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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 ZvezdaHot 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!
The Bradleys were mostly done and I only added some minor details like some red for backlights and blue for window slits.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
As for the LAVs, I had a 1/72 counterpart, from Dragon this time, which I finished about one or two years ago.
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 Calibre72. 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! 😀
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A long story is about to come to an end. During the next few days and weeks I hope to finish my US-Army for Team Yankee. Most of the work (Mainly NATO-camouflage pattern, that is!) was already done during the last summer holidays. The next step is painting some details, shading, doing some highlights and varnishing.
The list of the models to be treated:
2 M151 MUTT jeeps (Done!)
5 M35 trucks (Done!)
6 HUMVEES (Done!)
4 LAV-25 (Done!)
1 LAV-AT (Done!)
2 M901 ITV (Done!)
2 M163 Vulcan (Done!)
4 M109 Paladin (Done!)
1 M1 Abrams (Done!)
All in all that is 27 vehicles. Some more models are in a more advanced stage and will hopefully only need some varnish:
4 M113 APC (Done!)
2 M577 (Done!)
3 M2 Bradley (Done!)
With this paint job accomplished one of my major hobby projects will be finished. Well, besides of some figures for drivers then…
2019 marked my return to scale model building. Though I built several Revell, Trumpeter and other kits in recent years, it was always with wargaming on my mind, usually tanks in 20mm scale for Coldwar gaming.
In 2017 I met an experienced scale modeller whom I showed some of my wargaming stuff and he asked me to take part in a scale modelling exhibition in our vicinity (Maple Leaf, Brühl) to present some of my minis and models. On the one hand, I didn’t feel well with the idea. Scale modelling and building for wargames are truly two different disciplines. While wargamers usually want to put up a big army quickly, commited scale modellers put much effort into details („No, no, these oil stains are too far away from the exhaust pipe!“) On the other hand, I couldn’t get the idea off my mind. The release of MiG Alley!, the expansion for Warlord Games‚ Blood Red Skies last year, put a new light on this.
This was my plan: Bring some tabletop wargaming to a scale model exhibition and invite people to play MiG Alley! there. At the same time I wanted to present a MiG-15 and F-86 in scale.
But time told me another story and I just couldn’t finish my projects. Anyway, as I was told, the interest in wargames at scale modelling events is usually rather low. So I presented an Airfix MiG-15 in 1/72th there and that was it. Next time I also might have finished the F-86. ;-(
When I was a kid I built a lot of scale models but never put much effort into painting them. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun with the hobby and some of the old models still exist… back in the darkness of some dusty cupboards. And that’s the problem with scale models: After building you can do nothing with them, except displaying. Ok, one or two of them went boom with a cracker… but those were the days. I guess this is why scale modelling is rather unpopular among young people nowadays. In wargaming displaying gets a meaning. The true fun starts with playing and testing your models against opponents. As for me, circumstamces brought me back to scale modelling and I have plans for the future.
The last few weeks I managed to built and paint the scenery items from the Warhammer 40.000 Kill Team Arena box. Not a very exciting project but it’s nice to see some things getting done quickly.
The whole set consists of 8 Promethium/oil barrels, 2 plasma barrels, 12 big and 8 smaller boxes, 2 industrial pipes and 10 doors. Two additional boxes seen in the picture are from the Sector Fronteris box. Instead of the colourful schemes shown in the Arena rulebook, I used rather dull and dirty colours which, to my mind, fit the 40k-atmosphere much more. This way, I hope, they will also fit with other games like Special Ops or Zona Alfa without looking completely out of place.
The main aim was to get things done quickly. The industrial tubes got a basecoat of Army Painter Platemail spray followed by Army Painter Quickshade Strong tone… something that I didn’t use in years.
The doors were basecoated with Army Painter German Grey spray, followed by Army Painter Quickshade Soft tone. First I wanted to finish at this point but I added some details for contrast.
Of course the doors are crying for even more details like blood smears or bullet holes on them but I keep that for a later date. Though not a demanding paintjob, these pieces will add lots of depth and detail to a battleboard. For now I call this side project finished as there are too many other things in the making.