21 Sep 2014

My first ever game of Malifaux

There's a vague possibility that there are lots of DBx-based historical miniatures/Malifaux crossover gamers out there, but for those of you who aren't in that (probably small) demographic, I've posted a match report from my first ever game of Malifaux on this website.

Malifaux is a Steampunk Gothic Horror skirmish game with card-driven mechanics and some rather nice models. It appears to be a lot of fun, which is a great relief after having bough the rules and the figures and then spent plenty of time painting and basing them up.

For my (and my opponents) first game we set up an over-ambitious Mei Feng vs Sonnia Criid 50 SS matchup that we managed to get through in about 5 hours, which is not too bad given neither of us had ever played before - some of the combos were rather complex.



A brand new "Steampunk Hannibal" makes an appearance as well as the usual poor jokes and irrelevant video interludes.

But this time there's also a clunking great robot who's almost a train and who hits people with an enormous metal bar as well.

What's not to like?!



18 Sep 2014

The matt varnished Shermans & Churchills

As promised in the previous post, the finished articles are here:  Plastic Soldier Company 20mm Shermans, 15mm Churchills, and Battlefront Bren Carriers all painted in Halfords cammo green.


This really has nailed that "bronze-green" effect I was hoping for!


PSC US infantryman based on a penny for scale.


Not quite sure what's gone awry with the varnishing on this flank of the tank, it's not as obvious in real life as on this photo.


The top decks look great to me - the "puddled" Army Painter varnish on the one in the foreground's read deck is something I'm quite happy about actually - maybe it could have been brushed out a little though?



And the Churchills... again a great result IMO


I am toying with the idea of a final drybrush, but the details already "pop" so much I'm not sure if that would be too much..?


The colour that's been achieved is pretty much perfect IMO


The early version turret AVRE. Several of the transfers have ended up showing their edges, which is annoying as this normally doesn't happen with my "two layers of clear gloss" technique - maybe my gloss poly needs replacing - or maybe they were just old transfers?


For essentially a one-piece casting these track assemblies are fantastic - well done PSC!


The drybrushing really picks out the stowage boxes too.


Morer slightly odd effects on the big blank flanks of the Shermans here - but again, not as bad in the real world, and in some ways quite good to have it so irregular (ish). The driver's face has done really well here.


 With a PSC infantryman in the foreground


The Battlefront bren carriers.


A final close-up of a rather smug chap - probably waiting for his cup of tea! Make sure you saw the first post too in this two-part series.

14 Sep 2014

Using Halfords Matt Cammo Spray on WW2 vehicles

Halfords is a well known (if you are in the UK) cycle/car accessories retailer, and I am a signed-up and committed user of their range of spray paints for both white and black undercoat.

Recently they have offered a 3-tone range of "cammo" paints, including a khaki which was used as a base coat for these fellows, and also a Dark Green. The Dark Green looks pretty ideal for that difficult-to-achieve WW2 Allied AFV colour, so having some 15mm PCS Churchills, 20mm Plastic Soldier Company Shermans and a handful of Battlefront carriers to paint, I thought I'd give it a go.


Here are the Churchills - these are really well detailed kits, that go together very well and also give you options for a variety of vehicles, including cast and welded turrets and a couple of AVRE options. The Bren carriers are in the background. The spray provides a deep and very matt green finish, but as there is no matching paint pot, you have to be very thorough with getting good coverage.

These are the three PSC Shermans - I sprayed the tracks (which come separately ) with Army Painter Leather brown, which I also use as a base colour for the PSC US Infantry, which are having some heavy weapon crew added to them at the moment (in the background). The heavy weapon teams share the odd/inaccurate Y-shaped braces of the infantry..


The Sherman models are really well thought out for wargamers (as opposed to modellers) needs. They go together really easily (apart from some small gaps where the tracks join at front and back) and feel very robust - someone has thought about these as bits of kit which will get a lot of handling, and designed them accordingly. 

The "shiny" patches are where I have put a patch of gloss varnish as a base coat on which to add waterslide transfers at a later stage - adding a gloss base coat under each transfer and then sealing it in with a further gloss coat before the final matt coat really does wonders for removing the outline/edge of the transfer on he finished model.


