Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Funny Thing Happened

Yesterday, I got up, went to the basement for another painting session, and was confronted with this:


That empty area in front of all that paint has been filled with  a constant parade of no less than 80 pieces of micro-armor trudging through the painting line since January.  Over 1500 miniatures later... emptiness!

I sat there for a few minutes, sort of lost, wondering what I should work on next.  Then suddenly it hit me; I still had those African buildings to finish.  The same buildings that I've been needing to finish for about a year.  The ones that I just couldn't seem to make any progress on.  The ones that gave way to the 1500 pieces of micro armor all those months ago.  And something else happened.  All of a sudden, I could "see" them.  

By "see" them, I mean, see what they should look like, and want to paint them.  Something that hadn't happened in all the time that I had been trying to get them done.  Yeah, I know, I even had pictures of many of them, but I just couldn't get the mojo going with them.

So, I grabbed the ten remaining buildings that I had prepped to paint (last October/November), and got to it.  A day and a half later, I finished those ten African buildings that had been holding me up for months.  Here they are:


And below are the 11 buildings that I finished in the twelve months prior to the last two days:


Half of them still need some flock added to them; that'l come in a night or two.  But now I can finally get on with my modern African campaign that has been on hold for a year and a half.

Its funny, I struggled so much with getting these done.  They just didn't flow, then all of a sudden... Boom. Done.

I even managed to get 22 stands of 6mm Mugabian infantry finished at the same time, this weekend, I will likely be playing the next battle in my imagi-nation campaign, my first in 6mm.

Now I just need to figure out where i buried my folder with all of the info for the battles...

Monday, September 30, 2019

SFB Campaign: The Big Lyran/Hydran Battle of Strategic Turn 9 - Part 2

Well, we finally finished the "battle of the century" with-in our re-fight of the general war in our SFB Campaign.  If you remember, we had roughly 130 ships meeting in the battle consisting of Lyran, Hydran, and Kzinti fleets. 

Re-capping our first meeting we completed turn 1 with the Kzinti destroying five small Lyran ships of the southern combined fleet, and the Lyrans heavily damaging two Kzinti battle cruisers.

The Photos: The orange markers (mostly to the left), and white markers to the right are mines.  The Lyran ships are yellow markers (bottom center below), the Hydrans are green (top center and to the right), and the Kzinti are white (mixed with Lyran, almost in the center below, and nearly indistinguishable form the Lyrans (sorry)).

Session 2: Near the start, the Lyrans exchange
 ships with the Kzinti near the center of the board.

In our second meeting, turn two action picked up almost immediately with the Kzinti unloading on two more small Lyran ships, vaporizing a frigate and a police corvette, and then pulling a high energy turn to break off with the Lyrans.  The Lyrans responded by taking out four of the battle cruisers at the cost of another 4 small ships.  Turn two ended with both the Kzinti and Lyran fleets separating and regrouping.

During turn three, the Kzinti linked up with Hydran forces, accomplishing one of the game objectives while the Lyran northern fleet merged with the southern fleet, and then advanced to render one more Kzinti BC into dust.  Turn three ended with both fleets maneuvering, and attempting to find an advantage among the nearly endless mine fields that had been laid thus far during the battle.  These two turns took about five hours to play.

Session 3: The Lyrans losing ships as they fight through Hydran 
fighters, the surviving Kzinti have withdrawn behind a small group of 
orange mines center right.

Our third session involved two turns of the Lyrans wading through a large number of Hydran fighters, with heavy losses of escorts and finally losing a larger war cruiser.  Approximately 120 Hydran fighters were killed, but only one Kzinti BC was lost during the two turns.  My Lryans lost eight more police frigates, frigates, and a dd, in addition to the war cruiser mention about.  

This session involved about 4 hours of gaming, with the current losses standing at 20 Lyran ships for the cost of 6 Kzinti battle cruisers.  Not good thus far.

Session 4: The Lyrans working their way through mines
trying to get at the Hydrans.

