Wednesday 30 November 2011

28mm Kobolds from Otherworld

These kobolds come from the KB4 – Kobold Command Set from Otherworld. With that set are also two guards armed with polearms, but I painted those a year ago.
Skin painted with Vallejo 940 Saddle Brown, which I think turned out to dark. I will try something lighter for next batch.
Cloak – 821 German Camouflage Beige, fur coat 981 Orange Brown. The usual Army Painter Strong Coat and matte varnish.
Lovely figures from my favourite company. Their figures are real nostalgia trips to the good old days of AD&D 1st edition. Highly recommended.

I bought a new round of figures from Otherworld the other week, and they will hit the painting table soon.

Friday 25 November 2011

Zombies from Studio Miniatures

This won't look good on my CV...
These modern zombies come from Studio Miniatures’ Zombie Mob 1 and 2. Studio Miniatures has some awesome modern zombies full of character and at very competitive prices. Unfortunately the batch I got had some figures with a lot of flash and not perfect castings. I could rectify most of it, but the female in nightie still show a bit of the miscasting on her arms.
I tried out skin colour for the zombies on this batch. The female with nightie got a base of Vallejo Game Colour Dead Flesh and a thin layer of Vallejo 955 Pale Flesh over that, painted on as a wet drybrush. The Vallejo Dead Flesh was to green in my opinion, so I tried another solution for the other figures. They got a base of Citadel Rotting Flesh and Vallejo 003 Pale Flesh over that. Much better.
The female’s nightie got a white base and a wash of Citadel Bael Red over that. That woman had a real bad morning.
The secretary type female had her dress painted with Vallejo 908 Carmine Red and hair 708 Beige Brown. The killer dress didn’t help her this day.
I won't be feeding those pigeons any more....
The male had his shirt in Prussian Blue with a drybrush of Citadel Ice Blue. He got Vallejo 883 Silver Grey hair. Unfortunately he won’t enjoy his pension any longer…
All blood was Citadel Red Gore. All figures had a coat of Army Painter Strong Tone and a final coat of Vallejo Matte Varnish. 
I think it was a mistake to paint the blood first, and then the coats. Next time I'll paint on the Army Painter coat and matte coat first, and follow that with blood and possibly a gloss coat for fresh blood, or matte coat for a more brownish dried blood.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Book review - Blitzkrieg in their own words

Blitzkrieg in their own words
First-hand accounts from German soldiers 1939-40
Pen and Sword Books, 2005, 255 pages.
This is a rather interesting book, first published in German in 1942, under the title “Mit den Panzern in Ost und West”, and then obviously a propaganda piece to get people to join the panzer-forces. It is about the campaigns in Poland and France.
It is filled with heroic deeds and deaths, defeated enemies who either fought valiantly or were cowards, very racist comments about French colonial troops, glorified versions of warfare and more.
It is written as short chapters or articles, 58 in all, presumably written by people in the field, describing an action they were embroiled in. Some detail well known actions, and others not so well known, and they could give some inspiration for scenarios.
I read a chapter now and then (decent bathroom literature, one article is about the right length
J), and they are interesting as time-pieces. All in all though, I’m not really sure.
“Blitzkrieg: in their own words” get a 2 out of 5 rating.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Chainmail wood elves in 28mm

Wood Elf Skirmisher 
A couple of wood elves from WotC’s Chainmail game. They are OK as sculpts, but rather flat. They will serve in the Chainmail skirmish game and also in "Song of Blades and Heroes". 
Me and the kids did a trial-game of the latter this weekend, just to get a hang of the basic rules. We only used two figures a side and no special rules. Worked out OK and next time we will have maybe double the numbers and have a couple of archers.
Paints used: skin Vallejo Game Color 003 Pale Flesh, pants/cloth Vallejo 881 Yellow Green and 894 Camouflage Olive Green. Hair: Scout 856 Ochre Brown, Starstrike Archer and Skirmisher 818 Red Leather and second Starstrike Archer 981 Orange Brown. Coated (as always painted not dipped) with Army Painter Strong Tone and a final coat of matte varnish from Vallejo.
Wood Elf Scout
Wood Elf Starstrike Archers

