Posts Tagged ‘Modern’

I’m very pleased to share the early reviews of Cold War Gone Hot, for which I was the lead author:

Overall, I am quite pleased by the early feedback. Most of the criticism is for a few typos and the desire for more content (always a challenge in this industry), but everyone seems to like the three-part format and the “Hollywood-style” scenarios. I am very honored to have worked with such a great team — Shawn, Rich, Jim and Piers, as well as the many other contributors. Dixie did a great job with the maps and my thanks to Osprey Publishing as well. I only hope the next book I’m working on turns out as well.



Well, Legends is over, Cold War Gone Hot is out the door, Thanksgiving is upon us and it’s time to put on the final push for 2011 in terms of painting. After reviewing my unpainted mounds of figures, buildings and projects, here is what I intend to work on between now and December 31:

1) 15mm Vietnam: I am finishing up about 20 more Vietcong (mix of Main Force and Local Force figures from Flashpoint) and have a short platoon of US Army grunts (mix of Flashpoint and Battlefront figures) about 1/2 done on the painting table. This will take priority so I can get some gaming time in.

2) 15mm Vietnam Terrain: I have 3 more Timecast hooches to finish, plus five tunnel/hot spot markers that need to get done. I am using the Khurasan abandoned mine shaft pieces as the basis for the tunnel markers, with some heavy green stuff modifications.

3) 15mm Space Worms from O8: I picked up a few packs from the guys at Picoarmor and want to have a unit of 27 (3 nine-worm squads) done for Tomorrow’s War. To go with them, I have three of Reaper Miniatures cave worm models (the plastic prepaints, not the metal ones) that I aim to repaint as “heavy tanks” for the worms.

4) 3mm Picoarmor: Using one stand = one platoon, I am painting up some 1985 US/NATO and WARPAC forces for a large scale game aimed at the Battalion/Regimental command level. I’m doing my own home grown rules, so I’m keen to get these finished so I can get to working out the mechanics.

5) 28mm Martian Racing Skiffs: I bought some of these models from Brigade Games (they’re the old Parroom Station models) and want to start a beer & pretzels Martian racing league at our local gaming store.

This should take me well through the holidays, so we’ll see how much I’ll actually get done. I’ll post progress reports and pictures as these things get finished.

I had decided awhile ago that I was going to do 15mm Vietnam, even before Shawn Carpenter told me that we’d be redoing Ambush Valley. I was intrigued by the Flashpoint releases, promising a full range of figures including civilians, free world forces and special forces. Then Battlefront released their own 15mm models based around the Ia Drang Valley in 1965, offering more options and vehicles. I purchased a lot of figures from both lines and they sat on my workbench for months. With the release of the new Ambush Valley, I’ve been inspired to pick up the paint brush and get to work, if for no other reason than to pay homage to the excellent work done by Piers and Joe in putting the book together.

My first project is getting Viet Cong painted. I want to run games involving smaller forces on “sweep and clear” type missions, so my NVA will have to wait for awhile. Since Battlefront has yet to release VC figures, my only option was Flashpoint, but the company offers Local and Main Force Viet Cong, as well as support weapons and civilians.

First efforts at painting Flashpoint VC

The models are on .75 inch bases (penny-sized) which I built up with Vallejo Dark Earth paste. The grass and flower tufts are from three different sets of Army Painter base tufts, including the new flower set. I wanted the VC to look like they were in the middle of cover, not standing on a golf course. For uniforms, I wanted a mix of the classic “black pajama” look with some mix of Main Force uniforms. The black uniforms are a thinned down Vallejo German Gray, highlighted with the same color mixed with Vallejo Ivory. The straw hats are Vallejo Beige, then washed with Vallejo Sepia Wash. Flesh is Vallejo Sunny Skintone washed with Flesh Wash. The Flashpoint figures have deep detail which lends itself to washes and stains.

A closer look

Some of the more "Main Force" uniforms

I also tacked a few civilian figures to mix into my village and rice paddy settings.

A close up of a Vietnamese civilian.

Another civilian model.

I’m quite pleased with how these are turning out. The figures have “personality,” allow for quick painting and fit the look I am trying to achieve. My only real complaint about the models is the percentage that have miscasts, forcing quite a bit of file and knife work to fix. Still, I recommend Flashpoint’s models, especially their civilians. Next time, I’ll show what I’m doing with some of the village buildings.

I didn’t get much of a chance when I got back from Historicon to show how our tables fared the trip to Valley Forge, but here they are. First is the Golan Heights/Valley of Tears board:

Syrian T-62s mass for a charge up hill.

