TFL Painting Challenge: Big Update

It looks as if we have all been very busy over the last week or so: there have certainly been lots of entries for the Painting Challenge.

In no particular order, we have:

  • Carole with some fantastic dungeon scatter terrain pieces

  • Travis with some more AWI figures

  • More Gladiators from Lloyd

  • Mr Helliwell starts a new SYW force

  • There are Star Wars and Zombies from Chris Kay (now there’s an idea…)

  • Ken sends in a mixture of figures and scales, including two slightly naughty pieces (shock, horror!)

  • Despite swearing never to paint another Napoleonic, Mervyn sends in some more…plus a few Middle Earth types

  • World War II Soviets and Nazis from Chris Cornwall

  • And last, but by no means least, more Soviets from Ralph Plowman

As always, clicking on the name of the person above will take you straight through to their gallery.

Keep them coming: we’re in the final quarter of this year’s challenge now.

Also, don’t worry if you’ve submitted nothing so far this year (Geoff, Cabey Cabey, Jim, Mr Clarke, Keith, Koen, Garrett, Chris, Dave, Craig, the Mad Padre, Andrew, Richard, Thomas, Old Pivot, Ashley, David, Brian and Willie B): there’s still plenty of time to get painting and photographing and join the thirty-two of your fellow Lardies who have registered some points.

Here are today’s pictures:

T-62 MBTs

Regular visitors will know that I am adding appropriate units to my 1967 Arab and Israeli forces in order to also be able to play the 1973 Yom Kippur war. First up are the Egyptians, who can now field a platoon of T-62 MBTs:

These are Battlefront plastics in 15mm: part of their Fate of a Nation range.

The models go together well, although the downloadable instructions could be a little clearer: I went badly wrong when building the first turret, necessitating some fairly dramatic surgery later, but fortunately the damage doesn’t show.

Apart from that, recommended.

Games Day in Marietta

Fellow Lardy Mark Luther has asked me to mention that his local group will be running a free Games Day in Marietta, GA on November 10th this year. Here are the details:

We have a full day of historical miniatures games that include Sharp Practice (AWI, Napoleonic, 2nd Seminole War), Chain of Command (SCW, and Normandy WWII), Coastal Patrol (Baltic), and Kiss Me Hardy.  Plenty of non TFL games too-Blood and Plunder, Gangs of Rome, Wings of Glory WWI, Combat Command, Men Who Would be King, SAGA and more.  

There is also a Charity Raffle  We'll have room for drop in games.  On site food and beverages with an incredible beer assortment.

And its FREE!  

IABSM AAR: Push Towards Lowicz

As part of a counter-attack that had already thrown the Germans back some twenty kilometres, the Polish 16th and 26th Infantry Divisions crossed the Bzura river near Lowicz on the morning of 14th September 1939, and the Polish 4th Infantry Division reached the road linking Lowicz and Glowno.

At this point, however, the retreating Germans were reinforced by the 4th Panzer Division, which had been withdrawn from the fighting in the outskirts of Warsaw, and launched a counter-attack of their own against the advancing Poles. This battle would recreate the encounter battle that followed.

A cracking game of IABSM in which a bold coup de main won the day. Click on the pic below to see all:


As Battlefront had another sale on their Arab/Israeli range (25% off this time) I thought I’d better take advantage and add the appropriate figures to allow my 1967 Six Day War Egyptians and Israelis to continue their fight into the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

First off the painting table is the ZSU-23-4 "Shilka": a lightly armored Soviet self-propelled, radar guided anti-aircraft weapon system.

These are lovely models that really take the paint well.

From Wikipedia:

“The acronym "ZSU" stands for Zenitnaya Samokhodnaya Ustanovka (Russian: Зенитная Самоходная Установка), meaning "anti-aircraft self-propelled system"; the "23" signifies the bore diameter in millimeters; the "4" signifies the number of gun barrels. It is named after the Shilka River in Russia. Afghan soldiers nicknamed it the "sewing machine" due to the sound of firing guns. It is also referred to by its nickname of "Zeus", derived from the Russian acronym.”

I’ve already got the ZSU 57-2, which has got two enormous guns rather than four little ones, and I was originally a bit confused as to why four smaller guns would be better than two big ones. The answer is that the ZSU 57-2 had no radar sighting system, couldn’t fire on the move, and couldn’t carry enough ammo to allow for worthwhile sustained fire. Obvious when you think about it!

Apparently the Shilka was very successful, and actually led to a change in NATO tactics. Let’s hope that holds true when I field them for the first time.

Last of the Squats!

Finally finished the last of the Boontown Space Dwarves: a platoon of Clansmen.

Now if you remember, when I started painting the Boontown figures, I was quite disparaging about the quality of the sculpting. I felt the Shaker cannon was, quite frankly, not a very good model, and the crew figures very average if not poor.

