Monthly Archives: January 2020

French Armor for the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of France: AMC 35 Cavalry Tanks; Char D2, R40, FT17 Infantry Tanks; and Panhard 178 Armored Cars

Mark A. Morin

This upcoming May-June will mark the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of France.  The world was never the same afterwards.  It was a cataclysmic defeat of the French Army – and there were many causes of it.  Some key ones were that the leadership of the French Army believed that the lessons of WWI taught them that the key to victory was to fight a “methodical battle” with every aspect of the fighting and deployment of firepower tightly controlled from higher headquarters.  By contrast, the German Army leadership preached the need of subordinates to act in accordance with the “commander’s intent”, and to take initiative down to the platoon level.  French officers were taught to stay at their command posts and manage the battlefield at the highest level.  German officers lead from the front, and made battlefield decisions in real time and exploited opportunities.  Importantly, French losses in WWI curtailed the birthing and hence the availability of men of military age in 1940.  German demographics managed to overcome their Great War losses and had plenty of available young men.  The Germans also taught the world the value and use of the tank, armored forces, and especially combined arms – and were the first to do so.  Thankfully, Great Britain is an island and that fact, plus the RAF, preserved the chance to defeat Hitler and save civilization.

Certainly, there are many, many other contributing causes to the crushing French defeat – far too many to review here – and I list several books later in this post that are what I consider must-reads for those wanting to understand this complex history.  I also list good resources on the tanks and armored cars as well of course for the gamer and modeler that I have found useful.  Understanding the Battle of France is not a simple case of one thinking that the Germans were destined to defeat the inferior French, or that the French were worthy of disdain on multiple levels.

Too often, I have found many of my countrymen (and others) dismissive of the French and the French Army based on the defeat of 1940.  To understand the whole picture, one must go much deeper.  My thoughts go to those killed in 1940 defending their country.  Also, I consider the 1.8 million soldiers of the French Army of 1940 who survived this humiliating defeat, and were sent as POW’s to Germany after the Armistice until 1945 as unwilling laborers.  Because of the Armistice agreement with Germany, their POW status would not change until the war was over.  They returned to a France that not only was devastated physically, but one who lionized the Resistance (rightly) and blamed France’s initial loss on them.  Hence, I doubt there will be much commemoration of this seminal battle by either the French or the Germans.

The true blame for the French defeat should be on the generals and the politicians of the Third Republic.  The French Army leadership failed to develop a proper fighting doctrine and failed to train the French Army in the 1930’s to win a war in 1940.  The politicians failed to ensure that France equipped and fielded a professional army to win a war in 1940.  Did some individual French soldiers perform miserably?  Absolutely – but that is true of every army in every conflict.  As the French politicians supported a policy of national mobilization (levée en masse) instead of a professional army as espoused by some (like Charles de Gaulle did in his book Vers l’armée de métier).  In essence, what occurred was that a well-trained and largely professional German army trounced a poorly-trained French one.  Ironically, the French had more tanks than the Germans, and some were better, but they were employed ineffectively.

Speaking of equipment, and of course tanks, this post concerns mostly just that.  This wraps up my build of French armor for the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of France.  I started building my French armor in November 2018 (SOMUA S35’s and Renault R35’s here), then adding to it last month with some FCM 36’s (here), and some Hotchkiss H35 and H39’s (here).  I already had two pre-painted Char B1 bis tanks, so I needed to add some more variety – as I will be doing next for the Germans as well.

My goal is to have a proper variety of historically available vehicles that saw combat in 1940 for my What a Tanker© games that I run at conventions and club meetings.  To round out my forces I added 9 vehicles: 3 cavalry tanks (3 AMC 35’s); 3 infantry tanks (1 Renault R40, 1 Renault Char D2, and 1 FT17); and 3 armored cars (3 Panhard 178’s).  These models here are all 100% metal.  I’ll discuss each type briefly, and share how I built and painted the models.

I’ll also share some eye-candy on the completed models, and the materials that I used to paint them.  As a quick aside, I had run low on my Battlefront paints.  As a replacement a paint set I found (on eBay) was a Hataka French Early War Armor set.  It looks to be out of production, hence my eBay acquisition.  Hataka sounds like it might be a Japanese company, but it’s actually a Polish one.  I had wanted proper colors, and while I did like the colors I used here, this was a difficult paint set to thin, especially in my airbrush.  There was definitely a learning curve.

I ended up using a 0.5 mm needle – and close to 30 psi in my airbrush.  Each bottle was 17 ml, and had an internal mixer of some type in them that you could hear when shaking them.  The colors were great for French vehicles of 1940, but they took some getting used with both the airbrush and the standard brush.

Now, let’s discuss the vehicles!

AMC 35

The AMC 35 was a medium cavalry tank.  It was also known as the Renault ACG-1.  It had a good 47 mm gun, and was the first French tank with a two-man turret.  It’s maximum speed approached 26 mph, due in part to a 180 hp engine, but also due its having less weight due to less than great armor at 25 mm thick.  Only 100 of these were built.  Thirteen were sold to the Belgians, and none were in any French units until after the crucial German breakthrough at Sedan on May 15, 1940.  After that point, all reserve materiel was sent to fight.  Therefore the crews would have had virtually no training on these tanks prior to combat, and training is indispensable.  Compounding the issue of training, mechanically, the tanks were not overly reliable (though that is a common issue with French tanks of that era).  Captured vehicles were only used by the Germans for driver training.  One vehicle survives today that was recovered from a ravine and restored.

The models came from Old Glory, (come in packets of three) and were in pretty good shape.  Some minor filing was needed to prep the models.

The Hataka paint was a bit thick, leaving a visible (almost raised) border next to my masking with poster tack.  For the first time, I decided to line the paint borders by hand.  I was a bit apprehensive, but I think it worked fine for the tabletop.

6 AMC 35 camo liningMy first try at hand-lining the camouflage colors.7 AMC 35 camo after brownI then added browns and tried to smooth out overly thick lines by filling in with the green and yellow next to the black lines.8 AMC 35's completedThe AMC 35’s on my workbench with the image that I blew up and used as a guide (from B.T. White’s 1972 book with illustrations by John Wood – see citation in references below).

