As an early Christmas present I treated myself to an old Märklin starter set I found on ebay. And guess what? It’s incomplete! Three curves are missing and no word about in the description. But at least it works.
Oh,boy! I remember that smell of burned iron from my childhood days. Gladly the set was cheap enough not to complain too much and I ordered the missing rails for a really decent price.
This antique controller though frightens me a bit. So when I tested it (Very carefully!) I was prepared for the worst and to react in an instant if necessary. But it works fine. Even the switch for going into revers. (Is there a proper word for that in English?) I will not lose a word about these cable/ plug connections here.
So, whereforefore? The idea is to teach myself a little bit more about maths, physics and electronics with the help of a book that uses model trains as demonstration material. Ok, that’s only a pretext. I just wanted a model train!
Today I visited the scale model exhibition in Rheine, Modellbauwelt 2021, for the first time in years. This time together with my brother. This exhibition is in no way not as big as the one in Bünde (Baden-Württemberg) but the entrance is free.
As a bonus I found some nice cheap additions to my Cold War collection.
I also had the chance to talk to the club’s chairman, the GFWC Rheine. Unfortunately he had to tell me there isn’t much club activity going on anymore. Still there were some clubs from Brandenburg and Duisburg exhibiting their pieces and I hope for 2022 event in which I might take part.
Today I finished painting four cargo loads for the Zvezda Ural 4320 Truck in 15mm. Not really much to do on them but it’s a good feeling to get something done this early in the year.
These pieces are a very nice addition to an already great model suitable for many different settings.
I already had four of the truck models, ordered in around 2015, when I found these loads on sandsmodels.com. In addition they offer a conversion kit for an office body which makes a very nice comand vehicle. At that time, in 2017 or 18 maybe, they also sold models of the Ural and so I snatched four loads, the office body and a fifth Ural in one order. The four cargo trucks and the comand truck were already finished one or two years ago.
A very nice convoy ready to get ambushed by some partisans or special forces teams! 🙂
The last few weeks I managed to finish four units of 40k minis, 34 figures as a whole. That was only possible due to the extensive use of Citadel Contrast paints. Otherwise that would have taken me years!
These 12 Hormagaunts are my first Tyranids ever and were completely done with Contrast paints – with a very good result considering the effort. I have no intention of collecting a ’nid army which is my least favourite of all 40k factions. My plan is to use them for Space Hulk-like scenarios in Kill Team. Maybe some Tyranid warriors will join their ranks later.
The next three units are all Orks that I wanted for KT.
I really like the idea of a big bunch of Snotlings as a kill team. These 10 were painted up nearly in zero time so I might add some more in the future if they turn out to be fun in the game. Most was done with Contrast paints. The Runtherd is a mixture of contrast and traditional method.
Burna Boyz is what I wanted most for KT Arena. Their area effect fire template should do good use in the narrow passages. Only the skin was done with contrast paints, the rest is traditional method.
These Nobz were painted the same way as the Burnas. Painting Ork skin the contrast way gives very nice results. Until now I only had Nobz with sluggas and choppas. Now I also have options for kombi-weapons but what I really wanted was the boss with the big choppa… Good noone can hear me talking! 😉
This year our summer holiday led us on a trip around Scotland and we also spent a night in the city of Edinburgh. During our first stroll through the city we passed by Wonderland Models just by coincidence, as they call themselves: the „largest model specialist in the country and one of the largest in the world“.
Wonderland Models storefront. Picture taken from their website.
Of course I had to go there and I can say this is definitely the largest exclusive model shop I have ever been to. Wonderful not only to look at pictures but taking boxes into your hands, feeling the weight and reading the texts. The sheer amount of models was mind-blowing. A modelshop doesn’t have to be this big but I wish there would still be more model shops around. Very often even the big department stores don’t offer scale models anymore. Wisely enough Wonderland Models also has an online shop: https://www.wonderlandmodels.com/
Of course I could have ordered there online but buying in store just felt so good. These three just had to be. 🙂
While the world keeps debating about sustainable living, recycling and reusing, we are bringing this concept to the gaming world. Nothing we played with last weekend was younger than 20 years… and it still works! 😉
Amazingly this was the first time we met face-to-face for gaming this year. First our timetables were against us and later lockdown struck – though we played several scenarios of Descent via Skype during this time.
We started this gaming weekend with some 1989 SpaceHulk. I had never played this classic before and I felt there was a gap to be filled. However, my mate had lost the rules but now he brought them from his parents‘ place… along with some other stuff and we played an introductory mission twice.
First time I ended up with the choice between blowing my flamethrower Termi myself or going into close combat. I opted for close combat and lost it… expectingly! Second time, the same mission, I had learned my lesson and managed to fulfill the objective in short time.
Still a nice game but before going into SpaceHulk any deeper I’d rather go for KillTeam. However, I like the idea of moving blips which turn into groups of ‚Nids and I was surprised how much the whole concept reminded me of Descent which came some 15 years later.
Next morning we started out with BattleTech which we hadn’t played for over a year. Shameful! However, to keep it short(er), we decided for one Recon-Lance each. An encounter I lost bitterly! I hate a crazy Spider in my back!
Along with the SpaceHulk rules my mate brought some other gaming stuff from his parents‘ attic and one of his old gaming friends who wanted to clear his cellar. First thing was a group of old FASA tanks for BattleTech. I purchased these for a fair price for my growing BattleTech army.
Something else that was on offer was an old 2nd edition SpaceMarine-box, today better known as Epic.
Epic is on my list for building an army since a long time but I did not have much hope it would ever come true. At least as long as GW does not release a new edition. Now, this offer came quite as a surprise and could be the first step of a long gaming dream come true. Though there will be a lot of work ahead and as the minis are all oop, this could become expensive when finding additional troops on ebay.
However, a great bonus: While my mate rummaged through his left-overs in his parents‘ attic, he found an old box of BattleTitans with five Warlord Titans still on sprue which he gave me for free! A bottle of gin was the least I could give him for this. Cheers! 🙂
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.
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.
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!
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!