If I played my sci-fi in 6mm, then Onslaught Miniatures would be my first port of call. A nice variety of figures with some quite deep ranges i.e. more than just one type of infantry and a support weapon: most of their ranges have got 20+ codes in them.
But I don’t: I play in 15mm…which is why it is so great that Onslaught have now expanded their collection to include 15mm versions of a limited number of their 6mm ranges.
Although I really liked the 15mm Sisterhood range (big women with big guns), they never really got going with it: releasing only a couple of codes and then seeming to go no further.
One 15mm range, however, that does have more than a couple of codes in it is their Grudd range. Whatever the official background, it’s obvious that these are normal-human-sized space dwarves.
The four-squad platoon above is a combination of their Grudd Clansmen, Siege Breakers and Demolishers and looks pretty spectacular, especially with all those outrageous power tools.
What I’m now hoping is that they expand their entire 6mm Grudd range into 15mm…
I only had time for a quick visit to Colours this year: a couple of hours first thing on Saturday morning.
Travel to and from Newbury was enlivened by the traffic caused by the Newbury Show, but I still made the trip in under an hour. The work on the racecourse/flats on the racecourse must be just about finished by now, as getting to the carpark was much easier than last year: no problems in parking and only five minutes walk from the stand where the show was based.
I got there at about 9.45am for the ten o’clock start and joined the back of what looked like a sizeable queue, but once it started moving, just before ten, it moved very quickly, so no complaints there. The price was only £6 to get in, so very reasonable.
As I was in nice and early, I had time for a look around before the crowds. The show followed the usual format of, broadly speaking, trade stands on the ground floor; food/drink and more tradestands on the first floor; and then competition games, demonstration games and the bring and buy on the second floor.
There were three Lardy games that I could see. The first was a What a Tanker! game set in the Western Desert:
This looked very well attended for all the time I was there, so kudos to the chaps putting that on.
The second was a large General d’Armee Napoleonics game recreating Plancenoit. There’s a full report on the game available here.
Finally, there was a very nice looking Sharp Practice game set in 19th Century Japan (the Boshin War):
There were also two other non-Lardy games that caught my eye:
Lots of beautifully painted tanks
Cold War turned hot!
The trade stands were, as always at Colours, excellent. I wasn’t buying anything this year (too much to paint as it is) but would like to mention one trader who did get some of my money: ABCbrushes.
This was a small stand selling…brushes…but selling them at excellent prices. I picked up a mixed pack of ten brushes (all usefully labelled “medium dry brush”, “stippling brush” etc) for only £12.50. No idea of the quality, but as I go through brushes really quickly, this seemed like a very good buy. Their website is here.
So all in all an enjoyable visit. I could have done with an extra hour or so, but other appointments called. A good show that I look forward to again next year.
As it’s the Colours wargames show at Newbury Racecourse tomorrow, I thought I’d better make a point of updating the Painting Challenge: might bump into a few people asking why it’s been a week-and-a-half since the last update!
Anyhoo, in no particular order, we have:
Mr Hodge with everything from 10mm WW2 to 28mm Games Workshop Space Marines
Just finished photographing the last of the All Quiet on the Martian Front tripods I have been working on. This last batch consisted of another three scout tripods, two grenadier tripods, seven assault tripods and a power node terrain piece.
Assault Tripods with Black Dust Emitters
Assault Tripods with Green Mist bombs
Last three Scout tripods
That’s a lot of points for the Painting Challenge!
Rather than have the tripods as a separate Martian army, I’m going to use them as the AFV element of my Invaders army that uses the Khurasan Alien Invasion range as its core infantry component. As I’ve also now had a chance to photograph all of them, it means another gallery added to the Q13 section of the website: one that shows the entire force.
You can find that by clicking here, but here’s a picture of the army en masse:
Oh yes, finally, someone wrote in asking what colour the tripods were sprayed: it was Ford Neptune Green from the Halfords range of car paints.
This Saturday just gone saw the inaugural Clotted Lard games day at the Devon Wargames Group. At what will hopefully be an annual event, large numbers of fellow Lardies gathered for a fun-packed day of gaming.