R40

The Renault R40 was an infantry tank, an improved version of the R35.  Officially, it was just a variant of the R35 called Char léger modèle 1935 R modifié 1939.  It had a longer 37mm gun with the ability to penetrate up to 40 mm of armor.  The suspension was improved over the R35, and it looked very different than the original.    Delays caused it to not be fielded except to the last two French Army tank battalions and to the Polish 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade (which fought in France after the defeat of Poland).  One major improvement was the inclusion of radios.  Captured R35 and R40 vehicles were extensively used and converted to other uses by the Germans.  None survive today.

The model came from QRF and was in reasonably good shape and needed little filing.  It was also very reasonably priced.  As this was a rare vehicle, having to buy only 1 was a plus.  Painting was easy as there were neither any decals nor camouflage painting needed due to their being hurried to the front in 1940.

1 R40 unassembledNice easy 4 pieces2 R40 chassis awaiting weatheringThe chassis – I magnetized the hull and the turret for ease of play.3 completed with guideCompleted R40.

Char D2

The Char D2 was a medium infantry tank, also built by Renault.  It was an interim design, a heavier and improved version of the Char D1, and it was supposed to bridge the gap until the Char B series could be built in sufficient numbers.  However, the production of the Char B1 bis never attained the needed levels.  Thus it served on the front lines – notably under Charles de Gaulle – and in some of the best tank battalions in the French Army.  It had a 47 mm gun, and 40 mm of armor, and like the R35, radios.  After the fall of France, the Germans took off some D2 turrets and mounted them on armored trains in the Balkans.  Only 100 were built, and none survived the war.

The model came from QRF as well.  It was a bulky one, and needed a good bit of filing as there were a few dings and heavy mold lines.  Still, at the price and needing to only buy one, it worked for me.

4 QRF Char D2 base coatGetting the Char D2 base coated – you can see some dings on the side and top that were not amenable to filing.5 QRF Char D2 early camoEarly work on the camouflage scheme on the chassis.6 QRF Char D2 early camo turretEarly work on the camouflage scheme on the turret.  I did similar painting work to what I did with the AMC 35’s.7 Completed Char D2With the picture from Jean Restayn’s great book that I used as a guide.  I considered painting the white circles under the diamond but decided not to as I thought this worked as is.

FT17

This WWI survivor was one I added to my force just because there were 504 FT17’s still serving in seven front-line tank battalions in 1939 – not counting over a hundred vehicles in French colonies.  The FT17 infantry tank had the same 37 mm gun as many other French contemporaries like the R35, H35, and FCM 36.  Armor was enough to stop small arms at best (maximum was 22 mm).  Against the Wehrmacht, they were pretty ineffective.  Many survive as over 3,000 were made by the French, and almost 1,000 under licence in the US (see below for one of those 35 miles from my house).

The model came from Peter Pig and was sold as a single.  That worked for me, as I did not want a lot of these in the game.  It was in good shape.

7 WWI FT17The FT-17 (American-made version) at the American Heritage Museum.6 FT-17 getting decalsMy FT 17 chassis after adding a roundel decal but before applying weathering effects.7 completed with guideMy FT17 model with the Restayn page I used as a painting guide.

Panhard 178

The Panhard 178  (nicknamed the “Pan-Pan) was a superb 4×4 armored car for its day.  It equipped French cavalry and infantry division reconnaissance units in 1940.  It ended up being used by the Germans extensively after the Fall of France, and indeed was used after the war by the French until the 1960’s.  It also equipped other forces, especially former French colonies.  It had a good two-man turret, and its 25 mm gun could penetrate up to 50 mm of armor.  It also was reasonably fast, and could do 26 mph off-road and almost 45 mph on the road.  An assistant driver had controls in the vehicle’s rear allowing for fast reverse if needed.  Protection was good for an armored car (20 mm armor in places), but as a recon vehicle its job was not taking on enemy tanks.  Over 1,100 were built, and many survive today..

I plan to use them in my games as recon vehicles similar to what I did with my Normandy Breakout! scenario.  They will be able to hide better than a tank, and I will be assigning them extra bonus attack cards from a French-specific deck.  Likely I will make cards for French artillery, infantry, and anti-tank support, but no air support (the Germans’ recon will appropriately get that!).

Here I got one Panhard 178 model from Peter Pig and two models from QRF.  The Peter Pig model had a sleeve for the turret to fit into the chassis.  I just added a magnet in the inside top to attract one of my blast markers if needed.  The QRF models I magnetized as I usually do.  The Peter Pig model is much more detailed.  The QRF models were pretty disappointing and I needed to sculpt gun replacements for both (see below).  The QRF models needed a lot of filing too.  In the end, I think I made all three effectively for tabletop play – you of course can be the judge!

2 QRF Panhards need new gunsThe guns on the Panhard 178 models from QRF were in need of “stiffening”.  You can also see the mold lines here too.5 QRF gun repairsHere, the guns on the two left Panhard 178 (QRF) turrets have been replaced with paper clip wire placed into drill holes.  I added green stuff to recreate the shape of the main gun that you see on the Peter Pig turret on the right.6 all three Panhard 178's assembledThe three Panhard 178’s after assembly with the new guns on the outer models.7 primed comparison of Panhard detailAfter priming – a comparison of the detail on the Peter Pig model on the left and the QRF model on the right.8 Panhard turrets base coatedPanhard 178 turrets after base coating with the Hataka paint.8 PP Panhard chassis base coatedThe Peter Pig model chassis showing the sleeve well for the turret.9 all three base coatedAll three models base coated.10 Panhards masked for camoMasking for camouflage paint application.11 Panhards getting decalsThe three after decals and varnish.  Each turret got a different number for ease of play.12 completed with guideMy Peter Pig Panhard 178 in front of an image of the one at the Musée des Blindés in France that I used as a painting guide.

Eye Candy

Now, please enjoy some close ups of the completed vehicle models against a backdrop of the French countryside!

AMC 35:

R40:

Char D2:

FT17:

Panhard 178:

Lastly, as these French models are far less known than say a later-war Sherman or a Tiger I  – here are some size comparisons with a Char D2 and an AMC 35:

A Side Note on Photography

I try to make my posts visually appealing.  My camera is an iPhone 7.  I tried to use a technique offered by Per on his excellent blog Roll a One and use my computer monitor screen as a backdrop.  While I really appreciated the suggestion, the lighting for me did not work and I got shine on the screen as shown below.  Also, my cows were monster-size (though adequately-sized targets for my French tanks!)!

