Sunday Evening Star

Sunday Evening Star

After finishing all the Cold War Americans, this F-86 Sabre from Airfix was sticking out its tail right from the top of the pile of shame. According to plan it was supposed to be finished druring the last summer holidays. Now, last Sunday, after getting to it, it went rather quickly. However, I didn’t bother much with painting details. Maybe I will add some more later. Major work was putting on the decals, what was like open-heart surgery at some points.

This also completes the display in my glass cabinet with the Airfix Mig-15 and the 1/200th counterparts from the Mig Alley! box for Blood Red Skies.

Kill Team Scenery

Kill Team Scenery

Hobby time during the last three days was spent completely on Kill Team scenery. Everything I own, besides of the items from the Kill Team Arena box, was still on sprue, left to build and paint in the boxes: buildings and ruins from the Sector Fronteris box, the Servo Haulers from the Ork starter box, Krogskull’s Boys, and (Surprise! Surprise!) a Wall of Martyrs from the Tau starter box, Advance Team Starpulse.

The Sector Fronteris worked out quite nicely and will also be useful in Star Wars: Legion games. I like especially the rusty main colour, originally Army Painter Fur Brown spray.

The Servo Haulers are not finished yet. They were given only a black primer with another basecoat of Team Yankee Chieftain Green. I guess I will take my time to paint these because I really started to like them while building. With some special rules they can bring a lot of fun in scenarios. But why did I use this colour?

Unfortunately I had two cans of the Chieftain Green and both are leaky as you can see from the pictures.

I already had this problem with other brands and it’s not a question of age. I have much older cans which are still tight. Whatever, I have to use them up as quickly as possible and so I used the spray on the haulers and the wall. In the end, I think, the colour is not bad at all as it brings a dirty look of decay with it

The Wall of Martyrs is not a piece that I fancy at all. Too many skeletons and awkward iconography that are so… well, 40K! But someone left that literally at my door step and ran away. I thought about selling or just dumping it but in the end I decided otherwise. Let see what I can make of it.

Oorah!!! It is done!

Oorah!!! It is done!

And so it ended yesterday without much ado and applause. Not even from my girl-friend! 😉 I finished the last of the vehicles for my US Cold War army, including all the gunner and commander figures. For today spraying varnish was the last thing to be done.

Waiting for their turn to get varnished.

And then to arrange them a nice little box until it’s time for action.

Only the ground forces.

After seeing this, I guess, I will need some more infantry later. How did evil Lord Merrick say: „I’m not that easily defeated!“ I guess, this is also true for most painting projects.

The last pieces yesterday were the M35 trucks and M151 jeeps.

All metal models from Skytrex from their Vietnam range.

During a night shift I also finished all the gunner and commander figures for all of the vehicles – another 13 figures. Some were easily done with plain NATO olive. Others needed the woodland camouflage pattern, like the gunners in the Humvees and the ones in the MUTTs.

With this the main force of my American 15mm Cold War army is done. Helicopters and planes did I already finish last year. I still have two platoons of infantry and a few helicopters on the pile but these are for a later date. With this ends one of my biggest painting projects ever!

Descent via Skype – In Defiance of the virus!!!

Descent via Skype – In Defiance of the virus!!!

From all over the world I read gamers‘ stories on the net how they keep up their hobbies in times of containment. Yesterday, a mate of mine and I, we wrote our own chapter into that book: Playing Descent via Skype.

The scenario map at my place and a hundred kilometers away on screen.

We both had a map layout of the scenario on our tables and turned our webcams on them at our places. This way we could see our’s and the opponent’s setup.

A new way to play is about to begin.

The whole thing needed some preparation because I don’t own a copy of the game. We decided on a scenario. My mate scanned all the tiles and cards and sent them online. I printed them, glued them on cardboard and cut them out. Alternative figures weren’t a problem to find among my myriad of boxes of gaming stuff.

From analogue to digital to analogue.

We thought about how to improvise the dice but Descent uses a lot of different dice with complicated layouts and so we decided that my mate, the Overlord, would do all the rolling at his place in front of the camera.

