Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Review: Tabletop Workshop's 28mm Medieval Barn

The last of my Tabletop Workshop reviews for now. I still have a Stable in the post, and I might look at getting the double storey buildings in time. The more I look at the foundation line of the buildings, the more I am convinced that they need an MDF base and some filler to hide that line of stones along the base. Some shrubby things would also make the buildings look a little more natural. But this is all time dependent. 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A Look Forward

As frequent readers will have noticed, there has been a veritable Drang nach Osten on the blog of late as I work on my Polish Chain of Command campaign. However, as is usually the case, this isn't the only thing on the boil. There are various Frenchmen from 1809 on the desk, Celts from the fringe of the Roman Empire, and genetically engineered super soldiers from the 41st millennium. As much as it might not seem that I have any hard and fast plans, and usually I don't, every now and then a priority raises its head. 

Polish uniforms are almost done. A battalion of Frenchmen lurk out of camera shot. 
The end of February will see the 5th Company of the Dark Angels descend once more upon Cardiff, for a Dark Pact gaming weekend, to do battle with an ever growing horde of gribbly, nasty things from the fringes of the galaxy. Jim's Tyranids, which have ever been a thorn in my side, continue to grow. Recon pictors have returned the following images of a new biomorph that must soon die at the hands of the Emperor's Angels:

Excellently painted miniatures from the brush of Jim. Worthy, and well painted, enemies.

With this in mind, I am going to try and push for an expansion of my Dark Angels force to meet the growing Xenos threat. The Company Standard Bearer is almost complete, and his completion will mean that I will have a full command squad to join Interrogator-Chaplain Seraphicus. Additionally, I am going to try and get some more Ravenwing painted up in time. Their simple black colour scheme should speed the painting process somewhat. I also have a Vindicator that would come in handy against the tides of smaller creatures. So the current priority, as I continue to paint up my Polish soldiers, will be the Dark Angels.

The first of my Ravenwing reinforcements.
As of today I have 37 days to get this arms race under way. Therefore I am going to set myself a challenge, how much can I get done in those 37 days, starting this evening. In real terms I haven't got the full complement of days available, I am visiting Paris for four days over the next weekend, and then there are my Reserve weekends. If I exclude these days from the calculation, I in fact only have 27 days before hostilities commence. 

Naturally I will document my efforts on this blog, and possibly on YouTube as well. No promises are made, but I do think it will be interesting to see what I can achieve in a month. Wish me luck.


Sunday, 18 January 2015

BEF 1914: Rifle Brigade Corporal

Here is a Woodbine Design NCO that I painted up as a Corporal from the Rifle Brigade. The Rifle Brigade had slightly different kit from the rest of the British Expeditionary Force; the hat strap was black instead of brown, the buttons of the tunic black, and the chevrons Rifle Green on a black background. The Rifles, the descendant regiment of the Rifle Brigade and many of the Light Infantry regiments, still maintain these details in their No. 1 and No. 2 uniforms. 

I tried painting the chevrons on this fellow, and they came out okay. In order to get the black and green in I oversized them somewhat, which is okay when painting miniatures in my mind.

The painting scheme I have followed is Mark Hargreaves' excellent guide. This is available from Mark directly at his website Over Open Sights. You will need to e-mail Mark to get these excellent guides, he is a top fellow and incredibly helpful. He certainly helped me with extra information.

Mark's scheme results in a nice greenish khaki which is exactly what I wanted. His blog is also inspirational, and I find myself visiting it frequently to check out some detail or other.

This chap will be leading his brave fighting lads through the low countries one day, holding back the tide of Kaiser Bill's Hunnish hordes. However, as of now this is very much a "paint as I fancy" project.

Basing wise, I have gone for a Burnt Umber - Ochre - Ivory three tone scheme, which I will finish off with a liberal amount of grass and some of those little flowers that everyone seems to be using these days. I think the flowers will add some colour to an otherwise drab miniature and give it the feel of the Belgian countryside.

