6pdr Mk.II (15mm)

This is Battlefront's 15mm British 6 pounder anti-tank gun, converted to the early Mk.II version by the very simple expedient of cutting off the muzzle-brake. To tell the truth, I doubt that this version of the gun would have ever been seen in these colours except for training in the UK; I'm pretty sure that the later Mk.IV version with a muzzle-brake would have been ubiquitous by the time of the Italian campaign.

Now I have most of Britain's WWII anti-tank guns in 1:100 scale, from the crappy Hotchkiss 25mm, through the 2 and 6 pounders, right up to the mighty 17 pounder. I don't have a 17pdr "Pheasant" yet, but I expect I'll pick one up one of these days if only because I like the look of it on the 25pdr carriage.

K-Wagen (1:285)

3-up sprue

Single model
I've re-scaled my model of the K-Wagen to 1:285 for use in 6mm games.

It's available as a single model or as a 3-up sprue.

This would be a real monster on the wargames table; it's about 47mm long and 25mm across the beam. That would make it even more massive than the Soviet WWII T-35.

K-Wagen (1:100)

Here's my latest model at Shapeways — the German K-Wagen super-heavy tank of 1918.

It was a real monster, thirteen metres long and carrying a crew of 26. It never made it into action, but it only just missed out when the war ended in November 1918.

It's available at http://shpws.me/MXQh. Unfortunately, being a big vehicle means that it's a big model with a big price. Alas, there's nothing much I can do about that except complain endlessly.

Vickers "Dutchman" — the Embiggening

I've re-scaled my Vickers "Dutchman" to 1/56 (28mm), which mostly involved re-doing all the rivets so that they wouldn't look quite so much like grapefruit in the larger scale.

It's available at http://shpws.me/MVy4

Toys for ME!

I got some unexpected presents today from my very generous friend Steve, who is winnowing his old FoW collections in a changeover to Bolt Action. He's passed on to me some of his 15mm BEF 1940 models:

  • a 4.5" howitzer
  • an 18/25pdr gun
  • a 2pdr anti-tank gun
  • a Hotchkiss 25mm anti-tank gun
  • a Vickers MMG team
  • a mortar team
  • a Dingo scout car

And in addition, a set of Warlord Games Bolt Action markers and templates.

The scale of your average Bolt Action game being between single reinforced platoons rather than companies or battalions, the addition of a single gun or vehicle can be a significant increase in force, so these are very welcome.

Bolt Action 2: more rules tinkering

I'm trying to think of a workable mechanism for temporarily linking two units in Bolt Action (2nd Ed.) so that they're both activated as one. The specific circumstance I'm thinking of is where you have an armoured vehicle providing moving cover for some infantry behind it, but there are others where it might also be appropriate.

It's doable by way of the officers' extra orders, but that just makes the order process slightly less piece-meal — even a Major would only be able to get two vehicle/infantry combined units moved per Turn.

It could be run as a variant of the "mounting vehicles" rules, where the infantry don't actually get into/on to the vehicle and the vehicle is then restricted to the move speed of the accompanying infantry. In that case, if the vehicle is destroyed, it wouldn't also take out the infantry (unless it's H.E.)

Unlike the regular "mounting transports" rules, the infantry in this situation would be able to "mount" a moving vehicle as long as it isn't moving any faster than the infantry. I think I'd limit that to 6" (ADVANCE speed), due to the need to coordinate between the infantry and vehicle to maintain cover.
NOTE: I noticed, while reading about mounting transports, that it explicitly states that a unit can't be split between two or more transports.
This is a STUPID RULE, which I fully intend to ignore. For a start, it would make it impossible to represent the British practice of allotting two Bren Carriers to carry one section of infantry.
Anyway, while this might work for the "tank-shield" circumstance, it still doesn't really cater to things like a combined assault. Maybe that's the sort of thing that would best be handled with the officers' extra orders.