Monday 21 November 2011

Book Review - Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II

Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II
Michael Bess, Vintage Books USA, 2008, 395 pages

WWII seems so easy, two truly evil regimes, Nazi and Japanese, against the good guys. Evil vs Good. But it wasn’t that easy, even the good side did some things that would today be considered high ranking war crimes. The question is why?
This book is very good at discussing the moral ambiguities of WWII. The author tries to answer some difficult questions, for example if the bombing of German and Japanese population centres were justified. How about the alliance between UK/US and Stalin’s Soviet Union, and the Nuremburg Trials - were they fair?
Race - Übermenchen vs interned Americans with Japanese ancestry. Japanese expansion in Asia vs American and European colonies. Why did the population of Plateau Vivarais-Lignon risk their own lives to save thousands of Jews, when others collaborated. Is it OK to become a monster when you fight monsters?
I read this book with fascination, as it really tried to analyse all the cases, and did a very good job at that. It put forth questions I haven’t even considered, and gave very thoughtful and sometimes painful explanations.
The subject of morality in war I feel is very interesting and important, both for historical reasons and for contemporary.
This is without doubt one of the best and most important books I have read in the last couple of years.

“Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II” get a 5 out of 5 rating. Read it!
(For an explanation on my rating system see the bottom of the page)

Saturday 19 November 2011

Wild West buildings by Paul Darnell

Paul Darnell of Battles in Miniature is one of my favourite diorama and terrain builders, and he made four outstanding books on terrain a couple of years ago, called Touching History. They are OOP and if you want them now you can get them as PDF:s, and they are well worth the investment.
Anyway, Paul is selling a lot of terrain and buildings via his blog, and among other tempting stuff he sold “Tall Barn and Shack” in 28mm. A perfect xmas present to myself :-). The order was sent and Paul promptly sent the stuff on October 6th. Parcels from UK usually reaches me in less than a week...
I waited, and waited…and waited. After a month we both gave up, it was gone in the void. But, a couple of days ago I got a box. A box postmarked October 6th, it reached me on November 15th. A sad record, and I wonder where it had been all that time. Anyway, I got them well before xmas...
Beautiful houses that will see action soon. I’m so satisfied.

Thursday 17 November 2011

28mm Female Druid by Reaper

Say Hello to "Maralise Moonscythe, Female Druid", sculpt by Gene van Horne, no 3094 in the Dark Heaven Legends series by Reaper.
I started this one quite a while ago, and it just didn’t turn out the way I wanted it. It rested on the painting table, and I did the last bit during the last couple of days. High-lights and washes, and I don’t really know the paints used. (That’s one of the reasons I started this blog, as a reminder for myself on colours used). It will do.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Female Cleric in 28mm by Reaper

A lot of fantasy figures now, great fun and I’m full of inspiration.
This is "Elori Ebonscythe, Female Cleric", sculpt by Jeff Grace, no 3222 in the Dark Heaven Legends series by Reaper.
Hair Vallejo 818 Red Leather, the cape is 971 Green Grey and the waist cloth 885 pastel green. Skin 955 Flat Flesh and armor Vallejo Game Color Chainmail.
Coated with Army Painter Strong Tone and a coat of matte varnish.
I'm very happy with how this figure turned out.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Operation Barbarossa II or The Tale of Wooden Crosses