I changed my mind a bit about the range with their T-26 walkers, and a bit more with their Hearthguard, but the Clansmen have definitely reversed my opinion.

These are great fun figures with nice, clear definition, especially on the faces/beards and their Schwarzenegger-like arms. Okay, so the guns are still a bit crap, but overall I like them. Not “recommended”, but still a worthwhile addition to any Space Dwarf force.

And that, for the Space Dwarves, should be that. As far as I know, I now have every 15mm Space Dwarf/Squat/Grudd etc figure out there in the marketplace. If I haven’t, please let me know, and I will remedy the situation asap!

Right: onto the Yom Kippur war figures forming a significant layer of the lead mountain…

Nice Comment on TMP

Not sure if anyone saw this, but here’s a nice comment on my last AAR (see below: The Narew Crossing) taken from The Miniatures Page’s forum:

I don't mean to tell anyone else how they should or should not play their wargames …

But this AAR is a great example of how I LIKE my wargames to go!

Hardly matters what the figure scale is, or what the ruleset is. Maybe it matters a little, but not a lot.

What matters are the interests and spirit of the gamers … the game master more, and the rest of the gamers a little less but still to an important extent.

From the AAR:

The game was a screening mission. Provided the bridge remained in Polish hands (i.e. no German troops were in base-to-base contact with the bridge) each time the Turn Card appeared, Polish engineers would roll a D6. Once the total rolled hit 25, any Polish Big Man could order the bridge blown.

Kudos for a thoughtful construction of a scenario, with scenario-specific rules related to victory conditions.

Long range exchange of fire continued on for a couple of turns, until … the Germans, realised that (they) had no hope of winning the game at this distance, and would need to get up close and fight … through to the bridge the hard way!

These kinds of comments, which appear several times in the AAR, show how the AAR writer's (also game master's) thinking runs. The scenario was constructed, with some success it seems, to create tactical problems that the gamers would have to solve. More kudos!

That left the last remaining Panzer (a Panzer III) free to drive forward onto the bridge itself, scattering the Polish engineers still setting their charges. Although we did have a quick debate as to whether the Panzer counted as "troops", I conceded that it probably did (Bevan: "well you tell me: you wrote the scenario!")…

When I read this, it cemented my opinion -- these are guys I'd enjoy gaming with! Lots of competitive spirit in the play of the game, but no rules-lawyering or victory-conditions-maneuvering to gain an advantage.

Again, not meaning to tell anyone else how they should play, but for me, I find little interest in a parking lot of tanks and a bucket of dice, or in haggling over whether a single strand of barbed wire is an obstacle to AT cannons ("where in the rules does it say that barbed wire is a linear obstacle to infantry movement, but not to heavy weapons fire?").

What I do find interesting … fascinating … obsessively engaging … is just about everything we see in this AAR.

Nicely done.

(aka: Mk 1)

Nice to be appreciated!

TFL Painting Challenge: Update

Seems ages since I last did one of these, but it’s probably only about a week or so. Entries from the regulars are a constant with, pleasingly, more of the more infrequent contributors also coming out of the woodwork.

In no particular order, today we have:

  • Joe McGinn with a group of Light Dragoons

  • All for one and one for all from Sapper: Mousquetaires de la Garde and some Swedes from Sapper

  • Matt Slade has more WOR

  • Steve Burt sends in more Assyrians: archers and another chariot

  • The first of two Andrews: Andy Duffell is in the dark (ages).

  • Andy Helliwell has a submission in three different scales

  • Mervyn is sick of Napoleonics, so tries some pilgrims instead

  • There’s a similar entry from John de Terre-Neuve: all sorts of periods and scales

  • The Hat is back: Lloyd Bowler has some tiny forts to display

  • And last, but by no means least, Mr Plowman has zombies

As usual, clicking on the name of the person in the list above will take you straight to that person’s gallery (opens in a new window).

We’re into the final quarter now, so I expect to see you all grabbing brush and camera and submitting away. Still plenty of no-shows so far this year: come on, you can manage at least one before now and Christmas!

To inspire you, here are today’s pictures:

IABSM AAR: The Narew Crossing

It was back to Poland for our latest game of I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum and an extraordinarily exciting encounter that went right down to the wire.

On September 7th 1939, reconnaissance units from one of the Panzer Divisions of General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst’s XXI Army Corps captured Wizna after Polish mounted reconnaissance squads abandoned the village after a short fight and retreated to the southern bank of the Narew. When German tanks tried to cross the bridge, it was blown up by Polish engineers. This game would recreate the German attempt to force the Narew Crossing.

Click on the pic below to see all:

Hura Reinforced

Regular visitors to this blog will know that my poor Hura (four-armed aliens from Clear Horizon) got resoundingly hammered by the Space Dwarves in our last battle, with most of the damage done by a Dwarf scoutship which kept flying down from the skies and blowing Hura hovertanks away! My Hura had no response, as the range is one of those tiresome infantry-only ranges, with no support elements.