Roll the dice only in front of the camera… just to be sure 😉

While my mate was the Overlord, I played Grisban the dwarf and Avric Albright the cleric. The scenario was from the 2nd edition starter box (german title: Der Kardinal in Not, first scene). We started that campaign some three or four years ago but never managed to play much as we live more than an hour driving time from each other.

The complete setup. Two small tiles are omitted, character sheets and cards laminated.

For miniatures I used some older Ral Partha figures for heroes and cultists and some Zombicide undeads for zombies and spiders. The role of evil Lord Merick (With a fire aura!) went to a Games Workshop Boromir.

Fire aura or not! When he has hitpoints, he can die.

To conclude, this was great fun! Not only in times of containment is this a good way to play but also in the future when time is scarce and driving not always fun. We didn’t have any technical problems and after a short while the flow of the game felt completely natural. Maybe this way we will play more often now than in the past.
By the way, Lord Merick is history now (But hey, didn’t he say something like he’s not so easily defeated?) but the Cardinal is still in need. So, hurry up, guys!

Abrams finished!

Abrams finished!

There wasn’t much work to do on this one. This was only a single M1 from the Tanks Modern Age starter box, which I bought last year to play some tank skirmishes with quick to learn rules while I was on holiday on Crete with some friends.

I already have eight Abrams completely painted and ready packed in boxes but I used the opportunity to add some details to all of the models. Two of them belong to the Zvezda Hot War range and two others still need a commander figure, as I found out by the way.

Unfortuantely I used another painting method on the older M1s. They were all primed in black and you can clearly see the difference between old and new.

The contrast between the camouflage colours on the new one (front) is much brighter. The overall look of the older version is much darker and even a stronger drybrush couldn’t fix that. Nevertheless, all models are ok for my liking. Important experience points gained!

We need more elephant shoes!!!

We need more elephant shoes!!!

At least in the Bundeswehr, the M113 was nicknamed „Elephant Shoe“. I guess, in a Cold War setting of the 60s, 70s or 80s you can never have enough of this versatile APCs and its variants.

In this phase of my US army project I had to finish ten M113 of different sorts And one is rather an objective or scenery item with a base.

The two M577s were lready mostly done and I only added some minor details like head- and backlights. Both models are older pieces from Battlefront’s Vietnam range.

The standard M113s were also nearly complete, even with the commander figure. So only some detailing and drybrushing with Zandri Dust here.

Finally, the support variants of the M113 family.

On the M901s and M163s only the camouflage pattern was done and, firstly, I used the infamous MIG-filter on them, as on the LAVs and other models before.

The turrets of the M163s were harmed the most by the filter but could easily be fixed with some Revell Bronzegrün.

These M163s also still need some figures for gunners.

This is another ten tanks off the list! I’m really coming to an end here.

M2 Bradley ready for action

M2 Bradley ready for action

The Bradleys were mostly done and I only added some minor details like some red for backlights and blue for window slits.

The battle ready M2.

All in all, I think, due to the black primer these models became too dark. That’s why I stopped using black primer on all later models. Fortunately there are enough colour primers around nowadays.

This model is another one from Zvezda, the only Bradley available in 15mm, as far as I know. However, as it seems, Battlefront will release its own Bradley model for Team Yankee with the next wave of US verhicles.

The Zvezda model shows the deficiency of some of their 1/100 modern vehicles: The sculpt seems to be unfinished! Here you can see it on the headlights.

All the details for the headlights were omitted. This is strange because Zvezda usually produces highly regarded scale models and the rest of the model is well detailed.
For me, I decided not to paint headlights on but to keep camouflage pattern to do exactly this, to camouflage it! Battlefront’s kit will hopefully be better!
I already took some pictures of the model a few years ago, along with some minis I had painted at that time.

Another three off the list!

„The Roof, the Roof…!“

„The Roof, the Roof…!“

Michael Moore coined my image of the M109 in „Fahrenheit 9/11“. In one scene you see crews firing their 155mm guns during the Iraq War to the music of the Blood Hound Gang’s iconic song „Fire Water Burn“. One of the moments in life when you feel fascinated and disgusted at the same time.

