Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Federal Republic of Gambusia Infantry Battalion

I finally completed the Federal Republic of Gambusia's infantry battalion, more or less.  All of the infantry is from Heroics & Ros new 80s British infantry. At first, I was going to go with GHQ's Bushfire Warriors (TW8 & 9), but I didn't want them to be armed with AK-47s. Then, I considered their 3rd World Regulars (TW12 & 13). They are armed with HK G3 rifles and sport US WW2 M1 helmets. The FRG gets most of its equipment from England and France, plus they are all armed with RPG-7s for their anti-tank weapon, so I rejected them.

When H&R came out with their 80s British Infantry, I knew that those were a perfect fit. These guys are a big improvement over older H&R infantry, not that I mine the old ones. Besides their British kit, what attracted me to them is the variety and options you can choose from. In addition to rifle armed infantry, they have troops firing a Carl Gustav, a light LAW, machines guns mounted on both bipods and tripods, snipers, scouts armed with submachine guns, light and medium mortars....you get the idea.

I follow Fist Full of TOWs 2 for making up the TO&Es. Each stand represents a platoon. On paper, the battalion is supposed to have three anti-tank platoons, being made up of either the PV-1110 recoilless rifle, or the Milan ATGM. I only managed to make one RR stand. Also, there should be a third 81mm mortar stand, but I can't seem to find the third one. Here is the group shot of the 3rd Mechanized battalion:


 APCs or transport is interchangeable. The 3rd MI uses the Alvis Saracen APC for its infantry platoons. All other support stands either uses trucks, or a RG-31 Nyala to pull the RR.

Infantry

1st Platoon; company command
Another shot of the first platon. The Carl Gustav can be better seen
The first platoon of each company is considered to be the command platoon. It's not a big deal in FFT rules, but it is for Cold War Commander, if I chose to use them. The command platoon has a 84mm Carl Gustav RR for it's anti-tank weapon. The other platoons have the M72 LAW.


Remaining platoons in each company
Besides the lighter M72 LAWs, the remaining platoons of each company has a man armed with a Bren Gun. The Bren gunner can be seen in prone position in the middle of the stan.


Heavy Weapons


Each company has a heavy weapons platoon. It is armed with a L7 GPMG medium machine gun, and a light mortar. Presumably, it also has an M72 LAW. They also make a L7 GPMG on a tripod, but I opted for the bipod. It seemed to go better with the dude firing the light mortar. Older versions of FFT had specific rules for light mortars, but in the 3rd edition, they seem to have disappeared.


Anti-tank Units
PV-1110 RR with RG-31 to tow it.

As I said above, the anti-tank platoons vary as far as what they are armed with.  Going over my TO&E, I noticed that some infantry battalions have the 120mm Wombat RR mounted on a jeep. This battalion happens to be armed with the PV-1110 RR. Why the PV-1110? What not? According to Wikipedia, the Swedes made 1,600 of them, so it's conceivable that some have found their way to the FRG. I am not sure if the RG-31 would be used to carry the RR and its crew, but I figured it might as well as a truck seemed too big. Whereas the gunner as the spotter are H&R figures, the recoilless rifle and the RG-31 are from Scotia-Gendel. Scotia makes several different sized generic RRs. The PV-1110 is only a 90mm weapon, but it has a rather long barrel so their large RR fit best. When I get around to it, I will paint up and base the H&R Milan team. 

Battalion-level Artillery

Each battalion has a company of 81mm mortars stands. The third stand is probably buried somewhere under all my junk on my work bench. I should have taken a picture of, but I also had a GHQ Soviet 82mm mortar team that I was working. The size difference is really noticeable. The GHQ mortar looks like a 120mm mortar compared to the H&R's 81mm mortar. 

Air Defence

Blowpipe MANPAD


The most pressing enemy that the FRG currently has to face is various rebel groups that persist on the borders with the two Chalupistans. Therefore, air defense is not a big priority. Nonetheless, they are reasonably prepared. The battalion HQ has a Blowpipe team, and a 40mm Bofors AA gun platoon. I plan to make a Blowpipe team based, but I see so many pictures of MANPADS being fired out of tanks and APCs that I couldn't resist mounting one on the back of the Saracen. I can't remember who makes the Bofors, but I don't think its from H&R, maybe CinC. Also, this stand is intended to be also used by Southern Chalupastan, so it's gunners are not painted the same colors as the Gambusian troops. 

