Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Anniversary Army

Like many others out there, the 25th anniversary of Rogue Trader being published has seen me dust off some of my old minis and give them a repaint (and in some cases a first paint!).  Here are some first edition imperial guard and a couple of pirates for consideration.

Base colour is GW codex grey, but in a few cases I've varied that with Adeptus Battlegrey, to get in some subtle variation that suggests personalised equipment for officers NCOs, or just gear that's faded or been issued at different times.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Express Delivery

I know I said I was going to give the WWII stuff a bit of a rest, but I just couldn't resist...

A short while ago I picked up the Airfix Forward Command Post set, mainly for scenery.  I've not assembled the main building yet, but couldn't resist painting up the despatch rider that came with it.

In KGN, despatch riders can be taken to represent improved communications, increasing your chance of calling in artillery support for example.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Short Blokes

As a bit of a change of pace, I've finished off a couple of dwarves I started work on before Christmas.  No gaming plans for these, I've just always had a soft spot for the models.  These are from the old Grenadier Models range of Fantasy Warriors sculpted by Nick Lund.  For me, these are how dwarves should look; heavily armoured and grim looking, not comedy bearded drunks.

Not sure I've got the colour balance right, I think I should perhaps have gone for more coloured gloves to balance out the trim on the chainmail.  Pleased with the armour though, it looks solid and functional.

Quite a few of the range are still available through Mirliton and EM4 miniatures.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Meet the Gang, 'cos the Boys are Here!

Yes, more Brits painted for Normandy.  I now have enough painted and based for a full infantry platoon, including PIAT, plus a Vickers MMG.  The 3" mortar is being based and will join them soon.

Here's the gang, along with their armoured support and recce.

Infantry are mostly from Caesar (maybe with one or two from Matchbox hiding amongst them), with support weapons and some of the HQ from Hat.  The Shermans and Cromwells are from Armourfast and the recce consists of a Hasegawa Humber and that Dodgy Daimler.

I even stretched to one or two basic conversions to fill out the ranks, including a Bren Gunner who's a Mix of Caesar and Hat Tank Riders (didn't realise until I looked at the photo just what a bad job I'd done of the face!).

And here are some of the support weapons.

So I can now field a complete Infantry platoon of US, UK and German troops, plus some armour for each.  Still lots I can add, aircraft, artillery, transports and light vehicles (jeeps, definitely need jeeps), anti-tank guns for the allies.  However I think now that the Brits have a full platoon I may take a little break.  With the 25th Anniversary of the release of Rogue Trader, I might dig out a few more of those first release Imperial Guard :-)

[Edit 7th February]

FInished the 3" Mortar and crew as well

Friday, 3 February 2012

More Updates!

I've managed to find a bit of time to add some more stuff to my WWII collection.

First up, and just finished today, a Humber Armoured Car for the Brits (yes, I wasn't happy enough with the Daimler and caved in to replacing it).  The Kit's from Hasegawa and was an absolute gem to put together.  Just the tiniest bit of flash to remove then everything went together really easily.  I particularly like that the kit includes some stowage.  My only worry is that thin gun barrel, I have a feeling Ill be having to replace that with brass rod at some point...

The rest of my Brit armour has also had a bit of work, adding some detailing and unit markings.  They're far from accurate, but I can live with that.

Finally, a little run-around for the Germans in the form of a Kubelwagen (the other part of the Airfix German Reconaissance set).

There's also some infantry on the way, more on that later.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

By Tank Into Normandy - Book Review

At the start of the new year I read an excellent book; 'By Tank Into Normandy' by Stuart Hills.  Hills was a Tank Commander in the Nottingham Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry (practically a local regiment to wear I live), fighting from D-Day through to the end of the war.  The Sherwood Rangers were an independent tank regiment, attached wherever needed, so saw action throughout the war and with a number of other units, including the US 82nd Airborne as part of Market Garden, as well as numerous British and Commonwealth units.

It's not a long book by any means, but as a first hand account makes for a fascinating read.  It's not a book that delves into grand strategy or large-scale actions, but does give an excellent account of small-unit actions at company and platoon level, and the effect of combat on those who took part.

The bravery of the young men who time and again got into tanks knowing what could happen to them, and the randomness of the losses is very affecting, but particular mention must be made of the unit's padre, and amazing man who took it upon himself to personally recover every lost tanker and see to their burial, because he didn't think the crews should have to see what could happen to them and then have to get back into a tank and face combat again.

From a wargaming perspective it certainly brings a new perspective.  The actions described are often of a scale that would make for interesting scenarios, and are often accompanied by sketch maps of the action.  It also contradicts some things that many games and rules seem to encourage.

One thing that comes across strongly, in contrast to what most of our games would suggest, is how rare tank on tank combat was.  It's some time after D-Day before he first recounts a meeting with another tank; most of the combat the regiment see is supporting infantry units and, rather than their big fear being Tigers and Panthers, it's threat of an infantryman in a hedgerow with a Panzerfaust that pre-occupies the tank crews.

The other is the frequency with which the tanks would plaster the landscape with HE 'just in case'.  On the table we have a 'god-like' view, and many rules encourage this by having all fire as direct fire.  It's interesting that Kampfgruppe Normandy splits suppressive fire and Direct Fire, which requires a spotting test first.

All in all, a good read and recommended.  The only drawback is that at full RRP (£8.99) it's pretty pricey for what you get.  Not quality, just length.  However I picked mine up for much less in a small bookshop, and there are plenty of cheaper options on Amazon.