Sunday, March 18, 2018

Early Samurai Lion Rampant "Retinue" & Dragon Rampant Warband

I'm committed to attend a Lion Rampant/Dragon Rampant "tournament" game day this coming Saturday. Seeing how I like "shooty" armies, I'm planning to use my old Early Samurai figures which haven't seen the gaming table for quite some time. These are mostly TAG figures which I had painted many years ago and used a lot when I was playing WAB. I'm really looking forward to using them again with Lion/Dragon Rampant.
The 24 point "retinue" pictured above consists of two units of Mounted Serjeants with bows; a unit of Fierce Foot (the Sohei monks); and two units of Archers - one rated as Expert. Four of the five units are shooters - which allows them to attrite the enemy without coming into close contact - I hope!
The second picture shows some of the earlier figures along with the recently painted Oni as a 30 point Dragon Rampant warband - namely the "Men of the Far East." This warband is composed of two Heavy Rider units with mounted missiles; an Elite Foot unit with missiles; a unit of Heavy Foot rated as Offensive (the monks); and finally the Oni as a Lesser Warbeast with Spore attack. The monks are Kingsford minis and quite nicely sculpted.

There will be a total of five games for the tournament. The way the host, Socal Warhammer, has it set up is two Lion Rampant games in morning/early afternoon. A third game being the gamer's choice of either another Lion Rampant game or switching to Dragon Rampant. The last two games will be Dragon Rampant. This way the gamer can chose either three games of of either ruleset for a final three game score. I'll likely play three games of Lion Rampant as I don't plan on staying the night to finish the last two games. Until then, best wishes to all!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Reaper Bones Oni

Picked this up at a local gaming store for under $5.00; well actually a little more after our state 10% sales tax. It's made out of a soft plastic - not unlike old Airfix figures. The club was a little bent from the packaging, but easily reshaped using hot water, followed by a rinse in cold water to set it. I planned to use it as a Lesser Warbeast in a Dragon Rampant warband. Hopefully pick up some more Japanese mythical creatures.
This is actually my first Reaper Bones model, but at the price, I plan to get a few more.
I'm not normally into painting gory stuff, but the eyeballs on the wristband looked appropriate for this guy.
The skulls on the belt give him a very GW flavor!
A couple of TAG demon hunters for scale. Hope to find more Oni as I want to paint some up in blue and green. On the gaming front, I'm signed up to attend a Lion/Dragon Rampant game day/tournament next Saturday. Best wishes to you all!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Tamiya 1/48 Jagdtiger - Ready for Action

Or how to burn over 500 points for a Bolt Action force. Not sure why anyone would want to field this in a 1,000 point game, but it is ready if needed. I managed to pick up a bottle of Tamiya Dark Yellow to dry brush over the hand-painted green camo striping. This seemed to tone the green down a bit, but it's still nowhere as nice if it were airbrushed. However, I'll likely never be an airbrusher - so, this will have to do.
Pin washing and adding the tools and spare tracks also help hide the flaws in the camo work.
The driver and commander are nice additions to the kit.
With some Victory Force Minis for scale.
The fit and finish of Tamiya kits are quite impressive - and these can be had for under $30 on ebay.
Thanks for visiting and allowing my indulgence into model kit building.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Tamiya 1/48 Jagdtiger - WIP

Greetings all. Apologies for the long absence, but here's a "keep it alive" post on another 1/48 scale Tamiya kit I've been working on. Actually, I put the kit together a couple of weeks ago, but was trying to find a local, off-the-shelf spray paint which would approximate the dreaded "dunkelgelb," the German Dark Yellow used on most of their late-war production tanks. I finally broke down and picked up a can of Tamiya TS-3 Dark Yellow off of ebay - if not for the shipping it would've been a decent price. Anyway, this is another superb kit with minimal parts; and I am actually getting better with putting the multi-piece tracks together. Here it is after a coat of the Tamiya Dark Yellow and some hand-painted camo stripes.
The green stripes were applied using successive layers of light watered down Vallejo acrylic. I plan to dry brush the base coat color over the stripes to soften the edges and tone down the green. Also, attaching the tools and spare tracks should hide most of the imperfections of the brushwork.
Doing some online researching, this green stripes over the basic dunkelgelb combination seems common for the 653rd Heavy Panzerjager Battalion - one of only two units which were issued Jagdtigers; the other being the 512th.
A total of only about 80 Jagdtigers saw service from late-1944 until the end of the war. It weighed 71 tons and the main gun was the 12.8cm Pak 44 L/55. It performed best in an ambush role, as would be expected by it's powerful main gun. However, due to its weight it was prone to mechanical breakdown. Also, by the time it entered active service, the Allies held air supremacy which also limited its deployability. Interestingly, the first Jagdtiger that was destroyed in combat was taken out by a bazooka! Not sure who the grunt was who fired it, but he should've gotten a medal just for that.
In addition to the dry brushing, it'll also get some pin washing and a little weathering. The kit also comes with a commander and driver - both will be added later. The hatches are held in place with masking tape on the inside for now.
Here I am next to the Jagdtiger at The Bovington Tank Museum which I visited several years ago. You can see how large it is - I'm about 6' tall - give or take a foot.
So much for now; thanks for stopping by and best wishes to you all!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Incident at Colgone - Pershing vs. Panther