The Gambusian are pretty much ready to go. Next up is to add to my rebel army. I do have some units, but they are vastly overwhelmed by the Gambusians, or everyone else for that matter. I recently primed some of GHQs Sub-Saharan Irregulars (TW14), and plan to pain them up. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Nerd Fest a No Go

Not sure what happened but a few days before my spring break, I saw a bunch of flyers up on walls for Nerd Fest. The date was March 25. I had no time to get anything ready. I spent my spring break working on research in Kansas.

Apparently, my game last year was forgotten by the student committee who runs it. The faculty/staff sponsor might have asked me, but she's been having a lot of major health issues lately, so I suspect Nerd Fest has not been on top of her list of priorities. It would have been nice to have been asked if I wanted to run another game this year, but not the end of the world.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Kiowa Warrior #2: WIP part 2

Last post on these choppers, I showed the incomplete Kiowa Warrior #2. It had fell apart thanks to trying to glue a magnet on the bottom. Well, I did my best to patch it up but I am not 100% happy with it:



Issues:
1. The rotor had broken off. I had to insert a thicker base to the rotor to hold it on. I used a styrene tube. It's a little taller than originally, but it is not too obvious. 

2. The rocket launcher is way too large. It should be the LAU-68 launcher that fits only seven rockets. I planned to use a styrene dowel rod, but all the ones I had were either too thick or too thin in diameter. The closest hobby shop where I can get a better matching rod is almost an hour away. I punted and used my old standby toothpick technique. The toothpick-sized launcher looks good on fixed wing aircraft; not so much on a helicopter. 

3. The 50 cal machine gun looks kind of smallish even though it's a spare from a GHQ model. Maybe the rocket launcher makes it look smaller than it is. Also, there was no way I was going to try to model the ammo box that sits on the side of the fuselage nor the ammo belt between the two. 

4. Finally, and my biggest gripe, is the canopy and windows. I got a lot of feedback on Warrior #1 from the FB 6mm groups. Several said to paint them silver and then apply some Tamyia clear green on it. I did this, but I don't really like how it turned out. For one thing, I couldn't get the silver paint smooth, so there's little chunkies in it that made the green puddle around them. Second, I felt I didn't have much control over the green paint. It reminds me of the elytra of a metallic green beetle:

Source: www.bugguide.net


Here is #2 next to his brother:


I will repaint the canopy and windows with my light blue. The light blue looks sort of fakey, but it looks aesthetically pleasing to me. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Thinking About Nerd Fest 2017

It's never too early to plan for what is for me, the only "gaming" convention I go to. Our spring semester ends early this year, so Nerd Fest isn't that far down the line. First, should I put on another mass fantasy battle, or do something different? As an alternative, I was thinking about a WWII microarmor game. I envision a very loose interpretation of the Battle of the Bulge...emphasis on very loose interpretation. Basically, the Germans have three or four objectives and must accomplish them in a set number of turns that represents when their fuel and supplies run out. I'm not sure what rules I'd use, but something that is fast and easy for participants to pick up.

If I do put on another fantasy game, I might have a different scenario that involves more participants. Also, do I stick to my slightly modified version of Dragon Rampant, or give another rule set a go? I am sort of leaning toward sticking with Dragon Rampant since I know from last year what worked, what didn't, and how fix what didn't.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Kiowa Warrior #2 WIP


Disaster struck when I was trying to glue a rare earth magnet onto this Kiowa Warrior. This was the one whose Hellfire missile rack fell off. Well, the other rack fell off, the rotor broke off (at right of the chopper) and the landing skids got all bent out of shape. Morale of the story, glue the magnet one long before you complete the model.

So, I decided to make my own weapons pylons. Those at the two white things sticking off of the bottom of the chopper's body. I made them out of thin styrene.