After seeing a post by Ted Salonich showing a photo booth for miniatures on a local hobby store’s (Great Stories) Facebook page, I was inspired to try my spray booth as a photo booth – and it worked quite well.  I printed off the backdrop shot onto a piece of card stock, and using PowerPoint made a ground piece to match the connecting ground.  I did this by making a new slide and cutting and pasting matching the grass background from the original backdrop slide. I started the fan and the backdrop image was sucked against the filter –  and I was able to mount the booth floor with poster tack.

1 AMC with computer screenToo much shine, not level, and man, look at the size of those cows!2 Crazed D2 picSometimes I got the “crazing” of the screen with the monitor.3 shadowsShadows and scale posed problems for me.4 New photo set up!

This (above) was my last solution – and I used this for my eye-candy shots you saw above.  I like it a lot – your thoughts?

Below is a shot taken in the spray booth.

10 All AMC 35's

Storage and Transport

The storage and transport of miniatures to games is an issue.  I have zero intention of having my models damaged or destroyed in transit.  I use a 4-liter Really Useful Box, and cut a 2″ foam piece from Home Depot to fit snugly in the box.  I cut up and lined the bottom with a similarly-sized piece of thin foam from Michael’s.  Then I mock up sizes of the tanks with card stock and trace them onto the foam.  I also take a photo to remember what tank goes where.  Using a new and very sharp Exacto knife, I carefully remove the openings by cutting as vertically as possible.  I start by patiently removing pieces from the middle and continue moving outward in a circle.  I then affix the card stock pieces to the bottom of the hole openings with tape to mark the locations of the tanks.  I thought I’d share this as it may help others.   

1 Box planThe mock up.2 Box executedMy French Armor force in its new home.

References

Throughout this project I have used many of the books that I have as references – here are some I have used and strongly recommend.  I do not get paid by anyone to recommend these, but I am sharing the links if you want to get them.  I did study with BG Robert Doughty at West Point over 35 years ago – and he did give me my copy of the B.T. White book in 1984 – that I still have and used many times.  There are certainly other books, but these I recommend.  I will be using these in my next phase with my German tank additions.

For history of the conflict I recommend buying:

Doughty, Robert A. (1985). The Seeds of Disaster: the development of French Army Doctrine 1919-1939. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole books. (available at Amazon here)

Doughty, Robert A. (1990). The Breaking Point: Sedan and the Fall of France, 1940. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole books.  (available at Amazon here)

Horne, Alistair. (1969, 1990). To Lose a Battle: France 1940. London: Penguin books. (available at Amazon here)

For modelers and gamers interested in the vehicles’ look and history:

Forty, G. and Livesey, J. (2017). The World Encyclopedia of Tanks & Armoured Fighting Vehicles.  London: Lorenz Books. (available at Amazon here)

Jackson, R. (2009). Tanks and  Armored Fighting Vehicles Visual Encyclopedia in color.  London: Amber Books. (available at Amazon here)

Restayn, Jean. (2007). World War II Tank Encyclopedia in color 1939-1945.  Paris: HISTOIRE & COLLECTIONS. (available at Amazon here)

Smithsonian Enterprises. (2017). Tank: the Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles.  New York, NY: Penguin Random House. (available at Amazon here)

White, B.T. (1972). Tanks and other A.F.V.s of the Blitzkrieg Era 1939 to 1941.  Dorset: Blandford Press. (available at Amazon here)

Zaloga, S. (2014). French Tanks of World War II (1): Infantry and Battle Tanks. New York, NY: Osprey.  (available at Amazon here)

Zaloga, S. (2014). French Tanks of World War II (2): Cavalry Tanks and AFVs. New York, NY: Osprey.  (available at Amazon here)

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE VEHICLES:

  1. Microscale Liquid Decal Film (except R40)
  2. 1/8″ neodymium magnets
  3. Green stuff (kneadatite)
  4. Gorilla Glue
  5. Poster tack and ¼” square wooden dowels on plastic plates
  6. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  7. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  8. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  9. Vallejo “Surface Primer – USA Olive Drab”
  10. Vallejo “Black Grey”
  11. Hataka “Jaune d’ochre” (only on AMC 35’s, Char D2, and FT17)
  12. Hataka “Vert foncé”
  13. Hataka “Terre d’ombre” (only on AMC 35’s and Panhard 178’s)
  14. Hataka “Gris vert” (only on FT17)
  15. Battlefront “Oxide Red” (only on R40 and FT17)
  16. Citadel “Typhus Corrosion” (only on R40 and FT17)
  17. Army Painter “Military Shader” (shade)
  18. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  19. Vallejo Model Air “Gloss Varnish” (except R40)
  20. Vallejo Model Air “Satin Varnish” (except R40)
  21. Microscale Micro-Set (except R40)
  22. Microscale Micro-Sol (except R40)
  23. Appropriate decals from Battlefront (except R40)
  24. Vallejo Weathering Effects “European Thick Mud”
  25. Vallejo Weathering Effects “European Splash Mud”
  26. Vallejo Weathering Effects “Crushed Grass”
  27. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”

Thanks for looking – please let me know your thoughts and feedback!

from Mark A. Morin https://markamorin.com/2020/01/22/french-armor-for-the-80th-anniversary-of-the-battle-of-france-amc-35-cavalry-tanks-char-d2-r40-ft17-infantry-tanks-and-panhard-178-armored-cars/
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Dreadmere Mercenary: Bones 4 Dreadmere Figure with Citadel Contrast Paint

Chris Palmer

   This past week I painted one of the Dreadmere Mercenary figures from the Bones 4 Dreadmere Expansion.  For Christmas, a friend gave me a set of the new Citadel Contrast Paints, and I thought this figure with its plain and simple outfit would be a good one to try them out on. 
     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 brown-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.

     It was my understanding that the Contrast Paint worked best over a primer coat, so I began by painting the figure with Ceramcoat “White”.

     When the figure was dry, I painted the face and hands with Citadel Contrast “Guilliman Flesh”. I then painted his pants with Citadel Contrast “Aggaros Dunes” and his tunic with  Citadel Contrast “Creed Camo”.

     Next,  I painted his coat with  Citadel Contrast “Basilicanum Grey”, and his boots and belt with  Citadel Contrast “Wyldwood”.  After that, I painted his pouch with  Citadel Contrast ‘Snakebite Leather", and the scabbard on his back with Citadel Contrast “Talassar Blue”.