Poland 1939: Polish Test Figure Done

I finished my first Polish Infantryman today. The scheme largely consists of browns, greens, and greys of various hue, so I feel that my decision to paint the coloured collar tabs brought some much needed colour to the figure. These collar tabs vary based upon the wearers arm of service. Infantry wore dark blue, with a white zig zag trim. I lightened the blue based upon personal taste. 

Keen eyed observers will notice that I have painted the eyes on this figure, which is something I never bother with. Normally the eyes are shadowed by the helmet, or other headwear, but this chap's helmet is slightly back, so the eyes had to be done.  

The colours I used are as follows, Vallejo Model Color unless otherwise stated. I painted almost everything in a three step highlight, directions below:

  • Clothing: Russian Uniform Green -> Green Brown -> 50/50 White & Green Brown
  • Helmet: Camo Olive Green -> Brown Violet -> Green Grey
  • Webbing: German Field Grey -> Green Grey -> 50/50 White & Green Grey
  • Ankle Puttees: Steel Legion Drab (GW) -> Karak Stone (GW)
  • Ammo Pouches, Entrenching Tool Cover & Back Pack Straps: German Camo Medium Brown -> Flat Earth -> Green Brown
  • Boots: German Camo Medium Brown -> Flat Earth -> 50/50 White & Flat Earth
  • Backpack: English Uniform -> Khaki -> Stone Grey
  • Bedroll: Rhinox Hide (GW) -> German Camo Medium Brown -> Flat Earth
  • Gasmask Container & Mess Tin: Camo Olive Green -> Russian Uniform Green
  • Bayonet Hilt & Entrenching Tool Handle: Foundry Spearshaft triad. 
  • Rifle Body: Rhinox Hide (GW) -> Doombull Brown (GW) -> Skrag Brown (GW)
  • Metal bits: Black -> Charcoal Black B (Foundry) -> Gunmetal Grey
  • Collar Tabs: Foundry Royal Blue triad.

Basing wise, I did the two tone scheme as shown in the last post. I then added some grass and winter grass tufts. I want to add some scale bricks later on, as I think it will add a little more colour to an otherwise brownish-greenish scheme. 

I've avoided using metals to a large extent, since rifle parts are usually dull, except the working parts. This is due to mechanical wear and the cleaning process. So the metallic parts of the rifle are dark grey with a touch of gunmetal in the appropriate places. 

Now all that remains is for me to repeat this a bazillion times. 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Poland 1939: Die Polen sind hier

Yesterday evening I arrived home from work to find a package waiting for me from Element Games. It contained a boxed set of Polish Infantry made by Warlord Games, which I picked up from Element Games as I was ordering some paints from them anyway, and they offer a small saving over Warlord prices. I made a little video about it for YouTube:

The boxed set contains 24 metal miniatures, which suffered from some pretty intense flashing. Most notably on their helmets and, rather frustratingly, their rifle barrels. Many of the rifle barrels were bent quite severely, and furthermore, a combination of very thin metal and flashing at the end of the rifle barrel meant that clean up was fraught with the danger of losing the end of many of the rifles. In the end, I only lost one, so it isn't the end of the world. Mould lines were minimal, though I have a knack of missing them until they have paint on them, at which point they appear to grow in size, meaning I end up scraping them off only to have to repaint again. Nonetheless, I am confident I got most of the mould lines. 

In terms of detail, I am quite impressed. These are  Paul Hicks style sculpts, and I suspect that he may have sculpted these. They don't have that caricatured look that newer Warlord figures seem to have. As my first purchase of Bolt Action miniatures, I am going to declare myself satisfied. The bulk of the box is made up of rifleman, which is useful since a Polish section was huge, consisting of 17 rifleman, a BAR (Polish made wz 28) gunner, led by a Plutonowy (Corporal). I'll need three of these for a full platoon.

This is the only item from the Polish Bolt Action line that Element Games sell, so I shall be picking up the rest of the Bolt Action Polish range as the project continues. I am still awaiting delivery of some Poles I ordered from Black Tree Design during their generous January sale. 