The M109

Nevertheless, yesterday I did the last brush stroke on these. In addition to painting details, wash and drybrush, I also added some jerry cans on each side of the turrets.
These are the plastic models from Zvezda, originally for their own tactics game Hot War: Battle for Oil. A game I never played but some of the models for this game are really great. And the M109 is one of them.

I already had some of the older Battlefront M109s made of resin and metal parts for their Vietnam range. But I don’t like that old model which is rather chunky, in my opinion. But I used these models for my West German army later as you can see in the pictures.

The Zvezda model shows much more detail and was much easier to build. Superb fitting with no glue required! The only major disadvantage is that it can’t be built open-hatched. So no model with a commander on this one.
Comparing the Zvezda M109 with the new plastic M109 from Battlefront, derived from pictures on their homepage, the similiarities between both models are so big that I’m wondering if there was a cooperation between both companies. Only some details on the wheels and the back of the turret seem to be more elaborated.

Another four off the list!!!

„Buckle up!“

„Buckle up!“

Last night I finished the six Humvees. The sight of these and having some more time during quasi-quarantine brings me in the mood of replaying some C&C Generals. 🙂

Hah! This should be fun!“

The Team Yankee HMMWV Platoon box contains six models which can be built with all important weapons options for the basic M998: M2, Mk19 and TOW launcher. In the end, I decided to built two of each. First I thought about not to glue the pintle mounts to change weaponry according to scenario requirements but then decided not to bother around with small parts flying around.

„Hey, check out our new TOW Missile!

Painting was fairly easy. Here I used the Team Yankee NATO spray as a primer without any other basecoat, brushed on the camouflage scheme and used the same filter as on the LAVs (MIG-1506, Brown for Dark Green). Here again some spots turned whitish and I had to fix that up with some camouflage green by brush. The rest was Nuln Oil and some details.

„Come on in!“

As for the LAVs, I had a 1/72 counterpart, from Dragon this time, which I finished about one or two years ago.

„Got room for five!“

The comparison between the two models shows that the M2 on the 15mm Humvee is ridiculously long. I hope to find some better scaled M2s in the future and will change them then.
The storage equipment on the 1/72th is from the same set as the LAV-25’s. I also changed the original wheels from the box for some rubber tyres from a company called Caliber .50. This was the first time I ever used products from the second market for scale models. Until back then I had no idea how big this market is. Hobby indulgence without end! 😀

„Let’s go!“

This LAV-25 and Humvee share the same fate. Bought, built and primed in 2013 they rested in a cupboard for more than five years. When the Shame in ‚Pile of Shame‘ became just too big, these were about the first models to be finished.
Most of my 20mm stuff that was intended for wargamining I sold some years ago but I kept these for a diorama on my mind.

Oorah!!!

Oorah!!!

The first group of vehicles is finished: 4 LAV-25 and 1 LAV-AT. They only still need some varnish but I will do this when everthing is finished. And one of LAV-25s still needs a commander figure and a MG.

Family LAV ready for battle.

This was the first time I ever used a filter on models to smoothen the contrast between the colours of the three colour camouflage scheme. Generally the result was really good and much better than expected but in some spots and lines (Where the filter pooled, I guess!) the NATO green faded to white. The black and brown colours were not affected. I fixed that with the shade of Nuln Oil but some areas still look off colour. The final touch was a drybrush with Zandri Dust.

One of the 15mm LAVs in detail.

Last year I already finished a Trumpeter LAV-25 in 1/72th which now served as an example for the scheme and details. This one was a nemesis of mine which rested in my shelf unfinished for years.

1/72 LAV-25 from Trumpeter. Packed up with equipment from Black Dog.

This model is a relict from pre-Team Yankee times when I planned Cold War tabletop with models in 20mm scale. Now this one is supposed to become part of a diorama set in the Twilight:2000 universe. Another project waiting to happen! But for now, five (good as) finished LAVs is a fine result to finish an evening.