     I then painted his hair with Citadel Contrast “Skeleton Horde”.  After that I did some work with my regular paints, painting the scabbard belt in his hand with Americana “Light Cinnamon”, and the grip of the sword with Americana “Asphaltum”.  I also painted the metal fittings on the sword and scabbard with Americana “Zinc”.

     Next, I painted his eyes, and then painted the buckles, clasps on his tunic and metal fittings on the sword and scabbard, all with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”.  I then put a little Citadel Agrax Earthshade" wash on the scabbard belt, and after that I highlighted the metal bits with some Citadel “Mitrhril SIlver”.   Lastly, I painted his base with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.
         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”.

     Hmmm…   I think it’s okay, but I am not immediately won over.   I find the results to be splotchy and lacking the true, defined, shadows and highlights that my usual; painted base coat, dark wash, and painted highlights, method gives.  And maybe it’s the colors I had to work with, but the figure looks tonally all the same mid range; I don’t get a real sense of light and dark colors.
     That all being said, I think the figure came out looking perfectly serviceable as a gaming figure. And I want to experiment more with the Contrast Paint on different things like terrain and monsters.
     I will also say, that simultaneously with this figure, I was also using these paints on some mass-unit based figures,  and I think this is where these paints may shine.  The figures below were all Contrast Paint except the blue jackets, red facings, and the metal bits, and I think here is where this paint might find their purpose.  They made painting this assembly-line type of figure really easy to do; and grouped together on bases like this, where your eyes see the unit and not the individual, I think the paints really work to give a good fast and easy result.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2020/01/dreadmere-mercenary-bones-4-dreadmere.html
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Serena, Dreadmere Rogue: Bones 4 Dreadmere Figure

Chris Palmer

   This past week I painted Serena, Dreadmere Rogue, from the Bones 4 Dreadmere Expansion.   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 painting her face with Reaper MSP “Olive Skin”, and then painted her arms and legs with Reaper MSP “Coal Black”.  After that I painted her cape and hood with Accent “Midnight Blue”.

     Next, I painted her tabard, gloves, and the blades of her weapons with Americana “Zinc”.  I then painted her boots, belt, pouch, and the grips of her weapons with Ceramcoat “Black”.  After that, I painted the little bags on her belt with Americana “Charcoal Grey”, and then did some borders on her tabard with Reaper MSP “Fresh Blood”.   I then did the rock she has her left foot on with Americana “Neutral Grey”, and splotched it with a little Folk Art “Dapple Gray”.

      I finished the base coating by painting the weapon blades with Folk Art  Metallics “Gunmetal Grey.  Then, after everything had a while to dry, I gave her face a coat of Citadel "Reikland Fleshshade” wash.  When that was dry, I gave the rest of the figure a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” Wash".  When the washes were dry, I painted her eyes, and then highlighted her face with Reaper MSP “Olive Highlight”.

     Next, I highlighted her sleeves and legs with Citadel “The Fang”, and highlighted her tabard and gloves with a mix of the base “Zinc” and some Americana “Grey Sky”.  I then highlighted her cape with Americana “Wedgewood Blue”, and highlighted the borders on her tabard with Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”.

I finished up the highlights by doing her boots, belt, pouch, and grips with Folk Art “Medium Grey”, and then the little bags on her belt with Americana “Mississippi Mud”. I then highlighted her blades with Citadel “Mithril Silver”.  Lastly, I painted the entire base with the “Mississippi Mud”.
         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 this one.  The face and eyes, being mostly covered, were a challenge; but in the end I think they turned out ok.

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Early War Americans

Buck

Some months ago, I posted that I was having trouble finding early WWII Americans for Wake Island and the Philippines. Several of us then commissioned Steve Barber to sculpt some. You can see some of the results here: https://www.stevebarbermodels.com/store/-c38002555

I ordered several squads of these figures, but due to a movement of my household from Maryland to Florida, I haven’t had a chance to paint them yet. Steve sent me an Email yesterday with the latest release in this line: the BAR gunner.

I really like the look of these figures. They match closely with the Pulp Figures I have and will allow much more variety. Well done, Steve!

I will post pictures of the painted figures when I have a chance to pull them from the to-be-painted box to the work table. Then you will see pictures of these in some early war Philippine scenarios using Combat Patrol™: WWII.

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Sophie the Sage Christmas Ornament Project: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

     Happy New Year everyone!  Sorry for the brief hiatus, but the holidays turned out to be crazy busy.  Anyway, I’m back at it now, and wanted to show off a project I did over the month of December: a Christmas ornament based on the Sophie the Sage figure from the Bones 3 Core Set.
     I had actually started planning this project in the Fall of 2018, but events overtook my time, and it never moved past the planning and thinking stage, as well as purchasing the ornament I wanted to use.  This year however I was determined to get it done in time for Christmas to give as a gift to my wife, who is an avid reader and book enthusiast.
      My plan was to make a scene of a wizard reading in her chamber, with books, etc. piled around the place.  I started with the Sophie figure and a circular plaster dungeon terrain piece I had.  I had assembled the figure without the wings, as I wanted the figure to just be a human, and not a succubus.

      I quickly realized I’d need some walls for a backdrop; which I constructed out of cork scraps, and added some window frames made from coffee stirrers.  I then cut the figure off her base, and drilled a hole in the bottom of her gown, and a corresponding hole into the plaster disc.  Next, I superglued a length of paperclip wire into the figure.  After that, I used some greenstuff to fill the slot in her back where the wings were supposed to go.

I framed up the walls using more bits of coffee stirrers and some balsa wood.   When I was satisfied, I glued it to the plaster base with Aleene’s Tacky glue.

      I had of course washed the figure  before I had started assembly; 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.  And I had used Gorilla Superglue Gel to assemble the two parts.   It was now time to begin the painting.

      I began by painting her skin with Reaper MSP “Tanned Skin”, and her dress with Reaper MSP “Christmas Wreath”.  I then painted her staff with Americana “Light Cinnamon”, and the book cover with Pathfinder MSP “Urgathoa Red”

      Next, I painted her hair with Americana “Asphaltum, and her belt and pouches with Accent "Real Umber”.  After that, I painted the book pages with Americana “Bleached Sand”, and the top of her staff with Crafter’s Acrylic “Wild Green”.

