Friday, April 30, 2021

Rock Trolls

It is finals time at my college, and with the pandemic, it has been very chaotic. My "boss" the department chair, who was in the army for about six years says I am suffering from combat fatigue. Not to sound whiny, but the administration is so worried about the students' mental health...faculty, not so much. There's been nights where I'm up until midnight or so grading and there's been nights where after my parental chores, I say, "to hell with it!" and call it a night. On some of those nights, I've been doing a lot of painting. I seemed to have swung the pendulum back to fantasy figures. Maybe it was due to the painting challenge I had with an old college friend, or maybe it's just more relaxing to paint an warrior than a tiny AFV. Also, my focus has been on painting things so that my son can I can game. Little by little, he seems to be more interested. 

These are probably the fastest figures I've painted. Splintered Light rock trolls. I got them as part of a Kickstarter. I had no clue how I wanted to approach them, so I painted them gray and that was that. Maybe took about 20 minutes, if you don't count waiting for the wash and the the spray coat to dry, and then overnight to let the flock dry.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Numbering bases for 3mm armies

 This weekend, I started numbering units of my 1/600 armies for my Bovatopia campaign. I didn't get too far, but this is an example of how I'm indicating companies and platoons:

Three companies with four platoons each

Company of M48A5s

For my 1/300 microarmor, I number the infantry bases with numbers. These are too tiny to do that, so, I am using colors to denote company and a yellow tick mark to indicate platoon. I use Fist Full of TOWs organization of units. 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Dwarf Painting Challenge

 Facebook is a pretty good way of keeping up with old (real) friends. In fact, the whole reason why I signed up with Facebook, was to keep up with my friends from my graduate school days at the University of Kansas. I come to find out over time, that one of them is a big D&D gamer. Had I known that way back in the day, we probably could have did a lot of gaming. A couple of weeks ago, we challenged each other to a paint contest, or really a painting swap. We picked out a 28mm figure from Reaper Miniatures, painted it, and then sent it to each other. As I was ordering mine, I ran across another Dwarf who would make a nice companion/partner in crime/girlfriend. I thought I'd surprise my friend with this extra figure. Below are the results.

His miniature:

My miniatures:

He opted for a base of sand, which was courtesy of  Lake Eerie. The skull came from a GW set of a 100 skulls. I used MDF bases that I had lying around for a long time. I wanted a dungeon effect, so I used this rubber stamp that I had bought awhile back and pressed it into polymer clay. For best results, according to the company that makes the stamp, you are supposed to use Green Stuff. I don't have any, but the polymer clay work just as well. 

We ended up with different interpretations, though it was funny that I had originally thought to paint much of my dwarf's armor in blue metallic, but then decided not to go with that. I enjoyed the challenge, but it reminded me of why I don't game in 25/28mm scale anymore. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

She said she was on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan

 March came in like a lion for me and still is roaring at me...more like screaming at me. A lot of health issues have popped up, but not for me. My mother has been in the hospital for the third time in two months. A friend from work and the husband of another friend from work both have been hit with cancer.  In terms of work, I am running out of steam. Between dealing with administrators, other faculty, and students who won't do their work, I am so done. Remote and hybrid learning is a joke, and the administrators feel that its business as usual during this time of pandemic. The only bright spot is that I got my COVID vaccine last Saturday and will go in for my second one on March 27. 

I have not done a whole lot hobby-wise. I have no energy for it. I've managed to do a few things. For now, I give you 15mm fantasy Dwarven Princess Leia from BVG. The photo is not up to par, but it is what it is. I wasn't too happy with the face. Unlike a lot of other miniatures from BVG, her face lacks detail. She will likely join other Dwarves in future skirmish battles with my son.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Fantasy Skirmish Game with my Son

About two weeks ago, I had a skirmish battle with my son. Orcs vs. Good Guys consisting of humans and a couple of dwarves. We played on top of a large plastic storage box that was ideal for a skirmish game. We used his rather random rules that are loosely based on our 15mm sci-fi skirmish rules.

Here's the happy goblin and his army of bad guys. The big, ogre thing is on top of their makeshift stronghold:

First couple of turns. Good guys moving out to engage the baddies:

View from the bad guy's side. The ogre watches the enemy. For some reason, the ogre was not allowed to move unless he rolled a 3 or 4. My son's idea, not mine:

The ogre finally rolled a 3 on his activation dice and joined his fellow orcs. Combat then begins! A human paladin (maybe an elf, not sure) is dispatched by an orc!

Next turn. On the good guys’ left flank, the wizard zaps an orc. On the right flank, a human (the Sensitive Pit Fighter Dude) and two dwarves battle the orcs, taking down an orc:

Fierce fighting on the left flank as Sir Partner (yes, that is his name) fends off three orcs while the wizard prepares another spell:

The clash of steel could be heard on the right flank! Two dwarves and the Sensitive Pit Fighter Dude do battle some orcs. Two more move up to join the fight:

One of the dwarves and an orc manage to take each other out:

Meanwhile, Sir Partner is a fighting machine! He takes out one of the three that he was fighting:

The Paladin fights an orc and the wizard is attacked by another orc:

Back on the right side, the dwarf and pit fighter are holding their own, but two other orcs are about to join the fight: 

Another view of the action. The ogre seems to be taking his sweet time getting there:

In an unexplained turn of events, one of the orcs is somehow teleported to the top of the Good Guys' very unfinished stronghold:

On the right, the human pit fighter goes down. On the left, the ogre finally joins the battle:

As a result, the other paladin goes down:

But the wizard casts a resurrection spell and he lives to fight again! Yay!