One of the games on show was a superb 10mm game of Charlie Don't Surf! put on by DaveJ. Click on the picture below to see a quick AAR from Carojon, accompanied by more photos of what looks like a most impressive game:
My current project or, rather, one of my current projects, is to add the All Quiet on the Martian Front models that I bought as part of the original Kickstarter to the figures that I've painted from Khurasan Miniatures' 15mm sci-fi The Invaders range. I spent last weekend building all the tripods, so this weekend's task was to paint up the first of them.
I didn't fancy brush painting twenty-four plus large 15mm models, so determined that most of the work would be done via spray paint...but which colour to choose. I wanted something metallic, which meant buying some new paint, as all my existing sprays are various shades of dull green or brown or desert yellow (i.e. WW2 and 6DW colours).
I was driving home, thinking about where to get appropriate sprays, surrounded by other cars, when I suddenly realised that I was looking at exactly what I wanted: metallic car paint. A quick trip to Halfords, and I bought a couple of cans of a light green metallic colour. Each can was only £6.99 as well: considerably cheaper than GW or other hobby paint.
Spraying all the tripods took up a can and a half, but twenty minutes in today's blazing sunshine dried everything off nicely. I wouldn't have time to complete all of the models after the initial spray, so settled on the small flying drones and three scout tripods.
Very simple to finish them: I painted the "eye" red, any equipment in two shades of grey, any electricals or power sources in a light purple, the tentacles in black-dry-brushed-with-iron, and then found a few places to put a drop of scarlet or metallic blue for variety. Finally, I based them as usual, then used Halfords lacquer to finish them.
Although this site is dedicated to the TFL Company Level games such as IABSM, CDS and Q13, I do like to point out what else is going on in Lardland.
That's why I'm really happy to post that the much-anticipated Early War handbook is now available for the TFL platoon-sized game: Chain of Command.
Having published the IABSM early war books earlier this year, I was also somewhat involved in the production of this work, and can therefore assure you that it is truly epic. Rich has gone back to many first hand sources and original army manuals for the information it is based on.
This 124 page handbook provides a comprehensive coverage of the campaign in France and the Low Countries in 1940. Included is an historical account of the campaign in the West, as well as whole raft of new rules to cover the events of that summer. New theatre specific rules include Assault boats and river crossings, parachute drops, glider landings, bicycles, horse mounted troops and motorcycles. We have several new armour classifications for tanks with small turrets, vehicles lacking of radios and unreliable vehicles. Fancy blowing up a section of the Maginot Line? Well, you can with our new rules on fortifications and demolitions as well as looking at Francs Tireurs, ‘Shabby Nazi Tricks’ in the form of Brandenburg Commandos, Civilians, Stuka attacks and even the odd drinks cabinet being rolled out to stiffen the stiffest of upper lips.
Biggest of all is the truly massive section on Army lists. Here we wanted to provide a really comprehensive guide to the period and in doing so we went right back to the book, or more specifically the manuals that the armies of the period issued to their troops. The French Tableau d’Effectifs de Guerre, the German KsTN lists, the Dutch Handboek vor den Soldat and Officier series and many others issued throughout the 1930s and up to 1940. These manuals tell us not just how troops were organised, but how their training prepared them for war and their doctrines. This has allowed us to produce not just Army Lists but introduce national characteristics which make each nation unique in the way they fight.