Today I based and primed the entire boxed set. I am currently working on my test miniature. Both the Flames of War website and Warlord Games have a painting guide as part of their paint set that set out the base colours required, as well as a series of photos and plates. However, since I favour a three colour shade-middle-highlight system I need to figure out the colours to either side of the colours suggested by Warlord or Battlefront. 

I decided to paint the core colours I wasn't familiar with onto a sheet of paper, and then surrounding them with possible choices for shades and highlights. As seen below.

Using the above coupled with the painting guides from Warlord and Flames of War I wrote up one of my patented painting cards. It is more or less complete; as I work on my test miniature I'll complete the card.

Finally, I decided to try a different basing scheme for this collection. Since much of the fighting for the Polish campaign takes place in villages, towns, and finally Lwow, I wanted something a little more urban. I therefore decided to mimic Sidney Roundwood's excellent World War I basing scheme. I read his article on it, and I just had to try it. I haven't got any miniature bricks yet, but I shall try and pick some up soon, so for now I am only doing the two tone colouring on the bases.

I quite like the effect, with a few red bricks it will look really sharp. As you can see the flesh is done, though I still need to finish the eyes. I've also decided to paint my Poles with their collar tabs on, since it adds a little colour. The infantry will have Blue collar tabs, and the officer's hat band will also be blue. 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Review: Tabletop Workshop 28mm Medieval Chapel

Another kit review. A couple more to go from Tabletop Workshop. I hope this helps prospective buyers of said terrain make an informed decision. 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Poland 1939: Getting to Grips with a Campaign

In my last Poland 1939 post I mentioned that I had picked up Osprey's Poland 1939: The Birth of Blitzkrieg, which I have now read and digested it. The book is rather general in its approach to the campaign, naturally, and does not really go into any depth on the actions in and around Lwow (Lviv) or the actions of 1. Gebirgsdivision, which are the focus of my campaign. I have realized that there are actually multiple discrete facets to the campaign, which I have rendered thus:
  • The campaign as a whole: No element occurs in a vacuum or isolation from the other parts, therefore an understanding of the broader campaign is necessary, it provides a context for the actions which I am focused on. This is true of any campaign, and in this regard the Osprey campaign book has proved valuable.
  • 1. Gebirgsdivision: I need to come to grips with the organisation, disposition, and actions of the formation throughout the Polish campaign since it is the primary "Player Character" (to borrow from Role-playing nomenclature).
  • Supporting German forces: What other German formations operated close to the Mountain Division during their movements? This could define the types of support available to them. Again, using the nomenclature of RPGs, these would constitute this a German "Non-Player Character."
  • Polish Forces in the region of Lwow: Since the narrative is following the movement of the Germans, I am more interested in those units along the way than any Polish units specifically. Again, an NPC of sorts. Who do the Mountain Division "bump" into on the movements towards Lwow?
  • 10th Motorised Cavalry Brigade: The exception to the above point. These chaps count as a Player Character and therefore need to be fleshed out in the manner of the German Mountain Division. 
So, as you can see, gentle reader, there are five discrete elements that require researching. The first is well under way, and is in some ways the easiest. I suspect that the real challenge will be in learning about the movements of the Mountain Division, and the Polish forces that they come up against. The 10th Motorised Cavalry are quite well documented, so this should be less problematic. I have found an excellent source online, a website which hosts vast amounts of information about units and campaigns, but in truth, the real value lies in their forums which abound with nuggets of information. A quick search for Gebirgsjäger and Poland has already resulted in some incredibly useful maps and narrative points. Whilst Osprey books tend to be great for pictures and neat maps, there is something to be said for the dearth of free data out there that rewards a little bit of careful searching. 

The campaign is a solo affair, though the actions are likely to fought by people. On the strategic level the German player is 1. Gebirgsdivision, or more likely a part thereof, as part of Army Group South. Orders are therefore filtered down from Field Marshal Rundstedt. Additional assets are made available through the same chain. On a tactical level, the player is in charge of a platoon of Gebirgsjager, the characters will all be fictional though. It is on the tactical level that the player will be able to exercise the greatest degree of control, though orders will be issued by strategic command.

