the entire figure a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash.    After the wash was dry, I began highlighting by drybrushing all the brown/tan/beige colored cloth with the “Antique White”, and then did a lighter drybrushing with Americana “Bleached Sand”.   This was followed with highlighting his head with Crafter’s Acrylic “Bright Yellow”.

     Next, I highlighted the flower pattern cloth, as well as some of the lines on the Tartan sections with a little of the “Lemon Chiffon”.  I also highlighted the Tartan sections with some Crafter’s Acrylic “Holiday Green”, and then highlighted the “Rusty Red” sections with some Crafter’s Acrylic “Orange Spice”, and the “Violet” sections with Apple Barrel “Apple Lavender”.  After that, I did the stitching, using both the “Bleached Sand”, and the “Black” in different spots.  I highlighted the buttons a variety of colors I had sitting around, and then painted the claws and needle with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”, and then highlighted them with Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”.
      Lastly, I painted the figure’s integral base with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate”.
     I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

     Well, I’m really pleased with how this fellow came out. I had a fun with all the different fabrics.  I’m looking forward to getting the third (and last) of these Stitch Golems painted up, and then I’ll post a picture of the trio.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/01/gutrags-stitch-golem-bones-3-figure.html
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