     I then painted the wands in her wand case an assortment of browns, and the book mark with some Crafter’s Acrylic “Daffodil Yellow”.  After that, I painted her jewelry and the corners of the book with Folk Art “Brushed Metal "Brushed Bronze”, and then let the figure dry for a while.  When I resumed working on the figure, I gave her skin a coat of Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash; and when that was dry, I gave her book, pouches and staff a coat of “Citadel Agrax Earthsahde” wash.

  

     When the washes were dry, I painted her eyes and mouth, and then highlighted her skin with Reaper MSP “Tanned Highlight”.  I then highlighted her hair with Americana “Sable Brown”, and Americana “Fawn”. After that, I highlighted her dress using first Apple Barrel “Apple Christmas Green”, and then Americana “Festive Green”.

     Interspersed with working on the figure, I had primed the walls and base with Krylon Grey Primer, and when dry, I drybrushed the stones with Americana “Neutral Grey”, and then painted the walls with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.

     I finished painting the figure, highlighting the pouches with Nicole’s “Brown”, and the staff with Americana “Khaki Tan”.  I also highlighted the book cover with Americana “Burgundy Wine”, and the bookmark with the base “Daffodil Yellow”.  After that, I highlighted the book pages with Americana “Snow White’, and then painted text on them with Reaper MSP "Holly Berry”, and Ceramcoat “Black”.    I highlighted her jewelry and the corners of the book with Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”, and then painted the top of her staff with a mix of Folk Art Color Shift “Green Flash”, and Folk Art Color Shift “Emerald Flash”.    I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish. 
    I then quickly painted up the pile of books, bottle, and goblet that came with the model, as well as a small stack of books from the Wizkids Wizards Room set.  In addition, I painted up a pair of cats that came with a Dark Sword figure (I forget the name), to look like our two cats.   After drying overnight, these all got their coat of the “DuraClear Matte” varnish as well. 
    I completed the base by painting the wood work on the walls with Americana “Charcoal Grey”, and adding a small rug cut from an old tobacco flannel.   The final step was to plot out an arrangement I liked, and then glue it all down.

    Once everything was glued into place, I glued the base into the ornament bottom cap using E6000 glue, and when dry, screwed on the ornament dome.

     I’m really happy with how it all turned out, and my wife loved her unique gift.

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2019 Hobby, Gaming, and Blogging Roundup

Mark A. Morin

2019 was a bigger year for this blog and my gaming and hobby activities.  I was able to run several games of Combat Patrol

™

  and What a Tanker© at HAVOC, BARRAGE, the Fort Devens Games Day, The Historical Gaming Club of Uxbridge, and monthly sessions of the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club.  I managed to get an award at HAVOC – and attend HUZZAH for the first time in Maine.  It was a busy gaming year.  

Always happy to get this type of recognition!

In support of all these activities, of course I had a number of projects in terms of assembling, painting, and creating. I documented these here. Being an analytical type of guy I kept a spreadsheet of my hobby activities (below) and listed them on a page of this blog with links (also below).

My hobby activities tracker

The entire list and links are at the end of this blog which will refer to each project. These links are very useful to me in reviewing previous projects as to what paints I used, what techniques, etc.

The building and painting of tanks and support materials made up the largest part of my 775 project activities in 2019 (106 tanks I believe – 43 German, 23 UK, 18 US, 15 Italian, and 7 French), and the remainder were models for retro sci-fi games (around 50 or so).

The blog itself grew by a lot, and I was very pleased about that. In 2019, there were 20,965 views (versus 13,743 in 2018) by 13,819 visitors (versus 8,295 in 2018). I managed to get in 36 posts, 3 more than in 2018. I must say a huge thanks to all of my readers and followers of my blog!  I especially appreciate all of you (and you know who you are) – who took the time to give me feedback – it was great to hear all of your perspectives. THANK YOU!

So what’s next for 2020? My goals are always changeable (hell, its a hobby right), but here is my current list:

  • Games:
    • Run convention games at TotalCon, HAVOC, HUZZAH, BARRAGE, and the Fort Devens Game Day (and a few more maybe)
    • Grow the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club with new members and new GM’s
    • Support the Historical Gaming Club of Uxbridge 
  • Models:
    • Build a suitable force of French and German tanks for the Battle of France scenario for 80th anniversary of this event
    • Build 2 or more new platoons for retro sci-fi games of Combat Patrol
    • Start the Nomonhan project
  • Other:
    • Complete a supplement for Feudal Patrol for Mesoamerican warfare (Aztecs, etc)
    • Be productive, but never sacrifice quality
    • Grow the blog and find new ones to follow!
    • Entertain my audience!
  • Golf:
    • Get my handicap below 14 (if I have enough non-gaming time!)

Thanks again for reading this and making my little hobby blog a part of your day!  Here are the massive details of 2019 below:

2019 Total Miniatures & Projects to Date: 775

  • 153 figures painted
  • 57 figures cast
  • 86 figures assembled
  • 28 terrain pieces made or assembled
  • 36 terrain pieces painted
  • 1 figure conversion
  • 2 creation or component sculpted or scratch-built
  • 2 molds made
  • 410 game pieces/game aids made and/or painted

January: 52 projects

  • Figures painted (26):
    • 9 British tanks painted for What a Tanker© in North Africa:
      • 2 A10 Cruiser Mark IIA (Desert) tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR023)
      • 1 A13 Cruiser Mark IVA (Desert) tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR026)
      • 1 Valentine II tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR060)
      • 1 Valentine III tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR061)
      • 1 Crusader II tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR032)
      • 1 Crusader III tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR034)
      • 1 M3 Grant tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR100)
      • 1 Churchill II tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR070)
    • 17 German tanks/tank destroyers painted for What a Tanker© in North Africa and France 1940:
      • 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” tanks (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
  • Figures assembled (10):
    • 10 German tanks/tank destroyers assembled:
      • 2 Panzerjager I’s (one for France 1940 and one for North Africa)(15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE100)
      • 5 Panzer IIC’s and F’s (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX108) 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 Tiger I (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE070) for North Africa
  • Game pieces/game aids made or painted (16):
    • 16 dashboards built for What a Tanker© games