The Polish player is Army Karpaty under General Fabrycy on a strategic level. Central command in Warsaw (this later moved), will issue orders from high. On a tactical level the Polish player will assume the role of defending Polish formations, most likely to be 2 & 3 Mountain Brigades due to geography, but I can't be certain of this yet. However, as the campaign progresses this is likely to become messier and by the time our campaign reaches the streets of Lwow, armed civilians start appearing. Once the 10th Motorised Cavalry Brigade enter the area of operations, the Polish player will assume control of them in addition to other forces. 

Polish Aims

The Polish campaign is a very one sided affair. Poland can't win the broader campaign, so the Polish player needs to focus on other goals, how successful can they be in delaying German movements? Remember, Poland is trying to hold out until France and Britain can start agitating in the West. Can they inflict stunning victories that will be a testament to their genius and resolve? Specifically to our area of operations, can they secure the Romanian bridgehead? And finally, as the campaign ends, can they break out and into neighbouring Hungary, hoping to make it still further abroad and continue the fight against the fascists?

"To arms! Save the fatherland! Remember well our future fate." 1920 recruitment poster. Notice the Polish soldiers square topped Czapka. 
German Aims

The German campaign aim is to conclude the conquest of Poland with as little loss of life and material as possible, and as quickly as possible, since there is the very real threat of a French offensive in the West which that front is ill suited to repulse. After the shame of 1918, the German soldier is keen to prove his mettle in combat once more and restore his country's honour, taking back the lands dished out to others at Versailles.

Propaganda of the new "Drang nacht Osten". In this poster the German is cast as a Teutonic night, the figure in front wears a what appears to be a Polish lancer's Czapka. 
The information above is a brief sketch, and is likely to change as I learn more, but what I am looking to do here is document how I build the wargaming campaign, so hopefully readers will find this useful. I have been inspired in large part by Sidney Roundwood's excellent World War I Jetty Wood linked game campaign, do go and have a read. Right, and now I have some more reading to do...

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Review: Tabletop Workshops 28mm Medieval Cottage

I did a video review of this kit that I purchased from Northstar Figures. There are several more videos to come as I review more of the kits. I hope this will prove helpful to those in the market for terrain. 

Poland 1939 Campaign

Black Tree Design recently had one of their incredibly generous sales, and I took the opportunity to pick up a (roughly) platoon's worth of Gebirgsjäger. The Gebirgsjäger were mountain infantry who were an elite element of the Wehrmacht and fought with great valour in every theatre of the Second World War. My particular interest in them is due to their actions in North East Finland, holding back the Red tide.

Gebirgsjäger in Poland, 1939. Notice the Edelweiss on the right shoulder and the fact that these troops are wearing their helmets rather than field caps. 
These troops are particularly famous for their Edelweiss emblem, which was worn on both their right sleeves and the left hand side of their field caps. So in terms of painting that is certainly something I will be looking to highlight, just to make these troops look distinct from other German troops. In a similar vein, many of these figures are wearing their field caps, when in reality they would wear their helmets in combat, but much like fielding Napoleonic troops in their parade uniforms on the battlefield, this is a liberty I am willing to take. Call it artistic license if you must.

The more common image of the Gebirgsjäger in his field cap. 
I've decided to play out the opening campaign of the Second World War, Poland September 1939, following the movements of the Gebirgsjäger in the South of that country. The Gebirgsjäger fought their first engagements in this campaign as part of Army Group South under Field Marshal Rundstedt as part of 1st Gebirgs Division. Their part in this campaign was not nearly as spectacular as the rapid advances in the West, but culminates in the battle of Lviv (Lwow/Lemberg) in what is now Ukraine. In broad strokes, the division descended from the Slovakian Carpathians (with Slovak Army Bernolak in support) towards Lviv. The advance was hampered by stubborn Polish resistance, before Lviv was besieged. German attempts to take the city met with failure in the face of intense resistance. Citizen militias were armed for the defence, and eventually the famous 10th Motorised Cavalry Brigade broke into the city to aid in its defence. 

