Sunday, February 28, 2021

C in C Miniatures From Legions IV Hire

 This past week, I received my first order of miniatures for the year, 35x T-54 and 10x Centurion III C in C miniatures tanks in 1/285 scale from Legions IV Hire.  This is my first order from Legions IV Hire, since they acquired the production and distribution rights for C in C's line of 1/285 armor almost two years ago, and they did a spectacular job.

There was a problem with my bank/credit card that needed to be fixed (an error on my end), and despite this, he still got the miniatures to me in just under a week.  Gone are the plastic boxes from the old days of C in C, but fear not, the miniatures were packed with great care and even made it through customs in perfect order.

As with all things, pricing has increased over the years, but depending on exchange rates on any given day (they are in Canada, I'm in the US), they are still 20-25 percent less expensive than their nearest competition.

For those not familiar with C in C/Legions IV Hire, the miniatures are superbly sculpted and finely detailed, generally offering more accurate sculpts than other manufacturers of similar products.  It has been almost 39 years since I received my first C in C miniatures, and they are still my favorite for WWII and the Cold War in this scale.

If you are in the market for 6mm, 1/285 scale miniatures, and haven't done business with Legions IV Hire, please check out their site and give them a look.  

Monday, February 22, 2021


Last weekend, I was going to play a WWII game, and thought maybe I'd do some late war Shermans and Germans battling it out in France.  That was when I realized that I hadn't seen my hedgerows for quite some time, like maybe a decade or more.  

After doing a pretty intense search, I've concluded that they have left the building.  A few years back, I found that my tray of Pz Is and variants hadn't come home from the last WWII convention game that I ran, and I'm thinking that the hedgerows might have gone with them.

They were just the Woodland Scenics lead hedgerows, left over from a work project back in the 1980s.  There weren't that many of them, and for years, I had "planned' to make a bunch of hedgerow sections, but never got around to it as it took decades for me to finally build American forces for WWII.  

So, instead of playing a game, I decided to make some hedgerows for bocage country.  I did a little research, finding that there is a wide range of variation in the characteristics of hedgerows.  I found some dimensional info, including some cross-sectional drawings and whatnot, decided on the size and what elements to incorporate in my hedgerows, and started building.

I decided to make the earthen bases from EPS insulation scraps that I have setting around, based on thick sheet styrene, and to finish them off with various (mostly) Woodland Scenics foliage and fluffy stuff.  Here are some pics of the process and results:

I started out with the styrene bases in .08" thickness, scribing and snapping the styrene in the 1" wide by 2", 3", 4", and 6" lengths to accommodate my modular terrain, and make breach sections to replace full hedgerow sections with as they might occur during games.


Next came cutting strips of foam into 1 inch wide segments to glue to the bases.  I used 3M Styrofoam Spray Adhesive for this task, as if doesn't really have much over-spray, and offers a fast solution as compared to any type of PVA or other glues that don't attack the foam, and dry much more slowly.  If you are worried about the longevity of the adhesive, I have terrain dating to at least the later 1990s  with no instance of delamination yet. 

After the rough cut lengths of foam were glued to the bases, the ends of the foam were trimmed in a small mitre box.

The basic profile of the hedgerow bases is 1" wide, by 3/4" tall, with the sides sloped to a 3/8" wide top.  Marks were drawn on top of the foam indicating the 3/8" top, 

The sides of the foam were rough cut with small hand saw, leaving a loosely pyramid shaped cross-section.

The corners of the base were rounded with a Tuff-Grit sander, so that the sharp corners of the styrene won't poke into other terrain pieces.  Then the sander was used to bring the foam true to the profile dimensions.  Lastly the sander was used to create a compound slope on the sides similar to that of a Jersey Barrier.  You end up with a sort of six sided triangle in profile (not pictured, as I failed to hold the camera still).

The foam was then shaped with Tuff-Grit sander to give variation to the shape of the hedgerow section onto which, foliage and trees were eventually added.  

Once all of the shaping was done, the hedgerow bases were dusted off, and painted with a couple coats of acrylic paste to make the surface of the foam a little more resistant to damage. 

The sections were then given a base coat of paint, in this case a dull earth brown with artist's acrylics.

The next step was to flock the bases. I used a mix of Woodland Scenics fine and coarse flock, "glued" with artist's acrylic matte medium.  This was my set-up for adding the flock, which consisted mostly of seven colors and sizes.

Once the flock was dry, bushes and a few trees were affixed to the bases.  Bushes consisted of a couple applications of tufts of WS foliage clusters.  Trees are the plastic armature type with more tufts of foliage clusters, also from Woodland Scenics.

Once everything was try, I sprayed several coats of clear matte spray sealant from Windsor and Newton on the hedgerow sections.