Here they are again, this time with Allied stars on them. I think I may have gone overboard with the stars, having them on turrets and hulls, but it adds a little more life to these models anyway.


Here are the Churchills, with some fairly serious drybrushing going on. They have transfers from the Battlefront Allied Armour sticker set. The unit insignia are probably not appropriate for Churchills, but beggars can't be choosers. They will fight with my PBI PSC British Infantry


Very few of them ended up with space on the turret for one of these formation markings.


The carriers, with the little Battlefront blokes peering out.


Churchills again, showing the great detail on the rear decks.  For such simple models to make they come out really well.


I then gave the whole lot a liberal washing with Army Painter Dark tone (the strongest one). I think this will tone down a lot once I get round to doing a matt coat, but right now I am wondering if I will need to do another set of drybrushing.


The carriers - again with probably inappropriate unit markings!


Front view of the Churchills.


And the Shermans. I'm quite optimistic that the mix of base colour and Army Painter will end up as that sort of bronze green that WW2 vehicles seem to have in the real world.

About a week later I managed to Dullcote them and add the finished pictures to this site - see them in this post.

11 Sep 2014

28mm FoGR at Roll Call 2014

Roll Call is the current BHGS "Big Boy's Toys" event, and so I fielded 2 separate 28mm armies, one of which was the Spanish that I was driving and one was the Weimarians, which I ended up facing in the last game...



See how the big toys did in 4 by-now-familiar match reports. The photo's aren't all close-ups, the figures are 28mm!

7 Sep 2014

Perry Miniatures Arab Cavalry for Saga Cross & Crescent

With the Cross & Crescent book now out (and looking lovely) I've picked up some Perry Miniatures Arab cavalry from Dave Thomas at Britcon, intending to use them to bolster out the Gripping Beast (plastic) infantry who've been seen here before. The basing is also like the post that appeared here before too.

Usual painting style, this time with a white undercoat and a final coat of Army Painter Strong (ie the mid) tone. The photos are larger than this - you can click them to see a bigger version.


Here they are, based up but not yet inked/Army painter'ed


Unusually I elected to hand-paint the shields here.



I mixed up the horses and riders a little, so they don't quite map onto the photos on the Perry site



 They are a mix of Syrian / Seljuk / Turkish types, although some look to be a bit more Turkoman


The guy on the left is actually a Conquest Games Norman knight, with a spare head from the Gripping Beast infantry. The Conquest Games Normans seem to fit very well alongside these Perry troops - the horses are a little chubbier, but they are still decent.


Geometric and floral patterns on the rather simple shield designs.




I did some of the turbans in stripes, which I have seen as an Omani thing in today's Arab world - it looks more interesting than a plan turban thingy so worth a try every now and then.




They will get an outing soon along with the accompanying infantry from Gripping Beast. There are probably some of the Gripping Beast Arab infantry on eBay UK if you click that link too..

2 Sep 2014

Mei Feng's Rail Crew bring a train load of Malifaux to Madaxeman.com

Based in an alternate Earth, Malifaux is a skirmish game with bits of Gothic, Steampunk, Victorian Horror and - of course - the Wild West. It features a magical lawless world rife with monsters, necropunks, man-machine hybrids, gunslingers, and powerhungry politicos.

What's not to like?

I'm in the process of giving this a try, and so of course the first step is to buy far too many figures and spend ages painting them up.

 And, so, for your delight and horror, here are the results:




Osprey Rules on Amazon

Broken Legions is a set of fantasy skirmish rules for a war unknown to history, fought in the shadows of the Roman Empire. Various factions recruit small warbands to fight in tight, scenario-driven battles that could secure the mystical power to defend ? or crush ? Rome. A points system allows factions to easily build a warband, and mercenaries and free agents may also be hired to bolster a force. Heroes and leaders may possess a range of skills, traits and magical abilities, but a henchman's blade can be just as sharp, and a campaign can see even the lowliest henchman become a hero of renown

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