February: 71 projects

  • Figures painted (13):
    • 12 Italian tanks/tank destroyers painted for What a Tanker© in North Africa
      • 1 M14/41 tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#IT040) for North Africa
      • 4 Semovente 47/32 tank destroyers (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#IT101) for North Africa
      • 1 Semovente Carro Comando M41 75/18 tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#IT110) for North Africa
      • 1 Semovente 5/18 tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#IT111) for North Africa
      • 3 M13/40 tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Wargame Models in Ohio for North Africa (repainted)
      • 2 L6/40 tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Wargame Models in Ohio for North Africa (repainted)
    • 1 German tank painted for What a Tanker© in North Africa
      • 1 Panzer IVD (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE040) for North Africa
  • Figures assembled (8):
  • Terrain pieces made or assembled (5):
    • 1 German Panzer IVD tank wreck made for North Africa as a terrain piece using a defective tank (15mm/1:100 scale) from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE040) 
    • 4 smoke/blast markers made
  • Terrain pieces painted (5):
    • 4 smoke/blast markers painted
    • 1 German Panzer IVD tank wreck made for North Africa as a terrain piece using a defective tank (15mm/1:100 scale) from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE040) 
  • Game pieces/game aids made or painted (40):

March: 138 projects

  • Figures painted (5):
  • Figures assembled (5):
    •  3 Italian tanks/tank destroyers assembled for What a Tanker© in North Africa
      • 3 M11/39
  • Terrain pieces made or assembled (19):
      • 8 ITC Terrain Series Damaged Urban Barricades assembled
      • 11 smoke/blast markers made
  • Terrain pieces painted (23):
    • 4 berms painted for use with my Wasteland mat
    • 8 ITC Terrain Series Damaged Urban Barricades painted
    • 11 smoke/blast markers painted
  • Game pieces/game aids made or painted (86):
    • 22 dashboards built for What a Tanker© games
    • 64 “Bonus Attack Cards” built for What a Tanker© games
      • 18 Infantry Assault Cards
      • 12 Combat Engineer Cards
      • 12 Artillery Support Cards
      • 12 Anti-Tank Gun Support Cards
      • 12 Air Support Cards

April: 16 projects

  • Figures assembled (16):
    •  11 German tanks/tank destroyers assembled for What a Tanker© in Normandy and the Eastern Front
      • 1 Marder III tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE104) for Normandy
      • 1 Panzer IVE tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE041) for Normandy
      • 5 Panzer IVH tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX121)  (2 for Normandy, 3 for the Eastern Front)
      • 1 Panzer IVF2 tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE042)  for the Eastern Front
      • 1 Panther tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE060) for Normandy
      • 2 Tiger I tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX107)  (1 for Normandy, 1 for the Eastern Front)
    • 3 American tanks/tank destroyers assembled for What a Tanker© in Normandy 
      • 1 M3A1 Stuart tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#US003) for Normandy
      • 1 M4A2 Sherman tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#US045) for Normandy
      • 1 M10 Wolverine tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#US102) for Normandy
    • 2 American tanks/tank destroyers assembled for What a Tanker© in the ETO
      • 2 M24 Chaffee light tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from some guy on eBay (magnetized turrets and cleaned up model)

May: 25 projects

  • Figures painted (22):
    • 3 American tanks/tank destroyers painted for What a Tanker© in Normandy 
      • 1 M3A1 Stuart tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#US003) for Normandy
      • 1 M4A2 Sherman tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#US045) for Normandy
      • 1 M10 Wolverine tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#US102) for Normandy
    • 2 American tanks/tank destroyers painted for What a Tanker© in the ETO
      • 2 M24 Chaffee light tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from some guy on eBay
    • 17 German tanks/tank destroyers painted for What a Tanker© in Normandy and the Eastern Front
      • 1 Marder III tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE104) for Normandy
      • 1 Panzer IVE tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE041) for Normandy
      • 5 Panzer IVH tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX121)  (2 for Normandy, 3 for the Eastern Front)
      • 1 Panzer IVF2 tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE042)  for the Eastern Front
      • 1 Panther tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE060) for Normandy
      • 2 Tiger I tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX107)  (1 for Normandy, 1 for the Eastern Front)
      • 1 Elefant/Ferdinand tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE132) for Normandy
  • Terrain pieces painted (3):
    • 3 fields painted

June: 190 projects

  • Figures painted (14):
    • 8 German tanks/tank destroyers/armored cars painted for What a Tanker© in Europe and North Africa 
      • 5 German armored cars painted for What a Tanker© in Europe and North Africa
        • 3 SdKfz 231 (15mm/1:100 scale), from The Plastic Soldier Company (#WW2V15031), 2 for North Africa, 1 for Normandy
        • 2 SdKfz 233 (15mm/1:100 scale), from The Plastic Soldier Company (#WW2V15031), both for Normandy
      • 1 Jagdpanther tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), Zveda model – (#Z106) bought from The Plastic Soldier Company
      • 1 Jagdtiger tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), Zveda model – (#Z105) bought from The Plastic Soldier Company
      • 1 Tiger II (King Tiger) tank (15mm/1:100 scale), Zveda model – (#Z101) bought from The Plastic Soldier Company
    • 3 American armored cars painted for What a Tanker© in Europe
    • 3 British armored cars painted for What a Tanker© in Europe
  • Figures assembled (14):
    • 5 German armored cars assembled for What a Tanker©
      • 2 SdKfz 231 (15mm/1:100 scale), from The Plastic Soldier Company (#WW2V15031)
      • 3 SdKfz 233 (15mm/1:100 scale), from The Plastic Soldier Company (#WW2V15031)
    • 3 German tanks/tank destroyers assembled for What a Tanker©
      • 1 Jagdpanther tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), Zveda model – (#Z106) bought from The Plastic Soldier Company
      • 1 Jagdtiger tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), Zveda model – (#Z105) bought from The Plastic Soldier Company
      • 1 Tiger II (King Tiger) tank (15mm/1:100 scale), Zveda model – (#Z101) bought from The Plastic Soldier Company
    • 3 American armored cars painted for What a Tanker© in Europe
      • 3 M8 Greyhound armored cars (15mm/1:100 scale), Old Glory/Command Decision (#CD207) bought from Old Glory Miniatures
    • 3 British armored cars painted for What a Tanker© in Europe
      • 3 Daimler Dingo (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR310)
  • Game pieces/game aids made or painted (162):