Taking a rather long break from figures, I decided to pick up a Tamiya 1:48 scale M26 Pershing kit. The build was very simple - the only fiddly work was the multi-section tank treads. Hadn't built a model kit in some years; in fact, the last one was a Tamiya 1:48 scale M10 Tank Destroyer. These kits have metal bottom hulls, so make for a nice weighty gaming piece. Anyway, had to take out a Corgi 1:50 scale Panther for a photo op. This is an interpretation (using existing terrain pieces) for that famous tank battle near the Cologne Cathedral in the last days of the war in Europe.
The Panther had just taken out an M4 Sherman of the 3rd Armored Division, and luckily an M26 Pershing was only few streets away. The Pershing hunted down the Panther and made a direct hit on the move. The Panther never got off a shot - possibly due to the crew not immediately recognizing the Pershing and thinking it was a German tank? The Pershing made a few more shots and the existing video shows some of the German crew escaping from the burning Panther.
EDIT: Previously, I had posted I wasn't sure how the Pershing fared against Tigers. I've since found out that a Pershing from the 3rd Armored Division was indeed knocked out by a Tiger I on 26 Feb 45. In fact, the Pershing that was hit was named "Fireball" - the decal on this kit! It sustained three hits, one to the gun which exploded a chambered 90mm round. The gun tube was replaced and the tank returned to service. The Loader and Gunner were killed.
Speaking of Tigers and Panthers, here's an example of each with the Pershing for size comparison. Again, the Panther is a Corgi 1:50 scale diecast (repainted with zimmerit); the King Tiger is a 1:48 diecast by Hobby Master (OOP, I think).
A view from above of the same three tanks. Note how wide the track base is on the Pershing. Pretty modern looking IMO. In fact, the basic design of the Pershing changed very little with subsequent US tanks up until the M1 Abrams.
And a comparison with contemporary US tanks of the time. A resin 1:48 scale M3 Stuart made by Kengi and Corgi 1:50 scale diecast M4 Sherman on either side of the Pershing. For the record, I'm on the lookout for a 1:48 or 1:50 scale M24 Chaffee. Thinking of a late-WW2 or Korean War Bolt Action unit.
A view from above of the same three tanks. The Pershing was sprayed with a Testors Olive Drab enamel and given a pin wash at the seams, etc. The color is sort of lighter than what I had expected, but there's a ton of discussion on the "proper" color of WW2 US Olive Drab - so I'll leave it as is.
And finally, the antagonists side by side. So much for now - just wanted to post something on the old blog to let you all know I still exist.Until next time, warmest regards to you all!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Pacific NW Dragon Rampant Game Day

Just got back from a very cool Dragon Rampant game day (30 pt warbands) in beautiful Gig Harbor - lovely drive over the Narrows Bridge spanning Puget Sound. It was held in the Gig Harbor Public Library - no charge and very low-key. Pat L. (aka SocalWarhammer) was the host again, as he had done for the Lion Rampant game day last September. The usual suspects attended; great folks with some beautifully painted armies. I played against David S. (here's his I Live with Cats blog) and his Centaur-Minotaur warband in the morning. We later played in a doubles game in the afternoon. This time I sided with Scott A. and his Dark Elves army against David and Ron B. with his Conquistador-Ogre warband. Granted, some of these are carry overs from previous WHFB armies; like my Men of the West warband using Empire figures. I lost both games, but with some satisfaction as in the first game, David's warband leader was killed off before mine. The second game had me failing multiple shooting and attack activations with my Elite Foot, which could've decimated Ron's units. Without further blabbing, here are some images of today's games. I apologize upfront for not knowing some of the names or type of warbands of my fellow gamers.
My unit of Elite Foot with Missiles. Having the Ranger rule, their attacks, defence and armour are unaffected in rough terrain. They would've done a lot better except for my bad dice rolls.