A map detailing the general lines of advance into Poland. I will be focussed on the South East around Lwow.
As the Germans awaited reinforcements, the Soviet invasion of Poland began. And in a few days Soviet forces met German forces on the outskirts of Lviv completing its encirclement. With this, the Polish forces in the town negotiated a surrender with the Soviets, which was naturally dishonoured by the perfidious Russians, and many of the Polish officers taken were later murdered in the Katyn massacre of 1940.

1. Gebirgsdivision
The scope of this campaign is incredibly brief as it only covers the events of the 1st of September through to the surrender of Lviv on the 22nd. The two forces opposing each other are the 1st Gebirgs Division and Polish forces under General Franciszek Sikorski, with the 10th Motorised Cavalry Brigade under Colonel Maczek arriving on around the 13th of September.

One of the most iconic units of World War II, the Polish "Black Brigade" or 10th Motorised Cavalry Brigade. 
A large part of this campaign will be played solo, using a combination of ideas from Donald Featherstone's Solo Wargaming, scenarios from Joseph Legan's Platoon Forward, and Rich Clarke's At the Sharp End campaign rules for Chain of Command, and of course, the rules will be the excellent platoon level game Chain of Command. I will keep a campaign diary to track the events of the campaign, which might diverge from history depending on the outcome of the actions. I hope that this will both amuse me, and be of interest to readers. I must admit that I have been recently inspired by the English Civil War campaign diary of Ian (TheDiomedef16) who keeps a blog to this end, have a look at this very entertaining campaign diary.

I'll need to paint up the opposing forces in 28mm, which should be achievable in almost no time. As mentioned above, I'll be using Black Tree Design for the Gebirgsjäger, and chances are I will pick up some Gorgon Studios Gebirgsjäger for support weapons and variety. Polish miniatures will be largely Warlord Games, with some Black Tree Design Polish, and Gorgon Studios for the 10th Motorised Cavalry Brigade. Expect to see review videos and painting tutorials popping up on the blog over the next while. 

Part of the enjoyment of this campaign is the learning aspect. I'll be doing a lot of reading and staring at maps over the period of the campaign and I'll no doubt share this experience and any interesting tidbits of information I come across. My first bit of reading is underway:

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Building a Deathwatch Kill Team

My Dark Angels Command Squad is now almost complete. The Champion is coming along nicely, and I've slowly been working on the banner. I want to continue on with the Dark Angels throughout 2015, there is even the possibility that I'll be heading over to Cardiff in February for another Dark Pact gaming weekend. It would be nice to have a few more painted toys to take the fight to Jim's (as yet) undefeated Tyranids. I have a whole pile of Ravenwing to go, in addition to a Vindicator and what not. But in the meantime, I am feeling the need for something that isn't Dark Angels, which I can work on in bits in the manner of my Ultramarines, which are now going to take a break as I try and sort out a character figure for them. And so I have decided to put together a Deathwatch Kill Team, which will be both playable in the main 40k game, but will be particularly good for Kill Team games.

I have always wanted a Deathwatch Kill Team. The notion of a Inquisitorial militant chamber made up of marines from various chapters has always appealed to me, especially fielded alongside an Inquisitor and his retinue in a small-scale skirmish narrative. With the dearth of cast shoulder pads knocking around my bitz box at the moment, there has never been a better chance for me to make a ten man Kill Team. I already have the conversion set, which includes heads, some special bolters and their cool shoulder pads, here they are with some other bits I'll be using.

Some bionic legs and a Mk. III helmet alongside the other parts I plan to use.
Close up of the heads and bolters.

Close ups of the left shoulder pads.
These are the chapter shoulder pads I am going to combine in the squad:

Running from top left to bottom right: Praetors of Orpheus, Iron Hands, Genesis Chapter, Aurora Chapter, Dark Angels, Ultramarines, Silver Skulls, and Blood Angels.
Sadly there isn't much by way of background information on the Deathwatch, save for an old White Dwarf article and the Fantasy Flight RPG books. The 40k Wiki and Lexicanum seem to sum up most of the additional information from the RPG books, so it saves me having to pay for an RPG book I will never use. From the look of it, the Deathwatch are more extensive that I had imagined, leaving me some room for cool conversions. An Epistolary, Keeper or Apothecary would be nice additions to the squad to make it a little more varied.