I’d already given the Hura some Xarledi hovertanks from Brigade Model’s Yenpalo range, now it was time to see what Brigade had to offer in the way of something I could use for AA protection.

Brigade has a huge range of figures and vehicles, but the ones that caught my eye this time were from their sci-fi Polish range. These were sufficiently odd-looking to go with the Hura and Xarledi, so I quickly ordered a couple of AA half-tracks and another mounting a Multiple Rocket launcher System (MRLS).

I’ve now painted them up (they leapfrogged the last of the space dwarves) in the same colours as the hovertanks, and think they have come out very well.

Wilk AA Half-Tracks

Wilk MRLS Half-Tracks

As always, excellent service and models from Brigade. Recommended.

Methinks the Hura need some more…

More Grudd Infantry from Onslaught

I’ve almost cleared all the 15mm sci-fi dwarves from my lead mountain! Just one more contingent to go, and I’m half way through them.

Meanwhile, here’s the last of the Grudd infantry from Onslaught Miniatures. They are the chaps who produce some really lovely (and complete) sci-fi ranges in 6mm, and a couple of lines of 15mm figures too.

One of those 15mm lines is the Grudd: effectively sci-fi dwarves. Regular readers will know that the basic infantry types (Clansmen, Demolishers, Siege Breakers) have already been finished and logged…so here are the Iron Lords in their superheavy armour and the Drudgers (militia types):

Iron Lords (left) and Drudgers (above)

I honestly can’t recommend these enough. Beautifully cast cubist space dwarves with a variety of very cool weaponry. Painting them as shown is easy: a metallic undercoat that becomes the top coat for the armour, then faces, beards and weapons in different colours. Highlight with some bright unit markings and you’re away.

Q13 AAR: Dwarves vs Xar

As my recent painting has been almost wholly focused on clearing all the sci-fi dwarves from my lead mountain, I thought it was only right and proper to get them onto the table again for my next game of Quadrant 13. It would also be a good opportunity to give the Xar (six-legged “critters” from GZG) their first outing.

Click on the pic below to see the report:

IABSM AAR: Grudziadz

Our last game of IABSM was set in the Tuchole Forest in Poland, right at the beginning of the war. Today’s battle would directly follow on from that encounter, and represent the stalwart Polish defense of Grudziadz. Both scenarios were taken from The September War, Part One, one of the TooFatLardies scenario packs that I have written for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum!

Grudziadz was a strategically important town as it housed an officer academy, a cavalry school and the several army staffs directing Polish forces in the Polish Corridor region. It was, however, only lightly defended, with its garrison made up of infantry and border protection corps (KOP) along with supporting artillery. The German attack was launched from East Prussia by 21st Corps, mainly infantry and the reserve 10th Panzer regiment (mainly Panzer I and II).

Click on the pic below to see what happened.

TFL Painting Challenge: This Week's Update

A couple of days late, I’m afraid, but been very busy despite the fact that I’ve just been made redundant!

Here are this week’s entries:

  • Andy Duffell drives in a handful of 15mm desert Cruisers

  • It’s been a while since we’ve heard from John Haines, but his entry this week is some lovely Japanese-themed terrain, and an AWI colonial house

  • And even longer since we’ve heard from Owen, who finally send sin his first entry for this year’s challenge with some odd cavalry

  • Mark Luther continues to grow his 1st Seminole War collection

  • Carole has been hanging with the good guys this week

  • There’s more from Andrew Helliwell: more knights, some space marine types and some lovely looking Prussians

  • Joe McGinn sends in his summer painting: some great looking Napoleonics

  • Treadhead’s latest entry is 6mm Soviets and 28mm sheep

  • And last, but by no means least, Matt Slade has Germans from 1940 and lots of WOTR figures for us to admire

As usual, clicking on the name of the person above will take you straight to their gallery (opens in a new window).

Here are today’s pictures:

More Boontown Dwarves

And the production line of sci-fi dwarves continues as I am determined to clear all of them from my lead mountain.

Today we have the Hearthguard from Boontown Metals:

These are slightly better cast than the Shaker Cannon teams I was complaining about a few days ago, but still of the rough-and-ready variety instead of the clean-crisp variety I prefer.

No matter: must collect all sci-fi dwarves, no matter what!

Q13 AAR: Dwarves Dish Out A Hammering

Played my first game of Quadrant 13 for ages today: an encounter between the Hura (four-armed aliens from ClearHorizon Miniatures) and the Dwarves in Space.

Well you can probably guess what happened from the title of this post: just a pity I was playing the Hura!