First Line Infantry Reserve Infantry Chasseurs Groupe Franc Reconnaissance Motorcycle Fusiliers Reconnaissance Cavalry Motorised Infantry Dragon Portes Mounted Cavalry Chasseur Portes Colonial Troops Mountain Troops Ski Scouts Light DIvision Infantry Groupe Franc Motorise de Cavalerie
1939 Regulation Platoon 1940 Regulation Platoon Motor Infantry Motorcycle infantry Line of Communication troops Searchlight Troops
1st Wave infantry 2nd Wave infantry 3rd Wave infantry 5th Wave infantry 7th Wave Infantry Static infantry Pioneers Motorised Infantry Motorcycle Reconnaissance Schutzen Type 1 Schutzen Type 2 SS Totenkopf SS Verfungs and Leibstandarte SS Motorcycle platoon SS Aufklarungs motorcycle platoon Fallschirmjager Type 1 Fallschirmjager Type 2 Luftlande Glider platoon Gebirgsjager
Infantry Blackshirt troops Alpini
Alongside these lists we have nearly fifty support option lists giving support choices for a huge number of unit types, so if you have a motorcycle reconnaissance platoon you can select support from the different divisions which fielded that unit type. All in all, the gamer can choose an incredible range of interesting and varied troops types and then choose supports from friendly forces and allies for forces of almost limitless variety. But that’s not all. Each nation has a full Arsenal list for weapons and AFVs as well as comprehensive notes to cover their support options.
Finally, we have five new scenarios types, Going with a Bang, Strike from Above, Swift to Support, Hasty Defence and Blitzkrieg to bring the 1940 campaigns to life. All in all, a huge addition to your Chain of Command library in both hard copy and PDF.
I've now had a chance to finish and post the second set of FOC army lists for a 1973 Yom Kippur War Charlie Don't Surf! expansion: the Egyptians.
This list covers all the various incarnation of infantry and mechanised infantry company, along with their supporting armour, air defence and artillery.
It also covers the possibilities of the initial assault across the canal, where the Egyptians were working to a well-practised fixed plan, and includes the slight variations for commandoes and paratroopers.
As always, let me know if you find any inaccuracies: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those of you who follow this blog regularly will know that I have been painting Khurasan Miniatures' 15mm sci-fi range called "The Invaders". This consists of three sets of miniatures: the Science Caste (little grey men), the War Caste (little green men), and two types of Warborg battle robot.
Warborg Heavies - rather nice
They are all done now, but what I need are some vehicles to go along with them. I was wondering whether to start a quick search of the 'net for something appropriate when I remembered that I had several boxes of unbuilt and unpainted models from the All Quiet on the Martian Front Kickstarter. What could be more appropriate for vehicles to accompany a range called The Invaders?
A quick root through the lower slopes of the lead mountain and there they were. And a quick Bank Holiday Monday later, and here is about half of the initial build:
In total, I seem to have acquired about 18 of the large tripods, so there's another shelf's worth in addition to what's shown.
I didn't have any instructions, so had to work out how to put them together from pictures of completed models. Not a problem: they go together intuitively, and there's only a couple of critical points that you need to be aware of during construction.
A quick check on the Battlefront website confirmed that they are currently still running the 25% off anything to do with their modern Arab-Israeli range, so I thought I'd indulge and buy myself an early birthday present.
As I'm currently working on the Egyptian briefing for the 1973 Yom Kippur or October War, I wanted something that they used if only to inspire me to keep hacking my way through all the contradictory and incomplete information that's out there...but what to get? I got most of what I needed some time ago as I put together forces for the Six Day War.
Up to now, I've saved myself a lot of money by avoiding buying anything that would usually sit off-table (i.e. many support weapons and all artillery) but this time couldn't resist the lure of the BM-21 "Grad" (Hail) multiple rocket launchers.
These are cracking models that come in a pack of three. I say models, but what we're talking here is six large bits of resin: three vehicle bodies and three clumps of rockets, if that's the right word to use. This was a very good thing, as I'd been dreading building a traditional set of Battlefront models e.g. fixing 18 metal wheels to a resin body using those slots that never quite fit properly. So the entire build was done in about 15 seconds: blob of Superglue in the hole where the rocket clump sits, push rocket clump into place!
Painting was pretty easy too. Spray yellow basecoat, wash with GW Agrax Earthshade, then highlight in desert yellow. Paint the tyres (the worst bit of the whole process) and then a heavy drybrush to weather them a bit. Finally I did the glass blue with a few dashes of white; and then black-inked the top of the rockets to mimic the sooty residue left after firing. The bases were done with GW Armageddon Dust texture (basically thick paint with little bits in it: a marvellous invention that shortens the basing process by miles) highlighted with GW Screaming Skull and finished with some bushy clumps also from GW.