During the fourth meeting, we played a single turn in about 3.5 hours.  This was a brutal turn with continuous ship combat as the core of the fleets finally moved into range as each advanced through a corridor defined by the two extensive minefields.

At first, the Lyrans continued to take losses of smaller ships, FFs, and DDs mostly, until the Lyran CLs and CWs got into the range, then things began to level out, first with the Kzintis losing two more BCs, and then the first Hyrdan losses finally came, in the form of a couple Dragoons, heavy cruiser classed vessels.  As the Lyran heavy cruisers came into range, their War cruisers began to waver, two being destroyed, and others fleeing with heavy damage.  

But, by this time, the Hydrans had largely expended their weapons, and took damage while trying to maneuver around mines and away from the faster Lyrans.  By the end of the turn an additional 4 Hydran ships had been destroyed, including two more heavy cruisers, and several others had significant damage.

In all seven kzinti and Hydran ships had been destroyed (including 5 CA/CC/BC classes vessels) for the loss of 9 Lyran vessels (2xCW, and 7x DD or smaller classed).

Session 5: Near the start of the last turn. the Lyrans pursue 
the Hydrans, who are beginning their escape.

The fifth and last meeting involved playing only one more turn in about three hours of gaming.

The fleets started the turn with ships only about 5 hexes apart, and with the Hydrans having turned and starting to move away from the Lyrans.  As it turned out, the Hydran Hellbores were devastating to the Lyran ships hit by the weapons, but the two turn arming cycle proved to be a greater burden than anticipated, when combined with negotiating the mines.  This resulted in the Hrdrans accelerating to speed 30 in an effort to escape.

The Lyran fleet expended much energy to maintain a fleet speed of 22, and had to sacrifice energizing some weapons on many of the ships.  Thus, some disruptors and phaser Is, and many of their phaser IIs could not be brought to bare, allowing several lucky Hydrans ships to get away, that otherwise may not have.

The turn started with Lyran ships blazing away, and in the following impulses, destroying two more Dragoons (Heavy cruisers), and a couple of Lancers (DDs?) for no losses.  A number of other Hydran ships received damage, but none could be destroyed as range began to increase as Hydrans raced away.

The Lyrans turned away to begin picking up the many admin shuttles that they had dropped to act as a screen against the remaining  enemy drones and fighters.  As weapons came into arc, they also fired a parting salvo against a damaged Kzinti BC that had been limping away for the last four turns, destroying it in the process.

In the end, the turn yielded 5 enemy losses to no Lyran losses before the Hydrans disengaged.

Total losses for the battle were 29 Lyran ships to 19 Hydran/Kzinti ships and 120 fighters.  The real story is better told by losses per class:

Lyran:                                  Hydran:
Pol 10x                                Cuirassier 2x
FF  11x                                Lancer  4x
DD  3x                                Dragoon 2x
DW  1x                                Lord Marshal 2x
CW  3x                                Kzinti BC 9x

The fighter losses are replaceable, as the Hydrans are withdrawing to the captured Lyran planet and support fleet with FRD, mobile base, and freighters.  The point values of the ships favors to a small Lyan tactical victory, but in the strategic scope of the game, I think this is a Hydran victory.  

The Hydran fleet suffered a small number of losses, with their loss of CAs be replaced by the Kzinti additions.  The Lyrans lost a huge number of small escorts, losing much of  their ability to screen Hyran fighters, and greatly reducing their ability to respond to multiple locations simultaneously (which may not be an issue, given Hydran tactics thus far).  

One side benefit from the battle, is that I have learned how to deal with Hydran fighters and weapons, and the Hydrans seemed to have lost faith in their ability to dominate with fusion beams and Hellbores.

The end:  Weapons expended, the Lyrans pass through the mines 
and turn back to recover shuttles, the Hydrans off in the upper right 
of the map.