I also have several figures which I am going to use as the basis for some of the Kill Team marines. I will use some old metal Blood Angels, Space Wolves and Dark Angels figures, painted in the Deathwatch livery of course, but I hope the little extra details on them will make them a little more individualistic and really highlight their chapter origins. The basic colour scheme is black, with a silver left arm and shoulder pad. The right shoulder pad is the chapter of origin shoulder pad.

Thus far the following chapters will be represented:

  • Ultramarines
  • Praetors of Orpheus
  • Genesis Chapter
  • Iron Hands
  • Aurora Chapter
  • Dark Angels
  • Silver Skulls
  • Blood Angels
  • Space Wolves
There is still one more spot on the team, which could go to a "blackshield" or another chapter affiliated marine, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Finally of course, no Ordo Xenos militant arm would be complete without an Inquisitor to lead them, and Forgeworld's Solomon Lok is the chap for me. He looks like an Ordo Xenos inquisitor, whilst most of the Games Workshop produced Inquisitors are Ordo Malleus types to my eye, except for one who looks like a Witchunter.

I will get started on this and post my progress as it unfolds. As for rules, I reckon Sternguard Veterans from Codex: Space Marines will do the job nicely since they get the fancy bolter ammunition for which the Deathwatch as famous. 

+ The Emperor Protects +

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Terrain Haul from Northstar Figures

Northstar Figures are currently having a very generous sale, do yourself a favour and pay their website a visit, Nick is fantastic chap so spend you money freely. (Disclaimer: I get nothing from Northstar beyond exceptional service.)

I made a video of the things I bought...

In addition, Black Tree Design are still holding their January sale. 50% off infantry and 20% off cavalry. I took advantage of the sale to buy some medieval civilians, Anglo-Saxons, and German Gebirgsjager. Go have a look for yourself.

Friday, 2 January 2015

2014 in Review, some statistics

As is often the case at the end of the year we take stock of all that has happened and try and make sense of it all. This year has been tumultuous to say the least, starting, as it did with a move to Australia that quickly went South, and followed by a swift retreat back to Britain. Since then it has been a case of working hard to reestablish myself, and also a return to my Reserve duties after a near six month absence. Naturally this has had an impact on my miniature painting. Oddly enough my time in Australia was particularly productive, mainly because I was essentially unemployed and found myself with a lot of spare time. The big one for me was the Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge which started with zeal and incredibly swift progress before foundering on the rocks of reality back in Britain. So whilst it ultimately failed to produce the result of a 2000 point army, the fact that I made it to July and past the Zone Mortalis phase was a small victory. 

My Zone Mortalis force, 1000 points.
Life always gets in the way, but I am chuffed that at the end of the year I have most of a Dark Angel army to show for it, and have actually had a chance to play. Among the real positives of the year were the Dark Pact gaming weekends in Cardiff, which furnished me with an opportunity to use my nicely painted Dark Angels against Jim's beautifully painted Tyranids. These weekends of gaming and fellowship have only galvanised my desire to paint and also reinvigorated my enjoyment of Warhammer 40,000. It may not be the tight rule set that some people wish it was, but it certainly is a great game for a group of friends.

One of my favourite Ultramarines I painted this year. 
I have also more recently begun to attend Ambrosden Gaming Club with my old wargaming chum Taff, and they have given us a warm welcome. I can only hope that the new year gives us more opportunities to get together and play with toy soldiers. There are rumblings of a 40k campaign, or perhaps even something more esoteric like Necromunda. I am optimistic. As this blog documents, the bulk of my painting efforts have been 40k orientated, but I have been ploughing through other projects. My Viking fix up project is now almost complete, which has left me with a Saga force of decent proportions. Indeed, I had a look in a mystery box over the weekend only to find that I had even more of those lovely Foundry Vikings secreted away awaiting paint. 

In the realm of 15mm, I finished my Soviet Strelkovy Company which took over decade to complete. I'll cover them in a separate post, but suffice to say they are done. Hot on their heels is a Finnish platoon which as been painted in rapid time, and finished just this side of 2015.