The gaming group, aka Scandinavian Lardies, went to Flemcon, a local and rather small con, this weekend. Our plan was to continue the Operation Barbarossa game we played at Stockcon earlier this autumn, using the new I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum! v3 rules for the first time.  Our ultimate plan was to make people interested in gaming with miniatures, and hopefully join us.
The game: We continue a couple of kilometers up the road to Minsk. A Kampfgruppe is exploiting the breakthrough made in the earlier game, but this time the Germans are in for a match, they happen upon prepared positions…
The board before the action starts. Germans will enter from the left.
Two of our men played the Russian defenders, and prepared their defenses before the public came. Everyone interested were able to get a unit of Germans and be part of the glorious advance on Minsk and Moscow.
We have two obvious routes in for the Germans, the central road going through the board, and one road going through the woods on the right flank.
The first German recce units went for the central road, and they sent one empty blind by the right road. That blind went a bit forward, started spotting and promptly found traces of tampering on the road ahead – a clever ruse by the Russian, they didn’t have one mine. That stopped all advances on the right flank.  Job well done J
For the rest of the action I let my pictures tell the tale.
The first recce unit leaves the road.
A platoon of motorcycle infantry drives happily forward. Ignoring a lone anti-tank rifle-man.
This doesn’t look good…
Oh dear, more infantry..
…and even more. Darn they shoot at us.
Ooops. Where is everyone?
The heavy armored car continues, until…
Panzer grenadiers attack on the left flank. There’s an AT-gun there, and a MG bunker. It was good to have a flame thrower.
More troops.
Even more troops, this time HQ with mortars, HMG and a Kfz 4, and an infantry gun. Unfortunately the German players forgot to give the appropriate cards to the umpire, so they just stood there for a couple of turns. Some things you learn the hard way.
Action near the village, assaulting a tank was a bad idea
Stop! Be quite, they might not have seen us.
Russian counter-attack on the right flank
Darn, another tank!
At the same time, the Russian counter attack hit the right flank, now with a T-28…
… and after a while a T-34!
Breakthrough on the left flank, supported by Pz IV:s. The Russians retreat.
What’s that, coming through the village? A moving bunker? A KV-2!

About now we called it a day, after about ten hours of gaming.  The Germans had a break-through, but a lot of angry Russians in their back and flank and rather heavy losses - and therefore an urgent need for wooden crosses. Would the Russians cooperate and the Germans get a Kessel, or was this an early set-back? Who knows?
 A nice game, and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. We were seven people from the gaming group playing, umpiring, explaining and having a good time, about ten people participating during the day and a bunch of spectators coming and going.
I was exhausted when I came home at half past eleven.

Monday 14 November 2011

Dwarf female fighter from WotC

I’m really enjoying fantasy figures now, as a break from WWII. I got a box of lovely figures from Otherworld the other day, and they will soon hit the painting table. But still some figures that I will have to finish before then.
This 28mm figure is from the long-dead Chainmail skirmish-game from Wizards of the Coast. I really  like the pose.
Skin Vallejo 927 Dark Flesh, hair 981 Orange brown. A coating of Army painter Strong Tone and matte varnish.

Sunday 13 November 2011

28mm Astral Reavers from Reaper

Reaper Dark Heaven Legends 2765 Astral Reavers
I liked the look of these figures, but I really didn’t have any good ideas on how to paint them. So they had a long rest in the tin mountain. Having experimented with a bunch of new colours I found something for the skin-tone that felt right.

Base-coated with white and a black wash.
I painted the skin with Vallejo 906 Pale Blue, hair 847 Dark Sand, leggings with 821 German Camouflage Beige and waist cloth 837 Pale Sand. This time I tried painting the eyes before giving the figures a wash, and I think it came out rather well.
I coated them with Vallejo matt varnish.
I do like their fashion sense. I so hope the leggings and waist cloth thing will be the big thing next spring, at least for females J

Wednesday 2 November 2011

It's a jungle in here

Over the years I have collected quite a lot of plastic plants. I have found them in pet shops, at IKEA, home decorating shops (Hemtex, Lagerhaus and others) and in flower shops. I have used some, and the rest have gone into a big box, waiting for a day to see the light again.
I found a couple of nice plants the other day, and they didn’t fit into the box, so it was time to do something about it.
I based and flocked quite a lot of them, actually more than 50 plants. They made a great jungle, and will probably see action soon, when we (me and the kids) start gaming Song of Blades and Heroes. Until then, a party of modern adventurers will explore…

Great for SF, fantasy, pulp and some might even see action in Viet Nam.