Click on the picture below to see all…

Warbases SciFi Terrain

Things are all a bit scifi at the moment: mainly because that’s what tends to accumulate in the lead mountain. Figures for all the other periods leapfrog to the front of the painting queue, with poor old scifi left lingering behind.

But, as we all know, I’m trying to clear some of the lead mountain at the moment, and look what I’ve found and painted today: it’s the landing pad from Warbases 15mm scifi terrain range.

The pad is a laser-cut kit consisting of the ramp and the pad itself. It comes with no instructions, as Warbases assure their customers that the build is “intuitive”.

Well that may be so…but it still didn’t stop me putting the legs together incorrectly first time around. Note that the leg pillars have a top and a bottom (wider gap at the bottom) and that the feet go at the end of the legs not built back up to create a little moat around them. Confused? Look at the picture as you build the pad, and things should become clear.

Painting the pad was fairly easy: a grungy brown for the supports that was then scuffed with black paint, washed and then drybrushed. The pad itself was dyed black-ish with black ink, then highlighted with a grey colour. The red edges are because I couldn’t be bothered to paint every edge with black and yellow warning stripes. I’m sure you can buy thin hazard tape somewhere, but a quick Search gave me 25mm as the thinnest I could find.


TFL Painting Challenge: Friday Update

You’re probably all sick of my painting, so here’s a quick Painting Challenge update.

As we move into the Autumn, and the final months of the Challenge, good to see that there are still lots of entries coming through.

So today, in no particular order, we have:

  • Steve Burt with an Assyrian chariot

  • Some amazing 15mm modern vehicles from Egg. Don’t envy him that camouflage!

  • Mark Luther has filled in a few gaps in his gallery with a couple of shots of recent French Indian Wars games

  • Carol’s been hanging out with vampires

  • Loads of 15mm Napoleonics and a few 28mm SYW command figures from Sapper

  • A tank from Travis

  • Lots of tanks from Lloyd Bowler

  • Huge amounts of re-basing from Stumpy…and a few figures he’s painted himself

  • And last, but by no means least, Mervyn with some Napoleonic British infantry

As always, clicking on the name of the person in the list above will take you straight to their gallery…and there’s still plenty of time for the rest of you to send in your entries as well.

Here are today’s pictures:

Beautifully painted 15mm US troops from Egg

Mervyn’s Napoleonics

Char B-1’s from the Hat

One of Mark Luther’s FIW shots

First of the Boontown Dwarves


As you can see from my last few posts, I’m on a bit of a painting jag at the moment.

I’d like to say that this is gradually clearing my lead mountain but, of course, every time I complete a unit, I check the range it comes from and usually end up buying more figures to either fill in the gaps of what I’ve got or to cover new releases.

This is certainly true of this last week. I painted the Onslaught Miniatures engineers and promptly ordered the new Iron Lords. I painted the figures below, and promptly ordered the previously-out-of-stock battlebikes. And don’t even get me started on the boxes arriving from Battlefront as a result of their 25% off Arab-Israeli sale! I think I’ve just go to come to terms with the fact that for every figure I paint I add a few more to the lead mountain…but at least it means that I’ll live for ever!

So on to today’s offering.

As I’m trying to collect every type of 15mm sci-fi dwarf out there (I know: not a good way to reduce the lead mountain), I duly ordered a couple of units of the Boontown Miniatures range as soon as it launched.

Good service, but not the sort of figures I usually buy: I like my figures very crisp and clean (but hard to paint well, especially with my rudimentary skills!) rather than the more normal Boontown range. Leaving that aside, however, I eased myself into the range by painting the artillery (Shaker cannons) and the walkers (T-26 walkers).

Very shaky!

The Shaker Cannons are typical of what I mean. I didn’t like these at all. You’ve got a hi-tech rear end (looks a bit like the front of a VW Beetle complete with headlights and bumper) then an awful wooden chassis, awful crude-iron wheels, and a screen that looks like it’s been knocked together by orcs!

I quite like the idea of a hedgehog-like piece of artillery, but none of the four barrels are the same. Add in a couple of crew members that are not of the crisp and clean variety, and you have…yuk!

Anyhow, I’ve done my best and decided that these are knocked-together mining tools (presumably for lobbing explosives somewhere when strip mining or something) hence the reason for the crude construction and very bright white and red warning stripes.

In my humble opinion, these would do better as part of a low-tech sci-fi range, and don’t mix very well with the walkers:

These I like much more than the Shakers. Not quite sure why half the firepower points backwards, and why the gunner is unprotected in any way, but I do like the basic shape and stance, and the decided “chicken” look about them.

As I’ve decided that the Boontown dwarf base colour is brown, these are sprayed Mournfang Brown, then washed and highlighted, and with certain bits of equipment painted separately. I then added some decals I found in the bits box and off we go.

These are much more the thing, and have inspired me to have a go at the Hearthguard platoon, now drying after it’s undercoat.