I must also add that on the quiet I have also finished my first 15mm American Civil War Confederates. Again this was a project that had its genesis over a decade ago when I was far more into the gaming side of the hobby and which has languished in the queue. These are now done, all based up for Fire & Fury, and ready for action against the Yankees. 

I've also managed to get two more battalions of French troops ready for my 28mm Napoleonic project, bringing me up to three infantry battalions and a handful of individually based miniatures for Sharpe Practice. I have another two battalions of Ligne to add, and then a cannon and some hussars from the Perrys. Reviews and photos to follow. 

Back at the start of the year I purchased the Warmachine starter box, and in the intervening months I have only managed to paint up one Warjack and my Protectorate of Menoth Warcaster Kreoss. Work continues on the other Protectorate bits, as well as pottering along with the Khador parts. Sorscha should be ready for the camera soon. 

High Exemplar Kreoss and his Crusader.
When I reflect on what has been achieved this year it appears to be quite substantial and I must declare myself satisfied. Certainly I could have done more, but on balance, and considering the relative tumult of my life this year, it feels good. 

Figures Completed (painted, based, and varnished)
  • 30k Ultramarines - 8
  • Imperial Guard - 1
  • Orks - 4
  • Dark Angels - 45
  • Chaos - 1
  • Warmachine - 2
  • Vikings - 18
  • French Napoleonic - 53
  • 15mm Soviets - 104
  • 15mm Confederates - 63
Games Played
  • Warhammer 40k: 1 Win, 1 Draw, 4 Losses.
  • Battlefleet Gothic: 1 Loss.
As you can see, gentle reader, not so many games, but plenty more on the horizon. 

Finnish Jalkava Joukkue Finished

I finished these last night and varnished them this morning. A Jalkava Joukkue (Platoon) for my Continuation War project in 15mm. It consists of four Ryhmät (Sections) led by a Vänrikki (Lieutenant) and a Kersantti (Sergeant). 

I've replicated the basing style I used for my Soviets since the two forces are meant to face each other. I'll need to knock up some appropriate terrain for Karelia soon to fit the setting. 

Painting these took about three days from the undercoat stage. I did them whilst watching films and generally pottering around the house. The method was a simply block, shade, highlight, using Vallejo model colours, which are a pleasure to work with. 

The next phase will be to bring up the force to Company strength, but that will require some more purchases I am not willing to make at the moment. Suffice to say I shall need a bit of armour for both the Finns and the Russians. One positive is that the armour for both sides is more or less the same, since the bulk of Finnish armour was captured from the Russians throughout the conflict.

A quick comment on the miniatures themselves. They are from Flames of War who are one of the few manufacturers who cater to the Finnish collector, but the sculpts vary in quality from some decent officer types, or tank hunters, to some absolute mutants. Still, altogether they look pretty sharp. 

So, these are my first completed miniatures of 2015. They are based on Flames of War bases, but I'll be using them to play Chain of Command and I Ain't Been Shot Mum.

Painted Soviet Strelkovy Company

The whole company assembled.
I think it was Warfare 2005, or was it 2006? In any event, there has been a set of figures which have sat in various stages of painting on my desk or in boxes for the last decade which are finally done. I finished them on the 30th of December, so they fell into my 2014 painting tally. You can see my handiwork below.

My 15mm stuff is intended for I Ain't Been Shot Mum, another set of excellent rules by TooFatLardies. This means I need to bulk out both the Soviet and Finnish forces available to me with specialists and some armour. I suspect several reviews might be making their way onto the blog in the near future.

For the Finns I am inclined to go with Battlefront's offerings, but with the Soviets I have more choice. I suspect that for armour I might end up getting a veritable smorgasbord of figures from various manufacturers to see what I like and don't like. I am particularly keen on trying the Zvezda 1/100 scale kits that Plastic Soldier Company sell, as well as their own plastic kits. Cost is increasingly a concern for me, and I am prepared to make a compromise between quality and price, provided it is a good balance.

That is all for now, hopefully I shall have more to show soon.