July: 28 projects

  • Figures painted (9):
    • 9 British tanks/tank destroyers painted for What a Tanker© in Normandy campaign/ETO
      • 1 Cromwell Mark IV Cruiser tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR041)
      • 5 Cromwell Mark IV Cruiser tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BBX31)
      • 2 M10 Achilles tank destroyers (15mm/1:100 scale), from Old Glory Miniatures (#CD-111)
      • 1 Churchill IV heavy infantry tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR074)
  • Figures assembled (16):
    • 9 British tanks/tank destroyers assembled for What a Tanker© in Normandy campaign/ETO
      • 1 Cromwell Mark IV Cruiser tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR041)
      • 5 Cromwell Mark IV Cruiser tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BBX31)
      • 2 M10 Achilles tank destroyers (15mm/1:100 scale), from Old Glory Miniatures (#CD-111)
      • 1 Churchill IV heavy infantry tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR074)
    • 7 American tanks/tank destroyers assembled for What a Tanker© in Normandy campaign/ETO
      • 5 M4A1 Sherman tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BBX42) – British Shermans to be used as Americans
      • 1 M10 Wolverine tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Old Glory Miniatures (#CD-111) – Achilles with US gun to be used as an M10 Wolverine
      • 1 M36 Hellcat tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#US106)
  • 1 terrain piece painted
  • 1 figure converted
    • 1 M10 Wolverine tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Old Glory Miniatures (#CD-111) – Achilles with US gun converted as an M10 Wolverine
  • 1 creations or components sculpted or scratch-built

August: 49 projects

  • Figures painted (7):
    • 7 American tanks/tank destroyers painted for What a Tanker© in Normandy campaign/ETO
      • 5 M4A1 Sherman tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BBX42) – British Shermans to be used as Americans
      • 1 M10 Wolverine tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Old Glory Miniatures (#CD-111) – Achilles with US gun to be used as an M10 Wolverine
      • 1 M36 Hellcat tank destroyer (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#US106)
  • Game pieces/game aids made or painted (40):
    • 40 tank destroyed/blast markers made for What a Tanker© games
      • 20 brewed up tank burning markers
      • 20 knocked out/disabled tank smoke markers
  • Molds made (2)

September: 72 projects

October: 23 projects

  • Figures painted (5):
    • 5 classic movie monsters painted for Halloween diorama piece
      • 1 Ral Partha 25mm “Dracula” (#01-014) from the “Personalities and Things that Go Bump in the Night” line, circa 1976.
      • 1 Ral Partha 25mm “The Mummy” (#01-020) from the “Personalities and Things that Go Bump in the Night” line, circa 1976.
      • 1 Ral Partha 25mm “Were Wolf” (#01-061) from the “Personalities and Things that Go Bump in the Night” line, circa 1979.
      • 1 Ral Partha 25mm “Werewolf” (#98-003) from the “The Adventurers” line, circa 1979.
      • 1 Ral Partha 25mm “Frankenstein’s Monster” (#98-003) from the “The Adventurers” line, circa 1979.
  • Terrain pieces painted (4):
    • 4 slag mounds on old CD’s.
  • Creations or components sculpted or scratch-built (1):
    • 1 Halloween Diorama
  • Game pieces/game aids made or painted (13):
    • 11 casualty cards made for “THE MIND AND THE MACRON”
    • 2 unit data cards made for Combat Patrol
      ™

November: 7 projects

  • Figures assembled (7):
    • 3 French tanks assembled for What a Tanker© in France 1940
      • 3 FCM 36 tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Old Glory Miniatures (#CD-608)
    • 4 figures for my Retrovian Platoon
      • 3 “The Bra’sheer” three-legged Retrovian vehicles, 28mm scale, from Wargames Supply Dump Miniatures Dirk Garrison line (#DG-07)
      • 1 “Garkkon” monster, 28mm scale, from Wargames Supply Dump Miniatures Dirk Garrison line (#DG-11)

December: 104 projects

  • Figures painted (41):
    • 7 French tanks painted for What a Tanker© for France 1940
    • 34 figures for my Retrovian Platoon
      • 3 “The Bra’sheer” three-legged Retrovian vehicles, 28mm scale, from Wargames Supply Dump Miniatures Dirk Garrison line (#DG-07)
      • 1 “Garkkon” monster, 28mm scale, from Wargames Supply Dump Miniatures Dirk Garrison line (#DG-11)
      • 2 “Retrovian Captain” figures, 28mm scale, from Wargames Supply Dump Miniatures Dirk Garrison line (#DG-50)
      • 3 “Retrovian Trooper Aiming Blaster” figures, 28mm scale, from Wargames Supply Dump Miniatures Dirk Garrison line (#DG-54)
      • 15 “Retrovian Trooper Advancing with Blaster” figures, 28mm scale, from Wargames Supply Dump Miniatures Dirk Garrison line (#DG-55)
      • 4 “Retrovian Sniper with Vision Enhancer & Needle Blaster” figures, 28mm scale, from Wargames Supply Dump Miniatures Dirk Garrison line (#DG-56)
      • 6 “Retrovian Two Man Sonic Cannon Team” figures (6 figures total), 28mm scale, from Wargames Supply Dump Miniatures Dirk Garrison line (#DG-58)
  • Figures assembled (10):
    • 10 French tanks/armored cars assembled for What a Tanker© in France 1940
      • 1 Hotchkiss H35 tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront (#FR020)
      • 2 Hotchkiss H39 tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront (#FR020)
      • 1 Hotchkiss H39 tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Peter Pig (#PP33)
      • 3 AMC 35 tanks (15mm/1:100 scale), from Old Glory (#CD606)
      • 1 Char D1/D2 tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from QRF (#FFV10)
      • 1 FT-17 tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Peter Pig (#PP252)
      • 1 Panhard 178 armored car (15mm/1:100 scale), from Peter Pig (#PP25)
  • Game pieces/game aids made or painted (53):
    • 7 dashboards built for French 1940 tanks in What a Tanker© games
      • 3 FCM 36 dashboards
      • 1 H35 dashboard
      • 3 H39 dashboards
    • 6 unit data cards made for my Retrovians use in Combat Patrol
      ™

      retro sci-fi games

    • 3 vehicle data cards made for my Retrovians use in Combat Patrol
      ™

      retro sci-fi games

    • 3 vehicle data cards updated for my Mark 1 Sphere tanks use in Combat Patrol
      ™

       retro sci-fi games

    • 34 casualty cards made for my Retrovians use in Combat Patrol
      ™

       retro sci-fi games

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New Year’s Eve Combat Patrol(TM) and Wars of Ozz

Buck

As we have been doing every year since 2009, the Harford Area Weekly Kreigspeilers converged on my house for a New Year’s Eve gaming evening, culminating in the wishing each other a happy new year at midnight. This year we played two games. The first was a science fiction game using Combat Patrol™. As we are in the middle of a move from Maryland to Florida, much of my hobby stuff is already in Florida. I tried to be careful about what I took down and what I kept in Maryland for New Year’s Eve, but in some cases I had taken things to Florida, like the Albedo Combat Patrol ™ units and Eureka toy soldiers that were needed for our games, so we had to adapt.