Initial deployment of the Men of the West warband in the first game. From the closest unit: Heavy Riders w/Mounted Missiles; Elite Foot w/Missiles; Heavy Foot; Earl, Elite Rider, Flying & Level Headed; and finally the Luminark as a reduced model unit of Heavy Missiles w/Weighty Projectiles). Thanks to my buddy Rod who took this nice photo.
An unusual amount of successful activation rolls got my Men of the West warband close to David's Centaurs early on in the first game. Heavy Foot in the foreground and the old Empire Luminark in the distance - it was used as a single-model Heavy Missile unit.
Close-up of the Luminark - my buddy took this picture and I stole it off of his post on our group's Facebook - PNW Rampant.
James D's Neolithic warband vs. Al R's warband with cool looking scorpions.
My buddy Rod's Men of the West warband - these are figures I sold off at Enfilade a couple of years ago. I didn't know he was the one who bought them. Great to see them again in his possession.
Pat's Dwarf warband being used by a new player
Daryl's cool looking warband - again not sure the type or name, but a lot of former WHFB figures.
An exceptionally cool Artic/Antartic warband from Bryan S.
Bruce S's Undead warband vs. Mike G's Dwarf warband
David S's Minotaurs vs. the Men of the West's Heavy Foot.
Men of the West battle line in the doubles game; Scott's allied Dark Elf army in the distance.
Men of the West Heavy Foot in the foreground and Heavy Missile (Steam Tank) in the distance - I substituted the Steam Tank for the Luminark for the second game.
Heavy Missiles - Steam Tank firing from the woodline.
Heavy Riders with Mounted Missiles using village for cover.
Bryan's penguins in combat with James' Mammoth and cave dudes.
We have another Lion/Dragon Rampant game day in March. Additionally, I have committed to running several Lion Rampant Wars of the Roses games at Enfilade in May. Best to you all until my next post - whatever and whenever that may be.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year From the Men of the (Pacific North) West Warband!

Ushering in 2018, here is the Men of the (Pacific North) West Warband for Dragon Rampant - with all available options. Actually, except for the Great Swords, all of these figures are remnants of an earlier WHFB Empire army. Select units will make up a 30 point Warband for a Dragon Rampant game day in a couple of weeks.
The author of Dragon Rampant has made the use of available figures from other systems, like WHFB, quite flexible. For instance, the Steam Tank and other artillery pieces, can be used as reduced, single model Heavy Missile units.
The Hurricanum/Luminark (blue wagon) and War Altar (red wagon) could also be used as Heavy Missile or possibly Elite Rider reduced model units with Fantastical options.

In any case, it's nice to be able to use these former WHFB Empire models in a much more simplified (particularly points system) set of rules like Dragon Rampant. As far as new projects - nothing pressing, but would like to find a couple of OOP GW figures - particularly Count Marius Leitdorf and a Master Engineer on Mechanical Horse. I might also try to make forays into smaller scales - possibly 6mm Samurai or revisiting my 1/1200th scale Ancient naval stuff. But again, nothing definite and my hobby focus has been flighty at best!  Wishing you all a great 2018!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Freeguild (formerly Empire) Greatswords - A Farewell to 2017 Post

Although my previous post had me saying it would be likely my last for the year, I ended up finding a great deal on ebay for these GW Greatswords. As I plan to attend a Dragon Rampant game day next month, I figured these could be used for a unit of foot as an option. Plus, I always wanted to paint up this set - basically Landsknechts, but with that GW "heroic" style of sculpting.
The helmeted heads are left over bits from a Knights kit I painted several years ago - glad I kept them.
The colors could be from Empire states, but with Landsknechts, the sky's the limit with color combinations.
I painted these without the use of Minwax stain as the last can had dried up and I wanted to experiment using Pledge (Future) floor wax mixed with some ink stain. It worked out okay, and had the benefit of not leaving a high gloss finish, as well as a much quicker drying time.
The floor wax dries to an almost flat finish - which I ended up giving a very light coat of Testors Dullcote.
Along with a couple of  previously painted figures, these will be used in a Heavy Foot unit at next month's game day.
Landsknects are a great way to use a lot of color combinations without fear of going over the top.
Not only the colors, but the huge two-handed swords, particularly the wavy "flame" bladed ones, make Lanksnects very cool.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you all had a great Christmas, and wishing you all a great 2018!