The photo above shows examples of the different lengths and types of hedgerow pieces that were made, including and an end piece next to the breach section

And a view of a few hedgerow sections on a piece of roadway terrain with a 15mm M4A3E8.

I ended up with 86 hedgerow sections. After thinking about it, I should have made a few corner sections and will probably go back and do so next weekend.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Bungle in the Jungle (28mm Sci-fi)

Among the many factions for my post apocalypse world, I have three that amount to "armies" more than what you might think of as post apoc "factions", which, can number as few as three figures in my case.  I know that my home brew rules work fine for small skirmish types actions, but wanted to see how they worked with larger forces. I had suspected that the difference in the respective troop qualities, might lead to too great of a cumulative affect.

Originally, I was going to put a full company of New Mexico Confederation troops (over 130) up against a similar force of "US" troops from the Colorado Bunker complex.  As I started putting terrain on the table, I decided dust off some of my jungle terrain just for fun, and ended up with a very busy table, so cut the forces down to around 50 figs per side.  Still enough, to get a feel for if the rules are manageable for larger games, while keeping track of wounds, some types of ammo, and other details.

The resulting game took a couple of days to play out,  and left me a little conflicted about the changes that I need to make.

The scenario was an attack on a small military installation in the heart of a jungle.  The the New Mexico boys are generally lighter infantry with a lower technology level, so they were defending against the high tech guys from Colorado.

Here are some pics and notes about the flow of the game:

A view from the defenders side.  Defenders are deployed on
 three sides of the base.

And a view from the attackers vantage point. Recce elements 
can be seen in the lower right corner above.

The defenders' right flank, the defenders are mostly old GW 
Imperial Guard figs.

The defenders' left flank.

And the defender center position.

The attackers left ought from this rocky position for some time,
 inflicting a fair amount of damage on the defenders center and right.

The attacking element just right of center; they exchanged a lot of
 fire, but did little damage for most of the game.

The center position halfway through the game.  The armored car was 
brought forward to try to get long range fire on the enemy, but had 
little effect and then exploded (due to a guided missile).

The final attack starts to the defender right.

An attacking squad charging late in the game.

The same squad as the last photo from behind.

Game over man! The defenders begin to withdraw, having taken a 
pounding at their center position.

In the last two turns, as the attackers closed the distance, the defenders started to take a goodly number of casualties, with their surviving troops in the center facing the main route of attack, and having to withdraw.  At this point, they were on the verge of being completely over-run, and I decided to call it.

The defenders had lost 4 dead, and 15 severely wounded, while the attacking force only had 4 severe wounds.  The result was didn't come as a total surprise.  It's just the the mechanics worked out so well in smaller scenarios, that I almost hate to change the figure values. 

I want a pretty granular system, to have a lot of variety to the games, but want to avoid having lots of special rules and extra rolls, as I don't want to end up with "tax law" rules of endless exceptions and sidesteps.

In any event, I enjoyed the one off game, and it was nice playing in a very different setting than my games of the last few years.  Hope the photos are of some interest.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

January Vanished, But I Found My Mojo Again

Between January first and third, I finished 150 of my 15mm WWII Germans, plus got a start on some other stuff.  After that, I had 27 days of life being a blur of too busy with zero hobby time.  Even if I had found some spare moments, my mojo was nowhere to be seen.

 Friday evening, I tried going downstairs to paint, but just couldn't get it going.  Then, after playing a game Saturday, my mojo ambushed me, and sent me into a spree.  I flocked a few odds and ends, base-coated six 15mm Marder IIs, got most of the painting done on six Jadgpanthers, trying to match 26 year old paint jobs on two others.

The camouflage is a type of ambush pattern from a photo I had at the time, but the kicker is trying to match paint from three different paint lines that are long gone, Pactra Military, ModelMaster enamels, and Polly-S.  Using Vallejo, I thought I got kinda close until looking at this photo.  In person, the green looks a bit too bright, but the brown and yellow looked pretty close.  I'm hoping that when I weather them, I can mute the colors on the new models enough to not stand out too differently from the two old ones.  We'll see, might have to repaint the old ones too.

I'm gonna need more Shermans and Cromwells,

Intermixed with the painting Sunday, and on Monday after work, I also managed to do a bunch of work on the computer, cleaning up and finishing vehicle and infantry stat cards and rules bits for a bunch of stuff.  The resultis that I completed the last steps for 37 projects on my "to do list", which was 261 strong and now down to 224.  A significant chunk, and nearly as many completed projects as I had all of last year.

Maybe not as interesting as the miniatures, but just as 
important, that stat cards for 15mm WWII and 
Cold War miniatures.

Guess maybe I should squeeze in a game more often.