Looking up hill at the Israeli Sho'ts

Now a few shots from the Bala Baluk board from Afghanistan. This is Scenario 13 in the new Operation Enduring Freedom book for Force on Force.

Some Elheim Taliban in the trenches waiting to ambush

We had to mount the trees on washers for transport. Our original plan was to insert them directly into the boards, but this proved impossible given the space limitations of the family mini-van.

Some of Shawn Carpenter's scratch-built 20mm buildings

The USMC vehicles start the scenario immobilized

Another view, along with some USMC rescuers...

Overall, we ran both games Thursday-Saturday in the Dealer Hall and ran 50+ through the scenarios. We had lots of interest and went back to our hotel exhausted, but happy, each night. Our return drive of 13 hours went uneventfully and the boards returned home intact. In fact, we only suffered one minor ding in transport that was quickly fixed with flock. On the miniatures side, two vehicle machine guns were casualties and both were easily repaired in minutes, so I judge Historicon to be a bloodless victory for our demo team!

Since we just got back from Historicon and I have part 2 of my eye surgeries on Thursday, we will be “keeping it simple” for this upcoming Sunday. I’ve had a hankering to play Check Your Six Jet Age for a few weeks now, so we will return to the skies of Vietnam for some Phantom v. MiG action. I picked up some new stand mounts at Historicon that allow you to show banking and climb/dives on the Check Your Six stands, as well as some cool new markers to show special maneuvers. Game time as always is 1 PM at Unique Gifts and Games in Grayslake, IL. Hope to see you there.

My friend Skip Peterson of Legends in Time has been busy working on the terrain boards for the Ambush Alley Games demos at Historicon. I thought I’d share a couple of photos of the work in progress. We still need to do a bit of drybrushing and add trees/buildings, but here is the 4′ x 8′ board for the Afghanistan Bala Baluk scenario:

A view of the irrigation ditch and trenches.

You can see some of the fields in place at the edge of the table. The scenario is set in November.

A few USMC figs (Elheim 20mm) in place on the board for scale.

Skip has outdone himself this time! I hope everyone enjoys the terrain at Historicon.

We have been busy with the two games for Historicon for Ambush Alley Games, and Shawn Carpenter gave me the green light to post a few photos “in advance” to whet the appetite. First up are a few shots of the 17 Syrian T-62s for the “Encounter on the Yehudia Road” scenario from the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict. These figures were graciously donated by Geoff at QRF.

QRF T-62s in 15mm painted as Syrians

Closer shot of T-62s

These tanks are nearly finished. All I need to add are some of the machine guns and give them a final seal. For those interested, I primered them Army Painter “Army Green”, then airbrushed them with a pale sand and dark gray overspray. Weathering was a red-brown wash for the bogey wheels, with progressive drybrushes of khaki and pale sand. Since I couldn’t find any suitable decals in 15mm, I went all out and hand painted all the arabic numerals on the turrets. Information on insignia and numbering for Syrian vehicles is somewhat sketchy, but most sources show a 3-digit turret number. Sometimes the numbers were shown in a dotted box, but I elected to go the easier route. I’m very happy with how these have turned out. As for the camouflage colors, again, there is little to go on. I elected to follow the scheme in the Concord publication for 1948-1873 Wars of the Middle East. I have seen other pictures where the yellow was more bright, the green another color and the gray omitted, to name but a few options.

As for their opponents, Geoff again supplied us with Centurion 5/2s, which I have painted as Israeli Sho’ts for the game. Yes, there are a few differences between the Centurion 5/2 and the Sho’t, but most are minor at 15mm scale.

QRF 15mm Centurion Sho'ts

Closer view of Sho'ts

Again, there was a lack of 15mm decals readily available, so I hand painted the company chevrons and Hebrew platoon/tank designations on the fenders. The tanks were primered in Army Painter “Skeletal Bone” and airbrushed with Testor’s Israeli Armor Sand. I then painted the treads and bogey wheels in dark gray, followed by successive drybrushes of khaki and pale sand for weathering. The eight tanks in the scenario represent three platoons (with battle losses) and a company command vehicle. All that remains is the addition of the turret MGs and we are ready to go for Historicon.

The Yehudia Road action will feature 25 vehicles total and is designed to showcase the new armor rules in Force on Force. The action represents part of the last stand of an Israeli tank platoon against a full brigade of Syrian armor in the opening days of the conflict. The platoon held until reinforcements arrived, thanks in part to the superior gunnery of the Israeli tankers and in part because of the elevation involved. The Soviet-made tanks could not elevate their barrels high enough to hit the Israelis until they had closed the range. We’ve played the scenario a number of times and it still remains a tense action until the end. We’re looking forward to running it for everyone.