Science Fiction Attack/Defense

Our first scenario featured Combat Patrol™ WWII, which works very well for science fiction games as well.

Long shot of the table.

The (mostly) human side was attacking from the right side of the table shown in the above picture. They had a full platoon of hardened soldiers, an extra weapon squad, some light tanks, a large squad of space ducks led by Duck Wader, and a reinforced squad of Colonial Marines. Their objective was to capture three supply caches. One was in the walled town in the foreground, one was near the tower in the center of the table, and one was in the walled town at the far edge of the table.

A view of one walled town with a cache of supplies. This town was defended by an ad hoc force of mercenaries (who can be seen on the far two buildings) and a team of space Dwarfs (who can be seen on the near wall).

The attackers had enough forces to attack this town, but it was a hard-fought battle the entire game.

Patrick and Geoff took it in the shorts most of the game.

The attackers had overwhelming numbers to attack the town on their right flank, between the Colonial Marines (Woodbine), space ducks (Archive), and other forces. Geoff and Patrick got slapped around quite a bit, but they were able to blunt the attack and delay the attackers long enough that they were unable to roll up the defenders’ flank.

These are some of the attackers, early in the scenario, from left to right, Tom, Duncan, Eric (standing), Kurt, and Chris.
A view of the defenders’ center with the tower and supplies on the left and one of the walled villages on the right.
The insect men began the game near the water facility. During the game, they tried to turn the attackers’ left flank.
Geoff apparently on the horns of a dilemma.
The heavy infantry (Pig Iron) were supposed by three APCs and a support APC with a tank turret. The Drantakh hover tank (Badger) took TWO shots at the attacking tank but missed both times. Eventually the attacking tank got off a shot and knocked out the Drantakh tank.

On the attackers’ left, they advanced with two squads of infantry and a heavy weapon squad to attack the walled village, but the defenders were rushing reinforcements forward to assist.

Another view of the defenders’ center.
Another view of the tank duel between the Drantakh and the attackers. Note that the attackers were supported by a squad of terminators (in white).
A confused situation with a Drantakh tank (defenders), Drantakh infantry, a mobile engineer demolition gun (defenders), and a half squad of space ducks fighting for position in the center of the battlefield.
Toward the middle of the game, a LARC (Sally 4th) entered the table full of a squad of space worms. Note the close quarters fight between the Colonial Marines and the Drantakh infantry in the woods.

In one turn, we had SIX vehicles blown up, most from shoulder-fired weapons.

The defenders move up an armored car with a ray gun to support their infantry defending their left-most supply cache.
Darth Wader (Archive) leads the ducks forward.
The LARC conducts a vertical envelopment of the walled town.
In this picture you can see that the heavily armored special assault ducks used their jet packs to “bounce” into the town and seize the supplies.
The defenders’ armored car (foreground) has been destroyed, but the fight continues.
The ducks take advantage of bomb craters to advance across the open field.
Advancing Drantakh counter attack supported by the demolition gun.
In this picture you can see all the reinforcements that have been rushed to the village on the defenders’ right.
Space bugs! Dave’s lone squad automatic rifleman held off the bugs for several turns.
A long shot of the table late in the game. You can see that the attackers have gotten to the walls. In the next turn, the attackers climbed over the walls and began chucking grenades into the courtyard.
Another, slightly different, view of the table. The fighting was intense, but despite the facial expressions, these guys were having a lot of fun.

The game was very fun. The defenders were defeated on their left, losing one of their supply caches. On the defenders’ right, they were able to hold onto the village by throwing in Venusian giants, space centaurs, and robot troopers to bolster the ad hoc defenders and space dwarfs. The attackers never really threatened the defenders center. I called the game a defenders’ victory.

Everyone seemed to have a good time, but after four hours of playing we called the game a defenders’ victory and set up the second game for the night.

Wars of Ozz

Both people who read this blog will know that I have been developing a set of rules, called Wars of Ozz, to go along with a new line of figures to be released by Blue Moon. While we don’t have all the figures yet, we have been using ersatz figures for rules development. Traditionally Chris runs a Santa-themed game using GASLIGHT, but this year we wanted to try it with the Wars of Ozz rules. When we reset the game, in the interest of time, we elected to leave the green cloth on the table instead of pulling everything off and putting down the white cloth.

Setting up the game.

I asked several players to bring 12-point armies. You can see in this picture a lot of War of 1812 figures pressed into service as Quadlings.

The game in mid action.

The game involved five attackers (on the right) with Munchkins, Gillikins, and Santa’s troopers attacking to seize three hills across the table. There wasn’t a lot of finesse to the scenario as we didn’t know what armies we would have, how many players we would have, or how long we would have until midnight.

We were able to play about 6 turns before midnight, paused briefly for a glass of champaign, and then 2 more turns after midnight before everyone went their own ways. After three or four turns, I was mostly relegated to answering the occasional question and making game master adjudication decisions. Most of the players had never played Wars of Ozz before, but they caught on quickly. Toward the end, one of the players who is often critical said he liked the rules and would be interesting in playing them again.

Happy New Year!

We had a very good time. With the upcoming move, I was on the fence about whether this was going to be just one commitment too many this season. I’m glad we hosted the event, and I think all the HAWKs had a good time in the basement, while HAWKs gaming widows sat upstairs in the kitchen drinking wine and husband bashing.

from Buck’s Blog http://bucksurdu.com/blog/?p=9469
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from Tumblr https://harfordhawks.tumblr.com/post/189997115868
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