The right one is going to get a cylindrical rocket launcher; the left will be a 50 cal machine gun. For some reason, the machine guns are required to be on the left side on a Warrior. The missile launcher will be easy to make. It probably won't be perfectly to scale, but I'm not overly picky about that. The machine gun might be another issue. Some are contained within a pod, but I am planning to have it exposed:
Source: http://www.arabic-military.com/
I am not sure how I will do the ammo feed. Also, the only free Browning 50 cals I have are from C-in-C. They are ok, but the barrels are a little spindly. Even if they are more in scale, I'd rather have a GHQ machine on it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mr. Surfacer


I waited about a month for this stuff to get here. I think it came directly from Japan. A lot of folks on my various Facebook groups have been using it as a primer. I have bottle of the Mr. Surfacer 500, but that is more for gap filling. The higher number equals thinner stuff. As much as I prefer spray primers, it's been difficult lately to go out and spray things and I am really not that crazy about Gesso. This might be a better option for a brush on primer.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Kiowa Warrior


During my search for the missing painted up infantry units, I found this guy and his brother primed and sitting in a storage drawer. His bro had his Hellfire missile rack broken off, so he is still unpainted. It's from GHQ.

These are designated for the Federal Republic of Gambusia. Not sure why they would have them, but I've already painted them in the FRG's standard aviation color of Vallejo Green Brown. I really like this color and if I had paid attention to it earlier, I would have used it for Southern Chalupastan. But alas, I am not going to strip battalions of tanks and APCs. It was ugly enough doing it for about 18 APCs.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Article on Technicals

I found this interesting article on Technicals and their tactics on  the Modern Warfare group Facebook site.  Worth a look:

Technical Notes: A Primer

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Test Shots

I am pretty tired of taking pictures of my figures on my workbench, so I set up a photography station using some work lamps and LED bulbs based on a member of the Facebook 6mm miniatures group. Initially, I had a white cloth backdrop, but the picture came out too yellow. I bought sheet medium grey cloth that seemed to work a little better. I think the type of bulbs are what give the pictures a yellow hue. Here are some test shots using various 15mm fantasy figures.

Essex Late Medieval with sculpted shield
The knight above was photographed with the white dropcloth as a background. Both he and background have a yellow hue to it.

Same background but I color corrected it. This is  much what it naturally looks like, except it seems like it was a little desaturated.

Ral Partha Lady Paladin
Here is another with a white background. Again, color corrected.


Below are photos taken with the grey dropcloth. I did use the color correction mode in Photoshop, but differences were not nearly as dramatic.

Demonworld magic user

Essex fantasy foot knight

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Short and the Tall

I'm about done painting all the vehicles for the Federal Republic of Gambusia's army. Their arsenal includes both the French AML H-90 and the British Staghound III armored cars. When I put them side by side, the AML was pretty dinky compared to the Staghound.


But apparently, the AML is very small:

Source: Thomas Webber II
 whereas the Staghound is rather large:
Source: Thomas Webber II
It was describe to me by a member of the Facebook 6mm Wargaming and Terrain Group as, "The Staghound was a wheeled tank, the AML was a turret on an armoured jeep."

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mayhem on the Painting Table

School starts Tuesday, so I've been trudging away at syllabi. Last week, I had a game of Blood Bowl with my friend Will. For a Games Workshop game, I enjoyed it. He is wanting to put together a league. I am not sure if I can play every week, but I am seriously thinking of giving it a go.

The big blizzard that was supposed to hit us hard turned out to be not as back as it could have been. With nowhere to go and stuck inside, I got a chance to do some painting. I am scrambling to get bunch done for the Federal Republic of Gambusia Defense Force.

The poor Reaper bugbear will have to wait.

Now I have to find where I put all my finished infantry stands! Not where I thought they would be. I found this guy on the floor by my table:


A deserter? I will need to interrogate him to find out where his comrades are!

Additionally, the General ordered all AFVs of the Northern Chalupistan army to change to a new paint scheme (Command Directive 3.1415). This was ordered, no doubt, to make all army vehicles have a similar camo scheme as that of the air force. I never liked the various paint schemes I tried for the Northern army, so I decided to repaint them to parallel the air force. It's a khaki tan with camo stripes of green. BUT, I hate stripping paint, and Simple Green is not living up to its legendary prowess.