Even then, under a strict interpretation of the rules as written, I think the assault would have to be worked through in its entirety when the first unit is ordered in, rather than counting both assaulting units as a single entity for that purpose.

Stosstruppen

Battlefront had a Halloween sale, in which all their Great War stuff was significantly marked down, so I got a few bits and pieces — some British rifles and trench mortars, and some German infantry, battalion support weapons, and these StoƟtruppen. The stormtroopers are a bit more lightly equipped than the normal infantry, and they include a bunch armed with Bergmann submachine guns, so they can also stand in for Freikorps, should the need arise.

The standard of sculpting and casting is not, to my eye, up to Battlefront's best. It's not terrible, but there's a lack of detail in places, some of the poses are a bit awkward and spindly, and I suspect the alloy is a bit lead-heavy, because what detail there is is rather soft and blobby, as if the metal has not properly filled the mould. Nevertheless, they'll do the job for which they're intended, which is to be toy soldiers.

I've painted just one stormtrooper so far, trying out paint colours and QuickShade. It's a bit crappy, really. I think that maybe rather than using Stone Grey as the base colour for the uniform I might go a bit darker, and maybe try a Citadel or Vallejo acrylic wash instead of the QuickShade.

Later...


I finished off the first batch, and pretty much finalized the colours and process I'll use for the rest. I think the weakest point about the sculpting is the faces; most of them are just formless blobs. I could bring out more of the features with paint, but frankly I can't be bothered.

Bolt Action (2nd Ed.) Index PDF/ODT

My copy of Bolt Action 2 has finally arrived, at long, long last, and to my surprise and anger I find that it STILL doesn't have an index.

This is something that really gets on my wick. Automated index creation tools have been a part of every word processing and page layout application I've used in at least two decades, and failing to include an index in any reference manual is just slackness. There's no excuse for it.

Anyway, the work has been done for Warlord Games (slackers!) by others. The Demo Gamers have put together an index, which I have nabbed and reformatted so that I can print it as an A5 folded booklet.

My booklet is available as a PDF, or if you want to be able to edit it yourself, in ODT (OpenOffice/LibreOffice) format.

It Takes A (Paper) Village

Progress on my el-cheapo paper village progresses.

The one to the left I designed myself ages ago, and just re-scaled to fit better with 15mm figures. It could do with some adjustment I think; the timber framing needs a bit more definition. I rather like the somewhat cartoonish look of the WHFRP buildings, and I'll probably emulate them a bit more.

All of the WHFRP buildings I've put together so far have been very simple, constructionally — basically just rectangular boxes of various heights. I haven't investigated the archive fully yet, and hopefully there might be one or two in there that are a bit more interesting. The simple buildings have the virtue of being very quick and easy to construct, but one or two funkier ones wouldn't go amiss to add some visual interest.

I'm mounting them all on black mounting-board, with a lump of lead hot-glued inside to give them a bit of stability. I haven't decided yet what I'm going to do about decorating the basing; I'll do it all in one go when I have all the buildings I want so that they're all consistent in their groundwork.

None of these have removable roofs or accessible interiors, and I have no plans to change that. I don't think the added trouble is really justified in terms of improving game-play. It would be a different matter if I was playing Mordheim or something of that ilk, but I'm not. What I should do is make some "destroyed" versions that can be swapped out for, when occupying troops (inevitably) get mortared all to buggery.

I'm spray-gluing the laser prints to 260gsm black card, and getting them really well bonded by rollering the bejeezus out of them before the glue sets hard. That seems to be working pretty well, and 260gsm card seems to be quite adequate for strength as long as I don't go standing on any of them. The black card helps a lot with the outline issue I mentioned last time, though it doesn't cure it completely — the paper itself is still white.

Zvezda KV1 (1941)

 Here'a another 1:100 scale (15mm) KV1 from Zvezda, a slightly later model than the previous one with a slightly better 76.2mm gun. ...