God knows what I will use them for on the tabletop: they can shoot 12 miles! I think probably as scenario objectives i.e. have them in hardpoints at one end of the table protected by infantry and a few dug-in tanks, and send an IDF force to take them out.
The first of the briefings, covering the Israeli Defence Force, for using Charlie Don't Surf to fight the 1973 Yom Kippur War is now live on the Yom Kippur War homepage.
A tough list to put together, as the sources of information are often contradictory. I can't see why someone who knows can't just post somewhere on the Internet a proper, unadulterated TOE, unadapted for any game system, for an IDF infantry company (mechanised, paratrooper or motorised) in 1973. Someone must have one!
So, as is the usual TFL practice, what I have done is construct a list for an infantry company (mechanised or paratrooper), plus a list for a tank company, that I think is pretty representative of what was actually fielded at the time.
Happy to look at any other information that people have. Either comment here or e-mail me at the usual address (email@example.com)
The Astagar were originally a "bit part" race from the Critical Mass Games universe: providing squads of interesting-looking mercenaries rather than having a full range to themselves.
Such was their popularity, however, that CMG ran a Kickstarter to create a full range of Astagar figures and, although the Kickstarter wasn't successful enough for everything envisaged to be created, enough people signed up that all the basic infantry, infantry support weapons, APCs and AFVs became available.
Today's painting: three Astagar Main Battle Tanks
I took part in the Kickstarter but, as is often the way, didn't quite get exactly what I thought I'd pledged for. No real damage done, but I was short a platoon of main Battle Tanks and, unfortunately, CMG folded and sold their range to Ral Partha Europe who, although they have all the infantry for sale, haven't yet got around to the resin vehicles from the range!
Just the other day, however, a chap in the States announced on Facebook that he had some to spare, the deal was done, and my Astagar force is now ready for battle.
It's not often you get much reaction from the audience in a UK cinema. Okay, so you might get the odd laugh at something funny, or the odd squeak at a sudden surprise...but rarely do you get a full-on, in-the-moment reaction. There is one film, however, that I clearly remember breaking that rule: Aliens.
Aliens is the sequel to the sci-fi shocker Alien. In that first film, the crew of a spaceship respond to a distress signal and go down onto a planet to the site of a crashed spaceship. Without giving too much away, one of the crew gets...infected, shall we say, with an alien being that rapidly wipes everyone out except for Ripley, played by Sigourney Weavers. The film ends with Ripley defeating the xenomorph and putting herself into cold sleep whilst her ship sails on to its destination.
Aliens begins with Ripley's ship being found drifting in space, way off course. Ripley is revised to find that she has slept for an entire generation (in the extended edition, there's a sub-plot about her now-grown-up daughter). No-one will believe her story of a lethal, crew-killing alien, so she is forced to spend her days as a lowly, exo-skeleton-wearing cargo loader.
Then she receives a visitor - the slimy company man, Burke. A distant colony reported finding something similar to what Ripley and her crew discovered, but has now dropped out of all communication. A team of Marines (hence the strapline Aliens: this time it's war!) is being sent to investigate, would Ripley like to go along too as an advisor.
Ripley would not, but eventually agrees to go, and the film now turns into an absolutely cracking "elite force into danger" movie.
The Marines are introduced (they are v. cool), they go down onto the planet, they investigate, and then all hell breaks loose as hordes of aliens attack.
To cut a long story short, during the investigation, Ripley and the Marines find a young girl, Newt, sole survivor of the colonists. Ripley and her bond. All sorts of action takes place (just watch the movie: it's cracking) and eventually just Ripley and Newt return to the Marines' ship in orbit.
Unbeknownst to them, however, the alien Queen has also got on board and, to put it mildly, she is not a happy bunny.
Newt flees under the deck plating, Ripley disappears off screen.
The alien Queen starts ripping up the deck plating, she corners Newt and reaches out for her when...
When I saw this in one of the big Leicester Square cinemas, almost the entire audience literally leapt to their feet to cheer Ripley on. That's why this is Great Movie Scenes #004.
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.