This is the largest pure fleet battle that we've ever played.  The battle consisted of roughly 120 fighting ships (a small number of scouts, freighters and Q-ships broke away from the fighting), and 158 fighters.  Of those, 48 ships and 120 fighters were destroyed, during 7 turns played over 18 hours in 5 days. 

Whats Next:  We still have two battles to fight to complete the strategic turn; a Lyran attack on a Kzinti base station (with miniatures), and a Klingon attack on a Kzinti starbase (using counters).  We haven't decided which to play first.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

More Scotia-Grendel 6mm Cold War Models (9-21-19)

Here is another batch of photos of 6mm Cold War models from Scotia-Grendal. 



RM-7  ZIL164 Soviet truck entering service int he early 1950s;
 this is a nicely detailed model that looks better in person, than in the pic.


RM4  BTR152V w/twin 14.5 AA MG Nicely detailed and a pretty clean cast.


RM1  BTR152V Soviet APC, has nice detail, 
though some of the castings were from a mold with some wear.


UM0066  M102 105mm Howitzer, a distinctive and nicely detailed model (the angle of the photo detracts from the model).


UM0053  M109 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer,
a very nicely detailed model, of the original short barreled version of  this vehicle.


BM23  Bedford RL  British truck introduced in the early 1950s.  Though the sculpt has enough detail to readily identify the distinctive shape of this truck, a little more work would have made this a lovely sculpt.  The casting suffers from severe concave sides that result in the rear wheel sticking out beyond the cargo bed in the center of the truck. 

With the exception of the Bedford, this was a pretty good group of models from Scotia.  I'll have another group of photos up in a couple of days.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Heroics & Ros Cold war Models (8-18-19)

Here are some photos of models from my latest order from Heroics & Ros.  Still fiddling fiddling with my camera, and just can't seem to get similar results twice in a row, but I think these are better than the last batch.  Anyway, I've got quite the backlog, so I'm running with these for now.  I got ahead of myself again, so they have been primed grey.

BM-53 Conqueror Heavy Tank, it is a beast, generally it is nicely detail, 
though the hull rear is a little soft.

SM-86 BTR152, Soviet six wheeled APC of the 1950s, 
the angle in the pic is kind of bad, it is a nicely detailed model, cleanly cast.

SM-35  BM-21 Soviet Rocket Launcher, a very nice model.

USM-12  M114 Recce track, nice detail and cleanly cast.

SM-28  GAZ69 with Recoiless Rifle, another nice casting with integral driver.

That's all for tonight, but more coming soon.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Odds and Ends (9-1-19)

 I have a backlog of things to share, but have been too busy between work and painting figs to get the figures and photos done.  

Over the last six weeks, we have gotten together three times, fighting out our big Hydran/Lyran battle for our Star Fleet Battles campaign.  We've played 7 turns in about 11 hours of gaming thus far, and probably have another 3-4 turns to go.  Space has been filled with mines, making the going a bit tedious.  Oh, and it doesn't look good, for the Lyrans at this point.  I'll finish writing it up once we complete the battle.

The currently state of the battle, with orange mines to the left,
white mines to the right (and elsewhere), 
the Lyrans in the foreground (yellow), 
and the Hydrans in the distance (green).

My painting table has a constant flow of roughly 100 6mm Cold war vehicles moving across it.  I got into full swing, completing just over 650 miniatures in August (over a 1000 on the year!!).  I'm down to about 200 to go, plus another 200 on order, and then there is maybe 100 aircraft and a gazillion infantry stands to complete.  I'm almost done.

Bradleys, M110s, and M1s mostly in this batch.

All other projects have gone on hold, even my African buildings have finally been bumped, though I only need to complete maybe 8 more to get on with the Uwanda-Mugabia War.

Work should slow down in September, allowing me to share more new Cold War arrivals and whatnot.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

6mm Rides for 1950s West Germans from Masters of Military

On Shapeways, Masters of Military recently released a bunch of variants of the Borgward B2000 series vehicles in 6mm for West german Cold War forces, and they are magnificent.  In all, I believe there are seven different variants that he has made available in different "packages".