The revived paladin strikes a deadly blow to the ogre while the wizard zaps him at the same time. The result is a dead ogre! More yay!!

But oh no! Sir Partner and his orc opponent kill each other!

Cheer up! A second resurrection spell saves Sir Partner!

On the right, the second dwarf goes down but managed to take out an orc. One orc still standing:

Seeing the ogre dead and the wizard managing to resurrect warriors, the orcs turn and run:

Sir Partner and the paladin catch up to them and kill another one:

The one orc turns to fight and sadly kills our paladin before running away:


End of the battle. The orc on the top of the good guys' fort surrenders. Sir Partner and the wizard have mercy and let him run away. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

The New Year Resolution

I've been putting out fires since the new year started. One of which has caused me to think. Not to go into the ugly details but somehow I've been charged outrageous amounts of money for playing Fortnite. My son plays this game. Long story short, I almost had a heart attack Friday when I got my credit card statement. It might be him, it might be someone who hacked my credit card. He claims he didn't buy anything. Do I believe my 8-year old? Yes and no. I might not have intentionally bought things but maybe he did. At the same time, the frequency of the purchases seem very suspicious. 

It got me to thinking about my own spending habits. I'm not speaking for anyone else in the gaming world, just me.  I tend to spend and spend and spend. I have a lot of miniatures still unpainted. I tend go after any new shiny thing I see. For the past week, I've been contemplating some new areas of gaming to get into. Even when I paint my miniatures or build my scenery, games don't get played. I set goals that don't seem to be ever reached. It reminds me of my graduate school days. Many of my follow grad students would continue to work on and on doing their research, or writing the dissertation because they felt it was just not quite perfect. I did the same thing. "If I just add one more datum point to the analysis, it would be perfect."

Out of this, I decided that:
1. I will make due with what I currently have. 
2. I don't need to follow any shiny new things. No new projects.
3. as a result of (1) and (2), I am going to stop buying things for my hobby for the foreseeable future.

No new rules, no new miniatures, no new board games. 

I had to suspend my credit card so that Epic Games couldn't charge me with anything. As a consequence, I got notices from several vendors that they couldn't process my order. I suppose I could have sent them a different credit card to use, but instead, I just cancelled the orders. I do have some orders that are on their way here. Those will be it for quite a while. 

But just so that there is something for you to look at here. I found a number of metal cookie tins at my Mother's house. The Bovatopian army now has a new home in a single box and not scattered among many tiny boxes.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

The March Toward 3mm War Continues

I managed to get a little hobby time in during Thanksgiving break. I wanted to clean off my bench, at least in terms of figures strewn across the table, so I went back and forth between 15mm fantasy and 1/600 stuff. Its probably been a year now, but I bought a whole mess of 1/600 AFV and infantry from Just Jack. He was running an pretty cool ImagiNation campaign with his son, but it didn't seem to last long. He sold them plus a bunch of WWII minis of the same scale. I've been slowly swapping out the stands to fit in with mine. However, in the spirit of "I want to play a game before I die," I left a bunch on their original stands and flocked some of the ones that still need flocking.

A side track to the side track of my original Gambusia campaign is that the nation of Aquor-Ornur is planning to attack an ally of Lavonia, Symbalia. If you read that original post, they have a tiny army but is funded by and large by the USA. Well, two things, first it got transplanted to the world of Bovatopia and second, its army and airforce grew a lot.

They now have three armored battalions. Their front line tanks are the M48A5 sporting a 105mm gun. In the other two battalions are M47 and Sherman Fireflies. 

M48A5 with Sherman Fireflies behind them

Their main APCs are M1A3 halftracks. I am in the process of painting up some M113s but have not finished them. 

Artillery and Fire Support
The main artillery is some sort of 150 or 155mm field howitzers. I am not sure what they are. They don't seem to be US 155mm howitzers. But I'm not going to be picky. Most rules are not overly finnicky on the type of gun, more on the caliber and type of ammo. 

Just Jack's campaign was over a period time: same nations, different time periods in terms of hardware. So, in addition to the halftracks and the Fireflies, there are a lot of US tank destroyers of WWII vintage. Most of them are M18 Hellcats and a few M10 Wolverines. For some reason, I never liked the Hellcat, but I've got them so, I plan to use them. You can also see in the picture below a towed Bofors 40mm AA gun and a few random trucks.

Attack Helicopters
These weren't a part of Just Jack's collection. I went back and forth between just how advanced A-O's air support would be. I finally on more high tech to offset the low tech ground units. These are actually Chinese Z-10 attack helicopters, but all of these modern attack helicopter look pretty much the same, particularly at 1/600 scale. So, they are supposed to be the Agusta A129 Mangusta. I have had back luck trying to attach the clear rotors that are provided with the models, so I plan to cut out some clear plastic disks and use those.

Source: Aldo Bidini - commons file, CC BY-SA 4.0,

I didn't take any photos of infantry other than the one below. It seems to be a combo heavy weapons-ATGM team. Maybe the machine gunners are supposed to be part of the ATGM team? I have not figured out what the infantry have for LAWs, but I do like these for infantry ATGMs. It might be a Javelin or Dragon, but I'm going to use it as an Israeli Spike MR or LR. Again, at that scale, it can be anything you want it to be.

Source: Natan Flayer - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

I bought a set of these off of Shapeways. I don't remember who the vendor was. They are the Russian VPK-39273 Volk-3 6x6 APC armed with a 120mm rifled mortar, the 2B17 Nona-K. They are incorporated into the mighty Bovatopian army as much needed artillery support.

Source: January 2014