I picked up a bunch of the infantry carriers, the B2000 A/O, as well as conventional cargo truck versions, and a mixed pack with seven versions.  Here are some pics of these lovely moels:










They are exquisitely detailed and look better in person, than in my photos.  Pricing is generally a touch cheaper than GHQ, and given the quality of the models, I am quite happy with them.

Masters of Military offers a great selection of models that are mostly unavailable from other sources, and has allowed me to round out a force that I've been wanting to build for over 35 years; West German infantry from the late 1950s.

The Borgward range of vehicles were very important to from 1956 through the early 1960s, with the infantry carriers giving way to the HS-30 as they became available.  Borgward 2000s served on with the Bundeswehr until the mid-1970s.

I haven't been this excited about a military model, since my GI Joe's got their Jeep in 1970.  Well, time to get back to painting miniatures.  Thanks for looking.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Star Fleet Battles Campaign: Turn 9 Movement, And Part 1 of the Big Fight

Last weekend, we completed strategic movement for turn 9 in our SFB campaign.  The Lyrans are finally nibbling at Kzinti space, while the Klingons are getting serious.  Here is the map showing movement in the "North".


Lyran space is to the left, Klingon at the bottom of the photo, 
click on it for a larger version.

The Lyrans are going after another Kzinti battlestation in hex 0703, which has a couple of ships protecting it (this might be a miniatures battle), and the Klingons will attempt to assault a Kzinti starbase in Hex 1304 with about 50 ships from four different fleets.

Down south, the Klingons are flittering about just inside of Hydran space (off map to the right below), but haven't actually done anything yet, and the big battle between the Lyrans and Hydrans has started in Hex 0710.


Hydran space is at the bottom, Lyran to the left, 
Klingon to the right.

The huge battle at Hex 0710, involves two Lyran fleets, the huge invading Hydran fleet, and the small, but lethal Kzinti fleet, that needs to make contact with the Hydrans this turn or become un-supplied and dead in the water.

Here is the battle part way into the first turn:



We're playing on Craig's huge table, which is something like 6'-6" x 14', using three Hotz Matt's, hexmaps.

In the foreground of the photo is the northern combined Lyran fleet of 33 ships, featuring a newly built Dreadnought,  a battle Tug,  a Command Cruiser, 9x Heavy Cruisers, and 7x War Cruisers.  they are chasing the 15 Kzinti Battlecruisers near the middle of the table.  The Kzinti have laid a minefield (orange markers)  and dropped what I expect are scatter pack shuttles.

The Kzintis are engaging the fleeing Lyran southern fleet, which consists of 37 ships, but mostly small vessels.  There is a single Command cruiser, and a few  War and Light Cruisers, and everything else are destroyers or smaller.  

The Lyran southern fleet has laid a chaotic minefield (white markers in the distance) in front of the pursuing Hydran fleet of 45 ships.

My hope was that my Lyran fleet of midget ships could smack into the Kzinti battlecruisers and somehow mostly eliminate them, and that the northern Lyran fleet and, hopefully, some southern remnants could then exchange with the Hydrans.

The situation at the end of turn 1.

It took about two and half hours to get through the first turn with 130 ships, and for the most part, the battle has progressed about as I expected.  Unfortunately, I didn't get several of my Lyran ships close enough to the Kzinti to do reasonable damage, so currently, two Kzinti BCs are badly hit, and the Kzinti have blown up 5 Lyran Police Corvettes, and done light damage to a Frigate and a destroyer.

We're meeting in a week to continue the battle, which I expect to last around four to five turns, though if something goes particularly wrong for the Hydrans tactically, they could disengage early, which would be unfortunate for the Lyrans. 

I need to stick out and take my losses, as I need to at least greatly reduce the Hydran presence in Lyran space.  Otherwise, they could split up and cause absolute chaos in Lyran space, or go after the Lyran homeworld proper.